Not Fleeing But Seeking; Also, Ending Up Where?

(Tongue-In-Cheek Warning: This is about the Pagan/Polytheist split thing.  If you’re sick of hearing about it, keep moving).

This post by John Halstead was interesting (and it’s not just because I get so tired of hearing Heathens accuse each other of being Christian).  I think there is something to what he is saying.

I’ve often been confused by Pagans who share memes and sentiments amounting to things like “all religions are bad” and “people who believe in God/s are stupid”.  I’ve been trying to wrap my head around it for a while now, and frankly, this article does put some of it in perspective.  The idea that a lot of Pagans are moving away from the –theism portion of their previous faiths may go a long way towards explaining not only that, but the insistence that Paganism is not “religion” but “spirituality”, the oft-repeated statements of “Nature is my temple” (it’s one of my temples, too, but that’s a bit beside the point here), the wincing that one sees when one suggests the Gods are other than elaborate metaphor, that everything should be made up as we go along… if you’re a regular reader of mine, you know I don’t really agree with those sentiments, but I can understand where they may be coming from if people are coming to Pagan paths as a rejection.

I don’t think that it’s accurate for every self-titled Pagan though; it’s certainly not for me.  What drove me away from the faith that I was mostly raised in was a combination of things: being told that some members of my family’s lives could be forfeit if they didn’t accept the same faith (this was especially painful with my grandmother, who was a good woman), or that they would be condemned to an eternity of agony for disagreeing, the fact that someone who is as queer as I am had no place in the faith and the best I could hope for was a life of self-flagellating repression, and countless other things.  Mind you, I recognize that there  are many of that faith that argue that those things are not doctrine or correct.

What drew me towards Paganism was a love of the mystical and magical and a love of the Gods who I had loved as a child.  I’ve told the story a thousand times: when I was a kid I found a copy of the Choose Your Own Adventure book “The Trumpet of Terror”, which is set in ancient Scandanavia and you, the main character, belongs to a family touched by Odin, and you’re called on to aid in a touchy matter involving none other than Gullveig.  The names of the Gods and powers in that book ignited my blood, sang in my bones, captured my imagination and would not let go.  Likewise, when my mother bought a huge map of the solar system for me I asked her what the planets were named after and got an education on the Roman Gods.  Thereafter I tried to set up altars and worship without really knowing how.  I followed my mother into her new faith when I was a still wee one, but I never lost my appreciation of the faith and Gods that felt natural to me, despite trying to accept the idea that they were all demons trying to deceive us.

Leaving behind the old faith was hard, but not because I believed in its absolute correctness, more because of old habits and fears.  While I was walking into Paganism (specifically Wicca at the time) for years I felt a series of sensations like fishhooks attached to wires being pulled out of my spine, sometimes as bunches, sometimes one at a time, and reckoned it the connections to the God I once worshiped being pulled free, or me pulling free of them as I strove towards the path that made more sense to me.

I am not sure which Goddess it was that replied when I called to “The Goddess” or “The Lady” though I have some guesses (I never felt to comfortable with The God, frankly, and not because the God of my former faith was “male” – despite the pronouns used it was made clear to me at an early age that that they were neither male nor female, so I never thought of them as such).  I wasn’t running from religion, nor was I running from the idea of One God – I was fine with that as a Wiccan, all was the Goddess, and I thought of the various deities as Her many faces.  It was neither the mono- nor the -theism that took me away from my old faith nor the lack of one or the other that drew me to the new one.

When I started being Pagan, I started finding a lot of prejudices and what I considered harmful beliefs, but they didn’t drive me away from Paganism (although, to be honest, they had me on the run from Heathenry specifically for a good long while)  I decided to stay and make a difference by being myself and being Pagan (as I’ve decided to with Heathenry).  I stayed because the beliefs by and large resonated with me and because the practical aspects of that belief and my working within it have been beneficial.  I stayed because if I didn’t, my voice wouldn’t be contributing to it and changing it.

Which brings me back around to the article above.  Should Polytheism and Paganism split apart (if that’s even entirely possible)?  Should Polytheists remain a part of the larger Pagan movement and continue to add our voices to it?  I know there are plenty of folks on both side of that question who would be happier if we didn’t.  A voice within me says that that’s not in my hands, but I know better.  It’s in my hands, it’s in John’s hands, it’s in the hands of everyone in the larger movement that we’re attached to.  We all collectively are the “movement”.  This Pagan movement consists of people, and most of them aren’t loud mouths like myself and other bloggers and authors, they’re folks living it and not acting as mouthpieces for their egos, their Gods, or their causes.  Ultimately that’s what all that recent talk about Pagan laity has been about on some level, right?  The folks who just want to live their paths and faiths?

