August 2012

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Aug. 4th, 2012

My Lammas Writing

Something I have struggled with since I entered the pagan path is holidays. What do you celebrate and how do you celebrate it? There's always kind of a wheel of the year-ish cycle, but how and why seem to change all the time.


It's Lammas which for me is more of a planning reflecting time than a holiday. As the first sign of the harvest, it signals to me to look back on my past year and see what I've been building, harvesting and otherwise growing. What are my first crops and what can I plan to harvest through out the rest of the fall? What will I be working on longer than the year and what comes into my silent meditation and reflection following Halloween? Here's the yearly review of what I have and what may come with me.


At Halloween I was deeply attached to a man whom I claimed I wasn't dating and who claimed not to be dating me. In reality I was on the brink of love with him and he was on the brink of the same by January. The whole thing failed to launch then and again in April/May when we picked up again briefly.


Late April early May, I started dating another man, and am still seeing him. Emotionally, I don't know how deep things run. I care for him and hold a lot of affection for him. I think I could love him, but my feelings right now are in flux over him. We haven't really had enough bonding time for it to be a bone deep hum. It's something I see growing in the field and am looking to nurture further. I'm already planning some of the bonding possibilities to see if we will be lasting or if I just like traveling with him. I do think there's more but my own uncertainty, the newness of the exploration, and lack of really deep connecting moments is going to hold me back and hold him back for that matter. I know what I need to do to cut these hang ups and I plan to have a better idea by Halloween, if all goes well, I'll have plenty of time to reflect and continue to work on this relationship through winter holidays as well.


Work wise, I was working a terrible job I hated and was looking to quit in October. I was hired on to a better company in a better position with better money and benefits and a competent nice boss. My evaluation is happening now, fingers crossed that all my building and growing goes well.


Friend wise, my landscape is sparse, has always been so. I recommitted myself to communicating with my best friend and I write to her now something of substance about twice a month.


Writing wise, I'm actually partaking in typing and jotting notes, so that's more than I was doing in October. It feels like everything is improving and I'm slowly fighting back bad grammar habits. It's like blazing a path all over again. I want to focus on different writing styles and formats. Something I'm struggling with in particular is being able to remember which person I'm writing in. I don't want to swap from “I” to “one” to “you”, I just want to pick one and run with it. I also want to refocus on tenses and stop slipping between the past and present. I won't be up for writing a novel in November, but I'd like to think my blogging, tarot readings, letters, and journals will improve. I would like to be able to write or attempt to write poetry by December too, but I'm still no sure that's in the cards.


Religiously I followed my usual cycle. I was strong in faith during Halloween. Huge parties and reveling for me, I know most pagans were busy being somber and serious during Halloween and scolding all the wayward pagans who see Halloween as a last year end celebration. The last feast, before keeping our heads down in an quiet and unpredictable winter, any I decided then that those pagans could win the most somber award. Don't tell me how to practice or that my practice takes away from yours and I'll be sure to do the same thanks.


The winter quieted me some, I did more hibernation than reflection this year than in past years, but with the work schedule I had, the demands of the man, and my desire of oblivion who could really fault that I had no time for writing down most of these reflections, meditating or beginning the process of character building that should come from some of those thoughts? I made strong in roads in February where I picked up yoga and gained free time which really jump started my prayer and further examine my revelations. It granted me time to make pilgrimages and worship out and about Alabama. It gave me time to consider my morals and blog some on them. I'm in the process of blogging on the Delphic Maxims, and I put in my own contribution to the pagan values month in an original tarot inspired post. I'm going to continue with the Maxims even though it does seem like others have dropped the blogging party for the time being. I've also begun to write responses and thoughts on other's religious posts and I think that is going to become part of my religious practice/ internet controbution.


This year I've been able to truly commune with my Gods as I saw best through rituals, meditations, and prayer. I feel more connected to Gods than ever before and I better understand some aspects of my place and practice. I have a more structured and comprehensive practice than I've had in previous years and I'm finding Gods have been particularly helpful in giving me more to contemplate and more inspiration on how to practice.


Other new areas are blossoming in my life which I'm trying to think of how best to grow. Having local Gods now, for example, makes me consider the limits of my God's influence. Ze is a local God centered in the Huntsville location whose reach I know extends into Madison, at least where I currently reside and where I'm looking to move to. I'm uncertain about whether Ze has any power where I work. I know Ze has an awareness of what goes on, but as I believe Ze is centralized around Big Spring, a natural limestone spring at Big Spring Park, I'm uncertain of how far that reaches out. I think Decatur/Trinity is a tricky transitional place where Ze has some influence but not the same as closer in to Huntsville. It's occurred to me that there are border places where Gods share responsibilities. Where I work is so close to the Tennasse River I wonder if that God has primary responsibility over what's on the banks with land gods taking a secondary position. The feel in the Decatur Trinty area is certainly different, though not hostile. This and some experiences I've had with other land Gods is something I plan to keep exploring and further understanding.


