Monday, January 31, 2011

Learning and growing

I had errands again today so I didn't get anything done at home.  With the threat of a foot of snow I needed to get the emergency shopping done in case I can't get to the store.  But I did manage to do some finessing on my altars.  The kitchen altar, which had become Hestia's altar a few months ago needed a make-over as it seemed too witchy for what I deemed its purpose to be so I removed a couple of elements (which also freed up some room for my incense burner), changed out the picture to one that really fits better now:  a still life of a bucket, crock/pitcher and grapes.  The colors are a bit muted and have a sense of age to them.  It's more understated and makes me feel cozy.  It's very much a picture that makes me think of the hearth.

I had a bit of candle time with Hestia tonight because I was a bit ranty about the chicken I didn't want to cut up.  I prefer to roast chicken since the cold and bones hurt my hands when I try to cut it up but Tom has gone all pissy about wanting it cut up.  He doesn't like it roasted.  And he insisted Zach cut it up but with his OCD no way was he going to touch raw chicken.  Tom doesn't get that so I cut it up, swearing the whole time.  Then, as I was standing in front of and under Hestia's altar, swearing and cutting up chicken, it occurred to me that maybe my behavior was just a  So I lit her purple candle and some earth incense (I have no idea what it's made it from StuffMart because it's cheap but it smells so good and...earthy) and just stood there mellowing out and meditating a bit on what would Hestia do.  Now, I think she's one sassy Goddess, but in her capacity as Goddess of the hearth, I can see where she might think that cutting up a chicken once in a while isn't the end of the world.  I managed to calm down and finish up the chicken with a more positive outlook although I still don't like cutting up chicken.

I've done more reading today about Hellenismos because I find it fascinating and while I'm cautious about anything reconstructionist, I'm finding a wide variety of mindsets and philosophies that don't seem to indicate the fanaticism I've seen in Christian reconstructionism.  And quite frankly, I do like the idea of trying to do things they way the ancients did.  I don't know that this is the path I will end up on, but it does fit my personality pretty well.  Apparently I like structure.  Who knew?

I got the Penguin book of Homeric Hymns from the library and went looking for the version online which is translated by Hugh Evelyn-White (I think that's his name) and I was joking to Zach that it's like the New International Version compared to the King James Version of the Bible.  The poetry of the Evelyn-White translation is just beautiful.  When I can afford it, that's the translation I want to own.  But for now, the library version will do.  Anyway you look at it, the hymns and prayers are beautiful.

I had looked at some Greek-type altars while online today and saw one that had a temple to Zeus on it.  And it just so happened that I had a free-standing shelf that looked very similar to it so I moved the shelf to my altar and designated it Zeus's Temple.  I'm so clever.  A few weeks ago I found a pattern for Pan that is adorable that I was thinking of making and since I have all the necessary materials, including polymer clay, I think I might do that.  That got me thinking of making all my statues out of yarn as well.  Amigurimi gods and goddesses would suit my altar just fine.

I love making things that enhance my spiritual life.

I'm also knitting this afghan, mostly because I just love the pattern and because I want to practice my colorwork more but it doesn't hurt that it's a Greek design.  I'm making it out of some of my stash of purple and off-white Vanna's Choice yarn that I got on sale.  I really like the way it's turning out.

One thing I did notice about myself this go-round is that I'm not turning Greek like I would have done in the past.  I have a problem adopting cultures when I find a spirituality I like.  I still very much like the Celtic culture, designs, artwork, which I loved before I found Celtic spirituality, and I'm able to hang onto that instead of turning my house into Mount Olympus.  It's embarrassing  how many different cultures I've tried to assimilate because I thought I had to do it all.  But now I'm comfortable keeping the things I love and adding more beauty into my life.

Plus, I don't think I could give up anything British.  I'm convinced I lived there in a former life because I love anything about the UK.

I feel like I'm moving in a good direction, no matter if it's for the long term.  Amazingly, I don't feel a need to see how the story ends this time.  For me that's close to a miracle.

Off to bed to knit and watch Midsomer Murders.


  1. I'm not familiar with the Hugh Evelyn-White translations of the Homeric Hymns -- thanks for the tip!

  2. I've been itching to take up knitting. The only things holding me back are my lack of patience and the sharp needles...they kinda go together ; )

    Stay safe and warm in the storm.

  3. Debra, they are online at the Gutenberg Project:

    Someday I'd like to own a hard copy but for now at least, they're online.

    Dark Mother, you'd probably love The Yarn Harlot. She might get you motivated to learn but in the meantime you'll enjoy her humor about knitting. On second thought, you might not want to knit after reading her. LOL