“You are monumentally fucked up.”

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Silence, for writing this. This is beautiful. It’s needed. Shamelessly reblogging.

The Road, the Walker, and What Comes Next

What does a healthy spiritual practice look like? Well, what does a healthy life look like? There’s considerable wisdom in recognizing that a spiritual practice is not separate from the life the surrounds it; therefore the health of one is going to be indicative of the health of the other. To answer these questions we must therefore take a closer look at the idea of health.

In this context the concept of “health” or “healthy” suggests robustness, strength, the ability to withstand interruptions and unexpected circumstances. We might also extract suggestions of stability, predictability, and resilience from this particular use of “healthy”. On a further level of analysis, I’d suggest that “healthy” in this context also includes the ability to problem solve, to identify shortcomings and develop strategies for improvement; healthy is not an end point but the state in which positive, productive, and beneficial development is increasingly possible. I encompass…

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Writer, Know Thyself

I wrote more things!

Jolene Dawe

(this is the second part of my Things That Have Helped Me Become a Better Writer series. Patreon supporters see this first — so for some of you, this will be a repeat)

I’ve written about this before: in order to develop a sustainable writing discipline, it is imperative to know one’s self. The ideal goal I set before myself was 1k a day, every day — and I never, ever, ever accomplished that goal. Sure, I’d have days when I’d write 1k, but it wasn’t all the time. It wasn’t even most of the time. In between those times, I’d have a whole lot of down time to berate myself for my failure.

I knew what I wanted. I wanted to produce material more regularly. I wanted to establish a discipline, and up to that point, simply wanting that discipline and having some vague goal about obtaining it…

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Things that have helped me become a better writer: intro

I wrote a thing!

Jolene Dawe

I wanted to take some time to talk about the various things that have helped me become a better writer. I sat down and started working on what I thought was going to be an article, and have instead begun what is going to be a series of articles. There is simply too much I want to cover, too much I want to re-examine and explore, to fit into one piece of writing. I’m sharing these things not because I think I have The Answer to offer you, but because these things helped me, and helped me immensely, and if any of them might help you or inspire you, that’s good enough for me.

Before I dive into that, though, let’s talk back-story. As in, my back-story.
In 2011 I released my story collection The Fairy Queen of Spencer’s Butte and Other Tales. I began writing the tales that would…

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Might I offer You some tea?

Twenty years. I’ve been at this whole involved-with-gods thing for twenty years at this point, tending a shrine space just a wee bit less. You’d be forgiven if you thought that by know I’d have some of this shit down.

This week, some things came together. One: I had some time on my hands to sit and do little beyond recover from surprise!toe surgery. (Why are all my surgeries surprises?) Two: I realized I still had a growing discontent with how things with devotional practices for Poseidon- and Vishnu-with-Poseidon were going (or not going, as the case may be.) Three: I was reminded that aniconic representations of deities appeal to me, and that even when icons are what’s being used, I prefer theriomorphic over anthropomorphic. Four: Beth made me a creature for my birthday that has become my hands-on Poseidon figure plushie thing, and yes, I’m going to make outfits for Him.

I welcome Vishnu into my awareness, my practice, my life. I welcome anyone that Poseidon reveals as important to Him, and the tenderness with which Others came, once that had been opened, cannot be denied. I thought, when He first mentioned Him, Them, that it would have to be all done just so. Properly. With respect and just . . . properly.

And I fumbled. And faltered. Withdrew, because I was expected to be someone else, other than I am. Vishnu and I had a sweet back and forth, centered around felines, around Luna, around other spirits, and we were able to find a common ground, a common language, a meeting point. I realized I had to let go of the study, that I needed experience, and then I would build upon it. Slowly. Organically. Formality for formality’s sake is a sure-fire way to get me to flee.

