Encouragement for when you’re in the Caterpillar phase of the growth cycle

Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and your perceptions. People are allowed to change and grow and shift. Sometimes you don’t realise you’ve been a Caterpillar waiting to become a Butterfly until something comes along and shakes you out of certain views of yourself or the world. Remember, the Caterpillar has to turn into a goopy mess in the chrysalis before it can emerge in its new form. If the old way of things is breaking down now it’s part of a natural process. Try to accept this gooey, sticky, messy stage. One day you’ll gain your wings.


© Michelle Thereze, Enchant The Ordinary, September 2021

You know you’re a Pagan / Polytheist when… (part 3)

You know you’re a Pagan/Polytheist when… you see a music video and geek out because one of the singers plays a version of Anubis and he actually weighs a heart against the Feather of Truth on a mini set of scales. Haha.

Screenshot from Queen in 5 Min by VoicePlay

Video: Queen in 5 Min by Acapella group VoicePlay – https://youtu.be/krcU5xmlzqA


You know you’re a Pagan/ Polytheist when… Part 1, Part 2 (previously named Those Moments When…). Somewhat appropriately I’m resurrecting the theme for a post related to Anubis.

Michelle Thereze, Enchant The Ordinary, August 2021

Things that can affect your Connection with Deities & the Spirit Realms

There are many things that can affect our Connection to Deities and the Spirit World. Our ability to have a clear enough Channel to Communicate with Them or sense Their Presence depends on a number of factors. Health, mental wellbeing, life events or even issues of self-belief can all play a part.

In this post I’m going to briefly outline some different things that can affect your Connection. The list is by no means complete and is based mainly on my own experiences, so there are things I’ll have missed or not referred to. Your own experience(s) may be different but I wanted to put this out for anyone who’s curious, or for anyone struggling with their ability to Connect. I hope it gives food for thought, and maybe it will help you to identify some factors you’ve wondered about or haven’t been aware of.

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Starting to write again + redefining Community

I haven’t stopped writing but I haven’t put up nearly as much Pagan/Polytheist/Devotional content as I would have liked to these last 4+ years; especially for the last 2. Things that happened to me needed time to heal, and that included my relationship with the online world, particularly with being more open about my beliefs and Practice again. Little by little, despite further health setbacks, I have felt my Devotional, Writer and Creative selves returning and reawakening.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve started writing down ideas for posts, and I’ve found brain-dumping them by theme is a big help. The last couple of years, especially, I had created so much of a mental block on sharing my words with others that I held back almost everything. But now things are shifting, and although I still have anxiety come up about writing on certain subjects I feel like I need to be ‘here’ on ETO again.

After Connecting in with Loki and Sigyn recently I got the following thought/message in my mind: “I need to find ways to start Serving my Deities and my Community again.” Writing is one of the ways I can do that. Another is through Art, and I’m slowly working on a project or four behind the scenes.

Deities have called to my heart from a very young age, I just didn’t have the awareness of Paganism, Polytheism and the like to recognise it until I was in my adult years. After all the inner work and soul searching I’ve had to do the last 4+ years I feel like I’m finally getting to a place inside where I can begin my Work with/for Them in earnest.

I’m finally beginning to understand that it’s okay for me to be Me, and that’s what my Deities need from me… all the weird and wonderful, light and dark, deep, passionate and Mystic parts of me that drive me to Create; whether it’s through words, art, crafts, Devotion, offerings, or any number of other things. We’re not all meant to be the same, but sometimes you can find others who are similar in thought and values who help you find your own way through. That’s a big part of what I want to do here.

I forgot that you don’t have to belong to a specific tradition or belief system to find and nurture a sense of Community. I forgot that Community can be based on shared values. So I’m back writing again, and health- and concentration permitting I hope to create at least two ‘proper’ posts a month. I’m starting off small to try and avoid placing too much pressure on myself. I have lots of ideas, I just need to wade through the brainfog to get them onto paper and then the blog.

For all of you who have stuck with me the last 4+ years through blog renames and changes, all the cringey posts I put up when trauma was re-triggered (mostly deleted now!), and the periods of almost complete radio silence… thank you. Thank you for being the wonderful, amazing, supportive and Creative people you are.

x


You can also keep up to date with Enchant The Ordinary on Facebook:
https://facebook.com/EnchantTheOrdinary/

And on Instagram (still working out how best to create my social media presence on there): https://www.instagram.com/enchanttheordinary/

Shared – “Tor i Helheim live at abandoned military camp” by Myrkur

A beautiful live rendition of Myrkur’s song Tor I Helheim (Thor in Helheim) is up on her YouTube channel now. I thought I’d share the link in case anyone else would like to listen to it. It’s a folk-type song with kulning at the beginning and a lovely cello and violin accompaniment as the song progresses. Well worth taking a look if you like folk music or anything Scandinavian and olde worlde. It’s one of my favourites from the Folkesange album.

Digital art – Penguins, Puffins, self-care & a devotional doodle

I was on the lookout for an alternative to Photoshop that had the pen tool, and by chance I saw an Instagram story by an artist I follow (check out Annetteprs – Goddess artist). In it she mentioned she’d heard good things about software called Affinity, so I looked it up and was amazed by the price. When I bought it in April it was half price at £23.99 and it’s a one-off purchase, not a subscription.

After procrastinating, because learning a new setup and tools is daunting, I started playing around with Affinity Designer and I’m starting to get more used to it. I’m still learning about various functions and tools but I’m slowly getting there. Although I haven’t been well enough to create anything for about a month now I thought I’d share a few bits I’ve already finished.

