Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

October 3, 2014

We Need to Create Support for Disgruntled/Frustrated Pagans

I agree with this… which is something that seemed to arise from a conversation in the comments on one of Siannon’s posts between myself and another individual. I wish there were local pagans up for something like this. I’ve got about two others and… when we tried to even just get a regular discussion group together to talk about even vague-ish things… no one wanted to. *sigh*

The Lefthander's Path

I have come to realize that we really need to create support systems (lay-led) for disgruntled, disenchanted, frustrated, lapsed Pagans/polytheists/heathens, people who are considering leaving their religion, or perhaps already have. We need to do this on a local level. I’ll bet there are *many* Pagans in the Twin Cities area who do not attend events for these sorts of reasons. Once again, though I’m not sure if I want to deal with the drama! I’m also not sure how to advertise such a group or run it. I’ve kept too much of my past bad experiences to myself, because of I’d internalized the “Must Not Make Community Look Bad to Outsiders” mentality which is very creepily cult-like when you think about it. I think the Pagan “community” makes itself look bad the most.
I have spent so much time trying to convince myself that I just need to find…

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September 22, 2014

On Spiritual Emergency, Shamanism, Mental Illness, Therapy, and Anti-Psychiatry Sentiment in the General Pagan/Polytheist Community

I just found this blog and wow. And, if you’ve followed me anywhere online for any amount of time, you know my struggle with my mental illness. My long and sometimes debilitating struggle and how much I loathe how pagans seem to approach it. This… is amazing. Read it, all of it. I encourage you all to do so.

Foxglove & Firmitas

Alternative Title: I’m Gonna Keep Talking About This Until It’s a Generally Accepted Thing…

It happened again. Someone posted another article on mental illness being a sign of a healer being born on the Local Pagan Facebook Group with the general overarching but not direct message being that all native and ancient cultures saw it as this. Now I don’t deny that mental illness can be the birth of a healer. I’ve known too many people who have struggled with a history of it, myself included, that haven’t found themselves called to help others dealing with similar problems.

However, these articles tend to stress how society is actually the sick one, and how we need to stop shoving pills at people to fix all their problems.

Anyone who has ever been on psychiatric medication will probably tell you that pills don’t solve all the problems and most professionals are pretty…

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September 11, 2014

How to get started with Dionysos

Three. Three Sannion reblogs in a row, ah, ah, ah.

Saving for posterity. I get asked by locals a lot on how to get started with certain Greeks. Dionysos comes up quite often. I don’t work directly with Dionysos as intensely as some do, so this is a good reference to keep in my blog to direct people too.

September 11, 2014

Is Z. Budapest a terrorist?

Okay, I know, two Sannion reblogs in a row. But… I was at DragonCon while these were blogged, hush. But…

Sadly, this doesn’t surprise me either. Z. Budapest has honestly become that crazy aunt you don’t even like to invite over for holidays anymore because the whole time she sits in the corner, drinking way too much Egg Nog while bitching about how the blacks, Mexicans and Asians are takin’ over her country and don’t we know that our president is really an Alien because she saw it on the cover of The Weekly World News…

I don’t take her seriously at all anymore. She’s become a joke in my book. After the stunt against the trans women a few years ago… just, no. If the pagan community wants to grow, it needs to stop letting individuals like this label themselves as leaders. Now, while I understand the pagan (and mostly Wiccan) visceral reaction to the suggestion of a hierarchical order of things… because “Oh noes! Organized religion and dogma and rules OH MY!” You can’t hold people accountable for bad behavior if you don’t have any actual set expectation for behavior of those you have your younger members look up to.

September 11, 2014

Another day, another BNP behaving badly.

Is this the kind of deplorable crap I’ve missed hiding away in my home, sick as shit, avoiding the greater pagan community? Reprehensible behavior from so-called BNP? I’m not really surprised, sadly, and I know that the blog I’m linking from is a few days old now… but good lord.

I kind of want to go back to hiding now. I avoided mainstream paganism to try to heal myself, at least I wasn’t missing much in my absence.

This man is a degenerate. At least I can sleep well knowing hubris is generally punished swiftly.

April 6, 2014

Ethical Polytheism

Brilliant, and said better than I ever could.

Sour Mead

There’s a reason I never became a Wiccan.

