Body as Shrine

I’ve been sitting on a request since January of this year (7 months and counting) to include treating my body as a shrine in my path. I’m not new to the idea, and I’ve seen some people who mention this in relation to self care on my tumblr dash before, but I haven’t quite gotten to a full scale implementation. There wasn’t one sole reason for this, tbh, but it’ll help to bring seemingly unrelated debt and requests together I think.

[Text post from tumblr user @dattebayo-basa: my body isn’t a temple, it’s a condemned building covered in prophecies in the form of graffiti. my soul is a shrine made of garbage and neon and i am holy, hallelujah. (Source.)]

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2016 in Review

I’m not going to split this up into good / bad because even ‘negative’ events can provide insight or propel something good along. Somewhat chronological. //Long post//

  • Our dog Blossom died of a heart attack right before I had to go back to campus for the start of the spring semester.
  • I tried a different antidepressant at the start of the year (compared to the fall semester and ending 2015), but it didn’t really do anything.
  • Despite backing out of ODing (the overdose wasn’t a fatal amount), cutting myself, and getting blackout drunk with some sort of antidepressant / alcohol interaction (and telling a friend about wanting to die), I survived any reckless, self-injurious, suicidal activity I engaged in.

[Source]

  • I completed my Playwriting Senior thesis – revising my fall semester draft, casting, and sharing my play with the public.
  • I was co-ALD and co-ME on Intimate Apparel in the spring semester.
  • Our dog Angel died sometime after I went back to campus after spring break (more along the lines of old age).
  • I finished out my Senior year of undergrad as the Undergrad Shop Head of the E Shop (end of the first year of that position).
  • I applied to and was accepted into the Electrics crew of Tantrum Theater, so I worked on Little Shop of Horrors (electrician, Sound Board Op), Tammy Faye’s Final Audition (electrician, Sound Board Op), and Dancing at Lughnasa (electrician, Programmer, and Light Board Op).
  • I bought my first smartphone, Zv (she / her). ((Things are going rather well, as long as we don’t talk about what Pokemon Go did to my data plan >.<))
  • I graduated with two Bachelors of Fine Arts in theatre.

[Source]

  • I finished out a school year of communicating with my theatre professors and E shop mates about my preferred name and pronouns, and a whole lot of them were really good about using the correct ones.
  • I sort of attempted to come out to my mom, but with it being text based (FB message / email), she has been able to ignore it and pretend that it didn’t happen. Until I’m out of the home, I will stay in the closet.
  • I donated a pint of blood in memory of the 49 queer Latinx people killed in the Pulse shooting.
  • I reached a point where I think the currently accurate description of my sexuality is queer / bi when interacting with most people. (Biromantic gray-asexual so far takes a lot of explaining outside of LGBTQIA+ spaces, and I honestly don’t always want to have to go through that.)
  • I reached a point where I think the currently accurate description of my gender is nonbinary trans person with genderfluidity.

[Source]

  • I moved back in with my family after doing Tantrum, and I survived the first school year starting when I wasn’t in attendance.
  • I voted in my second Presidential election (Hillary Clinton, though I’d’ve preferred Bernie Sanders).
  • I have survived Trump being elected, so far.
  • I passed the written exam for my temp, and I’ve been driving again. (Disclaimer: I’ve had a temp and driven in the past; I’m not 100% brand new to the road.)
  • Despite having laptop / wifi problems since August and getting a factory reset to remove a virus, I’m ending the year with working wifi that finally talks to my laptop.
  • I’ve paid off my student loans.

[Source]

  • While I’ve had People say that They were supposed to Leave starting in the latter half of 2015, it seems like They didn’t start to actually Leave until this year.
  • /A\ was very present and insistent on transitioning to Their path, which was responsible for a fair amount of the above Leaving, until They Left over the summer.
  • Norse People came back and seriously updated / stripped my path. (Posts are queued with more details.)
  • I had a brief encounter with some Hindu Deities, but they left.
  • I had some Kemetic People stop by, and I was nudged towards applying for the Kemetic Orthodoxy beginner’s course.
  • /A\ came back long enough to shut down anything relating to the Netjeru (Kemetic pantheon), but They also Left shortly after. ((~*~complicated mumbling~*~))
  • People have been organizing Leaving / finally Leaving / re-Leaving efforts, and I have debt or owed activity (some online, some offline).
  • I have an extensively updated list of tattoos and piercings in order to carry People with me (plus survival motivation). Stoked but can’t go into details this early.
  • Small salt at {PC Person I can’t name} having no choice but to Leave. I’ve been declared incompatible for PC Paganism and should only engage in pc magic going forward.

