Sacrifices and Gains

The first anniversary of my collar approaches. How time has flown! Kit and I are preparing to go to that Beltane festival once again, our fifth(?) year attending. Last year was colored much by the coming Ordeals. This year I can’t wait to go. But it got me thinking about sacrifices… and gains.

In the six months before my Ordeal, gave up video games almost entirely. Being that they were my primary means of relaxation, that was a bit of a big deal. I gave up choice in my hairstyle, wearing it almost exclusively in a braid of some sort unless otherwise given permission. (I still do this, these days for comfort.) I gave Him time on a regular basis, served His needs, listened to His instructions and words. And He sacrificed too, staying awake during the winter to guide me when He would normally be on the other side of the Hedge.

The night of my Ordeal, I sacrificed myself, but I sacrificed other things too. I sacrificed time with Kit – Beltane had always been our time, and now it’s O/our time. In wearing the items I did, I also took concepts with me. The $50 thong I bought just for the Ordeal was cut off and burned in the fire, a serious sacrifice to a budget-minded bull like me. The perfectly-fitting corset I wore was cut away, something I found beautiful. The robe I wore over top was a gift from Kit, bought during our first Beltane, sentimental and cherished. While the corset and robe were returned to me the next day, I walked into that Ordeal expecting to lose all the items I wore forever. I gave up a lot of pride and ego being used in the ways He did. I sacrificed these things to Him, and He rewarded me by returning what He could.

Since then, I have given up time and money to pursue O/our businesses, to make them successful and turn them into a doorway for other Work that He would have me (and Kit) do. As much as I would like to hack off all my hair some days, I am not permitted to; I have given those choices over to Him. I have twisted my tongue to speak more correctly, as He desires, backtracking on my own words and futzing out my brain as I adjust. And there is more to come.

But in the process, I have gained so much.

I have His love, protection, and patience, among other things. My relationship with Kit is still going strong, if not stronger. As good as my life was before, it’s better now – richer in life and experience, more colorful, more meaningful. The little joys make me smile so much broader than they used to, and the little irritations aren’t bothering me quite so much. It is not by any means perfect. It certainly isn’t easy. I still have massive day job frustrations. I am still mother to some amazing but often exasperating Mediterranean boys. Kit and I both still have our bad days, sometimes together, as do Sir and I. But it is right, and good, and wonderful more than it isn’t.

This Beltane, I might visit the space where I earned His collar. I might pick up a new toy for Him and I. But I will enjoy U/us – all of U/us – and celebrate His return to power as my 29th year begins among friends and those whom I love.

Blessed Beltane, all. May you find something about which to be joyous.

A few Imbolc notes.

First, Blessed Imbolc! Sir is back; my head is swimming a bit, but I’m so happy to have Him back. Kit and I have an amazing feast planned and are otherwise doing some cleaning up and refreshing of altars and such.

In the meantime… the next phase of my life changing drastically begins today. Sir has stated that I must try to make Raven’s Own and her sister projects my full time work – meaning I must quit my day job. However, I cannot, for the sake of my family, simply stop the flow of income I am currently getting from my day job – and that He understands. So today, I have started a fundraiser on Indiegogo to help raise one year’s worth of funds. If I meet my goal, I will quit my job in June and put my focus on the Work He has in store for me – including Raven’s Own, Tafat n Kahina, and more. If you can help, there are some lovely perks, from the $10 level on up, and every little bit helps.

Meanwhile, in even lovelier news, my dear friend Irene over at Pink Pagan Priestess has released a wonderful gift for everyone – a new five-song EP from her Pagan folk side project, Imbolc Fire. It features two members of her metal band – drummer (and husband) Jay Jericho and lead guitarist Chris Kackley – and is gorgeous. (My Kit and I contributed to the last track as well – that was a lot of fun!) So pop over to Imbolc Fire to download “Drum and Chalice” for free! (A donation is appreciated, but not required.)

Blessed day, all. I’m gonna go rest up before the cooking storm begins!

