Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blessed Samhain!

Had a bad night and didn't get any sleep so I've been dragging today in spite of getting a 2 hour nap.  I'm still going to do the commitment ritual and the Samhain ritual but the pictures will have to wait until tomorrow.  I'm barely making it and I still have supper to fix.

I can feel the thinning of the veil although I haven't sensed my mother.  And maybe I won't tonight but it will be a night when I do reach out to her to talk about the things I couldn't broach when she was alive.  The pain is still raw for me.  I haven't been able to watch the funeral yet.  I want to watch it tonight but I might wait until tomorrow afternoon instead.  It's still inconceivable to me that she's dead.  I wasn't able to go down for the funeral because of my illness; I was in the ER the day before the funeral and got my diagnosis of congestive heart failure the day after so traveling 10 hours in a car just wasn't possible. I hope tonight I'm able to come to terms with her death and accept it.  As much as I hate the costs of funerals, they do provide that for people.  Without them, there is a sense of just walking in place.  No moving forward.

Yesterday, after Zach and I were driving home from shopping and errands, we were just chatting when I felt this incredible chill cover me, nearly overwhelming me.  It was night and since I was watching the road and listening to Zach I didn't pay attention to where we were.  We were just passing the cemetery that is out in the middle of the country, on our favorite route home.  The energy was palpable.  Shortly after that I felt it again, having gone back to listening to Zach, and realized I was adjacent to the Native American mounds that are also on the way home.  I realized that I need to be more aware of my surroundings all the time and not just sleepwalk through life as I have been doing.

I'm not sure if I'm going to the knitting thing at the library.  I found out today that there will be no more overtime for, well, maybe ever.  And with no pay raises and no bonuses, money is less than we've had in the past several years.  With money that extremely tight I'm trying to think of things I can do to cut our expenses to the bone.  And with gas still high, at least in our neck of the woods it's only gone down pennies, driving to town will have to be more deliberate and less impulsive.  Socializing just has to wait until we have money.

I've got to finish up the winterizing, too.  The front storm door we put on is going to help immensely.  During the cold spell we had a couple of weeks ago you couldn't feel the air rushing in through the door anymore and the foyer was much warmer.  I won't have to block off the foyer this year, which means the inside door won't warp from the cold and moisture.  I do love being more environmentally aware and responsible and I find frugality a challenge but during my medical issues, I wasn't able to take advantage of the extra money to make any kind of headway into cutting our bills.  Now that I can, the overtime has dried up.  I'll do my best but it does mean a lot of sacrifice in the future.

And that's something I have to look at as long-term and not just when times are this lean.  Although I can't remember a time when things weren't lean. Sigh.

Well, I need to sit down and look at the ritual I'm using tonight and fine-tune it a bit and then start supper.  I am feeling my physical limitations more and more each day, especially when I look at all that needs to be done in the house and how further behind I get every day. 

I hope everyone has a blessed Samhain and I'm sorry for all the whining.  I hate that about myself.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


My forest god statue arrived today.  I'll get pictures of it and my Samhain altar tomorrow, I hope.  I'm really pleased with it.  I chose the more rustic version, partly because of the cost.  It was $20 cheaper.  Cost does matter.  But I got sparkling grape juice for ritual tomorrow night instead of just grape juice.  Sometimes you just have to splurge. 

I'm ready to commit to a path, in part because I think the lack of commitment has bitten me in the ass.  I'm going to have a commitment ritual for Samhain and give myself a year on this path.  At which time I'll see if it's going to be a lifelong thing.  But the lack of commitment on my part has left me drifting in the wind.  I need to take a stand one way or another. 

I'm choosing a druid/witch/nature path of the Celtic flavor.  Cernunnos, having been my constant over the years, seems to be leading me.  I need that for now.  Someone else to lead so I can just follow.  I'm not much of a leader myself.

I'm feeling good but there is an element of fear there that I can't stay with anything for long.  I do need the discipline of a promise, something that I've pledged to commit to.  Zach is also going to commit to his path, which is similar but not exactly like mine.  We do tend to balance each other out.

