*shyly whispers* do u think u could do another Greek Mythology story~
“Your tapestries are so
fine,” the merchant says in wonder, “that you must be blessed by the goddess
Arachne tosses her
head, braided hair falling over her shoulder like an obsidian waterfall,
“What’s Athena got to do with it? My hands wove these, not hers.”
The merchant blanches
and looks to the sky, as if expecting Zeus himself to smite them for blasphemy.
Personally, she thinks the king of the gods has better thing to do with his
time. “Ah,” he says weakly, “I suppose.”
He pays her for her
wares and she leaves, almost immediately bumping into a hunched old woman with
grey eyes. “Do you not owe Athena thanks for your talent?” she croaks, gnarled
hands curled over a cane.
Arachne is not stupid,
but she is foolish. They will tell tales of it. She looks into those grey eyes
and declares, “Athena should thank me,
since my talents earn her so much praise.”
She pushes past her and
keeps walking, ignoring the goddess in humans skin as she disappears into the
They will tell tales of
her hubris. They will all be true.
The next day she bumps
into the same old woman at the market. Everything goes downhill from there.
“Know your place,
mortal,” Athena says, grey eyes narrowed. There is a crowd around them, and
Arachne could save herself, could walk away unscathed, and all she has to do is
say her weaving is inferior to that of a goddess.
She will not lie.
“I do,” she says
coolly, “and in this matter, it is above you.”
She is not honest as a
virtue, but as a vice.
Athena challengers her
to a weaving contest. She accepts.
Gods are not so hard to
find, if you know where to look.
“It’s a volcano,” the
baker repeats, looking down at her coins, as if he feels guilty for taking
money from someone who’s clearly not all there.
She grabs her bag of
sweet breads and adds it to her pack before swinging it over her shoulders,
“Yes, I know. Half a day’s walk, you said?”
“A volcano,” he insists, as if she did not hear him perfectly well the
first dozen times.
“Thank you for your
help,” she says. He’s shaking his head at her, but she knows what she’s doing.
She walks. She grows
hungry, but does not touch the bread she paid for, and walks some more. The
sun’s begun to set by the time she makes it to the base of the volcano. It’s
tall, impossibly large, and for a moment the promise of defeat threatens to
But Arachne does not
believe in defeat, in loss. They will tell tales of her hubris. Those tales
will be true.
She ties a scarf around
her braids then hikes her skirt up and ties the material so it falls only to
her thighs. She fits work roughened hands into the divots of cooled magma and
begins her slow ascent.
The muscles in her legs
and arms shake, and her hunger pains are almost as distracting. Her once white
dress is dirt smeared and torn and sweat makes her itch as it covers her body
and drips down her back.
“What are you doing?”
Arachne turns her head
and bites back a scream, looking into one giant eye. The cyclops holds easily
to the volcano’s edges, even though her hands are torn and bleeding. She
swallows and says, “I heard you like honeyed bread. Is it true?”
The creature tilts his
head to the side, baring his long fanged teeth at her. She thinks he might be
smiling. “You’ve been climbing for hours. What do you want?”
“Is it true?” she
repeats, refusing to flinch.
“Yes,” he says, looking
at her the same way the baker had, “it’s true.”
“There’s some sweet
bread in my pack, baked this morning,” she says, “it should still be soft.”
His hands are big
enough and strong enough that it could probably squeeze her head like a grape. Instead
he gently undoes her pack and reaches inside. The honey buns look comically
small in his large hands, and he swallows half of them in one bite. He licks
his fingers clean when he’s done, and his smile is just as terrifying the
second time around. “I am Brontes. Why are you climbing my master’s volcano?”
“I’m the weaver
Arachne,” she takes a deep breath, “I need your master’s help.”
They tell tales of
They are not true.
He’s got a broad,
angular face and short brown hair. His eyes are like amber set into his face,
and his arms are huge, and he’s rippling muscle from the waist up. He has legs
only to his knees. From there down his legs are bronze gears and golden wire,
replacements for the legs destroyed when Hera threw him from Mount Olympus.
“Had your look, girl?”
he asks, voice rough like he’s always a moment away from breaking into a
“Yes,” she says, and
doesn’t turn away, keeps looking.
His lips quirk up at
the corners, so it was the right move. The heat is even more oppressive inside
the volcano, and all around him cyclopses work, forging oddly shaped metal that
she can’t hope to understand. “You’ve gone to an awful lot of trouble to find me,
girl. What do you want?”
She slides her pack off
her shoulders and holds it out to the god, “I have a gift for your wife. I have
woven her a cloak.”
