Journal Entry January 13, 2017

I’m feeling contemplative, as always. What are my goals? Who do I want to be? The question of who I am seems less important. Not unimportant, simply less so. Insomuch as I can know how to get what I want to be, I care.

The clouds cover the Tucson sky this morning, letting brief streams of sunlight through. Beside me, the dishes lay in the sink, ready to be cleaned. A rat, named Ghost, perches on my shoulder. Ghost tries not to let his anxiety get the best of him. He gives my chin and fingers small licks.

His whiskers start twitching awfully fast, and I know it’s time for him to go back home.

Ghost has a pretty mean vertical when he wants to. He can scale our play pen in a single leap, landing on top of the cardboard fence. He’ll perch up there, trying to balance, completely frightened and unsure what to do. Of all our rats (we have three), he’s the most anxious and frightened, even more so than our ‘baby’ rat Oreo.

It’s been a year since we moved into this house. We got our rats a few months after moving in. My spouse and I both wanted animal companions but weren’t ready to adopt a cat. With my husband’s job travel is also an issue, and smaller pets are easier in some ways.

I am just now getting used to the flow and energy of the house itself. Shortly after we moved in last year I began working near our home. That kept me busy most of the time and, because I was on my feet, tired the rest of the time. In 2015, my spouse and I married and had dealt with some severe family issues. Two years out I feel like I’m settling down, perhaps for the first time in my life.

Of course, all that is helped by the health care that I have now. I’ve suffered from depression most of my life, since I was very young. Part of that calmed after I survived puberty. But the rest could only be solved by more robust and more quickly available health care. Even then, it has been its own struggle. Finding medications that work, along with studying how to improve my habits and thinking on my own, has taken a long time.

For the past few years I have attempted to work through Francesca de Grandis’ Be a Goddess (and Goddess Initiation). Consistently, work or my own distaste for the material kept me from continuing study. In my senio year of high school and into my failed attempt at university I worked through Be intensely and had enormous spiritual and religious breakthroughs. Those breakthroughs formed what is now the Otherfaith. Yet my theology – and my arrogance – had grown significantly since I had read the book. I wanted to finish the work I had started with Be, as I had never finished, but always found myself in the foulest of moods when I tried.

This January I sat down, again, with Be. It had become comically routine for me to ‘resolve’ to read and complete these books by de Grandis.

From the start I should have known something had changed. Rather than my piss-poor attitude of before, I could relax into the text. I made space for my reading. And even if I didn’t quite buy what was being sold, I opened my head to listening. I gave my all to the prayers in the book.

Of course, it’s only two weeks into January. I still have plenty of time to fall flat on my face and eat all my words.

But my approach to this learning, and to my broader life, has changed. I can attribute that to medication. Coming to grips with the fact that I will need medication throughout my entire life does hit a weird note in my chest. But to have a clearer mind, to have the desire and passion to do so many things – cook, sew, write, draw, visit family, learn – is worth all those weird notes.

I’ve been hesitant, for the past year or more, to talk as openly about my mental health as I once was. I don’t gain anything by hiding, however. I may be a bit influenced by the latest piece I read in Llewellyn’s 2017 Witches’ Companion, Autumn Damiana’s ‘Pagans and Mental Illness’.

I look forward to learning as much as I can this year. I’m going to reclaim parts of my life that I’ve forgotten or left aside – including the Otherfaith.

[Tuesday] Songs of the Week

Posted by Aine Llewellyn on January 10, 2017
Category: Music
Tags: 

Every Monday (and sometimes late) Aine posts five songs (with an extra this week) which resonated with her, reminding her of the gods and spirits and their stories. Music is important to many people’s lives, and Aine hopes this can help illustrate her own conceptions of the spirits in ways that words cannot always convey. The songs are offered up by themselves so that individuals can make their own connections as they feel moved.

 

[Wednesday] New Year Updates

Posted by Aine Llewellyn on January 4, 2017
Category: Updates

Happy New Years.

Reunion came with enough warning, but I still found myself taken by surprise. This Reunion I had decided to cook big meals for breakfast and dinner. Homemade biscuits, eggs and sausage, bacon, home fries – breakfast itself was an adventure. Then came a quick nap before jumping into cooking for dinner. I had prepped the vegetables the night before. Cutting up the carrots, leeks, potatoes, and then cooking the food that could be prepared beforehand, saved me much needed time on Christmas-Reunion day.

We had a small party with family and friends. There was soup, and many roasted veggies, and a roasted chicken. Pie and cream cheese brownies, not to mention other cookies, were there for dessert.

It was a wonderful day. I spent the day after catching up on sleep.

