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Jul. 15th, 2011

Organic Food: Sorry, I'm just not that into you

Dear Organic Food and Your Many Loud Supporters,

You are delicious and noticeably superior to you altered counterpart. In some cases you've made me realize that I do like item X so long as it's natural. All praise aside, I do not think of you as a profoundly moral issue or a factor in education that people are just waiting to discover. It's well known you taste better and are probably better for me. It's flaunted in every ad campaign that has even the littlest claim to organic material let alone actual educational and news media sources. You are so much better for me, and if I want you, I'm expected to pay a premium for my better health.

Beyond your lack of moral bearing, I think it's classist when people bring you up as a profoundly moral subject. We don't all have equal access to you with your expensive price tag and your appearance in limited stores. I've been hungry and looked longingly at you while choosing to purchase your cheaper counter part. It's what I had budget for and certainly veges of any sort are better than more processed foods. I think of people choosing to either eat better or to have themselves and their families feel full, and I understand exactly why processed is picked over you.

I know your supporters claim anyone who respects their body and the food they put in it should always choose you, but Organic food you aren't like smoking. People don't just pick up the processed food without thinking and unaware. Most Americans antagonize over their food whether for weight reasons or for pricing or for some kind of cache that certain foods seem to have at certain times. And people need to eat where they don't need to smoke. That processed food might be a need for many. They choose to eat that rather than starve, and I think even you organic would be hard pressed to say that starving is better than processed food.

Like many pagans I think there is something mystical in food preparation and like many liberals I think that corporations are amoral entities that will do what they can get away with and therefor need to be eschewed. Both of these beliefs do lead to you, Organic Food, being superior to processed food particularly when local. However: I acknowledge these things as ideals not as something in stone for all people to follow. Like most moral statements there are situational circumstances that alter what should or should not be done. Should I buy organic food for myself and only me with my money or buy processed food for my family and I: my budget can only support one or the other. Should I buy the processed food and give the excess to a food bank or should I buy organic food for only myself? Am I a good enough gardener with the time and correct soil/location to grow my own vegetables or must I rely on what comes into the stores? There are so many relative questions and some of them truly seem to have no good solution or right answer. Why would I judge other's choices or give advice in a manner that sounds like there is only one definitive conclusion a sane rational person would come to?

Organics you have much of my love, time, and money. My loyalty to you was easily won. You can have lots of things from me, but moral high ground is not one of them.

Sincerely,

Tigresslilly

Jul. 3rd, 2011

Freedom?

Star over at patheos.com asked" "What does Freedom mean for you as a Pagan?" http://www.patheos.com/community/paganportal/2011/07/03/freedom/ I'm going to try to answer that because it's the Independence Day and it seems the kind of question people answer around this time.

As an American female bi pagan person freedom is possibly the single most important thing I have the right to. That no one can deny how I feel or my right to live my life according to how I feel is hands down the gift my fellow humans have given me that I am most grateful for in this world.

Meaning and larger picture questions have always been important to me. To separate me from what I believe and the experiences I've had just doesn't compute in my mind. I think I'd die, not physically, but in my mind, I would just go away. But I know there are millions of people all over the world who are not allowed to be who they are religiously, sexually, artistically, or otherwise. I feel for them. I support any resistance they choose either personal or political. I can't imagine how painful and hard it must be to know you are something the way you know you have blood moving through you and to not be able to express it.

Ideas are dangerous. To be part of a group that doesn't choose to restrict thought is powerful, especially when that thought is often times wielded against the very institution that protects it.

Freedom is about contradiction. It's fluid and moving and never quite attainable. The concept muddles my mind when I think of it too much because it's all about allowing people to be in any state they choose. There are so many varied and different takes that what freedom looks like has to be just this mass of chaos and anarchy: the guts of humankind if you will all strewn about and turned around. Odd that the image like that makes me hopeful instead of worried when the monicker attached is freedom.

Jul. 1st, 2011

Forgiveness: Ideas I Struggle With

My most basic problem with forgiveness is just that I don't really know what it means. It doesn't mean you forget what happened. It doesn't necessarily mean that the other person doesn't face justice. It doesn't mean that you aren't hurt or that there aren't consequences. It doesn't mean that the relationship with the other person can go back to the same relationship you've had prior. I don't understand what forgiving someone means is all.

Media on this subject is confusing too. Some of them claim forgiving is good for your health. You let go of grudges, you're lighter, you less likely to be stressed or depressed. Others claim that not forgiving is the right thing to do. After all there are somethings that can't be forgiven apparently? Likewise sometimes the stress of trying to let go of an offense is too much. Sometimes remembering why you struggle can motivate someone and move him or her forward. I don't really know because I can't really pin down what forgiveness means or what it does.

Religiously forgiveness is muddled to me. When I was Catholic, of course it was huge within that faith system. Apologizing and forgiving were huge. But it seemed to me that no one ever trusted forgiveness that was given. I wonder what they were looking for and whether they were granting tat something to the people they forgave. I wonder if the kind of offense made a difference in their ability or if like God all offenses are equally grave if you aren't really sorry.

As a kid I remember being forced to accept apologies. I must have been 12 before I realized I didn't have to accept apologies and thinking that perhaps I shouldn't if the other person wasn't sorry or if I wasn't ready to let the slight go. The first time I refused to grant forgiveness, my family took me to meet with our local priest. It was similar to the meeting we'd had prior when I refused to apologize because I didn't believe I'd done anything wrong.

The main difference was that instead of just trying to compel me to say I forgave this other person, my preacher congratulated me on my desire to be honest and knowing my own feelings. He then tried to work me through to the process of forgiveness. This wasn't going to happen. I don't even remember what the slight was now. I remember I was angry, that this was not the first time this person had done this to me and that regardless of whether it was intentional or thoughtless my relationship with this person was going to change. Things weren't going to be the same, I was angry and this person should feel bad, why should I release them of that if their apology only made me more angry? What would the words be for me but noise? My priest tried to tell me intentions count for something and regret should make everything all right. I asked him why should I allow myself to be hurt continually for someone else's thoughtlessness, and then have to accept apology for it. It seemed too close to the victim claiming responsibility and I wasn't about to do that.

Poor Father Connelly, he was completely unprepared for me. I had been stubborn and angry when we'd last talked (and the guy had private chats with me a lot when I was growing up too many theological and complex questions for my parents to deal with). The year in between had made me more articulate in a way he wasn't ready to deal with. Kids don't generally flatly reject a priest's statement or counter it with their own feelings and thoughts. I guess people don't tell priests often that they don't believe not forgiving does damage to their immortal soul, or that if damage is done it is no greater than the damage of issuing a forced false apology would be on their soul, perhaps it's less. People apparently also don't tell priest that they would rather preserve their own souls as best as possible than help someone else's soul through forgiving them. We never spoke to my parents about what specifically had been said between us, only that I would not choose forgiveness and hopefully I'd be in confession soon for this slight.

I was lucky though, my priest didn't scare me, and I was already rejecting the idea that an all loving all knowing God would give me free will and then not intent for me to do what I saw as right. So many of my conversations with the man over the years could have been very intimidating otherwise.

Now a days my Gods say very little, if anything about forgiveness. Divinity is all for letting go of wrongs but this doesn't require forgetting. It's about not letting something ruin me, instead of trying to help assuage guilt in someone else for something they did/caused. I get to say "what you did was wrong, it hurt me and others in these ways and it hurt yourself like this" and then I get to set the conditions of how we move forward and what that incident will mean. I look at bad things as times for teaching and personal growth. Sometimes that growth means I avoid situations or people or tell them off or any number of not helpless open armed turn the other cheek acceptance. I'm not good at accepting when that's the only option provided.

My local God cares nothing for forgiveness. Hir occupation is on change and movement. So long as I'm not stagnant, how I'm keep moving and changing is irrelevant.

