Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend ponderings

I did take the weekend off as far as cleaning and cooking went but I spent a great deal of energy on stress-related things and pondering my spiritual path.  No matter how hard I try, the stress-related stuff just gets to me and I can't meditate it away.  One thing being Tom has gone back to using my altar as a table for his food and drink while he comes into the living room to watch tv.  Instead of sitting on the couch, he sits on the ottoman and puts his food and drink on the altar.  I have tried in the past to impress on him the sacredness of the altar but I think this is his way of establishing his territory.  He doesn't really recognize that there is any place in the house that isn't his.  Since mentioning it to him again will be an exercise in futility, not to mention it pisses him off to be criticized, I just will keep my mouth shut and pick up after him.  He left his dirty glass and crumbs all over it last night so as soon as he went upstairs, I cleaned it up and offered up a prayer to the gods hoping they wouldn't be offended.

One of my struggles on this journey has been leaving behind habits and thought-patterns that are burdening my spirit.  Such as this nearly obsessive need to follow the "rules" of a particular religion.  It's hard to be eclectic and forge your own path when you keep wandering back to the well-established path.  I keep finding my heart drawn to the Greek/Roman deities and yet the only "community" I can find is reconstructionist, which is too claustrophobic for me.  My heart is also still with things of Nature and the Celtic traditions I've come to know and love.  So this weekend I've been thinking, studying, meditating upon those things that I love in both areas and trying to figure out what my path is regarding them.

I'm still a bit in flux but my time spent with the Greek/Roman deities this weekend has been marvelous. Without defining them as the reconstructionists do, I spoke to them as the gods I remembered from my childhood and from the wonderful stories I grew up on.  Within those parameters, I found them accessible, awe-inspiring and even a bit intimdating.  But definitely not rigid and demanding.  I never got the sense that things had to be done just so.

And I do point out that my problem isn't with reconstructionists because they can only worship their gods as they feel they must.  My problem is my incessant need to belong to a group that has rules that create boundaries that I take to the extreme, using them not as guidelines but as prison walls.

I'm spending time studying divination right now.  Spells or magic will come later as I feel the need.  I know that in some circles magic is hubris to the Greek gods I'm not feeling those boundaries.  Nor do I feel a need to limit the gods to a specific time frame and insist that they never grew beyond that era.  I'm pretty neo in my orthopraxy to be honest.  Every religion evolves over time to stay relevant with the people who observe it.  At least that's my thinking.

Now off to more studies and getting some cleaning done.  Today is Hekate's deipnon, a time in which the house is cleansed and purified from the old, stale, gone-bad stuff.  It's actually a refreshing feeling to get rid of stuff that needs to be thrown out.

I found a necklace this weekend that I loved.  It's a peacock, which is one of the animals Hera is associated with.  And so far the chain hasn't broken me out.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Taking the weekend off

I only got about 45 minutes of sleep last night due to an anxiety attack over the cancer meds the surgeon doesn't want to refill for me.  He said it would be a couple of days and he would get back to me but this is the third day and still no phone call.  In light of my oncologist saying to him that my cancer is in danger of coming back I don't know why he doesn't want to refill the meds.  Sure, no one knows whether or not they still are doing anything since it's been 7 years since I started taking them but since there is no evidence it doesn't work and since I am still cancer-free and since I have had zero side effects, I don't see what the problem is.  Fretting about this kept me from sleeping although I'm pretty sure I'll get a nap in this afternoon.

I bought a dehydrator for Tom's tobacco last night.  I couldn't go to the store during the day because I was waiting on the phone call that never came and couldn't go this morning for the same reason so I went last night.  Zach went with me and held the trunk lid up so I could air up the "spare" tire.  It registered 0 before I put any air in it.  I'll check again in a few days to see if it's holding air or if there is a leak somewhere.

