Friday, April 30, 2010

New beginnings

I had an incredible experience last night with the Goddess. I felt like I had lost her favor since returning to Christianity because I didn't sense her or feel her near me at all.  I thought that meant that I had been on the right path when I chose to return to the religion I had been raised in, but when that proved to be an empty experience I was hesitant to call up on the Goddess again, feeling like I had abandoned and rejected her.

Last night I called upon her and the moment I touched my athame to my forehead I felt her presence so vividly that I was almost giddy with the experience.  It sounds silly to put it down in print but it was more real to me than anything I'd ever experienced before.  She didn't reject me!  She welcomed me back in spite of me turning away from her.  After years and years of feeling in bondage to a god who made me feel like crap about myself it was electrifying to be treated like I had value and that I was welcomed and loved for who I was without any conditions placed upon me.  How good could I feel about myself if I were so repugnant to God that he couldn't stand the sight of me unless someone died to "make" me worthy?  What kind of god would demand that?

At any rate, it was a good night and although I'm not able to celebrate Beltane tonight I can still enjoy the meaning behind it and the restoration of my relationship with the Goddess.  New beginnings, indeed!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I can 't believe I'm still battling this cold.  I suspect it's bronchitis, actually and if I'm not well by next weekend, I'll make an appointment with the doctor but for now I got some B-12 pills from the store and will try to eat better and begin some light exercise.  I'll probably walk Professor up and down the street until I'm ready to tackle the hill and walk him around the block.  It's a pretty steep hill that leaves me gasping for air by the time we get home.

I also plan on lighting a candle tonight and offering up a prayer to Brigid for health.  I use blue for health even though I know most people use red.  Blue signals physical health to me.  I think of emotional health when I think of red.  I should also light a green candle as I'm spending more than I should be right now.  I'm using our tax refund to stock up on minor items for the yard and garden and I admit I bought myself two $9 dvds today because if I wait until a special occasion comes up, they're gone.  I missed out on Babylon 5 (the whole series) and Firefly that way.

I have some knitting that must be done tonight but I would like to take some time for studying tarot and a druid course I found online.  Since Beltane is this weekend, I should at least read it by then even if I've got the whole month of May to accomplish the tasks set forth.

I figured out what drew me back to Christianity the last was the sense of belonging.  I remember how bereft I felt having no one in my life who was Pagan except for Zach.  I always needed to feel part of a group.  I've joined two email loops for Pagans, one being from Madison so maybe that will help.

I saw the hawk family again on the way home.  I love seeing them flying about.  I feel a kinship with them, but I've also seen a fox, a weasel and a bald eagle as I drive around (and apparently I'm the only one who sees them) so they offer me a kinship as well.

I must go lie down as I'm feeling particularly crummy tonight.  Hopefully this will pass soon.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Coming to terms with healing

I decided today to open my blog completely to the public.  It's ridiculous that I'm hiding behind some kind of curtain afraid that someone I know in person might read and find out who I really am.  I'm not going to advertise it but I'm not going to hide it either.  If people don't like who I've become, they don't have to associate with me.  But they don't get to criticize me or try to change me either.

Beltane is coming up this weekend and I don't really have anything planned for it aside from getting some flowers planted and some work permitting.  I have plans for a fairy garden/sanctuary on the back of the property, nearly hidden by bushes and trees.  I got some solar lights today to light up my little hideaway and will move those monster rocks up the hill sometime this weekend.  Actually it will probably take me a couple of weeks because there are many of them and they are mighty heavy.

I plan on having an outdoor altar there as well...just a few candles and some organic elements.  I'll move my Weber grill/fire pit out there as well so I can have small, cozy fires.  I suspect Tom will even like it as long as he doesn't figure out the Pagan elements of it. I've also got some tiki torches because we always have a fine crop of mosquitoes in these parts.  Tom wants to build bat houses to take care of that.  I'm not that keen on having them so close to the house though...diseases and all.

I'm seriously setting my mind toward getting healthy, too.  I do not take care of myself and that has a lot to do with some leftover elements from Christianity:  unworthiness, debasement, depravity, etc.  One of the nastier things about my life as a Christian...not being able to think of myself in positive terms.  No matter how much I was told that God loved me so much, it never overcame all the negative things about what a bad sinner I was.  I've still got a lot of healing to accomplish from those things that hurt me so much.  Such as how I'm supposed to put others first to the point that I'm not even in the equation at all.

Since I'm still overcoming the flu, I'm going to take myself to bed and start taking care of me and putting me first for once.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In which I panic first and then breathe

I had some very disconcerting moments yesterday when I discovered that someone I knew on facebook (and from my neck of the woods) had accessed this blog via my other, mundane blog. I'll admit I felt very uneasy because I could narrow it down to two people, both of whom were from my former, fundamentalist church. I don't know why it bothered me so much because I don't need their good opinion of me but I guess that's human nature.

In the long run, it's probably a good thing because it forces me to be honest with myself. I won't be outing myself to my husband any time soon because that's not a conversation I ever want to have, but at least I can be myself here on this blog.

I unfriended the person on facebook who was so disrespectful to me. Her "excuse" was that she was a blunt person and yes, she knew she needed to be more careful because her daughter had told her that, too, and yes, she would "examine" herself to find out where she needed to work on things. Trouble is, I've heard that from her for 14 years so I'm not interested in dealing with it anymore. I wonder sometimes if the "friends" from my former church (I put that in quotes because it's not like they tried to maintain the friendship when we left there ) friended me on fb in order to keep an eye on me. I am out there with my politics, after all.

Or I could just be paranoid.

