Daily Archives: January 5, 2015

Resolutions – Pagan Experience 2015

Hi-ho, folks, this is my first promp for The Pagan Experience 2015 blogging challenge. Welcome to any new people who may have turned up and hello again to the rest of you. πŸ™‚
So “Resolutions” can actually find some echos in my final Pagan Blog Project post for 2014, and ties nicely to the whole concept outlined in Miss Sugar’s New Year New You ongoing project as well.
Personally, I tend not to make Resolutions. They seem like a generally bad idea – like making a promise when you’re not sure you can actually keep it[1] – BUT I do occasionally set goals for myself in the interests of taking small, manageable steps towards some sort of free-form “end-goal” that may or may not matter in and of itself[2].
Magically/Religiously speaking, my goals as a bioregional animist, a musician, a sacred-sexuality Perv, and a kitchen witch include:
(A) Grow a garden.
As-(many-of)-you-know-bob, my lovely wife and I moved into a rental house in our neighbourhood (and the heck OUT of our former roach-tastic apartment building – thank you ALL of our gods for that fantastic opportunity!) which has given us the GLORIOUS luxury of a yard. My wife now has a back patio upon-which to do motorcycle maintenance, and I have 1/3 of a shared pack garden in-which to grow All The Veggies (our neighbour has the other 2/3 under cultivation already – I’m okay with this. It’s a containers-required space anyway, since we’re talking a century of lead-poisoning in the soil at the this point, so I’m Just Fine with growing potatoes in a barel, and setting my squash, greens, and tomato plants in second-hand horse troughs (we are in the market for same, fyi, and one of my wife’s girlfriends is looking for them amongst her rural neighbours – wish us luck!). As a bioregional animist, my particular Path is linked with a certain amound of land-guardianship but also with the idea that, when you eat the food that grows where you live, your body becomes more literally and mindfully part of where you live. As in: I’m part of this urban ecosystem already. I shed hair and fingernail clippings here. I breathe here. I shit here. I’m part of this place. But when I make a point of finding/growing/eating food that grew in this province, in this microclimate/valley, in this neighbourhood, in this yard… I’m making a point of acknoweldging and strengthening those ties. And that’s important to me. Likewise… I come from farmers. More recently on my mom’s side than on my dad’s side, but on both sides: Farmers. The last time I had a yard, my farming grandparents were both still alive and both well enough to travel (all of my grandparents are dead at this point, so it’s nice that my ancestors can see what I’m up to and maybe give me some pointers when it comes to growing and harvesting the good stuff)… and I remember my Nana being really happy that I was growing food in my back yard. Like “It’s nice to see this continuing”. That kind of thing. So there’s also a pretty big tie to my herritage to my ancestors, including ancestor that I was able to meet in life, there too. I love the idea of growing the pumpkins that become my pumpkin butter, growing the tomatoes that become my salsa and bruschetta (among numerous other things), the cukes that become my garlic-dill pickles, and – eventually – the rhubarb, sea berries, and currants that become my jams, chutneys, and barbicue sauces. I love the opportunity to sit at the (yet-to-be-scrounged) patio table, drinking iced tea made from my peppermint and dried red currants, watching the bees zip and zoom among the squash and bean and tomato vines, knowing that my own roots in this place are growing deeper and stronger along with them.
(B) Keep Writing
I could say “finish the novel” or “finish the poetry manuscript” but… Okay, see above RE: making promises you’re not sure you can keep. I don’t actually trust myself to finish a book-length piece of writing, in spite of having got through nanowrimo successfully at least twice. BUT if I just Keep Writing – do that thing that Neil Gaiman says to do and simply keep putting one word after the other – I will eventually get to the point where I’ve finished the entirety of Draft One. Which hopefully won’t suck completely (my plan is to get a friend to edit the first 1/3 of it – what I’ve got don so far – and see what needs fixing/clarfying/etc… and then go from there). The plan is also to hit up a coffee shop once a week or so and hand-write some poetry, with the plan being to get enough loosely-food-themed poems FINISHED that I can start putting them into place and trying to polish them up. Wish me luck on that one.
