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MindSay was a popular blogging site around 2003 - 2006. MindSay is preparing to relaunch itself this year, in 2016.

MindSay's mission is to enable the writer within ourselves.

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Interview! I have an interview with my prospective new job tomorrow morning at 11:30! I'm really…
 
4 hrs ago / @mystupidmouth +
(no subject) Well, guys. It’s getting closer. We’ve got a countdown chain hanging in the classroom. Four…
 
12 hrs ago / @almost23 +
Hrm. So, I have a car now. Randomly. My grandparents got a new one from my uncle, and my nana wanted me to…
 
14 hrs ago / @tiredchild +
(no subject) Realizing you were friends with someone solely out of convenience is a really shitty thing.
 Have a Bear x 1
yesterday / @mystupidmouth +
okokok

I might be working on a feature called, “OMG, DRAFTS!” at the moment.  

 

Drafty McDraftyface wouldn’t fit in the UI.

 

The feature should be very easy to use.  Worked most all of the day on it.  I will need to work a total of three days on it I estimate, if I don’t run into big problems.

 

I think you all will like it. 

 

Hugs and “happy” Monday :)

 

EDIT / UPDATE

The feature is ready for testing!

 

I invite you to check out http://www.mindsay.com/superpost2.mws

 

That version of the editor has the ability to load & save multiple drafts :)

 

Even works on mobile.

 

The feature has as minimal and simple a UI as possible.  When the page loads, it won’t even show up unless there actually is a draft saved.  It can be shown (or hidden) with the ‘Drafts’ button, the very last button on the second row next to the “Source” button.

 

Please let me know if you find any issues, weirdness, or just comments – thank you!

 

Lastly, I also hid the Tags line as an experiment (you can click the word ‘Subject’ and it will reveal the Tags line for now).  I don’t think Tags make as much sense when the site is small again, and not many people are using them.  I might be wrong about this so TBD.

 

 I like this x 1Cool beans x 1
3 days ago / @dustball +
(no subject) One more thing about the MindSay community (that stands out in my mind, at least) is how consistently…
 I like this x 2I like this x 2
4 days ago / @dustball +
Dream Of An Alien Dystopian Society Part of last night, I had a rather vivid dream that I think was…
 
yesterday / @resipsaloquitur +
(no subject) I feel better today. Thanks for everything, folks. Probably gonna post some more stuff…
 I like this x 2I like this x 2Love x 1
6 days ago / @attentionreader +
overcoming all that i was taught after doing that kinda stream of consciousness writing earlier, i was…
 I like this x 2I like this x 2Cool beans x 1
4 days ago / @morte +
Today's project (#1)

Why is it so hard for our landlord to do simple shit like pick the right size screws? What the shit. I’m fixing this (first picture). And I know it’s not hard but it’s annoying as hell that, if nothing else, they’re incapable of holding a freakin’ screw up beside the door and saying “oops the screw is bigger we should get a smaller one”!!???

 

So the second picture is the door, just after I started… the brown is the third-down layer of paint, the white is fourth, the pink is fifth, and the next cream is sixth. I’m working on scraping it all off so I can sand the door down and repaint it… the paint is all like streaky and terrible? Even beyond the fact that half the top layer was peeling off when we moved in, it looks awful, so I’m hoping it’ll make it look better to repaint.

 

 

 I like this x 1Cool beans x 1Good idea x 1
3 days ago / @xRainbows4eveRx +
print me a beautiful houseboat,... and some lovely ice tea too please! today was a slothful day……
 
yesterday / @chri +
I'm an ox... in a good way! So I was feeling down on myself this morning as I got dressed. I work out…
 I like this x 1
3 days ago / @c4fine13u22 +
Bridge Over Troubled Water Yesterday, we attended the opening of a new bridge over the bay in front of my…
 LOL x 1
3 days ago / @Littleblue +
humble thyself, & he shall lift you up i never had the balls to ask my father if he wanted me. the…
 
2 days ago / @morte +
Nearing the End

I had a few good days but so far I haven’t really been able to shake completely this depressed feeling.

 

Is depression something I’m just going to have to deal with for the rest of my life? Is this just like… who I am? Why am I even fucking depressed??

