New Moon, Noumenia, and Me.

Dear Friends and Pagani,

A stick of incense burns upon my altar.  An offering unto the Theoi on the Noumenia.

In ancient times the Noumenia honored Selene, Apollon Noumenios, and The  Household Gods; including Hestia, Zeus, Hermes, Hecate, Appolon Ageieus, the familial Agathos Diamons, and ones honored Ancestors.   Many contemporary Hellenic Polytheists will take this time to honor and make offerings to all of the Theoi.

Technically I am three days late, as the first sliver of the waxing moon, which the ancients considered the New Moon and the start of the new month; however it was on a walk earlier this evening that I caught my first sight of the moon since the astrological New Moon.  It helps that I am being inspired by recent discussion of how to handle food offerings on the Neos Alexandria ~ discussion group on Yahoo.

The basic discussion was that once food has been offered to the Gods, it becomes blessed as They partake of its essence, and then the worshiper may eat the food offered to the Gods.   (the general feel, based on UPG and some historical sources, is that food offered to the Dead is better left out in the woods or perhaps burnt)  Because of my current financial status I have to rely on discussion groups and online sources of information about my worship of the Theoi.  Although admitedly almost 40 years of being a history geek have certainly helped to inform my online research… and I am finding a little money here and there to start buying books to increase my knowledge and understanding.

And still I practice.  I pray to Them, I make offerings of incense, and now apples, and water… maybe some juice or wine….  Practice, practice, practice… Pray, sit in meditation, breathe into my Center, going for walks, writing out my thoughts and feelings and doing my best to become the best me I can be; both for myself and for the Gods.

“Every day, in some small way, I reweave myself, I rebuild myself.”

I am not only dealing with the recent break-up of my increasingly mis-named Life Partnership with the Big Guy; I am dealing with all of the old patterns and hurts that I have acknowledged for years but never really wrestled with, everthing that came roiling to the surface after the break-up.

I am doing it though!  I am finding my way.   I am learning who I am and what is important to me.  I am building my spiritual and religious practices and figuring out how to work within and build upon my relationships with the Theoi, and with the Lady and Lord of the Witches, and the other Gods who I encounter and have encountered in my journey.

I am learning how to budget, and how to eat properly, and how to date and laugh and live and love; both again and for the first time.

For all of these blessings, and all of the blessings in my life, I thank the Gods.  I offer my words and sweet smelling incense unto Them.

Peace,

Pax

“New Years Day”

How are you spending the day after Halloween/Samhain my dear Pagani?

Here’s some of how I spent mine…

I light the Ocean Breeze Spa Candle that sits on the bathroom counter. (Why yes, as a cavalier, why do you ask?!)

I light the candle, I turn out the lights and run as-hot-as-I-can-take-it water into the bathtub.  I position myself into the typical modern apartment  shoe-box of a bath tub as it fills.  I add some soap, and I do my best to soak.  The steam caresses my lungs with each breath as much as the heat relaxes my flesh.   I begin to really breath, deep conscious breaths.

In through the nose and out through the mouth.  In and out, deep conscious breaths trying to be as present in the moment and paying attention to the sound and sensations of this life drinking and energy raising breathing.  After a few moments I begin to breath the energy and air into my center, somewhere below my stomach and above my pelvis it sits, long neglected.  This new way of finding it combined with the deep breathing, long familiar to me for raising energy and getting in touch with my own energies, triggers an energetic sense memory…

After a while I find myself moving my breaths and energies destination to my Root Chakra.  Even though I have begun working with grounding exorcises and with my Chakra’s again, I am still very rusty.  I take a good long time breathing into my Root Chakra, resisting the temptation to move up through my chakra’s quickly… unlike so many times before I am not doing this as part of some other work, or for grounding centering and shielding… I am breathing life and energy and air into my Center and my energy centers to relax my spirit as I have relaxed my body.

In through the nose and out through the mouth, with great “Shhh-ing exhales” as I breath the energy into my Root Chakra, after a few moments I find myself not only drawing energy through my breath; but I find myself calling to the Earth energy and to the Creative Firey and Feri currents from the Earths Core, drawing them up into the red wheel/lotus at my perineum.    Slowly, I feel like I have properly opened and relaxed this Chakra and I move up to the Sacral Chakra… I find myself wondering about the relationship between the Center point and this Chakra, seeming from my own sensations and from what I have learned so far to be so close together.  Are they the same or simply very close?  Very close I think/feel.  I breathe, once more resisting the temptation to simply run up this string of Spinning Lights within me, I take my time.

