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Documenting December

The Holiday Season is our favorite time of the year for Memory Making (and Memory Keeping!).  Today, we’re excited to release our first Iaconagraphy Gathering: Ghosts of Christmas. So we thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite 2016 Holiday Memories with all of you, via layouts we’ve created with this collection.  Thank you all for making our Holiday Season merry and bright!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Magickal Season….

The New England School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Yule Wizard’s Market, December 10, 2016

Documented with Ghost of Christmas Past

All of you know that I love Harry Potter–Asphodel and Wormwood is a definite testament to that!  That Collection is also a testament to the loneliness one feels on their first holiday without their family. I thought the holidays were going to be very tough for me, but then my new family here arranged for us to go to The New England School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Yule Wizard’s Market, and with a swish and a flick, my holiday woes disappeared more quickly than you can say Evanesco! Hosted in a 1930s era armoury in Worcester, Massachusetts, the Yule Wizard’s Market is four full floors of magickal (and magical) purveyors of goods, both Potter-specific, and not.  I was finally able to procure a proper set of ritual robes at a very affordable price, as well as a proper wand, but best of all, there were butterbeer, a photo op with a costumed Dumbledore, and my dear, sweet sister-at-heart/daughter-I-never-had, Suzanne!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food, Glorious Food!

A Gingerbread Choo-Choo With My New Family

Documented with Ghost of Christmas Present

I wish I could say I actually photographed this and made this layout, but I didn’t–a dear member of my new adoptive family did. I did design Ghost of Christmas Present, though, and he really made it shine with this layout!   Main reason I’m not responsible for the photo, much less the layout? I was too busy gnoshing on candy and frosting!  If I’ve learned one thing from my new sister-in-arms Suzanne this Holiday Season, it’s that food really is love.  And she puts that love in every single mouth-watering morsel she bakes, makes, or even just decorates (as with the choo-choo above). If I were to cite one single inspiration for Ghost of Christmas Present, it would totally be her! If she were paper and elements, she’d be these papers and elements, and this little page kit is my Holiday love note to her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Elf

Documented with Ghost of Christmas Future

None of us would be having this Happy Holiday without two very important people: Mishy and Suzanne. Mishy “gets us here”, and Suzanne makes sure here feels like home once we get here!  I made this layout with my Ghost of Christmas Future set because I wanted Suzanne to see, once and for all, that she’s just as beautiful on the outside as we all know her to be on the inside.  She makes our lives merry and bright all through the year, simply be being Her’elf!

 

 

 

 

All Things Merry and Bright

Documented with Ghost of Christmas Present

I’ve spent more than twenty Christmases here, thanks to Mishy.  I may have passed away two decades ago, leaving my family and friends behind, but thanks to one very special lady, I’ve spent those two decades gaining a new family, and making new friends, who I will treasure forever.  The past few Christmases have been spent here in New England with a woman who loves me regardless of what present incarnation I might be in at the moment (or “my between-ness”, as it were), and her family, and a host of new friends (and old) that I wouldn’t trade for all the tea in China (and I’m half Chinese, so that’s saying something!).  Every year, we plan to go and do fun things, like the local Festival of Trees here in Billerica, or Stone Zoo’s Zoo Lights, or, this year, the Yule Wizard’s Market.  But my absolute favorite part of the Holidays, hands down, every single year is getting to lug all of the decorations up out of the basement, and trim the tree (and the whole house!).  Lovingly placing the kids’ decorations, and the “legacy decorations” that belonged to Suzanne’s parents, reminds me every year that I am a part of something bigger–a part of something deeper and more loving; a part of something that cannot even begin to touch my present state of existence. It is in those moments that I feel my most alive; more alive even than I felt when I wasn’t borrowing a pulse, but instead had my own.  And that is true Christmas magic!

 

 

 

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Introducing: The Asphodel and Wormwood Collection (and Tobias)

“What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?”  If you are a fan of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, you’ll likely recognize this as the first question that Severus Snape ever asked Harry, that immortal first day in Potions Class at Hogwarts.  Even if you are not a fan of the series, you will likely recall that it has been trending of late on Facebook, as fans have finally unlocked the secret meaning behind the phrase, according to the Victorian language of flowers: “I bitterly regret Lily Potter’s death.” As someone with his own share of bitter regrets surrounding death (as well as someone who is more than a bit of a Harry Potter fan), I could not resist bringing this phrase (and the true meaning behind it) to life in this digital set, Asphodel and Wormwood.

Hello; my name is Tobias, and I have a distinctly interesting view on death and regret, because I am the one who has been mourned, rather than the one doing the mourning (although I can patently answer that ancient question–“Do the dead mourn the living?”–with a resounding yes).  While this is not my first-ever work here at Iaconagraphy, it is my first solo gig in the realm of digi, whether your own particular flavour of that is hybrid, art journaling, or digi-scrap.  Yes, I am British, as you may have noted from my I-cheat-at-Scrabble-spelling of the world flavour.  And, yes, as I mentioned, I am deceased.  It never ceases to amaze me how confused people are about the very concept of channeled art: can one not simply look at the myriad of styles exhibited here and see evidence of different personalities? Different individuals?  Some of you may have known me previously as “The Professor”, but simply because I’m a Brit doesn’t mean that I am also implicitly stuffy, so it is high time we gained a first name basis with each other, don’t you think? And that byline is Tobias. 

