Posted in [miscellaneous experiments]

To My Northern Friends

If you’re one of my friends in the North that considers themselves progressive or liberal, please take a moment to read this. Buddies in the South, you can keep scrolling.

Living in the not-South can feel like you’re above the kinds of racism, sexism, and homophobia of those uneducated Southerners. You might feel like you’re part of a better side of America, a side that’s safe and fair and honest.

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you’re wrong.

Believing that the North is safe from being discriminatory is privilege.

In the South, you might see people sneer at Black folks for existing in the same places their ancestors were forced to labor. Here, I see people sneer at Native folks for existing in the same places their ancestors have always lived. I hear jokes about stereotypes that go unquestioned, because our neighborhoods are conspicuously white; even my most progressive friends slip here, telling jokes no one has ever called them out on.

Just because no one points out your racism doesn’t mean it’s not there.

In the South, sexism is direct. They make women’s healthcare difficult to receive outside of a set bubble (i.e. childbearing). They are proud to tell you that they have five centers in a town dedicated to helping a woman through her pregnancy from conception to birth, while they’ve managed to push the closest birth control, cancer screening, and abortion coverage 2-3 hours away. Up here in the North, sexism is subtle. Men’s jobs just don’t recruit women, and they don’t often interview women who do apply – after all, they’re just not built to do all this hard labor. Women’s jobs are clearly delineated by the tasks involved (i.e. social rather than physical). Having a baby while employed is no easier or better supported up here; we all know someone who’s had to return from maternity leave too early or has left the job rather than do so. Gender norms are still enforced, meaning my shaved head was questioned while wearing a skirt is praised (even though neither affects my ability to do my job).

Just because no one questions your sexism doesn’t mean it’s not there.

In the South, being noticeably Queer means snide looks or comments like “you know that’s a sin” or “I’ll pray for you”. Again, homophobia is often direct and obvious. Yet in the South, there are organizations in almost every town for Queer folks to find support and a community. In the North, ignorance was my first experience as a Queer woman. On my first anniversary, almost a year to the day after SCOTUS made it legal for my wife and me to get married, I had people asking how I got married in Texas. And was I really married, like with the certificate any everything? YES! Imagine the privilege of not even noticing when America finally legalized love everywhere in 2015. Being noticeably Queer up here means people feel comfortable having entire conversations about you and your appearance within hearing range, and sometimes it makes me miss being told “I’ll pray for you” instead.

Just because no one calls you out on your homophobia doesn’t mean it’s not there.

In the South, there’s a thriving community of pagans and witches. The network is well woven, and everyone knows someone who knows someone. Texas pagans fought for the right to have a pentagram on pagan soldiers’ graves in federal cemeteries, and they won. In the North, you have just as many churches on every corner, door-to-door proselytizing, and presumptions of Christianity. Actually, the biggest frustration I’ve had is in trying to be “out” as a witch. In the South, if I mentioned being non-Christian or celebrating Yule, the natural progression of our conversation would be a polite inquiry as to what I was (if I didn’t mind sharing). Southern people take subtle hints very well! Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to come out to my coworkers for 3 years, and the majority are still so unwilling to discuss religion that they don’t know anything about me. Willful avoidance doesn’t help with diversity and inclusion!

Just because no one voices the need for conformity doesn’t mean it’s not there.

The problem with believing that the North is a liberal utopia is that you stop paying attention. You think it’s not a big deal when stuff happens. You get annoyed at protesters marching down the streets, because you don’t feel like they have anything to complain about up here. You roll your eyes at pride posts online and can’t wait for June to end so you can stop seeing rainbows everywhere. You shrug off the election of an anti-choice politician, because it’s not like it affects the women you know. You ask your friend to stop bringing up rape culture, because they’re being a downer. You think none of this is an “us” problem. It’s all a “them” problem.

America is both “us” and “them”. Only your privilege lets you ignore discrimination in favor of comfort.

As your Queer female witch friend from Texas, I’m asking you to check your privilege. When you want to ignore or brush off news because it’s uncomfortable (or scary… or rage-inducing…), I want you to sit with that discomfort and work through it. There are good people in this country who need your support.

Support is a verb.

Being non-racist isn’t the same as being anti-racist. Being non-homophobic isn’t the same as being anti-homophobia. I need you to be willing to be anti-oppression, with your thoughts and your words and your vote. I need you to notice your own biases and question them when they come up, even if you don’t want to consider that you might have them. We all do. I need you to point out offensive jokes instead of faking a laugh, even if it means some people stop joking around you. I need you to have the hard conversations with friends and family, even if they lead to disagreements or hurt feelings. I need you to vote like you have skin in the game, like a politician’s decisions will alter your life they way they alter the lives of people like me. I need you to support people you’ve never met when they take a stand against oppression, because someone close to you might be watching and waiting to see if you’re a safe harbor.

I need you to do the work.

Posted in [business projects]

[Progress Report]

Hail and welcome!

