Monday, July 30, 2012

Changes, Love, and Beginnings

I haven't blogged about the Days Upon the Year, or Wep Ronpet this year, though this will be my second as a shemset with the House of Netjer. I even missed the anniversary of my naming. I've been wrapped up in packing, packing, packing, and mentally/emotionally preparing for a cross-country bus journey to what I hope is the rest of my life.

Talk about a First Time. A real personal Zep Tepi, in all huge and dramatic ways.

I packed away my akhu and senut shrines, but the akhu and Names are never far from my mind. Today is Heru-Wer's day, though Set has been impatiently rumbling around the sky all day today with storms.

I remember vividly, last year, on Set's birthday, He told me in shrine that my whole life would have to be blasted away - that the coming year of Ptah would be about foundations. Razing everything present to the earth, laying blocks of things to come. He was not wrong. I was uprooted from my life in New Orleans, ended a dangerous co-dependent relationship with a man who was manipulating my emotions, accepted that covering my hair was something I need spiritually, no matter what others may think or feel about it, and now, to end this year, I'm going to move to a place I've never been, to live with a man I love with all of my heart and soul, someone who shares my dreams and my gods, someone I feel I've known in past lives. I've never felt more in awe, more frightened, more elated, more hopeful.

And as I'm moving, I will be without internet/computer for a while. I know I'm not very consistent with updating the blog in any case, but there will be a slight interruption. I hope to write in a brand new journal I bought just for starting my new life, and maybe I can pull inspiration for future blog posts from there.

I'll be boarding the bus on the 1st of August. Aset's birthday, as well as Lammas, the first harvest in Wiccan/Euro pagan traditions and it's a full moon! May the Mistress of Magic look over my journey and endeavors, and I hope this journey is the harvest of the sweetest kind, a realization of great love.

How's that for auspicious? 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hard to Believe

Seems as soon as it started, it's over and gone. Covered in Light is no more. The controversy became too much for the sisters involved.

It's understandable. When women who claim to be feminists sit there and tell other women they can't wear a piece of cloth on their heads, it must be stressful. When one is accused of supporting forced veiling, betraying women, betraying their gods, I suppose one can take only so much idiocy. And it seems that Pagan women were the loudest and nastiest about it.

How can you say you support women when you want to tell them what they can't wear? What kind of sense is that? And how can you support other women in their struggle against misogynistic theocracy when you assume that they would reject their headcoverings? Some might, but would you really end your support if she wants to keep her veil?

No one has a right to tell a woman what to wear, or not wear. Period.

I want to wear my veil. I would never tell another person that they should. We are all free, under the Divine, to choose how we honor Them. I would never ever presume to tell another how they should go about it, and neither should anyone else.

What I want to end this post with, is simply this. Sisters, whatever you plan next, if anything, count me in. I want to help. I have fight in me, and if I can ease any burdens, I will. Friend me on Facebook, and I'm @QefatHethert on twitter.

I'm a veiled Kemetic pagan and Vodouisant, and I am not afraid.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Covered in Light - Internet Wimmins up to STUFF!

This is a thing now. An impulse I felt steadily grow over a couple of years, that I can tell, is apparently something enough Polytheist women do it independent of my consciousness to warrant something to organize.  The internet is magic.

To be honest, I'm excited. A little worried that I'll be seen as a pagan hipster. But fuck it, really. In less than a week, the Facebook event logged over 500 attending. Since it's my preferred wardrobe these days anyway, of course one of them is me. Also, my recent post on veiling has the most hits on it already of anything else I've written. (no superstar with the blog, but I notice what gets read) But these conversations bring up all kinds of messy stereotypes and issues about feminism, politics, religion, etc. It's already drawn fire from the Pagan community, as well as already warned against "whitewashing." And that excites me.

If done with an open heart, this can all work towards every person being conscientious of the other. That what a person looks like isn't the story.

I see controversy ahead. This is when it gets interesting.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Update on Veiling

So it's been a few months since I started my experiment with covering my head. I also took a couple of weeks off from it, to see the difference. Also, it was too hot down here in Florida for a while. I've learned a good bit since I started.

