heresy

WTF? Fragile?

I have a visual image…

I see Aj, standing in the back of her Jeep. There’s a driving rain and her hair is wild and blowing. A bolt of lightning crosses the sky behind her. She is holding a flamethrower at her hip. Heat rises from the nozzle. At her feet are the charred corpses of her enemies…

She said I was trying to make her “fragile” when I suggested buying a flamethrower. Nope. Not her. “Fragile” is not a word that comes to mind…More like, “damn glad she’s on MY side”…Yeah, I love My Witch to bits…

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Aj’s Rules for Messing With Miller’s Head…

This is a sort of tongue in cheek post so, just follow along and hope it makes sense. As an aside before I get there, I’m at a spot writing these where I think they’re for me to look at the thinking and for Aj to read what’s behind what I say to her. If y’all happen to get some tidbits or ideas, great if not…well…so be it…

I was thinking about “Aj’s Rules for Raising a Best Friend” and this is what I came up with…

  1. Let the possible best friend get to know you.
  2. Allow them room to be their own smarta$$ self.
  3. When they smart off, tell them something about yourself that “freaks them the f**k out”.
  4. Wait.
  5. Wait some more.
  6. When they un-freak out, publicly state that you just figured that you have a “best friend”…
  7. Wait for them to figure out who you are talking about and then watch them freak out again because they didn’t realize it and are now happily surprised to have a “best friend that is not my wife”…and a bit “boggled” that it has happened.
  8. Tell them more details of what you are and answer their questions as they become “neurotic” as they process those details. *see also, “divination”, “spells”, “Goddesses and Gods”, “love”, and “magik”*
  9. Repeat #8 as needed over a period of years until they quit freaking out at “divination” and become used to the idea of  “spells” and “magik”…even if they don’t want or need to know the mechanics of those processes.
  10. Allow that person to refer to you as “My Witch” publicly…and keep teaching them as needed…
  11. Love them.

Then there are “Miller’s Rules for Being the Best Friend of My Witch”

  1. Smart off.
  2. Get a response you didn’t expect.
  3. Freak the f**k out.
  4. Take some years to process that response.
  5. Be amazed when someone you admire says you’re her “best friend”.
  6. Accept the offer.
  7. Love them.
  8. Get used to the idea that she is going to startle the hell out of you.
  9. Be repeatedly startled over a period of years.
  10. Learn to live with that and quit being startled.
  11. Refer to them as “My Witch” because that term works as well as any and realize the important word is really “My’…and be the best possible best friend you are able.

I didn’t set out to find a best friend. I was just talking to a person that I liked. I’m not good at keeping best friends. I’d sort of given up on the process and was fine with it. I have one that I married and didn’t “need” one outside of that…’till I found out that I did. I particularly didn’t need a non-Christian Witch…right up to the point that I actually do…I wouldn’t recommend this process unless you are truly ready. Having all your preconceived notions of what is “normal” contains shattered isn’t easy and has “moments” of serious mental growth but, in my case, the reward for those “moments”, read “some years”, is that I have “My Witch” as “my best friend that is not my wife” and have a “reasonable expectation” of having her for as long as one or the other of us is alive to say that…So…maybe I do recommend it after all…

As a parting thought, I wonder what I get to find out about her next? What lessons? What thoughts? I dunno where that path leads but, I’m looking forward to it.

 

Blue, Purple, and Green Looks Good

Writing about how Aj is the greatest thing since street tacos is fun. Writing about burning her at the stake gives me nightmares. Poking fun at dogma is ineffective…

There are a lot of ways to go about it but, the end goals are the same. The first is to attempt to change the mind of one single person, any person,  and convince that person that Aj is not a threat to them or their faith. The second goal is to reach more than one with the same point. Third, it is to give ME a reason to learn, to find out more about what I don’t know and look into my personal beliefs so that mine might grow. Another is to have an excuse, as if we needed one, to talk to Aj…

When I am being totally honest with myself, the first and last reasons are the ones that keep me coming back…Well, that and I like talking about her but, y’all knew that…I digress…

Which is the most important? In the long run, probably the first reason. Short term, and for selfish reasons, the last one. I learn from her and about her. Talking to her is part of my “sanity”. Having someone, particularly someone I care for and want the best for, to talk to and think about is good for me. Between the pair of them, Aj and Sweety, I have selfish reasons to not be selfish…if that makes sense. Learning how Aj’s beliefs and practices interact with her life and what she believes teaches me a different perspective.

