“Capital H-I-M”

Dear Friends,

My experience of the WitchFather, as some of my online friends and acquaintances call Him, has – over the years- been stronger and more vivid than those of the Witches Goddess.

This used to bother me, but as I have moved into Polytheism and a greater understanding (or so I like to humor myself) of divinity and the Gods I have realized that you are going to have close relationships with some and nodding acquaintance with others.  Here are a few highlights and impressions from my relationship with Auld Hornie, as some of the Traditional Witches delightfully refer to Him.

He is The Horned God of the Witches, Pan, Cernunos, Herne… He is the vital force of all Life, of Nature, he is the flash of Inspiration and the hard sought words of Wisdom… He is the Stag and the Spirit of Self-Sacrifice that others may thrive and survive… He is The Blossoming of Love and the Thrust of Lust and The Lord of Life…  He is Beauty and The Great Father and He Who Helps Us To and Through Difficult and Two-Edged Truths… Strength and Surrender in Their Turn are His Nature and Lessons, amongst others…

For a better perspective on Him and how he has come to be one of the more popular Gods amongst many contemporary Pagans I can suggest Ronald Hutton’s discussion of The Horned God from Episode 4 of the Druidcast Podcast...

but here are some of the ways I have expereince Him in my life.

On the T.V. Screen…

So in the early to mid 1980’s my parents succumbed to the temptations of an upper-middle class lifestyle and got Cable Television.  With it came a number of channels and an education on a lot of things, I found some of the late night offerings in the early days of Cable especially educational…

It says some interesting things about my interests and temperament and reading habits that ~at roughly the age of 11 or 12~ I had some idea and knowledge of Who it was that the  guy running around the forest in a deers head headdress on Robin of Sherwood was supposed to be.  Or be impersonating, as I thought at the time, it seemed one of the few marks against the show that they would disrespect Herne (and yes that was how I thought about it even then…)   Although in looking up the show now I see that I was still a bit young to get the shamanic angle, which makes me reconsider elements of the series.

Then too, I can look back and see that even then I thought there were some dreamy looking men on the show…

Meditation

So many years later, after the official start of my life as a Witch, I was sitting in meditation.  At the time I mainly sat staring at a candle and trying to still/empty my thoughts.  I don’t know why I didn’t make a more formal study of meditation at the time, but I didn’t… anyhow I was sitting in meditation and felt something…

It felt almost like a tap being turned on, like energy and images pouring in through the top of my skull.  I saw a mental image of myself sitting cross-legged on the ground and super-imposed over that from Crown to the tips of my tows I saw and felt an image of the Horned God… His Antler’s intertwining with the tree-branches, his/my back against the tree, my/his arms resting in our lap with the right hand facing down and the left hand cupped  and facing up, spine against the base of the tree and our feet/hooves and the base of our spine intertwining or blending into the roots of the enormous tree.

Its hard to describe how or why, but this idea was not my own… it came to me from somewhere else, this image of being cloaked by His presence and guidance and the image of Him.  This image sticks with me to this day and when I need to truly connect with the nature or with Him I recall that vision to my senses.

The Words flowed through me

I was engaged in prayer at my altar one day, and felt the urge to pray to Him well up within me, and Words just sort of began flowing from my heart, inspired by another set of words for Her…

“Hear now the Words of the Great Father who of old amongst mortals was known by many names; Tammuz, Brahma, Osiris, Dionysus, Wottan, Apollo, Cernunos, Janicot, The August Personage of Jade, and by many other names.”

“I who am the Wise Youth and the Wild Man, The Horned Hunter and the Dark Wanderer, the Fury of the Storm and the Gentle Whisper of the Leafs in the Trees, I call upon your minds and bodies to arise and join me in this now sacred place.

Learn and remember! I welcomed you into this world and promised you a life of both Pleasure and Pain, Joy and Wonder, Fear and Fury; for all of these are a part of my Mysteries, the Lessons that must be learned, cherished, and remembered lifetime after lifetime.

