Celebration!


It’s ocurred to me that I’ve posted several times about things I’m dissatisfied with — not journaling frequently, not celebrating all the Sabbats, etc. There’s really nothing wrong with that. It’ll happen from time to time. But I want to take a moment to celebrate all the things I am really, really pleased with — and there are many. I think it’s important for me to mention the good things too. 🙂

  • In the past two months, I’ve gotten a lot of knitting done. I’m most of the way finished a blanket that I started a year and a half ago. I’m almost at the end of the third, and last panel. Then I just have to stitch them together and do some touch-up work and it’ll be done!
  • I have AWESOME family and pretty good friends.  I’m especially extra grateful  for my Mom, my grandmother, my Dad, Phire, SJ, and our pets.
  • My Mom’s cat, who was very ill seems like she’s going to be okay.
  • My Grandmother bought me chocolate and hair clips. She collects her easy open medicine bottles and her spare food storage containers and gives them to us. She’s also bought me clothes recently.
  • My Dad drives us to run errands at least once a month most months and drives me to doctor’s appointments frequently. He bought us sunflowers, bottled water, and decaf coffee, and he bought me clothes recently.
  • My Mom is kind and willing to go to bat for me. She bought stuff for me to use in Florida (I didn’t go — long story) and is sending it hear.
  • Phire and SJ are incredibly sympathetic and kind, and they go above and beyond looking after me when I need it (which I sadly do sometimes these days).
  • Our pets are amazing, friendly, playful, cuddly, and caring.
  • I LOVE or beautiful house and property.
  • Phire and I planted the sunflowers my Dad gave us yesterday (with phone assistance from my Mom — the Master Gardener).
  • I tied back the Rose of Sharon that has been blocking the side of the house. I think it’ll need a more permanent solution (the stakes and twine are pretty weak), but it’s done!
  • Phire and I also trimmed the front hedges, at least somewhat.
  • Phire and his friends collected someones junked pickup truck bed cab. We’re going to repurpose it to give the feral cats someplace to shelter in the winter. He and I moved it across the backyard.
  • I applied to college in April. Sadly, I didn’t get in, so
  • I’m applying to a second college now! Phire helped me with getting stuff together for it.
  • SJ ran to the store today to get food for us and he cooks awesome meals for me.
  • I got my first shot of Prolia for osteoporosis treatment yesterday. While it was a really rough day, and I’ve had some minor side effects, so far, so good!
  • I’ve been reading good books lately, and a lot of them.
  • I updated, edited, and added to my blogs yesterday, making major headway in a huge overhaul of them.
  • CampNaNoWriMo July has begun! 🙂
  • I think I blogged more in the last 24 hours than I have in the last two months. 😉
  • I have SO MUCH more energy than I used to on most days, at least for now.
  • I’m also generally healthier than I’ve been since I got sick.
  • Last week, I washed all the dishes in the house. ALL of them. Trust me — that’s no mean feat. And I pulled it off!
  • Phire rearranged the living room and it looks better that way.
  • I’m largely more productive than I’ve been able to be for years.
  • I can exercise a little sometimes now.
  • And then there are the million and one other things I’m grateful for — love, food, a roof over my head, running water, electricity, air conditioning, drinking water, internet, cell phones, books, journals, as much of my health, mental acuity, emotional well-being, and mobility as I have, my Gods, Ancestors, the faeries, my guides, and for happiness, and beauty, and so many, many other things. 🙂

I’m sure there are other things I forgot to mention.

And — they’re off! Sort of…


Today is the first day of July’s CampNaNoWriMo. Actually, yesterday was because I’m writing this in the early morning hours of July 2nd in the Eastern Timezone. But since I haven’t gone to sleep yet, I’m calling it today. At one point, I still thought I’d get my word count goal in for the day. Now I’m kinda doubtful. But I’ll see. I’m still super excited though, because I’ve been looking forward to this, I completed the last CampNaNoWriMo, and I still have plenty of time. I also think it’s totally understandable that I didn’t get started yet, because I got SO MUCH else done today. Yesterday. Whatever. Anyway, I’m blogging partially because they’re been things I wanted to say, and partially because I feel like I might not get a lot of blogging done during CampNaNoWriMo (and  know I’ve been too busy and otherwise occupied to blog a lot during the last couple of months). But looking back, it seems like I actually blogged a lot more frequently than I usually do these years during the last CampNaNoWriMo. So who knows how much I’ll blog during the next month and in the future after that?

