Saturday, October 29, 2011

Nature is outside, stupid!

My encounters with Nature are too few and too infrequent because you have to actually get out of the house for the most part.  But today as I was driving back from picking up my prescriptions I saw a doe racing across a cleared corn field toward the highway.  I tapped my brakes, hoping the cars in front of me would see her and do the same.  They did, fortunately.  She got to the side of the road, freaked out for a second, then shot across the road and tried to enter the uncleared corn field.  After a few failed attempts she found a path into safety.  I wondered what had her racing for her life, as it seemed.  Tom informed me it's rutting season but there was no buck following her.  I think she didn't like being out in an open field.

I love those moments but I don't seek them out as often as I should.  I don't even need to leave my yard because I have my lovely crows, the chittering squirrels, the rat-bastard chipmunks who torment the daylights out of Professor and have had a pheasant dine at the spillage from my bird feeders before.  And there have been coyotes within a block or two.  Not to mention the doe I saw in the across-the-street neighbor's yard last winter.  And the hawk that was sitting in the tree out front.  And of course, my wonderful birds, including the cardinal family who live in the thicket between the yard and the highway.

So why don't I take advantage of it more often?  I must try harder, especially as the yard needs so much attention.  With the weather cooling off the neighbors won't be outside in the evenings so much and even when they are, it shouldn't force me into the house.  I mean...I should be able to enjoy my yard no matter if they are outside or not.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do for Samhain this year but I am doing something.  I can feel the veil thinning as I stand in front of the ancestors' altar, every time I drive by a cemetery.  In fact, I think I might take a walk through one next week.  Monday will be busy with picking up the new car and doing something with the old one so I won't have a lot of time to do anything.  And I want to visit the Mounds so Zach and I might do that tomorrow.  I guess we could swing by the cemetery in town tomorrow as well.  It's a beautiful forested cemetery with walking lanes.

But no matter what I do, it will be the right thing for me.  I'm not as concerned with following rituals as I used to be, and I am comfortable with winging it if I need to.  I'm also thinking of starting a period of study starting on Samhain, keeping a journal of my activities, my studies and my thoughts along the way.  The animal oracles were clear that I needed to formalize an "initiation" period of sorts.  It didn't specify training for anything specifically, just that I needed to do that much.  I like the idea.  I think it will be a growing experience to study and document my progress, not to mention I could use the discipline, another thing the cards were quite firm about.  It's certainly one of my weak points that I would love to make stronger.

Well, for now I'm going to bed to knit and commune with my newly re-found Goddess Brighid.  I've had a really hard time connecting with her but today it all just seemed to come together, with all the other gods, too.  I just had to stop overthinking it all.

ETA:  I forgot about the goat I saw on the side of the road on my way home from taking Tom to work.  It normally is in the enclosure with the horses but it was on the side of the road munching that "greener grass" we all hear about.  I almost stopped at the house to tell them he was out, but I'm a huge chicken.  He was back in the enclosure when I went to pick Tom up.  But he was a handsome black goat with gorgeous horns.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Just a brief note

Nellie had an excellent response to my last usual.  More of her wonderful wisdom is available on her blog.  I highly recommend reading it.

Last night was a real pain in the ass but I won't go over it again.  It's on my other blog so if you're a glutton for punishment, you can read about it there.

But...we did have an amazing happening.  The person who helped us find a universal charger at StuffMart was wearing a beautiful pentacle pendant that was very similar to my Green Man pendant.  I'm guessing she's Pagan as well, but I didn't say anything to her although it was like meeting a fellow traveler when you're in a foreign country.

Today will be spent on the couch knitting, reading and napping.  And thanking Hermes, who was the only one I could think of to call on while trekking miserably across town in the cold and dark.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Doing it my way

I think I'm going to stop reading about the Celtic pantheon and just worship them the way I see them.  I found a really nice book about Celtic spirituality and the mythology of various gods that I really do enjoy reading.  But I found out that my pronunciations are way off so the gods I've been praying to don't necessarily have the same names as the ones other people pray to.  I've been pronouncing Danu, dan-oo, instead of dona, which I can't say I like at all.  I prefer dan-oo.  It was really discouraging.  Plus I found out that Cernnunos isn't Celtic at all, but Gaulish.

I guess this is a problem with not speaking the language of the various gods, but I would have to learn about 5 different languages to get it all right.  I'm guessing they know who they are and don't give a ripe shit about my lousy pronunciation as long as I give them love and devotion.