This website is under construction, having been in some form of existence since April 2009. As I clean up the old posts and updates their labels, content will make itself available to you. Here you can find book reviews, witchy commentary, poetry, and random writer thoughts.

As an experiment, I’m going to ask that you consider entering a poetry prompt in the form below.

It can be a keyword, a quote, or just a general idea you have for a topic. I’ll try to write a poem about every prompt I receive, just for creativity’s sake. If you include your handle for a social media platform, I’ll do my best to tag you in the post on that platform (assuming I use it).

Posted in [book reviews], [business projects], [writer stuff]

Book Reviews – in the works

I’m becoming an expert at disappearing for months at a time. Sorry! Consider this an update on my projects, writing goals, and life stuff.

Life Stuff

Last year, I became unemployed in August and spent a month trying to figure out what to do with my life once a terrible retail job was no longer in the picture.

As a result, I poked my nose into Booktube, put together another poetry book, and found a job I enjoyed doing. Working an office job with salary (and amazing benefits) has removed so much stress from my life… and that’s directly evident in my projects and goals since last summer.

To be fair, I disappeared after October… because I started that new job in October. Not a big surprise. I quietly participated in NaNoWriMo 2017 and continued on other writing projects, but I guess I just gave myself some time to adjust to a bazillion changes all at once.

Writing Goals

Since publishing my last poetry book, I’ve been taking a more serious look at my fiction and nonfiction writing projects from previous years. I’m finally in a good place to focus on rewrites and editing and all that other “fun” stuff.

I intend to publish another poetry book by the end of 2018, but other than that, I’m letting a bunch of ideas percolate in the background.


Aside from writing, I’ve made a focused effort to read through more books we own. I’m writing detailed book reviews for some nonfiction books (mostly books about writing books), and I’ll be sharing those soon. Pinky promise!

Resource reviews are important to me, because some people (like me) can’t stand the idea of investing money in nonfiction books unless they know the book is really worth the coin. Most of mine are used books, but I figure an honest opinion can help others who might be considering a $20 purchase.


Posted in [business projects], [witchcraft & wonder], [writer stuff]

180,000 Words to the Void + this post

I have been a horrible blogger, but a great writer this year.

Since 2015 started, I’ve managed to write approximately 180,000 words. It all started with a goal of just a thousand words per day. I figured if I could start a real writing habit up, maybe I could get around to writing something worth sharing.

At first, it was a struggle. I’m used to self-filtering before my words tap across the keyboard; so much of my personal journals is left unsaid, because I never wanted to record the embarrassing or negative things with too much detail.

Eventually, I opened up to the honesty I was offering for myself. I promised myself that I could write *any* without guilt, because I would be the only person to see it in its original form.

The floodgates opened, and the words came flowing out of me.

I’ve started two stories, meatier than anything fiction I’ve written in years. One has around 7,000 words to it so far (mostly outline and character descriptions), and the other has around 25,000 words (including character descriptions, an outline, and several scenes so far). I say these stories are both meatier than my previous fiction attempts for a reason. They have depth. Instead of being two-dimentional attempts at a fairytale, these stories and their characters can stood up and made themselves into something. Characters told me who they wanted to be, rather than me filling in all of the blanks myself.

It feels… amazing.

Added to that, about half of the remaining words I’ve written this year are related to my spirituality. I’ve been brutally honest with myself and my thoughts, and I’ve explored deeper into my hopes and future plans than I have in ages. My own journaling has given me the ability to understand myself and voice my needs to my coven and high priestess; it’s helped me to seek out challenges I might’ve ignored before, like offering to teach classes and lead rituals without them filling any special requirements for elevation.

You haven’t really gotten to see any of this. I’ve been hiding in my little writing cave, typing away without any effort to update or share on my blog beyond an occasional “yeah, I’m still alive” post.

I’m working on things, I swear.

Due to health reasons, I never got around to being comfortable on camera and starting a YouTube channel. My skin was (and partly still is) a hot mess and a long story at that. In place of a YouTube channel (or in place of a live-action me, I should say), I’ve been exploring the possibility of doing a podcast. I don’t mind people listening to me; the speaking-for-others part isn’t the issue. This is a newer idea that I’m working on figuring out; right now, it’s a rough draft of a rough draft of an idea.

I’ve also been working on a pagan book. I’ve been using my coven’s beginner-level notes to kind of guide my outline. In the process, I’ve actually been updating the coven notes as well, but that’s a different project all together. In approaching the topics (like energywork, divination, and tools) from a teaching standpoint instead of as just a student, I’m seeing what I like and what I would change more clearly. As an initiate, I’ve considered making these notes (once updated) into my outline for a book… and then making that a personal challenge to complete. We’re all about pushing ourselves and growing into our potentials, and this feels like the right direction.

