Heather 11-2-2015 – 12-15-2017

Heather isn’t dead. The time stated in the title is the time she occupied one of the two rooms we rent out to lodgers. I usually do not write about our Housemates, but Heather was unique. So unique in fact that we will NEVER rent to a Pisces again.

She was a nice person. In her 40s. A bit overweight maybe. Hell, she was obese! She probably tipped the scale at 450. But the kind of guys she dated liked that sort of thing. She also had two Masters Degrees, and a very decent job at a local business that provided 215 cards. She always paid her rent on time, and in fact frequently paid a few days early. What was really nice was she held an account at the same Credit Union we are members of, so she could pay her rent via direct deposit.

But (here come the buts) she was dirty. Every time she took a shower she left a ring of dirt in the bottom of the tub. This was in the shower, mind you. You would think that she worked out in the fields. But no, she worked in an office. Once or twice a month we had to run the special Draino drain cleaner for hair clogs. Once a month we would find menstrual blood under the rim of the toilet seat. Gross!

The real issue was her use of her space. Housemates, in addition to their room, have a deep cabinet over and under the the built in oven. They also have half of the bottom shelf in the refrigerator and the “crisper” drawer underneath. In addition, they have a drawer in the bathroom, and Heather had the ancillary space on the thing that hung from the shower head. She also had a cabinet above the washer and dryer in the laundry room. She seemed to think that she had to fill all of these spaces up. But mostly, she filled them with crap. The ancillary space below the shower head had normal stuff, so that one is a pass. The space in the laundry room had laundry supplies, but also a stockpile of special african black soap she used. The drawer in the bath room was a trow all. Used partial slivers of soap, unread mail, read mail, used razors and other crap that normal people would throw in the trash. Not Heather. She saved it all. There seemed to be about 25 months worth.

She had a ton of food packed into her kitchen cabinet space. Some of it was open. There were deceased bananas, and other fruit; moldy and breeding G-d knows what. Her refrigerator space was also like this, with lots of takeout containers, jelly jars, several unopened packages of butter. Both the drawer and the space above were overflowing with this crap.
The thing is: she didn’t cook. Well, she must have made toast once in a while. She had a few dozen partially used loaves of sour dough, both in the refrigerator and in her space in the mini freezer. She usually ate out at restaurants, or had take out delivered. I don’t think I ever saw her cook. Yet she had all this space in the refrigerator, and her cabinet space loaded – top to bottom, side to side, front to back. When she left, the local food bank received a sizable donation. Well, of what was still in packages and edible. A lot was way past the expiration date and was tossed.

The real problem was her room. This we discovered as she was moving out. She hoarded garbage. Literally. We gathered eight bags of trash out of her room. Additionally, there were 5 bags of CRV (California Refund Value) plastic (soda, water, etc.), a paper bag full of soda cans, and another of bottles. I made $25 at the recycling center for that. Now, keep in mind that Ceridwen, myself and our other Housemate spent 6 hours bagging this stuff. It was all just strewn about the room.

Anyroad. Heather is gone now.  We’ve mopped down the walls and ceiling took out the trash and vacuumed.  I think we will need to hire someone to clean the carpet. It looks pretty bad.

We kept her deposit.  This is only about the 3rd time we have done this. Mainly because she moved without giving us a written notice, but the violations of her housemate agreement were many, many fold.  She must have known that would be the result of her weird housekeeping habits.

I’ve never written about a Housemate before. We’ve been doing this since about 2007 (it pays the atrocious rent we pay here). Most stay about six months. Heather was one of two exceptions to this rule. We’ve learned not to rent to men (they’re almost always “children”).  And now there will never be another Pisces. Unless she has Virgo rising to counter act it.


Pacifism IS a Pagan Value

Like it or not, Pacifism and especially Peace Activism is a Pagan value. Especially I believe, a Druid value (and I think that the insistence that because the iron age Celts were a warrior society, we Druids therefore must embrace warriorship is absurd). The obvious destruction and pollution to the environment that results from modern methods and weapons of warfare should be enough, I would think, to convince Pagans of this obvious position. But sometimes it takes more, so I direct you to this blog, by Druid Ali: http://meadowsweet-myrrh.blogspot.com which contains a series of articles relating to this idea of Pacifism as a Pagan value. She has really been hit with the Awen here, and I trust you will find these as enlightening as I did.

Here’s a sample: “When trying to understand a philosophy of pacifism or nonviolence, therefore, we can define the word “violence” broadly, without making the absurd claim that all destruction should or can be avoided. Personally, I define “violence” as: a rejection or denial of the unique and meaningful individuality of a being. Rejecting that another being has a unique and meaningful individual existence independent from our own can lead us to impose our wills or passions on them by force. Such force can be physical and cause physical injury or even death, but it can also be emotional, psychological or even spiritual. In her book Living With Honour, Emma Restall Orr talks about the Welsh and Gealic words for “face,” and invokes the notion of “being face-to-face” as at the heart of what honor means in Celtic society. An act of violence against another is an act of dishonor, refusing to come face-to-face, diminishing and disempowering others, alienating and isolating them and denying them relationship with us, denying our interconnection.

