Monday, October 29, 2012

Cleaning, clearing and letting things go

I'm taking a short break from turning my bedroom back into a living room because as it was, the heating vent won't work efficiently and it's getting to be that time of year.  But fortunately my altar doesn't need to be moved at all and will be opposite my bed/couch from now on.  The hardest work is done but the hardest part for me is finding a place for everything.

I'm doing fairly well without a clear direction for now.  I haven't really done much magick but I am focusing more on it than on the gods and that feels right.  For now.  I light the candle in the kitchen and either call upon the house spirits or just light the candle and incense and have a moment of quiet reflection.  Both feel really good.  It most likely will stay that way as I have yet to find a hearth goddess I can really identify with.  Most of them are way too efficient for me.

I've had some overtures from the Morrigan and Cernunnos and have acknowledged them but I don't really pray to them much.  Just honoring them at the altar.  Mostly it's just about quiet reflection and a lot of thinking.  Something that really hurts my brain these days.  I am looking forward to Samhain although I don't know just yet how I will celebrate it.  Most of my energy is being put toward winterizing the house and trying to find some kind of organization.  Getting rid of things that we never use or never will use is the hardest part.

Whatever I end up with, even if it's an amalgamation of pantheons, it will be mine and I won't care a fig if someone else thinks I've offended their gods or their practices.  I've kind of had it up to here with people being mean to others because they don't think others are "doing it right."  On a pagan group on facebook that consists of pagans from my neck of the woods, someone posted about her girlfriend and how she didn't have a problem with the poster's pagan beliefs in spite of the girlfriend being a Christian.  A heathen took umbrage and went nuts, calling our group nothing but a Christian-lite group and how she was a real heathen and didn't like it there.  She would have made a good Christian fundamentalist.  She already has the behavior down to a science.

But...I'm learning to let things like that go.  I still frequent all the different pagan groups and read different pagan blogs, but only the ones who are fun and educational.  Not the ones who like to claim the moral high ground.

Well, the living room is screaming at me to finish so we can go grab a bite to eat.  I've only had a bowl of oatmeal so far today so I'm getting a bit hungry.  Off to finish up the fine tuning.


Friday, October 26, 2012

I'm kicking everyone out

I had an epiphany last night during an episode of insomnia that I don't like myself much while worshiping either the Greeks or the Norse.  I become someone I'm not comfortable with, not focusing on the things I want to work on, but instead putting all my energies into the deities themselves.  Exactly as I did as a Christian.

So...I'm kicking everyone out for a while and going to focus on magic and divination and whatever else interests me.  Whatever gods come with that can stay.  Otherwise they're getting the boot and not allowed in again.  I'm tired of being pulled in every direction.  So I choose my own direction.

I've done a lot of reasoning, especially talking it all out with Zach who is great to bounce ideas off of, and made this decision.  He struggles from the same indecision and has gone through it so he can relate.

One of my biggest problems is I detest the influence Christianity has had on various pagan religions, in that they rewrote the myths and destroyed any information they didn't want passed on so I have been avoiding anything that had that taint.  What I really need to do (and this is from Zach) is to give that influence complete unimportance to the direction I want to take.  It shouldn't matter at all to me what they did.  So I will be working on that as well.  I give Christianity far too much importance in my life.  I need to let go of my past and just move on.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the build up to Halloween and Samhain and am looking forward to both.  One of my favorite times of the year.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In spite of the fatigue...

...I'm still feeling the love from Olympus.  Last night I called upon Zeus, which I rarely ever do and felt a very physical connection there, as well as one today with Hera.  Most days I do connect with Hestia although today in my mind-numbing tiredness, I couldn't find that connection.

I'm doing well to avoid the pitfalls I fell into last time around.  I don't feel like I have to do it the right way in order to worship the gods.  Which, for me, is a near-miracle.  I'm finding balance between worship and magic and I think in the end, both will be connected to the Greeks.  I just don't see a conflict there at all.

Miasma is the notion that there are times when we're ritually impure and can't approach the gods but I can't imagine them turning me away because I didn't shower ahead of times.  I do wash my face and hands in the morning and before any ritual.  And not wanting to be mistaken for Medusa, I tend to brush my near-waist length hair (thin though it be) but beyond that, I don't dress up.  Nor do I feel the need to do the "heels and hose" route I ran into in my Christian days.  I remember being told frequently that one has to dress up for "God" as a show of respect and if you don't, he'll take it as an insult.  I just don't buy the notion that I have to impress the gods.  They know me better than I know myself.  Any pretense will be obvious, very quickly.