Through everything, I’m still working fulltime and trying to manage a household of adults (like herding cats AND dogs together). I’m also working on plans for moving up north to Washington state next spring. It takes a lot of planning these days to fling yourself so far from your current home; you can’t expect to just pop up, find a job and an apartment in a week or two, and get to living. Unfortunately, there are fewer jobs, a higher cost of living, and very little support if you fail to plan ahead. Good thing I’m a planner, huh!

I appreciate anyone who’s bothered to stick around and read my occasional posts. Sometimes the internet is a giant void and my words just a whisper, but it’s nice to know someone hears me time and again.

Until next time, keep breathing.

Posted in [witchcraft & wonder]

Proudly Oathbound

The new moon of February is here, and it’s a special time. This is the time when, each year, members of my tradition retake their oaths. In my case, that means retaking both my Dedicant and First Degree oaths.

We do this as a reminder. The oaths you make along your path are important, and refreshing them annually reminds you of where you’ve come from, where you’re going, and why you’re traveling in that general direction. It lets you review your path and make changes if you’ve gotten stuck in a rut.

I realized several years ago just how seriously I take oaths, without meaning to do so on a conscious level. When I take an oath (be it a personal dedication to a goddess, a coven oath, or a marriage vow), my spirit takes in the words and treats them almost like the Aes Sedai’s oaths made on the Oath Rod; as they’re sealed onto the women themselves, so my oaths are bound to me.

[[FYI, that’s a Wheel of Time reference… probably one of the only ones I’ll make in my life.]]

Sure, I’m technically capable of ignoring an oath deliberately or accidentally. It’s physically possible for my to actively chose to ignore them. However, I just don’t. Period.

When I left my coven a few years ago, I could’ve stayed within our tradition as an initiate. However, my oaths included a promise not to teach those who were not prepared properly. For me, that meant that teaching my roommate or writing a book that could potentially teach anyone both bent that oath to breaking; it felt wrong in that context, as an oathbound initiate of a tradition. The only solution was to leave the tradition entirely, removing all oaths in the process.

Having returned a year ago to my tradition and coven, I still take my oaths as seriously as I did back then. I feel them in my bones, and they never fail to float through my mind when I consider the same things (teaching a friend, writing a book, and so forth). The difference is that, as someone seeking eventual leadership within our tradition and the pagan community at large, I know I can approach my Elders and ask for guidance regarding any projects or lessons I might want to start. I can verify that my oaths allow my actions, and I can keep my honor intact.

[[Now I’m sounding more like the Aiel. AAHHH! I haven’t read those books since the first time,]. No, seriously! Some things just stick with you, I guess…]]

Actually, this reflects my studies on Asatru and other Norse traditions; in those cultures, your honor is passed down from your ancestors and kept pristine by your honorable behavior. Breaking an oath is dishonorable, the same way breaking a promise during childhood was a betrayal of trust. Neither situation can be easily remedied, because trust and honor can’t be instantly repaired; they will always hold a residue of memory from the breaking.

As I retake my oaths tonight, standing in circle of my own free will, it will serve as a reminder that I am a child of the gods, a seeker, a student and a teacher, and above all else…

I am proudly oathbound.

Posted in [witchcraft & wonder]

What great work am I here for? – Spiritual Contemplation

I’ve been thinking about spirituality a lot lately.

Our coven is about to open for new students again, and this time feels special. It’s not so much that I’m expecting anyone in particular to join up, or that I think we’re going to cover a bunch of new ground. Rather, it’s that I feel the difference in me.

I’ve talked about this before. We (humans) are creatures of habit. We are quick to decide the truth about ourselves and then stop looking. My simplified example is your favorite color. Mine was purple when I was little, a reflection of both my love of darker tones and my birth stone. I claimed purple without any thought on every questionaire, every conversation, and every “about me” section on a profile. It wasn’t until I turn 21 or so that I realized it wasn’t true; I liked purple still, but when deciding on a single color to use for something (a new shirt, my profile text, etc.) I chose green. Green was my new favorite color, and I hadn’t even realized it.

Spirituality can be the same, sometimes. We get into this place where we’ve done some serious soul-searching and found some answers… and so we decide that’s it. The truth is A, B, and C – in that order. It comes as a somewhat unpleasant surprise, then, when the Universe tosses everything we think we know about ourselves right out the window, forcing us to start from scratch again.

What does that have to do with our coven opening up for new students?

We call the first year of lessons the Rainbow Year, because we touch on a full spectrum of subjects to give students an overview of paganism in general and more specifically an overview of our tradition. We cover things like pagan history, general practices and beliefs, gods and goddesses, tools, the wheel of the year, and so on.

For years, these lessons have felt more like mindless repetition than an exercise in learning. However, that’s completely my fault. I’ve become complacent in my beliefs, failing to examine and re-examine my path as I walk it. I’ve stopped trying to reach further and deeper when covering those fundamental lessons; instead, I’ve embraced a form of mindless boredom.

I’m done with that.

