GWMP seeks powerful and well thought out ritual

“Pax a Gay White Male Pagan with interests in Witchcraft and Hellenic Paganism seeks moving and powerful ritual in his local community.  He would like to see rituals in his community that actually have more to do with living in Central Florida in the 21st Century as a Pagan than they do looking to some vague and often wildly inaccurate Neo-Pagan vision of the past in a climate wildly out of sync with the one we are living in.

Ritualists should be able to show through their words and actions that they have an in depth understanding of the psychology and theology and thaumaturgy and theurgy of ritual.  They should be able to craft ritual that is moving and powerful yet at the same time welcoming to both Theistic and Non-theistic Pagans, and should be more interested in crafting a ritual for OTHERS than themselves.   They should also be willing to put long term planning, practice, and forethought into their rituals.”

I have decided I am tired of mediocre public rites, I am still working out what exactly to do about it though.

I am still in the midst of the first year I have given myself for my involvement with a local Pagan group and am coming to terms with the fact that I need to try and get out more into the community in the Orlando area.  This particular group has a lot of good people, but frankly,  a LOT of what I have seen out there down here in terms of ritual so far has seemed, well…just o.k..

I have had one too many rituals where people have been selected, sometimes seemingly at random or by volunteer to read out an invocation to the elements

“Uhmmm Powers of the North, er Spirits of Earth and the …Furmemenet , Strength of the Gray night, Fertilty of the Fields, uh ….”

I have been to one too many Pagan public rites where the organizers seemed to have only the haziest concept of the idea of establishing a group mind to make magick, or that spell work was not the end all and be all of ritual, or that Neo-Wicca is not the end all and be all of Paganism, and that there is more to ritual than 4 elements and spell craft.  For that matter, if you must have a spell do it because it’s truly needed and not because your flailing about for a way to include everyone in attendance!  If some people have trouble standing, fine, find them a chair, but for heavens sake could everyone who is able to stand when the Gods are invoked at the very least instead of having everyone sitting down and watching like a movie night around a tv?!

There are a few shining moments.  Joe W. sharing his modern Freja myth for the Winter Soltice.  The late and much missed Awen’s Moon Circles.  Kym Dragons small simple Moon Circle.  … a few times in the last 5 years.  There have been a few other times were the rituals became Rituals… where that strange alchemical shift transformed play-acting and props into tools of Magic and Spirit… but these were at best accidental.

A ritual should NEVER be moving or touching or effective on accident!

It’s like folks have neither studied their Craft, since SO many of the Pagans in my area seem to be some species of Neo-Wicca – even the ones who steadfastly call themselves Pagan and pay lip service to the idea that other types of Paganism exist – except when putting together something for their communities; nor have they ever looked into how things were ACTUALLY done in ancient times, or for that matter into ancient forms of Paganism.

Its like if it isn’t in Lady Crystal Moon Indigo Childe Bunnythighs Great Big Booke of Shammanic Celtic Crystal Chakra Workout Wicca then it isn’t really Paganism!

I have tried to talk to some folks about this and while a few who agree wholeheartedly with me, I am also getting told I am being too judgmental (cause of course we would want to use judgment now would we….) or demanding or that I just don’t understand how little time folks have…

Well if you don’t have the time then don’t volunteer to do the ritual for others!  If you stand up and take responsibility for putting on an event, of any type, then damn well stand up and do your utmost to make it the best event you can.  If you are putting on a religious ritual for your community then you are essentially offering a SERVICE to them, volunteering your time and energy to them and to The Holy Powers – however you conceive of them- and you ought to darn well care enough to give your best.

The only way I can think of to spread this idea is to start seeking out some like-minded fellow Pagans and put on some Rites with them that move beyond the lite and basic and fairly disorganized stuff I have seen.   Then from there move on to the discussion groups and classes that are currently being offered…

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Hail to The Holy Powers!!!

Dear Friends,

So yesterday was the night of the Full Moon.  I circled in my customary way, setting aside the formal words I have carefully crafted for my solitary non-initiated self to honor The Lady and Lord of Witchcraft; as I understand both them and it, in favor of some more personal wordings to Them and to the Guardians of the Watchtowers.  I have taken to offering the Challice to the Guardians, after the symbolic Great Rite and before partaking of it myself, after all they are guests/participants as well.  All went well and it was a lovely evening…

Here I am in a dillema, in that I am wanting to write here of my spirituality and practice and yet there is the sense that some things should be private, special, sacred and shared only with the Gods and those directly present.  So I don’t know that I will write about Circle this month, but perhaps later I can expand on my experiences and thoughts.