There are folks like me, who are Polytheists and still identify as Pagan – I straddle both identities, and I have to say I’m stretching in places that I’m not used to stretching as a result of this debate.  Part of me thinks that Polytheists would be better off moving away from Paganism, but the fact is there are lots of Wiccans and Eclectic Pagans who are still Polytheists.  They still believe in many Gods, that they are separate entities, and that they exist outside of our heads (though there are surely parts of them that live within us, too).

Is the question of identity more about Reconstruction and Recon-derived practices?  There may something to that – a lot of Heathens don’t want to be associated with Paganism because they associate modern Paganism with folks with no interest in reconnecting to the faiths of the past.  That is surely not applicable in all cases, or even most for all I know.  A lot of Wiccans still believe that they are connecting to an ancient faith-way and for all I know they very well could be, scholarship aside.  Who am I to say whether or not some ancient prehistoric Mother Goddess or Goddesses are whispering in the receptive ears of modern folk?  That aside, reconstruction that begins with scholarship is different from totally channeled spirituality in a number of ways, despite the fact that all lore was once UPG.

As time goes on I don’t know where I belong.  My times at Brushwood went from free-wheeling, firedance-happy Eclectic Pagan to Polytheist ADF gatherings and Heathen Woo-Woo Bootcamp.  I spent less time at the bonfire and more time at the Runestead, less time partying and more time worshipping, practicing, and studying. I found more fulfillment in that than I had in just smoking pot, drinking, and dancing around a bonfire.  It wasn’t what everyone was there for, even among the Pagans who attended.  I was still welcome at the fire and the public rituals; no one treated me as a weirdo for being who I was.  In other words, despite being a practicing Polytheist, the other Pagans didn’t try and make me feel unwelcome.

I don’t know the answer.  I do know that many of us aren’t running away, but running towards, not fleeing, but seeking.  Regular readers will know that I’m fascinated with identity and the borders of it and its composition.  This particular discussion is important to me, and it may be important to many of you as well.  How we approach this will shape generations to come; even if our names and specific words are forgotten, the ripples we set in motion will continue to build and change the face of things.  While I do believe that honoring the Gods is important for a variety of different reasons, I also think that our social and cultural movements are important too.  Would it benefit both Recon-based Polytheism and modern Paganism for there to be a definite split in our movements?  Would it harm either?  What will we be leaving for generations to come?  We all sense the rumblings and have felt and seen these divisions, and it’s up to us to encourage or discourage them as we see fit.  What do you think?

Vanaheim in Pacheco Pass

Recently I took a trip up to San Francisco with my roommates.  They were attending a History of Science conference for school, and I was looking to meet up and hang out with people I’d only ever met online, and see a city I’d never seen.  I had a good time, met folks, went out for coffee, was given the foot tour of downtown, got to attend a bardic circle of venerable Berkeley hippies reciting poetry (I want to be that when I grow old, really), and have a general good time.  There are a few vibes in SF that I’m not so cool with, but I was mainly there for the people I know.

On the way back we took the scenic route.  I was driving and we started to move into the mountains of Central California, and the beauty of the scene around me started to unfold and expand.  Because I have serious problems with vertigo, I had to pull over and let someone else drive, so I found an observation point with a little ranger station type place and got out.

And wept.  Not just dropped a few tears, actively lost it sobbing.  I called my girlfriend and could barely speak (all she cared about was that it was happy tears).

I’ve been a lot of places, and I’ve seen a lot of things, but I’ve never seen anything as beautiful in this world as Pacheco Pass.  It reminds me of my own visions of Vanaheim when I’ve seen it on falcon’s wing journeys – rolling hills of gold and green, deep calm water, misty distance, bright flowers… I’ve taken some picture and they do it no justice.

Pacheco Pass by the San Luis dam is where I want my ashes scattered.  I’d live there if there was somewhere near there to live, but I wouldn’t want to mar the landscape with a house.  Fortunately there’s a KOA campground not too far away and it’s only a 3 hour or so drive from me…

 

And there I am in the backseat glowing in the aftermath.  I would do anything to live or work near there.  I’d leave behind a lot to look around every day and see that soul-wrenching beauty, listen to that deep quiet, get lost in that misty distance…

This is the closest it comes to heaven on earth for me.  My earthly Vanaheim.

