So far I have 21 symbols, they're a mix of animals, plants, abstract symbols and representations. I have finally gotten around to making a small clay egg for each symbol, roughly quail size so I can read them better (I was using scraps of paper). I generally read by pulling 3 eggs, looking at the meanings and how they relate to each other, pulling more for clarity etc. Pretty standard. Eventually I'd like to develop my methods for reading them more, but I think I'll focus on the symbol set for now.
1/ Ancestor Cross: The Ancestors, learning from the past, honour those who came before. So fairly straight forward, I really dig that this particular cross looks rather Christian, as that is part of my ancestral background, rather religious polish folk, and there's a fair bit of overlap between Slavic magic practices and Christian trappings (check out The Russian Bathhouse at Midnight). I feel that there's also a bit of "learn form your mistakes/the mistakes of others" here as well. Also I figure it can be a bit of a kick to go refill the water for the ancestors and listen for advice, kinda like the div system is delegating to them.
2/ Apple/ Apple Tree: Knowledge, health, fruits of ones labour. The knowledge thing is imo related to the apple of knowledge and trees that bear that fruit. It can also be a reminder to look after your health and well being, but generally in a positive way, referring to good health. Another positive aspect is the fruits of your labours, things coming to a head etc.
This is a symbol that I think can be impacted by what it is drawn with, thinking of it becoming more of a bad apple in the cart, but I'm not sure I have the kind of symbols in the current set for that.
3/ Bends/swirls: Defence, protection, safety, something guarded. This reminds me of creating mazes or intricate patterns to confuse spirits/to create barriers, winding streets to get lost in etc. I think it can also represent confusion, walking yourself in circles, and getting lost in your own head.
4/ Circle: Completeness, unity, continuity, cyclical nature of life, victory over darkness. Again pretty straight forward meanings for circles, except for the last bit. Victory over darkness makes sense to me, no corners to hide in, a complete whole with no room for darkness. It goes along well with unity and completeness. I generally see it as a positive symbol, expanding the victory to current/future circumstances etc. I also see this as permission to breathe when you feel like you're going in circles, life can be cyclical. The unity aspects are still quite important, encouraging a holistic view of the reading.
5/ Dog: Lunar symbol (apparently?) Protection against evil, spirit of grain(???). This one needs a bunch of research, I have not yet made sense of the lunar or grain aspect. Protection against evil I get, guard dogs etc. I would also add loyalty, faithfulness and trust to this, but that would be based on my opinions of dogs in general :P
6/ The Embattled Line: Something contained, shielded, something hidden, an enclosure. This one can suggest that something is hidden somewhere, or something needs to be protected or contained, being able to contain a problem and such. I think that this symbol reflects on the other symbols that are drawn with it, containing them, or shielding an aspect, suggesting part of it is hidden etc.
7/ Goose Feet: Warning! Be alert, danger. This one always reminds me of whole Roman guard goose, pay attention, be wary. This can also relate to other symbols that have been drawn.
8/ Hen Feet: Protector of the young, Guidance. I relate this one to a mother hen, fierce protection, but also guiding the way, teaching and learning. Also relating to family.
9/ Ladder: Reaching beyond your grasp, rising above petty problems, moving upwards on your path. I also feel that this can represent bridging between places, particularly with regard to death and crossing.
10/ Meander/Waves: Harmony, motion, water, immortality, eternity. I also associate this with the ocean and the unrelenting waves. A reminder to step back and realise that the waves and ocean will still be there, in it's immensity. Also reminds me of the feeling of floating on waves, the meditative movements and harmony. A reminder to let go.
11/ Periwinkle: Love, marriage everlasting, evergreen. I definitely feel this as a symbol of love and lasting relationships, periwinkle flowers are a rather sentimental to me and my SO. I feel it can extend to various kinds of love beyond romantic, and the evergreen aspect refers to a constant love, but with fluctuations, budding, blooming, flowers withering, but all with the underlying green plant life... I may like plants a little bit much.
12/ Pine: Boldness, growth, strength, steadfast. I am really not sure what to add to this, it's pretty clear to me.
13/ Pussy Willow: Health, beauty, love, wealth. A very beautiful plant with fuzzy catkins, fits well with the traits listed. I am not sure how wealth connects, and will need to research the plant more fully, I feel like it fits somehow though.
