Alas, still unwell.

 Dear Reader,

I am still working with my care team to get this messed up brain stuff sorted out. It’s been slow and painful going. I am finally getting to where I can sleep through most of the night but the nightmares have been wildly out of control. I wake up exhausted because of them. It sucks.

As much as I love blogging, I have been spending more time on pen and paper writing doing my therapy work in an effort to get my head sorted out. Beloved, myself, and my doctor are all pretty sure that there is some manner of trauma memory trying to break through. I’m using the therapy writing in an effort to excavate that memory and deal with it. It’s not going well. My emotions are all over the place. Which makes things like parenting hard, especially with two boys going through puberty.

I haven’t forgotten this blog. I feel really guilty that I haven’t been well enough to post regularly for a while now. My doctor assures me that between the medication and the therapy work that I am doing, I should have my c-ptsd symptoms back under control within a few months. I’ll try to log in with periodic updates. They’ll probably look like this one, very little good news or possibly some measure of complaint about how my disability is screwing me over.

I thank you for your patience. Right now, things are weird and crunchy. I’m sure that they’ll get weirder before they get better. It pretty much always goes this way. I’m sorry, again, that I’m not posting interesting stuff for you and the running themes (like the rune study) are on hold right now. I simply don’t have the brain power or energy to be posting as I am spending up to four hours a day on therapy work. It’s exhausting and scary. But, if I stick with it, I’ll get to the other side of this mess and back to posting better material.

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Slogging forward one step at a time.

 Dear Reader,

I wish I had good news for you. I wish that I had content that was interesting and delightful. Alas, I am still in the midst of dealing with some psychological issues that are making writing a very challenging problem. I will be talking with my doctor this afternoon and updating him on how things are going with the chronic sleep problem and the flashbacks. Growing up in an abusive household has long and lingering impacts that can erupt from seemingly nowhere and throw everything in to tumult as you try to track down what triggered the panic reactions. This is what I have been working on. It’s exhausting and demoralizing, to be honest. 

Society has this habit of victim blaming and saying that trauma survivors are either exaggerating their experiences or putting them up on pedestals and calling them paragons of strength (provided the trauma they survived was the socially acceptable form). In my experience, there’s a lot more victim blaming and accusations of exaggeration of trauma than there is placement upon a pedestal. There’s a lot more ‘You were wearing the wrong clothes/at the wrong place.’ to rape survivors, for example, and less ‘What happened to you is horrific, your feelings are valid, and I will hold space for you until you feel safe enough to talk about it.’

Society puts on blinders about trauma and assumes that if we do the ‘right’ things, trauma won’t happen to us. And when trauma happens to us, society tells us that it is our fault. Even the various spiritual communities whom you would think wouldn’t do that. They claim that we attracted our suffering with our ‘negativity’ and that the misfortune wouldn’t have happened if our ‘vibration’ was higher. They claim that our suffering was a ‘karmic lesson’ or ‘karmic consequence’ of some ill deed done by another person in another lifetime where our soul resided (possibly). Both of these stances are victim blaming and just serve to make victims feel worse.

I get real angry about that ‘vibrational’ mindset when it comes to this stuff. I’m sorry, but a 7 year old who love everybody and wants to show the whole world beautiful things doesn’t deserve to be sexually assaulted. A 5 year old who spills a glass of milk because they didn’t have the strongest grip on the glass doesn’t deserve to be beaten. And a 23 year old who is giving a friend a place to rest for the night, someone that they thought they could trust, doesn’t deserve to be sexually assaulted at knife point with one of their own kitchen knives. These are not random incidents. These are things I have personally experienced. I can tell you right now, my ‘vibration’ wasn’t the cause of the harm I have endured. The blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the people who harmed me.

If you think that I attracted these situations to me on any level, be it as a ‘learning experience’ or because I happened to be depressed at the time my false friend assaulted me, you can drop reading my work and fuck right off. I’m still processing a lifetime of ugly stuff and it’s making it hard for me to write about anything other than it. I apologize if this post is distressing or disturbing. I’m working towards my usual optimistic, informational content. It’s just been really hard going over the last three months. And it’s hard to tell if that light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train, optical illusion, or legitimate light.

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The Filianic Migration Away from Tumblr.

 Dear Reader,

I may not have been very active over the last few weeks because my life has been difficult. I still have been watching the public spaces where the Filianic community interacts with each other and I have observed a migration away from Tumblr. Those who are leaving speak of going over to private Discord servers and functionally becoming a closed religious group because of the challenges they have been facing on Tumblr and other platforms.

