2/27/14

On Kitchen Witchery.

Southern Fried Witch had a blog post that a friend of mine linked to on FB. I read it and at first I was amused. But something about it troubled me. As I read it again, that unsettled feeling deepened and then I realized I was starting to get angry. I've been thinking about it and I think I figured out just what about this makes me angry. It's two things here.

The first is the implication that if you use anything other then what great-gramma did, you're not a real kitchen witch. Boxed dinner and kitchen appliances are forbidden from the menu of a real kitchen witch, if you go by what this person has posted. I suppose it makes everything better by how they prefaced this with 'in our tradition' but I'm still hopping mad.

Great-gramma would look at you as though you've lost your bleeding mind if decided to forgo the use of a crock pot. She would be ready to either laugh you out the door or possibly whup you with that wooden spoon you're so fond of if you tried to say that time saving devices like a breadmaker were bad. She might agree with you on the boxed dinner front but this other business, she would be mad at you for being a fool.

It's nice and such that Southern Fried Witch won't stoop to buying chicken stock. It's real nice that they even raise their own chickens and I assume slaughter them as well. Who knows, maybe they even use the pinfeathers to make their own pillows. That's neither here nor there. Products like chicken stock don't make you less of a kitchen witch. Boxed dinners don't either.

You go back about a hundred years and you'll find that those people that Southern Fried Witch are holding up as the gold standard of domesticity (and therefore of proper kitchen witch behavior) would have considered giving their eye teeth for the technology and conveniences we have today. We live in an age where we're blessed with things like microwaves and refrigerators. Our stoves are vastly superior to the ovens of the past and not just on the basis of how quickly they heat up. They're a lot safer.

When was the last time you heard of somebody catching on fire while cooking dinner? It's not that common. It's actually really uncommon. There's a reason for that. Modern technology is a lot safer then what was used in the 'good ol' days'. You don't need to stick your hand in the oven to check if it is hot enough for your baking. You don't have to question if your food is going to spoil before you get to use it on the off chance that a hot day makes the ice in the icebox melt faster.

And let's not forget the wonders that we have outside of the kitchen. Want to get those fabrics nice and white? Well, you can either bleach them out in the sun which takes a lot of time or use bleach. What about cleaning up the home? That right there can be a major act of magic. Vacuum cleaners are wonderful things, as are laundry machines and dryers. Do you want to give those up or sneer at people who stoop to using those devices because they're not 'real' enough for you?

For some kitchen witches, there isn't the time to make that homemade chicken stock. Some of us have small children and tight schedules that require we use those newfangled modern things that Southern Fried Witch would look down their nose at us for. It doesn't make us inferior. It just means that we have different lives and different constraints we're working in. What Southern Fried Witch fails to recognize is the privilege that they have in being able to raise their own chickens and cook lots of stuff from scratch.

It is not as easy as they make it sound to own chickens and mind the house. I grew up in a home that we did that sort of stuff. Lots of people don't live where they have the luxury of being able to own a pet, let alone some sort of livestock, like chickens. It's not because they are lazy. In some cases, it is because that's what they have to do to afford where they live. In some cases, it is because they don't have the means to support a pet or the knowledge to even keep fairly simple (in the grand scheme of things) livestock like chickens. Southern Fried Witch is casting stones at people that they have no grounds to do so because they don't know what those people are living with.

And that is shameful. I'm pretty sure that great-gramma would pin Southern Fried Witch's ears back for that. By the way, speaking of shameful, the fact that Southern Fried Witch tacks on at the end of their post that they've put out a book followed by a backhanded insult to the people who would read said book is repulsive. When you spend a full blog post talking about how people who depend upon books for their knowledge basis are inferior kitchen witches (or inferior witches at large), you give up the right to advertise and solicit customers for your book. You don't piss on your readers and then expect them to step up and shell out their hard earned cash. It doesn't work that way.

I am beyond disgusted. I am beyond disappointed. I will confess, I am damn near livid over this. I hadn't heard of Southern Fried Witch before now. If I had stumbled on to the blog before now and never seen this garbage, I'd probably read the blog and even look for new interesting recipes. This, however, is something that I can't condone.

I am a family tradition based kitchen witch. One of the things that my tradition taught me was you catch more flies with honey then you do vinegar. Treat the readers with respect. If you can't walk a mile in somebody else's shoes then at least give them the benefit of a doubt until they have proven otherwise. Last time I checked, the culture of the South encouraged a measure of civility and grace. Southern Fried Witch failed to exhibit that. This Yankee is pointing that out and encouraging everybody else to give them wide berth. 

That awkward moment...

That awkward moment when you realize that you fall down on the hard polytheist side of the ledger rather then the soft polytheist or soft-ish side.

I now understand why the deities have been so amused with me of late. I have been struggling with this idea of soft versus hard polytheism. At one point, I even was questioning my spiritual path. And then I had this startling realization, the gods are truly unique and separate beings from each other. This makes the whole matter of Dea even more confusing, I confess. It was the question of if a person has multiple personalities, are they a single person or multiple people sharing a body that did it.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the multiple personality question really couldn't apply to deities. Or should I say, the 'multiple people sharing a body' thing couldn't apply. Because I have had experiences where more then one deity interacted with me at the same time. I don't think that works for people with DID/MPD. That single body thing constrains interaction to a 'one at a time' kind of thing, from what I've been able to figure out by my research. Soft polytheism takes the concept of deity and turns it into a multiple persons in one body situation.

