Tag Archives: pagan

A Magical Midsummer’s Night

Standard

I want to tell you about the most magical night of my life.  It is so rare to experience it, and it was so wonderful, that I want to share it with you.

moonlight through tipi smokehole

Looking up through the tipi smokehole, I didn’t actually see the moon; we had to go out of the tipi to see it. But the moon’s energy was definately suffusing everything we did. Our chants and music making was magical and honored the divine.

Recently, I went camping with a group of pagans for Litha, which is the midsummer sabbat.  I have attended many rituals and most of them have been lovely.  I have bonded with a good group of friends and meditated with them.  However, none of those wonderful, lovely times compare with this particular time.  This one tops them all in the way the group jived and grooved with each other, and how we worshiped the divine together.

I think the astounding magical time we had bubbled and frothed and expanded from several ingredients.  First of all, not only was it Litha, it was also the full moon, and supposedly a moon that appeared closer to Earth than at other times during the year.  Second of all, everyone there have good heads on their shoulders, are relatively sane and smart, and are overall good people.

This was in the mountains of Colorado, and it was a particularly beautiful summer day, with meadow flowers blooming, everything green, and yellow swallowtail butterflies flittering about.  I arrived mid-day and greeted the people there.  The adults were hanging out and chatting, and the kids were running around and playing.  I set up my tent, and though I had very little to carry in from my car, the priest (I think of him as a good ol’ boy nice grandpa type) got the kids to help me carry my stuff in.  So nice.  He also helped me put it up even though I had thought I could do it on my own.  (It was also nice that he didn’t come in to help until I really needed it!)

Anyway, I had brought my hula hoops, and after hanging out a bit chatting with people, I took them out and shared a hoop with a new friend.  We hula hooped a while, with much heckling from Gramps.  Though the heckling didn’t seem to bother my new friend, much.

A little while later, I was invited to help plan for the ritual.  We all agreed pretty readily on things and it went pretty quickly; our priestess (who is a lovely lady) had already planned out most of it, and still asked for our input on various aspects.  One lady there volunteered to organize the kids in gathering items for the altar to symbolize the elements, as well as pencils and tags.  I volunteered to welcome Mother Gaia.  Another guy volunteered to welcome the Oak King and Holly King.  And others volunteered to ‘call in’ the elements. There were more roles and planning and details to be ironed out, and in about half an hour, we were done.

After the planning session, the priestess and I got chili going.  She had all the ingredients ready; I helped her open cans and dump in the beans and her other ingredients, and we took turns stirring and keeping the cooker going.  I’d hula hoop, stir, sit and chat, stir, hula hoop, and so on, until it was done.  I felt quite witchy (double double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble) stirring the pot, and quite fairy-like while hooping.  As we cooked the food, more and more people came and in the end, we had about 20 people and about 5 kids.

We ate the yummy chili, with cheese and sour cream and pitas or chips, and hung out and chatted.  (Much chatting to be had at this event, not unusual for a pagan event!)

Then we gathered in a small little meadow for our ritual.  I won’t go into the ritual too much, ‘cuz my point here isn’t to educate you all about rituals, but I want to come to the point of what was magical and wondrous about it.  A little perk for me was that a guy I consider sexy and cute stood next to me.  He’s taken though, so I won’t pursue it, but it was still a perk.  The group energy was soft and loving, everyone appreciating each other and finding each other special and precious.  Everyone was relaxed and and most were smiling  at least  Mona Lisa smiles, some more, and some less.  Everything went pretty smoothly and everything we said, we meant.  We held hands and some hugged.  It was overall just lovely.  Someone also called Pan into the circle, and as it happens, we forgot to say goodbye to Pan at the end.  I believe that’s another lovely element to the magical times that ensued afterwards.

After a little break, we started gathering in a tipi that someone had brought and set up.  The man and woman who owned the tipi were just lovely people, the types you meet and are instantly showered by their peaceful love, and you just know they love just about everyone they meet.  I had brought my drum (which is a djembe, an African drum), my water, and a thick hoodie to the tipi.  Another guy I had just met who has a lovely peaceful energy and I were first in the tipi.  We drummed and chatted as more people came in.  He had brought a didgeridoo. More and more people filtered in until we had about 15 people in there, and it had a fire pit in the middle and a hole in top of the tipi for the smoke.  We were a little bit crowded, but it was cozy.  We sang and chanted and drummed and at first it was like other drum circles I’ve been in – getting some good rhythms going.  Then it evolved into something unexplainable.