 

Maybe it’s my relationship.

 

I came home early from visiting Jeff for the weekend yesterday. I sort of wanted to get my laundry done but couldn’t get motivated enough to do it. Depression is awful for a lot of reasons, one of them being that you feel like shit so you’re not taking care of shit and then you feel like shit because you feel life a failure piece of shit for not taking care of stuff and it just keeps getting worse and worse. But it’s like… how do you get out of it?

 

It seems like this just came out of nowhere. I was fine. I thought I was, at least. I felt like, before this, I was feeling perfectly content and okay, happy even. And now I’m questioning like… what’s the point of life?

 

I’ll just be perfectly honest. I hate to say it, but I injured yesterday. 

 

But before I did, I tried to have a talk with myself about what was going on. I tried to talk to myself through why I was feeling how I was feeling, where it came from, WHAT the feelings actually ARE, to identify them… and think of ways to improve the situation.

 

I tried.

 

 

It wasn’t Jeff’s fault I injured. It’s never anyone’s fault. Nobody MAKES me injure. But there was a situation that happened that made me feel … awful. But I’m pretty sure I just overreacted. A thought which, in my mind, is part of why I even ended up injuring at all.

 

Let me explain.

 

In general I think things have been not as good between us. I think the whole engagement thing and then broken engagement thing has been something I’m maybe holding onto in the back of my head. I’m just generally aggravated with him. The fact that he doesn’t ever seem to think that there’s a good reason to sit and talk with me directly about something aggravates me. We talked a couple of times about the engagement thing and he just… Well, we never really get to the sort of conversation that I want to have. He generally either talks in circles or tries to convince me that breaking off the engagement was a misunderstanding. At this point, I don’t even want to be engaged anymore. But it’s because of all of this! But then what does that mean for my life? For he and I being together?

 

I think I resent him because in a way I feel like he’s holding me back by not being forthright with me. He tries to give the impression that he is, but I don’t really feel like he is. He gives the impression that he’s trying, and willing to try, and has his times when he is absolutely wonderful to me and for me… he really is… which I why I wanted to marry him… But then, he like… confuses me. 

 

My point is, maybe this resentment that I’m carrying is seeping into my attitudes and behaviors towards him and it’s really making things worse and worse and worse. I treat him terribly sometimes. I hate to say that but it’s true. But … somewhere in the back of my mind, I have this idea like he deserves it somehow. Which he doesn’t. I know that. He deserves for me to have a conversation with him if I’m bothered by something so we can try to work on it.

 

BUT if I DO try to do that then I feel like I can’t express myself properly or he just gets hurt or it just doesn’t end up in a satisfactory way!!!

 

So I just carry this with me and it comes out. And he seems confused, and he tries to figure it out and tries to make things better and I can see that he’s genuinely hurt but …

 

At the core, somehow, I seem to have lost respect for him and trust in him. And respect is vital to a healthy relationship. Maybe it was a lot of little things, maybe it was a big chunk that got fucked up after the situation with Bryan’s girlfriend and then the engagement and then it’s been chipping away since then.

 

I don’t know how to repair it. I try to go into the time we spend together with it in my head that it’s going to be a nice time, that we’re going to get along, that I’m not going to get pissed off, that I’m not going to get irritated.

 

But then I do. Like yesterday.

 

We decided to go on a nature walk. Which he likes to do a lot, and I do too, but sometimes I don’t. I didn’t particularly feel like doing it today. Sometimes I just want to walk around in a downtown area and window shop and be around people and hustle and bustle. That’s what my family and I used to do a lot on the weekends and I miss my family and I haven’t been able to do that for a while and sometimes I want to do that. Granted, I didn’t voice this desire. Although I would have PREFERRED to walk downtown, going on a nature walk didn’t sound awful and even sounded kinda nice so I went with it.

 

It turned out to be beautiful. Jeff was familiar with the area we were in, from his childhood, so I sort of followed his lead. He wanted to go off the main path through this little grassy path in the woods, it almost looked like a deer path, but I said no. I was wearing a tank top, shorts, and flip flops, and he was dressed equally as poor for going into the forest, so I said no. Although I love exploring little clearings and paths in the forest, I just wasn’t dressed properly and didn’t feel like it.

