Tag Archives: pagan

A Dream: Samurai Clock

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samurai clock

Original Artwork

Last night I had a dream.  I’m going to send this dream to a friend of mine.  So, this blog is written to him.

Hey! Long time no see. I know you’ve had huge changes in your life.  We don’t know each other well so this message might seem a little odd, but I had a dream about you last night!  It seems to me like a magical, meaningful dream.  You can let me know if it has any meaning for your life.

In the dream, my husband and I had been staying at some kind of retreat.  I think we had been staying in a cabin, but those details weren’t important in the dream.  During the retreat, you and I had each made half of a Samurai clock, and my husband had made something similar but his was whole.  You and I had made our halves separately. The making of it wasn’t important in the dream, just the fact that I had half, and you had half.

The Samurai clock was a figurine that could be held in the hand, it was that small.  It was black and white glazed ceramic.  It stood, feet apart, and arms stretched out like wings.  I can’t remember what the head looked like at all.  What stands out the most to me were the wing like arms, like an almost hug, a feeling of security.  The clock: I don’t know why it’s important that it’s a clock, somehow it tells time but I didn’t see any clock face on it, and it’s made completely out of ceramic.

I only “know” you (not that well) through pagan festivals.  You were always awake with a few others in the morning, giving out hugs.  Your hugs were always warm and loving.  I always thought of you like a brother.  Like, that’s the kind of bond we have without really knowing each other, you’re like my brother.  That’s the same feeling I had in this dream.

In the dream, my husband and I had packed up and were ready to leave, and were making our goodbyes.  I looked at my half of the samurai clock.  I felt like I knew I should give my half to you, but that I wanted to keep it, with the feeling of ‘my precious’ about it.  But I quickly overcame that and just knew I should give it to you.

Now here’s what makes this dream seem magical to me, this next part, for some reason.  My husband and I entered your tent.  Your tent was made of canvas, shaped like a yurt, and it was big and spacious.  It had some kind of thick green carpet for the floor, and you had various things around like oil lamps and food stores, and it looked cozy.  Also, the sun shone in, as if you had skylights, but your tent didn’t have windows or holes- it was just sunshiny inside your tent.  In the dream, you were planning to stay at the retreat, in your tent, for at least a year.  Like, that’s where your life had led you, to this point. (I feel like that’s important.)

I handed the other half of the Samurai clock to you.  The pieces fit together and it’s like it magically came into place, so that it was whole.  You held it, and I spoke to you: “It seems like living in your tent will feel isolating and lonely.”  You nodded and said you’d felt that last night.  I went on to say something like the Samurai clock would help you when you feel isolated and lonely.

And that’s it!  That’s the dream.  I feel like the tent, the samurai clock, and my words to you have importance.  I have no idea why.  If this dream is true, and you’ll be metaphorically living in a tent on your own for the foreseeable future, take heart, and know you have a tribe and bonds with people.

I’m posting this to my blog, in case the dream helps others, too!

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Our Magickal Fae Wedding

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A small magickal party happened last summer.  Fairies, magicians, sorcerers, and witches frolicked in a little forest.  This little forest lay hidden in a backyard, which lay behind a cozy cottage, nestled in a suburb in the Denver metro area.   Driving down a nearby street, you’d never guess that the beautiful place lay just a breath away.  But, if you were invited to our wedding, you would have found your way to it!

darlene and owens darling cabin

This is a little cabin that one of our hosts had made himself! This is just a sample of the gorgeous yard, plants, brick walk ways, that made this yard so quaint and wonderful.

You may remember from previous blogs that I spoke of a ‘Pan in the flesh;’ my Obi Wan of how to be friendly and generously loving to others.  He and I married last July. We had sought out a place to get hitched, and I wanted a place with lots of trees, with shelter in case it rained, and, for the people who joined us in celebrating, places to park.

terry 2

The whole wedding planning, from start to finish, was blessed, because of the wonderful people we are so lucky to know.  My Sweetie Sweetness’ step mother offered her husband’s brother’s home in the mountains, and we checked it out.  It is beautiful and cute! But, as it turned out, it was a little small for the amount of people we wanted to invite.

alton sandra ambyr dahlia judy

In this picture are (L-R) my love’s step brother, myself, his step mother (who offered her husband’s brother’s cabin), my love, his step sister (who took photos) and her daughter, and his step mother who said the blessing over our marriage.

We explained our dilemma at dinner, with my parents and two friends of theirs.  Their friends offered up their home.  We didn’t have any inkling at the time that what they truly offered was an enchanted garden, and access to parts of their lovely home.

don lena terry joan 3

More of my lovely love’s step parents!

bo lena

My dad and I

Both of us had been married before.  We’d had traditional and semi-traditional weddings – lots of rules followed simply because that’s the way it’s done.  This time, we wanted this wedding to represent us.  This wedding was about our love, and sharing our happiness that we were together with our friends and family.

leif and guen dancing

My mom and her brother cut a rug, er, grass. My uncle and his 2 grandsons traveled from Sweden!

Rather than go into what we didn’t do, I’ll just say what we did: My love and I walked to the middle of a patch of grass encircled by trees. Across a little stream, our friends and family chose their own places, with some comfortable seats reserved for those who had requested them.  It was a little drizzly, and we provided a lot of umbrellas or guests brought their own, and some sat on the grass, some in chairs, to watch the ceremony.

audience 2

 

terry erika lena 2

My love and I stand with our friend, in Steampunk and Fairy style dress. My dress and circlet were also made by friends. My boots used to be my mother’s, in the 60’s.

amber us 2

Another friend offered to interpret at our wedding, so that lovely Deaf friends could also attend.

