The Week That Was

Gratitude Friday

Oh goodness. It’s been a heck of a week! If a lifetime can be packed into seven days, this was the week that was. I’m not sure where to even start a recap. I’ve been on G+ way too much! The outpouring of poetry that’s spilling out of my soul has swamped my G+ wall. I need to copy all of it to my poetry blog. I’m really glad I’m writing poetry again. It’s been over a decade since I’ve had this much coming out. It’s taken a bit of following in other’s footsteps to get that muscle working again. But it worked and now I’ve got a flood just pouring out. No way am I sticking the stopper in it again!

With my girls visiting with grandparents, I’ve worked on a lot of internal projects. In the process, I’ve lost myself, found myself, deeply felt every emotion, cried my eyes out and found something I wasn’t even looking for. That was actually last week. Much of it continued through this week too. I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a nutter, okay, never mind, I know I’m a nutter; I had an experience that I can only describe as mystical touching of the Divine.

The hard part to accepting this experience is I want to share this so much. To share the joy of this and I found I could not. Not because of fear, I have lost that but because my loved ones lack understanding of me and well just me. The only person I desperately wanted to share this with, well, was not receptive is an understatement. It is a worthy lesson.

However, I refuse to let other’s actions diminish the joy and happiness I found. I am happier than I have been in a very long time. I’m smiling so much my cheeks hurt. I am laughing and cracking jokes with my husband. I can feel the twinkle in my eyes! My heart feels so much lighter. It’s left me dancing!

Oh, joy abundant and overflowing!

So, onward to the joys of thankfulness;

Thank You for leaving the footsteps I followed. I may have been miles behind but each step brought me closer to me and taught me lessons along the way.

Thank You for my insanity. I know, that’s odd. Yet It’s me and I’m really glad to be just me, not some other mask that’s worn, not some pale shadow of a woman, not some appendage of another’s personality.

Thank You for all of life’s joys. Oh, these joy’s make all the pickles of life worthwhile.

Thank You for Music! Oh, yes, music. To get lost in the sounds and words that move the soul brings me a joy, a happiness.

Thank You for my Men in my life. I know, oh I know how difficult I am to live with. I’m stuck in my own head 99% of the time. Yet all of you have stood by me, held my hand when I needed it, offered comfort when I asked and have continued to prove your love for me just by being you. You are all my safe harbors when my ship blows into your ports. Thank you for being what I’ve needed. I am loved, so very much loved. I love you all.

grins Now as I end this, let me encourage all of you to go out there and love. Take a risk and love.

Oops, one more thing. Check out this artist, Aurora.

Why the Big Deal over the Moon?

What is it about the image of a circle of sky clad folk dancing around a bonfire under the light of a full moon that either draws or repels people? Why is magic, witchcraft and Paganism tied to the moon in the Pagan collective mind? Why celebrate the Esbats? Why in the would is one phase of the moon more important than another? Why Moon Mysteries? Just what is the big deal about the moon anyway?

I have so many questions and each one leads to interesting paths and answers which in turn creates more questions. In my minds eye I can see primitive cultures being awed and overwhelmed by the giant light in the night sky. It demands attention in the night by virtue of being the largest visible object. The moon seams life like in the regular changes as the moon’s face shifts from one phase to another. I can almost feel the terror in the watchers as the moon disappears in an eclipse.

My minds eye shifts and now it’s quiet in the forest far away as a full moon rises high in the night sky. It feels like everyone and everything is asleep. But somewhere out there in a clearing surrounded by tall pines, people gather. The bonfire crackles and pops, sending electric shocks of sound through the forest, as sparks drift up like dancing fireflies. Slowly, the people gather round the fire, spreading out in a circle; surrounding the bonfire. Raised up high, hands reach out to touch the divine. Moonlight floods the clearing; it full orb shines brightly. Slowly the thrumb thrumb dah thrumb of drums pulses out, entwining the rhythm of every heartbeat. The Esbat ritual has started.

The moon has played an important role in humankind and religion for long time. It’s cycles form the basis of our calendar systems. Our months are roughly similar to the length from full moon to full moon. Our moon affects life here on Earth. From our menstrual cycles to plant life; the moon itself seems to play an intimate part regulating life. Perhaps this intimacy with life that draws humanity’s attention to the moon. It reminds up that we are so small in the wide expanse of the universe. And that we are not so alone as well. The moon is a visible destination, a deity that we all see, a wonder un-destroyed by time. The moon, a divinity by many names, watches over us still.

This Friday, August 31, 2012 there will be a blue moon. This being the second full moon in a month. But the definition of what and when a Blue moon is still debatable and not like the meaning of the phrase once in a blue moon. If your hunting for a truly rare blue moon, then the blue colored moon is the one you want. That phenomena is rare; often caused by volcanic eruptions or even wildfires.  But you don’t have to wait for that rareness to enjoy a Blue moon.

May the wonder of the divine light of the night bring gladness to your heart.

