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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in independence
WHAT DOES INDEPENDENCE MEAN TO YOU?

The term "independence" conjures up different images for different individuals. For patriotic types, if you tack "day" on to the end of the word, their eyes might glaze over with star-spangled flags – the drumbeats of parades immediately filling their ears. That's all well and good. However, for some of us introverts, going solo is sheer heaven. For the most important aspect of independence, it would seem to me, would be the act of not being dependent on another person. In fact, the direct opposite of it. Not to say that we don't all need a little help occasionally. As much as one would like to strive for total freedom, we are dependent on other human beings for our survival. Plus, some of them aren't bad company.

That said, there is a certain liberty in doing things for yourself and going your own way from time to time. If you can this Fourth of July weekend – why not slip away from the crowd – even for but a little while? Strike out on your own and define what independence means to you. Here are some creative ideas to try out, and possibly spur a few of your own:

A HIKE (EARTH)
Travel to a path that you've always wanted to get your feet dirty on and commence. Breathe in the greenery and decompress. This could include a solo camp, as well. If you happen to be female, just be sure to pitch your tent far away from the sleazies who see your being alone as an open invitation to visit your site and hit on you.

A LONG DRIVE (AIR)
If you have a reliable vehicle and your life has been making you a bit batty as of late, just get in and go. Roll down the windows, blast the tunes that speak to you, and let your hair get messy in the wind. Drive until you can't anymore, with no destination in mind. Then check yourself into a nice hotel. Granted, this is a splurge, but stick with me here. Stock up on munchies and drinkables. Pretend you're a character in a movie making your great escape from something or someone. Treat yourself to bad cable movies and/or naughty ones. Pop a bottle of champagne and bounce on the bed. You are free! (Just don't trash the room, OK)? Ask for a late checkout time.

EXPLORING A NEW LOCALE (FIRE)
This could be a small town, or a large one. Although the independence theme would more likely lend itself to the former. Let yourself wander. Peruse some shops and let your mind wander, too. Buy an ice cream with a flavor you've always wanted to try. The key to utilizing your inner fire is to be bold in your choices, and wait to see where your inspiration takes you.

A BOATING EXPEDITION (WATER)
If you consider yourself a strong swimmer and have experience under your belt, find a place to rent a small craft and get out on the H20. Sailing offers a mentally and physically challenging combination, which can be infinitely satisfying. If you're looking for something more mellow, launch in a canoe, kayak, or rowboat. Row yourself out to the middle and drift awhile. See how good that feels? Sigh.

VISIT A BUDDHIST TEMPLE OR OLD UNFENCED GRAVEYARD (SPIRIT)
The key here is to find one that is secluded and that you have never been to before. Plant yourself and meditate. My favorite spot in an old cemetery is under a friendly tree. Discover where your mind takes you. Happy Independence Day.


Photo by AJ Page

 

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We may not be able to agree what "pagan" means, or even if that's really the label we prefer- Heathen, Witch, Polytheist, Occultist etc. But one experience many of us have in common is facing some degree of social prejudice and the question of how "out" to be.  At the end of day, regardless of your practices, theology or identity, Paganism can be That Religious Category By Which we are lumped and stigmatized.

Often when we speak or write to teenagers inquiring about religious and magical practice, we advice them to wait until they move out of their parents' house. For many young people with disabilities independent living is  out of reach. And for older Pagans who may lose some degree of independence, getting help from aides, relatives or moving into a senior home may mean going back into the broom closet. I have been quite fortunate- my parents were quite accepting both of me being bisexual and Pagan, and I've had to continue to rely on them or my partner to varying degrees financially without having to hide who I am. The mental health professionals that I work with, when I have broached the subject of my sexuality or religion, have also been accepting. (It doesn't hurt that two of them were also Unitarian Universalists!)

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

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Every so often, the devotional polytheistic community comes up with a new way to try to distinguish gods from archetypes.  In the past, terms like "real", "literal", or "separate" have been emphasized.  Now it's "agents".  The gods have agency while archetypes do not -- so the argument goes. 

One of the most visible exponents of this idea has been Morpheus Ravenna. Morpheus has written two essays -- here and here -- about this issue, and more recently delivered the keynote speech at the Many Gods West polytheist conference: "Deep Polytheism: On the Agency and Sovereignty of the Gods" (which I urge you to read in its entirety).  Morpheus argues that "if your Gods are real to you, treat Them like beings with agency." Agency, she says, is "the capacity of an entity to act ... something like will."  This, she says, is what makes gods distinct from archetypes.  And, on this point, I have to disagree with her.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Henry Buchy
    Henry Buchy says #
    Just a point of information regarding this quote-" 'In one passage (I believe in the volume _Alchemical Studies_) Jung argues that
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Thanks for the reference to O'Neill. I'll check it out.
  • Billybareblu
    Billybareblu says #
    Very good and thought provoking article John. This is one of those subjects that will be difficult for individuals to wrap their

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Communing with Nature Wherever, Whenever

One of the things I love about being a real estate agent (leasing agent specifically) is the freedom I have. I can set my own hours, I can go on vacation whenever I want, and I can tell people "no" without fear of repercussions. I find I work way past my normal availability and during the summer like it is now, I easily put in 75 hours a week - oftentimes 90. I actually force myself to stay out of my home office on Sundays, which is my self-designated day off, because otherwise I'd work every day of the week. I also take a "day off" in the middle of the week as well, but that's only a day I choose to not do showings. Instead, I schedule for other days and get caught up on paperwork. And lately, those showings have piled up so much I've been all but have been living out of my car.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Independence and Commitment

I have never really celebrated Independence Day with parties, parades, and patriotism. I was raised in Germany and studied history and - well, let’s just say patriotism makes me deeply uncomfortable. For many years I fled into the woods and celebrated InterdepenDance Day at rainbow gatherings, far away from drunken revelry and fireworks.

 

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