And for all this, sometimes I look at people and situations and my Catholic upbringing comes to the front and all I can think is that "This person needs to be forgiven". I suppose it could translate to "this person has baggage that they don't need to carry which correlates to guilt they have to let go and they need someone else to help them with". For me, forgiveness doesn't seem a good venue. Reiki, reflection, conversation with the other that does not have to lead in forgiveness are all possibilities. I just wonder if forgiveness is supposed to be about relieving burdens of others and whether or not the term has implications that are not required to relieve guilt. If so do these implications actually stymy the guilt relief process because we are asking to be healed by the person we have hurt in a way that might further hurt that person.

May. 25th, 2011

Insidious and Hoe it's Lead me to Possession/Other plane Reflections

TONS OF SPOILERS FOR INSIDIOUS DO NOT READ MORE IF YOU WANT TO AVOID SPOILERS!!!

About two weeks ago my friend and I saw Insidious. We’re completely obsessed with exorcism/possession/devil involved horror movies. Good ones, bad ones, no worth mention: we want to see them all and we have long talks and thoughts about them afterward.

Insidious was one of the good ones. At first glance it looks like it’s going to be Paranormal Activity meets child possession, but the movie strays from that formula into something new and different that the previews didn’t give away before we got to the theater (and that’s saying something because we saw this movie very late in it’s theater life).

Early on, it’s clear there is not something right in the father’s childhood that he or his family has intentionally kept hidden from his wife and children. We were five minutes in and my friend and I we pondering what could be wrong. He’s not real/a ghost: no because too many people have interacted with him who are not family. He’s has a hereditary haunting: no because weird stuff really doesn’t happen around him personally. He’s secretly a physical manifestation of evil in physical form: no because that’s his bio mom and his bio kids and this evil take over probably would have started way earlier since timing hasn’t seemed to be important in the film so far.

Turns out Dad’s an astral projector into the world called “other plane” where apparently lost souls and malevolent spirits chill out together, son has inherited this talent and “gotten lost/trapped” spiritually. These others want control of his body because they envy the corporal apparently and the longer the kid is gone the easier he becomes to possess.

We just started laughing there. How could Grandma have not worried for her grandkids if she had gone through something similar with her own son? Even if she was too worried to mention it when they go married or had children, when the kid falls into a “not comma” that science can’t explain, don’t you pull mom aside and talk to her about some shadowed past? Do you wait three months for things to get desperate? Hell no, you protect yours any way needed!

Ok so child rearing and family loyalty thoughts aside, as a pagan this movie stirs a lot of questions for me I thought I’d just throw out because.

1. Why to “demons” and malevolent spirits always want to possess of physical body? What can we do here that they can’t do there? I know the line is that they envy the living, but why specifically? Why the focus on pain and chaos and how come they can’t achieve these goals as they are?

2. In horror movies do you always view what entities are doing as scary or malevolent? I mean it often escalates to that “evil” vibe, but often these beings seem to start out in ways that I’d consider them just attempting communication? Is there a way to talk to them or to appease them before things escalate?

3. Traditionally I think of our world as the most physical of the worlds, but is there is one that is more material based, would you want to find it and invade it or otherwise alter it? Why or why not.

4. Are our views on demonic possession a reflection of our vanity? That our world is best, most special and that we are somehow envied or chosen? Does this attitude carry over to paganism and your practice?

5. As pagans we often seek to astral project or to interact with other realms, states of consciousness or beings beyond the physical, what are your goals? What are your preparations/protections? Do you think these beings view or have you ever encountered beings that view our communication as scary and threatening as we view their reaching out?

6. Horror movies often ask the audience to accept that we are both helpless against the supernatural and more powerful than they are for example: in Insidious the family could not banish the spirits or pull their son back while in our world, but once the father entered the other plane he became more powerful than the spirits were there because he was alive, it’s an odd contrast between power and helplessness, especially considering the ending—where does your faith stand on this?

7. Almost all modern day possession movies take the Catholic stance that naming acknowledging evil gives the evil power. They are not to engage demons in conversation while attempting to exorcise it, they are not to ever name the demon by name, they are to ignore supernatural tantrums that happen while trying to force the being out and yet, ultimately they have to attack the being directly to force it out. Pagans generally try to start a conversation and acknowledge the being from the beginning, and proceed differently depending on how things develop. Which way do you lean and why?

8. It seems widely acknowledged that the living have more power than the dead in these movies and that trickery or the living person surrendering power to the dead is how spirits and evil triumph—what do you think? Is the physical more powerful than the immaterial? Is experience and wisdom that many ancestors have if they chose to use it so immaterial in a fight? Why wouldn’t a being that knew it’s realm be more effective than an interloper?

9. With Insidious specifically the “other plane” seemed very like a fairy realm, what additions, subtractions, or rule alteration would those who saw the movie have made to the rules of astral travel and that plane if any?

10. Who here wouldn’t love a movie portraying a person’s struggle through the fairy realm? I mean that movie would be the best and it could be sold as an action/horror/fantasy.

May. 5th, 2011

Poetics from May Day

Gods can be heavy.
Knowing, Experiencing, Seeing
A dividing force
A choice given,
A choice taken,
No informed consent,
No going back.

There is peace and power in these worlds
Beauty, ability, and strength enough to sustain.
Being in two worlds,
Makes presence twice transparent.

You can see You can know
You can't lift or carry
You can't give or take

An observer in Their House
And failing participant in your own.

We bear their loads
We hear their words
We hold the same vanity.
Certain we will not shatter.
We aren't shattered.

Our world is mostly unknown,
No map agrees.

We go forth.
With love and light,
Power and Peace.

May we be change
May we be ready
Because Gods can be heavy.

May. 4th, 2011

Beltane and Bin Laden

Life has been moving in fast and hard since I've moved to AL and in particular since I've been in contact with the local god here. Let me try to pull this together in something coherent because part of my recommitment is supposed to be about beauty art and love too. Sitting in my little room haven I'm particularly reminded of beauty and art. Of a crucial part of my life in high school and parts of college where creation was the beautiful prideful and humbling experience that hollowed me out and threw me in depressions and that also made me something so much more than what I'd felt I was before. It was devastating and it was as necessary to my existence as breathing. There were glimpses there of something big and meaningful in that work and I can remember feeling so much more and so much greater than just me.

Over the years I've chalked that feeling up to hormones and puberty. It is easier to not make time to create and to live without the crazy highs and lows that come with art. I feel safer and more stable connected to the world and wrapped in a protective layer of doubt and logic. But going through my keepsakes and my old books and writings has made it clear to me that not all of it was puberty and vanity on my part. Some of it (not most of it mind you) is really good and there are some bits of truth and craft that hurt to be reminded of. It threw me into an entirely different sort of depression to think that my time as a young idealist and artist were over. That I'd lost that kind of visionary flare.

Moving huge life changes are shaking that out of me in bits and pieces. There is a need for more balance and control in me now than there was then. I used to single mindedly chase whatever passion landed in my head. I'd track an idea for weeks and months or for days without sleeping and on several occasions without eating. That kind of work is too destructive and I have other duties and responsibilities. The protective shell of college and hight school I hated so much is gone and now I have to co-exist in the real world along with these whims and callings. I have to judge what will actually be something, what actually is something with all these ideas that hours of crafting and exploring will lead me to nothing. Then it was all art and truth now it has to be tempered, and I'm hoping that with that will be some of that old beauty along with less depression and less time where I hate myself.

So Beltane without power or any real privacy was interesting. I meditated in the morning and spent some time re-reading parts of Drawing Down the Moon. Really the newer addition should be required reading for monotheists who want to interact with polytheists. It explains a lot of the inherent mentality differences between one vs many. It also explains Gardner's influence on the pagan movement's revival in a neat way where one can explain that yes we know our history and we understand Gardner, Starhawk and many other's history is not right and it doesn't have to be for there to be power, truth and influence from them.

I wrote a poem I'm certain to post later when I'm done wondering where it came from.

