Monday, May 21, 2012

"And the future is so bright I gotta wear SHADES..."

So the past two weeks have been a whirlwind.  Yes, Air has been present in my life….”"Who can tell the mind of the Wind? Who can catch it and hold in their hand? Who can tell where the Wind has been blowing? And who among the wise can foretell where it will go?"

As an Egyptian priestess and Air Sun sign I revel in Air its speed and invisibility it delights me filling me with spirit; but now that I have returned to my real world and real time.  I can look back, and see how important grounding is also.  The ATC (Aquarian Tabernacle Church) Arch priestess Belladonna and her Highpriest Dusty came into our stomping grounds and shared two festivals with me and our communities.  I had the fortunate experience of having them dwell in my home for a few days; teaching me, laughing with me, and loving me.  The time went fast, but the moments are imprinted indelibly on my life.

First we went to the Southern Delta Church of Wicca-ATC May Day festival.  Its theme was Getting Back to our Roots and the week was full of communities getting to know each other better, re-establishing connections, sharing our dreams, learning and laughing from one another, loving each others children’s, playing games, utilizing warrior energy, and listening to Rev. Terry Riley and Rev. Amanda Riley as they reminded us how far we had come and where our community had come from.  It was warm, it was happy, it was homehow nice to be grounded and rooted in such rich red clay soil.  Apple Oaks, Southern Delta Wicca, White Oak Raven, Temple of the Sacred Gift, Temple of the Stone (all ATC) and Summerland Grove and Temple of the Ancient Ones were all present, and working together peacefully and lovingly for the community.  Today we have this many churches, and organized Pagan communities just five years ago we had two.

What happened to make all this growth?  Why so many organizations in such a short amount of time?  Well in this area we have grown that much!  As more and more people declare their spiritual paths pagan the need has arisen for us to offer them services, counseling, rites of passages, workshops, and celebrations that correspond with our Spiritual traditions.  Traditions have been handed down, the younger generation grew up, and so it is the wheel turns and those who taught us have either crossed over or asked us to step up and so we have.  The future does not look dismal here in the Bible Belt for us Pagans it looks bright as the sun, especially after the Temple of the Sacred Gift-ATC opened its new Temple building (that is not in a home anymore) to the public!

Next, we went on to the Pagan Unity Festival, which is put together every year by Tish Owen a well known local pagan/witch/healer/psychic/published author.  The guest speakers were five star caliber:  Belladonna Leveau, Christopher Penzack, Oberon Zell, Dorothy Morrison, Raven Grimassi, and more more more!  The workshops were stellar on everything from Tarot spreads, numerology, how to make oils, candles, ritual workshops, drum workshops.  The music was out the roof with the Tuatha de Danna and Wendy Rule!  Handfastings were numerous, with Tish Owens in her NO spare time still overseeing and conducting them, the vendors top notch, and the spirit was one where all had gathered together for community and there were NO strangers amongst usfor we have come full circle and realize we are really really not alone in these parts!

I am not a camper, I prefer hotels and linen sheets to bunks and dirty floors but all of this was tossed aside to dance, and sing, and be part of rituals, do magick, learn from masters, listen to great songs, and just become part of something so much bigger than just meSPIRIT.

If you have ever wanted to go to a Pagan festival and never goneyou should.  If you have ever gone and did not like itmaybe you should try again.  The future of our Path is growing so fast, and broad, and strong!  Catch the Air!  Let the Fire warm you!  Drink in that Water!  Feel the Earth beneath your feet!  Join with kindred spirits and shed you and become a we just for a weekend.  It is nice to remember ever now and again that there is a tapestry being woven and you are a thread in that beautiful creation.

If I met you this weekend thank you for the gift of your time!  If I did not meet you these past two weeks then I hope I met you soon!  Special thanks to Southern Delta Wicca and Tish Owens and BOTH festival staffs for pulling together and off a most fabulous Festival occasion that I will never forget!  VERY very Very Special Thankyous go to my fellow pathwalkers Bella and Dusty and Wiccan! My cup runneth overplease receive a sip!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"The only way to make sense out of it, is to jump in head first."

 I used to be a "leap without looking" kind of girl, always landing on my feet but possibly fracturing my shin when I landed.  Getting the "thrill" of adrenaline; but not liking the outcome when I had not planned what to do once I had gotten there...or where ever I thought "there" was. One day my father told me that while it was "admirable that I was fearless I should be like a professional swimmer...and pause and take the time to concentrate before I dived in". 

I had a job that summer at a Restoration Hardware (incidentally it closed that summer I swear I had nothing to do with it) and in that shop there was a picture of a woman posed on a diving board.  She was looking at the water, and contemplating her "perfect dive" but she was not jumping...she was just ready.  I stared at that picture everyday at work, ringing up customers; contemplating my next twist or turn in life and reminding myself it was okay to think before I leaped because I knew there was water in the pool.  This was a different take on a concept of faith for made me think, and question a bit more; and I have liked where it has led me.

Many people are like this boy on the right of us scared to death to even dive in...what if they belly flop or land on their head?  Even worse what if they do it in front of friends or complete strangers?  Fear can be immobilizing making us not leap into the air when we know we have to because if we do not, others cannot leap (a line forms behind us) and there is no other way to get to the other side of the pool which is necessary if we are to progress.  I cannot talk you through your fears in life, I can try but you will either listen or you will not.  I cannot make you stop and contemplate diving in and how you want to dive, but I can make you think for just a second. 

Here is my second....DO IT AFRAID!  That is right, when you are afraid of something or feel yourself resisting and you know it is your turn to make a leap you have a right to be scared, it is normal to be afraid; but it is not okay to not leap.  Did you know that scientists can prove that the same part of your brain that says you are "excited" (as in anticipation you want to do a bootie shake excited) is also the same part that tells you "OH no I am scared"?  Thus, your brain labeled something, and you have a choice to either say..."I am not afraid just excited" or "No human likes the unknown but life is an adventure" or "I have a plan, and if don't work what I belly flop."  You do realize you CANNOT fail in life, only learn ways of doing things and approaching things that really do not work for you right?

I am not telling you to ignore running when you are in a dark parking lot and your gut says that guy with his hand in his coat has a gun.  I am not saying there are no "right" or "wrong" code of conduct in the universe (I am pretty sure we can compare all the religions and find common themes of rules that is the purpose of comparative religion).  I am saying When you feel your back is against the wall, and you have to leap...KNOW that the universe and your God/Goddess(s) will not have placed you there if they did not know you could leap and land just fine.

Children, are wonderful examples to us of how you take a "leap of faith" or "just dive into" a new chapter of life.  Look how this girl with no real analytical thinking closes her eyes and just goes for it!  How beautiful and natural that is, she has not been told to "be careful" or that she might "make a complete fool of herself" or that her "friends might laugh" or that she "could lose everything or die".  Sometimes adults do and say to other adults the silliest things that we have "picked up" and "mean well" but do not truly encourage our sojourners on this journey.  It is great to be cautious, and wonderful to try and plan...but do you know that Magic truly happens when you do what is necessary and just "dive right in" ?

So just for this week, when you feel fear or apprehension or anxiety rising in you remember you "label" those emotions it is not the other way around.  Tell yourself "I can do this"  and if afraid go..."I may be afraid but I will do this afraid and then I will not be afraid anymore."  After all what is the worst thing that could happen?  

When we are afraid we ought not to occupy ourselves with endeavoring to prove that there is no danger, but in strengthening ourselves to go on in spite of the danger.  ~Mark Rutherford


Thank you for the gift of your time!~