My Cognitive Type Analysis

Late last year, I submitted a video for analysis to the team at CognitiveType.com. I would have shared the results of my analysis sooner, but I didn’t want to attract too much attention to the site until video submissions were open again to the public. The founder of Cognitive Type (CT) was quite accommodating of the occasional wanderer who found their way into the forum or discord server, even offering the occasional complimentary analysis, but he wasn’t quite ready for the entire world ;p I also needed some time to process the results of my analysis on my own, to be sure I understood and was comfortable with my type. Having previously tried on nearly every possible Jungian-based type, sometimes changing my mind only weeks later, I needed to be relatively confident before making an announcement lest I come across as fickle yet again. lol.

It turns out, I am NeFi! Not to be confused with mbti ENFP, though it’s the same set of functions. Many of the NeFi’s in CT type as INFP in MBTI, while many FiNe’s type as INFJs (see this forum thread for an explanation). Also differentiating CT from other Jungian-based systems is development level, which refers to which functions in the stack are fully conscious. My full CT type is NeFi lll-, which means that I have the first three functions of an NeFi, Ne-Fi-Te, developed and explains why I typed variably as both T and F in MBTI. In CT, it is also possible to be polarized, having both first and last functions conscious and making a direct mapping over to MBTI even more impossible. The development level is not static, and can change over time, but it takes a significant change in one’s life to prompt a function to come or go from consciousness.

Because I was analyzed as a test subject before the site went fully public, I didn’t receive the extra-detailed report that currently comes with a CT analysis. I’ll probably make a couple of new videos and submit them just for that report sometime in the future. For now, I’ve already spent too much money sending in videos to get most of my family typed XD

For anyone interested, there is currently a promotional price of $29.99 for an analysis. I don’t know for how much longer this will be. This price is for the first 100 submissions and I know there have already been several since it went public.

UPDATE: I have submitted new videos and received my full typing report. I am still NeFi lll-

My Typing Report and corresponding Tally Sheet

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New Year, New Spiritual Practice

After leaving polytheism last summer, I’ve been in spiritual limbo. I have been busy re-building my practice, as is evident from previous posts, but I’ve been missing the actual doing of it. I haven’t done any rituals since last summer and I was finally feeling the lack. In the spirit of my New Year’s theme (progress, not perfection), I took what I have created so far and made a simple New-Year ritual out of it.

I’m pretty satisfied with what I came up with. I keep thinking it needs more, and I may add more from time to time, but I also appreciate the simplicity of it. The longer and more fancy my rituals become, the less motivated I am to do them. For now, I intend to keep this format, more or less, for regular bi-monthly rituals.

Heart of Winter Ritual

[Fill Well
Light Candle]

I have come here to recognize and celebrate the beginning of a new year, a new quarter, and a new season; and to calibrate my compass for my journey into the first season of the year. The Year is 2019 and the Season is The Heart of Winter.

I begin this rite by calling for grith,
that in grith, I may receive the voice of the universe
and it may receive mine.

At this time, I set aside my woes
which I am want to blame on all but myself
that I may take responsibility for my future
and express nought but gratitude
for the freedom and opportunities I have to do so.

As I sit before my altar,
I feel the waters support and surround me
delivering me to myself.
I feel the land extend about me
anchoring me to the physical world.
I feel the sky stretch above me
calling me to a higher purpose.

I have arrived at the sacred center,
before Fire, Well, and Tree,
where all that was is and may be meet in sacred union.
From here, I prepare myself for the work ahead of me.

I warm my heart before the sacred fire
that all I do be in love and kindness.

I cleanse my mind with water of the sacred well
that it be ever open, curious, and discerning.

I grow the sacred tree within myself,
that I might live in harmony with nature.

By Fire, Well, and Tree have I prepared myself
For the journey ahead of me, into the first quarter of the new year

As I step boldly into my future,
May the phrase “Progress, not Perfection” be my guide this year
May piano practice be my focus this quarter
And may the mini-challenges I am about to propose keep me from stagnation this season.

This Heart of Winter Season, I challenge myself to:
Try a new recipe
Enjoy a day without social media
Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts
and last but not least, slow down and appreciate the season before it is over

Before I close this rite, I would like to express my gratitude for (all things I am grateful for atm)

(Include prayers, condolences, etc. as desired)

And now, I must take my leave from Sacred Time, that I may proceed on my journey

May the Tree become once again a figurine; the Well, water, and the Fire, a flame

That I may return to the mundane, having been nourished by the sacred, its magic within me, showing me the way.

