9/30/14

I stopped running in circles.

Waxing Hunter's moon (Age 6 days)
Sign: Sagittarius
Weather: Fair skies, exceptionally warm
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I suppose I should make this kinda official. It's going to make some changes going forward, I'm more then certain of that. At the Equinox, I said yes to Freyr. I honestly don't know what to expect going forward. He tells me that this is a good thing because I won't have preconceived notions getting in my way. I am a touch anxious about all this. He and Loki have deemed this to be adorable, with Freyja at one point chiming in that adorable really wasn't strong enough.

I suppose it is a good sign when Freyr's sister says this is a good thing. Sigyn and Loki decided to sit me down at the kitchen table to have a very frank discussion about marriage with deities. And yes, that even included a rendition of the birds and bees. I was stammering for a good portion of my part of the conversation and looked about the color of a tomato for most of it. Still, I am going to go forward with this.

As unconventional as it might sound, I have come to love him. It's not the starry eyed infatuation kind of love. It's more like realizing that you've been in love with your best friend since 4th grade kind of thing. (Yes, that was Beloved and I, and everyone did say 'it took you long enough.') I've been feeling terribly unprepared for all of this. 

Freyr has been bubbling with delight over it all. It gives me warm fuzzies to be the reason why he has that huge grin plastered on his face. He looks so lovely when he smiles. It's been a lot of meditation, prayer, and divination for the past year (approximately). In the course of it all, Freyr keeps making clear that he wants me to be his bride. It's all a very awkward thing for me to say. 

But, that's the big news from my neck of the woods. He's been telling me that he's been planning the rites for the last year. I honestly don't know what to expect from that. Odin's been making his presence known more over the last few weeks. He was more then delighted with my accepting Freyr's proposal.

The All-Father seems to be of the mind that this will lead me farther along the path of who I am supposed to be. Some days, I wonder if he and Loki sit there and play matchmaker. One of those things where it's not the womenfolk who are nudging people towards each other but the menfolk, with all the same glee. But, what do I know, I'm not a god.

9/22/14

Joyous Mabon!

Waning Harvest Moon (Age: 27 days)
Sign: Virgo
Weather: Cool, cloudy with light breezes
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Today is the Autumnal Equinox. I wish I could report that I celebrated Mabon with great festivities but it was just an ordinary Monday at my house. The only special things I did was collect a bouquet of flowers and bake a loaf of bread. I have been finding that the turning of the seasons has brought a good deal of a shedding of dead weight from my life.

Acting upon the deep urges to prepare for the coming Winter, I have been taking stock of my pantry and working on restocking it with supplies for hard weather. My urges to preserve food have been culinary failures recently. I'm not going to give up, however, because I am convinced that I can get at least one batch of sauerkraut going before the weather turns rough. I have also been busily at work making gifts for Yule. 

I think I'm about half finished with the list of things I have yet to make. I also have gotten back to work on my spinning. I went to the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival yesterday. While I was there, I bought a French spindle and some Icelandic sheep's wool. Like the last batch of Icelandic sheep's wool, I'm going to spin it up to make something for Freyr. 

Speaking of the god, he has been much on my mind of late. Partly because I see the waning of the greenery about me and I feel his absence like an ache. Partly because he has been walking through my dreams quite a bit. When I gave him the first slice of bread that I cut off the loaf I made, I could feel him with me. I sensed he was amused by the scraggly bouquet and appreciative of the bread. I didn't have much time to commune with him at that moment because the house was very busy with two little boys causing mischief.

It is a strange thing for Freyr to be both absent and present at the same time. If I try to figure it out, it gives me a bit of a headache. I just have to accept it as a Mystery. I've also been having dreams of Odin. The one I had last night leaves me a touch chagrined, as the All-Father sternly told me to stop pussy-footing about what Freyr is asking of me. I think it is not mere coincidence that the clasp of the necklace with the Stag on it suddenly started causing an allergic reaction (which it never did before) and I went back to the necklace with the Greenman charm. Freyr seems to prefer it on me. I got it into my head that I should switch to the Stag when the season began to turn. 

Looking back on it, I suppose it was a measure of indulgence that Freyr didn't have the cord snap or the silver rings that I had been wearing for him fall off before now. I think that my time of being headstrong has come to a close and I need to just take the plunge. When I last dreamed of Freyr, he asked me what I was so afraid of. I confessed that I was afraid of rejection and he laughed at that. (He has a beautiful laugh. It was awkward to be both thrilled to be the cause of it and embarrassed at the same time.) I was then told to tell him what I really was afraid of. 

So, I told him that I was also afraid that all of this was wish fulfillment or my losing my mind. Again, he chuckled. Then he told me that this was closer to the mark. He asked me a third time and I answered, in frustration, that I was afraid I was going to screw up. He didn't laugh at me that time. Instead, his expression turned solemn and he told me that I was being afraid of illusions. He asked me if I was tired of running from them. I didn't exactly have words to respond but somehow he knew the answer to that question was yes. Apparently my fear of not being up to the task, losing my mind, and rejection in this case are all masks of something else. 

Looking on it all now (with Loki tapping his foot and glaring at me) I suppose I have to admit, I'm afraid of this change. I have no idea what this change will bring me and that scares me. It's been about a year now since I've stopped running from Freyr long enough to just be with him. He's all gentleness and kindness. Except when he's not. But even when he's not handling me with kid gloves, he is still loving and keeping me in high regard. This terrifies me almost as much as the actuality of my impact upon my children does.

I told Freyr that I would pledge myself to him on a temporary basis back at the Vernal Equinox. He gently prodded me on the matter at the Summer Solstice. Now, I guess I have to make my decision. Loki assures me that Freyr is not playing a game here, unless it's for 'keeps'. Odin and Loki both are of the opinion that Freyr is good for me. Dea has been quiet, giving me her sphinx smile when I ask her what to do. I want to step forward into his arms, but I get frozen with fear.

