Before I post what I wrote today I just want to say that if you don't have livejournal and are doing Nano this year, go join LJ. Then, go join the community Nanowrimo. When you have done that, go get an America Online IM. THEN go join one of the sprints in a chat room that is being hosted by all_yearsprints and the nanowrimo LJ community mods. It's AWESOME! I only did three sprints last night during the "into the night" session and came out with 1571 words! Do you know how awesome that is? On the last sprint I joined I somehow pulled 806 words out of my ass! My ass was probably not please by this but I was fucking ecstatic! I loved it. It really pushes you. So, if you're a fellow Nano-er, I highly recommend doing this!
Thoughts in a Black Out
What can bring the magic out better than a city-wide blackout? Thank God I'm Pagan. I never run out of candles! Haha! Some people would probably think “city-wide?!” but I live in a small town (population 3,000) so it's not the same effect as if, say, the whole city of Austin blacked out.
I'm sitting on my floor writing with several candles lit so I'm not in total darkness. Thankfully the girls are asleep so this hasn't phased them. It sucked for Jay who was in the middle of his school work online. He left at nine for work to take advantage of the fact that there isn't a black out there and he can use their Internet. Unfortunately that means he had to leave for work three hours early. At least he works the graveyard shift on a computer all night or else he'd be out of luck.
The cats are completely unfazed by this. Gary is chasing some Asian beetles that snuck inside while Jules is asleep on the stairs. My dog, on the other hand, is being spastic and pacing the living room. Every time I move she jumps. I know she's 9 and getting old, but I'm afraid I'm going to end up kicking her in the face by accident if she keeps freaking out.
I'm taking this time to meditate on loved ones who need healing. One of my friends just had a miscarriage so I am asking Gaea to keep an eye on her and guide her on this her time of need. Another just lost a beloved cat. The cat was such a cutie – a calico who was lovable, fat and fluffy and was the size of a small child. I've talked to Bast about it and I know that Morgana is in a peaceful place where she will not feel any pain. I know she was a cat, but I think she knew how much her human family loves her. My friend Starr is in a rut creatively. I prayed to the Muses so that they could help inspire her. She really needs it.
It amazes me how little energy I use when praying but how big an impact it can make. The power of prayer really is a magical thing. Christians say that prayers can only be answered through Jesus Christ, but what about my prayers? I pray to other gods entirely, but my prayers are almost always answered. If my petitions can only be answered by Jesus and Jehovah and I haven't been sending them out to them, who's been answering all these years?
I can't deny that there is a higher power. My experiences in live have shown me otherwise. When I was pregnant with Violet over four years ago, I was supposed to have lost her. I prayed so hard to Gaea for her health and safety and as we know, she's here and healthy and a large pain in my ass. But that's just one example of the many things in my life that show me that there is something out there watching all of us. It's a refreshing feeling.
The power's back on. I guess now would be a good time to feed the baby, thank the gods, and go to sleep.
If you don't believe in a certain deity, can you really worship it? Can you truly worship something you don't believe in? I asked that question to my friends today and most came up with the same answer. Lou, who studies religion for fun, went on about how some religions are based solely on ritual. The way you do the ritual is how you worship, you don't necessarily have to believe in deity. Buddhism is similar in the fact that you don't have to believe in deity to reach enlightenment but have to follow the eight-fold path. However, I was speaking about religions where the majority of worship and ritual are based on your faith and devotion to a specific deity.
The reason i asked my friends this was that just the other day I was hanging out with my friend Leigh. She's a very devout Jehovah's Witness and most of our time is spent in Bible study. I had always heard a lot of negative things about the Witnesses, but instead of believing it all I decided to actually study with her to better understand her beliefs. Anyway, we were discussing a topic in the book "What Does the Bible Really Teach?" and I mentioned Stella's problem from last time about the whole cross dilemma. When I said that Stella was a Pagan, Leigh asked what I meant, so I elaborated and said that she was Wiccan. "So she worships the Devil." Wait, what? Her reaction completely threw me off that I actually stuttered and just said 'sure'. I had no words. She was just so set on the belief I knew there was no reason arguing with her. But that comment really made me think.
So that's when I asked about worshiping something you don't believe in. My friends said no. They agreed that you couldn't really commune with a certain deity if you did not believe in its existence. So then I asked if they truly believed that, why were other gods being worshiped considered devil worship if the worshiper did not believe in the Devil? How is it possible to worship something you do not believe exists? No one could give me an answer.
I haven't asked Leigh these questions yet, but I fully intend to, as well as a bunch of other questions about her beliefs, but not all at once. I don't want to hurt her feelings or anything. It made me glad to know that Leigh doesn't' know my religion if that's what she thinks of anyone who doesn't follow Christ.
I guess I should also mention that I don't believe that Satanists are evil. I have met a couple of Satanists in m time who were wonderful people, but I've also met a few who were ruthless and corrupt--but I've met those in every religion. I find Satanists to be a lot like some of my friends who practice Chaos magic and follow a Discordian path. They accept the "darker" side of things and appreciate it more than others. People are all good. People are all evil.
Questions to bring up to Leigh for discussion next time she visits:
Belief: Jehovah is One true God; false religions based on Satan's lies--worship to Satan
Question: Can you truly worship an entity you don't believe exists?
Belief: Prayers are to be directed to Jehovah through Jesus Christ; Satan is invisible ruler of world
Question: Is God the only one who can answer prayers? If so, how are prayers said to other gods answered? Does Satan have the power to answer prayers?
