‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for March 11th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

What is it that keeps us from doing the creative things we want to do? Fear of venturing and losing, fear of the unknown. And yet, every day of our lives we venture and seldom acknowledge the fact that we didn’t lose. We too often accomplish something because circumstances forced a courage we could not muster from mere desire.

Frequently we must simply have the audacity to lay aside the taboos we have built for ourselves, for fear of appearing foolish, and follow a creative curiosity.

When Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “Give me a young man with brains enough to make a fool of himself,” he didn’t mean intentionally acting foolishly. He meant that a fearlessness of appearing foolish can enable us to step outside the realms of what others would call the limits.

The simplest ventures often bring joy to many, particularly to those who in the beginning dared to stand on their own chances of winning or losing.

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Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet: http://www.hifler.com
Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – March 11

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – March 11

“The symbol of wholeness, represented by the medicine wheel, is still being used in D/Lakota ceremonies today. The center where the “X” crosses is considered the home of Tunkasila, Wakan-Tanka, God. I speculated, `If this is the symbol of wholeness, the symbol of the psyche, with Wakan-Tanka at the center, then Wakan-Tanka or God would be within you.'”

–Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA

The Medicine Wheel represents everything. All the directions originate from the center outward. The center is the home of the Creator. The Medicine Wheel represents the human being. At our center is the home of the Great Spirit. This is why we are spiritual. The easiest way for us to find God and talk to Him, is for us to become centered. This means, relax our bodies, still our minds, let go of our emotions and listen quietly. Shhh. Be still.

My Creator, let me walk in the stillness today.

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March 11 – Daily Feast

March 11 – Daily Feast

Can you see the wind? Can you see the fragrance of flowers floating on the breezes? Can you see thought or what it is that changes a tree from bare limbs and brown leaves to lush green? Can you see love or joy or peace? We can only see evidence of these invisible things, and it is enough to make us know they do exist. The substance of life is so evident, so real and beautiful. Why is it that we ever question the existence of our Creator, who set all things in motion? Are we so base, so grounded that unless it gives us momentary pleasure, feeds our starving appetites, we cannot recognize the greatest help available? It is Galun lati, the Great Holy Spirit, invisible but more real than all we see that is tangible.

~ We see the changes of day and night….the seasons, the stars, the moon, the sun. Anyone must know it is the work of some one more powerful than man. ~

CHASED-BY-BEARS

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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The Daily Motivator for March 11th – Creative living

Creative living

Creativity is more than just making stuff, and more than just making stuff up. Creativity is expressing, in all sorts of ways that have no limit, what it means to be alive.

You can be creative in such a way that the whole world celebrates your creativity. Or you can be just as creative in ways that only you will ever know.

Being alive is being immersed in an ever-expanding set of possibilities. Being creative is giving your own special meaning and purpose to those possibilities.

Creativity is a special kind of magic. It produces more value than it consumes.

When you are stuck, creativity will move you forward. When the goal seems completely out of reach, creativity will open up a way there.

In all you do, find new ways to be creative. Creativity is one of your most valuable skills, so put its power to work every chance you get.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for March 11th – Finding Our Own Paths

Finding Our Own Paths
Entering Awareness

Entering into our own spirituality is a private journey. Each of us will be drawn to a different gateway to begin on our personal path to awakening to a greater experience of ourselves. Even though we may be taught certain philosophies or beliefs as children, we still need to find our own way of understanding and applying them in our lives. For those who are raised without a spiritual framework, they may not even know their process as a form of spirituality. But at some stage in their lives, whether in youth or adulthood, they are likely to recognize the resonance of their beliefs, the ring of truth in their philosophy, and their dedication to their chosen purpose.

