Daily Archives: January 20, 2015

New Moon – Ice Moon Begins

Ye fucking gods, it’s cold out.
Which is not to say that it’s actually that cold – if you’re out of the wind, the sun is beautifully warm – but my 10-minute walk home from the bus has left me shivering and icey on the inside an hour after getting in the door. O.O
That’s Ice Moon for you. The time of killing cold, numb fingers, and dressing very, very carefully against the weather.
Which, in a round-about way, brings me to Glamoury.
Yes, kids, I’m still getting to know my way around the Glamoury tool kit, but deep winter isn’t helping a whole lot. I have been gifted a gorgeous, full-length (almost ankle length on me) black winter coat with a fur collar, which I’m feeling kind of chuffed about. I may toss that one on to run my errands this afternoon, just because I can. Most days, though, I’m wearing my Dad’s old leather coat (the one that needs the button holes tightened up) paired with my zombie boots[1], colourful OTK socks, the lilac insulated vest a friend gave me (and that makes a hell of a difference, warmth-wise[2]), plus whatever warm (ish?) layers I can throw on when I have to leave the house.
Glamourous it is NOT.
I have to ask myself who I want to impress. ‘Cause I don’t think I’m impressing anyone – with the possible exception of the artists for-whom I work as a model (and that’s important, y’all!) since they tend to favour people whose clothing is as paint-spattered as their own – with my three-day-old tank top and messy skirt.
Yeah.
Winter often feels like the time where you Just Get Through It and don’t think too hard about doing it with flair. None the less… worth it to give it a try.
 
Last Lunar Cycle, I wrote about sorting out what’s firming up versus what’s not quite holding its shape.
Now, as Ice Moon kicks off, I’m happy to say that one of my projects is also getting off the ground – we’ll see if it works out as a paid gig, BUT I think I’ve managed to get over the worst part of the learning curve (go me) – or at least the worst part of the first learning curve, which is probably more accurate – and have some idea of how to keep the momentum building, which is good.
I’ve taken the next step on my Summer Project, which is good (that particular corner of it is now a waiting game). I still haven’t done much Kundalini yoga, though I think I will have the opportunity to do so tomorrow – thank goodness. I’m slowly getting over the bronchial crud that had me laid out two weeks ago, but it’s still lingering. Between that and (thank goodness) the modeling work that’s been coming my way, most of my physical activity has consisted of holding poses, or else making my way up the stairs (to blow my nose) or down the stairs (to boil the kettle again).
I’m getting a better handle on What I Want, even if it’s not totally firmed up yet.
 
That thing that Gordon does, the exercise where you come up with your Perfect Day and then work magic (and action) to make it real? I’ve started thinking of my Perfect Day in fairly broad terms like:
Make good food
Make good art
Keep good company
Do something sensual
Do something physical, preferably outdoors, ideally in the Garden (when weather allows)
Do something crafty/Crafty
Get paid for something
It’s still pretty fumbly.
Today, I’ve modeled (something physical and part of making good art, even if it isn’t exactly mine) and have errands to run (also physical, since I’ll be walking them). Submitted my time sheets for the past three modeling engagements (get paid for something), and I’ll be hosting a couple of people for a yack about Power Exchange stuff later this evening. (After I make bread and, most likely, pizza – AKA Good Food). Tomorrow I’ll be making earrings (do something crafty + get paid for something), hitting up a Kundalini class (something physical, something sensual), and working on a couple of pervy performance art projects. My “something sensual” will probably be a hot bath scented and charged with ylang ylang, cloves, and cocoa absolut. Because who doesn’t love that?
In the meantime, though, I need to get myself sorted. I’ve still got errands to run and sigils to redraw.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] What am I saying? They’re pretty much ALL zombie boots at this point.
 
[2] I never thought I’d wear one of these. Seriously. We’d get the ultra-puffy version in, every October, at the store I used to work at, and it was just “Eugh. This year’s Hideous Vest for Fall…” But they’re actually really helpful, if you can keep them out of sight. I find myself wondering if I could make myself something similar, but cut a little more appropriately, and using a tone-on-tone black fabric – like a herringbone or a brocade or something – for the world-facing side, just to make it look a little more sophisticated and a little less “ski camp escapee”. It could happen. Maybe. I’ve got enough sewing projects on the go (and languishing, unfinished, more to the point) right now that taking up another one might be a bad idea. But we’ll see. Keep it in mind for next year.

Deities and the Divine – Pagan Experience 2015

So last week, I wrote about my particular pagan practice and what it looks like on any given day. I mentioned that I have an altar in my living room.
This is a new thing.
Between September 2008 and September 2014, I had little altars in most of the rooms in my apartment. Every one of my small spirits had a shrine to call her own. And that was important to me. However, over the course of that time, I moved from a one-bedroom apartment that I had all to myself to a two-bedroom apartment and, most recently, a two-and-a-half-bedroom rental house, that I share with my wife. It’s easy to keep track of multiple burning objects in a one-bedroom apartment. Even when the altars aren’t all in the same room. But when they’re on two different floors? Well, things get a little harder to keep track of. So, in the interests of (a) safety, and (b) match conservation, I opted to put everybody in the same space now that we’ve moved into the new house. Consequently, my five wee goddesses, plus my ancestors, plus my… I don’t know… “prayer candle”[1](?) all get their devotional offerings done in the same place[2].
 
My personal deities (all start with M, and) include:
 
Mattaer: A Lady who handles the earth and the hearth, who handles parenting and pregnancy, who handles the garden (because she’s the ground out-of-which everything grows), and who handles all the Mommy/Nurturing stuff that I’m occasionally called upon to provide.
 