I take my time with each of them.  I empty the tub and go to my computer to listen to the Samhain podcasts, read the posts, and to think about how it is that I find some pieces of my soul blossoming.  Samhain has, for me, always marked an inward turning time, coupled with the blossoming cooling to temperate temperatures of a Florida Autumn as we move toward the many fruit harvests of Winter here in the Sunshine State, I suppose it’s only natural that one who seeks to align with Natures rhythms would start to bloom once more this time of year.

Peace,

Pax

Technicolor Morning, a remembrance.

Dear Friends and Pagani,

So, as previously mentioned, I am re-reading and working through the journaling and meditations in Kissing The Limitless by T. Thorn Coyle.

One of the journaling and thought excericises in the book relates to examining what, when, and how we are discouraged or allow ourselves to give in to fear and discouragement.  In addition to taking a moment to breath, and to examine these impulses and then move forward anyway, one of the things Thorn recommends is to find an image that inspires you and think upon it when wrestling with these moments of self-doubt or self-defeat.

Here, today, in the interest of writing again and getting of my Blogging-self’s butt, is mine.


Anchorage, Alaska.  September 2001.  It was a week or so after September 11th.

I had woken up early and taken the bus to a local tea shoppe that I was frequenting at the time.  I stepped off the bus and into Glory….

Anchorage is a town situated between the Cook Inlet and Mountains, in a glacial bowl valley.  The sun was rising from behind the mountains to the East, and there were two cloud banks, one in the sky above the mountains, and another laying low at the mountains base.  The rays of the dawning Sun were bouncing between the two cloud banks and were gently and perfectly diffused bathing every atom and cell in the Anchorage bowl in a glorious golden Technicolor light.  Shapes were more defined, colors were perfect and vivid, the light just penetrated my body and bathed my very soul in light, and hope, and a moment of Grace. Everything… Every.  Blessed.  Thing.  Looked new and clean and beautiful!

I call this the Technicolor morning and I mean it, it was like an image from a movie, the only thing missing was an orchestral and ethereal choir singing of the wonder and beauty of the world.


So these days when I feel discouraged or doubtful, I turn my mind to my Technicolor Morning.  Where do you turn your mind?

Peace,

Pax

Practicing Silence and Stillness

Dear Friends and Pagani,

So, in the midst of everything else lately, I finally made it to the Thursday Night Buddhist Meditation Group that meets at my local U.U….

Despite having written about meditation as a part of regular spiritual practice, and despite having regularly meditated in the past, and despite knowing the importance and benefits… I have a very noisy mind, and a great deal of trouble cultivating stillness within myself.  I theorized that it might help to jump-start my practice, and break my noisy mind and fidgeting flesh to the twin yokes of Stillness and Silence to meditate with others.

It is, as I mentioned, a Buddhist Meditation group and they practice Vipassana (Insight) meditation in the Theraveda Tradition.  Everyone sat in a circle of chairs in the Church library.   We went around the circle and each of us checked in for the week or introduced ourselves.  Then we meditated for 25 minutes.  Then there was a short reading on the topic of Non-Attachment to Ideas and Beliefs.  (here, and here, for more)

“Then we meditated for 25 minutes…”

Strange how simple it sounds…

You sit,still, silent.  You should avoid moving, except for a slight movement if you start to feel some pain in the body you may mindfully shift position to relieve the pain.  Your are silent, and focusing on your breathing, striving to keep it quiet. I settled into my oft turned too pattern of in-through-the-nose, and out-through-the-mouth.

Your mind may wander, and that is o.k., when it does so you are to let those thoughts go and return to your breathing, and the silence, and the stillness.

I thought I was relaxed.  The lights were turned down low and there was a tea-light candle lit to help even out the amount of light in the room.  I was seated with my arms at my sides and my, incredibly sore and work-tired-and-tense, feet up on a Zafu.  Then we started…

My throat was the first part of my body to seemingly rebel against  the program.  The muscles in it felt like they desperately wanted or needed movement and speech!  I swallowed a few times, trying to let this strange sensation just be and relax my throat and remember my breathing.  My mind, however, wandered into thoughts of how much I speak during the day… how often I fill silence with speech, even when alone, rather than just thinking… and it’s usually stuff that on some level is meant to distract me from feelings or thoughts I am uncomfortable with… I fill my days with so much noise…

Then I realized that those were thoughts and I returned to my breathing and stillness and silence.  In through the nose, and out through the mouth.  Focusing on my breath and letting the rhythm of send me back to stillness and silence… then I started… somewhere along the way I had almost lulled to sleep!

