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.

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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?

Odin, ADF, My Schedule, Intuition

Odin has been a definite presence in my life of late.  I feel drawn to him.  I am hesitant delve deeply into a relationship with him because I know that he asks a great deal from his followers.  I want to let go and immerse myself.  My kemetic gods are supportive, but they also want me to be careful.  Djehuty doesn’t want me to be completely owned by Odin.  Sekhmet is worried that I will need a lot of healing when I am done working with him.  However, they are still supportive of my interest and wish me the best.  I am still kemetic, but I am also now exploring heathenry.  I prefer to honor the gods in their own ways.  I know that I am supposed to learn independence from the heathen gods.  I also know that goal probably involves some painful lessons.  As someone who doesn’t like pain, I’ve been avoiding asking for lessons.  However, it is time to move forward.  I want to move forward.

I went to a day long ADF festival in Topeka, Kansas, last Saturday.  The head of my local grove was ordained as official clergy.  The grounds were gorgeous with blooming tulips and a large lake.  There was a discussion on theology, a discussion on mindfulness, and a panel by the heads of different groves.  It reminded me how much I love festivals and how much I can learn from ADF.  I want to finish the initial self study program for ADF so that I can take advantage of other classes.  It was very motivating to see all the hard work of my grove leader pay off in her ordination.  I don’t think I am meant to be ADF clergy, but I do feel that moving forward in the organization would help me grow overall.

My schedule is busy these days.  I’m not complaining.  I enjoy having so many religious functions to attend.  I attend an educational session with the Order of the Red Grail on the first Saturday in April.  Then next Saturday was the ADF festival.  This Saturday is a private blot and sumbel that I’ve been invited to attend.  The following Saturday is our local grove’s Beltane ritual.  It is good for me to get out and participate.  Hopefully it will help me to make new friends and break down some of the walls that I’ve built around myself.  It is also good to see how different organizations are structured and run.  If I do decide to try to start a local kemetic group, I will need all of the information that I can get about the different ways to set up and run an organization.

I haven’t spent much time at my shrines or altar recently.  I’ve been worried that if I honor one god or pantheon then the other gods will be upset.  It is a silly worry.  My gods have been supportive of my differing interests.  I need to get back into the habit of a daily routine.  I miss it.  I still talk to my gods on a daily basis, but it is not the same as spending time in shrine.  I’m starting to get back into doing divination for myself.  It has always been my way of communicating with the gods, but I’ve felt unequal to it lately.  I’ve been very dependent on other people’s divination.  Their divination has been wonderful and enlightening, but I need to renew my faith in myself.  I need to trust my intuition.  It has carried me this far.  Along with the gods, it will take me to my goals.

Bipolar Ramblings

It has come up a lot over the past few years in readings done by people whom I don’t know that who I am and what I project are two very different things.  I am not sure how to change this.  I am slowly trying to break down the walls that I have built over the years.  As with most people, there has always been stress to meet certain expectations of others.  I am slowly trying to find myself again, but it is difficult.

I thought I had a life path all figured out, but it went down the drain when my bipolar disorder became too overwhelming.  I picked up some bad habits with negative thinking, fear of failure and fear of success.  Although I have been feeling better recently, my fears have kept me locked in a rut.  I am moving forward, but it is slow and painful.  I’m fighting myself.

In kemeticism, there is a concept called Zep Tepi.  It is a new beginning.  You can find Zep Tepi in every day, every second.  You can and are constantly starting anew.  I need to remember this.  I need to let go of the stagnation, the shame of the past, and the fear of the future.  I need to focus on the now and be mindful.  I need to trust my intuition.  The most important thing for me, however, is to accept happiness.  I have experienced such deep lows that I am afraid to be happy.  I feel undeserving.  I also feel that if I let myself be happy then the drop to depression will be more severe.  This is not to say that I don’t enjoy things, but I do tend to sabotage my chances at harmony and consistent happiness.  I find a great deal of happiness in my relationships with my gods.  I need to focus on what I need and what I want.  I need to celebrate my joy.

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