box world

So my house is starting to look suspiciously like an abandoned warehouse, because the boxes are piling up. I know that it might be a year before I move, but I'm packing now.

Yeah, yeah. Others think I'm insane too. Here's my reasoning.

In all the moves, the husband has packed. I am not by any means blaming him, but well, when he packs boxes, it's more out of efficiency than anything else and...things get broken. Important things. So this really is kind of a slow process, but it IS a process.

What's important? Uh, sentimental things. When I was part of an ADF Grove in Houston, we had an outreach program that included inmates on death row. Before the Texas Seven, one of the members used to craft these beautiful handmade boxes of balsa wood. When my daughter was born, he crafted a keepsake box with her name on it. On the lid, there is a triskelion painting of the threefold goddess and her name is hand-carved above a small handle which opens the lid. It was the last box he ever made, because shortly after the escape, they took away his tools. So, it's important to me that it doesn't get damaged.

So in the flurry of day-to-day, on my days off, I've been meticulously packing the smaller items, using those silly free publications to shred (they're a waste of paper anyway) for packing (which will be recycled upon reaching their final destination).

So there are slow days where I fill half a box, others where I can put away 2-3 and mostly, it helps me go through and throw out what I don't need, give away what I can, and streamline things to a minimum to carry halfway across this country next year.

It's an adventure, to say the least.



I dreamed that I was in a very small, cream-colored bathroom with lighting that isn't quite bright enough. I sat and brushed my hair, which was long, thick and wavy. Someone came and knocked on my door, whom I let it. I think it was my roommate. Very carefully, she asked of me if I would help her move fish from one tank to another, so I obliged her. I saw no dead fish, but it was a challenge keeping the water high enough so that they did not suffocate in the process.

Generally, when I dream of fish, someone is pregnant. Hmm.


as a duck

So yesterday we went to the park after school.

I notice that my eldest daughter seems to be teetering on the brink of womanhood. She wants to go to the park, but she omits playing on the playscapes. She will swing on the swing for a time, but when all the younger childern bombard her, she leaves them to their own devices. She looks for more 'grown-up' things to do. So instead, she walks along the path where the pond is. One of the younger children with us has a pop tart from after care, and begins to break it up, throwing the bits out to the ducks. Soon, all the ducks begin to congregate. Of course, because there's food.

I'm pointing the duck out to her, and she watches them quietly.

"This is important as you become a woman. Remember: Be like a duck," I tell her. "Let everything roll off your back. Be calm and composed on the surface. Graceful. But paddle like Hell underneath."

She giggles at me and I shake my head. "You're so silly, Mom."

I hope that she remembers.


just dream

There are some days that all you can do is dream.


read anything

As a kid, I read a lot.

So this makes reading important to me. Everything from escape-artist hamsters, vampire bunnies, turtles with drawers in their chests and people who lived in dreams. My scope of reading was pretty wide, but words painted things better than any movie could on TV.

Makes me think of the re-worked Star Wars series and how things were put in as they were 'supposed to be' because we didn't have the technology to do it yet. Makes George Lucas a visionary.

But I digress. I was reading Piers Anthony in the fourth grade. Jack L. Chalker's series of Flux and Anchor during the fifth grade, and in the summer going on to sixth, I read Stephen King's "IT" (and that was four sleepless nights as a child). Maybe I shouldn't have been reading so much of that so young, but really, I don't think my parents paid much attention to the content of the books that I was reading. They were just happy I was reading.

And I read voraciously. I still do. It is not uncommon for me to put away a paperback in four hours. But... the reading now is recreational. It's much more difficult to read something technical or history-related (snore). Not that I shouldn't, I just can't stay awake.

Regardless, all this reading built my vocabulary. I think that the way I write was hammered out by countless writers, some famous and some unknown. It is extensive, and I try to go through a lot of thought when communicating what's going on inside my head.

I see this now in my children.

Most people through the years have commented on the vocabulary of my children. They use words and phrases that are beyond their years and in their school, they have been recognized by their schools for their reading abilities (they actually brought home trophies last year).

So yes, there is a lot you SHOULD read, but reading anything is going to expand your mind. Reading actually helps you communicate, so whether it's the paper (which is supposed to be on a third grade reading level, I believe) or some short piece of fiction, continue reading.

People say to me, "I'm just not a reader."

My reply? "Well, it's not that you're not a reader. You just haven't found books with subjects you're interested in." Because we're all interested in something. Why not learn more about it through reading? Kill two birds at once.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.


cheap witchery

If you are a heathen on a budget, there are a lot of things that you can collect for your witches' cabinet for relatively cheaper. This just kind of takes a bit of time and effort on your part.

Now, before anything, here I am going to promote garage sales and thrift stores. There's a lot of GOOD things about them. I mean, waay back in the day when I was young and dinosaurs roamed the earth, everything was about bright, shiny, new and without anyone else's energy to contend with. Too bad it sucks on the pocketbook and is generally badly made (a lot of modern, mass-produced crap). I used to be kind of a snot when it came to things like that as a little kid, and growing older, I realize how much more valuable places like that can be (hey, I can admit my faults!).

