Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Samhain!

 Oh yes... it is starting to look like fall...

Which... here... can only mean one thing... All Hallow's Eve is nearly upon us!

....Who goes there???...

Trespassing is not taken lightly...

If you come to seek the witch... but do not ask permission to travel... you may become a permanent resident... aaahhhaaahaaaa....

Wait here... I'll see if she's willing to speak to you...

What are these,
So withered, and so wild in their attire,
That look not like th' inhabitants o' the earth,
And yet are on 't?

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes....


Thursday, October 27, 2011

All is well

I made it through.  Honestly, I think all of the anticipation is worse than the actual recovery.  Tomorrow we do a wound check to make sure I'm healing well... and then I can start moving around a bit more.  So, until then... thanks to those who sent well wishes...

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I'm making plans.  Seems it's time to do a surgery that I knew was coming... I have to replace my pacemaker battery.  It's not THAT big of a deal... it's outpatient, and I'll recover quickly (I've done this surgery once before... and it's not nearly as bad as the placement surgery).  So, I'm getting chores taken care of so that I can rest easily in the days that follow the procedure... I have a tendency to get bored and try to do stuff. 

So, I'm stacking books, tarot cards, and paper and pens by my bed.  I've cleaned my room and done the laundry and organized carpools and meals.  The last thing left is to organize myself.  It's hard for me to face the surgery... mostly because of the traumas that resurface about the original pacemaker placement.  I was 21 and terrified.  It did not go smoothly.  I spent my Christmas vacation from my junior year of college in Cardiac ICU.  It was awful... and I remember it vividly.

But I'm not really sure what to do for myself.  I can't carry any talismans or anything into surgery, so I'm limited in what I can do for something tangible.  Whatever I do has to be an internal state of readiness and "go with the flow".  And yet, I feel resistance. 

I've done some things... I've arranged to hang out with a friend in the "cosmic waiting room" during the procedure.  I've consulted my tarot cards about anything I need to do before surgery... but it's not clear to me what they're saying... so I'm a little lost there.  I'm not getting Strength and King of Swords to tell me to just buck up... so I don't know.  I'm also getting scared, just a tiny bit, which I suppose comes from being a mom this time.  I've never gone into surgery being a mom before... I'm not crazy about the idea.  Or maybe it's just my generalized anxiety finding a new outlet...

At any rate... my surgery is Wednesday morning.  And if you have any suggestions about things I can do to prepare myself I'd love to hear them!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Good and evil?

For awhile I've been wondering about good and evil.  I'm not sure I believe in the evil.  I understand that people do try to hurt other people... but from my perspective they're reacting from a place of pain.  Some kind of social interaction goes badly, there are hurt feelings, and people often say or do things just to hurt someone else.  That's not evil.  That's human nature (at least, it is for my 5-year-old).  Most are never taught how to manage their emotions (anger is often taboo and rarely are people taught how to process anger without lashing out).  People act from hurt place... often without thinking... and it gets perpetuated by a string of people who don't have the coping skills.  But I don't think I've ever met anyone or felt any spirits that were just evil.  Maybe I'm just lucky.

Or maybe, we have a hand in creating what we believe in.  Maybe we can only see what we believe it's possible to see... thus creating our own reality.  So, someone else wants to see something "bad" as outside of them... so they call it an evil being... and I want to believe that people are basically good... so I attribute it as processing (badly) some kind of hurt.  But then, I suppose, the question still stands... is there such a thing as evil?

Maybe we get into "good" and "bad" because our brains like the easy dichotomy.  My experience is that people really don't like grey areas... where there can be paradox or a scale of responses.  They want to categorize so that they can take short cuts and not think it out.  Isn't that how stereotypes work?  And the result of the shortcuts is that things get unfairly categorized... one aspect of a situation defines the whole (like the color of the skin determines a "good" or "bad" person)... and the underlying truth that we're all people is removed from consideration once categorized.

