Book Release: A Fading Amaranth by Shauna Aura Knight

Jolene Poseidonae:

Support your pagan authors!! Even the fiction writers! (I want to say *especially* the fiction writers, but then, while I love books across the board, fiction is what really nourishes my spirit, so, I would want to say that).

Shauna Aura Knight has a new book out. Go check it out!

Originally posted on The Saturated Page:

To make this clear: This is not my book that’s being released. Shauna’s new novel, A Fading Amaranth, is out in e-book with a print release to follow. I haven’t even actually read the book yet — but I have read portions of it, and I have read her other fiction, and I am so excited about this I cant stand it. I have a small number of obligatory reads to get through first, but this baby has mode to the top of my list once that’s done because, you know, vampires. *rubs hands gleefully*

fadingamaranth

From the blurb: Nathaniel’s been a vampire long enough to grow weary of glamoured seduction, and he’s lost his poetic muse. He meets reclusive artist Alexandra—her telepathy has overwhelmed her for years, and she can bear no one’s touch. However, she can’t hear Nathaniel’s thoughts, and she’s immune to his vampire glamour. During scorching nights…

View original 150 more words

Handmade devotional books and much more

Jolene Poseidonae:

I’ve meant to talk about this long before now — Silence is offering handmade, hand bound devotional books. He’s got some up for Loki already (made up of public domain material about Loki) and while that’s exciting (we love Loki here at the Nunnery) hat’s *really* got me bouncing in my seat excited is he’s offering to make hand bound books made up of your own material!

Customized prayer books. Stories that you’ve written and matter to you. A book, bound by hand, with a cover you want, with delicious paper; a book whose content could potentially be created by contemporary polytheist, bound by a contemporary polytheist — this is beautiful. This is exciting. I am finding myself wishing I had more poems and hymns for Poseidon, but you betcha I’m going through what I do have to see what I do want to include and get myself my own copy! Of my own, one of a kind, YAY POSEIDON hand bound book.

You should be excited about this, too. Not only is this project exciting (and I’ve got a journal book created by Silence, so I’m not just guessing at the craftsmanship of his hand bound books), it’s also extremely reasonably priced! Check it out!

Originally posted on Coffee at Midnight Designs:

Finally I can stop teasing you and share the details of my new project. My Etsy shop now has hand bound devotional books for Loki and custom ones that can contain any content you choose.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe Loki devotional book contains an English translation of the Lokasenna (Bellows translation) and the Lokka Tattur from the Faeroe Islands (Borrow translation). The text is printed on premium bright white 24 lb. paper with 25% cotton content. It’s lush, dense, and perfect for such a special volume.

To make this special book accessible to as many people as possible, I have a custom listing where you can choose large print, OpenDyslexic font, and a different kind of decorative cover paper.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI know that many of us struggle to provide for our own material needs, let alone for the specialty religious tools we sometimes desire. To that end, I’ve chosen to set aside a portion of each…

View original 91 more words

An Asshole is Stealing from Pagan Authors

Signal boosting because what the fuck is this shit.

Look, it’s basic math. If you’re getting a book that some one stole, you are stealing. If you don’t pay for what you’re getting, and if someone else didn’t pay for it either, it is theft. It’s bad for ‘regular’ people; it’s absurd for those of us in the magical, mystical, occult communities, because there are added layers (I’m assuming) to stuff like intent and energy exchange and all that. Support your artists, your authors, your creators, your teachers. Why is this hard? This shouldn’t be hard.

I’m a writer. I want people to buy my work. I don’t want to turn people off from buying my stuff by being an ass . . . but if you’re the sort of person who might maybe take advantage of pirating ? Please remove yourself from my blog, and forget about my name, because I do not want your kind of reader.

What the actual fuck. Assholes.

On Storytelling, or, Pay Attention Already, you stubborn git.

(Wherein the stubborn git is myself and no one else)

I’ve been sitting at (I thought) chapter 6 on the current WiP since January or February. The goal was to have the whole thing completely finished by March. I’m halfway there, and I love everything about this world, but I haven’t touched it since February at the latest, and in the convening months I’ve started to dread getting back to it. It’s become this huge weight, and this has as much to do with the magic of storytelling as the technical aspects of story telling, which is why it gets to go here. It deal with the spirit of storytelling, the drive, the desire to keep going, and how I keep tricking myself into losing it.

