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Author Topic: What does having a patron deity mean to you?  (Read 6516 times)
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« Topic Start: May 21, 2007, 12:14:31 pm »

OK, here's the thing:  I would not describe myself as a "thwapee" or god-bothered by any means, but I have felt the presence of Brighid in my life for some time now. 

For the last year, I have been focusing on building a relationship with her, and have recently got the impression that she thinks I'm ready for a more formal commitment.  Though I've got the feeling that she'd like this, she's not pushing (like I said, no "thwap"), the decision is totally mine (at least at the moment).  This has scared the **** out of me, to be honest.  The last thing I want to do is make promises to a diety that I'm not prepared to keep, so I'm trying to figure out exactly what patronage might entail. 

I understand it's going to be different for each diety and each worshipper, but I thought maybe learning what other people have experienced might give me some idea of what to expect.

So those of you who have a patron diety or dieties, especially those devoted to Brighid, would you be willing to share?
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« Reply #1: May 21, 2007, 12:21:59 pm »

So those of you who have a patron diety or dieties, especially those devoted to Brighid, would you be willing to share?

My two *big* patron deities are Morrigan and Iuppiter. I also have a close relationship with Father God and Iuno, but I don't work with them quite as much (I'm trying to get closer to those two though).

I'm closest to Morrigan because I was Hers first. She doesn't mind me working with other deities, as long as I remember that I am ultimately Hers. She is my Mother. Iuppiter and Father God are both like fathers to me. Basically, it's like a divine extended family.

they don't demand much of me at all. They ask for things, and I am more than happy to comply; but it's more of a familial relationship than a "master/servant" relationship. I had brought up the idea of being a priestess with them at one point, and I quickly realized that I (and they) would rather I remain the somewhat spoiled daughter than a "servant". Tongue
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« Reply #2: May 21, 2007, 12:32:40 pm »

OK, here's the thing:  I would not describe myself as a "thwapee" or god-bothered by any means, but I have felt the presence of Brighid in my life for some time now. 

For the last year, I have been focusing on building a relationship with her, and have recently got the impression that she thinks I'm ready for a more formal commitment.  Though I've got the feeling that she'd like this, she's not pushing (like I said, no "thwap"), the decision is totally mine (at least at the moment).  This has scared the **** out of me, to be honest.  The last thing I want to do is make promises to a diety that I'm not prepared to keep, so I'm trying to figure out exactly what patronage might entail. 

I understand it's going to be different for each diety and each worshipper, but I thought maybe learning what other people have experienced might give me some idea of what to expect.

So those of you who have a patron diety or dieties, especially those devoted to Brighid, would you be willing to share?

I am devoted to Apollo.  As to what that means .. I have homework.  There are things I'm supposed to do (like FlameKeeping!).  And I do consider myself Priestess.  I serve Apollo's desires on earth as best I can.  But while it colors the rest of my life, it doesn't rule things out.  I still mother, I still take care of the household (as well as I ever did, I ain't neat), I work on my writing career.

The most important thing to do, I would think, is be clear what it is THAT you're promising.  Don't agree to something you can't handle.  And, of course, have faith. Wink
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« Reply #3: May 21, 2007, 12:46:56 pm »

The most important thing to do, I would think, is be clear what it is THAT you're promising.  Don't agree to something you can't handle.  And, of course, have faith. Wink

Exactly. Don't make any promises that you are unsure of, and if you are devoting yourself to a deity for life, remember it is for life. The gods tend to take promises very seriously; I don't know how Brighid feels about it, but I'm certain I wouldn't make any promise to her or any other deity lightly.
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« Reply #4: May 21, 2007, 01:27:25 pm »

So those of you who have a patron diety or dieties, especially those devoted to Brighid, would you be willing to share?

Thorn,

I know you've been following Moon Ivy's Great Adventures lately  Wink so I won't repeat all that.  (But if there's something specific about what has happened between me and Brighid that you're interested in, please ask and I'll try to answer.)

