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Druidry is Service...

Its own type of service, and grossly unappreciated also...

This morning reminded me of a couple of things; why I wanted to do clergy work and if I had the energy myself to overcome all the hurtles of making it happen. I don't know. I saw a facebook page for the AI duPont Institute for Children this morning and half of my life came back to me and caught in my throat. I didn't want to just help people; I wanted to help people like the little person I was when I was there. The scared little girl who was doing her best to go with the flow and didn't entirely understand what was happening to her. Druidry isn't just about all that the ADF has worked out (all the trines and kindreds and the studies of them strictly..) but how we demonstrate that belief in practice and work with people who might not understand a lick of it. Like children. Pagan or otherwise. We have a unique perspective as Druids other than "Jesus did it. And if you are sick God did it as a test but not one you couldn't handle! Jesus loves you despite all the needles he helped put in your arms and the treatment you are receiving. He is smiling at you as your hair falls out." It wasn't comforting to me then, and it isn't comforting now. Sick children are scared of dying and they're scared of seeing their parents hurting. Parents in that situation don't know how to act and worry over how their reactions will reflect on their children's attitudes. They know. Tell them about life and death. Tell them stories. Take them away from the pain and tell them stories. Keep their minds active and focused on well being. It can make a difference. 

If I can make some hurtles over convoluted IE mythology and bs theories I don't agree with entirely to make this happen, I think I'll be doing good. I was inspired the other day that despite not being a parent (though I do have some practical experience working with kids) I really wanted to try writing some Pagan kids books. Especially for those kids who need it most. Like the ones sitting in Child Life at duPont wishing they were in less pain so they could go home. Children these days are in as much danger as adults with shootings in elementary schools and maladjusted parenting and bad education; TALK to them about death. Talk to them about life. It isn't the end, babies. Tell them how they could even be a tree one day. Show them the beauty. Bring them photographs. 

I hope I can do this. I'm going to need help.

No, really. I'm losing it.

Verge of mental breakdown? Yes.

Why 2012 Will Be Different

This is a personal declaration for the new year.

1.) I will not let my anger rule me. It will not color my decisions. I will find ways to make it more productive and turn it into something I can work with. I will always get angry with things, but I have learned new ways to manage it. I will never be acknowledged for all of the attempts I make to make unbiased decisions. I cannot change those people who think I am a permanently angry individual. When you have no roots, the only thing that can stand as testament against your word is the passage of time. I'm not an angry person within; I have had sins committed against me that are due outrage. They will be processed and remedied to remove anger from the situation, as I have learned how to do in the past year, and be made more productive. 

2.) I am going to be artistically productive in 2012. I am not going to give up. I will make time for my projects and my artwork. There are boundaries between my service to the folk and my service to my own needs as well. This time it's different; I have made an agreement with the universe and the Gods I believe in that this will be done. It may seem selfish, but there are far more selfish crimes being committed against me at the moment. In fact, it's gone on long enough. 

3.) I will get out of this apartment, or at least make sizable headway in that direction. 

4.) I won't make the typical claim that I will lose weight. I would like to, but being as stress is my number one weight gain reason, I think I need to lessen that first. I will make efforts to eat better because it makes me feel better.

5.) I will help people with their problems. I will not help them sort their own personal head dramas. That is entirely on them. 

6.) I will not expect anyone to keep their word to me. I will not expect anything of my family. I am not entitled to their love and support, although they feel entitled to  mine. I will treat them as any other human being in my life with the exception that when they are in trouble, I will do my best to help even when it's their fault. This may well be the year of tough love. 

7.) I will serve my Gods and my People in as many ways as I can. I will keep with the 9 virtues, and some of my own as well. I will not overextend myself. I spent too much of the last year being ill. Perhaps the Gods' ways of tearing down and starting from scratch. Priorities.

8.) I will get my health under control. I will not put it off due to pressure from work. 

9.) I am going to write more. Rituals, fiction, whatever. It'll happen. I will commune more with the divine and the sacred earth.

Before others are prepared to say this year is going to be just like the others, I know it will be different. I am changing my perspective and my reality. It's different already, in fact. 

Here's to 2012. 

2011 : year of the two toed sloth

It's time to look back over the year and reflect on what I did and did not do. 

I'll be honest, I'm not particularly proud of anything I've done. The whole year felt like an uphill battle against unnecessary drama, general stupidity, the attention seeking needs of others, and having to be ripped apart pretty much constantly. There hasn't been a single month where someone didn't demand my time and attention and compassion over something COMPLETELY unnecessary. I feel muted, blocked, wounded, and kicked when down.

I couldn't be more disappointed in my father than I am this year. I couldn't be more heartbroken and depressed than I am right now unless something HORRIBLE happened to someone I love. The fucked up thing is, whenever shit hits the fan, some of my friends tend to scatter like cockroaches when the light comes on. OR. Alternatively, when I feel horrible is when they come at me with some weird unrelated issue they've blown out of proportion but demands every OUNCE of my attention and nothing less until they are quite chuffed. Everyone around me is struggling. Everyone is so exhausted and tired and not viewing things properly.

