Weathering the Weather in Style

Dear Friends,

So for the last several days Tropical Storm Debby has been sending (much needed) rain to the City Beautiful specifically and Central Florida in general… I had a couple of days of Monday and Tuesday and so was sitting around the apartment Monday morning waking up ans sitting my coffee.  Catching up with archive of the Pagan Values Event for this year, and reading the blogs and otherwise winding up to do something…

Now recently I’ve been reading Seba over at Southern Fried Witch, she’s a righteous writer and a fabulous cook… and she has recently started posting again after the chaos of a sudden but blessed move to new digs.

I realized that I was feeling the need to nest, maybe do something a little protective of my home in light of the ongoing rain and winds and potential for tornado activity (witches and tornadoes rather famously don’t mix well after all) and also feeling the need to get in touch with the Spirits and Holy Powers…

So I started by getting myself in the mood by cranking Flying Off To Brocken, one of my Pandora stations.  I started lighting candles, including Hestia’s Oil burner… adding some of the White Truffle Olive Oil since it was evolving into an occasion and all… and Brighid’s Candle from that Imbolc… I tasted salt, and drank water, and kindled a flame, and rang a bell… climbing up the symbolic shelves of my Altar and going through the elements as they align with the Chakras…

I opened a bottle of wine, poured myself a glass and spent a few moments in thought…

I started blessing Water and pouring Libations…. The Household Spirits, The Great Goddess, The Witchfather, Hecate… all of Them got water… then the Ancestors were served some of the Wine…

It felt right to change up the normal order of things because of the storms… something in me remembered that in a lot of the Celtic stories one traveled between the worlds by traveling into or under the Ocean… somehow I had this sense that a Tropical Storm is some sort of Limnal time where the Walls Between the Worlds thin… so I wanted to Honor the Ancestors but I wanted to Welcome some of the other Holy Powers before inviting The Beloved and Honored Dead to the party.

So having said hello to everyone I then lit some incense… first some Dragon’s Blood and then a little while later the Satyr’s Blend that the Fabulous Jonathan and I made a while back.  Then I turned to the recipes… Cooking something seemed to be the order of the day… something to enjoy, something decadent.  I alternated sipping coffee, and Cabernet, as I prowled through the cookbooks and recipes and cabinets and converted-bookshelf-pantry.  Finally I decided I wanted Veles‘s Cookie…

…ok, WOW that reads much more glamorously dirty than I mean it too..

What I should probably say is that I wanted to make another batch of those cookies that Veles had given me a recipe for…

Veles’s Chocolate Devil Cookies

1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp- Instant Coffee
1 pinch Cinnamon
1 pinch Black Pepper

1/2 Cup (1 stick) of Butter
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Combine Dry Ingredients. Incorporate Wet Ingredients and mix well by hand. Form teaspoon size balls and flatten. Bake for 7 minutes in a 400 degree Farenheit oven…

I had made them once before and had been wanting to make them again and try a few variations on the recipe, so for this batch I decided to use 1/2 cup Sugar and 1/2 cup Splenda and use 3 or 4 shakes of the shaker of Cinnamon and Black Pepper and also som Paprika none of this pinch stuff… then I added a couple of teaspoons of the Cabernet… although I could have probably added a couple more…

They turned out decadent and delicious and the home felt, well, more like Home and a little safe and secure.  The music and imbibing continued as I cooked up some Polish Sausage for me and the husbear for dinner.

Tonight I am taking some of the few cookies left and giving them to the Land…

What do you do on a rainy day?

Peace,

Pax / Geoffrey

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Sending forth my hopes and prayers…

Dear Friends,

So the Unitarian Universalist Association is having it’s annual General Assembly in Phoenix, AZ this year.  The location had already been chosen before the regressive and infamous Arizona Immigration Laws were created.  There was some controversy in the UUA over this; discernment and discussions of how to best respond to these questionable laws in the light of our Principles and Sources was intense.

Eventually the decision was made to focus this years General Assembly as an act of witness and social justice creating a Justice General Assembly, this year, focused on Social Justice and Immigration Reform.  One of the events is a peaceful vigil outside the Tent City of controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Apparently this witness event may have armed counter-protestors.  This may not seem too surprising to students of current events in the United States, but it is a posibility that hits Unitarian Universalists very close to home in light of the 2008 Knoxville Unitarian Church Shooting.

So today I am lighting a candle and offering my own hopes and very Polytheistic prayers for my fellow U.U.’s…

To the Holy Ladies do I call,

Mighty Aphrodite, Holy Lady of Love, Mistress of the Muses and Graces, Ebullient Lady of Love may Your peace and protection rain down upon those in Arizona who stand on your side.  Companion in Battle, keep these good people safe, may the hospitable be kept from harm.

Columbia, Our Lady of the Americas, Gem of the Oceans, lend your strength and support to those in Arizona who seek justice and compassion for ALL of the children of Your many nations.

