Monday, October 6, 2014

Thoughts on Justice

What is justice? 

"Morally right and fair behaviors or treatment."

Justice? 

It is a lie, plain and simple. "Justice" does not exist in the real world; it is only present in our minds, never carried out through actions. 

Where is the justice for the people who were literally blown to nothingness when the US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki? 

Where is the justice for the woman raped by her father, her brother, her lover, her friend? 

Where is the justice for the parents who have to bury their newborn child?

Where is the justice for the antelope killed by the lion? 

Where is justice? 

"TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED." 
- The Hogfather, Terry Pratchett

Today I heard a sermon in which the pastor talked about a story in the Bible where a man asked God why bad things happened. The pastor basically said good Christians should not question their god and instead trust Him and his "Plan." 

Why should we tolerate the bad things that people do? It is not any divine power's responsibility to help us or protect us from negative experiences, whether you are a Christian or a Pagan. It is not the Goddess's job to forever hold us up, away from harm. A child does not learn by being forever protected. Do we really want to make this world just? Do we really want mercy and peace? Then we need to step up and make these things ourselves! 

Justice. It does not exist elsewhere in the world, but we humans can make it, and help it flourish. 

The world is unjust and unfair because we make it so. We can make the change. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Coming of Age

Who here has heard about the Klein and Frost deal in the pagan community and also about the essays written about racism in Heathenism? If not, I recommend reading up about it before we continue.

Basically, Kenny Klein was arrested for child pornography and happened to be a prominent pagan figure. This lead to a huge backlash in the community over child abuse and how we deal with it (or rather, how we don't deal with it). Out of that backlash the Frosts were targeted (and rightfully so) for their inflammatory section in their book describing in detail how to "sexually initiate" children.

I have heard from several people that ask why Klein is a "pagan" issue. Uh, what? Philadelphia Pagan has said it better than me (with much less cussing):
A Pagan author who wrote several books about Paganism and was an elder in a Pagan tradition was arrested for and confessed to possession and distribution of child pornography. Several people came forward about the abuse and inappropriate behavior they suffered at the hands of this Pagan man, sometimes at Pagan or Pagan-dominated events. Some of those people were silenced when they first tried to talk about the inappropriate behavior by Pagans who wanted to protect their local Pagan community. 
But it’s not an issue for the Pagan community, because he also was a photographer. [sarcasm]

If you care more about the perception of Paganism by outsiders, who generally don’t give a shit about conversations we have with one another, than you do about cleaning up rape culture within Paganism and working to help victims… 
you’ve got your priorities all wrong.
Guys, this is a problem within our community. We cannot ignore abuse and the prevalence of rape culture within our own and then turn around and say we worship Goddesses and give women an equal footing with men. It's completely hypocritical! We all have known about predators in the pagan community for at least a decade, when I entered the pagan path. It seriously pisses me off when I meet pagans who feel as if it is somehow okay for people to silence the victims of abuse, or try to justify it.

In fact, on the Wildhunt's facebook page, this one guy... oh man. He was talking about how some children are more "sexually mature" than their age and how that's why it's somehow okay to ritualistically assault a child. THAT VERY ATTITUDE CONTRIBUTES TO RAPE CULTURE. STOP IT. A child is a person who is under the age of 18, period end of discussion full stop. When I was starting out, I could not find a coven or a mentor who would have dared take me under their wing because I wasn't 21! I had a very difficult time finding a coven who would take me when I was 18. Honestly, I feel that unless that coven is an open coven specifically meant for families, no one should be accepted or initiated into the coven until that person is 18 years old.

We as a community need to grow into the fact that, now we are become a bigger religion, there will be predators and we need to ostrisize them from us. We also need to be there for the newbies! However, that's for a different post.









Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bulimia, Non-Purging Type

I've said this before, but I will say it again; I have an eating disorder. Now, after many years of not knowing, I finally found a name for what I do: bulimia, non-purging type.

It's a small subgroup of bulimia, with most people falling into the purging type and what most people think of when they hear the word bulimia. With non-purging, we don't vomit or use laxatives or diuretics. Instead we excessively exercise and/or fast. I do both of those things, but tend more towards fasting.

When I exercise, I will regularly go for two, three, or even four hours at a time, until I can no longer do anymore because I am shaking. One time I went to the point of complete exhaustion and couldn't lift myself from the floor. For me it always feels... good, actually, which is why I keep doing it. It's some kind of sick satisfaction in damaging my body. I know that it's wrong and yet I don't care. I must force myself to leave after an hour. I have now started "padding" my time by enjoying the sauna and Jacuzzi so I don't hurt myself so much.

