Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Hot of the Press!

Issue 2 of Stone, Root, and Bone came out today! I haven’t finished reading my contributor’s issue, but my friends, it is gorgeous! When I got to my story, “Through the Brambles,” the image of the deer above brought tears to my eyes. You see, one of my closest spirit allies is the white tailed deer. Seeing them like that, accompanying my second ever paid publication, was a nod that I’m on the right path. There are deer in my story, but the publisher could have used other graphics. This was perfection to me. I’m so grateful to Hagstone Publishing for including me along with several other talented authors and artists.

To top it off, I started my day with this encouraging tweet:

 

Comments like that are mana potions for authors. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

You can buy a copy here for $5! All authors are compensated with actual money or free advertising (provided it matches Hagstone Publishing standards). When you buy, read, and review Stone, Root, and Bone, you’re supporting independent publishing by polytheists for polytheists. If you’re interested, here’s their recent call for submissions for issue 3! I look forward to reading work from you!

Three Things Thursday

In an effort to update my blog more regularly, I’ve decided to try a Three Things Thursday series. For the moment, I think I’ll just post three things relating to my practice – thoughts and reflections for the week, anticipation and plans for upcoming events, a toast or boast, mini review, etc.

  1. New Goal – Learn to Read Tea Leaves
    As the old year swung into the new, I had an interesting dream in which I read tea leaves for someone. I woke unable to recall my “client” or their fortune, but I clearly saw that I was confident in the matter. As a passionate fan of tea, I do find it shocking that I haven’t delved into tasseomancy sooner. When I still lived in the Mohawk Valley, my friend and mentor in our circle presented an introductory workshop on reading tea leaves, but that’s where I left it. I’m changing that this year! One of my allies must be pointing me in that direction, because I recently saw there’s a new book about the subject coming out in May. I’m very curious what your suggestions are in the meantime!
  2. The Ongoing Saga of Reducing Plastic in My Life
    As someone on an Earth-centered path, I strongly believe that we all need to adjust our lifestyles. This is going to look different for each of us, but those baby steps are necessary as we all push for greater societal changes. Between reusable bags, opting not to use plastic straws, and bringing our lunches in reusable containers, we’ve made some progress in our home. I recently learned about Tru Earth laundry strips and had to try them. Unlike most laundry detergents, these solid strips come in a paper envelope via mail subscription. No plastic! You tear them in half and they dissolve in your laundry. I know many people make their own detergents, but I’m not there yet. (Hence the baby steps! I’m pretty hard pressed to do the dishes on top of my other hobbies and responsibilities…) Two months in, and I’m really pleased. My clothes come out clean and smelling fresh!
  3. Writing Update
    img_0627

    I hope you’ll forgive me for continuing to plug the upcoming issue of Stone, Root, and Bone. It’s coming out this weekend! You can still pre-order your copy from Hagstone Publishing for $5. If you already ordered one, I know I speak for everyone involved when I say THANK YOU for supporting independent Polytheistic writers and publishers.

    In other writing news, feedback is trickling in from my lovely beta readers! It’s so uplifting and encouraging to know that they are enjoying my manuscript. It’s a contemporary adult novel about Pagans with elements of magical realism and romance. They’ve given me some helpful considerations that I’ve taken to heart in my editing (and some revisions), but just knowing that they love the story keeps me going! Today, one of them sent me an email that made me so fuzzy!

    “I am loving the story and getting frustrated and anxious for things to resolve between [the characters]. The pace moves along quickly and I am enjoying it so far.”

    Yay! I hope to share it with all of you in the future!

Upcoming Short Story

I was so proud to be part of the inaugural issue of Stone, Root, and Bone. I’m thrilled to have the honor again for issue two! I’m humbled to once more join a community of talented authors and artists to create a powerful publication for polytheists. Based on what I see from Hagstone Publishing,  issue 2 promises to be just as gorgeous, inspiring, and informative!

img_0627

The gorgeous cover image of Stone, Root, and Bone issue 2 from Hagstone Publishing!

You can pre-order your electronic copy here for $5. To whet your appetite, here’s a tiny excerpt from my short story “Through the Brambles.” Find out what happens in issue 2!

7fd2c73b-6f16-4d4f-ad34-329c6128fd23

“I looked up from the tangle of thorns and yarn, convinced the forest swallowed my daughter whole. I couldn’t see her crouching in the snow. I couldn’t hear her galloping laughter.” – Excerpt from “Through the Brambles” by M. A. Phillips 

Today it was 1° Fahrenheit in my neck of the woods. The air hurt my face. While knowing that temperatures can and will dip lower didn’t make it any more comfortable, a delivery raised my spirits.

img_0620

Unboxing succulents! Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2020

A pagan acquaintance recently posted about her subscription through Succulent Studios. In an age where there are subscription boxes for everything under the sun, the concept of receiving baby plants intrigued me. I don’t need any more plastic, shirts, jewelry, or candy, but I always want plants. I think it’s my nostalgic longing for gardening that sets in each winter.

img_0622

A “blue burrito” succulent. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2020.

I didn’t subscribe until I read more. The company strives to be as earth-friendly as possible. They don’t use plastic in their packaging which is something I value. They grow their succulents organically, and the pots are biodegradable. All the same, I’m eager to find them new containers. Follow my Instagram to see where I ultimately place them!

img_0621

Elegant blue chalksticks. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2020.

I tried to be really hip and video my unboxing, but I was seriously awkward. My final take begins with a really inappropriate sounding sigh. Then my husband pointed out I filmed it vertically. I guess I live up to my blog title! Perhaps I’ll record next month’s arrival. I’m already excited to welcome more green friends to my home!