Our lovely friend and DJ is also an officiant, and she led our ceremony, and MC’d the events and music.  We also had a volunteer ‘town crier’ to announce things that were about to happen.  Another set of good friends grilled food.  The only presents we wanted was for guests to bring food to share, and we provided meat for the grill and paid for a cake, to be made by my love’s son’s girlfriend.

For our ceremony, our friend said some touching words, and we read song lyrics that we had kept secret from each other until the event.  This was my love’s idea.  The first set represented our lives before each other, the next set represented our time together, and the last set represented our future together.  Next, we said our vows, which we had decided on together, the words of which are based on relationship gurus’ advice.

deafies 2             wedding sign

Then everyone ‘ate, drank and made merry.’  We had rented tables for people to sit, or people could mill around. My love’s sister took photos, and many more photos were shared digitally by guests.  Another friend brought her drone that took a video of everyone (fantastic!).  After eating, we asked for people to make toasts.  We wanted only positivity in the toasts, and had asked a few to prepare some toasts to start it off, and then anyone who wanted could come up and share a memory or something positive about our marriage.

At the end of the toasting, my love’s step mom spoke a powerful blessing over our marriage, which was very beautiful.  Then there was dancing, and cake cutting, chatting, and merriment.

us cakeFriends had volunteered to help set up and tear down, and they were so great.  They helped us have a worry free day!  My love and I had a chance to do a lot of setting up the day before, so as the volunteers came before our wedding started, we had them set up signs to lead people, and decorate.  Then, tear down was really fantastic and amazing: no piece of trash was left behind. Every little bit was picked up.

kati david
These two kicked ass with helping to set up and tear down!
myra

This good friend volunteered to chauffeur guests.

Our lovely hosts enjoyed our wedding as well, putting bubbles in the water fountain, and staying with us as we picked up and chatted with guests that remained.  Our lovely friend the DJ and officiant, my love and I came back the next day to pile all the tables and chairs and get the DJ equipment.

Because everyone who attended is so lovely, and generous, and kind, our wedding was beautiful.  The people who attended have souls just as beautiful as the little house and scenery were (as well as those who wanted to, but couldn’t attend, and were there in spirit).  Our parents, siblings, families and friends, and the hosts, are what made our wedding spectacular.  (Some attendees even travelled from afar!) That, and the willingness of so many of them to dress up in costume just ‘made’ the event!  Just our style (we love dressing up in costumes).

chaz carolyn aliciabarbara and marla

It has now been 6 months since we got married, and we are as happy as ever, most days.  We are human after all, and not really fae!  But our commitment to ‘validity, fidelity, ecstacy’ (the words engraved in our rings), our vows, to rule out any negativity, and our commitment to each other as a team, are what makes our relationship relatively stress free.

Here’s to a smooth ride with my love to the end of our days (steadfast love even if life gives us bumps).  So mote it be.

1910 sidecar couple from indianchiefmotorcycles dot com

picture from indianchiefmotorcycles.com

Goddess Nudges – Or is it the Way the Cookie Crumbles?

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Do I see the Goddess or Leaves

Do I See the Goddess or the Leaves? – Original Artwork

Dear lovely readers, my apologies for not posting in such a long time!  Part of the reason is that so much of this blog has been about my change in career from Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing (TODHH) to sign language interpreter, and now I’m back, teaching the sweet kiddos.  I felt that I had messages and nudges from the Goddess/ the universe/ the powers that be/ The Force, whatever you want to call it, to move in that direction, and now I’m back to what I was doing before? How do I explain that?

I’m still interpreting occasionally.  I volunteer interpreted at a rally, and I still interpret at a local Springtime music / pagan festival.  Two years ago in December, 2015, or maybe it was November, 2015, I got word from a fellow interpreter that a job as itinerant TODHH had opened up in her district, which was close to where I live now.  I got the job and started in January of 2016.  Oh, and I moved in with my sweetie sweetness, I’m not sure if said that in the last blog- I probably did.

I’ve been loving my job as itinerant teacher!  It was a learning curve to adjust to that, since I used to be a classroom teacher.  I used to stay in one or two schools, with a caseload of about 10 students.  Now I travel from school to school (about 13-15 schools and about 24-30 students in my caseload).  There’s fluctuation, students moving in or out of the district, graduating, or other TODHHs available, or not, to take on some of my students into their caseload.  I teach Deaf/Hard of Hearing kids from preschool to 12th grade.  For some kids, I help them develop vocabulary and language, or I help with literacy, or I help with self advocacy and care of their hearing equipment.  I still use my sign language skills in my job with some of my students, and I love that.

I had not really worked with preschoolers before, and audiologists took care of the hearing equipment needs.  Now I troubleshoot hearing aids, BAHAs (Bone conduction hearing aids), and cochlear implants.  I don’t know enough to program them or anything, but I can clean them and change batteries and put them on kids, and though I knew some of that, I know a lot more now than I did before.  Also managing the schedule and trying to see students in my caseload, and finding schools, kept my brain challenged and learning last year.  Now I’m comfortable with it.

Wow, preschool.  I am now comfortable with the wee little ones.  I was so used to secondary students.  I wasn’t sure what to do last year, and I grew into it, and figured it out.  It’s pretty fun being a goofball with little ones and figuring out how to draw language out of them, so to speak, and then driving and meeting with an older student. I like the variety I get in my job, and the flexibility.

