September proved to be a busy and creative time. I completed the remaining ritual tools, worked with the Cups suit in my tarot deck, and continued to perform my daily rituals.
Last month, I grew bored with going over the Major Arcana over and over again. I felt like I had gleaned what I could of their wisdom for awhile. Feeling a little burnt out, I turned my attention to the Minor Arcana, starting with the Pentacles suit. Over the course of August and September, I went through the Pentacles and the Cups twice each. It was fun to include the nuanced, detail-oriented Minor Arcana in my daily Tarot Contemplation.
I also finally completed my tools this month. My Rainbow Wand turned out so beautifully, with the stripes of gold between each division of color, that I used the same technique on my Fire Wand. Both the Tablet of Union and my Fire Wand turned out to be trickier than expected. It took me three separate attempts to create a Tablet of Union I actually liked. My first two versions weren’t very big, but when I began to clear coat the Tablet, the ink would feather and make an ugly, muddy mess. Eventually, I bought a bigger piece of wood, but once I started measuring out each block and creating each letter, I discovered that my brushes were inadequate. I got very lucky to walk into an Aaron Brothers on a whim where they were having a sale on art supplies, including a buy-one-get-two-free on their open stock paint brushes. The cashier also unexpectedly bestowed a $10 off coupon that made the purchase of new brushes extremely affordable.
My Fire Wand needed the most work. Finding a finial I could work with was difficult, but modifying it (cutting, sanding, etc.) proved to be even more troublesome. I had to paint over the tip several times when I made mistakes. It took many, many layers of paint to get the rich red and bright yellow I was looking for – but in less than an hour, I was able to paint the Hebrew and sigils required. There are many, many layers of glossy clear coat on it as well.
I may eventually touch up my other tools, or re-do them altogether, but for now, they are more than satisfactory.
I continue to perform my daily rituals and record them in my Ritual Diary: The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, The Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram, The Middle Pillar Ritual, The Circulation of the Body of Light, and the Tarot Contemplation. I have abandoned my dream diary because I found that it was actually interfering with my dreams to the point where I was either no longer dreaming, or I was completely forgetting them.
A word about the Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram. It’s been making me uncomfortable for some time, and I finally just had to acknowledge that I dislike it for a few reasons. I’ve been considering how I might alter the ritual to accommodate my particular religious identity, but I’m stuck. I’ll just say it plainly; while intellectually I know that the symbol of the cross predates Christianity, and that the story of Isis and Osiris is a couple of thousand years older than Christianity, the language of this ritual is strongly Christian. Or rather, the language of this ritual has been co-opted to such a degree by Christianity that it is next to impossible for me to separate what I know intellectually to be true from how the words make me feel. Phrases like, “The Light of the Cross,” and, “Sol (sun (or son?)), Osiris, slain and risen,” just make me cringe inside. If I can’t find a way to adequately tailor this ritual for a Pagan-centered religious practice, I will abandon it at the end of the year.
With my tool preparation completed, I can now focus on catching up on my reading. I was able to complete chapter six before the end of the month, so I have four chapters to read before the end of October. I must also prepare to perform the consecration rituals for all my tools. With Samhain approaching, it may be a long weekend spent dedicated to rituals of purification and consecration.