Harvest Fruit Muffins.

I have work tomorrow, so I made these tonight. I’m not sure if that was the best idea, though – Shea has eaten four already! Will there be any left for tomorrow…? Well, the harvest is all about bounty, so I guess I can always bake more lol. Happy equinox, everyone!

  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon of ground flax (also called linseed) mixed with 3 tablespoons of warm water and left for a few minutes to thicken)
  • 250ml soya milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 240g wholewheat flour
  • 150g sugar (coconut would be best, but I used cheap white, same as always)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking power
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 80 ml light-tasting oil (I used sunflower)
  • 2 peaches
  • 3 big, fat tablespoons of raspberry jam (ideally St Dalfour; in reality, Sainsbury’s value brand)

Begin by mixing the ground flax into it’s 3 tablespoons of warm water, and then pour the apple cider vinegar into the soya milk and give it a stir. Leave both these mixes alone to thicken whilst you get on with the rest of the recipe.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarb together so that everything is evenly distributed.

Chop your peaches into little chunks and, if you have the kind of jam that is sort of jelly-like, give it a good stir to break it up.

Add the flax egg, curdled soya milk and oil to the dry mix, and stir into a batter. Try to mix it as little as possible so that you don’t over-work the gluten; get it just mixed, then stop.

Stir through the peach chunks, and then plonk in your 3 big tablespoons of jam. This is a time for abundance and generosity, remember – this is not a recipe for carefully measuring out flat tablespoons of jam! Vaguely kind of stir the jam through the mix to make a raspberry-ripple batter – the idea is to have fat jam ripples running through the batter, not to actually mix the jam into the batter.

Scoop your batter into cupcake moulds – I got 14 – and bake at Gas Mark 3/170C/325F for around 35 minutes, until risen and golden. You’ll know they’re done when a small knife or toothpick stuck into the centre of one of the muffins comes out clean.

Turn them out onto a rack to cool, and try to prevent your significant other from eating ALL of them before you have the chance to give any as offerings or take any to share at work lol.

These are sweet, cheerful and almost more suitable for Midsummer than the Autumn Equinox. Perhaps some mixed spice would have made them feel more autumnal? I just wanted them to be fruity and to feel a little indulgent, to remind us of the bounty of harvest time, and I think they do that (?). A great addition to these – and one that would take them from ‘a little indulgent’ to full-on ‘indulgent’ – would be some vegan white chocolate, melted and then poured over the top ❤

I also wanted to add that, if you’re not a fan of peach and raspberry, you could easily add different seasonal fruits to suit your tastes – in the UK, other possibilities would be apples (though I always associate them more with Samhain), bilberries, blackberries, damsons, elderberries, nectarines, pears, plumbs and redcurrants.

What do you think? Got a question? Have you tried it out? Let me know! I’m looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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Portable Altar Updates.

We went on holiday in July, and I took the opportunity to make some improvements to my portable altar. I want it to be made up of things I find on my travels, and as I don’t have many travels I need to take every opportunity that comes along!

I found a scrap ribbon box on a market stall, and hunted through it until I found green, white/clear-ish, red and blue – for Earth, Air, Fire and Water. On another market stall I found small incense burners decorated with glitter and mirrors, which I thought would be nicer than the little metal disc I had been using (though the new one does take up rather more space). Finally, I found some tiny shells on the beach and a small feather at the chalet park. Here’s my altar now;

I like it, but at the same time I kinda miss the pared-back simplicity that I had before? I know, I’m impossible to please lol. I also picked up a green paisley bandana (from yet another market stall), which I intend to make into an altar cloth. However, the pedal for my sewing machine appears to have gotten lost in the move and I still haven’t found it, so I can’t cut the bandana down to a suitable size yet (my hand-stitching is atrocious, so I need the machine!). That’s why this post is being published in September when our holiday was in July – I wanted to include the altar cloth, but clearly that’s going to have to wait.

The other thing I’ve done is make my altar cards double-sided, to save space. It was a good opportunity to try to improve the cards at the same time (though, as you can see, this is *yet another* of my unfinished projects…).

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So there you have it. I love seeing pictures of altars and shrines, so here’s my contribution 😉

The Wolf At The Table.

Now that the identity of this site has changed – and it is no longer my only blog – I felt like it made sense to change the title.

