10/15/11

Contemplitive Ramblings

Waning Blood Moon (Age: 17.4 days)
Sign: Aquarius
Weather: Cloudy & damp,
high wind warnings in effect
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Contemplation is defined as deep, reflective thought. Some contend that it is a form of prayer. Others argue that it is not. This debate really doesn't trouble me. It is a non-issue, to be honest. Those who fall on either side of this matter tend to detract from the action and its value when they decide to engage in their arguments. As such, I bow out of that discussion and this is the extent of my addition to it.

I admire the poetry and mystic writings of the Beguines. Their focus upon divine love makes me feel a deep sense of kinship with them. The poem below I find particularly resonant:
Love has subjugated me:
To me this is no surprise,
For she is strong and I am weak.
She makes me
Unfree of myself,
Continually against my will.
She does with me what she wishes;
Nothing of myself remains to me;
Formerly I was rich,
Now I am poor: everything is lost in love.

~ From Here
It is perhaps the clearest depiction of what I have experienced in my relationship with the gods. I am a free woman. I can do as I choose. I am, however, overwhelmed by the Love of the gods for me. I could theoretically choose to act against their Will. That Love, however, continually pushes me into close alignment with them. I could theoretically deny them. Love, however, puts their names in my mouth continually.

It is confusing at times. It is difficult at times. Sometimes, I do attempt to resist but I always wind up back at the same place. I always find myself in their arms. It doesn't matter if I am healthy or sick; confident or unsure; bold or frightened. I am always there in that place of deafening quiet that marks their presence. They never reject me. They never abandon me. It's simply not possible because they have laid their hands upon me and marked me as theirs.

When my life is at it's darkest and I feel most alone, they send me aid and succor. It has come in the form of unexpected kindness, a sudden upwelling of strength, and moments of crystalline clarity that strike like lightning bolts. It is hard to remember this simple truth. Then they remind me.

As I struggle forward through depression (again), I will do my best to remember their kindness and love.

10/10/11

Thoughts on Invocations.

Full Blood Moon (Age: 13 days)
Sign: Aires
Weather: Mild, overcast.
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I've been reading a book titled Modern Spirituality. It focuses predominantly upon Christian spiritual writings. It has been an interesting read so far. It got me to thinking about invocations. An essay in this book discusses the name of Jesus as a vehicle for prayer. It was most enlightening to read. I had not considered this method of invocation before. It was so simple that I felt rather foolish for not having realized it existed.

The essay exhorts the reader to meditate upon Jesus as they state his name. The reader is then guided to consider the recitation of Jesus's name as entering into communion[1] with him. The author admonishes the reader not to force this feeling of intimate connection but rather to allow it to arise naturally as they engage in contemplation.

It lead me to think about my experience of invocations. I don't believe I have ever experienced anything like that. I have experienced the very direct and immediate presence of the gods, but it was like being a stone cast into a river. I've understood invocations to be a request of the presence of the one being invoked. I had never considered it as a means of experiencing their presence.

Flame-hair makes his presence known regularly. The words that meet you upon going to this online shrine for him does a relatively good job of describing one of the more common ways he makes his presence known. As I have read about the experiences of others, I'm increasingly realizing that the Sly-one and I don't have the typical deity-worshiper relationship. After all, how many people can point to Loki as one of their comforters during times of distress?

It inspires me to consider what other deities I could come to experience such a personal relationship with.

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1. I am using the term communion in terms of the 4th definition posted on Dictionary.com.

10/7/11

Mental Health & Spiritual Health

Waxing Gibbous Blood Moon (age: 11 days)
Sign: Aquarius
Weather: Fair skies, cool but seasonable
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I have been having snippets of things that I had dreamed of coming to pass. A part of me is uncomfortable with this. My discomfort is in the fact that this is something that has always marked me as something other. My psychic gifts are not some trifling thing that I can pick up or put down when ever I want. Sometimes it feels as though they're more of an affliction then a blessing.

For a while, I feared that my psychic gifts were not real. I feared that they were but another sign of madness. It took a stay in a psychiatric ward and experiencing strong medication for me to realize that my psychic gifts were real and entirely separate from my mental illness. So many people assume that you are lying when you tell them the truth about something like this. It is a sad world we live in to have such a jaded approach to everything.

Gods and goddesses associated with madness seem to think I'm a 'good kid' and have proven to be a powerful source of comfort as I struggle with my illness. It is amusing to see how so many 'normal' people portray these gods and goddesses as villains or buffoons. It's like looking at a cartoon and having people tell you that the cartoon is what the real image looks like. Mice do not wear gloves and red shorts with suspenders. Clark Kent isn't really Superman.

I have been working to build more compassion for myself in my life. It is very telling when I have the Norse God of Chaos telling me that I have been too hard on myself for too long. Or that it is alright to admit my fears and there is no shame in weeping when grief overrides me. This compassion is not something that is the 'textbook' image of Loki. And that's ok. The people who were writing the 'textbook' failed to look beyond the Christianized sources and propaganda against the old pagan faiths.

I suspect that my relationship with Flame-Hair is more like what there was back in the old days.

10/2/11

A Creation Myth & More

Waxing Blood Moon (Age: 6 days)
Moon Sign: Sagittarius
Weather: Cool, cloudy & rainy
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So I've been meditating upon things such as how the world came to be. It has lead to some writing that I believe is going to prove helpful to someone out there in the world. As such, I submit it here. Please, if you are going to quote this (or any of my work), give proper credit where it is due.
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The Birth of the Universe

Long before the beginnings of mankind or life upon our planet, there was No-thing. No-thing was a paradox. Vast yet a quantum singularity. Gross matter yet sentient. Alone yet not. From this great Nameless source came all that was, is, and yet will be.