This year, I’m going to dive into our Rainbow classes as if I’ve never been there before. It’s time to rediscover who I am, who I want to be, and where I’m walking on this path of mine. Some of the new (and terrifying) truths about myself have already come out, turning me into the biggest puzzle I’ve ever faced.

To put the pieces together, I’ve come up with trackers. I’ve been journaling almost daily, with some of it remaining private just to allow the words to flow out completely unfiltered. I’m going to take notes in each class, as if I were attending a college course again; I’m going to combine them and the current notes to create what I’d consider the vital information from each lesson. I’ll be doing research to help with this, seeking out the old and the new to figure out where I stand. Throughout the process, I’ll continue to work on my pagan book project; the writing and reflection from it will fit in nicely with redefining myself.

I’m not letting 2015 go to waste, because this is the first time in a very long time that I’ve faced numbered days to reach a goal. Losing everything I’d had planned for my future lit a fire under my ass. I feel like the Universe has challenged me, again, by taking what I thought I knew about myself and turning it on its head.

What am I?
What do I believe?
What great work am I here for?

Posted in [witchcraft & wonder]

Comparative Theology (Round 2): Jediism, Kopimism, and Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF)

I’ve been putting off my research for comparative theology until now, hoping that my health would improve and make the thought of being in random public places tolerable. I’d been considering a trip to a coworker’s Christian church, as well as the Buddhist temple on the edge of Killeen. That being said, I’m tired of waiting to be healthy enough for travel; I’ve decided to explore some smaller, quirkier paths instead.

The paths I’ve decided to research are Jediism, Ár nDraíocht Féin (Neopagan Druidry), and the Missionary Church of Kopimism. I chose these groups for mixed reasons. Jediism just sounded interesting; I may be a Trekkie, but I like the idea that people can find spirituality in science fiction and fantasy genres. I’ve run across the ADF many times on blogs and sites I’ve visited, but I’ve never really looked into what they practice or stand for. Kopimism is a strange little Swedish church I ran across while googling randomness; I liked the philosophy I saw on Wikipedia, so I decided to dive further.

Jediism –

Right off the bat, I was intrigued to see how many of the items listed in the Jedi doctrine fit with my own beliefs. They’re reminiscent of the beliefs of Asatru as well, when it comes to protecting others, honor, and wise action. The Temple of the Jedi Order has an elaborate online system for training Novices, and my perusal of their sections made me want to actually follow through and complete them! For example, the first lesson in the Novice level is Myth, and it uses audio/video from Joseph Campbell interviews to discuss the importance of myth. Journaling is key, and I find a strong familiarity in that compared to my own Rainbow Year with the coven.

If I had never heard of Jedis or Star Wars, I might’ve thought this path to be a good fit for myself. The combination of pacifism and activism is well balanced, at least in theory. They talk about equality and protecting others on one hand, then emphasize cautious in over-action on the other. Don’t march off into a fight, choose your battles accordingly, etc. The Force is essentially the same as saying “the Universe”, as both are generally a term explaining the huge interconnected existence we live in. In a way, Jediism reflects parts of animism; you respect the earth, other creatures, and people as they are connected to you and deserving of positive treatment. A few random beliefs unique to Jediism include:

  • Explicit rejection of torture, cruel/unusual punishment, and the death penalty – this isn’t commonly pinned down in religions, as personal views usually take precedent
  • A focus on social and legal justice and equality, including equal rights for women, LGBTQ, and other religions – they distinctly mention the need for separation of church and state
  • Teachings that focus on ideas both secular and spiritual in nature – for example, a Jedi is expected to be patient, understand their limitations, and guard peace in whatever way they can (helping others, using their skills wisely). There are Jedi who use the path as a secular guidance system, focusing on how to better themselves and society through being a good example and through good actions.

I have noticed in my research that they aren’t really ones to use ritual and ceremony for religious expression. They have sermons and meditations, as well as reciting parts of their doctrine or creed. In this way, they’re more similar to small church Christianity and Unitarian Universalism in the act of sharing thoughts and philosophies with the community but practicing most spiritual aspects internally or in private.

Ár nDraíocht Féin –

I’ve heard of ADF many times on blogs and forums over the years. Not being particularly drawn to Celtic or Welsh deities, though, I tend to scroll on by and look for whatever I’m actually seeking. That said, ADF is actually a very open pagan path, compared to the more strictly guided path I expected from druidry (old or new).

ADF beliefs encompass many of the usual pagan ideas: spirit is everywhere, religious freedom is a must, and we each hold the power to fix and change the world around us (as opposed to needing intermediaries or supplications to a god/goddess for assistance).

Certain religious/ritual practices are familiar-but-different. Rituals are held with open circles, which are sometimes used by other pagan paths like ours; however, the ADF primarily use open circles rather than using them for open rituals or special circumstances. Another familiar practice is the use of ritual liturgy and special words/prayers in ritual. ADF rituals have several groups they make offerings to, something that aligns with reconstructionist groups like Hellenismos more than with groups like Circle of the Midnight Rose. They offer to poetic inspiration, the Outdwellers (troublesome spirits, asked to leave), kindred, the gods, and so forth; in a way, it reads like an Asatru sumbel, toasting various beings and ancestors in honor of their assistance and ongoing blessings.

