bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Category: food for thought

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QOTD: Defining moments.

“I do not think I’m easy to define. I have a wandering mind. And I’m not anything that you think I am.”

~Syd Barrett

Month for Loki, Day 27: Cartography

We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves.

I wish for all this to be marked on my body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography–to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience. All I desired was to walk upon such an earth that had no maps.
~ Michael Ondaatje  (The English Patient)

~~~

I stumbled upon this lovely quote on a friend’s blog today, and he spoke of being inspired by its metaphors.

I was so moved by it as well that I felt the need to share it.

QOTD

I am not a fan of New Year’s Eve.  I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s Eve.

 

So, I was delighted to see such an apt quote on my social media feed today..being the last day of December, the last day of 2017.

Like Sam Shepard, I detest endings….but perhaps it is simply that my perception is faulty.

May 2018 be a worthy beginning for all of us ❤

Some food for thought from Patheos…

This article:

 The Toxic Narrative of “Being Chosen” by Gods and Bad Boys 

came across my Facebook feed yesterday afternoon.

  I am glad that it did.

Misha Magdalene’s words have given me lots of food for thought concerning Deities and the topic of consent as this is an issue that has been on my mind for quite some time.

Like the author, I too have definitely noticed a particular toxic narrative be bandied about in several Pagan communities, and I agree with the author to some degree on the most problematic aspects surrounding the belief that one has been ‘chosen’ by a Deity, and more importantly, the inherent unhealthiness of attraction and desire to be chosen by  ‘bad boys’ (let alone Deities) 1

Now, before I get too involved, I do want to state that while I agree with the author on some points in their argument, I do disagree with some nuances of their argument.

Allow me to explain…

While I agree that it is a toxic and unhealthy thing to believe that devotees “are powerless protagonists at the mercy of domineering [Gods Who are]

socially inept aggressors who control the relationship” 2

(because I believe that such a mindset is an insult to humans, let alone Gods;  aside of the fact that  as much as one might be tempted to apply tenets of human psychology to Gods, They aren’t human…)

but more importantly, I disagree with the author that the Gods don’t choose Their devotees

(because, sometimes, They do.)

BUT… on the point of contention concerning consent – I do believe that just because you are chosen by a Deity

– Loki or otherwise –

1.) Being ‘chosen’ doesn’t confer some extra legitimacy to your praxis

and

2.) You don’t have to say Yes.

But….this article gave me food for thoughts that led to several jumping off points in my head concerning consent in regards to Deities, more toxic narratives regarding Loki as found exclusively within Lokean communities, as well as some convoluted thoughts involving the ‘legitimacy’ surrounding experience, praxis and UPG within said Loki-friendly communities.

~~~

  1. “…some folks derive both personal validation and self-esteem from the fantasy—or, in some cases, the reality—of being romantically involved with someone who’s just bad news, relationship-wise. They’re emotionally stunted, they’re dangerous, they’re “troubled,” they’re emotionally absent, or they have some other personality issue which makes them fundamentally a poor choice for an emotionally intimate relationship. The kicker, though, is that it’s precisely this unsuitability which makes them such a desirable relationship partner. The risk of being harmed—emotionally, financially, even physically—makes the dalliance far more exciting and gratifying than being involved with someone safe and, well, boring. The thrill comes from the danger, but also from that feeling of being chosen. Remember, of all the people this moody, dangerous, emotionally distant partner could’ve chosen, they chose us. The “bad boy” doesn’t like anybody, but they like us… and that makes us feel wanted, desired, validated. It makes us feel special, and “feeling special” can be intoxicating, exhilarating, incredibly seductive.”
    (from the article)
  2. Ibid.

The heart is a hungry wolf

I don’t think people have demons.

I think they have themselves and things they aren’t ready to be honest about yet.

It is not easy to come to grips with the fact that we’re capable of hurting people with the same instrument we love them with.

The heart is a hungry wolf

and it is made of glass.

~King (Austin) Longton~

(Artwork: wolf heartline by linhopereira on DeviantArt)

 

Stubborn.

Though my intent is to write every day, sometimes I struggle to write about certain topics.

And this topic – and its array of sub-topics – is one of them.

How important is ritual?  How important are offerings?

How – or why –  would anyone do any of this? How important is it to do any of this?

 

And then, this article came across my feed this morning, and I immediately thought to share it.

Why?

Because this part especially, hit me hard:

“Have you ever heard about people who accomplish amazing things, and been jealous? I know I have. There are many ways to be successful. I’m not the prettiest, not the smartest, and definitely not the most talented or luckiest. But the one thing I have always been is as stubborn as the day is long – not in some petty way (mostly), but in the kind of way that makes me get up when life knocks me down.

I’m not the fair-haired hero. I’ve never been the chosen one. I’m that other guy. My power isn’t born of charm or good looks. I was born to wear a t-shirt that says, “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.”(1)

We live in a cynical age where our fair-haired heroes have revealed themselves as paper cutouts, our leaders have sold themselves to the highest bidder, and the world gets less friendly every day. We wake up and go through the motions and wonder if there’s a damn thing we can do about it.

And you know what? There is.”

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/agora/2017/10/the-other-side-of-the-hedge-four-hundred-days/#1Vu07d2lKj39HT1A.99

 

Because, much like Christopher Drysdale, I too, am as stubborn as the day is long.

And yes, I have been jealous of the success of others.

And yes, I have realized that I am not special nor am I particularly disciplined all of the time.

I have wished that my week could be stripped of Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings, because sometimes, what I am doing is not easy nor is it particularly rewarding…

But then it is.

