I wrote up a partial summation of the panel I was part of this past weekend for Pantheon Foundation’s Pagan Activism online conference. You can see the post here and get in on the discussion. What kind of accessibility do you want to see in pagan, polytheist, and animist communities?
I’m so excited to tell you all about this. I’m presenting in TWO conferences coming!
First, I am slated to speak at the Pantheon Foundation’s first ever online Pagan Activism conference. While my name is not there I am slated to be part of Saturday’s panel “Care and Feeding of Pagan Activists.” The price for this conference has also dropped to $40 for the weekend, and you don’t even have to leave your house to attend!
Second, the stars have aligned for February and the planned days off already scheduled so I will be back at Pantheacon next year! My presentation will be Sunday morning and once again what I had intended to present this past con: Juggling the Gods – syncretism in theory and practice.
If there is anything you would like to see me cover in either of these workshops, leave a comment!
Last month I had a session with my nutritionist. It had been about two weeks since I got sick with a flu to knock me out fully for two days. A rare thing for me, even now. But it was taking me a while to fully recover. I was dragging and lethargic, more than what is normal in my current adrenal fatigued state.
She first told me that the flu going around last month was one which lingered for weeks. (so for any of you who got it and took a long time to recover, there’s your reason.) As such, it was not much of a surprise then that I was still feeling even more lethargic than usual.
She went a little further, and it became one of those times when I am glad my nutritionist is also a friend, an intuitive, a medium, and a co-religionist. We both have claims on us from the Aesir, so there is a common current for both of our spiritual lives. And we know each other kinda well at this point.
She opened herself up, consulted the Unseen spirits, and came back with a message.
My dark time of the year had already arrived. The autumnal equinox had hit at the start of that week, but its energy for me had come in to settle long before. On the physical side everything was alright and I did not need to change one bit of my protocol. But I was already in the dark for the winter. Her suggestions included warm foods, even wearing warm colors (for all my fiery temperament I wear a surprising amount of pastel-type clothing), keeping up with self-care, and supporting myself like I do during the winter.
It helps. Knowing it helps a lot, even if so far I have not been able to act upon this knowledge. I’m doing what I can, and especially after last week, when I had a much-needed visit from my best friend, I am working to keep from putting too much pressure on myself. It’s inevitable that we do a little less during the dark time of the year. The light has waned, the cold has settled in, and much of our energy goes into keeping warm and secure.
There are some things to be done though. So far I do not know what they are, aside from tasks I have set for myself. (ADF study and Ellen Dugan’s hearth magick class, if you want to know.) I’ve picked up some new supplies, like flying ointment from Sarah and cords from Beth. But my challenge now is to make time (yes I know, Sekhmet) to get back to my practices and figure out some things now.
And then to sit back, wrapped in a blanket and sipping hot cocoa with a cat snuggled by my side.
Nono is moving back to the east coast in the next few weeks and in an effort to raise some extra money to cover costs, he’s selling some more of his belongings. I also support the buying of gems second-hand and have some ideas here if you would want to clean them after.
I meant to do these as a few short posts during the summer. That never happened, but I still want to share, so enjoy it, world.
About two weeks ago I found myself feeling fed up, yet again, with my seeming inability to complete anything. The frustration just kept building and building, until I grabbed my scarab. This would be the one I wear as a symbol of being shemsu-ankh in the House of Netjer. At the beginning of the year I bought new beads for it, because the last set of black beads were starting to fade, and I still liked this look. The scarab and beads actually sat on a lamp stand next to where I sit on a near daily basis, and I kept forgetting they were there.
Out came the beads and the hemp cord, and not long after, I had a necklace ready to wear again.
The big laugh came when the cord snapped about two weeks after I got back from Wep Ronpet. Oh, and one of the beads went missing. It wouldn’t turn up again until a few days after I decided how I wanted to completely redo the necklace with beads from another piece.
Very funny, Dad.
(not long after the re-beading above)
Sometimes crap just comes along and you gotta execrate. Execrate the shit out of that crap. Execrate so hard that you rip the paper even before you start slaying the snake on it.
But damn if that doesn’t do the job just right.
This all started in June. One night I went to Chipotle to get dinner because I just did not have the energy or interest to cook for myself. The strangest site was there for me. A tall man, shaved head, wearing a grey t-shirt aond jeans, was lounging on one of those little dirt islands in the parking lot.
“Wha? This can’t be right. Not right at all.”
A few minutes later I realized it was a rock. But it still was not.
Every now and again, for most of my life, I will see a person in my peripheral vision who disappears when I look directly. This summer, it was off the chain, how much it happened. I spent a lot of the summer lethargic and groggy, and this kind of liminal head-space seemed to be vital for me to see these things.
Who would have thought that I would gain second sight when I turned 40?
It happened last night too. Two different “people” in two different places in the parking lot as I left work.
Now the question is where to go with this…
just do me a favor and don’t ever fucking doubt me again
and thank you for the reminder of why I really do need to believe in you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.