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Mar. 25th, 2010

Is Ranting

Oct. 9th, 2008

Wat to Read Book List (Which I'll probably hop to the library for)

Written in Wine: A Devotional Anthology for Dionysos This was suggested to me from a friend on gaia.  She admits her bias to the work as she's published in it, but I really like Nuri and I love her descriptions of her own views of faith and worship, so I can only see that as a bonus.  I'm not a follower of Dionysos, but there are aspects that resonate, so it would be interesting to go to the library for a read.  At this point in time it isn't something I'lll desire to reference later so it isn't of interest to purchase.    

A Modern Herbal by Margret Grieves:  I'm always interested in herbalism but my working practice with it is questionable at best.  I'd be extremely hesitant to buy another herbal book until I'd read it and identified that there was something better or different or more useful in it than those I already have and reference scarecly at best.  On the other hand, I highly enjoy reading lore of any kind, so reading it would probably be intersting and if the science is intelligeble, then all the better.   

Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Properties:  This is by Richard Evan Schultes and Albert Hofmann so if you're going to read about the etimology of Sacred herbs that send you on a trip, I can't think of a better pair to get together with their research to write it.   I have to admit a high curiousity to these differing plants and their traditional use as well as their chemical breakdown and actual effects on the body.  Part of my curiousity stems from knowing people who have interacted with drugs and spirituality and their experiences seem similar to some I've had (though pretty much all of my experiences have been drug free, there are a few unplanned events I'd consider spiritual that have happened while drunk, but the drinking wasn't religiously motivated or part of ritual so I'm not certain how much any of that counts anyhow).   There are a lot of mixed opinions reguarding drug use in ritual and I kind of feel behind in my research and general opinion creation in this area.  Of course, I found an ebay sale for this book that was only $1.50 (another three dollars to ship, when the book is priced at amazon for  $14.48 is apparently too much for me to pass up)  so I couldn't resist bidding on that, but if my bid fails through, the library I will be going eventually.  

A World Full of Gods: An Inquiry Into Polythesim by John Michael Greer
:   There was some controversy over the quality of this book amoung people I generally consider reliable on these kind of sources.   However, I found the controver was over the author more than this book and with his history, I can see why other works of his might be problematic. My interest in this book is two fold really.  One is that it was reccomended highly by Nuri and I really liker her different intpretations on faith and I generally enjoy her sources and references.  The other is that I've recently been reading Drawing Down the Moon (which I'll go into some first thoughts on the first 50 or so pages in a latter post) and part of what's really grabbed my interest is Adler's discussion of polythesim.  I have some issues with her details too, but more interst than issues at the moment and as I result I'm fairly interested in reading more along those lines.    This is probably a library first to test the waters but if it's useful it will probably be desired in the collection files.

Embracing the Moon by Yasime Galenorn:   I think I might be past this kind of "how to" book in my practice and faith, but it never heards to sift through another person's take.  Especially when Yasime is apparently highly reccomended (though I've never read her).   I'm also interested in looking at a few of her other works these includes:  Sexual Ecstacy& the Divine: The Passion and Pain of Our Bodies , Dancing With the Sun (which is apparently out of print), and Trancing The Witches Year (another I can't find via the amazon).  


Oct. 1st, 2008

Pagan Scene so Not Here

Ok, I knew that Cheyenne would be a dead zone for a lot of things I like: Barak Obama, gender and sexuality rights, feminism, and spirituality/ faith. I don't think I realized just how much of a dead zone it would be.

My google foo hasn't hit one new age, pagan, or reiki store, group, or event in the city. Granted I haven't been exactly making it the top of my efforts. It's more of a side project really. The closest I can come to are entirely online stores and the Cheyenne network's “metaphysical classifieds” which is to say a listing of candles and jewerly.

What is available is a lot of anti-pagan literature. That part is a little amusing really.

There are also a ton of prayer beads for all major faiths. I didn't read too much of the articles but I started wondering exactly which Gods/Goddesses these beads were geared to. I had similar questions for the Hindu prayer beads. I was also curious about the specific colors the bead apparently have to be. It is what it is I guess.

There's also a weird article about Tithing and whether this “crazy pagan ritual works”....I thought tithing or giving money to the church to buy salvation was Christian in nature—though a practice that isn' used any longer in main stream versions of Christianity. Thanks to this article I now know that tithing is also apparently making the rounds in some pagan group somewhere (which may or maynot be true). The idea is apparently that however much you give will come back three fold, seven fold, ten fold or whatever based on specific tradition. Sounds to me more like someone is confusing the Wiccan rede, but what do I know?

There was once a Pagan National News. The last article to be put up were of the 2007 variety. Sorry pagan_times. I really do need to go update that community and see if I can breathe some life into it.

There is a pagan meet up in Fort Collins on Oct 13 at 5:30. To get the full details I've got to join it looks like. I'll think about that.

There is a UU church, which I'll look at mostly out of desperation. It could be either really good or really bad, but either way it's not like they'll want money. Maybe this Sunday I'll go to there class and see how I like it. I'll see exactly what's going on down there and what not. If it isn't good or if the information they have in the areas I'm interested in is inaccurate I can always not go back. In fairness, they do have a lovely online madala section up.

Witchvox and DailyOm have failed me in finding more than a few fleeting members who live in the area, though I am a bit temped to pm them and see if they have suggestions or knowledge I don't about the area. I'm trying to decide what is polite and proper in that line first before acting. I was looking on OurGrove before the internet crapped out. Never been there before and I'm not sure how I feel about them yet, but I'll tool around a little. I suppose I could always go wander over mysticwicks. Haven't been there in years though. I think I actually have to create a new account. Anything else I missed? At this point I wouldn't discount anything.

Certainly I can continue in my practice myself. In fact as far as celebrating and being open, I have more space to work my rituals and a more supportive home life. I was just hoping there was some kind of out reach I could pick up here.

Sep. 2nd, 2008

Paganish Questions and Thoughts

First up, I'm moving and I'm traveling a long way to do it.  What discreet item or saying could I use for protection on my trip across?  I meditate at least once a day usually twice, is there visual maybe that others find effective to hold that would signify protection and safe travel. 

I have an incantation I repeat in my head or under my breathe already when I feel I need it for more protection, but I'm just wondering if there are other thoughts or ideas? 

