"Beauty is like an ingredient we all have. You have yours, I have mine, in different measures according to what’s treasured in our society, or what eyes are seeing us. No one else can carry your beauty. Society turns against us if we use it to our advantage, we are cunning or deceitful. Its just an asset, like any other. Assets are meant to be taken advantage of, no?
If you don’t believe that you are beautiful, I ask you how can you trust your impression of yourself? You are unable to see yourself entirely at once. You can see parts, you can see pieces in a mirror, you can see photos. How can you trust your flawed description of yourself as “not beautiful” when you can’t even look thoroughly? How can you correctly define yourself as “not beautiful” when your definition of beauty came from modeling agents, or the media, or your crush who only liked athletic blonds?
Let’s widen our definition of Beauty, shall we? Let’s define it for ourselves. Let’s divorce it from its cruel spouse: Perfection."
Lokean Swamp Witch: Trickster-Induced Mysticism and Mayhem
Diary of a Lokean mystic.
Lokean nun, writer, swamp witch. Heather is a Pagan monastic, writer, editor, and mother. She has written and edited for a variety of publications and social media, including science journals, romance novels, and technology blogs. She also holds degrees in education and speech-language pathology, and has a passion for historical linguistics.
Hello all, I know I'm supposed to be NaNo-ing, and I'll be getting back to that shortly, but I wanted to talk to y'all a moment about food insufficiency. My local UU is reaching out and starting a long term community project dedicated to urban homesteading via sustainable ag.
Humorous cartoon aside, I'd like to talk to you about why the Kwanmasyulemakkah creep is not my thing. Thanksgiving is a time to think about what you have in abundance, and about how you can help those who don't have as much. Every where I look in the media, i see hating on poor people - they're lazy, they're unmotivated, they want a free ride blah blah blah. This is so much bullshit. I've been poor, y'all, arguably perhaps by choice, but I remember well the year after I was raped. I was afraid to go home. I refused to participate in family rituals like Thanksgiving or Christmas because my parents wanted to know what was wrong with me, and I couldn't tell them. All I could picture was them telling me, "you invited him into your apartment, Heather? What did you think was going to happen?" Yes, I was a screwed up kid, and to my parents' credit, that is not how the conversation actually went when I finally told them what happened years later, after my child was born. I think zie was two when I finally did tell about the rape.
But the year that the rape happened, I didn't tell anyone at all, and I didn't go home, and I didn't ask for money if I needed it. I paid rent and rolled pennies for ramen noodles, and I walked to a food pantry and sometimes peanut butter and carrots was my dinner. I didn't have a child yet, and so the choice of pay rent or buy food was a pretty clear cut one - pay rent and then eat what I could scrounge up. I can't say that I exactly remember what ended that period in my life, but I do remember that my grandparents figured out what was going on and started visiting me in the rather rough neighborhood where I lived and brought me food, and somehow or another Grandpa talked me into coming home to visit after I got pregnant....
It's October, which is a special month for Himself and me, and the artwork featured in this post is commission is a gift for Him for a personal festival. The artist is Tab Cole, and her deviantArt is here: http://www.ladysaishan.deviantart.com/gallery/ if you'd like to see more of her work.
In other news (?) there seems to be yet another godspouse controversy, which has generated posts here and there. I'm not sorry to say that I've been engaged in other activities and don't know what started people ranting. As someone who gets asked a lot about godspousery, I'll say this:
Relationships can and will vary, even if you're married to the same Deity as someone else. Most spouses do some kind of Work for their Beloveds, but Work is still (usually) secondary to the relationship, and most of the important stuff happens off camera. People don't see most of what happens between Loki and me, and we're not unusual in that respect. Common sense moment: you don't see most of my other relationships, or much of them either. Y'all don't know my best friend's real name. Or what I gave my mother for her birthday. It's the Internet. I share what I think is important, and I keep to myself what I think is too personal to share....
Covering and modest/plain dressing can be an act of subversive feminism. Hear me out, because I'm sure some people's knee jerk reaction to this is gonna be "I didn't come this far to get sl*t shamed and told to cover up." I'm a feminist myself and I'm not a fan of sl*t shaming either; people that do that can f right off as far as I'm concerned. So for me, the right to veil or engage in modest dressing has nothing to do with the body being impure, or other such puritanical BS; it has everything to do with a person's prerogative to show as much or as little of their body as they want. I'm using "they" here because men can be feminists too, and I know a gentleman who is participating in veiling as a protest against laws restricting a woman's right to cover.
