Reducing the Stress

As a side note, I’ve realized once again that I’m not really up for truly committing to the PBP like I wanted to, but maybe I can next year. I’m still too inconsistent, and while it’s something that should promote consistency, it also stresses me out. I often place too many obligations upon myself, and it makes my life much more difficult mentally. I’m cutting whatever I don’t need out and, for now, my blogging should be more organic. It’s not like I’m making a living (or for that matter any money) off of my blog. It will go where it goes, and I will give it as much or as little time as I see fit. I’m trying to get more active on my tumblr at least, but those tend to be more random rants, and I’ve got my gaming/nerd blog that’s slowly taking shape (very slowly of course) and so I realize that I need to make sure I’m only taking on what I can handle. So once again, I’m letting go this expectation, but I still do think it’s awesome and still one day want to participate fully.

Stahp.

No, seriously, stop it.

I count myself lucky that I go through periods where I live under a rock. Where I’m more focused on school,video games and getting ready for a move in a few weeks (at least this latest rock period). It seems I’ve missed a lot of controversy, and that suits me just fine.

Some time ago, I’d search it out to see what I missed. I mean, after all, who doesn’t like a bit of gossip? I thought too that it’d give me an opportunity to see who was a toxic member of the online pagan and polytheist community, so I could avoid them.

But what I’ve realized is that enough of my day is wasted. Enough of my time is wasted getting distracted by little things. From someone who is trying to finish college and suffers from a pretty severe case of high functioning ADHD, my time is taken up by any number of things, so it always feels like I get nothing done. And I realize that, when looking up stupid controversy bullshit, that really is getting nothing done.

I’m empathetic to a fault. I actually realize my extreme empathy will later play a more entwined place in my path, but for now I have to hide myself sometimes. I literally cannot take the extreme violence and belligerence that comes from some people, whether it be in person or online. It’s physically and mentally stressful to read those things. But like a glutton, I always would, because as much as it would make me tense up, we all love to read that gossip. It’s an unhealthy habit, especially for my place in life.

So this is me saying that controversy can go fuck itself. That the belligerent idiots who start flame wars can go fuck themselves. I’m committing myself to be a valuable, if not always an active participant, in the online community that I want to be a part of, and that means that the easiest way to stop the trolls is to not feed them. Ah, life lessons of the internet. Discourse and discussion are good, but frothing at the mouth anger never solves anything, and it just makes other people want to punch you in the mouth.

There are too many stressful things going on in the world for me to deal with the petty shit that other people drag in to the community. So before I go looking for that harmful gossip, those intriguing but diseased tumors of the trolls, I’m cutting them out of my life now.

And here’s a challenge for my readers, few you may be- when you see that juicy bit of controversy, that flame war going on, stop before you involve yourself and think- don’t I have something better to do with my day, and is my participation, if even observance of this, just giving more credit to the people I don’t want to be an active part of this community?

While this approach won’t work for all problems, it seems to be a good one for this type, because by starting a flame war, they are seeking validation. They are screaming for people to pay attention to them, and when you do, you validate that and give them more fuel for the fire. Passion and enthusiasm for a topic should not devolve into idiocy and rage. Those are very separate things that people confuse on a disappointingly regular basis.

The Nine

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Some time ago, I was playing with some sculpy clay and ended up making a set of little skulls. Each was lovely and creepy and could sit on top of a quarter. Nine skulls were plain, and a tenth had a witch hat. I never knew what to do with these little lovelies- they remained unpainted, and would occasionally come out on an altar, but never with much more purpose than just to represent ancestors. One of my trad teachers told me I’d need to ask the ancestors on how I’d like to use them. I can’t remember if I ever did consciously. But after a few years, I’ve finally had it pop into my head on how I should use these little creations- I’m going to use them to represent 9 archetypes of spiritual ancestors. The tenth skull, with the witch hat, will be something I keep to represent myself, a product of the spiritual heritage of these archetypes.

When I say archetypes, I don’t necessarily mean just them as archetypes. I may connect with specific ancestors of that role, but I just haven’t yet. These archetypes aren’t just about being a witch either, but also intrinsic, at least for me, to being woman.

