3/2: woke up feeling like crap, less than 4 hours of sleep…damn gerbil in my brain wouldn’t shut up…Hubby scrambling for the phone at 8 woke me up. Sore to scratchy throat, no energy but no fever either. Put laundry away. Making green chili. Haven’t greeted the shrines, cause I’m sick and honestly I was raised one way and the polytheistic community says another…so until I can nail down the proper thing to do, I’m erroring on the side of caution. Oh and chile pepper oil under a finger nail sucks. Feeling a bit better as the day goes on…but still…ugh. Did some coloring with the boychild and then helped him with his spelling words. Took a benadryl after putting the boychild to bed and was in bed by 9.
3/3: probably asleep by 10, got up at 3:30 to find out why Hubby wasn’t in bed, only to find him sleeping on the couch so that the didn’t disturb me. Woke up again at 7:30 wondering why no one got me up, to find myself ordered back to bed by Hubby and son. Finally pulled myself out of bed at 10:30, greeted the shrines and drinking coffee to deal with the Benadryl hangover. Ended up picking the boychild up from school. Has the teacher convinced he is ill. He has a nasty cough but isn’t ill enough to need to come home (even a friend of his thought he was faking). When Hubby stopped in to check him the first time the teacher called us, the child all but admitted he wanted to come home to play. He was told that if he came home, he’d be in bed or doing homework only, so he didn’t need to come home on hearing that. The second time, I agreed to bring him home as the teacher has better things to do than deal with him. He’s in bed with the lights out until I decide he needs to work on homework and then will go back to bed afterwards, again no toys or books….tried to work on homework with him, ended up having to walk away ’cause he made me so angry. He isn’t sick and he is highly amused that he convinced the adults to bring him home. He says he doesn’t like school ’cause he’s bullied. He has one former friend that picks on him and I, who was bullied by more than one child, have no idea how to help him. Telling him that the child is jealous of him doesn’t help. Telling him to walk away doesn’t help. I’m friends with the mother of this child so I know this isn’t acceptable to her either and I’m so at a loss… To top the disastrous afternoon off, the child was dosing himself with cough syrup after I left for work. Luckily it was a homeopathic honey syrup and there was only 1/3-1/4 of the bottle left. I’m shocked, horrified and …relieved that it wasn’t a normal syrup. I have no idea what he was thinking since he knows better but he was in bed before I got home. Hubby, the more even tempered of the two of us, got to deal with it. I hope he learned that faking illness isn’t going to work with his parents as he didn’t get to play while dad was home either. Homework or bed only.
3/4: well the boychild successfully wished himself ill. Running a 101.4 degree temperature this morning though he got progressively better as the day went on. Hubby came home to watch him while I went to work. He tried testing his father and found out that Dad is every bit as tired of his crap as I am. Since he’s had no fever since this morning, he’ll probably be going to school because it will have been 24 hours since his last fever. I’ll check him in the morning to be sure…but if he doesn’t go tomorrow there will be no skiing on Friday which will upset 3 people that he doesn’t want to upset. Worked. Very tired as I slept very little last night. Couldn’t get that damn gerbil in my brain to stop singing the new song from Katy Perry. I really need a way to kill ear worms ’cause nothing I tried worked. Hot water, cinnamon and honey, with a half of a benadryl chaser…I really need to sleep!
3/5: Slept but a drugged sleep really isn’t good enough and even with a half of a benadryl, I’m still groggy plus dealing with sinus pressure. Sudafed here I come. Boychild to school and I’m trying to research the next divinity on my list and not finding much. Continuing with laundry. One of the much awaited checks finally came in…more than a week later than expected. Stitched. Worked. Revised a chart I’m stitching. I think it looks better and will be a faster stitch.
3/6: Got up around 4 am for some sudafed and ibuprofen. Tired this morning. Stitched a little. Posted a new blog. I’m needed at the boychild’s school today so from there I’ll go straight to work. Ate some dinner, went to craft night. Stopped at the grocery store so that Hubby could bake cinnamon rolls for breakfast tomorrow. I think I have an ovarian cyst that is swelling…owie. Baked brownies for the neice’s birthday.
