The Pagan Blog: An Introduction

So here we go: official blog-opening time, where I introduce myself.

I consider myself a baby spirit-worker, in that I have very little formal training, but I’ve been Doing Stuff at the behest of various Powers since I was twelve… which is all well and good, except ‘stuff I’ve been doing since I was twelve’ isn’t actually a formal discipline, and leaves me with big damn holes in my education. I’m trying to fix that.

I was raised Catholic at my grandmother’s insistence (an amazing, if sometimes infuriating, woman — today is her eighty-eighth birthday, in fact), but my mother and both of my stepfathers were various flavors of Neopagan. This made for a somewhat confusing religious upbringing, and led to my calling to religious service taking several different forms.

After exploring Wicca in my teenage years, I spent the better part of a decade as an eclectic Neopagan in service to an Egyptian goddess. I looked into Gnosticism, which was wonderful for reconciling my feelings of hurt and betrayal toward the Old Testament god with the profound spiritual experiences I’d had when attending Mass as a young child, but for the most part, I stuck firmly to my eclectic Paganism.

I made a lot of stupid mistakes, and found myself stuck in a cycle of focusing so intently on spiritual matters that my mundane life went straight to hell, and then burning out and being spiritually dead for a while, until something would yank me back into the spiritual side of things and the cycle repeated itself. That’s something I’m still struggling with; I tend to be a creature of extremes, and finding a balanced middle ground is hard for me… but it’s something I have to learn to do, because if I’ve learned anything in all these years, it’s that the spirits don’t just go away when you’re tired of them.

A few years ago, after a series of rather profoundly life-altering experiences spanning a two-year period, my Lady released me from Her service, and pretty much told me point blank that where I needed to go wasn’t somewhere She could take me.

I’d been reading about Northern Tradition Paganism for a while, and lots of things there called to me in a way that Asatru never had. I had, in fact, written off all things Norse as Not For Me, until Loki showed up and started dropping hints the size of anvils in my lap. And the more I read about spirit-work, the more I realized I’d been spending years doing what was basically ‘spirit-work lite’… and what’s more, when I was doing it, it felt right. It felt like I was doing my job. I was lacking context, structure, and a full set of tools to work with, but the job description was a familiar one.

So this is where I am now: putting together a personal practice in the Northern Tradition, studying the runes and the lore, adding my own UPG to it — kind of a necessity, since it’s the Jotnar that snatched me up, rather than the Aesir or Vanir. That said, I’m still studying what books I can get my hands on that are Asatru-specific: even if parts of it don’t apply, if I’m going to be part of a reconstructionist-derived practice, I need to be intimately familiar with just what it’s derived from.

Hi. I’m Jaqui. I’m twenty-eight years old, and I’m a baby spirit worker. We’ve all gotta start somewhere.