Previous Reunions have been very Laetha and Dierne-centric to me. I have been able to understand those gods and their relationship deeper. This Reunion I felt closest to the Ophelene and Liathane, as well as some of the other spirits. It was a welcome change. I had often suspected that the ‘focus’ of a Reunion could shift from one pair of gods to another as time went on but had not yet truly experienced such.

My association with 2016-2017’s Reunion with the Ophelene was only strengthened when preparing for the new year. I love journaling (and writing in general, truly shocking), and so I am utilizing a reflective journal in 2017 to help with self-improvement. I found myself contemplating virtues I want to cultivate in this new year. Whether ‘ambition’ or ‘faith’, I could tie the virtues to the Ophelene. I could tie them to each of the gods, of course, but the Ophelene had been large in my life for 2016. Hopefully, I can take the lessons I was beginning to learn into 2017.

Resolutions are, of course, a large part of the death of the old year. One resolution I made was to share more of my writing. I did not write as much last year as I wanted, but my ultimately failing was not sharing my writing. I have a high word goal this year. I am resolved to share half of my writing of that.

I am also reading some books I have found immensely helpful in my spiritual life in the past. I never finished the books. If I put my mind and dedication to it, however, I am sure I can completely the books this year. I do have to factor in the more general life considerations – schooling, looking for work, household tasks – but that shouldn’t be an issue. Theoretically.

For this site, I’ve a fair amount planned.

  • Basics Posts: -1K word posts covering the very basics of the gods, following a similar format.
  • Masterposts: long posts covering in-depth information of the gods as we currently have it, with complete links to relevant information and references
  • Fanfic: new oneshots each month and updates to ongoing stories once a month as well
  • Weekly Songs: these posts will be returning, on Mondays
  • End of Week Post: ideally around 1K word posts concerning the events of the past week and covering prayers, rituals, altars, and other in-progress religious shenanigans

I look forward to going into 2017 with you all. I leave you with the playlist for my family’s Reunion: you can listen here.

[Monday] Songs of the Week

Posted by Aine Llewellyn on December 19, 2016
Category: Music
Tags: 

Every Monday Aine posts five songs which resonated with her, reminding her of the gods and spirits and their stories. Music is important to many people’s lives, and Aine hopes this can help illustrate her own conceptions of the spirits in ways that words cannot always convey. The songs are offered up by themselves so that individuals can make their own connections as they feel moved.

[Wednesday] Songs of the Week

Posted by Aine Llewellyn on December 14, 2016
Category: Music
Tags: 

This Wednesday, Aine posts five songs which resonated with her, reminding her of the gods and spirits and their stories. Music is important to many people’s lives, and Aine hopes this can help illustrate her own conceptions of the spirits in ways that words cannot always convey. The songs are offered up by themselves so that individuals can make their own connections as they feel moved.

[Wednesday] Songs of the Week

Posted by Aine Llewellyn on October 26, 2016
Category: Music
Tags: 

This Wednesday, Aine posts five songs which resonated with her, reminding her of the gods and spirits and their stories. Music is important to many people’s lives, and Aine hopes this can help illustrate her own conceptions of the spirits in ways that words cannot always convey. The songs are offered up by themselves so that individuals can make their own connections as they feel moved.

[Monday] Songs of the Week

Posted by Aine Llewellyn on October 17, 2016
Category: Music
Tags: 

Every Monday Aine posts five songs which resonated with her, reminding her of the gods and spirits and their stories. Music is important to many people’s lives, and Aine hopes this can help illustrate her own conceptions of the spirits in ways that words cannot always convey. The songs are offered up by themselves so that individuals can make their own connections as they feel moved.

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[Tuesday] Songs of the Week

Posted by Aine Llewellyn on October 11, 2016
Category: Music
Tags: 

Every Monday (a bit late this week) Aine posts five songs which resonated with her, reminding her of the gods and spirits and their stories. Music is important to many people’s lives, and Aine hopes this can help illustrate her own conceptions of the spirits in ways that words cannot always convey. The songs are offered up by themselves so that individuals can make their own connections as they feel moved.

[Monday] Songs of the Week

Posted by Aine Llewellyn on October 3, 2016
Category: Music
Tags: 

Every Monday Aine posts five songs which resonated with her, reminding her of the gods and spirits and their stories. Music is important to many people’s lives, and Aine hopes this can help illustrate her own conceptions of the spirits in ways that words cannot always convey. The songs are offered up by themselves so that individuals can make their own connections as they feel moved.

[Monday] Songs of the Week

Posted by Aine Llewellyn on September 26, 2016
Category: Music
Tags: 

Every Monday Aine posts five songs which resonated with her, reminding her of the gods and spirits and their stories. Music is important to many people’s lives, and Aine hopes this can help illustrate her own conceptions of the spirits in ways that words cannot always convey. The songs are offered up without commentary, however, so that individuals can make their own connections as they feel moved.