Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Faster than a cat can wink his eye"

When people talk to me about the act of picking a deity, what they usually find themselves concerned about is if their pantheon is going to be a good match for them. When I hear these concerns I pass on to them the wisdom my mentors passed on to me, look at “how that pantheon treats death” and see how they feel about that system of afterlife.  What I find myself not mentioning is to look at the story of creation that comes from their pantheon because “creation stories” are something that every “system” of religion or “culture” has and while they are beautiful are full of allegories metaphors and are very “un-scientific”.  I like the Bible’s creation story, though I really hated the “garden of Eden” myth, I love the Hindu creation story, the Greek creation story, the Persians, the Sumerians, and the list goes on and on.  These stories all have similar elements but tell the story so differently.  My logical mind argues that these stories are man/woman told to explain things that cannot be explained and I feel this is probably true; but I have always liked a good tall tale; and I read constantly so I will never stop reading or listening to “creation myths”.

However, when any culture starts to establish myths or spiritual learning stories as truth you have a problem.  Here in the south, we live with this problem (issue) even in our public school systems and it does not seem to be something we can escape. On the other hand though, I am a Pagan parent and a HPS and what really seems to "burn my biscuits" is how many Pagans do not know their own creation stories!  Or even if they do, they seem to have difficulty deriving from the stories what it is they are supposed to glean.  It is very important if you are on this path, that you read and learn and re-acquaint yourself regularly with your path's "creation story" there are pearls of wisdom embedded in them so deep that you could grow a whole orchard of magickal breakthroughs if you are patient enough, and still enough to listen.

Today, I am going to try to share with you my version of the Tamerian-Egyptian creation story since this is my path; and then attempt to give you a few things you can instantly pick up and apply to your personal practice. I love this story! Remember, this is my version of it from gleaning through many many mythology texts, so if you will give me the gift of your time...I would appreciate it!

In a time before time when the universe as we know it did not exist; before my Goddess Isis breathed there was nothing but Chaos.  Everything was a watery void without true structure or form.  All the elements mingled together in a big dark watery marsh, and so it was for eons and eons.  The name of that primordial mass was NUN, yes later he would exist as a God but before he became he existed only as the potentiality of all things.

From this watery blob a lotus flower raised its head, it was strong, its fragrance was pure, its petals were abundant, and it was filled with life.  From its roots eight frogs croaked and sang while the God Ra, manifested as his first form ATUM the beautiful divine child sitting in the heart of the lotus flower. When he was born, the universe was greeted with light for the very first time (and this is how light came into being).  The frogs sang a beautiful song for his appearance and in return Atum-Ra named them and thus divided all the elements (with the naming of something it changes from chaos to be-ing).  Hehu and Hehut were the first, they were fire and lifeKerh and Kerhet were named, and they were night and chaos.  The final pair of frogs took on the nature of Atum-Ra and became NUN, the primordial force which had given Ra his existence, and for this reason NUN is the parent of the great sun-god even though it was Atum-Ra who gave him form and named him.  The last frog was named ANUM who became part of the soul of Ra, and though he can take on many shapes, it is in this aspect that Ra rules supreme.  Anum once named, gives birth to the Moon Khonsu, the vainest of the Gods.

Now you must understand, heaven did not exist yet, and the earth had not come into being either so when the divine child Atum wanted to step down from his lotus flower there was no where for him to go.  So Atum-Ra transformed himself into a new aspect Khepera, the scarab beetle.  When he did this, he worked “his greatest spell yet” (The Pyramid Texts) which granted him the power of creation itself and Kheperaknew that this was right” (Pyramid texts), and in this rightness he was granted and given the spirit-form of the Goddess MAAT, who is justice and honor, correct thought and behaviors.  It is through speaking, his own secret name, that Ra created the Universe.  

So, Ra in the form of Khepera began to utilize the power of the Scarab and he gathered the watery mass and spoke over it and created new things, everything he spoke became form.  After he had done this, he returned once again to the form of the Atum Ra took his manhood in his hand and emitted two further gods from his semen which lay upon the marsh.  These became the God SHU who is air, and the Goddess TEFNUT who is moisture. When Atum-Ra took in all that he had done, he saw beauty all around him and he was moved so much that he began to cry.  From his tears were born reptiles, and all creeping things, then animals, fish and birds, until at last men and women came into being.  Some texts say that at this point Ra had filled all of creation with his presence and forms of light and life…but he was not done, he transformed once again!  He became KHNUM.  

