It started out Sunday morning with a rather tentacly dream.
And here I thought I might be done with those.
Well, it all started with this book store. See, I was working in a mall someplace, and I was sent down to this bookstore to go clear it out for some reason. I don't think that there was any inkling that there was something unnatural down there, but for some reason I was supposed to get everyone out.
Well, it was full of people, most of whom were already on their way out. The place was run by short Asian people, Korean I imagine, who spoke very choppy English and wanted me out.
I walked through the various stacks of books, telling people to head out (not that they needed told), and came to a portion of the bookstore that I didn't know existed. I had the impression that it had been dug out of the ground, and the lighting was poor. This is when I first got the impression that maybe (just maybe) I was uncovering something I shouldn't.
And I began to think about tentacles.
I think that my conscious self thought, "Hey, wouldn't it be neat to have tentacles in this dream?"
I never claimed to think straight.
But no sooner had I thought that then bright green tentacles started out at me. The beast Yog from He-Man comes to mind, but I think that this was the Lier-In-Wait.
Why do I think that?
Hell if I know.
But how many Elder Gods should someone meet in their lifetime? I mean, really?
So after an amusing conversation about how I did not dream of tentacles (is it so hard to believe?), I woke up fully and started some breakfast and reading the paper. I enjoyed a nice recap of Saturday's Ohio State game, realized that I was supposed to set my clocks back, and then started putting together Grove stuff for the Samhain rite that night.
I got everything together for the rite, and then went to take a shower. I don't think that I've mentioned that I have been having plumbing problems, really, but there's a leak that just won't go away. This is after fixing the leak in my furnace last week (which also went unmentioned for various reasons). So I took a shower in the "master bath", which is Tina's bathroom, to see if my plumbing job held. Well, it didn't, but at least I finally completely isolated the problem (after removing a wall to see if the issue was there. . . which it wasn't).
Doing home improvement in a towel and nothing else, though, is not recommended. The scrapes I got that morning would foreshadow an injury later that night, when I was doing home improvement in nothing but my Three Cranes Boxers. Note: This is also not recommended.
So I decided that the problem could wait, and headed out to my office (where I received nothing but junk mail and felt that I might need to get some better friends so I could get mail that didn't involve enlarging various parts of my anatomy). There, I printed a single copy of the liturgy for that night, and headed out to do some shopping on Brice Rd.
My first stop, K-Mart, saw me walking out with two very nice silver earrings that look a hell of a lot like torcs, once you pull the earring-bits off them. I'll never know why people don't make offering-sized torcs that *aren't* earrings. The best part, though? They were on sale. 50% off. I loved it.
My second stop, Meijer, saw me getting everything else I needed. It was nice to just make two stops on my way to a rite.
While in Meijer, though, I had a sudden thought, one that bothered me throughout the rest of the day. It was a question:
Is it harder to love clergy, or to be clergy in love?
That's a question I'm not sure I'll ever answer. But it came from some issues that I suddenly came face-to-face with yesterday that I admit I wasn't expecting. Well, they're questions and issues that have been bubbling up for a long time, but that suddenly stood out clearly against the bright blue sky that graced that Sunday.
There are, I noticed, issues that clergy have to deal with that I'm not sure I'm ready to deal with. There are power relationships, trust issues, priority issues, etc., all of which I have dealt with before, but all of which suddenly made me sit up and take notice today. Is it possible for me to give any woman the time and place she deserves? If I act as clergy to an SO, what sort of trust issues come up? If I become the SO of someone a Grove member is interested in, can that Grove member ever trust me again? What if someone just wants to "date the collar", and is it honest to do that? If all I want is to have fun and cuddle, is even that as innocent as it used to be?
I'm eligible for Dedicant Priest status as of last Tuesday. I have not applied. I may very well not. The more I look at it, the more it scares me, and the more I question it. Yes, I'm on a path that will lead me there eventually (even if it has to drag me kicking and screaming), but certain things are making me seriously question whether it's something I can do today. I could have handled it very well in early August. I almost did.