 

 

Shamless Intoxicated Thanksgiving Post! (Complete with bonus prize inside!)

I am grateful for you.

Seriously, whoever you are.  If you’re reading this I’m grateful for you.  Some of you have become good friends and I have glowy heart-feels for you.  Some of you are good people I like, even though we’ve not spoken much beyond shared comments.  Some of you I don’t know at all, and I’m pretty sure that one or two of you follow my blog because you don’t like me at all.  I’m grateful for you, too right now.

It’s been a struggle, but I’m coming to a point where I like the person that I am, and all of you in some way have helped to shape me.  Oh, there are a lot of other factors, orlog and hamingja, blood ancestry, all of the other people in the world whose lives have touched mine who are not reading this… but you’re part of that.

We interrupt this rant for a bonus Love Note From Freyja:  There is someone in the world who smiles because of you, smiles spontaneously and from the heart.  You are the apple of their eye, you’re the gifted rose beneath their nose, and their world is better because you’re in it.  You may not know who they are, but they think of you when the world grows dark and cold and you brighten and warm it for them.  Never forget that. 

Unexpected, but I haven’t delivered one in a while.

I’m also grateful for this blog because it’s brought us together.  It’s apparently my one year anniversary – it feels like I’ve been Pagan Church Lady for years now.

Thank you all for being the wonderful people you are, because all of you are wonderful in some way.  Like the Lady said, you make the world better. I am grateful for you.

heart hands

 

For Shame? For Shame!

The recent wash of transphobia through the Pagan community has made my bubble of safety even smaller.  I have a few things to say about it, as you might imagine.

People discounting this as “just a complex social issue” aren’t taking into account the words that are being used.  The petition that prominent Pagan Elders (and their supporters) have signed calls out trans women as dangerous and deluded.  It feeds directly into the second-wave feminist viewpoint of transgender women being men who medically alter their bodies to sneak into womens’ spaces and rape them.

The language used in that petition is as much a legitimization for violence as it is a call for separation.  It paints myself and people like me as dangerous, delusional, violent lunatics.  This is not just “someones’ opinion” – this is an attack.  I am not a rapist, I am only dangerous in that I like challenging peoples’ ideas (and not even really about gender) and if I’m delusional, it’s never harmed anymore, much less myself.  Making these generalizations about trans women includes me.

If you are willing to use the authority and respect gained by being an acknowledged Elder in the Pagan community to spread this message, then you are encouraging an extant culture in which actual physical violence against me and people like me is overlooked, ignored, and encouraged.  You are using your weight as an Elder to encourage people to think of me and people like me as dangerous, delusional, violent molesters.  You are using the power granted you by virtue of the fact that people trust your words and look up to legitimize violence against people like me.

And then you have the nerve to complain when people like me speak out against your words.

I have no problem speaking out against and even shaming people who use their authority to encourage people to spread lies that will make the world less safe for me and my kin.  I think people should be ashamed of spreading lies that encourage violence and separation against a group that already faces enough problems with violence.  Far too often we die by someones’ hand, either our own because we’re told we have no place in this world, or others’ because they’re told that we’re acceptable targets.

Trans people, and especially trans women, are acceptable targets still.  If this had been a petition that used the same language against people of color or gay folks then no one would be calling them out for shaming them.  Instead we have members of our own community rallying to their side, speaking out against those of us who are crying out in pain and fear, telling us that we should keep quiet, keep our heads down, and listen to the Elders that encourage violence against us, apparently out of love and  compassion.  We are still acceptable targets, and those very same lies that are being told about us have (and in some cases still are) been used against the other (sometimes overlapping) minorities mentioned above.

Call me out on shaming people who use the trust that others have in them to add public support to a campaign that legitimizes violence against me, and I’ll call you out as well.  You should be ashamed, whether you’re supporting this petition or those who sign it without thought of consequence to real, living human beings like me who I guarantee you aren’t lying, insane, violent rapists and monsters.  You should be ashamed, you who preach tolerance of human variety, in making one of the few cultural spaces that are even somewhat safe for us less so.

That is making war on (like, as in, actual violent war) myself and my people, and that is not something that I’m going to meekly bow and turn the other cheek to.

Hate and Fear, Loss and Gain (Personal)

Speaking out will get a lot of people to hate you.

