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Package Received..

And I feel so spoiled!! ( shveta_thakrar , everything was SO beautiful and wonderful and perfect!  I am in the process of redecorating my entire writing room in a sort of India theme, and I cannot wait to curl up there and read the wonderful books and write in the beautiful journal! )  There were so many lovely things in the package that I hardly know where to start! There were three wonderful books.... one was a beautiful journal with inspirations on the pages.....
  

One on massage and the healing aspects of touch...

And a beautiful book of myths and legends.....



and a lovely beaded hook for a potted plant or garden, from which to hang something pretty....



like this....



There was this, which looks as if it will be delicious...



And this perfect tiny Buddha, half as big as my thumb!



This beautiful pendant....



And this lovely hand made card!



And, most wonderful of all, was an original story, written just for me!!





Shveta, everything was so lovely and perfect (especially the story!)  I cannot thank you enough! Best of all? I have found you as a new friend.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, and Namaste.




Swap Received!

I received the most wonderful swap from cloverdew on Friday!

Pictures to come, but I wanted to let the community know it had arrived, safe and sound, and it was perfect for me. The little battery operated fountain is just what I've been looking for to put in the reading/meditation nook I'm building in my office!

Gift Received

Thank you so much, suzanna_o for the lovely package you sent.  I can tell you chose things especially for me!  Included in the package were:

1.  Faery Tale: One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World 
2.  Shakespeare's Flowers 
3.  a package of Sleepy Time Tea
4.  four beeswax candles 
5.  BPAL perfume - Dolce Stil Nuovo
6.  a wooden folding fan



I've long heard about BPAL but have never taken the luxury to order any for myself, so now I feel like I'm part of the in-crowd!  The illustrations in the flower book are absolutely beautiful, and alongside each, it has a passage from Shakespeare in which that flower was mentioned.  Very, very cool.  I think I'm very much going to enjoy the Faery Tale book, as it's a nonfiction story about a woman looking for magic in the real world...I may well be on a less impressive but similar journey!

Thank you again for being my swap partner this month.  I hope you enjoy your package, even though it is somewhat smaller than what you sent to me.  I so appreciate your thoughtfulness and caring.


Nothing Like the Last Minute... ;-)

suzanna_o, your package is in the mail.  Unfortunately, I discovered when I got back in the car that the card (which was the thing I spent the most time on) was not in it.  Ugh!  I will put it in the mail tomorrow.  Happy September.

Shipped

I just wanted to let lenaperry know that her package is on the way.  It should get there early next week.  I hope you enjoy it!

dakotawitch, your package went out today. May it reach you this week with brightest blessings.

Shipped!

Hi morrigane!  I shipped your package out today!!  It should be to you in 4 business days.  I so hope you enjoy it!

Sep. 19th, 2011

A star-blessed message  for   shveta_thakrar......I mailed out your box today, and my incomparable  shipping guru (Phil) assures me it should arrive within about three days.

I really enjoyed choosing the items in the box, and I hope that you will enjoy them!

Hello! :)

Hi everybody! I'm Chris, and I'm new to the community. I was never a part of FullMoonSwaps, but I have hosted a swap in my LJ every Autumn for the past five years. So I'm excited.

Some of you may know me as the lady behind Sihaya Designs Jewelry, so those that I swap with have a high probability of getting wearable shinies in their packages. When I'm not in my studio, I am an ATS (tribal) bellydancer, and I perform with two troupes in and around Baltimore.

Love
My husband and I.


I am 27, married, bisexual, mommy to 3 furkitties (Nox, Mim, and Olive, who is disabled), feminist, a chocoholic, and a pagan. Spiritually speaking, I have been pagan since I was 16 in an eclectic sense. More recently, I have begun to work with faery energy, and I love most things having to do with the fey. The only thing I do not like is most faery statuary/ imagery, as Amy Brown/ Jessica Galbreth, etc are not really my style, although they do lovely work. I love the Frouds' take on faery, however. I also have a small altar to Bast in my home, as She looks after my fuzzy children.

Keeping Watch
Small, medium, and large, keeping watch.


