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“We is Crazy”

“You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”


WordPress displays search terms which led people to your blog.  These are always fascinating.  My favorite thus far has been “Rhyd Wildermuth Food Stamps.”

Today I noted someone found my blog by searching “Is Sannion and Gallina crazy?”  If this is you, hello!  Thought I’d answer your question for you. By the way, it’s one “l” in her name, not two (I made that same mistake for months!) and also, two people make a plural together, so “are” is more appropriate than “is.”   But…

Yup.  They’re out of their fucking heads.  Anyone who sees the gods as real and worships them and does stuff for them is utterly unstable and very bad for society.  They should be locked up and medicated and kept out of swimming pools and nice restaurants and prevented from drinking good tea.

Me too.  And pretty much every brilliant, amazing, wonderful and…

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Whoops. Turns out that entheogenic work is not always the best way to cross the Divine Divide in hope of working through an enforced God-silence during a “pull you apart and put you back together again” phase.

‘Cause DAMN that hurt. :p

Take it from your Aunt Lusi, boys and girls and peoples, timing is everything…

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ANZAC Day 2014

Being seasonally adrift from the traditional Solstice/Equinox calendar, I don’t follow a “Wheel of the Year” type celebration pattern. One of the few Holidays I do observe annually is ANZAC Day.

ANZAC – Australia & New Zealand Army Corps – Day is a trans-Tasman remembrance of Service Veterans and acknowledgement of Active Service Personnel. Arising in the years after WWI and gaining more prominence after WWII, it also served as something of a contributor to the emerging national identities of the two South Pacific colonial nations. The observance date is based on the first day of the Gallipoli Campaign in WWI, and the Holiday is a bigger observance in Australia/NZ than Armistice Day (November 11th). Nowadays it serves as a Service of Thanks for those who sacrificed so that we might live our lives as we choose, for those who lost their lives or peace-of-mind in conflicts that brought nothing but a mourning conviction that soldiers are not politicians’ playthings, and those who served and continue to serve in peacekeeping missions around the world.

Also of significance, a bit closer to home, is my family’s remembrance of my maternal Grandmother, a remarkable lady of broad mind and strong will who withstood many challenges and much turmoil to raise a little sister and three children of her own. She died before I was born, sadly, when my mother was about 17, but I can see her legacy of discipline and fairness in those she left behind.

I woke at the awful hour (even for me) of 4am. Usually I would have readied myself for a cold, foggy trudge to the War Memorial, but my child had had such a long day and a hard night yesterday, and we have a busy weekend ahead of us, that it seemed a bit mean to drag her out to the Dawn Service. (She’s usually asleep enough that she doesn’t take it in anyway.) So I’d already decided to go to the 10am Service instead, but decided, since I was up, to do a little quiet Offering by myself.

Tea is the traditional offering for most of my Ancestors, so I made a pot and poured one for my Military Dead (milk and sugar, two things that are hard to get in the field) and one for my Grandmother (black Lady Grey with a touch of sugar). I set out an ANZAC poppy (an annual fundraiser by the Returned Services Association) and the few badges and medals I have on one side, and my Grandmother’s silver thimble (about the only thing I have of hers) on the other, and lit a candle in the middle.

I sat for a bit and gave thanks to my Military Dead, and was rather surprised at how much I still miss my Grandads, even after 15 plus years. Their presence was palpable and comforting. Then I did a prayer of remembrance for my Grandmother, and could rather sense her as well. I have only a little to go on, but had had the privilege of speaking to my Great Aunt earlier in the week and that gave me a lot to think about. There was 14 years between my Grandmother and my Great Aunt, so my Grandmother was both a sister and a mother-figure to her younger sister. The bond between them is still visible today. I do hope to spend more time with my Aunt; our family isn’t very talkative where history is concerned, and I would like to learn more before even more knowledge disappears from us.

It was wonderful to get such a strong sense of my Ancestors this morning; a reminder that ritual and offerings should not be kept only for Holy Days.

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Pricing vs. Worth

I’m somewhat stuck right now, on the difference between pricing something according to “what the market expects/will bear”, and charging what I believe it’s worth.

On the one hand, there is a tendency among crafters and spiritworkers to undervalue their work – society as a whole doesn’t put a high price on cottage industry, spiritual work, or service professions. As I am often reminded, if you price your work well below others’ the customer or client will assume there’s some drawback or fault with it. They’ll be suspicious, and suspicious people don’t buy. They’ll think you’re shoddy or dodgy, compared to people charging “normal” prices.

Even if those “normal” prices are 200, 300, 500% higher than cost price.

I’ve always been told to add costs (time, materials, labour) and overheads (shipping, marketing, rent, packaging, etc.) and add 100%. And yet there’s a school of thought that says we should charge higher prices simply to compete. That to not add what amounts to a “luxury image surcharge” means you’re pricing yourself away from success.

