Archive for August, 2012


Ho hum.

I’m at a point in my life where many, if not most, of my friends are becoming parents and doing those parent-related things. I’m ok with that; many of my friends are suited for parenthood and will probably be great at it. Heck, someone has to make babies to continue our species, right?

Also, a lot of the people I know are getting big kid jobs. You know, the kind of gig that requires you to go to bed at a decent hour and wake up stupid early. Again, I’m all for it. It keeps the economy running. I (sort of) have one of those jobs. No, I don’t have to get up early, but I do need to go to bed by 2 am. It’s a Monday-Friday thing, but I don’t mind staying out on a weeknight.

Here’s my problem:

I no longer have any close friends. According to facebook, I have something like 390 “friends”. Now, a handful or so are people I have never met. Some are family. Most are people with whom I have some sort of a connection in “real life”. But none of them are really that close to me anymore. And I am not close to them. This is probably the first time in my memory that I haven’t had a best friend.

I’m at that age where people I used to know have moved on (and moved away). I have not moved on, or away. I stay up/out late. I drink… a fair amount. I play video games.

I do not have children, nor do I intend to.

As much as I enjoy the company of some kids, it is only for a short amount of time. I get really uncomfortable once they start crying or getting whiny or whatever it is that kids do to make parents give them what they want. I don’t enjoy being around kids when they need to be disciplined. And I really get uncomfortable (read: ticked off) when people with kids give me that look and say things like “You’ll understand when you have your own.”

No. No I will not.Because it isn’t going to happen.Please stop expecting me to start popping out crotch-spawn just because I am a 30 year-old [married] woman.

But I digress… back to the friends thing.

I am a bad friend.

Why?1) I don’t really call people. In part, it is because I am on a different time schedule than others, and I don’t want to call at inappropriate times and interrupt (dinner, nap time, “family time”., etc.). I like to send emails/messages (facebook or text). It may seem impersonal, but it’s a good way for me to communicate without feeling like I am burdening someone.

2) I am terrible about getting together with people. Most of the 30ish crowd like to go out on Friday or Saturday night. I do not. In no way, shape, or form. I HATE the weekend bar scene. Ick.

3) I expect people to call/message me.

I look at all this… stuff… and think that it’s because they all changed. But, maybe it’s me. Maybe because I didn’t change….

Is it because I got bored? Or because they did? Or is it because I don’t try hard enough to be there for them?

It’s put me in a weird place.

I dunno. Whatever, I guess. It would be nice, though, if I had that again.

Meh. Time to get off my pity box. I’m a big girl.

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Indeed.

In my last post, I shared that I had joined a Dianic study group and that we would be reading and discussing “The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries”.

For me to be able to intelligently discuss anything, I usually have to do some thorough research and then write a short essay-like journal to keep track of my thoughts. You see, even if I am really excited or interested in something I still get distract— Ooh, shiny!

See what I mean?

According to the back cover of the book:
“In the early 1970s, pioneering witch and teacher Z Budapest and her Susan B. Anthony Coven self-published a little red paperback called The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries. More than thirty years later this now-not-so-little bookcontinues to educate, entertain, and enlighten, providing a treasure trove of information and rituals for modern pagans, witches, and other women looking to bring a little magic into their spiritual practice.”

Reading that, I have a certain expectation that I will learn at least a bit about the history of  paganism and witchcraft. I should also find humorous, dramatic, and/or romanticized snippets that should delight me and keep me reading.  And I should walk away from this book feeling like I have learned something about the people in the book, paganism in general, and quite possibly myself.

That is an awfully tall order to fill.

I won’t go too much into the forwards and introduction. I read them because I knew this is a newer edition of the book and I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

Let’s get into this; shall we?

Chapter 1: Feminist Witchcraft
This chapter is broken up into 13 small sub-chapters (a few paragraphs to a few pages), beginning with…

“The Politics of Women’s Religion”.
I expected something of a short essay on women’s use of religion governs their daily lives. And while it wasn’t an essay, the attitude was what I expected.
This section reveals the manifesto of the Susan B. Anthony Coven. It is a series of statements reflecting the groups outlook on attitude and commitments to their craft, their sisters, and themselves. As a whole, they are strong and powerful statements. Calling this the “politics of women’s religion”, though, is a bit of a stretch. It’s a view of the group’s own religious beliefs, and not an all-encompassing thing.

“Women’s Religion, As in Heaven, So on Earth”
Here’s my problem with some all-female pagan groups – They completely discount the importance of men in the very same way some Christian faiths discount the importance of women. It is hypocritical and frustrating.
As I read this section of chapter 1, I found myself clenching my jaw in anger. While I follow the ideal that there is no all-powerful male deity controlling our lives, I also don’t believe there is an all-powerful female deity doing the same.

“The Turning of the Tide: How We Lost It”
There are some great anecdotes about ancient civilizations, their once-female dominated spirituality and the loss of their power by greedy, power-hungry men. It creates an overwhelming alarm in me, as in most women I expect, about the injustice brought upon our ancestors.
I’d like to do a bit of research into the Greek hierarchy and it’s origins to see if what the author says is even close to truth, or if this section of the book is and exaggeration of history. Maybe it’s both. That is the beauty of history, isn’t it?

“The Slothwoman as Ancient Magician”
I really enjoyed this sub-chapter. The idea that our ancient, instinct-driven brain still controls some of our daily life is fascinating to me. Deep down, engrained in our long-forgotten memories there is a force, a beginning that never ended… astounding, don’t you think?
Slothwoman is a term coined by Budapest. I’m not particularly fond of it, but I don’t think I could have come up with anything better. The author believes that we can appease her – this simple creature – through song, poetry, dance, and pretty shiny things. Slothwoman is our base instinct and needs to be loved and honored. In turn, she can provide us with ancient knowledge and guidance.

