Listening To Them – TPE

This is a post for The Pagan Experience about deity & the divine.

So here is where I confess a terrible thing, I wasn’t listening to my Gods, namely Baldr. I wasn’t letting Him in. And this turned into Him showing up to someone else who was performing a reading for me (thank you!) being Super Grump.
It’s kind of strange to think of Him as that, seeing how much of what we know from lore sources have painted Him as a glorious, shining ball of light and happiness. However, let us remember in Saxo’s account, He was a fierce warrior who fought to have Nanna. And if you look at that story without the names attached to it, you’ll see the character He played was a bit brazen (or maybe a lot considering He decided He had to have someone else’s intended).
It always makes reminds me that there is no denying He is His father’s son.

So why would He be Super Grump to my poor, lovely reader and therefore at me? Well, I don’t know why exactly I had it in my mind that He was to be interacted with in a distant way, that for some reason there was a waiting period before w/We could interact in much closer proximity as I had been doing so with Odinn, and Frija (to a lesser extent), but I had kept Him at arm’s length. Ok, probably more like, across the street length. In fact, I had also cut myself off from Odinn and Frija (Who both let me know They were not too happy with my distancing as well), doubting that I was allowed to have those close relationships.

Ugh. What is human brain meat!!!!!!

I couldn’t even tell you why I did it. Perhaps things got really real when I got a reading from the lovely Beth back in December? I won’t divulge what was said, but it did kind of shake my world around a bit. Flail happened.
So I think with that reading, all of a sudden, things had to be super serious business. Formal. Restrained.

And I think now, when had things every been like that with Odinn & Frija? Never. There had been some more formal ritual things when I needed to mark something as important, but otherwise, o/Our relationships have been pretty friendly and informal. I would say even almost emphatically informal after I was frustrated and fed up with school, and after the not so nice thing happened. I needed comfort when They came to me, and that’s what I got. They’ve never been distant, ethereal beings to me. Until I tried making Them.

Then Baldr came into the picture and that’s when I got all worked up. And it took Him, the God people like to see as happy-go-lucky, and very shiny, kicking me in the pants to smarten up.

So why am I sharing this with you? Well, because having relationships with Gods can be a hard thing. We can’t physically see Them. Physically touch Them. Hear Them, smell Them, or taste Them. The way we experience pretty much everything in our life is based upon our physical senses.
It is hard to keep focused enough to see Them without our eyes, or hear Them without our ears. It makes the experiences with Them subject to how confident we feel in our non-physical senses, our sanity, and our worthiness at having relationships with any of Them.

Over the past few years, I readily admit questioning my sanity many times. So much of our conditioning (even from a church-going Christian background) is focused on our physical world. But we are not just physical beings. We are souls with bodies for a time. It’s well and good, and sometimes very nice (wink, wink) to be very in the moment and in your body as it feels all the stimuli from our environments: the smell of your favourite dessert baking, soft, warm fur beneath your hands, seeing someone you love in person after a long separation, listening to your favourite music that moves you to joy or tears, a warm breath across your skin in just the right place. These are delicious things. These are good things.

Yet, we also experience the world with our thoughts, who we are as a spirit. And how do you experience a non-physical being when you’re currently trapped in a limited human body? How can you do this reliably without letting yourself think you’re crazy? It is a very difficult thing, very difficult indeed.

What I have done to be open again, is just say to myself “fuck it”. I never worry about what anyone else thinks of me, why should I let conditioned filters that I sometimes let myself see myself through affect me? Why should I care what I think of myself if that thought comes from society’s filter that mystical people are crazy? Even Christians think their mystics are weird. And what difference would it make if I were crazy? Is my spirituality not feeding my soul? Does speaking/being with the Gods not feed my soul?
I suppose part of it could be that old “not worthy”, “feeling good is a sin” that could be surfacing. Well, that notion has never stopped me from having le sex, and lots of it. There’s no shame in that at all for me. I view sex as physical, yes, but so very spiritual as well. It’s something that lets us lose ourselves, become more than just who we are in our limited human bodies, if only for a few moments.
And I ask myself, is that not what my relationships with Them is like in a slightly different, brain-way? Absolutely. I am filled and inspired and awed, and I lose myself in o/Our interactions together because they/They take me somewhere else I couldn’t even imagine (in multiple ways), They teach me things, They’ve helped change my view of the world and my self (not that I had a bad view of either before, but now my view is wider, grander), They’ve made me very aware of the spirits in all things and how much humans have tried to cut Them all out, and I just simply enjoy Their company.
Just as friendships and relationships in real life, relationships with Them are important, fulfilling, and help me become a better person. (There’s also the perk with deity/spirit relationships of learning magickal things as well, thanks, Frija!).

