It Begins…

Dear Friends,

So today is Halloween.  Next Monday, Nov 7th will be Samhain… the cross-quarter Holiday celebrated by the ancient Celts.  Some contemporay Pagans celebrate on the 31st, others on the astronomical mid-point between the Solstice and Equinox.  I tend to split the difference and view the entire time between the two as a holy festival.  A time for remembering the beloved and honored dead, and the wonder of imagination and childhood.  Remembering the ancient rhythms even as I acknowledge how out of step or disconnected from the world around us our society can be.

It’s already been the beginings of  a full and festive Holiday here at Grayhaven, as we’ve named the apt.

The Fabulous Jonathan and I went to a Halloween Dinner party thrown by our friends Will and Gene.  We wore t-shirts from his site… I wore the “Strangers have the best Candy” shirt with a domino mask and a big-big bag of cheap Halloween chocolate candies and lollipops.   Which huge bag if candy I will be taking BACK over there later today when Jon and I help the boys hand out candy at their house, and Jonathan tries to help Gene scare the unholy stuffin’ out of trick-or-treater’s.  Jon has discovered a kindred Halloween Spirit in Gene and I fully expect them to start putting their heads together sometime in August of next year, with a number of expeditions to Home Depot and obscure hardware and electronics stores in advance of next years Holiday.

In other news, I am enjoying the prospect of having some time at home this week, having taken a few days vacation time… I usually have Sundays and Mondays off after working the 11p-7a shift at the motel, and frequently get joyously pulled into events at the U.U. Church on Sundays… can make Sat-Sun a bit of a long if blessed day!  So anywayI have Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off.   A nice little mini vacation, one of the first times I used my vacation time at work!   It will be nice to have some ime spent puttering around the apartment finally sorting through bookshelves and puttering in the Kitchen.

Speaking of which…

There is a Pork Picnic Shoulder in the fridge rubbed with herbs and spices and with cloves of garlic stuffed into knife-point holes all over.  There are veggies, including carrots and celery cut and chilling in water, onions and red potatoes waiting to be cut or peeled.  These will all be put into my mom’s roasting pan with a cup of 4 thieves vinegar and some olive oil drizzled over the veggies …. or perhaps I will toss them in some olive oil and salt before tucking them around the pork shoulder… and roasted low and slow in an oven at around 150-200 degrees Fahrenheit  (65 to 93 Celcius) for around 6 to 8 hours…

I also have found a roasted Apples with Balsemic glaze recipe that I may have to try… although I may wait and pair that with a more conventional higher temp and shorter cooking time roast for logistical convenience.

Well, I had better get a nap before getting up to start the roast.

Have a Blessed Halloween!

Pax

PS- look for some more Halloween/Samhain Posts this week…

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Samhain and Diwali and New Moon Musings…

Dear Friends,

So the other night, being the New Moon, I went out and made offerings to Hekate.  She is one of the Gods I feel particularly close to and hold dear in my own heart and practice, as regular readers may remember.

I walked to a place where three-roads met and left a variety of offerings unto Her and whatever spirits may have been in Her retinue.  13 coins at the cross-roads, and eggs and garlic, pomegranate juice, and the remnants of the previous months food and beverage offerings.  It was interesting walking to and from the place along a poorly lit trail nestled amongst neighborhoods in the dark of night, moments of fear and walking through it, walking away and not looking back, the sensation of being followed and the sense that if I looked over my left shoulder I should see ~something~.  I didn’t look… it felt like some sort of test rather than an opportunity.

I made my way home and ended up looking at a number of articles and posts and video’s about Diwali, the Festival of Lights.  I find it rather delightful to contemplate my own offerings to The Torch Bearer, whose Promethean fires light the way in the paths of the depth of night, and find myself wondering if the local Hindu Temple has any special Diwali events… I may have to try and check that out next year.

So many peoples on so many paths, all seeking to eradicate suffering and ignorance in the world, so many people of faith and good will striving to live good lives and to do good in the world.  Good to be reminded of that!

What did you do for the Dark of the Moon?

Peace,

Pax

Samhaintide

Dear Friends,

So another cold front has moved through Central Florida, bringing with it much cooler evening weather and a genuine sense that Autumn is ready to get about it’s business… as the front was coming through something clicked and stirred within me…

Subtropical Samhain-tide

Samhaintide’s begining to rise,

High minded clouds obscurring the stars and others,

Just out of reach, are clipper-shipping ‘cross the skies,

The strong warm Westerlies they sail upon,

Shimmy and Shake the Palm Fronds,

Frolic, rustling across the Live Oak leaves,

Breathing it all in deep memories stir,

I remember the stories of my childhood,

Power and beauty and wonder,

I remember parts of myself,

Too long closed off like dusty attic rooms,

“Wild nights are my glory.”

