Wednesday, June 30, 2010

If you love something and set it free...

...and it comes back to you, it is yours.  If it doesn't, then it never was.

My earring came home.  The faeries were not only kind but they were helpful.  Today on the way home from an errand I saw in my mind pulling my purse strap over my head, the earring coming off and landing on breast, and then sliding off to the floor of the car as I buckled up.  When I got home, I immediately started looking in the spot I saw in my mind and there it was.  We are reunited and it feels so good.

I really do love those earrings.

I know there are a million rational reasons why I "saw" the earring and where it ended up, but none of them work for me.  I prefer the faery version.

Now I really do have to finish up their garden this week and figure out something nice to leave them in thanks for their help (although I think they were the rapscallions that took it in the first place.)

I got Tana's package off to her and took some pictures before I sent it.  As soon as she gets it, I'll post the pictures.  It's not much; certainly not as much as she's done for me but it was something I felt she needed.  I hope I'm right.

I need to put my feet up for a bit before I start supper and finish cleaning house so I'm off to do some reading and some resting.  I'm in a pretty darned good mood today. :-)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Well, that went well

The priest came over and exceeded my expectations of what a wonderful person she is.  She was totally supportive and in fact, insistent that we walk the path that is laid out for us.  We had a good chat and when she left, said "the Goddess bless you."  I beamed, I must say.

I think her biggest concern was that she or someone at the church had done something that hurt us and caused us to stay away.  Once we assured her that wasn't the case, she was more at ease and we had a good time.

I usually do make situations in my mind larger than they end up being in reality but it was still a very huge relief to make the break, turn in my key and put Christianity behind me.  I feel unfettered now, much lighter and freer to be me.

I woke up and cleaned up the rest of the house.  Well, I straightened up the rest of the house but I didn't get the clothes hung out because I just ran out of steam.  Then I spent a few minutes invoking the Goddess, something I don't normally do in the morning, and lit some candles and incense so I felt a bit more prepared to face Mary.

My fears had more to do with my reactions and the way I always cave in, in order to avoid confrontations, but aside from one very brief moment, I didn't feel that I needed to go back to church, didn't feel pressured to remain Christian and didn't once feel a need to gain her approval.

And just to prove how cool she is, she mentioned to us about a park near her house where they lit a bonfire on Midsummer and will find out for us if there are any other activities we might be interested in.  She wants to stay in touch as friends as well.  Totally unlike any other member of the clergy I've ever met before.

I intend to finish up the faery garden this week and get my herbs planted.  They'll be in pots so I can bring them in for the winter.  The echinacea will be more difficult as I have to turn the ground a bit to find a place for them.  I want them on the side of the hill.  The rest of the herbs hopefully will turn out well in pots though.

And I'm thrilled to discover that I have 5 sunflowers growing.  Last year the rabbits ate them as soon as they grew out of the ground.  This year they're leaving them to grow.  It's for the critters in the back yard, mostly the birds but they do tend to drop the seeds onto the ground so the rabbits get their share.

My cardinals are gone.  I haven't seen them for a few days.  I looked into the clemantis and didn't see a nest but I didn't investigate thoroughly so there may yet be one but since they're not around, I'll try to get rid of the tree growing in the midst of the flowers.  It may be they decided it was too busy there and chose a different spot.  At any rate, I'm glad for their company in the meantime.

Tonight will be an early night I hope in spite of the nap I took instead of supper.  I'm hoping to be more productive if I get more rest at night.  So far there is no indication of it but I have been pushing myself a bit more each day and aside from one really bad day, have been successful in getting more done.  Maybe now that I don't have that burden weighing me down, I'll be more relaxed and find a way out of this mire of fatigue.

I'm also planning on doing some Druid studies in preparation for Lughnasadh, one of my favorite days of the year as I have a particular affection for Lugh.  Don't ask me why because I haven't a clue but he has beckoned me and I find the call compelling.  It's time I fully committed to this path and enjoy all the new things there are to learn.

Enough rambling and babbling.  I'm having a hard time forming coherent thoughts due to the fatigue so I'm off to bed and hopefully sweet, sweet dreams.

Monday, June 28, 2010

And...I missed it

The full moon, that is.  I got no sleep on Friday night and only a couple of very short naps Saturday due to Professor going hysterical on the rat-bastard chipmunk or something out there.  So I was in bed by about 8 p.m. trying desperately to sleep.  And failing.  It was after 11 before I dozed off...only to wake up throughout the night.

I heard this full moon with a lunar eclipse was going to be disruptive and cause possible anxiety and boy howdy! did it. I'm still on edge.

To the degree that I really, really don't want to meet with the priest tomorrow afternoon and Tom could tell.  In the course of discussing how I didn't really want to see her some things came out.  Such as...I wasn't planning on going back to St. Mark's or any other church anymore and Zach has been wanting to quit going for longer than I have and that I'm happy with where I am spiritually and don't want to discuss it because I don't feel like I need to justify my decisions.

I think I outed myself but I'm not sure.  I do know that I don't care though.  I plan on being more open about my practices and he'd better not give me any crap about it because the mood I'm in this week, I won't be a submissive puppy and roll over.  I am Pagan; hear me roar!

Now I just hope I don't wimp out tomorrow when the priest comes.  She really is a very nice person and a lot of fun and didn't blink an eye when Zach told her he didn't believe anymore but she seems to think we can still go to church and just go through the motions and we can't anymore.  It's just not possible to wear two hats at the same time without one of them being hidden by the other.

Actually I feel pretty darned good after outing myself to my husband.  He didn't have a lot to say because he was out the door and I'm sure he'll have more to say later, but the first step has been taken and I'm not backing down.  He'll accuse me of ruining Zach's life though because he'll assume it was me who turned Zach against Christianity.  Not realizing it was the other way around.  In a way.  The Paganism was a natural result of no longer believing in Jesus and Yahweh.  We call him that because it takes too long to say "the God of Christianity" and since we still have a God or two we do believe in...

I bought myself a rune necklace that I really like.  Right now I just have the cord tied on and I might get a clasp for it but as I am terribly allergic to nickel I might just leave it the way it is.  Or figure out a decorative way to camouflage the knot.  It's on this page...the Beorc rune because it means growth and there is a connection with the Earth Mother, which is where I feel I am right now.  I've been looking at them for about six months and finally decided I wanted something to identify my beliefs.  I'm not overly fond of the pentacle at this time.  I'm sure that will change but it's mostly connected to Wicca or witchcraft and I don't consider myself a witch.  But I might find that while I'm not a witch, I might identify with the pentacle or the pentagram at some point in the future.

