The Latest Blog Debate…

People who align with evil to defeat another group perceived as evil is not winning or strengthening anything.  Stop and consider what another person has been saying for a long, long time before agreeing to whatever timely blog post they’ve put up.  Make sure you agree with their message instead of just that blog post, because while what they’re saying could really line up with your current feelings against a bully, they may be, I don’t know…  Not actually in alignment as to what you feel is right and true.

They may be out for power.

They may be waiting to drown you in the well they’ve poisoned.

It is entirely possible to stand in middle ground and say, “Actually, I don’t want either of these realities in my religious world.”

Critical thinking of all sides, even your own, is necessary to make the right choice.

The lesser of the two evils is still evil.

You, my friends, are better than that.

Acceptance and the Art of Chronic Illness

Sharing from my art and chronic illness blog since this touches on my spiritual experience with chronic illness.

Wunderkammer by C. Laurentine

Approach illness as an experiment in staying present, in opening your heart in hell. Discuss how we fear our hidden pain even more than death, and how noting and mindfulness brings that pain to the surface where it can be healed.
A Year to Live: How to Live this Year as If it Were Your Last by Stephen Levine
 
One of the reasons I talk about my health and illness publicly so much is because it helps me name and note my where I am mentally when it comes to chronic illness. I have never been very good at verbally communicating my thoughts. Writing helps me understand myself. So much is discovered through writing for me. The vast majority of what I write never sees the light of day, and regularly once it’s written I’m at peace and simply shut the Office window without saving.
 
It’s how I…

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Untitled Work in Progress

I thought I’d share a painting I’ve been working on for the last couple weeks. It’s by no means done, but sometimes I like to show my work mid-creation.

Wunderkammer by C. Laurentine

An unfinished watercolor painting of white woman wearing a twig crown and lady slippers. She has closed eyes and is kissing a wolf. They stand in front of a crumbling cathedral in the forest.

If you would have told me 4 years ago that I would be working in watercolor, I’d have laughed at you.  Too finicky.  Too much work.  Too time-consuming.  Yet here I am.

These days I don’t have time to sit for 8 hours like I once did in art school studio classes.  Which I recently discovered wasn’t a bad thing.  In fact, it forces me to slow down.  I’ve imposed a rule of only working an hour at a time now on a single piece of art, because I realized that the danger of working large amounts of time is that rushing need to be finished.  Rushing keeps me from learning a medium.  Rushing keeps me from really figuring out how to become better, because art to me is a constant movement towards improving and mastery.  I’m not there yet.  I doubt I ever will be.  But in this case…

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The Tempest of February

I may not have much to update with in the next few months, since life is pretty intense currently.  These things happened last month:

  1. I was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation Type 1 of the brain, which means my brain has slumped down in my skull and the cerebellum’s tonsils have fallen out the bottom into my neck.  Just slightly.  Enough that I have symptoms.  Which means I’m facing a very likely possibility of skull/brain surgery (and/or spinal cord surgery) in the next few years.  Ideally after my husband is done with his residency.
  2. My husband was gone for half the month interviewing for residencies.  We’ll know in 23 days if he was accepted to one of them, and if he has been, we’ll move in June or July.  So now I’m working to get things thinned down to bare minimums around here.  I may have some shrine tools and pretties going up for sale.  I’ll post them here.
  3. Pony was diagnosed with ASD (specifically what would have been considered as Asperger’s before) last week.  This came as no surprise to us, but due to the fact she’s able to pass as neurotypical in most situations I have had no less than 3 people question the diagnosis.  This week has been a blur of phone calls, more evaluations, and trying to figure out what will be in her best interest and not just what they suggest to come off as neurotypical.
  4. I got everything in line to get my wheelchair built for me and should be getting it in about 9 weeks or so.  I’m excited about it, because by the time it gets here I may need to rely on it due to fatigue while I recover.

