Mercury Retrograde


*cries*

Like I wasn’t already having motivation issues – in terms of communication, now this… ugghhh!!

I will get my ass in gear soon, I swear, but it’s been a bit crazy. Between working like 7 days a week, and having to go out of town on a family emergency, it’s not left me much time to have coherent thoughts of my own. Which of course makes it hard to write anything, or do anything that requires a bit of calm or focus.

I tend to celebrate on the actual astronomical dates rather than “generally accepted”, which this go around makes for an interesting combination, as it turns out Mercury is going into Retrograde starting today as well. So anyways, hope everyone has been having/had a wonderful holiday – whatever you celebrate around this time.

Hopefully soon, I will get back to our regularly scheduled program!! XD

P.S…

If you live in the USA – GO VOTE!!!!!!

 

 

 

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Quick Catch-Up Post


Being that the kiddos have been home for a couple  months, I’ve been counting the days until they finally go back to school (which thankfully was this past Monday). As is fairly typical when they’ve been home for weeks on end, my brain is generally fried at this point from the constant chaos, so needless to say haven’t been much for accomplishing much these last couple weeks. The good news is that I am spending this first week of “freedom” enjoying the peace and quiet, then hopefully I can get back to actually posting on a regular basis.

Don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but we have awesome squirrels that hang out in our yard. I know a lot of people think of them as pests, but I totally adore ours (even when they used to eat the bird seed). Plus they are super cool and like to tease the cats, which is always fun to watch. Anyways today, I found a baby squirrel in the yard – just curled up in the grass sleeping. As much as I hated to move it, I had to, otherwise said cats would have eventually gone after it.

Have called the wildlife rescue center, though hubby won’t be home for a few more hours, so there is still hope that mommy or daddy squirrel will come back and get baby. It’s the cutest little thing though, furry, but no fluffy tail yet, so it looks like an odd little chipmunk or something. We’ve got him in a box that is currently attached to a tree, so that the other squirrels can reach him, but the cats can’t.

Not an actual pic of the one we found (my camera is still totally non-functioning), but he looks almost the same. I just want to cuddle him… but I’m being good and haven’t. XD

 

Edit…

Ok coolest thing EVER!!! About 5 minutes before hubby got home – mommy squirrel came and got her baby. I was so happy!! It was funny because I was sitting on the porch waiting for my youngest to get home, and finally saw one of the older squirrels running through the yard, so I’m all talking to it like… “please go get your baby, I don’t want to have to take it away”, and darned if it didn’t meander around the yard for a couple minutes searching for the baby, then go to where we had the box, grab the little one by it’s tail and scamper up the tree back to the nest.

Just goes to show patience really is a virtue – as most rescue sites said to call after more than a couple hours or so, and in this case we’d had the baby for over 8 hours. I’d even called off work – which by the way I HAVE THE BEST BOSS AND CO-WORKERS IN THE WORLD!!! Just really glad it all worked out in the end.

 

 

Wow… Is It That Time Already?


Seriously, I have no idea where the time went this month. I had a few things to post, and then just somehow never got around to it – Mercury reverse throttling into retrograde on the 14th didn’t really help matters either. So after a bit, I think I just gave up making any sort of coherent posts for most of the rest of the month. Thankfully we are nearing the end of that mess, and with any luck my brain will commence functioning again.

In the meantime, just wanted to let you all know that I was still around. Will post something relevant soon, I promise!!!

❤ ❤

 

(H) Hexes


So… the other day, after about 40 years of allowing it to be used freely among the Pagan community, Z. Budapest decided to reclaim her chant “We All Come From The Goddess”, and request that others refrain from infringing on her copyright and more importantly stop altering it, especially in ways that add any sort of “men”/”God” related words to it.

On the surface while it seems a bit silly to be worrying about it at this late date,  it can be understandable that an artist doesn’t want their work to be used without their permission especially for monetary gain. What takes this from mere silliness, to the realm of downright crazy, is the following statement that she made… “You steal my song from now will have consequences. You put men into the song, like God,a hex will be activated.

I actually find it rather ironic in a way, because the Wiki page for Dianic  Witchcraft (which I know, Wiki isn’t always the greatest source) states the following… “Dianic… as “positive path” practitioners do neither manipulative spellwork nor hexing because it goes against the Wiccan Rede; other Dianic witches (notably Zsuzsanna Budapest) do not consider hexing or binding of those who attack women to be wrong.”  So, taking into consideration that the Rede is often misunderstood, and that not everyone follows it anyways (especially Witchcraft Traditions which don’t actually have anything to do with Wicca, despite often being misnamed as such), I really have to ask… was a hex really the first thing that sprang to mind in this case? Did she really feel that adding masculine energies, or adding a verse about the God was an “attack on women”?

To be fair, she has since recanted, stating that the original post was “tongue in cheek”, which I have to admit I sort of doubt, and the general consensus seems to be that at this point she’s just trying to do a bit of damage control after all the backlash from her original statement. In general, I don’t think it matters much what she says anymore, as she’s probably lost what little (if any) respect anyone had left for her, considering all the other messes she’s been stepping into the last couple years. However the story did give me a good starting point to this week’s topics – Hexes.

