Monday, February 28, 2011

Dreams and mythologies

I've been remembering my dreams more lately.  Most likely because I'm actually sleeping again for more than an hour at a time.  I have the inevitable bathroom dreams where I am frantically trying to find a private bathroom but they are all out in public.  I end up trying to be as discreet as possible only to call attention to myself because I've been peeing for 20 minutes without stopping.  Then I wake up and make a beeline to the bathroom.

Then there are the house dreams, where I'm in a house that has many, many rooms.  I love those dreams even if I can't tell you what they mean.  I'm always wandering around these huge mansions (or sometimes these little cottages that look like the TARDIS inside.)

Then I have the dreams that actually mean something.  I had one of those the night before last.  I don't remember every second of it but I do remember an owl showing up everywhere I was.  I found the owl beautiful, even moreso than my beloved crows.  I felt a strong attachment to the owl but I couldn't figure out why this owl was in front of me, behind me and sometimes on my shoulder.  Then Athena stood in front of me and the owl left my shoulder and flew to her.  She just looked at me, holding the owl on her outstretched hand and simply said, "Come home."

I've been thinking about that dream ever since.  I'll be honest that I frequently slip when approaching the altar and call on the Greek Gods by mistake.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do.  Well, actually I do know what I'm going to do.  I'm not going to do anything for now.  I'll play it by ear and see what happens.  I have given up trying to call upon Brigid as the household Goddess.  The only name that comes to me when praying is Hestia so I thought I should just give in.  I admit that I've had a hard time feeling connected to Brigid for a pretty long time.

I called upon Athena last night and felt a connection that I hadn't felt before, not even when I was on the Greek path.  It felt loving and supportive.

But it also made me wonder just what to do with mythologies.  The Christian mythology I was raised in was taught to me as true, completely true.  I admit that as a child, I always thought of the Roman and Greek mythologies as being true as well.  When I discovered that the Christian myths were just that it made other mythologies problematic for me.  I couldn't just look at Christian myths as being pictures of how mankind saw their god and look for the larger meanings behind them.  I had been taught that if it wasn't all true, none of it was. 

And this is a problem I have with the Celtic mythologies as well.  Quite frankly I can't see the larger lesson in them.  In fact, for the most part, they don't make sense to me.  And maybe this is why I feel a disconnect so often with the Celtic deities.  I don't get whether they were human beings who became Gods, or were Gods in the first place or what the hell it was all about.  I'm not alone in my disconnect.  Isaac Bonewit's widow, Phaedra admits she doesn't feel connected to them either.

There is something comforting for me in the Greco-Roman myths, in that they were Gods from the beginning (aside from those who were made Gods later on.)  And that they made mistakes and weren't this perfect unreachable dieties.  And yet, if I take the mythologies as true, they were also a bunch of dicks.

So I can't see myself taking any of the myths as fact, but I do believe they weren't created out of a vacuum.  There is some kind of eternal truth in there.  I'm just not sure what it is yet.

And since it seems like I'm being led toward some greater truth, I'll bide my time and wait until that unfolds before me.  But I'm not sitting and doing nothing.  I will continue to look to myself and inside myself and learn to be more receptive.  And if it seems like I'm mentioning the wrong names in my daily ministrations, maybe I'm really not after all.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Spring is in the air and I'm in love

With rosemary, that is.  The herb, silly. I don't know why but I can't get enough of the scent.  I bought Suave shampoo with rosemary (my poor husband smells like rosemary now), I have a lovely rosemary candle from Tana, I'm burning rosemary in my censer, and I am going to plant some rosemary seeds this weekend.

I used to absolutely hate the smell and taste of it but now I'm going nuts over it.  I haven't looked it up in my herb encyclopedia yet, but I'm guessing therein lies the answer.

Okay, here it is:

Powers:  Protection, Love, Lust, Mental Powers, Exorcism, Purification, Healing, Sleep, Youth.

There it is!!!!  Sleep!  Or maybe Healing!

It also attracts elves.  That may be it as well.

I'm itching to get my fingers in dirt but I don't intend to start any seeds until March.  It will be a while before I can get them in the ground.

