So, I mentioned on Twitter the other day that I was rapidly approaching ten thousand views on this blog. I sat back and couldn’t believe that I was getting so close. I haven’t had this blog for two years yet (I believe in August, we’ll have gotten to two years) and I’m already at this point. I have to say that the only reason I have been getting the views lately has been because of the Pagan Blog Project, which has brought quite a few new readers over here, so thanks to that! But, also, I think it’s because I’m finally growing up. So, with that thought in mind, let’s get down to it. It’s time to wander down memory lane.
I started this blog with the intention of blogging about my religious path. That’s all I cared about at the time. I was young and silly. The early chapters of this blog are actually from a previous blog that I had begun on LiveJournal, all those years ago. And when I go back to read it, I shudder and giggle at myself. When I say that I was young and silly, I really was. I was trying to get into the swing of things and live a “good pagan life” with a goddess who thought I was cute in my endearments but didn’t want much else from me. I didn’t get the memo until a good deal later, but it was the truth of the matter. I wanted a goddess who would hold my hand and walk beside me as I wandered curiously up and down the path, puttering around in corners I had no business being in and thinking about things that were far too above my head to completely understand. I wanted Kemetic Paganism to be my bread and butter, which I think I’ve finally begun to achieve in recent months, but I didn’t understand what it actually meant. I didn’t understand anything, really. I read the books about paganism and Wicca and thought I had a good grasp on what was being said.
I was very, very silly.
I just went back through and glanced through the first five entries I had put in this blog and I just shook my head. To say that I am embarrassed by them is an understatement. Sometimes, in the dark of night when I grow disgusted with how childish I was in the beginning, I think about deleting them. But, I leave them there for a reason. I leave them around to remind of where I came from and what I’ve learned in the ensuing years since starting this blog. I leave them there as a reminder to me and should anyone really care that much to read through the 200+ entries I have on here, then they can start at the beginning like everyone else. They can look back and giggle and laugh right along with me. And they can watch as my thought processes change. They can laugh as I made silly mistakes. They can look and see. But in all reality, the real reason that I leave them up there is because that is the point in this blog. It isn’t to hide and it isn’t to just focus on myself, it is with the purpose of showing everyone else that I am just as human as they are, that I have made the same humanly mistakes that they may have made or have made or will make, and that even people who have been working deliberately for years in a certain direction can have a sudden epiphany or twenty.
I’m amazed at just how very, very, very obsessed I was with the naming thing of what the hell I practice. It’s funny because for the longest time, I decided that I was going to be a reconstructionist. I was going to walk down that path and understand it all. (I’m writing this with that snappy-necked attitude thing going on.) I would just read a book here and there, and everything would fall into place. In reality, what actually happened was that I fell flat on my face instead. Recon was too much for me; it was a lot for someone who was still too new and too young to understand in the pagan path. It was an interesting idea and parts of what I practice, to this day, are still aspects of the recon I was walking down. But, it’s not something for me. And you know? When I realized that in this blog, I went into one of my various Fallow Times. It was like I had to put a title to what I was doing in order to actively practice anything! I think that’s one of those silly, childish mistakes I’ve been harping about. Who needs to name anything?
But sometimes, we put more power into the names of things than we should or realize. A part of this is heka. Without realizing it at the time, since I’ve only just started working with heka, I thought that by naming something then I was giving it power, in this case, the path I was treading. I knew how the ancient Egyptians felt about names and that in knowing the name of someone or something, you had power of that person/thing. Without consciously realizing it, I thought that by naming the path I tread more than merely the ambiguous “spiritual turnpike” then I was empowering myself to practice what it was that I was creating. The thing about names, though, is that we can get lost in the naming process. We can get lost in the things that we think we’re creating just by giving it a name. And I think, to be honest, the whole “having to have a name” thing was really just yet another growing pain that I had to go through. I wanted to be this, this, and this, but really, I was just that.
Since I grew out of that phase, I’ve been focusing more on things that feel important to me. That, again, was one of those mini-lessons that I had to learn and I’ll explain it for the people reading this, alongside something else. The something else comes first, though.
When I first began this stuff, I was pretty impatient. I wanted to understanding everything in the books and everything that people were writing about on The Cauldron right away. I didn’t want to wait for people to give me lengthy responses to any of my questions, I just wanted to know it all in a matter of seconds. I think I had more than one thought that went along the lines of, Why am I not psychic enough to rip these thoughts out of others’ heads? While I don’t advocate learning how to read others’ minds to rape them, what I’m trying to say is that I was impatient with the whole process that I had to go through. Part of the lessons to learn in my impatience was that I needed to be more patient. I needed to learn that haste would get me nowhere. I needed to learn that while others had a working doctrine to fall back on, those people had been working at that functional doctrine a good deal longer than little ole me, a little more than a year out on the pagan path. The thing is that the younger you are, the less patient you tend to be. I know I’m making it sound like I’m some old fogey here (and sometimes, I truly feel that way… like now) but it’s the absolute truth.
With age, comes wisdom. And with age, comes patience. Both of these things are aspects to any path, whether it be a pagan or a mundane one, that we should all look to and pay attention to and learn. So, the first lesson I had to learn was more patience so that I could learn the second one, which was gut instinct.
As a very quick aside, let me just say that there are arguments in the pagan community about how much gut instinct can get you on this path. To me, it’s because I’ve learned patience that I was able to listen to the instincts that were saying what did and did not feel right on my pagan path. Gut instinct to me isn’t just going with the flow or merely thinking, “Wow, I think someone is trying to tell me that they like the color blue for their altar cloth,” or “they want chocolate for an offering.” Gut instinct, to me, and how it plays on my path isn’t about what the gods may or may not want. It is about what I need to put into my spiritual and religious practice to make me feel knowledgeable, to make me feel good about what I’m doing, and to make things more comprehensive for me in the long run. It is also that moment when I realize that I need to blog about it so that I have (A) a written record and (B) a place to funnel people who might want to know more about what I’m doing. To me, that’s what I mean when I talk about focusing gut instinct into my practice.
After all of the headlong rushes into impatience and the learning that came from that, and after all of the moments that came after that headlong rush to fall into the Fallow Times, I’ve realized that in the naming and in the searching for patrons and in the looking to Vodou for help along this path and into the frightening terrain exploration of witchcraft that I am lots of things. I have come to the realization that I am “that” over there instead of “this” over here. I have come to realize that I am walking a very long, a very deep, a very dark, a very light, a very fun, a very hard working path that means a lot to me. It is everything that I am to the core of my being as well as everything that I think I will be one day. It’s a lot of things and it’s been a journey and a half.
So… thanks so much for walking it with me.
As a final THANK YOU for everyone who has helped me to achieve this milestone, I decided that I was going to do “something.” Those were my exact words in a Tweet the other day, actually. I said I was “going to do… something.” This is a first time thing, actually, so I’m a little nervous at the reception of it. But, I’ve decided to do a GIVEAWAY. That’s right, folks. I’m going to give something away to someone who is awesome that I choose at random from anyone who comments on this blog posts. (Please, please, please, let’s hope people comment on this big long huge rambling post of mine.) What exactly is this giveaway going to entail?
The winner will receive a free five-card Tarot reading from me. I’m pretty poor at the moment and don’t have much more to giveaway, so I hope whosoever wins this little U>GIVEAWAY is happy with a Tarot reading. I’ll do a little random drawing of names in a hat (literally, I’ll take pictures) and announce the winner the next day! Please, please, please, I hope people comment on this entry. It would be really silly if I get the views, but no one to win the GIVEAWAY now wouldn’t it?