Love and Peace to All Beings!
As it was, as it is, as it evermore shall be
With the Ebb, With the Flow
Blessed Be*

nb. Rather than breaking up my year according to lunar or solar markers, I follow the Gregorian calendar, breaking it into 24 bi-monthly seasons, named according to my personal reckoning. I have found this method to feel more harmonious than attempting to juggle multiple calendars, spiritual and secular. I still keep track of the moon, and even give my own names to the lunar months (according to the term in which the full moon lands), but my primary spiritual calendar is Gregorian.

I have made a few adjustments since I last shared my 24-season calendar. Here is the updated version:

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 10.11.35 PM.png

* Closing words inspired by the Carmina Gadelica as modified by Ozark Pagan Mamma

A Ritual Opener

Although no longer a member of the druidic church, Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF), I still appreciate much of ADF’s liturgy. The following is a ritual opener I have adapted from some of my older ADF rituals. Besides removing theistic references, I also replaced passive voice with active to emphasize my active role in the world.

I begin this rite by calling for grith,
that in grith, I may receive the voice of the universe
and it may receive mine.

At this time, I set aside my woes
which I am want to blame on all but myself
that I may take responsibility for my future
and express nought but gratitude
for the freedom and opportunities I have to do so.

As I sit before my altar,
I feel the waters support and surround me
delivering me to myself.
I feel the land extend about me
anchoring me to the physical world.
I feel the sky stretch above me
calling me to a higher purpose.

I have arrived at the sacred center,
before Fire, Well, and Tree,
where all that was, is, and may be meet in sacred union.
From here, I prepare myself for the day/work ahead of me.

I warm my heart before the sacred fire
that all I do be in love and kindness.

I cleanse my mind with water of the sacred well
that it be ever open, curious, and discerning.

I grow the sacred tree within myself,
that I might live in harmony with nature.

By Fire, Well, and Tree, have I prepared to (set my intentions, face my demons, face the day, celebrate, other working as desired..)

My Existential Spirituality

I’ve been deep in thought lately, deliberating over the details of my spirituality and worldview. 

Is there a natural order to the universe? a purpose? free will? fate? mind and/or body?

I do not know. I may never know. All I know is that I exist. I am an existentialist. I give meaning to my own life and experiences.

I explore all sources of potential knowledge and wisdom. I meditate to access the potential knowledge within. I explore the material world to access the knowledge without. I ponder various philosophies and their implications. I tarry a while with those that catch my fancy, but am careful not to deceive myself into accepting them as absolute truths.

I prefer to believe there is a shared objective reality, but since no one has a bird’s eye view of the universe, I can only presume that there is one based on corroborated human experience. I can transcend this presumed reality within the boundaries of my individual mind, but I have observed that getting too comfortable in the subjective leads to alienation and madness. So while I can’t be certain of what is real, I ground myself in humanity’s ostensibly objective reality for my own sanity. My mind is a playground wherein I can explore and manipulate alternate realities without fear that I will upset the external world. In so doing, I hope to come out of it better prepared to tackle problems in the external world. 

I do not believe in magic at a distance, but I do believe I can change consciousness at will. I may not have free will, but I live as though I do. Or rather, I perceive that I do. If I don’t have free will, it makes no difference what I believe so I may as well believe what I want (since this would be my belief regardless). If I do have free will, and I choose to believe that I don’t, there would be repercussions. 

I accept unexplained synchronicities at face-value, indulging in the awe of the moment without attributing to it arbitrary and unnecessary explanation – deity, fate, the power of my mind, etc. 

At the heart of my spirituality is gratitude. I may not always know to whom or what I ought to direct it, but I express it all the same. The universe is an awesome place with or without supernatural interference. I am grateful to be a part of it. I am grateful to be having this human experience. I am grateful for all the events, coincidence or otherwise, to which I attribute meaning. 

A Toast to Autumn

6457805161_6fd454f103_z
Sunshine + fall colors = happiness” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Mark K.

Autumn, born in August, Summer’s clout preeminent, finally, you come into your own. Like a young maiden presented at her debutante ball, we see you now: still young, still green, but a force with which to reckon. Summer yields to your power. This is your day, your right of passage. May you take the reins of Nature’s chariot that Summer may retreat into sweet slumber. 

