Sunday, May 30, 2010

Agnostic days...or not

I'm having an agnostic day.  At least a day where I'm having trouble believing in anything.  I suppose it's to be expected that when you discover that what you've believed all your life isn't true, you have trouble believing in anything after that.  I'm pretty sure tomorrow, after a night's sleep and maybe some cooler weather, I'll feel better tomorrow, I'm sure.

My daughter had a baby last week.  I found out about it through the grapevine as she doesn't want me in her life.  I only found out she was pregnant a few days before the baby was born.  When I had cancer, she seemed to want a relationship but the moment my chemo was over, she was out of the picture again.  I sent her a Hebrew alphabet book when Julian was born and she sent me a note that said, "You didn't have to do that."  As if she really wished I hadn't.  I knit the baby a blanket but I'm not sure I'm going to send it as she has expensive tastes and this is hand knit...or in her mind...homemade.  If it's not expensive, she's not interested in it.  Alas, when you marry into money it seems to change a person.  And heaven knows I'm a blight on her existence with our low income.

I didn't go to the wedding either.  My name wasn't on the invitations.  Her stepmom's was.  She makes out like I was never in her life but I raised her by myself the first 7 years of her life.  Her dad told her lies about me and how I was never there so she believes him.  Nothing my parents have said to her matter.  She wants to believe badly of me.

What hurts the most though is that my older sister has a good relationship with her and takes her side against me.  She knows the truth but would rather have a one-up on me.

My dad asked me today when I was coming down to visit.  I said this summer,  hopefully but I don't want to go.  When I go down there they criticize me and he mocks me in front of anyone who will listen.  Why should I put myself through that?  Plus I would be expected to go to church with them and I sure can't stomach their church.  It's the one I was raised in so I know it well.  I could go during the week and leave on the weekend so I wouldn't have to go but the thought of a 11 hour drive wears me out just thinking of it.

I know I'm pretty unsocial these days.  I've been reading on an online pagan loop and there is as much testiness and fundamentalism as there was on my old Christian loop.  I guess it's just people after all.  Someone got pissed because people didn't rally around her post on the oil leak in the Gulf.  Someone else made a huge point of leaving facebook and just wouldn't shut up about how awful facebook is, as if everyone was supposed to leave because she did.  On another online place someone is pissed because people are choosing their own path and she doesn't think they should be able to do that.  At least not do that and call themselves Wiccans.  She's pretty fundie about it being by the book.  And the book being the one by Gardner.

So today I'm a bit off.  Feeling down and feeling alone.  Feeling like I don't have a place out there.  Fortunately I know it's just a mood and the heat and that a good night's sleep will put everything in a different light.  But it's good to get it out and not hold it in like I do on my other blog.  I used to vent there but I deleted a bunch of things because I didn't really want to hurt anyone.  I just needed to get it out.  Now I usually do it on paper and then shred the paper.

I think I need to start getting up early and do some walking and get the bulk of my work out of the way so I can just rest during the hot parts of the day.  I'm useless in this heat and with the a/c not working.  I guess we could put Tom's a/c in the living room but it's for a small bedroom and I'm not sure how effective it would be cooling off the kitchen and living room. Plus how much more money that would cost us.  Still, if I'm going to be effective, I'm going to need a cooler climate.  Last summer was so cool we barely used the fans.  This spring is hotter than last summer was.

Off to put my pjs on and sit in front of the fan and just think cool thoughts.  I'll light a candle for the Goddess once it cools off a bit.  I guess I'm not feeling so agnostic after all.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hare Moon, Hecate and the past haunts me again

Last night was pretty good.  I was running behind with supper so we didn't get outside until after nine but the moon was just peeking over the hill behind the trees so we wouldn't have seen anything before then anyway.  It was particularly brilliant last night, enveloped in a luminescent halo.  Breathtakingly beautiful it was.

Earlier in the evening when I was setting up the stones for my altar, Zach whispered "turn around" to me.  I moved somewhat slowly and saw a huge brown speckled rabbit not 10 feet from me, crouching down.  Our neighbor was in his yard weed-eating his hill and I think the rabbit though we were the lesser of two evils so he hid on the side of the ridge so the neighbor wouldn't see him.  I tried to remain unmoving but the rock I had in my hands was pretty heavy and eventually had to put it down.  He moved up the hill after than and into the thicket.  Or she.  It's not like I could tell from where I was.

I remembered that the full moon of this month is considered to be the Hare Moon so I thought that was pretty "coincidental" in the scheme of things.

We lit some candles and some full moon incense.  I purified and consecrated my altar and invoked Hecate, dedicating this moon cycle to her.  I'm still uncertain if she is the Goddess I have been drawn to but I will be patient on that end.  Zach came out with me and just watched, not wanting to participate in any way.  We didn't do a lot besides sitting in the chairs watching the moon rise and just talking.  Then the mosquitoes drove us indoors.  I couldn't put the tiki torches up because someone had removed the internal parts from them, although no one will admit to it.  Now I have useless tiki torches.  I wonder if I can put the citronella oil in a kerosene lamp and use it.  I'll have to research that because I'm not spending anymore money.

I haven't really gotten much done today.  I'm back to dragging and no energy.  I hoped to plant some flowers and herbs today.  I might get that done later.  Someone mentioned online that the full moon was the time to plant but I figure a day late can't make that much difference. energy at all.

Zach and I talked a lot about the past today.  I was reading a forum that talked about "God's will" and how Christians determine it and it occurred to me that an episode that happened almost 21 years ago may have been the start of me leaving Christianity.  I was in a Sunday school class and the topic was knowing God's will for your life.  I asked them how you could know what God's will was and the response was that I would just know.  A little more back and forth than that but the general, condescending answer was that I would know. 

But I never did know.  I never, ever got a clear answer as to what God's will was for my life, for a particular situation or anything.  I don't remember a single answer to prayer that was clearly an answer.  I don't remember God every communicating with me the way other Christians said they had experienced.  Not in 54 years of Christianity.  And I suspect I'm not alone.  I suspect the majority of Christians out there won't admit that they never got an answer either.

In a way it was a relief to know that I've been heading down that path for a long time rather than feeling like this was an abrupt decision.

For Zach it was in our old fundie church when they continuously shut him down when he thought he had a "word from the Lord" because they didn't want him to be the one having the gift.  Other incidents were the Purity conference when the men and boys ganged up on him because he didn't see anything wrong with masturbation.  The last straw was when they lied to him about a contest.  It was set up for people who brought guests to the youth group.  He didn't know anyone outside of church because we homeschooled and didn't belong to any groups because we were shunned out of them for various reasons...none of them good reasons.  So one of the sponsors told him he could enter the contest anyway but the head motherfucker in charge (aka the youth pastor/cult leader) was brutal in his explanation that hell, no Zach couldn't enter the contest.  He stopped going after that.  Initially to the youth group and a two weeks later to that church.

