The Nine Noble Virtues and Me

These are part of Heathenry, abbreviated NNV.  They are:  Courage, Discipline, Fidelity, Honor, Hospitality, Industriousness, Perseverance, Self-Reliance, and Truth.  I try to live by them each day.  I think about how I can apply the NNV to my life.  I find them challenging, especially Self-Reliance and Courage.  There is no concept of sin in Heathenry, but dishonor.  The NNV were created by Heathens around the 1980s after reading documents from older times (the Eddas and sagas).  We don’t have the Ten Commandments or anything like that.  There are other lists of virtues too depending on the Heathen group.

Currently I am facing another health challenge:  because of symptoms, I need to have a colonoscopy on the 3rd of February.  So I’m summoning Courage to get through it, and Perseverance and Discipline to go through the prep (which I hear is pretty awful, worse than the procedure).  Wish me luck!

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Heathen holidays

Today I wanted to discuss the holidays I celebrate.

I celebrate 8 pagan/heathen holidays which occur roughly 6 weeks apart:

1. Yule (which I celebrate from Mothernight the night before the Winter Solstice, the Solstice itself, through New Year’s Day)–some heathens celebrate a whole month but I observe for the 12 Days only

2.  Imbolc/Disting (also known as Groundhog Day; February 2)–a day to celebrate the beginnings of spring; a day for blessing the plough and other work objects

3.  Spring Equinox in March

4. Beltane (April 30)–a time to honor the earth’s fertility

5. Summer Solstice in June

6.  Lammas on Aug. 1 (the first harvest)

7. Fall Equinox in September

8.  Samhain/Winternights in late October around Oct. 31–a time to honor my ancestral dead and get ready for winter

I also celebrate Christmas and family birthdays.  Happy Holidays to all!

Gods, goddesses, ancestors, and land spirits

Today I’m going to write about the divine beings that help me through life.  I work in a Heathen/Northern Pagan tradition and we believe in many gods and goddesses.  We also seek the help of our ancestors and the land spirits.

You’ve probably heard of some of the Norse god/desses already:  Odin, Freya, Frigga, Thor.  There are many others.

I like my religion because I can worship the god/desses of my ancestors (I am Swedish, German, and English) and I can also give honor to the ancestors themselves.  I have many beloved ancestors that I interact with on a regular basis:  my deceased cats, grandparents, friends who died.

I have also discovered the land spirits and ask their help as I drive every day through their realm.

 

 

 

Living with chronic illness

Good morning!  Today’s blog entry is going to be about living with chronic conditions.  I have asthma, bipolar disorder, GERD, Barrett’s esophagus, irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.  Most of the time I manage pretty well with them and lead a relatively normal life.  I try to schedule appts with my 4 health care professionals in the evenings, but much of the time that’s not possible and I need to take time off work.  I hope to develop a work style with flexible hours so I can accommodate my conditions.  Meanwhile, I am grateful to my team for letting me have time off, and making other accommodations.

Sometimes I have flareups.  The latest is that I got a cold this week which is getting worse and I’m heading to the doctor this afternoon, after an appointment with a new gastroenterologist this morning.  I plan to bundle up–it’s cold out there.  I took the day off and made the doctor appointments for today.  I hope to be feeling better soon.

One thing that has helped me is massage.  I joined Massage Envy in Apple Valley last month; membership includes one massage each month with my monthly fee.  Massage has virtually eliminated some back pain that I had and I am sleeping better as well.

Have a great day everyone!  More later.

 

MLK Day, dreams, and work

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day and I was at work on it for probably the first time in my career, since I temp at a company that didn’t have it off.

In between calls, I thought about dreams, MLK’s and mine.  He had lofty dreams.  Mine are less lofty and more personal.  I dream about having more of my work published and working at a writing job.  Lately I’ve been dreaming about self-employment and wondering if it’s for me.  I’d love to be able to work my own schedule, and decide what projects I work on.  Like MLK’s, my dreams will involve a lot of work and sacrifice, and some may take a long time to be realized (if they are at all).

A typical Sunday

I use Sunday to get ready for the next work week as I work Monday-Friday.  I hard boil 3 to 4 eggs as I like to bring salads most days.  That takes about 40 minutes.  In between I do laundry and read the Star Tribune (the Minneapolis paper).

I make my own ice tea as well since it’s so expensive to buy it.  To make ice tea I use bottles I have left over from the last time I bought commercial ice tea.  For each bottle I heat 2 cups of water with a tea bag in the microwave for 3 minutes.  Then I let it steep for a while.  I will drink a bottle of ice tea with my breakfast each weekday morning (need the caffeine for the commute).  My mom taught me how to make ice tea.

I’ll make a salad for Monday once the eggs are done.  I like to have lettuce, olives, croutons, cheese (colby jack or cheddar), and cut up meat (ham, chicken, bacon, or turkey) on my salad as well as the hard boiled eggs.

I also love to play Sims Medieval, read, play games on my new Kindle Fire that my sister’s family got me for Christmas, and take a nap.  Sometimes my sister’s family will come over for dinner.  I’ll watch sports if it’s on, and go to bed early as I have to work Monday.  I make sure the alarms are set to 4:50 am.

You’ll notice I didn’t mention church.  That’s because I go very seldom.  I practice an eclectic spirituality (I’m more spiritual than religious).  I like to do a devotion every morning, remembering my ancestors (especially those who died recently), and on Sundays I try to say my pagan prayer beads (a pagan version of the rosary).  Currently I am practicing Northern Tradition paganism (Scandinavian/English/German for me) and also maintain ties to my Christian roots.  I’ll write more about my spiritual views later.

Downton Abbey

I enjoy watching TV, and Downton Abbey is my favorite show right now.  It comes on our local PBS station from 8-10 pm Sundays; the second season began last Sunday and runs through mid-February.  I find it fascinating:  the characters, the period (season two is about World War I Britain), the storyline.  I wish I had created the series.  Julian Fellowes is a gifted writer.

My favorite characters are Gwen, a housemaid turned secretary, and the Dowager Countess of Grantham, who is the matriarch of the family.  In fact, I took a quiz on the Guardian’s site (The Guardian is a newspaper in the UK) and found out my Downton Abbey character was the Dowager Countess.  That was fun.

One of my co-workers watches it too and we like to talk about it at work.

I’m excited to watch tomorrow night’s episode.  I tape it every Sunday night and watch it the next weekend, as I go to bed early on work nights.