Sites of interest:

The next Blue Moon is August 31, 2012
Blue Moon Stories
Top 10 Moon Mysteries
Moon Goddess List
The Esbats and Lunar Phases

A Cross Cultural God Exchange

I am not one to believe that the Gods don’t interact with each other much less attempt to trade followers. I have experienced first hand what I can only term as a cross cultural God exchange. I am an eclectic Pagan but my focus has been on the Greeks for a very long time. I’ve briefly flirted with the Viking Gods and developed a hearty revulsion of Loki. My personal dislike for that hairy footed, forked tongue trickster extends to saying the name , “you know – that Viking God with the L-name” and to running away from anyone invoking the same said God. I’ve seen what happens when That fellow is invited to the party! It’s not pretty!
As a young brand spanking new Pagan seeker I tried to learn the Runes. I didn’t get very far. To be fair, I wasn’t trying very hard. Just enough to know that it was complicated and heavily tied into the cultural system. I saw far enough in to know the amount of scholar ship I would need to devote to this for me would be the equivalent of devoting my life and religious practice to these Gods of the Vikings. Despite knowing that, there is a set of blank runes in my altar box that are waiting for a rune master to carve them and bring them to life. Even when I made them I knew this wasn’t my path and wasn’t mine to finish. It was something I had to do. I still don’t know how to explain that. I know they wait but not for what or even who.

Dabbling with runes and knowing the bare bone basics of the Æsir and the Vanir and the meaning of Ragnarok and what a The Blót is; does not a Heathen make. So imagine my surprise when Odin knocks on my brain and worse yet when Zeus tackles a Heathen friend of mine.

At first I thought that maybe this was the person the runes were waiting for. But it quickly became clear that what was happening was something different than a gifting. My friend was going though a difficult point in their spiritual journey and was in crisis. I was asked for help and advice. For me it was this point where the Gods decided to bang the other follower’s head. I prefer to think this was in a good natured way.

The surprising aspect of this exchange for me was how Zeus came knocking on my friend. I tend to keep who my Gods are private with very few knowing who and how I practice. This came across for me as authentic. However I’m still suffering headaches from Odin’s instances in smashing heads.

I was hoping that this was a one time event, a sort of special case happening. But He hasn’t left. In fact I’m seeing more of that Pantheon in my daily actions and am seeing their influence in life far more than I had before. It’s more than someone saying “Blue Prius” and next thing you know you’re seeing them everywhere. I’m not sure what They are all up too. But it has been interesting. I can not help but wonder if all this just the Weavers three playing a prank on Gods and mortals alike?

Rant On – Devotion of Deities and UPG

I’m posting this in rough draft form. I need to chew on these ideas some more.
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I’ve noticed something within Neo-Pagan circles that really bothers me. Anti- Eclecticism and a serious lack of devotion to the Deities.

Anti-Eclecticism has been around for a long time and it surely is just a part of the new Neo-Pagan movement. Its the same thought pattern/ philosophy/ trend that led to the ideas of Heresy..

I find it odd that someone trying to create a workable religious framework for themselves would be met with derision when Wicca, the loudest Neo-Pagan religion was created from various parts, which is accepted without such disdain. Or the Gods above help you if you try to organize an Eclectic Circle. It’s often met with derision and disdain and plenty of side swipes of fluffy bunnyism.

UPG is Religion
Unverified Personal Gnosis is the basis of every religion. Someone had an extraordinary insight and communicated well enough to gather a following. Take a quick look at Buddha, Jesus and Paul for Christianity, Mohammad for Islam, and all the other teachers and preachers that achieve success.

The whole argument of Recon being more valid that Eclecticism, ignores the entire fact that everyone takes what’s best to them and ignores the rest and it ignores the fact that it’s a part of the wider power struggle that exists in all religions. Recons and the bashing of Eclectics are a pure example of classic power-over another individual. This movement claims that there is no validity at all in personal revelation. That is wrong and dangerous and seeks to devalue the individual to force compliance in an existing system.

The / Recon stance / Recon vs. Eclectics argument / does have some valid points. Honesty is important in both the labeling oneself and in the use of labels for the rest of the world.

Scholarship is important in religious studies and history. “Recons do not believe or follow any practice unless there is historical or archaeological evidence to support it.” 1 So they are nothing more than the Pagan version of The People of the Book. Except that they have a ton of books and argue endless over what’s valid, what’s historical, what’s kept in context, ad nauseam. In gamer terms, a rule lawyer’s heaven!

Decontextualism as an abhorrent practice is an dishonest view of a natural process that occurs/ it represents. Consider it as the slow erosion of data over time as the typical process. This can be applied to myths which were yesterday’s hot news which is now jumbled myth and superstitious stories. This process can be accelerated but on a local scale while at the same time preserving the “meat” of the data being transmitted.

Metagenetics….what the fuck? A deity that demands only one race of people to worship? That’s as outdated as racism. In fact it is racism in disguise. There is only one human species on this earth. When is the rest of the world going to catch up to this fact?

