30 December 2009

Speak to Me

Today, I had an unsuspected visitor. Those are the best, aren't they? It was a volunteer from a Jehovah's Witness church, spreading the message of God. And I spoke with her, took her magazine, and asked her to come back next week so we can talk more. This is something I've never done before. Normally, I say "No thanks" in a not-very-polite voice and close the door on them. Granted, the last time a Jehovah's witness came to my door, I was a teenager.

Things I've learned today:

Answering the door even though you're busy watching Dexter and playing Sims 2 and not expecting anyone is always a good idea.
Jehovah's witnesses don't believe in the trinity, hell, the immortal soul, that not all good people go to heaven (only a select few, the rest live forever on earth), that Mary is the mother of God, or that there should be images of God (though no Christian does, so I don't know how this fits: must ask!).
That even under the label of "Christian," there are many ways of viewing and worshipping god (which I knew, for the most part.)

I'm not going to say it was a timely visit, exactly, because it's not as though I'm hovering on the edge of doubt waiting to be saved. I'm a Pagan, and there's no changing that. But that doesn't mean I can't be civil or join in discussions of religion. Honest discussions, as I hope to have next week with this woman, benefit both sides. I don't honestly expect to convert her to paganism or even away from... Jehovah's Witness-ism, just as I don't expect to be converted, but I do hope to maybe alter her perception of pagans and paganism into a more positive light. And maybe she'll be able to answer some questions for me.

This visit also made me wonder what I'll be taking away from my foray into Christianity. Other than the knowledge that it's really not for me, I mean. The use of prayer, maybe. I know some Pagans pray, seeing it as a less obtrusive way for "magicking" up some help for someone. But it is also a less ritualized way of talking to god, to either offer up thanks or even ask for help. This is something that will take a bit more thought, me thinks.

29 December 2009


Last December I turned 21. Now, I don't drink, so I had no illusions of going out and getting falling-down-drunk. So, I bought myself something that will last much longer than fuzzy memories of drinking: a tattoo! Also, it didn't hurt that I made quite a bit of money from selling text books back at the end of that semester!!!

I really wanted to add to it this year, but unfortunately I ran low on funds. :( I want to get a dragon of similar style either perched on top of the pentacle or hanging around on the swirly-gigs. Or maybe get crescent moons on either side of it to form the triple moon symbol... So many options!!

I did quite a bit of searching for just the right tattoo. In the end, I found two pictures of pentacles that I liked, brought it into the tattoo artist and he combined them together into a tattoo that I love.

And, wow, this post went nowhere! Haha! I was looking at pictures of other people's tattoos and decided I wanted to show off mine.

28 December 2009

my attempt

It's ironic that my being a Christian was a phase, when my parents were convinced that I would turn away from Paganism years ago. It's been a surprisingly short phase, too, since I only started considering myself a Christian in March or April. When I told my boyfriend (and later my mother) that it just wasn't working out, both asked me why and "what about it isn't working out?" And I couldn't come up with an answer. It's like trying to tell why you prefer one food or colour or hairstyle over another.

But this is my attempt:

As a Christian, I missed god. The Christian god is supposed to be personal, but I always felt disconnected from Him. Maybe because of the traditions and connotations that come along with Christianity. You talk to God in church. You worship God in church. You praise God in church. You talk about and learn about God... in church. Christianity, to me, feels like what I want to call a "building religion." Yes, congregations will still gather together if their church building is destroyed in a disaster, but that seems like the only time anyone ever espouses the notion that a church is the congregation and not the building.

As a Pagan, I see god in everything. I worship god at every step of the day, because the simple act of living is a way to praise the gods and give thanks. "All acts of love and pleasure are my ritual" as says the Charge of the Goddess. Observing nature becomes a way of observing god. As I watch the changing of the seasons, I see the life, death, and rebirth of the gods. When I see a new plant thrusting forth from the earth, I see the promise and gift of new life. God is not contained in a book. God is not contained in a building. The gods reveal themselves in all that is around us.