Anyway...dehydrator.  I'm thinking I can use it to dry my herbs once I grow them.  Or if I can grow them.  I've had rosemary growing for about 5 months now and I have one tiny little plant that doesn't even come close to resembling rosemary except for the scent.  I need to get my Encylopedia of Country Living out and read up on it.  And other herbs.

I've got several tomato plants that fell over during the last rain, which wasn't hard at all but for some reason created enough weight on the plants that they broke off and fell over.  I'm not having a good gardening year.  The tobacco is pasty green instead of lush green, almost like they've gotten too much water but I haven't watered them but once in two months.  We've had lots of rain but the garden drains well so I don't know if it's just that brand of tobacco or what the problem is.  Tom is going to cultivate it this weekend.  He has today off for his sister's wedding which means he has tomorrow off as well.

I managed to work a bit on the bathroom curtain but I suspect it will be just as heavy and a blanket.  Still, I'm not starting over anymore.  It will just have to do.  I won't be getting much cleaning done this weekend with Tom home but maybe I'll just take this opportunity to rest on the couch with my knitting and some dvds.  I'm watching Goblet of Fire with all the extras.  I turned it off last night because I was trying to stay awake until it occurred to me that I should...duh...just go to sleep.  I slept for all of 10 minutes before I woke up again.

So this weekend will be largely spent on the couch because I haven't done that in ages and since I can...

ETA:  Sigh...I did it again...posted the wrong entry to the wrong blog.  I really do need the weekend off.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Birthing pains

It was a very difficult and emotionally upsetting weekend so I just decided to wait it out and start fresh today.  I've always looked at Monday as the first day of the week rather than Sunday which was always a crummy day anyway because I had to get up early for church, struggle to stay awake during a boring sermon and then do preparations for the coming week.  Monday is when it starts for me.

So this morning I lit my candles, said some prayers, meditated for a brief time and then read my cards.  Normally I just pull one card out of the Tarot deck and one out of my Druid Animal Oracle deck and see how they mesh.  Normally they don't as my cards were still very much not speaking to me aside from getting the 10 of swords with amazing regularity.  Nor surprising as firstborn had betrayed me fairly recently and probably continues to do so.

(A little history of my relationship with Tarot:  when I was in the Navy I learned to read them, mostly intuitively, but I did pretty well with it and had a good report of accuracy.  But after leaving the Navy I met and became close friends with some very fundamentalist Christians and so "recommitted" my life to Christ.  I think that was about the 10th time I had done that in my life.  It's something Christians do when they feel like there's been a distance between them and their god.  They also have been known to get rebaptized.  I did that as well. Twice.  So my friends convinced me that Tarot was evil, inviting demons into my life and that I should dispose of them in an elaborate ritual that they helped me with.  Because of that, I've been having trouble with Tarot responding to me at present.)

So this morning as I sat down to shuffle my cards, with the scented oil in the air, I felt much different while shuffling and decided to do a 3 card spread instead.  The results were pretty much spot on, especially as they connected to each other.  I'll just post what I wrote in my divination journal.

Recent past:  10 of swords...could be firstborn is still betraying me but I think it's more likely Tom going behind my back to write a check for a larger amount than we agreed to compromise on, the amount being exactly what he intended to write in the first place, not telling me but me finding out by looking at the checkbook...not the first time he has gone behind my back to betray me so I think this card is a warning to watch myself

Present:  Temperance...I got this card a few days ago so the message still I intend to begin a new life today, the card is a reminder of moderation, frugality and balance.

Near future:  9 of pentacles...shows success, accomplishment and abundance but since Temperance is the preceding card, staying the course is essential.

Druid Animal Oracle card:  The Goose (Giadh)...the question was what do I need to be alert to as a possible obstacle on my course..the goose represents a mate or relationship partner so in light of the 10 of swords I believe this to be a warning not to let Tom sabotage my efforts at weight loss and spiritual growth, which he has done a lot of in the past.  Nor let my fears regarding him prevent me from moving forward and achieving my goals.  One of the reasons I don't let myself lose weight is because he has told me in the past that he appreciates my efforts to lose weight "for him."  As if everything I do is "for him."  If I wear make up, it's "for him."  It doesn't help to tell him that I'm doing it for me, he still believes it's "for him."  I need to be strong and not let him prevent me from doing things for myself.

