Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Introduction Survey

Since I entirely overworked my attempt at an introduction post, I'll just dive in. I'll take a survey done by the amazing Dusken:


Do you have a magical/Pagan name? No, because they often strike me as silly. Your religion is a part of everyday life, and the name your parents (or friends) gave you a part of it as well. However, following Dusken's advice, I have thought up a name to use whenever I make a formal trip to the Astral.
What does it mean? Uh, you can probably guess. >.>
How did you find Paganism? Slowly, after separating myself from Christianity, which I did not agree with. That phrase implies active resistance, though, and I mostly just ran away, mentally screaming.
How long have you been practicing? Been trying to articulate my beliefs for at least five years.
Solitary or group practitioner? Solitary. My partner and I share living and worship-space, though.
What is your path? Erm...eclectic? Trying to avoid the buffet-style paganism.
Are you out of the broom closet? To some. I'll rant about how I dislike that phrase later. I had to come out of the sexuality closet, too (or, as an acquaintance called it, dropping The G-Bomb)...That was worse, at first.


Who is your patron God? I almost answered with a female deity...damnit.
Who is your patron Goddess? Athena, if I had to pick.
What Gods do you worship? I want to have more of a reciprocal relationship: they help me with something, I repay them. Hekate has piqued my interest, lately...
Do you fear darkly aspected Gods/Goddess, or rather respect them? I am...wary of approaching them (or any spirit in general) without cause.
Do you worship the Christian God? No. The human followers pushed me out of that. Can't say I'd want to meet him, either.
Do you ever worship animals? I consider them different, but not inferior, lifeforms. They know things we don't.
Or plants? The same. My partner, who often goes by Sunlitgarden online, has a degree in plant biology. She patiently teaches me to identify the local flora, and tells me interesting tidbits about them. Trees in particular are amazing. There's something powerful about staying in one place for so long, with your feet deep in the earth and your arms in the sky.


Do you regularly commune with nature? I try. I live next to a largeish park, which is hardly wild, but I say hi to and admire the plants and birds there when I visit. (And the domestic dogs. There's a no-leash area, which they love.)
Ever walked barefoot in the woods? I took off my shoes for a brief time. (This was before I identified as pagan.) I think I got a splinter.
Taken a camping trip just to talk to nature? Not yet. It's on my To Do list, directly above "do Sunlitgarden on said camping trip." ;-)
Describe the moment you felt closest to Mother Earth?  Hmm...probably while spending time with a friend (the same friend as my first spell experience below). We were poking around a woodsy area at dusk, and sat down out this huuuge rock (one of those massive, tumbled things deposited by a glacier) jutting out over a small gully. I loved it there. Too bad we had to leave because of approaching punks.
Do you have a familiar? No, though I like the idea of an astral one. I wouldn't want to impose on the indoor cat. She'd probably say no, anyway.
Have you ever called upon the powers of an animal in ritual? Not yet. Still figuring out how animal spirits/archetypes fit with the real creatures.
Or a plant? Do you consider astral drugs/plants real plants? Haven't encountered any yet. In case you haven't figured out by now, I'm reluctant to dive in and find out for myself.
Do you hug trees? Sometimes, to show my admiration and fleeting ambulatory mammal love. Hopefully they appreciate the sentiment.
Give them gifts? Rarely feel the need to.
What is your favourite flower to work with? Roses. Thanks, Shoujo Kakumei Utena / Revolutionary Girl Utena.
What is your favourite tree to work with? Hmm...Cottonwoods. There's a grand lady (these trees have different sexes; most have both sets of parts) who lives on the edge of a greenbelt where I grew up and my parents still live. I adore her. I also have a wand of sorts I picked up from my college campus; I think it's oak? (That doesn't sound right.) I just liked the feel of it.

W H E E L . O F . T H E . Y E A R

What is your favourite holiday?
What is your least favourite holiday?  Easter, though I enjoy spring. Mostly I just get sick of pastel colors. :-\
Have you ever held a ritual on a holiday? I am self-conscious about such things.
Ever taken a day off work to celebrate a Pagan holiday? Haha no. I work retail. Any day I can work is an opportunity to get paid. And I'm not big on formalized ritual, anyway.
Do you celebrate Yule on the 21 rather than the 25? Last year my partner and I exchanged presents on Solstice. Can't get away from the excitement of the 25th, though...And it's a good time to reconnect with family.
Have you ever felt the veil thin? Yes. Sometimes I feel I can almost touch the things beyond, or hear them. Not so much see.
Ever danced the Maypole? No, though it looks like fun. I'm okay with twining ribbons around a symbolic cock. Less okay with interacting with a real one, personally.
Know what the Maypole symbolizes? Does the phrase "pole in hole" mean anything to you?
How do you usually celebrate the Pagan holidays? By rearranging my altar. I want to do more, my partner and I are just super self-conscious.


