Monday Mended-At-Last

My little Navaho-made Crow Mother kachina, a broken orphan I told you about before?  I finished the repair job today.  Last week, I had roughed out the shape of the crow wings to adorn her little head.  But my wood-burning tool was away being repaired itself – so I could not finish.

Today’s mailbox contents delivered me from the suspense of waiting!  I unlimbered it and warmed it up almost immediately.

FullSizeRenderCarving the feathering of the crow wings struck me as very difficult for my level of (in)competency, but I knew one of my wood burning tips etched deeply into any dry wood.  It had taken me six tries to get a pair of wings not broken in some fashion and roughly symmetrical.

So I burn-etched the feather details into to soft cottonwood root wood, on both sides.  My next worry was that I would end up with wings and yucca “whips” looking too brilliant and new.  I have no idea as to the age of this kachina — my guess is late 1980’s or 1990’s and the paint looks like it was very lightly applied or is very faded.

Most kachinas seem to present the yucca plant bits in brilliant white for the root area and very bright green at the top.  That would look out of character with the rest of the piece, I thought.  Also, the “ruff” like feather at the top of the shoulders was a peculiar color very at odds with every other Crow Mother I’ve ever seen.  So that was the only alteration to the non-replaced bits — <del>I darkened it to an evergreen shade</del>I repainted it to look like a fox skin ruff, tho’ the picture above does not show the correct color.

Last I painted the wings and then rubbed the paint off to both lighten the effect and show the etched in feather details.  Once they were dry, I glued them in place in the grooves where the originals had been.  I had no idea, of course, what the original wing pieces were like.  But the straighter up and down style on my Hopi Crow Mother didn’t strike me as working for this one.

So I made the new wings more wing-like; it is possible I had winged’ Valkyrie helms too close in my mind!  But I am satisfied with the effect and she has taken her place on my altar!  Where she can daily remind me to accept new things, changes, and personal growth as a sign of life, not a sign of duress and defeat!

Downton Abbey Meets the Elder Gods Beings?

I worked outdoors over the weekend, doing some quite heavy lifting. So I was tired on Sunday morning after a restless night (after watching too much Downton Abbey with my Brit television adoring husband), and went for a cat nap before the weekend grocery run.  I do so love a good hypnagogic hallucination state. I fell at once into that shallow stupor wherein one can simultaneously dream and hear normal waking world sounds in the room.

HatchlingI could hear the thrumming of the hummingbird wings outside the closed window and the clink of dishes in the kitchen.  But behind my closed eyes I was seeing myself walking in very Edwardian dress — long slim skirt, long jacket, cloche hat.  Before me was an impressive building with a sculptured frieze wending its way round the walls at eye level.  With the wonder of dreams, my vision zoomed like a camera to a very Hellenic-influenced Buddha figure that rose above the surround.  I opened one eye to stare at the soft gray-green shade of my pillowcase, and then sank back into the dream of my gloved hand reaching to touch the carved figure.

As I did so, my dreaming eye zoomed again, to the tiny details on the base of the Buddha statue.  Here was some great saurian beast — a cross betwixt dinosaur and dragon!  It lay prone in a sculpted wreckage of dead vegetation and debris, eyes shut.  I leaned closer, until the one to two inch figure was my entire field of view. With a shocking sudden motion, the stone eye popped OPEN revealing a wildly blue eye, neon bright, utterly focused on me!

In my hallway, I heard the dogs toenails clicking as they hopped out of bed in the adjoining room and made for the family room.  I moved, in my  dream state, sideways.  The eye darkened and then rolled, following my motion.  A sense of mournfulness filled me.  I tried to lift my eyes to the peaceful Buddha image, but the melancholy blue eye held me.  And then, only slightly more slowly, it closed and the field of my dream went black.