  • I like how I look. I love experimenting with scarves and ways of tying them, and I find it actually more versatile than what I can do with my hair. My hair can't hold a curl, it slips out of clips and ties, it generally drives me batty. With a scarf, I can forget about it, and still feel pretty and feminine. 
  • It's not about modesty. Not that I dress in a terribly revealing fashion anyway - I never have, I tend towards long skirts and loose, flowing clothing because I like it. But I find nothing contradictory about wearing a tank top with my head scarf. And I got my nose pierced recently. All of this fits with me. 
  • I don't cover for senut. Hethert told me absolutely NOT. I went to shrine with a bandana on once, and She did not want. I cover in public, and shrine time is not public. She made that clear - but also acknowledged that covering in public was an extremely good idea for me. Good to hear that Mom approves of this, and great that She outlined when it is appropriate for me to cover. It was an enlightening senut, for sure.
  • Along with the public idea, it does seem to help me "filter out" the outside world, keep disruptive energy to a minimum, and keep my own energy contained. This helps immensely with my anxiety, and I noticed a huge difference in the time I didn't cover in public. I wasn't as comfortable, I felt almost naked. 
  • However, I did notice that some people treated me suspiciously when I was veiled. I never wore anything as extensive as hijab-style in public, but being the Florida panhandle, I was stared at, and some people kept their distance. Also why I stopped covering in public for a spell, I was looking for a job. This was horribly stressful, since I had no "shield", and looking for work. But the "shield" made employers suspicious. Conundrum. I was also asked to take my scarf off when I had to renew my driver's license, and the woman in the probate office was nervous of me. I was not comfortable at all with it off, but removed it anyway. I'm not up for that fight, or explaining. Or claiming an Abrahamic faith as an easy justification. That would be more uncomfortable for me.
  • My friends and current lover all are incredibly supportive and kind. And complementary! Apparently, I'm someone who looks good in a headscarf (I got the "gypsy" comparison, which made me very very happy), and it's not just me that thinks so. I was even complemented on my scarf by a lady who works in a clothing store, while I was shopping. She helped me pick out new scarves on sale, and said she wished she could "pull it off." I hope to find more accepting people after I move. 

 So, I've decided to continue covering in public. It helps me in many ways, and I do feel set apart from the rest of the world with it on. Not that I'm better than them, or less, just different. I would still be different without it, but I like the outward display of it. There was a time when I thought I'd never do something this "conservative" spiritually, but this feels like a part of growing up. I'm happy with it.  

Here's front and back images of me, with my favorite scarf (at the moment, anyway - it's cotton, and I love the colors) in my favorite style. The back is fuzzy, I know, but you try taking a picture of the back of your head.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

when it's time to turn the page

With uprooting myself again and changing the entire direction of my life, I have to necessarily let go of many things. Many material things, which I used to find hard, but after leaving New Orleans in such a rush, running for my sanity, and my life, is so much easier now. I've made peace with the fact that I can pack a bag of clothes and leave with nothing else, if I must. I'd like my new journal and ipod, but those are not necessities.

What's harder to leave behind are the memories of my life before. And there are many I'd like to leave, dead and buried. I burned two journals' worth not too long ago, and that did help with a lot of the pain.

Another Wep Ronpet approaches, and I will travel through it. I want to arrive in Oregon with a new life, a clean slate, and ready to be filled with new memories, love, and joy.

Maybe that's why a deeper and older ache has surfaced again. Or maybe this one is just stubborn. But he always comes back. I'm not even sure he's my friend anymore. I found an old gift he sent me years ago, and I'm torn as to if I should burn it like the journals, or send it back to him.

He owes me nothing, really. I don't know why I feel so wounded by him. I just know this has gone on so long, up and down, in my heart, that it might feel like tearing out a bit of myself to finally leave this particular relationship (whatever the fuck it was anyway) behind and give up.

The gift - I've carried it with me through three states - two dorm rooms, three apartments, two houses. I've called him friend for over 10 years. He's often baffled me and frightened me. And frustrated me.

It's complicated. And somewhat beautiful, but maybe it was always ephemeral. And will finally blow away in the winds of change.

I know I'll never forget. But I think I have to leave most of this in the past. It was likely never good for me in the first place.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Wandering and Wondering

I am moving again. Taking a huge risk for love and my happiness. I'm terrified. I'm elated. My lover has given me a ticket out of here. I absolutely can't wait to use it. It feels like a pilgrimage.

 I recently felt a pull back to my roots in pagan faiths - a return to the beginning. This means Stregheria. I still have the books and love the stories. The Moon eternally holds magic for me. I was also drawn back to my Romani tarot deck (for obvious reasons, of course) and the music of Gogol Bordello. Time to ramble on! See my own continent, which I feel I have neglected to explore.

Yet, returning to La Vecchia Religione felt wrong, somehow. Like it no longer fit me and my life. Back in boarding school, both the Romani and Streghe fascinated me, and I felt very whole with these two spiritual views. The Romani feels right again, but Stregheria just doesn't seem to fit in my life anymore. It's a little sad, but kind of a relief.

