Who I Am
Well, the easiest answer is that I am Dawn. I’m a woman in her 30s living in Green Bay, Wisconsin in the United States. The weather where I live is less than ideal lately. I like having four seasons (a fifth, if you count the nightmare of February/March as its own), but our winters are getting a little harsher now and my body is tolerating is less and less. Physically tolerating it, I mean. I struggle with chronic pain conditions, migraines (of which I see a neurologist for), psychological conditions, GI conditions and so forth. I’ve been sickly since I was a kid but I’ve never let it be a crutch and it doesn’t usually keep me down for long.
My daily mantra is generally as follows:
Never give up. Never surrender. Never let them see you cry. Never let them see how much you hurt or how much they can hurt you. If you do, it’s over and you are over. If you give up, you die.
Most people don’t agree with that, but it has kept me going through my darkest of days so I frankly don’t give a shit what other people think. I’m the one living in pain and having to take medications that make me sick but the only way to keep going forward is sometimes to bite my way through side-effects just to get out of bed in the morning. I’ll suck it up how I damn well choose. I’m surviving how I choose to survive. Sometimes it is with dark, self-depreciating humor, which makes other people uncomfortable and they find offensive. I don’t care. I’m not responsible for how other people feel. If I don’t know you I’m not personally responsible for your feelings. I’ve spent probably ten grand on psychotherapy at this point to get me to the point where I stop taking what everyone says to me personally. If it is my choice to be offended by what everyone else does or says, if I’m personally responsible for my own words and actions and feelings -as someone sick as shit and mentally ill…. and I’m not carrying your load, too. Be responsible for yourself.
I’m politically moderate. A true independent and if you try to throw me into a box with a specific party I’ll probably talk circles around you about it. I won’t vote in primaries because the idea of having to vote a straight party ticket when there might be someone not of the same party on that ticket that I want to vote for who would do a better job is just such bullshit. I don’t put out signs, I won’t promote any specific candidate in my area because then everyone assumes I’m registered as that party and that’s a huge pain in the ass to fix. God forbid an American think for themselves instead of wandering with the flock.
I’m spiritually and religiously pretty damn liberal, though I will twitch at certain New Agey practices and when people try to talk to me about their impressions of the gods I work with and those impressions in no way align with the historical representations. I totally understand UPG and evolution and all that, but kids… Aphrodite never was (and love in general just isn’t, in any land) a soft and cuddly goddess. She could be pretty damn petty and cruel. But, okay. Also, if I roll my eyes and walk away as you start talking about Hekate the crone goddess and the only resources you can provide for this to me are something you read on an Angelfire website… it is more to protect you from the rudeness I want to spout. Your UPG is your own and sometimes… I don’t have a filter anymore. Walking away is the more polite response. TRUST ME!
I believe that how someone chooses to live their life is their business. Gay, straight, lesbian (though how and when that had to be separated from gay, I don’t know… I didn’t realized homosexual men owned the gay label now, as a bi-woman, I missed that memo), bisexual, transgender, transexual… whatever floats your boat… I’m married to a wonderful man. We both come from the LGBT community and both got ostracized once we chose each other because suddenly we were “Breeders” and now “straight” or whatever. We fell in love with people.. not a gender, but whatever. So, we both completely support gay marriage, because, hey… marriage can be great! We’re on 10 years now (9/4/14 is our 10th anniversary!) We have three rescue monsters (read: cats) and two (as Scott says: stupid) fish. We have no children and no intentions of having any due to my chronic illnesses. But we have a niece on Scott’s side and a nephew on mine that are happy to be spoiled rotten.
What I Do
Professionally, I work in Health Insurance. Which in the United States, with most people uneducated about how the system works, sort of makes me working for the devil in terms of healthcare. The ACA was a nightmare because it was pushed through too fast and most insurance companies are actually doing more damage control and are getting presidential fingers pointed at us for crap that is going wrong from his broken system. Whatever.
