Yup, you read that right. In six months, I’m turning thirty.
I’m in good company, of course. The Countdown-to-Thirty group includes Tyler Hoechlin (Derek Hale, Teen Wolf), Ksenia Solo (Mackenzie “Kenzi” Malikov, Lost Girl) and our local beauty Bea Alonzo (y’all, her real name is Phylbert Fagestrom. That is the most amazing name, I can’t even.)
But aside from being blindingly gorgeous (ahem-hem), I have nothing in common with Tyler, Ksenia and Bea. They’re all accomplished actors who have been places and met people and soaked up the adoration of their fans for years. They deserve it too- they’ve worked hard for what they have, and I hope they’re happy with their success, and I’ll light a candle in hopes that they have so much more to come but-
-what about me?
I don’t know that these candles will be any help to me…
I’m like Teflon, nothing sticks to me– or should I say, I don’t stick to anything. I couldn’t stick to a course in college, and I couldn’t stick with a job, which is why I’m perpetually at ground level. I don’t like making life-changing decisions, so they end up happening to me anyway, and even if I don’t like how they work out, it’s my fault and I have to live with it. Sometimes, I think I’m scared of life and all its possibilities, and that’s not okay because I already regret so much as it is.
So I’d like to be able to look back on my thirty years and feel good about it. I’m in a bit of a bind time-wise, so there’s not going to be any really ambitious notions like ‘Climb Mount Everest’ or ‘Tour Ireland’ on this list, and I can’t be throwing money around willy-nilly, so these goals have to be on the cheaper side but still good. And of course, I have to actually do them.
This is me for the next SIX MONTHS til I hit the big Three-Oh! Coffee alert!
‘3. Witchy tools: athame‘
Now, as if I never left this blog to the metaphorical dust bunnies for two years, I’m picking up where I left off: LittleCityWitch’s questionnaire. I’m saddened to learn that the original poster, and even the poster who had brought this whole thing to my attention, have both been lost to the blog fogs (that’s a thing now, I’m making it a thing.) Here’s hoping they find their way, and even if it’s not back onto the interwebs, then at least to a Goddess-guided journey.
So. Athames. I’ll be honest with you: I’ve never had an altar, and therefore have had no use nor any inclination towards procuring an athame.
I think of altars like I think of cars. Either one can be tricked out with all the bells and whistles, books and candles (that’s an example of my sense of humor, you’ve been warned), a full-out, in-your-face, chest-thumping declaration of who you are and where you are in terms of your mid-life crisis. I’ve seen the Lamborghini and Ferrari equivalent of altars, no expense spared in the quest for maximum witchiness. Bling it on, crystal ball!
It may be alright for some, and if they’ve got the cash, then they can splurge all they want. But for others who are new to this whole pagan or Wiccan lifestyle, it can be a little overwhelming. When I was younger, I was definitely one of those- I didn’t even have enough spare change for a dollar bag of assorted tumbled rocks, much less any of the trappings I just had to have to be a ‘true witch’. I was a headstrong teen, and I was instantly repelled by such instruction. I could be a witch in my own right, I said to myself, I’d show everyone!
Now that I’m older, I have less patience with both the ‘must-have’ mentality and the ‘rebel-without-applause’ mentality. I’m acknowledging the need for a sacred place, even if it’s just a corner of the bedroom, and there’s nothing wrong with showing off my (hard won) tumbled rocks. On the other hand, I may add a few more spices to the grocery list, maybe an essential oil or two, but in the interest of frugality and my own sanity, that’s pretty much the limit. If I had an altar (or a car), it would be a Volkswagen Beetle. And not the new models either.
And so we come back to the subject of altars, and specifically today, the athame. So, what is that, exactly?
A few seconds of Wiki-fu will tell you that an ‘athame’ is a ceremonial tool used in Wicca and other Neo-pagan religions, representing fire and male energy. What its used for after that depends on your traditions: you can use it for cutting magical ingredients, or only for cutting a door in the circle because you’re in the middle of a working and you forgot the Sprite you were supposed to use in place of wine. It can be double-edged or single-edged; sharp or blunt; black-handled or a handmade one; made from iron or any number of metals. It all depends on you.
Personally, as a former chef and a self-professed foodie, I don’t see any point in having a knife that’s not going to be used for cutting all the things. I could use it to mark candles, cut yarn to make voodoo doll hair, slice ingredients for a kitchen spell. I would buy a good knife and let it soak up the moon’s rays and use it only for working magic.
