Jul 21, 2014

First Ever Giveaway!!

Hi folks!  I am so excited to host my first-ever giveaway!!  I've been given the opportunity to be one of several Pagan bloggers hosting a giveaway for a bottle of Moroccan Argan oil and a personal diffuser, to promote the release of Summoned by Rainy Kaye.**

The story of the jinn dates back to pre­-Islamic Arabia and was part of the Pagan Arabic beliefs for hundreds of years. A new novel, SUMMONED, is a re­imagining of the jinn­­or genie­­ folklore with a nod toward these earlier concepts of the jinn. Check it out below, and then keep scrolling to enter a great giveaway!

summoned_cover_official_final


Twenty­-three year old Dimitri has to do what he is told—literally. Controlled by a paranormal bond, he is forced to use his wits to fulfill unlimited deadly wishes made by multimillionaire Karl Walker. Dimitri has no idea how his family line became trapped in the genie bond. He just knows resisting has never ended well. When he meets Syd—assertive, sexy, intelligent Syd—he becomes determined to make her his own. Except Karl has ensured Dimitri can’t tell anyone about the bond, and Syd isn’t the type to tolerate secrets. Then Karl starts sending him away on back­to­back wishes. Unable to balance love and lies, Dimitri sets out to uncover Karl’s ultimate plan and put it to an end. But doing so forces him to confront the one wish he never saw coming—the wish that will destroy him. A dark twist on genie folklore, SUMMONED follows a reluctant criminal as he unravels the mystery of the paranormal bond controlling him. SUMMONED is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

When Dimitri is summoned, he is brought to a secret chamber which is decorated with Arabian artifacts and smells of argan. Argan is derived from the kernels of the Argan tree, found in Morocco. For everyday use, it provides deep moisturizing and conditioning for skin and hair. For magical use, it provides strength and works best when carried in a personal diffuser. Not to mention, it smells amazing!

International Giveaway

Enter the giveaway below to win a personal diffuser and a bottle of Argan oil.

arganoildiffuser
a Rafflecopter giveaway
If you can't see the widget, click here to enter instead.
 
 You have until July 31 to enter!  Good luck!! :)
**Please note that I am one of several bloggers hosting the giveaway -- I am not responsible for picking winners or awarding prizes.

Jul 12, 2014

Rhiannon, Burden-Bearer

I have a new chant to share with you all!  It's a chant for Rhiannon, who has been my patron goddess since I was a wee baby pagan in college.  She showed up at the Conjure Dance at this year's Sacred Space when Cat sang Fleetwood Mac's Rhiannon.  My goddess loves that song, and a whole bunch of us joyfully danced for her while Cat sang.  But after it ended, she let me know quite strongly that she wanted me to write her a chant.

This seems to be a theme in my life - gods requesting I write a chant during the Conjure Dance.  At Sacred Space 2013, the Morrigan told me she wanted me to write her a chant that could be used to call her down - so I wrote one.  And this year Rhiannon asked for her own chant.  Which leaves me wondering, who will show up next time?




Rhiannon, Burden-Bearer

Rhiannon,
burden-bearer,
you'll rise once again.

You walked the path
for seven years,
each step a silent plea.

Til babe was found,
your innocence
known to none but you.

But now you reign,
Queen once more.
Reign high upon your throne!


(c) Colleen Beaty.  You are free to share my post and SoundCloud widget, and to use my chants in ritual - and I would love to know that you do!  But please do not record or otherwise reproduce my chants in any other way without permission.

Jun 9, 2014

Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Yesterday morning I awoke from a dream in which I was suddenly 14 again, getting ready to start high school - but with all the memories I've made and knowledge I've gained since then.  My mother announced that she had lost her job, and there was talk that we'd have to move somewhere far away. 

My greatest concern at the moment I woke up was that I needed to make sure I still met Jack.  I think I asked to move to Massachusetts, where he would have been living at the time.  Though, after I woke up, I wondered if the people we were as teenagers would still be attracted to one another in a way that stuck.

