My computer works again!?!

…And lo there was much rejoicing in my tiny corner of La Casa De Los Osos… cooked a hearty dinner and puttered about my bedroom contemplating altars and storage… and technoPaganism and desktop virtual altars mixed with real IRL tools…  I think though that I really need, on a deep level, the kinesthetic experience of an IRL altar with the possibility of some tech assistance… music and images from and on the computer for example… now I just need to move some more stuff around to make my altar happen at my bedside table…

Peace,

Pax

Never a Dull Moment at La Casa De Los Osos!

So we have some houseguests for the next week or so… dear friends who have decided to return to the Sunshine State and in the midst of readying things for them and moving furniture and computers my own has gone on the fritz!?!  So I am using The Big Guy’s virtual edsel of a computer… pray for me…

Awakening Aphrodite… a fragment…

So in addition to working and pre-writing and thinking about a book or piece on the 8 virtues of Witchcraft I have been toying for months with a writing fragment and story idea… here  in the spirit of Imbolc’s creativity and of modern February’s spirit of love is a story fragment…

Awakening Aphrodite

By Geoffrey Stewart (c) 2008

There were sounds, floating out over the oceans waves. Sounds of songs and laughter and drums and bells and sistrum’s and many other instruments; their joyous noise intermingling with the throbbing surf as the moonlight glittered upon the surface of the waves. Within the ocean the tidal ebb and flow would have seemed to be keeping a rhythm with the music, had anyone been there to see its dance. In the depths of the ocean something stirred, sensuously and slowly. A ripple of seaweed and a curve of wave-borne driftwood, a shimmer of sea-shells, rich sediment and glittering particles of sand, all pulsing in tune with the ebb and flow of the oceans rhythms, and those of the singers on the shore.

Nature’s most powerful forces sometimes take their own time, however, so the full moon was much lower in the Western sky when things really began to happen. No one was there to observe the first miracle, at least none who could fully understand its meaning.

Her footsteps, quickly disappearing in the oceans tides upon the seabed led from the place of Her awakening towards the shore. She strode beautiful and powerful and primal through the waters and as She neared the surface She rose Her lithe arms up and with Her fingertips parted the waves and, catching hold of them, pulled Herself up into the air to stride atop the oceanic waves for the last several yards to the shore. She sighed deeply, deeply drinking in the night air, the scent of the sea, smoke from a smoldering bed of driftwood coals on the shore, and hints of delightful if foreign flowers greeted her. She lifted Her eyes, which had been contemplating the ripples of the water beneath Her feet, and smiled up at the night sky.

The stars redoubled their twinkling in joyous response to Her. Sea birds cried welcome, and swans swam forward to do Her honor. The sea creatures who had given Her an honor guard fell away, except for the dolphins who chose to linger at the edge of the two worlds of air and sea. She smiled and shook some of the water out of Her golden hair.

As Her feet touched the shore there was a subtle stirring as the sea grass and scrub on the dunes rippled as if in a wind, as this sensuous tickle made it’s way inexorably from sea to shining sea as the natural world shivered, oh so slightly, at Her touch. People then abed rolled over in their sleep, smiling to themselves as their dreaming minds turned to thoughts of love and peace and beauty. Those who were awake at this limnal time between the latest of the night and the earliest of the morning sighed, and smiled, and felt a momentary yet encompassing sense of joy and inspiration. Lovers asleep abed snuggled close to one another, and those not asleep, well, they kissed and felt a moment of transformative love and life changing awareness and sensuality, and then they more than kissed.

Musicians played and children smiled and laughed, even in their sleep, and every dove and pigeon cooed and took flight.

She walked along the shore, delighting in the sensual ebb and flow of the water over Her feet and the sand. She came to a stop at a spot where a burnt out driftwood camp fire lay, out of reach of the high-tide erasing. Here they had gathered, She knew. Here they had sung Her ancient songs in a modern foreign tongue, not that it was a bad language, it had its rhythms and possibilities but it was not Greek. Drums with little cymbals, and sistrums, and wooden …flutes…no… recorders… they were called recorders…. These and those strange boxes that played the music… how sad that people should have to rely on those rather than being able to at the very least pound out a rhythm or pipe out a tune… at least some of them had the dance. She was glad of that… there was always the dance. She smiled to herself at that and birds across the continent stirred and burst into flight and into song.

