thejunipertree: (Default)
01 - Introduction
02 – Your first love
03 – Your parents (this is long as HELL
04 - What you ate today
05 - Your definition of love
06 - Your day
07 - Your best friend
08 - A moment
09 - Your beliefs (photo intensive) )

10 – What you wore today
11 – Your siblings
12 – What’s in your bag
13 – This week
14 – What you wore today
15 – Your dreams
16 – Your first kiss
17 – Your favorite memory
18 – Your favorite birthday
19 – Something you regret
20 – This month
21 – Another moment
22 – Something that upsets you
23 – Something that makes you feel better
24 – Something that makes you cry
25 – A first
26 – Your fears
27 – Your favorite place
28 – Something that you miss
29 – Your aspirations
30 – One last moment
thejunipertree: (Default)
(edited to include the context)

It has been my experience that if a person realizes that they, as just a regular human being, are the most powerful creative or destructive force in their lives - without help from imaginary friends, crystals, religious accoutrements, books, rituals or any of that made-up claptrap, they will invariably shun such things.

My response (this is all in someone else's journal):

"I know I'm the most powerful creative/destructive force in my life. However, I still practice a religion. Minus the crystals and multiply the cigars and rum, of course.

I have a belief in the divine, but I don't believe that the divine dictates what I do or guides me in any way. Divinity, or God (for lack of a better term), isn't some invisible boogums in the sky. It's the remote spark that put everything into motion. I still believe in science to explain most things in this world, but I also still believe in the paranormal (in the truest sense of the word) to explain the things that science hasn't been able to.

If any of my friends thinks this makes me a moron and someone less worthy of respect, that's on them. They're more than welcome to see themselves out. And, to be quite honest, I'd prefer that they did. I don't want to be friends with anyone who thinks I'm some sort of subhuman."

So, this is an open call to any of my friends who believes that:

a. I'm a fucking idiot because I practice a religion different than theirs.


b. I'm a fucking idiot because I practice a religion, period.

Anyone who falls into one of those two categories is hereby officially invited to show themselves to the door.

End of story.
thejunipertree: (Default)
Hazy and disjointed.

I stood under a streetlight, moths and other night-insects buzzing around the halogen glow, my hands clasped loosely in front of me.

Feeling something fluttering between my fingers, I raised my hands to my face and saw that I held a handful of tiny magpies. Their little black beaks poked out between my fingers here and there, and shiny black eyes peered up at me. I felt their collective heartbeats against the thin skin of my palms and the sleekness of their feathers.

"You know what you need to do, girl." Ghede's voice from behind me, just out of the circle of the streetlamp's thrown light. "You have to let them go. They have a job to do."

I threw my hands up in the air and spread them far apart. The little birds burst into the air in a shower of black and white. I watched them circle around my head, their bodies growing larger with each pass before they shot out into the darkness and out of my sight. My night vision has never been good and standing under a streetlight, attempting to see beyond was futile. Their calls and cries drifted back to me, however, and my spine gradually turned to steel under their song.

I felt his hand on my shoulder, but didn't turn to look at his face.
thejunipertree: (Default)
Getting out of my car this morning in the parking lot of a grocery store, on my way to buy brilliantly purple carnations for Fet Gede, a large black and white bird perched on the handle of a shopping cart and cocked its head at me.

"Umm. Hello." I said, standing all of two feet away from it. What looked for all the world like a magpie bounced from one foot to the other, opened wide its black beak and clicked it furiously at me. I stood there, dumbly blinking, as the bird began to chatter loudly. Looking over my shoulder at it, I continued into the store.

It wasn't there when I came out with flowers and chocolate, though I looked around the parking lot for it.

Later on, lying in the grass at the cemetery with my eyes closed tight against the sun, I heard the chatter again, but when I sat up and looked around, the only birds I could see were a murder of surly-looking young crows some distance away. I drank rum and smoked cigarettes with the shade of my grandfather. I paid my year's debts to the Ghede. I curled my stockinged feet against autumn grass and wished I didn't have to go into work. But, I still didn't see that bird again.

