Friday, July 26, 2013

Wild weather and wild life

It's a-stormin' out there right now and I love it.  I love the wildness of Nature...the wind, the rain.  And me safely inside.  I love that it's dark enough for the street lights and it's not even 4 p.m. yet.  I also love that I have all my appointments behind me so I don't have to go out.  Unless I want supper, of course.  We have no water.  They're repairing some valves or something so we've had our water shut off since last night. Everyone has, in this neighborhood.  Fortunately we bottled up several gallons for hygiene purposes.

I found a book on Celtic myths that is amazing.  Not because of the myths but because the author acknowledges everything I was saying in my last post.  She gets it.  She is Miranda Green.  There is an initial in there somewhere but I can't be bothered to get up from my comfy seat to go look it up.  I look forward to reading this book since she addresses how the Celtic myths don't give any direction to the Celtic religion at all.

I put my mother's funeral card on my altar in place of the picture of her and my dad.  This one is all about here and has her senior picture and one of the last pictures taken of her before she became ill over a year ago.  I still haven't watched the dvd of the funeral yet.  I'm not sure when I will but I did talk to her last night while I was taking a shower.  Not sure about the timing there but I really felt her presence at that moment so it seemed the time to talk.  I talked to her about my health situation and how I'm getting better and how, in a way, she saved my life since if I hadn't gone down to see her I probably wouldn't have gotten pneumonia and that wouldn't have manifested itself into congestive heart failure and they wouldn't have done the heart cath and found out that the main artery in my heart was 90% blocked.

I got the sense that she was upset about something.  Not necessarily having to do with me, but something nonetheless.  I was a bit uncomfortable about that and probably ended the "conversation" before I could figure out what was bothering her.  I had an image of her not being where she expected to be but that could just be my imagination.  I'm not as keen with my otherworld senses as I used to be.  And I would never mention to my sisters or my dad that I talk with Mom, even if it is infrequent.  I'm not sure they would understand.

But I have felt a connection with the ancestors lately so I do think I'm on the right track these days.  Zach and I are studying up on Druid magic together, although the past couple of days we've been distracted by appointments and being waterless.  It doesn't take much to distract us.

So far, the deities that have beckoned to me have done so subtly but definitely.  We saw a dark crane or egret slipping into the bushes on our way to the store the other day.  I've never seen a dark one before.  At least not around here.  It was black or nearly so with red-tipped wings.  I haven't looked online but I've never seen one like that before.

Also had a hawk swoop down in the back yard the other day.  We live on the eastern edge of town, near the city limits so there is a lot of farm land just east of us.  And the marsh is about 4 blocks north.  We've had deer in the neighborhood, heard coyotes and seen the remnants of a very large predator in the back yard.  Some scat the size of bear droppings, although I'm nearly positive it wasn't a bear.  Still...looked a lot like what I saw online.  But I've never heard of a bear reported in this area.  Whatever it was, it was large though.  But anyway, we've had hawks in the trees before so it's not unusual, just uncommon.

Other sightings of wildlife in the past few days, too.  After a famine of sightings for the past year.  It really cheers my heart to see them. 

But I still haven't settled on any deities yet.  At least not firmly.  I'm sure it will happen but I do love that they're not trying to force themselves down my throat.  After the last year of feeling like that's what has been going on, it's nice to have some space.

Well, I'm going to go rest a bit and do some reading.  After an early morning trip to the cardiologist, followed by rehab, I'm a bit exhausted.  But the good news is my EKG looked much more improved since the stent was put in and I've lost 10 pounds in the past 4 weeks.  And my energy levels are much higher than they have been in a few years.  It's such a nice feeling to be regaining my health.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Why I don't like mythologies

I'm beginning to realize that I just don't like mythologies.  Maybe it stems from having been indoctrinated to believe the Christian mythologies as inerrant and infallible. Maybe it has to do with all the Christian rewriting of them to make them more Christian-friendly.  Yeah...I'm sure the latter is my biggest problem.  I've been reading the Celtic myths in order to see if this time around will be any better.  Nope.  I like them even less.  As myths.  As stories, they're fine, but I just don't see them as important or even relevant to the Celtic/Welsh/Irish gods.  Because they're not even fucking in hardly any of the stories.  (eta:  as deities...they are in them as stories about people) At least the ones I've read so far.  And the ones I've read paint the deities as bad.  Not to mention all the King Arthur stories that have serious Christian overtones.

Everything seems to be from an anti-god/dess perspective, to be honest.  And they all seem to end up with everyone happily Christian.  Or whatever.  (It pisses me off that the Christians decided to eliminate or rewrite other people's histories and cultures.  I guess they figured if they didn't, people would go back to worshiping the old ways.  And they were right, but they took that decision away from people in order to control them.  And that really pisses me off.) 