Testing out graphics, changing colours of graphics, and the text tool

Puffin 💗 Testing out vector shapes, the pen tool, node tool, and layering methods.

Penguin 🐧 More practice with vector shapes, the pen tool, node tool, and layering methods.

A bit of fun. Testing paint brushes, gradients and the stabiliser feature for freehand drawing with my mouse.

Also, on a side note, if you’re interested in digital art you can get some free background and graphics packs from Design Cuts when you sign up for their newsletter. One of them is where I got the elements for the flowery pic. I also got some cool brushes for free that I used in the last pic. I currently have my eye on some brush and font packs – if you buy multiple items at once you can get up to 50% off.

Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with any of the companies, products or creators mentioned. I just like to share things I come across that may help or inspire others.


All images ©️ Michelle Thereze, Enchant The Ordinary, July 2021

When the Cards keep repeating themselves – Why Tarot and Oracle Cards keep reappearing

Anyone who pulls Tarot and Oracle Cards regularly will notice when certain Cards keep cropping up. They’re often Messengers, telling you that you still have a certain lesson to learn, something you still need to deal with or work on, or that you’re in a particular part of a greater Cycle. If you’re not heeding their advice they’ll keep cropping up in a Reading to remind you, “Hey, remember…”

Although in larger Readings it may take a bit longer to see the pattern it can be incredibly apparent with one-Card Readings, especially if they’re daily draws. You may also notice it if the same Card pops up for weekly or monthly Readings. Pay particular attention to them. They’re telling you of similar themes or energies at work.

It may be that you’re engaged in a larger cycle or process and the Cards are letting you know this so you can do the work required, or to just be aware that certain things may need to be dealt with or scaled back right now. These things could be: emotions, thought patterns or behaviours you need to work through; lessons you’re not taking on board; things you’re ignoring or not paying attention to; actions you need to take consistently… or maybe actions you still haven’t taken; people or situations in your life that need working on, setting Boundaries with, letting go of or addressing; cycles of inner or personal growth; cycles of rest and recuperation.

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Preserving Norwegian Stave Churches – review of free online course

I’ve finished Future Learn’s free online ‘course’ on Preserving Norwegian Stave Churches so I’m sharing my thoughts on it in case anyone else would be interested.

(Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with anyone associated with this course or Future Learn)

Firstly, it really is free. All you have to do is sign up for a Future Learn account and away you go. The course itself is two weeks but is already set up so you can go at your own pace. You have access to it for one month in total. The course was developed by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage.

Topics covered in the course are:

  • The definition of a Stave Church
  • Different types of Stave Churches
  • Challenges in preserving Stave Churches
  • Examples of restoring Stave Churches

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World Penguin Day 2021

Happy World Penguin Day! As some of you may know, I love Penguins; they’re my Soul Animal.

2020 and 2021 (so far) have been difficult for a lot of people the world over. Penguins are hardy survivalists and show that we can make it through even the most testing of times. Keep taking one step at a time, just like Penguin, and you’ll make it to where you want to be eventually.

Although they can be regal and poised, Penguins are also quite comical to watch waddling and tobogganing around. They remind us to take the time to do things that make us feel better, to do something we enjoy, and to let our Inner Child out to play once in a while.

Emperor Penguin 💗🐧


© Michelle Thereze, Enchant The Ordinary, April 2021

Tips for Creativity when you have a chronic illness

When you have a chronic illness or health condition it can sometimes be difficult to find the energy, brain power or focus to Create. Especially when you’re struggling it can really help to lift your mood if you can do something that involves a bit of Creativity.

In the last year I’ve had two viral infections on top of the M.E. and fibromyalgia. They brought along a whole host of complications, along with increasing fatigue and severely reduced concentration. It got to the point where all I could really do was rest. Everything else had to fall to the side as my body tried to recover.

In March, three months after the second infection, I finally started feeling like I wanted to Create again. Creativity is like lifeblood to me, and this urge returning felt like I – Michelle – was starting to wake up again. But I had no desk and no space to do anything in the box room I’m currently in, and I needed to keep my bed clear to rest. This led me to think outside the box a bit, and to the tips I’m sharing with you today:

1) If possible have a dedicated area for Creative work – you may have to even get creative in how you use space for this. If you’re bed-based this could be a lap tray, a leaf that folds down from the wall, or a hospital-style table that can be moved closer. If you’re able to, and have the room, use a desk or table where you know you will often have the space available to Create. If you’re tight for space try a desk that will fit over boxes or another smaller piece of furniture, use a drop-leaf table, have one that folds into the wall when not in use, use a pop-up ‘tv dinner’ table. At the very least make sure you have an area that’s clutter-free that you can go to, even if it’s at a work desk, kitchen table, breakfast bar or coffee table.

It may not look much, but finding a desk to fit over my boxes meant I actually had a space to set up my computer and to start Creative pursuits again.

2) Have your supplies somewhere they’re easy to reach, get to and get out of – Nothing’s worse than having the urge to Create but your supplies are too out of reach or require using up all your precious energy just to get them out of the cupboard or boxes they’re stored away in. Where possible have them easily accessible. This could mean having them a lot closer to you, especially if you’re bed-based or can only use a particular room. Put supplies in a basket you can leave out, or put them in a cupboard or area that’s close to where you’ll be working. Make sure things aren’t too high up or behind or underneath too much other stuff; make them as easy and stress-free to get to as possible.

This basket contains all of my acrylic paints, brushes, metallic leaf supplies, canvas boards and painting shirt.

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