The group energy became one and we tranced and worshipped the divine as one.  It was like we were transported as a group to another plane of reality, among the stars.  I have never experienced anything like that while chanting or drumming before.  Well, not quite like that.  I have felt like I have ‘touched’ the divine while dancing.  But nothing like this.  It was beautiful.  We hummed and made noises and sang and did whatever we felt called to do to contribute to the music, and it was just out of this world.

The priest and priestess were a little distance away, deep in discussion as they sometimes get, discussing business of the group, when they heard the sound of our magic-making.  They were drawn to the tipi, so they tabled their discussion for another time, and joined us.  The priestess especially joined in and started some other chants she knew.  Then she said “We’ve got to go out and sing to the moon!”  So everyone filtered out and stared and loved at and sang to the moon.  I was drawn to the side in a conversation with someone as this was happening.  Some of the group went off… and came back naked.  I just had to laugh.  They had become “skyclad” for the moon and were full of moon energy.  It was lovely.  But it was cold out!  I have no idea whether I would have stripped down if I had been with them- maybe a little but not quite so much- I don’t like being cold!

They went back into the tipi and I excused myself from the conversation and joined them.  We all drummed and sang some more, and I joined in their nakedness by stripping off my top.  The energy of everyone was very respectful and loving, no ‘meat market’ feel at all; it was just beautiful.  People singing to each other “We honor you, we  empower you to be what you are… I am a strong woman, I am a story woman, I am a healer, my soul will never die; We honor you we empower you to be what you are; I am a strong man, I am a loving man, I am a warrior, my soul will never die…We are an old people, we are a new people, we are the same people stronger than before…”  and then we settled down and the priestess started singing a song about Inanna that I remembered learning when I lived in Iowa.  We started singing it together… when someone fell face first in the fire because he was … drunk and sleepy.  He was O.K. though, people around him caught him in time and escorted him to his tent.  That kinda killed the vibe (!) which was alright; so we all filtered out.  Some went to bed, and some of us gathered on the way to our tents to sing some more with each other.

This time we sang more ‘mundane’ pop culture songs:  the owner of the tipi who was also Rainbow gathering person told us about Rainbow gatherings, (which started out of singing Rocky Mountain High by John Denver, which apparently was about the first Rainbow gathering), and we sang all sorts of other songs together.  It felt like we were all brothers and sisters and one with the trees, stars and moon.

Finally, I went to my tent and sleeping bag.  After that came a fitful sleep of trying to stay warm (lesson learned, bring warm things even in the summertime when camping), and a morning of coffee, some healthy dried fruit and packing up the tent, eventually to drive back home.  As usual, the magic vibe stayed with me strongly at first, and now remains as a beautiful memory.  I am so blessed to have experienced this in a group of lovely people.  I hope this story shares some of the beauty with you and blesses you, too.

Go Namaste Yourself!

Standard

The Pagan Spectrum of Boundaries

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries; many pagans do not like boundaries.  There’s a spectrum of pagans:  at one end there’s the very very very anal prudish types; they are judgmental, it’s their way or the highway, and they are not open to any weirdness.  Well, they’re pagan, so maybe they’re open to a little bit of weirdness!  Then there’s the other end of the spectrum, and these people are OUT THERE.  Lemme tell ya.  They are crass, they are raunchy, they have sex with anything that’s willing and able, they take advantage, they are rude, they have basically just… NO boundaries whatsoever.  A lot of us pagans fall somewhere in the middle.

Now this spectrum I’m speaking of applies to many different arenas of life:  sex of course comes immediately to mind for some reason, how much we appreciate or accept other people, accepting of differences in belief systems, and even applies to how anal you are about being on time.

We often hear the following phrase in the pagan community: “Pagan Standard Time.”  This is used all the time as an excuse to start something HOURS later than we ever meant to start something.  Now this makes sense for small groups of people where ‘We absolutely cannot start until Josephina Blosephina shows up,’ but if it’s a larger crowd (in my opinion, more than five or so), it can get pretty ridiculous.  PST is suffused into the very pores of the community so much so that the hosts of an event will even show up a half hour to an hour late sometimes, or people will set a time for an event far earlier than they ever truly plan to start, knowing that the attendees will all arrive late.

