Sunday, October 31, 2010

With the new year comes change and new perspectives

I have neglected both this blog and my journal due to still experiencing serious insomnia.  I don't think well when I'm sleep deprived and since thinking is required to formulate a post, it just wasn't going to happen.  Happily, I've gotten sleep the past couple of nights so I'm going to give it a go.

The more I study the Druidry Handbook, the more I question my path.  At least the path of pure Druidry.  I know that there is much about it that speaks to me and calls to me, but it is a religious path and not a philosophical one I am seeking.  The curriculum for AODA is hugely academic in nature, with a requirement of 9 books read on various subjects on Nature, study one of the seven spirals, blah, blah, blah.  It sounds like seminary, to be honest.  I looked into OBOD's curriculum which seems to be more experiential, which is what I'm looking for, but it's way out of reach and still too structured.

Then there is the notion that no one can really be a Druid because it takes so long to achieve that status.  That there are three levels of which you need to choose one.  You can be a Bard, knowing poetry, stories, music, etc.  You can be an Ovate, knowing the more spiritual aspects like divination, magic, etc.  Or you can be a Druid, the wise helping person who heals and teaches.

What if I just want to be an ordinary person who knows a little bit about all of that?

It made me question whether I really want to be a Druid after all.  By that I mean associate my path as such.  There is an aspect of me that associates with witchcraft as well.  Not Wicca, but witchcraft.  And I want that as well.  Green witch, hedge witch...something like that.  I love the magic of witchcraft more than I like the magic of Druidry.  I love the moon over the sun.  I love the night with a deep, deep passion.

Don't get me wrong.  I love the books on Druidry I'm reading but I also love the books on Wicca I'm reading as well.  I find wisdom in both.  There is direction and teaching in both paths that make me feel more like a balanced person.  I've seen references made to Druidcraft, which is the combining of both paths.  It has a more eclectic feel for me. 

I think I need to stop trying to put a label on what I am and just enjoy the learning.  I have so much I want to learn, especially in herbs, crystals, divination, magic.  And while I do love Nature and feel a reverence for her I don't want to forsake the modern world and give up technology.  I like the idea of simplifying my life, but I'm  not cut out for going back to the simple life.  I do what I can, but I don't want to feel guilty for loving television and movies and the computer. 

I just don't have a balance right now and I think that's why I feel so out of whack.  I am spending less time online and more time reading and knitting, as well as other crafts, but it's not about not using the computer. It's about following my heart.  I still struggle with mindsets from years of institutional religion, thinking I need someone in authority over me to tell me how to walk my path.  That may be, but it's not a person, especially not one who doesn't know me.  I'm more convinced I need to find my spirit guide and make that connection.

I discovered this week that the crow is my power animal so I plan on exploring that relationship as well.  I also think I need to write in the blog more often because it does help me organize my thought and focus.  I still write in my spiritual journal because there are things I that are just too personal.  Plus the writing is an exercise for me as well, different from this kind of writing.

I keep overthinking this...more baggage from my past.   I hope this blessed Samhain will be the start of a new year for me, a new way of thinking.  Learning to focus and meditate.  Learning about those things I have a passion for.  Learning to walk alone without fear.  And know that I'm not really alone, that I have the Crow and my spirit guide with me.

I'm excited about this, actually.  I feel more in control of my life in a way I haven't felt for many a year.  If ever.  I love throwing off the labels and following my heart, my calling.  I love not having someone over me telling me what I should learn and what I should believe.

It may sound silly that I have just figured all this out, but I have 50+ years of indoctrination to overcome and it's not happening overnight.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I won't go down that road

I did a lot of pondering about this path I have started down.  I looked at the website for AODA and the requirements for finishing the first degree Druid program and have decided that while I like the idea of formulating a goal with the end result making myself feel like a Druid, I don't like the idea that someone would test me to determine that I have reached that goal.  I lived for 50 years within a religious institution that measured spirituality based on their own criteria.  In fact Zach and I saw a bumper sticker just Monday that stated that you can't be both pro-choice and Christian.  That's what I lived with most of my life.  Someone determining what the parameters were that said you were a Christian.

