eiblyn: (triskelion)
First off, let me say that for my first Pagan festival/gathering, this was wonderful. The food was great, the people were better and I only froze my ass off half the nights in the tent. Really, I should have packed another blanket (I had intended to, it just got lost in the shuffle).

Having a child-free event meant that I got to go to almost every workshop. I missed the last workshop scheduled because I forgot it was happening. Which kind of bummed me out because I really had wanted to go. But all the other workshops I made it to were very nice.

Even with all the enjoyment and the casual feel of the event I still had some pretty significant religious experiences while there. I did some guided meditation exercises that really stretched those mental muscles that I haven't used as much as I would have liked since [livejournal.com profile] elf_baby has been born.

I went to a Shamanic Trance workshop and we traveled to the Underworld twice. Romping around down there, I met up with a new Spirit Totem. Apparently I'm going to be the bug lady because now I not only have Spider watching and helping, now I have Ant too. I'm feeling very blessed though that they both chose to help me and guide me. I also saw a whole plethora of animals while I was down there.

It seems that most of the animals I saw while down there are based in Alaska. Which is sort of amusing to me as a concept. I see the Underworld as Alaska...hmmm. Anyway, I'm thinking I'm going to talk to Lance about my going up to Alaska to visit my mother this summer. Maybe some other things will fall into place there.

I did a tarot reading for someone while there. That worked out well. After all of the meditating and time spent in sacred space, it really seemed to just flow out of me in a stream. I was happy to be finding that place in myself where answers are again.

Other things I realized were not quite as flattering. I do not have as personally connected relationship as I should. I have been busy, but I also have not been prioritizing as I think I ought to. Of course my daughter is and should continue to be my first priority. But I haven't been using my free time well. I am not pious anymore. I want to change that.

I also bought the printed copy of the Dedicants Program for the ADF and a print copy of the Wheel of the Year guide that accompanies it and breaks down each step to do by weeks. I had it highly recommended to me.

More later on some of the experiences and insights I garnered.
eiblyn: (triskelion)
At the end of this week there is a gathering of ADF druids in Virginia. It happens to be an hour away from where I need to pick up [livejournal.com profile] elf_baby from her visit with [livejournal.com profile] elvnsword. I have a tent already and just have a few other things to pick up to make my adventure. I am very excited having never been to a Pagan event like this before. And it's nice to be able to plan stuff like this when [livejournal.com profile] elf_baby is away and being taken care of so I don't have to worry about her. I leave tomorrow morning to head out that way. Tonight I have to buy sunblock, water and a few other things and then finish emptying out my car so I get better gas mileage heading out there. I am *so* excited. WOOT!
eiblyn: (triskelion)
I have been thinking seriously for the last year or so about receiving some Pagan training of some sort in a semi-official capacity. I have never had an initiation. I have self-dedicated myself and that was a very real and moving experience but I feel the call to teach and as such, I really need to get my ducks in a row. Eventually, I want to become ordained. It makes being Pagan much simpler in the military if you are ordained. I don't have to jump through tons of hoops to open a group or anything like that. The problem is that I never seem to find people who are open to teaching me. I'm not exactly sure why. I meet lots of people who ask me questions...even though I largely feel unqualified to answer them. I try to do my best with that and it usually turns out ok. But I'm seriously wanting to find someone to guide me and teach me on a more individual basis. I don't exactly know how to go about finding that. Witchvox doesn't help much when you are living overseas. And I can't seem to find people in the local community. I've run into a few people, but I'm not sure the language barrier wouldn't prove to be a serious problem. I have looked at a few distance learning programs on Pagan study. The problem there is that I know I need some individual interaction and that my life is a bit hectic to devote tons of time every day. I can read for a few hours usually when the baby is sleeping. I can usually meditate. But I really thrive in environments where I have other people to bounce ideas off of. I've been reading my way through the list that [livejournal.com profile] elenbarathi posted. *sighs* I don't know. I feel the drive. I just can't seem to find the opportunity. Anyone have advice? Anyone want to volunteer *grins*?
eiblyn: (triskelion)
This book slips into what may seem to be a small niche in the realm of Pagan texts. But the number of Pagans in the US Armed Forces is steadily growing and including those who are not willing to be known, is quite large. A text of this nature has been sadly lacking for years.

I have known a number of military Pagans in my life. I currently know roughly a dozen Pagan or Pagan-leaning soldiers. As I read this book, I was struck by how many of their opinions and thoughts I saw echoed on the page. All of them long for peace; all of them struggle with the role of the Warrior in a society that neither respects it nor understands it. This book outlined some very moving rituals that could be easily adapted. It had excellent suggestions for how to maintain and grow your faith in the face of uncertainty. Included were ideas on making a *tiny* travel altar (think altoid box), rituals to prepare yourself for battle and to heal yourself afterwards.

This book is largely aimed towards active-duty Pagans. Beyond that, it is also geared towards married soldiers with children rather than single soldiers. I believe this is due to the viewpoint of the author, her being the wife of a military Pagan with children. Most of the rituals could still be performed with the help of a close friend. And the magickal items created by some of the spells could be made with a close band of friends; home is after all, where you make it.

It contains an excellent run-down of the rights of a military Pagan both in dealing with the civilian world and the military one. It also has some excellent suggestions of things to consider before enlisting or re-enlisting.

Overall, I would recommend this book to any Pagan who is in the military or considering joining. I'm not sure it would be as useful for the veteran, but some of the rituals and discussions of the role of the Warrior could prove useful fodder for thought and conversation.
eiblyn: (Default)
I haven't posted in a bit about this. Partly because it's been really slow going. I'm on the third book in the Witchcraft Today trilogy and about halfway done with it. I've been working on meditating on a more regular basis. So far, I've done both days this week. I'm on a big self-improvement kick. I'm finding the trilogy to be very dry in some ways. It was written for about a decade ago. Many of the things the authors lament don't apply as much anymore. And I noticed that there was a very serious anti-Christian bias in the first book. That always saddens me when I see it but doesn't surprise me. Of course, the books are a bit dated and the things in there don't apply as much. I've sent the first two books in the series to [livejournal.com profile] elvnsword. He is reading them too. He seems to like them. Just wanted to put out there that I haven't stopped working on it. Life just happens and babies take time.
eiblyn: (pentacle)
I responded to a prompt on a yahoo group I'm part of. The question was, "What role should men play in Wicca and paganism?" My response... )

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