2015, The Gods, Thoughts

Dedication to and Rumination on Lord Okeanos and Lady Tethys

Hail Okeanos!

I remember the days, as a new initiate, spending time hearing you

at night until four or five in the morning.

No one told me that your power could (and did) keep a person awake,

even though the nearest ocean tide was well over a thousand miles away.

Your presence reminded me of travels in Vladivostok, where your smell and

your abundance surrounded me.

A child of the Atlantic, I knew you then, long before the call came.

You were alive for me at the Pacific, which has a feel of roughness that belies its name.

Eight years ago, your power curled around me nightly, reminding me that  the world, no matter how large, is small in comparison to what is beyond our immediate comprehension.

Each dip, each trip to see you in physical form was another opportunity

to savor, worship and revere the depths of emotion that flow within.

At times, it was too much and then, you would remind me that one day

some how,

I would understand the whispers and thoughts

without losing too much sleep.

I missed you so much and waited.

Then, five years ago, I saw you again, but it was not time. There was too much happening.  I tossed a coin or two into a fountain beneath a big statue in your honor. Through the cold marble, I just could hear your whisper…

After all, we are mostly water.

There is an emotional growth cycle for every witch with his or her gods. With you, it was absence and hearing the lure in the shells that surrounded me that forced growth and eventually called me home – to you.

Yesterday was the first time in a very long time that I felt the call luring me

to remain awake, to drown in the depths of Okeanos, the ocean-god of many gifts.

Now, it’s okay. I have the strength to know when the emotional flow from the Atlantic and the fierce waters of the Pacific need balance within and without.

I thank you for that and reaffirm my devotion and worship to you.

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Lady Tethys, Consort of Okeanos and Mother of Rivers,

I have called upon you as purifier, both in the past and at present.

You help to ease and wash

away the spiritual pain and burdens.

Water always has been a cleansing, renewing force.

To purify is to bring awareness to a situation.

It is not always pretty or neat or well-organized.

There is a flow, like liquid without a container.

As Dark Mother, when things need to come out,

you are a powerful force for change.

May your healing power, with the vastness

of the many bodies of water on this planet continue to

bless and heal those who call upon you.

Thank you for your guidance,

your presence in salt water, and the calm voice that

reminds all who care to listen of what is truly important:

discipline, devotion, and dedication.

We see water as emotion, wild, unrestrained and the opposite

of those three, yet the strength lies in knowing

when to be restrained and when to cut loose.

You help with that and I thank you.

Doxa Theion!

Agape

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2015, The Gods, Thoughts

Dedication to and Rumination on Lord Poseidon and Lord Neptune

Hail Poseidon!

Lord of the earthly realm between Zeus’s sky and Hades’ underworld,

I feel you in the rain that falls upon the earth, the moisture

providing a reminder that you deal with the emotions, the waves

that reside within each of us.

Earth-shaker, you wield the powerful trident.

Protector of cities and those whose heart is sea-bound

worship you and are devoted to your presence.

Horses who swim through the waters from Assateague Island to

shore stand strong, proud, sturdy. They are blessings and

companions to human-kind.

The dolphin as messenger still speaks to us in a language

we strive to understand at times.  The crisis of the waters

is relayed by the many fish who swim the seas.

We hear the rumble of the earth in the east in Nepal, in

the west in California, and in the south in Chile.

All are reminders that when the earth shakes,

it is a call to listen.

I am grateful for the blessings of balance and the understanding

of the tides and swells that deep emotion wreak upon the

human soul.

In your mercy, you come in dreams, you calm

through water, and you shake through sudden realizations.

Thank you for your gifts, your presence and the knowledge

granted to us, if we only could feel.

Lord Neptune,

We rejoice in your presence each July at Neptunalia,

as we enjoy great merriment during the hottest time of

the year.

God of the racing horse,

Ruler of the tiny waters, the springs, the rivers,

and the larger ones, the rushing seas,

we play in the waters, and revel in the feel of the

the water.

It is life and renewal.

There is a place for fun and practicality.

As we prepare for the harvest, have we cleaned out

what is no longer needed? As we relax under a tree in

a hammock, have we nourished the soil beneath as well

as within the self?

You remind us of the grounding nature of water, its

practical purpose and the human need for liquid nourishment

on all levels: physical, spiritual and emotional.

I thank you for these lessons and gifts.

Doxa Theion!

Agape

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2015, The Gods, Thoughts

A Dedication to and a Rumination on Lady Ma’at (Law) and Lady Themis (Order)

Today was rather interesting. My dedication is to learning and understanding the spiritual law that guides our tradition, our faith, and our adherents. Divine anger rightly is shown towards impiety. When I think of you, Lady Ma’at, some words that come to mind include balance, discipline, and law. When I think of you, Lady Themis, order and law (as justice) come to mind. I thank you both for your intercession today regarding a life matter and the reminder that order is not a dirty word, nor is law, or discipline for that matter. I have learned that tenacity and determination can be the companions to the desire to maintain order, one’s own ethical standards (personal law, code of honor, or belief), and discipline.