14/ Rake: Harvest, reap what you have sown. Aka "that damn rake" and "you already know so why are you asking" symbol. The meanings are fairly straight forward, but I've found that this one comes up when the system is being sassy because yes, I do know already. It's about keeping it going, persevering, doing the work and finishing what you start.
15/ Ram: Perseverance, dignity. Simple, strong, dignity. I really need to research this one more.
16/ Rose: Elegance, perfection, divine will, fate, happiness, prosperity, hope, giver of light, Sun. The reason for the mix of meanings is that the rose symbol also signifies the sun (as I have found in my research) It has to do with the 8 points in the design as well. I'm probably not explaining well. It's useful to have a divine signifier, however I'm not sure that this would work for deities that aren't solar or at least sky related.
17/ Snake: Guardian of the home and hearth, transformation, vivid change, sudden occurrences. I really like this one and it's associations really sit well with me. Snakes and change are reasonably common ones, I am not sure why it's a guardian of home and hearth (perhaps basking on rocks relates to a warm hearth fire). I also associate this card with a particular deity in my practice, but your mileage may vary. Useful card, transformative signifier are useful.
..... life stress has picked up, the rest of these might be a bit minimal.......
18/ Stag: Leadership, joy, masculinity, grace, agility. Take charge, do your duty, sovereignty.
19/ Sunflower: Summer, wealth, spirit, growing, reaching upwards towards the sun. I've wondered why this isn't the main sun symbol, rather than the rose, but I figure this is a reflection and representation of the sun as a catalyst for growth. Wealth makes sense to me, given the volume of seed, colour and I dunno, I like sunflowers?
20/ Universe: Awe, wonder, respect, vastness, humility, trust. The universe is an immense thing, we can get snippets of that immense feeling when around massive things, like the ocean and mountains for example. I really relate this card to that feeling, the humbling, awe inspiring, timeless, immensity of things.
21/ Wheat: Earth, soul of the clan, family, hearth and home. There had to be a grain in here somewhere. I feel this is pretty straight forward tbh, I don't feel a huge connection to wheat in it's plant form as pictured in the symbol, rather I associate with flour and bread, but a pile of flour isn't as pretty. I would also consider adding wealth to this card, but in the sense of having enough. Enough to always have bread on the table.
Well that's it for now, main goals are to do some research, and try to find where there are gaps. I feel like there are probably some concepts/symbols/representations that I might need to add to flesh this out as a div system. Open to suggestions :)
I just.. I long to live just with my partner, away from everyone. Two ducks together, in a place.
I guess returning to it is just kinda bittersweet, yes it's nice to see people again, but I feel very much on the outer (unsurprisingly) and I am unsure that will improve at all. Social anxiety isn't just limited to meat-space I guess.
There are times I really hate that I've taken so long, but honestly I would have been a shitty teacher if I'd finished on schedule. It's really been in the last 2-3 years that I've come into my own in that regard. My current placement is going so much better than I could have hoped. I can run a smooth classroom with students of widely varied skills, and engaged students in the classwork. My mentor made a point of drumming into my head that as far as teaching practice goes, I am ready to me in a school on my own now.
I'm not looking forward to making my teaching portfolio, it's this giant thing that mentions every little dot point of the teaching standards with examples of how and when I've done these things.. It's kinda awful.
I really hope I can manage being a full time teacher, the sheer hours of that worry me though. I think actually being paid for it would help, instead of going to placement, doing uni work and trying to get housework and meals done.
It's big, it's scary, and I really hope I can make it.. I don't know what I'll do if I can't deal with teaching for whatever reason.
I'm warming to the term eclectic, and I have been for a while. It's vague enough that I don't feel trapped by it. Add in something about polytheism, maybe slavic stuff, a dash of PCP. Well I think I might be getting ahead of myself again, eclectic is enough for when I need to put something in the Religion field on TC.
Well that and the new thing of "Social Justice Pagan --", I like that concept I really do. It fits so well with my personal philosophy and it's helped me realise that I need to bring that philosophy into my paganish stuff because they're not wholly separate things.
I seem to be getting hooked on planners, and planning in general. It's been so novel to not lose so many things, and to actually remember stuff and tracking my moods and and and just lots of things. So now I have my big A5 binder which is for uni, teaching placement, some religious stuff and general year planning. I'm keeping an art journal, and now I'm thinking I'll make a midori style notebook, which I'll likely add a small art journal into also.
This is nice, I like this.
Aaaand that's all I have right now.