I was so discouraged last night that I just threw my hands up and prayed, before bed, that whoever out there in the ether wanted me to worship them should let me know while I slept.  And I dreamed about Cernnunos.  Not an ambiguous dream at all.  So I guess they'll put up with my mispronunciations, my ignorance about their mythologies and histories and just accept me as I am.  I mean...they called me, after all.  It it were important, I'm sure they would have let me know from the beginning how to pronounce their names.

Besides, I don't think I'm the only one who gets it wrong as I've heard The Morrigan pronounced as spelled instead of The Morrian, as the books says it's pronounced.

I don't think I got any of them right. Even Lugh was apparently pronounced more like Louie than Loo.  I'm going with my pronunciations

Monday, October 24, 2011

Leaving a cult

It's been a week since I last posted, although I have a running commentary going on in my mind at all times.  I just rarely ever get it down on paper.  Or computer.

A couple of days ago I ran into a former friend from my old fundie church at StuffMart, which is my most likely place of socialization these days.  She ran up to me acting like I was her best friend.  I was friendly but reserved.  I kept the cart between us because I didn't want a hug.  Not because I don't like her, but because with my fibromyalgia, I can't handle the squeezing hugs that fundies normally do.  Painful.

She made it sound like "God" had arranged our meeting because she had been working on Walk thru Bethlehem that morning. I was very closely associated with that play while there...I wrote one of the best plays they had ever had there.  Not bragging...just what I was told.  (Yet I wasn't allowed to get any credit for it publicly because that was seeking glory for myself although the pastor and the director got their names and pictures in the paper.)  Then she was gushing about the sunset, which was magnificent I will say.  But she had to go off on scientists for "trying to prove evolution was true" when it was obvious that "God" had created that sunset.

I was noncommital, but friendly.  I just couldn't fake enthusiasm.  Yes, I enjoyed the sunset and could do so even while believing in evolution.  I happen to think the gods created evolution, but there you are.

Today while perusing the internet (sans Sims Social which I had to delete because it was messing up my computer and turning me into an addict) I ran into a video about creating new socializations after leaving a cult.  Now the cult she was talking about was fundie-ville in Christianland.  And yes it is a cult.  I didn't listen to the video because my computer isn't a fan of long videos and creates a huge lag but the title alone gave me a lot of room for thought.  So, even acknowledging that I probably have social anxiety, it's conceivable that I developed it because I was in a cult.  I had no friends outside fundie-ville, didn't seek friends outside that locale, and was afraid to hear what anyone outside my compound might have to say.  I avoided any documentaries that questioned Christianity, wouldn't read any books that disagreed with my brand of it and avoided any conversations that required me to think out exactly what it is I believed.

And that, my friends, is what a cult is all about.  I heard from the pulpit, from the teachers in bible study, from casual conversations, from the internet to avoid anyone who would tell me things that didn't line up with what I was taught in church.  I knew what books to avoid and relied on the teachers to tell me what the bible meant and what I was to believe.

Until it came to Harry Potter.  Oh, I bought into it for a long time, believing all they said it was about until I actually read the books for myself.  I got to wondering just what it was they read because it was nothing like what they said Harry Potter was.  Then I tended to view other things they said with a more skeptical eye.  Still staying within the cult mentality though.

But since leaving, I don't know how to make friends.  I've got a few internet friends but they tend to come and go as interests change and people grow.  But in real life friends are impossible for me to make.  And I think it's because of the damage of living within a cult for 22 years or so.  That kind of stuff scars you...badly.

That being said, there may be a Pagan meetup in Madison in November that I'd like to go to as it's on the east side, which is all I know of Madison.  Pending reliable transportation, that is.  Zach has agreed to go with me so I'm not walking into the restaurant alone.

It's time to stop letting fundamentalism keep me from having a life.  It's time I stopped letting my fears rule me.  And I've got a few weeks to gain the courage to get in the truck and go.

I'll admit that I despise Christianity.  Not Christians per se, as not all of them are arrogant, whiney, assholes.  But the whole system itself is damaging, even within the liberal perspective.  You can't add sugar and chocolate to shit in order to make it more palatable.  It's still going to make you ill.  Or worse.

But then again, I am a bitter old crone.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Beginning the preparations

I'm behind on setting up my Samhain altar but I did manage to dig out the ancestors' pictures for the wall above it.  As I spent the day running errands, I won't get much done today but hopefully tomorrow at the latest I'll have it ready.  I really like this time of year, this kind of festival.  You can feel the veil thinning, the energy escaping from beyond.  This weekend Zach and I plan to go to the Mounds to offer up a sacrifice to the ancestors there.  They aren't my Native American ancestors but they are ancestors that deserve honoring.  Mine are too far away, being from the southwest but I feel certain that these will adopt me as their own, no matter how miniscule the Native American contribution to my DNA.

