Prayer for Egypt

Hail to Thee oh, Mistress of the Secret Name of Ra!

Hail to Thee oh Throne of Kings,

Hail to the You who Dwells in The House Beautiful.

Hear me, please, oh mighty Queen,

The people of Egypt fight and rail against tyrrany,

Fear and violence stalk the streets,

Let there be calm, let there be peace, let there justice.

Spread your great wings and shield the Children of Egypt,

Spread your wonderous wings and watch over their Mothers,

Spread your mighty wings and keep the People and Their Treasures safe

To thee I pray.

Dealing with your fears

Dear Friends,

So for about the last couple of weeks I have been waking up, listening to the NPR on the alarm-clock/radio stretching as I lay there in bed.  Breathing into my Center, Grounding, and sitting for up to 10 minutes. … I have a LOT of resistance to sitting and need to meditate (ironically enough) on that…

Anyhow, the other day I got a call from the Fabulous Jonathan to meet up for coffee as he had finished a job interview (any good prosperity/get-a-good-job spells out there?) and was in the area.  I had Centered and Grounded and went to coffee with him, and neglected to meditate…  Much later that night while working the overnight at the front desk things had slowed way down… I sat for 10 minutes.  I ended up writing in my journal and started some free-form journal work and started thinking about my fears…

“Fear.  I eat my fears and smoke my fears and stuff then down rather than facing them.  I do the same with my anger, and my frustrations.  That Ends Now.”

On a sudden inspiration I decided to spend 10 more minutes meditating upon my fears, facing them and thinking them through.

“The Fears that haunt me are failure and incompetence.  I ballance them with successes and knowledge and skill.  I will sometimes fail, it is not the end of the world or an unavoidable fate.  I may not suceed at everything, I can’t be good at everything, but I am good at many things.”

Then I started a new page… and felt the magick stir…

“I name my Demons of Fear,

They are Failure and Incompetence.

Oh, how I have run from you.

I have eaten, and smoked, and drugged myself,

Distracted myself with games and pasttimes and impractical day dreams,

Anything to fill the emptiness or fear,

Anything to numb my nerves,

Anything to distract me from your Shadows.

Such large shadows for such small things!

How you have tripped me up over the years!

Taking some time to look at you,

I find you small and silly and more cautionary than calamitous.

I move past you to embrace my many successes.

I look to the things I can do.

I acknowledge you,

I accept you,

I embrace you.”

Now here is where things get interesting, because a few moments after writing this in my journal, as I sat there thinking about it, I reached into the insulated lunch/shopping bag I carry all sorts of stuff -including my lunch- to grab something and ended up stabbing myself on the needle from a name-tag….  and began to bleed profusely… so of course I sealed the Naming of My Deamons in my own blood.

What are your Demons?  What are their names?  How are you facing them down?

Peace and Curiosity and Compassion,

Pax / Geoffrey

Invocations, Old Words, and Creativity

Dear Friends,

I have had the words, well mostly one of the choruses, of the old British folk and busking/begging song Tom O’ Bedlam stuck in my head for a couple of days now.

Still I sing Boys, Bonny Mad Boys

Bedlam Boys are Bonny

For they all go bare and they live by the air,

and They want no drink nor money

I blame Veles, who was apparently similarly afflicted and posted to his Facebook…

Oh Tom o’Bedlam, get out of my head!

Some discussion ensued and, realizing I had only heard snippets over the years in my wanderings through sci-fi/fantasy and Renfair geek-dom,  I researched the piece, and looked up all the lyrics and listened to several versions online….  Enjoying the flexibility of the song and how many different directions you can take these old words…

Ever since Veles (because, again it is his fault) got me stuck on this song I have been thinking how by adjusting the verses and some of the various choruses (and possibly adding one or two relevant verses) you could take this song and transform it into a very powerful Mummers interlude during a Yuletide potluck feast, or a Mummers Parade around Samhain, or an Invocation of The Horned God and the Wild Hunt at either of the above Sabbats are all interesting possibilities.

