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Archive for the ‘Year and a Day’ Category

I’ve had to step away from my training.

It’s a complicated thing, but I’ve talked before about some of the mental health issues I have, and they’re just not cooperating with the level of energy that comes with (and is required for) coven work. I’m perfectly happy and really enjoy the Work, and I love being in circle, but the backlash the next day is, well, awful. And a little scary. It’s not an all the time thing, but after our (wonderful, high energy) celebration of Beltane this weekend, I had two of the worst days I’ve had in a long time.

Maybe it’s that my meds aren’t working (this is highly possible, from other cues in my life), maybe I just can’t handle the energy levels raised in a close knit circle.

Maybe I’m just not cut out for this priestess thing, no matter how much I may want it.

Self-limitation sucks, especially when it is because of things you wish would just go away.

I know that paganism and mental illness are not mutually exclusive, but they’re butting heads right now, and it sucks. I know this is the right decision, that I can still worship my Gods and do my magic on my own, and that I’m still allowed to be close to my circle mates. But it will be different, and it’s not what I want or what I’ve spent the last 18+ months working towards.

I’ve talked with my HPS, and she agrees strongly that this isn’t something I should push to continue if it’s going to make me sick. I trust her advice, and it’s somewhat comforting to know that this kind of mental backlash isn’t normal. It’s not a grounding issue either, or one of focus – by all accounts I’m fine when I’m working and have good energy flow and am grounding properly, it’s just… too much for my brain I guess.

Still, I’m conflicted by having to step away (at least for now, I keep telling myself) from something I really want to do and be. Even knowing its the right and healthy choice doesn’t make it fun.

I’m the River Daughter, and I’m a witch… and I happen to also have mixed bipolar and an anxiety disorder.

Somehow, I’ve got to find a way to make that work.

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One of the local Witches that I’ve had the pleasure of corresponding with recently suggested this exercise for Creating Liminal Space, since I’ve had trouble really connecting to a patron Deity. If I had to pick any Deities that I’ve felt connection to, the only ones I’ve ever really felt strongly about are Danu and Gaia (and Gaia largely due to Oberon Zell’s gorgeous statue of Her).

But I am the River Daughter, a name I’d not really thought about using in the Craft… but which is quite appropriate for Danu, who was a River Goddess and Mother Goddess (and for whom the Danube and Dnieper rivers (among others) are named. So I thought I’d give Trothwy’s exercise a try, if only because it’d be good for my intuition, and because I really could use a permanent altar space to sit at and cast my circles.

And sure enough, she was right. As soon as I started walking with some incense, I felt /something/. Maybe my imagination, maybe not – but there was definitely something there, and I now have a little altar set up on the countertop of the bar in my house. It’s both conveniently located next to water (the sink) and an open space, and is in a place where the cats probably won’t disturb it too much.

I did a little chanting, and a little listening, and I plan to repeat the exercise tomorrow. The longer I sat there, the more things just felt “right”, for lack of a better explanation.

There’s not a lot that I’ve been able to find about Danu from an archaeological standpoint, and most of the legends are about her (quite amazing) children – so I’ll be going on my intuition and creativity for what I can’t find in the myths.

Today’s Tarot Card:

The Prince of Wands – Who reminds me that passion and eagerness are a good thing… but that I must also follow through on things I commit to. Fortunately this card also comes with the attitude that New Things Are Good. Since I can sometimes be resistant to change, that’s at least a bit encouraging – even if the card does come with a bit of a warning!

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I’m going to try out a “weekly check in” kind of post, to keep myself honest about what I’m doing (as well as to keep me “aware” of the things that are going on around me, from a seasonal perspective). I think this will usually be on Mondays, but I still had houseguests yesterday, so Tuesday will just have to work for this week!

Here we sit like birds in the wilderness…

The birdfeeders are up again for the fall – a little earlier than last year. Hopefully we’ll get a better set of birds this winter, as we now have more than just generic “wild bird seed”. As of right now, we have a thistle/songbird feeder, a sunflower feeder, a “bird seed blend” feeder (that has a pentagram on it… but don’t tell anyone. It’s disguising itself as a Texas Star), and a tray-style feeder up on a high pole. Eventually when it’s cool enough, we’ll add a suet feeder.

In two days, we’ve seen a mated pair of cardinals, chickadees, sparrows, tufted titmice, mourning doves and whitewing doves, and a bluejay. I’m hoping to see the bewicks wrens that nested in our front wreath at some point, as well as the woodpeckers that live in the front maple, some finches and … well, anything else we can get to stop by for a snack.

I need to look up whether it’s too late here to catch migrating hummingbirds or not. I know we’re far enough south that we see them on their spring and fall migrations, so it’s worth a look. I’ve got an extra hook on our feeder-tree that’s not being used!