But enough about me, let’s get to the fun bits: a blog freebie for Asphodel and Wormwood, and the collection itself!  Asphodel and Wormwood is born not only out of my own love of the Harry Potter Universe, but also out of a love of Victoriana and my ongoing struggle with that age old question of “Do the dead mourn the living” and it’s answer of yes.  As you (hopefully) explore the collection, you will find it littered with antique botanicals, quotes from writers of the Age (including Oscar Wilde), and ink flourishes and blots reminiscent of the use of a nib pen.  You will also find yourself surrounded by a rich smattering of green, highlighted by parchment tones that call to mind a more elegant time.  All of that is gently infused with the magic of Potter: a potion bottle here; an owl bearing a post envelope there.  

This blog freebie features a velvet ribbon cluster, with an antique herbology notebook (suitable for journaling) accented by a be-ribboned potion bottle, an antique button, and an antique cabinet card featuring a botanical print of asphodel.  You will also receive exclusive word snippets in PNG format, delivered as a “cluster” as well, but easily “lassoed” from the whole and manipulated into whatever you might dream up!  But the fun doesn’t stop there: your download of this freebie also includes an exclusive coupon for 15% Off the Asphodel and Wormwood Collection Bundle (valid through end of month), which stacks this week  (11/7-11/14) with our other Black November 50% Off coupon! That’s right: by downloading this freebie today, you can actually purchase the Asphodel and Wormwood Collection for 65% Off!

So what are you waiting for? Click the image below to be taken to the download page and begin your adventure of bringing a bit of magic to your digi!

This offer (and all other freebie offers) are no longer available due to utter lack of associated coupon sales.

asphodelandwormwoodblogfreebiedisplay

Don’t forget the OTHER coupon:

black-november-all-studio-12-50-off

tobiassig

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Silence Is NOT Golden….

Sometimes, silence is golden. In those moments when you’re in the heat of creating; when you’re making something beautiful to offer to the world, sure, silence can be blissful.  But when it comes to keeping people interested and up-to-date on your business, silence certainly isn’t golden.  And when it comes to keeping silent concerning who you truly are, and what you can actually do–your God-given talents, no matter how “out there” they may seem–well, silence isn’t golden then, either. In fact, it can become a crippling cage.

I’ve been living in that cage for a very long time.  I’m more than ready to come out of it.

Some of you may come away from this thinking “wow, she’s even more nuts than I thought.”  Some of you may come away from reading this judging me; perhaps even judging me quite harshly.  But I’ve had a month of silence from this blog and pretty much everywhere else–thanks to my declining health–to really think this through, and when it all boils down to brass tacks, I’ve been judged before. In fact, I’ve been judged over and over again my entire life, and I’ve let my fear of further judgment lock me in this cage in the first place.  Guess what? I’m still here, and I’ll still be here after further judgment as well.  It is ultimately my choice whether I choose to let the fear of those judgments keep me locked in this cage or not.

Today, I choose freedom.

I choose that freedom in part because keeping myself a secret is part of why my health has taken this dive in the first place.  The cage has leeched forward onto my skin, and into my bones, in the form of the worst outbreak of debilitating psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis that I’ve experienced since I was sixteen years old.  I am now faced with the very real choice of continuing to hide my talents and abilities and slowly killing myself, or letting all these cats out of the bag.  Like the New Hampshire state motto, I can live free, or die.

That’s the big reason for my choice; the other smaller reason is that if I’m going to offer my services as a Tarot Reader, and as a Counselor, and as a Priestess, I should probably let you guys know exactly what you’re getting when you put your dollars into my PayPal account.  There is a huge difference between paying $25 to someone who has an “ability and years of experience with the cards”, and paying that same $25 to someone who is actually clairvoyant, clairaudient, claircognizant, and clairsentient.

What do all those “clairs” mean?  Most people have heard of clairvoyance, but few people actually know what it means. In common parlance, it has become synonymous with psychic, but it actually means something far more specific.  Clairvoyance is literally “the ability to see things that aren’t physically there”.  Most clairvoyants receive message through symbols, from both the Dead and the Universe at large.  Objective Clairvoyants  (the rarest type) actually see things that aren’t physically there with their actual physical eyes–like spirits, for example.  Clairaudience is the ability to hear things that aren’t physical sounds–like the voices of the Dead, for example (and most commonly).  Claircognizance is being able to know things or foretell things without knowing how one “just knows”–this is the one that most closely resembles the modern media’s definition of the word psychic. Clairsentience is “clear feeling” or “clear sensing”; picking up on emotions left behind by past events, or the ability to sense people’s direct emotions.