So in a religion that is supposed to be about a god's love for mankind, people act like assholes and treat kids (and Zach was still a teen then) like that.

Okay I'm cooling off.  The bitterness and anger comes and goes. 

All this is another reason I'm not rushing out to join any Pagan groups just yet.  While our latest church was nothing like that and was full of nice, genuine people, I'm still very hesitant to involve myself with any group of people.  I know from online groups that no organization is exempt from having jerks as members.

In the meantime I'm enjoying the people I'm meeting through blogs and forums and am letting myself learn at my own pace.

And that's enough for now.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Full Moon

Zach and I got some mowing done today in the fairy garden area.  It's hilly and difficult to mow so I usually break the yard up into two parts: the flat parts and the hilly parts.  I ended up finishing because I wasn't clear in my instructions to Zach and it was easier, so I thought, to do it than to explain it.  He knows now what areas to mow and can handle it by himself next time.

I don't have it all set up as much as I would like for the Full Moon tonight but it's enough for now.  And since it's still daylight I might have time to do a bit more.  I'm exploring Hecate and am finding myself drawn to her.  I'll wait until I'm sure she's beckoning me before I commit.  I am so hesitant to commit to anything these days, having been burned so many times before.  It's odd that I find committing to a deity as difficult as committing to a relationship with a person.

Hecate appeals to me in many ways but I am comforted by the fact she's not all-good.  I had enough of that in the past, with a deity who claimed to be Light and Good and Love and yet had some qualities that seemed malevolent and nasty if you didn't bow to his will all the time.  But still, I'll court her for a while and see what happens.

The cards last night had a sense of urgency to them about me getting busy with my crafts.  There was a "do what you love and it will turn into a job" message to them. Now I just have to figure out just what it is I love enough to make my life's work.  I also had a question about going back to church, wondering if I was doing the right thing not going back and the cards indicated I should be forming new friendships.  What really amazes me is I keep getting the same or similar cards every single time, with slight variations.

I've been more active in spite of the lack of sleep and feeling more focused.  Maybe it's all coming together finally.  I do tend to be more energetic around a full moon so I won't get too excited until I see how I am in a few days.

I plan on just spending some time outside tonight, lighting some candles and burning the barkskin I found in the yard as an offering to Hecate.  I'm trying to be intuitive and this feels like the right thing to do.  I plan on burying the ash in my vegetable garden once I get it turned and planted.

There is much to do tonight before the moon rises so I'd better get busy.  I don't expect Zach to come out as he's taking things even slower than I am.  I just hope the mosquitoes don't fall in love with me tonight.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


After 13, count 'em 13, hours of sleep I'm still dragging but competent enough to make a decision.  I think.  The reasons for leaving church still stand and don't change because I got a nice note from a nice lady.  I could go back, go through the motions, enjoy the fellowship in coffee hour and drive home and put on my Pagan pants, but there would still be that living in two worlds thing. I would still feel conflicting emotions trying to say the creed when I don't mean it, genuflecting to a god I no longer believe in.  Well, he may exist but my choice is not to worship him, so genuflecting to a god I don't particularly like would be the height of hypocrisy for me.

Then there is the face I would be putting on.  Everything there would think I was still a Christian.  But the truth is, I no longer want to be a part of that life.  On the way into the library today a man was coming out wearing a t-shirt with the Nehemiah Project on it.  It's a Christian group that teaches Christians how to have Christian businesses, apparently.  I felt such a surge of anger and nausea when I saw that and I'm sure my face showed it, even though I did try to maintain a poker face.  It's another thing about Christianity that even the liberals do.  Everything has to be based on Christ apparently.  You can't teach people how to build a small business.  No, you have to teach them how to build a small, Christian business.

Everything has to have that label on it to the degree it comes across very trivial and cheesy.  Not to mention it feels like having Jesus crammed down the throats of everyone.  Yeah, I understand it.  I lived it for 50+ years.  But being on the outside now, I see just how arrogant and pushy it all is.

So I think I'm done with church.  I will admit that something did happen that pissed me off before we left.  We had donated money to the sister church in Haiti and even gave them our bigger tent because the church is in the mountains and the refugees from Port au Prince needed places to stay, and when our delegation from the diocese went down to donate all the garden tools, tents, blankets and food, the diocese down there didn't want them and refused to house them.  They knew they were coming for a month and didn't bother to tell them not to come.  No, they waited until they got down there and turned them out.

It was the last straw for me.  I don't put strings on my gifts but this was such an intolerable attitude that I had trouble coming back to church at all.  I know it wasn't "our" church who did this.  It was someone from our church who suffered.  But it was "our" denomination.  And not one person from the church thought it was out of the ordinary or even wrong.

Maybe I was looking for an excuse to leave.  I'm not losing sleep over it.  Although I wish I could take the money that we really didn't have to offer and the tent back.  I can be nasty that way.  The "Christian" in me would have had to repent of that attitude and give cheerfully because it was all God's anyway.  The non-Christian in me says a lot of bad words and decides in the future to give more discerningly because it was ours to give because the gods don't give and then retain ownership of anything.  If they give it to you, it's yours.

So, maybe I'm still a bit tired and cranky but I'm alert enough to feel that my decision to leave is the right one.  It will take time, though, to stop feeling that pull to go back.  But as it occurred to me this morning, that is the past and I don't want to go backward.  I want to go forward.  Eventually I'm sure Tom will figure it all out if he hasn't already.  But since he's been to church twice in the last 10 years I don't think he'll have a lot to say about it.

Tomorrow is the full moon and I've been reading some blogs about things to do on the full moon.   Some write about a ritual for Hecate.  I've never considered her before but since I don't really have a pull for a specific Goddess just yet, I may explore her for a while.  I think my wandering spiritually is the best thing I could do for myself right now.  I jumped in too soon before and was too eager.  Now I'm biding my time and waiting for the right answers to my questions.  My Lady doesn't have a face or a name to me although I'm pretty sure she knows who she is.  At one time I thought I knew who she was but I didn't.  I thought the Lord must be Cernnunos but I don't know that anymore either.  Zach has seen his Lord but doesn't know his name and is perfectly content.  Maybe contentment is the lesson.

It might be cool enough to light candles tonight and my brain might be clear enough to meditate (although I'm not good at that yet either and tend to lose my focus after a minute or so) but at least I can light candles for people who have asked for energy and prayer.  I'm finding that while I hated intercession as a Christian because it felt so cheesy, as a Pagan I feel like I'm really doing something to help.

I need to establish some ritual and scheduling because my life is so chaotic right now with the fatigue interfering so much that I'm not keeping my surroundings or my life organized. Hopefully I can this moon period to help me achieve that goal.  One thing I love so much about Paganism is the cyclic nature of it all.  Things come back around so the opportunity to accomplish something isn't necessarily gone forever.

