In Which I Reminisce About Young, Pagan Me

[sorry to the folks who saw this posting before.  it was very far from finished. this is what I get for using multiple devices to post.  also, GIF WARNING!  there are a few here and one were there is lightning/flashing lights. so just a heads up to those who are sensitive.]

I love The Craft. Always have! There was something about the movie that just captured my interest.  I had been in the 6th grade when it came out, not seeing it until it was on television some time later. I have two memories about the movie.  The first was my older sister telling me I couldn’t be a true fan if I didn’t know which actress was Fairuza Balk (she is the same one who said I wouldn’t get a quote from Revenge of the Nerds because “it was before your time”[it was before hers as well]).  The other one was going to a slumber party where we did try Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board.

LaaF,SaaB

Sadly, it didn’t work.

What it did end up doing was jump start my journey down the pagan path. That slumber party was the turning point of it all.  Sure we played the game, talked about and watched the movie, but then a few us of TRIED stuff.  Specifically voodoo dolls.  Long story short about that bit in particular, I stay away from it because I nearly hurt myself and obviously didn’t know what the hell I was doing.  I mean, a few young, middle class white girls in the midwest had to business messing with the stuff.

The girl who was hosting the party and I REALLY got into the witch stuff, though.  We picked out ‘code names’ and had a notebook we traded so we could share information.  She checked out the witch books because I couldn’t.  Unfortunately she got caught and, in turn, so did I.  I ended up rediscovering everything, so to speak, only a few years later but she stayed away from what I can recall.

But The Craft was the beginning of it all and set me up with a very romantic version of witchcraft.  The first few seconds alone roped me in.

 

giphy

It was beautiful then and even more so now.

Like I said, I had a romantic view of witchcraft thanks to the movie.  Even now I prefer the movie up to the circle on the beach.  After that, everything goes to shit because Hollywood. Yet it was the scene on the beach that was most powerful and amazing.

beach

I watched the movie only a few days ago and Grendal and myself both agreed that this movie was perfectly fine up to this part.  Like I said, everything after this goes to shit but it’s because of the whole Rule of Three bit.  They stuck with it and made things roll out so everyone got what was coming to them.  Except Sarah, who is the movie’s hero.  Sure, the dude she roped with the love spell got way too creepy and died in the end, but it wasn’t her doing for that.  She never TRULY got what was coming to her and quickly got onto Manon’s good side before shit went down big time.

High School was my re-initiation, so to speak, into paganism.  I found websites, snuck away at the library to read books, and eventually asked to buy one.  I was shot down because my mother freaked out.  She was born and raised in a strict catholic community and while she no longer follows the religion it was very much a part of her still.  I remember printing up a bunch of pages of information about Wicca to show my mother that it wasn’t bad.  It did the trick.  She was still nervous but she finally let me do my thing.

College, though, was where things began.  I remember trolling around our school’s online community and going into the religious board.  Usual fair of stuff.  I loved, and still do, religious debates and discussions.  There was someone on the board looking for anyone interested in paganism.  I shoved aside my shy side and responded.  We chatted for a few minutes before she asked if I was currently on campus, and I said I was.  She wanted to meet up and do a proper introduction and asked where I was.  Turns out we were both in the library.  I was on the main level and she was on the second.  We met and it was amazing. She is still a dear friend to me.  We hit it off right away. Discussed things and connected quickly.  It wasn’t long before we gathered a few other girls on campus that were also interested or practicing pagans (all I still talk with, though the first girl is the only one besides myself who still identifies as pagan).  We quickly had our own little group of five girls.

We had a few circles, we went to a local pagan Halloween ball, supported an amazing local New Age store, celebrated the Holy Days, the works!  While things were going, it was amazing.  We were never able to make ourselves into a school club but it was an amazing time of growth for all of us.  Like most things, though, it ended when life began and people wandered off to different schools or finished there time at the college.

Watching The Craft made me miss those days.  The time that I had a close group and even a small sisterhood of sorts.  I miss it and find myself now part of the bitter old pagan brigade (don’t think that is a thing and I’m not REALLY bitter, it just seemed funny).  I truly want to immerse myself back in my own craft and stretch those muscles once more.  While it’s no longer new and I’m seeing it with world weary eyes, I know that I can reach that spot again.

I’ve gone through this many times before.  Times where I go to rediscover things but always end up in the same spot.  This time, though, I can reach that happy medium.  I have Grendal to help me along the way if I stumble.

It will be glorious.

Something Happened

It was a big something.

Over this past month Grendal and I went through the process of getting our first home! While it isn’t exactly what we wanted there are many things that we love.

It’s 1,282 square feet, nearly 400 square feet over the footage of a small home blueprint we were looking at. I believe the extra footage comes from the basement, which the blueprints didn’t include. It feels like the perfect fit for Grendal, myself, and Divo(a coworker I have mentioned before). Not to mention the three four-legged kids of ours, soon to be four four-legged kids.