 

Silence is Never Consent

We have to be careful about the rhetoric we use, especially in a forum that relies completely on written word.  I saw this this morning, and I decided not to address it on Patheos, because I don’t want to derail the conversation on racism that is happening.  At the same time, I am not okay with this:

A Quote from a Patheos blog reading, "Thank you for all your support in this discussion, but especially for this. It explains in great detail exactly why I wrote what I wrote. Silence is consent, and I do not consent to racism in my community." The identity of the quoted has been blurred out.
Identity withheld due to my assumption that the person quoted simply didn’t think this through before saying it since their chances of being raped are statistically less than mine.

 

 

By all means, draw lines when you feel they are needed.  Tell me what you don’t consent to even, because that’s really, really important. But silence?  Silence is never consent.  Ever.

I’m not unaware of the necessity for white people speaking out against other white people’s racist BS.  I will even agree that our silence when it comes to issues of white supremacy allows it to continue on.  We need phrases that challenge the tendency in human psychology to fear speaking out when we’re confronted with things that make us uncomfortable in a group.  Silence is compliance is a phrase I’ve used before.  Even compliance is violence.

But as a woman fighting against a world where people are raped and regularly asked what they did to get raped, or even told they can’t be raped due to their gender, I cannot and will not accept the muddying of what consent is by people who proclaim they are for social justice.

If this is acceptable rhetoric to the social justice community within the Pagan community, then I am incredibly disappointed and want no part in it.  While I consider it very bad form to derail conversations about one marginalized group with the plight of another, I think it behooves a person identifying as an ally to keep in mind the choice of words that they use, especially when calling others out.  Especially when one has the ability to stop and really pause to consider their words before hitting the send button.  There’s little excuse for such an egregious misstep in words.

Silence is never consent.

“Silence is consent” is how rape happens in our culture.

Pick a different word.

The only way to consent is to say yes, and if you don’t believe that then you’re as much of a problem to me as a woman as the racist is in the world.

Pick a different damned word for your rhetoric.

Reblog: Priestessing Depression: Why are Pagans So Afraid of Negative Emotions?

It’s much, much harder to priestess the bad stuff in life–the petty revenge fantasies, the tantrums born from exhaustion, the moments of cowardice and greed, all the emotional farts and belches that every single one of us experiences. It’s much harder to be present for these moments, to tend them, to hold them and honor them and truly try to understand them.

But that’s exactly what we need priestesses for.

via Priestessing Depression: Why are Pagans So Afraid of Negative Emotions?.

*applauds* Represent!  This was perfect!

How I Found My Path, Parts 1 & 2 – A Belated Week 1 YouTube Pagan Challenge Video

 

So I’m the one who can’t sum up how they got onto their path in less than 20 minutes.  It’s complicated, and I expect no one to actually watch my rambling, convoluted story since it takes about 45 minutes.  This is what happens when no one is around to yell, “Get to the point!”

The story of my religious, mystic, and mental health path up to this week…

Freya Portrait

Cross-posting from my art blog.  I’ve decided to release the images I create of the Gods into Creative Commons (non-commercial, non-derivative, with attribution), so snag it for your blog if you would like it.

Wunderkammer by C. Laurentine

The Goddess Freya, face half-covered by her falcon feather cloak. Her eye is an intense blue. She stands in front of a dark blue sky with faintly white clouds.

I received a new graphics tablet for the holidays this year, and it’s been completely awesome.  After a couple of studies of eyes, I started to work on this piece of Freya.  This is my first 100% digital painting, and I’m very pleased with how it turned out.

You can buy prints of this image here.

Note: I have no control over what items my image shows up on from what I can tell, but let me just say I didn’t make the image for a duvet cover.  The tiny picture on it looks ridiculous in the preview photo.  Please don’t buy it. Ha.

Secondly, the works I do of the Gods I have made the decision to offer under Creative Commons for non-commercial use with no derivatives (works based off of it).  If you are interested in a commercial license, please email me at Notawiccan (at) gmail (dot) com…

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