No-thing transformed into All. From this transformation came the Pain of change, the Joy of ecstasy, and the Stillness of Death. Even now No-thing continues to be a paradox. Distinct things that are unique in their forms but also a connected whole abound where No-thing was. A dizzying array of energy and matter proliferates, but yet remain constant. Wondrous yet familiar, these paradoxes have always been. For No-thing continues to transform and in transformation remains as it has always been.
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The Descent of Gods

Upon the planet known as Earth, humans appeared after a long chain of transformation. They became aware of the aspects of existence beyond mere causality and that which they were engaged. As they considered things such as why the rain falls and from where does life begin, they began to name the Nameless.

From this act, Gods came to be. As part of the Nameless, however, they had always been. As more of the humans did this, the more the Gods grew. In time the Gods grew aware of and engaged those who called upon them. As humans forgot them, the Gods waned and diminished until their voices became faint. To those who call upon them in full faith, their voices ring out clear, as they did of old.
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The Wheel of Aeons & Existence
(Also known as the Wheel of Life.)


We are taught that all matter in a system is neither created or destroyed[1]. The same is true for energy. Just as matter can be reordered with the same component parts, so too can the energy signature of a given life form. By this process does the soul[2] transmigrate into other forms. Different forms contribute different resonances to the energy signature. These resonances manifest in the complex energy systems[3] of life forms as memories of past lives.

The transmigration of souls is described as a wheel. When the symbol of the wheel is considered in this sense, it is the Wheel of Existence. When the symbolism of the wheel is applies to the changes of time as marked by history and in the resonances of a soul, it is the Wheel of Aeons. Some call this wheel the Great Wheel or the Wheel of Birth and Rebirth, combining both symbols into one.
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These are still fairly rough. It is, however, a beginning of how I view the cosmology of my faith and how I reconcile it with what we know of the world through Science.

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Footnotes
1. The First Law of Thermodynamics: Conservation of Energy & Conservation of Matter
2. The soul is the energy signature of a given life form.
3. The thought structures of a given life form.

Rambing thoughts on Labor & the Goddess.

Waxing Blood Moon (Age: 6 days)
Moon Sign: Sagittarius
Weather: Cool, cloudy & rainy
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As I sit here in the grips of discomfort due to premenstrual cramps, I find myself reminded of labor. Labor was terribly uncomfortable but the part that was the worst was the intense distress that I felt over possibly being viewed as a coward. With each contraction, I grew more upset until I was near tears when my time to go in for the c-section came up. As the anesthesiologist was giving me the spinal block, I couldn't help crying out with fear.

I look back on that moment and I feel such a surge of pity for myself in that time. I was so wrapped up in the terror that I would be judged and found lacking. I had been struggling with depression, as I have been recently, and the night before I had argued with my husband. It came together with the wild ride of hormonal changes to create a very different situation then when my first child was born. It makes me sad that the birth of my second child was filled with such distress where as the birth of my first was a much happier event.

I find myself wondering, has the Goddess felt such fear when her time came upon her? I look at the world at large and consider the struggles of mothers to birth their children, of any species, and that question returns to me again and again. Maiden horses (mares that are birthing their first foal) require careful monitoring and soothing to help them through the experience when not in the wild. In the wild, I am sure that there are mares and foals lost due to complications that come from the distress of the mare and subsequent physical difficulties. I suspect that the same need for care and soothing would be found through out all other species in the event of the first birth, if not subsequent birthings. (I would be inclined to consider the laying of eggs as a form of birthing, given the strain it places upon the body.)

I suppose one must conclude that somewhere in the mythology of the Goddess, there is a story of her suffering in labor. Is it egocentric of me to feel compassion, if not a touch of pity, for the Lady herself? It is much like when I was contemplating Catholicism and my mind continually returned to the Passion of Christ, filling me with pity and sorrow for the suffering of Jesus. So many Christians that I know speak of the Passion (a Latin word for suffering) as a glorious triumph and remove the very real misery and terror from the event.

If Jesus was in sufficient terror to beg God the Father to alleviate his suffering, if at all possible, then wouldn't Christians recollect this? The events in the garden of Gethsemane are clearly an example of the very human experience of fear in the face of travail, in my opinion. Wiccan theology is not so very different from Christian at times. The suffering of the Goddess in labor and the suffering of the Harvest God could be argued to be in some ways parallel to the suffering of Jesus.

In all three cases, there is suffering of the flesh, the mind, and arguably the spirit. The flesh suffering pain and in two cases death are much like the suffering we endure in life. We have times where we experience pain, at times such intense pain that we are unsure if we can bear it. This would be the suffering of the mind. The terror that comes attendant upon pain or the lack of surety that comes with it is something that all humanity can recognize. I suspect that the Goddess experiences some measure of the fear that all mothers have at the time of labor, fear that their child or possibly themselves will not survive it.

For some, I am sure that fear is a brief experience. I don't think that it is all consuming but I suspect it does rear its head for all women who are birthing their first or subsequent children. I know that it laid its cold hand upon my shoulder at the time of birthing both my children, even though the experiences were as different as night and day. The suffering of the spirit is something akin to the suffering of the mind, I think. I could, however, be entirely wrong.

I had something I wanted to say but it just vanished from my thoughts after my eldest distracted me. Such is life, I suppose.