The most interesting thing I found with ADF is the inclusion of other pantheons. I’d always assumed (from my skimming online) that ADF rituals were always centered on the Gaelic/Welsh/Celtic pantheons. Instead, I’ve found that they allow for the worship of any pantheon; I ran across ADF-approved Hellenic rituals, calls to Zeus and the like. Wow! The core importance in ritual practice is to follow a basic ADF ritual format, rather than to worship specific deities.

It was weird to find a pagan path that rejects (or at least doesn’t use) the traditional four elements in ritual or beliefs. Instead of earth/air/fire/water, they recognize the three realms of sky, land, and sea. In a way, this is beautiful; it reflects the natural world almost better than the usual elements, as we can more easily see and experience those three realms (directly rather than symbolically). They also reflect scientific reality more directly as solid, liquid, and gas. I’ve heard people add plasma to make the four-element layout fit into scientific measures of reality, but they always seem a little forced.

Missionary Church of Kopimism –

Kopimism is… interesting. The idea is that all knowledge should be freely copied and shared, allowing mankind to grow and flourish with the all-encompassing access to information. In a way, this idea matches the non-spiritual comments from Aaron Swartz (who posted copyrighted articles from journals so that the often tax-funded research would be accessible to those who paid for it). Now, Kopimi practices believe all restrictions on sharing are bad; laws about copyright and pirating are considered “sinful” as it were, because they infringe on this ideal of information for all.Another key part of Kopimism is the integration of science and religion. Some discuss the seasons as a reflection of the Kopimi (“copy me”) beliefs.

  • Spring is creativity. New life is everywhere (the copying of genes into a new generation).
  • Summer is copying. A seed grows into a plant, and that plant produces copies of itself in a multiplying number on and on. Fertility and sex are both tied to that process.
  • Autumn is collaboration. Harvest is a way of working together, and so is the collaboration to create or complete projects.
  • Winter is quality. It’s a time for reflection, as winter is a time when natural selection weeds out those strong enough to survive through until spring. It shows that only quality DNA will continue to be copied.

As you can see, these beliefs fit modern paganism quite easily; they also match the natural science of the seasons. I found a Kopimist Gospel, a PDF (freely shared, of course) covering the Kopimi ideals. For example, there are seven historical milestones: fire, language, culture, writing, the printing press, science, and the internet. Each served a purpose toward people being able to copy knowledge and move forward, growing as a species in the process. It’s a beautiful way to look at natural selection and human evolution. Look: “A child learns her first words by copying her parents, just like they once did with theirs. The language belongs to all and none, and that is what gives it value. The more a language is shared, the more valuable it becomes for those who share it. ” That totally makes sense!

In a way, Kopimism fits into any broader spiritual practice. While it stands as a religion on its own (at least in Sweden), it recognizes diversity in a way that allows for the adding of parts and rituals from other sources; there’s an entire section in the gospel and various forums on how “the swarm” (i.e. the majority of Kopimists) will accept or reject an addition with time and use/disuse, because religion is meant to change and grow with its practitioners. Now THAT I can stand by! There isn’t a bunch of complaining or arguing over the proper way to be a Kopimi, unlike the “witch wars” of modern paganism.


These paths are all interesting and unique in their own right, yet all three allow for a practitioner to be both a pagan (Wiccan, Hellenist, witch, etc.) and a member of these paths. Even atheists are welcome, in a fashion, if they feel the philosophies and practices of these paths fit their personal philosophies. None of these paths require an exact belief in deity; instead, they focus on self-discovery, growth, and community support.

There are plenty of similarities between Equitas Veneficii and the above paths. Seeking personal growth, helping others, and a focus on balance/equality fit in nicely with us all. The level of inclusiveness and community supported also matches between the above mentioned paths and EV trad. In ritual, we do differ; EV trad is very much a Wiccan-influenced witchcraft path, compared to the less ritual-heavy elements of Kopimism or Jediism. The ADF have more similarities in their ritual practices, as they hold rituals on the same days and for some of the same reasons as our tradition.

I’d like to explore these paths further over time. In my previous comparative theology research, I was able to use (or attempt) ritual aspects from my chosen paths. In a way, I’ve already done so with Kopimism. I’ve an avid believer in shared experiences and knowledge, so I research and (as they say it) “kopy” information regularly for my own growth and development. Technically, the act of researching and writing this essay (while copying and including the links to my sources) is a form of “kopyacting” or copying something with the intent to continue its existence and make it available to others.