I'd like to add more, but I need to dig up some books since I'd like to pick out the Slavic Festivals that seem relevant to me, then see where they fit on my calendar. I've also drawn up a clock to plot all of this info on, so far it's 3 circles with the months in the middle, then my seasons, then everything else really.
I'll get there, and it'll probably change in practice.
It's no secret that I've been having issues with anything involving my spiritual practice. This year seems to have been filled with large amounts of doubt, feeling like I can't trust my judgement, and an increasing feeling that I'm not building on a solid foundation. Prompted by a post on TC about casting a circle, I've decided to get back to basics. I intend to start going through Jenett's Seeking website, with a notebook in hand, and see how I go. It's just hard admitting that I need to start over, but it is what it is. I need to build a solid foundation for my practice so it doesn't just melt away in neglect and guilt whenever life kicks in. I also need to build something I understand, that I know the ins and outs of.
Welp, I guess I always feel like a newbie around chat anyway.
On thursday we were robbed, thankfully they didn't take much, but I've not been the same since. There was someone in our house as we slept, we had no idea until we saw that the window was open in the morning. I've been jumping at shadows ever since. I don't feel safe in our home anymore, I'm scared of being alone here, I'm scared of no one being home at all. I slept properly for the first time last night, though that might have been because I was just so tired from not sleeping. It's hard when every bump and creek makes your heart race, let alone having to get up and wander through a pitch black house just to pee. Fumbling for light switches being so paranoid that when you turn it on you'll see someone who shouldn't be there. I know it'll take time, and hopefully it'll get better. In the mean time, I check all the latches and locks, then hide my tech or take it with me when I leave the house. I'm so paranoid and I know it, but I can't help it.
Someone was in our house while we slept, and we didn't know, we didn't hear them, we didn't wake. Now cue the onslaught of "what if".
A few weeks ago I found a dead raven in my yard. We'd had a lot of storms with strong winds, I figured it was blown out of the tree. Anyway, the witchy side of me couldn't leave it alone. I decided to pluck what feathers I could, then lay the bird out near an ant nest to let them do their thing. I didn't have any clue on how to honour the bird..so I sorta didn't.
Moving onto today, I decided to go through a guided meditation(Lupa's totem one for those interested). When I came to a clearing, I was the size of a mouse, above me was a large group of ravens. They were unimpressed. I'd taken and not given, this would not stand. After some discussion, I realized what I needed to do, and they left. They wanted part of me, and the life energy with it. When I clean the bones that has to be included somehow. I'm still fuzzy on the details.
I thought it was over at this point, but apparently I wasn't shaken enough, so Baba Yaga wandered out. I got the impression they'd been around the whole time, just watching. There was talk of a sort of internship with them a while ago, the time to formalize that is approaching quickly, and I thought my part was to cut my hair.. Turns out it's not enough, though that doesn't overly surprise me, I doubt they'd agree to any deal that wasn't weighted heavily in their favour. I have some idea of what they might want, not sold on the concept though. I don't know that I have all that much choice in it.
Everything has a price.
I have always hated clothes shopping, the whole affair. I hate the fit of most of the clothes in the women's section, I hate the shitty fabric and garish colours, I hate the annoying sales assistants, I hate how hard it is to find anything with full length sleeves, or shirts without capped shoulders, jeans without glitter or girly ornamentation. I also hate that I'm supposed to enjoy the whole experience.
Well today I did, sort of. I went out to buy a pair of jeans, I'd literally worn my last pair until they fell apart. Stroke of luck I managed to find a pair of jeans, no ornamentation, standard denim colour, boot-cut with a little stretch, fitted me perfectly. First time in ages I walked out of a change room with a smile.
That wasn't actually the high point for me though.
In my collection of clothes I have accumulated some men's shirts gradually, usually because I'll borrow them from the guys and decide I like them(they both have more clothes than me anyway). I decided on a whim to check out menswear. It was great, shirts actually fitted me, I liked cut of them, the colours, the decent fabric and stitching, I liked the way I felt...
I walked out of a clothes store, happy, excited to get home and get changed. After I got into my new clothes I just felt so confident, so sure of myself, I actually felt like myself. All because of a pair of jeans and a shirt.
I really don't know where I stand when it comes to gender, I don't feel comfortable being femme around anyone other than the guys, I enjoy dressing in a fairly masculine way, I'm itching to cut my hair, but I don't exactly feel 100% masculine either. I guess I'm somewhere in between, and that spot seems to move around.
I guess I just don't know, I'll keep muddling along.