Sunday, December 15, 2013

Strange Happenings

You know what's uncomfortable? Getting flashes of staggering wearily along an underground tunnel, barefoot, with blood (that is probably not yours) slicking your hands and arms nearly to your elbows. Off and on, for about a week. This happened several months ago. (I still need to cement the timeline, because I did not clearly write it down when it was happening. Stupid me.) It is the closest thing to a vision I've had in recent memory...and last week I finally asked my Tarot deck if it could tell me what led to that scene. (Sorry, no photo of the spread. Six cards in the first row, and one in the second, is correct.)

Queen of Cups3 of CupsKing of SwordsThe FoolThe TowerThe Magician

I am operating under the assumption that part of me was doing things my waking mind was not aware of. So, after staring at the cards for a few minutes without writing any analysis, I wondered...did the deck just tell me I met some people while traipsing through the Otherworlds, possibly imbibed some substances, and then did something disastrously stupid? Upon looking at this again, a second interpretation struck me: that I was being naive, but then something huge happened (not necessarily my doing), and I learned enough to become a fledgling Magician. The shocking event probably was the death of my step-grandpa, who I had not seen in over a decade. I did not say this before, but around that time I felt prodded by Hades & Persephone, so I sat down, arranged my altar to open a line to them, and asked what they wanted. The answer was muddled and disturbing. The one clear image/sensation I got, I am not sure I am at leave to share. I am still puzzling over its meaning. Anyway, a few days later I learned that Grandpa had died...possibly the day I was spurred to reach out to those gods.

A pattern: I feel drawn to a deity, so I read about them. Days, weeks, or months of this later, I seek them out directly. They usually have something -- one thing -- to tell me, and will repeat it until I internalize it. With Athena, it was: Learn, Make. Guan Yin: Don't hate yourself so much. Hekate: change your circumstances now, or die like this, miserable. And so far, from Hades & Persephone: someone you hold dear in memory is leaving your world.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


My partner and I go for walks in one of several places, usually once a week. It's a great time to chat without our usual digital distractions. We admire houses (if in a neighborhood) and keep an eye out for friendly cats. A lot of these homes have pleasant gardens. But it's surprising, how many fruits are left to fall and rot. We take a few, if we have space for them, stuffing our pockets with as much as they can hold. Today we discovered a fig tree -- the same fresh, ripe figs that are prohibitively expensive at the grocery store, when they're there at all.

(We found a couple ugly apples, too.)

We don't scrounge like this because we're starving. Together, we have enough money for necessities. Letting the fruit rot is just such an appalling waste to us. Why keep a source of food, if you (general you) will not harvest and enjoy it? At least we benefit from others' negligence.

I treasure these small finds. They make me feel more connected to my environment, instead of a brain tottering around on meat-stilts like when I'm sedentary for an extended period of time. If you take away anything from my writing, let it be this: enjoy the unexpected gifts from your surroundings. Oh, and free food is nice, too.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Energy Signatures

[For some reason I did not post this soon after writing it, many months ago.]

Sprung from reading Lady Imbrium's recent energy notes, and the reply I made to her.

For me, at least, the two "realms" of sensing intermingle -- or that may be because I have a weak othersense. I think I am best with objects, actually, as opposed to life-forms. I have...sympathy for them. Example: as part of a display at the grocery store, someone once draped a Western-style saddle over a barrel. I was drawn over to it, curious if it was actually broken. I could only see a few loose stitches and a weak strap. There was a good sheen on the leather that spoke of much wear. In short, it was still a perfectly good tool with years left in it...and it had been put in a corny display, as a parody of itself. Almost a mockery. To me, the saddle itself was sad because it wasn't being used for its intended purpose. Of course, I may have been projecting. In general, to get an all-around (not just mundane) feel for an object, I have to incorporate nearly all my senses. Touch is most important. Lift it (if possible), turn it over in my hands, tap it, run my fingers along it. I tilt my head, listening, but not for something I can catch with my ears. Needless to say I sometimes get self-conscious in stores, as it can sometimes look a little, uh, intimate, or just plain odd.