I sat up in bed.  I felt like I had looked into the eyes of dead ages, dressed in the clothing of an age where modern war (WWI) was yet a savage shock so repellent that generation was sure there could simply be no more war.  But that eye of an elder being, long extinct so carefully taking me in — still and small to it’s regard?  The mental sigh was that of a life that, like us, thought itself the top of the food chain and had been brought low to death and extinction.

Is that where we humans are?  Are we at the edge, still telling ourselves our technology will save us?  The planet spins on unceasingly; but would spin as well without us hubristic humans.  Global climate change is changing the weather — vast storms undo the best laid plans (and planes) of men; populations starve and thirst will soon be more than a craving for a favorite coffee beverage.  China chokes on stagnant smog, forests die of acid rain.  Bees, wild and domestic – the pollinators of our food – are dying.  And yet, we go on as before; using poisons as if we are not also the poisoned.

An ancient myth-worthy eye opened to look at me in a dream and woke a question in my waking mind:  We tell ourselves stories of dragons; what stories might some other newer beings tell themselves of us?

 

 

 

A Tale of Two Kachinas

I saw my first Hopi Kachina dolls on a shelf in Albuquerque, New Mexico back in 1977. I stood mesmerized, a glass counter between me and the objects of my fascination. I had the same feeling I got standing in ancient cathedrals in Europe — that uncanny, unsettling sensation of the numinous near at hand.

CrowmotherBut I did not own any kachina dolls until about 1996. When I finally bought one it was in Leavenworth, Washington – a peculiarly intentional Bavarian village themed town aimed at tourists. Imagine my surprise to find a shop full of things from the American Southwest! I was suddenly transfixed in front of one doll, the simple legend read “Crow Mother” and it was carved by a Hopi woman named Esther Jackson. She was a member of a kachina carving family, though I did not know that then.

I bought the doll and drove back home over the Cascade Mountains in the dark, in a drenching downpour. Shadows seemed to stalk my little white car, the night felt momentous in a fashion that was so oddly frighteningly encompassing that even the children fell silent in the back seat! When I studied the story of my kachina, I found she was in charge of the initiation of Hopi children. In the years to come, I found myself looking to this literally graven image when I felt my life was giving me yet another initiation!

So it was, in late fall of 2011, as my husband entered his PTSD crisis and I fled to the secondary dwelling on our property to try maintaining my own sanity, I took Crow Mother with me.  She stood on the top shelf of my computer desk there, with a pretty pottery bowl in a  wooden cradle next to her.  Incense was set to burn in the sand in that bowl on occasion.  I looked at her often, likely with more of an imploring expression than any proper humanist should claim.  I was sure my life was undergoing an initiatory change and it was painful and frightening; so looking at the mistress of such educational moments reaffirmed to me my own deep belief that life IS change, that it is an endless series of initiations to be accepted.

But late one night in 2013, as I entered my third year of marital exile, I was awakened by a horrific clatter and crash in the darkness.  When I put the lights on, I found the pottery bowl’s three legged wooden cradle had apparently collapsed, dumping the heavy sand filled bowl towards Crow Mother in her dish of blue cornmeal – toppling her from the shelf.  The bowl itself fell to the desk below and broke another piece of treasured pottery – a vase with antlers.  Crow Mother was on the floor, very broken — her wings were busted, the little plate she held (in lieu of the traditional yucca whips) was snapped in two and nowhere in sight.  One leg was broken as well.  I felt almost as shattered myself.  Sand covered everything – the desk, the keyboard, the broken bits.  I swept up the mess into a bag and put it outdoors on the porch and then went back to bed to cry in the dark.

