It’s already shaping up to be a busy end to a busy week. The dizzy spells I’ve been experiencing over the past few weeks finally came together with all the other symptoms of an ear infection. This makes me seriously wonder if I haven’t just been dealing with some kind of stubborn infection that’s lasted for *a year* with intermittent flare ups. I initially ruled out that possibility because I wasn’t sick – no fever, no aches, no head pain, no ear pain – but everything hit me quite suddenly on Wednesday night. No fever, but all the rest was there. I’m going to make an appointment with my doctor and see if we can figure out a solution. This dizziness has been a really serious problem that I’ve been ignoring since I had no idea how to fix it or even other symptoms that I could point to. Getting sick ironically helps. All the same, I’m not looking forward to seeking treatment. I just want it to go away so I can go back to my regular chronic illness routine.
This week has also seek a lot of prayer and chanting. A lot of time has been spent introspecting and simply feeling. This can be a challenge. I find the outward “doing” of my practice generally easier (though for several reasons the daily doings have slipped in regularity). Sitting and just being with the impact of that practice can be a lot harder. All the same, I seem to have found a nice rhythm with my prayer beads. Though japamala is a long-established part of my practice, non-mantra prayer bead use is rather newer and has a history of not being wildly successful. This time around I might have it figured out, though; that’s really nice. I’m liking this new development.
Speaking of prayer beads, I found a cache of vintage beaded jewelry yesterday that I brought home to be repurposed into prayer beads. There are some softly faceted glass beads, some foil-lined beads, loads of beautiful glass round beads, and a long string of what looks to me like some kind of unfinished coral beads but I’m not entirely positive. I’m used to coral beads being violently red or pink for having been dyed that way and they’re generally quite smooth. These have a slightly rough, variable texture and a more natural color distribution. Today I’m going to a bead shop to look for a few necessary supplies and I’ll bring a few of these mystery beads with me. Whatever they are, they’ve already made a lovely string of sea-inspired pocket prayer beads and I look forward to creating at least one additional string from the remaining beads.
This week I also finished the magnetic scarf “pins” I’ve been working on for a while. Some of you reading might remember the dust up(s) that happened when a number of pagans and polytheists spoke openly about their choice to head cover for religious and/or personal reasons. The negative reactions that resulted were painful to watch; on the one hand I want to believe that we as pagans have more respect for the personal lives of others but on the other we have as much baggage regarding the policing of (primarily) women’s bodies and choices as anyone else in our culture. Maybe it’s because I was raised in a religion that both produces clothing items specifically for members’ own use and re-deploys mass produced items in a way that reflects their values and identity; the idea of religiously motivated clothing choices is simply nothing new or even all that noteworthy to me. In fact, when it comes to expressing personal values, spiritual aspirations, religious affiliation, and so forth, clothing is one of the most frequently-used tools of all.
Saying I supported those who chose to veil for religious reasons seemed rather pointless, like I was providing only the bare minimum standard of human decency and then being asked for congratulations. I wanted to do something else but wasn’t sure what or how. Then a friend clued me into magnetic “pins”, little decorative veil accessories that fasten cloth without poking holes in the fabric. I looked at lots of pictures and thought, “I could do that!”. So I did.
These are strong 1cm magnets topped with shiny glass drops. I chose them with the idea that they could be discrete or decorative as the wearer wished. I found a supplier that has many more eye-catching elements that I’d love to buy but first these have to sell. I’m selling them in groups of three pair (six magnets all together), two matching and one contrasting. Since these magnets stick to metal hair clips and other hair accessories, I’ve included a snapping clip to let wearers instantly experiment with different looks. And since I know that a number of pagans-who-veil appreciate the dampening of psychic energies that veils help achieve, I decided to use glass drops since glass tends to deflect and fragment unwanted energies.
I have eight sets listed in the shop; click the link at the top of the page or click the picture above to see the listings. Let me know too if there’s a particular style of magnetic pin you’d like me to help you create; I’m always happy to discuss custom orders.
OK, now for weekend errands. Guess I better get moving; those groceries aren’t going to buy themselves and chronic illness cat needs her morning medicine (tuna flavored!).