Anyway, I digress. Thrift stores and garage sales are the best. You can find all sorts of nifty things there, starting with candle-holders, cups, bowls, etc. I have bought some amazing things at garage sales and thrift stores, including what looks like some sort of wooden finial for a staircase which is over 12 inches tall and a triple goddess (for 1.99....seriously! I'd post the picture, but it's already been boxed for when I move.). I've bought mirrors for spell work and 'witches' bottles', I've even hacked up bedsheets for an assortment of crafts, including altar cloths, robes, and drawstring bags. And when we're talking pennies on several dollars, you're doing good. Jars, buttons, containers, etc. You can find dang near anything your little witchy heart desires. Sometimes it takes longer than others, but eventually it shows up.

Seriously. I mean, I go in for the mindset of offering bowls. I found an Aurthur Court pewter tray that retailed like 40 dollars I used for quite some time on my altar. Hand-thrown bowls is what I look for mainly, and I find quite a few of those too. Small side tables can be refinished or painted for altar space (a friend of mine found a nice six-sided side table he uses because it has some sort of storage compartment under it he keeps all this small altar stuff in). Altar bells. Small boxes for spellwork. All sorts of neat things...just take some time out!

Other than the cheapness of some of the amazing, adventurous things you can find, this is also a 'green' thing. I could be greener. But at the very least, this is one of the tiny green things that I do, because you're recycling STUFF. One person's junk is another person's treasure, that sort of thing.

And you can get newer stuff if you wish being frugal. If you work on some crafts, but aren't generally a crafty person, sometimes you have to have people point you in the general direction of savings. For fabrics in the making of things like poppets or bags, you can actually hit up several of these fabric stores which sale 'remnants'. These are pieces of cloth which are left overs of a bolt of cloth (which is what they usually measure out from), and sometimes they're actually cloth that was cut someone decided at the last minute against buying. Specialty stores, like Hancock Fabrics, will sometimes have special sales where you can get an eight dollar pattern for 99 cents. Bigger places like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Garden Ridge Pottery will sometimes sell buttons and ribbons in a bag mixed with a sale tag on it amongst the remnants because, well, they're remnants themselves of packages that have been damaged and the 'leftovers' is what has been salvaged for sale. Goodwill actually does this kind of bagging too of assorted odds and ends.

A word of caution though on candles, especially from thrift stores. When you find those candles with the wicks that seem to have metal in them, be warned. A lot of times, that metal is actually lead-based, so when you burn the candle, you're diffusing a small concentration of lead in the area. So be careful what you pick up along those lines!

So happy hunting to you and show what you find spectacular!

Pagan Census

I was sent to this link at the Wild Hunt...so I'll add it here (Thank you to Deborah Lipp!!) The link to the Wild Hunt reads as follows:

Add Your Voice to the Pagan Census

Pagan scholar Helen Berger, co-author of “Voices from the Pagan Census: A National Survey of Witches and Neo-Pagans in the United States”, has announced that she and fellow researchers James R. Lewis and Henrik Bogdan are revisiting the Pagan Census project. The Pagan Census was first initiated nearly twenty years ago, and compiled data from thousands of modern Pagans to give a fascinating snapshot of our communities during Paganism’s meteoric rise in the 1990s. Now, in an age of blogs and instant communications, an update is underway to compare and contrast just how much we’ve changed.

“A number of scholars have noted that it would be helpful to have a follow-up of that survey to see if and how the community has changed or remained the same. The survey that follows uses many, although not all of the same questions that were in the original survey to provide that comparison. There are also new questions, for instance about the Internet, something that was of little interest 20 years ago but is now, and some from other studies, that again permit a comparison. This has resulted in the survey being somewhat long–we appreciate your taking the time to complete it.”

I urge all my readers who identify in any way with the modern Pagan/Heathen movement to participate in this census and spread the word to everyone you know. The more respondents the census has, the more accurate the data. You can find it, here. You can be sure that I will be paying attention to this renewed project as it goes forward, and will keep you appraised of any updates or results.


the wand and the blade

I have been following a lot of BTW stuff, because I'm interested in that kind of traditional witchcraft. So I ask a lot of questions. One of them was over how other groups use their tools and why against what most BTW believe.

I think it has taken me a while to get this one, but I believe I finally got the gist it.

(Better late than ever?)

You get these Seeker herds in now and then to the traditionalist groups, and BTW forums/newsgroups/whatever wind up re-hashing everything that happened about 10,000 posts ago (literally), and one of the things that crop up time and time again is about the wand and the athame and how they're NOT interchangeable (whereas those that study BTW have listen to outsiders about how THEY do it and how THEY feel....if you EVER join one of those groups, realize that you're the outsider and your invading someone else's culture to learn....it's not about how YOU would do it, it's how THEY do it...*steps off soapbox*). Somewhere someone said to me along the lines of (paraphrased) "Think about how a knight would command with a sword. Think of how a king would command with a sceptre. Think about it..."

Which left me stumped, because really, I couldn't think around that. Can't you command with either of them? I mean, really? Yeah, I know. I'm slow.