I feel far more connected to the land now that I have ever before, and it has turned my practice more environmental. Instead of simply using the wheel of the year and the harvest cycle as a metaphor, my surrounding land is actually mostly farm land and I'm learning a lot about the plight of farmers this year as we're suffering a serious drought.


I find myself praying for rain. I feel pulled to collect rainwater for various ritual use. So far I have been given three specific new rituals straight from my Gods to use rainwater for.


I have been pulled to meditation and contemplation near rivers, streams, marshes, swamps, ponds, retaining ponds, and man made ponds. Water and green growth weight deeply on my mind right now, even though I am personally barely effected by the drought.


Fast on the heels of this growing awareness for the physical use of the land, the common climate, and whether things are going well for farmers is the question of how does this affect my Gods. My city God has some farm land and some conservation land in Zer domain, but Ze's stronghold is a down town suburban area. There are some water restrictions for the county and certainly there is wild life suffering as much as people, but all of this seems as if it could be inconsequential or at least far more damaging to humans than to a God or Gods. I get the impression that while the drought is a consideration and not good and has Their attention, its not the primary focus on Their plate.


I'm also coming to learn about River Gods and tree spirits and why one is a God and the other a spirit. It's interesting but doesn't belong in words just yet.

Jun. 16th, 2012

Pagan Values Month 2012 Following the Tarot

This June is Pagan Values month (http://paganvalues.wordpress.com/).  I've been reading a ton a beautiful and wonderful assessments of pagan values, ethics and thoughts (many of which are linked either in the archives or at the facebook event page) and at the same time I've been wondering what I am going to write, if anything.  Some people have covered broad over views and some people have picked specific topics to dig into.   Some works read like a manual and some are filled with poetic imagery. 

I wanted mine to stand on it's own as something of value to me and to help bring something to this community posting session.   I've been struggling with how to do that.  While I enjoy posting on the Delphic Maximums.  It's helped to clarify my stance on a lot of issues, it's started to bring form back into my writing, and it's something concrete I can look at from blog to blog and see direct variances to discuss and understand, I don't think these laws really encompass my moral and ethics.  So much of my posting on them is about only in these situations does this apply, that I feel it doesn't encompass my world view.  Plus, what I've written on the Delphic Maximums has often been said better by others already.

As I often do in these instances, I went back to my Gods and the Divine and decided that I would do a tarot draw on what the universe felt like I should talk about for this post.  Below isn't what comes to my mind first or what is most important to me, but what Divine sought for me to focus on in this post.  It's an important lesson in and of itself: to know when one is lost and overwhelmed and to know how to seek advice either from Gods/Divine or from others around you.

Three Card Goddess Tarot Pull:


How I View My Morals Based On The King of Pentacles:


Things that strikes me immediately about this card: pentacles are associated with the earth, which is my horoscope element. This card is supposed to be about me and how I feel, and my draw is my wheel house element. Earth was also coincidentally the first element I really connected to and bonded with. I probably have the most similarities to fire or air and am most covetous of various water qualities, but earth is my stand by. When I need something, I go to the earth first. My worship is to land based deities. My practice is about focusing in the present or what is here in the earth realm.


I have to admit that while I like to present as fluid and dynamic, it's nice to think there's solid ground and back bone behind my values and morals. Nothing could say that more strongly than pulling a powerful earth suit card to start my June Pagan Ethics Blog Out.


The pentacle itself has heavy meaning to me personally as well. It was the first pagan symbol I was drawn to and it touches a chord deep within me that's hard to define on paper. I've always admired the math of the pentagram, put it in a continuous loop and there's a little poetry with that perfection.


Another interesting little note on the card itself is that the King in the Goddess Tarot is only the second highest card in the suit, female cards, the Queen in this case is ranked higher, so this reads as the Queen in most standard tarot decks. It suits because I'd want my moral view to be considered of a higher caliber of a face card (I want others to think my morals are a higher standard than they are hence the trick out goddess tarot king that's a queen) but specialized in a manner only found in the minor arcana.


This card says I don't want to talk about immaterial in regard to ethics, I want practicality that works in this world. It tells me that I' focused most on how I treat other people and how those people treat me. I value above all else generosity and nurturing. It's what I think I'm best able to give others and how I prefer to be treated. In particular, I want to help people to grow to be their fullest self. I have specific idea about how to best manifest that, but I acknowledge that each person's solution would have to be individual and would come only in his or her own time and space. I like the challenge of both understanding another human, seeing their multitude of options/talents, and watching/waiting so see where exactly they are in their journey and where they want to go.