But I'm connecting with Nature again and that makes me feel more alive.  I also bought some yellow silk carnations to go with my silk daisies on my altar.  I'm in need of color in my life right now. 

I'm nearly done with my Greek afghan which will become my altar cloth.  Or the under-cloth to my altar.  I still use bandanas so far.  Eventually I'll make some that are more seasonal but for now I'm good.

I'll try to get some pictures of the afghan when I'm done.  I've really fallen down on the photography thing with both blogs.  Mostly it's because it's so dark in this house and partly because the house is a wreck and there's no way I want you guys to see how I really live. :)

I'm having an early night again tonight.  I could get used to this sleep thing.  Now if I can just heal enough to get the energy thing, too.

Blessed be

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I had a lovely end to a shitty day.  Who needs symmetry?

I did my first ritual since returning to Celtic Paganism but I changed the way I did it.  Instead of trying to use a format that felt awkward and artificial to me (only to me...not saying that this format used by anyone else is) I thought I would pick the things I loved best about Hellenistic Paganism and incorporate that with the aspects I loved best in Celtic Paganism.

It was electrifying.  I kid you not.

From the moment I lit the first candle I felt the energy, the electric charge going through me with more intensity than I have ever felt in the past.  That feeling could get positively addictive it felt so good.

I also felt such warmth coming from the Gods and Goddesses in the Celtic pantheon, some of whom I had never met before.  And strangely, I felt a lot of warmth from the Greek pantheon as well, with an invitation to call upon them any time I felt a need.

What made that so strange to me was the animosity among some of the Greek Reconstructionists toward Wiccans and other Pagans who "co-opt" the Greek Gods and include them in their circle of deities. They are adamant that the Greek Gods despise any form of worship but the one the Recons insist upon.  It was very off-putting to me and one of the reasons I left.  I did find some Hellenic Pagans who weren't rigid, but that didn't feel like the right path either, similar to my not finding the liberal Christians a valid path for myself.

It felt good to have warm feelings toward the Greek Gods and not feel any bitterness, especially in light of my initial instinct that Zeus was paying me back.  I got the distinct impression he was amused by it.

So, what did I do that was different?  I loved the way, in Greek worship, they read hymns or prayers to the Gods and then read aloud from various ancient Greek texts.  It felt really natural to me but I wasn't sure how to incorporate that into Celtic worship as the ancient Celts didn't write anything down.  I found some Pagan prayers online and a few of them really resonated with me, but what to read?

Then it hit me.  The Druids were storytellers and poets.  I would read poems and books to them.  It didn't have to be about Druidry, or nature, or spirituality.  Just something that is beautifully written. I chose William Blake initially because I found a poem by him online and liked it very much.  After lighting the candles (and I have a different color to represent a different God/ helps me center my devotion better) I read my prayer, then meditated a bit on each of the God/desses I was calling upon (all the time feeling this incredible charge going through my body) and sat beside my altar to read the poetry.  It was magical.  Truly.

I discovered that the God/desses love to be read to.  I felt like I was giving them an offering from the heart instead of obligation.  I felt a true connection with them and look forward to making this a part of my daily devotions.

While I was reading, I saw in my mind's eye a thread of Awen weaving itself in the air currents, dancing on the wind.  Wow!

This might not be right for anyone else but it completed me, made my spirituality alive and whole.  I am so glad I walked down the Greek path for a while and I am so grateful to the Greek Reconstructionists for the things I learned from them.  And to the Greek pantheon for the new relationships I've made.   I am happiest with Celtic Paganism; Druidry comes closest to my philisophical and spiritual beliefs so I'm glad that the Greeks showed me how I can best worship my God/desses within the Wheel of the Year.  And I'm so grateful that the Greek Gods cleared my Celtic path of the distractions and obstacles that prevented me from walking it freely.

Blessed be

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The day from Tartarus

I won't bore you with the details...if you're really hard up for reading material you can read my mundane blog to hear about how the car wouldn't start while we were out of town with no cell phone.  Here I just want to talk about the emotional and spiritual shit that was going through my brain as I had a meltdown.

Seriously, my first thought was...this is Zeus getting back at me for leaving the Greek pantheon.


My second thought was...this is God (the Christian one) punishing me for leaving Christianity.


