December Dark Moon Potpourri

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* I loved the responses that I got to this post, in which I urged Pagan bloggers to cover more EDPs (Everyday Pagans). I’d like to put together a post with a number of EDP stories. Would you be willing to share yours, either in comments below or via email? I’ll collect them and then do a post about them. Use an online alias or just your first name. I’m interested in where you live, how you became a Pagan, how you practice Paganism today, what you do for a living, your hobbies, etc.

* One hundred fifty years ago today, the statue of Columbia (formally known as Freedom Triumphant in War and Peace) was placed atop the Capitol in Washington, District of Columbia. She was acknowledged as Pagan from the very beginning.

On May 11, 1855, Montgomery C. Meigs, engineer of the Capitol, wrote to artist Thomas Crawford commissioning him to create a statue to top the new Dome. Meigs provided guidance to Crawford for his design, writing, “We have too many Washingtons, we have America in the pediment. Victories and Liberties are rather pagan emblems, but a Liberty I fear is the best we can get.”

Happy birthday, Old Girl. You don’t look a day over ageless.

/hat tip: Green Man.

* Poet John McGarrigle is believed dead as a result of a helicopter crash in Glasgow. Mr. McGarrigle wrote with a deep sense of place about his urban home.

May the Goddess guard him. May he find his way to the Summerlands. May his friends and family know peace.

Here’s one of his poems about the city:

Refuge

Cold,
wind swept
lonely
that’s the braes
in winter,
beer cans
dirty books
condoms
litter
the paths
and yet
there’s something,
that defies
this desecration
a sunset
unsurpassed
and when
the snow
comes
to hide
the sins
of man
you’ll find
in this
winter wonderland
a refuge

From:
Workers City “The Real Glasgow Stands Up”

hat tip/ Sia

* I want to take a month or so off and read every single thing here, especially the parts about how:

Neopaganism is now connecting consciously with animism, in a large part because of Emma Restall Orr’s fabulous book The Wakeful World, and I know many “new animists” are also Druids, Heathens, Wiccans, etc. Others come from a Graham Harvey inspired neoshamanism or non-theist rewilding background where they found animism in daily life with the land.

I’m not going to get any time off anytime soon, but I am going to sneak some of these posts into my days.

* Good for Chas and Morning Glory. This needs to happen NOW. I was recently reading a book by a well-known Pagan author, printed by a Pagan-friendly publisher, and the blurb on the back failed to capitalize “Pagan.” Let’s all do better.

* Terri Windling is saying fascinating things about sustainable prose.

[I]f that’s what we need to start thinking about — how to live in sustainable communities, how to create sustainable economies that don’t exploit the land and the people but rather extend our compassion and imagination to foster new cooperative solutions, then wouldn’t that be an interesting structure to overlay a narrative? We are really talking about the need for new stories in our culture, stories that allow us to reconsider our lives.

***
We are simply hungry for good stories, fiction or nonfiction. Story is the umbilical chord between the past, present, and future; it keeps things known. Stories become the conscience of the community, it belongs to everyone. When we think of what it means to be human, it is always answered or explained through story.

One of the things we continue to learn from Native Peoples is that stories are our medicine bundles. I feel that way about our essays, our poems, our fictions. That it is the artist who carries the burden of the storyteller. Terrence Des Pres speaks of a prose witness that relies on the imagination to respond to the world as we see it, feel it, and dare to ask the questions that will not let us sleep. Imagination. Attention to details. Making the connections. Art — right words to station the mind and hold the heart ready.

You should read the whole thing.

* I love this very modern prayer to the land spirits. (They might appreciate an offset, to go with that offering, though.)

* Good advice from the garden about how to live. Here at the Dark Moon in December, what do you need to get rid of, to divide, to move to a container? What do you hope will spread?

Picture found here.

5 responses to “December Dark Moon Potpourri

  1. Peter of Lone Tree

    Little did I know that the ‘Sign of the Cross’ commemorates something far older than the ritual than that which we began our prayers with.
    http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sitchin/enddays/enddays10.htm

  2. Funny that you should tweet about bitter orange marmalade — just picked up the orange and ginger kind from World Market (along with Walkers ginger shortbread and some Christmas cake) — and a dark chocolate Terrys Orange — all part of the Holiday celebrations ….

  3. My name is Lauren (or just The Druid in the Swamp), and I’ve been a practicing Pagan for about a decade. By day, I write sales proposals in the oil and gas industry, and I am not open about my Paganism there (Texas isn’t always a friendly place for open Pagans). I became a Pagan slowly, after a very traumatic break-up with Christianity, over which time I came to realize that Polytheism solved a lot of my problems with understanding how the world works. I am an active member of ADF, and consider myself a religious Druid. I am inspired by nature – both its beauty and its savagery – and I try very hard to be a Druid of “this place” (which is mostly my home, but also the swamps, coastal wetlands, and bayous around which I live). I garden when I can, plant native plants and wildflowers for the bees and butterflies and hummingbirds, and leave offerings to the spirits and the trees. I am part of a “study group” in the incubation stage, and am both enjoying having others to share my Druidry with, and feeling a little protective of it at the same time. I have been a solitary for almost all of my Pagan path (I spent two years with a wonderful coven of Witches, but it was not meant to be). I light candles at my hearth/stove, meditate at my altar, make sacrifices to my Gods, my Dead, and my Spirits, and try to find as many ways as possible to bring my Paganism into my life in quiet, simple ways. I don’t have a ton of free time, but I spend it playing video games, reading (a lot), cooking, and crafting – knitting primarily right now. I am married, with two cats and no kids, but a long commute. (I don’t have your email, or I’d have emailed this to you. Feel free to contact me at mine though!)

  4. Hello Hecate, in response to your request to hear about EDPs I thought I would write and tell you about myself.

    I haven’t been a practising Witch for very long – just over two years now, althouh I have had Pagan beliefs almost all my life. I think I just never know how to start practising. Many of the books and magazines I found in local bookstores were, to be frank, silly and off-putting, so I had a set of beliefs about the Goddess and the Earth, and my place in it but I was a bit lost about what to do about them. It was only after I started reading some of the Pagan blogs (including yours – you have been a wonderful teacher to me) that I was able to properly consider my beliefs and how I wanted to put them into practice.

    I work in education, often with very small children from very strict religious faith backgrounds, so I stay well and truely in the broom closet. Sadly there are still perceptions about Witches being agents of Satan. I think to the parents I meet I look like a professional, middle-aged woman with a proper hair do and smart clothes. I have a daily practise which is quite simple but my life is hectic and I would rather have something simple that I do everyday, than a long elaborate practise that I don’t have time to do properly. I have an altar in my home, although a visitor probably wouldn’t recognise what it was. I live in an apartment in a big city but I have my (tiny) landbase which I care for and try to protect. I celebrate the Sabbats with longer, solitary rituals and dedicate energy to the Goddess. It is important to me to “practise what I preach” so I try as much as possible to be a green and ethical person in the way I treat the Earth and all that live there.

    If you want more information please feel free to email me.

  5. I’ve been pagan since about 1985, and publicly so from about ten years later. But apparently, most pagans don’t think I do it “right”…perhaps it is my pets to blame? The metaphor of herding cats won’t apply to me, I have pet ferrets, lol, cats are EASY! But I blog here and and here at least for a little while longer. Being the “liminal” sort on every front is beginning to make me feel a bit lost in the shadows, lol!

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