azdesertrose: (Default)
Comment to this post and I will give you 5 subjects/things I associate you with. Then post this in your LJ and elaborate on the subjects given.

Gaming: I came rather late to gaming, compared to most of my gamer friends. I gamed some when I was married to Mini-me's dad, 1st Edition Shadowrun and Battletech (yeah, I'm an old fart), and then after I packed up my baby girl and left his ass, I didn't game for years. Then Cliff and I hooked up and he's a gamer geek, so I started gaming again to hang out with him and our mutual friends. Nowadays, I've been dragged kicking and screaming into World of Warcraft, which I must admit I'm beginning to really enjoy, I play a fantasy RPG in a world called Teara Adan on IRC, I used to play 4th Ed. Shadowrun via IRC but RL caused my GM to have to cancel the game, and I do some tabletop stuff when we can get everybody together, mostly Star Wars or D&D or World of Darkness stuff. Most of my gamer friends, though, have been playing various games since adolescence or earlier.

Poly: From what I've gathered from online forums, I came to polyamory a bit differently than most. It seems like a lot of people in the online communities always felt "wrong" in monogamous relationships. It just kind of happened for me. Cliff and I have always had an open relationship sexually, and we've had our bumps in the road adjusting to having more people in our love lives and home, but it seems to be working out fairly well for the most part. It does get sticky when you add in family considerations. I'm not sure Dixie is fully aware of the exact relations in the household, and I know my parents don't have a clue.

Paganism: I grew up United Methodist, but began to reject Christianity in general in my very late teens. I stopped going to church around the time my parents and Mini-me moved to Florida, leaving me in Charleston to finish my degree. I fumbled around for a few years, studying various things such as Buddhism and Wicca, but nothing seemed to quite fit, although bits and pieces of different paths appealed to me. So I quit trying to find a pre-made path that suited me and just developed my own version of spirituality, religious belief, and ritual practice that works for me.

Florida: It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there! Just kidding. I wound up here in Florida because my parents and daughter are here. I'm considering moving at least out of Jacksonville, which I find to be a rather tedious city, after Mini-me goes off to college, but I plan to stay here until she's finished with high school. My parents will probably stay here for the rest of their lives, which does not particularly thrill Mom, who had hoped to go back to Charleston after they retired, but I think my stepdad doesn't want to leave his golfing buddies. :) Most of the time, it's pretty nice here, though. I definitely enjoy the absence of winter, but I could live without the blazing heat and stifling humidity of summer, and I could do without hurricane season too.

Cats: I <3 kitties. All kinds of kitties, actually. Any and all felines are cool to me, from lions and tigers (and bears, oh my!), down to domestic kittens. I've had dogs and cats most of my life, but I find cats more interesting than dogs, not that dogs aren't good pets too. In my heart of hearts, I really really want a toyger. They are SOOO beautiful, even though the breed is still in the developmental stages. I doubt, short of winning the lottery, I'll ever be able to afford one, but that doesn't stop me looking at breeders' websites and making "oh how cute" faces at the kittens. I presently have two adult domestic short hair tabbies, Tessa, a ginger tabby who will be three years old in a couple of weeks, and Sweetie Pie, a brown tabby who is almost two, and one brown tabby and white foster kitten with the temporary moniker of Little Guy. He is soon to be neutered and turned over to his permanent owner, and we will miss his goofy little furry ass.
azdesertrose: (Default)
Still feeling quite depressed. I'm sleeping a lot to avoid "bad thoughts". Cliff has confiscated my Klonopin so I don't "do anything stupid."

I hate crying as much as I have been here lately. I feel like a hosepipe.

Cliff thinks I need to work up another healing ritual for myself. I don't disagree, I'm just not sure what it would look like.

My prayers to the Deity here lately have been a real hodgepodge of wishing this life would end and wishing I could find a way out of my pain and depression.

I'm trying to hang on; I really am, but it's hard. It seems like the depression is an entity unto itself and it can overwhelm me whenever it likes.
azdesertrose: (Default)
Still having tummy trouble.