I won't do that within Paganism.  I just won't.  I do like The Druid Handbook for a guide, and I can use the resources they have set out as an outline but frankly, I can't afford the out of print books they require for study.  It's my path, not theirs.  I can  understand them viewing it as the ancestors did, with the passing down of information and examining the candidate to determine they have learned enough to carry the torch from then on.  But that was then.  This is now.  We don't pass things down word of mouth anymore.  We have books, internet, movies, etc. 

I guess I'm just a bit rebellious about the whole thing.  None of this stuff is cheap.  We're talking hundreds of dollars in books because there's no way my library system has even one percent of those books. Not to mention the membership fees that seem affordable until you realize how much money you have to spend on books in order to achieve first degree Druid.  Then there's 2nd and 3rd degree.

Several years ago I tried my best to tithe to my church like a good little Christian, having been assured that God would honor my efforts and bless my socks off.  The end result was I couldn't pay my bills unless I stopped tithing because he didn't "bless my socks off" at all.  When I questioned it, I was told that my attitude must be wrong or I wasn't being responsible with my money because done right, that was the assured result.

I stopped tithing from that day forward.  And stopped listening to the annual money grubbing sermons.  Testimony after testimony about how God had blessed people with huge amounts of money because they tithed.  I can't begin to tell you how bad it made me feel, how unloved and inadequate.

AODA isn't saying you need to finish up their course to be a Druid, but they do dangle the titles around in a seductive way.  I guess I looked at Paganism, and Druidry in particular, to be more organic institutions. I'm not interested in joining something that acts like a church or a seminary. [ As a side note, a blog I read lately had an entry that seemed to put across the point that neo-Paganism is newer than Christianity so we should learn from them and incorporate those things we like.  I wrote a cryptic response that there was nothing I wanted to learn from an institution that had treated people so cruelly but the counter to that was one of sunshine and sweetness and how it was okay we (I wasn't the only one who didn't like her entry) felt that way but she thought it was a good idea.  If Paganism is going to start looking like Christianity, I'm outta here.]

And yet I do feel like I need interaction with other Druids. I've been looking into The Druid Network to join.  Membership fees aren't extravagant and their spiritual viewpoint is very similar to mine.  Moreso than either OBOD or AODA.  But I won't do anything without giving it a lot of thought so I won't decide until Samhain.

In the meantime, I intend to plot my own course of study using AODA's book and their recommendations, only finding books within my library system that are comparable.  I will most likely have to buy a book or two before I'm done with my one year Bardic study but it will be on my terms.  And after I've researched to find the best resources.

All in all, I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Commitment isn't a four letter word

One of my greatest failings is I don't often finish what I start.  As a result, I tend to avoid committing to things because I end up being unreliable which makes me feel even worse about myself.  So one of the books I got a couple of weeks ago is apparently the text used for initiation into Druidry for one of the American Druid organizations.  One I might be interested in joining.  But again with the commitment thing.

It actually sounds like a lot of work.  Not in the sense of manual labor, digging ditches and clearing the wilderness or building rustic huts for spiritual retreats.  No, it involves examining myself and my motives, exploring what it means to be a Druid, meditating, and journaling.

On a daily basis.

And yet, I'm not happy just drifting along this way.  Between the three books I own on Druidry, I have enough to go through a year's study, if not longer.  At the very least I could go from saying I am on the Druid path to saying I'm studying to be a Druid.  It may not seem like a fine distinction but to me it's the difference between renting or owning.  I want to own my spirituality.  The rent is getting too high.

So I bought a journal today and am setting forth with much fear and trembling that I might fail again.  I called upon the God/desses to help me in my endeavors, knowing that the responsibility is mine alone.  Ain't no sky daddy going to pluck me up and give me the courage and stamina required to do this.  And yet, knowing they are cheering me on gives me incentive.  They called me to this path so I'm pretty darned sure they're not going to be throwing obstacles in my way to "test" me.  I think they want me to succeed.

Sundays are difficult days to do rituals or study because I don't have any privacy on the weekends.  Where my son is good at respecting my closed curtains, my husband isn't.  He just walks in regardless without knocking on the nearest wooden structure.  In the scheme of things, though, it's not worth arguing over.  I just make adjustments as best I can.  Samhain is on a Sunday but I'll be outside and I doubt he'll follow me out there.  On the other hand he might be curious enough to observe, which I'm okay with because he's been terrifically supportive about both my and Zach's spiritual changes.

