Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Where are we going, and how the hell did I wind up in this hand basket?

I could make a big, long list of all the things I've heaped onto my life's plate right now. Over dinner the other night, Kevin said, "I'm so jealous that you have so much going on, and I only have one thing. You have like eighteen things! You're doing so much more, and I feel like I'm not doing anything." Right. That one thing? It's a freaking PhD. He's only becoming a doctor (but not the kind who helps people, the kind who knows way too much about criminal justice - this does not make him a criminal mastermind. I asked. Repeatedly. I even got him a dramatic and sinister cape.).

Here's a miniature overview of my glorious life that is totally way more impressive than getting a freaking doctorate: There's the normal productive adult stuff - job, commuting a couple hours a day, bills, running a household with a bearded giant in it and two dogs, cooking and cleaning, etc. There's that wedding looming out there towards the end of the year. Even though I have a partner, that stuff is almost entirely shouldered by yours truly because he's doing his doctorate. I have a glorious but involved historical hobby that has gotten me involved in sewing and camping and really, really heavily involved in calligraphy, which means I hold some sort of position involving special scribal projects. I spend a lot of time hunched over a drafting table and traversing the whole damn state of Texas because of it, and it's brought me some of the most wonderful friends I've ever had.

And, oh yeah, there's magic and witchery and herbalism.

I have my hodgepodge regular practice. It's like a toddler's interpretive dance to the organized ballet of high ceremonial magic. So I decided to dig in and put some outside structure and further education on that dance - hey! maybe doing the same thing a different way will be much better! I started with a Big Stack of Important Books. I read some of them. Then I got into NY, NY, which is a gentle but steady pressure towards practical goals and being mindful, but it's not a course of instruction. Deb's prompts kick my ass. With love.

And then Jason ran a little special on his Strategic Sorcery course that I couldn't pass up (I've been dying to take it, and I stupidly thought it might be less involved than cat yronwode's hoodoo course). It says right there on the site that it's a boot camp. You know how boot camp would probably explode my muscles and leave me flailing on the ground in the first fifteen minutes? It's like that, but with magic! Unlike real boot camp, it's like that in a good way. Honestly, lesson one alone made the course worth it because it answered questions I've been wrestling with for two years by actually enabling me to answer them myself. It's like each lesson distills what someone else would spend half a book rambling on about, outlines the stuff you need to understand and exactly how to do it. And then the build on top of each other - bam! bam! bam! It's hardcore. It's like the Matrix in my brain.

Here's the thing... I'm scared of the work. I have never ever done Ceremonial Magic. It's triggering some fundamentalist Christian dogma fears I thought I had rooted out, burned and scattered the ashes to the four winds a decade ago. This makes me feel like an idiot, to be able to understand the logic, reasoning, and methods laid out but sit there procrastinating because I'm afraid I'll do something wrong and the devil will get me. Or something. All the steps written out are intimidating, and I hate admitting that.

I'm trying to catch up on the current cycle of the course, which means I don't have a whole week on each lesson to be a delicate little blossom who dips her toes in. No, ma'am. I don't get to sew up bags and pull up weeds from the pasture or cook up oils. There are steps and mysterious sounds to vibrate and seals and sigils and angels that weren't in any Bible I grew up with. I'm being a ninny. The careful instructions are so I can do it right, not to enumerate just how very many ways I can screw up. Logically, I'm sure there are experienced high mages who might be intimidated to try some of the things that I think are easy as pie, that our experiences are different and not a one-upmanship thing. It's a big learning curve to hop into boot camp for a system very unlike your own. I'll let you know how it goes.

But seriously - I have no idea how I ended up juggling this many balls or how to actually prioritize. I know how I want to prioritize. Stay home all day doing magic and being a creative little haus frau. Becoming Samantha from Bewitched isn't an option right now. I had planned to use some of the NY, NY and Strategic Sorcery Course work to be even more productive! take on ALL THE THINGS! I'll do some of that. There are things that have to get done. It might be a better use to help me find balance, to say no to the unnecessary things, to set aside time for what will bring me joy and life, and to not feel bad about taking that time for myself. I think I might just be one of those women who does too much, and yet I never feel like I'm doing enough...

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