Some of the inspiration for this comes from reading a LOT of Traditional Witchcraft material in the last month, Huson and Paddon and Cochrane and Jones oh my!  Some of this inspiration has probably been stirred up by Dver’s diverse posts over on A Forrest Door on mumming and masking (here, here and here) that she shared near the turning of the Calendar Year…

One of the elements that can make a ritual powerful, one of the things that can make it Ritual and empower true Magick, is repetition or age.   This is why old and oft repeated rituals have a certain power, they’ve had time to inscribe themselves into the warp and weft of things….  rituals, like the Catholic Mass, or the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, or the casting of Circles or the invocation of Watchtowers; this is also part of what empowers some of the ancient stories and songs such as the works of Shakespear, and passages from the Norse Saga’s, or the Homeric Hymns, have had time to work themselves into the warp and the weft of things and reach what I tend to think of as the Graphic User Interface stage of magick and ritual.

So by bringing in Poetry and Song and Language and rituals with some age to it, or simply by figuring out what works best for you and going with it, you can end up drawing on the power of meanings built up over time; with yourself and your group as the lenses through which that deep magick is focused…

As an example of the flexibility of the piece, and the many different moods one could take one written source (either ancient, or modern, or one that blends the two…) We have…

A late 1960’s folk-rock rendition…

A 1980’s sounding version with overtones of Synth and New Age Music…

A gloriously over the top spoken word version….

And a Japanese Math Rock band which, while some of the pronunciations are a bit surreal has captured a delightful mood…

or for invoking Dionysus perhaps fabulous almost rockabilly version…

Peace, and creativity,

Pax

6 Breaths and making the time…

Dear Friends,

I have been having a LOT of synchronicities go on lately around Writing and Meditation and Practice…

One of those moments and one that is sticking with me is a conversation I had with my Minister from Orlando’s 1U, a U.U. congregation.  We were talking about how incredibly busy things are, and will be for a while, at our Church.  Rev. Kathy is our newly settled Minister and our Church is growing from what is called a Pastoral sized Church into a Program Sized Church, meaning that the number of people is greater than any one person can know or intuit the state-of-the-congregation…. in such a situation you need strong governance and a solid organization and sense of what group and activity relates to/reports to whom… basically there is a LOT going on…

After a meeting/discussion with her earlier this week I made the comment that it was a very lucky thing she was already a practitioner of meditation…

“I take a lot of inspiration from the fact that Science has proven that you can change your body chemistry with just 6 breaths…” she said, as she related how synchronicity had played an important part in her own journey when she had just finally committed to meditation shortly before facing a nurological illness that mimicked M.S., that was cleared up with Antibiotics (given for something else) after 3 years… as she related it was a good thing she had discovered Meditation right before that!

I have been working at my regular practices for, well, months now…   Centering and Grounding and Breathing Into my Chakras and Prayer  …at the same time I have danced back and forth with both my professional development, my spiritual development and Practice, and the many many shiny things that call to my A.D.D. blessed self for attention.  That comment about 6 breaths has stuck with me.

“If all you have time for in a day is those 6 breaths, then that’s what you do…” was the observation Rev. Kathy made…

We tell ourselves we don’t have time, we tell ourselves we will get to it tomorrow; and we lie to ourselves, and undervalue, and undermine ourselves all too damn often!  So I am continuing in my journey to breathe, to sit in silence for 10 minutes.  To do what I desire, and need to do and deal with, each day even if its baby steps.  Take time, dear friends, on your own journeys to dive deep into yourself and your practice … even if some days its just those 6 breaths!

Peace,

Pax / Geoffrey

Why every city needs some Pagan neighborhoods….

