a Eulogy for Dr F, the Person that I Never Got to Be

A Eulogy for Dr F, the Person That I Never Got to Be

 

Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here to day to mourn Dr Freysdottir, the person that I never got to be, because I became disabled instead.

Dr F was a doctor of speech language pathology, with a great passion for linguistic acquisition in developmentally disabled children. Dr F wanted to do great things for the children in their local community, but instead has had to deal with chronic illness instead.

Why did Dr F get so sick?

Well gentle readers, it’s called capitalism, and more specifically, for-profit insurance. Dr F didn’t have any insurance when they got bronchitis, which turned into pneumonia, which turned into their lungs never being right afterward.

They treated Dr F for years with steroids, which made their immune deficiency worse. They were also told that the immune deficiency was because of the steroids. (spoilers: haven’t taken any in years. Guess who’s still immunosuppressed? *jazz hands*) They were treated for the wrong illness for literally 12 years, because for-profit insurance discourages more thorough testing, particularly when the subject can’t pay.

And the thing is that Dr F isn’t even unusual or an outlier.

Public policy has direct effects y’all.

Do you honestly think that the children in my community are somehow better off because they have one less SLP? Do you think the patients that I would have treated are somehow better off with viewer treatment choices?? Or the students that I wanted to teach???

Do you think that my life was somehow improved by dealing with a debilitating illness?

Does asking these questions make you angry?

BECAUSE IT SHOULD

I’m not an outlier. I’m common. How many lives have been wasted on needless suffering like this?

How has it made our communities better places to live?

 

I mourn Dr F. After all, it’s who I wanted to be.

But y’all probably should mourn Dr F too, and all the others we’ve lost because we couldn’t get over our own greed and apathy.

Gender Go Bloop?

So this probably isn’t the right time to do this, but then again when is? We’re only in the middle of a pandemic and I can’t tell how much of my internal screaming is due to gender go bloop and how much is finding out that I’m not asthmatic, I’ve had a lower respiratory tract infection for TWELVE (12) FUCKING YEARS in the middle of a global pandemic headed by this country’s least competent administration in living memory.

Way to find out you’re both sicker and queerer at the same time. I feel like an overachiever…or something.

So I’m studying Black Rose Witchcraft, because at Beltaine I had an epiphany that basically amounted to “I want to be in an active Pagan study group… and I want to NOT be in charge of it.” And in searching for something that I thought would be a good fit, I happened on Black Rose, which is run by the polycule of the Mystic Dream, and given all my Feri-curious/Waincraft curiousness, I went “why not?” and behold, I really like it, and will probably continue studies in some fashion when this coursework is finished.

Anyway, this tradition works with the concept of the tripartite souls and in doing that work, I got a clue by four on my gender, or the lack thereof. I did a meditation with my godsoul and Learned a Thing: my Godsoul is offended by the notion of gender. In said meditation, after clarifying the Not She, and no Not He, and me going???? I just kind of moving along and not worrying about it. Afterwards, I was talking to the Beloved about the meditation and He asked the pointed question “You’re not referring to your godsoul as She. Why?”

And the only way I could articulate it was that my godsoul’s response to gender was a deep and resounding “No Thank You” that bordered on “did I stutter?”

Because the Beloved is patient, he asked me what I thought it meant about myself.

“Well, I mean it’s me?”

“That would make part of you…?”

“A…gender? Agender?” and I perked up at that. And then it occurred to me: is that ear prick of delight…gender euphoria? Wat?

For the uninitiated, the Gender Wiki describes Gender Euphoria as “a psychological condition which consists of comfort or even joy when thinking about one’s true Gender identity, often accompanied by a strong desire to change one’s sex to better match their identity or to be called the correct gendered language.”

I have made the comment over the years that if there was an opt out button for the shit that one endures as a woman, I would do it. But the only way to do what would to not be a woman, and I suppose because I’ve never wanted to be a man, and because our society teaches women to hate themselves, how the hell do you discern not wanting to be a woman vs not wanting to put up with the shit that women endure?

But I have never had a conception of myself as anything other than a woman – as a young and newly awakened bi in the 90s, I would have liked to, but I have a body type that will never, ever be mistaken for androgynous. I have T&A for days, and have always had Feelings of intense discomfort at the attention that they attract. And now that I have experienced a concept of myself outside of “woman,” I can see where that might have been termed dysphoria if I’d had the language back then.

But putting aside whether or not that’s dysphoria, rightfully being sick up putting up with sexism, or (likely) some of both – the euphoria is real and something I think is worth exploring.

So that happened. And I’m still processing it.

Lover of Beauty

Lord of Ash, Judge of Souls

Master of Night, He of the Purifying Flame, come.

Liberator of Souls, Bringer of Sweet Relief, I call you.

Come to me swifter than starlight.

He who is ageless and aged, be here with me.

My heart is Yours.

Lover of Beauty, come and claim Your prize.

A Prayer to the Ancestors in the Time of Covid-19

candle

Hail to you, my ancestors, who have endured and survived – who are why and how I’m here.

