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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Journal of the Spirit's LiveJournal:

Thursday, November 17th, 2005
1:14 pm
[gothwalk]
Shields at 10%, Captain
For the last week or so, I've been getting some odd emotional states. Sunday night, I was twitchy like a twitchy thing. Mondy morning, going to work, I was anxious, nervous, uncomfortable, until I walked through the door, and then it evaporated. Tuesday evening I had a fit of melancholy on the way into town, and was unreservedly grouchy without reason later on.

Either I have PMS, or my empathic shields are being crossed.

The former isn't quite so ludicrous as it seems; men have hormonal cycles as well, and I'm about due a bout of grouchiness. The melancholy and anxiety, though, are way out of normal on that, and it's usually constant and background.

So it looks much more likely that the shields are being crossed. I've been aware in recent months that my inherent abilities are cooling down from the red hot control-the-weather-in-America state of my early twenties, and becoming a more subtle, skilled usage. That's fine by me, because I spent more time doing the magical equivalent of sitting on my hands than actually doing anything.

My first thought when I'm picking up emotions like this is that someone else is broadcasting strongly, due to stress, growing empathy, or whatever. But nobody around seems to match the profile, and while I give some credence to the notion that empathic connections can creep up on you (as in, my middle brother's girlfriend, for instance, who I've never met), these have no feel of unfamiliarity.

So the conclusion is that my shields are weakening, or dropping. I don't want to slam them back up, either, because there are empathic connections I want to leave in place. And since that raw strength is ebbing, I need to look into how to put them back up by technique and ritual. Something to look into.

It's a pity there isn't a Wikipedia of magical techniques...
Friday, September 30th, 2005
9:25 am
[gothwalk]
Omena
I give some credence to omens. Not that I'll refuse to get out of bed on a given day, but I note them. Last night, I found a tenner on the pavement. This morning, I saw three sets of two magpies, was bounced at by a spaniel, picked up two coins, had a heron land beside me, and a bloke in a business suit muttered "Blessed be!", as he got off the Dart where I got on. That latter was probably due to the huge pentagram on my shirt, but still, pleasant.
Tuesday, September 20th, 2005
3:29 pm
[gothwalk]
Wards
My ward spells have been falling to bits recently - we've had spiders in several rooms, and I've been begged at a good deal more than usual. The autumnal equinox falls on the 22nd this year, so I think I know what I'll be working on.
Tuesday, December 21st, 2004
3:47 pm
[gothwalk]
You know...
You know you're approved of when you step into the back garden to acknowledge the solstice, and you find three full cans of beer, naturally chilled, waiting for you. Sure, they were left over from the Yule party, but it seemed appropriate.
Thursday, July 29th, 2004
12:43 pm
[gothwalk]
Questions
I'm feeling somewhat grouchy today, but these questions seems to be patching my mindset right up. They're from Witches' Weekly - or rather, from the archives there.

Do you think paganism will ever be nationally accepted?

Nationally is a dodgy word. It's well on the way in the UK and Scandinavia, much less so in Ireland. It's an official religion, more or less, in Iceland, unless I misremember. Paganism is also too nebulous to ever really be accepted as such - it's a bit like asking if science will ever be accepted. So that'd be a sort-of-yes.

What was your most successful work of magic?

On the now-defunct firefly.net, many years ago, a devout Christian challenged me to set or predict (I can never tell which it is) the temperature and weather in her hometown near Seattle on three dates of her choice. She chose the dates, I chose the weather. We settled on midday as the time to measure. I was exactly right on two dates, and off by one degree on the third.

And a final one, from sabayone, elsewhere:

Name three fictional characters your deity or deities resemble.

Thor looks like Mike Callahan, in the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon books, with a element of Little John, and a dash of.... I want to say Sean Connery, but he's not fictional. King Richard in Prince of Thieves, then.

Ishtar looks like Inara in Firefly, although Inara's face is a little too soft. I'm having real difficulty coming up with more; Inara is nearly exactly right. There's something of Ripley from the Alien movies in her take-no-bullshit manner.
Sunday, June 20th, 2004
3:08 pm
[gothwalk]
Dear World:

I get the message, ok? The heavy ornamental wand landing on my instep from five feet up was a good hint. The Book of Shadows hitting me in the same place from three feet was also a good hint. I could have done without the staff falling over from a place it's been perfectly stable in for about six months. I'll do something tomorrow, or possibly even tonight.

Thank you,
Drew.

Current Mood: told
Monday, April 26th, 2004
7:58 am
[gothwalk]
shadow_sun has been making me think, particularly her point (or my interpretation of it) that Paganism has no dogma, few to no standards, and no works of criticism or philosophy worth speaking of. By a happy coincidence, I also recently came across the word vademecum on a mailing list. Vademecum is "come with me" in Latin. In English, it means a book (or possibly object) you always have with you; in Italian it means an essential guidebook to a given situation. I've also recently run into the concept of a Book of Hours in a few places.

[My own thought process occurs at this point; I do not claim that you will see a connection between the last paragraph and the next.]