I don't believe I can fully go back to being Strega, though no vow is preventing me. I simply must see that looking back is not a return. I still draw wisdom from the Gospel of Aradia, but I belong to Hethert now. I can't make the mistake I was about to and try to go backwards. I can only go forward. I was Luna Gypsy, and while this journey is realizing all that means to me, I am now, and will always be, at least in part, Qefathethert.

I am the sum of my life.
They were my landscape.

I leave this post with the part of the Gospel of Aradia I still carry with me, and will forever.
Be true to your own beliefs. Keep to your ways beyond all obstacles.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

To veil or not to veil?

So. Covering the head. What does that make you think? Of burkhas? Nuns? Fair enough.

But what if I told you that pagan women are starting to cover their heads? Tying scarves around their heads and keeping their hair out of sight, at certain times (usually outside of the home)?

Does it sound a little too Abrahamic? A little too much like strict Judaism/fundy Christianity/Islam? Yeah, I thought so too, and that the urge to cover my hair was some misplaced feeling of "christian modesty" hanging on - though I was never part of a church that actually had women cover their hair.

What to make of the sudden urge, about a year ago, to cover my head?

I didn't do it. My then-boyfriend thought it looked silly, and I stopped. Though the covering made me feel centered, even grown-up.

Now I learn that other women are doing this, even Zat is, and writing about it. It's made it to the Pantheon blog. Still a minority, but one that is seemingly strong, and includes a spiritual sister. I like the idea in the blog on Pantheos, that hair is power, and it doesn't get to be shared with everyone. I'm complimented on my hair at times, and while I like that, it makes me fiddle with my hair. Makes me very self-conscious. Also, there are just some gorgeous scarves out there that I would love to wear like a tichel. I had a little experience with covering in a religious service though, as that is done by both men and women in Vodou. I always thought veiled and scarved women were beautiful, in a way - not the potato-sack burkha deal, that's too much.

Anyway, I tried an experiment while I was out today. I bought two lovely scarves on sale, because I was on this train of thought, then decided I'd get some cute bandanas for work - nothing too obvious, I'm still in Floribama. But that meant going to the dreaded WalHell. I remembered how centered I felt with my head covered, which is something Zat touched on...and I wanted to gauge the reaction of people. So in the car, I tied my hair up in a lovely gray scarf I bought.

I was so excited, I locked my stupid keys in the car, along with my phone! I felt like a doofus, and figure, well, now is the time to see how interactions with people go!

I lucked out, and found a pop-a-lock van right in the parking lot! I run up, ask him to help me, and gives me a discount - though I didn't have enough cash...AGH! He says "well, you seem like such a nice lady" and fills out a form, saying it was an emergency. Didn't ask for a cent.

So, it works? I guess? He was so kind, but that could have just been who he is. In any case, my scarf didn't seem to get in the way of doing business, talking to people - in fact, I was rather chatty with the cashier inside the store. I felt that feeling of safety and calm, and was able to extend myself socially, as a result. Seems contradictory, that wearing something most women wear for modesty makes me more outgoing.

I don't know how much I will cover my head yet, honestly. I only know that I like it, and I think more will happen in the future. Certainly more when I move from here. (I still worry about Islamophobia in this area) In any case, this is something I'm excited to learn from.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The cards say...

Divination is a lovely and tricky thing. Don't get me wrong, I love doing it, even when it turns frustrating and strange.

But there is such a thing as too much.

I collect tarot decks. I use pretty much all of them, and try to stick with one deck per reading, and that deck is whichever one calls to me.

But sometimes, I get the urge to reach for another, and ask the same questions. Bad idea.

Conflicting results, confusing answers, or just what I call "deck exasperation" sets in - where is seems like the cards themselves are saying "you asked that already, pipe down and think over the first reading!" Yes, my decks have personalities.

I have to admit, I've found myself doing this, out of self-doubt and anxiety. It never turns out well, and I leave my divination space more confused than I went in. I'm working on sticking to one deck per reading, making it a rule. Even the last reading I did for myself spoke of keeping things simple, not over-thinking situations. Apparently, it's not just a divination problem!

It's like over-editing a poem, or over-thinking a riddle, you can look past the obvious and get mired down in trivialities. All because of the urge to know.

Even with divination, you can never really know, there is no certainty. You are only shown the path, you still have to walk it, and your future is always in your hands. No amount of card readings, rune castings, pendulum work, or any other form of divination, will make that any less true, or the future any less risky. Not by itself anyway. You have to heed the message, first.

All the work is on you.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Thank You Mother, Thank You!

Hethert is definitely moving in my life. I'm actually looking to get out of here.

