Tag Archives: paganism

Six Years Old!

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According to WordPress it is six years since I started this blog. A lot has happened and changed in six years!

Sophie and I have been writing this blog together for the last few years but she said this anniversary post should be by me. Below you can see my very first blog entry here. It makes me cringe a bit to read it now but I guess the person who made it is still a large part of the person I am. After that you can read a summery of our most popular posts with a few thoughts from me. the there are some nice and progressively naughty photos we have posted over the years. And then a few thoughts going forward.

So this was my first ever post. (I’ll blush in a corner while you read it).

Well I don’t intend to write something here every day but since I have half an hour spare and I want to put some meat on the bones of this blog I might as well write something while I’m sipping wine and smoking my last but one cigarette of the day…

The day started well. I woke up early and, well let’s say eagerly. Andy is staying over for a few days. We both travel a lot in our jobs and so the rare times we actually spend together are precious. Thus, the first few hours of the morning were, let’s say, energetic and satisfying! 😉 It left me with an energy buzz which, thankfully, has stayed with me through most of the day.

After Andy left to go off to a meeting in London,  I went round to my Mum’s. She wasn’t having a good day; very confused and forgetful and generally very frail. I took her for a walk and then cooked dinner for her. It worries me how much she depends on me and in a couple of weeks I’ll be working abroad for a couple of months again and I’m seriously concerned about how she will cope. I am trying to persuade her to get some help, but she is being very stubborn.

I am sure there are some who would think that if I am really a witch I should be able to do some quick magic spell to make her well again. I only wish life was that simple. That’s not to say I don’t try some things from time to time;- energy work mostly. However, in order to transfer positive and healthy energy to her I have to be careful not to absorb too much of her fear, frustration and depression. That is not so easy as I am an empath.

This afternoon I spent some time on my lap-top (mostly setting up this blog) and bullied Mum into going for another short walk for some fresh air. Then I stayed at her place watching TV untill she went to bed. Then I came home…

Andy will be back any minute and it will be nice to just snuggle for a while… Mind you I am hoping my last ciggie of the day will be a post coital one!

…I think I got my wish. Andy and I split up amicably not long after. It turns out that was my last serious relationship with a man. When I started this blog I described myself as bisexual and wrote quite a lot of posts on that topic. Now I guess I’m still bisexual but I identify more as a lesbian. Meeting Sophie and moving in with her has been one of the happiest and most significant changes of the last six years.

I’m still a witch but whereas I used to be quite passionately pagan, I am now even more passionately Satanist.

My mother’s deterioration and eventual death last year was the most difficult and saddest thing to bare during the last six years. It is something I am still coming to terms with.

Here is a list of our most popular posts according to WordPress.

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I think it is significant and somewhat pleasing that The Accidental Lesbian comes in at the top of the list, it is the one post that encapsulates the biggest change in my persona during the past six years.

There are several posts about smoking in the list. In fact we were writing on that subject so often that we started a separate blog for it.

I’m glad Little Talks by Of Monsters And Men made it into the list as our most popular musical post. It is still my favourites song of the last decade and has all sorts of personal meanings to me.

And regular readers will not be at all surprised that most of the other posts in the list are about various aspects of sex and sexuality. Funnily enough I think the Cassie of six years ago would have found that quite surprising.

And here are a few photos that I like from the last six years.

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Kissing

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handcuffed

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Waterhouse Lady Of Shalott

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Inked Girls Gallery 143 (7)

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I am without doubt a darker and harder person than I was when this this blog began but I am far more secure and happier in my own skin.

My lover is my life partner. I have a daughter whom I love as much as if she had come from my own loins.

I don’t know what will happen to this blog in the months and years to come but the story of Cassie and Sophie will continue.

Spiritual Forums

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I like writing my blogs. I find it a good way to sort out my thoughts about everyday life and issues I care about. I also find it a good training for writing in general. Then there are the community of other bloggers whose work you read and who read your posts… Getting to know that community has been one of the nicest aspects of blogging to me and has given me many insights and pause for further thought. .However blogging on it’s own can become a little self indulgent. You tend to find an audience which broadly agrees with the views you express. The amount of feedback you receive in relation to the total number of people who view your posts is relatively small in my experience. There is always the danger of starting to believe that your thoughts and beliefs are better thought out than they actually are!