The Wolf At The Table comes from a fairytale I loved as a child, Ivan Tsarevich and the Grey Wolf (though the book my parents read me re-titled it The Firebird). At one point in the story, the Grey wolf – who can speak Russian and is magical, of course – changes himself into the form of a Princess, so that Ivan can make a getaway with the real Princess. The wolf goes through a wedding ceremony with the King who wanted to marry the Princess, and his true colours are not revealed until everyone is enjoying the wedding feast. Sensing that Ivan is far enough away to be safe, the wolf reverts to his true form and makes a getaway in the resulting chaos.

At a time when I was *really* struggling with feelings of anger, frustration and aggression, Óðinn unexpectedly showed up in my life and reminded me of this little episode. I related to it in so many ways. I guess you’re all thinking the obvious thing of pretending to be a chick for the benefit of other people, and there is that dimension to it. But most important to me at the time – and now – is that feeling of being a wolf who has learnt how to pass as human; eating daintily at the table, making polite conversation, keeping all those vulpine instincts under close control. This was Óðinn’s way of showing me that I didn’t have to try to destroy and smother all feelings of aggression and anger (that’s so not healthy guys, just trust me on this one, I’m a fucking expert), but it was important for me to be in control of them.

People are often really surprised when (if) they find out that I have problems with intense anger, but all I can say is I am covered in self-harm scars. At least 90% of those are me controlling my anger by taking it out on myself. Clearly that is not a positive or sustainable way to deal with anger, but just shutting it all out isn’t healthy either. And the idea of The Wolf at the Table provided me with a new way to view that part of my nature – I don’t have to domesticate myself, but to survive in this world where I feel (metaphorically) like a wolf living amoungst humans, I need to learn the ways to behave. I’m still me underneath it all, though. I can still snap back to my true form and cause chaos when I decide it’s time to. I’m not taming and changing myself for other people’s benefit, I’m controlling myself for my own reasons. Things moved from being about having control over frustration and aggression to being about accepting who I am, however socially unacceptable that might be, and what my motives are for doing certain things.

Being at times angry and frustrated are, after all, parts of a whole personality. To try to remove those emotions entirely from your life is like removing a part of yourself. As I learnt to accept and control these emotions rather than attempt to smother them, I also found that I was able to be far more assertive and confident. I’m not saying that this is true for everyone, but certainly for me these things are all linked. To shut out ‘animal’, unacceptable parts of myself is to leave myself castrated; a terrified shell who cannot make a decision or care for himself. If I accept that I am capable of angry and aggressive feelings, I also become more able to do things, to have healthy relationships with other people, and to stand up for myself and others.

For me, The Wolf at the Table has become an archetype by which I understand myself and my life (my other two are The Princess in the Tower and The Knackered Warrior, if you were wondering pmsl. Yes, I do just make these up to suit myself).

I hope that makes…some kind of sense?

Re-Organization.

Remember I mentioned a little while ago that I was thinking of re-organising this site to focus on the spiritual side of things, and have a separate blog for recipes and stuff? Well, I did it.

I know some of you guys were here for the recipes, so if that’s you then you might wanna check out https://lessthanperfectloki.wordpress.com/ That’s where I’m putting recipes, product reviews and related content from now on (read https://lessthanperfectloki.wordpress.com/2018/08/21/the-journey-begins/ for more details). I probably will still share the odd recipe here, but only when it’s ‘what I baked for Samhain’ or whatever.

Because my faith informs every part of my life, to me it made sense to have everything here in one site – caring for the environment, being vegan, trying to buy Fairtrade, all that sort of thing – it all comes from and ultimately leads back to my faith. But I do recognize how that might have seemed very unfocused to readers, possibly giving you guys heaps of irrelevant posts alongside the stuff you actually wanted. Hopefully this re-shuffle will lead to a better and more relevant blog for you ❤

And hey, if you still want it all, nothing’s stopping you from signing up to both lol

Follow Me.

It was absolutely ages ago now, but does anyone remember DIY Mythology? (https://ravensblog2017.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/d-i-y-mythology/) Well, I *finally* have something to share lol. It’s a little weird…but that’s what you expect from me anyway, right?

They say, don’t they, that if you see a white stag, he’s there to lead you to something? Something special, something important, total disaster…quite possibly all three.

