Happy New Year, friends. 2022 is here and I hope it’s starting off gently for you. The other day, I saw John Beckett (an absolutely wonderful Pagan blogger – you should definitely follow him if you’re not already) post a wrap-up of his most popular writing from the year. It inspired me to look at my own writing to see what resonated during 2021. Amusingly, a fair few of these are me in a somewhat snarky mode. Don’t worry, I’m not planning on unleashing too much of that. It’s like cayenne. Too much blots out the other flavors 😉 But, I thought you might enjoy seeing what my readers connected to. And, if you’re new to the cottage, here’s the Greatest Hits of 2021.
#5: What to Wear to Your Resurrection and Other Thoughts on Identity
One of the interesting aspects of pandemic life is the way it impacted identity for a lot of us. Prolonged time away from our normal social obligations (familial, work, etc) meant that people started to unpack identity, particularly some of the parts that weren’t working for them. This blog is all about ways to bring your identity – your spirit – into better alignment with how you present yourself to the world. ”
So, how do we embody our identity now? A big part of my magickal Work in this world is supporting the integration of spirits and the bodies they dwell in. We disassociate very easily in the United States – many of us view our bodies as somehow separate from us, a strange appendage that is only tangentially part of who we are. The thing is, our bodies are just about the only thing we have in common – we all have one! In my personal faith path, our bodies are a component of the soul. They matter and they are part of the big picture of Self. Connecting with our bodies in a healthy, affirming way is an incredibly healing thing to do. And, whether we realize it or not, bodies are how we recognize each other as well.
This means that identity gets communicated first through the senses: what we can see, smell, hear, and touch. So, let’s get sensual: how do we express through the senses the truth of who we are?” Continue reading here…
#4: The Body Blessing ~ A Litha Working
So this one was written to coincide with midsummer, but the truth is that a lot of us could some reconsecration of our connection to our bodies.
“When we are subjected to a threat, these amazing bodies start building up resources so that we can survive. They hold onto calories and store them. They focus their energy on keeping us going, even if it means spending less energy maintaining certain muscle groups. Our bodies did what we evolved them to do – they made sure there was enough of everything to survive the long-term threat of the pandemic.
And you know what? Even though I know that, I’ve felt bad about my body, too. The constant blaring of the Body Shame Profit Complex means that I was viewing my enhanced curves with some remorse.
I was in the shower late last week and thinking about Litha. About the way this glorious High Holiday, this day of greatest light, this herald of true summer is so physical. It is the celebration of the body of the earth around us and its fruitfulness. No one objects to more apples swelling on the tree, larger beets, or a greater abundance of berries.
And suddenly it clicked.” Continue reading here…
#3: Witchcraft is Dead. Long Live Witchcraft!
Enter the snark. lol. This one was written when I was frustrated with yet another Pagan elder whining that the witchcraft they grew up with is shifting and changing. Of course it bloody is! It’s supposed to. On the more useful side, this blog contains some good ideas for getting out of a spirituality rut if you happen to be in one – ways to find good, new voices to follow.
“Listen, I’m as guilty of it as the next 40-something. We find our comfort zone. We find a system that works for us. We get comfortable there. It’s like that amazing easy chair with the utterly destroyed upholstery that isn’t exactly supportive anymore, but we love to collapse into it at the end of the day. It’s *known*. It’s familiar and doesn’t challenge us and maybe the lumbar support is gone but we love it so we’re keeping it.
Here’s what I know from being a yogi: rigidity is death. And when we’ve been stuck for so long, unmoving in our trashed easy chair, things that jostle us out of stillness can feel painful. They can feel like destruction. Even when all they’re really doing is helping us stretch our atrophied muscles.
Witchcraft is NOT dead. Witchcraft is transforming.” Continue reading here…
#2 Reasons Not to Wrestle a Pig and Other Thoughts on Community Dynamics
I wrote this one for a friend who was the target of some nasty rumors in the Pagan community, but it resonated a LOT with folks. Pretty much any organization faces the occasional conflict or power struggle regardless of the nature of the group in question. I’ve been a community organizer for quite some time now and, as a result, have both watched Witch Wars unfold and been the target of them at times. This blog is all about what I learned and how I manage when I’m the target of a character assassination campaign.
“Unfortunately, I have not found a way to move through community that makes everyone happy. At this point, I do not think it is possible to do so. The scarcity philosophy so many people view the world through means that if you are at the center of an event, community, or other nexus of people, you will occasionally draw fire. Sometimes it’s because your accuser wants what you have. Most of the time, at least in my own experience, it’s because your accuser’s own repressed shadows (antisocial, destructive, repressed, or otherwise socially unacceptable impulses and inclinations) get ruffled by you and come out screaming. We are often unintentionally mirrors for others. Some people can’t handle their own reflection.
Here is what I’ve learned from a few rounds of the Clusterfuck Circus, and it can really be summed up in one of my favorite quotes:
‘Never wrestle a pig. The pig will only enjoy it and you’ll both end up covered in mud.’
A caveat before we break this one down – I’m specifically talking about baseless, personality-driven drama in this blog. There is also a very real need to call out legitimate abuse within our community when it occurs.
So, here’s what I’ve observed in my own path and history of sometimes being the target of another person’s shadow-fueled tantrum:” Continue reading here….
#1: Freyja ~ The Power Behind the Pin-Up
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love that this was my most popular blog of the year. As a devotee of Freyja, it brings me great pleasure to sing Her praises and make offerings at Her shrine. This one is all about the Norse Goddess Freyja’s history, power, and nature, and the way She got reduced to some sort of sex kitten by patriarchal interpretation and (sometimes deliberate) mistranslation of older myths.
“One of the challenges that comes from working with Freyja has nothing to do with her whatsoever – it has to do with the Christian-influenced simplification of her role. A goddess of magick (also called seidr), death, sovereignty, and boundaries somehow became the pantheon’s pin-up girl. The Chooser of the Slain is referenced more frequently as a goddess of love, and generally depicted barely clothed in entirely too typical Boris Vallejo-esque artistic nonsense.
It should be no surprise that I have an axe to grind on this subject
My Kindred recently held a blót (ceremony) in honor of Freyja. We include a teaching portion in our blóts because many of our Kindred are fairly new on the path of Heathenry. And, for those of us who have been practicing longer, it’s always good to get a refresher. I thought I would expand and share that teaching portion here, and do my little bit to reveal the deity underneath the pin-up art.” Continue reading here…
It’s been fun to look back at my top posts of the year – I hope this little recap has been enjoyable for you as well. Happy New Year!
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