Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Reader Question: How can I get involved in the Kansas City Pagan Community?

Vaguelyglamorous asks:
Q. How is the pagan community in Kansas City?  I'll be moving there soon and was hopeful to get involved.


A. Hi there, and congratulations on your upcoming move!  Kansas City is a wonderful, beautiful city.  I was born and raised here and I love it!

We have an incredibly active pagan community in good ol’ KC.  Your perfect starting place would be to check out the Kansas City Witches Meetup Group on Meetup.com (there’s also a Facebook group located here).  In this group, you can learn about many of the current events going on in KC, such as Pagan Movie Night and seasonal parties (including Bats in your Belfry around Samhain and their New Years Eve event).  Every section of the city also has a monthly Coffee Coven meet through KCWMU where pagans, witches and the spiritual meet to discuss various topics.  It’s a great way to socialize!  If you manage to make it to the Liberty Coffee Coven, that’s the one I attend as I’m located in the Northland.

Liithi Lushede Coven holds public rituals for every sabbat (they also have a Facebook account here and a Facebook group here).  As I’m their official photographer, you can take a look at the rituals they hold here.  Liithi Lushede typically have around 60-120 in attendance, with considerably more for Samhain. High Priestess Gwenhwyfar Wyrrd is incredibly sweet and amazing and her rituals are always spot on!  Gwenhwyfar also offers classes fairly often, which you can find on her Facebook page located here.

We have a variety of metaphysical stores, including Aquarius and White Light south of the river, Crescent Springs in Leewood and Mystic Treasures up north in Gladstone.  There are other stores in the area, but these are the ones I frequent.  Each store has knowledgeable staff and frequent classes, fairs and events!  In fact, the KC Witches Meetup has two events every month - one at Aquarius and one at Mystic Treasures.

Near-by, we also have the Gaea Retreat Center, which is 168 acres of camping and event land just an hour away from the KC metro.  So many events are held there that it would be hard to list them all, but some of the big ones include the Heartland Pagan Festival, Zenfest, Gaea Goddess Gathering and Lightning Across the Plains (Heathen-based Gathering).

In addition, we have Gathering of Pagan Souls, a pagan festival held at Eighty Acres.  Special guests, workshops, merchants and more are at this one, and it's just 30 minutes from KC.

Our city’s Pagan Pride Day is typically held in September in Merriam. KS.  It’s a great way to connect with other pagans, celebrate your religious and spiritual beliefs, and support local vendors and entertainers.  Somehow, I always manage to miss KCPPD every year because of my job, so I can’t give you a personal explanation of the experience but I’ve heard that it’s amazing!

The Psychical Research Society of KC holds Psychic Fairs.  Beyond psychic readings, you can purchase a multitude of metaphysical supplies and crafts from vendors and attend informational lectures.

There’s also a yearly KC Metaphysical Fair held in Overland Park, KS with free workshops, door prizes and an incredibly large amount of vendors!  They have a KC Metaphysical Community Calendar on Facebook located here.

And this is just what I know of!  I’m sure I’m missing a variety of events in and near KC, but this should give you a solid start.  If you’re interested in more information, I can give you a few specific community organizers to contact in a private message.

Best of luck on your move and welcome to Kansas City!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Last of the Apartment

I've talked about the apartment on this blog so much that I feel like I almost feel like I don't have to recap.  However, just in case, here's what happened.

In 2013, my husband and I, along with our four pets, moved into an apartment after our rental house had officially sold.  The complex turned out to be truly awful, with bad tenants, bug infestations, maintenance issues galore and even a murder.  It made both myself and my pets terribly ill, for reasons of which we're not quite sure yet.  These illnesses soaked up what we had of a savings and all potential ability to move out at the end of the lease.  Friends and readers who saw our struggles lent us a hand through GoFundMe. From there, we moved into our new, wonderful rental house.

This is the last post about the apartment I will ever make.

When we moved away from the apartment in September 2014, everyone's health issues cleared.  Everyone, that is, except Hermes.  In March of last year at the apartment, he began having infrequent but troublesome vomiting spells.  Every two weeks to three months, he'd throw up a white, foamy mucus substance seven to ten times in a row.  It was quite taxing on him, and had us incredibly concerned.  Unfortunately, even after we moved, the vomiting spells continued.