I found a nice, square black candle at the thrift store yesterday for $1.99 so I bought it and today when I went back with Tom to show him the new location, they had another identical candle out for the same price so I bought it, too.  And a cute little statuette of a witch, complete with green skin and black cat.  She's keeping vigil over my altar right now.

And speaking of my altar.  Tomorrow I will take a picture of it now that I have the wall of ancestors up.  I talked to my parents today finding out information about their parents.   When I put the pictures up I remembered something about my maternal grandmother.  She was supposedly a bit psychic.  She was good at locating lost things for people.  They would come to her and she would let them know where the item was.  I've been feeling her calling to me from beyond the veil the past few days, as it becomes thinner and thinner.  I also hear my beloved cat, Pearl, calling to me, too.  Hannibal is acting a bit strange and has spent many a day sitting just below her grave on the hill behind the house.  Normally he sits further up and over from there.

My Tarot cards are starting to bond with me but they're still not speaking yet.  I know this is the deck I'm supposed to have but I don't know why they're taking their time becoming one with me.  I'm going to pick up a book at the library that uses Rider-Waite and see if that helps because the booklet that goes with the cards is next to useless.  The meanings of the cards according to the booklet doesn't sound right to me.

I'm spending less and less time online and more and more time with crafts, housework, getting healthy and reading.  My life is so much better but I do miss running into people online.  I must make the effort to stay in touch.  It's very important to me.

Time to get ready for bed.  I'm getting to bed earlier as well and it seems to be doing me some good both with energy and emotionally.  I'm hoping sleep is the key to controlling my depression.

Have a good week everyone.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I begin to learn

I've started a sincere study of Druidry this week.  Not just gleaning from websites or absorbing from blogs.  Real books.  Our library is sparse on Druidry but Tana was delightfully generous and sent me some books, most of which I've already pored over and over, but I just recently started serious study of The Druid Tradition by Philip Carr-Gomm.  I love it, especially with the meditation exercises at the end of each chapter.  I especially like knowing the history of modern Druidry and the differences between various Druid organizations.

Sunday, after taking Zach out to dinner for his birthday, we found ourselves in a Barnes & Nobles bookstore magnetically attracted to the "New Age" section.  I found several books on Druidry but I found myself in a dilemma:  which to take home with me.  In trying to decide I found myself clinging to old habits and thought-patterns.  As a fundamentalist Christian I was always careful to buy the books that reflected the "correct" doctrine and were written by approved authors.  I discovered I was doing the same thing with books on Druidry.  Would Philip Carr-Gomm approve?  Would Emma Restall Orr?

I admit that I am not a reconstructionist and find some of their teachings dangerously close to the fundamentalism I left that things have to be done their way, which is the way of the ancestors. As in...the "correct" way.  Not all reconstructionists are like that, of course, but I have run into a few who are.

It bothered me that I was trying to limit myself to the "correct" teachings on Druidry so I just sort of gulped and picked two that really spoke to me, the ones that I couldn't put back on the shelves.  One was The Druidry Handbook by John Michael Greer and the other was Druid Magic by Maya Magee Sutton and Nicholas R. Mann.  Imagine my surprise when I got them home and both books are recommended by Philip Carr-Gomm.  The Druidry Handbook seems to be one that tries to take reconstructionism into the modern world.  I haven't gotten into the other one far enough to tell yet but I'll let you know as I do.

Intuition.  It means something.  I was taught all my life not to trust my own instincts because they were inherently devious and would lead me astray.  I'm learning that's not so because my intuition isn't my enemy.  It's a tool.  Not perfect and subject to misinterpretation until I learn to use it better but certainly not my enemy. My intuition also found one set of Rider-Waite Tarot cards.  These are the cards I learned on lo! these many years ago and the ones I would have chosen for myself, if I had had the chance.  I couldn't resist them so they came home with me as well.  I gave back Zach's deck to him and am trying to bond with my new set. 

Zach found a book that had him transfixed so I bought it for him as a birthday present.  It's Dancing with Dragons by D. J. Conway.  Dragons have called to him all his life so this book really means a lot to him.

When I mentioned on this blog that I was trying to learn meditation, Tana found a set of Spirit Beads and sent them to me.  They are absolutely beautiful and so charged with energy.  They are made of polished Jasper with a Goddess symbol on them.  I am so lucky to have such a friend.  Especially since I still haven't gotten to the post office to mail off my gift to her.  (This week, I promise!)  I used them this week in meditation and prayer and they felt so good and seemed to help me center so much better.  Not that I'm any good at it yet.  I still have so many distractions...both internal and outside distractions.  I plan on getting up earlier in the morning so I am the only one awake.  It's the only way I can be alone in the house.

