Category Archives: trance

Meeting My Fetch (Is This An After School Special?)

Hey!
So, as I said in an earlier post, I recently designed a guided meditation for myself so that I could go and meet my Fetch in person.
I’m not an initiate into Feri or Reclaiming. But the work of Starhawk, T Thorn Coyle, Lee Harrington, and Gede Parma have all informed my own understanding of ritual and magical work, so Feri and Reclaiming have influenced my own work, albeit in an indirect way. As such, when I talk about Fetch, I’m using the term in roughly the way that it gets used in Feri (and, apparently, Wildwood?) or the way Reclaiming talks about “Child Self”. Sometimes this part of you is also called the “Id” or the “Unconscious”, just to throw some psych 101 terms into the mix.
 
Essentially, Fetch is your animal self, your little-kid self, the part of your soul-makeup that’s most intimately connected with being a body – so all the stuff that relates to food, touch, sleep, sex, movement, work (as in: force times distance equals), pain, rest, pleasure, and play.
Fetch is your skin hunger, your belly-hunger, and your tongue hunger. They’re the part of you that wants, that needs, that desires, that demands… and also the part of you where a lot of the rejected parts of yourself kind of get shoved in order to push them out of the way (so… Fetch may have a lot of your Shadow Stuff kind of clogging up their system, and may be lonely or self-protective when you first meet them – just a heads-up, your Fetch and my Fetch aren’t going to be the same people, so yours may also be super keen to drag you on adventures despite it being a school night. YMMV).
Fetch is also not likely to use words.
This is relevant, especially if you’re like, y’know, me and are All About The Feelings, but also are all about putting words around your emotions to explain and understand them. (This is why I find tarot so helpful, because it lets my chatty, explainy, words-using self and my non-verbal, images and sensory experiences self communicate with each other in ways they can both understand. Looking for visual omens and learning how to interpret the emotional stuff behind physical sensations (think: somatic experiencing) in your own body can do this, too.
 
Anyway.
Meeting Fetch!
 
All of my internal-astral wanderings start out by taking the rainbow staircase (or sometimes elevator) downwards. It’s a technique I was introduced to… 15 or so years ago? And at this point it’s a really effective visual/mental cue that “We’re Visiting The Interior Now”.
I followed my own directions and eventually came to the location where I was expecting to meet my Fetch.
It wasn’t the night club I’d been expecting to find.
Instead, it was a high school gym with most of the lights out.
There was 100% something big, mammalian, and predatory just sort of… hanging out around the edges. I never really saw it, but I got the impression of lion/tiger paws and some kind of tusks. Which… Is fine. I was actually expecting that bit.
What I wasn’t expecting was to see my 13-year-old self, even skinnier and taller (6’8”, at a guess) than I was at that actual age, wearing my/her dad’s basketball uniform and shooting baskets.
She also had tusks. Which… is not shocking.
A long time ago, I went on an astral bus trip, if you will, and got to have a look at who-all my talking self was sharing space with, and there was somebody on there with boar tusks or ram/bull horns or something. I think that maybe that kind of hazy somebody, in their soft-butch tank top and jeans, may have been a related aspect of this big wee girl I’ve met in the gym.
But the part where my Fetch is a tomboy and a tiny bit of a jock? That’s unexpected.
Maybe it shouldn’t be.
But here we are.
 
It felt like it took a long time for her to turn around and look at me.
I got a general impression of flinching, which is kind of heart-breaking.
We spent a lot of time sitting on the bleachers. She tucked her head into the crook of my neck, and one of her tusks kind of poked me, and she freaked out a little when I tried to adjust things which…
How do I talk to a teenager who is scared I’m going to leave again? Especially one who doesn’t really do words?
So we sat in the dark and I held onto her, this big little girl who is teenager me, with all the emotional bruises of grades 5-8 riding on her shoulders.
The second part of the meditation… didn’t exactly happen?
She pressed something into my hands, but I don’t really know what it was. Something robins-egg blue or powder blue, and boxy. Like a cross between a little transistor radio and a really clunky games console?
Anyway. I think she might be saying “Play with me”?
So I need to go back and play with her.
 
