October 2015 update–Public stuff *all day* up in this joint

It’s been a month of all public things, all of the time. This is what happens when I put my head down and just keep doing what’s put in front of me to do.

Started the month with a Patheos post that unexpectedly went viral. Who knew that an article about the pros and cons of dedicating to a deity would be so popular? I honestly don’t think I said much that was completely new or novel. (Would that it were also one of my better written ones. C’est la vie.)

I followed this with my first public Heathen ritual in the area, Winternights. Winternights went well, even though the boyfriend was only able to attend the last round of the sumbel. It was a great small crowd with plenty of food and a lot of people trying out a heathen ritual for the first time.

Then I did my second Patheos column of the month, on ancestor veneration. (Which as not nearly as popular. Maybe people are just ancestor-ed out by now; I totally understand.)

Then I finally fixed the settings on my email from The Troth and was able to do an intro post there, and got some great suggestions and connections for my area. Heathens! Near me! Woot!

And I found out that not only did my Facets of Freya panel get accepted for PCon 2016, I’m also going to be in another Vanic-based ritual run by EmberVoices. And Jason, editor of the Pagan column at Patheos, wants me to be part of a Patheos authors panel at Convocation 2016 (which I’ve never even attended).

And then Sunday night I got an email from the organizer of our CUUPs group that a local reporter wanted to interview some of us for an article for the local paper. One thing led to another, and somehow I (or my altar stuff) ended up being in all of the pics. Good-sized article. For my hometown newspaper. Where many of my very Lutheran relatives live.

I hadn’t realized when this all started that newspapers need to use my given name and not my pagan name.

So now I’m outed to anyone who actually reads our local newspaper (which, considering the age of my relatives in town, will be all of my relatives.) So while part of me is like, woot! I’m in the paper!, the other part of me is like, Well, no more broom closet for you….  At least my very Christian grandfather is dead. I can deal with “religious disappointment face” from anyone but him. 😦 At this point he is a beloved ancestor and I don’t think he cares much one way or the other what I get up to, religion-wise, as long as I remember him. Funny how things work out. When I left home to go to college 20 years ago, I never dreamed I be back here now, staying with my parents, and appearing face-first in an article on local pagans. It boggles the mind.

I’ve been handed so many opportunities since I moved–as if given to me on a silver platter. So much less stressful than if I had tried to orchestrate it all.

A year and a half ago I couldn’t imagine actually blogging for a real blog. Or starting my own Heathen group. Or leading Heathen events solo. Or organizing a ritual for PCon. Or being willing to be interviewed by the media for anything pagan that also included my given name. Or moving back home and dating a Hellboy. 😉 (I couldn’t imagine moving back to my hometown, period.) But here I am.

In program, we say that we need to change our reaction to what the Gods give us from “No, but…” to “Yes, thanks.” i.e., be open to what’s given to us and not have a hissy fit trying to force what we think should be happening instead. At this point, all I’m doing ischecking my fear-based reactions and just saying “yes” and trying not to have any expectations of what will happen afterwards. I’m completely serious when I say that I have no idea what will happen next. And that’s okay. I just hope whatever happens nexts involves more contact with my Gods/ancestor/landwights, my boyfriend, my friends and my growing community out here, and my family.

So far, so good?

Let’s Talk About How Others Talk about Godspouses!

Mic drop. TL;DR: Stop worrying about other people’s beliefs and sex lives. It’s none of your GD business.

Foxglove & Firmitas

(If you subscribe to my blog for disability stuff, you may want to cover your eyes and continue on or unfollow the blog.  My woo may be more than you can handle, and I’m okay with that.)

I started to write a whole essay on the sexuality and respectability policing that happens in others’ publicly stated views about godspouses and the sexual component that some have (either much like the sexual nature of other religion’s mystics’ written experiences or actual sexual acts), but in the end I just keep thinking Meh about justifying my personal experiences that I willingly share with others. So I’ve shortened it to a few statements…

1. If you don’t believe that the Gods exist as individuals, that’s really all you have to say. In fact, please, leave it at that. We’re talking about 2 very different belief systems, so you don’t need to carry on…

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Freya returns, for a bit

And then there’s that moment when She appears out of nowhere, as if She never left, and She blesses me with inspiration and compassion, opportunities and respect. And when I come back home, the house smells of fresh, fragrant roses (not dinner, or burnt popcorn).

Good to have you back, my Lady, if only for a moment. 😉

Freya gold collar

A note on this pic: The gold collar Freya is wearing here is an exact replica of the Färjestad collar I saw when I was in Stockholm at the Historiska Museet (Swedish History Museum).

“Homecoming”, by Seanan McGuire

Reposting because it’s that time of year, and because I now work with the Raven as well as the Falcon….

A few years ago, I came across this short story by Seanan McGuire. I had seen it around, and several people strongly suggested that I read it, but when I took a look at it, it seemed mostly to be about football. While I actually have a lot of fond memories of high school football games (I played in the marching band), what I didn’t get was the connection was to Freya. Luckily I made myself reread it, and it’s been one of my favorite short stories ever since.

If you work with a God whose realm includes death or battle, I recommend that you read it. If you work with the Norse gods or the Morrigan, in particular, I recommend that you read it. Who knew mythology had anything to do with football?

(You can find the entire short story here. I’m also posting the entire thing below the cut, because I never trust that links will last.)

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