Friday, March 29, 2013

Going gently into that good night

My mother's life is winding down.  It looks like they have decided to stop dialysis.  I don't know what the timetable is from here on but they had hoped, when they talked about it before, to get her home so she can spend her last few days where she was home with Daddy.  It's a bittersweet time because she is truly miserable and fading away both mentally and physically, but her life was one of love and determination.  She refused to go gently into that good night; she was stubborn about staying here as long as she was able.  But now it's time to do just go gently into that good night.  She has had a remarkable life and she deserves a peaceful and loving death...not one in a nursing home where she was so unhappy but at home surrounded by her familiar life, her loving husband of 62 years and friends and family.

When my aunt died, my mom told me how they all sat in her room singing hymns while Aunt Wilma slipped from this life into the next one.  She expressed her joy that they were able to do that so I hope they do that for Mom.  I'm sure they will.  Music was something that was very important to my mother.  And especially music about her god.  If I were able to be there I would sing her through the veil.  I would sing about her god and help her cross over into the next life, along with my sisters.  We have sung for Mom before.  But this time they will have to do without me.  I can't make it down there, mostly because of my health.  I'm still battling this pneumonia.

After Aunt Wilma's death, she did express some contempt toward "heathens" as she called them because they didn't have the joy and hope that Christians have at the end of life.  I didn't remark on it because there was no point except to score points.  And I respect my mother too much to do that to her.  She's got her faith and I wouldn't take that from her for anything.  I am completely content with my own path.  I don't need to justify it or defend it.  But honestly, I have found more peace with death as a Pagan than I ever did as a Christian.  Zach and I will have a ritual when we're told the end is near and we will find our own way to help her cross through the veil.  And I've been looking for the appropriate picture to add to my wall of ancestors for my altar.  I look forward to adding her with a special place among them.

So within 2 weeks at the most, my mother will leave this world for the next one and I hope her journey there is peaceful and loving.  I didn't always get along with Mom but I always loved her and in many ways she was my best friend.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring is coming back along with my health

My health is returning along with my longing for green grass and flowers in the yard.  With the weather warming up I long to be outdoors working in the yard.  And that's not something I usually feel like doing.  I also would love to take a walk but I'm not healed enough for that yet.  Soon though...very soon.

I stayed in bed over the weekend and did some reading but mostly I slept.  I have a lot to study now, having downloaded more free books on my Kindle.  One of these days I'll list those that are still free but not today.  I'm going to take a nap very soon because I woke up when Tom got home from work and was up the rest of the night until near-dawn.  After that the dog kept waking me up nearly every hour to go outside and bark at something in the evergreen tree between our house and the neighbor's.  I suspect a chipmunk or a squirrel. 

I'm still very much on target as an eclectic witch/pagan in spite of the negative remarks I've seen on other blogs and groups about it.  On the other hand, I've also noticed an increase of defensive statements about eclectics so evidently people are fighting back.  I'm not too bothered by it; if the remarks are too repugnant, I just never read that blog again.  Mostly though they are condescending while patting the blog writer on the back for having the more proper pagan path.  It's okay.  I grew up with these attitudes in my birth religion.  I gave up being shocked over it after the first year of paganism.

I'm eager to get busy doing craft things and working with herbs and my vegetable garden.  I need order in my home first.  Three weeks of being sick and a couple of weeks of dealing with travel plans to say good bye to my mother have wreaked havoc on the house.  Tom is working incredibly long hours at work and while Zach is helping me to keep up, he's not skilled in knowing what clutter goes where.  It's like that is my reward for having too much stuff.

And it's the clutter that is my nemesis.  My husband hates to get rid of anything so we are bursting at the seams with too much furniture in a too little house and too much "stuff" that we don't need, haven't used in years or have no room to use.  I have no counter space in the kitchen to actually do any real cooking so I'm planning on moving some things out of the kitchen into the dining room as an extension of the kitchen counter so I have room to cook.  He's not thrilled with the idea but when I say I have no room, I mean I have NO room.  Not that I have a bitty space but that there is nothing available.  I have to move things aside to do any cooking.  And when I'm ready to start working on herbs and kitchen witchery I'm going to need room.  So since that is my workspace, I'm going to do what I need to do.  And I'm going to stop asking permission from him to do things with my own house as well.  We got stuck on that when I was a fundamentalist and submissive wife.  I haven't seemed able to quit doing it so far.

