Everything is Magic!!! Everything is Holy!!!

…or magick, if you prefer.

I am writing this as a reaction to Hecate’s post regarding some comments she’s gotten on the fabulous Calendar post of hers.  There is also a fantastic Elemental Castings podcast where T. Thorne Coyle interviews Jason Pitz-Waters… that touches on this and is inspiring me to rant.

While this may not help make my rantings any clearer at the very least it provides the careful reader with something resembling context.

It works like this, at least for me it does…

“If you harm none, do what you Will.”

Note the capital ‘W’, it’s important.  It relates to the concept of True Will, which while not intimately or commonly associated with Witchcraft, is one worth looking at.  Especially since whoever introduced The Rede ™  into modern Witchcraft probably had seen some mention of it in Crowley’s works or had read up on Thelema…

“It is defined at times as a person’s grand destiny in life and at other times as a moment to moment path of action that operates in perfect harmony with Nature. This Will does not spring from conscious intent, but from the interplay between the deepest Self and the entire Universe.” ~ from the Wikipedia entry on True Will (accessed 10:17pm 12/30/3008)

As a modern Witch, whatever your Tradition, you have to deal with The Rede, either as a requirement of your practice, or as an outside Not-so-bad-idea but nowhere near the core of your practice ~ that is automatically associated by others with what you do.  The thing is that this idea of True Will becomes important when your Circles and prayers and invocations start to align you with the Universe.

Not that this is to be seen as a process that ends.  We, like the Universe, are in a state of change, growth, evolution.  Unfolding like a thousand-fold lotus of enlightenment on the waters of intuition.

So we chase after this True Will, this Higher Self.  We practice and study magic, or magick…

“What is a Magical Operation? It may be defined as any event in nature which is brought to pass by Will. We must not exclude potato-growing or banking from our definition.” ~ A.C. or” Evil Uncle Al” in  Magic in Theory and Practice

So anything we do, from the most ornate and moving of rituals, to the simplest of every day tasks are magick… if we let them be so, magick and holy.

Holy, because just as we and the Universe are constantly growing and changing, so to are the Gods.  Mercury is the God of Bike Messengers, Fax Machines, and Cell Phones.  Freya and Aphrodite are rocking the house in clubs across this planet!

Holy because the divine is everywhere and the Gods are a part of every atom and cell of creation.  Some Deities are more…fully present?…accurately reflected?… not quite sure how to say this but by an example.

Aphrodite, for example, is present in all the world.  But where there is love, and passion, and beauty She is more fully present or more accurately reflected there.  That part of Her which is a part of all Creation is more …there in those moments and things which reflect Her essential nature.

Every atom, every cell, all of Creation is holy and sacred and of the Gods, if we let it be so!

… I’m ranting. again… as I reread this I think this is one of those spiritual things that makes perfect sense to me at this stage of my growth, but is, just out of reach of explainability unless you’re right there with the person you are trying to explain it too.

I remember when my dear friend PK  (the ceremonial Magickian, Chef, and Great Geek Bear of the Moutain) had tried, as part of my request to help me learn the more ceremonial / formal Magickal side of things, to explain some of the above to me…

PK~”Any act is a magickal act, picking up a glass of water and moving from one table to the next, is a magickal act…”

Pax~(blink, blink) “uhm, ok, but that doesn’t sound very magickal?!?    So what was that book of essays by Regardie again, and is his writing any easier to slog through than Fortunes???”

I’m either growing, or falling off my rocker, at least life isn’t dull!

Peace and a Happy New Years!

Pax

Christmas Eve 2008

So The Big Guy and I have developed an annual Christmas Eve tradition of going out for Chinese Buffet and a visit to the beach to stargaze. This year the our roommate The Amazing Toddy joined us so it was a true family affair!!

The night was fairly dark, as is fitting a few days before the New Moon, and Hecate came to mind as we sat within Her three realms, earth, sea, and sky. I spoke a simple prayer to Her thanking Her for the past year and its blessings and lessons and for those of the coming year.

We played our traditional beach game of 20 questions with a Holiday Song / Christmas Carrol twist. You had to be thinking of a Holiday Song and none of the yes or no questions could ask about the title of the song. Those made it a surprisingly difficult game!!

We drove home late that night happy and content.

Thoughts on Reinventing the Wheel

So I was surfing the blogs as is my wont in my free time, and came across this from Sia, which in turn led me to this from Hecate, which in turn led me to spend an hour working on my 2009 Calendar.

I still need to add several important Birthdays, but other than that the Holidays and Holy days and Esbats and Sabbats are marked out, or noted and I am that much readier to deal with the coming year!