Just as I was thinking "oh this is kind of nice" or "no power isn't awful" I got a call that power was on at the center of town and my boss needed me back in at work to get the computer systems running, schedule employees for the next week, and take inventory. All I could think is thank the gods, its a Beltane miracle! My gods know me too well, because the continued relief that there is work and something to do is incredible for me. That something more is really crucial to my psyche. Beyond that I got my first hot shower in four days and it was possibly the most amazing thing to happen to me this year. Going into town also gave me a chance to honor my new Huntsville oriented god in the location ze chose to make zer presence known. I left a few sweets (though not chocolate) and poured out a little white zinfandel. Completely unplanned and impromptu on my part but it felt right. It was the most perfect Beltane I've ever had.

So then pagan coming out day happens and ding dong Bin Laden is dead! Talk about more change to process than I can take at once! I just had always thought that Bin Laden would run out of insulin or dialysis or die of old age. We'd find him dead in a cave or more likely someone else would find him dead in a cave and let the US know. So I was completely flat footed for how to emotionally deal with his death. I think I'm relieved and happy that this has happened for Obama's re-elcetion effort. I don't think it's justice. I do think the mob celebrations we see on the news look a lot like the Middle East's celebration of 9/11. I know they aren't the same for many reasons, but part of me worries about the similarities more than the differences. I haven't heard anyone say anything disturbing yet, but I'm waiting (fearfully) for the remarks about how it's a shame we didn't kill everyone in the compound or how we should have bombed the place or how we should bomb Pakistan. There should be consequences for Pakistan, but bombing them isn't what I'm thinking is appropriate. Violence is occasionally a necessary and powerful tool, but I've noticed that people find it hard to put it down once they've started wielding it.

I'm disturbed by how able Obama is able to politically negotiate. I can't decide if I'm please, disappointed, or worried. Time will tell if this is good I guess.

Another thing: I don't think that anyone's emotions on Bin Laden's death is wrong. I might deride certain actions or public expressions of that emotion because to a certain degree one can control actions, but how one feels is how they feel. All this shaming and policing of our emotional response and the threats about spiritual damage as a result of how one feels is deeply warped. That others feel the need to control such a core part of the self is wrong, upsetting, and grotesque to me. These people quoting, Ghandi, MLK and quoting scriptures might not be a more malicious demon then Bin Laden but they certainly hit closer to home and their veil of "good intentions" makes them harder to hit. How dare you tell anyone how they feel is wrong!

I'm incredibly outraged by these "save you soul and love your enemy" posts. Feel free to speak of how you are dealing with Bin Laden's death or how it effects you. Don't you dare tell me or others how to feel and even worse, don't try to make me feel bad or to make me think that how you feel is the only right way. I'm paranoid yeah, but this whole thing has 1984 for on my mind and it's all these little social and cultural bits that are dangerous. We are not all the same group with the same experiences and the same tolerances and reactions. What is right for you to deal with this world event is probably not right for me because we are coming from two different unique places. Honor that instead of silencing it please.

Also, why can't I feel both? Who are you to tell me I can't celebrate the relief with my family at a gathering and then go home and have a few minutes silence and perhaps light a candle. Can't I be happy about the rise of revolutionaries in the Middle East who seem to be questing for a voice and for change that may be better for them and for us? Why shouldn't I be relieved over the death of the last public face of Al Qaeda who still overshadowed all the potential good of these revolutionaries because Americans were so hurt by his attacks? And why does feeling that joy and be mean I can't also be sorry that it cost so many lives (including Bin Laden's) and bad blood to achieve this? Feelings are not mutually exclusive my friends.

Any how, I'm thinking I need a full week to appropriately celebrate the change and mischief of Beltane this year because Bin Laden happened on May day too and it's going to take more than a day or so for myself and probably other Americans (and those overseas too) to sort out what this means and to shake out all the little and large changes this might mean.

I feel sort of bad that between the tornados here and the death of an enemy the wedding of the century has been eclipsed (at least for me personally), but it was also timed appropriately for pagan traditions. I hope that's a good omen for them and I hope they were relieved to have some measure of privacy for once instead of disappointed. Best wished to them in any rate, and I only have mediocre interest for weddings that aren't happening to family or friends any how so you missed very little of my attention anyhow.

Apr. 19th, 2011

Spiritual Meanderings and Updates

I just have a lovely full moon ceremony. Soaking in moon energy and being close with my guides is very soothing. It's a perfect little oasis in the chaos of my very busy life.

I've been having and crazy predictions I've had about my life, and recently I've had a real world experience that's made me far more inclined to believe them. I try to be a doubter when it comes to my spiritual crazy, so originally, I'd decided to discard my dream/premonitions until I'd seen something more incontrovertible. After all, the vision of koi fish in running water isn't very southern and isn't connected to a god, goddess, or spirit who would take interest in me. I figured my mind manufacturing the image is unusual but not out of the realm of possibility. Besides that I wanted to believe in these visions because there was so much largely good in them and they showed the fulfillment of many things I am working towards, it made them seem very fantasy.

That my room is now mostly designed in the same manner as my dream has more to do with me working towards what I saw, creating the truth to the vision instead of an actual premonition (there's something to be said for choosing a truth or for choosing a future, but it's not really proof that my dream is anything other than a dream that inspired me).

That the time line for me to pick up a job and that the job dress, hours, and location match up with my dream is eerie but not really quite enough of a sign to be anything but coincidence. I wanted a manager job and I've often dreamed of being "John Phillipe" to someone's "Chef Ramesy".

This past Friday, in the middle of the rainstorm, I had to trudge over to one of my sister restaurants and in doing so I went through the center of town's park. I had never been there or seen it before. When I went down the stairs, I saw that it was exactly to the detail, the place I had dreamed. I ran over to the river to see there were the koi fish that kept playing around in my dream swimming there. There are two pure white ducks hanging out in the water and the exact bridge.

So now I'm certain that series of dreams were a premonition and/or a divine message. I believe that I have been and am in contact with the spirit/overseer/guardian/ god(ess) of the Huntsville AL area. It seems kind of foreign to me to have a god or being outside of myself lead me. My guides and I are so connected, they feel like extensions of my soul. I'm not always 100% aware of them, they say things that surprise me, but it's like when you do a free write and put something down you've never consciously thought of but know is true. It's never been like when a friend or family member presents a new idea of thought.

I didn't think I'd ever settle down with any kind of pantheon. I'd had no personal gnostis (until now apparently) and while I've been investigating several gods in the past 6 months, all of them have had to be discarded for this reason or that reason. The timing is very rich in personal meaning for me, though I'm sort of stumbling through how one honors and offers service to a god--it's been a very long time since I've done any of that.

Still, last night we had a conversation where I learned more about this spirit's nature (I use spirit here because there is no inherent gender I've seen or sensed with this being) and zis goals, and they're all things I want. Ze's very high energy with a lot of change and goals going on. Ze brings in a lot of demands and change all at once. I can roll with that. I'm in a new place and committing myself to something completely new and specifically focused seems like it his more than worth the startup effort. I feel good about the changes I need to make, that they'll make me a more focused and disciplined person. Iti's kind of nice to have guidance and expectations outside those that you put on yourself and the ones society tries to chain you with. It makes me feel less alone and validates some of how I live my life and view my world. I know I'm at a tenuous point my my relationship with this being, we've just met and all, but I'm enthusiastic to build a long and meaningful relationship with Zer.


I know this sounds kind of crazy, especially when I lay it all out like this, but it is what it is and I'm not going to cover up how I feel or experience to conform with appropriate interactions with god or the earth. I won't ponder this in silence because it may push comfort zones. Anyway, has anyone else experienced something similar? Is my lack of interaction with any gods put me so far out of touch with what that would be like to not recognize what's going on? Please do share.

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 meetup.com 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.