So I got kicked in the metaphorical pants, and here I am, in the thick of it again. It’s beautiful, and I’m inspired. It’s hard to remember to pay attention sometimes to hear Them, to visit with Them, ’cause They can’t just come to us and yell at us outside our windows. We have to make the time to just listen, to let go of doubts, to just be with Them.

It’s a strange thing breaking down all the things society teaches us to conform, to be the same as everyone else. To break that down and build up your self as a whole person, as someone who is not simply the physical and thought, but a spiritual person. Someone who is not afraid to feel (emotionally as well as inspirationally). Someone who feels the rush and tingle of energy flowing through us, sometimes welling up from within us, sometimes coming from something physically un-seeable. Someone who follows that and gives no fucks what anyone else has to say about it.
What a world it would be if everyone followed the deep wisdom that lies in the very hearts of us, connected to everything, to everyone.

I won’t isolate myself from Them. They don’t deserve that, and neither do I.

Waiting

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I’m anxiously awaiting my new tarot deck that should hopefully (fingers crossed) arrive tomorrow! It’s a birthday gift along with a handful of books to read, all witchy, of course! I’m getting the Wildwood deck, which I am pretty excited about as the images are beautiful and really click with me (so far as I’ve seen online). Not to knock the Rider-Waite, it’s a fantastic deck to start out with as it is the go-to, but I need something that works more for my own sensibilities. What’s also great is there is a huge book which discusses each card, which means (and I’ll find out for sure when I receive it), that it can also probably work well as a beginner’s deck. I’ll probably discuss how I like the deck once I’ve had some time to work with it in the future.

As for the books, I got the following:
Balkan Traditional Witchcraft by Radomir Ristic, Michael Carter
Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation by Stephen Harrod Buhner
The Faery Queen of Spencer’s Butte and Other Tales by Jolene Dawe (read her fantastic blog here)
Journey to the Dark Goddess: How to Return to Your Soul by Jane Meredith
Hearth and Field: A Heathen Prayer Book by Hester Butler-Ehle
Neolithic Shamanism: Spirit Work in the Norse Tradition by Raven Kaldera, Galina Krasskova

Funny thing, you buy a bunch of books, and then you have no focus to read them. Since I didn’t have to wake up this morning for garden work, apparently that meant my body wanted to sleep 10 1/2 hrs, so I woke up at 11 am. Then I end up being tired all day. Fantastic. Oh well, I let myself rest, and baked some squares for a friend’s birthday on Saturday.

What I’m also waiting on now is for a friend of the family to come and till my garden beds so I can get to planting, finally! I finished digging up the last bed yesterday (Wednesday May 21), was hoping he’d come today, but it did rain overnight. Hopefully he’ll be here tomorrow to get it all done, because my seedlings need in the earth! They need to grow! And I need to tend to them! Heh, you can tell I hate being on the verge of things…

I realize this post is waffley, so I’ll let you get on with your day/night until I have something substantial to say. I’m off to dreamland.

 

Edited: added in my own photo of the deck.

Game of Thrones

I have to admit it… I’m obsessed right now with Game of Thrones. The season ended, and I got the books on my Kobo. I read the first in two weeks… the fastest I’ve ready anything that big before (seeing as my man takes the Kobo to work with him during the day).

So… then I wanted to sing the theme song, cuz I thought it’d be fun… here it is! 😉
I’m going to continue tweaking how I record because this white noise just won’t do… It irks me to no end, but oh well for now! 😉

New Year, New You – Something I’ve Been Putting Off

Well, in a word, EVERYTHING. Lol, no clean yet, Yule decorations are still up, this past Sunday’s ritual didn’t happen (though I did have an impromptu Wednesday ritual). I’ve been so busy with my transcription and proofreading work (oh, did I tell you I’m working on sites like Fiverr now? Yes I am!), hand-sewing myself a new robe (which is almost finished), knitting pillow covers, reading a lot (I’ve got three books on the go right now), writing a “perfect spell” for my Wicca 101 class (well, it’s pretty much done, but there are some tweaks I’ve been making), and singing with my school’s Chorale.

