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.

Flamekeeping 9/13/14 to 9/14/14


I wanted to finish the “Where I’m At” series today, but I don’t think I have the energy. I also don’t think I have the energy to write either of the other posts I’ve had in mind for this blog. Or any of the other posts for my other blogs — especially not “Where I’m At” for AODA. So I’m posting a brief post here.

Yesterday and today are my first days back at Flamekeeping. I actually remembered that I was still Flamekeeping for Brighid today in addition to yesterday. That had become a real problem after I got sick, but before I set up Flamekeeping on my old phone. Then I got too sick to do it regularly, and then at all. Then, my old phone needed to be replaced and it was only recently that I figured out how to set up a way to keep track of Flamekeeping on my new phone.

With the help of my endocrinologist, a homepathic practicioner, a nutritionist, a lot of research, friends, family, and a battery of other doctors, my condition(s?) is/are getting under control. I’m gradually getting better, though “all the way better” probably isn’t ever going to be an option again this lifetime. But I’m hoping that I’ll be able to manage a return to Flamekeeping.

Yesterday, I was mindful of Flametending. I felt pretty head blind. Sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not. And I certainly don’t have a “God phone” the way some people do. (Though I do believe that we can all talk to the Gods and that they are generally inclined to listen. But that’s my UPG). But I’m not head blind often enough that when I am it’s kind of disconcerting. That might be a good thing, though. I was super jittery after the Gaia ritual and I’m usually not after working with her. Post ritual jitters are never a fun experience for me.

Anyway, yesterday, the main things I did Brighid and Flamekeeping wise were a little bit of knitting. And postponing the ritual and question I have for her until today when I realized I was too tired. The last part applies because it’s been my experience and observation that a lot of people’s Gods want them to take care of themself, including mine. And Brighid is really up there, as far as taking care of myself goes, with her associations with healing.

I did put away and organize a bunch of clutter yesterday and wrote in my journal, but those were both before my shift officially started.

Today I’m extremely pleased because I remembered that I was still Flametending and I lit the candle fairly soon after waking up today. I wrote in my journal, which wasn’t poetry or precisely creative, but it is writing. It also allows me to clear my head so I can be creative and it’s important to me. I also washed some of the dishes. Most of them, actually. And I was mindful of her while I was doing them and of my house, my family, myself, and taking care of us while I did it. Though I still didn’t like doing dishes any more than I normally do! :-p
Part of the way through my legs started shaking. I did a few more, but was mindful of my health and didn’t push myself.

I don’t know if I’ll do the ritual and question tonight or not. I wanted to and I was hoping to do it earlier in the day, but stuff came up and I was really not looking forward to it. So I may postpone that, especially because I’m not sure that I feel up to it. But if I don’t, I have to figure out what I’m doing tomorrow. That’s when the Cernunnos ritual is supposed to be. And I already have to try to get fasting bloodwork done tomorrow, which kind of messes up my day in regards to food and meds, so I probably won’t be at the top of my game tomorrow.

I’m using a red seven day candle and hoping to start using an oil lamp kind of deal soon. Though the red is beautiful and reminds me of her, and it’s a much better option than the one I was using before.

I’m hoping to get some more knitting done before my shift ends and I’d like to set air freshener cones near the litter boxes, which is something easy I can check off my list for today and something that falls squarely within the realm of house and home.

I wanted to write about the ritual calendar today, but I’m not sure I have it in me.

Also, off and on for the past few minutes, my phone has been making weird shrieking sound, which is kind of freaking my out. I have no idea why and it hurts my ears. It sounds almost exactly like the feedback you get if you plug two ends of a cable into an amplifier while it’s turned on. And Phire, my tech guru husband is (I believe) asleep, so I can’t ask him about it right now.

And…on that random note, I think I’m going to call it a day for blogging.

Where I’m At (Witchcraft and General Paganism Edition), Part 2


This is the second part of a post on where I’m at. You can read the first part here:

https://wildwetlandswitch.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/where-im-at-witchcraft-on-general-paganism-edition/

Let’s see, what else?