My husband was more calm.  He repaired the broken kachina, all save the missing plate that I never found.  I gave the doll to him, quite superstitiously concluding that “she” didn’t want to be mine any more!  And perhaps I hoped she had something to teach to him!  In 2014, I still lived in what I called my Haven, but Crow Mother had taken up residence upon the Minotaur’s desk.  We prepared for my move back into my marital home by rebuilding the kitchen, re-painting several rooms, and refinishing much furniture.  In late August, 2014, I moved back to my home and my eldest son resumed his life with his pets in the Haven/”Batchelor’s Quarters.”  (A month later, my runaway youngest son returned home after 15 years absence, to the joy of us all.  Both men now spend time in their refuge away from us parental units.)

the brokenThis year, browsing online to buy a kachina (the “Bear” kachina – Hon)for my husband’s birthday; I saw another Crow Mother.  This one was by a Navaho artist named Burt Jones, and it was carved more like many Hopi kachinas.  Sadly, this one was also very broken — wingless and sans yucca whips.  It called to mind the latest incarnation of “Maleficent” with a powerful female figure deprived of the sky by a damaged male.  Yes, I looked at that broken kachina doll and had a right proper little drama queen moment for myself!  I bought the broken doll.

I thought that repairing her might be a good symbol for the repair of myself.  There she stands, side by side with her Hopi-made sister.  We ordered cottonwood root wood with which to make repairs, you see it between the two Crow Mothers and in slabs I had cut off to work on making wings and yucca whips for her hands to hold.  I decided I would use no power tools.  I have never carved or even whittled wood before, so this was a bit brave for me since I am no artist at all!

hopicrwmthrAs I sat drawing wings and taking my old Buck pocket knife to work upon them, I thought how symbolic it was that the little gift-like plate of the Hopi doll had broken away and vanished.  This occurred at the low point of my self-exile, when I myself had literally nothing left to offer to my marriage.  My Minotaur husband has vowed to carve a replacement for his Initiatrix.

Wood carving did not come easily to me.  Cottonwood root is really very soft, so I thought it would be easier.  Yet I broke preliminary wing after wing.  But each failure taught me something.  I stopped working on the wings and took the long slender shavings and carved the yucca whips first.  It is these leaves from the wild yucca plants with which Crow Mother can administer educational smacks to the children/initiated ones, you see?  Perhaps that was the best approach, because after that I did seem to catch on more rapidly!

NavCrwMthrToday, on my Monday off and a full moon, I sat down to work again.  Although the yucca whips were not painted yet, I jammed them into the sockets in her hands.  I drew a paper pattern of wings and transferred it to the last flat plate of wood I had cut off the round root.

Today, I succeeded.  Two wings are roughed out and sanded smoothly!  I still have to put the feathering marks on them and paint them before gluing them back into the grooves I prepared by chipping out the remnants of the busted wings.  But there she stands, ready to be symbolically recharged — re-winged!  I don’t deceive myself about my carving abilities.  I am awaiting the repair of my wood burning tool to etch the feather details onto the wings before painting and affixing them.

At last, perhaps with each archetypal element applied to the repair – the knife (like Airy tarot swords) to carve, sand paper like Earth, like sandstone used by Native artisans, Fire to burn-etch the feathery details, and Watery paints to complete the details, I will be able to feel myself properly initiated at last into a real marriage.  The one that has struggled stubbornly against the wind of PTSD for almost four decades before had fallen to ashes and has been re-kindled by the joint efforts of my husband and myself.  He has taken the lead since shortly after that bitter night in 2013.  Perhaps we both found our initiation?

The Romantic Finish

seven-foldThe third day to finish the working against the murderous Boko Haram members savaging Africa — on Valentine’s Day.  So under the felted heart garland on the hearth altar, sweet spring scented candles aflame in an old aebelskiver pan.  After “war” the goal is peace, right?

Thus altars round the house had candles oiled for healing, for recovery – and set alight.  My sodden, muddy work clothes, a far cry from fancy ritual dress in pagan books, were washed and dried.  A good meal “khara pasanda” was cooked with light puffy  dry roasted chapatis breads: Indian food always says love to me.  We married in Berlin and our first apartment had a Sikh landlord; I learned to cook Indian food from his wife.  So, thinking of healing love, we ate tender lamb cooked in a creamy cardamom yogurt sauce scooped up in soft,warm buttered flatbreads.  The food of once-upon-a-time Moghul emperors to mark the end of magical battle:  cultural co-existence is not impossible; but murderous religious frenzy cannot be allowed.

