Bees and Reclaiming Pittsburgh

Honey bees, the ones who have doing community correctly down pat. They all have their jobs, they all do their jobs, and in so doing they support each other and the community. They care for and feed their queen. The queen is the center of the community and with care and food this center supports, maintains, and allows the hive to expand. This system also produces more queens! Whatever is at the center of community is fed and cared for so it will remain viable and useful. What would you like to be the center of Reclaiming Pittsburgh? How can we feed our community so it grows and thrives?

Join us for “Back to the Hive: Reclaiming Pittsburgh Community Meeting” on Saturday, October 21st, 2017, at 2011 Noble St, Pittsburgh, PA, 15218-2100.

Back to the Hive: Reclaiming Pittsburgh’s Annual Ritual Community Meeting
What do we mean by ritual community meeting? We will be doing the sacred work of planning and decision making for the November 1, 2017 – October 31, 2018 cycle. We will be casting, calling in the elements, doing trance, raising energy, etc. while making consensus decisions for the future of the Reclaiming Pittsburgh community.
Do you have a proposal for the Reclaiming Pittsburgh Community for the November 1, 2017 – October 31, 2018 cycle? Is there a process, type of work, or discussion that you would like to see manifested? Please send your proposals or discussion topics to Amoret BriarRose at amoret@amoretbriarrose.com by October 7, 2017.
Witchy/magical attire encouraged!
**Parking at the location. If you’re approaching 2011 Noble St and the building is on your left, continue 1/2 block to Center St. and turn right. Go another 1/2 block and a parking lot is on your left.
If the location is on your right as you proceed on Noble St, then you will turn left on Center St. 1/2 block prior to reaching the building.
The lot is metered, but never checked according to our event hostess.

Paganism: resists infallible leader syndrome, eats them when they fail

“….I’m always hesitant about stepping into leadership in my community. I feel called to share my gifts, and resist the glare of the spotlight. Scrutiny is a difficult thing, but my religious community prides itself on being fully human in all the places of our lives. We encourage and embrace each other as we flail and fall, dust off our knees, and rise to the task again and again. We neither coddle nor punish weakness. Sometimes punish strength. We walk the edges – try not to fall into codependence, hold our boundaries, and push through our discomfort…..”

 

First published on paganbloggers at Musings from the Bone.

Manifesting to Fullness

At times I forget how much the Universe enjoys assisting in the process of manifestation. Speak your desires, take actions to support them, and notice when the Web of All That Is shakes the strings a bit to facilitate what manifests. For maximum manifestation of desires to be achieved I believe we work hand-in-hand with Creation, each needing the other for fullness.

I’ve been clearing my spiritual plate of all the items that were too shiny to pass on in the moment, but don’t serve the direction I’m heading in. I desire to make room for what is most fulfilling, what brings me the most joy, and what sends useful energy out into the world – the three of those together are the criteria for a thing being an emphasis in my life.

Discernment can be quite difficult when you are attracted to all the glittering bits and I was being easily distracted, so I wiped the plate. *boom* Empty. The decision of what to add back, what new things to plop on it, felt very intimidating at first, so I rode that scary part like the experienced rider I know that I am. I created my criteria to facilitate success from my end while trusting the Universe when something unanticipated is removed from my plate without direct action from me.

It’s an interesting time. Some things I feel will again be in my life in a few months, others I’m releasing indefinitely. In the meanwhile, I can feel the return of space in my breathing, that small pause between inhale and exhale where anything feels possible. What a delight!

My Ancestor Altar

I was inspired to take photos of my ancestor altar by a post by Amoret. Apparently the ancestors wanted things to stay a bit in your imagination because the photos are blurry. Aren’t They a hoot?

By my best calculations I started this altar 15 years ago. I may be off a year, but because of where I had it set up at the other house I believe it was 2001. Eh, close enough, yes? It was my first ever altar (later were deity ones), and since it was put up it has remained up, from the last house to this house. It contents have grown over the years.

The first photo is the whole corner. The piece of furniture is a vanity from IIRC the 1930’s that I acquired along with some other pieces still in use in this house from my boss’ estate. He was the owner/boss at my first job that wasn’t babysitting.

ancestor-altar-2016


This second photo is dad and grandad casket flags, and underneath it is a framed saying about family. To the left is a mask my mum purchased in Mexico when she was in her early 20’s I think, so early 1950’s. To the right is a green ceramic cone that has sand in it and is used to burn incense.

