Simply Stunning Oracle Deck

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Do you love oracle decks bursting with color and life? Do you like a deck with simply but beautifully paint symbols? You can help Sapphire Moonbeam bring her deck to life with a donation or a pre-order.
Self-publishing is more expensive than you’d think, especially when it’s something like an oracle deck than includes a guidebook and lots of art. You can take a look at some of Sapphire Moonbeam’s amazing art below:

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Culture and Identification

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I am America’s melting pot.

I am Choctaw, Comanche, and French via my father’s parents. I am Dutch-German and Scots-Irish via my mother’s maternal grandparents and and Scots-Irish and English via my mother’s paternal grandparents.

I read about all the cultures that make up me. I read about the Scots-Irish and understand the majority racial and cultural makeup of my family, because my father’s father also had Scots-Irish blood. I understand that the British government moved some of my ancestors into Ireland. I also understand the painfully Protestant, intolerant attitude of my extended family, finally.

I know that I have Irish blood because I’ve been researching my family genealogy for over 20 years and have been given copies of ancient documents by older genealogists in my family, and, after my research, and a lot of thought, Ireland is the country that sings the loudest in my blood. And it’s such a contentment to my mind to know all of who I am, and at the same time appalling to know that but for the machinations of the British government I would not have this Irish bloodline.

But I made a choice, not because Ireland is “cool,” because every bloodline that makes up me is “cool.” Oddly, I did not find out that my mothers maternal great-grandmother was Dutch-German until I wrote a Dutch vampire who became the main character of my series. I made the choice to identify most strongly as a person of Irish ancestry because I’ve always been so strongly drawn to the country, the mythology, the culture.

I’m not changing my name or anything about myself. I’ve simply chosen to study the very complicated history of Ireland, and to familiarize myself with modern Ireland, as I did with Amsterdam when I was writing my vampire. I feel at one with myself and the beautiful green island in so much peril right now due to Hurricane Ophelia. I have so very much to learn, but looking into Ireland through Twitter and the Irish people that I follow, I feel I’m seeing a glimpse of home.

The Mystifying Morrigan

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I read this article about The Morrigan yesterday and almost dismissed it due to this line: “Her breasts were believed to form the hills in County Kerry called Da Chich Annan (the paps of Anu).”* I thought that the Paps of Anu referred to a different goddess, Anu or Danu. Then I kept reading more and more about The Morrigan and it seems that she is behind many Irish and Celtic goddesses, and to try to pull Her out and stand Her separately would be to rend apart an ancient and fragile weaving. Damaging it would not damage her; it would damage us. We, especially Americans, try to fit the most confounding deities of all into our notions of Archetype.

We Americans learn a little about Greek and Roman mythology in high school. We have to take advanced university classes to learn Celtic mythology. Or, we have to learn on our own.

I did minor in Folklore at my university, but I couldn’t finish the four-year degree because my student loans were cut, and I thought it best to just work, take a second job on top of the job at the library at night after a full day of classes.

My first job was a clerk in the library, so I was able to continue my education on my own. I got a little lost in Buddhism in 2003. I did have a great love for Kwan Yin. I rejected it when my ex-husband turned it into a weapon–I was unworthy because I couldn’t “fix” my mind. I floundered about a bit and then went back to the first religion and Goddess I had known–Mary. I clung to Mary and Mary Magdalene, which suited my in-laws but not my husband–until I left him in 2010. But I still hung onto those Christian Goddesses who made me feel safe until 2015. I was living with my mother again, praying, studying the rosary . . . and we were hit with a financial crisis that endangered our home.

Many Christians would say it was a test of faith. I didn’t have that luxury. You see, the difference in Christianity and Wicca is faith versus action. I remember the date my faith in Christianity died. And what I came back with was a desire for power and a way to act to change my circumstances.

I turned back to Wicca, I acted, and I saved our home.

I’ve struggled for the past year with specific deities, all-encompassing deities . . . and two came to me at different times. I am moving, for a time, from working with Rhiannon to asking The Morrigan if She will work with me. As she calls to me so often, in the voices of crows and ravens, and the long black feather that I found in my yard, I think that She might have an interest in me.

Is what I want what She knows that I need? That is my question, and I will draw cards and ask for an answer.

I’m Sorry–No, No, This Time I’m Not

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I haven’t done anything to harm anyone.

I participated in the #WomenProtestTwitter  “walkout” Friday even though I didn’t think it would accomplish much but bring out people to mock a silent protest. It will take some time to see if Twitter will learn anything from how many people stayed off Twitter yesterday. I spent some time Friday emailing Twitter advertisers that I follow about the boycott. Really, if you want to get a huge corporation’s attention, you hit them in the wallet, and one way to do that is complain to their advertisers.