What if…

What if, in the end, no one changes their mind? What if all they see is what they want to see? Does that matter? Is it enough to make the attempt and by doing it keep my best friend close? Is it enough to know that even if MY words make no difference, she taught me to change?

What if I had never met her? How would our lives be different? Would God or gods have provided someone else to be close to for us apart from knowing the other existed?

I can’t say that I don’t care if no one ever comes to see our perspective. I do know that there are people my life I can not see myself without, my family, my wife, and Aj.

Just as a final thought, what part of her is the “most” significant? Is it the mom and grandmom? To her kids and grandkids, yeah. Is it the best friend? To me, without a doubt. Is it the Witch? If it weren’t for the context of writing this to keep that close to the front of my mind, probably not, even if it is to her and her gods. To y’all? Probably none of the above because these are just words on a screen written by a stranger for his friend…

 

What in the F**k Were They Thinking?

I had an odd thought. I imagined a conversation at a divine backyard bar-be-que… God and gods were talking…

“I’ve got this guy, he’s going to need a best friend, would y’all mind if I borrowed one of yours?” “Well, we were sort of thinking the same thing but, she isn’t going to change so, yours better be adaptable…” “Well, looking at who y’all have in mind, he’ll learn but, it’s gonna stretch him a bit…yeah, I like her. Deal”…and the God and gods shake hands and have a beer…

I used to fuss and fume and try to draw Christian analogies. She was right, I was trying, no matter what I said, I wasn’t being honest with myself. I said I “accepted” that her beliefs are different than mine but, I was trying to find a workaround. I “think” she knew that but, since I was trying she was being patient…

It’s funny what happens with the passage of time…I still try to find a way for the validity of both belief sets to not exclude the other set. I “think” I have. Oddly enough, she doesn’t see Christianity as an opposing view and I don’t see, now, that Paganism is in opposition to Christianity…at least not to MY Christianity…

I suspect my story, up there, isn’t the way it happened. I do think that God and gods have a sense of humor, why else would they have put she and I on joined paths? The first woman that was not a blood relation or a dog that I said the words “I love you” to, I married. The second is Aj. God and gods have decided that a Heretic needs a Witch and a Witch needs a Heretic. I could not be happier with their decision…

Why Yes, You Are Correct

Why do people decide to change? I don’t mean things like hair color or jobs or something external. What I mean is why change my perspective? Why look at what I thought was true and decide that I could have been incorrect and reevaluate my view?

I was talking to Gina and she pointed out something to me. She said I was using Aj as a tool, a lever… I keep trying to find words to do what Archimedes said, “give me a lever…” and I keep trying to use Aj as that lever. The thing is, she isn’t a lever or a fulcrum…she may be a “place to stand” but, that’s just for me…

Gina also used another word, “revel”. She said “revel in the love and energy you pour out…” I like that choice of a not often used word. I do, too. I am constantly “amazed”, as an aside I despise the word “amazed” but it fits, at how much being Aj’s friend means to me. She brings a smile to my face when I think about her. She also causes me to think…

What if? What if I had not met her, would I still think the way I used to? Would I be as good a husband as I try to be without her giving me perspective when I screw up? Would I have learned to not be so selfish with trust and love if I didn’t have someone other than Sweety to share it with? Would I have learned that there are other perspectives than the one I grew up with? Would I have learned that “wrong” and “different” are not equal? Whataboutism is a pointless exercise. I still wonder…