Second, when I get to the apartment, what are some good ways to cleanse out old energies and protect my new space.  I was thinking about cleaning the house with regular cleaning supplies and then blessing it with mint and lavender to help clean out any old energy.  The connections with lavender and mint are more personal for me than a general herbal, but I think they line up with general herbalism too.  As far as protection work went I was thinking about filling a jar with personally significant symbols for protection a long with rocks from the surrounding area (assuming I can find some in Cheyenne, WY) to blend my desire for protection and safety of home with the local earth energies.  It's just a few off the cuff thoughts though, I would love to hear other opinions and ideas. 

Third, this is the first time I'm going to have my own space to practice without interference from other roommates or family.  Some of the kinds of decisions I'm trying to make involve how to celebrate holidays now that I have the ability to do more than a quiet brief little ceremony.  I'm not saying I'll be doing more, but I want some sources and thoughts on what I could do.  

I like to acknowledge the moon phases both full and new moon.  I also like acknowledging the change in seasons and the equinoxs.  My faith practice focuses on what's going on around me in the moment.  So when I can I prepare meals with seasonal foods.  I take time to look at the weather and where things are moving to.  I look at where I am with my own life and try to celebrate that.  When possible I line up the phase in nature with my life phase, or I work on bringing in the good aspects of the season into my own life.    I'm a very new agey eclectic neo-pagan type, if you couldn't guess.  Most of my practice is founded on personal journeys and thoughts rather than books too, but I do like to read that which is reccomended and strikes my interest and I love hearing others thoughts.  

Fourth I'm considering creating a walking labyrinth, and I want any visuals on different designs possible.  I want to create my own but it's always nice to see others takes. 

Thanks for any thoughts, references, and other scraps in advance.  I really do appreciate almost any comments or thoughts. 

Dec. 30th, 2007

Happy Post Christmas "Bliss"

Let's do this Cliff Notes Style because goodness knows I have a lot to write and not as much time as I'd like. Turns out I'm ten time busier at home than at school...who'd have thought. (I know I wouldn't)

Couple of notes before I got on. 1. I'm about to intertwine my Internet life and my real life. If the notes don't apply, are boring or are super geeky please feel free to skip them. 2. These thoughts and notes are in no particular order they are all things I just want to either throw out to the community at large or that I just want to jot down. 3. There will probably be a lot of back tracking and the time line is going to be fuzzy. Sorry.

Alright here we go.

  • Since I've been poking around at the ij I now own a ton of awesome icons. I want to take a moment to thank all the talented icon creators here. I think I've got like 136 icons and I love them. Thanks to anyone who helped make this possible I love a ton of the work I've seen and hope to see more of it.

  • Noticed that the [info]asylum_promo became a modded group and I'm stoked. I know or at least recognize all the mods and from their posts I know that they will be fair and come up with some rules that will hope regulate the community. For the record, things I'd like to see change over at the promo include: not pimping something more than once a week, putting any pictures behind a cut, not repeating the same asylum name over and over again in a post cause it's incredibly annoying, and possibly a separate asylum for advertising rps. I like rps and I like hearing about them, but I just think it could do with a separate space.

  • Sorry [info]pagan_times has been so dead recently. Its on my list of things to hit but I've got a large list so excuse me if I don't get it till Tues or Wed.

  • I saw the Golden Compass and LOVED it. Loved it so much I went out and got the book. The book is better, but I've got to say the movie is a really good take and while a lot of the religion aspect is gone, the anti-establishment vibe definitely still exists. But I am So PROMISING a post about the book and the movie with spoiler warnings and ij cuts and what not.

  • I kind of want to do a write up on Beowulf even though the movie was terrible. I'm not sure about that yet. I know it's been like a month and all, but we'll see.

  • My bf did make it out home eventually. There was a huge storm going on and for a while we weren't sure what would happen. I was really really worried for him. But you know a side from a lot of delays and staying overnight in an odd hotel, he didn't get stranded or miss his plane or get hurt, so I guess it all worked out.

    I had the worst nightmares about it though. One of them where a series or worse weather kept coming and then I "woke up" and ran out of my room to answer the door to who I thought was the bf only to realize it wasn't and I should have known better because he was at the airport, but then that person told me the bf had died and I woke up for real with the worst feeling. Of course he was fine and it worked out but that dream was really scary. Then there was the one I had about half a week later where I was the one trying to get a flight and I couldn't seem to catch it and I was so lost and running from a murderer while trying to please my family. Guess I let my anxiety get the better of me on this one. The really funny part of this is that I'm not at all afraid of flying. I like it even cause the flight gives me time to think and prepare myself for where ever I'm going and what I'm doing. I mean I've been on a plane where the turbulence was so bad that the air bags were deployed and over half the plane (including me) got sick, and I never worry twice about flying. I sometimes worry about catching connecting flights, but even then the fear is minimal, so its an odd topic for my subconsious to pick for nightmares.

  • I got home fine too. I was worried that there would be some anger cause of my lack of calling. Family was just happy to see me and I felt a little sheepish avoiding them like that. Sometimes I really wish that this power play my parents and I are locked in wasn't so damned brutal. I mean I don't want to be in a power play with them at all. I'm thinking it's going to have to come to a head soon, and I don't know what I'm going to do if it gets ugly, but one hurdle at a time right?

  • Bf was terribly sick on Christmas and he missed his family ski trip which is really sad cause he loves skiing, especially in Colorado and he doesn't get a lot of chances to do it.

  • My mom was sick for Christmas too and I felt a little bad for her. She's stressed and since she hasn't thrown a fit yet this year I can't help but hope that she's really mellowing. Who knows maybe it really is all my fault she gets all wound up. Go figure

  • Before I left I wrote a third part to Surprise Surprise. I haven't looked too closely at it since I've been home so I don't know if I'm going to keep it. I think it might be better if I cut bits but I'm not sure yet. The meat of the section is a conversation between the hunter (where we still don't learn his real name but do get one of his aliases) and a werewolf pack leader. I currently have some set up with the hunter on the subway getting to his meeting with the pack leader. In it we talk a little history of the pack and how it is different than other packs. We also talk a little about Kiyoshi. I don't know if it's needed. I mean it might come across as boring and also it might just be too jumbled but at the same time I'm really not interested in giving the whole set up in one chapter. I just want to throw out what the audience needs to know.

    Also it isn't funny an in this bit our hunter is finally doing some research. Of course it's possible by now that the audience is ready for a lite something because you know, until now it's been action and some people might want more on what's going on. Besides, couldn't have him hunting down werewolves the whole time without a little research and without showing that he has informants and connections. I don't know though if what I've written creates more questions than it gives answers, which if you're going to throw in section that finally begins to help illuminate the reader on what the hell is going on, then it's really important that it actually does that.