I wonder what my life would be like if I had the chance to start over, before I got sick and started having problems with anxiety and depression. Before I began to make ill-advised choices about college and my career path, and especially about some of the boys I really shouldn't have dated.

So of course I woke up wondering the eternal question we all ask ourselves - how would my life have been different if I could go back and make different choices? 

Would I have taken more writing classes and found my creativity earlier? 
Focused on a branch of science that doesn't require strenuous activity (like genetics work in the lab, which I still have fond memories of from college)? 
Better avoided the people that caused me more pain than my growth required? 
Chosen to seek my spiritual community in Maryland when I moved here, rather than desperately clinging to my life in Philly by joining a Philly-based coven?
Would I still be friends/lovers with the same people?  Or even be part of the same communities?

Apr 21, 2014

Bittersweet Easter

Last night some of us from my Mom's side of the family met at Mom-Mom & Pop-Pop's house down the shore for Easter dinner.  It was bittersweet, because Mom-Mom & Pop-Pop have decided to sell the house and move to a smaller ranch home in a retirement community nearby.  So it was the last formal family dinner at the house they've owned for about 30 years, and lived in full-time for 20 years.

The house is huge, with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, long dining room and a really big rec-room they added on when I was a teenager.  When we were younger, there would often be weekends where the house was full of aunts and uncles and cousins.  And there was always good food contributed by all.

When I walk in that house I hear my aunts and I shouting and laughing over a game of Double Solitaire, which more often than not ended with my Aunt Dot triumphantly going "out" and winning.  I smell all of the summer breakfasts of pancakes and scrapple and bacon that Mom-Mom cooked.  I see Easter baskets for all the cousins covering the dining room table, and beach towels and bathing suits hung willy-nilly in the bathrooms after a long, sandy day at the beach.  I feel love. 

So much love.

It feels like home.

I thought they were being pressured by someone in the family to move "for their own good."  I was also worried that they were moving because they didn't know about all of the resources they could take advantage of (often paid for by Medicare) such as a home aide and a stair lift.  But after talking to them yesterday it seems apparent that it is their choice to downsize, that they would feel old and trapped by them rather than freed.

I'm going to try to go down there In June for one last long vacation down the shore, just me and the grandparents, and lots of beach time.  And when it's time for them to move, I'll go help - but I'm not sure I'll be able to hold it together (just writing this I'm crying).

Maybe the next time I'm there, I can bring home some part of that house - some stones from the yard, or a piece of wicker furniture maybe? - so that I always have that piece of my shore "home" in my own home.


Feb 24, 2014

Heeding the Call

Last night I felt a strong call from my patron, Gwynn ap Nudd, to journey to him and have a chat.  He likes to do that sometimes, especially when I need talking to.

Source: http://legends.alisonwrenn.co.uk/2013/03/iv-gwyn-ap-nudd.html

Before I journeyed, I prayed about what's been troubling me, to help center me and guide my journey.  In essence, I have been floundering in my practice for the last couple of years. Now that I am engaged and building a home and a life with my sweetheart, I feel like it's time to get back on the (magickal) horse.  I've been going to shamanic journey classes led by a good friend of mine, and while that's a good start it's not enough.


When I was in a coven, I practiced regularly, but mostly only with the group.  And unfortunately, I gave so much that the group - unwittingly, I'm sure - sucked me dry and left me unable to practice much at home. 

Now that I'm solitary again, I have much more energy for journeying, magick, etc.  Except that without that structure of regular coven rituals and meetings and such, I find myself getting lax about practicing.

So I asked Gwynn for guidance.  He told me that my home, my every day life needs to be more magickal - basically I need that everyday foundation to get me into the right head space for regular practice.  For starters, he reminded me that I need stronger, more stable wards.  Then he showed me the cover of a book I've had for years but never read - The Magical Household: Spells & Rituals for the Home by Scott Cunningham & David Harrington. 

