Monday, December 29, 2008

Mad Tea Parties!

I found these amazing tea sets via Sa Marraine La Fée. This is just the sort of thing that tickles my fancy! The first set was created by Yvonne Lee Schultz. The Porcelain Pistols are replicas of James Bond’s Walther PPK and its contemporary sister, the P99! It would be incredible if the pistols were actually sugar dispensers!

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The second set is called the “Hybrid Tea Set”, designed by Ronit Baranga from Israel for the “Dining in 2015″ competition of designboom.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Chie Mihara Love

I'm not the kind of girl with a 100 pairs of trendy shoes in my closet. I'd rather hold out for a pair of MARVELOUS shoes! I'll beat around in the same shoes until the bottoms are really worn out, then I'll take them to the cobbler and have them re-soled and shined up to perfection! They're even better the second time around! I have a real fetish for handmade shoes...I especially covet ones made by Cydwoq and Chie Mihara. I just bought these amazing witchy oxfords by Chie Mihara (as a Christmas gift to myself)! I love the turned up toe...

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I visited the site that was selling them several times to admire them, but I just couldn't afford it...almost $400! But I was more than happy to settle for a pair of Frye Ava or Adrienne Oxfords. I stopped back to have one last look and say goodbye to the Chie Mihara's I so coveted...and they were marked half off! Yay! I know you might think that's still expensive, but they are handmade and the design is timeless! If you've ever owned a pair you know what I mean...it's mad love!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

La Befana the Christmas Witch!

In Italy, most people are Catholics so Christmas is reserved for festivities and traditions that celebrate the birth of Christ. Most people spend time with family and go to Christmas Mass, followed by a celebratory banquet. Gifts are given on the Epiphany, l'epifania, on January 6th. The term Epiphany comes from ancient Greek and means “manifestation" or “appearance of a supernatural being or of a divinity”, or “a moment of revelation”. This is the day the Three Kings allegedly arrived in Bethlaham bearing gifts of gold, franincense and myrrh. It's traditional for children to receive gifts and a colorful long stocking (la calza) full of sweets (i dolciumi) if they’ve been good, or filled with coal (il carbone) which is made of black sugar, if they’ve been bad. But it isn't Santa Claus who comes down the chimeney...it's the benevolent Witch, Le Befana, who comes riding a flying broomstick carrying a magical self-replenishing sack full of goodies. She leaves her gifts on Twelfth Night of Christmas, or the Eve of the Epiphany! It was not until after World War II that Christmas trees and Santa Claus entered the Italian Christmas lore. Nowadays, 90% of Italians also believe in Santa Claus or Father Christmas, Babbo Natale.

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Briefly, the legend has it that the Three Magi (Kings/Wise Men) followed the North Star, in search of the Divine Child. They grew very tired on their journey and decided to stop at the tiny cottage of an old witch. When they knocked on the door, an old woman holding a broom opened peeked out to see who was there. Three elaboratly dressed Kings who were in need of directions to find the Christ child stood before her. The old woman was unaware of the Divine Child these three wise men were looking for, so she could not point them in the right direction. But she kindly offered food and shelter for the night. The Three Kings rested and prepared to leave first thing in the morning. That night they told her about the Prophesy of the Divine Child. Prior to the three men leaving they asked the old woman to join them on their journey. She declined because she was so old and feeble, and had too much work to do in preparation for the long Winter ahead. After they left she felt as though she had made a mistake and decided to go and catch up with them. She packed up her sack full of handmade gifts and food for the Divine Child. She hopped on her broomstick and tried to catch up with the Three Wise Men, but she could not find them. Thinking of the opportunity she had missed, the old woman stopped at every home in hopes of finding the Christ Child. She left gifts to every child she found, just in case was baby Jesus. So each year on the eve of the Epiphany she sets out again, in search of the Divine Child...leaving gifts along the way to all the good little girls and boys in hopes of finding the Divine Child.