But it took an EXPERIENCE to get the epiphany. Not a book. (I am totally an experience person - that is, I love to do things and interact for the experience. You can read a library on cars, maintenance and repairs of cars, driving theories, road rules, whatever, and the experience is a completely different thing.)

I work as management in the retail environment, and I have a very bad habit of picking up merchandise and playing with it as I cart it through the store. I think at one point in time, I actually picked up a piece of debris from some sort of signage instead of an actual piece of merchandise. I think it was a cardboard tube, but the size of a large dowel and hollow. Business is actually slower this day, and I'm speaking with some other subordinate supervisors about the people they supervise and what I think needs to be done for the morning.

Then it occurs to me.

I have this little tube in my hand, and I am gesturing with it. To them, to what I want done, to this, that and the other. Two thoughts flick across my mind almost spontaneously. The first is the image of an orchestra director. The second though, emblazoned in neon says, "You are holding a wand."

Hastily, I put it down. Not because I am not wanting to will these tasks into manifestation, but because I realize that it is really something that is almost imperious in gesture, and I want my employees to find me approachable, not lofty or set apart. Not saying that is how wand-wielders are, but to me there is a sense of command and direction, and although it is necessary to run a business, I do not want others to be intimidated by it. (If that made any sense.)

See, now if I'd had a sword, then it probably would have been just as effective, but for different reasons. I mean, I'd be holding a sword, for crying in the rain. Which literally gets your point across. But it would have been a totally differently charged atmosphere.

So the next time you want to argue the point they're interchangeable....why don't you try using both to talk to people in real life and gesture with them. Puts things in a whole different perspective.


counting the days

I made the decision that I don't want to be where I am anymore.

Now, unfortunately for me, when I get my mind stuck on something, it's really all I can blasted think about. So my very thoughts are consumed with planning and re-hashing what it is going to take to move me, how far I have to go, what I will do when I get there, what the population totals are, and ultimately, the time and money ration which applies almost daily. It's almost more than I can stand.

But I have a few goals in mind, so I suppose it makes it okay.

However, things are still staying relatively as stable as they can be while I work in my mind how I'm going to pull this off. I take this as a sign I'm on the right track, and sometimes it's just really hard to leap blindly into the void.

Other times...well, it's the thrill of a lifetime, isn't it?


it started with me writing, "I'm not gay."

If you look to the right (the writing on the Wall), there's a blog from that other place. The idea was that I'm not gay, but really, if I have to go out to a bar, going to a gay bar is preferred to going to any bar at all. The reasoning behind it is that, quite frankly, that crowd is WAY more acceptable and tolerant than any other group that isn't neo-pagan. Aside from the snickering at the catty remarks made by some of the guys that I hung with, it just has a better atmosphere all around. Especially out here in Podunk, where the bars are relatively smaller and much fewer, so everyone generally knows everyone and they take care of their own, so to speak.

Anyway, a young follower of the blog made a dumb comment about his butt to the effect he didn't want someone thinking about 'ramming his tubesteak' there. But he has gay friends.

You can imagine the hostility he is going to face. He already got one face full from a friend.

But a lot of things occur to me.

This guy, who made the initial crass remark, is very young. Only about four years out of high school. That really isn't a lot of time exposed to the real world, and although his words are badly chosen, here is an opportunity to educate him.

The person responding is a nice person, a gay man. His response is heated and impassioned about what he feels. But I think his method is not the best, because objectively, it looks like a gay man ranting at a homophobic straight guy.

So nothing to get resolved.

My commentary goes along the lines of their replies. And where I don't agree with either of their responses to one another (or my blog for that matter), I don't hold it against either of them. One is fighting fear, the other is fighting stereotype. I just hate seeing it disintegrate into something ugly.

Like I said in the blog, we're all on this mudball together. We all should try very hard to get along, because as it is, all we have is each other.


in the darkness

This is a repost of the blog I usually write on, but it was highly relevant, so I am putting it here too....

About a week ago, my roomie finds me in passing and we sit down and have a chat. One of the things she brings up is about my sleeping, and how I have a hard time of it.

She explains that when you get up in the middle of the night to go into the bathroom, you should be careful not to turn the light on. The reason being is that becase when the light hits your eyes, it begins waking up your brain. The light tricks your mind into waking up when it's really time that you should be sleeping. So there should be nightlights in the bathroom, to give you really dim lighting in the hopes of keeping your brain from fully waking.

Makes sense to me.

Now let's look at the magical application of that.

Most magic done under the cover of darkness, but maybe not for some of the reasons that people think. In a lot of literary works, both fiction and (pseudo)non-fiction, those who practiced magic did this at night, in the dark, under the light of the full moon.

Light just enough to sleep by, all those that practice magic would agree that you have to moved into an altered state of consciousness to accomplish these kinds of workings. Well, kids, most of that altered state (natural or otherwise....most moderns tell you it's something they've accomplished, not something that they have to use to induce a different awareness) is akin to sleep..... so.....

...does it make sense now?

how to find a witch/pagan/wiccan/etc. in your area

Because Albiana posted it. Because it's valid. And most importantly....

....because you are not alone.