Tonight is a slightly-less-than-full-moon, but as it is Late August it is the 2nd of Central Florida’s Wine Harvests, and a good time to celebrate Dionysus.  So I am with libations and a recitation of His Hymn in English, cause I don’t speak a lick of Greek yet, Barbarian that I am.  (Did you know that was the original meaning?  If you didn’t speak a ‘civilized’ language you were a Barbarian in the Hellenic world view…)

Anyhow my friends, grab a glass of the fruit of the vine and enjoy these two musical offerings from noted Greek band,  Daemonia Nymphe

and, of course….

Peace, and may The Holy Powers bless you,

Pax

Post Script (or, “But what did you serve?!”)

An inexpensive Argentinian wine was offered, and partaken of in honor of the Thrice Born Bacchic King…

De los Vinedos del Sol

Marcus James

2008

Chardonnay

Mendoza

Argentina

A pale yellow/green Chardonnay with a thick syrupy texture.   Very fruity, and a potent aroma.  Sweet tropical floral scents and a lemony/floral fruitiness were what I noticed, and a slight metallic that might be either the soil or the wine-making… I need to research this wine.  The bottle claimed hints of spice and warmth of vanilla, and I could definately see having this with some pastry, or after or with an apple-pie a la mode, but I really didn’t get the Vanilla-y-ness.

Peace, again and always,

Pax

Seeking and speaking

Dear Friends,

“Into my Throat Chakra and within that blue ball  I sought out what in me and my life needs creativity and expression.”

So that was the finished text that I wrote for my previous post.  What I started to write, and edited on the fly because it was off topic was….

“Into my Throat Chakra and within that blue ball, that all too often lately feels stuck or caught in my throat rather than whirling and thrumming, I sought out what in me and my life needs creativity and expression.”

I have held back a lot, for a lot of reasons, in a variety of forums and areas of my life.  There have been times I hesitated to say things for fear of upsetting others or because I felt there was no point since my point was not going to be listened too.

I am realizing, though, that stuck feeling, that …something… caught in my throat when I work with my Chakra’s is very important.  If I am going to truly surrender to the process of spiritual practice it means listening, to both the Universe, and myself.  That stuck feeling is there because there is a lot I have held back on for fear of being ignored or ridiculed or unpopular.  Well I am moving past that fear, or trying too.  I have already started venting some of this mental/spiritual/metaphysical pressure by expressing myself in a few places here and there.

This will be continuing, in part because part of what is caught in this Chakra is my creative energies, this explains some of the writers block and general creative projects block I’ve been running into the last few months … well, ok, on and off the last year or so since the break up.*  Especially given that writing is one of my primary creative outlets, its rather silly to bottle up some topic and opinions and ideas and then expect to be able to express myself.
I also find myself wondering about the relationship between different energy centers and the Muses and the Spirits… inspired in part by this fabulous TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love (here, and here) fame….

(Thanks to Albiana of Flying Off The Broom Handle for her post relating ideas in this talk and for sharing the video…)

Peace,

Pax


* ~ I know I know, I found a way to work it in again, but what’s the point of a blog unless you can occasionally vent your bs in a safe manner on your own personal bully pulpit?!

Returning to and Reclaiming Myself

Hello friends,

Today was spent at home, cleaning my room as a part of my recent works with what T. Thorn Coyle calls the Planes of Stability, and which I am tending to think of as things of Earth.  Stability, strength, my body, my home, my income.  I have been renewing my commitment to healthy eating the last week by focusing my diet mostly on fruit and vegetables.  I have cleaned my room and contemplated the things I need to do to turn my rented room into more of a true home for my body and spirit.  I have been thinking about my income and my financial needs as well as some of my material ones; and how, ultimately, to balance them with my spiritual needs.

I had a great time watching T.V. and talking with The Fabulous Jonathan about us, and our future, and of various things between he and I.   There was also much kissing and hugging and laughter and more conversation.

I cleaned my altar.  I rededicated it, replaced the cloth and spreading grains of salt and dry barley and scented oil upon the altar cloth before placing my various tools and symbols and oh-so-sacred-tsotchke’s back on in in order from Air to Fire to Water to Earth to Center.   I contemplated again the things of Earth and how long it has been since I had a Pentacle upon my altar, and how I have never actually owned a proper Pentacle.  My necklaces have always managed to disappear and that flat round smooth rock with the star and circle drawn upon it that sat upon my altars for years is still in storage back in Ak with friends… although I now see it was never really a proper Pentacle but a workable substitute.  So among other things I invoked the powers of Earth and asked the Universe to send me either a proper Pentacle or the resources and materials to craft one.

