Pagan Blog Project: Music

So I decided to cheat this week- it was that or no post… *sigh* anyone who follows this blog will know that my depression’s pretty bad at the moment, so I’m using that as an excuse ūüėČ

In the words of the great Chris Wood: we will walk this world with music. Music is my life, I live and breathe the stuff- as I type I’m listening to ‘I Know (You Love Me)’ by O. Children (yep, I finally got the new album and haven’t stopped listening to it!)

For me music is about rhythm¬†and beat and argh… I could wax lyrical but it’s so hard to put into words what it all means to me and I can’t think at the moment so I’m going to shut up and leave you with music that I think is awesome and which makes me feel religious (hence the absence of 40s stuff) a lot of cultures used and use music to help with meditation and trances and to stimulate their imaginations… so have a listen and think about that.

I could go on all day… as soon as I post this I’ll think of loads of songs I should’ve put in *sigh* but I have other stuff¬†to do now so:

Blessed be! And have a good week ūüôā

Wren x

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The Black Dog Is Back

So… I seem to be kind of absent from blogging at the moment (with the exclusion of Pagan Fridays) and if you’ve been reading¬†this blog¬†for a while you may be able to guess why… that’s right. I’m depressed.

I’ve been putting off saying that for a few days-¬†I’ve been feeling off for about a week or so, but it really kicked in around¬†Sunday and these past few days have¬†been hell. It’s just getting worse¬†and¬†worse and I don’t know what to do.

I’m still waiting for CAMHS to get back to me- it’s been¬†nearly five months. I can’t do this much longer and part of me’s just really scared.

I’m trying to do what I’ve been doing for the past few months, just focussing on the little things- like tonight¬†I got in to find an amazon package with my new CDs and I’ve got a sewing¬†project to be getting on with.

I need some time off and a holiday, I just want to bake and sit in the garden and do simple, pointless stuff instead of having to sit in a classroom and concentrate when all I want to do is yell at the teachers.

I missed my period this month which only happens when I’m seriously stressed or depressed, and¬†it was meant to come around the time when I¬†got back from Italy and I sure as hell wasn’t stressed then¬†*sigh*

For some reason¬†I’m really angry at the moment-¬†like really, really angry. I’m not usually an angry person, I’m¬†actually pretty mellow. It takes a lot¬†to make me angry- but at the moment I’m¬†a total bitch. One of my teachers ignored me when I¬†went to answer something¬†even though I was sat in front of her with my hand raised so I turned my chair away from her and spent the whole lesson reading a book. I didn’t look at her or do the work she asked us to do (to be fair I have an ongoing thing¬†with this teacher anyway so that was just the icing¬†on the cake.)

My appearance is sliding a little-¬†I’m desperately trying to remedy that by dressing more formal and wearing more make-up.¬†I’m sleeping far too much- I¬†usually get about seven hours a night but am now getting around eleven and still feeling shit. I feel like¬†I’m made out of lead at the moment.

To top off all this shit-ness I¬†came in from school, took my¬†shoes off, walked down the hall to the kitchen and managed to walk into¬†the skirting board and break my little toe. And yes, it is broken, I¬†felt it to check and… actually, you don’t want to know what I felt, just trust me when I say it was¬†both incredibly painful and rather grim.

I’ve managed to¬†break pretty much all my toes in the course of my life through doing gymnastics and being generally clumsy, so this¬†isn’t a new thing for me- it’s just really, really annoying.

*Sigh*

I leave you with pretty sunset pictures from the Solstice ūüôā

’til next time,

Wren x

Pagan Blog Project: Macha

When it comes to the letter ‘M’ there are lots of things I could write about, but for once I decided to go with my initial thought: the Goddess Macha.

In terms of the Gods I work with three generally, these are my patroness Brighid, Dagda and Macha herself. All of those three kind of appeared in my life, Brighid appeared in a meditation I was doing before I even knew who she was, Dagda has just always felt like some kind of Father (and answered every single one of my most whimsical prayers) and Macha was introduced to me by Brighid in another meditation.

I remember seeing her dancing around a campfire in the middle of a forest and watching how she moved and the raw power and presence exuding from her. It was something that had me in awe. I wanted to work with her, I wanted to be her.

Macha is a powerful Goddess, in a lot of versions she’s said to be an aspect of the Morrigan. She’s pleasant to work with but not one that you want to cross (a little more relaxed than Morrigan though.) I admire her a lot, she has an inner strength that makes her seem invincible.

One of my favourite stories is about Macha, it involves her relationship with the farmer whose wife had died. The story goes that Macha moved in with him and took the place of his wife, doing the tasks that needed to be done but telling him to tell no-one of her supernatural powers. One day the King was boasting that nothing was faster than his best racing horses and the farmer was unable to stop himself from going against protocol and claiming that his wife, Macha was the fastest.

