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So, Gordon (who I am becoming increasingly convinced is my seperated from birth twin blog brother) just posted about Secular Beltane, which is actually something I had been pondering this year for myself. Generally I would go to the Spoutswood Fairy Festival where I would run around in my box (heh) clothes, otherwise known as my gothity-goth-goth-goth stuff I rarely get to wear anymore where teenagers shyly tell me they like what I'm wearing, eat a metric ton of PA Dutch food, run around with my camp friends on a huge ass farm and then drink after hours around a bonfire until I hallucinate which seems about right.
Except this year my bff from Kansas is getting married over the summer and I need to attempt to be more frugal. So what to do? I mean, that was my personal/secular Beltane celebration. Sure, I would be celebrating Beltane with GoG, but what to do on Beltane proper that seemed . . .seasonally secular? I went through a few options, and this is what I finally came up with.
1. Beltane at Dawn in Princeton. This is where Morris dancers do the whole maypole thing. It's a bit more towards the religious side I guess ('cept the dancers aren't too pagan) due to the Maypoling and whatnot. But there is sacrifice too - the whole getting up at dawn thing (. . .seriously) and getting to play another exciting round of Stare Down the Wasband (because custody of grove and grove related events was not in the divorce decree, sadly. But it's a constant opportunity for personal growth or sticking my head in a blender, I'm not sure which yet, it's still too soon to tell. And no, we are most assuredly not on good terms).
2. Breakfast at a diner after. No, there won't be any lovely purple broccoli there, but it will be food that is natural to the NJ Human Habitat.
4. Dancing and drinking either in my living room if I'm too tired to move, or dancing and drinking at Hotoke in NB.
It seems to me that Beltane means eating high caloric food, dancing, sacrifice, and drinking excessively. Chin Chin!
Gather around, kiddies. It's Dark Secret time. So, as you all know, I'm from Jersey, born and bred. Knowing this, you must know that there's only so much I can help about my True Nature. I mean, even the most well heeled of us is known to flip a table on tv now and again. Besides this, we're a state full of bling wearing, name brand buying, prostitution whores.
Now, if you like, I can couch this in occultism. All of the girls I run with are crowgirls whether they know it or not. Me, personally? I know it. I have a very serious shamanic relationship with Crow. But us as an Amazon Crow Girl Pack? Dangling secrets and shinies in front of us is honestly honestly the quickest way to get us to flip a table to get to it. We just can't help ourselves. I have a way of getting people to spill their secrets to me faster than a freshman spilling out the contents of their stomachs on frat row. In fact, I was told by one of my pagan elder mentors (PEM), it's an ability that borders on dangerous. Knowing that, I have taken pains to try to keep a lid on this ability as much as possible for the most part*. Sometimes, strangers will randomly tell me things that still manage to shock me.
Additionally, as we've discussed, a lot of my glamoury/shielding comes from clothing, make up, and jewelry like a proper vain Jersey Crowgirl.
So . . .if you take all of these things and put them together it's about a perfect storm.
Ready? Juicy. Couture. Hamsa. Necklace.
Say it again with me now! Juicy! Couture! Hamsa! Necklace!
Name Brand Whoring + pew pew pew! + glamoury + shielding + omfg shiny = me, practically peeing myself in a state of desperate lust.
Luckily, my bf J. (I have a thing with the letter J in SOs), recognizes this state of feverish excitement and kindly made a donation towards the purchase.
Just . . .look at it in all it's shiny, shiny, pseudo-Kabbalah glory. How could I not desperately want one? What's funny is, I was actually looking for one. My PEM has a trick where she wears one on a necklace on her back so her back is always watched and I used to do it as a baby pagan but then I got lazy and distracted by not really giving a shit about shielding for um like the last five years (calm down, I've been working on it and a flesh eating demon hasn't gotten at me yet), so I was looking to start doing it again.
Isn't it goooooooooooooooooooooorgeous?
* - Except, you know, when I'm trying to pump someone for information for my own ends. But! If I am told it is a secret and not to leave my lips, that's an oath that I take more seriously than pretty much anything in the world.
So, yesterday I decided to summon up the the nerve to contemplate what my perfect day would look like and then promptly wandered off to go chase moths for a while and then promptly fell asleep.
Today my boss started making noises about "summer hours". Now, I started to quietly freak the fuck out about this and started promptly thinking about what I could do to make the money up, assuming she decided to give me my half day, Friday off. I considered doing massive praying and ritualing to bring my company more business.
Ooooooooooor. Or. I could consider that perhaps a weekly day off could give me a chance to really dry run my "ideal day" weekly. I could do more shopping at the farmer's market, saving money. I could see about changing things like car insurance, my consolidated credit, hell even getting rid of cable like Gordon suggested. I could try to really make money independently. I could even buy a beach pass and that could be my primary source of entertainment and oceanside communing.
So, I've decided right now to do nothing. I prayed of course. I asked my gods to have my best interests at heart and I would be open to either more time to pursue my dreams or more business at work so I have more hours.
Either way. Let's spin the wheel. Bottle's on the ground, are you ready now?/ When it comes to me, I'm gonna be ready/ It's my turn in a minute/ gonna put my message in it/ I am ready now!/ Already on the ground!/ spin it 'round again . . .
For some reason, Rune Soup seems to be down, which is a bummer because (a) I totally dig the blog and (b) Gordon had just posted a bad ass entry about Ganesha and Life Planning/Hacking that I wanted to attempt to do like a good little groupie.
I will then instead attempt to figure out something that a few people have been attempting to figure out over in eljay, which is also relevant. What would be your ideal day? Now I'm not talking blowjobs and a porterhouse over in the Bahamas with a beer, I'm talking a day you could either conceivably have now, or have if all of your financial magic/work/not fucking around worked.
For some reason, I'm shit scared to put it down on paper to start manifesting it. I guess it's because, what if my perfect day ends up to be a total drag! All of that time, energy, effort, and magical splooging for nothing!
And what would be worse than that, blogosphere? So it also comes down to believing that you actually know what you're doing and what you're asking for. Also: realistic expectations help. Sars over at Tomato Nation reminds us that a job is still a job, yo. Even if it's your dream job. In other words, it's called work and not fun for a reason.
But let's give it a go anyway! Into the abyss!
9a - alarm clock starts going off 9:20a - get ass out of bed. Get dressed, brush teeth, etc. 9:45a - Sun Salutation 10a - Breakfast 10:15a - spiritual practice of some kind 11a - straighten the house 12p - lunch/intertubes 1p - writing (blog, novel, short stories, website stuff, kitchen witch book, etc.) (sometimes instead it will be focused on: editing or "shopping" pieces) 4:00p - go to the gym and/or run errands 5:30p - make/eat dinner/social obs 8:30p - craft (sometimes instead will be focused on updating my shop or getting things set to be shipped) 10:15p - Moon Salutation 10:30 - read 11:30 - bed
Hmmmm. It appears I am a v. simple creature. I think I should experiment with trying this on a free weekend day and see how it goes. Test drive it a bit before I start jizzing magical energy all over the place into it.
To my first two benefactors who decided (independently?) to make the first contributions to my further education fund.
I am often snarky and snarly, but I say with all sincerity, thank you from the bottom of my heart, your kindness means the world to me. That two people would decide to donate money to someone they've just "met" who blogs irreverently and with a lot of four letter words to further her education, is more than a kindness.
After discussing before bed how I was pretty sure that we were becoming the Miracle Max and Valerie of the blogosphere, with him shouting getting back witch and me shouting I'm not a witch I'm your wife and I'm not even sure I want to be that anymore and what about true love! Jow asked me, what have I done personally magically about the fibromyalgia. It was that lovely time of night where I had watched a satisfactory amount of Judge Judy, malas had been said, and pills had been taken rendering me more dreamily contemplative than ornery and we were lying in bed in the dark where all truth is born.
Reiki, I said finally. And that's all. I don't know why I never did more than that. But . . .I haven't.
Do you think it's because of shamanism?
Maybe? I was always to understand that having this nebulous condition meant that you were special, that you were chosen. I mean, other things too. But to my mind it's like I can think that god turned his back on me or I can think that this makes me more magically delicious. It's a lot easier living with b. than a.
Some gift though. No, really you shouldn't have!
I know right? Okay thanks for my -1 difficulty on all my magical dice rolls, but the +2 difficulty to daily life leaves something to be desired.
But before I went to sleep, I wondered what I always wonder when it comes to my fibromyalgia, I am who I am who I am who am I/ Requesting some enlightenment/ Could I have been anyone other than me? More specifically, who am I without my pain? Where is my power? Where is my sacrifice?
I don't know. I went to the ocean in my head and laid there until I fell asleep.
Jow just blogged about how he used the fifth element and some Buddhist ideas to work through a migraine. Now, as a writer (and now a fellow blogger due to his bad judgement in asking me to come here!), I have a lot of opinions about people's thoughts and how they are presented and what does it say to the audience, etc.
It doesn't make you as popular as you would initially think.
So I've learned, that unless I am (a) directly asked my opinion or (b) it's a stranger who accepts comments in their blog from the likes of me, I keep my damn mouth shut. This is not something intrinsic to my nature, so it can be kindly called a work in progress.
But Jow sometimes can't help himself and has the masochistic urge to inquire into my habitrail like brain where all the magic lives.
So, my queries to his thesis statement about using the fifth element/Buddhist thought went something like this:
a. While I could see it working in a sudden intense experience (piercing, tattooing, a sudden migraine, etc.), what if it's something you live with every day?
b. To address the first point, space, if it is a chronic condition such as fibromyalgia, the condition has already bossily commandeered space in your body and on a good day, it makes a mess in its cubicle, on an okay day it just made you a lasagna in your kitchen and split, and on a bad day it's been living in your house like the worst gamer boy you can think of for the last two weeks and then took off. If pain is a constant, I have yet to be able to constantly will enough space for this shitty roommate because it never goes home. I am not to a point where I can constantly will anything - I need to work at my job, make dinner, get into pointless arguments, craft and watch Bones until I die. I do what I am "supposed" to do mundanely for my condition - watch my stress, diet, work a shorter job, exercise (ish), take a cocktail of pills that works for me, etc., etc. So what should I be doing here magically?
c. Yes, I need to make another mojo bag, and I do pray, but surely from a magical standpoint I could do more.
d. For a later to be expanded on entry, meditation does not work for me. I have generalized anxiety and likely will for the rest of my life. That + real, empty your noggin meditation = awful for me. I also have been a good pony in the mundane world and done my time on the couch, take appropriate medications, and come to terms with living with it.
e. The aspect of Buddhism wherein I am supposed to be a far better person than I am capable of being while in a major flare up is lost to me. Thinking about how someone is starving, someone is going through childbirth, or someone is going through chemo, does not alleviate my pain. I feel sorry for them, I feel bad for them, I wish they weren't suffering in such great ways, but it does not alleviate my own suffering.
Jow didn't really have an answer for me off the top of his head (nor did I expect him to!). And we talked a little bit about it and I said I'm more than willing to be a guinia pig and it's something to think about. Yes, it's outside of his personal experience which can make a non medical doctor/less experienced spirtual worker nervous, but that's a big part of being a spiritual worker/hearth woman/root doctor/pick a term that doesn't make you uncomfortable. And if we want to sell more than just items at Trevia, we need to be able to answer questions and to make mojo bags, spirit bottles, whatever other things we connoct for people outside our life experience and I think it's also okay to flat out say, this is something I haven't dealt with (as Jow did!) and to brainstorm some ideas for the client.
So if anyone would like to use me as a guinia pig in the name of occultism (. . .science), please feel free to drop me a line about it!
Personally, right now to better educate myself I'm going through Mme. Yronwode's book alphabetically which is strangely soothing.
I've fucked around with the idea of owning a witch shop or a coffeehouse for quite some time. Since . . . like, 20? I kind of put both away for a while once I was about 25. There was a heady group daydream of a coffeehouse during a trip to Van Gough's Ear because we're the tail end of Gen X, it was our culture and we miss it. Starbucks, while most of us have caved to their siren song, is still not the same in terms of social culture. But once you start talking nuuuuuuuuuumbers and savvvvvvvvings it gets to be a drag since most of us are scraping by.
Jow and I took a mini break to the pocanos a while back and we found a tiny witch store and got all excited because we were in the boonies but *man* was it a hot mess. And more and more brick and mortar stores keep closing down (Aphrodesia, Gypsy Haven) which is disheartening and depressing. So we of course started day dreaming about what *our* store would look like. And then we started talking nuuuuuuuuuuuumbers and savvvvvvvvvvvvvvings and the failboat that this economy is and promptly put it away except to occasionally daydream about it.
Flashfoward to a while ago! I had a dream that we were a traveling curio shop and were vending an event and I saw how beautiful our shop was set up and actually figured out what to do with a few things (like yarnlets, believe it or not). I woke up and told Jow about it. And we started figuring out inventory (hand made, eco-friendly whenever possible, supporting small business whenever possible, local whenever possible, etc., etc.) and where we could vend and what we wanted to vend.
And . . .like, five years from now (maybe three?) when we have new flooring in the condo and things are pretty set in the house and we have some savings, and we've gotten even better at our respective crafts, we could take it on the road. To indie craft shows, to cons, to festivals, all sorts of things. And we could have different wares and services (which we'd want to offer too) in different places. Vending isn't cheap, but it's not impossible either.
So we're pretty excited about this and are currently working towards this. We're going to call it: Trevia: The Traveling Curio Shop.
Like . . .your health. You remember that right! You have fibromyalgia every damn minute of every damn day which means you are in pain every damn minute of every damn day, how did this escape your attention? That's not even counting all your fun *auxiliary* problems such as occasional anemia, indigestion, and occasional lady bit problems. And that's *still* not even counting things like that wisdom tooth issue* that feels like getting repeatedly stabbed in the ear, migraine, or other plagueful health problems you incur.
Sigh. I will be doing another mojo bag soon for health, it will probably have a tiny spoon charm in it as well.
No love, self
* Yesssssssssssss. I've been to the dentist, he said I could keep them or remove them since they're half in and I chose to keep them which will result in occasional minor infection that unless it keeps up for several days simply needs Tylenol, rinsing with salt water, and an occasional rinse with Mr. Patron.
"Women go there to dance. They get all ready in the mirror with their friends. They're like, 'I just need to go. I just need to dance. I'm serious, tonight -- no guys. Screw guys. I just need to -- I've had a rough week, and I just need to dance it out. I just want to stand in a circle around our pocketbooks and shoes and just -- I just want to dance. Dance!'" - Dane Cook
"Girls love 80s parties. I could tell them that Osama bin Laden was holding a party, and they’d refuse to attend. But if I told them Osama bin Laden was holding an 80s party, they’d be like, '. . .well, what time?’” - Nick Swardson
"They always come home the same way. They stumble in with their high heels in their hands. *Whoo-whoo!* *Whoo-whoo*! 'Where were you?' 'I was with my girlfriends.' 'I know that. It's 3:30 in the morning.'" - Jo Koy
When I was a younger amazon, we used to go to this restaurant/club in New Brunswick called Gaebel's all the time. They would push back all the tables later at night and there would be a dj spinning vinyl. I was all full of piss and vinegar and tequila those nights, wearing a mini, belly top, and stompy boots. My hair would be up in pigtails and I would be smeared in sweat and glitter, and whenever Hypnotize came on, the whole entire room would go *ballistic* and it was just such an awesome feeling of being young and badass.
Gaebel's closed about four years ago. Hypnotize came on the radio on Friday when I was coming home from a very long all day meeting in Princeton. I was wearing corporate clothes with a silk scarf and was pretty sure I would never again dance to Hypnotize and more sure my life was over.
As a younger Amazon, I used to dress with more intent. Clothes, makeup, jewelry, all of that helped me present the image I wanted to present for whatever I was doing. It was my warpaint, my sword, my shield, my poison cup. Somewhere, during the divorce last year, I lost this piece of myself.