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The Befana (Epifania) festival is a national holiday in Italy, and Italian children only go back to school from their Christmas holidays on January 7th. The holiday was suppressed by law in 1977, but had to be reintroduced by popular demand in 1985. To an outsider, the Befana festival might seem to be more like Halloween! Groups of adults dressed up as La Befana , and children go knocking from door to door singing rhymes and asking for gifts of sweets.

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Music fills the streets and the market place is stocked with traditional Epiphany King Cakes and dolls of La Befana!

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I have one brand new copy of Madame B. Wishful Presents La Befana's Yuletide Tale to GIVE AWAY! Just drop me a line in my comment section with your name! I'll draw the name of 1 Lucky Winner on Sunday, December 28th! Then I can ship the book out just in time for Epiphany on January 6th! Happy Holy Daze everyone! xo Lavona

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Contest Winners!
I was able to get 2 copies of the La Befana Book...so I've drawn 2 names! The winners are...drumroll...Monica of the Masks and Mon Petit Fantome! Congratulations! Please email your shipping info to me at: ladylavona@yahoo.com

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shop Update!

I've added more Antique Black Forest Relics in my Etsy shop!
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These were worn to adorn a traditional folk costumes and thought to bring good luck and protection while hunting. The pendants (whether hunting trophies, silver pendants, or gems) were worn as amulets because of their alleged mystical powers. Each piece was endowed with a special power, to ward off sickness, strengthen the body, keep away evil spirits, ect!

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

T'was the Darkest Night...

Winter Solstice occurs either December 21 or 22, when the sun shines directly over the tropic of Capricorn. The winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest, night of the year. Just before the Sun moved into Capricorn...2 years ago, a miracle occured. An omen of better times ahead...a light during the darkest night of my soul. My little golden boy was born, Solomon Louvell! Happy Birthday lil' Sunshine Boy! Thank you for helping me to remember that the Universe is an infinite sea of LOVE!

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While pregnant, I dreamt of Wolves and cold, desolate places. I retreated into my den, gathered my strength and waited for my lil' wolf cub to be born. I vowed to fiercely protect him...against all odds. Wolf offers guidance for those who walk alone. Wolf is the Grand Teacher. Wolf is the Sage, who after many winters upon the sacred path and seeking the ways of wisdom, returns to share the new knowledge with the tribe. Wolf is both the radical and the traditional in the same breath. When Wolf walks by you-- you WILL remember. I named my son Solomon after the Wise Magi, King Solomon. His middle name, Louvell means Little Wolf...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

CABINETS DE CURIOSITIES

Maïssa Toulet has a new website up! There are 21 Curiosity Cabinets that you can view up close! Marvels, Wonders, Delights!!!

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Idiots: industrial evolution

My friend Maïssa sent me the link to the artist duo known as Idiots. I'm totally at a loss for words...this kind of work invokes so many emotions all at once. The 'Idiots' have taken the taxidermy arts to a whole new level! They incorporate ceramics, handblown glass, forged metal, decorative embroidery, intricate bead work, ect...incredible! Just go check out their amazing site! Also, I've added a Wunderkammer section on the left, with links to art inspired by Cabinets of Curiosity and Wunderkammer!

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*All animals used are from recycled taxidermy, found or donated. No animals are killed for use in their work.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Precious Things...

I just wanted to show you some Precious Things from fellow team members of Etsy's Cabinet of Curiosities! If you're still running around looking for the perfect holiday gift, check out these treasures! I love this porcelain 'Essence Vessel' from charmfoundry. I bought two to give as Christmas gifts...but I think I need to buy one for myself too!

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Poodlebreath has beautiful little mementos as well. I love this porcelain wall sculpture...it's so otherworldly! It reminds me of the saying "hidden spirits, helping hands" in reference to the presence of our ancestors.