Anyway, we’re off! Good luck to everyone participating, and congratulations attempting what I know is a mammoth undertaking for most folks (myself included). If you’re writing for it this month, may you pen, type, or dictate lots and lots of words! For those who aren’t enjoy watching the ride! 🙂

A Hopefully Quick Post of Minor WordPress Griping


A few months ago, I was pretty pissed off at WordPress. I had forgotten about it but now I remember. And I’m angry again. First, they changed the layout for the dashboard. That irritates me, but I can live with it. Then, the app was malfunctioning on two phones with two different OS’s. I’m now using a third party app that words a lot better, but has it’s issues when I blog from my phone. And, for a while, the actual wordpress site was malfunctioning on laptops.

But the thing that really, really got me was that it now seems difficult, if even possible to include share buttons for different social media sites on the .com wordpress sites — as opposed to the .org one. There does seem to be a complicated way to do it…maybe. WordPress, I am not good with technology. I don’t even think I have the hardrive space required to port over to .org hosting. I definitely don’t know how. And no, WordPress, don’t tell me how easy it is. Furthermore, I can’t afford to pay for a url for my blogs — I especially can’t afford five urls. And, if I ever did pay for a url and then couldn’t afford it later, all that I’d written would go kaput.

Now, on at least two of my blogs, several widgets aren’t working. These are the widgets that make following easier. Specifically those widgets. Maybe it’s because of the themes I’m using. Maybe it’s a glitch on my computer alone. Maybe it’s even showing up on other computers.

But that and the lack of sharing buttons seem to me like a subtle, but hostile way to keep blogs followers down unless they switch to .org hosting as opposed to .com hosting — and thus a way for WordPress to make more people pay them more money. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to be able to have as many blogs as I want, and I’m grateful to be able to blog for free at all, but I am really, REALLY irritated about this.

The Great Blog Overhaul of 2015 (otherwise titled, “Whoo-HOO!!”)


Right now I have five current public blogs. Count ’em. FIVE. Mind you, most of them still don’t have much on them yet, but they’ve all at least got something. And I spend hours today overhauling and updating them. There’s only one that I didn’t really touch. For all the rest, I did some major work. It may not seem like much, but it was for me. Mostly what I did consisted of creating new pages, including breaking some of the pages I already had down into multiple pages on each blog. I also wrote and posted several new pages. Most of these pages are identical to each other from blog to blog, or at least very similar. But I wrote at least one lengthy page specific to one blog. I now have a separate page on almost all of my blogs that links to the other ones. I have a page on most of them talking about people I mention frequently. And I have some pages that have similar information phrased differently on some of my blogs.

I changed the wordpress theme of “Island, Ocean, Sky” from “Brand New Day” to “Somethng Fishy”.  And even though I still don’t have any posts on that blog yet, I wrote a new page for it expounding on the title, which you can read here. Hopefully, I’ll put at least one post up over there soon, but I can’t promise it. I also changed and edited some of the widgets I have on there.

I tried to fiddle with the widgets on Seaside Symphony too, but I was only partially successful. I remember having problems with that before, and by the time I got to it tonight, I had been at it a long while so I just gave up temporarily in frustration.

I added pages about the other people I write about, one describing a new header photo, pages linking to my other blogs, and an explanation for why and how I cross-post.

Yeesh, even as I’m typing this blog post, I’ve gone back to adjust and fix things.

I also did some editing, almost all of pages, but I did do one blog post. I fixed typos and changed places where I used the wrong word. I also added missing links and I updated some out of date information.

This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a REALLY long time, so I’m uber-excited about it! But I knew it would be a massive undertaking and I also mostly blog from my phone these days, which really in’t conducive to most of that stuff. So I’ve been putting it off. But not today!

There is still so much more that I want to do, for example, adding new categories and going back and putting the appropriate posts into those categories, as well as any new ones, but I think I made incredible progress and I’m incredibly pleased with it.

That’s not all I did today, either. I may write a blog post about that too, but I may not. We’ll see. Honestly, there are SO MANY blog posts that I want to write right now. We’ll see if I get any of them done soon. 🙂

 

Once More Into the Breach


Well, hopefully more than once more. I’ve been lax about blogging lately. I figure I’d better get to it now because, as busy as I’ve been, things are about to get even busier.

None of this is helped by my sleep schedule being all over the place. That’s not good for me in general, but it’s really not good for Addison’s Disease.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow that has been rescheduled multiple times due to complications. I’m getting a shot of medication to treat osteoporosis.