Here in my sun-soaked state somewhere in the southeast, there’s something rotten in the Wiccan community. Poverty, drug abuse, petty crime. Just general skeeviness. It’s inescapable and inseparable in my mind concerning the pagan community around here (heck, a lot of the people down here). Maybe it’s not that way in other places, but down here generally paganism does not attract people from good parts of society. And I don’t mean in the sense or race or socioeconomic class–I mean in terms of the way people lead their lives. I’ve seen a lot of people go to jail for things like drugs and statutory rape. I’ve seen people arrive who’d just come out of jail for things like drugs and petty theft (or both). People who engage in a hippie-ish permissive sort of live-and-let-live that is rotting the modern polytheistic movement at…

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April 3, 2014

Ares in Chains

Yes. A thousand times yes. And more from me when my health has stopped sucking, I swear.

Aspis of Ares

One of the things that I think is important to discuss in the onus of the recent sexual abuse allegations within the pagan community is the theological importance we levy to our gods. Sannion touched on this briefly, but I wanted to expound on the myth of Ares’ trial for the retributive murder of Hallirhothios and the story’s theological and instructive value to both the polytheist community and pagans who assert archetypal philosophies.

Ares Kills Poseidon's Son

The myth is summed up as follows: Hallirhothios, a son of Poseidon, rapes (and this time in the myth, rape definitely means “sexually assaults”) Ares’ daughter Alkippe. Upon learning of the assault, Ares kills Hallirhothios. Poseidon, of course, is pissed, and so brings Ares to trial. Assembled before the rest of the gods, Ares and Poseidon give their cases, and the gods acquit Ares of wrongdoing; the place of the trial is renamed the Areopagus and becomes a…

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July 6, 2013

An Open Letter to John Barrowman

Dear John,

I’ll preface by saying I know you’ll never see this and that is quite alright with me. I don’t fangirl, I grew up with my father knowing many popular musicians on a first name basis that I am kind of desensitized by celebrity. I know you are just a man, a wonderful man at that, and I don’t want to make you uncomfortable by what I feel the need to put out there for others to see.

But you see, John, I’m sick. It’s an invisible illness that doesn’t get a fair shake in this country and a lot of people self-diagnose it online then throw themselves at the feet of people like Carrie Fisher because they feel a certain kinship with them. Mental health isn’t a joke, it isn’t something I fake for attention and it certainly isn’t something I enjoy. I suffer and sometimes by watching these girls at conventions stand up before a crowd of people they’ve never met and proclaim to a celebrity about how the celeb’s strength and openness has “saved” them, I can’t help but wonder if they really are mentally ill or they just want attention and a chance to feel close to someone.

This isn’t a picnic. I hate it. If I could give it away at a moment’s notice, I would. No second thoughts. No regrets. Surviving mental illness is a misnomer. I’ve been inpatient, I’ve been in group therapy with truly ill people. You don’t survive this stuff, you suffer. Some days are better than others, but that’s it. You wake up and think, “today doesn’t suck quite as bad as yesterday did” and that’s a good day. If I have a day where I don’t go, “is there a television on upstairs or am I hearing voices again?” it’s a good day.

Treatment is a crapshoot. Medications may or may not work depending on your body chemistry and all that. Some days are absolutely hopeless. You, as you struggle just to live, watch your friends and family struggle with trying to help you and not having any means to actually do so. Borderline Personality Disorder is not a joke. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is not a joke. And certainly, Bipolar Disorder is not a joke. No person that actually has these disorders wants to have them.

Enter where you come in. Last August and September (2012) I, a Wisconsin native, was in Atlanta for Dragon*Con. I’ll admit, while I am a Doctor Who fan, I never watched Torchwood so I really had no idea who you were beyond what other people have said about you. But my dear friend Kate assured me that I should at least say hi, maybe get an autograph, and that your energy would just brighten what was a really dark time for me with my illness. Not that I expected anything less, but your kindness, your smile and even just taking a moment to compliment my eyes were enough to lighten my mental load for the rest of the convention.

This was not for any superficial reason. This was not for a crush. This was because it was obvious that you are an extraordinary person who just exudes joy in a highly contagious way. It’s hard to explain, because when a person, namely me, loses all hope in medicine, in doctors, in therapists, in the world and the people in it, just knowing that someone somewhere finds joy in life gives me a kick in the mental pants to tell me that it is not all lost. That some day, I can be happy again and things will get better.

I’ll admit, things have been on a downward spiral since Dragon*Con last year, and I feel some days like I’m grasping for straws to keep me afloat. But if I’m in my office, I look up at your autograph and remember your kindness and I have faith again. On the bad days, I watch videos or look at photos you post on Facebook and I can find the strength to smile. On the really dark and bleak days, I re-listen to episodes of the Nerdist that you are on. Because your kindness and your joy, they are contagious. Keep being you, you are amazing. Because by being you, you are helping an ill woman in Wisconsin hold on to a shred of hope that finding joy again is possible.

~ Dawn in Wisconsin

PS. I am very happy for you and Scott. Congratulations.