Autumn has finally arrived! I don’t know why, but it’s only in the last week or so that any of the trees near me have started to turn. But they seem to have done so all at once – I saw a gorgeous array of russets and oranges and fading greens when I was driving down to see my godmother the weekend before last, and since then the trees around my building have put on their autumn finery with the Virginia Creeper climbing all over the walls a gorgeous firey red, and the ones outside my window where I’m staying away are all about halfway between summer green and autumn shades.
The weather’s also started to turn, and the days at work have been a lot colder. It doesn’t help that we’re out in Fen country, so there is bugger-all between us and Boreas. It’s getting to the stage where I’m going to have to break out the under-t-shirts, and that usually only happens around mid-late November.
I know I wrote recently that I felt like I’ve been standing on the edge of something, and I’m thinking now that some of that may have been due to Freyja trying to get my attention again. Since I first realised She was hitting me over the head to get my attention back in February there’s been a few times when I’ve spotted Her influence in my life, but apparently I’ve not been listening closely enough recently. It doesn’t help that I’m not really enjoying the site I’m on, so most of my contact with any of the Deities I worship over the past two months has been prayers to the effect of ‘please, please, please let me get a job in London again…’. Unfortunately, all the real-world actions I’ve done so far haven’t resulted in anything, but I’ll keep trying. But yeah, I’ve spent more time talking than listening, which isn’t the best of ideas when your aim is a conversation rather then a soliloquy.
When I first wondered whether Freyja was trying to talk to me way back at the end of January this year, I said ‘the likelihood of me picking up any kind of message is very low. To use a word I’ve seen used a fair bit in the Pagan areas of the internet, I don’t think I even own a godphone’. And as far as I can tell it’s still true – I don’t own a godphone. What I seem to have ended up with though is a god-answering-machine. Back in June when Kizzy was acting as my Magical Geiger Counter she had an… interesting reaction to the Freyja spirit talisman that Beth made, and in her words has ‘ended up with a second Third Eye in the palm of my left hand’. It’s come up occasionally in conversation since, generally followed by ‘much as I love you: you bitch’. So when I was chatting to her down the phone Kizzy told me that her palm has been pulsing on and off since late August/early September, getting less strong but more persistent. Along with this Kizzy has felt Freyja’s presence every now and then as well (which she definitely blames me for!), so I had her telling me ‘your Goddess says She’s thinking of you’. But the timing is interesting – Kizzy’s been getting that message since I started on this site. We had a good laugh about it, but the fact remains that Kizzy is essentially acting as relay messenger between Freyja and me. She’s just hoping that this is as far as Freyja comes into her life, as Kizzy’s a devotee of Athena and according to her ‘having one battle-goddess in my life is quite enough thank you very much’, and I’m hoping I can manage somehow to get to the stage where I can pick up my own godphone as opposed to listening to the answering-machine.
So to help towards getting to that point as well as generally upping my spiritual practices I’ve brought my runes with me as well as one of my interpretation books, and I’m planning on doing a daily rune draw at some point each evening. The last time I used them was to discover if Freyja was trying to talk to me, and they seem like a good way for Her to get in touch again, seeing as I can’t seem to pick up on anything else unless it’s delivered with repeated use of a sledgehammer.
I’ve also been attending to the other half of my spirituality, and actually using my copy of the Methodist Worship book as opposed to just reading it. I also stopped off at my local Catholic church on the way back from shopping as it’s usually open during the day, and there are times when sitting in a church outside of services is just what I need – coolness, peace and quiet (excluding the sirens going up and down the main road outside), and being in a sacred space. So while my arse may not be moving very fast it’s at least in first gear as opposed to neutral. Baby steps. Baby steps…
My close friend Kizzy, she of the luck and abundance ritual and witchy weekend, has a blog! Kizzy defines herself as a kitchen witch, and while she is a talented witch, it is her love of the kitchen that inspired her to start blogging. In Kizzy Can Cook, she shares interesting recipes she’s tried and tested, often on her friends, and reviews of foodie places she’s visited and local suppliers.
Kizzy is also the person who inspired me to start making rumtopf (which is slowly taking over my kitchen) and who gave me the snickerdoodle recipe in my recent harvest post.