I'm still organizing my altar.  I haven't gotten the ancestors up on the wall yet but I plan on doing that this week, too.  I got an electric candle to use in my window nightly until Yule as I can't use a real one without burning down the house.  And little electric tea candles for those nights I feel like I need a vigil candle going.

I hope to share some of the things I'm learning about Druidry in the future but today I'm a bit under the weather with a cold or something (again!) so I'm going to rest on the bed while spinning for a bit.  It relaxes me.  A lot.  I also feel a definite connection with Lugh when I spin for some reason.  He's been ever in my thoughts these days.  My candle for him is yellow and nearly spent, which is appropriate, I guess, but I can't find another yellow candle in the store.  I'll keep looking.

Until next time.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Beginning preparations

I'm starting my preparations for Samhain (and typing with a cat stretched across my forearms) and trying to absorb as much energy as I can out there.  I'm doing a bit better today and hope that is an upward trend and not an anomaly. 

Lovely Tana sent me a gift of spirit beads that are absolutely wonderful.  Jasper stone and a Goddess symbol.  When she read that I was trying to learn meditation she thought they would help me focus better.  I haven't tried them yet because I have no privacy on the weekends but I look forward to it next week.  I slept with them last night in order to bond with them and really felt some energy from them this morning as I caressed them.  They are living on my altar right now.  I really hope to use them when invoking Awen, which I am ready to begin doing.

Tom is going through pictures looking for some photos of his parents and any grandparents out there.  While looking we found some pictures of my grandfather.  I'm collecting them for my wall of ancestors for Samhain.  I only lack my maternal grandfather's picture now.  I wonder if I can get my mother to send me one without revealing anything.

I can feel something in the air.  I was outdoors last night bringing the cat in and we stood in the yard watching the sky for a while before coming in.  I can feel the veil thinning.  I don't think I'm imagining it at all. 

Tonight though is for spinning and more knitting.  It's Zach's birthday (22nd) and we're taking him out to eat tomorrow night but tonight is for staying home.  And being creative.  I plan on making more God's Eyes this week.  I hope to have pictures of my altar and wall of ancestors, too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The changes they just keep coming

I probably won't be writing here every day from now on.  I don't want to give the blog up but I've had my other blog for a few years and don't want to give it up either.  Besides,  the readership is greater there than here anyway.

For people who read here, I invite you to my other blog Knitting with my shoes off if you're interested.  I am "out of the broom closet" over there so I do talk about Pagan/Druid things there.  I just don't talk about the spiritual/emotional sides of being Pagan.  This started out being a place for me to sort things out and is still that place.  But since I have a better grasp on who I am as a spiritual being, I don't always have something to say about it.

I'm not giving it up though.  I still plan on writing here, just not as often.  The time may come when I completely blend the two blogs but for now, I plan on keeping them separate.  Sort of.  As I said, I'm out there so I plan on writing more and more about the things I do as a Druid but the dissecting of how I do that and why I'll keep here.

I'm guessing I'll be writing a few times a week so it's not like months will go by while the crickets chirp.  I just have to focus my time and energy in other areas for now.

You know how it is.

I'm hoping my anticipation of Samhain will foster some excitement in me pretty soon.  At least enough to have the energy to prepare for it.  I'm dragging so much, both physically and spiritually, that all I want to do is stay in bed all day.  But that's just not going to happen any time soon.

See everyone in a few days.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Reflections on direction

I'm getting excited about celebrating Samhain, figuring out what I'm going to do where and when.  It's better than Christmas, in my opinion.  I worked a bit in the faerie garden trying to do something with the compost.  I wish I had someplace else for it but it's there and smelly.  I plan on covering it up for ritual but very soon it will be used to cover up the newspapers I plan on putting down to enlarge the vegetable garden space.  Anything to avoid renting a roto-tiller.  We did it the hard way in the Spring, with physical labor and a lot of sweat.

I had an opportunity to talk to Tom this morning about Druidry and what it is.  He seemed receptive although I thought I saw a smirk on his face when I mentioned magick.  I could be wrong.  I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, but there is still no doubt in his mind that Christianity is the only real path.  At least he's not preachy or judgmental about it though.  He knows that's one thing that will drive me into silence and put distance between us.   It was good to have someone to talk to about it in spite of our differences.