As the form of KHNUM Ra made the bodies of women and men upon a potter’s wheel.  As Ra manifested himself more and more, his voice became a separate entity and manifested as the God THOTH, the measurer of time, the teacher and mentor of the Gods and Goddesses, who is responsible for many births of divinity.  THOTH became the minister to RA and through using the magickal name of RA that he commanded all that needed to be done, he regulated the seasons, he numbered the days, it is from him we have the concept of time and calendars.  Then he transformed to a Baboon and on that night he invented the art of writing, and became the first master of the magic arts and the teacher of the mystics.  

The tasks of creation began to be taken over by PTAH, the divine architect and personification of the face of RA, and the ram-headed KHNUMPTAH formed the solid beneath us, and the vaporous above while KHNUM at the potter’s wheel, formed all the animals and the birds that lived between them.  Because of his task, KHNUM became regarded as the source of life and was worshipped at the waters of the sacred Nile.  After a while, KHNUM became exhausted by his work of molding the physical bodies of each and every living creature and got frustrated calling out for help.  THOTH, being ever wise, suggested that he include inside every female creature a miniature potters wheel in her belly so that they could reproduce themselves without KHNUM having to go to the trouble of completing this task for them.  So he did.  Thus women, posses the same power as the God himself….the power of creation.

Apparently while Ra had been off busy creating the Universe, Shu and Tefnut had been busy “getting it on” because once they had bodies they found that there was something that came with it…lust, and the law of nature that dictates that bodies must mingle and produce offspring.  Their children were GEB, god of the solid earth and NUT, goddess of the sky.  However, when Ra found out that Shu had mated with Tefnut he was infuriated because apparently he had wanted the lady for himself and while he was out working they had acted upon their mutual desire.  So, he decided to separate them by having SHU trample his own son GEB until he became all the land masses in the world, the contours of his body formed the hills, valleys, mountain ranges, deserts and fertile pastures.  NUT was sent soaring upwards to cover the sky, and she became the deity that formed the firmament and provided rain.  Stars adorn her body, her fingers support her arched body in the east, and the tips of her toes dwell in the west, and even now she remains above us still as a celestial body (now called the atmosphere).

Every evening as RA assumes the form of ATUM as the setting sun, Nut swallows him whole and he spends the night within her body only to be re-born as KHEPERA from her womb every morning.  Thus Nut is sometimes thought or called the “true mother of Ra”.  Even after all of this Ra’s jealousy remained, and so he cursed NUT saying that even though Geb had filled her womb with life that she would be unable to bear children upon any day or night of the year. The Goddess was full, ripe, and ready to burst…but there was no relief to be had. She was in perpetual labor, and her cries were heard throughout the universe and all of the Gods knew of her cruel punishment and were scared of Ra.  Except for THOTH, who in all his wisdom thought long and hard upon the matter……………..(TO BE CONTINUED NEXT BLOG)

1. Ra is a sun deity,   He has many titles, but when you start at the beginning it is easier to learn where he got them from, and why!  Order, Order, Order, would be the word that is associated with RA. (Though I am sure he would help you organize a closet he would probably be happier helping you with a BIG project!)

2. The Lotus is a sacred flower to the Egyptians and a symbol of the sun.  Every night the lotus flower closes and sinks underwater, and every morning it rises and opens up again. In Egyptian mythology the color of the lotus flower is mentioned often, when reading Egyptian stories look to see what color they tell you the flower is to add some more layers of spirit reading to your learning house!

3.  When you are starting a creative endeavor Ra would be a great God to work with! ATUM Ra, would be the title you would use when you just are at the very "I have an idea!" phase.  Remember he is a divine child in this phase think of it as like working with your inner child, yet smarter!

4.  Frogs are sacred in Egypt,(study the symbolism of the frog to get a bit more in depth here)  Hehu is the Element of fire ,  Hehut is life (many times you give the gift of a frog to a mother for a newborn baby as a good omen, I love giving egyptian frogs to babies at wiccanings!)  Kerh is night and Kerhet represents chaos.  Nun is the potentiality of all things, and Anum is the soul of Ra.  From all of these facts you can gather information about Egyptian religion, how form and creating is so much more important than potentiality and chaos and how you have a body and a soul and yes they believe they are separate.  How essential it is to realize that chaos exists it is not BAD, per se...but Gods and Goddesses in this path constantly battle, and re-form it to conform to their will.  (Sounds alot like the Wiccan definition of witch does it not?)

