Being a Pagan of Color- Cultural Appropriation in Kemeticism

Hi ladies and gents and those in between, I’m back! For a while I’ve been trying to figure out this thing called life and religion, so my blog has run quiet for a while now. I’ll try and be more up to date, but I make no promises. I got this idea today to write about being a Pagan of Color, specifically a Black Pagan, since that is my primary identification and experience. If you have any suggestions for posts, feel free to ask and I will get back to you.

Today, however, I specifically wanted to talk about this accusation of cultural appropriation in Kemeticism. I really hate white people telling me what to do, but I hate it even more when they ignore my existence. See, in the community, especially on Tumblr, it seems like we have at least one person trolling some newbie Kemetic’s blog and telling them they’re racist and appropriating because they’re white. Or rather, because it’s assumed they’re white and that only white people are trying to be Kemetic. Um, no, for one thing I and many other black people exist in this community thanks.

Second, you can’t culturally appropriate from Ancient Egypt (modern Egypt, on the other hand, is a different story). Here’s why: first, Ancient Egypt was an open culture. They were so open a jumbo jet cargo plane could do loop-de-loops through it and not hit a closed door. Any closed doors were closed for reasons other than what culture you were from (like educational level). Second, Ancient Egypt didn’t have a modern concept of race. You were either foreign or you weren’t, and if you did the legal citizenship thing you were Egyptian. Sometimes you didn’t even need to do that, just assimilate enough of the culture and bam, Egyptian.

Let me just pause to make a particular point. The Ancient Egyptians were not black. Technically speaking, no one born and/or raised in Africa is black. They’re African. This is a very important distinction and the terms African and Black are NOT interchangeable. I am Black, I am not African. I will never be African and will always be black. My family tree stops at plantations and native tribes, with two branches reaching into the Philippines and Germany. I will never know my African heritage or anything about those ancestors, that is the legacy of slavery. I have been severed from that continent and can never connect with it again, not as an African, not even as a black person. What would I connect with? How? Africans may experience racism when they move to America, but they are not black. Their experience with racism and blackness is separate. They and their families didn’t go through slavery and the stripping of their culture and history, at least not at the hands of American slavekeepers. They cannot connect with Black culture the same way. Further, Africa has thousands of cultures and identities within it, you erase those when you equate Africans with Black people, just the same as you erase the heritage of Black people when you call them African. This is why most Blacks call themselves such, instead of African-American. If you meet an African immigrant or the children of said immigrants, you had better mind yourself and ask them what country/tribe/identity they hold and call them that. Do not insult them and erase their heritage by calling them Black. You’re proud of your Italian or Irish selves, they’re proud of their Yoruban, Eritrean or Nigerian, etc selves.

But the Ancient Egyptians were not black. Besides the fact they didn’t have the same concept of race, genetic studies have shown that they weren’t very different from modern Egyptians, who are Arabic and Semitic and otherwise Mediterranean. During ancient times, they were considerably mixed, due to their open culture and imperialistic ways (kind of like America, we’re a melting pot partly because we keep invading other countries and forcing them to assimilate our culture) as well as their relations with Nubia, parts of Europe, the Ancient Near East and parts of the Middle East. On the by and large though, they were Arabic and Semitic, just like they are now. Claiming cultural appropriation on these grounds is just ludicrous. They wanted their culture spread and weren’t black, no matter what Afrocentrists say (newsflash Afrocentric people, you’re not actually afrocentric you’re just obsessed with Egypt. There are thousands of supremely awesome cultures, both ancient and modern, in Africa that actually had what we would today consider of African descent, like Nubia, just to start with. You’re trying to erase history and a modern culture, and take something that was never yours, while ignoring and erasing the rest of the continent. Knock it off. Look up Shaka Zulu or something).

Next, Ancient Egypt is a DEAD culture and DEAD religion. It would be one thing if some part of the culture or religion was still alive, being used by modern descendants, but the culture died out in its entirety and was replaced. Extinct cultures are more eligible for use by modern people of all stripes. Further, the people of Ancient Egypt were not subject to modern issues of racism, oppression, imperialism and colonialism. It isn’t stealing and spitting in their faces, treating them and their culture like a commodity, a shiny thing, a unique thing to be used like paint to spruce up your life or be special. It isn’t ignoring their protests, their history, their suffering, it isn’t exercising privilege and disrespecting and discarding what they have to say and how they feel about their culture, or how their culture is viewed and used. It isn’t stereotyping and simplification, it isn’t stripping their identity down to a couple points and wearing it like makeup. Especially since their culture was open and imperialistic, meaning they wanted it to spread.

Lastly, there are black Kemetics! There are Kemetics of other races! It ain’t just white people looking for some shiny thing they can stick their hands in. It is true that we have some white members of the community who are racist and act grossly, but on the by and large white co-religionists do their damndest to be respectful and socially aware.