One thing that I really, really noticed was that I could feel her in my thighs. That meeting her made my legs burn like I’d just hiked up five or six flights of stairs, or a very long, very steep hill. This was interesting for a couple of reasons. First, I tend to read Butches as carrying their energy in their thighs – in much the same way as I tend to read Femmes as carrying our energy strung across our shoulders and collarbones – so this physical feeling was part of my interpretation of my Fetch as being… call it “more masculine than the rest of me”, if you want to start there. The other reason it was interesting is because I associate that feeling with running. With the way I feel after having to sprint for a bus. I got the impression that she’d been running, or had been poised to run away, for a very long time.
I kind of hope I can get us to a point where that feeling – of big, powerful muscles that have been working hard – is associated with “We sure DID dance until midnight / hang upside down in an aerials class / play HORSE all afternoon / take a gorgeous walk through the arboretum for a couple of hours” rather than with something that feels like fear and flight.
 
Anyway. That was how meeting my Fetch went.
If any of you reading this want to talk about meeting your own Fetches, please feel free to tell me all about them in the comments.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

Full Moon – Meltwater Moon Crests

The snow is melting. Hurrah!
The streets are NOT a mess of slush, thank all the gods, and the sidewalks are almost all clear. Which is fantastic.
Like a LOT of people, we’re practicing as much social isolation as we can in the interests of slowing down the spread of that covid virus that’s going around – though, as self-employed people, it’s not like we have paid time off.
So basically we’re avoiding leaving the house for reasons other than work. I’m checking in with my various modelling clients about whether or not their classes are still running, and I’m glad that at least some of my work is already done remotely, because that will help in the event of, say, any of the local art schools just shutting down for the time being.
On the plus side, we’ve got considerably more than two weeks of food stored up, and were already limiting grocery trips and combining errands so’s as to not have to leave the house more often than necessary.
 
One thing that’s come up since starting my Eat From The Larder Challenge Austerity is that my lovely wife may, in fact, be gluten-intollerant.
So the miraculous discovery of an extra bag of short pasta, the 5kg of all purpose flour, the large amounts of pearl AND pot barley, oat groats, and couscous, as well as the small amounts of rye flour, oat flour, and barley flour that I have on hand?
Are now out of the running.
It’s not that I can’t use them. But I can’t use them to make food for more than just myself.
So.
What do I have?
 

Potatoes (2-3, so very, very few)
+
Wild rice (moderate amount)
Amaranth (moderate to large amount)
Quinoa (small amount)
Rice (small amount)
Millet (very small amount, also I don’t really like eating it)
+
Corn meal (moderate amount)
Corn flour (small to moderate amount)
Buckwheat flour (small amount)
Corn starch (small amount)
Romano bean flour (small amount)
Tapioca flour (very small amount)
Arrowroot flour (very small amount)

 
I can make this work.
I’d be happier if I had a LOT more buckwheat flour and ANY amaranth flour lying around. But I can work with this. Quick breads that get their leavening from baking soda or baking powder are a thing. I can use pre-soaked green lentils & yellow split, frozen (pre-cooked) chick peas, and tinned kidney beans as a “starch” – which is to say “as a filler” to bulk up dishes where I would normally use bread – such as a clafoutis, which is basically quiche but you mix 1/4C corn starch and 1/4C romano bean flour into the eggs-and-milk rather than having a pie crust. It’s delicious, but it’s a LOT less filling than a bread pudding.
I may see if I can trade some of my all-purpose flour for some long-grain rice, and some more of it for some quinoa or kasha.
 