So I don't buy into the miasma thing.  Granted, I would probably clean up a bit after spending an afternoon cleaning the basement, but I'm not showering a few times a day just to approach the gods.

I also don't buy into orthopraxy.  I remember reading somewhere that if we use the wrong hand gesture or use it in the wrong place, we're supposed to start the ritual over again because the gods don't care how we feel about them, or whether we get the beliefs right as long as we just do the rituals right.  Yeah...not buying that either.

Fortunately I found a few blogs that feel as I do about the gods and have gotten some good direction from them about it. 

Tonight I plan to call upon Hera as there is a need for a friend.  I don't believe I need to offer expensive gifts to them in exchange for their favors.  Sounds a bit like prostitution, in my mind.  But I will offer my better incense for special occasions and sometimes a libation of something special.  Which I don't have right now so incense will do.

I'm looking forward to Samhain although it will be celebrated in my own way with a Greek flavor to the honoring of the ancestors.  I have problems honoring my most recent ancestors as they were either Christian or atheist and I can't imagine them enjoying being part of a pagan ritual.  But I can connect with the ancients even if I don't know them.  And I can honor my recent ancestors without making them a part of the ritual.

Off to bed to knit on my new granddaughter's blanket and sweater, even if I'm not a part of her life.  I can accept my daughter's limitations without bitterness or unhappiness.  She's doing what she needs to do to make herself whole and I was a crappy mother to her.  No doubt about it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Still on course

I'm exhausted beyond measure but still determined to give this house a cleaning.  The pain isn't so bad this morning although last night was a night of much tramadol. Still, you can feel the difference in energy.  It's palpable.

Zach's room in particular no longer has an oppressive feel and his mood is a lot lighter.  Once done in there he plans on purifying it.  He'd rather do it by himself, he says, which is fine with me.  I completely understand the need to work his own magic.

I've been finding a really good connection with Hestia.  I've dedicated the kitchen shelf area as her shrine and offer her incense and coffee every morning.  Well, nearly every morning.  Initially I kept forgetting and then I feel self-conscious whenever Tom is around so I occasionally bypassed the coffee libation.  Next week I intend to tackle the kitchen, getting it winterized and cleaned.  I think we're down to one mouse in the house so the trap is laid for him (humane, of course) and I'm very careful about leftovers and Tom's supper sitting on the stove waiting for him at night.

As I figured, the elation I experienced in deciding my path has waned, but my feelings that this is right for me, hasn't.  I'm no longer giddy, but I am definitely in love with this direction.  I'm not sure if my magic will be separate from my spirituality or not, but it's not an important issue for me right now and however it works out is fine with me.  I'm still doing a lot of reading, but more of my time is being spent on the practical aspects of both magic and spirituality this time around.  It really is a better balance than just reading about but not actually doing anything about it.

I had a dream last night about the gods but I can't remember exactly what it was.  Just that it was good and it was about them.  I suppose if it was important, they would have made sure I remembered.  Maybe the feeling was what was important and not the details.  I don't often dream about gods at all so this was a good thing.  In fact, the last dream I had about the gods was about Athena.  Several months ago.  Or maybe even longer than that.

Well, it is time for me to get moving and work on the dining room.  I won't be able to clean on the weekends because it is a tiny house and Tom is usually in whatever room I need to work on so this weekend I'll focus on knitting and other crafts.  Maybe I'll get my clay out and see if I can sculpt something for the altar.  And of course keeping up with the things I've accomplished in the house so far.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Another birthday

Today is Zach's 24th birthday so we did the traditional Pizza Hut experience except this year he got free chocolate dipping sticks.  One nearly put me in a diabetic coma so I quit after that.  I love to watch him grow up and become his own man.

As usual, we talked about everything while there, including our spiritual paths.  One thing he brought up was that in my search for something that fulfilled me, while a Christian, we went the Messianic Jewish route, except we were Messianic Gentiles.  And believe me, the Gentiles are never treated as well as the real Jews are in this venue.  They can say what they want; we were treated as second-class citizens.  I used to cry at night because I wasn't born Jewish so that I could experience completely instead of from the sidelines.

