One True Way™ leaks in everywhere

One of the reasons many people turn to walk a different spiritual path than Christianity is because they balk at the way its tenets can be presented as the One True Way™, leaving no room for personal conversations with God about how to be of service to Them.

Unfortunately, the mindset that allows One True Way™ thinking doesn’t always get left behind with the religion. At first, and for awhile, it is pushed to the edges of the mind, but then time rolls on and the freedom to embrace Many Ways tarnishes a bit. More than one right way means that my voice cannot be always right, and in fact, sometimes my voice is wrong when applied to others. It is at this time that I turn and embrace more tightly the belief that there is more than one right way to do things, to approach things, and to hear the Gods.

It feels like bright and obvious hubris on my part to suddenly turn around and insist that all messages I receive from Them are applicable to all the humans. It’s  one reason I chose the path I am on, to allow for variance, and differing thoughts, and loving supportive discourse interspersed with spirited dissent.

One True Way™ thinking is gaining voice in Pagan places. It is disconcerting and disappointing, but overall, I guess it is to be expected. In the past number of years it has become more popular to proclaim how to be a proper polytheist, why there is or is not any hard or soft polytheism, why and how to be a heathen, why and how to be Feri, who does Reclaiming better — the stench is all around and the only thing it can accomplish is to divide and divide some more. To pretend at “my beliefs are valid for me, not necessarily for you” instead of living it and to not take to heart “We are all our own spiritual authority” is the height of self-important arrogance and one of the reasons many left their childhood religion behind. It is one of the reasons I left mine behind.

That last one, the spiritual authority belongs to you one? You either live it or you don’t. There isn’t an in-between for when I want to Be Right and then move back into it when the subject matter isn’t really important to me. In my path we all get to converse with the Gods. Their messages to us are our own. While they may be applicable across the board, usually they are applicable to a much smaller group than everyone on earth.

Gods are multi-issue beings, same as humans are. They have many thoughts and a range of issues they wish the humans would pay attention to and address. Who They tell what varies greatly, and one message isn’t more important or more correct than the others. Kudos to you (and me) for speaking with Deity, but un-kudos to you (or me) for thinking we have the one true connection. That is anti-freedom of religious process and wholly opposite the idea of folks being their own spiritual authority.

If Moses wasn’t a necessary piece for the Christian God to have his message of ten delivered to the whole world, but rather one messenger to reach a particular group of people, then I’m pretty certain none of my Gods need a Moses to speak to all humans. Be a Moses to your small group, but accept there are other Moses’ and other messages being delivered to others.

One doesn’t get to allow others their own spiritual authority only when they agree, and insist on one true way compliance when they disagree. Well, one does get to do that, free will and all, but others get to have thoughts about you and me because of it.

Sitting Vigil and Sacred Presence

I signed up for a sacred presence e-course in November of last year. It centered around sitting with the dying. There was no new information for me in it as I had hoped there might be, but really, what “new” could there be? Once you learn sacred presence it is always there for you. However, good came from taking this course. The knowledge that it is being taught, that the information is out there and available in a coherent easy to digest way is a very good thing. The number of students engaging authentically and with love in the forums was also a very good thing to witness.

Our country has a sizable older population, and the baby boomers will be dying in large groups, so to speak. It is past time to become more comfortable with death. It is past time to treat it as a natural event, a sacred event, that we all will share. Many folks want to be present for their dying loved ones, but we don’t teach them how to be. For those like me, who walk the edge and assist the dying, it becomes a comfortable place because of the pure sacredness of being present (physically and spiritually) while somebody transitions from this life.

It is an experience of honour that is ineffable. It is an act done without thoughts of “what’s in it for me?” because always always always it is about the person doing the dying, not the folks doing the living around them. Those not dying get much time to process their grief later, after the dying have completed their process. Maintaining focus on the dying is the point, sacred presence allows that. It is a gift for the dying. It turns out is is a gift for the ones who vigil, also. Sacred presence must come from within, and holding it benefits all who are present around this sacred, beautiful transition.

Hail our Beloved Dead. Hail.

Reclaiming Pittsburgh Spring Equinox Rite

Reclaiming Pittsburgh (Find us on Facebook)

Intention: Life calls, we return in joy: I am here.

Altar pictures below. In the first photo you can see our SJWW (Social Justice Warrior Witchcraft) global working for women’s access to appropriate health care that some in our community are engaged in. It is the honey jar on the left side in front of the tall white jar candle Thanks for bring that Juniper!

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Life calls. We return in Joy. I am here!

And so it was done, my small part in this collective working against Boko Haram

I arose about a half hour prior to the moon going void of course. I had prepped the space the night before. Candles had been dressed with deity oil blends per Their request, and rolled in a helpful herb. Sigils and words handwritten on rice paper, incense blended. I cast, and called, and Throngs showed up. I felt empowered and deeply humbled.