The Goose is also a reminder to stay both grounded and spiritual and that I must look after myself.

Seriously, this is the clearest the cards have spoken to me since my Navy days.  And I don't want this to be a post bashing my husband.  I'm just stating the facts.  Mostly this is about me and my inability to stand up for myself or protect or defend myself.  I'm far too dependent on him for both my financial needs and my self-worth issues...of which I actually have none.  I devoted too many years of my life to his needs and wants and put myself last in an effort to be a "good Christian wife."  None of which he asked me to do.  As a result I feel I have lost myself and part of my goal in this new life I am birthing today is to become more independent, to make my own decisions without his permission and to find a life outside of him.  In my real life I don't have a single friend outside this house.  And although I have my own interests, his always seem to come first. light of this recent situation, and looking back at other, similar, situations, I must also learn to guard my heart more closely, be less trusting because unfortunately, he has proven to me that I can't trust him to be honest and fair with me.  I think that's what the cards are telling put up protective barriers that keep me from getting conned again.  Not just by him, but by other family members who have done things behind my back to hurt me.

This is going to be a painful birth process, I can tell.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Depression sucks the soul out of you

My book is on its way here and is now in Wisconsin.  Should be here tomorrow, I hope.  I actually was hoping it wouldn't come today because I had errands to run and Tom is off work so he would have been here when the mail came.  I don't hide stuff from him, but I don't feel like I have to run to him to ask permission either.  I'm not a big spender and most of my purchases are under $20, sometimes under $10.  Still I didn't want to have that conversation with him where I felt like I had to justify any spending I do for myself.

I've been doing a lot of pondering on how badly I manage my time during the day and how little I get done because of it.  It's not just the chores that aren't getting done, it's the fun stuff, too.  I would love to set aside time each day for study, drawing, practicing piano, etc.  But instead of doing it, I just whine about having no energy to do it.  Depression really interferes with the quality of my life.  Knowing that diet and exercise would help doesn't do much to actually give me the energy it takes to cook and work out.

When I was a Christian I had it instilled in me that this was all sin...overeating was obviously gluttony.  Not having any energy to do anything was laziness.  And depression was just a state of mind that required me to focus on God and all would be well.  Not every Christian I knew believed all of that, but all of them believed some of it.  I still can't get past the belief that I'm just a lazy glutton.  And yes, I continue to beat myself up on a daily basis.  I do appreciate it when people tell me to stop being so hard on myself but I haven't yet figured out how to do that.  Not when I have this shit embedded in my spiritual DNA. 

So I've decided I need a spiritual retreat.  I can't go away so I need to figure out how to do that here.  And obviously I don't even have a door I can shut to keep anyone out, but I'll figure out how to do the best I can.  Maybe I need to spend time away from home each day, out in Nature somewhere.  By myself.  It's the best I can do for now.

This weekend, though, won't be the time to start as Tom is home on a 3-day weekend (and next weekend, too) and with a house this tiny he's always in the way when I try to do anything so I'm planning on waiting a couple of weeks.  My birthday is coming up in September (the 22nd to be exact) and with the autumnal equinox as a focal point, I think taking a couple of weeks prior to that as preparation will do me a world of good.

I have to say that one of my dreams is to have a room of my own with a door that shuts and locks.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011


On the advice of Rue, I ordered Power Spellcraft For Life from  I was going to order from one of the merchants listed on Amazon for less, but their rating wasn't high enough for my standards.  So for another buck-fifty I got it from the big store.  The book had very high ratings and excellent reviews, not to mention Rue herself suggested it so I can't wait to get it.  I like that it gets behind the working of spells and doesn't just offer some spells to use.