Awaken the Irish

I’ve been working on the show, Dancing at Lughnasa, that our company purposefully planned to coincide with the Dublin Irish Festival (Dublin, Ohio). The week fell so that La Lúnasa itself was Monday and the Irish Festival was that weekend.

I had some Irish People pass through, but I think it was more a matter of Lughnasa energy coalescing, if that makes sense. They’re welcome to stop by again, but apparently, I’m a shade off being compatible with Them for long-term sticking around.

The main thing that this has done is awaken my Irish dead. Due to call times and the actual run of the four shows we had that happened over the festival, I didn’t get a chance to walk around and see anything until Sunday (people had thinned out, so it wasn’t bad). It was the experience itself that they liked.

I visited the weaving tent, which took you through the whole process from spinning to all the work at the loom, and I could hear some of the harp from the next tent over. I didn’t bother picking up an actual map of the grounds, so I enjoyed happening upon the wake house. I took a copy of the basic info paper, which I’m thinking might get tucked somewhere on the shrine for a while.

You didn’t even have to be at the actual stage or tent to hear the bands / singers, and I didn’t even spend all the money I had allotted for picking up something. I know how yearly festivals work, and I knew going in that I had to stick to X amount of cash. I was debating between a t-shirt and getting some form of jewelry (wristbands, earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, etc.), but I hadn’t really gone in with a definite idea of what I might want. I wound up getting a Claddagh ring and didn’t have quite enough to get a t-shirt as well, so I called it good on spending money.

A fair amount of blessings and sayings were passed around, particularly during some presentations, but there was something about the one that the man at that jewelry section used that stuck.

  • May you be buried in a coffin from a 100 year old oak tree that I’ll be planting tomorrow. – From the weaver.
  • You can’t start a tradition, and you can’t stop one. – The wake presenter, specifically talking about how priests couldn’t end the party aspect when they got back to being legally around.
  • Wear it in good health. – Jewelry guy.

(This post will obviously have been queued up after the festival has ended, and it will also be after the show closes.)

Christian Dead

After my bio dead wanted to just slide back into my group of Christian dead, I haven’t really heard from them outside of Christian requests. While the people I knew in my life were mostly Protestant, my dead are more vocally Catholic (I know my dad’s side is more Catholic, but I imagine it has to do with how far back this group probably stretches).

Church. I’ve read in more than a few places that Christian dead have asked for a living relative to go to a church service. Because they’re majority Catholic, I’ve been asked to go to Mass. I’ve had some chats with them about this, and it’s currently on the backburner (a very soft request, or low priority). My immediate family isn’t Catholic, and it’s actually a bit of a drive to the closest Catholic church (over at least one town). Perhaps at a later point, and I definitely don’t see myself being a once a week regular.

Saints. The cohesive request was that I intercede a saint, at one point. For a while, that was St. Dymphna, and they were okay with a brief shadow work lesson I had with Raphael (St. Raphael, as they called Him). Since then, they haven’t been able to agree with enough of a majority on one particular saint.

Prayer beads. There were enough beads that I could say the rosary (needed for the elevations I posted earlier about doing), but I actually haven’t used a real one. I don’t know if there was some coincidental keeping the pagan separate from the Christian, but providing that everyone could agree on one and I could afford, I’ve let them know that I’m not opposed to putting a real rosary on the shrine.

Shrine. Things have shifted around and been removed, as shrines do, but one of the constants for them has been a Bible. It’s kind of nice looking, so I thought they’d like it (it was a high school graduation gift, so I had to do something with it). Most people wouldn’t immediately recognize it, though, because I have it wrapped in a towel that shows the map of Scotland (something a family member did own, and a way to nod to the Scottish heritage).

Njord

His shrine has gone through a bit of an update, particularly after being asked to disassemble for part of the summer. I’m still muddling through the mobile app, so I’m going to bypass on trying to link to the last incarnation.

The water bottle and most of the shells are from a friend’s trip to the Atlantic Ocean. The glass jar has some change, Frey’s prayer beads, and an acorn on top. The blue cup can hold offerings, and the sea side painting was done by me at some point in middle school.

It’s unofficially become a place for the Vanir as a whole, though I really only interact with a few by name (Frey, Freya, Sunna, Nott).

Memziri and the Jotnar

Initially I improvised a space for the Jotnar on Fire Howling.

Then I switched things up and wound up with something for my Jotnar dead. I usually just refer to them as Jotnar, but it’s a squishy line between Jotnar, Ancient ancestors, and other things related to manifesting in Midgard.

A stuffed cow that I saved from childhood (imaginatively named Cow). Elemental and Midgard associations. The radio pendant to help keep me here in Midgard. A sand art dinosaur made in my youth.