A New Hope

It has been a trying couple of weeks for a lot of people.  Make that a trying year, as the U.S. Elections have wrapped up.  I do not want to take any political stand in this forum, but I want to make some commentary to put this in frame of mind when I look back.  My candidate did not win.  I was saddened, I am disheartened more by the folks who did not vote for whatever reason they chose, that may have caused the election to go a different way, and I am mostly saddened by the existing gulf in this country between those that are one one-side of a fence or another, and the growth of that gap.

I recently saw a hashtag, that like some others, feel should go viral.  #pagansshouldknowbetter was used by a friend of mine, someone I respect within the pagan community.  This resonates with me in that our community, our religion as a whole, has been persecuted and is such that we cannot speak a lot of what we view as pagans as holy within the light of day at work, school, etc.  If anyone SHOULD know better, it is us.  We should stand united in at the very least the compassion, the hope and the kindness we share with each other if not the political view.

I have seen many supposed leaders in my pagan community post, say and do things that are so far outside of what I consider human decency that it is off the radar of even pagan kindness.  I have been privy to cyber bullying in the form of mocking and out and out threats.  #pagansshouldknowbetter

It is only going to become more difficult for us as pagans to worship openly, as this coming administration has been outspoken again those who are not of the WASP majority.  As this world has gotten much more difficult to live in openly with regard to religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, age and physical attributes, it is going to take a lot to come together to work through this.  I do not have the answer; I have to look my kids in the face and tell them, “I do not know when it’s going to change”.  But I believe it begins with hope.  This is a quote from Walter Anderson:

“True hope dwells on the possible, even when life seems to be a plot written by someone who wants to see how much adversity we can overcome. True hope responds to the real world, to real life; it is an active effort”

Hope alone without action is dream.  Dreams do nothing but make you feel good.  Hope with action is success.  We can hope for a better future.  A lot of us are overwhelmed right now and have no clue what action to take.  I always will say that getting in touch with the divine is the first step.  Make sure your house is in order before you try to change the world, always start with your own “cup”; otherwise it is misguided hope and dreams.

Once you have your house in order, there are a lot of things you can still do to make this world better both politically and outside of that mess.  First, register to vote and then read up on the issues within your own community first and vote to make change there.  Come November 2018, you will have a voice on a national level as it will be the next chance to vote your conscience in the congressional and senate elections; this is big, as congress is where policy lives or dies.

Outside of the world politic you can visit the aged or infirm and let them know that people care.  You can help some kids as a mentor in their school or sport.  You can ALWAYS serve meals in your local food bank and rescue mission (I have NEVER been turned away).  Knot a sweater and give it to someone.  Cook a meal for a friend.  CALL YOUR FAMILY.

I can go on, there are a million small ways we can make a difference in someone’s life and if enough of us work to better ourselves, better our neighbors – then this outpouring will roll like a tide across this country and it won’t matter who is president, we will finally be on the path that Star Trek has been promising me for the last thirty years.

In love and blessings.  #pagansshouldknowbetter

Dream a Little Dream of Me

2015-06-25-1435247097-3150712-luciddreamingI finally experienced my first ‘lucid dream’, or at the very least an enhanced normal dream last night.  Fully conscious of the matter and state of the dream I was able to actively participate or become the silent observer as the case may be.  There was not a lot of continuity to the dream, but I will share what I can remember and what I wrote.

Before I do, for all transparency, I have experimented with working to enhance my dreams as I feel I am not someone who dreams a lot, or if I do, I do not have dream recall like some people I associate with or whose books I have read.  It takes practice and exercise.  Last night was the combination of being dig tired early and a nice, hot cup of Mugwort tea.  The tea was unplanned, but I had some digestible Mugwort tea in my larder and as I had just posted about my Mugwort bath for my crystals, it must have been on my mind.

The dream itself was non-linear.  It appeared to be shortly in the future; I was still a member of Inner Circle Sanctuary and we were gathering for a Sabbat celebration, or so it seemed.  The location of the celebration almost seemed like it was on a military base or near s military reservation as we were outside of a trailer, with netting and boxes all around.  But it was not a place that was set up in haste; it felt very much like a safe oasis, a place of familiarity as there were cushions and chairs to sit on, a fire pit pre-dug and carpets to lounge on.

The first odd thing was that there were no members of my current ICS family around.  None of the elders or students was there.  And as I sat through this point I was observing, but at the same time, the dream me felt a presence he could not see guiding him from his arm and the shadows at the same time.  The dreamer me knows now that was myself, my conscience actively participating in the dream  It was an amazing odd sensation to feel connected and disconnected at the same time and to be able to willingly guide and be forced to observe at the same time.

For some reason, my sons, Alex and Adam, as well as my parents had flown in.  As I was at the Sabbat area, they pulled up in a car and all had a look of sadness, of tears in their eyes and they refused to look at the dream me; that was odd, so my dreaming self-addressed them and they were responding to that version of me, the active me, to which they told me they were happy to be able to visit.  They were confused when I asked why they did not acknowledge the dream me and that part frightens me a bit.