I wouldn't credit Wasband with having that much power that it was solely the soul crushing process of being divorced that did this to me. I knew right before 30, I was transitioning. As a Dianic, I do believe in the maid/mother/crone three, as much as supersrs occultists wrinkle their noses at it. Here's the thing - being a sexual virgin doesn't make you a maid, having kids doesn't make you a mother, your period stopping doesn't make you a crone. Not in and of itself at least. Being free and in charge of yourself makes you a maid, giving birth to *something* and being changed by it, be it yourself, a creative project, your hearth, or your career makes you a mother, and the wisdom you gain from all your life experiences and seeing the end of your own life and out the other side makes you a crone. There are other things too and I could and probably should elaborate further on all of this and my own life experiences involving these things in a later entry.
But I knew I was coming to the end of my maidenhood. At first, it was pretty awesome. My 30th birthday, surrounded by friends in dresses and ties, all of us singing, eating caviar and pizza and drinking champagne until we all were more than just a little tipsy. Buckling down on my writing. Getting my finances under control. Getting rid of 100 contractor bags full of old fetters. Getting a hearth of my own. Getting my clitoral hood pierced, posed in Sheila-Na-Gig position, uttering a primal amazon scream and one of my amazon sisters getting me ice cream after for going through the ordeal.
And then . . .I sort of faltered. All of the clothes I would wear as soon as I could wiggle out of work are now neatly stored under my bed, only to be taken out for special occasions - conventions and the rare club night. I was becoming a mother, a hearth woman in my own right but what did it mean? Who am I? It may sound trivial to some of you, but I believe in what Catherynne M. Valente said in her Fairyland story, "'We must dress well, or the future will not take us seriously', Goodbye had said." How I dress reflects a big part of who I am. And in that respect, I have been floundering for over a year. What do I want to wear to work? Or out to dinner? That's much more of my life now than late nights.
I had lost the joy and the magical purpose I had with dressing with intent. Recently, I had just gotten it back. New clothes, new makeup, new hair. It all goes a long way. Jow was supposed to go out with myself and my "mind sisters"* as he calls them but he bailed. Long story short, we fucked up the date for where we were supposed to go and went to the Breakfast Club instead.
But! Before that, I dressed with intent. Black and grey kilt, knee socks with little buttons, a ruffled keyhole top. Make up on, hair did. Then I decided to use some Come to Me oil, Bad Ass oil, and BPAL's CENTZON TOTOCHTIN on various bits of me. I then used Miss Spice's trick of using an eyeshadow brush and hand sanitizer to draw appropriate sigils on me for the evening. Purely for . . .research of course. Not for any selfish tail fluffing** purposes, of course.
It had been a long while since I had been at a club, I forgot the smell - sticky with bleach and beer. I had also forgotten that the Breakfast Club is Amazon territory with a *ridiculous* female to male ratio. I quickly dove into the experience of amazoning it up with my mind sisters.
Step 1: Arrive a little early so that the music is not crazy loud to be able to talk shit about Baby Amazon Rites which include: The Tragedy of Wearing Really High Heels, Two Drink Lesbian Dancing to Attract Male Attention for Later, Dancing on High Surfaces to be Better Seen by Males, Drinking a Literal Fishbowl of a Candy Colored Melage of Booze Too Many to Better Make Poor Decisions Later, and Take a Million Pictures to Document this for Facebook or My Experience Never Happened. As an older Amazon partaking in Older Amazon Rites (though not yet partaking in Elder Amazon Rites), key phrases to employ include: OMG, I thought going to a club was supposed to be about slinking in the dark and escaping not seeking out the faux paparazzi, Why is she crying, it's only 11:30, Those shoes are ridiculous, If I see anymore Two Drink Lesbian Dancing, I'm going to throw up in my own mouth.
Step 2: Critique the dj. It's your right! You've got ten years of club experience under your belt, Older Amazon! And if he's particularly heinous, even better! Key comments: His mashups suck, there should *never* be any dead air time, He only plays half a song before moving on which is ridonkulous, and He has the rhythm of an epileptic monkey.
Step 3: Drink! You know how to not vomit in the parking lot on your new shoes, Older Amazon! You can stick to beer or shots or a signature drink. Feel free to make one questionable judgement call in the form of $2 Jaegar shots.
Step 4: Dance! You're not here to impress anyone, you're here to be with each other! And this DJ while often questionable, knows his audience which is you! He's going to play all the songs *you* like so you don't riot! And that fucking includes HYPNOTIZE! Get crazy! Bust out your moves! Howl along to Gloria, Material Girl, and other riot girl songs with the other Amazons so that the club is filled with your voices! Trance out to it! Get into the magic that is song, as that guy Jason talked about. Get totes into that Amazon egregor and when Welcome to the Jungle comes on, your whole Amazon cabal will let out a primal scream like you have never heard! It's awesome!
Step 5: Uh-oh. You know the baby amazons are going to be trouble. They won't be able to contain themselves from offending Older Amazons by spilling their drinks on you and nearly falling on top of you from their higher perches. Suggest getting into a fist fight with the ones particularly bothersome to you personally to your cabal to prove your cabal's dominance. This is super awesome! Because (a) you get to feel BadAss and (b) you're Older Amazons! That means you have sense! Your cabal will say no!
Step 6: Well, Older Amazon, you're not a Baby Amazon anymore. That means by 12:30a, you are covered in a sheen of sweat and gently swaying and mouthing the words at this point. Disadvantage: Man, getting older suxxors. Advantage: You know who you're waking up with in the morning, unlike the Baby Amazons.
Step 7: In the car ride home, you can regale each other with your shared Baby Amazon Legendary Stories of all the stupid shit you somehow managed to not only live through but look hot and be bad assed! Laugh it up! It's your Goddess given right!
Step 8: Time for traditional feasting. Your old diner now sucks ass and is closed at midnight during the weekend which can bring you back to Step 7 for a quick round of The Scene is Never What it Used to Be, but you can find a crappy lesser diner to eat at. And! You get the perk of bitching about how bad it is! Eat: burgers, cokes, fries, gravy, and taylor ham on a hard roll.
Step 9: Home by 2:30a, asleep by 3:30a. Feel smug that you still have it.
Step 10: Sunday? Be a useless slag, Older Amazon! Take some tylenol, drink lots of water, eat some salty food and fuck around on the internet or tv all day. Because likely, that's about all you can manage. If you're like me and already auto-immune depressed (I have fibromyalgia) or have some other kind of nebulous stinky cat syndrome/getting older issue, good job killer! You just earned yourself a fibro day! Now you're double entitled to not cook dinner and get chinese.
* Because of those Hills-esque intense moments we have when we all stare at each other for a minute and *ping* each other and have a complete conversation without saying a word. We used to do that when we played Mage and had a mind network up, but I'm told it's scarier in real life. When we would game, we would point to each other and say *ping* and say out loud what we're beaming into each other's minds verses in real life when no words are actually said. ;p
** To fluff one's tail like a peacock due to external stranger validation given based on your appearance.
Me: Weird question, do you still have the Ideal dollhouse furniture* grandma** gave us when we were little? Mom: Yeah, why? Me (dodgily^) For my . . . .terrarium. ((This is in fact true. Omitted: for the fairies)) Mom (suspiously): Why would you put dollhouse furniture in a terrarium? Me: I thought it would look cool? ((And it would be even cooler if the fae here stopped stealing my shit all the time and had a place to live)) Mom: I'll look for it.
* - God! Just looking at it makes me nostalgic, all the tiny tiny pieces before swallowing things became an issue moms actually actively ave a shit about. Not to mention it's totes Mad Men before Mad Men! And: it also explains a lot about why I am the way I am.
** - Grandma worked for Ideal even post Rosie the Riveter
^ - I'm out of the broom closet with mom, and she knows a vague bit of stuff I do (esp if it can relate to the tv show Charmed), but she still gets all You're Doing Something You're Not Supposed to Do
While I certainly will not pretend that every entry here will be a pearl of wisdom that will better your lives, I am at least often amusing and occasionally informative.
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So, as we've established in a previous post, cursing is indeed a sometimes food and one that I've established that at least for myself, is okay to do sometimes. Now. I don't know about you, but let's take a moment to be real with ourselves. Once you learn a new trick, you want to do it for everythang* [NSFW] (everythang? Yes. Everythang). Blood magic? Everythang.
