Monday, August 13, 2012

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Aw! I'm so schmoopy, giggly, and sparkly right now that I feel like a glitter-bomb just exploded in my lap. Thank you, Elle Hull of Avalon Blessings for nominating me for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Per the award, as I understand it, I'm proudly displaying this award, sharing 7 (perhaps unknown) tidbits about myself, and nominating another 15 very inspiring bloggers to receive love and admiration on their hard work.

Seven Fun Facts About Laurelei Black

1. I have two children who are currently aged 12 and 9. I sometimes refer to them as Harmonia and Eros -- and have since they were each infants. That's based more on their personalities and proclivities than my relationship with Aphrodite. My daughter is a sensitive and artistic Piscean peacemaker, while my son is sensual little Tauran who shows an early and clear preference for leggy blonds. They are both snuggling, sweet love-bugs -- both smart and beautiful, both creative and happy.

2. My Sun is in Libra, Moon is in Gemini, Ascendent is in Capricorn. Concepts of justice and equality, beauty and harmony, are the order of the day for me. I am very orderly and organized, even within what sometimes seems like chaotic clutter. (It's always a lovely sort of chaos -- very artistic!)

3. I have two partners -- Natalie Black and Joe Black. Natalie and Joe were together for 5 years before I entered the relationship. We have all been together for 4 years now. (Our anniversary is in just a couple of weeks, actually.)

4. None of us are legally named Black. =) I have the closest claim to the name, as my father's biological father was named Black. So, if my dad had been raised by that man, my maiden name would have been Black. However, Dad was adopted, so neither of us ever carried that name.

5. Laurelei is a nickname I got at the age of four. I lived in Germany at the time, where my dad was stationed in the Army. My parents had a friend who called me Laurelei as a play on my given name (Laura) and the spirit of the Rhein (Rhine) River. Later, my college roommate called me Laurelei in honor of Marilyn Monroe's character Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. It was after I took the name for a belly dance stage name that my father said he had wanted to name me Laurelei/Lorelei, but my mother had insisted on Laura (like my grandmother). Practically all my friends call me Laurelei at this point, especially within the Pagan community, and it is an official AKA for me at this point. =)

6. I've named every car I've ever owned. The first one was named Bubbles. My favorite car ever was named Sydney -- after Sydney Biddle Barrows, the Mayflower Madam. (I'm not revealing the current vehicle's true name. Too much power for some folks! *wink*) While one car was named for an actual prostitute, I'm now realizing they ALL sort of sound like hooker names. =) I like that!

7. I'll be 37 years old in a little over a month, and I am happy to say that I live with my parents! My father, (step)mother, both partners, kids and I share a communal, multi-generational home in a bedroom community to the southwest of Indianapolis. We have a total of 4 cats (2 are theirs, 2 are ours), 2 rabbits, and 3 wee fish. We have a garden, a pond, an orchard, and we have plans for chickens and bees. If Natalie and I had our way, there would also be goats, but I don't think anyone else is buying into this plan. We all support each other as best we can, and ours is a family built on Love and Will.

Now, my nominations for 15 Very Inspiring Bloggers!

Natalie Black -- Glaux's Nest -- Total, unabashed bias here. And love. AND she absolutely deserves it because my baby is amazing and inspires me all the time. She is a phenomenal Witch and she is starting on some art that is going to knock everyone socks off!

Vera Melata -- Crocosmia -- I can't say enough beautiful things about this blog or the woman who writes it. She is my soul's sister. She is our coven sister. I may be biased, but like Natalie, she is 100% deserving of nomination because she is a source of inspiration for me every single day. Musician, writer, poet, baker, free spirit! She is my Artemis, and I adore her!

Sarah Lawless -- The Witch of Forest Grove -- I can't say enough about Sarah's talent as a Cunning Woman, artist, writer, poisoner, woodworker, and more. I've been following her work since before I knew it was *her* work. Her path and work is so startling similar to my own (in some respects) that I find myself pushing (myself) to differentiate so that I don't seem like a drooling, copycat fangurl.

Robin Artisson -- Tracks in the Witchwood -- Love him or loathe him, Robin is nothing if not inspirational to the people of Blogland. To be clear, I adore him. Do I agree with every syllable he's every written? Um ... no. The same can be said for anybody on this list. I argue with Natalie all the time. I disagree with Sarah sometimes, but I don't feel the need to attack. People do love to attack the Robin. I have my theories on that -- worthy of their own blog entry, which they will get. My point? Inspiring! (And he makes me giggle.)

