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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

The right thingamajig for the job

Pagan stuff you didn't think was Pagan.


So does my tool fetish
really qualify as a fetish?

Making technology sing


Tool fetish

Organizing my books


Practical thingamabobs

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C1325529963/E20091015080006
Cross posted at www.teknopagan.com/files/TPY-Thingamabobs091015.html

Pagan stuff you didn't think was Pagan.

Sometimes I think that Crow and Magpie split all the franchises on Pagan shops. There's all the bright shiny things. And the soft silky things. And the exotic strange things. And all the rest that hints at Mysterious Lore Only Revealed to the True Seeker. It's romantic, it's unusual, it's meant to catch our attention and our credit cards.

Today I want to tell you about some useful items that aren't necessarily "Pagan" but that I've found useful.

Once I volunteered to help run a Sunship Earth program. That's when I learned about "hard tools." Hard tool is another name for a Sierra cup, one of those massively useful implements that you'll soon wonder how you did without. Forget finding a "portable cauldron," a good Sierra cup is almost made to order for small scale spellcasting. Just make sure you get at least two, one for "working" and one for you to eat and drink from.

"Soft tools" are another legacy of my experience with Sunship Earth . It's another name for a bandanna. I buy them by the dozen in my favorite colors (I love sweatbands in turquoise) from Trader's International. I give a lot away because I do get unusual colors. Besides wiping up sweat and small spills, in a pinch a bandanna can cover a small unconsecrated work area. And it lets you protect the expensive cloths and weavings.

Many Pagan shop sites have mortar & pestle sets, especially if they sell herbs. I have three, one in laboratory ceramic for salts and minerals, one in marble for organics, and one in stainless steel for consumables. The one in stainless steel is food grade and lives in my kitchen away from the other two. If you haven't found a science supply place, try American Science & Surplus, their prices are great. There's Edmund Scientifics, known to generations of American junior high and high school science students and garage tinkerers, but their prices are higher.

A Leatherman, a Swiss army knife, or a good multitool is an absolute must. It's never the "perfect" tool, but it can substitute for many other tools to get the job done quickly. Some people bless theirs and use it an an athamé, I prefer to keep my ritual tools separate.

Muslin tea bags are incredibly useful for small charms and potpourri. I get mine from a tea speciality place in North Carolina.

Cotton and silk thread can be found almost anywhere that sells sewing supplies. The silk is more expensive, but certainly worth it for some spells. Whatever you do, avoid polyester. it doesn't hold a "zap" as well and it smells terrible when burned.

For more substantial needs, go for the satin cord. It's one of the few things I buy from Azure Green. While the cord also comes in 1 yard lengths, I find it's useful to keep a larger spool on hand, at least at home. It's also useful for amulets and pendents. I used to use leather cord for that, but human sweat is mildly salty and acidic. The combination eats the heck out of leather, especially if it's worn daily. I still keep my grandfather's key on leather, but these days the only thing I use leather cord for is wrapping handles on my staves. Leather and satin both hold a "zap" about equally I've found. I have a homemade tool from satin cord to quickly mark circles, from the end of each end loop it is six and a half feet. There are additional loops to mark one and a half, two and a half, three and a half, four and a half, and five feet.

Parachute cord is cheap and rivals duct tape for sheer usefulness. The best and strongest grade, 550 lb test, is only available in limited colors. You won't be swinging off any buildings with this stuff, but it's great for tying things securely, wrapping tool handles, and at least a hundred and eleven other things. Some people keep about fifteen feet or so woven into a bracelet so it's always handy. I've seen the more wild colors and patterns used as shoelaces and walking stick handles. I've had no luck in getting paracord to hold a "zap" for more than a few hours at best.

I use parchment paper and a little sealing wax for packets of herbs and incense I throw in the fire. I prefer to use parchment stationary cut to size and folded into a packet, but cooking parchment will work in a pinch (and is cheaper too). Commercial candle wax has additives and beeswax burns much too hot. Sealing wax has a lower melting temperature. Some people will tell you that you need a signet, but I've found a little spit and a thumbprint works just as well. Plus, you always know where your thumb is.

For someone who's been known to trip over the edge of sunlight and shadow, small glass bottles aren't always the best idea. Recently I've found these plastic test tubes. These actually are two liter soda bottle blanks before they are heated and vacuum molded to full size. Very durable and waterproof, the test tubes work for keeping supplies sorted as well as sample collecting. My mother wants to use them when she collects wildflower seeds. The neighborhood kids absconded with about 3/4's of my first shipment (I was in a good mood that day). And um, truth to tell, these are the closest practical equivalent I've found to the cylinder things on a certain famous utility belt.

