Psychic hygiene 101: grounding

firejourneygirl:

An excellent post. Visualisations don’t work for me, so this is helpful. I want to try a few of the methods mentioned, but just from reading through the list, I already noticed a couple things that work for me. I hadn’t realised until now that what I was feeling was grounding; I knew there was something going on but I didn’t know what. Well, that makes sense now.

Originally posted on The Serpent's Labyrinth:

So the other day I made a post about astral travel, and a conversation developed in the threads about energetic overload that can develop when doing such work.  I’ve experienced this before, though I tend to experience it more when doing oracular work and scribe work.  This feeling can be quite uncomfortable, and indeed, one may feel psychically like their circuits are blown for a bit (it can cause energetic damage if it happens too often in a short period of time); I have known a couple people who actually thrive on the ungroundedness and energy surges, but it’s worth noting said people tended to be more “manic” in nature and had addictive behaviors as well as situations where they weren’t really having to deal with too many responsibilities.

I consider knowing how to ground to be an essential part of a magical practise or a spirit-work practise (or…

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I Feel Wyrdly Whole

firejourneygirl:

I’m not Heathen, but this really resonates with me. The interconnectedness of everything is a major part of my worldview. I’m just going to reblog since I agree with all of it.

Originally posted on Torch and Hailstone:

I love being Heathen. It has brought a sense of wholeness and contentment that I never had as an atheist. I think this sense has to do with the concept of Wyrd.

Heathenry for me (and probably pantheism/animism in general) fosters a sense of our world being complete somehow, like everything that there is and ever was and ever will be is part of a coherent whole, even if we’re too small to see it. Whatever happens to us or our earth or the universe is okay, really, because it’s all one big system made up of smaller systems. The Whole, made up of the universe, is organic.

That’s not to say that whatever happens happens for a reason. I find that this idea usually assumes that ‘for a reason’ means ‘for eventual human benefit’, which is anthropocentric and therefore ridiculous. It also tends to imply that there is something…

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The things that matter to me

There are two things that I care about: the well-being of the Earth, and my own well-being. There are also some other things I care about, to a lesser extent, but these are the ones that really matter to me.

I am writing this because my last post kind of made it sound like it’s all about the Earth and nothing else, and that’s inaccurate.

My well-being is mostly under control; I have good days and bad days, but generally I do pretty well at taking care of myself, so I don’t feel like I need to worry about that. The Earth on the other hand, is majorly fucked up, and my attempts to help are not doing enough to change that. So I end up thinking/worrying about that a lot, and that might make it seem like it’s the only thing I care about, but it’s not, it’s just the most vocal one.

I’ve been meaning to write up a post about self-care, and this looks like a good intro. What follows is what works for me personally, ymmv.

Self-care has various aspects. Part of it is keeping myself healthy and functional; eating and sleeping enough, exercise, avoiding stress as much as possible, going to the optometrist, not pushing myself past my limits (physically or emotionally) etc. But self-care is not just about staying functional; it’s not enough to just survive; we should live, and thrive. For me, one of the best ways to do that is with creativity. Art, crafting, music.

As such, creativity is a very important part of my life. I didn’t list it in my “things that really matter” because it’s already included in the “my well-being” category. Other things that enrich my life include reading for pleasure, going for walks, especially in places with lot of trees, swimming, good conversations, and religion.

These are all things that are not “necessary” in the strictest sense–ie, I could function without them–but they all important because they enrich my life. They make the difference between merely existing, and living.

Another thing that’s not “necessary” in the strictest sense, but is highly beneficial, is sex. It can be alone or with an other person, and orgasm is not always necessary. I hope that’s not TMI. I thought it important to mention sex as a form of self-care, because satisfying that craving versus ignoring it can make a big difference in my general well-being.

Other things… Sometimes I like to play video games. They are fun, but most of them don’t really enrich my life, so I’m not as excited about them, and don’t play very often. There are other activities I could do which would be enriching in addition to being fun, so if I have a choice, I’ll go for one of those. The less something benefits my well-being, the less I care about it.