I'm still taking baby steps.  sigh

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

So they do miss me after all

I got a very nice card from a couple at church which, of course, has me re-thinking quitting church.  I guess I do miss it and them, even though I don't believe anymore.  I'm not committing to anything right now because I'm on day three of hardly any sleep so my thinking isn't coherent or logical at present.  But I do think this time away has helped me solidify my beliefs and de-tox from the painful poison of Christianity, leaving maybe some more pleasant memories of it.  Zach is finished, though, and I don't intend to try to change his mind.  To be honest, there is really nothing there for him.  No one his age.  No activities for him.  I'll make up my mind at a later date though.

It would be nice if I could keep part of my heritage while enjoying the newness and beauty of Paganism.  I can't see myself ever believing in the God of Christianity though.  Or at least not in Jesus.  But I don't want to hang onto something because I'm too afraid to give it up.  I never want to be in bondage to fear ever again.

I am exhausted from lack of sleep and the heat (the heat wave appears to have broken now) so I'm not in a good place to make decisions. Or any sense for that matter.  In the meantime it's time for me to go to bed.  I hope to get some sleep finally.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Kathy's inferno

I'm feeling grumpy and not particularly spiritual today.  We're having temperatures in the 90s F and I'm just not prepared for it.  Both pets are miserable: Hannibal was hiding under my bed all day and Professor was panting until I thought he was going to explode.  And the air conditioner wouldn't work.

The weekend was busy and productive for Tom but not me as I didn't get a lot of sleep so the cleaning up from the weekend hasn't happened.  No sleep plus too much heat makes me totally useless.

He did enjoy the fairy garden area I have started setting up.  I saw him outside last night and popped out for just a few minutes to find him watching a hawk soar over the neighbor-up-the-hill-across-the-highway's house.  And he was particularly entranced by a star until I pointed out it was Venus.  Then he seemed to lose interest.

It's definitely too hot to light candles today but I still spent some time sprawled across the bed between two fans blowing while trying to meditate on the triple Goddess picture above the altar.  Sadly I don't meditate well when I'm overheated.

Tonight I hope to get some cleaning done if it cools off enough.  When my world is in chaos, my spiritual life is in chaos.  And the whole house right now is a wreck so I'm unfocused and drifting with doubts and uncertainties.  I suppose that's to be expected anyway considering I lived nearly my whole life completely confident that I knew the truth.  Only to find out I didn't.

In some ways, though, the uncertainties feel pretty good.  Not having all the answers seems safer right now because it leaves me some space to find the truth I need to find.  Not holding hard and fast to anything feels freer.  I'm not bound to or by anything or anyone.

Oh not too lucid today unfortunately.  Normally I do okay with the heat but this is too soon in the year and we're too fresh from having had to use the furnace.  I need more time to adapt.

Back to the bed because it's the coolest place in the house right now.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Short weekend update

Just a short entry today as I don't normally post on weekends, but the situation from yesterday has been at least temporarily resolved and the sword no longer hangs over my husband's head.  At least for now.  Was the spell responsible for the resolution?  Who knows?  I'm not jumping on the train just yet but it sure did feel like it helped the situation.  I know at least it didn't hurt it and it made me feel a lot better.  I gave thanks to the Lady this morning with some brief candle time as Tom was gone for a short while.

Zach was impressed as well and both of us feel much more at peace with our decision to leave the church.  Tom seems to have taken it for granted that we're not going to church tomorrow so I see no need to go into any explanations as yet.

Today is going to be spent puttering around the house, cleaning, organizing and designing Pagan craft items to sell in my shop.  The tarot last night said most definitively to stop dreaming and start doing.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A spectacular day

I found myself reaching automatically for my old beliefs today, and not in a good way.  Tom has a situation at work that is the equivalent of the Sword of Damocles.  When he told me today of how stressful the climate at work is because of it and the dire consequences should that sword fall, I immediately thought that this was my fault for leaving Christianity. 

I know that you will never hear a Christian say this, but there is an undercurrent that exists, especially in the more fundamentalist churches, that God will punish you if you do something outside his will, but you get rewards if you stay in it.  They will deny that this is what they teach or believe, but it's as real as the rest of the teachings.  It absolutely exists in every church I've ever been in.  And I've been in many.

Hence my absolute panic that I caused this situation and I immediately thought of praying to God to help us out of this.  Then I calmed down a bit and realized what I was doing.  As soon as Tom left for work, I went to my altar, lit my candle for the Goddess, a blue one for health, a red one for emotions and two green candles for both our finances and his work situation.  And I chose patchouli for incense because it feels like a grounding incense.  I'm pretty sure I'm not using the colors as most other pagans do but this is what these colors speak to me so that's how I use them.

I called the corners in my own simple way...just calling peace from each direction.  I envisioned a circle drawn around me and then just meditated for a few moments, calling on the Lady and the Lord for guidance and energy.  I use my athame (which is a black handled letter opener because money is tight and I feel really good vibrations from it anyway) by touching the candles and my forehead, then the candles and my heart.  I don't really say anything but my thoughts are on the Lady when I do it.  I always get tingly when I do this.  Sometimes more than others, but it never fails to happen.

Then I lit the blue candle calling on the Goddess for Tom's health, the red candle calling on her for Tom's emotional health especially at work, then both green candles asking for help with our finances and Tom's work situation.  Then with the athame at my forehead I envisioned a bubble around Tom while asking for protection for him.  I saw him walking around work inside that bubble and the person who could cause him the most harm unable to penetrate that bubble. And I've kept that image in the back of my mind ever since.

I had never felt so much energy going through me when I did this ritual. I was tingly for half an hour afterward.  It's really the first time I've done a full ritual for someone else and I can see the difference from when I do one for myself.   I was able to draw so much more energy than I was before.

I have no idea if it will work out the way I hope, but I do know that it will work out the way it has to.  And I feel comforted to know that there isn't a deity up there handing out favors for those he likes better than others while kicking some down when they ask for the same favors. 

But it also got me thinking about, well not karma exactly, but how what we send out comes back to us.  And how much negativity I radiate.  And how my fears paralyze me and prevent me from trying new things because of that negativity.  So now I know what to work on first.  Not how to do it exactly, but at least it's a starting point.

I love how guilt-free paganism is.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

No regrets

Got the June newsletter from church and read a letter in there from a guy who had been attending for a few months.  He was quitting and going to the Catholic church.  That makes 5 people gone in the past month, including us.  Plus another man quit the position of sexton so now there are 3 administrative positions open, including Zach's Vestry position.  It's a tiny church as it is and we've lost 4 good sized families in the past year to moves out of town.

All those residual feelings of regret just sort of dissipated after reading the newsletter.  I do feel very sorry for the church and wouldn't want it to fail.  There are some good people there and the manner of worship, ritual and such are beautiful.  But I can't keep being torn in two anymore.  If I go there, I'm going for the ritual only, not for the beliefs.  If I stay home, I have all the ritual I want or need AND the beliefs.  And my "church" is everywhere.  I don't have to get up and drive after 3 hours' sleep.  I can sleep in and just do my thing at one of my altars.  Or better yet, wait until dark and go outside and enjoy the quiet beauty of the night.

