"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Monday, May 28, 2007

Yet Another New Level

I went book shopping today at both amazon.ca and at the local Chapters, seeking out books by Wiccan 'elders', picking up a copy of Starhawk's The Spiral Dance, Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon, and Isaac Bonewit's Essential Guide to Witchcraft and Wicca. I'm no longer focussed on what Wicca is to me, but, rather, what it is to others, as well as its true historical roots. In other words, I've now finally turned an academic eye to my Wiccan studies.

I am content with the way I live Wicca and the direction I am taking with my faith. But I find that my knowledge is too self-centred, too focused on what I feel inside. I have a hard time externalizing my beliefs. At first, I thought that was not necessary. But the broom closet becomes stuffier and stuffier and I think that I will eventually have no choice but come out of it to my family.

My extended family (especially my grand-mother) is devoutly Catholic while my immediate family (especially my mother) seems agnostic, maybe even atheist. I know that my grand-mother will understand, if she wants, my description of religious revelation, but my mother will want a much more academic, even 'lay' description of my beliefs. I need to be able to show that my beliefs didn't materialize out of thin air, that they have a history, that they are 'legitimate.'

This weekend, I attended a baptism for my nephew. He was baptized not because of his parents' personal beliefs, but, rather, because of family pressure. I'd like my beliefs to be known ahead of such events, so that my grand-mother won't faint should I ever be handfasted, or my mother be completely flummoxed by the death celebration ritual I have prepared.

Reading Being a Pagan, a collection of interviews with Pagans, I now have a greater sense of my own faith, seeing that while I do have an individual, even unique, take on it, my foundation is no different than that of those who follow a Druid, Astaru, or Faery path.

Most truthfully, though, I am getting lonely and am eager to reach out to the pagan community at a gathering of some sort and I'd like to be able to show up knowing that I'm not completely misguided in thinking of myself as 'Wiccan' and that others I meet will find me a kindred spirit.

The more I read the more I see that, a) I am most definitely Wiccan; b) I am most definitely following an uncommon path; and c) there is a definite (and desperate) need for Tameran Wicca literature.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

New Levels

I seem to have reached yet another level of knowledge in my spiritual path.

Last weekend, I bought three books, one about Moses possibly being Akenaten, and the relationship between ancient Egyptian religion and Judaïsm; one about the current relevance of ancient Egyptian religion; and one about being a pagan.

The Moses and Akenaten volume hasn't impressed me, so I've only read a couple of chapters so far. Yet, it validates some of my own theories about the connection about Judeo-Christian faith and ancient Egyptian religion. Suddenly, my online searches took a different step. Even though I was using my 'usual' search words such as 'Egyptian pantheon', I was getting new search results... which brought me knowledge of new-to-me gods in this pantheon... gods which can be deemed a sort of 'cross-over' between ancient Egyptian religion and Judaïsm. Huh huh. Until this week, I was certain that Ba'al and Quetesh are early Semetic figures, with no relation to ancient Egypt. As it turns out, that's false. A little bit of research later, I realise that Ba'al has been jumping up and down in front of me waving his arms for quite a few weeks now. Okay, okay, I see you. Please stop playing with the weather!

The bigger lesson in all of this is that there is no set 'end' for a religion. Instead, they seem to ebb for a while then flow into something new which is ultimately so different as to be irreconcilable with what came before... and yet they started in the same place.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Bigger Doesn't Always Mean Better Value

At the grocery store this afternoon, I decided to treat myself to '2 bite brownies.' A 600g bag sold for 6$. I forget the price of the 300g bag, but I do remember the unit cost for each--the 600g bag's unit cost was 1$ while the 300g bag's unit cost was .83$! Whopping difference! As it happened, today the 300g bags were reduced to 2 for 5$.

I'll let you do the math and just say that I can't believe people were actually buying the 600g bags....

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Shopping Lessons For This Week

Shopping Lesson #1: Know your favourite stores' price honouring policies
Bonus Shopping Lesson: Keep your receipts

A week ago, I bought 180$ worth of clothes at my favourite shop. I know better than to pay full price for anything at the shop, so everything I bought was discounted at least 20% and I got a lot for my 180$. Going by the shop yesterday, I saw that they were having a rare '50% off already reduced merchandise sale.' I shop there so often that I know that lower prices are honoured within a two week window. So, I went in with my receipt and asked if any of the items I'd bought the week before were eligible for this 50% off sale. Yes! I was given a refund of 37$! Since other items I wanted were on sale for 50% off, I used the refund to buy them. My total was five skirts, seven tops, and a pair of workout pants for 180$!

Shopping Lesson #2: You don't always have to go far from home to get the best deal

I'm taking a holiday soon and desperately needed luggage. I did some research and found the brand I wanted. It was very pricey, but the amount felt reasonable. So, I went to the nearby luggage shop, which everyone had told me not to go to since they're pricey, and which is where I buy most of my purses and bags. I asked if they could order me the luggage. Not only did they order my luggage, but they honoured two ongoing sales--a 25% off all luggage sale AND a 'buy two, get one free' sale. But here's the kicker. I'd ordered three pieces of luggage. They made me pay for the cheapest item, which I thought I'd be getting free, a 15$ 'gift.' Then, I was told I could pick out an item worth the value of the second item, 50$! So, I got a lovely brief/laptop case that I've been eyeing for ages and which was actually a 100$ value on sale for 50% off! My four pieces came to 150$, including taxes, when one of the pieces alone was 125$ at full price!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Wiccan hazards no one warned me about...

I think I was a little too enthusiastic in my prayers tonight since I set my Book of Shadows on fire. I had to pause in the middle of my invocation to Lord Osiris to beat my BoS on my altar to put out the flames!!!

I suppose that's one way to create a Beltane bonfire....

At any rate, neither my BoS nor my altar (nor me, for that matter) is any the worse for wear.

Speaking of my BoS, I've treated myself to a grimoire from Brahm's Bookworks. It should be arriving in about six weeks. Even though they offer an 'Egyptian' grimoire, I picked out the Witch's Grimoire (tm), finding the Egyptian one 'too busy.' Also, the WG seemed to better represent the whole of me--a Wiccan AND Witch. An Egyptian-themed BoS would only highlight a tiny part of my faith. I didn't order the 'grand tome' because I found the size too unwieldy for practical application. I figure that when I fill my first grimoire, I'll then order the 'Egyptian' one. At that point, I'll probably use the first grimoire for my Witchcrafty stuff and the Egyptian one for the Wiccan stuff. At least, if the pages are as easy to manipulate as the site claims. At any rate, I've wanted one of Brahm and Robyn's grimoires for ages now and I can't wait to hold it in my hands!