Thursday, September 29, 2011

101 Songs - I Saw A Cigar-Shaped Flying Ship

Another Dead Milkmen song, because they are The Awesomeness, plus a request for anyone reading this who likes to make Doctor Who fanvids.  I've always thought that this song was the absolute perfect song, from beginning to end, to represent any of the Doctor's companions.  I don't have the video resources or the knowledge to do it myself, so there you go.

The Dead Milkmen - "The Secret of Life"


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Groovy Spells - Health

I was going to spread these out over time, but the ideas are flying in my head, so here's another one.

This one is for a person who is sick, like, chronically or seriously ill....someone whose health issues are at the forefront of their lives all the time.  You could certainly do it for yourself, but I think it would be even better to do it on behalf of a loved one who needs it, because your affectionate concern for the other person can ramp up the strength of the spell all the more.

So, here's the cards, in a beginning/middle/end kind of scenario:

Four of Swords - This is the illness card.  The one that shows up in a reading when someone is sick.  I include it here, for a couple reasons:  One, well, it's obvious.  And two, this card not only indicates illness, it indicates recovery from said illness.  It can represent the period of rest and rejuvenation that follows when you've finally come out of the woods.  So, for the purposes of this spell, there's not only the acknowledgement of the situation, but a request for help in facilitating recovery.

Strength - This one is pretty self-explanatory.  The card represents a request for the strength needed to weather the illness.

Temperance - I was going to go with The Sun for the "end" part, because of it's joyful positivity, but then I thought maybe it would be better to go with something more restful.  What Temperance usually represents is the idea of coming out of a volatile situation with a positive outcome that'll finally give you some peace and quiet.  Recuperating from an illness requires a calm environment free of stress and aggravation.

Here's the printout.  Click on it for the full sized version:

Print it out

Cut it out

Color it in

Fold along the lines between the sections

Tape the edges together

Punch holes in the tops of the three sections and attach string

Hang it somewhere in your house where you enjoy spending time.  I'm not going to emphasize making sure this one is in sun or moonlight.  I think to achieve the sense of peaceful health that the spell is going for, you need to choose your favorite place and hang the spell there.

For this one, you're going to want to light blue and green candles.  Both are good colors for healing and recovery, and general good health.  Blue, especially, is about peacefulness and calm, which are key factors in the way I put this spell together, but I wouldn't skip the green, though.

Same instructions as always: go to your happy place, get nice and quiet, clear your mind.  If you like, ask who or whatever you believe in spiritually to lend you their strength, and help you make the spell happen.  Visualize yourself (or the person you're doing the spell for) dealing with doctors, hospitals, and all that goes with it in a courageous and laid-back way, keeping your/their sense of humor, but also standing up for yourself when you feel you need to.  Visualize physically feeling yourself filling with strength (sometimes it helps to imagine being able to actually "see" the strength filling you, like a mass of light), so that you have the power to get through the hardships of illness.  Visualize yourself getting well, and having an environment to get well in that is peaceful and rejuvenating, with no stresses or negativity to hold back your recovery.

When you feel like you're done, snuff out the candles and use them again the next day, repeating the process each day for as long as you feel you need to.

As an added factor in helping you to really get into the process, I'm going to start including some stuff about colors with these spells, so you can make your spell space even more visually appealing and amp up the mojo of the whole thing in general.

Colors to include in your space for the health spell:

As mentioned above, definitely green and a nice medium blue.  You can use ribbon, cloth, paper, personal items, etc....anything that you feel connected to.  Arrange these things in an appealing fashion around your spell, (just make sure the flammable stuff stays away from the candles) so that when you're sitting and focusing, you have a space that makes you feel comfortable and positive.  Brown would be another good color, because it represents calmness and being grounded and stable.  A space with lots of green and brown could be nice and woodsy, if you're a person who likes that kind of atmosphere.  Or if you focus on the blue/green combination more, the space could be nice and ocean-y, if that's more your thing.  You can set it up however you like to make it into an area that you'll want to spend time in, focusing on the spell's goal.

I feel like I need to include this with every one of these: 
Obviously, I can't guarantee anything.  Sometimes spells work, sometimes they don't.  But there's never any harm in trying, right?  And sometimes when they work, they really, really work, and it doesn't get much cooler than that.