I’ve been thinking about this all morning, since one of my recent posts got linked to places that had people running back and forth to hate on it.  It’s not the first time this has happened, either.  The question is, should it be the last time?

I’ve been giving  this a lot of thought this morning.  I really don’t want to be the target of peoples’ hatred.  It’s no fun, and it’s painful, and as much as I’d like to toss my thin hair and say that I don’t care, it’s simply not true.  I do.  I want to reach out and make friends with every person who hates me.  I want to sit down with them for coffee or tea or go for a walk with them and try and just be with them.  I want to laugh with them, cry with them, and share life with them.

I know that that’s neither practical nor possible.  I’ve fallen victim to the internet hate machine myself, but I’ve also noticed that people tend to cluster around certain areas and groups for that hate.  Places where it’s more socially acceptable, like online Heathenry, New Atheism, and various other religious and political movements.  I’ve tried to understand because I’m not immune to it either.  I’ve often spoken before about how hate-juice and fear-juice make money – people seem to get addicted to the masochistic thrill of seeing someone say horrible things that apply to them or things that they love.  It can’t be healthy.

I’m a person who is experienced in repression.  I’ve spent a lot of my life hiding parts of myself, and denying myself things that I want to do.  The main reason that I engaged in this behavior is social pressure; I didn’t want to be seen a certain way.  I didn’t want to have people target me for the hatred that I saw them targeting other people with.  I was afraid of it.

Every time you suppress some part of what makes you who you are, a part inside of you twists.  Pretty soon you walk around as a mess of painful knots tied around each other and every movement hurts.  You’re used to it, though, in part because that pain gives you that hate-juice and it’s a powerful drug.  It can keep you going.  Repression can fuel itself even when social fears dim, because part of that repression is a license to lash out at people who haven’t repressed those same parts of themselves.

I used to be that miserable, and then I started being honest about who I was and the things that I experienced.  I surfaced, bit by bit, and depressurized.  It is possible to get out of that hatejuice cycle, but it takes self-acceptance and self love.

It also takes jumping past the fear of what other people will think.

One of my favorite things to talk about recently is how I’ve gotten a lot of mileage in life from doing things that I was afraid to do.  Coming out as the fifty shades of rainbow that I am, being publicly Pagan/Witch/Heathen/whatever else, even liking certain stories and concepts are all things that I hid and thus kept my insides twisted.  While I would lose people each time I stopped hiding those parts of myself, I would gain even more.  People really do appreciate you being honest about yourself, but you have to prepare yourself for the possibility that it won’t be the people that you want to appreciate you for it.  You may lose people that you think that you want to be around you, but they will definitely be replaced by people who like you because of your qualities and your ability to be honest about them.

I still have knotted bits in me and likely always will; social navigation all but ensures it.  One of my life goals, though, is to become as unknotted as possible in this way.To be free to be myself, and to be willing to face losing the people that I will over it.  It’s happened before, when I came out as trans, when I came out as poly, when I started being more publicly Pagan, when I wrestled with my association with Heathenry, when I reminded people that I have Muslim family (even if they won’t talk to me because of who I am)… It’s worth it.  It’s worth losing people who don’t love you for who you are to gain people who do love you for who you are.

I’ve seen people who gather to crow and spit poison who I can’t imagine would be friends or associates for any other reason.  In fact, they often have deep divides between them, but are united by their hobby of hate and that they serve as good cheerleaders for each others’ hatred.

I wish I knew of a way to not be a target of that hatred anymore.  There is a difference between producing material that these hate-groups will descend upon and actively encouraging their hatred, and that’s a line I need to learn clearly because it’s one I have no desire to cross again.  I want to be able to be myself as much as I can be, and in doing so acknowledge that people will always find fault and a reason to hate me.

I think these groups form out of people so used to repressing and suppressing the parts of themselves that make them who they are that they can’t see any other way.  When they see people doing the thing that a buried, hidden (almost certainly hidden to them at this point) part of themselves wants to do, it turns their baleful gaze in that direction and they shame people the way they have been shamed (whether their shaming was direct or simply a reaction to their perceptions of society at large).  There are no more fiercely anti-gay people than folks deeply in the closet; and I know that I was very transphobic until I started to know other trans people and see them just being themselves without qualification or justification, and without fear.

I’ve always been a talker.  My mom and stepfather and his family used to complain about how much I spoke as a child.  I like talking, I like expressing, and that’s a part of me.  That’s a part of me that causes me to curl up and grow bitter when that is suppressed, too, which is how I know that it’s an essential part of who I am.

