Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I need to start my preparations for Beltaine

Beltaine is arriving faster than I am ready for. I have looked at different rituals to get a sense of what I want to do but I haven't spent as much time as I'd like on the study of it.  Nor have I gathered up what I need for the ritual.  I must stay home tomorrow and start getting ready for it.  I've waited too many times until the last minute before celebrating the festivals and I'd like to be ready for it just one time.  Okay I'd like to be ready for it all the times but once is a good start.

I ran into my son's friend who lives in Norway now.  She's not going back until the middle of next month so I'll probably run into her again.  My whole social life exists at Walmart.  I had my Goddess/triple moon necklace on and I didn't try to hide it.  I really don't care if she sees it.  She's read this blog before so she knows I'm Pagan.  But knowing that she's a Tea Party devotee, going to rallies when she's not even allowed to vote here anymore pisses me off anyway, especially when she bitches about universal health care for people here while she whined her way into getting it over there (she hadn't had her resident visa yet.)

I hope we have good weather on Saturday night.  Otherwise I'll have to have my ritual indoors and burn the stuff on a later date.  I'm not sure I can handle a fire in the house.  Or at least another one.  I did set that potholder on fire once. 

I've been doing well with nightly rituals, enjoying them far more than I ever imagined I would.  I would like to add morning and noon prayers on a regular basis but I'm comfortable with just nightly rituals.  I've been winging it more and more for the morning and noon prayers as I normally do those more spontaneously.  And I'm cool with that, too.

Well, my bed is calling to me because it's lonely and needs me to snuggle under the covers so I'm off to do my nightly ritual and prayers and crawl into bed.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Adding more rituals to my life

I got my new necklace today and it's perfect.  I think this represents me and my path well.  I am so drawn to the moon, have been for many years now.  Plus I can wear it as a choker if I like, which will work well this summer.

I have been looking at some of my books this weekend but haven't really started reading anything yet.  Just sorting through to see which book will benefit me most at this stage, instead of reading bits out of each of them and not really gaining much at all.  My goal is to set up an area in my grove, formerly my faerie garden, for early morning coffee and communing with Nature.  Tom knows this area is important to me, although not really sacred.  I will be using it for Beltaine this weekend and it will be largely where I practice my outdoor rituals but it seems unfair for me to designate it a sacred space when Tom will need it for his archery practice as well.

Zach is getting Spring fever as well, wanting to get out into Nature more and feel the energies of life coming back from the dead.  My depression is certainly less.  In part due to my horrendous bout with one dose of Cymbalta, but also because I can feel things awaken deep inside me now.  I may be a creature of the night but I love the Sun, too.

I'm thinking of taking some time each week or each month to go to the "Indian" mounds outside of town and connect with the ancestors there.  They aren't my ancestors, as my Native American roots are Chiricahua (Apache) but there's no reason I can't honor them in the stead of my own.  Ancestors are ancestors, after all.  Plus, I loved the spiritual vibe I got there, but haven't had the chance to go back by myself or with Zach to spend quality time there.

I do plan to be ready for Beltaine this time.  Most times when a Sabbat comes up I'm woefully unprepared and just wing it, which is very unsatisfying for me.  And I'm sure for the deities as well.  So I've been looking at rituals and planning out what I will choose to keep and what I will substitute for those things I don't plan on keeping.  I'm getting more comfortable with ritual.  Most nights I just light candles and read prayers from my Pagan Prayer book, but last night I included a ritual, calling peace in a different way from how I normally do it, assigning dual meanings to my candles...things like that.  I felt so at peace afterwards.  I knew I was where I belonged and that is one of the best feelings in the world.

Well, time to get some things done before I shut down for the night, including making supper...potato/leek soup with cheese.  Easy, one-pot cooking.  Then crawling into bed and trying to stay awake until around 10 p.m. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Getting ready for Beltaine

My rant yesterday spilled over into today when I saw this bit of "news."  Sean Hannity, who has to make up news to get attention, and Bill Donohue, more-Catholic-than-the-Pope, are declaring a war on Easter.  Because, you know...Christianity is the only religion out there to have totally original and unique holidays and no one dare celebrate them unless in their entirety.  These guys have to make shit up in order to fire up their minions.  Demagogues are like that, you know.