So, did I get ‘messages from beyond’ supporting my decision to go back to teaching? Not really- unless I wasn’t paying attention to them.  It just seemed right and it’s been great so far.  But what about those messages from beyond before, how do I justify going against what they supposedly said?  I don’t know how to answer that.  I can’t justify it.  Lame, huh.  I’m a lame pagan dork.  And I’m also a fantastic pagan dork! Haha.

I’m still doing some pagan things. I joined a pagan chamber choir (I know right? Those exist? I thought all pagan music was heavy metal!) Joking on that last comment of course. I’m not as witchy-poo as I used to be; I’m not mixing herbs and doing spells and sitting at my altar like I used to.  I have kind of fallen off the magic carpet I used to ride.  What’s up with me? I have no idea.  I still love the Earth and I love connecting with other pagans.  But am I still pagan?  Yeah…. I just ‘practice’ the pagan stuff less.  I’m sure that’s why I didn’t get nudges about whether I moved in the right direction regarding my job- I didn’t ask. I just did.

My sweetie, who I think of as a gift from the divine and a somewhat subdued Pan in the flesh, and I will be getting married this summer.  After just dating a few months, we felt like we’d known each other forever.  Now, we’ve been together about 2 and a half  years.  He’s my gift, because of many reasons:  all sexual needs fulfilled, intimacy needs as well, he’s my Obi Wan Kenobi when it comes to my little worries and shyness and how to relate with people and how to be free in life, he’s my guru, my friend, and he’s my lover.  I am so blessed.

Anyway, I think I fell off of my overtly pagany ways, and so did this blog along with that.  I am still pagan though! I am, I am, I swear.  My brand of paganism is just less obvious than it was before… I am just me.  I haven’t felt a draw to go to circles and drum or do rituals with others, in fact, I feel a bit of a resistance inside.  I’m not sure why.  I think I’ve seen the people behind the curtain and I’m a little disillusioned.  That, and another group I know is wonderful is such a long car drive away.  Also, I had some magic experiences and then fell flat on my face.  After you do that, you might not want the magic experiences any more, or at least you might be hesitant about them.

I feel like my life is good right now.  I’m happy.  I’m free to be myself most of the time, and less shy to express myself the way I want to.  I’m with someone who truly cares for me and supports me.  I have sweet, sweet friends that like me the way I am.  My job is pretty darned good.  I have what I need in abundance.  Thank you, God and Goddess, for providing.  I am so grateful for this wonderful life.

Coming Into My Own

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open road is home

Original Artwork

Lady Vagabond has risen and come into her own
Singing hai-ay-ay-ay, the open road is home!

-S.J. (“Sooj”) Tucker, Lady Vagabond, album: Sirens

I am now an educational interpreter!  There’s a law in Colorado, USA, where I live, that prohibits me from saying that I’m an ‘interpreter’ until I have NIC certification (National Interpreter Certification).  I can lawfully say that I’m an educational interpreter, however, because I’ve passed the educational interpreter test (called the EIPA- Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment).

If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know that I was a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for 13 years.  Back when I started this blog, I was extremely frustrated and burned out from my job, mostly because of the defunct system, and I was looking for an escape.  I wondered what else I could do for a living, and I realized that I love to interpret.  From time to time, I interpreted when other interpreters weren’t available, and I really enjoyed it.  I set my sights on interpreting as my new future career.  Recently I found a little souvenir from a past ritual, maybe from 2012 or 2013, a small paper on which I wrote what I wanted to move away from and what to manifest in my life.  On one side I wrote what I wanted to move away from: being a Teacher of the Deaf, and on the other side, I wrote what I wanted to move towards, and I had written “Interpreter: Freedom!”

2012-2013 was my roughest, most stressful school year since I had started teaching (and that’s saying a lot).  I started saving my money starting in 2012, so that I could be (mostly) jobless a while and go to school, and still pay my bills.  In the Fall of 2013, I started community college classes in an Interpreter Preparation Program (IPP).  I graduated in May of this year with an associates degree in interpreting!

This past summer, I struggled with not having any work yet and the emotions that brings.  I had expected at least a little bit of work and many interviews (being the Pollyanna-like positive thinker that I am).  I didn’t pass 2 screenings, and did pass 3 others, so I got signed on with two agencies and was set to start work with video relay service (VRS) work in the Fall.  That gave me hope, and I was constantly ready for that call from an agency- I gave the agencies lots of availability, even overnight and weekends, thinking ‘Pick me, pick me! Give me at least something!’  I had clothes on a hanger in my car and paperwork I’d need if I worked for one of the agencies ready to go.  To this day, I have only been called by one of the agencies once and I had to turn that job down.  Little did I know at the time that I was waiting and ready on pins and needles for nothing.  (Isn’t a lot of life and stress wasted like that?)  Meanwhile, while I waited for the call, text or email that I was checking constantly, I sent out a gazillion emails to community colleges in my area, attaching my resume and a link to my portfolio.  That resulted in getting signed on with two community colleges for the Fall.

Despite all the stress, waiting, and listless emotions, there are two wonderful and magical experiences I had this past summer: the first that stands out is interpreting at a Spring festival.  I interpreted at it last year and this year in an official capacity and have attended as a merchant several years before that.  Last year and this year, I learned all of the music for the concerts that I could get my hands on, practiced every moment I could, and the highlight was interpreting for my favorite musician: S.J. Tucker!  I also interpreted for Orpheus Pagan Chamber Choir, the best moment of which was interpreting the Jabberwocky, which was so much fun!  I used to have that poem printed out and pinned by my teacher desk, to lift my spirits with something odd and fantastical during my day.

interpreting for sooj and Betsy

Open interpreting for Sooj (SJ Tucker) and Betsy Tinney

The second wonderful experience I had this past summer was interpreting for a wedding which had many Deaf people in attendance.  The people involved were so wonderful, happy, relaxed, smiling, and friendly, and I got to interpret with someone I respect.  Those two experiences were indescribable.  Both experiences, as I look back on them, are sparkling with merriment and softening to the heart.