This morning’s work was interesting and powerful. Lots of chatter, lots of Folks and folks. Two of the dressed candles burned quickly down with the burning of the sigil paper, but not the candle dressed with Odin oil blend. That one was slower. After thrice reading the poem, I burnt those papers and the final candle slipped to a puddle in the sand, burning for a few more minutes. I set the loose incense to smoke until the end of the moon’s VOC and then I released it to the wind. I cleaned up the space, and crawled back into bed to warm back up and sleep. For those who read spell remnants, the photo below is the oil print from the wax and the paper’s ashes.

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Poseidon requested a tall fresh taper, dressed in His oil blend, on His altar. Other altars have candles burning and will continue, until they are done.

May cracks become crevices become chasms become broken pieces of what once was a band of heartless zealots. May peace and healing be found in the wake of their demise. And as We will, it shall be so.

Guys! Hey, Guys!!!The Boko Haram Working is mentioned in The Wild Hunt!

You can read the write-up HERE on The Wild Hunt, and full details in my previous blog post about the co-created event I am a part of.

AND, serendipity alert – there was a call put out earlier this month by Chiefs from the Eastern regions of Cameroon!! Details of that are in the Wild Hunt piece, so pop on over and take a read, and please boost our working if you are so called!

!! (insert a wee squee for TWH) !!

CALLING ALL MAGIC WORKERS- A GLOBAL WORKING AGAINST BOKO HARAM

This Saturday, February 13th, we are planning a SJWW (Social Justice Witches Working) against Boko Haram. If you are on Facebook the event page is here. Consider yourself invited, whether on Facebook or not, as this is a public event and as many folks as possible are asked to join for the oomph a collective can bring.

DETAILS:

CALLING ALL MAGIC WORKERS- A GLOBAL WORKING AGAINST BOKO HARAM

Invite your friends who would like to support this effort! This event is public. Details are below on the timing and bones of the working. I’ve added a poem I’m going to use (use as desired). I’ll be dressing candles with an herb and oil blend particular to the cause. I personally will be invoking Medusa’s unflinching gaze into the mix as i am working with Her this year. Add your comments, post your outlines, run with it!

BEST UPCOMING WORKING VS. BOKO HARAM BASED ON FOUNDER’S BIRTH: I’m going to call it Saturday, Feb 13, after the moon has gone void of course (look up your local time), during a planetary hour of Saturn (look up local time). The moon is waxing, we can’t help that, but she’s void of course and her last aspect before that is a bad one, so she won’t give any succor to the enemy. Saturday is Saturn’s and working in Saturn’s hour will give it extra oomph: as the founder’s Saturn (great malefic) is in his eighth house (the house of death), we like the reminder of that bit of harrowing doom in the chart. Mars is in Scorpio; invite him to invite more snakes and stingy bugs to the party.

Historical timeline of of BH’s actions and acts of violence.

The reason we’re invoking Mars to invite more snakes and bees is based on this news piece.

Moon void of course chart, adjust for time zone.

Planetary days and hours chart for Saturn, adjust for date of February 13th if necessary and adjust for your local time zone.

Please note that you will have to choose between the Void of Course Moon and having Saturn in his planetary hour. If the VoC is at a time you can manage, that’s best, because Saturn will still rule the day. However, if you can’t hit the VoC, the next best option is a planetary hour of Saturn, so as to maximize his impact. Make sure in that case to avoid using anything you regard as “lunar,” because once the Moon is in Taurus she will be much too nice for what we are doing.

So I wrote a poem/thing that I’ll be using this Saturday in my working. Feel free to use it, too, as many voices build the strength of the Work.

~*The Breaking of Boko Haram*~

We see you Boko Haram,
As you slay women
and burn children alive,
we see you, as you murder and toss bodies
like trash in landfills,
pits of premature death.
We see all of you, in shadow and in light.
We hear your victims cries,
Spirits seeking retribution.

May these spirits come in other forms,
multitudes of snakes and bees,
attacking your ranks,
reminding your henchman
that Forces live longer than the crimes against them.
We call on the gifts of Scorpio’s stinger,
poisoned stab to your ill-gotten power.
We call on the pointed force of Mars,
His spear trembling,
as Nerio stands, valor embodied.
We call on Saturn wielding his scythe of dissolution,
To take you down,
So innocents can rebuild.

We salt the earth beneath your blighted step.
We strew pollen for the bees
to come and feast for strength
then sting you and your ilk.
We call food for the snakes
to grow strong and quick,
then bite your heels and hurry your step out of power.