I won’t be reacting to hate by withdrawing, despite the voices clamoring in me to do so in reaction to the voices spewing hate at or about me.  I’ll keep talking and keep singing my song of many parts, and in doing so I will keep losing folks that didn’t really love me for me in the first place, and I’ll keep gaining folks that want to be around someone who is like me.  I’ll keep feeding peoples’ hate, but I’ll also keep reminding other people that there are people out there who are like them, and it’s okay for them to express those parts of themselves, and that there are other people who will stand by them when they do.

Nothing will make everyone like me, as much as part of me would like that to be the case.  Genuine honesty and living as myself has drawn to me the sort of people that want to be around people like me, and there’s no one I’d rather spend my life around.  Don’t let fear of losing people prevent you from being yourself, because your health is more important than their company.

My Pantheacon Submission Got Accepted!

I’ll be running an event at Pantheacon called, “Many Tribes, Many Practices“.  This will be my first time at Pantheacon, and my first time running an event for a gathering of Heathens that I don’t (mostly) already know!  I’m terrified and excited!

The descripton:

Different tribes have different practices and beliefs. While the Heathen community may be tied together by our fascination with Northern European history, culture and mythology, there are deep rifts within our community that only seem to grow with time. In this moderated open discussion we will explore how we may establish peaceful dialogue between the different tribes that make up the Heathen community. People of Color and LGBT persons are encouraged to attend.

I hope to see you there! (If this is applicable to you or you’re interested, of course!)

Other things I’m excited about:

Patricia Lafayllve’s A Practical Heathen’s Guide to Ritual and Seidhr: A History

Ember Cooke’s Four Thrones in Vanaheim

Max Dashu’s Seidstaffs of the Volvur: Excavating Norse Womens’ Ways

Diana Paxson’s: God of the Rainbow Bridge: Encountering Heimdall

Gender Diverse Pagans: Inclusivity or Hospitality (So excited about this one)

Cara Freyasdaughter’s Facets of Freya Ritual (Of course!)

Golden Gate Kindred’s: Lokasenna

Silence Maestas’s: Advancing Devotional Practice

… am I going to have time to breathe?  Am I going to be able to stand up afterwards?  This is only about half of the events I’m excited about, folks.  It should be affordable, too!  I’m really looking forward to it!

Fire Season (Personal)

fire ring 1

*static crackles and then image resolves*

Hi!

I’m back.

I haven’t really gone away, mind you.  I’ve dropped anchor here in San Diego, though, and it’s time to start getting back into healthy patterns, which includes regular writing.

A lot has happened in the last week or so.  In twelve days I’ve traveled to San Diego, settled in to my friends’ apartment, been taken on one of the most romantic dates of my life (and subsequently fallen head over heels for someone who feels the same and she’s wonderful, hail Freyja!), gotten to meet Njord/greet the ocean, learned how to deal with riptides, found new ways of balancing my many loves, been interviewed on a podcast, written yet another Patheos article, attended Pagan Pride Day on my birthday – basically I’ve hit the ground running.  The only thing that I lack currently is a job, and that will be remedied soon.  We’ll figure this one out.

The title of this post comes from a conversation that I had with my girlfriend a few weeks before coming here.  She casually mentioned that the dry desert winds would be coming in soon, and that it would be fire season.  Fire season?  The image that I had in my head was flaming meteors crashing to the earth.

I’m kind of pyrophobic.  I’ve had dear friends survive house fires.  I also had a couple die in the same.  I’m an earth sign and my chart leans so heavily towards earth it’s not funny – most of the symbols are earth, water, a smidge of air, and one lonely little fire sign on the edge.  I’ve never been comfortable with fire, and I’ve been contemptous of so many other Pagans’ obsession with it.

Sunset Shimmer Wallpaper

Well, I’m in the wrong business then.  I’m Fulltrui to the Lady of Fiery Passions, who casts a ring of flame down to hedge in a powerful giantess.  I’ve moved from a land of air and water to a land of earth and fire, from Niflheim to Muspelheim.  I’ve recently accepted Loki into my life (doesn’t it sound so evangelical that way?) despite the tension that I can feel every time he and Heimdall are invoked in the same room.  I’ve had regular interactions with the Delling, the Red Elf of Dawn.  Fire has been a theme for me.