I carry tension with me so much of the time!  I am hardly ever really, really relaxed unless I am going to bed or asleep.  When did I stop relaxing… was it related to the deterioration of my recently ended relationship with The Big Guy?  What about….

Those are thoughts….

In through the nose, out through the mouth.  In, and, out.   Breath.  Stillness.  Silence.

My ears feel stuffed up, or, is that a ringing?  My life is so filled with noise, in the absence of it do I simply find ways to create it?  What is it that causes me to flee…. and I am thinking agian…

Nose.  Mouth.  Breath. ???

Stillness and silence and quiet and calm.

I didn’t sit in the hand of Goddess or anything, but I was able to reach a place of Deep Peace and calm, I still fidgeted a bit, but it was the mindful repositioning rather than thinking and reacting about it; and with mindfulness and attention, a sense of clarity and calm and quiet.

I did not fall into the Silence and Stillness so much as dive struggling into it, like trying to reach the bottom of a pool full of pudding, but I found some small measure of …calm.

After the after meditation discussion, I continued to have a feeling of deep peace and calm and joy.  I decided to drive home without turning on the car radio… I enjoyed a measure of silence…

I haven’t sat in full meditation in the last couple of days… but I have… reached into the memory and experience of it?  Focusing on my breath for a little while and trying to resettle to cloak of quiet and calm upon my shoulders once more.

I think that I shall sit tonight, at the close of the day… I wonder if my mistake before was to try and sit at the beginning of the day when my monkey mind is all unruly and…. those, are thoughts…

Peace,

Pax

Imbolc 2009

Imbolc,

First time in a long time

Picking up the Cards

Rearranging the Shards

Lookin’ for and Scrying in

The Mirrors of my Contemplation again.

~

Stretchin’ so many muscles,

I haven’t even felt in a long long time.

~

Relearning to Write,

Relearning how to Scry,

Relearning how to Breathe,

Relearning how to Rhyme,

And the Ebb and the Flow,

And don’t you know,

Relearning my Craft

All Alone in my own Time.

~

First time in a long long time

Picking up the Cards

Rearranging the Shards

At Imbolctide.

Why I will always be a Witch…

<Ranting>

Why I will always be a Witch…

Not a Pagan, although I AM that too, but I will always be a Witch because, so many years ago now… 15…16 years… do I only count my Dedication ritual or do I count some of the Witchy stuff I was doing before that?  Well, lets call it 16 years, with definitely Pagan leanings for 19 to 20.

Anyway… I gave myself to the Goddess and God of Witchcraft (as best as I understood and understand them) that night.  I offered myself to them in their service and worship.  Body and Soul… I have Circled and Prayed and Magicked and had a few run-ins with Divinity…. both my own and others… I was a young and stupider Witch once…

Even when I started feeling a pull towards the Gods of Greece… especially Hecate and Dionysus… I worried that I was straying from Witchcraft even as I crafted a ritual of introduction and welcome for Hecate…. and later too opened a place in my heart and life for Dionysus…

yet if you dig into their histories you will see why Hecate and Dionysus’s myths and legends seemed somehow strangely familiar to a 21st Century Neo-Pagan Witch…

I am a Witch, whether I am Calling the Quarters or simply making an offering of Incense and moving on with my day… I am a Witch.  This is not something I put on or take off… it is not for the convenience of the moment… if I face trouble or pain or fear or poverty… THEY are there… as are dear friends and family…

Perhaps I am lucky, I have never had a time were I truly felt without the Divine… whether in a more general sense of knowing and resonating with the Divine in All of Creation, or those few blessed ( an occasionally terrifying) moments where I have experienced a specific Presence.  Or those times I have reached out to the Elemental energies and felt them there…

When books written by my fellow Pagans paled I started looking elsewhere… Books by Buddhists on facing fear and difficult times… self-help books on being more effective… books on History and Psychology… my College Classes… especially the Wines Class and the Environmental Sciences class…

All of these have been Teachers to me.  If I am not finding inspiration or beauty or strength or power or compassion or honor or humility or mirth or reverence in Witchcraft and Paganis; it is not because it is not there!   It is because I am not looking for it in the right way… or with a clear mind and heart…

The thing is, I am REALLY NOT trying to offend anyone when I say these things… I have written a lot of essays on this site and done my best to make the pages of this site a useful resource for my fellow Pagan traveler’s and for the budding Witches of the world.