Luckily, thanks to having a system in place to consider due to my complete lack of impulse control, I pondered a situation I had been pondering for quite some time. Do I want to act? I consulted Miss Spice about this situation who pointed out that while of course she would support whatever psychosis I decided to engage in, perhaps it may be seen by Beings Bigger than Me (BBtM) as overkill. I decided to look into some possible actions. Just some curse window shopping, you know?
And I ran into the problem I always run into when it comes to cursing. I am still more pussy than badass. But more than that, it brought me to the question I always wondered, what if you don't want to completely destroy a person? What if you just wanted to irritate her** somewhere between a little and a lot?
I mean, let's be real. Goofer dust? War water? Damnation oil? That means you have your I'm Not Fucking Around, Bitch face on. And I totally respect that! But I have this thing, this hangup where I don't want to be the cause of someone's death because I have way too much Catholic guilt (or I haven't been mad enough yet, you choose!). There is of course Hot Foot powder which would be a potential fit, but it can be problematic to lay down a trick like that if you don't know where the person lives and/or don't want to involve bystanders. I also question if it's as effective to do it the candle magic way because it means you haven't been motivated to do all the footwork (try the veal!) yourself.
I've had people offer to do a trick on my behalf for this situation. While *immensely* flattering, if I am going by a quasi judicial system, that would mean I hired an assassin. Which, generally puts Murder Two on the table, I believe. So in other words, while I may not have done the hit myself, but for hiring a hit person to do the deed, it would not have happened. I don't get to slither like a serpent out of it and need to be willing to hold myself accountable/go to Gods Court for it.
So what is a dilettante to do? For me at least, I started really thinking what I wanted out of the situation past the initial impulse where I wanted fire and frogs to rain down from the sky and the person to be eaten alive by a pack of flaming (as in on fire) dingoes. So I thought on it and really tried to get to the heart of the issue. What was really gnawing at me?
In this particular situation, though I am not talking about a physical object or money or anything, I wanted back what was mine. That was it. Whatever else was the other person's, s/he could keep it. But I wanted back what was rightfully mine.
So where to go from there? I contemplated who would be a good BBtM to hear my case and hopefully assist me. In this case, Mouse is a good (though ironic) candidate for me because mice are known for creeping quietly and accomplishing what needs to be accomplished, without notice. I spin yarn, so I can spin a line with intention for Mouse to follow to get my shit back for me, after making an offering to Mouse. I would use mint, poppy seeds and an object directly relating to this situation to put together a little packet for a phys rep as we say in RPG land. I then would say a little rhyme and tie the yarn in knots around the packet a certain number of times.
Now, my first thought was, oh man. This is just another white lighter attempt on my part to try to rules lawyer my way out of getting my hands dirty. But the thing is, I don't want to destroy the person(s) involved with this issue. I just don't. And I don't really want any collateral damage in the process either (a possibility that Miss Spice had pointed out). When I am tired of being mad, I tend to want what I always want; what's fair. And typically in a court situation that means neither party is happy, neither party is sad, it's just what's right. And that's all I really want here.
I mean, I'm human. Who doesn't want to salt the earth a la Willow just to prove what a badass you are? THAT'S RIGHT MOTHERFUCKER! I DID THAT! WHO'S YOUR DADDY? I'M YOUR DADDY! BECAUSE I DID IT TO YOUR MOMMA! But really realistically, I don't feel like I need to do something ridonkulous just to prove that I'm a badass. Last I checked, being part of the occult community didn't require being jumped in. So I think I found a good solution, and I'll be interested in seeing the results to it.
* - Katt Williams says some really fucking awesome things about needing to be your own star player and haters and such. I actually find him really inspirational in addition to hilarious.
** - I will be using the feminine pronoun to refer to a generic third person from here on in, as much as I remember to do so.
I make it a point to try not to get tapped by any new gods or goddesses, even the number I work with is a little too much for me sometimes. But, as we all know, like thinking that last jaegarbomb was a good idea, sometimes things have a way of just happening.
I find that if I'm going to get tapped either by a new to me god or goddess or a god or goddess I don't work with very often, it tends to be due to a GoG ritual. In fact, that's how I acquired most of my personal pantheon (I'm looking at you, Eris).
Generally, there are signs that don't make sense until I'm clear on who's tapping me. Today's tapping was brought to you by the letter "A" and the number 13.
1. Why can't I stop thinking about boys* and lipgloss?
2. Why are the older ladies in my life suddenly obsessed with me looking youthful, but age appropriate? I guess it is time for an image overhaul. New hair, new clothes, new shoes, new make up, done!
3. Preen. Be admired. Drop it like it's hot. That's right, boys*! Take a good look!
4. God, why is Hephaestus Jow being such a drag about exbfs and random boy attention? You're not the boss of me! I demand a longer leash!
5. Decide to send an email to one of the GoG organizers for Beltane to see if they need halp. Immediately get a response back that the 12+ Olympian gods will be honored. Do I want to make a shrine, pick one? Super awesome! I love them. Who? Just did a rit to Demeter not even a year ago. Persephone, did a rit to her too. Hestia might get into a fist fight with Parvati for dominance over my kitchen and I'm not touching that with a 20 foot pole. Hmmm. Everyone's always ragging on Hera, maybe get to know her? But then, I'm going to be influenced at Beltane by Hera most likely. Ugh, that would be a drag. I want to reclaim Beltane! I'm the goddamn May Queen! Last year's Beltane was such a bummer for me, I was an Outsider for *my* holiday due to the divorce.
6. Aphrodite, is that you?
9. Write the email.
This is not the first time this has happened (and a tiny voice says, and it won't be the last!), what happens now in my experience is there's either minor or major communing with said deity between now and the ritual. Luckily I had sort of worked with Aphrodite before. Things that help me relate to new deities:
1. Pop culture. For reals! A song will get stuck in my head that's relevant (which also makes all the Ke$ha and Lady Gaga suddenly make sense).
2. Research. Both "real" research (i.e. scholarly) and pop culture research. Dark secret of the day: I love the way the gods were portrayed on Xena/Hercules. I loved that it was a new, modern take on them. And I always *loved* their Aphrodite. Also, I need to check out Percy Jackson for some more modern takes on the greek gods.
3. I try not to fight it. This is a two week time period. I have dealt with the greeks before. In my head, they like to laugh a lot, they like puns, wine, eating well and flirting. It's seasonally appropriate anyway, may as well just give in to the experience for the next few weeks. I see oysters in my future. Mmmmm.
4. Because of the way I do magic (Jow pointed out that TRANSform Me is the most accurate way of describing my internal magic process because man, if you can flip genders as a hat trick and then help others change themselves to feel good, it's pretty awesome), glamoury in the form of clothing, makeup, hair, jewelry, etc. is how I can express a lot of things - confidence, shielding, my interpretation of a god or goddess, etc. So outfit planning will be pretty crucial.
5. Altar dressing, both in making a mini shrine at home that I can keep and altar for the rit becomes pretty important.
So I'll be meditating on all of these points and keeping myself open to whatever adventure pops up along the way between now and Beltane. I'll keep you posted!
So, a few notes about me personally besides the magic stuff, which is my primary function here. If you want to hear stories about balance balls and high heels, go over to my lj, that's where that stuff lives. But I want you to have a somewhat informed opinion about me and the crap that flies out of my mouth.
* I'm 31 and I live in NJ. I live in a small condo with one of my bfs and two cats (Max and Bellatrix).
* Yes, you read right. I'm polyamorous among other things. No need to hide your bfs and gfs, my dance card's full.
* I am what's known in Certain Circles as a Double Trout. Meaning, I've been published in a few magazines (including NewWitch which is now . . . something else in a borg merger) and have a few short romantica stories published.
* I am an Executive Admin, I've done admin work for the last ten years of my life. It used to bug me, now I like it.
* I have a fixation with really trashy tv (we're talking Toddlers and Tiaras, Addicted, 16 and Pregnant, etc).
* I also have a fixation with: typewriters, record players, convertibles, tequila, martinis, hand spinning yarn, flannel sheets, and XXX Vitamin Water.
Kenaz had a great post on Cursing and RO followed up with a great post on personal responsibility and cursing.