I finished up with post-action divination, asking my tarot cards whether Boko Haram would be negatively affected by the magical action.  The answer was yes, with a caveat of it taking some time.  So now to wait in local peace and hope for the same afar.

February is not a warring month here normally.  It is the month of Valentines for most of the world.  Here it is the world of our modified Lupercalia in mid-February, when a fire is lit to farewell the winter.  We eat cookies stamped with a wolf’s head and hail the spring to come.  It is the month of my wedding anniversary and the birthday of my eldest child.  All most of us want is a secure home life, some love in our life (even in Boko Haram’s stomping grounds), children round the table to share a meal and laughter — that is the goal, of the mundane life and the magical one.

Lights, Intention, Action: The Limits of Metaphor – in Magic, as in Gardening

I am in that “zone” for two hours, until my phone shakes me out of it. That place where the rain gently pattering sounds like every drop hits a tin roof.  My husband made me promise to take breaks, thus my phone’s alarm blaring in upon me.  “How,” a friend once said with a very dubious look on her face, “Do you ever maintain a magical focus for those long days of magic/garden war-making; it is impossible!?

waxingNo, not really.  It becomes quite simple.  I set a mood to prepare myself, I tell myself my goals, both pragmatic (getting rid of that one little bastard weed) and magical (setting the magical hounds of death upon Boko Haram) .  My little fire survivor candle-woman, who inexplicably makes me think of the goddess Freyja, holds aloft her candles while showing me her “waxing moon” face.

Later, outside, as the chill of February (which doesn’t kill the weeds I am after!) makes my ankle ache and my titanium-clipped neck throb?  I will call that face, those lights back to mind.  I will hold the warm glow in my mind for 30 seconds and continue.  And if that is not enough?  I will recall another deep cobalt glow beside the Lady Lamp on my desk, she who never removes her regard from a blue marble looking globe beside her.

Watch-lightIt always makes me wistful, this lamp – and I completely understand theism of various sorts as I see it.   How comforting to think some might Being watches and sees and cares!  But of course, I do not believe that — I tried for years and always failed in some manner.  I think “that” which answers prayers, those that do seem answered, is US.  People, our Will and determination — which, obviously, is not usually focused enough to do any good at all.  But I do think, now and again, there is a laser-like beam of determination possible.  Therein lies magic!

TargetThat is what my day in the gardens of the house are about: a laser, a focus, a constant considering of my goal.  I had one weed in mind when I had the failing rain “name” them all Boko Haram in the confines of my gardens.  It is a pretty little thing.  It puts up a spike that blossoms sweet smelling white flowers.  The seeds form long and slender, and when they dry they fly off the stalk like a botanical ‘bouncing betty’ mine effect.  They are nigh indestructible by easy means for a mostly organic gardener.  If I hoe them up and leave them on the ground, they re-root by the next day.  Even in frosting nights, they survive unrooted and the flower spike grows on out of the withering body of the plant, and makes the seeds all the same!  Thus, every bit of the plant must be put in a bin; my composting is not hot enough to stop the process or kill the seeds.  They will go off to the county composting unit!  So how like Boko Haram — wildly producing, hard to stop by anything short of absolutely lethal means.

So it is easy, on my hands and knees, pulling these out of the ground — sometimes so thickly grown that the roots remind me of mushroom mycelium — less than an inch across, barely out of the cold soil and there will be a white flower bud at heart, already ready to blossom into death for the garden plants around it! How like Boko Haram!  Other weeds are safe this day for the most part; a Zen like focus on this one plant makes me see them and little else.

