Friday, March 30, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - G is for Goddess

Disclaimer: Since I am a cisgendered female, it is comforting to me to relate to the Divine as Female. Deity is different for everyone and may be female, male, all, neither, and any shade between.

I honor the Goddess, the Divine Feminine, Womanhood, and all that comes with it. Yes, it can be trying at times especially with PMS and moon time. Yet, I am happy to be female. Imagine my joy when I discovered paganism and was introduced to the concept of Goddess! I was never close to Jehovah, though I really tried to be. He was "up there", faraway. JWs would always talk about how worshipping Jehovah was so joyful. I couldn't see it. With the many restrictions of the JW religion, I was miserable not happy.

Paganism in general embraces both the Feminine and Masculine. I choose the Feminine because it makes sense to me. The Goddess is not just "up there", She is also within. My spirituality is no longer a burden. I am learning about Isis, Bast, Hathor, and the Egyptian pantheon. Embracing my (inner) Goddess has encouraged me to quit using chemicals to straighten my natural hair - there will be another whole post on this later.

Moon Goddess
Most cultures view the moon as female. In paganism, there is the Triple Goddess - Maiden, Mother, Crone - along with the Dark Goddess. Each of these aspects correspond to the 4 main moon phases.

Earth Goddess
Mother Earth, Mother Nature, even Aunt Flo - the Feminine embodies nature.

Sun Goddess
Although many cultures view the sun as masculine, a few do not. Amaterasu is a widely known Japanese sun goddess.

Planet Goddess
Sadly, other than Earth & Venus, all of the planets are name after Gods. There are asteriods named for Goddesses such as Vesta and Ceres.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - F is for Fat

Venus von Willendorf 01.jpg
Venus of Willendorf
Yeah, I went there. I'm fat, overweight, heavy-set, big, plus-size, queen-size, or whatever euphemism you wanna use. I'm also Pagan. Now there are those who feel that witches shouldn't be fat because that means we are not taking care of ourselves. So what if the cake and ale is soda and cookies? We shouldn't be judging each other's paths or bodies. Last time I checked, paganism is a fertility spirituality. Lots of fertility goddesses are fat and plump. I always said I had the body of a goddess :)

In ancient societies, the fertility priestess is usually large with wide hips and big breasts. Tribal communities valued fat women over slim women because that means that they ate enough food. There was this NatGeo show where the bride-to-be would be fed milk and bread to be fattened for her wedding day.

Being fat is equated with being happy and satisfied. Ever see a skinny super-model smiling? Me neither. Take a look at my man Buddha over here. Big belly, big smile. Don't forget about Ol' Saint Nick. How would you feel about a skinny Santa?

Being fat does not equal being unhealthy. Really. I know people who take more medication than I do and I'm twice their size. So who's healthier? Being fat is not evil or ugly. I was a bit peeved with Shrek. Fiona was skinny in her human form but fat in her ogre form perpetuating that fat is ugly.

I'm not advocating that we not take care of ourselves. I do want to lose weight (I think that will increase my chances of conceiving). What I am asking is that people don't judge or assume. After all, the body is just a temporary shell. We are all energy inside the shell. Like temples, our bodies come in different sizes. My temple just happen to take up two city blocks but it's a temple nonetheless.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New moon - Job Hunting

Thoth's Day
Solar 1
Dreamspell - Red Spectral Skywalker (11 Ben) - Kin 193
Mayan Tzolk'in - 3 Cimi (White Electric World-Bridger) - Kin 146
Mayan Ha'ab - 14 Kumku
New Moon in sidereal Pisces - Dreamer's Moon

I took to a trip to Turning Wheel in Bel Air to get a scent for my money spell. The owner suggested patchouli - or any earthy scent - which smells so good. I prefer the oil to the herb but I want to make my own oils eventually. There was a flower vase or candle holder that had Westies on it. I couldn't resist!