First things first, I do not have 6 chapters done. I have 7 kick-ass chapters and a good portion of 8 finished. The outline has this wrapped up in 14. It’s important for me to be able to say to my internal nay-sayer that I am able to say, “No, I’m MORE than halfway there, neener, now shut up, you liar!”

Secondly though, and more to the point, when I reach that far into a story and the desire to cease writing comes upon me, I really need to pay attention to what that says about where the story is going.

Yes, it’s historically been common for me to go two, three, five, even seven months between serious writing jags. But that hasn’t been true in years, and more to the point, I don’t want it to be true ever again. I’ve word hard to not require that much down time anymore, and I have too many things to write to be able to afford it again. Granted, much of that time I was in some serious pain, but ideally that should slow me down, not cut me off entirely.

I reread my material this week, and I considered the next few chapters I have outlined, and I realized they were wrong. They didn’t fit the characters, or the story, and I didn’t want to write them. My MCs are going  through some angst, but I tossed in a big misunderstanding that would drive a wedge between them that they would have to work to overcome, and I realized that that was wrong for them. Obviously I still need to torture the heck out of them, but I need to do it in a different way.

This reminds me, too, that my typical modus operandi with writing longer fiction is: write the bulk of it. Watch the second half fall apart. Re-write the second half from scratch. I don’t mind, because that’s how it works for me, but I thought with using an outline and plotting out each chapter before I write it that I would not be losing time to this method anymore. Instead, maybe not. Which, fine, whatever.

What I want to take from this is the knowledge that, if I find myself not wanting to write, something is wrong. Either I’m tired, I’m sick, I need mental refueling and rest, or something isn’t right with the story. Going forward I think I’ll give myself two weeks tops to see if it’s about being sick or tired or refueling, and then I need to seriously consider where the story is going. Stories make me excited; I love telling them because I love getting to know about them. Poor Roern and Charlie. They fought my destroying their budding relationship as best they could. They don’t get this particular angst, I need to save that for book two . . . .

To Bear Witness

At a glance, my relationship with Poseidon might seem one-sided and focused mostly on me. Our path together emphasis my journey with compassion, my struggles with awareness, my healing and development of healthy, sustainable coping methods. We focus a lot on how I spend my time, we talk about projects I’m working on, or where my regular Reiki sendings are going to go. When we sit down to figure out the goals of a particular ritual or festival (yes, the goal is more often than not to praise Poseidon, but, as He is part of my life, He gets to weigh in with how He wants to ritual to shape up), what I want to accomplish or focus on is taken into consideration. His input shapes everything — how and what I eat, what I do with my time, how I go about my day, He even influences how I dress, from the veil upon my head to what sorts of clothes I buy and, too, what colors. He is my God, He is my Husband, He is my closest Friend, He is my Hearth. He is, more than anything else, why I am an adult who can interact with the world in a functional way and try to leave it a better place, each day. He is why my heart is open and capable of love, and He is why I am able to find joy, to choose joy, to aim for optimism more often than not. He is the biggest, strongest, most effective weapon I have against my anxiety, my depression, and my conviction of unworth. I love Poseidon . . . but I own that so much of o/Our time together is focused on my crap, or it’s focused on how I am in o/Our relationship, or how w/We are together.

Now and again — not super often, but certainly a number of times a year — He’ll push me beyond that. I’ve yet to experience anything even close to a reprimand about where my attention goes. He’ll be the first to remind me that we are finite beings, that we’ve got shit to work through. He reminds me that He does not want me to be subsumed into Him, and that a decent amount of my work in my life thus far has been about learning to take up the space that I take up, to be without apology, and that if I am truly letting Him guide my path, then following where He leads is not a wrong thing. Am I always comfortable that so much of o/Our time together is Him playing therapist? Eh, no, I’m not, but I maintain that we can be so very broken in how we interact with the world, with people, with each other, that therapy is often in order, and who is better to help us with this crap than our Gods, who see so much more, have such experiences to help us learn from? (I am not in the “the gods are not therapists” camp, in case you’re curious. I am firmly in the “the gods can fill whatever role they flipping want to fill” camp).