I will not be leaving Tumblr or ceasing to blog. Nor am I dropping Filianism. It is a part of my life that brings me comfort and stability, which is a big deal for someone with c-ptsd and bipolar II. I’m still going to be practicing my weird version of Filianism and doing my best to provide general information to seekers. I don’t know if sites like The Society for Filianic Studies are going to remain public or not. I have no idea honestly what direction things are going to take going forward.

I know that Filianism is experiencing growing pains. There’s a growing number of independent Filianists who take a wide range of views on the core principles of the faith. This has caused friction and difficulty for a number of people in their efforts to present the Orthodox Filianic perspective. Hence their migration away from Tumblr (where there had been a bustling community of believers up until a few months ago). It is my belief that Orthodox Filianism will re-emerge after a period of time to heal their heart break and attempt to engage in discourse with the independent community again.

Like all faiths, there are schisms and divisions. I think, however, that we can all reconnect through our love of Déa. I think it will take some time and during the interim period independent Filianism is going to grow and develop deeper understanding of the holy mysteries of the faith. I think that when both groups come back to the table, we will find the discussion fulfilling and affirming.

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What’s up with the lack of content?

 Dear Reader,

I have been unwell for the last few weeks. I had been optimistic that I’d resume posting this week but that didn’t exactly happen. I’ve recovered from my back issues. The problems now are revolving around chronic insomnia due to c-ptsd and the c-ptsd itself. I am working with my doctor to get this resolved as soon as possible. I need more than 4 hours of sleep on a given night, honestly. And having cascading flashbacks to horrific things that happened in my youth has this nasty side effect of my sitting and staring off into space not fully aware of my environment. Reorienting myself to the present is difficult after that happens, let me tell you. The hope is that as we get my ptsd symptoms under control, everything else will settle down and my anxiety will get back under control as will my sleep cycle.

I’m trying very hard to get back to regular posting. My health is making that difficult. I apologize. Being disabled sucks. I appreciate your patience and support. (And a big HELLO! to all my new followers.)

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Divination: Rune Study – Cen

 Dear Reader,

First, please forgive my misspelling of the translation of the name of this rune. I was half awake as I was making these cards and for some reason put an ‘a’ into the word torch. I’ve misplaced my white-out pen, so the ‘typo’ stands as it is. The name of this rune is Cen or Kenaz. It typically is translated at meaning a torch and is associated with the letter ‘k’. 

The Icelandic and Norwegian rune poems refer to this rune as an ulcer. This leads to many scholars suspecting that this is the older meaning of the rune. The Wikipedia entry regarding this rune shows that it actually has multiple variants in the Elder Futhork, the Younger Futhork, and the Anglo-Saxon Futhork alphabets. The version that is depicted on the card I am holding is the eldest version of this rune.

It is one of the runes that I, personally, associated with the god Loki. Particularly via the star known as Loki’s torch, also known as Sirius. I hold to the interpretation of this rune as that of fire in a controlled environment when in a direct orientation. When the rune appears in an indirect orientation, it speaks of fire that is uncontrolled. Fire can be figurative and speak of passions, anger, or lust. Fire can be transformative and a force for radical change. It can also be destructive and cause for great grief.

I have yet to have this rune pop up in a reading indicating an ulcer or wound upon the body or spirit. I presume that the direct orientation of this rune under that meaning would indicate a minor injury and an indirect orientation would speak of a more severe injury.

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Taking time off to recuperate.

Dear Reader, 

I put my back out last Wednesday and I’m not doing very well. The doctor put me on some unpronounceable medication with a name that looks like Scrabble tiles thrown out a window by the handful. It’s supposed to help my spasming back relax. I go to my family doctor for my diabetes follow up on Friday. This back issue will be getting brought up if it isn’t resolved by then. I am really hoping that I don’t have to do physical therapy again because that sucked.

I’m not thinking very clearly at the moment. As such, I am not going to be blogging while I’ve still got this medication making me fuzzy headed. I don’t want to accidentally post something stupid or completely ramble about stuff unrelated to anything of importance. I’m working on the Lokean manuscript on paper right now because it’s more portable than my laptop. Also, I can lay down and still work on it. I can’t exactly do that with the laptop.