When doing a spell, you have to follow it up with work in the real world. As a condition of unemployment benefits, I have to apply to at least 2 jobs weekly. The Goddess will send me what I need as long as I do my part.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Circle Casting at Ostara

Finally wrote and performed my Ostara fertility ritual last night. When hubs came home from work, we dyed eggs. The experience was meh; we'll be better prepared next year. One thing about being a witch is practice makes perfect. In the triangle of my path (faith, study, practice), I am sorely lacking in the practice department. The ritual last night was an elaborate one, well, elaborate for me. Hubs has always been supportive of my path and since this was a fertility rite, I couldn't have done it without him. I explained to him the idea of casting the circle. I believe that this is what created a different atmosphere than when I cast alone.

I cannot describe the feeling inside the circle. It was different than regular space, that's for sure. No feelings of  elation but a subtle change in the energies. Was it my imagination? Don't think so unless hubs shared my delusions. Final thoughts: intent is way more important than the placement of various items.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy International Astrology Day

The spring equinox is the beginning of the astrological new year. The ecliptic is divided into 360 degrees. The sun's position at the spring equinox is 0 degrees Aries. I'm partial to the sidereal zodiac where the sun is actually at 5 degrees Pisces.

Your homework for today is to find out what your real sign is. Your real sign is your sidereal sign. Follow it for a few months to see it fits you better. BTW I'm a Virgo, tropical and sidereal :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Blessed Ostara

Easter Winnie The Pooh
Ra's Day
Galactic 28
Dreamspell - White Galactic Dog (8 Oc)- Kin 190
Mayan Tzolk'in - 13 Akbal (Blue Cosmic Night) - Kin 143
Mayan Ha'ab - 11 Kumku

Well, the plan was to dye eggs and then perform a fertility ritual. However, things did not work out that way. There's always tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'm working on the correspondences for what I hope will be the beginning of a family tradition.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - F is for Four Noble Truths

Sekmet's Day
Galactic 25
Dreamspell - Blue Overtone Hand (5 Manik) - Kin 187
Mayan Tzolk'in - 10 Ahau (Yellow Planetary Sun) - Kin 140
Mayan Ha'ab - 8 Kumku

Disclaimer: Buddhism is not technically a pagan religion. However, if you define pagan religion as a religion not belonging under Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, Buddhism would be included. 

Dharma wheel

The four noble truths are one of the central teachings of Buddhism, no matter what sect or tradition.

1. Suffering exists.
From the time that we are born to the time that we die, we suffer. Sometimes suffering can be beneficial (think of good stress, or eustress). In addition to physical discomfort, we experience emotional discomfort such as not getting what we want, being separated from what we like, and encountering what we dislike.

2. Suffering arises from attachment to desires.
Ever hear of retail therapy? We shop for clothes or shoes because we feel bad or upset about something. When that shirt is no longer new, we are back to feeling empty. Same principle applies to emotional eating (comfort food). Take these analogies and apply them to life in general. Start thinking about why you are upset and what you do to relieve the feeling. We control our own suffering; it is not caused by the devil or original sin.

3. Suffering ceases when attachment to desires ceases.
No need for a savior or ransom sacrifice. Just as we control our suffering, we also control the ending of our suffering. Realizing that we harbor attachments is the first step to letting them go. My son's father and I have not been together since my son was born. Every time I had to call him, I would get so upset. It was always a stressful conversation. Once I started practicing Buddhism, I realized that I was attached to the idea of Baby Daddy being an active part in my son's life. I let this idea go and saw him for who he was and that I could not change him. I can only change myself. Now, conversations are markedly more pleasant for me.

4. Cease attachments to desires by practicing the eight-fold path:

  • right view
  • right intention
  • right speech
  • right livelihood
  • right effort
  • right mindfulness
  • right concentration

One does not have to master right view before moving to right intention. Rather, the eight-fold path is to be practice together. Further explanation of the 4th noble truth is a topic for another post.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Monthly meditations via Dreamspell

Isis' Day
Galactic 24
Dreamspell - White Self-Existing World-bridger (4 Cimi) - 186
Mayan Tzolk'in - 9 Cauac (Blue Solar Storm) - Kin 139
Mayan Ha'ab - 7 Kumku