I get ready to sink my sharp garden tool to sweep loose soil so I can finger rake out a patch almost a foot square.  I stop just in time, so focused on killing my little green target I almost missed that they were atop a slab of iris rhizomes.  I would have sunk my tool into them and killed or damaged them.  Oooooh — collateral damage!?  And here I kept hoping my magical strike was “surgical”!  Oh, so wrong, I was.

When I choose to pull out a bunch of these intermixed with seedlings of Nigella (“Persian Gems”), am  I destroying something in Iran?  No, of course not.  Or is it?  If I am doing  sympathetic magic where one thing equals something else — do I have to name other things specifically, or is the damage a carry over as soon as my monkey mind makes that leap of connection?  I am experimenting with hope of sending that laser will of connection to smash murderous men.  Even I must beware of collateral damage, perhaps?

But I won’t get them all, will I?  Not every weed.  I won’t kill something else to get those little green bastards.  Not intentionally.  So, later with the next sunny day there will be chemical war — high acid vinegar shot onto leaves whose roots I could not pull!  So the metaphors that focus me and keep me on task as my body accrues pain that will keep me wakeful after darkness brings me inside?  They hobble me as well.

What would political entities do then?  Ted Cruz would bomb it till it glows as he said – he gives not one damn about collateral damage.  I, on the other hand, am a “why” person.  I ask “Why?” all the time.  Why is Boko Haram so murderous; is it really religion?  Or is it power and money named as religion?  More than sorcerers, witches, and magicians use proxies, eh?  Finding the why can sometimes stop something dire in its tracks.

Somalian pirates are pirates because their economy based on fishing was derailed by no way to keep other people from fishing out their coastlines, for instance.  Caring enough to prevent that could have helped keep the Somalian people from resorting to ransoms for richer countries citizens?  Is there something like that for the Boko Haram killers?  Or are they as I suspect the ISIL murderers are — a few religious fanatics who love power over other people, and a lot of pure sociopaths and psychopaths who want to be loosed upon a human fold like rabid wolves?

For the people they victimize, there is little time to consider those philosophical, socio-political niceties.  The “wolves” of either group simply need to be gone, dead, or too afraid to show their craven cruel faces.  So, my break is over.  The croissants that were rising as I worked are baked now.  I will eat one and return to the misting rain, the cold earth ‘neath my knees, and wreaking havoc near, and of course in theory – afar.

 

 

The Night Before Tomorrow

What if there is a language we can speak that the very molecules of the our world can understand?  If the archetypal elements of creation – Earth, Air, Fire, Water are allies and powers to those who can summon and “speak” with them?  This is, of course, the assumption  (possibly presumption?!) of sorcerers, witches, and the like.  Of whom, I am one.

My methods are psychologically sound and satisfying in symbolism, ritually right, and socially responsible.  Are they magically effective?  How is a skeptic to know?  Truth is, I cannot know; thus I will act as if my efforts carry the potency I am denied by location, place in life, and lack of an Army at my command.  Oh, wait….that is what I am using magic FOR, right?  To summon an “army” to my command!

summoning of forces  My singular and solitary mumblings hearth-side tell me that every day begins the night before.  So because tomorrow is the day of the magical strike on Boko Haram, I am beginning this Friday with preparations and preliminary efforts.  Since I am one who believes in speaking to the allies of the Earth – the Elementals, today I “summon” them.  Doesn’t that sound presumptuous?   I invite them.  I like that better.  I do this using elemental condensers — potions made to translate my Will to the energetic forces that encircle our world.

There upon my hearth-altar are my condensers*, the one for Fire in the tall bottle — it will be written with that goose-quill pen, to be burnt/transmuted into Fire before it dries.  In the little brass cauldron, it will be evaporated to speak to Air.  The wee four-square bottle is for Earth and will in the dark of the night, be poured out to tell Earth to be bitter, hostile, and deathly beneath the very feet treading African soil in hostility and hatred.  The shallow bowl, for Water?  That already was taken outdoors in the driving rain and tossed to join the raindrops  so that it can tell every raindrop falling upon a weed (oh-so-many) in my half acre yard to be “christened” as a Boko Haram proxy, a substitute for one of those mad, murderous men in Africa. And tomorrow I will DESTROY them working all day to rip them from the ground.  (Yes, it is convenient that it also frees my flower beds and gardens of interlopers.)

