How things have changed over time

At the beginning, I wanted so badly to make the world a better place. Instead, I was pushed to focus on making my own life better. Sure, social and environmental issues are important too, but I don’t have the ability to do anything about them, and worrying about it was just making me feel awful all the time, which only hurts me without fixing anything. Better to focus on my own happiness, selfish as that may sound.

There were many other instances where I wanted to go one way, and was advised to go a different way, and sometimes back and forth.

At one point, I needed to take a break from social media, blogs, and people in general, and focus just on myself, without any other voices in the room. I need that from time to time, to be alone with myself for a while, but this time I needed it for much longer.

Then it was the opposite: I was encouraged to spend MORE time with people, put myself out there and interact more with people I don’t know well, as well as spend more time with friends.

Do more, do less, do more again but don’t go overboard. Avoid stressful situations–then go INTO stressful situations and deal with whatever needs dealing with, but be careful to only take on as much as I can handle. And so on, in every aspect of life. I didn’t always understand, but I went along with most of it, because it felt right.

After a couple years, I’m starting to see where all the little nudges have been leading me. I’ve been going in a certain direction for some time, but as things keep shifting around me all the time, I keep having to adjust various things to maintain a balance.

I still struggle with some things, especially things like asking for help when I need it, but I’m slowly getting there.

And all the little things that seemed unrelated to anything else? They all fit together. Like the moment when you realize that all those boring hours of practicing scales have given you the skill needed to play a song, and the seemingly pointless repetition now makes sense. And even though there’s still a long way to go…that moment of understanding, that’s something.

Well, that’s the generalities. In looking at specifics, this is what has stuck with me most:

“Choose life, every day.”

Reblog: Interfaith Challenges – “Common Ground” Isn’t

EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir

Much of my work is interfaith either deliberately or incidentally. Representing small, mostly-modern, polytheistic, animistic, sex-positive, radically inclusive faith traditions in a context where most folks are at best quietly politically moderate, and almost entirely monotheistic, presents a number of challenges.

You’d think the biggest would be the polytheist vs. monotheist gap, and I suppose it could be if I pushed the polytheism more in those contexts, but mostly I don’t. I’m well aware that it takes more than explanations to get someone’s brain to flip that particular switch, and I don’t see any reason why they should be obliged to understand, as long as they aren’t rude when they don’t. Most aren’t rude – or are least not intentionally.

What I find to be the biggest conflict is actually the constant push to find “Common Ground”. It’s pretty easy for Christians to find common ground amongst themselves, and not…

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Reblog: The crash.

carrying their light

I remember being new to Kemetic Orthodoxy. Everything felt exhilarating. For the first time in my life I had a direct line to communicate with the gods. I felt when They were near me keenly, as vividly as I felt any human presence. I could hear Them speaking when I calmed my body and centered my mind. I was feeling things I’d never felt and experiencing things I’d never experienced. I loved Them deeply, and I was overwhelmed to feel how much They loved me.

Time passed. My relationship with the gods began to normalize. When Wepwawet’s voice spoke through the songs on the radio, I was first thrilled, then touched, and then… mildly bemused. The things that once caused my breath to catch and my spine to tingle were suddenly a part of everyday life with the gods.

And it sucked.

I felt abandoned. The excitement was gone. I…

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Reblog: Reconstructionism – The Pagan Experience

Wildwood and Wild Hunt

It will likely not surprise anybody to learn that I am not a reconstructionist. This is partly due to the fact that the gods I worship (Cernunnos, and Anglo Saxon deities) don’t have a lot written about them. We don’t actually know very much – and when it comes down to it, I trust my own experiences of Cernunnos far more than I trust scholarly speculation. The speculation is interesting, and it often coincides well with my experiences, but it is not something upon which a relationship can be built.

This page, for example, is very interesting. It contains information about some of the artefacts through which He has come to the present age. It doesn’t tell me whether He laughs, whether His worshipers would have approached Him with fear or delight or both. It doesn’t tell me when His holy days are, or how He might like to…

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Why I was away

Two months since my last post. Between feeling disconnected from my gods, and being heartsick, and…things I can’t talk about, there hasn’t been much to say.

I can talk about it a bit now, though.

Oct 1, 2015
September was a very difficult month, emotionally speaking. My life in general had been going well, and I was happy. The only not-great thing was that I haven’t been able to feel any of my gods for some time, but I figured they were probably just busy, no big deal. But their absence continues, and I miss them more and more the longer it goes on.

I know that things like stress can make muck up signal reception, but I’ve been feeling pretty good, so I don’t get it. Still, I wasn’t worried, I expected it would clear up eventually. But now it’s been going on long enough that it has started to bother me.

And then I started having some other problems, the sort where it would really help to talk to someone, and I found myself with no one to talk to; not only were all my gods silent, but all my human friends are unavailable too! I thought I would just wait a bit until someone becomes available, but weeks went by, and everyone is still unavailable, and I have gone from sad to desperately lonely.

But then I realized, everyone is unavailable. Maybe that’s my cue that I need to spend some time by myself. I wish I didn’t have to be alone, but sometimes it’s needed.