I haven't actually figured out who my Gods/Goddesses are just yet.  I lean toward the Lady and the Lord but I also have an affection for Lugh.  At one time I felt drawn to Brigid but lately not so much.  This time, I'm not going to push it.  I'll wait until I feel them and know their names.  My rituals are plain; I haven't begun trying to learn magick although I am slowly figuring out tarot and crystals.  I just don't feel like rushing into anything. 

In the past whenever I would find a new direction, I would go all gung ho, trying to be the best whatever I could be.  Now, I'm just content to be small for a while and wait to grow. I do want to start being more consistent though, developing ritual and routine, if nothing else, just to develop some good habits.

One of which should be staying offline more.  I'm beginning to think that's part of what's draining my energy.  I've left one group and have whittled down some blogs I used to read.  Part of the time is spent on news though.  I don't like television news so I tend to read online instead.  It does take longer this way but I'm not crazy about any of the stations, especially Fox News, which my husband has on every morning and night.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better than today and that my path will become clearer as time moves on.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Some sunshine in my soul

Today was a good day full of positive things.  I got sleep last night, was more energetic today and felt more positive about my path.  Although I will admit that I woke up with a real longing to go back to church.  I thought about this most of the day until I remembered that I had gotten a very nice email from the priest in response to my resignation from the altar guild.  She's a very warm, understanding person and gave me all the space I needed.  Once I remembered that I realized that I have an innate need to please people in authority and that was the reason I was wanting to return.  Not because I missed the ritual but because I wanted to respond to her being nice to me.

I do miss the people at times, but it's not like we were close.  I haven't heard from anyone in the nearly 6 weeks we've been absent.  So it's not like I'm missing opportunities.

I'm also starting to feel a bit more imaginative which is great to find out that my mojo isn't gone forever.  It's not really back yet but it is sending postcards now, so that's a huge improvement.  And now that I'm feeling better, I'm fully intending to tackle this shell I reside in and start treating it like I love it.  Better choice of foods, more activity (if I don't call it exercise maybe it will be more like fun) and a more positive outlook.  Not that I think it will be a slam-dunk.  I know me and I know just how hard this will be.  I'm not terribly good at the follow-through so I've got to be ever vigilant and keep my focus.

The books on ritual didn't come in to the library yet but I found a list of podcasts that might help.  Tom is going to let me borrow his mp3 player so I can download them.  I just must remember to delete them when I"m done in case he wants it back. 

A bit of a surprise today as there was a person online who resented her path being called Pagan and gave a list of reason why not, mostly because it wasn't called that back in the pre-classical age apparently.  I hadn't thought about it much but I suppose it's the way Christians started being called Christian.  At first it was an insult and now it's just what they call themselves and how they are known world-wide.  Although there are an increasing number of sects that don't want to be called that anymore because they, of course, are following the Way as it was taught from the very beginning and don't want to associate with those who have perverted it over the millenia.  Not that I'm comparing them to the person who seemed bitter about being called a Pagan.

It doesn't bother me to be called Pagan; in fact I'm a bit proud of it.  I guess it's just a matter of being sensitive to someone else's wishes without twisting your shorts up your butt trying to please everyone.  If you tell me, I'll accommodate you but don't expect me to be able to read your mind and don't expect me to call myself what you want me to.

Yeah...I'm not going to go back to living a way of life where I'm under anyone's thumb spiritually ever again.  As Russell Crowe (John Nash) says in A Beautiful Mind, "Despite my privileged upbringing, I'm actually quite well-balanced.  I have a chip on both shoulders."  Okay, I didn't have a privileged upbringing, and I'm probably not well-balanced, but I'm pretty sure I have a chip on both shoulders.

At any rate, it's getting dark enough to turn on the lights so I shall go have a soothing shower and crawl into bed, knit and watch the dvds I got from the library today.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Finding my way little by little

A discussion today on Christopaganism has left me feeling even more decided.  I'm so glad Tana brought up the subject because it made me see why I couldn't blend the two.  There is no belief left for me in Jesus or Christ or the God of the Bible so it would be impossible for me to try to incorporate them into my pantheon.  That's why I  couldn't enjoy the rituals in church any longer.  It occurred to me that when I would do altar guild by myself I would be able to designate worship to whatever God/Goddess I felt close to at that moment but if my partner was there, I was unable to because the actions were specific to Jesus.

The same way for church services.  The Eucharist lost its meaning for me and I could no longer look at it as an ancient pagan practice because the people there were making it too specific.  Which, of course, they should have done.  It was their worship service after all.

But these realizations have left me feeling much lighter and more certain that I am on the right path.  Which I really needed today.

I pushed myself to get some outdoor work done but I'm still a bit weak.  I'm not sure if I haven't fully recovered from the flu or if my depression/spiritual crisis/chronic illness haven't kept me from bouncing back.  Getting things done today, however, did make me feel more positive about getting things done tomorrow.  And being outside in the sunshine was like a tonic.  I'm setting up the outdoor area, which I think Tom will like as well, and then I'll work on my outdoor altar.  Since I have my bedroom altar, it's not that critical but it would be nice to have it soon so I can enjoy it this summer.

I think on some level Tom knows something but his tendency is not to look too closely at things he doesn't want to know about.  And I'm fine with that.  I don't anticipate him ranting and raging should he find out, but I anticipate him trying to change my mind and I've been through that already with my sister.  I just don't have the inclination to do it again.

Although I think that in time he would accept it and probably even enjoy some aspects of Paganism.  But I'm just not ready for that bridge to be burned yet.

I'm thinking of buying a book on tarot so I have it on hand all the time.  I'm not reading the cards with any regularity so I'm not picking up on the nuances of the cards. On the other hand, that's another expense we don't have the money for and it's not like this particular book I like at the library ever gets checked out by anyone but me so I can keep checking it out as much as I need to.  As long as I get it back on time and give someone else a chance.

I found some sites today on ritual that I plan on looking into later.  I also would like to learn more about herb and folk lore but I'm not sure where to find information about that.  Googling doesn't help a lot and the search at the library doesn't offer up many choices.  It would be nice to have a mentor.  Maybe one of the email loops I'm on would have suggestions.  I haven't actually introduced myself on them yet.  Darned shyness!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Invitation to a pity party rescinded

I changed my template because I needed to add some color into my life and this was a cheap fix.  I know I need to go outdoors more often where the sunlight and colors abound but it's so hard to when I don't get any sleep.  Or much sleep.  Certainly not enough anyway.

