Loki’s Virtual Temple – August

While I am aware that this post is several years old by the time I’m reblogging it, it’s easier to listen to Someone’s prodding.

The Road, the Walker, and What Comes Next

Filming Loki’s temple video was delayed a bit while I prepped for Many Gods West. I’ve returned and resumed filming. I brought back many very valuable ideas from Yeshe Rabbit’s session on building temples and will soon be integrating these ideas into Loki’s Virtual Temple and probably into the Virtual Temple Project as a whole.

In the meantime, please enjoy this month’s visit to Loki’s virtual temple.


Financial report for August:

Flowers: $6

Incense: $5

Beverage offering (tea) $2

Donations $0

Thank you for continuing to view these temple videos; I sincerely hope that they provide spiritual comfort and connection with Loki, and an opportunity for reflection, prayer, and contemplation. As always, if you would like your name or a concern added to the monthly prayer roll, simple email virtualtempleproject at gmail dot com. This is a free service offered to the community. If you find this project valuable, a…

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Loki’s Virtual Temple – July video

While I am aware that this post is several years old by the time I’m reblogging it, it’s easier to listen to Someone’s prodding.

The Road, the Walker, and What Comes Next

It took me an extra couple weeks to get around to filming Loki’s temple video for July but it’s finished and available. If you’ve enjoyed using these videos for contemplation, prayer, spellwork, ritual, or simply relaxation please share them with others. You can also create your own virtual temple videos and share them online as part of the Virtual Temple Project.

Video financial record for July:

  • Costs
    Incense: $10
    Flowers: $5
    Tea $3
  • Income
    Donations: none

If you would like to sponsor offerings of candles, incense, or flowers these are just $10 and you receive a portion of that month’s offerings for your own devotional work. The money covers the price of the item and the cost of shipping goods to you (US shipping is currently only available). You can also make one-time or recurring donations to make this project possible; just use the Paypal donation button on the right…

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Loki’s temple; June 2016 (Virtual Temple Project)

While I am aware that this post is several years old by the time I’m reblogging it, it’s easier to listen to Someone’s prodding.

The Road, the Walker, and What Comes Next

The June video of Loki’s temple space has been uploaded to YouTube and can now be viewed, shared, and embedded. Please enjoy this as a tool for worship, meditation, spell work, and contemplation. Feel inspired to participate in the Virtual Temple Project by creating your own polytheist worship spaces and sharing them online.

As this is a project offered to the community, transparency should be exercised. Here’s the financial record for this month’s video.

  • Costs
    Incense: $5
    Candles: $3
    Flowers: $5
    Pomegranate juice $4
  • Income
    Donations: none

Thank you everyone for the kind support you’ve shown this project. If you would like to sponsor offerings of candles, incense, or flowers these are just $10 and you receive a portion of that month’s offerings for your own devotional work. The money covers the price of the item and the cost of shipping goods to you (US shipping is currently only available)…

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May prayer roll

While I am aware that this post is several years old by the time I’m reblogging it [for the April video], it’s easier to listen to Someone’s prodding.

The Road, the Walker, and What Comes Next

I’m preparing to record the video of Loki’s temple space for the month of May; with any luck, it will get taken care of the last week of the month. If you would like your name or a particular request added to the prayer roll that will be placed on the altar at that time, please email virtualtempleproject at gmail dot com. (Anonymous requests are also accepted; no one will see the prepared list except myself and I will respectfully dispose of it after the ritual is complete.)

This is an entirely free service though if you would like to support the activities of the virtual temple, donating $1 via PayPal to virtualtempleproject at gmail dot com would be very appreciated.

If you are interested in sponsoring any of the worship implements – incense, candles, flowers, and beverage offering – please send $10 via PayPal along with what item you…

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QT Binder

“The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999.” – About TDoR

“The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), also known as the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, has been observed annually (from its inception) on November 20 as a day to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia.” – TDoR Wiki

I’m trying to look back over my notes for communication and divination throughout the past few years to figure out when I was first asked to compile a TDoR binder, and I’m honestly not quite sure. I can definitely pinpoint an entry where I was checking in with my trans dead in July of 2015, but I’m fairly confident it was brought up before then by Someone (probably Jormundgand or Hela that far back). I have notes from Nov 2016 where I wrote down that year’s list, but I admittedly haven’t done very well with writing out prior years [1] and looking for compilation lists outside of tdor.info [2].

In 2017, I also got various nudges to include historical QT dead, those famous in death, death day vigils (collective + individual), awareness days, and celebratory days (broadening the binder into more of a QT focus than just TDoR). This past TDoR (2018), I checked in with my dead and got: Also being considered for inclusion in the binder – historical notes (admittedly, crossdressing and queer stuff turns into a complicated overlap beyond a certain year, but some of it may be relevant to what we now call ‘trans’ stuff) and Deity / religious notes (‘trans’ Aphrodite, crossdressing in Norse myth, how current religions handle trans members, and such).