At dusk, I will walk my Labyrinth and tell “my” dead – the soldiers who have already fallen in the wars against extremists.  I will tell them of the murdered and tortured victims, many girls and women, of Boko Haram.  I am no necromancer, I don’t issue orders to the fallen my Walk was built for; but what they do with the information I tell them is up to them!  If aught survives death?  I have to assume feelings and motivations possibly might be the same as mine.  If a magical justice could be delivered from so many hands….

Sunday will be for succor of surviving victims — soft spells and warm candles alight to gleam in darkness.

  • I admit, I somewhat preposterously and pretentiously prefer to call them condensOrs!

ABCs – Agendas, Beliefs, and Consequences

coffee goldThere is an old saying about “the third time is the charm”. I certainly hope so, because I have now begun my  2016 “new year” three times: once at Samhain, once on January 1st, and most recently on Chinese New Year!  I’ve not been impressed with the 21st century, aka “age of Aquarius” thus far.  It brings up random dreads, glooms and dooms of various sorts that I’d be happier not dwelling upon over my morning coffee!

The level of apparent ignorance of our “politicians” about how our government is supposed to work, for instance?  (Politicians is in quotes because Trump is NOT one, he is the 21st century version of a Barnum and Bailly circus ringmaster.)  Makes me think none of them even TOOK civics class in high school.  The reaction from alleged citizens makes me think they never even heard of civics/American government class.  The Flint Michigan water debacle combined with this apparent latent idiocy reminds me of the theory that the Roman Empire finally failed because of lead poisoning rendering people too venal and dumb to properly react to what was happening to their world.

back tatts large_aSo, yes, I admit the century looks very dark to me just now.  I cannot really discuss politics any more.  I want Bernie Sanders in the White House. (Anyone telling me that makes me a “bad feminist” can expect a random hex tossed their way.  I don’t believe in lock-step ideologies of ANY sort, even if labeled feminist.  If Sarah Palin was running, nobody would be insisting I vote ‘as a woman, for a woman’, would they?)   I AM a woman (see photo above*) and I strongly advocate feminine power.  I want to SEE the “Nordic Model” at least attempted whole-heartedly before my nation rejects the idea and goes whole hog consumers-worshiping-the-rich.  I think our national anthem for the next five decades should be “Eat the Rich”, ok?  That is the limit of my political discussion these days. *Which is unduly large because WP won’t allow me the control to shrink it!

Now, about my little alphabet title.  Back when I took EMT training, it was “airway, bleeding, circulation” as the watchwords to keeping someone alive.  My socio-political-magical alphabet is a bit similar; my key to mental and social life and  guiding my actions towards keeping my nation and world alive!  Does agenda, beliefs, and consequences equate to the EMT alphabet of life?

Is an agenda similar to an airway?  It could be.  If you examine the seeming agenda of American economic systems – it does seem as important as breathing, doesn’t it?  But to my eyes, the agenda of fostering the very wealthy while ignoring the mass of society has a throttling, strangling effect.   When “corporations are people” and money is “free speech”?  That means speech is very much not free, it costs money the average American doesn’t have; if you are someone who likes those bumper stickers reading “Freedom isn’t free”?  Possibly we should admit that we now need one saying “Free $peech?

cyn & fireSo America’s current agenda is pretty counter-productive to the typical citizen, thus as a person who feels it just might be possible to affect change through magical action?  I need a countering agenda, don’t I?  Since Samhain last year?  I’ve given a great deal of thought to what that agenda might be.  I won’t lie,  I have largely focused on a tool I often regard as one chosen by those at last resort with no power in the social or political world they live in!  No, not terrorism, thank you very much.  Magic!   I have ever been inspired by the not-often-enough mentioned Magical Battle of Britain!