    Another problem I'm having right now is that the pack leader is black and I don't know how to drop that in the story well. Part of it is that I haven't actually had any really detailed character descriptions in the story up till now. Sometimes we'd discuss clothing or facial expressions, but never the whole hair color, eye color, height, skin color deal. Even if I'd been doing that I don't know how to throw in the skin color factor. I guess I could just come out with it...actually I think I'm coming up with a thought on it as we speak. This is really important to me because the story does take place in a New Yorkish city where diversity is a huge thing and since white is the default skin color I want to make sure that I have POC's properly represented and mentioned.

  • I'm going to be posting my poems up soon. Some will be friended and others won't. I would love feed back on them and I'll be sure to put up some warnings with them as several of them are what I consider to be explicit or potentially upsetting.

  • Was given a nativity ornament as a gift and the person was very sheepish about it after learning that I'm not Christian. I wasn't sure how to respond to their awkwardness at the time. I'm not used to family and family friends acknowledging that I'm not Christian. My friends, peers, and the Internet at large knows I'm pagan. I've told my immediate family, who pretend it's a phase, though they have told the extended family on several occasions in an attempt to shame me, but it's never been brought up or acknowledged beyond those awkward instances of attempted shaming. Often I forget that they have any idea and as a result I was unprepared for this kind of reaction that acknowledges that perhaps we don't share a faith and the nativity might not be appropriate. Part of me was pleased that this person had thought of it at all and part of me felt something I can't even pinpoint in my own mind. I don't know, it's just that this ornament was something the person got in Peru for me. The craftsmanship on it is amazing and I have to say whether or not I'm religiously moved, the piece is beautiful. I like it and appreciate it the same way I like and appreciate any other cultural or religious work that is different than my own. I guess the point was that the gift is entirely appropriate even if it isn't appropriate for the reasons that the giver thought they would be. I do like the gift and even if I didn't, that she thought to get me something was nice. I don't know, I guess it doesn't have the effect she hoped and that's why she's sorry, but I think it's kind of silly for people to expect anything religious to hit other people even of the same religion the same way it hits them.

  • On that line, my day made a quiet comment about me going to hell that I didn't pick up until it was too late. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised by it or even taken aback, but I was a little. I guess I had it coming since I've refused to go to church (though I did go for Christmas mass to humor everyone) and told him that I'm not afraid of evil or the devil. Meh, whatever. I just wish that when he'd muttered "it's a dry heat" I'd picked it up fast enough to say, "I don't worry too much about the temperatures of imaginary places, but thanks for the forecast". It probably would have been in bad taste for Christmas Eve anyhow...though I guess talking about how your child is damned on Christmas Eve is probably in equally bad taste.

  • Christmas sermon was about hope and how hope of the physical was a weak poor man's substitute for hope of the spiritual nature. This got me thinking why is the physical so much less than this nebulous spiritual to so many people of so many differing faiths? Don't get me wrong, I'll prattle on about energy, the astral plane, souls, and purpose as much as the next person. But I've got to say that my primary focus is in the here and now, which very much includes the physical. I'd think that since what is right in front of our faces is sometimes what's hardest to see that we would want to focus on that at least as much as the spiritual. I mean if God wanted his followers to be all about the afterlife and glory eternal, then why create a physical world at all? If we weren't supposed to pay some kind of attention here and for attachments and hopes and dreams and get caught up in the fleeting then why have it at all. I mean if one thing is fleeting while the other is eternal, shouldn't we go after the fleeting thing first, the other stuff will still be there. I don't know though, maybe I'm taking him too literally.

  • While at work I had a thought about mandalas. I was thinking about how traditionally Buddist monks painstakingly make them and then destroy them and how in a lot of ways that 's a lot like doodling. I mean people discard doodles when they're done and what people doodle and how they doodle does say a lot about the kind of person they are and the mood they are in. I mean it isn't as focused as making a mandala is and the level of craft isn't there, but some aspects still remain. Just a thought, silly and fleeting, I figured I would throw it out there. Who knows maybe classes, boring office jobs, and other things that draw people to doodle actually help hone another part of us. Like blocking whatever the thing is that will kill us with boredom actually brings our mind to another frame of consciousness that helps us just show some small piece of the subconscious I do wonder if this could be focused into something more and I do wonder if those doodle trances a lot of people get into where it takes them a moment to respond when someone talks to them is sort of like a pre-meditative state. I know for me there are some similarities, but I don't know about others.

  • Mom and Dad say my work cloths suck and I need new ones. The ones I have are perfectly serviceable They told me everyday this week that I looked nice and then told me on Saturday that I looked old and frumpy and they were going to pay to update my work look. They made a big deal about it being something that "shows who I am" and that it was something "I liked". They haven't entirely grasped that who I am is not an office person and that the clothes I enjoy wearing are not appropriate office wear. Some of the problem I have with picking out office wear is that it's hard for me to get nice office clothes because I think all of it looks ugly (no offense to people who like that look I can see why it would be appealing for the right personality and I am aware that there are many people who wear those kind of outfits very well). I think my dad might have put it best when he said "Office wear doesn't have to be as boring as you think it does, plenty of people wear eclectic fun things to work now a days and you can too. Just that to you that eclectic stuff probably registers as normal." So I know that I don't have the foggiest of what to get for that kind of clothing. It's why my mother or my aunt come with me. They pick out clothes, I try them on, and we get what fits and whatever they think looks best.

    This has been the drill for three years now and suddenly my mom wants to mix it up. She comes with me but she wants me to pick out the clothes. Ok, I work in an office where the youngest person next to me is in their late thirties so I have not office wear role models here to base my picks off of. I know what I'm wearing is apparently too how the heck am I supposed to go about picking stuff. And then when she gets aggravated she starts picking things and every time I go to take it from her she says "do you like it?" and I look at her in confusion. Then she puts it down and says "if you don't like it we won't get it"--when has that mattered and more importantly why should it matter. "Your office cloths need to reflect you". We spent hours like this with me trying to lie about whether or not I liked the ugly clothes and her repeating mantras of "it would be easier if you looked for yourself and picked something out" "your clothes are a reflection of how far you can go in a job" and "you need this to make a personal statement about you".

    I don't ever want to make a fucking personal statement about me at work. I don't think a lot of my personal information is office appropriate and since a lot of my look outside work is centered around that, I don't see how I should be bringing that into the office. I know what she wants is to show them that I can be put together and that I'm up beat and going places. I think my smile and quick processing ability should do that for me.