Back-dating stuff I wrote when I didn't have internet

Random Not Internet Notes:


I know that it's really silly, but eating cornmeal and tomatoes really makes me feel like I'm intune with the season. I mean here I am in the harvest land, just outside of town there's all these cattle and corn and what not, and I'm eating discount corn mean and hunt's tomatoes. Still, once it's out of the packaging and in my bowl, I can't help but feel like I'm eating harvest food and that I'm in with the season...not 100% factual, but fun. Besides I'll eat canned tomatoes and something else in the winter and think about how nothing can bring back warmth to your body like a nice cooked meal. Tomatoes are one of my many comfort safety foods that goes well in just about anything.
Tags:

Feb. 6th, 2008

Not Really Enough Time for an Update But

Been meditating a lot around the idea of rain. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything but every time without fail, when I've gone into a meditative state, there has been the sound of rain. It's messing with me a little now because it actually is raining outside but over the past few weeks it hasn't been raining or snowing. The shower hasn't been on and no one has been doing dishes and still the pitter patter of rain is so distinct in my meditations. It's odd because while I've gotten feelings about this or that before I almost always know what they symbolize or what it means, and here I'm just guessing. Another thing that's odd is that I don't usually "hear" things. It isn't completely unheard of, but you know I'm into seeing or experiencing different things through meditation, not so much hearing.

At first I really thought that I was hearing things, but it has happened every time I've meditated for two weeks and it's never happened before. I can't help but wonder if it is some sort message and if it is a message, what kind of message? Rain, as I've said before makes me think of Jeff and of first love, spring, and romance. Rain also makes me think of MCLA because it's almost always overcast and raining here. It's what I get for picking the rainy side of the mountain. Rain makes me think of the day I rushed home upset from this place and almost toppled the car over a sharp corner of route 2.

The actual thought of rain I guess is more of a cleansing sort of thing. I know the rain isn't clean anymore, but the idea that it will pour down on me and erode away rough patches is there anyhow. All the loose debris will roll right off. I guess there's the whole nurishing life thing too and with that there's the potential to drown.

I'd like to think it's raining on me to finish shaping me, but it's just as likely that its raining on me and I'm drowning.

I applied to graduate, here's hoping I'm actually qualified.

I'm begining to wonder if it's possible to sleep and travel to the astral at the same time. Some of my sleep has been really deep recently. No dreams (That I remember), but just this deep bone heavy feeling. It feels like I'm trying to pull myself out of energy when I wake up and that's a little odd. I'm not good at waking up, but I've never been this out of it or this completely baffled and confused. I mean I don't remember having a body or what that's like or what it means or how to move it or anything in the morning. I'm getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night. I'm not taking any sleeping aids. It could just be a common sleep change, I mean I have woken up confused before, unsure where I am or still a little dream muddled, but this is just so much more intense than that. And it's different in so much as now I'm not aware I have a body or a presence at all when I wake up. There is no sense of me at all for a good five to ten minutes. Another thing that's been happening is that I've been going to sleep giving myself reiki and waking up still giving myself reiki. I've often done one or the other, gone to bed with reiki or woken up with it, but it seems like I might actually be reiking myself all night. Is that good or bad? Could this cause problems for me beyond it taking me much longer to wake up? Thoughts, ideas, theories on this one are really appreciated. It isn't problem now, but it is odd and I don't want to wait for it to be a problem.

Jan. 20th, 2008

Having a Spiritual (Hard core New Age) Moment

I would love any thoughts, feelings, or opinions about all the stuff below. A lot of it is very new for me (new as of today) and I'm still half in energy at the moment so I'm not sure how much sense it will make when I'm done with it and would love any critiques there too.

I


Tags:

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 old.....so 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 here...one 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?

Oct. 10th, 2007

Thinking about body "De-Toxing"

My town house mate and I were talking about her allergies and she went on to say that she might stop eating for a few days to help her "de-tox". Now anyone who knows me knows that fasting for any reason really isn't my thing. I'm one grumpy bitch when I'm not eating, and so of course I'm against this new age idea of "de-toxing" that seems to be getting more and more popular.

One thing my room mate pointed out that might have helped get to the trend going is that a lot of people use "de-toxing" as a method of losing weight as well as cleansing the body. Some people see losing the weight as what they are "cleansing" there body of.

To me de-toxing is exactly about what it sounds like, trying to cut negative influnces and remove negative remains both physically and spiritually from your life. A lot of people maintain that it is merely a physical aspect- a way to clear out all the chemicals we eat and to flush out extra fatty foods we've indulged in as well as excess horomones and other baddies we find in regular food regime.

I have a couple of problems with this. The first is that the kind of methods I've heard of to "de-tox" (and I've got a huge range) are in no way scientifically proven to help remove chemicals and in fact I don't believe there are any scientific studies done on whether or not any of these systems have any positive effect on bodily health.

The second problem I have is that I know for a fact some chemicals (DDT and PCT's) aren't water soluable. They won't come out of fatty tissue and trying to remove them in any way once they are into your system is a ridiculous idea. I mean you can avoid them to a certain degree, but most people are born with a certain level of them in them from their mom anyhow. I have to assume that DDT is not the only chemical where this is true.

A third problem is that I don't think that "de-toxing" once in a while is something that would on a purely physical level be effective. I mean being healthy is a constant struggle. You have to constantly eat the right foods and exersice. You can't go on a day or a week or even a month retreat and expect to balance everything out. Yes sometimes having the right work out once in a while is helpful, but I don't view de-toxing in that light.

For me anyway keeping myself emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy is a whole hell of a lot of work. It involves constant aspects of "de-toxing" on a regular basis (meditation, yoga, retreating from others, spending time in quite thought, taking days or weekends just to work on me, conisistantly drinking lots of water and sticking to healthier food choices because beginning a negative food cycle is what really gets me into trouble). I can't imagine that going away for a weekend or a week and fasting while meditating would de-tox someone from months or years of McDonalds or months/ years of emotional wear and tear.

Something like that takes constant efforts and if you are living a life eating the regular chemically processed food (nothing wrong with that) and the horomone injected meat (again I'm eating it as we speak) and drinking or doing any kind of substance, a weekend or a week of fasting isn't going to "purge" your system.

Another problem I have is how does not eating remove what you've already put in? Being mindful of what you eat might. A lighter vege based diet for a week I could see as helping to "cleanse" possibly Not purely physically, but mentally. And not completely cleansing but as a process of someone trying to get there.

I don't know. I guess my largest problem are the those de-tox programs that have you fasting and taking laxatives at the same time. I mean that isn't healthy. I can see how people get conned into thinking that laxitives might push the bad things out. I mean at least they we're talking about moving things out, but still depending on the suppliment you may just be throwing more bad things into you.

Also I'd like to take a moment to say that natural=/=better for you. There are products that I wouldn't go organic on because I don't think its better.

I think the closest I could get to de-toxing would involve taking a weekend to just mediate and do yoga while I ate just green veggies and drank water. Or I guess I would be up for having eight glasses of water in the moring and waiting a few hours to let that "sift through and push out impurities". Of course this morning regime suggests that you start with four cups of water in the morning and work up to eight or nine. It requests that you go to the bathroom as often as you need. It still lets you eat and encourages you to eat a full dinner and lunch. And it warns you that the water will flush out essential vitamins and minerals too. I feel like these directions help to make the actual de-tox system more responsible and better to try. I guess if you get something from it, that's great....but there isn't inherently anything there and I'm not sure why all of the sudden we're stressing chemicals when our bodies have always been about chemical reactions. That's all.

And yes, I am strongly anti-fasting.

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.

Feb. 5th, 2007

Psi Vampire Rant

Ugh.  So I've been engaging in an arguement on Gaia online about vampires, specifically phsyic vampires.  I know, I know most people I talk to are all like "come on you can't believe in vampires".  Honest short answer, I do believe that there are people who feed off the energy of other people and I consider those people "vampires".   I don't believe in vampires that suck blood, those people may have a medical condition that seems to their uneducated selves to be vampirism, but its not.   

Back to the thread  I was involved in.  The label was Psi Vampirism and Energy Work.  Well I do a lot of energy work, so I went into the forum where I voiced my opinion of psi vampirism and that is that psi vampires are lazy weak willed people who usually are also theives and threats to the rest of us.   