I'm not giving up. I was so close, and now it's all changed. A phone call that lasted until the sun rose, like I was young again. I don't even want to sleep, I feel so alive. More than I have in years, even in New Orleans! How has this happened?

I just know it's glorious. That love renews hope. That I will thank my Mother in shrine this morning, before I make errands. That, at the least, I have a new and dear friend, someone Hethert has placed in my path.

Because She always wants me to have love.

Save Me by Gotye on Grooveshark

<3 Qefathethert

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Struggles, and What I Have

More down time. Feel I've lost someone dear to impatience and other things. Sometimes I feel like too much is going on.

Then Mom Hethert throws messages through music at me, and it helps. It heals.

I still have a lot to learn, heal from, and do, but it's good to know that I have a faith family and gods that have my back. I love you all.

And will try to remember this:
Slow down
From a thread of sky
To the warp and weft of your being
You’re beautiful graceful, like no other, pretty dammed good as you are

Thursday, March 22, 2012

All's fair...?

I am changing again. Of course, this is a good thing, ultimately. Being static is a kind of death. I wonder if there is anything concrete in my life, really.

Of course, I'm scared. My previous post hinted at things I only felt comfortable being super vague and slightly poetic about. At the time, anyway. I don't have many solid thoughts about it.

What I am pretty sure of, is that there will be a burning away of many false ideas I had about myself - things that my accepted thoughts conflicted with, but I didn't have the guts to face. But I shouldn't have been surprised, in the end.

Main thing, I believe I might be polyamorous. If you have no fucking idea what that is, see Zabet's other blog and her explanation and know you're not the only one confused.

In fact, I vaguely knew about people that did this sort of thing, but didn't know the word - and didn't think I could "handle" it. I kind of have had it slapped in my face by crazy circumstance, and have had to face some of my main fears about it. I'm still utterly confused, but ready to admit - this very well might be who I am. How I approach love. Which is frightening as FUCK, but amazing at the same time.

This is all subject to change too. On my terms. Whatever those are.

Yeah, thanks Hethert, I am your daughter, alright.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mon coeur, heart, ib, corazon....

I try to close myself off after heartbreaks. Or at least install security defenses with passwords to get through. I feel smaller, but safer. But that's no way to live. Not really. And not for me.

I burn with passion sometimes. I cry when simply overwhelmed, whether by fear, pain, or joy. I wear my heart on my sleeve. And then I try not to.

The gods laugh, and throw people in my way to tear me wide open again. I don't think this is a bad thing.

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
~Kahlil Gibran

It's all very scary, and healing is hard, but maybe fire can cleanse me.

Senebty, Qefat

Friday, January 20, 2012

Who I Was, Who I Am.

I hope this post makes sense. And I won't ask anyone to believe it, because I know how that goes.

I remember past lives.

I don't just trust or believe in reincarnation - it's beyond academic for me, and into the very real, very spiritual, personal, and often visceral realm of reality for me. I have remembered lives that span thousands of years. I remember people I know now in some of the past lives, though they hardly ever remember me (I think this has happened twice, ever). I have never undergone hypnosis, this is not borne of suggestion. I don't know how to explain how I remember, or even where to begin how to tell others how they could. I just do. I trust that I remember the lives and the times within them for a reason. To learn something.

This admission on my part is usually met with some level of disbelief, either outright accusations of lying, or some reason how I'm misunderstanding what I remember and feel. Everything from "you're just trying to make your own life more interesting", to "we don't have individual reincarnated souls, it's 'genetic memory'." Any combination, mutation, personal take on these ideas, I've likely heard. I'm not here to defend my own understanding of my experience to anyone. I accept that I could be wrong. I am still learning, after all.

I just know that since the first memory came to me, I knew that I was myself and not myself at the same time. Of course I wasn't the same person I am now, but some part of me, something deep and inner, was within that woman who had a husband and lived in Spain in the 1940's. Same for the prostitute in early Renaissance Venice, the farm girl in Bronze Age China, etc, so forth.

Whenever I do remember, depending on the strength of the memory, my mind can be split for days. And a memory recently did surface this week - and I believe it was particularly strong, because I remembered with someone who was there. We only met briefly in that life, but it was strong enough to throw me into a state of mental limbo for days. I forgot how to start my car, I slipped in and out of English on the phone, I basically felt like my mind/spirit has been stirred, like a jar of sake, and all the sediment that had brewed to produce who I am now, was floating to the surface, clouding the present.

And this brew is strong, and bittersweet.