In two days, July’s CampNaNoWriMo starts. Since I finished the last one, I’m hopeful that I can with this one too. I’ll work on the same novel I’ve been working on and I’m hopeful that I’ll complete this one too. I set it up almost as soon as I could and I’m aiming for at least 10,000 words again. Last time, I cut it close, but I only actually wrote for it for nine days out of April and I still finished on time. It was a first for me meeting my word count goal for it, so we’ll see if I can do it again.

Phire’s and my anniversary is in July as well. A friend of ours is moving on the same day, so we’re going to try to help him move — provided all hell doesn’t break loose. Fortunately, he’s only moving within the same building, which should make life a lot easier.

I should also attempt to make and go to more doctors in July — we’ll see how that goes. And utilities and bills need to get dealt with.

I’m planning on applying to college in July as well. I mentioned here that I applied to Berklee College of Music. Unfortunately, I didn’t get in. I will try again someday. In the meantime, I’m applying to another college I’d really like to go to that has rolling admissions. Hopefully, I’ll get in and if I do, I’ll be even busier.

I’d also like to go to my old hometown before the season ends. I want to spend some time there and I’d like to restock my Pagan supplies at a store there that is mostly a hippie type place, but also slightly New Age. They don’t have all the supplies I could want, but they do carry candles, incense, sage bundles, and big tapestry/sarong things with Pagan designs on them that I use for outdoor altars. Unfortunately, the store is only opened during the summer.

I haven’t celebrated my last two Sabbats. I’m really dissapointed about that. I’m hopeful that I can still celebrate Midsummer — ablbeit late. There was a different ritual that I wanted to use to celebrate Beltaine, but I never got around to it. I don’t usally have spoons to do Sabbat rituals without assistance anymore, and finding a time when Phire or SJ have the time and energy at the same time that I do is difficult sometimes. It’s been even more difficult lately.

I was supposed to visit family in Florida, but wound up not going. The airport was a disaster that I just don’t feel like writing about right now.

I haven’t been journaling much lately, either.

While I’ve done some other stuff (like read), I’ve been doing a lot of other stuff lately. I finished the two non-credit courses online that I was taking. I got good grades in one (84%) and great grades in another (98.2%). I’m really pleased and proud of myself. I wouldn’t have done as well as I did, though, if SJ hadn’t helped me a lot.

I got a decent amount of housework done, but there is still more to do.

I think that’s about it for now. I’ll try to post more often, but no promises. It depends on what I can do and when, and on how much “real life” stuff takes precedence.

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.

The Many, Many Notebooks of a Writer and Witch


I’m a writer and a witch (also, an Animist, a Druidry student, a polytheist, and a general, eclectic Pagan). I also like to be organized and keep things in the places they belong.

All of that, plus the fact that I’m running a little shy on notebooks right now — nor can I afford to replace them at the moment — has got me thinking about all the different notebooks I use in general, and for Paganism specifically. I’ve seen lists that other Pagans have written and I liked them, but obviously being different people on different paths, our lists vary. So, for the curious, here  is my list of notebooks.

Book of Shadows — I really dislike that name for it, partially because people get the show Charmed stuck in their heads and can’t figure out what mine is really like. I usually just call it “my book” and if people aren’t familar enough with me to know what I’m talking about, I say “Grimoire”.

I’m working on my fourth or fifth (I think) BoS right now. Yeah, I’ve been doing this a long time. In each new notebook I copy down the things that I need to have in it, even if they’re in the others. Yes, I know, an abysmal waste of paper, but also a ritual and sanity saver. This one is kinda huge, so I probably have a ways to go before it’s full.

I was initially going to take and post pictures of each of the notebooks I disscussed for this post, but I’m not sure I will. Either way, some things just wouldn’t translate well. For instance, my favorite thing about my BoS is the smell. It has the accumulated scents of some years worth of incense, dirt, sand, grass, sage, lavendar, and scented candles absorbed into it’s pages. Smelling it always makes me feel safe, loved, and at peace.

I’ve had all kinds of BoS — ruled, cheap, blank, pricey, big, little — and I’ve gotta say, this one is one of my favorites. It closes with a leather thong, which I love, it has a pretty but meaningless design on the front, and I got it for free (though I tried to pay for it) from a place where I was volunteering. It doesn’t seem like an overly expensive piece of work, but it holds together well. It’s farily large and has big, blank pages. So far, my personal preferences for BoS notebooks are a) those that close b) bigger ones and c) those with blank pages.

