Monday, 22 September 2014


Today I celebrated Mabon, or, the autumn equinox. It's a Pagan tradition, celebrating the moment that day and night are equals. It's a moment of reflection, and of preparing for the dark times ahead, but it's also a harvest celebration, so food plays a big part in it!
I planned on celebrating with a group of others, but unfortunately the meeting was cancelled so I had to think of something myself.

I settled with a small made-up ritual in the nearby park and took some pictures afterwards, for fun and for my blog!

I set up a small circle with a wooden plate filled with vegetables in front of me. I wanted to buy specific ones but I didn't have time to so I just grabbed some stuff I had lying in my fridge.

Around me I put four plates with something to represent the four elements - water for water, stones for earth, a candle for fire and incense for air.

I started out with a small thank you to the world. I'm really happy that things have gone better financially this year and I'm thankful that I've always had enough to eat. I was very poor last year when I lost my job and I can clearly envision the coin counting and having to live off as little as possible. I'm thankful that I don't have to do that anymore. The basket of vegetables therefore symbolizes the plenty that I've had this year and the plenties that are hopefully to come.

Mabon is also a time of reflection. The day and night are equals and it's time to prepare for the dark times that come ahead. It's difficult for me. I have always been very sensitive to winter depressions and now that this year has been such a wonderful year of personal growth, I'm a bit afraid to look forward to the winter. 

However, light cannot exist without dark and in order to get better and overcome my personal fears and anxieties I will have to embrace my dark side as well as my light side. That is also the reason I'm wearing a black dress (which is by Black Milk Clothing). It also made me think about what my therapist said. She advised me to start 'collecting nuts' for the winter and made a reference to squirrels, who collect their food in a time of plenty to save for winter. I have been trying to 'collect' my own nuts to survive the winter, in a form of long term creative projects that will keep me busy in the dark days. 
I like to dress up for a celebration, just like I like to dress up every day. I like to wear a beautiful but comfortable dress (comfort is a must when meditating!) and decorate my hair with colours of the season. I'm wearing a triskilian on my forehead to symbolize the sun and to counter the blackness of my dress (which is not even entirely black but has a sheer burnt out design!). No dark is truly dark, and no light is truly light.

After the ritual, of course, food! Let's not forget that Mabon is also a harvest celebration. I made a raw vegan salad with kale, baby tomatoes, avocado, almonds and various seeds. I finished the ritual by eating it in the circle and then cleaning everything up. As a final thing, I scattered some seeds, to symbolize the collecting of the nuts and giving some of them back to nature.

I'd like to finish this by saying: Nature is my religion.


Friday, 12 September 2014

Happy Outfit: Fairytale

I get questions all the time about why I dress like I do. I always give the same answer: because it makes me happy. Which is true, and it is indeed the only reason why I dress like this. 
However, I started asking myself the question lately; why does it make me happy? 
What do I want to convey?

I feel that todays outfit really reflects what I like and why it makes me happy. I have been obsessed with fairytales, myths and legends for as long as I could remember, and I love to put some of that obsession into what I wear. In short; I like to look as if I stepped out of a story.

Todays outfit consists of a dress by Hell Bunny that I got for my birthday from the lovely ladies at my work. I saw it in the autumn-winter catalogue and I fell in love with it, but I had no intentions of buying it as I felt I'd spent enough money on clothing the past few months. I was so happy when I got this though! It's perfect and I love the print, the neckline and the sleeves.

The flower crown is by Claire's. I used Lime Crime Red Velvet on my lips.

My eyes are MAC Gleam on my browbone and eyelid and Lime Crime Incantation blended in the crease.

I am so happy with the shoes too! I found them at Vintage per Kilo (which is exactly as the name suggests a massive vintage sale for a fixed price per kilo). I only paid a few euros for them and they remind me of Cinderella's glass slippers. They go surprisingly well with nearly every outfit!


Thursday, 11 September 2014

Happy Outfit: a touch of autumn

Even though I don't like the idea of summer to be ending already (I have massive winterdepressions) I have been in an autumny mood lately. We decorated the shop where I work in autumn style and I've changed my altar into something more autumny. Look at those mini-pumpkins!

Anyway, with an autumny mood comes an autumny look!!

