painandlight: (Default)
[personal profile] painandlight
Being unemployed, and having more than enough time to think about this shit, I can only think so much before I start to wonder if I'm not assigning too much emphasis to some thoughts, or if I'm not imagining that things are affecting me more than they really do. But that's me. For as long as I can remember, I've downplayed the severity of so much in my mind. Like my recent post about my stepmother and stepsister...it wasn't that long ago that I was thinking about all of those things and brushing them off as being not a big deal, telling myself that they had no lasting effect on me when clearly, I'm wrong.

I don't think I could ever flat out say "I was abused as a child", but at some point during the two and a half years that I was seeing a therapist in Baltimore, I could say that there were numerous incidents of abusive behavior from several of my family members.

So when I think of the shit with the former supposed friends, and how they affected me while we were friends and how it now affects me to realize what happened and be removed from it....I start to wonder if some of the thoughts I have are genuinely a result of that, or if I've manufactured them and shouldn't just shut up and get over it.

I was never, that I can remember, told to just get over it- in so many words or not. I think a lot about how differently things could have gone, how, looking at how they've affected others, it could have been a lot worse for me too.

But still, it does. It affects me. I'm worried about Doing It Wrong too. though, instead of worrying about doing what's right for me and having it be the wrong thing because it's not their way, I'm worried about doing what's right for me, and that it could look too much like them.

Rational brain tells me that it shouldn't matter, that if something is right for me, who cares if it does look like them, it's not going to make me turn into that. And it probably doesn't look nearly as much like them as I imagine it.

For example, I haven't touched my blog in months. Not that I don't want to- there is plenty that I really want to write. But I think about it and I just think about how they have blogs and how they write on them all the time, and go on and on about "when you do as much ritual for as many gods as I do.....blah blah blah" and "I'm taking life-altering vows for the sixth time todayyyyyy and oh how I suffer- today I'm going to walk across a bed of razor-sharp glass shards for the gods, I hope my feet won't be too badly cut but even if I can't walk for days and days it will have been worth it because I love the gods soooooooooo much and this is how I show mah epik boobs devoshuns now gimme teh beeeeeadzzzzz!

Rational brain also tells me that all I need to do is look at any one of my blog posts and compare it to any one of theirs and...well, they're just not the same. I'm writing about and for the gods, they're writing about everything that they do for the gods.

I've also given some more thought as to why I want to keep using the blog, and other than it existing as an offering, I also have the blog because no one else did when I was looking for something like that. It's not that I'm terribly concerned about educating the public, it's just more good reason to do something I already want to do.

Then there's things like making "devotional playlists". Now...I've been making playlists since before I ever saw them talking about it. I have a list of songs that I associate with gods, even with gods that I have nothing to do with. I hear a song and my brain goes "oh, that sounds like *insert name of a god here* and if, on more than one hearing, the same thought comes up it goes on a list, or occasionally if a song is directly about a god, it goes on a list. Most of it isn't all that significant, especially as pertains to gods with which I have no connection- for example, the song Secret Life by Thriving Ivory reminds me of Persephone. Songs like this remind me that such gods exist, and sometimes it's interesting to let the list play and think a bit about them, sometimes I wonder a bit about the gods that I'm not connected to- but it's not devotional anything, it doesn't mean much more to me than the fact that I also have a set of playlists for morning, afternoon and night because for some reason, certain music just um, sounds like certain times of day for me and makes sense to listen to at those times. I do have playlists for a couple of gods- Apollo, Dionysus and a very short one for Hermes. But I don't go looking for songs for them, they just get added when I hear something that sounds like it belongs.

I've also had cause to think a bit about some things I've done, said or felt in the past with regards to religion and how it might be connected to them. One of the things that's been discussed a bit has been the wanting religion to be the most important thing, even coming ahead of romantic relationships. I used to feel this way. I feel it important, though, to make it very clear that I felt this way before I ever had anything to do with them. This had come with my earlier involvement with ADF and wanting to train as clergy. I think I could say that they reinforced that for some time, though eventually Gavin and I both came to a point where we just realized that religion didn't come before each other, but was more of equal importance. It makes sense though, seeing as it was the gods that threw us together.

I've been feeling for a little while, to some extent or another that god relationships have been somewhat contaminated- not irreparably damaged, but...hmm...overshadowed? I know that Apollo isn't going anywhere, and I don't think I could give him up if I wanted to, and divination indicates that I shouldn't drop Dionysus either, though it could be a little while before I really have much to do with him again.