I have spells, rituals, and prayers written in it.  Most of the stuff in it is Pagan, but not all of it. There are things from Buddhism, Christianity, and other religions and beliefs in there. I also keep magical item descriptions, descriptions of Deities, sigils and signs, folk wisdom, meditations, chakra information, and correspondences in it, among so many other things. In the front of the book is a blessing, and in the back I keep pertinent information from my natal chart. Right now, in mine, most of the spells and rituals are other people’s, with the sources written down, but some of them are mine. If you have a BoS or are thinking of starting one, it may look like mine or it may be completely different. There isn’t really a right way or a wrong way to do it.

Dream Journal — I’ve been thinking about this one a lot lately. I kept a dream journal or two without terrible success when I was a teenager. I have no idea whatever happened to them, which is unusual because I still have most of the journals from most of my life, and I try, in a house with two chaos beasties and four cats to keep them organized. Then a bunch of years went by when I either wrote down dreams occassionally in my regular journal or just didn’t write them down at all. Finally, a few years ago, I decided to start keeping a dream journal again. I got one that was about the size I wanted, though the color didn’t appeal to me. Hey, my budget was limited and it was cheap! I kept that one for several years. I didn’t usually remember to write in it frequently and the damn thing kept getting lost. Also, boy was I ever wrong about the size! It was way too tiny and kept getting lost. Writing in it became more and more of a chore. It already feels like a chore sometimes, because, while I am lucky enough to both remember many of my dreams and I’m usually good at interpreting them, I don’t always feel like writing down and rehashing something that it feels like I just lived. Some of dreams are also so complex that writing them down and then penning my interpretations seems fairly overwhelming. The same applies if I remember multiple dreams from one night. Finally, with my chronic illness I have a regimen of medicine, followed by food, followed by supplements first thing in the morning, as well as throughout the day, which complicates matters.

For my second dream journal, I sent one of my partners to the pharmacy with loose instructions as to the size and type of journal I wanted. He got a great one. A cheap, ruled notebook, bigger than the last, but still on the small side (6 by 4 inches). It was fine, really. I’d prefer slightly bigger pages, but that size worked. The only two problems were that it didn’t seem as durable as my last one, and there weren’t enough pages — only sixty. That worked in my favor, because, while my first dream journal from my adult years (as opposed to teenagerhood) spanned years. This one only lasted from February of this year until today, which was a great boost to my self-esteem over the whole bussiness. It also gave me a huge sense of accomplishment, like filling a notebook usually does for me. BUT, in that amount of time, it got lost for two months. Additionally, while I wrote in it far more frequently than in my last one, it still wasn’t anywhere near as religiously as I’d hoped it would be. So what would happen with the next one if it didn’t get lost or if I wrote in it *gasp* every day?

For the third one I was able to get to the pharmacy myself. I contemplated getting the exact same kind as the second one because it had worked so well. But I really can’t afford to shell out money for a new dream journal every month or two and our house is short on storage space, so I don’t really want a whole stack of dream journals for just one year.

This one is a pharmacy brand, ruled notebook like the second one. But this is one is college ruled, a little bigger (7 by 5 inches), it has more pages (100, as opposed to sixty. I seem to recall the first one having 90 pages, by they were so small I don’t even think it counts), and it seems a whole lot sturdier. The thought that it might take me years to fill it worries me, but other than that, I’m very pleased.

In some of my journals, I keep quotes. Sometimes it’s just a random quote or a list of them that I like. But in my regular journals and my dream journals I usually have a specific quote, usually carefully chosen, on the first page(s), and sometimes more than one. It works as a focus point, a reminder, and almost a dedication of sorts.

For my first adult dream journal, the quote was Yeats: “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

The second was Langston Hughes. A few weeks before my first dream journal ended my Mom sent me a text paraphrasing one of his poems. I used the complete poem in the front of that dream journal. The poem was “Dreams”, which can be read in it’s entirety here:
http://m.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/dreams

For the third quote I chose Edgar Allan Poe: “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream”.

I didn’t consciously choose poets for all three quotes, in fact, I only realized that while writing this. But in retrospect, it’s pretty cool. It also makes sense that poets would have some good quotes about dreams. I like all three quotes, but I also think the ones I chose reflect an evolution in my thinking over the years, which I like the thought of.