That said, I am uncomfortable, from time to time, on how much time we spend on me, on my issues, my crap, my fears, my projects, my life. Now — He did decide to partner with me, and part of that is living my life, and there is something to be said for Him living my life with me. There is something that dances so very close to a Mystery — for Him — when it comes to mortality and incarnations and physicality the way we humans experience it. I can’t explain beyond that because it’s not my Mystery, but there is a sense of awe and there is a sense that He is getting more out of this than I realize or can even hold in my mind. Most of the time, day to day, this is enough.

And then there are the times He pushes. The times when I’m caught up in yearning and longing and missing, in regret and a burning desire that is unfulfilled, with an accompanying sense of an inability for it to be fulfilled. It sometimes takes me a few days to realize that what I’m feeling are not my own feelings, that rather they are His.

It’s normal to want to name the feelings and find the root of their cause. What has rendered Poseidon — Poseidon — into a quiet, somber being seemingly burning from within by this yearning. This isn’t the typical “hey, w/We are two different sorts of beings engaged in a relationship that can sometimes be frustrating, and isn’t culture shock fun?” thing. This had nothing to do me, beyond that I could sense His feelings. This was frustration and helplessness, this was being tied to cause and effect, this was mourning, a deep, deep sense of mourning that goes on and on and on . . . .

Historically His moments like this correspond to some horrible natural disaster sort of thing. (Anyone who thinks that Poseidon gleefully sends tidal waves or earthquakes to destroy people has never bothered to spend time with Him after such things occur. He is tied to these giant movements, of water, of the earth, and I’m not saying that He can’t cause such things to happen, but I am saying that His grief over lives lost — and He does not only grieve for the humans — drives me to my knees. He is not cold, He is not aloof, He is not distant.) Because I am me, I want to know the reasons why. So, when He came to me this week and asked that our Poseidon Hippios ritual be more about being with Him, when I realized what I was feeling was coming from Him, I wanted to know why. What had happened? What was going on? What could I do to help?

Sometimes He tells me the reasons. When the tsunami of 2004 hit land, I knew what had happened before I heard about it on the news, because of Him. Usually it’s not like that. Usually, He doesn’t share that much detail. Usually, He requests that I simply be with Him. It’s as if He takes some time to lose Himself in the minutia of mortal existence. I wonder, at times, if He’s reminding Himself why He cares about the small things, about mortality, about life upon this planet. I wonder, when the feeling I get is of His intense presence and of His stillness, and of His seemingly open desperation, if He is holding bleakness at bay by will alone. I wonder what all else He’s got going on in His existence that I’ll never, never, never know about.

“Be with Me,” He pleaded, and every time I started to question what was wrong, He would repeat the request. Don’t be in my head, don’t be trying to puzzle it out, don’t strive for answers or patterns. Just be here. Be now. Be u/Us.

So, I had my ritual. I gave Him wine and pastry. I offered Reiki to the horses, and I wrote. But mostly, I sang, and when I became caught up in the fact that I was singing o/Our songs to Poseidon, when I became self-conscious, He pressed harder upon my heart, pulled me out of myself, and I sang louder. I cannot wrap my arms around my Lord. I cannot press His head to my heart and hold Him close. I can give Him wine and pastry, but what does He get from that that He needs? I can give Him incense, but what are these things when He is desperate and right there, and I cannot, cannot embrace Him?

Love is all I can give Him. My love, my heart, and my willingness to bear witness. To surrender the need to explain, to reason, to know in order to hold this, as much as I can of this, and simply be with Him.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

You may need me there to carry all your weight,
But you’re no burden I assure
You tide me over, with a warmth I’ll not forget,
But I can only give you love.
— Rob Thomas, Ever the Same

Poseidon Hippios 2015

Hail, Poseidon, Lord of Horses! I sing Your praise!
Hail, Poseidon, whose thundering hooves shake the very earth.
From Your seed did the horse spring,
From Your virility and Your generosity did this noble creature rush forth,
Companion to humankind, and so often, so awfully abused.
Shelter them, oh my Lord, for Your embrace is strong
and Your Love is boundless.
I pray to You, help us remember our debts.
Help us remember our partners in our lives,
Help us remember the advances of our species come upon the backs of others,
and may we be humbled.
May we be humbled
May we be humbled