On a personal level, I’m more or less neutral when it comes to the idea of hexing. Even though I’ve been in some pretty rough situations, I’ve not (as of yet) ever felt the need to put a hex on anyone, but I don’t really have any issue with someone who might do so, if there was proper justification for it. There seems to be this huge… “OMG you can’t do that!!” mentality that is pervasive in Neo-Pagan Traditions, particularly amongst those who believe in some form of the Rede. However as mentioned above, the Rede is probably one of the most misunderstood concepts that has been appropriated from Wicca (I’ll go into much more on that when we get to “R”), and despite many claims to the contrary, it does not actually prohibit hexing, or any other potentially “harmful” actions at all.

It still sort of begs the question though – what actions might justify resorting to hexing? In any magical endeavor (no matter what the purpose), it’s generally advised to do quite a bit of careful consideration before proceeding, and it seems rather clear that Ms Budapest may have missed a step or two in that process before issuing her original statement. Of all the potential ways of resolving that issue (or any issue really), I would think that a hex would be a last resort. The sort of thing, where you’ve maybe tried everything else you can think of – mundane and magical, and nothing else has worked. Especially if one believes in the TFL (Three-Fold Law), or some other form of “what comes around, goes around” – I hesitate to use the word Karma, because it too, is a word that has been very much misappropriated, and really doesn’t quite mean what most people think it means, at least not in the contexts they tend to use it in. Anyways… the point is that if you are wishing ill on someone else, even if it’s for a good reason (or what you might perceive as a good reason), you need to be prepared for, and be willing to take responsibility for the potential consequences of doing so.

Thankfully, Ms Budapest was just joking around (or so she says), but really it’s almost mind boggling to contemplate the consequences if she wasn’t. Assuming that she could have effectively invoked a hex in that way (and there seems to be plenty who doubt that she actually could), can you imagine the accidental harm that could have been done? A song that has been more or less in the public domain (whether it was meant to be or not) for 40 years, that has been regularly added to and altered to suit; a song that many Neo-Pagans probably teach to their children, or that they sing at gatherings, not even knowing who originally sang it, who have potentially never even heard of Z. Budapest, all suddenly hexed because of someone who was having a bit of a rant. What sort of consequences do you think she might have faced, if such a thing had occurred, and do you think she would have accepted any responsibility for her actions? I shudder to think.

Spring Has Sprung


I woke up this morning, in complete darkness to the sound of thunder that was  loud enough to shake the whole house, and as much as I actually love thunder storms, there is always just a bit of tension and nervousness when things are that spectacular, due to the occasional tornadoes and other bad weather that we get from time to time. However after a brief jump out of bed to check the weather report, I was able to snuggle back down under the covers and enjoy listening to the sounds of the early morning storm.

Considering my wake up call, I was pleasantly surprised an hour or so later when I got the kids up for school to find that the rain had passed, and though there were some lingering dark clouds towering across the sky, it was shaping up to be an absolutely glorious Spring day, and appropriately so, today being the Equinox, and the “official” First Day of Spring. While I’m a true child of Autumn, Spring is always a close second. I love the still chilly mornings, the dew on the grass and leaves, how the grass starts to turn that perfect shade of green after being dead all winter. The tiny purple and white flowers gently poking up though the grass, and all the birds, and squirrels rushing around after being cooped up all winter. (which ok, let’s face it Winter here in central NC is often pretty lame at best, but we do what we can with it…lol).

I have to say that this morning Mother Nature out-did herself. The early rain was deep and cleansing, and even with the clouds, the air was crisp and fresh, and patches of blue and sunshine were poking out all over. I dropped my oldest off at school, turned right out of the parking lot, and beheld the most amazing rainbow I’ve seen in a very long time (a double one at that). Perfectly clear and bright, a complete 180° arc in the sky. Reminding me that this was truly a blessed day, and one that should be celebrated. Being the conscientiousness driver that I am, I pulled over into the nearest parking lot, to snap some pics and just soak up the stunning view. It’s really good to know I’m not the only crazy one in my town though, because when I was finally ready to move on, I saw there were at least 2 other cars in the lot who were busy taking pics as well. It was nice to see others appreciating such beauty.

On the way home I was treated to another rainbow as well, and by the time I got to the house the birds were out in force, and serenading the whole neighborhood. Taking a few extra moments, I captured a bit of their lovely music to remind me of this wonderful Spring day – which lucky you, I’m sharing below!! The pic doesn’t do the rainbow justice, but considering it was taken on a cell phone that is approximately 6+ years old, it could have turned out a lot worse.  I also learned some new things today, such as how to put a video together and edit audio files. Definitely a banner day!!

Hope yours goes just as well!!