Not quite, but I wish.
When I fast, however, that's when the wrench is thrown in. It starts off sometimes by me being late one day and then going the rest of the day without food. Of course, when I get home, I am exhausted and so go to bed. Then when I wake up again I am late. Who cares if I don't eat, I think. It's not like going hungry for a bit will kill me... and then I become angry with my body for constantly bugging me with its requests for substance. I think, why can't you wait? Why can't you take from the vast sources of energy you have stored? Why do you keep bothering me?? My anger piques and it bleeds into my interactions with others; I become short and intolerant to stupidity and irritable. I get angry with my roommates for asking me to cook dinner. I get pissed when told to eat. All I want to do is anything else but eat. I become so sick of food. There is a kind of disturbing happiness at the pang of hunger going unfed. As it were, I sit here feeling the pangs and I know that my thoughts are wrong and disordered, but I think that I am happy to feel it because it means I'm a "good girl."

After a while of not eating, something breaks my fast and then the floods happen. I binge and binge and binge, spending most of my money on food until my stomach screams both in agony and ravenous hunger. I can feel the pain of my stomach stretching to try and fit the plates upon plates but nothing quells the raging hunger. Truly and honestly, it's as if a thousand people were screaming, crying, begging to be fed and nothing you can ever give them will be enough.

 And then comes the guilt and shame. It is devastating and all consuming. It's as if someone threw me into a dark hole and it has crippled me, suffocating me. I can't breathe, I can't eat, I can't sleep. All I do is beat myself up for "losing control." How can I do that to myself? What a slob! If you just had better self control.... and so the fasting starts again.

Other times it starts because of triggering. Someone, like my doctor or a peer or TV or anything, will say something and my dark thoughts grip me. For instance, when I went to the doctor recently, I was telling her that I have this eating disorder, but then the doctor turns around and talks about how "counting calories" are sooooo important and if I just didn't eat so much I wouldn't be fat. So, I don't eat at all. Or it might be that I have so naively weighed myself and found that I have gained (a lot) of weight. Or it might be that I need new cloths and I try to go buy some but I can't fit into something I want or don't have the money for it and so I think "if only..." Sometimes it's just by touching my body, feeling my belly or my legs or my arms. It doesn't sicken me anymore, but I do still have the longings.

Many times I think, "I wish I had a healthy relationship with food and my body." It's just a very, very long road...















Monday, December 9, 2013

Holidays


Hey Pagans, how many of you are from exclusively Pagan families? Anyone...?
I am from a Catholic background, and now my immediate family is pretty solidly atheist (my mother is even an atheist priest). I am just starting out on my "own" (with roommates) and have little decorations for my apartment, but it's growing... however, my parents --specifically my mother-- has a crap ton of Christmas decorations that she has re-purposed into Hogswatch decorations. That's right, we now celebrate Hogswatch. For our purposes, Hogswatch can be on any day towards the end of the December month, and will probably be sometime after the 28th due to divorce and custody shit. 
So it's pretty awesome for my family to have Yule and Hogswatch -- like having three birthdays! 
Anyway, I think I will be making some of my Yule decorations this year by hand instead of buying something. Wanna see?  


Clear Glass Ornament Balls 3-1/4in

Clear Glass Ornament Balls with Silver Tops (6 ornaments/box ) 2-5/8" Size

kids christmas list inside glass ornament

Aren't they adorable??? I would also like to make some Yule suncatchers, in honor of the Horned God coming back. Something like this...


Source
COOL. I particularly like the silver leaflets inside. Perhaps some silver leaflets (aluminum foil?) in blues and purples for the Goddess and some gold leaflets (aluminum foil spray painted?) in reds and oranges for the God. I think I will also take some of the wire I have left over to make a mobile. Hmm....

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Musings on Suicide

I thought about suicide. For many years, I contemplated whether it was worth it to leave the life I hated for something else. I didn't just hate my life either; I hated my body and resented my self. Every time I looked in the mirror, I loathed the thing looking back at me. Then, for years, I couldn't even look myself in the eye -- I didn't even turn on the lights to get dressed or use the restroom, because I didn't want to see my body. I hated every morning, because every night I wished I would die in my dreams. I was in a bad place mentally for a very long time, and I felt pain every day by just existing.

Now, I watch a law show about suicide. A woman was suicidal after the man in her life broke up with her, and the woman turned to another who supported the decision for people to commit suicide. The difference, though, is that the advocate was terminally ill and was slowly dying a painful death.