I was outside a bit yesterday and stood for a bit in the center of the back yard listening to a bird singing.  I'm not up on my birds so I don't know what kind it was, but as soon as it saw me, it flew away.  It makes me even more determined to fix up some sacred spaces outdoors for myself.  And not just sacred spaces....real living spaces for me to spend time just enjoying my environment.  The highway isn't that noticeable because of the lilac and honeysuckle that make a wall of heavenly scent between us and them.  And where I plan to make my sanctuary/altar is completely hidden from the highway, although the next-door neighbor could see me if he was out working in his garden.  But fortunately not from his house.

I really want to get healthier so I can get out and enjoy things more.  There is a marsh not far from here with a nice footpath.  On the way to Beaver Dam there are two a foot trail and the other a combination foot/bike/horse/snowmobile.  Okay, not to many snowmobiles this time of year but it's a lovely, long trail.  My goal is to get in shape enough to ride my bike all the way to Fond du Lac on it.  And back, I suppose.

I know I talk a lot about my hopes and dreams and it doesn't seem like I put any effort into achieving any of them.  That's the hardest part for me and something I need to work on.  But when every moment of your life is spent fighting a debilitating fatigue and pain condition, it seems to suck the ambition out of you, too.  I try to find inspiration in the lives of people who have fought insurmountable situations and gone on to success.  I wish I knew what their secret was.  What enables a person to get out of bed when there is no energy to do it?  To do physical tasks when there is constant pain and that fatigue that will not ever go away?

I had some second thoughts and decided to delete the pity party and focus on more positive things in my life.  Somewhere out there some energy found its way to me and I was able to do some cleaning.  And I still have enough to tackle another room.  I know a great deal of my fatigue comes from a lack of restful sleep but I'm also on at least 5 medications that have a drowsiness warning on them.  I sometimes wonder how I'm supposed to function at all.

At any rate, I have high hopes that tomorrow I'll tackle the outdoors and get my altar/sanctuary set up along with starting the fairy garden.  I'd like to plant some morning glories to hide the back of the garage.  That would involve coming up with some kind of lattice but I was thinking of making stakes out of wire coat hangers and using cup hooks and just stringing twine.  It's certainly cheaper than investing in a lattice although won't look as good in the winter.

So since I'm feeling a bit better, I'm off to do things that will make the house look better.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Every day really is new

It felt weird not to go to church today.  Which is weird in itself since I haven't been for nearly 2 months.  What felt strange was not going deliberately.  And knowing that this was going to be the norm in the future.  I wasn't able to sleep in but at least I didn't stress out at 3 a.m this morning while I was still wide awake.

I've ordered some books from the library on ritual.  I think I'm ready to incorporate that into my life as well as establishing some sacred spaces in and out of the house.  I still intend to make my outdoor altar but the grove/fairy garden/sanctuary has been downsized a bit because the area isn't as big as I remembered it.  I am going to make an outdoor area behind the garage for sitting and thinking and maybe sketching and painting, but the upper area will be my outdoor altar and shrine.

Next weekend I hope to break ground for the garden.  I hope getting outdoors and organizing the living things I hope to grow will bring more order to my life.  I know that even before I entertained the idea of Paganism, chaos in my life left me so stressed out that I was nearly unable to function.  So I'm hoping that more organization will give me more energy.  I never used to believe in feng shui but I now know that energy has to have pathways and in my house, it doesn't have them.

I'm having an early night tonight in hopes that I can wake up rested tomorrow and do some mighty works.  I did start on some projects for my future shop and actually felt creative in planning more.  I probably should have written them down though because now I can't actually remember them.

But for the first time in a long time, I feel a glimmer of hope in my life so I thank the Goddess for that.  Now off to bed and to spend some time in slumberland.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Keeping the container filled

I was thinking today about selflessness and how my former spiritual path put a huge focus on not thinking about yourself, or giving to yourself.  Or putting yourself first.  I feel like a container that has been slowly drained all these years without being refilled.  Maybe it's time to change that.  Not to the degree of abject selfishness, but in such a way that keeps me filled instead of empty all the time.  I can't help but think that all my fatigue and pain and depression have a connection to spending years of not putting myself first without dealing with intense guilt and anxiety.

I'm not sure how to do that, but it's something I do intend to explore.  Maybe not to the degree that I take the dark meat instead of letting the guys take it since they don't like white meat, but I am going to find ways that don't harm my family but help me.  I'm sure part of the solution will be to find activities and friends whom I have things in common with.  Stretch myself and stop hiding behind these walls.  Stop doing things I hate because I hate hurting other people worse.  Or it's more like I fear hurting other people. 

I don't mean I should turn into a raging bitch, cracking the whip and demanding the world bow to my demands.  But it does mean that I shouldn't have to pretend to be someone I'm not or that I enjoy things that make me miserable.  To a degree.  Sometimes the people you live with make it more difficult to take that stand.

I still feel so inadequate about everything.  I've been trying to come up with ideas for crafts and things to make to sell but my mind is a total blank.  I don't feel like I can come up with original ideas at all.  Maybe it's because the container is so empty right now.  Maybe I need to fill it with things that will create a spark of life in me again.

When I was on anti-depressants (which I can't take now because of a possible fatal interaction with other meds I'm on) I remember how it felt like the sun never really shone.  I never felt bright or creative.  I think that's one of the things I should focus on with this filling I need.  Learning how to draw from within and pull out the person I used to be and find the spark of the Goddess inside me and let that flow out through my fingers or my brain.

I have so far to go but unlike my former path, don't feel like it's a race or a competition.  I'll admit there are times I'm reading another Pagan's email or blog and I haven't a clue what they're talking about.  It's like dealing with a Christian who is always talking about isms and quoting the early church fathers.  It makes me feel a bit left out, but I have to remember that everyone was new once and I need to stop being so hard on myself.

Feeling like a part of a group comes with time and familiarity and effort on my part as well.  I just need to take that first step.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The choice

I felt a lot better this morning after a decent night's sleep.  Not 8 hours, but mostly uninterrupted and I'll take what I can get.  I can't help but think that it was in part due to having made the decision to leave the church.  I know it has been weighing on me to a large degree.  I did wake up feeling regretful though, wondering just what to do with the feeling.  I believe it was more of a feeling of sadness for the people I would be leaving behind.  They really are lovely people but for most of my life, I have made decisions based on how it would affect others, how their feelings came into it.  This time I have to think of what's good for me and Zach.

He has decided to stop going as well.  I emailed the priest to tell her I was quitting altar guild although I chickened out and made it about my health and insomnia, not being able to get up and go to church after a few hour's sleep.  It is part of it so I'm not lying.  I had talked to her once before about my loss of faith but again, I chickened out and told her it was resolved. 

I did consider, this morning, that maybe I wasn't ready to leave Christianity until I went online and read some chat stuff from a friend who is a liberal Christian.  No, I'm ready to leave.  Even the liberals seem overly proselytizing to me these days.  Not to mention she seems to be traveling in a more conservative direction.  No, there is nothing there for me except revulsion and impatience.  And anger and bitterness.  But I'm trying hard not to focus on that.

