Memorial Day Thoughts

So, I’m late in posting this (as per usual). But I didn’t want to let that stop me. As I said before, I’ve recently completely rearranged my altar, to have more of a focus on Ares as I try to overcome my fears in a certain area. The fact that it was a few days before Memorial Day was completely incidental.

I’ve let some of my devotion fall to the wayside (never a good thing) as I battled depression about the dream of the homestead ending (for now? It might start up again in the future, I don’t know.) But the last 3 months or so, I have been oddly motivated in ALL areas of my life. Stuff has been changing. I’m in an intense period of transformation right now. I put myself back out in the dating pool and had my first date in 8 years (which went very well by the way). I’m taking control of my health, going to the dentist and getting long overdue work done (NOT FUN, but necessary), I’m taking an online class in Old Norse in order to try to explore this connection to Odin I seem to have, and probably most importantly for taking control of my life, I’m taking a driving class and trying to get over my fear of driving after a bad wreck I was in.

So I wanted to do something on Memorial Day for Ares and the military dead. Some stuff happened, and I wasn’t able to do so the day of. Now in my depression I would have felt bad about that and done nothing, but SOMETHING is ALWAYS better than nothing, so got back on the horse and did it the day after. It was less of a ritual and more of a spontaneous prayer and acknowledgment, and when i made tacos for myself I was inspired to offer the best and most delicious looking one to Ares and the military dead. Offering, after all, is the heart of our religion and how we show our Gods and spirits our appreciation. I also offered barley to Deimos and Phobos, asking Them to please STAY AWAY so I can get over my fear. I REALLY don’t need “Terror”, the inspirer of phobias, in my life right now!

I also watched a few episodes of Band of Brothers. My brother loves that show, but I’ve never really paid much attention. As good as the acting was (and it was phenomenal), the documentary ep with the actual elderly former soldiers of Easy Company reduced me to tears. That lead me to a lot of thinking about why.

Most of the Gods I worship are War Gods. Even those for Whom war is not a primary concern often have significant war aspects. Despite this, I am not a soldier and I have never been to battle. (Strangely, I get asked if I’m a veteran a lot, and I haven’t been able to figure out why. I wear army surplus clothes sometimes, but I know people who wear those and are NEVER asked that same question, so I’m still perplexed by this.) I have immense respect for those who fight for our freedoms. When I was young I had an obsession with G.I. Jane and wanted to be a Marine. The first boy I kissed was in the Air Force. I have a draw to warrior energies, and even in fiction I have a thing for warrior cultures. Vikings, Klingons, Mandalorians, Dwarves, whatever. I love them all. All of them have differences and they are all fascinating to me in different ways, but it was only recently that I recognized the “warrior” connection.

Yet I know that I would never have the discipline to join any branch of the military myself. With my history of mental health issues I’d never be accepted anyway. I’ve had to fight my entire life for everything I’ve ever had. I am definitely a survivor and a fighter, but that’s not the same thing as a warrior, not exactly. There’s a tendency in modern Paganism to dilute the meaning of that word, “warrior”, and I think that’s a shame. We can all benefit from warrior energy at times, but I don’t think that makes us all warriors. Someone who runs willingly into the chaos of battle, who watches their friends die, suffers that powerful trauma, and STILL GOES BACK, that’s a warrior. And we shouldn’t water down the meaning of the word, because it dishonors them, both the living warriors, and even more, those who didn’t make it back.

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Honoring our Military Dead on Memorial Day (Part I)

I happened to have rearranged my altar a few days ago, for a multitude of reasons. It’s now focused more heavily on Ares for the time being. Its interesting timing; the reasoning was because this summer I am working on facing and overcoming some deeply-rooted old fears of mine, fears that are bad enough that they impair my day-to-day functioning, and I need to appeal to Ares for courage to do this work. I had completely and totally forgotten that Memorial Day was coming up. Its completely and wonderfully appropriate, and I’ll have to make sure that I make some offerings to Ares and the military dead tomorrow.
This is my favorite part of Galina’s article: “Civilizations are built on the backs of warriors. It may be an ugly truth. It may be something that our politically correct social justice weasels today don’t like to acknowledge but it is, however reality. When we refuse to honor them, we spit in the face of every one of our ancestors who ever had to take up arms to defend their homes, families, countries, and kin.”