Can you tell that this kind of thing drives me crazy?  It does!  I was a teacher for 13 years, and people should be reasonably on time to events, at least try to be!  It isn’t fair to the host who really sticks by their word and actually plans to start at or close to the time they say they will start, to have the attendees arrive a half hour or hour or more late.  Especially if it happens all the time.  This is not to say that I am always on time, all the time; I oftentimes arrive to events 15 minutes late or less, usually less.  If it’s an open event (“Oh we’ll be there between 9 am to 8 pm, come anytime between then”) well then there’s no problem!

Now to talk about the TABOO.  The sex.  Yup the sex. It must be talked about.  In many pagan traditions, probably all, sex is sacred.  People translate this to mean different things.  People on the prudish end of the spectrum would say that sex should only happen between people who love each other, and it should be monogamous.  It should be safe, it should be “vanilla,” (i.e. missionary style and boring).  I honestly don’t know any pagans that far at that end of the spectrum, including myself!  People on the opposite end will say sex should happen with anyone you are attracted to, the more the merrier, come on in, the sex is fine!  People on the umpteenth degree of that spectrum will be into S&M, are poly, have usually had sex with at least half of their friends, and everything out of their mouths is raunchy trash.  There are variances (refreshing ones) among all of these extremes, of course.  Guess where I am on the spectrum!  I’m pretty close to the prudish side, but not completely prudish, in my own opinion.  To me, sex is sacred, and therefore it should be between people who care about each other, ideally, love each other; it should be an expression of love, and because of this, it should be entered into gently and carefully.  I’m also a double Cancerian so that may explain some things.  I’m monogamous, which is seen as prudish by some people.  It’s all relative.

Some of my Christian friends and family probably think my stance on sex is too loose; I’m totally O.K. with non-marital sex, I’m O.K. with quote unquote casual sex (but to me, it must be between people who care about each other even if it’s just for one night).  But, in comparison to many of my pagan friends, I’m the Prude.  I very rarely strip down naked while dancing around a fire (and if I do it’s usually just showing my belly!); I must be completely comfortable with the people there and it has to have no ‘meat market’ feel around the fire for me to do it.  However, I’ve been totally naked at a nudist hot springs-camping place, and been totally fine with it.  The vibe was different; it was not ‘look at my body I am so sexy you want to have sex with me don’t you?;’ it was ‘yup I’m naked and so are you and we are all fine with it and let’s just talk and be friends.’  As I said, I’m monogamous, I don’t talk about ‘swingers’ and my speech isn’t crass; I do joke occasionally about sex, but that’s not always on my mind.  I’m much more interested in other things.

I was at a recent event- a pagan gathering in a park, which was quite relaxed and nice.  There was a variety of pagans there, most of them being on the poly end of the spectrum.  At least twice, people asked me if I was offended by what they were talking about (if they only knew what I have seen and heard in the past, this was nothing close!).  This was probably because I was relatively quiet.  I said no, I wasn’t offended, not to worry; I’m just being quiet.  I don’t tend to open up to people I just met about just in what way(s) I like to have sex.  I’d much rather get to know them as people before jumping right to the nitty gritty intimate details. That was alright, but I could see that I was “The Prude at the picnic.”  No biggie though, it didn’t really bother me.

To me, while I’m trying not to judge others for what they do sexually, it sullies the sacredness of the sex to have no boundaries about it.  It makes your soul dirty and now I sound like Janet from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. “I (don’t) wanna be diiiiirty!”  Anyway I’m not as prudish, nor am I as innocent, as Janet.  Sex isn’t dirty.  But the attitude you have about it is what can make it dirty.  If you think of the other person as just an object that will satisfy your needs, that is gross and turns my stomach.  This is why sex jokes that are raunchy and tend to infer the people (or animals) in them as objects also turn my stomach.  So in that respect, I suppose it ‘offends’ me, but not because I’m a prude or innocent; it’s because the attitude is a low attitude. (As in the low in ‘low men in yellow coats’ in Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King. Yes, it’s that creepy to me.  It’s a rapist attitude and I want to be nowhere near that attitude.)  On the other hand, even if you have lots of partners, if you can love every single one of them and see the divine within them (as in “Namaste, the divine in me greets and loves the divine in you”) then that would be beautiful.  I believe it is VERY rare to find a circumstance of any group of people who can love several people in that way, rather than just one.  I know that personally I am not that evolved.

So I guess I’m trying to say that it doesn’t shock me, but I find that attitude very disgusting and, there is no other way to put it; low.

I suppose all of this outpouring I’m doing about boundaries or lack of them is stemming from a recent experience where I felt like I lost control over myself a little bit, and I had to re-draw the boundaries for myself again.  It wasn’t sexual, it really was no biggie, but it made me feel very floaty and unbalanced and ungrounded.  I was thinking “what am I doing?” and didn’t feel like I was being myself. I’m coming back into myself now (phew) and I’m good.