The Second Annual Covered In Light Dayis tomorrow, Friday, September 20th. I personally cover for ritual, but tomorrow I'll cover all day in support of those who choose veil and dress modestly, because bodily autonomy is a feminist principle, and because I am the sole arbiter of how much or how little of my body you see, no matter where or when.
If you'd like to join in, but you aren't sure where to start, here's a video on tying a tichel-style veil, which is how I usually veil when I'm covering....
I’m talking today with Damon Leff, the director of SAPRA and International Coordinator of Touchstone Advocacy, a group that fights against witch-hunts in Africa. The Facebook Witch Burning pages mentioned in the linked articles originated in Africa, where many accused of witchcraft die brutal, horrifying deaths by stoning and burning.
HF: Recently Witches and Pagans and the Wild Hunt featured articles on Facebook pages that advocated witch hunting. In many western countries, Pagans face harassment for their beliefs, but their lives are (usually) not endangered. How does this differ in African countries? Are there other countries where Pagans’ lives are threatened for their beliefs or practices?
DL: In South Africa and other African countries generally, accusations of witchcraft and violent witch-hunts are an almost daily occurrence. The victims of accusation are however not actual or real Witches at all, and none of the victims have ever self-identified as Pagan or pagan. The victims of accusation and human rights abuses who survive have never self-identified as Witches. This holds true for every country in Africa....
I have been quiet here lately because I've had local work going on, and I've been doing self-work as well. Shadow work is interesting, and mine has dug up something that I kind of knew, but I didn't realize just how much one particular word has run my life: lazy. There's a lot of emphasis in spiritwork on, well, work. I'm not here to criticise anyone else's Work, mind you, this is me considering myself and my inner workings. But lazy can and has run my life. I have three advanced degrees. I got them while parenting a child who needed considerable medical therapy. I founded my own indie publishing house before I was 30 years old. I edited for a prestigious science journal by the age of 36. I pursued marathoning. Despite being a Gen Xer, I realize that I can't really use the word slacker in a self-description.
These are all fine and good achievements, and I am glad of the knowledge and skills that I gained in pursuit of them, but I also stayed at them, the jobs particularly, because I feared being lazy. Especially my own company. I grew to hate publishing because I never got to write. When the company went under, I blamed myself for not getting more involved in the financial end, even though I HATED it, and the initial business agreement was that I would not work in that side because I was already writing, editing, doing layout and author recruitment, with promo as necessary. I can't imagine how much more I would have hated my job if I'd added on financial work as well. I would have burnt myself out even more, for fear of being lazy.
"Giving my talents and energy to something that does not serve me well at best robs me of time, and at worst can put my soul in peril. I can lose myself, and what good am I if I am not myself?" -- Star Foster, Happiness and the Muse
After it went under, I stopped writing for a while. I contracted the lung disease that I still deal with today. The Muse was around, and He kept nudging at me until Commander Evil Bitch succeeded in getting me interested in a project again. It's taken me a long time to even consider writing a book again in a serious way. I'd start things and then stop writing because I didn't want to deal with publishing. It is not lost on me that previous behavior that allowed me to avoid my fear of laziness has now made me lazy in pursuing the thing that I actually love to do, and do well....
I’ve been quiet this month, but I’ve had a lot of offline goings ons – I am teaching regularly at the Raven Faerie, and I have a class Saturday, August 31st from 10-12 on making your own rune set. We also have a psychic fair coming up on September 7th as well. Do ALL the physical work! during Pop’s month is not a huge surprise to me, given that the Vanir are about hard work leading to prosperity. The other pleasant surprise I got was that Mom came around – Gerda.
I have strong feelings about Gerda and Her lessons – she’s an Etin Woman among the Vanir, a stern Queen, and a keeper of healthy boundaries. She’s not a cuddly Mother, but She is fiercely protective of those She loves. I have more in common with Her than just Pop, and having an opportunity to reconnect with Her is a delight, like finding a long-lost relative. Truth be told, when I picked my nom de pagan, I considered the notion of using Heather Gerdasdottir, because not many use their mother's name for the surname *cough* Laufeyson *cough* and because I adore Her. Pop as a surname won out because He has pointed out, rightly, that I do much better with Disir ancestor work than I do with my Alfar.