I’d also like to make a comment on this accusation that we’re disrespectful to our gods because of the Kemetic Fandom. Mind. Yo damn. Business. We don’t have hubris in Kemeticism. Our gods can defend themselves. And have you seen the Ancient Egyptians? They put puns in their hymns and prayers. They literally threatened the gods. They bribed them and identified as them for spellwork. They would identify each part of their body as a god to be even more powerful. Dick jokes are everywhere. They drew porn on walls for fuck’s sake. They were banned from practicing law in Roman courts because they weren’t serious enough and made too many jokes. Leave us the fuck alone and mind your fucking business. Why don’t you focus on your own divine relationships and religious practice instead of wasting your time trying to boss us around? Keep in mind that just because you see a lot of jokes doesn’t mean we’re not serious behind the scenes, or that we don’t take our gods and religion seriously. We do, but we’re not obligated to show that to you or tell you about it, especially when you barge in bossing us around according to your standards and disrespecting us and treating us poorly. You aren’t the be all, end all of religions and piety. You don’t have a right to define anyone’s practice or judge whether someone is “serious enough”. Handle your own business and we’ll handle ours.

So that’s my take. Questions, comments and concerns are welcome, and if you have suggestions for other topics (keep in mind that I am primarily black and will not write about other races and their struggles as pagans, nor will I comment on lgbt issues as a straight passing bisexual) say so!

 

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MoWD- Together

Together we dance, like a parent and child

I stomp my feet, and walk on your toes

You wait patiently as I try to keep up.

I’m terrible at it, pushing and pulling,

swinging and shouting.

Impatient, despite the music being slow.

You’re willing to hold me,

but I want to dance by myself.

So I twirl in circles, and fall to the ground

dizzy and laughing.

I do it again, and then I fall down

crying because I feel sick.

You wait patiently while I try to keep up.

Sometimes you pick me up,

but very often you wait.

Wait for me to call you, in my infinite stubbornness.

Wait for me to ask you, in my infinite hardheadedness.

Sometimes I stick my fingers in my ears,

playing that catchy song, not realizing you could punish me.

Insolent child, patient father.

Sometimes you’re not close enough

and other times, I’m so busy crying I cannot hear you.

Sometimes you just wait until I calm down.

And you are there, when I turn around

Ready to dance again.

When Ma’at Becomes Isfet 2

The funny thing about life is how easily things can turn around. One day you’re totally doing the right thing, the next you realize you’ve made a horrible mistake, or what you’ve been doing backfires spectacularly. Maybe you were using a routine that worked perfectly, and now find it doesn’t fit you anymore. This certainly ties into my last post, and I’m starting to think I’m in that changeover phase. I’ve realized things are no longer working how they were before, and it’s time to change. Will that mean that I’ll permanently not consider myself a Kemetic anymore, even though I still strongly identify with the religion and its tenets? Possibly, or this could be a pressured sort of situation.

By that I mean, multiple things have come together to force the old out and cause change. I’m a little complacent, yes, quite lazy at times, just as much as I’m dealing with a broken brain and an uncooperative body. Last night I was pondering meditation and came upon why, even though I can meditate, I don’t like to. This train of thought was born of reading a post by someone else (another point I’m going to make later was inspired by reading a post this evening) about movement and dance. Ironically it was not, in fact, Devo, but a witch I follow on tumblr. It made me realize that I also have difficulty quieting my body, much moreso than quieting my mind. It’s not that I can’t sit still, it’s that I have physical problems that make it uncomfortable to sit or lie in certain positions for extended periods. Further, while I can quiet my mind if I try hard enough, I don’t actually want to.

It is almost physically painful for me to quiet my mind. I am a thinker and a dreamer. I have a very loud brain, and it loves to craft ideas. More importantly, it’s depressed and anxious, it’s also angry (that’s what happens when you are told repeatedly that your emotions are too intense, invalid, shouldn’t exist and then heap abuse on top of it). It’s quite painful to have my brain sit still for any extended length. Even when I’m going to sleep, it’s busy. It’s also boring, but that’s something else entirely. I never really considered it that deeply before, but there it is. Am I willing to do it? Yes, I’ve meditated successfully before with visualizations. Even then, however, we can see that I’m not sitting in the total silence, blank mind sort of meditation.

As I said in my last post, I don’t intend to drop Anpu. I don’t intend to completely abandon what I know and love. Perhaps I should do some divination (something I’ve been avoiding because I’m nervous. I can tell that I’d get better readings if I worked intuitively instead of with the cards’ ascribed meanings, but I know I have sock puppet syndrome sometimes, and yay anxiety for making everything hard). Perhaps I should just poke around or toss a flare into the netjeru’s space. Lost puppy to a good home. Bakes. Has cat. Stubborn, not terribly consistent, easily bored, skittish. It would certainly be something, but I don’t know yet.

Starting on a new path and maintaining it was ma’at. It is now becoming stale, burdensome and useless. Isfet. I must either change my path or abandon it entirely, I must maintain ma’at.

