Scrying on an iPad

Scrying on an iPad
Using Commonplace Items for Scrying

ScryCalS Fey Witches tend to be resourceful, using what’s on hand, instead of being uber-consumers. In that spirit, here are helpful hints for determining which everyday objects you already own are suitable for scrying, to spare you an unnecessary purchase.

As a reference point, let’s start with items commonly used for scrying:
* crystal ball, either quartz or glass
* polished obsidian ball or egg
* fire in a fireplace, fire pit, or cauldron
* large concave clock face, which has been painted black on one side: if you place the clock face so that it’s like a right-side-up bowl, it would be the bowl’s outside that is painted; then when scrying, you’re looking into the unpainted shiny surface inside the bowl.

Now that you know those traditional objects, you can search your home for something similar. Be creative and you might end up choosing—or adapting—an unexpected object.

When teaching scrying recently, I’d told people to bring scrying tools to the class and that, if they had nothing else, to bring a candle. A lit candle is certainly a traditional scrying tool.

One student had trouble scrying in her candle. A candle flame is one of the more difficult things to scry in, because the flame provides such a small point to focus on. So I asked if she had a large black bowl. Many witches fill a large black bowl with water and peer into that for divination. I do not know if that’s traditional, but it’s definitely an option.

She had no such bowl. Then I got really excited, because I remembered she has an iPad. I grabbed my iPad and looked at it. Sure enough, it was a perfect scrying surface. Take note, I did notice my iPad was grubby with my fingerprints, so would not be good for scrying without a cleaning. You want a smooth reflective surface (although there are exceptions, but that’s a whole other story not relevant to most peoples’ scrying).

TrdWtchPsbltTraditional witchcraft relies on the ever present sacred possibilities that surround us disguised as mundane objects. See what you have on hand. Look around the room and note where your eyes fall.

After suggesting the iPad, I realized—and therefore suggested to the student—she could just take a small piece of clear glass and lay it on a black piece of cloth, then scry into it. In fact, if you had a clear plate or bowl, you could do the same.

In the same vein, use an old picture frame. Paint the back of the glass black. Once the paint’s dried, put the glass back in the frame. I suggest you choose a simple frame and paint the frame black as well. My reason for that will become apparent in the following paragraphs.

Something to keep in mind when choosing or creating a scrying surface is the benefits of simplicity. Recently, I’ve seen scrying mirrors for sale with beautiful elaborate frames. I wonder if those frames might impair one’s scrying when one is first learning. My reasoning is as follows:

In my early scrying days, I placed a crystal ball on a black velvet pillow, not only to hold the ball in place but also to serve as background. Very simple. And if memory serves very traditional.

In the same vein, traditional scrying mirrors I’ve seen are frameless; if set at all, I’ve only seen them set into black velvet boxes. This speaks of a simplicity I believe is conducive to scrying. I have never seen elaborate settings or complex backgrounds in traditional scrying tools.

(I guess one could argue that ancient witches, in using what’s on hand to scry, would not turn their nose up when faced with an elaborate object. But that argument starts caving in when I realize simple things are more available. For example, in ancient times, it was easier to access a dark moonlit lake—or, at least, a dark moonlit puddle—to peer into than it was to approach an elaborate mirror protected in a fortressed palace. Often, witches would only have simpler items on hand.)

Another reason I suggest simplicity: When learning to scry, using a black bowl filled with water required I play with the surrounding light. In other words, I had to try scrying in the bowl to see if it worked better in a fairly dark room or a room with a single candle in it. I decided I needed a candle, but then had to determine its best position in terms of its reflection in the water. Or even whether I wanted it reflecting in the water. Otherwise, the water became less tenable as a scrying medium. I don’t remember what I decided, but my point is I needed utter simplicity.

In fact, I just realized my iPad is black, but some are white. I imagine white ones create a white frame around the black screen. If that’s the case, you’ll have to try it out to see if a white frame is a distraction or other problem.

Perhaps elaborate frames and backgrounds will not be a problem for you. For one thing, my preference for simplicity is based on the particular Faerie scrying modality I know, which entails a relaxed, soft focus that complex backgrounds can mess with. Perhaps there are other scrying methods that do not involve that soft focus.

