I've cleaned up/rearranged my altar space and started using it more often. My magical partner got me some beautiful altar tools for my birthday, to replace my makeshift and/or nonexistent ones. He got me a silver? chalice with two pentacles etched on opposite sides (to replace the crystal glass with the broken stem), a beautifully crafted, wooden-handled athame in a leather sheath (to replace my black handled regular kitchen knife in black silk) and a scrying mirror in a stylish wooden box with velvet inside and a pentacle on the lid. All things I wouldn't have justified purchasing for myself. I am so overjoyed to know that he still has my spiritual interests at heart. Sometimes it's hard to tell when aspects of a relationship become habitual, standardized, expected or taken for granted.
I bought myself a new tarot deck for my birthday (I always get myself something nice this time of year) the Vision Quest Tarot. This is something that I would typically giggle at and overlook because of the misappropriation of native american spiritual concepts into irrelevant or eclectic practices and tools. However, I was visiting a friend a few weeks ago and she asked me to do a reading for her with her deck because she was having a lot of "I'm not telling, ask later" and "you already know" types of readings when using the deck by herself. Her deck was the Vision Quest Tarot and I found it totally coherent to read. Clear, concise, effective. I didn't even have to use the little book to do a straight-on-the-nose reading for her. It was strange, because when I'm using my own Rider-Waite deck I'm always totally confused by at least two of the cards in the layout. I was so impressed that I decided to invest in one myself. I'm very excited to start using it and my new scrying mirror. I'd never seen a scrying mirror before, to be honest, but it was the first divination tool I'd ever been interested in having. Strange how it came to me when I'd forgotten about it entirely.
I've been busy organizing my divination tools lately, I've got nice boxes and bags for my various tools. I've got a rock oracle in the works, a mix of tumbled semi-precious stones and lake-smoothed pebbles from Georgian bay. I'm trying to work out a system for making connections between a selection of stones, to make a random pattern into a coherent reading. I've always had rock collections since I was old enough to dig in the dirt and fill my pockets with driveway gravel, so this is a neat project for me. I've also been continuing to work on developing a coherent basic ritual format that includes all of the things that are spiritually important to me. I'm looking forward to the UTPS event about writing your own ritual, and the one about personal practice... I'm sure it will help to discuss with other people.
I've been working on a workshop for UTPS called Introduction to Pagan Ritual, in which we will discuss the various aspects of ritual. This will include the simplest aspects, such as identifying and using tools, spoken words, gestures for addressing each other or unseen forces, libation and sacrifices, movement into, out of and within sacred space, articles of clothing and jewelry, etc. All to make it less painful or scary for people to join in and participate - confidently - in open circles. I think for my whole first year at UTPS I had very little idea what was going on, because what I'd read and what I was seeing seemed vastly different.
I'm getting excited about my future again, since this is my final year in undergrad. I can't decide what I want to do, but I'm narrowing my possibilities. I want to get a co-op going this year so that I can get my foot in the door... basically anywhere. I'm thinking I might try to get a position with SEEDS, who I met on a magical tree walk with UTPS in Mount Pleasant (or maybe a leadership work-study with U of T). I'm really looking forward to WWOOFing in the next couple of years, (that is, finding a volunteer placement through Willing Workers on Organic Farms) and getting the experience I need to start up or join a permanent farm community. As I talk to more people about my plans, I find that I am making more important connections, and I feel that as long as I keep taking small steps, the pieces will fall into place for me and opportunities will present themselves. Learning about Daoism in 'Chinese Philosophies' class, and about sympathetic magic in my 'Witchcraft and Magic' and 'Magic and Miracle' classes has really helped me remember to value the synchronicity in my life. The more I do, the more I can do.
I am the Moirae weaving and cutting.