Aj is neither the carrot nor the stick. She just is herself. I think what I mean is that she was MY reason. I don’t have the ability to “make” her yours. She isn’t a “lever”. She’s flesh and blood and mortal. I put her on a pedestal because of how much I care for her but, I cannot force anyone else to. I write about, for, and to her because of me…and her…

Changing yourself is hard. I KNOW it is. I am 12 1/2 years clean. That wasn’t as hard as changing what I thought was “right” to include things I did not understand. Learning when I was happy in not knowing, “ignorance is bliss” described ME perfectly, causes lost sleep, acid stomach, and irritation…and growth. I grew. Like the Grinch, my heart “grew 3 sizes that day”…

Gina was right about one other thing, “I would just be praying for others to find a “friend” who is as important to them as Aj is to you “. That is the truth. I do pray that y’all find your own Aj. We all need one like her…even if you can’t have mine…

I almost posted this and thought *grins* I should point out that there are things she and I disagree on…I mean, Holy Smokes, she likes Kid Rock…and doesn’t like bacon. If we can bridge those gaps, anything is possible…

5 AM…

Sometimes I wake up far too early on my day off…or I don’t know what to write…

I’ve been told that I’m supposed to use a carrot and throw the stick away. I’ve also been told that I am trying to make one of “them” human. I’m allegedly attempting to let y’all see that people that are different are just “people”…

This is what I think I’m supposed to be doing, as opposed to being “told”…I think I’m supposed to write these missives so that Aj knows I care. I’m sitting here putting energy into the system for her to draw on when she needs it. The people that read these are usually convinced of her humanity so, that’s preaching to the choir. It’s also a way for me to think about a faraway friend,

I could write about candles or ask her a question, if she were awake. and meander through what I learned. I could look up something I know would cause me to slam the keys when I type because of some long-ago injustice or some more recent slight. Letting her know that she is loved and cared for is a given because she knows it and will see this and remember…and smile because of it…

She said I “protect” her, as ineffectual as that may be with words that are read by Witches and a couple of random Christians and one odd Heretic that types them but, “protect” goes both ways. She returns the favor. Her existence is enough. That when I need her, she is there, who she is all “protect” me. Knowing that I can count on her is enough…

I “think” I’ve said it before but, if she weren’t a Witch and I wasn’t Christian, I don’t think we’d be this close. I think that because I had to question how I defined “acceptable difference”, that I HAD to learn, the bridging of that difference caused us to become close. I saw a kindred spirit. I saw Honor and Love personified. I wanted to keep that person In my life. I still do. I write about a Witch but, that’s not ALL, it never was. All is that I am lucky…or blessed…to be allowed to have her in my life and, no ego intended, she says the same about me. “Interfaith” doesn’t describe what I’m trying to say. That word minimizes…

Borders and preconceived notions cost us what we should treasure the most, the humans on the other side of them. If I never ask her another question about what she does or how she believes it wouldn’t make a difference because me knowing won’t change what I already know. I know that she is far more than a label. I know she is not “just a witch”. She never was and never will be “just” anything…

****

Aj tells me that my “edits” read more like postscripts so, let’s just call it that…

When I was younger than I am now…or say 8 years ago…I would have thought that Aj was supposed to be the “enemy of my faith” and, as a result, me. Looking back, I wonder how I could have ever been so wrong. Aj is many things. She says she has her faults, even though I don’t see them, the one thing I am assured of is that she isn’t my “enemy”. She never was and never will be.

For What It’s Worth…

“Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid”
-Stephen Stills

I was looking for some stuff on the interwebbish thingie and got sort of frustrated and cussed out google. It led me to a prayer against hexes. I read that prayer and my first thought was, “well, don’t piss off a witch and you won’t have that problem”. My second thought was, “My Witch won’t hex you. She’ll smash you in the face with a shovel and then use the shovel to bury you out in the desert…”

Do I think hexes exist? Yeah, I do.