Recent terrestrial events, at times, limit the use of the word “law” to its narrowest point, yet when we pray and ask for your intercession in matters of spiritual and human justice, there is law on a physical level, a spiritual level and an emotional level. For a time, I did not distinguish between these variations.  In getting to know you, Lady Themis, I have learned to be careful in asking for justice. It is not like television or a simple yes or no response: Themis, in terms of justice, can cut in many directions. When I ask, my hands had better be clean, lest the consequences fall on me. Lady Themis is careful, and in my devotion and worship to you, I have become more cautious in certain areas. Do I have a long way to go? Definitely. As a passionate person, there are times when my emotions over-rule my mental understanding of a situation; I become more pathos in tone than logos.   When I come to you, order is brought to the forefront; if I ask for a determination, my own actions, as well as those of others will be examined. At times, you have been kind, challenging with questions that clarify what I might not have considered. I want to continue on the path of learning justice and balance.  I rededicate in my relationship with you to listen and hear your words that you place carefully near my ears as I sleep.  You are not in a rush, and too often, I have been.

On the other hand, my relationship with Lady Ma’at has been a bit more on the personal side, using prayer and meditation to calm the inner turmoil. Discipline requires faith and follow through, you reminded me years ago. Anger can be good (and here is why). What have you asked for? Being with you reminds me that often, as witches, as mageia, we get exactly what we ask for – and then decide that we don’t know what to do with it.

You are law, you are strength, you are courage to face the most wondrous and difficult decision that each person embraces daily – free will. Through your guidance, I have learned that the personal responsibility as stated in “The Witches’ Law” is one of the most challenging and rewarding choices that any person can have. We choose free will each day, and we blossom or wilt away from the consequences of this choice.  If the first tenet or commandment of our tradition is to create, the backbone of what each of us believes is the willing and full embrace of free will. If innocence or lack of knowledge is the path of least resistance, then the acceptance of “The Witches’ Law”, and in particular, the lines “Thou hast no right but to do thy will./ Do that, and no other shall say nay”, means that we choose to accept knowledge and the consequences of what we say, feel, think and do.  This is so incredibly powerful and, at times, scary as hell.

So, I reaffirm to you, Lady Ma’at, my devotion and willingness to walk this path with my eyes wide open, with my ears alert, and with my senses fully alive in order  to take in and make wise decisions with the information present on all levels.  I have and continue to learn to be responsible for my mind and my heart; my deepest gratitude for the blessings and continued gifts of purification.

Thank you both for being a part of my life.

Doxa Theion!

Agape

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2015, The Gods, Thoughts

A Dedication to and Rumination on Lady Demeter (Harvest) and Lady Ceres

Hail, Demeter!

Lady of the harvest, the law, and the infinite loop of growth and destruction, of life and death.

The busy, maternal, productive day yields its fertility in warm breezes,

the feel of solid earth beneath my toes.

As you have reminded me, you do not raise weak saplings, but strong oaks,

hearty wheat, and strong plant stock.

You taught me to trust in what is and to make it a habit to answer the

question being asked, to strengthen what lies within and without.

So often the mundane requires a slight of hand,

be it in office politics or neighborly greeting.

The question being asked, far too often, may not be the actual

question that lies beneath.

You remind me to look past the shade and gather true abundance

that is earned, understood, and deserved.

Each year we celebrate, learn and delve into the mysteries

shared with those of ages past.

I thank you, my lady, and embrace the quiet necessity of regular harvest,

the law, and the seasonal dance of death and life –

Each fall and spring

from your lips words of wisdom

enlighten and bring recall to those who seek understanding

of the mother, the one who helps the crops grow in beauty,

the one who stands tall and straight.

Lady Ceres,

it is you who rules physical nourishment, the rites of marriage and

fertility of the womb,

and you who protect the commoners, the laborers, those who toil

with honesty and just measures.

My maternal day reminds me that you guide and help mothers,

all mothers who are devote to their young.

Those who trespass or violate the earth suffer your wrath;

as protector you are fair, yet accept the blood sacrifice when necessary.

There is much I have to learn about you and I re-dedicate myself to that journey.

When you speak, Ladies Demeter and Ceres, it may be brief, but it is always fruitful. Your words fill my soul with purpose,  like the purple flowers that rest outside my door.  I thank you both for your support, for your blessings, and for your revelations. Any act of mothering, of law, and of standing up to a variety of tests comes in part through your guidance and wisdom.  Thank you.

Doxa Theion!

Agape

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2015, The Gods, Thoughts

Dedication to and a Rumination on Lord Kronos (Inevitability) andLord Saturn (Harvest)

Life has been about responsibility and the inevitable of late. This is the end of a two year cycle (perhaps three, now that I think about it) of transition,evolution and serious growth. For that, I am grateful and thank you for the lessons and the often (very) dry sense of humor. One of the recent gifts has been that of acceptance of what is with humility, gratitude, and thoughtful reverence. I do not like to think of aging, or its consequences; both are a reality in my life on a daily basis, from those who are seventeen going on forty, to those who are seventy and mischievous as a ten year old in spirit.

