The Salish Sea and Me

It’s a beautiful day on the Salish Sea, and I am sitting alone in my Paramour’s empty future home, looking out over the water at the roof of my house and marveling at the strange twists and turns our lives take. The other night we had a house full of people, all of them people I consider my family. We stayed up late, talking about childhood toys and random acts of heroism and villainy we have indulged in over the years. I am so blessed to have these people in my life. I am blessed to have my Paramour returned to me after all these years. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband who is my hero and protector. I am blessed to have friends who make me laugh endlessly and challenge me mentally.

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The view from my Paramour’s living room. You can literally see the roof of my house across the water.

To celebrate Maitag, I had to make room in my nightmare of a schedule for a my first solitary ritual. In the whirlwind of redecorating my Paramour’s house, school, planning for my trip to France in 3 weeks, and multiple health problems, I hadn’t realized that TODAY was May 1st. I picked up some items from the grocery store and headed over to the Paramour’s new house between classes to do some work. While I was there, I sat out in the backyard on a bench overlooking the water, set up my gear, and did a combined Maitag ritual and house blessing. Since I didn’t have any sort of oracle to consult, I had to improvise. I thought to myself, what is an oracle? Divination is the selection of a randomly generated symbol and the interpretation of that symbol in the context of the question your are asking. Regardless of whether you consider an oracle to be a message from the divine or just random chance, you are still taking a meaningful symbol and applying it to a query for guidance. Before I left German class today, I pulled WMFH aside and asked him to write the first German word that came into his head on a piece of paper and give it to me. He obliged, and I used that as my oracle. The word he wrote? Zuverlässig: trustworthy, steadfast, everlasting. Have I mentioned lately how awesome WMFH is? Seriously, the guy is totally magical and doesn’t seem to know it.

My first solitary ritual went ok, it wasn’t completely ADF compliant, but I am ok with that. I managed to do a basic skeleton of the core ritual from memory, and the addition of the Freya’s Gold beer from the Odin Brewing Company as my offering to the god’s was another sweet slice of serendipity. During the ritual, a goldfinch landed on the bough of an blossoming apple tree and sang a few notes before moving on. It seems that during most of our rituals we are visited by a bird or 2 with a purpose.

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Another view.

Bald wird der dunkle Hain belebt

In the immortal words of John Lennon, life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. In my world, multiple sclerosis is what happens. I have been fighting some pretty gnarly symptoms as of late. aside from having a black spot in my vision in my left eye, I am also having significant weakness in my arms that is really fucking with my feng shui. Toss in a liberal dose of fatigue and a dash of leg pain, and you have a satanic salad of gloom. I have had to prioritize things, and life only gets more complicated. We just found out our landlords might want to sell our house, so we may be looking at having to move, which is NOT something I want to do. I am still redecorating my Paramour’s new house, I am still planning our trip to France in a month, WMFH has decided that German this quarter should be more like boot camp, and I am taking a singing class that I SO TOTALLY REGRET TAKING because I have to sing in front of the whole class (I am singing “Bald wehen uns des Frühlings Lüfte” by Haydn. WMFH was kind enough to sit with me and help me understand the lyrics and pronunciation. He was adorably excited to find the lyrics were rather Pagan in nature. The man is a complete sweetheart, and my heart breaks to think this is my last quarter of German). I am not a good singer. I am a loud singer, I am a powerful singer, but it is not pretty. Sigh. I guess the only thing to do is dive in, shame myself, and get it over with.

On the spiritual front, I have had so many things to write about I haven’t even known where to start. Co-priest and I spent Ostara with the Cascadia Protogrove in Seattle. They couldn’t have been lovelier if they tried, seriously a terrific bunch of people and very gracious. We are talking about inviting them up to the island for a ritual at some point, but as it stands right now, Co-priest is going to Trout Lake Abbey for Beltane, and as much as I would LOVE to go, right now I just can’t physically do it. Instead, I am staying home and doing my first solitary High Day ritual. I am a little worried about our Midsummer ritual, since we will all be in France until June 3rd. I really want to make it something special, but I am so bogged down with school and extra projects and travel.