I also thought today about how much of myself I let get battered and hammered down my disappointment and insecurity in the last couple of years.  The troubles with income, the gaining and almost immediate loss of my writing gig with the magazine, the difficulties I had finding a full-time job, the falling apart and eventual break up of my relationship with The Big Guy.  I let go of hopes and dreams and ideas and inspiration and I lost confidence and trust in my writing and my words somewhere.  I stopped writing here, and elsewhere of anything important to me because I had given up on me and on truly wanting to invest myself in things because there didn’t seem to be a point.

I am working on that.

Thorn’s books were a part of my recovery, as were my readings into Hellenic Polytheism, and my getting involved at 1st Unitarian Church Orlando.  Committing to myself to reach out to my local and far-flung friends and acquaintances.   I am still on my journey, it hasn’t ended and I needn’t give up in the face of disappointments or heartbreak.  Broken hearts do heal.

I clapped my hands three times, to get the attention of the Universe and of the part of me that is at once the same stuff as the stars and is the touch of the Divine.  I breathed into my Center and Grounded and once again showed up for some of my Work.  I breathed into each of my Chakras in turn.

  • Into my Base Chakra that swirling ball of red located roughly between the base of my spine and my taint and thought about those things within me needing strength and balance and stability and grounding.
  • Into my Sacral Chakra the wheel of yellow between my pubes and my navel and contemplated things within my life and soul that needed feeling and emotions and sensuality and sexuality.
  • Into my Third Chakra glowing orange in my Solar Plexus and contemplated what within me needed willpower and what needed aligning with my Will.
  • Into my Heart Chakra  as I thought about this spinning green globe of energy and everything about and within myself needing the caress of compassion.
  • Into my Throat Chakra and within that blue ball  I sought out what in me and my life needs creativity and expression.
  • Into my Brow Chakra and my third eye indigo and inscrutable I tried to scry what inside of me needs more perception and understanding.
  • Into my Crown Chakra, that thousand-fold lotus of purple I at once reached out to the Holy Powers and opened those parts of my soul needing Their touch as best I could.

“Holy Powers help me in my work”

Then I took all of those things withing me I had tried to touch or find and poured them into the blessed water within my Chalice (the magical tool not the U.U. one) and drank deep cleansing and renewing the my spiritual energies.

“Who is this flower above me?  What is the Work of This God?  I would know myself in all my parts.  Blessed Be and So Mote It Be.”

Then I wrote this, and now I shall sleep.

Peace,
Pax

NOT an ‘Earth Religion’?

Hello friends,

So thanks to the wonders of Facebook I came across this article about the voyage of the Plastiki, a catamaran that is largely made from recycled materials and is sailing the ocean to highlight the dangers of over-fishing and ocean pollution.  This is how I learned about the Eastern Garbage Patch.

“The ocean’s fragility they witnessed in the place where much of the world’s discarded plastic ends up, the “eastern garbage patch”. This, the focus of their voyage, is a floating “continent” of debris. Nothing that the crew had read in advance could prepare them for what they found navigating an area twice as large as the North Sea. “You don’t see it at first,” De Rothschild says. “But when you get into the sea, and under the water, you realise that it is all like a soup, millions and millions of tiny fragments of plastic, suspended in the water. It is mostly microscopic, but once your eye adjusts you start to see the reflectiveness of some of the larger pieces. The red fragments stand out most clearly.”

The garbage patch was first identified 12 years ago within the “North Pacific gyre” – a vortex where the ocean circulates slowly because of light wind and extreme high pressure systems. Oceanographers have since suggested that perhaps 100 million tonnes of plastic are held in suspension in these waters. One of the things that the Plastiki voyage has demonstrated is just how durable modern polymers are: the pressurised bottles of its hull have hardly been knocked out of shape, let alone broken up by the 8,000-mile voyage. “That’s why just about every plastic bottle that has been made still exists,” De Rothschild says.

The voyage has been overshadowed by the more graphic pollution of the BP oil spill, but even that is dwarfed by the scale of the problem the Plastiki highlights. While the deaths of seabirds and marine life in the Gulf of Mexico are still being measured in the hundreds, according to the UN Environment Programme, plastic debris causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, and more than 100,000 marine mammals. Back in 2006, the UN concluded that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. Since then the problem has only grown.”