As of drafting this out (1.28.2019), there are some components like the TDoR lists that my dead would like me to have handwritten out in the QT binder, but a lot of the research would be easier to compile into a Gdoc or blog post, particularly when looking into historical people and people famous in death. The effort and attention of handwriting even a summary of their research would ‘solidify’ them into my dead, which some don’t really want. (Some prefer the generalities of just being part of the QT dead.)

[1] A page with an Excel spreadsheet with some names from before the start of TDoR (1970 – 1998) and names for TDoR from 1999 – 2012; memorializing pages (select from dropdown menu) for 2007 – 2017.

[2] Some journalists and individual events will include known deaths that are not transphobia motivated homicides because these lists are for those who died “because of anti-transgender violence”, which does not include other deaths like suicides or domestic violence victims. From FAQQ: How is it decided who is and is not on the TDoR list of names?

Announcing the Virtual Temple Project

While I’m aware this is a few years old by the time I’m reblogging this, it’s easier to abide by Someone’s prodding.

The Road, the Walker, and What Comes Next

I am happy – and nervous and exhausted and intimidated – to announce the launch of a new project that’s very dear to my heart. The Virtual Temple Project is a multimedia endeavor that brings polytheist and pagan worship spaces to people everywhere with the help of video technology. Even though the number of publicly accessible worship spaces are  growing, access is limited by many factors. However, we have beautiful and meaningful worship spaces inside our homes. We have the skills to create altars, shrines, and temples to our beloved gods. Designing a space specifically intended for public viewing and then recording it and sharing it online will make meaningful spiritual engagement accessible to anyone with an Internet-enabled device.

There were many, many motivating factors behind the development of this project but the needs of my fellow spoonies were perhaps first in my mind. Sometimes simply getting up and going…

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Chatting With Trans Dead

Initially, I just intermixed communication with all of my groups of ancestral dead with deities, spirits, and the like. I didn’t necessarily sit down at a certain time and consistently check-in, and some ancestral representatives would go a while in between communicating anything. I needed somewhere that I could just write and process stuff (if I had felt comfortable sharing it online, it would fall under my tumblr #wtf gender shenanigans tag), and I sort of just referred to it as ‘chatting with my trans dead’.

As a person who menstruates, it was very noticeable in terms of timing to get in the habit of writing during my cycle. (Not to mention, that PMS and menstruating used to knock me out of being able to communicate with A/anyone other than my dead for a while, so it was easy to sit down with a Rep.) Eventually, I sorted those written pieces out into their own Gdoc (“T 2014” is the earliest year), and over time, other ancestral Reps and occasionally People would stop by with a writing prompt. Sometimes, I would be tasked with coming up with a particular to-do list and wouldn’t actually write anything.

Some of these entries are wildly out of date and inapplicable for sharing by 2019, but while scrolling through these Gdocs trying to find something else, I realized that there are other entries that might be shareable with a little tweaking and polishing. There’s not really anything that’s academically rigorous, highly researched, or new in the sense that someone else hasn’t already asked this question somewhere else, but I’m not exactly here proclaiming myself to be writing anything like that. It ranges from the silly (brainstorming decorating a Xmas stocking + stocking stuffer ideas) to the introspective (I wouldn’t be happy with Sacred Sovereignty as a subset of spirit-work/Job, and given that Someone gave me a choice, I declined) to the serious (psychiatric, therapy, and mental health stuff).

Stone Butch Blues (Review)

Honestly, I had reblogged a post with a link to the free pdf version in Nov 2018 and promptly forgot about it while dealing with the tumblr policy update in Dec. The main body of the post has been copied below, and it pretty much sold me on giving this book a try.

Trigger Warning(s): Rape (Feinberg gives a warning before the story starts). Specifically, an incident of “corrective rape” from members of the football team in high school (Ch 4, pg 39 – 40) and allusions of rape from police officers after raids on bars against a variety of men and women (off-screen, in a sense) before and after the main character experiences it (Ch 5, pg 65 – 66).

This story has a complicated mix of oppression when it comes to Jess Goldberg and how she navigates coming of age in the 1960s and struggling to live through the ’70s and ’80s as a Jewish (read as white when it came to the civil rights movement and racism), butch lesbian who underwent some elements of transitioning to try to find more safety as a man, and who was working class and pro-union (in light of the not so distant striking of certain Amazon warehouses and that ridiculously large nation-wide US hiring event, it felt a bit surreal to read about not crossing picket lines and temp workers being used by the factories to try to do so). Admittedly, Jess wasn’t always the best partner to her sex worker girlfriend, Milli, but the acceptance, interactions with other working girls, lessons, and reality shown of the overall sex worker inclusive stance is worth a mention (after finding a sex worker’s review after Feinberg’s passing here). I chose “complicated” to describe the mix of social movements and pre-current social efforts precisely for the melding of different but interconnected political activism. It is not a history book, but it can’t be divorced from its historical context.

