Good Things, Bad Things

I received the proof copy of my book, and it looks great, just how I imagined it. I did add a few more things to the inside, so I’ve ordered another copy. Once I approve that one, it will be available for sale. As I flipped through the first proof copy, naturally I started obsessing over things that I “should have/could have” done differently, but I’m leaving it alone now. It will be fine. Compared to other pagan authors, I’m rather small-fry. I’m not trying to compete or be famous or the “next big thing”. I write mainly for myself, the way I want to write, and that is all that matters. I have my own style and it works for me. This is my humble offering to the pagan community. Maybe others can learn from my own experiences.

I’m reading three books right now. Actually, one is a journal that you write in, called “The Me Journal“. It asks questions about your life, opinions and beliefs, and you fill in your own answers. There are lots of books like this, but this one is the best I’ve seen so far. I love it. I also started reading The Witch’s Coin by Christopher Penczak. It’s about the witch’s relationship to money and prosperity. I’ve had this book for awhile, and I’ve already read small portions of it, but I decided it was time to dig in and read the whole thing properly. I hesitated so long, because quite honestly, reading about money is not one of my favorite things. I’ve never been good at budgeting or saving money. I am good at spending it. Thankfully, the husband manages our finances and takes care of the bill-paying. We always have extra money for things we want, but I must admit I’ve done alot of emotional spending in the past. There’s nothing wrong with buying things that make us happy, but I’ve learned to be a bit more selective. I know I want to donate more to certain charities and support pagan businesses. I would consider us successful. We both have good jobs, a roof over our heads, food to eat and a purpose in life. We may not have some of the things other people have, but we are doing fine. I also started re-reading another book I’ve had for ages, Way of the Wizard by Deepak Chopra. This book is about personal transformation, through the eyes of the wizard. It’s quite wonderful. I saw a lecture Deepak presented based on this book, so I had to get it.

I mentioned in my last post how I was still debating whether to offer classes again this year, and that I would be consulting the tarot cards for some insight. Well, they were pretty straight-forward. They answered with a definate NO. There were themes of sacrifice and patience, and even the Tower card came up in the spread. It seemed to indicate some troubling times ahead and that I need to wait awhile longer before offering classes again. I need to focus more on being the student rather than the teacher.

I had looked at a few places that were offering space for classes, and wasn’t really thrilled with any of them. A few other places wanted to charge ridiculously high prices to rent their space. My intuition is telling me this year is not a good time. I considered offering a home-study course as well, but the truth is I did not prepare well for that. My classes are better in person, which just cannot happen at the moment.

I’ve spent much of the weekend listening to this awesome alternative band, Jimmy Eat World. I had them on all day Friday and yesterday I picked up one of their CD’s. And, the lead singer Jim Adkins is, shall we say…Gorgeous. I will be buying up all their music as soon as I can. (There I go with the spending). But they’re worth it. Maybe someday I’ll see them in person.

One of the husband’s favorite bands is American Authors, who are also incredible. I’m running out of space to put all my CD’s, I’m going to need more storage cases. More spending. I know alot of people just download music these days, but I still prefer a CD I can hold in my hand. I like the artwork and photos and reading the liner notes.

In other news, I got my 2nd Moderna shot. I’m vaccinated now. I had no reactions other than a sore arm. Very sore. I was scheduled to get it on Thursday, but we got dumped on with more snow and ice. Work was cancelled and roads were impossible. When I went in to work on Friday, the roads were still pretty bad, so they sent us all back home. I was able to re-schedule my shot for later Friday afternoon. Roads were fairly clear by then and I was able to get in right away. I barely felt the needle go in, but boy, the next day my arm was extremely sore. Since I work in health care I was able to get the vaccine right away. The husband still has not been able to get his first shot. He’s in the ‘high risk’ category so his should be soon. I know locally they’ve been running low on vaccine supply.

At some point today we’re going to Lowes to get a peg board, so I can put some of my Harry Potter ornaments on a nicer display. I have so many of them that I’ve collected over the years, and it would be nice to display them better. Once they’re all up I’ll share a picture. We also have to go pick up our grocery order. We order online and then we drive to the store, where they put them in the back of the car. We don’t even have to get out. Are you supposed to tip them? We could never figure that out.

Speaking of food, I need to eat something now.