Do you use Tarot? Yep!
Do you use runes? I have a set. A friend must've bought them on a whim, because when she moved to Japan she didn't want them. It seemed wrong to give them away, so I took them. Odin's a crafty bastard, though, (a crafty, intriguing bastard, who plays on my issues with men) so I'm not sure I want to employ the divination system he created.
Do you use a pendulum? No, though some of the ones I've seen are gorgeous. I love stones.
Do you use dowsing rods? Nope. No idea how I'd use one, either.
Do you use astrology? It's interesting how accurate it can be, but no.
Any other form of divination?  Nope.


What was the first spell you did? Well, I think my overprotectiveness once prevented (what I believed at the time was a risky) meeting between a female friend and a boy. I may have also been jealous, on a level that I did not understand then. Bad things happened to him soon after. I'm not so egotistical that I believe I was solely responsible, but I do wonder if my torrential teenage emotions and prayers to whoever would listen made something happen...
What was the latest? To get my fires back.
Ever done a love spell? No. That shit is dangerous. Besides, I'm pretty happy in my current relationship.
A job spell? Yes, though since just asking for any other job may backfire, I instead asked for the personal drive and confidence to resume searching and make good impressions. I got several interviews.
A healing spell? Yes. Sometimes I feel my well-wishes leave me like birds.
What was the most powerful spell you’ve ever performed? See the first.
What deities do you usually call on? None. I might ask Hekate, if I did. She seems knowledgeable.


Do you believe in Vampires? Astral, at least. Wouldn't surprise me if there were some actual bloodsuckers out there, but you wouldn't want to meet one. It would probably be far less sexy than the current trend would have us believe. I do like that general trend, though. It is pretty sexy. I do not count Stephanie Meyer's works, or derivations thereof.
Werewolves? Sure. The stories had to come from somewhere.
Shapeshifters? Yes, at least in spirit.
Elves? Spirits taking on a semihuman form, from nature or someplace more abstract.
Faeries? Similar to elves.
Dragons? I believe I once met one spun of sunlight between sleeping and waking. It tried to eat my face. I threw out a shield-bubble, and it dissolved. I felt bad for "killing" it.
Nymphs? Sure.
Sprites? How are they different from Faeries?
Mermaids? Creatures who lure sailors to their doom? Yes. Pretty half-fish, half humans? Less likely, but I like the idea.
Satyrs? Bawdy goat-men? Sure. Though I'm not interesting in dick.
Ever “seen” any of the above? Met several people who sucked out my energy, and the surreal dragon experience. That's it.
Ever talked to any of the above? I would now, if I did.
Ever used any of the above in magic? "Used." How? (Answer: no.)
Do you have one of them as a personal guardian? Well, I did have this elvish fellow start out as a character in a Lord of the Rings fan fiction, but he was more than that to me for a while.


Do you see a rabbit, a man or a woman in the moon? A face. Or: a pockmarked surface of varying albedo.
Own a cat? Yes, one petite, sassy tabby-tortie name Issy. We took her in for fostering at first, but since nobody wanted a brown tabby who didn't immediately warm to them, and she had to us, we eventually adopted her.
When you meditate, what does your happy place look like? 1.) The field between a forest and a huge lake -- I'd call it an ocean but the water is too calm. There's a small but steeply vertical cityscape in the distance. This is the consistent visualization of my mindscape. 2.) A run-down cottage in the woods, with the sun shining through the gaps in the slats. There's a work-table and space for a bed. Herbs hang from the rafters. I should probably repair it, but there is beauty in its neglect, and peace: no one has been there but me in a long time.
Do you work with Chakras? Sometimes I visualize them when I'm trying to meditate.
Do you believe in past lives? Yes. I believe I've gotten a glimpse or two into them.
If so, describe a few briefly: One image of watching a lady dance barefoot by a fire. She was wearing a green dress. The second, standing on a pebbly, grey beach with a feeling of loss. Both triggered by music.
Do you believe in soul mates? Hmm...yes. Though not always the same one, or, it's possible to have several different kinds. I feel fate-tied to several people, you see.
Do you have a spirit guide? I once went through I guided meditation, and my guide was a fox. But that is hardly consistent. Mostly I just stay in my home and/or internal spaces.
Is it always love and light? Hell no.

Hopefully I'll feel like expounding on the things I hinted at here soon.