It seems I truly am a witch at heart. I tried very hard to be a Christian, and I very much wanted to be one. Even knowing there were other Christopagans wasn't enough to keep me bouyed in my journey. I still lack the words to explain why I chose Paganism over Christianity and even Christiopaganism. It's just... Paganism is what I know, it's what I'm comfortable with, it's what I believe. I don't have to compromise.
I know my mother is really disappointed in me, that I've "regressed" into my witchy self. Maybe she's geniunely upset by it. I don't know how my boyfriend feels... He hasn't said anything about it since I told him. I haven't told anyone else. Like I said in an earlier post, it's slightly embarrassing, because now I have to retract all those statements of "Hey, I'm a Christian now!" It's entirely possible that I could have continued on as a "Christian." But, I prefer honesty. I have to be true to myself. And I have to be true to the world.

21 December 2009

Blessed Yule!

Many happy wishes on this darkest day of the year! This is a day that speaks to me on many levels. Eleven years ago today my father returned home after three years in prison (vehicular manslaughter) and brought back the light to my family. This is the day of the Horned God's rebirth, bringing back the light to the world (in the form of the sun, at least until the Summer solstice). This day also serves as a reminder that no matter how dark things get, there is always a time when the darkness lifts and the light returns to our lives.

A remarkably short post for a remarkably short day. I'm at my parents' this week for holiday celebrations and have very little time for posting. But next week I'll be back at home and should have lots of time for religious musings and posting. See you then!

16 December 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday- What do you wish to give?

This week, Jamie asks:

What do you wish to give?

I wish to give my son full love, support, and comfort. I wish to give him everything he needs in life to grow up to be a respectful, honest, and loving man.

I also wish to give myself time away from technological pursuits. (My friend got me hooked on Happy Aquarium on Facebook. lol) This wish would be much easier if it were summer, when parks and cemeteries (it's big, with lots of grass and flowers and history: i.e. I'm not creepy!) and just being outside is much more appealing.

You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. It’s easy. Answer the wish prompt above on your blog and then add a direct link to your post in the box below. Support wishes by visiting other participants, leaving a comment saying “As (insert name) wishes for her/himself, so I wish for her/him also.” It’s that simple. There is great power in wishing together.

15 December 2009


My favorite books are a fantasy series by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson for the last three) called the Wheel of Time. And like all epic fantasy series, these novels are filled with the fight between good and evil and, of course, magic. The majority of magic users in these novels are Aes Sedai, a group of women with great political power formed to serve the people (in their own way, of course!) In fact, Aes Sedai means "Servant of All."

About seven years ago, I joined a community based around Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Unlike many communities based around fantasy novels, this site I joined was not (and is not!) a role playing community, but a community of people brought together by their love of WoT to be Servants of All. In becoming a part of the TarValon.Net community, I found a huge extended family and network of friends that spans the entire globe. Among this family and friends, I have 54 (or so) of the most amazing Sisters, all very individual, strong, and independent women.

This morning I mailed off a Christmas package of cookies (The Best Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chunk Cookies You've Ever Had and Snickerdoodles) to one of my Sisters. In it I also included a poem called "Start the Day with a Smile."

Start the day with a smile.
Make everything worthwhile.
Live this day the best you can;
For it will never come again.

Say a little prayer now and then
and now be good to all men.
Today banish all sorrows
and make good to all tomorrows.

Let your works shine before men
And so you can say "Amen."
Toil in all kinds of weather.
Be kind to sister and brother.

May your joys be so plenty
That they glory you immensely.
You shall know them by their fruits,
Be they animals or brutes.

Your sufferings are not in vain
Even though they cause you some pain.
Live by the sweat of your brow.
Live happily then and now.

It seemed a fitting poem, wishing happiness and joy in a way that is a little less cliche than asking for "peace on Earth and goodwill towards men."


And in other news, I suppose it's time to set up my winter altar, though I'm fairly certain I'm lacking any sort of winter-y paraphernalia aside from our (small and fake) Yule tree.

12 December 2009


The other day a friend and I were running errands around town, and he commented on my choice of radio station. I've been listening to Spirit FM (contemporary Christian) since May/June, because I like the DJs and the music. But anyway, he said that he never imagined that I'd be listening to a Christian station, or even that I was a Christian. Now, this friend is really quite new. I only started talking to him this semester, and that day was the first time we'd talked longer than 10 minutes. So I'm not entirely sure where he was getting non-Christian vibes from.