But on to pleasanter topics.  Beltaine!  I'm looking forward to it this year, my first, and plan on cleaning up my bedroom in honor of the event.  Okay, I was going to clean up my bedroom anyway but that's where my altar is so I'm also planning on changing my colors and altar decor to reflect Beltane. I'm planning on black and red for the altar.  I also have things to burn and plant, such as all the incense ash and burnt matches from lighting my candles.  And some birch skin that has drifted into my yard over the year.  It will have to be a small fire as I don't want neighbors calling the police on me.  Just a bitty one in my Weber grill/firepit that I've made.  It still looks like a barbeque grill with a lid so I figure I'm pretty safe and we're not in a no-burn season.

I haven't had time to do any deeper spiritual concentration, having been dealing with medical issues all week, but I'm looking at Beltaine as the focus of my first studies and meditation.  Just because it's convenient.  I also need to start getting outdoors more both for my depression and adding more to my connection with Nature.  I seem to admire her from afar too much.

Tonight is for rest and sleep though.  I'm mostly recovered from that one anti-depressant but I lost so much sleep and the stress and additional pain has really worn me down.  Taking care of my physical needs has priority this weekend.  I'll get busy on the spiritual after I've rested a bit.

Blessed be.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Christian privilege

It's Good Friday out there in the real world and the first one to pass us by since leaving Christianity.  Actually I'm feeling pretty good about that and not even nostalgic for the ceremony and liturgy that goes on this time of year.  I surprise myself sometimes.

But it got me thinking about Christian privilege again and how the U.S. seems to revolve around Christianity in various ways.  My husband was telling me today about an employee who whined for years because Good Friday was such an important religious holiday and how the company should let Christians off to celebrate it.  When Tom told him to take a vacation day for that, the guy whined again that he shouldn't have to waste his vacation days on holidays that he should get off anyway.  Tom told him it must not be that important if he wasn't willing to give up a vacation day for it.

So many businesses are closed right now so their employees can attend Good Friday services.  Even though most churches don't have them in the afternoon.  But this being Catholic/Lutheran country here, I guess enough do that they feel they have to accommodate them.  It's not that I really care if businesses do that; it's the arrogance that some Christians feel they're owed that day off because they're Christians and their holidays take precedence over anyone else's.

I know because that's how I felt as a Christian.  Or rather how I felt as a fundie.  It's in the water we drank, the air we breathed, implied in every sermon, every Bible study, every "fellowship" gathering.  Entitlement because of Christian privilege.

I was arrogant enough to believe that "God" would reward me for not accepting a job that made me work on Sundays because that day was sacred to him.  Oddly employers don't see it that way.  There is money to be made on religious holidays, too, you know.  And "God" most certainly didn't reward me.  In fact, we suffered because I could have been working all along on the weekends with Tom to take care of Zach when he was little.  But I trusted that I was being told the TRUTH.  And TRUTH was always in capital letters in my mind because it was "God's" TRUTH.  And whatever people in spiritual authority told me was TRUTH.

Except it wasn't.  I remember a "testimony" given in church one day on tithing by a single mother who was struggling and going to college with minimal support from her ex.  She talked about all the miracles in her life where money mysteriously appeared when she needed it most.  All because she tithed.  Except I overheard her in the bathroom a few months later telling someone else she had been skipping church lately because she couldn't afford to tithe and pay her bills.  So because she had given such a moving testimonial about how God rewarded her for tithing, she couldn't be there and not tithe.

Ah, the way they manipulate you.

And that's what they do when they have these temper tantrums about people not being allowed to pray in school.  Of course they can pray.  They just can't take over the intercom and make everyone listen to their prayers to their god.  If they want to pray over their food, they're allowed in spite of all the hyperbole I get from my aging aunt who insists "God" isn't allowed in public schools.  What they really mean is they're not allowed to promote Christianity in public schools.

And then there are the hysterics at Christmas about keeping Christ in Christmas.  How they're not allowed to say "Merry Christmas" anymore.  More hyperbole.  Of course they can in their personal life.  They just can't use their employment to force their version of the holidays on other people.  Because, of course, there are other people who don't celebrate Christmas, contrary to what they might believe.  And that is what Christian privilege is all about.  Thinking that the world rises and sets on their beliefs, that their beliefs take precedence over anyone else's.  Or even that anyone else's religion even has any validity because, you know, anyone who doesn't worship Christ worships Satan  (I wanted to write Satin because for some reason some of the more fundie-types out there seem to have literacy problems and you see it written that way many, many times.)