Emotionally, I’m a mess because my c-ptsd got triggered by an argument with one of my sons. The fall out is still happening even though it’s been half a week since it happened. I’m trying to get that under control. The muscle relaxant making my head a bit fuzzy helps to insulate me against the full brunt of the pain of the memories that keep coming up and the distress it causes me but I’m not doing well on that front. Again, something that makes it hard for me to focus and write up quality content. Right now, I just want to go cry where no one can see me but I feel like I can’t cry because that would be weakness. (Thanks, toxic upbringing for the lose.) 

So, there’s a lot of stuff that’s not going right at the moment and getting in the way of doing other things. Once I’m off of the medication that’s got my brain feeling like Jello and I’m thinking clearer instead of caught up in this emotional hellish merry-go-round of trauma memories, I’ll be posting again. Hopefully it will be a few days. I don’t know. 

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Regarding that Lokean devotional I wrote.

 Hey y’all, if I seem a bit off kilter it’s because I put my back out last Wednesday and I’m on some stuff that’s spelled like Scrabble tiles thrown out the window. It’s making writing a bit of a challenge. My ducks are not in a row. I have irritable squirrels that are at a rave, wanting glow-sticks, in my back.

As I was going to say, enough people have shown interest in a print copy that I’ve started working on more material for it. It’s going to be a little bit because of this business of my back being an issue. I’m working things out on paper before I type them up. But, I am working on it.

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As seen on Tumblr: Concerning the Mind

This was a text heavy post over on Tumblr that’s gotten no traction. In an effort to engage the community in some serious discussion about the role of mental illness and similar conditions in our spirituality, I’ve decided to cross post it to my blogs. Below is the original post with all it’s typos and such.


Concerning the Mind

“Thoughts of the mind neither pass away, nor vanish into air. For every thought is a builder in the subtle world that lies about you. Thoughts of beauty and of things of the Spirit refine and purify the soul, making them fair to look upon and graceful in their movements, uniting them with the universal music of eternity and gathering about them the servants of the angels. But harsh thoughts harden the soul; coarse thoughts coarsen the soul; thoughts bound only to material things load the soul with heavy chains.” – Teachings of the Daughter: The Thoughts of the Mind: verses 1 – 5, The Clear Recital, CDV

My friends, this lesson has been rattling around in my thoughts ever since I first read it in the AAV. There are minor differences in the two regarding the language. But the message is the same, regardless of which version of The Clear Recital you pick up. That message is in three parts:

  1. You are responsible for your thoughts.
  2. If you think about the correct things, you will draw closer to Déa.
  3. If you think about the incorrect things, you will move farther from Déa.

This is generally all well and good for neurotypical people. But what of people who lack the ability to have the degree of control over their thoughts to prevent the incorrect thought patterns from emerging persistently, be it via immaturity (i.e. children), via a medical condition (i.e. dementia), or some other reason that can not be resolved at the time of the incorrect thought (i.e. distressful situations). I suppose the child could be taught and trained in mental discipline, this perhaps removes them from the list of persons unable to control their thoughts.

But what of persons like myself who suffer from an illness that impairs their ability to control their thoughts on a regular basis. With great willpower, we attempt to control our thoughts so that the undesired ones do not occur but it is not possible to eradicate them or mitigate the frequency of them. No matter what I do, what medication I am on, or how formidable my will might be, I can not help the anger and harshness that comes when I am in a mixed episode nor can I help the thoughts of suicide in a depressive episode. My brain just isn’t wired right, it’s got the wrong amounts of neurochemicals despite the best treatment.

I have given this a lot of thought while I have been in a range of mental states over the last few years. I’ve cycled through all of my mood states and this question of how does Déa regard my inability to control my mind keeps coming up. If we accept the premise that Déa is a merciful Mother and understands our failings, I think we must also accept the idea that Déa extends forgiveness to us when we can not meet a standard that is set. I think that we must accept the idea that Déa views us in our impaired state and sees that we are trying our best.

Thus, through Déa’s grace, even though we may struggle to think the correct thoughts, when we fail because we are unable to do otherwise, we are not moving farther from Déa. The thoughts we have when we are impaired or injured do not disfigure the soul, do harm to the subtle body that is referenced in this teaching of Our Lady, or prove something that makes us fundamentally repellant on all levels. I think that Déa sees my struggle and allows grace and mercy as long as I try my best.

Your thoughts, friends?