I suppose it is a good thing that he's patient, though that patience is waning. I get the very clear impression, regardless of what I do, he will still be here. Loki is strongly urging me not to 'friendzone' Freyr. Stargazer's whispered to me from the other side that I really need to remember what I learned with her. In all of this, I feel like a world class idiot. I swing back and forth between feeling like an idiot for daring to think that perhaps this really is happening and feeling like an idiot for not having faith. The only constant is that I feel like an idiot. It's a rather rotten place to be, honestly.

I think that I'm upon a turning point. What ever choice I make, there is no going back. That scares me too. I suppose it is a good thing that I have the ability to knuckle down and push forward despite fear.

9/15/14

Hail to the Stag that is Slain!

Waning Harvest Moon (age:21 days)
Sign: Gemini
Weather: Cool, fair skies
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It is my gnosis that deer are associated with Freyr. Just as Freyr is in the grain that is reaped at harvest, he is in the animals that are slaughtered for our supper. Freyr presides over harvest in all its forms. I also believe that he is associated with the deer that are taken in the hunt. 

It is my understanding that Freyr is the Stag that is slain to that the herd might escape and survive, and that the hunter may survive as well. In some respects, I suppose this view is influenced some by the story of the Buddha's incarnation as a deer. I don't think so, however, because the Stag is always slain in the season of harvest. His blood flows and nourishes the earth. In the spring, the spirit of this great Stag, enters into one of the young bucks and he rises to the fore of the herd. In autumn, the cycle is played out again.

That, however, is just my 0.02 on the matter.

9/12/14

The Frosts, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Accounting.

I have held my piece with regards to the issues surrounding Marion Zimmer Bradley because I felt that others who were far more knowledgeable and eloquent had addressed them better then I could have. Then, just today, I learned something about the Frosts that made me feel chagrined to have considered their work useful and daring to recommend it to students I had in the past.

It has come to my attention that the Frosts had written an initiation ritual intended for family covens that involved sexual activity for pubescent children in their highly influential work The Witch's Bible. Their supporters insist that the ritual is misprinted and that the Frosts did not intend for the ritual to include children. In all kindess, I cry bullshit on that argument. This is a book that has been reprinted many, many times. Not once of those reprints had been amended to correct the supposed mistake. The Frosts have had ample time to see and correct this 'error' and have not done so.

Indeed, their failure to correct the 'error' and their arguments that said work should be allowed to persist in its original form and be considered within the merits of 'tradition' lends one to believe that ritualized sexual abuse is condoned by the Frosts and that they believe such should be perpetuated within the Wiccan community.

This is absolutely not ok. Sexual abuse is one of the most heinous and insidious of crimes perpetrated against children. Abusers force children to participate in sex acts by ways of creating situations where the child sees no other choice. The children are not free agents in this activity but doing so under duress. Additionally, abusers who choose sex crimes as their method of abuse have the great impetuous of the social stigma that is attached to sexual abuse to force their victims to be quiet. This is in addition to what ever threats might be made or what mind games are played to coerce the victim to keep silent.

The use of initiatory rituals to force sexual activity of any sort upon another person is a direct violation of one of the most central tenants of Wicca, perfect love and perfect trust. The initiate trusts the initiator with their welfare as they prepare to undergo the rite. They trust the coven they are joining with their safety as well. Forcing them into sexual activity is repulsive and a violation of that trust. It also makes a mockery of that claimed 'perfect love' that the coven would say they extend towards the initiate.

Some people will claim that I am a 'lapsed' witch and that my positions on this 'traditional' initiation are a reflection of how far I have 'fallen' from the craft. I name those people fools and supporters of this kind of abusive behavior. It is possible to initiate someone into the craft with out forcing any form of sexual behavior upon them. If we look into the history of modern Wicca, we find that old Gerald Gardner was initiated by having a basin of water poured over him.

We have a responsibility to the younger generations of witches who are being raised within the Wiccan tradition (and all other pagan faiths) to secure their safety and create an environment that promotes their well being. The intersection of that which is holy, magical, and mundane should be a place of safety from the beginning. Only when the initiate has reached the age of consent and agreed to it, should sexual activity become part of magical or religious ritual.

If this position makes people declare me some sort of apostate or otherwise have forgotten my faith, then I wish them the luck of it. I will continue to maintain a position that the safety of children is more important then the pretty rituals you would devise. I don't care what your arguments are in favor of this. I reject them all and declare them to be anathema.

9/6/14

I don't get it.

Waxing Harvest Moon (Age: 12 days)
Sign: Aquarius
Weather: Cloudy, cool
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I accept that people want to make their religious rites more efficient. At the same time, this prepackaged communion thing doesn't sit right with me. One, I'm a bit horrified by the concept of making so much ecological waste. Two, this removes the rite farther from the group who celebrates it. It may just be my paganism showing here, but I thought that the bread and wine offered were supposed to be the fruit of the community's efforts.

While not every community can make wine, bread is something that is relatively easy to make. I can accept that there are some circumstances where bread is going to be difficult to acquire. This, however, should not stop the community at large from making an effort to 'own' the rite of communion. I see the use of purchased goods for this rite as a necessity for communities where they can't produce it on their own. At the same time, this prepackaged business just comes off wrong.

I can't help but shudder at the thought of divorcing the ritual from the community and turning it into a strictly consumed product. What I have learned of the rite of communion, in Christian settings, is that the offering is something that is given from the community to the Divine. This offering is then blessed and transmogrifies into the Body and Blood of Christ. Shouldn't the offering be something the community produced?