If I were more interested in Star Wars, I’d sincerely consider studying toward apprenticeship within Jediism. While the church isn’t focused on the movies or franchise as a whole, I can’t get past the name and references without my inherent Trekkie bias causing me to wrinkle my nose. The path itself is wonderful, and I might consider revisiting it in the future. If you removed the words “Jedi” and “Force”, everything else was completely familiar and agreeable with my own beliefs and practices.

I might try creating a small ADF-style ritual. Having studied and tested out Asatru previously, the concept of offerings to ancestors and spirits throughout ritual isn’t new; in fact, the hardest part of potentially trying out ADF format is the removal of familiar pieces like the four elements and circle casting. There’s a balance to be struck in feeling like a ritual rather than creating a mild meditation with mead; you’d have to ensure the liturgy and ritual actions fit with whatever focus you’d chosen, in order to make the ritual a cohesive and complete ritual.

As a side note, I find myself more and more inclined to study and try out new practices. It feels like trying on a new outfit at the store. I may not buy it (or buy into the practices long term), but I get a good look at something new and possibly change other aspects of my own practices in the process (like deciding I love to accessorize with infinity scarves, even though I didn’t buy that gorgeous one from Earthbound make out of beads – maybe I prefer thin fabric instead). I’m also a bit of a knowledge dragon, hoarding away tidbits of information without any real expectation of it being directly useful to me, ever.

As I face an approaching move to Washington and the changes that entails, I find myself more focused on figuring out what I want with my life – be it emotionally, physically, mentally, or spiritually. I have a year to work on my path here, before time and distance make me a solitary practitioner of the EV trad. Reflecting on that, I’ve found the desire to return to the point I was teetering on previously, and then I’d like to follow through and seek second degree. Finally.

Growth and change are good!

Posted in [miscellaneous experiments], [writer stuff]

Random Writer’s Ramblings

I’m planning to try writing about 1,000 words per day in 2015. I got the idea from Novel Notes. The actual focus of the goal is less structured than that, though; I’ll be shooting for 1,000 words per day, but the totals at the end of each month are the real target word count.

For example, January’s goal will be 31,000 words. Ideally, I’d spread that over the course of the entire month, writing that thousand-per-day amount to keep up. Realistically, I’m going to sprint for a couple days, then rest and repeat until I’ve reached my goal. It’s my process, because I do my best writing late a night but can’t stay up late on weekdays due to work. Weekends are my big writing days.

I’ve decided to use my winter break to create a vague outline for next year.

I’m thinking of finally working on a project I’d thought up years ago. You see, I happen to love short stories. I enjoy the intensity of the plot that’s pretty much required for a short work to tell a story. My project idea is a collection of short stories designed to not have happily-ever-afters at the end (or at least not traditionally happy endings).

Another potential project is one of the two (or three) pagan books I’d been thinking needed to be written. They require more research and focus than the fiction project, but at the same time they have premade outlines in the form of my personal experiences and previous thoughts/notes on the ideas.

With the winter break just days away, I look forward to deciding on which projects to work on next year. Having a writing goal gets me writing more often, just like using the Goodreads option for a personal challenge helped me to read at least one book a week for 2014.

Speaking of reading challenges, I’m also considering an interesting twist to my personal goal (which is still just one book a week). There’s this list of book types and topics to read, and I really dig most of the suggestions. I mostly read free ebooks on my Kindle, ones offered by indie authors; I’m sure, though, that I can find books that fit these descriptions.

The best part about these challenges (both writing and reading) is the way their small, easily attainable goals make me feel successful and happy.

That’s part of how I’ve always treated my own, mild depression; I just find things to be good at or complete, and I constantly remind myself of my successes (however small they may be). Getting through NaNoWriMo and winning on my first try was specifically designed to help me move past the end of a long-term relationship and other dramatic changes I had little or no control over in my life at the time.

Overall, I’ve decided to make 2015 a productive and positive year.

Posted in [writer stuff]

How’s that for a story?

I want to write a story. Really, I want to make you feel what I feel. I want to tell my story, from beginning to middle (because I’m nowhere near the end). I’m just not sure how.

I was born to a military family, and I was painfully shy. My friend’s were my brother’s friends, because I couldn’t seem to meet people on my own. This made me a tomboy for the first decade of my life, maybe a bit longer.

I found religion after trying out several churches and feeling spiritual-but-lost. I became pagan, getting mostly confused reactions from people who knew about it. But sometimes I lost friends, because parents aren’t as accepting as children. I made choices sometimes, between being myself and being “normal”.

I chose to stop the shyness, and somehow I managed to make that decision work. I made lots of friends in a new high school, and I blossomed. I loved, and I lost. I had one person tear me to pieces, and there were others around to sew me back together when he was done abusing my gentleness.

I reached adulthood alone and full of hate, moving just weeks before my birthday. I met a boy who would become my husband (and eventually my ex). I moved back to the place I blossomed in, and I found myself lost. My husband decided he didn’t want children; I decided to leave.