Although the main focus of Kizzy Can Cook is, unsuprisingly, cooking, her witchy side does occasionally show through, such as in her post on uses for elderberries. Kizzy also has green fingers, and I look forward to seeing what she makes with the contents of her allotment – especially as I’ve spent a fair amount of time there on my visits helping to clear weeds, cut the grass, and plant carrots.
Turns out I have very little idea. It used to be a lot simpler – for most of my life I classed myself as Christian, and was therefore monotheistic. Huzzah, job done. Except it wasn’t really. Followers of Judaism and Islam have it easier in a way, as they are certainly, definitely, absolutely monotheistic. The vast majority of Christians on the other hand (excluding groups such as the Cathars) have to grapple with the concept of the Trinity, which is at once both incredibly simple, and utterly mind-bogglingly confusing.
Now most of my Bible reading hasn’t been a from a ‘proper’ Bible, but the amazing The Childrens’ Bible in 365 Stories, which I’ve had for as long as I can remember. It’s got all the usual stories you find in kids’ Bibles, but also a load that you don’t, as a result of which I’ve been able to answer questions at church quizzes that none of the adults there have known. But I digress. This version of the Bible is where I got most of my Christian knowledge from, with bits added from Sunday School, and it was only when I hit my teens that I discovered that we were supposed to believe that all three aspects of the Trinity had existed together forever, which made no sense to me. Granted there were mentions of God’s spirit before the Holy Spirit showed up at Jesus’ conception and baptism, or descended at Pentecost, so I could get behind the idea that the Holy Spook had been around for a while, and God the Father had obviously been around since the beginning of the Bible, but I just couldn’t get behind the idea that Jesus as the Son had been around for that long as well. It makes no sense to me, even now. Now if you take the view that God knows everything that’s ever going to happen then ok, yes, He knew there would be a point where He’d turn round and say ‘ok, you’re up’ and Jesus would be born on Earth and do His thing. But then you run into the whole free will issue, so ok, let’s say that God knows everything that could possibly happen, depending on what choices we make. Like the ‘choose your own fantasy/adventure’ novels – turn to this page and such-and-such will happen, turn to this page and you will get so-and-so. You don’t know what will happen, but the book contains all possible outcomes for every choice you could make. But then that would mean that one of the parts of the Trinity was just sitting around from the moment of creation on the off-chance They’d be needed. Nope, still doesn’t make sense. So the way my brain saw it was that you had God, then there was his Spirit that showed up a bit later, and then there was His Son who showed up a while after that. As to how that actually works, the best answer I can come up with is ‘buggered if I know’.
And I’ve just realised that my view of the Trinity is possibly closer to a hard polytheist’s view of the gods than anything else. What is my theology…
Anyway, despite this view of the three Persons of the Trinity I could never really explain how they’re all connected in a coherent way. They’re all part of the same god, but seperate, but not as seperate as say Bast and Thor are, but… Yeah. So I sort of sidestepped the problem of ‘how do I have three parts of God that are seperate but the same?’ The Shield of the Trinity that I posted above sort of helps but not really, and while you also have the image of the shamrock or clover as a depiction of the Trinity, with three leaves being part of one leaf, all I can ever think of is the line from the wonderful film Nuns on the Run where Brian (currently masquerading as a nun to avoid being killed by his boss and/or the Triads) has to give a theology lesson on the Trinity, forgets the ‘three leaves, but one leaf’ explanation and instead comes out with ‘God is like a shamrock… Small, green, and split three ways. Class dismissed’. It’s occasionally bothered me over the years that I’ve been unable to articulate one of the core parts of the Christian faith, or explain it, or even fully understand it, which I feel I should be able to do. But then why should I? I’m no theologian. I don’t claim to be able to know the workings of the mind of God, and while I don’t take the Bible literally there are things in it that I believe in, like the Resurrection, which defy rational explanation. Hell, one of the exercises in one of my RS lessons at school was ‘what are the possible explanations for the feeding of the five thousand, the Resurrection, etc.’, where we had things like ‘everyone else pooled their food as well’, ‘they were all spiritually fed’, ‘it was an actual miracle’, and so on. No definitive answer was expected to be given (posh girls’ school, not a faith school), and the other religions we studied were given the same treatment. It wasn’t done disrespectfully, and I had no objections to doing said exercise, but I was still stuck with the ‘there are certain things I believe as part of my faith, but they make no rational sense. And I don’t disbelieve them just because they make no rational sense. Arrgh’. So I sidestepped the issue. And it’s not like I haven’t had people questioning and challenging my Christian faith either – my best friend at high school was atheist and somewhat confrontational with it, and my second boyfriend was also atheist. I couldn’t always explain why I believed what I did, and I couldn’t explain the theology behind the Trinity. But then in a way I don’t really have to – this exchange between River Tam and Shepherd Book from Firefly pretty much explains why. (For those of you who haven’t seen it, River’s just been caught tearing pages out of Book’s Bible and scribbling notes in it in an attempt to ‘fix’ the problems and contradictions).
