Time, Talent, and Treasures…

Dear Friends,

So, I took some down recently after helping to coordinate a big catered dinner for around 200 at the Unitarian Universalist Church I am a member of.  It was our 100th anniversary as a congregation and we had a whole week-end of activities and events to celebrate our first 100 years!  It was a great evening and a big learning experience for me as our Church Administrator helped me a lot with research and mentoring me through the event… I had helped with similar events but this was the first time I was the lead on such a thing.

The last few weeks there were some hiccups in some of the logistics, I had failed to catch a particular e-mail out of the flood of e-mails related to the event.  Some people who had signed up to volunteer had other things come up, not unusual for any big volunteer run event.   The week-end before the event was cold and rainy and overnight temperatures down into the 30’s for a couple of nights. (it happens every once in a while here in The City Beautiful)

So the Sunday the week-end before I went down the the Church memorial garden.  This is where we have memorial plaques and monuments for Church members who have passed away.  It is also where I poured a libation for my friend Sandi when she passed away last Summer.  I took a bottle of Pomegranate juice and poured it there in a libation, pouring out the entire bottle, and asked the congregational ancestors and the spirits of the place… the land spirits and the congregational egregore and whatever other spirits may have accumulated over the 50+ years our Church has been at the current location… for whatever help They could provide for making the next week-ends weather pleasant.  Thereby also letting them know that our anniversary was being celebrated, and that they would be welcome.

The night of the event, I wore an apron that had been part of the donations from Sandi’s estate to the Alliance… one of the members of the Alliance had set it aside for me since Sandi and I had shared a love of food and festivities!  Sandi was very present in my mind and heart the last few weeks before the event, and I frequently used one of her favorite sayings as an almost mantra… “It is, what it is….”

I’ve learned a lot.  Not only about organizing such an event, and about myself, everyone had a fantastic time, I was glad to do it, and I am so happy it’s over!  I’ve also been learning a lot about the power and beauty of being in community with others.

The only way my growth and learning and contribution happened, was that at some point someone was willing to listen to me.  To allow me to contribute my time and talent and treasures to the 1U congregation.

This has rarely been my experience in the Pagan community.

(At lest the face to face portions of it, strangely enough I’ve met and made friends with some pretty

  darn fantastic Paganfolk through the wonders of the blogosphere and the Internet.)

All too often, in dealing with the face to face Pagan community, I have run into cliquishness and game playing.   Fear of new ideas, fear of new ways of doing things, fear of questions.  All to often the question “Who are you to question us?” has come up.  Pagans in power in various groups have had the attitude that because I haven’t been a member long enough I couldn’t possibly understand the golden energy of the group and how perfect it already was.

I know from my readings online, and from podcasts, and from conversations with friends, that this isn’t always the case in Pagan community groups and organizations.  I just have yet to experience it personally from many of the groups or organizations I’ve personally encountered.

That saddens me.

I am already talking with some potential co-conspirators about a film screening for Orlando’s Gay Pride in October.

I wish I could find the same ready welcome and willingness to share the blessings of community in my local Pagan groups that I’ve found in the 1U congregation.

Peace,
Pax
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What Time and Talent and Treasures do you bring with you?  How do you contribute to your own beloved community?  When you’ve faced rejection of them, how have you responded?

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The Witches Reel

Dear Friends,

I am relaxing before work this evening listening to the latest episode of The New World Witchery podcast on Rhymes, Games and Riddles.  Which is echoing in my memory around my previous musings on Invocations, Old Words, and Creativity.  In the podcast episode Cory and Laine discuss a fabulous old tune called the Witches Reel…

~

Sarah over at Forrest Grove has a great post about this song.

Appropriately enough as I’ve been listening to NWW, and to the song above, the winds picked up and started shaking the palm fronds and leaves in the other trees wildly about… gotta love synchronicity sometimes.

Peace,

Pax

“Every new beginning comes from some other begining’s end…”

Dear Friends,

So those Semisonic lyrics have been running through my thoughts in the days and weeks since Imbolc-tide, appropriately enough I suppose.

Offerings of Sandalwood incense, Pomegranate juice, and dark whole grain bread were made to the house-hold spirits, the Ancestors, and The WitchFather and The Cross-roads Queen.  Beginings and transitions, and a few endings, were contemplated and mused over; both that week-end and in the days since.

I am finding myself, and my Craft, in a period of both growth and transformation.  Good things overall I think.  My studies of Feri and Traditional Witchcraft (from books and online and some experimentation) are bearing some interesting fruit as I re-examine the Wiccan inspired studies of my youth and begin to craft and walk a Path and Craft of my own.  In learning to Cleanse my Life-Force, in daily grounding, in the daily breathing of energy into my Chakras; I find myself growing and changing in my patience, my understanding of myself and of Witchcraft and Magick, in my relationships to the Gods and Spirits and Ancestors… and in my relationship with my past.

Some of the creative and optimistic parts of myself are waking up again.  At the same time I am ever so slowly learning to let go of things (thoughts, feelings, ideas, and material stuff too) that does not serve my life and needs and whatever my true Work is.

I am also snappish and brittle sometimes with my spiritual growing pains, and all the more prone to outburst when I neglect my practices.  That’s the thing about our spiritual journeys, they are not without bumps and growing pains and detours and distractions… but that’s why it is so important to stick to them.  To persevere in the practices and relationships that sustain us.

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As I am writing this the clouds and hints of humidity that have been hanging over The City Beautiful have coalesced into a brief if quenching rain.  I take a moment to light a stick of  Orange Blossom incense and step outside onto the balcony.  Breathing in the still-cooling night air and the scent of the rain.  I speak a simple prayer of thanks to the Holy Powers of Air and Water, to the life-giving and cleansing rains.  I take a few moments to stand the scents of incense and fresh rain mingling on the breeze…

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Cleansing and Healing and Growth… they can be blessings if we let them.  If we are open to them and accept them and don’t try to close ourselves off from them.

Blessed Be Your Journey,

Pax / Geoffrey