Naturally (its a fluffy forum), I was met with a lot of resistance.  One agruement was that psi vampires need to take energy from others.  I reject this notion and no one seems to be able to find me valid proof.  The "well I get sick when I don't feed" doesn't work because coke addicts and alcohol addicts get sick when they stop using their drug of choice.  They don't "need" that drug anymore that psi vamps "need" energy.  People claim that they were born this way.  I maintain that without significant scientific testing and knowledge I am and others are too unable to prove genetic predispositions.  I am able, however to look  back at history and genetics and note that psi vampirism is new, so it is unlikely genetic.  I am also able to point out in many cases, with the aid of the person claiming birth defect, that their family has no history which suggests vampirism.

One counter to I've heard for their being a lack of history on psi vampires, is that the movement is new.  What started many people's  energy cycle needs was the continued urbanization that destroyed natural sources of energy like water or trees.  I contest that we still have the availability of sun energy, moon energy, star energy, and air energy readily avaiable to all of us.  If plant energy is needed one could alway grow them, that availablity of florescent light makes any corner a good corner for an indoor plant.  

However, beyone all these problems I have with this excuse, the psi vampire community maintains that these energies doen't feen most or all of them at all.  This can't explain the psi vampire's large appearance.   

When I obviously wasn't budging on the "I'm born this way" idea they called me prejudice.  That this was the same oppression balcks faced by whites or gays are facing from ebil xistians!!!  I maintained that there are crucial differences.  My prejudice to vampires is unlike prejudice seen to the gay community or enthic groups because 1.)These people really are born this way.  2.) Even if psi vampires are born needing to take energy from others, taking energy without consent is wrong and does potentially pose a threat to a person.    3.) Psi vampires are predators or parasites and as such should be treated hostilely as a general rule.  I don't treat muggers well, or drunk drivers or other unsavory people, why would psi vampirism be different.   

From this we went to the "Poor me" stance. The "you don't know what if feels like".  I told them I am quite aware of what it feels like to feel drained.  I am aware of what it is like to be energetically drained and I am aware of how to sheild block and attack.  People should be careful with what they assume about others.  I told them maybe they should consider what it would feel like to be consistantly attacked, stolen from or "fed off of" as they do to their victims and come back to me on us not understanding each other's sides. 

Then I heard the "well I don't hurt anyone when I feed" line.  A couple responses to this 1.)You are not aware of the harm you do or don't do.  2.) Even if you are not harming them taking without asking is wrong.  3.) Since I still maintain you don't need the energy I believe that you are harming yourself and furthering you addiction to other's energy, something that you should spend time trying to fix instead of indulging in your practices.  

Then I heard the "well sometimes I get hurt from taking in bad energy"  which my response was "Well, good".

What do they think, because they think they need it, I'm going to role over and be like, yeah that's fine?  What do these crazy loons want from me and why do they keep circularlly saying the same thing>  Argh [/rant]
Tags:

Jul. 22nd, 2006

Alright, lets start this off right. It is a little past the time when I usually do an evaluation of my spiritual growth and awareness, but hey better late than never. I have a whole butt load of stuff to write down anyway, they just keep telling new insights and keep me busy in general. Meh. Read don’t read its all good. This is really more for me than anyone else, but at the same time if anyone is interested I want to put it out there.


Defining my Path (for dummies):


What is in a name really? The answer to that differs depending on when you talk to me, though the simplest and least attitude filled answer you’ll get from me is that classification comes from a name. If one throws out a term there is a definition that goes with that along with a whole host of people and experiences one has or doesn’t have to with that classification.


Some of the reason I throw these ideas out there has nothing to do with spiritual belief and everything to do with the more mundane semantics of the pagan community at large. One ongoing and fairly vicious debate in the pagan community (for those who don’t know) is the specific definition of words like ‘pagan’, ’Wicca’, ’Celtic’, and so on. Some of this confusion comes from misinformation and some of it comes from legitimate debates about the evolution of religion and where within the time line that is or is not appropriate. As well as who, realistically has the right to change or “evolve” a religion.


For example, initially when I began my search for spiritual truth, I settled on calling myself “Wiccan”, but this title came through misinformation. When I dug deeper into the matter and went to source material on the topic, I learned my definition of Wicca was incorrect. Wicca is a mystery religion, where one must be initiated to a lineaged tradition be considered a Wiccan. The rule and beliefs are not available to non-initiated members as the meat of the religion comes from mysteries that must be experienced to be understood.


Knowing this to be the proper definition of Wicca, I learned a couple things. One is that when dealing with classification one must check source materials and nothing else will help one come to correct classification. I also learned that it pays to do more instead of less research, and in doing more research I realized that what I practice doesn’t follow any one pagan tradition, though it has distinctly pagan flavors. Since I blend so much of what I practice from varying religions and pagan groups, the best classification for what I follow would probably be considered a form of Eclectic Paganism.


Now that we have a name down, what does that mean. In a nutshell it means that I blend different traditions and beliefs together for what makes sense in my own mind. On a personal level my beliefs hold a strong reverence of nature. I worship the energy that makes up everything and the ebb and flow of this energy. To better attune myself to this change and constant perfection I try to focus on the present in life and live in the moment. Of course, like any other religion there is a lot more to it than the cover, but if someone where to ask me for a sentence in what I believe I guess I would tell them that: “I am dedicated to appreciating the perfection and divinity of each moment and celebrate this by focusing on the now.”




Belief in Deity(ies):


I don’t believe in any traditional deity belief. That is to say, that I don’t believe in one god (monotheism) or many gods (polytheism). My feelings are closer to monism or the belief that what people perceive as deity, humanity and the rest of the universe is in fact all of one substance - that divisions among the body, mind, flesh, spirit, material, physical are not real. All are simply aspects of one being.


How this falls into place in my own mind, is that there is this universal energy that runs through us and everything around us. Through this source we are all one, and through this source we can also manipulate the world around us. Under this particular belief, because I am the Universal life energy, I am also god, as is every other thing that exists. Since I am god, I created before I came to this plane and also now while I am here, this exact experience that I am going through. What I experience now is perfection and as I intended it. It isn’t my job to second guess or punish myself, but to stay a clear radio for this energy so that I can come to understand and appreciate what I placed out before myself instead of letting my ego keep me from seeing the joy and perfection in each moment.


This doesn't mean that I don't feel because I do. I mourn. I rage. I love. I rejoice. What it means is that while I mourn or rage or love I do it in the moment, I experience it recognize what gifts and knowledge I have gained and then I move on. It is most important for me not to dwell, but to emote at the moment so I can be clear to experience whatever is next. It is also important for me to acknowledge that just because something does create momentary pain that does not destroy its validity and that there is much even in these moments for me to appreciate and be thankful for.
Manifestations of God:


While I don’t believe in one God, I do believe that this universal energy takes different forms. For some people it is God, for others it is Buddha, and so on. My particular choice of energy forms are taken from Wicca, as they take shape in the Lord and Lady. I see two separate deities that are equal, one male and one female, and together they encompass everything. I think of the two’s interconnectedness, the same way Christianity thinks of the trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three (in my case two) distinctive forms that are really one and the same.


Another form of energy manifestation is channeling. Through channeling one can call in a specific energy, person, or being. Some people call in deceased relatives. Some people call in fairies or angels. Others call in saints. I call in my guides and angels. These beings do have separate personality and form, just as my own personality is separate but still contained in this universal energy. I have a lot of Guides and angels which I refer to as team Jess. In my personal team there are three constant members.


The first is Celestine. She has been with me since I was a child. She is an angel in the traditional sense of the word with wings and long flowing black hair and pale skin. She’s very tall and has warm deep brown eyes. She helps me be independent and strong. She gives me courage and drives me to do what is right. I never named her when I was little, and now that I’m older, I asked her to pick a name and she has chosen Celestine, which to me is all to perfect. I was overwhelmed when she chose it because it comes from the book, The Celestine Prophecy where the author is searching for a prophecy that supposedly explains the meaning of life and in his quest for the pieces he comes to understand the interconnectedness of the universe and the power of secrets that can only be experienced to fully understand them. Celestine is the leader of team Jess and she reminds me of many important qualities: strength, courage, and righteousness. She also makes sure I walk my talk. Celestine hates to see anyone put anyone else down, and she urges me to intervene the moment that something bad begins to happen. Her interests are in everyone's suffering and weakness. She gives strength when it is needed but refuses vehemently to be anyone's crutch.