I am a lover of Autumn and all of the rich colors that come with it. Halloween/Samhain is my favorite holiday, and a time of year I cannot be trusted with a credit card within 100 yards of a craft store. I am also a big fan of indie perfume and bath/body products. I'm an avid supporter of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, Villainess, Paintbox Soapworks, Arcana, Haus of Gloi, Morgana Cryptoria, Fyrinnae... to name a few. I am also a huuuuuuge fan of candles and witchy ephemera. Prims, signs, stationery, etc.

I love magical realism and fantasy, as well as non-alien-based SciFi. Practical Magic is my favorite movie, and I also loooove costume dramas and historical fiction.

The Soul of Mabon Necklace
What I do for a living. Best job ever.


I look forward to being a part of the group and gaining some new friends! If you need to contact me for any reason, my email is christina at sihayadesigns dot com, and I am sihayadesigns on twitter!

Intro: Dakotawitch

Hello, All, I'm Susan, or dakotawitch. I'm so glad to be here -- I was a member of full_moon_swaps and met some incredible people through that community. I've missed it greatly, and I'm glad to be here!

I'm never all that great at introducing myself in these forums, since my life is always in a stage of creation, and I've been through two substantial life reboots in the last five years. That said...

I'm a 36-year-old writer, diviner, professor, activist, and student. I'm currently living in the Dallas, TX area, where I've been for 18 years this month. I'm originally from the prairies of South Dakota, but moved here at 18 to attend college and never left. I teach Women's Studies and Anthropology on an adjunct basis, but I'm hoping to get a full time teaching job in the near future. I have an MA and  PhD in Cultural Anthropology, with a focus on gender, sexuality, and religion (my diss was on Paganism in Texas). I'm currently pursing a second MA in Women's Studies, and I love it. I am also a freelance writer on everything from Paganism to how-to articles and food. I have a small side business making soaps, incenses, and other great stuff. (I don't want to turn this into a commercial, but will send my Etsy link to anyone who wants it.)

I have been on a journey of self-discovery since 2007, when I finally left a domestic violence situation that had slowly been eroding my self-esteem and spirit for 12 years. I was participating in FMS at the time, and some of you saw that all go down :) I left my ex-husband on December 10, 2007 with only my cat and what would fit in my truck. I have never looked back. It was the hardest and best decision I ever made, and has taught me so much about myself.

I currently share my life with my partner of two years, Stephanie; 4 cats: Luna, Osiris, Juno, and Bunny; 2 guinea pigs: Parsnip and Mulberry (aka Snippy and Berry); and an extended network of friends that is the truest family I could ask for. My life is incredibly full of love, light, and blessings, something that I would not have believed possible that scary December day nearly 4 years ago.

Spiritually, I identify as a Feminist Witch. I practice a Craft that is grounded in feminist and ecological politics, ala Starhawk, but with my own touches. I practice in both all-women's and mixed gender groups, and have a group of friends I do ritual on the Wiccan Sabbats with. I am an avid Tarot reader and keep a divination blog. I am a labryinth walker and worker, and hope to go through training with Veriditas sometime in the next few years to become a facilitator. I am a dancer, mostly Nia and ecstatic trance movement, as well as a yoga practitioner. Movement is key to my practice. I have facilitated women's rituals of various kinds, though empowerment around survivorship issues and body acceptance are the big ones for me. I've been part of the Texas Pagan community for nearly 17 years.

When I'm not teaching and writing -- and sometimes as part of my teaching and writing -- I do community education on religious diversity, queer issues (especially issues facing queer youth), violence prevention, domestic and sexual violence, and diversity in education. I am involved in a number of social justice causes, and hope to either run a Women's Center or do diversity work alongside my teaching when I finally land a full-time job. One of my favorite things I've done in this vein is performing in 5 productions of The Vagina Monologues to benefit local charities over the last few years.

My hobbies include making soap and bath products; cooking (Steph and I keep a vegetarian/flexitarian cooking blog at Free Range Tofu; reading just about anything I can get my hands on (the public library is my favorite bookstore); knitting; learning to sew; doing yoga and dancing; going to live music shows (my tastes range from electronica to heavy metal to indie to feminist folk); and spending time with the people I love. I love to travel, though I've not had as much opportunity to do it the last few years; my most memorable trip thus far has been five weeks spent in Egypt and England in 1996.