She stretches Her lithe, strong, arms out over the ocean and begins to make a beckoning motion with Her hands. Slowly, against the direction of the wind, from over the waves the smoke that had been born from the fire traced its way back over the waves and began to gather itself back into the blackened driftwood. The burnt out grey coals began to rekindle and the fire began to burn backwards into itself as driftwood and bits of incense began to reform themselves in the flames.

She smiled as the pleasing scents of the incense drifted by Her on their way back towards the fire to rebuild themselves into flowers and chunks of resin.

Love unto all Beings… striving to enact it…

This is one of those personal work things I spoke of…  relating to a passage from the Charge of the Goddess…

“Sing! Feast! Dance! Make music and Love all in my praise and presence.
For mine is the Spirit of Ecstasy, and mine as well is joy on Earth,
and Love Unto All Beings is My Law.”
~ From the Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valliente

This is a passage I have been contemplating for a while and am still struggling to articulate what I believe She is saying in it to me.

It has taken me a long time to look upon myself with eyes of kindness and to genuinely love myself for who I am rather than hating myself to who I am not.

For me, this was one of my primary spiritual journeys in my 20’s. I have been contemplating matters of Love, and Charity, and Community, and Communication recently. One of the results of this has been that I have been trying to sit down and write letters and notes to some of my dear friends whose love and friendship have touched my heart and influenced the path my life has taken.

I can heartily suggest this little excercise! It is suprising to me how little I have, once I think of it, expressed how much their friendship has meant to me.

In Buddhist practice of Love Unto All Beings… or Loving Kindness or Metta as they call it… you start with yourself and your family and friends and then expand your circle of loving to encompass more and more beings over of time.

I am at once saddened and amused at the time it has taken me to move to my friends… I’ve been giving my love all out of order!?

Friends, then lovers, then myself, then familly, now Friends again (in a more stable less co-dependent way) … today my friends tomorrow the World! mwa-ha-ha!

02/17/2009-journal & personal work…

So I have been updating, and adding to and rewriting some of the pages of this little blog/site of mine!  (Poke around some of the Pages to find out where and what!)

No one has shared any links for the Online Resources page… yet… I am nothing if not an optimist.  I am also going to be adding a nice page of some useful definitions and stuff…

I am reconnecting with a dear friend of mine recently and looking forward to some more real-world social time!  And since The Incubus is also a game geek like myself I might actually get some RPG / D&D action sometime soon…  WOO HOO GETTIN’ MY GEEK ON!!

If anyone has the skills to help me rewrite my CSS to make a third column area to the reader’s left such that I can place all my visual buttons down that side of the screen please let me know…

I want to get back to writing here… and this journalling is part of that… but losing the kitty and a few other downs and ups have hilighted for me my need to get back to work as a Witch on my growth and development… so I am working on it!  Some of my future entries will probably be relating to that….

Peace,

Pax

Timing and Focus…

are important to any endeavor… sadly I am lacking in both right now…. I am reading the blogs and listening to Pagan Radio Network and the Podcasts and thinking and feeling and sorting thoughts and feelings…

Bad and Good… lows and highs on an emotional and activity level roller coaster that is my life recently.  Been hanging out and having fun with Canita and Jolly (not their real names) another gay couple that the Big Guy knows from having dated and then become friends with Canita years ago… They had a delighful Valentines dinner at their place.

I’d love to be writing something insightful or at least thought out about any one of a dozen topics I have been planning on ranting on… celebrating Aphrodite this time of hear among them, thankfully Beth Owls Daughter over at Owl’s Wings wrote about the Golden Glorious Gluteused One recently…but I can’t seem to focus on those quite yet… I do feel like I am close to getting back in order though so that’s a blessing.