Zach enjoyed it a lot because he was pretty young then and liked the rituals we did and didn't have to deal with people telling you that it wasn't your heritage and you were co-opting their religion.  In truth, they were right but not just about me.  The whole concept was wrong because they made something that was millenia in age and tried to put a modern spin on it and claim they were the real Jews after all.

But it brought to my mind one of the problems I had before with Hellenic polytheism.  It wasn't my heritage.  At least I don't think it is.  I think my experiences being treated badly in Messianic Judaism is why I've felt a need to find the religion of my ancestors.  As if I needed a claim on the pantheon I should worship.

Oddly, I don't feel that way anymore.  In part because of my sojourn through Norse polytheism.  I got a little tired of the mindset of needing to have ancestors that were Norse, or Germanic or Anglo Saxon.  Granted, not everyone in Asatru does that but enough people that I lost my need to do what my ancestors did.  Besides, who's to say what my ancestors were like?  I'm sure by now they don't care much about it and are just content with me being comfortable in my own practices.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that the Greeks did actually practice back then what we call magic today.  Besides, I'm not limiting myself to a particular era in Greek history as some do.  I'm definitely not recon.  Not to say that recon is bad...just not my cuppa.  I think the gods were looked at very differently from era to era.

I was looking at the store today in their picture section and found a beautiful framed picture of a peacock that took my breath away but not only was it out of my budget, but it was also way too big for my altar.  If I could find something like that in a quarter of the size, it would be perfect.  I really do love Hera.

We're attempting to take this month, from Hecate's Deipnon to Hecate's Deipnon and clean house so that by next month we can do a cleansing on the house during the dark moon.  It's pretty ambitious for me with my fatigue and pain issues, but I still think I need to set goals.

I'm also still doing a lot of reading, mostly on magic right now.  I'm feeling more and more confident in my capabilities although the tarot cards still manage to elude me most of the time and my animal oracle cards have taken on new meanings so that the original meanings in the booklet don't match anymore.  I think that's a good thing, though.

Monday, October 15, 2012


I'm much more content this time around with the Greeks.  They're not as bossy and I'm not as meek so we're finding a good match.  I'm also paying more attention to them rather than listening to the people who like to do things by the book.  Feeling a lot freer this time around.  Which is why they probably brought the moving van this time instead of luggage.

Zach and I went to the thrift store today looking for statuettes for my altar and found a beautiful owl that I couldn't resist in spite of already having one.  But this one is by itself and is large and detailed.  You'll see it in the pictures below.  I also found a candle snuffer for a dollar.  I like those because occasionally I splash wax when I blow the candles out.  Feels more ritual-like, too.

I fiddled around with the altar until I got it where I'm happy with it.  I had a mirror behind the upper tier but the more I looked at it, the more I realized it had nothing to do with where I am now and everything to do with just reflecting the light from the candles.  Not that that's a bad reason to have it there but it just didn't resonate with me anymore.  If I can find a picture I like, I'll put it in place of the mirror but for now, nothing looks better than the mirror did.

I've been doing some thinking the past few days, just sitting in my bed watching my candles burn, looking at my animal-representations of the gods and pondering my past problems.  I'm not saying I have finally found what I'm searching for and this is the path I will take for the rest of my life.  That would be ridiculous since I don't know what is in the future.  But I do want this to be a beautiful experience and not one where I'm torn and struggle with staying on this path.  That's the problem I've had most of my life, feeling torn between choices and wanting the path I'm not on more than I want the path I'm on.  I'm determined to break that cycle, which goes back to my youth when I used to secretly wish I could worship the Greek gods instead of the Christian ones.

When I left Christianity, I really only knew of Paganism as defined by either Wiccan or Druidry, with the Celtic gods as primary deities.  The occasional Greek or Norse god got thrown in the mix as well.  Then I discovered that the Greek gods were still worshiped and that made me happy because they were truly my first chosen gods even if I couldn't choose them.  But I felt isolated because my internet world of Paganism was nearly all Celtic with a smattering of Norse.  And I admit that I just wanted to be part of the greater whole and be able to talk the same lingo and observe the same festivals, even if I didn't really feel part of the group.  Then the Norse offered me a place at the table, but excited as I was initially, I started feeling that pull between two lovers again.  With the Norse I was still able to feel a part of the Wheel of the Year crowd and speak the same lingo even if some of the words were different.

