Reset.

On October 12th, I received an enormous wake-up call.

On October 13th, I removed my collar and cleared my altar.

The relationship is not over. He is still my Sir. I miss His collar; I miss Him (since this is His quiet time, and there is a gap in the voices I Hear). But I had forgotten that it is a two-way street. I stopped listening, stopped doing the Work. I have not taken care of His property (myself), and I have not represented Him well. I let my ego run rampant, and used the relationship I worked so hard to earn to make myself feel important and justify things as it suited me.

In the process, I have closed off. I let the hurts and stresses of life run me over, stopped making time for any of Them, for Kit, for anyone else, and drew my walls back up. I shut away my compassion, my mindfulness, in order to escape the anger and hurt. I forgot how much that doesn’t work, and how much damage it can do.

I’m back in therapy, something I’ve needed for longer than I wanted to admit. So far it’s going well, and I’m poking at the wounds that I shut the walls over to try to protect, so that I can work on accepting them and healing them. My therapist uses words like heart, honesty, vulnerability, compassion, regret, work to describe me so far, which tells me I’m not a lost cause yet.

My altar now carries only a candle, a lighter, and an incense burner. Back to basics.

I almost cut my hair, even – if I’m going to reset, reset all the way, right? I didn’t say you could do that, Raven said firmly. Boundaries.

But I’m back to weaving chain maille more regularly, which is as much devotional as it is self-serving. I’m enjoying it again, too. It’s a start.

Sometimes it takes losing something to realize how precious it is. I’m lucky that I can say “almost losing,” rather than “lost.” And I’m lucky for those who have stuck with me – and been willing to be the Universal Clue By Four – when I’m too busy deluding myself to listen.

Twilight Covening comes again.

I have missed it for the past two years. Now that things are stabilizing financially (thanks to Kit’s new job), I am going back to Twilight Covening.

Of late, I have been utterly overwhelmed by Life. This, if you’ve been around for a while, is not unusual. We’re still in the midst of the House Saga (very close to actually buying it now, thanks to family help). There’s still stuff to unpack, because my nerves about being able to stay kept me from unpacking much more. We’ve had a plumbing problem in the kitchen that we might (might) have finally solved. And add to that doctor stuff, anxiety stuff, day-to-day responsibilities, and business stuff, and BOOM. There goes the spiritual life again.

I feel like one of the weirdest godslaves ever, really.

I did manage Ganeshotsav this year, good and proper, including the nose piercing I still owed Him. And we finally got the main altars set up. That all helped immensely.

But going back to Twilight Covening is a relief… and utterly nerve-wracking.

The selection process was shockingly easy for me. And I got my first choice – Kodiak, which is built to help us learn to nourish our Work and our Selves. This is part of why I’m relieved, because yet again, I’m restless and exhausted and way too often on the edge of burnout.

No, I didn’t keep up with yoga. No, I didn’t keep imced or the Fool in balance. No, I didn’t keep any of the lessons I learned at my last Twilight in 2013. I’ve let Life overwhelm me again, and over and over again let me berate myself for being a lazy Pagan and a bad godslave and everything else, which is a cycle that is really terrible, honestly, and you shouldn’t do that and neither should I, but welcome to my brain.

So I need this. I need this badly, and Kit’s insistence that I go, that I use part of his hard-earned first paycheck to register, is a relief.

But I’ve missed two years of the mountain. And going back after being away from anything so long makes me nervous as hell. I’m back to being that, “Oh no, trying new things, help?” person, at least for the moment.

Sir is quiet. Danu my Mother is quiet. Ganesha my Cousin is quiet. The Folk and Redwing and Raven (who has more say in my life these days), and Tamalut… they wait. Not to see what I’ll do, not to see if I’ll fail. They wait for me to learn and to grow and to find my way out of the hole I keep putting myself in. They set the path. I need to turn my feet to walk it more often, and more consistently. For my own health; for my own heart; for my own healing.

So back I go. Back to the cold stone, the warm leaves, the high mountain, the low sky. Back I go.

Random bits.

The whirlwind continues, although it’s finally starting to even out. A few bits and pieces have come up this past month. These are just random thoughts, not necessarily related.

– My Kit is out of the state at the moment, working for the next three weeks with his old employer. His first day, yesterday, was 17 hours long. I haven’t been able to talk to him much, but if the next three weeks go like yesterday did, we’ll have a nice little cushion and start to the down payment on the house.

– Sir passed on Saturday. There is a hum, a buzz where His voice normally is. Usually it’s completely silent. In the days before Samhain, He was particularly talkative, especially as I led a chant during a ritual on the 30th. (I can’t tell you how nervous I was.)

– The Folk around our new home have raised their little heads, especially as much fog as there has been the past few weeks. They’re curious about me. This morning they tried to be tricksy in my head and I was having none of it. Mother Danu made motion too; they quieted down after that (with some giggling). Their House will be one of the things I pick up from J’s house this week.