The key element that seems relevant to your question, though, is that I was in pretty much the same place:  feeling her presence, working on a relationship, but specifically and DELIBERATELY NOT thinking about doing something so permanent (scary?  foolhardy?) as actually dedicating to her.  You've read the story I posted, though, and it all just happened, and now I am.  Here's what I know now that I didn't know then:

1)  I'm still the same person.  I still have to do the laundry and the grocery shopping, I still have to be a mom, I still have to work hard to honor her, I still have to consciously keep her in my thoughts.

2)  I'm more confortable with the idea that I am dedicated to a goddess.  If you'd asked me a year ago, I would have called you crazy for suggesting that I was even remotely "religious".  Now, I'm not sure if the word "priestess" applies -- and I don't really care because the semantics doesn't matter.  But the plain fact is that I have something for sure now that I didn't have before.  And part of what I have is the opportunity to GIVE to something bigger than me.  As someone upthread said, I have homework.  I'm working on researching an interpretation on Brighid as patroness/goddess of the disenfranchised and those working for social justice.

3)  I've learned how to communicate with her more easily.  I feel that I can "hear" her better.  I have a particular technique I'm using, but I think it's just a crutch for now -- training wheels, if you will.  I don't mean to say that someday I'll be Brighid's oracle (although, who knows, could happen), just that I'm much more comfortable now with hearing that voice that I used to ignore.

4)  I've learned that -- at least for now -- I am not allowed to reach out to, call upon, or respond to other deities.  That's the one rule she's been crystal clear on.  I don't know why, and I don't know if it applies others she considers hers.  (I think it might, but don't know for sure).

5)  I'm much more relaxed about....hmmm...worshipping?...than I was.  Before, I had a ritual I did every night, and I'd get anxious if I didn't do it just so.  Now, I'm much more laid back about it.  I think that's because now I AM the ritual.  Everything I do and say.  I'm not perfect  by a long shot, but I'm trying harder to be worthy, and that's a more important offereing to Brighid than a few candles in the evening.

All in all, even though what happened with me, in retrospect, was inevitable, it was definitely for the best.

Please keep us posted!

~MI
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« Reply #5: May 21, 2007, 07:25:06 pm »

OK, here's the thing:  I would not describe myself as a "thwapee" or god-bothered by any means, but I have felt the presence of Brighid in my life for some time now. 

For the last year, I have been focusing on building a relationship with her, and have recently got the impression that she thinks I'm ready for a more formal commitment.  Though I've got the feeling that she'd like this, she's not pushing (like I said, no "thwap"), the decision is totally mine (at least at the moment).  This has scared the **** out of me, to be honest.  The last thing I want to do is make promises to a diety that I'm not prepared to keep, so I'm trying to figure out exactly what patronage might entail. 

I understand it's going to be different for each diety and each worshipper, but I thought maybe learning what other people have experienced might give me some idea of what to expect.

So those of you who have a patron diety or dieties, especially those devoted to Brighid, would you be willing to share?

*snip*

1)  I'm still the same person.  I still have to do the laundry and the grocery shopping, I still have to be a mom, I still have to work hard to honor her, I still have to consciously keep her in my thoughts.

2)  I'm more confortable with the idea that I am dedicated to a goddess.  If you'd asked me a year ago, I would have called you crazy for suggesting that I was even remotely "religious".  Now, I'm not sure if the word "priestess" applies -- and I don't really care because the semantics doesn't matter.  But the plain fact is that I have something for sure now that I didn't have before.  And part of what I have is the opportunity to GIVE to something bigger than me.  As someone upthread said, I have homework.  I'm working on researching an interpretation on Brighid as patroness/goddess of the disenfranchised and those working for social justice.

3)  I've learned how to communicate with her more easily.  I feel that I can "hear" her better.  I have a particular technique I'm using, but I think it's just a crutch for now -- training wheels, if you will.  I don't mean to say that someday I'll be Brighid's oracle (although, who knows, could happen), just that I'm much more comfortable now with hearing that voice that I used to ignore.

4)  I've learned that -- at least for now -- I am not allowed to reach out to, call upon, or respond to other deities.  That's the one rule she's been crystal clear on.  I don't know why, and I don't know if it applies others she considers hers.  (I think it might, but don't know for sure).