There is a reason women get accused of witchcraft, because historically women get deprived of power and must use what they can take for themselves.  No, this does not mean bowing to mystical escapism and prayer.  For me, it means experiencing and experimenting, as I often discussed at former blogs of mine.  It has been said that magic is only that which science has inadequately explained and I think that is likely true.  No, the picture of me at right doing sorcerer’s apprentice dramatics is ritual, not a magical working per se.  My agenda for the next year will be down in the dirt practical magic combined with mundane efforts like contacting elected officials, refusing to engage in certain social habits while espousing others.  I will work while magically focused and half-entranced, using actions like naming things for things I want destroyed (boko haram anyone?) and then I will destroy said objects.  Since for some reason “3” does seem to hold significance regarding effectiveness, I usually do this for three DAYS at a run.  So yes, I will work routinely this year for what you could call (or dismiss as) magical justice.

Woman-0n-the-crossAnd “B” for “bleeding” or “beliefs”?  Everyone has beliefs.  I do think there is a profound difference between a belief and a fact.  I don’t care if you believe in Jesus or Buddha.  But if that means you don’t believe in a woman’s right to control her body and destiny?  Or global climate change due to human action and pollution?  If your beliefs give you some specially mandated right to deny facts and rights of others?   Well, then you and I are going to have a serious disagreement.  I am also going to be both angry with you and somewhat pitying because you are a deluded moron.  The only thing consistently crucified this century, if you ask me?  Not Jesus, but WOMEN.  You know, the half of humanity that does (apparently terrifyingly) BLEED monthly and yet live? I don’t think anyone’s beliefs should require the life blood of others without their permission.  I know I keep my beliefs aligned with this idea; it is why I have not personally sacrificed anyone screaming about patriotism while screwing over soldiers and veterans and never serving in harm’s way themselves!  (Oh, come ON, take a joke, You!  You know who you are — those of you who say horrid things to women and then claim it was mere humor?)  So check those beliefs at the door if the believer isn’t willing to bleed for it, but thinks other non-believers should bleed out for their satisfaction.  Or their “god’s” satisfaction.

yowe kachinaI am a humanist, not a theist.  I believe in human action on this human filled sphere of existence!  I posit the idea that gods/goddesses may exist, but if so?  They are beings with their own existence to be concerned about; I don’t believe they take an interest in us any more than we notice ants on a log.  I could be wrong, I’ve had experiences that often make me think I am wrong.  But I simply cannot wrap my mind around the idea of deities that need humans to enact their alleged will.  If your god needs you to go kill or die for him?  He’s a pretty piss poor god, in my opinion!  So I won’t be holding with anyone killing OR dying for god.  There it is my belief on THAT!  That Navaho kachina at right?  That is “Yowe, the Priest Killer” and I have him in my house for a reason: to remember that Pascal was wrong — beliefs DO have real life and death consequences that can be damned undesirable!  He holds a priest’s head in his left hand and a knife in his right.  Gruesome, yes?  And terribly reminiscent of ISIL actions on the alleged behalf of their god.  Take warning, America….

That brings us to “C” for “circulation” or “consequences”, right?  If you drop a grand piano on some dude’s leg, the consequence is going to be a crushed extremity with no circulation likely unless it is lifted off in a hurry.  I see so many people who seem to not be capable of seeing consequences.  Five members of the Supreme Court, for instance, more concerned with circulation of money in business instead of circulation of pollution in air.  The consequences to big business go to the bank; the consequences of that air pollution could be with the inhabitants of the planet for the next ten thousand years!