5.  Khonsu is the God of the moon.  So it seems not all moons are divinely feminine?  Does this image worry you that of the moon being male? Did you know that we can still find bits and pieces of dark moon rituals to Khonsu?  I still haven't figured out if the Egyptian women participated in blood magick with the moon invoking Khonsu; if you know shoot me an email!

6.  Ra/Khepera is the scarab beetle image, it has a nameKHEPERA, it is said over and over that the personality of this beetle is to work, and create something from what appears to be nothing! I bet KHEPERA would make a killing on Etsy!

7.  SHU is the God of the Air.  TEFNUT is the Goddess of Moisture or water.  So now you have two deities you invoke in the quarters of your circle if you want!  Or you could ask them to teach you about the mysteries of these elements, or if you are having an issue in one of these elements...guess who you invoke?

8.  MAAT is the Goddess of justice and honor these things are associated with correct thoughts and behaviour to the Egyptians! So before you do that revenge spell, or go out to "defend yourself" from those mean evil witches one town over...maybe you should evoke MAAT!

9.  THOTH measures time, well in modern terms we would say he was a historian or archivist, or possibly someone in archeology?  Hey if you are interested in any of these fields guess who would be really happy if you chose to invoke him?  His personality is that of a teacher and mentor, he created writing!  Wow it seems he could help you if you need help writing blogs, papers, publishing a book! He can help you uncode myths, because he teaches them!  He is the master of Magick, he commands it and knows all secrets of long as he has existed I bet he knows some doozies of what you SHOULD and SHOULD NOT do! He is also wise, funny and clever and very sympathetic to your human feelings and emotions (but this is the subject you will figure out in the second part of the blog)  I bet he can think of creative ways to approach a spell...huh, now this GOD seems like a must know for any Egyptian Pagan student, or witch!

10. KHNUM has the head of a ram and is the God of creation, or people who make pottery!  He also has to do with reproduction it seems!  There are stories in other texts that claim he also can repair you when you feel broken or if you have gone through some rough out to KHNUM, he is the God who can show you how the light shines better through all your cracks!

11.  PTAH is the divine architect and the face of RA.  Do you think that means that the Golden statue you have of RA is really PTAH? Hmmmmmmm.  I bet if you study architecture or possibly the universe as a physicist PTAH would be the God you would really jive with! I invoke him as one of the Memphis triad Gods in the middle of my circles!

12.  GEB is the name of the earth in the Egyptian pantheon not Gaia!  The earth is male to the Egyptians, so the energy is completely different than most Wiccan paths, so when you ground and draw up energy in this path remember you are drawing up male energy not female, talk to him feel his pores, listen to him, love him well!  NUT is the Sky, the celestial heavens, always stretched over you like an umbrella of protection. The sky in the Egyptian path (and in our real world) is always changing, shifting, and giving birth to new things...thus it must be female!  So the next time you look up at the starry sky say Hi Nut!  I know she would like that.

REFERENCES:   An Egyptian Book of Shadows by Jocelyn Almond, Egyptian Mythology by Geraldine Pinch, Egyptian Gods and Goddesses by Henry Barker, Circle of Isis by Ellen Canon Reed, The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts by R. O. Faulkner, The Egyptian Coffin Texts by James P. Allen.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We are all Brothers of the Sun and Daughers of the Moon!

In my neck of the woods, in my circle of friends who are Pagan that are scattered across the United States the hottest “topic” of debate was usually the role of males in Paganism.  It would make women irritable, because they felt they were defending Goddess and had come to the religion in the first place so that they could be more “empowered”.  Me, and my girlfriends felt that in the “real” workplace/political world we were “not listened too” and treated as “less than” and that if you really wanted to insult a man you called him “a girl" (or vaginistic type words a few months ago I saw this used by advertisers on a billboard to get men to buy a sportscar).  My male friends, however, would argue that the world had changed to the point where they could hardly get jobs and that the world we described was not”real” or “had leveled out” leaving them competing against minorities for everything; they did not feel that they should have that same “bias” in their religious choices.  So there was a gridlock…since the Highpriestess is what runs covens (unless you are involved in an organization that still venerates male over female) and since Goddess books there are aplenty and God books few my male Pagan friends felt they got the short end of the stick.