3/7: lousy night of sleep. Too much coughing so had to sleep with my head/upper body elevated which is hard on my neck and not comfortable. Remembered at about 5 am that I have musinex in the medicine cabinet. Guess what I will be taking tonight? Family arrived an hour earlier than we were expecting, we were still in bed. No shrine greeting at all today, I feel that run down. Ovarian cyst must have burst during the night as no more pain, yay. Not really looking forward to heading to the ski resort…I don’t ski and the lodge isn’t kept very warm…a boring day ahead…so I’m taking my stitching, my camera and a book…couldn’t stitch as I forgot the black floss at home. Didn’t read either, too tired to concentrate in the noisy room. At this point, honestly, I’m just waiting to go to bed…though I felt a bit more like me after eating dinner. Started the latest in the “A Foreigner” series by CJ Cherryh…I’m so tired and yet afraid to try to sleep…
3/8: Slept better than I have been, between musinex and some pillow yoga. Hubby is working today and the boychild and I are having a tug o’war. He wants to do and say whatever he wants, whenever he wants and I find that unacceptable. We had a long talk about it this morning and then he went right back to doing what he told me was the wrong thing to do. So he had to suffer the consequences. Overall a not very enjoyable day. Some housework done in preparation for a houseguest tonight. Laundry put away. Nothing fun done though…and I had plans for something fun. Some days being a mother just…sucks. Got some book reading, made dinner and did some more reading.
5. If you could travel anywhere on pilgrimage where would it be and what would you do?
There are many places I want to go but there is only one place that I would that would be like a pilgrimage for me. I want to go to Dodona. I can’t even give you a good reason why other than what used to be there…Zeus’ oak, the Dodona Oracle. I want to stand in the complex. I want to tell the tree of my joys, my troubles and my love for Zeus. I want to listen to the breeze through the leaves of the replanted oak. I want to hang a bell in its branches. I want to sit there and meditate. I want to soak in so much of that environment so that when I am home I can exude it from my pores at need.
Of all that places where Zeus was worshipped, only Dodona calls to something inside of me. The others I’d see out of curiosity but Dodona is where I need to go. The hills of Scotland, the glens of Ireland, the green of New Zealand, the rolling of the Nile, the slap of the waves on a beach, none of it calls to me as much as Dodona. Not even the Redwoods of California and though they are an echo of that need. Dodona. [sigh] I want to go so badly that I fear I’m setting myself up for disappointment. The pictures I’ve seen are not that impressive and they have the tree roped off so one can’t even get close…but still…I want to go.
4. What are some of the ways that you communicate with the divinities?
I talk to my gods. Sometimes aloud, sometimes silently. Informally, as in a general chat as I go about my day. Formally in prayers and rituals. I greet and offer water to the shrines of Zeus, Isis and the Ancestors every morning and say good night to Zeus and Isis every evening. There are prayers before meals and bedtime.
I used tarot cards and divination decks in various spreads (see the tarot spreads tab above for the various spreads I use) to get feed back. Some decks are dedicated to certain deities or guides like: Alchemical Tarot Renewed for Zeus, Steampunk Tarot for my Guide or Pearls of Wisdom for Isis. Some decks do not have a specific dedication like my homemade Lenormand deck. Most are commercially bought decks, though some are homemade like my ritual Omen deck (modeled after an ADF deck). I have learned that if the answer doesn’t make sense, I’m probably not asking the right question. I’ve tried various divination methods and tarot works the best for me.
I meditate. Not often and not well but occasionally I get some very vivid experiences. Those are the experiences that keep me going as far as meditation goes. Not all of them make sense and I often wonder how much I’m making up on my own. It is those experiences when I know that isn’t how I would have structured a scene or made someone look, etc. that underline the validity of what I experience. Do I always understand? No. Very rarely do I immediately understand what I’ve experienced. Occasionally I figure it out at a later date. But I treasure each experience.
#3 How have the divinities helped you in times of adversity and violent upheaval?
I’m sure they have helped me many times but there are two times I know of for sure that stick in my mind. The first I don’t like to talk about much (believe it or not, long time followers have heard me rant about it more than enough as it is a wound that has never truly healed) other than to say that becoming pregnant (after 11 years of no birth control) is probably the only thing that got me through those first couple of years…I felt my heart had be ripped out and trampled on, the only thing that kept me from doing something stupid was my love for my husband and the growing life inside of me.
The second time is much more recent. My son had returned to school and I was feeling restive. Nothing could hold my attention. I was bored. House full of books and craft projects that I wanted nothing to do with…as I was flipping through the local paper, I got the urge to look at the classifieds. The only time I tend to look at the classifieds is when I feel like yard sale hopping. I found myself looking at the small job wanted section and there, in black and white, was my dream job being advertised with the hours I needed while the child is so young and in school. Normally I’d shrug it off…I haven’t been in the work place since the mid-90s…I had no current references, no way to prove that I was a good choice as an employee. Something, or someone(s), kept pushing me to go for it. I went and picked up an application. I can’t remember now if I filled it out there or brought it home…not that it is important. The important thing is that I filled it out, returned it, interviewed and got the job.