Anyway, I believe boundaries are good, but they must be flexible.  You must be in control of yourself, but also let yourself do things.  Don’t be so in control that you are uptight; if you want to dance, dance.  If you want to drum, drum.  If you want to skip and hop up and down, do it.  But don’t dance, drum or skip so that you are degrading yourself or someone else; don’t do it because you feel like others want you to do it; don’t do it if you feel uncomfortable and too prudish (so that you feel you have to do it so as to not be so prudish).

But everyone’s boundaries are different, and everyone’s definition of what is sacred is different, and we (including myself) can’t judge – much. But we can also know what we like and don’t like, and I definitely don’t like hanging out with crass gross people who view other people as objects.  Thankfully, I am only acquainted with possibly one person who is like that (and I don’t think she is completely that way; I think it’s mostly for show).  Even so, I wish there were a little more boundary drawing within the pagan community.  Not a lot, just a little more.  Enough to respect themselves and other people.  Not to the extreme second or slightest touch; with some leeway, but not to make people wait to do something for hours on end just because of PST, or not to have a lack of respect for the divine within them (and a lack of respect for the divine within themselves).  I think people overall, not just pagans, would do good to respect and love themselves and others more.  ::Gets off of soap box.::

Namaste, everyone.

Jumping Jumping!

Standard
jumping

Yes, that’s me, in my dream car, not my actual car. The license plate is from a photo of Emma Peel’s (played by Diana Rigg) car from the Avengers TV show in the 60’s. She had a white, then two blue cars of the same kind, a Lotus Elan.                                  Original artwork.

The bullet has been bitten.  I have now pretty much resigned from my job as Teacher of the Deaf.  An email, very carefully and kindly worded, has been sent to my superiors.  The official resignation form has been filled out, and will be turned in to Human Resources next week (next week, because I am car-less at present- it’s in the shop and should be drive-able soon).

I have been ‘camped at the precipice’ for nearly a month.  I’ve been making this decision, then hesitating, then making the decision again, then hesitating, for quite a while.  I had found out that if I’m not in an interpreter program going for a degree in interpreting, that only a few courses at the local community college would be open to me.  I just got off the phone with an administrator in the interpreting program, who is going to meet with me to discuss my transcripts (which I have already) next week.  At this point, I could perhaps audit classes, or transfer previous classes I’ve taken and delve into the program, and it sounds like it will be the latter choice.  I’ve passed two exams in order to bypass two classes: ASL 1 and 2, and another exam which officially got me in to the interpreting program.  I also already have my student number!  It feels really _odd_ to be a student again, and also quite nice!

So, I’ve had a number of balls already rolling, I just needed the big one to budge, just to show me that I can indeed pursue this.  It has budged and is starting to roll!  Watch out world!

For me, it’s best if my brain matches my gut and my heart, and if it doesn’t, it’s very difficult for me to justify making a huge change like this.  My brain also needs to be on board! I needed to know that working towards my goal would be feasible.  I also needed to know that I would have enough money to live on and take classes, and I have figured out that, yes, I can do this.

I’ve analyzed my finances, which was good to do, no matter what.  I’ve figured out ways to save more money, and am following a pretty tight budget right now.  I aim to save considerably more by the end of my current paychecks in August.  I have figured out that I can live on my savings AND pay for a complete interpreter program’s worth of credits, if I need to, and have money to spare.  (Not much money to spare!)  So if anyone’s worried about me, don’t be!

And the last thing I needed to satisfy my nitpicky brain was to know that, if I resigned, I would still get paid throughout the summer (I get my paychecks spread out over a year instead of only the school year), and I will not get blacklisted in my district if I wanted to apply for a teacher job in the future.  This is according to the union rep I spoke to last month.

So, now that my worry-wart brain is satisfied with all of the angles of possible scenarios, I can also give even more credence to the spiritual messages that I’ve sought out, or that have sought me out.  And there have been many!

The first message came around New Years, when Elfy Momma (my friend who I write with once a week) and MM – Massage Man (my now ex-boyfriend, though he was my boyfriend at the time) and I met to read cards for each other.  One of them – I think it was MM- did a reading for me for my three decisions at that time: 1) continuing to work at what was my current position, 2) working at an elementary school and 3) interpreting.  The first one got a message that it would have job stability.  The second one said I would have to be creative at the job but other wise it would be the same old thing.  The third one said I would have less money and I would feel free.  And that reading has turned out to be very true for all three scenarios, although I no longer have choice number one.

