Pagan Blog Project: Obeying The Gods

As you may or may not have noticed it is not a Friday- and yet here I am, writing about Pagan stuff! This is due to the fact that for the first week of O I was out all night, first having a birthday tea with my Grandma and then going to an all night party/rave/vomit-fest, then the second week of O (which was Friday) I was… well, let’s be honest here, I completely forgot that it was Friday…

This was down to a couple of factors- one, that I normally work on Fridays but actually worked on Thursday last week, and two, that the Olympics confused my brain.

So I’m now going to attempt to make up for my shocking absence by giving you two posts on the letter O!

Hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen.

Human beings are pack animals (don’t argue against me on this point, I actually just googled it to confirm) and so obedience is, too an extent, hardwired into us as a survival tool. I’m an AS psychology student and so have been studying obedience for the last year or so and the one thing that’s really struck me is how much we obey.

It’s the little things that really stand out to me, the inconsequential rules that don’t matter- the rules that if we broke no-one would care and no-one would be hurt.

Sometimes I think it’s frightening how much we obey and how reluctant people can be to disobey… one of the very first demonstrations I had of how mindlessly people can follow instructions happened in a psych lesson:

Sir walked into the classroom at the start of the lesson, sat down and told everyone to take their shoes off.

Everyone did. There was no grumbling, no complaining, no questioning- the people who were still eating their lunch or texting their friends continued to do so with one hand whilst removing their shoes with the other.

Then we all stopped and looked at Sir, waiting to see what he was going to ask us to do next.

At this point he laughed and said:

Why did you all take your shoes off?!

I remember how spooky it was to sit there and watch everyone staring at each other, it was quite funny and a lot of people laughed, I joined in but at the same time I felt deeply uncomfortable.

Sir then told us to put our shoes back on, which we did and then waited again. This time he just kind of looked at us and then pointed out how none of us had put our shoes back on until we had been told to… this only served to make me feel even more uncomfortable, I like it had suddenly been pointed out to me how controlled every single one of my actions was and is.

For the non psych students out there I’ll briefly explain that one of the main reasons someone will obey someone else is if they believe that person to have some sort of authority over them- known as ‘request by legitimate authority’ hence why we all obeyed our teacher when he told us to remove our shoes.

So, why am I talking about obedience with reference to Paganism?

Well it’s simple really- I could talk about it with reference to obeying ritual procedures set out by authors and so on, but I’m actually going to talk about it with reference to obeying the Gods.

We obey legitimate authority- but how do we judge what is legitimate and what is not? It’s one thing to judge that the Gods, non physical beings who cannot be seen or heard (generally, as we would see or hear our friends and family) are real, we can put that down to faith- to our deepest instincts- but that instinct has to be strong, incredibly strong for us to obey the Gods- sometimes blindly.

On one hand that kind of blind obedience is something I’ve been warned against again and again- learning through some truly horrible experiences that it should be avoided at all costs- but on the other the idea of blindly obeying the Gods is something I find thrilling and admirable, my trust and faith in the Gods is so deep, so very bone deep that I don’t feel at all scared about following them.

I think that there’s sometimes a theory that people follow deity because they see it as authority, and as humans we are programmed to follow authority, but it isn’t this- the important word is ‘legitimate’ and legitimate is a subjective term. I don’t think we just follow authority, I think we only follow authority that we believe to be legitimate- and we establish legitimacy by the clothes that people wear and the way they move and talk. As the Gods are not physical beings we can’t use these as markers of their legitimacy- we have to use our instinct.

I think that’s enough rambling for one post, it had no sensible structure and my philosophy teacher would be ashamed of me but I hope you found it interesting.

Blessed be,
Wren x

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Seven Things About Me Award

Wow, haha- I don’t know what to say! Massive thanks to the amazing Lucy for nominating me for this award. Go check out her blog now!

Here are the rules of accepting the award:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Share seven things about yourself.

1. I think I may be becoming a Bellowhead groupie… not sure if I should be worried about this…

2. When I’m walking home alone late at night and there’s no-one else around I dance- my favourite thing is to do the Charleston all the way up the middle of the main road 😉

3) My obsession with the 1940s has gotten to such a point that I’m starting to dress in vintage (repro) 24/7. My aim for the summer is to build up my wardrobe to a point where I never have to wear non 40s clothing.

That’s me on the left… keeping busy 😉 (from here: http://www.britmovie.co.uk/films/Passport-to-Pimlico/)

4) I stand at the grand height of 5ft 1″ (and 1/4) feel free to take the piss and/or randomly point my lack of height out to me at random moments.

I’M A GIANT! (note the revision posters on the wall in the background…)

5) This October (18th to be precise) I’m playing Juliet in a *cough’mature’cough* production of Romeo and Juliet. Apparently this means I get smacked across the face and have to put my tongue in my co-star’s mouth… repeatedly. And no, I’m not exaggerating about the tongue thing.

6) I love Most Haunted. You can say what you like but it won’t change the fact that it’s one of my favourite programmes! Me and my brother used to watch it on sunday afternoons together for about a year… sleep tight 😉

7) When I finish school next year I plan to go on a pilgrimage to Glastonbury Tor, it’s something I’ve been planning for three years now.

