Saturday, July 25, 2015

My Pentacle

I was recently asked about my pentacle, and what it means. I was also asked about pagan idols, and explained that no we don't actually worship statues, or if anyone does I haven't heard of it. To this my Christian question asker then said "Oh! So they're like our cross!" After that conversation I thought the subject of what the pentacle means is interesting enough that it would worth writing about.

Pentacle, found at clker.com
First I have to say, exactly what the pent means depends on who you're asking. It would definitely be interesting to refresh my memory on the different ways others view it and write about that, but this post is about what it has come to mean to me.

When I started wearing the pentacle I think I was about eighteen, and it was more because of "Hey, I'm pagan! And I'd love to be able to spot other pagans, so this seems like a good idea, plus I finally have a symbol that I'm drawn to even though I don't know precisely what it means to me. Earth fire water air and spirit yeah...I'll figure out details later on." I still like that the pentacle is a convenient way to find other pagans, either by seeing them wear one or them saying something about my pent, but a large part of why I still wear it is that it's become a comfort thing. If I don't wear my pentacle and the cross my boyfriend gave me (he and I may be weird pagans), I feel like I'm missing something.

As for what the pentacle has come to mean to me...

The different points represent to me earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. I call them elements, which I know is scientifically incorrect but I'm kind of ignoring that. And it's occurred to me that these "elements" can also be called solids, gas, plasma, liquids, and the space between the stars (or vacuum...or dark matter? weird stuff in any case). I haven't seen anyone else refer to the points or the elements in this way, but I know I can't be the only one this has occurred to. Bottom line is, the points are everything that makes this universe, and then the circle around is tying everything together into one universe, one creation.

In a nutshell: the pentacle is all of Creation, and a reminder of the the vast universe (or multiverse) I live in. This line of thinking also takes me to a meditation I wrote about recently, which is coming to be part of my understanding of the pentacle.

I expect my understanding of the pentacle to continue growing, as I learn and experience more. For one thing, I know I'm drawn to pentacles whose points escape the circle, and I'm trying to sort out in my head exactly what that means to me. I've been told it represents power extending outward, but I'm still mulling over that over.

Do you wear a pentacle? What does it mean to you, and has that changed over time?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Writing in Class

One of my classes started this week. The first things my professor did was have us write a bit on a few different subjects, and we shared our writings with the class as part of our introductions. I thought I may as well share what I wrote here, more or less as I wrote it, with only minor editing because a few things came out really awkwardly.

Also, a note...right before class, I had been chatting with someone I had some classes with a few years back and have kept in touch with on Facebook. After same sex marriage was legalized nationwide recently, I responded to a post of hers on Facebook about how she feels that no matter what, either gays or Christians will face discrimination. I also said that I normally wouldn't comment on something like that on Facebook, but that her stance has me baffled since she's one of the sweetest people I know. To this, she suggested that we get together over coffee to talk, and we agreed to meet on campus before my class would start. Our conversation, and the curiosity on both sides of it, was fresh in my mind when the professor gave us our first subject to write on.

... ... ...


Current social problem or concern: Considering the conversation that I just came from, the subject of willingness to listen to other people comes to mind. I was just talking to someone about her Christian beliefs versus queer rights, and how both can live alongside each other. She talked about “compromise,” but I don’t see how “compromise” is needed since I don’t see how her own rights are being infringed. Maybe I need to learn to listen better? But maybe she just means that she wishes she could express her own feelings without people coming down hard on her for them. Both of us walked away from the conversation being glad that we could just talk, and she was asking me about my Pagan beliefs. So, problems: 1) That some feel queer rights and Christian freedoms don’t coexist well. Is there a solution that makes everyone happy without anyone feeling like they’re compromised? 2) Willingness to listen to others when you disagree with them, this doesn’t happen enough. The second seems to be a human nature problem, and is a conversation well worth having throughout all human history. The first is a problem particular to here and now, at this time in history and in this place, though others have had this conversation (and others will again) in other countries.

Writer I admire, type of literature/genre I’m drawn to: Jim Butcher, Tamora Pierce, Ursula K. Le Guin. Writing that gets into what makes us tick, is very serious in that way, but manages to also have a sense of humor about it. I love fantasy/science fiction in particular, but I think in other genres I particularly love the books that fit the above description.