Still also contemplating some sort of spiritual work for myself but not sure exactly what.

I feel kind of lonely today, not sure why. I'm cramping and just not feeling particularly sociable.
azdesertrose: (Default)
Ugh. I've been sick still. I can't seem to get well. I went to the doctor and they said it was gastroenteritis. So joy.

I still haven't had my birthday dinner with my family because my stomach has been too upset.

It's also that time of month. Double joy.

I can't sleep at night either; I've been sleeping all day and staying up at night, which I need to stop doing.

I'm more or less okay though, just keeping weird hours.

I've been reading a lot of Katherine Kurtz, who has long been one of my favorite authors. I picked up most of the Adept series at Chamblin's and read the first one but I don't have the second one so I'm stuck there. I re-read Lammas Night for about the nine thousandth time. I also re-read Deryni Magic for about the three zillionth time. I'm in kind of an esoteric frame of mind because of all that. I'm thinking it might be time to do something spiritual for myself, maybe not as elaborate as my healing ritual but something; I'm just not sure exactly what yet.

So, no, not dead, nothing bad, just tired.
azdesertrose: (Default)
It feels weird not to think of my father any more. It's nice, don't get me wrong. It just feels strange.

It feels free, and it's strange and almost scary to feel free.

I've just got a lot going on mentally right now that I can't really put into words.

ETA: Nicholas says that I should do more magic, that I seem much calmer after my ritual and, that while I don't have to do anything quite that major all the time, he'd like to see me engaging my spiritual side more.

Part of the reason I don't is Dixie and Nancy. They're both Christians and not particularly comfortable with Cliff's and my pagan faiths. Cliff was raised Baptist and I was raised Methodist, so we've both rejected Christianity, and I think deep in her heart, Dixie believes we're both going to Hell. I'm not sure what Nancy thinks. I've heard her discuss religion with her friend Jon, who is a devout Catholic (yikes!), but she's never spoken to me (or Cliff in my range of hearing) about it. They'd flip if they knew I own a Tarot deck (which is the only Tarot deck Cliff will touch; he says it talks to him because I don't play with it enough) or that Cliff uses runestones to cast. The divination articles stay in our room, and we don't have an altar in our home at this time because they would be so uncomfortable with such open pagan-ness. (Nicholas is also pagan, BTW, although all three of us follow different paths. I'm a straight-up eclectic, there's no other word for it, Cliff is kind of a semi-eclectic Asatru-Wicca cross, and Nicholas follows thelema.)

Cliff had never done any public ritual work until he helped me with my ritual, although he consults his goddess, Freya, on a regular basis. He wears a fair-sized pentagram (although he left it on his nightstand today) for which he has taken some flak at work, because his bosses are devout Baptists. Somebody asked him if he was a devil-worshiper. (How ignorant?!!?)

My banishing/healing ritual was actually only the second public ritual I've worked. The first was Jen and Rip's handfasting, and I really just went through the motions at that one because I didn't quite know what I was doing. I just said what I was told to say; the priestess said later that she called the quarter for me because she knew I felt lost, so at least my ignorance at the time didn't mess up the ceremony. I'd have felt bad if I thought I'd messed up their ceremony.

For my ritual, I looked up a basic ritual framework and then customized it (quite a bit, in fact) to meet my specific needs and beliefs. It worked, as slapdash and short-notice as it was.

I wish we could have an altar here in the house, or a permanent circle in the yard or something like that. We don't really have enough yard for the circle. I'm actually more comfortable with having a circle in the yard, because I prefer to work outdoors, barefoot, and skyclad if at all possible. But no yard to speak of means no space for the circle and no fence so we could hang out nakie. :)

It's becoming increasingly clear since Nicholas came to stay that we need either a bigger place or Nancy and Dixie to get the hell out of our house, preferably both.