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Poodlebreath also has sweet Forest Chic brooches and pendants! I'm especially in love with the Wolf...but Bear, Rabbit, and Deer are also available. (I think I just coined the term Forest Chic and I'm gonna drive you all crazy with it!)

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Beloved & Co. Agenda 2009

Things might be a bit quiet for the rest of 2008 in my little Etsy shop. I closed shop today for a little shop maintenance. I'll be listing some new treasures as well as relisting some oldies (but goodies), so by Tuesday afternoon the shop will be updated! What I'm really looking forward to is 2009! I'm collaborating with several of my favorite artists to create artwork for the wonderful handmade products I'll be offering! Here's a sneak peek at what's to come!

First of all, I'll be introducing my line of handmade soap. Supernatural Soap will be available in 4 elemental fragrances: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Eventually (when finances permit) I will offer handpoured Soywax candles using these scents too! Lindsey Carr of Little Robot is doing the artwork to accompany this line! She's creating 4 supernatural portraits that will personify each element! JOY!!!

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I'll also be introducing my line of handblended teas, Curious Brews! I'm working with two different artists for this project! First, think of woodland witchery...deep forest magick...enchanted tea parties with curious characters... I've been studying herbalism, Green Magick and plant folklore for over a decade now, so I'm ready to share the magick! And guess whose creating the labels for this!? Julianna Swaney of Oh My Cavalier! Happiness!!!

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Next, tea time with a slightly darker twist...imagine Victorian Parlours that display curious collections. Where guests are entertained by magic lanterns, fortune telling, and seances. The meeting place of the local Secret Society. Think of Obscure Apothecaries and Medicine Shows that offer strange tonics and potions that will "Cure What Ails Ya!" Nikki Pinder is going to be working on this! YAY...sooo excited!!!

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Lots of other goodness to come...but I can't tell you all my secrets!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

KRAMPUS!

You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I'm telling you why....I wish I knew about Krampus when I started telling my daughter Christmas tales! She could care less if I threaten her with the ol' "Santa will leave coal in your stocking" bit! But Krampus, now that's the kind of folklore we can use to keep naughty girls and boys in line! Did you know that before St. Nick employed elves to help him out, he was accompanied by the Devil? Krampus followed St. Nick around like a shadow. Good little children were rewarded with gifts and the bad ones were punished by Krampus! Sometimes Krampus will just give give you a good scare and a verbal warning! One could only hope...

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In addition to the dreaded coal in the stocking, if you were just a little naughty you might get off with a swat on the ass! Or if you deserve a more severe punishment...Krampus might really rough you up!

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But you know what happens to those really bad children!? He might throw you in his straw sack and steal you away into the forest...never to be heard from again!

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In Austria and Germany, the tradition (which may vary slightly in different parts of the country) is that the boots of good children will be filled with goodies on December 6th by St. Nicholas. Traditionally, young men dress up as the Krampus on the evening of December 5, and roam the streets with St. Nick frightening children (and adults) growling and shaking rusty chains and bells! The present day Krampus costume consists of wooden masks, sheep or goat's skin and horns. The tradition might also include slight spankings with a switch or tree branch by the Krampus, especially of young females! Meanwhile St. Nick hands out children candy, fruit and small toys! During these festivals St. Nick is accompanied by a whole gang!

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Modern day Krampus Festivals are sometimes very dangerous, especially for women. Old tales say Krampus (a horny fertility god) is quite fond of sexually harassing women and slapping them on the behind. This leads to a lot of sexual misconduct on the streets by drunken men dressed as Krampus!