Druidry Journal — this is the most recent addition to my Pagan notebooks. I only started it in the early months of last year, or possibly in the winter or autumn preceading it (it’s not in front of me right now and I don’t have the energy to check). I initially began it to document my Candidate year in the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA). Now I’m also using it to document my Dedicant Year in Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF). The thought has occured to me to get a seprate notebook for ADF, and I may, but many of the requirements for both groups can be fulfilled by overlapping each other. Another solution is to get two new notebooks — one for ADF and one for both groups. That appeals to my sense of order,  but it also sounds like a recipe for crazy-making. Right now, the sole notebook I’m using for Druidry is a very nice, green leather, with “journal” embossed on the front, a bookmark, and gold-edged, blank pages. I was using a purple pen it to begin with, to more clearly delineate that it was something special and out of the ordinary, and because I have always liked the way purple and green look together. But I can rarely find the damn pen and can’t usually afford to buy new ones. So now I just use whatever, which usually means my favorite pens by Pilot Pens*. They bleed and smudge like crazy, but I love how smoothly they write and how long they last. Plus, they’re relatively cheap and I love the fact that they’re a company that doesn’t test on animals.

Divination and results journal — This journal is wholly theoretical at this point (I wonder if I put it in a box if it would exist or not). Right now, I keep track of divination results in either the back of my BoS or the “notes” pages of whatever book comes with my Oracle Card sets, and I have an app that saves Tarot card readings on my phone and tablet. But I don’t want to use up all the pages in my BoS with divination results, and I’d like to be able to keep all of my readings in one place.

So the plan is to get a notebook where I can keep all of my Divination card and Ogham readings, keep track of signs and synchronicities, including the meanings of things that recurringly seem to be trying to get my attention in nature, and the results of spells and rituals (that don’t belong in my Druidry notebook), and my notes and thoughts on them. I want it to have blank pages, so I can write things like Ogham in it easily. I also want it to be reasonably big for ease of writing and because I want to be able to draw visual depictions of the card spreads I use or any altar arrangements I set up. And I ideally want it to have a bookmark to keep track of my page and some way of staying closed, whether a tie, a clasp, or an elastic band. I’d also like it to be realatively cheap and very sturdy. Sounds like a tall order. But it might not be — my current BoS was free, would have been cheap if I’d paid for it, and fulfills all of those requirements except for the bookmark. And while my Druidry Journal was probably the most I spent on a notebook in my life, it was well worth the cost for something durable that I’ll probably use for years.

My Binder — this is just a regular three-ring binder. It has some papers in the front and back pockets and a bunch hole-punched and on the rings themselves. This is kind of a catch-all like my BoS, but even more so. It has stuff from all over the place. Mostly it’s spells, rituals, articles, and blog posts pertaining to Paganism that are either too long for me to copy into my BoS, or that I just haven’t gotten around to transcribing yet. Mostly this is the work of other people (though like my BoS, it’s for my own personal use, and I include the source on all papers in it), though occassionally, my own stuff winds up in there too.

My Regular Journal — This isn’t strictly speaking, a spiritual or religious journal, but for me, writing, and especially journaling is a spiritual practice. I get more easily stressed and overwhelmed when I don’t write frequently. I get out of sorts, and eventually become downright cranky. If it gets bad enough, I can’t sleep at night, which I already have problems with (thanks, steroids!) because I’m rolling over and over all the stuff I want to write and digest in my head. Then, sometimes it seems hugely overwhelming and I have trouble getting started again.

For my regular journal I’ve used hardbound notebooks by a company called Black ‘n’ Red for the past seven to nine years or so. They’re tied for the number one spot in my favorite kind of journals, except for two other kinds I used in my teens that aren’t made anymore.

I’ve written for my entire life, but in my early adulthood I had a dry spell of about two or three years. I first started keeping a journal again for the first time since I was a teen at the suggestion of my favorite aunt. I told her about my dry spell and she proposed trying to write every day. That was the journal I chose to use and I loved it so much I’ve stuck with it all these years.

My aunt’s suggestion didn’t work at first, but it was immeasurably helpful, just the same. My first BnR notebook spanned five years. The second lasted two. The third took place over nine months. The fourth took seven or eight months to fill. And my current one was only started last month and has a decent hunk of pages filled already.

Over the years, it has gotten easier to write in them regularly. This is partially due to my family and I becoming more organized over the years. My first BnR journal was lost more often than I knew where it was. The second was also frequently misplaced. But with all the later ones, they got lost less frequently and some not at all. In a similar vein, I now keep my journal either in my backpack (which I almost always have with me) when I’m not using it, or right next to my bed, or right next to me, which helps both with it not getting lost and with remembering to write in it/not being overwhelmed with fishing it out.