Anyway (again), when he said that, I wasn't sure what to say. I mean, I can't really crunch my spiritual beliefs and reasons for them into a tiny nutshell. It's not enough for me to say "Jesus was the son of God, came to Earth to die for our sins," because that doesn't fully encompass what I believe. It is part of it, but not all of it. I doubt I could crunch my spiritual beliefs into a single blog post--hence the blog devoted to this.

I ended up saying something like, "oh, yeah, well, I converted earlier this year, though I don't think most Christians would consider me a Christian." To be honest, I barely consider myself a Christian. I did, fully. I said I was fully Christian and fully Pagan. But as time goes on, I'm feeling less and less comfortable with the Christian label and ideals. I thought I could do it. It was easy to believe, when I was reading up on Christianity every day. Now, though, it just seem awkward for me. I think because I'm trying to bend my belief systems to make them work with each other, instead of either picking one and being happy, or just letting it happen naturally. However, if I were to let it happen naturally, I'm fairly certain I would go back to being "Pagan," but with a lot of Christian influences, instead of the "fully Pagan, fully Christian" I am now.

Does this mean I'm going to give up on being Christopagan? Honestly, I don't know. And I find that very disappointing. Do I have a right for being disappointed in myself that these beliefs I chose aren't working out? For being disappointed in myself for converting in the first place? It's amusing, really, that I started this blog to help cement my beliefs. So I'd have a place to cipher through things and find a firmer footing on what I believe in. But, the majority of blogs I follow belong to fellow Witches. Why? Well, because most of the Christian bloggers I've come across follow the very exclusive teachings that I find so distasteful.

I've always hated being proven wrong. And I've seen it posted in numerous places that one can't be Christian *and* Pagan. And, while I'm still convinced that it can work out for some, maybe it's just not for me. We'll see.

11 December 2009


First and foremost, my recipe for "The Best Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chunk Cookies You've Ever Had."

Unfortunately, I couldn't find my actual recipe. :( And I couldn't find the original recipe. But I found one that's pretty close.

Cookie Recipe Link!!!

The only difference I have in mine is that they contain oatmeal. So if I were making these, I'd probably replace 1/2 cup of the flour with some quick oats. And use whole-wheat flour. ^_^

Today (Sunday, since I don't know how this editing works with the timestamp) I found the original recipe of "The Best Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chunk Cookies You've Ever Had!!!" Recipe Link The only change I make is using creamy peanut butter instead of crunchy, though they're delicious either way.

Second was my (somewhat, but not very much so) Healing Apple Bread I made on Wednesday. So far, it's gotten rid of everything but a hacking cough. lol

Healing Apple Bread Link!!!!

My changes to the recipe: not peeling the apples, grating the apples, whole wheat flour. If I make it again in the future, I will probably double the spice amounts, since the bread was a little bland to my tastes.

I hope you enjoy!

09 December 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday -- What is your spirit wishing for?

This week, Jamie Ridler asks us:

What is your spirit wishing for?

And today, my spirit is wishing for health! I'm just getting over a pretty nasty cold that hit me Sunday night. And this morning, Camden woke up with pink-eye in both eyes! I think I may have gotten it, too, though I'm not entirely sure. So, yeah, health is in pretty short supply around here, and my spirit is wishing for it back!

You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. It’s easy. Answer the wish prompt above on your blog and then add a direct link to your post in the box below. Support wishes by visiting other participants, leaving a comment saying “As (insert name) wishes for her/himself, so I wish for her/him also.” It’s that simple. There is great power in wishing together.

I think I'm going to make some apple bread, and work some healing into it. I'm just glad I'm feeling well enough to do something other than huddle under blankets watching episodes of The Office.

04 December 2009


I have long been a fan of Rainer Maria Rilke, a German poet. I first heard his poetry when I watched the movie "Awakenings" with Robin Williams. He reads "The Panther," using it as a metaphor for the catatonic patients. And while I love all of Rilke's work, my favourite is "Schwarze Katze" or "Black Cat."