I also hope to have some pictures up some time this week, of my altars and my Halloween decorations.  And hopefully will take pictures of our journey through the Mounds.  I don't plan on going there on Samhain.  At least not this year.  I want to focus more on settling in with the Celtic gods who have called me and been so patient waiting for me to accept their offer.  I think I finally have.

I was reading on a Greek reconstructionist place on the internet and was astonished to read them talking about inactive proselytizing as a way to increase the members of their group.  They even called it an outreach and used Christian paradigms as a way to do this proselytizing.  One member was outraged but the others seemed okay with it.  They want to increase their numbers to be competitive with Christianity, it seems. I think this is a large part of why I can't seem to connect with the Greek gods longer than a day or two.  There is too much going on of late that reminds me of Christianity, including their disdain for Pagans out there.  One of the statements was that since the Greek gods were perfect, there was no need for any other gods.  I know they meant that those who worshiped the Greek gods, but it smacked ever so strongly of fundamentalism.  And it nauseated me.  Maybe not all Greek recons are like that but this was enough to make me back far away.

I know the gods are not the same as their followers but I am a bit gun shy about being associated with any group that is that dogmatic.  Not to mention I really hate all the deconstruction of what the gods believe, who they are, what is the proper way to worship, etc.  Why make it that hard?  I don't mind good conversations, but why make it so hard to be a worshiper?

So I think my visits with the Greeks might be few and far between from now on.  Besides, there are many more gods to visit from time to time.  Debra suggested the Hindu gods.  And I've been fascinated by the Norse gods most of my life, too.  Plus I've been intrigued by the South American Native gods, too.  Not to mention the Native American gods here.

Speaking of which...I watched Navajo Cops on National Geographic this weekend and loved it.  Mostly for the acceptance they had of their spiritual beliefs and how they had to manage them when faced with obstacles in their jobs.  What was intriguing was the skinwalkers and how they take them seriously.  One cop demonstrated what he did for protection before going on his job.  I'll watch this show in the future.

Well, I should get some work done, including fixing supper so maybe I'll be able to sit down and read a bit before I turn on the tv for knitting.  I've decided I have to give up my Sims game on facebook because it's sucking the life out of me and taking up too much time.  There is so much more I want to do out there besides making an imaginary home.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I'm getting genuinely excited about Samhain, one of my favorite festivals of the year.  It's also drawing me in a distinctly Celtic direction and creating an interest in learning more about the Celtic myths and history.  Letting the path guide me instead of me directing the path has been a very interesting experience.

But one thing keeps popping up for me is that my pull toward the Greeks never seems to last long.  It's like I stop in for a visit, as you would relatives who live far away.  Thinking about my last post, about re-reading books from my past, gave me much to ponder about the past.  And it occurred to me that the Greeks were the gods of my youth even though I never worshiped them as such.  But they were my passion and I spent many a daydream-filled afternoon wishing I lived in the times when they were worshiped.  Of course, as a Christian and a child, I never really believed they existed...or did I?  Perhaps in the depths of my mind, I did believe in them.

But I came to a realization that the pull I feel toward them is more nostalgic in nature.  When I heed that call, I enjoy the first few days until the novelty wears off and I long for the Celtic gods and the culture that goes with them.  It's like a visit that has lasted too long.  Guests, like fish, lose their freshness after a few days after all.

Still, it's nice to visit now and then, but my heart does truly lie with the Celtic/druid/eclectic path.  When I left Christianity, I told myself that any spiritual path I took must feel as natural as breathing and only this path provides that for me.

I do hope that I'm done with wavering and meandering all over the path.  It's good for a while, but sometimes you want to make progress toward your destination.  And right now, I'm tired of wandering.  But if I get wanderlust again, I will not hesitate to visit the Greeks, or maybe even the Norse gods, or whoever invites me for a vacation.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Re-reading from the past

When I was in grade school, I was reading from the adult section of the library more than the children's section.  I was always fascinated with Roman and Greek history and mythology so Edith Hamilton's Greek Mythology was a frequent companion.  I also read a book called A Pillar of Iron by Taylor Caldwell about Cicero, a book which created an image of him that I admired.  I thought I would re-read the book from a Pagan perspective, and a liberal one.

What tripe!  She has created a fictional figure who was a Christian before Christ, a near-mythological figure whose meteoric rise in politics was ordained by God and whose politics are reminiscent of the John Birch organization the author was a member of.  A largely famous quotation is attributed to Cicero by the Tea Party that is in fact something Caldwell made up for her character.  It's pretty much a party-line meme about how the poor won't work and want to live off the government.

