Throwing Out Boxes

I have a stack of boxes in my kitchen waiting to be broken down and recycled.  It stares at me everyday as I open the refrigerator door.  Every week, on the night before the recycling truck comes by, I find some excuse not to fold them up and get rid of them.  Why?  Probably laziness.  However, I find myself oddly attached to the stack of boxes as it grows and ebbs.  I never seem to be able to get rid of ALL the boxes.  There are always a few that get left behind.

I’ve been thinking a lot about boxes recently.  I’m a box-type person.  I like segmenting things into categories and boxes.  At least, that is what I thought.  The more I move forward with my religious path, though, I just don’t seem to fit into boxes like I used to do.

I did spend the majority of my life as a practicing Catholic.  I fit quite well into that box for awhile.  There is nothing wrong with that box.  I simply came to a place where I noticed that parts of me were hanging over the sides.  Then I realized at some point that the box didn’t fit at all anymore.  I kept trying to fit into it.

When I became a Pagan, I started seeing all sorts of different boxes.  I thought for sure that I would be able to find one that fit.  I started out in Hellenismos and then moved on to druidry.  I picked up kemeticism and later added heathenry.  Lastly, I joined a student Wiccan coven to learn more about myself and Wicca, even though I know I’m not Wiccan.

I’m starting to realize again that I just seem to be forcing myself into different boxes again.  I feel called to work with people, so I thought for sure that there would be a group that I would click with.  The more experience I get, however, the more I wonder if perhaps I just don’t understand how I’m supposed to work with people.  I need to let things flow.  My Gods want me to focus on my own path right now.  I just have to decide if the boxes that I’ve acquired are still useful to keep around or if it is simply time to recycle them.

God Feels

I’m feeling so much love in my life today.  My love for my Gods is a big part of that.  They are my family.  They are my protectors and my guides.  I think I loved Them before They helped me.  There was that initial attraction and joy.  It has grown into deep relationships.  I am so blessed to have Them in my life.  For once, today I am content.  Blessings to you all.

A Ramble

It has been a very long time since I’ve posted here, so this will be extremely rambly.  It seems like a lot and nothing at all has happened over the last several months.  I’m still working with Djehuty.  He wants me to deepen my knowledge and share it with people.  I’m not sure exactly how to go about that, but I’m sure I’ll find out.  I’m trying to read as much as I can (not just Kemetic things).  Maybe someday someone will find it useful.  I’m thinking of asking Djehuty to help me look for a new job.  My job isn’t bad at all, but I’d like different hours.  Right now I work from 6pm-2:30am, but at least I get weekends off.  I’m nervous to ask for His help, but He has offered to help me in that area if/when I’m ready.

Sekhmet-Mut is still around.  She gets all of my Diet Coke offerings. ~_^  She has been very supportive.  Like all of my Deities, She is encouraging me to do shadow work.  I’ve been avoiding shadow work, but I know it would help me immensely.  One of my goals for this week is to do a short session, even if it is really short.  I need to work on taking small steps so that I can accomplish big goals instead of sticking my head in the sand because I feel overwhelmed.

I’m still a member of Kemetic Orthodoxy, though I haven’t been doing the rite of senut regularly.  I’ve been honoring my Beloveds (Bast, Yinepu (Anubis)-Wepwawet, and Set), but I haven’t been working with Them.  I would like to change that, but I need to increase the structure in my practice first.  I don’t have a daily routine, and I miss having one.  I have some ideas, I just need to focus on taking small steps.

I’m working with the runes a bit, though I have a long way to go.  I feel a strong connection to Odin.  I even ordered a custom-made Valknut necklace.  I wouldn’t say that He is the most important God in my life, but I do feel like He has a claim on me.  I think He will be with me for a long time.  I have been honoring both Loki and Odin.  I was going to bring Freya into the mix, but I haven’t as of yet.

There is a new Goddess in my life.  I don’t want to talk about it too much because it may not go anywhere.  It might just be a passing fancy and obsession of mine.  If it turns into something, though, I’ll let you all know.

I’m still a member of Prairie Shadow Grove, an ADF grove.  I am in the Order of the Red Grail’s student coven, the Red Oak Coven.  I’m not Wiccan, but it helps me to be involved with the community.  It is also helping me to better define my own thoughts and opinions about religion when I hear the thoughts of others.  I’m a member of an oracular group, Spyre, that will eventually do public oracular sessions.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to sit in the oracle seat, but just being part of the group is exciting.  I’m slowly trying to learn how to trance.

This is a long enough ramble for now.  I’m going to make more of an effort to keep this blog updated.  I hope everyone is doing well.