3. Nominate other bloggers you think deserve the award, and post on their blog to let them know they’ve been nominated.

Right, here goes:

http://writingsofapaganwitch.wordpress.com/

http://witchchic.wordpress.com/

http://misdiagnosisdotcom1.wordpress.com/

http://paganpair.wordpress.com/

So thanks again to Lucy and everyone who reads this blog… yeah, I’m going to go and do all the other stuff I should be doing at the moment, haha!

’til next time,

Wren x

Parties, CAMHS, Sunshine and Sex (-ual urges)

I don’t even know how to start talking about the last few days- it’s all been so crazy. I think I’ll start from the top and work my way down…

You’ll have noticed that I missed my usual Pagan Blog Project post on friday, something that I’m kind of annoyed about- but that was down to the fact that I was out having a birthday tea with my Grandma (she’s 88!) and then had to go to an all night rave/party.

The party was hell. I’m not going to lie- it was honestly awful, everyone ended up crying and I really lost my temper with Jess. She shouldn’t have been drinking after what happened last weekend, I looked her in the eye and told her not to drink the vodka, she swore at me and downed it. She then proceeded to be a complete bitch for the rest of the night which included swearing and yelling at me when I took her phone off her (she was throwing it on the stone floor to try and smash it) and when I was trying to stop a friend of mine sending drunk texts that he would really regret.

Unfortunately I had a little cry at one point- as in, I teared up and then swallowed it down pretty quickly- Callum tried to make me come home with him, saying that he didn’t want to leave me to deal with such a dire situation but I declined as I had to give Jess and Claire lifts home in the morning.

Me and Claire stayed up all night talking and doing random shit to try and stay awake- the highlight was when we went around trying to put the sleeping people in the recovery position without them waking up- and attacked the remains of Jess’s phone with a screwdriver when it started making an ungodly noise at 4am.

Spent saturday sleeping, having a driving lesson (I know, I was a bit worried about being behind the wheel in that state) and doing a shit load of baking. Yesterday we had a birthday tea for my Grandma and Auntie which was really nice, I had a good time.

This morning I hauled my arse out of bed and went to my CAMHS appointment- first one in five and a half months where I expressed my displeasure by initially saying nothing and being unco-operative. They responded by speaking in slow, whispering tones and making me feel generally really unnerved. I told them that I was pissed off with them and that I hated myself for attending the session- I made it very clear that I was only there because I want to give myself the best chance possible at a normal life and that I disliked them and CAMHS intensely.

The session was with the psychiatrist and the guy-who-I-got-with’s Mother. She seems alright- patronising and simple, but I can live with that.

And yeah. I am a bitch.

Anyway, after that I went shopping, got myself some slips and went scouring through the charity shops, snagged myself two skirts (oh yeah, they are fairly awesome) spied a few cool hats and got a job…

Sorry Wren.. what was that last bit?

Oh yeah… erm, I kind of volunteered to do some volunteering…

That’s right people- I have volunteered for MORE unpaid work! What part of ‘I need to earn money this summer’ got lost on the way from my brain to my mouth?

To be fair I don’t think my brain was involved at all, it was a place I’d looked into volunteering at before but never heard back from- I went in today (and got a skirt) and was faced with a highly lovely man on the till… you can probably work out what happened next… the upside is I may end up working with him, so summer may not be so lonely after all 😉

At the moment I need to hand in my form for volunteering and then I’m going out with some friends tonight (yay- people!) I should also probably let Jess know that I’m angry at her- being pissed at someone doesn’t work if they don’t know you’re pissed at them.

Hope you’re all enjoying the sun! (Yeah- the sun is back in England!)

’til next time,

Wren x

 

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Oh my Gods!

Haha- I was both incredibly shocked and flattered to open up my account today and find that I had been presented with this award. It couldn’t have come at a better time since I’ve had a fairly awful day today 😦

So, the rules!

1) Display the award certificate on your website… done.

2) Announce your win with a post and include a link to whoever presented you with the award. That would be the very lovely Witchy_Girl, you can find her blog here: http://witchchic.wordpress.com/

3) Present 7 awards to deserving bloggers, create a post linking to them.

This is a hard one as I’m a great lurker in the blogging community so here we go:

http://corvusmythandmagic.wordpress.com/ A veritable treasure trove of Pagan information written by the wonderful Stef.

http://misdiagnosisdotcom1.wordpress.com/ for being lovely and strong and generally inspiring!

http://neoalchemist.wordpress.com/ for constantly brightening up my news feed and getting me back into art.

http://mysecretpoetry.wordpress.com/ this is an amazing archive of poetry- I know Lise hasn’t been especially active lately but her poems are wonderful and really heartfelt.

http://lokadis.wordpress.com/ because it takes a lot to hold my attention… but this really does!

http://paganpair.wordpress.com/ because they are amazing and deserve more views!

http://loopyluce.wordpress.com/ I know Lucy probably has loads of these already but it doesn’t change the fact that she’s awesome and incredibly inspiring and so deserves another 🙂

4)  Post 7 interesting facts about yourself.