So I sit here and think about my beliefs on suicide, both assisted and self inflicted.

I've attended to a man who had Huntington's Disease, a neurological wasting disease. I couldn't imagine the kind of life I would have if I was suffering as he was. I would seriously consider ending my life while I could. Even in my family, I have seen certain cancers cause endless amounts of suffering -- the kind of cancers that you cannot recover from.

On the flip side, there are many diseases that are treatable and even curable if you have the help you need. Diabetes, for example, is treatable and manageable with a good support system and insulin. Some STIs and STDs are curable now, and many people can now improve their quality of life with medication. Celiac disease is treatable with a change in diet.

So I think the physical illness side should be looked at as, can you have the quality of life that you want? Can your condition be improved with medicines, therapy, holistic healing, or a combination of things? What kind of death will you be looking forward to; a silent, painless death or a death proceeded by excruciating pain and anguish?

On the other hand, we have mental illnesses. As someone who suffers with depression, it can be a struggle day to day. As I have talked about, I seriously thought about suicide. The only reason I pulled away from that end was due to events in my life. What about others who aren't so lucky?

As someone who has been there before, I lean more towards trying to resolve issues with help. But also someone who has been desperately poor, I understand that the kind of help people need isn't cheap or easy to come by; even medication can be expensive. Perhaps we need to change, as a society, the way we view and treat mental illness and physical disabilities. Actually, there is no "perhaps" about it. There should be no reason why seeking help should be expensive or hard to find and keep. This too should be the government's job since we the People aren't doing it.

Anyway, back to the point.


It's not just depression that impacts people's lives, and help can vary for people. I understand that sometimes, for some people, things just won't get better. Sometimes Life just gave you a shitty hand and it's time to quit until the next go around. And if anyone chose to end their life, I would be sad and upset, but ultimately it's that person's choice.

Still, I ask that if you or someone you know is considering suicide, try reaching out to someone first. When you are at the bottom of the pit, take a step to the side and look up. Many times, when you finally reach out, there will be someone there. For myself, I was surprised to finally find that I wasn't actually alone and that there were people who did really care about me. Sometimes it was a teacher, other times it was kind-hearted students who embraced me. Sometimes it was my dog who looked up to me and was there for me when I cried. Now, it's my brother who depends on me for everything.

I can't say that I regret not taking my life; I am glad I didn't. However, I cannot also say that I can condemn those who do, did, or will because ultimately it is a choice that someone should make themselves.

Again though, there are more nuances in life than just black and white. There are some mental illnesses that cannot be treated currently, like being a rapist or child molester or a serial killer. Some things like narcissism aren't effectively treatable, and even depression and bipolarism are difficult to treat and manage.

So I guess I end my ramblings with this: I think suicide is someone's choice to make, but that every other option should be pursued before committing. Suicide is an extreme and final last resort. Regardless though, you can email me and talk if no one else seems to listen. And if you want to talk about it anonymously (or even help people through their problems) try this site called BlahTherapy.

May you find everything you want.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Why I Do Not Like PETA

(REBLOG FOR UPDATES)

Seems like everyone is talking about PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) lately. As a Pagan, I dislike them a lot. As a feminist, I really dislike them. Why? For several reason, actually.

They straight up kill the animals that they "rescue" for one. In 2011, PETA euthanized a record percentage of animals (95.9%), surpassed only by their numbers in 2009 (97.3%) and 2006 (97.4%). They rescued 2,026 animals, adopted out only 24 of them and euthanized 1,911. They are NOT animal lovers, for animal lovers would not kill as many as PETA has. Of course, this has been a trend for a long, long time. If you want a document of the most recent data (2010), here it is (pdf). Just this makes me gag.

Here is a cute puppy to make you feel better.
Next, we have the degradation of women. From suggesting Ben and Jerry's switch from cow milk to human milk, to fat shaming, to the objectification and torture of women, over and over and over and over again.

WTF?
How about PETA's racists protests and anti-Semitic ads? Or how about their use of the murder of Tillman to promote their views? How about PETA making light of a cannibalistic attack where the murderer stabbed and decapitated his 22 year old victim on a bus? Again, another murder comparison? They also bought a grave site near Col. Sanders and put up a grave marker that mnemonically read "KFC Tortures Birds". From what I can gather, it has since been taken down. Here are some of PETA’s worst ad idea, including “Feeding Kids Meat is Child Abuse” and a picture of a half cut up woman hanging from meat hooks.