One of Many, One Alone

I am the member of several groups right now.  On June 24th, I went through the Rite of Parent Divination with Kemetic Orthodoxy.  My Parents were divined as Sekhmet-Mut and Djehuty.  My Beloveds were divined as Bast, Yinepu (Anubis)-Wepwawet, and Set.  I went through the naming process where I dedicated myself to these Gods above Others on June 26th.  My new name is Iretisenu, purpose of two.  I’m not yet sure that this will affect my relationship with Odin or Loki, but I still want to work with Them.

The same week that I had my RPD, I was accepted as a student into the Red Oak Coven, a part of the Order of the Red Grail.  My Eastern Gate ceremony will be on July 26th.  I assume it is an entrance ceremony of some kind.  Although I’m not Wiccan, I think it will help me to see other viewpoints.  I know it will challenge me.

I’m still a member and the treasure of our local druid grove.  I initially joined ADF to meet people.  My involvement grew from there.  ADF has a lot to offer, but I’m still working through the initial dedicant’s path.  I’ve been dragging my feet.  I think part of it is me being unsure about the oath that you take at the end of the DP.  I don’t know if it’s something that I can do, but I won’t know unless I complete the course work first.

The more I get integrated with these groups, the more I feel like a solitary.  My practice is something specific to me.  I’m learning a lot from the different groups, but I keep getting the feeling that I really need to put my own spin on things.  The first three months of last year I did a daily informal devotional ritual to my Gods.  It was something that I came up with myself, and I took so much joy in doing.  However, I got burned out.  I tried to do too much.  I would like to get back to the place where I was before I burned out.

I’ve developed so much fear about what will happen next.  What will happen as I fall more deeply in love with my Gods?  It is something that my heart wants and my ego doesn’t.  That letting go, dropping into the unknown, is difficult for me.  I feel like the Fool card in tarot, standing over the precipice.  I need to take the next step.  I just have to pray that I will find the courage to do it.

Edit:  I forgot to mention Nebraska Heathens United.  In an effort to honor Odin’s wishes by participating in the Heathen community, I am trying to help this organization become community run instead of having to depend completely on the small group of leadership.  The leadership is ready to pass the torch onto the community, and I’m trying to help make that transition a smooth one.  The community is great, I am just not sure where I stand with Odin, especially now.  Time will tell.

Heartland – A Midwest Pagan Festival

Two weeks ago I spent three days at Heartland, a Midwest Pagan festival.  I went with my friend and her 7-year-old daughter.  We came a day late and left a day early due to our work schedules.  I’m so glad that I went.

I had never been to a Pagan gathering this big.  I heard estimates anywhere between 300 and 500 people.  Usually it’s double that, but I think that rainy weather kept people away.  Friday and Saturday had mostly nice weather, but Saturday night there was a torrential downpour.  Our tent flooded, so the three of us ended up in the car.  We left earlier than we had planned on Sunday, but threats of bad weather and cars getting stuck hurried our departure.  My friend drove like a pro as the Gods guided our car safely out of the mud and onto the gravel.  Our way home presented us with some flooded roads, so we did have to reroute once or twice.  We safely returned home at a decent hour, ready to see our families.

I was able to attend a number of workshops during our time at Heartland, with varying degrees of interest.  I attended two wonderful workshops by T. Thorn Coyle, one about leadership and one about finding and pursuing your desires.  These were both extremely motivating, and I have to admit that I walked away with some of her books.  Now I just have to find time to work through them.

There was a fascinating workshop put on by S. J. Tucker about using music in magical workings.  She mentioned some of the physics behind music as well as how it can be used in one’s practice.  It was a highly charged group.

A married couple, a Christian man and a Wiccan woman, held a discussion about relationships between people of different faiths.  My husband is agnostic, so this didn’t totally fit me.  However, they talked about all kinds of relationships, so I did get some good ideas about how to interact with my Catholic family.

Another woman held a discussion about getting to know your shadow self.  I found this very pertinent because I have been feeling the push to do shadow work again.  I need to make the time for it.  I have the time, but I need to use it more wisely.

My friend held a beautiful and informative workshop about Nerthus, the Heathen Earth Mother.  She wrote a short ritual for it that you can find here.  It was very moving, and the weather was kind enough to let us hold the ritual outside.  We were only a small group, but that allowed for more information and a great discussion at the end.

There were a few workshops that I found a little disappointing.  Overall, though, there was a lot of good and motivating information.  There were many interesting people to meet, though my shyness kept me from being as social as I would have liked.  Hopefully I will gain some confidence this year and be able to form some solid friendships at future gatherings.

There was an incredible bonfire the first night, though I didn’t have the courage to dance around it.  I danced later to the bands that they had, finally letting myself move how I wanted.  There was a ritual Saturday that had to be held in the pavilion because of the weather, but that didn’t seem to take away from it.  It gave me some food for though about what my groups can incorporate in our future rituals.