I already elaborated on the biggest pain in the ass part of my life. I’d like to touch on some other things here. First about this movement as meditation part. I don’t know if that’s a good alternative for me. For one thing, I don’t have a lot of space, and anyone who has ever done yoga with pets knows that they get in the way. My kitten, for example, loves to be underfoot for reasons we can’t comprehend. We’ve nearly hurt her more than once because she walked right up behind us and under a raised foot. Really though, lack of space is a big factor, along with self-consciousness. I was thinking for a while that I could sing, but that takes more effort than one might think, and I’d potentially be doing it for several songs. Even just the change over would be distracting. Then I was thinking meditating with my plants, which I will likely give a try at some point. I’m going to keep trying to come up with other ideas as well.

Then there’s still magic. I plan to work more extensively with my plants and hopefully find info on devas and individual spirits. Water is a harder one for me, I don’t live objectively close to any bodies of water and I know that physical proximity helps me a lot. I recently found some nice sigil resources and need to go through those. I’d also like to learn more about clairsentience (touchy-touchy me) and other touch-based magic, therapies and divination. I also need to play around with what I’ve got, since I can feel in my bones that I’d get better readings from my cards if I did it by intuition.

Shadow work. I know I need to do shadow work. I will be honest and say I’m afraid. I’m also stubborn, because in some ways, for some things, with certain people, I don’t want to let things go. Very common thought process, I’m sure. Perhaps this is also why my practice and relationship went sour. Anpu did mention shadow work quite frequently. Even Dapper has scolded me for avoiding it, not that he should talk. I have very intense emotions. For someone who wasn’t taught healthy ways to handle intense emotions, trying to confront them and the fact they’ve been pent up and compounded for years is terrifying. It’s also angering, because I shouldn’t have to do this. I shouldn’t have to do this and the people who hurt me should be sorry and should have been sorry sooner.

I see why Kali wants me. She certainly knows all about getting carried away by strong emotions. Anpu is a god of change, which I brought up a few posts ago. Perhaps these things will get sorted out once my house is whole and calm and aired out.

I mentioned that there was another post I had read. This was about cocoons and change. I wasn’t expecting it, but it was certainly timely. It described reasons why one might feel a witchy change, a witchy cocoon phase, would be happening and the “symptoms” you might feel as it happens. I certainly feel like I’m going through that right now. It’s difficult.

I still feel like I’d benefit from a louder, more active god and more structure. It’s hard to find structure that works when your mind is very fluid. It’s always moving and always wants to move. Crochet is probably the only thing that really matches both structure and fluidity, but at the same time it’s very stimulating and creative. I suppose I could try that, since I do like making simpler things with the knowledge I know as opposed to following complex patterns. It depends on my mood. It just seems both difficult and silly to really meditate or even try to astral while crocheting. There are moments of focus necessary, even with simple designs and stitches. Won’t hurt to try though right?

Any suggestions for me out there? For example, where can I get a decent, tiny cauldron? Like, just bowl sized or something. Also, someone remind me to get cheap red pots as well, and a red pen, and ingredients for baking and yummy foods. I intend to celebrate wep ronpet this year, because I honestly feel like I need to. New year, new path, new god, new me. I may also reach out to Aset, I hear this is a special week for her. I haven’t talked to her in a while, and perhaps she or one of the other goddesses can help me here. I admit freely to being too scared of Kali to work with Her, it has kept me out of shrine honestly. They say all goddesses are one goddess in Hinduism, and there is quite a bit of overlap. I imagine it won’t hurt to ask Kali to be a little less frightening, or gentle, to give me a nudge or something in the right direction. A few hints perhaps of where or how I should look for information. (HINT HINT KALI, HINT HINT ANPU, HUMANS ARE HARDHEADED)

I love this religion a lot. I love these gods a lot. I love this community a lot. I just need more help. Something to go on, some direction, something that even my stubbornly fluid, lazy brain can happily latch on to and do. Or at least relentless pursuit and nagging until I get shit done (jk, that doesn’t work that well). I’m tired of long ass Fallow Times. I’m definitely tired of being unable to contact Dapper. I am tired of this cluttered apartment in this cluttered city where my windows view concrete and asphalt. Where are my plants, I need leafy hugs.

I do wonder what I’ll accomplish if I start working with my plants. Finding information on working with plant devas and individual plant spirits is a pain. Most green and plant magic is all about herbs and oils and whatnot. While I don’t mind that, I don’t have the luxury of doing that type of spellcraft, because I don’t have space for the plants and I don’t really cook with fresh herbs. My typical seasoning is mixed, so kitchen witchery is kind of weird. I can’t afford to just buy things willy nilly either. It’s so hard to really figure out what I want and what I need. I really just don’t know what I need and can’t articulate it.

Until then I’ll play around and just focus on planning for wep ronpet. Mayhaps I’ll finally join the KO beginner’s class. I don’t like their application honestly. I can understand it, and understand the reasoning for the questions on it. I just don’t like being asked those questions. They’re difficult to answer (which I suppose is the point), but they’re also often used to judge me and make things unnecessarily difficult. Sort of like “why do you want to work here” at job interviews. I’m lost and need help, y’all have pre-established structure and stuff. It may be time to break out Eternal Egypt again. Been a while since I read that. I’m ok with that though. Now if only I was any good at song-writing or music making and then I could sing.

