A Question of Suffering: A wyrd perspective.

Dear Reader,

I didn’t think I had the energy for this post today. It’s been a challenging day for me. However, I wanted to share a different perspective on the question of why we suffer. First, I must explain something. Wyrd is different from fate. Fate are fixed events measured and ruled by the deities of their respective pantheons (most popularly known are the Moirai of the Hellenic pantheon, the Fates). Wyrd is similar to fate where there are fixed events but it is more fluid and adapts to the given person’s decisions more often. Wyrd is also a thing that can be connected to others, whereby the wyrd of a single person is influenced by the wyrd of those who they are closely bonded to and vice versa.

Preface made, I have long struggled with the question of suffering. It is a question that I have wrestled with since I was a young child and dealing with the ugliness of humanity on a daily basis. Why do we suffer? Is it because the divine is displeased with us? Is it because we are flawed? Is it because we did something wrong in a past life? Is it just because there is an enormous number of people in this world who are cruel and heartless?

Well, ask someone who is suffering at a given moment and you’ll get just about any manner of answer under the sky because everyone’s suffering is different. Thus, we cycle back to the original question, why do we suffer? Suffering is a natural consequence of living. Some suffering is beneficial because it helps us to meet our goals, like ‘feeling the burn’ when you are exercising to improve your health. Some suffering is just straight up misery. The incidents that cause our suffering are morally neutral, most of the time. Influenza, for example, doesn’t have a moral alignment (unless you’re playing D&D, then ask your DM what the house rules are on that one).

Wyrd says that some incidents of suffering are fixed events, such as the suffering we endure when we are born and that which we endure when we die. Other incidents of suffering can come as natural consequence of our actions or the actions of people around us (for example, touching a hot stove will burn your hand or a bully chooses to make you miserable). There are times of suffering that are fixed events in our personal wyrd, which is both your ‘fate’ and what you make it. The fixed events are ‘fate’.

Usually, there is some kind of warning before the fixed event approaches. It has been described as nightmares of the event for a period of time before it happens. It can be an intuitive feeling prior to meeting principal agents in the event. In my experience, it is both. The fixed event comes and it feels as though living through a dream sequence, you are carried by your wyrd through the event. You then decide how you will handle the consequences of the event,  be it consciously or unconsciously.

Not all fixed events are bad. Many of them are neutral and quite a few of them are pleasant. The dreams before neutral or pleasant ones are generally not nightmares but recurring along the same theme prior to the event itself. Precognitive dreams are a great example of the dreams that happen prior to a fixed wyrd event happens.

Back to suffering. Fixed event wyrd that brings suffering happens. This is ultimately a thing that is supposed to shape your character into what you are supposed to be. To use an example from my own life, I was in a nightmarishly bad relationship at the time. I was having nightmares of being hit by a tractor-trailer. My then boyfriend took me out on a date. We went to cross the street when I looked over and saw the tractor-trailer of my nightmares. I stopped walking and was then faced with a choice. I could let my boyfriend walk into the path of the truck, push him in front of the truck, or stop him. I chose to grab the back of his shirt and drag him out of the path of the truck.

That truck was terrifying. I almost died but did not because it wasn’t my time. I broke down after pulling my then boyfriend to safety, partly because he started screaming at me for ‘getting in the way’ and blaming me for the decision he had made to step in front of the truck’s path and partly because I was still shaken up and afraid. It was an event that caused me suffering. It was also an event the proved the measure of who I was at age 15. It was a fixed wyrd event that had a branching point to different fate lines, with their own fixed wyrd events.

Wyrd is a web that we move along. At each node in the web we are faced with choices. The choices will bring us closer or farther away from our goal. Some choices are unavoidable (fixed). They may be major events (see my story about the truck) or events that seem inconsequential at the time (picking up a fallen pencil at a given moment to return to the owner of said pencil). Either way, a fixed wyrd point moves one closer to the type of person they are supposed to be. Thus fixed wyrd points will almost always lead to the same pathway. They are trail markers that shows us we are on the correct path of development. Mutable wyrd are the random sidequests that can develop our character more if we choose to follow the byways that circularly bring us back to the main thread we are following. Suffering is the price of being alive. Wyrd determines the shape of it.

Originally Published: 9/20/2019

Posted in Community discussion, Opinion | Leave a comment

Still unwell, still not sure what I am doing.

Dear Reader,

Thank you so much for sticking with me. I had things go sideways with my appointment with my psychiatrist. A scheduling bug in their system deleted my appointment for this month.That meant that I drove to his office for a ten second “Here’s your prescription and we do have your test results in.” discussion with him instead of having the opportunity to address the problems I am dealing with right now. I was highly annoyed. I am going to be confirming my appointment for October is in the schedule.