Book: River, you don’t fix the Bible. River: It’s broken. It doesn’t make sense. Book: It’s not about making sense. It’s about believing in something, and letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It’s about faith. You don’t fix faith, River. It fixes you.
Thus for my theology until my third year of uni. That was when I started to really look into and research Paganism, the reasons for which I’ll leave for another post, and while I was tempted to convert to Wicca (which made up the vast majority of what I found on the internet at that time) I ultimately didn’t as I was perfectly happy with my Christian theology, inexplicable as it was, and so just incorporated some of the practices of Wicca such as Deity candles and circle-casting. But I found the male/female split of Deity appealing, as while all the language used to describe God the Father was male (aside from in the film Dogma), which reflected the times in which the Bible was written, the times in which the canonical books were chosen, and the vast majority of the time when the Church has existed and taught, God Himself wasn’t a Him or a Her, but more of an It – even the Bible agrees with that: ‘so God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them‘ – Genesis 1:27, NIV. And while I know there are Wiccans who work with Jesus and the Virgin Mary as their God and Goddess I went towards the Gnostic Christian route, which sees the Holy Spirit as female. So since I began to think of myself as Christo-Pagan as opposed to just Christian my theology has had God as the overarching Divine presence in the world – the spark of Divinity in every person, in the animals, the stones, every part of creation, more akin to the traditional Jewish concept of God than anything else, with Jesus as the easier-to-relate-to male aspect of God, and the Holy Spirit as His female counterpart. So for me, She is the Daughter of God in the same way that Jesus is the Son, and I refer to Her as Sophia, the personification of wisdom.
And I was happy with this. It had a balance to it, it felt right, and while I still struggled with the concept of the Trinity as a thing when I thought about it, I just treated the ‘true’ relationships between each of the three parts as something I would never be able to comprehend – a mystery of faith if you will. And everything went swimmingly until I got tapped by Freyja…
While the contents of this post have been bubbling at the back of my brian for a while, my actually sitting down and writing it tonight was sparked by a conversation I had this evening with the lovely Ellie of Open Circle at Treadwell’s. She was asking what I believed (reasons why to be part of another post), so I’d explained my reasons for becoming interested in Paganism, why I considered and then rejected conversion, and why I then ended up with my Gnostic-inspired-but-still-Christian view of Deity. And then I had Freyja hitting me over the head with a baseball bat to get my attention, which meant that I had to try and work out how She fitted in with Christos, Sophia, and God, and as I was saying this I knew that I had no idea. I really don’t. Is She seperate from God and are Christos and Sophia just facets of God in the same way that Freyja is battle-woman, witch, and lover? Are all four of Them seperate entities like hard polytheists would believe? Are they all aspects of one Goddess and one God? I have no idea, and unless I either get told by one of Them or have some kind of revalation I don’t think I’m ever going to know. And it bugs me that I can’t explain how They all fit together, or even if They fit together. But in a way it doesn’t matter. Sometimes with faith and belief you can’t explain or rationalise what you believe, it’s kind of where faith comes in. I have faith that Freyja exists, I have faith that God exists, I have faith that Christ and the Holy Spirit exist, and I have a few experiences that I can use to confirm my faith. Is it simple? Can I explain it? Hell no. Now this isn’t to say that one shouldn’t try to understand these things, and I’m not saying that I’m just going to sit back and go ‘eh, I’ll never understand this so I’m not going to bother trying’, but spirituality is a journey, and we’re always learning along the way. It’s ok to say ‘I don’t have the answers right now’, it’s ok to not immediately run out and do All Of The Research, or All Of The Divination/Prayer/Trancework/Whatever to get the answers. How I describe myself in religious terms has been slowly evolving since around 2005/2006, along with my faith, and my theology has followed suit.