I’m also wondering if I could make it a habit to pray or otherwise give offerings at sundown or something. Sundown is a little inconvenient, if only because it often happens around dinner time, which would be good for offerings I suppose. There’s always dawn and sunrise, but I’m not a morning person, and further I’ll be starting school soon. Sunset may be better. We’ll see, I may give it a try. 21 days to build a habit right?

Now it’s getting early, 5:33 am. I’m gonna play with my plants and cards for a bit, because why not? I am a horizon child, this is my time.

Change

I’ve gone through one hell of a rough time recently. Depression has hit me like a sack of building, to the point of a panic attack and the worst dissociative episode I’ve ever had. Then there’s the heat, and ugh, I am extremely sensitive to heat and humidity. Not only does it make me feel horribly sick, yucky and sluggish, but high heat and humidity is strongly associated with more asthma flares. Why? Well, that would be because high heat and humidity contributes to smog and increases the concentration of pollution and pollen. Pollution and heat combined are by far my worst asthma triggers aside from dust, mold and very frigid air (usually plus exercise). I can take my various plant allergies, they usually just make me a sneezy, sniffly, red-eyed mess, but that smog man, that smog.

As followers may know, I struggle with depression quite regular and it fucks me over spiritually. On top of that, I still don’t know what’s causing these neurological-type symptoms. I do know that the exhaustion of a week-long asthma flare (don’t ever tell an asthmatic that they shouldn’t be tired after a flare. ever.), the struggle of the suffocating heat and my depression has made the last week and a half pure hell. This stress has made me seriously reconsider what I’m doing religiously/spiritually. I’ve mused on it for a while now, trying to figure out where I’m going, where I want to be, and if I’m on the right path. This recent spell of trouble has really spurred me to reevaluate.

For a while I feel like I’ve floundered. I prefer more structure and it’s hard to find that in Kemeticism that isn’t the overwhelming priestly stuff. The vagueness of ma’at only makes it more frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, I love the netjer and I like and identify with a lot of the religious system. I love the mythology as well, and I love the community. I just, can’t figure out my head from my ass at home. I also like having things to do, which sounds weird from someone who enjoys worship, but I like goals and activities. Making shit up doesn’t work that well for me, as a depressed, sick introvert my brain works a little slow. Focus is hard to come by, so is energy, and clarity of thought or signal? Ha, surely you kid. Intense anxiety over my sanity is no picnic.

The other thing though, is that, despite my love of the netjeru, I can’t seem to connect with any of them. It’s not so much they don’t want me, a couple of them have at least shown interest and I could probably be confident that Aset is one I could rely on, but I really don’t feel connected to them. I understand that I’ve picked a quiet god, but I’m starting to think our relationship has changed, and we will no longer be the same devotee-devoted. I will likely still give him attention and pray to him, but I don’t think we’re the right fit for each other and I imagine he figured that out way before I did. Supposedly Kali is interested, I’ve received feedback from several avenues, but I really don’t know enough about Hinduism and lack the focus to learn what I feel is necessary to honor her properly. Further, she’s usually worshiped in a Tantric manner and I’m not interested in that form of worship. I can’t seem to find much for bhakti though, which frustrates me more. I am leaving space for her on my shrine, and if she wants me that badly she can chase me down and give the resources I need.

So now, I’m trying to focus on various questions that will help me pick a new direction. I need a focus, an aim, of what I should be looking for and learning about. I’m going to ask and answer them here, because recording things is good for me, and writing helps me organize my thoughts. Within three days I intend to change the name of this blog as well as its partner on Tumblr. As far as my tumblr goes, I mostly post social justice things to it, and so it doesn’t reflect what it was originally intended for. I will likely create another tumblog and connect this wordpress to that instead. Make no mistake, I won’t be leaving the kemetic community, they are totally awesome and I have a lot of friends there. I will just no longer identify as Kemetic unless a netjer tracks me down and drags me back.

What do I like? Well, I like reading, crochet, video games, wolves, dogs, cats, rabbits, the nighttime. Dinosaurs, dragons, werewolves. I like twilight and daybreak, sunrises and sunsets. I like the moon, I like streams, lakes and rivers. I have a love-hate with the ocean, it’s much to rough and large for me, the energy is overwhelming (and hydrophobia, fear of drowning, doesn’t help). I love plants, good heavens I love me some plants. Forests are awesome, especially mountain forests. Cool, autumn and spring weather. I like the quiet and slowdown of nature during fall and the quiet, waking up of spring. It helps that my asthma is best behaved during these months when extreme weather and high pollution aren’t usually concerns, and although I have plenty of allergies, they don’t usually make me too miserable. I’m fond of storms, but really I enjoy rain, mist and fog. It has a softness, gentleness to it that can shield you. I love after storms have passed, I’m not much for the buildup beforehand. I also like medicine, the body and helping people. I like the mind, even though it’s a pretty scary place. I like healing. I also like trying new things and thinking up wacky ideas, and I like my myths and anime. I could probably swing pop culture paganism.