This is tricky for me – raised both poor and somewhat left-of-centre, the idea of making people pay more for something that will help them just because you can seems, well, cruel. Don’t get me wrong, altruistically charging so little that your business can’t grow is just dumb, and charging most people Real Prices can give you space to offer pro bono where it’s really needed. But when I know that for most of my peers, it’s a case of “pay rent, pay utilities, buy food, see if there’s anything left”, deliberately pricing what is supposed to be a service/devotional exercise up by more than Fair Cost + 100% (or whatever percentage is appropriate) seems counterproductive and in some cases almost blasphemous. And yet, because there is a crowd of upper-middle-class, mostly white, spiritual seekers who will not only happily pay your 300% mark-up, but perceive your goods/service as better because of it, there are many Spiritual Providers who feel obliged or entitled to do just that.

With services, there is a degree of trust involved – the client trusts you to provide value for money, and you trust yourself to provide it. With goods, however (value-added, consumables, or raw on-sold product), we have to face the fact that many people are accustomed to paying earth-raping, slave-labour, mechanised, mass-produced, chemical-soaked,  economy-of-scale prices, not true-cost prices. Conventional wisdom states then that you should create Points of Difference to show that your “artisanal” product is worth the extra cost. But at what point does that become artificial, and where does Devotional or Spiritual Service intersect with that?

For example, I recently went on a wholesaling expedition, and managed to pick up a Nifty Thing I’ve been ogling for years, but couldn’t really afford/justify at $40 retail. The wholesale price? $4. That’s right. Knock that zero right off.

While I was thrilled to finally have my Nifty Thing and take it home and put it to Work, I was a little sobered and disappointed. The wholesaler from whom I purchased was just a wholesaler. He was just selling stock, no personal investment or mission involved. But the retailers? The ones whose 1,000% mark-up had kept me from a Nifty Thing for three or four years? They bill themselves as “spiritual folk”, specifically the non-materialistic hippy-ish type. I know they need to make a living, but are their overheads really so high that such an enormous mark-up is justified? It really made me think about perceptions of worth and value – that 1,000% is accepted as perfectly reasonable by their customers, but I can guarantee none of them know about the wholesale price. Would they still be as eager if they did know? What if knowledge of the Nifty Thing’s true cost (environmental, social, and financial) and worth (magical, powerful, personal) were thrown into the mix? What would it be worth then?

To be honest, I’m running around in circles a bit. Thoughts and advice are welcome. 🙂

(I have found a bit of common sense, although it lacks a spiritual Gebo type perspective.)

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On genius and inspiration

I wish everyone would watch this. Creativity and inspiration can be a maddening gift, and one of the costs of rational humanism (*patooey!*) is the shouldering of painful responsibility for something that isn’t always entirely our own burden. As mentioned in the video, we need to accept that it’s often less a case of “being a genius”, and more “having a genius”.

Creativity is a precious, Gods-given thing, but like many divine gifts, it has the power to tear us apart if we’re not careful. Our artists and makers and creators deserve more support than society currently allows them.

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The Cost of Outing Pagans in the Bible Belt

Any support for this excellent lady will be welcome and useful.

Southern Fried Witch

scales_20of_20justice Y’all, I wanted to write about my new Czech peppers.  Or my impending granddaughter.  Or anything, other than this.  But: I am done.

Since I began this blog years ago, I have dealt with my own personal antagonist.  (Although, we all have these.  This one is special.)  While I have been very careful up until now not to disseminate any information on the WWW, we are now asking for help.  I’m sure many of you remember when I took down my blog in a last-ditch effort to create peace for many months.  (Although I never explained, and I am so sorry.  It just wasn’t polite or proper to drag that hot mess out here in public.)  I am no longer willing to be bullied.  After suffering a heart situation that landed me in the emergency room a few days ago, I am finally, finally standing up to this harassment.  (The…

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Back down the rabbit hole

It’s hard to write blog posts right now. I keep meaning to, but life’s a little twisty right now. “That Feeling” is back, the one where my vision gets kind of flat-but-tunnelled, and sparkly-black like I’m looking through a very thin sheet of obsidian; “Hollow-vision”, I’ve come to call it. Spirit Stuff is afoot, and I can’t seem to get away from it. I feel hollowed-out, but at the same time full to bursting with some kind of itchy, impatient almost-energy, like a cicada trying to get out of its shell, a snake from its skin, etc. etc. tra la. At least by now, it’s happened enough times that it doesn’t severely disrupt my everyday life.

So it seems like some kind of change is coming. It’s almost “about time!”, except that I know that Life Afterward will be both more simple and more complicated than it is now. I almost don’t mind that, which is usual for me at this point, because the plateau gets so unbearable that almost any change in spiritual momentum is welcome. It’s a little scary, though, because with power comes responsibility, and obligations, and necessity, and…

I almost feel like I know where the change is going, except that to speak it aloud (or type it explicitly) might jinx it. I know I have been pushed over the last few months into work/Work I never though I’d be doing – public work, healing work, specifically spiritual work. This time last year I was gearing myself up for domestic/semi-monastic devotional service, but instead it seemed to initiate my latest (and hopefully last major) USC – Undefined Spiritual Crisis. I’ve had friends refer to it as “Initiatory Crisis”, associates ask if it was Shaman Sickness, acquaintances suggest “spiritual development peaks”… I’m loath to name it. My Gods are silent on the question, standing under the banner of “you’ve got to experience it to understand it”.

I do know that at lest, right now I’m in the best place possible, practically speaking, to deal with this with a minimum of fuss (I hope). So… chop wood, carry water.

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