in an e-mail from Kerr Cuhulain…
25 October 2007
23 fires have charred more than 460,000 acres in California this month. More than 1,400 homes have been destroyed and at least 3 people that we know of have died. At one point, almost 1 million people were under evacuation orders as several fires burned from the Mexican border to northern Los Angeles County. Governor Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency. Overnight Wednesday about 76,000 people were forced to stay in 42 shelters. The number of people involved is similar to the Katrina hurricane disaster which Avalon Cares, the disaster relief arm of Officers of Avalon, helped with back in September 2005.
Many people have written in the past expressing concerns about large NGOs that have large overhead costs that eat up much of the money sent in. Some have written to tell me that in the past, when they’ve tried to forward funds and goods from their organization’s fund raising efforts to Christian aid organizations, these things have been turned away as the recipients refused to accept anything from Pagans. This is especially frustrating in light of several churches and government officials recently claiming that Pagans don’t do anything for their communities.
Officers of Avalon is an organization made up of Pagan emergency services personnel that is incorporated in Nevada and has 501 (c) status. Avalon Cares is a relief fund created and run by our Chancellor General as part of our commitment to serve the community. Officer of Avalon’s operating costs are modest and entirely covered by the dues of our members. None of the Grand Preceptory (our board of directors) receive remuneration of any sort for the work that we do for Officers of Avalon. We’re all volunteers. 100% of the money collected by our Avalon Cares project is going to the relief effort. We are endeavoring to give the funds collected directly to those who need them.
As our members are Pagan professionals in the emergency services, we’ve had a lot of people on the ground in the affected areas from the start. I’m starting to get reports on what has been affected and where help might be needed. I encourage you to do the same. If you know any one who has needs as a result of this disaster, please write to us and let us know.
Avalon Cares provided tens of thousands of dollars to the Katrina relief effort. We were the first people into Prentiss, Mississippi with a convoy of relief supplies. It was Avalon Cares that paid for replacement uniforms to be shipped to the New Orleans police. We’ve helped with lots of other little projects since then. This is an opportunity for you to show the world what Pagans can do. Projects like this show the world what Pagans are really like.
Once again, we’re showing the world what Pagans can do. Yet we must stick with it. We need you all to continue to donate what you can. If you can’t donate money, donate your time to volunteer efforts. Do your own fund raising events to help us in this disaster relief effort. Open your doors to the displaced. Give blood. If you’re a Pagan in the emergency services or related fields, join us at Officers of Avalon and help us help Pagans.
Officers of Avalon
For more information about the Officers of Avalon organization, or the Avalon Cares charity…
Please, please give of your time and money to this organization. They not only seek to do good for those in need; in doing so they exemplify the values of the Pagan faiths in front of the world.
Thank you for your time,
Pax / Geoffrey Stewart
So my work schedule at the theme park has gone into overdrive and my schedule has been moving around like a five-year-old on Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs!
I wasn’t able to perform my libation or prayers to Dionysus on the First Quarter as planned. Exhaustion and a lack of time contributed to this, as did my own feeling that I should strive to honor the gods to the best of my ability. I was feeling increasingly guilty about not being able to honor Him as planned and prayed to Hecate on this one day before work.
“Even a flawed offering is still and offering.”
The words or though very clearly entered my head. They had that indefinable feeling of being something to pay attention to, and of coming from outside myself, that I have learned to listen to/notice/respect over the years. I thought about it for a few minutes, turning the idea and its implications over in my head.
The Gods know us at least as well as we know ourselves, heck they have an outside perspective so they usually know us better that we know ourselves… even at first acquaintance. They are more than capable of knowing what is sincerity and what is superficial.
It seemed like Hecate was telling me to go for it, so I did.
I uttered a simple prayer to Dionysus, offering a portion of my heart and life to Him and explaining why I was doing so, and my new found relationship with Hecate. In response I felt an unfolding of joy and good cheer and received a bit of personal wisdom.
Tonight I intend to honor Them, and those Gods who have touched my heart and mind and soul in the past. An early Full Moon, as it were, for this wandering and wondering Witch.
It has been one week since the New Moon, and I celebrated my first New Moon with Hecate. I feel different, this post is about trying to pinpoint how.
I have tried to do some of my grounding and centering excercises, and I do get grounded and centered, but it’s like I don’t quite have to think about the steps to get there.
I also feel… insulated from the world around me… not a lot… but noticeably so.
I also feel, somehow more witchy, or more like I have in the past when I have focused on doing ritual to honor the Gods, or when getting ready to do magick, or when noticing some significant sign. It isn’t a constant thing, but its like I will feel it at the drop of a hat, and it’s much easier to get into that frame of mind.
Anyone with thoughts or advice feel free to advise or theorise!
I am trying to wait until the First Quarter to pray to and pour libations to Dionysus… but its like every time I hear music I feel the urge to dance, and celebrate…
Wading through Deep Waters and Ancient Rythms…
So I celebrated Hecate for the first time formaly on the New Moon a few days ago…
Simple creation of sacred space and a reading from one of the ancient Hymns to Hecate… I thanked Her for Her guidance so many years ago, offered myself and a part of my life to her while also explaining my desire to offer a part of my life to Dionysus and why I was doing such…
In this case it was a very gentle sense of presence, nothing dramatic, but a sense of having been heard.
I offered libations of water and wine.
a simple begining…
My next celebration will be of the First Quarter which I am celebrating as a time of honoring Dionysus… given the metaphors and symbolism of both growth and ballance it seems an appropriate time to honor Him.
Full Moons will be for them both and for honoring other Gods and Goddesses who have touched my life…
The Last Quarter is planned as downtime and a time for purification and contemplation…
more later… I need sleep…
In going through a bunch of old notes, and my BoS’s and papers I found a note taken during a math class about 10 years ago…
“The area of a circle is determined by multiplying the square of its radius times pi. Pi is an imaginary number that starts out 3.1717….. and continues on forever in a non repeating sequence of numbers. Infinity is, in effect, contained within a circle. I like that.”
which only serves to remings me of that moment in The Prophecy where Rutger Hauer as The Archangel Gabriel turns to some school children and says….
“Study your math, kids. Key to the Universe.”
I am still trying to sort out my own faith and practice as a Witch right now. I’ve started working on an article comparing the myths of Dionysus with the processes of grape growing and wine making… I am also sorting out my own thoughts on a piece about the power of the Pagan Dollar for Pagan spenders and Pagan business people…
It would be very easy to set my journey aside for a while right now… new school term, the final one, starting this week… and one of the busy seasons comming up at work… but I shall perservere… I am waiting until the New Moon to Circle… I need to get in touch with Hekate… I think the Waxing moon shall be for Dionysus … not sure how to handle the Full Moon yet with the two of them… still sorting a lot out as I said.