Honoring Aphrodite, and Beltane, and Ourselves

Beltane-tide Prayer 2009

I dedicate this prayer and post

To You oh Illustrious Lady,

Golden, Sea-Born, Cyprian,

Night and Laughter Loving Queen,

As we wind our way towards Beltane,

Open the peoples eyes and inform their minds,

To dangers both known and unseen

~Pax

I have yet to make it to a festival myself, I don’t have anyone I know real well to share camp with and now that issues of time and money are waning  I am hesitant to throw myself into this aspect of the Pagan community without finding a festival buddy first.  Silly, I know, but its how I feel.

As we wind our way towards Beltane I am reminded, by stories from one of my dearest Pagan friends of just how festive some of the festivals out there can be!

Especially this time of year.  Beltane, or May Day, is the time of year when many of us modern Pagans celebrate fertility and passion and joy and love and lust.  In theory it’s all about the fertility of the land and a time when many Witches and Pagans celebrate the sexual union of their Goddess and God  bringing life back into the world.  In practice there are event’s and festivals that feature that symbolism and often a dancing of the May Pole, and a lot of flirting games and sometimes a lot more than just flirting as folks very actively celebrate fertility.

For me, as a Witch who is also a budding Hellenic Polytheist, Beltane seems like the natural time to honor Aphrodite.

Aphrodite is the Goddess of Love and Beauty, of Procreation and Fornication, of Desire and Flirtation: She is Fairest of the Gods of Marriage, She whose wrath can strike men impotent, She who bestows Beauty and Grace, Lady of Pleasure and Merriment; She Who with Erato and Apollon presides over Love Poetry and Song, Lady of the Morning Star, Protectoress of the Homeland, and Goddess of Peace.

I’ve written a few things about Her before,  prayers of my own, and the Orphic Hymn to Aphrodite, and a little post wherein I suggested we modern Pagans should celebrate and honor Her in our Circles and at Beltane.

Now I could wait and hold a solitary ritual with an altar of images of Aphrodite, and with flowers and sweet candies for Her.  I could, and possibly shall, read the Orphic Hymn to Her and some more prayers of my own to Her, and pour  libations of wine and water and honey.

In the last day or so, however, I feel compelled to say some things about sex and sexuality how we Pagans honor Beltane.

Now, sex is wonderful and beautiful and sacred, as is wine, and music.  So too is Love, in all it’s forms from friendship to blazing passion to deathless romance, so too is Trust; and so too are every atom and cell of our bodies.  At least that last part is a part of the party line for a lot of Pagans out there; some of the stories I hear from friends about the festival circuit are beginign to make me wonder though.

If every atom and cell of our bodies partake of the Divines, then don’t we owe it to Them and to ourselves to be a little careful with our cells and atoms?  If our community is so fabulously free of psychological hang ups, so open, so sex-positive; if sex is sacred how come you never see an HIV testing tent at a community Beltaine event?

Since personal responsibility is such an integral part of being Pagan, why don’t we talk more at this time of year about reproductive health and about birth control and about family planning?  Why don’t we see Beltane (or even Imbolc) health fares in our Pagan communities?

I find myself wondering how many people in our community realize that one of the big reasons that a lot of open rituals will pass out dixie cups for sharing or wine or mead at the appropriate time in the ritual is because sharing a drinking vessel can spread oral herpes?

How many of you knew that oral herpes is present in 50 to 80 percent of the U.S. population?

When I read that roughly 1 million people in the U.S. have HIV; and 1 out of every 5 of them has no idea that they are infected!  When I hear that someone in the United States is infected with HIV every 9 minutes and 30 seconds…

I cannot help but wonder what Aphrodite, what any of the Goddesses of Love and Beauty, must think of these sad simple facts?  Are we truly celebrating fertility and honoring the full spirit of the season if we don’t think about our actions?