And I know some find the courtship of Freyr and Gerda problematic, especially in light of Freyr’s general characterization – He Who has never made a woman cry goes and curses a woman into marrying Him? What? It goes against both our notions of Them as Deities – the notion of subjugating Gerda amuses me; if you meet Her, She is not a shy, pliant maiden. Maria Kvilhaug of Freyja, Lady of Labyrinth has a fascinating take on this in her essay on Freyr and Gerda:...
The "Witches must die by fire" Facebook group has returned from its temporary removal. I had a thoughtful reader named Morey, who runs social activism groups on the site, suggested reporting the page to Interpol instead of Facebook, in the hopes of holding them to a higher authority. You can report the page to Interpol here: http://www.interpol.int/Forms/Contact_INTERPOL
If you decide to go the Interpol route, include a screenshot (I have one in this blog post) along with the link (https://www.facebook.com/WitchcraftTheBattleLinesHaveBeenDrawn) and the page's title. Talk about the real-world violence against witches - a quick Google search of "witches and Africa" yields stories like this: http://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/family-of-witch-hacked-to-death-1.1296038#.UhJ3p5LVBrs - this page is not a troll or a parody, this is someone inciting people to violence, death, and mutilation. If you need a sample letter, feel free to borrow or amend mine:
Dear Sir or Madam,...
Very few things in social media get me too terribly worked up, but today I encountered and reported a Facebook page titled, "Witches must die by fire." The fact that an anti-Pagan site on FB exists doesn't surprise me, though how overt that hate is took me aback. What disturbs me more is that Pagans who have reported are getting an answer of "there is no evidence of hate speech."
How can a page that spreads slander, misinformation and exhorts violence against Pagans not be termed hate speech? If this were any other faith, would this even be vaguely acceptable? If you subbed in Jews or Muslims, would this be allowed. I would hope not, but given this, I am kind of afraid to ask, actually.
Today's post is begat by some "never trust your godphone, it takes years to develop" type posts floating around on the interwebs. I'm not picking on anyone in particular because I can't even tell you which one I saw, just that it annoyed me into telling a friend that I felt like that attitude is demeaning and that telling someone to disbelieve all their UPG is to undermine their trust and relationship in the Divine. I also expressed to said friend that I felt like saying that was a losing battle, because so many people drink that kool-aid right from the start. Hel, Idrank that kool-aid initially, y'all.
I was rewarded with a dream of Spirit Worker school where everyone was handed out adult diapers. "Put 'em on, you're gonna need 'em."
I was gonna kick off my month for Pop with a more general post on how awesome He is, but I came across this on the blogosphere, and I wanted to quote it, because the blog it's from is about health at any size.
"When I started out, I felt like I should post every comment that wasn’t just overt spam. I believed that it was somehow cowardly to not post hater comments. I have since changed my mind – I work hard to put out good information on this blog and develop a readership and I don’t have to hand that forum over to a hater to prove anything. People are allowed to behave like idiots but I’m under no obligation to give them a place to do so."
I talk a lot about the self-work I do with Loki, but Pop is the flip side of that work - Loki does a lot for my mental health, but Pop is all about me taking care of, and taking pride in my physical body, and in showing me how my attitudes toward the physical affect the spiritual. When I did my shadow work (ha ha like that's EVER done) on my body, the kind of words I came up about were things like, "polluted. defiled. weak. debased. dirty."...
I'm writing today about Pagan monasticism, for a couple of reasons, one being that a colleague in my study group asked about how you can tell whether you’re called to clergy as a monastic, particularly as opposed to being a priest or priestess. The other reason I'm writing about it is because many Pagans are not aware that monasticism is a vocation in our faith, and certainly even fewer people outside Paganism.