What do you think? Should an athame be used purely for ceremony, or should you be able to get some practical use out of it as well?
I shouldn’t be surprised. If it’s not a decent television series or one of my favorite comedians, I’m not really known for my staying power. I just seem to choose things to do and then forget about them, like a particularly wishy-washy goldfish. I can’t even remember the last time I finished a project – any project.
- I’ve got four blogs. Well, had.
- I wanted to learn how to draw in thirty days. I can’t even count how many days its been since I picked up a pencil.
- I wanted to lose weight through yoga this year. I lasted two weeks into January, with a scattering of days here and there.
- I wanted to play the ukelele, for music and Hawaii reasons. ‘Nuff said.
Most of all, I wanted to be a blog mom, one of those perky pastel kitchen queens with big smiles and perfect food photography (Seriously, how can they make oatmeal look so luscious?). Not to imply that all successful bloggers fit that cookie-cutter description, but here in the Philippines, they certainly seem to be the most popular ones. They deserve it too: they put in the time, the patience, the wordage.
They did that. I didn’t.
But I want to now. As someone who’s reaching her third decade on this lovely Earth, I should have something to leave behind, a mark that I made, a legacy I can be remember for. Even if it’s just a teensy corner of the interwebs.
I should stop procrastinating and just do.
So I am. The new moon was yesterday, and now as the big beautiful silver ball starts to show her face again, so should I start to write and learn and blog along with her.
I rejoined The Magical Circle School, a free online school that aims to help the solitary witch in her quest to find the magic, wherever that may be. I’m doing the Entrance Exam at the moment, and it’s slow-going, but I know it’s going to be worth it. The school has had some negative press, but so far I’ve neither seen or experienced anything that would make me nope out of studying. I’m just really looking forward to a community to learn with. I’ve always liked study groups. Once I’ve been in the school for a few months, I’ll do a proper review on it and share my experience.
Aside from that, I should look into finding other bloggers with like minds. If one should happens to drop by, don’t be afraid to say hello!
‘2. A myth or story from folklore. ‘
Now this question calls for a bit of a think. From what I’ve read on pagan blogs, the myths that stay with a witch are the ones that shape their faith. I love mythology- Greek, Norse, African, Native American, you name it. I have my favorite gods, almost all Tricksters in Nature, and my favorite stories. The thing is, I wouldn’t classify them as life-changing for me. It’s a bummer, but there you go.
There is one story that has stayed with me though. I remember my imagination lighting up when I read it as a child, and I always classified it as one of my must-reads, no matter how simple it was.
Heidi, by Johanna Spyri.
Other people’s childhood books would be Alice in Wonderland or Peter Pan, but not me. I always loved how clear and innocent everything was between those pages. For me, there’s nothing as good as clean mountain air, freshly baked bread and goat’s cheese- and that’s coming from someone who, until her early twenties, never experienced any of those things before! I was a very sheltered child (by choice, now that I think about it) and Heidi seemed like the ideal best friend. Someone who was outgoing and outdoorsy and active was just a cover away, and I adored her.
Perhaps that’s where I get my love of the environment from. I can’t stand litter or obvious signs of pollution because I don’t want to sully Heidi’s beautiful snow-capped Alps. That’s one of my life goals: to experience Switzerland firsthand, and it’s all thanks to Ms. Johanna Spyri.
‘1. What’s your witchy background?‘
At some point, anyone who dabbles in religious philosophy will encounter a question like this. Nowadays, it’s not enough to say Christian, Muslim or pagan- it has to be Greek Orthodox Christian, Shi’i Muslim or Dianic Wiccan. It feels like the deconstruction of a religion, breaking it down to its many different parts. It gets all too confusing for me.
To tell the truth, I’m not a religious or even an overly spiritual person. I come from a family of Christmas-and-Easter churchgoers who have evolved, over time, into Sunday mass regulars with very social church groups. I go to a local Charismatic group with them sometimes, and I enjoy the teachings and sing-alongs. My own personal faith is very bland though. I’m naturally a morose and morbid person and I just like taking things one day at a time. I don’t lend myself to deep metaphysical or philosophical thinking very often because it might send me down a very unpleasant spiral. Then there’s no way back up except through a box of donuts.
When people ask me my religion (off the cuff, as they do around here), I just answer with an automatic ‘Catholic’. 90% of Filipinos are Catholic, the rest are either Muslim or a miscellaneous mish-mash. By how alone I feel, probably only 0.01% of the Philippine population are practicing witches or neo-pagans. Yep, on those days when I’m feeling existential, I feel very alone indeed.