I also fully believe that objects, especially complex ones like cars and computers, have a kind of soul. Also, just by spending time using or near a thing, you soak up its energy, and/or it soaks up yours. So it's no wonder you jive with your favorite car: it's familiar to you (on a mundane level), you've spent a lot of time with it, and it knows you. That's not to say that things lose their signature, necessarily...but perhaps it changes to harmonize with the entities around/within it? Just speculating on that last bit.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Surprise PBP: Learn Your Poisonous Plants

This happens to coincide with this week's Pagan Blog Project prompt.

Today I was browsing photos at Getty Images for potential BPAL icons when I hit this gem:

The plant in the foreground is a species of nightshade. It is poisonous. Turns out that this plant or extracts from it do have useful medicinal properties (pupil dilation for eye surgeries, for instance), but mashing it up with a mortar & pestle is probably a bad idea.

Message of the day: when selecting components of your photograph of mysterious herbal medicine, make sure the plants are not lethal. Unless your goal is to display a poisoner's arsenal.

(This is a rare instance of me acting like an elitist snob. Or perhaps just ranting. Where else can I act that way sometimes, if not on the internet?)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Form, Shape, and Body Extensions

I've had this stretched, not-quite-itchy feeling between (and slightly under) my shoulderblades for the last two days. I think Bea's (kingofwands, over at Tumblr) realizations contributed to this. I also blame sitting slouched most of the time. Dusken's recent post over on Tumblr made the pieces fall together, though.

Oh hell, I'm just going to come out and say it: when it is often inexplicably uncomfortable to rest your upper back against a chair, Something May Be Up. (See also: my previous post titled Form, Shape and its follow-up.) The most recent resurgence may be the power of suggestion, but that doesn't explain everything.

I still don't trust myself. I'm human, damn it, no matter what pieces of soul-stuff came together to make me. I would like to know about those pieces, but...arghlgrgl. So. Much. Confusion. Self-doubt and skepticism are great in moderation, but too much, and you can never get anywhere.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Impulsive and Intuitive Witchery

That's what I do best, it seems.

This morning I took a walk in the nearby park. I itched to be outside and be alone. This park is...not good for the latter, so I was wary and distressed at the beginning that I wouldn't find a private spot. Subconsciously (not quite un-consciously), I drew upon The Deer to quiet my steps and sharpen my senses.* My mood started to improve when I found treasures: an evergreen cone in the shape of a rosette, a stalk of mint from a neglected garden, and a huge, soft pink rose petal that dropped from a bush in a neighbor's yard. I also saw hummingbirds! One female hovered within arm's reach. (From my bird book, I'm guessing an Anna's. Or perhaps a Rufous.) I saw two more, or maybe the same one twice, near where I picked up the rose petal. By the time a returned home, I was grinning in delight and awe at the small wonders of the world.

I used the mint stalk to cleanse the apartment of spiritual junk...or at least try to. I'm not sure how effective I was -- it only took a few minutes -- but even partial cleaning is better than none, and besides, mint smells nice. I also may have locked myself out of the apartment while pushing the accumulated crap out the window in the hall. Thankfully, my partner was inside (though asleep), so I was spared having to explain to my manager why I stepped outside my door with nothing in my hands but a mint sprig. Thus rescued, I rinsed the plant and hung it to dry for later use..probably as tea.

Lesson of the day: I work best spontaneously. I still don't know if my attempts at spell-work are effective at all, but stuff like this has not backfired yet. I am encouraged to continue.

* As mentioned previously, I sometimes feel deer-like. I have not decided what this means. But I did look at this picture the other day and think about the spotted one, "Oh look, it's me."

Monday, April 22, 2013


After I wrote the previous post, a friend privately pointed out to me that perhaps discontent with my real-life situation contributed to the feelings I was having. There is truth to that. But more interestingly, almost as soon as I made that post, the sensations of not quite fitting in my skin ceased for a time. They returned in a few days, but more muted than before. I am more grounded again. It seems that just admitting that stuff to the wider world cleared my head.

Lately, I have been trying to remove unhealthy things from my life. Examples of ways I am improving: spending less time in front of a screen, and thereby making that time more meaningful; sitting out on my apartment's tiny porch when the weather is nice; and making a conscious effort to keep the apartment semi-clean. These are small things, but together they contribute a lot to my well-being. Religious exploration is on hold for now. I will write when anything remarkable happens.