So he knew, the second he saw one emerge from the trees, that he needed to follow him.

Holding his breath, he walked over to the Otherworldly creature. It towered above him; at least twice the size of the red and fallow deer he was used to seeing. Also unlike the deer he was used to, this one had three eyes; one on each side of his head, in the regular fashion, and one in the centre of his forehead, below his impressive set of white antlers.

All three soft, pink eyes watched the man as he carefully raised a hand in greeting. The stag let the man get close; close enough to reach out and touch him, close enough for him to hear the man whisper, without quite meaning to say it aloud, “Gods, you’re beautiful”…And then he was off.

Never too far, though, and never too fast. Always close enough for the man to see where he was and follow him.

After a little while, the stag had led the man to a small valley with a steep, rocky embankment…and then, impossibly, disappeared from sight. There were no trees he could have hidden behind, he was just…gone. Wondering what was supposed to happen next, the man scanned the embankment. About two thirds of the way up was a little cave, and on the ledge the man could just see a large, cream-coloured egg; smaller than, say, an ostrich egg, but certainly larger than anything laid by your standard chicken or goose.

No explanation was required. Without hesitation, the man began to climb up towards the egg. He was not exactly an athlete, but with a little determination he got himself up there.

Cautiously, he peered into the small cave mouth. Inside it opened out into a little cavern, in the centre of which sat the egg. What the man had not seen, from down on the ground, was the elderly giantess guarding the egg.

The first thing of her that he saw were her skeleton hands, resting protectively around the egg. The rest of her was curled up at the back of the cave, her knees up by her chin. Her ancient and wrinkled face was, to his relief, smiling at him.

She did not speak, but somehow the man knew what he was supposed to do. Perhaps it was instinct, perhaps the giantess communicated it to him somehow, perhaps the creature within the egg itself told him what to do…either way, he scraped together the scraps and tufts of dry grass littering the cave floor, found a pair of twigs, and set about making a fire.

It wasn’t easy – the tools available were far from perfect – but with a little perseverance he managed to get a spark, then a tiny flame. Gently he coaxed the flame, encouraging it out across the pathetic heap of grass. Once the little fire was going, he scooped it all into his lap, and placed the egg into it.

The man and his clothes remained unburnt, but the egg charred from it’s pure and soothing cream to a deep, earthy reddish-brown. The man felt the being inside begin to move, and it was not long before cracks appeared on the darkened shell. Who knew how long this egg had lain dormant, but now, it was hatching.

He had not been sure exactly what he was expecting, but it was not this. The creature who broke free from it’s egg was somewhat like a bird, with striking red, black and purple plumage. But it was also reptilian in ways; it had a snapping mouth full of spiky little teeth, and claws on it’s wings clung sharply to the man’s bare arms. The half-skeleton giantess beamed down at the pair of them.

Take it,” she said.

With his new little friend clinging to his top, the man climbed back down the embankment. When he reached the bottom, the stag was there again, waiting for him. Ready to lead him on.

We…Started a Business?!

Want to check it out? Here’s the link;  https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ThisIsMebyLoki

We’re selling handmade LGBTQ jewellery. It’s fairly basic at the minute, but before too long we’re looking to invest in charms, metal stamping equipment and various other things so that we can really personalise your jewellery (I have a loooooot of ideas…but very little capital to invest in them lol).

If anyone would be interested in a custom order, please drop me a line. It doesn’t have to be LGBTQ themed! I’ve already had a friend say that she thinks some of the bracelets I’ve shown her are really pretty, and that she’d like one with her own choice of colours so it’s unique to her, and not representing a pride flag. I’d be happy to do this for any of you guys too 🙂

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I’m Back!

I thought I’d better write in case y’all thought I was dead lol.

Actually, being serious for a sec, a lot of the reason I vanished for a bit was that I hit a really bad low with my mental health, and I was starting to think that perhaps I wanted to be dead. Partly it was stress (I had two very stressful meetings one after the other, and there were other things going on too – let’s just not go there, ok?), and honestly partly I think it was just…how these things go. I’m very used to my mental health going through ups and downs – it’s the nature of the beast. This was just a worse down than usual. And as I’m trying so hard not to cut/burn/otherwise harm myself, I had no reliable way to regulate my mood.

