Thursday, September 27, 2012

National Ancestor Day

Ancestor - a deceased person from whom one is descended especially if the relationship is more remote than grandparent. One can trace his/her lines directly to from a terminal ancestor.

Who knew? I cannot find any history on this pseudo-holiday. Some pagans honor their ancestors as part of their practice. Others use Samhain (Halloween) to try to contact them on the spirit plane. My family has a Facebook group where one of the cousins is trying to gather everyone together. She has lots of stories to tell and wants to pass them down to the younger generation. I never knew my paternal grandfather and she told me a little story about him.

I only know my maternal great-grandparents, sort of. My great-grandmother remarried; they didn't have any kids. I vaguely remember my great-grandfather. He lived in Laurel and had cable way back when it was a status symbol to have it. I remember seeing my aunt (?) who looked like the stereotypical Native American with 2 long black ponytails. (Yes, I know lots of folks say "I got Indian in my family." I want to eventually prove or disprove this as it relates to me.)

There's this ancestor meditation where you recite your genealogy as far back as you can. Here is an example of a simplified genealogy. Insert your own information.

I am Buddhagan
daughter of DLP and MAH
granddaughter of DS and WJP, AS and LDH
great-granddaughter of BS...

end with child, daughter, or son of the (Divine, Universe, or Deity of choice) to show that we all are connected.

I'm Black American not African American. True, Blacks may have come to America via African but as of yet, I cannot trace my roots to any country in Africa.

Remember kiddies, Africa is a CONTINENT not a country.
I would like to honor the gods of all my ancestors which likely include First Peoples and European cultures.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Random Ramblings

I participated in a Social Justice retreat held by Towson last year. It made me realize that there are all types of "-privilege" and that I'm a minority in most of them. Humans are social creatures; even introverts come out of their fortresses of solitude to interact with people every once in a while. Ever since I was laid off in January, I've been isolated. I miss the camaraderie with my fellow employees. Now that we are down to 1 car, I feel trapped.

It's hard for me to make new friends. This skill was never fully developed thanks to my Jehovah's Witness mother picking my friends for me. Thank Goddess for social networking. There are so many exJW sites and groups online; it helps to know that I'm not alone. Now if I can only meet up with them IRL.

My online peeps are awesome. Nice to have folks cheering you on when you haven't even met them. Race and gender are irrelevant. Religion matters as an interest but everyone is respectful when interests differ.

Sometimes when I try to fit in I wind up feeling more awkward. I'm in this online group that supposed to be encouraging but everyone always quotes Bible verses. Not so encouraging to me. I've posted a few inspiring words from other places but no one seems to notice them. Probably time to move on.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - S is for Seshat

Seshat is the consort of Djehuty (Thoth). She is Egyptian goddess of wisdom, knowledge, writing, architecture, astronomy, astrology, measurements, genealogy  and math. As the goddess of wisdom, knowledge, and writing, Seshat oversees the library where spells are kept and is the matron of libraries today. As goddess of math, she is in charge of censuses and accounting. Her crown is a 7-pointed star (or cannibis leaf?) and her dress is of a leopard or cheetah pattern.

Seshat assisted the pharoahs in the "stretching of the cord" ceremony. This was important to ensure that new structures were built and aligned properly. She also made sure that rituals and spells were carried out as specified in Djehuty's scrolls. says that in modern times Seshat is regarded as the goddess of computers, operating systems, software, and even the Internet itself. I cannot find any other reference to this.

She is a Goddess of the state; as such there are no known temples to her. However she did have priests. I cannot find any definitive information on Her colors, offerings, scents, etc. I did however find this poem written in her honor.

Seshat and I
I read many times about pagans finding their god/desses. Granted, I didn't meditate as much as I should have but from what I've read of Seshat, She may not have reached out to me anyway. According to my personal calendar, I was born on the day of Djhuty/Seshat. Much better than being Wednesday's child full of woe. Seshat is the Goddess of several of my interests:

  • I love knowledge and learning about new things. Sometimes I wish I had a plug in the back of my head a la Matrix to download information. It will be a sad day if and when libraries cease to exist.
  • I used to write poetry. Haven't had the inspiration for some time though. I did write my entire wedding ceremony though.
  • I have 2 degrees: AS in Accounting and BS in Information Technology. In fact, I semi-jokingly declared my matron goddess as the unnamed Goddess of Technology. Seems that I have found Her.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - S is for Sabbat

As the Wheel of the Year turns, some Neopagans keep track by celebrating the sabbats. Sabbats divide the year into eighths and are sun holidays (mark the path of sun in the sky) as opposed to esbats which are moon holidays (mark the phases of the moon). It is not mandatory to celebrate sabbats but I encourage you to keep track for at least a year and watch the seasons change.

