A water-themed deck like this is replete with symbolism:...
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As an integral part of many people's lives across the world, religion naturally intersects with just about every other aspect of society: politics, entertainment, morality, law, etc. This week, for Faithful Friday, we take a look at some of the ways religion impacts our lives outside of purely denominational settings. Join us as we look at the politics of religion in the United States, the way in which religion (and other strong ideologies) affect scientific progress, and even how the popular sci-fi franchise Star Wars is impacted by religious values.
"A goddess!" I exclaimed, as I approached a large rounded feminine figure in the National Museum of Ethiopia.
"No!" A man's voice echoed throughout the room.
When he noticed people's glances upon him, the museum guide lowered his voice: "That piece is a very, very old", he said hesitantly. "It is pagan. She comes from the Oromo people, the largest ethnic group here in Ethiopia."
I could not peel my eyes off the figure. The unexpected discovery piqued my interest.
"Does she have a name?" I asked hopefully.
Instead of answering my question, the guide told me about Ethiopia's most famous woman:
Over the past few weeks I've been examining my practice with the Elements. It is one of the core pieces of magic I teach in the Reclaiming Tradition.I revisit this work every so often as a teacher and as a student. In my last two post I talked about my explorations with Air and my connections with Fire. Now it's time to dive into some deep Water.
Immersing myself in Water -...
Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltain, Litha, Lammas, Mabon--the eight points in the year that we stop and celebrate the seasons. In the six to eight weeks between each Sabbat, changes have been taking place--some so subtle that you might not be aware of them. The nights get longer--or shorter--by only a minute each day. The weather warms up, or cools down. One of the things that the Sabbats call us to do is to stop and look at the changes that have taken place. It's a time to regroup, reflect, and plan ahead. So in addition to the celebrations, family traditions and seasonal crafts, it's a good idea to spend some time grounding or balancing yourself to deal with the season that's coming up. It's not hard to do. It just takes a little time, a little quiet, and some concentration.
In about two and a half weeks we'll arrive at the Spring Equinox. It's time for those things that were stirring to life at Imbolc to "spring" up--thanks to a warmer environment and nurturing Spring rain. The element of water is considered by many people to be the mother of us all. Think about it. Life started in the sea. And what about you? You floated around in your mom's tum for months, breathing, eating, and growing in water. About 80% of the human body is made of water! People really feel it when water is missing in their lives. Periods without rain--droughts--can cause failed crops and wildfires (we've seen that in the past year in Australia, and over here in the state of California). But just like everything else, balance is essential. Too much water kills plants, animals and people. Flooded areas can breed danger and disease. Remember Hurricane Katrina? That happened several years ago, but the people of New Orleans are still recovering from an overdose of water....
What do they do in winter, the women of the waters? In our Land of Ten Thousand Iced-In Lakes, do they sleep burrowed deep like turtles or frogs? Do they dream in suspended animation, frozen in ice, like fish? Or do they slowly swim beneath the ice, haunting with their singing the fisherman in his lonely ice-house?
It seems as if everyone knows them: mermaids, nixies, necks, nereids, víly, rusalki, we call them. Every spring, every pond, every lake, has its own, they say, and some lakes many. Old in the land, the Anishinabe—known to the Cree, who spoke a related but unintelligible language, as Chippewa, “mutterers”—call them nebaunaubaequaewuk. Everyone agrees that their beauty is a dangerous beauty.
They take people, and children in particular; in our own day, people are taken. In summer they sing and dance, especially on nights when the full moon floats like a shining lily on every lake. Our attraction is a mutual attraction, and many stories tell of the handsome youth or maid who goes to live with them and is never seen again. Sometimes they marry humans, but such matings rarely end well. Although we reflect one another, in the end, the People of the Land and the People of the Waters are different peoples, other.
In today's Watery Wednesday we are concentrating on the Element of Water -- literally! A Viking-style burial at sea; bottled water and the California drought; coastal cities under threat due to sea-level rise; thirstiest plants; California water witches; and swimming the wild waters of New York City.
A recent Viking-style burial drew attention from Heathens and Pagans who'd like to do likewise. The Wild Hunt's Cara Schultz has the story.
Uh-oh. Many of the major bottle water companies are based in drought stricken parts of the country -- primarily in California. Check out the map (and the story) here....