Nor is HIV the only potentially lethal STD that you need to worry about.  To paraphrase Henny Youngman

Take my Hepatitis B.  Please!

I have no idea where or when I got Hepatitis B, I learned about it long after that fact when I was taking a routine HIV test.

Luckily enough (if you can say that about a life-changing illness) my body fought off the infection.  This means that while Hep-B is present in my blood, I am not actively contagious and cannot transmit it to my Partner through casual contact or even sexual activity.  It is still in my blood though, and I am at risk for liver problems later in life.

I find myself wondering how many in the Pagan community may face a medical time bomb and not even know it?

We are responsible for our actions and choices. The gods have granted us this gift of intellect and will, and Will, so use it wisely!  Honor the Goddesses and Gods of your path, especially those of Love and Beauty and even Lust; but seek to do so in wisdom and honor.  Inform and educate yourself and make choices grounded in your head and heart, not your hormones, this Beltane season!


~~~A Few (unconventional) Beltane Resources~~~

CDC information on STD’s

CDC general STD information and curriculum tools

An STD information page from the University of Maryland

Coalition for Positive Sexuality ~ A free-online Sex education resource, including information on STD’s and Birth Control.

A Safer Sex information website from William’s College

National HIV and STD Testing Resources (US)

Why I will always be a Witch…

<Ranting>

Why I will always be a Witch…

Not a Pagan, although I AM that too, but I will always be a Witch because, so many years ago now… 15…16 years… do I only count my Dedication ritual or do I count some of the Witchy stuff I was doing before that?  Well, lets call it 16 years, with definitely Pagan leanings for 19 to 20.

Anyway… I gave myself to the Goddess and God of Witchcraft (as best as I understood and understand them) that night.  I offered myself to them in their service and worship.  Body and Soul… I have Circled and Prayed and Magicked and had a few run-ins with Divinity…. both my own and others… I was a young and stupider Witch once…

Even when I started feeling a pull towards the Gods of Greece… especially Hecate and Dionysus… I worried that I was straying from Witchcraft even as I crafted a ritual of introduction and welcome for Hecate…. and later too opened a place in my heart and life for Dionysus…

yet if you dig into their histories you will see why Hecate and Dionysus’s myths and legends seemed somehow strangely familiar to a 21st Century Neo-Pagan Witch…

I am a Witch, whether I am Calling the Quarters or simply making an offering of Incense and moving on with my day… I am a Witch.  This is not something I put on or take off… it is not for the convenience of the moment… if I face trouble or pain or fear or poverty… THEY are there… as are dear friends and family…

Perhaps I am lucky, I have never had a time were I truly felt without the Divine… whether in a more general sense of knowing and resonating with the Divine in All of Creation, or those few blessed ( an occasionally terrifying) moments where I have experienced a specific Presence.  Or those times I have reached out to the Elemental energies and felt them there…

When books written by my fellow Pagans paled I started looking elsewhere… Books by Buddhists on facing fear and difficult times… self-help books on being more effective… books on History and Psychology… my College Classes… especially the Wines Class and the Environmental Sciences class…

All of these have been Teachers to me.  If I am not finding inspiration or beauty or strength or power or compassion or honor or humility or mirth or reverence in Witchcraft and Paganis; it is not because it is not there!   It is because I am not looking for it in the right way… or with a clear mind and heart…

The thing is, I am REALLY NOT trying to offend anyone when I say these things… I have written a lot of essays on this site and done my best to make the pages of this site a useful resource for my fellow Pagan traveler’s and for the budding Witches of the world.

I know what it’s like, I’ve been a solitary Pagan for nearly 2 decades a Witch for most of that time… I have been there and am still there… and while I would dearly love the opportunity to share experience and fellowship and laughter and faith and magick with others…. I don’t have to have that in order to be complete as a Witch or Pagan.

While I would grievously miss them, and Them, if I never had another dramatic Theistic encounter I would still remain a Witch and Pagan.

For me it is a faith and a life and a philosophy and a part of who I am and what I do and how I view the world around me…

I really have a mental block in understanding folks who (it seems to me at least) casually let drop that they are leaving Paganism or Witchcraft because of some lack in these paths or communities.  Of course, I have in the past been moved to try being some of the things I perceived lacking in the community…

ok, ok,

</ranting>

Tis the season…

WHAT: A Bloggers (Silent) Poetry Reading
WHEN: Anytime February 2, 2009
WHERE: Your blog
WHY: To celebrate the Feast of Brigid, aka Groundhog Day
HOW: Select a poem you like – by a favorite poet or one of your own – to post February 2nd.

RSVP: If you plan to publish, feel free to leave a comment and link on this post. Last year when the call went out there was more poetry in cyberspace than I could keep track of. So, link to whoever you hear about this from and a mighty web of poetry will be spun.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An annual Tradition for the last 4 years, this is a delightful way to welcome the Imbolctide Season for those of us that celebrate that particular festival!

You can also connect up with this fabulous event through MetaPagan!

Cross Roads Moments

I suppose it is not entirely unexpected that someone who has chosen to make a place in his heart and life for Hecate should be drawn to the metaphor and myth and imagery and power of the cross-roads.  Thoughts of them have been hovering at the back of my mind the last few days.

There are a couple of very different sources or goads or inspirations for this recent obsession, other of course than having been blessed with A.D.D. and occasionally getting stuck on an idea like a bird-dog on a scent.

One came from Dana of the Bells from Crying of a Siren, her quick note which linked to an a couple of articles ( 1st one here and 2nd one here) about a new reporters sociological experiment.

Briefly the reporter had it arranged that Joshua Bell one of the greatest living violinists of our day would be wearing some scruffy clothes,  playing some of the greatest pieces of classical music (on a Stadivarius no less!), at the top of the stairs at a busy Washington DC subway terminal and would film whatever the results were…  hardly anyone walking by noticed or acknowledged him!

The other, much sadder, goad or inspiration for this post comes from Kerr Cuhulain’s blog.

Briefly, over a dozen people encounter a boy wandering the streets in mixed snow and rain, barefoot and wearing some flannel pajamas asking passersby for help as his parents are fighting.  Not.  One.  Of.  Them.  Helped. Him!

The police were not able to track him down.