(D) Death


I honestly wasn’t going to go here. I’ve already talked about balance, and that touched a bit on the need for all points on the cycle, so I was really hoping to go in a different direction, with “D”. However, I found out earlier this month that a friend of mine passed away, and so Death came a wandering my way, irregardless of my feelings on the subject.

I have, what I consider to be, a pretty  good outlook on Death, and it’s one that I think fairly common within the Pagan Community, across a variety of paths. While clearly it is an ending on this plane of existence, and a sad occasion to those who are left behind, I really do feel that Death is but that first step on our continuing journey through the cycles of “birth-life-death-rebirth”. I do believe in reincarnation, and that we find our loved ones again and again throughout our various incarnations, so we are never parted for long, and that should be a great consolation. I also feel that in each life we have lessons that we are here to learn, and that when we pass, it means that we have learned all that we needed to, in this life. In essence one’s funeral should be a celebratory time, more of a bon voyage party, a great send off to the next great adventure – till we meet again.

In practical terms though, it’s been a lot harder for me to keep that in focus. I’ve had to deal with Death quite a bit in my life, and at this point, other than my father (who I’ve never been super close to) and some various distant relatives, I’m the only one left in my immediate family – everyone else was gone by the time I was 25. Though I am married, with children of my own now, hubby’s the only one really left on his side as well. So truly, it has often seemed like Death was a close friend at times, rather than the distant acquaintance we rather Him be.

This week seems no different, and yet no matter how I try to tell myself that my friend is in a much better place, I just can’t seem to get myself through the sadness I feel at her loss. It is worth mentioning that her death shouldn’t have come as such a shock, she was born with a very serious life threatening condition, and spent most of her life in and out of treatments and hospitals, so to know that she is free of that, should be enough to make anyone happy. However, you always think that you’ll have more time, and somehow there never is. I do know that if she had lessons to learn this go around, that she more than learned them… not only that, but she taught the rest of us some very important ones as well – about friendship, generosity, and about keeping positive in the face of insurmountable odds. She was a blessing to all that knew her, and her passing truly left this world just a little less bright.

While it may seem otherwise, I do have a deep respect for the necessary place that Death has within the universe, even if it’s hard for me to reconcile my heart and my mind on the subject. I think that those who fear it, may not completely understand that without Death, and the similarly feared (and another “D” word) Destruction, that we would live in a state of stasis, never learning, never growing, never moving beyond what we are now. That without the removal of the old, there would be no room for the new, and the cycle of life-birth-death and rebirth would begin to break down, and stagnate. Of course out of control, Death and Destruction is not good either (nothing in excess ever is), but in the normal course of things, it’s important to remember that they are a necessary part of life, and not something to be shunned.

(C) Closed-Cultures/Religions


The eclectic nature of many Pagan paths is one of the major draws for a lot of people who come here from other more structured religions. There are plenty of books and resources out there which tell us all about the wonderful eclectic nature of Paganism, and that it is perfectly acceptable for us to draw our practices and beliefs from whatever sources we want to, as long as it calls to us. However something very important that is often overlooked, is the fact that not all cultures or religions are actually open to be taken from.

The concept of a closed-culture or religion, is something that many people are simply unfamiliar with. There is a sense of entitlement that seems pervasive in many Pagan communities, and we often feel that simply because a practice or belief resonates with us, or seems interesting to us, that it’s ok for us to take it and make it our own. We mix and match cultures and religions, irregardless of traditions that might be involved, or cultures that might be clashing, or the fact that such practices or beliefs may not just be available for the taking, by those who are not actual practicing members of said culture/religion.

Two major examples of closed cultures/religions – which both unfortunately tend to be those which are most often taken from, are Native American cultures and Traditional Wicca. When it comes to the culture and spiritual practices of the various Native American tribes, in most cases if you are not a member of the tribe, or have been adopted into one, then any misappropriation of their practices and beliefs is considered highly offensive, and – as noted below, could be considered an actual act of war against the tribe.  Wicca on the other hand, is an initiatory “mystery” religion at it’s very core, yet has somehow it has been grossly misrepresented over the years as an eclectic “whatever you want it to be” religion. Those that continue to represent it as such have changed the very heart of the religion, and truly what they do is no longer Wicca (and should not be called by that name).

There is also some debate as to if some parts of “Celtic” culture and their spiritual practices are closed as well. In particular, that certain Gods are said to be oathed only to the Gael, which means that if one is not a member of that culture, then at best one would be wasting one’s time attempting to worship them.  There are others, particularly indigenous cultures and practices, and some that consider Shintoism to be rather more closed to outsiders, than most people think it is as well.

It’s painful sometimes, when there is something that we want, that we can’t have access to immediately. Yet if something is that important to us, then we should be willing to do the work necessary to attain it properly, rather than just taking what we want, without regard for the traditions that are probably what drew us to that culture/practice in the first place. If we are truly called to a particular path, then if we work hard and make sacrifices, then it will happen, otherwise we need to respect that in this life it’s just not meant to be – to do otherwise diminishes that which we claim to love.

For more information you can check the following…

War Against Eploiters of Lakota Spirituality

TradWicca.org