Friday, February 18, 2011

Dear Universe,


Sincerely, Jess

Do you ever one of those moments where you look at something and the universe comes full circle? Something happens and you're say, "FINE! I know, I know! I've been complaining too much! *sigh* My bad."

I'm currently babysitting Cheyanne, my God/Goddess daughter. I don't get to spend too much time with her because I work so much and she lives a good 30 minutes or so away from me. She's every bit of 3 going on 30. But her wisdom is infinite. Everything is better in purple, sponge bob rains supreme, and she is already a gamer girl in training (I'm so proud of that last one :D ). But looking at her puts a lot of things into perspective. The past few months of working two jobs can really tare a person down both mentally and spiritually. Everything can become so blurred and all in all you begin looking for a way to escape and give up. But I look at her and I think, ya know, life is only as difficult as you allow it to be. Often in life you only see the path you want to be traveling on. And that drives your intentions on the path you're on now. And you hope with all your might that at the end of the day, you're one step closer to the outcome you've been looking forward to. Perhaps that's been my problem the whole time. I've been knocking at a door expecting it to open instead of looking for another way in or trying another house.

So instead of complaining about having to work two jobs or the fact that those two jobs have nothing to do with my degree, I'm going to work on being happy that I actually have another job after over a year of trying to get one. And I'm going to be happy that I can actually pay most of my bills (minus school loans.... but let's not go there or talk about the extreme amounts they want from me). Life is about perspective. I learned that from Chey today. So what if you can't find the purple crayon. Grab another color and get to coloring! Or something like that hahaha. funny the life lesson that get thrown at you through the simplest of means. Silly universe. I hope your day is looking up like mine! Now, if you will excuse me. I've got a few episodes of Go, Diego, Go! to plow through. xP

My sage in all her wisdom hahaha

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Let's Talk Commitment

Let's talk Handfastings. So I just got a book from Borders (WHICH JUST CLAIMED CHAPTER 11 BANKRUPTCY!!!! POUR QUOI!!!!!!!!! *insert extreme sad face here*) it's called Passages: Handfasting: A Pagan Guide to Commitment Rituals and it's by Rev. Dr. Kendra Vaughan Hovey. I find Handfasting to be extremely interesting and I would probably want to have that as my ceremony one day rather than an actual wedding (or both depending on the partners pref.). Either way, I might as well get acquainted with it and see what it's all about.

Overall, it's a pretty informative book. And if you are planning a Handfasting it has some useful information for you. The author is the founder of the First Church of Wicca which is always an interesting concept for me. I wouldn't mind attending a Wiccan Church just to see what it's like. but I can tell you structured things like church definitely are not my walk in the park. But I digress, she starts off with a chapter on the history of Handfasting which I found extremely interesting (the nerd in me was very pleased). She discusses how Handfasting can last from a year and a day (366 days by the lunar calendar, I learned something!) or for a life time. Throughout the rest of the book she discusses not only the Pagan aspect of Handfasting but also ways of working your commitment ceremony around interfaith relationships between your partner and between their family and yours. Most Pagans today don't hail from a Pagan family (go figure) and she gives tips on how to take the Handfasting ceremony and to combine it with pretty much any other religious ceremony under the sun. She provides examples from a good number of different religions and cultures world wide and ways to work their special rituals and customs into the Handfasting to make it appealing to both partners and families without it losing any of the specialness (is that a word? lol) to you or your partner. I thought that was rather clever of her and very forward thinking since most people who would have a Handfasting would come across that sort of problem (I'm no where near having a Handfasting and it already has occurred to me). She also provides different Goddesses and Gods from many different pantheons that are focused on love and commitment that you could call on for help during your relationship and ceremony. The author provides love meditations for a Pagan couple, an interfaith couple, and even a solo meditation in case your partner is uncomfortable with the idea of meditating. There is even a chapter dedicated to non-Pagan friends and family. The rest of the book talks about putting your Handfasting plans into motion. From finding the right person to officiate the ceremony(ies), to budgeting, to finding the perfect dates (why not a Sabbat Handfasting? And don't forget the moon phase either!). She talks you through locations, themes, colors, flowers/herbs, attire and jewelry, incense/oils, and even spells. She also provides an example Handfasting ritual and even notes where to add in the interfaith rituals and ceremonies as well. The author brings the book to a close with discussing the first year and a day after the Handfasting and how to keep the love and romance alive though out your many years of being committed to each other.

She does mention quite often about not mixing pantheons for the meditation and the ceremony because it's rude and disrespectful. I've never really thought to much about the mixing of pantheons. Certain other authors I've read say that it's ok, because if a God or Goddess calls to you and they aren't from a certain pantheon it shouldn't matter. They are calling to you and that's something you should focus on more than where they are calling from. It spurred the question to mind also, what does one do if your partner is from a different tradition than you? Do one of you have to compromise and not invoke your own personal Goddess or God? That seems a bit.... well, unfair. I would think that so long as you offer the deities a place in your special ceremony they wouldn't hold any offence to whether or not they are mixed or not. Especially when it is between two people from different walks joining together. It's a lot to think about that's for sure. I guess it all deals with perspective. Being an eclectic it's easy for me to find a middle road.

