Mabon (September 19th, 2015)

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Help Wanted:

This goes here. Here?  No, here?  Oh damn, the rope is moving again!
How many Wiccans does it take to set up an altar?  Two

Surveyor to lay geo-centric circles.  Must be willing to work at altitude in rocky terrain with exposure to the elements, notably the cold and the sun (Or Sylphs, Undines, Salamanders or Gnomes).  Must be willing to stand for long periods of time with intermittent circling and chanting.  Travel is required every 6 weeks or when the moon is full.  Cannot be timid around fire, bladed objects or the occasional nudity.   Must have own gloves.  White Robe is required and must be open minded.   Broom is optional.  This is a long-term temp to hire position with a 366 day training period; lifelong learners are encouraged to apply.

Picture the brown Earth; rocky and solid.  The dark night sky a lit with the pinpricks of millions, billions of stars.  The quartered moon the color of a light honey hanging in the southwest.  Hear the bells jangling and jostling attached to the legs of men and women dancing under this moon, under these stars in full view of the Goddess and the God.  Spinning, chanting, building magic, serving and saluting.

I had never been able to picture this vividly.  However…

This past weekend, I was honored, excited and nervous to be part of my first ritual ring for the Mabon Sabbat.  It is the Sabbat of thanksgiving, a time of gathering the harvest, giving thanks for the past year.  It’s not quite time to look to the next year, but rather to reflect on the past twelve months or a lifetime, or five minutes.  And I cannot, in my limited memory remember being this moved outside of the bedroom or at my children’s birth.

Here are some of my observances from this Sabbat:

I have five weeks to hit the gym hard because there is no way I am letting Lady Sive take the pick from me if there are holes to dig

Always place the shovel face down

Being a witch is hard, dirty, sweaty work – and I am not talking bedroom witchcraft (brownchickenbrowncow

Every witch wore a “white robe” at one point, regardless of their experience

You can most definitely feel physically, emotionally and mentally the presence of the God and Goddess as well as the elements asked to guard the ring

I need to learn to march

I need to learn to balance when I walk

My ass looks really big in a robe

It’s OK for boys to wear flowers in their hair, for the right reason

When in doubt, go deosil

We do things traditional, like, no lord’s helping with the food – Don’t tell my daughters

It feels good to do nice things for nice people

Lady Panthres sounds like she likes to party naked, at least under a robe

It gets cold up on that mountain

We are a troupe of entertainers preparing for a re-enactment of seasonal rituals for the upcoming renne fair, play, etc.

I already said flowers in the hair is OK
I already said flowers in the hair is OK

In all sincerity, I was underprepared for the amount of magical energy being raised, the beauty and majesty of the High Priestess as the High Priest draws upon the moon in the open air, and that I didn’t giggle during the Great Rite.   I was moved beyond measure.  This Sabbat for me, ass my first, I felt in advance I was just going through the motions due to my newness to the craft and to the group; but there were several times I caught a glimpse of what is not here day to day.  The magical fire, the Sylphs descending like helicopters in Apocalypse Now, the vortex of energy we directed.

In practice I was called upon to cense the ring, and again at Sabbat was called to do the same.  I hope I did myself and my Lady Atheona honorably and didn’t flub up too bad.  Lady Sive and Lady Nashoba were calling the North and East Quarters respectively.  Lady Sive, having been practicing stepped it up.  Lady Sithel was asked to place the West candle for the quarter.  I was so proud of our class.  I beamed with pride and admiration for these three ladies and the magic within them.

The group itself was honored to have some out of town guests in Lord Redhawk and Lady Panthres, Lord Karonis; who was the teacher to some of our elders and the family of one of our elders.  I am so proud to be part of this group.  I was worried, before, that I would never be comfortable calling people My Lord or My Lady; it felt hokey and out of place to text “My Lady, a question”, but daily, I am finding it more natural and actually difficult not to refer to everyone with these titles.

Finally, I am thankful this Mabon for these great folks, the ones I have met and the ones yet to meet.  I finally feel as if somewhere outside of my work and my family I am part of something great, and I belong.  I look forward to the next time we are together.

Non-Secular (AKA Post B)

A post not relating to Wicca?  Wow, I must be feeling creative today!  Actually, I learned last night that I need a bit more cardio this week

I must be feeling something I guess.  My parents have been in town for the last 5 days on vacation, but me coming out the other end is the one who feels like they have been on vacation.  I am about a month behind in my training for the April Triathlon.  That means about 20 pounds.  I can still run the triathlon, I am just cutting it much shorter.

I think a plan that:

  • Cuts eating out
  • Limits strength training to 3x a wweek
  • Incorporates an additional Interval training (Fartlek – Awesome damn word!)
  • Incorporates my C25K sooner than later, and finally
  • Includes riding the bike to work 2x a week starting in two weeks

Will make this a still achievable goal.

I really enjoyed spending time with my parents.  I do not get to Utah enough and I miss them.  I miss my sons more than anything.  I believe it is time to make a trip.  Probably after I move the  hell out of this house, my family too, that is.