So I'm giving some thought to the notion of constructing a vademecum of my own. It should contain: A fair quantity of Norse mythology, a good amount of Sumerian material (particularly the Descent of Inanna), a good few extracts from Our Troth, a scattering of Zen, Taoist and Sufi proverbs or stories, and perhaps a few illustrations. I'm thinking that the first one might have to be a printed word document, and that I could then work on doing out one by hand - my handwriting is not bad, if I take my time, and there's a certain appeal to writing out a whole religious text, as it were. I can also illuminate, calligraph, and generally improve the look of the book as I go. And then I can look into binding it.

I can also take notes as I go - points where differing areas of my vademecum complement each other, where they differ, vastly or otherwise, what this or that story, proverb, or text seems to mean, could mean, what the lesson is - if there's a lesson. And out of that, I'll have a book of criticism and (probably pretty basic) philosophy, as a companion work to the vademecum itself.

Current Mood: contemplative
Thursday, April 15th, 2004
12:09 am
[gothwalk]
Thunder Awakens
And yes, the last day or so, I have been Waking Up, I think. It's all puritybrown's fault.
Wednesday, April 14th, 2004
11:53 pm
[gothwalk]
The failure of the race of Men
I have been in an odd, and sometimes unpleasant mood this evening, at least in part brought on by a comment on someone else's post by a bloke I don't really know. He was being so patronising it put my teeth on edge, and I'm normally aware of patronisation only as a kind of distant abstract. I am further aware of another bloke who has two-timed his wonderful girlfriend again - this is about the third time, and I do hope I don't see him again any time soon, because I used to think he was a decent sort, and would be rather compelled to beat him until the decent personality came back. And I can think of a few more examples offhand of men being complete fuckwits. I am, in short, not impressed.

There seems to be something missing in societal roles, in icons and ideals today - the Decent Bloke. Many of the men you see on the news today are footballers, for instance - and say what you will, a man who makes his living chasing a football is not a role model. Besides which, more of them seem to be on the news for crimes and affairs than football. There are politicians, and apart from a very few, they're not suitable role models either. They should be Leaders, anyway, not Decent Blokes. Actors... maybe. Patrick Stewart is there, perhaps. Writers, maybe more so - Neil Gaiman springs to mind. But see, here's the thing - who sees them? There's all this attention being paid to the asshole soccer players, and the deceitful politicians, and the corrupt businessmen, and the variety of other unsavoury characters that seem to compose the current spectrum of masculinity.

This trickles down to normal society, of course. In the past three years, I've twice had to step in in public places where men were bullying women. Not "just" domestics, either, these were situations where these people had never met before, and somehow the men thought they had some right to shout and to strike. In one case, I had to physically throw a man off a bus, and in another, wait with a girl until she got a taxi, because the asshole who kicked her was hanging around looking malevolent.

And no, I've no suggestions for this. I've been discussing it with Thor here for a bit, and other advisors, and it makes no sense to them, either. Somewhere in the last fifty years, heroes have been replaced with protagonists, and the stories have been sordid more than epic.

Current Mood: aggravated
Sunday, December 7th, 2003
1:27 am
[gothwalk]
Ritual Completed, Brain Fried Now
Just completed a ritual to help a friend, and set the world right while we're at it. Brain fried now, and while I can manage to type, and do html, speech is some distinct effort. Gods are damn nuisances, especially when they make you want beef and beer at one in the morning.

Current Mood: accomplished
Thursday, November 27th, 2003
11:45 am
[gothwalk]
So let's take advantage of a quiet day to see what's happening spiritually. The answer would appear to be: nothing. I've read a few books, both fiction and non-fiction, which seemed to have some connection with faith and paganism, but nothing is sparking there at the minute. I'm content to let it lie for a while longer, and since there are still conversations with the divine and the spirits, there's nothing wrong as such. If nothing stirs by Yule or so, I'm going to have to poke something, though.

Current Mood: contemplative
Wednesday, October 29th, 2003
12:32 pm
[gothwalk]
Samhain
I'm taking the day off work for Samhain, both to have a day off, and to prepare properly for the evening's gathering. There are three pumpkins on order from a supermarket, and I'm hoping to pick up a bunch more of the small, weirdly shaped squashes from the Farmer's Market here on Thursday. I know they're not native Irish traditions, but they look so very good when they're carved, and turnips, apart from being a poor substitute size-wise, are just not fun to carve. I'm going to roast the pumpkin seeds this year too.

I'm not at all sure why Hallowe'en means so much to me. It's not as though we got to go trick-or-treating all that much as kids; we were a quarter mile from the nearest neighbours, and the most efficient trip we could muster would be seven miles walking for about ten houses. Not fun in late autumn in Ireland, in the dark.