But today I'm going to work on my bedroom and get back to doing daily rituals.  I have missed them, especially the incense.  Since my breathing is so much easier, I can stand some incense at least once a day.  Maybe not twice but it's a start.  I'm going to move the bookcase into my room as well since I really don't have a place for all my spiritual books.  Plus a lot of my dvds are in that bookcase.  It's a bitty thing, only 3 feet tall with two shelves in addition to the top but it will make more sense in my room than the bins of yarn I have in there.  I can put them in the dining room and hide them under blankets for now.  Until I get a better system, that is.

Well, it's time for a nap and then more work on the bedroom.  It may take weeks to catch up but better that than get it done quickly and end up back in bed.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Can't wait to get better

Obviously I'm not resting enough.  I woke up this morning...or rather around noon (Tom didn't get in from work until 4:30 a.m. and for some reason I was having trouble sleeping so I just stayed up until he got home) and the morning trip to the bathroom felt like a 100 yard dash.  I was really out of breath.  I had to do some errands today although Zach did most of the work.  I sat on a bench in the store while he did the majority of the shopping but still, I'm not in bed resting.  The infection in my lungs is gone but some fluid still remains.  I'm not coughing as much as I need to either.  But I just can't seem to force it.

I'm eager to get healed so I can clean the house.  All this chaos and negativity really makes it hard for me to concentrate.  I'm not even reading much anymore.  And definitely not lighting candles or having ritual much at all.  It's not that I don't want to honor the gods while I'm sick.  I just don't seem to care about it.

I don't mean I don't care about the gods.  I do care; I just don't care to do anything about it.  I think I should stay in bed tomorrow.  Zach has been doing laundry, cooking and keeping the kitchen clean.  I just get so bored in bed.

I do ponder things from time to time though.  One thing I haven't done since walking this direction is pick a pantheon or group of gods to worship.  I really haven't pursued a connection just yet.  I have felt Brighid's attention while I've been sick and the few times I've lit the hearth candle, I've invoked her but I've also invoked the household spirits as well.  And I do feel a draw toward Cernnunos, enough to put the stag figurine on my altar, but as far as praying to any gods (aside from Brighid) just not happening.  And I'm good with that.  My focus so far has been on me and finding a magical connection independent of the gods.  Not that I never intend to draw from their energy or invoke them while performing magic.  I'm just testing my boundaries and my energy for now.  And right now my energy sucks.  Big time.  I really don't want to draw on something much more powerful than I am while I'm this puny.

I do have a particular draw toward things Celtic, Welsh and some Anglo Saxon.  And as I mentioned earlier, the Egyptians goddesses, Sekhmet and Bast will have a place in my foyer as guardians of the threshold, along with some other deities.  Like Hermes.  And there is an owl figurine that will reside there as well.  Not sure who she represents yet, but I get the name Morrigan when I look at her.  Maybe not, but that will become clearer at a later time.

Rituals don't seem the same without incense but I just can't handle that right now.  Would be like lighting up a cigarette and I can remember the days of bronchitis and smoking so I can only guess what it would be like with pneumonia.  Absolutely not going back to those days.

Zach and I were talking today about missing church, as we do sometimes.  It's not the religion we miss, but the people and the ritual but both of us agree that we just can't go back.  I think we mostly get that nostalgia because we're lonely.  There is no one in our lives outside this house except on the internet.  We live in a very Christian/Catholic area and everything is very much church-related when looking for groups to join.  There are environmental groups but most of them are still affiliated with church groups, even if they are a bit more liberal than the fundies.  Everyone here seems to base their identity on their church home.  It's hard to break away from that.  Still, if we have to go further afield, we intend to do that.  Madison has a pretty good Pagan community and Circle Sanctuary isn't much further than Madison.  It's just going to require going outside our comfort zone and finding the money to travel that far.

Well, bedtime for me with some books and some knitting.  I'm designing as I go, trying to knit up a purse.  My old one is getting frayed and I never see what I want in the stores so I'm attempting to make one I like.  I should get back to the socks for my niece and my baby sister but that requires a bit more concentration and better fine motor skills than I have right now.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pagan pissing contests and a shameless promotion

I didn't do much last night beyond lighting some candles and reciting some prayers but it felt like enough.  No incense and no oils though.  I was pretty tired and just went to bed.