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The Companion of St. Nicholas is associated with the story of Knecht Ruprecht (Saint Rupert), a wild foundling whom St. Nicholas raises from childhood. In some of the Ruprecht traditions, the children would be summoned to the door to perform tricks, such as a dance or singing a song to impress upon St. Nick and Ruprecht that they were indeed good children. Those who performed badly would be beaten soundly by Servant Ruprecht, and those who performed well were given a gift or some treats. Those who performed badly enough or had committed other misdeeds throughout the year were put into Ruprecht's sack and taken away, variously to Ruprecht’s home in the Black Forest. In other versions the children must be asleep, and would awake to find their shoes filled with either sweets, coal, or in some cases a stick. Over time, other customs developed: parents giving kids who misbehaved a stick instead of treats and saying that it was a warning from Nikolaus that "unless you improve by Christmas day, Nikolaus' black servant Ruprecht will come and beat you with the stick and you won't get any Christmas gifts." I read quite a few interesting articles about Krampus while searching the internet for images. However, most of them focused on the notion that Krampus and St. Nick eventually were merged into one character that we now recognize as Santa Claus. Santa now punishes naughty children and rewards the good ones. As you know, he has a list...and checks it twice!

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Only a few articles suggested that Krampus has pre-Christian Pagan origins. One pointed torwards the "Wilde Man" of Germanic and Slavic folklore. These tales spawned stories like the Brothers Grimm tale entitled "De Wilde Mann" and Beauty and the Beast. The Wild Man, Woodwose is connected to devilish woodland spirits like Puck and the vegetal Green Man. So I would say that notion is misleading. Others suggest a connection to the mysterious "Horned God". But there are many horned god deities, so that really needs to be defined. When Neopagans refer to the "Horned God", they could be refering to one of several different horned dieties. One such archetype represents the personification of the life force energy in animals and the wilderness, fertility, sexual virility and the Hunt. Gods like Cernunnos, Pan, Faunus, and Innus are personified as being sex crazed or shown as having a large erect phallus. Fertility, fecundity and the symbolism of the phallus all denote a connection to the rites rituals, and celebrations of Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. (As does the aforementioned Wilde Man) So none of these references have any synchronicity with Krampus.

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In some depictions, Krampus bears an uncanny resemblance to "The Devil". The Devil is still a vague reference as he is merely a modern personification of Evil. The Devil usually refers to Lucifer and Satan of the Bible. They are commonly lumped together into one entity. They are two entirely different spiritual beings however. In Hebrew ha-Satan is "the accuser" and Satan itself means "to overcome" — the one who challenged the religious faith of humans in the books of Job and Zechariah. Abrahamic religious belief systems other than Judaism relate this term to a rebellious fallen angel, devil, minor god and idol, or as an allegory for knowledge or the enlightenment of mankind. Another aspect of the Devil points torwards the Serpent in the Garden of Eden who tempted Adam and Eve to eat from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (e.g., “sexual knowing”) The Serpent in the Garden is more likely rooted in Ancient Sumerian texts and is actually Enlil (Ilu), Lord of the Air and Lord of the Command was said to have created an created an E.DIN, according to Sumerian texts.He was said to have descended from Heaven to Earth. Half brother of Enki (Ea), Lord of the Earth and Waters. The philosophy of Enki manifests and explains itself in pre-Christian Mesopotamian and Egyptian thought. Satan doesn't have any synchronicities with Krampus. So we're getting off track again here.

Let's talk about Lucifer! In Latin, the word "Lucifer", meaning "Light-Bringer" (from lux, lucis, "light", and ferre, "to bear, bring"), is a name for the "Eastern Star" or "Day Star". This usage stems from a particular interpretation, as a reference to a fallen angel, of a passage in the Bible (Isaiah 14:3-20) that speaks of someone who is given the name of "Day Star" (in Latin, Lucifer) as fallen from heaven. The same Latin word is used of the morning star in 2 Peter 1:19 and elsewhere with no relation to Satan. Lucifer is recognized by Occultists as the Father of Baphomet, and is represented as the Sabbatic Goat. Eliphas Lévi considered Baphomet to be a depiction of the absolute in symbolic form. Below is an illustration of Baphomet by Lévi. His depiction is similar to that of the Devil in early tarot cards.