    I understand not looking sloppy. I understand accessorizing. I'd understand if she wanted me to wear certain colors or styles, but this fucking bull shit about the office being me is driving me batty. My office me is a persona and one that has very little to do with who I am. Just as my dutiful daughter routine is a persona, though admittedly that one is much closer to the real me that the office one.

    Another thing I resent is feeling like buying me this wardrobe is a power play. I know I should be thankful. Office clothes are expensive and even if I just got some new ones this summer, more new clothes doesn't hurt. But some of it is just the way it's handled. The whole "we will do it now", "we have decided that what you wear is inappropriate so you will change it", "you will go with your mother, you will smile, you will agree, you will think she's brilliant, you won't frustrate her or be pouty or disagree, you are lucky and you will act that way". I mean I don't think I need it and I just don't want any of the stuff that bad. I know I'm being ungrateful and I know that some of it has to be in my head but I feel constantly like I'm in a power struggle with my parents for control of my own life. I feel manipulated and cheated. Part of this is a problem because I am really interested in pursuing a career in reiki and alternative healing and I've been doing a lot to work on that. Some of this including scheduling interviews, email people who have made this work, and networking with other people in this field. I've really just gotten started with all this in the past few days, but it's going well and will be going better when my parents stop trying to distract me with things that I don't need to do like go clothes shopping for outfits that I hopefully won't need in a year or two.

  • Speaking of power play chronicles, my mother offered to pay to get my hair cut, very generous, but now she won't let me get it cut where I want. She said "when are you going to get it done" and I said "Monday or Tuesday" and she said "Since you haven't made an appointment you won't be able to do it then, it's New Years" and I said "I was going to go to Cost Cutters, they'll have time" and she replied "I said I would pay for the hair cut and when I said that I meant a real one. Cost Cutters isn't an appropriate place to go" where I said "Cost Cutters does cut hair and it's where I got my last hair cut. You liked that one or were you lying when you said that?" and she said "No I liked it, but you just must have been lucky". We didn't talk after that about it. I know she thinks she's won, but I figure I'll just go and pay for it myself like I planned to originally. I appreciate her offer but I don't appreciate the second guessing, the judging, and posturing that go with it.

  • And it goes on and on with my fucking hair. When I came home she offered me these sample shampoos and conditioners. I accepted them and thanked her. I've used them and they are nice, but I really like the shampoo and conditioner I'm using already. The original reason I got the product 'm using now is that they were made naturally and I was trying to get rid of a couple specific chemicals used in most shampoos. For a while I was using baking soda and water, then I swapped to natural shampoo and condition at my mother's insistence that my hair smelled (the project started in the winter and when the summer hit there is a legit possibility I needed something more which is why I did go get some product). I love the products I got. My hair has never looked nicer. My curls are nice, the frizz is the lowest it's ever been, my hair is incredibility soft feeling, and I have a really nice shine going on (not overly shiny, just healthy shine).

    There is one problem with the products I'm using and that's the fact that the hemp in the product has made my hair a lot darker. I went from a dirty blond to dark brown. This does make me look a bit paler, but I've always been pale. It also obscures a lot of my natural highlights, but you know what, I'm so happy with everything else about this product that I don't mind the darker hair. To be honest, in some lights the darker hair looks even nicer that the dirty blond did. It's mostly bright light that does that, but hey I love direct sunlight so it's really not a problem.

    This dark hair color for whatever reasons is a huge problem to my mother. She started harping on it over the summer and eventually relented that since the product was so nice for everything else and the dark brown really was pretty in some lights, it wasn't too big a deal. Apparently this was a lie since we had a long conversation about it on Thanksgiving and when I came home she had new expensive product samples for me to try. The products aren't as nice as the ones I've been using and they have the chemicals in them (you know the ones that I was trying to get rid of in the first place)...though my hair has been slowly getting lighter while I've used these products.

    My mother wants to get me these product to replace what I have and I told her no. There's a couple reasons first is the chemical problem, the second is that my other products work better, but the last is that when I was using mainstream brand shampoos and conditioners I had to change what I was using every two or three months because it stopped working and after eight months of use my natural products still work very well. Why would I go to something more expensive, chemically harmful, that would stop working in a few months when I have something that works?

    None of this is her business and here she is trying to throw money at me to control me with so she can have whatever way she wants. I couldn't' believe how rude she and my father were about it either. I get that you think my chemical concerns are stupid, I think your concern over splenda is stupid, but I know it isn't my business and I'm far too polite to go around insulting you for it. Tonight they ganged up on me over the product. My father told me that discounting the color changing properties of my hair products would be like discounting a soap that changed my skin tone. First of all, people change hair color all the time, second of all people do change their skin color with self tanning solution all the time and people do go out of their way to find it in lotion and foundation. In fact I have a foundation that works well and also happens to darken my skin slightly. I got it because it worked well not because it gave my skin a slightly more tanned look (in fact I think I would like it better without the slight tan cause now I have to worry about my neckline and what not), so it looks like I do buy other products that alter my coloration for reasons other than the color changing property and still use them so long as they are flattering. And since both of them said it was flattering over the summer I don't see why it's ugly now.

    A lot of times they let things go when they think it will be a phase though so it's possible and apparent at this point that this was another of the many lies they tell me hoping I'll grow out of something. It would be easier to get me to stop it early on with honest and frank commentary. Now that I've been lied to about it why would I trust your opinion or advice? And now that I'm used to the color and everyone who sees me often is used to it, I don't see how it could or should be effecting me negatively. It looks natural on me and all that jazz. Whatever though, some of this is my fault for not just being blunt and telling them to shut up. Most of the time I just say nothing and continue as I have been. This makes them angry since a lack of reaction makes them believe they've won. All it means is that I want them to shut up and I know my silence does this faster than an argument could. They call this passive aggressive. I call what they do to me manipulate and passive aggressive. I guess my friend is right, I"m not going to be able to live here long after college, it at all. I'm thinking I should add looking for a place to live on the list of things to do, because I'm not going to make it even six months here.

  • Flip side, I've loved spending time with my brother. He's a really good kid and I missed him. I'm glad he's gotten more talkative and his attempts at humor, even when they miss are cute and I'm glad to see him making the attempt. And he's already better at making jokes than Ian is so all is well.

  • Haven't spent a lot of time with my sis. Probably won't

  • Miss my bf, but not as much as I thought I would. I was really lonely for him when I was at college and he wasn't, but being home is enough separation I guess to keep it from being as hard.

  • Am in the process of some reiki contacts and plans will give more details when I have them.

That should cover it. Until my next post. Love you all and hope to be updating more frequently.