The Maya used different calendar systems. The spiritual one was 260 days (tzolk'in) and the agricultural or solar one was 365 days (ha'ab). Research indicates that the Maya didn't bother with leap days. The Dreamspell calendar system is based on the authentic Mayan calendar systems. I use a modified Dreamspell system in my practice. As I was going through the Star Traveler's 13 Moon Almanac of Synchronicity, I noticed meditations for every 20 days (called uinals, winals, or vinals depending on what website you visit). I could not find any further information on these meditations except what was in the book. A vinal is a 20-day Mayan month in the solar calendar. The remaining 5 days were called wayeb. If you have any background on these meditations, do share. The month's name is followed by the meditation.

1 Pop - The one who knows
2 Wo - Listens in silence
3 Sip - in order to integrate the universe
4 Sotz - based on knowledge
5 Tzek - that reaches the foundations
6 Xul - where with great wisdom a seed is sown
7 Yaxkin - a little ray of the hidden sun
8 Mol - which unifies all the pieces
9 Chen - to enter into the well of the inner wisdom
10 Yax - where the student clears the mind, taking account of what is not yet ripe
11 Sak - dissipating the clouds of doubt, raising oneself up
12 Keh - breaks with habitual caution and reaches the white light
13 Mak - closing the equivocating part and entering a trance
14 Kankin - receives the light of one who knows
15 Muwan - in order to see into darkness
16 Pax - touching a music of the future
17 Kayab - with the song and the rhythm
18 Kumku - located in the correct place where the food of divination is obtained
19 Wayeb - all that is needed to obtain the precious stone

Each line read together is an interesting poem. But what is this precious stone at the end?

Damn you Daylight Saving Time!

My schedule has been seriously off kilter since DST. I've decided that my spiritual practice has no place for DST since it is not a natural occurrence. Just as I am adjusting to the month (moon), I will need to adjust to the day (sun).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Queen's Moon

Ra's day
Galactic 16
Dreamspell - White Solar Mirror (9 Etznab) - Kin 178
Mayan Tzolk'in - 1 Chuen (Blue Magnetic Monkey) - Kin 131
Mayan Ha'ab - 19 Kayab
Full Moon in Leo - Queen's Moon

On the Queen's Moon, we take charge of a situation. It's a day for leadership. If leadership isn't your thing, do something nice for a woman who is in a position of leadership and power in the outside world, and whom you respect. It's a way of showing appreciation for honorable and skilled leaders. - Moon Phase Astrology by Raven Kaldera.

How fitting as March is Women's History Month.

I took a walk tonight under the full moon. It's a mild night and I wished that I lived in the country so I could take my walk nude. I saw a bunny scurry over a neighbor's lawn. Ostara is in less than 2 weeks and I'm excited to work some baby-making magic.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - E is for Eclipse

Sekmet's Day
Galactic 11
Dreamspell - Red Self-Existing Skywalker (4 Ben) - Kin 173
Mayan Tzolk'in - 9 Cimi (White Solar World-bridger) - Kin 126
Mayan Ha'ab - 14 Kayab

In some traditions it is frowned upon to perform magic during eclipses. I totally disagree. I feel that eclipses are a time for increased energies as the Great Triple Goddess is aligned perfectly. If possible, perform your ritual during the exact time of the eclipse. The eclipse will magnify your workings.

Solar eclipses occur when the sun, moon, and earth are in a straight line. A solar eclipse always happens on a New Moon. The next total solar eclipse visible from mainland US will occur 8/21/17. This site has more information. I would be interested if there are any pagan groups meeting in NC or SC to perform ritual. When the sun, earth, and moon are aligned, a lunar eclipse will occur. This always happens on a Full Moon. The next one visible from US will be in 2014.

Although new and full moons happen every month, eclipses do not. This is because the moon's orbit is tilted in  respect to earth's orbit. Eclipses occur when the sun's apparent path intersects the moon's path. The intersection point is called the lunar node. Sorry to get all scientific on you but I think that it's important to understand a little astronomy. The relative rarity of eclipses makes them more special.

Total solar eclipse

Total lunar eclipse

What does your tradition say about eclipses?