Sadly I cannot seem to post the tables I’ve created my calendars out of in Word to the blog or I would share some of my handywork…  I will probably update this post tomorrow and go into some details about creating your own calendar…

Anyhow I hope you all take some time to work a little organizational magic this Yuletide!

Peace,

Pax

A few notes to my self and the Universe…

A few very busy days of work going on.  I sit, happily stuffed with a hearty Christmas Ham dinner cooked by The Big Guy.  Ham with a Dijon mustard and peppercorn glaze, some simple green bean/onion/mushroom soup casserole, and his famous corn bread pudding!  ~burp~

“Pardon Me!”

I am feeling, in this lag between my spiritual, and the calendarical, new years a bit of creative spark… am trying to do something productive with that, and some kind soul has been reading my blog and posting me to the Metapagan feed.  Thanks kind soul!!

It is nice for me to know that folks like some of the things I say/think/write here.  If you do feel free to drop a comment!

I have been adding and tweaking the site here and there.  Adding articles and pages and adding links to the links page… I really need to work on the reading page at some point… there are a lot of books I’ve read and learned from that, while I don’t have them with me at the moment, I can list and heartily recommend.

Anyway, just a few rambling notes and thoughts.  Trying to post regularly right now, because it feels like I should be.  Not in a guilt sense, but more in the sense of that inner nudge from the Divine saying …

“Do this, it feeds your soul!”

…So I am trying to follow that rather than squash it or ignore it or tell myself some self-defeating mantra born of years of insecurity or fear.

I recently joined the ranks of folks contributing to the Metapagan feed, by the by.  I am enjoying sharing the delightful gems of writing I find in my wanderings of the Internet with my fellow Pagani, strangers thought they may be.

So anyway, it’s about time for me to pass out.

Have a beautiful Christmas, a Blessed Solstice, and a Fabulous New Year!

Pax

Invoking the power of the Pagan Dollar

Don’t panic!  This is NOT going to be an article about prosperity spells and you drum I chant “money, money, money, gimme, gimme, gimme” type of invokation.  This little article is my own thoughts on how we in the Pagan community can respond to the current economic hard times, and at the same time, strengthen our own ties of community.

I am inspired to write on this topic, in part, by an article at The Wild Hunt on how one Pagan in Iceland has been responding to that country’s economic collapse with civil protest and increasingly strident calls to action.

In part  it also just seems to me as if we, as a community, haven’t really been talking about this.  I say this as someone who is a self-confessed blog-a-holic, a member of multiple yahoo-groups, and an avid surfer of the Internet, and who is not all that hard to track down either in his local community or by friends nationwide.  I’ve seen some small mention of individual challenges and responses to the hard times we are in, but nowhere have I seen discussions of how we as a community can face and deal with these troubled times.  I think it’s about time we started talking about this folks, cause the tough times are not going to go away overnight!

We need to build the economic self-sufficiency of our local, regional, and national Pagan communities! Time after time in the history of my beloved United States we have seen how the ethnic, sub-cultural,  and religious communities that form up the patchwork quilt of our great nation have been able to strengthen the their communities and build their social ties, and their economic, and political power by concentrating money into community owned businesses.

I have seen this work within the Gay community.

In order to do this, we need to get better about communicating with one another.  What do I mean?  Well… how many Pagan businesses can you track down?  Now before you start listing off every metaphysical book, candle, and tsotchke (sp?) shop within a hundred miles… can you name a local Pagan Doctor, Lawyer, Realtor, or Plumber, (non occult store) Business owner, or Yardwork company in your area?  Why Not?

Now as a Gay man, I know I can go into most Gay community centers, or local gay bars and find some version of the local community directory.  They are often jokingly called the “pink pages’ after the U.S. phone directories “yellow pages”.  (do they have “yellow pages” in other contries?!)

Armed with this handy information I can find gay owned restaurants, bars, realtors (my people are all over the real estate and home remodeling market, go figure!), Gay or Gay-friendly doctors and therapists, Lawers, Yard work companies and GLBT owned or friendly establishments of every kind.  I have never seen or heard of such a thing in the Pagan community!  Why not?

Now before some of the naysayers strike, don’t be afraid to spread the word within the community if Joe the Pagan Plumber does shoddy work or rips you off; but also do not hesitate to hire him if he does good work!

Another thing some of the naysayers out there may be muttering even as you read this is, ‘well doesn’t this just open us up to fundamentalist attack or religious discrimination?’  Well, in my experience most of the bigots are not going to go into a Gay bar to pick up the ‘pink pages’, and I have never heard of a business being targeted by a church or hate group for their advertising to the GLBT community; so I have a hard time imagining that the Pagan community would have any more trouble than the GLBT folks.