We have moved nearly all of our stuff into the house, save for small items here and there. The animals have adjusted for the most part. Tinker is more leery than the others but she has begun to wander and meow once more. Pippin barely gave a hoot about the move, though he misses having so many people fawning over him. And Yuko? Yuko is ecstatic! She finally has a yard that is fenced in, which means she can be off leash and run around like the hyper pup she is.

Speaking of the yard, it is just under half an acre. It is less than what we wanted but it enough for us right now. Especially when we remove the above ground pool. It has an area for a garden and a compost heap. I plan on taking a better look at the area come warm weather and figuring if needs to be wider than it already is. The front yard is a little small but we have plans for a fruit tree, yew shrubs, and flowers of some sort.

The amazing thing is that one of the previous owners was a metal worker, something Grendal has been wanting to do. The shed in the back yard is set up to handle metal working! Grendal is that much closer to smithing.

This past month has just been amazing. Neither Grendal or I have had much good luck in life, but things seemed to turn around. We have had friends help us in many ways, outpouring of support, and everything has fallen into place. Wash and dryer from a coworker for insanely cheaper. House warming gifts that weren’t expected. It has been wonderful.

While I am shy and nervous about confessing my personal spiritual thoughts in passing I can’t help but say something now. Months ago I had made a silent plea/prayer/thought to the gods. Odin at the forefront but I ‘spoke’ to them all. I expressed my want for a home but the more the need to escape the environment Grendal and I were in. I promised a proper altar inside and an offering area outside for the gods and wights. Nothing happened for some time. I was upset but kept going through what life and the environment had in store for us.

I thought they weren’t there. They didn’t hear me. I always doubt myself and worry about my beliefs. Not that They aren’t there but that there is something odd on my end.

They came through in their own time and we got the home that is perfect for us right now.

Now I have to pull through on my end of the deal.

I’m All By My Self

Or I would like to be. At times, anyway.

I love walking to work in the morning, by myself more often than with Divo or Grendal.  Not that I don’t mind the company it’s just that I need those moments to myself to think. To enjoy things. Even wake up properly at times.

The past two weeks or so the mornings have been lovely. Cool and quiet, despite the highway so close by. I can listen to the birds chatter at each other.  I’ve watched the crows that hang out in the neighborhood. Hell, I even found a crow feather(which makes a total of three on my altar)! Its been relaxing.

Speaking of relaxing, I’ve been waking up in rather chipper moods and fully rested. Which is strange. I usually wake up a little groggy and in a neutral mood. My sleep habits haven’t changed and neither have my eating or drinking(coffee…..and booze…..). It’s strange but I shouldn’t complain. Something is shifting towards a positive.

There is one more week until the Renaissance Fair and I’m getting excited.  Have to mess around with my costume, but it’ll be worth it.  I’ve yet to have a bad time at the Fair and I doubt one will start now.  My nieces are getting ready with their costumes and Grendal and I are snagging my youngest niece’s wooden sword to paint it and make it look as real as we can get.  They’re excited too.

Other than that, the week has been mellow. Which is nice.

 

And weird……I was getting use to the hectic days.

Life Can Kick Ya

So, I’ve been missing around here for about a month(give or take) but there is a good reason behind it. About a month ago Grendal’s uncle passed away suddenly. It was the second uncle in four months. His youngest and now oldest uncle are gone. The previous death hadn’t effected him like this one. This uncle seemed to mean something more.

I am honestly at a loss when these things happen. I have yet to lose a human in my life. I have had many pets pass away and it tears me to pieces every time. Never getting the chance to say good bye to two of them. Both seeming like siblings. One was a Sheltie named Pikala and the other a Persian named Itokuzo. They were close to me, put down while I was away at work. While the incidents are different, I can’t help but empathise. The uncle passed in another state. No one was able to say goodbye, not even his wife who was beside him when it happened.

So, Sunday was the day when everyone was finally able to come together and celebrate this man’s life. And that is how I think a funeral/memorial should be: a celebration of that person. Yes it’s sad and horrible that he is gone but he would have hated seeing everyone so sad. There was music, singing, the man’s beautiful artwork, and memories shared. While I didn’t have the opportunity to get to know him too well, he was the type of person I would’ve wanted to learn from. He was a modern day hippie, out to better mother earth and create beautiful things along the way.

Doug, where ever you are, you were one awesome man. You make me want to create once more and live better. Peace be with you.

Modder Problems

Grendal and I LOVE the Elder Scrolls series. Love them.  There isn’t much else I can say to express the emotions we have towards the series.

With TES: Oblivion Grendal spent countless hours modding that game.  New armor, new races, hair, eyes, poses, weapons, revamped cities, and more.  Running through that game was something completely different then the original version of the game.  While it caused him many a moment of anger neither of us would have it any other way.  We’ve created characters that were amazing and I was able to creature images of D&D characters thanks to what he had tracked down.