So on Good Friday employers all over the country give their employees the afternoon off to go to church and mourn the death of their savior.  But they end up at Walmart.  Because I swear that place was as crowded as Christmas today. But you can't give just Christians the day off because that would be discrimination (although I have heard some bitching about non-Christians getting the day off, too, because what do they need it off for?Same bitching I hear about non-Christians celebrating Christmas, as if we've stolen something from them.)  So apparently Walmart was busier than the churches because I was at the old StuffMart at the time when most of the services were going on.

But yeah, I don't have a problem with them taking the day off because it's sacred to them.  I'm okay with employers shutting down (although the credit union shutting down at noon on a Friday used to be pretty darned inconvenient until we got direct-deposit) if they can afford it and are fair to the other employees.

But don't demand that the U.S. adopt your religious holidays as public holidays.  We've already got Christmas and Thanksgiving, even though both have been largely secularized.  We don't give equal time to other religions in that same way, like making Yom Kippur, one of the holiest days of the year for Jews, a national holiday.  Those poor guys have to actually take vacation time for their holy days in some places.  I'm not even asking for equal treatment for other religions, although it would be nice.  I just want them to realize that other religions exist out there and their adherents are entitled to some privilege as well.

So kwitcherbitchin and stop acting like the kid in grade school who boasts that their father is more important than anyone else's, demanding speshul snowflake privileges.  It no longer impresses anyone and just makes them look like brats.  Which they are.

I kind of think the world is changing for the better in spite of the tantrums out there.  Maybe if we just ignore the foot-stomping and breath-holding and screaming, they'll get the idea.

Or not.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Just an update

I'm in too much pain to post much today.  In fact, I'm heading to a hot shower and going to bed this early while I await the moment I can take a pain pill again.  I figure sometime after 10 p.m. the Cymbalta will be out of my system enough.  Never taking anti-depressants again!

I decided to uninvite Cicero to the dinner for seven because I figure he'd be such a drag, moaning all the time about this senator and that senator and how the world is going to hell in a handbasket.  I decided, in his place, to invite Damh the Bard.  His music rocks and he has the British accent and long hair thing going on.

Now, I'm off for a shower, clean the cat box and go to bed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dinner for seven

As I write this, I'm still trying to figure out who to invite to the dinner party Dark Mother has suggested I have.  It's a given that she is invited, along with Debra and Tana.  I figure we'll eat until we're sick and laugh until we cry because these girls are awesome!

Alongside them, for just sheer hunkery and mind-blowing science is Professor Brian Cox.  If I had known science was that sexy, I would have done better in school.

Another mind crush I have is on Professor Ronald Hutton. I could listen to that man speak all day. He's definitely on the invite list.  A total geek but I'm a sucker for long hair and British accents.  Not to mention how interesting he is. He makes me want to learn history, like Professor Cox makes me want to learn astro-physics.

Another one on the list would be Marcus Tullius Cicero, although with my politics and spiritual beliefs gone in a different direction, it would be interesting to see him as one who wanted the elite to hang onto the Republic when my sympathies now lie with those who wanted more for the plebeians.

I think that's everyone.  We'd have to have the guys show up later so we could have our own party first though.

We're going to have to have this party at a banquet room or something like that because we'd make too much noise for a restaurant.  I told you I wasn't cooking!

Off to eat my crummy pizza instead of dining with Professor Cox.  sigh

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ponderings, musings, thinkings

I've been invited by Dark Mother to hold a dinner with six people, either living or dead, and list them on my blog.  Alas!  I'm having trouble finding more than 2 right now.  But I am still working on the invitation list so I will get that out some time this week.

For now, though, I've been doing a lot of pondering, musing, and just downright thinking and after all that effort, I insist on sharing it with you.  Whether you want it or not.