I'd like to buy some more things for my altar but I need to really go into tightwad mode and stay there for a while.  I found some birthday candles that are black and white so they will do me for a black candle for now.  I got one at Halloween but it stinks so badly of licorice (and I really detest licorice) that I can't use it indoors.  Maybe I can make my own.

And speaking of my altar, I'm guessing that it will make more sense to Tom now.  I wonder what he has been thinking it was all this time.

At any rate, supper must be cooked and I need to clean the living room so the priest has a place to sit down tomorrow.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Our little girl is growing up

At least that's what I envisioned the Goddess saying to the Lord as I was taking the clothes off the line this morning.

I do some of my deepest thinking while washing dishes or hanging out (and taking down) laundry from the line.  Today it occurred to me that I've been seeking my whole life, looking for something inside Christianity to fill the void that is in my soul.  I've looked into many denominations, sects, and near-cults looking for something to fulfill me.  It hit me today that I couldn't find what I was looking for because it wasn't the path I was supposed to be on.  Not that I believe in fate or predestination, but I do think there are aspects of spirituality that are inherently compatible with the spirit.  And mine was never really compatible with Christianity.

That doesn't mean that my whole Christian experience was miserable.  I did have a lot of fun at times and did feel "spiritual" at times as well.  But I never really felt "whole."  I did a whole lot of lying to myself and to everyone else and you just can't live like that for long without feeling the effects of it.  Hence the constant need to find a different church or a different denomination.

Paganism in the form I seem to be following feels very natural to me.  I don't feel the pressure to conform or to get rid of those dark aspects of myself.  Indeed, I feel like the darkness inside me is normal and something to be mentored as much as I mentor the light aspects.  I feel balanced for the first time.  Looking back at my first excursions into Paganism, I can see where I was trying on different things as if I were shopping around instead of just letting the Goddess clothe me herself.  I know I'm eclectic.  I suspect my leaning is Druid.  And I'm eager to just learn about it all.

I'm also noticing a growing affection for the Lord as well.  I did go through a period of time where I needed the feminine.  Having been raised in a patriarchal religion and having also recently left behind the more fundamentalist aspects of that patriarchal religion, I wanted little to do with the masculine.  Even to the point of having to cast aside Lugh, whom I have had a great pull toward in the past.  Now my heart has softened toward the masculine and I'm discovering that male doesn't necessarily mean patriarchal.

It's good to have that balance back in my life as well.  But I'm noticing that I miss the study I had in Christianity.  Not the way it's studied within Christianity, but just the whole growing and becoming more than I am now.  Zach and I were talking today about how studying the Bible became so boring that it was necessary to keep finding different meanings or levels to what was written.  I think that's why there are so many different belief-systems within the religion.  Everyone has to keep finding meaning whether it really means that or not.

I'm ready to learn about nature, and signs and wonders of the other-world.  I'm ready to learn more about the relationship between the Divine and the Mundane.  I want to be more aware of who I am and what exists around and within me.  I want everything to be new again instead of trying to find new in the pages of something that cannot and will not grow and evolve with the rest of us.  That doesn't mean that the ancient is without merit.  It just means that the ancient isn't the final word on anything.

I suspect that one of the reasons Paganism is growing is because the Gods and Goddesses do evolve and grow with us.  They don't insist on keeping everyone back in the past.  They like it that we are growing up as well.  Why wouldn't they want us to keep getting better and more than we are?  Why would they want us to remain in the past?  Only a God that is insecure and childish would want his followers to stay within the fences he has planted around them.

I've decided that the tarot reading from the other night is freeing me to make a complete break with my past spiritual path and let the priest know where I stand and that I won't be back.  It would be a relief to have that part of my life decided once and for all.  I feel no need to open up to my husband about it yet.  He wouldn't understand and I'm not up for any lectures or ridicule right now.  He might not respond that way but he is very right-wing in his politics and religious beliefs so while he may only be nominally Christian I don't think he's ready to find out his wife and son are no longer Christians.  It's bad enough he knows we're liberals politically.

I'm hoping to spend tomorrow fixing up the faery garden, planting my herbs and flowers and enjoying the full moon and lunar eclipse.  Tonight is for cleaning in the house though and hoping to find my errant earring.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

From my kitchen window

I saw Mrs. Cardinal giving Mr/Ms. Chipmunk a piece of her mind this morning so I'm guessing that their acquaintance isn't as friendly as I first assumed.  The chipmunk hied off the the neighbor's garage (apparently he owns lots of real estate in the neighborhood...the chipmunk, not the neighbor) and Mrs. settled down in her clemantis nest (I spelled it right today.)

When we got home from shopping, the Mr. was sitting on the reel mower beside the clemantis and made a dash inside the flowers when we got out of the car.  The pretty much confirms there is a nest in there so I won't try to remove the wayward tree that is growing in the midst of the purple beauty until the wee ones have flown the nest.  I can wait that long.  It makes me want to wash my dishes by hand more now that I have a show to watch.

Inannasstar mentioned in the comments yesterday that I might want to look for my power animal now.  I'm intrigued.  I've heard about spirit animals/spirit guides/animal guides before but I haven't been in any hurry to rush into anything since I'm letting myself be led rather than trying to lead on my own (and end up completely lost since I don't know where I'm going.)  I'm not sure what a power animal is but I'd love to look into it since I seem to be drawn more and more to the wildlife around me.  I've often thought the hawk was trying to tell me something as I see him nearly every time I'm out but lately the rat bastard chipmunk is in my thoughts and dreams.  So maybe he has something for me as well. Besides the grief I go through when he taunts the dog through the window.

I'm feeling better emotionally and spiritually.  Hopefully physically will come along soon enough.  The full moon falls on a Saturday but I'm going to go ahead and try to do something in spite of Tom being home from work.  Maybe he won't notice what's going on and will just think I'm out enjoying the moonlight in my faery garden.  I'd like to burn some old branches for my garden (the tobacco needs ash) and have a short ritual.  I'm also planning on cleansing my crystals that night.  They need it badly.

I've been trying to be more intuitive with moderate success.  I keep second guessing myself but I'm doing much better.  The Tarot is coming along for me.  I usually just do a three card spread nightly, doing the Celtic Cross once a month or so.  My cards are almost always the same every night except last night.  It was really bizarre how it deviated from the norm, but it was still right on target.  It had more to do with standing up for myself spiritually so I'm wondering if it has to do with the upcoming visit from my priest.  I think it's time I was bold enough to tell her I no longer believe and can't go through the motions anymore.  And give back the key.

I lost one of my favorite earrings (Tom gave them to me for Christmas) last night and I'm really unhappy about it.  I have no idea where or when I lost it.  I don't know of any particular ritual or prayer but I'm going to do a visualization at least because I suspect the fairies have done it.  Okay maybe I just lost it in my sleep, but the fairies had to be there to loosen it as it was on there pretty tightly.  I have been thinking for a while that I haven't been out to the faery garden to clean up their altar or to offer them any presents lately.  I'm not going to lose my sanity over this earring but I would like to find it.

