7.28.2010

The Power of Words - Trust and Traditionalist

Most people who are interested in magical studies understand how powerful words are. They clarify our thoughts, hone our will, and help to resonate our intentions. When we raise our voices in song and chant, especially among our kin, we create great power.

But what about the power within ourselves? The things which create us?

Some things that have drawn me to a more traditional approach are the ideas of honor and integrity. These things have always been important to me and my life, and I find that it is not always so in the general pagan community. The more people I have had the fortune to meet in the traditionalist, the greater respect I have for them, particularly for the things that I am seeing develop - along the lines of what they hold near and dear to their heart (which makes me at least glad it mirrors my own).

As a seeker, coming forth, if I feel that there is a possibility to create relationships among traditionalists (as in, potential 'matches'), I am as completely honest and forthcoming as I can possibly be. I ask questions, and I very gladly invite questions. If I am vague about my answers (not intending to be, sometimes I really just don't clue in on what they're asking! LOL), then generally, I've seen them jump right in and ask very specific, pointed questions. I respond in the same way to the vague answers that I am given.

BUT...being the outsider, you have to have give the respect. If someone says, "I can't share that with you, it's oathbound", then that's understandable. Pushing any further is disrespectful and frankly, it's the fastest way to get the door slammed in your face.

I look at it the way I look at inviting people into my house. Not just anyone comes into my home, because I don't want them to bring along their 'baggage'. My home, albeit a bit disorganized, is a peaceful place and I don't want just anyone mucking it up. Plus I have children. Part of my evaluation on whether or not I let someone enter MY home is, "How will they effect my children?" My hearth is sacred.

The 'spiritual hearth'? Just as sacred.

If you don't believe me, invite a hobo to come stay the night at your place. It's about the same principle.

The biggest thing about that 'openness' is HONESTY. I can't stress that enough. Magic is a very personal, intimate thing. If I can't trust you at your words, most likely, I'm not gonna circle with you either.

There are 'friends' that you have from work, and there are 'friends' that you know your entire life. My dearest friends have no problem snoozing in a bed next to me or even sharing Listerine and a toothbrush (last resort, I assure you!) without too much incident. But there are some friends that do require their own sleeping quarters or at least an inflatable mattress on the floor. There are some you can change clothes in front of, and others you can't really.

As for a traditionalist circle....well, sounds like most of them will share your toothbrush, if you know what I mean. And that takes a LOT of trust.

SO.....with that being said....

Always be truthful. Speak your mind. Speak freely. Do not disagree on points of practice or belief, because these things differ. You are the outsider, you have no reason to 'correct' practices as you see fit. Patience, openness, and tact go a long way.

If you screw up, take your lumps. Walk away, learn, shore up, and come back. Try again. But the internet is a crazy place, and making multiple accounts on multiple sites, using multiple emails, changing identities, "re-making" yourself over and over as you try to push into a place where doors keep getting slammed. Giving false credentials and making things up. These are things that really look suspicious, sneaky, and downright untrustworthy. There's a lot of reasons why those doors are closing on you. Time to step back and re-evaluate yourself. Although I do not know if it is more common within traditionalist, but even the outsiders hear the terms 'In Perfect Love, In Perfect Trust'.

And TRUST is one the main contributing factors, isn't it?

And believe me, those that ARE traditionalist, they talk together. A lot. And if they don't know. They will. They'll find out. Even on the 'inside', you have to be 'vouched' and 'vetted' to move along. Your character makes up the breadth and width of you, and those measures are taken and accounted for among your peers and elders.

The truth shall set you free. :)

7.15.2010

more attempts at learning more about herbalism



Bah. Who needs a stamp collection anyway?

reviews - outside of the box

I guess I need to start doing some reviews for the sites that I'm running into.

Augh. I hate doing reviews.

Anyway, Skidmore Bluffs is a web comic of photographs that combine art and sometimes, humor. The guy is an apparently professional artist and his photography is really beautiful to me. (Whereas, I am NOT a professional, but like to play at it. :) ) Anyway, if you're just wanting a quick comic, it's cool, but the guy doesn't post daily. And..it's not always something funny, but there are things that strike me as funny.

The thing of it is....sometimes we need to step outside of our own perspectives, because we get so caught up in the day-to-day we're stuck with, we can't always see past the box we're trapped in.

Humor is a cure-all. But beauty lets us know how much we're missing.

Just a thought.

7.14.2010

dreaming again

The night before last, I dreamed of a friend of mine that I was kind of on the outs with (Actually, we were in fact not speaking to one another, with very good reason - in our own minds, anyway....because we were both very peevish with one another).