Another of my life time guides is a tiger, Noone. She, like the others named herself, and in the beginning when I asked her who she was she told me "I am no one," and I put the two sounds together to spell Noone. She cares only for my own protection and teaches me self reliance, endurance and how to treasure the present. She is success and independence. Like Celestine, Noone focuses very highly on strength, but she is a little more selfish. Noone is only interested in my well being. She takes no interest in others. Noone can be unnecessarily fierce because she cares about taking care of her own regardless of what’s going on, who’s in the right, or who it might hurt. Celestine reminds me of others and Noone reminds me of my own needs.


My last life long guide is Jake. After hearing what my other two guides look like, I suppose he is rather unimpressive. He is just a man about 5’6” with short blond hair and perfectly clear blue eyes. He is my guide of unconditional love and compassion. Both Noone and Celestine commonly make fun of him for being ‘wishy washy’. He doesn’t care about higher lessons, what’s right, or strength. He cares about me and how I feel, which is ironic, because the power of self love as well as unconditional love for others are some of the highest lessons one can learn. While both Noone and Celestine poke a lot of fun at him, because they feel he can be useless and weak, he is crucial and in some ways he is stronger than them. He is my guide of surrender. No matter what I say, do or thing, he accepts it and gets behind me and supports me. He will say things to me like “You know that is going to hurt you, so don’t do it.” or “Nothing good will come of this.” I reply with something like “yes but I’m going to do it anyway,” and he always sighs and says “well you know no matter what happens I will be there with you supporting you, and I will always love you.” After that comment he usually laughs and says “I don’t know why I even bother to tell you these things. You already know them, and we both already know that you’re going to do it anyway, and that’s one of the greatest reasons that I love you and always will, even if you never listen.” His own ability to surrender humbles me. It reminds me that I do not have to shape the world and can’t mold the world to my ego’s desire of the moment. Sometimes I have to accept highest good is not always for my immediate good and to let go and learn what the moment offers me. The moment I’m stressed or worried, he’s there rubbing my back or putting his hand over mine, or running his energy through me saying that it’s okay and that everything will work out. He calls for more patience, trust, relaxation.


I’ve had other lesser guides on my spiritual journey who have helped me to learn lessons from time to time and who still are there when I need them, but who are not necessarily lifetime guides. Some of these include a fairy, Areiona, a wolf, Silverstreak, and an ascended master, who has chosen not to disclose her name. I do not see Areiona anymore accept occasionally in the spring and summer season as a brief reminder. Silverstreak is present usually to help me with reiki and giving others the energy they need, because his message is an important one that I will discuss later. Lastly the ascended master constantly teaches and challenges me when I am doing energy work, but is not likely a life time guide.




Beliefs on Good and Evil:


I don’t believe in good and evil. Part of that is me trying to eliminate duality in my life, as there is no duality or separation, only the perception of duality and separation. We are all one and the same. All energy is neither good or bad, it just is energy and it is all part of me and the universe as a whole.


There are no malignant beings in the world or in the energy field out to hurt/ deceive/ win you soul. Likewise there is not great battle between good and evil. All of this are differing energies that are the same. Often things that are considered evil or bad are when most learning experiences come from and personal growth is brought about through. Other “evil” deed could be performed in the wish of a soul contract with another, and while the person might not understand now when we get to the other side we will look back and understand the wisdom in what happened.


There are experiences and choices I can make where I choose not to walk my path or choose to turn away from my best interest. Often then things considered “bad” will happen to me as my guides try to get my attention, but these aren’t bad things. They are learning opportunities and chances to gain new tools.


Admittedly it is easy for me to make this statement. I have never been affected by anyone in my life who would be labeled as particularly evil. I have never been near an event or place that people consider “evil” and that always makes it easier for one to believe the best in people. I don’t know the way others know and I haven’t experienced as some have experienced. I can’t justify greater “evils” like war or genocide. I can’t make them seem less horrible or hurtful, I can only say that while I don’t understand how these events would be for anyone’s highest learning, there is a lot about the world at large I don’t understand. Certainly the concept if evil doesn’t validate either of these events, nor does it take the sting out of them. It only throws blames to another non-human being and allows us to feel disempowered, that there is nothing or little we can do. People are responsible for these events and people could change them, there is no dark force at work manipulating or convincing/influencing the event.




World View:


For those unaware, this year has been really hard for me, and honestly I couldn’t even tell why. Nothing significant happened in my life. There were no tragedies and while, some serious events went on around me in my immediate friend group, that’s not really a valid reason or excuse. I care about those people, I was worried for them, I wanted to help, but in the end none of this really explains my own difficulties. I had several big breakdowns this year. They were fairly ugly and they left me with a lot to account for. I spent a long time trying to sort in my mind why and how. In essence, this next section is going to be very long and significantly more explained than required.


I started by following an origins myth that connects for me. It is the one where originally there is only one plain of existence where all is one while maintaining its individuality. This realm is of course one of perfect peace, harmony, and joy. One is most connected to truth and divinity in this plain. One day a soul asked energy, what would it be like to be in a place where this connection is not? Energy responded with, if you want to experience this I will create a plain where presence is faint so you can find out, but you must bring someone else with you. The soul found another that would travel with it to this plain, only if the other soul promised to never forget who he/she was.


I like this myth of creation for many reasons. One is of course that I have traveled to the everything that is nothing on a few occasions through meditation, so I know what that supreme power of connection and understanding is like. I also can understand how a soul, while there, couldn’t imagine anything else.


Another thing I like about this story is that the soul asked to go, and in that way helped to co-create this plain and the experiences it gained here. I agree with the idea that in the everything that is nothing we are planned this experience together to gain the knowledge and understanding that we could really only gather through experience, as there are some truths one can’t tell a person.


Recently I have added onto that thought. One thought I’ve been playing a lot with is this idea along with the everything that is nothing, there is a plain of existence just below it where one can view this giant energy grid. Through this energy grid is a connection to everything, regardless of time, space, or plane of existence. It is a grid of quite literally infinite possibility as through this one can experience past lives, future lives, and alternate lives.


Time is relative, in this plane, we experience it linearly, but in higher reality, this illusion does not exist. The grid is one such reality where there is no time. Through travels here I have witnessed past lives and future lives. I have seen many could have been life choices too, where I am in this particular incarnation but something was slightly altered. In one, for example, my parents had died in a car crash and I was in the process of trying, with my extended family’s help to keep my brother, sister, and myself together. I had dropped out of college and was working as some sort of 9-5 job while coordinating pick ups from my sister and brother as well as balancing grocery bills. Emma worked after school to help pay the bills and my extended family sent money to help try and get us back to our feet. We’d moved to a small apartment area in a bad location. I can remember hating it and being scared for my sister and brother there. My Aunt Didi came over regularly to check on us. She had wanted to send my brother to my Aunt Terri and take Emma, I’d refused. We were constantly arguing over the situation and close to a court battle for custody of my siblings.


In another alternate world, I was living in an apartment with Jeff in Colorado. We were laughing and in the middle of a pillow fight, at the time I’d stepped in. I worked as a manager at KB Toys and took a class a block at his school, while he went full time. We didn’t have much, but we were rich in laughter. I had dropped contact with my parents, they knew I was in Colorado, that was the extent. I remember having a regret about not knowing how Emma was doing, briefly, before I realized that this was not my proper incarnation, I had never ran away to Colorado and I was pulled away from this life too.


