Yuletide Greetings to You from Me

It’s not writer’s block this time. I’ve been chewing on what to say this year that’s either profoundly Pagan in nature about Yule or more focused towards being a Pagan mother. I’ve come up as bare as a leafless tree waiting for snow.

I haven’t focused on religion or spiritually in my personal life. That part has been coasting along just fine. I’ve had my head buried in writing and working on some graphic art projects while being a better mother and wife. And grieving a bit too, as half of my heart family moved away.

Yet Yule is a few days away now and I didn’t even register it until my husband and my girls were putting out the tree and my Yule log came out. It’s even lighter this year than it was last. It’s drying out bit by bit. Holding it now makes me feel I am holding on to a frail old woman whose bones could break too easily. The vitality that the log once had is gone.

I watched my girls accept all of this as normal. The tree went up, covered in lights and decorations. The log was placed in a prominent corner of the room, decorated and treated with far more reverence than the tree. And I was lost in melancholy thoughts. Questions such as “did your mom do this too?” and “have you seen Santa?” quickly passed as excitement was pushing them forward towards exciting pursuits.

I was floored. How do I explain I have no real connection with Christmas? My last Christmas I remember was when I was four years old. That memory is very vivid, of making paper chains, popcorn and cranberry strings, of snowflakes and paper stars, and hearing my mother’s laughter and smiles. I have no idea what presents I may have gotten beyond a rocking horse that I loved. I can hear her voice, her words and her laughter when I got on it for the first time.  smiles

A four year old’s memory. I didn’t understand why something so good, so pretty, something that made her so happy had to go. I didn’t understand why it was so evil, so bad, so dreaded pagan that I would not be able to participate in it throughout my school years. How do I explain to them the drastic religious conversion my parents went through? How do I explain why I have trouble with Christmas?

So, I smile and nod. Pat their little backs and encourage them to hang up one more ornament and let their father field the questions. At least he grew up with Christmas and won’t choke on these questions like I have. And they know I have Yule.

It’s as close to celebrating something in the winter holidays I get, outside of trying to stay up till midnight for New Year’s Eve. It’s a solemn celebration for me. In reverence I’ll help my little one light the candles and let their light shine in the night as I watch over them. Later after everyone is tucked in bed, I will go outside and stare at the few stars up above, listening to the quiet night contemplating what makes this night different than all the other nights of the year.

May this Yule be a bright one for you and your families.

A Little something about Timing

I sit here typing this as the sun starts to fade on the last day of spring in total anticipation of a day cloaked in epic significance.
And in some ways it’s all about the timing. The morning sun will rise on the longest day of the year in the middle of a solar cycle that is spectacular in a show of divine light and utter fury.  A momentous occasion of epic proportions and I see that imprint in my own life.

I am facing the sun, looking forward to what the dawn brings.
For what Dreams, Midsummer brings?

Need a Do Over, Do Over, Do Over.

Okay, this is the post I wanted to write first but the little letters in my brain demanded that the last set get posted first. And I caved in.

Nanowrimo is over. Yay! Until November rolls around again and I’ll disappear again. I didn’t get as much as I wanted done but I do enjoy the experience. Maybe I’ll get out to do a write in at some point. Or maybe not. Either way, another program is on the wish list, Scrivener! Check it out >here! And no, I was not paid to promote it. I’m just really giddy to get the program.  nudge, nudge…hubby!

I’ve avoided commenting on current events for the last few months. Mainly because I don’t have anything to offer beyond my condolences or my snark; depending on the issue. I don’t want to gain readership by surfing on the coat tails of tragedy or inflate my stats that way. So I refrained. Hell, I even abandoned Facebook for a while!

All I really want everyone to know is this: Hug your kids daily.

I can’t even type much more than that without choking up, so moving on.

I’m glad most of the holidays are over and the kids are back in school. There is nothing like having a house full of flu patients during the holidays. I’ve been sick, my kids been sick, my friends been sick. Only one person I know didn’t get sick. Grrrr. Just my luck.

I’ve been checking the stats for the last year and guess what? Everybody loves coffee! Most of the searches that land here are coffee focused. Yippee! More Coffee. Do I continue to do Hot Coffee? And should I drop Wordless Wednesday? Not a single search landed for Wordless Wednesday. I was shocked.