So instead of this making me feel frustrated and wanting to chuck it all, I'm feeling pretty liberated.  This opens up the deities to me in a way the myths never did.  I've avoided UPG because of all the derogatory stuff I've read about it.  And because within Christianity it's rampant, although not called that.  In fact a great deal of what is taught in Christianity isn't even from the Bible.  Most of it is from Paradise Lost and Dante's Inferno.  No shit.

So anyway, I'm opening myself up to the gods, to the elements, to Nature in a way I wasn't able to before.  I haven't had many results yet but I didn't expect any.  Spending time at the altar without calling upon anyone specific has also resulted in a connection.  I'm just not sure with whom yet.  I do feel a draw toward Cernnunos and Cerridwen, which is a bit of a surprise.  But I'm not complaining.  I'm open to whoever wants to connect with me.

No matter what pantheon or tribe or culture.

Lughnasadh is coming up and I'm not sure if I will celebrate it or not.  All depends on what's going on with me at that time.

In the meantime, I read and I light candles and I work on my knitting.  I hope to add other crafts soon but I'm spending my free energy on cleaning because the house hasn't been clean since I first got sick back in February.  And it's slow going but I am improving health-wise.

And so I must get back to it.  I might even finish up one room today...even though I started it yesterday.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


We're in the middle of a heat wave right now so going out is a miserable experience.  But it's also been a necessity the past couple of days.  Either errands or my cardiac today.  Since leaving the Greek path behind and deciding on Druidry with a Celtic/Anglo Saxon focus, I've had so many things cross my path that seem to affirm that decision.  Maybe.  It could just be coincidence. 

Still, that hawk swooping down on my car on the way home from rehab today has never happened to me before.  Finding my Green Man pendant that has been lost for months...opening up a drawer and there it is.  Other things as well.  Including finding some books I thought I had lost.  Books on druidry.

I did decide this time my focus would be spiritually rather than deity-oriented.  That may be where I have been making my mistakes.  I'm also not going to continue to spread myself thin by remaining in other groups that focus on other paths.  I think I get distracted and suffer from the greener grass syndrome.  It helps that this is the path Zach is focusing on as well.

But right now it's so hot that all I want to do is just sit and do nothing but read so I'm going back to that.  It's just too hot to knit right now even in the air conditioning...which is just one room since it's only a room-sized unit.  But at least the dog is happy to have it.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Will I ever learn what I need so I can commit to a path?

I know I said I wasn't going to do it, but I did change my altar out to a more eclectic one.  I hadn't thought about it but I noticed that after I did that, my shoulders didn't seem to sit up around my ears anymore.  I wonder what was stressing me out about the altar. Maybe it was decals, which seemed a bit like cartoons once I put them up.  Or maybe the altar was just too busy, too cluttered.  Or maybe it just wasn't right.

Not a huge difference but it feels more like me.

Obviously these pictures were taken today and not back in 2011.  I suppose I should figure out how to change the time stamp but right now I just can't be bothered.

I also did a lot of thinking last night and decided that I keep trying to order my spiritual life in a restrictive way.  I know that the Hellenic path is mostly orthopraxic, meaning that how you worship is more important than why or who.  I don't know why I keep thinking that will work for me.  It never does and I've reached that stage where doing the same things over and over again really is close to insanity.  I've not been happy.  I've been busy and I was content initially but I didn't derive a lot of satisfaction out of it.  I think I realized that I just don't like myself much when I worship the Greeks.  And maybe I don't really "love" them so much as they are the most familiar to me.

I also keep thinking I've reached this conclusion before and just keep forgetting it.

I don't know if I believe much in signs and portents but I found my Green Man pendant today after losing it months ago.  Odd because this is how I've been feeling lately...drawn to a more eclectic and organic path.  One that focuses on Nature and the elements...magic and herblore.  When I do nothing but focus on the gods, I lose all that.  I spend all my energy focusing on them and lose myself.

I think I'll focus on me and let the gods come to me for a change.

I may end up wandering the rest of my life but as long as I'm learning and not repeating the same mistakes, like I've been doing lately, it should all work out.  It's embarrassing that I have so much trouble committing to a path.  I could keep all this private and not blog about it but even though sometimes I feel like doing all this publicly keeps me from making choices, I think keeping it private would keep me from learning the lessons I need to learn. 

Although I hope public humiliation isn't one of them.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Rebellious me

Just as soon as I wrote that last entry I ran into a post in a group I belong to on facecrack that bemoaned the blogs out there that claimed to be pagan and yet were "diaries" rather than discourses on paganism.  Really?  So people should shut down their blogs because this piss ant went looking for pagan blogs and found blogs by pagans instead?  It really put me off blogging even though I know this person and the many people who jumped on her band wagon are being asshats.