Sliding behind the wheel of my car, as I was on my way out of the graveyard's dim quiet, I felt a fluttering of wings inside my chest and realized where the magpie had gone.

Learn to build your nest. It said to me, over and over again. Learn to build your nest before winter comes.
thejunipertree: (the ocean doesn't want me today)
The ocean keeps coming to me in my dreams. Angry and immense, lashing out against the coast. Waves tower above my head, seemingly thousands of feet in the air, to crash down and wipe away any who dared stand against it.

I've stood and watched the waves roll in. And every time I do, I wake with the taste of seawater in my mouth.
thejunipertree: (RAWR!)
Ahh, it's about time to bust out the sardines again.

I'm pretty fucking angry.

And what makes it worse is that the person who has roused my anger is someone I would have numbered among one of my friends. Not a close friend, like Thee Pumpkin Girl or Miss Robin, but a friend like the kind you make at work and go drinking with once in a while. One of those kinds of friends. Precisely that sort of friend.

Only it would appear that she really is not.

What's worse, other then the fact that her behaviour is completely nonsensical, is that I'm not the only one she's playing games with. And that is just un-fucking-acceptable. Especially when that other is someone I love very dearly.

I give people far too many chances, it's a terrible fault of mine. However, once my breaking point has been reached, there is generally no turning back. I hold grudges like a motherfucker. I may be wifty enough to walk away from a running faucet because I forgot I turned it on, but do me wrong? I'll never forget.

I'll have to stop at the grocery store tomorrow, after work. If I get there early enough, they'll still have the fresh fish out. It's much easier to write someone's name on a whole, fresh sardine. The canned ones just don't jive.
thejunipertree: (you done fucked up)
The rats are fighting, squeaks and squeals and falling down to the bottom of the cage.
The cats are fighting, screaming and fur flying and pounding feet down the hallway.

I am sitting here at the computer, half-forgotten cigarette in my tiny black ashtray that I keep meaning to replace, wanting to lie outside in the grass until my brain stops burning and my skin stops crawling. Only the grass which is currently outside isn't very conducive to this desire.

Winter grass.

My anger from the other day is not my story to tell. However, let's just say that someone treated a dear friend of mine very callously and with no respect. And for that, I have been contemplating some serious bad ju-ju. My friend would most likely be rather upset with me if I did indeed release said bad ju-ju, therefore I won't.

But, it feels so fucking good to think about it.
thejunipertree: (Default)
Feeding the Lwa tonight, in a brand new black and red bowl I bought for just the occasion. I've been an extremely bad one, as I haven't done this in a long time. No wonder my luck's been so poor lately. This needs to be mended. And soon. Maybe I'll buy a new bottle of rum with my next paycheck and really suck up to them for my behaviour.

My brain is more than a bit tired out, though it hasn't really been brought out and trotted around the block this entire weekend. I think it's more extreme physical exhaustion (shovelling snow two days in a row), than anything.

I refuse to move my car from its cleared space because the second I do so, I KNOW some schmuck will swoop down and steal my and the Engineer's hard work away from us. And there's no where else on the street cleared out enough for my car to fit.

Tomorrow, I'll write more. At the moment, I'm just too tired and in need of a long, hot shower.
thejunipertree: (the Baron)
I stood in the doorway of his library and watched him pour over another dusty tome I'm not allowed to touch. Dim light fought to stream through the curtains, but was halted in its efforts and instead gathered in drips and drops at the edges of the heavy drapes.

"Poppet," he said without raising his head. "I would rather you not lurk around like some hungry ghost. You're free to enter here any time you should desire, you know this by now."

Quietly, I crept next to his chair and pretended to not attempt reading the book he had open in front of him. But, every time I peeped over his shoulder, the words ran together in a runny swirl of meaningless and my eyesight swam blearily. He closed the book, making his own effort to not notice me sneaking glances at the pages, and looked up at me steadily.

"You are a strong girl," he told me. "You know this, although you refuse to admit that to yourself for some unknowable reason. But, you're not strong enough to hold it all in."

I blinked, confused. "Hold what in?"

"This." He laid one hand over my heart. "And this." His hand again, barely touching my forehead.