I confess, I am looking into sour-dough-esque recipes that rely on fermented buckwheat and/or eggs for a lot of their leavening power. But, as my flour is currently really limited, I’m a little nervous to try any of them.
The good thing about sourdough breads is that whatever starter you end up with is going to be enlivened by bacteria that will happily eat whatever flour you feed it with.
The bad thing is that fluffy loaves of bread rely on the stretchy protein of gluten to create those nice, well-aerated crumbs… and there’s no gluten in these, so… I’m not sure how (if) this is going to work.
All-of-which is to say that, for now, I will PROBABLY be relying on stuff like basic corn bread (which uses baking soda and sour milk for the leavening agents), cornflour “tortillas”, and savoury buckwheat crepes instead of trying to do a proper leavened bread during this Austerity.
 
In more explicitly magic-related news, I designed a guided meditation (which I’ll be putting in An Actual Book) so that I could meet my own Fetch, and I tried out the first part of it last night.
(I think the second part also… tried to happen… but it was fast and I might need to go back and try it again).
I’m going to do a separate post about my first – but possibly NOT first? – time meeting Fetch in person. But just to throw a little preliminary information out here:
The word “Fetch” gets used in a couple of different ways, magically-speaking. One way it gets used is to describe a part of yourself – or, in some circles, a separate entity – who can leave your body and bring things back to you. The other way is the way this term gets used in Feri, for example, where it kind of corresponds to what gets called “Child Self” in Reclaiming. I’m under the impression that the two definitions are not entirely mutually exclusive but, when I talk about Fetch, I’m talking about the second definition.
BUT. More on Fetch elsewhere.
 
The course I was taking with Ms Sugar has wrapped up (for this iteration – iirc she’ll be running it again), though the work I started there-in is definitely still on-going and will likely STAY on-going until at least early June.
I had a job interview this morning – which… I have NO IDEA how it went, but please think good thoughts for me, if you’re reading this? I’d really appreciate it.
I kinda-sorta started writing a book, too. Which is equal parts exciting and terrifying, and equal parts “Yes! This is where I should put (some of) my energy right now!” and “Are… are you sure about that? What about your poetry manuscript?” (don’t worry, I’m still working on that one, too – and have been able to get out to a couple of poetry workshops in the last two weeks, so that feels good).
 
I pulled two cards for my Tarot Card Meditation this time around.
The first – which has turned up more than once this week – was the Ten of Fire.
The second was History (one of the Weird Bonus Cards in the Silicon Dawn deck).
I’m used to the Ten of Fire being a caution against exhaustion or a statement about being overwhelmed or having too much on your to-do list. Which is… relatable at this time. In this deck, though, it’s more of a warning against over-consumption and a reminder that “looking out ONLY for Number One” is a bad road to go down. More broadly, it’s a card about… being mindful of what is and isn’t your responsibility (or privilege) to take on, asking for help and/or say “No” when things are too much to handle on your own, and following through on your commitments (“You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it”).
History – according to Egypt Urnash’s little interpretations book – is about the stories we tell to ourselves about ourselves and our situations. It’s cosmology and it’s shadow work. It’s about how we can tie ourselves up with “I Can’t Do XYZ”. It’s a relevant card, given what I’m digging into right now, particularly since I drew it Reversed (Meaning: Having to do with my relationship with myself). I think, in combination with the Ten of Fire, it’s a reminder to pay attention to what is and isn’t mine to carry, about following through on what IS – and putting down, or handing off, what isn’t – my responsibility, specifically in terms of stories I may have told myself (over and over and over again) about what I have to be – need-less? help-less? – in order to keep myself safe in some way.
Definitely worth chewing on some more.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Not a whole heck of a lot. I’m reliably doing my Moon Salutations, which is a good thing, but I’ve been busing to a lot of gigs, and I’m avoiding leaving the house when possible, so there’s been less body activity going on than usual.
 
Attention: Listening to my body. Keeping track of how much rest I need vs how much I’m getting, and watching my symptoms (vaguely sore throat since Saturday night, runny nose, generalized tiredness, etc – which are leading me to think this is probably my usual “the snow is melting and there’s just a lot more crud exposed to the air” annual springtime cold, but still). Trying to catch my Stories earlier and earlier rather than getting sucked into them (this is really difficult, which I realize is no surprise to anybody). Watching my writing for continuity and flow and hoping that I’m managing to make sense. Looking and listening for omens and signs that the magical stuff I’ve been doing is getting things rolling in ways that I want them to go (and sometimes in ways that I’m… not thrilled about, but here we are).
 
