Friday, November 23, 2007

I'M MOVING and Visiting From Infertility Island?

This was my spirituality blog, but I've since returned to WordPress because Blogger is, once again, driving me mad. My IF blogs are below.

Hekate's Supper - pagan spirituality

Birch and Maple - Infertility, with a side of bitter

The Liminal Universe - Infertile and Pregnant



Saturday, September 22, 2007

Meditation Exercise

These are two generic exercises gleaned from various books, the titles of which I can't remember. The first was part of a writing exercise to stimulate creativity, the second is the standard 'golden sparkles' thing. I use both of these to journey to Hekate, but will be fudging my specifics as yours will undoubtedly be different. Or maybe not, you'll have to let me know.

To start, find a comfortable position where you won't be disturbed. Turn off your mobile phone, it'll startle the heck out of you otherwise.

  1. Imagine yourself surrounded by a bubble of filled with golden sparkles (you might find yourself surrounded by the healing dark, instead)
  2. Breathe deeply, imagining the sparkles coming into your lungs, the energy going to your feet and ankles,
  3. with each breath, your focus moves up the body, section by section until you reach your scalp
  4. by this time you might feel sleepy, or tingly, or just really relaxed
  5. now, imagine yourself in the center of a glade, a still and deep pool of cold, clear water at your feet. this is the wellspring, it goes deep, deep, deep. Drink from it if you wish.
  6. When you're ready, look about you and see if there's a path. If not, perhaps you're drawn into the glade, perhaps there's a forest, perhaps someplace else entirely. Go where you're called.
I must stop here, because I don't know where you will be called or by whom. You might find a spirit, a Deity, or merely a place to be. I highly recommend you speak to whomever or whatever you come across, ask questions, and remember that if you get answers to any questions, they'll likely be emotional rather than verbal. If you fall asleep, you might find that if you've asked a question, you already know or suspect the answer. Or, you might have to try again...

Good luck!


Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Post on Faith


I don't know what it's like being an infertile person who believes in god, but I can tell you that as a pagan, I suspect it sucks a little less. Oh, it's just as painful, especially around Ostara/Eostre (Easter) and Beltaine/May Day, because of course what's being celebrated is fertility. Spring is always a big slap in the face when you're infertile, but boy, I can't think of another faith that actively celebrates it.

Lest you think Pagans are all about sweetness and light and saving the dolphins, let me tell you there are plenty of witchwars/bitchwars/flamewars, never mind the whole 'you're not a real pagan/witch/wiccan because you weren't initiated or you're not a hereditary witch because or your tradition is a big pile of made up crap' thing. Oh, it gets very tiresome, very quickly.

And then, just like everywhere else, there are the passive aggressive folk, and the well meaning folk, and quite frankly, I've often found they occupy the same body. Y'know, the type who tell you to 'just relax' or 'just pray' or 'so-and-so adopted and then got pregnant'. With pagans, you can include spellwork. Just 'work with the moon!' and 'eat lots of nuts and seeds' and 'go vegetarian!'.

Coming out as an infertile in Paganism is a minefield, one which, after I mentioned it to one or two folk, I decided I would never do again.

So why do I say it might suck a little less? Because there's no Deity hanging over your head, no expectations in the faith that having children is What You Must Do, that if you don't have children it's because you've done something. We beat ourselves up about that enough as it is, I, for one, don't need god 'punishing' me further. In Paganism infertility is just something that happens. Could be you, could be your neighbor. There's no rhyme or reason for it, it simply is. Still sucks, but it's not because you had a termination, or rode your bike too much, or played football, or wore tight underwear, or slept around in your youth. It just is.

I was reminded of this with the most recent birth of sextuplets, you know, the young couple in Florida whose son wanted a sibling? So they did IUI and now, of course, have lots of tots who may or may not make it? Ever notice how it's always 'God's Will'? How come it's only ever 'God's Will' when you get something you want? Why is it never 'God's Will' when something you don't want happens (Muslims/Jews excepted)? It's never 'God's Will' when the star football player becomes a quadroplegic, it's never 'God's Will' when a girl gets pregnant because of incest, it's never 'God's Will' when mentally slow man gets beaten to death by a bunch of good ol' boys.

And why are so many parents of multiples typically Fundy Christians? Is it just a matter of cause and effect, as in "We're going to choose the treatment that gives us the best option of having multiples"? Seriously, what drives people to be so irresponsible - and my that, I mean how could you choose to bring children into this world when it's unlikely all of them will survive? I couldn't do that. I'd have to give them the best possible chance of survival, period. I'd rather have one healthy baby than six who don't have very good chances.

Of course, that's just me. Obviously people have different ideas on what survival and happiness mean. And yeah, I do judge them - in real life far more harshly than what I've written above, but I'm trying to keep my comments, uh, polite.

One last thing - how do you have faith and be infertile? Is it easier or more difficult? Do you lose faith? Is your faith stronger for it? Is being in religious community better or worse?