This whole forging my own path thing is difficult for me.  Zach and I had lunch out yesterday so I could bounce some things off of him and it occurred to me that my foundation of all-or-nothing is so much a part of my foundation it's hard for me to take things from here and there and create my own recipe for spirituality.  I wonder if I will ever be able to overcome the damage Christianity (fundamentalism, in particular) has done to me.

So while I try to just go with it and make it mine, I'm still battling a need to have walls, a roof and hymnbooks for my spiritual temple.  It just ain't easy being my own boss.  Still it is a bit exciting to try things and make my own determination if they are beautiful architecture or just a prison cell.  One thing I tried on felt so restricting that I could barely breathe before I quickly broke through the cell doors.  From now on I'll be a bit more circumspect before inspecting a room in the spiritual temple I'm building. 

I ended up giving my Green Man pendant to Zach.  For some reason it didn't sit right around my neck, didn't feel like it was mine.  I loved looking at it and enjoyed having it, but didn't like wearing it.  So I asked him if he wanted it and he said yes so quickly I knew it was his all along.  I've decided that, from now on, any jewelry I own will either be an in-person purchase, or one I make myself.  I found an owl pendant I loved and am making a chain for it and today found a necklace with Celtic spirals on it.  I intend to get rid of some of the extraneous dangles and just keep the spirals.  Plus it had earrings, too.  And it's hypo-allergenic.  I'm allergic to nickel.  Terribly allergic to nickel so that is a big issue.  I really don't need to be blatant about my spiritual path, as I did when I was a Christian.  I had so many cross necklaces it wasn't even funny. 

See?  I am learning to leave the Christian trappings behind.  I just wish it was happening faster.


Friday, August 12, 2011

It's not Hogwarts, but it will do

I won't be seeing the full moon tonight.  Or at least any time soon.  It's raining but I'm not complaining about it because this means I don't have to go out and water the garden and fills up the rain bin again.  Doesn't matter because I still plan on a Full Moon ritual tonight anyway.  The house has been feeling strange lately as if I'm being blocked from the benefits from the prayers and rituals I've been attempting.  I'm going to use tonight to cleanse, smudge and re-consecrate all my spiritual and mystical tools and altars.  I haven't yet consecrated my Greek altar yet.  It may not be necessary but it makes me feel more connected to my tools and the work I try to accomplish with them.

We saw the final Harry Potter movie last night and laughed (after we finished crying) over the many fundie accusations that this was real witchcraft.  Don't I wish!  Wouldn't I love to be able to use a spell or apparate.  And school would have been so much more fun!  But in spite of having a fantasy about living in that world, nothing like that exists in this one, contrary to the right-wingers who insist they know more about our religion than we do.

Still, I am ready to start studying spellcraft.  I take it seriously enough that I don't want to just jump in there and start writing rhymey stuff like from Charmed or sticking things in cauldrons and using them as potions.  I want to know what I'm doing so I do no harm to myself or anyone else.  And while I don't think misplaced energy can make someone's cancer worse (contrary to the bitch on the message board who insists fluffy bunnies are killing people) I think it's more responsible to actually know what I'm doing first.

Now that I've sorted out my spiritual identity...or at least sorted out what path I'm on now...I really would like to start progressing.  I hate that I've let myself get in such a rut.  I also plan on working more in my various crafts because that makes me feel so much better about myself, which in turn makes me a happier and more energetic person.  Productivity really is a medicine for the soul.

But tonight I'm hoping to just knit and rest a bit with an early night so I can start fresh tomorrow morning. I really would like to start waking up in the morning again.  I love the sleep that I'm getting but I'd like to feel I haven't wasted most of the day by the time I wake up.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Going rogue

I was looking over the curriculum for AODA's initiation year and decided maybe Druidry isn't my path after all.  Some of the requirements are just plain boring.  I want to be intimate with nature, enjoy her company and find a spiritual connection with the gods through her.  I don't want to be a scholar on the subject of the ecosystem in my neighborhood.  Nor do I want to spend hours and hours reading about nature, crafts and divination.  I want to spend time doing them.  Not reading about them.