5)  I'm much more relaxed about....hmmm...worshipping?...than I was.  Before, I had a ritual I did every night, and I'd get anxious if I didn't do it just so.  Now, I'm much more laid back about it.  I think that's because now I AM the ritual.  Everything I do and say.  I'm not perfect  by a long shot, but I'm trying harder to be worthy, and that's a more important offereing to Brighid than a few candles in the evening.

All in all, even though what happened with me, in retrospect, was inevitable, it was definitely for the best.


Well, Moon Ivy's said it so well I hardly have anything else to say.  I will echo what Shad said about having homework, and what Moon Ivy said about not reaching out or calling to other deities (research is encouraged--just not direct contact) because those are the two most applicable ideas to my own dedication to Brighid.

My homework is more about Brighid as the patronness of poets and the patronness of outsiders right now, because my path is all about poetry in essence, and about the role of the poet as the outsider/mediator between this world and the Otherworld, and so on.  But there is other homework: I've been researching both Macha and the Morrigan in relation to Brighid and more obtusely to poetry, and though I haven't reached any epiphanies yet, I'm still looking.

In relation to researching tM and Macha, as well as other searches into Lugh and Ogma, I always get the feeling that I am not supposed to contact these deities or otherwise try to work with them.  It's not so much as a "you belong to me and no one else may have you!" from Brighid; it's more of a "if they want you, they'll have to go through me, and to be honest, I just don't think they want you right now, my dear."  I suppose my Lady knows best. Wink

As to your comment on not feeling pushed to make this committment, I think that is a common thing among those who have been called by Brighid, or at least I have experienced the same thing--she nudges us to her service, slowly and surely, and always keeps us aware that it is completely our choice; we make our promises, and our own offerings of ourselves, and nothing is compulsory because, if it were, it would defeat the purpose of the work that Brighid specifically does.  She draws us in slowly, and doesn't grab us by the collar and say, "Okay, time to do my work now, eh?" like maybe some other gods might.  Wink

All in all, dedicating myself to Brighid gave me a central focus to my life, a kind of central pattern that I could bring all the disparate parts of myself and my life within; in other words, I finally found a story that I realized I had been telling all my life.  Putting myself in her service (for my promise was to serve her) gave me a context for understanding myself and my relation to the world. 

And it was indeed all for the best.  Smiley
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« Reply #6: May 21, 2007, 07:41:02 pm »

My homework is more about Brighid as the patronness of poets and the patronness of outsiders right now, because my path is all about poetry in essence, and about the role of the poet as the outsider/mediator between this world and the Otherworld, and so on.  But there is other homework: I've been researching both Macha and the Morrigan in relation to Brighid and more obtusely to poetry, and though I haven't reached any epiphanies yet, I'm still looking.

Finn,

It's really fascinating that we've both gotten this assignment from Brighid.  Did you see the thread I started on Macha?  Phouka just posted to it, and I replied.  Take a look.  Also, check out the LJ post and convo:  http://community.livejournal.com/cr_r/229900.html

My working theory at the moment is that this has something to do with social justice on behalf of those who have been wronged by others.  Maybe some kind of victim advocacy...  Don't really know yet.
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« Reply #7: May 21, 2007, 11:02:55 pm »

Finn,

It's really fascinating that we've both gotten this assignment from Brighid.  Did you see the thread I started on Macha?  Phouka just posted to it, and I replied.  Take a look.  Also, check out the LJ post and convo:  http://community.livejournal.com/cr_r/229900.html

My working theory at the moment is that this has something to do with social justice on behalf of those who have been wronged by others.  Maybe some kind of victim advocacy...  Don't really know yet.

I began looking at some of the links in that conversation because I was looking for info on tM, but now I'm looking for more info on Macha as well because of the connections I'm finding.  The dangers of curiousity!  Cheesy

In trying to figure out the very intriguing idea of "victim advocacy" in terms of my own practice, I feel as though... hm... I feel as though it could be like this: Brighid stands up for all those who can't speak out for themselves: the downtrodden, the poor, the wronged.  She aids these victims, physically and emotionally.  She speaks, in an abstract sense, what cannot be spoken by anyone else, and she speaks for those who cannot speak.

This not only applies to people, as victims, but perhaps more abstractly as thoughts or ideas which have been... forgotten, dismissed, thrown away wrongly or too quickly; thoughts and ideas which are important and deserve to be considered.  She not only speaks for those who cannot speak, but she speaks that which cannot be spoken, ie, ideas, artistic creations and thoughts which cannot be easily explained, experienced or understood. 