Articles of interest:

*So...Your Friend Is A Witch
**The Main Pagan Paths

Friday, September 14, 2007

Things Change

It's funny, how long and hard I struggled against Hecate. In retrospect it's easy to see how she called to me, a siren song audible and ignored. It's even more ironic given that I am a person who sees choice for everything. I don't mean "Gee, should I have an apple or a pear for dessert?" but I can see multiverses for every singe choice we make. Frex, choosing to fly to Scotland to meed a man I'd spoken to twice over the phone. I'd never been on a plane before, I'd never been out of the country save for Quebec City when I was a kid, I didn't even have a passport. All I knew was that I had to make the choice to go or not, that it was the most important decision I'd ever make in my life, no matter the consequences - and I was right.

It's been the best decision of my life, no question.

This post sounds ridiculous, but I don't know how to be more specific without babbling even more. What the heck, I'll give it a try anyway. Maybe in the next post, the kid wants food.

Hekateris and co.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It Came To Me, In A Dream

I've been a pagan since birth, although I didn't know what I believed had a name, or what it was called, until I was 12/13, the typical age. I'd been doing lots of research, the usual texts, Crowley, Adler, Starhawk, Mariechild, etc, and although I tried to find something that fit what, exactly, I believed, I never did until I was around 30.

I knew I wasn't Wiccan. The lack of the God disturbed me, and quite frankly, some of the Feminist aspects did as well. My mother, a child of European immigrants, a single parent raising a mixed race child in the late 60's/early 70's, yeah, she was the living embodiment of Feminism, still is, so that was my example of Feminism. Didn't fit with what I read in books.

Crowley was, well, he was Crowley. 'nuff said.

Starhawk was/is...very West Coast. A little too California for this New Englander.

So I dedicated myself to the Goddess when I was 12/13, knew I'd made the correct choice, although I didn't adhere to any particular philosophy. I did my own thing and was happy, although lonely. Little did I realize that the area I live in was and continues to be rife with Pagans of all flavors. A lot of Christians, Jews, and Buddhists*, too, but not too many Muslims or Hindus as far as I'm aware.

I am a classicist at heart. I feel a pull to Greece and Rome that cannot simply be explained away by education and research. My name is originally Greek, and unknowingly my first internet nickname was one Greek version of my name. As have been the other two main nicks that I use. I feel a pull to the ancient Mediterranean that sometimes frightens me, a soul-deep, dna-deep recognition and awareness that I feel no where else save Scotland. I can't help but think part of this stems from my ancestors, yet I have no proof of that whatsoever. How else can I explain the lack of interest in my American roots, African and Native American?

Some twenty years later I'm in Scotland, married, trying desperately (infertility the best way to kill your sex life, ever) to get pregnant and not only having to adjust to living in a foreign country, but being away from friends and family, too. I was stressed and depressed and in an effort to connect with the land, I began re-reading what books I had brought and what books I had bought and lo, I came to the sudden realization that the Deity I'd been looking for had been my shadow all my life. I now can't recall what the trigger was, but I was very excited and filled with trepidation.

One doesn't dedicate one's self to the Queen of Witches lightly.

But I did it. And that night, had an amazing dream, the only part of which I remember is being in a ditch in between a field of low, crops and a raised road in a hot, dry country. In retrospect I'm pretty sure it was Greece, or my imagination's idea of Greece, as I've never been there. The sky was cloudless and blue-tinted white. There was a warm breeze. And as I looked over the road, Xena, Warrior Princess, crouched before me with a gentle smile and kissed me full on the lips.

I woke from that dream with a pounding heart. The day was like a really long extension of how I felt when I'd dedicated myself to the Goddess all those long years ago, filled with excitement and hysterical joy. Makes me smile just to think of it.

For the first time in my spiritual journey, I was home. I can't begin to explain it any more than a Christin can explain being born again. It simply is.

And as I began my research into Her, whom I'd been frightened and wary of my entire life, it came clear to me that the God was there, too, although I wasn't sure in which form. Perhaps my classicist education came to the rescue, or my research, or Him, I don't know. He is Pan, Dionysius, Cernunnos. Sometimes he is Anubis, or Hermes, although not in the same way as Pan...

I connected with the land in Scotland. It was slow and sleepy from centuries of farming, but awake to those who were aware of it. I visited the Clootie Well in Munlochy with my in-laws and felt the rythms of the seasons in semi-rural Aberdeen city, the North Sea storms, the hot summer days along the beach esplanade.

It was a shock to move back to the US after 10 years abroad. Took me a good week to readjust to the land pulsing with life, the animals, the birds, the very air. Once again, I was home.

Through the miracle of Science I'm now pregnant. I'm still dedicant to Hecate, who's been with me through all of the pain and loneliness of infertility, and now the fear and terror of being a pregnant infertile. I'm old and fat and hoping I have a real, life baby next year. Gods willing.

In a nutshell, that's me.

Welcome to my blog.

Hekateris and co.

*yes, yes, I know. I'm including them for the sake of simplicity.