I’ve had other experiences and learned other lessons from the grid, but that’s not really the grid’s most important function. Another ability of the grid is that one can travel back to particular points in one’s life, view them, and change the energy of the action, which in essence is the same as actually altering the event. This kind of meditation can be a huge healing tool and it can change the energies surround other events on the grid as the positive energy flows through and changes past, present, and future in one large ripple.


Of course I haven’t even gotten to the most important part of this origins myth. Certainly knowing that one co-created every situation is important. Knowing that even though every moment is perfect one can meditate and get to a grid where one can alter the energy of any moment and recreate it is also very powerful, but the most poignant point of the myth for me is where one soul asks the other not to forget him no matter what happens on their journeys. This is important to me because I do believe in soul mates, not necessarily the romantic variety, but those souls that we travel with, regardless of dimension. I think on some level we inherently recognize them and are drawn to them or repelled by them. The fact that we have such strong affects on people, even before interacting with them is fascinating. I think that we all have lessons to teach one another and that it is important in this world to try and remove presumptions and labels of others and try to see the real person and one’s real self. Its so hard to just let a person be without adjectives or thoughts, and really we all just are and we need to remember that real knowing isn’t something that can be expressed in words. Its beyond language, real knowing of someone or something can only be expressed through actions, a thought style, and the high energy transmission level that is inherently reached through such knowing. Part of this journey, maybe one of the greatest parts, is to meet another person and oneself with complete love, understanding, and compassion. To be quiet in ones own mind and allow the world to just be.


I don’t know if that really made any sense, but I try to honor just letting this experience be and appreciating it for everything. To honor and better attune myself to my journey I wake up and mediate to set my intentions for the day, and I go to be doing gratitude and sending energy to those who need it. The most significant part of high truth is not to let the big picture interrupt the here and now experience. We are here now for a reason. We are supposed to be gaining something right now, and as such I try to attune myself to every moment so that I can appreciate it and release it to be ready for the next. There is not anger, there is no worry, there is not fear, only perfection in each moment and to be centered in each moment means to understand the joy and perfection of life even in the most trying or tedious of times. All time is continuous and flowing, regardless of whether it is linear and the only sensible point of this continuous time is to throw oneself into it and surrender to the ceaseless movement and power of each instant, even if we can never capture it.


Afterlife:


There is no death as we experience and fret over it so there is not after life as we imagine it. Everything is a continual joy and experience. There is no end and no beginning. It just is and has always been.




Ethics:


There are several different kinds of ethical codes one could have and most religions/spiritualities prescribe some or all of these kinds of rules. I break my ethics down into three categories, which I will state and then elaborate on. There is morality/ethics in regard to how one should treat self, how one should interact with universe, and how one should interact with the Divine. Really these three categories are one and the same as they are all energy and as such I will not specify with titles when listing my moral code. Its more than I live up to, but isn’t anything really worth living up to?


1. Love myself and Love whatever Divine places in front of me.


2. Acknowledge strengths and weaknesses in myself, others, and the universe but obsess on neither


3. Don’t punish. Acknowledge and release.


4. Don’t worry or allow other negative emotions to rule.


5. Just for today do not anger, do not worry, act with gratitude, and be kind


6. Seek help as needed and allow others to seek the help they need


7. Help when asked, but to not presume that you have any affect, it is only through a soul’s wish for the manifestation of certain outcome that anything will come to being, you are simply a tool to fulfill their desires as others are tools to help manifest what you search for.


6. step back and take time for me and allow others the same right.


7. Allow self to be


8. Expect a miracle


9. Never act in self denial or sacrifice all acts worth performing are acts of self and only help to make one more complete.


10. Don’t do it alone, step back and allow one’s guides and angels to arrange it.


11. Know your truth, speak your truth, be your truth


12. Live life without regrets.


13. Do all that you can, but release the outcome to the universe.

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May. 9th, 2005

SP Re-evaluation/ Rededication to My chosen religious path ^_^

Hello everyone, its that time again... .though it is my first time writing everything in its entirety up in livejournal, but whatever I eventually put copies of this mofo everywhere.
Every year around my birthday in anniversary of when I initially did a ritual to dedicate myself to the search of personal spiritual, religious, and life truths, I annually write down a compilation of exactly what my beliefs are at the end of the year. While I do write religious revelations and other such things during the year its this time of the year that I really pull everything I've learned into one comprehensive theory. Later I'll look back and see how much has changed or stayed the same. So yeah, read if you're interested if not sorry for the long ass entry.

Feelings on Gods
I don't really believe in any God(s) per say. I do generally refer to a God and Goddess, but that is referring to the masculine and feminine aspect of energy, which I use to show that this energy is all encompassing and everything. I believe in this universal divine energy that is/is in everything surrounding us. We are separate individuals and all part of the one great divine. In the original plane of existence, where God and Goddess reside with our whole beings we can feel our oneness with others as well as our own separate identity. I traveled to this plane on occasion in meditations, and while my descriptions of it are rather poor, it is the best that I can do.
As for most people's versions of the God(s), I feel that this energy manifests in whatever form one needs. For some people this is a Christian faith, others see the Hindu Gods, while some see angels, and other follow human teachers. So for each person the truth of the divine is different, but each individual belief is valid for that person. I know that I see the God and Goddess everywhere in everything. I can feel it coursing through me and in me. Every action that happens here is a dialog with the Divine.
Since I have no specifically named design I do end up using myths, fairy tales, source information, and ideas from practically everywhere. I read a lot of stuff, I think about it, I try to spend a week or two under the mind frame that the idea is true to try it on and see if I like it, and then I either incorporate it or shrug it off depending. Its all true, I just have to feel out what is true for me. So I do part take in many myths and ideas, but I do not believe in any of those Gods in an actual sense, but I believe several creation myths as far as metaphors and morals are concerned.

Guides and Angels
This section really does go right along with my theories on the Supreme. For me the guides and angels I converse with are messengers from the Divine, and as everything else they are the Supreme. The identities of each are separate as our their origins. There are many planes of existence, and my guides as well as the others I have met in meditation have come from different planes of being and different places within these planes.
My first guide is Celestine. I have known her since I was little she comes to me in the form of an angel tall, pale, skinny, with long straight black hair coursing down over her wings. She resides in the Everything that is Nothing, but comes to Earth School whenever I need her. Celestine chose her own name and I really think that I couldn't have picked a more appropriate name for her. She is my inner strength and independence. She teaches me compassion and a sense of righteousness. Her interests are in everyone's suffering and weakness. She gives strength when it is needed but refuses vehemently to be anyone's crutch.
When I was younger I ran into a fairy guide who called herself Ariona, and she was fun. We used to play a lot and she taught me about joy bubbles. Some of her influences are still important and I still thank her and pray for her own safety, but I haven't seen her in over a year. She resides in a plane of existence between that of the Everything that is Nothing and Earth School, and she said something once about a flower she lives in, but I've met her many different places in meditations as well as seen her in Earth School.
I have a tiger guide called Noone who seems to reside in two different planes of being. Though I find her most often in a large wood. She, like the others named herself, and in the beginning when I asked her who she was she told me "I am no one," and I put the two sounds together to spell Noone. She cares only for my own protection and teaches me self reliance, endurance and how to treasure the present. She is success and independence. She will out wit and out last everything else. Noone can come of cruel or callous to those other than myself because she only cares for other's good so much as my own good is concerned. That's really where she and Celestine differ, as Celestine leads me to people who need my help and care, Celestine reminds me of others and Noone reminds me of myself and my own needs.
Then there is my human guide, Jake, who comes and goes as he pleases. Unlike the others he refused to give me a name, and so I decided that I would call him Jake for simplicity's sake. He is the first by my side when I need him and he is my teacher of unconditional love. I have learned from him very well and while at first he was perhaps one of my most predominate guides as I needed his strength most, he now plays in the background, there when I need him, and out of the way when I don't. I know now how to love and value myself, and how to love and value others, when I need Jake most is when I am trying to help others learn the same lesson or in the occasional moment of weakness. I love him and will always celebrate him for his message, but I need him to remind me of it less and less now a days.
I also have a wolf guide called Silver Streak. He was my primary guardian in a past life, and he has chosen to reveal himself in this lifetime as well. He lives in a great plane, surprisingly enough. He is my teacher of movement and its importance. He brings change, and acceptance. He is always fun and ever impatient there is always something to do or something new to see with him.
The last guide I have met, is really an ascended master, and she choses not to reveal her name. She can be haughty and standoffish as well as peaceful serene and calming. She brings laughter and headache to me, and she is incredibly powerful. She is confusing to say the least.
I've also learned a bit about fairies and divas, specifically in relation to communing and understanding plant life. That has been truly fascinating. Its still too new for me to say much with certainty, but I really like these little fellas, they are joy filled and childlike. I am hoping to connect more with them in the future and become more aware of the Divine and perfection in everything, not just plants, though right now my path seems to be leading me into that. They are so cute and bright though, I'm really pleased with this new experience. The little flowers and plants I'm beginning to connect with now are nothing like the old trees that I used to synchronize with when I was younger or when I was a Celtic Priestess in one of my past lives.