 

So we kept walking.

 

Then a while later, we got to another clearing. This one looked particularly interesting because you could see that just a short ways into the forest, there was a stream running through the forest. It was beautiful. He suggested we go in again. This time I said yes, mostly because I wanted to check out the creek. So we get close to the creek, but he never stops and just keeps walking, keeps moving. I tell him I don’t want to go any further, I didn't want to go in the forest, I want to go back. He argues and says it’s fine. I keep saying no, he keeps saying it’s fine. I ask him where the hell he’s even taking us to, I’m not going on a forest hike, I’m not dressed for it, I don’t want to, and where the hell are we going. He says the path is fine and let’s keep walking and if we keep going we can cross the creek up ahead and follow the path up a hill and back out the forest. He says “the exit is just right up here”. I look ahead, I stand on a log and look past the creek and over the hill, and all I see is forest.

 

So now I’m pissed. I tell him I’m turning around and leaving the forest. He gets upset and asks why, pleads for me to come back, acts like I’m the one being fucking irrational. I tell him that he can go walk wherever he wants but I’m going back to my car.

 

He acts for a second like he’s going to keep walking, and then reluctantly turns around.

 

So why did this piss me off?

 

For obvious reasons… I’d already said I didn’t want to go in. But I decided to go ahead and go in a little bit to get the feel for it.

 

I feel like he lied to me and deceived me. He tried to tell me getting out would be just up ahead… it wasn’t. He KNEW I didn’t want to be in there, that I didn’t feel safe in there, and yet he clearly dismissed that, had no care for that, and wanted to lead me somewhere where I was uncomfortable anyway.

 

On top of this, it’s not like he even stayed by my side as we were walking through. He moved so quickly through the forest brush that he was a good several yards ahead of me and I was left behind trying to navigate in my fucking flip flops and shorts, with my long ass hair hanging down for any insect to hop into, by myself.

 

I just felt like what he did was really… rude, and disrespectful.

 

And when I tried to tell him this once we were both out on the main path, he acted like I was overreacted and being silly for not wanting to hike through the forest right then.

 

That was another slap in the face.

 

It ran through my mind at that moment that, I would not chose to be with this person right now.

 

You know that whole saying about how with long term relationships, you’re making the choice every day to be with that person? Well that came to my mind at this moment, and I thought, I wouldn’t chose this. I didn’t chose this.

 

So all my concern for this shit fell away, and I hiked on basically on my own, and he followed far behind me. We eventually got back towards the main road and there’s  bridge that crosses the river. I stopped on the bridge to enjoy a look around, and he catches up with me and tries to chat with me about the surrounding area like nothing’s happened. Which made me even more upset.

 

I didn’t even want to talk to him or be near him at this point.

 

And it wasn’t because I’m the kind of person who over reacts and holds grudges for misunderstandings and stuff.

 

But it’s little things like this… build up over time. Mostly it’s him acting like nothing happened, not bothering to just accept that I’ve gotten upset about something that happened or that he did, and apologizing, and us moving on. Maybe you’d argue he doens’t need to apologize. He never forced me into the forest. I made the decision with my free-will to go in there. But he tried to make me chose between following him further into a place I clearly said I didn’t want to be, or turning around and leaving by myself and spending the rest of my day alone after driving an hour to see him.

 

I chose to turn around. He tried to make me feel bad about that decision. If anything, for THAT I felt like he should apologize.

 

But he never did anything close to an apology. It was just me, being irrational and unwilling to have fun.

 

 

I remain pissed off, mostly because of his lack of acknowledgement of the fact that what had happened upset me. Even if he didn’t apologize, just acknowledge that I had a right to be fucking upset about it.

 

 

Eventually we walk back to my car, didn’t talk the whole way, and drive back to his house. I’m thinking I might just go see my grandparents, who live 10 minutes away from him, and forget about trying to spend the day with him anymore for now because I’m so irritated and feel so bad.

 

While we’re sitting in my car and he’s sulking and I’m waiting for him to say something, he discovers he has a tick on his leg. He freaks out and asks me to help him and I tell him I have no idea what to do for ticks, I’m from the desert, we don't have ticks…. And I said that that’s what he gets for going in the forest not properly dressed, and trying to take me in there too. That was exactly the reason I didn’t want to go in the fucking forest, so he deserves it.

