The Real Essay: A Work in Progress

lean42We pulled up to the holy ground and readied ourselves for the meet.  It had been some time since this many of us had seen fit to come together, and this time, they spoke of fresh meet and old blood returning.  The day beat against my skin warm then cool, then warm again.  The sun was up, the season of the sun’s return  was upon us.  But not the heat, just the light.  Light had come back to the desert and I stood upon the blessed dirt feasting on the little heat and warmth ir provided,  it like so many of the buffets that we have in our village.

One by one they started to arrive.  All type of conveyance, from the sporty silver muscle carr to the economical and smart.  You can tell a lot about a person from what they drive.  I knew the tall one was very orderly, the way he parked with so much space between his immaculately clean, white car and the vehicle nest to him.  I guess that is why my favorite car has always been the 1980 Dodge Aries that was my first ride into manhood.  It was missing its hubcaps and had a crack in the windshield.  It perpetually smelled of cheese.

That is when she pulled in; just far enough to let you know that she wanted to be left alone, but close enough not to give a shit.  The law had come to town, and she sported a chest tattoo and size 7 sneakers.  I hadn’t seen my friend in some time and it was good to know she had made it through the lawless sin one more day.

We huddled under the mid-day temperature in the shade of the old lean-too.  Others gathered around, some called them the Elders, some called them the teachers.  Nobody really knows from whence they came, but they have always been there.  Like Priests and Priestesses of old, they guarded the knowledge of the wise, and it was hard to get out of them.  Some folks were lucky and stayed around to get this knowledge, some were just dipshits on the roadmap of our lives.

The magic was flowing through us as we shared our stories of loss and gain, each of us owning a piece of each other’s sorrow, laughter and pain.  It isn’t easy when this many people come together, like a ka-tet of legend.  Ya kin?  But the stories flow whether we want them to or not.

The law decided to finally taker her turn, she cleared her throat and told us about a night in the recesses of the valley, a little shit bird of a place called China Town.  Her eyes hooded against the anticipation we all felt as she began her story.  It was a tale of two women, both of oriental origin, pretty common in that part of town.  One of them was named Ling Ling, and she had plans.

“You want to fuck with Ling Ling?”

That was the battle cry that broke the shadows with laughter.  You could hear the transports in the background as they whined along roads long past their use, but barely.  Not an eye was dry after we heard the tale of Ling Ling and her desire to be fucked with.  Damn it feels good to be a witch.

From behind and to our side, a sound ripped through the day, pouring over us like warm honey.  Honey laced with cinnamon, because this sound had a bight.  Just when we had thought that we had heard it all, the words that still haunt my days came forth from the Elder

“You know, Big Sean’s album drops this week”

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

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.

C is for Crafty, That’s Good Enough For Me

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By my own admission and chagrin, I am not a crafty individual.  I find I struggle with the developmental side of crafting – I am just not imaginative enough in THIS area.  That being said, Wicca, as I have learned is both operative and ritual; but the third aspect, the “craft” in the Craft, is my struggle.

I have learned a lesson however, one that I didn’t know if it was intended or just a byproduct.  Lady Atheona mentions that you cannot help others if your own cup is not full.  I see this as a GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER clause.  Witches should be self-sufficient.  I should not have to go onto www-dot-anything and spend a couple hundred dollars to get a “Witch-in-a-Box” kit.  Hmmm, maybe that is not a bad marketing idea, but I digress.

There is something to be said about making your own ritual tools no matter how big or small a role they play in your Craft life.  I have spoken to some degree about my runes, my besom, and my scourge.  All of these I have lovingly made by my own hands and I LOVE them.  It is very true that there are prettier, manlier, superbeast tools out there but to paraphrase the Marines. Every time I look at my creations, I think “This is my scourge, there are many like it but this one is mine…”

I have learned to sew.  Strike that and put it in reverse; my mother in all the foresight she had back in the mid-eighties, enrolled me in Home Economics in Junior High.  I learned to bake pies, make curtains and sew bags.  Lots of bags.  When I rolled up on my D and D group, my dice came in a black satin bag with gold braiding that I made.  I only wish I would have embroidered “Bad Motehrfucker” on it, to cash in on some badassery.  That was thirty years ago.  I have not sewn a bag, curtain or pillowcase until I found the Sanctuary.