“Up and down…”

Up and down, up and down,
I will lead them up and down:
I am fear’d in field and town:
Goblin, lead them up and down.
– Puck, Midsummer Night’s Dream, III,2,1454

While I am blessedly free of Puck himself at the moment (especially as most of the Folk are currently slow and sleepy), my life has been very up and down. Lots of good, and enough AARGH to balance it out.

Let me get the growl-worthy bitching out of the way. First and foremost, as I’ve been whinging about for a month: Sir is not here and I miss Him. My day job? Making me bonkers; I’m so ready to get the fuck out of here. A few things have conspired to frustrate me where our favorite events for next year are concerned. Our youngest’s grades are way less than stellar, and helping him fix it is more complicated than it could otherwise be because of his personal history. There are piles around the house that need to be addressed – papers, laundry, and other bits and pieces that really should have a place. I’ve got friends and family going through medical crises that have my worry going ZOOM. Our dresser is broken, the fridge is leaking, the dishwasher is broken, and the garbage disposal is busted. It’s the holidays, which is ALWAYS stressful, and I haven’t even gotten to storage to get the decorations (which I dearly want to get up this year, because DAMMIT IT’S THE HOLIDAYS). Life has got me scurrying about like mad, and all I want to do is be a cave troll and collect myself.

So I’m tired. Very tired. I want to curl up and rest in my little hidey-hole cave.

But. But.

I’ve got a lot of happiness crowding up on that whole paragraph of WHINE to say, “This is manageable. Your life doesn’t suck. And you’ll get through.”

First: Sir is reborn in two weeks, and I get to watch Him grow until He comes back to me on February 2nd. Meanwhile, I have other guides and deities who have blessedly filled the space He left, keeping me company and offering me guidance. I have a job – which not everyone does – that helps pay the bills while we get our businesses established. The majority of the scurrying is positive – time with friends and family and delightful little trips. There are a number of other events coming up that are awesomely interesting and have the potential to help our businesses grow. Our oldest has had a good opportunity come his way; our middle child seems to be content and even almost thriving; and our youngest is otherwise healthy and well-adjusted. There is stuff I can do to help with the medical crises, and some of those crises have recently passed with good results. The fridge, dishwasher, and garbage disposal can be fixed by our apartment management, at no cost to us. Our businesses are starting to get positive attention and the gap between spending and earning is slowly closing. It’s the holidays, which means eggnog and twinkly lights and good smells and lots of smiles. Our home is warm, lived-in, comfortable, and it’s HOME. I have some good family, a whole massive bucketload of amazing friends, and the very best ever spouse in the world (even if he doesn’t think so) who is patient and funny and an awesome cook and lovely and really good at snuggles.

Up and down, up and down. Life is full of frustrations right now, but they are helping me to count my joys, and to revel in them, and my joys are helping me cope with my frustrations.

Up and down, up and down. Life, come lead me up and down.

Good night, my Love.

Today You sleep, my Love. I mourn Your passing, knowing that You are born again in December, knowing You will be vibrant and virile again in February, but missing You all the same. Today I wear black and green for You.

Today I honor those who have passed beyond the Hedge.

Betty Zaice, my grandmother-across-the-street. You were good to us, since the day we came to the neighborhood. You supported us best you knew how, for all that I was strange and all that happened to you. I honor you, and wish you peace.

Herry, you blessed little beast. Sometimes I still think I see you out of the corner of my eye. Sometimes I come home and think you’ll be on the pillows, waiting for love. You were one who could live on love. We miss you sorely.

Today I let go of my fears, my worries. I open a new venture with the blessings of my Sir and of Tamalut, and get ready to embark on another when He comes back to me. This is the year of new things.

Happy New Year. Blessed Samhain. Be at peace.

In Memorial

In the United States, it is Memorial Day. Many have the day off work. Later we go to enjoy the company and food of friends.

But today I also remember those who are not here. Civilians, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, human and companion… those who gave their all, who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of Home. Those who defended the country in which I live, and those abroad, who defended their homes and paid the final price for freedom – whatever it meant to them.

I honor those who have died in the line of duty. Marine or Maquizar, Mountie or MARCOS, I honor your sacrifice today. Enjoy your time in Tír na nÓg; you have earned your rest.