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Today is a big day. It marks one of the oldest, most celebrated and sacred events in the ancient Roman world: the date on which the Vestal priestesses renewed Vesta’s sacred fire in the Temple of Vesta in the heart of Rome.
This event marked the first day of the Roman new year. Renewing Vesta’s fire was a major civic and religious event, and a beloved tradition that spanned from the earliest days of the Temple in the 8th or 7th century BCE (when it was still a wooden structure, the first in the Forum) to the 4th century CE when the Temple was forcibly closed during a brutal policy of Christianization....
More than 50 ancient hieroglyphs depict birds: ibis, quail chick, hawk, vulture, duck, plover, goose, swallow, sparrow, cormorant, egret, ostrich, heron, flamingo, lapwing, hoopoe, guinea hen and falcon, plus variations on each of these. It’s a veritable feast for modern bird lovers; tomb paintings like Nebamun hunting are still more delightful, showing the teeming color of life in the Nile marshes.
Egyptian cosmology is closely tied to birds, too. During Sep Tepi (sacred time), a bird of light flies out of the dark waters of Nun and lands on the primordial mound called the benben. This bird was thought to be an early form of Ra, and Herodotus thought the bennu was the phoenix of later Greek myth, the firebird which rises reborn from its own ashes....
Note: If you haven't read the previous installments, you can find them here:
The Vegan Pagan: Introduction
The Vegan Pagan: Interstice the First
The Vegan Pagan: Interstice the Second
The Vegan Pagan: Your Health
The Vegan Pagan: The Case Against Animal Sacrifice
The Vegan Pagan: Climate Change and Food Equity
The Vegan Pagan: The Animals Themselves
It seems that N's high priestess was at a festival, going to the evening ritual in a simple white robe.
En route, she runs into—I'm quoting my friend here—a “Laurie Cabot clone,” hair done to the max, made-up to the nines, gown by Elvira, clanking with the weight of all her occult silver. Clearly this woman has worked for hours to make herself look like this.
“Oh honey,” she says to my friend's high priestess, “Aren't you going down to the big ritual tonight?”
“Sure, I'm going there now.”
Not-Laurie looks at her, dismayed. “Oh honey,” she says, “Dressed like that? Don't you want to make yourself beautiful for the Goddess?”
Two Christmases ago, my husband gave me a lemon tree for my garden. Last month, after I spent a whole year waiting and watering and wringing my hands, it finally produced one full-grown lemon.
For awhile, the lemon looked more or less yellow, but I held off on picking it because it still had a blush of green on the underside. I had elaborate plans for it: I would give it as an offering to the Morrigan, my matron deity, and dry the skin for magical work. I would use the juice for some very special dish or drink--a sacred mojito, maybe! I dreamed and planned and admired my lemon until one day, it disappeared.
One of my workshops at Pantheacon 2015 was called Restoring Sovereign Order. Since there were no class notes for the event, I promised I would post information on the working for those who wanted to continue with it, as I suggested repeating the ritual for forty days straight while holding a stone, and then placing that stone out into the world with the virtue generated from the forty day working. Below is a short article I wrote when I first shared this working with the ministers of the Temple of Witchcraft. I had no plans of really sharing it beyond that group, but when meditating on Pantheacon, got a clear distinct message this was the lesson to base a workshop on, so I did.
I ran into someone earlier in the convention who asked me about the workshop, saying she hadn't planned on attending as it sounded like a ritual to “invoke fascism.” I can understand that, as concept of Sacred Sovereignty in a global context are not popular in modern metaphysics today, and it was a throw back to an older world occultism. I tried to explain the concept in the few moments I had, but I'm not sure if I was successful. Hard to sum up an hour in a few seconds when there is already misunderstanding. Thankfully an impromptu meeting with T. Thorn Coyle as she was waiting for the room for her own panel, turned it into a funny moment as she has a great talent to disarm serious topics with good humor. I had previously attended R.J. Stewarts workshop on the Sacred Kings and Queens with great interest, and he was very supportive of my own presentation, taking the train of thought in a different, but hopefully complimentary direction....