The Pagan Experience blog project; May wk 2; Time

Wk 2- May 11 – Time – How do you measure time? How do you make use of linear time in sacred space?

I will toss in the all space is sacred space, so what I do is treat Time as sacred, also, and as friend, not enemy.  As I was falling asleep last week I had a thought about “Live today as if it were last!” So I wrote a post. Then I saw it fit the prompt about time. So I saved it for today.

The saying is to live each day as if it were your last, but I disagree. I say live each day as if yesterday had been your last.

If today is your last day you try to fit in All The Things™ that a last day would want. Sure, the saying is meant to help you not live with regrets, and add a sense of urgency to what you deem important so that you will do the things, but it invites a “what if I miss out!?!” aspect that I find mood dampening and ultimately counter-productive to living in the moment. Instead I end up looking at a list of got-to-do’s.

What if yesterday was your last day?

If that were true then today the pressure is off.  There is nothing left to do. No new loves to find, no new jobs to hunt down, no new skills to perfect. Sound awful? I don’t think so. I see it as opportunity for joy in what is.

Love the person standing in front of you as if they are your soul mate.

Sing, dance, paint, and run as if there is no room for improvement.

Work with the abandon as if the job you are doing right this minute is your calling.

View your friends as if they are your final allies.

………………………………….

Aahhhhh …. this, this day after my last day – this is freedom.

The Pagan Experience blog project; May wk 1; Fire

WK 1- May 4 – Fire –  What ignites your passionate fires? What fuels your spiritual fires? What rages in fire’s destructive wake within you? And, what has healed from the cauterizing flames? How do you honor fire? How will you embrace its transformative powers?

I won’t be answering all of those today. Today I want to speak of the passionate fires that are part of my calling, part of my Work in the world. Weaving. Weaving between the Here and There, this world and the otherworld, and weaving the transition energy on the space in-between. Carrying of souls, cleansing, and supporting the prep for what is next. It is part of my spiritual midwife package. And part of the “why” behind my name, Boneweaver.

It is a thing that fuels that fire within me, this Work. On days like today when I engage in this work – gently guiding a tender soul, supporting the loved one still incarnate – is when I am filled with purpose, certain of my place and usefulness in this world. I am humbled. I am grateful. I am Me in my purest form.

Hail All That Is. I get to be a part of it.

Gods help me to be concise – Pagan Experience project; Apr; wk 4

The letter G or H. I chose G for Gods and H for Help.

This post inspired by the level of SJW (Social Justice Work) terminology that appears to be needed in this country.

The institutionalized systems in this country are set up to favour some over others and this is what is meant by having (institutionalized) privilege. The people favoured the most are male, white, hetero, able-bodied folks. Everyone else is not as high up the helping ladder of society as they are. We all can be privileged in one area and not in another. This is called intersectionality. This does not erase the privilege we have. Dismantling these systems so everyone truly starts on a level paying is the ideal. But we’re dealing with humans here, so the second level ideal is mitigating as much as possible the effects of privilege in our everyday lives, from the micro-aggressions to the macro-aggressions. See the handy links below for longer explanations of terms I have used. Use the comments sections to tell me how wrong you think I am without having read the links.

Basic and clear definition of privilege and male privilege

Why an Ally’s job is to Listen

Christian Privilege

White feminism (yep, it’s a thing)

Intersectionality

Microaggressions

Please refrain from usage of the popular memes around this topic, including, but not limited to: #notallmen #notallwhitepeople #notallcops. For an explanation of why see this public Facebook post.

The Pagan Experience (blog project); April wk 3; the Divine

Wk 3- Apr. 20 – Deity and the Divine  This will be the third week’s topic every month and an opportunity for you to share with everyone those who guide, inspire and inform you.

Sometimes the Divine that we touch is the piece inside of us that reaches to and connects with the All That Is. Five years ago I wrote a short poem about my place of power that I land in when in trance. There I touch with my divinity the All That Is. Slightly modified here:

ocean – forest – sand – and – sun, cauldron centered, fire begun.

Finger tips pull the flames, dancing light of Spirit games;

Feel power tall and strong, taking flight in sacred song;

dancing feet,  pounding heart, all the veils now do part.

draw the Love, breathe it in, soul to soul and kin to kin.

push the fire to the ground, grind it out, not a sound.

as it was, so shall it be, as I will, so mote it be.

©2010 2015 Pamela V Jones

The Pagan Expereince (blog project) Apr wk 2; ritual

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.

Whut?

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:

ritual (noun)

1 :  the established form for a ceremony; specifically :  the order of words prescribed for a religious ceremony
2
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.

The Pagan Experience (blog project); April; wk 1; water

WK 1- Apr. 6 – Water – We are beings of water, but do we really honor it as element, physiologic need and the beginnings of our lives as humans? How do you honor water? How will you ensure its ebb and flow?

Well, those of us called to water in all its forms – as the sea, as the rain, as the tears we seek to dry, as the blood that pulses within us, minute by minute, day after day, for years on end – I’d say yes, we do honour it. But I can speak only for me.

I honour it in praise, whether watching it ripple and wave, rush and pool, or fall and puddle. I drink it in, relishing in the cool crispness of it. I pee it out, returning it to the earth (eventually). I admire its life-sustaining capabilities for microbes to whales. For humans of all sizes. For plants, animals, and insects. Even the cacti, though they have sparse needs, still need water to exist.

I travel it at Samhain, spirit feet gliding across the dark waters to visit the land of my beloved dead. I curse it in the form of snow and ice in the dead of winter, and bless it when it melts.

I speak to the deities of water – whispers of love, shouts of joy, chuckles of deep admiration, rituals of ecstasy. Water is for me the element that moves, lives, and breathes with me to most. Hail Water!