To answer the number one question in my inbox: The three best places to go for affordable recertifications right at this moment are Apothecarium, TerraVida, or Dr. Sarah Abbruzzi via Telehealth (I see her). A non-profit organization is creating a far more comprehensive list which will be posted here as soon as we receive it. I will try keep the religion to a minimum, this post has been cut down from a longer parent post on my personal blog.
My name is Chaplain Ren Anderson. Yes. I have a title. I only use it when I feel absolutely necessary, which is very, very rarely. My practice is multi-faith- but generally I am most often found around Asatru/Heathenry/Braucherei sorts of traditions: Basically, European polytheism/animism similar to Hinduism, but far less popular and far more misunderstood.
Regardless, Chaplains maintain the spiritual and mental health of their communities under an easily recognizable title acknowledges/accepted by most other faiths. We (usually) have 4 year degrees plus extra training in our respective specialties.
Honestly, we are all supposed to be each, individually, clergy to ourselves and our greater communities. The mindset of compassion and care should be omnipresent and not simply confined to an idea of a “Calling”.
Spiritual callings and development is all inclusive- Tell me your tradition, and it would be my pleasure to give you the title of any number of books from common to obscure that will likely explain things with shared language more profoundly than I ever could.
HOWEVER. I am unable to perform this pleasant task since it is also my responsibility vis-a-vis my religious commitments outside this publications to make sure I do my best to keep as many of you alive long enough to ask for any books again when our economy is not in state of perpetual economic intemperance.
If you want to take care of your chaplains and other helpful-type people: Please Take Care of Each Other
If you currently do not have any real-life connections in the region you reside currently, move. If you have no idea where to go, come to Eastern Pennsylvania. I happily speak representing my local faith community in this one aspect.
We have farmer’s markets, established multi-faith connections, and an easy commute to several major cities- and for whatever reason, most of our best clergy, like myself, seem to be forever stuck in Pennsylvania in the exact same counties our ancestors decided to bind our bloodlines to for a few hundred years or so.
If nothing else, the Gnostic sorts of Dutchies are pretty consistent.
Trust me, few see it more than I do. However, everyone is exhausted. Every decent religious person is trying to keep you from killing yourselves. Why? Because many of us have either struggled with suicidal ideations in the past or have been profoundly traumatized by the deaths of our friends. Here is a drive of resources on how to establish care for others who are currently in-crisis (Compiled by the lovely Jackie, thank you, love 😘)
Luckily for you, I have experienced both- I have been both extraordinarily suicidal (over the course of years, I eventually improved- Thanks to medical cannabis, of course.)- and there was one heck of a death around ten years ago, that locally -none of us- Heathen or otherwise, have fully recovered.
I know first hand how absolutely devastating the effects of suicide on our remaining community structure- in all communities, not just religious ones.
Anyway- the most important things to keep in mind:
1, Realize is every state is temporary. Change is inevitable.
2. Change is not necessarily negative.
3. We still have free will and agency (to a self -restrictive point, in some cases)
4. People are more important than projects/work
5. Social Media is the life support of all our failing interpersonal relationships.
What we need to see happen:
1. Complete abolishment of artificial divisions. People have been pent up in their respective boxes of religion/culture for far too long. For example, most of my people don’t travel outside of county per COVID restrictions at this moment, and that is incredibly frustrating- however, remember you still have friends outside your home. Good Vibes can span years. You never know how important you are to peoples outside your own home if you never reach out.
2. A Restoration of Human Connections: Although difficult during the plague, if you can go to work with a mask- why not spend some time with loving family? (Chosen is fine if you, like me, have limited biological options) There is no guarantee cell phone service and internet will remain uninterrupted. Please save your closest contacts in an old-school notebook with address/phone/ other contact means.
Further- we need to have a crowdsourced directory of all resources for every city on an easy to navigate website run by willing volunteers. (In the spirit of my forebears: Just copy the resources of other places and improve upon it). There should be at least one person per city who is willing to talk to those lost folk from out of town and in need of support from other patients in getting their needs met. Especially those people who are new to Pennsylvania. If you create such a network, I will post it.
3. Less reliance on pharmaceuticals: As some of you may have discovered the past two years, we cannot count on regular prescriptions to be filled in a timely manner from our local pharmacies.
Cannabis is a legitimate medication. It is literally a plant that takes 90 days to grow plus a few extra weeks to cure and can provide medicine for an individual (or entire family with low tolerances) for months. If you need more info I have an entire website compiled on the stuff- and you are already here.
If you need help with your specific condition; I am actually one of the most trusted experts in the medical cannabis industry. (There, something else I don’t trot out much.)
4. Keep your supply chains local- If COVID has taught us as a nation- it has taught us the importance of the farmers we visit locally. From my location I have access to countless farmer’s markets and likely more than a few Co-ops. You should be able to say the same.
5. Protect yourself and your families: Put on your own oxygen mask first. Get yourself a VPN for all online interactions from your home computer/cellphone. Many of you have had to restart all your social media accounts (myself included) and if needed, I can create a short guide for how to do so safely and legally.
If you need extra help- please do not hesitate to apply for government assistance- all of them you can get. Now is not a time for Puritanical American faux-pride in the false concept of self-sufficiency. Send me an email via this blog and I will help you find them if you are in the USA. I have extensive knowledge of how to acquire food stamps, health insurance, cash benefits, pensions, and how to navigate the SSDI system. I will do my best to answer you within 24 hours- and will endeavour to post on facebook page if my availability changes.
I hope this helps a little bit- I don’t get paid for any of my work- in either community. I’m on SSDI and through the generous help of the talents and skills of my friends I survive and thrive. That especially includes my friends in the Medical cannabis community in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
I feel uncomfortable presenting my religious title in this publication- but I felt it necessary in this one, single instance.
My email is always open.✨ -Ren