I need to start meditating again, probably over my Tarot deck some too. It is keyed to me, and it does read well for me. I keep it wrapped in purple silk, and I spread out the purple silk cloth to read on. It actually never touches anything but the silk and my hands, except the one time Cliff asked me to read for him and he handled it. Other than that, it has literally never been touched by anything but its original packaging, the bag it came with (until I accidentally ripped the bag and haven't sewn it back together), the silk, and my hands. I'm very picky about who touches my deck. Rip won't handle anybody's deck but his own because he says he messes up Tarot decks.

I don't think I have a point any more. I'm just rambling, so I guess I'll shut up.
azdesertrose: (Default)
I still feel the effects of my ritual. I'm not quite as tingly with the power any more but I still feel wonderfully calm. I slept beautifully.

To all the survivors on my friends-list, I highly recommend doing something like that for yourself, within your own belief structure. You don't have to copy me exactly; write something that fits you. Reject your abuser(s). Take back your power. Reclaim yourself. It really does feel great.

In less wonderful news, Nicholas and Cliff both have some nasty cold/flu type thing. I just hope I don't catch it because the last thing I need is to be sick and trying to take care of both of their sick behinds. :)
azdesertrose: (Default)
I marked a circle in Rip and Jen's backyard by raking leaves into about a six-foot circle. I used a small table for the altar, put my purity candle on it, our black and white balance eggs, an incense burner I borrowed from Jen because I forgot ours, and the cauldron in the center.

I set a yellow candle at East, a red candle at South, a blue candle at West, and a white candle at North (it should have been green but I could not for my life find a green taper).

We all prepared in our own way and read through the ritual. We entered the circle and I lit the purity candle.

I prayed.
"The presence of the noble Deity extends everywhere,
Throughout many strange, magical,
And beautiful worlds,
To all places of wilderness, enchantment, and freedom."

I took the East Candle out of the ground, lit it from the purity candle, put it back in the ground, and invoked protection.
“Protector of the East, watch over this ritual of healing.
The winds are the Deity's servants."
Nicholas did the same thing with the South Candle and invoked protection.
"Protector of the South, watch over this ritual of healing.
At all blessings and desire
The sun brings forth life anew."
Jen did the same with the West Candle and invoked protection.
"Protector of the West, watch over this ritual of healing.
The seas are the domain of our Serene Creator,
The mysteries of the depths are the Deity's alone."
Cliff did the same with the North Candle, and invoked protection.
"Protector of the North, watch over this ritual of healing.
The Deity is awesome,
The Powers of death bow before the Creator."

I pointed my hand with my first two fingers extended and walked from East to South to West to North and back to East to cast the circle and then said:
"The circle is sealed, and all herein
Are totally and completely apart
From the outside world,
That we may glorify the Creator whom we adore.
Blessed Be!"
Everyone else repeated: "Blessed Be!"

We all faced East and chanted:
"As above, so below
As the universe, so the soul.
As without, so within.
Blessed and gracious one,
On this day do we consecrate to you
Our bodies,
Our minds,
And our spirits.
Blessed Be!"

I took the parchment that I'd written the banishing and read it.

"He raped my body and soul.
He stole my childhood.
He locked me in pain for twenty years.
I banish him from my soul.
I banish him from my body.
I reject the pain and terror he caused me.
I reject the grip he has held on my life.
I reclaim my body in the name of the Deity of Love.
I reclaim my soul in the name of the Deity of Strength.
I reclaim my name in the name of the Deity of Power.
William Linwood Parrish, you no longer have power over me.
I am a woman, the bearer of life, and I banish your destruction.
I am Nora Holland Parrish, and I am stronger than your evil.
I am stronger than your evil.
Selah. Amen."

I then lit it on fire with the purity candle and let it burn in the cauldron (almost burnt myself because the cauldron is little and I was trying to keep all the parchment paper ashes in it).

We all prayed about three times as it burnt:
“Let the sacred flame destroy that which causes pain and harm.
“Let the sacred flame bring healing where there was hurt.”