As the Lord of Time, Fate, and Inevitability (that which cannot be changed), you, Lord Kronos have taught me that nothing new can come in if the gateway is jammed with what is old and past. Leaves block a drain until the water or stronger force clears, and thus renews it. The past two years have been spent gathering and discarding what is not needed for new growth. There is only so much space for worry about what is not present, or what is needed ten years from now. The cycle of eternal youth and rejuvenation is marked by the harvest festival that we celebrate in August and the ability to let lay fallow the soil that resides within the individual.

When I first became an initiate, I feared Lord Saturn and rarely would call upon Lord Kronos, in any form. What I have learned since that time is that fear is not only inevitable,but it must be embraced and then put aside, in the same manner that a child acknowledges and then leaves behind his or her earliest toys. You know that it is there, and you move forward in spite of it. If fear is the rock that blocks the stream, then these past two years have shown me that it is either move the rock or remain stuck. I have chosen again and again to move the rock. When the rocks have been too heavy, I have called upon the Gods, which includes asking those around me for prayer and intercession as well.

As the Lord of the Harvest and the inevitable on the physical plane, you, Lord Saturn have reminded me to count my blessings, regardless of the form or number. With each Saturnalia, I think of what is important for the following year. This past Saturnalia, the highlight was a ritual where we put our goals and aspirations for the light half of the year into a jar that remains on one’s altar, sealed until Verlitha Solistum (Rite of Pyrhea). I must confess that I am curious to see when I open my jar in just over five weeks whether I have remained true to my own desires and quest for knowledge or if I have gaps to fill.

Finally, I thank you Lord Kronos and Lord Saturn for speaking to me on the happy nature of life, as well as the serious. When I have looked for guidance, you speak to me in my dreams and remind me that time (seconds and minutes versus hours, days and years) is all relative. I thank you for those I love, who have taught me about the meaning of time in small bits. I don’t take it for granted anymore. Thank you so much.

Doxa Theion!

Agape

 

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2014, 2015, Conversation on Race

Ferguson, MO

A friend calls

White, blond, Iowa bred

‘Can I ask you something political?’

She tells how her

sister-in-law-to-be posts

a picture on Facebook.

“She does not understand how one shooting

causes riots. She calls me “liberal”

What do I say? How do I get her to understand?”

The pause is ache.

“I know from college that to shop

while black, to drive while black,

to live while black is hard.

What do I say? I am so angry with her.”

The silence covers the years of no

conversations on race.

A nation inflamed –

Hands up, don’t shoot

erupts like a pimple that ached for weeks

on the tender skin that is the American soul.

We don’t talk about it.

We cover it over with accomplishments.

We are post-racial

(Thanks to a black President

who is really bi-racial for those who care and black for those who don’t.)

Yet, upstate New York conservatives don’t

get why one shooting

brings out what brown skinned folks have known

for years:

Life while black

from birth to death.

We are one of two nations with race on the birth certificate.

Marked from the womb to the tomb

You are black whether rich or poor.

The darker the skin, the more easily marked

Yet light skin does not help

When the cop stops you for driving a

car that is “too good” for you.

“How I got over” – Clara Ward

knew this.

Three women in a Cadillac in Georgia

White men who didn’t like it

Fake possession to avoid

the lynching, killing, robbing

of what was theirs.

Oprah knew this

from Swiss sellers

who thought she could not afford

the bag, maybe $10,000

A worldwide phenom billionaire

with smooth mocha skin

supporting her sister Tina’s wedding

shut out.

Apologies don’t cover

the race realty for living while black.

No one mentions how media

makes living black hard,

even among other brown skins that are black

but not born in America.

I tell my friend this.

She knows she has privilege,

that no one will follow her out of fear,

but only out of lust or desire.

She has a kind heart and empathy.

It is a hard conversation to have at 9:30 in the morning

when you been up every 90 minutes since 3am

and sleep has granted you reprieve for another 85 minutes

before the phone rings.

How to convey a lifetime of blackness

in twenty minutes before she has to go.

How to say – give your sister-in-law-to-be Peggy Macintosh,

tell her to read W.E.B. Dubois,

the story of Matthew Perry,

Benjamin Baneker, Madame CJ Walker,

knowing that until she has lived as black

she can never know the true depths of

why Ferguson was not a wake up call

but a reminder of what we fear most:

walking down the street unarmed

and being killed outright for who we are

not what we have done.

We know that if Michael Brown were white

“unrest” would be short

Darren Wilson would have been named in the first 12 hours

arrested

charged

exposed as killer

Not revered as a hero in hiding

Facebook posts asking for protection of his family

as though he is a victim.

We know that if Darren Wilson was black

someone would have taken care of him

and his family

and the media would say nothing

the law would do little

and upstate New York sister-in-law-to-be would say

justice has been served.

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