So...fuck 'em.  It's my blog and I'll post whatever the fuck I want to post.  I'll talk about my life, my routine and my feelings.  If they don't want to read "journals" then don't fucking read them, but don't complain that they're out there.  The world, my dear, doesn't revolve around you. that off my chest.

And now, back to me.  Because this blog does revolve around me. Insert evil grin here.

The past few days I've felt absolutely no connection whatsoever to the Greeks.  I'm not jumping in there and switching out my altar or jumping into a different pantheon, but I do wonder what's going on.  I think part of it is discovering that I don't "love" them the way I did when I was a child.  I'm sure that's partly because they're just not the same gods I knew then.  Then I knew only what I read in Edith Hamilton's book or my elementary school textbooks.  They were children's stories.  Now I have to deal with the "adult" gods as an adult and in an adult world.  I'm not sure I'm processing that very well.

I read about others who love their gods, are passionate about them.  I just don't feel that.  I know much of my inability lies with having "loved" a deity (or matter what they say, Christianity is polytheistic) for half a century only to find out he didn't love me back.  And likely didn't even exist as a real person, contrary to the propaganda.  I haven't gotten over the betrayal of having been lied to about facts of history and even about what the sacred literature actually says.  It's hard to trust again.

Still, I'm not giving up on the Greeks but I am absolutely certain that there are aspects of worship that I'm not comfortable with.  Not because it makes me uneasy but because it's just not who I am.  I'm just not formal in my practices and I'm not keen on a lot of boundaries. 

Zach and I were talking about UPG yesterday and I told him that I had never had that experience.  I think it's mostly because I lived 50 years being told what my religion meant, what it taught, and what to believe.  I seem to still rely on others' versions of what that particular path involves.  Not that information is bad, but it's not good if you never think for yourself or seek your own experiences.

I'm not really planning on changing anything but as I probably will end up much outside the boundaries of Hellenic polytheism I decided to drop that label and just remain a pagan or polytheist or whatever the hell I am.  I've just reached a stage where I don't care about the rules.  I want the relationship.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sorting out my priorities

As much as I would like to think that I am being open and honest on this blog, I have had to admit to myself that many of my decisions are influenced by what people who read this might think.  There are times I don't make a decision because I'm bothered by how it might look to anyone out there.  But the reality is that my readership has sunk below the basement lately and I suspect it's because of the boring content.  And my going all over the map trying to find a place for myself.

In a way it's liberating. 

But I should have been writing for myself all along and not for the people who might chance upon this blog to read it.  I'm pondering what to do at this stage...shut down the blog or just write as if no one was reading it.  Because what I've been doing hasn't worked for me.  I'm beginning to avoid writing because I've dug a hole for myself.  The answer would be to stop digging, of course, but what does that really mean?  Does it mean to stop writing or does it mean to stop acting like an idiot and just tell the truth, be honest and true to myself?

Obviously I need to stop being an idiot whether I keep the blog going or not.  Worrying about readership shouldn't be the reason I shut down the blog because, equally obvious...then I wouldn't have any readers at all.  Duh! 

I think I'll keep going but will be more honest with myself and just act like there is no one out there reading because I can't worry what people think of me. This blog is about me sorting out my spiritual life and recording that journey, no matter how widely those travels veer off the map.

It will mean I won't blog every single day, although I might if I have something to say.  But it is about having something to say, not just writing because I think I need to blog every day. I have to focus on that spiritual journey...not on the need for readership.  Even if no one ever reads this blog it is something I think I need to do.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sorting out the festivals

I'm not totally sure how the Hellenic calendar works since people were talking about Hekate's Deipnon yesterday but the one at Temenos says it's today.  I'm thinking all holidays start the evening before in which case it's almost Noumenia and the Athenian New Year.  Tomorrow evening, then, would start the Agathos Daimon.  I've been following a discussion online about the Greek festivals, which are mostly the Athenian festivals so they don't necessarily apply everywhere.  At least in my opinion. 

I cleaned my bedroom today in keeping with the household festivals.  I'm not cooking a feast or anything since eating is a problem with my restrictions and because I did too much cleaning.  I hadn't cleaned my room since around February because I wasn't allowed to and although I'm only cleared for light housework, I couldn't help myself.  It really needed a cleaning.  I took my time, though, and rested often.  Which is why it took me all day to clean up a little room.  Unfortunately, the dining room now has the overflow from the bedroom but will have to wait until tomorrow for cleaning.  I won't be able to clean the kitchen tonight either, but I will have a clean room to sleep in.

I also gave my altar a cleaning and did some changing.  I finished the Greek Key Striped afghan a month ago.  I have one in light blue/white and one in purple/off-white.  I like using them on my altar.