I can also, as my late father would have said, talk the hind leg off of a cat....and so I think I'll wrap up there :)

Lorna's Introduction

Hello, all.  My name is Lorna, and I'm very excited to get back involved with gift swapping.  I was formerly a member of Full Moon Swaps, which is how I met Rachel.  I absolutely love giving gifts.  I love putting thought into what I believe the other person will truly appreciate, as well as putting a bit of myself into the gift when possible.  It's almost a tiny little temporary blending of two spirits.

Speaking of spirits and spirituality, I'm agnostic.  I am tempted by religion and spirituality, but I have yet to find a good fit.  I was raised in a typically American Christian way, which is to say that as long as you call yourself a "Christian" you get to wear the label, even if you are a horrible example of Christianity.  I am glad to say that in my adult life, I have finally met some good examples of Christians, which has made me realize that faith doesn't necessarily equate with hypocrisy.  

Geez, that sounded pretty pessimistic!  Basically, I love the idea of religion and the various paths, but I get all hung up on both the "diety" aspect and the life-after-death thing.  It's not that I don't believe in those things, just that I don't NOT believe in them either.  There are just so many paths out there, and I don't have the capacity to decide which one is "true."  Instead, I kind of choose to see everything as magical and as having worth.

Instead of religion, I suppose I rely on integrity.  I don't have a higher power to hold me accountable, so I try my best to do it myself.  I'm a very honest person but also very compassionate.  I care deeply for the feelings of others and try to cause as little pain as possible in the world.  I also attempt to hold myself to pretty high standards, although I admit to failing on a regular basis!  I tend to believe that I can do just about anything, but that doesn't mean I have to.

As for my life-life:  I am married to a man and have been for ten years.  We live in the very beautiful Pacific Northwest where every season is a full-on display of its potential.  I especially love spring with its promise of life, growth, and warmth, not to mention the preview of sunny days to come.  We have two daughters, aged 3 1/2 and 10 months.  Much to my surprise, I've become one of those women who is completely wrapped up in her children.  I was against the idea of co-sleeping, of attachment parenting, etc.. until my first child came along and pretty much demanded that we do things her way.  I often say that I was "attachment babied."



This is me with my sweet Dot.



Here I am on the same day with Lucy Pearl.

I work from home as a freelance writer.  Most of my work is not published under my name.  I write a lot of web content, including web sites, blog posts, articles, and e-books and e-courses.  I do a lot of other stuff, too, especially marketing materials like brochures, press releases, and newsletters.  I'm in the process of rebranding my business as Queen Bee Writing, with me in the role of Queen Bee.  :-)  The name is based on the fact that bees and bee-related things seem to appear when I'm on the right track in life.  (I call it "following the bees.")

I am a pretty avid crafter/DIYer (quilting, scrapbooking, cross stitch, etc.), although most of my crafting these days really appeals to the 3-year-old demographic.  One of my clients is a blog network for kids, and I post a lot of crafts there.  I haven't had the chance to do much sewing or scrapping in...well, about 3 1/2 years (go figure), but I just got my craft room set up in our new-ish house and am excited to get some use out of it.  I've been having a lot of fun designing and decorating rooms in the new house and am pretty proud of how things are turning out.  We moved in with a 2-week-old baby, so unpacking, decorating, and yard work all got put o a back burner until recently.  But, oh do I ever have some grand plans!

I tend to prefer consumable things rather than those that are going to sit around and collect dust.  I love books, however, and am looking forward to eventually having a small library in our home.  Other things I lam into:  crafting, stationery (I still write the occasional snail mail or thank-you note), Shakespeare-inspired art, mindful living, ecology, personal development, my kids...and whatever else people want to open my eyes to.

OK, we covered swapping, religion, work, family, and interests.  If anyone has any questions, you are absolutely encouraged to ask.  I'm really looking forward to getting to know the other folks in this group better and to feeling the joy that comes from giving and receiving.

Introduction

Hi!

My name is Roselyne.  I live in Québec, Canada and English is my second language.  My first one is French and it is part of my very identity.  However, do not hesitate to ask me to clarify something in English, I will not be insulted!  ;)

I am very happy to be part of this community!  I was looking forward to start swapping again.  All the introductions I have read tell me that this will be a great place to be.  :)

I am a 31 years-old neo-pagan.  I worship Life, the Universe and the Goddess.  I am intimately linked to the Morrigan, as she has chosen me 16 years ago.  I am currently following a program with the Fellowship of Isis as a path to priestesshood and am an active member of the Eleusis coven, following the Yggdrasil tradition, here in Québec.   