So I guess I have some reading to do!  And some magicking to do around our home, too.  ("Magicking" is a word, right?  Well if it's not, I'm making it a word right now.)

As I write this, I'm also reminded that for a while there, I was saying a daily prayer of gratitude.  I should really get back to doing that, starting right now: 

Thank you for my existence.  
Thank you for what health I retain.  
Thank you for clarity of mind.  
Thank you for my love.

Jan 23, 2014

Go Down, Listen


This is a chant I wrote several years ago as part of a project to write chants for the Sabbats and five elements.  I had initially intended to write 5 separate chants, one for each element.  Instead, when I started putting pen to paper, a chant about deep listening that incorporated all of the elements emerged. 

It's certainly not one of my best chants, and it's a remnant of a path that I have happily (and healthfully) moved beyond.  Still, there's something about this one that moves me to find that still, quiet place and just listen.




Go Down, Listen
Speak softly, listen quietly,
The Water sings to you.

Sing lightly, listen well,
The Air whispers to you.

Go down, down, down - listen.
Go down, down, down - listen.

Dance fiercely, listen fully,
The Fire cheers for you.

Talk slowly, listen deeply,
The Earth drums for you.

Go down, down, down - listen.
Go down, down, down - listen.

See clearly, stand openly,
Spirit calls to you.

Go down, down, down - listen.
Go down, down, down - listen.


(c) Colleen Beaty.  You are free to share my post and SoundCloud widget, and to use my chants in ritual - and I would love to know that you do!  But please do not record or otherwise reproduce my chants in any other way without permission.


Jan 10, 2014

Oh hai thar, 2014


Wow, this poor blog has been neglected since September.  I posted a chant and then... I realized I had been focusing too much on trying to make the blog successful enough to monetize (I was nowhere close), and lost the enjoyment of blogging.  So I decided to take a break from blogging and come back to it if and when the music and writing called to me again.


Lately I've been feeling like I want to get back into creative writing, and I want to start writing and posting my chants again.  Other creative types will understand when I say I've started to get the "itch" to write again.  To write those things that work their way up from my soul and need me to put their words to paper.  To sing those things brought forth from within and put their melodies to a microphone.

I don't think I will be posting others' music very much anymore - probably just when I'm feeling inspired by it, or when it goes with a piece I'm writing, or somesuch.  And I'm going to stop worrying as much about how having a popular blog, because let's face it, the audience for pagan bloggers is not nearly as large or enthusiastic about commenting as that for fashion and mommy bloggers.  So I'm going to post for myself, and for any who choose to read - and stop worrying about the rest.

I have two chants sitting on the back-burner that I'd like to post soon.  One is a few years old, and the other was written this fall after I went through something extremely traumatic (I'm still unsure if I want to share that story in such a public forum, so pardon my vagueness.)  I also have a few pieces of writing about music that want to happen.

2013 was a year of changes, of love and hurt, of renewal.  It was also a year of starting to find the core of who I am and how I want to practice my spirituality.  So here we are in 2014.  I've decided that my theme for this year is "building."  Building a life with my sweetheart, building a home together in our new apartment, building my spiritual practice up from this core and into something even more vibrant and powerful than before.

What are you building in 2014?

Sep 6, 2013

The Morrigan Sings

Ever since the Conjure Dance at last year's Sacred Space, the Morrigan has been bugging me to write a chant for her for future Conjure Dances and such-like.  So as you can imagine, I've been feeling this chant building in the background for awhile. 

Then all at once once night a couple of months ago, she had me light a candle for her, sit down, and then worked through me in the space of about 20 minutes to write it.  It was intense!  I finally remembered to record a cleaner, stronger version of it 2 weeks ago.  Those of you who follow my Facebook page probably already saw this when I linked up to my SoundCloud that same day.

This chant was written specifically with possession/drawing down/aspecting in mind, but it would also be a great chant to request her aid for things like self-empowerment or dealing with anger.