101 Songs - "You're Like A Baby"

The second season of Boardwalk Empire started on Sunday, and the first episode kicked off with an excellent version of this song sung by Kathy Brier.

It's interestingly topical, because even though it was released in 1920, it really encapsulates our modern "I want what I want and I want it now" society:

"After You Get What You Want, You Don't Want It" by Van & Schenck


Groovy Spells - Social Life

This one is good for people who, for whatever reason, have a crappy social life.  Maybe you have a hard time relating to other people in your environment, and feel like you're with the wrong group.  Or maybe you have social anxiety in general, and spend a lot of time by yourself, but it makes you too lonely.  Or maybe you don't have any friends at all, and want some.  This spell is meant to help relieve social problems for the recipient.  You can either do this one for yourself, or even better, do it on behalf of someone you care about who has these problems.

My main focus when I put this one together was to make it as simple and happy as possible.  No complicated meanings, just the kind of good vibes that will hopefully leave the recipient with feelings of positivity that they'll project onto others.

The cards:

The Sun - Good times, good things...just goodness all around.  This card is meant to represent the positive attitude that will hopefully fill the recipient in their quest to make their social life better.

The Nine of Cups - This card is crux of the whole spell.  The Nine of Cups represents everything social....get-togethers, parties, group activities....  It's about the joy of finding people you can relate to, and having them think you're really cool, too.  It's about new friends.

The World - The whole meaning of The World is about getting your heart's desire.  Whatever it is you want the most, having The World show up means you're going to get it.  I included it in this spell to act as the wish fulfillment part.  When we pour our energy into a spell, we obviously go in with the hope that it'll work.  I put The World in there to ramp up the chances that it will.

Here's the print-out.  Click it for the full-sized version:

So, you're going to:

Print it out

Color it in

Cut it out

Fold along the lines between the sections

Tape the edges together

Punch some holes in the tops of the three sections and attach string

And definitely hang this one somewhere where the sun can shine on it.  I'm a moonlight kind of gal, generally, but for this one, as with the last one I posted....sunlight for sure.

For this spell, you're going to want to light a pink candle.  Pink is the color of friendship and fond affection.

After you've lit your candle, sit down and go to your happy place.  Nice and calm.  No distractions.  If you're a spiritual person, you can call on who or whatever you believe in to help you, by lending you their power and strength.  If you're not a spiritual person, imagine that the energy you'll be exerting will work its way out into the ether and join the energy of other people who are trying to make things happen for themselves.

Visualize yourself (or the person you're doing the spell for) making new friends....meeting people in an environment that makes you comfortable.  Visualize yourself meeting people that you can relate to....who have similar interests to yours....people you can share parts of your life with.  Visualize yourself having get-togethers, going to parties....doing things with friends, whether it's playing Dungeons & Dragons, or hiking, or having a movie night, or playing hockey....whatever it is you'd like to do with other people.  Visualize yourself feeling comfortable even when you're alone, because you know you've got friends out there that you can see when you don't feel like being alone anymore.

When you feel like you're done, snuff out the candle and leave it there for the next day.  Each day, try to spend some time with your spell, focusing some energy into it and keeping the positive vibes going.

Obviously, I can't guarantee anything.  Sometimes spells work, sometimes they don't.  But there's never any harm in trying, right?  And sometimes when they work, they really, really work, and it doesn't get much cooler than that.


If They Can Squeeze In Past The Skull, That Is.

While there are some craft supplies that can be annoyingly hard to find, unfinished wood birdhouse ornaments seem to be everywhere.  Well, except when you actually need them for a mail art group, and then they seem to be nowhere, until you give up looking and decide to do something else for the group, and then those birdhouses pop back into the stores again like mushrooms.


I stock up on birdhouse ornaments, because they are plentiful, cheap, come in lots of different shapes, and are the perfect thing to have around when I've run out of stuff to keep my hands busy.  They can be decorated in as many different ways as the human brain can come up with.  The round ones, for example, make excellent rocket ships.

This is another project I did with the help of my beloved Sharpie markers, instead of paints, but I'm quickly finding out that the lighter the color you're using, the more you can see the marker streaks on the wood.  (And blue.  Blue Sharpies are a baaaad match for wood grain.  I mean, someone with more artistic talent out there could probably make it work, but every time I try it, it comes out looking all streaky and blotchy.)