Friday, March 22, 2013

PBP: Form, Shape

A post made by Del over at "Sex, Gods, and Rockstars" gave me the courage to write this post. It is about none of those things, but I'm seizing on the opportunity to write about something I'm unsure about, in the hopes that others can relate. Here we go.

Do you ever feel like you don't fit properly in your skin? Like you "should" have horns, a tail, wings, or some other appendage? I do, sometimes. And then one day about a week ago, I became annoyed that I couldn't change aspects of my appearance immediately, at will. It triggered a landslide of related thoughts that I decided I should write down and share.

For a brief time that day, I yearned to be something else that I wasn't. I haven't felt like that so strongly since the times I wanted to be one of Tolkien's Elves years ago. I wished I could present myself as seen from within, with all the quick-as-thought changes. Of course, I wouldn't want to bare the depths of my soul, just choose how to present myself to others.

Although the details shift, a few traits remain consistent:
  • White hair. If not on my head, then on my legs or arms. Try as I might to change it, it always goes back.
  • Claws at fingertips. Clear, like a human nails. Length varies with mood.
  • A pair of horns, branches, or a hybrid of the two growing from my head. I've "seen" it as 4- to 6-point deer antlers, goat horns, and a tangle of moon-white branches. They only extend about a hand-span above my skull.
  • Something extending from my shoulders/upper back. Not quite wings. Variously interpreted as energy flares/vents, trailing silver threads, and some kind of living, fin-like cloak.
A couple more traits come and go, or at least my awareness of them does: large deer-like ears, a forehead gem or 3rd eye mark/decoration thingy, and a tail. Specifically, a unicorn tail, the kind with long hair only on the end. Once, while on the bus, I felt it so strongly I "saw" it draped over the seat by my left knee, tapping gently. That was one of the weirder moments of the past few months.

Am I some kind of Otherkin? I've wondered, but I have no strong evidence. With the amalgamation of animal, plant, and human traits, it also resembles common depictions of the Fey...and I certainly don't want to make hasty assumptions about kinship with Them. These traits also just happen to be things I find aesthetically pleasing. Did my imagination craft these impressions based on what I like, or did the impressions draw me to similar depictions in art? I do not want to make assumptions. For now, I have no answer.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Tarot Reading

A reading done for Dusken, put here because I don't trust Tumblr's formatting.

Dusken asked about "confirming some findings." The cards ("Shadowscapes Tarot" by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law) and I came up with this answer:

1. The core of the issue: XV The Devil. Someone or something is draining you, keeping you chained. Escape may be near, but you are unable to see it at this time. (Note the key in the mouth of the mask above the woman's cell.)

2. What helps or hinders: 5 of Wands. A bunch of little problems have tumbled together to become a huge issue. Probably what's keeping you enslaved in The Devil Card.

3. The Foundation, or why you asked: Queen of Wands. A rightfully proud, confident, and artistic woman. Can be manipulative, but if that were the case, I think the card would be reversed. I am never 100% sure if the royal cards refer to people or their traits, but I'm getting a "person" vibe. Reminds me a bit of you, or at least how you project yourself over the Internet.

4. What has happened: 6 of Cups. Whatever this issue is, there is nostalgia attached to it. Possibly something from your childhood? Unfortunately, everything can't go back to the way it once was.

5. What may happen, or is happening: 6 of Wands. From the book that came with the deck: "The Six of Wands symbolized victory and triumph. Once has prevailed and overcome many obstacles to come out on top. But you must beware falling prey to hubris and lassitude that uncontested victory may bring, and not become lost in self-importance."
     To be honest, I've never liked this card. The man in it is...overconfident. What secrets does the shining hero hide in his heart? I feel that how he stands above the Devil Card (and the poor woman under its hooves) is significant. Maybe this is a person who is keeping you locked up? Someone who thinks they are acting righteously? I may be totally wrong.

6. What will happen: 7 of Pentacles. This one marks a choice: act now, or wait for conditions to improve -- but they may not.

7. How you see yourself: 2 of Pentacles. You are juggling many responsibilities at once. You're doing okay, for the moment, but the situation is precarious.

8. How others see you: 4 of Cups. Listless, bored. But you are not as alone as you think you are...and that is a good thing to be reminded of, especially in the depths of melancholy and self-pity.