Do I think that paranoia exists? I am positive it does.

I also think that paranoia is far more likely to be the cause of your problems than being hexed…

…That or you have an allergy…

…or you really did piss off a witch…

 

“Cool” or “Neat”?

Pardon a dated term but, and I don’t think I’ve said it before, I really think that Aj being a witch is kind of “cool”. Would “neat” be a better word? Allow, or don’t as you wish, me to explain…

I get to learn stuff. I may not want to practice or follow those things but, for me, learning is important. I love the interwebbish thingie because I am able to fall down a rabbit hole with no idea where I may end up. The process of discovery is something I enjoy. Because, ’till I met her, I had zero knowledge, outside of fiction or religious bias, of what a witch is or does, there is a vast unknown that I am able to explore…

To carry the thought farther, it allows, forces if you will, to explore my own faith and worldview. It means that I have to stretch my mind to see another perspective and, by doing that, look deeply into my own. It is my personal view that if our beliefs cannot stand up to close examination, they probably need to be discarded or updated. She has given me reasons to look at the actual words in the Bible and see what the actions of Jesus were and His words. Those are good things. There are things that her beliefs have taught me, that all things are interconnected, that balance, I would say “moderation”, is important, that “prayer,  even if she uses a different term. transcends divides…

She has also taught me that, by looking at her faith, that there are people outside of mine that are probably “better Christians” than some Christians I know…even though she isn’t Christian. This is just one example of that…and one of the reasons I love her dearly…she said this about some who wished her harm, ” I turn the other cheek, if you will. I don’t curse them. I don’t hex them. (Oh, I could) instead, I light a candle for them and put into the universe my desire for them to find peace in their miserable lives. I won’t stick around and allow their horrible treatment of me, but I don’t wish them harm.” If for no other reason, THAT is reason enough for me to want her as my (still can’t figure out the term because “best friend” is overused).

Here’s another bit…She walks her own path. She will think her own thoughts and make what decisions she will and ignore societal conventional wisdom so that she may remain true to herself. She judges someone based on what they actually are, just as she should be based on herself…

Sadly enough, this is also a reason…We live some hours apart so, I am not around to see her as often as my wife and I or she would like. I don’t get to do what I “normally” do for loved ones, i.e. cook, so I write these pages. It is also sad because these pages are needed…at least the attempt is. I am not there to physically protect or offer the comfort that food brings so, these are what I have. That and I keep her at the front of my mind anyway. If you can’t be close, you should, at least, keep those you cannot replace near in your heart. *sigh* I don’t know that this paragraph says what I am trying to say. It is neither cool nor neat that there is a need to feel that she should be protected. I would much rather that she were safe and free to publicly express herself as she would. So, I am proud of her for being who she is in spite of the overt and covert pressure to conform…Maybe that makes more sense?

Why else?…I would never have guessed…well…eventually I “probably” would have but, she told me first. I’ve said it before but, her thinking that I was worth reaching out to, across a divide, and sharing part where we are different, made me, still makes me, feel good. It is really nice to be trusted by someone you admire. I know it goes both ways, we’ve talked about it. It gives us a bond that only people who have found common ground, trust, and love across differences have. I cannot imagine that we would have been this close if either of us was different.

I love her to bits. I love that she’s a witch. She is a “neat” person. Wouldn’t have her any other way…

*edit* *grin* Yeah, thinking about this, I’m not making light. I mean it with all seriousness, all the words up there…and Aj being a Witch just makes me smile. It wasn’t always that way. It used to scare me. Now, it is just one more of the many reasons that I have, when I often think of her, to be happy for her that she has her path, Yeah, it IS pretty cool…

*other edit* *other grin* Because of Aj and these, I know more witches than just Aj. I like them. They seem like, to use a Texas expression, “good people” but, Aj is still my favorite. No matter where our paths take us, she will always be the first one and will ALWAYS bring a smile when she comes to mine. Thanks, Aj…for everything…

Divination Scares the S**t Outta Me

Divination, in all its forms, scares me from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. I mean, the idea of it, even this mention will cause nightmares. A few of the people I love are Witches. In point of fact, with one exception, the closest of the handful of people that aren’t related, are Witches. The Witches keep reassuring me that divination is nothing to be feared…and I still fear it. I suspect I always will…

So what?