Gratitude: Thankful for a wife who loves me. For a girlfriend who is patient and understands how much stuff is up in the air right now (the landlord sold our house, new owner – who is a developer – takes possession in May, and we’re going to have to find a new, and almost definitely much more expensive, place to live, sooner rather than later) and that this is going to effect whether or not I can come and visit her any time soon. Grateful for skype dates and weekends doing easy stuff together. Grateful for my cooking skills, my wonderously (still) full freezers and pantry, which are making things so much easier right now. Grateful, too, for friends who have taken me out for lunch, passed along job opportunities, and generally taken care of me. Thankful for a resilient immune system and for having a lot of essential oils on hand. Thankful for sunshine and above-zero temperatures. Thankful for a job interview today. Thankful for a metamour who’s looking out for us self-employed-no-benefits types over here. Thankful – believe it or not – for a GodSelf who will periodically push me off a cliff just to remind me that trust-falling does, in fact, require FALLING (or at least leaping). Grateful for a Fetch who was willing to try trusting me, just for a little bit. Grateful for milk and eggs and a little bit of butter. Grateful for a miracle tin of parmasan cheese (my years of non-parishable food-hoarding tendencies are paying off, I see). Grateful for my library card. Grateful for my income quilt. Grateful for a book idea that’s structured enough I can actually follow through on it. Grateful.
 
Inspiration: Chakra work, the Iron Pentacle and Triple Soul concepts of/from Feri, various Major Arcana cards, my own history and experiences, the food I have available to work with.
 
Creation: I’ve written a couple of poems, edited a couple more, and have started writing a book, which involves also writing guided meditations, ritual outlines, and a certain amount of suggestions for creative altar-building. Also, coming up with tasty, filling, nutritious meals based on what’s available in the pantry and freezer is… feeling (slightly) less like a Terrible Idea, and (slightly) more like a creative challenge at this point – roughly a month after I started. We’ll see how I feel in another three weeks, let along another six, but so far, so good.

E is for Ecstsasy – Pagan Blog Project 2014

So I’ve been reading Radical Ecstasy (off and on) for a little while now, as well as paging through Barbara Carellas’ Ecstasy is Neccessary. In part, I’m trying to sort out what “ecstasy” means, as a term, when applied to sex.
When I use it, I’m talking in part about the “rush” that comes when you and anyone you’re involved with are really hitting your flow, sexually. I’m talking in part about when muscle movement takes over and… the engine catches, if you will. But I’m also talking about sex as magic – that whole “S/M = Sacred Mystery” kind of thing.
 
It’s funny. Because I tend to top, even vanilla-wise, I tend to think of “sexual ecstasy” as being something that I facilitate in order for my partner (in theory) to experience it. the few times I’ve gone flying, have been outliers – the exception rather than the rule – a “domme space” where I feel like I can contain the whole universe (or, at the very least, a whole galaxy). Bigger than my physical body by a significant margin. And I don’t know whether that feeling is “ecstasy” or if it’s something else.
 
I miss that feeling of flight. I’ve written a little bit about it over here, but it’s not just a sexual thing. It comes from singing, too. I wonder if I’m not confusing/conflaiting ecstasy with “flow state” – that point where the challenge of what you’re doing is equal to your level of skill, so you can be fully immersed in the activity rather than either (a) getting bored or (b) having to direct most of your focus towards Not Screwing Up and, thus, can’t really get into any kind of a Zone.
 