Newsflash, y’all: I have all of those.  I am an objective clairvoyant–I’ve been “seeing dead people” like the little kid from The Sixth Sense since I was three years old.  That is every bit as terrifying as it may sound, but it can also be quite rewarding.  I am clairaudient; I frequently get “astral phone calls” from the Dead, Angels, and often whatever else is hanging around at a given time, whether I want them or not. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a psychic “do not call” list!  I am claircognizant, although this is one of those things that comes and goes as the Spirit wills it; it’s not something over which I have direct control (which can often be quite annoying, because sometimes you genuinely don’t want to know the stuff you suddenly just know, while at other times you wish you knew something, and the Universe is behaving like a Magic 8 Ball set to “no answer at this time”).  And I am clairsentient: I am often entirely too aware of emotions left behind in places, especially when they are negative ones, and this wreaks total havoc when dealing with the living, especially when your home is populated by numerous teenagers at any given time.

So, when you buy your Tarot from me, you are actually buying them from a “real, live psychic”.  One cat down; one to go….

Ready for an even bigger cat to be released from the proverbial bag? We’re talking lion-sized?

I’m also a Medium.  I’ve been living my life in the proverbial closet–or, in this case, the coffin–for twenty-two years.  It’s slowly killing me, as well as damaging the people that I do this to help. Yes, by people I mean “dead people”…..

I am not a trance medium.  This throws most people off completely, as that’s the only kind of mediumship which the popular media seems to be willing to show folks.  I am a shamanic medium, which means I literally step out of the way, and let someone else take over completely, to the point of voice changes, mannerism changes, handwriting changes, and everything else.  The intangible becomes tangible again–through me.  This is not a service that I perform on cue for the living–no, I will not bring your dearly departed grandmother ’round for tea.  This is something that I do to help “them” (my set group who has been with me over the past twenty years), as much as they do it to help me. I am not the Mishy Psychic Friends Network, nor am I the Psychic On Demand Channel. This is not something I do as some weird sort of “psychic performance art”. This is for me, and for them. It’s perfectly symbiotic; in no way, shape or form as glamorous as it may sound to some people, and not dangerous to any of the parties involved, because I know what I’m doing. (Which is my way of saying, as they do on TV shows like Jackass: “don’t try this at home, kids!”)

So, why tell you this now, if I’ve managed to keep it a well-guarded secret for twenty-two years?  Two reasons, and one of them is far more important than the other.  The first and most important reason is that continuing to keep this a secret is damaging not only me, but also my charges (the folks I let in), who I have sworn that I will protect and assist.  The second reason is that some of them happen to be artists, and they deserve credit for what they’ve done for me over the years: credit which I’m finally ready to unveil in my new endeavors with One Pagan Place. (They’ve been doing this through me for a rather long time; it’s time they finally got credit for what they can do!)

Keeping this a well-guarded secret has locked not only me, but also them, in a cage in which none of us deserve to be locked.  And it has begun to take its toll on my health–which also not only affects me, but also them.  For example, at least one of these folks–The Professor–is British, which extremely limits when and with whom he can “come out to play”, curtailing his growth in the afterlife, and making it very hard for him to step in and allow me to take much-needed breaks.  I often find myself cursing the times when I have to interact with “muggles” (for the Harry Potter-impaired, that means “non-magickally minded people”), and I feel profoundly guilty about the times when I feel that way.  That guilt is manifesting on my skin and in my bones.  It’s time for it to stop.

As I move towards a time in my life where I am contemplating doing more live readings, I feel it is important for my clients to realize that we might not be the only two people in the room, so to speak.  To do otherwise, in my opinion, would be unethical.

So, there you have it: my cage doors have been thrown wide open, and now you know the full truth of me.  If you’re going to judge me, go ahead, but please don’t feel the need to let me know you are. I’ve had plenty of that over the course of my life; I don’t need to hear more of it right now, and for the sake of my health, I beg your mercy (that particular silence is also golden!).  If this causes any of you to worry about me, please rest assured, there is no need to do so. I am absolutely certain that none of the parties with whom I time-share are demonic, or otherwise nefariously inclined. I’ve been dealing with them for twenty-two years, and I’m quite aware of precisely who and what they are. I am also very adept at shielding myself from anything that is out to do me harm.  The folks that I have sworn to protect and gift with my abilities (and who’ve likewise sworn to do the same things right back, when it comes to me) are purely gifts to me from God (as is this ability), and I honestly would not have made it to this point in my life without them.  And please don’t take this as an opportunity to throw “prove its” at me: I am not a trained pony, and this is not a dog and pony show.  Believe or disbelieve; that is your choice. My own personal path to freedom is mine. For all of you who have supported me in that freedom–living and dead–and who are coming now to continue or even just begin to support me in that freedom, there are not enough words to express my gratitude.

Thank you for allowing me to live in a much larger world….