I just have to figure out what to give them this full moon.

Time to get busy in my kitchen.  I've been so tired lately that it's gotten cluttered and needs a good scrubbing.  I've got a rosemary and sage soy candle that Tana gave me that I'll use to cleanse it after I scrub it.  I have a little kitchen altar there that I'll get a picture of after I clean (and put up new curtains...I've wanted new curtains for 12 years.)

Off to be productive for once.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Off to bed

A cardinal has taken up residence in my clemanthis, I think.  He seems to hang around the back window and fence a lot and was trying to lure us away from the car last night...which is right next to the clemanthis.  I love cardinals because I rarely see them so seeing one on a daily basis is a real treat.

I don't think it's just me noticing nature more.  Nature is noticing me more.  I'm having more encounters with wildlife than I have ever had before so it's like a sign in the road letting me know I'm on the right path.

But tonight isn't a particularly spiritual night for me.  The fatigue is particularly bad today so I'm off to bed to just let myself rest and hopefully tomorrow I'll feel better and more like myself.  Or even better than myself.  I can hope anyway.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Me changing, me getting stronger, but am I strong enough to out myself

The priest called today to set up a time to get together.  She's coming here next week to talk to me and Zach, although she's said she's not trying to change our minds.  I babbled on a bit about insomnia, my exhausting trip and no sleep, which was true at one time but is no longer the reason we don't go.  I've discovered that I just no longer want to be a part of Christianity in any form.  And I'm not drawn back to the church at all.  How odd that once I allowed myself the option of going, I no longer wanted to go.

When she gets here, I'll be honest with her but not forthcoming about all of it.  Zach has said he will, too, but he's braver than I am.  It won't be easy for me to be that open.  I'm sure I'll tell her about the loss of faith, but not sure if I want to tell her about my journey to Paganism.  I thought my sister, the minister, who I thought was a very liberal person, would be understanding but she wasn't.  And neither was she that liberal when it all came down to it.

Talking to her is like talking to a fundie anymore.  It surprises me.  It even shocks me.  And her condescension and mild ridicule about Paganism makes me put her more in the conservative locker room than in the more spacious liberal one.  Odd how you think you know someone until you're the one who changes. I'm dreading her visit which I never in a million years thought I would ever do.

I ended up falling asleep before I could do anything for Midsummer but I don't feel that bad about it.  I murmured a short prayer to both the Lord and the Lady, wishing them the joy they had brought to me and then fell asleep mid-prayer.  I did it as a Christian, too.  I think prayer maybe isn't my thing and I should look for an alternative way to connect with the Divine.

And as I didn't get very much sleep last night will most likely fall asleep while knitting tonight so I might as well skip the middle step and just go to sleep.

All in all it was a really good Midsummer with all the new friends I've made and the wonderful advice I've been given by so many great women.  Aside from one haughty bitch who thought she would point out to a wonderful friend who was wishing everyone a happy solstice (both hemispheres) that (ahem) most Pagans don't celebrate the Summer Solstice by the calendar but by the season, I had a really good time. I'm not sure why the sun would be the closest (or furthest) on a different day in a different location, but maybe I'm just not terribly smart.

Of course this was the one bitching about fluffy bunnies a few weeks back.

And then again, maybe I can be a haughty bitch as well.  At least I'm working on it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cardinals and chipmunks and storms, oh my.

We're under tornado watch so I don't think I'll be going outside to have a bonfire tonight.  I'm glued to the tv listening to the play by play of the storm.  The brunt of it looks to be passing us on the south but never take anything for granted.  In the meantime I'm cleaning sporadically and cooking up some chili.

I have a love/hate relationship with storms.  Growing up I never slept the night we had one because I was afraid of dying in my sleep from a tornado.  I lived through a typhoon on Guam but I couldn't get away from the window.  I was mesmerized by the ferocity of the storm.  I had to watch every minute of it.  I was a mess when I had to go in to work the next day but fortunately we didn't have any power so they sent us home.  It wasn't a major typhoon so we didn't have much damage and no deaths.

So I'm still staying awake watching the radar but not as afraid.  I just have to know what's happening out there.

I did manage to have a pretty good Midsummer Day though.  I was fixing my breakfast and heard a bird chirping outside the window by the stove.  Looking out I saw a beautiful cardinal sitting on the birdbath that I haven't put in place yet.  It had rain water in it and the bird was pretty happy with that.  Looking down I saw a chipmunk coming out of his home in the wall of our garage.  Hannibal was sitting right there but at the length of his leash so he was unable to do anything but stare.  The chipmunk was unconcerned by the cat and just stood on his hind legs watching the cardinal chirping while chirping in reply.  I had no idea they even knew each other.

I love these moments of nature.  I never paid enough attention before to the wonder and glory of life all around me.  So I try to make up for lost time, I guess.  Was it a omen?   Who cares.  I'm not worried about any of that anymore.  I just try to be aware of my surroundings, my environment.  If there are messages in them, they will become apparent.  Otherwise I'm just enjoying the encounters.

I will light a candle later for Midsummer and maybe do some meditation or prayer but I'm going to wait until I see if I need to hie to the basement first.  I don't want to leave lit candles while I make my way to safety.

More and more I'm finding myself comfortable with both my path and myself.  I'm not as worried about my sister's visit anymore.  She's not staying two nights as it turns out so I only have one day to deal with and I can handle that.  I'm still very tired from the trip, not getting much sleep.  Professor wakes up early these days and thinks I need to as well.  But I am catching up with the housework and will very soon catch up with the yard work.  Maybe by harvest time.

I'm off to finish up supper and then go to my room to read and maybe do a tarot reading during the storm. I love the energy out there and would love to capture it in some small way.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I'm feeling better emotionally and spiritually.  I'll deal with my sister's visit when it happens and try not to anticipate the angst.  Although that does seem to be my favorite hobby, anticipating the worst case scenario all the time.

I have plans for myself now, plans to build myself up and not tear myself down.  I don't imagine it will be easy as I have a lot of years of beating myself up to overcome but I am determined to attempt it, anyway.  I didn't go to church this morning because I just flat out didn't want to go.  I was awake and could have gotten up and ready but I didn't want to.  It wasn't a case of just not feeling like going.  I just didn't want to be in the church at all.  We're supposed to have lunch with the priest sometime soon and I know I'll be so tempted to cave in and run back to Christianity because I'm still seeking approval but I think this time it won't quite be so bad.  I don't think the pull will be as strong as it used to be.

