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.

Getting Back In Practice


I haven’t written for CampNaNoWriMo for many, many days. I’m going to try to start doing it again today. They are five days until I can validate my word count if I make it in time, and seventeen more days left to write in the month.

In fact, I also haven’t been doing a lot of the other things I need or want to do.

In some ways, it was being an adult that stopped me for a while. There’s more of that grown-up type stuff I need to do coming up, but a lot of it is done.

Some of it was also just that I wasn’t feeling well. Not sick, really, just not well.

And some was just procrastination and picking a really bad time to do some stuff. Like last week, I started going back on Facebook when I normally avoid it. Although, I do go on to gain more entries for contests. Once or twice a year I go on Facebook for a few days to two or three months. Then real life takes over, or I get overwhelmed with all the drama, or disgusted with all the time I’m wasting, or frazzled by all the notifications, and I go off of it again.

But I’d wanted to check on some people and see what was going on with them. Unfortunately, I got into a disagreement with someone I know on there because of something I posted. It took a lot of time and energy, and was really stressful, especially because it was over an issue that’s personal to me. It still isn’t really resolved, but I just started ignoring it.

But good things happened. Someone donated an item to me that I could really use and I connected with some people I have things in common with, so that was good.

After the fallout from the altercation with that one guy, I decided not to post anything else to my wall for a while. I want to stay a member of the groups that are helpful to me on there, but they are closed groups, so they shouldn’t cause drama. I’m staying off Facebook for now, because it’s taking a lot of time and energy, I have other stuff to do, and so forth. But I also started leaving groups I don’t care about and stopping notifications from most of the others. I’ll still have to do the same thing for likes, pages, everything like that, so it’ll take a while. When I go back to it, I plan to reply when people message me, tag me, or post on my wall, but that’s it. Other than that, I plan to just post in the closed groups I’m a member of. It’ll be hard to do, to get in the habit of not posting, but worth it, I think. Eliminating groups, pages, and their notifications should clear out my feed so that I’m mostly getting updates from actual people I know, I hope. But if even that causes problems, I believe Facebook now has a setting where you can make it so that only you can post on your own wall. So I may do that.

In the meantime, I’m getting back in practice for doing the things I want to do. Or need to do. Last night, I journaled for the first time since the ninth. I knit for the first time since March last night, as well. Today I practiced bass for the first time since March. And today I’m also hoping to do CampNaNoWriMo writing. I also want to work in meditation, chakra cleansing and balancing, and spending time in nature. For the chakra stuff, once a week should probably be fine. Spending time in nature will probably not be every day, though I want to work up to that.

I’d like the other things to be every day, but they probably won’t all be. Knitting will probably slide the most, and possibly bass practice. But I at least want to get back to at least once every three days for musical practice.

After CampNaNoWriMo, maybe I can work on making more of the other things be at least once every day.

So that’s it for now.

CampNaNoWriMo and Journals


This is what eight years of journals looks like^^

Bear with me if that image doesn’t show, and I’ll try to fix it later. I’m writing this blog post from my phone.

I feel like I’m being a boring blogger. Not only is this supposed to be my general Pagan blog — and I haven’t been writing much about Paagan stuff, but I’m also hardly writing about anything besides CampNaNoWriMo and journaling.

Still, that’s because I’ve hardly been DOING anything else except writing — NaNoWriMo, journal entries, and blog posts. I should be happy, though. And I am happy, because I’m getting those things done.

I did do a little bit with Pagan stuff in March, starting my Ancestor journal and celebrating Ostara AODA style.

Yesterday, I only wrote four hundred and eleven words. Actually, when I stopped for the day, I was literally one one short of my word count goal for the day. That was uber-aggravating. So, I opened my word processor back up and wrote another paragraph or two.

So, I did make my word count goal yesterday, but not by much.

So far, my Easter weekend marathon is about 50/50 — great the first day, not great but acceptable the second. We’ll see what today holds. I haven’t started writing for it yet today because Phire’s computer is broken, so we’re sharing mine until we can afford to get him a new one, which may be some time down the road, but hopefully not. And he’s on it right now.

Yesterday, I DID write seven pages and some change in my journal, finishing that notebook in the process. I am noticing a pattern: the days that I didn’t write in my journal, or didn’t write much in it are the days I got the most written for CampNaNoWriMo and vice versa.

My last journal lasted seven months and I started a new one today.

I’m going to try to get as much written today as possible, because tomorrow, I have to actually go be an adult — call the utilities company, figure out our budget for the month, and pay the bills. Maybe I’ll do some dishes too, but that might be reaching a little high, especially because I’m still hoping to write tomorrow, too. Maybe I can delegate the dishes to Phire or SJ.

I still have three days of buffer, but next Saturday is one of the days that I doubt I’ll be able to right, as my Dad and Grandmother are coming down to take us to run errands, which I deeply appreciate. They usually do that about once a month and it makes our lives a lot easier, since we don’t have a car. And it’s good to get to see them. But we normally go to anywhere from three to seven places on those days, so it takes several hours or all day, and it’s exhausting. Sunday is another day that I’m not sure I’ll be able to write, because these days I usually need at least one day and sometimes more to recover from big errand days.

