Archive for September, 2012


Solitaire

By choice, chance or circumstance, sometimes we find ourselves on a solitary path. While this implies we practice alone, are we ever truly alone?
Often the path begins in the home, where there are children, spouses and parents. In this place where small magics occur everyday, are not your Gods and Goddesses present too? The responsibilities of the mundane often overwhelm the desire to be part of scheduled meetings. Other obstacles in our choice of group practice could be geography, introversion or limitations we feel are imposed on us by family friends or co-workers. Again, in this time of burgeoning technology, are we ever truly alone? We can connect and study in Internet forums and read from thousands of published books. We can attend far flung gatherings in anonymity.
Sometimes we just need to have faith that we are in a required period of discernment, waiting for the next step to be made evident. Coming before the Gods alone, we are truly responsible for how we present ourselves.
We can continue to provide a new image of what religion can be in a postmodern world; one without churches or clear boundaries, based on books and the Internet and individuals gathering together and interacting and then returning to practice what they see as their own relationship to the Divine.

Blessed Be.

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I wanted to write something about Voudon, or Voodoo, after learning about how drums are used in it’s rites. Often, bits of video are shown on television or in movies of ceremonies and rituals and I thought I would like to be able to identify key elements and symbology in these when I saw them. So I spent some time reading and learning and found something I could post to participate in The Pagan Blog project using the letter ‘R’.

The Rada Loa are a major  family of Spirits in Vodou. They are considered the older and most senior of Spirits, guardians of morals and principles, with calm and  cooling attributes. They are polarized by the , Petro Loa, who are fiery and protective. Another family is Ghede, who represent death and fertility. Loa are nature spirits and they consist of large and complex families with distinct personalities and attributes. While it can be easy to archetype them, they are not Goddesses and Gods but more like ancestors and messengers.  The most important are  Legba ,  The Gatekeeper,  Loko, The Father of Priests,  Ayizan, Priestess of Initiations and Erzulie,  Mother of Love and Beauty.

In ritual space, these spirits are called upon for healing guidance and protection. Ritual cleanliness is vital. Altars are built to them and Veves  are drawn on the floor of the Hounfour or temple, in a powder form. Veves are a symbol that represents the spirit. Offerings and libations are left in both places. A complex ceremony is carried out by the core group, often referred to as a House or Society. From beginning to end, all of the Loa families are sung to and honored.  They are extensions of the will of Bondye, the Ultimate Principle of the Universe.

While the rites of the Voudon remain secretive, passed from teacher to initiate, it’s good to be able to understand just a bit of a greatly misunderstood and often maligned religion.

Blessed Be.

What comes to you in a quiet place? Does it bring you peace or worry? Do you seek quiet time or find yourself defeated at days end, for lack of peace?

We often say small children are overstimulated, when they are crying or agitated. Children are fortunate not to have self imposed limitations yet, and call let it all out. How is being over stimulated affecting you? It is frequently said children need quiet time to boost their creativity and to process experiences to turn them into useful learning tools. How could you not benefit from this every day of your life? How often have you responded with annoyance when a child says “I’m bored!” Try being annoyed with yourself when you are bored. What opportunities are you missing with your spare time?

To Know, To Will, To Dare, To Keep Silent…can you dare to keep the silence? Do you know how to find that place? To you have the determination to keep the practice? Susan Cain, author of Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Has a Quiet Manifesto that begins with,  1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers. Where are your ideas, when you’re rushing here and there? How are you finding solutions to your problems?

If you still can’t find the benefits of quiet for you mind, start with your body. Stress can raise your blood pressure, cause you aches and pains and digestive problems. Give yourself time to unwind. You will find that mind-body connection in this place. Not only will you become more useful to yourself, you will also benefit those who need you the most.

Blessed Be.

Persephone.

How did the lovely maiden Persephone come into her role as the wife of Hades of the Underworld for 6 months of the year?
When Hades saw Persephone, he desired her for his wife. But he knew it wouldn’t be that easy. Persephone was the daughter of his brother Zeus and her mother was Zeus’s sister Demeter. When Hades asked Zeus for Persephone, it was agreed that Demeter would never allow it. They decided Hades would simply abduct her, but this was witnessed by Hecate, who heard her cries and Helios, who sees all. Persephone was taken to the underworld by Hades, a dark and dismal place where he ruled over the hidden wealth of the earth, from the fertile soil which nourished the seed-grain, to the mined wealth of gold, silver and other metals. But Persephone was not impressed and in her despair, refused to eat,
When Demeter discovered her daughter was missing, she searched the land for her. In neglecting her duties and the Goddess of vegetation and fruitfulness, coupled with her sorrow, the land became cold and barren. When the Gods and Goddesses agreed this could no longer continue, Hecate and Helios informed Demeter of her daughter’s fate. Zeus dispatched his messenger Hermes, to bring Persephone back. Persephone rallied at this news, but Hades, determined she should stay, tricked her into eating a few pomegranate seeds. In this, she was bound to stay in the underworld forever, as she had partaken of it’s food. Rhea, the mother of Hades and Zeus intervened, on behalf of saving the barren lands, and it was agreed that Persephone could return to the realms above, but Demeter would stay in her place. In 6 month’s time, Demeter could ascend and Persephone would be returned to Hades.

The earth rejoiced in the return of Persephone, the vegetation returned and crops and animals thrived. When she left again, and Demeter returned, so did the sorrow of cold and barren lands. Here we have the cycles of Spring, Summer and Fall and Winter.

As the Summer now ends, can your descend inward, in the spirit of Demeter? During this time of turning inward, can you dwell of the wealth of the inner Earth that Hades rules? What will grow in your fertile soil in the spring or what precious metals Can you mine from within?

Blessed Be.