9. What you must get through: 8 of Wands (reversed). Upright, this card could mean the start of a long journey. So, reversed, I interpret this to mean you are being held back, expending yourself with no visible progress. Think of the 5 of Wands from earlier. But it seems you won't be stuck forever.

10. The End Result: Knight of Pentacles. Finally, moving ahead! (I hope this means you'll be able to move away from your awful parents soon!) The Knight is rather stubborn and single-minded, but those are beneficial traits for his mission.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Hopefully that helps!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

PBP: Deity

Personal, under-construction definition of deity: any incorporeal being that, through recognition (naming) and sustained attention from others, gains a measure of influence over the "real" world (one of many, in my view). Whether they existed before, or sprung from the first seeds of thought, I can't claim to know -- and the point is moot, anyway. They are around now. For those representing natural forces that existed before humans, perhaps they were there as raw spirit energy, and names gave them identity. Of course, I can only speculate on human gods. Other creatures would see things differently. Examples of animal mythos (as envisioned by humans, but it's the closest we'll get): Skywater by Melinda Popham and Watership Down by Richard Adams.

 This could have been an essay but I'm not sure what else to say. What are your thoughts?

Friday, February 8, 2013

PBP: Cyberization

(Screenshot from the film "Ghost in the Shell: Innocence")

I would like you to ponder the vehicle by which you are reading this. Not your eyes and brain, but your computer and the internet: electronic pulses through fine wires, and waves in the very air. (Note: I am not a computer scientist. This is my layman's understanding.) It is truly a web, spun by and for humans, but it operates outside of us, reliant on your device of choice and the systems behind it. Do you ever wonder what your computer thinks of the data it processes for you? Maybe not much, at present, but maybe 20 years from now...Well, I look forward to seeing what will happen.

How does this fit in with my spiritual practices? For one, I rely pretty heavily on the Internet for information and discussion. (I'm doing that now.) But beyond that -- I feel like I'm walking two paths at once, that of technophile, and that of the nature-lover (but hopefully not idealizer). On one hand, this separation from and meddling with the rest of the world worries me, and on the other, I'm fascinated by what new doors computer and the internet will open. Maybe I just read too much science fiction...

Grah, this post didn't turn out like it was supposed to. It was supposed to be lyrical and more insightful, but then my wrists started hurting, the screen tired out my eyes, and it became 5:00 p.m. on the duedate. Better luck next time, self.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Reblog: But We Have a Queer!

But We Have a Queer!

Quote: "This is one of the many issues that has been on my mind lately: the idea that you can ‘prove’ that there are not problems of heteronormativity, monosexism, and cisexism in the Pagan and polytheist communities because, “We have queers!” Any critical thought shows that for the poor argument it is, but I still see it time and again…and again…and again."

By Aine over at

Friday, February 1, 2013

No Pagan Blog Project post today. I didn't think about what to write about until two days ago, and then it was an important thing that I need to spend time on. Hopefully it will be worth the wait.

Friday, January 25, 2013

PBP: New Beginnings

This post is mudane, in the most literal sense of the word, but it is still important.

Earlier this week I applied to a Graphic Designer / Illustrator job that I actually qualified for. And to do this, I completed the portfolio that I had worked on fitfully for over three years. Doesn't sound like much? Well, I spent those years mired in self-doubt, depression, and insecurity about my skills. It was awful; I was pathetic. The job opening provided the impetus I needed to make the final push and finish the thing. Now I feel...cleaner, in my soul. I finally overcame my (largely self-imposed) restrictions. Hopefully this marks a new chapter in my life, one where I am not so afraid to do what I'm good at.

Friday, January 18, 2013

PBP: Belief Is Mutable, Truth is Manifold

The more I read about religious/spiritual things, and watch people argue about those things, the less stable it all feels...and the less certain I become. My conclusions can be summed up in a line from the video game series Assassin's Creed: "Nothing is true. Everything is permitted."