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I’ve been honoring Poseidon Hippios for a number of years, now. This was the first festival I “created” (quotes there because I’m sure I’m not the only one out there honor Poseidon’s various epithets with epithet-centered rituals) for Poseidon, the first themed-specific ritual I constructed to honor this god of mine. I don’t have much to do with horses. While they have the distinction of being the first “favorite” animal of mine (and while one of my grandmother’s favorite stories of me from my just-out-of-toddler-stages was to retell of our trip to the Big E and my exclamaning, lisps and all, “Look at all those muscles on those horses!”; I will forever remember my grandmother’s voice recounting that story!) horses, er, well? They rather intimidate me. The few chances I’ve had to go horseback riding I’ve always bowed out of. I’ll talk a good game about horses being treated like vehicles and the unfairness of it, and how I can walk, thank you very much — and it’s true that I’d much rather snuggle up with a horse than hop upon her back, maybe — but the truth, the real truth is, they scare me. They’re BIG animals, and I just . . .am intimidated. Fascinated, enraptured, yes, but also intimidated.

Poseidon Hippios 2015 shrine, painting by Samantha Lykeia in background

Poseidon Hippios 2015 shrine, painting by Samantha Lykeia in background

  And humbled. And horrified at our treatment of them. It’s bad enough, that we abuse and slaughter so many — abuse is never good. But to abuse those who have such a close relationship to our advancement of a species? They’ve helped us win wars; they’ve helped us grow food to stay alive; they’ve helped us stay in touch with our families; they’ve been subjected to the horrors of mine work, and the only saving grace we have is that we are just as bad to humans who do not have the power to help themselves as we are to other animals who do not have the power to save themselves. Human miners, for example, suffered (suffer!) just as horrendously as mine ponies suffered. And, really, that’s an deplorable saving grace.

Poseidon Hippios shrine

Poseidon Hippios shrine. Candle by Fiberwytch; statue by Samantha Lykeia; incense holder by the ocean.

Yes, this is a bit of a downer, but these “festivals” of Poseidon’s often are. While I may have had things in mind like the birth of Pegasos and the association with horses in general that Poseidon has, from the very beginning this day has been about sending healing, energy, love, compassion, and empathy to the equines of the world. Originally horses, yes, but the zebras, the wild horses, the Mustangs and the Brumbies, the various donkeys, any and all wild equine out there — and all those in captivity, and all the domestic horses as well. My Lord, He does not really do boundaries. I think of those coming into the world, and I ask for His blessing upon them — not that He needs me to remind Him of those who could use His aid. But, I hold it in my mind, and in this small way, I feel closer to Him. I feel like what matters to Him matters to me. I feel — in this, as in so many other things, as though I hold suffering with Him, so that we witness it together, so that maybe we together can alleviate *some* of it for *someone*.  It’s not enough. It’s almost nothing, and yet. Yet.

This year I scaled back. My honoring of Poseidon Hippios tends to vary from year to year. There are years when I’ve honored Poseidon and Loki, Sleipnir and Pegasos, and the Dioskouri. There are years when offerings have been apples and sugar cubes, carrots and oatcakes. This year? This year it was just Poseidon. It was wine and incense, baklava and a candle, and myself. Always there is Reiki; this year there was the breaking in of my 2015 “Letters to Poseidon” journal, a tradition I’ve let fall by the wayside and desperately want to resurrect. There was much singing. There was sitting and basking in His presence. There may have been crying.

Hail, Poseidon!

Hail, Poseidon!

There was also a reminder to keep things simple. It was going to be a big thing, originally. I was going to fetch carrot cake (because He made it clear days ago that He wanted/needed it to be a day for u/Us just to be, and so, yes, work toward Horse, but also just . . . u/Us.) and then process home with the offering. I was going to set up a new shrine space (by my bed, because I really need to do that). I already had the wine, and the venture out to get baklava was shorter and less involved than the carrot cake (and also, baklava) and the shrine was going to be made out of those connect-cubes, so I could also relocate much of my Hellenic books to the bedroom to clear up space for Fiberwytch storage in the living room. (Two people, a host of shrines, five non-human animals, and a store in 700sqfeet. It’s . . . interesting) But, those connect cubes) I hate them. An hour, a sore back, and tears later, and I gave up. We still don’t have comfortable seating in our living room (or any) and so sitting by the shrine doesn’t work, and our hearth shrine has become a test candle station, and a home to an Odin statue that has nowhere else to go, and I don’t begrudge Odin His statue, but I had nowhere cozy to set up this shrine except for in the bedroom and then the cubes fought back and grrr!