These women were left in the plastic wrap for one hour in 80 degree weather. PETA would never do this to cows.
Last but certainly not least, their funds:

"PETA’s 2010 donations totaled $33 million ($35 million if you add on merchandise sales and other revenue). So where did your money go last year? According to PETA’s 2010 annual report:
  • A vegans make better lovers” campaign where PETA campaigners publicly made out on a bed on the streets of Nashville, TN.
  • Disruption of the Westminster dog show (Because animal lovers deserve to be targeted?)
  • A campaign comparing pregnant women to fattened sows to protest farmed meat
  • Dressing as a giant vanilla condom promote animal birth control in Beirut (Because Beirut has few other controversies to deal with currently)
  • PETA also says it has given over $843 thousand in grants to researchers looking at animal alternatives. Sounds good right? But one should do the math here. The amount is 2 percent of the money PETA spent last year. In comparison, they spent 17 percent of their money (your money) on fundraising to raise more money. In addition, research is expensive (sad but true)… An $800,000 split among several researchers as PETA has done…will not go far at all."
I do not support PETA. I do not recommend my friends and family support them either. Maybe they have done good work, but their bad overshadows their good by at least three times. Please do not endorse PETA nor donate to them. Here is another cute puppy to make you feel better.

Dawwwwwww <3
Update 9/1/2012 --- When Shelby County, KY threatened to become a kill shelter after being a No Kill Shelter for four years, PETA "graciously" sent a gift basket, "with a note thanking them [Shelby County Shelter] for their decision to start killing again after four years. “Thank you for doing the right thing” wrote PETA in its gift offering from Allison’s Gourmet which included vegan cookies,* baked without eggs or dairy, because—you know—harming animals is wrong."

UPDATE 12/3/13 --- DAMN IT PETA, WHY WON'T YOU DIE??? UGH, the awful organization has again decided to turn their malicious gaze back on fat women. Do you know about Plan B not working for women over a certain weight? Well PETA has decided that they will help by initiating the "Plan V";
"If extra pounds are thwarting a woman's ability to use Plan B, PETA's 'Plan V' could be the prescription they need," says PETA Executive Vice President (and mother) Tracy Reiman. "Going vegan is a great way to lose weight and get healthy—and it could help women regain control over their reproductive lives."
/RAGE QUIT/

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I'M STILL ALIVE!!!!

For now at least. BAH it has been too long, but I promise a new post sometime tomorrow where I talk about some of the political things I have been thinking about. Hints you ask? Well alright then!

Some talking points:
  • Natural rights of the Earth
  • Animal rights, specifically "animal feminism"
  • Veganism
  • The "cultural appropriation" of the phrase "coming out"
  • Possibly the US Shutdown, maybe, perhaps. 
So things will get heated tomorrow, but I do have some other news:

I was seriously thinking about adding a vlog to here and discussing some things specifically in American Sign Language. I am hopeful that adding a pagan voice to all the Christian ones will help Deaf people learn more about alternate faiths. Are there any Deaf people out there who would like to give me some talking points? And for the hearing people, there will be subtitles.

Hope to see you tomorrow!

Calypso! Rights belong to the painter.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Destiny

I found this: Pagan Blog Prompts. Oh, I am totally going to participate! Today's prompt is destiny; "what comes around goes around" and "everything happens for a reason".

This is a hard prompt, especially posed right after all the tornadoes that stormed through Central America, the attack of a solider in London and murder in Birmingham, riots in Sweden, and much, much more. They seem like shallow and cruel answers to the question of "why did this happen?"

While I do think things happen for a reason, I am not naive enough to say that what comes around goes around and I am not cruel enough to say that things that happen are always good or that bad things happen as punishment for bad behavior. That would be exactly like sin, which I don't believe in, either as a Pagan or a liberal. Does the woman who was rape had it coming, because what goes around comes around? Does the parents of the children lost in the tornadoes care that things happen for a reason, and what reason could that possibly be anyway?

Sincerely, Loki.
Now I believe in the gods. All of them in fact; I am a hard polytheist (and also an omnist). However, I don't believe They are all good or all evil. They are complex and cannot be fully described by us. I do feel like we humans project our own feeling onto our specific deity (see Westboro and their hateful god). But the thing is, They are NOT like us at all. They do not think like us, They do not love like us, They do not live like us. We are toys to Them, objects of fascination that They spend Their attention on. Deities have and pick favorites, and Deities have and pick enemies and even frienemies. The kinfolk of Loki have a saying, "May Loki laugh with you more than He laughs at you."

