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Posts Tagged ‘questions’

Last night I journaled, diligently making my way through the various journal exercises in the Paganism book. Pagan or not, the exercises are definitely the most valuable part of the book as they make you actually articulate your beliefs, etc. As silly as it seems I don’t think I’ve ever articulated, to myself, the nature of my beliefs about…well, everything. Myself, deity, religion, the world.

Anyway…! Tangent.

So, after I laid aside my journal I sat back on my pillow and thought, “Well, what next?” I’m fairly sure that delving deeper into some kind of Paganism is what I’d like to do next, but where do I go? I made a small list of the things that interest me:

  • Myths and mythologies, especially Greek and Celtic—not for reconstruction purposes though. Just general.
  • Wheel of the Year celebration and ritual, though the next time for that is Ostara/Eostre
  • Magical theory
  • The theology of polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, etc.  I’ve read, in a cursory fashion, A World Full of Gods by John Michael Greer. Perhaps I’ll read through it again.

However…I want to do something. I feel like I need to start trying things on for size and see if it works. I’m just kind of stumped about how to go about doing this: what books to read next (or read at all), etc. Suggestions?

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It’s 12:30 a.m. on the West Coast and I’m sitting on a huge bed, in San Francisco, with my husband peacefully snoozing beside me. I can’t sleep. I don’t know if it’s the energy of the city or the restlessness I feel about going back home. Maybe a combination of both.

This trip has been interesting. Too fast. Not enough lingering time. I should have known better but there was so much I wanted to see! So many thing have been churned up, which is probably why I feel restless about going home.

Before I left I mentioned that my really close friends had started a….hm, church home group…to pray, worship, hold each other accountable (can I say how much I hate that word?…let me just say it: in a religious context, I hate the word accountable), share life, etc. It’s not bad. It’s not. I love these people.

I expressed some of my concerns to one of my more empathetic friends in the group before we went on vacation. I had to consistently emphasize that I was not in a ‘Christian’ place before I think she understood and then subtly started trying to empathasize…and move me back towards Christian way of thinking.

I don’t know how to say no—I also don’t want to be left out. It comes down to a choice. I don’t think I’ll feel good either way.

So that’s part of it. Back to my social network. Ugh, my heart is pounding at the thought of going back to my life. Just as I am writing this I’m realizing that I don’t really want to go back. Interesting. I thought I was homesick until now….

Anyway. A lot of positive things were churned up as well. Questions about what I want to do. A solidification of the desire to lead a passionate life. An intensification of the fact that I WANT TO DO TOO MUCH and HOW DOES ANYONE DECIDE WHAT DIRECTION THEIR LIFE TAKES?!

People say, choose your passion. Which one?

Environment?

Wine?

Food?

Writing?

Beauty?

The life of a bon vivant?

Sensuality?

Which one?! How do I know?

Sometimes I wish someone would just pick me, you know? You! There! You, red! You are going to be my (wine tasting associate, sous chef, food blogger, fantasy writer, redwood activist, vintner, groundwater technician, cultural geography doctoral candidate, irish lover, etc.)

So, for now, when someone asks me what I want to do (but they never do anymore; it’s always: ‘what do you do?’ now…) I’ll say I am: a redheaded lover of life that has a penchant for the written fantastical word and wants to save the environment by encouraging sustainable production of wine while working on her doctoral thesis about the impact of the wine industry on the cultural landscape of Sonoma County. Ta…da.

Where was the part about being a bon vivant? Because I’m sure that mostly means doing nothing… 🙂

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I started telling my husband things last night. Mainly that I didn’t want to attend our church regularly anymore, that coming up I would start visiting Quaker and Unitarian-Universalist churches.  He took it well—especially given that I told him I didn’t believe that Jesus was the only way to the Creator and that I disagreed with our church’s position on other things. Sometimes I would bring up political stances that most of the church has–abortion, actively–and he answered that no place would be perfect. Which is true. But the crux of my argument is not only have I changed but I don’t feel like I belong or am wanted at this church if I am different. Even though a place isn’t perfect, I don’t think churches should get politically involved…and our church has. Which is sad. It’s too polarizing. Though…it has caused me to deeply question my beliefs and come to terms with the unease I’ve had about being there.

I think going in steps is best…switching churches first, then moving on to some of the other things (investigating paganism, for instance). Since I’m not exactly sure where I’m going…I’m not sure how good it would be to be like: “HEY! I’M _____ SO DEAL!” That’s not honest, for one, since I don’t know yet where I stand, and two, that’s not how our relationship works. I’ll bring things up as I read them, ask questions and organically let him know where I’m going. I think that’s much better than all of a sudden telling someone that you’re ____.  In this case, anyway—since things are evolving as we speak.  Again, I have to say: I married a wonderful man.

So, my questions for the day:

1. How does one go about constructing a theology—their own systems of belief? I think there is an intuitive side, but also an academic, rational one. Are there books or places to begin structuring these things?

2. I’d like some books on the Celtic myths/history. Solid, accurate ones. Also—any 101 type books—paganism, druidry, etc. But real, slow-to-read-’cause-I-have-to-digest kind of books.

Off to do my favorite spiritual activity…napping!

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