Our inner guidance will lead us, so that we will be drawn to the right doorway for us–a doorway that only we can recognize by the way it makes us feel inside. It could be a picture of an angel or the gift of a crystal. We may meet someone special who shares their experiences with us in a way that we find intriguing. While visiting the home of an admired friend, we may notice a book or statue of a diety, and ask why they chose those tools. Or a word or phrase may catch our attention in a song, or a lecture. For some they may find their way by walking through the experience of illness before they begin the search for what will help them to truly heal, while others may seek physical improvement and stumble across yoga or meditation–only to find that it leads them to an unexpected place beyond the body.

As we awaken to ourselves and to life, we will become more attuned to what is right for us. The universe speaks to all of us through infinite channels, but we each have our own frequency. Others may share what worked for them, but only we can decide what truly makes us feel inspired, awakened, connected, fully conscious, aware and alive. Whatever our path, it is perfect and is meant especially for us.

Ok, Who Sent In Their Familiar’s Pic, lol? Special Kitty of the Day for March 11th

Morli, the Cat of the Day
Name: Morli
Age: Four years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Domestic Cat
Home: Glauchau, Germany
This is my cat Morli. She is a beautiful domestic cat. Her fur color is black, with some white hairs. She loves to cuddle. Most of the time, she is with me on the sofa. Morli is a very shy cat. In summer she catches mice and birds often, and is a good hunter in our garden. She is afraid of other animals, though, very afraid. She likes to sharpen her claws, but always does it on a tree. Morli is very clean and grooms often. She loves to sleep in her basket in the basement, when I am not home to be on the sofa with her. I love Morli.

Dog-gone Doggie of the Day (from my neck of the woods) for March 11th

Sadie, the Dog of the Day
Name: Sadie
Age: Twelve years old
Gender: Female Breed: Old English Sheepdog, Saint Bernard
Home: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
This is my beautiful “Sheep-Bernard” Sadie Baby or Sadie Bird or Pupino. As you can see she is a perfect mixture of her parents – long hair and sense of humor from her mom and coloring and soulful eyes from her dad. Sadie was a rescue baby weaned at only a couple of weeks and wouldn’t be around today if my vet hadn’t called and told me about her. She was being passed off as a full Old English Sheepdog and was living in dirty and unsafe conditions. Even though I wasn’t ready for another dog, off we went for an adventure together.

To look at this huge goofy looking girl you wouldn’t think that she is sensitive but she is clearly attuned to my moods and what’s going on around her emotionally. I’ve never heard of Saint’s being used as service dogs or therapy dogs but if this is consistent with the breed I think they would be perfect. I guess she got the drool factor from her mom the OES so she doesn’t drool much unless there is some mouth-watering people food she’s trying to get.

People should never be afraid of rescue dogs. Sadie has brought me years of joy and I sure do hope that she feels the same way about me. She’s my Dog of the Day.

The Happy Side of Magick

The Happy Side of Magick

Author: Poppy

I have never really used many spells or chants, and when I have it is often at a time when I feel I can do nothing else… one of those ‘may as well try it’ approaches. I understand the mechanics of spell casting, how it works and how the desired effect is achieved, the problem I find with it though is that I was brought up with fairy tales and stories about Witches who cast elaborate spells with confounding results, and I find because of this upbringing that spell casting is intrinsically linked, in my mind, to fanatical stories and make believe lands.

I say this only to give you, as a reader, some sense of understanding how much effort had already been applied before I decided to cast a love spell. It was not a compulsion spell, merely creating a cosmic attraction field. I do understand that there are differing views on the appropriate use of love spells, of any kind, ranging from never-to-be-used to ‘use all the time, everyday!’ However I am not writing to discuss the pros and cons of casting a love spell, nor even, to some extent, the morals that must be thought through before one is cast, I am simply writing to explain and inform how mine worked, and how I would recommend it to anyone in the same situation, or any situation.

