Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I hate it when I whine

I had a strange dream last night, most of which I don't remember.  What does stick out is someone being persecuted for being a witch and me crying out that I was a witch, too, in an attempt to help her.  I'm not sure what it means as I don't really identify as a witch at all, although I do have one on my altar.  I mostly think of myself as a Pagan with Druid leanings, not terribly into magick but not oppose to it either.  I think the dream was probably more about being in the closet to my parents than anything else so I'm not going to dissect it.

I woke up early this morning having gone to bed early last night.  Hoping to have some alone time at my altar, I lit my candles, said a few prayers and was going to just sit and meditate for a while but Tom got up early and that distracted me to the degree that I just let my candles burn and grabbed a few books on Druidry and just sat and read.  I was a bit peeved that the one morning I was able to wake up early I couldn't have time alone, but it wasn't Tom's fault.  He had to go into work early today.  Sometimes it's just the way things work out.  It sucks, but it's just life.

I haven't gotten any more done on the grove/faerie garden yet.  I'm still hurting and have a bit of a tummy ache today so I'm taking another day off.  I'm doing some thinking about taking better care of myself as well.  That conversation isn't going so well as I keep making excuses to myself.  Watching a documentary on Queen with the death of Freddy Mercury so emotionally and beautifully presented made me fret about my health and how I'm not doing what I need to do to help prevent the cancer from coming back, let alone managing my diabetes.  When I'm like this, with no energy to even manage the simplest chores, I know I should take those steps to better health.  And yet, I am paralyzed into inaction by both my fears and by the knowledge that I have failed each and every time I've tried to lose weight.

And I know people care about me and want to help me but I get so tired of hearing about diets or plans that are guaranteed to work.  Ha!  If they worked, no one would be fat, eh?  Except lazy-ass people who just love not fitting into clothes or booths or have to sleep sitting up or suffer all kinds of stomach ailments because of it.  Because being fat is just so fucking fun, you know?

At any rate, I need to at least focus on being nice to myself, loving myself more and appreciating even my tiny efforts around the house and garden.

And speaking of gardens, I once again forgot to pray to the land spirits.  I think I'll just go outside and do it tonight when I go out to see how many tobacco plants didn't make the transplant.  I think I lose least.

I can only try to do better tomorrow. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

My killer instincts

I finally have the garden in although not as many different plants as hoped for.  Why does the garden seem smaller this year?  We're also making progress on the grove/faery garden area.  Since giving up my bedroom, I needed to do something with the falling apart mattress and box spring so Tom and Zach tore them down to their metal foundation and we're going to use them as trellises for my morning glories I have yet to plant.  Tomorrow Zach and I plan to set that up as well as getting the grove ready. 

I intended to say a prayer over the garden when I finished all the planting but I plain forgot, being in agony from bending over.  I can't squat down due to arthritic knees and too much weight so I just bent over and planted away.  My legs and back aren't speaking to me.  Well, to be honest, they're speaking quite loudly in fact, using language that would definitely delight Loki and possibly Lugh.  And I suspect Pan has heard a few of those words himself.  I'll quiet them down with a pain pill later but for now, I'm just trying to ignore them.

I'm also on a murderous rampage, killing a multitude of mosquitoes who are intent on using me as a blood donor.  I'm down with the whole circle of life thing though and am using my privilege as top of the food chain to rid the world of a few dozen of the pests.  Zach is terribly allergic to them so he's already taking daily antihistimines.  Otherwise he ends up with welts the size of Kansas and spends all his waking moments trying not to scratch because they're so painful. 

That's 6 so far.

Having outdoor ritual might be a bit dicey, thanks to the blood-suckers.  We're a half mile from the marsh so we're never without swarms of them.  I've got some tiki torches but I don't know how well they will work and we do have to get to the grove, at the back of the yard, so we're fair game on our journey there.  I suppose using DEET is an option.  Maybe the God/desses will think it's some kind of perfume we're wearing in honor of their visit.

Didn't think so.

Definitely not doing this sky-clad.  Living beneath a major highway through town being a significantly major factor, but scratching mosquito bites in places that only my doctor gets to see doesn't appeal much.

I've been spending so much less time online lately so I'm getting much more done on the home-front as well as the craft front.  Still not as much as I would like but as there are only so many hours in the day.