I have one new project that is near to completion… then I will be sharing and crowing about it….
I am also being drawn back into my study of the 8 Virtues of Witchcraft… as listed in the Charge?  I am working on/through them and writing for myself… perhaps someday to share with the world but I think it is one way I can start stretching my wings.

I have been watering the hibiscus we planted over Tiger’s burial place.  We set it up as a sort of memorial and to protect his remains from disturbance, leading to my partner’s occassionally surreal question…

“Did you water the cat today?”

… it is strange, now I have an unsought for especial spot to pour libations for the Honored and Beloved Dead.  Perhaps once we have made sure the Hibiscus is thriving I could place some charms or items there in memory of some of my other Honored’s and Beloved’s…

Hibiscus is used magically for its powers of divination and lust and love; and is associated with the element of water.  None of which is why we chose it for Tiger’s memorial planting.

Our first house together in Florida, house as opposed to apartment, had Hibiscus plants growing in front of some of the windows… providing a soothing green and ever flowering privacy and sun screen to our front windows.  It is an effect I liked and will replicate eventually in my homes in the future.  Hibiscus is thus my favorite flowering tropical yardscape plant although I will admit I am rather liking the idea of it as a memorial plant too given its Love and Divination associations!

More Later!!

Peace,

Pax

Check this new podcast out!!

Hey folks,

I am puttering around the Internet and Facebook and similar delightful distractions as I wait to go on a job interview. So I see a note on Facebook where I ended up checking out a new podcast The Infinite and The Beyond.

It is in it’s first episode and starting up, and I want to encourage anyone who reads this to check out this well produced new entry into the Pagan podcasting community!

I love, love, love this show… and am having a great deal of trouble following my own rule about linking the online resources page to a podcast that has only a few episodes… it’s really good folks!

Peace,
Pax

PS- am working on some writings about life, love, loss, and death and spirituality… but sometimes life and spirituality is about the fun and deep yet light stuff too!

Opening the floodgates to feeling once more…

Well, continuing our longstanding tradition of multiple blogposts during the day here at Chrysalis…

Tiger’s passing is the first time I’ve ever faced the death of a pet, or making an end of life decision (The Big Guy and I made it together…) for an animal… it is only the second time I have faced a death within the immediate circle of ‘my familly’…

…the first time was my Mom’s death from Lung Cancer over 18 years ago…

Let me just say this week has been one helluva of a way to find out I have some unresolved grief and mortality issues!

At least I am holding on to my sense of humor… that is one of those qualities I count as a blessing and I am most grateful for!

I am simply trying to accept my thoughts and feelings (including moments of warped humor and grief) , and to let my feelings and thoughts flow freely rather than trying to bottle things up so as to avoid hurt or pain or sadness…

So over the last few days I have had some emotionally and physically exhausting days…  I have been contemplating loss and life and death.  I journaled/jotted some things down in my peacock journal…

1/10/09

Magic and prayer and faith can work wonders and make miracles and move mountains.  Sometimes, though, they do not.

Sometimes sickness and death and tragedy come barging into our little spiritual garden party.

These are the times we must break out our tool box of magic and spiriutality.

They are Tools, suited to some things, not suited to others.

1/11/09

It is through building and developing and cherishing our relationships with, and understanding of, our Deities that we are able to weather the lesser and greater mysteries of loss and grief and pain and suffering and fear.