I went back to Twitter in the early hours of Saturday morning and was appalled by the hatred spewed at the women who protested by other women. Everyone had their convoluted view about why white women holding a silent protest was ridiculous, stupid, offensive, somehow increasing the problem of rape culture. I was astounded. I was astounded because I personally support the silent  “take a knee” protests by NFL players and cheerleaders, and I condemn trump and everyone else who demonizes them. That being said, why am I being harmful by choosing to protest in the only way I see left besides deleting my Twitter account? And I hate it for you, but no one is actually going to delete their Twitter account over Twitter’s refusal to enforce their own TOS. We’re going to keep reporting and asking why our reports are ignored and demanding that cases be escalated to supervisors and reporting the same people over and over and yell at Twitter support and get our own accounts suspended, and nothing will change.

Maybe we should walk out for longer . . . if we all can, if we can all fill that Twitter time with something else. I think that an awful lot of people can’t. Look at the settings on your phone, how much time you spend on Twitter, before you bitch at me for staying off for a day.

If you mocked protestors, I probably unfollowed you. Feel free to reciprocate. Doesn’t matter how long we’ve known each other. If it’s been years, you should have respect for me and my decision to protest. I don’t look down on people who didn’t protest. I do have no use for people who mocked those who did.

Oh, and look, apparently silence does speak:

4/ Today we saw voices silencing themselves and voices speaking out because we’re *still* not doing enough.

There are a lot of interpretations for the above statement. I see it as acknowledging both forms of protest.

And @Jack at Twitter is right . . . they are nowhere near to doing enough.

#WomenProtestTwitter

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Women have, again, had it with the violent misogyny allowed by Twitter and have staged a “walkout.”
I’m with them, even though I don’t think it will make any difference.

This all began when Twitter suspended actor Rose McGowan’s account for 12 hours because she allegedly posted a tweet with a private phone number. The tweet was related to the rape and sexual assault accusations again producer Harvey Weinsten.
I was the victim of sexual harassment and cyberstalking in early January 2015. I ordered an item from a chain store because they had the lowest price (don’t EVER do that.) I used (with permission) my mother’s card because I hadn’t yet received my paycheck. I received the wrong item twice, got horrible phone service, complained on the store’s Facebook page, and attracted a pair of cyberstalkers, a man who works for the store and his girlfriend.

They set up a Twitter account devoted to trolling my closest friends and me and posted private information they could have only learned from my mother’s bank account. I reported them to Twitter over and over. Twitter did nothing. I finally shut them down myself when the woman used her work email address to set up a WordPress account to harass me. I called her at work. It all stopped.
But I had to stop it myself, because Twitter wouldn’t enforce their own TOS, so I really don’t give a damn if Rose McGowan tweeted someone’s phone number.

At the same time, I remember the #TwitterSilence walkout by women two years ago and how it failed because a) too many women couldn’t log out of Twitter for 24 hours b) many women and men denounced the walkout by comparing it to Sojourner Truth’s impassioned speeches and saying SHE would never have participated in a silent protest c) I remember a woman mocking the protestors for scheduling the protest on a night when a popular series had a season premier (again, too many people put live-tweeting on Twitter above protesting sexism and abuse) and d) I remember men tweeting that Twitter was great with all the feminazis gone. I didn’t post for 24 hours, but I read what our supposed friends and allies said, and I was dismayed and disgusted, and I expect much the same this time.

But maybe I’ll be wrong because this time the protest sprang up due to the treatment of a famous woman instead of just regular women. Maybe someone will notice our absence and care.
I doubt it, though.

A Fey Queen in a Library

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(A new WIP. © Robin D. Ashe 2017)

            Órfhlaith used the water closet. It was efficient and clean. The soap was in a bottle on the sink. She drank water from her clean hands, then immediately wished for food.

            Food was a conjuring beyond her powers at the moment. As the big room grew warmer, she smelled sweet scents and meat from a white box in the corner. She opened it. Cold rushed out, dissipated, and then she saw bread, meat in a container, little white bowls with fruit and yogurt written on them, and a bottle with a paper label that read Excite Water. The liquid was pink. She turned the lid until it fell off and rolled across the floor, then sniffed the liquid. Wine.

             There were forks, spoons, and knives wrapped in something clear on top of the white box. She broke the instruments in one before she realized how to open the package. The room was warm. She had food and drink and proper facilities, and she was in a building lined with shelves of books.

            She used a flimsy knife to force her way into a yogurt bowl, then ate up all the white milky stuff and berries. She had a sip of wine. She felt much better. She took the blanket—a thing made from itchy yarn that didn’t smell like wool—wrapped it around her shoulders, and went walking the library with the light hidden in her fist. Every room seemed to be a small library. She found the room where the globe lived and glanced over titles with her head cocked to the side until she found a set of big books with black bindings and gold writing. She knew what encyclopedias were. They many, so very many, in the castle library.

