We're just a few weeks away from Beltane. I know that I say this about each of the Eight Pagan Holidays, but Beltane is really my favorite. It's one of the most "pagan" of the Pagan Holidays. For me, it's all about loving early Summer, and lying down in the fields and having sex to encourage everything to grow, be fertile, lay eggs, make babies, . . . GO!
Lately, my own life, especially at work, is going flat out, full of Beltane energy, more abundant than seems possible.
And, so, I do what I always do: I keep my daily practice. I ground. I say the Ha Prayer. I go to my astral temple. I light candles and incense and I remind myself that it's all real, it's all metaphor, there's always more. I record and work with my dreams. I do reiki on my morning cup of coffee, and my afternoon tea, and on the Stoli that I drink at sunset on the porch. I dig in the dirt and handle seeds and keep soil moist and stand, like the angel in the Talmud with the blade of grass, and whisper, "Grow. Grow." I'm always so delighted and surprised when something that I've planted grows. This Spring, in particular, I'm delighting in the 3 Japanese Maples that Landscape Guy and I planted last fall.
And, when I sit at my desk at work, I remind myself of all the women who, from time immemorial, played the glass bead game of the law with the joy and delight that can only come from shuffling precedent, and good prose. and logic, and thought. I open my mind and touch those (to me) silvery blue and green threads and ride them through to the end of my own motion, brief, answer, petition.
In a very few weeks, I'll weave flower crowns and dance with my sisters and, a tradition with us on Beltane, drink pink champagne. And I will be glad to have work in these hard times and grateful for some well-timed wins and hopeful that, come late summer, the harvest will be bountiful.
As poppies fired the nut-brown wheat My love rode by with sun-stained feet With a longing call and horse hooves fleet I followed her laughter all a summer morn But, oh, from a distant palace of shade I heard the rune of my nature played I strained to listen and lost the maid And walked the world forlorn
When the circle green was brown with leaves My love rode by as one that grieves I left my stand within the sheaves And followed her weeping all an autumn noon From beyond the sunset splashed with red A circle weighed upon my head I begged embrace but she had fled Beyond the dawning moon
When the woods were covered with snow drifts deep My love passed by as one asleep I left the earth my horns to keep And followed her dreaming all a winter's night And all along the moonlit track With thorny shadows printed black I caught a scent and turned my back And lost my life's delight
Maiden of the secret well I strain for you, yearning From upon the oak throne quivering Mistress of the horned moon I pain for you, burning Underneath the blue stone shivering I need you, I need you, I need you....
When heather primed the morning air My love arose, and I was there A thousand flowers in her hair And in her eyes was the Wheel of Time Reached for her hand, I did not miss Combining all this diverse bliss Forged together in one single kiss We made the world one in rhyme
An apology is a way to take responsibility, to signal a change, and to assure the world that it won't happen again. And if apologies are being given out, Witches would like one. It's more than time that the Catholic and Protestant Churches both apologized for centuries of persecution of Witches, Pagans and those they deemed 'heretics' for believing something different than standard dogma. How about an apology for the Papal Bull of Pope Innocent the Eighth, in 1484, that made Witchcraft an heresy and unleashed the Inquisition against traditional healers, midwives, and any woman unpopular with her neighbors for being too uppity? It's high past time to apologize for the Malleus Maleficarum, a vicious document written by two Dominican priests in 1486 that created a whole mythology of Satan worship, attributed it mostly to women, and unleashed a wave of accusations, torture, and judicial murder that have haunted us ever since. An apology won't do much good, now, to those accused, tormented, and destroyed because someone coveted their property or needed a local scapegoat, nor to their children left motherless or fatherless centuries ago. But it might clear some air.
Lierre Keith: That's a huge question. Basically, you're asking: how do we make a revolution happen? Naming the power and the agents of power is the first step, and most people stumble right there. And for a multitude of reasons: personal cowardice, the intellectual pitfalls of liberalism, the tremendous seductions of conformity and privilege, psychological identification with the powerful and their values, and a very real fear of retaliation, to name just a few. This is one of my favorite Andrea Dworkin quotes, "Feminism requires precisely what patriarchy destroys in women: unimpeachable bravery in confronting male power." That bravery is the linchpin of resistance. Without it, there's no possibility of hope.
A Radical Act of Knitting in honor of Mother's Day!
Calling all CODEPINK knitters! We are creating a beautiful, quilted cozy to cover the fence in front of the White House to honor Mother's Day. The message will be “We will not raise our children to kill another mother’s child”-inspired by Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation. We’ll be piecing it together from individual squares knitted by YOU as part of the 24 hour Mother’s Day vigil for Women who live in War Zones. The best part is you don’t have to be an experienced knitter to help! This is perfect for knitters of all skill levels—and a great opportunity for those who want to learn! Celebrate the time honored tradition of the radical act of knitting. ow-to-knit page here (just in case!)
What we need: 4” x 4” squares, as tightly knit as you can make them, but the stitch of your choice
Yarn in either dark green or a fabulous shade of pink- take a little inspiration from CODEPINK’s signature PINK. Note: We will need a ratio of about 5 pink squares to 1 green square to spell out the message.
We need all pieces by May 4th so get out your needles gals (and guys)!
Please take 1 minute to send us a quick email to tell us how many squares you plan to make and in what colors. We need to know in order to make sure we have enough to spell out our message. Email Janna at codepinkcozy[at]gmail.com
Send your knitted creations to: CODEPINK House 712 5th Street NE Washington, D.C. 20002
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 . . . ."