"It can be just u/Us! Just u/Us and baklava!"

“It can be just u/Us! Just u/Us and baklava!”

After a small melt down (there may have been tears) I erected a folding table and all was well, if temporary, and it was good. The whole time, the whole whole time I was getting so frustrated, He was there. “You know, I don’t really care about all the stuff. I mean, I like the stuff, there should be stuff, but right now I just want to be. I want to be, I want to be with you, I want you to see Me and just spend time with Me, being with Me. We don’t need all this stuff, the shrine isn’t necessary, I honor why you want it, but still it’s really not all that necessary. Okay, well, yes, go get baklava, let’s not be silly, but beyond that — well, that and the wine — I don’t need anything else . . . “

better picture forthcoming when Beth heads back into the photo studio!

better picture forthcoming when Beth heads back into the photo studio!

I dressed up. New lipstick, a new shirt, the skirt of mine that He call my housewife skirt. A new necklace (a Beth Wodandis original made especially for this holy day!). I sat, and we drank wine, and I sang some of o/Our songs, and I sent Reiki, and I wrote. I recited Terence’s hymn to Poseidon Hippios, and then I offered my own, off the cuff.  I cried. I cried a lot, but they were tears of wonder, of joy, of . . . *waves hand helplessly*

journal book by Silence; oh the creamy paper! Oh, the beautiful texture! Oh, the fine stitching!

journal book by Silence; oh the creamy paper! Oh, the beautiful texture! Oh, the fine stitching!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

This festival is always so different. It was today, April 10th, because it was my day off closest to the 8th. It’s in April because that is when I have time for it to be. Ages ago I had the idea of timing it to the local foaling time, but that varies so much and there isn’t really a set time. It’s moved, though, as I’ve moved. It hasn’t always been April, and it may not always be April. Who cares?

Hail, Poseidon!

Challenging my own shit, or, “Isn’t one enough?”

In the last few number of months some really cool things have happened. It’s interesting to remind myself that, since I’ve been in “Are you SURE you can keep working, do you need a medical LOA?” sorts of pain during the last five months, that cool things have also happened. (Though, a sad amount of writing). One of those things is, I’m in contact with two other Poseidon wives, and I know there are more out there.

This is cool in a number of ways. !!!!!!!YAY POSEIDON!!!!!! takes up the king’s portion of that coolness, but that’s not all. When the first “sister-wife” contacted me, months and months ago (we’ve been corresponding for a bit longer than five months) I was able to face my conviction that I would not be jealous when others started talking about being wed to Him and see if I was right. (While it’s a silly thing, at first glance, to be jealous of others being involved with your gods and spirits, it is a human thing, a reaction that comes from the idea of scarcity when it comes to Them, the difficulty in remembering that while They may not be infinite, They are certainly closer to it than we are, and it is also an insecurity issue. Jealousy comes from a not-totally-okay place, and it’s something I strive to meet with compassion. We all have our shit.) I have had loved ones express jealousy over others from time to time, and I’m certainly not judging, but I’ve also been the most vocal Poseidon devotee that I’ve been around for a long, long time, and I know enough about myself to know that my theories of my feeling don’t always match my feelings in reality.

At the same time . . . . Poseidon. Second only to Zeus in the stories that have come down to us of His wooing (and sometimes not bothering to woo) mortal women. It never entered my mind that I could be All Things to Poseidon, or that He’d suddenly become “just mine.” Poseidon . . . is not one to make a big deal about species, and He’s dropped hints here and there that there are other, mortal spouses (or the equivalent there-of) that are not human (I rarely talk about this, mostly because it’s not mine to talk about in detail) and He’s had me meet some of His less mortal, more Divine spouses. So, while I didn’t, until recently, have the experience of interacting with other humans married to my Husband, the idea that I did not share Him was never really in my mind.

Still, it was interesting, and nice to discover that I wasn’t jealous. Go me. Less because I’m proud of being not jealous and more because, hot damn, my sense of security in o/Our relationship is pretty solid. I knew it was, but it’s always nice to be reminded.

