An Ectstatic dipping of my toeses in gnosis

Have you ever taken some time to dance in a rainstorm?

The touch of the racing zephyr’s on my body, the pinpricks of cool cleansing invigorating rain on my flesh.  Swaying with the breezes and letting my hands and arms move with and through them, not entirely trusting my footwork or footing.  I find myself humming and muttering fragments of unknown song in salutation to the Wind, the Water, and the Divine.

I have a few days between the (sort of) end of one job, the definite end of one phase in my life, and the start of a new one.   So I am at home in an ongoing rain.  The rain is the touch of and after effects of a tropical storm that has been fairly mild in my area of Florida… others got hit harder I hear but where I am it’s just a fed days of ongoing rain of light to medium intensity and not that much in the way of wind.

Wind and Water dancing across the peninsula.  I dance with them, and Them.  Stretching muscles both physical and metaphysical that I haven’t worked out with in far too long.  Opening to the power of the rain, the flow of wind and water and a literal flood of life and energy.  I feel as on some level like I used to when first turning my face to the February sun after a long Alaskan Winter.

Renewed, Reinvigorated, Reborn.

Believing, knowing, that the Gods are a part of every atom and cell of creation means that this rain has a touch of the primal divine within it.  So I threw on a bathing suit and went outside and dance in the rain a while.  Not for long, partly because without music it is difficult to keep dancing…. although now I find pieces of poem and song wandering through my mind… perhaps I shall pursue them and write later.

Opening, like a flower

Unfolding like a story,

Where do I end, where does the rain begin?

I am trying to reopen and renew my spiritual and religious life.  I have performed ritual and poured libations and prayed, and now danced.  What I really need is discussion and fellowship with some of my fellow Pagans, and others.  I have always found myself learning more of my own understanding of, and relationship with, the Gods by discussing with others their own understanding, relationship, and beliefs.   A part of me hungers for that.  A part of me has also hungered for… renewal, or perhaps release?  As much as I like to encourage others to do things that genuinely feed their souls, creative and sustaining things rather than things that just amuse and kill time, I have not been doing it.

Sluicing the raindrops off of me, feeling for one brief moment more genuinely alive than I have in many a day.  I reflect on the presence of Wind and Water in my life in Florida, Intuition and Healing, Inspiration and Transformation.  Speaking to myself in tongues, I dance.

Stepping outside of ones ordinary self and routine can be a powerful magick.  If you open to the experience, and use some common sense, such moments can help to teach and transform us.  It has helped me to rekindle a spark of creativity of imagination and gnosis I have lacked.  There is something powerful in dancing with the elements of wind and water as they do their thing.  A sense of inspiration and renewal and healing as you honor the elements themselves and the Divine in nature.

I AM ALIVE!!

I know that some cynical folks might say… “yeah Pax, it’s called adrenalin!”

For me it is a moment of Magic, of Gnosis, and of Joy.  I hope that each of you has an opportunity to find your own moments in your lives, and if you do… please share them with me in the comments of this blog!

Peace,

Pax

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Giving Thanks…

I thank the Lord and Lady of Witchcraft for Their guidance and wisdom.  I thank Them for helping me to find a measure of my own wisdom and strength.  I thank them for the breath I breathe and the life I lead with my Partner and for every moment of every day.

I give thanks to Hecate, Queen of Phantoms and Lady of the Earth and Sky and Sea, for Her guidance.

I thank Dionysus for each and every moment of Inspiration and Intoxication and For the Sacred Sexuality that has touched my life in so many ways.

Thanks be to Aphrodite for bringing my Beloved into my life, and for the friends that have been and are a part of my life.  I thank Her for my family of blood and that of my choosing.

I thank all the Gods and Goddesses for a swiftly blossoming slow-motion snowflake on the windshield of my car.  Thanks that the windshield held, thanks that in that moment I knew fear and in its aftermath I know to look at what has scared me, to face my fear and to scry into it and move past it into Strength and Beauty and the rest…

Bouncing off the Gods…

Cat Chapin-Bishop of Quaker Pagan Reflections has been posting on her own Spiritual Journey recently.  Her discussion of experiencing the touch and Inspiration of the Divine has me thinking about some of my own encounters with the Gods.

In my own experience of Paganism – Witchcraft (non TIW/BTW) – one either invites the presence of the Gods or Directly invokes Them.  Over the years I have wavered between the two activities.  Experiencing the Divine through ritual and gnosis is a lot like a roller coaster ride.  There are ups and downs and slow climbs and fast drops and exhilaration and fear and sometimes all you can do is strap yourself in and hold on for dear life.  This business of relating to the Gods is also sometimes quite subtle… like hearing a piece of a favorite song from the open window of a passing car as you drive upon the highway… a hint of something dear as you travel through your day.

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The first time I felt a sense of connection or Touch of Divinity was as I sat before an altar meditating one day.  I sat cross-legged on the ground (what they were still calling, when I was a small boy, Indian-style.)  Meditating when an image of the Horned God came into my mind, His form super-imposed with my own, both of us sitting with our backs against and inter-grown with an immense tree.   Looking back I also had a sense of being showed something or how to do something…
“Not quite, more like THIS!”

That image has stayed with me for years as my grounding and centering imagery.

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One of my acquaintances was, at best troubled.   At worst he was facing some type of mental illness, he claimed multiple personalities and based on my own experiences and observations I would tend to believe him.