“While in common usage the terms "nun" and "Sister" are often used interchangeably (the same title of "Sister" for the individual member of both forms), they are considered different ways of life, with a "nun" being a religious woman who lives a contemplative and cloistered life of meditation and prayer for the salvation of others, while a "Religious Sister", in religious institutes like Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity, lives an active vocation of both prayer and service, often to the needy, sick, poor, and uneducated.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nun
I can’t find the same sort of reference for the difference between “priest” and “monk,” although I suspect it’s somewhat similar. It’s been a long time since I formally studied Catholic doctrine. However, I’d also say that in Paganism, the lines are a bit fuzzier in terms of monasticism. If we were using the strict Catholic definitions, I’m somewhere between a nun and a Sister – I have a large amount of most of my days dedicated to contemplative study, prayer, and meditation, but I also do a lot of community work online and in person. This is why I have “free-range nun” listed as my occupation. It’s sort of tongue-in-cheek, but it’s accurate.
In regards to partners, celibacy and monastic practice – celibacy can be a choice or it can be asked for by a deity. For the record, I don’t consider myself celibate, and Loki has said to me that if I desire a mortal partner or physical affection, all I have to do is ask and He’ll arrange someone appropriate for us. I think that if I were not demisexual and monogamous, He would be a-okay with me having a mortal partner, but this is not really of interest to me right now. All that said, Loki is not a God of many prohibitions. I know some people define or conflate monasticism with asceticism, but in my experience, it’s not about having things or not having things, but about removing what you don’t need to be attached to any longer, which is also a Lokean value in general....
“Flame consumes my sorrow Reborn I am as art The jewel of selfhood blazes In my crowned and conquering heart.”
- Sharon Knight & T. Thorn Coyle, “Alchemy,” Songs for the Strengthening Sun
“You got to understand the god thing. It’s not magic. It’s about being you, but the you that people believe in. It’s about being the concentrated, magnified, essence of you. It’s about becoming thunder, or the power of a running horse, or wisdom. You take all the belief and become bigger, cooler, more than human. You crystallize.” Neil Gaiman, American Gods
Self is undoubtedly one of the more problematic topics for Him to ask me to write about, because in reality, I am more reserved than y’all think. “You’re easy to know, but not easy to know well,” He has said to me more than once. I had mixed feelings about writing about myself during a devotional month for Him, but this is what He wants – more than words or gestures, Loki wants me to know myself and be that, without shame or fear, and that kind of nakedness is the hardest thing for me to do, let alone to share publicly.
And to be a little more naked, I would much rather be writing mushy poetry, actually. I’m far more comfortable talking about Loki than I am talking about me, particularly if it’s emotional – things I’ve done are done, I guess, and so they’re less troublesome to share. So He’s been having me do shadow work, and that’s yielded interesting things. I revisited an exercise from Evolutionary Witchcraft on self, and it was about stripping down to your barest self, peeling off each layer like a mask. Coyle’s book doesn’t say it as explicitly as Dark Side of the Light Chasers does, but in essence, it allows you to realize that you are or can be your greatest good or your greatest evil, and that you can choose which face you want, pick it up, and put it down. It’s a tool, nothing more and nothing less. It’s been something to grok, because like many of you gentle readers, I was raised in plucky American individualism, so acknowledging that you’re not so different from someone you despise, that had you been raised in their environment that you could be them is both more and less unnerving than I thought it would be....
"The point of Pride is our recognition of our own self-worth and the ability to live fully without reservation, allowing our true nature to shine outward while not giving in to the ego's temptation to compare ourselves to others. It is complete innocence, living fully and unabashedly in the moment." -Storm Faerywolf, on the Iron Pentacle
"Pride emerges when our will is engaged and we stand upright in our truth. We are often misinformed about what pride is. What is called “pride” in our culture is often merely arrogance, or what I call 'false pride.' Arrogance has its flip side in self-depreciation, which is just another face of the arrogant posture." - T. Thorn Coyle, Evolutionary Witchcraft
In today’s edition of Let’s Use the Iron Pentacle to Unpack What Binds You, I proudly (ha!) present: pride. It’s a loaded word, and often used unkindly against others. For my own unpacking purposes, I’ll talk about pride in my accomplishments, because ideally, we should be proud of them, no matter what they are, and saying, “Hey I’m proud that I accomplished this thing,” shouldn’t immediately cause someone else to infer, “I did this, you didn’t, neener neener.”