So, here it is, a house for tiny autumn birds!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Wait, What Happens If I Spin A 9?

October is only a couple days away!!

(Click on the images for larger versions)


Classic Cartoons - I'll Never Look At Gravy The Same Way Again

When I was a kid, I thought this cartoon was messed up, but watching it again as an adult....wowee zowee is it messed up.  You can really feel the cat's, and especially the mouse's, fear and humiliation.  The whole thing is just super creepy.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

101 Songs - Mama Made Us Bury It In The Backyard

My Brightest Diamond's "Bring Me The Workhorse" is one of those albums that stays with you for years.  It's definitely in my top ten list.

The majority of the songs appear to be about the loss of the narrator's best friend, due to a tragedy that happened in the yard when they were children.  Of all the songs, this one seems to be the least cryptic.  Aside from the Haruki mix of "We Were Sparkling", it's also the most haunting.

My Brightest Diamond - "The Robin's Jar"


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Groovy Spells - Good Fortune

I'm going to post some homemade tarot spells from time to time, that you can print out and use, if you're so inclined.  My plan is to use black-and-white cards as much as possible, so that you can incorporate yourself into the process by coloring them in.

Now, I know that there are different schools of thought on card interpretations, so the stuff I post may be an issue for people who follow a different path than I do, but my hope is that these spells can serve as an inspiration for people to make their own, if they don't want to use the ones I post here.

This one here is a spell for good fortune, which I made a few months ago to use in my booth at the street fair.  I hung it down from the middle of the tent, over my table, and it was cool because it looked sort of like an old-fashioned stained glass lamp.

Anyway, it occurred to me that this spell could be something everyone could use, especially these days, since it involves the request for monetary good fortune, a deeper understanding that will strengthen our decision-making skills, and general happiness for us and our loved ones.

The three cards used in this spell are:

The Sun - happy times, contentment, good vibes....The Sun is pretty much the best card in the deck, and heralds all the positive stuff in life.

The High Priestess - secrets are about to be revealed to you.  This card is a good one for when you need outside forces ("divine guidance" is a good way to put it) to help you understand your situation in a way that you wouldn't be able to do with just the resources of your own mind.  My particular use for it, when I made this spell, was to help me see well enough to get good, real, authentic answers for my customers, but it's useful for lots of different situations, mainly as a way to help you make smart decisions.

The Knight of Pentacles - When the Knight of Pentacles represents an event, and not a particular person, it heralds a boost in your financial fortunes.  The money may come in quickly, but the benefits you'll reap may require a little more patience, so it warns of being smart about your sudden windfall.

Here's the printout.  Click it for the full sized version:

Okay, so:

Print it out

Color it in

Cut it out

Score along the lines between the sections


Tape it together

Use a paper punch to punch holes in the tops of all three sections

Attach string

Hang it in your favorite space in your house.  Somewhere where the sun can shine on it would be really good.  (Or moonlight, if you're more into that.)

Once it's hung, sit down near it, light a red candle (red's good for when you need action), and think about the things you'd like the spell the help you with.  Visualize a calm, drama-free life full of good vibes.....visualize yourself coming up with smart answers for whatever your problems are....visualize a situation where money can (legally, don't forget legally) come flowing into your life to help you pay for things like bills and groceries.

When you feel done, put out the candle with a snuffer or your fingertips (don't blow it out), and leave your spell to hang for as long as you like.  When you're done with it, don't throw it away or crumple it up.  You want to keep that positive vibe going, so I'd suggest folding it up and putting it away somewhere safe.  If you printed it out small, it might be cool to fold it up when you're done with it and put it between the pages of a book, like a pressed flower.

So, that's that!  There'll be more of these to come.  Please feel free to leave comments regarding your own ideas for spells, if you'd like.  In times like these, we all need all the help we can get!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

101 Songs - Okay, Yes, "The Aviator" Pretty Much Owns This Song Now

But it's still completely awesome.  Sets such a melancholy mood....

"Nightmare" by Artie Shaw


Soooo Pretty.....

For a little bit now, I've been making arty prizes for a local group that has public Magic:The Gathering gaming sessions once a week.  I knew absolutely nothing about the game, except that it existed, up until I got involved with this group, and though my knowledge of how to actually play has not improved by much, I've been getting to know the characters and artwork very well.