Libertas, Guardian of the Gateways, Bearer of the Book of Law, Torchbearer of Freedom, help those in Arizona who seek through word and deed to live up to our Nations highest ideals, may they be lent Your strength and endurance, may the light you uphold inspire and guide them.

Justica, You who bears both Sword and Scales, protect the good and just people in Arizona who seek to see Your blessings flow equally to one and all.

Thrice Holy Hecate, Cosmic Wielder of the Keys, Mistress of the Earth and the Sky and the Seas, Guardian and Guide watch over and inspire those in Arizona who seek to bend the moral arc of the Universe towards Justice.

To The Holy Lords do I call,

Holy Herne, Sweet Sacred WitchFather Who Lives Moves and Has Being within Every Atom, Every Cell, and Every Soul, Cross-Roads King keep safe those in Arizona who seek a good and just and honorable path for my Nation and the World.

Ganesha, Wise One, Lord of the Art of Writing, You Who Removes Obstacles, may those in Arizona who quest for truth and justice be guided by Your wisdom and may they surmount their obstacles.

Uncle Sam, Soul of the United States, Lord of Brotherhood and Democracy, Lord of Oportunities, open the ways for those in Arizona seeking to fulfill our Nations promise of Liberty and Justice For All.

Dionysus, Liberator, Savior, You who taught humanity the mixing of Wine with Water, Giver of both Madness and Moderation, of Thee oh Holy Lord, I ask that you keep the Madness of Crowds away from those gathered in Arizona and may they all be inspired and words of wisdom flow.

May it be so, may it be so, may it be so.

Relaxing and Reconnecting

Dear Friends,

So much going on in my life and heart right now….

Money is particularly tight as The Fabulous Jonathan and I weather our way through a very rainy wet Spring that promises a wet warm Summer for Orlando this year.  We are practicing recipes for a Wedding Reception we’ve agreed to cater for friends, and trying to make short term decisions that don’t feed our spirits but will keep a roof over our heads so that Long Term, we can dig deep wells and nourish our minds and bodies and spirits down the road.

My own continued wrestling with Writers and Bloggers block, and the very similar blocks I’ve had for a long time about my Spiritual Practices, have been deciphered.

My writing, and to a lesser degree my practices, have been blocked because in 2009 even as I was ~finally~ achieving my dream of being a published writer and author… the magazine pretty much folded and my relationship with The Big Guy finally shattered into a thousand pieces.  Why keep trying if (you think at the time) the only thing you run into is failure and unhappiness?

(It was a little, ok… a LOT, more complex on the relationship front… today let’s sacrifice back-story for the core issues/elements of the story shall we?)

Suffice it to say I did not react well at the time…

Then too, sometime over the last couple of years, my Spiritual Practices became less about Connecting to The Holy Powers, and more about Enduring very stressfull and difficult times at work and in my personal life.  Especially through the Summer of last year.  Then, as the stressors were removed from my life by changes in circumstance (sometimes to be replaced by others, mostly centered around money and poverty) I had lost on some level the framework or relationship to Practice as connection.

Slowly, surely, I am connecting again.  I am beginning to write, even if a few sentences, each day.

I am finishing up the last of a bean soup I made a few weeks ago while Jon was terribly sick.  I’ve been doing a lot of pleasure reading, childrens and young adult books and old favorites and some treasured sci-fi series.  I’ve also been catching up on some shows and otherwise relaxing.

Relaxing, and Reconnecting.

Peace,

Pax

Healing work…

Dear Friends,

So a call for some healing prayers went out.

I am getting over a very busy week-end at work, and the tail end of a nasty cold/flu that has the Fabulous Jonathan in its clutches… so I knew I wasn’t up to some big production… but I am also appreciating that sometimes it is the simplest act of magick that can be the most powerful.

So I dusted off a blue 7 day pillar candle with my own intricate/inarticulate designs scrawled in silver ink on it’s glass.  I had prepared it a while back, and used it a few times but was holding in it reserve for no reason I could identify…  I find myself doing that more and more with candles and various home made oils and carved emergency candles and other bits and pieces around the house.

I drank some of the blessed water I keep on hand in the fridge, refilling and re-blessing it daily, or sometimes many times a day; Refilling it and blessing it in my way before turning to the work at hand.  I lit the candle, and began to pray…

“Healing of Body, Healing of Spirit, Healing of Mind…”

I started with myself and my beloved and let my prayers/mantra work its way out from there… I breathed in and out, letting the light of the candle flame dance before my closed eyes, names were named, where I had them, and for a brief while I lost time and awareness of everything except the sense of connection and love flow around, over, into, and through me as the mantra and the magick worked themselves through me.

“For all those in need, For all those whose lives I touch, Healing of Body, Healing of Spirit, Healing of Mind.”

Over and again the words, and names, played themselves until they were played out…

The act of blessing, is in itself a blessing.  The casting of a healing, is healing.  Try it and see.

Peace,

Pax / Geoffrey