I generally pray before I eat. Actually, I generally pray while I eat. Even though the prays are brief, I’m generally thanking a lot of deities. And since one of the fun complications Addison’s Disease can cause is hypoglycemia, I can’t always wait to eat until I’ve finished praying. Sometimes I forget. But usually, what I do is this: I try to always thank Gaia and the Christian God, or a God similar to him (that’s another post for a different time), as well as thanking the plants and animals for my food. I also thank the latter for giving their lives so I can eat. If there’s a dead animal, I also thank Cernunnos and The Morrighan. I usually thank Cernunnos anyway, even if it’s just plants. If it’s something that was actually cooked, as opposed to microwaved or a cold sandwhich type thing, I thank Brighid for our hearth fires that allow us to heat our house in winter and to heat our water and cook good, nourishing food all year round. For the past week or so, I’ve also been thanking my potentially new deity in a different set of circumstances. So for some meals I only thank a few of them, and for some, all of them. I know it sounds like a lot, and it kind of is, but it’s also relativley quick and easy to do, and I like to show gratitude for my food. It also helps me slow down and appreciate my meals.

I mentioned that I celebrated the last Sabbat and I’m hoping to celebrate them all.

Since the end of August, I’ve been writing in my dream journal and my regular general with excellent frequency. This is my lasted attempt to journal every day and my most successfull by far. Since September started, I’ve only missed one day — and I picked right up again the next day.

My dream journal is going very well, too. I skip that more days than my regular journal since I’ve been making a concerted effort at both simulataneously. This is partially because I don’t always remember my dreams, partially because I don’t always have time to do both, and sometimes just because I don’t feel like it — usually because my dreams seem long/complicated or I don’t think I can interpret them. I have, however, had days where I talked myself into writing down my dreams when I didn’t feel like it, and I’m always glad that I did.

So far, I’ve only had that happen once with my regular journal. Again, I talked myself into doing it and am SO GLAD I did.

There may be days when I don’t feel like doing either in the future, but I’ll just do what I can to plug through and do it anyway. Both journals are important to my spirituality and to who I am as a person, and I want to keep it up.

I occassionally meditate and cleanse my chakras and do a morning and evening meditation written by Doreen Virtue, who is a New Age author (New Age authors are generally frowned upon in Paganism for being New Age, fluffy, and disrespectful). But I like her and the meditations work very well for me. I don’t want to be disrespectful and I do want to live in right relationship with my Gods, Ancestors, Nature Spirits, the land, and the faeries. But aside from one book that she wrote, I don’t find her disrespectful, and even that wouldn’t be disrespectful as deemed by most people.

I’m not doing the meditations as often as I want. They can fulfill my requirements for meditation for AODA (though I really want to learn discrusive meditation, and it would be good to do for AODA). They can also fulfill my requirement for mental training for ADF.

I ordered two new Pagan books this month. I’ve read one and I’m waiting for the other to arrive. This is HUGE progress. There is a long, long list of Pagan books I want to get and read, and it isn’t even complete. But I’m doing what I can for that, and it’s dependant on finances, which are currently limited for us.

Gaia told me to spend more time with her and more time in nature. I haven’t been doing much of that.

I have been documenting when I do big stuff for Druidry, but not so much the little stuff. Often, I forget, but even when I don’t writing down every time I meditate or such makes it seem more overwhelming than it already is.

I’m Flamekeeping tonight for the first time in a long time, and I want to keep that up.

I also knit sometimes, which is meditative for me and can be part of my spiritual practice, especially when I’m Flametending.

I have a ton of Pagan apps on my phone: Tarot, Runes, Ogham, Crystals, Power Animals, Moon phase calendars, etc. I try to look at my card of the day, rune of the day, the Moon sign, and read my horoscope for my sun sign and ascendant. I try to draw a single card each day for most of the other divination apps on my phone. I don’t always manage it, though I usually at least glance at my card and rune of the day.

Sometimes, though rarely lately , I do a reading using either my phone or one of the physical Oracle Decks we own.

About two weeks ago I set up two outdoor altars/shrines/offering tables. The first is in a private part of our property and specifically for me to commune with Gaia there. The other is under a tree in our backyard and is a more general one. I can still worship Gaia there, too, though the other one is specifically for her. In fact, the second one is where I did the ritual for her the other night.

My friend helped me with them, though there really wasn’t much setup required, mercifully. The first is about six bricks together from a collection we have that was from a one hundred year old building in Ocean City, New Jersey. The second is a plank of wood that I think was part of the house or something in or on it. We set it on four more bricks that aren’t held together to keep the wood from rotting where it would touch the ground. When I’m not using it, we keep three mor bricks on top of it to keep it from blowing away or getting moved.