Infuriated the King forced Macha to race against his horses, ignoring her pleas that she was heavily pregnant. Macha raced, won and gave birth to twins on the finishing line. Before she died she cursed the men of Ulster to feel the pangs of childbirth whenever they were in battle.

If nothing else I love Macha for cursing them so brilliantly, but more to the point I think it just illustrates what a strong Goddess she is, and how inspiring. There’s nothing else I can really say apart from that she’s a great Goddess to work with and learn from and hope to continue to do so for many years.

Blessed be,

Wren x

A Midsummer Night’s Vigil: Tips and Tricks for Staying Awake Through Solstice Night

Seeing as today is kind of Midsummer (the ‘kind of’ stems from the fact that although today is the official Solstice tomorrow is actually just under a second longer, so I’m following the lead of the Stonehenge people and celebrating tonight instead of yesterday night.) I thought I’d tell you¬†a little bit about how I celebrate.

The main way I mark both the summer and winter Solstices is to stay up during the shortest or longest night respectively with a lit candle, I light it when the sun goes down and blow it out when it comes back up. For me this symbolises caring for the sun and keeping it burning. I watch the sunset and then while away the hours listening to Druidcast, reading Celtic myths or just watching crap telly until the sunrise.

I have a¬†few of rules for my nighttime vigils, the first is no long naps- during the winter Solstice I usually can’t stop myself from nodding off for an hour or so but I don’t allow myself to watch the sunset, go to sleep and wake up five minutes before the sunrise. It’s the being awake during the night that makes the Solstices special for me, I’ve always thought that at night our world is given into the hands of the Fay to do with what they will, and being awake and about at this time is being allowed a glimpse of their world.

The second and perhaps biggest rule is ‘no electric light’ this means no lamps, lights or torches (yes, I know torches are battery-powered) I do however make an exception for my laptop and the telly, which are needed to keep me awake! If you’re going to stay up all night during the Solstice then I urge you to try this, it makes the whole thing incredibly special and makes you feel closer to the ancestors than any amount of meditation. Just remember to stock up on candles.

Rule three is very important… don’t let the flame go out. I usually light a couple of candles for back up, but for me this is hugely important as it symbolises that I’ve been trusted with the flame of the Gods.

The optional fourth rule is to try and make sure the window remains open all night, for me this is just about connecting with the outside world.

TIPS

If you want to try staying up all night for a Solstice then I highly recommend starting with the summer one! The Winter Solstice is a whole different ball game, trust me on that ūüôā

My top tips would be:

Keep eating, have a lot of small meals throughout the night. I find that having food in my belly makes me feel more awake.

Make sure you have enough entertainment to really keep you focussed-¬†now is not the time to try and read that really boring book you’ve been putting off since Yule!

Keep stretching… okay, maybe that’s just one for the Pagan contortionists out there… I always have a good stretch when I’m feeling lethargic and trying to stay awake.

Wear comfortable clothing but NOT nightclothes. This basically means don’t dress exactly as you would if you were about to go to sleep. For Solstices I wear my nightie, socks and massive hoodie (it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, it’ll always be cold in the small hours of the morning.)

Don’t get into bed. Trust me when I say that it’s the start of a long slippery slope… once you get into bed you start leaning back, then you start lying down, then you start closing your eyes and before you know it one of your candles has fallen over and your house is on fire.

*IMPORTANT* If you have lit candles then be very, very careful not to fall asleep! I’ve actually done this and a few other stupid things a couple of times but thankfully gotten away with it, I don’t plan on chancing my luck again and I advise you not to either.

Blessed be, have a lovely Midsummer whatever it is you’re doing!

Wren x

Pagan Blog Project: Loss and How To Deal With It

It’s Friday night which means a hasty post on Paganism before I run off to my exciting social life…

Anyway.

Today I’m giving you a quick run down on Paganism and loss- mostly I’ll be focussing on bereavement, whether or not I stay on that topic or expand to talk about loss more generally is down to how much time I have!

Personally I’m no stranger to loss, it’s really quite ridicualous how many loved ones I’ve had to say goodbye to over the course of my life and it hasn’t gotten any easier as I’ve grown up.

Looking to the Gods has always helped to me to deal with loss and lessened the pain, I remember a while ago that I felt lonely and isolated- I was depressed and surrounded my couples- but as I was walking to school one morning I found myself surrounded by birdsong, the other people on the street were walking along as if they couldn’t hear anything but I stopped and stared at the trees, I knew that the Gods were giving me a message- that I wasn’t on my own.

The reason why I’m talking about loneliness is because I believe that it’s very closely linked with loss- when you lose someone or something you’re left with a hole in your life, and the only way to make yourself feel better is to try and fill that hole with something.