Now what makes this so important is that not long after that, my husband’s employment opportunities (he’s in construction) started narrowing during that time…until my tiny paycheck was all that was consistently coming in. With it, I kept us fed and most of the utilities paid. Without this job, things would have been desperate enough to look for the local food bank and beg our parents for money. This period of downtime has gone long enough that our pantry is practically empty and our freezer is only doing a little bit better. We still are not caught up on our bills but I’m told relief is in sight. We are currently waiting for two checks that are supposedly “in the mail”. Hubby has two time- and-material jobs plus another that should be enough to get caught up…maybe even put money into savings. It is my job that has helped us squeak through with a lot of lube and cutting off large chunks. Without the prodding, the poking and such, I would never have looked at the classifieds or even applied for the job.
I do believe that the gods saw where things were headed long before I did and steered assistance and opportunities our way. One really can’t ask for more than that.
I forgot to mention that on the 2/22 by the time I remembered to greet my shrines in the morning, my house was filled with a lot of guests, a lot of different faiths, so not wanting them to feel uncomfortable I did nothing more than blow kisses to the shrines and replace water on the ancestor shrine. Before bed, I did my usual devotions.
2/23: didn’t sleep well, lots of tossing and turning as if I was trying to escape something…woke up with a major headache that has been with me off and on most of the day. Breakfast with our guests then they left for home. Spent part of the day getting the house put back together and decorations taken down. Part of my headache issues probably stem from taking down streamers and then doing a lot of stitching last night with my arms unsupported. Emailed some recipes. Never made it to the grocery store or got laundry started. Made an ethiopian dish for dinner. It wasn’t bad but isn’t something I was going to crave either. Boychild was really tired today. Up early yesterday out of birthday party excitement and up early today to put together his lego sets. By dinner time, he was regressing to a two year old…so working him through his spelling lists was difficult and didn’t go very well. Two of the larger bills paid so we can turn the ringer back on. More research on the blog that I didn’t get written last week. I’ve caught myself a number of times thinking over the weekend and how much I enjoyed myself but I shouldn’t have said/done this, ranted about that, etc. Second guessing myself is a habit I’ve had since I was bullied as a child. Not sure how to cut it out or smother the urge to text/call and say “I’m sorry for such and such.” Logic says that I may have gone a little over board here and there especially in my angry rants about the MIL but most of it was probably fine though I should probably rein in my touchy-feelie side a tad. My internal bully says I went way overboard, that I need to talk less and listen more. [sigh] Sometimes my son surprises me. There is a former friend at his school with whom he is in constant conflict. Don’t ask either of us why because neither of us understands. Well this boy had to cancel his birthday party…and my son felt bad for him. Sometimes I think I’m doing ok as a mom.
2/24: Boychild’s birthday. Gave him the mug I decorated for him. He seemed to like it. No fighting to get him off to school. Spent way too much time this morning arguing with our printer/scanner…evidently it has decided that it is no longer a scanner…that’s the problem with combo units. Got the choclate “hay stacks” made to take in for 2nd snack in honor of my son’s birthday. Exercised. My goal is to step it up. The dark months are over, the party stress is over, the money stress is slowly working itself out, so I need to suck it up and start exercising more often and find better snacks at night for the munchies after work and such. Laundry started. Cookies to school, grocery store, pick-up boychild, eat some yummy green chili and go to work. Shoulders are pretty cranky. My laundry room smells of chili and I can’t figure out where it is coming from so that I can fix it…don’t want to continue with laundry until it smells no longer otherwise in the enclosed room the clothes will smell of chili…
2/25: Morning went find until breakfast. Boychild did NOT like banana with his chocolate and oatmeal. I refused to waste food (I can’t eat bananas and Hubby rarely eats breakfast) so it was a battle. Spent some timing getting words out of my head…that overwhelming urge of “you will write this NOW”. Can’t get the chili smell out of my laundry room easily. Will have to wash all the rags in there I think for that to work. Leaving the door open in hopes of it airing out. Silly hubby…no putting cooking crockpots in small enclosed rooms. Short yoga routine. Work. Came home to a grumpy hubby because of the boychild. I swear our son has regressed to being a 2 year old. Popcorn fundraiser…I hate fundraisers as I was never a good salesman as a child…my goal is to sell 6 after crunching the numbers for their goal. That should be doable.
2/26: Much better pre-school morning with the boychild. Wrote a poem about my experience on the last full moon. Answered the next Polytheist meme question. Laundry room appears to be aired out. Yay! Someone called in sick so I’m going in 4 hours early. Feet are sore and tired. I’m tired. I’m sure there is something I should be doing. Going to bed instead.