What do I need out of a religious system? Support. Focus. Goals. Structure. Not necessarily church-level or something, just an established system and set of rules and guidelines to work within. Lattice-work to build on, basically. I also want a god-relationship. It’s just something I prefer, and was really a big reason I left Christianity to begin with. Another thing perhaps is energy work and other kinds of magic and spirit-y things.

What motivates me? Mostly other people. I’m not a self-starter, not for myself. Helping and caring for others is a big motivator for me. Oh, you need something? Oh, you fucked up and need help fixing it? Let me get started on that. Not very helpful when going after something for oneself is it? I haven’t yet found what motivates me for me yet, except perhaps enjoyment of a task, but even then it can be difficult. I’m really stuck in my head, I think about many different things, and I am an imaginer and worldbuilder at heart. I create elaborate things in my mind, and I can sit around all day daydreaming and creating a story, or thinking about my various interests, likes and values. INFP fits me well.

What makes me feel safe? Blankets, my sister and boyfriend. Silence and near silence. Classical music. Plants, especially trees, forests, mountains. Mist, fog and light rain. Cool weather with a soft wind. Low light, such as after a storm, at night, twilight and daybreak. I am a night owl and am often awake when others are asleep. I won’t be bothered, things are quiet, I’m not stressed by having to interact or be attuned to them. Hugs and physical affection, unless I am painfully and desperately overwhelmed. I’m a serious introvert and an empath, and tactile stimulation, auditory intensity and crowds upset me. This makes winter very hard, because the tactile stimulation of heavy clothes, shoes and coats often lowers my people tolerance, makes me tired and more emotionally volatile. Being affectionate to someone I’m close to is very soothing for me, people who know me IRL know I like hugs, poking, tickling etc, and that I can often be seen patting, stroking or touching Zolfyer. What can I say, he makes me feel safe and calm. Dogs and cats make me feel safe, pictures of wolves and african painted dogs as well. Stuffed animals.

What helps me focus? Music mostly, and talking to myself. Writing helps as well, as does crocheting. Visualization is a toss-up, but having a tactile focus greatly helps. I’m a hands-on learner, and I remember written words better than pictures or spoken words. Making my own charts, graphs, etc helps me remember and focus. Going over something with someone else, or teaching someone, also helps. I’m not a people person but helping others or working with a small group is a good way for me to work, especially if I can direct while working along them. This is why magic is more difficult for me, learning by hand, by trial and error, needing skills that aren’t necessarily tactile, having no one to help or discuss things with, etc, make it hard for me to find a system that works, especially because I’m very sensitive to the movement of energy within myself and working with energy is a bitch since it isn’t really tactile. It is, but not in the same way as, say, crocheting.

What do I enjoy with spiritual and energetic things? I enjoy the learning, the reading, the imagining. I enjoy feeling (there goes that INFP again) both emotionally and physically. The problem of course is that I’m a typical Scorpio with really intense emotions and so feeling can quickly cross from enjoyable to overwhelming and scary. I enjoy singing as well, which I’ve discovered is a good way to raise energy, though what kind I couldn’t exactly tell you. It’s more a way to focus than anything, but that doesn’t make it less valuable. I’ve yet to figure out a way I can use this consistently to my advantage. Dealing with plants is also fun.

What do I want out of a deity/spirit relationship? I don’t entirely know. I know I want a focus. I enjoy worship and veneration (gods if I can find somebody who has some hymns or something whose music isn’t lost omg) as well as playfulness. Having been with the netjer I value at least some looseness and willingness to tolerate sass and frustration. I want to feel protected, like I can rely on them to help me and be there for me when I reach out. I certainly need one who talks and interacts more. I know I need pushing, especially for shadow work, but I also need a soft touch, because I am diamond, so hard that I’m quite brittle. Or perhaps glass would be a better analogy, seeing as how you need diamond to cut glass, but it shatters quite easily. It’s forged in fire or from lightning, but so easily hurt. I suppose that means I need a glassworker. I certainly need to feel like they’re reliably there for me, fear of abandonment and loneliness is strong with this one.

What do I want my spirituality to do for me? Be a support system. Be a place I can turn when I am flailing, desperate and crushed. I need it to be reliable, consistent, motivating me to better myself. Giving me at least some direction in how to better myself. Interesting and able to be innovated. I also want to learn more about healing on various levels of energy and planes. I want to feel like I’m doing something, and not just wandering around aimlessly. I’d like to be traversing clouds for a purpose since I always have my head in them.

 

As usually happens when I have these issues, I talked to my twin. She had this to say

My intuition has been in high mode (thanks Neptune retrograde you sneaky bastard). I feel like we are looking at stuff and expecting something to crop up like Christianity, as far as having a big community and structured weekly rituals. Now, i know that you need structure more than I do, and you’ll probably do better if you can find a group that you can actually see and meet with.