Deep Time: One More Dial on my Wheel

The more I explore Naturalistic paganism, the less inclined I feel to hold onto lingering superstitions. I still enjoy speculating on the supernatural and remain agnostic, but my spirituality has found a more personally fulfilling home in natural world. If there is a supernatural world, I trust that I will learn of it in good time. Until then, I intend to embrace all that I can of the natural world while I have an Earthly body in which to do so. 

Ironically, I feel more open to spiritual experience since turning away from the supernatural. I am no longer bound by vague deity relationships, orthopraxic rules of semi-reconstructed hearth cultures, or anything save my own code of ethics. I am free to explore and experiment without fear of offending the gods. If there are gods and if they are offended, well that’s on them for being so superfluously elusive. 

With such freedom, however, comes a lack of direction. I am inspired and motivated, but a little lost all the same, so I took a break from formal ritual and Sabbat observance to sort myself out. The first thing I did was revisit my personal wheel of the year. It’s focus on micro seasons and phenology already provides me with a head start into less deity-centric practice, but there is always room for improvement. One aspect I’ve always appreciated about the cyclical observance of the year is the extent to which my observances can vary from year to year as I map the wheel onto other wheels of the greater circle of life and existence. There is so much worth celebrating and no reason to limit myself to the usual. 

Inspired by a recently renewed interest in prehistory, I’ve added cosmic and deep time to the ever increasing set of dials on my personal wheel. I am crazy excited about all the new celebratory possibilities this new dial presents to me. February is always a good time for soup in the cold Rockies, but now I can call my February Sabbat soup a primordial soup! You have no idea how amused I am by this. Or how about my fish for the Spring Equinox? I used to think salad an appropriate choice for this Sabbat, but it’s simply way too cold in March to appreciate a salad. Now I can celebrate the bursting forth of life with toasty tasty fish in recognition of the Age of Fish!  What goes better with a fresh loaf of baked bread than honey? I put honey on my August Cross-Quarter bread regardless, but now? oh boy you guys, NOW –  it’s because this Sabbat aligns with the time when the first honey bees arose. Is this not simply amazing? And oh gosh, how much fun I can have decorating my altar each new season with all these new ideas! 

For the next year, I will engage in deep contemplation of each period and epoch as they arise on my wheel. I intend for my Sabbat observances to focus on deep time while my micro season observances remain focused on local climate and phenology. At the conclusion of this year of contemplation, I will transfer my deep-time wheel to my Book of Spirit.

Cosmic and Deep Time Wheel:

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 8.24.43 AM.png

Micro-Season and Lunar Wheels:

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 8.18.15 AM.png

Note About Lunar Wheel: I name each lunar cycle according to the season in which the full moon falls; consequently, I do not use all 24 moon names each year.

I have so much yet to sort out before my spirituality finds stable ground again, but it seems I am more enthusiastic when in exploratory limbo, so there’s that….¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Taking My Paganism in a New Direction

IMG_6916

I’ve been staring at my screen for sometime, trying to decide where I want to begin, but I can’t think of anything better than: “I am no longer a hard polytheist.” So, why didn’t I just come right out with it? Why the hesitation? I suppose it’s because I wanted to soften the blow. Not so much for you, the reader, but for myself. Because to say “I am not” is to leave a hole, which “I am” must fill in. But I don’t know what I am. And so I have been holding onto my polytheism as a child continues to hold onto a security blanket long after it’s truly needed – with a false sense of dependency. That is, until now.

After holding on for so long, I finally experienced the dreaded spiritual burnout and knew it was time to let go. So I did. I opened a text document and began just as described above. After that, and to my surprise, I felt immediately better and inspired to start anew. The hole that I feared isn’t so much a hole as it is a fresh pot of soil. I feel cleansed of all that has been holding me back, and ready to continue growing. 

As for what I am now, I suppose I am somewhat of a Naturalist Pagan and neo-Animist, but not ready to commit to any labels just yet. I trust science above all, but I have experienced so much that cannot (as of yet) be scientifically explained that I remain open to the possibility of supernatural phenomenon.  What I am giving up is not the unexplainable, or even the metaphysical, but rather, the specificity of woo-driven theistic paganism. I want science with just a dash of woo, not the other way around. 

I am still working out how much to change of my current practices to fit my new path, but I am enthusiastic to begin. Stay tuned…