To The Witches, divination and their spiritual life,  are a part of them as much as the physical parts of themselves. So, if I love The Witches, if they are as dear to me as I say they are, what choices do I have?

Well, I could reject them. Just kick them away from me. You know, “Hey, y’all are just a bunch of trash. If that’s a part of you, y’all are going to Hell anyway, keep away from me. Besides that s**t scares the crap outta me. Damn Sinners…” Yeah…NO. Not an option. First of all, I’m a Heretic and figure that my God is capable of many things that I don’t know or understand. Also, the Bible says it isn’t MY place to Judge the condition of anyone’s soul. Besides, The Witches are my friends and are the Wise Women I go to when I need advice from wise women. Aj prefers the term “crone”.

I could ignore it but, that option doesn’t work because their spiritual life IS a part of who and what they are. It would be like going to an exhibit of paintings and only look at the frames, missing the image you came to see. Seems fairly stupid to me.

That leaves the third option, I could just realize that THEY are not to be feared. That if I don’t run from them or push them away, my choice is to live with the fact that one of MY deepest fears is in error…or at least, try to convince my hind-brain of that even if my “thinking brain” knows they aren’t a  threat.

I KNOW The Witches.

I don’t know their every thought. I don’t their every thought. I don’t want to. I don’t know their rituals and practices. It isn’t my business. I don’t know what god(s) they follow and, again, unless they make it my business, it isn’t my business. What I do know is their character. I know that I can trust them with my fear of some of their Practice and they will, patiently, try…one more time…for the zillionth time…to explain and reassure. I know their love.

You know, it’s “odd” to be me. A Witch taught me some of the life lessons I needed to learn. The first woman that wasn’t a blood relative or a dog that I told I loved I married. That is my Lady Wife.

The second woman I ever said that to is a Witch. SHE, Aj, taught me that it is possible to love someone that you are not obligated to. To love a friend. She taught me that I don’t have to understand to be able to accept. She taught me that “different” is not the same as “threat”. She taught me that her beliefs and mine are not the same but, they can exist in harmony. She helped to teach me, read kick my a$$ in the right direction, that “I” am worth trusting, even if I didn’t believe it about myself. She gives me advice on difficult subjects like “how does my wife think?” She taught that sometimes you have to risk a great loss to have a great gain but, that’s a different story for a different time.

It seems kind of mercenary to me to not just kick The Witches out. I mean, I gain from them and they have to deal with my b.s. I mean, I see what MY upside is. I get to be around people I love and like and admire. What’s in it for them? I’m no great shakes. Just some random Heretic from a faith that pushed them underground and persecuted them for the better part of 2,000 years…I really don’t get it…That loss that is in the paragraph above, Aj told an, at that time, Evangelical Christian, now Heretic. that she was a Witch. She had decided she had found someone that could be her Best Friend…while I was realizing it…and KNEW that she had to tell me the Truth about herself, to remove any assumptions I may have, rather than to let me live with Illusion…and if I just decided that I should kick her aside, that would hurt but, not as much as the Lie would.

The Witches are NOT a threat. The first Witch I ever knew taught me that. The others I know reinforce that. Our beliefs are NOT the same but, the way we live our lives are.

You don’t have to agree with my faith…or theirs but, before you so readily dismiss someone as worthless, consider who they are. Don’t look at the frame and miss the artwork within…If all I see is what I fear, I lose The Witches. THAT loss is a price I am unwilling to pay.

Underdogs

I’ve always been for the underdog. I tend to draw my own conclusions about people and the way I get to them isn’t always a mental path that most people would take.