I’m proud of my college degrees. I paid for them myself, no one paid my way through school, and I got my degrees while pregnant and then a new-mother. I had my child in my junior year of college. I left zir bio dad two weeks before zie was born, and I raised zir alone. I did my baccalaureate, post-bacc and graduate work as a single parent of a special needs child. I didn’t remarry until my child was eight years old, guys. My family didn’t help me out financially in terms of finances, but they did help me with childcare, and I acknowledge that their ability to do that is certainly a privilege, just like having the degrees themselves. During some of that time period, I worked full time and took my child to five sessions of therapy a week for zir’s early childhood intervention, and today you would hardly guess zie ever needed that kind of treatment. I am proud that I was able to give my child that privilege. Also during that time frame when I was teaching, I used to attend my students’ sports games, ran a writing critique circle, and wrote at least 500 words a day. I envy the energetic thing that I used to be. :-P On days when I write multiple things, y’all can see a glimpse of what I used to be like, and I can tell y’all that low spoon days are much harder for me to take than I let on, which is why I often distract myself with Supernatural marathons and crochet. I’m sure it’s some cognitive leftover of my Miss Jr Achiever Personality (I graduated high school as a sophomore in college) and protestant work ethic cultural baggage. It has been an adjustment to take my self-worth and pride away from work and academic achievement and transform it into an understanding that even if I had not accomplished these things that I’m so proud of, that I would still be worthy of Loki’s love and attention, and that even now, when I’m sick, and especially when I’m too ill to do much other than sit on the couch and watch SPN reruns and crochet, that I’m still worthy of Loki’s love and care. Truly understanding and believing this notion is a struggle for me sometimes....
"In our culture, sex is tricky. It is glorified in strange and twisted ways, yet simultaneously swept under the rug." - T. Thorn Coyle, Evolutionary Witchcraft
Today I want to talk about sex, because I don't think I've ever done so on this blog. Sex, particularly of the godsexy variety is both taboo and commonplace in mystic circles - you can have it, you can talk about it from behind closed doors, but in public, the reaction is mixed from tolerated to frowned on to outright hostility, particularly if the sex is talked about in any kind of detail or is something other than het or vanilla. Sometimes people explain it as an energetic exchange, which I've always found curious in that I always think, "what do you guys think sex with a fellow human is?" And then there's the mythos of interested in sex= fangirl, which I also despise, because I find it to be borderline sl*t shaming.
You guys have no idea how many of the deeper mystery lessons that I've written about in my blog that were delivered during or right after sex (hint: all of them). This does not mean that all Loki and I do is have sex, but I also feel like it's disingenuous sometimes to not talk about sex with Him, because we do workings together regularly. I also probably share less of that stuff because of the circumstances of how it's delivered. I'm not immune to sex-shaming, either.
The other thing about having sex with Himself, like many other facets of Divine relationships is that some things I would define as sex are sometimes very human-esque and some are very different, much like the term "spouse" - it's kind of the same, and kind of different. The interesting thing He said to me once, when I was mulling over why some sex looks human (is that how we learn best? at least some of us?) was, "You don't really think we're imitating you when We have sex, right? You learned that from Us, not the other way around."...
Or, why UPG is personal, and why no one else's gnosis should get in the way of your relationship with Himself.
Loki is many things - charismatic, cunning, ruthless, loyal, loving. When I was a newer Lokean (yanno, still had the new car smell!), I used to worry that the sweet Husband that I had was somehow a false Loki or a sockpuppet or whatever godphone error. Over time, I've come to realize that it's not that someone else is wrong about Loki being harsh to them, or that I'm wrong in understanding His relationship with me, it's just that I'm not living with their Loki, and they're not living with mine. I suppose some of my feelings on Him are colored by perspective - it's not as if I've never been asked to do something hard - I left my mortal spouse, uprooted my child, lost a fair amount of zie's childhood pictures and keepsakes, many of which I'll never be able to replace, but the reason why He asked it of me was of Nyd, and still done out of love, so I can't truly be angry with Him or feel it unjust.
"Comparisons are odious," Elizabeth V once said to me, and she was right, though I'd take that a step further even, and say that comparisons are useless if they don't help you understand your relationship with Him. (And if Loki's not your Deity, feel free to sub Whoever's name in there, because He's by no means the only multifaceted Holy One.) There are times when UPG that differs from yours can be instructive and interesting, even if you don't experience it personally, but some is just useless. For example, I've seen people who swear that they have UPG of Himself being EEEEVIL or of the Aesir despising Him. Guess what? that UPG? USELESS to me, because it's not how I experience any of Them. I'm sure they'd find mine equally Not Helpful....