I've got 50+ years of brainwashing to get rid of.  I should realize it's not going to go away overnight.  No matter what Christians say, there is that undercurrent that if bad things happen to you it's either A) God rewarding you with trials so you'll get stronger, B) Satan punishing you for not being a better Christian, or C)
God punishing you for not obeying him.  I never could figure out who was doing all the punishing but apparently every other Christian could.  By the time I left, I figured out the code:  if you were doing something you wanted to do, it was Satan; if it was something you didn't want to do in the first place, it was God.  Any punishments that came from the thing you were doing was the opposite entity.  As really wanted to become a minister, but the financing fell off or you flunked out or you had a bad accident and ended up in the hospital.  That, obviously, was Satan attacking you.  However, if you felt like you should be a teacher but only because it looked like a job you could do while raising a family and the financing evaporated or you flunked out or you had a bad accident and ended up in the hospital, you praised God that he rescued you from the wrong decision by thwarting every effort you put into it.

Seriously.  That kind of shit happened all the time.  And it was especially obvious when someone else could see it better than you.  I can't count the number of times people came to me and told me God was punishing me with financial problems because we didn't tithe.  Or when the car broke down it was because of some unresolved sin in my life.  See?  Other Christians can always see what God wants better than you can.  Because apparently he talks to them.  And about you.

So my first thought was I was being punished.  Until I figured out the problem.  Then I realized that the God/desses were really with me, not punishing me, because why would they?  I mean...what do deities gain from torturing humans, especially when it's not apparent who or what is doing the punishing?  No...shit happens.  I thank the God/desses for helping me figure out the solution, but they were in no way manipulating events like some kind of video game.

I still have a long way to go, but I'm getting there.

And thanks so much to Dark Mother for linking my post about breaking free on her entry today.  She rocks, let me tell you.  She's been my cheerleader for a while now and I can't tell you how much I appreciate her telling it like it is.

Off for a hot shower and an early night.  The meltdown has left me with achy everything from the stress (and the fibromyalgia) and a powerful headache from being out in the cold so much this afternoon.  Without my hat. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Getting clear

I'm feeling better today except for the fatigue.  I slept long and hard last night so that helped a lot.  Irrigating the sinuses has cleared the infection but I intend to follow through with it to make sure it stays clear.

I'm feeling a need to clear my personal spaces as well.  Being sick means the clutter has gotten out of control and my altar is the only thing in my bedroom that is clean.  I was going to tackle it today but I spent time with my mom and dad on the phone, talking about recipes, gardening and weather.  If we stick to those subjects we're fine.  Just don't talk about family or anything personal.

I do plan on cleaning tomorrow.  We're getting snowed in right now so I don't plan on going anywhere for the next few days.  Should give me time to get my surroundings in a better order.  I just don't do spirituality well if my life is cluttered.  I did de-stash all the Roman and Greek books out of my headboard bookcase, making room for my Druid and Wiccan books.  I hope to get back to reading soon.  When my head is fully clear.  Not of infection but of mindless junk.

I have been lighting candles again and that feels great even if I don't do anything but that.  I might try some meditation in the next few days.  I haven't done that in ages and would like to get back in the habit of spending time inside myself for a while. 

But for now I'm going to focus on getting better and regaining the energy I lost over the past two years.  I can't help but think a lot of it is due to the negativity that lives in my home.  That has got to go and soon.

Off to fix some supper and then to bed. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

A short entry that I hope makes sense

I'm still feeling crummy but at least I can approach the altar and ask for healing from Brigit and any other god who wants to jump in there.  I did a brief consecration of all my tools and crystals and spirit beads last night, feeling a low charge instead of the high charge that always accompanies the ritual.  I'm guessing being sick takes too much energy to spare for ritual.  But still, lighting a candle (no incense with this head cold...makes me cough more, but I do have scented oil that doesn't) does a marvelous work in my spirit.  It can't do anything but help.

We had rain last night so there was no full moon visible but I did leave my tools out in the window for a while.  Obviously it wasn't enough, but it will do.  I'm going to concentrate on getting well because that makes the most sense.  The rest can come later.  It's not a race, after all.