I can agree with her here. I definitely do enjoy worship in groups, and having someone to talk to and play around with magic and energy work (and gods, give me feedback and practice!) would be very useful for me. Which will likely influence what sorts of things I’ll look in to, since many paths are small and don’t have widespread groups.

The other thing I realized is that the city makes me very tense. I don’t usually notice or realize just how stuffed up and tense I am until I go somewhere else, like visiting the mountains or something. It’s hard to let that tension go too, but escaping the hard, crackly, dense energy of the city for the energy of the mountains and forests is definitely a noticeable difference in my health on all levels. I’ve always loved plants, especially trees, and of course mountains and bodies of water have their own spirits as well. I imagine this very much connects with my wolfishness. My sister also mentioned that she very clearly thinks of me as a green witch, and I know how much I love water despite my drowning fear. Lakes and rivers are very awesome and quite calming, while also deeply foreboding in the way of a good horror movie. It’s an excitement, much like the night. The night is shielding, enveloping, but it is also dangerous in a much different way than the daytime. The same goes for fog and mist, weather I love, not only for being interesting and cool, but for being quiet and shielding as well, for having that same horror movie pulse that makes you take a deep breath and lean forward in your seat, waiting for the jump scare you know is coming and hoping to be surprised.

I think this will be good enough to make some kind of headway somewhere. Who knows. Any suggestions from ya’ll? I enjoy reading, so I don’t mind lots of suggestions or information.

Astral Stuff

Alright, so lately I’ve been having some issues. Normally I do all astral stuff in dreams, but some shit has come up that requires more direct and consistent handling, the kind of shit where I shouldn’t just wait around for the random encounter or event during sleep. Problem is, I don’t really know what are good, safe ways to astral for beginners. I don’t have anyone who could consistently spot (Z works, and quite frankly I’m not sure how to explain what he’s supposed to be doing exactly) and I still share a house with other people and animals. I know that means I just work a schedule around them, but I’m not sure what are good avenues to start? My brain rambles a mile a minute when I meditate, and even if I could get entheogens, I wouldn’t want them and my physical and mental health problems make such endeavors unwise anyway. My plan is to ask Anpu for some suggestions, but I’d also like suggestions from my more experienced peers. How did you astral as a beginner?

That Point Where Shit Makes Sense, and Then Stops

So, I haven’t really shared my recent astral shenanigans on here. It’s mostly been fragmented and seemingly random stuff, not enough to write about anyway. There have been some larger things, but they didn’t seem connected to my previous shenans which included zombies and whatnot. What’s got me here though is the dream I had this morning. It connected a lot of the previous year’s craziness quite nicely, but also opened up a shit ton of questions. Last year when the zombie bs started, Devo suggested that it could be related to Dapper’s soul or something going on in him. I didn’t really see how it could be, since it seemed so random at the time, and there was just as often other people, including him, around. I imagine that not every zombie adventure was about him, in fact I know that to be true. Not every zombie adventure had to do with him or his soul, we were completing work that he was instructed to do. However, the dream I had this morning shows that places we’ve been to repeatedly that involved zombies (along with other events happening in the same places) were about him.

It started with me apparently setting a soul on fire. I was in a house, and I was lighting everything up and crying about it. I have no idea why, apart from what I said; something like “I can’t let him die” and “this has to be done, this has to go” and “I don’t like this, I have to get rid of it, I have to get it out.” These words imply this may have been Dapper’s soul because the place was familiar. Like, I’ve been in this “house” before and there may have been zombies last time. Anyway, I was inside this soul and set a part of it on fire because something was wrong with it and freaking me the fuck out. I’m not sure what happened next, but I do know I was now in a different house I’ve been to before with Dapper and Z.

In this new house (not really that new, nor was the neighborhood, been here before, during and after zombies) we were talking about something. It involved plane traveling and killing shit. There was a lot of weird stuff about this house, like the fact there was a portal in the basement, and it was the type that is at the bottom of an “adventure” level, if you get my drift. The last time we were in this neighborhood, I only partly remember what we were doing there and it had to do with zombies and the other part was about hiding from cops after I killed a creeper. Anyway, we’re back and forth out of this house, interacting with the neighbors and kids on the street, while secretly trying to find some item in the basement and killing off gremlins and other unsavory things. Dapper isn’t…hmmm…it was more like a kid version of himself, a young teen or tween, which, I guess if we’re inside his soul, makes sense. It’s happened before. I’ve often been an observer when these scenes of him as a youngster happen, but sometimes I get involved with what’s happening. I’m fairly certain they’re at least partial memories.

We’re helping the neighborhood with their problems as well, so we’re very busy and are able to get some help getting this “item.” It’s like, something like clock gears, yet also like an alchemy circle, and it’s guarded by a giant spider I’ve seen before. The last time I saw this spider though, I had been dropped into a room with it. I still don’t know why I was fighting it, but that particular dream started with a mystery woman giving me some kind of poppet and that poppet made the spider back off. I don’t know why the spider didn’t like it, but it wasn’t a weapon and couldn’t hurt it, and the spider didn’t stop trying to attack, it just didn’t want to get close to me to do it. Anyway, we have to go through a half-portal I guess? The basement isn’t on its own plane but it isn’t on the same plane either, and that’s very important because it makes shit complicated and makes revival weird and difficult. I can’t explain it, I just know that it was important to not fall into any of the traps or die if we could help it. The last time I was in this house though, the basement was normal.