What reasons can we possibly gather from Deities that may or may not look like us but don't share much else? Sometimes the reason is obvious, other times obscure, and sometimes there is no reason at all. It reminds me of a story from Farscape where Aeryn Sun tells of her species' god:

"Sebaceans once had a god called Djancaz-Bru. Six worlds prayed to her. They built her temples, conquered planets. And yet one day she still... rose up and destroyed all six worlds. And when the last warrior was dying, he... he said, 'We gave you everything, why did you destroy us?' And she looked down upon him and she whispered, 'Because I can.'" 
 So to get back around to destiny: I think that we have a purpose in life. I think that there is a loose plan for us, but it can change based on decisions we make. Sometimes our purpose in life is to die. It is an absolutely cruel but unavoidable truth. Sometimes your entire existence is only there as a lesson to others. Sometimes you carve out a purpose for yourself. Lots of times you follow the path that was laid out for you by society.

I think that life is fluid, like water. I think maybe there is some plan, and maybe there isn't. Perhaps this is just by-the-cuff and these beings are just winging it. Perhaps there is some overall order to this madness.

Maybe we are just a huge experiment. Maybe we are the control group, or maybe the experimental group. Who knows?

What is important is that we focus on ourselves, our community, and our society. What we do know is that nothing will be fixed without us and no change will happen unless we initiate it. The only endgame is the one we let happen.

And the only question I have is, why can't we just all get along already?

Peace or Death

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Beltane!

May Day is almost upon us! Soon it will officially be Summer, days of beaches and watermelon and camping and air conditioning! This season Beltane will span from April 30th to May 5th.

Want some ideas for Beltane (Beltaine, Bealtaine, Bealltainn, Boaltinn, Boaldyn, or May Day, whatever you call it)? Here are some non-ceremonial spells, recipes, and craft ideas!

May Bush
May Bush ideas! Click pic for source.
Decorate a May Bush! If you happen to have some leftover egg shells from Ostara, you can use these. Decorate with ribbon for the intentions you want for the next half of the year. Here is a link for color correspondence. Some suggestions would be colors for protection, fertility, and love.

Scatter plant some flowers! You can get some cheap seeds everywhere, but I highly recommend looking at the native flowers in your area and planting those. Here are sites for the US, the UK, and France (because I get a lot of views from there. Bonjour!). You can use them to "sow the seeds of desire" or whatever it is you want; just focus on what it is you would like to sow out into the Earth/Universe and either chant while you scatter, sing, dance, or whatever you feel like doing.

Go to the Renaissance Festival! The one here in Waxahachie, TX ends on May 27th this year. They might also have a May Pole you can attend!

http://bloggingsense.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Sun-Jar-1024x697.jpg
Sunlight Jars!
Make crafts! Here are some great things to make from my favorite craft blog. Spiral Goddess salt dough plaque, Sea glass heart pendant (which you can also make hanging things with, and I am sure you can make any shape, like a Sun [another cool sun], Moon, or Star [an idea how]), Sea shell ornaments and chimes, fake deer antlers (really cool!), or this REALLY AMAZING Sunlight-In-A-Jar (here is an eBay account that sells the solar panel tops cheaper than anywhere else).


Here is a site that gives some pretty good protection spells and ideas for amulets. I don't really like giving ceremonial spells, especially links to other sites, because of ethical issues. If you choose to search for other ceremonial spells and rituals on the internet, know that they should only really be a template and that the most powerful spells you can do are the ones you make yourself. Perhaps soon I will post some spell bones/templates for y'all.

Host a party. Make crowns of flowers and have contests to see who wins the title of May Queen and May King. One of the games can be a throwing contest. Have music and dance! Have a bonfire if you have the room, or make a small fire in your cauldron using rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, and A LID which is important if you need to snuff the flames. Make sure to practice safe fire habits!

Maypole. You can either make an actual Maypole or you can make a smaller one from a paper towel roll or small rod.

Poetry is always good.
How about some Beltane stories for those with children?

Do some divination! Now is a great time, since it is the second time of year that the Veil is at its thinnest.

Food! Here are some awesome recipes for you. Candied Violets with Lemon Poppyseed Cake, more recipes for the Sabbat, and some with pies! A list from A to Z, and more with variety.

Other things I found that are worth reading.

Last but not least, some chants for you!

Bring flowers of the rarest
bring blossoms the fairest,
from garden and woodland and hillside and dale;
our full hearts are swelling,
our glad voices telling
the praise of the loveliest flower of the vale!
O Goddess we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Witches and Queen of the May.
O Goddess we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Witches and Queen of the May
Do you have any suggestions yourself?