I'm more and more content with this direction, willing to learn and grow but not feeling any pressure to do it.  I've run into some Pagan pissing contests that make me roll my eyes because they sound identical to the ones I lived through as a Christian.  Just goes to show that people are people and it doesn't matter what religion or spiritual preference you are, there are always people out there who think your path is crap and theirs is golden.  And those who think you're fundamentalist about it and they're not. I'm not going to jump into that mess.  If someone thinks I'm New Age and not Pagan because I don't adopt a complete culture, I really don't give a shit.  If someone doesn't like it because one of the gods in their pantheon wants to build a relationship with me separate from that complete pantheon, fuck 'em.  This is my life, my path and my decisions.

Although I probably shouldn't be, I continue to be amazed at a group of individuals that profess tolerance really aren't all that.  Still there are some incredible people out there who do practice what they profess and make up for the jerks who just want to write the dictionary and control the definitions of things. 

My older son has written a book and sold over 3000 copies so far by self-publishing on  Truthfully it's not in the genre I would choose but I have to admit that it's a pretty good book.  It's free until tomorrow and after that it's $2.99, I think.  It's for the Kindle but you can download the software for your pc and read it on your computer if you choose to.  It's got good ratings on the Kindle lists and has some good reviews.  The name of the book is Rosalind and it's about a girl who lived through abuse at home only to escape that and land in even more abuse. It's not a light read but it's very hard to put it down once you start reading it. 

 I'm still reading away on Magical Household.  It's not a 101 book but I love the history of folklore and methods of spiritual and magical protection that our ancestors used and that we can still use today.  I also have more books to get into once I can concentrate a bit better and I'm really looking forward to devoting some time each day for study, time for crafting, time for cleaning and purifying the house.  Maybe, thanks to Stephen, I'll put that book I've had in my head down in print.  Who knows?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Equinox, whichever hemisphere you live in

I probably won't have much in the way of ritual tonight.  I lit my hearth altar this morning for the first time in a week and tried some cone incense since I was going to be in the next room. It was tolerable but I wouldn't be able to stand it if I had to be in the same room with it.  I might use an oil burner instead.  Not a fan of the scents, but I need more than just lighting candles and reciting some words.  Which is what it will amount to tonight.  I need to go to bed because I did way too much today.  It was necessary but still too much.  I'll rest tonight and tomorrow.  I promise.

We have some birds building a nest in the rolled up awning right outside the dining room window.  We don't normally unroll them until June so the birds should be grown and flown by then.  They sure make a lot of noise in there.

My older sister published a beautiful article in Huffington Post about our parents' struggle throughout Mom's illness.  It's very poignant.  They got a picture of our parents together, gazing into each others' eyes as they sit in their wheelchairs in the rehab room at the nursing home.  My dad still lives at home and isn't able to visit my mom every day but when they do get together, this is what it looks like:

That, my friends, is love.  Sixty two years of it.

And now before I start crying again, I'm going to grab some supper from the deli (because I'm way too tired to cook anything) and then go to bed to read and watch The reward for the shopping and enduring pneumonia.  Which if I don't stay in bed more, won't go away as soon as I want it to.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lessons from the dying

I desperately need to clean my room.  The energy in there is palpable.  And chaotic.  Unfortunately the kitchen is also a disaster and needs my attention more than my bedroom does.  Fortunately I'm up to cleaning in fits and starts, getting a bit done here and a bit done there.  I'm not getting as tired today as I was yesterday.

Spring equinox is tomorrow so I hope to have the bedroom at least presentable by then so Zach and I can have a small ritual for the event.  Probably won't use any incense though.  I haven't used any in over a week and as Zach is still coughing, although getting much better with each passing day, incense will irritate his throat a lot.  I might use oils although they don't feel as spiritual to me.  I have some grape juice made and am hoping it lasts until tomorrow night.  The guys drink juice a lot.

I"m getting very antsy for spring, for green grass and warm days.  The wind is so brutal today that we can't set the trash out just yet.  It will blow into the street.  I am watching my bird feeder swirling on it's cable, swinging back and forth wildly.  I haven't fed the birds in ages, mostly because I've been under the weather.  Plus with my mother's condition it's been hard to concentrate on much else.

