Portals Featured Sponsor: Ancient Ways

Our penultimate Portals sponsor has been a pillar of the Bay Area Pagan community for decades. As the producer of the most highly attended Pagan gathering in the USA (and possibly the world), Pantheacon, you could say that Glenn Turner knows a thing or two about building community. Since that is the central theme of Portals, it is my great pleasure to introduce you to Ancient Ways, “Oakland’s favorite Pagan metaphysical store and candle shop”.

Ancient Ways has been a metaphysical destination in Oakland since before I became interested in such things, and that was some time ago! I remember, in days of yore, heading out with a friend for a day of adventure we called “Occult Bookstore Day”. We’d hit Field’s Books, Curios and Candles, and The Sword and Rose in San Francisco, and sometimes the Psychic Eye as well, but generally we preferred our occult stores a little less corporate. From there, we’d head over to the East Bay to visit Ancient Ways, along with a few others tucked under freeways or down alleys.

30 years later, Ancient Ways is the only one still standing.

To what might we attribute Ancient Ways’ success? I believe it is the strength of community building that makes or breaks any business. And Glenn Turner, the shop’s proprietress, has been doing that since she founded the Ancient Ways Festival at Harbin Hot Springs in the late 80’s. I have a special place in my heart for Glenn and her efforts to bring people together, for the Ancient Ways Festival was my entry point into this wacky world of witchery, and I haven’t looked back since. Much of the support Winter and I receive for our music comes out of the the Pagan community, and I thank Glenn for opening that door. The Ancient Ways/Pantheacon clan remains my core community to this day.

So what nifty things can you find at the Ancient Ways store? Well,  they’ve got a large selection of metaphysical staples: candles, oils, incense, and herbs, with skilled practitioners on hand to help you use them effectively. There is an entire wall of books, as well as jewelry, statuary, clothing, and tarot cards; they’ve got a full arsenal of tools for the modern practitioner of arts arcane.

They also offer readings every day. Of particular interest to me is the spiritual consultations offered by none other than the legendary Luisah Teish. Luisah is a well respected Yoruba priestess and author, and has been an icon here in the Bay Area for as long as I can remember. From the description on the Ancient Ways website, these readings go deep. Be prepared to delve into your soul’s journey!

If you find yourself near Oakland, pop in and infuse your life with magic!

You can visit Ancient Ways at:
4075 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
510-653-3244
http://ancientways.com

And of course, we’d all love to see you at Pantheacon!


DISCOVER THE OTHER PORTALS FILM SPONSORS!

Each of these Portals sponsors has been hand selected by me as someone I would feel proud to showcase. They will each be getting a feature here over the next few months. Click the banners to visit their pages.


Portals Featured Sponsor: Coventry Creations

jackiandpatty

Jacki Smith (left) and her sister Patti.

These shining beacons of good vibery are the owners of Coventry Creations in Ferndale, Michigan.

I met Jacki last year at the Earth Warriors Festival in Ohio, and took to her right away. She is just the kind of woman I admire; a feisty redhead with an inspired business savvy, she has carved out a life on her own terms, through creativity, passion, and ingenuity. Back in 1991, Jacki was studying herbalism and aromatherapy, and decided to make candles infused with herbs and oils to give as gifts. The quality of these candles was so high that several folks encouraged her to offer them for sale. Reluctant at first, she decided to give it a try. Patti came on board a few years later, and Coventry Creations has now sold nearly 2 million candles worldwide.

Coventry Creations is committed to handcrafting their candles locally, and has continued this tradition for over 20 years. The quality, scent, and beautifully designed graphics of their candles surely have helped them become so successful, but it seems to me that the core of their success is really the enthusiasm and genuine passion they bring to their creations. Says Jacki, “At Coventry we see magic as the moment when you move past your limiting challenge into the healing that manifests the life you desire. Magic is our passion, and we live that passion in every candle, message and fragrance we create”.

Both sisters believe in the power of creating a vibration in harmony with your intention as the way to facilitate changes that bring you closer to the life you desire. The scents, colors, herbs, and words used when crafting each batch are  carefully chosen and focused on as each candle is created. Jacki and Patti bring their own sense of magic to every candle they create.

The way they describe it is downright musical!

Jacki has always been drawn to candles as a tool for intentional magic, for the moods they create are conducive to a meditative state where we can more easily slip beyond the grasp of our self imposed limitations and into a place of true healing.