Belief: Obey human laws that don't conflict with God's laws--always follow God's laws
Question: Should we still stone certain sins to death or kill them with fire? Is a menstruating woman still impure, dirty, unclean? Why are some of these "laws" ignored. (see laws in book of Leviticus)
Belief: Only 144,000 will reign in Heaven while others will stay on Paradise earth
Question: I know it's only a small group compared to those who go to Paradise, but why is number taken literally and not symbolically? If number is literal shouldn't fact that number is chosen only from the 12 Tribes of Judah be literal, too?
Hopefully asking her all of these questions doesn't bother her. Jay thinks I'm going to hurt her feelings or piss her off. I don't think I will. She may be incredibly closed-minded in her beliefs but she's devoted to the wholeheartedly Unfortunately, I think I've made her believe I want to be a Jehovah's Witness as well, and I seriously do not want to be. I think these questions would be a good opener for my "hate to break it to you, but I'm not going to join you." I gave her false hope and that was not my intention. I just wanted to learn more about it, not join the organization! I'm sorry, but I just can't wrap my head around their logic. I'm just open-minded, to accepting to believe religion is black and white; it's either this or that. i just can't. There is so much grey in this world. I don't believe that religion isn't just as grey and blurry as well.
Full Moon Thoughts
When I was younger, as in 10 years ago, I never really took the time to look and admire the moon. When I started looking into alternative religions I slowly began to get closer to nature. Now I've always loved nature in general. I was born in Puerto Rico and up until we moved to the States when I was almost 4, we were always doing something outside. I have pictures of being a little toddler around Daisy's age camping with family on the beach. Another of me as a baby being held by my mother in a river by a waterfall. And then, one of my favorites, as a kid around Violet's age fishing with my mother. I LOVED the outdoors. But when my mom married into the military, we were always stuck in suburbia.
I was thirteen when we moved to Hawaii. There is where I started my research into Paganism. I would go camping on the beach with friends from church. Or climb out of my window and sit on the roof just to look at the stars. There was vegetation everywhere and you just had to stop to absorb the beauty. All that red ash, though, really stained my pants.
By the time we moved back to the mainland I was already on my way to dedicating myself to my religious path. I felt so connected with nature. I went to high school with my husband; we were friends first. At night we would stand on the sidewalk in front of his house and look up at the stars. We'd try to name the constellations and fail miserably.
After I got married I really wanted a baby girl. So when the full moon would come around, the full, round Mother Goddess, I would pray to Gaea to help me become pregnant. One those nights, for three days, I would sit and watch the moon in all her beauty. The day before, of, and after the full moon I would just sit there and commune with Mother Goddess. By the time the fourth full moon came around, i was already a month pregnant. So now I feel an even deeper connection with the moon. she is my Mother and my friend. I confide in Gaea when i need motherly insight and pray to her when I seek protection for my daughters.
Tonight is a full moon. Many Wiccans take this time to pay homage to their Mother Goddess. A lot of them do this through ritual. I rarely have time to goo to the bathroom in peace let alone perform a full-fledged ritual, so my ritual is simple. When the girls are all in bed and Jay is doing whatever it is he does before going to work, I sit outside on my patio with my dog on my lap in the moonbeams and commune with my Mother Goddess. Missy's a good dog so she'll stay still while I sit on our bench and thank Gaea for my children. Tonight I thank her for my beautiful children. I thank her that they are happy and healthy. i thank her for listening when I gripe about when those beautiful children are pushing my beautiful buttons. I thank her for my maternal instincts. And then I tell her all of my goals and changes I wish to accomplish so that I may be a better wife and mother. It's a very long list of thank-yous.
I feel that ever since I became a mother that I need to take time out to be with my mother. However, I'm not really close to my actual mother. Don't get me wrong, I love my mother and I think she's awesome a lot of times, but we don't connect a lot. We are very much the same person but with different views. It's difficult to feel close to her when our religions are so different.
when I had Violet my mother found out through my profile in a networking site that i was/am bisexual and a pagan. she asked me about it and I told her. There was no reason to lie. It was just information i hadn't shared with her and for good reason. She then proceeded to go on one of her "Jesus is your savior" speeches. I didn't mind. I had heard these many times before. However, she threw in a kicker that night. I was told I was a bad parent b/c of my religion and sexuality. I was horribly upset and told her that the well-being of my child had nothing to do with my religion or my sexuality but everything to do with how much i loved her and how much effort i put into taking care of her and giving her what she needed. my mother actually said no, that it was love for God. I mean, seriously? My husband is an atheist. Is he a terrible parent just because he doesn't believe? I don't think so. He's an awesome dad who loves his daughters very much. She later, much later, realized she had put her large foot in her mouth. We haven't spoken about my religion since. I don't mind at all.But I think she just conveniently forgot. which is fine by me. I mean we talk about the Bible all the time. I think it's good to discuss religious beliefs. It helps iron out all of my own personal beliefs and gives them a firm and stable foundation. But I think because of all of our discussions my mother believes that I have found Christ again and am "back." I seem to have a bad habit of making people think I'm on their side on religion. The only side I'm on is my own. And I like it here.
With the moon as my mother, she does not judge me. She watches over me and guides me in the dark and I revel in her moonbeams. My mother has a privacy fence and when I lived with her I would dance in the moonbeams naked. It was so enlightening; so invigorating. I felt free, like nothing could stop me. I did it once in the rain, and i would only do it in the backyard. I didn't want any of the neighbors looking through a window and seeing my mother's naked daughter dancing out in the yard at 2 in the morning. Haha. So I've always felt close to the moon. My mother goddess has always been with me when others have not.
Every time the moon is full I feel a little less tense, a little less sad, and a little less stressed. I love the moon and the moon loves me. Haha.
I am her moon baby.
word count: 2555
5,280 / 50,000