You've probably already seen the amazing pictures in this article, which seems to have been all over the internet lately. If not, you've got to see them.
I've been thinking about the pictures for the past few days and realizing that what I like most about them is that they show that the world really is the way that I think that the world really is: far, far, far more magical and enchanting and wondrous than we normally take the time to realize. But there they are, all the time, in your yard, every evening: exotic and beautiful creatures, stranger than any science fiction alien, and covered in jewels! Every night. Tonight. Tomorrow night. The night after that one that you'll spend slumped in front of the tv being sold cans of beer and drugs and cars. And the night after that one that you'll spend making mystical love to your lover, that you'll always remember as "that April night when we made love and the breeze blew the curtains and the tiny, tiny sliver of a Moon showed me the curve of my lover's neck and I knew that I was loved and that our ritual to the Goddess was so, so deep."
And who's to say that they're "just" asleep? Who's to say that they don't know how dazzlingly lovely the water makes them? That they don't co-create the beauty with the water, working every night to make a more awe-inspiring work of art? I don't know; maybe they're just asleep. Maybe it's even more magical that something that special can happen when the creature's all unaware of it. Do they wake up and go, "Hey, I'm soaked?" Or, in a drought, do they wake up and say, "Damn. I didn't get hardly wet at all last night."
I don't know. I just know that the magic's all around, there really are fairies and every kind of other amazing and even unknown life forces dancing all around us. And all that's required of us is the task required of every Witch: pay attention.
I drove home from work today along Spout Run, with high banks on either side covered in trees and plants that are all that amazing Spring green that only lasts for a few days. And the sun was almost just overhead and every single leaf was not just Spring green, but incandescently green. It was like suddenly being inside the green heart of the World. And all I could think is that this forest has been doing that -- that amazing thing of creating, with the Sun, a visible experience of the heart of green -- for centuries. Over and over. I'm 54, and it's the first time that I've been there and been "awake" at the right time. But it happens every Spring. And I drove the rest of the way home remembering the Rumi poem: Don't go back to sleep.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep.
Thorn: Some began to wail at the white line that marks the boundary between one world and another, between the place where we could stand and the place where we could not. People began wailing, and crying. The drumbeat started and I had to cross. I had to stand upon that land and offer what healing I could muster. I had to walk upon the stones and sand of ancient seabed where I had not stood for a decade of years.
As soon as I stepped across that line, I began weeping. The land rose up and met my feet, surrounding me with recognition: I had come. I had come. I had come.
Once inside the holding pen, I hung a string of paper cranes to fly in the harsh wind, and then walked as far as I could and looked out upon the desert, sending wings of energy and light up into sky and down to earth. Spreading these wings, I let healing roll out from me. The land drank. I could do little, but as we always do, I did my best with what I had. The wind held my body upright, I moved with it, as though riding on the ocean, or dancing with a firm and strong beloved wrapped around my back. I was home… for I was with my Mother, who is everywhere and no place. I was standing on the earth.
Some days, it's big work, like Thorn sending wings of energy and light up into the sky and down into the Earth of a weapon-scarred desert. Letting the healing roll out from her body, the raw instrument and tool of a Witch, the living, fleshy opening between magic and the world, between above and below, between the "magic" and the "mundane" (which are one). The land drinks and, as Thorn says, we do the best that we can with what we have.
Some days, it's little work. Being thankful and kind to all the people with whom we interact, sending the energy of our sex acts out to the still-winter-harmed trees in our yards, doing little magics to support friends in new jobs, family members looking for work, a president seeking a new SCOTUS justice, being open to the incredible magic all around us. Grounding.
But it's all the work of a Witch. Someone once said, and it drew me to this religion like a magnet, A Witch takes responsibility. And that, in the end, is all that we can do. We can use our magic and our intellect and our bodies and we can take responsibility. We can open our wet, fleshy, amazing bodies to magic and we can move it between the Worlds. And what we do between them, affects them all. It's a big job. But someWitch has to do it.
What are you doing on Saturday that's more important?
The Red Dragon Feast is an annual magical feast and fundraiser for healing blood-borne disease. Donations benefit community building and a local charity committed to healing blood borne disease.
The event takes place in three phases: 1. drumming, dancing and ritual; 2. feasting and toasting; and 3. a silent and live auction. We focus our intent by wearing red clothes, eating red food, and toasting with red drink.