As you know, I've been watching Monastery on PBS the past few weeks.  I was surprised to find out how much I liked it since I was very wary about watching what I perceived would be a thinly-veiled attempt at proselytizing.  In the first place, it wasn't that thinly-veiled and in the second place, they didn't really proselytize.  Contradictory, you say?  But of course.

There was a lot of drama between two of the men, and another one was focused on a lot, but the one who intrigued me the most got the least coverage.  I mentioned him last post:  Nick, the Buddhist.  At least I thought he was a Buddhist.  He got his doctorate in Buddhist Studies and spent a lot of time in Buddhist temples and monasteries all over the world.   I was intrigued because, well, he was cute, and because he was the most spiritual of the group.  He chafed the least at all the rules and seemed to get the most out of the meditation.

The last episode dealt mostly with the drama between the two guys who were always butting heads, but the focus should have been the Carthusian monastery they visited.  Life there was spent mostly in solitude and silence.  The trip there was pivotal for a few of the group, mainly Nick, of course.  It hit him in a way that he described as nearly pure spirituality.  Or something like that.  That kind of focus challenged him and woke up a calling he thought he had put to rest...that of the priesthood.  I'm thinking, of course, the Buddhist priesthood.

Nope.  The Reverend Dr. Nicholas Buxton is now an Anglican priest.  And here I thought he was one of the ones having trouble thinking of Jesus as the Son of God.  Apparently that was just creative editing as in retrospect, Nick doesn't ever say he doesn't believe, while most of the others do.

Like I said, it didn't hurt that he was very good-looking.

I've read some of his sermons and writings after the fact and he's quite impressive in his perspective.  Plus, he actually went back to the Carthusian monastery and spent a month there.  That story is especially interesting.  This series really did challenge me as well.

No, I'm not joining a monastery.  And I'm not going back to Christianity.  Although I loved the way it was portrayed in the series, I'm not stupid enough to believe that was what was actually taught there.  It was a very secularized version of how monastery life really is.  It wasn't an attempt to create Catholics; it was an attempt to challenge them to dig deeper into themselves and find their own path to spirituality.  They came out the other side with different perspectives and as different men.  One eventually became a Buddhist, another became a believer in Jesus but still disdains church, another reaffirmed his belief in Christianity, albeit Protestant Christianity, another came from agnosticism to believe in God, but not as a Christian.  And Nick who found his path to the priesthood.

What I did get out of it was that there are always going to be deeper levels awaiting anyone who wants to look for them.  No matter what spiritual path you are walking, there are rest stops available to stop and dig deeper into the reason for the journey.  Do I want to avail myself of these rest stops?

That's what I've been pondering, musing, thinking about.  What do I want out of all this?  I have little discipline in my life, either my secular existence or my spiritual life but I really believe that I would benefit from pushing myself out of my comfort zones as long as the direction I'm pushing myself in will make it worthwhile.  I've tried meditation, but only half-heartedly.  I haven't really tried because I'm spiritually lazy.  Incredibly spiritually lazy.  And yet, I would love to be more disciplined and more focused on spirituality.  I'm not looking for a retreat or to hide from real life at all.  I would just like there to be...more.

Another thing I gained from this series was a relief from the bitterness I felt toward Christianity.  I haven't gained a lot as I still feel very bitter toward the institution of Christianity, which I see as being manipulative and deceitful, but I really liked what I saw in these monks.  It seemed that they lived more for the Rules of St. Benedict rather than all the rules of Christianity which actually was very impressive as it was all about the good of the society rather than the good of the individual.  I wouldn't like to lose myself as an individual.  I've already done that and am the worse for it.  But thinking of the greater good first would be so much better for society than thinking that I've got what I want so screw everyone else.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all this yet.  Initially I only intend to find some structure in my disheveled life and take baby steps toward that rest stop where I can stop and enjoy my spiritual surroundings.  Then we'll see.  I've never, ever in my life done more than just accept what was taught to me.  I've never tried to find my own truths.  I think that is my first step.

And this should also help me in my endeavor to learn to like myself enough to treat me like I deserve to be treated.