I was able to talk with her this morning.  My aunt called while she was there so I could speak to Mom.  It was hard as Mom mostly just repeated what I said or what my aunt told her to say.  Her dementia is getting worse, unfortunately.  As she deteriorates and slips away from the person she used to be, it becomes easier and easier to give her up to the world beyond, to her heaven or Summerland or wherever she's allowed to go when it's her time.  I miss her already, the conversations we would have 3-4 times a month, just chatting, sharing ideas about gardening or household stuff.  She's just not the mother I shared all those things with.

Doesn't mean I'm eager to let her go, however.  She has decided not to end her dialysis, not to go into hospice. at least at this time.  She just won't give up.  I wish I had her stamina and her courage. 

I've thought many times over the years that I can't be free, can't be open about my spirituality while my parents still live because of the hurt it would cause them and because of the lectures I would receive from them.  But I never looked forward to having that freedom at their expense.  I always thought it was years and years away but with my father also very ill and weakening, I may lose them both this year.  Certainly Mom can't last much longer with renal cancer, her arteries occluded and another stroke pending.  I don't know that Daddy will last much longer than her.

And oddly, when I think of them as ancestors, I can picture myself being honest with them about it all.  I can see their pictures above my altar and me sharing my spirituality with them.  I don't feel that way about my other ancestors, especially my maternal grandparents. But I can see myself having the relationship with them as ancestors I never had with them as my living parents.  I don't know what to think of that.

The mantra for everyone in the family is "one day at a time" because any day Mom could leave us.  Any day Daddy could leave us.  And Mom refuses to make any plans beyond today so we are all learning to live this way.  I admit it's hard for me because I constantly live in the "what if" world and the worrying about tomorrow landscape.  I do know that what I have taken from this is that I haven't actually been living my life.  I've just been along for the ride.  I plan to make a lot of changes now, finding a life to live outside this house, finding friends, venturing out of my comfort zone to go places and see things and do things.  Tom is planning on taking us to Circle Sanctuary next month for his birthday off. 

A lot of changes in my life.  And so far all of them seem good.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Explaining the evolution of my path

Still very much under the weather but I'm also bored to tears having to stay in bed most of the day.  I've done some reading and some writing in my journal but aside from catching up on the dvr, not a lot else.  Well, sleeping a lot, which I really needed.

I wanted to talk about the evolution of my journey and how I ended up right back where I started...almost.  I don't know how articulate I can be about it but I will try.

I had that moment of clarity when I realized just what I was doing to myself, what I had done to myself my whole life...which is believe in the system because it's the system.  Instead of looking at what I believe and finding the path that fit that, I was looking for a system that I liked and trying my best to believe all it taught.  Part of it had to do with that kid in the candy shop thing, where I had been locked in my room all my life and suddenly was able to experience all the world had to offer so I tried to take it all in instead of sorting through and finding those elements that fit me.  I was trying to make a wrong size suit fit me instead of buying a suit that fit.

Really bad metaphors, I know.  But true.  Once I committed to the Greeks, and tried my best to adopt all the practices that went along with them, I felt absolutely smothered.  But I kept at it and tried to keep the attitude in place because I had committed, after all.  Then in a flash I realized that my love wasn't the Greeks at all.  I did love them, and still have a fondness for the Norse as well, but the bottom line was that initially I wanted witchcraft, eclectic and pagan.  As long as I stuck with the Norse or the Greeks, witchcraft just wasn't happening.

I chose the Greeks mostly because I was looking for authenticity.  After a lifetime of being fed a load of crap in the form of a mythology that was largely made up and having been indoctrinated into believing every word of it was true, I needed a mythology or a pantheon that was as close to the truth as possible, one that hadn't been manipulated by Christian monks or demolished by the Church.  But then it occurred to me that I didn't believe any of the mythologies anyway, didn't view them as history or fact and while I might find truth in them, it wasn't because they themselves were true.

