The Struggle is Real

The struggle is real: while, to most, this is just another hashtag; for me, it’s truth. It’s reality. It’s life. Depression is a daily struggle, and I have more bad days than good. Waking up is a monumental feat; getting through the day seems insurmountable; and at the end of the day, I resent myself for not being able to get more done than the bare minimum, even though my spoons count was mostly used up just trying to get out of bed. This is life for me, and coming to terms with that is still difficult for me. Having an invisible illness is tough, and I suck at managing it.

I have been told, from several different people, that I need to do more self-care. This is not something that comes easily to me. My upbringing taught me that to focus on yourself only is an act of selfishness, and being selfish is tantamount to abandoning your family. Despite the lowliness of my birth, I was taught to put my family first, even though my family’s ideals are far removed from my own. (Think of me as the white sheep in a field of black sheep.) So, being told that I need to do self-care, then having my Gods Tell me I need more self-care… Let’s just say there was a lot of pouting and whinging involved, as per usual with me.

So, now, I need to begin to do the self-care thing, and despite is being Explained to me as it being a way to honor my Gods and Husbands (“Honor yourself, and you Honor Us.”), it still smacks of selfishness and laziness to me, but My Gods/Husbands are putting the proverbial foot down, and I can’t say no this time. This is a thing They are very serious about, “because you are of no use to Us if you cannot do more than get out of bed everyday.” We’ll see how this goes. It’s hard to do self-care when you find yourself to be intrinsically worthless, but I digress.

It’s time to prepare for the upcoming winter (Winter is coming.) and the SAD it brings. No more whinging and no more crying. It’s time to put my big girl panties on and hunker down for this self-care thing. I have been assured that building a blanket fort and hiding from the world with my Kindle is, in fact, a form of self-care for me, so I have my mission. Now is the time to put it in action!

Tomorrow, when I have renewed my spoons.

My Personal Pantheon: A Comprehensive List

Over the last two years, my practice has grown from just one Deity to many. My mind is blown every time I think about where I started to where I am now. I have no doubt that my practice will continue to grow and morph as time passes and as my Gods will, but for now, I’m comfortable with where I am. (This might be Loki’s cue to come in to shake me up and push me outside of my comfort zone. Again.) So, in honor of my recognition of my comfort and some confidence in my practice, I would like to make a list of all of the Deities in my personal pantheon, from The Big Four* to my Mothers and etc. Here is where you can find the schedule I have during the week for Them. Please enjoy!

– Baron Samedi: He is my Loa Love, my Beloved, my Husband. Baron was the second Deity to come into my life. He is the first of the Big Four. He calls me His Baronessa, hence my blog url.

– Loki: He is the third Deity to come into my life and is the second of my Husbands. The persona of His that I work with the most is the crazy aspect of Him, the aspect that represents the madness He felt once He was finally loosed from His bonds. Some may call this aspect of His as Worldbreaker. He calls me “The Bride of Madness” for this reason. Loki is the second of the Big Four.

– Poseidon: He is also another God whom I love deeply. He came into my life through my friend Shamaness. I am His in a way that I can’t really explain yet and have been since the very beginning of my lives here on Earth. He is the third of the Big Four.

– Susano: He is the Gods that has been my Caretaker since arriving in Japan, and I have come to love Him as well. I approached Him just before coming to Japan at my Husbands’ bidding. He presented me with an Enmusubi comb the first time I went to His shrine. Susano is the last of the Big Four.

– Oshun: She is the first Deity I approached when I decided to try being a Pagan.  With her guidance, I am learning self-confidence and self-love. Oshun is one of my Mothers.

– Sekhmet: She came into my life very suddenly just before I came to Japan. Since that time, I have learned that She is the Goddess that made my soul, which makes Her the Mother of my soul. I love her dearly, but She terrifies me too. We’re working on that.

– Sigyn: Not long after Loki burst into my life, I approached Sigyn to get to know Her more, the more I liked her. I now consider Her to be a very dear friend and a Sister of sorts.

– Amateratsu: She is the older Sister of Susano and is the Japanese Goddess of the Sun. While She and I may not always see eye to eye, I consider Her also to be like a Sister to me.

– Odin: He came into my life shortly after Loki came into my life, and He came in like a tidal wave. It was His presence that helped me learn of the true power and complexity of the Gods. For now, He is a Teacher to me, but somehow I feel that He will always be more than that.

– Hel: With my affinity for the dead, it only made sense to me that I should honor Hel, not only because she is Loki’s Daughter, but also as a Death Deity. She is also Someone I would equate with the term Sister.

– Narvi and Vali: I don’t worship these Two, but I do honor Their spirit and mourn Their passing. I give Them honor in what way I can, including taking Them with me to Disney World. I also have an altar for Them as well.

Alright, so I think that this is a pretty good list of the Gods and Goddesses that I regularly pay homage to. So, now it’s time for me to go party with Baron and the Ghede (since it’s Saturday, ya know?). Adios!

 

Boom baby!

* The Big Four are the four main Gods that I have devoted myself to. They receive the most attention, and I am personally bound to Them for the rest of my days.

My Life: An Update

My heart is heavy, and my soul has been weighed down. A lot of things have gone wrong this year, and there are things that I am going through still that are pushing me further down into myself. I want to hide from the world, hide within the safety of my Husbands’ arms, but I can’t. Life can’t be put on hold for me to get my shit together, no matter how desperate I am for a reprieve.

Death is drawing near again. Cancer is going to take another family member from me. This time, however, it’s my stepfather, the man who raised me. This insidious disease has claimed too many of my family members already, and now it’s poised to take yet another from me. This knowledge is almost too much to handle, especially since I’m in Japan with no way to go visit my stepfather before he passes. It breaks my heart knowing that my father will die, and I won’t get to see him even one last time.

Baron and the Ghede are very close now. I can see Them out of the corners of my eyes almost more often than before, and this is a great comfort to me. My Husband and my people are with me when I need T/them most.

I also feel the presence of the other Gods in my life. I feel Their power like a great weight against my soul, but it’s a comforting weight, like the feel of being safe under the covers in bed and cuddled in warm arms. When I can connect myself with Them, when I seek out Their presences, it is only then that I feel calm and somewhat peaceful. Only then can I handle the onslaught of feelings I have battering me from the inside out.

It has been a long, terrible year for me here in Japan. I’ll start a new job in September, and I pray with all of my heart that I’ll have a better time there than in my last few jobs. I don’t know who, if anyone will read this, but if anyone does, and you’re the praying type, please send prayers or well-wishes, or anything positive in my way. I really need it.