I still wasn’t comfortable with approach Him at the shrine. The shrine had become unrecognizable, and we were all dissatisfied with it. I was supposed to be inviting Him in, and instead we were all going out to some random public place to meet up and talk over the din as best we could.
24bc1d32b6a36b533978674c4e31af85I stumbled upon this image quite by accident, and more things clicked into place. I’m trying to find the artist – if anyone recognizes it, please let me know. I’ve only been able to find it on tumblr and deviantart, and there’s no attribution, and it’s — well, look at it.

It also made me realize: this is my way in, this is my path into touching in with/relating to Vishnu. It’s the same way I needed to go with Odin, and it’s not quite the same at all, but . . . the fierce protector, the super-powerful, and super-gentle at the same time. I need that. I need the massive to be approachable.

Poseidon does that with me, too. Those moments when He is this huge, massive, beyond reckoning giant presence, held utterly still so as to not crush, not destroy, not obliterate. I need to feel my smallness, in light of Their immensity. It’s different, with all of Them, but that is a thread woven through each relationship.

I offered Him tea this morning, Vishnu-with-Poseidon. I hadn’t been; Poseidon suggested a while ago that  the morning tea was our thing, or that’s how I read it. Really, I suspect He was more possessive about the cup, and a bit about the order. Or, He was possessive about the ritual, and in the time sense He’s come to see that drawing lines between “This is Mine and not His,” is something I can’t deal with if, at the same time, He is insisting They are less different than not. Poseidon got the first bit of the tea, and Vishnu the second. I offered Poseidon His, and drank from it as is our custom. I offered Vishnu-with-Poseidon His, and did not drink from it, as that will not be our custom. His offering bowl had cat fur along the outer rim. “That’s part of being here,” I said, as I wiped it away. It will not be pristine, it will only be the best that we are able to produce.

vishI felt more at peace with this whole adventure, this morning, after offering Vishnu tea along with Poseidon, than I have during all of this development.

Though maybe He’s just looking forward to getting His own creature-plushie-doll made by Beth?



Vishnu-with-Poseidon, or: the struggle is real.

Am I invested in this feeling of discord? Have I allowed this to move in, to define my relationships? I light the incense, I stand before the shrine. It’s pleasing to look at, this space that was once mine yet now feels cut off from me. I feel like a visitor, venturing to a place that is familiar, and yet not. The fabric draping the surface is soft, the colors cheerful, if on the dark side. The icons familiar – well, one, and the other one is sweet-faced and approachable.


I don’t find Poseidon in the idol. Oh, sometimes it feels like He’s shared some of Himself with the physical representation, but it’s more like this is a thing that we both touch and care for and share with one another, and less that it’s an extension of Him. The whole shrine space, previously, was an extension of Him, of U/us, of the history of my devotion, the history of His devotion. The spirit of the shrine itself feels like a child we’ve made together, and if I follow that particular story, it feels like the child has maybe grown up, gone to college, and has returned as an adult I barely recognize.


The Vishnu idol is sweet-faced, as I’ve said, and has a genial feel to Him. Vishnu Himself has been approachable and kind. I find, as I search through images for inspiration, and as I read through stories (though in-depth, academic-minded study is not allowed at the moment, because I get lost in that, and these formative interactions are to be based in the experiential, not in the intellectual, knowledge) I see time and again that I am drawn to kindness, to warmth, to benevolent acceptance. I want the kind-faced Narasingha embracing the child, rather than the fierce lion avatar tearing apart the demon. I remember, when I was first getting to know Odin, how I felt like a young child in His care, and how much I needed that experience – the experience of a father willing to do anything to protect His daughter, the feeling of the uber alpha male, King and God and Patriarch, laying claim and showing loyalty and love. Maybe that was silly, me being a grown woman by the time He adopted me, but whatever. It healed things within that needed healing, and it has earned Pops my undying devotion.