Blessed be.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Breaking free

I've been formulating this post over the past few days but with the sinus infection-induced fog that is my brain, I thought it best to wait until I could form a thought.  Didn't stop me from writing on my mundane blog but anyone who reads there is used to me not making sense.

It occurred to me that my relationship with Christianity has been like an arranged marriage.  My parents determined from before I was born that this would be my religion for life.  I was forced to "date" it regularly, worship it, believe that it was the only option opened to me.  When I strayed, I was treated like an adulterous wife by all and sundry in the community.  When I came back, I was viewed suspiciously and cautiously.  My dad even suggested I needed to take a beginner's class even though I had known nothing but Christianity all my life.

And while it wasn't all bad, it was still an abusive marriage.  I was restricted on what I could read, watch on television, even to some degree, my associations.  There were so many rules to follow that I failed miserably, and even though everyone else did, too, they looked at me as if I were the only one.  All the time smarmily pretending they did, too.

Then, I got a divorce, after a few trial separations.  It was scary out there and I kept running back to the home I had with my abusive "spouse."  But I kept seeing others happy in their marriages...marriages they entered into of their own free will.  I finally dared try it and I liked it very much, but my scarred heart wouldn't let me commit and I decided to date around a bit.

I saw a relationship that seemed comfortable and happy so we started seeing each other, but I soon realized that there was much of the old in the new.  There were rules.  There were attitudes of superiority and even people looking down on my former partnership as if it were sub-standard.  It also bothered me that I might be getting involved with gods who were not that different from the ones I escaped from. And there seemed to be a lot of getting lost in the past, instead of moving forward and making spirituality relevant to me as I am today.

And so I woke up one morning thinking, "Who has treated me better?  My present lover or the lover I just left?  Which gods made no demands of me, accepted me exactly as I was and let me come to the altar even when I wasn't quite pure?  Or even when I was sick?"  The answer was obvious to me.

So I have come back to the Celtic way of paganism, albeit not Wicca or Druidry per se.  I value the time I spent dating the Greek pantheon because I learned a lot about what I need spiritually and emotionally.  And I learned how free I am to choose my own path.

It really bothered me that the Greek way chose to stay in the past and worship as the ancients did instead of moving into this age.  Why on earth would I wear the clothing they wore then for worship and festivals, when they were merely wearing what they always wore in those times?  I thought about what the religion would look like had it remained viable and evolved with the times and it occurred to me that it would look exactly like Christianity, but with a few more deities.

And that's not what I'm looking for.

I also have changed my mind about parenting.  I used to believe that parents should raise their children in the religion they themselves practice.  I qualify that now, with a huge caveat.  No parent should ever dictate what path a child takes.  No parent should ever put the weight on a child's shoulders that not choosing the parent's religion will leave them outside the family or place a doom on them.  It's cruel, malicious, and debilitating to the soul.  Let the soul flourish in the soil that best nurtures it. 

I'm content now in spite of this evil head cold and sinus infection.  I can separate out my enjoyment of learning about Roman and Greek culture and religion with the path I take spiritually.  It feels good to be back with the lover who rescued me from an abusive and painful relationship.  And my lover neither requires nor desires a commitment from me.

And that is religious freedom.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cleaning up my act

I got a call from my mother this morning to tell me my dad was in the hospital but as it turned out it was because they had lowered his medication too much so he's home and all is well.  But waiting for the second call put me in a mood not to clean so the momentum was lost.  I ended up running errands instead.  On the way home the tail gate to the truck fell open but we didn't lose a single item, even though the cans were rolling all over the gate.  Thank Hermes!  And just this morning I had been thinking about him.

I got some books from the library while I was out.  I wanted the whole Percy Jackson series, which the online inventory told me was available but wasn't.  Of course it wasn't.  The second book is in for repairs and I didn't want to get the third and fourth books until I had the first and second read so I got First Man in Rome instead.  I have it upstairs but this is easier, believe me.

I've been reading The Iliad as a part of my evening devotional times along with the Homeric Hymns and some mindless meditations.  I say mindless because generally my mind goes blank immediately.  I'm thinking that's a good thing right now.  At least I'm not thinking about laundry or cleaning the kitchen anymore. 

