The night never wants to end, to give itself over to light. So it traps itself in things: obsidian, crows. Even on summer solstice, the day of light's great triumph, where fields of sunflowers guzzle in the sun-- we break open the watermelon and spit out black seeds, bits of night glistening on the grass.
Yeah, everybody's losing their jobs, there is nothing the boss man can't do and walk away from scot-free, your years of service to a company barely get you a shrug when you're shoved out the door, so far, so good.
Yeah, the rule of law's been destroyed, we basically live in a police state, Miranda rights no longer mean all that much, there's nothing the authorities can't do and walk away from scot-free, so far, so good.
Yeah, it's getting harder and harder to breathe, the ocean is filling up with oil, nobody gives a fuck about the polar bears, everyone has asthma, there's something in the drinking water the town said was safe and now the kids have cancer, so far, so good.
Yeah, the guy we elected to end the wars and close the torture prisons isn't doing that so much, Congress is still full of assholes, our state legislators are too busy gobbling corporate knob to take our calls, our school boards want us to worry about if Jesus rode a dinosaur and if our kids can't read it's because they just don't want to enough, so far, so good.
Yeah, poverty and ignorance have been institutionalized, walled off, and called the acceptable price of living the way the top five percent live while the parts of the city the tourists don't visit might as well rot for all anybody gives a damn, so far, so good.
Go read this story and check out the picture used to illustrate it. I can't think of another disfavored group that would have a story about one of its possible members illustrated with such a biased picture.
Isaac is not doing well. He's been in the hospital since I took him to the emergency room last Wednesday. He had a colostomy Sunday morning, but they are unable to do surgery on the tumors themselves. We're not sure when he's coming home from the hospital, but it may be in a day or two.
The best place I can refer you to right now is this blog post by our friend Bill Seligman. http://crytolos.livejournal.com/22678.html
I post a lot of updates on our FaceBook page. You don't have to belong to FB to view the page: http://www.facebook.com/isaac.phaedra.bonewits
Tomorrow (Goddess willing) you are going to wake up.
You are going to wake up in the middle of Sacred Matter (sheets, pillows, mattress, nightgown, self), Sacred Relationships, Sacred Dreams. And you are going to go about your Work. You are going to go about your Work inside a temple that you may not recognize, surrounded by Acolytes of the Teachings of Patience, Priestesses of the Message of the Importance of Assistance, Demons sent from Hel, sent to prod you into Waking Up!
You are going to perform the sacred act of incorporating into the body of a Priestess: sacred grains from Mother Earth (grits or Cheerios or oatmeal or whole wheat toast), sacred beans from the Mountain Forests of the Last Inhabited Continent (coffee), or Tisanes made from Sacred Leaves, grown on the Hillsides of the Himalayas (iced tea).
You are going to accept the gift of ancient dying forests, dead dinosaurs, and the pressure of Mother Earth (oil) in order to get to where your destiny demands that you go: work, your child's daycare center, your school, a field where you will harvest food. (And, given the sacredness and diminishing availability of that gift, what v important thing will you do? How can you honor that gift where and as you are?)
You are going to access a privilege unknown to your mother, your grandmothers, your great-grandmothers, your many-many-many-many-many times great ancestresses and talk, over distances, to friends, employers, family, journalists, even weird bloggers. You are going to flip a switch and wash the dishes that would have taken your great-grandmother hours to wash, push a button and wash the clothes that she would have labored all day to clean, punch some numbers and communicate to distant relatives what she would have taken an hour to pen in a letter.
And, then, tomorrow night, you will go to bed, sigh, and wish that you lived in enchanted times.
But you -- you -- you are called to live as a Priestess, a Witch, a lover of Enchantment, now, today, in this world. This one. The one where you will wake up tomorrow and either add to Enchantment, Magic, the World of the Goddess, or sustain the myth of the mundane.
Whose side are you on, Sister? Whose side are you on?
