I read an awesome post by The Scarlet Imprint, of which I’ve spent some time thinking on. I have felt out of place, a bear in a china shop as it were, when meeting other Pagans. My little tradition has received sneers, raised eyebrows, and cold shoulders because it is so different from their own. My tradition is not apologetic, hard to describe, and primal. Even my own Daughter of the Bear and Her consort (She being a smithy, and hearth goddess; Her consort is the Sacred Ploughman) in their domestic atmosphere are not anywhere near the tame rituals of many practitioners I’ve met in person lately.
There is no counted ritual measures, no formal set up or take-down. Working magic with me is accepting blurred lines, of mundane life and ritual, the use of everyday objects in ritual and ritual objects in everyday life. The local spirits are still angry, and I have been working for years to at least have a relationship of sorts with Them. There have been ups, and downs. Many Pagans do not like my bones, they think the idea is something heretical (Really? Seriously?), and the fact that I do not have categorized mythology, or strict lines anywhere frustrates many. It has been difficult to word my practice coherently, and it’s even more difficult to introduce others to my Gods and Spirits – I have been called a bad influence so many times I just expect it sometimes. Yes, alcohol, flying ointments (Thank you Ms. Lawless), and home-made herbal smokes appear in my practice. You have to let yourself go, become a blurred line yourself – to cross the veil.
When I have tanned skins hanging in my bathtub, skulls being macerated in water in my kitchen, dead animals in my fridge, herbs steeping in rum, whiskey, gin, and vodka… Hearing my violin at 3am, chanting until dawn, seeing a dark-haired woman donning a black bear skin – her pupils lost to this world and her breathing deep and long, covered in ash and her body painted – speaking to Those that she sees clearly yet looks at you confused… Yea, it has been a challenge to meet people. I leave offerings often to the local spirits when I feel them close, even if it is a bit of my own lunch and a cigarette, an offering is an offering. Taking my hat off and escorting the toads out of the shop to prevent injury (toads are an animal protected by one local spirit) has earned me quite a bit of jest, and at the same time I’m given my own space.
My tradition is based on the wilds, I do not live by an agricultural calendar, nor pastoral one. I live on the fringes of it, and I have blessed animals and fields. I offer whiskey to the crossroads that are so dark the stars are a form of light. I watch as the sun wanders the earth as the Antlered Weaver’s deer wander, I listen in the midnight hours to the whispers of the Avian One’s moon; I work my rituals by my Bear Mother. The next morning, I wake up, go through my morning rituals to prepare for work – and off I go.
I felt so odd for being on the fringe, as if I was missing something. Turns out, probably not – I’m right where I need to be. I really hope this post made sense. And, I hope I wasn’t too much of an asshole.