The world returns to routine today, the Monday after the holiday. Even if you work retail or health care where the places never close, energy moves underneath on the first workday back. Even for me, stretching through retirement.
I have PLANS for this year! I have repurposed a journal, I have committed to a thing, and an other thing. I have a loose list of more other things (because tight makes me procrastinate). Already, in day four, I feel the lightness in my body of returning to Joy.
I’m not going to write all of my plans. I’m keeping ego in check and not seeking outside affirmation, therefore I am not listing All The Things in one public post. Because when I listened to the impulse to do so, it was all about ego and not about accountability. Other folks will hold themselves accountable by public proclamations – my history suggests it doesn’t work that way for me. Heh.
Depending on where we are connected, you will see evidence of the things. If we’re deeply connected, you will know of all of the things. If we’re not deeply connected I am guessing it is safe to say you don’t give a hoot about all of my things and that is a-ok and as it should be.
Winter came today. I am not a fan. I get cold easily. Even with the hot flashes – irony to the 10th power, as bodies are weird and live on a scale of “1 to neener-neener” – I get very chilled. And yet!! When I saw the snow lying on the ground and felt the snap of cold air as I let the dog out this morning, something in me shifted and sighed “at last”. Having lived my life thus far in a place with 4 very distinct seasons, my soul has arranged itself to know things according these seasonal shifts.
I arose 1-2 hours earlier than I have for the last month. This is good. This is how I want it to be. I want my days to stretch with possibilities. I desire length to linger in them.
Hail winter! Welcome back.
An essay about the Feri Black Heart of Innocence in the guise of a movie review. Formerly published in Witch Eye number, umm, 9 I think or maybe 10. Figured that “Talk Like A Pirate Day” was a fine time to share it with the general public.
Captain Jack Sparrow is the Black Heart of Innocence in action… From his sexy stance on the crow’s nest of a sinking ship to his bemused remembrances of past sins while being fitted for a hangman’s noose, Sparrow never misses an opportunity to flirt, drink or show off.
Lifting the Veil, the seership/seidr work our small local group does is pretty awesome. Tonight was a member aspecting, as we call it in Reclaiming. Good stuff. Hail Odin!
Bone & Briar is alive and active with large and small events serving various aspects of our spiritual community and I am thrilled and grateful for this work. We are offering an in-person weekend intensive on The Peacock God of the Feri tradition!
Spiralheart has again come to a close. I have returned with a wrung out body, a mind teeming with plans, and a soul full of sovereignty.
Before camp Freyja said:
“I cause strife.”
“Be My witness to reality.”
“Care for your kin.”
“Hold your boundaries.”
During camp She said:
I have been struggling deeply in the last year with allowing the full impact of Who I Am to go where it must, untethered. Knowing I would estrange some of my beloveds, at times temporarily and other times permanently, filled me with bouts of grief and quaking fear that caused me to cling to those final strings of attachment.
Tasked by Freyja, I let go and stepped fully into myself this week.
Loving all of me is infinitely more difficult and unimaginably easier than I knew.
I hold that paradox in gratitude.
Hail the Other.
By Art, we deepen our vision, focus our will, and empower ourselves to act in the world. In this class we begin the practice of Magic, Witchcraft, and goddess/god/mysterious ones spirituality by working with the Elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit. Techniques include: visualization, sensing and projecting energy, chanting, trance, creating magical space, spellcraft, and structuring rituals. Group experience follows feminist consensus process. This class is the first of the core Reclaiming classes.
PREREQUISITE: Read the first six chapters of The Spiral Dance by Starhawk
WHERE: Pittsburgh area
WHEN: Saturday June 13 and Sunday June 14
COST: $150-$90, sliding scale.
A Bone and Briar Mystery School Offering
Send REGISTRATION information (preferred name, preferred email address) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Send PAYMENT through the Donate button here: http://www.blossomingbones.com/
Event sponsored by Reclaiming Pittsburgh.https://www.facebook.com/groups/649379201830219/
I didn’t post about The Poseidon/Olokun Under-the-sea blend, nor the Yemaya/Poseidon Over-the-sea blend that went into my shop a couple of weeks ago. Hhhmmmm, I don’t thinkI even posted about the thee-as-deity focused blend, Godself. Odin, Hel, Kuan Yin, and Freya blends are coming soon with more after that.