I'm not terribly interested in paying bucks for each "level" or becoming clergy of any kind.  And I'm not even impressed with the levels anyway.  I don't want to specialize in one thing or another.  I'd like to be more of a Renaissance type of Pagan, knowing a bit about everything.  I love the crafting aspect, the writing aspect and the divination side of it all.  Why delineate a particular path and lock off all others?

I know I don't need a label as such, but I am the way I am and I like having myself defined.  After a riveting discourse on a message board about how fluffy bunnies are destroying Paganism by a Pagan who has determined that she is the bar everyone much base their spirituality on, I've gone rogue and decided to define my own path, including determining its "requirements."  I do love Celtic polytheism and Nature so I've determined that is what defines me.  The heck with any other requirements.  I've also been unable to resist the pull toward Greek polytheism as well, so I've decided one of my altars will be Greek, without a nod to reconstructionism.  My relationship with the gods is mine alone and if they accept me as I am then no one has the right to decide otherwise.

I'll admit that reading the nonsense about "fluffy bunnies" and her definition of them that seems to be that of anyone who hasn't studied as deeply and is as knowledgeable as she is, pissed me off royally.  It reminded me of the bullshit I dealt with within Christianity.  Also known as the No True Scotsman fallacy.  She did get trumped mightily by other Pagans on the board to which she responded in a very snarky way, intimating that they're not real Pagans or some such nonsense.

I swear that's the kind of bullshit I thought I had left behind.  Apparently not.  At any rate, all she has accomplished is to energize me to make my path my own.  So I think her intentions backfired on her.


Monday, August 8, 2011

I don't want to be in charge

It occurred to me today while answering Dark Mother's comment that part of my problem with walking this path is that while I love the ritual, I have never wanted to be the pastor/priest/priestess in charge of the ritual.  And of course, this aspect of solitary practice means that if I don't institute it, it doesn't happen.  I know that I could do things in a more casual way, but my love for ritual yearns for the designs and construct that happen with formal ritual.  I flat out miss it and yet don't want to be responsible for it happening.

It's a conundrum.

Now that I've identified the problem, maybe I can fix it.  Or at least find a reasonable solution to the problem.

I also have a problem with studying on my own.  It's just not happening.  I was an excellent student in a structured environment; not so much in a self-paced one.  I've thought about joining AODA because their prices are reasonable and I already have the handbook.  But the thought of spending money and not following through, yet again, paralyzes me.  On one hand, I could do with someone looking over my shoulder as a mentor.  On the other hand, I don't want to feel like I'm in bondage to an organization and under the gun to finish my tasks.

Also if someone could sell me the short story version on being better to myself, giving more to myself and not being quite so hard on myself, I would be glad to buy it.  I'm not good at figuring this out on my own.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Missed it again

Due to a pulled muscle in my back, I didn't celebrate Lughnasadh...yet.  I do plan on having a ritual soon.  As soon as I am able to lift stones so I can set up my outdoor altar.  Which should be in a day or so.  It never fails that for one reason or another, I rarely ever celebrate an event on the same day most others are celebrating it.  Still, this isn't an astronomical event so the exact date isn't crucial.

I missed the New Moon as well.  Some day I'll be more observant, which is what I want, not what I feel pressured to achieve.  I'll get there some day.

I haven't done any reading the past several days either.  Which I need to do as they are library books and will need to be returned eventually.  I get sidetracked so easily.  Ever since chemo, I swear I've got adult-onset ADD.

Well, I'm hitting the bed very soon so I'm going to sign off and have an early night.  Hopefully.  I saw the sun rise again this morning before sleep overtook me.  I'd love to get that better scheduled as well.