Ein Gespenst ist noch wie eine Stelle,
dran dein Blick mit einem Klange stößt;
aber da, an diesem schwarzen Felle
wird dein stärkstes Schauen aufgelöst:

wie ein Tobender, wenn er in vollster
Raserei ins Schwarze stampft,
jählings am benehmenden Gepolster
einer Zelle aufhört und verdampft.

Alle Blicke, die sie jemals trafen,
scheint sie also an sich zu verhehlen,
um darüber drohend und verdrossen
zuzuschauern und damit zu schlafen.
Doch auf einmal kehrt sie, wie geweckt,
ihr Gesicht und mitten in das deine:
und da triffst du deinen Blick im geelen
Amber ihrer runden Augensteine
unerwartet wieder: eingeschlossen
wie ein ausgestorbenes Insekt

The translation that seems most popular on the interwebs is:

A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:

just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.

She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
into her, so that, like an audience,
she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
and curl to sleep with them. But all at once

as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
suspended, like a prehistoric fly.

The one I prefer, though is insurmountably different. I feel it captures the essence of the original much more truly than the translation above.

A phantom, even, still presents a spot
On which your glance impinges with a stir;
But your most strenuous gazing comes to naught,
Dissolved against this coat of sable fur:

As one frenzied, at the height of madding
Rage stampeding into black,
Will abruptly at the bulky padding
Of the cell lose steam and stagger back.

All the glances ever aimed at her
She appears to hide about her fur,
Quivering over them, baneful and glum,
Even in her sleep a part of her.
Of a sudden, though, her eyes will come
Straight for yours, as if she'd just been woken:
In the amber of her eyestones then
You encounter your own gaze again,
Startlingly encapsuled like the token
Of a fly in prehistoric gum

It gives me shivers. Truly. This poem speaks to the depths of my soul, and I don't know why. A black cat--a panther, in my mind's eye--trapped forever in a cage, pacing for there is nothing else to do, always loathing those outside for their freedom, capturing them with a glance when "she" can; and, suddenly, you're there with her, in her cage, looking out past the bars, at yourself caught up in her cage.

I find it odd that the translations assume the cat is a she. "Sie" is the pronoun used in the original, which does mean "she," but, also, it means "it." Katze is feminine, and therefore takes sie as a pronoun. (I know, stupid languages with stupid genders, right?) But it makes me wonder if the translators know anything about the language, or if they're just looking up the words in a worterbuch/dictionary?

03 December 2009


I saw an article the other day (http://www.bib-arch.org/e-features/christmas.asp if you're curious) about why December 25 was chosen for the Christmas celebration. Interestingly enough, it didn't support the idea that the 25th was chosen to aid in the conversion of pagans. It says that Judaism belief that great things are expected to occur on the same day year after year. The great things in Christianity? Obviously, the crucifixion of Christ and salvation of humanity. What led to the resurrection? The birth of Yeshua. These two things supposedly happened on the same day: the 25 of March. Coincidentally, nine months after March 25 is December 25, ergo, the birth of Christ. (Other dates support April 6 as the Passion date, and therefore, January 6 as the birth date. Some cultures still put emphasis on January 6 as an important holiday)

It was quite an interesting read, if I may say so, but it made me start thinking of Winter traditions. I don't have any of my own, aside from going to my parents' to celebrate with presents and Christmas dinner. This year Camden talked me into buying a little tree from a thrift store, and we've decorated it. But that's about the extent of our winter-y decorating, although I would like to do more, if only for his sake.

My parents like to push the Santa issue, even though I don't want to go through that with Cam. I don't remember ever suffering the trauma of finding out Santa isn't real, but I know many people have. Do I want that possibility for Camden? Do I want him to expect expensive presents from a magical being, even though I may not be able to afford those presents for him? A few people I've talked to about it have said I'm denying him the full experience of Christmas... Or something like that. But I say I'm protecting him from the possible let down of finding out there's no Santa (in a literal sense), and I'm also protecting myself from the pressure of buying him what he asked Santa for, even though it's out of my budget, just to keep up the charade. And hopefully, without expecting tons and tons of presents from Santa, it will be easy to avoid much of the commercialism of the Christmas season. And he'll be able to show gratitude to the people who actually bought the presents for him.

Is it odd that I believe in magic, magical beings, and magical beasts, but not Santa?
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