Why does this have context here? Well…I seem to have an odd preference in my friends. You would think that, as a Christian, I would seek out my coreligionists. That my own demographic would be the group I wanted to be included in and with, yet, that seems not to be the case.

It seems that with Christians, no not all I am NOT painting with a broad brush, some Christians, though, there is competition to be the “best” Christian. That if your dogma is different than my dogma we are opponents. If we have different translations of the Bible, one of us is wrong. That who you allow to preach, meaning gender, is a cause for divide. That if I say that someone is LBGT may not be condemned to Hell makes me a Heretic…yeah, it does, by the way. That if I say that Pagans aren’t going to Hell, that doubles my heresy…again, yeah, it does double it…

The other demographic I tend to prefer is female. When I am around males, I compete. I think it’s a part of my nature. Males NEED to compete with other males. We beat our chests and strut like roosters. We have an image we need to project. I freely admit that, around guys, I do that. Yeah, it sux. It isn’t a “boys will be boys” thing meaning, women as objects or the rest of that stupidity, just having an image to project and protect. It is a bunch of damn work. It’s mentally stressing.

So…now that there’s some groundwork laid…Why Pagans and women and women pagans?

Let’s take this out of order and start with women… It’s just easier. I can be myself. I don’t really want anything from them. I don’t want a date because I’m well and devotedly married to the Love of My Life. I will be for the rest of my life…I digress…I just also don’t need to compete with them. I know their thought processes are different. It stands to reason, there are some serious biological reasons, duh. *editorial, I am not saying anything other than *different* NOT “worse”* If I natter on about “My Sweety this..” or “My Sweety that, blah blah blah…” they don’t get tired of hearing it…and I DO rattle on about it. Did I mention that I LOVE being married?

Now another part of the thought, of all the groups in the world a Christian would find, Pagans? Well…it seems that’s an accident. It really is. I didn’t look for Pagans. Hell, the first time I talked to a Pagan, I assumed she was a Christian. I really did. I thought Pagans, Witches, were a joke caused by Halloween and mass hysteria. How was I to know? Then something happened, I wasn’t really given a choice but to believe that what I thought was wrong. That there are practicing witches. That they have beliefs and faiths that are as valid to them as mine are to me. Talk about a worldview changer. If a seemingly rational person tells you that they are a witch, what are your choices? You can decide they’re not rational or what else? I mean, it sort of factors out Jamestown because that was several hundred years ago. It takes away the stupid Halloween costume witches. What’s left? Accept that THEY believe they are a witch sort of covers the remainder…and if they believe it, either you call them nuts and wander off or, believe it, too…Needless to say, I didn’t wander off and I don’t question their sanity.

So, the original question, even though Paganism isn’t a fit for me, some of it is appealing. The ones I’m close to believe that life is interconnected. That life must have “balance”. That living in harmony with your world is a requirement. Those things appeal very strongly to me…

…and here’s what I started thinking about when I started to write…

Underdogs. I am protective of those people I care about. If I had a Spirit Animal, it would be a half Pit half Border mutt. In other words, a protective and lazy working dog. It may be nature, meaning as a male I instinctively want to protect. It may be nurture, the maddest I have seen my father was when he thought that Mom needed protecting.

My friends, read the people I love, should be protected…at least, they should have someone that says “hey y’all, why do you feel threatened by someone who’s only desire from you is to be left alone?” Since they “protect” me by letting me know that someone actually cares, without expectation of any return, for me, it seems fair that I do what little I may…

*sigh* I sort of lost the train of thought. I suppose it boils down to this. I care about the people I care about. I want the best for them. I do what I may to speak up for them. I didn’t set out to have them as people I care about but, now that I do, I’d rather you call ME out for being a Heretic and judge ME for my views than them for theirs. At least, I willingly decided to pick a path that sets me as a target. All they picked was me…and I am not physically imposing but, I’m too much of a curmudgeon to let some stranger through my thick skin…

Y’all have a nice day. Hug your loved ones. Protect your loves.