Blurb

Thoughts, lessons, and theology from an eclectic witch from a varied background.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

An apology & update.

Dear Readers,

I would like to apologize for my absence. I've been struggling with a number of things. Part of the challenges that I have been dealing with pertain to the work of running a household. It has been difficult work. I think, however, I am getting to the point where things may be ready for the end of the school year. I am in the process of lining up things for the boys to do when they are on break from school as well as shuffling my schedule to accommodate their days off. We're starting some new things that they have been doing at school. This includes a visual schedule for the day up on the wall. So, I suppose you could say that I have one more planner to work on.

I have also been working on my spring gardening. The boys have been helping out. So work is going a little slower than it would have otherwise. I am not yet at the point of planting things for food purposes yet. That is because I need to clean out and fix up my containers on the back deck and out front. I am hoping, however, that I can get some of the miniature varieties of plants that we like (such as carrots) growing in pots. I will be discussing things with my MIL as to what is going into the raised bed over at their place. You would not believe how excited the boys are. The thing they *really* want to grow right now are watermelons and pumpkins. I don't know how we're going to manage not to have them take over everything else.

I have had the chance to get some real work done on a few editing projects. I am almost finished editing the Southern Hemisphere edition of A Year With Dea. I expect to be sending that off to the printer by the end of this week. I have also been making significant progress on editing Drowning in Light. I expect to have that one finished in about two weeks, depending on if my boys manage not to catch the nasty viruses going around. (For the last week, I had my youngest home from school because he was sick with a virus that had him exhausted and experiencing a lot of stomach upset. Thankfully, he is much better today and at school.)

Long story short, I have been super busy over here with a lot of things that had very little to do with blogging. I am getting caught up on things, so I think I will have some posts up in the immediate future. Thank you so much for your patience.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Herbalism, Treasures, and Tools: Wands (part 1)

Image from Wikipedia
Wand have been in use since antiquity. There is a little bit of confusion as to what they were
originally. Some argue that they are derived from the rods that ancient cultures used as their early measurement system. Others would say that they are derived from spears or similarly shaped tools. A few have opined that the wand is derived from long handled spoons. Each argument has its adherents and I am confident that there are more arguments that I'm not aware of, as these were ones that I became familiar with via casual conversation with a few people.

It is my personal belief that wands are derived from the rod that was used as a semi-standardized form of measurement in a given culture as well as a tool for punishment. A quick review of texts from antiquity and you will find that the term 'rod' is used to denote equipment for this purpose. It is also something that is associated with authority. The scepter of royalty is a direct descendant from the rod of measurement and the rods used as switches. It is my understanding that wands entered into popular consciousness during the era of the witchcraft trials (Inquisition era and a bit later), where the idea of occult practitioners attempting to usurp the trappings of power held by 'legitimate' authorities became rather prolific.

With the rise of 'fashionable' occultism during the Victorian Era, the concept that a wand was absolutely necessary for magical work was cemented in the popular culture of Europe and Western society. This shift in attitude is actually something that can be found in the different ways that occult work is portrayed in the arts. Older artwork that depicted such things typically didn't feature wands. This was something that slowly became more prominent as the idea of wands being used in witchcraft and occultism grew in popularity. Now, it is perhaps one of the most common trappings of witchcraft and occultism.

Mention the word 'magic' and the next thing to come to mind for most listeners in the US is 'wand'. Wands are exceptionally popular because they are considered crucial for control of magic. They are also tools that many find to be a pleasure to collect. They can be as simple as a twig or as ornate as something heavily jeweled and adorned with many accouterments. In my post next week, I will talk about what exactly are the defining characteristics of wands and the folklore associated with them.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day as a Devotee of Dea.

Image from Pexels.com
Today is celebrated as Mother's Day here in the U.S. and I think it is fair to say that it is rather inescapable. Advertising for this celebration of all things maternally related (even some sassy nods to the less glorious aspects of motherhood) starts immediately after the advertisements for the commercial aspect of Christian Easter leave the shelves. It is a day that some find bliss filled and others find painful. And there is a hefty amount of social pressure to celebrate in a certain manner that equates to a lot of consumerism.