Til next time,

Rick

Snow, Ice and Tarot

We did get a massive snowstorm after all. My car (an SUV) was completely buried. It took two days to dig out, and I needed an extra day off work just to recover. Some of it has melted, but many areas are still covered with snow and ice. The following days brought even more snow. Tomorrow night we’re getting an ICE STORM, which means I’ll likely be staying home Tuesday. My car is a piece of crap even in good weather, so when there’s snow and ice on the road, forget it. My tires slide even when it’s only been raining. When we finish paying off the husband’s car, I’ll be getting another one for myself. Thankfully I have a day job that allows me to use PTO when I need to. I feel sorry for people who still have to go to work in life-threatening conditions. It’s always profit over safety in this country.

For good news, I finished my book and have ordered a proof copy. As it always happens, I thought of other things I should have added, so I added them and ordered a second proof copy for version 2. I self-publish my books, partly because traditional publishers reject my manuscripts or ask me to contribute $$$ to publish them, and partly because I’m not keen on the idea of my work being subject to the personal whims and biases of an editor or publishing company. Self-publishing means you retain control of your work, but it also means you have to do your own marketing and publicity. I’m okay with that. Self published books are not “less than” or inferior to those published by a traditional publisher. Those who suggest so are only exposing their own arrogance.

Later this evening, I’ll be doing my weekly devotional to Cerridwen. These devotionals always include divination with tarot and sometimes with the Ogham staves. For several years I used the Sacred Circle Tarot, but I had become so dependent on this deck, with it’s easy keywords on each card. Last Samhain I felt it was time to move to another deck, one that I had already been learning, the DruidCraft Tarot. It combines imagery and symbolism related to Druidry and Witchcraft, which make up most of my practice. No keywords on the cards, which meant I really had to dig deeper to understand the card meanings. It is the only tarot deck I use now, and it has been very insightful. I’ve been indecisive about a few things lately, which is a rare thing for me, but COVID-19 has thrown a lot of things out of whack, and I have some choices to make. Some things may need to be put on hold. That’s kind of what I’m feeling at the moment, but I want to see what the cards have to say. I’ll share a photo of tonight’s tarot spread in my next post. For now, here’s a look at the DruidCraft Tarot. It’s quite beautiful.

The DruidCraft Tarot

I will be anxious to get home after work tomorrow before all the ice and sleet begin to fall. They said we could get up to half an inch of ice, and we may have power outages, the whole nine yards. Lovely.

Til next time,

Rick

Imbolc Snowstorm

There is a legend that connects the two Celtic figures of Brighid (an Irish Goddess/Saint) and the Cailleach (Crone of Winter). One version of the legend tells us that on the Winter Solstice, the Cailleach slams her blackthorn staff on the ground, signaling the beginning of Winter. She rules over the dark Winter months until February 1st, a day known as Imbolc, sacred to the Goddess and Saint Brighid. (Brighid the Goddess and Brighid the Saint are one and the same). On Imbolc, the Cailleach hands over her staff to Brighid, who awakens from her slumber and signals the first stirrings of light and life to the land. The legend goes on to say that on Imbolc, the Cailleach begins gathering firewood for the rest of the winter. If she desires the winter to last longer, she will attempt to make the day of Imbolc warm and sunny, so that she can gather more firewood. If the day of Imbolc is filled with snowstorms, sleet and rain, it means the Cailleach is still sleeping. She will soon run out of firewood, and the cold, wintry weather will soon come to an end.

Imbolc is tomorrow. Where I live in Pennsylvania, it has already started snowing. We are forecasted to get up to 22 inches of snow, with heavy winds. Tomorrow is also a Monday, which means I obviously won’t be going to work. Perhaps not Tuesday either. Not if I have to dig my car out of two feet of snow. I’ve been curbing my anxiety with meditation, watching mindless British comedies and house-cleaning. I loathe and despise snow with every fiber of my being. It annoys me when people say, “And yet you live here“. Irrelevant. I am here by necessity, not by choice. We moved here because California was too expensive and the husband’s family is here. Now that all of our parents are gone, we have no strong family ties keeping us here, we have considered moving elsewhere. Florida, perhaps. Even the United Kingdom. Yes, I know it snows there too, but I think winter in London would be much easier to deal with than winter in small-town Pennsylvania.

I’ve spent most of the weekend cleaning our kitchen and bathroom. We’ve let them get into disastrous shape (you just kind of get used to it after a while), so we’ve deep-cleaned both rooms from top to bottom. It’s good to see shiny surfaces again. We’ll see how long it lasts. We’re not the kind of gay guys who keep everything immaculate all the time. We don’t fit any of the classic gay stereotypes. Do those even exist anymore?