As previously stated, I was in pretty dire straits when I preformed this spell, (I know some would not consider that an appropriate term for being out of love, which some deem as a trivial matter. I believe it is a very apt description.) and as such, was not expecting any results. At the time, I had become rather disenchanted with Wicca. I cannot pinpoint exactly why as no major life events had occurred to make me believe that the Goddess was absent. It was more just a lack of connection, which is probably part of the reason I believed the spell would fail.

It was one of those long term/ three months spells, which meant that I wasn’t too fussed when nothing appeared after a few weeks. So I promptly forgot about the spell due to an influx in collage coursework and activities, and was asked on a date. To me this had never happened, and so I was, understandably I believe, rather surprised. He asked me over text, which I later found out his friend had actually composed, and we met up six days later.

I have to admit I had no idea who he was. Even after finding him on Facebook, I had difficulty in pinning him as the guy who was in my quiz team, Never the less, we started talking, and despite his apparent obsession with football and The Killers (who are a fine band, just not my style) , I agreed to a second date, and a third, and so on.

Now it was around the fifth date that I remembered about the spell I had cast, mainly by finding it whilst looking through my Wicca box. I didn’t connect the spell with my newfound boyfriend as I was having what I believe to be a bit of a slow day. I had become captivated with Wicca once again mere weeks after casting the aforementioned love spell. I proceeded to look through the ‘requirements’ for the person I wished to meet and found, to my surprise, that my recently obtained boyfriend met every criteria… and not in a vague ‘well I suppose’ sense, more in a height/weight/age/exact personality sense! I was literally speechless. I think I should mention now that the spell cast was for a soul-mate (I know, I just jump right in to it!) not just general love. I can say now, with our year anniversary just gone, that it has definitely worked.

I know some of you may be sitting there scoffing at my perhaps pitiful year long relationship, but to me, it is a success… especially considering that for the last three months he has been away at Canterbury, which is a good five hour train journey from where I live, making the relationship harder.

I didn’t really put off telling my boyfriend about my religion, more it just never actively came up. He informed me from the start that he was ‘devout’ atheist, and indeed some of our more interesting conversations have been on the concepts of souls and deities. However, I believe him knowing my religion made our relationship better. But I would not recommend the way in which he found out.

I am afraid I am going to diverge slightly, and I apologize if any view it as an unwanted interruption. I feel that what occurred was a breach of trust, and really just a show of a lack of morality in some people. My boyfriend found out about my religion through one of his friends, who happened to be a sergeant at the cadets I attended and a devout Christian. “At cadets”, for those of you who may be unfamiliar with the dress code, we were allowed to wear necklaces as long as they were hidden and for religious purposes.

I wore a plain silver pentagram at the time, and the chain occasionally showed, causing questions at least once a week. Usually I could just say it is a religious necklace (as trying to explain it to people who aren’t listening and are just desperate to be told you summon the devil is tedious) . However this time he walked a little way, turned as though an afterthought and asked “Yeah, what religion?” I answered, “I’m Wiccan” and we carried on our separate ways.

I thought nothing of this until I got a call from my boyfriend asking if I was a Witch. I was a bit bemused by how he had come to that conclusion, as, like spell casting, the word brings to mind Grimm’s fairy tale type characters and so I do not use the word. I answered that no, I wasn’t a Witch but I was Wiccan… and how did he come to hear of this information? It transpired that at the first possible chance this Christian friend, who I still believe had gained this information in an environment that did not warrant outside gossiping, had run to him at the first chance and said “Do you know your girlfriend is Wiccan?” We both believe it was to try and drive a wedge between us for reasons only known to him. Anyhow, this rant is almost over, and I shall end it and resume back to my original purpose by saying that I believe it was extremely ill-mannered and uncouth to divulge this information. I have always been raised to not speak of other religions or beliefs unless with express permission or belief that the knowledge would be useful in some way and that the person to whom is being referred does not mind.

I suppose what I am trying to get across with this article, is that magick does work. If you believe in something and you are prepared to go that little extra, it will change your life in wondrous awe-inspiring ways. I think it cannot be expressed better than through love of something else. I suppose it is also partially about dis-enchantment of Wicca (which I overcame by a sudden realization that I was still actively talking to the Goddess when I got really stressed) .

