December 2017
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new energy! / druidic Beltane / borderPagans / time w Ash / drumming'n'dancing / meeting Shel & Ryan


It's interesting how breakups motivate me. I suppose when I'm in a relationship, I put more and more energy into it without noticing it, and then when the breakup happens I suddenly realize I have all this energy with no demands on it. Last time I went through a major breakup (with a friend) it lead to a sudden drop in my fear, and this time it has had the same effect. I've been doing things that would have taken so much energy and courage before, and doing them without even thinking twice.

I mentioned how it was difficult for me to go to the pagan meeting last month -- since then I've been out with strangers and/or to new places several times, with less anxiety each time.

Kat K and I drove to Sweetwater Creek State Park to meet the Grove of the Red Earth and join in their ritual. I'd never been part of a pagan ritual of any kind so I had no idea what to expect, but everyone was very relaxed and laid-back about it, explaining when necessary, so I didn't feel awkward or out of place. But I didn't feel kinship with the group either; it didn't feel passionate enough for me. I mean, I think they were quite sincere, but I didn't feel the sense of intensity that I was hoping for. I guess I was hoping to get a sense of other people's connections to their Deity(-ies), or feel Deity(-ies) move into the space, but I didn't. I did feel something open up when we all sang though, and I felt magic when I made my own offerings.

The leaders had brought items to give as offerings, and everyone took turns. I made offerings to my Deities for the first time -- that was pretty amazing. I offered to Geb, Renenutet, Nuit, and Jesus, thanking them and asking them for more guidance on my path. About halfway through the ritual I spotted some honeysuckle and plucked ripe blossoms to give. That really pleased me because I feel like a true offering should come from me and be something that is actually a sacrifice for me to give -- and I love sipping honeysuckle nectar. Most of the blossoms went to Nuit because for some reason I felt that they were special to zir, but I gave a few to Geb and Jesus and Renenutet as well.

---

This week and last week (May 11th) I met up with an amazing pagan group. I just decided to go, rather on a whim, and I REALLY clicked with this group. It's a very mixed group -- everything from Helenic to Santerían to Buddhist to Kemetic to animist Wiccan -- and of course each person has their own unique path, so the conversation is just FASCINATING. And they're mostly in my age range! I collected everyone's info and added them all on facebook -- so forward of me, haha, but waiting around for the appropriate time is for proper, polite people.

The first week I went we discussed "communing with Deity" which led me to realize that communal creating and solitary connecting with nature are the two ways in which I usually commune with Deity -- which led me to realize that I want to make communal creating more of a habit in my life. This week we discussed "how conflict and religion interact" which was also quite fascinating. I LOVE having a group I can meet with and learn from! While I can tell that my beliefs/ideals clash with just about everyone's, everyone is openminded enough to disagree respectfully so it's not a problem.

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Ash and I drove to a town we'd not been to before to check out a book sale (where I got a pretty respectable bagful for $8.50 :D) and then found a Fresh Market where we bought overpriced-but-yummy veggie chips & hummus (and I got a Jazz apple which was the BEST apple I have EVER had!) and sat out in the parking lot under an old and stately tree ♥ (instead of cutting it down and paving over it like most of the erglebloops do, whoever designed this lot built a little patio around it!) We had a really good conversation (about our breakup back in the day and our mutual ex) and it felt comfortable for the first time, like things are strengthening between us. We talked for hours and drove back in the dark -- I managed to go the wrong direction but eventually turned around and got us back safely ;-)

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I met up with Kat K to go to the drum circle again, and zir friend Pat came along -- with supplies for spinning fire! Shel (aerialmelodies) and zir significant other Ryan came too -- it was my first time meeting them (more on that in a minute). The circle was a little more sedate than the last time, because the threat of rain shrunk the crowd a bit, but it was still a fantastic evening! I brought my newly acquired and much beloved but yet-to-be-named-or-properly-photographed djembe and actually played along despite knowing nothing at all about drumming! I also shared not-yet-named with the others in my awesome little group, so we all got a chance to add to the rhythm :D and when Kat K and Shel wanted to dance I got up and danced right along with them! Without even thinking twice! (I am very very very sensitive about dancing -- I can't believe I did it in public with so little thought or worry!) We left early because it started raining, but at least the rain waited until we'd had a good two hours. We headed to the Majestic, which is apparently an Atlanta institution -- the food was great and we had some fun conversation (by my standards anyway! I'm more into deep, thought-provoking questions than casual chit-chat :D) before parting ways.