So I’m going to try to build up additional days of buffer today.

I’ve been reading far less than I normally do in April. But that’s to be expected. I should be careful because I get cranky if I go for too long without reading. But I also get cranky if I go too long without writing.

What I’ve been reading the most of is back issues of The Writer magazine. I have about six months of issues that I hadn’t read. At the time it was an annoyance that I didn’t have the time to read them. But it was only a mild annoyance, because the reason I didn’t have time to read them was because we had just gotten our puppy. We were adjusting to having her in our household and she needed almost constant supervision. Now, that she’s older and better behaved (though she still needs a lot of supervision) I actually have time to read them. And the timing is perfect, because it’s really helping me to concentrate on CampNaNoWriMo and creativity.

If I already wrote some of this stuff, I apologize. Brain fog being a thing, I don’t always remember what I wrote before and I don’t really have the time or energy at the moment to double check.

Phire just handed of the computer to me, so I’m off to go write some more. Wish me luck!

CampNaNoWriMo April 2015 Update Number 1


I don’t know how many of these updates for Campnanowrimo I’ll manage, but here’s a quick one:

I’m working on finishing a fantasy novel I started a few years ago and hadn’t done much with since.

My word count goal for the month is 10,000 words, which won’t finish the novel, but which I think may be manageable. And if I pull it off, it’ll be a lot of progress.

I wrote 1,075 words today.

My total word count so far is: 2,662 words

That means I’m just over a quarter of the way towards making my word count goal.

I wrote seven days worth of words in four days.

I have three days of “buffer” for days when I can’t write.

I made my word count day all but one day so far. It was a Hell of a day. Read my post “Hiss” to find out all about it. (Also, there may be a “Hiss, Part 2 for the day following that one).

Even on the day that I didn’t meet my goal, I still wrote. I didn’t start until after midnight, but I counted it towards the day before since I was still awake and I didn’t want to confuse myself when I wrote for that day after I got some sleep and woke up.

I also only missed my journal writing for one of the four days so far (today). Though my entry on the first was just a small paragraph. But that makes sense. The two days I wrote the least in my journal are also the two days I wrote the most for CampNaNoWriMo — in fact, more than double my word count goal on each day. Over triple it today, and almost triple it on the first day, in fact.

Starting Tuesday, SJ and I have to call utility companies and I have to call a bunch of doctors. Sometime in the next few days, Phire, SJ, and I have to pay the bills.

Also, I know there will be at least two days, and probably at least four days this month that I doubt I’ll be able to write at all, let alone meet my word count goal.

So, bearing that in mind, I’m trying to use today, tomorrow, and Monday to essentially marathon and build as many buffer days as possible.

The next two days I may not get as much done, but I hope so. There’s all the regular stuff, meds, food, etc. Plus, tomorrow I want to call a bunch of family members to wish them a Happy Easter, including a family member who is long overdo for a call from me. So we’ll see.

Ancestor Journal


I feel deeply connected to my ancestors and I’ve been wanting to come up with a way to do more ancestor veneration than I do. ADF will help with that, as ancestors are one of the three kindreds, which I really like. But ADF is on the back burner right now, while I mostly focus on AODA.

I have grand visions of creating a wall of photographs of my ancestors and beloved dead, near an altar/shrine, ideally complete with mementos from some of the ancestors and beloved dead that I have things from, and the names of people who I don’t have photos or belongings of. I also would like to do genealogy. But both of those ideas will take a LOT of work and energy, as well as at least some money. And right now, I don’t even have an indoor altar or shrine. There are two shelves that were set aside for such, but they’re in a bad location, and we need them for book storage. I’d also like to honor my ancestors or give them libations one day a month, but even trying to do that for my Gods proved too much for me right now — let alone factoring in ancestors, faeries, animal or nature spirits. So that’s even more on hold.

And I’ve occasionally honored them at Samhain, but that is generally The Morrighan’s day for me, and I just almost never have the energy for two rituals in one day anymore — or even within a few days of each other.

But I did get a couple of new notebooks earlier this month. One has hummingbirds on it, which reminds me of my maternal great-grandmother who loved birds, especially hummingbirds and cardinals.

I’ve wanted to write about by family for a long time, and even more so, now that brain fog is a thing — I don’t want to forget what I know. So that’s what I did.

I started writing down what I know about my family in general, but specifically about my ancestors and beloved dead. I wrote what I know, what I remember, and what I’ve been told. So far, I’ve only written in it once, and I want to be careful. I want to write about my family members who are still alive and more of my memories. But my childhood was messy, and I want to keep the one notebook in the spirit of veneration, though I don’t plan to sugar coat. And I also don’t want it to be memoir per se, though I want to write that as well. As I go farther along, I’ll have to check facts, names, and dates, and relationships with my other family members. But right now, I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I know.

It’s not all I want to do, but writing comes naturally to me, and I love my family. So far, it seems to be a pretty good method for me of honoring my ancestors and beloved dead.

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.

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.