I don’t find Vishnu unapproachable. I don’t. I find Him kind, and patient. I find Him willing to untangle the knots I catch myself up in when I try to worship Him just-so. “Include Me,” He says. “Maybe someday there will be guidelines. Preferences. Things to not do. Things to do. For now, simply include Me.” That was the goal for this year’s holy days with Poseidon, and Vishnu had a place of honor during the two holy days we’ve had since this began. I light the incense, and I give the offerings, but the shrine itself is still off-putting.

20160925_194907For my birthday, Beth made me a Poseidon figure. She’s making a Vishnu figure for me, too. They’re not the least bit human looking. I mean, somewhat. They’re juvenile, and I’ll be making clothing and costumes for them. For now, the icons will stay on the shrine, but these are hands on ones, and they’re introducing play to the shrine space, and I kinda really want that. Do I feel a bit like a child before Vishnu? Maybe. Maybe. But these are adorable, and I’ll never get around to making my own, and I just . . . like them. A lot. So. So.

The shrine space needs to be O/ours, not some neutral feeling space that is none of ours. So, for a while, the shrine will take on the feel of a doll-house, a play area, a give them things, dress them up, make it a home of their own. We’ll see how hat goes.


So, I suppose this week was his Annual Flirt with Death, maybe? He does seem to do *something* on a yearly basis to get us both super-worried about him.

The cough meds he was given made him a thousand times worse, and so yesterday and the day before were bad. Really, really bad. Last night was okay — a couple of coughing fits in the middle of the night, and more of them tending toward weak coughing fits rather than all out coughing — and a few more mild coughs this morning into the afternoon.

Tonight I was greeted at the door by a whirling, twirling dog, who  shoved me with his nose all  the way across the house, “helping” me find my way to where my stuff needed to be put away. He tolerated me draping myself around him and snuggling the stuffing out of  him. He started playing the hard-to-get game that he plays with Beth when she’s trying to take him out. (Just Beth; it’s their special game). He’s super engaged, the twinkle is back in his eye, and he’s shamelessly gobbling up all the extra food we’re giving him to put weight back on him.

I love this dog. I love this dog so fucking much. He is amazing. He is wonderful. He is stubborn as all get out — and you all fucking rock, too, because I know his devoted fanbase is a hugeh part of why he’s recovering so fast.


I leave you with the song we’ve been signing for him for the last few days. It truly is his theme song.



Spare some thoughts for the Corbmeister, if you please.

As usually happens here at the Nunnery, once things look like they’re going to stabllze (thanks ONLY to the generosity and kindness of friends) a creature (usually Corbie, often Luna) decides we must see the doctor noaw!

Okay, we knew this was likely to happen. Flea treatment has helped with the itching, but he’s coughing a decent amount again, after a few days of not, and so he’s got an appt. tomorrow to be checked out. We’re hoping for a ‘lungs sound clear’ outcome. Really, the only thing that can happen is two of his meds getting adjusted. Last time this happened, we gained two years, so this could be good. So, keep him in your thoughts, if you can. Wish happy and good things for him! Tomorrow will be a good day, at the very least. He loves the vets, and he loves going in their van, and he loves the treats they give him.

Reiki sessions, Tarot readings, books for sale, Patreon Campaigns, and oh, hey, check out MyPolytheism.com

So, yesterday’s post was a bit of a freak out. Today is both not as panicky and just as desperate — because seeing that we are just going to squeak by with the rent helpfully takes everything else off the table. September is going to be “Let’s get caught up on all the things we couldn’t afford to cover in August! Like power, and trash collection!”

I’m offering distance Reiki sessions: $20 for an hour-long session. We can figure out the time, if you want to sync it up.

Don’t forget that Beth is offering readings over in her Etsy shop: a five card reading for $20. Want both?  $30, via paypal at bluedolfyn@yahoo.com.

We have books for sale! I’ve got my books available in multiple ebook formats on my Etsy shop (buying from Etsy gets the money in our bank account faster), and her PDFs are available at her shop. We’re also sealing books we own. Check out this post for a list of what’s currently available.