I'm settling in to my path. I'm not inclined to pick a particular discipline but let my heart go where it will. I feel very drawn to nature and the gods and goddesses that are at home there. Druidism has some elements to it that appeal to me. Right now I just want to drift on the water and let the boat take me where it will.

I intend to get my tarot cards out and study them again. Plus I have in mind creating some Pagan jewelry and baby clothes and possibly set up them up to sell...either online or at a flea market. There are no consignment shops around here that would be a good outlet for Pagan crafts. Pretty fundie territory here.

I also want to learn crystals and runes. But as I'm not in a rush, those things will come as they will.

Today was a very busy day for me and also a day that let me know in no uncertain terms that I'm unhealthy and have a great need to remedy that. I need more than anything to pay attention to what is healthy and good and stop poisoning my body with stuff that makes me feel like crap.

But each day as it comes. And I need to stop being so hard on myself and let myself grow as I need to.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Feeling moody today

I didn't make it to church Sunday because it was another insomnia night. The last time I looked at the clock it was 6 a.m. and there was no way I could drive to church with so little sleep. I spent the night stressed because I knew I had to get to sleep because I had to get to church. I had altar guild and my partner wasn't going to be there so I had to in order to clean up after the service. Stress like that doesn't help you sleep at all.

I popped in later in the day to see if I needed to clean up but someone had already taken care of it. They are great about things like that but I still beat myself up for not being reliable. To the degree that I hate to sign up for anything because it's inevitable that I will not be able to make it.

I have decided to drop altar guild though. I've been weighing that decision for several months now, partly because of the reliability issues and partly because I feel like a fraud when I set up for communion. I'm not going to "out" myself to anyone there but I will just say that health issues take priority and I'm going to have to resign. Zach had resigned all of his ministries except Vestry (because Mary pleaded with him to stay) and they're still putting him on the schedule for reader and intercessor. It seems impossible to get off the list once you're on it.

I'm still having a hard time with the anger issues about my experiences with Christianity. I got into it with a former fundie friend who made some very disparaging remarks about gays and then proceeded to "apologize" with her I'm just a sinner saved by grace and no better than anyone else card. She's been doing this for the entire 15 years I've known her but I just couldn't take it any longer so I unfriended her after calling her on her bullshit.

It's hard for me to reconcile people like my dear friends online and in my church with the hatemongers online and in my former church. They both can't be the same religion. And my beliefs on the matter, however ridiculous they might be, are that Christianity is best represented by the hatemongers because that kind of rhetoric dates back to the early church fathers. Does it represent Jesus? Probably not. But I really don't think Jesus has a lot to do with Christianity. Being right is more important to the fundies than being kind and loving toward their neighbors.

I'll admit I'm still very bitter, very disillusioned and that probably is the lens I'm looking through, but I don't see myself ever embracing Christianity again. I tried. I tried to pretend. It's just not going to work.

I've been setting up my altar again but slowly this time and with more thought to it. I'm not happy with the location because it's hard to squeeze past my bed to get to the corner I've got it in, but this tiny house is bursting at the seams with furniture and clutter so unless I can figure out a way to streamline without getting a divorce it just isn't going to happen.

Hopefully when I get over this flu completely I can start working outside more. I did some mowing today but thought I was going to die. I'm so out of shape and the lawnmower is painful to use. The vibrations are so bad that my wrists and hands are in pain after just a few minutes of use.

Also I'm going to try to write in this blog more and the other one less...maybe balance them out a bit. Hardly anyone reads this one and while I would love to have more readers, I'm not sure I want to advertise it since neither my husband nor my extended family know of my departure from Christianity into Paganism or the journey it has taken.

Maybe I'll feel better and more optimistic tomorrow.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The path veers

I've had the flu for the past couple of weeks and have had a lot of time to think since I didn't feel like doing anything much. It's been a bit bothersome because I didn't necessarily like the direction my thinking was taking me but if you're on the path and there are no exits, you either stop dead in the road or you keep going.

The bottom line is that while I tried very hard to have Celtic Christianity be it for me, I just don't believe in Jesus anymore. Not as the Son of God. Not as the Messiah. Not as my Savior. I do like my church, however and that is the problem. I want to continue there and be a part of it, including the altar guild but what the rituals mean to me isn't what the rituals are meant to mean.

Sadly, our church is dying out, I think. We have more people dying than are coming in and it won't be long before we can no longer sustain ourselves financially. The Vestry is in a near panic as it is with no real answers in sight. Our county consists mostly of evangelical/fundamentalist types with the majority being Catholic and Lutheran of the Wisconsin Synod or LCMS. Liberal churches just don't flourish here. And to be honest, driving to BD is a long enough trip for me. I'm not up for driving to another county should our church close its doors.

I still lean toward the Pagan though and I think trying to deny that is just a waste of energy. I wanted to remain Christian because it has been my heritage, my lifelong culture and the most familiar to me. Easter was coming up and it used to be my favorite time of year, so I was trying to find the magic again. But I couldn't find it. I couldn't force myself to believe something I don't. I even went so far as to wish I had never learned the things I learned about the Bible and the early church just so I could live in ignorant bliss.

But ignorance isn't bliss and I don't want to live or believe a lie anymore.

So I will embrace the path set before me and hopefully no longer live with guilt or anxiety anymore. I return to the Goddess, to Brigid, to Lugh and rest finally without this burden on my back any longer. I feel lighter but there is a sadness to leave behind what was so much a part of my life.

I hope I have grown, though, from the person who was looking too desperately for a niche to fit into and will let my journey take me where I'm supposed to go.