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!

the Trans Dead are furious

These Transgender Day of Remembrance verses of Rebecca Lynn Scott’s Litany for the Many Dead are licensed CC BY-NC:

I pray to the Trans Suicides
You who died in despair
Of a world that hated you
May you be uplifted
I pray to the Trans Suicides

I pray to the Trans Activist Dead
You who stood up and said No!
You who insisted that you, too, are human
May you be uplifted
I pray to the Trans Activist Dead

The Trans Dead are furious. Praying to them, I feel this. I am called to action: I think all ancestor worshipers who honor the Trans Dead may be being called to action.

I admit some uncertainty as to what action. There are many possibilities: Trans Lifeline, a crisis hotline by and for trans people, fielded four hundred calls in a twenty-four-hour period after the US election, and they’re hoping for donations so they can hire full-time staff, so that the number of LGBT people lost to suicide as a result of this election stays as low as it might. (I understand the number’s at eight already. Maybe higher; that number is several hours old.) I’ve seen suggestions that cis women try to get prescribed a particular contraceptive in order to share with trans women in danger of losing their hormones. The #translawhelp Twitter hashtag is connecting trans people who want to change their documents before the next president takes office with lawyers who are willing to help. And there’s always giving appropriately-gendered clothes or money directly to trans people in need.

I am not sure what action I am called to take. But as someone who honors the Trans Dead, and, separately, someone who honors Hestia and Athena, I cannot do nothing.

What are you called to do?

ηθοσ and ασκησισ

εθοσ means “habit” or “custom” or “usage”. What one habitually does day to day is one’s ethos. Change that epsilon in ‘ethos’ to an eta and you get ηθοσ: “disposition” or “character” or “temper”. One’s habits are one’s character, one’s êthos. These words are where we derive English “ethics”: what it is right to do day to day, what sort of person it is right to be.

Look also at ασκησισ: “exercise”, “training”, “practice”. One’s way of life is one’s askêsis. (And yes, that’s where we get “asceticism” from, but that’s only one way of life!)

I am trying to learn askêsis. I am trying to change my ethos so that I have an êthos more in line with what I believe and what I value.

Here is what I will be doing, in the wake of the election of someone who terrifies at least a third of the country he will now be presiding over.

I follow Hestia. She acts with care and love. She tends the home. Her hearth is a sanctuary for those in need. I will act, as best I can, with care and love for myself and others. I will tend my home. I will, as best I can, make my spaces a sanctuary for those in need.

I am Athena’s devotee. She acts with wisdom for justice. She makes beautiful, practical, powerful things. She fights. I will act, as best I can, with wisdom for justice. I will make my crafts and hope that they are beautiful, practical, powerful things. I will fight.

I honor the Muses, the Olympians and Titans alike, and the Olympians’ mother Mnemosyne. They call for diligence and remembrance. They create art that sings to the soul. I will, as best I can, be diligent. I will remember. I will create my art and hope it sings to people’s souls.

I will honor the other Gods Above, and I will respect the Gods Below.

I will offer the Gods what I can, whenever I can. I will pray that They protect and fight for, each in Their own way, everyone who is in danger from the president-elect’s administration.

This is what I want my êthos to be. This is what I want my askêsis to be. Care and love and safety; wisdom and justice and fighting the good fight; diligence and remembrance and artistry; protection and love and care.

Hear me, Hestia, Whose praises I sing above. Hear me, Athena, Whose praises I sing above. Hear me, Melete, Mneme, Aoide, Whose praises I sing above. Hear me, Mnemosyne and Daughters of Mnemosyne, Whose praises I sing above. If ever I have made offerings to You, please help me in this. Please help me. Thank you, bright Goddesses. Thank you.

My Armor

My armor is defiance.
My armor is just spite.
My armor is the promise
that one of these tomorrows
things will be all right.
My armor is a bumper sticker
says I’m queer and #ImWithHer.
My armor is a painted target,
but it fits me snug and tight.

I pray Athena will defend me,
and all my people too,
that She Who Girds With Armor
has armor that fits you.

My armor is a pendant
shaped like a dragon’s wing.
My armor is amethyst,
one bead on one earring.
My armor is a pendant
shaped like a double axe.
My armor is gardenia scent
and knowing all the facts.

I was a women’s studies student,
and writing is my passion.
I don’t know all, but I do know
it’s time to set a fashion:
write with courage and with honor.
It’s time to change the narrative.
“Diversify respectfully”‘s
my writing imperative.
I have no other weapons.
I have no other arms.
I have no other way to fight back,
to answer these alarms.

I pray Athena will defend me,
and all my people too,
you trans ones, you disabled,
you queers, you women, you
brave people of color, you religious
minorities. All of you are scared
and I can’t say I’m not,
but She Who Girds With Armor
has our backs, and that’s a lot.

My armor is defiance.
My armor is just spite.
My armor is the words I need
to make it through the night.
And She girds me with this armor,
and tonight, at least, I live.
Stay strong, all my people,
stay brave, stay combative.
You live. You live. You live.

Signal boost

Lupa of thegreenwolf.com talks about “Psych Meds, Self-Care, and Paganism”. This is an important read for anyone who is dealing with mental illness that might or does require medication, and for anyone who might interact with such people. (So, you know, pretty much everyone.) Lupa observes that there are a lot of different tools to manage mental illness, and while medication is only one of those tools and not necessarily one needed in all or even most cases, it is no less important than the others.

Greta Christina of Femme Feminism talks about “Art and Craft”. In short, the terms are hard to define but often get defined in such a way as to generally classify men’s work as art and women’s as craft, which may be either a cause or a consequence of valuing men’s work higher than women’s. (Christina is hardly the first to make this observation.) I think there’s some food for thought here regarding (in particular) Athena, Hephaistos, and the Mousai.