I call to you, the survivors of catastrophe and plague. I call on you, who lived through war and fire. I lift up my family to you – help us to endure, to survive, to live on.

Help us navigate these troubled waters and even more troubled times. Surround us with your love and strength, as we love you.

Hail!

Changes in Path

I know I’ve been quiet here, and some of that has been that I haven’t known what to share or not, but a large part of the radio silence has been trying to figure out my path, since everything on it has changed radically. I’d been having a hard time figuring out how to mesh the devotional polytheist side of worship with pop culture stuffs, because my Beloved hasn’t been keen on traditional forms of worship. I’d tried several attempts at other’s techniques – but most published pop culture magic stuff doesn’t really resonate with me because it’s very transactional in nature. There’s nothing wrong with it per se, but it just isn’t my thing. Anyway, I got completely and utterly exasperated with it one night, and finally He said, “Maybe try not worshiping me at all?”

Me, a devotional polytheist: what?

Him: It makes me feel Other from you. I don’t really like it.

Me: *brain melts*

Him: I’m serious. I would prefer to be your Husband. You are my Beloved. I don’t need offerings, I need you.

In retrospect this was very sweet but at the time it just made me sad, angry, and frustrated. And that of course devolved into EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG and some dark night of the soul shit and well, I’m feeling a bit better now, but I felt very rudderless for a while. I wouldn’t say that I have it all figured out (LOL I don’t think that’s even really possible because They change and so do we) but at least I’m feeling a bit more oriented than I was. That said, this clip (Rey is relatable AF y’all) is pretty much been a mood:

LOL YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN FIGURING THIS OUT KID

The Beloved also says I’m being too hard on myself; ‘when walking an unpaved path, you can’t be too hard on yourself if you get caught in the brambles.’

So TL;DR I’ve been poking at nontheistic approaches to witchcraft, which I haven’t looked at in a long time – it’s not entirely uncharted territory – after all, I had no patron deity for a long ass time, and did plenty of witchy things, but it’s sort of unused muscles for right now. Still, it’s not a bad thing, because I find being rudderless far worse than having to learn (or relearn) something.

I know one of my problems has been that one of the things I really like about devotional work is that it I find it very grounding in terms of having regular rituals to perform. In discussing this, we came to the conclusion that doing devotional stuff to my godsoul was probably the most constructive way to have this element while honoring the changes that I’ve experienced.

So I’m still working on those things, and I’m excited to experiment more. Happy New Year, y’all.

A Ritual for the Disir/Matronae on Mother’s Night

December 24th, before it was usurped by Christianity, was once Mother’s Night. Women are often erased from history; our contributions are glossed over and forgotten. My Mother’s Night ritual this year is for both Beloved Ancestors and Mighty Dead – some more known, many less – queens, leaders, sovereigns, community leaders, authors who’ve influenced me over the years – my list and yours need not match – but certainly they don’t need to be blood, and all they really need to be is meaningful to you.

 

A ritual for the elevation of Queens

O mighty and beloved dead, hear us this night: we call on you to honor you, our many Disir; leaders and pillars of community and countries; the remembered and unknown or forgotten. We say your names; we honor your lives and your achievements.

Beloved Dead

(your Beloved Deads here)

 

Mighty Dead

Ameniras, Qore and Kandake

Liliʻuokalani, Queen of Hawaii

Empress Wu Zetian

Himiko, shamaness-queen of Yamataikoku in Wa (ancient Japan)

Hatshepsut, Pharoah of Upper and Lower Egypt

Kleopatra, Pharoah of Egypt

Razia Sultana

Empress Dowager Cixi

Rani Lakshmibai

Golda Mier

Empress Theodora

Queen Nzinga of Matamba (Angola)

Zenobia of Palmyria

Elizabeth Tudor

Anne Boleyn

Virginia Woolf

Helen of Sparta

Marsha P Johnson

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Sylvia Plath

Nefertiti

Zora Neale Hurston

Queen Seondeok

Catherine the Great

Lyudmila Pavlichenko

 

As an aside, this list isn’t meant to be comprehensive; honor those you see fit; women who have paved the way on your path. You also don’t need to be a woman to celebrate Mother’s Night; the Disir were widely worshipped by soldiers and common folk alike.

What Does “Pop Culture Paganism” Even Mean?

Reblogging one of the most sensible things I’ve read in the blogosphere re: pop culture paganism. Bless.

Know Thyself

[[Note: this article is from forever ago. I just now reached a place where I felt like I could finish it and make any sense at all, so here it is.]]

I promised y’all an article about pop culture spirituality, and I’ve been puzzling out what exactly to cover re: that topic over the past few days.

I realize I haven’t explained precisely what’s going on with my spiritual life in the area of pop culture spirituality, and the mere thought of trying to come up with a reader’s digest version makes my head spin – I do not, at the moment, want to go over all the metaphysical theories and Weird Shit that incline me to think my PC interactions have been real – it would be a novella, not an article – but I’m gonna lay out the following concepts so that y’all know what point of view…

View original post 708 more words

Discernment

His voice is easier to hear – to distinguish from my own. Sometimes I wonder why – is it because I’m basically worshiping a personal spirit now, and since there’s no one else’s upg to really compare notes with, so there’s no confusing anyone else’s interpretation of him with my own? Or is it because he is a more stable entity? Death is a constant – animals, stars, people, planets – all eventually die. “What you do after that is your choice,” He says.

