Sunday Ballet Blogging

What Patriotism Looks Like on a Summer Saturday in the South

At the end of an historic week, Ms. Bree Newsome climbed the flagpole outside the South Carolina State Capitol and took down the Confederate flag. May the Goddess guard her every day of her life and reward her for her bravery.

There’s so much to say about this, and, at the same time, what else can anyone say?

Michael Moore has already promised to pay her bail and legal bills and, if the Left has even half the sense of the Right, someone will start a GoFundMe campaign for Ms. Newsome and I’ll definitely send some money to it. Some of us are afraid of heights, but we do have bank accounts. And we’re brave Southern women with bank accounts and we love other brave Southern women when we see them.

I’ll also point out that Ms. Newsome had an ally. His name, according to news reports, is James Ian Tyson. (Son, a rock climber, tells me that what Mr. Tyson was doing, by standing on the ground and holding the rope, was “spotting” Ms. Newsome. He also grabbed the flag when she lowered, it, at least until the white policeman reached out and grabbed it away from him.) Mr. Tyson was doing what an ally does. He supported Ms. Newsome, but he didn’t make himself the center of attention. He was arrested with her, but he was silent while she chanted her religious chant. He supported her but he didn’t make himself the center of attention. May we all learn from him and his good example.

There were some African American police involved in Ms. Newsome’s arrest. Before anyone calls them traitors, I imagine that they figured that it was a good idea for them to be involved in her arrest, transport, jailing. America needs more, not fewer, African American police. But whoever is standing down there yelling, “Mam! Mam! Come down off the pole,” well that person is an idiot.

The Governor of South Carolina, Ms. Nikki Haley, has the ability to issue an executive order RIGHT NOW to protect the safety, health, and welfare of the people of South Carolina. Ms. Haley should order the flag down NOW, even as the South Carolina legislature debates whether or not to permanently remove the flag, and she should do so in order to protect the health, welfare, and safety of others who will follow in Ms. Newsome’s brave example. She should do so NOW in order to protect South Carolina’s scarce resources rather than waste them arresting, jailing, and prosecuting those who, like Ms. Newsome, will continue to drag down that flag.

I’m a Witch and I believe in every cell of my body that my job is to help to turn The Wheel. This week, you had to be almost deaf not to hear The Wheel turning. Me, I intend to keep on putting my old, arthritic, not-very-strong shoulder to The Wheel, and I’m glad to be inspired by the example of women, who, like Ms. Newsome, decide it’s just time for The Wheel to make a gigantic move forward.

I shan’t be gone long — You come too.

Historic Day All Acts of Love and Pleasure Blogging

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Charge of the Goddess

Traditional by Doreen Valiente, as adapted by Starhawk:

Listen to the words of the Great Mother, Who of old was called Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Diana, Arionrhod, Brigid, and by many other names:

Whenever you have need of anything, once a month, and better it be when the moon is full, you shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me Who is Queen of all the Wise.

You shall be free from slavery, and as a sign that you be free you shall be naked in your rites.

Sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in My Presence, for Mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and Mine also is joy on earth.

For My law is love is unto all beings. Mine is the secret that opens the door of youth, and Mine is the cup of wine of life that is the cauldron of Cerridwen, that is the holy grail of immortality.

I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal, and beyond death I give peace and freedom and reunion with those that have gone before.

Nor do I demand aught of sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother of all things and My love is poured out upon the earth.

Hear the words of the Star Goddess, the dust of Whose feet are the hosts of Heaven, whose body encircles the universe:

I Who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars and the mysteries of the waters,

I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me.

For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe.

From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return.

Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.

And you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.

For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am That which is attained at the end of desire.

Picture found here.

Tuesday Evening Miracle Enough Poetry Blogging

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TO LIVE IS MIRACLE ENOUGH

~ Mervyn Peake

To live at all is miracle enough.
The doom of nations is another thing.
Here in my hammering blood-pulse is my proof.

Let every painter paint and poet sing
And all the sons of music ply their trade;
Machines are weaker than a beetle’s wing.

Swung out of sunlight into cosmic shade,
Come what come may the imagination’s heart
Is constellation high and can’t be weighed.

Nor greed nor fear can tear our faith apart
When every heart-beat hammers out the proof
That life itself is miracle enough.

Picture found here.

Really? Really?

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OK, I’m going to blog it soon but, honestly, do I really even need to write this???? Do I need, here in the Twenty-First Century, to explain that when a white man shows up spewing bullets and talking about how the “others,” aka African Americans, want to rape “our” women and take over “our country,” Patriarchy is at work? Women are objectified? Women and the landbase are both “owned” and trespasses upon either are “rapes” that cannot be allowed — well, at least not when committed by the “others”?

Do I still have to do this? Aggression is almost always justified by the trumped-up notion that the aggressor is “protecting” “his” women. We’re really tired of being your lame excuse.

I’ll write this post, simply because I live in a culture that, apparently, still requires it. But I sure did think we’d be done with this bullshit by now.

Dudes, get over it. There’s no such thing as “your” women. You cannot own the land and you cannot lay claim to the bodies of women.

We are not your landscape. We do not provide the justification for your hatred, your murder, your exploitation.

I am just saying. And I’ll keep saying it until it’s no longer necessary, but that doesn’t mean that this bullshit isn’t getting really, really, really old.

Sacrament of the Soil

Yesterday was the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year — Litha, as we modern Pagans will have it. In the deep of Winter, I wake up early, smack in the middle of the Great Dark, and do my daily practice longing and longing for Summer: long days to work outside in the yard, sit on the porch with friends, and pick flower, after flower, after flower.

Litha is one of the eight high holy days of my year (or as Lark Rise to Candleford called them, “high days, and holy days, and bonfire nights.”) And as is far too often the case, I worked at the office all day on my religious holiday. I love my job and it is a big part of my spiritual practice, but lately . . . .

And, so, when I came home in the late afternoon, I did not go inside and do laundry, unpack the week-old suitcase sitting on the guest room bed, nor go to the grocery store. I did not gather my travel receipts to submit, record my hours for billing, nor catch up on emails. No, on my high holy day, on the longest day of the year, on the Summer Solstice, on Litha, I went out to my way-too-weedy herb bed and pulled weeds. This was my ritual, my celebration, my Sacrament of the Soil. I put my hands into the dirt, felt around until I knew that my fingers were underneath and between the roots of the grasses that have taken up lodging in my herb bed, and I pulled them out, shook the fine dirt back into the herb bed, and discarded the grasses. Sacrifice and solemnity — weeds for empty space, more root room for the herbs, more sunlight for the poor bok choy, and fish peppers, and angelica, and black hollyhocks.

This is, although it appears not to be, High Magic. This is what hedge witches do and have always done. This no Ceremonial Magic, but it is the deepest, deeper, and most deep magic that there is: this union of sun, and rain, and woman, and living plant, and soil. This ritual of declaring “This, not that,” of selecting some plants over others, of putting sacred hands into sacred soil to remove sacred weeds and leave sacred herbs.

Others no doubt celebrated this high holy day with bonfires, elaborate rituals, costumes, incense, and great magics. I danced my now long-practiced dance around the bramble bush, came home and weeded, went out back, and hugged my magnolia tree which, in deep shade, has produced one perfect, lemon-vanilla bloom this year.

I shan’t be gone long, you come, too.

Sunday Ballet Blogging

I think that this almost, but not quite, works. More precise coordination would help, but there’s also a way in which this never really achieves dance so much as it engages in good acrobatics. What do you think?