You can read more about her candle magic philosophy right here.

candles-burning

Look at these beauties! They smell as good as they look too.

In short, Jacki is a rockabilly badass who lives her life in screaming color. She brightens up the day of anyone who comes near her, as I have witnessed personally on numerous occasions. If I were looking for help getting out of a funk and back into a sense of personal power, I would trust Jacki as a guide wholeheartedly.

BONUS: Jacki has lent her mojo to Portals on several fronts, having supported our campaign both as Coventry Candles and as The Candle Wick Shoppe. She pledged at the Custom Song level, so I will be writing her her very own song of celebration, magic, and love of the earth, which you will surely hear by year’s end.

I hope you will give her the warm hospitality our music and arts tribe does so well, and give both her sites a visit.

Here are her details:

Coventry-Portals-AdsJacki Smith;
Enchantress, President and Trouble Maker
Coventry Creations, Candle Wick Shoppe and Type 40 Sales
248-545-8360
www.coventrycreations.com   Products for your soul!
The Seeds of Magic are found in your imagination and planted in your deeds.

Candle-WickCandle Wick Shoppe
175 W 9 Mile Rd
Ferndale, MI 48220
248-547-2987
candlewickshoppe.com

From Candle to Reiki; from Mojo to incense we are your feel good store. Visit our new “spiritual apothecary”  filled with  unique gifts, candles, oil and incense and experience our Reiki Healing Center and our new Mojo Bar. We have the remedy for what ails your soul!


DISCOVER THE OTHER PORTALS FILM SPONSORS!

Each of these Portals sponsors has been hand selected by me as someone I would feel proud to showcase. They will each be getting a feature here over the next few months. Click the banners to visit their pages.


Portals Featured Sponsor: Serpent’s Kiss Magick Shop

Serpent's Kiss - what a beautiful store!

Serpent’s Kiss – what a beautiful store!

It’s time for our next Portals featured sponsor! This one is going to write itself because I have loved these folks for many years now: Susan Diamond and Shimmering Wolf of Serpent’s Kiss in Santa Cruz.

These folks are awesome. Genuine. Full of magic. Drenched with life and spirit and adventure. And successful owners of one of my favorite magic shops!

Susan and Wolf are seemingly tireless, and like all the other Portals sponsors, very committed to building community. They host numerous classes and events, including concerts. Winter and I have played Serpent’s Kiss many times, as has Wendy Rule and SJ Tucker.

They are the creators of the New Orleans Folk Magic Festival, Conjure Con, Conjure Craft, and Witches in the Woods. They have a multi-room store that offers magical supplies from a wide range of traditions, with an emphasis on Hoodoo and root work. They offer candles, oils, incense, stones, books, statuary, and clothes, among many other things.

Serpents-Kiss-Clan

People I love: That’s Susan and Wolf on the right. Along with Didi, Orion Foxwood, and Star Casas.

They also host the popular Redwood Nights drum circle, on a gorgeous, secluded slice of the Santa Cruz mountains. Creating events that give their community unforgettable experiences is a strong suit for Susan and Wolf. They instigated an excursion just recently that ended up being one of the highlights of my life so far; a whale watch that closed out the Conjure Craft weekend, wherein we spent about 20 minutes amidst a giant pod of dolphins. It was so beautiful, I wept. Susan, being my mermaid sister, wept too. (I almost begged off this trip, and Susan would not let me wiggle out of it. A fact for which I am profoundly grateful!)

Susan really does feel like a sister and kindred spirit to me. She is very much a mermaid girl. She looks like Stevie Nicks and dresses like a beach combing bohemian. I love her style. Her magical philosophy is akin to my own as well; that to work magic is to delve into the deep sea of Dream, and thus, sea magic is very relevant to the practice of magic as a whole. As you know, sea magic is very close to my heart. There is talk of Susan and I teaming up to offer a week of sea magic and song in Hawai’i! Both of us are the type who love to plot and scheme endlessly about amazing experiences we can create and share with our clan. Mwahaha!

If you love witchy sea priestesses and the magic they make, get yourself to Santa Cruz and check out Serpent’s Kiss. Hook up with their community and stay in the loop about when we are all going to Hawai’i!

Serpent’s Kiss
2015 N Pacific Ave
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
http://www.serpents-kiss.com


DISCOVER THE OTHER PORTALS FILM SPONSORS!

