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His-story. It's dark, and the air is chill--Summer is a'comin in--but not quite yet. You're standing in a circle around a tall, dark object. You can just make out its narrow limbs; arms and legs formed by tightly tied bundles of twigs and straw. Suddenly, flames blaze up. In the crackling firelight you can see the figure at the center of the circle--the Wicker Man.
The lighting of the Wicker Man is a very old tradition that we know little about. Of course, there's the obvious: a Wicker Man is a human figure made out of wicker, straw or twigs, but he's built hollow so that things can be put inside him. But how this tradition started is a bit of a mystery. The ancient people who first built them--the Celts--didn't write about their practices. The first person to actually record anything about Wicker Men was Julius Caesar, and the picture he painted wasn't pretty. He wrote that the Celts created huge, human-shaped wicker figures, and inside they would put small animals, grains and slaves (yes, people), to be burned inside as an offering to the gods....
...so I made a bright green underdress to go with my green ruanna and I constructed a fat new flower crown, too. I'm the elder priestess at Mother Grove and the younger ones have given me a couple of public rituals with only a little bit to do and that has been a wonderful gift to me as my schedule gets complicated.
I was a smudger and Sabra anointed the revellers. We were in a new park this time--a really pretty one. The altar was set inside a ring of old trees, mostly oaks. We had a good turnout with lots of familiar faces and several new ones, too....
I just closed the books on April, and it was financially my most successful month ever in the entire history of me. Yes, of course, I'm ecstatic about that, and there are still a couple last minute people sending me their checks today, so May will start off with a huge boost. Money's great, and having a lot of it "is one less thing" to worry about like Forrest Gump said. But my happiness is fleeting, as our beloved furbaby Tiger died last week, early Thursday morning. This is what I posted on my Facebook page:
Please forgive me, but I won't be on FB today. I don't even know how I'm going to function. I've got leases to prepare and sign, and I have showings. At least those aren't scheduled until later tonight when I will be a little more "with it". I don't think I have anything scheduled tomorrow, and I'm going to keep it that way.
Tiger passed away suddenly just an hour ago. He's been in and out of the vet's office the past couple of months for that weird eye thing, going on different meds, and he seemed like his old self just last week. Even gave the vet the "what for" last week. Today though - he took a turn for the worst. Not eating. Hiding in corners. Panting. We knew it was his time. At least his last meal was the juice from a can of tuna - his absolute favorite.
He was going to be 14 in August. For a cat as sickly as he always was, that's a pretty good run. He's always been sick - since the day we got him from the inside leather jacket pocket of that crack head who stole him from his mother - eyes barely open. I had to feed him formula like an infant crooked in my arm, give him a damp wash cloth bath, teach him how to use the litter box and wipe his bottom. Just like a mother would for her human infant.
I'll never forget that tiny little head peeking out of that guy's pocket, begging us to take him home with that tiny mew. Even though I'm allergic to cats, we knew we had to at least try to help him, and luckily, he was young enough for me to adapt to his dander (if he had any yet). In fact, it's going to be very hard for me to have another cat because of my allergies. (Drug addicts: Please don't get any ideas.)
It's true what they say too: There's that one deep sigh and then... gone. At least I was lying next to him on the floor, stroking his fur and holding his paw. I'm thankful to have had that. It was quick.
We have him wrapped in a soft blanket with his favorite toys in his carrier, waiting to take him someplace for a proper cremation. (Yes, we have a plastic liner, too, and he's in the coolest room. And, we have the heat off.) I want to get him a Bast urn and place him prominently on the mantle. We're calling the vet first thing in the morning to find out what to do. His unconditional love all these years deserves that. I made good money this month with more still to come, and all of our bills are paid except plate registration renewal. It's the least I can do.
He may have been a mean son of a bitch to everyone else, but he was a gentle little baby to us. He even tried to defend our home when we were robbed, having found him locked in a bedroom. He got a good chunk out of them for sure. He has always had problems, and the last of his nine lives finally got used up. Some people say it's just a cat and do not understand. He was our baby, and I already miss him terribly.
Good bye, Sweet Face. Pretty Eyes. Handsome. Friendly. Mr. Magillicuddy. Tiger. And every other name we've ever given you. Mommy will always love you. Daddy, too. And Ryan misses you a great deal, too.
I’ve read it so many times in books and blogs – now is the season for making love out of doors, jumping naked over Bel fires and generally doing your Paganism in a carefree, unclad sort of way. It is warm enough to be barefoot outside, I grant you, but far, far too cold for nudity. A traditional British summer brings more rain than it does cavorting options. The naked dancing Pagans are either far tougher than me, or don’t actually do as much of the cavorting out of doors as they imply.
As a species we obviously didn’t start out wearing clothes, but have got into the habit over thousands of years. It’s allowed us to extend our habitat far beyond the balmy zones our hairless and not that blubbery bodies could otherwise tolerate. So the trouble with viewing nudity as natural, and thus desirable, is that you aren’t budgeting in what we’ve been doing for a long time purely because we can and do wrap up....