He raises an eyebrow
and doesn’t reach for the bag, “You believe something made with mortal hands
could be worthy of the goddess of beauty?”
They will tell tales of
They will all be true.
With a gust of wind the
oppressive heat of the volcano is swept away, leaving her chilled. In its place
stands a woman – more than a woman. Aphrodite has skin like the copper of her
husband’s machines and hair dark and thick and long. Her eyes are deepest,
richest brown, piercing in their intelligence. People don’t tell tales of
Aphrodite’s cleverness. That is because people are stupid.
“Let’s see it then,”
she says, reaching inside the pack and pulling the cloak from its depths.
It unrolls beautifully.
It’s made from the finest silks, and it shimmers in the light from the forges.
The hem of the cloak is sea foam, speaking of Aphrodite’s beginning, and up
along the cloak is intricate patterns it tells of her life, of her marriage and
her worshippers and escapades, all with the detail of the most experienced
artist and the reverence of her most devoted followers.
Her lips part in
surprise and she slides it on, twirling like a child. “Gorgeous,” Hephaestus
says, though Arachne knows he does not speak of the cloak. She doesn’t take
The goddess smiles and
Arachne’s heart pounds in her chest. She does her best to ignore it – Aphrodite
is the goddess of love, after all. It is only expected. “Very well,” the
goddess says, “you have my attention.”
Aphrodite’s attention is a heavy thing. “I have offended Athena,” she says,
“She has challenged me to a weaving contest.”
Their faces somber.
Hephaestus rubs the edge of a sleeve between his fingers and says, “Athena will
lose such a contest, if judged fairly. She does not take loss well.”
“I know,” she says,
“you are friendly with Hades, are you not?”
There are no tales of
their friendship. But she’s staking her life on its existence, because why
wouldn’t it exist – both of them even tempered, both shunned by Olympus, both
Gods hate being made to
feel lesser. It is why they say Persephone was kidnapped, why they say
Aphrodite cheats with Ares. It is why Athena will crush her when Arachne wins
the weaving contest.
“Clever girl,” Hephaestus
Aphrodite stares at her
reflection in a convenient piece of polished silver. Arachne assumes Hephaestus
left if lying there for that express purpose. “Very well!” the goddess says,
not looking at her, “when Athena sends you to the underworld, we will entrench
upon our uncle for your release.” She turns on her heel and points a finger at
her. Arachne blushes for no reason she can think of. “In return, you will weave
me a gown, one equal to my own beauty.”
A gown as exquisite as
the goddess of beauty. An impossible task.
They will tell tales of
They will all be true.
The contest goes as
expected. Athena’s tapestry is lovely, but Arachne’s is lovelier.
The goddess’s face goes
red in rage, and her grey eyes narrow. Arachne stands tall, ready to accept the
death blow coming for her.
The blow comes.
Death does not.
She is an insect. Even if she can make it back to Hephaestus’s
volcano, even if they can help her, they will not know it is her. She has no
hope left, no course of action, she should just give up. But –
She doesn’t believe in
defeat, in loss.
It was a terribly long
journey on foot, that first time. It is even longer this time, although now she
has eight legs instead of two. She makes it to the volcano, and creeps in
between crevices, until she finds out a hollowed room, one with a sliver of
sunlight and plenty of bugs to keep her fed.
Athena’s cruel joke of
allowing her to weave will be her downfall. Her silk comes out a golden yellow
color – it will look exquisite against Aphrodite’s copper skin.
It takes seven years
for her to complete it. She hasn’t left this room in the volcano in all that
time, and as soon as it’s done she scurries out back toward the village. She’s
a large insect, but not that large.
She arrives just as the
sun begins to rise, and leaves before the first rays have even touched the
earth, her prize tied to her back with her own silk.
Arachne doesn’t return
to her room. Instead she goes to the more popular parts of the volcano, hurries
and runs around terrifying stomping feet until she finds who she’s looking for
and scurries up his leg and onto his shoulder.
“Huh,” Brontes looks
onto his shoulder and blinks. “What on earth are you?”
She cautiously skitters
down his arm, waiting. He bends closer and lightly touches her back. “Is – is that
a piece of a honey bun?”
She looks up at him,
waiting. It’s her only chance, if he doesn’t remember, if he doesn’t understand
His face slowly fills with
a cautious kind of wonder. “Arachne?” She
jumps in place, being unable to nod, and Brontes cautiously cradles her in his
massive hands, “We must find the Master immediately!”
