All posts by Mychael Black

To a dear uncle…

I received a phone call today from my mother that shocked me. To be honest, I’m still in a state of denial. And that’s just how I’m feeling. I can’t begin to imagine how my stepmom feels.

Her brother Freddie was a truck driver, and one of the sweetest, greatest teddy bears I’ve ever known. They were very close as siblings, and Mama (stepmom is her partner of 20 years) loved Freddie like a brother. I felt close to him. Then again, everyone who knew Freddie felt a connection with him. He was open, loving, wouldn’t hurt a fly. He’d been through so much hell in his life, yet he managed to conquer his personal demons and became an inspiration.

This morning… he passed away. According to the New York Highway Patrol, his rig veered off the road, hit trees, and a fuel tank exploded. They don’t know if Freddie had a heart attack, a stroke–whatever. There will be an autopsy, though, and then he’ll be cremated and his ashes scattered around blueberry bushes in Decatur, AL.

Love your family–no matter how far they might be from you.

Top 10 Reasons to be a Druid

Top Ten Reasons to be a Druid:

10) Travel form is awesome! Who doesn’t want to be a cat??

9) You can be a bear when you want to tank, a cat when you want to deal DPS .*

8 ) By turning into a manatee, you can swim underwater without breathing!

7) DoTs ROCK! **

6) Kiting rocks even harder! ***

5) Treeform = excellent healing power.

4) Moonfire, for an early spell, is exceptionally useful.

3) Buffs (especially Thorns) are some of the best!

2) No one else gets a port to Moonglade.

1) Druids make excellent soloists!

~~~

If you haven’t figured out by now… this list has absolutely NOTHING to do with *real* Druidry. 😉 I thought we all needed a good laugh, and what better way than to show the pros of being a Druid… in WoW!

* DPS: Damage Per Second

** DoTs: Damage Over Time

*** Kiting is done thusly: DoT, Root, Nuke, DoT, Root, Nuke… rinse and repeat til creature is dead. 😉

~Mychael Black, Bonafide Gaming Addict

Low Income, But Not Low Spirit

Being an urban (well, rural now) pagan, I’ve lived in semi-cramped spaces off and on for most of my adult life. Add to that, I’ve been in the ‘low income’ bracket since I moved out of my mother’s house at the age of 16. I’ve often gone to other pagan houses and wondered how I could make my own space reflect who I am and what I believe, while on a next-to-nothing budget. Although I don’t have any professional tips and tricks, I can share what I’ve done to create a place of ritual and meditation.

I am a bargain shopper. I suppose it comes with the territory, but it’s something I learned from my mother. I’m not talking necessarily grocery shopping (though I bargain shop there, too). No, I’m talking about thrift shops, antique shops, dollar stores, yard sales–you name it. It’s amazing what sorts of treasures you can find in such places. My own brand of paganism is…well…a mish mash of a lot. I’m a Druid (of a primarily Welsh pantheon), but I also have taken bits and pieces of other religions–namely Christianity–and woven them all into something of my own design.

When I go to stores like the ones above, I don’t limit myself to specific items or symbolism. I’ve got pentacles, angels, crosses, goddess symbols, god symbols–all over my house. The Dollar Tree here in town is a favorite haunt–just for the little figurines and the candle holders.

Antique stores can be expensive, but if you look close enough, you’ll often find little things for a lot less that just jump out at you. I have a ceramic green bowl that I found at an antique shop for $6.00. It has an ivy motif–matching my bathroom (done in greens, frogs, and ivy) perfectly.

Thrift shops are another place to find little goodies. I’ve found more knick knacks and even tablecloths at thrift shops.

So being pagan–whether it’s urban or rural–doesn’t have to mean shelling out big bucks for decorations, ritual items, etc. Keep your eyes–and your mind–open, and there’s no telling what you’ll find out there for a few bucks.

Rituals in Detail

I’ve been mulling something over in my mind for a good long while now. One of my older (and I do mean OLDER) short stories once had a review in which the reviewer felt she was being “preached at” because I had a detailed ritual in the story. If there’s anything I don’t do in regards to religion, it’s preach.

So where do you draw the line? Or do you?

Since that review a few years ago, I’ve written rituals in stories, but nothing quite as detailed. Thing is, a lot of my men are pagan–and the ritual in the aforementioned story was integral to the story itself.

Do you write rituals into your stories? Do you enjoy reading them?