~~~

This has me doing some thinking about those moments in life where we have a chance to make a choice, how those choices define us or change us.  I believe, as a Witch, that we are responsible for our choices; our actions, our reactions, our responsibility.

I’d like to think the the nearly 20 years I have been a Pagan and Witch that I have learned, that I have grown in maturity and in spirit; that is sort of the idea of Witchcraft… at least as I see it.

I find myself looking at the Sunlit Cross-roads of the Joshua Bell experiment and remembering a time on my student tour of Europe where I was walking up the stairs of the London Metro and found myself listening to a guitarist…  the strange and wonderful accoustics of the subway station stairs and eventually comming upon him.  An alien experience in a foriegn city to a young, young man from Anchorage, Alaska.

~~~~~~~~

I find myself thinking of a time when I was in my early teens and I was downtown doing some Christmas shopping… it was a snowy day so the temperature wouldn’t have been too cold… somewhere in the 30’s maybe.  A panhandler approached me for money, I told him I had none even though I did.

I was young and had been warned by my parents to just say no to panhandlers and to never take my wallet out…

Yet even then I looked back on it even minutes later thinking about the Fast Food restaurant we were near… I could have taken him in and bought him a meal…

Of course I also look at that particular cross-roads with the eyes of someone who has since worked as a convenience store clerk and watched panhandlers get together money from customers and then come in later and by beer or cigarettes with the money…  I am somewhat cynical when approached nowadays.

But I could have bought him a burger…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then there is the brightly lit Midnight sunlit cross-roads of walking home from my job at a big-box book store and being startled by an old woman.  She was in a clean bright floral print bathrobe/nightgown type of thing and looked a little confused wandering her neighborhood at an odd hour of the bright Alaskan summer night.  (2 or 3 am)

We had startled each other I had been booking it for home walking on my own and she had popped from around the corner from one of the neighborhoods off of C street in downtown Anchorage.  Seemingly appearing out of nowhere from behind a light pole.

We laughed about it and I applogized for nearly running into here and in a moment it became clear she was clealy clean and fed and not homeless…but was more than a little disoriented but trying not to show it.

She asked me if the Church across the street was open and I told her I did not know.  I asked her if she needed help and she said no.  She wandered off across the street and tried the door of the church, it was locked.

She did though.  Someone needed to do… well, something… I walked off a little ways so as not to scare her off and I called the police and waited around watching her wander back towards the neighborhood she had suddenly walked around the corner into my life from.  I waited and watched discreetely from around the corner as the police came and talked to her and helped her get back into the residential care house she had wandered out from.

I talked briefly to one of the cops before I headed home.