Perhaps it's because the celebration is so unashamedly pagan, unadopted by the churches anywhere, and retaining all its old meaning. They fey are moving, and it's up to us to confuse them with masks and fires and strange decorations, so that they won't stay and hassle us. The spirits of the dead come back, and we make them welcome. It's a night when dark forces have power, and so we try to confuse them too, disguising ourselves as them so they don't know who to hit. And we take advantage of that power ourselves for foretellings and fortunes.
Thursday, September 4th, 2003
12:57 pm
[gothwalk]
Googlism for "Thor"
This amuses me, and apparently him too:

Thor is..Collapse )

Current Mood: contemplative
Thursday, August 7th, 2003
10:19 pm
[gothwalk]
What you believe is what you get. And as in all WY*IWYG interfaces, shaping belief takes effort.
Friday, July 11th, 2003
12:46 pm
[gothwalk]
It's bizarre how much more at ease I feel when I'm actually wearing the Torshammer...

Current Mood: contemplative
Sunday, April 13th, 2003
2:33 pm
[gothwalk]
So I've been poked repeatedly by spiritual stuff over the last few days, and much of it seems to be from the Northern Tradition. I printed out this, and despite something going odd 'tween browser and printer, and chunks at the top and bottom of every printed page going missing, it's excellent stuff.

I haven't access to all the books mentioned as study guides and so on in it, but thanks to wyvernfriend, I have a book by Freya Aswynn about Northern Magic and the runes. I sat down last night to read up on a few of the runes - I got through Fehu, Uruz, and Thurisaz before I had to stop, because between the stuff in the book, and the rune stones that sabayone lent me, my head was getting full. You know the way that a computer slows down when it has a big complicated process going on? Yeah, that. I fell asleep after I'd done reading, for twenty minutes or more, and even after I'd been awake for a while afterward and trying to focus my head elsewhere, I dreamt all night of runes, Norse magic, hammers, and other elements of what I had been reading. It feels good to be getting something done.

Next thing I want is to get hold of a hammer that I can decorate a bit - it seems to require runes painted on the head, and a leather strap at the end of the haft, so it can hang from the wrist. I think a standard sledgehammer will do for a basis...

Current Mood: contemplative
Friday, April 11th, 2003
11:54 am
[gothwalk]
Almost nothing spiritually-oriented for a month or so, and now suddenly it's battering down the walls, with Asatru and Troth stuff on one side, and magical symbolism on another, and the Zen Osho tarot deck coming up in the most unexpected places. I think I'd better pay attention.

Current Mood: contemplative
Thursday, March 27th, 2003
5:12 pm
[gothwalk]
I need to find a set of magical symbols. Like Japanese, but without grammar - a set of symbols for expressing intention and invocation and involvment. Any suggestions? I've been slowly working on my own for a long time, but it's too slow, and feels too artificial.

Current Mood: contemplative
Sunday, February 23rd, 2003
1:26 am
[gothwalk]
So let's see if I can set forth an idea or two about what I believe. This is as much record as statement, since it's not what I believed before, and may not be what I believe in the future. I do think it's the best way of looking at the world, though, and I won't apologise for that, even though I intend to improve it.

I believe that there are Powers out there. These powers are not things we can understand - perhaps in the way that cats don't understand us, or in the way that bees don't understand us, or maybe in the way that rocks don't understand us. But just as we can relate to a rock with a hammer, a bee with a smoker, and a cat by petting it, so these powers relate to us in ways we can understand. I call these Powers gods; I believe that they are multiple and various, sometimes cooperating, sometimes opposed.

I believe that two of these Powers in particular pay more attention to me than others. One of these is Thor, the Norse god of thunder, and the other is Ishtar, a goddess of the ancient Middle East, about whom I still don't know as much as I should. Thor talks to me all the time - he's talking to me now, joking about me explaining all this so carefully - and Ishtar has spoken to me only a handful of times.

I believe in spirits and in other places, each coincident with conventional reality to a greater or lesser degree. I talk to some of these spirits regularly, some less so, and some very little. I avoid some of them, as beings I don't want to be near.

I believe that my will can affect reality - this is magic. I use it all the time, for things as simple as finding lost items to finding North. All of this is simple, non-formalised magic, almost a conversation between me and reality. Sometimes I go to ritual, choosing tools and representative tokens that are meaningful, and using them to focus will for greater effect.

I believe that respect for the worlds that the Gods have given us is an integral part of respecting those Gods - even though some of them, gods of technology and consumption, do not themselves respect them.

I try not to believe in secrets. I try to be open, to be honest, to be straightforward. I try to act with honour, and as I think the Gods would have me act. I try to be happy, and to make the other people in my life happy.

Current Mood: contemplative
1:01 am
[gothwalk]
Welcome. This is to be my journal for well, spiritual stuff. I'm not sure I know where to draw the dividing line between spiritual and material, but I suppose that that's one of the things that this will - eventually - show me. I owe a debt of idea to several people for the existence of this journal, although I'm not sure if they'd prefer to be named or not.

The journal is a community so that I can post to it without logging out and in again; I don't anticipate giving other people posting access at any stage.

The name? Mjolnir is the hammer of Thor, one of my patron deities. A nave is an aisle, or the area between pillars, in a cathedral or large church. I'm none too certain why the two go together in my mind.

Current Mood: contemplative
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