Once I committed to giving myself time alone, I calmed down. I still miss everyone, but I’m no longer desperate. I’m doing well by myself. It’s even kind of nice, not having to think about anyone other than myself, for a while. Not to sound like thinking about the people and deities in my life takes effort, no, having them in my thoughts is natural and effortless, but after a while I get so used to having them in my thoughts all the time that I forget how to be me by myself.

And so I occasionally need to spend some time alone, with myself.

I had been, unintentionally, alone for over a month already. But being alone, in itself, provides no benefit. I need to take an active part in my solitude, I need to intentionally withdraw from the world, to get back to myself. I wish I had remembered that sooner. I guess I need more practice.

I have no idea how long I’ll need to be alone. I promised myself that I would take as long as it needs. I want to talk about this, but I’m going to hold off on updating my blog until after this is done, as talking about it now would be the opposite of having time alone.

Oct 12, 2015
I am ready to come out of my hermitage. Twelve days? It felt like several weeks.

I had abandoned wordpress and facebook for more than a month, and was only minimally active on tumblr. My level of activity on social media had already decreased drastically, even before I realized that I needed time alone. I think I was drifting away from social interaction even without realizing it, but I still tried to cling to friends, and to my deities, and that had to stop for a while, to give me a chance to do what I needed to do.

It’s good to be back.

As I’m thinking over everything that’s happened and where I am in life, I think I’m at a better place right now than I have ever been. Sometimes it’s hard, but it’s also really good, with a promise of even better things to come.

Life is a struggle, but I will keep striving to get to where I want and need to be, and I will get there.

Wep Ronpet 2015

Yesterday was Wep Ronpet (Kemetic new year) for me. As all new years, it is a new beginning, a time to throw out bad things and start again at making a good life.

I did an execration of sorts, but not the way I usually do it. This time, instead of writing on paper or a clay pot, I typed it all on the computer, saved it to give it some solidity so it could be destroyed, and then deleted it while speaking my intent out loud. “I am putting an end to [harmful things], they have no hold on me any more, I have destroyed them!”

Then today I came across this quote, and it’s very relevant right now:
tumblr_nt3pntWpZO1rnsok6o1_1280

There were things that I needed to execrate, but I’m more focused on building the future I want, and that is making a huge difference. Getting rid of negative things feels good, but building something positive is the best feeling.

The other aspect of new years is that they are times of celebration, and Wep Ronpet is no exception. So, I went into it with the intention of celebrating and feasting, but apparently I’m just not very good at that. I shared my dinner with my gods, but while it was nice it was not anything special. Sadly I didn’t have the energy to do any serious cooking that day.

I am good at taking time for myself when I need it, but yesterday I went all out. I think a good quarter of the day was spent on taking care of my health. I gave it however much time it needed and didn’t worry about how much that is. If it’s needed, then it’s needed.

Then, some hours after dinner, I remembered that I had gotten some caramels specifically for Wep Ronpet, so I re-lit the candle and they got a belated treat as well. I am happy about the caramels.

Maybe next time I should put up some decorations. I think it would make the space more festive and set it apart from a regular day. I also think that the act of decorating a space can put you in a more festive mood. So that’s an idea for next year. For now, I’ll just keep working on “building the new” because that’s the most important thing for me at this time.

 May this year be a good one.
And it will be if I have anything to do with it!

Lokabrenna 2015

I was trying to think of what to do today, but I’m afraid I’m not much of a planner; usually our interactions are all very impromptu. I was having trouble coming up with anything different than what we usually do, and while I would be happy to just chat and listen to some music together, I wanted to do something different today.

What finally came to mind was: Let’s go to the dollar store, buy some craft supplies, and do something silly and fun! The result? I got some felt, cut out some funny mustaches and stuck them on with tape. Alas the tape was not sticky enough to make it stay, but it was fun.

At other times we’re more serious, it depends on what we’re doing. But more often than not, it’s pretty light hearted; find something we’ll both enjoy and feel good. Sometimes that’s music, often it’s just talking to him about whatever’s on my mind, and sometimes it’s being silly because it’s fun. I guess I just want to make him smile. He has made me smile many times. He came into my life at a time when I really needed that. Learning again to find happiness in little things, has made such a difference.

Dear Loki, you make my days brighter. I am glad to have you in my life.

Something resembling a plan

Wep Ronpet is a week away for me. I have decided that I’m not going to celebrate the intercalary days this year. I don’t really get anything out of it, and I feel like it’s unnecessary for me personally, so I’m just going to skip that this year. I am still definitely doing something for Wep Ronpet, though!

I also want to do something for Lokabrenna, which would technically fall on the same day, but I want to have it on a different day so I can devote a whole day to both holidays. Well, probably not a whole day; we’ll see how that goes.

Since the date would fall in the middle of the week for me, I’m moving my holidays to the weekend. I couldn’t decide if I should do it the weekend prior or one after, so I’ll do one of each! August 9 for one, and August 15 for the other. I haven’t decided which is which, yet.

The 9th will be the end of this week, so I need to scrape together at least a general idea of what I want to do. I’m also behind with school work, so I’ll be busy with that too. I was considering doing August 15 and 16, to give myself more time, but nah, I like this setup. I’ll just…I have no idea. I will do SOMETHING, and it will be great!

I have been embracing the chaos for the past few months, and that’s been going really well for me. I don’t need to have everything planned out, I just need to have a general idea of what I want, and go for it. I’ll figure out the details along the way. 🙂