For years, when I was younger I would think," If you all feel this way then why come to this religion if you resent women running it?  Go somewhere else, any other religion will let you run everything if you are male and not even let females become ministers!"  However, the wheel turned and  I started to hear with spirit filled ears, and listen with a spirit filled heart and realize that maybe just maybe they (my male friends and even my young son) had a few valid points.  So, when I returned to Memphis once again I started to listen and the same points came up.  Males saw all the women rituals that excluded them, the Goddess retreats and felt that they had nothing equivalent.  They were being asked to participate and be “better” men than most of society but were not being treated “fairly”.  When questions of rites of passage for men came up they were told they were “not important” and that “why should they need them?”.  Some leaders of the organizations went as far as to say that the “separation of the two sexes” was silly anyway, and that it promoted more problems than solutions.  Yet, everywhere I listened I heard them hurt and hungry for something more and  “just for them” they wanted to also leave behind a legacy of "new Pagan men".

As a woman I understand the need for “just for me”.  I read Virginia Wolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” while in college and firmly decided from that point on in life I would make a space and time for just me because it was important.  Goddess devotional books, and companion readers emphasize over and over again how important it is for women who give so liberally to husbands, parents, children, and their bosses to make a space and time for themselves.  So women started forming little groups, or girl nights out, or pampering sessions, by now I have not met a woman my age who does not have a “just me” hobby, activity, or time that helps her get back in touch with her inner Goddess.  This is wonderful, it is liberating, it is empowering, it was not heard of in my Mamaw’s day and time unless you were rich!

But what about men who take care of their children, wives, bosses, friends, and families?  The numbers are growing on how many men raise children alone and how are young men going to learn how to be comfortable and not defensive being a "man" (and no that is not a bad word) if they do not have role models, and mentors, and become more open minded?  What if you do not think the perfect time to spend with men is in a Budweiser commercial at the Drag races? I know this is an extreme example but here in the south it is quite common…what if you like to read poetry, and play music, and paint, or just meditate and contemplate the universe?  Where do we encourage this in our modern day society?  Why is it okay for the woman to get in touch with her inner maiden with “hello kitty” houseshoes but the man cannot get in touch with his inner “rogue” playing video games or buying star wars collectibles? 

I say this because you get a group of women together and more often than not you will hear references to men…just being more immature than women.  That men, waste money on toys and don’t seem to care about childrearing like we do.  It is like we women, force men into a role that they themselves might not want to be pushed into.  If women do not like to be “cookie cuttered” then why is it okay for us to force “traditional” roles on men?  I realize that in my marriage, I have to stop and re-acquaint myself with my gentle father- husband all the time because I have pre-conceived stereotypes that were fed to me by my parents and society that told me Brian has to be XYZ.  However, he is not those things.  To add to this, I have a compassionate soft spoken artistic twenty year old son who has expressed himself through clothing and words since he could articulate his mind.  His ambiguity when it comes to sexual roles worried me at first, only to find me expanding and realizing that sexual roles are just that ”costumes” and that one size does not fit all.

Did you know that I do not hear my baby Cayden cry in the middle of the night?  My husband does, and no he does not wake me up to take care of him he gets up cuddles and swaddles his son and rocks him back to sleep.  Did you know that he has taken Cayden to the doctor alone more than me because if he does this I have time to color my hair and do my nails?  He does that so I have ME time.  Now, you can say that means I am a “less than mom” and he is a “better than dad” but I will argue with you we are doing what works for us as people and as a family unit.  We have gotten to the point where doing what we are, is more important than what others think.  My husband really has longed for a Pagan Men’s retreat for a long time now.  Last year, he finally got a “fathering ritual” at the age of forty. He has two other children from a previous marriage, one twenty one the other twenty two and he has been a practicing pagan and a Highpriest for at least twenty years. That is took him that long to get this rite of passage I found dumbfounding and sad.

This weekend, he and my oldest son are going to a Pagan Men’s retreat called Brothers of the Sun <>  our church , Temple of the Sacred Gift-ATC is co-sponsoring it with the only Pagan’s we knew in the area that celebrated the Male aspect of Paganism as much as the Female aspect, Southern Delta Church of Wicca-ATC.  Rev. Terry Michael Riley has since 1993 been a legal ordained minister of the Pagan community with a Church.  He fought for the rights of Pagans and it was documented in the March for Ft. God video < >.  He is a pioneer and courageous in ways I can only hope to become and yet for several years now in the woods he has continued to have a small men’s mysteries retreat.