“Dangers of Magic”
For any woman who practices magic, this section is a pretty important read. It’s a short, 8-paragraph note-to-self guide to not getting an ego. It’s a sort of “How To Not Be a Jerk” section.

The rest of this chapter includes sub-chapters on tools, setup and spell-casting as well as sources for herbs, oils, and incense. This is a helpful resource for women who choose to follow that path of pagan spirituality.
The Slothwomen section of chapter 1 was really the only part that had me interested. And I truly appreciated the resource section. Though I don’t practice traditional spell-casting, I do use aspects of it in prayer and meditation. I don’t feel like I need to burn candles or incense, but having a poem or song to sing to myself helps me feel centered and clears my mind of worry.

I am excited to read chapter 2, as it looks to focus on Dianic tradition and rites. I am a big fan of religious histories, so this should be right up my alley.

Until next time, everyone; stay safe, stay happy.

Well… It has been a while, hasn’t it?

Sorry about that; it’s been a crazy time around here. And I really didn’t have much inspiration to write.
That’s not to say that I have a ton of inspiration to write right now, but I felt like I was neglecting you all.

Instead of my usual “this thought popped into my head” kind of post, I’ll do a sort of book report… thing.
I’m reading some new books for a Dianic study group that I recently joined. Not, like, an academic report, mind you. More like a journal of the thoughts I have as I read the book.

This group, to clarify, is not a coven or anything like that. It’s a group of women who honor feminine mysteries and wish to learn about our traditions together. We believe it’s paramount to growing the next generation of Daughters of the Moon. Society is so outside of the Sacred nowadays and we seek towards bringing us all back to sacred living in every moment.

While I am not a follower of Diana, as you know, I find the parallels between Dianic legend and that of Brigid intriguing.

First up: The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries by Z. Budapest.
“This book is not about reinstating a matriarchy or tearing down patriarchy; it is about women’s spirituality and its relationship with politics and lifestyle.”

It just arrived, so as I start reading it, I’ll update – probably by chapter – my thoughts and feelings. I expect I will dislike some things and may agree with others. I am particularly interested in the history and traditions, and not so much on the spells and witchcraft. It’s not that I have an issue with spell casting and whatnot, but I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of physical magik/magic/etc.

See, I look at spell “casting” as a type of prayer. I don’t necessarily believe that we can manifest control or change over the earth. My biggest concern, I guess, is the thought that some arbitrary thought can create superficial things. I see these “blessings” or “curses” that some folks are selling online. This makes my head hurt. How to you sell a blessing? What price do you put on a curse?

I do believe in the transfer of positive and negative energy to the world around you. But, do I believe that such energy can affect things like wealth or one’s love life or job status? No. Do I believe that the good thoughts of those around you can affect your state of mind enough to give you confidence to get the things you desire? Absolutely.

I digress…
Time to start reading.

I want to make these sooooo bad.

Fiona Grows Food

I have a glut of beetroot at the moment from a bumper harvest at the weekend so I’m trying to find lots of different uses for it. Most people have only ever had the pickled type, in a jar, and while this is a lovely way to eat it, there’s a huge variety of ways you can cook it. I’ll be sharing a few ideas over the coming days for great ways to cook with this lovely, versatile crop.

Today, I give you, chocolate beetroot brownies, a yummy recipe for moist chocolate brownies and an unusual way to use up some fresh beetroot from the garden.

image

You will need
250 grams of dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa, I used 75%
250 grams of butter
150 grams of self raising flour
250 grams of caster sugar
3 large eggs
A pinch of salt
40 grams of chopped mixed nuts
250…

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It’s been a long friggin’ past few days. The heat wave we’ve had up here is messing with my sinuses, my head, and my lungs. It’s been nice to be able to relax in the pool, but the air is still so thick and gross.

I was in a parade on Sunday. It was super hot, super sunny, and really awesome. I managed to keep mostly burn-free, though the backs of my legs got a little red (ok, a lot; it was not pretty).

And to top it all off, I had a minor freak-out last night. Somehow we got on the subject of Peanut, and my husband (who was sufficiently drunk) started crying. He’s not a crier typically; it takes quite a bit to get that kind of reaction. And I know the alcohol played a big part in it.
But this happened as I was driving us home from the bar. So I was tired, sore (bar stools just aren’t that comfortable), and dehydrated… and that happened. Of course, I start crying. Not only is it a normal reaction for me to cry when others do, but it was also my Peanut.

It is really hard to drive while crying.

When we got home I pretty much went straight to bed. I didn’t want to be up late anyway, which it was, but the emotional drain of the ride home was enough to give me a stress-headache that I just did not want to deal with. Just when you think you might be past that point, you aren’t.
It’s sort of the whole – each day it hurts less and less, until you realize it doesn’t hurt any more. But then, you feel terrible for not feeling bad, so the cycle starts up again – thing. SUX BAWLZ.

But, better things await. I have to push through this to get on with my life.
Dance class tomorrow and Thursday, up to the lake with my sister Friday night, party at the lake Saturday, home Sunday. A nice, full weekend.
Then we have Irish Fair the second weekend of August, and our Renaissance Festival starts up on the 18th.
I have friends getting married, friends having babies, and some vaction time.

I have some great blog-related ideas that will get posted soon – as soon as I figure out how to write them without sounding like an a$$hat or the like.

Until then, folks, enjoy the night; stay healthy, stay happy, and for the love of all things bacon – SMILE.