I guess in many ways I'm an approval addict.  My sister told me once I was too needy and that's why I didn't have any friends.  She may have been right, but I don't think I'm as needy as I once was.  Sure, it cheesed me that I never can find favor with my parents, but this time I didn't cave in and do everything in order to get them to like me.  This time I stood up for myself and didn't back down.  It was painful but I did feel better about myself.

I'm looking forward to Midsummer tomorrow night, although it may be held indoors as it's supposed to rain.  No matter.  I can do this indoors as well as outdoors.  Well, I probably won't have a fire in my makeshift fire pit indoors but everything else I can do.  And I can do the bonfire on the full moon instead as it's for the ashes for my garden.

I'm thinking of buying a rune stone necklace for myself.  I found this a while ago and fell in love with it.  I just have to decide which rune to wear though.  I have such decision making problems.  I'm always afraid I'll make the wrong decision and regret it.  The reason I like this one is it's not so Pagan and not so Druid and not so religious.  I don't want to identify my spirituality the way I did as a Christian.  Not yet that is.  I will in time but for now I don't want to wear jewelry to state what I am.  I need to really separate myself from my Christian behaviors so I'm not just transferring one belief into another one.  And I could so easily do that.

Well, off to get some things done (although a nap would really be nice.)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Riding the wave

I had to cool off lest I write each and every detail of the trip down to visit my parents and not only bore everyone to tears but also bring the rage temperature back up to thermonuclear levels.  So you'll get an overview.  Believe me, I'm doing you a favor.

Going back before the trip, I can see how I was being manipulated into the whole "I'm a crappy daughter/sister" thing in spite of calling my parents 2-4 times a month.  Apparently face-to-face conversations are the only ones that make you a good daughter.  So my sisters, my mother, and apparently my aunt have been "discussing" me lo these many months and one sister decided to let me in on one aspect of the conversation:  Kathy can't be bothered to come down.

So then they tell me that my dad is in the hospital with pneumonia, not very good at all and his last wish is to see me "one more time."  I rushed around trying to get everything in place, all the while dreading this because I could write the script that plays out once I get down there.

Twelve grueling hours later Zach and I were there and my mother had waited up for us in spite of me telling her not to, that I would get a room.  Knowing her the way I do, I drove past the house looking for a light on in case she did decide to wait up.  She did.

She managed to find fault with me, mostly for not getting there when I supposedly said I would be there.  I didn't actually give her a time, but told her it would be about 11 hours.  She then told everyone, every time we saw them, that I had said I would be there at 11 and didn't get there until 12:30 a.m. and also let everyone know it had been five years since we had been there.  Just in case they didn't know what a crappy daughter I was before then.

It was like that the whole week:  finding fault with everything I do, trying to fix my health problems because it's obvious I'm just too lazy/rebellious or whatever to take her advice and then my dad started up (he wasn't dying by the way) on the rest of my life.

So why on earth do I continue to subject myself to the pain...and I mean pain...of family interactions.  It's obvious that they bypass me whenever anything goes on, only letting me know after the fact, after everyone has already decided.  When Mom and Dad want to get rid of their stuff, my sisters and their children get to pick through everything and we get what no one else wants.

I thought a lot about this on the way home.  It kept me awake the night before we got here because I discovered, beneath the rage, a raw pain that hurt so bad it brought tears to my eyes.  And I don't cry.  Haven't cried over me 3 years or so and then it was for my cat's death.  Sappy movie, I'll bawl my eyes out.  But for me and my life..not so much.

In Christianity you can't keep your anger.  You have to get rid of it because having it is a sin.  So what we did was suppress it, hide it beneath our other emotions and let it manifest itself in high blood pressure and weight gain.  I'm choosing this time to ride the wave, use the anger and hang onto it.  If I let it go, I'll be back to letting them walk all over me because I'll have "forgotten" all about how they treated me.

So as Inannasstar said...I'm going to embrace the anger.  I'm going to use it to make me stronger and a better person.  One thing I'm learning is that the dark is as important as the light.  We need it in order to have the balance our lives need.  We need to stop avoiding emotions that aren't all sunshine and lollipops.

From now on, all my successes and failures are mine.  I will own them.  They will belong only to me.  If I succeed, it has nothing to do with them.  They won't push me into my success and they won't hinder me from reaching it.  Win or lose it's mine.

I'm  not sure I'm strong enough to divorce myself from them completely but I am going to work at getting to be strong enough to see them only on my terms.  My older sister, the minister, wanted to stay with me next month on her way to a friend's wedding.  I turned her down because I don't have room and I don't want to have to deal with her right now, especially in light of the way they manipulated me into going down on a visit I couldn't afford either emotionally or financially.  It will take me a few months to recover from it.

One thing that makes this visit different from any other, though, was the Goddess.  I could reach out to her without feeling like I needed to fix myself first.  Unlike another deity, I didn't have to be pure before I could approach her.  It felt unconditional.  Which apparently isn't there with my family or their god either.

So while it was grueling emotionally, spiritually and physically, I think it was important I went because I learned so much about myself, that it's not me, I'm not the bad guy here.  I've spent a lifetime, including my adult life, listening to them tear me down with only rare moments of building up.  And I've taken it because I though I deserved it.  I know now, I don't.

So I'm going to ride the wave, embrace Lillith, and grow emotional and spiritual muscles.  And I'm not going to look back.  My life is out there, not back there.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Just a note

I will figure out how to talk about the trip down south but I need to cool off a bit first.  I am discovering a way to take my anger (and rage) and put it to productive use but my problem is caving in to those who hurt me just for the sake of peace.  I need to find the peace without caving in and to channel the anger into a beneficial direction.  As odd as it sounds, I need to hang onto the anger because if I let it go without channeling it productively I end up setting myself up for a repeat of  history.  Especially when the people wielding those knives that end up in my back act like nothing has happened and we're just one big happy family.

I learned a lot on this trip, however painful it was.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Heading out

As it turns out, we're going to head south tomorrow instead of waiting until Monday.  I'd like to give myself more time in case I need to take more breaks and get there very late.  Especially in light of the time difference (one hour earlier than us.)

I won't have everything ready but I'm only going for a few days so I don't need tons of things to take anyway.  Less is more might be a better theme for me.  I would appreciate any candles lit and energies sent my way as I'm nervous about the trip since I'm only good in my own backyard.

I don't know how much I'll be able to post this week but I will try to pop in now and then at least.  If not, I'll see you on the other side of this week, woefully unprepared for Litha.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The more things change...the more they stay the same

I'm more and more convinced my path needs to be a solitary one.  I don't get the need to make it more complicated than it ought to be.  I've run into a few people online who have a need to dictate who can or can't be a Wiccan/Druid/Pagan/etc.  They hate eclecticism, think anyone who hasn't studied as much as they have are fluffy bunnies and think it ridiculous that people want to observe a modern version of an ancient religion.  Personally one of the things I disliked about Christianity was its insistence on not changing to meet the needs of modern people.