As a country, we seem too willing to believe our light-minded and fast-mouthed media.  They talk about ideas in circulation, sure enough; but they neglect serious discussion of consequences.  And money seems to buy a way out of many deserved consequences, too.  If the only “consequence” worthy of action in America has to do with bucks in Daddy Warbuck’s pockets?  How does that serve YOU, the ordinary citizen?  I promised myself on this new blog that I would not swear, nor use crude metaphors about things like what really trickles down; but I sometimes fear that a consequence to the dearth of intellectual circulation means that nothing save utter crudeness will reach the majority of American minds. It always deeply troubled me that my most profanely furious posts were the most popular, while carefully enunciated and considered writings were ignored.  What is the consequence of never thinking more deeply than the latest media “viral” thing?

cold war vetThe consequence of believing Communism was the most evil thing ever was the decades of the Cold War.  I was a Cold Warrior.  Yes, the wind across the Berlin Wall did, in fact, feel colder and deadlier, as I recall it.  But what really made it that way was nothing to do with Communism; it was that we were willing to use nuclear annihilation instead of examining what our beliefs were doing to us and to others.

We are a small planet, growing ever smaller and more connected.  Nearly every epidemic has a very good chance of becoming a pandemic these days.  What China puts in the air darkens the sky above me eventually, here on the Western edge of America.  Oil is running out, and worse, water is the next scarcity.  Shall we go on blowing each other up over scarce things necessary for life  — food, clean water, clean air, places to live, medical care?  Shall we go on buying lies and promises of pie in the sky while the very, very wealthy practice the age old crime of gluttony?  Shall mankind be a biological experiment of the natural world that fails without need of asteroid strikes?

Or can we grow up?  Can we talk about our SPECIES instead of our nationalities, our ethnicities, our religions, our genders?  I can take my beliefs and make and act upon my agenda to change the consequences I see even without a crystal ball.  What about you?

The Imbolc Fire in My Mouth

heart charm close upI am pagan minded.  A fact noticed by and decried by a dear friend who was also my one-time philosophy professor: “But C. that is completely pagan in thought!”  “Well, yes,” I told him, “and what of it?”  He was an agnostic, so why on earth should he care if I was “stepping away” from America’s allegedly dominant Christian paradigm?  But I’m not Wiccan, nor a reconstructionist of either Hellene or Nordic tastes.  I’m a terrifically eclectic humanist who doesn’t mind swiping pretty metaphysical “sparklies” where-ever I find them! (All I needed to learn about life, I learned from twenty years of pet ferrets?)

So while I don’t actually celebrate Imbolc, it is around this time of year that I begin to think about whether it is a year to light our firepit out back for a humanized sort of Lupercalia at mid-month.  Thus, I cast about this time of year as my roughest roses put out tiny green leaves and buds form heavy on trees, and birch bark peels attractively in the icy rains.  Casting about in my favorite German Deli today, I picked up a bottle of “Waldmeister” syrup and some Ayinger “Brauweisse” beer.  When I got home, I poured about two tablespoons of the lucent green syrup made from sweet woodruff and topped it with 24 ounces of wheat beer!

My husband and I shared it in the wide topped stemmed glass.  It was delicious, a foretaste of spring and the return to life!  Springtime with all the tender green of the buds in a shared cup, a bit of tipsy leisure of a weekday afternoon.  I may advise care in what one finds holy enough to “worship”; but I can be a downright hoydenish about taking one’s pleasures when and where they are found!  Whether the weather allows for a fire as America celebrates Valentine’s Day or not — our hearts and heads are leafing green with spring’s first buds of joy here.

I prefer my metaphysical metaphors made manifest in fizzy bubbly alcohol from time to time!  The rest of spring?  Well, the waldmeister (forest master) syrup will sparkle in mere bubbly water.  But today, against the skies of gray, the fire was of the senses, in my mouth and nose, Imbolc came mid-week as we hope winter will be kindly snowy in our mountains while eagerly awaiting the first blossoms of spring here in the flat-lands.

May it be so with you!