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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in rituals

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

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We stroked his head and ran our hands along his body. He purred. We looked at him directly in the eyes and we sang songs. He purred. We told him of mice and birds and long summer days that would not end. He purred. We held him close, so very close, as the needle pierced his skin. The purring stopped. 

The last few days have been filled with tears and with fond remembrances of our dear cat, Bear Claw. He lived for almost twenty years. I have children that have never known a time before Bear Claw. Simply put, he was part of our family.

I spent the last year of his life as a care giver of sorts. As his health failed, I cleaned up after him. I helped him up to his favourite perches around the house. I carried him out into the warm sun on my shoulders and made sure his "apartment" was warm and comfortable. He and I spoke about how and when his life would end. We had an agreement that when the good days were outnumbered by the bad days, we'd part ways mercifully and quickly.

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  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Thank you Francesca. How lovely and fascinating that our work in the world seems so much in alignment. Life, with all of its wonde
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Indeed, indeed!
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Sorry to hear of yr loss. Blessings on yr family and departed kitty. I read your bio here. It sounds exactly like what I have tau
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    You know Aleah, I think you are on to something there. We stroke and pet, feel their warmth next to us and pay attention to their
  • Aleah Sato
    Aleah Sato says #
    Heartfelt post... thank you. I had to say goodbye to my old feline companion last autumn, and it was astoundingly painful. I bel

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Date with a Tree

I love rituals. I mean, I really love rituals. I'm enchanted by the very act of drawing a temenos line between this moment and that moment. Time itself seems to stand still or speed up or shift in some way that doesn't seem quite congruent with the way I understand the universe to usually work on an otherwise ordinary Monday afternoon. I find there's a fluidity of speech and movement. The words and actions take on a life of their own as if they themselves are animated for the sole purpose of co-creating this exact moment of devotion.

I've found that effective ritual practices don't have to be elaborate or on a grand scale. Although, let me just say that I'm partial to a thrumming mass of Pagan-type folk all gathered together for the expressed purpose of being in consensual ritual practice together. I've had the pleasure to attend and help create the magic for the annual Reclaiming Spiral Dance in San Francisco, which is now in its 35th year. There's a variety of rituals from every imaginable Pagan tradition at events like Pantheacon. I thoroughly enjoy being a little thrown off by rituals that use a different lexicon than my own tradition; rituals that have their own distinct meter and rhythm.

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  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Thank you Lizann.
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    So good to see your spiritual/virtual/creative presence here!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
I and The Village  (h/t Chagall)

or...I was a PSG virgin.

Got back on Monday from my first sojourn to the Pagan Spirit Gathering, one of the largest and oldest Pagan festivals in the country. I've worked with Selena Fox, Dianne Duggan and Lady Liberty League for many years but this festival was simply too far away. Selena is very persuasive and my friend Oriana volunteered to drive, so off we went.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Just before Sunset, people gather in a place with a clear view of the horizon. When the Sun first touches the horizon, horns blow. Those present pray, pour libations, burn incense. When the Sun disappears beneath the horizon, the horns blow again. The people sing a hymn. The rite is ended.

I created this ritual a number of years ago for use at one of our local summer festivals. I wanted something short and participatory, something that we could do together, but with some meditative time as well, and something that anyone, regardless of tradition or affiliation, could participate in fully. We performed the ritual nightly; each night, more people took part.

In the ideal pagan village of my dreams, a corresponding rite would mark Sunrise every morning as well, but of course there's a limit to what one can get away with at a pagan festival, especially when it involves blowing horns at 6 in the morning.

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  • Jan Nerone
    Jan Nerone says #
    Thank you so much for posting this! I have been searching for some way to honor the dawn and the sunset, but nothing seemed quite

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Thinking in Circles

circle round
circle round and celebrate
circle round and sing
circle round and share stories
circle round and reach out a hand
circle
no beginning
no end…

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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On Wednesday, I placed a soft blanket on my lap.  I invited my cat to be comforted. His breath was labored. His body was clearly shutting down. The will to live is stronger than any other emotion or drive. He wanted to live. He was bewildered. He knew he was losing the battle. He collapsed on the blanket, took two long inhales and let out a long moan that was the end of his life. The sound of death is perhaps unlike any other. The sound of that sigh – I cannot describe. Poetry has no language here - my words utter only stupid rhetoric. To experience this is more than can be expressed, but I try. I try because it is vastly important to me to know what death is and to not hate life for its cruel finality. Right now, it is difficult to feel peace with this life. I struggle to understand why - despite the ache of the body and the deep, known suffering - the will to live is so strong. When he passed, it was not like some say, this ethereal light leaving. His eyes shone bright. His body, warm. It was my light that diminished. My eyes were those that shut, unwilling to see the end. I could not sense the sweat and blood, or hear the hum of awaiting insects near the dirt that would cover him.

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  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Aleah, I am sorry to hear of your loss. I just lost my own kitty, and know how it feels. I also commend you for selflessly using y
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    It's been awhile since I've read something reminding me of my dearest Ginger's sigh as she died. How you can't really describe it
  • Lia Hunter
    Lia Hunter says #
    This was a beautiful meditation. I appreciate your experience and thank you for sharing it.
  • William Welsh
    William Welsh says #
    I also have walked a path very different but oh so similar to that of you, my sister Aleah. We must be strong and ever seeking the
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you so much for these beautiful and honest words.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I mentioned in my past two posts that you can cleanse yourself before and after spirit work, and banish spirits as need be. Some of you may already have your own cleansing and banishing practices, but here are a few basic ideas to start with.

Cleansing Self, Space, and Items Beforehand

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  • G. B. Harte
    G. B. Harte says #
    Hailings.... Cleaning & Cleansing. Cleansing & Cleaning. I read your article with great interest. There is much I would like to

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