 

He goes inside to try and remove the tick, and I decided to just leave. I didn’t want to be around him anymore.

 

So after being with him for only 3 hours, I turned around and drove an hour back home. He called me about 3 minutes after I got on the highway and asked if I was going home and if I had a change of heart. I told him that yes I was going home and that I wasn’t the one who needed to have a change of heart, he was.

 

He tried to apologize. NOW he tried to apologize.

 

 

 

Lately I’ve been finding myself really attracted to these rugged older men that come into my work. They have huge calloused hands, faces with skin that have seen a lot of sunlight from working outside. My guess is a lot of them grew up as farm boys, still work manual labor. I find them unbelievably sexy and attractive.

 

I used to see Jeff like this. But I don’t anymore.

 

Somehow I just don’t feel like… when I’m with him lately… Like I’m with like, a real man. And a real man isn’t about what you have. I don’t care that he’s still in school, or doesn’t make a ton of money. I don’t give a shit. But a man takes care of his shit, and that includes his lady. Yeah, I’m in charge of making sure I’m safe, and okay, and taken care of. I don’t hand that power over to someone else. But I expect that the person I’m with, man or woman, to support me, to be invested and show that he cares about my safety, my security, to have respect for my comfort levels and what I’m okay with.

 

It boils down to a respect thing.

 

I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t respect my comfort levels. I appreciate being challenged, being brought to face new things… that’s fun, that’s fine, that’s how we can grow together. But it shouldn’t be a challenge that I agree I’m willing to take on. It should be SAFE. But when someone outright says NO and you don’t respect that, then I lose respect for you in kind.

 

I don’t want to be with someone who just goes with my whims, either. Like I said, I want to be challenged in my relationship, I appreciate that as a part of growing and sharing and being together. If you truly thing I’m being irrational, that I'm blowing something out of proportion, then respectfully tell me so, and be engaged in the REAL issue WITH ME. A man is simply someone who is mature, mature enough to stay focused on what is important, to put his energy there, and respects himself and those he cares about enough to not let them fall into areas that are not important. Like in an argument or disagreement, not letting the focus go to something that doesn’t matter to the real issue at hand. I feel like I’M constantly the one trying to keep things on track, while he goes willy nilly all over the place.

 

I just want to not feel like I’m battling him all the fucking time. If I say no, RESPECT THAT. If I say that I feel like what you did was rude and disrespectful, don’t feel sorry for yourself, try to CORRECT IT. If you care.

 

I’m not even sure he cares anymore. I’m not even sure I care anymore.

 

And how do you repair that?

 

I guess he does. But I’m starting to doubt where that comes from. Does it come from a sense of trying to protect himself, or does it come from a sense of truly being a jacksass that doesn’t get things in the moment and has to see me get upset to the point of tears before taking me seriously and apologizing?

 

There never would have been a fucking need for an apology if he had just listened to me the first time, the second time, the third time I said NO.

 

If he truly wanted to go in there THAT fucking bad, he could have offered reasonable alternatives. “Do you have some better clothes with you for coming in the forest? Should we go change and then we can come back and hike around in the forest?” I probably still would have said no because I didn’t really feel like going on a hike that much that day anyway, much less in the forest, but it would be a better response if he really wanted to push it and have his way.

 

 

So I came home. I felt upset. I felt misunderstood. Confused. I had a lot of emotions that I couldn’t get out.

 

Like I said, things haven’t been that great between us lately anyway. So this was just sort of one more thing. And less and less, I feel like I can truly express myself with him because he always says I’m blowing it out of proportion or something rather than just listening and talking with me about it like a grown adult.

 

I feel like I’m with Diego again in that respect actually…

 

So, like I said, less and less I feel like I can express myself. For fear of being judged. For being judged as a person and having my emotions judged. So I tend to hold it in.

 

And holding it in is what brings me to cutting. Feeling like I’m not being heard. Feeling like I can’t say what I feel. Feeling like what I say doesn’t matter anyway. Feeling like there’s no interest in how I feel or what I say and no interest in understanding me.