The Morrigan Sings
Calling through the dusk on the wings of black birds,
The Morrigan knows!
The Morrigan sings!

She cries out her fury and her fury is mine,
The Morrigan cries!
The Morrigan screams!

She grabs at my hands and her strength becomes mine,
The Morrigan laughs,
and then we both sing! 


What do you think?  Does this speak of The Morrigan that you know and work with?  Is this the kind of chant you'd use in ritual?
 
(c) Colleen Beaty.  You are free to share my post and SoundCloud widget, and to use my chants in ritual - and I would love to know that you do!  But please do not record or otherwise reproduce my chants in any other way without permission.


Sep 4, 2013

Guest Post: How to Make a Custom Witch Tool Box

Today I'm bringing to you a guest post by my dear friend Annie of the newly-formed Seekers of the Wild Heart coven.  Annie is going to show you how to make a cushioned, decorated box for your witchy tools.

I've been searching for a box to keep all my tools in, and, more importantly, transport them. I have a very pretty, custom-made ceramic chalice and a rather delicate glass pentacle, and was concerned about taking them outside the apartment for ritual. When I searched for boxes for ritual gear, though, many of them were quite expensive and even more simply didn't fit my tools. My wand alone is 19 inches long, which meant it just didn't fit in most boxes.

For this project, I spent about $40 in supplies (some of which can be used again). Your mileage may vary, depending on the size of box you use and which of the supplies you already have on hand. It took about one solid day of off-and-on work (lots of time was spent waiting for things to dry), plus an evening.

Supplies:

- A plastic box that will fit all of your tools, allowing at least 1" on each side and at least an inch (preferably more) between each tool (lay your tools out on the floor and measure the space they consume). I found this one for $10 at the Container Store
- Plenty of paper and ink in your printer
- Hairspray (a travel-size one will work fine, if you don't already own any)
- Mod Podge - the 8 oz. container should suffice
- Some popsicle sticks for removing the occasional air bubble
- A small foam brush (available at Michael's for about 50 cents)
- Krylon crystal clear acrylic coating
- Enough sheets of 1" thick foam to fill the box (I used two packages of this)
- X-Acto knife
- 1 yard of satin or other fabric you wish to line the box with
- Needle and thread (color does not matter)
- Duct tape

Process:

1. Find and collect dozens of images from Pinterest (or elsewhere) that evoke your deities, the elements, whatever you choose, then arrange those pictures in a word processor or graphic design program and print them. Err on the side of gathering too many images, rather than too few. You'll have a lot of surface area to cover. You can always save the extra images for another project. I ended up printing 22 pages worth of images, and just barely had enough.

2. Spray each printed page with hairspray to make sure the ink doesn't smear when you apply the glue to it later. Let each sheet dry separately for 15 minutes or so.

3. Cut or tear each image into the shape you want (I did boxy shapes for the earth pictures, flowy, irregular shapes for the water pictures, spiky shapes for the fire pictures, and smooth, even, round shapes for the air pictures, for example).

3. Wash your box box thoroughly with soap and water and allow it to dry fully for a few hours.

4. Arrange the pictures on the box the way you like. I covered both the lid and the sides of my box with images, putting the earth images on the top part of the lid and the side adjacent to it, the air images on the right part of the lid and the side adjacent to it, the fire images on the bottom part of the lid and the side adjacent to it, and the water pictures on the left part of the lid and the side adjacent to it. But of course, you can do whatever pleases you!


5. Remove the pictures a few at a time, painting Mod Podge onto the box with the foam brush in an even layer, then smoothing down the pictures and coating the top of them with Mod Podge. You may need to use a popsicle stick to press out the occasional air bubble, but be gentle, as the paper tears easily.

6. After all the images are arranged and glued on, paint one more layer of Mod Podge over the top, and allow the box to dry for at least 15 minutes.

