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.