I tihnk that that’s how and why I’m so religious, I find that focussing my energy into projects and into my faith means that I can have a full and fulfilling life- the ‘hole in your life’ theory explains why people can turn to drugs, drink and sex. When I talk about those ‘vices’ I’m not necessarily referring to people to who abuse them to such an extent as to ruin their lives. We’ve all turned to ‘vices’ to fill holes in our lives at some time- I know that when I’m down or upset I tend to start flirting with people I barely know. It’s not something I’m proud of but I’m human- the knowledge that someone finds me attractive and is willing to engage in flirtation with me makes me feel like I’m worthy, and those feelings push away the hurt I feel when I’ve lost something or someone.

The better way of dealing with this is to focus it into something productive- I write, draw, drum and pray- these all give me outlets, praying to the Gods is especially good as they can make me feel loved without me having to try and make myself appealing. They love me unconditionally.

I’m ending this here as I have to leave… forgive mistakes, I don’t have time to edit ūüė¶

Blessing,

Wren x

Wren’s Holiday and Assorted Drama

Yeah, I’m back… I know, I got back on Saturday and it’s now Wednesday, *sigh* I had stuff on- you know, life and all that.

Holiday was lovely, I normally don’t like going away but this time was rather nice. I got a week to relax and read and read and eat and read.

Some interesting points on our holiday had to be:

We drove up to Edinburgh from midnight – 5am on Saturday morning, it was crazy, I was forced to urinate in hedgerow… don’t know why I’m telling you that…

We got the plane over to Tuscany-¬†the plane ride was awful- it was the first time I’d been on a plane since I started experiencing psychosis and I had a complete breakdown. Being cramped in such a small space with so many people talking reminded me too strongly of being trapped in a hallucination and I panicked.

Thankfully I just stayed sat down and shook and sobbed in my seat whilst everyone stared at me. I managed to make myself fall asleep. I woke up a couple of times but literally forced myself to keep my eyes shut until I went back to sleep. The whole experience was rather embarrassing and made me feel like a child.

The villa was lovely, after (ignoring the two hours of cramped sleep on the plane) 32 hours of being awake and 12 hours of travelling this was a welcome sight:

My makeshift bed ūüôā

I also have to mention our transport for the week:

BEHOLD: THE HEARSE

It very quickly became obvious that my joke-y name was worryingly appropriate- there was no Air Con in the back which meant that me and Ma nearly suffocated every time we went on a long drive :S

The rest of the week was spent reading, eating and wandering around random villages- Ma bought too much food, I fell down a mountain, Dan killed about twenty billion insects and Da drank too much beer and watched too much football.

Anyway, I got back on Saturday and went to bed, then on Sunday I sent out some casual texts and found that everything had fallen apart- for those of you who aren’t familiar with the random details of my life I should explain that I hang around in a gang of five which is me and two couples who happen to be my two best guy friends and my two best lady friends, one couple have been together for about a year and the other around six months.

So I got back and was informed, by text, that BOTH couples had broken up.

As you can imagine things are rather awkward at the moment… the boys are happy and chirpy (they both broke up with the girls) which is awkward, my girl friend who was in the relationship for a year hasn’t been in school yet. She says she’s ill but I think that at least part of it is caused by the break up.

It was pretty shocking, it really came out of left field and it certainly wasn’t what I was expecting at all.

And to make things worse all five of us are going on holiday in late August… wish me luck!

Oh, and CAMHS still haven’t got in touch… I’m also boycotting Facebook… erm, I think that’s enough for one post. I’ll expand on all the other little issues in another one.

Here are the promised photos of random Italian countryside- enjoy ūüôā

’til next time,

Wren x

Because Me and My Black Dog are Going To Italy

So this is just a heads up that I’m jetting off to Italy for a week with my long-suffering family. I’m actually in the middle of a mild depressive episode at the moment so we’ll see how this goes! *manic sarcastic laughter*

When I can get back you can expect many beautiful things from me, including how doing a week of kindness challenge doesn’t work if you already take every opportunity to be nice to people, and how as soon as I really concentrated on being nice everything I did failed with hilarious results (special highlights include me shutting a door in someones face, smacking a guy in the crotch with a bottle of beer and getting caught pointing and laughing at a man in a giant pizza costume.)

You can also expect many hundreds of photographs of random Italian countryside and some lovely posts about my secret vintage alter-ego as well as stuff about the Ancient Celts, the approaching Solstice and depending on how my black dog reacts to solitude and close proximity to relatives a big splurge about my depression.

Oh and I hate my friends…. but seriously, you’d hate them too if they left you to sit¬†alone in a corridor playing cards with yourself whilst they got off with each other, there wasn’t even enough chocolate to comfort eat properly…

I also promised to explain flag-gate. Will do that too. Complete with amusing picture… I seriously need to get some kind of memo system going…

Anyway, hope you all have a lovely time- I won’t be posting or emailing until the 9th (of June) so I’ll write soon… this is a little sad actually… *sigh*

’til next time,

Wren x