Anyway, now that we’ve made friends in the neighborhood, we have extra help getting this item, and we need it because the basement is a mess. There is no floor, it’s a cave-tunnel, almost straight down and there are wooden beams crossing the space like a spider web. There’s also sand everywhere, it’s moving and flowing as well. The spider didn’t antagonize us too much, it wasn’t really happy, but I can’t say it attacked us either. It simply covered the item, snatched it away and dumped it closer to where the sand had pooled and was flowing down in a slow vortex. It didn’t help us get it either. We had to try getting this thing several times. Our new friends tried first, but one died from a trap and backed out when we revived them, another got swarmed by gremlins and also backed out. In the end it was me, Zolfyer, and one friend while I carried kid Dapper on my back. Two more people showed up, they were trap keepers and, although we got the item, they knocked us into the sand vortex and watched as we all got sucked down and passed out. Weird conversation was had about the sand and the weird death from the one friend who helped. I feel like I know him, I could be mistaken, but it might’ve been Caleb, my sister’s dragon, because of his appearance. The vortex made me think of being stuck in a giant hourglass.

So, we fall through the vortex and the two trap keepers are waiting for us on the other side. Now we’re on a tree and all of us are thoroughly confused. The trap keepers say some weird shit that explains nothing and leave us on our way. Caleb seems to half-understand, but even he’s confused. We break into groups to explore, and I’m fairly certain we end up smack dab in a memory, because suddenly it’s nighttime when I get to the bottom of a hill and all of us are together again. There are soldiers with gas masks on and they’re not friendly, they try and trap Dapper and me, probably because he’s a kid and I’m a kid-looking girl. Cue running for cover, and Z and Caleb distract. They also manage to get away, but we’re all scrambling right now.

We’re in a parking lot, and we’re trying to hide. Kid Dapper is at least in enough control to use stealth magic (his magic always is extremely limited when he’s in a younger form, boo random insertion of logic and rationality) but these soldiers know what they’re doing. He almost gets caught, so he casts stealth on me and books it around the cars to distract them while I creep around in the shadows trying to find a way to safety, or at least to Z and Caleb who now have guns. A random passerby notices me and offers to help and Dapper sprints back, but before I can decide what to do, of course I wake up because I’m getting a phone call.

Yes, soul traveling! It’s all the rage! The frustrating part is that this isn’t even everything because little details and dialogue always gets lost and it’s so annoying! But I did realize that a lot of shit I’ve seen seems to be connected to these same places and houses, and also coincides with Dapper being a little kid or young teen. The house itself was connected to two other houses I visit frequently. Those houses also have had zombie problems and were in zombie neighborhoods, but they also had other stuff happen in them that were zombie-free. So, a lot of things I’ve been puzzling about at least got connected all at once, and certain things make more sense right now, however I’m still missing so much information.

For example, what the hell was freaking me out so much that I was willing to set a piece of soul on fire to kill it? That and I knew, I knew that if I didn’t set it on fire, that Dapper could die or otherwise be seriously fucked up if I didn’t? Why now anyway? Why are all these houses connected, and why are zombies such a prolific and important symbol? The fuck does that shit even mean? Not to mention, they aren’t always there. Sometimes they’re overrunning everything and at other times you’d never know they’d ever been there. I also figure that the arrangement and appearance of these houses and neighborhoods has something to do with me and the influence my brain has on the surroundings and the fact that my presence probably changes the way some things are gonna go down, because they all resemble or are amalgamations of places I actually know Here, as well as places I’ve never been and don’t recognize. Who knows, maybe this is actually my soul, or something, or some cross over between us, because these things always involve Dapper in some fashion and he tends to be the center of the craziest shit.

Then there’s why the basement was now some cracked half-plane when before it was just a normal basement. What the fuck is with the spider, and what is the item we retrieved? Why are we getting it now? What’s it for, why is it available to be retrieved now? Why did we get tossed through that trap, and why did we end up on a giant tree and then in the middle of a firefight? What do any of these things have to do with each other? While many things are now connected, a lot of the events still are unexplained. Like, why did I see the spider twice, what’s with the mystery witch giving me a poppet the first time I saw the spider. Why do I keep getting in these fights, because this is now the third time I’ve been shot at, and the fifth time I’ve had to fight and try and kill something by myself in the last couple of months. Further, these almost all happen when Dapper is compromised in some way. He’s a kid so can’t access all his power, he’s injured from some other issue, he simply can’t fight for whatever reason, or bam learning experience time for me. Like, what the fuck.