Nov. 26th, 2007

I'm Back From My Holiday Hiatus and Now a List of Thoughts

I don't know really, I've got a few quotes and thoughts to throw out I guess before I move on with my life. Some of them are pre-Thanksgiving and some Post-Thanksgiving. I guess the order doesn't so much matter as just that I write them before my obsessive nature internalizes them too much.

1. My poetry teacher asked me if I "usually memorized my own poems" because I told him that I "can never read one of my own poems the same way it is on paper unless I have it memorized" I said that it "depended on how long I'd spent playing with the poem". which is true but not how he understands it. I tend to take a lot of time thinking about things in my head before I write them. I'll hold certain lines for months while I wait for the rest of it to come together,. The longer I hold it in my head, the more likely I am to have the exact phrasing memorized. Tweaking it once it's already written though isn't helpful to my memorization. I didn't want to discuss it with the whole class, but I do want the last word...even if he doesn't hear it. Plus, I hate how egocentric he made it sound that I should "memorize my own poems", because I never can directly quote anything else ::rolls eyes:: He didn't mean it that way, and the truth is that I'm probably just sore about it because he made me read what I consider to be one of my more juvenile poems out loud to the class and then praised me on how good it was. I mean sure the poem's construction is fine, but if he doesn't find the subject matter and presentation to be young and immature, then he probably has a lot of his own maturing to do.

2. One of my very good house mates and friends has been talking to me about my "pagan" religion and how, you know, I and her mother and few others know about the "real paganism". What she's really talking about here, and what I've tried to, however unsuccessfully explain to her is that most of what she is talking about happens to be a lot of New Age and Neo-pagan things. Even then she isn't speaking for all people who fall under those labels (it would be really hard to do so). If we really stretched she may even be talking about some British Traditional Witchcraft (often just called Traditional Witchcraft, though I tend to avoid calling it that because it doesn't help to specify what tradition).

I don't think her mother is fluffy, and I don't think my house mate is fluffy, I just don't think she knows the right vocabulary. I tried to explain that "pagan" classifies as anything of a non-Abrahamic faith and that some people today also classify pagan as something that is non-Abrahamic and non-Dharminc (as to exclude Hinduism and other major faiths that may or may not fit under the pagan label). I tried to explain that even if you wanted to be more specific than that that paganism incorporates any religion that is "earth centered" or that reclaims an older faith or that is centered around a lord and lady (god and goddess) figure, or that focuses solely on a mother figure.... None of these definitions actually mean that the practitioner will "harm none" and a lot of pagans don't follow that tenant. Even pagans who do follow the "harm none and do as yee will" don't take that as a don't harm anyone ever, but rather as a "you are free to do whatever is you aren't hurting anyone, if you will hurt someone or something then think about it first". She kind of ignored me, which happens, perhaps I wasn't forceful enough, or perhaps she found my corrections had no relation to the point she was making (which they do way more than she knows).

I think what was most disturbing about our conversation wasn't that she believed that all witches harm none but that she though voodoo was evil. There are a lot of different kinds of voodoo out there and though I am painfully ignorant on the practices of any of the voodoo sects, I'm fairly certain that the practice itself is not "evil" and doesn't encourage harm to others, which is how I believe she was using the term evil when she spoke. I was surprised how tolerant and defensive she was for "pagans" when she was so angry mob against voodoo, which I believe (ironically enough) falls under the pagan umbrella.

Also have to say that whatever "real pagan books" (tm) she was looking at that don't have any spells that could cause harm to others, probably weren't that "real" and she probably didn't consider the implications of all of the spells. I mean just because you aren't doing a spell to harm someone doesn't mean you aren't causing "harm". After all doing a "love spell" could be very harmful depending on exactly what you're doing, as a cliche over used example. The question of free will and interfering with it is always a question when doing spell work. I'm not saying this should stop using any spells or whatever, just that a lot of people who claim they aren't doing any harm could be depending on the wording and what not of a spell (and assuming for the sake of this argument that spells do work).

3. I really hate Western movies. They are racist and sexist. They lack any real plot or good fight scenes. As a grand total I find them highly offensive and displeasing. I just didn't know it until now (I've never watched a western before) but I am anti-that genre right now. Perhaps not all Westerns are that way, but the hero of whatever story I was watching was an ex-soldier for the confederate who hated the "Yankees" and who hated the "Indians". In fairness, the Indian people had killed his family, which does happen and I know there were a lot of confederate soldier and I'm sure a ton of them didn't just drop their grudges for their North neighbors, but I mean its hard to want to root for a guy who is so completely prejudice. He shoots first and questions later. He has no qualms putting family and loved ones in danger. He tried to kill his own niece, who was stolen by Indians and didn't want to come back when they they finally found her five years later. Not to mention the portrayal of Indians and Mexican was sooooo incredibly offensive. The "Si signore" and the accidental "Indian wife" and the whole money killing focus bent was gross. And the portrayal of women wasn't any better. It is a period piece Women are supposed to cook and clean and get married and all that stuff, I get it. But to be sooooo incredibly meek, to insist on this one man who treats you like crap. To scream and by hysterical instead of closing the door and being quiet while under attack, it was just amazing. If women really acted like this then I'm kind of surprised that anyone survived. I couldn't believe it. My shock is part of what kept me watching because my mind was just like "I must be missing something here, they couldn't really play something this overtly offensive on cable". Apparently they can and they will.

4. I'm really surprised by women who claim to be comfortable with their bodies and don't want to touch their vaginas. I don't know what to say to these women. What brings this up, one of my good friends who is very forward thinking and who I thought (and who claims to be) was "sexually liberated" went on to talk to be about how much touching her vagina freaks her out. I mean if you don't want to masturbate fine. But how can you be so comfortable with a partner touching you and not be comfortable touching yourself? I mean how can you really know what you like or don't like if you haven't spent the time to figure it out? How can you ask a man or woman to pleasure you when the idea of doing it yourself creeps you out? You're ok with all sorts of different sex positions, toys, and experimentation with a partner, but learning about your body and it's reactions on your own is too much for you? The whole mindset is odd to me. I mean, I went through a "I'm shy/ uncomfortable touching" phase, but during that phase I wasn't comfortable with ANYONE touching me. The fact that I was uncomfortable made me even more uncomfortable with other people being in that area.