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Lévi wrote: "The goat on the frontispiece carries the sign of the pentagram on the forehead, with one point at the top, a symbol of light, his two hands forming the sign of hermetism, the one pointing up to the white moon of Chesed, the other pointing down to the black one of Geburah. This sign expresses the perfect harmony of mercy with justice. His one arm is female, the other male like the ones of the androgyn of Khunrath, the attributes of which we had to unite with those of our goat because he is one and the same symbol. The flame of intelligence shining between his horns is the magic light ("Light-Bringer") of the universal balance, the image of the soul elevated above matter, as the flame, whilst being tied to matter, shines above it. The beast's head expresses the horror of the sinner, whose materially acting, solely responsible part has to bear the punishment exclusively; because the soul is insensitive according to its nature and can only suffer when it materializes. The rod standing instead of genitals symbolizes eternal life, the body covered with scales the water, the semi-circle above it the atmosphere, the feathers following above the volatile. Humanity is represented by the two breasts and the androgyn arms of this sphinx of the occult sciences." The word Baphomet is said to be an Old French corruption and misspelling of the name Mahomet (Muhammad). Christianity claims that Muhammad is a false Prophet and therefore demonizes him and the followers of Islam (Peace). The name is a combination of two Greek words (baphe and metis) and meant 'absorption into wisdom.' I could go on and on about the origins of Baphomet, and synchronicities with other gods throughout different cultures, but I'll spare you the details. I just wanted to establish that Lucifer and Baphomet are one and the same...Lords of the Underworld.

So what does all this have to do with Christmas and why is Santa hanging out with Lucifer? Let's break it down, shall we? In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice occurs either December 21 or 22, when the sun shines directly over the tropic of Capricorn. The winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest, night of the year. (This is reversed during Summer Solstice) Following the winter solstice, the days begin to grow longer and the nights shorter.

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Again, in the Tarot the Devil Card is associated with the sign of Capricorn. Capricornus has been recognized as a goat since Babylonian and Chaldean times. Below is Occultist Aleister Crowley's version of the Devil, he states: "He is 'The Devil' of the Book of Thoth, and His emblem is BAPHOMET, the Androgyne who is the hieroglyph of arcane perfection. He is therefore Life and Love. But moreover his letter is ayin, the Eye, so that he is Light; and his Zodiacal image is Capricornus, that leaping goat whose attribute is Liberty."

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Santa Claus/St. Nick/Father Christmas is simply the personification of Winter Solstice accompanied by his servant and messenger Krampus the Horned God! Krampus the "Horned God" represents the movement of the Sun into Capricorn. Check out this image of Santa riding in on a Goat! The Horned God heralds the begining of Winter!

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Winter Solstice is longest night of the year. (Again, after winter solstice, the days begin to grow longer and the nights shorter.) The Horned God not only heralds the beginning of Winter, but he carries the souls of the dead to the underworld. (Death here is symbolic of repressed sexual energy.) represents the of the "Dark night of the Soul" or the descent of Spirit into darkness. As the "Bringer of Light" he promises the return of the Sun (Enlightenment). The Horned Fertility God offers the secret of rebirth. Notice in Eliphas Lévi's illustration, Baphomet reveals the the caduceus or magic wand of Hermes (Mercury). His arms reveal the words "Solve" and "Coagula" In alchemy the term in Latin: SOLVE ET COAGULA means separate and join together or dissolve and coagulate (bind together)

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The caduceus is comprised of two serpents coupling on an erected phallus, fertility symbol. The rod is a symbol of transforming alchemical power. The two serpents represent Union of Opposites (Sun/Moon) The snakes together with the sprouted wings depict the caduceus having an alchemical meaning of balance of duality, the alchemical process leading to unity. Even today, the symbol is often associated with medicine. Levi called his image “the Baphomet of Mendes” (Mendes is an ancient Egyptian city) "the Lord of Mendes", who was the soul of the Egyptian god Osiris, father of the "DIVINE CHILD", Horus...For Crowley, Baphomet is further a representative of the spiritual nature of the spermatozoa while also being symbolic of the "MAGICAL CHILD" produced as a result of sex magic. As such, Baphomet represents the Union of Opposites, especially as mystically personified in Beast and Babalon combined and biologically manifested with the sperm and egg united in the zygote. The birth of the Christ Child is a metaphor for Spiritual Rebirth. Enlightenment that comes after a period of Darkness (Ignorance) "Out of Darkness, Cometh Light" But it also quite literally points torward the return of the Sun in Summer Soltice.