There were parts where it was like someone had scraped out hidden bits of rot from my heart, and I – the person who has undergone surgery to remove a sty in the past and had other not-crying-enough stys – I cried. Ugly, ‘why don’t you just @ me next time’, cathartic tears on more than one occasion. I obviously haven’t lived most of Jess’ life, and even moments where I’ve merely had the fear and threat hanging over my head isn’t quite the same as living some of these experiences. The fragility of moments where your heart hurts, but you can’t cry (the forced feminization at Old Butch Ro’s funeral, Annie’s homophobia tinting a stealth encounter with danger, the self-isolation and loneliness while trying to pass, trying so hard to avoid the ER and the hospital in general because it wasn’t safe). Hot, angry tears (institutionalization, all of the police brutality, the casual cruelty of civilians).  The not so clearcut relationship to women’s lib that comes out with Theresa and later trying to access reproductive health resources (the issue with getting help for a vaginal infection at that women’s clinic). The rediscovery of hope and living (Ruth is introduced in Ch 22, and this really stands out in that chapter’s rediscovery of feeding the senses). You can’t pin survival and being saved on one person, but damn, if you don’t hope for things to be better in the last chapters with Ruth.

Final Decision: E – Exceeds Expectations

fromacomrade:

here you can get a free PDF or an at-cost physical copy of Leslie Feinberg’s semi-autobiographical Stone Butch Blues, a seminal work of lesbian and trans fiction which is a must-read not just for communist queers but honestly for everyone ever

Stone Butch Blues, Leslie Feinberg’s 1993 first novel, is widely considered in and outside the U.S. to be a groundbreaking work about the complexities of gender. Feinberg was the first theorist to advance a Marxist concept of “transgender liberation.” Sold by the hundreds of thousands of copies and also passed from hand-to-hand inside prisons, Stone Butch Blues has been translated into Chinese, Dutch, German, Italian, Slovenian, Turkish, and Hebrew (with hir earnings from that edition going to ASWAT Palestinian Gay Women). The novel was winner of the 1994 American Library Association Stonewall Book Award and a 1994 Lambda Literary Award.

Feinberg commented on Stone Butch Blues in hir Author’s Note to the 2003 edition:

“Like my own life, this novel defies easy classification. If you found Stone Butch Blues in a bookstore or library, what category was it in? Lesbian fiction? Gender studies? Like the germinal novel The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe/John Hall, this book is a lesbian novel and a transgender novel—making ‘trans’ genre a verb, as well as an adjective…

“People who have lived very different lives have generously related to me the similarities they recognized in these pages with their own struggles—the taste of bile; the inferno of rage—transsexual men and women, heterosexual cross-dressers and bearded females, intersexual and androgynous people, bi-gender and tri-gender individuals, and many other exquisitely defined and expressed identities.”

Not Simple Transitioning

Why write this?

A cis person at a party: So, if you’re trans, are you going to transition?

Me, put on the spot while trying to enjoy myself: Uh . . . What?

Me, over two years later in this vagueblogging post: Transitioning is not as simple and easy as the media would like to portray it as, and this individualized path is made more complicated by financial, medical, and other access barriers. Surgical status and whether someone is pre/non-op should not be used as a way to invalidate someone’s identity, and barring interaction with my body or sex where it would be necessary to know, I should not have to tell you about an aspect of my body or potential medical care in order to be Trans Enough.

It also gets complicated because most cis people asking questions about transitioning have something in particular in mind (usually surgeries), and transitioning can cover more than that (broadly split into medical (surgeries and HRT) and non-medical (social and legal / paperwork) below. It might be surprising for some people, but it is possible to not want any of the medical options while wanting the social stuff.

Medical: Surgeries

“The Surgery” isn’t truly singular, and even simplifying it into “top surgery” and “bottom surgery” isn’t entirely accurate. My goal isn’t to provide a complete intro to all the surgery options, but Trans Masculine Surgery Options and Trans Feminine Surgery Options provide a good overview. For example, in trans masc / FtM people, “bottom surgery” can actually be made up of hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy, metoidoplasty, scrotoplasty, uretheroplasty, vaginectomy, and phalloplasty.

It depends on what the person wants (it’s not all-or-nothing), what their insurance covers or they can afford out-of-pocket, prerequisite steps, which surgeries can be done together, and the pro v con evaluation of a specific surgery. Add in needing to travel (unless you live near certain larger cities), recuperation time and assistance (something I’ve heard people really remind those wanting a bilateral mastectomy), barriers to access (some surgeons still prefer mental health consultations and a letter of recommendation over informed consent), and medical incompatibilities (some people are unable to have or qualify for surgeries due to separate medical issues), and it’s no wonder that the collective surgeries are personally complicated.