Then I realized that aside from Samhain and Yule, I didn't really care much for the Sabbats.  I do, however, enjoy the Greek festivals and the simplicity of the rituals.  Not because I think the Wheel of the Year is a bad way to do things, but just because I didn't connect with them.

Once I discovered that, I no longer felt torn and felt free to follow the path of my heart without feeling obligated to follow it in the way others do.  I think I've grown enough that I don't need the "gang" to be a part of.  I"m very content as a solitary for my own practice but confident enough that I could attend a ritual of another path without feeling uncomfortable or indecisive.  And do things their way without feeling a need to insert my own into it.

Also, I discovered that Zach has found a path that is close enough to mine that we can share much of what we celebrate together.

And so...on to pictures of my altar.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Beware of Greeks driving moving vans

I don't talk about everything going on with me so that leaves some holes when things change.  I've been saying that my Norse path was just fine and I was settling in but I was really having problems that I thought would go away if I didn't acknowledge them.  Various things like the Norse myths not resonating with me, not getting to know the gods at all, feeling like I had a heavy burden on my shoulders because I didn't fit in anywhere.  Having trouble with the vernacular. Plus it wasn't enough to walk my own path; it was the affiliations with that path that were dragging me down.  I didn't want to be on a path I felt I had to explain and apologize for...specifically the racist affiliations. It may very well be that most heathens aren't racist but I've noticed some gray areas that exist among some that claim they're not.  And I just couldn't be affiliated with them when it's hard to differentiate sometimes.

The Greeks had been bugging me for a while and initially I wasn't tempted until I realized that the only reason I was sticking with the Norse was because I spent a butt-load of money on books about them.  Being the frugal-minded person I am, I was determined not to waste the money I spent on them.

But the bottom line is that the only myths that resonate with me are the Greek ones and the only gods I really know are Greek.  I surrendered to the inevitable, put away my Norse stuff and brought out my Greek things.  I was a bit amazed at how many books I have that can be used in worship.  Not to mention the statuettes of animal representations of the gods.  I did buy a bitty little rooster today for $3 for my altar to represent Hermes.  I have a rooster picture over my threshold altar that I never changed out.  I guess that was telling me something.

My altar felt lighter somehow.  As did I.  I know I've been down this path before, finding what I perceive to be my path, getting all excited about it and then weeks later feeling glum and unhappy.  I'm aware that this might now pan out either but it was good to touch bases with my beloved Persephone again.  And Hecate.  And Hermes, Apollo and the rest of the Olympic deities.

I'll take a picture of the changes tomorrow including my hearth altar to Hestia and my threshold altar to Hermes.

We'll see how it goes but for now this is the path I'm walking.  We'll see if this changes, too.  I do recognize the things I did wrong before when I walked this path as I was still in my all or nothing phase.  Maybe I just had to see what all was out there before I could decide.  Who knows?

At any rate, I'm definitely not walking a recon path or one that revolves only around the Greek festivals.  And magic will be a part of my life in spite of some on this path who believe it was forbidden by the gods.  I get a different message from them and since they are the ones I am interested in pleasing, they are the ones I will listen to.  I feel more relaxed this time around but I'm not going to speak in absolutes because I have no idea what the future holds.

In the meantime, I'm content.  I don't have to focus on learning who the gods are as much since I've known them since I was a child.  Instead I can focus on learning the arts of magic and divination and whatever else I need to learn.  I'm sure I need an adult's understanding of them, but I suspect that will happen naturally if I just let it.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Just a few pictures

I took some pictures of my altar the other night and when I downloaded them to the computer found some excellent shots Zach took of our area so I'll include them as well.  Not much to talk about today as I've got a raging allergy headache but hope the pictures will do instead.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Continuity would be nice

I'd love to get consistent sleep or have consistency in my day-to-day activities.  I have one day when I get things done and the next day I'm in bed sleeping most of the day.  Mostly because I didn't get much sleep thanks to the dog needing out every hour or so after the sun came up, the pharmacy's automated calls telling me I have prescriptions in and a mouse peeking its head from behind my altar trying to steal one of Professor's dog treats.  I was pretty miserable yesterday.  Plus I had shopping that needed doing.