I also went on holiday and had no internet access, and then – just as I was beginning to feel up to writing again – our laptop crashed lol. Happily, our family saved us and brought us a new laptop as a joint both-our-birthdays-and-our-wedding-anniversary present. Love my family ❤

Before you think it’s all doom and gloom, I have some really good news I’d like to share with you all – I’ve been signed off for T! I just have to wait for letters to get sent out and all that blah-de-blah, and then I can get my first shot. It came as a total surprise, given the way all my previous gender clinic meetings have gone. I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet that I will soon be actually beginning my physical transition. I’ve been socially but not medically transitioned for so long that I can’t quite believe it’s real.

The other thing I wanted to say is that I might be making some changes to this blog. Previously I’ve just been dumping whatever I felt like writing all in this one place, but I’m not sure that’s the best approach. So I might keep this blog for the more spiritual end of things, and start a separate blog for stuff like recipes. Sister suggested this, and I think she may be on to something. The content of this blog is quite…unfocused lol. What do you all think?

Anyway, it’s nice to be back 🙂

Is Your Energy Supply Animal Free?

Dunno how many of my lovely readers are actually vegan, but the idea that I had to take my energy suppliers into account on vegan grounds never even crossed my mind, so I thought I should share this with you all.

Monsoon of Random

Britain’s greenest energy company Ecotricity have blown us all away with the revelation that over half of Britain’s homes are (sometimes unknowingly) using electricity and gas generated from animal parts.

Ecotricity have always promoted sustainable living in all forms, and has a long standing history of refusing to buy electricity or gas from animal related sources, supplying us with 100% green electricity and gas from grass.  To back this up, they are now officially launching the world’s first vegan electricity and have received Vegan Society accreditation, with gas to follow close behind.

ecotricity

It might shock you to hear that SSE admitted last year to using dead salmon from factory fish farms in Scotland to generate power.

Even more surprising, is that the supposed “ethical green energy” supplier Good Energy used pig slurry from a factory farm, which was at the centre of animal cruelty allegations.

Whilst it’s not against the…

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Spicy Mango Chickpeas.

  • 1 400g tin chickpeas
  • 1 generous tablespoon mango chutney
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (I prefer crunchy)
  • Spices to taste (I used 2 tablespoons garam masala and a pinch of chili flakes)

A dead easy one, this; first drain and rinse the chickpeas. Then throw all the ingredients into a pan, give it all a good stir so that everything is well mixed, and cook until piping hot.

These are great fresh from the pan, but perfectly nice eaten cold as well. We like them in wraps with salad and guacamole or vegan mayonnaise.

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At Last, A Shrine!

Four months after we moved home, I’ve *finally* been able to set up a shrine. Husband put up some shelves this afternoon, and one of them is now occupied by Loki and Sigyn. I have to admit, I’m glad that Their shrine is the first.

I’m so happy that They have Their own space, and I’m also so happy that I have a space for Them. I’m not honestly happy with the shrine the way it is right now, but at least I have something to work with and improve. Here it is;

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So yeah, not the awesomest, but it could be worse. I have a lot of ideas for how to make it better now that I have more room – I’ll post an update once I’ve made a decent amount of progress. Their old shrines were about 1/3 the size of this one, so I was more limited in what I could do.

After I’d set the shrine up and Husband and I were taking a look at it, I noticed a little spider on the wall. I have associated spiders with Loki for a while, so I mentioned to Husband that it was funny how one had popped up now I’d set up a shrine for Loki and Sigyn. I assumed it was a coincidence, but as we watched the spider crawled up to the shrine, and found a tiny gap behind one of the supports to hide itself in. So now it’s hidden right underneath the side of the shrine with Loki’s shrine cloth and offering bowl. I really feel like that’s more than just coincidence – I think Loki has arrived at His new pad.

I really like shrines because they literally give our Deities a place in our lives; saying ‘You are important, You are a part of my life’ by physically making room for Them and having a visible reminder of Them every day. It also helps me if I have a focus when I pray and meditate. Working on a shrine is a devotional offering – making things or searching for the right things to go on it, arranging everything so that it looks pleasing, keeping it all clean and tidy. I also keep my devotional jewelry on Their shrine, to imbue it with Their energy as much as possible.