Television in general is not something I would consider beneficial–quite the opposite–which makes most of it feel like a waste of time to me. However, there are some TV series that I feel DO enrich my life, so I watch those. But even the ones that I find worth watching are not as good as doing something hands-on. The more actively engaged I am in an activity, the more beneficial it is to my well-being. TV is very passive. I mostly watch stuff when I’m eating dinner, and thus can’t do any other activity because my hands are busy. I like my shows, but I don’t like sitting passively for extended periods of time.

Interestingly, books don’t feel as passive. Books are somewhere in the middle; more passive than doing arts and crafts or going for a walk, but more active than TV. I’m not sure what makes a reading a story different from watching a story, but there’s a noticeable difference for me.

There are also some people who enrich my life, but that’s a relatively small part of my life. Most of my interpersonal interactions happen online, and I’m happy with that.

Limits

Often, I feel like I’m not doing enough [for the Earth*]. I have to remind myself that I only have so many spoons, and if I push myself to the point of burnout, then I won’t be able to do anything at all. Better to take frequent breaks and do “pointless” things, to rest and recharge when I need to, so that tomorrow I can get back to working on things that matter.

I hate that I’m so frequently low on spoons, and have to take breaks so often. But I have my limits (both physical and mental/emotional) and there’s nothing I can do about that.

I’m trying not to be too disappointed with myself when it’s something outside my control, but it’s hard. It’s so hard, because I wish I could do so much more, but it’s not possible for me to even come close.

Is this really the best I can do? I’m not sure. I want to look for ways for me to do more. I think that’s a good thing to work on, as long as I keep my limits in mind and don’t beat myself up over them. It’s just hard to be satisfied, knowing I can never do enough to make a difference. But I do what I can; it’s the only thing I can do.

*If anyone is thinking of saying “Fire, you’re not obligated to do anything…” Don’t. In the entire history of existence, there is nothing more important to me.

Waiting

Today I went for a walk, and really wanted to reach out to the gods–I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time–but I felt like it would be pointless to say hello just to say “You probably won’t hear from me for a few months…”

Here’s the situation: When I was looking for an apartment a couple years ago, a friend of mine was looking for a roommate. That worked out well. She’s pagan, so she’s cool with me being similar.

However, there is a downside: the apartment we share is a spirit-free space, and I have agreed not to invite in any non-corporeal entities. When I moved in, I had no interest in talking to gods or spirits, and I didn’t forsee that ever changing, so that’s never been an issue…until recently.

I’ve been waiting patienty until I get my own place, but I’m starting to run out of patience. I think it’s been 2-3 months since I decided I want to say hello to the Netjeru, about a month since I added Loki to the list of people I want to meet.

(I use the word “people” to refer to any kind of beings; humans, animals, gods, spirits. I hope that doesn’t offend anyone.)

It might be possible to talk to gods through the wards without inviting them in, but it seems rude to me to say, “Hey, I’d like to chat, but you’re not allowed to come inside.”

I could *maybe* talk to them outside, but there aren’t any secluded places nearby, and I feel uneasy about talking to gods when there might be other people around.

The wait is becoming frustrating, but, agreements asside, I don’t feel right doing something that my friend is not comfortable with.

I think that if I don’t have anything lined up by the end of this month, I will ask my friend to remove her wards from my room and create a barrier between her space and mine, so that I can invite people into my room without violating her space. Moving would be much simpler, but we’ll see.

Mafdet yeah! [dream]

I had a weird and interesting dream. I was going somewhere and took a shortcut through a large building, like a hotel or something. I saw one of my friends in the lobby; he was a janitor. In real life he’s a programmer, so I don’t know why he was a janitor in the dream.

I wanted to go say hello but there were too many people in between us. He was hanging out with a couple other janitors. Friends of his, it looks like. Then there was hugging all around, but there were an odd number of people, so this one woman got left out, and I was like “I’ll hug you, random stranger!”

So we hugged, and then she asked if she could give me a brochure. I was invardly rolling my eyes, thinking “ugh, not another religious brochure.” I suppose it could have been a political brochure, or something about a charity; I kind of just automatically assumed it would be a religious thing. But it usually is, right?

Anyway, it wasn’t that. Guess what it was. Guess. First of all, it wasn’t really a brochure, it was a booklet about the size of a colouring book, and it was about Mafdet. Like historical stuff, a section on hieroglyps, things like that. Not asking anyone to do anything, just “here is some interesting info because it’s interesting.” It was neat.