So what does this have to do with Paganism?
Partly, it’s the idea of ecstatic states being trance states, and my interest in being able to step in and out of trance when it’s appropriate to do so. I… suspect (’cause I’m not totally sure) that when I do that energy-vampire thing where I’m on a crowded dance floor and can just go for hours because I’m cycling the free-flowing energy through my body and out again, that I’m both (a) in, or near, a trance state, but also (b) I’m approaching something ecstatic.
I don’t reeeeeeeeally have a clue on that front, but it seems like that might be the case, like they might be connected in some way.
The other part is that I’m wondering if drawing on/in ecstatic experience would be a way to attain more Meaning in ritual (for example) or deeper connection in sex/scene experiences. I’d like to know how to get myself there, and how to get someone else into that zone as well. A handy tool in my ritualist’s/top’s toolkit, so to speak.
 
So here I am, chasing that feeling and wondering if I can find my way to it again or at all.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad.

A is for Actual Reality – Pagan Blog Project 2014

Yes, I’ve been watching “Rent” a lot lately. How did you know?
 
“Actual Reality”.
I had a discussion with my brother the other day about “free will” and how, it became clear over the course fo the conversation, my brother seems to believe that “free will”, if it exists, must be connected to the conscious mind’s ability to make (or not make) decisions. If the decision isn’t made on a conscious level (or is made on a conscious level only after it’s been made on an unconscious level – there was some study he read in some medical journal?) it doesn’t count as “free” will.
 
I’m of a differing oppinion as, I’m sure, will come as no surprise to you.
 
I think that reality is much, much bigger than what our conscious minds are aware of. And I think that our unconscious minds area lot more up on What’s Going On – both interms of what’s going on inside us (are we getting sick, what kind of emotional baggage is at play in Situation X, whether or not so-and-so is really all that good for us, you name it) and in terms of the more complext nature of the cosmos in general.
 
I like to use tarot cards to try and sort out what’s up with me, sometimes, because it’s a way for my unconscious mind (which speakis in pictures and metaphor, but that also tends to know what’s really going on) to communicate effectively with my conscious mind (which speaks in words, but is really good a lying to itself).
 
Now… maybe it’s my “listen to your heart” tendencies, but I do think that our unconscious minds, well, (a) have free will but (b) are a lot more in touch with our Wills than our conscious minds are. That’s why Starhawk’s techniques are all about getting your head out of “talking self” space and into “deep self” space via methods that let the two talk to each other.
Our unconscious is where (and how) we can work magic. It’s the seat of our freest Will.

V is for Vague – Pagan Blog Project 2013

Hello again!
 
Today I’m writing about “vague” both in the English sense of “nebulous” and in the French sense of “wave”. Possibly more the latter than the former.
 
See, I don’t (typically) get visions, and very few of my brushes with Otherworld/Moreworld stuff/people are particularly visceral. But I get feelings. Feeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings. I can feel the top of my head open up (or possibly just get tingly around the scalp line above my ears) and then get some kind of quasi-confirmative statement about that feeling like “You had a visitor – this ball of purple light blinked on about a foot above your head, just then”.
 
Sometimes I do this thing – we’re on the French definition of “vague” now – that, in a different religious context, would be called “rocking in the spirit”. It’s how I know (or react?) when Someone is brushing up against me, trying to make contact, trying to come through.
Sometimes it’s pretty intense (by my standards) – I’ve had people sharing the circle with me get rather worried that my head was going to wind up in a candle-flame; I’ve felt – not often, but once or twice – like Someone had literally grabbed me by the head and was just shaking me up and down until they were done (and the “done” part was very much like being let-go-of, too).
 
This happened yesterday afternoon. Not the intense kind, but the “It appears that I’m being compelled to rock back and forth without my having a say in whether it happens or not… Hm…” kind. I was saying Hello to the sewing machines[1] and… it’s not that they said Hello back because, honestly, I’m enough of a brick that I doubt I’d pick up on something that specific/subtle that… easily. But Something/Someone was awake and… “aware that I was paying attention” is maybe something a little more accurate. Like someone making eye-contact, but not with their eyes? A confirmation of “Yes, I/We see you seeing us. Okay”. That kind of thin, maybe?
I don’t know. It’s fairly guess-work on my end of things, but that’s what was going on yesterday, so I thought I’d bring it up.
 