~~~~~~~

We always have the power of choice.  What would you live for?  What would you die for?  We choose our actions and reactions and we are responsible for them.

If its the easy option or choice, it’s probably not the right one.

Lots of thoughts and memories rambling around m y brain and circling the Cross-roads of my mind.

Peace,

Pax

A Prayer for a lady and her dogs…

hecate4Thrice Great Hecate, I call to you,

Most honored amongst the gods,

Lady of the Earth and Sky and Sea,

Under brightest Moon I call across the nights to you,

The New Moon’s Mistress,

Torch bearing, Lady of the Hounds, hear me.

You who is the Queen of Phantoms,

Keeper of the Keys of Creation,

Crossroads Golden clad Guide,

Gorgo, Mormo, Thousand faced Night,

Come unto us.

Come unto us oh eldest of the Gods,

Who is also the Night Wandering Maiden,

Come unto us,

Bringing your justice and judgement down

upon those who have slain the innocent animals

of an unmet sister witch from across the World!

Everything is Magic!!! Everything is Holy!!!

…or magick, if you prefer.

I am writing this as a reaction to Hecate’s post regarding some comments she’s gotten on the fabulous Calendar post of hers.  There is also a fantastic Elemental Castings podcast where T. Thorne Coyle interviews Jason Pitz-Waters… that touches on this and is inspiring me to rant.

While this may not help make my rantings any clearer at the very least it provides the careful reader with something resembling context.

It works like this, at least for me it does…

“If you harm none, do what you Will.”

Note the capital ‘W’, it’s important.  It relates to the concept of True Will, which while not intimately or commonly associated with Witchcraft, is one worth looking at.  Especially since whoever introduced The Rede ™  into modern Witchcraft probably had seen some mention of it in Crowley’s works or had read up on Thelema…

“It is defined at times as a person’s grand destiny in life and at other times as a moment to moment path of action that operates in perfect harmony with Nature. This Will does not spring from conscious intent, but from the interplay between the deepest Self and the entire Universe.” ~ from the Wikipedia entry on True Will (accessed 10:17pm 12/30/3008)

As a modern Witch, whatever your Tradition, you have to deal with The Rede, either as a requirement of your practice, or as an outside Not-so-bad-idea but nowhere near the core of your practice ~ that is automatically associated by others with what you do.  The thing is that this idea of True Will becomes important when your Circles and prayers and invocations start to align you with the Universe.

Not that this is to be seen as a process that ends.  We, like the Universe, are in a state of change, growth, evolution.  Unfolding like a thousand-fold lotus of enlightenment on the waters of intuition.

So we chase after this True Will, this Higher Self.  We practice and study magic, or magick…

“What is a Magical Operation? It may be defined as any event in nature which is brought to pass by Will. We must not exclude potato-growing or banking from our definition.” ~ A.C. or” Evil Uncle Al” in  Magic in Theory and Practice

So anything we do, from the most ornate and moving of rituals, to the simplest of every day tasks are magick… if we let them be so, magick and holy.