For that reason I have always also enjoyed participating in messageboard forums. The posts you write in such places tend to be much shorter and more spontaneous, and the feedback generally comes much more quickly and can be more brutal. The communities in such venues, even where there is a common interest, tend to be quite diverse. You will find a lot of people who generally agree with your posts or who like your style; but you will also find plenty who will disagree with you and who don’t like your style at all. In between those extremes you will often find very constructive criticism and opinions which genuinely challenge your assumption. I find that refreshing and challenging.

With that in mind here are three spiritually based forums I participate in that some readers might want to check out or even join.

Allpaths is a new forum made up of those of us who used to be regular members of a forum that no longer exists. It has the advantage of familiarity (since most of us have known each other in the past) and yet freshness; since we are all older and (possibly) wiser now and have new perspectives. It is also very much open to new members. While the majority of members are broadly pagan, it is also home to Christians and Satanists and everything in-between including strident atheists and honest agnostics. Debate there could and sometimes will get heated!

Earthsong Forums is a smaller and probably gentler spiritual community I frequent which is also dominated by members of pagan or earth based spiritual philosophies.

Satanism and Satanic Forum is a message-board owned and run by Aleister Nacht on which I am one of the moderators. It is a small but growing community and the title sums up the key focus. You don’t need to be a Satanist to join as long as you come with an open mind.

Looking back…

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Some things change, some things stay the same. When I started writing this blog about four years ago I was in the same job but lower down the pay scale; I was in an on/off relationship with a guy named Andy; I was a passionate pagan and my Mum was still living at home although her mind and general health had started to deteriorate. Now my Mum is in a care home and she hardly recognises me, spiritually I have become a very active and committed Satanist, I have found my soul mate and life partner who turned out to be a woman, and I have a fairly senior position in my company. Hmm, well it hasn’t been boring anyway…

Looking for some inspiration for something to write about this week I descided to look back through my blog and  remind myself what I have been writing about during the past four years. The following is a list of the ten most popular posts I have written during that time. Most of them, it turns out, were written in the last couple of years.

I’d Like To Be A Prostitute…
Sex And Morality
The Accidental Lesbian
YOU-NIQUE Award
Nudity, Art and Pornography
Liebster Award
Porn
Sex In Paganism
Sex Positive Feminism
Little Talks–Of Monsters And Men

Hmm, well I do see a trend there! When I started writing this blog I had no idea which direction it would take. I probably thought it would be a personal journal or perhaps a space to write about witchcraft and paganism… As it turns out, there’s an awful lot about sex in it!

I guess because of it’s catchy title and some of the tags I used, “I’d like to be a prostitute,” is by far my most successful post in terms of the number of visitors it attracted. I think it is a good post which probably covers deeper themes than some of the visitors were expecting. Then there are several more posts on sex and morality in various forms… Actually I am not ashamed to write about sex in a positive way and to argue that society needs to re-examine some of it’s outdated attitudes. Of course writing these things down has also helped me to clarify my own thoughts on these issues; and they are issues I am sure I will return to.

There are several related posts on bisexuality. I was always open about being bisexual but at the time I began this blog that was just a relatively insignificant aspect of what makes me tick. I fully expected to settle down with Andy or meet a new Mr Right and set about making babies. Meanwhile my bisexuality has allowed me to form a relationship with another woman which is very much the best thing that has happened to me ever. Funny how things go…

There are a couple of Award posts in the top ten which is not surprising since those posts by their nature tend to attract a lot of back traffic. I am quite pleased that the award I made up myself was the most popular one.

And finally there is Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men. I probably envisioned doing more music posts when I started this blog since music is one of my big passions. Actually there haven’t been many but Little Talks was certainly my favourite song of the past couple of years for many reasons.

But for today I will finish on a different song which seems appropriate…

Hathor Poem

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When you come to me
I take your spirit
from the stars
and clothe it
in a body of sensation
to finely focus you on form
to benignly bask you in bliss
You are here to experience delight
enjoy gratification
know satisfaction
have pleasure
in all ways
in all modes
in all aspects.
Pleasure makes you juicy
twinkles your eyes
enlivens your life force
The exquisiteness of existence
is pleasure
Get ready to feel so good

I found the above poem somewhere on the internet a long time ago. I don’t remember where unfortunately, but I do like it.