I haven’t written any more of my book for a few days. I’ve been stressed and tired due to the day job, this god-awful weather, my classes that are supposed to start soon and a few other things. I did actually get the first dose of the Coronavirus vaccine (since I work in health care). Moderna. I get the second dose on February 18th. My arm was sore for a couple of days, but other than that, no bad reactions.

I’ve been reading these two books, The Art of Magick and The Art of Mysticism, by Gabriyell Sarom. I had them on my Amazon wish list for months, so the husband got them for me. I regret it now. I was drawn in by the book covers, and while the exercises in the books are useful to help one enter proper states of mind for magical workings and mystical experiences, I can’t agree with the author’s repeated statements about the whole purpose of magic and mysticism being “Union with God”. There are lots of references to God and getting to know God, which I find very disturbing and off-putting. I will finish reading them, but when I’m done, these books will get donated to a local used bookstore.

Since we can’t go to the gym due to assholes refusing to wear masks, and the gym management refusing to enforce the mask mandate, we’ve been working out at home and trying out a new fitness plan called the Fit Father Project. We did have to buy a few specific things for making meals, but it seems like something we can do. We’ll see. We were taking walks in the evening, but since outside looks like The Day After Tomorrow (see below), we won’t be doing that for a week at least.

The dog is hinting that he needs food, and so do I, the only thing I’ve eaten all day is a bowl of Pumpkin Spice flavored Frosted Mini-Wheats. So, I’m going to make dinner now and watch more Dark Shadows.

Wherever you are, stay safe and warm.

Rick

Working and Hibernating

Last week was very tiring, and I was in bed by 9pm nearly every night. My day job is mentally draining, plus I did a lot of driving around. Thankfully the snow has stopped (for now), and we look to be snow-free for another week at least. By the time I get home, take the dog for a walk, make dinner, the husband gets home (he works later than I do), we eat dinner, watch another episode of Dark Shadows and by that time I’m literally exhausted.

I did manage to do some meditation before bed at least three nights last week. Deepak Chopra is wonderful.

Some of the things we ordered finally arrived: business cards to promote this blog, some DVD’s and a book. The business cards looks great, with rounded edges and a glossy shine. My husband ordered me three seasons of Still Open All Hours, a hilarious BBC comedy that I first saw on PBS and fell in love with. I think there are about 5 or 6 seasons. We also got the first season of Being Human, another BBC program with the gorgeous Russell Tovey. It’s a dark melodrama about a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost who befriend each other and get into all sorts of shenanigans. We wouldn’t be able to watch these at all without our all-region DVD/Blu-ray player. It was one of the best things we ever bought, we can watch any DVD from any country. Alot of these programs are not available in the U.S. and the DVD’s won’t play on American players. Because American products are crap.

The cards look great, don’t they?
The cast from Still Open All Hours. I love this show.
We’ve just started watching this, and it’s great.

Also, this came.

This is a hardcover edition of The Mabinogion, a collection of ancient Welsh tales. I’m rather attached to these stories. I already have several paperback editions, but this hardcover is quite lovely and I’d been wanting it for ages.

I’ve been getting that feeling again lately that I should hold off on teaching. My new classes are supposed to start in March, but things are still uncertain regarding the plague. There has been some interest in the home-study course, but even that has me feeling a bit anxious. I’m just sensing that now is not a good time. Even though the orange dictator is leaving the White House in just three days, I think we’re in for some violence and turbulent times. Speaking of the plague, I’m getting my first vaccine this coming Tuesday. I know some people have had bad reactions, some that required a trip to hospital, so I’m a little nervous, but I’m going to do it.

I worked on my book some more today. I wanted to have it finished by now, but I don’t want to rush it. I keep thinking of more things to add. It’s so hard to write during the week, I may have to schedule a couple of days off work to finish it.

In a few hours I’ll be doing my weekly devotional to Cerridwen, along with some divination and meditation. I do this every Sunday night at 9pm. I always do tarot and ogham readings to get some insight into the coming week. With the inauguration happening, I’m curious to see what the cards and the staves have to say.

So that has been my week. Rather uneventful.

And it looks like Winston has lost one of his toys under the sofa, so I guess it’s time to stop for now. I’ll try to write again during the week, but no promises…

Next weekend for sure.