I am not trying to actively express feelings either for or against love spells, as I believe that, as with all magick, it depends entirely on the intentions of the caster. But I know that even in dark and desperate moments, magick and belief and everything joyous in Paganism can just seep in, lift you up and make everything just a little bit better.

Thank you for reading this article. I hoped you got some enjoyment, or really anything, from it, and to feel free to email me if you wish.

Initiatory Witchcraft and the Beetle in the Box

Initiatory Witchcraft and the Beetle in the Box

Author: Rhys Chisnall

Although I should know better and haven’t done so for years, and will probably not do so again for many more, I recently took part in a debate on the Craft on the inter-web. Generally speaking, I think this is a bad idea, as the anonymity the Internet provides tends to make some folk feel that politeness is optional. Also the net does not convey body language and tone of voice, which can lead to misinterpretation of intent, context and meaning. Happily this remained a civil debate amongst, for the most part, intelligent people. However one of the participants was someone who used the debate to have her faith position confirmed and became defensive when it wasn’t. Her position was that you could only be in the Gardnerian Craft if you had a literal belief in the Gods.

My experience of initiatory Craft is that it does not have or require orthodoxy of belief. As a mystery tradition it does not offer easy ready-made answers in the way that exoteric religion does. There is no one faith position, but positions as numerous as the individuals that practise, hard won through the processes and arts of mysticism and liable to change in light of new experience. This lady had a religious faith, and a faith can’t be changed in accordance with evidence or experience, else it would not be religious faith (as commonly understood) . Someone told her that a certain faith was required for initiatory Craft and she expected everyone to think the same.

“Why then”, this person asked, “Do we have the word ‘Gods’ if we don’t all have to literally believe in them?” To my mind it is because the meaning of words such as ‘God’, ‘Goddess’ and ‘Divine’ are not as fixed in meaning as she might think.

In the theory of language called descriptivism, a word’s meaning depends on its extension and intension. Its extension is what the word refers to in the real world. This is what Hillary Putnam meant when he said that ‘meaning is not in the head’ (Putnam as cited in Barber, 2010, p., 193) ; the conclusion he came to from his famous Twin Earth thought experiment. So water means water because it refers to a substance in the real world. That substance has the chemical formula H2O and it does not refer to something that looks exactly the same as water with a different formula says XYZ (Barber, 2010, p. 43) , even if we can’t tell the difference.

The lay person learns the meaning of a word through deference to an expert who fixes its meaning. However, as you have no doubt have spotted, this can’t be the whole story as we have words for things that aren’t real, such as phlogiston. There can be no extension of the word phlogiston to fix its meaning. So a word’s meaning is also fixed by its intension. This is the lexical description of what the word means, which we carry around in our heads. For example water is wet, colourless, falls from the sky, can drink it, swim in it, favoured by fish, etc.

This would seem to make the Lady’s assertion that Gardnerians should all believe the same thing by the word ‘Gods’ to be correct. So far it seems that for the word to have meaning it must have an extension, but it is more complex than that. Descriptivism also claims that words can have intension and no extension. For example, we can talk about Santa and Phlogiston without them existing (Ok, ok… so Santa is real) .

But should the words we use all have the same intensions? Ned Block says no, because meaning can be narrow or wide (Block as cited in Barber, 2010, p 248) . Narrow meaning is when concepts vary from person to person. For example, Jocasta is Oedipus’s mother and wife is the wide meaning of the concept Jocasta, but the narrow meaning for Oedipus is that Jocasta is my wife and not my mother (Barber 2010, pp 245-246) – until he finds out differently. So, if narrow meaning varies amongst individuals, then how can words such as ‘Gods’ be used in discourse amongst those who hold it to mean different things?