Mars, Saturn, Scorpio, snakes, bees, and us,
We rise against you.
They and we remove your comfort,
They and we remove your arrogance,
They and we remove the shadows in which you hide;
They and we expose you by your own weaknesses.
As Mars steps and Saturn swings,
as Nerio stands witness,
and creatures rise against you,
We break your matrix of violence.
With our Will,
With our Gods,
we break you!
We break you!
WE BREAK YOU!
~Boneweaver/Pamela V Jones © Feb., 2016

Brigid (silent) Poetry Slam, year 11

Brigid of Endless Waters

Kneeling at Her well
With unflinching eyes
I see reflection of my sharpened parts.

I wish for rounded edges
to my tongue,
a softening of the word-blows
I know myself
to land on others’ ears.
I seek healing of long held,
long protected lesions.

I note the slivered pieces,
guarded by thorny bits
wrapped ‘round wounded spaces.
Some thorns point inward,
the wounding freshened by me.

I dip my cup and drink,
dip and drink.
Water smoothing
and quenching,
still feeding the thorns,
more growth.

I dip and drink one long drink,
allowing the water
to sate and soothe,
to polish and nurture all,
even the rough thirsty places.

I dip my cup and carry some home.

~Pamela V Jones Feb 2016

 

This is my 7th year contributing to the Silent Poetry Festival  which has been going on since2006, and has become a wonderful, international event, with people posting poems in honor of Brigid on their blogs, Facebook, Twitters, Tumblrs, and other such devices.

Details here.

Brigid oil blend in the Etsy shop!

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Brigid oil blend

A mix of essential oils, heather tips, and blackberry in a jojoba base. Available in 1 and 2 dram sizes.

Brigid – the lady of fires: hearth, head, and heart. She is associated with smith crafting, word crafting, and the healing arts. Uses: to wear as a perfume or invoking oil, to dress candles for spellwork, to infuse incense (a drop or two on the cone, stick, or loose herbs will do it), to pay tribute in an oil warmer, and for prayer and meditation.

(Oil is pictured here with water from one of Brigid’s well, and with Brigid’s fire, passed from person to person over the years. Water and fire not included with purchase.)

Impact and obliviousness

It’s been an interesting 24 hours. I have spent decades underestimating my impact in various spheres of my life. I never fail to “dog head” when my oblivion is brought to my attention. Like, wut?

It has now hit the level of embarrassing. In efforts to keep my ego in check I have put on blinders, and as beloveds shifted away, I thought I spoke into a vacuum. What and how I expressed myself mattered little, I surmised, ignoring that all of us have impact larger than our awareness.

I have been purposely removing those blinders and paying attention in my offline life for about 4 months and with a concerted effort starting 2 1/2 months ago. (Yes, I know the exact date I moved from “things take time” to “START NOW”.) It hasn’t yet bled over to my online life.

In the last 24 hours I’ve been having front-and-center plus behind-the-scenes conversations with a number of folks ~ their impressions of how I present myself online consist of a gamut of viewpoints, covering a great range, but a couple of core things overlap.  It has been fascinating, in the best sense of that word.

What I do know is that my online self used to be a really close match to my offline self, and the chasm between the two has grown. (There are a hundred reasons for it, but none matter to the point I’m writing about.) I started righting that with the magical turn of the calendar page, but it is a slow process, with backslides. Time is the only proof that will show it, so you’ll just have to trust me. Or not. Your choice.

Here on this blog is mostly Boneweaver, keeper of the Dead, chronicler of the learnings and foibles of walking my spiritual path. Other venues have seen SJ PJ, *rawr*ing up a storm. Neither of those is all of me. Both of those are not all of me. (Never will *all* of me be out there. C’mon, I’m pretty open, but I keep more than half of me to myself.)

I desire to pull the edges of that chasm closer together. I don’t wish to eliminate the chasm – the abyss in the center is where the Mystery lies – but I wish to move back to where when I met someone offline who had known me only online they would say, “You’re just as I thought! Except nicer.” (What can I say, text reflects me harshly. I try not to use too many extra words. *looks at length of post* I have really edited this down from what’s in my head – I swear!)

I wish to reflect more of me in all of my online spaces. Compartmentalization of me has not been good for me, and as I have impact with what I choose to put out in the world, it has not been good for others, either.

One thing that I am just getting brave enough to put out here is the art I do. I don’t often see myself as courageous, but with my art, every post is a steeled-nerve act of bravery. I’m taking lessons from someone who has been refining her skill for decades. They are donation-gratefully-accepted-free lessons through Facebook. You can find the first lesson HERE. It is my gift to myself, conquering the fear and rewriting the old story that I can only art in abstract because the skill of realism died with my father.

And now it’s your turn — what would you like to see more of from me? I really am interested to know.

(And I’m going to hit publish before I chicken out, so read through the typos, please.)

And Now We Begin!

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.


Next topic:

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.