The next spiritual message happened when I was at a ritual with my small spiritual group.  We got together to send one of our members off to California and to do energy work for her.  As we talked before we started, it became clear that ALL of us were going through a major change in our lives, not just the woman who is moving.  One of the women there, Phunky Goddess (a friend of mine who makes awesome funky clothes and who loves Phish), led us in the meditation.  It was her first time leading us.

In our meditation, she had us all meet together, then each take our own path with a basket.  We were to gather things in our basket that we would share with each other later.  As I started down my path, I was skipping and happy, and hearing the music of “April Fool’s Day” by S. J. Tucker.  A frog jumped into my basket.  I knew the frog was meant for me, but wasn’t sure what it meant just yet.  I gathered some things for my friends who were meditating with me in the circle as well (to remain private).  Then Phunky Goddess had us go to a clearing where there was drumming and dancing, and we danced together or hung out enjoying the drums, after which we shared each other’s items.  At the end, she had us go back down the path to where we started.

As we each came out of our meditation, we told each other what our items were. As I shared about the frog, they said that, of course, I need to jump!  It’s just now that I’m writing this, that I’m realizing that the song was perfect, too.  ‘April Fool’s Day’ is about a ritual S.J. Tucker goes to, that celebrates The Fool.  How fitting that the song in my meditation matches what I’m doing- jumping into the abyss like The Fool card!

After this, my friend that I write with, Elfy Momma, did this little finger pulling thing (some kind of psychic thing she does to get answers) and said I should get my EIPA  (Educational Interpreter performance test) results back in July.

About a month ago, I had MM do an astrology reading for me about which scenario was best:  continuing with the plan my job had for me – to switch to the oral Deaf Ed program in a hearing elementary school (oral: hard of hearing kids who speak and lip-read, and do not sign);  or interpreting.  His reading said that in September, I will experience someone at work trying to undermine me – working against me – and I would feel like I couldn’t tell anyone about it.  He also said that I should be doing a Sagittarius type of job:  to be a tour guide of sorts for others.  He said interpreting is kind of like that, and is a “Sag” type of job.  He also said that I would likely need to share assets (8th house), like to take out a loan or have a roommate.  He also felt that I would get my results from the EIPA test in July (if I remember correctly).

The next message came when I tuned my mind to what my monkeys were doing, while I was driving to MM’s house last week.  We were going to hang out a bit (we still do about once a week, even though we broke up).  After hanging out with him, I was going to drive to my parents’ the next day.  I was planning to tell them about my decision and was very nervous about doing this. (I ended up chickening out, but have dropped bits of information about what I’m doing here and there!)

We interrupt this rambling blog to explain about ‘my monkeys.’  Be warned, I’m about to let you know just how weird I am!  Over the years, starting in about 2002 or so, I have come to believe that I have monkey spirits that hang around me.  They are like spirit guides or totems, in a way.  Other people have confirmed that they are there; it hasn’t just been me ‘imagining’ things.  They have become a way for me to tune in to the psychic channel of my brain, and whenever I’ve asked them a question they have never been wrong.  I’ve tuned in to what they’re doing from time to time.  More about them in another blog for another day.

As I tuned my mind this time (while driving to MM’s house) to what my monkeys were doing, what one or two were doing was unusual.  They were holding up my head.  My sense was that they were ‘keeping my head up’ and giving me confidence.  I thought what my monkeys were doing was cool and it confirmed that the spiritual-messaging part of my mind that they occupy is fully in support of my resigning and becoming an interpreter.

The most recent spiritual message came in a dream I had last week.  Last Fall, a Special Ed teacher at “my” school (the one I worked at the last six years), resigned after about a month of school.  She had met her love over the summer and was moving to be with him.  She also knew she wanted to get away from our stressful job.

In the dream,  she had parked sideways on my front lawn.  She yelled out the window to “Come join me!”  I ran out as she took off down the road.  I chased her a bit, but she was too fast and her car was shrinking so I wouldn’t have fit in her car, anyway.  I ran back to get into my own car, when I woke up.  I think that clearly states I should do what she did:  follow my gut and my bliss. The dream clinched it for me.  (As if there haven’t been enough spiritual messages saying I should be doing this, right?)

Juuuuuuumpiiiing!!