When Skyrim rolled around Grendal and I made sure we got the PC version of it because we knew modding was in our future.  This time around, though, I was the one given the honor of modding the game.  I figured out how to go about it and went out in search of mods to do what we had done with Oblivion.  We have played over 400+ hours of this game and this time I was the one having moments of anger.

So I recently had to uninstall and reinstall the game and then ALL of the mods. All 150+ freakin mods. I tried cutting back but Grendal was peeping over my shoulder, whispering that we need that one. And that one. Don’t forget this awesome armor. It took me 4 days to do this and everything seems to be running well, so far.

And I am finding the urge to play it again. Ignore the fact that I have well over 200 screenshots(serious and humor filled[not as funny as Mass Effect, though]). I will be wandering through Skyrim again and taking more pictures. It’s an addiction but something I can manage.

I Need an Adult!!

I have been with (roughly) the same D&D group for the past ten years.  We’ve been friends for sometime.  Going through life’s moments and being the social outlet for each other besides work and the coming and goings of the internet.  We’ve lost ‘members’ and gained them as time went by.  The youngest in our group, and the newest addition, is only 22.  The oldest is in her 40s.  It is rather diverse in the age area, which is good!  Best of all, we can all relate to each other and our hobbies (besides Dungeons and Dragons) are similar.

Over the years we’ve been through some amazing stories.  Fun romps to epics that span years both in and out of game.  We’ve been heroes!  We have dealt justice to evil doers.  Raised dragons and communed with gods.  We’ve stopped the end of the world!  There is one thing, though, that is always missing.

Adult situations.

We have our fair share of violence and bloodshed, don’t get me wrong.  Maimings abound, both allies and enemies.  Still, after 10 years anything else considered adult is no where to be seen.  I’ve tried introducing such things as a DM and as a player.  Grendal has as well, with slightly better results.  My first attempt as a DM failed horribly thanks to the players (long story there).  I told the group that ‘adult’ situations are and would be possible within the campaign.  They said they were okay with that.  Everyone seemed to freak out or clam up when it occurred.  The only ones who took charge and reacted in a positive way was Grendal and Gigs (long time player and friend), and they were happy to ‘join in.

The situation wasn’t explicit in the slightest.  Nymphs were presented tot he group and everyone failed their saves (as per the plan).  The two willing players had their characters take ‘their’ Nymphs and disappeared to their respective rooms.  Fade to black.  No description, no sound effects, nothing.  The others?  Confusion mostly.  They just sat there and waited for the scene to continue.  One player actually had their character curl up in the fetal position and rocking back and forth.

What the heck?

I’ve played characters who had sexual tendencies.  Nothing crazy.  One character slept with another and got knocked up (no descriptions).  Another character wanted to sleep with multiple people and seduce/corrupt the knight who had been his best friend since childhood (got close on that one).  My current character, Ruslan, has slept with an NPC and has come close with another.  Nothing explicit.  EVER.

It got me wondering why it never happened.  Such things are present in fantasy novels, movies, and the like.  Is my group just prudish?  I mean, we tell raunchy jokes all the time and two of us (myself included) write smut/erotica and others read such things.  Is this something that is rather common within the gaming realm?

I don’t want a game where sex happens ever other session and where the characters are being solicited endlessly.  Just knowing that it’s there, it is happening, and players can let their characters have a good time would be awesome.  Again, nothing explicit because then is becomes awkward. . . . . especially when the DM is your significant other and you’re getting frisky with a good friend within the game.  Yeah, that was an uncomfortable moment for my friend.  Grendal and I were okay.  I’m not my character and, thankfully, I can separate the emotions when I need it.

I do like the added dimension to the world and characters.  And it’s all optional!  Then again, I create character and put in way too much detail into them.  Parental history, hair/eye color, genetics if need be.  Reasons to why they went with the class they did, their ‘day job’.  Reasons why the do/n’t worship a deity.

BACK STORIES FOR EVERYONE!!

Here’s Your Hippie Dippy Weatherman with Your Hippie Dippy Weather, Man

Yes, another post about how cold it is in the Midwest. That and the fact that every blog I’ve had receives a post with this title. Go me!

But yes, cold as hel today. Negative temperature with wind dropping the temperature even further. Odd thing is, I have yet to have a problem with the weather. True I haven’t stood out for a good length of time and the wind hasn’t been an issue, but it doesn’t feel that bad. And it’s not like I’m bundled up. I have a decent jacket, hat/scarf combo, and gloves. Nothing spectacular. Still, I have faired better than others.

I used to hate the cold. Being born in Hawai’i and then raised in California and Georgia, you would understand. Nowadays I hate the heat and love the chill of Autumn and winter, though my sisters are the complete opposite. I can thank living in the northern parts of Illinois and Grendal being something akin to a Viking for my love. Seriously, others see it. I am not batty.

So I am waiting for the temperature to go back to positive numbers and it will feel like springtime.  Then the raids will begin.