Bottom line is that I had an epiphany that the pantheons and mythologies were man-made, that the gods exist outside all of that bureaucracy and that many of them seem to exist in one form or another in different cultures.  I don't mean to say that Zeus equals Odin who equals Yahweh.  I just mean that the names we assign them have more to do with culture rather than what their real names are.  And certainly in ancient times, the tribes would adopt a deity out of their own culture and incorporate them into their own traditions.  Not to mention there never was a country that held to a particular pantheon throughout it's realm.  Each city state, or tribe or village had their own deities, their own practices.

So that got rid of that all-or-nothing attitude I couldn't shed and I was able to see things in a broader sense.  I no longer had to adopt a complete pantheon and incorporate the practices from people eons ago just because someone else said it had to be done that way.  I could find my own way, connect with the gods I wanted to connect with and believe what I believed instead of trying to force myself to believe what that particular path taught.  No longer do I have to  honor gods I don't even like just because they were part of the package.

So, while I've been sick I haven't been able to actually do much I've been studying and thinking and refining what I want and where I want to go.  Magic is definitely at the foremost of my plans.  The gods I will worship will be the ones I like, or even love, but also they will be the ones who share my view of the world and not the ones I have to ignore the differences we have politically and socially.  I bought some more Scott Cunningham books:  The Magical Household and Earth Power.  That makes about 6 Cunningham books I own now.  But I'm also going to use my book on the runes and some of the heathen books I have on magic and things of that nature.  If a Norse god/dess walks into my heart wanting a connection with me, they'll have a home with me.  If it's Greek, the same.  It just doesn't matter where they hail from as long as they share the same virtues and mindset I have.  Never again will I worship a deity who insists I leave my conscience and brain at home in order to have a relationship with them.  Been there, done that.

I received a lovely gift from a friend:  a statue of Sekhmet and a statue of Bast.  I don't know if I will incorporate them into my altar, but I do know they will be in my foyer, guarding my threshold.  While I was pondering what to do with them, I saw in my mind's eye a picture of them sitting on the coat rack in the foyer, side by side, guarding my home.  So when I get better, I'm planning on tackling the foyer, cleaning it up and charging it magically and putting my Egyptian goddesses there.  I feel a connection with them even if I don't see them on my altar.

But for now, I'm feeling very much exhausted and need to go back to bed.  It's snowing like crazy out there and as this might be the last snow of the season, I think I'll go to bed and watch it snow.  And then fall asleep.  I am doing a lot of that lately.  Much needed, for sure.

While I'm not ecstatic about this change in my direction, I am absolutely content and feel very much at home with this choice.  No jumping for joy but a quiet, peaceful feeling.

And now to bed.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Getting over this

I'm in bed for the weekend with pneumonia with some books I just got from by Scott Cunningham.  I have a lot to talk about when I get over this so I'm keeping notes in my journal so I don't forget.

Being sick really sucks.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

For some reason, my mundane blog won't post to facebook so I'm trying it here

Last night was miserable again.  Up all night coughing and until about 5 a.m. it was totally unproductive.  Tom didn't get home until around 4:30 a.m. so worry was part of the reason I was still awake.  But I was able to sleep for 2 and a half hours straight, without waking up so that helped a lot.  Even if it's nearly all the sleep I got.

The breathlessness was bad earlier on today but I helped Zach take the trash out and got the truck started since it had been dry a couple of days (most likely a distributor cap problem) and with all the walking around the store, I think I built up some stamina I had lost during this cold, or whatever it is.  Most likely bordering on bronchitis if not fallen inside the fence.  I'm feeling a bit stronger tonight so if I get some sleep tonight I won't call the dr.  But if I have another night of non-stop coughing, I'm calling for an appointment.  Most likely I will be calling for an appointment.

Still no knitting, no reading and tv bores me when I'm sick so not much watching of the things on dvr.  I'm going to take a shower tonight as the steam really helps break up what's in my chest.  I've been doing okay in that department today but for some reason, when 8 p.m. comes around, everything tightens up and I can't cough anything up until near morning.

Heard from my dad today.  He sounds so weak and sad.  Said he hadn't been visiting my mom much but wanted to do more of that.  She misses him but it's so hard for him to see the woman he's loved for over 62 years deteriorating before his eyes.  And she refuses to give up, insists on taking dialysis.  I tried to explain to my sisters what Mom's thinking is but I don't think they see it the same way.  I think Mom is waiting for her body to shut itself down.  She doesn't want to stop it herself by entering hospice.  She wants to hang onto every vestige of life left to her, no matter how miserable it is.  I think the dr scared her when he talked about what would happen if she quit dialysis, how the toxins would build up in her brain and she would go into a coma and just slip away.  She doesn't like that scenario at all.  She wants to go on until her body stops.  She can't bring herself to throw in the towel.

