Archive | August 2015

Love To Y’all – BUT it ain’t Free Love…

Two of Pentacles

Here’s what I need you to know. I DO do a lot of free work for my whanau and community. It’s the right thing to do. An energy exchange for people I love, and for my closer community. I also work for koha. For me it’s about giving back.

BUT as I work with about half a dozen people at a time, on top of paid clients, three kids, CAFS appointments, trying to run my house, see my partner, and not seeing close friends I love very often, my time is very precious. Just as precious as yours.

Therefore I charge for it.

I am happy to give a reading or some spellwork in the evening or any time I can loosen up for you, truly. But if you need me to clear a space in my diary for this work – which provides my families income – the rate is $70 an hour.

Let me be clear. A gift is a gift, on my terms. If you are booking my work time, that time needs to be paid for. $ 70 an hour.

If I make a space in my diary available to you, it is no longer available to my children, friends, my lover, or even paying clients. That space is valuable. You might not know, but if a paying client stands me up without contacting me, they never get another appointment with me. Ever.

This is my work, and it is time I’m giving up from other things that really do need my attention. I am the only captain of this ship. It’s all down to me. I’m currently getting about 6 people a week asking for services on top of my regular bookings. And I honestly can’t think of any other profession (except perhaps hairdressing) where people ask for free work with such frequency.

Yes, I am generous with my work. But I ask for some generosity of spirit and consideration in return.

This entry was posted on August 16, 2015, in Blog.

Academic Witchcraft and other idiocies

snowdropsI’m thinking about how much I value the academics who put the science into my spiritual path and craftwork. Archaeologists, Anthropologists, Religious Studies academics, Gender Politics professionals, Historians, all the information gatherers and decipherers. This is a good and valuable thing.

Fashions change of course. What was accepted knowledge in these areas changes over time and evidence. The work of Margaret Murray was lauded for a time, then questioned, then debunked. Personally, I’m very interested in the writings of Joseph Campbell, across time and space.

I’m also thinking about the artists, practitioners, and pathworkers who put experience, feeling, and emotion into my spiritual path and craftwork. They lead me and stretch me in directions I may never have experienced if left to my own devices.

However, I am none of these. I am a common old hedgewitch with my own experience, which is informed and valid, and useful in my life and in those of the women in my Circle.

I am not an expert in anything. And I don’t actually seek to be.

However, if I am part of a group of like-minded fellows, I expect to be able to share that experience without being shamed. Perhaps I am not the most brilliant singer. Does that mean I should not be able to express my self through singing in my own house? Especially if I love to sing?

Within a group of women living their lives, if one member starts to criticise our practical spirituality with their academia, that is a shaming experience, from someone with superiority issues, who would like everybody to know that he once read a book. I’m sorry, sir. You may indeed be correct about everything you are saying, but this is not the place for it. Now, off you go and start your own little group where spirituality is only for weird anal sanctimonious intellectuals. This path may lead you to knowledge, but no-one will ever come to you for your wisdom.

There is reason behind my exclusion of you. It’s not just that I want to live my path without imposed value systems or negativity. Because I do. It’s my path, not yours. It’s because if I am constantly bombarded by the uninvited standards of others, projected from within their own frameworks, I will always fall short. And I need to be able to practise my path regardless of your judgement calls.

Back in the day, a visitor to my house tried to call me out for using a rubbish brand of toilet paper. (True story).

Why did he feel the need to do this? I feel sure he knew more about toilet paper than me, but it was unnecessary, irrelevant, and seriously – I wasn’t buying brillo pads to use on my arse – so his criticism was unnecessary. He could however have used whatever toilet paper he wanted to in his own house. Good for him in contributing to improved toilet paper for us all. But he was not invited back to my house. Ever.

Paganism contains many and varied beliefs, faery traditions, animist traditions, cultural traditions, astral traditions, even Christian traditions. I could argue and devalue any of them if I chose too. But I prefer not to act like a dick. If you are in my house, you are invited to keep your criteria and value judgements to yourself. You will not open your mouth and make my friends uncomfortable by applying your lens to something that not only works for us, but works for millions of others worldwide.

I value faces of the Goddess and names for her across time and culture, each one a lens to view and experience her from a different angle. A lot of us old Witches do. We’re not academics, but we’re not uninformed, and we’re certainly not dumb. And this is how religion works. Experts know the expert things. I use these frames to experience in a meaningful way. I do not know all the expert things. That’s what experts are for.

Work Life Balance…

Just a wee bit crappy. Maybe a wee bit sicky. Certainly tired.

Court today2Just crappy enough to know that seeing a Suzuki Swift just irritates me. Nothing wrong with the car, but the people who choose to buy them seem to be the same people who just need a kick up the backside in general.

Temper is also short with the non-compliant minions…

It’s been a long season. Courts, and death, and funeral… and some of the women I treasure the most have been through hell, just this season.

I am exhausted, but attempting to restart my life in small ways now.

Physically, I’m attending to my Green Prescription, and quite shocked at how unfit I’ve become so quickly now I’m older. Mainly joints and ligaments… anything that stretches or clicks, and probably shouldn’t.

Energetically, I’m sleeping. A lot. I figure I should trust my body.

Emotionally, I’m shifting away from some of the causes I pursue, because they bring me low. Even on my wee political page, I’ve always tried to post not only about the problems, but also about potential and practical solutions. But Cecil nearly finished me. I gotta recharge.

Environmentally, I’m just concentrating on home and hearth. Still decluttering while I struggle to maintain Flylady cleaning in the face of daily (and unreasonable) opposition.

Politically, I’m looking further into Socialism, as the New Zealand movement seems as deeply environmentally focused as it is socially. Their main focus seems to be combating injustice on all levels. And that suits me just fine.

Creatively, I’m hoping that my tiny bit of blogging, maintenance of my pages, and my wee tarot business are taking care of that. I know I need to be writing and even drawing more. But hell, I’m finding I just cant do everything.

Academically, I’m still learning about tarot, Jung, and archetypes – and likely will be forever. I read across a wide range of material every day – political, social, and spiritual.

Spiritually, I’m more in contact with the Moon and the seasons than I ever have been. I run my life to that clock. And that keeps me in constant communion with my Gods. Just being of the Earth.

And sexually, I’m being treated just fine! Thanks for asking.

Socially – that’s the big one for an introvert like me – I got out last night for a couple of hours for a meetup with my local Pagan group. It was bloody hard to get out of this house of small wild dependants by 5pm, but do it I did. And I will do so again every month. I love socialising, but need time to recharge after interacting with people. So as a friend I can be problematic. “Come here, I like you. Now go away for a month.” Not everyone’s cup of companionship.

So, there it is. My recovery programme.

I have come to replace the word ‘balance’ with ‘inclusivity’. These areas of my life are never in balance – they can’t possibly be. There are to many of them. But I include a little of each in my schedule – more of some as the Moon waxes, less of some as the Moon wanes. It’s not a balanced diet, because I can’t eat that much. But my intention for living as busy and as well as I do is that, over time, no nutrient is completely left out.