Life Happens


I just wrote a long post about feeling like I’m not being “Pagan Enough” essentially. It’s not really about living up to other peoples standards, it’s about living up to my own. And part of it is purely selfish — I feel better when I actively express my spirituality.

But the thing is — life happens. In November I had a flu. We got a puppy, which I think I mentioned. She is sweet and good and adorable. I love her and I’m so glad we got her. But puppies are a LOT of work. Then, in December, I had a cold. In the last two months, I spent either four or five weekends away from home. I had just gotten over the cold when I got my period. Money is really, really tight for us right now. It’s always tight, but now it’s tighter than usual. I haven’t had time or energy to dedicate to writing or to the at-home businesses we’re trying to get off the ground — and neither has anyone else. And I’ve had lots of doctors appointments with lots more coming up.

The not practicing hasn’t just been over the last two months, so all of that isn’t entirely to blame for it. But it sure doesn’t help. And the chronic illness factor is mostly to blame, but there just isn’t much I can do about that.

But it helps to pause and realize that there really is a lot of stuff to factor in. Now I just need to make a concerted effort to do more of what I want to do without burning myself out.

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You Wouldn’t Even Know We’re Pagan


Soooo…I’ve got a Sabbat coming up in a couple of days. I’m running low on candles and incense and I’m out of a few candle colors that I really “should” have. But having enough money for food is kind of an issue right now, let alone replenishing Pagan supplies — however cheap those supplies may be. Additionally, the only place locally that I can buy those things is only opened during summer and a few weekend in late spring and early autumn — the joys of living in a resort area. That means I have to buy any supplies online for the next few months. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that there IS a store that I can get Pagan supplies at nearby. It’s not a Pagan, or even new age store per se, but they do carry candles, incense, sage smudge sticks, and some other things.

I’m having a crisis of…not exactly faith. No, not of faith. But of identity I guess. I just don’t have it in me to do rituals or other Pagan activities the way that I used to. I don’t have time and I don’t have energy. This doesn’t mean that I NEVER do Pagan stuff, but it’s pretty rare. I miss Sabbats sometimes and I’ve been doing things like meditation, chakra cleansing and balancing, and the stuff my Druid orders exceedingly rarely. I’ve mostly only been praying before I eat, and not always even then because sometimes my sugars are so low that I have to eat right away, or I have to rush off to a doctor’s appointment and don’t have time to eat AND pray.

In our last house, we had a HUGE altar/shrine in the bedroom. It wasn’t very high tech or anything. It was literally set up on and in several milkcrates set up on top of the dresser. Phire also had a dragon shrine in his office room (now none of us have an office — the last place was huge, and this one is pretty small). The dragon shrine is back up, minus the books about dragons, and it’s in the living room on top of the organ now.

There are two shelves on a bookshelf that are supposed to be for my altar and shrine but that I never set up. Right now, they are being used as storage for mail and other things that need to stay out of chewy puppy jaws. Though my main box of Pagan supplies in on one of our shelfs.

There is a tree stump back in the mud room that is supposed to be for my Druid altar. But it’s heavy and the top is uneven. Stuff always slides off of it and it’s heavy enough that it hasn’t migrated into the house proper yet. I want to dry it out properly (it may be too late — it’s already cracking), but I don’t know how to do that. The mudroom is dirty, cluttered, and disorganized. It’s also too small to do a ritual in — there’s exactly enough room in it for three people to stand without moving much, at least, as long as two of the people are really skinny. Other than that, not so much.

And I FINALLY set up the two outdoor altars, which I think I posted about on here. But since I set them up, I’ve only used one of them once after that, and the other one not at all.

Even in the place before the last place we lived, I had a combination altar/shrine. It was tiny, and people had an irritating habit of using it as a table. But it was there. And when I had that one, we were literally living in TWO ROOMS. One of which was a bathroom. The other room was living room, bedroom, kitchen, dining room, office space, and ritual space.