Holy, because just as we and the Universe are constantly growing and changing, so to are the Gods.  Mercury is the God of Bike Messengers, Fax Machines, and Cell Phones.  Freya and Aphrodite are rocking the house in clubs across this planet!

Holy because the divine is everywhere and the Gods are a part of every atom and cell of creation.  Some Deities are more…fully present?…accurately reflected?… not quite sure how to say this but by an example.

Aphrodite, for example, is present in all the world.  But where there is love, and passion, and beauty She is more fully present or more accurately reflected there.  That part of Her which is a part of all Creation is more …there in those moments and things which reflect Her essential nature.

Every atom, every cell, all of Creation is holy and sacred and of the Gods, if we let it be so!

… I’m ranting. again… as I reread this I think this is one of those spiritual things that makes perfect sense to me at this stage of my growth, but is, just out of reach of explainability unless you’re right there with the person you are trying to explain it too.

I remember when my dear friend PK  (the ceremonial Magickian, Chef, and Great Geek Bear of the Moutain) had tried, as part of my request to help me learn the more ceremonial / formal Magickal side of things, to explain some of the above to me…

PK~”Any act is a magickal act, picking up a glass of water and moving from one table to the next, is a magickal act…”

Pax~(blink, blink) “uhm, ok, but that doesn’t sound very magickal?!?    So what was that book of essays by Regardie again, and is his writing any easier to slog through than Fortunes???”

I’m either growing, or falling off my rocker, at least life isn’t dull!

Peace and a Happy New Years!

Pax

Stream of Consciousness on Offerings and Prayer

Shouldn’t it be magic enough that we come together in religious fellowship seeking, and achieving, in ritual a moment of gnosis through united prayer and offerings and communion?

As you know, if you’ve been reading and poking around this blog and its pages, I pray on a daily basis, and I make offerings of insence on a regular basis.

I was also, sort of, challenged recently to put more of myself and my experience into this blog.  I wrote the above quote just a little earlier today and find my mind returning to it.

I also have prayer and offerings on the brain lately… maybe I should work on the relevant pages… but I think I will just write some things out and see where they lead…

~~~

My offerings of incense…

I ready the incense cone or stick in my special dish of salt.  I have a lighter ready.

First, I breathe.  In through my nose, and out through my mouth.  A moment spent concentrating on my breath, on the rythm of it, focusing inward.  Centering myself as best I can.  Starting to tell myself, and the universe, that I am doing something special.   If I think about it, I also Ground, but for the purpose of offering I find it isn’t as necessary as it is for other things.

I stand, raising  my arms so that the upper arm is roughly paralel to the ground and my forearms are upright, my hands are open and palms upward – roughly paralel to my upper arms and the ground.  When I stand in this ancient posture or prayer, known as the orens position, there is a part of me that thrills to the knowledge that I am trying to speak with and honor my Deities in the same way that They were honored in the ancient world.

On the mental level, I know that repeating this position will help signal to the Universe and the Gods, my intention.  On the physical level I can almost feel the atoms and cells of my body tingle; the subtle parts of me that are also part of the Divine recognizing that I am trying to reach out and up and within to Them.

If I cannot stand, I will at least raise my arms.

When that subtle shift in …something… lets me know that I have gotten Their attention, I speak.

“I make an offering of incense to the Gods,

and the Guardian Spirits, of this Home.

Blessed Be, So Mote It Be.”

Then I bring my hands down and together, to my face, where I kiss them at the point where my thumbs meet my palms; sort of a physical ‘blessed be’ and a small gesture of my love for the Divinities, and our Guardian Spirits.   Then I bring them to touch my chest above my heart; this is sort of a physical ‘so mote it be’ and ‘thank you’, and a physical reminder that They are a part of me.  Then I lower my hands, pick up the lighter, and light the incense.

I will usually take a moment to stand there soaking in a small moment of peacefulness and Presence.  Then I will go about my day.