Well, I'm off to climb into my jammies, make up the bed, spend some quality time with the Cernnunos, Lugh and Danu tonight.  Brighid has my morning and whatever God/dess calls upon me gets me at night.  For whatever reason, they claim my attention tonight and I am only too happy to sit at their feet and listen.

Having good days is such a treat.



Friday, June 24, 2011

Things fade away; things bloom and grow

I listened to one of the older OBOD podcasts (because I'm woefully behind on them) for a short time today but it helps to stay connected with other Pagans, however distant that connection may be.  I think one of my problems is lack of community, although it's mostly my own fault.  I still haven't sorted out my need to isolate myself from the world so often.

I'm still getting newsletters from my old church.  Surprisingly this month after reading it, I wasn't homesick at all for the church.  One reason might be because it's like watching something fade from existence, slowly and painfully.  The rector is down to 1/3 time and pay and can't perform all the work she needs to get done in that short amount of time, yet that's all they can afford to pay.  Which means they won't likely ever get another rector there because the pay is too low.  And yet they do nothing to try to grow beyond talking endlessly about it.  It's one of the main reasons Zach quit the vestry...because no one was interested in doing anything more than porch evangelism.  Which means all they wanted to do was have someone outside to welcome newcomers to church.  What newcomers?  No one knows they exist!

There is nothing to draw young people or young couples because with a part-time pastor, you only have a part-time church.  One service a week and Easter and Christmas is less than most people want in a liturgical church.  They want the bells and smells, saints' days, compline, morning worship, etc.  It's sad, really.  I might have gone back for the liturgy if they actually had more of it.  And I'm pretty sure they could have drawn off the many Catholic Churches in our neck of the woods because so many love the liturgy but want more freedom to decide things for themselves.  Lots of lost opportunities there.

I told Zach today that part of me wishes I hadn't lost my faith but I compare it to finding out a spouse has been cheating on you.  You'll never, ever love him the same way, if at all, but part of you wishes you'd never found out about it so you could still have what you had before.

And yet, the truth is always better than living a lie, even if it takes time to adjust.

I'm  perfectly content to be a Pagan, loving the process, growing, learning, relaxing in it.  The frenzy to learn it all and get good at it has dissipated and what's left is a comfortable relationship that has room for growth and freedom to grow.  I do wish I could be completely out of the broom closet, so to speak, but I'm a coward when it comes to my parents.  They still intimidate me after all these years.  And, too, I know that if they knew I was no longer a Christian, they would spend their last years on earth praying frantically for my "salvation."  I know my mother prays every night for my daughter, who converted to Judaism years ago and is completely content in her faith, because she lives in fear that Mandy will spend eternity in hell.  I'm still furious that such a religion exists, that puts people in a panic like that.

I'm also getting more comfortable with Tom being around my rituals or me attending my altar.  I used to curtail any prayers quickly if I heard him coming down the stairs or in the front door.  Now I calmly finish, no matter how long it takes, and he quietly goes about his business until I'm done.  I mean, I'm quiet about it, not chanting loudly or praying at top volume.  It's nice to have that kind of respect.

I'm also spending more time on my knitting and such, thinking of them not as hobbies, but as a trade or a craft.  I really feel a connection with my female ancestors when I'm working on simple things like that.  As well as working toward making my life simpler, more cooking from scratch, working the garden and herbs and such.  I like that feeling and yet I love having technology.  I feel like I'm living in the perfect era for my personality.

But it's time now to shut down the computer and spend some time with the God/desses before settling down for the night with knitting and Oddities.  I love that show!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

It was enough

I felt more connected today.  To the God/desses, Nature, my household responsibilities, but more importantly, I felt more connected to myself today.  I don't know how much control I have over this depression and fatigue, if I can keep that connection intact or if it's just inevitable that it will be weaker from time to time.  I just know that it felt good to attend my altar this morning.  My morning prayer to Brighid (when I pray) is always...may this day be more productive than yesterday.  Today was the first time in a long time that my prayer bore fruit.  I'm trying very hard not to dissect all of this, but to enjoy it for what it was.

I set aside some time for reading and pondering this morning.  My brain is too mushy for meditation so I settle for just pondering things for now.  I was careful not to overload my brain and just let myself mull over a few things, like what our relationship with the God/desses is supposed to be like.  Granted, that's enough for a few years, let alone a few minutes, but it was the seed I needed to plant in this garden of my mind.  Once I get it weeded, maybe I'll be able to function better with meditation and pondering.  I'm still a bit raw from my past spiritual experiences so it's hard for me to give myself completely to any Diety, but I am learning to trust.  Day by day.