I didn't feel a sense of joy or elation after making the decision.  It felt instead like a burden off my shoulders, a relief, a passing away of something that was negative in my life.  I know in time the grief and bitterness will leave.  In time, I'll even stop thinking about it without having to force my thoughts away from the bitter, dark areas of my heart that need so much to heal.  I think I'm finally ready for that.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Still working it out

Zach and I were talking today about maybe leaving church anyway.  He's on the Vestry and they've had a bad spot recently having lost the Junior Warden to a sudden passing away so I told him to give it a few weeks at least.  I'll be resigning from the altar guild this Sunday though because it's an added stress on my life that I just don't need right now. I'll finish up the month but next month they'll have to do without me.  Zach is wanting to stop going altogether and as he's a grown man now, who am I to tell him otherwise.

The last time I was at church was to drop off the vest I knitted and I felt so alien there, like I didn't belong.  We had seen some of the members at the rummage sale the weekend before and they felt like strangers to me.  I hope I'm not withdrawing into my own little shell in doing this and I do have problems burning bridges behind me but I absolutely need some time away from church at the least.

It's also very hard for me to not get ill over some of the Christian-speak I'm faced with online and in person.  A few years ago I would never have dreamed that I would ever not be a Christian so this isn't an easy transition for me.  But it's impossible for me to not see beyond the platitudes and the party line anymore.  I did try so very hard to remain in the community in spite of not really believing.  I thought I could be "culturally Christian" and enjoy the rituals and the people, but now it's a struggle not to be repulsed by it all.

But even though I left behind the world I was raised in, I'm not really sure where I'm headed either.  I find myself still reacting in a very Christian way in my worship practices, dealing with the Goddess as if she were the same person as the God of Christianity.  My supplications to her seem whiny and selfish.  And demanding.  I know She is patient with me so that helps some but I've got half a century of habit to overcome.

I haven't learned to still my mind during candle time yet, partly to this inability to concentrate post chemo.  And of course, it's difficult to unlearn the destructive aspects of Christianity:  self-abasement, striving to achieve a state of perfection that doesn't exist in nature, never feeling worthy, etc.  I still feel like I've escaped an abusive relationship.

Maybe I should focus more on healing first.  Rather than trying to become someone new, maybe I should repair the person I am now.  Sounds like a plan.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Got into a pissing contest with a person online who claims to be a Christian who believes in universal salvation yet speaks like a fundie.  She was belittling people who believed in Pagan Gods and while she didn't use the word "silly" that was the overall meaning of what she was saying.  I should have known, having had numerous said micturating contests before, that she plays mind games and twists things to her advantage.  Not to mention how silly Christianity seems when brought down to the level she used in describing the Pagan Gods.

Which has made me re-think my place on those particular boards.  What do I hope to accomplish, other than receiving ridicule and condescension from Christians who think they hold the higher moral ground?  Obviously I won't be changing their minds and surprisingly, the more "liberal" Christians on there seem to side with them against both Atheists and Pagans.  So just what is the point?

It's a huge timewaster, in fact, and brings me to depths that are difficult to crawl out of.  So why can't I just delete the board and move on?

Or better yet, delete most of the boards, keep the Pagan ones, and the ones I'm a moderator of and then move on.

I did manage to delete the political ones because I felt like the left was being as smarmy as the right.  If you didn't know which side of the aisle they were on, you couldn't tell the difference between them, actually.  Besides, I'm tired of the fights over the same things...over and over again.

I did make a new acquaintance over the whole mess though.  Someone who could possibly be a mentor/teacher in many things.  She invited me to an online tarot chat and I might go if I can overcome my shyness.  I seriously didn't use to be this reclusive.

Tana and I were talking last night and it was so good that she understood that I'm not trying to undermine her faith but I must deconstruct this whole Christian thing before I can move on.  In many ways it's been like an abusive relationship that kept pulling me back in with the sweet words that abusers use when they're "sorry" they abused you.  And I've kept on buying it, giving in and coming back.  Until that one day comes when you say, "no more." 

So because I've been pulled back into the relationship over and over again, I've not really grieved over the loss of it and I can't move on until I've destroyed all the walls and foundations that have kept me a prisoner all this time.  Then I'll move and and just embrace the path I've set out on.

I'm just not sure how much of that prison I can destroy as long as I'm still going to a Christian church.  Oddly I was reading a book today about the Beardsley family (Yours, Mine and Ours) and how much their Catholic faith sustained them.  When I read this, I get it and wish I could have that, too, but the realities of it for me are such that it doesn't sustain me.  It's just one of those greener grass over the fence things.  Because in the abstract things work out much better than they do in the reality.

I'll never have what they seemed to have because it was their culture as much as their religion.  And for a while I thought I could keep Christianity culturally even if I didn't believe in it religiously.  But I don't even have that culture anymore.  Although it is my social network, it's not much of one.  I have little in common with the people there in spite of thinking that we were all such good friends.  It's been 5 weeks since I've been because of the flu and only one person has inquired about me.  Not even the priest has called to see how I was.

And I keep thinking about how I have become so dependent and so reclusive from those years when I was younger and took care of myself.  I need to push myself out the door and join civilization, find my own social network where I do have things in common. Stop hiding.  Start living.

I will certainly be pondering these things during candle time tonight.  It's just so hard to move from within these deteriorating walls and taste real freedom. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Still deconstructing

It's hard to post on the weekend because Tom is in and out of the room and I'm not ready (probably never will be ready) to let him know the change in direction I've taken spiritually.  He tends to read over my shoulder while I'm online so I try to be careful what sites or blogs I'm reading while he's around.  For the past couple of weeks he's been baiting me politically, trying (and on one occasion succeeding) in getting a reaction from me.  He loves head games in which he comes out superior; it's the way he and his siblings were raised.

On the other hand, he was really nice over the weekend, mowing the yard and finishing up the laundry on Mother's Day.  He and Zach bought me some art supplies including oil paints, which I've wanted for several years but never mentioned them before because I thought they were a luxury.  Of course I can't think of a thing to paint right now.  My mind is a complete blank.

I didn't go to church on Sunday, not because I wasn't feeling well, but because I just didn't want to go.  I used to love the church and all the rituals but now, not so much.  Knowing I wasn't going to go to church, I dropped off the vest I knitted for a church member and felt so strange in there.  One problem I have with quitting is that is my sole community.  I was the stay at home mom who homeschooled her son so I had no friends aside from Tom's family and our (former) church.  But I had some issues with his sisters and sisters-in-law in general, mostly due to the difference in how we were raised.  They were raised to believe making fun of people is good fun.  I felt hurt and abused by them.  And of course, the church "family" didn't actually consider me a real part of them since Tom didn't go to church with us so I was considered, for all practical purposes, as a single mom.  And single moms in fundie churches don't fit in well so I was left out of a lot of family stuff.

