Thursday’s news post has opened the gates a little. As I’ve said in some prior posts, I’m spending less time in thinking about things by my lonesome and more time in actually doing things with my coven, so there’s less to write about. However, my goal in maintaining this site at all is to be a signpost, a beacon for others. Regular updates are important to assuring seekers that I’m still here, information is still current, and contacting me to ask questions might be fruitful. I should make regular updates.
I mentioned in March’s post that my family had about one health crisis a month in the first part of the year. Since then, the hits have kept on coming.
In April, I interviewed for a new part-time job — a big deal, since I’d been a full-time freelancer and running my own business for six years at that point — and in May, I started that job (in East Lansing, more than an hour’s drive) and started pruning my business back to part-time. Since May, I’ve been driving to East Lansing about twice a week and working from home and running my business the rest of the time. (I listen to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts.)
On a Sunday night in the first days of June, my family had a “small” house fire, caused by the vent fan in our bathroom. (All people, pets and, later, plants made it out of the house safely.) The fire department came quickly and showed some real skill and care in not only putting out the fire but saving the contents of the house, as much as possible. There was damage to the roof above the bathroom, and I thought this would be a small thing, quickly repaired. Instead the water and smoke damage was more extensive and our entire house was emptied — I’m grateful to be working with a restoration company that fully handled this — and each item evaluated for damage, then either deemed unsalvageable or cleaned and stored. Clothes, books, food, furniture, kids’ toys, everything. A complete new roof was put on, drywall in most of the house was torn down and replaced, lights and wiring were torn out and replaced, and we’ve just now chosen paint for all of the rooms. We’re hoping to move back in November, and from there we will continue to evaluate what was saved and what was lost.
The fire has been a blessing in disguise. My kids had been asking to move (neighbor kids moved away and I think mine wanted to know what the experience was like). Well, we’re sort of moving now. I’d been planning to KonMari the house, sorting through the kids’ toys and my craft closet and basement storage. Now it’s been halfway done for me. A number of honey-do projects around the house simply disappeared (such as replacing floor vents in the bedrooms or steam-cleaning carpet in the basement; the floor vents are all being replaced, as is the flooring in the bedrooms, and there’s no longer carpet in the basement), and we’ve taken the opportunity to rearrange rooms and how they’re used (not moving walls or anything). After a concurrent renovation, since the house is torn up anyway, we’ll regain the use of a basement bathroom. We’ll end up with a house that’s better for us in the long run.
In July, in the midst of all this, I successfully underwent the rite of elevation to the second degree in Chthonioi-Alexandrian Wicca. In some ways I am still digesting this. I waited so long for first-degree initiation that I was 250% ready for that ritual, to call myself an initiate and to carry myself through the world as an initiate. Second came more quickly — not undeserved (which my initiators emphasized), just without years of buildup and waiting, I think. So there are some elements of figuring out what I’m doing here, where I need to work on myself. Who I’m gonna be when I grow up. In the past few months, it’s felt more like stepping into the power that I’ve always had but wouldn’t acknowledge, or like I’m doing and saying the same things I always have but they now carry more weight, more authority.
August and September were filled with house-related tasks, hope that restoration would be done soon (it wasn’t), work (both in-house and freelance), and my kids going back to school. In August, my husband Hlevang and I presented a Lammas main ritual at Detroit Pagan Pride Day, with about 30 people in attendance. In September, I came home from a run and slipped on the stairs in my socks, breaking my pinky toe. By now it’s mostly healed, but achy if I walk any long distance, and I haven’t been able to return to running yet. Also in September, we attended Grand Rapids Pagan Pride Day, but we weren’t facilitating any rituals this year and (partially because of my broken toe) I didn’t read Tarot. Not as much of a public appearance as prior years.
All through this, I’ve also been at Artes & Craft, attending or facilitating rituals, as well as participating in rituals with MoonFire. In another post, I’ll talk a little bit about solitary practices that I’m maintaining (with varying degrees of success).