Dark secret time: I am a complete pussy when it comes to cursing.
It's true! I was raised Catholic where God was supposed to dyg (do it your godself) all your cursing for you and you were supposed to turn the other cheek like a Certain Awesomely Chill Child of the Big G. And then, I was Dianic Wicca where it was all, rule of three! Rule of three! Fingers point back to you! Black magic is for Bad Ponies!
Then I started hanging out with the bad kids or at least more magically neutral kids over at GoG and our Señora Druid said, some of the worst things I've done magically was to try to help other people and some of the best things I've ever done was in being selfish or doing "gray area" magic. And I started thinking, hmmmmm. Maybe cursing is something I should be able to do.
But I hesitate. I've done a few things that can be construed as "light grey area" stuff, but how does one go from a Good Girl Catholic/Wiccan to a Curse Slingin' Dilettante? That was always what caught me, okay I do totes agree cursing is a sometimes food, but when exactly is that sometimes?
After pondering both K & RO's entries, I came up with a model that works for me. Now, those of you who don't know me, I am a *huge* crime show/Judge Judy junkie (hey! we're here to bitchily judge my magical practices, not my tv consumption).
My model is sort of L&O based and as Jason cautioned us both on modeling and what happens when you drink & blog, it's subject to change.
1. Egregious crime is committed! 2. Investigate said egregious crime, what happened? What evidence is there that this person's narrative sounds right? Is my own narrative correct? Ideally cross check with someone. 3. Prepare case to go to gods "court" with. 4. Go to trial! (i.e. commit curse) 5. Await judgement by the gods to see if this was a correct action or not.
So okay, in this scenario, I'm one of Jack's omg hot, young, plucky ADAs. Since I'm young and boffing Jack, I need to really genuinely believe in my case because I'm young and passionate and still have morals and shit and have not yet been broken down by the system. If I really believe in my "case"/curse, I can go in with mundi manus, clean hands, in my own eyes. If I really believe in my own case (i.e. I'm not just mad and being ridiculous) or someone else's case, I really feel like then I am willing to commit the curse because I'm willing to put my own ass on the line with my gods and do the work to make sure this is the right thing to do.
So as Jow blogged, we had a spontanous Crafting night due to An Unfortunate Incident with the Washer Machine (and Dryer).
Now, coming from a Dianic background, I'm used to crafting in my Craft and the super secret teaching of, Make Shit Up As You Go. Now. I'm trying to learn to better educated and not just *completely* flying by the seat of my pants, I'm trying to have some . . .empirical evidence that things should work the way that it should work.
So, I did some research with Mme. Yronwode through her website and one of her books and checked in with Jow's knowledge base he picked up. And I learned, omg, hoodoo I love you! You have only a few of what could be be generously construed as "loose guidelines", the rest you figure out on your own. My favorite kind of working, whooo!
Guidelines that seem important* in making a Mojo Bag:
1. No more than 13 ingredients! Keep it down in there!
2. Bag must stay hidden! (If you are a lady-type who wears a bra, that's the place which is *awesome* because that's where I would stash my shaman bags)
3. Bag must be close to your person as much as possible!
4. Items in bag must be importante, not just a bunch of shit you throw in there. The bag is going to be a spirit, not a junk drawer, treat your bag accordingly! Dress the bag!
5. Remember to keep feeding the bag (. . .I haven't fed Ali lately, demonstrating my usual laissez-faire-the-world-is-my-tank-of-sea-monkeys approach to life which is not good for house plants or magical workings - she will be fed tonight!)
Hokay! Now a lot of bags seem to be for one purpose. My thought was, shit man, how many fucking bags am I supposed carry around on my person? I need varied shit to go down. I will experiment with multiple purposes and see what happens.
1. If me and the (heretoforth) unnamed are going to get along, I'm going to try to make it into a kindred spirit.
2. The bag being flannel seems reasonably important (though not super important). Whooo! I have cute flannel fabric scraps in omg pink! One side has little drawings of corsets and telephones and the other has pink stripes, perfect.
3. Make my list of shit I want, also referred to as: Petition papers. Some people say you should keep it a secret like a birthday candle wish. Me, I'm not too into sekrit traditions as a rule and I tend to believe if I'm shouting out my intention to the universe, my success rate will be higher. I picked (7) things I want because it's a magical number which may also help the bag. In no order:
a. To be pretty/thin - moonstone b. To have happy relationships - shallot peel (substitute for red onion) c. To be happy - a tiny goddess with a quote about being happy on the back d. To save money and keep it - camomille e. To have money for shit I want - irish moss f. To be successful in my creative endevours - 3 bay leaves g. Financial stability - clear quartz
4. Sewed together the bag, listening to Rasputina. Used white cotton thread.
5. Wrote petition paper on a pink recipe card with a butterfly (transformation), trying not to have my pen leave the paper. Listen to The Money Maker as I do so.
6. Place items in the bag, making sure to charge each item appropriately.
7. Tie bag shut with green yarn I've hand dyed and hand spun. Seven knots and I chant a part from the Pierces' song, "Sticks and Stones" (Seven times I pierce my heart/ now I feel the magic start/ bind my will and soul to keep/ so I will it/ so let it be)(it's a hot vid, btw, ditto for Money Maker)
8. Dress bag with lavendar oil - front, back, top.
9. Gently spit good sipping Mexican tequila onto the bag (hey, if we're going to be pals . . .)
10. Think Evanescence lyric to "Bring Me to Life" to bring her to life.
11. Excited flurry of energy from the bag! I ask her what her name is, she tells me.
12. Realize I forgot to put petition paper in bag. Carefully jam paper in (I'm guessing she didn't want them to get wet from the life bring spit/tequila).
We did this on Sat. Results since Saturday: * All of the designer suiting I liked at Bloomingdales went on massive sale, I had bought less expensive suiting at NY&Co. As a bonus, my boss got me the Bloomie's suiting. (shit I want) * Let's just say on Sunday, Jow and I had a very nice evening in. ;) (relationship) * If I'm interviewed for Secret Project going on, it would be accolades for my past work in a creative endevour (creative) * Opportunity for overtime (stability) * Spent less by a lot on groceries this week, a constant bane of my existance (stability) * Feeling pretty good with all the work I've been doing on my appearance (appearance) and happy in general (happy) * Was told by a friend that he envied my life (happy)
I will keep everyone posted!
* Usual caveats - this works for me it may not work for you, use at your own risk, don't juggle chainsaws
My layout is thanks to Dossy! He rocks my socks, whenever I am limited by my own low skill level, I can Veruca Salt whine and he fixes because he's cool like that.
So, a bit about me as I'm sure you're *dying* to know. My regularly scheduled blogging is over on el-jay as we say over on that 'hood, but my SO has been trying to talk me into blogging about my magicy goodness over here. Apparently, if I want discussion based discourse, this is the place to be. I had been fairly quiet on the blogs I syndicate over to my lj because (a) omg a drag to click a link and log into my gmail and (b) I have a big mouth and am not always known for my massive amount of tact. Keeping my opinions to myself is not really where I excel, I tend to have that Angelina Jolie like need to blurt out anything I'm thinking.
Anyway. I was Catholic for the first 18 years of my life, CCD, confirmed, church every Sunday, confession, the whole nine. I came from a pretty progressive church so I don't have a lot of baggage, it just wasn't for me anymore. I wanted to be able to at least be a deacon, which I thought was fair but the Pope disagreed.
Then I "turned my back on thousands of years of family tradition" as my mother so colorfully put it when I came out of the broom closet, by becoming a DianicWiccan. I'm still part of my circle and I'm an initiated Priestess there, I consider it part of my "public" practice. Dianics can heal like whoa and I find it a good way to get connected to the Goddess within. I've been Dianic for 13 years. The other part of my public practice is Grove of the Other Gods, which is one of the largest groves with ADF. We're sort of the snake handling part of the organization. I consider GoG a good way to get connected to the gods and goddesses without. I have led rits there as well. I have been part of GoG for 9 years.
In my private practice, I consider myself primarily a hearth woman. I have been initiated as a shaman (9 years), I do a little hoodoo, I do a little kitchen witchery, I do pooja based Hindu practice, and some divination.