Planning on decorating a tree this year?

This time every year, thousands of us go out and purchase a tree to decorate for the Yule.  After the Yule what do we do with it? In the case of artificial trees, we pack them up and put them in the attic for next year.  In the case of cut trees, they end up in the landfill  (actually, back when I lived in Santa Cruz the members of the Pagan alliance there used to keep their trees and other greenery in the backyard until Imbolc, then we’d cart this very dry stuff down to the beach and make a bonfire out of it. It was glorious!). 

This year, I propose that we all purchase live trees (in a pot – in soil).  After the secular New Year is over, we can truck these down to our nearest National Forest or Park and replant them  (check with local officials first of course). 

Of course, in our area here, a Coast Redwood (Sequoia Sempervirons) would be the ideal choice.

Worlds tallest living Xmas Tree (a Coast Redwood)- Ferndale CA 2017

Poly stuff

The philosophy or state of being in love or romantically involved with more than one person at the same time. All persons involved are friends of each other.

An intimate relationship structure where all members are considered equal partners and agree to restrict sexual activity to only other members of the group.

Line Marriage:
The is a form invented by author Robert A Heinlein. As described in his novel, “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress (tMiaHM),” basically a married couple adopts another person (male or female) and adds that person to their marriage. This continues until there are many co-wives and co-husbands in the marriage.  When subsequently, partners die off, the marriage continues, and wealth is simply compounded over many years. Wikipedia says this: “The characters argue that the line family creates economic continuity and parental stability in an unpredictable, dangerous environment. Manuel’s line marriage is said to be over 100 years old. The family is portrayed as economically comfortable because improvements and investments made by previous spouses compounded, rather than being lost between generations. Heinlein also makes it a point that this family is racially diverse.”

In tMiaHM, a young woman seeks to join the marriage.  The adult members vote on this. The outcome must be unanimous. On the night of her wedding, she sleeps with the oldest male member, then each night following, with other males according to seniority.  Whether or not she has intercourse with them is a matter of her own choosing, and the choice of the male in question. Any of them can opt out. They may only have intercourse if both agree.

Children are considered to be the “children of all,” although, every child knows who their mother is.

From 1971 to 1981, the Kerista Commune in San Francisco was a kind of group marriage, similar to  the Line Marriage described above. They in fact coined the term “polyfidelity.”  They used an elaborate rotation calendar to determine who slept with whom on any given night (Kerista was divided into small groups of five to six, called BFICs. The calendar governed each BFIC, not the entire community). The calendar was used to insure that favorites didn’t develop; that all men and women had equal opportunity.  Generally, these marriage forms exclude bisexual and homosexual behavior, but I do not believe that they have to be that exclusive.

Why did Kerista split up?  The leader of the group John Peltz “Bro Jud” Presmont,  left. Kerista’s main fault was that it was essentially a  personality cult, revolving around “Bro Jud.” However, there is a remnant of Kerista that exists on the island of Maui, in Hawaii.

Group marriage is considered anti-capitalistic. This is because a group of people will naturally use less resources than individuals will. For example, a group marriage of six adults could share a three bedroom house easily, yet society would only approve of two adults sharing a house. This is why you don’t see many multi bedroom homes anymore. Likewise, they may share a common vehicle, common appliances, etc.

What is the difference between Polyamory and Swinging?  The names give it away. Polyamory means “many loves.”  Swinging, on the other hand, is strictly a sexual practice. Swingers tend to be couples who “swap wives” and engage in casual sex with just about anyone, with no strings attached. You can’t do that with people you love, nor are you likely to.  In fact it is possible to be Polyamorous and never have sex.

Polyfidelity brings the matter to a head, for here you have a group of people who are actually committed to one another and practice sex exclusively in that group.

What about jealousy?  What is jealousy anyway? Popular culture equates love with ownership. Think about Valentines Day for example.  The little candy hearts with “Be MY Valentine.”  When you are in love you belong (are owned by) another person.  That sounds like a form of slavery to me. You cannot own another person, nor should you think of another person, or yourself, as belonging (being owned) by someone else.  Jealousy is therefore a societal  construct of slavery. Your become jealous when someone you believe you own is being used (or allowing themselves to be used) by someone else.  Jealousy is a behavior that has been conditioned into people. It’s a learned behavior. Therefore, it can be unlearned.

Compersion is the opposite of jealousy. Compersion is the celebration of the happiness and or pleasure experienced by a persons partner when they are with someone else.

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own… Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy.” – Robert A. Heinlein