The Path Of Learning (1)

I follow a spiritual path. A lot of people say this but what does it mean? Define “Spiritual”. Define “Path”.

Spiritual is a word that is almost impossible to define in a way that is universally meaningful. Most people define it in their own subjective way. For some the word “spiritual” will always convey something positive. For some it will always have supernatural connotations which they may perceive as either good or bad. Others will always think of “spiritual” in a negative sense and may think of it as being something unreal, false or delusional.

For me “spiritual” means having an awareness of the deeper realities of the universe  and trying to understand and work with these realities in a practical way that makes life more fulfilling and perhaps more consequential. The deeper realities I speak of might be described best by quantum mechanics or sciences and mathematics yet to be discovered. On the other hand these same realities might have already been understood or at least glimpsed in various religions, philosophies and metaphysics of present and past times.

At it’s simplest level perhaps being spiritual is simply an awareness or feeling that there is more to the world than we know or can explain; coupled with a desire to find out more about it. The desire to find out more is where the word “path” comes in.

The path is simply the route we take through life. Everybody takes a path of some kind through life.  Some walk blindly and without any particular aim while others are much more deliberate in the route they take through life. Those with a “spiritual” disposition will tend to choose a route or path which they believe will bring them closer to understanding the realities of the universe. The truth is that nobody has a map. Nobody knows the most direct path to enlightenment (although some claim to). In reality we are all orienteering. We are all making our best guesses. Some people who don’t consider themselves spiritual at all may actually be on a much more direct path than some of us who do think of ourselves as spiritual. We just don’t know.

Sometimes however when going for a walk through the woods, getting from “A” to “B” is not the most important thing. It is the journey itself that is most important and the lessons and experiences one gains while travelling.

My path is a personal one and it has many themes. Harmony is important but “learning” is key. I am a Satanist; but my path is not one religion… I have also been a Christian, A Buddhist, a Taoist, A Pagan and I value the lessons I have learned from all of those religions and philosophies. Satanism describes the stage I am at now and I feel it is a philosophy with huge untapped potential to explore. It is the name of the street I am walking along now. I have no idea where this street will lead me or if there are other streets I will feel called to explore. For now though it is an exciting and challenging part of my personal path, my personal journey…

What seems most important to me though is to learn all we can on our journey whatever path we tale. There are lessons at every turn along the way and amazing things to experience. Life itself would seem a bit pointless if we didn’t absorb and reflect on all the sights and experiences along the way. And if we don’t like the path we are on it is always possible to take the next turning in the road or even carve out a new path for ourselves.

Me Now (July 2012)

I first did the following survey in December last year, so since more than  half a year has passed I thought it would be interesting to answer the questions again and see what has changed. (Last year’s answers are in black, today’s answers are in red).

My Mood today is… Variable, trying to make sense of where I’m at and where I’m going.                                                                                                                                      Reflective
Relationship status… Single                                                                                                                In a long distance open relationship with my beautiful soul-mate Sophie.

Health status… Quite good physically, quite strained emotionally
Good.
I would describe my spiritual path as… eclectic pagan and taoist but the path is overgrown and meandering at the moment.
Firmly Satanist but still pagan and eclectic with a deeper than ever respect for Taoism.
Main thing on my mind is… my mother.
Still my Mum really, but also planning lessons and thinking about a possible promotion.
My ambitions are…. Long term to get a book published, medium term continued success at work and short term getting the basics back on track.
Much the same but I have more concrete work plans and I feel more on track.
What I want most is…. My mum to be happy, healthy and settled. The same might apply to me.
I want my mum to be as healthy, happy and comfortable as she can be for as long as possible. For myself I want more financial security and perhaps a new flat of my own, or one to share…
What I need most is…. Rejuvenating rest and an injection of positive energy.
Well I guess I still need more rest.  proper holiday would be nice!
I have been reading…. Nothing much lately.
Lot’s of things about Satanism
I have been watching... Strictly! And I also enjoyed Danger In Paradise on BBC.
Dynamo; Magician Impossible, Wallander and Star Trek Voyager repeats.
I have been listening to…. Lush and other old favorites on my Ipod.
The Oysterband, The Tindersticks and Of Monsters And Men
My best characteristics are….
Empathy, listening and usually a positive outlook.
The same.