I cleansed and blessed them both with seawater and sage smoke. I asked Gaia to bless them and asked her to bless and protect the one for her as sacred space, as well as the place, my partners, my self, and all the living creatures and beings on our property. I read “The Witche’s Creed” by Doreen Valiente over both and a prayer of Thanksgiving over the second one. Then I closed the ritual for each. I’m so glad, and  so, so happy that they’re there and it’s done!

Okay, that’s all I can think of right now. But I still want to write about where I’m going, and I might have forgotten stuff. So I’ll try to write a third post including anything I forgot, if I did, and writing about where I want to go.

Where I’m At (Witchcraft and General Paganism Edition)


I published one of these a few days ago on betweenfireandwater.wordpress.com, which is my ADF ( Ár nDraíocht Féin) Druidry blog. I’m hoping to post one on islandoceansky.wordpress.com for my AODA (Ancient Order of Druids in America) Druidry too.

The idea is to post about where I’m at with my Paganism, especially, at least this time with regards to practices. From there I want to write about where I’m going, or where I’d like to be. If it works, I’m hoping to make it a regular thing to help me figure out what I want, how to get there, and to keep me on track. So here goes:

A week or two ago, I would have said I’m nowhere with my Paganism. That wasn’t really strictly speaking true, but it sure felt like it.

I’ve been celebrating some Sabbats. But I haven’t been celebrating all, or I think even most of them. The ones I’ve celebrated over about the past two years have all been celebrated AODA style, except for last Samhain, which I did ADF style (sort of). When I do manage a Sabbat ritual in the past few years, it’s often days to even a full month late, either because I lack the energy or time, or because I simply forget in a cloud of brain fog.

I haven’t been Flamekeeping for Brighid. On my old phone, I had my shift set up to alert me on my phone calendar. I do have a dateplanner that I dearly love. But there isn’t always room to carry it what with all the meds and stuff I need to haul around with me. Partially as a consequence of that, I don’t look at it every day. Plus, my planner doesn’t beep at me when I’m forgetting something. 😀

But even with my old phone,  it had gotten to the point where I was almost never Flamekeeping. My new phone, which I got in July, won’t let me set a recurring event every 20 days. That annoys the daylights out of me. Please, please fix that Google? Yeah, didn’t think so. Sigh. So after trying to get it set up on my calendar and a few other pit stops that just made my phone pretty aggravated with me, I looked for a Flamekeeping app. I didn’t find one, but I can hardly believe it, because it seems like there’s and app for everything these days. Well, there isn’t really an app that’s a calendar/planner inclusive of Pagan holidays that I’ve found yet, either. Though I have found a couple that list (some) Pagan dates. If anyone knows of an app for either of those things, please do let me know. At the very least, I’ll be eternally grateful.

Right. So Flamekeeping. After I gave up on the notion of a Flamekeeping app and on my calendar letting me truly customize my recurring events, I tried to find other options. I searched different calendars and planners. I tried schedules for college students and I tried task lists. Finally I came across shift calendars, that is calendars for people who do shift work, and hence have odd hours and schedules. Well, I tried at least a dozen of these. Some didn’t work on my phone. Some worked, but I couldn’t figure out how to operate them. Most amazingly to me, some of them still didn’t allow enough customization. Finally, I came up with the app called Work Shift Calendar (it’s icon is a red and white calendar with a red and white clock on it and I got it in the google play store, in case anyone else is as frustrated by Flamekeeping or other recurring rituals vs. phone calendars as I am). It’s also free. I managed to get it all set up and I’m uber excited! It’s also a free app, which is great. The downside is that it doesn’t have an alarm. Nor does it sync with other calendars. So for now, I’m keeping track of Flamekeeping in there and putting the dates in my phone calander one or a few shifts ahead of time. I keep track of everything else through a combination of my phone calendar, my day planner, and plan notebook that I keep a to-do list in for most days. It may sound relatively easy, but I’m really proud of myself for it. I don’t do well with technology and everything takes way more energy for me than it used to.

When I did this, I dropped one of my shifts for Ord Brighideach, which is where I Flametend through. I have two shifts, though one my husband covers, though he doesn’t do it through the website. So I dropped my shift for Chestnut Cill. I also changed my shift in Pine Cill. I figured I’m having enough trouble with religiosity and keeping up with it, so I thought two shifts would be too much. The reason I changed my schedule was partly because I thought it would be easier to manage and I’d remember the date better, but mostly to give myself a fresh start. Tonight into tomorrow is my first new shift, so we’ll see how I do.

