15 years ago I found myself walking down the streets of downtown Chicago on my way home from an English class. It was my first week of classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and I was experiencing the culture shock of moving from small town Iowa to downtown Chicago. On that afternoon, I'd finally gotten to the point of being comfortable enough to talk to a young man I'd spent the nights before listening debate philosophy with a few others. I was so paralyzed by social anxiety in those days that I was certain I was developing an ulcer, and later another friend had expressed shock over me not actually being mute as he believed when he first met me. However, this was the first time I'd had a chance to sit and listen to philosophy and political discussions between my peers that didn't involve Christianity or the Matrix. Like many college freshman, this sudden arrival of discussing thought was a whole new world ripe with possibilities. We were adults.
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
I want you to know how much you mean to me. How much my life has changed and become fuller simply in the knowing of you. There are so many ways in which you have shown me your love and understanding and for these I am eternally grateful. And, as I sit here writing this to you, my beloved, memory of you floods through my being....
Continuing my story of my personal journey, I found Red Rock Park to be a healing place. Red Rock Park near Las Vegas, Nevada, is a popular hiking, rock climbing, and picnicking destination where one can view petroglyphs. I often meditated in a shallow cave I named the Yoda Hole. The trailhead to the rock climbing area with many small caves is on the first overlook of the scenic road in the park.
The image that accompanies this post is a photo of the the Yoda Hole. It was pristine when I used to visit it for healing in the 90s, but had been defaced with graffiti at the time I took this picture. The circular design in the middle of the cave roof is natural, and I liked to position my head under it when I meditated.
A quote from my memoir:
“When my feet touched the red rock I felt power go through me. It was like plugging into a socket. My energy level skyrocketed, and I found my pace quickening. I walked right out onto the promontory of calico stone and sat down, my hands caressing the deep red stone. At the same time that I realized this was the first stirring of psychic power I had felt in a long time, and I reveled in the feel of the power coursing through me from the rock, I also wondered what it was in the rock that set it apart and made it powerful. Was the red color from iron, like rust? If so, was what I felt as magical power actually a magnetic field?"
The red color is, in fact, from iron. Meditating in the Yoda Hole and hiking in the park improved my health. I became able to sense other minds again, including the gods. The gray lifted from me, and there was color in the world again.
There was once a young witch who fell in love with a cowan, and they decided to marry.
Now, in those days people felt strongly that if you married out, you had to leave the Craft. But there you were, it was love and no price seemed too high. The date was set, the banns were read. On the chosen day, the church filled up with people and the witch and her intended stood before the altar.
But just as the priest is about to pronounce them man and wife, crash! the door flies open and a broom comes sailing in. First it knocks the old priest over the head, then it chases the boy out of the building, and next thing you know, there it is again, back for more. Everyone was terrified, and they all got out of there as fast as they could.
So they picked another date, and the banns were read for a second time. The church fills up with even more people, come to see the fun, and the service begins. But this time, just before they start, they lock the door.
Since the Beginning of everything, the universe has been in a boiling state of turmoil. Stars are born, only to eventually explode and turn into pulsars and black holes. Galaxies whirl and smash into each other because of massive imbalances which result in constant movement. Movement is life. Life is change.
It is the business of each one-celled organism in the ocean to seek its own bliss—its own dharmic balance. The same is true of all fish, all mammals, all reptiles and birds. It is likewise our business as human beings to seek our own bliss, each of us striving to find our proper work and function in life that will bring us perfect satisfaction and tranquility—for only in that way can we make our most complete contribution to the whole. If all life on earth could achieve dharma, then world Dharma would automatically result....
In today's Faithful Friday roundup we've got: Pagan sex on the HuffPo; preaching to the robots?; the first Tibetan monastery in the USA; Irish druids; Manannan Mac Lir statue stolen and to be replaced.
Yesterday's Huffington Post live chat on Pagans and sex included Pagan blogger Black Witch; Rev. Amy Blackthorn; Lasara Firefox Allen; Oberon Zell-Ravenheart; and Carol Queen.
In earlier times, this day was a celebration of women's pro-creative power — our body-centered power to renew life, and the pleasure of doing so!
This poem, unearthing Celtic, Roman, and heretical Christian strands weaving through Valentine's Day, begins...
This Valentine came in the mail today —
the fe-male, that is:
Greetings from history in women's terms.
Valentine Day's is a fraud, of course, you know that,
Hall-marked and carded as it is for commerce.
But more than that:
The boy himself's a fraud.
St. Valentine's a fiction, the convenient invention
of some grim Christian churchmen.
...and comes to you complete with historical notes, such as
and where the fever starts:
Words such as fever, febrile, and February have their origin in Februata as an epithet of the Great Goddess.