Because of the combination of my complex-post-traumatic stress disorder, my bipolar disorder, and my seasonal affective disorder acting up, my brain is like scrambled eggs half the time. I am barely keeping up with things like the dishes and laundry right now. Creative work is at a just about standstill because my anxiety is an awful critic and telling me that everything I am writing (or ever have written) is garbage. To say the least, it is distressing and not conducive towards things like daily blog posts.

I have been making plans to observe seasonal holidays but things happen and I feel as though I am a bad devotee because I haven’t been able to do so. I have to stop and remind myself, these things are for us, not the gods. The gods are complete in themselves and they don’t need us to engage in rituals. The rituals are there for us to draw closer to them.

I still feel badly about not performing the rituals and not being as through in my daily prayer practices. On the godspousery front, my beloveds are concerned about the situation with my depression. They have been pushing me hard to do things like write this post and keep up on my therapeutic journal writing. I’m still struggling to find a therapist who will take my health insurance. Honestly, I’m pretty close to giving up on that front because of how hard it is. I’ve been looking for a year now and I had one close success. Then the insurance company decided they weren’t going to pay the therapist their fees and I was asked not to come back.

I’m doing stupid things on Twitter (my handle is @Lady_Brythwen ) like coming up with bad pitches to an imaginary agent and bad book titles in an attempt to cheer myself up. it’s not working so great. I’m still working on my charity knitting. I have a rainbow colored scarf that is almost done. I am hunting through my yarn stash for nice yarn to use for the preemie hats. I don’t like using sock yarn because it doesn’t do as good of a job for keeping the heat in. So far this year, I have donated around 35 preemie hats and about 5 scarves. (I knit a lot slower than I can crochet.) These are helping keep some of the anxiety I have under control, but it is getting crunchy right now.

Please keep me in your thoughts.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In flux.

Dear Reader,

I have been dealing with mild to moderate depression for several months now. It’s been exhausting as has the uptick in my anxiety problems. My doctor ordered a battery of tests to determine what psychiatric medications my body metabolizes properly and what ones I do not. From this, we’re going to determine what medication will actually work on my anxiety and who knows, possibly get a better handle on my depression. If I’m lucky, my sleep will improve too.

As I said, this has been exhausting. I have been on the edge of panic going out of the house to do daily tasks. While this has worked well to keep me from getting sunburnt, it has been detrimental to my social life and my ability to stay on top of everything that goes into running a household. I’m dealing with a large number of emotional flashbacks. I haven’t nailed down what the triggers are. It is emotionally distressing and exhausting.  On top of this, I have been having intrusive thoughts relating to the trauma anniversaries and general bad things that happened in the past during this season.

I agree with my doctor that at least one of my medications is not working properly. I’m afraid of medication changes because in the past I wound up in the hospital due to them. Please, kindly keep me and my family in your good thoughts and prayers.

Posted in Uncategorized, updates | Leave a comment

Divination: Tarot Major Arcana 12 – The Hanged Man

Dear Reader,
The last few weeks have been extra busy. Today we resume our Tarot Tour of the Major Arcana. This week’s card is The Hanged Man from The Witches Tarot by Ellen Cannon Reed and Martin Cannon. This is my favorite manifestation of the Hanged Man because it features Odin hanging upon the World Tree.

In standard tarot decks, the Hanged Man represents a time of forced stillness and waiting. Such as what Odin endured as he hung upon the World Tree as a sacrifice of himself to himself. In the direct orientation, the Hanged Man suggests that the ordeal will not be suffered for too long or be something beyond what the querent can endure. In the reversed orientation, the time of forced stillness and waiting is more challenging and suggests that it will test the limits of the querent.

In the Fool’s Journey, the Hanged Man is the fool who has been quite literally baffled (being hung in this pose was once a form of punishment called baffling) and is waiting for their time of punishment to come to a close. During this time, they are encouraged to think about what has brought them to this place.

To learn more about this card or any of the others in the Major Arcana or Minor Arcana, please order a copy of my book.

Originally Published: 9/3/2019

Posted in Divination, Tools | Tagged | Leave a comment

Thoughts on Love.

Dea calls for us to extend compassion, forgiveness, and love towards they who have wronged us. She calls for us to extend loving compassion and mercy towards people who have offended us. She calls on us to emulate Her perfect, universal love to all people regardless of their stature in the community or their standing in our eyes. Because we are diminished and more distant from Her than we were in the beginning of all things, the weight of the world makes it harder for us to love the whole of creation.