 

That is what brings me to cutting. It all gets built up. It gets built up to where I can’t even dream of letting it out because it would be terrible if I let it out. I would say awful things that you can’t take back.

 

I just wanted things to be okay. I just wanted to enjoy a fucking hike with my fucking boyfriend. Even after things got fucked up, I still wanted them to be okay.

 

But I guess in some ways I dig a hole for myself. The more upset I get, the harder it is for me to get un-upset. It’s like… a simple apology would have worked earlier, but after my feeling of being disrespected and betrayed gets burried so deep from it not being acknowledged earlier, from feeling silenced earlier, it’s ten times harder to make up for it. Which I start to feel bad about. Because now here he is trying to apologize, but I find it almost impossible to accept it. And I couldn’t even tell him at this point how things could be made better, because I don’t know. All I can feel at this point is the upset, the burning in my chest, the deep, deep, intense aggravation and sense of helplessness. I’m already there. I don’t know how to get out of it, except to cut.

 

That’s my weak place. That place of deep aggravation and helplessness. I can get myself out of most feelings these days, when I want to cut. I haven’t cut in a long time. I’m 27 now and I have a good toolkit for how to take care of myself, how to move out of things. But that deep place is still a place I don’t know how to navigate.

 

I don’t know if I’ve explained this all as well here as I did to myself last night. But I feel like… after talking myself through this last night, I felt really good about the feelings I had identified. I felt good about the fact that I was able to put words and names to the things I was feeling, and to logically follow what made me feel that way exactly. I think this was actually the first time EVER that I was able to do that. Granted, I still injured, but I felt like it was honesltly a big breakthrough to be able to go through that mental process successfully.

 

And that’s why I wanted to write all this down. So I can revisit that process in the future if I need to. So I can remember it.

 

I don’t know if I want to try anymore with Jeff. Maybe I should try having one last talk with him, expressing some of the things I’ve expressed here, with my new found clarity about my feelings, and see what happens.

 

But I’m honestly not sure if, after that, I’d be able to put up with much more of this. Even after having a talk about everything, things wouldn’t be better over night. Making things better would require work, and effort, and patience. And I think I just might already be past that point. I’m not sure how to repair all the damage that I feel is done inside emotionally already. If somehow we decide we really want to try to save this, maybe we need to enlist outside help from a professional. That requires real commitment, money, time. No more fucking around. Either you’re in, or you’re out. I’m certainly not feeling equipped to move through this. I don’t know how the fuck he could feel prepared. I honestly think we’d need help. And I’m not sure he’d agree to that. I’m not sure we’d have any real chance at success with out it.

 

So we’ll see, I guess.

Or whatever.

 

 Have a Bear x 1
4 days ago / @divine +
Little Happy Yesterday, following some emotionally exhausting news, I asked Rick if we could go to the…
 
2 days ago / @smallsouldier +
Last weekend. We had fun
 I like this x 2I like this x 2
6 days ago / @almost23 +
(no subject) Had a great time with my parents at the game today. My dad is so much fun to watch/learn about sports…
 I like this x 1
4 days ago / @mystupidmouth +
(no subject) I’m babysitting farmer boy’s cat right now… he’s super rambunctious compared to…
 
2 days ago / @chri +
I don't even know anymore I feel fear. I am sad and scared and alone and I don't know where it came…
 I like this x 1
2 days ago / @attentionreader +
make decisions! my sister wants to come to ohio on friday. the goal is to roll out by 3pm; she works until…
 
2 days ago / @morte +
Aztec Gateway

Okay, so maybe it’s just hormones, but I’ve been feeling pretty good lately.

 

For a while I was depressed, which isn’t unusual for me, but it did get pretty dark there for a minute.

 

I’m not sure if this is going to continue very long, but I just wanted to sort of make some notes about what I feel might be going on.

 

Again, this could all be pure coincidence.

 

But, so it’s been about just over a week now since I’ve been intensely focused on learning about Aztec/Nahua religion. And I’ve actually slowly been incorporating some of these elements into my practice. I haven’t actively done anything to dedicate myself to this, I haven’t done any rituals or anything lately, but I re-printed my photo of the goddess Coatliue and also printed one of the god Quetzalcoatl, who I also felt a particular pull towards during my research. Interestingly, as I’m reading about how Aztec reconstructionists practice on a daily basis (I haven’t really found so far any recon. rituals at all), most of these elements were already a big part of my practice.

