Just a few thoughts

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Growth, Change, Endings & Beginnings (A post I wrote back in the spring)

 I'm not even proof-reading this, really, just skimming it. It annoys me to have drafts saved, so here it is, what I was going through earlier this year, and why I was MIA for so long (or at least part of the reason).

I've realized  recently that part of my problem is that I can't learn more from my books right now. I've been pouring through some of my books for a while now, trying to figure out what it is that I'm missing, with no luck. Books have always been a comfort for me, even when I knew I couldn't really get anything more from them. I'm a total book junkie and I'm well on my way to living in a library, and I spend basically every moment possible with my nose in a book. I digress (I'm terrible for that).

I've spent a long time worrying about the "right" way to do things and other things like that, and usually when I think I'm past thinking that way, something new will come up. A perfect example is my current situation.

Spent years figuring out that I'm Pagan. Just Pagan, not a recon, Wiccan, etc., and a Witch. Well, I knew the Witch part for ages. I was so focused on labels for so long, I nearly forgot why I was drawn into Paganism in the first place. I lost myself while trying to label myself. And why? So I could throw out a couple of words to let others know what I believe? I really don't know.  But now, here I am once again doing the same darn thing. I'm feeling pulled towards the Norse Gods and what do I do? Start looking for a way around it, or a label to stick on it. On top of that, I've been panicking trying to figure out how to approach Them because it's new territory for me. Really, you would think that after having spent time with Egyptian, Greek, and various Celtic Gods/Goddesses, I would have no problem with this. But for some unknown reason, the Norse still intimidate me.

It's like a kid  going to one of the Disney places and seeing their favorite character, but being too shy or afraid to run over and actually "meet" the character.  Ok, it's not quite the same thing, but I think it's a similar feeling. I was that kid (only it wasn't Disney) and while I was thrilled to see one of my favorite TV characters in person, I was too  shy and scared to say "Hi." That's kind of how I'm feeling now. I'm odd that way. I've always been pretty shy at first, for whatever reason.

Anyway... Instead of just going for it, I've spent months trying to rationalize why I'm feeling called by the Norse Gods. But, I also feel like it's an old group of friends trying to convince me to hang out again because we haven't seen each other in ages. So while I think it's pretty new (the Norse in my life), at the same time it feels almost like I'm being called home. So many Pagans describe learning about Paganism as "coming home," and while I felt that way, too, this is almost like a repeat of that experience, but even more intense.

 I wrote this post months ago, but I never published because it felt unfinished. Well, last night (the 27th of May), I had a sort of epiphany. Truth be told, I've had a few recently about all of this, but I haven't sat down to sort it all out in my head. I've come to the conclusion that I'm drawn to what I'm drawn to for a reason and it's really no one's business but my own. I can choose to share (as I do from time to time here), but I'm NOT obligated to proclaim everything I believe to the world. There are no "Pagan Police" to come along and get me for not being "Pagan enough," or anything else like that, and I'm sure in time the reasons for at least some of this will become clearer.

In the meantime, I think I'll stop worrying about WHY I'm feeling pulled towards the things I am, and just see where it takes me. I'm so tired of trying to please other people in every aspect of my life. If I step on some toes, that's too bad. I don't mean to offend anyone or be disrespectful, but I can't exactly change what I continue to feel drawn to. So why should I even try?




Feeling the need to clarify something

So, I think many of us have seen the terms "matron" and "patron" thrown around. Hell, I use them sometimes (there's a post on this from a while back, where I used the terms in the way they're generally used by members of the Pagan community these days).

However, more often than not, the words are not being used "correctly." Now, hear me out. I'm usually one of the people going on about how language evolves, words take on new meanings, etc., and that still applies here. I think that if those are the terms you want to use to talk about the Goddess and/or God you work with, that's fine.

But, "matron" doesn't just mean "female," and "patron" doesn't just mean male. The following are definitions from dictionary.com.




















Now, taking these definitions, what can we determine? First, that a "matron" deity would probably be one who is more "mature," possibly with a partner, and potentially involved in domestic affairs. For example, Frigg. I think that Hestia would also qualify, and probably Hera. "Matron" does tend to always refer to a female deity.

"Patron," on the other hand, does not necessarily have to be a male deity. Let's look at definitions 2 & 4. This is what I think many people mean when they talk about a "matron/patron" deity, of either gender. They're referring to a deity that they have a relationship with. A deity that probably supports them, in some way. I'm not going to post a definition of what a "patron saint" is, because I think we all have a general idea. If you don't, it's basically a saint that is considered a protector/supporter/etc. of a particular group or cause, like the "patron saint of children." Some people, I've no doubt, view some deities in this way. I can't substantiate that claim, but I feel confident in our diversity, which always includes beliefs about the divine (whether it's a lack of belief, or the exact way one views the Gods).

While I've fallen into the habit of calling a female deity my "matron," and as far as I know (this is UPG territory, just as a warning) Hekate is fine with that, she is really my "patron goddess." Why? Because she supports me. She guides me when I need it, she's there when I pray, she usually shows up when I invite her to a ritual, and I just feel her presence with me regularly.

 As with any other subject, everyone will have their own opinions, and that's wonderful. This is my belief, and I just wanted to share it in case anyone has ever wondered if they're using the terms "matron/patron" in the "wrong" way. Personally, I don't really care. I picked up the habit years ago, and it stuck. I am trying to change that, though, because my inner linguist (or something) is irked by my misuse of the terms. However, the meaning of words does continue to change, and I think that it's perfectly acceptable to use the terms in the way I generally see them used. Most people will know what you mean, either way, so don't worry about it too much.