On the whole, it is a very stressful holiday that has very little, if any holiness involved in it. It is a secular celebration at best or a day of guilt fueled spending of time and resources at worst. It is possible, however, to shift the focus from the social pressures and such to something more spiritual and kindly. Shifting my focus from the commercial celebration of the day to Dea (and the multitude of spiritual matrons I have) helps to soothe the pains that come with this celebration.

I did spend a good portion of my day focusing upon my little family and the blessings of my children. In doing so, I found myself drawn to gratitude to my spiritual mothers for their guidance and aid. I gave an offering of works through simple daily tasks that I did to care for my family and home. I gave an offering of food early in the morning as the cinnamon rolls I baked came out of the oven, as bread is perhaps one of my favorite food offerings to give. And, I gave an offering of a scented candle that has burned through the day. (I would have offered incense but my asthma is a problem right now due to allergies.)

I turned my attention to my spiritual mothers and found comfort there. I made a point of focusing upon the gratitude, love, and good will between myself and them. It was a relatively small shift in the day's focuses, but it brought me nourishment within my soul and comfort in my heart. And, it let me draw a little closer to them when I had been feeling hurt, lost, and unworthy. That closeness helps with those painful feelings as well as replaces them with a feeling of love, belonging, and of being precious to them.

May it be that today has brought you such feelings of love, belonging, and preciousness. For we are all loved, treasured, and part of Dea's family. (As well as loved and cared for by those deities whom you revere and honor.)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Is it a SIGN or is it just ANXIETY?

Image from Pexels
Dear Readers, thank you so much for holding out hope for me. It has been a really challenging time that I'm working through right now. What I'm posting about today is something that I personally struggle with on a fairly regular basis (as in just about everyday).

Sometimes, something precious gets misplaced or lost. When that happens, it is understandable to get  upset. precious things have a lot of emotions and other value attached to them. The problems come when you start attaching meanings that are not accurate to that item going missing. A ring splitting apart and the pieces getting lost in the garden can be really distressing if it was a wedding ring.

Throw in the coincidental timing of some communication difficulties and stress between the partners in the relationship and the broken ring suddenly rises up from a source of vexation to a potential omen of doom. This is a fine example of catastrophic. 99.5% of the time, the ring breaking is just an indicator it is worn out or was poorly constructed. And the bits getting lost in the garden is just a case of trying to find something small in a mass of muddy dirt. (There's a reason why prospectors used a screen to get their bits of gold, the dirt fell through the screen as the gold stayed on top. If you lose something small in fine, sandy soil, consider using your colandar for that. You'll have to wash it before you make your next bit pot of pasta, but you'll find locating your missing item is much easier.)

There are times when what seems to the diviner a sign of horrible doom incoming is actually a situation of just run of the mill annoyances from life. The trick to telling the difference is the degree of emotion attached to the prospective sign. Does the sign feed into some anxiety or fear you have? Does it mesh almost completely into that set of ideas that you worry about?

If so, there's a really good chance that it is not a sign as much as anxiety is trying to ring the alarm that something horrible is happening VERY SOON.

Anxiety is a subtle and difficult thing to matter. This is where the practice of reality testing things is invaluable. Check and recheck your information. And, if you still can't tell if it is accurate or just your troubles getting the better of you, call on a second person for a new perspective.

Have a lovely day, y'all.

Pagan Parenting : Bedtime stories.

Image from Wikipedia
It was exciting this weekend to take the boys off to the Special Olympics. They competed and won medals. It was all in all, a very good day, even if the weather was chilly and raw.

A habit we have gotten into is on the nights when Beloved is out or not putting the kids to bed, I read them or tell the stories about the gods. Their favorite god to hear about is Thor, followed by Loki. Saturday night, my eldest son asked me to tell him a 'Thor Story' and I knew what the perfect one was.

The story about his merry jaunt off to Jotunheim and their contests. Both boys were impressed with the story. They also decided that Thor and company need to come participate in the Special Olympics so that the games are actually fair.

I thought it was pretty awesome to see that kind of compassion extended towards a deity. Most people I know don't pause to consider that sort of thing. So, these bedtime stories about the adventures of the gods can make for great lessons about the world we live in.