And throughout, my boyfriend that I spoke of two blogs ago has been so deeply loving, and we grow closer all the time. Life is good simply because I’m with him!

So, overall, the summer was a little rough, and mixed with wonderful experiences.  I tried to enjoy it and relax, but I also felt like I was mooching off of my boyfriend who I live with, and watched my savings dwindle more and more.  I prepared myself to ask my parents or my boyfriend for money, thought what I could sell, what else I could do to earn money, and tried to get other jobs, and scraped by, waiting for August when my jobs would start.  My savings that I had lived off of for 2 years diminished to only $20 this past July!  Thankfully I had rent money coming in, which barely kept me afloat until my jobs started, and I made it to August with only some debt to my boyfriend, which I’ll have paid off shortly.  It was a perfect timing kind of thing, and I thank whatever powers-that-be that look out for me, if they do at all, that things worked out the way they did!  I thank my lucky life and parents and boyfriend.  I’m also thankful for my smart brain (and that my brain had the chance to develop into a smart one), which helped me earn some money through tutoring during the summer as well.  I am truly so blessed.

All of August, I was stressed with starting new jobs, facing multiple fears related to doing my job well and not wanting to mess up people’s lives through mis-interpretations, and swimming in the new ocean tide called interpreting.  I tried out my fins and found out they work and work well!  I knew where to go, what to do, but it was all a little bit new.  I’m thankful for my many years with a toe in the Deaf community and to the patient and sweet Deaf people I’ve known, to help me to interpret and navigate now.  I’ve also noticed that what I’m doing now has connections in the past, one thing flowing to another, experiences and people I know are tying in to what I’m doing now.  Thinking of it makes me feel tingly, that maybe we ‘aren’t alone in the universe’ after all.

Now, it’s September, and I work at two community colleges and video relay service (VRS).  In case that term is foreign to you, I’m adding a footnote at the end to describe VRS.  I have been earning money again and am able to contribute to my little bubble of people that I live with.  I hesitate to call them family, but they are kind of my family now, more and more: my boyfriend and his daughter, who recently entered adulthood and lives half of the week in his home.  In my people bubble there are occasional chats with a roommate and his little son; he and his son are a bit on the fringes of the bubble.

And in addition to the people-bubble (or is it my family? not really yet, but….), there’s the thought of ‘is this my boyfriend’s home? Is it my home as well?’ Technically yes, it’s his.  However, he tells me I should think of it as my home as well- well yes, I live here.  But mine? His home? Our home?  My boyfriend’s home, that I live in.  What should I call it?  That’s the stage of our relationship now: what is merging for us, and what is apart?  I’m smiling at myself- navigating that whole new world in my thoughts: ours, his, ours, mine or his, or ours.

Only recently, I’m finally feeling more relaxed, getting used to all of what I’m doing, and like Sooj’s song, I’m coming into my own.  For much of August, and maybe much of this summer, I didn’t feel like myself.  I felt lost in the ether, not sure who I was, where I was, or what I was doing.  I was nervous about interpreting, nervous about myself, not satisfied with who I am.  I was scared to let go of being scared just in case I would mess up because of false confidence.  Now, with a little bit of successful experience, I am relaxing into interpreting.  There are still moments of ‘oh oops, misunderstanding of meaning,’ or ‘oops, wrong sign, this is the sign,’ and that may continue for a little while or forever.  But I’m more relaxed and happy with my stage in the process, and especially starting this past week, happy with life.

I have also joined Orpheus Pagan Chamber Choir, which I interpreted for at the Spring festival I spoke of last year and this year, and am singing alto.  That, too, has been a challenge, though a more happy one, that I’m starting to relax into and being more happy with.  I love to sing!  Before joining the choir I mostly sang with Sooj’s recorded voice while driving, and sang chants and pagan songs with friends while camping.  Now I’m adding chamber choir music to what I sing, and am enjoying the mental challenge of finding the right pitch and reading music while enjoying the vibrations singing creates in my head.  I’m also thrilled with the feeling of being part of a kind of hive mind as the choir sings together.

So, there’s my update after many months’ hiatus of writing!  Surprise, you get a new blog!  Perhaps I’ll expand on some themes I touched on just a bit in this blog in future blogs.

FOOTNOTE:

Video Relay Service (VRS):  Nowadays, Deaf people and people who use sign language to communicate use something called a Video Phone (VP) to make phone calls (in the US and other developed countries).  A VP is much like skyping or talking through the web via video, though this is through a phone line connected via a kind of webcam to a television screen, or they can use a cell phone or computer as well.  VPs require high speed internet to work.  The VP owner has a phone number that people can dial just like a normal phone number.  When someone who doesn’t have a VP calls a VP phone number, the call gets routed to a VRS, and that person hears a sign language interpreter speak to them.  The call is then connected to the Deaf person’s VP in addition to the interpreter.  The interpreter has a headset and looks at a computer screen, and sees the Deaf person signing.  The interpreter voices to the hearing person what the Deaf person says, and then, as the hearing person speaks, the interpreter signs what is said to the Deaf person.  VP owners can call other VP owners without an interpreter and have a ‘face to face’ conversation in sign.