Each of these Portals sponsors has been hand selected by me as someone I would feel proud to showcase. They will each be getting a feature here over the next few months. Click the banners to visit their pages.


Let’s Get Betsy Tinney in the Porcelain Princess Music Video!

Ms. Tinney dresses up any film set!

Ms. Tinney dresses up any film set!

In one week Winter and I are going to make a music video. This will be only the second professionally produced video we have had occasion to make, and it is thanks to all of you who participated in the Portals vision!

We are frantically running around, pulling together the remaining details, and I hold no illusions that I will have anything resembling a non-video life for the next week. Being on set is great fun; the camaraderie and the glamour of everyone all dressed up and in their best light – literally – is quite a thrill. It is not easy to pull together the resources for such an epic undertaking, and it could be some time before we are able to do another one. So naturally we want to make the most of this opportunity!

Since the entire crew of Tricky Pixie are the featured artists on our music video song, Porcelain Princess, we have had the fantasy since day one of flying Tricky Pixie in to be our “house band” for the video. Alas, that just was not in the budget.

But, what if we could have one Tricky Pixie in the video? The one who lives closest to us?

Maybe, just maybe, this would be doable.

We want to fly Betsy Tinney down from Seattle to be the Porcelain Princess cellist!

To that end, we have created another Flash Specialty Perk specifically for this purpose! As a successfully funded campaign, Indiegogo invited Portals to participate in their “In Demand” program, which means we can continue to offer perks through the Portals campaign until the project is complete. So, we have added a GET BETSY perk. For $25 you get a download of Betsy’s album, “Release The Cello” plus an additional download of anything from Winter’s and my current collection.

2 downloads for $25 is barely even a fundraiser, it is practically the cost of you getting yourself some new music. We wanted it to be a win win for everyone. We have done a meticulous job of sticking to our budget so far, but airfare for a person and a cello wasn’t in it. Still, we know Betsy adds so much visually as well as musically that we really want her to be part of it. And she wants to be part of it too!

So if you would like to score yourself some great new music, while keeping us out of the red and ensuring that our video has added visual appeal, get on over to Indiegogo and snag our featured perk, GET BETSY.

Your eyes and ears will thank you! And so will Winter and I!

Get-Betsy-Button

Portals Featured Sponsor: Mithros Designs

Mithros-Portals-Ads

http://mithrosdesigns.com

It is time to introduce another Portals Sponsor: jewelry makers extraordinairre, Mithros Designs!

Mithros Designs (also known as Oddysey Craftworks) specialize in pieces inspired by myth and magic. They describe their work as “magic in metal”. Each piece is cast to order, and they offer quite an array of different styles.

They even feature a necklace based on one of SJ Tucker’s designs – the labyrinth from her Blessings album! The stone at its center is….wait for it….a Sugilite!

Sooj-Labyrinth

Sooj’s sugilite labyrinth!

This is one of my favorite pieces of theirs, for not only is it beautiful in its own right, but it reminds all who wear it that we can step into the magic Sooj evokes for us at any time. Artists collaborating in this way to deepen each other’s worlds definitely hits my sweet spot! This is what Portals is all about, after all, and Mithros Designs nails it with their collaborative spirit!

We met Mithros Designs proprietors Liv and Andross Moore at SJ Tucker’s Strowlerfest in St. Louis. They were there vending their wares and were very supportive of the whole Strowler tribe and all the artists involved. The camaraderie at Strowlerfest is one of my strongest memories from early touring years, and Liv and Andross were very much a part of that.

Rings

Who wouldn’t want this customizable gorgeousness to celebrate their union?

Very committed to leaving a small footprint, they describe their process as “obsessively green.” They use 100% recycled metals, 80% – 100% recycled packaging, and are fastidious about making sure no contaminants get into the water and woods around their home. That is certainly in alignment with the values of the people I know!  So if you are a believer in the “Vote with your dollars” mindset, you’d be voting for a whole lot of goodness when you pick up your next piece of jewelry at Mithros Designs.

In keeping with their willingness to throw in with other artists, they have supported not only Portals, but also Hexenfest. If you like either of these projects, know that Mithros is a part of the team that makes them happen.

They also have a fragrance line at http://underhillalchemy.com

Their website is currently undergoing a redesign so they are asking folks to visit their Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/OdysseyCraftworks

You can learn more about them in their own words, also on Etsy, at https://www.etsy.com/shop/OdysseyCraftworks/about

Thank you, Liv and Adross of Mithros Designs, for being part of what makes art go around!