Personally, I’m in this limbo of possibly getting state-sponsored health insurance, and I would much rather tackle being able to go to a general practitioner for the first time in almost six years. You can get your blood pressure taken for free at a blood drive, but it’s kinda not the same, you know? I’ve tended to lean more towards non-surgical options because any surgeries I would like are too ‘castle in the sky’ right now. {This is not to downplay how other trans people need surgeries, but because I have other viable methods as of this writing, I do not personally consider any particular surgery a need.}

Medical: Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Me, morphing into a gremlin after midnight: *hisses at hormones*

Like, don’t get me wrong, HRT is absolutely necessary for some people and some medical providers are more willing to do the informed consent approach rather than requiring mental health assessments (letters). I just have such a love-hate relationship with thinking about HRT because I flat out do not want some of the effects, and there’s not really a way to guarantee selective changes in Puberty 2.0. It’s not like anyone gets a choice in Puberty 1.0 either, but I have to consider if the changes I want outweigh the changes I don’t want.

The route of FtM or MtF that gets talked about a lot doesn’t automatically match what nonbinary trans people want or even what all binary trans people want (Approach to Genderqueer, Gender Non-Conforming, or Nonbinary People). Non-Binary Transition Workshop is a Youtube playlist, which has videos that cover introductory explaining, what all is part of transitioning, and how nonbinary people might want to approach it. Back on the topic of hormones, it’s not even a matter of not liking needles or anything (there are delivery methods other than injection). Personally, I think I have to try non-hormonal options so the little inner gremlin will accept that I did consider alternatives before rushing to HRT.

Non-Medical

Ah, social transitioning and paperwork (see “Legal Sex/Gender” or Part 3 of that Youtube playlist). AFAIK, state requirements for updating legal sex/gender are shifting away from requiring certain surgeries, but there still can be that pesky mental health assessment bit. Sometimes, the whole matter of presentation (clothing, accessories, hair, etc.), going by a new name, and using new pronouns can appear simpler than the components of medical transitioning, but sometimes, it doesn’t feel easier.

Jump through the hoops, sell your soul figure out the money, get all the paperwork in order, and you can get a surgery (generally, a one and done sort of deal). Jump through the hoops for HRT and prepare yourself for years of lab work and checking hormone levels, acquiring the HRT method on schedule, and possibly self-administering. (Some people don’t want to spend the rest of their life on HRT, but even just wanting the full effects of your dosage can take a few years.) Constantly introduce yourself, remind people of your pronouns, correct assumptions, and figure out just how much energy it will take to perform enough to not get misgendered. *sighs*

Complexities of Closets

Cross-posting something from 2017 [here] that feels important enough to have on this blog. Coming out to one person or a group doesn’t magically change everything. Ideally, most people will respect the new information and will make an effort to alter how they talk about someone who has come out, but you can’t really control what they do or how they talk about you when you’re not around.

homojabi:

I think that cis/straight people have the wrong idea about what The Closet™ is, honestly. I frequently get asked questions like “So are you out or in the closet?” But the fact is that it doesn’t really work like that. Someone’s Out status isn’t a perfect binary that can be answered in a yes or no question. I know that movies and TV shows like to have the dramatic banner in the sky moment where they say “I’m transgender!” or “I’m bi!” and the parents find out and all the friends find out and suddenly everyone in town knows. But that’s not how coming out works for a lot of people. Coming out is not one event, rather, it’s a continuous series of many events that range from big to small throughout your life. For instance, coming out to your friends and coming out to your parents are generally two completely different decisions, and a lot of people are out to some people they know but not out to others. Some people never come out to their parents at all but they’re Out to everyone else in their life—our closets can be temporary, transient, or something that we only return to from time to time.

And then there’s the everyday closets. Do you correct the cashier when they call you sir? Do you say “my girlfriend” when you’re talking about your plans for the night with a coworker? Do you react to the “small” things like a relative asking when you’ll get a girlfriend or being called your dead name in passing? For the most part, we make decisions about Being Out every day, and often many times in a day. It happens every time we meet someone new, every time someone makes assumptions about us, every time we encounter a bigot or even another person who’s LGBT. The Closet can be a real choice for some people and if they don’t want to come out it doesn’t mean that they’re ashamed or that they aren’t proud of their identity. For other people, it’s important that they make every conscious effort to indicate their identity, be it through dress or conversation or some other way. But it’s important for cis/straight people to understand that The Closet is not a leap from people not knowing your identity to everyone knowing. Someone can be simultaneously Out and in The Closet at the same time, and most people are.