I'm hoping to start making some charms, talismans and other things very soon.  I asked Tom if he would wear a talisman for deer hunting and he said he would.  Now I just need to research one to find out what to put in the amulet bag.  He hasn't shot a deer in close to 9 years.  I need to include protection in the talisman for all the wacko hunters out there who don't follow safety rules.

I decided to stop reading a book I got from the library that, while the information in it was somewhat useful, was couched in such terms that made any neo-Pagans look silly.  And the author kept applying nearly everything in Paganism to Christianity, which is not the way I think it goes.  I think it's the other way around.  In fact, I'm convinced that Paganism has more importance and credibility based on the fact that no religion out there exists without incorporating Paganism into it.  Without Mithras and Osiris/Dionysius and other myths, Christianity wouldn't exist at all.  Without including Pagan holidays (albeit Christianized ones) into the church calendar, I doubt if Christianity would have grown as much as it did.  So in my mind (and I'll admit it's a vastly empty place these days) Paganism is the more prevalent religion.  Various Pagan religions date far earlier than the Abrahamic, some being contemporary with Judaism.

One thing I love about Paganism is the way it grows and evolves instead of remaining stagnant and rigid.  I believe the God/desses grow up and evolve as well.  I had my fill of the letter of the law and the insistence of not changing one iota from the imagined founder's rule-book.  I'm not a reconstructionist by any stretch of the imagination, which is why I find myself aligning more closely with OBOD and The Druid Network rather than the American Druid organizations. 

I'm far from being educated about my path but I do know this:  I plan on moving forward, not looking backward.  I did that already; I won't do it again.  If someone feels strongly that they need to do things the way the ancestors did, then more power to them.  But I feel like the ancestors enjoy seeing us grow and take things to a new level.  I'll ask them on Samhain to make sure.

In the meantime, I'll work at learning and growing and hopefully as my path unfolds beneath my feet, I'll make progress at being the person I have it in me to be.

Just as soon as I get a good night's sleep.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Making the changes

I've already instigated the new changes to my routine.  I was merciless in deleting things from my favorite places and limiting my time online and so far the changes seem to be working.  I'm down to an hour in the morning and less than that in the evening.  The time not online will be spent working on crafts and such that might be a window into financial opportunities.  I'm still nervous about an online store or an etsy shop because of all the legalities and taxes and such but I also keep getting tarot cards that tell me this is a path I should be considering.  It's mostly down to no confidence in myself.  Why would anyone pay for things I've made?

So I will be limiting my personal knitting and crocheting for evenings while watching television and assigning hours in the day for working on writing, drawing, painting, and other crafts that I feel might be part of my future online store (or flea market.)  I'm planning on treating it like a job allowing no interruptions, no errands run during that time and no housecleaning either.  I'll do that in the morning while Tom is still here because I can't concentrate on the other things while he's around.  Too many interruptions.

I'm feeling more confident about invoking awen, too.  I've been reading up on it and I think I understand it and how it works but I'm not sure I could explain it.  At any rate, I plan on setting aside time for meditation and study as well.  My life will have to be more structured than I'm used to but I'm hoping that will be a good thing.  I need a balance between my spiritual, physical and emotional aspects and it's just not happening now.  I must be cautious about over-structuring though.  I don't want to make this a prison.

Normally my dreams are terribly mundane.  I've even been known to clean house in my dreams and wake up wondering why the dishes in the dishwasher aren't clean because I remember starting it in my dream.  Or vacuuming.  Or doing laundry.  I need better dreams!  Last night, however, I had a dream that left me with an incredibly sad feeling so this dream really stuck with me all day.  I dreamed that I missed Christianity, the people, the rituals, the vernacular.  But not the gods.  I found that strange, even in my dream.  It doesn't take rocket surgery to figure this one out though.  I'm just lonely and miss a community.  I'm sure it stems from limiting my time online and being afraid that I'll isolate myself to the degree that I'm a recluse.

I do plan on opening myself up more in person, looking for groups that might have similar interests and maybe doing some volunteer work once Zach gets a job.  I still believe my spirituality is meant to be solitary (or near solitary with Zach as a fellow participant) for now, but I do think in time I will look for community in that area as well.  But for now, maybe book clubs or environmental groups (that aren't too out there) and even knitting groups will suffice.  I just need people in my life.