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Winter solstice festivals throughout all cultures in ancient and modern times celebrate the rebirth of the Great God (Christ), who is viewed as the newborn Solstice Sun. Most traditions include "festival of lights". Which celebrates the return of Sun or birth of the Son! Germanic Tribes lighted trees (Tannenbaum) and celebrated the fest of light (Lichtfest) around the shortest day of the year, December 21. Yule traditions include decorating a fir or spruce tree with candles, burning a Yule log, hanging mistletoe and holly branches, giving gifts, and general celebration and merriment. On Christmas an evergreen tree that is brought into a home is decorated with Christmas lights and colourful ornaments during the days around Christmas. An angel or a star is placed at the top of the tree, representing the Star of Bethlahem, Archangel Auriel. This is the North star that the Three Wise Men followed.

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Remember, Lucifer "Bringer of Light" or "Morning Star"? If you look again at Eliphas Lévi's depiction of the Horned One, he has a 5-pointed Star on his forehead. "The flame of intelligence shining between his horns is the magic light" It is the Star of Adam Kadom. In the Qabala, Christ, the Logos, the only begotten son of God as found in Genesis 1: 1, not to be confused with the emanations of Adam Kadom (also called Adam or Eden) as found in Genesis 2 (consciousness) or Genesis 3 (matter and life) or Genesis 4 (humanity). Below you'll notice that the symbol for Lucifer is a 5-pointed star pointing downwards, representing the souls descent into darkness. Also shown is the Star of Adam Kadom, a 5-pointed star pointing up, representing Christ Consciousness...enlightement). That would indicate that the Devil as Christ's antagonist in the Bible really represents Man struggling within himself, his own Shadow. It's through the Union of this Duality that we achieve Spiritual Liberation!

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See also:
Saturnalia
Sol Invictus

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Beloved & Co.

When I first decided to go into business for myself I had to come up with a name. When I finally opened my storefront in 2002, the name was simply BELOVED subtitled Spiritual Goods and Mystic Curios. So many people would ask me "Oh, did you see the movie with Oprah?" NO! I didn't name my business after Oprah's movie! Have you ever read Sufi Love Poetry? Devotees of the Love Supreme refer to "GOD" as the Beloved. They believe themselves to be concubines of God...the poetry is quite passionate and borders on erotic! Another point of reference is King Solomon's Song of Songs. It's a book of the Old Testament. It is thought by some to be an allegorical representation of the relationship of God and Israel. But the text, read without allegory is a celebration of the love and erotica between a King and a peasant girl. My business is Spirit based...I choose the name so I would always keep that in perspective. Love is God...not the Almighty Dollar! For me, working everyday just for the sake making money is a very an empty ritual. I need Passion to be infused in whatever I do! I closed my storefront in 2005...I stopped growing and stagnation set in, I was done learning in that environment. "Love is the Water of Life! What is agony of the spirit? To advance toward death without seizing. Hold fast the Water of Life." -Rumi

