Potpourri

So I’m still on a steep learning curve with WordPress; I remind myself that it’s good for us old women to keep challenging our brains. Thanks to so many of you for following me over here, subscribing, and commenting. If you’ve been kind enough to list me in your blog roll (for which, thanks!) I’d be very grateful if you’d update the information. This blog address is: http://www.hecatedemeter.wordpress.com. Many, many thanks.

Last night, I celebrated Litha with my Sisters. One of them mentioned that, although she had worked that day, she’d teased her co-workers that she should have been off for her religious holiday. I was thinking today that (at least when, as last night, I’m not hosting the ritual at my place) I’d really rather have the day after off. (In my line of work, it doesn’t matter; when stuff is due, you work. And stuff is usually due. If it’s not, I can “work from home” any time without giving a reason.) Doing magic, no matter how much I ground afterwards, leaves me a little bit high and too full of energy to drop off to sleep until several hours, at least, afterwards. And I’m old enough that not enough sleep can make a big difference the next morning and all through the next day. Do you take time off around the high holy days? Which would you prefer: the holy day or the day after?

Peter Dybing and Chas Clifton have been fighting fires (speaking of people whose jobs don’t recognize high holy days). May the Goddess bless and protect all of those brave people who are working hard to deal with the wildfires caused by (and problematic because of) overpopulation and global climate change. We need, as a body politic, to acknowledge what they do and to pay them, pension them, and support them as they deserve.

Chas is working to revive the worship of a rain God, possibly local to his area. I’m not familiar with Tlaloc, but I’m intrigued by Chas’ work. One of the things that I realized a few years ago was that I needed to develop a serious relationship with Columbia, the Goddess for whom my metropolitan area is named. Her giant statue (named Freedom) towers over my city, atop the United States Capitol, and reminds me every time that I go to Capitol Hill that this city of power is dedicated to a Goddess of freedom, justice, civic responsibility. I call her daily at my altar. I often begin by imagining her sandaled feet in the Potomac River, but she almost always responds by appearing in a busy NE neighborhood, her feet in a 7-11-clone store (where busy moms buy milk, construction workers buy hot dogs, and kids buy slurpees and junk food) and her shield set down in a community garden where people garden who live in several-hundred-year-old townhomes, in what we call here “English basements.” Although my primary worship is to a Greek Goddess, likely out of Anatolia, as interpreted by English playwrights, I do think that it’s crucial to develop a relationship with local deities. I’m going to follow Chas’ work with interest. (Capricious beings, rain Gods and Goddess, in my humble experience). Do you connect to/include in your regular practice any local deities? If not, why not? Could you?

Starhawk is moving ahead with plans to film The Fifth Sacred Thing. As I’ve said before, it’s one of those things that, if done well, would be amazing. If “Hollywood” and “Money” take over, it could be incredibly disappointing. Avatar disappointed some of my friends, but it showed that there’s an untapped hunger in “general audiences” for a spirituality that connects to place, planet, polis. And Starhawk, like Derrick Jensen and Richard Louv, realizes that we’ve got to give people a positive vision towards which they can work. If all we show is that WE’RE DOOMED (and we may well be), it only makes sense for people to retreat into video games, creature comforts (after all, giving up one SUV won’t make any real difference), a spirituality that disengages from all that is manifest. I’m going to throw a little bit of energy, in the form of cash, her way. If (and only if) you’ve got a steady source of income, some money in savings, and your expenses under control, you might consider doing the same.

Ellen Dugan has some great advice about finding a coven.

It’s simple: Read Rima. Be enchanted.

Alison’s gone camping with the Christians. I’ll be interested in her follow-up report.

Anyone read Richard Louv’s new book? I’m going to add it to my tabletob in the hopes that I’ll get to it soon.

Picture found here.

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5 responses to “Potpourri

  1. I think a lot of us could really benefit from connecting with local deities. It actually ties into your point about Starhawk’s movie and Avatar. How much harder is it to make bad ecological choices when the person whose domain you are personally dumping on is someone you know and connect with on a regular basis? It goes along with the idea that people won’t dump their trash in a place that belongs to someone they know but will in an empty lot. Well guess what, that lot has an owner that has been here centuries longer than we have and perhaps it’s time we started listening to the landlords.

  2. Traveler

    I love that point. There are no “vacant lots.”

  3. I’ve always thought that taking the day/day after off question was best answered by how you’re celebrating what. A samhain ritual where you are up all night guiding those who’ve passed on is best met by a day after “holiday”. Beltane is more about dancing and feasting away the day, which would be sad to miss in the confines of an office if not necessary.

  4. Fucking Christ, Tlaloc?!? Yikes, yikes, yikes. Of the Aztecs, Tlaloc is *seriously* hard-core and I would not mess with Him if I weren’t fully of Aztec blood myself, and even *then* probably not.

  5. Regarding the cause extremeness of the Arizona fires, this is a problem that has been coming up in some of my scientific work. Apparently, all over North America, the natives intentionally set regular fires prior to white colonization. Typically, they’d light them and then hang out upwind.

    Different people had different reasons, really, but it was generally for food. Some burned for slash-and-burn farming, being roaming agrarians, but most burned to aid in future hunting. In the Great Plains, fires burned off the plants that bison don’t like to eat, making room for their favorite foods. In the east, burns made clearings, and game animals tend to collect at the gradient between forest and clearing.

    Many, many plants are fire-adapted species, and a lot of them are pretty important for animals in general. In the absence of fire, the balance has been shifting. Until recently, people have not set organized fires, and all other fires have been actively suppressed. In a lot of places, like Arizona and Florida (which has not been getting much press) this has created a tinderbox. All of that dead organic matter that wasn’t burned in low intensity fires has become fuel for drought- and wind-powered wildfires that have been difficult to control.

    Basically, for the sake of restoring a lot of the natural diversity and for the sake of preventing the gigantic uncontrollable fire outbreaks, we need to allow for more low-intensity fires. There’s still a lot of resistance to it, though, usually from people who simply don’t want to smell smoke and from people who only see fire’s destructive nature.

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