I am not going to take down this blog. But I am still considering whether to leave it up, as is, but basically abandon it. The other option is to transform it into something completely new. My whole life has been transformed, and going forward it will be impossible to ignore that fact. I’m not sure if those who enjoyed my previous posts will be interested in what I want to write about now. So, before I start this endeavor, I’d like to open a dialogue. Feedback will be vital. If I don’t get any comments on this post, then I’ll have my answer and this blog will remain up, without change, but also without any new posts.
Okay, so as I said a few weeks ago, I am not sure if I still believe in the Gods as literal, individual Beings Who interact with the world and their worshippers. But I still identify as Pagan. The myths of Greece in particular, and of Egypt and Rome to a lesser degree, still resonate with something deep inside of me. The sacredness of nature in particular seems irrefutable. There is no truer magic than the alchemy of sun, water and soil coming together to nurture the spark of life within a seed. The thrill of watching the first tiny seedlings struggling to rise above the soil, then bursting forth in magnificent abundance after a heavy rain, buds becoming flowers becoming fruit. Sun + dirt + water = FOOD!!! What could be more magical than that?!!
My entire life’s direction has changed in the last 5 years. What began as a dreamy “what if?” scenario has become a full-fledged goal, one that I am tirelessly working towards in everything I do. My brother and I are going to buy a piece of property and homestead it. The eventual goal is to live entirely off our land, building each of us our own house, but running the farm together. Buying the actual property itself is at least a year away, maybe a 2 or 3 years. But we are working hard to make this dream come true, right now focusing on fixing my credit and paying off debts so that we will qualify for a mortgage.
But in the meantime we are studying and cultivating skills that We Will need when we make it to the homestead. We are doing what we can where we are now. We grow as much produce as we can in our limited backyard space, and we are building a small greenhouse to shelter a few choice potted plants through the northern Indiana winter. The majority of our diet comes from the local farmers market. If we can’t grow it ourselves we can at least support the local farmers who do. A small amount of our food, maybe 5%, comes from a local community garden where residents are allowed to pick food for free. I often go to Unity Gardens just to visit their chickens, who are always delighted to see me because I bring them the veggies in the garden that are past human consumption. I give them fallen, overripe tomatoes, and they give me hope and inspiration, the will to carry on in the path I have chosen even when the road gets rocky and the farm seems so far away.
This fall my brother and I are preparing to go on our first ever hunting trip, and we are very, very lucky, to bag our first deer. I look forward to eating meat from a wild animal that lived its life naturally, the way it was meant to, instead of a miserable existence in a tiny, filthy, overcrowded cage. Meat from an animal whose death was quick and humane, whose flesh I have earned the right to consume, through the ancient dance of predator and prey.
If there is an interest, I’d love to blog this journey. I have been and always will feel Pagan at my very core, whether or not I believe in literal Gods. And putting philosophy aside, I long to live a more natural, more Pagan life, in tune with world around me. There may be less history lessons, less step-by-step ritual guides. There will certainly be more discussions about practical homestead skills, reviews of books and videos, and records of my first fumbling steps forward. But I don’t want to write a homesteading blog without the Pagan side, since this process will surely bring me back to what drew me to Paganism in first place: the reverence for Mother Nature. But I can’t say for sure where this will all lead. I don’t know what this means for the Temple, if this journey will lead be back to my old beliefs about the Gods, or further away. I only know that at my core I am still Pagan, if only culturally. And my journey, including all of its ugliness and pitfalls, my darkest doubts and most painful despairs, may be useful to others who have experienced or are currently going through something similar. So, what say you? Is there anyone out there, even one person, who wants to accompany me on this journey? Or should I just start a homesteading blog, minus all the Pagan elements?
~~~Amanda Artemisia Forrester
Formerly Amanda Sioux Blake