Doesn't mean I intend to give up my online friends though.  Or the blog community I've become so fond of.  I made the cuts elsewhere, on message boards that I never thought I would give up.  And online newspapers.  Just how many do I need to read to get a picture of what's going on in the world?

I'm finally feeling eager to get up in the morning and get going.  I'm still battling the fatigue but my heart feels lighter and my spirit is eager to learn and grow.  Complacency is such a weight on the soul.

My time is up so I'm off to hang the singles I just spun and pick up my knitting for some Masterpiece Theater.  Wallander is on and it's fast becoming a favorite.

On a side note, Tom mentioned how much different Halloween will be this year as Zach and I will be celebrating Samhain.  He really has been very supportive of our religious shift which totally amazes and delights me.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Letting myself recover

Normally I don't do that.  My instinct is to push through the headache, achy joints, stuffy nose and coughing and get things done.  As a result the cold or flu hangs on longer than most people seem to endure.  So this time I'm resting, doing the bare minimum and employing slave labor (poor Zach) so I can just rest.  I think, even though my work load isn't unbearable, it's a case of never taking a day off from those mundane chores in nearly 24 years of marriage.  Aside from when I was going through chemo and even then I still had the basics to take care of, including shopping and homeschooling.  I think I got to take off 2 days after my mastectomy.  We had one vacation, more than 15 years ago, in which we went camping where guessed it...cooked and cleaned in the wilderness while the guys went off canoeing and shit.

I think it's just a situation of overload.  I tend to do a lot of giving, putting myself out there without taking anything in. I've been trained not to accept help from anyone, not to accept gifts (I'm working on that one though) and that selflessness is the higher calling.  As a result, my cup is constantly empty, rarely refilled.  It's not that I'm such a saint or anything.  It's just that I don't have balance in my life.

I'm learning to ask for help and to accept it when given, but it's still very uncomfortable and very difficult to do.  Shedding old and bad habits is hard, especially when you've been conditioned to believe they were virtues.

I haven't felt particularly spiritual this week although I look longingly at my altar from time to time.  I tried to do some reading yesterday but I kept falling asleep, which really was the better option.  Except when I couldn't get to sleep last night until 5 a.m.  And with a chihuahua who thinks me in bed means he's not getting his due attention, the sleep was interrupted.  Several times.  I ended up sleeping until 1 p.m. though so I don't expect to get to bed early tonight either.

The cycle continues.

When I get through this I intend to make some changes in the way I live my life, changing priorities and such and making more time for me.  And putting getting healthy, physically, emotionally and spiritually, up there on top.

In the meantime, I'm going to bed to doze a bit and maybe knit and watch some television while Zach does my chores today.

Because I can.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Be back tomorrow

I'm a bit under the weather today...either a summer/autumn cold or a sinus infection.  I'm sneezing, have a headache and am achy all over.

I'm hoping to be back tomorrow but tonight I'm not cooking or cleaning.  I'm going to bed.

Hope to be back to normal by tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Goddess give me sleep!

There isn't a lot in me today due to not much sleep in the past several days.  I didn't try to meditate today nor was it safe for me to light candles last night in case I fell asleep.  I whispered to the Goddess the requests I had and let her know the candles would have to wait until I could stay awake.  As it turned out, it was 3 a.m before I shut the lights out and 6 a.m. before I got to sleep.  Pain keeps me awake.

I intend to sleep in tomorrow regardless of what's going on.  I need it.

Yesterday on our way to town (we take the back, country roads) there were about 5 large birds crossing the road.  As there was no one behind me, I waited for them (it's against the law to cause an accident while braking for animals in Wisconsin).  Zach thought they were pheasants but as we passed them, I saw they were turkeys.  We do have wild turkeys around here and we see them frequently on that road during November, but I can't recall seeing them this early before.  I wonder if this is a sign of an early winter.  The birds know, they do.

I'm not terribly crafty when I'm this tired so I probably won't work on drawing or knitting or crocheting tonight.  I'll probably fall asleep at 8 p.m. and wake up at midnight and be up the rest of the night.  It's how I seem to work.  But I do intend to keep pursuing meditation and keep reading up on Druidry, spells, and Awen, amongst other things.

