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

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Moura: Week I

It has been somewhat difficult over the past week to keep to the planned refraining from sugary things. I have been working to replace the sugar I have been craving with different flavors but I keep going back to sugar. I decided that I was going to cut out sugar from my diet for the whole of Moura. It hasn't been working out too well because when I get stressed out, I start eating sugary foods. (I'm looking at you, chocolate.) When I have a migraine, I crave sugar. And when my PCOS starts acting up, I crave sugar.

The stress levels were a bit high at the very beginning of Moura because I was desperately trying to finish that book of meditations manuscript. I had set my deadline to be Moura Eve and wound up completing it three days into Moura. Considering that over the course of the time where I was working on the manuscript I was dealing with a depressive episode, lost a few days work time to snow days for the kids, and a week to the boys having winter break, finishing three days past deadline isn't half bad. At this time, I am in the editing process and I am looking for people to read through the manuscript. If you are interested, contact me at the email address I list at the bottom of this post.

I wanted to post on here for a few weeks but I was so caught up with the manuscript that when I had time to post here I was mentally fatigued and simply unable to concentrate. I had a very stern talking to from Freyr about my perfectionist tendencies and how I am hyper critical of myself with my writing. I have to admit, when a deity tells you that you have a problem and you need to fix it, then the problem is serious business. I have been told not to work on any major writing projects for a while. He didn't tell me how long I am to keep from working on books. I have a fantasy novel in the final phases of editing, a science fiction/romance monster of a manuscript that needs editing, and the manuscript I just finished ready for the first round of real edits. But Freyr has put his foot down and barred me from working on these things until he has decided it is time for me to do so.

It may sound a little odd for me to say that I'm getting told what I'm going to do with my writing career by Freyr but he has taken a definite interest in what I am doing and how I proceed with it. He was considering making blog posts and journal entries taboo for a period but Loki talked him out of it. I am, however, under strict guidelines as to what I am permitted to work on. My religion related posts on here and on my other blog are approved as long as I don't get into topics that stress me out. I am also encouraged to do the reams of journal writing that I do for the sake of my mental health.

When Freyr said to me last year that he wanted me to write for him, I at first thought he wanted me to write things specific to him. Then I thought he wanted me to compose things in his honor. I'm beginning to realize that what he is looking at in my writing covers all the topics I touch on. I find myself wondering if he is going to be taking an active hand in the business aspect of the writing stuff. Loki tells me to just relax and go with the flow. I'm trying to but I keep stumbling over my own anxieties. They both assure me that is something that will improve over time.

At their urging, I saw my psychiatric care professional and had an adjustment to my medical regime. The effects of this change has been enormously positive. I will say this officially, for the whole world to know, Loki was right and I should have listened to him in the first place on this matter. World-breaker has been shaking things up a bit for me over this last week. My planned things to do have been getting swept aside and I find myself spending more time knitting and resting then doing anything else. I suspect that this is going to be the theme of Moura this year.

Loki, Freyr, and Odin have all been strongly encouraging me to take up the divination for hire stuff that I was doing through Keen. I have been attempting to be available during the times when the kids are at school. (That's between 8:30 am and 3:00 pm eastern time, for you folks who are curious.) If you decide you want to take me up for a reading that's awesome and I am more then happy to work with you. I do more then just tarot readings, which you will see on the page I linked to. I am also quite willing to work with you if you find payment difficult to do. There are folks that I have been doing free readings for on a regular basis as part of the spiritual guidance I've been giving and other folks who I have bartered readings in exchange for other things. So, I am really flexible on the payment front.

I know, however, the real reason why the three of them are pushing me to do the readings for hire is because I need to work through my social phobia. I don't get out of the house much, especially this time of year with all that snow out there. So, my social outlets are Facebook, blogging, and (on a good day) Keen. Odin has taken a special interest in my divination studies and he wants me to branch out into doing spellwork for hire. I get a little nervous at this idea but he's been presenting some very good arguments. So, I may reboot my failed Etsy shop and focus on metaphysical things.

In the last few days before Moura started, I worked up a new altar cloth. It is a really, really simple doily pattern. If anyone is interested, I will post it up on my other (mundane) blog tomorrow. In keeping with my intuitive sense of things, the colors dominating this season/month are dark blues and black. I think the lightest shade of blue that I have been wearing is a royal blue. I also have made a point of having a purple candle on the altar. Quite a few folks in the Filianic/Déanic community use purple as the liturgical color of the season, thus the purple candles.

The dark blue is a tie back to Tamala, which is the time of year in Filianism where the dead are honored. The connection to Tamala should not come as much of a surprise to someone who has a bit of knowledge about Filianism. At the end of Moura, the Daughter is slain by the Dark Queen. The dark blue color of my veil, headscarf, and snood that I have been wearing when I cover out of the house are all in anticipation and recognition of the coming death of the Daughter. The black is in recognition of her journey into the Nether World, the realm of the dead, which is a voyage into darkness away from the light of her Mother.

When I haven't been resting or doing restful things, such as knitting, I have been spinning. Now, spinning is to some extent a relaxing thing for me. It is also a way that I connect with my ancestors. And it is how I do magic. In the light of the horrific things happening in the world, I have been spinning with intent for protection for the defenseless, justice for the wronged, and peace in war torn places. These threads are then wound into skeins that are put on my altar for a period of time. During that time, the magic is sent into the world and the offerings associated with it are given to the gods. When my intuition tells me that the magic has dissipated from the thread, I take it off the altar. I don't know what I'm going to do yet with the thread but I am sure something will present itself.

