I don't have a lot to talk about right now, but I did want to start out the new year blogging. I never look at January 1 as the start of anything as there is no routine to it and no structure. For me this is the end of the year. I start new things tomorrow when I'm back to normal. Okay, normal for me.
I do plan on incorporating more and more study, ritual and crafting into my life as well as working on regaining my health, especially as my mother was in the hospital for a couple of days this past week adjusting her coumadin leves after a nasty bout with the flu. She is much healthier than I am so I don't want to keep going downhill from here. I'd like to visit the hill top before I start to decline.
I'm deciding on a necklace, too. There is one at Ladyhawk's Treasure (see the link in the sidebar) that is a Raven and a pentacle that I'm leaning toward. I still plan on knitting up a charm bag and have been working on a pattern for it, but I really do want some jewelry that speaks of who I am. Zach wants a dragon necklace as well, so I can kill two birds with the proverbial stone.
I'm also working on knitting up some pentacles and a raven design for my altar. I need a cloth to cover my sacred/annointing water as it occurred to me that dust and negative energies will taint it if I leave it open like I have been. For now there is just a felt square over it. Something fancy later. I also thought about creating a mandala but I don't have a beading needle right now and I forgot to get one at the store today. I'm not making a trip just for a needle though. Plus I don't have enough purple beads, which is what I'd like to put on there.
I would love to have some statues, too. I bought some polymer clay to do that but I haven't felt creative in that regard lately so I haven't done anything yet. I know there is a disagreement with using polymer clay versus organic clay but I'm on a tight budget and can't really afford the things I do buy (and simply must put a stop to it soon). We'll see how it goes.
I had a conversation with Zach the other day about how those who are financially challenged usually end up disadvantaged in Christianity. Oh, I know it's the religion of the poor. Riiiight. Just like the Pastor of a church is more likely to be friendly toward a poor person than a person who is funding a huge portion of his salary. Right. I've seen it all my life. The pastor hangs around with the bigger tithers. Plus, every time we walked in the door at our former church (fundie) we were hit up with one fund raiser after another. Guilt trips abound! Sermon after sermon about tithing and giving that widow's last pence. Or was it a farthing? Good old King James. Then there are the study bibles that you need. It's not enough to have a plain bible. You need one that tells you what it all means. And any bible studies have literature that must be purchased. Even in the Episcopal church that I loved there were always money issues that made you feel guilty if you couldn't pony up the money. From my experience, the "blessings" of Christianity abounded more with those who already had stuff. As my chemistry professor said about electrons...them that has, gets.
I know that there are many enticements out there with Paganism, too, and there are plenty of temptations to have the nice stuff on your altar. But more than in Christianity, I see people being creative and valuing simplicity. Making your own candles, finding dishes and tools at a thrift store or using household items rather than buying the jewel-encrusted athame you saw online. Simple cloths off the remnant rack, knitting crocheting, sculpting your own statues. Thing is, these items bring as many blessings as the expensive stuff brings. If you have the money and you want to adorn your house, great! But there isn't the pressure for everyone else to do it even if they can't afford it. I love that about the wonderful women I've met online. They never, ever play that card that says you have to do it the way they are or you're not doing it right. I can't say the same about Christianity.
Although as a Christian I would have disagreed with that. I would have said that I had never been pressured into spending money I didn't have or that I felt inferior to the people at church who had money. But I would have been lying, because I did. Not a moment went by, even in my lovely Episcopal church, that I didn't feel inferior because I didn't have money. And although in part, it was me doing it to myself, there is an attitude toward the poor in Christianity that is condescending, derogatory and downright mean. All in the name of love, you know.
Well, I've ranted enough. It's time to crawl into my jammies and under the covers and start on the Raven cloth for my altar. I hope this new year brings bright new blessings and powerful energy to each and every one of you.