Chicago Witch: Witchy Living in the Windy City
A perspective of a modern, urban Witch who strives to balance faith with family and career.
My experience at Pagan Spirit Gathering 2014, Pt 6 of 9
Thursday, June 19th:
Rain and mud. Mud and rain. And to top it off, the women’s shower house was closed. Again. I promised myself I wouldn’t complain, so the one thing that makes me happy is pancakes. The veggie place wasn’t making them, which gave me a frowny face. But I remembered the other place had gluten-free pancakes, so I figured I’d give that a whirl. I got there before 8am, and they weren’t ready yet, but they took pity on me and made me some. Thank you!
They weren’t nearly as fluffy as I like, but they were indeed tasty, and they had real maple syrup. Usually, I actually prefer the fake stuff, as the real stuff has a weird taste I’m not used to, and it’s not as thick, but this kind I liked. So my mood changed, and I repeated to myself a foot of rain could easily be ten feet of snow with salty black slush instead of mud afterwards. So remembering the polar vortex we had just a few months ago, I perked up. I then decided to “take a pool”. I put on my swim suit and exfoliated the heck out of myself with sand. With the naturally soft water, I felt really, really soft – like ten years had melted away. And yeah, my hair felt heavenly again.
There were lots and lots of tadpoles in the pond, too. At one point, I had to swirl the water so they’d find another direction to head. The ground moved too with all the baby toads who grew up, and I certainly hope a good number of them grow up to eat all the mosquitoes. Have I mentioned the bugs yet? Well, there were lots of crawly, bitey things at PSG this year. The mosquitoes? Meh. I had my DEET. The spiders? Well, I’m arachnophobic in a serious way, so that was a challenge. But what drove me crazy were all the earwigs. Earwigs look like city roaches but with pinchers. I grew up with roaches, so this grossed me out something fierce. I had my “dressers” outside in a small dressing area I set up for myself between my booth and common space (my altar on top), and they found their way into my clothes. Every time I would get something to wear, I had to shake my clothes. Usually, the storage containers are in a tent, so I had not predicted that to happen. I should have though. Yes, I’m a dumb ass. Earwigs on jeans is one thing. Earwigs crawling around on my lacy panties? Ewwwwww! And earwigs in my shoes? Oh hell no! I really hope those toads get a feast!
I’m actually glad I brought my toolbox with me, because two of the four showers opened up, so I stood in line to get some soap involved. I must have looked silly standing there in my swim suit, but there you have it. I was able to properly brush my teeth, blow dry my hair (I didn’t bother with the flat iron with all the humidity), do my makeup and so on. This time, I walked away feeling like I just stepped out of a day spa! Mood improved drastically.
One of the things that the rain canceled too was the Starlight Shopping Spree. I wasn’t able to open all night, so I was on standby just chilling with my neighbors. Their booth was one of the only ones opened, as they have been doing this for decades and had their shit down pat, so they got some sales. Because the rain had finally stopped later that day, I opened up my booth again and honored the discounts I wanted to offer.
Because of all I was dealing with, I had completely forgotten about attending the Warrior Blessing Ritual. I missed that, and I’m really sorry I did. Last year, it was the only ritual I attended where I was moved. Fortunately, folks who attended are allowing me to use their photos. Again though, I really wanted to attend that. I love our service members with all of my heart, and I deeply regret missing that.
For lunch that day, I again needed something to pull me out of my funk. I made myself something that will now become a regular thing here at home. I used a packet of Knorr Thai curry rice mix, with a can of Ro Tel, a juiced lime and chopped fresh cilantro. That. Was. Delicious! And cheap! And hearty! And healthy! And well – make it yourself. You’ll see how good it is!
(That was incredible! And why yes, I do wear an apron when I cook!)
One of the things I became aware of is how many singles were now becoming couples. People I had seen earlier in the week walking around by themselves had made connections, and that too shook out the grumpiness. It’s hard to find another Pagan in Mundania, especially if you don’t live in a city. So to you new couples, I hope your relationships carry on the rest of the year.
Some of the conversations I had to date, like I said, were really insightful and memorable. And some, especially over drinks, were downright funny. One that sticks out was from a guy whose father had recently passed. He said his father’s spirit often visits, but at the worst possible times. Being “cock-blocked by a ghost” is something I don’t think I will ever hear again, and yeah, that must be really frustrating. But that doesn’t happen to me, so I’m sorry-not-sorry for laughing over the notion.
Another conversation was from a man who said as a boy in Catholic school, he and others were recruited to be altar boys. They wanted no part of it, but I guess they were not given the choice to take a pass. So how did they get out of it? They added popcorn to the burning censors, so as they walked down the red carpet to the altar, the priest and folks in the pews were greeted with popping. He said the priest told them their spirits were withered. I’d like to think their spirits were filled with giddy joy!
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