In relating it to my own practice as a creative being, "what cannot be spoken" may be able to come to light through my words, maybe, or even through visual art like film, or painting, or dance, and it is my duty to to speak what cannot be spoken, to show what cannot be shown in any other way.

As a poet, and a writer, and filmmaker, I struggle daily with speaking what cannot be spoken by anyone else.  It is difficult for me to accept that I can speak for that which cannot be spoken; that my words may be important and may be a way for these ideas to fully be comprehended.  I have to remember I am a unique person.  I make visual films that cannot be made in another way.  I write that which cannot be written in another way.  I do speak what cannot be spoken by anyone else.  Hah.  I suddenly think of the Lorax--"I speak for the trees." 

I think this is where we can really start to see that though we may have the same assignment, the ways in which it will be eventually applied to our service to Brighid is a little different--you are more connected to the physical, human factor (the social advocacy and justice); you actually are the advocate for these people, whereas my practice is a bit more mental, more abstract; I am an advocate for thoughts, for art. 

I hope this makes sense.  I'm trying to formulate a better thought around this, one that is clearer, that doesn't sound so... I dunno... pompous or nobler-than-thou (I don't mean to!) but... well... this is all I have right now.  I apologize if it is confusing.  I have a feeling I'm going to be on this assignment for a long time.   Undecided
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« Reply #8: May 21, 2007, 11:10:49 pm »

I began looking at some of the links in that conversation because I was looking for info on tM, but now I'm looking for more info on Macha as well because of the connections I'm finding.  The dangers of curiousity!  Cheesy

In trying to figure out the very intriguing idea of "victim advocacy" in terms of my own practice, I feel as though... hm... I feel as though it could be like this: Brighid stands up for all those who can't speak out for themselves: the downtrodden, the poor, the wronged.  She aids these victims, physically and emotionally.  She speaks, in an abstract sense, what cannot be spoken by anyone else, and she speaks for those who cannot speak.

This not only applies to people, as victims, but perhaps more abstractly as thoughts or ideas which have been... forgotten, dismissed, thrown away wrongly or too quickly; thoughts and ideas which are important and deserve to be considered.  She not only speaks for those who cannot speak, but she speaks that which cannot be spoken, ie, ideas, artistic creations and thoughts which cannot be easily explained, experienced or understood. 

In relating it to my own practice as a creative being, "what cannot be spoken" may be able to come to light through my words, maybe, or even through visual art like film, or painting, or dance, and it is my duty to to speak what cannot be spoken, to show what cannot be shown in any other way.

As a poet, and a writer, and filmmaker, I struggle daily with speaking what cannot be spoken by anyone else.  It is difficult for me to accept that I can speak for that which cannot be spoken; that my words may be important and may be a way for these ideas to fully be comprehended.  I have to remember I am a unique person.  I make visual films that cannot be made in another way.  I write that which cannot be written in another way.  I do speak what cannot be spoken by anyone else.  Hah.  I suddenly think of the Lorax--"I speak for the trees." 

I think this is where we can really start to see that though we may have the same assignment, the ways in which it will be eventually applied to our service to Brighid is a little different--you are more connected to the physical, human factor (the social advocacy and justice); you actually are the advocate for these people, whereas my practice is a bit more mental, more abstract; I am an advocate for thoughts, for art. 

I hope this makes sense.  I'm trying to formulate a better thought around this, one that is clearer, that doesn't sound so... I dunno... pompous or nobler-than-thou (I don't mean to!) but... well... this is all I have right now.  I apologize if it is confusing.  I have a feeling I'm going to be on this assignment for a long time.   Undecided


Replying to myself here--
This is what happens when I don't get enough sleep over the week.  Tongue  I realize that all this is probably a really big stretch--my practice is centered around poetry and art, so I have to sometimes reach pretty far in order to tie it all in somehow.  This is very much my own UPG, and I probably shouldn't even mention it until I've done more research and more thought about it.
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« Reply #9: May 21, 2007, 11:20:13 pm »

I began looking at some of the links in that conversation because I was looking for info on tM, but now I'm looking for more info on Macha as well because of the connections I'm finding.  The dangers of curiousity!  Cheesy

In trying to figure out the very intriguing idea of "victim advocacy" in terms of my own practice, I feel as though... hm... I feel as though it could be like this: Brighid stands up for all those who can't speak out for themselves: the downtrodden, the poor, the wronged.  She aids these victims, physically and emotionally.  She speaks, in an abstract sense, what cannot be spoken by anyone else, and she speaks for those who cannot speak.