Pitching My Tent at the Precipice

Standard
camping on the precipice

Original artwork

I have come back into “manifest reality” of the day to day worklife after being in fairyland.  That fairyland was a May Day festival in the mountains.  During the festival, I truly felt like I had finally blossomed.  I had been to the festival 3 times before, and each time had been wonderful, but this time I felt truly released and grounded at the same time.  I felt truly myself and blissful.  During the maypole dance, I skipped and frolicked, because I felt freed.  The last thing I did there, before saying goodbye and leaving, was to attend a small cozy ritual that focused on bringing about positive changes in our lives.  The circle wasn’t closed; it remained open to continue the change in our lives after we left the festival.

Now I’m back, and I’ve got some decisions to make.  Here are my choices: go with what my current job is offering me, which is to work with a population that I don’t really have a passion for working with; keep on searching for a job as a teacher working with a population I am passionate about working with, or chuck teaching altogether and either become an interpreter or work towards becoming an interpreter. If I go with the first one or second one (both really, for financial security), I am pleasing one set of loved ones I have.  To them, my choice should be to remain a teacher only, because of financial security; if nothing had been offered here, they wanted me to look elsewhere for a teaching job- that is, to move far away if I had to.  I know their hearts will be broken (or they will at least feel scared and worried for me) if I go with choice number three.  Another loved one would like me to pick becoming an interpreter.  The reason is because I would be much less stressed, and therefore have more time to offer and focus on that particular loved one.

It’s dangerous to let others pull you in one way or another when it comes to life decisions. It must be your own choice.  Since my last post, I have still not resigned, though I have made some strides in preparation for change.  I completed a written and performance test to become an Educational Interpreter (have passed the written, and don’t know yet on the performance), and had two interviews, both of which did not lead to new jobs as a teacher.  I have applied to a third- which would be with a population I’m passionate about working with but is in a district that has a reputation for gangs and violence within their schools.  I haven’t heard back from that one and maybe it’s just as well.

A situation at work escalated to the point of a decision being made for me- thankfully, not to dissolve my position, but to have me switch schools with another teacher.  In the midst of all this, I went from the precipice where I nearly jumped into the jobless scary place of becoming an interpreter (but finishing out the year as a teacher, because that’s me), to creeping backwards into the safe place of job security.  And still, the disrespectful way superiors have been treating me- pointing fingers of blame rather than offering their hands in support- is urging me back towards the precipice.

I am still in the midst of decision.  Do I jump, or do I stay put, looking for a way out, or do I accept the place I’ve been given?  This is my 13th year of teaching.  Though I partly believe myself to be a natural at teaching, excellent at motivating students and getting them excited about learning, and great at developing relationships with students, another part of me is greatly disappointed in my teaching ability.

It’s very difficult and stressful to be a teacher, and it almost never feels like you are ‘good enough’ or ‘excellent enough.’  There is always something to work on, to improve on.  There are always people observing and picking you apart.  These observations are only snapshots and therefore snap judgements are made.  ‘There was no scaffolding,’ they say, but they were only in the class for 15 minutes, and didn’t know or think to ask about whether there had been scaffolding the entire month leading up to that lesson during which they peeked in.  Those aren’t the only stressors (and by the way my latest evaluation was not so bad and I appreciate that particular supervisor (I have many) appearing to be on my side.  Other stressors include legal documentation with Special Education being scrutinized, telling parents (or anyone) the truth of the way things are is looked down upon, and every little mistake is made into a huge embarrassing can of worms.  It’s like being in the movie Office Space:  the main character has too many bosses, and they’re all reminding him about one little mistake he made, and sometimes I feel like the guy with the stapler who has been relegated to the basement.  He’s been laid off but doesn’t know it; “It’ll sort itself out,” his supervisors say.

My boyfriend has seen that I am a completely different person during my summers off.  I am much more carefree, more loving, more affectionate, and more happy.  I am more confident, since there is no one but myself around to tear me down.

My gut is telling me that if I work on becoming an interpreter, that is where my bliss lies.  But is it wise?  I have been given wings to fly, they are unfurling, and I have a bit of a safety net with saved money, on which I believe I can live on for a year including paying for schooling if need be.  The scary part lies after all of that.  Do I jump, and fly, or jump and fall to the safety net and bounce a while, after which, do I take off flying or do I fall into the abyss?  Am I being over dramatic about that abyss, and am I being over dramatic about my current situation?  It’s certainly better than many people have to face.  I think for now I’ll keep adding to that safety net, and investigate things further- which may be a cop out!  But if I’m going to jump, I had better know what I’m doing.  I’m going to pitch my tent at the precipice and hug a tree.