I sank to the floor and stared numbly at my fingers and hands, then rested my head against the padded leather arm of the chair he sat in.
thejunipertree: (Default)
So, I have taken today off from work as a religious holiday (Fet Gede). Which means I will shortly be heading to the cemetary to visit with my paternal grandfather and leave some things there as an offering to the Baron and company. I did it last year as well, to great effect, but this year I'd also like to visit my maternal grandfather (as well as grandmother, whose partial ashes are buried with him). The problem is: I don't know where that cemetary actually is.

I've only been to it once, and that was when I was rather young. It's probably been about twenty years or so. I remember standing at the age of the grave in a light rain with my mother and brother, one Easter morning. I think it's in Woodbury, but am unsure. Mom, when prompted, couldn't remember the name of the place. Now I'm forced to check the phone book.

Do they even list cemetaries in the phone book? And if I called one, would they be able to tell me if someone was buried there?

Years ago, when I went searching for my paternal grandfather's grave, I knew what cemetary it resided in, but didn't know where the actual plot lie. I visited the caretaker's office in person and they were able to point it out to me (it doesn't have a marker). But I'm unsure if they can tell me anything over the phone. For all I know, it could be some little podunk boneyard.

At any rate, I'm leaving my entire (and unopened!) bottle of Barbencourt rum as the main focal point of my offering. Three quarters of a pack of cigarettes and any candy I can scare up. Some candles. I was going to buy some cigars, but I couldn't find any that I liked. The Barbencourt is being left because I'm asking for some fairly hefty favours.
thejunipertree: (Default)
In a craft store spree this afternoon, I bought some new things for my altar. I also made a decision to dismantle said altar and then, errr, re-mantle it. I'm taking all of the lwa off except for the Baron, Maman Brigette, and the unnamed one. The only other representations on the altar will be my ancestors, who are currently just my two grandmothers, Dorothea and Helen. The altar will also be moved from my closet bedroom to my mother's room, which is where I have been sleeping since May.

This may sound kind of stupid, but have you tried talking to the Baron?

I talk to him every night, but he hasn't been answering.

I'm done talking.
Now I'm outright pleading.
thejunipertree: (Default)

You don't have to read the post the comments are on, as it's not entirely relevant, just the commentary included at the bottom.


The funny thing is, for ages I balked at the notion of being lumped in with the pagans. I used to get quite angry if someone referred to me as such. However, over time, I grew more at ease with myself and my spiritual practices and while I didn't wholly embrace the label with starry eyes and open arms, I did kind of accept it in a grudging manner.

After all, one can only hear about pagan festivals featuring Vodou seminars and see pagan groups welcoming practioners of Vodou so many times before one just lies down and takes it.

Now I'm being told that I am, in fact, not a pagan?
Oh, the humanity. This is so very typical of my "luck".


Also of note, I don't recall ever hearing the term "the Vodoun" used to mean practioners of Vodou. Vodoun is just another spelling for Vodou, to my knowledge (okay, not entirely true. It's usually used for the West Africian Dahomean kind). It's always been vodouisant or practioner. This must be researched.

Preferably when it's not so late.
And not when I have itchy allergy eyes.
thejunipertree: (Default)
The surgery actually happened today.
And it went rather well, all things considered.

They did find a very small tumour on her abdominal wall, which was removed as it was in the way of the sutures they planned to sew in. The surgeon also felt the tumour in her liver, which he said isn't very big (about the size of a quarter, which means it hasn't done any growing in all this time of no chemo) and isn't placed in a bad spot. He also felt the tumour on her kidney, which is blocking one of the stints.

I saw her after the surgery, briefly. I didn't want to stick around as I was bone tired, for one thing, and because I wanted her to get some rest. She asked me not to leave, so I stayed for a short amount of time. But, as soon as she started to feel the effects of the painkillers, I skipped out.

Sitting in the surgical waiting room earlier this afternoon, I knitted for the first time in months. The Cookie Monster blue fun fur scarf that I started in December and never finished. Pulling into myself, I lost my consciousness in the stitches and the clicking needles. In my head, over and over again, I repeated one phrase:

Don't dig her grave yet, Baron. Don't dig her grave.

