6/29/12

Pagan Blog Project: M - Magic

I'm pretty sure that everybody and their cousin are posting about this topic. Magic seems to be one of the most popular parts of modern paganism. I'm not going into talking about the 'woo' stuff. No descriptions of rituals or anything else dramatic like that. No talk of energy manipulation or anything else that is stock and trade.

If you want to see powerful magic, I've got something amazing for you. Watch children growing up. Watch seeds burst into plants and those plants stretching up to the Sun. Watch the processes of life all around you. Each of these things are magic. All of the ordinary wonders that we take for granted, take a second and recognize how amazing they are.

The statistical likelihood of life on our planet is small compared to the rest of the universe. The statistical likelihood of YOUR existence is small. There is but ONE person like you out of all of humanity. This is wonderful. It is magic at work.

6/21/12

Pagan Blog Project: L - Love

The sun rides high, this Litha and passions often do so as well this time of year. Heat and humidity can bring out the surly qualities in most anyone. That, however, is not the focus of my entry today. Today, I am writing, yet again, about love.

Love is a topic that is close to my heart. It is a wondrous and special emotion that can bring out the extremes of one's personality. Many people think of romantic love when ever the word is mentioned. Love, however, has many more facets. Let me take a moment to list the different forms of love that there are out there in the world:
  • Romantic
  • Filial
  • Platonic
  • Obsessive
  • Agape
  • Abstract
  • Self
  • Narcissistic
This is a partial list. There could be many, many more forms that could be added to the list, but that will move me away from the main point of my writing today.

I am of the opinion that our capacity for love is one of the traits that sets us apart from the other species. I believe that it is possible to describe the devotion of a pet for their owners as love, but I think it is a greater likelihood that it is pack oriented behavior projected upon the humans that is in the pets life. I don't think that this is some how diminishing the experience of love, only that we're anthropomorphizing the animal's experience and failing to consider it from their perspective.

If there can be no consensus on even one aspect of human emotion, how can we possibly begin to approach an understanding of an animal's emotions. Further more, it is an enormous act of hubris to claim that we can understand the emotions of a deity. They may speak to us but the do so in terms that we may understand. We will never fully comprehend the depth of love a deity may have for us.

Let's stop trying to play pin the meaning on the word (a lexographic version of pin the tail on the donkey) and accept that there are aspects of love that we'll never understand and are far greater then human conception. Only by accepting this can we begin to truly understand our own capacity for boundless, unconditional love.

6/18/12

Pagan Blog Project: L - Loki

At one point, I didn't dare mention Loki by name. I was fearful of him bringing utter chaos into my life. Having experienced a great deal of unpleasantness, I was more then a little gun shy about directly invoking him or mentioning him. Even when I did so by a round about way via epithets, Loki still made a significant bit of noise to make his presence felt.

I guess it was about a year and a half a go, I realized that my anxiety over getting Loki's attention was doing me more harm then good. It was a measure of 'I surrender' and a measure of 'just do what you're going to do, already!' behind my decision to mention Loki directly. Since then, I think it's happened at least once a day. Amusingly enough, life has calmed down a fair amount.

A part of me says that the random outbreaks of weirdness on the heels of mentioning Loki's name in the past was quite possibly a case of him trying to get my attention. At one point in the past, I figured that people who had an active relationship with their deity was something that happened on a special case basis. I didn't feel isolated or rejected by my gods. But I didn't have that daily chat with them kind of relationship either. To be honest, it was the daily chat relationship that I was looking for. (Oh, for a cheap laugh, I had made the typo of  'loki-ing'.)

I now have it. And it is with the deity that I had least expected it to happen with. Loki regularly makes snarky comments about life, people, and the gods. He offers me encouragement and advice when I am struggling. He exhorts me to do things that are healthful and good for me. It's like having a friend at my side. It feels a little strange to say that I am friends with a god, but if the Christians can do it, then so can I.

Loki, thank you for being here for me, even when I didn't realize that was the case.

6/4/12

Pagan Blog Project: K - Kitchen witch.

My mother had one in her kitchen. I now have one in my kitchen. I'm pretty sure that family back in the old country had them in their kitchens. The Kitchen Witch doll is a simple little luck charm. I made myself one from a corn husk doll, a bit of fabric, and a wooden spoon I had decorated and blessed a few years back.

It's a very simple little thing. I made a point of giving the doll a headscarf. I figured since the goddesses in my life have been appearing veiled, I may as well make my kitchen witch be veiled as well. All the materials I used are recycled or similarly something I had on hand.

The corn was a major portion of my lunch today and it was delicious. I cut up the other cobs for the boys to have tonight with dinner. The other husks were used to make other corn husk dolls. One was a failed attempt and got promptly put into my composting bucket. The other is out in my flowerbed as a little scarecrow.