Geeking out on – of all things – Organizing!

Standard

This post is going to be a bit mundane.  It has nothing, or probably nearly nothing, to do with anything pagan.  It’s just something about my daily life.  Unless it can be said that pagans are messy, but that would be stereotyping ourselves, I’m sure!  I know plenty of very clean and neat pagans… I’m not one of them!

For about a half a year, and especially the last month or so, I’ve been focused on organizing and getting rid of things.  As I may have already said, I’m a Cancerian- a ‘double’ Cancerian with my moon and sun in Cancer.  A typical trait of Cancerians is that we hoard.  Uh yeah, erm, understatement.  I hoard things.  I’m getting rid of things I’ve had since college.  That would be 15 years ago.  I have a “give-away” pile going just past my entryway- out of the walking path, pushed to the side.

Those who have worked with me will confess with long-suffering smiles that I am *Messy*.  My teacher desk is clean, for maybe the first week of school.  Maybe.  Then it has piles on it until, well, the end of school.

It may be a sad statement to make that I am finally at the point where I don’t have so many things needing done ‘yesterday’ at work that I can finally organize things to make my work easier.  If that had been done in the beginning of the year, well, that would have been logical, wouldn’t it.

Regardless of how late in the year it is and how “ironical” it is, it does feel good to get organized.  It’s been a gradual process in my life.  I have some OCD people to thank for that.

No, seriously. 🙂  One of my best friends is OCD.  She not just jokingly is, and she’s a wonderful person.  Her purse has little bags in it to organize all her stuff.  It would seem like this is common sense, and maybe it is common sense for most people, but this was a HUGE thing for me to realize: a purse can be organized!  Since then I have little bags in my purse, too!  I do still need to clean it out from time to time, but I have a special spot for each thing.  The ‘special spots’ have been developed especially in the last month.  For example, I didn’t have a place just for my gum/menthos/etc.  Now I do!  For some reason that makes me proud!

I’m so proud, in fact, that I would now like to brag about all the things I have organized so far:

my ribbon– in a special box with holes in it to let the ribbon out, with dowels to put the ‘wheels’ of ribbon on.  I am a little embarrassed to say that it was a Martha Stewart idea.  I have been a scoffer when it comes to her kind of ideas, they are a little too ‘posh’ and uppity for me, but maybe that’s my own little weirdness.  Maybe it’s that I’m turning into Martha Stewart as I age, and the little teenager in me wants to still be a headbanger!

Dec. 31 2012 (3)

I cut the box shorter so it would fit in a drawer.

Dec. 31 2012

my purse, as mentioned.

-as of today: files for the days of the week and Math folders in my classroom for the students to put away work.  In my own defense, before I moved classrooms, I did have a days of the week file thingy for my desk.  I now have one again and WOW it feels awesome to put papers in there!! Not just from a paper-nerd standpoint, but it’s a relief to put it in a place I’ll easily find it for when I need it!  I know, go figure, huh!

DSC02355

The one on the right is the Math folder organizer for students. It doesn’t have a label yet… baby steps.

DSC02358

Folder organizer on teacher desk- has a lesson plan folder, discipline slips, passes, sub folder, Mon-Fri folders, and folders specifically for classes.

-some fabric.  Not all- I do have a whole bunch occupying seats around my table waiting to be made into something.  But the rest *is* in fact, believe it or not, organized in my craft room!  I even have organized socks to be used as material in projects.

DSC02366

I’m not really into fake flowers, but I had a lot left over from crafting- I saved these and gave the rest away. Organized by color. 🙂 I made the top shelves out of packing material that cushioned electronic devices.

-the inside of my teacher desk- I am very proud to say I organized that in the beginning of the school year!  There are even labels in there for where things go!  ::geeking out on the labels::

DSC02359

I taped everything down with packaging tape, because it drives me nuts when things swish around in there and it gets all messed up.

-my curlers and curling iron and blow dryer and blowdrying hairbrushes are all in the same bin now.  It used to be a bread box but they all fit in there, and they tuck away under a kindof antique stool that works as a small table in my bathroom.

DSC02363

DSC02364

Someday I want to paint the stool. It’s a kindof cool retro color, but it’s too “Mary Kay” for me. I was thinking some kind of purply light blue. Also the black rubber has spots- I want to clean that and make it look sharp.