Beth and I both have Patreon accounts, where you can pledge anything you’d like, to receive access to material and other various rewards. Opt into my Story Subscription, either via Patreon or Paypal, and receive all of the back-issues of the When Worlds Collide installments to get you caught up to date!

And yeah, I’ll plug my new pet project: My Polytheism. This baby is taking 3-5 hours of my time regularly, and I love doing it. I’m not trying to cash in on this, but if you like what I’m doing and want to help out, consider donating. I’m going to keep at it regardless, because I’m having too much fun with it, but I’d like to not be spread quite so thing. We’re trying to keep our heads above water, and could surely use the help.

Thank you!


Please Help

Beth found an awesome dentist that will help deal with her broken teeth for under $200.

Corbie’s coughing a lot more than normal, and needs to see the vet. We’re hoping that this is “just” a case of his heart failure triggering trachea coughing, rather than fluid-in-lungs coughing. The vet will cost $100 just to come out and take a listen.

We need flea medicine, and Luna, who is overly sensitive, is having a case a dermatitis. Hopefully the flea medicine alone will help  and she won’t need to see the vet. The medicine is $ 75.

I still owe my doctor $125.

Beth had lab work done today, and a dr visit, and we don’t know what  that’ll cost.

Right now we’re deciding who gets the ‘extra’ $160 that we’re not using to pay our utilities. Does it go to the utilities? Does it go to the human dentist for Beth? The vet for Corbie? For flea meds?

If you can help, please do so. Support either myself or Beth on Patreon and get things for it. Donate to my paypal. Visit our GoFundMe and make a donation. Contact me for a Reiki session. ($20 for an hour long distance session, to be scheduled). Want me to look at your writing and offer feedback or editing or proofreading? Contact me and we’ll work something out! Have a book you need formatting for e-pub? Contact me, and we’ll work something out. I’m cheap; I’m desperate.

I’ve picked up some extra  hours at my job this week, and in the next couple of weeks. We’re in the process of trying to get Beth on OHP instead of my crappy insurance. Boost the signal. Help if you can. Pray for us, and especially for the Corbster. And thank you.



Isolation Won’t Help

This is an important post.

We *are* social animals. Where you happen to fall on that spectrum will range, but we are social creatures. Isolation is damaging. Erecting, learning about, and honoring your boundaries is useful. The two are not the same thing.

Until I was able to seek medical help for my depression, living more or less in a bubble of ignorance was necessary. I’m not going to knock people for knowing their limitations and honoring their needs by not picking up the battles I choose to pick up. Getting myself to a place where I could hold the suffering and needs of others in my awareness without being dragged back into apathy took a long time and a lot of work. I’m not going to sully that work by doubting myself. We all do the best that we can do at any given time, and that’s got to be enough. We’re not perfect. We can’t be. We fuck up. Whatever.

Self-imposed bubbles of willful ignorance are still, even at their most cushiony, must bubble-wrappy point, not isolation.

This is a very important, very needed post. Thank you, Ember.

EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir

I keep running across a particular narrative online, and occasionally in person:

“There are bad things in the world. Isolate yourself to avoid harm!”

“Other people don’t agree with you. Isolate yourself to avoid being tainted by them!”

“Anything unapproved of is a waste of time. Isolate yourself to focus on what matters!”

“You’re too sensitive. Isolate yourself and get out of our way!”

“You lack social skills. Isolate yourself to avoid hurting people!”

“Something is wrong. Isolate yourself!”


Isolation is toxic. It is literally maddening. We are social animals. Granted, not everyone is equally social, but even introverts aren’t better off being totally isolated. Avoiding perspectives other than our own undermines our empathy, which is a necessary component of compassion. Isolation certainly doesn’t help people become less sensitive or more socially skilled, but I would hope that’s obvious. Basically, isolation can transform even the kindest…

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