DISCOVER THE OTHER PORTALS FILM SPONSORS!

Each of these Portals sponsors has been hand selected by me as someone I would feel proud to showcase. They will each be getting a feature here over the next few months. Click the banners to visit their pages.


Portals Featured Sponsor: Purlescence Yarns

When I was in the midst of the Portals crowd funding campaign, my favorite part was shining a light on the various artists who are participating. When the campaign needed a boost, I offered the Film Sponsorship level to select businesses, folks whom I felt exemplified the Portals vision in their own work. This “Featured Sponsor” series will showcase each participant and the contribution they make to our communities.

Our second Portals sponsor is Purlescence Yarns!

yarn bowl

Purlescence Yarns, 564 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

I met the dynamic duo of Kaye and Sandi Luck at a weekend workshop on resilience. Several members of their community were at the event, spinning, knitting, and making all sorts of amazing things out of yarn. I was impressed with their ability to build community; they already had most of the things we were exploring in the workshop underway!

Based on what I saw, it surprised me not at all to find out that Sandi and Kaye run a successful fiber arts business. If the projects I saw are any indication, they have a playful – and downright witchy – approach to crafting things with fiber.

Let’s meet them, shall we?

Sandi is on the left, Kaye on the right.

Sandi is on the left, Kaye on the right.

Quoth Kaye: “We are Purlescence Yarns, a pagan, queer owned fiber arts store.  We specialize in hand spinning, weaving, knitting, crochet and felting.  We carry a large line of spinning wheels and looms as well as many fair traded or locally produced yarns and tools.  We teach anything we do.  We are focused on teaching a clear understanding of the craft, and we want our customers to be able to take care of their equipment as well.”

Sounds like fun! I’ve been intrigued by felting lately, and would love to take a class or two!

They describe themselves as “mad spinners and weavers”, promoting their philosophy of “fiber arts as meditation –  especially spinning, as it has a natural rhythm that lends itself to meditating”.  Indeed when I spent that weekend with them, their mad spinning brought to mind the Norns, spinning worlds into existence as they turned wool into yarn, yarn into stunning garments. What worlds might you weave for yourself, as you contemplate life’s deeper mysteries through creative trance?

The Purlescence Living Room!

The Purlescence Living Room! The banner in the background was created by their customers.

The allure of thriving creative community has thoroughly captured my heart, as you well know, so naturally this is something that really resonates with me about the Purlescence gals.  They teach classes, host knit-alongs and craft nights, and even have a dedicated community area, which they call “The Living Room”.

Says Kaye, “We are in this to create space for each person who comes through our doors to be the best person they can be”.

In my book, working with the arts is a fine way to become the best person you can be!

BONUS: Sandi and Kaye introduced me to the work of Nathaniel Johnstone and Abney Park. Nathaniel, as you may know, is now lending his talents to Portals. On spins the web of connection!

Here are some more pictures of Purlescence, simply because they are nifty!

Shop WheelsShop Living Room

 

 

 

 

looms

Shop Looms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to visit Purlescence Yarns and learn to spin your own fate?

If you find yourself in Sunnyvale, you’re in luck! They can also be found online.

Shop Front

564 S. Murphy Ave
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
408-735-9276
http://purlescenceyarns.com

 

 

 

 

I sure am having fun shining a light on all these fabulous folks and their offerings to the world. I hope you are enjoying reading about them. Discovering new people doing cool things is one of the best parts of life!


DISCOVER THE OTHER PORTALS FILM SPONSORS!

Each of these Portals sponsors has been hand selected by me as someone I would feel proud to showcase. They will each be getting a feature here over the next few months. Click the banners to visit their pages.


Portals Featured Artist: Tim Rayborn

Tim Rayborn. Photo: Paul Nordin

Tim Rayborn. Photo: Paul Nordin

Tim Rayborn plays everything, including several instruments you have never heard of. He is a medieval scholar (Leeds University), and has toured extensively through Europe and the United States with several early music ensembles. He has appeared on over 30 recordings to date, including Pandemonaeon’s Dangerous Beauty, and Winter’s and my last album, Neofolk Romantique.

Tim specializes in early music not only from Europe but well into the Middle East. He is also an excellent singer.

We met Tim through the Middle Eastern dance community, and he joined Pandemonaeon for awhile. It was during the time when Caith was also in Pandemonaeon, and those two together were a non-stop humor train.