 

I’ve called myself pagan for over 13 years, and my practice has evolved a lot over the years, but for the past year and a half or so, my regular spiritual practice has looked something like this:

 

I have an altar where I try to spend time at least twice a day in dedication to my spirituality. Once in the morning, once at night.

 

I have a small candle (I prefer white but I’m really not too picky – I’ll use whatever I have if I run out of white candles) that I light during my time at my altar. This candle is placed in the center of a relatively flat, round, wooden candle holder that is really dark colored, practically black, with small round pegs on the bottom as “feet”. As a pantheist, this set-up represents to me the universe, and the creative spark inherent in everything in the universe. The universe IS God, and God is creative, and this candle represents all of that. Lighting it and blowing it out allows me a physical way to remind myself of this and to reflect on this.

 

I also have an incense burner. I was raised with the belief that incense is cleansing and purifying, (interestingly, research has actually found that incense smoke removes bacteria from the air) so I often burn incense, either sage, copal, frankincense, or pinon, to sort of “cleanse” my space. I especially do this if I’ve been stressed lately and have a lot of energy built up – I do it to sort of re-set myself. To be clear, this is not to make the space “sacred” like a lot of pagans do. I believe everything to be sacred already, so there is no need to make it so. The lighting of my candle, as described above, is a way of connecting to and affirming that concept.

 

After lighting my candle, and maybe my incense, I take a moment to be silent, and then I ground myself and spend some time contemplating the four directions and their balance and place in things, and how I am a part of that. I have a couple of prayers/poems written in my grimoire which I sometimes read, usually at night, to affirm my connection to my beliefs and my path.

 

I have another candle on my altar that I sort of consider my “prayer” candle – basically I think of the people I love, care about, anyone that’s on my mind, stir up some energy to send them, and then light the candle and let it burn while I’m at my altar. I re-affirm my feelings and thoughts before blowing it out when I’m done at the altar.

 

Drawing a tarot card is sometimes a daily practice, sometimes just weekly. I consider this a way to sort of get in touch with how I’m feeling, which is especially important for me because I have a long history of tending to not be in touch with my feelings and emotions. I can be very cold and let things build up, not even aware of how I’m doing. So the tarot gives me a chance to sit and be with myself and think about where I’m at and set an intention for where I want to focus. The cards themselves are not any kind of magical thing. They’re just a tool.

 

Then I do yoga most mornings, rarely at night. I’ve been practicing to strengthen and stretch my muscles, as well as ground myself and my mind. It’s been really good for me. Generally in the mornings I just do a few repetitions of sun salutations.

 

In the past year and a half, but less so most recently, I had a flat rock that I picked up either during a hike in the canyons outside Vegas or at the beaches in CA, I can’t remember anymore… and I used to use that as a place to put offerings or symbols of the seasons. If I went on a walk and picked up a small pine cone, for example, I would set it on my altar, atop this rock, for a while. Flowers. Incense. Etc. Incense have been a favorite way to do offerings for me for a long time. Sometimes I had offerings there, sometimes I just let it be there because I liked it a lot and it seemed a good addition to my altar.

 

Then I have my skull candle. I also have a skull which for a long time was on my altar, but now I just have a Sugar Skull sculpture with a space in the top for a candle which I prefer on my altar. I often light that as a symbol of darkness and death, life and rebirth, etc..

 

 

So, as I’ve been doing my regular practice the last few days, I’ve sort of been letting my intent veer over in the direction of honoring these gods that I feel pulled towards, in gentle ways, to see what it feels like to go that direction.

 

The Aztecs kept temple fires burning for decades (52 years to be exact), a constant fire, and it was symbolic of the central fire of the universe. Since this was basically the same concept behind my ‘center candle’ as I’ve called it (the one on the circular holder), I’ve had this Aztec intent in my mind when I light it.