I found the blouse at a vintage thrift market for a few euros. I think it's from the seventies. It's got lovely puffy and pointy sleeves and subtle leaf embroidery.

The dress is by Black Milk Clothing and I love it! Sadly only 500 were made and it's currently gone. I'm in love with the print! It's very crisp and the colours are lovely.

My lipstick is Lime Crime Velvetine in Red Velvet, and my eyes are a combination of Lime Crime and self-concocted eyeshadows.

My hair flower thing is something I put together with an orange flower clip I had and some of the autumn leaves with which we decorated the shop.

The shoes are by Miss L Fire. Though I love them I don't wear them often because they're hard to combine with outfits. With this one, however, they go perfectly!

I really love the embroideries. I'm usually not a fan of thick soles but I think these are adorable.

And here again the total image!

Another funny thing about this dress is that it can be worn inside out as well! The back of the dress has a different pattern.


Monday, 1 September 2014

Happy Place: Castlefest!

So I have been a bit silent lately. I have done and seen so much that I want to write about! My first post will be about Castlefest, the best festival of the year!
Castlefest is my absolute favorite time of the year. This year was the tenth edition, and also the tenth anniversary for me. Yes, the first time I went there I was 13.

Castlefest is a fantasy event with a strong focus on paganism, folk music and re-enactment. Through Castlefest is how I first got introduced to paganism, even though it took me years to finally realize it was something for me. What makes Castlefest so different from other fantasy events like Elfia or comic cons is that it's really more of a festival than an event. There's a camping and the ambiance is the best I've ever experienced. 

What also makes it different from other fantasy events is that the focus on costume is way less strong. On most other events people usually strut around in their costumes, buy stuff or take pictures of other people in costume. While this is the case on Castlefest as well (I've seen some gorgeous costumes that weekend), the focus is more on lifestyle and paganism. 

People usually dress up in outfits inspired by nature, if they dress up at all or just want to be their pagan, hippie self.

The scenery at the castle's gardens is beautiful as well. I took this picture of a dancing woman (she is actually the lovely lady behind LunaDea) during a pagan drum circle and used a landscape picture that I took on the terrain to place her in. I think this picture shows the ambiance of Castlefest best - an ambiance of freedom, strength, happiness and being close to nature. When I'm there, I feel at home.

Technically spoken, Castlefest is held during the Pagan celebration Lughnasadh, which is an ancient harvest celebration. Altars like this one were all around and during the festival, lots of smaller get-togethers were planned to celebrate the season of plenty and the harvest god Lugh.

I didn't take pictures of the grand celebration on Saturday Night and I'm very sorry I didn't do so, but here's a video from YouTube that shows the Wickerman ritual. It is a tradition at Castlefest (and an ancient one), that every time, a large statue is built made of willow twigs, where everyone on the festival (or, whoever feels like it), can put a sacrifice in. I have done the same one for years. Since I paint, I always save up an old, used paintbrush and put it in, as a symbol for all the paintings I've made the past year and for all the paintings I will make. This year it was an extra special symbol for me as I finally took the step to abandon my art academy plans so I could go on and draw what I truly want, instead of having to listen to people who have vastly different opinions and don't understand what I want to convey with my artworks: I don't want to make art but I want to create beautiful things.
Anyway, on Saturday night the Wickerman is ritually lit on fire, which is a beautiful ceremony and often very emotional for me, as it is a time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. This year was especially intense as this year is such a turnaround time for me, getting better from my depression and achieving so many small and great personal victories. Re-watching this video even brought me to tears. I am so thankful for everything I've achieved and I hope the rest of my life will be full of light and happiness now I'm discovering who I really am and stepping out of the darkness and entrapment that I've felt for so many years.

Of course, when it's your tenth anniversary at Castlefest, you meet a lot of friends as well! This is a picture I took of a friend of mine and his baby girl. The background was also taken at the castle grounds. I tried to portray them as I saw them at the festival, happy and full of light.

And here a pic of me and my best friend the only time (a few hours) that I was in full costume, dressed as Esmeralda from the Hunchback of the Notre Dame.

It was, again, a festival that I will never forget.
I want to thank the organisation and every wonderful person that I've met, hung out with and celebrated with. I miss you all dearly and I can't wait for next year!