So now that we are starting to find one another, how can we build economic self sufficiency?  Let us start reaching out to one another, let us share what great or little good fortune we may have with others in our community.

Need a lawn mowed but just don’t have the time?  Find a Pagan Lawn Service, or local Pagan in need, to do it!

Do you go out to eat anymore?  Find out which Pagans in your community are Servers and frequent their restaurants and ask to sit in their section!

Are any of the Pagans in your area business owners?  If theirs is a type of business you might frequent, then do so!

What about knowing that there are employers friendly to Pagans as employees or customers?  Shop there!  Maybe during Pagan Pride Month you could go and drop off a note thanking the business for their progressive policies and attitudes and letting them know that because of them you make a point of spending your Pagan dollar with them!

Then there is the question of our Pagan dollar’s power for good.  How often have you, or your Grove or Circle or Community Group given money to charity in the name of the Pagan community?  Or donated food?  Next time maybe you can look for specifically Pagan run Charities or Food Banks or Scholarships.

Maybe you could even look into starting one.

The more we in the Pagan community can support our own, the more success our Pagan business people and Pagan Professionals have, the more we improve the economic and educational opportunities of our fellow Pagans, the stronger and more self-sustaining our community will be.

Happy Winter Solstice and a Blessed New Year!

Cookie decorating a Tradition in our home...

Cookie decorating a Tradition in our home...

Yule is…

For me at least the turning of the year is one of the facets at the heart of Yule.  I’ve been trying to identify these core facets of the Sabbats ever since my life’s journey took me from Alaska to Florida, from the Sub-Arctic to the Sub-Tropical.  So setting aside some of the climactic and seasonal associations of the Sabbats and trying to find the core concepts has been concerning me of late.

“New Year”, not just cause Yule is followed closely by the secular/calender New Year, but for me Winter Solstice has always felt more like the turning point of the years from one to the next.  Naturally enough I suppose for someone who spent 33 years of his life living in a land where Winter Solstice sees around 4 hours of daylight, and you know that from that point on the days get 5 minutes longer each day…

This is when we turn our focus and attention from the Beloved and Honored

Not a bad substitute for a hearth, sometimes...

Not a bad substitute for a hearth, sometimes...

Dead of Samhain, to the Honored and Beloved Living.  We turn from the introspection of inner mysteries to the mysteries of the hearth and heart and home.  We make cookies and prepare feasts and call up friends and family far and near.  We come back out of the shells of our introspection, that so many of us turn to at Samhaintide, and start to connect and reconnect with our families of biology and choice, with our dear friends, and to the earthly world around us.

It is a time to reconnect to that most essential of questions,

‘What can I give, what can I do to bring joy and peace into the world?’

It is easy to lose site of this aspect of the Yuletide with the crass commercialism of the modern day, but isn’t sharing our love and spreading joy to those we love and hold dear what this time of year is all about?

Yule is a grounding into our earthly lives as we prepare to honor the cycles of the world once more starting with Imbolc.

I spent this Yule at work at the park for a part of the day.  That evening I spend some quite time at home, took a few minutes to enjoy the night and the quite and thank the Divine for this Yule and the last year and the one ahead, and then snuggled up next to The Big Guy for a good nights sleep.

Not the flashiest Yule observance, but a nice and quiet one.

Happy Yule to all!

~~~~~~~~~~~

A few delightful links that speak to me about Yuletide…

Why Santa Claus is a Kachina

Bringing Light Where You Can

It’s a Narnia Christmas

Pagan Yuletide Media (mostly from Youtube)

A Pagan Yule

Solstice Bells (this I discovered thanks to Evn)

The Heart of an Invocation

The Heart of an Invocation

“I Open my heart, my mind, and my hands,

Work through me and upon me,

Speak to me and speak through me,

Let me be a vessel, through which

Your love is poured forth across the lands.”

(c) Pax / Geoffrey Stewart 2008

I am a little proud of this one, I was trying to write a prayer, or something for the Solstice, and this was was happened… not so Solsticey, but a delightful little prayer none the less!

I like the flexibility of it, you can address it to the Goddess or God or the both of them, and you can change the focus of it a little by changing the word “love” out for something like “wisdom” if, for example you were invoking the Lord alone…

Not that Love or Wisdom belongs exclusively to the Lady or Lord, respectively, but I like the flexibility of the formula…

Now to contemplate the Solstice… and perhaps get a little sleep…