These past few days have been a little hectic, and yesterday we had a post-Christmas get-together with my folks. All things considered, the visit went really well. The girls got lots of presents, some candy, books, and delicious food. My husband and I also got gifts too (which was unexpected and awesome), originally for Yule and Christmas we had only a little money for gifts, so we each got one thing.
I got an ocarina (more on that later), and he got a computer game. But we were pleasantly shocked by the gifts we got from my family, including several books, some geeky memorabilia (matching Star Wars mugs and such), and $120 to spend on ourselves on Amazon.
Color me stunned.
As excited as I was last time I posted, my energy levels had been barely enough for me to cognitively crawl, let alone anything more. My two littlest bed-hogs finally stopped pulling all-night cuddle sessions, and I am on the mend from that, as well as a lifting injury from my 3 year old (I lifted her over the baby gate and wrenched muscles in my back, not fun.) I was barely able to walk or climb the stairs for about 3 days, so it is nice to be able to move without pain.
I hadn’t been able to do much in the way of a major ritual with the Gods or Spirits during the hustle of the season, but I have been working on leaving small offerings each day. Fresh water in one glass cup, a portion of my drink, and a separate shot of our attempt at cherry flavored vodka on the 21st (we tried dissolving cherry flavored bottle-caps candy in vodka, and then mixed it with Code Red soda, it sort of worked O_O).
I shared a sip, and hailed Loki as I placed it on our fridge altar. Just that little sip caused my head to start buzzing, so I didn’t have anymore. I have also been leaving food offerings as well, not only for the Gods, but also the Spirits and the Fae.
I had felt a little guilty after my last post that talked about rushing off into a new branch of my Path, I was worried I wasn’t keeping up the traditions and relationships I had spent so much time building. So I have been testing out the different deities and beings I had felt called to before, and honoring Loki, the Fae, the Land Wights around us, the animal Spirits that I feel speak to me, and the other Gods that show up in my life.
The ideas of Druidism and their practices still call to me, but I am cautiously stepping forward so I can build my beliefs without losing anything important. So far I have only added a few new things to my “tool-kit”, one of which is a flute called an Ocarina.
It is a 12-holed blue resin/plastic flute like the one Link plays in the Zelda games, I found some videos on Youtube of performers using these ocarinas to play all kinds of music, and fell in love with them. After days of ogling the sites that make them, and listening to the music, my husband bought me one of my very own.
It arrived in the mail last Monday, and I have been practicing every day with it since. So far, I have figured out where my fingers go, and played a few short tunes, including “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and the Star Wars theme song. Learning the different notes and how to play songs with it has become a bit of an obsession, and I spend every moment I can playing it.
Some of the higher notes are a bit squeaky, and unappealing, but I keep practicing to improve my skills in playing it, as well as remembering the fingering positions. With the money we received from my folks, I was able to purchase a ceramic Alto in C ocarina, to try out some of the songs that have eluded me so far.
I am also excited to get a ceramic one because I want to use it in rituals, as well as creating musical magic spells, woven into the notes I play. I also want to decorate the plastic ocarina with paintings, charms, or other symbols to consecrate it, and once my ceramic one arrives, I want to do the same.
Learning to play this has helped me feel less “stage-fright” when I am working with Them, and shows me that I am stronger and more capable than I give myself credit for. I know it, but that is sometimes hard to remember when I get out my drum and feel seized by a moment of fluttery panic if someone sees me.
Being self-conscious of ritual workings, spells, songs, and just whatever has really been hampering me. I have felt it for years, but never knew how to overcome it in order to serve the Gods as I should, rather then being worried about how I look to other people around me.
Logically I know I should just block the human stares out, but the sick pit in my stomach is so hard to be rid of. I hate it, and wish it would go away, but I know I am supposed to be strong enough to overcome it myself, and not flail about looking for a rescue. Even if the rescue would make me feel better, it ain’t happening for something that I allow to decrease not only my relationship with Them, but also to hamper my spiritual growth. I have to make the effort to fix it, in order to prove it to myself and Whoever is watching at that time.
I have also been reevaluating my use of tarot cards, and discovered the Wildwood tarot deck I bought a few years ago is actually working for me nowadays. I have been doing a simple 3-6 card draw before bed each night, and the cards have been helping me look deeper at the coming day, as well as my actions and how they impact the world around me. I was considering doing a daily blog post on the cards I get, and the impressions I am being shown with them. I guess overcoming stage-fright has benefited me more then I had thought originally.
On another note, I am set to start college next month, I am working on an Associate’s Degree in Accounting, and I am excited about it, as well as a bit nervous for going back after so long. I will be attending 2 online classes, and 2 “in-person” classes, so my schedule is going to get crazy. My blog will most likely become a few posts a week at most (probably on the weekends) and I will focus on meditating to keep from panicking at the idea of going back to school.
I have been using my beads as a calming tool, as well as pain management or a sleep aid, but I have been worried about taking them with me to class. They are such an important part of my practice, also having taken 2 months to make, that I am concerned they would become broken or lost. I have my altar set up in a wooden trunk my husband gave me, and I was planning on keeping them in it while I was gone, and carrying them with me while I was home. It will he helpful in order to ground myself from school, stress, and bring me back mentally/spiritually.
Leaving them behind has presented me with a problem though, what would I use while in class or studying? I talked with my husband about it, and the suggestion came up about using a bit of the money I got for a new strand from Amazon. So I looked, and agonized over which one seemed right. I found listing after listing for stone bead strands, wooden bead strands, sandalwood bead malas, and bone beads.
Finally I found the only one that felt right, a 108 white bone bead strand on a red cord. Out of all of the various kinds I found, this one felt peaceful, and even just looking at the picture I could feel a connection. I have wanted to use bones in my practices, but lacked the opportunity and skill to carve my own beads out of bones (as my Fibro progresses, I find any heavy manual labor to be more difficult, and sanding wooden dowels or sticks causes so much pain in my hands, as well as a lengthy recovery period before I can try to do more.)
The new strand is being shipped out today, and might arrive within a few weeks (hopefully by the time school starts).
My eldest daughter has started OT therapy, got her braces on, and two HCT counselors are visiting twice a week so they can work with the whole family. That makes our weekly stuff quite chaotic, not counting two case managers (mine and hers), and all the driving everything entails. I feel like these are all things that could be sung to “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.
They have been helpful in reevaluating how we communicate with our daughter, as well as the rules, guidelines, expectations that we need to set out for her. This has led to some acting out, because she wants something, and will bend or twist the rules to get it. But we know that is part of how she acts, so we are working to overcome negative habits, and rewrite new ones.
Hopefully as time goes on, life will get a little less chaotic, but for now, it is going to be quite the ride.