For roughly the first two decades of my life I was technically monotheistic, but considering my best friend throughout primary school was Sikh and I was given a good education which included unbiased and multi-faith Religious Studies I was actually an unknowing henotheist – I knew there were other paths people took to Deity, and that people in the world believed in deities who weren’t the Abrahamic God, and I was happy to ackowledge this but just worship a single (sort of) godform, the Trinity. I don’t think that what Dad calls the mini-United Nations of a primary school I went to ever gave me the chance to even start to think that Christianity was the One And Only True Way. It was the Way that worked for me, so I kept following it. Then I started bringing Gnosticism in, and became a henotheist and sort-of soft polytheist, and then Freyja came along, so I have no idea what I would classify myself as. I’m guessing I actually count as polytheist now, but soft? Hard? Medium-rare? I’m not even sure any more how to define or describe myself. Definitely still Christo-Pagan, but where the Christian side of my faith was more Methodist than anything else, and the Pagan side was more Wiccan than anything else, I’ve now got the question of am I more than that? I don’t really consider myself a Heathen as my honouring of Freyja isn’t reconstructionist or even that similar to the practices of the Heathens I know, but I do consider myself to be Vanatruar due to my devotion to Freyja. I’m very ecumenical in my Christianity – I have been and will quite happily go to Catholic Mass, Quaker Meetings, Anglican services ranging from high- to low-church, and places like Emmaus Rd, the church a friend of mine went to before she moved across the country, which has an honest-to-God rock band providing the music. And Ellie said she got the feeling that I could be described as Pagan with a devotional relationship to Jesus, so… As much as I’m incredibly grateful for the help Freyja has given me since I realised She wanted my attention, and as much as I truly enjoy having Her in my life, there are times when I miss the days when this was an accurate, if basic, description of my beliefs.
I can say what, or Who, I believe in, I can explain some of the relationships I see between Them, I can even tell of my experiences that have convinced me that yes, that was Freyja or God making Their presence known to me, but I don’t feel that I can, in all honesty, state precisely what I believe about the existence of Deity as I percieve it. And I may never be able to. I’m fine with the idea of never knowing how or if my gods all interlink, up until I try to explain how I deal with four differently-named Divine figures. Then I get a feeling akin to… failure maybe? I don’t know the answer, but at least I admit I don’t know the answer, which is better than either lying and saying that I do, or deluding myself into thinking that I do? I guess?
Aside from my ‘aargh I’m an idiot’ previous post, I haven’t posted anything for seven weeks, and my religious and spiritual practices have been even scarcer. I did nothing to celebrate Lammas, Mabon (yes, I know there’s a lot of arguing over the use of that word, but it’s the one that was most commonly used in the resources I found when I started looking into Pagany things, and became habit) went past with me pointing and going ‘oh look, Autumn Equinox…’, and my altar slowly gathered more and more dust. But it turns out I’ve done more than I thought I had over the past few weeks. I’ve been at my new job for a month and a half now, and while I can’t wait to get back to working in London as soon as there’s any available, the change of scenery seems to have helped my spirituality if nothing else. Also, apologies if this page takes a while to load, there are a lot of pictures.
This weekend just gone, I actually celebrated the harvest season by doing a very minimal Harvest Home thingy. On the Saturday I made snickerdoodles (recepie below) and ate most of them, but I’d kept part of the dough back and left it wrapped in clingfilm in the fridge, for I had plans! My job is up in Cambridgeshire which means I’m only home at the weekends, but on the plus side the view I have when I’m eating lunch is this:
Which gave me an idea. There were a load of flattened corn stalks near the cabin where the lorry that delivered it had driven, with a few still upstanding near where I sat. So one week I brought by boline with me, took it into work, and harvested five ears of corn, one for each of the Deities I honour, and one for me.
So on the Sunday after I made snickerdoodles I threshed and winnowed the corn, ground it using my mortar and pestle, and baked it into the dough I’d kept aside. I made two giant snickerdoodles, one with the rough-ground corn in the middle and one with it pressed into the top, and used one for my minimalist ritual. And it was very minimalist – I cast no circle, only lit my altar and Deity candles, and did no ritual-y actions. I just sat in front of my altar and chatted to my gods, sang along with Steeleye Span’s Marigold/Harvest Home, and broke bread with Them. Well, broke snickerdoodle. I used the one with the corn on top, and the next morning I ate my half (getting up at 5:30am and driving for an hour and a half I need all the energy I can get) and left the other half outside in the flowerbed for the wildlife as an offering.