I'd like to think that I offer a kind and unique perspective to those who want it. I similarly like to think I value other's kind and unique perspectives on my life when they are provided.


How My Gods View Morals (two cards one for each Deity): King of Staves and the Nine of Staves:


It fascinates me that both Deities I honor at my alter chose to speak to me through the fire sign of the minor arcana. It relates back in my head to the votive I light in their honor and interactions that cut through regular consciousness bright an sharp like little embers escaping a bonfire.


Fire speaks to both the intensity of feeling and relationship we have but also to how fickle and changing that relationship can be. In particular one of my Deities values change above all else, that Ze would speak to me through the most aggressively changing element isn't particularly surprising. Hospitality is also very core to Ze so the hearth symbolism is also fitting.


The King of Staves, which I pulled first, again speaks toward generosity. Instead of offering oneself to fellow humans to help grow and learn together as the King of Pentacles suggests, the staves suggests a mutual interest, particularly in the natural world, between my Gods and I. I seek them through the natural world. We share not because we want to or need to but because we are curious and desire to know more. We make gifts to each other and acknowledge one another. We do not entirely understand one another or the realms in which we live (though they certainly have more understanding of my realm than I do of theirs), but we believe that we want the same things are are moving in similar directions.


Our interaction and tentatively forming bond is still being woven together. It's a project that we don't know the outcome of, but are curious to see more.


The Nine of Staves pulled itself out of the deck when I plucked the King. In this instance I believe it's meant as a series of gentle reminders. One is that my interaction with Deity can not be stagnant. That is to say: 1.) My Gods are not satisfied with only rituals or meditations. I must take them with me into the actual world and act out what they want in my mundane life as well in ritual life. We can have all the conversations we want, but I need to work too. 2.) My Gods don't want me to do the same thing over and over for them or for myself. I have to do something different and unknown. I have to push boundaries, theirs and mine. I need to take risks, explore, and otherwise wander with intent and purpose.


Also my Gods wanted to remind me that while my relationship with them is deep and fulfilling, I'm never to tune out the world. I am supposed to interact with other people and inspire and touch them. I'm supposed to need and rely on more than my Gods, even if I feel like I could follow a solo path without other humans invading, I am not supposed to.


Its possible through this card that I am supposed to be seeking other gods. While there is value to what I have and how I practice, I'm still seeking and expanding. Where this journey will go, what else and who else I will meet is an open question. I'm supposed to stay alert to what is presented to me and respond to it as it comes.


That I'm supposed to be making a new different journey that doesn't look like something someone else is doing. There's a certain level of gloating in that, but there's also the immediate reminder that I’m going to mess it up. There is always unknown danger in the new path and there are always mistakes the first time you do something, that how it's supposed to be.


How the World At Large Views My Morals The Three of Swords:


I snorted when I first pulled this card. Three of Swords is the ultimate heart pain. In this circumstance it probably stands for many people pulling me many different ways kind. I wanted to pull another card for clarification but there are a couple of ways this can fit that I want to.


First it makes me think of polytheism and how to a monotheist this must look like a recipe for disaster. Most of the USA is Monotheistic after all, and if they could objectively look at my religion, perhaps the first thing they'd consider is how does one go from walking the one path with the one truth to walking many paths with many truths. I can go on about the pluses and minuses of polytheistic vs monotheistic outlooks but I would think the sheer conflict would strike people hardest.


The other aspect of this card might be that various people would like to pull me in different directions than where may faith is pulling me. If I care about this person, their views on faith do pull against my views in a way that might be hard or painful for me.


The aspect of this card that suggests a disturbing outside influence or an “other” force having a hand in my life is bemusing to me. Most people do recognize me right away as somewhat of an intuitive and I do find that this disturbs some people at first. I think those who haven't experienced some kind of divinity find it scary, especially when the concept of divinity presented isn't in step with the culturally common mythos. I generally take this as something to be proud of, that I have access to something that is valuable and that others want/seek. It's possible, though I've missed some of the darker things people think in this regard. It's in review but I'm not ready to call it.


Three of Swords makes me think of my family too, who I know view my religion as misguided at best and doomed for failure and pain most likely. They aren't the world, but I think they hold sway over the way the tarot answer the question.


This particular card also has the inner sacred eye on the heart the three swords are piercing. It reminds me that while these perceptions are not mine and they are not the truth, they can and do effect me. When I let this static in or when it floods past my barriers I let these people get into the very soul of my being and block off my energy and connection.