Priestess- women who have devoted themselves to the Gods, who carry on worship and perform works in their names

Seer/Diviner- the oracles, the bone readers, the vision seers, the women who have insight to the future, through the gods, spirits or themselves

Cunningwoman/Poisoner- the classic idea of a witch, the women who use plants and animal parts and anything else needed to heal or harm, for their own benefit or those around them, and who know and communicate with the spirits of the plants and animals and surroundings involved in the workings

Enchantress/Sorceress- the women who embrace both magic and their own sexuality, to benefit themselves or others, to manipulate the natures of men, not always for evil but not always for good

Hearthtender/Weaver- the women who weave magic through tending the home, cooking, weaving and other domains long considered part of domestic life

Shaman- the spirit walker, she who crosses realms, to heal and mend wounds, who acts as the voice for the spirits, allying themselves, walking the path between worlds, often acting to benefit the greater community

Lorekeeper/storyteller- those who write down the knowledge and lore passed down through ages, the women who weave magic with words written and spoken, who hold the stories and secrets in their hearts

Wildwoman/shapeshifter- the woman who uses wild magics, who lives away from civilization and has allied with the spirits of flora, fauna and place to transcend her own skin, shifting to animal and back again, protecting wild spaces from those who threaten them

Magician- she who learns magic from arcane tradition, who uses the elements and conducts rites through ceremony, who creates and destroys with careful precision

These are archetypes I’ve found that, in different ways, resonate with the path that I follow. I’d like to eventually incorporate honoring and working with them into my practice. For now though, I must get a few hours of sleep then get back up to study for a quiz!

Behind the Mask

Nymphaea:

About our Litha ritual tonight!

Originally posted on The Forest's Edge:

2014-06-18 16.16.51

As the Middle TN group of Forest’s Edge members prepares to celebrate the summer solstice this Saturday, I once again found myself making masks. A few of us have been on a bit of a ritual possession kick lately, and while our Beltane festivities took more of an appreciating-nature approach, we used masks during Ostara to help us ally ourselves with and even experience “being” March hares. This time around, our observence will involve a ritual drama, in which the tension between the forces of light and dark provide the doorway for the Fey to move through to and from this world. Masks will be the ritual tools that will aid the members taking on these roles to embody them in more of a ritual possession, “drawing down,” shamanic way, rather than just acting the part.

Masks have been used by cultures around the world for thousands of years for…

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Updates, con’t

I promised a better post in a few days, and here it is!

I’ve been on a life break for a while. I’ve had to deal with crippling money issues as well as working to get back into school. My return from medical leave was approved, yay! But then I had a very large sum of money that I had to pay back in order to be able to register (well, large for someone as currently poor as I). My mother was able to loan me the money, so I’m going to be able to return to school in the Fall. I’ve got my classes lined up already. This year will be my last, I hope, and focusing mostly on my major. For all those Greek lovers, out there, you’ll love what I’ve got picked out- The Greek Myths, Greece and the Near East from Alexander to Theodosius, Warfare in the Ancient Mediterranean, The Parthenon The Akropolis and 5th Century Athens, and then to finish up my required courses for liberal arts bit, a US History course from the Reconstruction through WWII. Granted, I haven’t guaranteed all of these yet, but I will mid summer.

As far as witchy things have been concerned, I’ve been quite lazy. I’m kicking myself a bit for that, but I know I did really need a breather from it. Or, less it and more of my list of large expectations that I always create and rarely follow through on. I’ve been working a lot with my ADHD management and trying to create more realistic goals. While they don’t always succeed, it’s a slow learning process. At least I’m making a little progress.

My job is icky, but it’s a job and I know I’m very lucky to have one right now, considering I haven’t finished my bachelors. I’m still wanting to become a librarian and I’ll be working at the library again in the fall, but unfortunately they were full up over the summer.

Our tradition is booming, we had a lovely open Beltaine ritual focusing on bees and we actually have added a new student. Yay! So stoked. I need to finish up my lesson review and focus on what I need to so I can eventually proceed with initiation.

I’ve been playing a fair amount of computer games recently, many with DHMF. He loves that nickname and you guys aren’t allowed to know what it is, but it is funny at least. We are still whatever we are, but he makes me happy and that’s all that matters.

I’m hoping to get a nerdy blog up and running soon, probably at the domain I’ve had set aside forever, but it will depend on other things as well.

I want to write more, but I need to finish up some cleaning here so my apartment isn’t so gross. Garden pics are incoming, as well as hopefully quality writing and articles.

Please ignore any rambling, I’m multitasking and a bit worried about my poor computer. She’s been having issues lately.