Mitzu: A Lady who handles the sun and heat and fine, but who also handles courage, sexuality, dancing, sexwork, money, and a significant degree of activism. She’s fierce, as the saying goes[3].
 
Maia: My very first Goddess, and one who demanded my attention until she got it. My lady of the moon, of queerness and dykedom, of midwifery, of auntihood[4], of writing and music and creative output, of lasting love, of every kind of water (which is my element). For years I heard her name, over and over and over again, any time I looked at the moon… until I realized – and said out loud – “Oh, that’s your name!” at which point, it stopped. Like: “Okay finally. You got it.” She’s an alto. I think she finds me deeply ammusing in my fumblings, but there you have it. I miss her when I can’t feel her around, but Im not sure how well I’ll do at wooing her home again. :-\
 
Misha: A lady of the meadow. She’s very much a May Queen / Maiden type of young woman and, as I get older, I wonder what kind of shape she’ll take in my life. She was the first goddess I had in my panthon who is actively poly, I do know that (she’s got two boyfriends and they all see to get along quite nicely), and – as her mother is the Earth – she’s all the green and growing things but, in particular, winter squash, raspberries, wild flowering chicory, meadow-flowers/scrub-flowers in general, lilacs, and birch trees. A lady of liminal spaces, of adventure, of joyfully plunging in to try new things. She is, I suspect, someone whom I need more of in my life. I have no idea whether she’s into women or not. Meh? But I know am fairly confident that she likes the colour blue.
 
Makaa: My lady of the dead, of the compost, of the cross-roads and the thresholds. Her liminality is much more pronounced, and includes margins of all kinds (the thin line between getting by and being screwed, the edge between water and ice on the surface of a puddle, the person sleeping in a doorway, genders and bodies that aren’t easily recognized/described with binary language, the difference between rotton and good enough to still eat. The emptiness at the bottom of every breath, as they say). She has sucked the air out of my lungs. Only once. But once is enough to know that she’s there and she’s powerful.
 
My Ancestors: In large part, when I talk about my ancestors, I’m talking about my actual biological ancestors through-whom I came, who gave me pieces of their faces, their bodies, to carry with me through my life. But I also mean my non-biological ancestors – people like Xanthra MacKay and Wendy Babcock and Leslie Feinberg, the people who are part of my socio-sexual cultural lineage. They’re included, and I hope all of my People aren’t stuck jostling for position around the flame. :-\ (Seems to be working out, so… we’ll go with it?)
 
My lovely wife has a relationship with a particular, much bigger, goddess. I tend to only hint at what that’s about, but she seems a good lady to have in your corner. We’ll see how this continues to go.
 
One particular deity who has turned up in the past year (and I have no idea if she’s sticking around or if it was just some random check-in kind of thing), is Freja. This kind of surprised me, and I’m not sure if she’s here (if she’s still here) for me or for my wife, but… I keep her in my thoughts, just in case.
 
Anyway, beyond that and your basic bioregional animism, there’s not a whole lot to my pantheon. They’re good people and I’m glad they’re in my life. I hope that I do well by them in my wee, haphazard, way.
 
 
TTFN,
Melaid the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] I got a bunch of those glass tea-light holders than have an uplifting message written on them. A bunch of them are in my office – which has an altar of its own, of sorts, that gets lit up when I’m doing Actual Work in there (ahahaha) – but one of them, which says “Bless this home with family and friends” is on my Main Altar and is basically a hope/wish/blessing to fill our witchy house with chosen family and dear friends (all of us kinky, witchy, poly, spooky dykes and our various nearest and dearest, too). I doubt that’s what the people who mass-produced those candle-holders had in mind, but… that was part of the appeal, as it happens.
 
[2] I also invested in two dozen LED “tea-lights” so that I could do things like outdoor vigils or jack-o-lanters without the wind putting them out, and also so that I could light up my candle wreath (once a year) without having to worry about whether or not I’ll have neough tea-lights on hand to do it. I’ve used them 2-3 times in the past month and a half, so I think it was probably a good investment.
 
[3] When I first started looking for Sun Goddess, I found it a little surprising which elements of life/womanhood accumulated under her purview. After a while though – nameley after I separated from my not-so-great-for-me husband – I realized that Mitzu had jurisdiction of pretty much all the elements of my own life (money, sex – to site two in particular) that I was deathly afraid of and thought of as things that happened to me or were done to me by other people rather than things over-which I had any control or autonomy. Hrm. Which was quite the realization. I’m still in the (long, loooooooong) process of unraveling that stuff and getting those situations/activities/whatever back under my own control and back into (or at all into) my own comfort zones.
 
[4] Auntie-hood. Being a good Auntie in the sense of “not just for your siblings’ kids”. Being a good Auntie is like being a good Witch. It means being available to take care of people when their parents (or what-have-you) aren’t necessarily the best people for the job. Sometimes that means teaching tenuously-housed queer-and/or-trans kids how to darn the holes in their socks. Sometimes it means knowing how to cook food that is vegan and gluten-free and paleo and also avoids nuts, eggplant and quinoa… even though I, personally, need none of those things. Sometimes it means letting people-in-your-community who are in crisis know that the front door’s open and that they can come on over for tea/hugs/listening/food or whatever else it is that they need. Sometimes it means being a teacher. Frequently, it means listening up and helping people get what they need. My wife is far better at this than I am, to be sure, but I’m learning. Always learning. 😉