I realised as soon as I sat down that I’d missed spending time in front of my altar. It didn’t help that it was in dire need of a clean and clear-up which I didn’t have the energy to do, or that there was so much I wanted to get done as relates to my spiritual practice and this blog that I became procrastinatrix extrodinaire when it came to anything non-temporal. So a lot of the chat had nothing to do with harvest, but was me saying things like ‘I’ve missed being here’, ‘I’ve missed talking to You all’, ‘sorry it’s taken me so long to get around to this’, ‘thanks for putting up with me’, and ‘I need to spend more time here in the future’, interspersed with periods of silence when I just appreciated being able to sit in front of a clean altar with my gods again.
Oh yeah, I’d also cleaned my altar as well as baking. Because it seriously needed it. I mentioned in a previous post that I’d moved my altar’s location and posted a photo. I also said at the time that it needed a damn good clean, which I did nothing about. So this, but with two and a half month’s more dust:
Oh gods… So I took everything off and cleaned the table. I washed my altar cloths. I ironed my altar cloths. I took things like my chalice and offering bowl into the kitchen and washed them up. I dusted. I swear, I did more houseworky things that day than I’ve done for a long time. My flat isn’t an utter tip mind you, but dusting? Only ever happens when I want to use a thing that has dust on it, not because decorative items have dust on them. And while I was washing and dusting and ironing I had some of Pagan Dreams altar incense burning on the bare surface. The somewhat damaged bare surface, as the Ikea side table I use had come with the flat and was therefore second-hand.
So I cleansed my altar table, the cloths, the utensils. I dusted the statues, the candle holders, the implements. I rearranged some things so I had more of a ‘working area’ at the front. I took some things off and added some things. Granted, the area around my altar still needs a damn good tidy and clear-up, and I need a better way of storing things under my altar that isn’t cardboard boxes full of things, but I now have a shiny clean altar that is a pleasure to sit in front of, and which honours my gods a lot more. Granted I’ve recently been remembering/bothering to pray to Them just before I go to sleep, but not keeping what is essentially Their space looking presentable is not good devotional practice.
It’s been strange though, over the past few weeks. I’ve been feeling like I’m standing on the edge of something as regards my spirituality, like there’s something big going to happen, or that there’s going to be a lot more in my life. It may be a premonition, or it could just be a consequence of my actually getting up off my arse and doing things. Because looking back, although I feel like I haven’t done anything, I’ve actually done or seen a lot of little things that have added up. I was lying on the lawn outside my building on my way back from shopping just before I started on this site, and while I was looking straight up at the clouds a raven flew overhead. Now I know ravens are more Odin’s birds than Freyja’s, but they are carrion birds, and Freyja is also a slain-chooser and dead-feaster, and while Her battle-woman side isn’t the one I honour, it’s still a part of Her.
So a couple of days later, quite possibly the Sunday before the Monday I started, I cleaned my Fehu necklace. While the obsidian and dragonwood beads had stopped the tiny copper ones from being in contact with my skin and turning exceedingly green, they had lost a lot of their shine and were in places starting to look a little verdant. So I did a small devotional thing and got out the jewellery polishing cloth. And it made a lot of difference:
I also did small devotional harvesty things these past few weeks, mostly at weekends. I have bad arachnophobia, and coming upon them unexpectedly in my house is a nightmare. However, there’s a chemical in conkers that they don’t like, so every year I go to the local park which has an abundance of horse chestnut trees and collect a load of conkers to put in bowls on every windowsill in the house. Now I knew I’d need a lot of conkers as I have nineteen windows, but I may have overestimated… Gathering them was a lot of fun though – I wandered around the trunks singing the song we sing at Treadwell’s Open Circles to cast the circle: ‘enter the circle, enter the circle, bring what you have to give, take what you need’, picking up the gorgeous glossy conkers as I went. Clearly I’d arrived at perfect conker time, as not only were there loads on the ground but, I swear, it was raining conkers. There was one tree where you could hear them fall, and when I stood underneath it I am not joking, one fell every thirty seconds. I got loads from that tree, and also, inevitably, got hit on the head by one. Let me tell you, a terminal velocity conker to the head bloody hurts… I got so many there that before I left I laid my hand on the tree and said thank you for all the gifts it had given me, after I’d laid my hand on the earth in thanks for all the other gifts of conkers I’d recieved.