And they take it all too seriously.  If someone calls a non-Pagan a muggle it's not because they think Harry Potter is real for pete's sake.  It's just a cool figure of speech.

Things like this and people like this drive me back into my hidey-hole where I don't have to see, hear or read it.  I spent 50+ years not being a good enough Christian no matter how hard I tried; I'm not going to spend the rest of my life not being a good enough Pagan.  So...they can get over it.  I'm not playing their game of superiority.

I think any spirituality has to grow and evolve to be relevant.  We aren't the same people who lived in huts and were separated by great distances from other villages.  We have global communication now.  We have medicines and science and even telescopes that can see light years away.

So I will walk the path I think is right for me and I will ignore anyone's attempts to denigrate my choices.

It's just a bit disheartening to find fundies in my new Pagan world but not terribly surprising.  Zach and I have talked a few times about what the world would be like today had Christianity never existed.  I would like to think of all the advances we would be seeing in regards to modern medicine and science but I suspect the fundies that existed in Christianity, who refused to let the world progress would have found their niche in whatever Pagan religion they chose.

Still, it's nice to fantasize about a world where Pagan groves and temples existed instead of massive cathedrals and where kids weren't shunned for not being a part of the "correct" religion.  But the truth is, wars would have been fought over religion and politics and land acquisition even if Christianity never existed.

Sad, but true.  The people who made Christianity what it was would have been making another religion what it would have been.

I'm winding down on my stress for the journey.  I have pretty much all the errands run and need to start packing and organizing and creating a portable altar to take with me.  I probably won't go to church Sunday because Tom will be working on the car and I'll need to get all the sleep I can before I leave.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to stop a time or two for a nap since I can't make it though the day without one.

I hope the weather holds.  I checked on buses just in case and it would take me 21 hours to get to a city an hour away from my parents.  With three transfers.  I'm so glad my sisters thought that was an acceptable arrangement for me.  I doubt either of them have ever taken a bus other than a tour bus in their lives.  It's always wonderful when other people decide what's best for you, isn't it?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Learning to breathe

My mind is a blank.  I would like to say it's a blank slate but it's more like a chalkboard that has too much information written on it and I can't focus on any one aspect of it.

This upcoming trip is really stressing me out and I haven't figured out how to use my new spiritual path in such a way as to find the peace that I need to find.  So it occurs to me that I need to learn how to walk that path.  I made a comment once that spirituality should be as natural as breathing.  And I still mean it.  But just like there is breathing and there is breathing, I need to learn to breath in a way that benefits me better than clutching my chest and gasping for breath.

Instead of focusing on the trip, I'm going to learn how to breathe properly.  I keep putting off studying things that would enhance my growth physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I let fatigue keep me from accomplishing things.  I can't necessarily work past the fatigue but I can focus on the internal things that are poisoning my mind and body...the negativity and baggage that keeps me in my prison.

I think I know my path now and I'm not going to focus on whether or not to go to church.  If I get up on a Sunday morning and feel like going, I will, but I'm not going to stress out about getting ready the night before and hope against hope I get enough sleep.  The former attitude is healthy.  The latter is destructive.

I have so many tools I can use to find more peace than I'm living with now and I just keep them locked up in my toolbox.  Partly out of fear that I'm being just silly.  Partly because I just don't know how to use the tools.  It's important to my self-esteem that I learn how to use those tools, to practice with them until I'm proficient at using them and to be comfortable using them.  Everything new usually feels awkward.  Familiarity breeds comfort.

Tonight is a night when I'm pushing past my fatigue, though, because there is so much to do to get ready.  Tomorrow will be a bit better and by Sunday I should be set.  I never, ever wait to pack.  I start packing days ahead of time, making checklists, inventories and plans of attack.  This way the day before I leave isn't as stressful.  I can focus on just getting rest for the trip and finding my route.

Okay it's still stressful because I'm a homebody and hate to be away from home for any length of time.  So it just minimizes the stress. A bit.

At any rate, I'm taking books to read, my knitting and my portable altar that I haven't actually made yet.  I'm going to be more intuitive (thanks so much Rue and Tana) and listen to nature more because I absolutely believe the Goddess speaks so clearly through her creation.

Anyway...much laundry to finish up, supper to cook and the kitchen to finish cleaning and then I'm falling into bed.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Planning the journey out of my comfort zone

I couldn't post yesterday because my internal rage thermostat was pretty high.  It's down in the high/normal range right now but if I start talking about it, I'm sure the temperature will elevate and I'll go through the roof again.  So I'll try not to go there.  Unfortunately I did unload on my mother last night about the way my sisters have been treating me, breaking down in tears, which wasn't a good mood considering what she's going through with Daddy right now.

But we're heading down that way on Monday.  It will take us all day to get there so really we'll only be down there on Tuesday and Wednesday because we're heading back on Thursday.  I don't travel on weekends.  Plus I have things I have to take care of when I get back and can't afford to put them off until the following Monday.

I got an email from the priest last night wanting to get together for lunch when she gets back from her retreat.  I have still been agonizing over going back to church and finally decided that the anguish on whether or not to go was worse than the anguish I had when I was actually going.  It was one of those V8 moments.  So I've decided when I start getting sleep again, I'll go back.  She wasn't trying to change our minds; she really is just a nice person who likes to stay in touch with people. And because we're both from the same neck of the woods originally we had a connection there.  Not close because I don't do that anymore, since having been close friends with the fundie pastor only to have him stab me in the back.  But I think she finds it refreshing that I'm not trying to be her best buddy.  I'm sure that's a problem clergy have:  people wanting to be their best friends.

Now that that is settled, I can put all my attention on packing and getting ready to go.  One of the things I'm trying to figure out (aside from not taking everything I own with me which is what I'm wont to do when I travel...must be prepared after all) is how much of my altar to take with me.  I've got some birthday candles and some empty Altoid containers that I might set up as a portable altar.  I got this idea from an email loop I was on.  It met with mixed reactions:  some thought it was cheesy, others thought it was a great idea.

I plan on packing some of my crystals...or all of them since they'll fit in the little bag they came in (thanks, Tana!) and my book of prayers (I decided that sounded better than prayer book), a candle or two but no incense since my dad has COPD and I don't think incense would work well with that.  Other than that I don't think I'll take anything else.  I just like to hold the crystals.  I haven't figured them out yet but I know which ones soothe me and right now lapis lazuli is the one that makes me feel better.

I discovered how easily I fell back into Christianese when talking to my mother.  I said all the right things and made the right responses in spite of not believing any of it.  Sometimes it's better not to take a stand.  She feels better thinking we are still Christians. It would break her heart if she thought we weren't "saved" and weren't going to heaven with her.