Ladies! Listen up! Detecting breast cancer early is the key to surviving it! Breast Self Exams (BSEs) can help you to detect breast cancer in its earlier stages. So, on the first of every month, give yourself a breast self-exam. It's easy to do. Here's how. If you prefer to do your BSE at a particular time in your cycle, calendar it now. But, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
And, once a year, get yourself a mammogram. Mammograms cost between $150 and $300. If you have to take a temp job one weekend a year, if you have to sell something on e-Bay, if you have to go cash in all the change in various jars all over the house, if you have to work the holiday season wrapping gifts at Macy's, for the love of the Goddess, please go get a mammogram once a year.
Or: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pays all or some of the cost of breast cancer screening services through its National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. This program provides mammograms and breast exams by a health professional to low-income, underinsured, and underserved women in all 50 states, six U.S. territories, the District of Columbia, and 14 American Indian/Alaska Native organizations. For more information, contact your state health department or call the Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER.
I know that a recent study indicated that early detection via breast self exams might not be "cost effective." I'm not a scientist, but when I read those studies, they appear to be saying that sometimes women find a lump during the BSE that turns out not to be cancer. Those women have caused some expense and have gone through some discomfort in order to find out that the lump wasn't cancer. I don't know about you, but when that happens to me, as it has a few times since my first mammogram found a small, curable, cancerous lump, I go out and buy a new scarf, take myself out for a decadent lunch, call everyone I know, and declare it a good day.
Send me an email after you get your mammogram and I will do an annual free tarot reading for you. Just, please, examine your own breasts once a month and get your sweet, round ass to a mammogram once a year. If you have a deck, pick three cards and e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll email you back your reading. If you don't have a deck, go to Lunea's tarot listed on the right-hand side in my blog links. Pick three cards from her free, on-line tarot and email me at email@example.com. I'll email you back your reading.
I LOVE this idea. (OK, I wound up all sobby and weepy and tingly about it. I'm a big baby like that.) The Garden Rant blog features a story about how neighborhoods are being cleaned up and communities created by the simple but bureaucratically challenging act of putting gates at the end of alleyways. [P]lants - potted or spilling over fences - are the most visible sign of the transformation. Urban gardening to the max! The story's set in Baltimore, where there are 91 alley-gating projects in the works, and the nonprofit behind them wants to take the idea nationwide.
I've said before and I'll say again that, much as many of us treasure the notion of the cottage Witch, living deep in the forest in her comfy, crooked cottage (and, Goddess knows, I do), the reality is that most of today's Witches (and other Pagans) live in urban areas. Which areas have, indeed, many advantages of their own: diverse populations, museums, concerts, cafes, walkable areas, populations large enough to include other like-minded folks, etc. But it can be a challenge to connect to nature, and, as a result, the landbase and watershed, when living in a large city. An alleyway filled with plants and a safe place to play, and with the birds and pollinators that will follow the plants, can be a haven in a big city like Baltimore, a place for kids to learn to connect to nature, a retreat from the concrete and traffic.
Indeed, when residents live behind locked doors and in fear, even connecting to neighbors can be a challenge.
At the beginning, "there was a fair bit of convincing neighbors that [gating the alley] was in their best interest -- by improving security, cleanliness and, ultimately, home value," Heslin said, explaining that most of the pushback came from those who still wanted to park and leave their trash in the alley (most residents later agreed to park on the street, and secure lock boxes now allow access to the alley for trash removal). The space has since blossomed into an open-air living room where neighbors mingle after work, toss parties and perform jazz. It seems worlds apart from an alley eight blocks north that a gunman used to approach a backyard cookout last July and wound 12 guests.
It IS a great hat. I've never found a really good explanation for why witches are thought to wear pointy hats, but I do have a witch's hat, a gift from my creative friend K, that I wear at least on Samhein.
Do you have a witch's hat? What's it look like? Where'd you get it and when do you wear it?
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 . . . ."