Who Am I?
Who am I? A whole lot of things. I am a shamanic practitioner. I am a priestess. I am a fighter. I am a spiritualist. I am a musician. I am a scientist. I am a programmer... I wrote a description of myself like that for a friend's website, which appears to be defunct; the text and images he had out there are here in Jaelle's Quest, though if you go there you'll have to hit "back" to get back here on your browser. A lot has changed since then.
Where does my name come from? No, it's not my legal name. The Jaelle part is a name I have had really ever since I can remember. When I was much younger, before I found this spelling in one of Marion Zimmer Bradley's books, I just used "JL." It is my "craft name," and really defines who I am far better than my mundane name, so I use it here on the Web where we can be whomever we choose. I choose to be what I feel is more my true self here, or rather show the mask I like the best and am the most comfortable in. Life is, after all, a series of masks we wear to be whatever is appropriate in the situation. I think perhaps if you sit and think about this long enough you will see the truth in this statement - after all, those of us in technical fields don't use words like "Polychlorobiphenyl" or "Left Outer Join" around the house all that often.
Getting past the masks to find the self within - that's the hardest part of any path.
The ShadowDancer part of my name is more a description of my path: I dance the line between the shadows and the light. I believe that there is darkness and brightness in all of us; the only way to truly be whole is to embrace both of them and then make your decisions based on what YOU decide, not as a reaction to your own darker side.
So what are my basic beliefs? I believe that we all have darkness and light inside us. I believe that fighting something in yourself only makes it stronger, and that you must recognize and accept all parts of yourself to truly be whole. But this does not mean that I am GOOD at that task - just ask my husband. He could give you an exhaustive list of how I fail in that goal. Still, life is a learning experience, and he is the most beloved of my many teachers - which leads to another of my beliefs. That life is basically about learning. Everything in life is a lesson, what you make of those lessons is up to you. Lessons I have learned, and techniques I use in learning these lessons are peppered throughout these pages. Most fundamental of my beliefs? Life is about living.
For quite some time I didn't choose a word to define myself. I knew what I was, and people who knew me knew what I was. If I was to tell you I was Toteg, chances are good you wouldn't know what I meant. If it was to tell you I'm an animist, it's slightly more likely you'll know what I mean, but still won't have the full picture. I am me. I claim to be nothing more and nothing less.
In the pages to the left you will find various writings that are more on the creative end of things. Currently I have the following: