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Ár nDraíocht Féin
Three Cranes
Chaos Matrix

October 31st, 2005

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08:33 am - Tentacles, rituals, and hot, naked home improvement
Yesterday, well, it was a day.

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.
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "The Wind Cries Mary", -JB

(35 comments Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2005 02:14 pm (UTC)
Wow. I certainly have to respect some of the considerations that you're having to juggle with regard to your clerical status and relationahip status. It's not something I've ever had to consider, as my calling to lead and teach is of a more secular variety. I hope that the answers come to you, and in a timely fashion, since I understand how uncomfortable it can be to dangle out on the mental-spiritual-emotional wires, trying to get your balance.

As to the pretty red gash in your leg, I can only offer the fact that the exposed screw likely would have ruined a perfectly good pair of pants. As it is, you'll heal and your pants are intact. Smile, and rejoice in your good fortune!
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2005 03:14 pm (UTC)
The considerations on clergy are why I'm not clergy yet. It's possible that these are issues that I simply cannot resolve, or that I cannot resolve until I meet them head-on as clergy, and I've thought long and hard about those possibilities.

But then, while it may be a set of questions that I will need to jump into the deep end and either sink or swim on, I'd like to make sure that they aren't solvable before I take that plunge, you know?

Heh. You get a point for the pants comment.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2005 03:50 pm (UTC)

Re: potlucks

*nods* The issue isn't that I think people are only showing up for the potluck, but that I worry that there's a desire to rush through the rite (especially on a cold night) to get to the warm potluck afterwords.

Some things just need to be taken care of. Cleanup is one of those things. It's becoming a *part* of the ritual for me, something that is done with care and purpose. While yes, we still basically end up "throwing crap in a box", we're taking more care of our sacred items (the well water is always saved, the offerings are removed, and the table cloths are folded neatly).

Heck, if setup wasn't so hastily done, we could put all our things back in their place. Unfortunately, it took us a very long time to get set up this rite, for some reason, and I felt very hurried. At the end of the night, then, we had crazy boxes that had no real rhyme or reason to their organization because they were disorganized to start with.

But the fact that I took the time to be careful with everything was a huge bonus, personally. The interruption to eat was an interruption to the ritual process for me. I think that's why it bothered me so much.
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2005 04:20 pm (UTC)

vibrating wood! (i swear, it relates) .. and food, of course. my two priorities in life. :D

The Samhain rite WAS hard. But then, it was probably hard for me for entirely different reasons than for you. :P

I actually felt extremely grounded because of the preparation I did beforehand. At first I did some silly yoga with Misty, and of course swung. Swinging ALWAYS dissolves any negativity or worry or confusion I have; don't ask why, but for some reason that simple act makes me so irrationally happy I keep on laughing :P Anyway, then I figured I needed to get a bit more serious, so I wandered out to the center of the field where the last patch of golden sunlight was filtering through the trees. I picked up an interesting stick along the way, knelt on the ground, and held the stick out before me, one end dug into the ground. Think of like how a knight would kneel before his leige with his sword. Or something.

At first I just knelt there and was silent, but then I started to pray. I imagined the Earth powers flowing up from the stick into my hand, and the blinding rays of sunlight just level with my eyes suffusing its tip as well. And as I did this, no shit, the stick started to vibrate. And I thought... shit. That's a bit freaky. So I stopped the meditation and the stick stopped. And then I did it again and it hummed in my hands. It was really, really bizarre, but it also really made me feel connected. That's why I didn't come help set up until you were all half-done; I was totally lost in prayer. It's not often I let myself do that. Felt really good, and I was predisposed toward laughter the rest of the night.

Of course, seeing the deer also made my day, in that giddy my-superstitions-just-got-validated sort of way. Hee, isn't Cernunnos HAWT? ;)

As for the potluck stuff, I agree. Potlucks are fun (especially last night's because it was cold), but they are just a fringe benefit. I'm used to not liking half of it anyway (damn peppers) so I don't think about them much.