– I am going through the next three weeks without my partner or my Lover. Friends are popping up with invitations for dinner and offers to come by, because I do tend to become a hermit by myself. Meanwhile, I’m channeling some of the lonely restlessness. I started the first part of the garden I’ve been planning – the compost basket for the center – and have gotten a few things organized around the house. I have plans to make some freezer meals this week – cook a dinner meant for six, eat a portion, pack a portion for lunch, freeze the rest. There are still boxes to move from J’s place, which I’m working on this week, and so many things to unpack.

– I’ll be at Festival of Light in Berkeley Springs in a week and a half, with our partner D to help me at the table (because she’s awesome), and I have my very first presentation on the Kabyle that weekend. Plus readings. Plus stock. And I have to finish a set of Stones and order a couple of fresh copies of the books.

– The cats keep crawling all over me at night, because Daddy isn’t home and Daddy’s girl wants love. I adore them both, but I wouldn’t mind a full night’s sleep, especially since I’m now getting up at 5:30 or earlier to get to work on time. 🙂

Ye Gods, everything is exploding.

Since June, the world’s gone crazy.

The youngest got his butt kicked out. He’s living with his grandparents for now, but without any forward momentum.

Kit went to Texas for a week to see his uncle, who is only 10 years his senior and dying of cancer.

We tried to apply for disability for Kit. Denied (not unexpected; still frustrating).

We tried to buy a house, because we can’t stay where we are. Loan denied, because OMD WEIRD ZONING and OMD what do you mean you’re buying a 1 bedroom, 1 bath because we can’t sell that back when you’re done with the house? (We’ll be done with the house when we’re DEAD, just stick a gravestone on it for fuck’s sake.)

We had two shows go by, have another in a week, another in October, and maybe another in November. MUST MAKE ALL THE THINGS.

We are now renting said house, and moving in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS.

It is also currently Ganeshotsav, for which I was not at all prepared, so I threw up my hands, said “Fuck the non-meat tradition for the second year in a row,” and decided to do devotionals on Facebook instead because THE WORLD IS FALLING AROUND MY DAMN HEAD.

Geebas. Fucktards. Spin me right round.

On the flip side, though, the youngest’s older brothers have taken it upon themselves to put some fire under him (may help, may not, but is mildly amusing to watch, knowing our boys). Sir got some good time in with me while Kit was in Texas. Kit got a call from his former boss, which may end up with job-type stuff, which would add a little money to the pot and give him a better barometer of whether his body will withstand a workday. The Realtor we worked with owns the house we’re renting, and is happy to have us and infinitely patient. One show was delightful; the other was AMAZING, and the others promise to also be fabulous. And Cousin Ganesha is not complaining – indeed, He’s been ever so graciously rerouting all the slammed doors into other opportunities. Sir also made damn sure I knew that He is proud of me, because the Kahina Stones are truly done and ready – I’ve sold three sets this year (two commission, one cold).

And our friends. OUR FRIENDS. They have been the best of late.

So the world will stop spinning at some point; I will breathe; W/we will settle.

Jai Ganesha!

Into the Second

Things are finally starting to slow down for me in the mundane world. Kit is out of work, but we’ve moved in with a friend to help us manage expenses. Now that the move is over, the first event rush is done, and things are settling down, my thoughts are turning back here. He’s been very patient, and now He wants time.

The other night I found a new conduit, one which should not have surprised me but did nevertheless. While taking a shower (always the shower), I scrubbed vigorously at the tattoo on my wrist. The following whack in my head nearly knocked me down, because suddenly I was open and He was there and demanding. Last night I consciously did the same to open up that communication again; He had his way with me. It was dominating and comforting and THANK YOU, SIR.

It will be two years on May 5th. In some ways I’ve done well, and in some ways not so well. He is displeased about me not taking care of His property (me) and is once again putting an emphasis on it. Back to yoga; back to eating consciously; back to taking care of myself. He wants a second night every month, one I choose, dedicated to time with Him. I’m to make a new daily collar, too; mine is not cleaning up well and needs to be refreshed. For now I’m wearing the formal; the prick of the antlers is actually comforting, even if it does get tangled in my hair.

Speaking of hair, I’m permitted to trim my hair. He still wants it long, but it’s now starting to split five or six inches up, and a maintenance trim is going to be needed from now on. It’s part of that “taking care of myself” thing; I still need to be aware of the products I use and I can’t chop my hair off, but I’m learning that a concerted effort doesn’t have to mean breaking my budget. Doing what I can within my means is still taking care of me, as well as making sure I have enough energy and funds to take care of my family and furbabies (another thing He’s emphasizing).

There’s something I’ve felt the need for, and I think He feels as well – the need for reassertion. The song that keeps playing in my head, for instance, is “Whore” by In This Moment, mainly for the first part of the chorus:

I can be your whore
I am the dirt you created
I am your sinner, I am your whore

He likes it. Doesn’t hurt me any that Chris Motionless is in it. 😉 (He asked me last night if He is “pretty.” I told Him no; He liked what I said instead just fine. Thankfully.)