A friend shared this song on Facebook on the equinox and tagged me in it.  It’s a favorite of mine, but it had special meaning that day. I danced to it for the Kindreds, and especially for Freyja (though I gave a special nod to Gullveig as well) with scarves the colors of flames in my hands.  I embraced my new path and destiny on my new path.  I’m being reborn in the heat, in the fire, in the burning, raging firestorm.  The sweat that glistens on my skin bejewels me, the heat that surrounds me suffuses me, the fire in the sky enflames my spirit.  The time of rest is almost over, and it will be time to work again soon, but when I do, I will come armed with new dances, new words, new lovers and loves, new songs, new magicks, and new passion and purpose.  A wheel spins that is really a spiral; though in some ways I’ve returned to an old place but it is a new iteration of the greater pattern, a broader track, a wider course, a new segment of the journey.  Though I dance on hot coals I do not flinch, for now the flame is inside me as well.

Tonight I will be going with my girlfriend to picnic beneath the blood moon/eclipse, and renewing my vows to Freyja, this time with a new layer of meaning and certainty.

Fire season has begun.

ring of fire

Personal Updates (Personal, Obviously)

In less than two weeks I’ll be moving across country to a place I’ve never been.  I know very few people in that place, but the thing that warms my heart against my fear is that fact that many of them have expressed excitement and impatience.

I have never been on a roller coaster with higher ups or lower downs than I have experienced in the last six months since moving back to Buffalo.  Relationships with both humans and Powers have been severed, altered, consummated, begun, realized… just about everything that can happen between two people (speaking generally) has happened between me and others during this period.  It’s been intense.

It’s been wonderful.  I may not be much of a masochist, but I appreciate being able to look back on painful times and feel the warm fullness of the experiences that I lived during them.  Despite the peaks of please, these six months have been painful.  Again, many kinds of pain have been felt – right now I’m dealing with physical pain (an obnoxious sinus infection, so any prayers, mojo, sendings, Reiki, whatever you have would be appreciated – I can’t afford to not be well right now) but there have been pains of all shades and colors.   I have had a wealth of experience.

I’m grateful for it.  I’m grateful to those who moved on or whom I had to sever, because our lives will truly be better without each other.  I’m grateful to those who became closer to me through troubled times, physical intimacy, and holy rite.  I’m grateful to those who have come into my life, even for this brief period before I leave this place, as well as the new folks I’ve not met in person waiting for me in San Diego.

I’m grateful to Freyja, and for Freyja. ❤  The Lady’s been pushing me and preparing me to do new things and take on new responsibilities for a while now.  She’s also given me immeasurable rewards.  She’s fulfilled promises many years old, and given me the strength to embrace myself and my future.

I’m grateful to Delling, for new days and new ways and many other things. ❤

I’m grateful to Jim the Odinsman for being my family and helping me in a rough spot and growing spiritually with me in this time.  I’m grateful to his fiance Clifford for being so accepting of me and bringing me into his heart and family and hugs without a second though.  I’m grateful to all the new cats, also.  I’m grateful to Brythwen Sinclair for swapping Godphone duties with me when one or the other of us was panicking or worn out.  All of my family, friends, and loved ones that have helped me keep going when things turned upside-down.

I could go on … there are a lot of folks out in the blogger community that have helped me to maintain my sanity over the last few months and other people who shared insight, wisdom, and just made me happy to know that they existed.  I’m grateful for you all.  I’ve met just about none of you in person and there are some who I haven’t spoken to at all, but your words have been good for my mind and heart and I hope that you know that I’m not the only one who is grateful for you.

I’m really going to miss this small, grey cat named Sheeba who loves me here, and comes into my room and rolls around and purrs and headbutts me while I type madly on my beloved laptop.  I think she’s going to miss me too. She is a sleek and lovely creature and one of the most feline felines I’ve ever encountered.

The practical effects of this all: I’m going to be maybe not blogging other than for my Patheos column for the rest of the month, and will be saving my writing time and energy for that and Walking The Worlds Issue 3, which I hope to complete an article for.  Since I’m doing a seidh rite after the Odin’s blot next week (9/9 is coming up, and James and I want to reprise the blot we did on 9/9/09, which is another interesting bookend for me considering the reprisal of the Freyja’s blot from 09 at Sirius Rising this year) I can take questions sent to me for the next few days; my cut-off will be Monday as I’ll need to compile things and prepare. After that I can do no more readings or other services until I settle in and am ready to pick things up again, give me at least until the beginning of October. I kind of need the money but I know that I won’t have the energy to focus properly on these things for a little bit.  I’ll be back to doing readings and whatnot soon.

