PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
Specific paths such as Heathenism, blended traditions, polytheist reconstructionism, etc.
Fridays at 6:00 a.m., this Reiki Master heard the beginning sounds of the weekend morning rush in Jerusalem. The brilliant kaleidoscope of sunrise dazzled the landscape as she stood on her deck, facing east to say morning prayers. Afterward, she immersed herself in the sights and sounds of the Holy Land. Goats scampered, donkeys brayed, and dogs barked in the wadi below her. Cars and trucks in the distance were already deafeningly pummeling down the highway to Tel Aviv, and clanging sounds came from the Arabic villages nearby. She was ready to face the busiest day of the Jerusalem week, for the next day was the Sabbath, Shabbat, when everything stalled until the first three stars came out in the evening.
Friday shopping could be dodgy and dangerous. People shouted and screamed, motioning with their hands in their cars and on the street. The Supersol, my local supermarket, was jammed—a mad house with orthodox, ultra orthodox, and secular Jews, pushing and shoving. A line up meant nothing there. I wondered if I should become one of them, but reminded myself I was not that kind of person. Keeping on telling myself; shwei, patience, as I often waited in twenty-foot long checkout lines while the cashiers idly chitchatted with friends for what seemed like an eternity. I always arrived home hot, hungry, and unscathed, though....
This was the first year we've held Pagan Pride Day at the Temple of Sekhmet, which is a couple of miles north of Indian Springs. There were a few metaphoric bumps in the road, but I think we'll flatten them out next time. PPD was a wonderful, exhausting, fulfilling experience of great community, great ritual, great entertainment, and all around awesomeness.
I picked up my old friend Prudence Priest at the airport the Thursday before PPD. She and Tom N. and I had a lot of fun in Vegas and in my home in Henderson. Saturday morning I headed into the desert with my truck loaded with a tent, tables, ice chest, books, and other stuff for our booth. Prudence sold her Lithuanian amber jewelry and my books, Asatru For Beginners, American Celebration, and No Horns On These Helmets. Because I'm still dealing with my knee injury, I could not have managed setup without the help of the wonderful volunteers. After putting down a rebellion by my body, I managed to get my energy together to teach my drum circle workshop, which was well attended and a lot of fun. The drum circle was the highlight of my day, but I also really enjoyed watching the fire dancers, Flameology (pictured) and having a fry bread taco for lunch. Our exclusive hot food vendor was the Western Shoshone Tribe.
It was great to see the replacement statue of Sekhmet. The old one was stolen last year and was never recovered. It was great to see so many old friends and meet new friends. Thanks to everyone who made this event happen.
The day after PPD was the Blood Moon Supermoon Eclipse. Prudence, Tom, and I tried to watch the onset from the viewing platform on top of the Stratosphere, but we only caught glimpses of it through the cloud cover. Prudence and I howled anyway, garnering a few odd looks from the young people with drinks who may have thought we were having a little too much fun even for Vegas. Then we went to my house in Henderson and had much better viewing as totality passed. Prudence and I and my mom and the neighbor dog all howled at the wolf to let the moon go. It must have worked, the moon came back (lol.)
Photo: a pic I snapped with my phone camera of the performance by Flameology.
May you spend lifetime with your gods, pleased with you without displaying anger.
May your reward be received after old age.
May you enter your tomb of the necropolis and mingle with the excellent Bas. May you be judged among them and be declared righteous in Busiris before Wennefer and be well established in Abydos before Shu-Onuris.
May you cross over to the district of Peqer in the god’s retinue and cross the divine region in the retinue of Sokar.
May you join the crew of the Neshmet barque without being turned away. May you see the sun in the sky when it initiates the year.
May you be triumphant in the sky, a shining one.
May you transform yourself into whatever you wish, like the phoenix, with each of your forms being that of a god, just as you desire.
— Quoted from: Ancient Egyptian Tombs: The Culture of Life and Death © 2011 Steven Snape.(Translation from Papyrus Anastasi I, based on that of Wente 1990:100-1 (Wente,E.(1990) “Letters from Ancient Egypt”)
Is your ultimate idea of paradise to spend your eternity with chosen deity, to enter the sacred marriage, hierogamy of the soul? Some people follow the path of spells that will make them take permanent residence on the fields of Offerings with Osiris but Coffin text spells of the Book of the Two Ways were written especially for "hermopolitan devotion". The selected few CT spells are precisely aimed at making your residence "in the mansion of the Moon" and joining the suite of all devotees of Djehuty who want to "admire his beauty all the time". And why wouldn’t you? When you start a devotional relationship with a deity, it means you align your soul and desires with that deity’s values and personality - and, with all deep and core aspects, not simply something that lies on the surface. You undergo a transformation with each divinity you touch.
The best magickal tool is the one you have on hand when you need it. I own wands, swords, athames, censers, candles, and all the other accoutrement one might expect of a witch, but what is the tool I use most often? My phone. Why? Because I always have it on me, unlike the vast array of traditional tools that live at home on my altar. Here are my top five most frequently used magickal apps, in no particular order.
1. Kindle. Thanks to cloud based storage I have access to my entire digital library anytime, anywhere I have cell signal. I frequently use my Kindle app to look up references from spell books, herbal formularies, and field guides. If you’re out and about in the world and need to look up correspondences, herbal contraindications, or who’s who in the witchy world then this app is invaluable. Unfortunately, a lot of the best magickal books aren’t available digitally yet, so it’s no substitute for a proper library.
This past summer, Morpheus Ravenna delivered the keynote speech at the Many Gods West polytheist conference. Her speech was entitled, "Deep Polytheism: On the Agency and Sovereignty of the Gods". It was later published at polytheist.com, and I encourage you to read it in its entirety. I’ve been meaning for some time to write a response to Morpheus’ speech, for a couple of reasons. First, I am always interested in the intersection of Jungian psychology and polytheism. In fact, it was the pairing of these ideas in Margot Adler's 1979 Drawing Down the Moon that drew me to Paganism in the first place. Second, I think Morpheus is one of the most interesting polytheist writers out there, and I am often surprised at how much of what she writes I agree with. Her keynote speech was no exception....
And no, I don’t have a faulty calendar. Let me explain.
The Mediterranean region is lovely: a marvelous sea surrounded by sun-kissed lands all the way around in a huge oval that reaches from the Atlantic to the Levant. But one thing this area doesn’t have is four seasons. Those of us who live in the temperate zones are so used to spring, summer, autumn, and winter that we often forget there are other climates, other seasonal cycles. The Mediterranean has a very interesting set of seasons, and this cycle had a powerful influence on Minoan religion since the island of Crete lies in the middle of the wine-dark sea....