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With my heart in hand, I set out to open my Etsy shop. I decided to change the name to Beloved & Co. I don't think it was really evident at the time why I should change it...I just listen to the Voices! The first person I reached out to was a Myspace friend, Leila Marvel. She keeps a virtual gallery through her Myspace page called the Red Heart Cult, featuring her favorite artists and own creations. We share a common interest in Artwork that embodies both the Sacred and Profane...Religious Iconography, Memento Mori, and Esoterica. She flies the Sacred Heart flag...Leila knows what's up! I admired her graphic design skills and aesthetic and asked if she'd be interested in helping me design an Etsy banner and matching Myspace banner! We sent ideas and images back and forth and she intuitively designed the perfect banner to represent my shop. Deep Forest Witchery and Arcane Delights! When I set off on this little journey, I felt little lost in the forest...a feeling of vulnerability that prevaded all aspects of my life. But there, in the deepest darkest part of the Forest I rediscovered the Magick...the Medicine! Deep within every fawn girl is the the heart of a Huntress...don't let those big doe eyes fool ya! "Passion makes the old medicine new: Passion lops off the bough of weariness. Passion is the elixir that renews: how can there be weariness when passion is present? Oh, don't sigh heavily from fatigue: seek passion, seek passion, seek passion!" - Mathnawi VI

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I think it's safe to say that Leila found some Magick of her own! She is now doing freelance graphic design work, has her own Etsy shop, Red Heart 13, and fantastic blog! (Thank you for all your help and for being a great friend Leila...you are a GEM! I wish you all the love and goodness you need in 2009!) This has been a great year...I've met so many amazing people through Etsy and my blog! Thank you all for all for your kind comments, support and inspiration! 2009 is going to be a GREAT year, can't you feel it!?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tagged Twice!

Happy Monday Everyone! So I've been tagged...twice actually! First by Leila of the Red Heart Cult and then by Chad of Mon Petit Fantome! I'm supposed to list 6 random things about myself and then tag 5 other people. Since this has already gone around our little nook of the blogosphere, almost everyone I know has gotten this already! Instead I will list 5 of my favorite magickal blogs for you to check out! So about those random facts...here we go!

1. I don't have a favorite color...I like them ALL!

2. I am a Libra, with a Virgo Moon and Sagittarius rising! I believe "God" provides a map for those seeking direction in life. If you are interested in getting an astrology chart done I highly recommend my friend Sarolta DeFaltay! Sarolta is a sixth generation intuitive, raised by her Hungarian mother, also an astrologer!

3. My Father is 100% Irish...and Proud! We are of the "Black Irish" variety. A term used to describe the Irish with curly black hair and contrasting fair skin (as oppossed to the red haired, blue eyed type). There is a lot of romantic lore associated with the Black Irish. Some say that they are the descendants of shipwrecked sailors of the Spanish Armada...Spanish Moors! (My Father stands by this notion.) Some stories say that the Black Irish were the original inhabitants of the Ireland. Others will argue that we are descendants of Portuguese-Gypsies. One of my favorite theories is that the Black Irish/Celts are descended from the Ten Lost Tribes of Isreal...Sons of Josef. Proponents of this theory point to various parallels between Irish and ancient Hebrew culture. Some maintain that the Tribe of Dan conducted sea voyages to Ireland and colonized it as early as the period of the Judges under the name Tuatha Dé Danann. I also find the Manifesto of the Black Thorn League facinating! It's a theory of heretical Islamic & Moorish cultural strands linking Celtic neo-paganism, esoteric Christianity, & the Arthurian cycle, thru Sufism & Masonry. Any Black Irish out there!?

4. My Nana (Great-Grandmother, maternal side) was an Italian Gypsy. Her name in Italian was Consetta Magdalena Curcio. She came to America when she was a little girl. As the oldest of 8 children she had to work at an early age. With only a 4th grade education under her belt, she began working in a pencil factory. When she married my English Grandfather she "Americanized" her name and became Mrs. Constance Hancock. Her friends called her Connie! At thirteen she began doing intuitive readings by using cards and reading palms. She did this until she was in her 80's! She pinched every penny and purchased real estate all over the city of Chicago, some of which is still owned by our family. When I was just a little girl...she said I had "the gift"...and taught me about "the old ways". Starting at age 13, I began studying on my own. I'll still read any kind of mystical-metaphysical information I can get my hands on. I am a proud Hereditary Witch!

