Full Moon in Cancer today, so that made it a perfect time for a house blessing for one of the women in my circle who's gone through a complete home renovation on Capitol Hill over the past year and a half. For many witches, home, a sense of place, a sanctuary, is important. And, I'm reading Derrick Jensen's interview with the philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore, who has quite a bit to say about the importance of "Place" in our lives:
Jensen: So what is the basis of our obligation to rives and marshes, if its not maximizing their instrumental value?
Moore: Obligations grow out of relationships, the philosopher Nel Noddingspointed out. She's right: we know what it means to care, and we value that. Just as we are connected to our families, and care about them, we are connected to the land, both emotionally and biologically. This is the starting premise: We are all members of a natural community of interdependent parts that includes rivers and wrens and children and stones. The relationships define us, sustain us, create us, full us with joy. And when we find ourselves alone and apart, our unhappiness becomes a longing close to grief.
If this is so, then to lead a moral life we have to acknowledge the depths and complexity of our ties to the natural communities [of which we are members], and acknowledge our own experience of caring -- acknowledge the value we place on caring -- and make a commitment to acts that flow out of love. Aldo Leopoldsays, "Sing our love for the land and our obligation to it, " and I am struck by how quickly obligation follows on the heels of love.
What is called for are not just acts of enlightened self-interest, but acts that flow from our connections and acknowledge the worth of what we care for so deeply. A right act isn't the one that makes us happiest. A right act is one that strengthens and reknits the web of relationships, and so it tends, as Aldo Leopold said, "to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty" of the community.
~From How Shall I Live My Life: On Liberating the Earth from Civilization by Derrick Jensen
What is your home trying to tell you? Your yard? Your neighborhood? Your wateshed? What is your obligation to listen?
1. During an intense half-hour rant, complain and whine about everything that pains you. Get a sympathetic listener to be your receptacle if possible, or simply deliver your blast straight into the mirror. Having emptied all your psychic toxins in one neat ritual spew, you'll be able to luxuriate in rosy moods and relaxed visions for a while.
2. Locate or create a symbol of your own pain. Mail it to us at the Angst Incineration Crew, P.O. Box 150628, San Rafael, CA 94915, USA. We will then conduct a sacred ritual of purification during which we will burn that symbol to ash. While this may not banish your suffering entirely, it will provide a substantial amelioration which you will be able to feel the benefits of within a month.
3. Eat a pinch of dirt while affirming that you are ready to kill off one of your outworn shticks -- some idea or formula that has worked for you in the past but has now become a parody of itself.
4. Using crayons, paints, scissors, glue, collage materials or any other materials, create a piece of large-denomination paper money, good for making a payment on your karmic debt.
5. Kick your own ass 22 times.
6. Brag about yourself nonstop for 10 minutes. Record it so you can listen back to it later.
7. Perform a senseless act of altruism, for instance by giving an anonymous gift or providing some beauty or healing to a person who cannot do you any favors in return.
8. Deliver a concentrated stream of praise about someone, either to that person herself or to anyone who will listen. Extra credit: Force yourself to think a kind and loving thought about someone you don't like or from whom you feel alienated.
9. Conjure up an imaginary friend and have an intimate conversation with him and her for at least 15 minutes.
10. Build an altar devoted to beauty, truth, and love in one of the ugliest places you know.
11. With a companion, watch a blank TV while making up a pronoiac story featuring plot twists that are rife with happiness, redemption, and good times -- yet not boring. You may either speak this tale aloud or write it down.
12. Compose and perform a ceremony in which you get married to yourself.
13. While making love, imagine that your physical pleasure is a carrier wave for a spiritual blessing which you beam in the direction of some person you know who needs a supercharged boost.
And, I'm old. In my own lifetime, I traveled the South with my family and walked past the Colored Bathroom into the Women's Bathroom, sat at lunch counters where "colored children" couldn't sit, watched my dad attend the March on Washington and the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King. In my own lifetime, the Misses Obama wouldn't have been allowed in either the Hay Adams (as guests) nor at a prestigious DC private school.
And so, on 20th St., N.W., DC, this morning, I just broke down in deep, gasping sobs. Sobs for Thurgood Marshall. Sobs for little Linda Brown of Brown v. Board of Education, who wanted to go to school with her white playmates, Mona, Guinevere, and Wanda. Sobs for all of those who gave so much to make America live up to her promise.
Today, two little African American girls traipsed off from one of DC's finest hotels to one of DC's finest schools. We routed traffic all around the city in order to make it happen (because George and Laura Bush are jerks.) And, for just a minute, I am proud of us. I am proud of how far we've come in just one lifetime. Go, America. You go, Girl. That was pretty cool.
Thanks to the folks at Eschaton who helped me find the pictures that I was remembering.
Breaking the silence that turns around the double edge of seeing. I have called you into the night moon because we have come to learn the end of waiting.
Looking for nothing to take us out of here. Ramshackle. A word that divinely chains us to earth. Ramshackle wind ramshackle fire ramshackle house of our bodies like a lizard hiding under the blue tint of English holly as if the red berries will sustain us all the way home.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."