I even had seasonal reminders of the turning of the Wheel at work. Not that hard really seeing as we’re out in the farmlands and countryside, but I spent the whole day of the Equinox with Marigold going round my head, and since I’ve been there there have been skeins and skeins of geese flying overhead on their way south for the winter. It’s an impressive enough sight to begin with, but when they’re flying over just as the sun’s starting to break through the cloud at 8am on the morning of the Autumn Equinox, well…
I’ve also started to pick up Roderick’s Three Hundred and Sixty Six again, after doing nothing with it since the beginning of January (!), I’ve walked through the park rather than along the road when I go to or from my parents’ place, and, most excitingly, may be joining a coven. I’ve also been to church twice this past month, which I have a horrible feeling is more times than I’ve managed in all the previous months put together this year, but the details of those two things will have to wait for another post, as a) this one is already very long and b) it’s getting late and I need to make my lunch for tomorrow and pack to go home as I drive straight from work on Fridays.
But it’s loads of little things that feel like I’m building up to something, like I’m on the edge of something and about to step into it. It’s weird, but good. Kind of like the build-up to a wave crashing on the shore but without the crash, if that makes sense. Also, snickerdoodles:
Preheat oven to 160C fan oven/180C oven/Gas Mark 4. Grease a flat baking tray.
Mix butter and half mug of sugar together and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add beaten egg and vanilla and beat well.
Mix in flour and the nutmeg until mixture is smooth.
Place the two tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon on a plate and mix together.
Turn cookie mixture out onto a surface and squash together. Make into a long sausage, handling as little as possible. Cut into 24. Take each piece and make into a small ball. Roll ball in the sugar and cinnamon, squash slightly and place on a baking tray.
Bake for 12 minutes or until slightly browned.
Save the cinnamon sugar in a tupperware and use for the next batch of snickerdoodles. And the next, and the next, and the next…
This is not a post I wanted to write. This is a post, in fact, that I hoped I’d never have to write. But, due to my… stupidity? Arrogance? Thoughtlessness? Complacency? I’ve ended up pissed off at myself and depressed. These three photos pretty much sum up why:
Yep, my Freyja-dedicated Fehu necklace that Beth made snapped at work today. It’s pretty much been my worst nightmare since I noticed the elastic beading cord was starting to lose some of its spoing, but I’d always thought that if it were to snap it would be when I was putting it on or taking it off, when the cord was at maximum stretch. I’d even said to myself and a couple of friends that ‘I really hope it doesn’t just break at work, ’cause I’d never be able to find all the beads if that happened!’, but oh look – it snapped at work and I’ve lost around a third of the beads.
I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but I can remember finding out – I was kneeling down by the side of the grave I was planning and taking my Buff (stretchy neckwarmer headwrap tube thingy) off from around my neck to turn it into the way it needs to be to keep my ears warm, when I looked down at my clipboard that was on the ground in front of me and thought ‘why is there a bead on it?’. There was then a couple of seconds of my brain processing this before OH SHIT kicked in and my hand flew to my neck where the necklace should be. Purely by accident (or possibly accidentally on purpose if a certain Vanic-related Someone had a hand in it) the length of the choker meant the rune pendant sat just at the base of my throat, and over the last seven months I’ve often sat rubbing the pendant between my thumb and forefinger while contemplating paperwork or stratigraphy. So I knew immediately that my worst nightmare for this necklace had happened and it had snapped. At work. Scattering the beads everywhere.