My path does not require a myth to go with the WotY. Therefore, I won't be providing any. The dates are not fixed due to the fact that the earth's orbit is not round. Sabbats are from a northern hemisphere perspective and I'm referencing the traditional (tropical) zodiac.

Dark half
Yule, winter solstice - 12/21
AKA: Christmas
0 deg Capricorn
Moon phase: new
Colors: red, green

Imbolc - 2/3
AKA: Groundhog Day
15 deg Aquarius
Moon phase: waxing crescent
Colors: ?

Ostara, spring equinox - 3/20
AKA: Easter
0 deg Aries
Moon phase: 1st quarter
Colors: all pastels

Beltane - 5/4
AKA: May Day
15 deg Taurus
Moon phase: waxing gibbous
Colors: all jewel tones

Light half
Litha, summer solstice - 6/20
AKA: St. John's Day
0 deg Cancer
Moon phase: full
Colors: bright reds, oranges, and yellows; green

Lammas - 8/6
AKA: Lammas, St. Peter in Chains
15 deg Leo
Moon phase: waxing gibbous
Colors: tan

Mabon, fall equinox - 9/22
0 deg Libra
Moon phase: 3rd quarter
Colors: dark reds, dark oranges, gold, brown

Samhain - 11/6
AKA: Halloween
15 deg Scorpio
Moon phase: waxing crescent
Colors: orange, black

The last 3 sabbats are sometimes known as harvest holidays. Since I'm an urban witch and not a farmer, it's hard for me to make that connect. Lammas is back-to-school time and Mabon is near my birthday. For Samhain and Yule, my family celebrates a secular version and a spiritual version on different days.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Widow's Moon

Geb's Day
LuniSol - Moonth 10, Day 14
Metonic - Year 13, Lunation 207, Day 27
Dreamspell - Blue Electric Hand (3 Manik) - Kin 107
Mayan Tzolk'in - 8 Ahau (Yellow Galactic Sun) - Kin 60
Mayan Ha'ab - 3 Chen

Waning Crescent in sidereal Cancer

On the Widow's Moon, we mourn and grieve for our losses. We also give our aid to people who are lost and grieving, perhaps helping them with the everyday tasks that seem so hard for a grieving person to manage. If there was anyone who has passed that you don't feel you properly grieved for, this it the time to do it. - Moon Phase Astrology by Raven Kaldera.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - R is for the Right Stuff (Eight-Fold Path)

If you recall my post on the Four Noble Truths, the 4th truth tells us how to cease attachments to desires with the right stuff. The Eight-Fold path is divided into 3 sections.

  1. Right View - See things as they are. Know that your current situation and mood is not permanent.
  2. Right Intention - Give up selfish thoughts. Wish happiness for all.
Ethical Conduct
  1. Right Speech - Watch what you say. Avoid gossip and lying. Always aim to upbuild with your words.
  2. Right Action - Watch what you do. Stealing, harming others intentionally*, harming yourself, and sexual misconduct** are not proper. 
  3. Right Livelihood - We need money to survive. However, make sure that your occupation or the company you work for does not violate the other parts of the path. 
Mental Development
  1. Right Effort - Use your will to strengthen good thoughts and release bad ones.
  2. Right Mindfulness - Pay attention to what's happening right NOW. How often do we multitask? 
  3. Right Concentration - Pay attention to an object or thought and keep it there. Hard, isn't it? Meditation will help strengthen your concentration muscles.

*Some include harming animals as violating Right Action and are vegetarians. I believe this is a conscience and health matter. There is no Deity in Buddhism to condemn you to hell or some other tortuous place if you eat meat. I believe in humane killings of animals for food. I do not support hunting animals for sport.

**Sexual misconduct is not defined in Buddhism at least not that I can tell. Your personal values will come into play here. For example if you are in a monogamous relationship (gender unimportant), having another sex partner may be misconduct. If you are in a polygamous relationship, it may not be.