Haha, this should be fun 🙂

1. I’m a contortionist.

2. Career wise I narrowed it down to a choice between forensic psychiatric nursing and acting… I went for the acting.

3. Kudos (big ‘what career would you be best suited for?’ quiz thing) put my top job matches as ‘funeral director’ and ‘prison warden’ everyone who’s ever worked with me in drama will verify my suitability for the latter.

4. I got with a guy who turned out to be my psych nurse’s son… since then I always ask the men that I meet what their parents do!

5. I’m a huge history geek- my areas of specialism are: resistance groups in occupied Europe during ww2, the Ancient Celts, facial reconstructions and development of plastic surgery during ww1 and the culture of the East End of London 1840-1910.

6. I’ve written eight novels and am currently editing my most recent one with view to getting an agent.

7. My favourite films are: Ae Fond Kiss, The Mummy, Brighton Rock (both the original and the remake), Quills, Little Miss Sunshine and Passport to Pimlico.

So there you are! I opted to talk about films cos I witter on about music all the time so it would be pointless to discuss it even more 😛 Hope you’re all doing well,

’til next time,

Wren x

 

 

Bellowhead At Harrogate Royal Hall

Yes, I promised you a post full of me being a sappy fangirl and I’m afraid this is it.

Being the dedicated fan that I am I booked a front row seat for this a few months ago (it pays to be early- and a student, discounts make my day) and have been excitedly crossing off the days since.

Unfortunately I didn’t factor in my friends and the potential drama that could happen, so Thursday turned from a pretty good day (looking after new Year Sevens with Michael) into a horrendously shit day (one of my friends choosing to bail out of holiday and not telling me.)

I came home in a very bad mood, sent out an angry ‘I can’t deal with your shit anymore’ email telling all of them not to contact me for the evening unless they wanted to be yelled at. As I’m one of those people who very, very rarely gets angry they really took this to heart… and yes, if you knew the very muddled and complicated context you’d understand why I was so cross- I’m not just a moody bitch 😉

Anyway, I put on my favourite dress and heels (which seem to be becoming my dancing shoes) and set off for the Royal Hall where I found myself outnumbered by members of the older generation (again) I am starting to get used to it though, it’s kind of what happens when you enjoy things that aren’t mainstream.

The usher was very nice and jokingly told me I wasn’t to leap up onto the stage- I responded by telling him that I wouldn’t make promises I couldn’t keep.

When Bellowhead themselves in the flesh entered the stage I did nearly cry with excitement (I know, if this post is going to illustrate anything it’s that I really need to get a life) and I was very impressed that everyone started stomping and clapping along straight away- I congratulated myself on getting a front row seat and therefore being surrounded by dedicated fans.

Some of the highlights of the evening had to be Captain Wedderburn, which is one of those beautifully worrying folk songs, Yarmouth Town- which is my favourite ever Bellowhead song (narrowly beating New York Girls) Mr Sweeney’s pipes and Mr Mellon’s wonderful dancing.

By the time we were reaching the end I was moving around so much the whole being seated thing was proving to be a problem, and so then I was faced with the ‘should I stand up and make a fool of myself dancing?’ dilemma- thankfully this was solved when everyone else stood up and I threw both caution and dignity to the wind. I’m still not sure what the hell I was doing (I felt sorry for myself dancing alone when surrounded by families and couples dancing with each other) but I went for it and employed my long forgotten dancing skills to do some kind of weird jig which I have since tried and failed to repeat.

I threw myself into it with gusto, really bloody going for it through three songs to the point where I couldn’t breathe or move and was reduced to clapping and hip swaying though the final few notes. I am also slightly worried that a man with a very fancy looking camera seemed to take quite a few photos of me whilst I was dancing… where those pictures now are is a mystery and one that I hope remains unsolved.

All in all it was possibly the best night of my life (which either speaks for how amazing Bellowhead are or how dull my life is) and I still haven’t stopped smiling.

Thank you Gentlemen and Ms McShane for an incredible evening- I shall be seeing you in York this November!

’til next time,

Wren x

 

Pagan Blog Project: Names

I’m being lazy cos I’m really pressed for time this week (friday nights consist of work and partying for me) and I’m still buzzing from seeing Bellowhead live last night. A seperate post will soon follow involving fangirl like hysteria. You have been warned.

So… names, names are cool and important, I can very easily tie in the infamous Shakespeare quote (hey, I’m playing Juliet this September/October, I’m allowed) of ‘a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’

Really Juliet? Would it actually? I don’t know where I stand on this, by saying that she’s (well, Shakespeare’s) essentially saying that names are meaningless, that they have no power.

I think that names have a huge amount of power- they can shape our views of a person or thing and can carry tremendous power, just take the name ‘Adolf’ for an example- I mean, no-one in the world can say that name comes free from stigma, meaning or association… I mean, how many of you would name your son Adolf?!

Names say something about us, whether they are names we have chosen for ourselves or not. They alll speak of qualities within us.

Told you this’d be short.

’til next time,

Wren x