Friday, December 30, 2011

The Voice in my head, patience and discipline.

There's a Voice in my head that pipes up sometimes. First Husband and I generally refer to it as the Evil Voice. It isn't actually evil - there's no telling me to maim/kill/insert violent or insane act here - but we call it the Evil Voice because if I told most people what it says about them, well, they'd call it evil. It's analytical as hell, unsentimental as all get-out, non-judgmental and objective*, and almost emotionless. When it tells me something about someone's motivations, it's right about 99% of the time. It seems to have no other purpose than kicking my ass and protecting me from people/things that are bad for me, including myself.

I had a conversation with it this morning.

I came downstairs this morning with Stinky Dog, only to find that the rather pricy, less-than-three-year-old LG fridge is not frigging working. Again. I put the Stinky Dog out, made coffee, and unplugged the stupid thing. Then I went outside with S.D. to enjoy the beautiful day and get my morning stimulants in (coffee and cigarette - yes, I know, it should just be the coffee). I turned on my laptop and started doing my daily rounds of witchy blog reading.

ME: Oooo. The Alchemist's Garden has a post about canning. Damn, that looks good. I wish I had the patience to learn how to do that.

EVIL VOICE: Maybe you need to get the patience by doing it.

ME: Shut up. The fridge is dying. I just got up.

EVIL VOICE: We get disciplined and patient by making ourselves do things that require discipline and patience.

ME: 'Cause that's not circular logic at all.

EVIL VOICE: This isn't getting your laundry done, at any rate.

ME:  I hate how you're always right. (gets out from behind laptop to tackle the laundry)

*This is why I'm pretty sure it's not just me being crazy or hallucinating; it just says what it sees/knows, with no values attached. Example: Say someone's behavior has been driving me nuts.

What the Evil Voice will pop up with: Well, that's because Person would rather deal with what they'd like to have happening instead of dealing with what is happening, and that's because X Y and/or Z.

What I pop up with in my own head, or talking to myself out loud: WTF BBQ AMA WHY CAN'T YOU DEAL WITH REALITY LIKE RIGHT THIS FRIGGING MINUTE. AAARGH!!!

You see the difference.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Addendum to Prompt #2/Putting Things Off.

I'd said, in my last post, that it was time to get serious and honest. Which leads me to reflect - and explain, possibly - about what I'm doing/not doing with magic.

I tend to think of doing magic in everything I do; when I cook, I stir widdershins to banish ill health and then deosil for good health, I ask the landwights at the barn to watch over the horses and keep them safe, I toss protective circles around the cars while we're driving. The Great Cleaning Frenzy Of Samhain '11 was not just organizing a lot of stuff that needed to be organized; it was an Edict from Them and an attempt to get the energy moving in the house in a more helpful, peaceful, prosperous way.

But is all this just the same New-Age flighty-wighty "everything is magicakl" crap a lot of us throw out there when we've been slackassing and don't want to admit it? I've never really been a daily-practice type of person. Should I be? Should I at least give it a try?

Yeah, probably.

So I've got another Goal; get to witching. Celebrate the Sabbats and esbats even if I'm sicker than a dog. Celebrate them even if everyone else is sicker than dogs and can't participate. Take fifteen minutes out of every day and hang a Do Not Disturb sign on them. When a problem starts to come up, do both the mundane and magical to solve it - without waiting for the point at which it becomes a critical situation.

Oh, and scrub the kitchen down again.

Friday, December 23, 2011

New Year, New You - Prompt #2, Goals.

It's time to get serious. And honest.

My knees are shot from 20 years (OK, 32, but who's counting?) of riding jumpers. Carrying 50 or 60 extra pounds around isn't helping. I'm being outridden by women twice my age in my lessons, and not because they're on dead-broke old school ponies while I'm riding the piss out of three-years olds.

Come the new year that everyone else goes by, it's time to lose weight. Seriously. I've done it before, I can do it again. I need to and I want to, and no-one's stopping me considering I'm Head Cook these days. So - Goal #1: serious weight loss.

My horse still isn't where he should be, and though I think taking this brutal summer off was smart, there's no reason I can't be out there three days a week getting him back on track. I may need someone there if I ride him, but I don't for groundwork. So Goal #2 - keep the oath I took at our Yule sumbel, and work him at least three days a week.

I've recently turned into a handspinning fiend, and I've taught myself crochet. But my usual slap-dash methods are only going to go so far, and there's a free group that meets twice a week at my local library. I need to be detail-oriented, follow patterns, learn the basics and then some advanced stuff before I start improvising. So Goal #3 - seek out other knitters/crocheters and learn from them.