Two years ago, when I met Rev. Terry Riley he told me he had a manuscript lying around that he had not gotten published but rejected everywhere he turned, and that he was ready to give up on since no one seemed interested.  I asked him the topic, and he told me men’s mysteries and the relationship of Men to the God and the Goddess energies.  I could not believe that he had such an important book tucked away and that no one wanted to publish it!  So I asked him to look at it and edit it and I would study on how to get it published, I knew in my bones it was important and like everyone I know I love helping people.  I formed a self publishing company (Heka House), took my income tax refund and published the book named aptly BROTHERS OF THE SUN: THE PAGAN MEN”S MYSTERIES (hey it is a great book you should read it and purchase it for every male pagan you know!).  We (Terry, Brian and I) felt the book was integral to the future of Paganism and addressed a common complaint that was never addressed and always ignored.  I have never been prouder than to help assist a person publish something I feel was important.  I have never felt more amazed to realize that with helping fund a Men’s Pagan retreat in a nice facility that we are starting a rock solid tradition we can leave behind to future generations.

If we, the women, do not back our men then who will?  Is the consort not just as important as the Goddess?  You bet he is!  I pray that this Brother of the Sun retreat will help heal some of the wounds caused in this community by not treating our the male energy as "equal to" not "greater than" the female energy.  I pray that it starts a legacy that teaches and instructs our men on how to be better at being themselves.  I hope that it helps each of them find a part of themselves they forgot about, that they make new friends and come home exhausted yet refreshed.  Do I believe I finally listened to the universe?  You bet you I did!  Will I ever truly understand what the men in the Pagan community are expressing…maybe not, but I am taking a baby step in the right direction.  That is all I know how to do, and I pray my Brothers give me a break and know I wish them the best! But if you are a male Pagan, and all you do is complain about the differences and do nothing to support a local festival and movement to help your own, then do not complain...hush up.  You cannot complain about the President of the United States if you do not vote!

How do you all feel about the men learning how to be more comfortable being themselves and finding themselves?  How pivotal do you feel this is to men and future men in our Pagan communities? 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"They ate supper before they said Grace!"

I am writing this article to respond to the emails readers are sending me.  Yes,  I now have regular Blog readers and people that claim me to "like me" on Facebook or Twitter!  Yeeee haaaa! (giggles)  It seems that a lot of you are interested in my personal path, which is Egyptian, and since you are interested in this path  you are asking me where should you start, and what with.  Since I do not have a problem sharing, my deities but not my husband, I decided to answer this question here because if some of you are interested...then maybe there are a couple more tucked away out there in the vast internet universe?

Where do I start? <------This is the number one question I am being asked.  I believe you should always start by reading a book of mythology, and I am recommending two books here: Egyptian Mythology A guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt, by Geraldine Pinch and Egyptian Mythology by Veronica Ions.  You can read thousands of books on Egyptian Mythology, these are not particularly slanted toward paganism but they are more in-depth and I feel do the best job of gathering the scattered stories from all the sources and explaining to you where they come from, what the differences are, etc.  That being said let me explain why I am not recommending The Book of the Dead (any version) as a start off point. 


The Book of the Dead is a series of writing that are spells and incantations for people who have crossed over or have died already. These spells are to be said over the dead body while prepared for death (we would call it embalming) and are left with the body so that their soul part the BA *((the Egyptians/Tamerians believe that the soul had five parts this is the part that looks like a bird and can see and read after dying)) can read those texts as a “cheat sheet” if need be.  Originally, it was believed that only the royal house and special “wealthy aristocrats” could go to greet Osiris and thus in the beginning these scrolls were prepared for them.  Please remember in Ancient times, that the majority of people could not read or write.  It was believed that after you died, you would go through a series of trials or meet deities in whom these recitations/spells would be important and so it was that you studied these and memorized them so that at death you would know what to say when faced with Anubis, or Osiris, or Maat. 