I know what it’s like, I’ve been a solitary Pagan for nearly 2 decades a Witch for most of that time… I have been there and am still there… and while I would dearly love the opportunity to share experience and fellowship and laughter and faith and magick with others…. I don’t have to have that in order to be complete as a Witch or Pagan.

While I would grievously miss them, and Them, if I never had another dramatic Theistic encounter I would still remain a Witch and Pagan.

For me it is a faith and a life and a philosophy and a part of who I am and what I do and how I view the world around me…

I really have a mental block in understanding folks who (it seems to me at least) casually let drop that they are leaving Paganism or Witchcraft because of some lack in these paths or communities.  Of course, I have in the past been moved to try being some of the things I perceived lacking in the community…

ok, ok,

</ranting>

So it’s the Full Moon…

I close my eyes and open my heart

And I pray, pray, pray.

I raise my hands and I raise my voice

And I pray, pray, pray.

Lady, shine, shine down on me.

Lord, walk, walk away with me.

As I walk this journey

Through the mystery

I raise my voice and I kiss my hands,

And I pray, pray, pray.

~Pax 2008(C)

Solstice collors on the Crepe Myrtle

Solstice collors on the Crepe Myrtle

The temperatures have been chilly and wintery, for Central Florida anyway, with days in the 60’s and 50’s and chillier nights.  The Crepe Myrtle in the front yard is almost asleep, only a few leaves, green and gold and scarlet, clinging to its uppermost branch tips.  Counterballanced by the Live Oaks, which have shed all the leaves they care to, thank-you-very-much, and are rustling in the breeze.

Tonight there is an open Moon Circle that Tracie The Red has suggested I attend.  I am going to.

I have run hot and cold about being involved in the Pagan community down here.  Cold lately but I’m warming up again.

Lots of reasons, but I think the biggest one is that I just haven’t ended up getting out and making any friends of my own since moving down here.  I need to work on that!  I’ve made a couple of friends down here or but not close see you every week and hang out friends.   Mostly, I’ve made friends with Gene’s friends and that strange relationship alchemy of his friends becoming our friends has occurred.  Yet I miss having some close, close peeps of my own!

Anyhow I must soon be off…

Peace,

Pax

I’d like to think I am another, budding, Gospel Pagan!

Notes from a Pagan Evangelical 12/10/2008

Now, in some ways I don’t feel like I am a very good Gospel Pagan.  I have a tough time accessing that Spirit filled part of myself that Sara, and some of the best Pagan authors and bloggers out there, seem to be able to write from so blessed easily.

This has been getting easier, recently, as I have been working on this site and building up some of the pages and contemplating things like my daily practice and my relationship with the Deities.  In some cases though I still feel more like a pallid imitation of folks like Sara Sutterfield Winn, and Diane Sylvan, and Sannion, and Phyllis Currot, and Evn, and Sia, and Pagan Mehgan and Markys ny Deseret; more like an imitator rather than a Spirit filled Pagan writer.

Then, every once in a while, some kind soul will post a comment, or nominate me for the Meta-Pagan feed, or e-mail me a note.  Then will I know that some magic has happened.

Other times I will feel the magic and the Spirit come upon me, it will be a sudden burst of inspiration; although as I write more about my Witchcraft and Faith and Spirituality, recently, I have begun to find some small somewhat consistent stream of Inspiration and Spirit.

Like that moment in Spring when the drip, drip, drip of the icicles and snow becomes more of a steady stream, not unlike a barely open faucet slowly blossoming with The Sun’s love into something new and wonderful.  In those moments some small wonderful thing begins to happen.

When I participate in or write of the Gifts of Giving, about making my offerings of incense to the Gods, or when I pour my libations and I feel touched and embraced by my nearest and dearest Deities.   It’s happening.  When I cast Circle and honor the Esbats or Sabbats of Witchcraft, it happens.  When I talk or write about establishing a Loving and Stable relationship with The Lady and Lord of Witchcraft ~ or of my budding relationships with Hecate and Dionysus, its there too.  When I seek to speak or write or live the gospel truth of my Pagan self seeking, not to convert, but to simply share the joy and wonder The Good News of my own Pagan experience, in those moments I am most true to the Gods, and to my self, as a Pagan and as an Evangelical.

Sedentary, yet undeniably invigorated and alive!

