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My Many Faces

I had an amazing time at Pantheacon 2013, which was held in San Jose over President’s Day weekend approximately 2 weeks ago.  It was 4 days of workshops, connecting with others in the Pagan community, rituals, and for me, something of an identity crisis.

hello-my-name-isIt’s always interesting when I introduce myself to new people.  At work and in some of my social circles, I use the name I was given at birth.  In my coven, and in Pagan circles, I use my chosen name of Lazarus.  That’s the name I have been using to write this blog. And then there’s my persona as a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence.  Many people in Portland, and in various queer and LGBT communities know me as Sister Krissy Fiction, the nun that got nailed.  So when I meet someone for the first time, I sometimes have a brief second where I pause and quite literally have to ask myself, “Who am I right now?  What name am I using?”

My nametag at Pantheacon said “Lazarus K” on it.  But this is what often happened:

Me, to someone I had met previously: “Hey, good to see you again.  I’m Lazarus.”

Them: *blank stare*

Me: “I’m also Sister Krissy”

Them: “Oh, yeah!  Hey, nice to see you!”

Even if I was meeting someone for the first time, I would often add that I’m also a Sister because that’s a large part of my work in the community and it was relevant to what was being discussed.

That people remember Sister Krissy better than they remember Lazarus isn’t really that surprising.  Krissy did manifest on 2 separate occasions at Pantheacon in 2012.  I went to the 383381_273743546077362_467287327_nPomba Gira on Friday night all decked out as Krissy, and then I also participated in the meditation on Sunday led by T. Thorn Coyle that brought attention to issues of transgender individuals being excluded at public rituals.  So Krissy was more visible in 2012 than Lazarus was.  I mean, really.  A big fabulous drag clown nun covered in glitter is just harder to forget than some stocky bearded dude in jeans and a t-shirt.  That’s just the way it is.

All of this got me to thinking about who I am in which communities I am a part of, what personas I use, and which voice would I like to use in which community.  Part of my set intentions for 2013 is to work on my spiritual writing.  My intention has been to do that through this blog.  But I haven’t really blogged all that much yet.  It’s not like Lazarus K has this huge following.  Since it seems like more people know me as Sister Krissy, should I just take the plunge and blog as Krissy rather than Lazarus?  That’s what I’m considering.

Some questions I’m asking myself:

  • Do I really want to “be” Sister Krissy all the time?  There were a few other Sisters at Pantheacon this year.  A small group from San Francisco came together.  None of them dressed up in their Sister uniforms and outfits, but they used their Sister names on their nametags.  Another Sister mentioned to me that she wouldn’t want to do that.  She’s not a Sister when she’s at Pantheacon.  It’s a different community.  I get that and respect it.  It’s what is right for her.  But is it how I feel?
  • Does Sister Krissy have a unique voice?  Does she have something to say to the Pagan community?  I feel that the answer to those questions is yes.  I do feel that Sister Krissy does have a unique voice and has the ability to speak to the queer and Pagan community.
  • What happens if I retire Sister Krissy or stop being a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence?  This happens.  Sure, I love being a Sister, and I currently see it as a big part of who I am.  Will I ever get to the point where I put the veil and eyelashes back in the closet for good?  Maybe?  What then?  I dunno.  Maybe I start over with a new blog… again.
  • Should I just retool my current blog, or start a whole new one?  I could just keep this blog and my persona as Lazarus K, but emphasize my role as a Sister.  But I am leaning towards launching a new blog.  I have a new title, that I think is a little less serious.  One of my struggles with blogging is that I feel like I always have to post an entry is serious and covers a topic like a short essay.  I’d like to move towards being able to have those kinds of serious entries, but also shorter, more whimsical ones.  Also, Whereto We Speed is taken from a Gnostic text, and so I tend to only post on spiritual topics.  I’d like a new blog to cover more topics, including pop culture, politics, and LGBT news and culture.

This is officially my last post here.  Over the next few days I’m going to launch my new blog, Promulgate This!  (It’s not currently set up, so if you click there you are just going to see bare bones.)  I’m not retiring Lazarus K.  I still go by Lazarus in my coven, and in other Pagan circles, and will continue to do so.  I will still also continue to talk about myself as Lazarus on the blog.  Not every post will be about my experience as a Sister.  But Sister Krissy and my role as a Sister will have a beefier presence over on the new blog.  I hope you’ll join me over there and contribute to the conversation!


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The Serpent is Emerging

Once again I’m behind on the Pagan Blog Project.  While all the other Pagans across the blogosphere (or at least the ones participating in the PBP) have moved on to blog posts about topics that begin with the letter “C,” I’m still working on the second entry for the letter “B.”