EDIT: If anyone is interested, I have a referral code from Succulent Studios. It’s good for $5 off a box. Code = HQduA8slwwB

Helping Australia

The news from Australia is heartbreaking. There’s only so much each of us can do, especially if you live in another country like me, but if you can, please contribute.

I donated to The Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie. I’ve seen them in the news a lot, and I sympathize with the work they’re doing. I’d rather my donation go right to people with boots on the ground in Australia.

On the spiritual front, if you’d like some ideas, The Druid’s Garden has some useful suggestions, including a beautiful hex sign. If money is tight for you, these are some helpful options.

 

Truly, the last ten years have been transformation for me, and 2019 was, overall, a grand end.

Newgrange1

The famous entrance stone in front of New Grange. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2011

 

I entered the decade a newly married woman with a new job, new apartment, and new community. I had to start from scratch making friends and learning the land. My Druidry grew, especially in the first five years. Before I had my daughter, I did some intense magical and meditative work. I created and acquired some of my most cherished tools. I had profound experiences with the land and spirits that pushed me onward. My husband and I even traveled to Ireland! It urged me to start a Druid study group and find kindred spirits. This ultimately resulted in Northern Rivers Grove! Connecting with others who wish to commune with the Kindreds and serve the land in a positive, safe environment has been such a blessing and sense of pride. As I continue to read about others who struggle(d) with toxic circles, I count myself lucky and intend to remain vigilant to protect my grove.  Though my official studies within ADF have stagnated since having my daughter, I’ve continued to grow on a personal level to serve my spiritual family by writing liturgies, performing rites, and practicing with divination. I rediscovered the value of simple but powerful folk magic and devotionals, and I placed the academics on the back burner for now.

Airmid_banner_photo_by_Annette_Banner_by_Grey

A Bealtaine ritual with Northern Rivers Grove, ADF. Photo by Grey Catsidhe

Becoming a mother was the most defining aspect of the 2010s. While it slowed my progress in magic and trance, it taught me patience, endurance, and perseverance I never knew I was capable of. My blog’s focus turned to Pagan parenting for a bit, and I continue to reflect and share on that topic with my readers.

Mushrooms in my Garden

Airmid (OoaK Fabric Art Doll) sewn by Grey Catsidhe. 2010

I began the decade with a flurry of sewing, and I had the pleasure of vending at small festivals and through Etsy. My husband was always a tireless support, even sitting with me at my stall. Once I had my daughter, my priorities shifted. My sewing slowed, but Brigid woke my love and drive for creative writing. I believe my Druidry nurtured this and gave me a natural outlet at rituals and within ADF as a whole. I shared work with my grove, published material in Oak Leaves, and took part in some #Prayeraday challenges!

img_5316

As 2019 comes to a close, I am full of gratitude for my growth as a writer. I attended a conference, joined a writing society, participated in #pitchwars and #pitmad, and even queried a few agents and publishers. Networking has been helpful. I haven’t felt so connected to other writers since college! I’m still tweaking my manuscript after some kind rejections, but I’m very proud of my work. Beta readers are giving me helpful suggestions and positive feedback which is encouraging. I don’t often talk about my geeky side on Ditzy Druid, but I’ve even written some highly reviewed fan fics! Finally, I’m incredibly proud to say I published a short story in the first issue of Stone, Root, and Bone magazine through Hagstone Publishing. 

StoneRootandBoneCover1

I intend to continue improving and achieving as a writer. My greatest focus remains creating stories about contemporary Pagans. 2020 and the coming decade promises more writing, and that includes my blog! I’m honored that you’ve joined me for some of my journey. Thank you.

img_6409

A full moon working in summer, 2019.

May the coming decade be full of growth, kindness, good stories, and time outside. Kindreds bless! Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh – Happy New Year!

(Oh my gods, I never even gushed about all my gardening!)

img_3366

A lovely little potato and pea harvest from 2016! Photo by Grey Catsidhe

If you haven’t finished season one of “The Mandalorian” on Disney+, fair warning: there will be some slight spoilers below.

***

If you’ve been watching the show, you’ve seen the amazing armorer who dwells in the enclave amidst maze-like sewers. We don’t know much about her, but the main protagonist of the show clearly respects her as a leader of sorts. Ever since she wielded her tools in episode one, the unidentified armorer hammered her way into my heart.

When fellow polytheists and Druids refer to Brigid, we most often think of her healing and bardic talents. We often link her to the fire of our hearth and ritual center. Yet in our modern world it’s easy to overlook her association with blacksmiths.

Intellectually, I’ve been aware of this side of her for years, but I’ve always struggled to connect with it, in part because I rarely see female blacksmiths. When I first sat down with my family to enjoy “The Mandalorian,” I was treated to the sight of a woman using her power and talent to create functional art to defend one of her warriors. My heart skipped a beat.

That’s Brigid, I thought. Not literally, of course, but she manifested in that form for me and, no doubt, other Pagans watching.

Fast forward to episode number eight and, my gods, what a masterpiece of a character! Like the goddess Brigid, the armorer is an artisan and keeper of traditions. She remains in the sewers collecting the armor of her fallen kin to preserve their ways. As Brigid would, she works to protect her clansman and the child he has taken in. Their creed demands the protection of children, and she gives the protagonist parting gifts to accomplish his duty as a guardian. Finally, even as she knows Storm Troopers will come after them, she remains at her forge as if meditating before an altar. When the Imperial soldiers arrive, she takes them down… with her tools!

I was floored and moved. This was a side of Brigid I had always sensed but never really saw outside of Ashley Bryner’s art. I’ve read bits about Brigid as a warrior, and I found that spirit in the armorer of “The Mandalorian.”

I now have a new cosplay goal.