Friday, October 10, 2008

Samhain Preperations

I woke up and it was cool this morning. We haven’t needed the fan on in our bedroom while sleeping for about a week, but I don’t think we’re going to have another heat wave this year. It was cool enough, in the shower, that I thought it would be nice to have the heat on. It’s not quite cold enough for the heater, well maybe in the morning, but I should get a new filter for it soon.

The light and colors are late fall, at least for Northern California. I’m going to Murphy’s in a week or two, and I expect to see much more dramatic and colorful fall foliage up there.

And in preparation for Samhain, I’m starting to plan out my ritual. Asking myself what do I want to do? How do I want to celebrate? The last two years, for me, have been about grief and letting go of that grief. Now, I’m trying to plan a ritual where I honor my ancestors without an emphasis on grief. There’s also the ADF ritual on Saturday that I’d like to get to. I’ve had such bad luck with hooking up with this proto-grove that I’m a little wary about attending the ritual. But I would like to experiment with the group, and see if these could be people I can work with in a spiritual manner. I do want a group, however small, of likeminded people to worship with. If that means rejoining ADF to be with a proto-grove, that doesn’t fit me exactly, but is close enough, that so be it. I’d rather that then the local UU church. At least with ADF I’d be working with polytheists.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Virtue Book

Recently, I've been experimenting with book making. Most of what I've done so far consists of little research and a lot of ideas. Although I've made a few simple books. I've been mostly using How to Make Books: Fold, Cut & Stitch Your Way to a One-of-a-Kind Book which is a beautiful book with very clear instructions.

One of the ideas that's been rattling around in my head is the idea of creating a small book of virtues. Sort of like a medieval prayer book: small, thick and portable. I'm still messing with what I want in it, but I'm thinking it would have a list of the virtues I want to follow, followed by virutes, sayings, maxims, and such from cultures and traidtions that are meaningful to me. For example the first section would be for Irish and other Celtic virutes, another section would be for Feri. I'd probably also have a section with some of the Delphic Maxims and some stuff from Buddhism. I'd seperate each section out and I'd give references in the back. Because if someone saw it I'd love to be able to site my sources, espically with the historical items.

I've been looking at a lot of the Irish Triads and using Erynn Laurie's "The Truth Against the World: Ethics and Modern Celtic Paganism" as inspiration and starting points.

I can't wait to work on this more. I'll probably be posting more about this later. Maybe even some of my final text and some images of the book.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

My Pantheacon 2008 Report

I am finally recovering from the cold I had for the last few days. Which is unsurprising. Everyone around me has a cold, plus they ran rampant at Pantheacon, and I ran rampant at Pantheacon not getting enough sleep nor eating well.

It’s kind of bizarre to feel so collected after the Con. Last year I came away disappointed with ADF, interested in ogam and some of the CR stuff, although still resistant, and hugely impressed with Thorn and Feri. I was buzzed on the energy, of finding like-minded people, of Micah understanding (in his words) that missing piece of me, of our engagement. It was exciting and exhausting. This year, I feel more focused, and present. I know where my path lies ahead of me. Or, really, what path I will be taking but not necessarily where it will lead, although I have hopes and goals.

Overall the weekend was amazing. It clarified and redoubled my interest in both CR and Feri. I’ve come to realize, that a lot of the dissonance I was having was because I didn’t want to practice two faiths at once. But as an agnostic polytheist and an eclectic soul, right now I have to try to practice both. I resisted having a dual faith for a long time, but after working in both modalities all weekend, I came away both renewed in my faith and with a sense of awe and purpose. Ultimately, I see these paths containing intertwining lessons for me that I need right now.

I have to work at both of them and I have to remain intellectually honest about how much they can overlap and how much I need to keep them separate. Feri seems to say that it can encompass all, but I’m not a fan of swallowing my CR practice up into Feri. CR says it’s a religion and shouldn’t be mixed with other religions. That’s fair. I don’t think I would call myself CR in the community, although it closely reflects a large part of my practice.

What’s funny to me is that I’ve been moving here for a few months now, resisting it, being pained by it. Feeling like it was one or the other, but never both. And even though I had many examples of people practicing dual faiths (Gaulic ADF/Discordianism or Neo-Wicca/Quaker for two examples I feel are more extreme than my own) I didn’t want to go there. I thought it would be too much work. Frankly, it does look to be a lot of work. But work I love with Gods, Spirits, and Ancestors I love.

This is huge, but this is my work and I will embrace with a full heart and an active mind.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Importance of Local Landscapes

Yesterday I was thinking I’d chop my response up into 2 posts. One on mythic Ireland and one on the Bay Area my Place. Now I think instead I’d like to write a more complex entry interweaving both of these instead. I don’t think I’ll come close to conveying my complex feelings towards these landscapes, but I try.

I’ve grown up and lived in the Bay Area my whole life. For most of it (all of it but 8 years, but I’m only 27 so that’s still a large chunk) has been in the East Bay. The hills, weather patterns, bay, ocean, flora and fauna are part of who I am. Not only have I paid more attention to them as I grew in my own paganism, but they are what inspired me into paganism. I can feel the land singing to me and I know how to tell the weather by smelling the wind. I know what order plants bloom in through the year. I know when to go hiking and where to see all sorts of beautiful landscapes, each different from the next. I’m tied to this land, much like people used to be tied to land, before we moved around all the time. I don’t feel my way is better; certainly, I would still like to live elsewhere – if only for the cheaper housing. But I feel I’ve been given a rare and special gift. Not just that I’ve lived in one geographical region for so long, but that I was interested enough to become emotionally invested in it and to learn the wheel of the year through all my senses, not just on a calendar. To drive home through rolling green hills with clefts and valleys filled with Oak trees, to see the willow trees at work bud their leaves, or to see goslings parade on the paths by the lake near my house, these sights bring me joy each day. They speak of magic and power that I often fear no one else pays attention to.

Oddly enough (or maybe not so odd) because of this intense connection to my own area, it’s been hard for me to connect to mythical Ireland. The land has much in common with my own area – mists, fogs, green rolling hills, massive Oak trees, large lakes, bays, and the ocean. Yet it’s still so different. When I think of mythical Ireland I overlay the landscapes in the Bay Area that most fit it. For example Point Reyes Seashore in Marin does windy grass landscapes by the ocean better than no other place I’ve ever been. It’s been through this connection to my own land that I’ve even begun to access the ideas, tropes, and feeling for mythical Ireland. My gods walk through land that looks suspiciously like Point Reyes or Mt. Diablo.

However, Irish myth is so caught up in place, as much or more than I am caught up in mine, that many of the events of the tales name places in Ireland. I often feel as if something is missing from my practice by not being more interested and drawn towards a mythic place that is more Ireland and less the Bay Area. I don’t feel any less connected to my gods, but I do wonder sometimes if I’m missing something by not investing more time into Ireland, mythical or not.

This post was inspired by the synchroblog going on.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Funny Spellcheck

I love that according to Microsoft Word I can be a Deconstructionist but not a Reconstructionist.

I could wax poetic about what that says about our culture yadda, yadda, yadda, but I like the Deconstructionist movement and I realize that Reconstructionists are both new on the religious and verbal landscapes and there is no way to fairly expect it to be in there dictionary.

But it's still funny.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pantheacon 2008

I'm back from Pantheacon! More to come.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Better Late - Imbloc Poem Fest

In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,
but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art.