In addition to his solo work, he co-directs the medieval ensemble Cançonièr with recorder virtuoso Annette Bauer, performs with Celtic harpist Patrick Ball, and regularly works with Shira Kammen.

Tim has a penchant for storytelling, and has created several popular shows based on historic characters and legends throughout history. Project names include “The Black Dragon: Music from the Time of Vlad Dracula” (Cançonièr) and “The Far Famed Ones – Poetry and Music of the Vikings” (Music Sources Concert Series – solo show).

In short, Tim is a great guy, with a dark sense of humor and a flair for musical performance, and we look forward to working with him again!

Check him out shredding on saz here:

And learn more about Tim here:
http://www.timrayborn.com

MAKE YOUR PLEDGE TO PORTALS HERE:
http://www.sharonknightportals.net

Portals Featured Artist: Mark Abbott

Mark Abbott studiously taking notes.

Mark Abbott studiously taking notes.

You may recognise Mark Abbott as Pandemonaeon’s illustrious drummer. Mark is funny, smart, and doesn’t shy away from an odd time signature. He’s done us boatloads of favors over the years and we really want to make sure he gets both recognition and pay for being the backbone of Portals.

Drummers are too often the unsung heroes in bands, with guitarists and lead vocalists getting the lion’s share of the attention. The Portals album is going to be dripping with talented guest musicians, all of whom have made a name for themselves in the indie music world, and they deserve a rhythm man who can provide the groove that will inspire their mojo.

Mark Abbott is that man. And he deserves every bit the sparkle that some of our more recognizable names get.

As the drummer in indie rock band Box Set, Mark has bona fide rock star cred, traveling the world and living what for many is the ultimate dream. All due to his rocking chops! He keeps the backbeat for us not only on Portals, but in Pandemonaeon, and in a variety of sessions in EMB Studios. If you liked Pandemonaeon’s Dangerous Beauty album, that was Mark on drums.

The easiest – and most relevant to Portals – way to showcase his talents is to post our Pandemonaeon montage video. Check out his chops, and then please join me in ensuring we can give the lad a decent honorarium for giving Portals its groove!

MAKE YOUR PLEDGE TO PORTALS TODAY! :+)
WWW.SHARONKNIGHTPORTALS.NET

Featured Portals Artist: Wendy Rule

Wendy2

Wendy Rule

If you are remotely interested in the realms of magic, you almost certainly have heard of Wendy Rule. She is pure witchcraft. Born on Halloween, her voice is perfectly suited to pagan music.

Her voice sounds like Edith Piaf and opium and the dark caves of Hecate. To listen to her is pure intoxication.

She also has a real glamour about her. She walks into a room and fills the space with a commanding and mysterious presence. She’s got a star quality, such that you’d expect her to be quite the diva. Yet when you get to know her, she is completely down to earth. Fun loving, witty, and well traveled, Wendy is a person who truly relishes life, and I am honored to call her friend.

Wendy is the only Portals artist that I don’t already have a song for. I am going to write one special, because I so very much want to sing with her. Her voice is pure magic, and singing with her will inspire me to my most evocative.

Extra tidbits: Wendy was a jazz singer for many years! Winter and I spent a week with her and her husband Timothy in New Orleans and got to hear her sing a jazz standard with a New Orleans band. That was a great time!

Wendy and Tim also teach a year long online class on magic called Living a Life of Magic.

Here is a gorgeous video of Wendy:

You can learn more about Wendy on her website:
http://www.wendyrule.com

And you can make your pledge to Portals right here:

http://www.sharonknightportals.net

Portals Featured Artist: Alexander James Adams

Alec

Alexander James Adams

Alexander James Adams is the original Faerytale Minstrel. He has been playing faerytale folk music on dozens of instruments long before it was cool. He’s been on the circuit since I can remember, defining the genre almost single handedly. He is the consummate session man, able to jump in at a moment’s notice and learn your songs in real time, as you are playing them on stage. And what he comes up with is devilishly tasty!

He is one third of the wildly popular band of frolicsome fey, Tricky Pixie. Along with Betsy Tinney and SJ Tucker, Alec charms the socks off of audiences all across the US and Europe.

Give a listen, and then get excited for his addition on Portals!

Learn and listen to more of Alec’s work here:

http://faerietaleminstrel.com/inside/

And make your pledge to PORTALS right here:

http://www.sharonknightportals.net