The Egyptians were not fixated with Death they were into celebrating life!  They did not dwell in morbidity, they believed in the principal that Death was a total rebirth (another life).  I realize a lot of this sounds like the modern Western and Eastern religions you know a lot about now: the afterlife, reincarnations, preparing bodies for death, immortality, the soul, but keep in mind this religion is much older than modern times and has influenced it heavily.  So why not the Book of the Dead?  Well, it may sound cool and seem interesting but unless you understand the stories of these Gods and Goddesses and put together a bigger picture and a relationship between them and us…well the Book of the Dead really is just “mumbo jumbo” and makes no “real sense”.  It also might throw you because it was written for a "special class" of people and we all know that none of us are Pharoahs today.  Though, let it be stated my personal opinion is that you should NEVER commit to a Pantheon or religion if you do not accept its stance on "what happens to you when you die".

So, you tell me you have always been fascinated by my religion and you want to learn more.  Here is my response, and it is sincere and with the best intention.  I am going to share with you where to start and you should realize that this is a  “baby step” just a starting point but "baby steps" are essential to finding yourself miles down the path.  When you are a “newbie” at anything in life, including a new pantheon it is overwhelming and many times you do not know where to “start”.  You want all the Gods and Goddesses, all the tools, and to tell the world this is your path because it is a lot like falling in love.  But like love, you should take your time there is no reason to rush...the Gods and Goddesses are not going anywhere, be certain, and give it your whole attention and disciplined mind and please realize if you just started last month there is no way you are an expert.  Spiritual paths take years and years of practice and application as does magick (and that don't mean a couple of years but that is a great start!).

Do you remember when you first “saw” a person that you found yourself attracted to?  They caught your eye, they were the only person you really noticed in the room.  You started to notice your eyes and your attention focusing back on that person over and over again.  Then you went up and approached them and talked to them, you both have exchanges through conversation.  You noticed the details about them, their eyes, their hands, their hair, their smile, the sound of their voice, how they smell, etc.  Then you asked for their phone number, or Facebook page, and you started to call them and talk, or text and flirt, or chat box and get to know them better, you started to build “from scratch” a person of your own making for you to desire (yep, you make them who they are to you!).  They give you information for you to add into the correct place or slot in your mind so that they become real to you.  The information they give you are details like...where they graduated high school from, where they were born, how old they are, how many siblings they have, how many marriages or divorces, children if they have them, likes and dislikes (favorite foods, colors, music, hobbies, extracurricular activities).  Before you know it, you are “in love” and the next thing you know you are “becoming intimate” physically with this person, and you wake up next to them in bed (or it could be the floor or sofa, you know what I mean),

I am sharing this analogy with you because it is the accurate and the perfect analogy for a person looking for a “new spiritual path” or getting to know a “new deity”.  You are falling in love with a God or Goddess.  You cannot love them all at one time, so you choose one.  You read all the stories to find one, the one that catches your attention is…THE ONE (just like the person in a crowd that you noticed).  You then spend time fleshing out that deity, find out its likes, dislikes, holidays, relationships to other deities, find out about what kind of magick they are good at, what they are famous for, their names their titles, favorite colors the element they are associated with. (you are starting a spiritual dialogue with this deity like talking to a human face to face). Then you go buy a representation of them (usually a statue), you set up an altar for just them, and you start doing magick with them or praying to just them.(this stage is equivalent to waking up in bed next to a person you were courting and enamored with).  You will find yourself laying out “offerings” for them, talking to them all the time, making “sacrifices” (many times offering a personal compromise or giving up something for them), and the next thing you know you are changed forever.

Now, I am not telling you just because you are interested in the Egyptian path and might find one deity you feel drawn to (I am going to use Anubis as an example) that this means that he will be the GOD that you will forever be with.  That would be like telling you that every person you find yourself attracted to and having a relationship with is your “happy ever after rainbows and butterflies”.  You and I both know life don’t work that way.  Anubis could be the “one” though, you never know.  On the other hand, he might just be the God that is introducing you to the other Egyptian deities, or he might just be helping you realize you are really Pagan, or it could be that he is essential to helping you realize the relationship between life and death, or he could want to introduce you to his half- brother Horus, or his mom Nephythys you never know. Just like every person we fall in love with, might no be the “one”. But they might introduce us to the “one” or they might just be an essential lesson we need to learn so that we can be better people and be better at a relationship when we do meet a person we can settle down with.

Ten years, twenty years later, thirty years later, you might stop long enough to contemplate your path and be tickled to death to realize Anubis has walked with you that long, and loved you through it all….and you are happier than a pig in a pigpen.  Who knows?  But, you will never figure that out…if you do not open a book of mythology first, and figure out who Anubis is; rather than depend on a Hollywood or bad Scifi movies to define him for you. You, and only you, can do the work and research and practice that it will take to get to know Anubis.  I can relate a few things about him to you, I can even give you “hints” to point you in the right direction, but when it comes down to it…I cannot make you put in the time, money, effort, or energy into building a relationship with deity, just like I cannot “force” you to date someone and really listen to them and get to know them.