And I totally love it.  For realz, people, there's some incredibly beautiful work associated with MTG. (See, I'm even getting that jazzy Magic: The Gathering lingo down.)  Witness:

(Click on the images for bigger versions)

Seriously rockin', right?  I knew you'd think so.

A link to the official Magic: The Gathering website, in case you're so inclined.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

"I Thirsted So For Love! I Hungered So For Life!"

Spoon River Anthology was one of my dad's college books.  He had an old paperback version that I would thumb through now and then when I was growing up, but it wasn't until one day, as an adult, I sat down and actually read it for real.

The book is a collection of poetic personal epitaphs delivered by the deceased citizens of the fictional town of Spoon River (which was based on a bunch of different towns that the author grew up in around the midwest).  The real truth about every bit of gossip that ever crept around the town is revealed, post-mortem, by the people who were the ones being talked about.  Political intrigue, shocking family issues, bad marriages, accidental deaths, murders, ruined lives....  Spoon River Anthology is basically the Peyton Place of the late 1800's.  The saddest story in there, to me, anyway, is the story of Minerva Jones, the afflicted, overweight, unattractive daughter of a local carpenter who was known as the town poetess.  She was bullied and harrassed her whole life, thought of as a freak and weirdo.  One day, a thug named "Butch" Weldy chased her down and raped her.  She went to the town doctor for help, which led to a botched abortion that killed her.  The doctor was ostracized by the community, and the rest of his life was ruined.  His wife, in her epitaph, pleads with the community to judge not, lest ye be judged, after dying of a broken heart.

Here's another tale of intrigue from the book:  the story of the Merritts.

Tom Merritt

At first I suspected something -
She acted so calm and absent-minded.
And one day I heard the back door shut,
As I entered the front, and I saw him slink
Back of the smokehouse into the lot,
And run across the field.
And I meant to kill him on sight.
But that day, walking near Fourth Bridge,
Without a stick or a stone at hand,
All of a sudden I saw him standing,
Scared to death, holding his rabbits,
And all I could say was "Don't, Don't, Don't,"
As he aimed and fired at my heart.

Mrs. Merritt

Silent before the jury,
Returning no word to the judge when he asked me
If I had aught to say against the sentence,
Only shaking my head.
What could I say to people who thought
That a woman of thirty-five was at fault
When her lover of nineteen killed her husband?
Even though she had said to him over and over,
"Go away, Elmer, go far away,
I have maddened your brain with the gift of my body:
You will do some terrible thing."
And just as I feared, he killed my husband;
With which I had nothing to do, before God!
Silent for thirty years in prison!
And the iron gates of Joliet
Swung as the gray and silent trusties
Carried me out in a coffin.


Come Have A Reading!

I'll be at Marjim Manor on September 18th from 12 - 6pm with my cards and my mojo, ready to do some readings!  No appointment necessary!


Saturday, September 03, 2011

Wait...Is That A Scorpion Mermaid??

The Tarot Of Mermaids:

I always like decks that find interesting ways to represent tarot symbols within whatever theme the artist has chosen.  Sometimes it's doesn't work out so well, but this one, I think, makes it happen.  The wands are oars, the swords are tridents, the pentacles are either bubbles or glass orbs (but either way, cool), and the cups are seashells.  I also love the color schemes...especially, the swords; there's a nice dark vibe without being murky.

I can't speak to the physical attributes, because I don't actually own this deck, but of what I've seen, the only negative I can find has to do with the Pentacles, and it's minor.  Most of the cards stick closely to Waite-Smith visual cues, but the pentacles get a little iffy here.  The general idea is there, but most of them are just pictures of mermaids either gathering up or just being near the bubbles (or glass orbs).  But you do get the sense in most of the images that the orbs are valuable in some way, so it still goes along the lines of what pentacles represent.

It also doesn't hurt that the images are plain old beautiful.  And it looks like the artist paid attention to making sure the mermaids were all shaped differently, which really creates a world, avoiding a cookie-cutter Barbie doll effect.


Friday, September 02, 2011

101 Songs - I'm Bored With Looking Good

There are certain older guys that just cold serious rock it, and will forever.  There's Tom Waits, and there's Leonard Cohen, and there's Iggy Pop.

Teddybears feat. Iggy Pop - "Punkrocker"

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