To my mind Ludwig Wittgenstein, without a doubt one of the most important philosophers of the 20th Century provides us with an answer. In his famous thought experiment from his book, ‘Philosophical Investigations’, he writes:

“Suppose everyone had a box with something in it: we call it a “beetle”. No one can look into anyone else’s box, and everyone says he knows what a beetle is only by looking at his beetle. Here it would be quite possible for everyone to have something different in his box. One might even imagine that such a thing is constantly changing. But suppose the word “beetle” had a use in these people’s language? If so it would be the name of a thing. The thing in the box has no place in the language – game at all; not even as a something; for the box might even be empty.” (Wittgenstein as cited in Beaney 2010 p., 131-132) .

Wittgenstein was using his thought experiment to illustrate how it did not matter what the subjective meaning of ‘pain’ meant for the word ‘pain’ to mean what it means. But I think the analogy can be extended, and even works better for the experience of the Gods and the mysteries. For example, in the Craft we all have individual subjective experiences of what we call the Divine. For some, it is see as an experience, which is interpreted, as a literal god; for others it is interpreted as a Jungian archetype, and for others, it is simply interpreted as a mystery. We cannot look into each other’s heads to directly see what the experience was. Even if we could, we could not have that experience of the other person, in the subjective first person and in the same context. The only way we can know anything about what the other person experienced is by using language.

Herein lies a problem. Experience of the mysteries is transcendent of language. This is the definition of mystery; it comes from the Greek musterion, meaning ‘to close the mouth’. It is ineffable and can’t be adequately described with words. Perhaps it would be better to follow Wittgenstein’s advice in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus where he says, “whereof what we cannot speak there-so we should remain silent”.

However, we are a chatty species and do like to communicate using words. The words we are using in this case are words like ‘God’, ‘Goddess’, ‘Divine’ and ‘Mysteries’. These words from Wittgenstein’s perspective have a function in discourse that is not directly attached to their extension, or even intension. They are words that are learnt when we learn English and are used in a specific way. In this case, they are words used to describe our own gnosis ‘ (gnosis’, when used in English, refers to spiritual knowledge) .

Therefore the words refer to different things to different people but can be still used in discourse where the function need not rely on the direct reference of the experiences that they pertain to. In other words, in using the language of the Craft when we are engaging in its myths and ritual, we can use the same words, as their functions are not fixed by lexical intension or literal extension, but by discourse. Therefore Initiatory Crafters don’t all have to believe the same thing to share a common language and use words like ‘Gods’.


Footnotes:
Barber, A., (2010) , Language and Thought, Milton Keynes, Open University
Block, N., (1994) , Advertisement for a Semantic Psychology, in Barber, A., (2010) , Language and Thought, Milton Keynes, Open University
Putnam, H., (1994) , The Meaning of Meaning, in Barber, A., (2010) , Language and Thought, Milton Keynes, Open University
Beaney, M., (2010) Imagination and Creativity, Milton Keynes, Open University

From Bars to Blessed: A New Beginning

From Bars to Blessed: A New Beginning

Author: ADDvst

I am an Eclectic Wiccan. I have not always been. In fact, before I heard the term “Wiccan”, I didn’t have any faith at all. Not even in myself. I wanted to write this essay and to share my story as to why I chose the goddess and the god.

When I was a child, I was very rambunctious. Getting into trouble in school was my daily routine. I would fight, steal, lie, and cheat. The worst part was I had no idea as to why I did those things. My grandmother used to say, “I was possessed by the devil”. When I grew to my teenage years, things slowed down a bit. That is, after being placed into state custody. At the age of 15, I found myself in a foster home, as my biological family didn’t want anything to do with me. It was there that I encountered the most wonderful girl I have ever met, Nicole. I started to understand what it meant to love someone else and care about someone other than myself. But I was still making some stupid choices.

