If you follow my craft blog, you have probably already seen the post announcing the addition of three new sets of prayer beads to my Etsy shop. (If not, here’s the link.) I made these strings of prayer beads because my mind returned once again to the idea of prayer beads specifically for Loki.
I’ve used mala for a long time; in fact, my mala beads are among my very favorite tools, right up there with my staff. I was probably 16 or 17 when I first started using them and before that I kept track of rounds on my fingers. Earlier this year I had a little breakthrough in mantra practice where I got – really *got* – that mantras are powerful, transformative tools that really do have a spiritual/energetic impact on the self and the world.
So while the idea of prayer beads for Loki isn’t all that new in my world, I’ve tried making my own beads before and I’ve tried adopting self-styled mantra practices and simply haven’t found them very effective. I made a string of glass prayer beads for Hela seven or eight years ago and developed a series of prayers for their use but they never quite clicked. Looking back, I realize that the beads were really too heavy for such a practice and there was a tactile quality that didn’t work for me. Perhaps they were too slippery or just a smidge too small. I had used a traditional string of 108 sandalwood beads for almost a decade and was quite attached to those, even after they were tossed in a fire as a sacrifice. (To this day I still miss those beads. I’m terrible at sacrifice, apparently.) Maybe my hand missed those. Maybe there was other problems.
Add to this the fact that until fairly recently I didn’t pray to Loki. Even now it’s a pretty infrequent thing and pretty informal when it does happen. There’s an astral temple I use for contemplation and a sort of formal communion but that’s not exactly praying either. But nonetheless, as several little pieces of my spiritual life have moved into a new alignment, it’s a project I want to try again. These initial strings are practice, in a way. I wanted to know if I really could make the kind of beads I imagined using.
I’ve selected some beads and pretty soon I’ll start making them. I have a few different ideas in my head. The sort of prayer bead work I do seems well-suited to She!Loki so I might create a set specifically with Her in mind. Maybe I’ll make a set for each of them.
If you checked out the Etsy listings you might have noticed I made a small set for Hel. That was unexpected. Though this set isn’t formally dedicated to Her, that She had any input in the creation of these beads was a little surprising. She and I are still figuring our shit out. It’s hard – or maybe it’s just me that’s having the trouble. I thought about keeping this little set for myself. I like how small they are and how perfectly suited they are for tossing in a pocket or using while traveling. Nonetheless, I put them up for sale. I’ll revisit the design to make a set for myself at some point, probably quite soon.
I’m also fairly busy with writing at the moment. My editors have lots of work for us right now so I’m absolutely swamped with work The extra money I earn this month will be set aside for Many Gods West (oh yeah, and medical bills, blech); with any luck, Etsy-related money will go towards helping some other presenters and attendees travel, too (yay, helping others! My favorite!). I haven’t touched my presentation in a week so I’ll be getting back to that pretty soon. This week I’m also hammering out the basics of my submission for PantheaCon 2016. Woohoo – wish me luck!
And finally, I’ve been working on a wee little project that I haven’t talked about here yet – and still won’t. 😉 It’ll be done soon and I’m super excited to share it with everyone.