She jumps down, landing
in front of him and running forward. “Wait!” he calls, and she makes sure he’s running
after her before skittering back to her corner of the cave. It’s almost too
small for him to enter but he squeezes inside and breathes, “Oh.” He stares for
several moments, and Arachne climbs her web and waits. Brontes shakes himself
out of his reverie and uses his powerful wings to bellow, “MISTRESS APHRODITE!”
There’s that same
breeze and she’s in the crevice with them, “What was so important, Brontes,
that you had to yell?”
Arachne sees the exact
moment that the goddess sees the gown, golden yellow and glimmering, made
entirely of spider silk. “Beautiful,” she says, reaching out a hand to brush
down the bodice. Her head then snaps up, “Brontes, where’s Arachne?”
She warms at that, that
Aphrodite knew it was her weaving even though she hasn’t been seen in seven
They’ve told tales of
They are all true.
Brontes points at the
web, and Aphrodite steps over and holds out her hands. Arachne crawls onto the
goddess’s palms. “Athena is more powerful than I am, I cannot undo her work,”
she says, “but I know someone who can.”
Then they are in front
of a river. A handsome young man stands there waiting with a boat. “Goddess
Aphrodite,” he says, “we weren’t expecting you.”
returns, “I need to see Persephone.”
The man’s face stays
cool, and for a moment Arachne fears they will be refused and she will be stuck
in this form forever. Then he smiles and says, “My lady is of course available
for her favored niece.” He holds out a hand to help her onto the boat, “Please
come with me.”
Arachne weaves a dress
for Hades’s wife as a thank you, and returns to her volcano.
“I can take you
somewhere else,” Aphrodite says, “you don’t have to hide here.”
Arachne pauses at her
loom. She has lived in this volcano for seven years. It’s her home. “Would you
like me to leave?” she asks instead.
Aphrodite scoffs, “Of
course not! How could I dress myself without you here?” She’s wearing the
spider silk dress Arachne spun for her, and she’s working on another for the
goddess now. Aphrodite runs a gentle finger down Arachne’s cheek and for a
moment she forgets to breathe. “You are the finest weaver to ever exist.”
She looks up at the
goddess, “Then as the god of crafts and goddess of beautiful things, where else
would I belong besides with you and Hephaestus?”
To declare your company
equal to that of gods is the height of arrogance and blasphemy.
They tell tales of her
“An excellent point,”
Aphrodite murmurs, and tucks a stray braid behind Arachne’s ear.
This is a bread recipe I have grown so familiar with that it’s taken up root in my bones. If you’ve got a good relationship with the bread and can hear when it’s springy and when it needs to be kneaded, you can forego the measuring cups too. This will make a honeyed brown bread, perfect for Mabon (as it incorporates wheat, honey, and the hearth), or it can be formed into circular loaves with the Solar Cross cut into them for other witchy occasions.
1 packet yeast
4 cups half white, half whole wheat flour
Several tablespoons honey
1 bottle dark beer (like a porter) - must be room temperature. Trust me on this one.
1 egg, beaten
Herbs of your choice
Put yeast and honey in a bowl and add the beer. Stir gently and allow to rest til foamy (about 5 to 10 minutes, longer if needed). Add pinch of salt and beaten egg. Mix in flour gradually, using a wooden spoon if you can, until the dough forms one cohesive mass.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it! Use short, rapid strokes in cross directions, folding the dough over in half every other time or so. Work your intent deep into the dough at this time, and incorporate any herbs you wish to add (for Mabon: Use rosemary, crumbled walnuts, and rhubarb). Fully cover the dough in plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and let rise for at least an hour. Return, and punch down the dough, re-wrapping it and letting it rise another hour or two. Form the dough into two equal loaves (you can form a pan shape out of oven-safe tinfoil if you need), cut a design into the top to allow for splitting, lightly dust with flour, and bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Let cool for at least another 15 minutes before cutting to serve! I’ve had nothing but excellent results with this bread, and even when it looks like the crust has been burnt to all hell, it has usually done no such thing and the springy and fluffy insides make all the time worth it. Plus, the herbs can be substituted seasonally for each feast day and celebration!
Sansa’s first scene in A Game of Thrones, and the readers’ introduction to her from a POV perspective, starts with her feeding Lady under the table, and I’m quite sure this was intentional.
“I’ve never seen an aurochs,” Sansa said, feeding a piece of bacon to Lady under the table. The direwolf took it from her hand, as delicate as a queen.”
Septa Mordane sniffed i disapproval. “A noble lady does not feed dogs at her table,” she said, breaking off another piece of comb and letting the honey drip down onto her bread.