Another thing, if you aren't comfortable enough with your body to put a Nuva Ring in then you shouldn't be having sex. This one is about my sister. She's sexually active and wants to get some form of birth control, which of course I entirely approve of. She wants to be on the pill, and I asked her why. She's never had to take any kind of medication regularly before and I figured that taking it within the hour would probably not be the easiest thing for her to manage, especially considering she can't remember to finish taking strep medication. Speaking of which, she gets sick often and oral contraception doesn't always work if you are taking antibiotics Yeah there are antibiotics that would work, but neither of us know enough about the subject to know which ones do and don't work. Combine this with her allergies to some meds, and you've really limited what she can take prescription wise. Her answer is that she's uncomfortable touching herself to put the ring it. She is so against using the Nuva Ring, which has very few negative side effects that she is considering getting the six month injections instead. Because there are totally less potential draw backs there, I mean you don't have to stick anything up you vagina.

Let me get this straight, you're fine with a guy sticking is penis in you, but a little flexible ring with hormones to keep you from getting pregnant is too uncomfortable/awkward for you? I just don't get it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are plenty of reason why women don't want to/ can't use the Nuva Ring. Maybe they are allergic. Maybe their insurance won't cover it or doesn't cover enough of the costs. Maybe they have some other surrounding circumstances I'm completely ignorant of, but the point is that none of those reasons are simply because a woman is uncomfortable with her body. I know that the discomfort probably isn't that woman's fault. I know a lot of people out there are uncomfortable. I just think this discomfort is wrong and I find it particularly confusing in women who allow any kind of penetration to occur in their sex life.

5. It's much quieter on campus then at home. I'm going to miss that when I stop coming here.

6. It is much warmer here than at home and I'm going to miss that too.

7. My bed is more comfortable more sad panda insert.

8. I love my fluffy soft blanket, even if everyone else thinks it's kind of dumb and not as awesome as it really is. I just hope I don't get it dirty somehow.

9. Forced family gatherings make me really nervous. My mom is a ticking time bomb you have to be wary of. I don't really know my relatives I don't really have much in common with them and now I have to spend together time with them. I'd rather not really. It is very stressful for me.

10. I resent Holidays. I know some people see it as time set a side to do X, Y, or Z positive thing but for me it is a time where I am required to feel or fulfill obligations of X, Y, or Z. I don't have fond happy memories of amazing closeness during Thanksgiving ever. It's always meant to me a lot of forced bonding. Everyone is high strung in the effort of making it work and it really just doesn't. The best family bonding times I've had either haven't been planned or were planned by the family as something we all wanted to do and make time for. Having a set period of time by the nation creates pressure/expectation/obligation where there shouldn't be one. Family should be together because they want to be not because the calender says so. Likewise, I resent Valentine's day a lot too. Maybe I'm not in the mood, you know. The system just doesn't work so well for me, I guess. I'm glad it seems to work so well for others though, who knows, maybe it's just me.

11. Missed the bf and I'm very glad to see him again. He's having a hard time though. He's sad and I'm not sure why, he won't tell me, but I wish I could help him. I like him better when he's happy but if I can't have that I like him better when he's just honest with me about what's bothering him, even when it isn't me or anything I can help. I like when he shares. Of course if he doesn't want to share, I can't make him, and I guess it's not really my business. I'm probably a little too curious and concerned for my own good.

12. Explained to the sister once again that Mom and I don't hate her bf. For people who are new to this "drama", my sister has been dating this boy for about two years when she broke up with him in Sept (after starting college). She immediately started dating someone else, within the past few weeks she broke up with the new guy and got back together with the old bf. My mom and I aren't exactly pleased. There isn't anything wrong with the bf she's seeing, we just wanted her to look around a little more. I don't think the guy she is dating is a bad guy, I just don't think he's very special is all and certainly I think my sister could do better. We wanted her to be single for a bit and to look around. We just didn't want her tied down to any one person or thing. If she doesn't feel tied down or if she feels free enough or if she thinks this guy is worth those sacrifices (even though I definitely don't agree), it's her life and she should do what she wants. The important thing is that she's happy and that she feels she's doing the right thing with our life That our mom can't help prying and reinforcing how much she doesn't want my sis to be dating is a mom thing and one that doesn't mean she hates the bf, it just means she doesn't think that dating him is in my sis's best interest. Our parents are way more vocal and prohibitive when they don't like the guy you're dating.

13. Searched for a new winter jacket and found nothing. I'm very picky.

14. Worked under the table at Calvin Klein and made about $100 dollars...woot!

....that's it for now I guess.

Nov. 14th, 2007

Kicking Around a Couple of Thoughts and What Not

I'll be honest, none of these are very well thought out and the moment, and most of them are kind of ridiculous, but heck, if I can't write them out here then where can I write them out?

Any how, I've been wondering a lot as to why we are still following a sun based calender. I mean, and maybe this is complete ignorance on my part, but in my life if not others I think it would be easier to have a lunar based calender scheduled around the full moons. Seven day weeks would finally fit into the "month". Sure there would be thirteen months a year, but how is thirteen vs twelve really a big deal? We could cut out leap year as it's a stupid idea anyway. It would be easier to track tides since we'd already be aligned with a lunar cycle.

I know that part of the argument is about having proper seasons and dividing the months into them, but honestly our calender now doesn't divide us into actual seasons so much as artificially enforced ones. If that's so important we could, you know, artificially implement seasons into a lunar calender too. Heck, I'm beginning to wonder if it wouldn't be easier for me to completely swap over to a lunar calender personally. I mean the biggest draw backs are that, you know, no one else follows it, and I might confuse myself on the day, but when has that stopped me before really.

Another thing I've been noticing is that people really shouldn't create something for "all pagans" or something that will work for "any God(s)". I know that works if you're a pantheist or if the God(s) in question have similar tastes, but it isn't going to work across the board. For the most part people writing spells, initiations, ceremonies, and celebrations should specify who their target audience is. I think that not having something like that specified is probably something that confuses a lot of new people to paganism.

I mean first there is the mis-belief that being "pagan" is some sort of unified group. Really there is no one thing that pagans believe. I suppose that all pagans disbelieve in Abrahamic faiths for one reason or another, but that's not the same as all pagans following the same texts or gods or morals.

Then to propagate the myth that all pagans are one are all these authors and texts which are pretty much like "fill you God(s)' name in here and you can use this". It really doesn't necessarily work that way. I mean there are a lot of pagans that don't worship and god(s) at all.

A lot of texts that I've come across could be good and usable texts so long as the persons using it understand that these instructions are not universal. You may have to change somethings to make it right, or the text might not be right for you. There is nothing wrong with what's there, it just isn't your path or the way you would or should celebrate.

I guess that's come up because I have been slowly reading and commenting on the Crystal Wind BOS and part of my problem in deciding whether or not something is useful is that somethings could or could not be useful depending, I mean are we giving it to beginners to be useful, is it a reference for oneself, is it mean to be general texts to Neo-pagan scenes or the British Traditional Witches or some other group. Just a lot of things to consider about a text and who the audience is/ should be.