 

My flat rock has become my momoztli, which is a raised flat seat for the gods. Scholars have suggested that the pyramids were themselves a sort of momoztli for the gods, and that may be true, but there were definitely smaller scale momoztli that were shrines and “benches” at the city center for the gods. I’m sort of setting this out with the intent of it being an invitation. If the gods are there and want to bring themselves into my life in some way, I have a place for them – if not, that’s fine. I want to be gentle about approaching this.

 

Ixiptla are images of the gods. As I mentioned, I printed an image of Coatlicue and Quetzalcoatl, and they are framed above my altar (I had pictures of sunsets I took while camping on the beach back in CA). Ixiptla are vital parts of Aztec religion. I previously had a photo of Coatlicue over a year ago, but I eventually moved away from it as it became inconvenient to accommodate on my changing altar. She’s back, with her son now. Right now, they’re just sort of there. The idea for the Aztecs was that they were ways for the gods to manifest themselves to devotees. Right now my intent is that it’s just a sort of way to honor them, to put my attention in that direction, whether or not anything comes of it. 

 

I could go on but I’m actually getting bored of explaining all of this. There’s three more elements, but as of right now only one of them is present on my altar, and the other two are way too committal for me right now. I’m just trying to sort of get a feel for this path is all, because of the strong draw I feel to it – I can’t help myself.

 

 

The last element I DO want to briefly cover is the element of song and dance in Aztec worship. Dance is seen as a way of aligning yourself with the universe. Dance is dedicated to the gods. The gods are seen as the forces that keep our world in motion. Dance is our offering to that motion, it is becoming part of that motion in a very real way.

 

Obviously, my yoga practice has become my motion that I dedicate. I can’t dance in my apartment… I live upstairs and my neighbors would kill me. Even if I could dance, I’m not even sure how I would. Yoga is already something I do, so I have been doing it with the intent in my heart that I am offering my motion, my movement, my breath, to the gods.

 

An interesting thing happened the first time I did this. Even though I’ve been practicing yoga most mornings for a few months now, I still get rocky and sometimes legit almost struggle through my sun salutations. Sometimes I feel forced, sometimes I feel tight, sometimes I almost fall over, often my transitions between poses are awkward and rough.

 

So I started my sun salutations like usual, did about two of them, and then I first had the thought to devote my yoga practice to the gods. So I started my third salutation with that intent, and I did like three more. 

 

Those four sun salutations were the most smooth, stable, strong salutations I have ever done. Going from plank pose, down through a pushup and up to cobra is definitely the hardest part of the sun salutations for me – but this time, I went down through my pushups with so much control, so much strength. And the whole thing was really smooth and strong, I just don’t know what else to say… But I couldn’t help but let it pass through my mind that maybe it was my intent of dedicating this movement to the gods that carried my movement in this way. 

 

Additionally, as I’ve gone through my days with this all on my mind, I’ve found myself feeling really good. Stronger. Less anxious. More confident, but also more… authentic. I’m usually a pretty anxious person, especially lately (before this week), but the past several days has been markedly different, and getting better each and every day. I feel like… Like there is wind beneath my wings. Which sounds SO fucking corny! I never thought I would say something like that in my life. But I can’t describe it as anything else.

 

I watched that long lecture by a native Mexican, a Nahua man – he speaks Nahuatl, doesn’t know English… He spoke of how people who follow the gods must carry themselves with dignity and strength. He said that how you live is a dedication to the gods itself, and so you stand upright, you stand strong, you look people in the eye, you be confident and worthy of the gods. The gods don’t want weak followers, followers who cannot honor them – Aztec lives are in honor of the gods, not just during rituals and offerings and sacrifices, but at all times through daily living. And when I think of this while at work, I feel myself straighten up and interact with people with more confidence, more openness, more warmth, more respect for myself.

 

When you’re depressed this is hard to do. When you’re depressed you feel like shit, and you can feel it on your face sometimes when you’re talking to people. I could, at least. But lately I’ve been reminding myself of what this man said… and I feel and see a marked difference in how I’m going about my days. People are reacting to me differently, too. They seem less awkward around me, I’m more calm, more stable, and having friendly conversations with customers, because I’m more comfortable with myself and they’re obviously more comfortable with me.