Gods/Goddesses/Beings Bigger than Me I work with to varying degrees but have altar space in my home: Yemaya, Crow, Parvati, Durga, Shiva, Demeter, Persephone, Hecate, Eris, Bast, Pan, Nyx, The Morrigan, and Diana.
I'll be waiting/ with a gun and a pack of sandwiches . . .
As some of you may recall from my Pew! Pew! Pew! entry, I don't really shield.
The reason is, no one has been able to satisfactorily give me good reasons as to why I should. I logic out Jow's reasons until he's sick of me. I'm not *opposed* per se. It's just, okay, I don't wear a flack jacket to work and I don't have a gun in my purse to tool around suburban NJ. What exactly am I doing magically that requires me to use so much protection? Everyone rolls their eyes at me and says I should shield. Certain people it makes sense to me - you're in the public eye as clergy of a large group, you're a sorcerer for hire, etc. But what am I doing that requires protection?
Is there a method that's basically the equivalent of being smart about your surroundings (keeping your cellphone in your hand along with your keys, being aware of the people and things around you, time of day, location, etc)?
So, Jow started reading me a bit from Jason Miller's new book and we were in the chapter about defensive magic.
Me: This is where I always fail. I don't . . .really doooooo defensive magic. I don't have shields and crap. Is that bad?
Jow: Um. Shields would probably be good to have.
Me (sighs): What about disbelief? Can't I just cast disbelief? Like, aaaaaaahhhh, how you've hurt me as I lie in bed with one of my bfs in my nice condo, you sure showed me! Yes, the job I like, the car that works, the having enough to eat and heat in my house is awful! All my loved ones too! I don't really believe that anyone who wanted to hurt me through magic . . .could. And I'm not out there getting into random fist fights on the astral.
Jow: It would work to a point but what happens when someone can actually hurt you tries to?
Well, I think the best place to start is I'm not sure what to call myself anymore. I used to want to be a teacher with students, the older I get, the more I understand N.'s perspective that she's more than willing to teach a new trick as a peer, but doesn't want the responsibility of having students. When I was a younger woman, I was much more arrogant and assured of my place at the table as a shaman. I had a teacher! I have a chronic nebulous illness! I did sweats! I went through ordeals! I help(ed) my tribe! Isn't that enough?
I'm not sure. I'm not as well educated about shamanism as I would like to be. I'm working on that, I'm starting at the beginning (reading The Idiots Guide to Shamanism). I am going to try to get to a powwow or two over the summer. I would like to do more sweats, but removing the (ahem) piercing I have in my naughty bit area is not the easiest thing to do and goddamn I went through an ordeal to get it. I can sweat at the Russian-Turkish baths, though it's a different experience.
I've never been great at walking between worlds, I tend to be a bit too grounded in this one. Medicine woman (and I'm going to do my best to learn more about that too) seems like a better fit. I tend to have pins in my mouth, flour on my nose, other people's bodily fluids on my apron. Kitchen witch seems . . .too . . .I don't know. Like all I do is cook for people. And it's more than that, what I do. My service (to my tribe, to my gods) is not just kitchen related. I've been meditating on the words hearth woman in the last year and while it's made up, it doesn't have the cultural misappropriation baggage I've started to have with claiming myself as a shaman/medicine woman and it encompasses more of what I do.
What do I do? Well, I know how to conduct myself at a funeral and dress appropriately. I know how to do a feast for Samhain (GoG's biggest event of the year) in the dark (literally) alone. I know how to make a casserole for a grieving family in 30 minutes flat. I know how to manage an entire funeral repast. I know how to cook an entire Thanksgiving dinner. I craft. I make poppets and teas for people. I listen. When someone tells me to keep something a secret, I write it on my bones and it will never leave my lips. I can throw a really awesome party. I can make a house into a hearth. I try to be a good guest. I do hospital visits. I hold babies. I take care of children. I give reiki. I hold people's hair. I wipe tears and blow noses. I clean up vomit. I do minor wound fixing. I can run a ritual in several formats. I give workshops. I try to do the little things that make people's lives nicer that are often forgotten. I do effective spells. I do spirit walking. I'm not afraid to go through hardship and hard shit. I can give a good tarot card reading. I can help with spiritual related illness as a complimenting service to western medicine.
I'm becoming more comfortable with who I am, in this next stage of life. As a maiden, I wanted to prove to people that I could roll with the big dogs! That I had shit to say! That I could do whatever is the hardest part of whatever ritual! I was going to be able to commune with the gods on tap like other people! I was going to do everything! None of this white light fluffy bunny bullshit! No, man! I'm serious! I'm a super serious pagan! Don't fuck with me!
I *hated* that I was service oriented and didn't have a lot of cool stunts (as we say in my house). I *hated* that Reclaiming made a lot of sense to me. It made me feel like I belonged in the kitchen with the not serious housewives.
Now? Well, Reclaiming works for me. Not all of it of course (nothing really works for me wholesale) and I'm not into the wonky anthropology (though I understand why it happened, so much of women's magical herstory was just . . .lost. Which is sad and depressing). And I feel very so what about it. When there's magical dick waving, I roll my eyes. I don't need to prove myself anymore.
I've really grown into my service, and that's how I see myself now as someone who is service oriented in just about all aspects of my life - my spiritual life, my professional life, and yes, the obv, my kinked life. And there's kind of a grace there about it that I'm trying to fully blossom into.
I don't have to prove myself to myself or anyone else anymore with my spiritual practice which is a grace unto itself.
I was curious to see what it would feel like doing the IPM the second time. I was feeling v. relaxed as I was having a nice date with Jow and this time I suggested he slow down at my difficult point (power) when he reads the meditation.
So when I was to sink down in myself, I did it super fast and super hard (Jow was like, it made a *whomp* noise when you did it!). Sex, self, and pride lit up just fine. Power was much better, though still a bit weak. Also I was fucking up what went where, so that was a little distracting (i.e. power is left hand? right hand?), but even with that, I was still way more into it this time. Passion was hesitant to light up which is no surprise as I'm trying to figure out what that is for me. Power, I was just basically hissing at myself to gather all my power bits that went away and they're starting to consolidate better. Sex bits got called back faster than you call a dog's name. Self was pretty easy too still. Pride, hesitated for a beat this time but still pretty solid.
I was drawing the circle around myself and I was just, like, vibrating with the power buzzing inside me to the point that for a second I went out of body and saw myself meditating on the floor (which like never happens to me) and all the energy was buzzing and blue with Feri light (the IP starts as red to me but inevitably becomes blue which is commonly used in Feri so it's not too surprising) and then my sister knocked on the door, unannounced. So I had to sit up real quick and ground pretty fucking fast. But I was pleased that I was able to do so.
Jow wants to start a triple self meditation daily, but I'm trying to just get used to doing this first. Maybe in another week or two.
I took L's advice regarding trying out T. Thorne Coyle's Iron Pentacle meditation from her book Evolutionary Witchcraft (she's Feri/Reclaiming). I had been feeling like I lost my sexy like one loses one's keys and I only had nebulous ideas on how to get it back.
Now, in terms of my magical practice, I (mostly) make circle and/or grove for most of the wheel of the year, I do little charms and spells when I need something, I try to remember to light up my altars at least somewhat regularly to give thanks, I do some vision questing/meditation before bed on occasion . . .in other words, I'm like a half assed Catholic in the pagan world.
I've been reading more. Thorne's book is full of careful book marks of exercises I should give a go. But once I was almost done with the book and realized I would now need to actually do said exercises, I stalled out. Needless to say, I stopped reading it and conveniently picked up another book to avoid doing any bothersome work.
Now that I'm moved into my condo, I knew I needed to start fulfilling all of those promises I made to myself about being a better magical practitioner, treadmilling, writing, etc. because frankly there's no excuse anymore.