There probably won't be a fire tomorrow night though.  Rain is predicted.  Like a 100% chance of rain.  If it does rain then we'll just light the fire on Friday during the day.  It doesn't necessarily have to be night.

Early night tonight for me.  I'm so tired of not sleeping again.  I'm trying to get back to the routine I had during cardiac rehab of getting up early and to bed early.  I got more done then.  If Professor or Hannibal would just let me sleep I might achieve that but they wake me up at least 6 times a night.  No door on my bedroom so I can't keep them out.

Maybe that will change soon and I'll get the sleep I need. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Celtic gods have moved in

I've noticed I'm not the only one having trouble deciding my path lately.  Some of those out there suffering the same situation are high profile pagans or at least have a lot more experience and readers than I do.  Some of the parallels with their situations and mine are a bit scary at times.

Still, I'm trying to go with it and just let it happen.  Maybe I'll never settle on a path.  Or maybe that path will settle itself and I'll figure it out eventually.  For now the Celtic gods are back and I'm feeling a connection I've never felt with them before.  This time I'm feeling them return my affection.  And it feels pretty damned good.  I finally broke down and bought a statue for my altar.  I hadn't done it before because I couldn't commit and worried that if I bought a statue, before it even got here, I would second guess myself and no longer want to worship that god.  But the one constant that has been in my life for years has been Cernnunos.  So I got a statue of him for the altar.  No matter what pantheon was in ascendance at the time, he was always present in my life.

It will be here before Samhain, hopefully.  I'm also looking into Druidry again.  But more a combination of druidry and witchcraft.  Not Wicca, but witchcraft.  That's something that has also been a constant for me. 

We had a flood in the basement over the weekend when the water heater sprung a massive leak so my schedule of study and practice has gone by the wayside until I can clean up the basement a bit.  We had managed to acquire a used water heater ten years ago through freecycle but had never gotten around to installing it until we absolutely had to so at least we weren't out tons of money and were able to use a perfectly good albeit outdated water heater.  An energy-saver would have been nice but then we would have had two water heaters to put in the landfill instead of one.

I'm trying to be as green as I can.

We're going to have a ritual on Samhain outside using my new fire pit.  I'm excited to use it.  Although nervous about having a ritual in the backyard where the highway runs up the hill at the back of the property and the next-door neighbors are close enough to see what's going on.  But we will do it anyway.  I've got nothing to hide, after all.  It's not illegal to be pagan.

It's been an exhausting day cleaning up the basement and cooking supper and I'm still doing much more than I'm physically supposed to be doing so I'm going to crash and get some knitting done.  There is a knit out at the library on Saturday, knitting for the community, and I've started a scarf and hat set I hope to get done before then.  I've got a bag full of baby blankets, baby sweaters and hats and scarves to donate as well.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Community, or the lack thereof

Still here and still with the Greeks although I still wouldn't consider myself Hellenic or reconstructionist.  Just a happy Pagan with the Greeks as my primary pantheon.  The Egyptians are still visiting although mostly they hide in nooks and crannies, being very unobtrusive.  I don't worship them although I am learning about them.  They're quite content with that.

I've been very slowly cleaning, trying to catch up from six months of illness.  But I am realizing that I can't do as much as I feel like doing.  I have limitations that aren't always obvious so I need to keep myself from lifting too much and start taking more frequent breaks.  Eventually I'll be able to do more but never again as much as I used to do.  Sadly, the heart is damaged and while I can improve its function, it's never going to be able to handle all the physical activity I used to do.

But as I have a mountain of yarn to transform into projects, I can focus on that instead of the heartier tasks that someone else can do for me.