Needless to say, we’ve come a long, long, way and I am eternally grateful. I LOVE our house and our property, even though I’m afraid we won’t be able to afford it financially one day — even though it’s cheaper than renting.

But the small amount of acreage on our property needs more time and attention than any of us can give it right now. There are minor repairs that need to be done around the house. There are improvements that we want to make someday. And others that we’ll have to make some day. And it’s an old house, which creates it’s own quirks. But I LOVE this place.

What I love less, is that now you couldn’t even tell we’re Pagan. We finally got away from malicious landlords, insane neighbors, and abysmal living conditions. We have our own beautiful place that we love. Financially, our house is cheaper than renting was. But many of the outward signs of our religions are not showing.

Yeah, sure, if you look at our bookshelves, you would PROBABLY know that we’re Pagan. There are lots of Pagan books (though bibliophile that I am, not as many as I would like) and some Oracle card decks. But there are also lots of books from lots of other religions on our shelves. There are some faery art prints and there’s the dragon shrine/altar. But lots of people who aren’t Pagan like faeries and dragons. If you rooted around, you’d find my big box of Pagan supplies, my little box of Pagan supplies, and my third box, which has a few supplies in it, but mostly other odds and ends. If you kept fishing for stuff, you’d find my BOS, my Druidy notebooks, and my Pagan binder, along with Pagan art and documents and bookmarks on all of our computers. And you’ll find issues of Pagan magazines. One of the pieces of jewelry that I never take off is an amethyst point — but lots of non-pagans wear crystal and gem stone jewelry.

And it’s NOT about the material stuff. I KNOW that. But it bugs me that there aren’t that many visible signs of our faith, especially mine in particular, because, to be honest, I don’t really think it bothers Phire or SJ. It really, really BOTHERS me that I’ve barely been practicing. And I think that’s the root of the problems.

I dislike not having candles and incense available that are appropriate for when I CAN do rituals. I’m overwhelmed by having many Gods, as well as ancestors, guides, nature spirits, and faeries that I don’t feel like I’m doing enough for. It overwhelms me that I’m trying to learn how to practice Druidry in the traditions of two different orders. It makes me feel embarrassed, ashamed, guilty, and angry with myself that I don’t have the time, energy, money, or sometimes even motivation to practice how I want to.

So, kind of a downer post. Sorry about that. But that’s all for now, I think.

Update


This is just a little update because I haven’t posted here or on my other blogs lately.

Almost everything in my life has been on hold lately because — we got a puppy! I’m exceedingly happy about it and we love her wholeheartedly. But she is high energy and needs constant supervision at this point. This, in addition to the four cats, very old house, and and a couple of acres of property to take care of. There is also my medical stuff, which has NOT been put on hold, even with the puppy, because I can’t afford to. Finally, I had ongoing problems with my cell phone since June or July when I first got it. I now have a different phone and the issue has been resolved, but until just a few days ago, it was taking up a huge amount of my time, energy, and mental and emotional resources. Household chores have been suffering, but we still need to eat, have clean clothes, etcetera.

We had friends over for Thanksgiving and spent most of a week having people coming, leaving, and staying over. Though a couple of our friends are going through rough times right now, we mostly had a good time and I’m glad we did it, but it was hectic, confusing, chaotic, and sometimes downright troubling.

I definitely need to rework the ritual schedule I came up, at least until our new puppy is older. But in all likelyhood, I’ll have to rework it anyway, as it was proving to be too much for me even before the new dog arrived.

Finally, there are some minor household repairs we need to do, and all of this is right on the heels of all three of us getting miserably sick with the flu.

I’m not complaining, life is pretty good, and I’m doing far better than I was for a few years there, so I’m pretty happy.

I love our dog, our cats, our house, our property, my significant others, my family, and several of our friends.

I’ll try to post more often here or on my other blogs, but we’ll see what happens — for a while, anyway.