Last year’s viewers stats have been the best ever. Thanks to you the viewer! It’s encouraging to see return readers. Thank You so Much!  Either way more posts are on the way, just grab your mug, take a seat and enjoy!

Hey, It’s Groundhog Day and Imbolc and the 10th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. I watched both shuttle disasters live and it still hurts. It’s also day that Janet Jackson had a wardrobe malfunction. Am I the only one that missed that? It’s the first day of LGBT History month; Got Pride? I know I do!

A lot has happened on this day in history. Take a glimpse on Wikipedia.

I’m back. Ready with new posts, new energy and a happier outlook.

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

Happy August 1st!!

It’s a beautiful morning today and I’m itching to get outside and play as I know soon winter will be here. But right now, everything is perfect. I’m going to bake cookies later today. I know my girls will loving helping and eating them. I’m seriously missing the smell of fresh-baked bread on this day. I am still mourning the loss of my starter. (Soon, my lovely, soon I will try again.)  But today is also Lammas or Lughnassh depending on which tradition you follow. So how about a little blog round-up…

From Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom….a simple candle ritual.
Next stop is The Domestic Pagan where you can pick up some general info on the holiday along with a few game ideas for the kids.
Or spin by The Deepest Well for a bit of folklore on Lammas.
Followed by Pagan Blog Prompts, which today’s post makes a great personal meditation.
Take a sit with TFS Magnum and enjoy a “musical interlude in honour of Lughnassh.”
Do stop by the Circle of the Year for a reading of John Barleycorn accompanied with classic pictures.
Let’s break bread with Blue Star Owl, with a delicious recipe for a sweet and savory bread.

Don’t forget to pick up a coloring page for the kids (or yourself) here!

And finely, August 1 is much more that a religious holy day. Take a spin over to The Holiday Whiz to see what else is happening!

May Your Day Be Blessed!

It’s just not my day….

I have a problem with Imbolc / Candlemas / St Bride’s Day / Groundhog Day. It’s not a holiday that I relate to very well. I prefer that my holy days have deep personal meaning. It’s hard to worship when I can’t find that deep heart connection. Without that connection, I tend to forget the dates.

I don’t relate to the Great Goddess becoming purified after recovering from the birth of the unconquered son and transforms from Mother / Crone to the Maiden. I don’t personally worship a Great Goddess with this mythology. The association with the agrarian cycle and lambing season doesn’t work for me. As great as Lady Bride is, I’m not moved to include Her in my worship even if I find the keeping of the perpetual flame fascinating. Predicting how long winter lasts just doesn’t seam enough to justify making a religious holiday out of it. I’m in a pickle over this.

For me, Imbolc is rather….. just not mine. But for this point in the wheel my thoughts turn toward one of my Gods rather than one of the Goddesses. I find the divine masculine extremely worthy of my worship. Particularly at this cusp of winter and spring, between life and death and the budding potential of fecundity, I am moved to ecstatic worship of my God.

For many years I’ve celebrated this season by lighting a sacred flame, offering song and prayer to my Lord and milk and incense to the trees. I’ve always milked my trees. grins I’ll admit that I’d often miss the Imbolc Sabbat and go for one of the moon phases. But over time the phase of the moon has changed the mood for me. I’ve found that I prefer the celebrate on the New moon in all that glorious darkness of night.

This little preference doesn’t seam like much at first but for me it’s huge. I had been doing some research on phallic deities and I came across information about Lord Shiva and the Maha Shivaratri Festival. It so happens the Maha Shivaratri Festival falls just before the New Moon. This year the festival is on February 12th and for my area the New Moon is on the 13th. I found that my personal rites and the puja for the festival, shared a few common elements.

This discovery is perplexing. Perhaps I should be reassured that human nature is itself cyclic. I’m not sure if this coincidence is a calling to a greater awareness of Lord Shiva or not. I really adore Lord Shiva but many of my ideas about Him are unorthodox. I’m not sure I’m willing to place my UPG beneath doctrine, even if it is about Lord Shiva.

But in all of this, I feel reassured that I’m on the right path, that my worship is genuine and heart felt. The more I learn about my Lord, the more He changes and the greater He becomes.

May this season poke you and fill you full of buds.