 

I’ve been pagan for 13 years, and I started out TRYING to be polytheistic. Most pagans are, so I thought I should be too. But it didn’t fit. European gods never did it for me. I tried connecting with Egyptian gods, too, but nothing still. I moved away from polytheism, and duotheism, and gods and the concept of god in general. I became pantheistic. The whole universe IS god. There is not “God”. Things just are, and that creative force IS Divinity. I haven’t used the word “god” to describe my concept of divinity for years. It’s just… divine, power. No mind. No heart. No thoughts or feelings. Divinity just is. And I still believe that.

 

But the Aztecs have a 3-layer view of all that is. Imagine 3 circles. On the outside perimeter, outside of anything we can fully comprehend, is teotl (pronounced “tay-oht” (I’ve also been studying Nahuatl, the Nahua language, to understand correct pronunciations) and meanings. This is the “sacred, impersonal force of the power in the universe”. A website found here describes teotl well:

 

Process, movement, becoming and transmutation are essential attributes of teotl. Teotl is properly understood as ever-flowing and ever-changing energy-in-motion -- not as a discrete, static entity. Teotl continually generates and regenerates as well as permeates, encompasses, and shapes the cosmos as part of its endless process of self-generation-and--regeneration. That which humans commonly understand as nature -- e.g. heavens, earth, rain, humans, trees, rocks, animals, etc. -- is generated by teotl, from teotl as one aspect, facet, or moment of its endless process of self-generation-and-regeneration. Yet teotl is more than the unified totality of things; teotl is identical with everything and everything is identical with teotl. Since identical with teotl, they cosmos and its contents ultimately transcend such dichotomies as personal vs. impersonal, animate vs. inanimate, etc. As the single, all-encompassing life force of the universe, teotl vivifies the cosmos and its contents. Lastly, teotl is both metaphysically immanent and transcendent. It is immanent in that it penetrates deeply into every detail of the universe and exists within the myriad of created things; it is transcendent in that it is not exhausted by any single, existing thing.

 

Like I have been for a long time now, Aztecs were pantheists. This is a very pantheistic understanding of everything.

 

But they were also polytheists, obviously.

 

The inside ring is the Gods. As I understand it, the gods are manifestations of teotl, as are we, but they straddle that line of creation and pure teotl more than we do. They are the hands that manipulate the motion of the universe. And then there is us, the manifestations, the physical, our world. I haven’t read anywhere that humans become gods, but there is definitely a concept that humans should live to align with the pure nature of teotl as much as possible. That this, along with honoring the gods who created us and give us life and sustenance, is our reason for existence.

 

The last part of my practice that I think interestingly already aligns with Aztec practice is my approach to prayer. Since being an adult, I don't see prayer or my time at my altar as a time to ask for things. My rituals are in HONOR or divinity. I use that time to connect to divinity, to remember and reflect on the divine, and to do things which I feel are devotional or in honor of the sacredness of life and the divine. I show gratitude. I don’t ask for things. I practice witchcraft to manifest things, which in most ways is separate from my spiritual practice. Likewise, the Aztecs spend their time honoring the gods. I’ve always had a hard time understanding the impulse to spend devotional time to make requests – to pray FOR things. What have you done to deserve that? And why don’t you simply trust your god and focus on living in a way that honors your God and is worthy of his blessings? To me, ritual and prayer are times to be reverent, and that is it.

 

 

The more I learn about this path, the more I am taken aback by its beauty. The more I learn… the more I must learn! I can’t help myself. I’m obsessed. There is so much depth, so much richness, and I have this overwhelming urge to take as much of it in as possible. This journey feels like a wheel that gently was nudged a few times throughout the past 13 or more years, and then nudged again… then got slowly, slowly, gently rolling… then slowed down… then got another push… and now it’s just… taking off. The further it goes, the faster it spins… and the further it goes.

 

It’s possible this is a phase. It’s possible. But it doesn’t feel like it. I’ve never printed photos of other gods. I’ve had many other interests, and phases, but I never devoted myself to other gods. I’ve never felt a spiritual and mental and psychological and emotional connection to a system or a path like I do this one. So I'm just going to heed the call I feel right now. And we’ll see where it leads me. That’s my whole approach to life right now. Just look, listen… and go.

 

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