I can’t help but wonder if all of this stuff – these antique machines being put to use doing ancient work by my wife, the amount of fibre-arts stuff that I’m learning and trying and making part of my life, even the candle-making – I can’t help wondering if it’s feeding my Lady Of The Hearth in some way. More on that later, I suspect.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] My leather-working wife has something like eight at this point, and – being mostly antique (pre-1960) cast iron Singers, they make quite the wee flock of Strange Black Birds in our living room.

V is for Visual Cues – Pagan Blog Project 2013

Hi, folks,
 
Continuing with my catch-up posts for PBP2013, I bring you V is for Visual Cues. Let’s get into it.
 
In reading (however sporadically) Trance-Portation, one of the things I’ve picked up on is that the author encourages using various cues – visual, auditory and, in particular, physical – to help you shift from one State of Consciousness to another.
I have this (possibly silly) oppinion that someone who’s particularly good at shifting states “should” be able to walk in two worlds at once – to be divining accurately with one hand while steering the todler away from the hot stove with the other.
Maybe that’s a ridiculous thing to expect of anyone, though.
I, clearly, am not even on the same map as such an individual, so when I shift states (in-so-far as I even can), I rely on a lot of external help. I wear certain types of clothing and put on certain makeup, listen to certain music (frequently on repeat), scent my kitchen or my bath with certain plants (cinnamon and bay being two from Samhain, for example – my front door still smells like cinnamon and cider, fyi). And I use mood lighting.
Candle light, for me, is a visual cue. Sometimes it’s a cue for The Romantic and sometimes it’s a cue for The Special in some other way (like “We are having a Phamily Get-Together”), but just as frequently, it’s a cue for “My home is now my Capital-H-Hearth and I am working in some capacity”. I’ll light candles – usually dressed tapers – when I have magical jewelry comissions, or use the time it takes to do the lighting – along with the actual light itself – to invite in the People I’m wanting to have come visit (as with the Ancestors last Thursday).
 
Candles aren’t my only visual cue, though they’re probably my most consistently used one. I put together an Ancestor Plate the other day, for example, and decorated the space with a cloth that used to be one of my grandmother’s scarves, along with a vase (er, mason jar) of crow feathers and another of dried savoury. I’ve done similar things with seasonal wreaths, vases of wheat or coils of grape-vine wrapped around heaps of just-harvested winter squash, or blooming pots of dafodils and bowls of last year’s seeds now ready for planting. Every season has it’s symbols and its offerings, right? Good for setting the tone of a feast (subtly or otherwise), and for getting your head right when it comes to Calling People In.
 
Anyway. That’s my short and somewhat overdue chat about visual cues.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

T is for Trepedation (and Trust – or lack there-of) – Pagan Blog Project 2013

So I’ve been dragging my heels a little on this one, partly out of embarrasment. I had originally figured that I’d be writing a 2013 version of T is for Trance, having (in theory) actually done trance work – or at least trance practice – a whole bunch by the time October rolled around.
Instead, I haven’t done much trance work (practice) at all in… er… about six months. Basically since I just about made myself sick while trying to Go Deep (or at least deeper than surface-level) at Queering Power. (Hint: Don’t do this if you suck at shielding!)
And the reason for that basically boils down to fear.
Continue reading

M is for Meditation – Pagan Blog Project 2013

M is for a lot of things – Mentruation is one of them[1]. Magic is another (since my first Pagan Identity was “witch, as in spell-caster[2]”, this is kind of massively relevant for me). Music and Mysteries and the names of all of my Goddesses (Maia, Misha, Mitzu, Mattaer, and Makaa, if you’re Nasty), are all things that M is for.
And yet, weirdly, I’m not actually going to talk about any of them (much) and will, instead, focus on M is for Meditation.
Who knew?
 
So. As-you-know-bob, I did a session with Sofia Wren earlier this week. The upshot of this, among other things, is that I went out and found some chakra-cleansing meditations on youtube and proceeded to do them.
 
