2021 has been a difficult year at Under the Ancient Oaks. Blog traffic is the lowest it’s been in five years. Some of that is fewer people blogging regularly at Patheos Pagan, some is algorithm changes by Facebook and Google, and some is the decline of blogging in general.
Not to worry. I’ll keep blogging as long as I’ve got something to say, and that’s likely to be as long as I’m still breathing.
Even in a bad year, some posts do very well. I’ll talk about those on Wednesday in this year’s annual Top 10 feature.
But even in a good year, some posts aren’t very well read. Travel posts and book reviews don’t do well (though my review of Camelia Elias’ new book Read Like The Devil did surprisingly well), and my political posts are hit or miss. And while I consider myself a good writer, when you’re knocking out over 140 posts a year they’re not all going to be amazing.
Still, there are times when I find myself saying “this is important – why are people not reading this?”
Here are four posts from 2021 I think have some really important concepts in them, but that weren’t well read. Take a look at these summaries, and if you didn’t read them the first time, check them out now.
Interpreting Dreams, and Why I (Probably) Can’t Do It For You (February 2021, #128 in readership).
I get a lot of spiritual questions. I do my best to answer them, particularly if they’re brief and straightforward. But there’s one topic where I rarely have anything helpful to offer.
Most dreams are routing sorting and filing. Even with the ones that are more, the imagery is highly personal and difficult for someone else to interpret.
But there are things you can do to interpret your own dreams.
Working With Troublesome Ancestors (October 2021, #130 in readership).
If working with a particular ancestor or group of ancestors causes you suffering, don’t do it. Find other ancestors to honor and work with.
But when your situation becomes manageable, approach your troublesome ancestors. Speak plainly to them. And then listen. Hear what they have to say – seek to understand. Not to excuse harmful actions, but to learn how to remedy the situation, and how to do better in your own life.
Break the chain. Make amends on their behalf. Work for restoration across many generations of living and dead. Pray for the dead. If you cannot make offerings to them, make offerings for them. Set a good example for your descendants, both in how you live and in how you interact with your ancestors.
Because sooner or later, all of us will join the ancestors.
When You Rely Too Much on Divination (November 2021, #137 in readership).
Divination is a wonderful tool. It can give us insight into the future. It can give us insight into ourselves. And it can help us confirm and clarify messages we get from the Gods and other spirits. But also as with other skills, it’s possible to become too reliant on divination.
When we overuse one tool or skill (any skill, not just divination) we start to use it in situations where another tool or skill would be more suitable. But also, we fail to practice and develop other skills – skills we may desperately need at some point in the future. And thus we often fail to accurately assess a situation and select the best course of action.
As the old saying goes, when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem start to look like a nail.
How to Find a Good Reader (July 2021, #145 in readership).
Finding a reader – a diviner – is easy. These days it seems like half the people on Twitter offer readings of one sort or another. Some post menus of their services and rates. A couple weeks ago I saw a bunch of small roadside signs in my neighborhood that said “Psychic: $10 Readings.”
Maybe these readers are good. Maybe they aren’t.
Finding a good reader can be a challenge.
I was surprised to find this post at the bottom of the list. It’s a relevant topic – I get requests to read or to recommend readers all the time. Maybe there are so many people offering readings that most people don’t think they need any help finding one?
But finding a reader isn’t a problem. Finding a good one is – here’s how to do it.