My first Pagan Pride Day

For living in such a small state, a lot of Pagan type events tend not to happen anywhere close or even conveniently accessible to me. This is why I rarely attend public rites (well, one big reason anyway), but this past Saturday, Siduri and I drove up to Connecticut’s Pagan Pride Day. We didn’t stay all that long, the only event either of us wanted to see was the introduction to ADF, and that ended up being in the first slot. Before they started we both perused the outdoor and indoor booths and vendors to see what was about. There was one woman with some amazing Heathen stained glass pieces, along with Kemetic, general Pagan, some Druid, etc. I may have to get in touch with her about the spear with the two ravens and valknut. The state’s ADF grove also had a booth set up with information, and were selling rune dice and ogam kits. The dice were interesting, as they had both a set of four and a set of 12 dice. The latter helps you get past any potential missing runes which might need to come up, if you only have four dice total. Pretty clever. They’d also bought some of their collective library, which showed they were a very Norse-heavy grove. We both were glad to see it, even if, again, they are WAY too far out to consider visiting for open rituals.

One of the people we’d spoken to in the booth gave the talk about the basics of ADF, and some of it I knew: clearly neopagan but with a strong encouragement toward scholarship and historical accuracy. What I did not know is how specifically non-Wiccan their ritual structure is. Not to disparage Wicca or neoWicca, but I’m the kind of person who craves rituals but has no confidence to come up with my own. Or feeling like the ones I would create would be effective. My own issue to be sure, and I have in fact written a few over the years which I liked. But one of the reasons why I keep exploring other traditions is a hunt for ritual I can use for myself.

I like the structure they use, which can be found on ADF’s site. No circle casting, instead they make offerings to any potential hostile spirits which might interfere, in order to keep them away. There’s the Celtic concept of land, sea, and sky, reflected in part by a representative Tree and Well. Not something unfamiliar to this Swede! AND, the bonus, the small rite was in honor of Idunna, with an additional invocation to Bragi.

I’m actually planning to sign up for membership in ADF for a year, because I am interested in their dedicant path. And with everything happening in the last few years, one of my current plans and goals is to come back to foundations of practice and see where that takes me.

The other, and potentially more impressive part of Pagan Pride Day was finally finding my staff.

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S/he needs a name, but otherwise is perfect. Ironwood, ebony stained, and set with one huge smoky quartz. I’ve had a few gems poking at my attention recently and I am sure my last Pagan Activist post didn’t hurt. One of them gems pulling me has indeed been smoky quartz. The staff’s creator had another staff, not as tall and set with many gems. I considered it for a few moments but felt like it was a stone overload and I did not need that. Besides, this one makes me feel like some witchy Barbarian.

Not only is it a damn fine time to be a polytheist, but also a damn good time to be a witch.

And things keep happening

This was my first week on my new work schedule. Now I work Sunday through Thursday, 2.30pm to 11pm. I never thought I would enjoy the schedule as much as I do, but it’s liberating! I anticipate that it’s going to go a long way to helping me regain my health and my siritual practices. Even now, I can tell you all proudly I have done senut (the core daily rite of Kemetic Orthodoxy) 3 or 4 times this week. Given that before this week, I had done it maybe that many times since last November, I call this a win.

There are a few links I want to share tonight which I hope make more rounds.

I resumed my greening your magics series at Pagan Activist and this past week posted about gem work, especially about destructive mining practices. In a similar vein to my series, Lupa talks about why buying all the Halloween tchokies you see in the store isn’t such a good idea.

Unless you have been living under a rock, by now you have heard about Christian Day’s latest faux pas. If not, the short version is he reported several people for having fake names on Facebook, including one woman who used an alias to protect against a stalker. When she spoke with Day about the situation, well, you can find the conversation here. The last I heard is that Christin Day issued a generic and weak apology via his Facebook, but there may be more since. Either way, this behavior is reprehensible.

Beth is doing a devotional anthology for Odin! ‘Nuff said. Well maybe that and I think I am going to try to submit something for it. Got another piece I need to get out of my head for another deity anyway.

And finally, this from one of my people. Autumn, aka St. Mae of the Church of No Dead Saints and Discordian.com posted about people creating tulpas. If you are not familiar, tulpas are independent thought forms, for lack of a better term, originally found in Tibetan culture. I first heard of them through the comic The Invisibles, and have only done a very brief study outside of that. But I do know that Alexandra David-Neel, the woman who first introduced this concept to the West, described tulpas as being embodied on their own and not just existing in the mind and/or on the astral. As Autumn mentioned:

“Someone else said on another thread about this that it’s been more or less established that the Western occultist version of a “tulpa” is fairly distinct from the original Tibetan concepts. As often happens, Western occultists hear about a spiritual practice from abroad and lack full context or great translations and put it into practice as something fairly different from the original. And here we see a further memetic mutation….”

So while it’s interesting, we’re also seeing something new develop. I’m not too big on pop culture paganism but it doesn’t affect my practice in an adverse way. I have to admit that the amount of time it takes to develop a thoughtform alone is something worth noting.

And finally, tying together my interest in holistic health and want to wildcraft, Rue makes syrup from wild rosehips.

Enjoy!

Freyr and Gerd revisited

Or maybe visited, as I’ve never had a lot of dealings with the Vanir. I remain Odinic in my Heathen dealings… complete with bones, antlers, dirt, the usual earthy stuff.

Anyway, my point is this. Any time I learn anything relating to the Vanir, I soak it up on some level. I may not have an active relationship with Them but I can still learn and incorporate that learning. Which is why I wanted to share this great post Heather Freysdottir posted about a ritual re-enactment of the myth of Freyr wooing Gerd and what every little bit might mean. Yes it is doxa, because we will never know for certain, but it certainly does put an interesting new spin on this tale.

Yes I’m still here!

Because I have been far too quiet here and yet still have been seeing some new subscribers here recently I thought I would say as much. There are multiple levels of brain dumping I need to do, several blog posts which have existed in my head for over a month, and in a week I switch to working evenings at the library. Gods willing, this will allow for a resumption of more spiritual work and writing in general.

In the meantime my cats continue to be adorable and do things like this of their own accord.

Cuddly cats

Latest on Pagan Activist

I knew I was going to be doing this post even as I did the last one about Kenny Klein, as national events dictated it.

I’m Swedish, Heathen, and not a racist is me starting to sort out all the issues which come from being a progressive, lefty devotee of the Aesir when some others use it as justification for violence against people who are Other. There’s a ton I did not include and at some point I hope to start putting it together into something more coherent. It’s also going to take a lot more reading on my part. Consider this post the beginning.

Helping the community

Signal boosting this post from my friend Sufenas for several people who are in need of financial assistance at this time. I sent e two of the stories yesterday and am glad to see them gaining more visibility: for Bob (a friend and fellow Assistus–Sufenas, proper declension?) and Kate Bornstein. There are also links to a fundraiser for victims and survivors of the Kansas shootings and another transwoman who needs money.

May every dollar received for these worthy causes be multiplied a thousand times over!