I really should do one post a week about my shop because I don’t now and how are folks to remember it exists? Anyway, I am so excited to be adding these blends, created here in my home. Meditation and deep listening inform me as to which ingredients go in each. I adore creating oil blends. **squee**
So, today’s creation had the assistance of Magnolia’s nose because I am easily converting her to loving the blending as much as I do. *grin* The two newest blends:
AAaaaahhhhhhh!!! Ritual! So many things I could write!! A book, in fact!! Aaaahhhhhhhh!!!! But I won’t. I will write the most important things to me in ritual. Hhhmm…. well, that shifts by ritual. OK, got it. ETA: It looks like my idea of ritual is 2b. *
Public ritual: Keep it fairly recognizable to things pagan friendly folks have seen so they can join in. Ideally all roles are volunteered for at the beginning. So one person leads a grounding and centering, someone else casts the circle, somebodies – 5-6 of them, depending – call Elements; shout out for inviting Gods where everyone can call; settle in, do tofu of rite, dismiss.
Private ritual: same as above, but faster, often less formal. Ha!
All by myself ritual: Eh, 2 or 3 or none of the above.
Yeah. Having an outline in your head for public ritual is great. Form a clear intention, a “what type of magic would we like to have happen”, create a strong container, aaaaaannnndddd GO! In my tradition we have ideas and a few set things we may wish to say, but the big thing is providing the container and allowing the magic to happen. “You are your own spiritual authority” is one of our mantras and we mean it. So, trance is used a lot. Trance is different from guided meditation because the former allows lots of space for the individual to have their experience and the latter like to fill almost all of the details for you. I greatly prefer the former. So it looks on the outside like a familiar construct, but ours are loose and follow the energy of the participants rather than directing everyone’s energy a particular way. Yes, intention, outline, and trance words direct things, but we don’t tightly manage it because it isn’t the leaders’ experience to be had by everyone, but everyone to have their own. Spontaneity is valued. There are no scripts, no standard callings, it is create as you go.
Small private (think coven) ritual are close to the above, but the bulk of the ritual could be a blessing, a craft (as in yay! crafts! let’s make a mojo bag!), an act of banishing, -fill in just about anything here-. Shoot-from-the-hip is valued here, same as in public ritual.
If it’s a ritual with a purpose like a handfasting, we generally cast and call, but the meat of the ritual is tailored to the couple so that varies widely, though chanting and blessing I always find appropriate. Oh yeah – we like chanting in our tradition. We like it a lot.
Personal rituals: Usually I do not cast a circle yet again because I have permanent safe sacred space in my house. My house is warded, cleansed, and charged periodically to keep it so. Some of my personal rituals involve oils, herbs, and candles. In those it is the prep that matters most, second is the execution. What goes before or after varies. Daily rites shift as my needs shift. Right now I am doing a personal power chant and an anointing chant that connects me to my ancestors and gratitude. Neither require casting, calling, or any of those things often thought of as necessary to ritual.
Why so different from one type of ritual to the next? Sometimes I like all the formal thing. I just don’t require them. Casting a circle doesn’t make a space any more sacred than it already was and that is not its purpose. (Some traditions that is the purpose.) It is a reminder that when we enter into a magical rite we are stepping between the worlds and so we carve a place of safety in which to do our work. We invite elements and Guards to assist us and then we proceed. When I opt to do deep trance on my own I may call for a Watcher. There is no set-in-stone way to do ritual and flexibility is absolutely key whether a large public or only me rite is happening.
I stop at my altars and have conversations, and those are rituals, but you’d not see an trappings of ritual to identify it as such. I guess I have many definitions of ritual, and many looks to how I do them.
*Let’s see what Merriam-Webster says to define ritual:
1 : the established form for a ceremony; specifically : the order of words prescribed for a religious ceremony
a : ritual observance; specifically : a system of rites
b : a ceremonial act or action
c : an act or series of acts regularly repeated in a set precise manner
Aaaahhhh. Well. It looks like the only one that applies is 2 b, a ceremonial act or action. I can live with that.
We are near the completion of our 6 month online course “The Cauldron of Cerridwen” at our online mystery school “Blossoming Bones“.. It was ambitious! It expected a lot of participants! It was grand! It will likely be a stand alone for that length of time. Four months is more doable for everyone as a max we think. And offering shorter, more manageable ones throughout the year, too. But it was fun! And it is a story that renews and thrills with each time I work with it. So Yay!! And yay for its conclusion as we get to move on to the next one. *grin*