I'm not looking forward to this trip.  I don't travel well and don't sleep well at home, let alone away from home.  Plus it will be uncomfortable being around Christianese 24/7 for a few days.  My aunt is coming up from Tennessee to see me.  I've knit her some winter socks so it will be good to see her but she's always sending me right-wing stuff through email.  Still, I like her a lot so I overlook it as much as I can.

Poor Zach.  This will be a miserable time for him.  He has to stay in two closets while we're gone.  He'll mostly stay in the guest room online.  We'll tell my mom he's working on his portfolio, which he has promised to do while we're down there, and maybe she'll cut him some slack for not socializing more.

I probably won't be blogging next week.  I have access to Zach's computer but I doubt I'll be able to be online enough to do more than just check my email so if anyone leaves a comment just be patient with me and I'll try to respond when I get home.

I'm going to need a lot of strength from the Goddess next week so if anyone wants to direct some energy my way, I won't turn it down.  I'll have another post or two before I leave, I hope, so don't run away just yet.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The guilt I was raised on

My mind is a mess right now.  Guilt is such a tool to whack people over the head with.  I haven't been down to visit my parents since the Christmas after chemo, which is about 8 years ago.  When we went down there we were largely ignored by everyone at the Christmas dinner who visited, instead, with each other.  I don't think anyone spoke to Zach and only one person spoke to Tom.  My younger sister barely said hello because she was busy with her new granddaughter, whom she saw every day.

I'm  not saying we should have been the stars of the show, but it would have been nice to have felt welcome.

Fast forward to two months ago when I got a telephone call from the older sister, an American Baptist minister, who knows how to dish out the guilt by the bucketload.  She and my younger sister had decided (apparently they talk about me behind my back instead of to me) that I needed to get down there because my dad was agonizing over not seeing me before he died.  He's in his late 70s, has emphysema and all that goes with it.  Now...why couldn't he just ask me when I talk to him on my twice-monthly phone calls.  No, he has to go to the sisters who will then guilt me into it so he can be the martyr.  (I sound like such a bitch, don't I?)

So anyway...the phone call from the sister.  She and Steph have decided that I need to take a bus down (because we only had one vehicle since December) and go to Peg's house and she will drive me down to Mom and Dad's.  They decided that was the best solution.  I said that I had responsibilities that I couldn't get out of and she, of course, tried to convince me that I was babying Zach too much and should make him start driving.  He has OCD and that is the reason he doesn't drive.  Nothing I say can convince them that putting him behind the wheel isn't a favor to anyone, especially other drivers.

So she let me know that I was just making excuses because she had found THE SOLUTION.

Today I got a forwarded email from one sister to the other where they talked about me again.  Steph told Peg that she wished Kathy would take the time to come down.  Take the time.  Yeah, because I can't be bothered.  So I emailed back and let her know that it hurt me that that's what they thought of me because no one bothered to read my blog which is a daily digest of my life so no one knew the fatigue and pain I'd been in for the past few months, the financial difficulties we've been in the past couple of years due to a significant pay cut, and all the stress and depression I'd been enduring.  Because no one could be bothered to read my blog, the other mundane one, which I have told everyone about for a thousand times.

Okay...I didn't mention the blog again, but I wanted to because I've told them both and my parents that it's a record of my life and a way to keep in touch.  So apparently they don't want to stay in touch with my life, but want me to stay in touch with theirs.

Even on facebook, I'm invisible.  None of my nieces or nephew ever comment on my stuff, even when I was linking my blog.  Not even my sister finds anything I have to say worth commenting on.

So...I'm the one who is supposed to feel guilty because I don't spend the money I don't have to drive for 12 hours in a car with no a/c and the front windows that don't roll down so I can go down there and be ignored by everyone and criticized by my parents for a) being overweight, b) drinking too many diet sodas...never mind that ever since chemo I've had stomach upsets that only diet sodas take care of and c) not being a Baptist anymore.  No, they don't know about leaving Christianity.  Being an Episcopalian is too close to Catholicism for them.

And to top it off I had woken up feeling craptastic for lack of sleep and a ton of work in the garden that I wasn't looking forward to.

So yeah...I'm really eager to drive down there...except my dad's in the hospital with pneumonia right now.  On top of emphysema.  And my favorite uncle is probably dying as well.

So now I've got to figure out when to go down there.  I can't be there on the weekend because I'd be expected to go to church and I will never go back there if I don't absolutely have to.  I'm thinking of leaving Wednesday and coming back on Saturday, which is a really crappy day for travel but I don't know what else to do.  I can't be gone long from here because of Professor and the garden and the bills and my medicines and my life.  And of course I feel like a jerk for not getting down there sooner.

Twelve effing hours driving.  I could knock it down to about 9 except I won't drive through Chicago.  Nuh uh.  No way.  I wouldn't survive it.  And taking the way through Janesville won't work either because they have a toll road I have to be on for a short time and my window doesn't roll down.  So I go through Lake Geneva and that's why it takes so long.  I take the country highways.  Less stressful for me but oh, so long.

I'm not a city driver.  Never have been.  I need serious medication to drive in a lot of traffic.  And at 55 years old, that's not likely to change any time soon.

At any rate they found the button to push to activate the guilt enough to get me to go down there when I can't afford it or when I'm not in good enough shape physically to go down.  And of course they will nod their heads, convinced that yeah...I could have done this all along.

Why do families have to be so painful?  Why can't people accept their children or siblings for who they are.  Yeah, I could accept my sisters for being who they are if it weren't for the fact that I don't ever measure up.  Same with my parents.  I can't be in the same room with my husband and father because my dad uses me to score points, by ridiculing me and making fun of me.  Not just my husband either.  Anyone else.  One time the pastor came over and Daddy wouldn't let up on how ridiculous I was.  Another time it was my aunt and uncle.

So...not really excited about getting that treatment again.  Tom can't go down with me because he can't get the time off from work.  He had already scheduled his trip up north with his brother and that can't be changed unless he just gives up that weekend altogether. 

And yet I can't give them up.  They are my family and I love them.  I just love them better from a distance.

At any rate, this is messing with my calm for sure.  I feel like a child again, under their authority and subject to their rules.  When do I get to be the grownup?  When do I get to have my own life?

I don't know if guilt exists in Pagan families like this but it is definitely a product of Christianity. At least in all the circles I've ever been in.

I have no idea what I'm going to do or when I'm going to do it but for now I'm a real mess.  I live with untreated clinical depression (can't take the drugs because of a potentially fatal interaction with other meds I need) and woke up this morning really down but I'm lower than that now.


