77. 瀬をはやみ

I was missing him terribly when I began to sing the opening poem. The cards rustled across the table as I mixed them.

Still thinking of my brother, I drew a card.

#77. 瀬をはやみIt was one of the poems I knew by heart, and as I recited its full lines I felt as if I’d been embraced.

瀬をはやみ岩にせかるる滝川の われても末に逢はむとぞ思ふ.

Swiftly flowing waters, parted by the rocks, will eventually meet again downstream.

Speaking of karuta, I’ll be doing readings at Tin Can Studio’s Psychic Faire on Saturday, 11/3. Maybe I’ll see you there?

Embrace Chaos

It was just shy of eleven A.M. when I got out of English class Thursday morning, and I was already mentally exhausted. My research proposal for the Chumbley paper just wasn’t coming together, and it’s due Monday. I was having trouble articulating why the topic was important, why I’d picked it as my focus beyond “well see I already read most of the sources for fun, so…”

I ducked into the third-floor restroom on my way downstairs, and that’s when I noticed the graffiti on the stall wall.

“Embrace Chaos,” it ordered, capital letters scratched in under a nest of messy arrows.

Sometimes you just need to wait for a sign.

36 Inches on the History of Magic, Due Monday

Well, not quite, but it seems I’m constantly busy these days! School has been keeping me on my toes.

Currently I’m working on a research paper for my English course. We were given free rein in regards to our topic, so I decided on “the posthumous influence of Andrew Chumbley on Sabbatic craft and modern interpretations of traditional witchcraft.”

As you can see, I didn’t really put much thought into how hard it’d be to find peer-reviewed academic sources for that one.

According to my professor, the six-step writing process is supposed to be: 1. Generate ideas; 2. Organize ideas; 3. Research; 4. First draft; 5. Revise; 6. Edit.

The six-step writing process has actually been: 1. Generate ideas; 2. Gin and tonic; 3. Research; 4. Cry deeply; 5. Fifth of whiskey; 6. Late-night despair blogging.

Thankfully, it’s not due till early December, so I have time yet to get my shit together–or, if I can’t pull off some miracle source-gathering in two weeks’ time, change my topic! I’ve had to start writing to various Craft publishers for source help (which is pretty nervewracking), so fingers crossed that something comes through.

On the subject of my personal practices, I recently received a Hyakunin Isshu karuta set as a gift. In addition to testing one’s poetry knowledge with the game, karuta can be used for an obscure form of divination called uta-ura (“poem-fortunetelling”). I’ve been getting pretty good results from it so far. Karuta is really fascinating because rather than just getting to know the deck, you also start to understand the hundred poets behind it–so it’s like making a hundred new friends! (That’s a lot for an introvert like me, so understandably I’m on better terms with some cards than others.)

I’ve also been stricter with myself about performing a daily offering practice in the mornings and am already feeling like life is running more smoothly overall. My new rule is that I don’t eat breakfast until I’ve made the offering. After all, it’s pretty rude to eat before your gods do, isn’t it?

Sunday Brunch

School started last Monday so it was a busy week. I’m exhausted, but this morning I’ve got tea, a bagel, and some excellent links…

Lupa of Therioshamanism (as always, one of my very favorite blogs) shares with us that she doesn’t believe in karma. I can’t help but agree with her worldview; for me, agency and the ability to make choices is more important than clinging to the idea that things will automatically balance out. One of the basic tenets of my practice is that the gods, despite their powers, are not infallible, and it’s my UPG that many of them are spread pretty thin. Nobody’s got time to punish the guy who cut me off in traffic yesterday.

Over at Sex, Gods, and Rock Stars, Del discusses hearing the gods. I think this is a pretty important thing that most people, myself included, don’t discuss enough–that most of us do not get to have long and drawn-out conversations with our gods. I know that the way I summarize my experiences tends to call up that kind of mental image, but when it comes to my gods, it’s generally short phrases. I’m very lucky in that the Japanese language can pack quite a lot of information into a short sentence. I tend to have longer communication with my honored dead (my brothers, mostly, but a couple of others as well), but I think that has more to do with the depth of our personal resonance and the fact that they have a little more time to spend on me than a deity would.

Galina Krasskova and S. Reicher have a great reminder about the importance of shielding properly.

As for me, it’s off to the gym, and then I’ve got to cook my bento boxes ahead for next week. Have a good Sunday!