Greatest fear, one of them: Being alone, with no one to help me. This may be what drives my agoraphobia, since it frightens me that anxiety might take hold of me when I’m out and about, feeling dizzy and feeling distant from the world, but not have anyone to hold on to to anchor myself, someone who is my “lifeboat” or my safety net, I suppose.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Words

A few months ago I took two pages, and started writing very different words on each of them. I didn't write the list all at once, and although I haven't added anything for a few weeks I won't say yet that it's complete. On one page is bad things, and on the other page is wonderful things. I tried to not write down a single word twice, but turns out I did a few times.

The pages, separated by a thick red line

Terror. Anger. Invisible. Trapped. Agony. Lashing. Fear. Judgment. Loneliness. Wounded. Isolation. Paralyzed. Hopeless. Pain. Frightened. Crying. Feeling small. Torment. Shame. Hiding. Nightmares. Despair. Desire. Despair. Scars. Frozen. Struggle. Helpless. Scorn. Silenced. Silenced. Distrust. Scared. Holding in. Panic. Shame.

And on the other page...

Giggles. Tasting. Hope. Celebration. Helping. Trust. Enjoy. Cuddles. Fun. Pleasure. Freedom. Affectionate. Compassion. Hugs. Celebrate. Joy. Healing. Freedom. Holding hands. Honesty. Desire. Delight. Snuggles. Touching. Smiles. Caresses. Delight. Chuckling. Empathy. Touching. Love. Kisses. Confiding. Sharing. passion. Grinning. Relaxing. Listening. A future. Friendship. Rejoycing. Massages. Dance. Happiness. Talking. Listening. Exploration. Creation. Opening up.

This is in my sketchbook/journal, and I wasn't sure where I was going when I started these particular pages. But what I eventually realized is that there are more words on the right page than on the left. For all the pain there is in this world, there seems to be more words to describe the good things. I think that's something worth remembering.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Odds and Ends

Happy Fourth of July! :)

I've been a bit stressed (ok, a lot stressed, but not at my worst) from starting back to school after taking a term off. And it's not that I don't know what to write about here, I guess I haven't been sure how to write...if that makes sense? But I've also started taking more photographs, so I think I'll just share a few of those I've taken recently and go from there.

Rat

From the head I think this is Kora, but I can't be certain. My pet rats are cute though when they look out from under the blankets when I've got them out for playtime.

Mint

My mint plants may be trying to take over...here we've got chocolate mint, peppermint, lemon balm, and a tiny sunflower that hasn't bloomed yet. They're all clustered around my dragon lamp, and are apparently trying to take over.

And yes, I like dragons. What tipped you off? The three dragons you can see in this photo?

Mother Mary

One of the first things I noticed about Marylhurst, and which I still love, are the statues. This one is of Mother Mary (or the Virgin Mary, as most call her) and you can sometimes find offerings of flowers placed either at her feet or draped over her hands. It's a relaxing spot on campus, and it's amazing how isolated and quiet it feels even though it's placed between a busy highway and the rest of the campus.

Seedling

For whatever reason I wanted to get a photo of this seedling. Based on those trees around it, my guess is that it's a Douglas fir. The photo looks like it should be a hopeful one, since it's showing new life, but then I remember that this tiny tree will be pulled up soon because it's growing in a place that is reserved for people to walk. Seems like there should be a moral there, but I don't know what it is.

Venus and Jupiter

During a sunset earlier this week I was startled to see two bright lights side by side in the sky. After speculating that one might be an airplane heading in my direction, since I didn't think both could be actual sky stuff, I consulted a star chart on my phone. I was rather amazed to realize that I was seeing two planets side by side. I don't know how often this kind of thing happens.

Goodies box!

Earlier this week I ordered roving, a niddy noddy, and a spinning wheel repair kit. For some reason I was surprised to also get samples of roving, though I don't know why because this store has done that before when I ordered from them. This is the start of my reopening Dragonfly's Laughter, this time as a yarn shop. More details to come as I reopen, and I'm rather excited about it.