-my pantry:  it was a mess until one or two years ago.  I bought a WHOLE bunch of clear plastic rectangular shaped bins, and organized and labeled ALL of it.  I do need to go through it and throw out old stuff (like boxes with 1 cookie left in them), but it is _really_ organized now.

DSC02360

I recently put in the curtain. It used to have a trashed plastic accordion door.

DSC02362

-My DVDs and VHS tapes: I am getting rid of a lot of them, which helped me organize them again.  They are alphabetized.  ::geeking out on that concept alone::

DSC02368

I left spaces on the shelves just in case I add one, so I don’t have to shuffle everything to keep it alphabetized.

Now, don’t be fooled- I still have various piles of things, either waiting to be organized, or waiting to be made into something, or… just waiting.  Lonely little piles, just waiting for someone to love them.  ::sniff::!!

All of this to say, that I’m not sure where this trend is coming from, but I do like it!  And I hope it continues!

Sitting in a Clay Fetish Bowl- a Dream

Standard

I dreamed this dream while sleeping at my boyfriend’s house, two months ago.  After dreaming it, I sent this message to the two other women involved in the dream.  For the sake of their anonymity, their names have been replaced with Dancer and Horse Woman. This is what I typed to them:

fetish bowl dream

Original artwork

I received from someone (as if being smudged for ritual) a lump of gray clay, already formed into a 1/2 inch thick disk. I tried to work it and it was stiff and hard to work. Several feet away, Dancer prepared the place for ritual by working deftly with the clay, flattening it and making it into a large bowl. Although I never saw myself giving you (Dancer) the clay, my impression was that those involved each brought some clay that contributed to the bowl. Then, as dreams do, time skipped and the three of us sat *in* the bowl. The bowl was hard and secure, and the night sky sparkled above us. I get the impression of a fire but didn’t see one. Dancer, I get the impression that you were leading in the ritual and that Horse Woman and I were hanging out on your invitation.   Horse Woman turned to me and told me with an air of anticipation of something rare that she was going to get a “natural tattoo” from Dancer and I got the impression that this tattoo was ‘natural’ in the sense of ‘magic in nature.’  Time passed as it does and doesn’t when you’re in a magical space, and Horse Woman turned into a crow. My arm was stretched out along the bowl as if my arm had been around your shoulders before you changed, and you (Horse Woman as the crow) love-nipped my hand. At first I reacted as if bit and then I realized it was a love bite, as in “you’re my friend.” I got the impression that you, Horse Woman, as the crow, were still just hanging out in ritual space, and had decided to hang out as crow. Then I woke up, before the ritual was finished, but I have the feeling that I woke up at the time I was meant to.

As it happens, I’m spending some nights at my boyfriend’s house. He lives with two roomates and we are all either new age or pagan inclined. His roomates have a book which drew me to it the next morning after the dream. It’s called Animal Speak by Ted Andrews. As I always do when encountering a new pagany/new agey book, I browsed it to see if what he said jived with my experience, and it did, so I came to trust what he said in the book. It looks like he draws from many different cultures for the book, with a Native American focus. If you know the book, I would appreciate your impressions of it as well. As I looked in the sections on birds, he described ‘fetish bowls.’ He explained that inside the (clay) bowl is ‘unmanifest’ as in the things unseen and outside the bowl is ‘manifest.’ It’s a way to commune or call to your spirit animals; put fetishes that represent your spirit animal in the bowl along with other items that can charge the fetishes while not in use, and when you take it out of the bowl, you are making the unmanifest, manifest; you are calling to the spirit of the animal.

I started to read up on crows but didn’t get far. I already know some things about crows and will investigate further.

The meaning I got from the dream was that, at least for myself, I need to manifest myself as a magical being and live in spirit daily. I also feel blessed after the dream as if already having been part of a ritual with you  even though it may have only been my own experience and not shared. I feel like I already am living as a magical being (and my awareness has been brought to this fact after the dream) and like I have been charged up like a crystal has been charged by the moon’s energies (though I don’t feel charged specifically by the moon, but by spirit guides).

The spirit animals that accompany me are monkeys. If you are interested I could tell you more about that. They didn’t come forth in the dream as “manifest” but they are always with me. They just weren’t represented in the dream. Perhaps the crow is calling to me, or perhaps it represents or accompanies Horse Woman.

Anyway, I would appreciate it if you let me know how this dream strikes you, and your own takes on it, especially if you got any messages for yourselves. At the very least, Horse Woman, meet Dancer, and Dancer, meet Horse Woman.

May the powers that be all around us bless you.