Sannion -- The House of Vines -- Sannion's writing was some of the first I read when I was first exploring Hellenismos. He's another somewhat controversial author among certain factions of Hellenic Polytheists (because of strange political and syncretic things that non-Hellenic Recons don't even know exist), but take a wild guess at how much I care? Yep, about that much. He is both reverent and irreverent -- just as you'd expect of a devotee of Dionysos. The maenad in me loves this man!

Cory and Laine -- New World Witchery -- I love this blog. Oh, boy! So much good info about Witchcraft and Magic in the Americas. Because Natalie and I have called our Tradition "American Folkloric Witchcraft," you might have noticed that we have an interest in such things. Cory and Laine do a great job on focusing on what magic and Craft looks like in this hemisphere, and I for one am quite inspired by that!

Jhenah Telyndru -- Seeking the Holy Isle -- Jhenah is an amazing woman. She and the Sisterhood of Avalon were my first introduction to the world of Goddess Spirituality, and I am so, so grateful and honored for the mentorship I found during my time within the SoA. Jhenah's writing is beautiful, compassionate and strong. I hope to lure her to our Women's Goddess Retreat someday very soon.

Daphne -- Lykeion of Apollon -- Daphne is a brilliant artist and devotee of Apollon. Inspirational blogs? The Greek God of art, music, light, and prophecy ... the ring-leader of the Muses, as it were ... lends his very name to this page, and oh, how his hand is upon Daphne! Brilliant -- in every sense!

Ruadhan McElroy -- Of Thespiae -- Rhuadhan is a worshipper of Eros who blogs pretty regularly about Eros, the Erotes, Thespian and Boietian worship, and his own personal relationship all of the aforesaid. I love his personal approach to his practice -- which I find perfectly fitting for those of us drawn to the Gods and Goddesses of Love. =) Of COURSE we're going to get personal with it!! He's a love, and he's done valuable research about non-Athenian Hellenic worship.

Jessica Reynolds -- Shuffling Fate -- Jess is a friend of mine and Nat's locally -- well, "locally" when we lived a little further south. She's a wonderful, witchy, FOXY lady with an open heart and a flowing magical spirit. Her eyes and voice simply sparkle, and I think that translates in her blog on Tarot.

Shannon  -- Blue Bird Grove -- Shannon is one of the most talented local artisans I know. She's so crafty and earthy. Her vision and skills are truly inspirational to me. This blog of hers is dedicated to the kitchen craft aspect of her world, which is as fascinating to me as it is foreign. I am many things, but a Kitchen Witch isn't one of them. Kudos to Shannon for embracing it with grace and style!

Moma Sarah -- Conjured Cardea -- I loves me some Hoodoo, mmhmm. And Miss Conjured Cardea, or Moma Sarah, she shore has one of the best shops and blogs related to conjure, rootwork and hoodoo around. I am inspired by her success and proud of the niche that she has carved out for herself.

Mojo -- Treading the Crooked Path -- Such a wonderful blend of Cunning Craft and old school western occultism. I want to seduce Mojo into presenting at Babalon Rising (and I *KNOW* they would be a great fit) and then do amazing Witchcraft rituals in the woods. Nothing less!

Veles -- Adventures in Witchery -- I really enjoy this Traditional Craft blog. I do, I do. And I love that Veles describes himself as a baker, awesomely bearded, and a Texan, in addition to being a Witch. I. myself, am a Baker (well, by genealogy, not by trade), a Texan (originally -- but ask any Texan, and they'll tell you that your citizenship is good for a lifetime), and a Witch. I'm not awesomely bearded, but I like that it's in his description. It pleases me.

Shivian Balaris Morgan -- Shivian -- Shivian's blog is visually stunning, poetic, edgy, and so full of magic that it tells its own tales of American Craft in Chicagoland. I love it. I love what Shiv does -- both as a visual/graphic artist and as a professional Witch!

Okay. Whew! Those are the 15 I picked. No small task. I could have chosen more, for certain. So many talented and inspiring people in my little world -- some who know I'm watching and some who don't. Thanks to you all for showing me why I work, why I make my own contribution. Thanks for giving me the gift of your art, your passion, your magic.