(That’s not to make me sound awesomely evolved, btw. Jealousy DID come up, DID raise its head, over something completely silly. Owning it and sitting with it, and having my own moment of, “But that was MY thing!! It was special, I want to keep it, waaaah!” with Him being very sympathetic but in an eyebrow arched, ‘There are practical reasons involved that are real outside of you and are things other people face, and so why would this just be yours?’ sort of compassionate way. OUR relationship is my special thing with Him, and that’s all. But, yeah. I’m not evolved, folks.)

~*~*~*~

One of the people I’m in contact with is involved with more than one deity. Not judging there, so am I. But in our correspondence, they spoke of being reluctant to speak of it with people they don’t really know, because of push-back they’ve gotten, of being involved in a spousal way, with more than one deity or spirit. I’ve seen the push-back against others in similar circumstances myself; I admit that I’ve had moments myself of less than kind, “Because one isn’t enough?” thoughts. Ultimately one’s path is one’s path, and I’m too far in that camp to entertain thoughts for long about how people might be Doing Polytheism Wrong — because what we share or don’t share is up to us and the only person whose intentions, heart, thoughts, experiences we know are only our own — to get too caught up in, “WHY do you need seven gods to marry??”

It’s not my business. Beyond that, why is it okay, since we as pagans are not necessarily caught up on monogamy is the only way to be married, that some of us have a knee-jerk negative reaction against people talking about being married to more than one god. Why is being wed to one okay with us but more than that isn’t? Those of us in these relationships know — gods, how we know — that being wed to a god or spirit does not make us a special unique snowflake, so why, then do we turn on those who talk about being wed to more than one spirit or god and accuse them of the same things we’re accused of?

I cannot conceive of having  more than one Husband. That doesn’t  mean that He and I are not involved, together, with Others. We are. Sometimes in a working way, sometimes in a recreational, building-bridges way, and often in a sexual way. I’m celibate “meat” side, and my part of o/Our marriage is only open when Poseidon says it is, and with Whom, and more often than not, He’s part of it, and sometimes sexual energy is metaphoric and I know that, and sometimes it’s not, and who cares, get out of my bed. But! Poseidon is my first thought upon waking. He gets my morning and evening prayers. He’s my last thought upon going to bed. I try to fall asleep with His name upon my lips. He’s my center, my hearth, my foundation. I cannot conceive of having anyone else come near that sort of dedication . . . which means it won’t happen, because that’s not the relationship w/We have. I’m not on-fire passionately obsessed with Him, but I am steadfast.

That’s me. That’s u/Us together. And while I cannot wrap my head around the idea that other people could have as meaningful a connection with anything less in terms of attention given to the relationship, and while the idea of having to spread that sort of attention across to Others boggles my mind and leaves me with “do not want” feelings . .. well, that’s me.

The idea that people are being censured because they dare to develop relationships as the gods and spirits lead them to do so does not sit well with me. The idea that they may be looked upon as greedy, as clingy, as needy, as less dedicated because they have more involved, does not sit well with me. The idea that they may be setting themselves up as special, the preconceived idea that they think they’re better than others (an idea I have not actually heard any of them voice, mind you) leaves a bad taste in my mouth. At the very least I am reminded of people scoffing at the notion that Odin would be interested in anyone who is not a political leader, as He is the ‘God of Kings.’ and here I am, this little nobody in a crappy job that pays the bills, not being a hero, not doing anything world-changing with my life, just loving Him and calling Him Dad, and do I believe these other people who don’t know me or my relationship with Him, or do I believe Odin? (That’s not actually a question, just in case you don’t realize. Imma go with Odin, thanks.)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I don’t want people to think I’m judging them and their experiences. I’m really, really not. Conditioned reactions DO come up, and when they do and i’m aware of them, I challenge the shit out of them, because I don’t like them. I don’t like that my first reaction to people talking about being involved with Loki and Thor and Zeus and such-and-so is to shake my head and roll my eyes, and when that happens, I call myself on my own shit. I’m talking about it, though, because I think it’s important to be honest about our own short-comings. Thinking about jealousy and the myth of scarcity in religion brought this to mind, and I wanted to talk about it, both as a thing that happens in general, and my less than stellar reactions to it. Because even after being involved with Them for so long? I still have ugly moments. I do not, in actual fact, always have my shit together, and I think it’s important to own that and also to share that.

