Monthly Archives: August 2019
The autumn term started for me last week and already its pace is frenetic. I love my studies but adapting to my new schedule is a bit like being punched in the face. As I see incoming freshmen and new grad students, taste their excitement and also their nervousness I wanted to reach out to those of you, my readers, who may also be heading back into academia’s hallowed halls (or to vocational school, apprenticeships, etc.).
Where ever you’re going, know that you belong. Imposter syndrome is something we all often wrestle with, no matter what our academic or technical qualifications. I’m going to let you in on a little secret that I learned about six weeks into my first MA: no one in your year group knows any more than you do. Lol They’re ALL feeling just as insecure and challenged. They may be hiding it better, but you are in no way alone in any uncertainties you might be feeling. Persevere. You CAN do this. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to other grad students, your advisor, and campus counseling. That’s what they’re there for and with your peers especially, we’ve all been there. We may be crazy-busy, but most grad students I know are more than happy to lend an ear to newcomers. Don’t be afraid to rely on the resources available to you. Also, make sure you have a good support network. School can be really stressful (when the term started, I looked at my husband and said ‘nice knowing you. See you in December. LOL, which is funny and yes, I was joking, but the number of hours and stress we put in can really strain relationships). Don’t neglect your most important relationships. You may not have a lot of down time, but cherish that which you do.
If you have learning disabilities, (I do, I have dyscalculia) anxiety disorder, chronic pain, physical impairments of any sort please, please register with your office of disability services. It’s usually pretty easy to do and it will allow your professors to provide accommodations that you may need as the semester progresses. Don’t be embarrassed to do this and don’t put it off. This office is there to ensure that you have the most productive semester you can possibly have, and more importantly, to ensure that the university complies with all legal requirements related to disability. This benefits you – take advantage of it.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and for those of you in grad school, I’m going to tell you what I wish someone had told me from day one: this is your career. It’s never too early to start treating it in that light. There’s a wonderful book that I highly recommend (read it sooner than later – I really, really wish I’d found it when I started back to school) called “The Professor is In.” it gives invaluable advice on navigating the often-confusing terrain of academic life from graduate school to professorship. The author (bless her!) also has a very active blog and it is really a god-send. You can check that out here. She gives advice on everything from how to dress for success, to writing a book review, a CV, to your first job interview and more. I recommend this site to everyone, not just academics. It’s been life-changing for me.
Here’s some advice that you probably won’t take, that I should take more of, and that I’m going to say anyway: GET REGULAR SLEEP and don’t stint on meals. For me, this is crucial as lack of regular sleep can tip me over into migraine territory at the drop of a hat. But this is something that is important not just for those of us with chronic pain. You’ll do better in your studies if you sleep. For years, I lived on about four hours of sleep a night. It was my husband who pointed out that this contributed to my migraines. It killed me to admit it, but he was right. It also stunned me at how much more I could remember from studying when I got 6-9 hours of sleep a night (chronic pain makes sleep problematic, but for those of you in the same boat as I am, do your best). Do not stay up all hours cramming. Do not wait to the day before a test and pull an all-nighter. Nothing is more important than getting regular sleep. Nothing. Nutrition and exercise are important too – again, do your best as the semester progresses – but sleep is the most important gift you can give yourself. Naps are your friend.
Finally, work as hard as you can but if you’ve given your best and still get a less than perfect grade, that’s OK. A bad grade will not kill you. It will not ruin your future. I got into my top choice PhD program with two poor grades on my transcript (in both cases, I knew the class would be really challenging and had taken it for the challenge, because I knew that while I wouldn’t do well, I would learn and get better in that subject, and I did. I can honestly say in both, I gave my best effort). Don’t slack off, but don’t think you have to be always and ever absolutely perfect.
Academia is a weird little world, just like any other vocational setting. Each department has its own unique culture. You’ll find your way. Just remember: you belong, just as much as anyone else there. Don’t ever forget that.
Good luck with your studies, my readers and for those of you not in academia or going back to school in some way, but who have people you care about who are, well, maybe taken them food once in a while (Seriously. There is nothing better than coming home from class utterly exhausted and not having to cook) and understand that they’re not avoiding you. They’re just exhausted and probably overwhelmed with work. Seriously, feed them once in a while! ^_^ They will thank you for it and just knowing that you are there and understand and support them can make all the difference in the world.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s been 11 years since this book–a joint venture with my mutti, Fuensanta–released. Focusing on the Duergar Andvari, there are many lessons in the book about having healthy relationships with money.💸
Andvari is one of the Duergar, the Dwarves of ancient Germanic cosmology, and a little-known figure in modern Northern Tradition devotional practice. Yet there are a small number of people who have experienced Him as a God of great wisdom, particularly concerning right relationships, right ownership, mindful consumption and proper utilization of resources and finances. In our age of rampant consumerism, where spirituality has become yet another commodity to buy and sell, Andvari’s lessons are needed more than ever. This devotional, the first to honor Him, explores His nature, the ways in which He may be honored, and powerful lessons for developing a honorable relationship with the spirit of money.
So what in this book helped you the most?
This past year my household adopted a lemur through the Duke Lemur Center. (I have a soft spot for lemurs as my adopted mom’s nickname was ‘lemur’– mostly due to the black circles ever and always around her eyes lol– so odd as it might sound, they remind me of her). As part of the program, those who “adopt” receive regular updates on their lemur’s progress. We got one today which y’all can read here.
And here is a picture of our lemur Pompeia. That is all. This is the first week of class and I am swamped.
5 years ago today my guide book on honoring the ancestors first released. 💀💀💀
To many polytheists ancestor work is crucial to having healthy, deeply engaged, productive spirituality. It provides a foundation, a protection, and a vital source of personal luck and power that positions one to better withstand the challenges of engaged, devotional living. “Honoring the Ancestors: A Basic Guide” takes the readers through all the necessary dos and don’ts on their way to establishing a richly textured, consistent, and powerful ancestor practice. Born out of an eight week online course offered by the author in 2013-2014, this unique book provides all information readers need to get started honoring their dead.
“The first thing we ought to preach is reverence toward the gods. For it is fitting that we should perform our service to the gods as though they were themselves present with us and beheld us, and though not seen by us could direct their gaze, which is more powerful than any light, even as far as our hidden thoughts.” — Julian the Philosopher
9 years ago today the devotional to the Sumerian Goddesses Inanna and Ereshkigal released.
Into the Great Below is a compilation of devotional poems, prayers, and rituals celebrating two magnificent Sumerian Goddesses: Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Erishkigal, Queen of the Underworld. In these pages you will find a map traversing the shadowy places between these two Holy Powers. Here, you will read about Inanna’s courage, Her journey and decent into Irkla, and Her vulnerability before Her sister. Here too you will find prayers celebrating the wisdom of Erishkigal, Her power, Her fury, Her mercy. In this book, you will hear from contemporary devotees of these ancient Powers and through their words possibly glimpse the ways in which both goddesses touch Their devotees lives today.
Available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2XXXO2c
Dagulf Loptson, author of “Playing with Fire: An Exploration of Loki” has a new book due out in 2020. I just received a preview copy and it looks amazing. It’s a good, solid introduction to Loki and a very nice follow up (though I don’t think it was meant that way) to “Playing with Fire.” The book is called Loki: Trickster and Transformer” and may be preordered here.