Plus, my quartz crystal ball has a veil through its middle, and it does not distract me. But I’m not necessarily a good reference point, because I’ve been scrying for decades, so it would take a lot to sidetrack me. I can scry into complex objects. I’m not saying that to brag (we all have our strengths). Instead, it’s relevant to our topic:

I’ve taught a lot of people how to scry. Over the decades, students repeatedly told me scrying has been one of the hardest magics they ever attempted; overall, my students found it so difficult that a large percentage never pursued it past their assignments from me.

The context of this feedback from students is important: a good number of these trainees who could not scry well did fine with almost all other magical techniques I gave them. Even more striking is that they also tended to be comfortable using some divination form other than scrying. And even more striking is the fact that, among the students who could not scry very well were amazingly talented—and advanced!—witches who mastered far more daunting spells from me. They mastered spell after spell I gave them, and magical technique after magical technique, willing to work endlessly to become an adept.

So no point making it hard on yourself with ornate frames and backgrounds, or stones with elaborate mottled patterns, or the like, unless they happen to suit your style.

Another suggestion: different witches seem to do better scrying into different mediums. Some seem to do better in water, some in fire, some in crystal. Keep that in mind, so if one household item you try doesn’t work, it may not show a lack in you but that you chose the wrong item for your particular predisposition.

So those are some considerations when trying to choose—or adapt—something you already own for scrying.

Play around, see what works for you, and let me know how it goes. If you come up with something new, share it below so that others can use it for their own scrying.

Blessed be.
BoSNwsltrSm

Phoenix Resurrection

PhenxRsrctn
Phoenix Resurrection

I celebrate—here with community—my triumph over a long initiatory ordeal.

Hear my confident victory cry: 10+ years, flames tempered my steel and burned away dross. Til nothing remained except power, abundance, and beauty. Now, my story is victory and joy. I’m happier and more abundant than ever.

Humans are resilient. I overcame a 10+ year nightmare, one tragedy after another. Now, my story is victory and joy. On all fronts: Health, finances, delight, and more. For one thing—just one!—I should’ve died, but now have many good years ahead.

Here—hear—my victory cry: I did more than survive, I thrive again.

It has been quite some time, now, that I thrive again.

I thank my Gods, my community, and my stubbornness.

Victory: I was an excellent shamanic guide, but I used my extreme trials to become an even better guide, so that I can do the next works my Gods require. The foundation beneath my flight was firm, but now it is beyond strength—it is the Universe card, the Tao, the moment, the always.

A 10+ year initiatory bonfire, on which Gods stacked my old ways, til painful blaze reached sky, allowed Phoenix rebirth.

For a good long while now, that fire—transmuted—has been a nourishing Dragon fire within me, fueling my joy and Eagle flight. Some days, it quiets to a banked ember in my heart, warming my soul and loin.

Now my story is victory and joy. Doubt you can rise? You can fly! We humans can wrongly think we’ve lost ourselves. But Scorpio me was always Dragon, even when I couldn’t sense my fire.

I am Phoenix reborn. Flames laid waste the past, birthing warmth-driven foliage. Now, Phoenix relaxes—an easy flight in sacred meadow and passionate forest born from the Phoenix’s own rebirth.

I am Eagle soaring free, no longer pierced by arrow. I am Dragon holding up the sky.

Now, my story is victory and joy. I celebrate through gratefulness. Thank you.

Joy Creates Abundance

The Generous Sun – Francesca De Grandis, 2012.

The Generous Sun – Francesca De Grandis, 2012.

Beltane Poem

Do you say you’re too worried about money to be happy? Do you insist making a living earns all your time, you can’t take time for joy?

Ancient Mayday, it was not just an elite priesthood who went into the fields to make love. Even farmers did it to bless their crops.

Joy creates abundance.

Know the battle is fixed: When the Winter Queen and Spring Queen’s armies fight on Beltane, the Spring Queen always wins.

What keeps you from Spring? Is it fear, hate, self-doubt, refusal to love the frail arrogant humans populating this planet? What keeps you from Spring? Leap the Beltane fire. Be purified.