When the paper was burnt, we meditated for a few minutes, and then we all turned North and said: “We thank you, Guardian of the North for your guidance and protection and power. We bid you hail and farewell.” Then Cliff extinguished the North Candle.

We all turned West and said: “We thank you, Guardian of the West for your guidance and protection and power. We bid you hail and farewell.” Then Jen extinguished the West Candle.

We all turned South and said: “We thank you, Guardian of the South for your guidance and protection and power. We bid you hail and farewell.” Then Nicholas extinguished the South Candle.

We all turned East and said: “We thank you, Guardian of the East for your guidance and protection and power. We bid you hail and farewell.” Then I extinguished the East Candle.

Then I prayed:
"Our rite draws to its end.
O lovely and gracious Deity,
Be with each of us as we depart.
The circle is broken!"

I felt the power moving within me while we did the ritual. As the parchment paper burnt, my whole body tingled with power. I can still feel it.

I prayed so hard off and on all day today for this to help. I really think it did. I feel so calm. Very alert, but calm.

Rip chose not to participate in the ritual because he felt that his energy would mess it up, so he stayed outside the circle, and I asked him to direct his power as best he could toward focusing on the success of the ritual.

I want to publicly thank Rip and Jen for letting me use their yard for a private yet outdoor setting for my healing ritual. I also want to publicly thank Nicholas, Cliff, and Jen for helping me perform the ritual.

I feel better than I have in a long time. I feel free.
azdesertrose: (Default)
Today I need to prepare to ask the Deity in perfect love and perfect trust for the help I need to heal.

Holy Creator, bring me strength. Grant me your power to heal myself. Grant me your protection against the evil I have suffered. Grant my friends the strength and will to help me perform the ritual I've created in your honor and for my healing. I ask this in the name of wholeness. I pray in perfect love and perfect trust. Selah. Amen.
azdesertrose: (Default)
I'm going to bed. I'm absolutely exhausted, physically and emotionally, and I need to be in a better state of mind for tomorrow's ritual. I need to be rested at the very least.
azdesertrose: (Default)
Well, I got with Jen and we can use her backyard and she and Rip will help with the ritual, so it's on for tomorrow night.

Any and all healing thoughts/prayers/good juju of whatever sort are greatly appreciated especially around tomorrow evening US Eastern time.

I'll post in detail about the ritual itself after it's done.

The parchment to be burned, with which I wish to banish my father's influence from my life reads:

He raped my body and soul.
He stole my childhood.
He locked me in pain for twenty years.
I banish him from my soul.
I banish him from my body.
I reject the pain and terror he caused me.
I reject the grip he has held on my life.
I reclaim my body in the name of the Deity of Love.
I reclaim my soul in the name of the Deity of Strength.
I reclaim my name in the name of the Deity of Power.
William Linwood Parrish, you no longer have power over me.
I am a woman, the bearer of life, and I banish your destruction.
I am Nora Holland Parrish, and I am stronger than your evil.
I am stronger than your evil.
Selah. Amen.


I wrote it out on parchment paper that I was given at an SCA event; I used my second finest calligraphy point (the finest one is for copperplate and it's hard to manage). It's not beautiful or perfect. It's just my regular handwriting, as legible as I can make it working with a dip pen.

It's just going to be a fairly basic pagan ritual. We'll cast the circle, call the quarters, bless the working, then I'll read out the parchment and burn it with a purity candle, meditate, bid farewell to the quarters (most people say "dismiss the quarters" but I find that disrespectful), say a final blessing, and close the circle.

Ideally, I'd like to do it skyclad, but it's November and we're all Floridians and it's just too goddamn cold to be performing an outdoor ritual naked. Ideally I'd have more ritual accoutrements but we'll just work with what we've got.

The ritual

Nov. 21st, 2008 02:34 am
azdesertrose: (Default)
Well, I wrote my ritual.

