I didn’t do a tarot reading for my year ahead as I have done the past two years. I can do a tarot reading off the top of my head: 6 Swords, Temperance, Hermit, Four of Swords, and the 8 of Pentacles. My year ahead is filled with travel, paring away the distractions, getting deeper into my work, sorting out a health issue, and finding the balance necessary to thrive in a very busy summer.
I started the year in Florida, visiting my sister and nieces. I have three more trips lined up this year. In February, I’ll be at Pantheacon (presenting on a panel at 1.30 on Friday! I’ll be sharing space with the likes of Jason Mankey, Crystal Blanton, Rhyd Wildermuth, and John Halstead). Over the summer I have a family trip to Alaska, a visit from my sister, and then a family trip to Kansas to be with my husband’s grandparents.
The last time I did a host of traveling all in one summer, I did not fare so well. I need to figure out how to balance my health and well-being while traveling.
Speaking of health, I am now 6 days into a 5 – 7 week strict fast. I have a relatively minor, but persistent health issue that needs to be taken care of. I can eat very little (basically meat, eggs, vegetables, sauerkraut, and seaweeds. Not kidding.) But I’m looking forward to this journey. I see this fast as a massive purge and test of my determination. Purification, honing of my will and acceptance of austerity are things that my gods do not shy away from; in fact, they are things that are demanded. In addition to getting healthier, I know this period will have positive effects in my spiritual life. Oh, but sweet lard, I’m hungry.
I’ve also decided this year is about digging deeper. Digging deeper into my practices, my place, and what’s most important to me. I often feel overwhelmed with everything there is do, read, keep up on, write about, and so on. I’ve decided to take on as little new as possible this year. I was asked to be on a small advisory board and I turned that down until 2016. I want to dig into my practices, which already has a new god involved: Bhairava. As I get to know him I’ll write more about him. For now, he’s one of the fierce manifestations of Shiva, he is accompanied by a black dog, and he is, like all gods, full of paradox.
In order to support my digging deeper, I have decided to strip away some of the distractions in my life. I’m paring back how I use my social media. I have instituted a year long moratorium on buying new books or checking out books from the library as I would like to read the books the I already own. This does not rule out gifts or books for review.
Another area where I would like to dig a little deeper is my writing and this blog. I care a lot about my writing and I value the blogging platform. There are a lot of details that go into blogging that sometimes take up more time than the actual writing (finding pictures chief among them). If I really cared about professional blogging (or so my brain tells me), I would make sure to write at minimum 3 days a week, include lots of advice and “Top 10” lists, and tweet. I can’t commit to that many posts. Advice and lists aren’t my focus. And I hate Twitter as a medium, so tweeting is never going happen. (I do, however, love Facebook. You can like this blog over there.) A lot of the time I feel a tad guilty and a lot of pressure to produce more content. I plan to combat that by actually producing less. That’s right, I’m aiming for producing less content, but my hope is to make is deeper content, to dive more deeply into my subjects.
While I’m doing all of this honing and contracting and hermiting, I am expanding in one distinct area. This summer Rhyd Wildermuth, PSVL, and myself are hosting Many Gods West, a conference for polytheists and those who support them. Morpheus Ravenna of the Coru Cathubodua is the key note speaker. You are invited! You can even submit a presentation, if you are so inclined.
That’s my year ahead. Now, back to theology, mysticism, the gods, and practice.