Nov. 4th, 2007

Pagan Scene We Need to Talk

I was browsing through a guild forum the other day (specifically for "pagan" flavored discussion) when I came across a title called "life hidden secerts". Let's ignore the spelling problems shall we? Anyhow I get in there and I see "Here are a few questions I hear all the time myself." and at first I think ok so we're going to have a usual teenish thread with the how do I answer what do I do. The first question about trying to hide "it" seems to confirm this (though why others would ask you about how you hide your beliefs/actions when they obviously know about them is a little odd), but the second question gave me pause.

"2. Can you make me one ? "

Make you one what? I'm very confused for a couple of reasons. First what are you saying or presenting as that makes people thing that you have the authority to indoctrinate them into your spiritual belief. Second why are they treating you like a disease or a differing species here? Granted she may have claimed to be a mermaid for all I know from the thread title and her introduction, but still this is an odd and kind of offensive question. Let's refresh a few definitions here:

Pagan: a person of a non-Abrahamic faith
Magic: energy that if raised, used, or conjured for a specific goal or purpose
Witch: a person who performs magic.
Ritual: An event with a specific purpose, with in this context it is often used for spell work, or holiday celebration

I'm not sure how we could "make you one" here. Paganism is huge. There is no one person who could indoctrinate you into all of those faiths. There is a lot more out there than people pretending to be vampires, werewolves, faeiries, otherkin, star seeds, and indigos. In fact not all of us perform magic. Not all of us are witches. And I bet that there are a few people who don't do rituals...though I don't know anyone off the top of my head.

"3. Where do you stand? "

Who asks this? I mean if I say, "hi I'm pagan", who says "oh really so then where do you stand?"
What does that even mean?

"4. Will you read me?"

Awe I missed the meeting where every pagan learned, does, and believes in tarots or other methods of divinification.

So pagan scene the time has come for me to ask you, why?
Has Ravenwolf and others really taken over so much of the media that these are the kind of presumptions teens, adults, and beginners have?
Are these presumptions really that bad or am I just letting myself get all worked up over nothing?
What do you think this poster told the people asking these questions that they are treating her like some sort of otherling?
Do you really think that people care this much about other's beliefs?
Have you ever met people who were not only this nosy but who also went from implying you were an other to asking you for a reading so quickly?

Sep. 27th, 2007

Talking about Faith

So today I'd like to cover the nature of faith and belief. Coming from a Roman Catholic background I was raised to believe that either you were right or you were wrong in regards to your beliefs. Sure there were other faiths, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, other "Christians", but those were not THE BELIEFS. Those worshipers weren't going anywhere good fast, so it was best not to even consider them You either agreed completely with the church or you were wrong and going to Hell.

Of course until this past summer people at the church have said other wise. One particularly kind CCD teacher at my parish caught me crying for my friends fates when I was younger and told me that other Christians would be in Heaven too. They weren't worshiping correctly but their hearts were in the right places, so God would understand. She told me that Jews and Muslims would probably also make it to Heaven if they lived good lives. At the time this comforted me. I felt safe and secure in the world for both myself and my friends.

Now of course, I'm no longer Christian at all. I don't agree with an either you are right or wrong philosophy when it comes to religion. I believe X, but that doesn't have to be mutually exclusive from other beliefs. Also, even though I do belief X and I don't believe Y I acknowledge that these beliefs aren't solid facts. They are what I believe to be true based off of my experiences and other beliefs are what others think are true based off of their experiences. We could both be right or we could both be wrong or one of us could be right while the other is wrong and all of these are equally possible.

To me, acknowledging that what I believe could be wrong doesn't mean I don't have faith. I mean I do have beliefs and I do feel very strongly about them. I don't doubt that they are my personal truth and current reality based off of the experiences I have now, I am just aware that they are based purely in personal experience and that these experiences are subject to all sort of variables. I don't expect other people to follow my beliefs or to agree with me. Just as other people shouldn't expect me to follow their beliefs and believe them.

To me, being able to acknowledge that the world and knowledge is in flux is a strength. It is good to listen to others and to be open to experiences. These sort of tests/experiences will either strengthen my faith or it will void a previous belief and lead me to new and deeper insights. To my way of thinking, there is no down side to enhancing your wisdom even if it is through admitting that you are wrong.

My mother, of course doesn't agree with me. One of the few times she actually acknowledges that I'm not Christian in the slightest is to mock my lack of conviction in my beliefs. I tried to assure her that I was quite certain in what I believed due to my personal experience. I do feel quite deeply that what I think religiously is very true. I would have had to have felt that way to get over the extreme fear of Hell drilled into me at a young age.

My mom's counter was "But you acknowledge that when you die there could be a hell?"

Of course I couldn't say more than "I don't believe in Hell. But I can't deny the possibility that when I die there may be a Hell of some sort."

Apparently, the mere acknowledgment of possibility is weakness. It means one lacks faith and conviction. We can never hesitate or ponder other potentials beyond that which we believe because it means we don't really believe.

I thought it was an interesting way to look at faith. What I thought was more interesting though was that after I admitted that there might be a Hell, my mother tried to convince me that this possibility along is reason enough to be Christian. That's a contradiction from what she had said earlier though. I mean to be Catholic either I have to believe it all or I'm not doing it right, Possibility isn't enough. And, unless I've been out of the game too long, I'm fairly certain that doing good works has to be in thought, intention, and action. If I do then just because I fear, Hell there is no salvation anyhow. So as long as I doubt and can't believe the theology why not enjoy it now?

I don't know these are just some of my thoughts on faith. I just found the duality of what it means to be faithful or to have faith from my mother's view and from mine. Drop me a line if you have differing views on what it means to have faith too. After all, I'm sure there are other takes beyond mine and my mom's.

Jan. 24th, 2005

It has been all too long since I have had a good conversation with my guides and angels, and I realize this now that I have seen how far away from my quiet I had become. My guides called to me in warning, and I acknowledged their truth, but at the time, there still seemed nothing for me to do but drift. There was nothing to hold on to and no time to pull back. My guides got anxious, "You're not following the path! You said you would, you promised to work with us! Just recently you have finally acknowledged that you understand the objective, and now you seem to be turning away from it. We are telling you what to do and you're not doing it." they whispered in my ear as they tried to have me spring ahead to keep up with my destiny.