I spent a good part of my year just surviving. I didn't lose any weight or feel better about myself, I simply kept breathing. The only thing of note I did was go to Great Britain/Ireland and it made my world so much bigger. I've been changed by it. My goals have changed. 

I will make 2012 a better year. I will see that those that need it get their comeuppance. I pray for compassion and wisdom, and motivation to do the things that need to get done. 

Whether or not this will fix my heartbreak I don't know. I have to try. Otherwise I'll just be one bigass disappointment again. 

I hope my friends know I love them. And I hope my family figures it all out one day. I just want to quit everything. 

Thoughts on 9/11

I hope that I can articulate what it is about the hype that bothers me. Wait, I think that's part of it: the hype. The few people that read my journal; please read with an open mind. There are many views to express regarding that day so many years ago, and this is my own perspective. Fundamentally, I have a great deal of difficulty with patriotism. I don't identify with American Patriotism because it feels false. Saying that we deserved 9/11 is like telling a girl it was her fault she was raped for wearing a short skirt. America, as a country we are provocative. We are exhibitionists, even when we aren't trying to be. People are going to judge us and that's just something we're going to have to deal with. People you've never met are going to either love you or hate you purely based on your nationality. You cannot control what other people think, so why try to control what other nations think?

9/11 was horrific. Ten years to the day, people are never going to forget what happened and how it made them feel. A lot of people died that day, and a lot of concepts that were an integral part of our identity died that day. We are not untouchable. It makes sense, then, to adopt a tragedy as a mark of heroism and testament to the time we all "banded together" and united as a country. I do not like George W, but I could not have stood in his shoes that day. We cried for revenge for our fallen, and in many ways we got that. Osama bin Laden is dead. Why are so many unable to accept that as closure then? Because it isn't about the dead any longer. It has been so overconceptualized and weaponized and even used as a tool to control the people of this nation. We suspended our own civil liberties to the murky potential threat of terrorist violence. We can have what we write searched, hard drives of computers searched, our luggage and our bodies searched, our lives dictated like a micromanager with too much time on it's hands. Overregulation.

I have found that we are a society of tragedy; nothing moves us or motivates us like tragedy. Not peace, not joy. It is difficult to motivate an entire nation to peace following an attack, but it is much easier to cultivate hatred and revenge. It would seem that the United States has taken the hatred route. Need examples?
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/mosque_madness_at_ground_zero_OQ34EB0MWS0lXuAnQau5uL
http://stopislamizationofamerica.blogspot.com/

Oh, and just to be sassy and draw a parallel:
"The Islamic doctrine is intended to creep into our everyday life bit by bit
and make Fortress Europe crumble from within.
Just think of how the Serbs lost Kosovo.
Through demographic development and the help of NATO,
which aided the founding of the first Islamic state on European soil.
What a suicidal undertaking.
What an ominous sign." -Oskar Freysinger

And this: http://www.christianpost.com/news/norway-bombing-top-suspect-anders-behring-breivik-admits-massacre-52753/

If any of this sounds chillingly familiar to you as it does to me, I'd say that ABSOLUTELY NO FAITH is without blood on it's hands. Absolutely NO CULTURAL GROUP is entirely free of guilt. Fanatacism claims every faith in some form or another. In this case, I see 9/11 being used as a tool to strike fear of many things into the hearts of Americans. I'm pretty sure that's what the terrorist plot was from the beginning. You see, for them, this is a Holy War. This is something they see as divine right. One group that believes that their way is the ONLY way, so help you God. ( See: http://www.politicususa.com/en/norway-terrorist-dominionist or http://web.archive.org/web/20050627081823/http://www.aclusc.org/Page/Clipping/State/040919Knauss.html , or conversely a conservative viewpoint: http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Michele-Bachmann-and-Dominionism-Paranoia-Douglas-Groothuis-08-26-2011.html )

My entire point is we have become such a paranoid, highly intolerent country. The invisible threat of terrorism is brought up around this time every year now to get folks upset, paranoid, and reliving 9/11. It's a shame that such an event has to be used to illustrate what feelings they experienced that day, that other countries experience daily. We're lucky for that. Yet in the face of being humbled, we have chosen pride instead. We are turning in and attacking our own religious freedoms which we are bound to lose if we can't see the bigger picture.

I am so very sorry to those that lost loved ones that day. I truly am. I'm not made of stone; I cried long and hard. I nearly lost my shit when they had a small installation at the Smithsonian a few years back. I can feel their terror now as I did then, but we must learn to move on and lay these spirits to rest. Let the dead rest in peace and don't stain their memory with your agendas.

Late Night Thoughts

A list of things I am thinking at the moment.

