Oddly enough, the first two books that I read involved faeries (not for any particular reason). And two were set in Oxford.
Month: March 2020
I reached a milestone of 300 followers. Thanks everyone! Welcome to new followers, and thanks to old followers for continuing to read my stuff.
Hand washing song
Storm Faerywolf pointed out in his recent article on The Wild Hunt that singing “Isis Astarte Diana Hecate Demeter Kālī Inanna” twice measures approximately 20 seconds of hand washing, the recommended duration for getting really clean — and it works!
(Video of me singing it after the jump.)
Notable and quotable: coronavirus (2)
The first roundup of coronavirus posts was getting a little unwieldy, so here’s a second instalment.
Various posts have been reflecting on the implications of social distancing, and being cooped up with your partner and/or house-mates.
Ritual to the Asklepiadae
In addition to the recommended precautions like hygiene, social distancing, self-quarantine, and so on, it’s also a good idea to strengthen your immune system by keeping well hydrated, taking plenty of vitamins and herbal supplements. It’s also important to maintain your regular spiritual practice, in order to keep your spirits up, as much as anything else. Magical and spiritual interventions can also be helpful here. So here is a ritual to Asklepios and his family, the Asklepiadae.
Hugging while 2 metres apart
Many people are going to be deprived of touch and hugging while self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic.
About fifteen years ago, I went to a dowsing workshop in Bristol, UK, led by a guy called Jason. He got us to think of a happy memory and then dowse the edges of each other’s aura with dowsing rods. The aura expands when you’re happy or thinking of a happy memory. Thinking happy thoughts may also release serotonin (happy hormones).
If you don’t believe in auras, think about mirror neurons instead. The way these work is that if you see someone else performing a physical action (such as lifting their arm), the neurons that would activate lifting your arm fire in readiness to imitate them.
There’s also the muscle memory of actual hugs.
Two metre hug
In order for this to work, you do need to explain it to the other person; this means consent is automatically part of the hugging process. Yay!
You can explain either with mirror neurons, muscle memory, or the aura depending on your preference and/or audience.
If you’re doing a virtual hug over online video, it has to be mirror neurons, serotonin, and muscle memory.
Step 1. Stand two metres away from the person you want to hug. (For online video, stand so they can see the upper half of your body.)
Step 2. Think of a happy memory (if you don’t have a happy memory, think of something that would make you happy). Take a bit of time to build up this memory or happy thought. It’s probably good if the happy thought involves the person you’re air-hugging.
Step 3. Move your arms as if you were hugging the other person. Spend at least thirty seconds in the hug position.
Stay healthy, and blessed be!
All images from Pixabay (public domain).
If you enjoyed this post, you might like my books.
What we have in common
I dreamed that I was in an Anglican or Episcopalian Church in North America and had been invited by the vicar to introduce a hymn. She handed me the order of service which already had a hymn picked out, and it had been annotated to change “him” to “her”, so I introduced it and encouraged people to sing “her” where appropriate if they wanted to. One of the congregation said they didn’t really know the tune for that hymn. So then I suggested we sang Morning has broken and changed “him” to “her” in the second verse, and “God’s” to “Her” in the third verse. Then I woke up.
Notable and quotable: coronavirus (1)
- There have been some great posts on the coronavirus in the Pagan community.
- Nimue Brown has written on the political implications;
- Laura Tempest Zakroff has created an immunity sigil. (Patheos *)
- I’ve offered a modified version of the cakes and wine ritual.
- Dana offers spiritual self care practices to ease the stress.
- Video from Lora O’Brien on community and coronavirus protocols.
- Article from The Wild Hunt Pagan news outlet on cancelling or rescheduling Pagan events, and rethinking communal practices.
- Excellent comments and advice from John Beckett (Patheos *)
- Wonderful post from The River Crow on Indoor Druidry.
- Mark Green on community and spirituality during quarantine (and good news, he’s working on another book).
- Further updates from the Wild Hunt Pagan news site on event cancellations due to coronavirus.
- Reflections from Julian Vayne on the occult significance of this, and being community-minded.
- My post What we have in common, reminding us of shared values of community and compassion across different faith groups including Pagan traditions.
- How to hug whilst standing two metres apart.
- Notable and quotable: coronavirus: part 2
Cakes and wine in a pandemic
Most religions that share food and drink have been having discussions about how to modify these practices to make them safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Mostly that means not meeting at all.
Books I read in February 2020
I read three books in February, all of which I have read before: the first three books of S M Stirling’s Emberverse trilogy. I re-read them because I like the characters very much.