I don't change a lot when I clean my altar but enough that it has a different feel to me.

I am continuing to read and study up on the ancient traditions although I can't see myself embracing them in a way that defines me as a reconstructionist.  I like to think of it as following the gods as if they had continually been worshiped along with all the changes that would have happened over the ages.  I don't live in Athens so the city's festivals don't apply to me.  My city's festivals do.  I've never been able to follow the 8 sabbats because the ones specific to the gods don't mesh with me.  So I'm just going to work it out as best I can with the gods and my own culture and seasons.  Seems like what the ancients would have done anyway.

But I do like the monthly household observances even if I haven't done much with them yet.  As I get better and regain my health, I plan on doing a lot more in the future.

But not this month.

And as far as the Athenian New I said...I don't live in Athens.  In this case I prefer using Samhain as a starting off point even if it isn't a Greek festival.  It's one of my favorites so I'm going to celebrate it.  I really don't care what the rigorists think about it.  It's my practice and my relationship with the gods.  I had quite enough of being told what to do as a Christian.  I'll never allow anyone to dictate my religious practices to me ever again.

And now for supper, some exercise and a shower.  I have cardiac rehab tomorrow so I won't be able to get a lot done.  I'll be way too tired.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Still growing spiritually/still getting better physically

I'm feeling better with each passing day although cardiac rehab has left me sore and stiff from the workout.  But it's still a bit fun even if I am the youngest one there during the sessions.  And I mean youngest by ten years or so.

I'm still reading and learning more about the Greek gods and the ancient practices.  I'm still very content with the path I've chosen with no second or third thoughts about it.  I realized that I'm not really as focused on magic as I first thought when I turned to paganism.  Maybe my ideas about magic have changed a bit as well.  I'm looking at it as a more organic thing rather than something supernatural as I did when I first thought about it.  And while I love ceremony and ritual in my spiritual practices, I don't see it so much when I think about it in terms of what I would feel comfortable doing with magic.  Herbs, gems, crystals, divination...these are the things that I think speak to me magically.  But, I stress, this is just for me.  I can really understand why someone chooses more ceremonial magic, more ritualistic magic.

The connections I'm making with the Greeks are very satisfying.  To be honest, I haven't reached the level of connection with any other pantheons.  I don't know why I kept trying so hard but stubborn me always does things the hard way.  Last week Tom's machine at work was down and they had everyone in to try to fix it.  Now with the hospital bills coming in (and they are enormous, even with the insurance) we desperately need the overtime but with his machine down, that wasn't happening.  I finally appealed to Hephaestus for aid in fixing the machine and Tom came home that night with the machine fixed.  Of course, the company that made the machine all the way over in Italy, sent a representative to fix it so I'm sure that had as much to do with as anything...although...he was totally unable to even figure it out the first day.  Just sayin'...

When I appealed to Hephaestus I felt a really warm glow, the same one I feel with Zeus, Hera, Hermes and Persephone.  Warm and tingly.  Even though I've got the decals on my wall, I still want some statues so I think I might try to make some myself.  I'm not very good at sculpting but I can give it a shot.  It's not about how gorgeous the statues are, but do they represent the deities?  I'll have to work on that.

Zach is doing well with his path, still fine-tuning it.  Not sure where he is with the deities, but he's doing well with magic.  More ceremonial than me but I'm willing to participate in anything he needs me to do.

I've been cleared for light housework now (didn't know I wasn't supposed to be doing any before this) so I'm going to clean my room this weekend and redo my altar.  I've got representations on there that I don't really connect with and it feels a bit cluttered.  Also, I finished knitting my second Greek Key Striped afghan, this time in blue and white.  The other one is purple and off-white.  I've used the purple one for an altar cover before so I thought I could swap them out from time to time and use them instead of the scarf I've got on there now.  Since Hekate's Deipnon is coming up, I'd like to have my room cleaned before that and my altar tidied up.  Clutter gets to me and I haven't been able to clean my room or vacuum it in a couple of months.  Now that I'm cleared to do it (and I can get Zach to help me with the heavy stuff) I'd love to get it clean in there.  I've thought about turning it back into a living room but leave the couch in bed-form until company comes.  Since it looks like we're going to be getting company more often, I'm thinking it over.  This weekend would be great since Tom has the weekend off and since I can't lift anything right now...

I've also been thinking about what I want to do with this blog.  The blogs I love to read most are about other people's lives and not so much the ones that are lecture-form.  I think I should do what I love and not try to be something I'm not so I'm still focusing on my spiritual path but more in journal-form.  And more often now that I'm feeling better.

But tonight is knitting and catching up on dvr inventory, particularly The Walking Dead.