Ok, so I’ve been busy, clearly, there aren’t many moments when I’m just sitting around doing something unproductive, it’s true. But I really want to get the apartment cleaned out! However, all the things I’ve been doing lately have some sort of timeline, some sort of due date! So if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been the past week and a bit, that’s what I’ve been doing!

I’m not saying all the work is a bad thing, in fact, I love having something to do, things to occupy my time that I feel are worth it 🙂

How have you all been doing?

The Return of the Sun

So, as you can most likely tell by my recent posts made very close to each other, I am done school! Wee!! I only have one semester left to get the Diploma, but it will have to wait a year as we are broke! Which is fine, I could use the rest and time to work on the self as I have said before. I’m not feeling as hostile about school anymore because I realize a lot of it was because I was so tired from being silly and not taking vitamin b12. Sigh. Sometimes we can be not so nice to ourselves.

I believe I haven’t mentioned this before, but in September, I began taking a Wicca 101 class with a local group. It’s been great, even though we’ve had to move classes here and there because of business and illnesses (I was sick twice this fall!). I was invited to a Yule celebration this past Saturday night, and I must say, I always thought I’d be better off on my own, but I loooove group ritual. I’m glad as I get older, my inhibitions about things seem to go away. I find myself feeling more unafraid about reaching out when I am really interested in something, which is awesome, because I end up getting to do things and speak with people about the things I am passionate about. Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t ever hold my own solitary rituals and do solitary magic, nor do I think either are not as powerful as with a group. When you’re on your own, you only need to depend on yourself, and your will is very focused, but I see that in group, you get the wills of people who care about you and want to help you if you need to do a working in group.

I am so very excited for the future, for rest, growth. I am giving myself a couple weeks to just do nothing, sleep, eat delicious foods, perhaps make more meads?? I’m slowly running out, and I’m going to be hosting a little mead making party with some friends from school, lol. They will be trying mead for the first time (except one who’s had it in a metal bar in Germany, yep, she’s a metal head), and I’m excited to share something so delicious with them. I wish the meads were a bit more aged, but they’re still pretty tastey! In fact, honestly, they’re the tastiest alcoholic drinks I’ve ever had. I’m a complete convert, and so is my man, who doesn’t usually go for the sweeter drinks!

Anywho, as a last little aside for today, I have begun reading the Change series by S.M. Stirling (you can click on the book link in the sidebar to the right). I am absolutely loving it! It’s so gritty and realistic, I find myself believing the Change has already happened when I bring my nose out of the book, and needing a moment to adjust. My man and his brother have read the books and loved them, and the lady who’s running the Wicca 101 has read them and loved them, I kept on hearing all about them from all directions, and my man placed a hold on the book in the library and just picked it up for me last week, telling me I’m going to read it, lol. I must say, even though I’ve not read an incredible amount of it, I really appreciate how genuinely human the witches are portrayed. There’s no hoo-haa-ing about, “look at me!” sort of attitudes. It’s treated with validity and sincerity, and things are explained in a way that people who don’t really know much about Wicca or Paganism and witchcraft are having components gently explained while also being just shown by the characters what goes on, which makes those who either know about Wicca/Paganism/witchcraft or are a Wiccan/Pagan/Witch not feel as though the writer is giving us a 101 book, being guided by the hand. I will probably end up devouring these books within a short period of time, lol.

Anywho, happy Solstice to all!! A Yippee Yule if I don’t talk to you tomorrow!! May the return of the Sun bring warmth and hope to your soul.