So...while I'm not a book-burner or want to ban any books, this one is going in the trash.  It's old, the pages are so thin they tear when I turn the page and the pages are yellowed so badly the print is barely discernable.  But the bottom line is I wouldn't want anyone else to grab hold of this book and think it was a good book.

I have plenty to read from the library and since this is a personal book, (I would never throw away a library book!) it's my prerogative to throw it away.  She also has some facts wrong about the religion of the Romans but I'm not going to go into that as that would take a lot more reading and notations and I just couldn't be bothered to do all that.

I have two more books I read in the past that are in my book bag.  One is The Grass Crown and the other is I, Claudius.  I'm just curious to see how these books read as a Pagan.  Last time I read them I was a Christian.

I'm enjoying the weather lately.  We've had temps in the 70s and low 80s with a nice breeze.  If I wasn't going through a horrendous fatigue cycle right now I would be outside enjoying it more.  As it is, I'm not doing much of anything.  Except reading.  My knitting has been put aside for a couple of days due to the fatigue because I've determined not to fight it anymore, but to ride it out.  I'm experimenting to see if the cycle will be shorter if I don't try to fight my way through it.  We'll see how that works.

This is the first year we've decorated for Halloween.  I haven't done a lot...just a table with an orange throw on it that I crocheted last year with a lantern a jack o lantern candle holder, a black LED candle and a black rose.  I'll try to get pictures soon.  It's one of many things I would like to start doing more of, including pencil sketching and hopefully, painting.  Not to mention dyeing my hand spun Welsh top and preparing my Shetland fleece for spinning.  I actually get excited about doing things, but having the energy to do them is preventing me from getting started.  Again...maybe I use up most of what I have in fighting it.  We'll see.

In the meantime, I'm spending more time in ritual than I have done in the past, enjoying the time spent at my altar more and more.  Not sure what I'm going to do for Samhain just yet.  I'm not overly concerned about it; something will happen.  I've been looking at the Greek celebrations and really do like some of them.  There is a Libation to Poseidon on Saturday and although I don't have wine I'll figure something out.  Or maybe I'll just go pick up a small bottle of wine.  I can't drink because of medication but it would be nice to have wine for rituals.  And a sip of wine now and then is okay with the dr.  I'll just go with what my instincts are telling me.

But for now, my body is telling me to take a nap.  I only got 3 hours of sleep last night and I won't be able to function without one.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I can't say that I've worked much on the social anxiety thing because I've been pretty busy with the pain and fatigue that always comes with changing seasons.  Damned fibromyalgia.  But it's an issue that is on my mind and I will work on it.  Last week I didn't have my usual companion because Zach didn't want to go anywhere so I had to go by myself.  I did stick to my safe places, though.  But at least I went out alone.

Lately I've been just dealing with the debilitating fatigue that is much worse for me than the pain.  Except in the middle of the night when I can't sleep because of it.  Which leads, of course, to the fatigue.  But today Zach and I were talking about awareness and it occurred to me that I am just sleepwalking through life.  I don't pay attention to Nature or people around me.  I'm just barely making it through the day.  I'd really like to be more in tune with Nature...spending time observing Her in all Her glory, paying attention to the lessons She has for me.  I'd settle for just making it through the day, though.

One area in which I am succeeding is letting the Path unfold before me.  It's taking odd turns now and then and instead of fighting the wheel, I'm letting the vehicle take the turns on its own.  More and more I find the Greeks calling me.  I got some books from the library on Celtic mythology but they sat on my table unopened until it was time to take them back.  I did, however, read my Greek mythology books and historical fiction.  Actually it was Roman historical fiction.  I've discovered that historical fiction about the Celts or Druids doesn't interest me at all, but I haven't found a book on the Greeks or Romans that I can walk away from. 

What I have had to do, though, is avoid anything to do with Greek Reconstruction, as that totally spoils it for me.  It becomes an entirely different religion or spiritual path if the rules are set in stone.  Or if I have to follow a rigid path because that's the way the ancients did it.  I'm inclined to think the gods didn't stagnate so we shouldn't either.  Any form of reconstructionism just reminds me too much of the life I left behind.  And I'm trying very hard to avoid anything that smacks of "my way or the highway" theology.  Had that, thankyouverymuch, and never want to have it again.

For now, I'm still not committing to anything, letting the carpet unfold beneath me (red, of course) and enjoying the journey.  If I end up with a mish-mash of Celtic-Greek spirituality, it's all good.  Or if I end up one or the other, I will have had a journey of discovery and enlightenment.  It's still all good.