~~~

You can read about my daily prayer on the Daily Practice page.  I usually will be saying this when I am driving to work.  This necessitates a lack of prayer gestures… and a slight change of wording…

“Mother Celestial and Father Divine,

Let me walk and drive in…”

For most situations of prayer durring my day I don’t do much in the way of gesturing if I am at work.

~~~
I am minded of the commonly discussed definition of prayer as ‘asking Deity for something’.  That is so, so sad.

Prayer is speaking to, communicating with the Divine or Divinities of your choosing.  Prayer, and Offerings, and Ritual, should be about our relationship with the Gods and not about getting something from them!   The benefits of prayer and offerings are secondary to the truly important work of building and improving the relationship one has with the Divine.

That relationship nurtures our spirits everyday and nourishes our souls through times of trouble.  Those delightful fleeting moments of knowing are why the ancient monuments were built and why the sacred songs were sung.

A plea for less spellwork…

Hello folks,

So I went to that open moon circle sponsored by WRCF that I mentioned a couple of days ago.  It was a lovely night.  A good Circle, if small in attendance, and I got the chance to heal a misunderstanding with someone in my local community; so I can truly say that I was blessed that night.  Lord Luminhawke did an excellent job Priesting the Circle and I had a really nice time.

It’s just,… well, I have this pet peeve….

There was a spell working as part of the Circle.  I have nothing agianst spell working, necesarilly.   It’s just that my take on Circles is that Personal Magic or Spell work in the Esbat Circle is that it should be for need, not a required part of the service, as it seems to be so often when I attend an Open Moon Circle or Sabbat wherever I go.

Shouldn’t it be magic enough that we come together in religious fellowship seeking, and achieving, in ritual a moment of gnosis through united prayer and offerings and communion? Must we always have spell-work at open ebats and sabbats?

Of course, maybe this is just me.  I’m sure it doesn’t help my attitude that it seems like the ‘write things you want, or want to get rid of, and we will burn it’ spell form is the required spell for open Esbats and Sabbats.

As I said, this is a pet peeve of mine.  Lord Luminhawke did a great job with the Circle and also did something that impressed the heck out of me…

See, Luminhawke is one of the folks who has vollunteered to host the Open Moon Circles for WRCF.   He mentioned to those attending that he would be willing to help them consecrate any tools that they may feel the need for help with, anytime he is priesting the Open Moon Circle.  That just seemed especially classy and decent to me!

Anyway, Peace,

Pax

Stream of Consciousness… Blame Sannion!

So I have recently sent out an e-mail requesting feed back and advice on this blog and its affilliated pages.

Hello folks,

I am sending this to some of my dear friends and friendly
acquaintances, and a couple of cool past correspondents,  in the hopes
of getting some advice on my site…

https://chrysalis1witchesjourney.wordpress.com/

My blog is evolving into a combination of spiritual journal and online resource.  I am trying to build my site into a useful resource for folks new to the Pagan and metaphysical community.  I would be very grateful if you could take some time to look at the blog and the pages of the site and let me know what you think.  I am particularly interested in any additions you could suggest to the ‘Links!’ page.

Thank you, and Peace,
Pax

Sannion, of Neos Alexandria and Sannion’s Sanctuary, comes back at me with the following…

“You’ve got a really great site there.  I’d love to see focus on more personal material.  What do you do, what do you think about specific matters, what does it *feel* like to live your faith on a daily basis.  So many others cover the history or the specifics, but people need to know what it’s like from the inside out, ya know?”  ~Sannion (C) 2008 quoted w/ permission

Which I think is, perhaps, one of the more motivating and fabulous writing prompts I’ve ever seen!   (Thanks, man!)

Back to the advice..  I am debating whether to add it as a quote on the sidebar… I worry folks would think it publicity and not a blogging prompt…  Anyhow, I was moved to do some stream of consciousness writing… and then was distracted by the fabulous Kym Dragon… but here’s what poured out…

~~~~~~~~~~~~

My first thought on how it *feels* to live my faith everyday is a sensory memory of how, when I sometimes feel moved to pray to the Gods, or to simply Center and Ground, everything will seem visually brighter and clearer.  The shapes seem sharper, the colors more vivid.