(C) Wake up my Bone Snake
Which sounds way cooler than “practice culturally appropraited Kundalini Yoga-as-taught-by-white-people”, doesn’t it? Basically, the plan here is to use tantric type breathing techniques and Kundalini movements/poses (as taught by white people, both down the street from me and/or in videos like this one) to free up my own energy in ways that facilitate both my sexuality and my musicianship[3]. Tied to this, of course, are the desires to (a) take further steps into active polyamoury; (b) get my musical self back to pre-University levels of confidence, shiny ability, & performanceship; and (c) Get more magically-delicious from a leather-woo/woo-sexual perspective. I’d love to throw in a Con like Dark Oddyssey (the one in DC), as well, but that’ll have to wait until there’s a good deal more money in the bank.
There are other things – like getting physcially stronger, getting better at sewing, getting comfortable wearing more stylish[4] clothes when I’m just plain-old out-and-about, incorporating (functional!) sigils into my magical workings, and having more people over on a casual basis – but those are the big ones, I think.
Anyway. That’s where things are at.
Wish me luck, and do stick with me for the rest of 2015.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
[1] Like… You can Resolve to Loose Fifteen Pounds – to pick a really common one that turns up at this time of year – but you actually have very little control over whether or not that happens. Dropping five pounds is easy. Any more than that, and it basically becomes some sort of herculean effort full of deprivation for… no results what-so-ever. Just as one example.
[2] Like… I want to get stronger, physically speaking. But I don’t set goals like “I can dead-lift X pounds by Y date” because… that seems like setting myself up for failure in no uncertain terms. Instead, I set goals like “Do something physical – lift small weights for X repetitions; do hatha yoga poses for X minutes; go for a walk into the next neighbourhood over and back; work in the garden; go swimming; run up and down the stairs X times; etc – every day”… and, one way or another, I can make that happen most days – even if it’s just because I have to get groceries (walking into the next neighbourhood and back + wieght-lifting (sort of) on the way home) or do laundry (same again) outside the house. They’re tiny, and easy to accomplish in a “Just get up and do it” kind of way (like going up and down the stairs when it’s -32 out and I Just Don’t Wanna), and they add up over time to me being able to take hills more easily or carry heavier groceries home all at once, or other things that effectively add up to more strength and endurance on my part… without making some kind of Resolution for what that’s going to look like 12 months from now. Does that make sense?
[3] I’m a singer – meaning that my instrument is my body – and I’ve found (to my surprise, but not exactly) that the energy points that get called Chakras (the big ones that line up along the spine, at any rate) all light up as I’m getting ready to sing. My teacher didn’t teach me how to do this on purpose, this is just what my body does when I’m prepping (properly) to sing. Perhaps unusrprisingly, there’s a HUGE tie-in between my magical ability my musical ability, my creative ability, and my sexuality… and I find that if I do this kind of physical-energetic work (breath of fire, being one, but far from the only one), I open the chanels to do all of that so much better and more freely. So it’s kind of a Thing to make happen this year and – chances are good – all foreseable years into the future.
[4] For a given value of “stylish”. Bascially, I have a very nebulous idea of what “my style” actually is… and it does grow and change with time… but I also know that I get a lot of attention when I’m being my fully fabulous Femme Self, and… in spite of being Internationally Tall, it takes a fair amount of practice to be able to handle that degree of attention all the time. I’ve started with charging my mascara (magically-speaking) and one of my perfumes (“Blood Kiss” by BPAL, if you’re wondering), and by routinely weeding my wardrobe in order to get rid of stuff that doesn’t fit or doesn’t suit… But working my way up to 100% Glamazon Baddass in casual situations is going to take some work. :-\

Full Moon – Snow Moon Crests (What’s Starting to Flow? What’s Freezing Up?)

I live in the House Of Plague. The idea that Snow Moon is a “hunker down” kind of period couldn’t feel more true right now. Outside, the temperature is shifting between above and below freezing, giving us a mix of deep snow, ice crust, and puddles of water on top of the ice. The only thing I need to get moving/flowing right now is the congestion that’s sitting like concrete in my lungs and lymph glands.