I clebrated Lughnasadh, literally a month late. But before that, the last Sabbat I celebrated was Beltaine. Mabon is coming up this month, so we’ll see how I do. I wrote on my ADF blog about how I recently made the descision to focus on AODA primarily out of the two orders right now, especially with regards to rituals.

I’ve know for a long time that I’m not satisfied with how little I’m doing to worship and honour my Deities, spending enough time in Nature, making progress in my Dedicant Path and Candidate Year, and for Pagan stuff in general.

About a week or two ago, I decided to set up a schedule for myself for honoring deities. It’s part of why I decided to make these posts. The idea is for me to honor each of my main deities  roughly once a month, at an appropriate time, and for it to be very simple, so it’s something I can hopefully still do, particularly with assistance, even when I’m very tired.

The general idea is to:
1. Light a candle in an appropriate color.
2. Pray. Talk to them and listen to what they say.
3. Leave a gift or an offering for them, sometimes more than one if I’ve got it. The main offering for most of them will (I think) be insence that they like. Other offerings made include other things that they would like, or food (usually that doesn’t need to be prepared), or a libation. Depending on the deity the libation will probably be water, coffee, or beer, depending on what we’ve got on hand. Though for a few of them, tea and juice could work to. But one offering is enough, especially as long as I’m not consistently giving more to one deity while neglecting the others, or being innapropriate in regards to who is most influential, I guess? in my life.
4. Thank the deity and close the ritual.

Ideally, I’d create sacred space and then close it. But I won’t always have time and energy for that and I won’t always be able to wait until the offering is done burning out. I figure and hope that it’s okay, seeing as I’m praying, but not actually invoking or evoking anyone.

Here is the schedule so far:

Gaia — at the Full Moon
The Morrighan — at the New Moon
Brighid — Flamekeeping, 16th shift for Pine Cill
Cernunnos — the 15th of each month

This schedule is incomplete and their is another deity I may be working with soon. I want to and I believe she wants me to, but I have to clear it with my deities first. That’s also something I want to write about in more detail in a separate blog post for a whole bunch of reasons before I post about it here.

So far, I’ve done a ritual that wasn’t quite that brief for the potentially new deity. I explained why I hadn’t “answered” when I got the impression she wanted to work with me before and asked if she wanted me to. I told her I’d have to clear it with my other deities first and explained my concerns.

I also did the ritual for Gaia for this month. I was too tired on the night of the full moon, so I did it the day after and explained to her why I waited. She really disliked the inscense I used, so I have to find a better variety.

Tonight is my first Flamekeeping since I set up the new schedule. I was going to do the ritual for Brighid tonight and ask her the question I’m asking all of my deities. But I think I’ll be too tired. So I’ll try to Flamekeep tonight, and maybe hit up the ADF solitary chat. Since my shift goes until tomorrow at sundown, I’ll try to do the ritual for her as one of the first things I do tomorrow. I want to have energy and be able to hear her clearly, if I can.

When the schedule is complete, it’ll probably be weighted more heavily to the first half of the month. That worries me because I wanted to ideally spread the rituals out throughout the month. But it’s also good because I want to leave myself room to get all of them done later in the month if I don’t manage them all on the days I want to. The schedule could still prove a little hairy. For instance, my Flamekeeping could sync up with one of the moons, which could sync up with the fifteenth. If that happens, I can either try to do them all in one day, or what is probably wiser, spread them out over a few days. This month in particular is interesting. Mabon seems in my UPG like it would be a great time to honor my possibly new deity, especially with the AODA order of ritual. But the new Moon falls after Mabon. So I have to ask The Morrighan about the deity in question first and I might possibly do the ritual to honor her before the new moon this month.

There is SO MUCH more I want to write about, but this is turning into an epic blog post, I’m running out of energy, and I have to eat soon. But I just kind of figured this would be the longest blog post, since this is a post for all the aspects of my Paganism that don’t fit into Druidry and because I’ve been  a witch and Pagan far longer than I’ve been studying Druidry. So while I can’t promise, what I’ll try to do is to post a Where I’m At part two blog post, and/or however many others it takes.

Thanks for reading along! 🙂