What I’m Reading

  • Divine Wind; The history and science of hurricanes, by Kerry Emmanuel
  • Greenmantle, by Charles de Lint
  • Some of the Valdemar books by Mercedes Lackey (re-reading, summer brain-candy style)
  • Keeping a Journal You Love, by Sheila Bender (out of print, from the library) – This one is something I’m going to look into purchasing for myself, as the prompts in it are interesting and different. Either that, or I’m going to make a big list!
  • A book on Texas Gulf Coast ecosystems and ecology… that I forget the name of. I checked it out of the library and Husband Unit promptly stole it off to work where he’s been reading it during down time.

Wicca: A Year and a Day

(This doesn’t count as part of What I’m Reading, because I’m not really “reading” so much as “doing” it alongside the book)

Thanks to weekends, traveling, and houseguests, I’ve gotten a bit behind on my Year and a Day. (I’m on day 9 after two weeks. Oops.) Still, the exercises have been valuable, and I’ve been keeping up with the journal side of things. Some of his meditation tricks have been very useful, and I’m finding myself working on grounding and centering a lot during the day. (Also, the slow, intentional breathing seems to help me quiet my mind and fall asleep. It’s not helping me STAY asleep, but I’m getting more sleep than I was, so hey – improvement!)

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Pulled out all the dead plants – currently have three pepper plants, two okra plants, an eggplant plant, and a roma tomato plant that are still alive enough to give a second season a try. All are stressed (except the okra, of course), but seem to be trying to flower, which is encouraging. Hopefully when it cools down they’ll start actively producing again. Echinacea is in full bloom, and it’s become one of my favorite flowers. I’ll probably plant it in the front beds next year as well, since the huge purple flowers are gorgeous.

I need to sort the compost and get it turned into the garden soon – probably this coming weekend. It’s just so unbearably hot that I’m dreading doing it.

Seedlings for my fall garden include yellow, acorn, and patty-pan squash, bush beans, pickling cucumbers, and little yellow pear tomatoes, as well as green onions, bok choy, and an assortment of sympathetic plants (like nasturtiums and radishes) to plant in the garden to help with bugs. My colony of assassin bugs seems to be doing just fine as well.

My herb plants are doing splendidly… except for the basil, which has flowered and is in the process of bolting and dying (which is fine, I’ll be collecting the seeds). Thyme, sage, rosemary, lemon balm, and bee balm are all quite happy, and the oregano plant of DOOM has slowed down some due to the heat. Aloe vera plants are also doing splendidly.

We repotted the lime tree this weekend, so it’s a little stressed, but it’s not dropping fruit, and seems less stressed than it was in its previous, too-small pot.

Seems like a lot, but I’m introducing some of this from scratch, so I figure most of these posts will be shorter. It’s good to be back into my routine!

Hope ya’ll have a blessed week!

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Quick Note: Thank you to those who left comments! I’m sorry I didn’t approve them sooner – for some reason I’m not getting the emails about new comments properly. I’ll look into it, and for now, welcome and hello!

This Year and a Day is going to be more like “366 meditations”.

I’m pretty sure there’s no way I’m going to be done in 366 days. There’s always the issue of vacations and trips that make spiritual practice difficult. Plus, right now I’m limited on weekends, due to both lots to do (I have a large yard, and our house is a ‘fixer-upper’ in the classic sense of the word) and my wanting to keep things very private. I don’t mind doing meditations and journaling, but going out and doing spellwork while the husband unit is around makes me jumpy.

Which is conflicting a bit. I don’t like not telling him things, but I also don’t know how he’ll respond. (I also don’t like sharing secrets. “Two may keep a secret, if one of them is dead” and all that.)

Either way, the beginnings of this book include some musings on what fears you might have approaching Wicca, and what your religious past is. Oddly, I’ve been looking into this enough that my biggest fears are those of isolation and rejection. I’m afraid of never being able to talk about this with anyone in “real life”, and I’m afraid of my family finding out and turning their back on me.

I don’t do well when I disappoint people. I especially don’t do well when I disappoint my parents (and right now, as someone who’s been unemployed for over a year, I’m pretty much a walking disappointment, judging by our recent conversations).

And my parents are deeply, utterly, wholeheartedly, unquestioningly Christian. As are my grandparents (my grandfather is an ordained minister). And my brother and sister in law. And all my aunts and uncles – except my one uncle, but he’s always been the “rebellious” child and a self-centered prick. And that doesn’t even get into my deeply traditional South Texas in-laws.

So I fear rejection. That I will have to reject myself and stay secret – or that I will be rejected by my family.

We’ll see what comes of all this.

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