“She’s not a dog, she’s a direwolf,” Sansa pointed out as Lady licked her fingers with a rough tongue. “Anyway, Father said we could keep them with us if we want.”
The septa was not appeased. “You’re a good girl, Sansa, but I do vow, when it comes to that creature you’re as willful as your sister Arya.”
Like Sansa, Lady is courteous and perfectly disciplined. By hiding Lady, Sansa keeps up the appearances of a noble lady, but she refuses to let go of Lady. Lady is her tie to her Northern heritage, and her identity, and in her first scene, Sansa has learned to hide Lady. Sansa is not openly rebellious like Arya, who skips meals with the Queen to go riding with her friend, but she makes sure her rebellions are small, silent, and disciplined. When Lady dies, Sansa loses that concrete tie to her Northern identity, and while in Kings landing she has to sever any open connection or loyalty to her family. When she becomes Alayne she has to submerge her identity even further, but I think the key to her character the constant small assertions of her identity: her trips to the Godswood, telling Joffrey Robb might bring her his head, telling Cersei she will make the people love her, not fear her. These are all small assertions of who Sansa really is, a glimpse of when she keeps “under the table” in her mind.
Are you a black tea or green tea person? Lilies or daisies? Strawberry jam or grape jelly? Honey or sugar? French bread or croissants? Ballet flats or sneakers? Wishing or dreaming? Warm ocean breeze or cold city wind?
Ostara is a time for change. It’s a time for celebrating rebirth and renewal and it’s a time for thanking the universe for the magic that is earth. Sometimes you just need to switch things up and have fun with life. Luckily, I have put together the list to conquer all lists: How to Have Fun on Ostara.
• Bake food! Ostara is all about making new things and the coming of newness, so why not make some new things yourself? Honey cakes, soda bread, flowery teas, moon cookies, and other magical foods are sure to provide a fun and yummy Ostara. 🍵
• Watch nature documentaries. Binge watching movies and TV shows has always been a passion of mine. However, Ostara isn’t really the greatest time for staying inside and doing nothing all day. Don’t worry, cause boy do I have a solution for you! Nature documentaries celebrate Spring and just nature in general, and the amazingness of earth itself. Watch them and feel the magic of spring and nature. 📽
• Go outside. Ostara is 100% all about the outdoors and the changing of the seasons. Collect some type of water, go for a walk/hike, collect plants and “artifacts” for your witchy wonders, and just have fun. Try inviting some other friends to enjoy the outdoors with you, so you can be in the company of others. 🍃
• Gather some friends and have an Ostara ritual. Cook up some lavender + vanilla popcorn, wrap yourselves in some fluffy blankets, and sit around some tarot cards or a crystal altar and charge your minds with the energy of Spring. 🔮
• Just dance. Dancing is a great way to cleanse and renew yourself and what better day to cleanse things than on Ostara? Having a dance party, either alone or with friends is energizing, refreshing, fun, and most importantly, not harmful to the environment. 💃
• Make a fairy shrine. This one leads back to my childhood. If you are a supporter of the fae and love fairytales, then you will love this idea. Gather leaves, flowers, herbs, scraps of cloth, and so on in order to create your shrine. Little colorful beads, shards of glass, crystals, or even just some cute rocks are great starters! 🍄
• Ground yourself! By ground yourself, I mean really, physically ground yourself. Take off your shoes, go outside, and bury your feet in the dirt. Not only does this connect you with nature, it is also scientifically proven to rid your body of unnecessary electricity and it can prevent static electricity. ⚡️
• Open some windows! Letting the outside in is a great way to honor Ostara and invite the changing weather in without having to get all prepared for a nature walk or hike. Also, fresh air is a million times better for you than indoor air, as it is freshly cleaned by trees and it hasn’t been cycling around your house for hours. 🌬
• Write a love letter. Write a love letter to yourself, to the earth, to past witches or future witches, to fellow witches or your enemy witches, to your deities or the universe. Write a love letter to whomever you please, and don’t be shy about it. Spill out your thoughts and focus on every word. Slip it in a grimoire or notebook, maybe your diary or a special box. Honor this love letter, as it is a reminder of nature and Ostara. 💌
• Start a nature grimoire. If you already have a grimoire for spells, theories, magic, and mystery, then why not start one entirely dedicated to nature? Write about what you’ve observed in nature, your theories about nature, herbs, drying plants, and gardening. Have fun with it! 📖