I'm hoping to discipline myself enough that I keep training my mind and spirit, keep refreshing them and keep feeding and watering them.  I definitely feel better when I do, but when I'm tired and brain-fried, it's so hard to keep up with it.  I've never been very good at follow-through in any area of my life.  Something I really need to work on.  My mother says I never finish anything.  That's not true, of course, but I do frequently start things I don't finish.

I don't know how to banish the negativity from my life.  I suppose that's another thing I need to learn how to do.  But for now, I just know that I had a good day, I got things done that needed to get done and I felt my relationship with the God/desses grow firmer while my inner self grew stronger. 

And that's enough for today.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Growing is hard to do

It's been so long since I've posted on this blog, mostly because I've just been taking a break from anything that required in-depth thinking.  My brain desperately needs a vacation.

I listened to some of the older OBOD podcasts today while waiting for Zach, this one being a talk given by the late Isaac Bonewits.  I found myself more in agreement with him than I had previously thought.  I do have a special place in my heart for OBOD and will continue to utilize their resources as much as I can.  And who isn't in love with Damh the Bard?  But listening to Isaac speak of Druidism as a religion as opposed to Druidry as a philosophy really resonated with me.  I am content to enjoy many of the lectures, articles and books that describe Druidry as philosophy but I realized a while back that to me, it was a religion.  Because that's what I need spiritually.  I need a religion, not a philosophy.  Whereas Zach needs a philosophy rather than a religion.  Which makes Druidry/ism a perfect fit for both of us.

I'm thinking of joining Ar nDraiocht Fein if nothing else but for the fellowship aspect of it.  It's certainly cheaper than OBOD and definitely close to home.  And I already have the first year book used in training.  Not that I would go for the formal training.  I don't think that's for me, but it would be nice to find some kind of feedback while on my own learning journey. 

I prayed this morning for the first time in a long time.  It was easy to expose myself so completely to the God/desses, in a way I hadn't been able to before.  I really needed that spiritual downtime and will do it again if I need it in the future. 

I've had trouble figuring out just who the Deities are, what they want and what they think of us.  I don't have any answers, but I am slowly relinquishing my previous views on a God who demands much and gives back little, except in a way that punishes those who don't toe the line.  Very hard to trust after a relationship like that.  But I'm learning, and hopefully, giving up the pain.  I told the God/desses today that the wounds are still raw although they don't burn like they did before. 

I didn't manage to celebrate Summer Solstice, as usual.  I seem to have so little energy at those times that I begin to wonder if I'm being drained by those who are drawing energy in during these times.  I've wondered about a spell to protect and shield my energy, especially during special ritual times.  It's always the worst then.  I'm going to look into it and try it on the Dark Moon, one of my favorite times.

In the meantime, I'm going to move slowly in many areas of my life.  I still very much want to lose weight because of my health and spiritual needs, and because I'd like to not look 8 months pregnant at nearly 60.  I'm trying to work out the best way to handle that.  I've finally acknowledged that no matter what I do it will require effort that will be painful, because nothing that overcomes years of abuse to my body can possibly be painless.  Sort of like removing a splinter.  It hurts while it's in, hurts worse while removing it, but afterward the pain goes away so quickly.

Eating disorders suck though!

Well, supper is nearly ready so I'm off to finish up and then crawl into bed, after I make it up.  I really needs some sleep badly.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lightening up

I'm beginning to notice how much productivity is connected to my spirituality.  The past few days, I've pushed past the pain and fatigue (although not to the point of hurting myself) and I've discovered how much more my mental processes drift constantly toward the spiritual.  I assume the connection to be more about my feelings of self-worth, as being productive makes me feel better about myself than lying around like a rock in the sun would.

I've been helping Zach organize his room today.  He's chosen to take his altar down and use the outdoor altar that we'll be setting up tomorrow, weather permitting.  I'm storing some of his altar tools for him, although he has given me carte blanche to use them if I feel a need.  My altar is pretty full so I doubt I'll have room for any of his tools, and I have plenty of incense so I'm good.  I've also told him that the altar in the living room is the family altar and he's welcome to use it anytime. 

Since giving up my bedroom, I've felt the mood of the house shift to a more positive one.  It feels lighter and cheerier, which helps my moods, of course.  There is more openness to it as there is less furniture in each room.  Although the living room is still incredibly tiny and I can't imagine how I got a full-size bed in there as the couch takes up enough room.