So as I am working on this site, today, I am also thinking about my daily spiritual practices and my relationship with the Lady and Lord of Witchcraft, as well as with Hecate, and Dionysus, and the rest of the Universe…

I started this blog as a spiritual journal, with the hope that it might also be of use to other Pagans in their own spiritual journeys.   It is the only such spiritual journal I have been able to keep up, for whatever reason.  This is no small blessing as I can honestly say that I have learned a lot about myself and my relationship with the Gods by keeping this little blog of mine…

Thanks, oh Powers and Principalities!!

I am feeling very centered and wonderful as I write a piece about different ways of relating to the Gods and of the Gifts of Giving, that strange paradox where by making even a simple sacrifice of incense or pouring a libation of water or wine, you are touched by the presence or remembrance of the Divine…

So many strange little Mysteries on the Pagan path.  So many things that our community lets sepparate us when there are so many wonderful things that unify us, so many minor mysteries that we share on our journeys.

Revel in the sharing my dear Pagans, enjoy yourselves and the simple pleasures and have a beautiful Yuletide!

Peace,

Pax

The Journey goes on…

So I have been working on this site, adding links, and adding some new pages here and there, one of which is published if in continual progress.  The new page of this site is one on Daily Spiritual Practices.  An important topic and one that I can tell I needed some more reminders of.  Perhaps I should do like T. Thorn Coyle and regularly change my daily practices so they do not become routine?

On the other hand, while changing it up would help me remain mindful of my daily practice, as one blessed with ADHD routine… or at least structure, can very much be my friend…hmm… time to think on this I think!

I have also been working on an article I am hoping to sell for publication.

I am also now engaged in a permanent part-time position (hooray!) which in the theme park world is a lot better than being a seasonal employee.  Money is still desperately tight, but then I am not alone in that this Solsticetide Season.

Sunday will bring with it the Anniversary of Pearl Harbor and an opportunity to honor some of The U.S. fallen heroes, and those who currently stand guard over our freedoms.  While I may disagree with how we got into one of the Wars we are in, I will never hesitate to honor those who serve in the armed forces.

The Full Moon follows next week, with an opportunity to observe some aspects of my own personal Solstice observances.  Which I also need to think about in the near future.

Off to think and to bed!

Peace, and Blessed Be!

Pax

One Witches Journey… into activism and optimism

So…

I am blogging a lot more on my other site.  Or at least I am working on the site, and adding links and adding to the blog roll and learning a lot about my LGBT community.  I am also learning a lot about myself.  I am learning about my ideals, and my hopes and dreams.  I am also seeing, once more, the parallels between my two communities… the GLBT (or LGBT if you prefer) and the Pagan.  I find myself trying to figure out how to balance my new found passion for standing up for the Highest Ideals, with the practicality of working an exceptionally part time job and looking for work in one of the worst economies in the last 100 years.  Yet I feel more alive, more truly myself, when I am working on my GLBT civil rights blog, and when I am contemplating similar projects within the Pagan community.

In re-reading this post and contemplating publishing it I looked again at that last sentence…

Yet I feel more alive, more truly myself, when I am working on my GLBT civil rights blog, and when I am contemplating similar projects within the Pagan community.

Hmm… I am reminded of my ideas about Beauty, and my thought that when we are striving to live our Virtues as Witches, and to live out our Highest Ideals is when we are most Beautiful.  I also find myself remembering some of the times where I have invoked the Lord and Lady, and how at those times too I have felt most truly alive (if not necessarily myself).

I know that the weeks and months to come will require me to keep a balance between feeding my pocket book and feeding my soul.  In the past keeping a balance between my professional (or job) life and my spiritual and personal life has been a difficult zig-zagging between priorities.  I would like to believe that I am at a point in my life where I can actually do this, seemingly simple, balancing act.  So many other folks make this sort of thing look so blessed effortless!

I know that in these times feeding oneself, ones family, and ones pocketbook, is becoming increasingly difficult.  I know that there are a lot of tough decisions and times ahead.  In the end though, I am not afraid.

I know that the Lady and Lord are with me.

I know that if I continue to tread the path they have laid out for me, if I continue to speak and live in accordance with Truth, and Beauty, and the Highest of Ideals, if I strive to find within myself Love for All Beings, including myself, if I honor Them, and remember to honor the Gods and Godesses of my heart and the Heroes of my Nation; if I do these things I will find a way through the troubled times and I will be able to keep my ballance and do right by my Gods, my family, and myself.