Meeting Shel and Ryan was lovely. The day after the drum circle we met up again so they could give me the free tickets to RenFest that they had (omg! so generous!) and we talked some more, and it reinforced my initial impression of awesomeness. I haven't known Shel that long and don't know Ryan at all, yet meeting them felt more like a reunion than a first-time meeting. I felt really in-sync with them (it actually reminded me a little of being around Hannah and Nick) -- it just felt like we connected on a subconscious level. I dunno if they felt the same way, of course, but it made me really happy. I look forward to getting to know them better. ♥

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Comments
aerialmelodies ══╣Uplifting╠══
Aww, I know that I very much so enjoyed meeting you! It did feel natural, not forced, and I'd love to meet up again sometime... over coffee? Again? Because coffee is awesome? ;) I can't officially speak for Ryan (he's such a private person about his thoughts!) but from what I gathered, he really enjoyed the drum circle and meeting you! You let him play your drum, and that really brought a smile to his face. :)

The meet up group and the ritual sound amazing! It feels good to find a niche of people that can make us feel at home. I love that you offered up honeysuckles - so sweet (in more ways than one, hee!).

<3

ETA: omigosh, your questions! ;) I love that you can switch from a completely random conversation to something deeper, and it doesn't feel as though you're judging based on the answers. It's easy to write out emotions because there is time to sit and ponder, but on the spot! Oh man! Ryan and I had a very interesting but great discussion on the car ride home about the nature of my current sense of spirituality. Thank you for that - definitely looking forward to more discussions!

ETA2: Er, by ritual I meant your personal one!
xenopsi ══╣╠══
This post is so full of whimsy and joy, I love it. I'm so happy you're experiencing so many good things right now, and I'm excited about you having met Shel and Ryan! I love those two!!
writer_lilies ══╣╠══
Loving the purple hair. And I'm sorry about being a slacker in sending you that scarf. It's still sitting all nice and folded up. I need to go to the post office this weekend and see how much it'll be to send it to you.
mermaiden ══╣Pagan: Ritual╠══
<3 Aww, much happiness!! :) And I'm so glad you got to meet Shel and Ryan--they're incredibly good people.

It doesn't sound like the ritual you went to was ecstatic ritual...that might be more your cup of tea. There are many different types of ritual that happen with the Pagan community. For myself, I do ecstatic ritual almost solely. There might be open rituals that do ecstatic ritual in your area. I think you might enjoy it! :)
sidheblessed ══╣╠══
I agree, I think ecstatic ritual may be your thing Bel!
celestialsight ══╣Beauty╠══
How great to find a group with which you can interact and share on such a potentially deep level. I'm very sensitive about dancing in public as well but at home, I'm always dancing about whilst cleaning, etc. I'd love to get out more where there is opportunity for such things, I just wish I had someone local who'd like to go along but lately there are more things that I feel o.k. about doing alone, than I ever did before... baby steps! =)
saturnsdaughter ══╣prettysquarebox - Namine╠══
You've been having a lot of positive experiences lately, it sounds nice. It's also great that you've been feeling less anxiety going out and meeting people. I wish I had some of your strength :)
xochitl ══╣Photography╠══
Yeah, the Majestic is definitely one of those Things You Must Do if you come to Atlanta. :D It's not like the food is exceptional, but it's kinda like Waffle House: "soul food for white people" hehehe
wolfmare ══╣╠══
I have five djembes, none of which have given me their names just yet. I don't think they will until I'm more at ease around them though.

Wish I'd known about the drum circle. I keep missing all the fun stuff.
callmebee ══╣╠══
Breakups are like that for me too. Like I forgot that I had so much of myself before since it was so involved with someone else.

On another note, I kinda wish I lived closer since I'm pretty sure all of those drum circles and pagan meetings sond aweseome! I only have two people in this town I feel comfortable talking about my beliefs with, and having spiritual gatherings with that I sometimes get lonely.

I'm pretty glad to see such a wonderful and positive post from you. Umm. . . the end? :o)
leduck ══╣╠══
theindiequeen ══╣╠══
I like this post, too. :) It's good to get out and do new things, and you seem like you are having a lot of great experiences lately. So yay! (And I'm super excited about PJ Harvey btw.)
darkpool ══╣╠══
Hmmmm, maybe I need to break up with someone. Probably a bad idea since I am only in a relationship with my husband, lol. Giving birth may help but then I'll have a newborn to take care of. I was feeling a bit reative and this post makes me feel more so but I don't know what to make. I have several sewing project in line but sewing while fun is a bit tedious, not quite what I'm in the mood for.

I have a djembe. It does not get enough love though.
die_aphanous ══╣╠══
Hello... can I just say that your profile/journal is absolutely beautiful! Best I've come across on LJ. Anyway, as you'll notice regardless, I've added you as a "friend" because you seem very interesting...no obligation to reciprocate the addage :) Take Care.
yue_dreamflower ══╣╠══
this is a big post but very interesting...
I envy that in your country there are so many pagans. In Argentina is not even close, and most people how called theyself "pagans" are more like christians with some new age concepts. However I was able to gather with very cool/nice/interesting people between the pagan community.
The same is about the calendar festivities and the real wheel of the year. When the candy shops are full of spooky pumpkin candy boxes, I celebrate Beltane, when it's Christmas and some days before Yule, I have midsummer (although at more christmas tables you have chocolate, nuts, and stuff you shouldn't be eating at 27ºC)... but the good thing is that my spiritual festivities are not mix up with commercial intentions ^__^
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.