I can speculate about the spider, if it’s some part of him then of course he can’t fight it. Fighting yourself is hard as shit. Makes me wonder why I can fight it though, or why I’m even the preferred fighter here. Anytime he’s a kid or otherwise can’t fight, I’m choice one to take over. I’m not much of a fighter, and he’s got people he’s known much longer and who are stronger and better trained, but I get shoved down the hole. I’m willing to do it, obviously, because half the time I’m leaping in first, but I don’t know why dream me never questions this shit or the efficacy of it. I guess this was why it was important for me to kill my stalker in my last astral visit. More training, I guess, probably made easier by a sigil my sister made for me a little while ago. Or it could be because I’m much more vicious and willing to fight to protect others even Here, much less Over There. The other interesting thing is that Z has been in these dreams increasingly often. Astral him and Dapper get along really well (Z also gives him food and talks to him here) and lately, as crazy shit happens more Z is showing up more. Z often is the one keeping an eye on things, backing me up or protecting kid Dapper while I’m off destroying the universe. Pretty grateful for that, even though he doesn’t know he’s helping me half the time.

This also makes me wonder about a previous dream I had where a little kid who looks a lot like Dapper, but probably isn’t was trying to get into a terrorist group to overthrow the oppressive government he has a lot of privilege in. I totally knew the kid, but I also know it wouldn’t be the first time I knew a kid because I’d saved them (usually with Dapper) somewhere on a zombie infected plane. I mean, there were kids in Dapper’s soul, so WHO KNOWS.

Either way, a bunch of shit made a whole lot of sense after this dream, and then promptly stopped making sense because it opened up a shit ton of new questions, like why am I in this wolf’s soul messing around anyway? I’ve obviously been in here for quite a while, but I don’t know what I’m doing in there or how I got in there in the first place. Nor do I know how or why or when I got into that part of his soul that I set on fire. Yeah, so astral stuff, commentary and speculation welcome.

Wandering Around Like a Lost Puppy

It’s my MO really. I get that line a lot, because I’m an insomniac and walk around the house looking for something to do or some way to sleep. Well, really the phrase I get is “stop wandering around like a lost soul” but I like mine better. Lost puppies get free food, water and hugs when somebody finds them. Lost souls tend to get shooed away, if they get noticed at all. I need some free food and hugs right now.

So, I know you all saw my last post, about figuring out what to do to get out of this spiritual rut I’m in. I did the one thing I know will always help. I asked my sister for advice. We’re twins, you see, but she was born first and we have a much more big sis-little sis relationship than one might expect for people born two minutes apart. We wanted it that way from the beginning (no lie, ask our parents) and it serves us well. Even so, we still also display the typical closeness you expect from twins, though we are very much our own people. The point being, there’s been very few times that asking for my sister’s advice has ever gone wrong, and it’s usually related to getting caught drawing on the wall with crayons or touching our dad’s speakers when we know we’re not supposed to.

I’m very lucky to have her, and she didn’t let me down with this advice either. So, I asked her to do some readings for me (she’s my go-to diviner) and they were kinda weird but they made sense after I thought about them. She also gave me her big-sis intuition advice which was basically, she doesn’t think Anup has an issue with it (my own divination on the matter implies the same) and that I should approach Kali before I lose the opportunity. I’m probably gonna do it. I’m still gonna take my time, and not rush headlong into anything, because I have to keep up whatever I start, and rushing into a really excited fervor ended up being unsustainable and is part of the reason I’m where I’m at now. That was something the reading she did for me mentioned, to be careful how much effort, excitedness and whatnot I put into my endeavors, because I’m going to have to maintain that once my initial excitement and energy is gone in order to maintain whatever I gain. It’s not an invitation to be lazy, but just to be aware of what I can reasonably sustain long term.

Ironically, I also ran into two posts by friends today (thanks dashomancy) that kinda help. Neither of them were about me, obviously, but they were really coincidental. One about working with a chaotic god and learning how to be passive and how to be aggressive, how to surrender and how to push forward (I am both really good and really bad at being aggressive and pushing forward, not so good at the surrendering part) and I think I know where I’m at and what Anpu is trying to accomplish here. I could be wrong, but what I’ve got makes sense. Right after I see my other friend’s post, and well it reminds me that I’m always feeling like I’m wandering, and I’ve always been the house wanderer. IRONY, COINCIDENCE, I HAS IT.

So, off to research, and we’ll see what goes from there I guess?

(I feel I should point out, that I’m scared shitless. Kali scares me, for reasons I’ve outlined before. She’s much more forward than Anpu, much less gentle. She reminds me very much of Sekhmet, and though I’m not terrified in the sense of a bunny before a tiger, I am scared. I’m afraid of what will happen next, of not knowing, of going down a new path, of fucking up. I’m scared of not being able to go back at all. I’m ok with going back changed, I guess, but I’d like to still come back to that supremely patient Jackal with gold eyes and a stern face that sighs and pats my head. I don’t like new things with no backstory, no warning. I don’t like not having a preface or an outline or even just a goal or expectation. I’m not good at making decisions, or thinking ahead and I freeze in the moment. I’m so anxious and foggy-headed all the time. This is scary, but I guess change always is. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I don’t want to be a disappointment.)