Online, hobby-wise, I do… podcasts. I used to be involved in Another Pagan Podcast but we’ve closed that show down due to a lack of interest on the part of the hosts. I’ve found I’m not real fond of just babbling on about topics without any sort of formal outline to work with and getting together to put together an outline was just too difficult with our varying schedules. Not to mention I was getting uncomfortable with being raised up as a sort of paragon of pagan knowledge. I don’t really think of myself that way. I’m a student always. I’ve been involved in other shows in the past and am currently, non-pagan. Ages ago I was a part of the Satyrcast team, which was another panel talking show with an entirely pagan main cast of hosts. I was part of the original Road Trip to Oblivion cast, that show is no longer being made, but you might be able to find archives somewhere, that is a VERY NSFW fictional universe program. I play an alternate universe version of myself. There’s a lot of backstory there. With the same creator, I am part of his Beyond Obivion cast and World of Oblivion (character name is the same but… not anything else about my character is), both of which you can find on iTunes if you want. The former is NOT SAFE FOR WORK OR KIDS OR ANYTHING OMG! The latter is much tamer. Much, much tamer. There are other things, voice acting wise and such in the works. Keep an eye here and on my links page for more information.
Other online hobbies include, but are not limited to: roleplaying games on journaling forum systems, futzing around in historical, fandom, geeky, philosophy, religious and other forums that catchy my fancy… spending WAYYYY too much time in the depths of Reddit. What? It’s a step up from 4Chan, which has become a pit of tar I wouldn’t subject even the worst of the worst to.
I’m a dancer. Well, not to the extent anymore that I used to. The level of dedication my body used to be able to handle is vastly different now from what it could do in my teens and early 20s. There were points in my life where 8 hours a day of heavy dance training and strict discipline were not only common but expected. I miss those days, but my body is breaking down and I cannot do that anymore. I still dance when I can. I still train when I can. I do 5ks, normally walking because of the pain, but I’m still lapping everyone who is sitting on the couch and complaining that they can’t.
I make things. Sometimes that is coding online (in raw code, thankyouverymuch), sometimes it is in fiber arts or sewing, sometimes it is with foam or metal or paint… or canning foods… anything that grabs my fancy at the moment. I’ve really started to get deeper into the cosplay community and the home food preserving communities -unrelated to each other. I’m learning a lot from both and they each help me find things to do to help me get through the long Wisconsin winters. My creative blog is linked on my links page if you want to follow that stuff.
What I Believe
I am a Greek Polytheist. I started in a version of what they are now calling Hellenic Traditionalism back in the late 1990’s after discovering a Scott Cunningham book on Wicca and deciding that wasn’t quite right… since I was much more attracted to Greek Mythology and history than the Celtic side of things. Seriously, Celtic mythology still makes my brain hurt compared to Mesopotamian, Kemetic, Slavic, Scandinavian and Greek/Roman combined. In college I settled into Wicca after finding the Hellenes I’d met to be rigid and unsympathetic to my having Ares as my deity of focus.
Post-college the first time, I moved into a more eclectic Wiccan path, for lack of a better term for it, to the point of joining a coven that I was to eventually become High Priestess of for a period of about seven years. Recently, around 2011, I left that coven as it wasn’t satisfying me spiritually anymore and have returned to a Greek path. I find it to be far more laid back than it used to be, far more academic. I’m very happy spiritually right now.
I am not really a Hellenic. I wouldn’t say that I follow Hellenismos, though that is probably the closest thing to what I do if I have to give a title to it. The Hellenic period of Greece is not my favorite time period, honestly, and unlike a lot of Greek polytheists I’ve met… I am completely unable to sweep the poor treatment of Greek women in ancient times under the proverbial rug or give it some half-assed justification. It was shit. I’m not going to sugar-coat it and pretend it wasn’t. Now, I’ve accepted that fact and I’m moving forward. I’m not putting glitter and sparkles on how the Athenians treated women and pretending they were protecting them for their own good by treating women like prisoners and 3rd class citizens, thanks.
I am a hard polytheist, though I know some people hate that phrase. You won’t see me heralding a generic lord and lady. I do not believe that all goddesses are aspects of one goddess or that all gods are aspects of one god. I don’t think that everyone fits into one Jungian archetype or another because it detracts from the culture that those deities belonged to. I believe they all exist, all pantheons, and have their own personalities and ways of interacting with their followers. You may disagree with that and that is just fine by me. In fact, I encourage disagreement on anything I ever post as long as it leads to discourse and not shouting matches. The second insults start being thrown is the second I stop listening to much anything someone says.
Want to know more? Just ask away!