Look. In my case, meditation isn’t much of anything. I’m not zen, I have a relatively short attention span, and I tend to want to multitask regardless of what I’m doing. And this youtube video was basically just a deep-breathing exercise.
But.
I think it might actually be helping.
 
The throat chakra is all about communication – everything from Saying What You Mean to tapping into your creative expression to singing to getting your thyroid moving (I dunno), to Using Your Words, to poetry and prose and oration, to comfort with public speaking – and it’s also one that I’ve had some… stuff… with for years.
 
Years of people telling me to shut up
Years of fearing to Use My Words
Years of Not Singing in spite of all my training
Years, for that matter, of voice training followed by a complete stop and a year-long hiatus (and then twelve more years of just not singing much or well or properly)
Frequent bouts of doubting that my work (my singing, my writing, my teaching) was any good
My slimy ex-husband actively tried to close my throat chakra one night (he couldn’t do it, the fucker. Ha! Power to me!)
…Stuff like that.
 
And I’ve taught something like 16 people about local fruit.
And I’ve had Part Two of a story that got shelved in 2010 just start coming out of me. (Please let this turn into a novel – that would be AWESOME!)
And I’ve been singing, just sort of for the hell of it, but without getting a scratchy throat afterwards, for the past two days.
 
So… Maybe this is helping? 🙂
 
Gosh I hope so! 😀
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the (Musical) Birch Maiden
 
 
[1] As a (cis) chick, my worth as a commodity human being is frequently reduced to the assumption that I have a cunt and speculations as to whether or not I have a functioning, as-yet-untouched, and available-for-ownership reproductive system in addition there-to. See: Texas, street harrassment, marital rape, reproductive coersion, telling a nine year old that she “asked for it”, saying hookers “can’t get raped”, and the entire rest of The Patriarchy / Rape Culture for details.
I may wind up doing a post on this one after all but… not today.
 
[2] I see this as a bit like “Queer as in fuck you”, personally. But that’s just me, and it might be just today.

L is for Lapse (in Judgement) – Pagan Blog Project 2013

Like so many things in my life these days, this post is a little bit late. It’s Sunday, my altars are lit (also late) and I have another batch of bread (having burnt the last one – albeit not to the point of it being un-usable) and another batch of yoghurt (2C milk this time, since I didn’t have a lot of starter to work with) on the go.

Yesterday, I had the wonderful experience of attending Queering Power, a one-day selection of workshops and discussions for queers of all genders (but, for the most part, attended by dykes) who are involved in D/s (or M/s or O/p) power exchange.
 
The subject of this PBP13 post, however, is not so much Queering Power (you can read some of my thoughts about the event, itself, here, if you’re interested) as it’s about something that happened to me during the final workshop.
 
The final workshop was about mindfulness, and was opened with a guided breath-focusing exercise intended to do all the things that such an exercise is supposed to do: bring your focus into your body and into things-as-they-are (into the Now, if you will).
I, being opportunistic and possibly kind of dumb, took the opportunity to try one of my trance exercises. I used the Rainbow Elevator technique to enter into what Starhawk (in Earth Path, I think) calls something like “dropped, open awareness”. Or, in my case, to enter a state where my walls were down and I could – in theory – be more aware of the energetic Stuff going on around me.
 
Big Mistake.
 
Opening up (pretty completely) to the energetics of a room stuffed with people all hopped up on intellectual stimulation, particularly when I’m usually bunkered enough to not be overly affected by such a thing, was a one-way ticket to dizziness, nausea, and generally being overwhelmed by Having People Around.
 
On the plus side: It actually worked. When I practice that technique on my own, in my bath tub, with the door closed… I’m never certain if I’m actually Doing Anything or if I’m just having a slightly pleasant day dream while in a bath full of woodsy, fruity essential oils. Doing it in a different context, I got Results. Even if the results were unpleasant, they were still there. Not sure if that qualifies as Unverified Personal Gnosis but… I know what happened in my body, so I’m going to go with it.
 
