Saturday, February 18, 2017

My Ancestry DNA Results

I was legally adopted at age two, which was mostly a good thing. The only curiosity I've ever had about my family of origin was my ethnic ancestry. My adoptive families are German and Czech, and my pale and gingered self is so obviously not.

Becoming Pagan really made me want to know where my ancestors came from originally. Maturing and growing in my practice has made me really think about those ancestors as people. I'm not one of those Pagans who has an ancestor altar, I'm not a medium and I have no solid opinions about an afterlife. But the use of phrases like beloved dead and calling on the spirits of my ancestors when I've been in dire need has made think about these things more deeply.

Surely everyone in my family tree wasn't a garbage person, even though my birth parents and currently living relatives are, seeing as how I'm so utterly fantastic and amazing. *snerk*

I'll spare you any more unnecessary woo because the point of all this is to stay that I finally had one of those Ancestry DNA tests done.


More than anything else, I'm Irish. I confess to you that I cried a little when I got the results. I feel more rooted somehow, with a sense of belonging and identity I've never known before, as if I make sense for the first time in 32 years. It's silly, but there it is. 



Sunday, January 8, 2017

Are you there, H? When Gods Leave

I believe that Gods and spirits are independent forces with free agency.

Well, I'm not sure if I *believe* it, but it makes the most sense given my relationship with various deities over the years. That free agency bit makes it hard for me to say who they are, what they are, or to try to put them in a neatly wrapped box.

Sometimes that free agency means you have to break up with them. Sometimes it means that they are going to break up with you. Sometimes you are going to remain friends forever, but you are both so busy with other things that you don't have time to eat pizza and get drunk every weekend like you used to.

Athena...Bast...Auset....The Morrigan...Dionysus...each one came into my life and I had such visceral experiences with them that I thought it was going to be a permanent and forever thing. They still have a place, though my devotion has been inactive for many years now. If they showed up tomorrow and wanted something from me, it would get done.

I haven't read every Pagan/Witch/Wiccan/Occult/Magic book or blog in the world, but I have read a lot. I have yet to read anything that addresses how to process the experience of a much loved deity moving on.

Do you maintain worship when no one is home? Do you keep a shrine for someone who isn't going to be visiting for a while or maybe ever again? Do you send out the Woo equivalent of a text that you know will be read but probably not responded to?

I don't have any answers.

I did have a dream about a year ago where a woman who looks very much like a Goddess I've been devoted to for over a decade handed me one of a particular thing she's frequently depicted carrying and told me "You know the way. I have an emergency to tend to."

Considering how 2016 played out, She wasn't kidding.

I think of Her daily. I chant her names on the New Moon and I light candles and incense now and then. I don't think She's left, not really. My prayer and worship are to the Lord and Lady of Wicca, first and primarily. Though I identify as a polytheist, I have struggled with worshiping Gods outside of Wicca in non-Wiccan ways. I'm really not cut out to be a reconstructionist in any kind of meaningful way.

"You think yourself into too many corners" She tells me.

If that ain't me.


Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year, Still Me



I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Trying to set long-term goals, knowing that I have 365 days to fail at completing them, is a recipe for suckage.

 Last year I picked a word for each element, something I felt I needed, and invoked that quality every time I was in circle. Ask the gods for Growth with no qualifier sometime, it’s fabulous, let me tell you! But in all honesty I needed that growth so badly that it’s going on this year’s list as well. 

Yes I found this little practice to be so helpful that I’m repeating it again this year. I’m also making a list of specific goals that I intend to work on throughout the next turning of the wheel. 

I’m not telling what those are!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Just Do It

Since we just had a New Moon On The Block a few days ago I decided to consult the cards about some magical work I was thinking over in my head.

I burn some incense, focus on the question, and shuffle.

Q: What steps can I take magically to accomplish X? 


A:


As exciting as "taking a leap" is for some, I am not one of those people. Maybe runes or scrying would be less snarky methods of divination.  





Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This Book Reads Like Stereo Instructions*

A friend and I spent a few lovely hours at the local Barnes and Noble yesterday. I was there to pick up Anne Rice's new novel, and it should have been an in and out shopping trip seeing as the book was on display right as you entered the store.  Can anyone just pop in and out of a bookstore? I'm sure such a person exists but I am not one of them.

We eventually found our way to the Aisle du Woo. My friend isn't Pagan but he is vaguely aware of what Paganism is. He started flipping through a book as I did a quick scan of the shelves.

Five books on Wicca. Three tarot decks. One book on general Occultism. One book on Satanism. The rest of the shelving unit was filled with books on ghost hunting, astrology, and Doreen Virtue.

The Wicca books were surprisingly retro - Buckland's Complete Book Of Witchcraft, To Ride A Silver Broomstick and Solitary Witch by Silver RavenWolf, Wicca and Living Wicca by Scott Cunningham. There was a copy of The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish and LaVey's The Satanic Bible for good measure. There was no Necronomicon in sight.

I'd been expecting there to be some newer releases on the shelves that I could flip through and possibly buy. I didn't expect to only find the least exciting** books that were on reading lists twenty years ago. It could just be that there isn't a high demand for witch books in my area and so the store only stocks the books that are statistically going to sell well.

My friend started thumbing through To Ride A Silver Broomstick and asked me which book would give him the best picture of what Wicca is about. I told him I wasn't sure any one particular book could do that job properly given that most people today practice Wicca as a free-form religion and that we don't have a bible. I've been looking over my own bookshelves trying to decide which book, if any, I might suggest to him if he asked me again. I'm not sure I have an answer.

I once gave my parents The Truth About Witchcraft Today by Scott Cunningham when they had questions. Today I'd probably recommend the Wikipedia article or The Bast Novels by Rosemary Edghill, not that I'd ever loan those books out to anyone.

I suppose I could always invite him to circle with me.






*Yes, the title of this post is a Beetlejuice reference. It's also a joke at the expense of The Big Blue Book. You know it's true.

**Fully recognizing that when I was reading those same books twenty years ago I thought they were the best books ever written, and that the Goddess Herself wanted to be my best friend.

Friday, November 4, 2016

What Witches Do



I've been wanting so desperately for it to actually feel like Fall that I decided to start making scarves for winter. I haven't done any serious sewing since I was in college and no crocheting since high school, but it's been really nice to take up an old hobby. If nothing else, it's keeping my hands busy while I take a break from the ever-constant stack of books.

Do you do any kind of handicraft?