• Do a seed-casting ritual. Simply put, gather all of your favorite plant seeds and combine them. Dig a small-ish hole in the ground and sprinkle the seeds into the hole while walking around the hole chanting, “I wish it be, I wish it may, grow in the ground fiercely today, have the strength to make it through, the evil and the twisted, so this chant shall do”. I came up with this as a personal way to encourage my plants to grow and flourish whenever I plant them. If you want more info, just message me! 🌹
• Play classical music for your plants! This has been proven to increase plant growth phenomenally, and there’s no doubt that you can sing to them too. Helping strengthen plants is a great way to celebrate Ostara. 🎼
• My nighttime Ostara ritual. As you can probably tell by now, my rituals and I are pretty tight-knit. I do this ritual to signify the leaving of an old life and the beginning of a new one. I also do this to cleanse my heart of any negativity. Getting rid of the sluggish feelings of Winter and bringing forth the new ones of Spring is really important. Simply light as many candles as you can and say, “This is my life, the life I give, to the air to the dirt to the sky to the night, this is the life I live. Twitching and twirling is the wand of my past, no longer it is mine. So I say goodbye to the wrinkled and old, and hello to the fresh and magical”. This chant simply states the purpose of the activity and has no real connection to Witchcraft other than to signify the official act of moving on. After reciting the passage, blow out each candle in quick succession! 🕯
I hope all of you enjoy my masterpost of Ostara activities! If you have any questions or suggestions, please message me anytime. Hope you all have a wonderful Ostara and happy bewitching 🌞
So I tried recipe out of the GoT cookbook that might appeal to a lot of kinfolk-- honey biscuits! Pretty much your average pastry dough (rub in butter to flour until coarse crumb texture + cold water just enough to hold it together) cut into circles (or any shape tbh, I tried 2 shaped cookie cutters and they held up beautifully), fried in a little bit of oil or butter until light brown, and then drizzled with hot honey and cinnamon. Very easy on the stomach, and took like 10 minutes to make!
Wow! Those sound amazing! I never thought about using shaped cookie cutters for biscuits and now I want only heart shaped biscuits forever! XD
Thank you for the recipe, I’ll definitely have to try these. ♥
Disclosure! This is based on the stories I heard from my family growing up! It is a very “family tradition” telling of ways to deal with the Fae. Mind you, my whole family passes down two things “very important” about the Fae, and then a bunch of tid-bit stuff. 1.) We have fae in our blood line (but who has family from a Celtic or Germanic nation and hasn’t heard that?) and 2.) Fae, of any court, will trick you just to see if they can, so always be careful.
Having said that, this is a quick list of things I was taught about dealing with the Fae
The Fae are tricksters. They can not lie (on pain of death) but they will do everything in their ability to trick you, because it’s a game.
Do NOT eat or drink anything the Fae offer you. If you ingest anything from their world you can’t leave, because the magic of the world will snare you.
Some Fae are flat our evil. Some enjoy hurting people, and do it for fun.
The Seelie court is not the “good” court, just the court of illusion and glamour
The UnSeelie court is not the “evil” court, just the court of shadows and intrigue
Not all Solitary Fae were banished from a court, some chose to leave. Not all Solitary Fae were banished for being “evil”, but some simply for refusing to follow directions from a higher ranking Fae, or for failing to conform to the “rules” of the court.
The Slough is The Host, The Wild Hunt….they hunt down betrayers, oath-breakers, liars, thieves, and the like, and execute them. While the Slough is not evil, they are strict, and frightening.
Fae in your garden is good luck
You can leave the Fae offerings to promote a peaceful relationship. If you’re useful, then you’re likely to be left alone
Do not dance with the Fae, because you’ll become enspelled and dance till you die
Do not step through a fairy ring, it’s easier to get into their world than it is to get out.
Do not go seeking out ways to see Fae who wish to remain invisible. They want to be left alone for a reason, and can/may very well take your sight if you can see through their illusions
To invite Fae who wish to be seen, leave honey, milk, or fresh bread by your garden
Wear iron to keep a Fae from being able to grab you
Hang iron above a childs crib to keep Fae from trading them out with a changling
Let your children play with the Fae they see, so as not to offend the Fae, but never let them follow them
Don’t play with water Fae, they don’t understand you need air to breath and live
Don’t share blood with a Fae. They can enspell you if you give them your blood or hair
Don’t use your full name when dealing with the Fae. Names have power, and if they learn your full name they can have power over you
Mirrors do not reflect a Fae’s glamour perfectly, you can tell a Fae among mortals because their reflection will look “off”