Ladyimbruim mentioned in the comments last post that dragonfyre is chaotic at first so I guess that's what happened.  It certainly was a chaotic feel to the day.  Hopefully things can only improve from here on.

I did something last week that I didn't blog about initially because I wanted to give it time to see how I felt about it, but mostly because I forgot I did it.  So apparently I had no problem with it.  I threw away my fundie bible.  I had already gotten rid of most of my Christian stuff but I was afraid if I threw this away I would regret it.  Apparently I don't.  I still have the Book of Common Prayer but I will probably keep that since my experiences in the Episcopal Church were pleasant but anything that reminded me of the oppressive system I lived in I wanted out of my house.  Once I get finished cleaning my room I'll smudge it and do a cleansing spell.  I can't do it with Zach in the house, though, as he chokes on the smell of the sage burning.  I love it myself but his OCD won't let him near it.  He likes incense just fine so I might just use some Dragon's Blood incense instead.  And save the smudging for outdoors.

I'm still doing well on my path.  The other night I had a visit from the Greeks and that brought out feelings of nostalgia but no real draw in that direction.  I'm still fond of the Greek gods but we aren't a good fit.  And while I'm very content with the Norse, I'm finding I don't fit into the heathen aspects of that path either.  More just Pagan with Norse leanings, I guess.  And oddly enough, I like it that way!  I've come a long way from needing a defined system to follow.

I bought Mrs. B's Guide to Household Witchery for my birthday.  I really like it but it's probably not for everyone.  I like that it's more a how-to book than a book of deep knowledge.  I like recipes and spells and information about herbs and such.  I can't relate so much to her list of household gods since I don't have a hearth goddess to pay attention to.  I light the candle on my kitchen altar to the house spirits with a cone of incense to honor them and then invoke the gods with my morning prayer:  Hail Day!  Hail the Sons of Day!  And so on.  I love that prayer with all its variations.

Well, supper is done and it's time for nightly ritual.  I added Zach's dragon castle incense burner to my altar.  He's cleaning out his room and has removed all his altar stuff for now so I have a set up in the dining room displaying all his dragon incense burners and and dragon statues.  I do have his dragon oil burners on my altar holding my votive cups and candles.  I hate to use them as burners as the glass gets stained and etched so easily.  Plus, I do feel a connection with dragons now.  I also have his sword on my altar that has dragon designs on it.  I'll try to get a picture of it tomorrow.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Fire Dragon help

Things continue to improve in my spiritual life.  And hopefully in my physical life as well.  Last night during ritual, I prayed to Odin about my physical limitations, not in a help me out way but in a what can I do to fix it way.  I had read a blog post about him being a healer of old so I gave it a shot.  I know there is a goddess of health in the Norse/Anglo Saxon pantheon but I had also read that the gods don't have assigned roles, per se.  They respond to requests as they respond; not in a way that means they have a particular duty. So I gave it a go.

I laid out the Animal Oracle Cards right after that and the first card was the Fire Dragon, which has to do with endurance, overcoming obstacles and increased energy.  The other cards were the Owl and the Bear.  And while I don't have their meanings right at my fingertips, they did correspond to the situation very meaningfully.  I'm pushing past the fatigue today but not racing over it.  I wonder sometimes if I am too afraid to push because I sometimes have days afterward of very real and very debilitating pain and fatigue.  I'm not forcing things today but I am making myself get up and do things.

Like laundry.  And dyeing yarn.  And cleaning the kitchen and dining room.  And putting the storm window in the front door.  It's not a lot in the scheme of things but it's 10 times more than I've been able to do in the past few weeks.  It was only getting worse so riding it out wasn't helping.  Maybe this will.  Especially if I rely on the Fire Dragon to help me through this.

I started learning the runes this weekend.  Still don't know anything but I didn't expect to right away.  I'm sure this will take a lot of time.  I'm reading more and more each day as well so that's good.

The weather is certainly changing.  It's been a bit warmer lately with temps in the high 60s and low 70s and cool nights.  That will change toward the end of the week with temps in the mid 50s.  I really feel like nesting, living a simpler life and focusing on frugality and back-to-nature kinds of things.  Fall does that to me.  I'm also trying to focus on eating more healthful things, too.  And not eating mindlessly.  I think that and eating from boredom are my biggest downfalls.  I don't even think I eat emotionally as much as I do mindlessly and from lack of anything else to do.

Time to get up and get more done.