Like Jack and Sally, We’re Meant to Be

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Used with permission from the artist, Lulu Inthesky.  See www.luluinthesky.fr to see more of her artwork.

Used with permission from the artist, Lulu Inthesky. See http://www.luluinthesky.fr to see more of her artwork.

I have met, possibly, the best match in a lover, ever, for me.  In fact, we had our first date the day I posted the last blog. (You know, the one in which I was going on about how I’m just going to chill out on relationships for a while?)

Well, that’s funny.  I’m way deep in a very serious relationship now!  After that first date, I thought he was interesting and that it would be fun to see him again.  We had our second date the very next day.  We went to a park and had a picnic, and ended up kissing under a blanket as it sprinkled.  I’m smiling now, remembering how wonderful that was.

Since then, I’ve found out so many awesome things about him, some of which are uncanny signs that appear to point in the direction of ‘You are made for each other.’  So many things about our personalities jive with each other and we really match and fit so well together, that sometimes I’ve felt like I’ve made him up, except that he’s better than what I could have made up.

One of the really cool, uncanny similarities we have is that we are both really into butterflies.  If you read some of my past blogs, (or this one, or this one) you’ll be filled in on what I mean.  One or two years ago, images of butterflies were popping out at me, around 2-3 images per day, for months on end.  The same thing happened for him, but for a shorter time.  I now have a tattoo of a blue butterfly on my left shoulder blade and a few other things like barrettes, notebooks, and so on, that have butterfly images on them.  He has a lot of butterfly images and actual butterflies (framed) in his home.  I’m still seeing butterfly imagery quite often.  Just today, I saw these butterflies in the CD sleeve of a Frenchy and the Punk album, and the lyrics next to them are so wonderful.  I texted him with this picture, which has now been tweaked for posterity:

"...now that all is said and done, we can join forces two as one, for deep in our hearts we found the key. Like Jack and Sally, we're meant to be.  Now the charade is over and done, we still march forward two as one, for deep in our hearts we found the key, like Jack and Sally, we're meant to be." - Frenchy and the Punk, Bonnie and Clyde

“…now that all is said and done, we can join forces two as one, for deep in our hearts we found the key. Like Jack and Sally, we’re meant to be. Now the charade is over and done, we still march forward two as one, for deep in our hearts we found the key, like Jack and Sally, we’re meant to be.” – Frenchy and the Punk, Bonnie and Clyde

Another fun coincidence is a mutual interest in girls and tanks (in a way).  A few years ago, I dressed up as Tank Girl for a convention in Denver.  I am a huge fan of the original comic books by Hewlett and Martin.  He has had a long time interest in tanks, and even designed a tank- I’m not sure how in depth his design is, if it’s a working tank or more of an art form for him (I would guess: both).  He wrote a fictional story that he wants to turn into a comic book about women in tanks!  How cool is that!

Myself as Tank Girl, 2012

Myself as Tank Girl, 2012

We match in so many ways.  I’ve owned guns before and shot them only a few times (not any more- the interest didn’t really go away, but the money to buy them did; I pawned the ones I had, about twenty years ago), and he owns guns and is into guns, a bit.  We’re both into Science Fiction.  I have all the old Avengers TV shows (Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee) and have watched them and love them, and he’s watched all of them with his daughter.  We both like comic books.  We’re both artists, though he’s practiced art much more than I have.  We both like to write stories.  We both like to dance (though I hadn’t been club dancing in a really long time).  He took me dancing and it was so much fun!

What else do we have in common… we’re both teachers.  Though I’m only tutoring two students right now, and he’s a full time teacher.  He teaches high school students Math and Game Design.  We’re both computer savvy and graphic arts savvy- though he’s much more so than I am.

We’re both leader types.  We’re both generous and like to help other people. We both really like cuddling, touching, kissing, and have high sex drives.  (And it’s been wild!)  He communicates a lot with me, and we’ve been very frank and open with each other.  We’re both polite and considerate people.  We both see people as just that, people, and have a wide variety of friends, male, female, transgender.  We’re both bisexual.  We both don’t mind if the other person finds other people attractive and tells the former person about it.  We’re so wild about each other and in love that this doesn’t conflict with what we’ve got going with each other.

We do, of course, differ in a few ways.  He likes line dancing (country style dancing), and I’m not into that at all.  I’m more into pagan things and think in a pagan way much more than he does.  He’s Buddhist, and is open minded about spirituality, which helps us match.  But he wouldn’t quite get into the same spiritual things I’m into (as far as I’ve been able to discern).  He’s much more outgoing than I am (and I’m more of a friendly introvert).  He makes people laugh and glow after he’s talked with them, and I love this about him.

I have been given this wonderful present: a lover who is as excited about me as I am about him, and who is wonderful, beautiful, and unique in his own right.  I have other blessings as well: sign language interpreting school is going great, I have what I need, and am blessed with wonderful people in my life.

So.  I feel the need to do something special to thank the cosmic mother and father and guardian spirits, and deity, or whoever has helped bring us together.  Some kind of sacrifice is probably called for, and I’m going to think about what I can do to create a balance for all the blessings I have been given.  I don’t have a lot of money to spend, so I need to think of something I can do or make and it has to be big or require a lot of time.  I’ll have to think on that one a bit.  (If you have any ideas, it would be fun to read them!)  In the meantime, all I have are words coming from a sincerely felt humility.  Thank you for all that I have been given! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Letting my Life Thread Flow

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life threads

Original artwork

This past June, during a meditation, I received a message from divinity to “Go with the flow.”  In the past months, I’m realizing more and more what this means for me.