So Jow and I got home a bit earlier than expected yesterday and we had thought to maybe do one of Thorne's exercises. We brought our stuff in and I flipped open her book to find the Iron Pentacle meditation. Jow protested of course because he's v. methodical about doing each exercise in order. I pointed out that the IPM doesn't build on anything from her previous lessons (which I'd read) and it's what I need to work on in myself so let's start there. He also was unenthused at the time about doing magical work as we had eaten at cracker barrel and couldn't go for walkies because rain looked eminant. I pointed out if we didn't do the exercise right then, as soon as the laptop came on and the tv came on, there was no way our lazy asses were going to do anything because that is how we are.
So I then nominated him to go first while I read the exercise 'cause I'm gracious like that. So you know the layout of the IP, it looks like this. So, Jow can tell you his experiences in his blog or lj, I will tell you mine. First off, Bella (the cat) wanted to crawl all over us when each of us laid on the floor. Max (the other cat) who is no stranger to magic, disapproved strongly of this and shooed her off every time she tried. So you lay on the floor, arms and legs out stretched like a star(fish) and each limb represents one of the aspects as laid out in the diagram and the meditation goes through calling each piece back to yourself (sort of Soul Retrieval style) and then you meditate on feeling each bit connecting to each other in a star pattern.
So, I have crap spacial reasoning skills. As I was reading it to Jow, I was thinking, huh. I have no idea how this all connects in an orderly fashion. But when I was on the floor doing it myself while he read it, I felt the lines of the pentacle connecting in an orderly fashion. Now I had assumed (ass out of . . .) that the sex energy itself was going to be problematic and this was going to be like pulling teeth the whole way. But funnily, the sex energy came just fine in my forehead, my self came just fine in my hand (also surprisingly to me). When I got to Pride in my foot it felt painful, but it came (which is interesting, because I have dreams where huge hermit crabs attach themselves painfully to my Pride foot, I'm still trying to figure that mess out) and when I ran the circuit between the three, it went just fine. So I started to think, yeah! Maybe I just needed to remind myself.
No. When I got to power, it fizzled so much it was ridiculous. It felt like the alternator in my body just gave out (come on, come on, I see you turning! Please!). Passion flared up slightly better but it was like trying to light a candle that was mostly gutted. Once I started trying to run power through, well, power it was faint at best.
It was really interesting to me because I assumed that my lack of feeling sexy came from issues with my sex aspect, but it seems to be stemming from my power issues (it's hard to feel power*full after the last year I had) and I'm so worn out from everything, my passion has taken a beating. So those are things for me to think about.
What I really liked about this exercise was: (1) It was short, like my attention span. (2) I really liked doing it with Jow because we can compare notes and read the exercise for each other. (3) It's something I can incorporate into my shamanic practice. (4) I feel like I respond really well to reclaimist stuff. I need to stop being a snob about it, Thorne doesn't make any wonky anthropoloy claims, there's no need to not use something that works for me. (5) I feel like this is something I can do for a while and see where it takes me. I'm going to try to do it with Jow whenever we can and really work on this chapter. When I'm ready to move on from it, I'll move on from it and pick something else directly relevant to my life.
Usually by this point when I'm running a rit, everything is kicked into High Woo by now.
It's different, for this rit. I feel mostly tired. Exhausted, really. I feel worn out by other people and find myself wanting a lot of time to lie on the couch and be left alone. It's . . .a dispiriting headspace for running a rit.
But . . .there have been meetings. The walk has been walked several times now. Key issues resolved, as best as possible. Cookies to bake.
Greek gods in my head have had a tendency to . . .not be the way I expected them. I expect them to be solemn and serious and instead they tend to be impish. They tend to love a good joke, a good smoke (offering), they want to feel things to the hilt - to love, fight, fuck, and cry.
I keep doing meditations before bed and I have strange fractured dreams. What I seem to be picking up is . . .Be awake, be aware, be conscious about the moments in your life. I'm constantly afraid of forgetting something important about . . .everything - prepping for this rit, doing this rit, etc., etc., etc.
I feel like things that are being transmitted to me are things I should already know or do already know . . .but don't do.
When I try to explain the ritual, I talk about being in the fullness of one's life. What I think I'm trying to say is that . . .there are mortgages and papers to drown in, bosses who are in a bad mood, ssdd problems with friends, family, and lovers, everything I want to accomplish in a day never happens, I may or may not ever loose the weight I want . . .
But that's not all there is. Those bits aren't even the important bits to being an adult, a grown up, a Mother. Yes, it's important to know how to cook, clean, pay your bills, do your laundry, show up to work more or less on time and you need those things, but that's not the point.
The point is, you learn to own yourself. You learn to not be everybody else's girl. You decide your goals, your hopes, your dreams. You're responsible for how they happen or not happen. You get to decide if you want to work 9-5, party 9-5, and then work 9-5 all over again. You decide what's important - marriage, children, career, art, music, love, whatever. You decide if you want to eat cannoli for lunch. You are yours and no one can take that away from you unless you let them. And if you do by chance, as we all tend to give ourselves away, you can take yourself back.
I have snapshots in my mind about what's been important in the last few weeks: the goldfinch who came to my balcony to talk to me, singing kirtan to Shiva, lying in a patch of sunlight in my underthings, straightening my room so it feels like mine, the way ricotta ice cream tastes, the smell of Water (BPAL) massage oil, the story about the rabbit in the moon who makes mochi, the memory of her with ivy painted on her face and me sobbing on my knees in her lap asking for absolution and being granted it and the ritual where we both called Her in, a bridge between us and now I will try to call Her, wishing she was there to help.
I just want this rit to be right. And I don't know what that means yet. And I won't until it's over. Fireflies. Bunnies. Fat Squirrel's cousin. The tower of longing. The smell of greasetrucks. The arbor where we all come together.
I try to open my heart. That's what She wants from me, to open my heart and to allow myself to feel everything I can feel that day. And I will try. Lady Demeter, oh how I will try for You.
Sometimes at the beginning of planning a ritual, I feel like Cher from Clueless. I don't have a huge formal education background and apparently the language the gods feel I can understand best is music and fashion. I . . .feel sort of dumb about this but they're not wrong.
However! Since this rit will be about being in the fullness of one's life, the summer of one's life if you will, I have endeavored to try to be a grown up and read some source material instead of relying on being a reclaimist. I've been reading Mysteries of Demeter: Rebirth of the Pagan Way. I tend to trust authors more when they say what bits are sketchy, why there's conflicting information, and when they won't even attempt reconstructing something. Her rits . . .make me go blahblahblah because there's no way I use anything as formal as she does (though there's some v. small bits that are interesting) and there's double no way that it would fly in any of my religious groups.
Apparently, there was some kind of special drink involved with Demeter's rituals. What it is seems v. sketchy (and the author didn't try to recreate it which I dug. Sooo many authors would be like, oh it's this, I know it! Or, I have no idea so we'll just use mugwort-lime peel-milk!), but it's speculated that it's hallucinogenic. Also, I didn't know that there were many aspects of Demeter, though it does make sense.
So, I haven't felt like I have been totally in ritual planning headspace. It could be because I haven't had my pre-planning meeting meeting yet. So I've been thinking about it today and of course, the big questions is, but what will you wear? I had initially thought to do a chiton as it wouldn't be too difficult to make. But Demeter (at least the way I see her) seemed to turn her nose up at it. It's not modern. So, I thought, hoooookay. But I do see where she's coming from; this is a great season for modern interpretations of traditional greek fashions. Serena on GG is constantly wearing Grecian dresses, the Maxi dress is super popular . . .she doesn't want me to be her priestess for the holiday looking like a home ec project. She was thinking a green organic maxi dress. Well, those are $80 and while I would love to support small business and feel super posh-eco, there's no way I have $80 for a ritual dress right now. This seems to be a good compromise. Hair color will be Ruby Fusion. I can easily add laces to my ballet flat, etc.
She seems v. big on showtunes too. I . . .don't know.
But when I really started thinking about what she represents, I realized I *have* been in the headspace - getting my apartment in order, trying to buy property, planning my financial future, learning better spending habits . . .being a grown up. But, it's also about the quote that inspired me about her:
"In Terre d'Ange, one would say she was in the full summer of her beauty--past spring's fresh charms, not yet touched by the sere frost of autumn." - Kushiel's Scion, Jacqueline Carey
It . . .seems from the little bits I'm getting, that I'm supposed to have fun and play and be . . .more optimistic. Which for those of you who know me is going to be nothing if not challenging. I apparently (from what I'm getting) have the other bits down - the tenacity, the strength, the determination, etc. I need to work on the other bits. The next few weeks should be a trip.