I did tell Daddy that today and I think he agrees with me to a point.  He thinks she's just not done yet, that she has things she needs to finish up first.  Tom thinks she might be waiting for Daddy to go first, as that was the most likely scenario we lived with for the past few decades.

I don't know.  I just know she's not ready to quit and I hope no one down there is trying to talk her into it.  No one wants to see her so miserable and suffering like this but neither should we try to force an end on her.  She knows it's inevitable.  She's just waiting for it to happen; she doesn't want to make it happen herself.

Well, I've got to clean up the kitchen a bit and then off to shower and then bed.  I really would like some sleep tonight but I suspect it will be another all-nighter with a phone call in to the dr for an appointment.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Still here but not feeling better

I'm still sick and should probably go see the dr if I can figure out how to do that and still get Tom to work because the truck wouldn't start today.  At the very least this is bronchitis if not pneumonia.  I have a lot to write about but dealing with all the coughing and general crappy feeling, I can't concentrate so I'll be back in a few days, I hope.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I want the money back I spent on my flu shot

I hope to have a more substantive post tomorrow but for today I'll just say that I might live through this flu yet.  I had to do some shopping today because no one else could do it for me and I was out of my prescription meds.  It was a miserable experience.  I was weak, only got what was on the list and then had to wait in line forever to get checked out.

I finally got a bit of sleep last night after praying to Brighid because I was desperate for some restorative sleep and she's the one who has been coming to me in my dreams, so...  Anyway I got about 4 hours sleep, which up to that night was the complete total of the whole week.

Lots to talk about when I can use my fried brain again.

Till then...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Free to

This cold is kicking my ass but at least I'm not deathly ill.  Just incredibly annoyed that I can't sleep for coughing.  And that coughing induces my gag reflex so that keeping what little food I'm eating in my stomach is a sheer act of will.  I have things to do and I can't do them.  It's frustrating.

I know that my path feels more like a roller coaster than a real direction.  Honestly, it makes me dizzy sometimes, but I think I had a lot of baggage to overcome and all my decisions up to this point kept me hanging onto that baggage.  I had to have the whole package even if I didn't like it.  It was like the price of admission into Paganism was adopting a practice with all its rules and obligations.  A full pantheon even if I only liked a few of the gods.  The whole set of holidays even if they were next to impossible for me to actually celebrate.  Always wanting the culture and practices I discarded for the culture and practices I adopted.

I don't feel completely settled right now because the world is open to me and I'm not shutting any windows or doors to exclude anything.  But I don't feel adrift anymore.  I actually feel more grounded now than I've ever felt.  I don't have anyone ruling over me, telling me I have to do this such and so.  This is all between me and the deities now.

I know that what I have chosen for myself is more along the lines of neo-paganism or even new age shit.  I've heard that on various recon boards in reference to people who pull deities out of different pantheons.  To some recons it's the worst insult, I suppose.  But what can I do but what I am doing?  I can no longer do things because someone insists it's the right way or the only way to do something.  I have to do it because it's right for me.  But I had to get to that point where I could walk away from all-or-nothing mentalities.  I don't have to wear the whole outfit because someone else thought it looked right together.

I can't promise I won't have a relapse, where I break down and feel like I have to wear the whole ensemble, but I do hope this is it for me.  The roller coaster can be nauseating at times and certainly isn't my idea of a fun ride.  Some might like it but I don't. 

But for now I'm going back to bed to cough unproductively and try to keep from throwing up.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The path opens up

I'm waiting for Zach to finish up a game so we can run to the store today because Tom will need the car tomorrow and Tuesday because of MORE SNOW!  I'm so over the snow now.

I've been in bed most of the past two days and have slept and dreamed a lot.  Different gods and goddesses have been coming to me in these dreams.  I think I've finally overcome the all-or-nothing mentality that has kept me imprisoned spiritually.  I saw different gods and goddesses on my altar chatting, visiting and having an all-around party of sorts.  Lately Bast has been pulling at my heart and I have no idea why.