            She carried the first five back to the improvised bedchamber, arranged the pillows, ate another yogurt, and propped herself up on the couch with the itchy blanket over her knees and the bottle of wine in her hand, and she read the first book and most of the second before the nearly-empty bottle slipped out of her hand, her head fell back, and she started to snore.

The Degradation of Our Collective Psyches

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trump has degraded our country and our standing in the free world. We were a great nation before young trump evicted his first elderly tenant. Apparently MAGA means tearing down the country, dividing the populace, and watching it all burn.

All of this obscenity, the defiling of our White House, our military and patriotic traditions, and the deliberate erasure of everything President Obama accomplished in his eight years in office in the name of a racist vendetta has taken a toll on all of us.

The depression set in on Election Day, but it seemed as long as the Obamas were still in the White House, we might be okay. Then they were gone, and we’re not okay.

The anger set in on January 20th and has grown in everyone I know. It manifests in different ways. Some people went from sadness to intense depression. Some people, like myself, went from depression to anger, and the anger has only grown as trump has inhumanely destroyed President Obama’s hard work of eight years in nine and a half months. I have seen this type of destruction in my personal life, accomplished by one man with a similar mindset and immature emotional reactions. Stunted. Emotional growth frozen at some time in young adulthood.

Why are we angry and depressed since trump took office?

  • We lost a great president and presidential family when the Obamas left the White House.
  • We lost a humane and intelligent president, a great and thoughtful orator, a man who exuded kindness and compassion when President Obama left office.
  • Michelle Obama was an amazing First Lady. She worked so hard to try to introduce healthy lunches to schoolchildren that she even planted a garden at the White House. She was physically fit. She was classy. She was every bit as intelligent as her husband. She had a warm personality, and everything about her was sincere.
  • We had a family in the White House. We had the honor of watching Sasha and Malia grow up into beautiful women with style and manners.
  • “Get you a man who looks at you like Barack looks at Michelle.” The basis of the Obama family was the ongoing love affair between President and Mrs. Obama.

What do we have now?

  • Melania seems to stay away from trump as much as possible, keeping their young son with her.
  • trump degraded our White House by calling it a “dump,” then redecorating the Oval Office in his favorite cheap gold shades.
  • He allowed an advisor to sit with her bare feet drawn up beside her on the Oval Office sofa while she checked her phone.
  • He’s given his adult children security access that they should not have, and titles and positions that display pure nepotism.
  • He is still consorting with Nazis in our White House.
  • He was elected despite the fact that he admitted that he could get away with “grabbing her [any women he found attractive] by the pussy” because he was a TV star.
  • He’s semi-literate:

“Since Congress can’t get its act together on HealthCare, I will be using the power of the pen to give great HealthCare to many people – FAST”

“Alabama is sooo lucky to have a candidate like “Big” Luther Strange. Smart, tough on crime, borders & trade, loves Vets & Military. Tuesday!”

  • He “deals” with crises, including natural disasters, by finding someone, preferably a woman, to blame.
  • He’s unable to stop verbally assaulting women: Megyn Kelly, Carmen Yulín Cruz, and Jemele Hill.
  • He invents social crises by attacking women like Jemele Hill, and NFL players and cheerleaders who take a knee during the playing of the national anthem in protest of police brutality against black people.
  • He treats Twitter like a toy he can use to goad other world leaders with no regard for the consequences.
  • He meddles in the private reproductive health matters of American women.
  • He has behaved with stunning callousness towards Muslim immigrants and formerly DACA-protected young people.
  • He has given ICE free reign to separate families via deportation.
  • He has erased science from the White House website.
  • He’s been accused of sexual assault by numerous women.
  • He’s behaved like a damn fool during the playing of the National Anthem and in meetings with foreign leaders.
  • He’s instructed his goon squad to assault protesters at his rallies.
  • He’s not working, he’s holding rallies.

I can’t go on anymore. This is why we’re all depressed, dispirited, heartbroken, anxious, panicky, angry, or just gone from social media.

The vast majority of us cannot live under these conditions without manifesting some symptoms of stress and/or depression.

Many of us see no future for ourselves and our children.

We’re tired of calling our reps who don’t give a damn if they’re red state reps and who plead helplessness if they’re blue state reps.

We’re terrified of losing the ACA because we or our friends or our children might die.

And we’re expected to live normally under that pressure? We’re expected to carry on under the weight of a president who functions on inducing nihilism and golfs away weekends while we wonder if at least some part of the world will be a nuclear wasteland very soon due to trump’s diarrhea of the mouth?

I don’t know what to tell your if you are sick and depressed because of trump’s reign of lunacy except don’t go away. Please. I’m missing so many people that I used to keep up with on Twitter, and I need you back. If we fall apart from each other, we give him another victory.

I am not the person to give you a magic charm to handle life under trump’s boot heel. I can only ask that you stick with me and speak up. The time for neutrality is dead and buried. Your voice is needed. Speak. Speak loud.