Dear Friends,

One of the frustrations of living in a town-house condominium apartment is that neither the room-mate, the neighbors, nor complex security would understand or endorse me shucking off my pajamas and dancing naked in last nights glorious rainstorm (with proper footwear in case of nearby Lightning strikes) in the courtyard between the buildings.  I had to throw on clothes and THEN go dance ,with grape-vine steps, Deosil around the Magnolia at the cross-roads of the walking paths…

I would heartily advise my fellow Pagani, and any of you interested in what we U.U.’s call “The Earth Centered Traditions”, to encounter Nature on its terms once in a while.  Instead of just calling on the powers of Air from inside your living room while focusing on some incense or a feather,for example, … Go Outside once in a while!!

Anyhow, this desire to dance and my frustration at not having any locally available easily accessible outdoor Pagan space started me thinking about having a Pagan neighborhood.  Which reminded me of this episode of Elemental Castings, where T. Thorn Coyle and John Michael Greer are talking about the element of Earth and get into some interesting discussions about building such communities…

Think about it… a green-grocers and corner market and a pharmacy and some galleries and restaurants and psychics and the requisite bookstore and tchotchke shop… all within walking or biking distance… green architecture, community gardens, well maintained and observed public park (with extended hours of course) and a Pagan Community Center…. tai-chi in the park, yoga at The Center…

Instead of running away to the country or the wild, which are becoming increasingly more precious, perhaps we should be leading a charge to take over the cities?!

Peace,

Pax

Please note…

Dear Friends,

Alter = to change something

Altar = place where one makes offerings and communications to the Gods and otherwise keeps and dinks around with ones sacred tchotchkes.

One can be altered by the practice of keeping an altar.

Please get it right,
Thank you

PS- a certain allowance will be made in spell-checker free venues, especially with a high ratio of word count to instances of misuse of this particular pair…

My life with (some of) The Holy Powers and The Spirits

(Intro to a series…)

Hello Dear Friends,

This series of posts has its origins in reading Dver’s marvelous post A light in the darkness, which was in turn inspired by Sarah Lawless’ post They’re Watching You.  Most especially it’s been sparked by reading and re-reading Dver’s other post, Committing.  There are other posts that are inspiring and re-inspiring me (including They Hold Our Hands,  from Aquila ka Hecate, and It’s not about us also from Dver, and Gods, Goods and shadows… from CredenceDawg) as I seek to write of my encounters with some of The Holy Powers, and why I believe THEY are important….

That Paganism and Witchcraft and Spirituality and Religion and Devotion are about THEM at least as much as, if not more than, they are about US.  Increasingly I am seeing that this is something of a scandalous or shocking, or perhaps I should say unfashionable, idea amongst a number of my fellow Pagans.  So let me clarify my own personal position.

The. Gods. Are. Real.

So I am going to engage in some commitment with this series of posts.  I am going to write about my personal experiences of some of the Holy Powers and Spirits as I remember experiencing them.  Some of these I have written about before or in part, but I am going to share them here again.  Because they really happened.

For the skeptical or non-theistic out there, especially the ones I know and socialize with in my off-line worlds, some of whom might become concerned or made uncomfortable by this series; I am willing to allow you all the polite escape clause that on some level that its possible that what I describe is all in my head and some psychological peak experience or whatever psychological make-it-some-how-safe-and-rational-excuses you prefer

HOWEVER

The experiences I will write about are such that they have  pushed (or pulled, or perhaps danced) me past the point of Agnosticism, over the borderlands of Belief  and deep into the complex terrain of Experience.

I am not a Polytheist or a Witch because I think that The Gods or Magick are nifty ideas, I am not a Pagan because it helps me to be a better person, I am not a Witch because its some nifty magickal lifestyle choice; I am a Witch and Polytheist because I have experienced Magick and encountered some of the Gods and Spirits and felt the phantom touch of the Ancestors in my life.

Peace,

Pax / Geoffrey

(tip of the hat to Lon Milo Duquette for inspiring the title of the present series of posts)

Intro (this post)

Libertas (whilst written before this series was conceived of, it fits a little too perfectly into the theme to be ignored…)

The Witches Goddess

The WitchFather

The Morrigan

Hecate

Dionysus

The Honored and Beloved Dead

Spirits of the World Around Us