5. My Venus is in Leo...I am a hopeless romantic and my love affairs are always intense, passionate an sometimes volatile! I take Love very seriously. I believe that relationships are a mirrors to the Soul. I believe that Love and Sex are the Ultimate form of Magick and Spirituality! The correct combination (Chemistry) can lead to Transformation, Spiritual Liberation, Enlightenment, and WHOLENESS...as dipicted by the Lovers card in the Tarot. My Loves have assumed many different archetypes and I've worn my share of hats...virgin, mother, saint, slut, ect... BEAUTY and the BEAST is a recurring relationship theme, with roles reversing during different times...as I've been told "you're a real beast of a woman"! The other theme is the Union of Opposites. I tend to be intensely attracted to my polar opposite, whether it be cultural or personality type. Shiva/Shaki aka Sol/Moon as described by Tantric Teachings speaks not only of sexual union but of the spiritual alchemy that takes place in the Heart and Mind! When Hermetic Philosophers point torwards our future as Androgynous beings, it is a metaphor about having balanced elements of both Sol (male) and Luna (Female) aspects, and ultimately contained one intertwined body and soul. Even Jesus knew what was up and he said: "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner as the outer, and the upper as the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male shall not be male, and the female shall not be female . . .then you will enter the Kingdom." Alchemists believed androgynous beings were divine and contained the ability to ward off evil. They were often shown defeating serpents or even images of the devil. It was believed that only through combined male and female forces, the power of The Mercurial Dragon could be defeated. Relationships ruled by the "Devil" are usually self-destructive, addictive, and/or co-dependent in nature...power struggles. I call these type of relationships Shadow Play. Sooo bad but you just can't get enough! When I'm suffering, I try to recognize that that I'm projecting my own Shadow onto another person...the Scapegoat. The struggle/battle is generally with oneself...as we are truly our own worst enemy. However, I think if two partners are conscious of the role playing that's going on...games of Bondage and Punishment can be fun and even cathartic! You can work out buried issues instead of creating new ones! For example: I realize I can be a very unruly girl...I have typical Daddy issues, he wasn't around much. So I can benefit from a good spanking now and again! hehee! One shouldn't be repress these tendancies! Further more I believe Love is All you Need...the Truth will Set you Free...the Jewel is in the Lotus! Amen!

6. Throughout my life I've suffered from periodic episodes of madness and depression. However, I don't believe one should be treated with medication for such "dis-eases" or "dis-orders" Seek spiritual council/healing before you start popping those pills. Modern medication can prolong problems by putting users into a dangerous state of complacency. One should dive into the depths of the subconscious and start excavating! We need to confront our demons and ghosts...you can't build on negative energy or surely your house will be haunted! Shamanic cultures (both ancient and contemporary) treat illness from a spiritual perspective. They "look" into the persons Auric field (bio-energy field) to search for the interference. Metal illness leads to Physical illness. Know that the Body, Mind and Spirit is all interconnected. For example if you live in Fear or Anxiety (whether it be conscious or unconscious) as a result of a past experience...it can lead to disease and disorder. The breakdown of the immune system goes hand in hand with our mental landscape. Defeat your Demons!

Whew...so there you have it! I think I was supposed to tell you about my favorite things or quirks about myself. But then I caught the Holy Ghost or something! And now, those 5 magickal blogs I promised to reveal:

1. The Hermitage
2. VERHEXT
3. Angeliska Gazette
4. The Unicorn Diaries
5. Dame Darcy

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Selby

This website really tickles my fancy! The Selby features photographs of interesting people and their creative spaces. It's so voyeristic...you can gain alot of insight about a person by looking at their live/work environment. I believe peoples collections speak volumes about their sentiments. And the way things are arranged can tell you a great deal about their mental landscape. Here are some pics, but you should really go take a look for yourself!

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