7. Apply another couple of layers of Mod Podge, letting the box dry for at least 15 minutes between each application.

8. Once the box is totally dry, spray it with Krylon crystal clear acrylic coating and allow it to dry again. I ended up doing three coats of Krylon, allowing it to dry for 15-30 minutes between each coat, but one coat may suffice. Just add coats until you're happy with the texture.

9. Cut and arrange the foam to fit precisely inside the box. I ended up with five layers of one-inch-thick foam, each layer consisting of two pieces of foam (because no one sheet was wide enough to fill the box).

10. Remove the top layer of foam and set it aside. That'll be the part that gets stuck to the lid of the box.


11. Arrange your tools on the top layer of foam that's still in the box, allowing at least one inch of space on each side and between each tool. Using a Sharpie or pen, trace around each tool (you may have to press the tool into the foam a bit to get a good trace). Remove the tools from the foam.


12. Using the X-Acto knife, cut along the trace lines through the first layer of foam. For tools that require more depth, once the hole is cut, trace within the hole using your pen or marker and cut that layer with the X-Acto knife. Repeat until the hole is deep enough, but allow at least 1" of foam at the bottom that is untouched.

13. Nestle your tools within the holes you created to make sure they fit okay. Make any adjustments needed.




14. Take your fabric and cut it into two pieces - one that will wrap around the reserved layer of foam (it doesn't need to fully cover the back, but it should wrap around each side and have enough left over to be tacked onto the back), and one that will lay over the foam that's been carved. Be sure to allow enough fabric on the latter for it to fill each hole you've cut for the tools and still have enough to tuck into the sides of the box.

15. Take the piece of fabric that goes into the box and lay it over the foam, pushing it into the holes and tucking it into the sides.

16. Take the remaining piece of fabric and wrap it around the reserved layer of foam. Holding it in place, use wide stitches to stitch the fabric to the foam, being sure not to go all the way through the foam (you don't want your stitches to show on the "good" side).  Stitch all the way around, paying particular attention to the corners.

17. Roll strips of duct tape so that both sides are sticky, then arrange them onto the inside of the lid. I used about a dozen strips to do this.

18. Press the stitched side of the top foam piece to the duct tape, making sure it's aligned in the center of the lid.



All done! Put your tools into the nice, fabric-lined holes, put the cushioned lid on top, and you're good to go.

Aug 18, 2013

Two Years

My 2-year blogiversary slipped by quietly last Wednesday - I had actually plum forgotten it was coming up.  Since I did not at all plan out what I would do for my blogiversary, I think I will forgo the more celebratory post of my 1st year on this blog, and just say...

Happy 2nd blogiversary to Heartache Into Beauty!

Yes, that bobblehead has been #VandalEyes'd by my father.  Twice, actually.  You can't see it, but underneath the giant googly eyes on the glasses, there are also smaller google eyes underneath the glasses. 

My thoughts of celebrating my blogiversary this year are dampened because I am feeling uncertain of the merits of posting to this blog with the frequency or earnestness I had been over the previous year.  You may have noticed a decrease in posting over the summer.  I'm starting to feel that, after 2 years, my blog is not providing the value to the neopagan community that I wish it were.  I've tried to use it to promote the neopagan music scene, and yet my Monday Music Break posts - what I feel is the meat of my blog - receive the fewest comments and hits.  Honestly, most of my hits are for my more ridiculous posts about things like llamas.

Don't worry - I am not quitting blogging!  Music feeds my soul, and I want to share my love of pagan music with my community.  I also want to share the music I write, however infrequently that happens.  I think I just need to know how to do it in a way that people actually want to read and respond to.

I'd really like your feedback on what I can do to spark your interest in visiting and engaging with me on my blog.  Is there something missing from my MMB and chant posts that you'd like to see?  Are you having trouble listening to the songs?  Is there another facet of the pagan music scene you'd be more interested in, like music reviews or interviews with pagan artists?  Do you prefer my non-musical posts?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...