The First Post: About Me
(Updated 29 March 2018)
Greetings. I would introduce myself but I imagine you’ve already worked out that my name is Paula, and that this is my blog. Welcome.
I am a GenX housewife living in Pittsburgh. I’m originally from (what used to be) a rural college town in north-central Pennsylvania, about three hours’ drive from here up in the mountains. I love my life in the city but I still get terribly homesick for the country sometimes. I’ve also lived in upstate New York; Washington, D.C.; eastern Pennsylvania; and Portland, Oregon. My husband and I married just a few years ago; neither of us had any children along the way and we have no regrets about this. What would be the point?
I am quite a religious person although I rarely discuss this fact with anyone outside my small circle of like-minded seekers. I consider myself to be a “traditional pagan witch” — I am an animist and a soft-polytheist, and I practice alone. I have a daily practice which includes minimally a simple offering to the spirits and some meditation. My belief structure is drawn primarily from what can be established in the archaeological and folkloric records regarding my European ancestors’ indigenous worldviews and practices. More recently I have become interested in the role of the ancient Germanic völva, as well as in Pennsylfaanisch Deitsch folk magic (powwowing).
The definition of “witch” is extremely contested among those who care about such things. I consider myself a witch because I realized, finally in my late 40s, that the witch archetype perfectly describes the social role in which I have continually found myself since childhood: despised outcast who carries the truths no one else is willing to address. The witch carries the community’s collective shadow projection. She is perpetually the guilty party, the sinner, the outcast, the identified patient, the unclean, whose presence allows the community to believe itself upright and holy. She is a threat because she may at any time destroy the community by speaking the truth of its sins out loud. The witch is not a misunderstood child of nature, and she is not a victim. The community is right to be afraid of her.
In 2013, my then-fiancee and I purchased a fixer-upper house about 15 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. We paid cash, less than the price of a good used car. It is structurally solid but cosmetically traumatized. It sits on a mostly level double lot, which I plan to permaculture the shit out of. In fact our goal is to become as self-sufficient on our urban property as possible — urban homesteading complete with wool bunnies, chickens, bees, fruits and veggies!
I have not been able to start urban homesteading in earnest, as of this writing, because I have been sick. I have been sick for years. I have an autoimmune disorder called subclinical hypothyroidism that sucks the life out of me — this disorder causes my metabolism to slow way down, and its primary symptom is extreme fatigue. It also causes myriad spin-off illnesses which suck in their own right. I have come a long way in my healing but I still have a long, long way to go.
I’ve also started drawing again after a 20+ year hiatus. As a child and all through high school, I was a fiend with my crayons and later, proper ink pens and colored pencils. By my mid-20s I was beginning to develop a signature style but then… I got sick. Yes I was seriously ill for a few years in my mid-20s also. I stopped drawing back then and never picked it up again until the past year or so. After long efforts trying to recover my now-lost, nascent style I’ve given up and have moved on to a new medium: pastels. But my favorite subject matter has not changed. I love drawing plants of all kinds.
So… that’s me!
I’ve already gone beyond the limit of what the experts say I should for an “about me” page, so I’ll leave this right here. I certainly hope you will stop back in the future, and thanks for reading!