This not only applies to people, as victims, but perhaps more abstractly as thoughts or ideas which have been... forgotten, dismissed, thrown away wrongly or too quickly; thoughts and ideas which are important and deserve to be considered.  She not only speaks for those who cannot speak, but she speaks that which cannot be spoken, ie, ideas, artistic creations and thoughts which cannot be easily explained, experienced or understood. 

In relating it to my own practice as a creative being, "what cannot be spoken" may be able to come to light through my words, maybe, or even through visual art like film, or painting, or dance, and it is my duty to to speak what cannot be spoken, to show what cannot be shown in any other way.

As a poet, and a writer, and filmmaker, I struggle daily with speaking what cannot be spoken by anyone else.  It is difficult for me to accept that I can speak for that which cannot be spoken; that my words may be important and may be a way for these ideas to fully be comprehended.  I have to remember I am a unique person.  I make visual films that cannot be made in another way.  I write that which cannot be written in another way.  I do speak what cannot be spoken by anyone else.  Hah.  I suddenly think of the Lorax--"I speak for the trees." 

I think this is where we can really start to see that though we may have the same assignment, the ways in which it will be eventually applied to our service to Brighid is a little different--you are more connected to the physical, human factor (the social advocacy and justice); you actually are the advocate for these people, whereas my practice is a bit more mental, more abstract; I am an advocate for thoughts, for art. 

I hope this makes sense.  I'm trying to formulate a better thought around this, one that is clearer, that doesn't sound so... I dunno... pompous or nobler-than-thou (I don't mean to!) but... well... this is all I have right now.  I apologize if it is confusing.  I have a feeling I'm going to be on this assignment for a long time.   Undecided

Finn,

This is all really intriguing.  As a lawyer -- but one who does not represent clients in court -- ideas and ideals are extremely important to me.  Moreover, as a dancer and lighting designer, art is also hugely important to me.  I'm not nearly as eloquent as you are, but I think I get it.  I think you're absolutely right that "disenfranchised" (or "cowless"  Wink ) can apply to ideas as well as to people.

I don't know where we're going with this, but it certainly is shaping up to be an interesting journey, isn't it?

~MI
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« Reply #10: May 22, 2007, 09:33:31 am »

OK, here's the thing:  I would not describe myself as a "thwapee" or god-bothered by any means, but I have felt the presence of Brighid in my life for some time now. 

For the last year, I have been focusing on building a relationship with her, and have recently got the impression that she thinks I'm ready for a more formal commitment.  Though I've got the feeling that she'd like this, she's not pushing (like I said, no "thwap"), the decision is totally mine (at least at the moment).  This has scared the **** out of me, to be honest.  The last thing I want to do is make promises to a diety that I'm not prepared to keep, so I'm trying to figure out exactly what patronage might entail. 

I understand it's going to be different for each diety and each worshipper, but I thought maybe learning what other people have experienced might give me some idea of what to expect.

So those of you who have a patron diety or dieties, especially those devoted to Brighid, would you be willing to share?

I've found that the biggest difference for me, after being told where I'm supposed to be has been the homework.  Like others have said.  I've been told what I'm supposed to be doing, finding purpose all that good stuff.

For the most part, as far as I've interpreted this means being a bridge between realities.  advocating for the individuals who make up groups that racially and spiritually have become the faceless masses, and the legendary few.  Through their kids. 

By learning multiple languages, with a focus on indigenous languages as well as working with multi sensory things, like music and dance I'm able to reach audiences who would have otherwise missed the message for the content.  That little bit of magic, and directed energy opens ears and minds that would have otherwise rejected the concepts.