Jen, can we borrow your backyard for a ritual space at some date to be worked out later between your and Rip's work schedules? Sunday would be ideal, as the moon is waning still, and it is my father's birthday.

I used my calligraphy pen to write out a litany of what he did to me and what I wish to no longer allow him to do. To banish his evil from my life.

I think, with the right people, Cliff, Nicholas, Jen and Rip, hopefully, I can make this ritual work. I think it could be very healing to specifically ritually banish his evil influence from me.

I hope so, anyway. That's the idea.

How long?

Nov. 21st, 2008 12:33 am
azdesertrose: (Default)
Nicholas and I had a long talk tonight. He asked me how long I was going to let my father ruin my life, how long it would be before I let go of my pain and got on with living.

It's a good question.

In a way, the pain is comfortable and familiar. I have a hard time imagining a me not in pain.

I've had a hard time with body memories today. I had to leave the bedroom because I just couldn't stand being touched, even by Cliff and Nicholas who love me and would never hurt me.

What was I meant to be, before my father programmed me to think that love equals pain and touch means bad things are going to happen to me? What else am I besides this collection of old pain?

I am a writer, a cross-stitcher, a seamstress (although not a fabulous one), a calligrapher, a cat lover, a believer in causes (GLBT rights, animal rights, natural living, urban homesteading if I could where I live now), a musician, a cook, a homemaker.

So how do I let go of the pain and be all those things without constant reminders of the pain?

I thought about writing and performing a ritual to destroy my father's influence over me. I'm just not sure how to do it.

It would have to be a proper ritual. Calling the quarters, honoring the Masculine and Feminine of Deity, asking their help, writing out the negative things that I want destroyed from my life, burning the writing in a ritual container, burning a white candle for purity, bidding the quarters farewell, and closing the circle.

I think I need to go to Earth Gifts tomorrow and get a ritual container (a metal plate or a large cauldron) and a white pillar candle.
azdesertrose: (Default)
I saw my counselor again yesterday afternoon. It seemed to go pretty well, but I think I'm about to have a problem. The counseling center is run by the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine (in conjunction with St. Vincent's hospital, also a Catholic organization).

I'm not Catholic.

I'm not even Christian.

I'm divorced, 30 years old with a child who will be fourteen in a few months, and living in sin with my boyfriend, whom I have no particular intent to marry. (Nothing on him, I just have no real intent to remarry. I won't say never, but I doubt I ever will.)

My belief about Deity is that there is a divine power, the source of all energy, creative and destructive (because sometimes destruction is necessary, just as death is necessary), transcendent of human form and definition, and encompassing both masculine and feminine energy in perfect balance, which manifests itself most clearly in the cycles of the natural world. This does not fit well into Christian beliefs, and it certainly does not fit well into Catholicism.

I don't really believe in an afterlife; I'm sort of torn between thinking that when you're dead, that's it, and believing in the possibility of reincarnation. Again, does not fit well into Christianity, and particularly not into the Roman Catholic subcategory. I call myself an eclectic pagan, simply because my beliefs don't really fit into any other category.

As usual, I don't fit the paradigm.

Anyway, in yesterday's session, my counselor asked me if I'd grown up with any religious instruction, and I did.

Long-ass tangent on religion )

But somehow I think my non-conventional belief system ain't gonna fly with this Catholic counseling service. I didn't actually articulate all this to the counselor because we were out of time when the topic arose. But I expect I'm going to have to explain it eventually, and I'm a little worried about the consequences. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

In other news, I heard back from the doctor's office, and I have an appointment on Monday, May 1. The doctor is willing to see me at a reduced fee, so YAY for that. I sort of hope he'll want to change my meds or something. I am not sleeping well at all, and that never does anything good for my temperament or emotional state. I have a hard time falling asleep, and then I don't stay asleep. Bleah. I also have shaky hands sometimes, and I feel jumpy and anxious a lot of the time, and I still have my times, especially at night, when I really don't want to keep trying any of this.

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azdesertrose

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