shrine cabinet in august 2013
wednesday i moved the shrine cabinet (need to show you some even newer pictures) into the study. i thought it would make it easier to use actively; give me somewhere to put the zafu or witch table if i want to meditate or work in front of it. the only real draw back is that i won't be able to sit with it on the couch--sometimes when i can't sleep i'll go into the front room, light the butter lamps and listen to music while they burn down. sometimes there's enya. it's nice. but really, i've been concerned about something with so much that is important and breakable in the swing radius of the porch door and it really was difficult to actually sit with the shrine, you know, as it was, actually meditate or practice. you were sort of jammed up strangely in a corner.
so on a fiercely bad suppression day, i disassembled the shrine, piled up my relics into ikea boxes, moved the cabinet into the study, smudged, then put everything back together. i'm not sure yet. it does have a strong presence in the room, but it's awfully close to the computer. i mean from the whole "some days it is a lot easier to fuck around on facebook than cope with spirituality" perspective.
slightly blurry reference shot i did not end up using
for the equinox, i started a releasing ritual, very loosely modified from here. (was angelfire actively target-marketed toward neopagans, ceremonial magicians, S&M practitioners and punks or was that just how it turned out?) wrote intentions, burned intentions. used a bit of quadrivium's cut and clear. started on the fringes with the names and the externals, worked my way through to the underlying issues; what i've been using the externals to distract myself from. cried, of course. threw the ashes off the balcony.
it occurred to me that the reason ritual always feels so awkward and unsatisfying is probably because i still have to roll that learning curve. the legacy of the bellydance video has been humbling myself to the idea of "i'll try again tomorrow, and if it still doesn't go the way i want, i'll try it again the day after that." instead of giving up, i try again, maybe this time with more realistic expectations regarding my aptitudes and ambitions. so maybe if i can actually do a ritual more often than when something has become entirely unbearable, i'll be able to get more out of the unbearable rituals.
second slightly blurry reference shot i did not end up using
wednesday night i started the ecstatic poetry class. i am astonished and slightly ashamed at some of the weird habits i've developed in writing poetry. yes, i suspect that needing to run an internet search on a term, concept, or reference is something that should happen in the revision process, but i seem to have grounded myself in the habit of stopping everything to look the term, concept, or reference up while i am trying to connect with the spirit of a piece and damnit, i should know better than that. i used to.
i just need to stop trying to "protect" myself from certain types of criticisms with research while i'm still in the delivery room, bringing forth the first rush of inevitably imperfect language. a lot of my best work--particularly in prose--does come off the pen without needing a lot of polishing. i'm not (exactly) bragging, it's something that's occasionally a real pain in the neck, especially for creative writing teachers and workshops. and for switching back to poetry. it's like learning to walk again, scribbling down something so undeveloped and letting it exist like that, at least for a time.