As it is, supper is almost ready and I hope I can stay awake to eat it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mundane Monday with a smidge of spirituality

I spent less time online this weekend and got some much needed work done on my knitting although I would have liked to have done other crafts as well.  I just couldn't wrap my brain around anything else though.  I printed out the instructions to make a God's eye to go over my altar although I would like to make one for other rooms in the house as well.  I'm working on making the whole house reflect our spirituality and not just the bedroom.  Tom won't care at all, I'm sure. 

I'm not ready to start decorating for Samhain yet, though.  I used to decorate for Christmas right after Thanksgiving and by Christmas day I was sick of all the decorations and took everything down after the presents had been exchanged.  So I'll wait until the week before Samhain to make the changes to my altar and decorate the rest of the house.  I plan on gradually buying decorations over the years because it's too expensive to do it all at once.  Plus I don't have room to store anything so it will have to be something that is multi-purpose and can be used for different holidays.

I got some books on crows and other night creatures, planning on studying the pictures to draw them for the monthly theme on John Howe's site:  Night Wings.  It's also interesting to read about them.  I wonder if the crow is my power animal.  I might even get my paints out and try a painting of a crow for my wall in my bedroom.  Zach is drawn to owls so I hope to draw him a picture of an owl, maybe for a birthday present for him this month.

I tried some meditation this morning but I suck at it.  I was supposed to visualize a rising sun from the top of a hill and I could see everything except the sun.  Plus my overactive mind kept drifting off into other scenarios including hanging clothes on the line.  I will keep trying though.  I would love to tame my mind.

I"m trying to spend more time in spiritual pursuits because I feel like my attitude toward my new path is too cavalier.  I don't think I"m taking it seriously enough.  In that I am taking the easy path too often and not challenging myself.  It stems from my abject fear of failure, I think.  I know the only way to overcome it is to keep trying and learning from my failures instead of letting them paralyze me.

Today was a good start but I can do better and not get off the path I start on so easily.  I'm such a quitter and I hate that about myself.

But now it's time to finish up my chores for the day and start supper because these mundane things matter to me in a spiritual sense as well.  And also because I need sheets on my bed and something to eat.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy Countdown to Samhain

Marginally better again.  Except I tried to take Professor on a walk and my hips started bitching at me the last half of the block...which is a very, very steep hill.  So tomorrow we'll go down that one instead of up.  I need to get my blood circulating.  I'm becoming convinced that health and spirituality are incontrovertibly linked but don't ask for explanations today.  My mind is still in a fog.

I got some books from the library today on ravens, crows, etc so I can focus on Night Wings this month along with the artists on John Howe's site.  I also found a book on Welsh fairy tales which intrigued me so it came home with me, too.  I've been finding myself drawn to the Welsh aspects of Druidry, but it's probably just for a season.  It seems to be how I seasons.

I'm pretty sure I have Welsh ancestry but I haven't explored it much.  I do know I have Scottish on both sides of my family: Stewart and Baldwin, and I'm pretty sure the Jones side comes from Wales but I haven't got the money to do a genealogy search right now. Family members have done genealogies and I've got a Mormon cousin who I'm sure has but I haven't seen her in over 40 years so I doubt we'll ever be in touch.

It's not important in the scheme of things but I do feel like I'm drawn to the religions of my ancestors.  I'm thinking of learning Welsh although I would love to learn Scots Gaelic as well.  Finding sources for those languages is hard though.  Open University has beginning Welsh and the library has beginning Scots Gaelic so I can at least learn the basics.  Maybe enough for pronunciation. 

Now that it's October, I'm getting excited about decorating for Samhain.  To me it's like the excitement I used to feel decorating for Christmas, only better.  I'm hoping the excitement will be the impetus I need to get my motivation and ambition in the same place.  I'm so excited to celebrate this year as this will be the first year we're able to be open about it.  I'm having fun counting the days.

I plan on doing some drawing tonight as well as knitting.  I've always found knitting to be a spiritual exercise for me, even as a Christian, but I realize now that it's never been a Christian exercise.  Instead I feel a connection with the ancestors and even the gods (forgive me for the lower case but I still can't get past the upper case meaning the Christian god and I really prefer lower case because that separates them out for me).  I wonder if that's why Lugh has called to me and why Brighid was the first to get my attention.

So I'm off to spin, draw and knit (and crochet) and work on my Books as well.