You winter heart—what freezes it still!? Leap the Beltane fire.

And be welcomed into Spring by the Faerie Queen.

She gives you a rose.

A dragon appears, climb on its back, take your rose with you, take flight upon this great and honorable beast.

As you fly, your thawed heart blooms a garden, your thawed heart blooms spring, your thawed heart starts to hope.

Become a garden on the back of a dragon,

Throw back your head and howl in mad joy.
Throw back your head and laugh with foolish pleasure.
Throw back your head to watch the moon and sun smile at us all.

Come to earth.
Throw back your head and grin, that Mother Earth caresses your feet.
Bow your head. Looking down, grin that you, a garden, are embraced by Mother Earth.

Thank the dragon, and say goodby as it flies off.
Do not try to keep it by you a second longer,
do not think it has more for you.
Trying to capture or control a dragon is bad news,
even if you do not realize you are trying to imprison it.

As you cry out a wish from the bottom of your garden heart,
a wish for abundance and all your heart’s desires,
throw your rose into the sky.

Do not try to get the rose back, let it go.

Send the gods love and power and hope.
Then say thank you and goodby to them for now.

Joy creates abundance. Take time for joy.

May 2, 2013. Yesterday, I wrote a Beltane ritual in my head while I was leading it. Usually I don’t remember what I channel unless I write it down right then but, for various reasons, some of it remained with me. The above is a variation on what I remember of yesterday’s Beltane rite/poem/concept. One reason I remember it is that, as some of you may recognize, there are bits adapted from a Beltane script/poem/concept I developed years back. I made a new poem out of it today (never try to capture a oral tradition moment, make a new moment instead) to 1) help the rite’s participants, including moi, follow through on yesterday’s work 2) because gods impelled me 3) I am a ritualist, poet, and cosmologist who likes to share some of her ideas in written form, lol 4) I am taking time for joy.

Altar Cloth: Pagan Joy

Exuberant Cascades!

Exuberant Cascades!

Detail of final piece: A Faerie Glimmer

Detail of final piece: A Faerie Glimmer

This altarcloth is raucously pagan. For ecstatic worship, Solstice and other sun ceremonies, Beltane, sex Magic, or to add exuberance to any rite.

Click pics to see em full size and un-blurred.

You can skip process to get to Product and Purchase Info.

Ironing the silk. Sunshine!

Ironing the silk. Sunshine!

Three layers of dyeing: First I dyed white silk yellow with low-immersion dying. The color is absolutely radiant! The snowfall means no place outside to get pics in good light. The background color is not the honey that’s in some photos. It is a bright, unrepentant, primary yellow! Not for someone afraid of color. Celebration!

“Imperfections” from low-immersion dyeing are part of its charm. Heh, charm, that’s a pun.

InitialStrokes3

initial strokes of the second round of dye

Second layer is the basic design. This is actual hand painting.

More hand painting made the third layer: I went over some lines with Lumiere to make them pop. You can’t tell from the photos that, for example, many of the fire symbol’s orangey-red lines were done twice, once with the first paint, the second time with Lumiere, which would “talk” more on the yellow. Then came the Lumiere that has a lovely sort of glimmer, which the photos may not be showing. I also used Lumiere paint for detailing.

I applied four Lumiere paints. The red and purple Lumiere have a subtle sheen. “Bright gold” and “super sparkle” are more overt but still tasteful, not garish: Faerie glimmers.

Earth

Detail of Final Piece: the Element of Earth

Product and Purchase Info:$145, plus $4 S & H. 100% silk, 66 X 13.” I am 99% sure it is 12 mm Crepe de Chine. (It is new cloth, but I accidentally discarded its label.) OOAK, original design, painted freehand, initialed and dated by artist. Hand washable. If this item calls you, grab it. I’m almost constitutionally incapable of repeating my designs.I can only ship within the U.S.

Finished piece: Right end is Water and Fire

Finished piece: Right end is Water and Fire




Finished piece: Left end is Air and Earth

Finished piece: Left end is Air and Earth

My Personal Web Charm

My Personal Web Charm

I’ve been asked to paint a spiderweb on a few altar cloths. (She suggested it as a focal point, but I just had to tuck one into the star, lol.) Her request was lovely synchronicity because, unbeknownst to her, I’ve been creating intense spiderweb spells in recent months again, for my own use and various students. I’d even made spiderweb charms for myself and students. I’ve been wearing my charm everyday for months, dangling from the gold hoop in my right ear.