My ADF reading? Nonexistent the last few weeks. I did appropriate my husband’s Nook eReader (gods I hate those things) to take with me to France. It makes reading all the out of print and PDF stuff that much easier. My meditation and daily devotionals are a complete scattered mess right now. I am trying to prioritize orthodoxy vs orthopraxy (which is a post I am STILL working on) and decide if it is more important I light the candles and offer the wine when I am physically taxed or more important that I do something purposeful with my time that I consider to be an act in service to the gods. If I approach preparing a meal for others in the spirit of hospitality, or infuse my academic studies with my spiritual goals, is that not more important? Reconstructionism isn’t just a belief, it is a way of life. While I feel like a bit of a failure for not having the stamina to do everything, maybe focusing on the things I can manifest in the real world are more important.

“Bald wehen uns des Frühlings Lüfte” (it’s the first song in this mix)

My Mini Hiatus

So, I took the last few days off from my external obligations. Feeling a bit better. I was getting extremely weary of having all of my time and energy allocated to everything but myself. I need to remind myself that the things I do are a pursuit of the sacred, whether it’s taking care of my home, reading, studying German, listening to music, cooking, or whatever. When I lose sight of this, when I forget that the entire point is to make as much of life an experience of the sacred as possible, I need to step back and reassess what I am doing with my time. When we compartmentalize the sacred away from our daily lives, it becomes another chore on the long to-do list of obligations our lives are filled with. It is far more productive to seek the sacred in the mundane.

Yesterday, I took a quick drive around the island. It was a beautiful, sunny Tuesday afternoon and I had the road to myself. I checked out the cabin down the road my Paramour will be staying at this weekend for Anthesteria (which should make for a merry Anthesteria indeed), waved at neighbors walking their dogs, watched the big cargo ships cruise between the islands, and marveled at what a truly legendary and blessed life I lead.

front view
The view from the cabin. Sehr romantisch, nicht?

The Perils of Pagan Burn-Out

Hello, my name is Sigrun, and I am experiencing Pagan Burn-Out.

We’ve all been there. You wake up one morning and you just don’t feel like leaving an offering at your altar. Or maybe you just can’t finish that umpteenth book about the confluence of Celtic and Germanic Paganism in the ancient world. Or maybe you just can’t get that worked up about the next ritual. My enthusiasm peaked around Yule, but since then I am been so busy and overwhelmed that I have been neglecting aspects of my practice and studies I really shouldn’t. I know it will come back, this isn’t a crisis of faith or questioning my path. I just feel extremely “meh” about my level of engagement right now.

Pagan Prayer Beads Part II

Since I still had a large amount of beads, I made another prayer bead set. I think the smaller one is better suited for keeping in a pocket when I am on the go, but the larger one is rather pretty. I like the beads with the eyes on them.

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prayer beads close up
If anyone cares to know, I ordered my beads from Shipwreck Beads in Olympia. They ship nationwide, but their brick-and-mortar is a sight to see.

Bastards and Beads

Dear People Who Made “Hansel and Gretel, Witch Hunters”,

Go fuck yourselves. No really, GO. FUCK. YOUR. SELVES. Thank you for raping the childhood of everyone born since 1812.

Sincerely,
Sigrun Pallene

In other, more interesting news, I was inspired by fellow ADF dedicant vlaughlin over at “The Druid’s Cosmos” to create a set of Pagan prayer beads. I really needed something to help focus my meditation, and this should be just the ticket.
pagan prayer beads
There are 9 beads for the Nine Virtues of Druidry, 9 beads for the Nine Noble Virtues of Heathenism, 3 beads for the Triple Hallows (fire, well, tree), 3 beads for the Three Kindreds, and 2 beads for the Two Powers. Since these are the subjects I feel need the most initial attention I made them my “training beads”. I am working on writing a series of prayers for each bead, plus I would like to use the large beads for special prayers.

