The following entry may contain triggering material.
I found the Cauldron forum through a member there named Sharysa, who mentioned it on a tarot forum that I’d joined to…well, supplement my tarot reading. (Five years ago, I’d just run away from my older sibling, got a new deck with the last of my savings from my first Real Job that I’d lost. Just having something in my hands to bounce ideas off really helped. It was the first deck I connected with. I still don’t regret the purchase, though for sure it was one I made without the planning or perspective I never have.)
I had a nascent idea about stories and mythology having profound significance, but I steered as close to psychism and witchcraft as I could and far from devotional polytheism…because I had witnessed devotion around another canon, and wondered, why is that the part anybody would want to copy?
But Manannan mac Lir was the name I had given to a figure from my dreams and some feelings I would pick up on. Our relationship was more that I kept screaming into the etheric for help, and that’s who answered. I owe(d) Manannan my life. But I didn’t consider myself pagan because of it…I didn’t exactly get "my tribe" or "my mothership" feels from pagans.
Sharysa was very open about being openheaded, though, which was about as close as I tended to get. Staying around a Reconstructionist-heavy forum gave me a valuable change in perspective too, better understanding of how religious systems are grounded in culture, the value of ritual customs—but, I joined right before my tarot forum buddy found out they were not a good fit.
And I didn’t think it was fair, how. The most aggressive response to their posts was "you have to go get therapy" whereas I had previously posted that I felt a lot of my difficulty with consolidating new memories came from my begging Manannan to remove my painful memories. Nobody at the Cauldron back then told me to get medicated or get therapy when I posted that, and even I pointed out that "Manannan mac Lir took my memories" was basically "aliens are stealing my thoughts" with tribal tattoos.
Not that I envied the way this lot back then were treating Sharysa, just that I didn’t understand why I kept getting away with doing the same thing, saying stuff that was equally crazy. Another poster put it better, that the most bandied-about advice with the openheaded in those forums then was "trust your intuition to lead you" but when this one poster did, it was suddenly all, "get therapy" no matter how many times Sharysa repeated that they were already seeing a therapist.
All of which I bring up because Sharysa remembered that I spoke up against that sort of thing…but didn’t remember, or, perhaps I didn’t say it outright enough, that I had changed my online name and stopped going to those tarot forums.
Those tarot forums shut down recently, and I was surprised that my buddy from there blogged about making several efforts to get back in contact, and calling themself a dumbass for not getting my Facebook or e-mail or…and I’m like, "Whoa, buddy! I’m right here! I know your LiveJournals and Tumblr, and even your Facebook but haven’t added you because I didn’t consider us all that close even after being e-quaintances for five years!"
Besides, I was a spiritual douchebag five years ago, especially to Sharysa, on those tarot forums…channeled unsolicited messages from Manannan once (which I apologized for later…in private message, under my new name even come to think of it! XD)
Also, I misidentified a gnome. (-_-‘)
But hey, Sharysa would’ve missed me! Their headcanon Dionysus and Bathala reportedly told them that our parting would work itself out (that second one, Bathala, being the all-father god among the Tagalogs—ethnolinguistic Philippine group, technically the one I’m a part of too, and so is Sharysa. Bathala hasn’t thwapped me, though, so I don’t have a mystic’s headcanon of that deity.) (—Anyway, cut to my doing the digital equivalent of jumping up and down and waving my arms, with alternating doe and puppy eyes. Of course it worked out! I was still here on the other forums, the whole time!)
So that’s something that happened this week. Farewell goodbye, Aeclectic tarot forums! The divine intervention I mentioned, if that’s what it was, has worn off enough so that I do have memories at all again—and so, fond ones. Of that forum.