I'm pretty sure that this is going to become a big thing moving forward. It has that sort of feeling to it, like when the kids lit up at the sight of a lawnmower for the first time.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Divination Notes - Why keep them?

This post is a little late, I'd like to apologize for any difficulty this has caused you, my dear Reader. Before I charge into more serious topic matters regarding divination, I just wanted to present something that I have found exceptionally helpful in the last few decades that I have been messing around with divination.

A notebook is an invaluable tool. It is exceptional for helping you keep a record of what forms of divination work best for you. It is a fine tool for recording information about divination systems you are learning about. And, obviously, they are wonderful for keeping track of your readings over time.

Some people argue that it is just silly to keep such notes. At one point, I was one of those sort. Then, in an attempt to get my life organized shortly before I started college, I started keeping notes on my divination sessions. The first few notes were just a record of what the deck was that I used and the spread. Some of them were nothing more than a single line summarizing what the general message of the reading was.

After some time, I started to take my divination more seriously. This was reflected in my notes and my daily practices. For the span of about ten years, I did a brief divination session every morning after breakfast. I had my notebook open beside me at the time. I wrote down all of my impressions from the cards (or what ever tool I was using). I then processed those impressions into a somewhat cohesive whole.

The first few times I did this, my notes were copious and it was hard to filter out the information that really mattered. But, with some practice, it became easier for me to see themes and patterns. And, as I looked back through past notes from past divination sessions, I found even larger themes and patterns that were in play over the years.

Your process of keeping a record may be different from mine. That is just fine, because everyone has a slightly different way of making sense of the world around them. That said, I think you may find them to be very helpful in your own growth as a diviner and as you become more intimate with the process of divination.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Godspousery Notes: Stumbling exhaustion.

I haven't slept well in a few nights. I think it has been about two weeks, maybe a little longer. Some of this is the fact that I have had a cold for two and a half weeks. It is hard to sleep when you feel like you're drowning in congestion. It is even harder to sleep when you are having asthma attacks because of said congestion and a neighbor smoking in their apartment (against the rules, of course).

I was feeling upset and frustrated with how little progress I have been making on things like my writing commitments and my crafting work. As I was sitting here, slowly getting angrier with myself for the fact that all I had the mental cohesion for earlier was to just stare at FB and like what was basically silly memes and cat pictures, Loki piped up.

He said, "I'm proud of you. You should write that down."

I was confused by this. He then set a hand on my shoulder, which immediately began to relax and I wondered how I didn't realized I was so tense. He gave me that tender smile that he does when I am somehow managing to be adorable in my ignorance/confusion/derpyness. (Does 'derpy' change to 'derpi-' when you conjugate it? I honestly can't figure it out.) I started feeling somewhat annoyed with myself for not fully 'getting' what he was saying.

Loki ruffled my hair. Then he said, "You have been working so hard to be healthy, to meet your obligations, and to stand on your own more. All of the rest of this, it is icing on the cake. It is decoration and sweetness. But you and your work, that is the heart of it all and what is ... sustenance. You are doing so well. I'm proud of you."

I have been spending since the beginning of the month doing my best to do all the things that I need to with out letting my bipolar and c-PTSD stop me. It has been about as exhausting as the cold. I'm not at a very good headspace at the moment and I find myself wanting to argue that what I am doing isn't that big of a deal because 'everyone else has to do this kind of thing anyways.' He, however, just gives me a meaningful look and then tells me to go try to do some writing.

So, here I am, trying to do some writing at the tail end of a rather long day. (With tomorrow promising to be just as long and a household that needs some TLC from the cooking session last night and laundry waiting to be folded.) I don't feel like what I am doing is that big of a deal. I don't know if this is my not giving myself enough credit, my illness stopping me from really seeing things clearly, or if I am just tired. But, he is proud of me.

I can't be too upset if my spirit husband is proud of me. I'm pretty sure that if Loki is saying he is proud, Ingvi is going to have similar good things to say. Because they have similar feelings on this sort of thing when it comes to self improvement. (Hence the intervention that happened back at the beginning of the month, which was ... challenging but I'm working to meet what we agreed to.)