But central to the living room is my altar and I often find my eyes drifting toward it while knitting or watching tv.  They God/desses are never far from my thoughts.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Catching up

I'm getting there.  We had a miserable heat wave that left me sweating and lethargic, unable to sleep and coveting our neighbor's air conditioner.  But the temps are now in the low 50s and it's great!  I even have a few windows open to enjoy it.  How odd that the temps are lower than I kept the house in the winter and we bundled up for it. 

I rearranged the house yesterday, giving up my bedroom and gaining a living room and separate dining room because when it came down to it, the cramped living conditions wasn't conducive to my spiritual sanity.  I did talk to Tom about my feelings on giving up my privacy and while he didn't respond, at least it's out there.  I did notice this morning he left me to my morning solitude, which I so appreciated.  I even would have had time for some morning meditation/prayer or short ritual if I hadn't spent the morning knitting.  I did need to re-do my altar as I had to take out the table I was using and use one of my crafting bins for it instead.  Which is nicely covered up with a Tuscan style tablecloth so it doesn't show what it is. It occurred to me that I've set my altar up on my crafting items and my crafting is a huge connection for me with the God/desses so maybe it's the best choice anyway. I'm set up for Litha, Alban Hefin, or Summer Solstice.  We're going to work on the outdoor altar tomorrow if we get the yard mowed.  Zach has asked for the outdoor altar to be his, to which I have no objection at all. 

His path is shifting again and we've had many a conversation about it lately, mostly me listening.  He's still feeling so much pain from his past and finds it hard to trust any "system" right now.  But he feels drawn to the Druid path, yet knows it's his own path and not one laid out for him by anyone else.  He misses the depth of spirituality he had as a Christian (but not the belief system itself) and wants to find that again, but is determined that it must be natural and not forced or artificial.  I envy his strength and determination.

And yet my path is unfolding well.  I am growing more and more comfortable with my choices and feel ready to take on a deeper route.  I had to walk away from the politics that were driving me because all I got from it was upset and unrest.  It was as much fear-mongering as I endured as a fundie.  I had a heartfelt evening with the God/desses one evening which convinced me that something that upset me so much wasn't healthy for body, spirit or soul.  And I'm finding that as I ease away from it, I'm losing interest in it as well.  And growing more and more passionate to learn about the spiritual things that fill me up.

I am hoping to post more on this blog but I make no promises because as my energy seems to be returning (or as I learn to work past it) I'll be busier, I hope.  Yet this is important to me, too, so maybe I'll find the time and energy to keep up with this one as well.  In the meantime, supper is done and so am I.  I exhausted myself yesterday and I have an altar to consecrate tonight, in addition to some reading as well as knitting and tv watching.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I need a make-over

I've been a bit of a mess the past couple of weeks...tired, no sleep, no energy, no motivation.  When I'm like that my spiritual life usually reflects all that so beyond a few nights of lighting candles, light meditation and some prayers, nothing has been going on.  I did figure out that my focus on politics has been draining whatever energy I had left away from my spiritual life so I'm cutting way back on the political reading and trying to focus more on Pagan blogs and articles online.  I also would like to get back to my Druid books that I paid good money for.

I mentioned on my other blog that I plan on making changes to both blogs.  The other one, only minor changes having to do with content...more pictures, less whining...that sort of thing.  This one, I would like to change the direction of.  Initially it was a place for me to figure out my path.  Now I'd like it to be a place of learning (me!) growing (me!) and maybe even feedback (you!)  I'm not saying I know my path now, but I know it better than I did when I first started.

I also want to change the title as it really doesn't reflect anything about the blog anymore.  It was the name of a character in a book never finished and I no longer can relate to that character.  Plus no one knows who the hell I'm talking about anyway.  So I'm pondering a new name for the blog, something that reflects where I am now and where I'd like to be in the future.

I do think I'm feeling better spiritually in spite of the health problems and lack of motivation to do anything about them.  I know that in spite of not having rituals or formal prayers, the god/desses are never far from my thoughts and I frequently speak to them no matter where I am.  In fact, when I was a Christian it was such a struggle to keep god in my thoughts whereas now, they are never far from them.  What a difference walking with the right deities makes.

So I continue to ponder a new name and a new perspective.  As much pondering as my puny brain will let me anyway.  I hope to have decided by the weekend although I'm not limiting myself to a time frame.  I hate the pressure of deadlines.