Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Working Witch

I've had people ask me why I wasn't more active in the pagan community.
Why, with my 30+ years of experience with magic, ritual, etc. I haven't written a book or founded a tradition, or have dozens of former students and am running groups.

The answer is really simple:   I work for a  living.

Between work, chores, and owning a home this single witchy guy doesn't really have a lot of free time.  If you look at dates on my blog, you'll see just how sporadic it all is.  Sure, I have time to fart around on Facebook but that's done in 5-10 increments between doing other things around the house.

Add to that, I'm an introvert, and you'll understand that being around a lot of people just wears me out.

I barely have time/energy to have dinner with friends once a week.  And they're all busy too, doing the same things I'm doing.

Yes, I'm still practicing my Craft and observing my holy days and meditating in private, but that's about it.  My personal time is spent trying to recharge my batteries from the work day/week and that's about it.

I'm a little envious of the people who have the time and energy to be full-time professional witches.  It sounds like a lot more fun than my drudging around the office trying to make other people happy enough to let me keep my job, paycheck, and benefits.

There are so many people in my situation that I'd hazard a guess that we're in the majority in the pagan community.  I don't go to a lot of public events because if they're on the weekend, I'm still trying to recover from the work week and I just don't have the energy to spend.  Yesterday after running some errands, I came home and had a 2 1/2 hour nap.  I'm trying not to take a nap today because I've got a student coming over later, so every time I feel like I'm about to fall asleep I get up and go do something.  But in all honesty, I just want to curl up with a good book and alternate between snoozing and reading.  If I could have a super power right this minute, I'd change the world so that we had 5-day weekends and 2-day work weeks and keep our paychecks.  Maybe then I'd catch up on my rest?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Polytheism and Me

My experiences as a person are what cause me to identify as pagan and witch, and while I do loosely structure my religious rites on Wicca, my initiatory lineage is muddy enough that I can’t in good conscience claim to trace my roots back to Gerald Gardner.  So I may call myself Wiccan when talking to general public folks for the sake of convenience, but to most pagans I tend to just say that I do my own thing.

I’m a witch because I practice magic.  For me, it’s like breathing – I have to do it or the pressure builds up.  I experience conversations with Deity several times a week.  I use the word “Deity” as a generic term to encompass the various gods who speak directly to me, not out of any disrespect towards any of them. 

When I’m in ritual and calling on deity to share the experience with, or to ask for guidance, I treat them as individuals because that’s how I’ve always experienced them.  I’m extremely uncomfortable when people start referring to them as “archetypes”, or saying “all gods are one God” because that smacks of either disrespect or monotheism.  You might as well say that “all Alans are one Alan” or something equally silly.  Aphrodite and Venus may both be listed in the books as goddesses of love, but they’re very different individuals.

I do not discuss precisely which gods I work with on purpose.  It’s a very personal thing, and part of the relationship is my word to keep it private.  People who are going to inherit things from me in my will know, but they and my closest confidants are the only ones I’ve talked with about it.  And I don’t necessarily stick to one pantheon.  Different gods reach out to me and make their presence known, so I listen.  I mean come on, they’re gods – of course I’m going to pay attention when they show up and put words in my head.

It’s funny to me how many pagans will look askance at me for that previous sentence, like I need anti-hallucinogenic medication because I listen when the gods talk.  Or they try to talk me out of believing that my memory of the experience is real.  Personally, I find listening to the gods much easier than trying to force my will on them, but that’s me.  Your experiences are valid for you, whether they are similar to mine or not.

So there you have it.  I’m a polytheist not because I believe the gods are real, but because I experience their reality.  Sometimes I’ll get words from deceased relatives, elemental spirits, or gods choosing not to identify themselves.  I do believe we have free will, so if some random entity encourages me to drop trou and start wanking in the middle of the grocery store I’m not going to feel obliged to do it, and figure someone’s just being silly.  I may not do it, but I’ll smile at the mental image and enjoy life with gods who have a bawdy sense of humor.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

So, it's been a while

It's funny how quickly time passes without you realizing it, isn't it?

Whether it's in life or inside a magic circle, time is definitely not constant unless you're counting, because life itself is a subjective experience.

In a nutshell, I've been kinda busy.  Mostly with work taking up a lot of free time, and I've been doing a lot of soul searching.  I've replaced the roof on the house, had to say farewell to my 14 year old furbaby, and been watching too many reruns of Big Bang Theory.

I've had a lot of changes in my perception of friendships lately, too.  I'm noticing when I reach out and don't get responses, or if I'm the only person *ever* initiating conversations with friends.  Am I being clueless and bugging people, intruding on their lives while they really just view me as a friendly pest?  Would they even notice if I just stopped trying?

I'm turning 50 this year.  While I don't feel the urge to go dashing out and buying a red sports car, I am noticing my awareness of my own mortality changing.  I'm not sitting around in fear of it, nor am I embracing it.  I do know that it's going to be here eventually, and I'm at that point where I want to maximize the positive mark I can leave on the world before I go.

It was never my intention that this blog have thousands of followers.  In the pagan blogosphere, I'm an absolute nobody and that's been fine with me.  So many people write better, more eloquently, on topics that they spend time researching that all I can do is read and applaud.  The idea of becoming some form of "big name pagan" is just abhorrent.  It's been a big part of why the blog has been so silent, but maybe now it's just time I use it as an outlet and stop trying to "measure up to the big bloggers", which I may have unconsciously been doing.

I've seen how the public treats its celebrities, and fame is both fleeting and unkind.  The minute you're out of the spotlight, the false friends fall away and you're left wondering if any of your friendships were ever real.  It's like that *being* friends with celebrities too.  Before Teo Bishop "came out" as Matt Morrison, I thought we'd established a friendship.  After his big reveal, he treated me like any other fanboy and stopped interacting with me.  When he left paganism and went back to his "home" religion, he not only cut ties with me on Facebook, but I was blocked from even sending a message of support to him.  Frankly, it was upsetting.

I think it's time I just stop wasting my time chasing after people who make it clear they don't want to be friends with me.  No ill will of course, but I've got more productive things to do with my time and energy than spend it on people who don't make time for me, and blow me off repeatedly.

I've got stories to tell, songs to write, plants to nurture, and spells to cast.  I'm not going to waste time attempting to make other people happy, the real magic is only going to come from a happier me, so that's what I need to focus on.  Life should be fun, and I haven't been doing enough of the "fun" things in life.

Peace out, witches.