Know then that whatever tests and trials you face in this life, I have faced before. For I am the Guardian of the Gates of Life and Death, and whatever steps you take and wherever you are within the Spiral Dance, of Birth and Life and Death and Rebirth, I have led the Way. For I am the Lord of the Dance, and to know my Mysteries you must learn to be at one with the Rhythm, the Tao, The heartbeat of the universe, that confluence of outer and inner forces that moves and works upon us all.

~~~

From all things you encounter, all people whose lives you touch, Learn and Give something of yourself in return.

All learning and wisdom is sacred to me; all quests for knowledge and understanding, all acts of effort, and thought, and willing sacrifice; all of these are my rituals.

Know now that sometimes I lead, and sometimes I follow; but as you wind your way through the  The Mysteries between lifetimes, I am always with you.”

Everything up to the ~~~ came the first time…. it was a couple of years later that the rest of it came through…  He seems to like it so I go with that.  Lately I get a sense he has more to say about this… but it will come through eventually.

In this case it doesn’t feel like it was Him coming through me, entirely…, it was at least as much that it was an articulation of my experience and understanding of Him triggered by repeated exposure and experience of Him…  More like a hoof-print than a touch…

As a Matter of Fact, He had a few things to say…

So I was showing a couple of guys I knew some basics about meditation and creating sacred space (Casting a Circle).  Caught up in the fact that they seemed to need some grounding and I had just found Witchcraft as was trying to solve everything with it….  So I showed them how to cast a Circle and talked about Grounding and Centering (which in my earliest enthusiasm was kind of mixed up with and into my meditation technique)  and decided to demonstrate Invocation.

Thus I spoke an Invocation to The Horned God….

Everything seemed normal until I got to the last word… then… it was as if something was rushing into my skull and pushing everything of my consciousness, everything that was me, up and back into the Crown of my skull…  at first, not having had HIM respond like this before, I was rather in a panic… although I got a sense of being calmed down by someone I knew/loved or who knew and loved me, I was still more than a little freaked out and confused especially when He started speaking through my mouth…

I don’t have much memory of what I said and I remember at the time it seemed rather remote from me, I was busy inside my own skull as He spoke through me thinking…

  “WTF?!?! oh it’s You, is this how it’s supposed to feel,  so this must be why they call them Chevals in Voudoun, oh hey He’s speaking I should try to pay attention….”

He finished speaking, and I showed them how to close a Circle, said my goodbyes and went home and had some mild hysterics in the privacy of my own place.

Which is really only good manners…

I’ve always been with you…

This Winter Solstice-tide brought one of the latest encounters.  I was re-reading Altar of My Soul, by Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, a book about Santeria by a practitioner/Priestess.  In the course of re-reading this work where it talks about the experience of being crowned by an Orisha… where a person is put into better/greater relationship with their particular guiding Orisha, I found myself wondering if that was akin to or similar to my experience in that meditation oh-so-many years ago…

I felt this intense warmth and blossoming sensation at or near my Crown Chakra and this sense of His presence and an inner voice of

“Yes, I am here and always have been and always will be.  I am here when you have need and love and care for you.”

Now when I breathe through my Chakra’s I spend some time also sending breath to my connection to Him… which I perceive as being near my Crown Chakra but not in quite the same spot…

Lately I have tried to greet Him each day, breathing into my sense of connection to Him and saying some small (or sometimes expansive) prayer of greeting.

Intro

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 (This post)

The Morrigan

Hecate

Dionysus

The Honored and Beloved Dead

Spirits of the World Around Us

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Kledon or Coincidence?

Dear Friends,
So working in a motel involves a lot of details many folks don’t think about when they check in or leave. For example, we hold onto items left in the motel (except food and toiletries) for 30 days, and then they are gotten rid of…. sometimes this involves tossing things out, or donating them to charity, or letting employees pick over them and then tossing them out/donating them to charity…