I dreamed he came to my house (that I don't own, I live in an apartment) and that we talked at great length. Then I told him I was tired, and he talked with me, followed me to my room and laid down beside me on the bed, sleeping.

This is perfectly acceptable in our world. It isn't uncommon for friends in my circles to climb into be together, even opposite-sex friends, to snuggle up and sleep.

But I woke up and the reality of the fact we weren't speaking to one another set in, and it was something very sad.

However, we'd been a little over two weeks of not speaking to one another, and the issue at the end of the day, from the night/morning of dreaming, the 'silent stand-off' came to an end.

So what is the dreaming? Is it a portent of that which is to come? Is it something which our minds send to us to comfort us, trying to give a little peace to the waking mind? Who knows.

But I found that the events were kind of interesting.

Also...I added a new feed. It's called "Surviving the World". I just found it hilarious. :) I hope you enjoy.

7.11.2010

Amateur Herbalism (reposted here)


I've been collecting up herbs for a while in hopes that eventually I'll start making ritual/magical items for sale...soaps, bath salts, incenses and other kinds of crafting. This is not really an unheard-of activity amongst the flurry of people labeling themselves in the same general direction as I am.

However....one must proceed with caution.

Time after time, I've come across a nice quantity of something, looked at it both magically and medicinally....or seen it and thought, "Hmm...what could I use this for?" Stashed away in a dark cabinet in sealed jars, the collection has kept growing. A friend recently came to me and asked if I could help them find a blend of an herbal nature.

With a great amount of zeal, I went straight-away to looking at properties, balancing smells, breaking out the 'ole pestle and mortar and grinding away happily.

Holy toledo.

The first unwritten rule of herbalism - take great care to never wipe your face or any part of your body if you are using herbs you've never used before.

The second? If you think you might have, then wash immediately.

And the third? You can never be too careful.

So, the next evening, I decided that the allergic reaction was so bad, I had to go to one of those walk-in clinics (it was last Saturday, the doctor's offices were closed). When I finally got around to seeing somebody, my left eye was swollen almost completely shut and it was weeping in a feeble way. Annoyed, I was just working on relaxed breathing. The lady took one look at me and started rattling off stuff and writing hurriedly in the little folder that people generally get (mine's probably getting fuller). I heard the measurement "cc's" and asked politely, "Excuse me, what are you giving me?"

"An IV. This needs to go into your system immediately." She begins calling down the hall for a nurse practitioner.

"UM,....no disrespect meant, but I'm not about to get an IV in a walk-in clinic. Can you put it in a shot?"

"......"

"I am....REALLY...bad with needles. A HUGE baby. I can't take an IV. And my veins are small. Tiny. Minuscule. I'll be a pincushion for hours...." (Which really is no lie, everyone always had a damned time trying to tap a vein on me...) I brandish the insides of my elbows with great enthusiasm.

"Fine. And I'm going to give you *some measurement of some sort of drug here*, but you need to take Zantac and Benedryl over that as well. As long as needed. And if anything else happens, go to the ER IMMEDIATELY."

"Uh, sure. No problem."

"Did you actually drive yourself here?"

"Uh, yeah?"

*long-suffering eye-roll* "The nurse will be with you momentarily."

At which point, a marvelous woman came in, used my butt as a dart board, scored a perfect bulls-eye, and was slapping a band-aid on my ass before I could say, "Needles make me squeamish." I really could have hugged her.

(And a LOT of people find this amusing, because I used to pierce and tattoo....yet, if you look at me, for the tattoos I have, I've never really gotten more than my ears pierced. Why, you ask? Why the hell would I stick a perfectly good piece of flesh with a hollow needle and gouge out a chunk? Are you crazy?)

Now this does kind of daunt me some. Because the redhead, the partner in crime in this endeavour, is probably as allergic to crap as I am. BUT....we're still willing to give it a go. Just...more precautions. Ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure and all that. It's just taking it easier and going a bit slower at it.

So...for Yule, you people might wind up with homemade stuff. Mead. Wine. Soap. Whatever. For gifts, you get to be guinea pigs. So there. :P

7.08.2010

a test of friendship

The worst part about loving people, is that you ultimately hand them weapons that undo you. Your Achilles' heel is vulnerable, your heart laid naked. So it is much easier (especially if they can't seem to communicate to them that there are things which are bothering them about your behaviors) to cut you to the quick and wound you deeply. People who love one another might as well be soft-bodied things with appendages of razors, gutting a person with merely a flick of a finger or a bat of an eye.

The friendship that can cease has never been real. - Saint Jerome (374 AD - 419 AD), Letter

Rule of thumb?

"Don't flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become. Except in cases of necessity, which are rare, leave your friend to learn unpleasant things from his enemies; they are ready enough to tell them." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
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