In a religious context, I interpret it to mean that almost everything put forth as A Right Way To Live, or The Right Way to Worship Your Gods If Any, should be scrutinized. What is true for the writer may not be true to you. It may even be true for a large group of people (past or present), but that does not mean it is the same for you. This multitude of truths eventually collapses on itself; "everything" and "nothing" start to look nearly the same.*

Now, for the second half: "Everything is permitted." If there are so many truths, then the paths to those truths are even more diverse. How you get there is less important than arriving, in this context. Of course, most people try to avoid dangerous and/or harmful methods, to themselves or others, but I cannot exclude those methods entirely. I'm trying to talk about all of humanity, here. (And probably failing. I'm trying hard not to whitewash this, but how successful can I be, as a pale-skinned American woman?)

While other may find this "anything goes" motto liberating, I am daunted. It is not a comfortable stance to take.

I may expound on this later, but for now, I am tired from forcing my thoughts into words.

* Note: This is not an excuse to ignore history. The way I've tried to explain it sounds like I would condone that, but I don't. I intended to say that one should wear a critical thinking cap at all times, and not take anything at face value.

Friday, January 11, 2013

PBP: A ramble about Artemis-Diana

I could talk about a number of things from this week that start with the letter A: Athena, Art, Anxiety...I had a few paragraphs about the last one, but it was mostly rehashing the same old stuff -- the same old crap.

But I have a due-date, so I'll come up with something.


Here we go: Artemis-Diana has been in my thoughts a lot over the past few days. I combined the Greek and Roman names because I'm not sure which it is. (Also, we're not at the letter D prompts yet. :-P ) And just for the record, when I'm talking about her, I am thinking of a half-feral, "turn you into a deer and hunt you for sport if you look at her the wrong way" kind of deity, not the eye candy she appears as in some paintings.

(I'm looking at you. Giampietrino. Not that you weren't talented.)

Thalia Took's image is the closest I've seen to my impressions of her, faint though they may be.

Oddly enough, she has one for Diana, too -- as a separate and distinct entity.

Now I am not nearly as knowledgeable about Roman gods as the Greek, mostly because I have assumed that the Roman versions were basically copies, and that the Greek ones, since they are older, are the original...more "authentic," if you will. But something in this image is telling me differently. Also, I was kind of an ass for thinking that. Duly noted.

Looking at this picture, I smell damp forest earth, and can imagine what the frog feels like perched on the back of my hand. And tonight is the New Moon. Should I do something for Hekate, as (from what info I have gathered) is traditional, or sit down and listen to this new presence? I think we both know the answer to that question.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Pagan Blog Project 2013 Master List

Will be added to as the year progresses.

Functions of Altars
A Ramble About Artemis-Diana

Belief It Mutable, Truth Is Manifold
New Beginnings




Form, Shape

PBP: Functions of Altars

While pondering what to write about, I hit upon a basic question: "What is the purpose of an altar?" Since I still consider myself a newbie to acting on my personal Pagan path, I thought it was a valid question. Hopefully other people out there will find the answer worth reading.

So, an altar is or can be:

1.) A place to contact, worship, and/or work with gods and/or spirits.
2.) A place to cast spells, if you do that, or perform other rituals.
3.) An arrangement of things of sentimental and/or symbolic importance. Example: a photo of your deceased grandpa, with his favorite watch in front of it.

I mostly use mine for scenario 1, and almost never for the second. (I am far too wary of unforeseen consequences.) Sunlitgarden (my partner) and I have a shared one in the last category. It developed naturally on top of a bookshelf, with stuff we liked: candles, interesting rocks, feathers, and trinkets from friends. I'm not sure what it's for, exactly. Symbolic of our togetherness, perhaps? Regardless, a friend once remarked that it was quite powerful precisely because of its unplanned growth. That was years ago. Now, Bast has the left side, for lack of her own shelf, and I maintain a tiny space for Athena on the opposite end. So The Joint Altar, as we sometimes call it, has been reorganized several times.

Here is another thing to consider. While an altar is an excellent workstation, it is not the only place to open yourself up. I realized I was boxing myself into the idea that Important Spiritual Events can only (deliberately) happen in the spaces you set for them. This is an easy trap to fall into, as someone who is not sensitive to said spirits and/or Otherworld activity. Not only is the notion wrong -- it's probably dangerous, too. Analogous, perhaps, to crossing a busy street blindfolded. (No, that's not quite accurate.) But there's is definitely a problematic assumption there, of "If I can't see the audience, they can't see me!"

...Now I need to reorganize my altar space. It is in sore need of it.