So I'm acknowledging that it's my conscious preference not to have "evil" wandering around where I cannot control it... where it can strike anytime and without warning... or someone might put an "evil spell" on someone else... that I am going to hold onto my belief that we all carry the potential to inflict pain on others, as well as the potential to be kind, compassionate, and generous with our fellow humans.  I reject the notion that there is an evil entity out there just screwing with people... we do so much of it to each other... do we really need random evilness out there helping us?

And that brings us back to... do, re, mi... ahem... I mean... back to my word for 2011... proportion.  Meaning the "relationship between quantities such that if one varies then another varies in a manner dependent on the first"... such as a single person having varying amounts of asshole and charitable fellow citizen... rather than being entirely one thing or another.  

Monday, October 10, 2011


Thanks to those of you who commented on my last post, sharing your own perspective on how you incorporate your solitary pagan ways into family events... and into everyday teaching of your children (or how your parents did for you).

Though I haven't taught my kids about any particular symbolism or anything, I've noticed a few things in the kids' art lately that inspires me to just keep doing spirituality as an every day occurrence.  This is the only picture I have at hand in this moment... but this isn't the first piece of art to come home.  There's a picture around here labeled "Mother Moon"... but I can't find it.  I'm not sure what this means, if anything.  At least these are familiar and ancient symbols.  Maybe the rest will come later.

I do know that my kids are good at noticing when life is really good.  One day, my five-year-old was sitting in the breezeway between our garage and the house, eating an apple just off the tree, as the late afternoon breeze blew... and she made a comment about how great the moment was.  That's spirituality too... and I had forgotten that until you all reminded me.

The bottom line is that I've noticed how much spirituality is in our everyday lives... so that it isn't something you can point at... a time or place when we do something in particular... but it's every moment.  And that feels good to me... to acknowledge that our spirituality is not different than the "rest" of our lives.

So, the art, and the recognition of beautiful moments gives me hope that even if I can't point to the "church" we go to, that at least I can see that we live in it through each moment that we are connected to ourselves and nature and each other.  And all feels well... for me... right now... *sigh*

Monday, October 3, 2011

Organization... or lack thereof...

I've struggled for 40 years (well... for part of that) to find my own place in the world. I have been to more types of churches than most people could come up with names for (but apparently I didn't spend enough time in English class... yikes!). Anyway, all of this searching (and probably a good dose of introvert) eventually led me to being a solitary pagan.

My 7-year-old daughter has started asking me about church. Hmm. Clearly I can't dump on her all of my church baggage... so I opted to try to find something that I could swallow. Now, no offense to church-goers... everyone has a different sense of feeling comfortable... but I, personally, just am not sure what to do here. Obviously, 7yo is asking for some structured spirituality, but I've got none to offer. I can't even structure my own expressions of spirituality... which often seem to come and go with how much time I think I have. I have no dedication... at least not to ritual... and certainly not anything I'm prepared to share with anyone else.

We tried the local Unity church... which just feels like a couple of people gathering until they think the other 10 people are going to quit showing up... and they had no real children's group to speak of. I thought of trying the Calling-All-People-Spiritual-Center type facility... but I hear they're a small group too. I can't go back to Catholicism... I left for some damned good reasons that I'm not ever going to swallow to make a come-back. And I just don't know what to do. Honestly, I think I just have a problem with the "organized" part of organized religion. Which, if you look at my own practice, I seem to also have a problem with the "organized" part of un-organized solitary paganism. Sigh.

How do ya'll organize yourselves and keep yourselves on track? How do you let your family know that the Equinox (or whatever) is a special day in between carpools, homework, piano lessons and whatever else? How do you decide to follow through when your spirituality is roaming around a hundred different stories and deities and facets? How do you stick to something that becomes a ritual?

I teach my kids my values, and hope that it means something later... but right now... I just don't know how to teach my kids the nature of spirituality... especially since I'm still trying to put the pieces together myself.