Alright.  It’s like Bennie the Franklin said

 “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing”

So off tonight to the gym to start making that happen.  Talk again soon

“Perfect Practice…” and Terrifyingly Tall Lords

mabonNervously I entered the room, knowing only one other person, Lady Sive from my class.  I wasn’t even sure if small talk was OK at these things, so I quietly and dumbly stood in the corner so like school dances hoping someone would notice me but at the same time dreading the moment someone did.  Damn it, I am forty-two years old, but I suppose this is how a five week student attending his first practice should feel.  We were gathering this night to practice for the Sabbat of Mabon, the Autumn Equinox.

I recognized a few from Facebook and listened to the conversations politely silent from my perch near the door should I decide to bolt.  Such an eclectic group of people gathered in one place to make, or at least practice, making magic together.  How did they find each other?  Was it supposed to be that at this time, in this place the world was supposed to converge to a single point and mark this moment for me?  That is another discussion.

Super Tall Lord
Super Tall Lord

Shuffling around looking sheepish, not saying a word, I felt awkward and ten.  A giant of a man entered the room, standing nearly 8 feet tall, yet looking like he weighed ninety-eight pounds, wet, with military boots on, came Lord Tanys.  Instantly, despite what I just said – I knew this man would kick my ass mentally and physically.  There was charisma and such positive energy flowing off of him that everyone just stopped.  Stopped talking, joking, stopped everything for just a moment until he bowed deeply, greeted and paid his respects to the room.  I knew immediately, without being introduced that he had definitely earned the title My Lord.

His words on the basics of Sabbat and ring protocol inspired and scared the shit out of me at the same time; Do this, don’t do this – rules, but  GOOD rules.  If you know me and my contrarian nature, I despise being told how to do what I know what to do, but this felt different.  This felt right and I knew that trust was growing in my craft teacher and mentor, Lady Atheona – because if she didn’t think I was ready, I wouldn’t be here.  I wouldn’t have even been accepted into her tutelage (I found later in the evening, and was surprised, that they had even turned students away).

Me, at Sabbat Praqctice...
Me, at Sabbat Praqctice…

I was extremely nervous.  My stomach was already in knots due to my lack of dietary and exercise focus the past few days as my parents were visiting (see blog post 2 for the day) but the words and the fear of screwing up the High Priestess’ energy because I said unto instead of into and causing her to spiral out of control in her life so that we would be bailing her out of jail, and checking her out of rehab was almost too much.  But I sucked it up.  I sucked it up so good I started sweating like a madman.

...Yeah, this is the reality
…Yeah, this is the reality

At this point, I assume that everyone thought I had just robbed the orphanage; hands clammy, hair all slicked and wet and my forehead like the weeping wall.  I get nervous and I loop.  Loop?  I start worrying what the person I have to clasp hands will think; who is this new sweaty man?  Why is he sweaty?  Did he kill someone before coming?  Is that sweat or did he just shower?  You know, the usual.

I FINALLY did calm down, indeed – other than all the circling, circling and circling, I really was able to control my heart and my mind and when I finally  gave it over to the practice, in itself a ritual, I was at peace and I finally felt the connection with the Goddess.  The Rune which I had been struggling all week to speak publically just came.  I had the opportunity to perform a part in practice; it was absolutely terrific.

This was only my first practice.  Over the next year and some into my journey after, hopefully working toward second degree initiation at that point, I will come to further know and love and trust these folks like I can see that most of them already do.  I am speaking of things in the future that I cannot see, so I am getting ahead of myself.  But that is a story for another day.

A Place of Worship at Work

I work as the supervisor of workforce operations in the hospitality industry, within the call center.  In this role I am constantly on the go and rushing to meet deadlines.  Ergo, I hadn’t had a lot of the day to spend thanking the Lord and Lady for all of their blessings and wisdom.

Yesterday I posted about the gift my coworker gave me, and that inspired me to create a mini altar and place of thanks and praise right at my desk.  I plan on adding or changing out some of the items to reflect my own path, but this little space helps me carve out a niche of thanks EVERY day.

 

The Lord and Ladt and a sphere to meditate
 
In your busy day, how do you find time to remember who you are and where you are from?

Friends, a Short Post

a friend of mine at work who is an understanding soul found me in my study place at work recently, which now I know is also his go grab a quick smoke place.

He found me reading from ‘The Witches Bible Compleat’, by the Farrars.  I was a bit awkward at first as on the cover there is a big pentagram. Most people outside of the craft associate this with the Christian Devil, but he and I spoke for a few minutes about my Year and a Day journey.

  
Later that day he gave me this.  What a wonderful gift to say he understands and accepts.  It’s just a small, cheap plastic cauldron but it spoke volumes about how priceless friendship and understanding is.

In a modern world where instant gratification as God and we don’t put a large enough value on true relationships, sometimes we can find an island of sanity, truth and love.

Thanks Sam, this was a true mitzvah.