Friday, November 27, 2009

Oh...The Lady's good to me...and so I thank the Lady!!!

Guess what, guys???

Last year, my Mom and I had a fight on Thanksgiving about me being Wiccan. It "made her sick to her stomach." Which made me sad. Obviously.


I was nervous coming home this year, thinking I'd be in for another fight. I wore my pentacles most of the weekend, except when my mother's new best friend "Dina" came over. I foolishly thought Dina, being Southern, would be freaked out by them and there was no sense in freaking out my mother's new friend at Thanksgiving.

To my delighted surprise, Dina asked me to give her a Tarot reading.

I did.

My mom even helped! She asked if there was anything special I needed or if it would be a problem if she were in the room when I did the reading. Dina loved her reading and said it was helpful. Mom got to see me read Tarot and see that it's not a "creepy, icky thing" I was doing, nor was it a "tongue in cheek, I don't really mean it, right?" thing. Plus, it gave her the chance to go call my grandmother and not feel her guest was being ignored.

Dina, as it turns out, is interested in alternative spirituality. She moved to Oregon to get away from the Bible Thumping she received as a child. My mommy's new BFF is a Goddess Worshiper. This, clearly, is a very good thing for me. AND for my relationship with my mother.

Short entry because I'm off to meet my friend Jenny for lunch. You can read her story here. She's inspiring. She doesn't like it when people say she's inspiring, but tough shit, kid. You inspire me.

Monday, November 23, 2009

IUD is GONE!!!!!!

Janet told me Brid said to her, "Tell Courtney to smash the anvil."

This morning, I did.

"Just didn't work out," I told the doc.

No more painful reminders, several times a month.

It sucks that it didn't work out. It really did seem to be a perfect match. But sometimes, some things just don't work and we have to leave them behind.

So, I did. And then I ate a brownie. I deserved it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

When Ovaries Attack

Last night, I was working on my Powerpoint presentation for my workshop at the Tahuti Lodge when I received a surprise attack from my own uterus.

It was, by far, the most painful experience of my life.

Menstrual cramps make you feel like your body is trying to kill you, anyway. It's the addition of this IUD though...that felt like my own normally sweet and gentle uterus called up my sciatic nerve and invited her over for blow and Twister. I'm pretty sure that's what happened.

I know a lot of Witches struggle with birth control. Hormones give me anxiety attacks. The IUD seemed like a great idea as I wouldn't have an artificially regulated cycle and wouldn't have to remember to take a pill. But this damn thing is trying to kill me I think. Last night was so bad that I couldn't even get off the couch to get more codeine out of my purse. (I finally did, though--as the need for pain pills will surpass all.) Then, I curled up on my couch and cried and googled "Signs of Miscarriage" as things were so bad, I wondered if I'd gotten knocked up and was knocking it out without knowing it. I wasn't. But I did wonder.

I also attribute this attrocity to having a Dark Moon period this month. I release every third lunar cycle, so every few months, I bleed on a Dark Moon. Dark Moon periods are....darker. All menstrual times release whatever bad juju we're carrying from our systems, and coming during a banishing time just after I lead a banishing ritual for N.O.W., I must have had to let something nasty and demonic go.

No bleeding yet, so I await with baited breath and a refill of my prescription of Tylenol 3. I may just have to chuck this thing and go back to condoms alone.

In other news, my deposit in the Magickal Garbage Can at Samhain seemed to have worked! I said I wanted to minimize distractions. Now, I no longer am able to piggyback on my neighbor's internet. Sometimes, Magick sucks.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Seminary Question Number 4 (or is it 3?), something good to read, and something great to announce.

4.) How do you relate your faith, personal history, academic background and vocational goals?

How do I relate? What do you mean how do I “relate”? I’m not sure this is a well-formulated question. How many people come to this question and say, “What the fuck?” You want me to add all of this up and say, “this equals why I want to come to Union?” I truly don’t understand what you’re asking here. Are you asking me how the fuck I ended up here? Sometimes, I’m really not sure.

(That's not my final answer.)

Hey, kids! Want to read something totally friggin' awesome??? Go pick up this little thing! I found it at the Strand, but Amazon is our friend sometimes, too.

I am thrilled to announce the formation of something new and awesome. Today, the Pagan Community Center of New York was formed. I will keep you all posted and a new website is to come.

This is a turning point. Something big happened today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Better use of pissiness (More thoughts on anger)

When I was 18, I went to a Tarot reader.

This reader was quite good and noticed immediately that I carried quite a bit of anger--even if I was as sweet as can be during my visit. "Anger can be a powerful tool," she said. "Just don't let it destroy you."

I've often repeated that to my own clients who are dealing with anger issues. I myself am a naturally angry person. Jorge says this is because most of my chart is made of Fire and Air. Some might say it's the combination of being both Russian and Irish. My therapist would try to blame it on my childhood. (Why do shrinks blame everything on childhood?) Honestly, it doesn't matter where it comes from. The truth is that there is at least one point in each day when I'd like to punch through a wall.

But most of you would never know what a seething ball of rage I am. My co-workers have often commented that nothing rattles me. This isn't true. I do get rattled. But I've learned to redirect my anger into places where it's useful.

In my last post, I talked about being angry over heartbreak and trying to let that go, and hearing the Goddess say that these things go through phases and can't be forced. However, I can treat my anger like a knife. It can cut someone--which would be mean. It can cut me, if I bottle it up--which would be painful. Or it can be used to get work done--like cutting an apple, cutting through jungle, or carving something pretty about myself on a subway bench.

If you're like me and you live with a 900-pound raging Gorilla in your mind most of the time, put that Gorilla to work. Anger can drive us and stir us to get the job done. Below are six things worth getting angry about. Click on these the next time you're stewing about something your ex-lover said to you during your final convo....

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Congo's Witch-Hunt

War Rape

Still Melting

Blogging in Cuba gets you beaten

Wealthy nations forgetting their promises=people die of AIDS

(And to make you feel better.....HERE'S A REALLY CUTE BUNNY!!!)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Anger, healing and competitive sports. Plus television.

Anger is a process and healing comes in layers.

One of the greatest gifts CRR left with his visit is a new perspective on anger. Seven years ago, we were furious with one another. So furious, one would storm out of the room if the other entered. We warned other people about one another. We did the fucktarded things early 20-somethings do when spurned: gossip, bitch, gossip, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch. ( doesn't end with your early 20' it turns out...) But seven years later, CRR flew 3,000 miles just to hang out for the weekend. And during the visit, I knew I'd been very, very angry about something at one time. But those reasons seem so pointless that even if I weren't masking CRR's identity and our story, I wouldn't even know how to explain why I was so pissed.

So, what's the point in getting angry about anything?

Co-workers jerk us around. But it's our job to put up with them. Taking it personally is just going to run up your bar tab at happy hour. The MTA sucks. It just does. And sometimes, we get stuck underground, crammed against a bunch of strangers--some of them smelly. A few of them, rude. All of them just as unhappy to be stuck in there as we. Getting angry at the MTA doesn't make us get anywhere faster, or improve their overall service. What's the use in getting mad at a subway system? It's further proof as to why the Goddess invented the I-Pod. I-Pods save the day in a bad commute.

But sometimes, even our best perspective makes us still want to chuck a stiletto heel into a skull. Or leave a pentacle-ring bruise on a cheekbone. It may have been five months since I had my heart broken and through therapy, friends and sweet, sweet men, I'm doing pretty damn well. Occasionally, however, I'll be going along my merry way; doing my dishes, petting my cats, working on a blog post or something and I'll suddenly look up and scream "DOUCHEBAAAAAAAAAAG!!!"

"Huh," I then say to myself. "I guess I'm still kinda mad."

Tonight, after a few of these angry-Torrets episodes, I went into meditation. "Come on, you Guys," I said as I descended down the spiral staircase to The River. "Why am I still so fucking angry?"

Brid came to me looking like the Alanis Morrisette character in "Weeds." Pan came as the Silas character.

"Why do you look like Alanis Morrisette?" I asked Brid.

"I don't," She said. "I look like a doctor."

It was true. Alanis Morrisette's character in "Weeds" is an OBGYN. Brid was dressed in the white coat and everything. It made sense as one of Brid's traditional roles is that of midwife. And while I may not be having a baby right now, clearly, I'm birthing something that pisses and cries (my anger), and in Her doctor role, She was going to heal me. Pan in Silas-garb made sense: the older brother character who defends those he loves--while being extraordinarily sexy with a mild blip on the Gay-dar. We made out.

Brid pointed at the moon. "Notice how it changes? Its shape cycles in and out. You can't blame it for its nature. It will pass and change and come back."

I guess this means I have to wait it out. Anger will change. Anger will diminish. Anger will indeed grow back, so I guess this means the most dangerous and futile thing to do would be do cling to the anger or force it away. Can't do it for the moon. Can't do it for our hearts. We just have to trust the process and let time do its job. Even when we wish it would hurry up and do its job a little fucking faster.

On that note, I also advise watching basketball. Watching sports is important. When you get into a game, you don't think about anything else. It's the most entertaining form of cathartic meditation out there. Tonight, the Blazers beat the Spurs.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Essay Question #3

Describe your personal interests, including the fields which interest you most:

My personal interests include history, in particular religious history, anthropology, mythology, ecological technology and the esoteric disciplines such as Tarot, as mentioned above, astrology and medium ship. I am particularly interested in contemporary folk worship around the globe—how to people practice their faiths outside of the Church or Synagogue? I have studied mediumship in Ireland, Voodoo in New Orleans and espiritismo in New York. I teach lectures on Pagan Ethics and reading Tarot at spiritual workshops and festivals around the country.

As a performer, I’ve done quite a bit of shit I don’t know that I should mention in this essay…do you people really want to hear about me doing burlesque as a crack-head in rehab?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tarot Workshop--ATTEND!

Samhain was a heavy one and I still have a mess o' stuff to process. I promise to come and gab about me-me-me later-later-later, but first, want to promote a workshop I'm doing in partnership with the Tahuti Lodge of New York City. I also should go vote, but have a snoozing familiar on my lap and these moments are sooo hard to come by...

I will be teaching "BURN THE F***KING BOOK: READ TAROT LIKE THE PROS" as part of the world-wide commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck (also known as the Waite-Smith) publication in partnership with the Tahuti Lodge on 12/5. This is a great class to better know the Tarot--whether you've been reading for years or just picked up a deck last week. The class is designed to get you to take the important step of putting down the instructional book and letting the cards speak for themselves.

Would be readers frequently say, "I want to read Tarot, but I still have to use the little book in the box...." In this class, we will be focusing on connecting the characters of the Tarot to you and your experiences as well as touching on the history of the Tarot and its place in the contemporary world. Through these methods, it will be easier to shrug off the little white book that can inhibit the oracular nature of the cards.

The class will run 4-7 on Saturday, Dec. 5th. The fee is $20. Bring your cards (any deck will do!) and a notebook. Spread the word and bring your friends! This class will be great for the novice or the seasoned Tarot reader! More than that, my classes are fun and definitely don't suck.

Space is limited and reservations strongly encouraged:

Blessed Be, Pretty Babies!!!