So we are in the process of moving the Lost and Found and some other store rooms around at the hotel I work at, and one of the items due to be thrown out was a NIV Study Bible, which my manager gave to me…

“Here, you go to Church, maybe you can use this… I am just not comfortable throwing out a Bible….”

Now since discretion is the better part of valor, and since I really didn’t feel like getting into the ‘what is Unitarian Universalism’ discussion at that point, or discussing the intricacies involved in being a U.U. AND Pagan, so I thanked her and started thumbing through the thing.   Just from reading a few of the footnotes between guests, the first thing that is clear to me is that the editors and myself have some disagreement as to the primacy of Christian mythology…

The other thing that is clear is that whoever owned it and lost it was clearly diving into their Christianity with the same passion and fervor that I dove into Witchcraft and Paganism oh-so-many-years-ago.  There are margin notes, and highlighting, and stick-on Chapter tabs; this is clearly someone who was passionately studying their holy book…

I find myself wondering if I should read the Bible again?  It’s been many years, but I find myself wondering about how it’s language and poetry and metaphors are so interwoven with Western and English-speaking culture… I also find myself wondering about some of the references I have run into online about how some of the metaphors and turns of phrase in what we now know as The New Testament, were inspired by the ancient Greek and Roman religious metaphors and language.

Then too, I am minded of the old joke…

If the Abrahamic faiths are Religions of The Book, Then Paganism could be called Religions of the Library…

So I find myself contemplating Bible Study… an odd choice for a Witch and Polytheist, slightly less odd for a Unitarian Universalist I suppose… but it still feels odd…

Have any of you out there any thoughts or advice?  Given that as a Witch and Polytheist and a U.U. I affirm that The Good, is expressed in ALL the Worlds Religions in some way, shape, or form; then don’t I have a sacred duty to seek to have some understanding of them?

So now I wrestle with the question, is this Bible that has presented itself to me a Coincidence or a Kledon?

Peace,

Pax

PS- I suppose that for the non-Pagan and non-Hellenic Polytheism/non-divination inclined out there I should explain a Kledon…  In ancient Greece there was usually a statue of the God Hermes in the market place.  If you needed an oracle, you could put a coin in the statues hands, whisper your question to it, and cover your ears.  Once you uncovered your ears the first words you happened to hear were the answer to your question/guidance in the matter.  ( I have heard other variations on the HOW TO of Kledons, but for a short form explanation this should suffice)

I personally relate the idea of Kledons to the sometimes synchronous experiences in my life… if you are open to guidance and inspiration they can happen…

 

So I still stink at seated meditation and yet…

Hello Dear Friends,

Things have been busy and unsettled… and yet I have found comfort and strength and emotional and spiritual sustenance in my Religions, of Paganism and Unitarian Universalism, and Spiritual Practices.  The one practice that I pursue, yet am still trying to master, is that of Seated meditation.  I don’t know if it is just my A.D.D. or the fact that solitary meditation is more difficult for me than group meditation…but I have a heck of a time yoking myself to the practice of seated silent meditation.

But I can, when I remember to, dance with mindfulness.   Simple breath awareness, being as aware of my breathing as I am of a cold glass of water on a hot humid day, brings me to some mindfulness.  It was a blessing today.

After the end of work this morning I found myself standing outside for a few moments.  I breathed and just tried to empty my mind… and felt the morning breeze… and watched the flight of morning birds… and saw and appreciated the glorious patchwork greens of the tops and undersides of the Live Oak leaves, and the palm fronds, and grass, and vines and leaves… and the clouds at play in the sky… and I breathed it all in for a few moments.  Even a few moments of mindfulness and presence in the face of holy creation, of which we are all a part, can bring us back to Center, to Ground, to balance and reality.

Peace,

Pax

Perservering

Dear, dear friends,

This morning, a God journeyed through Osceola County.

I was working on the Motel’s Night Audit, getting it printed and getting some additional chores taken care of… changes in some of the paperwork procedures related to having a new GM made me want to mix up the morning routine a bit in order to give myself some extra time to take care of everything.