I think I may be going through a kind of biological mating imperative lately.  My psyche sometimes fights a slightly crazed feeling of “Must mate, now!  Who’s next to try? Will it be you?”  I hate that feeling!  It is what it is, and I’m not constantly feeling it, thankfully.  I also wonder if part of the feeling comes from remnants from being married (i.e. mated) already, and wanting that seemingly steadfast bond with someone again.  Or, it could be those magical moments I had this summer that I just didn’t want to end.

But relationships are not constantly magical.  We are not living and breathing and pooping rainbows all the time.  For me, it wouldn’t be rainbows, but it would be starry nights or full moons.  I love that energy, I love the ethereal connection I had, but there’s also the other parts of ourselves we need to consider.  We are not completely astral, and if we were, things would be so much easier.  We need to work and learn and feed ourselves.  Our teeth chip or our cars which spew ick into the air may break down, but we are tied to these earthly things.  We are not completely pure and evolved, either.  We have jealousy, or feelings of abandonment.  We (well, I; speaking for myself, here, but assuming I’m not the only one) are all dealing with these things in waves.

After those wonderfully magical experiences I had in June, the mundane issues came back.  My life thread wants to bond and mate, but that’s not necessarily healthy, it’s like ‘Chill out, life thread!’  The other person I was involved with- that my life thread sought- isn’t ready for that and is sifting through his own issues.  And I’ve come to realize that while my soul was seeking his, he’s not really seeking mine back, that I can tell (unless I’m totally oblivious to something or too impatient to wait for the signs).

I tried seeking other life threads through online dating.  What a weird mental space that is!  It’s like you’re shopping for other people, and they’re shopping for people, of whom you’re one of the commodities as well.  Then you start connecting with someone, but it’s not truly connecting, or you think you do and it was a lie, ugh it’s so shallow and strange.  Just strange!  I’ve been on a few dates, and that concept of “Go with the flow” is back.  No need for anything immediate to happen.

I’m cutting off that internet dating thing this weekend, as school’s about to start again.  The whole arena kindof turns my stomach anyway, but I’ve met a few people and had some wonderful conversations in the process.  We’ll see how it goes, no magical connections, but can you expect to constantly have magical connections?  I wish!  It’s a rare thing.  (Update from 8/14:  just had a second date with a guy I met internet dating and I stand corrected, I just had a wonderful, magical time with him!)

Go with the flow; it’s all about developing your own enjoyment of life independent of anything else.  Being open to opportunities as they arise, keeping an open mind and heart, but not tying your own heart down or anchoring it to one possibility.  That last bit is what I’ve been struggling with this summer.  And I think I’m getting there, and becoming really comfortable with just being me right now.  Developing and strengthening my own life thread, putting life and color into it, and weaving it wherever I want to weave it.

From My Zany Brain to Yours

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As promised, I must tell you more about my take on things- how I do the ‘rainbow induction’ and about my monkeys, and I’ll expand on this to how I do magic.

How’s that for an odd start to a blog. Haha.

And to make it even stranger, I type this with the background music of old Swedish music, accordion accompaniment and all.  If you wish to join in the fun, tune in to this YouTube playlist and listen along as you read.  (By the time I’ve finished this blog and edited it, I got really tired of this music and had to stop it to have some peace!)

I feel that I must first explain the odd choice in music.  I have been looking for a video clip of the old Pippi Longstocking singing her summer song while riding on top of a train with Annika and Tommy.  I have been looking for it for a few days!  Why so obsessed? I have no idea- probably my recent happiness, and my love of summer.  The slower versions I’m finding everywhere aren’t doing it for me.  I looked up the first line to the lyrics, “och nu så vill jag sjunga,” and came across this interesting playlist!  And I’m in just the right zany mood, oddly, to enjoy it.  (Incidentally, Pippi has a pet monkey, and I think it’s cool that I’m about to talk about my monkeys later in this post!)

parymmen2

A clip from the film ‘Pa Rymmen’ (I’m not sure what the movie is called in English, but it means to run away from home). Pippi sings about all the things she loves about summer on top of the train.

Back to the purpose of this post!

I would like to take you through my evolution of how I’ve done things with my pagan religion up to present times, if you’re game.

When I first started being a pagan, and figuring out what I believe, including what I believe about how things work on a metaphysical level, I read some, and tried some, and thought a lot.  I have always been very eclectic, and it seems that just about every pagan I know says the same thing!  We’re like cats, you can’t tell us exactly how to do something.  We’ll stare at you, lift up our leg, and lick our butt in your general direction, just to defy you if you tell us what to do.

I took bits and peices of what I liked.  I thought about that ‘protective circle’ you read about it many books- the traditional thing is to draw or imagine “Blue Fire” (why blue? why fire? why why why?) coming from a wand or finger and you draw a circle around you, and some people are very specific about this circle.  I thought, it’s two dimensional, how in the heck does that protect you?  Crowley talked of a cone of power- not that it’s the same thing as the protective circle, but it got me thinking.  I tweaked that into a protective sphere around me.  This was all in what I was doing with my mind, tuning into that psychic channel, like I spoke of in a previous blog.  I did this for a while, and that was good.  Sometimes I put it around my car, then my brain would go ‘uh wait can it move with me?’ ‘Why yes it can!’ Why not?