But, that is my report for how week one of Moura has been for me. Tomorrow, I will try to get a post up about some of the other associations that this season has for me. I don't talk very much about how I work with the Norse pantheon and this time of year, I actually am pretty active with them. This year a bit more so then last year. I have a feeling that this, however, is the beginning of a pattern in my life. Freyr has been stepping up and making his presence know a great deal more since the autumn equinox. I expect that the spring equinox will be especially interesting. I'll talk a bit more about that in tomorrow's post.

As always, if you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please post them in the comments and I will address them as quickly as possible. Also, any suggestions for future topics are deeply appreciated.


Pattern for the doily is up on my other blog.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

This too shall pass and all shall be well.

The bitter weather briefly lifted today. As I sat at my desk and applied myself towards working on this manuscript, I quietly thanked Dea for the respite. It feels like it has been ages since I've seen the sunshine. While it didn't last long, I saw a bit of blue sky this morning as I watched the sunrise.

I have reached the 3/4 mark with the manuscript of meditations and I find myself growing frustrated. Writing has become more difficult because of my illness. I sit and stare at the screen feeling utterly snowbound within my mind. The words just refuse to come. This has me fearing I will not finish the manuscript.

Despite my fears, however, I shall continue to work. In the echoing silence from Dea, I am striving to keep in mind that She is still present. I ache for Her to speak to me. I fear that I have some how failed to please Her or that I have angered her. Then I breathe and remind myself:

For She has not forsaken you, neither are Her eyes filled with anger. And Her hands that have shattered the gates of Hell shall not harm you; that have broken Hell's foundation shall be lain on you in gentleness.
On Our Mother's Love, Verses 4 & 5, The Gospel of Our Mother God
I make a point of repeating the prayer I learned from Dame Julian of Norwich:
All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Fallow times.

It has been a long and challenging week. As I have struggled with my illness and the attendant difficulties, I found myself feeling estranged from Dea. It has been a trying time for the last six months. I have not heard Her voice nor felt Her presence since late August. At another point in my life, I would have given myself over to despair that She had rejected me.

As I have been attempting with all my heart to write this book of meditations, I have come to a realization that She did not leave me or abandoned me in any fashion. It is, however, a curious sense of absence that comes with Her choosing to be quiet. Her silence has been perhaps most difficult to bear as I have been working on this book.

I recognize, however, that there come periods of time in a mystic's life where Deity becomes quiet. It is not an absolute silence, for I still have interactions with the other gods I follow. For that I am thankful, but I feel this silence most keenly right now. I still call out for Her and yearn for Her presence. These times of silence, however long they might be, are not times of abandonment. They are times where I am to rest from being in the presence of Deity and to practice discipline.

I do not think the timing of this silence is coincidental. My depression started getting worse not long after this began. I have not had more then mere moments of happiness over the last several months because of my illness. It is a painful thing to endure on top of this silence from Dea. I refuse, however, to give up hope that She will speak again.

I will continue to pray and meditate upon Her. I will continue to give up offerings and compose hymns in Her honor. It would be an abandonment of Her on my part to meet this time of fallow silence with a failure to keep faith in Her. I refuse to allow the idea that Dea has turned away from me take root in my mind, even at my deepest days of depression. She is always with me, even when I can not hear Her voice or feel Her presence. I know this to be true and resolve to move forward with faith. For all things can be conquered with courage and faith.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Luciad Eve.

The Filianic high feast of Luciad is tomorrow. This evening, many are observing Imboleg. And then there are the folks who observe Candlemas. All three of these celebrations mark the closing of the Winter season. I haven't anything grand and wonderful planned for Luciad.

I have candles to be blessed. One is a traditional taper, one is a pink novena candle, and then there is my small pile of tea light candles. I also will be blessing my electric candles, because I can leave those on all night with out fear of burning the house down and they should be blessed as well. I won't be making a Bride's Bed or weaving Bridget's cross out of wheat because I haven't any of the things for that.

I will, however, make a point of invoking Sai Raya to bring light into the darkness of the season. I will be invoking Sai Vikhë as the Janya who bear's Sai Raya's heat into the world to bring us warmth and respite from the bitter cold. At the same time, I will be asking for Sai Mati to bear Sai Raya's light into the world. Basically, I'll be calling on three angels (well, angel isn't quite strong enough but most of my readers get a bit lost if I use Janya) to bring warmth and light for the hastening of Spring. I will also be saying a prayer to Marya, the Bright Mother of the Filianic trinity, to bring health, healing, and welfare to the world. Because with all the anguish I have seen in the news and all the suffering that I hear about in my neighborhood, I think that kind of plea is timely.

I will also be at the beginning of something new that I'm doing. From Luciad until Valentine's day (which several folks in the Filianic community celebrate as Amity day - Love day), I will be working on expressing love and affection to the gods and the world at large in demonstrations that are tangible and intangible. It may be writing love poetry for Freyr or making cookies with my kids. I will continue working on my manuscript (which is about half finished) and try to imbue each word with love for my eventual readers. I don't know if the novena candle is going to last through that whole time, but if it doesn't then I just get another candle when I grocery shopping next Saturday. I'll try to keep you all appraised as to how this experiment goes.