I moved stateside again, with another man. I struggled, and I grew. I joined a coven, and I left it. I had a miscarriage, and it broke my heart. I discovered polyamory, as well as my own bisexuality. I experienced bittersweet romance, humiliating rejection, and eventually deep love. I rejoined my coven, determined to follow-through for priesthood. I spent a year trying to conceive with my primary partner, so we could have a family. I had fertility issues. Then my partner left me because he didn’t want children anymore.

I removed that dream from my list, permanently.

I decided to stay (alive) by deciding to leave (this place); I gave my shattered life purpose by making plans to move back home with family in a year.

And here I am. Waiting for that year to come and go, so I can leave this place and start over.

How’s that for a story?

I’ve actually imagined writing out my experiences as a book, a novelization of what I’ve been through in my first quarter century. There’s a lot that happened, especially being a military child; I met people and traveled places I never would’ve seen, had I been born to a normal, settled family instead.

I don’t know if my story is worth telling, though. It’s interesting, true. But is it something you’d want to pick up (or download) and read for hours? I’m not so sure.

There’s formatting, too. When I share anecdotes with my friends, they’re all over the place. Maybe our talk about spirituality made me remember the way my friend Kayleigh wasn’t allowed around me for a year over my paganism, but the conversation over coffee about kids has me talking about my obsession with Vitzi and the Dinosaurs. In normal day-to-day life, that pattern makes sense; in a book, though, linear time is usually important.

Maybe I’ll draw up a timeline of memories that stand out, like stars in a constellation? I could just write them out and worry about the connecting lines later.

I don’t know. I’m rambling, because my thought train is chugging along in fog through my tired mind.

Posted in [miscellaneous experiments], [witchcraft & wonder]

Expired Dreams, or What’s Your Favorite Color (Really)?

Age 5: My favorite color is purple.

Age 10: My favorite color is purple. It matches my birthstone.

Age 15: My favorite color is purple. It’s the color of magic and mystery, and it matches my birthstone by coincidence.

Age 20: My favorite color is purple. It always has been. It matches my birthstone amethyst, which happens to be my favorite witchy crystal to work with. It makes me think of magic and midnight.

Age 25: Hmm… you know what? I like purple, but if you favorite color is the one you’d use to decorate your house, paint your car, redo your wardrobe, and even put in your hair… my favorite color would have to be green. Any shade of green.

Sometimes the things we like and want in our lives are repeated to others out of habit. It’s like you figure out your answer to a particular question (What’s your favorite color?) and then reuse that answer for the rest of forever.

Yet… in taking a moment to reflect on it, you find yourself with a new answer and confusion over when exactly the shift occurred. The above is a simple example, true for myself. I always said and felt that purple was my favorite color, up until the moment it suddenly wasn’t anymore.

Is there some kind of spot-check we’re supposed to do, to verify that all of our preferences and dreams are up-to-date and unexpired?

Posted in [business projects]

Muddled Plans: moving through a weird place

I’m in a weird place right now. I’ve got lots of things moving in super slow motion, so it looks and feels like nothing’s happening most of the time. I know that focusing on one goal at the exclusion of the others will increase the speed, but I’m too indecisive to choose my direction right now.

C’est la vie, I’ll figure out a plan eventually!

My Etsy is going on hiatus after the holidays. I say “my” Etsy, because I’m the only one putting any money into it at the moment (via posting fees and shipping costs). I’m also the one who has the most stuff, as well as sales, so far. I figure I’ll leave the shop up through the holidays, giving it the chance to earn a bit more that way. However, after Yule I think I’ll put it on vacation while I revamp and figure out where I want to take it. I might hand over the name (and related email account) to my co-owner, since it fits her eventual goal of an apothecary better than the odds-n-ends I’ve created.

My YouTube isn’t moving forward, but it isn’t moving backward either. My computer is useless for video creation or editing; in fact, it’s useless for just about everything! I’ve purchased a window mount for my phone, so I can use its camera to record vlogs. I’m currently undecided on where to start, though; I’m looking into some random weekly vlogging to get myself going, but I don’t want a bunch of mixed junk on the channel before going full-on pagan. I’m working on a happy medium, which is why I haven’t recorded or posted anything since I opened the channel in the first place.

I want to write! I’ve been making myself read ebook after ebook (from my huge collection of freebies), and it’s gotten me wound up. I haven’t written a story in ages, and I can feel my muse uncurling herself from the corner I unintentionally tucked her into. I’ve read the good, the bad, and the ugly, and I look forward to joining the fray. Knowing myself, though, I’m going to start with revamping an old story of mine (from high school); the plot is great, but it’s not very well-written or descriptive. I’ve developed a distinctive voice since then; rereading my early writings makes me snicker!

My blog has taken a backseat for various reasons. Between a higher workload and lending out my laptop, I just don’t have any time (or place) to write a blog post; I’d have to swype it on my phone, which is a nightmare! So I have half a dozen drafted post ideas, but this is the first one I’ve focused on long enough to complete.