Your business with your gods and spirits is your business. No one has the right to pass value-judgments. If you are, question why. If people are judging you based on your relationships, please realize that that’s a reflection on them, not on you. If the gods and spirits are leading you to a better, more confident, more nourishing, more wholesome place, what business is it to anyone else?

Gratitude: sometimes I have it, sometimes I jump right into the blame game.

I’ve been needing new shoes for months, ever since we realized that my new boots were the root (hah!) of my leg pain and I went back to my old shoes (complete with cracks across the bottoms) in the interim. Nothing says ‘put shoe shopping off, hell put everything off another day’ like intense sciatica flare-up. Still, I made a token effort before yesterday by visiting closer stores that sold shoes, in hopes to get some. Because of various needs (gout; unsteady ankles that prefer wide-bottomed shoes; spending all day on my feet; gout) despite the fact that I don’t like the sneaker look, I need to wear sneakers. For some ungodly reason this year they’re all brightly colored. Nary a nice, subtle, soft brown to be found. There’s one particular brand I stick with because they are historically safe bets with good wear and little break-in time. Yesterday, in my flurry of Getting Shit Done (because my errand day, today, has been usurped by GemFaire and Beth and I are re-upping Fiberwytch’s stash) I decided, hell, I’m doing everything else, why not go and get this taken care of? So,off I went to the actual big box shoe store.

This store is on one corner of a busy intersection. Two four lane roads, and I was there the beginning of rush hour. Now, to be fair, the road I was crossing was the least busy of the two, and where the bus dropped me off, it was just as easy to walk to a crosswalk that spanned the one street as it was to go and cross at the intersection. I figured, further from the four way crossing would be better, and the crosswalk was a big one. No light, but huge signs and a median and big stripe-y crosswalk. When I reached I looked both ways, because I’m a conscientious pedestrian, because cars are big and fast and heavy and I’m soft and squishy, and because I’m injured. I have a sprained knee and the quirky sciatica, and I’d rather wait to cross than rush across. So I looked. The three cars that I saw — and I had a clear view down to the lights — stopped for me. One in the lane right by me, and two coming from the other side around the bend, all breaking because hey look at me. I was already through the first lane when I heard squealing tires like mad, and focused on the opposite side of the road, because two seconds ago, when I started crossing, the only car on *my* side of the road was the one I was crossing in front of.

And then there’s this pick up, accelerating right before the tires start making that weaving sound they make when you’re trying to avoid hitting something but can’t veer too far from your lane, and I look up in time to see them barreling down on me. Crazy close. Like, oh, let me just suck in my gut and feel the caress of your side view as you rush past me, you asshole. Close enough that the option was to step back, because if I had tried to dive for the median they would have clipped me.

I’ve had more close calls in this city with cars than I have *anywhere else* and I’ve been a pedestrian in places like New York, and Philly, and Boston. Masshole drives, you guys, but it’s these drivers out here that don’t pay attention and are conditioned to having big open spaces, that are the scariest I’ve ever had to deal with. EVERYONE around you is stopped. Maybe, I dunno. Pay attention to flow of traffic? Maybe?

I had that lovely split second to decide, “jump forward or backward?” and then, “Shit, Beth is gonna be mad.” and then, “Aw, my brother,” and then they were passed me. I could barely stand I was shaking so hard, and then? My immediate reaction, and this is why I’m sharing it here, was anger and blame directed at Poseidon.

Poseidon encourages me from time to time to push beyond points of social overstimulation. Not always. But yesterday I was up early to go grocery shopping, and generally grocery shopping is my one task for the day I do it on because it takes so much out of me. It was worse because I had to go earlier than I normally do, on a different day, and so I had to deal with crowds. Coming home the bus was crowded, and I take my cart because, hey, sciatica, and when I can’t tuck into a bay on the new buses with my cart, I stand in the wheelchair bays because sitting with the cart in painful for me right now. So I tucked myself into the bay, and then this guy got on, pointed out that the seat near me was empty and that I could sit down. I insisted I was fine, and he said it two more times. So I was annoyed already that some random dude on the bus wanted to tell me how I should be on bus. (Chivalry isn’t, by the way, when you try to force the woman to sit when she doesn’t want to sit. don’t get your fee-fees hurt, just accept her first thank you, I’m good here, and let it go. But I digress.) Normally I would come home and just stay home, but He was all, “hey you need those shoes, you’re not going to have time before next weekend to go, I’m really kinda tired of you not getting new shoes to see how much wearing year old shoes with falling about bottoms is making your leg keep hurting so much, why don’t we just go get shoes?” He’s smart, because sometimes if I have “must do these things” hanging over my head (new shoes. Taxes. mow the lawn if it ever stops raining and my back says I can/hire someone to mow the lawn) they begin to get too heavy and overwhelming in their own way. So, mental health and physical health, He’s helpful that way. And I went.