Center

Center

Fire& Water

Fire& Water

Do you want an altarcloth with the four elements and a Faerie Star?




Revitalizing This Site

Welcome, old visitors and new!

My friends and I have done massive prep to revitalize this site since late 2011. I’ve been jazzed about adding witchy witch stuff, old-fashioned craft, Druidic wonders, bardic innovations, intelligent blogs, dancing atoms (um, I couldn’t get dancing girls), and more.

 Boys and girls, come one, come all, this site has never been typical pagan.

We are kind of doing a site re-launch. I’m posting this before we do it, so you can read this when you arrive. Welcome, welcome, fellow stardusted traveler.

Past 10 years, the site received few additions and updates, because of my health. Despite that, a strong flow of visitors continued. That was awesome for me, but being able to finally make substantive changes is mega-fun. There are so many wild witchy things I want to do.

I have a mass of pieces written, built up over years.

You’ll see stuff added all the time, a whole new look, and a commitment to beauty of spirit.

 We’ll keep existing material (except bits no longer relevant) —I’m an ol’ witch who doesn’t throw out the tried and true. (This site is your grandmother. Online Wicca since 1995; I’ll tell you about that another time.)

Site navigation: The site is on three servers. (It’s a long and grassroots story.)

As of 2012, new Grimoire entries will be in my blog. Grimoire entries prior to 2012 will not be in the blog. The blog search engine and sidebar help find blog entries specific to your interests. The main Grimoire page will not have links to new Grimoire entries.

Portrait of Roberto Campus, Francesca De Grandis. Roberto kindly helped get the WordPress part of this site up and running.

Part of the long story: 1994, we ran out of space for the site. I couldn’t afford to buy any, so put some pages on the domain of my initiate and dear friend Dawnwalker. Dawn is a trickster extraordinaire and a generous loving heart. (I’m blessed by amazing people the Goddess sends me to train. I may not get zillions of students in my classes, but they’re awesome fellow seekers, we walk together and explore.). Free use of Dawn’s domain meant my site could hold more free stuff for visitors.

So I split the site between the original domain on well.com and Dawn’s, which is feri.com. Dawn, thank you, thank you. I love you. (Dear site visitor, do not confuse my tradition with Feri just because my initiate owns feri.com. Dawn used the term differently than it is used now.)

To revitalize the site, we’ve added a third domain, www.stardrenched.com, which is mostly for the site’s blog. (A long story for a later date).

SolarKing, silk painting, OutlawBunny. At the time of this post, this piece of art is available in my Etsy shop

My cauldron fire burned bright in a 2011 Solstice ritual—the first time I could have a cauldron lit in my home in years. A good sign that the cauldron was relit! My enthusiasm about revitalizing the site has been huge. My internal flame about it is bright. That flame, fueled by love of my Gods and their ways, and by Their endless love of us, is what I share in this post to you. May your hearth fire, heart fire, inner fire burn bright!

It’s a huge site. Even after I announce the “revitalized site” as “launched,” it will take us months if not a few years to work our way through creating a new look, updating text, etc. Omigoddess, there might be sadly needed updates for a while! Please forgive that and wonky layouts, etc., as we learn new software.

Portrait of Kristilee, Outlaw Bunny. Kristilee gave feedback on my site design and provided other important help.

I thank the gods for Kathi Somers, the longtime hard-working Fey-touched webmaster of this site  (a pic of Kathi is at this blog), and for the help of the www.bbs-la.com boys, who still believe that the internet belongs to the people.

Please come back often to see new stuff and changes. I hope you enjoy it because I devoted myself to it for years, and finally have time and health to refocus on it, including adding a blog. Please let me know what you think by posting responses to my blogs.

PS: While I was unable to do much on this site, I have been able to work on my everything-under-the-sun site because of the software on that site. So it has lotsa stuff, including its own blog. Check it out.