After some time, I realized I was saying it aloud. I looked up, glanced around to see if anyone had been listening and was now reaching for the phone to call security for crazy-girl-removal. No one seemed to have noticed, except for one man sitting across the way from me.

He seemed very tall, even from his sitting position, and his teeth gleamed brightly against his black skin as he flashed a grin at me. I couldn't make out his eyes, as they were hidden behind tinted glasses. But, he nodded at me and said, "That's a nice scarf you're working there, girl." I stammered a thank you and rose, suddenly and desperately needing a cigarette, slightly embarassed that someone had heard my mumbling.

As I passed him on my way out the door, he tipped an imaginary hat at me and crossed one leg over the other. I smiled over my shoulder and he nodded again, returning my smile with one of his own.

Outside, I lit my cigarette with shaking fingers and wondered whether he just happened to know who I was praying to or if my quiet prayers had actually called the Baron to briefly ride an unsuspecting horse. Either way, when I returned to the waiting room, he was gone.
thejunipertree: (the Baron)
He came to me, unbidden as always, in a dim library I have dreamt of before on several occasions. Sunlight bravely slanted through half closed draperies to drift in dusty puddles against the wooden floor. I am sitting at a long, low table with my head in my hands and propped over a book of saints. Its pages are full of bloody and colourful illustrations, my mind is full of incongruous questions. He leaned against the table, all graceful lines and sharp angles, with one leg propped elegantly against a chair. I peered up at him warily as he smiled down on my face.

"Poppet," he said. "You won't find the answers you're seeking in that dry, old tome." Leaning over, he tapped his two fingers against brittle paper pages, his index finger covering the impossibly serene face of St. Lucy. "You'll find them in here." His fingers rose to lightly brush the delicate skin of my forehead. "Work for it and they will come to you."

I scowled and pulled away from his touch. "Sir, it would be improper of me to begin spewing profanity at you in this place, though I feel an immense urge to. Therefore I will just say, quite plainly, that I have indeed been working for it and it eludes me still. Your insinuations of my famed laziness are annoying, at best."

He puffed a long breath of exasperation at me, the ever suffering teacher to the dunder headed pupil! He dropped his hand, which had remained in the air at my eyes' level, back to the book and began flipping back through the pages. The pages sang softly of his irritation.

Finally, he stopped their song and placed one finger directly under the entry he was looking for. "There," he said. "That is what you wish to know, though it pains me immeasurably that one of my ti fey could be so very thick-headed at times." He moved his hand from the book and slid it into an inner pocket of his suit, removing a folded over length of dark linen and laid it over the open pages.

I unrolled it to find finely made instruments, glinting sharply in the failing light. "The enterotome," he whispered. "The scissored hemostat. A long handled scalpel. All of these things and more can be found in her sword." He reached across the table to where a copy of Gray's Anatomy sat, long ago cast aside by some other furrow browed and frowning occupant of the library. Sliding it next to the displayed tools, he said "This book can be found in her bible." He stood from the his place at the table and walked behind me. Silence filled the room for such a length of time, that I imagined him gone. Then his voice swam against my ear, a smooth shadow. "And the calla may be found in her cloverleaf. Oh, my poor girl. I know you have been having a rough time of it, but your brain needs to wake itself again."

A small touch to my flaming cheek and he was gone again, as quietly as he had come.

I closed my eyes and impatiently shoved aside florid embarrassment, opening them again when I was sufficiently calm enough to read what he had so graciously pointed out. I scanned it once quickly, then again at a more leisurely pace. And a large grin began to spread across my face.

Some questions had indeed been answered and clarity was now shed on so many other notions that had once been previously and painfully obscured.
thejunipertree: (Default)
It never ceases to amuse me that when people don't agree with another's religion, they immediately go the "that's a pile of make believe shit" route. How very incredibly ignorant and single minded.

Despite the fact that there are myriad religions out there that I don't necessarily fancy, I would never presume to tell someone that what they believe in is a bunch of made up crap. Even if it is, in fact, something that was made up in this century or something that I think is rather silly. You want to worship a head of cabbage? Go ahead, have a ball. Just don't tell me that I need to do the same or else I'll spend the rest of eternity burning in a vat of hellfire and coleslaw.

