A prisoner of the white lines on the freeway

Sitting in a Haggen’s parking lot behind a laurel hedge, eating grocery store sushi and listening to Joni Mitchell’s “Hejira” on sunny and stunningly warm Friday afternoon. Everything smells like spring flowers, fabric softener, and hot pavement. I just dropped $250 on 2 pairs of shoes for my trip to France. I am loathe to spend it, but I wear a size 6.5 WW, so if I want something decent I have to spend the dough. Next up is acupuncture, then my Husband and I are off to hang the curtain rods at my Paramours house. I can’t believe he’s moving here. I can’t believe I am going to France! I can’t believe my German classes are almost over. I can’t believe I am just a few months away from finishing my first year in the ADF. I can’t believe they are selling Cheerwine at the local Haggen’s.



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.

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.

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)

Girl, Interrupted

Sorry for the lack of posts, my MS has been causing me grief the last few days and I haven’t had much energy. Nothing very interesting to report at the moment, other than WMFH has me contemplating how the Anglo-Saxon concept of edwenden ties in with the concept of wyrd. More research is needed, but I have been preoccupied with helping my Paramour find a house closer to where I live, schoolwork, and German verbs. Oh, and I am totally rockin’ Princess Leiea hair today.

I am part of the rebel alliance and a traitor!

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?

Damn His Handsome Hide!

Curse your eyes, WMFH! Curse you for planting the seed of going to university after the school year is over. I had pretty much given up any hope of a higher education due to my being a complete prosimian when it comes to math, and now I am shopping the local U’s catalog and saying, “Ooooh! 19th century German literature!? German phonics?? Fluency Through Dramatization?!? I WANT TO GO TO THERE.” Wait, I can also take Western Mythology? Latin? Lignuistics? Russian? But.. but… but…

Damn it, damn it, damn it. I can’t afford this! But I would LOVE to actually achieve some level of fluency in German, not to mention supplement and enhance my ADF studies.

Because I want to avoid moments like this.

Kleine Bo Piepsen

I had the most ridiculous erotic dream about WMFH last night. I am only mentioning it here because the bizarre degrees of Jungian* weirdness are amazing.

Cut for those who don’t really want to read this (I keep it PG-13, I promise)
Read the rest of this entry »

Coming Out from Behind Your Winter Wardrobe

Today was the first day of class (German and Music Appreciation, both with “He Who Shall Be Named WMFH” henceforth). German will be par for the course, Music Appreciation will most likely be a blast. WMFH is even more F-able teaching music, but that doesn’t surprise me. Language makes me swoon, but music… well, it’s just the second most sacred thing a human can do, if you catch my drift. However, the most important thing that happened today is that I officially “came out” publicly as Pagan for the first time. I wasn’t intending on doing it, it wasn’t some grand gesture. We were doing introductions in class and WMFH asked me why I was taking German, so I answered truthfully and said it was for my Pagan clergy program. While my friends and family know I am Pagan, it’s never been anything I discussed outside of my immediate circle. I’ve never considered it anyone’s business. In my opinion, it’s a fine line between disclosing one’s religious views in a relevant situation and proselytizing or posturing. As a Pagan, I am accustom to people reacting poorly to my beliefs, usually in the form of ridicule and eye rolling. I am not one of those who considers it my duty to correct them. I have been Pagan for almost 30 years now, and in those 3 decades I have learned that you aren’t going to change anyone’s mind unless they want it changed, so save your breath.

However, one thing I have also come to understand is that I can no longer live this part of my life in the shadows. Before I started the Dedicant program, my religious views were my own, done in private, and had nothing to do with anyone else. Now, as a practicing priestess and future clergy, the rules have changed. I have chosen to become a public figure in the Pagan community, something that I hadn’t honestly considered until now. As a priestess part of my job is to represent. I represent my grove, my community, my gods, and my ancestors. I can’t hide this from the casual acquaintance anymore, it is a major part of my public identity. To keep it private would mean to resort to circumvention and subterfuge in answering the most basic questions about my life. So when WMFH asked me why I was taking German, I answered. And the world did not end, the sky did not fall, and no one batted an eye. Granted, I live in a hippie college town in one of the most liberal states in the country, so it wasn’t as if I expected someone to jump up and proclaim me a blasphemer or point at me and shriek like Donald Sutherland in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. Still, it felt odd, and a bit liberating. I had to do it again in MA class, and again, no Chicken Little scenario.

I am still getting used to the fact that people who don’t know me on the island have already heard of me as “The Priestess”. Apparently, people who have attended our rituals have spread the word and our gatherings have become the coveted invitation. It’s odd that my reputation is preceding me in an area that I have only just recently embraced publicly.

Cardboard and Other Tragedies

My vacation has consisted of more drudgery than essay writing. Mr. Sigrun emptied out our storage unit, so I have been shuffling boxes all week. Yesterday, after spending the first half of the day hauling moldy, dusty cardboard boxes around, I decided to go to the mainland to get my husband some food and pick up some vegetables and supplements at the Co-op. As I was getting ready, that spooky little voice in my head said, “You should spruce up a bit because you’re going to run into your German teacher.” I chose to ignore it, after all, there was no reason to believe I should run into him. He lives on the other side of town, I thought, and it’s New Years Day. So I left, in all my grubby, makeup-free glory.

As I was getting ready to leave Fred Meyer, I can’t get down any of the crowded aisles, so I detour through the produce department…

And run smack into my German teacher.

In the words of Charlie Brown, “AUUUGHHH!”

I really need to learn to listen to that voice. It’s always right.

Understand that I am one of those women who does not possess what is called “natural beauty”. I am cursed with dark hair and, for some inexplicable reason, blonde eyebrows and eyelashes. When I leave home without makeup, people tend to ask me “are you feeling alright?” Gee, thanks. I was feeling alright, now I am feeling self-conscious and unattractive. Nice to know my actual face makes me look sick.

Consequently, I spent the entire time I was talking to him trying to hide my weird, burn-victim lack of eyebrows, the smell of basement mold and fried onions, and the fact that I had the worst case of Dorito breath (I had to eat something on the run). I’m sure he thought I was nuts, as I was trying to pull my bangs over my eyes, maintain a 3 ft gap between us, and kept covering my mouth like a Japanese schoolgirl when I spoke.

And he somehow managed to become an even more Fuckable Hobbit over the last 2 weeks. Dammit. Down girl. I keep having to remind myself he’s off limits, but it ain’t easy. I’ve never been one to follow convention when romance is on the line.

Anywhoo, class starts Thursday, and I have some potentially intriguing personal events planned for next week, so I will be returning to posting soon, hopefully with some salacious and scandalous material to share…

Speaking of sharing, here is the song I have had stuck in my head as I have been unpacking boxes all week.

Yule 2012- Post Game Recap

Yule was lovely, an amazing time. The table was beautiful, we served leek and potato vichyssoise, spinach salad with tamari pumpkin seeds and goat cheese, duck confit, smoked pork ribs, butternut squash gratin, honeyed brussel sprouts in a sherry sauce, and mashed potatoes. For dessert we had a home made Yule log and I made hazelnut gelato. For my toast, I did a dramatic recitation of “Der Erlkönig” in German. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. My ex (who’s mother was German) was in attendance and said my pronunciation was spot on, and a friend of ours who lived in German for 3 years said I sounded very natural.  So, yay Team German! Everyone had a blast, the food was incredible, and I ended up getting very drunk. The last of our house guests just left after a solid 2 days of drinking, eating, and revelry, and I am beat to hell. Here are some photos:

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