ETA: typo corrections because I haven’t had enough coffee yet today. LOL

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Practical Witchery: Working with Earth Elementals

 Dear Reader,

Earth Elementals are surprisingly easy to work with. They are not, generally, as mercurial in temperament as Fire Elementals or Air Elementals. And they tend to be more orderly and less prone to rapid changes than Water Elementals. For many ‘baby’ witches, Earth Elementals are where they begin serious study of Elemental magic because of how accessible they are.

Show in the picture above is my big chunk of Rose Quartz. It is both a stone that I use to charge other ones for different purposes and a place where an Earth Elemental ally of mine likes to reside. In folk lore, Earth Elementals can be described variously as dwarves, gnomes, or any other spiritual entity that resides within the earth. They are associated with stability, prosperity, endurance, and wisdom. 

The cardinal direction that Earth Elementals are associated with is North in most European-centric magical traditions. Earth Elementals hold sway over the forms of magic and divination involving the use of stones and dirt. You should call on their assistance when engaging in any form of magic that uses these elements for extra emphasis upon your spell craft. Earth Elementals are associated with the magical ‘weapon’ of the paten (the plate upon which the ritual meal of cakes/bread and ale is served during a rite) and the symbol of the pentacle in the direct orientation (along with the High Ones, for the pentacle in this orientation is an indication of spirt/mind over matter).

To establish a good relationship with Earth Elementals, consider things like a houseplant that is dedicated to them. Earth Elementals are deeply entwined with the flora and fauna of a region. Regular care and maintenance of said plant acts as regular offerings of good will to the Earth Elementals in your region. This is even more the case if you happen to be lucky enough to have an outdoor garden where you can really get your hands into the local dirt and build that spiritual imprint with them.

You can also collect stones and ask that an Earth Elemental for an alliance and that they reside within the stone. Giving offerings then resembles giving offerings to other spiritual beings. Something that is specially set aside and placed on an altar for a time until your intuition (or common sense) tells you it is time to properly dispose of it. A unique method of giving offerings to Earth Elementals outdoors is to build a cairn in your garden area and pour the liquid offering over the stones. It is a good idea to put it in a spot where there is good drainage and it will not disturb the plants. Wine, for example, is not good for hostas and you don’t want that offering to kill off the nearby plants. Cairns make a good place for Earth Elemental allies to take up residence and assist in the magical protection of property and one’s home.

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Divination: Rune Study – Mann

 Dear Reader,

As we pick up the threads that got dropped over the last month and a half, we return to the Rune Study series with an important rune for humanity: Mann/Mannaz

Now, before I go into the history and interpretation of this rune I must pause to clear up some semantics about it. There are many people who look at this rune and think it only talks about masculine people. The assumption is that the modern word ‘man’ is the same as the ancient one. This is incorrect. Mann refers to humanity at large. The Anglo-Saxon term for masculine people used the prefix (or suffix, depending on the conjugation of the word) -wig. Their term for feminine people used the prefix (or suffix, again depending on the conjugation of the word) -wif. The word ‘wife’ is derived from ‘wif’ and it is believed that both are pronounced the same way. It is reasonable to think that other Germanic and Norse cultures had similar distinctions.  The word Mann is related to ‘-were’ (think werewolf which translates to man-wolf), which again refers to humanity at large.

With the tendency to condense and simplify language over time, Mann was shortened to man and because of social politics it became associated with the masculine gender within the English speaking world. I’m not entirely sure (because my resources are limited) what changes were made with respect to this rune and the word it is associated with in other cultures that used it. You’ll note on my rune card I spelled it “man” this is to reflect the modern use of “man” to refer to humanity in the general sense. This is not a patriarchal thing but a reclaiming of the gender neutral meaning and putting it to the modern usage.

The version of Mann that is presented here is from the Elder Futhork and the Anglo-Saxon Futhork. The Younger Futhork presents Mann with the Algiz rune in direct orientation. (This can lead to some confusion in reading these runes depending on the system of interpretation you are using.) There are three rune poems about this rune. I will link to Wikipedia where there is a good translation of all three of them. In general, all of the rune poems agree that a person is the joy of their kinsmen and doomed to die. There is some variation as to the third element of the rune poems from each culture. The general trend is to describe some trait that humans engage in that is distinctly of their nature (i.e. the adornment of ships).

In interpreting this rune, I look at the querent’s relationship to people at large or their kinsmen if this rune comes up in connection with Othala. A direct orientation indicates a relatively positive relationship and an indirect orientation bespeaks a negative one. As relationships change and are in flux all the time, this is a relatively fluid rune and requires others to place it into context.

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