Take Wicca, for instance. I disagree with the majority of the religion. I think most of the people drawn to it tend to be social misfits, usually with no clue about anything. They seem to be the disenfranchised, the abused, the fat-kid-picked-on-at-recess, the one who had the Bible shoved down their throat all their life. Who am I to tell them that the religion they found and are now embracing is a pile of hooey? It works for them, it would appear. It makes them happy. It gives them a sense of peace and a feeling of self-worth. I may think it's fluffy, but I wouldn't ever tell them that they're ridiculous simply because they're going down a path that I choose not to. I'd tell them they're being ridiculous if they're, well, being ridiculous. I know a few Wiccans, some of whom are my friends. The ones I've chosen to be my friends are more of the down to earth type, but that's just due to the fact that I don't wish to surround myself with tree-hugging hippies blinking faerie dust from their eyes.

Also as an example, Christianity. I ride the fence with a lot of the points of this religion. It seems to work better (for some people) more as a theory, rather then in proper execution. I disagree with a lot of it, but there are still some very valid facets to it. Most people seem to follow it because it's just what they know. It's what their parents practiced and their parents' parents and so on. They were raised in it, so they're going to stay in it. It gets a bad rap, but mostly because of what its followers seem to do in its name. I know a fucktonne of Christians who are rocking people, though. And we have the best debates about religion and ethics. Especially when I decide to play Devil's Advocate, which is most of the time.

At their cores, both Wicca and Christianity seem like rather nice religions. They're just not for me and therefore, I don't practice them.

My own religion may seem very bizarre to the common person. Usually the only things they've ever heard about it are outright lies from sensationalistic movies and Geraldo Rivera specials. This doesn't really bother me, as the mainstream does tend to be very ignorant of anything that doesn't fall into their little pre-described bubble of living. What bothers me is when someone automatically writes it off as mumbo-jumbo or the blackest evil, especially when they know next to NOTHING about what they're talking about.

If one is going to attempt to insult me, it would be nice if they did a little research first. And perhaps even opened their mind the tiniest amount, in an effort to truly know what they're going up against. I've come up against this from all manner of people, from neo-Pagans to ultra-Christians. It really saddens me when the pagans dish it out, since you'd think they'd be a bit more open minded about different religions due to their own following of a rather beyond the norm belief system.

When I enter into a debate, I usually attempt to arm myself first by finding out what it is exactly I'm going to be arguing about. Maybe that's just me, though.

I shouldn't really be surprised, though. Humans, and I speak of this from the highest authority as I am quite human, don't tend to speak from their mind. They speak from their gut, from the lizard brain. It's weird! Step on it and kill it! It's quite scary, really. And it's even scarier when you come across the ones who masquerade as intelligent beings, only to see their true faces when the lights come on. That's not only scary, it's disheartening because here's some random person that one had previously thought was mighty keen, only to suddenly find out that there's a bigoted robot living under their skin that parrots all sorts of annoying and discriminatory adages. Rather distressing, especially when one wishes to surround themselves with free thinking types of people.

What it really comes down is this: I'll only call someone stupid if they're behaving like an idiot, which, unfortunately, I'm seeing quite a lot of these days. If their beliefs don't match up with mine, that's peachy creamy. Personally, I'd prefer that their beliefs DON'T exactly match my own as that can get kind of boring after a bit. And if we are ever to get into a belief gunfight, I'd really rather that they show up with what amounts to a research handcannon, instead of a pathetic cap pistol that only pops out flags with Jack Chick flyers printed on their weakly flapping surface.

I want KA-BLAAAM!!
Not pfffffffft...
thejunipertree: (the Baron)
It was twilight and I was lying in the grass. My special spot by the river. The surface of the water was utterly still in this moment, reflecting the darkened sky's face back at it like a true and perfect mirror.

"No, poppet." The Unnamed One said and laid his hand against the top of my head. "Tell me what it is you enjoy about this place."

I closed my eyes and spoke. When I opened them again, he was sitting quietly. Then he smiled.


thejunipertree: (Default)

January 2011

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