Pagan Blog Project: Trust

Whew, just touching on something light and easy as per 😉

Trust is a huge thing for me, the only people/things that I trust completely in my life are my Gods- simply because they’re Gods and therefore a hell of a lot less fallible and fickle than humans.

Because my trust in the Gods is so deep and unspoken I don’t really think it needs going into- so I’m going to briefly touch upon the people in my life that I trust.

Well, it’s a pretty freaking short list if I’m honest- my Go To Guy is the only person in the entire world that I trust completely and utterly, just because in the time that I’ve known him he’s done nothing except go out on a limb for me far too many times, defend me even when I’m in the wrong and never, ever tell anyone anything that I’ve told him…

Just underneath him in terms of levels of trust comes my best friend in the whole world, Cee- with her is Sir Callum and a couple of other friends.

Then come the people that I instinctively trust and love, the main one being Romeo- I only realised recently that I do really trust him, I mean, we have to get very physical with each other and it’s not something that bothers me… I tried to put into words why it didn’t and all that came out was ‘I trust you.’

In my opinion trust isn’t something that can be made or manufactured- I don’t know why I trust my Go To Guy more than anyone in the world (including my best friend) or why I would happily let Romeo do what he wanted to me- I just trust them, I just trust them wholly and completely.

I believe that we should always trust our instincts, and when it comes to trusting people I always try to do this- my gut tells me who I can trust and who I can’t.

I think that who people trust can tell you a lot about them- for example I trust my Gods and I (generally) seem to trust more men than women. Judging by my past I should really not be trusting men at all, but I do- I have no idea why this has happened but it has and it must say something about me.

So, people of the world- who do you trust and what do you think that says about you?

’til next time,

Wren x

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When Do Self-Harmers Become Ex Self-Harmers?

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about self harm, suicide, mental illness and me- and no, I won’t be using that as the title of some depressing memoir- I’ve been thinking about my identity in relation to all those things and how they make me feel.

I can’t sit here and say that those things will always define me- but right now they are a part of my identity whether I like it or not. However, they don’t have to dominate who I am or how I act. I’m starting to get to a point in my life where I’m not the mental girl- I improved a hell of a lot last year but it’s been the start of this school year where I’ve really shaken off any last residual bits and started to forge an identity for myself that doesn’t include being crazy.

Right now I’m Juliet, I’m a chatty, friendly, ridiculously confident girl who looks like she’s been transported from the 1940s, I’m honestly everything that I ever wanted to be.

It’s the most wonderful feeling in the world- and honestly, for the first time in my life it doesn’t feel like I’m pretending to be something that I’m not whilst leaning against the closet to prevent various skeletons from falling out.

The main thing that’s been playing on my mind is self harm- when can you classify yourself as an EX cutter? When can you say that you’ve moved on? That you’ve quit? Is is when you actively say you will never cut again? Or is it when you’ve not self harmed for a month? Or a week?

We all know that there really aren’t any answers to those questions- personally, I remember thinking that there would never be a day when I’d be calling myself an ‘ex’ self harmer- I thought I’d always be a cutter, even if I wasn’t hurting myself anymore.

Part of me saw it- and still sees it- like losing your virginity. Once you’ve made that firs cut you can never go back, you will always be a cutter. To a large extent I still think that, I think it’s too momentous a thing to walk away from, it changes you as a person no matter who you are or how much you try and fight it it’ll always change you.

The other day something really weird happened to me, I was talking to myself (pretty normal for me) and I referred to myself as an ‘ex self-harmer’… the moment passed without murmur and it was only later on that day that I realised what I’d said.

I haven’t self harmed since June. I’ve wanted to, especially recently, but generally the feeling hasn’t been there. This is something that I’ve tried not to think about too much, self harm was a way that I defined myself for a long time and for ages the idea of losing my identity as a cutter was a terrifying one.

However, as time has passed my thoughts on the subject have changed.

I’m incredibly fond of the guys that I act with, they’re all lovely and ridiculous and hilarious and they make my life so much more interesting. Recently their drama class has been doing a play called 4.48 Psychosis- the play deals with depression, self harm and suicide. This was told to me gleefully by Jay, who is obsessed with being able to act such ‘gory’ material. She wants me to read it with her, to listen to her describing how they will do the cutting scenes…

I went home and cried like a baby- I haven’t done that since I had to label ‘abnormal’ and ‘normal’ people (that’s mentally ill and mentally healthy people respectively) for my psych homework- it makes me feel sick that people I care about will be reading and dissecting a play on a topic that is so, so personal to me. I can’t tell them- I can never tell anyone in that class about my mental illness, about my cutting and my suicide attempts. I can’t tell those people that I care about and respect because their experience of mental illness will be that play- I’m not saying it’s a bad play, at least it’s honest and raw- I’m just saying that it’ll be difficult and uncomfortable for me to do.

Self harm will always be a part of my life, but for now it’ll be a very minor part- I think it might just be easier at the moment to take a breath and move on little by little, rather than thinking too deeply.

One day I’ll work out what I am and where I stand. For now I’m just Wren, an actress.

’til next time,

Wren x

Pagan Blog Project: Superstitions

So I’m casually writing this a week early as this Friday is a pretty hard day for me- it’s the anniversary of something I don’t know if I feel comfortable discussing so I’m just trying to take all the stress out of the day so I don’t feel like I have anything I need to do and can just concentrate on getting through it.

Anyway, as a Pagan and an actress I feel that it is my solemn duty to run you through some old theatre/acting superstitions. The hilarious thing about all of these is how much they are still around, even amongst drama students of my age.