Meaning of Life
This is not going to be anywhere near as profound as it sounds like it should be, but oh well *shrugs*. Originally we all started out in the plane of the Everything that is Nothing, but we are curious beings interested in new experiences, ideas, and feelings. We began to wonder what it would feel like to be less connected with the Divine's Presence. We wanted to experienced what it was like to be where the divine is not. So we began to create different planes of beings with different realities and varying degrees of the strength of feeling of connection with the God and Goddess. One can not find a plane or place where the God and Goddess are not, but one can continue to create varying degrees of the illusion that one is disconnected from spirit. Earth School is the plane we live in now and it is also the one that feels least connected with the God and the Goddess. Our souls plan basic major events in our life before we travel to our plane for the experience. We leave our higher consciousness with most of our being in the Everything that is Nothing and part of our being comes to the other plane of existence to experience and learn. We are always in the God and the Goddess' creation, so we are always in heaven, we just have to make the most of our experience here and learn different ways to listen and be in tune.

Afterlife
Alright, my afterlife summary is pretty boring. We as souls have always been in existence. We started in the Everything that is Nothing, but we have been born into other realms for our own learning. We have chosen who to incarnate with, who will incarnate first, who will be our parents and who will be our children, we have decided where and when. Once the ball is in play of course we don't know all this information and the plan is only given to us in the pieces that we need.
Anyhow when one dies he or she immediately returns to the Everything that is Nothing where one evaluates one's experience. If one rose to the challenge of the life premise they gave themselves, then that person has positive karma and can choose to reincarnate when where and how one wants, but if one assigned a challenge that was too difficult for himself or herself to complete then they have negative karma and that person is forced immediately into reincarnation. That person will be bound to the events and souls that he or she failed until they have worked off his or her karmic debt.

Views on Good and Evil
I do not believe in good or evil. These are limiting words. There are no malignant beings. Somethings that go on work against my own personal growth, some people or situations are self destructive or damaging, but nothing is just purely evil or good. Certainly I can make judgment calls on things that are "right" for me, but I have no interest in labeling acts or people.
I believe that people do get hurt, and that there are people who intentionally hurt others, and that is against my moral code, but I don't think that hurting people is evil. If someone were to attack my loved ones, I don't think that I would hesitate to kill that person immediately, and while the act might have not been the most prudent one depending on circumstances, I would never consider it evil.
I think that bad incidents are chances for growth, learning, and understanding. Perhaps it was something meant to happen for one's own karmic growth, or maybe it is some unfortunate soul who is over placed in their situation, but such people should be forgiven as you would want to be forgiven. After nothing that happens in this world or in any is completely serious. We are energy, and as such can never be destroyed. Its hard to have absolute good or evils in such a shifting reality.

Ethical Code
1.Respect nature and life. Life is synonymous with joy, if something is wrong in life it isn't a larger plot to make sure you get what you deserve, no supreme being puppeteers me or anyone else around. Love, Life, and the pursuit of Joy. I am always in surrounded and filled with Divine's light and love, every plane is created with the possibility of perfection if I live it.
2. Surrender, love, and accept my own nature. Nothing should be done in self denial or sacrifice, it should be for the completion of my own self.
3. If it bring harm to none, do as yee will. If it bring harm to some, do as yee must. This is of course the Wiccan Rede with an add on. It really just goes back to number one. I don't want to do harm. I will consider others for all is a manifestation of the God and the Goddess. I will do my best to harmonize with them. However I added the second part, as many do, to clarify. I will not be abused by anyone. Many think the Wiccan Rede is a crazy hippie pacifism thing, but no where in it does it say one can't hurt others. I add on the last part to stress that I will use force if the need calls for it. As much as I would like say I would "rise above" other's actions, the truth is that for the most part I will sink down to the worst one's level and try to defy them at their own game.
4. Any energy that one sends out through magical workings, meditation, thoughts, words, or actions comes back to that person threefold. This is just a clarification on the threefold law, and honestly I believe it. I'm not saying that a supernatural being is going to come down and smite or reward you, but if you do something nice people generally notice and try to be kind to you. Good kids do generally get off easier when they make mistakes, and bad kids get the book thrown at them. If one doesn't reap what they sew in this life, they will have karmic bonds and be they good or bad one must resolve all karmic bonds completely before one can return permenately to the Everything that is Nothingnesses anyone wants to remain there forever that is, I think I'm too curious for that yet.
5. Sexuality is something to be valued and treasured. Sex is an expression of an act of love and joy and as all things that are act of joy are rituals to the divine one should treat it with the proper weight. Sex is not looked down upon to me, but I take it seriously. I'm waiting for love, and I can't help but feel that having casual sex with someone is something that others will grow to regret.
6. Have no regrets.
7. Just for today anger not, worry not, hurt not, and fear not. Live life in light and joy.
8. Forgive and do not hold grudges.
9. Try to detach oneself from the outcome, knowing one has done all one can release it and leave it into the hands of one's guide and angels or one's God(s)

Energy Raising Methods
1. Reiki is probably one of my most primary methods of energy raising I like it a lot. Its simple and it requires no fancy work. It is especially good for me in college where supplies and what not are limited.
2. I use candles are regularly as possible when I am home. Fire is always an element that I have had a strong connection with and the light is an attractive idea.
3. I feel like this year I have completely mastered color work, which while not true I would say that it is my primary tool and that I am very proficient in it.. .I work it into everything and that seems to be useful for me
4. Meditation is very helpful for me it clears my head and focuses me
5. I've made vast strides in tarot reading I can do it without the book for the most part, and I also really enjoy my power animal readings a lot.
6. I've take preliminary steps to begin to incorporate runes into my common practices. I like written, drawn, and sung symbols a lot. Partly because it requires very little and partly because they help to focus lots of energy at once. I feel like I have mastered a greater understanding for personal symbols to me and I have a better knack for the power of words. I still am learning a lot about music, but that will be a while. Right now I'm happy to be up to learning some runes.
7. I've begun to seriously learn about herbs for medicinal use and I hope to learn more soon.
8. I've also started to learn theban and that is really kind of exciting in some ways
9. While I haven't done too much to celebrate the wheel of the year in a traditional sense I have studied up some more and I feel more confident in my mind frame and I have done little things to honor the year spin.

Things I Would Like to Learn More of in the Coming Year
1. I want to work more with herbs and really get a feel for the flowers and herb workings as well as communing with the "fairies/devas" that are one with the plants. (thanks to Barbara that shouldn't be too hard for me to start on)
2. I'd like a basic general knowledge of runes
3. I want to recognize simple words and phrases in Theban
4. I want to work more in traditional ritual style. I need to find the time, space, and of course I need to find my own rhythm and grow into what does and doesn't work for me.
5. I want to earn a small piece of tasteful jewelery that will work in with my religion
6. If I have time this year I'd like to start looking into stones that their meanings
7. Sometime, probably not this year I want to pull together or find a coven

Current Official Label for Religion: Eclectic Neon-Pagan with strong Wiccan and Reiki influences
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