Monday, May 27, 2013

Keyboard, baby!

Typing a blog post on a tablet is a serious pain in the rear, if you didn't know. Or at least I think so. Maybe I'm old school and I just like a keyboard to type on, like I prefer actually flipping pages in a book to reading on my Kindle (though that thing is damn handy because my vision sucks and I can make the font HUGE lol). Anyway, to each their own and I can see the appeal to exclusively using a touchscreen. For one thing, a tablet by itself is insanely portable, even a 10-inch. But, I HAD to get a keyboard for mine and I FINALLY found one! Yay!

So, that's really all I have to say for now. Just updating to let everyone know that I got a keyboard and therefore I can blog much, much easier now. Also, my harddrive does seem to be fully intact, so hopefully over the next few weeks I'll be able to sort through my files and pick out things I can use for the blog.

I'm thinking of starting a sort of "series," again. Yeah, I know, that's worked so well in the past lol. But, what's different this time is that I have no idea what it will be about. I'm thinking of doing something once or twice a week, maybe summarizing or discussing things I read about. Or maybe three times a week, like one day for Pagan/Witchy topics, one day for "domestic" topics (recipes, organizing, parenting stuff, etc.) and one day for whatever else I want to blog about (electronic cigarettes, books, movies, etc.)

 Meh, I guess we'll see how things go. Hope you've had a great weekend, and that the rest of this week is wonderful, too.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

How to Drown a Toshiba and Effectively End Your Ability to Blog

I have no idea how many people read this, if any still do, and I really don't know if any of you follow me on twitter. If you do follow me on twitter, you may have seen my rants about laptop shopping recently. My Toshiba died weeks ago and we still haven't been able to figure out how it happened. My husband was borrowing it while I was busy, he put it down and by the time I got to it (a whopping 30 seconds later) it was soaked. To say that I wasn't happy would be the understatement of the year.

Sure I wanted to replace that piece of crap anyway (wtf happened to Toshiba? They used to make good laptops), but I was thinking more like 6 months from now after researching for a long time. Oh well, I suppose. So I lost most of my passwords with the drowning of the Toshiba, my husband dragged out his Toshiba laptop from 2006 and I searched and searched. I found as laptop I want, but for whatever reason, my desire for a tablet won out, so here I sit, tapping away on a Nexus 10.

I may have recovered most passwords, but unfortunately I haven't been able to access my hard drive to recover my saved-but-not-posted blogs. Soon, though.

 In related news, I'm thinking of starting a tumblr blog. That's a story for another day, though, so if I figure things out, I'll post an update.





















Monday, February 18, 2013

Fox "News" Pagan/Wiccan Hate

As some, or maybe all, of you know, Fox aired a rather disturbing segment about Pagans and Wiccans.


I really wasn't all that surprised to see this from Fox, but the fact that it was aired on a news station (or at least a station that considers itself "news") is appalling to me. This was a gross misrepresentation of Wiccans and Pagans, and I think they should be ashamed for reporting on something they know nothing about. If, after watching the video, you're interested in signing a petition, there is one going HERE for an apology, etc.

I wanted to take a moment to share why this has gotten under my skin so much, since things like this  normally do not bother me. I won't go into the crazy stereotyping from the video...

First of all, I live in a very conservative, Christian, rural area. Most of the people around here watch Fox religiously and take what they hear/see there very seriously. It's not entirely safe for someone who is not a Christian to be open about their beliefs. Sure, they may not be chased down the street by people toting pitch forks and torches (or at least that's unlikely), but they could have their tires slashed, break lines cut, be beaten up, lose their job, or any number of other bad things.

But, the people here are very, very patriotic and become enraged very easily if those in the military are mistreated or discriminated against in any way. Those things can easily override any prejudices they hold towards other religions, sexualities, etc. They may not like that you're a Pagan, or gay, but they go nuts if they hear about a soldier being discriminated against for reasons such as those.

This thing with Fox has brought up Pagans in the military (I have no idea how) and people seem to be looking at it in a new light. I'm not saying they all are, but people that I personally know (and never expected to not agree with Fox) have become enraged by this Fox segment. They've put aside their hatred for other religions for a change because for some reason they're seeing this anti-Pagan mentality in a new light. I'm not sure if it's entirely because of the military Pagans out there, or if it's because they finally see how freedom of religion mean any religion, but I'm thankful for the change.

It takes baby steps to achieve change, and this seems to be just one of many for equality for Pagans. We are a minority, but we don't deserve to be ridiculed, bullied, beaten, etc. just because of our religious an spiritual beliefs. Somehow, it seems that this video is actually aiding Pagans because so many non-Pagans are voicing  their opinion about it. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there pissed off because there's a petition against Fox, who think Fox was right  about us, etc. But there are also a lot of people out there showing support.

Yes, Fox was out of line, but because of the public outcry over this video, some people are actually learning how inaccurate these misconceptions and stereotypes are, which is good for us. The more educated people are about Paganism and Witchcraft, the more accepted we'll be. It's going to take time, but I think this is  definitely a step in the right direction for tolerance and understanding, even if Fox does not apologize (does anyone really expect them to?) and correct their mistakes.