I’ve been trying and failing to write this since last Thursday. (Okay, and an awesome convention ate my weekend.) Since nothing gives me more than a paragraph or two, I’m just going to bundle several of them together in one post. It’s absolutely not cheating.
Sure, I could write about altars, but I think what I use falls more under the category of shrines. And either way, right this moment, I don’t have a shrine set up because we’re rearranging things. I could describe some of my older setups, like the incredibly shrine I had when I first moved in with my partner: a tealight in a holder, a small jar of sacred water, and a little amethyst-and-wire tree; the cramped shrine I had when it lived atop a not-particularly-large bookshelf; or even the hidden-in-plain-sight one I used while living with my family.
I could mention athames, but I didn’t have one when I was Wiccan (years ago). I do have two knives I use for magical and religious purposes. One is a wooden-handled knife with a small, dull blade that belonged to my grandmother’s parents. I use it as a wand when I don’t have the space to use my staff (effectively every time I do ritual indoors). The other one is a simple folding knife with a black handle that I call my graveyard knife. There’s a story behind that, yes, but I’m saving it for later. My graveyard knife tends to come out either when I need to cut offerings (like, say, slicing an apple) or when I’m really pissed and mean business when it comes to cleansing and warding.
I debated ancestors, but aside from saying that yes, I honor my ancestors, there really isn’t a whole lot to say. I guess I could mention that I have a little skeleton plush that I sometimes hug as a way of hugging certain ancestors of mine by proxy.
I also considered writing about how much of an amateur I feel like when it comes to, well, everything I do. I don’t know why. I haven’t exactly been repeating a year of Being Pagan ten times; my still-growing list of misadventures and mistakes testifies to that. My best guess is that it’s because I have no formal training, but then again, there are several things I’ve figured out on my own. I mean, it’s not like anyone ever taught me how to talk to spirits, and I started trancing by pure accident while trying to find a way to meditate that wouldn’t send me straight to sleep. So I’m not precisely an amateur, but I’m by no means an expert. I end up feeling left out a lot. I’m too experienced for the newbie things, but I don’t feel like I have the experience to hang out with the more advanced people.
Also, assumptions suck. I have to deal with a lot of them in offline life. I hate when people make judgments about me based solely on my name or how I look. I’m really tired of having to deal with the whole “You can’t be a real Pagan. You don’t look like one.” thing, as well as its cousin, the whole “You don’t look like a Pagan/Witch/whatever, therefore you must need training.” I’ve been invited to a Wicca 101 class in every single meetup group I’ve ever been to. I don’t get asked if I’m interested. I don’t get asked long I’ve been Pagan. Someone I don’t know walks up and talks about the classes they’re starting and how I should come.
There’s something hilarious about this whole thing. I’m too weird for “normal” people, but I’m apparently not weird enough for a Pagan group. This is why I tend to hang out with the geeky crowd. (Such as at the aforementioned convention. I even spent one day in costume, and I was just another cosplayer instead of a total weirdo. Such an awesome weekend.)
I do some artsy things. I write (not as much as I should). I draw (decently). I cross-stitch. At the moment, I’m making a pattern for a little wall shrine, and in the future, I plan on making something to hang over my shrine. I have a mask I painted myself. I’ve got what was a metal Tazo tea box that I’ve been decorating with Sharpies; it holds my spiritual jewelry and other small things. I strung most of my spiritual jewelry. I’m not a great artisan by any measure, but there’s just something about making it myself instead of paying someone else to do it. I’ll defer to skill for some things, naturally. At the same time, I could buy something that’s just close enough to what I want, or I can just make what I want myself and make it exactly the way I picture it. Well, as exactly as I can with my current level of skill.
Let’s see… I think I’ve covered all of the ideas I had. Now I can move on to other things!