So what do I believe?
The umbrella definition of ‘animism’ is that it is a belief that everything has a spirit. Going by that term , I would possibly classify myself as a part-time or agnostic animist. Yes, I believe in nature spirits and house spirits, but I don’t think the rock at the bottom of the garden or the sofa have spirits. For me, it simply means the Earth is alive. It might not be sentient in a way we understand it, but I believe that She is. I honor the Earth in my own small way. I may not be overly strict with my recyclables, but I’m making an effort. I make a point not to litter, and I have my work cut out making sure the rest of my family doesn’t litter as well. I used to tithe when I was working, but now that I’m a Stay-at-Home Mom (SAHM), I was thinking of putting together a care package for an orphanage, as well as donate to wildlife conservation. The world goes round, and I say every little bit helps.
1 question down, 44 more to go 🙂
Guess what I found while looking for other PBP-less souls? PurpleMoon831 over at My Goddess Path is starting a 44-question challenge that originated on Tumblr- quite a resurrection, since the original was first put together in Aug 2010. I think everyone should go through a questionnaire like this every once in a while, just to get a bead on where they are spiritually. Eventually, you’ll get a sense of how much you’ve grown or changed throughout the years, and that’s always a great boost to have.
So let me hitch my cart to the bandwagon! I’d also like to add an extra question at the end to get it to an even 45. Sor far though, these are the original questions in all their simplistic glory:
- What’s your witchy background?
- A myth or story from folklore.
- Witchy tools: athame.
- Picture of nature (water element).
- A favourite Goddess.
- A favourite God.
- Air element.
- A photo of a magical place outdoors.
- A favourite mythological animal.
- Your sun sign.
- Witchy tools: oils.
- Picture of nature (air element).
- What are some of the witchy books that influenced you?
- A favourite pagan holiday that you celebrate.
- Thoughts on the afterlife?
- Favourite witchy website(s).
- Picture of nature (fire element).
- Have you had any paranormal experiences?
- Fire element.
- A picture of a tarot or oracle card, and its meaning.
- A favourite scent.
- Current moon phase.
- A favourite candle.
- Your moon sign.
- How do your close ones feel about your witchy path? Do they know? Why or why not?
- A witchy podcast.
- Picture of nature (earth element).
- A picture of a witchy I-Want-It-Now!
- Water element.
- Witchy tools: wand.
- A favourite pagan/witchy movie.
- A pagan/witchy artwork.
- Faerie of your choice.
- Rune of your choice.
- Something that I think people who don’t know much about paganism/witchcraft should know.
- Flower of your choice, and its magical properties.
- A famous pagan/witch!
- Witchy tools: cauldron.
- Something that inspires you.
- Your altar, if you have one!
- A spell you’ve done.
- A favourite nature spirit.
- A magical recipe.
- Witch’s choice!
Looking forward to answering these! If anyone else (if there’s anyone else reading this blog aside from dust mites) wants to come on this crazy ride, just leave me a little note in the comments so I can read along 🙂
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
– Arthur Ashe
Truth be told, I’m bummed that Pagan Blog Project isn’t continuing on for another year. “This is it,” I thought, “The year I really buckle down and write out what I believe in.” I planned every letter out, the subjects that I would be writing from A to Z. I even made pictures to go along with them. I put up this blog specifically for that purpose. Alas, it was not to meant to be.
So here we are, seven weeks into 2015 and not a single post written. I spent that time thinking of what to do with this little patch of empty space on the interwebs. Without the Pagan Blog Project, what purpose would it serve?
Well, in between changing diapers and washing dishes, I finally realized that the very reason I wanted to join PBP in the first place was because I wanted write what I was feeling. I don’t need to be in a blog hop to do that, duh! Deep inside, I thought it would be nice to be in a community of like-minded people: witches and pagans who are just living their lives, trying to acknowledge the divine in the everyday. The problem is, it feels like those people are everywhere but in the Philippines.
I know that’s probably the pessimism talking – Hello, it’s the 21st century!
So I’ll soldier on with my planned posts, find myself, have my food adventures, and hopefully I’ll discover the community of like-minded people that I’ve been looking for.
I guess that means that this little patch of space isn’t going to be empty much longer.
Pagans of the Philippines, I’m looking forward to meeting you!