Goal #4 is the same thing, only applied to magic. Get specific, get serious, get disciplined. Follow the recipe to the letter for once. Look at new methods and try them out the same way I'd approach a new riding discipline; find someone who knows more than me, and do what they say to do in the way they say to do it. Start using magic before a crisis occurs.

Overarching Goal - see what needs to be done, and do it with a Will of iron. How do I plan to back this up? With the loving nagging of the Husbands, and maybe some spellwork for success. Daily meditation to get into the habit of having a schedule again. Posting things on the household calendar so that everyone can see if I'm doing what I say I am/would; my sumbel vow affects everyone who was there, not just me, so there's incentive (besides not pissing off the gods with a broken vow) right there.

And now I'm off to crochet.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Solstice Yule Sumbel Rumble.

Second Husband and I got the tree up, I hung some white and blue lights, First Husband decked the tree with the same kind of lights, and the living room looks like fairlyand. Co-Wife could eat a little colcannon, runes were cast, oaths were made, excessive booze was drunk, and now we're all off to sleep to the lullaby of thunder and rain.

Good Yule, Happy Solstice, and to all a good night. May the return of the sun bless you and yours.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Prompt #1, Witchery, and Time Well Spent.

There's been witchery this evening, which is all I'll say about that, since I don't talk about What I'm Doing until it's done. There's reasons for that which I'll detail in a later post. But suffice it to say, I did Magical Stuff.

I did this Magical Stuff after being in the kitchen from 5 or so until 7:30. I am not only a Baby Cook, but also Rain Cook*; I must have my recipe available at all times. I must play music I like and have total control of. I must be able to make everyone else who is not cooking leave when I decide there are Too Many People in my kitchen. I must have complete and total dominion over the kitchen when I am cooking in it.

This is mostly tolerated because I am a vegetarian who makes a 2-pound meatloaf that kicks serious ass.

I keep saying I can't get into Ceremonial Magic because I'm not detail-oriented enough, but a grown woman who freaks out because she isn't in charge of every. Single. Step. of a recipe does not have problems with detail. Something else, yes. Detail, no.

I've approached cooking in exactly the opposite way that I learned to approach magic - magic is seat-of-my-ass, substitutions, intent-is-everything stuff. Cooking is ZOMG-if-I-try-something-different-I-will-ruin-$25-of-groceries-MUST-FOLLOW-TO-THE-LETTER stuff.

Do I need more cooking in my magic? Magic in my cooking? Probably some of each. And this all gets back to the kitchen becoming my Hearth, the Center of my home, our Axis Mundi, our Yggdrasil, the poto mitan, our Bile (that's an accented "i" that I don't know how to make). The kitchen is where I say my most fervent prayers these days, spending hours making food I hope everyone will love - food that I hope will not only be nutritious but delicious (because if it don't taste good, we ain't eatin' it). It is where I thank First Husband for working all day at a job he doesn't exactly love. It is where I pray my Co-Wife will feel well enough to eat some of whatever-it-is. It is where Second Husband and I are continuing to learn how to work together on things. It is where I thank the Gods that we have food, and pray that those who do not may be nourished somehow.

It took me two-and-a-half hours to make seitan, meatloaf, casserole, and mashed potatoes, and my family's delighted nomming made it Time Well Spent.

I think I have enough magic in the kitchen. It's time to bring it to the rest of my house and life.

*Like Rain Man, but with food instead of numbers.

New Year, New You - New Witchery

The Dropout Dilettante has created the "New Year, New You" experiment at the urging of her Muse (the description of her Muse and their relationship is only funny because it sounds so familiar).

I haven't been doing nearly enough magic. It's like the vacuuming; I keep telling myself that I'm going to get on a schedule, get serious, get disciplined, but then the dog barfs/the toilet backs up/someone gets sick/I have to go find wool roving to feed my new hand-spinning obsession...Yeah.

I don't think magic cures everything. But to paraphrase my good and wise friend Trothwy, what's the point of being a witch if you aren't going to use magic to make things just a little easier? Spellwork may not get me the job I'm currently hoping for, but it might bring something even better. It certainly can't hurt (I know the provisos to throw in to avoid those unfortunate situations where you get what you want and then realize it sucks). Why not ward my saddle for safe rides? Why not ward the cars for safe journeys and fewer repairs? How about a little charm for health in the kitchen?

I agree with Dropout Dilettante's Muse: it's time to start making my own luck.