I am married to my soulmate, Denis, whom I love with all my heart.  We will become parents for the first time on December 31st, if the baby is on time.

I am a huge fantasy and sci-fi geek.  I love all TV shows: Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the rings, Dr.Who, Fringe, X-Files, Haven…  As for books, I mostly read fantasy, though. 

I am also becoming quite crafty.  I found it easier to connect with the Divine while I am creating, so I have tried a lot of medium.  My favorites are jewelry making (my prayer beads are quite nice!) and stained glass making. 

This is a picture of me and my perfect (for me) husband. 



Hello everyone, how wonderful it feels already to be part of this group! My name is Ruth (folkchick3) and I am excited to be here! I am a little late out of the starting gate on introducing myself, but better late than never? I have enjoyed reading the introduction posts of all the members. I am a dedicated Christian who tries very hard to follow the teachings of Christ, which in my understanding has a lot to do with “love thy neighbor” and nothing at all to do with judging other people. I believe that each person has the right to pursue their own spiritual path, and the last thing I would want to do is try to force my beliefs on another person. I believe that each path is as individual as the person that walks it. I was raised in the Christian church by Lutheran missionary parents who taught me to respect the beliefs of others, and have a very open minded and ecumenical background as a result. I also practice yoga, meditate, and am fascinated by the many facets of Buddhism. I have many wonderful pagan friends who have enriched my experience and brought many wonderful gifts of friendship into my life. I have been married to my husband Jon (a computer guru/singer/musician) for nearly nine years now, and am Mom to a rescued Cocker Spaniel and Stepmother to two boys (17 and 14) who live with their biological mother. While I dabble in creative pursuits from painting to hat making, my primary focus is storytelling, and I use the processes of singing and writing to accomplish that goal. I sing  with a choir at my church and in a contemporary trio, as well as with an old time gospel band, and am half of an acapella  duo performing old time American, folk and  celtic music . I am in the beginning of a year long journey of the colors based on the “Temple of the Twelve” books by Esmerelda Little Flame, and believe that creativity, at its heart, is a spiritual experience. I work for a large non-profit organization running programs for youth, children and families, and between jobs, writing and singing I am working on a Bachelors degree focusing on education, program administration and Grant writing. I’m also already counting down the days to National Novel Writing Month in November! I have a great appreciation for Asian art, Buddhist iconography, the art and cultural aesthetic of India, and Celtic music, myth and legend. I am a professional storyteller and former Renaissance Festival brat, and music and writing are my passion and my journey. I love to live my life immersed in texture (colors, sights, sounds, experiences) and enjoy seeking the magical in the mundane. 
 


Introductions!

Hi, I'm Katie (or Katharine or Kate, depending on what situation I meet you in). I am a new first-time mother and an artist/musician/writer. My son Gareth (almost 4 months old!) is currently napping so I don't know how coherent this post will be or how short or long. It all depends on him. A brief bio: I am from upstate NY, got my BA in history and married my college boyfriend, moved cross-country with him to Long Beach CA and got my MFA in Costume Design, worked as a theatrical designer for one year after graduating and got burnt out from averaging only $5 an hour when you divided my pay by my time. We both missed being so far from our family and wanted to start having kids so are back in upstate NY but want to end up in New England by the next three-five years. I currently am working a full-time admin/receptionist job for a great company while my husband is staying at home and trying to make our various art and writing pay. He may have to get a part-time evening job come October but we'll see.

Here is the pic I've been using for my bio for the past few years.