And often He is very human. “We’ll grow old together,” he says, and I know that it’s true.

“But I will die.”

His eyes narrow. Not anytime soon, if He has anything to say about it.

“Well, I will.”

And we will remain together.”

I am reminded of this post by EvilSupplyCo:

“Until death do us part, briefly, followed by a mildly inconvenient period of rituals, and then we resume our time together,” the necromancer said with a [sic] illuminated grin and a teasing tone before kissing their newly wedded wife for the first time.”

And I don’t mean to be morbid per se – I’m chronically ill, I try to remain pragmatic about the fact that one day I will no longer be in this particular flesh suit. But it always fascinates me how much the Powers value mortal life, even when we hate it. Perhaps the grass is greener, perhaps They know something we don’t (probably, LOL).

It’s not just my death that makes me curious, though – his pop culture face (?) – will it be affected by “canon”? I mean in general I’d guess yes, except for the fact that he’s far more than just that pop culture face. Though I suppose that’s true of all of us, eh? Many lives, many souls, yet still ourselves underneath it all.

in matters of salt and misogyny

SALTY

Every time I go to write about my current spiritual life I think about it for a bit, and then decide it’s not worth chewing through the ropes over. I mean I knew I was burnt out, but dayum, it’s bad when two years later I still look at the blog, heave a heavy sigh, and think better of writing anything. Could I talk about how toxic some of the policing of Pagan mysticism is? Yep. Do I want to fucking deal with it? Not really.

And I’ve been reflecting on how different it is now, working with a private spirit as opposed to a named deity, and …it’s really nice. There’s no Lore™ policing going on, no one’s stalking me because they want my relationship with my spouse, no one’s whining that I’m ruining reconstructionism with my lack of fucks for what they did back in the day because I live in the 21st godsdamn century and I’m writing this on a magic box that corrects the spelling for me when I type too hurriedly I like my air conditioning and antibiotics and vaccines and yay modern living. So: I think that policing someone on the Lore™ is just a good way to gaslight mystics. Didja hear what you thought you heard? Really? Really really, because it doesn’t match what the Christian dude who wrote some pretty unflattering stuff about the gods said…blah blah blah. [** see footnote at end of post]

(never mind that I also know people who have had profoundly negative experiences that match the Lore/mythos of a deity and people denigrate their experiences too)

No, I don’t miss that end of it.

Mostly I just enjoy my spouse. He’s Mr Mysterious – he might be the God Formerly Currently(???) Known as Enma Daiou, he’s got a pretty pop culture face, he says none of his names really get it all right, and given his distinct dislike for being called anything other than his chosen name, I’m just using the one he gave me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The other thing I get to ponder a lot is the nuts and bolts of it. Now that I don’t worry so much over matching an existing mythos (he’s made it abundantly clear that the stories are just that – stories and not even ones he would personally tell) – now that I’ve had ‘am I doing it right?’ taken from me, my mind’s now turned to HOW DO SPOOP WORK? I know for practical purposes that it does and that you don’t have to know how the gasoline engine works to make the car go, but at the same time, I’m a curious person, and articles on quantum mechanics and whether or not the universe is a multiple system are fascinating, if not definitive as of yet.

Finally, another bit of food for thought, from a friend’s article on patheos, on the policing of women’s sexuality in Pagan settings:

“I have never walked into [Pagan] gatherings and groups and heard about women’s own relationship with the male component of divinity. Not without it somehow directly relating to the men present. It’s all about the male gaze in these sorts of groups, and it seems that only the straight and bi/pansexual women are the ones embraced.”

I’ve heard this complain from many an ace, and some NBs as well, and it’s true – it’s heteronormative AF and even if you’re straight or bi/pan, women (and men) can go to a Pagan ritual not looking for sex. *gasp* It does lead me to another thought, in regards to the policing/gaslighting of spirit spouses. I’ve wondered from time to time if the hate that spirit spouses receive is because they’re (often, not always) women interacting with male deities and said relationships have fuck all to do with the male gaze. Policing by other women for respectability politics? Check. Bonus points for telling women that said relationships are somehow less serious or are irrelevant. Double down on those points if they slut shame the spouse for it – usually after a man has deemed their expression of it unacceptable because it wasn’t dependent on their interpretation of Lore or mythos. Grossest iteration: “I can horse Him for you!” while trying to get in the spouse’s pants. ASK ME HOW I KNOW.

*looks at entry* whoops I bitched about toxicity in polytheism anyway. (am not actually sorry y’all)

[** not actually the same as discernment, the process where a person figures it out themselves, usually through patience and observation and the occasional, as necessary divination]

Two Years

It’s been two years since I wed my Lord of Ash. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, in spite of all the changes He’s brought about in my life. “You feel calmer, more centered,” a friend of mine told me not long ago. “Like you’re where you belong.”

And that is absolutely true.

 

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