“Metagenetics”

McNallen has coined the term “Metagenetics” in a 1985 essay outlining the philosophical principles of AFA, stating that “there are spiritual and metaphysical implications to heredity”. In a 1999 article,[3] McNallen restated his position, invoking Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic fields and Carl Jung’s collective unconscious as “very close to the Germanic ideas surrounding the Well of Urth”, and presented a definition of “metagenetics” as Rupert Sheldrake Rupert Sheldrake, Ph. … A morphic field (a term introduced by Rupert Sheldrake, the major proponent of this concept, through his theory of Formative Causation) consists of patterns that govern the development of forms, structures and arrangements. … Jung redirects here. … Collective unconscious is a term of analytical psychology originally coined by Carl Jung. …

“the hypothesis that there are spiritual or metaphysical implications to physical relatedness among humans which correlate with, but go beyond, the known limits of genetics.”

Source: http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Metagenetics

No matter what the argument is, both stances offer an unbalanced view.

Devotion of Deities
Having come from a Christian background into the Neo Pagan movement, I’m still surprised about the lack of devotion to the Gods. It’s as if the pursuit of magic and spell craft is more important that the Gods. AT first this wasn’t a problem at all. I bought into the whole ritual will bring you closer to the Gods bit but I’ve found that there really is a lot more that needs to be done before that step should take place. I also know that some Gods really don’t like the a-typical Wiccanequess rituals; not withstanding my own dislike of Wiccan styled ritual.

What makes me Pagan isn’t the pursuit of magic and spellcraft or the use of Wiccan lite religious and ritual elements. Those/Magic and spellcraft can/ could still be done as an heretical Christian. It’s my devotion to my Gods that makes me a Pagan. And I’ve not found a good resource in my pursuit of the Gods.

I don’t have the resources to research and investigate all the sources I’ve even found on my deities. Knowing this lack has made me extra cautious and more inclined to trust and rely on UPG…unverified personal gnosis.

It’s because of the prime importance of UPG that makes Neo-Paganism so attractive in the first place. Last night I went to Barns and Nobles Booksellers. I did a lot of walking around and lot of comparison. I think I disturbed myself with some of the conclusions I came up with. Taking a causal look at the religious section and Christianity in particular, its clear they have a large market share. But taking a look at what types of books were available was either uplifting personal accounts, historical works of theology or the many study guides to the bible or even the large growing segment of religious fiction, a la “End Times” series.

Just to pull a comparison….all Neo-Pagan books are labeled under New Age and it has a much smaller market share, as classified by shelf space; with fewer publishers producing mainstream books. The varieties of books available are of the Wicca 101 kind, more ritual oriented, a few Sabbat books and the rest dealing with one of the various religious arts. All the historical source books were in Mythology and scattered all over the Fiction section. There were very few good books about the divine and just a few anthology’s on various mythology’s. On this outing I didn’t even find the religious fiction for Neo-Paganism but I suspect that it may have been mixed into the Teen section which does this religion a huge disfavor.

How does one connect with the Gods when all one has is a name and a general description of attributes? This is all too often what is in Wiccan 101 books. Even when you move past that and start searching for source texts…you run right into things like bullfinches mythology which has its fair share of flaws and disadvantages.

So I’m back to relying on UPG again. And so it seams is everyone else or they are relying on someone elses UPG in the form of a book or even a method of ritual. So this is where I think the next generation of 102 books should start, how to make connections with the divine and even if they did…everyone would still be relying on someone elses UPG.

Thoughts of Gaia

Mother Earth, My Lady, the Divine Mother, Provider of Sustenance, The deep swell of water, The Woman of the Green Veil, The Immortal Queen, She who is with us always, Consort of the Heavenly Bodies, Wife to the Celestial Helios, Our Lady Gaia, Our Mother, Lover, Sister, and Grandmothers, Our first Mother, First Woman and Ancestor.

She who is the divine Earth in all it’s majesty, raw power and ferociousness. She who is soft, yielding fruitfulness, abundance in good measure. She is the fertile earth, soft, black, moist and warm. Just quivering under the plow, awaiting for the fertile seed and the warmth of the summer sun.

She is both the mother and the daughter. She is the generations of women, as we march through time. She is our past and our future. She is My Sister, My Mother, My Aunt, My Daughter, she is My life. She is every women I’ve ever met and will ever meet. She is womankind. The Immortal Mother, Queen, and Lover. She is Warrior and poet. She is Ursula protecting her own cubs, the wild terror of a tornado, the amazement and beauty in the golden fields of wheat.

Oh how can I respect such a resplendent creature such as this? Oh the world has forgotten thee and give such dishonor.

The Weaver Woman

Strange that this weekend Athena has popped up several times. I had been thinking about her the other day and then my friend mentions her as one of the ways that she views me. Scary thought that is.

Now I have a love / hate relationship with her. I love her strength but I’m still a little pissed at what she did to poor ole Arachnid. This is a tender spot for me as I enjoy the needle arts and I can not forget what happened to her anytime I pick up yarn. This time of year my mind tends to wander down this road as I see more spiders than normal. All of them repairing their webs in the early dew heavy morning.

I’m not sure just what lesson I’m supposed to take away from that myth but I know that the cost of perfection is so high that it’s almost worthless. It makes it more acceptable to leave at least one mistake in each piece least we fall afoul to Arachnid’s folly.

Athena in all her wisdom perhaps was right. It’s for Athena that I leave in the mistake. Believe me, you will have to look careful to find it, but find it you can.