Rick

Madness

The past week has been wild in every way imaginable. I meant to post earlier in the week, but I had candle orders for 10 pillar candles, and this cold weather leaves me exhausted by the end of the day. It takes me a while to make 1 pillar candle, let alone 10 of them, because I only have two pillar molds and they take at least 8 hours to cool after they’ve been poured. They’re all done now and I’ll be shipping them out later this morning. They are all peppermint candles with some dried mistletoe added, and the scent is still wafting through the house. I even managed to get some peppermint oil in my eye. Not pleasant.

I’m still a bit on edge after the craziness in Washington. Hundreds of Trump Terrorists broke into the Capitol building, and not only did they trash the place, some of them apparently also spread their own feces and urine in the hallways. Such classy people, those Trump supporters. Complete lunatics, all of them. Many of them were wearing t-shirts with racist and anti-Semitic sayings, they are so proud of their hate and bigotry. They murdered a police officer, who died from his injuries after they bashed his head with a fire extinguisher. I’m hoping their Dictator-in-Chief will get his fat orange ass impeached and removed from the White House before his term ends, which is only a few days away. He should be exiled from the country. He’s already been banned from social media for life, now he needs to be banned from the United States. The past four years our government has been a complete and utter disgrace. Also among the terrorists were a group of gays who support Trump. Any gay person who supports Trump is a disgrace and an embarrassment to the gay community. You do not speak for all of us. I hope they all get publicly shamed and have their names dragged through the mud. There is no common ground anymore. Lines have been crossed.

Every Sunday I do tarot and oracle readings to get some insight for the coming week. Last Sunday, some of the themes that appeared in my readings had to do with blood, anger and hatred surrounding a major change. I suspected there would be deaths, and there were five of them.

I have hope that our new president Joe Biden and vice-president Kamala Harris will restore some normality back to America. There’s still alot of crazies out there so who knows what will happen. I have a feeling the Trump psychos are going to try more of their pointless and stupid shenanigans. It will change nothing, and we will not be bullied.

The husband and I finished watching the last season of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and I must say I will miss it. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a much darker and gothic version of “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch“. It is not at all like the light-hearted comedy series most people are familiar with. If you have Netflix, you should check it out.

This cold weather has been brutal for me, as it gives me body aches, it makes my car have issues, and causes my anxiety to soar. The day job has been somewhat tolerable, though I’m not sure how much longer I can keep doing that kind of work. It is mentally draining. As I wrote in my forthcoming book, “It is difficult to maintain a mystical mindset when you also have to work a full-time job, with it’s own challenges that need your full attention“. Every night this past week I was working on candles, and listening to alternative rock bands. Smashing Pumpkins. Muse. Radiohead. Oasis. The Cranberries. I love them all.

With the measly 600$ we each received from the government because of Covid, I used some of it to order things for myself. A new leather-bound journal. More books. Boxer briefs with skulls on them. New guided meditation CD’s. New business cards to promote this blog.

I may still order some new shirts and music. And, I’ve been contemplating a new tattoo for my right hand, something like this…

I think it would look awesome, as it not only shows my love for Harry Potter, but also my dedication to be my truest, most authentic self. I love the gothic font, and it shouldn’t be too expensive. I still buy and collect Harry Potter things, though I’m a bit more selective these days.

Now that the candles are all finished I can complete the last part of my book, Spells and Scars. I can’t wait to get it out there so people can read it. It is the most personal thing I have ever written. Hopefully it will help others who have experienced the same things.

Sounds gay, I’m in.

Rick

Happy New Year

It’s a new year, a new blog and a new book coming soon! Today is January 1st 2021, it’s just after 8am and I’m sitting at my desk putting some finishing touches on this shiny new blog. I’ll be adding more things in the coming weeks, so I hope you’ll follow along. We’re still in the midst of a plague, but thankfully I tested negative a couple weeks ago, after having been exposed. I’m grateful to still have a job, a place to live, a husband who loves me and a dog who worships the ground I walk on. This is all I really need. It’s a three day weekend, and I’ll be busy finishing a candle order (I make and sell my own candles), then I get back to work on my new book, Spells and Scars. It’s nearly done, I just have a few more chapters to write and then it goes to publishing. I’m a self-published author, with two other books on Amazon and another only available at my other website. Here’s a peek at the new book cover.

I plan to release this in just a couple weeks, and I’ll have a link on the Welcome page where you’ll be able to order a copy for yourself. This is a semi-autobiography of how my past experiences led me to witchcraft, druidry and celtic mysticism. If you’re into that sort of thing.

This is a short post today, my coffee is getting cold and I have lots to do. Please click the follow button on the right to receive all of my posts!

Be good to each other. Wear your mask.

Rick