But, having deities manifest at the same time and doing entirely different things at the same time shows that they're not sharing a 'body'. The Divine Mother confuses me. That confusion, I confess, has me a bit anxious and running in proverbial circles at the moment. I'm sure it will clear itself up.

I know that she has work for me to do. It will be a case where she will give me what I need to do it and I think part of that will be information that will help with this confusion. The gods are generous like that.

2/14/14

How to contact Loki?

Full Snow Moon (Age: 14 Days)
Sign: Leo
Weather: Cloudy, remnants of winter
storm Pax moving out
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 An anonymous reader posted the following last week: I have a question. you see, Loki has been my one true love...for many years. I talk to him all the time, ALL THE TIME! I would die to hear him, to get some sage advice and a pat on the head. is there some way you can reach out to me, and maybe lend a hand. I would love it. Thank you. on Hail Flame Hair! Hail Scar Lip! Hail Loki!

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First, thank you, my friend, for reading my blog. It is always delightful to hear from the folks who read this. I hope that you are enjoying my efforts.

Now, let's get to the meat of your question. How does one receive communication from the gods? There's this idea floating around the pagan community of the 'godphone' wherein people will automatically hear a response back from the deities as though they would talking to another physical person.

While some folks, like myself may have the gift of hearing the gods reply back to them, it is more common that the gods communicate with us by way of signs. It may not be as dramatic as the proverbial burning bush, it may be things as simple as a particularly well timed bit of aid from an unexpected source or as complex as having random snippets of conversation overheard match what would be their side of your mental conversation.

Much of my communication with Loki comes by way of a mixture of these signs and what I suppose you could call spirituality based audio/visual hallucinations. It took me years to reach the point where I had enough awareness of my own thoughts that I could distinguish the difference between myself and something 'other'. Where the audio hallucinations that I have during depressive episode induced psychosis are always the same (and with the medication that I am currently on, I haven't had any in a while) the spiritual contact ones are different. They change from each incident.

Additionally, when I concentrate on something else, they don't have occasions where they go quiet with sufficient effort. Between this and the fact that I am on a fairly high dosage of antipsychotics, I can't help but reason that my spiritual contact hallucinations are genuine manifestations of deity. When I have times where I am not sure if what my spiritual contact hallucinations are informing me of, I use divination (the study of signs) to confirm and clarify.

It is good to keep a record of your divination efforts and note down themes that come up when you are reading on the matter of divine contact. Just the same, it is equally vital to note recurrent events that are too full of synchronicity to be purely random. A dear friend of mine, another Lokiswoman, had a message delivered literally by having books falling on her head. Another associate had items in her home randomly get moved from where she placed them to her altar when no human hand had touched them.

If you wish to consider divination, pyromancy (also known as fire gazing) may be one to attempt. Loki is a fire deity and this would be a medium that he would very easily use to communicate. Most importantly, this would be a medium that you would find very easy to associate with him.

Building up a strong association between a method of contact and the deity you wish to communicate with helps facilitate that contact. If you are going to engage in pyromancy, keep a notebook handy. Watch the flames for images that form in them. Note them down and then interpret them like you would a dream. If pyromancy is not the method you wish to use, another technique that is very strongly associated with the Norse deities is rune reading.

There are many, many methods of reading runes. Some one who is new to rune reading may find a great deal of information available on the internet. Consider each rune that you pull individually and note down what you determine for each. Then consider the collection of them as a whole. As with other forms of divination, you are looking for distinct patterns in the signs and common themes between the readings.

If you do not have divination tools in your home, consider either contacting someone for a reading (I do them part time via Keen.) or using one of the free sites available.

It is very good that you have an active prayer life. This means that some of the work for communication with Loki is already done. Now, all you have to do is figure out the way that he is responding back. I assure you, he does respond to us when we pray (as to all gods). Sometimes the answer is a non-answer. Sometimes the answer is profound. And there are times where they respond with something that seems completely unrelated to the matter until it becomes clear after the fact that it makes a lot of sense.

2/4/14

Wait... what?

Moon: Waxing Snow (Age: 5 Days)
Sign: Aries
Weather: Cloudy, winter storm warning 
(Winter storm Nika)
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Information coming to me from various different sources points that Freyr wants an intensely intimate relationship with me. I keep running in proverbial circles and attempting to dodge the subject because it makes me extremely uncomfortable. I have been put on notice that my time of running in circles is over. I am sitting here trying to break down the reasons why I am so terribly convinced that this is so much more then what I am qualified for.

I keep boiling it down to I'm scared to reach for something more. It keeps getting said to me that I am to be his god-spouse and I... I flail and retort with 'I don't know enough to do that. I'm not qualified. I'm married already (with children). He wouldn't be my primary relationship. etc." The responses have been terribly calm and reducing it all back down to the fact that I am scared.

I suppose I have taken the first step down this path by agreeing to do what ever this thing that I am doing with him that I am doing right now. It feels terribly, terribly egocentric to say that I am a deity's girl friend. I flail and do the psychic 'hide behind my hands' thing but that doesn't make a damn bit of difference. Deities can see right through that, no matter how hard you strive to shield yourself.

MaterDraco suggested that I sit down and have a conversation with him like I would any human being. Her suggestion that I figure out what it is I'm looking for in a relationship with him just blew my mind. I'm left reeling and asking 'what on earth do you ask of a deity who wants you to be their bride?' I feel that I have moved out into terribly, terribly deep water and that my swimming skills are not up to the task of keeping myself afloat, never mind navigating the blue.

I suppose this is where it is a good thing that the god who is asking for this has a boat and knows how to sail?