***

I tend to be a fairly wordy, mental person.  Not that I can’t get emotional, Goddess knows I can, but I tend to keep it in.  I think I have trouble sharing my feelings and experiences sometimes because of the feeling I had growing up that my feelings and experiences and thoughts weren’t seen as being as valid as those of my father or brother…

…WOW… Issues anyone?!?

(Let’s hear it folks for stream of consciousness writing and the sudden facing of one’s own buried interpersonal s***!!) ~applause!~

***

I was inspired, recently, to modify my way of praying.  I blame Pagan Meghan.  She spoke, in her fabulous rant on the Pagan TV Religious Literacy episode, about being inspired to add kissing her hands when she catches sight of the Sun or the Moon by something she read in the bible.

This burbled to my consciousness as I was making my regular offering of incense to the Divine…..

So… uh, yeah, blame Sannion.

So it’s the Full Moon…

I close my eyes and open my heart

And I pray, pray, pray.

I raise my hands and I raise my voice

And I pray, pray, pray.

Lady, shine, shine down on me.

Lord, walk, walk away with me.

As I walk this journey

Through the mystery

I raise my voice and I kiss my hands,

And I pray, pray, pray.

~Pax 2008(C)

Solstice collors on the Crepe Myrtle

Solstice collors on the Crepe Myrtle

The temperatures have been chilly and wintery, for Central Florida anyway, with days in the 60’s and 50’s and chillier nights.  The Crepe Myrtle in the front yard is almost asleep, only a few leaves, green and gold and scarlet, clinging to its uppermost branch tips.  Counterballanced by the Live Oaks, which have shed all the leaves they care to, thank-you-very-much, and are rustling in the breeze.

Tonight there is an open Moon Circle that Tracie The Red has suggested I attend.  I am going to.

I have run hot and cold about being involved in the Pagan community down here.  Cold lately but I’m warming up again.

Lots of reasons, but I think the biggest one is that I just haven’t ended up getting out and making any friends of my own since moving down here.  I need to work on that!  I’ve made a couple of friends down here or but not close see you every week and hang out friends.   Mostly, I’ve made friends with Gene’s friends and that strange relationship alchemy of his friends becoming our friends has occurred.  Yet I miss having some close, close peeps of my own!

Anyhow I must soon be off…

Peace,

Pax

I’d like to think I am another, budding, Gospel Pagan!

Notes from a Pagan Evangelical 12/10/2008

Now, in some ways I don’t feel like I am a very good Gospel Pagan.  I have a tough time accessing that Spirit filled part of myself that Sara, and some of the best Pagan authors and bloggers out there, seem to be able to write from so blessed easily.

This has been getting easier, recently, as I have been working on this site and building up some of the pages and contemplating things like my daily practice and my relationship with the Deities.  In some cases though I still feel more like a pallid imitation of folks like Sara Sutterfield Winn, and Diane Sylvan, and Sannion, and Phyllis Currot, and Evn, and Sia, and Pagan Mehgan and Markys ny Deseret; more like an imitator rather than a Spirit filled Pagan writer.

Then, every once in a while, some kind soul will post a comment, or nominate me for the Meta-Pagan feed, or e-mail me a note.  Then will I know that some magic has happened.

Other times I will feel the magic and the Spirit come upon me, it will be a sudden burst of inspiration; although as I write more about my Witchcraft and Faith and Spirituality, recently, I have begun to find some small somewhat consistent stream of Inspiration and Spirit.