And now off to plan my guest list for my dinner party with the dead and the living.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Monastery and Greek hockey

I watched a show I had on dvr last night called The Monastery, about these 5 men who volunteered to be part of it for about 6 weeks.  I didn't know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the time went by quickly and I'm waiting for the next episode.  It is a Benedictine monastery in England and none of the men are Catholic, only one being particularly Christian at all.  My favorite so far is the man who is studying his PhD and has also spent time in a Buddhist monastery.  He likes the rules, finds it easy to obey them.  One man is a party animal and I have no idea what he's doing there.  He doesn't seem to be constrained by the rules...during silence he talks non-stop on his cell phone.  Two of the guys jogged into town for cigarettes and candy.  One guy is Irish and protestant, but has spent time in prison due to his activities in the "troubles" Ireland has had politically.  He seems to be getting the most from time spent there. 

But back to Nick, I think his name is, the guy who seems to like all the rules.  His adviser tried to pin him down on how he felt about Jesus and he just wouldn't be pinned down.  He doesn't seem to believe in a man/God as he put it, and while he agreed to think about it, it seemed to me that it was pressuring him to a degree I didn't see the other guys being pressured.  It was almost evangelical in nature.  Of course, it's probable that the other guys' interactions of that nature were just edited out or will be seen in other episodes.  But this guy struck me as being perhaps Pagan in his spiritual make-up.  He loves to spend the silence outdoors just watching the beautiful scenery, at times seems to be meditating, and is generally enjoying the time spent there.  The others are chafing at the rules, second-guessing their decisions to be there.

I intend to watch the entire series, if possible.  It won't change my mind about how I feel about Christianity at all, but I hope to learn more about how people live with or without spirituality in their lives.  I just can't go back knowing what I know about the origins and the deceptions about those origins. 

I did have an interesting dream last night.  I dreamed I was playing ice hockey with the Greek Gods on a gym floor and managed to score against Zeus.  He got pissed off and kept cheating after that.  I have no idea where this dream came from but it was very entertaining.

And no, I'm not leaning toward the Greek pantheon again.  I'm very happy with the Celtic god/desses and all the mythologies and spirituality that goes with it.

I'm doing much better as Spring wakes up in my northern clime, but today was roasting with temps in the 80, which I'm not prepared for.  All my shorts are in bins and the fans are in the basement.  It is cooling off with a thunderstorm heading this way, but that means the windows will be shut.  So the fans will be making their way upstairs to spend time with us.

I'm getting excited about Beltane and plan on studying up on it, finding rituals and prayers and hope to have a mini-bonfire in my weber grill/fire pit.  A small fire though.  Don't want the police coming around.

Off to let Professor out and then I think I'm going to shower and head for bed.  I've been sleeping a lot lately.

Friday, April 8, 2011

This is me not ranting...NOT

I don't get out in Nature enough but today I had a goat sighting.  In a mini-van in the parking lot of StuffMart.  You just never know where those critters will show up.

Mama Eagle is spending more time off the nest and the three balls of gray fluff are awkward, uncoordinated and fighting like...well...birds.  It's so cute to see their bobble head sway as they nip at each other.  Today was a housecleaning the nest day and Mama spent some alone time on the side of the nest munching on a mouse while the infants slept.  She's looking a bit frazzled, but new moms don't always have the time to do a lot of grooming.

I'm in one of my Christian-ranting moods of late due to some of the shit going on in Washington, D.C.  Don't worry, not going to rant here.  I got it all out of my system at lunch with Zach today.  I've cooled off for now.  But just wait until I read the papers tomorrow.  I'll need to start taking some of this steam out by walking or I'm going to need more blood pressure medicine.

One of the idiotic things said was Bryan Fischer (of the American Family if he speaks for all American families) who said that all immigrants must convert to Christianity in order to assimilate into America.  Then there is presidential-hopeful Mike Huckabee who loves Seven Mountains Dominionist David Barton (who thinks there is nothing secular so everything, including the govt must conform to his particular version of Christian theology) and thinks everyone should be forced to listen to the douchebag, even at the point of a gun.

Not to mention the state governments who are trying to make abortion illegal and are chipping away at the reproductive freedoms of women everywhere, including those idiots in Washington who seem to like making tea.  Someone said they want to repeal the 20th Century.  I think that person was right.

I know I went through a bit of shell-shock when I discovered that Paganism wasn't like living in Disneyland where everyone loved everyone else and we all got along and no one would criticize your religious preferences, but it's still Shangri-la compared to TeaPartyville where The Handmaid's Tale is their book of Prophecy and Atlas Shrugged is their Bible.