On August 29 2001, three friends and I broke into a convenient store, stealing everything that could be moved and carried. This time I didn’t get a slap on the wrist. I was sent to state prison for a term of two- to – six years. I lost everything I ever knew that day. And, the worst part, that girl who taught me how to love… she also was charged for a crime that I talked her into committing.

In 2005, I found myself again in trouble with the law. This time the sentence was harsher: six years in state prison. It was there, sitting in a jail cell, that I began thinking about my life, and how to change it around. I remembered something Nicole had said to me when I asked her to take me back. She said that she had too much to lose. Funny thing is, she didn’t have a thing at all. She just didn’t want to be involved in my constant screw-ups. So that was it. Just me and a cold jail cell. No family. No friends. No money or possessions. So what would the normal miscreant think? Yes. You guessed it. It’s time for an end. And a new beginning.

My first thought was the conventional way of ‘ending the bad’. Shoe string. Bed sheet. Instead, for some odd reason, I decided to pick up a book and read. So I read and read and read. For two years I lay in a cell and read.

One day, a Christian tried to sit down and preach the Bible to me.” No, I don’t find it to be true, ” I told him. He asked, “Well, what do you believe?” And so I started writing every belief that I had down on paper. Then, I went and read about the different religions.

I came across a book called Wicca: For Beginners by Scott Cunningham. I was actually shocked at how everything made sense. I became very interested in learning more. So without delay, I ordered a few more books from the library. After reading the books, and being sure I wanted to learn the way, I did a self-dedication rite. I did this rite by myself in my cell. I simply fell into a meditation and invited the lady and the lord to join me. That night, sitting in that cell, I could actually feel a transformation take place. A new lease was given to me. I soon found it easy to control my thoughts. A feeling of happiness and joy washed over me. My heart became a soft, warm life force. I began seeing the earth in a light that I never seen before. I began to see the old religion in a lot of every day events.

Through meditation, I began to concentrate on the wrongs that I did to others. This does not come easy, or without regrets. We have all heard the expression “you don’t know what you have till it’s gone”. Me, I still try to find that way to get it back. Time… I can’t turn back that clock, but I am grateful to have memories of those that showed me how to love, and inspired me to make a difference. It is very heart-wrenching to have the woman you love the most tell you she don’t feel the same… and that you’re to blame.

It has been four years since I dedicated myself to the way –“harm none do as ye will”- These four years have been remarkably enlightening to me. I made two promises to myself and to the powers that be: 1: never harm again; but help others whenever possible and 2: do everything in my power to better my future, to give back instead of take away.

After being released from prison, the first thing I did was move out of my old town. I headed straight to New York City. In just three weeks, I have enrolled into college and found a job. I continue on a daily basis to nurture my relationship with the lady and the lord. In my heart, I don’t believe that I would be where I am today, with the mindset that I have, if I had never picked up that book. I would never have the connection with the earth and the mother. I would never have been able to understand my own life, past, and future.

I am a son, a brother, an uncle, an ex con. The latter I am not ashamed of. It brought me to my rightful place, with the goddess in my heart. My experiences will someday help my teach someone else, and maybe help change their life.

And I dare not to forget; about two years ago I wrote letters to every person that I betrayed. Today I can happily say that I have made amends and rekindled old friendships. I spend time with my family. It is a wonderful feeling to have them in my life. There yet may come a day when that woman who saw too much too lose in me, may see the world with me. It’s never too late to change and find your calling!

I am thankful to all who give guidance to people like me who need a little direction. And I am beyond grateful that the lady and the lord gave me a new beginning!

Blessed be! And thank you for reading.

Horoscopes and Tarot Cards: Handling Daily Readings

Horoscopes and Tarot Cards: Handling Daily Readings

Author: Raven Morgana Fae

Horoscope and Tarot Card readings are both forms of divination, and divination is the ability to tell the future. But how seriously are we to take these readings? And how are we to, in effect, to use this foretold information, to our advantage?