Pagan's generally aren't organized into "churches" and being in the midst of Wisconsin's bible belt county it's darned near impossible to find one.  I remember when I was in the homeschool support group after moving here, one of the "concerns" was that Pagans or Wiccans would try to join so we had to sign a statement of faith.  I found it deeply disturbing on many levels, especially the paranoia that existed that "they" were out to infiltrate and seduce our kids to the dark side.

Looking back I wonder just how committed I was to fundamentalism.  I think maybe it was a role I was playing because there were certainly many things I had to force myself to "believe," like creationism and how a "loving" God would tell the Israelites to kill children in order to wipe out neighboring tribes.  In time I found I couldn't believe in the trinity or substitutionary atonement anymore.  But that only happened after I allowed my reason to surface and not stuff my fingers in my ears and sing the la la song.

I came out of Christianity feeling foolish and betrayed.  Foolish because I made myself believe things that flew in the face of evidence and reason; betrayed because there were truths out there that were suppressed and even hidden from Christians because they would cause them to doubt and/or leave Christianity behind.  I'm a perfect example of that happening. 

So I remain a bit isolated aside from some friends online.  I find myself subject to huge shifts of withdrawal when I start getting close to anyone, online or in person.  That all started in my fundie days.  I was thinking yesterday about how adventurous I used to be prior to fundamentalism.  I used to get out there and meet people and do things.  Now I'm reluctant to leave the house.

I wish I knew how to change all this.  Part of me thinks I need to leave my safety net behind.  Not use the people at church the way I have been doing.  I rely on them to be my social network instead of making myself get out there and find friends who enjoy the same things I do.  I stay there because it feels safe and I don't have to start over again.  I don't have to put my heart at risk anymore if I just remain there and let them be acquaintances but no more.

Viewing life through a Pagan lens is so different from that of Christianity.  In many ways it's liberating and exhilarating.  In other ways it's frightening that I have to constantly push myself beyond my comfort zone and get out there and grow.  In Christianity all growth is within a small bubble of experience, mostly internal and rarely freeing. 

I do love the Pagan path and am letting my feet take me where I need to go and my wings to let me soar where my heart needs to soar.  I bought some bandanas yesterday for a dollar each because I needed some new altar cloths and just don't have the money to buy one or the time to sew one right now.  I've been reluctant to spend any money on spiritual things because I spent probably thousands of dollars on Christian books, bibles, gadgets, how-to books and such trying to keep myself Christian.  I don't feel like I need to do that to remain Pagan. Not that there is nothing out there worth buying or that I don't drool over.  But I don't need it to make me feel more Pagan or a better Pagan.  I have my back yard, the black birds, the hawks, the occasional deer appearing in the next yard over, foxes, trees, flowers, the wind.  Much better than a confusing book that contradicts itself and creates animosity between the different sects.

I do hope someday soon, I'll have this out of my system and no longer feel the need (and yes, for now it's a need) to deconstruct Christianity.  For now, though, I'll let myself work it out because I am no longer under the burden of blind faith and suppressing my reason and logic and experience.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Omens? Signs?

The most incredible thing happened this morning.  Professor was out in the yard sunning himself being quiet for once...he thinks all he sees is his domain and since we're the house that crosses the t-road (as in we overlook the road that comes back up the hill) he has quite a domain.  Suddenly he started barking with a frenzy I'd never heard out of him before so I raced out the door to see him straining on the leash with more effort than this little chihuahua should be able to do.  There was a deer two yards down from us.  It panicked and ran into the back yard of that house and we didn't see him anymore (or her) but I was so totally amazed.  I'd seen deer up the hill but that's across the highway and up past the reinforced part of the hill so they can't cross from there.  We do live near the outskirts of town but I'd never seen anything like this before.

It got me wondering, since I'd been pondering omens and "God's will" last night after my candle time...was that a message from the Goddess?  I realize that sometimes you're just more aware of things, but two things in a row that I hadn't seen before in all the time we've lived here:  beech skin and a deer.

What does it mean?  I don't know except that it seemed like confirmation that I'm on the right path.  The Tarot cards seemed to indicate as much, too, when I read them last night.  Not that I'm up to speed on those yet.  I used to read them a long time ago but gave them up when I became a "rededicated Christian" because they were "satanic" according to my mentors.  I've lost a lot of brain cells since then and I'm sure the memory of how to read Tarot was in those lost cells.

One of my biggest struggles when I was a Christian was in knowing what God's will was for my life.  I had been told ad nauseum that it was so easy and yet, if I did something that I thought God wanted me to do after much prayer and Bible reading, it was inevitable that my life went south quite quickly and we lost considerable ground.  My fellow Christians would then tell me that it was Satan who had told me to do that because if it had been God, it would have worked out wonderfully.  So how was I supposed to know just who the heck was telling me things?  No clue.  But these giants of faith told me that I would know God's voice.  After all, God told them just about every move to make and it worked out great for them.

When I started looking for another church after leaving fundie-ville, there were those who told me that God would never lead me to the Episcopal Church because they weren't really Christians.  So I figured out that it was God's voice if it was something they thought was right and Satan's if it was something they didn't. Glad I got that figured out.

I looked for signs that I was doing his will, studied the Bible fervently looking for guidance, and I never made a single good decision.  The best decisions were made on the fly or by using logic.  Never by using God as a guide.

So I'm a bit leery of seeing the Goddess in everything now.  Omens are wickedly vague critters and the cards can be read through a specific lens.  So I'm cautious.

And yet...a deer two yards away from me when I've never seen one?  I've seen a bald eagle here, too, in spite of being told I didn't because they don't reside in this area.  (Zach saw it, too, so I've got a witness.)

And a sheet of beech bark that just happens in my yard in spite of not seeing any for the 12 years I've lived here.  Timely.  Very timely.

But I still haven't a clue what it means unless it means that nature is knocking at my door wanting me to be more a part of it and that this is my path.

I'm still seeking and learning and not committing to a specific direction yet beyond knowing that it is inextricably bound to nature and the hidden world around me.  That I'm sure of.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Change and me

I was reading some Pagan blogs today and chanced upon this particular entry: 

If you take (a copy of) the Christian bible and put it out in the wind and the rain, soon the paper on which the words are written will disintegrate and the words will be gone.  Our bible IS the wind and the rain.
                         Herbalist Carol McGrath as told to her by a Native American woman

I had heard that many years ago when I was a fundamentalist Christian and you can be sure I was sorely offended by it.  But since then I've learned a lot about the compilation of the Bible, how the telephone game of passing down the story of Jesus resulted in different versions that contradict each other.  How different gospels were written to address specific problems happening in that particular era and so we end up with contradictory stories of who Jesus is and just what "salvation" is and what the rules actually are.

