Saturday night we offered to Thunder.
Together we sang, danced, and prayed that He be merciful to our gathering.
Sunday night the big storm hit.
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Banaitja is the next divinity on the Atheist’s list. Unfortunately, I can find extremely little about this divinity. I know Banaitja is an Aborigine creator deity from the Northern Territories…but that is it. I can’t find whether it is a title, a name, male or female or even something else. As I was searching I kept reading about the Dreamtime. The concept caught my imagination. I offer up the following in tribute to Banaitja:
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It is twilight in the woods, neither dark nor bright, but that liminal time where moment by moment, vision shifts. I am once again at California Witchcamp in the Mendocino Woodlands, surrounded by Reclaiming Witches of all genders and generations. It is the second night of camp and we gather in a clearing to begin our evening ritual work. I have agreed to hold the role of Anchor at this ritual. Being Anchor means I will not participate as an individual, but instead will stand at the edge of the circle in a meditative state and deeply witness the energy patterns and flow being created and worked by the group. I will witness and notice and see, but not move or direct or channel the energy myself. At times, like a tent peg, I may help keep the energetic wall in which the work is being done secure, but my role is to witness and help hold stable the container for the work.
As the ritual begins, I place a thin scarf over my face, denoting my role, and I ground myself deeply into this place, this piece of Earth. I feel my energetic roots go deep and touch the energetic roots of the Redwoods ringing the clearing. I let my roots entwine with theirs, they have been anchoring this space for centuries, witnessing the comings and goings of generations of animals like us. I feel the deep ancient connection with Earth and Redwoods holding me as I hold the edge of this night’s Circle which is being cast by one of the priestesses with the help of the whole group. Connecting to Earth time, to Redwood time, helps me see a wider band of human time and space....
"Just as the acorn holds limitless oaks, the Self has limitless potential. Expanding, contracting, opening, closing, leaping, pausing, watching, knowing, asking questions…" --Womanrunes, The Rune of Self
To be a human being sitting on a rock, in the sun, feeling wind, breathing in and out, reaching. This very moment, this very experience, this very capacity to sit and see and wonder, is the soul of life.
Today is my grandma's birthday. She passed away two years ago after a short and brutal bout with aggressive pancreatic cancer. After she died, my mom and I spoke briefly about whether or not my grandma's spirit is still present with us. I’ve noticed I don’t really get the kinds of “messages” that other people seem to experience after the loss of someone important to them and my mom feels pretty certain that life is over when it is over.
“To crawfish”: to work widdershins, you might say.
This is the well-known magical technique of inversion: raising power by doing backwards what is usually done forwards.
Walking backwards. Dancing back to back. Reciting prayers in reverse.
The American crawfish (a regionalism for “crayfish”): cambarus diogenes. A freshwater crustacean (I hear they're delicious) that looks something like a mini-lobster. Unlike most fish, it moves through the water back-first: what looks to us face-firsters like backwards. How witchy is that? Small wonder it's become a magical byword.
On my last morning at Summerland Spirit festival in Wisconsin, I was talking shop with another old warlock, a dear friend and colleague who's also a co-conspirator in the upcoming Midwest Grand Sabbat. We'd made our way up to the highest point in Turtle Lake County: they say you can see 5 counties from it.
Shortly after we started making our way back down, we came across a crawfish, scuttling across the path in front of us, looking for all the world like the lobster in the Moon card.