~ from the Tim Adams article at Guardian.co.uk observer (full article here)

Its odd, but I was having a very good and deep conversation with some Heathen friends of mine today and one of the topics that came up was the definition of Paganism as an “Earth Centered Religion” and how that does not always theologically apply to all forms of Contemporary Paganism.  It was a great discussion and some fascinating points were made.  Although it’s a very good thing I hadn’t seen this article first or I would have probably been a lot more pissy on the topic…

This evening…

(or is it morning? I think it shall NOT be evening until I’ve had some sleep no matter the clock hour.)

… anyhow my mind, upon reading the article above, began to turn back over the years to the many times I have seen both online and in person various members of our Pagan community sneer and whine when some Pagans define Paganism as an ‘earth centered religion’.

Not the engaging and a reasoned and reasonable discussion of earlier this evening, nor the less frequently encountered but entirely reasonable “Well, so and so is making very big blanket statements about Paganism….”; no, I meant the knee-jerk “So-and-so (often Starhawk) doesn’t speak for me…” or “(insert name of whiner’s Tradition here) isn’t centered on the Earth it’s centered on the Gods”  or “Well those neo-Pagan fluff types can drum and chant about the Earth all they want I’m going to do the real Paganism over here…”

Usually involving/followed by a lot of noise and flouncing to the effect that their Paganism is concerned with The Gods and the Ancestors and the really kewl [sic] stuff and doesn’t worry the Earth…

To which I would like to say,

“Why NOT?”

Setting aside, for now, the fact that the Earth is increasingly in trouble and it is the only home we have right now…

Does someone really expect me to believe that the Holy Powers and the Ancestors are HAPPY or PROUD at the way our societies treat this precious jewel of a world or ours?   There is a patch of floating plastic and debris floating in the Atlantic that is large enough to have earned a NAME!

Is it possible that you could stop your whining about how superior your particular form of Paganism is long enough to actually do something useful to your larger community (i.e. the world) that would both honor your Gods and your Ancestors and do something useful to help ensure that when We are the Ancestors that there is a healthy and beautiful world with enough nourishing food and clean water that our descendants may enjoy their lives rather than cursing our selfishness or laziness?

Now I would love to be able to say that I have been walking this talk for a long time.

I can’t.

I am learning to recycle, trying to shop smarter and reduce and re-use as well as recycle.  I am trying to figure out how to walk this talk and I for one am rather thankful that there are Pagans out there who are more experienced at this and are already putting thought and action into this sacred trust.

The other side of the coin, of course, is that we are not separate from the Earth.  Humans are a part of nature, despite what some of my more radically Earth Centered bretheren, that HUMANS are a PART of the Earth, Humans are OF Nature.   Not, or at least not solely, nature and the Earths enemy.

Try looking forward to a sustainable future featuring humanity shall we?

Just saying,

Pax

Breathing in the fog…

I breathe.

I breathe deeply drawing the air of inspiration and connection into my Ground. Into my Center. Into my Chakra’s in turn I drink in the Breath of Life. The candles flicker on the altar. The radio hums it’s hymns to knowledge from National Public Radio and the blogoshpere and internet provide amusement and information and outrage. I sip my coffee and smile to myself.

I contemplate my recent malaise, my ennui, by blahs.

Maybe I need a mojo bag? Or some sexy smart minded and mouthed Satyr to stir me out of complacency? Perhaps I should,,,,

Breathing over takes me, listening not seeking, just being for a while longer, or so my wiser self and the spirits of the world seem to mumble…

And so I breathe….

an untitled note on the journey….

I am feeling blocked, creatively and spiritually, lately.

Some of this is, I suspect, related to the upcoming aniversary of the Big Guy’s unceremonious (and at times rather brutal) dumping of me and the total cutting out that so many of “our” friends and acquaintances chose to render unto me last August.

Even having an, admittedly, theoretical source for my recent lack of creative spark isn’t really an excuse.  I need to start applying discipline to myself and my life.  So look for more regular writing here.   Sadly I cannot promise that they will all be Golden.  Only that they will be honest, and reflective of the spiritual journey of this particular Pagan.


I’ve already started with some superficial adjustments to the site, and am reworking and rethinking some of the pages and pieces I’ve got on here. I am doing much the same with my room and various parts and pieces of myself.

Blessed be folks,
Pax