I'm now more offended by books created centuries ago by men intent on manipulating people so that they will live in fear and dread over both their physical and spiritual futures.  The words are rigid, unbending and binding.  They keep us shut into rooms with no doors because change is evil. 

While Nature can be wild and untamed, She never leashes her power on us to punish us or to bring us to our knees.  But it is her very nature to cause change because nothing in life is stagnant.  Over time She erodes the biggest boulders and causes the rivers to change the landscape. Nothing should stay the same forever.  Especially us.  It's particularly relevant to me today as the winds are strong enough that I couldn't open the truck door.  She's having a really wild day today.  I could feel the energy surging around me.  Someday maybe I'll learn to tap into it.

I know that might be offensive to some but I make no apologies because I lived it and know that of which I speak.  I've heard the words that are supposed to be freeing, but are in reality platitudes and meaningless babble. Blind faith or believing something in spite of your reasoning telling you it's wrong is harmful.  It's not a thing to be valued at all.

I find comfort in the knowledge that things change, even though sometimes it's sad.  I cry every time I read Lord of the Rings when the elves leave Middle Earth, but I know they had to leave.  Change must take place for life to grow and flourish.

And speaking of change, I rearranged my room to bring my altar out of the corner so I can use it more easily.  Plus now I can actually walk around my room instead of walking sideways into it.  I slept okay but not great.  I'll adjust soon, I'm sure.  I also now have a place over my altar for my triple goddess picture that Tana gave me.  I love it and love to look at it while lighting my candles and meditating.

Tomorrow I hope to spend more time outdoors working in the yard and on my garden.  I need to learn to let those changes in me happen incrementally instead of thinking I can jump into this and come out the next day as someone else.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Getting there

Today was such a strange day.  I was all...wrong.  I felt so off-centered that I couldn't accomplish anything.  I finally did some rearranging of my room, which is so crowded that I can't move around in it, to bring my altar out of the moldy corner where I can use it without squeezing into position.  It feels better this way so I hope I can center myself again and get things done.

I did a lot of thinking today about starting up my own business relating to Paganism.  I have ideas but nothing that is original.  I seem to have lost that part of my brain since chemo.  Or maybe it's been gone since I've had fibromyalgia.  At any rate, I realized that it will take a few years to build it up to anything that is paying off, but I'm not sure that is my goal.  I think my goal is to be creative and productive.  I do realize that it would be nice if I could bring some money into the house beyond all the frugal things I do, but I don't want that to be my primary motivation.  That puts so much stress on me I feel paralyzed and can't move...or think...or produce.

At any rate talking things out with a, a best...friend, has helped the panic I feel whenever I think about putting my goods out there in the public eye.  How do people get confidence anyway?

I did try to get some seeds planted but it's a good thing I did some research first as I need certain things before I put them in pots.  Yes, pots.  Apparently they won't do well in our soil and won't winter over because of the harsh winters we have.  So I need a few more pots and some dirt and someplace to put everything.  And everything needs full sun so there are few places in the yard I can do that.

More and more I'm thinking against putting a vegetable garden in.  My tobacco plants are nearly all dead, along with the tomato plants.  Only the green pepper plants are doing well.  I need a place for the containers and the place behind the garage is really the best place for them.

Much thinking to do about that tomorrow.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Baby steps

I got some books on Wicca from the library.  Normally I wouldn't since most of them deal with coven-related or group ritual but these books are about solitary practice.  Both of them are written by Scott Cunningham and are guides for the solitary practitioner.  I'm not particularly drawn to Wicca but I am interested in learning all I can.  I'm more inclined toward Druidism but I tend to believe that magick is magick and the energies involved are the same so...

I haven't developed any real rituals yet.  I attend to my altar when I feel like I should, I talk to whoever I feel is listening at the time when I have something to say.  One of the things that is hard to get used to is not having to placate or massage the ego of a god who needs constant attention.  It's rather liberating but there is that habit that has formed over 56 years and it's not going to go away overnight.  I feel comfortable in the presence of the Lady, of Lugh, Brigid and Rhiannon.  And even the Lord although he seems more elusive to me.

I have high hopes of setting up my fairy garden this week.  Getting the rocks up the hill is mostly what is making me delay it since I don't want to overdo it after this nasty flu.  I'm anxious to get it done though and get busy with all my other outdoor planting.  Tomorrow I must read my Encyclopedia of Country Living and plant more wisely this year.  I'm tired of failing at everything I try to do.  Maybe I just need to not fly by the seat of my pants so much anymore.

Although I am more improvisational about my rituals.  One of the things I love about the Episcopal church is the ritual, the liturgy.  It's one of the things that keeps me there.  That and the people who are just wonderful.  Caring but not suffocating.  I do tend to see the ritual in a more pagan, ancient light though, especially considering the history of Christianity and how it melded with other religions in its inception.

Well, I do feel a need right now to go light some candles and meditate for a while, offering up some concerns for healing with people I've read about or know in person.  And then since I'm feeling better, I'm off to be creative again with some knitting.  This time a shawl for me.  I gave away my fire shawl to someone who needed it more than me so I'm knitting an earth shawl this time from a pattern on Ravelry called Helm's Deep.  The color is a dark sage green and the pattern calls up images of the mountains of Helm's Deep from Lord of the Rings so it's a perfect match.

Here's hoping that I can harness some energy from the blustery winds outside to help me return to productivity.  Darned fibromyalgia.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My first Beltane

I'm still wandering around a bit lost when it comes to knowing exactly what to do.  I had some plans but those mysterious things are ever elusive for me.  Making them, no, but fulfilling them...never.

Fortunately I don't feel like I'm on a timetable and can appreciate the return of the sun in any form or time I need to.  I told Tom of my plans for a fairy garden/sanctuary and he likes the idea.  He doesn't realize the meaning behind it for me, but surprisingly the purpose for it appeals to him so he's behind me on it.  I'll take pictures as I work on it.

I think I'm finally getting over the flu but today was such a busy day that I didn't get the rest I needed nor did I eat the way I should have.  I must try harder tomorrow, especially as Zach needs to lose weight as well and I must be the example for him.

Zach wants help setting up an altar but it will have to wait until Monday probably.   He's about a week or so behind me with this flu but seems to be overcoming it better and quicker than I did.  Ah, youth.

Zach and I plan on taking nature walks at least once a week..with the dog so we can focus better on our surroundings, look for items for our respective altars and for my craft projects.  I am looking at making an amulet to wear and maybe if it turns out well, I can sell them.  The tarot cards keep telling me that my finances are wedded to my spiritual path and since I've been trying to find a home business (having a chronic illness that makes me unreliable for a job puts me in a position to find something I can do at home,) I should consider what this means.  Tom is also behind me on this so I need to at least look into it.  He's also offered to go hiking with me and help me look for rocks and crystals.

But for now I need to go turn my lights out and put on the dvd I got from the library and just veg out for a while.