There are places within and without us that cry out for that love and kindness. Our eyes are blinded by the veil of matter and all the confusion that comes with it. None of us see clearly through that veil, no matter how holy we may be or seem to be. All of our wisdom is but a drop of water in the sea of Reality. The simplest of laws binds all of us together and yet it is the hardest to adhere to in this life. Love unto all beings is our Lady’s law. How, one may ask, do you love the very persons who have wounded you to your very soul?

Love can be unconditional while healthy boundaries are kept. One may love from afar. Transpersonal love can be unconditional. It is a more abstract sense of love than interpersonal love. But one can love in this fashion. Transpersonal love or the love of all people is difficult. Very few want to love all people. There are those who stand out from the rest of the crowd and appear to embody wickedness. I tell you, as surely as these people may elicit feelings of rage, disgust, or some other potentially hostile emotional response, you can transform it into love. It takes a great deal of patience and practice.

It requires us to examine what has provoked this response. Just as we fall in love with people who resemble traits in ourselves that we love, we come to hate people who have traits within them that resemble traits that we hate within ourselves. For this reason it is vital to know ourselves as best we may so that we might consciously and deliberately love each other, and ourselves.

Some mistakenly believe that the only truly valid form of love is romantic or familial. The love of one’s pets is no less valid than the love of one’s friends or the love of one’s family. Popular culture is beginning to recognize this with the expression of ‘pet parent’. With the rise of friendships with elements of ‘classic’ romance incorporated in them, these relationships are beginning to get recognition for how important and necessary it is to have loving relationships beyond the single romantic partner model.  In addition to this, we are finding more open evidence of healthy self-love practices in the younger generations.

Our culture is in the midst of a quiet revolution being lead by the younger portion of generation x, generation y, and the millennial generation. They have been fighting for all forms of love to be recognized. In some cases, their struggle is in spite of death. And this is not a strictly ‘first world’ struggle. We can see these brave people challenging governmental and cultural practice all around the world. In many  places they do so at great danger to themselves and their loved ones. The punishments for challenging theses heavily entrenched cultural beliefs about love range wildly.

The mildest is ostricization. There is the criminalization of things like the open expression of homosexuality, which can result in the leveling of fines, imprisonment, and in some parts of the world execution. Polyamory is illegal in most of the United States unless is done on the sly outside of the “sacred institution’ of marriage. Even in that grey area where partners are not married, there is still social condemnation for all parties in that polyamorous relationship. The expectation that one person should meet all of the social and emotional needs of their partners is a toxic and unhealthful claim to how love operates.

Love is patient and kind, as the Christian saint wrote. Love is also respecting the limitations of oneself and others. Love is setting boundaries and protecting oneself from harmful people. Love is fighting for the oppressed people’s well being. Love is the kindness that brings the terminally ailing to a good death. Love is the kindness that allows for the parting of partners in an unhappy relationship with respect and compassion for each other. Love is the strength to endure hardship for  the sake of the greater good. Love is the willingness to put aside pride and choose to compromise instead of fighting over who is ‘right’.

There are countless ways to love the world and it takes great courage to love the world.There are many who will scoff and name you a fool. Let their scorn be as the rattling of an empty can. For their scorn is born of ignorance. Perhaps, pity them for their narrow vision. But do not be troubled by it.

Originally posted: 8/26/2019

Posted in Opinion | Tagged | Leave a comment

Life Update.

Dear Reader,

I apologize for not posting more. Life has thrown my family several curve balls and I keep striking out in the attempt to hit them. The kids are officially done with summer school. I have a birthday party to plan. My sister-in-law’s husband just had surgery for intestinal cancer. It looks like he is having some serious other health issues as well. We’re trying to be the best support for them as we can be, but it makes staying on top of writing stuff challenging. And, then there is the usual business of running a household that’s been getting a bit out of hand because I haven’t been sleeping well over the last month due to my anxiety running out of control.

In a few weeks, the kids go back to school. I find out the results of the genetic test my doctor ordered to figure out why my psych meds are not working properly. I’m pretty sure there will be a medication change done then and I have no idea how that is going to go. I’m still trying to find a therapist that will take me. I’m not going back to the county clinic after how poor my treatment went there. So, I’m somewhere between depressed and having a bad day most days of late. It’s been exhausting.

I pray for guidance and aid. I think that the Divine’s intervention is the only reason why I am not a gibbering wreck right now. I will try to post more. I thank you for your patience while I juggle all these things at once.

Posted in updates | Leave a comment

Practical Witchery: Basic Sigil magic

Dear Reader,

There is a great many posts on how to do sigil magic. It is a highly individualized and artistic form of magic. Some sigils are made using sigil wheel. Others are made by writing out the intention and striking out repeating letters. Once this step is complete, an abstract design is made using the shapes of the individual letters left. Sigils of this design have a great deal in common with bindrunes. Sigils can also be formed using symbolic pictograms.