However, I continued to just stand like a lead weight in the road. "You have told me everything and nothing!" I accused them annoyed. "You tell me where I will be and what I will do, but not what I need to do to get there. I will lead in a spiritual movement, I will heal, in fact I would more than happily do both anytime and anywhere, but you must help me get there! This may have been my decision on the other side, and my soul here may have accepted this decision, but that by no means says that I know how to get there!"

"The path is right here. You asked to see it, and we have shown you it. You were having trouble walking it so we brought in tools to help you, but as much as we may want to, we can't walk the path for you! You still have to take the steps." My guides told me.

I heard them, but yet I didn't. I knew what they told me to do, and I even tried to follow through, but I was off tilter. I was not centered enough. I was not enough attuned to see and understand. But now I am. Now I think I understand

My newest guide, who for the sake of a name I will call Lilly, has been telling me I need to learn more in so many different things. I was reluctant to listen to her for many reasons. One reason is that for the most part I am opposed to taking too much from pre-written text. I don't like other people telling me what God is about and how to worship. Another problem I've had is that in the past is that books I have read and been enthusiastic about are ones that I have later found to be full of inaccuracies (historical ones, which to me says that the whole book must be wrong if the writer didn't think enough to thoroughly check their facts before publishing). Also many of the things I've experienced have not necessarily lined up with other texts. I was even more reluctant to take Lilly's command seriously since she works(ed) as a healer by using her own knowledge. In fact, Lilly makes reiki look effortless because she doesn't seem to use knowledge... she really doesn't seem to use anything at all. In many ways Lilly has perfected the art of reiki, she doesn't see colors or the energy, she just knows it's there. She doesn't see or know what's wrong, she simply removes it. She uses no symbols, she knows nothing of what she heals, she doesn't call for specific energy, she just moves the energy through her to the other person and knows that the rest will happen. That person will get exactly what he or she needs for whatever is wrong where ever it is and no one will ever even need to know there was a problem or what it was.

Silver Streak (my wolf), being the energetic impatient howling mass of fur he is, finally thrust me into going and getting more information on religion, specifically Wicca and Neo-Pagan. I had already learned a lot in these areas over the summer when I looked into them. Now though I found myself beginning to get more serious and in depth. I began to learn more about the history, and more varied opinions and ideas on practices and traditions. One of the things that has become painfully clear to me is that I am not Wiccan I as have been calling myself before. This was something which I had a suspicion of in the summer, but chose to never entirely admit as I was unwilling to give up the name. Wicca is a mystery based faith,that to become a "full fledged" member in the Traditional Orthodox branch one must find a coven and get oneself initiated into it. There was a Wiccan reform movement in the 1970's, and many argue that I would be able to consider myself a Reformed Traditional Wiccan, especially since one of the main texts I follow is Starhawk's Spiral Dance, but the controversy is immense and really once I began to intergrate Spirit Guides and reiki as part of my practice, I began to fall off of the Wiccan line of paganism. The name means nothing and the belief is everything, but over the years I have always tried to remain under a religion that is somewhat known, understood, and respected. The true title for what I believe unfortunately does not seem to fall under any level of high respect, but those are still my beliefs and I must stop misrepresenting my religion. I am more accurately calling myself a Neo-Pagan with strong Wiccan and Reiki influences.

In many ways my research has helped me better understand and cement my own beliefs. It has also helped me to get a better view other's beliefs in greater context. I have also come to learn the difference between belief and faith. The best way to explain this is through a simple analogy I heard from a friend. A man who is afraid of flying believes that a plane can fly. He's seen it done before, he knows scientifically it works and happens every day, however this man has no faith the plane will fly. He is scared because even though he believes the plane can fly he doesn't have faith that the plane will fly and now he worries about it crashing.

I came to learn through a conversation with a friend that while she thinks one can have a belief and no faith, one can not have faith without belief. I've come to the conclusion that this is ridiculous. One can always have faith. When a loved one is terminally ill with cancer, one believes the doctor when they give the prognosis, but one still have faith that somehow the loved one will get better. I suppose this kind of faith is a blind and possibly a devastating kind of faith, but I believe that one piece of becoming a centered person means that one has the ability to hold this blind kind of faith. I know in my own heart it is this peticular kind of faith that keeps me strongly centered. It is a precarious position, and one that we often hear the dangers of because it isn't scientific and it is one of the best ways to brainwash a person, but it is also a cornerstone lesson to understand.

Another thing I was asked to find were symbols. This was yet another request from Lilly, my guide who uses no symbols or metaphors. To ask her how, she would tell you through the energy, to ask why and the answer from her would be because we as healers cease pain where ever we see it regardless of who or what it is. SHE of all my guides tells me I must find symbols for myself!! I was outraged, before I reminded myself that Lilly is adorned head to toe in symbols, and when I asked her why she had told me because these symbols were to identify her for who and what she was.

I ran off to find my own symbols. Since the beginning of my search I have found not only my chosen symbols to show other what I am, I have come to understand the true value and trap of symbols. Symbols are more than markers and identifiers. Of course a cross tells one that that person is Catholic, and so on. A symbol does more than that though, the symbol draws energy to it. For example a picture of a heart makes people think of love and as they focus on this they bring this energy and feeling into themselves and open themselves to universal shared energy. If one is building group energy or needs help focusing on a goal, a symbol that everyone can relate to what the group/individual wants is definitely a possibly powerful tool. The downside of symbols is much easier to see. If one gets too caught up in the symbol, they could begin believing that the symbol is the power instead of a tool. Another problem with symbols is that everybody really needs and uses something different, so sometimes a symbol can hinder an effort as well.

I should have seen this week ago,but I was caught up in myself. I was caught in what was going on around me, and I was surrounded by faithless people. It is hard to remain bright in darkness, and it is hard not to become drained in a mob of love starved individuals. The people where I am now are nice, but that is all you can say for them. They are not particularly spiritual, smart, outgoing, or strong. There is very little remarkable there at all. These people have taught me a good deal. They've taught me about surviving in the real world, and they have illuminated what it really means to be centered. I know now how to avoid their distraction, and I know how to walk away. I've also learned to treasure those who have light. Before, I was with many people who had light, and I valued them and clung to them, but I did not realize how much I relied on these people. I thought that I could be an island if I had to be, and now even though I see how much work and energy it costs I know I can be an island if I must.

These past weeks have reinforced meditation and serenity. I will not fall off center again so easily, and now its time for me to look for more ways to express what I have learned in this journey and experience.

Apr. 10th, 2000

The Sun The Moon The Rain and The Rainbow

ent slumber,
As she majestically passes.

Feb. 10th, 2000

Winter Moonlight

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