I'm still trying to find a source of community, which in a largely conservative, evangelical/fundamentalist area, isn't easy.  Everything here seems to revolve around church and while Zach and I really did consider going back to St. Mark's for the community I'm not sure I can go without feeling the obligation to become a Christian again.  In spite of not being able to believe anymore.  There is no doubt that the liturgy and ritual are amazing and I do miss it but the gods behind it...not so much.  I loved the people there but I'm just not sure it would be fair to them to go and participate as pagans.  Even though some of them would love us to be with them no matter what we believe, not all of them would.  They wouldn't ever say anything to us (at least the ones we knew before we left there) but it would make them unhappy.  And the new ones...I have no idea.  We still ponder it.  Just haven't decided to do anything about it yet.  I don't want to leave paganism behind but I miss having friends or at least a community.

But I'm not sure they would be a community anymore since that commonality is missing.  The priest just spent her sabbatical contemplating nature and there is that, their commitment to the environment and love of nature.  It's very much the bulk of my passion for paganism, but is it enough?  When we know for sure if I can attend without losing myself, we might go back.

But in the meantime, we're still very lonely.  I constantly look for things to attend or participate in but it's a largely rural area.  Madison is an hour away and not easy to navigate when you don't know where you're going.  And sometimes even when you do know where you're going.  I'd love to participate in some pagan events and gatherings there, but I'm a timid driver and can't handle a lot of traffic.  Everything is an hour away from here.  Madison, Milwaukee, Fond du Lac.  And with gas so high...

Samhain is coming soon.  I have a new firepit to use in our celebration of it.  If it isn't raining, which has happened a lot lately.  It's cold now and I can feel the bite of winter in the autumn wind.  The leaves are falling even though some of them haven't turned colors yet.   It's so bizarre to seem the green leaves falling off the trees.  I'm going to watch my mother's funeral on Samhain or The Day of the Dead. Not sure which.  Feeling a bit melancholy about it all, to be honest.  Not sure if I should attempt to contact my mother for Samhain or just let her be.  She wouldn't have approved of my spiritual path.  Not sure how she feels about it now.

In the meantime, I'm going to prepare for it and see what happens.

Time to get the storm windows on though so I'm off to get warmly dressed and get to it.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Luggage but not baggage

It bothers me when I don't keep up with my blogs but the past few weeks...and months for that matter...have been stressful to the point of me shutting down emotionally.  I was hoping to get back to blogging and other activities after we came back from Indiana but the trip has been cancelled because the brakes are bad in the car and need replacing.  So that's another stress off my shoulders.  I wanted to go down there very much but not at the expense of our lives.

I have been doing some reading and some rituals at my altars and shrines.  I desperately need to clean up the clutter that has accumulated over the past year or so and especially over the past six months, having been disabled with heart disease.  Although I feel much better it's still a struggle to learn to live with congestive heart failure.  I'm dieting strenuously, eating less than 1200 calories a day, exercising and only losing 7 pounds in 3 months.  I'm losing about a pound every other week it seems.  And I'm hungry all the time.

I gave up on vegetarian eating because I had no energy and my fingernails were in terrible shape, splitting, dry and peeling.  They're improving a bit as they grow out now.  But I'm still not losing much weight.

Spiritually I'm doing okay.  I'm still not following a particular path, per se, but I am back with the Greeks to a degree.  Surprisingly the Egyptians have showed up for a visit as well.  They're in the background, keeping largely quiet but their presence is definitely known.  Not sure where this will lead to, if anywhere at all.  I'm pretty happy the Greeks have come back because they didn't bring all their baggage with them.  They brought their luggage but not their baggage, if that makes any sense.  I had missed them.

When it's all said and done, they know me better than any of the other gods and I know them better, too.  But I have chosen not to consider myself Hellenic or Hellenismos because I'm not going the path of tradition.  I am incorporating magic into my practices and consider myself a witch.  In training, of course, but a witch nonetheless.  I find no conflict whatsoever and since I don't intend to ask permission or seek approval from anyone for the direction I'm taking...well, who fucking cares what anyone else thinks?  :)

I got a fire pit for my birthday so this Samhain should be fantastic.  Tom has indicated he would like to participate or at least observe our Samhain ritual this year.  With an outdoor fire it should be magnificent!

Well, got to go get the brake pads and rotor so he can fix the brakes on the car.  I'm sorry I can't see my family this weekend but a restful weekend will suit me nicely.