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I have been told somewhat similar sentiments are heard from some regarding the Spiral Dance. And there are various publications using the name “Witches’ Bible.” Some are good books grotesquely misnamed.
Altars can have a very significant role in daily practice and worship, providing a focal point in establishing relationship. I try to highlight this importance with my students, explaining the benefits of have a focus within an area in which to open up communication with the spirits of place (or land, sea and sky), the ancestors, and the gods. Communication is essential to good relationship, and finding a spot to come back to again and again helps us to not only strengthen the bond between the person and the place, but also gives it a ritual context within which to commune. Often this ritual context is held within a temple, whether it is a building or creation of stone and/or timber, or a sacred circle cast with energy around the practitioner. The importance of the altar and the temple should not be taken for granted, though neither are exactly essential.
Each of the past five years Temple Osireion has remembered the journey of the soul through the Duat with a ritual drama. We do this around the first of November, a time when it is natural to embrace the darker season, ponder the afterlife, and imagine meeting the gods. The journey through the Duat is one of the grand myths which provides a metaphor for personal and community growth. It is arduous, confusing, transforming and, ultimately, regenerative.
With the regeneration comes a rebirth into the dawn of a new day. The ancient texts tell of Osiris’ transformation into Ra, of Ra’s transformation from an old, dying neteru back into the young hawk that bursts from the eastern akhet (horizon) into flight across the day.
Pool of Lotus has for three years brought messages that we hope have shed a bit of light on new Egyptian practice, encouraged those on a Kemetic-inspired path, and better connected Egyptian religion to the contemporary Pagan movement. As with many journeys, it is time to look ahead to a new morning, a next new way of being.
In the coming year I will be directing my focus on finishing my graduate degree at Cherry Hill Seminary, so it seems wise to bring Pool of Lotus to a close. My heartfelt thanks goes to the editor of Witches and Pagans, Anne Niven, for opening this opportunity to me in 2012. Your encouragement, advice and support are a treasure for which I will always be grateful. Blessings of peace to all.
A god has been born now that I have been born:
I see and have sight,
I have my existence,
I am lifted up upon my place,
I have accomplished what has been decreed . . .
(Book of the Dead, 174)
Come, come in peace, O glorious Eye of Heru.
Be strong and renew your youth in peace,
for the flame shines like Ra on the double horizon.
I am pure, I am pure, I am pure, I am pure.
(From “Great Rite Honoring Djehuty,” Eternal Egypt by Richard Reidy)
Imbolc is one of my favorite Sabbats. Here in Maine, it may not always seem like there is any sign of spring. But Imbolc helps us to remember that, especially the way that time flies, it will be here before we know it. Deep in the belly of mother earth, the wave of new life prepares and takes root. This time of very early germination reminds us to take some time and focus on the preparation and planning key to starting new endeavors. What do we need to spend our time on, while we are cooped up inside, so we can get a jump on the very first blessings of warmer weather? Because of this “new beginnings” aspect of the Sabbat, I see Imbolc as a very hopeful time....
Pushing out of your comfort zones, getting out of your depth, might just be the best thing for you to evolve creatively, mentally, physically and more. This is the time of year when New Year's resolutions are put to the test, and they either triumph or fail spectacularly over the next few weeks. Many, many people no longer even bother, but I say what the hell, go for it, at least try. Trying to change one's own behaviour is singularly the most difficult thing a person can try to do, as we human beings are such habitual creatures and are able to use our reasoning minds to justify just about any decision we make. We are masters of delusion and illusion, but we are also able to break through those barriers to create wonderful masterpieces of artwork, of living life well, perpetuating creativity to its full potential.
When I'm working and I'm feeling safe, comfortable, secure, then for the most part I am not doing my best work. Only when I'm trying something new, or pushing myself to explore something deeper, not running over the same material again and again does something remarkable happen. That something is either a wonderful achievement or a brilliant failure, but either way it wasn't boring. When I wrote my first book and had it published (a medieval fantasy called Falconwing, now out of print but may be coming back in the near future) I simply gave it my all. I had been working on it since I was fifteen years old, and it was only published in my 30's. I then tried my hand at non-fiction with Zen Druidry, and then began a triplet of introductory books for the Moon Books Pagan Portals Series, with The Awen Alone: Walking the Path of the Solitary Druid still an Amazon No.1 Bestseller in the category of Druidism well after a year from its release date in 2014.
I enjoyed dance, and one day thought I'd give belly dancing a go. I had a talent for it, and after five years decided to try my hand at teaching it and coming up with my own dance company. I didn't know anything about having a business, but I gave it a go with all that I had. It turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done, and I have met some of the most wonderful people who have become lifelong friends.
Money and Hierarchy in Today's Paganism
Warning: I am standing on a soapbox.
Recently, someone with whom I'd been conversing on Google+ for a few weeks was surprised to realize I was an author and she owned one of my books.
It might seem odd that her surprise surprised me. I asked why she was surprised. I don't know if my question seemed ingenuous and pretentious. She kindly responded that she does not run into authors. Ah, of course! I understand.
The thing is: I get out of touch with stupid consensus realities, so forgot it is unusual for a best selling author to be available, acting just like a community member. That's why I didn't initially understand her surprise.
But as long as big name Pagan authors are hard to be in contact with, they help create a class system in our community.
For many people, walking is a seasonal activity – specifically it’s something to do in the summer when the weather is good, it’s dry underfoot and warm. My preferred time of year for walking is spring and autumn, when the cooler days can make the whole experience more comfortable, especially when climbing a hill!
That this is an unobvious time of year to talk about walking tempts me to do so – part of the point of this wheel of the year exploration is to be slightly perverse and flag up as many alternatives as I can think of....