None the less, I’m trying to martial a manageable to-do list that will see me through January with more Kundalini Yoga, more modeling work, and more creative production, albeit on a fairly small scale. I have the beginnings of a project/deadline in place for early July, and someone told me that he thought I had a lovely singing voice, which he remembered from hearing me singing around the neighbourhood, years ago. Which was a really lovely thing to hear. πŸ™‚
The past two weeks have been basically a blur of social activities – visiting various family members (chosen and otherwise) for various events from Solstice gatherings to birthday parties to secular xmas to NYE and beyond – so I feel like I’ve been living in an extended time-outside-of-time kind of temporal space. Having my wife home, sick, for a few days hasn’t helped with that, since her work schedule (to some extent) is what keeps me aware of what day of the week it actually is (I, on the other hand, pretty much work when work is available, so…). Like I said, it’s a liminal time. Tomorrow (Monday) marks the begonning of “back to normal” but here I am, sick as a dog and with my wife still on the mend, wondering what that’s even going to look like.
If I had to take the questions I posed back at the New Moon, this is (for the moment) what I come up with as answers:
What parts of your life are seizing/freezing up?
This bit is basically my “usual” as far as problems are concerned. I have a friend who talks about how her gentlemanfriend needs to be pushed out of his comfort zone because, otherwise, he’ll never ever leave it. I can be entirely the same way (ye gods, that is not an invitation… ack!) I’m glamouring up to spot opportunities with the definite intention to say YES when they show up, BUT… having said YES, already, to one… the brain weasels are definitely pulling out the big guns to get me to “stay small” rather than let myself be big. (And I am big. Physically. Psychically. I know it. But I’m scared that if I unapologetically just let it ALL OUT… then people won’t like me, and they’ll be scared of me and get mad at me. There you go. That’s my big fear. I don’t want people to get mad at me. Eugh). So I’m currently in a bit of a battle with my own brain to keep from self-sabotaging before I’m even out of my shell, and if that’s not fighting a seize-up, I don’t know what is.
Which parts are getting more stable and solid?
This? I couldn’t even tell you. I’d love to be able to say that I have a better idea of What I Want – beyond the basics of “Enough? Is my rent paid? Can I afford food? Am I not being a burden to my wife?” – but… I’m still in “survival mode” on that front. Wanting, in any kind of concrete terms, seems like asking for too much; like if I put out my hand it’ll just get slapped for the audacity of asking in the first place. Everything still feels nebulous. Like… I know a big shift is coming but… How? When? What? Where? Why? (The who, at least, is likely to be me…). That said, things that have felt reliably solid already (mainly my primary/only romantic relationship) are continuing to feel solid and strong without feeling like they’re getting stuck in any kind of way. (Thank goodness). More chances to travel together would be nice (see below re: Money, there isn’t much, um) because time out of the house is time to reconnect without All The Things getting in the way but… otherwise, we’re doing quite nicely, thank you. πŸ™‚
Where are things getting more fluid and flowing?
I think this might be my willingness to maybe attempt to go on a date. You know, at some nebulous, undecided time in the future. With someone other than my lovely wife, I mean. Trying to get the Poly blood flowing, as it were. We’ll see how (if, where) this goes, but it seems to be a thing, so hey.
What’s loosening up and moving?
My voice. I mean, not right this second, since I’m managed to catch the bug my lovely wife brought home. But more generally? I’ve caught myself singing – well, even – at random moments during the day. I’ve done warm-ups in conjunction with Kundalini physical stuff. It’s been 14 years. I think it’s time to come home again. πŸ™‚
What’s struggling to take/keep its shape?
Urgh. See above re: What do I actually WANT. I don’t even know where to start looking to figure that one out and, when I try, I usually run smack up against things like “But there is no money, um” which, I’m increasingly understanding, is always about more than money. Always. (This is the trick with things that are symbols already…). I’d like to believe that What I Want involves a metric heap of sensuality, that it’s a good mix of pervy performance art (er… whatever that means – there are a lot of options), crafty-hippy-home-making, good food, good ethics, and good dates… but that there’s also enough money coming in from the perfy performance art – and, ideally, the crafty-hippy stuff, too – that I know where my next project’s funding is coming from, and also where our next meal and next month’s rent/mortgage is coming from, too. If I can boil that down to a susinct mental image, then great. I’ll have something I can magically work with. Until then… it still feels like I’m fumbling around in the dark.
Melaid the Birch Maiden.