Fun fact about me: I have a degree in speech-language pathology, and my concentration was in clinical phonology with a heavy emphasis on linguistics. I love studying the sound systems of a language and how sounds are tied to meaning. Today I happened across Forvo, a linguistic site that specializes in using native speakers to demonstrate how to pronounce words. It is single words and not sentences, but it's still helpful in developing an ear for nonnative speakers.
Of course, Forvo has a list of Norse mythology terms and many other languages as well. I hope that resources such as this will help preserve and protect against linguistic extinction. Every language has its own way of expressing a view of the world, and the language we speak undoubtedly shapes the way we think about everything in the inner and outer world. As Pagans we are explorers of other worlds, and so preservation of language is as precious as any other resource.
For those of you unfamiliar, July has become a festival month of sorts for Loki. Sirius, the dog star, is known as Lokabrenna - Loki's torch or brand. Late July/August is when Sirius rises, and so many of us celebrate Himself in the dog days of summer.
Today I'm making Him this:
It's not quite mead, but here in Florida, I have concerns about the heat messing up the fermentation process. We don't have basements, our ground isn't dirt so much as it is beach sand, so there's not really a dig down and find cool dirt to store things in. In Florida if you dig too deep you hit water. Seriously, I have white sand beneath my grass in my yard - it's the same stuff as the beach. Anyway, a local pal found an apiary right in our zip code, with fresh orange blossom honey, so I got a few pounds of it and we're experimenting. I'm in the cook down process right now, and it smells heavenly, and Loki's very excited....
I feel less chatty at the beginning of this Month for Loki than I planned or pictured. A month for my Beloved is fun, right? Write ALL the things for Loki! Whee!
Yes and no. When Loki first appeared as Himself, He made it clear to me that He wanted ALL of me, not just the bits that I thought were good enough for public consumption. And He’s also always wanted me to be a public wife. “You are not to be hidden,” He’s said, and He’s not kidding. Any time I’ve been tempted to say f*ck it and hide, He’s shoved me right back out there, to talk about Him, but also to talk about myself, which I dislike....
Greetings, gentle readers. July is known as a month for Loki, because in the dog days of summer, Lokabrenna (Loki's Torch) rises. For those of you unfamiliar, Lokabrenna is another name for Sirius. Himself is active this time of year, and many Lokeans honor Him this month by posting poems, recipes, or other devotional works. I'm starting my month with a recipe for Him - a meal of hearts.
Loki's lore includes the eating of hearts. Here in the modern US, we don't do a lot of cooking with organ meats, but for seidhr I experimented with cooking chicken hearts, because it was what I could get my hands on locally. I offered Loki some, and He was positively FERAL and overjoyed to get them, because it is such a rare treat. So I'm gonna encourage y'all to try offering Him hearts, and since people usually don't know how to cook organ meats (I had to play Hail Lady Google), I will offer my own experience. I started with this recipe, because it involved grilling the hearts, and if you're familiar with Gullveig in the sagas. you know that He found her heart smoldering in embers and ate it, and barbecue is the closest that I can offer to that experience right now. If I ever get my lungs to a state where I can go camping and not have to worry about campfire smoke messing with them, I'd like to attempt cooking a larger heart for Him the way you do a baked potato, cooked straight on the coals, rubbed with butter and herbs, wrapped in tinfoil.
I did a very Florida marinate for the hearts, with white wine, fresh garlic, ginger, a little mojo, key lime juice, salt, and pepper. I let them soak overnight and then sauteed them for 5-7 min, just long enough to cook them a little and then put them on the grill. As the recipe notes, if you use wood skewers for this, soak them or they will burn while the hearts are cooking. If you don’t have access to a grill, you could cook them all the way through and then put them under the broiler to give them some char. I have a friend who suggests that you cut the tops of the hearts off, but it’s my experience with Himself that He loves the WHOLE THING. NOMNOMNOM. I gather the hearts are more tender if you cut off the top with the aorta and veins. I only ate one to share the experience with Him, because I’m not personally big into organ meats, but He LOVED it, and I think He appreciated the gesture of me trying something that He loves. I'm also a big believer in kitchen witching - the time, love, and intention that goes into preparing meals and offerings is valuable and magical, and can be used to weave intention through mindful work.