I’ve got some fitness goals at the moment, and they’re the most active (haha). I’m starting Couch-to-5K, a running program that helps you develop running strength from the ground up; it was my idea, inspired by a couple of YouTubers I like who have used it before to jumpstart their fitness plans. We’re fixing up our garage too, making space for our weights and such. I’m not setting a weight goal at all; instead, I’m just going with the flow and planning to follow the program to completion. Eventually, I’ll be able to run 5K without dying! That’s a good enough goal, though I’ll surely lose weight along the way.

As a side note, I’m still trying to conceive. I don’t write about it much, because each month is a weight I’m tired of carrying. It’s been eight months, and I’ve been more focused on praying for regular cycles than anything else. Birth control is wonderful, but it comes with a high cost after years of use; my body doesn’t remember how to woman.

All in all, I’m walking the line between action and inaction right now. Everything’s still in mind, even if it’s not at the forefront.

Posted in [witchcraft & wonder]

Ugly Birds



Crows, and ravens.

I’ve always loved the “ugly” birds. I love their loud caws and boisterous antics. I love their fluttering underfoot, undaunted by humanity flowing around them. I love their resilience, the way they’re persistent in staying where they want to live, regardless of our desire for clean statues and nest-free buildings. I love their wildness, so close you can touch it. I love their ability to live off our trash, to scavenge from the junk and make it work.

It’s fitting, then, that my new pagan name has stepped up and given me a reminder of their beauty.


Koh-RAH-key. In Greek, it’s a raven or crow. In reality, it’s Google translate and a friend’s random decision to swype a word unasked.

My legal last name is amazingly similar. Corichi (Koh-REE-chee). It’s my ex-husband’s last name, so I only use it when legally obligated, but I love having something so similar to rinse away the grime of bad choices and make me smirk.

The original reason for finding Koraki was in looking up “raven”, not “crow”. I like that it means both, though. I love the idea of embracing the ugly birds, of being one of them. Beautiful, playful, simple, loud. Alive.

My initial reaction to the name “Koraki” was intrigue, a pull on my spirit before I even heard the translation. It felt right without any definition. Meditation and tarot readings have since re-emphasized the feeling of rightness, but that initial gut feeling is something I take above all else; instincts led me to my first pagan name Maluna, after all, before I had any explanation or understanding of what it would mean down the road.

I’m looking forward to growing into Koraki. I had the name Maluna for 15 years, starting at the very beginning of my pagan path. I can’t help but wonder how long Koraki will be with me.

Posted in [witchcraft & wonder]


There are always choices.

I could bottle it all back up. Pretend we never discussed the possibility. Return to business as usual. I could push it all away. Disconnect from the feelings, and find distance. Logic myself out of trouble. I could move forward. Push the issue, take a chance that I’ll succeed. Take a chance that I’ll fail.

It’s always about you.
What’s best for you.
What’s easiest for you.
What will make you happy.

I can’t not focus on that. I try.

I tried to make you take the lead, until I saw your discomfort. I couldn’t just let you struggle to explain things. And I couldn’t let you stumble into something deeper than you were asking for, so I had to be honest. I did so knowing it’d suck, that you’d change your mind. Knowing the happiness you want is different from what I have to give.

Polyamory is stupid, and difficult, and frustrating, and awe-inspiring.

I’ve never loved people so deeply, or so unconditionally, or so eternally. It’s painfully beautiful, the way I feel every day toward so many different people. It’s looking up into the night sky and realizing how intimately connected I am to the entire Universe, to every star and speck of dust.

Overwhelming. It’s completely overwhelming.

I can’t not love someone just to make them more comfortable. I can’t lie like that, not with a heart so ridiculously open. And I can’t be sorry for loving people, either. My love isn’t a weapon, or leaverage, or a leash, or a contageous disease. It’s the feeling of happiness at another’s existence. It’s resonating, spirit to spirit, energy to energy. It’s glowing when you think of a specific person, place, or thing. It’s the glue that holds us all together.

I’m frustrated. No choice is a perfect choice. If I bottle everything back up, I’m lying to myself and pretending that nothing’s changed; the whole reason I was able to curl into myself before was in the face of complete disinterest and rejection. If I push everything away, it risks losing parts of our friendship that hold the deepest connection; after all, being close friends is why I fell in love in the first place. If I take a chance and ignore your decision to back down, I risk alienating you and other friends; I could succeed, but it could also blow up in my face.

I’ve written this journal entry a dozen times, deleting line after line of indecisiveness for weeks. I’m not a private, quiet person; it’s unnatural for me to keep my thought-trains and internal debates completely to myself. I respect your privacy, but I also respect my right to speak. That’s why this whole thing is so iceburg: a surface peak only, no glance at the real scope of things. I wonder if this is all a test from the Universe and, if so, which way my lesson is supposed to head.

Or maybe the Trickster has taken a liking to me?