I have plans to go to a number of other events this year, which really excites me.  The next big event that I will attend is the Kemetic Orthodox celebration of Wep Ronpet from July 31st – August 4th.  It will be a much smaller group of people, around 35-40.  I can’t wait to finally do something kemetic-focused with other people!

Boxes

It seems that I need to deal with my past.  This theme has come back to me again and again over my short time as a polytheist.  Having had an overall decent life, I’ve never been sure what exactly I was supposed to address.  I think I have a start.  Boxes.

When I see something that I really like, I tend to hold onto it.  I tend to take on a lot, get fearful that I can’t meet expectations, and then put whatever it is in a box.  Sometimes I’m able to open up the box later and help the thing grow with me.  Other times I just leave it to stagnate because I don’t know what else to do.

I need to start going through my boxes.  Old loves (not people) that I have kept wrapped up because I was too afraid I would break them.  Some I want to make grow, others I can probably chuck as simply a passing fancy.  This theme is not just in my spiritual life (I have a ton of boxes in my basement), but that is where I currently need to address.  My spiritual life has been moving quickly of late, and I’ve started to put things in boxes, hoping that I can take them out later and they’ll be perfect or I’ll be more ready.  Nothing can grow if I put it in a box, and nothing will be useful to me if I cannot let it grow with me.

I need to carefully go through each box one at a time.  Some items might have to stay wrapped up for a bit, but even taking them out for a little light and a spin about will help encourage some growth.  Someone told me recently that our only limitations are those that we impose on ourselves.  I’m not sure I fully agree with this, but it does have a kernel of truth.  I guess it is time for me to start opening boxes.

Edit:  As a complete aside, I had . . . a dream? last night that I was in bed and Odin infused me with some of his energy.  It was too much at first, but then it was amazing.  Whatever it was, it was much better than my nightmares about work.  Weird, huh?

Beltaine with Prairie Shadow Grove and Other Things

Prairie Shadow Grove is the ADF grove of which I am a member.  We celebrated our Beltaine ritual yesterday.  Our ritual was done honoring the Welsh god and hero Llew Llaw Gyffes.  The ritual was small with only 6 adults in attendance, but it was moving.  The incorporation of chants accompanied by a tin whistle to welcome in the kindreds (the ancestors, the nature spirits, and the gods and goddesses) was truly inspiring.  As with most our groves rituals these days, the offerings were made by the four children in attendance.  Sons and daughters of some of our members, these well behaved little ones ask and our granted the ability to help with the ritual when they so desire.  Although we held the ritual indoors (in a garage space because of the wet weather) we were still able to submit what we wanted to expel from our lives, written on pieces of paper, into a burning bowl.  This echoed the purifying bonfires of the celebrations of old.  As a kemetic, however, it also reminded me of execrations.  Aside from burning a bit of my thumbnail, I would say it went well indeed.

The food was delicious as always.  I usually bring something store bought, but my fellow grove members are incredible cooks.  I definitely had a few helpings.  We had a raffle to raise some money for our newly designated grove.  I walked away with both presents from friends and prizes from the raffle.  One of the raffle prizes that I won is a book called The Reluctant Empath.  I have been asked before if I am an empath, and I always go back and forth with this question.  My true answer is that I simply do not know.  I feel things, but determining whether it’s due to empathic abilities, bipolar anomalies, or some other source is something I’m not able to do yet with confidence.

I know that my gods want me to trust my intuition more.  I will continue to try doing so.  As work has becoming busier and more emotionally exhausting of late, I need to work on grounding during it.  I can’t leave early every night because I’m emotionally exhausted.  I need to work on ridding myself of the extra emotions that I’ve gathered, whether from me or from others.

A friend gave me a statue of Odin, which is now on my altar.  Another friend gave me a few books on fairies.  I feel that at some point I may be working with these creatures, though I know I’m not ready to do so yet.  I have much to learn.

Several of my fellow grove members and my friends outside the grove are not artistically inclined.  I am not.  However, I see the power of doing art as a devotional act.  Many of my friends have been making prayer beads of late for their gods.  I think this is a doable project that I could start with.  I joined the ADF Artisans Guild to help inspire me to create.  There is something special to creating things yourself.

I joined a number of ADF groups recently to learn and grow.  I am still pursuing my dedicant’s path.  As I become more active in my grove, I want to become more active in the organization itself.  I desperately want to take advantage of some of their learning programs.  I must do the dedicant’s path first, however.  I think laying out my progress during my grove’s monthly meetings will help to encourage me to forge ahead.  Our Grove’s Senior Druid, who recently became clergy, is very inspiring.  I hope to some day become at least somewhat as success in leadership and scholarly programs as she is.  Everything takes time.  I have to be willing to put in the time to reap the benefits.  Wish me luck!

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