I hope this analogy helped you, no one shared anything like this with me when I was starting out I was just given a syllabus and a “way of doing things” and it was after many years that I came to figure out that there was a much more simple organized way of approaching deity if you tried. I pray these books are the keys that opens up the door to wherever it is you are meant to go; and I also hope you realize that our “myths” are no different than any other spiritual books they are analogies, metaphors, and sometimes true regurgitation of events and are what draws you to a deity because you begin to realize they too walked the earth like you and experienced loss, happiness, pleasure, excitement, wandering, acquired skills, etc.  I also want you all to know, that my email box is always open…as is my heart.   

Thank you for the gift of your time!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Why are you getting schoolin' to figure out who you are? You never see a squirrel askin' why do I gather nuts?"

I have done Magick for as long as I can remember, but I have prayed twice as much as I have ever performed Magick.

Everyone has dreams.  Dreams evolve as you grow.  When you are a little toddler you may dream of joining the circus and riding barebacked ponies, when in kindergarten you may dream to become a movie star; in junior high you may start to dream of being a rock star, in high school you may start to dream of falling in love forever, in college you might dream that you want to become a professor, then after you graduate you may dream of owning your own home, later in life you may dream of traveling overseas…and so the dreams cycle and the merry-go-round turns round and round as you yourself spiral toward a destination.

Dreams are what motivate us to accomplish things; or they can be what devastate us when we “wake up” and realize that for us we do not want to invest the time, the effort, or even pursue what we previously thought was so desirable.  I know I am glad I did not become a bareback pony rider, or meet and get married to the love of my life before high school.  In fact, if any dream I had before the age of thirty had “really become actualized” I would not be writing a blog today; I would not be married to my very handsome wonderful Pagan husband, and I definitely would not have my youngest child Cayden Donovan.  In other words, the years of yearning and longing and plotting, scheming charting and trying different roles and paths on before a certain age was necessary to keep me motivated and walking further down the path but would not be; and have not become the dreams I “woke up” and found myself committed to.

Sometime you stumble upon your dreams…..not looking for them, not planning them out, just listening to the wind in the form of spirit as it whispers in your ear while you are sleeping, as it strokes your hand lightly when you need comfort, as it motivates you to go out and find others who “believe as you do” because something important is going to happen and you are a player in the bigger picture.  A lot of times, when you command dreams they dissipate, but when you are not looking for them they materialize and the next thing you know you have become one with the dream that the God/Goddess had in mind for you before you were ever conceived.  The Gods “choose their own” it has been said during the centuries; and I have to say (that from my perspective) I think they have a wonderful sense of humor.

Did you know that I am a brand new “legal Wiccan/Pagan Clergy”?  Yep, that’s right.  This means that people expect me to know more than I do; and be more perfect than I can possibly be and so I find myself constantly scrambling for information, trying to educate myself better on marriages, relationships, rites of passage, how to listen and communicate better, what impact divorce has on families, the dynamics of small groups, and the list goes on and on.  Like most Wiccan/Pagan Clergy I do not receive an income for what I do; at least in the form of a paycheck with insurance benefits and tangible 401K.  I did not seek out to become a Wiccan Clergy.  It really never ever crossed my mind, not until my husband and some friends of mine mentioned they wanted to start a Legal Wiccan Church.  The various combinations I had been trying out on the “universal locker” clicked; and doors opened and I have never been the same since.

I am a reader, learner, accumulator of knowledge much like the scribes of old.  I love to sit at the feet of teachers and receive their sacraments; I practice what I learn until it becomes second nature or makes my brain explode one of the two.  I have always been driven to the point of near madness in any pursuit much resembling a wild stallion with blinders on.  It is my nature; it is how I am “made”.  When I realized sitting with my comrades and lover that night that the dream of starting a new Wiccan church was something they longed and yearned for; information I had read and acquired over the years came into place.  I invited them over, and shared with them through the stack of materials, print outs, websites, books, and legal documents, how one started a Legal Wiccan church.  I had the information and “the know how”, they had the passion and the dream.  The only thing I did not consider was that to turn that key in the lock of a door would mean that I would become Clergy.

