On October 30th, I gave birth to a new baby boy. He was born at home in water, my fourth homebirth, but my first waterbirth (his birth story is available here). On the full moon of his one week "birthday," we took him outside for the first time in his whole life--to meet the world, to feel the fresh, cool air, to be introduced to the moon and the Earth as a member of our family. Here is an outline of the very simple ceremony of welcome we held for him. While we did this with just our other children present, it could easily be expanded to include additional guests.
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Truth of the matter is, while this week's portion of the Pagan savings challenge was met, no visual proof of that fact exists.
My savings so far: $1,035, baby, four digits of cold, hard cash, 4.3% ($45) of which I saved today. Which is completely badass.
Few individuals can have been as important in the shaping of the modern pagan vision as artist and visionary Frederick McLaren Adams, founder of Feraferia.
I first encountered his work and thought in the early 70s. His vision of a culture in which art, daily life, religion, work, play, and wilderness together form a single, unified whole inspired me deeply and still does: the nostalgic and necessary dream of a holistic, integral culture.
And his art: swirling, surreal, eros-charged icons in which Pagan Past and Pagan Future met and kissed in a passionate Maiden embrace. To gaze into the eyes of his Apple Kore on the jacket of Hans Holzer's New Pagans (1972) was, for me, to fall willingly, irretrievably, head over heels in love.
I have rewritten parts of the original essay here to clarify and better focus its argument.
One of the most important things you can know about my practice – and one of the few things about my personal practice that is not too out-there-in-woo-woo-territory to discuss publicly – is that I am a Maker. What this means in terms of my practice is making art, jewelry, and other things that have been enchanted with the presence of spirits, or to open doors into the Otherworld, or serve specific purposes (like protective or healing amulets, etc).
One of the reasons why I wound up on this path is that beauty is an important personal value. Most people like pretty things. There is this, and then there is needing to have beauty in your life. For me, beauty is not a luxury, but a necessity. I am one of those people who cries at beautiful things, and enthralled by beautiful people. I see beauty in other people, I cherish what is beautiful within them and try to encourage it. I find beauty in experiences, beautiful moments in every day life. I have a continual sense of wonder that has carried me through the worst times, kept me going when there was otherwise too much ugliness and pain....
This is not a complete list. I have left out several excellent contributors, with no lack of appreciation. And these reactions are purely subjective, based on my peculiar mindset and experiences.
Archer is a very smart cookie. She has the sort of brilliantly analytical mind which is usually referred to as a shining intellect. Her studies in Buddhism and Yoga exhibit insights far deeper than mere academia, for she derives clear lessons from their teachings which directly bear on our current daily issues. Her revelations come from states of profound meditation and intense thought....