PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
Sekhmet dropped in on me again the other day. For me, she’s not been one for words, turning up on rare occasion in startling, stark gestures (I tell about the most dramatic encounter in my book, Pool of Lotus). But during a meditation with my group the Eye of Ra reached out to me, touching my third eye with a cool sizzle that arced instantly through all of me like lightning. “You must be hard,” she said. Strong and unyielding like stone. Durable as a mountain. In fact, for you Francophones, what I heard was, “You must be dur.”
Not what I was looking for at the end of an intensely-stressful week. I’d just learned of the death of a close friend, finished up a tough semester of studies, juggled two jobs and conducted two weddings. All of it was happy stuff, but somehow the current holding me steady faltered, leaving me like jelly inside, tearful and anxious on the outside. But there was more; the next day my friend’s husband would call to ask me to lead her memorial service in a few days. Sekhmet’s admonition began to make more sense....
If you've notice I've been a bit inactive, it's mostly because that most of the communities I involve myself in have caught a case of "Being-on-fire" and that has kept me quite busy. I have forgotten about things here, and you will be seeing some posts from me soon.
In the meantime, while I get those posts ready to roll, have you all heard about the fundraiser that some of us from Heathens United Against Racism have put together? It is to try and extend some goodwill, positivity, and compassion to those who were effected by Frazier Glen Cross in Kansas City, and help relieve those with financial burdens created by the frenzied madness of a murderer. While HUAR started this, we've seen support (both financial and awareness raising) from everyone from McNallen to Krasskova, and from the Troth to the AFA. Dozens of us have all put aside our political and philosophical differences in order to help bolster the spirits of those so effected by this madman. We've also seen assistance outside of the Heathen community from several covens, bloggers of all sorts, and the Pan-Pagan community in general. We are grateful for all of that help, and with just a little more we will be able to reach the goal we established in the hours following that crime.
We cannot buy back lives or peace of mind, but perhaps we can help stabilize these families enough that they can grieve and say goodbye without mundane distractions. We can give these families a small measure of support, and show them that our thoughts are with them during a horrible and bleak time.
We are in the last 10 days of the fundraiser, and our five thousand dollar goal is in sight. Those who have the money to give, please do. Those who don't, please help us spread the word. This is not money being raised on behalf of some faceless corperation; this was a fundraiser started by people in the community and initiated through a fund raising group that allows you to control how much of your donation goes to help their administrative costs. Every dollar you donate through this will go directly to the people effected.
Thank you for your consideration, and I'll be seeing you all again real soon.
The beauty of nature can be found in the most unusual places and teach us the most unexpected lessons. A few days ago I was returning to work from a lunch (half) hour spent going through the neighborhood thrift store. I pulled into traffic and then had to wait at a long light. While sitting there, I looked up and saw an amazing and unexpected sight.
Whew! My wild and woolly semester at Cherry Hill Seminary just ended (yes, I'm a student, as well as staff). A real treat was to get to write about my favorite ancient Egyptian religious texts for a final paper in Psychology of Religion, taught by Vivianne Crowley. I thought readers here might enjoy a bit of that paper. Please excuse the stuffy language, and any Egyptologists among you, please write me if you see a glaring error.
Pyramid Texts Overview
A king called Unas ruled Egypt at the end of the 5th Dynasty (2375 – 2345 B.C.E.); he built for himself a large temple and pyramid complex at the royal burial grounds of Saqqara, near Cairo. The walls of the interior are covered with hieroglyphs, the body of which has come to be known as the Pyramid Texts. They are the oldest known religious writings in the world, comprising a liturgy which is assumed to be conducted upon the death of the king. (The title “pharaoh” was not used by Egyptian rulers until the New Kingdom (1550–1070 B.C.E.), after the reign of Hatshepsut.)
The Pyramid Texts are a liturgical treatment of the afterlife journey of the soul, first through the Duat, then through transfiguration and ascent to the sky as an “imperishable star.” In this specific context the texts apply this journey, also made by the sun, the mythical embodiment of Ra-Horus-Osiris, to the afterlife journey of the king’s soul. Section III of this article describes the Duat, a sort of “world-between-the-worlds” which is the location of the afterlife journey.
My significant other considers Mother’s Day (along with Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day) to be a holiday created purely for commercial reasons. As a result, she will not celebrate any of those ‘holidays’. I brought a different view of Mother’s Day when we got together. She and I are both Pagans and when I explained this alternate approach to Mother’s Day she wholeheartedly embraced it. I have to thank my friend Amy in Oklahoma for teaching me this Mother’s Day tradition that she and her son have followed for many years. I think her clever reinterpretation of this holiday is perfect for most Pagans.