I took a Druidry class online, which also involved reading Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein.  I happened to have the extended version, given to me by a fellow bibliophile.  I hadn’t read through the whole thing yet, but I did for the class.  That was transformative for me because it expanded my thoughts on metaphysics and how they work, and how much we can control of our reality, possibly.  I realize it’s a work of fiction, but it helped me get my brain juices going.  Also, the druidry class had us practicing protective spheres.  That also expanded the possibilities:  invisibility cloak?  Titanium sphere rather than clear, segmented like an aardvark or roly-poly?  I have always been extremely visual and imaginative.  I tend to think in symbolic, visual metaphors and this was right up my alley.

Nowadays, the sphere has become an egg shape, because the shape of an egg is an extremely strong shape.  This shape really lends to what I do with it, too.  More on that in a bit.

I have also been very flexible with the cardinal directions and corresponding elements.  I don’t hold to one way of doing it (Earth in North, etc.), but I do believe in the power that goes behind years and years of many people doing something the same way and believing the same way.  I just don’t know that witches have always had Earth in the North; Wicca is a relatively new religion based on old ideas as we understand them.  If there is something people have believed, for sure, for millennia, I take it seriously.  Jumping over a bonfire or touching the maypole?  Not me!  No preggers for me, thankyouverymuch!

Back to the elements, I really like the logic behind the creative cycle and destructive cycle in Feng Shui.  I had my altar set up with that for a while.  I also called in ‘the guardians of the elements’ for a while, but then I questioned who or what these entities were.  Now, I believe that we are always in sacred space, if you believe that nature is sacred.  Being respectful of, and to commune with the ‘heart’ in nature (as the Hopi believe) is quintessential to being pagan.  So, nowadays, I personally don’t find a need to invite these entities in, since they are already there and always there.  I do acknowledge their presence, though.  Now, in a group, I do as the group does so as not to mess with the energy of the group.

To the ‘rainbow induction.’  I was part of a little group of women here in Colorado who met and did witchy things together.  We weren’t a coven in the traditional sense, but essentially, we were close and did some powerful things together, and supported each other.  We were going through the book The Twelve Wild Swans, by Starhawk.  In it, she describes a way to go deeper in consciousness while meditating and since it’s so visual, it has really helped me.  How it’s described in the book, is you go through the rainbow colors from red to indigo, and when you reach indigo you should be deeper in consciousness for meditation.  As you go through each color, you become that color, are wearing that color, ‘you are the red woman,’ for example.  For each color, you also sink deeper downward.  Once you truly feel like you are that color, you move to the next one, and so on.  For me, currently, this has evolved to the point of sitting in an antique-looking, kindof steampunkish, chaise lounge, that also changes colors.  Maybe it’s the Cancerian part of me that likes the comfortable image, or my inner child that just thinks it’s cool.  It puts me in my happy place and that’s what counts.  Also, I add more colors at the end:  after purple, it turns to brown, then black, then white.  By the time I start walking to my place of power in my meditation, I’m wearing white.

Incidentally, the way I ground comes from Starhawk’s book, The Fifth Sacred Thingwhich involves thinking like you are a tree, and your roots go down deep into the earth; I like to add aquifers and earth and the magma of the center (or molten iron?) and air from worms that bring in the air to the roots to include all the elements; all the elements bathing the trunk with the sun and wind and rain and nourishment from the soil, with limbs stretching up.  Sometimes I use imagery from a book on meditation with the chakras (if I find it, I’ll update this post with its actual title and author- I think it’s Your Aura and Your Chakras, by Karla McLaren), that describes a cord coming from your lower chakra, and from there I have tweaked it into an umbilical cord, that is extremely strong like a cable, going down, and sometimes it’s an anchor or has a hook that latches onto something.  That’s when I really need grounding, that I go to extreme measures.

Now, my power place, that I go to when I meditate to either ponder something, do magical work, or meet with deity, started with the same book about meditating with the chakras, and was at first a small cave.  That book described this place being in the spiritual chakra- the third eye, and it being in the head; this was a little weird for me, so it’s just a place I’m in, not in my head (for the location).  At first it was a cave right by water, and was very cozy.  This might also come from my love of the Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jane Auel, and the cave that Ayla lived in for several years (which wasn’t by the water, though).  I have always thought of Ayla as a powerful, independent woman and identified with her in some respects, especially with her creativity.  I was briefly part of a very small group in Des Moines, IA when I lived there, and we had a guided meditation where we went to our power place; this time it was large and cavernous, with stalagmites and stalactites, some water here and there. Currently, when I meditate, it looks much like Red Rocks here in Colorado or the rock formations in Utah.

And, finally, my monkeys.  The whole notion that I have spirit monkeys started when I lived in Des Moines.  I was part of another lovely group there, which met in a local witchy shop, that we called our own ‘Diagon Alley.’  Sometimes the group went to some land one of the ladies owned, and camped or did an evening ritual there.  On one such camping trip, several women did different kinds of readings for others.  One woman, the woman who owned the land, did a kind of reading called automatic writing.  I had played with that kind of thing in high school, and I had the attitude that it was just high school-ish, silly, stuff, and tried to keep an open mind anyway.  (Automatic writing is where a person lets a spirit helper or similar entity take over the pen and write messages to the person receiving the reading.)  The woman spoke of a ghost that lived in my home, and that I had monkeys in my car.  13 monkeys, to be exact.  When I looked at her dumbfounded, she said, ‘haven’t you felt them?’