08 May 2009 @ 02:56 pm As a child she was quite mystified in searching for the soul With spade in hand she soon began to dig a little hole
At one league and 15 years she ventured down her tunneled plight And was greeted by a troupe of dancing demons stanced to fight Each demon bid her "Say our names, as our names you should know until such time your chains will bind us follow where you go!"
And what a joy it is to be the only one who knows Katrinah Josephina soon identified her foes!
This song was given to me for this point in my shamanic journey. It's still sort of new and painful that my shamanic path which is a solitary path has become more solitary. In the beginning of my new life, I was having such deep trust issues with men, that Crow had me working with The Morrigan, which helped.
Eventually, I started getting nudged to stop sleeping and wake up again. I've been working on my kitchen witch book (K.), radiomancy has been working again (yesterday on the radio it was all Crow all the time), I've slowly started to take up my role as hearth woman again for my tribe, trying to not take on more than I can handle. I've started to feel the tribeweb again, which at first was just sort of dismaying (In the middle of the night/ Miss Clavel turned on her light and said, "Something is not right!" . . .and then no clue as to who was not right), but has started to settle and I've started to be able to work with it again.
Shamanism in my own experience tends to hit you with a stick until you pay attention (*thwack!* Your husband left you! *thwack!* Your car has been broken into! Do you want to see what I will do for my third hat trick? No, it's cool. I'll get my shit straight). I don't like getting hit with sticks and I'm a really boring creature of habit. I don't like my life being disrupted, I really enjoy the illusion that I have control over it. So I try to learn quickly. So obviously, the first bits were about standing on my own two feet, being finanically independent/responsible for myself, and trusting myself as well as getting the confidence back that I can take care of myself and do anything that needs to get done.
I've recently started dreaming again shamanically. I've missed it, even the hard ones.
So, I think we all have our share of inner demons (. . .or whatever you would like to call them for yourself) and maybe they're complete seperate entities, maybe they're just pieces of me/ you haven't seen, maybe they're somewhere in the middle. I don't really know, tbh. And in whiter light, everyone's all, ZOMG! DEMONS! SCARY! DO NOT TOUCH. Well, of course they're scary, they're demons. But they're yours (and you're theirs). I had gotten some good advice that I discarded in favor of some bad advice dealing with mine which was foolish but what's done is done. So with this whole trying to shine a light on all of the bits of me, including the bits I don't like, am ashamed of, am depressed by, etc. I decided to come clean about taking said bad advice to the good advice giver (I even knew it was bad at the time, but c'est la vie) and see how to work with mine.
I figured I needed to start naming mine. Because I figure, from what I'm to understand, people are sort of like demons in that when they are unhappy, they do terrible things sometimes and when they are happy, they are less likely to do terrible things. I needed to really look mine in the face and stop being so afraid. I'm still sort of at the beginning of that process. The ones I see straight from the gate are Gluttony, Panic, Self Sabatoge. I've started working with my Gluttony demon (she told me the name I could call her, but I'm sort of disinclined to share. We'll call her C.). It might sound weird and/or counterproductive to apologize about neglecting one's demons, but I've found it to be helpful. Neglect often leads to acting out. So, I started to really visualize C. I see her when she is unhappy as Despair from the Endless and when she is happy like November from Dollhouse.
At first it wasn't easy to speak to her in my trance-meditation because she was pissed at me. I would write to her from my internal house and send it off using tiny white mice on the thread between us. She had always wanted a really diva tastic little altar for her "home space" (I have a charm for her on my charm bracelet when I'm out and about), I will post pictures of what I made for her. Since I've asked her to be an active part of my life again, and I've remembered (almost every night) to make little food offerings to her, I've felt much more in control of my eating (instead of feeling like it's in control of me). I have trouble at my dad's side's events. There's too much food and I'm too nervous which = eating far too much. So I kind of reached out to her when I was getting really torqued and it really seemed to help.
While I was altar building, of course Big Poppa Crow was like *ahem*, I've been giving you specs for mine for months. So I got a wood "milk crate" little table and a piece of natural slate to put on top. I have His picture on it with His offering bowl. He requested to live outside on the balcony close to the house and fairy/house fae altar window. So, He's set too.
I've been asking Parvati/Durga/Ma, Crow, Yemaya, and The Morrigan to get through tomorrow. I'm hopeful.
"And they say to me, 'Ani, what is with all this looooooooooooove shit? What happened to your politics!' And I say, 'Um, well. Don't you ever get . . .distracted?"
I've noticed on some of the magically oriented blogs I read that there's this burning feverish desire to prove that you are not a dilettante. Nay, good sir! I have spent every second of my life that I was not forced into labor studying the Dark Arts! I have been here studying with This Name Dropped Person, I have jet setted to This Important Place to learn secrets that you, tiny girl, will never learn because you did not buckle down to study like we serious practitioners have and you have the audacity to claim that you're not an expert in anything! When we engage in our super secret dick waving rituals, you step out for a drink and a smoke.
Well. While you were busy studying in the dirt of a foreign land, I was working my way through college, like my mother had and my grandfather had before. I had to go to work where I was starting revolutions, wearing my shit kickin boots and knee length skirts, my cube a political statement of goddesses and feminists listening to Alix Olsen on my stereo. I was writing things that you would consider inconsequential so I could get paid to pay my rent. I was starting a convention, a really fucking girly convention, trying to give everyone equal parts at the table and to book people I believed in and to show that goddamnit modern life has a place for art, truth, love, and beauty. I was getting interviewed by the New York Times and MTV about a genre that's about a made up past that never happened. I was getting married. Getting divorced. Getting diagnosed. Getting fucked. Getting broken. Getting another martini. Getting into a corset to go dance in the dark.
And I apologize for none of this. I may not have the best magical formal education. I may not have read all of the fancy arcane expensive hard to buy, harder to find, even harder to even hear of, books that you have read. I may not have met a lot of Important People to impart Important People Secret Knowledge onto me. I may not have formally studied with a tradition with all of my time, energy, and money until it broke me or I broke it so I could claim with all rights and arrogance afforded to me for this that *I* think this about *this* and *you* should listen to me because I have spent *years* doing this, years earning my disenfranchisement and disillusionment.
But I do have something.
I have a voice.
I have a voice and I am not afraid to use it.
I have a voice to say that I don't know everything about everything. That I have only loosely studied a few traditions. I have a voice that doesn't need your approval to make magic for me because I have long since learned to make magic myself. I have breath and blood and spit and menstrual blood and that's all I've ever needed.
I will speak and I will write about the things I do know. And when I don't know, I will tell you so. It's not the books or the teachers or simply clocking in enough time that makes magic. Your soul being on fire is what makes magic. And I'm not sorry that what I have to give myself, to give you, isn't fancy or formal but it's real.
And I can promise you when you tell me something that is so secret that you can barely form the words that it will be written on my bones and never leave my lips. Always.
I got a money hand from Jason Miller which seems to be helping. I read about it in his journal, and inexplicably i had this picture of a beautiful mehendi like picture of a hand that would be so beautiful by Yemaya's altar.
I suspect she put that image in my head. Having one would definitely help so I thought, why not?
A few weeks later, Jow's like, you know it's an alligator hand clutching a pouch with things in it, right? And I'm like, omfg no! I never would have gotten it if I had known that! But I think She was thinking oh, it's going to be so beautiful! And how that translated into my head was what I thought would be beautiful.
So we sort of compromised. I read Jason's letter that went with it, and did the spell work for it. We were worried about the cats getting it, so I got a small mason jar, Jow cut a hole out on the top, and I wrapped her in purple silk. Jason said the pouch is a living, working thing so I named her Ali and then it was a lot easier for me to handle the whole pouch full o' random bits and alligator hand. She lives on the bottom little saucer of Yemaya's altar, like they both want, which seemed to be working out.
It's easier to think of her personified as Ali who lives in a posh little downstairs apartment under Yemaya's place. We'll see if she likes it and if she works for me!