And then I almost died.

And I thought, “I’m so fucking I went shopping for shoes. Great idea, don’t You feel like an asshole now, way to set me up.” Which, is knee-jerk reaction, and panic, and fear, and blinding relief, and did I mention panic. (Yes, I basically called Poseidon an asshole. Not the first time. Do I recommend doing so? Not really. Can He take it? Yeah, you know, my experience tells me Their pretty good about sussing out motivations for things like this. Sophisticated beings, these Powers). After I staggered to the sidewalk and sat for a while (where’d the knees go?) I realized where my thoughts had been, and realized, I didn’t need to have noticed the truck. They’d only started applying the breaks less than three car-lengths from where I was, when I looked their way they were closer still. It was less squealing and more tires-on-pavement-swerving that I heard. My brain could have frozen rather than jumping into the quick calculations of which way to move (I love my brain. I LOVE my brain. I do not freeze up in these situations, I love my brain). I could have been roadkill, splat.

“Er, I suppose what I meant by asshole was thank You.” I managed to amend.

Because sometimes, jumping into the blame is knee-jerk. Sometimes it’s borne out of immediacy and instinct and fear. Cultivating gratitude is just that — cultivation. I don’t think it’s something most of us are born with, and fear of our mortality is powerful.

I did not almost die yesterday because my gods are neglectful. I survived yesterday because my gods have my back.

Dreams can be funny, funny things, and also sometimes sleep aids suck.

Every now and again I get slammed with what I like to call Tornado Brain, whereupon my brain decides that it really, really needs to have all the thoughts right now! Ugh. When I watched 11pm come and go last night I realized it was going to be one of those nights, and so I turned to Zzzquil. Generally, despite it’s claim to not make you groggy, Zzzquil renders me super groggy the next day, so I don’t actually like taking it, but it was too late to want to deal with chamomile tea. I thought maybe if I cut the dose in half it would be okay. And groggy making wise, it has been. (Or maybe having the Corbster dash across my face as a way of waking me up is just super effective? I digress.)

The other things this sleep aid does that I don’t like is: it makes me sleep so heavy I barely move, which right now means I wake up with a bit more leg pain than is typical. Also, it gives me nightmares.

Which has me thinking about nightmares and how, for me at least, what makes a dream a nightmare is all about the feelings and not necessarily about what’s actually happening. I have active dreams. Adventure dreams. My dreams are often centered around: getting away from stalkers, kidnappers — human or otherwise, and often its otherwise — finding a safe place to hide from either people or tornadoes, rescuing others in danger, etc. Usually I wake up and their just my dreams, they don’t often obtain nightmare status. Even the ones where I’m kidnapped by aliens (happens way more than I’d like; yes, I have a fear of aliens. Shut up. Stop laughing. This means You too, Poseidon) (“You do realize I’m not human, right? You’re not afraid of *Me*” Because logic, right? Shush). are not always ‘nightmares’.

Last night it was trying to get around my city (which wasn’t Eugene) as it was flooding from too much rain, and trying to get a vehicle to get out with. At some point there was a facility that had a truck, but also had some caged tigers and a polar bear roaming around free. Another woman and I were teaming up to get a pick-up, while trying to not get eaten by a polar bear. She gave me a gun to cover her (?) and some random woman came up while we were trying to get going. I shot her, and the the polar bear got at her, and as we were backing away, we ran over her already dead and mauled body. And that part, the running over a corpse, is the part that threw that dream into nightmare territory, right as Corbie went bouncing over my face. Not the tension of trying to get away, not being trapped in a rising flood (oddly, the “I’m about to drown” dreams — which happen a lot — tend to be soothing and reassuring rather than scary. Fancy that), not even watching her get torn apart; no that was all very chill and calm. But driving over something that could not feel the pain of being driven over? Omg, wake up NOW.

Dreams are  weird.