My Summer Musings

Aaah, it seems as though the summer is going too fast! Mostly because there hasn’t been an incredible amount of summery weather until a few weeks ago here 😦 Also, I have been dreading going back to school in the fall! Yes, yes, I will continue to do it, lol, however, I know I will burn out, and I definitely don’t want to experience that again! But, we are living in a stress free apartment (it’s been very quiet in so far as lots of communication between us and the landlords, which is fine by me, no drama!), so I know that there won’t be a stressful home factor this year, thank the Gods! And perhaps the break in December will actually be a restful one this year, enough so that I can get through second semester! I’ve been talking and thinking about how to better handle everything, and well, it sounds trite, but I just gotta take it one day at a time. Then I get to worry about auditions in second semester for the next school I’m going to go to to finish my bachelor’s. Le sigh. It never ends! Lol. Also, I’ve been going back and forth not knowing if I should get the bachelor’s because mostly, you need that to teach, which I never, and I mean NEVER want to do. But I’ve also been undecided as to what I want to do with music. I think I’ve come to a pretty solid conclusion that fits how I want my life to be (in so far as family/house/time to myself): I’m going to be an opera chorister, stationed in one city.
Now, there’s a bit of (and by a bit, I mean a whole lot of, lol) snobbery when it comes to opera. If you aren’t a prima or primo of whichever voice type you are, and have a crazy career, you are a soloist “failure”. This is so ridiculous and needs to be changed, I tell ya! Not everyone is cut out to sacrifice basically everything to be a world-renowned opera star. Those people generally live sad lives, usually never marrying or having children. That’s just not the life I want. I want a house, a big garden, kids, doggies and kitties. Yep, I want domestic bliss. Could you imagine an opera without its chorus? Those huge, amazing scenes that get your heart pumping as the music swells with all the voices joining in emotion? It’s like raising energy in ritual! It’s just amazing. Plus, I’ll be working with the same people, which, once you’ve been in any sort of stage production, you know that they all become extended family.

"Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Performed by the Royal Opera Chorus and Orchestra.

Anywho… lol. Other things that have been on my mind or happening… I’ve been doing a lot of witchy reading (which I gotta do now, cuz during the school year, I have absolutely no want to read!). Currently on Margot Adler’s “Drawing Down the Moon”. It’s been good. Read a few 101 type books, however, I couldn’t read the last one all the way through as it was aimed for someone who’s probably only just found the Craft. I think I can move on from that now, lol. It’s been good to finally read these, although I have a feeling to get into the deeper books, I shall have to purchase them off Amazon as my library most likely won’t have books that specific.

Annnnd… mead. Oh, mead!! I think I’ve figured out what we’re going to do in retirement, lol. I’m going to have a meadery. The man can grow hops and make beer, and I will bee keep and make mead. The bottles are doing very well, the yeasties are very active. I went out today to a wine making supply shop and picked up some carboys, caps, airlocks, tubing and a brush for cleaning the carboys. I sanitized two of the caps and airlocks to place them on the water jugs I have my mead in now, and both jugs are having bubbles about every eight seconds. It’s so exciting making it, darned frustrating with the waiting (I know, it’s only been a week!! Lol), but I am quite excited! Before placing the caps on, I took a good sniff of each mead, and holy man! You can smell that alcohol! And behind that is the smell of ambrosia 🙂 Going to make another two bottles this weekend: a pumpkin mead!!!! And probably a fruit mead.

And lastly (I hope, lol), I have been spending more and more time outside during the day in the sun… it has been wonderful! I have my lovely umbrella however, lol, as I am a very, very pale person, and burn quite easily. My arms are now tanned, even though you’d never know unless I showed you how white my tummy is! We’ve been going on walks (albeit, usually to go get something, which is ok, cuz that means we’re walking for about a half hour at the very least), we should go on more with the pup though, but the man has been quite tired lately, as noted by all the angry yelling at his silly Mortal Kombat game :S
But, I’ve been bad with eating too much lately. Sigh. I’m trying to reign it in, I promise, lol. I really, really, really need to find somewhere that sells salad spinners so that I can have one and eat salads for lunch and have them with dinner. I miss salads, and I refuse to dry the salad with tea towels cuz our animals’ hairs are everywhere!

Ok, this is the last thing, I promise! I’ve also started saying a mental prayer at night before going to sleep, saying thanks for all my blessings They bestow upon me and my loved ones. It feels good, intuitive, not something I have to worry about making more elaborate than it should be. I think I’ve always known, but I believe I’m one of those whose practice is more spontaneous, and things will be less about what long ritual I’ve got written down, and more about the emotion of the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I like beautifully written ritual, very much, in fact. But when I want to do something, I never grab my books… I just… do it, in my own moment’s thoughts, words and actions.

Alright, my lovelies… that’s a huge post for one night, lol.