A Most Unreliable Narrator Issue #118 Woo
Let’s get spiritual, spiritual. Let me hear your soul talk.
When my mother died in 2017, my Aunt Carol and I hung out outside the funeral home smoking cigarettes and talking about the history of our family. After the visitation, when we went to Aunt Jackie’s, and I had slipped Aunt Carol some cash to pay for the cigarettes I smoked, she told me that when I was eight, I had asked her if there was a God. She thought that it was extraordinary that someone so young would be questioning their faith when all I knew was what I learned at my private Catholic school and the somewhat regular attendance at mass.
I don’t remember what her response was then or in 2017 but questioning if God exists has been a mainstay throughout my life. I remember when I was younger and at mass, I would wonder when they were going to run out of sermons since the Bible was only so long and there had been over 2000 years of Catholicism going on. Surely, by this point, they have run out of things to say?
When my brother was born, he was the result of a love affair between my mother and an Italian trade worker who had his own family back in Italy. When mother approached the alcoholic priest at our parish for baptism, he declared my brother did not exist and so Jeff was baptized by an Episcopalian priest mother knew. If God was all loving and forgiving, how could he deny an innocent child who has done nothing?
(You could rightly argue that newborns are born with original sin and the baptism rights that wrong but how fucked is that?)
Aunt Carol died a few months after mother, and we didn’t really talk much after our smoking sessions and for that is a bit of regret. Aunt Carol was always the more relatable of my mother’s sisters and while we didn’t really keep in touch, I’ve always been super fond of her as she was funny, witty, and kind.
My search for something divine, rather it be of God, spirits, mother nature, or the Norse pantheon, has always been a small driving force in my life for as long as I could remember. A few years back I created an anonymous blog where I talked about these feelings of mine, and I was pulling a tarot card every day and writing about what it meant for me. Logically, you can apply anything in your life to a card that is pulled, but for me, there was a level of comfort that came to divine explanation of my life because there was something bigger than me but that also connected with me. Reason and logic don’t do that.
I could see a world of multiple divine beings moving right along. A white, shaggy haired and bearded old man, not so much. (I also believe we are not alone in the universe. That would be too conceited and arrogant to think there is no other life out there in the unknown.)
I call the search for the divine “woo” because my search takes me all over the place. Kind of aimless if I’m honest.
I have friends who are druids so I studied that for a bit, but it didn’t really gel. I have other friends who are witches and I can see the appeal, especially the search for the mother goddess and ultimately, the divine. The other attractive aspect of witchy divine is that you can practice alone or with a coven to build that sense of community. Some friends identify generically as a pagan which can mean just about anything. A self-directed path or a community based, like covens, is attractive because you can create your own way with support.
I felt some connection to heathenry but that has become problematic over the years thanks to the far right adopting many of the rituals and gods and goddesses, so the belief system has become tainted with hatred. Several sub-reddits dedicated to heathenry and Norse belief systems have closed due to the infiltration of Proud Boys. Reddit is one of the main areas on the internet where you can find a community on just about any topic and the closing of those communities was disappointing, but I get why it was done. However, it did make self-study a bit difficult since the places to look for answers has now shrunk.
I found I had more questions and finding non-hate filled answers was difficult, so I stopped studying.
Steph, Heather, and I went to Higher Self Bookstore this weekend and as I perused the book aisle, I found Meditation for Badassery which, to be frank, sounded the most promising of books on spirituality I’ve found lately. Granted I have Headspace which notifies me everyday I should be meditating but I feel more guilty than the desire to do so despite the reminders.
I’m a constant keyed up person who gets anxiety or stressed at the drop of a hat. It’s gotten better over the years, true, but sometimes I feel paralyzed by my own fear of something is about to happen. Meditation is supposed to be one of those ways that would help center me and fill me with peace.
Mediation is hard and it is something you really must work at and something, ironically, I don’t have the patience for. But if I don’t do something to combat this stress, I put on myself, my life could be short lived indeed and honestly? I’ve got a lot of shit to do, and I plan on living a long, long time.
The Celtic Astrology Oracle deck called me at Higher Self. Oracle and tarot decks are very personal and should not be taken lightly. I bought the trusty Rider-Waite tarot deck years ago, the deck most newbies get, and I found I couldn’t really gel with it. I cleansed it, keep it wrapped in satin, and slept with it under my pillow. The energy was fine, nothing to write home about, but I just didn’t really jive with the deck. The daily pulls were helpful but again, nothing that really called to me.
I’ve bought a few other decks over the years, hoping to feel a connection but they are more decorative and not for my use. I need to find out what to do with them, so they do not cause any harm.
The Celtic Astrology Oracle deck, however, is different. As I perused the decks at Higher Self, I wanted to buy something new but each deck that I picked up gave me neutral energy. Nothing jived with what I was looking for. When I picked up the oracle deck, it buzzed in my hands. First time in a long time I’ve felt the connection I was looking for.
I have loads of books about various spiritual paths I need to brush up on when we get back to Kentucky. Like the tarot decks, I need to dispose of some so they won’t cause harm.
I decided to do a daily pull of the oracle decks and set up my intention of the day. Something to help me focus and guide me. Sometimes I want to jab at this belief that it’s a bunch of shit and logic and reason dictate otherwise but you know what? If a belief in a higher power(s) brings me comfort, then what is the harm?
Heather picked out two bracelets for me this weekend. One is howlite (patience and perspective) and the other is amethyst (peace, calming, and cleansing). I wasn’t joking when I said I’ve gotten to the point I’m willing to try anything to find peace in my frazzled brain.
My yearly review was this past week, and it went better than anticipated. It’s not that I expected a bad review but the last year at work has been pretty tough with an ongoing project and I’ve gotten to the point where I can juggle near seamlessly various aspect of that project as well as long term goals. My boss seemed doubly pleased about my performance so I got a raise and we’re getting a bonus this year since the company did so well so that’s exciting. The monies will go towards buying a new phone and student loans.
Things I Recently Wrote
What I’m Reading
FINISH A FUCKING BOOK LISA BEFORE STARTING A NEW ONE.
The 7/12 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle An Agatha Christie-esque locked room mystery
Reputation Mean girls with Jane Austen thrown in
The Widow Queen 10th C Poland. A queen is used as a pawn to form alliances, but she has other plans
Keats: A Brief Life in Nine Poems and One Epitaph Biography on John Keats
A Curious History of Sex A very skim the top look but highly interesting, history of sex
Glenarvon Byron’s ex-lover was so distraught about their breakup, she wrote a roman à clef about their relationship
Circe A beguiling telling of the life of the goddess Circe
Meditation for Badassery A punk rock guide to being present
Want to see what I’m reading or watching? Check out my list for 2022!
Diet Mt. Dew
I won’t bore you more than I already have but I’m back on the caffeine kick again though I’m pulling back since my mania has been triggered a few times in the last few months. But it’ll be hard to pull once again back from Diet Mt. Dew.
Pepsico does make a caffeine free Diet Mt. Dew but it’s become impossible to find since it only comes in 12 packs so you can’t find 20 oz or two liters
I don’t know why I like this pop so much, but I just do. I know it’s ironic that the whole point of Mt. Dew is for the caffeine and sugar so getting a diet version (or zero sugar which is another flavor) seems a bit ridiculous but who am I to argue with capitalism?
Do the dew,