Members of Inner Circle began to sit in the celebration area, members I did not know.  Some looked like faces I may have seen, some came in regal costumes.  One person in particular was a more recent member who is no longer active that I had met once, but do not know very well was drawn to me and was at my side most of the dream.

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Photo courtesy of innercirclesanctuary.com; from Samhain 2015 gallery

Then, she came in.  From out of the trailer stepped Lady Morgana.  My dreaming mind was blown, but the dream me was happy to see her but had expected it.  I had met Lady Morgana in the real world on a handful of occasions; I have always felt a deep connection to her even though I did not know her well.  From the first moment I met her, I wish I had known her longer.  She was wearing a white robe, almost ivory, much fancier than my own in its construction and comfort, trimmed in silver with a headdress that reminded me of the Egyptian scarves worn by men, with black and white alternating lines.

 

Her face was still the face of age, as old as it was when I knew her, but somehow stronger than I remember or than it should have been.  The scars of her age did not show but she exuded more power and strength than she was able to at the end.  It was as if she was in the prime of her power if not age.  She sat down and immediately smiled to me out of the corner of her mouth and motioned for me to step forward to her.  This seemed a normal course of action to me, as if I either expected or had performed this action many times before.

The dream is a bit fuzzy here, but I remember everyone bowing and curtseying while she asked me forward.  I came forward and knelt in front of her while she sat.  She handed me a die.  The kind you buy here in Las Vegas in the gift shops, big and red and with a name on it.

Looking past the kneeling me, she addressed the dreamer.

“Ayden”, she said, “That doesn’t seem right” and she handed the dreamer me the die with my youngest daughters name on it.  I replied to her telling me that was my daughter.

“I know that, Mike” she replied in that manner she had with her accent prevailing.  Now, as far as I know, she only knew me by my magical name so this was odd, and the fact that she was addressing the version of me that knew I was dreaming and not the dream me kneeling was kind of cool.  I looked into her eyes and as overwhelmed with sadness and in her eyes there was comfort.

“I know what it is like to be tired”, she said, and put her hand on the dream me’s head.  “But, now we run”.

I have no idea what that last part meant, but I woke right after that and could not get the dream back.  Even now as I recall it, I can feel the sadness creeping back, as my eyes begin to tear up at my laptop.  I am not an interpreter of dreams but there seems to be so many messages of loss in this dream and it really has affected me.  I wonder now if it was a Sabbat at all, as most of the people were those that I did not know and there was such an air of sobriety instead of gaiety.  With my family from Salt Lake visiting in the dream and my wife and other three kids not being there, also lends a sadness to the dream.

I am excited that this dream was my first acknowledged foray into the lucid dream world, and I was very excited to see Lady Morgana again.  Perhaps my dream was just a dream; perhaps there is a message in there.   Right now I do not know, but I wanted to share and get it out so I can revisit again and again.  Part of being able to control your dream travels and your own mind is to remember.  For me, this post is cathartic as I am able to remove the sadness the dream created by putting it on paper.  I know I am not painting a picture here, very well, but I am glad you decided to share this with me.

Blessed be.

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Time to Recharge

full-moon-sally-kirkmanThe full moon, nay, a super moon occurs in Las Vegas Monday the 14th of November at 5:52 AM so that means it is a perfect time to cleanse and charge my crystals and ready them for any spell work or strength I need from them over the next lunar month.

There are many methods of doing this, from the quick dash in consecrated water to burying them in salt; I prefer a nice Mugwort bath and then to charge under the full moon.  In my tradition, the 24 hours around the full moon is when it is at is strongest, so for me, I am going to start this tomorrow.

This is a bit of kitchen witchery mixed in with some ritual craft.  I will begin the process outside of a ring, but I am also planning on a small full moon ritual Sunday night in private, within my back yard – the crystals will be brought in for this as well.

imagesI like to boil some water and let some Mugwort herb steep for a bit to really infuse the water.  I place my crystals in the bath while the water is hot and let then bathe for as long as I feel right.  There are a lot of reasons I use Mugwort; from its correspondence to divination and dreaming to the mundane reason that the bathe just purely adds sheen to my crystals.   After the bathe, I clean them with rain water that I have collected.  Yes, what a Wiccageek, but yes any time it rains strong here in the desert, I try to grab some.  It has lent its power to my consecrated water and to cleanse candles and anoint myself.  If I find I am out of rain water, a nice rinse with purified water does the trick.

Most of the crystals I have are for divination or protection and since the full moon falls on the day of the moon this month, I cannot think of a more auspicious way to take care of this piece of my tradition.  The crystals will sit out Sunday night, from moon rise, through the full moon and into the sun the next morning absorbing all of the energy of both the Goddess and the God.

I do not do a lot of crystal magic, but like all of your tools – you need to take care of them.  This is something I do once a month to ensure I am first, attentive to the needs of my tools and second, to live my religion and craft on a cyclic basis, at least the operative side.

I hope this post finds you well, blessed Yule tide and remember that during this waning time of the year, there can be no light without the dark.

Blessed be.