So in that strange Subtropical alchemy I am reawakening and renewed in the Autumn of the year.

The warm winds blew into the West, and then cooler winds blew towards the East and last night was downright chilly… hopefully there’ll be no hard freezes this year and the Citrus and Berry and other crops, and their farmers and farm workers, will be able to start a recovery.

Peace,

Pax / Geoffrey

Faith AND Reason…

Dear Friends,

 

I know that all too many Pagans out there, and apparently a number of U.U.’s, have had more experiences of both Religion in General and Christianity in particular that are reminiscent of the Christian Radio host’s gay-hating ignorance and religious intolerance, rather than of the Methodist minister’s open minded-ness and interfaith approach; HOWEVER… there are many good people of faith out there, and many good and genuinely compassionate Christians out there as well… Religion and Christianity are not our enemies.   We must balance reason & faith, with spirituality & religion, whilst also maintaining an everyday life filled with both spiritual practice & religious experiences… balance is the key

Peace,

Pax / Geoffrey

Notes on the journey Oct. 15th 2011

Dear Friends,

So it looks like 24 days or so is my current personal best… I could chalk up a day to timing but 2 or 3… that kind of ends this streak of postings.   Not that that’s a bad thing mind you.   It’s been good to stretch my writing and thinking muscles a bit and limber up and it is far past time I started blogging and writing again and writing more seriously again.

My own spiritual journey is taking some interesting detours and I’ll be sharing them with you as I can.
Peace,

Pax / Geoffrey

The Breath of Life and the Benidiction of the Sweat of our Brows…

Dear Friends,

While I have never been the picture of muscular beef cake, there was a time when I was much healthier.  Living in Anchorage I was able to walk most anywhere I needed to go, and there was a good public transit system available.  Moving to Orlando, which is NOT a pedestrian friendly Metropolitan Area and has a public transit system that is both confusingly organized and hardly commuter friendly, I got a car and drove most places.  I have gained weight and been sedentary and inactive.

It’s easy to do, especially as a traveler along the New Aquarian Frontier, where there is a lot of Spirit Good / Material World Bad ideas floating about the edges to distract you if your not careful!

So I am going to start adding a daily exercise to my practices… and not just leaving that spot blank in my daily log.  Been doing that all too often as of late.  But you see in addition to being reminded of the Holyness of the Flesh by some of T. Thorn Coyle’s writings, and Skallabjorn’s post from way back, and a piece by Mr. Rollins, I’ve been getting distinct nudges in my prayers and meditations on The WitchFather that He wants me to be healthy and strong.  That a strong element of worshiping him is to challenge myself, to feel Him in the rush of my blood and the sweat of my brow and the deep drinking of the breath of life that comes from sustained activity and exercise.

Eventually I’d like to get back into weight training which I studied years ago but didn’t take seriously because I lacked in confidence and self-esteem.  I am beginning to feel as if maybe I need to eventually seek  an extreme of health and strength, but for right now I know I need to start with some walking daily, and then move onto a fitness program.  So we shall see where the journey leads me.

Peace, and stay healthy,

Pax

Setting out the verbal fine china

Dear Friends,

So I’ve been doing a lot of praying and worship and ritual and writing prayers and such lately, and came across this fabulous resource page that details out some of the proper usage of Thou, thee, thy and thine.  I am still sorting some of it out, but I am thinking that for prayers and ritual from now on I would like to try using this mode of language.

I find it interesting and useful that despite not really having been “Churched” as a kid… as an English speaker whose only exposure to the 2nd Person Singular and Plural Nominative is through the Bible…  addressing the Deities in that way just feels ~right~ on a deep deep level, it takes the prayer I am speaking or trying to write and makes it …. more formal yes, but also more deeply respectful, set aside from the everyday.   Special.  Liminal.  Serving as a more appropriate bridge or gateway to the Numinous.

One of the goals of a religious ritual is to set the occasion aside as some how special in either time, or place, or both.  What better way to do this than to use language we do not normally use?  I know there are Reconstructionists who have studied Norse, Greek, or Gaelic (among a number of other languages), in order to address their Holy Ones in a more meaningful way.

I am reminded of a favorite quote,

“Science is a method of talking about the Universe in terms that bind it to a common reality. Magick is a way of speaking to the Universe in words that it cannot ignore.” –Neil Gaiman

Shouldn’t this hold true in our worship and Theurgy, as well as in our more practical magicks?

Peace,

Pax