Someone said on one of the message boards that she didn't realize that Robocop was a documentary.  I'm wondering if the right are getting their ideas from science fiction...not the kind where we have solved our problems and are living together in peace...the nihilistic or apocalyptic ones...where civilization has crumbled and the corrupt are in power. 

Okay, so my rant wasn't really over.  Still, in spite of looking at a nation that is heading toward a meltdown, I'm still much happier outside of their state religion than I ever was inside it.  I think what they're succeeding at isn't what they intended.  They're waking up the people who will not be ruled by narrow-mindedness or by tyrants who want to impose their religion and philosophy on the rest of us.  I think this is all going to backfire on them.

At least I hope it does.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Reality tv...the Eagles

Zach and I watched the baby eaglets today.  The third egg had holes in it and we watched breathlessly for a while as the wee thing tried to break through but mama had been off the babies feeding them for a while and they needed warming up.  Last time we looked the wee one was still in the egg, but it looked more broken.

Then papa landed on the nest, left a fish, and flew off again.  In about a half hour he landed again with a bigger fish.  Then about 15 minutes later he landed and grabbed a bite to eat.  Mama crouches her head down and swings it up, keening, as he lands.  The third time she got off the eaglets as if to let him see them and keened to him while he ate.  The whole thing was amazing and papa is absolutely magnificent.  He's larger than mama and sleeker, as if he's had a comb through his hair.  She looks frazzled as only a new mother can look.

They've got two fish and a rodent and some other creature in the nest for food but they finish up what they've been working on before they start on the new foods.  In order.  I love watching them.

I'm going to burn some frankincense tonight.  I may have to hold onto it to keep it lit instead of leaving it on the altar.  Or maybe I'll just light some of my cheaper stuff that burns almost all the way down.  I'm going to save the sticks for ritual and use the cones for my healing sessions.

I found a site I like called On Leaving Fundamentalism Behind.  I haven't read a lot of it but I can relate to so much of it.  Not all as I'm not as quick to respond to those who feel a need to preach to me, but I can understand feeling the need to.  I am doing better with the bitterness until I fun into fundies who insist on behaving smugly and with a great deal of superiority.  Then it comes back to me and I lose all progress. Sometimes I think keeping it alive is a shield I need to keep the pain at a distance. It protects me from the people who did so much damage in the first place.

I didn't get any smudging done last night and won't get any done tonight.  I'm going to bed early because I only got 2 hours sleep last night.  Not for anything on my mind.  Just because I knew that alarm was set and I was going to have to get up.  I'm that way.

We had a close election for State Supreme Court...under 200 votes difference but they're unofficially declaring the winner and it's not the fundie/tea party incumbent.  So of course, the tea party side is claiming that our side was up all night manufacturing votes.  I know that's what kept me up but I knitted them because I think knitted votes look better than crocheted votes.  I know there will be disagrees on that, but it's just a personal choice. :)

Off to get macaroni and cheese out of the oven because I don't have a daddy eagle who brings me food to eat.  Seriously, I can't get over how magnificent he was.  Just dropping into the nest, dropping off a fish from his talons and flying off again.  That was so cool!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The attack of the Tarot cards

My Tarot deck hates me.  I'm still getting gibberish from it and the other night, one of the cards got bent while shuffling.  I straightened it up but the next shuffle it bent again.  Thinking this card was trying to get my attention, I pulled it out and looked at it:  Ten of Swords.  So...the cards are wanting to stab me in the back, no?  One of the books I've got says it means I need to increase my stress load or submit to a family member who is giving me grief.  No, I think the cards hate me.  Seriously.  This is the style of cards I owned when I was convinced by a "friend" that it was of the devil and I needed to burn them.  And burn them, I did.  Revenge.  It's got to be. I think I know where this is going...the cards will stalk me until I lose my mind and end up in the loony bin.

Hmmmm...I think I've seen this movie.

