the bread bakes
the beef roasts
the child warms hands chilled by making snowballs

the family gathers
the marshmallows toast
the goddess sits in gold-hued wooden throne

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hearth by Alexeigynaix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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To Hestia the Giving, or, What Hill to Die On

It seems so strange for me to say
I am alone on Christmas Day.
I must delay my gift exchange
till evening. And till then I pray:

Bright Hestia, am I alone?
Please say I’m not, please say You’re here,
in electric candle if not hearth stone.
O Giving One, please say You’re near.

Christmastime is a time of giving,
a time for family, time for living
our most central values—though
there are many who’ll say no,

we are not who we are,
we must be as they will,
even as they also say
that we must follow our own star,
and we’ll die someday—choose a hill.

Well, this is mine, so home I’m not,
though my sisters come tonight,
to the place that any other day
I call my home, by my invite.

Bright Hestia, are You here?
Where no flame burns, no incense lit,
for fear another asthma fit?
Where the altar-keeper’s queer?

Usually I do not doubt
that You care for me as I am.
But after my family’s fallout—

Well, goddamn.

Family, home together tied—
I can’t take this all in stride—

Bright Hestia, please say You’re here.
O Giving One, please say You’re near.

Disney’s Moana

Buzzfeed’s spoileriffic article on Moana highlights that much of the in-story mythology is not true-to-life Polynesian mythology. Not all of the movie’s mythology is Disney-invented, if Wikipedia can be believed, but a great deal of it is purely Disney’s, however strongly rooted in Polynesian culture it may be.

That said: if you’re looking for a movie that portrays polytheism and ancestor worship in a truly delightful manner, with a most determined (and god-touched) title character, Moana is the film for you.

(Oh, there is a small post-credits funny, but really the only reason to stay long enough to see the funny is the credits music.)

metaphysical self-care and protection

I’m finding Jenett Silver’s “Self-Care in Difficult Times” post on gleewood.org/seeking a massively helpful resource right now.

I’m finding this “Self-Care in Difficult Times” post and list of helpful links by Jenett Silver on gleewood.org/seeking a massively helpful resource right now.

In particular, Silver’s advice about cleansing, centering and grounding, and shielding is helping me out. I’m doing the energetic cleansing and the centering-and-grounding practices a lot more consistently in the past few days than I have since I first picked up a Galina Krasskova book telling me to do such things! (Silver and Krasskova differ in the details, but the broad strokes are similar.) And I finally figured out how to shield! (The visualization that stuck is bronze armor, akin to Athena’s.)

Silver also observes that cutting down on the disturbing input is a valuable self-care tool; I am two days into what I intend will be about a week of no Facebook, no Twitter, no Imzy, avoiding a particular IRC channel, ignoring certain content coming through Feedly and email, and filtering out certain content from Dreamwidth. (Also no Tumblr, but honestly I hadn’t opened that tab in weeks or months anyway.) This cuts me off from a bunch of supportive people I really only have contact with through Facebook, but I’m certainly not the first in that circle to vanish for a few days for recent-events-related self-care reasons. And I’m…calm. I’m not wholly avoiding recent-events news, because I can’t avoid my coworkers, but I can certainly turn up the volume on the music playing through my headphones when the politically minded coworkers are chatting.

I also, thanks to advice from a Dreamwidth friend who perhaps wishes to remain anonymous outside DW access-lock, looked into setting wards with charged amethysts. I’ve not done much (read: any) energy work beyond centering, grounding, and shielding before, so I’m not wholly certain it worked? But I now have a bunch of cleansed and charged tumbled amethysts distributed around my apartment, running on—if I did things right—some of my own energy, some energy from Earth and Sky, and whatever Hestia and Athena are willing on the basis of my prayers to expend to protect me. And I can see, when I try, that the boundaries of my apartment are delineated now by a silvery-purple wall layered with the bronze one I envisioned almost as soon as I figured out the bronze-armor visualization for personal shields.

(You know, we really need distinct words for the physical and the metaphysical sensory experiences, even when those experiences run in parallel.)

Now if I could get past the ‘earth’ part of a four-element cleansing for the inside of my apartment, I’d be getting somewhere!