But I was in the eat-now-damnit crowd because you work harder than all of us at ritual and therefore it seems wrong to me to be eating before you have eaten. At my home, we never eat until whoever cooked the meal has sat down and taken the first bite, but I guess nowadays people rarely give that little honour. Naturally we can't make everyone wait, and you wanted to stay and clean up anyway, but as I watched the food dissappearing it made me anxious you would not get ANYTHING because you were so busy helping the grove. Maybe you could make yourself a plate first, forget about it while you clean, and get to it later? You are leading the ritual and therefore you are of utmost priority there. It takes a lot of energy and food replenishes that.
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2005 04:58 pm (UTC)

Re: vibrating wood! (i swear, it relates) .. and food, of course. my two priorities in life. :D

While I understand why people want me to eat, I haven't explained why I don't really care to after ritual.

But I admit that I like scraping up whatever's left, and don't care if "whatever" is nothing.

I guess nowadays people rarely give that little honour.

I was thinking about the way you worded this, which makes me think about the "hero's share" of the hunt, where the person who killed the animal or showed X amount of courage while battling creature Y gets the biggest and/or best portion.

But I don't see myself as deserving of those sorts of things. Especially since I planned the ritual. It's my responsibility to clean things up, get them put away, and to be the last person off the ritual site. Kind of like the captain who doesn't abandon ship until all his men are off. The ritual doesn't end when I say, "Go now, Children of the Earth. This rite is ended!" That's about the mid-point of the ritual night, for me.

In this case, the role is one of "provider", not one of "consumer". I find these to be rather exclusive roles. That's why I've also been reluctant to take re-payment for things bought for the rituals until just now, when my own cash is too tight for me to avoid it any longer.

It's possible that this is because I was brought up in a reality where the parents provide for the kids at their own expense, and don't ask anything in return, other than that the kids do their best.

To come back to your cooking analogy: personally, I've always seen it as my duty to clean as well as cook if I'm doing it, but if someone else is cooking, then I want to help them clean. I consider it part of the cooking process for me, just as I consider cleaning the dishes as part of the process. I've fallen off this a bit in the past couple of years because I don't cook veyr much, and I'm often in a hurry when I do, but it's the way I look at it. Cooking means cleaning. And you don't let that sit. You do it as immediately as you can.

As for the vibrating wood, well, congratulations?
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(Deleted comment)
Date:October 31st, 2005 04:58 pm (UTC)
She WASN'T in the damn parking spot.
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2005 04:58 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2005 06:40 pm (UTC)
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.

This is probably one of the reasons why this time of year is my favorite. Everything is crisp...even here in AZ, where the temp is still hovering in the 80's during the day. I chalk it up to being the time when the veils are the thinnest, and death is immanent. So, we are more conscious of life.

As for the clergy thing - I went through the same questions when I decided to start studying psychology - especially since I was led to it by falling in love with my therapist (a long, sordid story). They ARE considerations, but at some point, it all fell into place for me, and I knew it wouldn't be a problem, because I know myself and my values.

I'm not sure when I qualify for dedicant priest. I had thought it would be this coming summer, but I won't have had 9 members all of whom have been members of ADF for at least two years by then, so I guess not. I wonder if there is an easy way to find out when I do qualify....

As for the gash on your leg, I have one word: ALOE
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2005 06:54 pm (UTC)
Todd gave me the date based on historical queries of the number of Grove members. I don't know how to do those types of database queries, though. I imagine you have the power to, as Pursewarden.

He figured it up to 10/25/03 as being the date that we hit nine members. So two years from that date made us eligible to apply for a full charter, assuming we still had 9 members. At 21, we're doing alright in that category.

Todd also indicated that it was unimportant if we had kept ourselves at nine members to him, but we never dropped below after the initial calculation. I'd have personal reservations about going for a full charter if we did.

Regarding aloe: On a bleeding wound? What madness is this? *laughs* I've never heard of that. Neosporine, yes. Aloe, never. I get using it on sunburns, but actual blood? That's a new one to me.
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2005 08:18 pm (UTC)
Well I can diagnose all of your problems quite simply. You're dreaming of Yog without dreaming of a beautiful woman singer to soothe him. It's no wonder you suffered personal injury after that.
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2005 08:27 pm (UTC)
Haha. Damn my dreams that lack beautiful women!

Why are there not more in my dreams, I ask!
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2005 09:14 pm (UTC)
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.

If it scares you it must be something important that must be done.
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2005 09:38 pm (UTC)
Only in a leap from the Lion's Head will he prove his worth.

Yeah, yeah *laughs*

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