The sound of rolling thunder interrupted my everyday office early 21st Century routine.  I started printing the let’s-hope-we-don’t-have-to-use-this-in-an-emergency-or-blackout-report (not it’s formal name), un-locked the Lobby door and stepped outside for a moment or two…

The pre-dawn sky was dark, but I could tell it was overcast and cloudy, and the humid air was zephyring about.  The winds was shaking the palm fronds with a silken rustling sound.  It was near to rain, but not quite there yet, although the clouds coming in from the South West hinted that there was already rain fall on the Peninsula somewhere.  Flashes of lightening, like old-fashioned camera flash-bulbs, lit some of the clouds from the inside.  These alternated with streaks of cloud-bound lightening spider-webbing across the sky. All strangely silent, accompanied only by the petticoat rustlings of the leaves and tree limbs, then long moments later the thunder would roll across the landscape.  The lightest splatters of rain falling from the sky, seeming almost indecisive as the elements dances.

I spoke some greetings to the Powers of Air and Water and Fire, although I wasn’t entirely certain if Lightening belonged to the realm of Fire or Air… then too in my relations with the Natural world I am feeling increasingly drawn to the 3 elements model in some respects.

I also spoke a greeting to Zeus.  The Thunderer, who was storming through the skies and raining down upon the land of the local earth-mother Our Lady of The Feast of Flowers, Holy Florida.

I had to go inside and return to my reports for a while, my work as a Hospitality worker and my calling as a Witch having to dance and wrestle with one another for a while…

I returned to the doorway after the quick pre-dawn rainstorm had moved on,  The many layers of cloud-cover were doing a Brownian dance in the dawn-lit skies above me.  The early morning light, dancing and bouncing between land and cloud-covered sky and sea lit everything with a gentle yet revealing quality of light that seemed almost cinematic.  The rain quenched plants and grasses and leaves seemed a vibrant green even in the dim light.  The air was cool, for the moment, as the spent humidity rested on the ground before it began its inevitable creep back up into the air.  The day seemed clean and new, the air clear and cool, life full of possibilities.

The last month or so has been a tough time.  My Friends Sandi’s Death, by ex-beloved Eugene’s death, the ups and downs of matters at work, moving in with my now-beloved fabulous Jonathan…  busy, hectic, a true roller-coaster of emotions and experiences… and through all but a few days I have held to prayer and practice and the counsel of dear friends and wise words from many sources, and prayed and turned my heart over to the Holy Powers for their care.

Sometimes that is all we can do.

Sometimes there is grief and pain and pressure, sometimes there is joy and calm and beauty, accept them both, bless them both, and keep moving forward.

Sometimes, if we are lucky, patience and perseverance are rewarded with limnal numinous moments that feel like a cross-roads that allows us to set out in a new direction or that helps us to get back on the path we were on before.

Peace, and Perserverance,

Pax / Geoffrey

Crossroads Offerings…

Hello Friends,

So I am in the middle of a very busy roller-coastery time right now, may be moving again with TFJ and I going to an apt of our own… I am working and rolling with the punches of recent losses and also trying to find the time and energy and focus to write something meaningful for the upcoming Pagan Values event in June…

I am also trying to write each day or at least more regularly…

The rush of days has run over me lately, and I am simply tired. So much activity and so many emotional ups and downs and through it all this worry that things won’t work out and a sense that they will… Being still, near the Dark of the Moon and given so many big decisions have been made and turning points have occurred… I decided an offering to Hekate was in order.

Though a T-shaped intersection and not the Y that I would prefer for honoring Her, the addition of the Stop Sign effectively makes it three roads rather than two and sometimes you do what you can, where and when you can, with what you have available. So late in the night I went to the Cross-roads, I held 13 Pennies in my hand.

I said,
“I make an offering unto Hekate of the Cross-roads,”
and tossed the coins high into the air above me. Closing my eyes and listening to them rain down.

I held up the bottle of pomegranate juice,

“I pour an offering unto Hekate of the Cross-roads,”

I poured out half the bottle, and walked away without turning back. Later, out of sigh of the cross-roads, I toasted Her with the remaining Pomegranate juice.

What ways do you honor the Gods or Holy Powers in your life?

Peace,
Pax