Friday, June 4, 2010

I'm so honored

Inannasstar has afforded me the honor of Versatile Blogger, the first award this blog has won...ever.  I'm bursting my buttons tickled about it.  Thanks, Inannasstar!!

The rules for Versatile Blogger are:

1.  Thank the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3.  Pass the award along to 15 bloggers whom you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
4.  Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.
(Rules are flexible in case you're not good with rules.  Or you can look at them like the Pirate's Code...they're more like guidelines.)

So...7 things about me.

1.  I was a majorette in high school.
2.  I was involved in a drug sting operation working with an undercover vice detective when I was in the Navy.
3.  I have had fibromyalgia for 21+ years.
4.  I wrote a book when I was 9 and asked my mother to type it out for me.  I found it in the trash the next day.  It killed my writing career.
5.  I wrote a nativity play for my former fundie church that was seen by over 800 people but wasn't allowed to get any credit for it although the director and actors did.  (Do you see a pattern here where my writing career is concerned?)
6.  I have lived in Germany, Guam, Texas, California, Oregon, Indiana, Wisconsin, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee and Illinois.
7.  I was once in a grocery store at the same time Clint Eastwood was although I only saw the back of him as he was heading out the door.

I'd like to pass the Versatile Blogger award on to:

The Gods are Bored
The mogs blog, the meandering of a cat through yarn and life
Rue and Hyssop
Ramblings of a Newbie Pagan
Frugal Freedom

Okay that's not quite 15 but I streamlined my favorite blogs so I'm not online all day anymore and since I lurk there it's going to be a bit scary for me to award people who don't know I exist.  I have such an inferiority complex.

I'm behind on everything today so I will post more tomorrow about how things are going.  For now I'm going to enjoy looking at my award for a while.

Thanks again, Inannasstar and check out her blog and the other blogs I've listed here.  They are terrific!

edited:  I fixed the link for Inannasstar's blog which apparently didn't take the first time.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why I can't "do" anything with Jesus

I feel like I've turned a corner, opened up a door that was previously unlocked, or something like that.  I hadn't realized how much Paganism had integrated itself into my life and how familiar it has already become.  I found some prayers that I might incorporate into a prayer book/Book of Shadows thing.  I don't know what else to call it although I'm not Wiccan.  Possibly some Druid leanings but I need to find my own way and not join a "club" right now.  I'm still hurting from fundamentalism in ways I hadn't realized and need more time to heal before I allow myself to become a part of a group.

I don't regret joining the Episcopal Church though.  In some ways I'm still proud to be a member of a group that is so inclusive and loving, but I need some distance from Christianity.

I promised Tana I would talk about what I think about Jesus and what I mean by "not believing in him" anymore.  It's complicated and I haven't recovered my logic centers post-chemo so I might not make a lot of sense but I'll give it a go.

As I mentioned early on in the formation of the blog, I lost faith in the Bible which led to a loss of faith in God.  I've been reading a lot of books on the history of the Bible and the history of Christianity in an effort to make sense of it all and hopefully regain my faith.  Instead I had to admit it was gone for good.  In fact, most of what I've read has left me a bit bitter because I feel like I've been made a fool of, believing in something that wasn't as neatly and tidily correlated as had been taught to me all my life.

The bottom line for me is that I don't believe the Bible to be either infallible or inerrant but it goes beyond that.  I don't believe it to be reliable either.  For hundreds of years, word of mouth about Jesus picked up steam adding and subtracting various other Pagan beliefs and Jesus "became" the Son of God/God/Messiah as a result.  There are too many similarities with Egyptian, Greek and Roman mythologies to make me believe that this time it's all true.  The fact that he resembles Mithra more than any Jewish figure plays a lot in that.

So I can't pick and choose out of the compilation of various mythologies which really belong to Jesus.  I agree with Bart Ehrman that he was probably a Jewish apocalypticist who was sorely disappointed to find that God didn't really pick him to rule the Kingdom of God and went to a bitter death on the cross.  I believe Christianity grew as a result of various men on power trips trying to set a kingdom for themselves.  Misogynist men at that.

I feel that both groups of Christians pick and choose the Jesus they want to believe in.  Conservative, fundamentalist/evangelical tend to view the Jesus of judgment and rules who is planning on coming back and kicking ass.  Liberals tend to see a Jesus who is loving and inclusive and never said anything harsh except to the legalists.  But both sides wade through the gospels looking for the Jesus they want to believe in. 

I've tried to see him as just a good man who had a good message but then I have to discount the things he said about hell for unbelievers and punishing people who didn't obey his word.  So I don't believe in him at all, as a messianic figure, as a man of peace or as a god.

In a way I have a bigger problem with the liberals (although I like them better for obvious reasons) because they believe that it's okay to dismiss aspects of the gospels that don't align with a Jesus who is a man of peace. It seems to me that the religious right have the more accurate picture of the biblical Jesus.  They might downplay the sunny-side Jesus but they don't dismiss it entirely whereas the liberals dismiss the wrathful, kick-ass Jesus.

Now...this is just what I believe and I don't assume that I have the truth of everything.  I would never proselytize my view of Jesus to anyone because I would never want to change how people see him.  But I felt like I had to clarify what my beliefs were.  If only to myself.

In some ways I regret losing my faith.  And yet in other ways I feel like a lot of unanswered questions and doubts have finally been put to rest for me.  It puts me outside the mainstream that I was used to living in and that's a bit uncomfortable.  And had a lot to do with why I feel pulled back now and then.  Because losing my faith was so painful for me I would never want to be the cause of anyone else losing theirs.

I've seen so many people talk about their experiences with Jesus and how he impacted their lives, how he answered prayer but I never had those experiences.  I said I did because I didn't want to feel left out.  But the only times in my life I've ever felt really spiritual were when I was dealing with the metaphysical, which I avoided like the plague once I was told that was all satanic.

I struggled for a long time with this and couldn't let Zach know because I didn't want to influence him.  But I found out that he had had the same struggle and didn't want to talk to me about it for fear of me being influenced by him.  I wonder how much anguish we could have saved ourselves if we had just talked about it.

I tried to talk to my husband about losing my faith when it first started happening but he didn't seem all that interested.  I don't talk to him about my spiritual struggles now because I don't want lectures especially from someone who hasn't picked up a Bible in over 10 years.  My sister got condescending when I tried to talk to her about my path veering toward Paganism.