There was also a mini rant about if you are in the broom closet which I thought was a but unneeded. And through out most of the book she assumes the reader to be female which I'm never happy about sexist assumptions but that's not calling her a sexist. Because honestly most people who read the book and plan the Handfasting will probably be women (as in any marriage ceremony I guess). And there are a few things I could knit-pick about, being as it not my personal taste in ritual fashions and what not. But I won't delve any deeper into those.

Overall,I really did like the book and it was worth a read. It's originally $10.95 off the shelf, I paid about $3.19 for it. Like I said I think it's worth a read and is very helpful if you are planning a Handfasting or any commitment ceremony and you wish to incorporate some of your Pagan customs. Whether you decide to pay full price for it, well, that's up to you and your budget. ;) It's a pretty short read (about 230 some odd pages) and I managed to plow through it in a few hours. But you could definitely spread it over a few days. I will be very happy to place it on my Pagan reference shelf where it will one day get used again, hopefully. When the time is right and the sad sucker comes along to want to spend the rest of his life with me (lol that poor soul). ;)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Books Make Me Happy

Ok, well thanks to Borders and their used section not to mention my wonderful free shipping I have acquired a few new books and I have ADD now when trying to read them. I'll start reading one and then another comes in the mail and I have to start taking it a look at it. lol. It might be an addiction. So all together I've got Handfasting: A Pagan Guide to Commitment Rituals (I've always been interested in what it's all about. And have always said that when my Mr comes along that's the ceremony I'll be doing. It'd be nice to see what I'm getting myself into lol), Crone's Book of Charms and Spells (which is pretty interesting. I've already read most of it. It's pretty small but I always taking a look at spells and charms written by other to spur ideas. And the charms and spells do appear pretty old school in tradition), The Enchanted Cat (this gives a whole background on cats folklore, cat deities, cats as familiars, magick you can work with your kitty, and so much more. This one makes me the most excited!), Travels Through Middle Earth: The Path of a Saxon Pagan (which gives a general idea of Germanic Pagan roots, Deities, Holy Days, and a lot of the special rites and things they do just in that special path. That's my new thing, to learn about the many different Pagan paths). So that's all I've got so far and I've spent no more than $3 a book! I'm so shop savvy. lol.
I've managed to get a bit further in my book, The Second Circle, but not much. Seeing as I've had so many other books coming in. ;) But so far she gives examples of where to find other books to further your Pagan education. Such as searching in the ancient civilizations and history sections, or checking out the folklore and fables/fairy tales of that region as well. She also gives studying tips and tricks and what not. Needless to say so far I've been a bit bored. I mean, so far she's giving really good information but honestly if you were a study queen in High school or went to college you know these things already. But it never hurts to hear them again I guess. Either way, it's till too early for a verdict.
Purple Bunny mentioned shopping at a bookstore and having books fall off the shelf or just grab at your attention while browsing the pagan section. And I must say that has happened to me quite often. That's actually how I picked up my very first book on Wicca. It just yelled at me, and I decided that since I didn't know what I was exactly looking for then why not. Best decision I've ever made. Oh! And that's also how I ended up with my tarot cards. I own 3 decks, but I only use one. One deck is my very first deck that I got when I was in still in middle school I believe, which was ok for learning the ropes but it wasn't a deck I connected with. And I have another deck that I own simply because it stared in a dream of mine, but as far as diving we do ok together. But my up most favorite deck that I use like crazy and can never replace found me on a bookstore shelf in the New Age section. I wasn't even looking for a tarot deck. I honestly had given up on really connecting to that form of divining. And bam, there it was. Needless to say it lighten my pocket a bit, but it was worth it. And now I go and look at these other really cool tarot decks and it would be nice to have a new pretty and creative deck, but I just can't feel a connection like I do with this one. So PurpleBunny, you are definitely not alone! I think everyone experiences a little "cosmic nudge" at least once in their life.
Speaking of comic nudges. Anyone ever have any strange dreams? Let me rephrase that, lol, anyone ever have any dreams that when you woke up left you thinking that it was some cryptic message? See usually my dreams are pretty mild and well, normal? I guess? Every now and then someone or something will pop in. But for the most part they are just ramblings of the subconscious. But last night I know I had the strangest dreams and I just can't remember all of them. Before I went to bed I realized I lost/misplaced something (I blame the fae) and I asked for help finding it. So I dreamt that I found them in the most obvious space and I went to return them to my mom and she was in a room with like 3 cats , 2 bunnies, 2 hamsters, and a rat. lol. I asked her, "where did these all come from?" and she said "I knocked over one of the statues and they just came running out." hahahaha. Odd right? from there I awoke thinking wtf? Normal response I'm sure. Later I settled back to sleep and the only thing I remember is my dog sitting very still and erect in front of my bed. You know how the dogs sit for dog shows? Very proud, chest out, and like they are waiting for something. Well that's her. And that's all I remember. Just her, just sitting there, and I believe the faint flicker of a candle light. And usually someone would say well maybe she was in my room for a visit. But nope. I have to keep my door shut or gated up so that the cat and dog don't interact (my cat is apparently very territorial in his old age). So I know it wasn't that. What a strange night of dreams. HHmmmmmm, well. I have much to ponder this morning, not to mention I have a long day filled with work and a function tonight. See ya!