At any rate, I think my heart has been opened up to a plethora of deities instead of being locked into a pantheon of gods that I only like some of.  If that makes any sense.  I don't have a fever but certainly the cold has affected my thinking.  Still, I think it's more a case of having had my horizons opened up and finding the freedom to totally walk my path my way.

In fact, I just had an offer from a truly wonderful friend of some statues of Bast and Sekhmet that I've accepted.  I don't think that was a coincidence.

Well, I'm off to get more cough medicine before I run out.  I'm not the only needing it so I should probably get two bottles.

Saturday, March 2, 2013 own way

I've been down with a cold for a couple of days and earlier today I didn't think I would be able to help Tom bring the truck home.  He couldn't get it started the night of the winter storm so we had to drive in high winds and snow with drifts across the rural highways to pick him up.  The normal one hour trip ended up taking 3 instead.

As it turned out, the wind drove snow into the engine; once it dried out it started right up. Thank you, Hermes.  An hour before we had to leave to pick up the truck, I started feeling a bit better.  Not feeling good by any stretch of the imagination but I can move again and I'm not panting with each effort at moving.  For a while I worried I might end up in the emergency room on oxygen.  It was that hard to breathe.  Now I'm fine.

Heard from my older sister today, though, and my mother had a mild stroke.  The family refused to transfer her for more intensive treatment and I'm sure by Monday we will know if the dialysis is going to be discontinued.  A stroke was one of the things they anticipated from the cancerous tumor and was supposed to be a disqualifying mark for more dialysis.  But since she's still talking and aware, I just don't know.  This is hard, but not as hard as it is on my younger sister and my dad, who is still in the hospital.

Spiritually I'm still doing fine.  I'm still confident that the Greeks are the gods I feel the strongest connection with but immersing myself in the Greek culture isn't comfortable for me.  I still lean toward Celtic culture and still love most of the Sabbats.  Some have little or no meaning for me, but then again, some do, especially the astronomical festivals.  I can't necessarily get behind the Greater and Lesser Mysteries on the Greek path, especially when people blog about them and then tell you they can't tell you anything about them because they're...well...mysteries.  Just buy the book and you can read all about them.  Not that I can argue with their logic.  Seems to me that demystifying something sacred does reduce it to the mundane and some things do require more study and not just an outline of how to do it.

Still, I definitely think of myself along the lines of eclectic witch and plan on learning more about folk magic, herb lore and other things of that nature.  I don't have a problem with including magic in my life as I don't view miasma or hubris the way others do.  I don't think I need to be ritually pure in order to approach the gods. I also don't see things in terms of black and white where praxis is concerned.  I'm not going to get pissy about someone worshiping a Greek goddess alongside a Celtic god because that's between them and their deity.  Got nothing to do with me.  Likewise, if I worship the Greek gods and include some Celtic festivals alongside the Greek ones, that's my business as well.  And if another god from another culture approaches me, I'm not going to shut the door in his/her face either.

So far I can only get enthused about the three monthly festivals:  Hekate's Deipnon, Agathos Daimon, and Noumenia and some daily rituals.  Those make a lot of sense to me and fit very well into my lifestyle.  But some of the others I don't know...perhaps I can on some level observe them without going all out but I just don't see myself turning my whole lifestyle into some kind of Greek cultural event.  Plus, I wear what I wear when doing ritual.  I don't have plans to wear a chiton or whatever the Greek ladies wore in antiquity.  I do have a headdress I crocheted that I like but it's mostly for special rituals that I want to set apart...not daily or monthly.  Not that I am criticizing people who do immerse themselves into the culture.  If they are happy doing that, I think it's great, but it's not who I am.  I'm jeans and hooded sweatshirt.  Or even sweats.  Although I do have a black cape and witch's hat.  Just for special occasions.  And just for fun.

I said I was going to walk this my way and I am doing that so far.  Which, honestly, is a huge step for me.  I have had to break away from the all-or-nothing mentality.  If I walked a particular path, I had to do it exactly and perfectly the way it was supposed to be.  Now I don't feel so inclined.  I know the gods I love but I also love other aspects of the pagan world that I want to incorporate into my practices.  It is my path, after all.

Well, I've heard from my sister and everything is still up in the air so I think I will go to bed and call my mother tomorrow.