Thankfully just under half of it was still on the string and draped across my left shoulder, otherwise I’d have lost even more than I did. Although it was short enough to sit just above my work t-shirts so it showed, occasionally it would be on the outside, occasionally the inside of the collar, and I had on my purple fleece and army surplus shirt, so the beads could have fallen anywhere between the layers. I found a handful of beads as I carefully undid where the shirt was knotted around my waist, one on the ground behind me when I gently shook the shirt out, and I found the pendant underneath my clipboard. I was hoping desperately that I’d got all the beads, but when I found one on the flood of the cabin/office/welfare unit I began to worry that some of them had got caught up in my clothing and fallen out somewhere on site which meant my chances of finding them were negligibly miniscule. It’s a big area, it’s all sand, gravel, and dust, the beads are small to tiny, and as the natural is reddish-orange gravel I’d be damn lucky to spot any that had fallen elsewhere than where I was working. The same is doubly true if I want to go looking tomorrow, what with the rain, the wind, and the fact that I’d had to clean back the area I’d been working in for the photo so any missed beads that were there are somewhere in the spoil heap now. So that’s around a third of the beads just gone.
So why am I kicking myself so hard for something that’s pure accident? Because I knew the elastic was going. Because I’d already asked Beth if she’d mind restringing it for me along with my Yggdrasil beads that broke before she retired from jewellery making. Because I’d already dedicated and consecrated a replacement for when my Fehu necklace got sent away. Because I didn’t manage to get it wrapped and packed this weekend just gone and was going to do it next weekend. Because while the temporary replacement is lovely and was bought because it had a very Freyja feel about it I didn’t want to stop wearing my Fehu necklace that I’d had round my neck five days out of seven for the last seven months. Because I’m an idiot. So yeah, something that was entirely preventable has happened, leaving me upset and angry, and it’s my own bloody fault. Go me…
I was going to write up my Harvest celebration post tonight, and make a start on the long list of draft posts that I’ve been meaning to write for literally months (I is awesome procrastinatrix), but instead I’m going to eat an entire bag of Cadbury’s Mixed Buttons and then do something to try and take my mind off the fact that I’m a stupid git.
What with Sidmouth folk festival, then getting home to find an email saying I’m at risk of redundancy due to a downturn in work, going through the redundancy scoring system, and then being made redundant I haven’t had a massive amount of free brainspace to write much beyond job applications.
However, I found out today that I’ve been shortlisted for a secondment post I applied for in the company I’m currently working with (until Friday), and the interview’s tomorrow morning. I really hope I get it, as it will enable me to develop and diversify my archaeology skills and also means I keep my continuity of service. However, it’s also the first interview I’ve had to do since 1997, so I’m slightly panicy. Positive thoughts, vibes, wishes, spells and prayers will be much appreciated, both for me not making an arse of myself in the interview and making a good enough impression to get the job.
So I’ve been neglecting my blogging somewhat, both in the writing posts sense and the commenting sense. I’ve got a long mental list of things I’d like to write about, as well as a load of open tabs in my browser of other people’s posts that I want to comment on, but as I am queen of procrastination when I do get some spare time to sit and think between busy weekends and post-work exhaustion I’ve usually spent it watching Mythbusters on Netflix or re-reading the Rivers of London series.
My personal practice hasn’t completely fallen by the wayside though, as I celebrated Litha on the day itself, and for the last couple of weeks I’ve managed to use one of my sets of prayer beads every day. And while I have been reading the posts that pop up in my Reader I’ve just not managed to work up the mental energy to comment because I am clearly a terrible person. Unfortunately this trend will continue for at least another week, as I’m off to Sidmouth folk festival tomorrow morning and will have practically non-existent internet connection until I get home. However, despite what the astronomical calendar says, Sidmouth is on a par with my birthday/Christmas – in my personal life those are the times when the year turns from dark to light and back again, the major milestones which beforehand get the ‘I’ll deal with it after X’ treatment, and afterwards are a time of ‘now that’s out of the way I can concentrate on Y’. Don’t get me wrong, I utterly love Sidmouth, but when you’re rushing between stewarding, concerts, ceilidhs, and meals out it does leave me wanting another week to recover.
So I’ll leave you with a couple of photos, one of a t-shirt I bought to honour Freyja at the New Forest folk festival that I went to with friends earlier this month, and one of my altar’s new, and permanent, position in my bedroom. It was originally in between two of the windows, but then I had to move it to put my new curtains up so it wound up where the wardrobe’s supposed to be. Then I realised I couldn’t put it back between the windows as my new voluminous curtains would go up in flames, so it’s now sitting at the foot of my bed, facing east. Purely accidentally, as my altar has faced north, south, west, and north-west over the years, but I am oddly pleased that it’s now facing the direction that Christianity and a fair chunk of Paganism believe an altar should face if at all possible.