Only online am I open about it.  Except on facebook where I've got family members. It would be nice to find others but as I talked about online, I'm not ready for group worship just yet.  I need to be someplace where there aren't any "rules" so I can find my own way.  And having been burned by people who were supposed to be my brothers and sisters in Christ I'm a bit shy about opening up to anyone.  I never really opened up at St. Mark's.  I had acquaintances but no friends.  I just couldn't bring myself to let that happen. And now I'm glad I didn't.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Guilt, nostalgia, familiarity...the fun things that keep you from moving forward

I had a lovely lunch with Zach yesterday.  I didn't eat much, which is partly why it was lovely.  But also because we talked a lot about spiritual matters.  He worries about me, knowing how anguished I was when I was in church...feeling divided, not knowing what to do and why I couldn't be happy there.  So he expressed concern about why I was returning to Christianity when I didn't believe anymore.  Plus he's seen how happy I've been with the Goddess and was worried I would feel obligated to give her up.

He reminded me of Sue Monk Kidd's book, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter,and I realized nothing would be gained by me returning to Christianity.  I can't make know, plug God A into Saint A's slot.  Substitute Lugh for Jesus.  Give up Loki altogether because there are no mischievous saints. 

And I couldn't find a slot for the Goddess.  In the "trinity" the Holy Spirit is the least of the three (and let no one tell you there is no hierarchy...there is) the one least prayed to, least acknowledged except as God's errand boy...or girl.  Not a good place for the Goddess as she is more ancient than Yahweh.  Mary also isn't a good fit as I don't believe in the virgin birth so how does Mary even fit in.  Mythologically  she's a 13-16 year old girl who is somehow able to give consent to become a mother by supernatural means.  Although in this day and age if we found out a child that age had become a mother we wouldn't be thinking this was a good thing.  We would say that a child can't consent and call it statutory rape at the very least.

I digress.  See how I'm not ready to return to Christianity?  I just don't believe it anymore.

Okay...digressing again.

At any rate, there is no substitution for the Goddess in Christianity unless we delegate her to a subservient role to the head deity.  And she wouldn't even rate above her own son.  This is one of the reasons Christianity is so full of misogynist theology.  And don't get me started on why there are more reasons than that.

So...I find my beliefs tend to fall firmly in the Pagan category.  To try to ignore them or water them down wouldn't work for me at all.

Plus, Zach said he really liked the full moon ceremony I did and the sacrifice and cleansing and consecration better than anything we ever did at church.  It felt awkward for me but Zach thinks that's because it's just new and new things take time to feel familiar.

And guilt...let's not forget that. I was immersed in the belief for over 50 years that without Christ I would be consigned to hell so it's not an easy thing to throw away.  It still comes back to haunt me at times.  But I did have some good times at the Episcopal church we were members of.  And familiarity is safe and comfortable.

But as Zach pointed out, I will feel familiar with Paganism soon enough.  I am finding some aspects of it seem very natural to me already.  Like when Professor killed the baby rabbits in their nest yesterday I immediately offered up a prayer to the Goddess for not only their peace but also for the mother's peace.  I couldn't stop thinking of her coming back to the nest to find them gone, with traces of blood and fur left behind.  She's the rabbit I saw on Hare Moon.  Perhaps it was an omen rather than a sign.  Or maybe it's both.  But I felt that connection to Paganism and not to Christianity when I was feeling a bit grieved.

I also found that contemplating that was more spiritual for me than reading the Bible or crossing myself or genuflecting.  Odd how those things are being replaced already.  Maybe the reason I can't let church go is because I haven't cleansed it out of my spirit yet.  Maybe I need to make a break once and for all and get it out of my system, as I would a virus or a parasite.

Maybe I'm just scared to move forward because the past feels safer.  I never was good at doing new things.

I thought about what Tana said in the comments about needing an anchor and for her the church is that anchor.  And maybe that's why I'm drifting so much...I don't have an anchor.  I need to commit.  Me, the commitment-phobic person, needs to commit.  Scary.  You don't know how scary that is to me.  I can't go into details about why I can't seem to commit anymore but suffice to say that I was burned very badly about 8 years ago and ever since then I can't seem to make any decision that burns bridges.  I always feel like I need an escape route.  Especially since I have been in a life position without one.  Feeling trapped is one of the worst experiences there is.  No prison could have stronger bars for me than this one.

So...I'm going to meditate and seek the Goddess on this one and consider a ceremony where I renounce Christianity and leave it behind so I can move forward.

Nothing like having your foolish decisions out there for everyone to see.  Not that there are droves reading this blog but the dear readers that are, I so appreciate and wish you didn't have to read about my indecision all the time. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

And back again...

to church.  I can't quit thinking about church and the longing comes and goes so I figured it was for a reason.  I've decided to start going back to church.  Zach won't be going.  At least not now.  I don't mess with his decisions or try to change his mind no matter what other people might think.  I don't have that much pull with him anyway.  He's his own man.

And I'm my own woman so I'm going to follow the path as it unfolds before me.  Doesn't mean I'm giving up Paganism totally though.  I still feel the Goddess there although I can see her as the Holy Spirit or as Mary.  I still love my crystals and I still believe in the metaphysical so I will be including that in my treasure chest of beliefs.

Now what do I do about Jesus?  On that I'm not totally sure. Time will sort that out. I know I can't right now.

But I miss the ritual and the people and I'm kidding myself to think that I could just walk away from them both.  I feel foolish for the most part for being this old and not having a clear path before me.  I've been a searcher most of my life and probably will  until I'm dead and scattered to the winds.  But the liturgy of the Episcopal church was something I had been wanting my whole life and then having found it, lost my faith and didn't know what to do with the liturgy after that. 

I know it may turn out that I leave again because I rarely know what I want and seem to flit from concept to concept, religion to religion and idea to idea.  But I do know that right now, at this moment, this is what I want.  And so I will go there...but I will keep my Pagan ideas and maybe Celtic Christianity will end up being the solution for me.  I may re-read Christ of the Celts again.

There are many things in Paganism that don't suit me.  I like Nature.  I like personifying aspects of Nature and treating her with respect.  I like the aspects of using energy for specific purposes and channeling it.  I like the notion of spiritual tools.  I like communing with all aspects of Nature as if they had a soul, too.  And yet, I don't feel comfortable with the rituals and spells.  I tried them and they worked but they didn't feel like me exactly.

What feels like me is in Christianity with a twist.  So how do I do Christianity without Jesus?  Not sure, but I'll figure it out somehow.

I do wish I could make up my mind once and for all though.  I do hate drifting around like I'm on the ocean without a paddle or a searchlight to help me out.

Having this aspect of my life public makes my decisions a bit more deliberate.  Otherwise I would really be all over the map deciding where I belong.  But putting it on the internet makes me think more about my decisions and really think hard.

It may be that this wasn't the right path to take but I'll find that out soon enough if it isn't.  Sorry if I've disappointed anyone, but I must say that wasn't on my mind when deciding to go back.  In the past it would have been a major point but not so much now.  So maybe this has been a good experience for me and has helped me grow up a bit.

We'll see how it goes anyway.