Title: Walking the Worlds...
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Title: Walking the Worlds...
My friend Denise Ostler, a.k.a. Merri Beacon, writes tiny stories set in Turtlebat Land that she calls Fairytale Medicine: "funny stories in an enchanted land where empowering events create feelings of peace, freedom and self-worth."
The stories are truly medicine, slipping through the fairy tale portal-template already installed in our brains to open up possibilities for long-sought healing.
All of her stories are wonderful. "From War to Peace" is a lovely dose. It's particularly timely and — guess what? — it features a big dollop of belly-centric wisdom.
The story begins as, once upon a time, a man named Ergo is chronically denying his chronic anger. Confronted by his wife, he storms out of the house, runs through the village and on and on into the forest until he has to stop and sleep.
The story continues:
Ergo awoke the next morning and started marching. When the sun was high in the sky, he walked into a little clearing where a wooden shack was built. A sign hung on the doorpost that read “HEALER”.
I bet he doesn’t get much business, thought Ergo to himself. The thought struck him as being quite funny and he laughed out loud. Pretty soon he was shrieking with laughter until he had tears in his eyes. A man came out the door of the shack and smiled at Ergo who was now rolling on the ground holding his belly. “Help me,” he gasped. “I can’t stop laughing.”
“It’s because you have so many unshed tears,” said the healer. Ergo stopped laughing abruptly and sat confused on the ground. The healer gave Ergo his hand and led him inside, placing Ergo in a big chair covered with blankets. Next to the chair was a huge glass globe sitting on a little table.
“What is that thing?” asked Ergo.
The story continues here.
Within Vanatru, there is a lot of room for diversity of belief and practice - nature itself is diverse, and thus different ways of doing things are seen as natural and organic, as befits a living tradition. As such, there is no Vanapope who will swoop down from on high proclaiming that you're "doing it wrong" if you don't do this or have that. However, the very "do it yourself" approach amongst most Vanatruar can be confusing and even frustrating for newbies, who are full of questions about how to get started.
One of the things that I tend to recommend people do when they first start out, is set up an altar. This is not mandatory or absolutely necessary - I know plenty of folks who get along just fine without altars. In my own case, having an altar is helpful because it's a visible, tangible reminder of the Powers, is a way to express Their energy and presence - which can be a tool to better get to know Them and connect with Them - and is a place to leave offerings and perform rituals and magick. And as such, I think that building an altar can be a valuable beginning step, a way to establish a connection to the Powers....
(Photograph by Jess Asien Winter Solstice 2014 shared with permission)
The Full Moon Goddesses, a collective soul of women who gather on my farm once a month around the full moon, just finished the second year of practicing Goddess Becoming together.
I thought I would share with you our journey last year but I didn't. I couldn't. It took all year to figure out why I was with-holding. I finally realized that I was still too insecure. The first year found me waiting for the novelty to wear off. The second year made me wonder if women were willing and ready for the work I had in mind. The rituals I was writing and offering were so new and different that I didn't know how people would react to them. I needed the full year to grow some lady balls and step into my power. I'm ready now.
To say that it was an extraordinary year is a complete understatement. As I prepared for Solstice, I wanted to present a summary of the monthly work we did together. I never expected a theme to emerge.
Every gathering and ritual we participated in focused on how to better own The Mind. We worked on becoming more objective observers. We practiced vulnerability and authenticity by giving voice and acknowledging detrimental thoughts and patterns of behavior, as well as affirming all the ways we are excelling. We examined the ways we listen and the ways our minds wander. We honored the delicate balance of remaining present to someone in distress despite the pleas from the mind to flee. We enacted in ritual aspects of our thoughts that resonate with the Higher Self we are trying to remember. I didn’t expect such clarity. I don’t know what I expected, if anything, but I was inspired.
Riding the wings of such coherence made it easy to see the agenda for 2015, which is to study and celebrate the Divine Feminine Body. This work strikes me as so obvious I almost want to laugh but I don’t because the work is too important. When I think about women in our culture, I wonder how many can look at their naked bodies in the mirror and not hear a single chastising voice. How and when did the female body become such a perversion of love and hate? Is the antagonizing attitude many have about their bodies something they want to pass to their sons and daughters? I certainly don’t.
When I think about the 75+ women who gathered in my home for Solstice recently, I marvel at how varied we are. There wasn’t a single woman there who looked like anyone else. Every one uniquely beautiful, uniquely essential, and most importantly, uniquely Divine. That’s the part that gets me. The divine expression is truly infinite and I want to spend a year discussing, embracing, and elevating the holy feminine body.
So, to start off the New Year, our January gathering, just a few days ago, celebrated the first gasp that brings us into Life and the sigh upon which we go into Death.
Nine maids,nine waves
Asleep upon the shore
In today's Earthy Thursday post, we feature stories of our planet and our connections to it. The mystery of Easter Island may have a new solution; German's most fascinating monolith; huge trees; seed bank diversity; the frontiers of vegan technology.
Surprise! Turns out it was disease (brought by Europeans) not environmental devastation, that caused the destruction of the colony on Easter island.
This unusual German sandstone rock formation is a special monolith: whereas Stonehenge was built by people, Externsteine was built by Nature and then manipulated by people....
Zeus is such a bro.
Through various pagan traditions, many of us might have all ready celebrated the new year. However, there is nothing wrong with taking part in secular holidays of the culture we live in. With the calendar holiday of the new year comes a flurry of resolutions. One very popular resolution is "getting fit", or signing up for a gym membership that you use probably three times and then check out for the rest of the year. I thought it would be fun to examine the different ways pagans can approach, petition, or channel deities if you have so made this resolution to get fit, lose weight, or change up your physical routine for the coming year. As a side note (but a very significant side note) this particular blog is not trying to gloss over the relevant conversations going on about body image, accepting/loving your body, holding yourself to a different or personal beauty standard as opposed to the one set by society, body shaming, or any of the other very important conversations. This is simply a few reflections on how I petition deity when I work out and other ways anybody who has decided to take on a personal fitness resolution could as well....