This has become my favorite meme:
downloadI learned to sew again about 4 months ago when I had to spend about one-hundred plus dollars on a fifty dollar robe, which would have cost me eighty dollars if I would have had one of my peers make it for me (I get to wear a new robe for sabbat soon, so guess who is getting a call, my Lady?).  But I did it.  I sewed my robe, and it has served me well.  I need a new one for class, so I may have to find a pattern.  But, today, I sewed again.

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THE Red bags

We have a project / lesson tomorrow that requires a red bag.  Mind you, I was a pro at making bags.  Thirty years ago.  But I did it.  I sewed six small red bags with only two that look odd.  I will keep one of them, but the other five seem to be OK.  I am proud of myself and glad I got to help my classmates by contributing.

 
The lesson I mentioned, regarding being self-sufficient is much needed.  In my adult life I had become reliant on others in a lot of areas of my life over the last few years.  Like I mentioned in a post I deleted.  I was not even functional through March of this year.  My heart is in the right place, my intentions are golden and I am on the right path.  I am becoming extremely self-sufficient in areas within the craft and the craft and in my secular life also and it feels good.  This year and a day is not just about growing as a strong witch, but as a strong man, leader, son, father, husband, employee, and friend.  I am so blessed.

Other bits of news, Inner Circle Sanctuary has a display up and active at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, in their annual “December to Remember” event.  We have a presentation on the history of the Yule log and the Christmas tree January 3rd at 1 PM.

Coming up in December also is the Yule Sabbat ritual at Temple of Goddess Spirituality for us and those that are prone to it, Mars begins to shadow and go retrograde on December 19th, with full retrograde in January of 2016.

 

In a week full of Duggeriffic Fogglisms…

I have been ill this past week, like I mentioned yesterday.  First, let me say that this experience has allowed me to put some things in perspective and I have made some long-range decisions.  Second, I am feeling much better so if any of you had been wishing me well, I appreciate it.  Third, I watched a lot of Netflix and movies.

I was able to finally watch the 1979 classic ‘The Warriors” starring Michael Beck, who only one year later would skate his way into our hearts as Sonny Malone opposite Olivia Newton Hildebrand John in Xanadu.  Also in there was Maverick, which is always good, and getting back to ONJ, I dusted off the classic Grease Sequel, ‘Grease 2: Electric Boogaloo’, or something like that, not starring Ms. Newton John.

grease2Interestingly, I came across this photo on MSN.com today and it broke my heart.  It appears that I alone am a fan of ‘Grease 2: The Quickening’.  With its fantastic songs like ‘Girl for all Seasons’ and ‘Let’s Do it for our County’.  I mean, man!

The irrepressible Didi Conn reprising her role as the repressible Frenchy anchors the movie and ties it to the original; somehow, is she still in school?  The throw away performance by Michelle Pfeiffer was nothing to take note of; I believe she basically phoned in the role.

Of course the trio of Sid Caesar, Eve Arden and Dody Goodman return from the original as the bumbling trio of High School administration who are basically the Larry, Moe and Curly wrapped up in the evil dean archetype of this generation.  Of course who could also forget Dennis Scott as Leo Balmudo, leader of the Scorpions from Grease and leader of the Cycle Lords in ‘Grease 2: The New Nightmare’.  Of course, nobody questions why a 30 year old man has nothing better to do than hang out at high schools tormenting kids.  Maybe he was looking for Proactive?

rmBut the key to the success of ‘Grease 2:  Leprechaun in the Hood’ is the portrayal of Michael by the amazing Maxwell Caulfield.  Many years before his swan song role of Rex Manning in ‘Empire Records’, Mssr Caulfield was the silent, dreamy outsider Michael.  All he wanted was to bone Michelle Pfeiffer, and come on, who hasn’t done that yet?  Also, he was Sandy’s Cousin (How convenient for Australia).

This wacky film takes us from high school musicals, to deadmans curve to graduation luau in a short one hour and fifty-two minutes, but I assure you, it will seem like a lot longer.  So, admit it, when you watched this film, and the refrain of ‘Who’s that Guy’ comes on when everyone has thought Michael was dead, and Blanche yells out, ‘It’s Michael, it’s Michael!!’, you got all misty eyed.  Don’t lie you bastard, I know even as I wipe the tear away writing this that you get all emotional too.

Anyway, I guess next time I am sick, instead of ‘Grease 2:  The Greasening’, I will start looking for a sequel to my other favorite movies to blog about.  I am thinking ‘Sgt. Peppers’, oh don’t get me started….

Blessed be my friends