Pagan Blog Project: returning to Oaths

As most of you know, I got married this summer. What you don’t know is that I have struggled to find balance between my shamanic path and my “regular life”.

Weddings are such a part of the mundane world that, no matter how pagan they might be, they drive you right into materialistic… mundacity. Thoughts of marriage and discussions of weddings are often followed by questions: Will we have a baby? Will we buy a house? How is our budget? Will my new stepchild like/accept me? (Yes, she does. :)) I will be honest, I totally forgot about my oaths and my spiritual path.

Part of this was because this was my first summer juggling a night job, a stepdaughter and wedding plans. Lots of things fell by the wayside, like this blog. I begged for a break, a reprieve from the pressure of the spirit world in May, and I received it.  But its not easy coming back to my oaths. So where do we start when we pick ourselves back up and get back on the dusty road?

I start simple. I start with gemstones and conversations. I’m not a huge gemstone lover but I do believe that, as a healer, they are another tool in my mixed bag of health. I believe that the Jotun are close to stones, feel that connection intimately, and that if we can slow down and listen long enough, we can start to hear their messages.  So I pull my favorite stones out, cleanse them under running water, whisper them my secrets, wear them as I go about the task of living. I close my eyes, reach out for my spirit guide, tell him my woes, smile as he sends me dreams of standing at the shoreline, the waves lapping at my ankles.

The task of returning to our oaths is the same as returning to anything else that fires us up. We do it gently, with forgiveness for our humanity and an eye to our future.

Pagan Blog Project: Madness in the face of faith (how mental illness is distinguished from religion)

She looked at me over the top of her notepad and started laughing. “Raan, I was writing up my notes from our last session and in the middle I had to stop and laugh. I realized that if any of my colleagues ever read this, they would think you were schizophrenic.” She paused. “I know you aren’t schizophrenic but it just made me laugh.”

That was my psychologist after a session, discussing my spiritual faith and the way I use it to heal my life. The specific thing that makes others think I am crazy? I hear the voices of the gods and spirits in my head, all the time, like a rolling wave of conversation. Sometimes I completely lose touch with the reality around me because I get embroiled in a particularly good argument with them. Sometimes I blurt out stuff that only makes sense if you have been paying attention to the lecture I was receiving. Sometimes I lose the track of a conversation because I have more voices talking to me than I can handle. Sometimes I know things I shouldn’t know, or make intuitive leaps and freak people out or do things in a way that seem off and/or odd because of knowledge/advice/orders from higher-ups.

I also work nights at the state mental institution, surrounded by men (and sometimes women, when I go to another building) who hear voices/follow commands/are paranoid. I work with schizophrenics and bipolar and borderline and people who burned their brains out from too many drugs and sex offenders and people who suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome and people who are paranoid and people who are sexually inappropriate and people who self injure in ways I have never seen and never thought of before…

You get the picture.

So it’s sometimes very difficult for me to say this: yes, I hear voices. No, I’m not crazy. Really I’m not.

How do you guys deal in a world that is better equipped to handle mental patients than people with a more personal relationship with the Divine?


I am so sorry I have been MIA.

I got married yesterday. 🙂 I will try to catch up on posts for u guys.