Friday, September 26, 2008

To Dance The Dances That Our Grandmothers Danced, And To Dance Them Upon A Changed Earth

I've bitched before about how badly many Pagans use YouTube. Too many slideshows of sexy fairies set to Lorenna McKennit and too many completely embarrassing, "debates," and not enough informative, creative, inspiring video that gives everyone a chance to learn from Pagan teachers and conferences. So I'm delighted to learn from Jason's blog that Starhawk's got a great new YouTube (actually up several weeks ahead of the event! Take that!, you advocates of Pagan Standard Time!) to publicize San Francisco's Spiral Dance and to explain why Pagans care about Samhein.

It's, IMHO, quite good. There's a lot that I love about this work, including the amazingly lovely prayer for the coming year at the end. I love that there are so many people shown. Scary Sarahwants to come for us, she's going to have a big job. (Since I practice in a v small circle, it's always lovely to re-learn that there are so many of us!) I love the altars with apples, and the dances, and the fact that people have been publicly dancing the Spiral Dance in SF for nigh-on thirty years. I love the pictures of the dead and I love the mother dancing in the middle of the Circle with her completely contented little baby. To me, she says what I wish all mothers of new babes could say to their community: "Look! Look what I've begun! I'll raise a new human to be a guardian of ALL THAT IS!" And the community says back, "Thank you, Demeter! We are here and we will help."

Samhein's coming. For witches, it's a time to remember our beloved dead ("What is remembered does not die," we say), to welcome new babies born, to communicate through the thin veils with our ancestors. This year, Samhein comes just before an historic election, one of the first in a while that WON'T be happening in the middle of a Mercury Retrograde. It comes at a time when, for many of us, the veil appears to have begun an early thinning. I'm not sure why the veil began to dissolve before Summer was even gone; I wonder if it's because our grandmothers are standing on their side of the veil, shouting as loud as they possibly can: Pay attention! Listen! Act! (OK, and mine are saying, "Push your hair out of your face. Stand up straight. Don't slump. You're failing. Look out! Duck! Work harder!") You know what we really lack? We really lack good historical records of this kind of thing. Hidden BoS don't lend themselves to good research.

My beloved circle of amazing women will have our traditional dumb supper, work magic, call our beloved dead and newly born, work magic, have fun, make resolutions (Samhein is the witches' new year), work magic, and prepare for "a year of beauty, a year of plenty, a year of planting, a year of harvest, a year of forests, a year of healing, a year of vision, a year of passion, a year of rebirth, [a year of renewing] the Earth." May it be so for you.

Hit Him With The Chair

Dear Mr. Obama,

Some advice for this evening's debate, from me to you.

1. Pick up the chair.

2. Swing it behind you with both hands.

3. Hit John McCain with it.

4. Repeat step 3.

5. Repeat step 4.

6. Repeat step 5.

7. Put chair down.

8. Take breath.

9. Repeat steps 1 through 8 until end of debate.

Thank you.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

When I Get Old, I Want To Be Like Mamma Dragon

Aw Fuck

John Lyon Burnside III 1916 - 2008

John Burnside, inventor of the teleidoscope, Gay rights activist, and co-founder of the Radical Faeries, passed away on September 14th due to complications from brain cancer. Burnside was the lifelong companion and partner of Harry Hay (1912 - 2002), another co-founder of the Radical Faeries, and a seminal figure within the Gay rights movement.

More at the Wild Hunt.

The simple fact that there were RadFay, esp here in DC, has made my life so much richer.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Why It Matters

Balance In Bad Times

There was a bit of, not mist, exactly, but haze this morning as I drove alongside the beautiful Potomac River on the way to work. The grasses and wildflowers along the way were definitely "Autumn" and the leaves on the trees were the dry, yellow, green that's so different from the pink, hazy, green of early Spring.

So, now it begins. The slide into Darkness, the coming of the cold, the time of moving inward.

And the "mundane" world is in chaos, not balance, and may well be for quite some time.

I did prosperity magic last night and called upon Hestia, the Erinyes, and Lakshmi.

Stockpile non-perishables. Keep your gas tank full. Figure out how many layers of clothing and blankets it will take to stay warm w/o heat this winter. Get an extra month or so of prescription meds set aside. Vitamins will keep almost forever and will make up for shortages of fruit (v likely) and vegs (possible) this winter. Do everything that you can to get and stay healthy.

There are riches in the dark.

And, here's a poem for you:

Carl Sandburg - Potomac River Mist

ALL the policemen, saloonkeepers and efficiency experts in Toledo knew Bern Dailey; secretary ten years when Whitlock was
Pickpockets, yeggs, three card men, he knew them all and how they flit from zone to zone, birds of wind and weather,
singers, fighters, scavengers.

The Washington monument pointed to a new moon for us and a gang from over the river sang ragtime to a ukelele.
The river mist marched up and down the Potomac, we hunted the fog-swept Lincoln Memorial, white as a blond woman’s arm.
We circled the city of Washington and came back home four o’clock in the morning, passing a sign: House Where Abraham
Lincoln Died, Admission 25 Cents.

I got a letter from him in Sweden and I sent him a postcard from Norway .. every newspaper from America ran news of
“the flu.”

The path of a night fog swept up the river to the Lincoln Memorial when I saw it again and alone at a winter’s end, the
marble in the mist white as a blond woman’s arm.

Photo foundhere.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

And So Mote It Be

Batshit Insane

Completely batshit insane.

I don't want anyone else who can't add their "g"s to the end of their words. I am just saying.


Earth, Water, Air, And Fire, In This Circle, We Conspire

The circle is the declaration of sacred ground. It is a place set apart, although its material location may be a living room or a backyard. But in the mind the circle, reinforced by the actions of casting it and purifying it, becomes sacred space, a place "between the worlds" where contact with archetypal reality, with the deep places of the mind -- with "gods" [sic] if you will -- becomes possible. It is a place where time disappears, where history is obliterated. It is the contact point between two realities. It is common for Witches to contrast their circle with the circle of the ceremonial magician. The Wiccan circle is not a "protection from demons" but a container of the energy raised.

~From Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler

Art found here.

Sunday Trakl Blogging

In Red Foliage Full of Guitars...

In red foliage full of guitars
The girls' yellow hair blows
At the fence, where sunflowers stand.
A golden cart drives through the clouds.
In the rest of brown shadows
The old grow silent [and] embrace dim-wittedly.

Orphans sing sweetly for vespers.
Flies buzz in yellow steams.
At the brook the women still wash.
The hung-up linens billow.
The small child, whom I have long liked,
Comes again through evening's grayness.

Sparrows fall from mild skies
Into green holes filled with rottenness.
A smell of bread and harsh spices
Feigns recovery to the hungry one.

~Why on Earth is it that I'm drawn to poets who can't be translated?

Picture found here.