And speaking of cleaning the kitchen...I really need to keep up with that.  One of the things I've begun to think more about is cleanliness and hygiene.  Not that I'm a dirty slob or anything, but I could do better.  I'm dressing every day now instead of spending the day in my pajamas and that has made a huge difference in my outlook.  There is a concept in Hellenismos called miasma, which is ritual impurity although that is far too simple a definition.  Still, while it could be taken to the extreme (and probably is in some camps) it does give me a lot to think about.  I think it has as much to do with self respect as it does with respecting the gods. Not that I believe the gods insist we are squeaky clean before we approach the altar or that our houses are spotless, but if we don't respect ourselves and our environments, how can we respect them?  I'm still pondering all the aspects of it and while I refuse to deal in absolutes right now (and maybe never again) I do think it's a good idea to at least demonstrate that I like myself enough to clean up a bit. 

But it's almost time to put those jammies (clean from the wash) back on and crawl into bed and read for a while before knitting my brains out.  I do like the discipline of daily or twice daily devotion time at the altar.  And that it's so stress-free makes for more motivation to do it.  I like it.  For now, anyway.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The gift of energy

I've done battle with a sinus infection all winter, I think, but after three days of echinacea, goldenseal and cold medicine, I'm feeling a bit better.  And a bit more ambitious.  A clean house always motivates me but getting the house clean seems to need motivation, too.  I'm not sure if there is anything specific, but I am making progress.  I suspect just feeling better is motivation enough.

I moved the plastic drawers under the card table in my bedroom and pulled out my nightstand to replace it as the base for my altar, which I redecorated in keeping with the way my spiritual path is moving at this time.  It's lighter, more uplifting and not as cluttered so I'm not knocking things over all the time.  If nothing else, having wood under it rather than plastic makes it feel more genuine, more foundational.  Plus it looks much better than a red plastic set of drawers used for storing stashes of yarn.

The other cleaning I've done makes my heart lighter, too, as clutter and mess always makes my mood go south.  I'm even about to put the summer curtains back up in the kitchen.  I know it's not time yet but I've got plastic on the windows so having insulated curtains on doesn't make that much of a difference while having happy curtains in my kitchen (and next to Hestia's altar) would do so much good. Now if I could just remember where I put the curtain rods.

I've done some reading on Hellenismos and I do like a lot of what I'm reading, the manner and method of worship and the lifestyle that goes along with it, but I do have this problem with commitment that prevents me from accepting the engagement ring and promising a long life together.  I think we'll just live together for a while and see if it works out. 

We had snow again today.  Just enough to dust the roads and remind us that spring isn't just around the corner.  I know it won't be winter forever and spring will come eventually and then summer and then I'll be bitching in August about the heat.  But for now, I'll bitch about the snow.  It's the best I can do.

I have much to do tonight since I have this energy that can't be wasted.  I just hope it carries over to tomorrow so I can get the rest of it done.  But for now, I'll accept this gift and use it as best I can.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Who is this person and when did she start inhabiting my body?

I've been just taking it a bit easy spiritually, letting myself go with the flow, more and more enjoying this path I'm on.  I decided to gather up all my books about Ancient Greece and Rome so I could have them all in one place should I decide to pursue this path further.  I have about 25 books that I've found so far.  It makes me think this path has been waiting for me to take it.

I've been dealing with a lot of snow shoveling so I haven't done as much reading and crafting as I wish so I plan on fixing that starting tomorrow.  Which means I need to spend less time online again.  I just keep getting sucked into it, seductive little wench that the internet is. 

I'm finding that my spiritual practices are becoming more personal and private of late.  I'm not sure what to make of that, but it's a new facet of myself I didn't know existed.  I'm usually very open about religion and spirituality.  Maybe it's just part of the journey I need to focus on right now.  So if I'm silent from time to time, don't forsake me.  I'll be around.  I just might have times when I have nothing to say.  And not talking when I have nothing to say is another new facet of myself.  I've been known to blather on for pages about nothing.

I'm still feeling good on my path, feeling more focused and less stressed.  I like this new person inhabiting my body right now.  She isn't pressuring me to read the end of the story, just letting me enjoy the tale.

Off to eat a late supper and take these aching bones and joints to bed.  I fiercely battled large and monstrous piles of snow today.  I think the snow won.