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Practice makes Perfect

Week two and already running late – so I’m right on schedule.

My practice, which I could rightly call ‘The Struggle’ is interesting. With Northern Tradition Paganism being both relatively new to the game, and being extremely personal, my practice varies. Up until I was typing this, I would have told you I have no ‘daily’ practice. That is, I would have said there was nothing I do every single day that is part of my practice.

Currently, I work hard to keep a regular practice, rather than a daily one – I would rather be doing the same thing with regularity rather than the same thing every day for a month and then forget about it. I would ideally like to have a day to day practice that consisted of formal prayer and ritual, but I often feel as if that is a hold over from my Roman Catholic upbringing, though there are some I would like to bring back (For example, I could totally get behind praying before meals.  Really, why aren’t we doing that Pagans? Considering how tied so many of us are to agricultural and hunting traditions, we ought to be giving way more thanks for our food now than we were before! Really, I think we should all be praying more. I always enjoyed prayer when I was Catholic, both formal and spontaneous. To this day, some of the most intense moments I’ve had with my Gods have been when I’ve stood in front of them and talked to them in spontaneous prayer – if I’m weeping, I’m doing it right.)

However, there are two parts of my practice I would like to share:

The first, and these really are part of my personal daily practice, and I didn’t put it together until now, are my taboos. Angrboda has made several requests of me that I honor. The most obvious is covering my hair, which I have done every single day since I started in July. For martial arts and any other occasion where I wouldn’t or can’t cover, I wear my hair in french braids.

As well, at Her request I also only wear natural fiber clothing (currently I have been allowed to keep my ‘pelts’; that is, winter coats, though unsurprisingly they are mostly if not fully natural materials, go figure. I do have several costume pieces as well, because we all need a costume now and then). This has been one of the harder ones for me, as I do very much enjoy clothing shopping and thrifting, and shopping for clothing is a bit more difficult. I swear, I might have to start learning to machine sew again so I can make sure I have enough pants. As well as the fabric being natural materials, She has colour preferences as well – you will notice I tend to wear fall forest colours – browns, reds, orange, dark green, dark blues/purples, black.  Apparently W/we both think October is the best colour.

Along with my clothing, I no longer imbibe caffeine – this one was less Mrs. A saying No and more my body going “NOPE” and then divination confirming it was a good idea to no longer drink coffee.

So, every day, I get up and remember those things – cover my hair, check the tag, and don’t drink that coffee.

The other part of my practice, my favourite part, is Sunday. Yup. Every Sunday is Ancestor day, and usually a “Me” day. I get up, go to Aikido (another devotional request of my Lady), and when I come home I clean the house and altars and make offerings to my Ancestors and my house wight. Once a month, I have a slightly more involved Ancestor ritual, but usually its simple – a fresh glass of water, candles, sometimes rum, sometimes coffee, incense. Sometimes a formal petition, sometimes just a few moments in the mirror and a heartfelt “Thank you”.

Sundays are my favourite days. ^_^

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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The Pagan Experience – Resolutions

So I’ve decided to try this ‘doing a writing project’ thing again.  Why not. I should write more.

So. Resolution. Honestly? I don’t do New Years resolutions, for several reasons.

The first is that January 1st? Not my New Year. For me, the year died on Samhain, and I’ve found that the time between Samhain and Yule tend to be when I get ready to birth the New Year, and in many ways, Yule is the start of the new year for me.  There’s something about that time between Samhain and Yule, when the year is dead but isn’t, and we’re frantically preparing for winter and stuffing our faces and saying hello to our dead (at least, more than we do the rest of the year. I don’t really feel that the ‘veil’ is particularly thinner around Samhain – our Dead are always present. We just have to listen to them.) and getting ready for the darkness, and I adore that liminal space.

This year I decided to give myself a challenge, and at Samhain, I gave up chocolate for one year.

However, the calendar New Year is a good time for starting projects like this – it makes keeping track of them easier.  I did also decide that as 2013 was a year of annihilation, and 2014 was a year of rebirth and beginnings, that 2015 will be a year of growth.  A lot has happened since 2013. I found my Gods, I left my husband, I helped found a Kindred, and I am now the assistant Gythia of this kindred. I promised Angrboda last year that I would be a völva, that I would be *Her* völva, and this is the year that I put that together, and really learn what that means, how I do that, and hone my skills. (again, these are things that really came together at Samhain. I have been stumbling semi blind, but have been slowing piecing it together.)

Really, everything I do seems to feed back to this – a völva was many things – a reader of wyrd, a caster of spells, a priestess to the people, a woman outside of the dominant society beholden to no one but the Gods. So what I’ve known I need to do is spend more time practicing divining, more time in Aikido,more time with my Lady, and more time figuring out what exactly it is She needs and wants from me.

Oh, and I’ll be opening up an Etsy shop soon for some of the devotional necklaces I have been making. I’ve got about 7 ready to go and would like to have 10 or 15 up as ‘stock’; I will be taking custom orders as well. I need to get a few practical things sorted out for this as well – boxes for shipping items, and maybe cards and a little logo of some kind. Nice and simple. I’ll be announcing the shop once it’s up.

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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