I was circling late one night and prayed to the Goddess for guidance on how to help him.  I literally heard a voice say…
“Love Him!”

At which point, more than a little spooked and startled, I whirled around looking for the source of that voice so fast that I put out the Southern Candle and nearly knocked over the Altar.

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The first time I felt the undeniable and powerful touch of the Divine, where I had no doubt, no question of did I imagine it…  Itwas one night as I was walking home from work.  A dear friend had given me a letter and told me that if anything happened to her I was to give this letter to her parents!  (Ah, our 20’s…)  I was deeply concerned and I started thinking what to do.  It was early on in my journey as a Witch and it was also the early 1990’s and all-things-Celtic were popular and shiny…

So it made perfect sense to me since I wanted to see my friend protected and deffended when I decided to pray to the Morrigan.  (I can already hear any Celtic recons in the audience chuckling to themselves…)

Late one night as I was walking home along some bike-paths on the outskirts of downtown Anchorage, I approached a place where three oths met.  Somehow in my mind a Cross-roads, despite not having any direct association with the Morrigan, seemed an appropriate place to call upon Her.  A limnal spot, a place of choices and consequences.  As I walked towards the cross-roads I framed my intention in my mind, I called to her and prayed to the Raven of Battles for my friends safety and protection, and She heard me.

There was the sudden sense of the inrushing of presence, like a tidal wave of Presence.  I remember feeling as if I was being picked up and looked at and examined from every angle and at the same time looked through to the deepest parts of my Soul.  I felt small, insignificant and helpless before this presence.  Then, a sense of… approval and assent?   Then a sense of this same powerful presence leaving me, rushing away swiftly like the wind.

I stood there, stunned, not knowing what to do or how to do it…. my mind reeled from the reality of the moment and the realization that, in fact, “this shit is REAL.”  (as a Witch of my acquaintence once put it…)

It was then that I felt another presence, a gentle and nurturing presence, amused by my foibles take me in hand.  Not taking over me, but guiding me.  There was a sense in the back of my mind of an amused older person saying things like…

“That’s just the way the Gods are sometimes….”

and…

“It’s all right, these things happen… Just go home and go to bed, you can deal with this later…”

I had little to nothing do with the Morrigan or the Celtic Gods since that night.  Although it now occurs to me that I must make some offerings of thanks to the Raven of Battles for hearing and answering my petition.  It is only in recent years that I had realized that the second presence, the gentle guiding and oh,so amused one who led me back to my home, was Hecate.

I posted this story and a Heathen of my acquaintance told me, “you’ve been tapped!”

I am still sorting out my relationship with and devotion to Hecate and the Gods of Greece as a part of my religious life as a Witch.

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More experiences in this vein later…

Writting it out…

So as part of a new job, I had gone to the new workplace to fill out some of the newly hired paperwork.  I was paying attention to the road, I’m in a new-to-me car that I like quite a lot.  It only took a moment.  Driving down the road… seeing something come off the hood of one of the cars in front of me… in less time than it took my mind to register that it was a windshield wiper blade that was flying towards my car, it hit.  It flew, spear-pointing into the center of my windshield.  The cracks blossomed faster than thought and at the same time in slow motion, as the window cracked crazilly, but somehow held.

I never understood the idea of being frozen by fear before, now I do.  I wasn’t hurt, and I do not feel traumatized… but I feel different.  Like I have had some sort of transforming experience that I cannot quite understand yet.  Like I need time and distance to allow this moment of transforming fear to percolate through me and see what it takes away and what it leaves behind.

The mad rush of days…

So a lot has happened in the last several weeks.

My car died in the middle of July and I am in the process of hunting down a new one, or rather another one.  Someday I’ll get a new car, right now I’m happy to settle for a reliable used car.  I have been using the LYNX public transit system here in the Orlando area and what was a 20-30 minute commute has been transformed into a roughly 2 hour commute.  My days have grown longer and more hectic as I try to keep up with my commitments while relying on the bus system.  Averaging 18 hour days and 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night has left me exhausted.

I am also grateful.  This has been a challenge and has reminded me that I am stronger than I may give myself credit for.  Able to face the challenges presented to me and to adjust myself to them.

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I have also recently accepted a job offer a little closer to my home as a shift manager at a fast food place.  Slightly better pay, more hours, and a chance to be learning and growing in my restaurant management career.  These are good things, yet I am also facing the reality of being more closeted about both my Craft and my Orientation.

There was a time I would have balked at this, a lot, but I just as comming out is a continual process it is also a conscious one.  One must choose to come out for oneself, at the right time.  I can see know that sometimes there is not a good time or place in ones worklife for this decision.  Then the choice must be made to either stay closeted or change ones circumstances.

For now, in order to grow in my career, I choose to stay closeted.  Perhaps I have read the situation wrong, or understimated me new/future co-workers, but for now I choose caution.  Besides there is a certain wisdom in the old fashioned advice “don’t talk about politics or religion” (or matters in the bedroom).

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Lammas has come and gone and I did not find the energy or time to honor the holiday except in my own heart.  Yet this harvest has brought some changes and growth.  It has brought reminders of my own inner strength and resourcefulness; reminders, also, of the many folks who love and support me – my many  far-flung friends and family.

Peace,

Pax