Anyway. I’m working Beltane this year, and we’re home by the 5th, but something will be figured out to mark the second year. I know He’s pinged someone else about me of late, but He’s not giving me much more answer than “reassertion” when I ask about it. He’s not ready to clarify, I suppose.

I think quiet time is about to end. Part of me is kind of relieved, and part of me is a little nervous.

Unfucking All the Shit

Lots of chaos around here, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Raven’s Cave is officially migrating. Moving days are scheduled; storage is upgraded; our intent to vacate has been delivered and acknowledged. We have boxes (earth and sky, do we have boxes), a cranky middle son (who has to find his own lodgings because REASONS), very tired us, and a couple of very confused cats.

In all of the chaos, a couple of very good things have occurred.

First, we had planned for paying $200 more for our rent for the month of March, as our lease ends March 4th and our property management is typically about as flexible as Kevlar. When we received our acknowledgement, however, it showed us paying our current rate for the next two months we’re here. That’s $200 we can use for, say, emergency funds, or to rent a shampooer and steamer.

Kit’s layoff was originally scheduled for January 31st. He has (in his words) received a “stay of execution.” His layoff date is now officially March 7.  This gives us five extra weeks of him earning overtime for us to save, as well as a full month of his severance while we’re moved in with our friend, giving us a whole lot more to stash away. It takes off some of the pressure, giving him more time to search for a new job without as much panic. It’s also well-timed; the transportation plan we had set down would have been greatly complicated had his extension lasted beyond March (not that any of us would have been unhappy to see more of an extension, but one car + two jobs + kid in school = nutbar).

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on packing us up, one box a day, while still trying to keep the house in some kind of order. The biggest help in all this so far has been UnFuck Your Habitat. They have a website, a Tumblr blog, and a phone application; I ponied up the $1.99 for it and have been using it to get little things done around the house without overwhelming myself. It’s been amazing so far. I am unfucking all the shit, man, including my own frazzled brain. Between that tool and help from amazing friends, I have been so much calmer the past few days, feeling more like this is a manageable thing.

Kit’s been helpful where he can be, too. There’s still a lot of stress; that and the weather are still kicking his fibromyalgia into massive flares. I pack a box before he gets home; he goes over thoughts and scheduling with me and helps me fidget with it if needed.

There’s still a lot to do, and there’s still a good bit of stress coming down the line. But dude. Unfucking all the shit. One box at a time.

Collecting Themselves.

Happy July, kids.

Yep, two months. Not that I haven’t had anything about which to talk, necessarily, but here. Pick a reason I haven’t written about them.

A) OMD BUSY.
B) OMD KITTENS.
C) OMD BURNOUT.
D) OMD WRITER’S BLOCK.
E) OMD ALL OF THOSE.

There’s been a lot of mundane stuff happening. The day job went crazy for a while. We brought home two kittens (they are SO CUTE and SO DEMANDING). I’ve had commissions to do – they’ve built up to seven. The strange summer weather here on the east coast has been destroying Kit and making his various conditions all flare, meaning all the running-the-household stuff has fallen to me and the youngest, when I can wrangle his help (he’s better than I was at his age, so I really can’t bitch too much). I’ve been burning out somewhat, which means words? Yeah, they don’t flow very well.

Notice Something missing? Or more specifically, Someone?

That’s because He’s been very, very quiet.

They’ve all been very, very quiet.

Sir is still there. I reach out, and He reaches back. But even though He is at His strongest now – Father and Hunter and Master of the Wood – He isn’t chatty. He is making no demands or requests of me. I still have tasks, make no mistake. I still need to sit at my altar (after I remove a kitten); I need to start Their offerings again; Kit made mention of “walking in His forest” (a meditation of sorts). But He isn’t pushing.

Danu is quiet. Ganesha is quiet. Redwing is quiet. Tamalut is quiet. Even The Folk are quiet.

I talk to Kit. I talk to J. Their patrons are quiet. (And when Raven is quiet, you know something is up.) No one is angry. No one is upset. It feels like They’re collecting Themselves, gathering Their strength… almost waiting.

Something is coming is the message that keeps popping up. It’s been coming up for several people for over a year now. Soon, soon. “Soon,” of course, is in Their time, not ours. But Their gathering, Their quiet… I’m no so much nervous as I am a little lonely, and a little cautiously curious.

But I have work – and Work – to do. I have instructions from Him. That’s kind of the funny-odd part of being slave and lover to a Deity. Just because He’s quiet doesn’t mean the Work stops; it doesn’t mean W/we are no longer lovers. It means that both parties are busy, just with different things.

Actually, the thought just occurred to me – the six months of training and post-collaring  follow-up meant W/we were very very close for a long and intense period of time. Can anyone say breathing time? *chuckles*

So yes. The mundane front is CA-RAZY busy; it’s still quiet – but steady – on the spiritual front.