I dismissed it, though I did love this woman as a sister, and respect her, but thought it was just strange and silly.  Later on, on another night in the ‘Diagon Alley’ store (not its true name), we had a tarot/divination card night.  One of the card decks had spirit animals.  Guess which card I pulled.  Yes, the monkey.  Maybe part of my dismissal of the idea from before was that monkeys, in my mind, are associated with silliness, with circuses and the like. The card said that monkey spirits can see into the future, and have a wider perspective on situations, just like monkeys can swing tree to tree and see from above.  This gave me a new respect for the situation, plus being a teeny bit of added evidence that it was true that I had monkey spirits around me.

Later, I moved back to Colorado.  In the move I lost the title to my car, so I had to go through a very long (years long) process to get a new title for the car.  In the meantime, I couldn’t renew the plates for Colorado until I had it, so I was driving illegally (Shh! don’t tell anyone! I do try to be a good girl!).  So, for some added magical umph to my ‘don’t notice me, cops, I’m a good girl, I’m a good girl’ protective bubble around my car, which I sometimes pictured with angel wings and a halo, I tuned my psychic channel to my monkeys, just to see what I would ‘see’ in my mind’s eye.  I wasn’t sure if I was just being creative or imaginative or if I sensed something truly there, or not.  And frankly I didn’t care, and still don’t.  When I tuned my mind to them, I saw that there were three: a mother who was closest to me, by my lap; a younger male, and an old male.  They were tawny colored, and longer haired (like the monkeys in India).

Photo Credit: http://www.astrologyofindia.com, found on Panoramio. North Indian Monkey

I remember way back in high school, I went to a summer camp for gifted kids (I barely made the ‘cut’ of being gifted with my IQ on the higher end but not really in genius-land), and for a creative writing class, we meditated and attempted to meet our spirit guide, which was supposed to help us get past writer’s block.  (Looking back this was kindof odd, but that’s O.K.) I never could get a good look at my spirit guide- I thought it was because I couldn’t stay in the mental state very well; it was tawny and blurry and shorter than me, and I thought, ‘surely that’s not right.’  It could be that it was this mother monkey spirit!

Since then, I have tuned my channel to them, ‘fed’ them bananas (which I ate afterwards), discovered they like heavy metal and dance to it when I play it in my car, and sometimes they pile up, one on each of my shoulders and one on my head.  Once, they have appeared as a whole horde like a bunch of bumblebees, and then returning to the three, as if to signify that the three actually represent a lot of beings.  Sometimes I send a monkey to a car in front of me for a driver that seems inebriated or not paying attention, to get the driver to speed up or pay attention to the road, and then bring the monkey back.  I’ve also sent a monkey in spiritual work to guard over a home, and having them alternate, then brought them back when I felt that the house was safe for my friend.  I’ve also asked them yes/no or choice questions, and they have always been right.  Since I’ve recognized them and tune in to them, and appreciated them, I find that I am also much more intuitive and my magic seems stronger; I can concentrate in ritual and magical workings better, as well.

There have been some more evidences for my monkeys; so far, three.  I was taking another meditation class that focused on the elements, and after we had meditated and were mellow-ly hanging out, another woman I had just met said, ‘I could have sworn I saw a monkey zip by that far wall.’  I told her about my monkeys… and I hope I didn’t freak her out.  She was new to paganism and probably new to weird ideas like this.  Another time, I was teaching a class of Special Ed students (I was a Deaf Ed teacher but I also taught hearing Special Ed), and one of the students (a very sweet Native American boy with the diagnosis of Learning Disability) said he saw a monkey.  I had to keep teaching with a poker face, and didn’t criticize him for saying it.  And more recently, another person said she thought she had seen a monkey from the corner of her eye.

Currently, I invite my monkeys to ritual (well really, acknowledge and appreciate their presence), and often invite my grandmothers as well, since they are near and dear to my heart.  When I dance around the fire, I acknowledge my monkeys and tune in to what they’re doing, and have them dance on me or they dance around the circle (they’re not really at my beck and call, though they usually do what I ask when I ask them to do it).

And currently, when I send energy (which is like a pagan prayer, involving ones’ own energy, which I include a request from deity for their energy as well), this is what I do:

I ground, usually with tree roots going down (nowadays this takes only a few seconds usually), and form the egg shape of protection around me.  Sometimes it’s a very large egg and I’m lying at the bottom of it and sometimes it’s just small; the roots go down out of it.  The top of the egg opens (like the mouth of the creature in Dune) to let in the kind of energy I’m requesting from deity.  I’ve come to think of deity in many different images; female or male, or a couple- cosmic mother and father (I get this idea from the Gnostic gospel of Thomas- the true mother and father) or just a general cosmic force.  Usually I need healing energy but sometimes I need some loving or happy energy, for example. I usually visualize this as a color.  I send it in the direction I’m placing that person in my mind, say they live to the North East of me, then I send it North East until I feel like they have received it.  Sometimes I picture the person receiving it, perhaps if I can figure out what body part needs the healing, for example.  I have nearly always found out I was correct (for a body part or what was going on with the person), which really speaks to an evidence, for me, of deity.  Once I feel that the working is done, I send back out the top opening something to thank deity with, and this is spontaneously decided upon, depending on my mood.  Sometimes it’s roses (like roses are thrown down for olympic figure skaters), or butterflies, sometimes it’s chocolate, once it was stars, sometimes it’s simply my gratitude and love, sometimes it’s a hug, and so forth.  Then I close up the top, then disintegrate the protective egg bubble, and let myself come back to manifest reality.

And there you have it.  From my zany brain to yours.  Do you think I’m nuts?  I don’t care.  I manage just fine, thank you, and it works wonderfully for me.  Said with a smile!

I would love to hear from you- what do you do, in your mind, when you do magical workings or meditate?