And when it is rewarding…when I look back at the trajectory of my Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings

That is when I realize that that is the essence of why I do what I do, and why it is important that I keep doing.

You want the carrot…you gotta be stubborn.

You gotta chase the stick.

Happy Wednesday.

 

 

4 Science Based Strategies for When You’re Feeling Down.

(or something like that)

I was reading an article the other day because I was feeling like sh*t and this article caught my eye as I was scrolling through my media feed.

This article was broken into four parts, each headlined by an action, and each part discussed scientific reasons why that action would help bring one out of a temporary ‘funk.’

(I say ‘temporary funk’ as this post is not  meant to address the situation of those who suffer from clinical depression or other mental illnesses…just as I believe that the article was not meant as a replacement for seeking medical help, psychological therapy, or taking prescribed medications either.)

These are the 4 strategies as I listed them in my notebook, and the descriptions are my take on the information as it was presented in the article:

1.) Ask yourself: What am I grateful for?

  • Even if you cannot ‘find’ anything, remembering to do so distracts/busies the mind enough to help you feel better.
  • According to the article, worrying – as well as feeling guilt or shame – ‘rewards’ the brain centers, because the brain treats the process of worrying  or feeling shame or guilt about a problem as a valid attempt to find a solution.  The brain treats the worry as an activity – the brain thinks it’s doing something to solve the problem and to the brain, that’s all that matters is that it is doing something.
  • So, the article stresses the importance of keeping one’s mind busy with what is good, as it is all the same to your brain, whether you are thinking of a solution or not.

2.) Label negative feelings.

  • Give that awful feeling or idea a name; don’t suppress your feelings and emotions about it.  It’s part of your brain’s process.
  • When you suppress emotions, your brain still ‘knows’ it and your body still reacts to the emotion, whether you’ve allowed yourself to feel the emotion or not.

3.) Make a decision

  • Making a decision reduces worry and anxiety, as your brain treats the activity of making a decision as ‘finding a solution’ – even if the decision/’solution’ is to allow yourself to feel a feeling for 20 minutes – and move on.  Even ‘I will decide what to do on Monday’ will work – but you must decide and move on.
  • Your brain treats the act of making a decision as a ‘successful’ attempt at a solution – and it calms your limbic system as a result.
  • Even if it is not a ‘100% effective solution’ or even a procrastination (as in ‘I will think about what to do on Monday morning’ or even ‘I don’t know what to do but I will decide later’) your brain registers that as you have decided to do something.
  • Why? Because actively choosing causes changes in attention circuits of the brain and studies have shown this in action: participants were asked to describe how they felt about an action, and then asked to choose how they are going to react to the action.  The simple act of choosing (ie. verbalizing aloud) their reaction caused an increase of dopamine activity in the brain, and the more specific the decision, the more dopamine was released (such as the general “I am hurt, so I will cry” versus the more specific “I am hurt, so I will cry for 20 minutes.”)

4.) Touch people

  • We need to feel love and acceptance from people.  If we do not and we are rejected, it is painful. The brain registers this lack and this rejection as if we have experienced physical pain. According to science, rejection doesn’t feel like a broken heart; your brain treats the rejection like a broken leg.
  • Touching someone that you love, even a pet – for 20 seconds or more – actually reduces pain: “A hug – especially a long one – releases the neurotransmitter and hormone oxytocin, which reduces the reactivity of the amygdala (the base of the pain center) in the brain.

~~~

I would link to the article – if I could find it – so I will keep looking for it, and update with it if I can…

Found it: http://theweek.com/articles/601157/neuroscience-reveals-4-rituals-that-make-happy

 

 

 

Month for Loki, Twenty-Fourth: Explanation

So I was finally catching up on Doctor Who this past Sunday, when the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) from the Christmas 2016 episode, The Return of Doctor Mysterio, has this exchange with a young boy named Grant who asks the Doctor who he is:

YOUNG GRANT: Who are you?
DOCTOR: The Doctor.
YOUNG GRANT: Yeah, but who are you?
DOCTOR: The Doctor.
YOUNG GRANT: Which one, though? There’s lots of doctors.
DOCTOR: The one. I’m the main one. The original. I started it. They’re all based on me. Now everyone who wants to sound clever calls themselves Doctor. Bandwagon!
YOUNG GRANT: In a comic book, you know what you’d be called? Doctor Mysterio.
DOCTOR: Oh, I like that. Doctor Mysterio! I’ll have that. Nearly ready.

But it is this line that first caught me off guard:
YOUNG GRANT: What is it?
DOCTOR: Well, in terms that you would understand? Sorry, there aren’t any. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a time-distortion equaliser thingy.
YOUNG GRANT: A what?
DOCTOR: Well, there’s been a lot of localised disruption here in New York, so, er, my fault, actually. Hopefully this will make it all calm down.
YOUNG GRANT: I don’t understand.
DOCTOR: Do you know what a lightning conductor is?
YOUNG GRANT: Yeah.
DOCTOR: Well, it’s not like that.

I hate to get all Pop-Paganism on y’all, but this particular Doctor evokes so much of  the essence of Them for me that I am continually being thrown off guard by those sorts of random side comments.  Especially when I find myself wondering what the heck They mean…because there is so much about Them, what They do and what They want that I have gotten to the point that I am beginning to wonder if it will ever make sense.

But as Madeline L’Engle wrote:

Wrinkle-in-time

 

It’s kind of funny that the word “learned” is used here, since what she’s learned is that you can’t know everything.

Instead of learning as gaining knowledge, here it’s recognizing a lack of knowledge.

Good advice, actually:

powerreaction