I have some valid excuses.  My partner and I just moved into a new home last weekend, and it’s a really great home to be in.  I was in a small studio apartment prior to this move, and there are some really great things about living in this space as compared to the old space.  I now have a washer and dryer right here at home, instead of having to use laundry gold (quarters) in an apartment complex laundry room.  I have a full size fridge instead of the mini-fridge I had in the apartment.  I can buy real food now and I have someplace to put it!  There is plenty of storage here.  And we have one room that is dedicated just for ritual/spiritual/devotional use.  We’ve dubbed the new home “The Priory.”  A priory is another word for a monastery that is headed by a prior or a prioress.  Since I am the current Prioress (President) of the Portland Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and we’d like our home to someplace that spiritual activities take place, naming it the Priory seemed appropriate.

So, back to my excuses.  I just moved.  I’m surrounded by boxes and half-unpacked clothes and books.  Since I have a regular 9-5 day job, I’ve been using the evenings to unpack little by little.  I haven’t had much time for spiritual writing.  The end result is that I’m slightly behind on blog posts.  My plan is to have a post up on a “B” topic on either Sunday or Monday.  I’ve been working on a post about the broom closet.  And then I am hoping to add 2 more posts on “C” topics sometime next week or next weekend, which should get me all caught up.

In the meantime, I hope you’ve all had a blessed Imbolc.  My coven met today for our gathering, which consists of several activities.  In the myth cycle that we follow, Imbolc is the time when the Goddess returns to the world from the underworld, which she entered at Mabon (the Automn Equinox).  It’s a time of continuing expansion of light and the joy of Spring.   Our coven has incorporated many of the elements of Delores Ashcroft-Nowicki‘s Village Tradition into our own practices.  For Imbolc, the men head off into the woods to look for a “tallow maid” a Y shaped tree branch that the women then decorate with flowers, ribbons, candles, and notes containing prayers, messages, and requests to the gods and ancestors.  The tallow maid represents a maiden being sacrificed so that Spring will return and the light will continue to expand. After the ritual, the maid is then “sacrificed” by being “thrown from a cliff.”  In the past this has consisted of being tossed from one of Portland’s bridges into the Willamette River.


This year, as we arrived at the forest park where we would look for our tallow maid, and we headed off onto the trail, the very first thing we saw was a small snake.  Everyone took this as a positive sign.  Indeed, after doing a short bit of research online, I found that the sighting of a serpent on Bigid’s Day (Imbolc) is a good sign about the coming of Spring similar to the traditions of Groundhog Day (or the Oregon Zoo hedgehog if you live in Portland.)  A Scottish Gaelic proverb about the day is:

Early on Brigids morn
   The serpent shall come from the hole,
I will not molest the serpent,
   Nor will the serpent molest me.
~Alexander Carmichael,
Carmina Gadelica

Another version from the same source says:

The serpent will come from the hole
   On the brown Day of Brigid,
Though there should be three feet of snow
   On the flat surface of the ground.

I definitely see this sighting as a good sign.  Life is beginning to visibly return to the land.  We’re coming out of our burrows and energy is starting to flow and move.  Things are growing! Things are moving!  Spring is on the way!  I see this little snake as a symbolic blessing on the energies we’ve kindled and are just now starting to work with.  Those energies will continue to expand and grow.  Now is the time to let those energies start moving freely!

I hope that however you have celebrated this holiday, whether it be as Imbolc, Candlemas, or even as Groundhog Day, that your day was also filled with good food, good friends, and many smiles.  May the light continue to expand, and may you find joy as you see the resurgence of Spring in the coming weeks!  Blessings to you!

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Happy Turkey Day!


Happy Turkey Day! I’m especially grateful for things from Turkey today, like Antinous! Antinous was from Bithynia, which would be modern-day Turkey. These strapping lads are also from Turkey. Turkish Oil Wrestling. It’s a thing! Google it!

On a more serious note, I have many things in my life for which I am thankful.  The gods have, indeed, been very gracious to me.  Here’s hoping that your Day of Thanks is filled with community, laughter, and blessings!

Also, look for me to return to blogging soon.  My home computer has died and until I get  new one, my computer access is limited to work and my boyfriend’s place.  I had good intentions of starting back with regular blogging a month or so ago, but… eh, such is life.  I should be getting a new computer in the next couple of weeks, however, so look for more from me soon.

Lazarus K

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Belly Up!

Wouldn’t you know it? Right after I decide to start a blog and discipline myself to post on a regular basis, my computer goes belly up. Right now, the only access I have to get online is at work (with a supervisor peeking over my shoulder), or on my phone (big thumbs, little keys). Neither option is ideal. I do have a new (old) computer coming, however, which I should have up by this weekend. So look for posts to start back up next week.

In the meantime, what topics would you like to see me discuss here?

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