I’ve also made progress by making a conscious descision and true effort to write in it more frequently. Lately, I’ve been making a conscious effort to write in it, at least once a day, every day, or as close to that as I can manage. So far, I’ve been really successful. From August 29th, when I really got into the swing of it, until now, I’ve only missed two days, and there were some days I wrote twice.

Since the BnRs are all identical, except for the contents, it gives me a good idea of how much and how frequently I write in them. There are other variables: my handwriting size and number of typos changes depending on my mood and energy levels and I fill some pages at the back with random stuff — doctor’s appointments, to-do lists, monthly budgeting notes, etc. But mostly they’re a good gauge. They have a place in the front to write about the books contents, where I write where I lived, big markers that stuck in my memory from that peroid of time if they apply, and who I lived with. That last part may sound extreme but, while my husband and I have been together for years, we’ve had three people move in with us, two of them move out, and several temporary house guests — and we moved very frequently, though hopefully that is all behind us now.

My Freeform journal — Again, not specifically spiritual, but it applies. I mentioned BnRs are tied as my favorite notebooks. Moleskine are tied with them. I started using Moleskine because I wanted sturdy notebooks to write novels in and because, at the time, I was dissatisfied with my regular journals. See, when I write in my regular journal, I tend to be straightforward, sometimes even clinical, “This happened, then this, and then that.” Or I write, “I feel this way about this and that way about that (usually something I or someone else did, not about ideas in general”. Or I write stuff I want to do or things we need to buy. There are exceptions, I can rant about stuff with the best of them when I’m upset, I do often write about my emotions less technically, etc.

Since then, I’ve seen the value in this approach and I wouldn’t change my regular journal for the world, but at the time, I was dissatisfied. Part of the problem was that I wasn’t doing a lot of creative writing at that time and I didn’t feel that my regular journal helped with that (in retrospect, I think I was wrong, especially when I gave myself space to be creative in other notebooks, as well). But partially, I also felt constrained by my writing style, by the notebooks themselves, by not wanting to muck up my journal with other forms of writing.

My regular journals have ruled pages. And as I said, I wouldn’t change using them for the world. But my favorite journal I ever kept had blank, high quality pages. It was a mixture of journal entries, poetry, prose, quotes, song lyrics, pen sketches (most of which weren’t great), and whatever else. I wanted to recapture the feel, if not the contents of that notebook. So I bought a Moleskine and went to it. The blank pages helped liberate me and free my creativity. I use it far, far, less than my BnRs. It also goes walkabout far more often than they do. And it looks just like another Moleskine I have that has a very different purpose and I get them confused sometimes. Also, so much has changed since I started keeping it, I’m almost a different person. But nonetheless, I’m pleased with the results. It hasn’t become like my old freeform journal — yet. But I’m holding out hope. And I wouldn’t change that for the world either.

I have many, many other notebooks than just those. None of the rest are explicity spiritual as of right now, though in my opinion, some are more spiritual than others. But I also feel to some degree that they are all spiritual, since writing is a big part of my spiritual practice and also, I feel it’s a huge part of why I incarnated here this time around.

But in the interests of completion and for the curious, I’ll give a brief rundown of most of the rest of them, or at least their categories, without going into too much detail:

*short story notebooks
*essay notebooks
*poetry notebooks
*novel notebooks
*a to-do list notebook
*a medical log notebook
*a beautiful planner
*a notebook each for writing letters to my partners
*old notebooks from when I was younger

Well, I think that’s it! I didn’t intend for this post to be so long. If you made it all the way to the bottom of this, thanks for reading along. Hopefully this post will either help those new to Paganism see what some of their options are, or satisfy the curiousity of those who aren’t new to it, but wonder about the Paganism information keeping systems of others.

*Throughout this post, I occassionally referenced name brands of different notebooks and pens. I know that getting paid to blog ads about different products is a thing, but I wanted to let you know that isn’t what’s going on here. I genuinely like all the products I mentioned and would reccomend them to others, but I’m not getting paid to write about them. If I ever do do ads on my blogs, for one thing, at the moment, I don’t see myself putting them in the actual content. Or if I stand to gain something from posting something (like I did for my post about the bitten by books contest, and like I might do again for other contests by them or possibly from other things, I’ll say so). And aside from the ads that I don’t endorse, which wordpress  puts on free blogs sometimes, if I do put ads on my blogs, a) I’ll only ever put up ads for things I wholeheartedly believe in, and b) I’ll pipe up about it.