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)

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! 🙂