Anyway. So. As my lovely wife said to me, after we’d retreated to an empty room where I could get my head back together (and have a nap – a very good idea), opening up that wide in that particular situation was a bad idea.
My wife is one of those people who, though to my spidy-senses (such as they are) she is all wood and stone and earth, was born with wings. She can go flying without even having to think about. She doesn’t even need a hedge to ride. She can do it while carrying on a conversation with someone else, even.
Me, on the other hand? I need to actively concentrate and go through a bunch of steps to just get to the point where I can be Receiving, let alone going out and visiting anyone.
One piece of advice she’s given me – though I’m far away from being skilled enough to actually wander out of my body – is to never go Traveling without a destination in mind.
Seems like good advice to me. 🙂
For now, though, I think I’ll stick with trying to get into (and out of) trance space without unsettling my own body too much. 😉
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

C is for Concentration – Pagan Blog Project 2013

So. Last week, I talked about what I planned on doing to mark Imbolg. I did… most of it. The candles took a couple of days longer.
During my ritual bath, I tried to do a little more trance work but… things didn’t go so well.
 
I wasn’t alone in the house – my wife and her girlfriend were busy, and chatting, in the other room. This is, I’ve discovered, very distracting. I wasn’t expecting it to be – usually, I can tune out their conversations and give them some privacy, even when I’m in the same room with them. I’m not sure why it was so hard to tune them out and go into inner space this time.
Maybe because I was actively trying to do it, rather than just distracting myself with something?
 
Anyway, long-story-short, while I did manage to use the elevator-technique again, and I did visit my wild geranium buddy again, it was really hard to “see” anything while I was down there, and I kept partially re-surfacing the whole time.
 
I also got interrupted at one point, near the end of my attempted trance. She didn’t mean to – my wife didn’t know that I was doing ritual work (I figured that since she was working on a project and entertaining someone else, I would have ample time to do my thing without having to put a Do Not Disturb sign on the door – I will have to reconsider this method) – but my sweetie came into the bathroom, poked her head into the tub, and had a conversation with me[1] about our evening plans and needing to get things prepped before meeting her girlfriend’s play-partners for dinner[2].
That was basically it for trying to maintain a trance which, granted, hadn’t been going so well up to that point anyway and which, granted, I had been about to wrap up in any case.
 
So I rode the elevator back up to the day-to-day world – it was a bit disjointed, and I kept “jumping levels”, so to speak – but was a little fuzzy/weird/distracted for the next half-hour or so. (I baked something – which is what the conversation had been about – and that helped a bit). I think, perhaps, that a bit of toast with peanut butter and maybe a cup of tea might have been a good idea.
 
Anyway. The gist of this is that my concentration was kind of shot when I tried to do this bit of trance-work, and it had a very palpable effect on what I was able to accomplish during the trance.
 
One thing that did happen, which may or may not be just me Making Stuff Up: I looked towards the eastern forest, where I’m pretty sure my tree/roots house is, and there is a very big lizardy thing living in the woods. I think it may be a house-guardian or something, because… well, because it wasn’t scary. A big, long, forked tongue came zapping out of the woods, wrapped around my right (passion?) ankle, and tried to yank me towards the forest (but didn’t succeed). But it wasn’t scary.
So I’m not sure what to make of that, but I figured I’d make a note of it here.
Also: I seem to have been dressed roughly like I was in grade eight, give or take a year. No braces (YAY!), but the same sweater and jeans and sneakers and hair-length. Did not actually feel like crap under those circumstances though, which was nice. 🙂
Watered the wild geranium. It nods its head at me, and I hear a little bell. Very cartoony. I don’t know what to make of that, either, but for the record: very cartoony.
 
Anyway, moving right along.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] My vision was kind of fuzzy at this point, which I’m taking as a sign that I actually was “down”, at least a little bit. So… bonus? It seems to be working?
 
[2] Polyamoury.