I can't handle it well today.
But, after Meijer, I got to Blacklick Woods and set up next to where we had Summer Soulstice. I was actually just looking for a sunny place to eat some cheese, and didn't realize where I was for a time.
I got back into what I usually do, though, and was in the proper head-space for a ritual in no time. Questions drifted away, and were replaced by all the right answers. I talked to myself for over an hour, talking about Samhain, the colours of the leaves, the chill in the air, the fading of the light. I talked about how there really was no reason to talk about purpose and precedent for this ritual, because you could smell it and taste it in the air and on the wind.
There's so much about this season that we have a tendency to miss, to forget. It's not about kids and candy, but about the harvest we can see before us. At this time of year, things are more visible, more vibrant and real. There is so much to experience, and so much to be thankful for.
Samhain is truly beautiful.
Just before the ritual, a doe walked out into the ritual area, grazing on the grass. She stayed there until perlgirlju tried to park on top of her, at which point she wisely decided to look for greener pastures. But I took the presence of a deer at a rite that would honour Cernunnos to be a very good omen.
The Samhain rite, itself, was hard. It's probably one of the hardest I've ever done. Part of it was that I was thrown out of wack when I didn't do the Outdwellers. They sure made good on me, though. My rune bag dropped off the back of the altar at one point, yet landed in the front of the altar. Fortunately, I found it quickly. Then I messed up closing the gates, actually getting halfway through opening them a second time before I finally realized what I was doing.
And, of course, I nearly fell down twice.
What bothered me most, though, was that I kept moving. I couldn't stand still. I think part of me was worried about things not going right, part of me was worried about the time it was taking us to finish, and part of me was just damn thirsty and had to get to my Nalgene bottle at any cost. But even when I noticed the issue, I still did it. I couldn't stay rooted. The energy flowed alright (the fact that I could even feel it is indicative of that), but things seemed wrong, and the wrongness centered around me (in my mind).
But, I did the whole rite with no script, and I didn't get anything out of order (even though I thought I would). We have also probably never gotten better omens than we did that night. Ehwaz, Berkano, and Uruz, a good set. Whatever I thought was going wrong was just right enough, apparently.
I cleaned up after the rite, got things packed, and then gave into the mass of people yelling at me to go eat out of self defense. I don't know how many times people told me to go eat, and how many times I said I would "later." I wasn't even hungry at that point and so it was an empty gesture, but made a good show, anyway (even eating some slimy chicken that I didn't really have a taste for), and tried to get back to cleaning as soon as I could after some small-talk. Cleaning up has become a lot more important to me recently, though I don't know why. The potluck afterward is far less important (and even somewhat annoying, I suppose) as part of the gathering. I think that the Belenos Rite and something seamus_mcnasty said after it really struck home: "It's like, 'Come for the potluck. Oh, there's a ritual beforehand, too.'" I want there to be a potluck following the rite, but I don't generally want to be part of it anymore. The Grove hallows have gotten too big for us to not pack up immediately, and I really, really like the feeling of moving them around, trying to fit them back in the boxes. It's part of the piety to me.
And, finally, I got home and started getting ready for bed when I realized I hadn't managed to put the wall back together. So I grabbed my drill (something I needed to finish the project, I realized) and went to town wearing just my boxers and a pair of socks.
Well, I now have a beautiful red gash on my thigh from an exposed screw that ripped down my leg as I as trying to get out of the crawlspace the damn access was in. It's really a beautiful shade of red, I admit, bright and vibrant. But it wouldn't be there if I'd been wearing pants.
And with that, I realized it was time for bed. Well past time. Which is why, for some stupid reason, I'm finishing up this entry while stinking of campfire and hoping that the blood stops dripping at 12:15 PM last night so I can post it in the morning, because Gods know, tomorrow is going to be a doozy at work, and I won't have time to write anything.