Wasn't the best of days.  I tried to burn some frankincense last night because I've been really stressed out lately but the cone keeps going out before it burns much at all.  The sticks burn fine and my other cones burn fine, but these are really compressed and don't want to burn.  I wonder if I should crush them and burn them that way.  Do I need something like charcoal to keep them lit like we did when I was on the altar guild at St. Mark's?  I should get me a whacking big censer like they have and wave that baby all over my house.  Yeah!

I'm battling anxiety attacks today so I'm planning on smudging my room and having some meditation time, if I can concentrate longer than 30 seconds without crawling out of my skin.  I wonder how much the emotional poisons the environment around you.  And believe me my emotions have been toxic of late.  I could create my own toxic waste dump with just the crap I'm dealing with.

Oh, and there were two baby eaglets this morning.  She had one egg unhatched but she was still keeping it and the babies warm.  They were so cute with their gray fuzz and shrieking.  I just peeked in again and it looks like something dead is in the nest, too.  Maybe dad brought mom something to eat.  Lots of black feathers...hope it wasn't a crow.  There also looks like another dead critter in the nest.  Damned circle of life!  It's Disney's fault!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pagan movie, Gaelic and the Moon

Zach heard of a movie he wanted to see so we looked in the library system and lo! and behold! it was in our own library.  So off we went to get it.  It's called The Secret of Kells, and is a lovely fictionalized account of the Book of Kells and it's rescue.  It's a cartoon, with the background animation reflecting the illuminations of The Book of Kells but it's not by any stretch of the imagination a Christian rendition of it.  It's highly Pagan, with a forest spirit who helps the boy and references to Pagan entities.  But one of the greatest parts, for me, were the many Pagan symbols that exist in the real Book of Kells.  I have told my husband frequently that Christianity wouldn't exist today if it hadn't incorporated so much Paganism.  It would have died out long before it ever got going.  Which, of course, says to me that Paganism is the stronger of the religions.  Just sayin'.

Plus the movie is an Irish production.  I love that it didn't have any Hollywoodizing too it.  Just pure Irish story-telling.

ETA:  I painted this movie as a Pagan film but it's also about how Christianity took over Ireland.  In some ways it's portrayed as a good thing.  I don't see it that way, of course.

I'm going to clean my room tonight to get ready for the Dark Moon ritual I plan on having tonight and for the New Moon ritual I've got planned for tomorrow night.  I'm convinced I'm tied to the Moon somehow and I've got to learn how to channel her energies because She drains me dry.  I'm hoping these rituals will help.

Plus I intend to start using frankincense as therapy for my depression which is grabbing hold of me again.  Tight this time.

Tomorrow I need to get my seeds planted indoors.  I'm hoping the New Moon will be a good time to do that.  I haven't looked at the almanac yet.  I probably should check that but I think I remember my grandfather talking about starting things on the New Moon.  And no, he was fully Christian and yet used a lot of Pagan ideas and folklore on his farm.  My mom used to use charms when we were little, but I'm sure she doesn't remember that now.  It's just what people did then...they didn't think of it as Pagan.  But they also didn't see it as a conflict with Christianity.

It has occurred to me that my estrangement from my older son puts my younger son and I in jeopardy of being outed for both being Pagans and for Zach being gay.  I've decided from now on, not to hide it from the people around me up here, not even Godboy at Wendy's.  But for my parents' sake, because I know if they knew I wasn't a Christian anymore, they would have sleepless nights until they die, I won't let myself be out to them.  It's not a question of saving myself.  It's a question of not hurting them.  I don't think my older son would really do that, but there is always a risk when you've entrusted a secret to someone who no longer feels an attachment to you, that that secret might be used as ammunition against you.  I was just weighing those risks.

Zach has expressed interest in Celtic Paganism, although not with a particular God/dess so we've decided to try and learn Irish Gaelic.  I got a booklet and cd from the library but it's conversational Irish so I'm not sure how helpful it will be.  I have another course on order from the library that is more a language course.  If we make progress with it, I'll look into a better course to buy, but I don't want to spend money if we're not going to keep at it.  I'd also like to learn Welsh, but I need to take one step at a time.  I'm not good at languages beside Latin so I don't know how well I'll do.

I should get busy because I plan on going to sleep early tonight.  My energy is just sapped and I need to recharge so I'd like to clean and do my rituals before it gets too late.  My widget says the moon is 0% of full so I guess it's time.