I appreciate all of my readers and want to thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.  There’s a nice little community here too, and it may be electronically but we’re still building real ties.  Be well, and may your Powers hold you close and in love.  ❤

 

 

 

Gullinbursti Is My Co-Pilot

So, we wanted a boar for the blot for Freyfaxi on Saturday, so Jim the Odinsman and I went to the craft store and found a boy pig.  (We couldn’t find a nice, tusky boar).  We brought it home, and Jim carefully painted him and added copper streaks and we put him on the dashboard of the car while we drove to go a blotting.  Speaking of which, between the alcohol and the food and the overwhelming presence of multiple divinities, I ended up feeling pretty… blotted.  Yes.  I went there.

Anyway, here’s the Gullinbursti riding on the dashboard of the car.  I wish I could get Jim a little Sleipnir to take his place (the golden-bristled one is coming with me 😉 ).

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It just occurred to me that “Gullinbursti” has the same number of syllables as “Plastic Jesus” and thus would fit really well in that Plastic Jesus song.

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“Gullinburst, Gullinbursti, riding on the dashboard of my car,

Through all the trial and tribulations, we will travel every nation,

with my Gullinbursti I’ll go far.”

Sorry folks.  I had to.

Pagan Church Lady is Relocating!

So, those of you who have been following this blog for a while are probably aware of the tumultuous life changes that I’ve been experiencing.  Leaving a toxic relationship, moving back in with family, trying to find a new place in the world… the last six months have been some of the wildest and at times, darkest, months of my life.

Well, I received an invitation from a dear friend who lives in San Diego to move in with him until I get my feet under me and can stand on my own.  I’ve never been to San Diego; I’ve never been west of Ohio in the United States.  Looking at a map the other day I realized that I was travelling just about as far away from Western New York as I could without leaving the continental US.  I’m grateful for the assistance, excited and terrified of the major changes, hurting for all of the loved ones I’ll be leaving behind, glowing for all of the loved ones I’ll make when I move.

I’m glad; I’ve spoken to a lot of people about this, and not a single one has had anything bad to say about San Diego.  Although I’d love to be closer to the Bay Area because of the queer mecca that it is and the awesome Heathen and Pagan groups in the area, I’m also glad that the place I’ll be moving to comes so very highly recommended.  I can’t wait!

Given the lack of funds that I’m experiencing, I’ve decided to do publicly what I’ve only done privately before and set out my shingle for oracular work as is not uncommon in our communities.  I’m trained in and have practiced oracular trance work (seidh if you like, as it’s Norse-flavored) for individuals and communities for the last few years.  I’ve always had good results and responses.  I will provide answers to three questions for each individual who signs up in a limited session.  As is common, the sessions will be offline and questions asked and answers provided by email; having Skype open for a full online setting would be a bit distracting.  I may be open to it in the future, but for now I’ll stick with what works.

I’ll be charging $30 for three questions.  The whole kit-and-kaboodle will take the better part of an afternoon or evening for me, so I’ll be paying my assistant for their time, and pay for good offerings to give the powers, and  saving what’s left over for my personal funds for support and travel.

In addition, I’ll perform rune readings for $15.  I’ll be charging less for those because they take less time and materials and I don’t need a friend to help.  They will likewise be three questions and three answers provided, unless the runes provide more information to pass on.

Also, for people who are trans or otherwise gender variant I will provide a discount, as I know first hand how difficult it is for us to find employment and resources and I believe that it is in the spirit of the promise that I made to the rest of my community.

I also have a good hand at creating and designing bindrunes.  If there is one that you would like for a particular purpose, contact me and we can work something out.  I’m not going to set a particular price for this; it depends on the size and nature of the project.

So if you’re interested, contact me about any of the above.  If you’re not and willing to help, please read through my gofundme request and give what you can; I will greatly appreciate any assistance you can provide.  If you’re strapped for cash and don’t need divination, share my request and announcement if you can; I promise I’ll do the same for you when the situation arises.

I feel that this move will herald a new and beneficial chapter in my life.  I’m a person who believes strongly that good fortune exists to be shared, and I will happily share what fortune comes to me in my new home with those who need it and will benefit from it, and with family and loved ones.  Maybe some of you will be among that number in the future; I hope so!