Sometimes you need to poke something without touching it and without discharging the "zap." Wood toothpicks work, but if you really want to get the job done, try bamboo skewers. You can probably find them in your local grocery store

I don't smoke, but a lighter is extremely handy. Of course you can get a cheapo Bic from thousands of stores, but you might think about the classic Zippo. It won't blow out in wind, and it stays lit if you set it down. That's handy when you're sealing the end of your paracord, among other things.

Finally, don't overlook the simple pad of paper and a pencil. Very few things work better to sketch, write, and plan. I prefer graph paper myself, but that's me. Just get something where it's okay to make a mistake and scratch stuff out. Leave the fancy papers and the custom BOS for the final version, after you're tested it.

Posted: Thu - October 15, 2009 at 08:00 AM


Added to the lexicon

I can't tell if this young lady is wistful or bored.



Great link for calculating the times of the sabbats


Any suggestions?

A not so smart technical advance


Measure that!

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C1325529963/E20100928130052

Cool way to measure tablespoons, teaspoons, and ounces.

One site I follow regularly is Cool Tools. I'd call it a must for a technopagan or someone with a tool obsession. Like me on both counts.

So last week I was reading about this Mini Measure Shot Glass. I wasn't driving into Flagstaff, but I knew someone who was and I asked her to pick me up two (one for the kitchen and one for the sanctum) . They cost all of $3.50 each in Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

This is one of the best commercial alternatives I've seen to measuring spoons. My hands aren't quite as steady as I would like them to be sometimes.

Posted: Tue - September 28, 2010 at 01:00 PM


Scrying with the Dark Moon

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C1325529963/E20060627034440

One of my (suitably edited) Dark Moon rites

The Dark Moon is one of my favorite times for reflection.

I'm not particularly gifted in augury, but some methods work to find a meditation focus or settling exercise.

When I can, usually two or three times a year, I like to do a more formal ritual.

I know that the tools aren't strictly necessary, but I find it reassuring to use them when I can.

I start at twilight, when the sun has slipped below the horizon and there is a deep violet at the edge of the horizon. That is when I start cleaning the ritual space. Can't use a circle in this one.

By the time full dark has set in, I am ready. I have a small candle on a small stand at about eye level at about chest height.

My scrying bowl is black with a slightly reflective interior. It sits beside me at first. I put the dry ingredients in a mortar, moon blessed sea salt, cinnamon, a few other things. I grind it into a very small powder. Not much. When the dry has been thoroughly crushed, I put the mortar and pestle down and take up the scyring bowl. Very carefully I hold it up to the stars, letting their light fill it. Then I close my eyes and pour the light into my face.

Very carefully I take a small amount of oil on my finger and draw a quick sign in the bottom of the bowl. I sprinkle the dry ingredients over the sign. Then I breathe on the sign.

Then I light the candle.

Holding the bowl in my lap, I very slowly add water. I crouch over it and look through the candle reflection in the water.

Of course, this description is incomplete. But you can see where it is going.

Posted: Tue - June 27, 2006 at 04:44 AM


NeoNotes — IQ is culture dependent

If the winter solstice is the middle of winter and the summer solstice is the middle of summer, the vernal equinox is the middle of spring and the autumnal equinox is the middle of fall.


Magick in the modern world

When someone starts talking about THE truth, it's to exclude the thoughts and ideas they find uncomfortable.

Really real pagan

I have this mythical construct in my head of a bonfire with people I would like to hang out with, and maybe discuss matters large and small.

Knot truth

Going beyond the 101 and even beyond the tradition


Micro spell kit

I got an email asking why I didn't include Pagan music. Long story short, I think we need to look for connections beyond things that are just "Pagan" or Pagan related. There is meaning and life all around us, we do not need to shut ourselves off from it just because it didn't come from an approved source.


Lightning and ritual

Paganism should spread through experience and art, not theology. The theology comes later, if it comes.

Today's wonders

How many groups really are about the gods and the magick?


Sometimes you just have to make it work.

Long, involved, but some good points


Sunfell Tech Mage Rede Nine Words Serve The Tech Mage Best Keep What Works Fix What’s Broke Ditch The Rest

A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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