Gangleri's Grove

memorial_dayIt’s been a really rough week and I’m not in the mood to mince words today with this piece. This weekend is set aside in our calendar to remember and hopefully honor those who died while in active service to our country.  

Today I skimmed an article at Patheos, one that essentially suggested that while this is a day to honor those that have died while serving in the military during our numerous wars, we should also take Memorial Day to honor civilians (and pretty much anyone and everyone else) who have died or suffered as a result of those wars as well. Apparently our service men and women aren’t deserving of respect on their own.

Oh that last bit wasn’t in the article but it was implied and really, I get so tired of this. Those writing and agreeing with this are the same people who hit the…

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Lord of the Carnelian Temple is now published!

Hey everybody, I’m alive. I’m good. I wonder what the astrology is like right now, because the last 6 months has been some intense transformation in all areas of my life. Anyway trying to get back on the horse here! BA has several new devotionals out, but I’m most excited about the devotional to Sobek! Planning on ordering it next month! Check it out!

Per Sebek

After almost a year of hard work, and some wonderful amazing contributors, we have finally got the Sobek Devotional published! ❤

It is now available to purchase here: https://neosalexandria.org/bibliotheca-alexandrina/current-titles/devotionals/lord-of-the-carnelian-temple-a-devotional-in-honor-of-sobek/

Please go and support this amazing book, and see what a wonderful devotional we’ve created for Sobek. ❤

Share this far and wide, and spread this to any Sobek devotees you know. ❤

Dua Sobek! Nekhtet! 😀

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We are being drowned

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Theogamia/Gamelia

Did anybody else notice that the Festival of the Marriage of Zeus and Hera falls on VALENTINE’S DAY this year????? It’s a good thing I don’t have an significant other, so they can’t get offended when I say I’m going to spend the day with the Gods instead  of them.

zeus and Hera

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My submission to Galina’s Sigyn Poetry Agon

There’s a still a couple of hours left (ends at 9PM EST), so hurry over if you want to leave a submission of your own.

 

To the Lady of Endurance
by Amanda Artemisia Forrester

Some may find it strange
That You are named Victory Woman
When You have endured so much pain
The death of Your sons
The imprisonment of Your beloved Husband
Starvation and cold that You suffer at His side
As You hold the bowl over His head
Catching the poison as it
Drip
Drip
Drips
Into eternity
Until the final day comes
When Loki will be released
The dead rise
And the worlds will end.
But still You stay by His side,
Through the tears have long since dried on Your fair cheeks.
Those who think it strange have not endured pain and loss as we have
My small pains may not compare to Yours, sweet Lady,
But I understand that just continuing to stand tall is a Victory
When You have lost so much.
Sigyn, Mourning Mother,
May my humble prayers comfort You in Your pain.
Sigyn, Lady of Constancy,
May I have but a fraction of Your endurance
To face my own meager troubles.
Sigyn of the Cave,
Let me hold the bowl for You,
For just a few minutes.

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Quick Update

So, Life Be Crazy.

Yes, I continue to live and breath. I had to move. The homesteading went bust. I’m planning on writing a much longer post about why I failed at this attempt, and what people who want to homestead themselves can learn from my failure. The gist is that we bit off more than we could chew, and my brother was not honest with himself about his physical abilities and what he could handle. There will be more details coming in the next few weeks. But my brother and I have gone our separate ways for the next few years. He is staying in Missouri, although we no longer own the land and he moved into an apartment a few days ago. Myself and the dogs moved back in with my old roommate in Indiana. I’ve lived in this particular house for 8 or 9 years now, at various times. It’s really weird, it’s the closest I have to a home to go back to. Other people have parents, I don’t have that, but I have my friend and this place, so I’m still blessed. Especially because finding a place to live with 2 mid-sized dogs can be a challenge sometimes.

Unfortunately, the Athena devotional has YET AGAIN been put on hold. My co-editor is also going through some crazy life re-adjustment at this time, so with the Editor of Neos Alexandria it was decided that it was best to push it back yet again. Sadly.

BUT, I have a file on my computer where I am still saving submissions, and I save them on my email and GoogleDocs (just in case my laptop dies – don’t want to lose all my writing again, now I back up in as many places as possible!!!). So, although there is no official date anymore, if you want to send your submissions for Shield of Wisdom to me at amandaforrester1701@gmail.com, feel free to do so.

In the meantime, may I wish I joyous Lenaia to my Hellenic friends and a Happy Candlemas/Imbolc to the Wiccans!

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