My worst charectoristis are… indecisiveness and being strong willed; a strange combination.                                                                                                                                Probably still indecisiveness, I have come to terms with my strong will and quite like it!

My vices are… smoking and drinking, sex when possible and with the right person, music artists and musicians!                                                                                      Sill the same, and I still enjoy all my vices shamelessly!

Politically I would describe myself as… Opinionated and left wing but increasingly frustrated with all mainstream parties.                                                                  No real change, maybe my libertarian tendencies are showing more.

In terms of fashion and lifestyle I would describe myself as… Alternative chic! No change although my inner goth is in ascendency!
I would like to learn… How to paint and draw and how to play a musical instrument, and many other things.                                                                                        No change
My recent regrets are…  Not being able to do more for my Mum.                                     No change
My recent achievements are... Good feedback from my students and colleges. Similar with promotion opportunities. Also feeling more grounded spiritually
My message to myself is… Be yourself and live as fully as you can.                      That was good advice and I am keeping to it, Be yourself and live as fully as you can.

I’d like to invite my readers to answer the above questions for yourselves. You may find it therapeutic or cathartic. Might even make an interesting blog post if you feel like sharing…

Pascal’s Wager in Reverse

 

“Pascal’s Wager” is the name given to an argument by french mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal for believing, or for at least taking steps to believe, in God. By “God” he meant the God of Christianity. The argument goes something like this; paraphrasing… “If God exists  then by following him and living as his scriptures dictate you stand to gain everything. If you don’t follow him you will ultimately lose everything. If God doesn’t exist, you may not gain anything by following him but you have nothing to lose by doing so. So the safe bet; the one in which you stand to gain the most and lose the least is to live as if God does exist.”

Well I like Pascal but I don’t agree with his reasoning in this case. While I’m not an atheist myself I can think of all sorts of atheistic counter arguments; not least being that it would be a complete waste of your life to follow a doctrine you don’t believe in or agree with and not do the things you really want to do, just out of fear that the Christians might be right after all. That would remove all authenticity from your life.

I have my own argument in response to Pascal. Now I am a Pagan, an eclectic Satanist in fact, and I don’t believe in Christian myth, theology or doctrine at all. However, for the sake of argument let’s assume that I am wrong and that Christianity is largely true. I die, judgement day comes and I am slightly surprised, confused and agitated to find myself in front of the Perlly Gates awaiting judgement. The Christian God asks what I have to say for myself before judgement is passed?

“Well,” I reply a little nervously, “I’m really sorry but I just wasn’t convinced by you or your Church during my life. As a result I disobeyed many of your rules, did all sorts of sinful things which I have to confess I thoroughly enjoyed at the time.  I practiced witchcraft, I honored and prayed to other Gods including your arch enemy Satan. I probably lead several other people astray too. All I can say is, it felt right at the time. On the other hand I can honestly say that I always tried to be a kind and helpful person. I did what I could to help the poor, the sick and the underprivileged. I supported a lot of good causes and did a little bit to protect animals, the planet and it’s environment.”

Now the Christian God might respond in two ways. He might say “To hell with you! Your good deeds don’t count at all. You are full of sin and you allied yourself with Satan. Off you go!”

In which case I would think “Well I am glad I followed Satan rather than such an arrogant, jealous and unforgiving entity like you. I lived my life honestly and what little good I may have done, I did for genuine reasons and not just to get into the exclusive heaven club. If there is really suffering in hell that is bad but it is also unjust. Moreover at least I am likely to have better company there with people I respect whose good works were not done just to guarantee entry into an exclusive heaven.”

Alternatively the Christian God might say, “Hey I am nowhere near as nasty as some of my followers make me out to be, and I know you have a good heart despite the mistakes you have made. You are welcome here anytime you want!”

In which case I will think, “Oh, that’s nice and perhaps I will have a peep inside and see what the membership benefits really are. But I am still pleased that I was true to myself in life and tried to do what I thought was right at the time without denying myself the many pleasures that being alive can involve.”

For me the safest wager is to be kind and helpful when appropriate and to live as fully and authentically as possible while in possession of this gift of life.