I am a very spiritual person but hesitate to put a label on anything I do. I am a former Catholic, born and raised, but through constant questioning (something I do as a Virgo) and a few incidences that left a sour taste in my mouth, and through being a history major and studying some of the atrocious things most religions have done through the years in the name of God, I grew away from group worship of any kind. There are times I miss it, but I feel that I have to find my own truths about the universe and what created it. And that's what religion comes down for to me: I believe that SOMETHING created the universe, whether that be one being, a group of beings from another plane of existence, or just some unexplainable force of the cosmos I can't say for sure and I am okay with that. I also believe that ALL religions worship this one source of creation and that there is no right or wrong religion UNLESS your religion believes itself to be the only right one and persecutes people who are different. So I worship creation, and I feel the closest I come to the divine is when I myself am creating, whether that be music or art or sewing or cooking awesome meals and desserts. I am also interested in finding "Truth" with a capital "T", or at least my version of it. I am determined to constantly be separating the wheat from the chaff internally and hold myself to extremely high standards.

I am a magpie when it comes to my spiritual practice. I have gone through Cameron's "The Artist's Way" and try to do morning pages every day that I have the energy to get up 30 minutes early to do so. I also love Deena Metzger's writing and am working my way (VERY SLOWLY) through "Writing for Your Life". I am interested in trying the Temple of Twelve eventually (when I can afford the cost of the books and the time to invest) because of my love of color. I like to use tarot cards, have a few special crystals and seashells, occasionally am visited in my dreams and meditations by different spirit cats as guides (my last visitation was the tiger mid-pregnancy), and I practice yoga, Pilates, and belly dancing at home. I love most kinds of music, played jazz flute and sang in undergrad and hope to get back into it, and I love textural, tactile, or shiny things. I am a foodie (and beer and wine snob). I adore vintage clothes and accessories. I try to surround myself with beauty to make up for the ugliness in the world.

When I will take part in exchanges, I put together packages mixing homemade items and appropriate things that I have that seem determined to move on and spread joy and beauty elsewhere. When and if I have the money, I try to buy local or support other independent artists.

I'm very excited to be a part of this group!

Edit: I suppose I should list some interests to make things easier: dancing, flutes, jazz, vintage, costumes, fairies, fantasy, drawing, writing, knitting/crocheting, sewing
Favorite element - water
Favorite season - autumn
Scents - prefer sweet, floral, or food scents - most patchouli-based scents smells like moldy moss on me so I tend to avoid them
Colors - all of them!
Favorite animal - love them all, but I have a special affinity towards cats spiritually
Favorite barnyard animal - sheep
Favorite material - silk or velvet
Also, I have psoriasis that I constantly fight to keep from breaking out and make most of my own bath products as I have a bad chemical allergy, most specifically to formaldehyde (in a LOT of bath products as DMDM hydantoin or dyalindizol urea) so if you DO ever want to send me some kind of lotion or perfume or soaps, please try to keep it to non-chemical-y ones.

Introductions: AerialMelodies

Hello there~ I am admittedly long-winded, so bear with me...

My name is Shel and I've done a couple swaps before, though only one of a deeper spiritual nature. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and getting to know you all as well as learning a bit about myself through others. I feel there is a lot we can learn from other people and online exchanges are no different to me. Some of my closest friends started as a spark on LJ, so I hope we won't be strangers on this journey. :)

Ohio 2011
I thought my photo should reflect the me that is, well, me!


In terms of my spirituality, it's shifted many times in the last decade, though my mom's stories make it appear as though I'd been questioning the Typical Southern Family idea that Christianity is it and there's this man we call God who knows when we're born, where we'll die, and if we'll go on to a good - or bad - afterlife. As a kid, I didn't understand the Middle East wars knowing full well at a very young age that Allah and Yahweh were the same "person." Same for the tragic Ireland/North Ireland bombings. Later I began to be the bane of my youth group, questioning why everyone drew this God as a bearded old man or why evolution could not have happened. Nothing made sense to me. Every time we were asked to draw our idea of God, I turned in a blank sheet of paper. My reasoning was not that I didn't know what to do, but that this concept of "God" was something intangible. This "God" was a warmth, a light, something that moved within me but wasn't defined by pages in a book. If no two humans are alike, how could God have made us in his image? My childhood mind had weird ideas of a person with way too many faces to count. ;) This isn't to say I felt it was a bad religion by any means - I simply couldn't wrap my head around it in a way that made sense to me in a motivational way. I still attend my mom's church from time to time even, though the symbols of the church don't hold as much meaning to me anymore. What I do love are the hymns and I spent countless hours learning to play them on the piano.