When I realized, after sending out applications to various organizations to make that dream a reality that I would become legal Clergy I panicked.  I did not become excited, I did not “thrill in the power that would now be mine” (you hear people refer to this power all the time and I still scratch my head over it), I cried.  Yep, I cried.  I argued and shook my fist at my Goddess Isis telling her this was not what I had planned for myself.  I told her I did not want more responsibility, or to live my life “under a microscope”.  I reminded her that the “this was not a dream” of mine, but of others.  I thought she ignored me, instead she sent me to other Clergy and Elders in the area (and them to me) that “coddled me, comforted me, instructed me, took me in, and gave me their love, wisdom, and time liberally”.  I have been, and I am still am, fortunate enough to be taught by and surrounded by examples of what “Clergy” is and should be for this Midsouth community and for the world at large.

I am fortunate enough, to sit back and listen to and accumulate the dreams of Elders and founders of other Wiccan churches and sometimes lucky enough to get the opportunity to make them physically materialize.  I have become blessed enough to know very well the originators of many of the dreams that have become solid in this area in the form of “ethics, philosophies, covens, churches, temples”.  I have met in the flesh some of the “fore-runners” who put their lives on the line for my faith, whose families were threatened and yet still survived, who have kept on keeping on and have never let the fire die or the passion for their Gods. These people are one of the main reason I stopped “rebelling” against my Goddess and started “listening to her” more.  If you do not become humbled in the face of “true heroes and heroines” then you are made of materials that are not what I want to partake of.  Once you stop “rebelling and resisting” you start to relax and accept whatever it is you are meant to be.

I pray that I never ever have to put myself or my family in any physical danger to practice my religion; but it could happen.  I pray that no one I know that is Pagan or Wiccan ever has to lose their child in a custody battle because our religion is not “recognized or acknowledged as equal to” other religions in the United States. I pray that there becomes occult stores open in every town, so that people who practice our path can easily gather and buy supplies without worries and persecution. I pray that our path becomes less “Disney witchy” or “Hollywoodized” and more solid and walked which would make it more of a religion than a spiritual path.  Because I believe that our path walked will naturally transform this planet….how could it not?  It transformed me, and thousands before me.

I pray that I learn to accept and become comfortable with the “role” that has been given to me as a precious gift and that I “share the sacraments of the Gods and Goddesses” freely and naturally with others. I pray every day, that I learn to serve better the needs of others and that I listen more and struggle less.  I pray for all that I know that are ill, for those who I love dearly that are going through transitions, I pray for a new budding community that is shooting up faster than I can keep up with.  I pray, not because I am holy, but because I know I have “no idea” clearly on what to do most of the time.  I pray because I have faith, that my Goddess Isis chose me for a reason I cannot comprehend and that when I do not know what to do (which is almost every day) that she will step in and show me what to do; or point me to the knowledge I need so that I can help someone get a leg up.  I pray because prayer is what has gotten me through the deserts in my life.  I have faith that is so strong that I am reminded that I am as “stubborn as a mule” but that this is the faith that can “move mountains”.

Last night, a best girlfriend of mine called me and I found myself crying not only on the inside for her but on the outside.  She is not only going through a tough time, but she is being pushed by her Gods to try on a “new role” and I know that it will be so much better for her than what she even comprehends (because I have been there many times myself). I cried because I also know that it will be so much harder for her than what she previously knew.  I wish I could have held her in my arms, pulled her up in my lap, laid her head on my shoulder and patted her on the back and told her…”it is all going to be okay”.  I told her this verbally, but a voice is a poor substitution for physical touch.  I can only do so much for her over the phone, listen, tell her what she needs to know and hear, send her letters, cards of encouragement, check on her constantly, pray for her incessantly…but maybe that is all Isis wants me to do.  It is all my limited human brain can think of; but I know if I pray and listen Isis will share with me the “perfect thing” for my friend.

Sometimes you wake up from a dream to realize you are living a dream that is bigger than you and more than you could ever conceive of ; in that moment give thanks because if you find yourself in that situation realize that the divine wants better for you than you could ever want for yourself.  No human is perfect, life ain’t easy, and dreams can’t be commanded, but if you pray and ask…you will receive guidance.  I am so happy to know that underneath the thick batter of religion one thing we all share is the Power of Prayer. 

Thank you for the gift of your time, and I pray that you will never forget how power-full Prayer can be!