1.) I wish people I photograph and send pictures to would respond to my emails so I know they don't hate me.
2.) Being a Witan member equals sacrificing your spirituality in exchange for bureaucracy.
3.) I haven't felt spiritually fulfilled in anything but nature lately. Or someplace in the natural world. Ritual isn't really doing it for me anymore.
4.) I would like to learn something well enough to teach it, but all of my strengths are in things I cannot teach; like seership.
5.) I really need to work on my clergy program more. Otherwise the men in white won't think I'm worth shit.
6.) I really really really really hate Indo-European studies. Hate.
7.) I am in need of a reconnection. I haven't felt it since I've been back to the states.
8.) I feel too tired to do things pretty much all of the time. Bone tired.
9.) I hope that tick I pulled off myself isn't going to give me Lyme's disease. I prefer lemons.
10.) I should be writing my 7th sea game for tomorrow but I need a shower and I'm sleepy.
11.) I want to write more. I feel like I have no time. I have been inspired to write on my story more and poetry too...but no oomph to get me over the sleepiness to do it.
12.) I feel like I've lost myself. I need to be reborn. What will that take, I wonder.

Enough head vomit for now.

Judas

"My mind is clearer now
At last, all too well.
I can see where we all soon will be.

If you strip away the myth from the man,
you can see where we all soon will be. "

I think so abstractly that I often think that I won't ever be truly understood. I think in images, colors, sensations, scenarios, smells and choreography. I'm one hell of a roleplayer when I want to be. I can even act well when I want to. I can play the game, but I won't sacrifice my integrity.  I also don't owe anyone a fucking explanation of anything.

In the meanwhile, when did Britney get badass again?




I'm out for the weekend. Peace.

A Trip of a Lifetime

I am at a total loss for words for what I experienced during my trip to the UK. Edinburgh is absolutely beautiful; it was by far the coolest city in Scotland. It's unlike any other place you can imagine, like it dropped out of a fairy tale and stayed that way. I can see why tourism keeps it's economy afloat.

Then there's the matter of Ireland. I'm in very serious trouble. I am completely bewitched by it; there can be no question of that. More than that, it's the first time I ever felt AT HOME anywhere since the loss of my childhood home and my grandmother's house. Impractical, unattainable, and a generally bad idea, but some day I know I have to move there. Economy is horrible. A million and one reasons not to, and yet, I can't help feeling that I finally found that place that was always missing from me. It's like having sea calling woken in you as an elf in LOTR; once it's activated you'll never be satisfied until you make that crossing. And I'm in big trouble. I'm poor for one, and saving up every penny I had to make this trip happen was an affair in and of itself.

But it's the land of my Gods, and the Land of my People, and where I want to be. What am I supposed to do about that? I'd felt disconnected for so long. Not to mention the fact that on May 1st I tripped and fell into the Irish Otherworld for a while there and met a Deity I have yet to identify clearly but know I must paint. My list of homework and research keeps getting longer. I've also noticed that my patience is getting shorter for other people, and that cannot be a good thing. I kindof feel like one of those mad poets Ireland is so famous for producing, and I can see why.

Good gracious. What do I do.

She said it better than I could.

"Glitter In The Air"

Have you ever fed a lover with just your hands?
Closed your eyes and trusted, just trusted?
Have you ever thrown a fist full of glitter in the air?
Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, "I just don't care"?

It's only half past the point of no return
The tip of the iceberg
The sun before the burn
The thunder before the lightning
The breath before the phrase
Have you ever felt this way?

Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone?
You're whole life waiting on the ring to prove you're not alone
Have you ever been touched so gently you had to cry?
Have you ever invited a stranger to come inside?

It's only half past the point of oblivion
The hourglass on the table
The walk before the run
The breath before the kiss
And the fear before the flames
Have you ever felt this way?

La La La La La La La La

There you are, sitting in the garden
Clutching my coffee,
Calling me sugar
You called me sugar

Have you ever wished for an endless night?
Lassoed the moon and the stars and pulled that rope tight?
Have you ever held your breath and asked yourself will it ever get better than tonight?
Tonight
 

Jobs: Four Letter Word

Sho.

I'm back to work for Lifetouch, which isn't a difficult job...it's just a tiring one. The trouble is I can get life insurance through my job...but since I will only be getting a couple days a week worth of work until May...that means probably half of my paycheck will be going to pay for it. That's not what I call a full time job even though they consider me Full Time Senior Staff.

My first thought was: I need a new job.

My second thought was: what job would allow me to take off as many days as I do for photography gigs? The answer is pretty much none, or minimum wage.

Which means I have to step up my photography business pretty hard if I'm going to make it to Scotland. This means crafts and things too, so unfortunately I won't be able to donate as much to Grove auctions as I used to. I never put those receipts in the cauldron, either. Not for food or supplies or anything. I never have unless I had to for some reason. I know I've spent hundreds of dollars, but I'd rather not think about it.

I hate to do it, but I have to focus on getting myself out of this financial hole. I can't delay my school loans forever. They'll get tired of doing it.

Argh.