I kept the Christian faith until college even though I was teetering away from it slowly. By college I didn't want to identify myself as one box - particularly when said box included the religious crazies who yelled out that we were all fornicators in the quad! - and I found myself in limbo. I wasn't atheist or agnostic, but I didn't know what I was at all so I would simply use those two boxes as my go-to if anyone pestered me enough. Then I discovered I could simply be. My ideas tend to blend Buddhism and Paganism, though I've never truly studied either. I love being out in nature, watching the stars and wondering what lies beyond, the salty air whipping around me on a whale-watching tour, or feeling the dirt beneath my feet (as a former OMG SHOES person, I'm now a "Why do I have to wear shoes?!" gal). There's something special and unique about those experiences that help ground me and talk me back to the earth. I have a collection of stones that mean the world to me; some come along with me everywhere I go while others stay behind and keep the home energy positive. I'm not an extremely active tarot reader, though from time to time I'll pose a question to get insight. I feel very quiet spirituality in that I keep it more to myself, but that is in part due to my still discovering it. I've been in group rituals before and love the energy they put out into the circle and I've had one on one meditations as well. It's in those moments that I learn more about what I can do for myself, what works and what doesn't, and where my spiritual journey is taking me. I do not maintain a specific sacred space, though I do tend to keep everything gathered in one place for safe keeping.

Aside from the "standard" spiritual things, I also find being artistic to be a big spiritual release for me. There's a passion that goes into my art that can't be found in stones or hikes or a swim in the ocean. It's something that I can create and control, and it makes me feel connected to myself which is just as important to me as connecting myself to the world around me. Sewing, jewelry making, paper crafting... they are my way of expressing who I am and finding my way through life. Every time a new piece comes off my sewing machine, I feel as though I just grew myself. I also paint and draw, though not as much as I should, and am active in photography and graphic design as well. If it's artistic, I'm on it! No Michael's is safe with me in it. I'm just saying. :D

I do believe in the power of the group even if that group doesn't believe in the same things. I do not attend a church, but I loved the sense of community it held when I used to go. Seeing people face to face and just talking really brought about a growth within me, even if that growth led me away from what the main group was. While I know we can't all meet face to face - though I never rule that out as an avid traveler! - I hope to find a safe place with this community to nurture one another and show support no matter what you believe in or what faith you uphold. I'm very excited to be here and eager to participate in discussions and swaps.

Swap NotesCollapse )

Introduction

I'm Michelle. I'm a 38 year-old stay at home mom to Kaia, who is a 6 year-old unschooler. Our household also includes my husband David, who is 46 and a postal carrier (yay for swaps!), my 21 year-old college-going stepson Cayden, and 3 cats (Rita, Chey and Terrapin). Cayden's twin sister Amanda does not live with us, she splits time between the dorms and their mom's place.

We're vegans (except for the cats), and we're urban homesteaders with an organic garden and mini-orchard. We live in Sacramento, California, in a really nice pocket of well-loved 1950's tract homes on the south side of town. I love cooking, baking, confectionery, canning, and gardening - I'm very definitely a kitchen witch.

I very much resonate with the Reclaiming tradition and Starhawk's older work. I've been a practitioner for 22 years now, and while my roots are very much Wiccan, I'm really more of a semi-agnostic neo-pagan witch. My personal belief is that the divine is too vast for me to wrap my mind around, so I treat my spiritual practice as a largely symbolic act.

I'm also a lover of fantasy and speculative fiction, my favorite writers are Jim Butcher, Tanya Huff, Tamora Pierce, Mercedes Lackey, Kelley Armstrong, JD Robb (I've been known to read some Nora Roberts, too), Steven Brust and Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant. I play table-top, live action and forum based role-playing games whenever I can (as a matter of fact, I used to game with Seanan McGuire before she became far too busy for such things).

I haven't done many swaps, though the ones I've done seem to have gone well. When it's cool enough, I love to make and ship homemade candy and other edibles. I also do a little bit of fiber arts - spinning, felting and crocheting (I bend a little on the veganism to use wool sometimes).

My favorite color is green. I love cats, bees, ladybugs, and dragonflies, as well as gryphons, dragons, mermaids and fairies. I'm allergic to most perfumes (BPAL included, much to my dismay, though I've never had a problem with anything made by Lush) and to walnuts. I love candles, beads and crafty stuff.