Like that moment in Spring when the drip, drip, drip of the icicles and snow becomes more of a steady stream, not unlike a barely open faucet slowly blossoming with The Sun’s love into something new and wonderful.  In those moments some small wonderful thing begins to happen.

When I participate in or write of the Gifts of Giving, about making my offerings of incense to the Gods, or when I pour my libations and I feel touched and embraced by my nearest and dearest Deities.   It’s happening.  When I cast Circle and honor the Esbats or Sabbats of Witchcraft, it happens.  When I talk or write about establishing a Loving and Stable relationship with The Lady and Lord of Witchcraft ~ or of my budding relationships with Hecate and Dionysus, its there too.  When I seek to speak or write or live the gospel truth of my Pagan self seeking, not to convert, but to simply share the joy and wonder The Good News of my own Pagan experience, in those moments I am most true to the Gods, and to my self, as a Pagan and as an Evangelical.

In praise of Religious Literacy, our own and others…

And some praise for Pagan TV!

So I was wandering around the Internet today and was lurking around the now infamous YouTube… and found Pagan TV.  There are some very good episodes there, and I found their Religious Literacy episode particularly evocative and inspiring!

In the Pilot episode our primary hostess Pagan Meghan talks about the reasons she and her cohorts have been inspired to create this channel.  One of them is their own quest to find out where the tech savy pagans were and why they weren’t broadcasting to the Pagan world… sadly having done a little more searching I would say because not all Pagans on Youtube or the Internet  are as religiously literate as Pagan Meghan.

Pagan TV’s Religious Literacy episode should be required watching for any and all potential Pagans!

Religious Literacy within ones own faith is important, as a Pagan religious literacy in other peoples faiths is essential!  As a Witch who believes that Yaweh (as Jesus’ Dad is known in some hymns and circles) , while not my God, is still a God and worthy of a certain amount of respect.  Almost every form of Paganism accepts the fact that our Gods, and the Gods of all other faiths, are real!

Just because your neighbor’s faith and God or Gods are not your own, does not mean that you should be disrespectful of them.  To be respectful, you need to have some basic knowledge, and that is a wonderful and important message to see being spread in our community!

To that end I would like to highlight a couple of items from the ‘links!’ page…

Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

A large religious web site which promotes religious freedom, tolerance and diversity as positive cultural values.  Quite simply the BEST source for information on a religion or on a religion related issue!

Religion Facts

Another site providing facts and information about the worlds religions

So the next time you hear a radio commentator talking about the Pentecostal response to a particular issue, or you hearon the news about the Jains in India or there’s footage of a ritual in Japan at a Shinto shrine… you can go here and find out what’s going on.

Peace,

Pax

The Journey goes on…

So I have been working on this site, adding links, and adding some new pages here and there, one of which is published if in continual progress.  The new page of this site is one on Daily Spiritual Practices.  An important topic and one that I can tell I needed some more reminders of.  Perhaps I should do like T. Thorn Coyle and regularly change my daily practices so they do not become routine?

On the other hand, while changing it up would help me remain mindful of my daily practice, as one blessed with ADHD routine… or at least structure, can very much be my friend…hmm… time to think on this I think!

I have also been working on an article I am hoping to sell for publication.

I am also now engaged in a permanent part-time position (hooray!) which in the theme park world is a lot better than being a seasonal employee.  Money is still desperately tight, but then I am not alone in that this Solsticetide Season.

Sunday will bring with it the Anniversary of Pearl Harbor and an opportunity to honor some of The U.S. fallen heroes, and those who currently stand guard over our freedoms.  While I may disagree with how we got into one of the Wars we are in, I will never hesitate to honor those who serve in the armed forces.

The Full Moon follows next week, with an opportunity to observe some aspects of my own personal Solstice observances.  Which I also need to think about in the near future.

Off to think and to bed!

Peace, and Blessed Be!

Pax