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.