I have, however, been thinking for probably a couple of months now that maybe what I need is something new, something different, something untied to them. The idea that working to establish a relationship of some sorts with a new god has floated in and out of my mind even before the issues with the former supposed friends came to light, and has been coming in more frequently since we realized how damaging all of their shit was. For a while there, I was thinking of taking a shot with Selene- who at one time I thought may have been a possible patron- or Helios, but no, my interest in teh gods of the Various And Assorted Shiny Things in The Sky(tm) is- wel, whatever it is, this isn't it.

A few weeks ago, I started hearing "You need me" coming from Ares in my mind. Now...this was not The Voice Of Ares, it was my mind manufacturing the voice, but it was fairly repetitive. I started thinking more about it, and after talking to Gavin about it, decided to do some divination and see what came up. I threw around some cards and results indicated that yes, I was right about Ares. Results also pointed out- repeatedly- that yes, this is a good idea, but I should be sure to not forget the limits of this new relationship. Which makes me think, a bit, of the fact that not long ago, I was advised by Apollo to learn about other deities who have aspects in common with him. Odin was specifically named- but with the order that I not engage in any worship of him.

So far, I haven't gone far beyond thinking about it. I did make a necklace a few days ago- I thought I was jumping the gun, but I just really felt like I needed to, so I did. Carnelian, red tiger's eye, red garnets and dark charcoal grey seed beads. Very smoke and blood, feels very right, and since I put it on, he's been on my mind pretty consistently. Nothing major, just a thought that doesn't entirely go away.

I also feel like I'm getting ahead of myself wanting to set up a shrine for him, but I do want to put something together, if nothing else because my current shrine is set up entirely for Apollo and the table it's on is pretty small, and I'd be hard pressed to try to make room for another god there= that and the fact that, with an exception of a brief stint sharing with Dionysus, it has always been strictly Apollo's place. So I'll figure something out.

Date: 2010-11-22 01:25 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] gone_fishing
I relate to this post quite a bit, but you probably already knew that.

Part of what I'm going through now isn't just processing the damage done to my connection with the Gods and what the end result of that was, but also worrying that things that I do will come off as things they do... like the playlists as one example. I actually had playlists of songs I connected with my Gods before I ever met these people, and there are songs I have now that I associate with my current Deity relationships. And I've thought about sharing them except I don't want to come off like them, even though I know logically there's a big difference between "here's a few songs that remind me of Blodeuwedd" v. "I WALK ACROSS HOT COALS FOR MY GODDESS, LET ME SHOW YOU IT!" There's things I want to actually write about, from the heart, but I'm in that position of not wanting anyone to get influenced by me and feel that they have to do what I'm doing to Do It Right... not wanting to do damage to them.

So yeah, this is the fallout. Not fun. But if it makes you feel better at all, I hear ya.

It will be interesting to see what develops with Ares. I think making a shrine for Him somewhere would be good.

Date: 2010-11-22 02:03 am (UTC)
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
From: [personal profile] jenett
Very thoughtful post.

One of the things that keeps me talking about stuff in public is that.. well, so much of the public discussion is out there on the edges of the spectrum: there's a lot of fluffy/ooky-spooky-in-the-night/dabbling stuff on one end, and on the other, there are people who are going all out in the other direction, all Totally Serious All The Time.

But there aren't so many people talking about the middle ground. Or how you do this stuff when it matters, and it's important - but it's not the only thing going on in your day, either. (I do also have a rant building about some related topics that I hope will get written in the near future.)

I also do playlists, though mostly not for Gods (because my music and my god-relationships don't run in directions where they actually produce playlists reliably). But for seasons and elements and major magical/ritual workings, oh, yes.

Date: 2010-11-22 04:20 pm (UTC)
eternalhearts: Making an offering to the Theoi (Religion)
From: [personal profile] eternalhearts
I have to second what jenett (I'm still getting used to DW, or I'd link your username) said about the public stuff being all to one side of the spectrum or the other. It's good to allow others to see all he sides of spirituality.

In regards to Ares, [profile] brontosproximo is probably the only person I know that's devoted to Him, so may be someone to turn to with questions?

Date: 2010-12-01 06:31 am (UTC)
youngsoulrebel: self-portrait 12-2010 (Default)
From: [personal profile] youngsoulrebel
But I don't go looking for songs for them, they just get added when I hear something that sounds like it belongs.

I admit, sometimes I go looking for Eros music, but I tend to scour my own collections for it, usually because I suddenly remembered a lyric fragment or I'll get an idea in my head about a song or songs with a certain word in the title, and see if it works. Usually, I was right about the song, which I chalk up to my amazing music memory, and when I'm not, I don't sweat it too much, cos I'll find something else that DOES work, sooner or later.

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