All Hail the Red Dragon! All Hail the Life Giving Blood
Date: Saturday, April 10, 2010 Time: 2:00pm - 5:00pm Location: Renaissance Hall, Westminster Presbyterian Church Street: 400 I St. S.W. City: Washington, DC Donation: $13.00 Contact: Eldritch@EldritchVentures.org
The Trustees of the Ecumenicon Fellowship have given the 2010 Infinity Award for "Group Public Service" to theDC Radical Faeries. "As the sponsors of the Red Dragon Feast for blood-borne diseases, by this alone you all deserve an award. We also recognize the work of the DC Radical Faeries as active facilitators in the early years of the Pagan Leadership Conference; energetic ritualists at several Pagan Pride Festivals; and wonderful participants in the DC Pride Interfaith Services." Representatives of the DC Radical Faeries received this award on behalf of the DC Radical Faeries as a whole. The Infinity Awards were presented at an awards banquet in Rockwood Manor, in Potomac, MD on Friday, March 26, 2010. Eldritch, Aero, Tigre, Scorch and Chanel were present to receive this honor. Congratulations Everyone!
CNN) -- Wilma Mankiller, the first woman to lead the Cherokee native American tribe, died Tuesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer, Cherokee leaders announced Tuesday. She was 64. Mankiller served 10 years as principal chief of the Cherokee, the second-largest U.S. tribe, and became its first freely elected leader in 1987. President Clinton awarded her the Medal of Freedom, the highest U.S. civilian honor, in 1998.
"Our personal and national hearts are heavy with sorrow and sadness with the passing this morning of Wilma Mankiller," said Chad Smith, her successor as chief of the Oklahoma-based tribe. "We feel overwhelmed and lost when we realize she has left us, but we should reflect on what legacy she leaves us. We are better people and a stronger tribal nation because of her example of Cherokee leadership, statesmanship, humility, grace, determination and decisiveness."
The CNN report is typical in that it calls Chief Mankiller "the first woman to lead the Cherokee native American tribe". I believe those reports should say, "the first recorded woman to lead the Cherokee nation," but I take their meaning. Wikipedia notes that: Mankiller is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the first woman chief of a Native American tribe. In the 20th century, Alice Brown Davis became Principal Chief of the Seminole Tribe of Oklahoma in 1922 and Mildred Cleghorn became the Chairperson of the Fort Sill Apache Tribe in 1976.
In earlier times, a number of women led their tribes.
She once explained that, I've run into more discrimination as a woman than as an Indian.
When I was young and needed some strong female leaders to look up to, Chief Mankiller was one of the women I found to focus on. Back then, the patriarchy made a lot of jokes about her name. She showed a lot of grace under pressure.
Every day, no matter what else happens, I drive by the Potomac River and we talk to each other. Every day, no matter what else happens, the weeds along the ramp to the T.R. Bridge are growing and leafing out and pulling energy from the soil. Every day, no matter what else happens, I come home, I sit on my rock, and I converse with the trees and plants here, on my bit of Earth.
I have met them at close of day Coming with vivid faces From counter or desk among grey Eighteenth-century houses. I have passed with a nod of the head Or polite meaningless words, Or have lingered awhile and said Polite meaningless words, And thought before I had done Of a mocking tale or a gibe To please a companion Around the fire at the club, Being certain that they and I But lived where motley is worn: All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born.
That woman's days were spent In ignorant good will, Her nights in argument Until her voice grew shrill. What voice more sweet than hers When young and beautiful, She rode to harriers? This man had kept a school And rode our winged horse. This other his helper and friend Was coming into his force; He might have won fame in the end, So sensitive his nature seemed, So daring and sweet his thought. This other man I had dreamed A drunken, vain-glorious lout. He had done most bitter wrong To some who are near my heart, Yet I number him in the song; He, too, has resigned his part In the casual comedy; He, too, has been changed in his turn, Transformed utterly: A terrible beauty is born.
Hearts with one purpose alone Through summer and winter, seem Enchanted to a stone To trouble the living stream. The horse that comes from the road, The rider, the birds that range From cloud to tumbling cloud, Minute by minute change. A shadow of cloud on the stream Changes minute by minute; A horse-hoof slides on the brim; And a horse plashes within it Where long-legged moor-hens dive And hens to moor-cocks call. Minute by minute they live: The stone's in the midst of all.
Too long a sacrifice Can make a stone of the heart. O when may it suffice? That is heaven's part, our part To murmur name upon name, As a mother names her child When sleep at last has come On limbs that had run wild. What is it but nightfall? No, no, not night but death. Was it needless death after all? For England may keep faith For all that is done and said. We know their dream; enough To know they dreamed and are dead. And what if excess of love Bewildered them till they died? I write it out in a verse -- MacDonagh and MacBride And Connolly and Pearse Now and in time to be, Wherever green is worn, Are changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born.
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 . . . ."