2/27: I need to get that blog post written up, but whereas I was in the mood to write yesterday and got interrupted by work before I could get it done, today…today I just want to run amuck. AMUCK, AMUCK, AMUCK! I’m a pitiful panda…cause I’m not sure how to run amuck any more. So laundry and mixed up natural peanut butter. Only 2 short workouts ’cause my body is tired and sore. Read a short book on Hawai’i Legends, a gift from OSO’s vacation there. Started another book and finished it. Distressed to find out that the author died before finishing the series. I’m so not reading the last book! Meditation…in which Zeus had red hair…which is the first time I’ve seen that. Usually it is black. Tired and a bit blue…so wanted to go to the Springs this weekend. Surprised to see that one of my polytheist meme posted was shared…and it wasn’t even the one that I liked. :)
2/28: Finally got my blog post written for good or bad, it was a toughy. Next one is Aestas, Goddess/Personification of Summer. Now there is a lady I’d like to embrace right now as I’m cold, cold, cold. Inspiration struck and another blog posted. Another attempt at finishing laundry but I keep getting distracted. Cold. My hands are cold, my nose is cold, my toes are cold…they are saying another 8″ out of this storm. Ugh. Still have bills we haven’t paid for the month. Currently waiting on checks…just in time for the next round of bills to come due. Sigh. Tired, cold and gritchy. Watched some things off the DVR until it was close enough to my bed time.
3/1: slept in but still tired with a throat that feels odd. Feeling groggy and listless even after coffee. If Hubby was home, I’d go back to bed. I bowed before the shrines and apologized for lack of honors today due to not feeling well…which also means doing nothing for the dark moon tonight. No trip down to main street for the boychild to see ski joring. Woke up with a story idea based on the 7 dwarves…wrote down the idea but not getting to it today. Spent the afternoon doing legos with the boychild…about all I had the energy to do. Luckily we got on well enough. Took a rhyme for the dark moon found on Facebook and reworked it…which is rather hard when you can barely keep your eyes open. I give up. Good night.
“County Public Library*. How can I help you?”
“Yes I’m looking for a book for my wife. Can I peruse your catalog online?”
“Yes you may. Go to public.library.com*, enter in your library card and click on card catalog.”
“Well maybe you can help me. See my one year wedding anniversary is coming up and I’m putting together a weekend of romance. My wife likes to read Harlequin Blaze books in the tub. Do you have any of those? Or anything similar”
“I’m not sure sir, as we do not catalog by publisher.”
“Can you recommend any romance books?”
“I can recommend some of the more popular authors but I can’t give any personal recommendations as I don’t typically read that genre. For reading in a tub, I’d recommend a paperback because they are light and easier to hold while sitting in the tub.“
“She really likes the Harlequin Blaze books. They really get her hot, but she wants something she can turn pages with one hand, so the other one doesn’t have to stop what it is doing.”
*not the actual name/address
What does your tradition do to increase the power and flow of blessings?
I don’t have a tradition. I’m pretty much flying by the seat of my pants. I read what others do, I study what the ancients did and then I try different things until they feel right. The eclectic “wing-it” tradition at its finest. Can be very lonely and it can take a long time to work out problems but that’s where I’m at.
So how do I increase the flow and strength of blessings? Well what are blessings?
A blessing, (also used to refer to bestowing of such) is the infusion of something with holiness, spiritual redemption, divine will, or one’s hope or approval. (from Wikipedia)
The only way to increase blessings is to strengthen relations with the divine. This is done through prayer, offerings and the giving of time and attention. This is done by living rightly which doesn’t always match with cultural norms. This is done by never hiding one’s light or denying one’s truth. This is not the same as flaunting your beliefs but it does mean living your beliefs and standing firm when society, family or friends back you into the proverbial corner.
So how do I do this? I greet the shrines of Isis and Zeus every morning (with offerings of water) and farewells in the evening. The ancestor shrine receives water and greetings every morning. We do prayers before meals and prayers before bed. I write stories, poems and prayers that all in one way or another have some relation to the Gods, Naturekin or Ancestors. I try to live my beliefs every day, convenient or not. I pick up trash wherever I go. I teach my son (mostly through example but also through chatting and occasionally lectures) to do the same. I volunteer where I can. I give where I can. I celebrate full moons, dark moons and noumenia. I mark the turn of the wheel of the year in various ways. I keep a daily grateful blog to remind me of the good in my life. I journal to see my progress or the lack there of.
Do I feel like I do enough? No. I’m always striving to do something more, to be better. Do I fail? Yeah, more often than I like, but I think my efforts are appreciated and encouragement given when I fall. I do not fear my gods. I fear failing them and sometimes fear their lessons but I do not fear them. I fear sharing my thoughts, my works as the Pagan community is not as generous and tolerant as we like to think it is. I fear the rejection from those that matter to me but I never fear my gods. The blessing I give them is my trust and my love…and ultimately I think that is all they really need for it is the act of giving with an open heart that is important, not the gift.