Activating a sigil can be as simple or complex as the caster desires. One may carve the sigil into a candle and burn the candle completely to activate it. One may write the sigil on a piece of paper and burn it to activate it. Or one may choose to carry the sigil on their person until what it is designed for manifests.There are as many ways to activate a sigil as there are to cast a spell.

A sigil is used to jumpstart the unconscious mind in locating the desired result. Through the ritual of creating and activating the sigil, one impresses the desire into their unconscious mind. With focused attention and a measure of self hypnosis, one may have a highly effective result from their sigil magic.

Originally published: 8/13/2019

Posted in Magical Studies, Ritual tools, Spell craft | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Divination: Major Arcana 10 – The Wheel of Fortune

Dear Reader,

This week’s card is The Wheel of Fortune (or as it is known in this deck, simply The Wheel). The card pictured comes from the Art Nouveau Tarot from Matt Myers. The Wheel of Fortune is best known as a card of change. Its presence in a reading speaks of a cyclical change from favorable to less than favorable circumstances and back again. It reminds us that nothing is permanent except for the fact that things change.

In the Fool’s journey, the Wheel speaks of the Fool experiencing this rise and decline in fortune only to rise again. In the direct orientation, the Wheel of Fortune portends positive change and an improvement of circumstances. In the reversed orientation, the Wheel of Fortune warns of ill luck, poor opportunities for improving the situation, and possible embarrassment.

Originally posted: 8/12/2019

Posted in Divination, Tools | Tagged | Leave a comment

Divination: Major Arcana 9 – The Hermit

Today’s card comes from the Barbara Walker Tarot. The Hermit is a card of introspection and inner journeys. Bearing the lantern of truth / lantern of spirit, the Hermit seeks knowledge of themself and the world.

In an upright orientation (also known as direct) the Hermit speaks of a time of withdrawal and isolation for the sake of focus upon one’s inner life and spirituality. In an downward orientation (also known as indirect), the Hermit warns one of the dangers of avoiding social contact and disconnection with the world at large.

In the Fool’s journey, the Hermit appears to guide the Fool farther along the mysterious path to self knowledge.

For additional details about this or other cards we’ve reviewed, please read my book: The Veiled Witch’s Handbook for Psychics: A Practical Guide to Divination and the Psychic Arts.

Originally Published: 7/29/2019

| Tagged | Leave a comment

Godspousery Notes: Silence.

Silence happens in relationships. It can happen when partners are busy doing their own thing. It can happen when partners are hindered by challenges in communicating (i.e. distance). It can happen when partners just run out of things to talk about at the time. Some times, silence is used as a goad to get you to do something. Some times it is just a natural part of the moment and you can be together and quiet at the same time. And, some times, silence is used as a form of punishment or manipulation (this is different from the ‘goad’ comment because manipulation is a bit bigger and tends to have more negative connotations than ‘goad’).

Over the last week, things have been pretty silent between Loki and I. It isn’t that I’m being ignored or that I’m getting the silent treatment over something. He’s giving me space to handle things like familial obligations and such. At one point in time, Loki went radio silent for a long while. I couldn’t make sense of it after years of daily contact (including stupid jokes, pranks, and commentary on what was going on). Finally, I asked someone who was in better contact with Flame-hair at the time to help me figure out what was going on.

That was when I was told that the silence was Loki pushing me to stand more on my own two feet. It made sense as they detailed how I had been leaning pretty hard on Loki for support over the few months prior instead of taking proactive measures to handle the problem. These days, when things get quiet between Loki and I, I stop and ask myself a few questions.

  1. Am I handling my problems as best I can?
  2. Am I looking to Loki to solve my problems for me?
  3. Have I been getting enough ‘real world’ social contact?

If the answer to all three is yes, then it is most likely that the silence is either because Loki’s really busy with something, giving me space to solve problems, or is just off somewhere sleeping. (Gods sleep. It happens.) If the answer to one of the above is no, I then work to address that.

Usually, Loki gets quiet to keep me from getting too distracted to work on things in my life. Being godbothered and having a laundry list of things on my plate at any given moment makes focus a challenge. Times like now, he’s quiet so that I can get stuff done and be more efficient at my tasks as a wife and mother in this world.
Sometimes, Loki gets quiet when I am flailing around looking for somebody else to solve problems that I have the capacity to solve. I’ve come to realize, he gets exasperated with me when I get like that. It’s a thing I’m working on. Handling situational overload with out getting into a tizzy is a growth process. Kinda like being in therapy.

And Loki will go quiet because he wants me to focus on my ‘real’ social contacts. It’s his way of helping me with my social phobia. 

Originally Published: 7/27/2019

Posted in Devotional, godspousery | Leave a comment