 

THE SCOTTISH PLAY

Of course, I have to start with good old Macbeth- it’s fine, don’t panic, I am allowed to type the word. There are many variations of this superstition and what to do if someone does actually accidently say it. Generally the superstition states that you must not say the name of the play in a theatre, however no actor I’ve ever worked with has been willing to say it in rehearsals, even if we’re in a completely innocuous space. Personally I refuse to say it at all, there’s just something about it that I don’t like.

If someone does accidently let the name slip there are a lot of ideas about what to do- some people advocate leaving the building, spinning around three times on the spot and then spitting, others go for the less offensive practice of reciting a line from another Shakespeare play.

The superstition is supposed to come from  the fact that Shakespeare took the idea from the play from a coven of real Witches who then cursed the name after seeing their unflattering portrayal- other people think that it was Shakespeare himself who cursed the name so that no-one but himself would be able to direct it properly.

A more practical origin for the superstition is that it comes down to the amount of swordfights in the play, and therefore the increased potential for something to go badly wrong.

 

WHISTLING

The superstition goes that you should never whistle on stage, this actually comes from the fact that back in the good old days they used to use sailors to hoist up the lights and scenery, the sailors would communicate by coded whistles so a stray note from a bored actor could bring the set literally crashing down on you.

 

‘BREAK A LEG!’

It’s considered very, very bad luck to wish an actor or actress ‘good luck!’ before a performance- it’s basically considered to be tempting fate- so instead we stick with ‘break a leg!’ I think it comes from the fact that when we bow/curtsey at the end of a performance we bend one leg- but don’t hold me to that, I’ve heard several explanations as to the origin of the expression.

 

THE GHOST LIGHT

A light must always be left burning on stage, this is said to be so that the ghosts can perform their plays- however it also helps any unwitting actors or techies from falling into the pit 😉

 

OTHER SUPERSTITIONS:

  • No real money or jewellery on stage (a practical precaution against theft.)
  • Bad dress rehearsal = good opening night. Weirdly I find this to be quite true- I think it’s a case of scaring the cast into thinking ‘shit, we could fail at this…’ so that they put everything into the actual performance.
  • Flowers AFTER the show, never before.
  • Don’t wear blue (unless countered with silver) green or yellow.
  • Peacock feathers = evil eye, therefore should never be allowed on stage.

That’s all the weird knowledge I have for know, so ’til next time:

Blessed be,

Wren x

The Tonsillitis Chronicles

So last Friday I came down with the most annoying disease known to man/woman/actress- by Monday I couldn’t eat solids (I know, it was grim) the last thing I had to eat was a banana on Monday lunchtime and from then on in it was milk, milk and more bloody milk.

I was getting about three hours sleep a night and (obviously) eating no food, this all added together to mean that I felt incredibly shit and emotional. I honestly don’t know how I got through rehearsals, only that everyone was lovely and looked after me (weirdly I had very few people questioning why I was drinking pints of milk straight from the carton… actors are a strange bunch.)

I finally broke my boycott on the doctors and marched myself down there on Tuesday. I had to wait 40 minutes and when I got in there got asked what was the matter, to which I replied ‘I can’t swallow!’ and burst into tears. I blame it on the fact I hadn’t slept for about four days.

The best part had to be when she asked me if I was okay as she ‘couldn’t help noticing’ that I had a lot of CAMHS stuff on my notes. Part of me was touched that she should care (most doctors breeze over it) but the other part of me was slightly annoyed that because I looked like a weak wibbling little mental. I calmly explained that the reason I was crying was that I was in extreme pain (for those of you who haven’t had it tonsillitis feels like you have a large piece of glass lodged in your throat and means even swallowing your own saliva becomes a minefield of pain.) I think I kind of threw her off when I laughed (genuinely, not bitterly) and said I was wondering how long it would take her to realise I was a nutter.

The whole thing was pretty hilarious, if you exclude the fact that I couldn’t swallow my own saliva for about three days without being in extreme pain, and trust me when I say I’m not a wimp when it comes to pain. Anyway, after 24 hours when the pills had started to kick in myself and some of the cast took a little evening excursion to see a production of ‘Bouncers’ which was completely awesome. Romeo stole some milk for me and I participated in a standing ovation with one other person which was quite terrifying, haha.

stolen milk…. mmm….

Thankfully now the pills have really started to take effect and I’m back on solids! Oh yeah, I ate my very first piece of solid food yesterday lunchtime, it was a tuna and cucumber sandwich and I’m not ashamed to say that I was eaten in silence with my eyes closed- and yes, it tasted amazing.

All I’ve got to do now is wait until I’m not infectious and then it’ll be time to rehearse THAT scene… oh yes, you know what I’m talking about.

’til next time,

Wren x

Pagan Blog Project: Why I’m Solitary

Okay, so I kind of haven’t had internet for two weeks, came down with tonsillitis and started Romeo and Juliet rehearsals- hence the extreme lack of posting! Expect a flood now though… I have a lot to say 😉

I’ve always worked alone when it comes to Paganism- at first it was because I was twelve and so it was kind of necessary. However, as time’s gone on and I’ve started to dip my toes into the Pagan community I’ve realised that I much prefer working solitary.

I think I like the fact that I can have more control over things when I work alone, and that it makes for a much more intimate relationship between myself and my Gods, it also makes me feel that I can do anything and that my faith can weather any storm.

Obviously different things work for different people- so this is only my view, but I feel that to me working in a coven means relying on other people, and people are fickle and unreliable. The Gods are not.

I think for me it all ties in with the fact that I’m a very private person- that was one of the first things I said to my Go To Guy- it’s something that people need to understand about me, I have this little world that I live in, I mean, it’s one of the main reasons why I blog, I like sharing it with people, just on an anonymous basis 😉

The relationship between myself and my Gods is the most incredibly intimate thing. They know everything about me, so for me the idea of sharing that with other people feels incredibly exposing and wrong.

But each to their own…

’til next time,

Wren x