Don’t give me your ideas on Pagan life, my sisters and brothers. I have ideas enough of my own. And don’t give me answers, because ours is a religious movement with hundreds of answers, thousands of answers.
Give me your experience. Give me the marrow and the meat of your spiritual life. Because, unless you write it down, no one else ever will. Only from you can I receive this gift: your own lived Pagan journey.
~~~~~ From Cat-Chapin Bishop‘s guest collumn at The Wild Hunt Blog
I had had great ideas for my Memorial Day Rite. A full Witches Circle, interweaving readings from the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights with the invocations of the Goddess and God of Witchcraft, as well as the invokations to Hekate and Dionysus, and, of course, the invocation to the Heroe’s. The Honored Dead who have given their lives for my freedom and safety.
Work, however, intervened. As it has so often of late, leaving me exhausted, and my ankle throbbing, every step a trial. A part of me wanting to go to bed and to do something truly worthy of the occassion the next day (today) when I had the time and energy. Another part of me feeling, knowing, that the proper time was now, on the day when so many minds and hearts are thinking of the Honored Dead.
I hobbled through the house, having sat for a long time with my leg up and my ankle feeling a lot better. I found a large glass, poured some newly opened wine into it, and went out into the back yard. Despite the warmth of a Florida Summer evening it was just breezy enough to feel comfortable out doors. Crickets and/or tree frogs thrumming in the distance. I had turned the string of lights around the patio on, and then went out the screen door. Walking on some stepping stones I stood in the darkness of the yard, outside the screens of the patio and pool, outside the circle of lights, on the edge of the everyday.
First I pour for the Lady and Lord of Witchcraft! ~wine is poured~
Now I pour for Dionysus ~wine is poured~
And for Hecate ~wine is poured~
Now I raise my glass for the Heroes. Those Honored Fallen who have given their lives for my safety and freedom, those who have served and died for my Nation. Blessed Be.
~Wine is poured, and the last of it is raised again in a silent toast and I drink it from the glass~
Then I went inside.
The Mystery of it is trying to pinpoint where these simple words and actions became a moment of communion with the Divine and the Fallen. When few moments in my back yard transformed into gnosis, and magick. When I started the words a part of me was feeling down, because I wanted to do so much more. At some point as I spoke to the Gods and poured the Libations… that… something… happened, that should happen in all rituals; where the sum of the words and actions adds up to much more that the sum of their parts.
My simple Libations to the Goddesses and Gods of my heart were enough. My stumbling if heartfelt words of thanks to the Honored Dead were noticed and, I think, appreciated.
That strange alchemy where you are trying to live and honor your beliefs and somehow, in someways in spite of yourself, you experience a moment of Gnosis, of Truth, of Right Action, that leaves you humbled, and heart warmed.
2 thoughts on “For Cat… Libations on Memorial Day”
Thanks for this! This was lovely–very personal and real. (Two things I think good writing almost always is.)
In case you’re interested, I’ve posted this entry to MetaPagan (though there’s usually a couple of hours delay before it shows up in the MetaPagan blog widget, and thence to a large number of host blogs.
Thanks again for sharing–I felt the heat and the reverence of your rite, and it was good to “be there” with you.
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