So that was unexpected. I was like, “…you want give me info about Mafdet? Hell yeah!” and I quickly took the booklet in case my initial hesitation came across as a “no.”

I was aware that I still had to get to where I was going, but I was more interested in the booklet. I couldn’t read it, though. Whenever I try to read any books in dreams, I can never make out anything on the page. Probably because my brain doesn’t have any information to draw on to produce the words.

Anyway, that was probably the best “brochure” I’ve ever been handed, even if it wasn’t real. The dream also had a positive side-effect: I’ve been having trouble getting up in the morning lately, but today I woke up with a mindset of “Yeah! Let’s do this!”

Drawing like a kid

I drew a picture of my family from that dream I had, where I was taught heka. Or rather, I was taught how to use words to change my [subjective] reality; I only found out later that heka is a thing. Not really relevant to this post.

Note: When I refer to “my family” or “mother” etc. in this post, I’m talking about the family I had in that dream, not the family I have in the waking world. Just in case that wasn’t clear.

I had really wanted to draw some things from that dream, especially mother, but I don’t have the artistic skill. Then, months later, I suddenly got an idea: To hell with accuracy, I’m going to draw like a little kid! Like, I’m not even gonna try to make it good, I’m just gonna draw.

And here is the result. It’s not great art, but when I look at this drawing, it is enough to help me remember. And oh my gosh it was so liberating to just draw and not worry about visual accuracy! I think I will do more kiddy-style drawings in the future, just for the fun of it.

family

In the middle is me :) Next to me are little sister and big sister, and next to them are mother and father (whom I affectionately call long-face).

Actually we’re standing in a circle, so mother and father are also next to each other, but if I drew it that way then you’d only see their backs, and they’d block the view of the kids, so I took a page out of the ancient Egyptians’ book and drew all of us in 2D so you can see everyone, and added an indication (the blue lines connecting us) that we are in a circle. We’re symbolically holding hands, okay?

In the country where this dream took place, short hair is VERY unusual. I’m not sure if mother always has short hair, if she just likes it that way, or if she cut it for a reason, like maybe for mourning.

I don’t remember what colour hair we were supposed to have, so I kind of just guessed with my sisters, and made mine red since my online name is Fire. I do remember mother’s hair being black. I guess I remembered hers since the length was unusual and I paid more attention to it.

Mother is *supposed* to be short, so I got the proportions right, but because I drew everyone’s heads first, I accidentally drew her too far up, so she ended up looking like she’s standing higher or farther back. That’s an oops; she’s short but not standing apart from us. She’s holding flowers because there was too much empty space there, lol.

Father… In the dream, I could see everyone else clearly, but when I tried to look at father, my vision would go blurry so I couldn’t make anything out, except for general shape: he had a long face. Here I coloured him black, but I don’t know what colour he is. I went outside the lines with his colouring to indicate his blurriness or insubstantiality or whatever you call that.

Long-face is obviously not human. I’m not sure if mother is human or not. She *looks* normal, but…she can DO things. More on that below.

My sisters and I had all been adults (20s or 30s?), then we died (there was a war) and then we were reborn. I chose to draw us as children here, in our second life. Birthing us again was mother’s doing. Death is no obstacle for her, but it’s still a difficult thing to go through. Big sis has some particularly bad PTSD.

With the ground and sky, I broke kid-tradition and went 3D, because that works better, and I can do whatever I want. At first I wasn’t sure what colour to make the ground (ie, I wasn’t sure what we should be standing on; floor, soil, grass?) I went with brown, because our family has strong ties to the land of where the dream took place, and grass didn’t seem right.

I put a sun above us, I’m not sure why, it just seemed like something I should do. If it was *just* a sun, I would have drawn it the way kids do, with rays coming out of it, and probably would have put it in the corner. There is more to this, but I don’t know what it means. (The orange outline has no special meaning, it’s just for added contrast.)

The purple barrier(?) above us is another thing that seemed like it should be there, I don’t know why. I have no idea what that is (definitely not a rainbow), it just needed to be there, and be that colour.

So that is my picture of my family. And to finish it off I added some hearts. If I’m going to act like I’m 8, I might as well go all the way :)

If anyone who’s reading this feels like they’re not good at drawing, try doing something like this. You don’t have to show anyone, just do it for your own enjoyment. It feels great.

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