In general using my rather forceful personality to remind those that are privileged that they aren't so because of any fundamental difference in humanity between themselves and others.  Even - and especially when they claim otherwise.  Simply a case of ratios, and choices.  For a scatter of the dice we all could have been on the other side of the fence.

The bulk of the effort has been study and networking.  Ms Tonan is very goal oriented, and doesn't make it easy for me.  I run into challenges and setbacks daily, but I've come to feel they are tests of will more so than anything.  When I can gather myself and come at them forcefully they shatter.

The last couple years seems to have been a coming into my own sort of place.  Realizing that I am powerful in my own life, and that even in the face of conflict, as long as I choose to be powerful, then there is really very little that stands up to that.

Like others have said, day to day I have all the same stuff that needs doing, but I've got my spirituality aligned with my concrete real world goals, becoming an ESL Kindergarten teacher, sponsoring an indigenous language program with the school, and encouraging kids to take things apart.

Since Tonan is a mother goddess, a death mother at that; (think Dakini's relationship to the sage) she has pretty stringent expectations around the house as well.  Mainly that I meet my own standards consistently.  Which is often challenging, and frustrating with all the other projects.  As a death mother, she wants all the organization of an apothecary, with all the warmth of grandmas kitchen.  Which is contradictory, a juxtapose, and probably why the relationship is a functional one.

She matches up with all my contradictions. 
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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
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« Reply #11: May 22, 2007, 11:55:10 am »

So those of you who have a patron diety or dieties, especially those devoted to Brighid, would you be willing to share?

My experiences:

1) Take it slowly. Even if you feel a pull towards a particular label (mine is 'handmaiden'), that doesn't mean you have to pick it up immediately. I tend to recommend at least a year of getting to know and working with a deity regularly before making any long-term commitment. A "I want to get to know you better." commitment with a reevalution date does most of the same things.

2) Speaking of, in general, I've been encouraged to not make long-term  commitments, but to make renewable ones. I've chosen *not* to do that with M'Lady and Himself, but that's my choice, and a number of people I know think it's not ideal. (Which is okay.)

My interactions with other deities are a lot more restricted: I negotiate for limited term, or limited scope, and usually both. (Or something like "I commit to these things
    , and I'm open to other negotiation as stuff comes up but I want to be explicit about it.")

    3) I'm still not entirely sure what my job is. Which is okay: I get very definite nudges about some things, and a bunch of stuff being very easy or very obvious at times. (Like finishing grad school: I started thinking seriously about going back, and bam, two weeks later, everything was lined up for the following fall.)

    I get the feeling that they're doing a fair amount of set-up, and that as other parts of my life shift, I will end up with more specific duties. Right now, I'm learning and re-forming my life to allow things to run smoothly (without undue worries about finances, available time, non-supportive relationships, etc.) and that's taking most of my time and energy.

    I also get the sense that a particular kind of information provision or weaving is a part of Their plan - which is why the library work is a vocation, and why I'm trying not to stress hugely about finding a job, because it's got to be the right one.

    Very different idea of timescale, anyway. I get the feeling that aboug 5 years of set-up time is .. erm, fairly prompt, all things considered. Which is okay.
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« Reply #12: May 22, 2007, 04:57:28 pm »

I just wanted to say "thanks" to everyone who's responded so far!  This is just the kind of information I was looking for.  *hugs*

It's going to take a while to digest it all, though.
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« Reply #13: May 22, 2007, 08:11:23 pm »

I just wanted to say "thanks" to everyone who's responded so far!  This is just the kind of information I was looking for.  *hugs*

It's going to take a while to digest it all, though.

I've been meaning to reply to this, but being on vacation has my mind a little fried. If you're still looking for more experiences when I get back, I'll definitely try to put together a coherent post. (I work with Brighid, amongst others.)
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« Reply #14: May 22, 2007, 09:05:27 pm »

I've been meaning to reply to this, but being on vacation has my mind a little fried. If you're still looking for more experiences when I get back, I'll definitely try to put together a coherent post. (I work with Brighid, amongst others.)
That would be excellent.

(Oh!  And, Juni, I just realized I never got back to you about the stuff you sent me on your path.  I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to neglect you!  I read it and was impressed but meant to go back and look at it more in depth before responding.  Then my life went insane.  Roll Eyes)
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