1/11/09

Acceptance, Loss, and realizing that sometimes we cannot work wonders, these too are a part of Their mysteries.

~~~~~~~~~

So we brought Tiger home and found a place in the back yard for him and buried him beneath some Hibiscus bushes… I poured some libations that night and lit some incense as it was the last night of the Full Moon, and asked the Goddess and God to accept his body and soul into their loving arms…

SO many thoughts and feelings swishing around within me these days…

Maybe more here later…

Peace,

Pax

An update…

Technically the vigil was the 9th, The 10th was when we took Tiger to the vet to end his suffering, the 11th I worked an especially exhausting shift at the park and today I am beginning to piece myself back together…

I want to thank everyone here and on Facebook and elsewhere who has shared their kindness and condolences.

Sitting vigil…

Tonight we are sitting vigil for Tiger the cat whose health has declined after an initial rally when he came home from the vet… we do not have the money to keep taking him back… so we are simply trying to make his last days with us more comfortable.

Thoughts of loss, and love, and death, and how even the seemingly smallest of relationships in our lives can make big differences… I will see y’all later I have some thinkin’ and some prayin’ to do.

Peace,

Pax

Rural Alaskans Choosing between Food and Fuel

Hey folks,

As an Alaskan expatriate I try to keep up on things in the Great Land, the land of my birth, and Anchorage, where I was raised.  People in rural Alaska are having to make a choice this Winter between spending money on heating oil and buying food for their families.

I first became aware of this story from The Mudflats, a blog looking at Alaska news and politics.  Politics is the most popular spectator sport in the 49th State, and Gods know we’ve had a few interesting characters involved over the years!

Of course the fact that for the largest State in the Union we have one of the smallest populations helps, Alaska has been described by one frustrated friend of mine as the worlds largest small town!  At around 350 thousand people Anchorage, my hometown,  is the largest city and has a little under half the States population.

Most of Alaska’s towns and villages are out in the wilderness, or as we Alaskan’s call it “the bush”, accessible only by small plane or by river boats and barges.  Many of these are from old mining camps or are Native villages that sprang up when the U.S. government put up schools in a specific location and told many of the formerly nomadic Native peoples that they needed to stay in one place.

For the better part of the last several months rural people in Alaska have been facing starvation, and no one in the U.S. media seems to care.   They would much rather report on Governor Palins celebrity foibles and misadventures, rather than the humanitarian crisis in rural Alaska that Palin’s administration had every opportunity to face and help to prevent over the last couple of years.

Of course, she’s been busy, out of State.

Running for Vice President in the “Real America”, rural America don’tcha know?  She’s also been busy speaking at Republican governors conferences and forming her own Political Action Committee!

She has also been ignoring the serious problems with the Alaskan Fisheries were factory trawlers over fish various fish populations and devestate the sustainability of the fishery population.

Then, too, she’s been busy vetoing or ignoring any energy related proposals that don’t relate to oil development or rocket research; including detailed plans from some rural villages for alternative energy development on the local level to help provide plentiful heating energy for rural Alaskan’s and plans to develop some large Oil Tank farms to be shared between multiple villages.

It’s not her fault of course, she had to make her interviews with Esquire and gear up for the important things like that animal rights feud with Ashley Judd.

Luckily there are some folks helping out.   Alaskans are (normally) a caring people and a lot of grass-roots relief efforts have been going on in State and in Anchorage.  Folks in Seafood marketing industry have been doing fundraisers to help buy heating oil to help ease the financial crunch.  The Venezuelan Government is helping out, indirectly, as a U.S. subsidiary of their national oil company will be providing 100 gallon fuel vouchers in February.

It may be enough to get rural Alaska through this Winter, barely, one can only hope that the State of Alaska, and the U.S. government will be able to find a way to help solve this terrible problem.

Sadly the Governor of Alaska is too busy elsewhere to bother with it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Where is the help Alaska villages so desperately need?

~Elise Patkotak, Anchorage Daily News

Village Crisis Update

~Linda Kellen Biegel, The Alaskan Standard

Opinion: Alaska Native villages desperate for aid

~Indianz.com

Salmon dining to help suffering Alaskan villages

~Hal Bernton, Seattle Times

Isis

Isis

(c) 2009 Geoffrey Stewart

She is The Queen of Heaven

The Star of the Ocean She is

She is The Brilliant One in the Sky

The Mistress of the House of Life She is

She is the Great Lady of Magic

Lady of The Words of Power She is

She is The Throne of Kings

The Masterstroke of Women She is

She is The Lady of  Ten Thousand Names

The Goddess of the Moon and the Sun She is