Part of the impetus for this was the realization that I was expending huge amounts of energy on historical and factual study, but virtually ignoring my actual spiritual development. Meditation is not my forte, or rather, I never consider it my forte, but I do spend a great deal of time in a near-meditative state while I am listening to music or resting in bed (I take a nap every day due to the MS). This will hopefully prove to be a good tool to focus my mind where it needs to be.

Pagan Blog Project Week 2

A is for Archetype

Archetypes are a huge part of my world view and self-perception. The categories for this blog are all various archetypes I inhabit, depending on my mood and the company I keep. My husband loves the Valkyrie, my ex loved the Maenad, my best friend seems to prefer the Mystic, his husband (my co-priest) gets the Priestess, and so on. I view my friends and acquaintances through the gauze of their own archetypes; the Poet, the Scholar, the Warrior, the Storyteller, the Hero. For me, the archetype is not just a symbolic construct. It is the scaffolding of the soul, the manifestation of the god or goddess within us all. You do not become an archetype because you seek it out, it is already within you, waiting for actualization. If you feel the Artist within you, fantasize about creating art, that is an archetype waiting to be born. Whether you chose to activate that archetype is entirely up to you.

While I do not view the gods as being limited to archetypes, I do view them as being archetypes. Pagans and polytheists are in a fairly unique position, in that we are able to chose our gods rather than being told who our god is and forced to conform to that particular archetype. Even if you are raised within a certain tradition (which we are fortunate enough to actually see happening more and more these days), there are choices within that tradition as to which god you are personally affiliated with. If you are Hellenic, you have at least a dozen different fundamental gods covering a wide spectrum of human experience to chose from. Even in a more sparsely populated pantheon like the Germanic, you have gods that are complex an multifaceted. Odin is the Warrior, the Mystic, the Father, and many, many more. If you have the good fortune to be Hindu or Vedic you have thousands upon thousands of deities at your fingertips. Even Catholicism, with its over 10,000 saints, has found a place for the consecration of the archetype, only nstead of Brighid they venerate St. Brigit as the Poet and Mother of Lost Children. Whether this tendency on our part to combine the sacred and the archetype is something we foist on the divine or emanates from it is not something I am in the position to postulate. Clearly, I favor the latter, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing a Pagan blog now, would I?

When We Were Trees

The Transpersonal Experience in Indo-European Mythology, Folklore, and Music

Northern Heim, Southern Clime

On Maenads and Valkyries

Introspective Maenad

Thoughts of an Unlikely Dionysian

Pixiecraft: Adventures of Magick and Devotion

The Life of a Practicing Pagan and Traditional Witch

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry

The House of Vines

where words grow like leaves

The Flaming Thyrsos

Memoirs of a Hekatean Wino

Syncretic Mystic

Exactly correct. You inhabit two worlds. So far, I see nothing strange.

Root Craft

Making magic in the dirt.

Eternal Bacchus

Dionysos from the end of antiquity to the present

eklogai

polytheist extractions

Black Witch

Life from a Black Pagan's Perspective

Aspis of Ares

A Devotional Exploration of Ares, the God of War

4 of Wands

A celebration of me and my interests. Unapologetically.

Down the Withywindle

All paths lead that way, down to Withywindle.

Ozark Pagan Mamma

Folk Magic, Druidism, Heathenry, & Pagan Parenting

beingaleaf

learning, growing, reaching, being :-)

The Druid in the Swamp

Druidic Musings from the Texas Gulf Coast

The Druid's Cosmos

An ADF Druid's trials, tribulations, musings, and victories

A Forest Door

Spirit-Work & Devotional Polytheism

The Wild Hunt

On Maenads and Valkyries

Pagan Reveries

"Everything is full of gods." - Thales

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