Any idea that I dream up past lives because they would be better than the present, I can say, right now, that is false in my case. These were painful memories, and not just for me. I wasn't anyone famous (no Cleopatra or Napoleons here). I wasn't a rich woman, a princess, I didn't have a torrid love affair. If anything, I lived in shame, in pain, and died with little note.

I am still working out why it is useful for me to remember - if it was just to remember with my friend, that would be good enough for me. We now share a very strong bond, and I treasure that.

I also know that it is of little use to dwell on these memories, so I am doing my best to let them settle. To remember, and to not re-live it. I think I had to for a little while, but that is only to integrate part of myself into my present consciousness. And to remember the good things, the kindnesses, and take lessons from the rest.

While I fully believe in these memories, I remind myself, and also believe, that this life is the most important. Anything in the past is just that, in the past - while it has helped form the present, and I can learn from that, the only thing I can affect is now.

So I will remember who I was, learn who I am, and make who I will be a full person.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Thank You

I dedicate this to my Mother, Hethert. And to many people in my life, even the ones that hurt me.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Inner Resistance - Daring to Love Myself

The Occupy Love movie project has me thinking on many things in my own heart. As it should, I suppose. Yet, another comment made to me last night also has me searching my heart deeply, and not just about the subject being discussed. The main thrust of it was anger.

Anger at Christianity was mentioned, specifically. I really had thought myself cleared of most of my anger towards Christianity years ago, and while that may be true, but there is still enough present to be noticed by a friend. This made me sad – I don't want to be angry at a whole religion. I tried to comfort myself with the fact that I study and enjoy Gnosticism, am a fan of Kahlil Gibran, and remain peaceful with any Christian I meet, if that person doesn't attempt to convert me. I've since had Christian friends since leaving their faith. But none of this means that I am free from anger, or don't harbor grudges in my heart. This is eating my heart, even if it's slowly. It does not serve me, or anyone else.

How do you let go of anger? How do you purge all the hurt that has been done to you?

I was hurt, and hurt deeply, by the Christian private school I attended in my teen years, by the Baptist theology that was popular there, and by the regular teenaged cruelty cast upon me. Somehow, it was worse when coupled with Southern Baptist worm theology. Not only was I an uncool, unattractive geek, I was also an undeserving sinner and a filthy beggar for God's love, and I was damn lucky to get it, after grovelling and hating myself to my peers' approval.

Is it any surprise to anyone that this left emotional scars and self-destructive habits?

I also get angry at injustice, at the hatred and ignorance of others, at the government, at so many things - and while this is reasonable, even justified, it's not very helpful. Anger is a kind of violence, and I do believe violence begets violence. I want to change my world around me, but I must learn to respond, not react. Reacting only causes others to want to react. There is no understanding there, and Love is pushed out. I want to fight, to make a better world, but I want it to be in Love. Jesus was right, the real revolutionary act is to love your enemies - though I do not believe it to be in the passive, door-mat way I was taught. That was just a way to create a slave. It must be an active love, a love that says "you are just like me, let us both treat each other as humans, this is what we both need and want."

I can't hang on to the anger. It only hurts me, no matter if it is justified. I am eating my own heart, and Bast is never pleased with that. If I want to do senut every day physical purity allows, I must also purify my mind and heart. Anger gets in the way of that. It begets depression in me, and a host of other mental problems.

I must start an internal revolution. That must come first, before I can even attempt to be a part of the outward revolution. I feel the revolution towards Love out there, and I desperately want to be a part of it, to run laughing through all that energy like a kid through sprinklers. But that's only half of how it works. I have to grow Love in my own heart. Anger and Fear are blocking that.

I see a lot of weeping in my future. I will embrace it, with the laughter and the light and the dark. I will love the dark until it glows. Netjer give me courage to do so.

With Love and Hope,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dangerous Unselfishness

A filmmaker that I have already vastly enjoyed, through his film Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action, by the name of Velcrow Ripper, is doing it again. I already blogged about that film here, and still highly recommend it to everyone, though Netflix removed it from their service (boo!).

His new film is Occupy Love, and is, of course, about the world-wide Occupy movement. The clips I have seen are moving, and I've cried already. It's spurring me, once again, to want to do something. The world is changing, and I don't want to deny the revolution a room at the inn.

I want Love to be enough. Maybe this is all telling me that it is enough, I just have to see it.

In Love,

Friday, January 6, 2012

A heart that hurts is a heart that works

Yes, music is the currency of my spirit and emotions (Thanks Momma Hethert!). I've been angsty and angry again, but it seems even the darker music I love can offer bits of light. And I'm very thankful for this song right now.

Also I wonder sometimes if I could be any more of a romantic. Then I almost explode from it. Maybe that's for another post, though.