Through a series of vetting appointments, we learned that he could have anything from a food allergy to intestinal cancer.  On New Year's Day, we ended up rushing him to an emergency vet because he threw up blood.  There, we were told his intestines were inflamed.  Blood work at our regular vet showed that his white blood cell count was very, very slightly elevated.  They gave us a special bag of hypoallergenic food, but Hermes threw it up every time he ate it.

Then, we found the answer.  At the apartment, the cats had apparently picked up a parasite.  While the other two managed their infections just fine, Hermes had an extreme reaction to it.  That's why his intestines were inflamed and his WBC slightly elevated.  We found out by treating them for it as a precaution, and visibly getting our answer.  It would have been pointless for us to treat them for that parasite while living there because they would have continued to pick it back up.  In fact, the soonest we could have treated them without risk of reinfection was this month.  Despite that, we're absolutely relieved to have an answer.

Surprise, surprise: It was still the apartment coming back to haunt us.

The day we treated them, I went through my wallet and found an interesting slip of paper.  When I went back in September to clean the apartment after moving out, I took the tag to our mailbox.  I threw it in my wallet with the intent to burn it when I got home, but I imagine this or that caused me to forget.

This is what happens when you drag a piece of the past around with you, figuratively or literally.

So what did I do with it when I found it?  I did exactly what I wanted to do: I burned it.

I then put the ashes in a jar with salt to neutralize the energy.  When I get a moment this week, I plan on taking it back to the complex and dumping the ashes there.  I want to take the energy that apartment complex emits and make it stay there.

Before 2014, I was the kind of person that took hits in stride and kept moving.  We had a lot of negative things happen, particularly in 2012, but I never let them slow me down or hold me back.  To say that I wasn't myself last year was an understatement.  Hopefully, with the start of 2015, I can officially close the door on that chapter.

Good riddance, Apartment #314.

Oh, and Hermes?  He's feeling much better.

Monday, January 12, 2015

January Official Check-In List!

Time frame is currently 39% over.
Overall: 41% complete.

Goals that are crossed out are goals not applicable to this month unless otherwise noted.

Career Goals - 73% Complete for the month.
Read Independent Contractor by Mike Piper (100 pgs). – 42% complete
Organize computer desktop. – 100% complete.
Update MDArtist.com to caricatures only. – 100% complete.
One caricature per week (4 total). – 50% complete.

Financial Goals - 23.17% Complete for the month.
We're planning on going to the bank this week, since last week was bad weather.
Maintain current budget for 31 days. – 39% complete
Add money to savings (determined at end of month). – 0% complete.
Marietta gets a credit card. – 0% complete.
Aaron gets a credit card. – 0% complete.
Pay in an extra $400 to the Chase Loan. – 100% complete.
Talk to the bank about freelancer retirement options. – 0% complete.

Health Goals - 67.5% Complete for the month.
I lost a lot of weight up front by not eating out.
I don't expect other months to be as simple.
Lose 5.09 pounds (at 1.15 pounds a week). – 118% complete
Stay on diet at least six days a week. – 39% complete.
Exercise 8 times this month through classes starting January 9th. – 13% complete.
Take Anxiety Test on low anxiety day. – 100% complete.

Home Goals - 25% Complete for the month.
I have cutting a fourth of storage for the following Saturday on my schedule.
Aaron's working on getting the materials for the bed frame.
Obtain materials for a home organization binder system. – 75% complete
Cut storage in 1/4th. – 0% complete.
Find half of the materials for the bed frame. – 0% complete.

Knowledge Goals - 55.75% Complete for the month.
Drink 8 glasses of water a day. – 39% complete
Visit news sites daily. – 39% complete.
Read Tom Richmond's The Mad Art of Caricature (170 pgs). – 45% complete.
Take one class outside of my comfort zone. – 100% complete.
I'm currently taking belly dancing AND Zumba starting next week,
but I think I'll count Zumba toward February.

Personal Goals - 44.5% Complete for the month.
Begin waking up on or before 7 am six days a week. – 39% complete
Plan garden location and types of plants. – 50% complete.
Travel one place for the year. – 0% complete.

Relationship Goals - 37.5% Complete for the month.
Our date night is scheduled for the 17th.
Date Night: Movie night in. – 50% complete
Weekly walks (4 weeks). – 25% complete.

Spiritual Goals - 0% Complete for the month.
I'm admittedly pretty behind here.
This week will definitely be a catch-up week for this.
Consult with Nate for layout changes. – 0% complete
Rune studies: The Physical History of Runes / The First Aett and Fehu. – 0% complete.