On the wall to the left is a picture frame with some of mum’s ancestors and the Baron’s hat hung on a candle holder.

upclose1


The top of the vanity has a folded white tablecloth from my parents’ wedding gifts. This cloth is a recent addition, about a year ago. Candles, a chalice of water, cornmeal, photos in frames (with an always empty slot – for future me), anointing oil, my blessings oil blend for the candles, and the brass container housing graveyard dirt (thanks Mum!) are some of the items. There are various other mementos spread about on top and in the drawers underneath. I periodically change out some of the mementos on top.

upclose2


On the stool underneath are 2 casket crosses (mum’s and dad’s), 2 photo albums, and a genealogy book.

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Prayers, self-anointing, requests, water + candle blessings, thanks and reverence all occur here at various times. Do you have a place, altar, or practice for your ancestors? I’d love to hear about it!

What to do, what to do

I tend to side-eye myself (I use a mirror?) when coincidences pop up and I think, “aha! Connection! Intelligent Universe!” I seem to give more grace to other folks’ coincidences than to my own. Now, I do believe some things are only coincidence, and other things not, and the latter is more common as a rule.

I don’t jump to Reason It’s Written in Destiny™ straight off. I wait to see if anything else shows up. At times I feel a push to do a thing, with no known reason for the pushing to be as hard and urgent as it feels. Take for instance collecting the moon water at the ocean last week. I mean sure – witchywoohoo why not? But it felt like a mandate more than a desire. I’ve learned not to question so much and just do in those situations, and allow myself to wonder later when I’ll know why.


Yesterday I was told stories by a woman of her visit to Standing Rock to deliver supplies to the water protectors there. I’m not going to tell her stories here, they are hers to tell in her own blog. She talked of elders reskilling tribal members in the old ways of their traditions: herbs, and medicines, and blessings – especially the water blessings with wonderful details. There was a story of moondancers and a water blessing that reminded me much of the Waters of the World spell in my own tradition and we talked about this.

My friend had just stopped for the night, a pitstop on her way back home. As she thanked me for the couch of hospitality she reached into her car and pulled out a bit of sage from Standing Rock. She handed it to me as a thank you. I was touched. As I held that sage I thought of the moondancers and their water blessing. I thought of the moonwater I’d collected on a whim. I didn’t even side-eye myself, I just smiled.

These 3 things need to be put together as a working for the waters and the protectors. They have a purpose beyond the obvious. Mystery – how it arrives, what it holds, and what is released as it manifests is a big part of the draw to my path. What to do with these 3 things remains to be discovered, but once done I will again feel Mystery’s Touch. May I never tire of it.

“Breaths” – Sweet Honey in The Rock

 

Poem by Birago Diop; Music by Ysaye Maria Barnwell © 1980

listen more often to things than to beings
listen more often to things than to beings

tis the ancestors breath when the fire’s voice is heard
tis the ancestors breath in the voice of the water

those who have died have never, never left
the Dead are not under the earth

they are in the rustling trees, they are in the groaning woods
they are in the crying grass, they are in the moaning rocks

the Dead are not under the earth

so listen more often to things than to beings
listen more often to things than to beings

tis the ancestors breath when the fire’s voice is heard
tis the ancestors breath in the voice of the water

those who have died have never, never left
the Dead have a pact with the living

they are in the woman’s breast
they are in the wailing child

they are with us in the home
they are with us in the crowd

the Dead have a pact with the living

so listen more often to things than to beings
listen more often to things than to beings

tis the ancestors breath when the fire’s voice is heard
tis the ancestors breath in the voice of the water

listen more often to things than to beings
listen more often to things than to beings

tis the ancestors breath when the fire’s voice is heard
tis the ancestors breath in the voice of the water

I need to note this – extra active Spirits

I’ve been meaning to “note this somewhere” and here is as good as any place, yes? Starting about mid-August I’ve noticed unusually active spirits, sprites, Beloved Dead, and various other flitting-about Energies. Generally these are always around, seen when looking, and more easily visible as the veil thins towards Samhain. But this year, this year,  they are early and active, like whoa.

It has been a distraction especially while driving. They are not fluttery wisps, they are dense and quick. So much so I’ve been reacting as if pedestrians are about to rush in front of my car. It is quite unnerving when I’m behind the wheel. I cannot fathom what it’s going to be like once we’re at Samhain, but I’m rather excited to find out. Hail our (often) Unseen!