Millions of people read their horoscopes on a daily basis, most of the time at the beginning of the day. So at the end of the day they say to themselves, “Well, my scope was a little off today.” These people don’t realize that they might have somehow twisted their own fate just a bit that day. If someone has had a negative reading it makes him or her think in some way they are going to have a bad day. This sort of thinking occasionally makes some people put the day’s readings in the back of their heads, but subconsciously, they are telling themselves, “I’m not going to have a bad day.” The same can be said for anticipating something good to happen. It kills the moment, sometimes making the outcome different then expected.

The way to take advantage of a reading is to make those subconscious decisions, conscious ones. One thing I have learned is to not associate a reading with your day as a whole. It could very well represent one solitary event. But also don’t look for things to happen! Don’t expect anything; do quite the opposite: live your normal life and stop living like a paranoid schitzo!

No, I’m just kidding. Serious, in essence, but kidding about the whole paranoid schitzo thing. 🙂 So… first thing in the morning, we read our divination readings of choice, absorb what it could all mean, how it pertains to what is happening in the present, and once absorbed completely, forget. Forget what you read this morning off of the newspaper right next to the comics section under Dear Abby, for at least the next twelve hours. Did the undesired happen? Perhaps it passed you by. Or the worst thing that happened to you was traffic on the way home. You’ll find that when you don’t dread on things, like having just read your fortunate or unfortunate fate, they pop out when they have to.

Throughout the day, follow your routine as you normally would. If and when any situations make it so that something in your readings “pops up” in a way, make a note of it, and save it for later. At the end of your day, reflect on your day altogether. The ups. The downs. Now make any connections between your reading earlier that morning. Compare notes with your day; bring up your “pop up” moments, whether it is one simple word or phrase, or the entire reading altogether.

For example, here is how I handle my daily readings:
[NOTE: In terms of the way I define my tarot card reading, this is simply an example of how I perceive the cards. The meaning of any one card may vary slightly amongst psychics. This is why it is often said that art of divination is purely subjective; identifying the meaning in any one card is identified through one’s own perception of what is going on in that particular moment during that particular reading.]

October 25, 2010
Daily Horoscope (From “The Daily” News for iPad) – Capricorn: What occurs over the next few days will prompt you to accept that maybe you don’t know it all. It will force you to consider the possibility that what you call “truth” is in fact a rather fluid concept.
Tarot Card of the Day- XVI The Tower: Quarrel. Combat. Danger. Ruin. Destruction of plans. / Ambition. Courage. Sudden death. Escape from prison and all it implies.

Morning “At A Glance” Thoughts
At first glance I can already see that I am going to go through a sort of coming of realization according to the horoscope reading. Connecting that with actual events in my everyday life, I can say that I have been doing a lot of reading lately, mostly pagan articles. I have also wanted to start a daily exercise routine, and I have also wanted to start up my hobbies as I once did.

I just moved to Texas a couple of months ago, and have been doing little to nothing out doors since I have been here. In the last few days, I have come up with the resolution that exercise, hobbies such as blogging and geo caching, re-engaging in pagan practice, and taking care of myself are things I have to do to get out of what I felt like, has been a rut since I’ve been here. In the past few days, those are the truths I have come up with for myself.

Even though I know these truths, I have been a bit shy, and in some instances, pretty much scared, to begin my journey into re-establishing who I once was. All of last week I did my crunches, telling myself, that starting this week, I would start going to the gym (which I have available to me in my complex!) for AT LEAST 20 minutes. Monday, which was yesterday, came, and I didn’t go to the gym. And today is gonna pass and I still haven’t gone. Out of fear of being seen, or not being able to finish the 20-minute session because I haven’t worked out in over a year, or fear of starting and not continuing day after day. Who knows… XVI The Tower: Ruin and Destruction of plans.

End of the Day Reflections
There are two views or sides to every tarot card. The trump card of The Tower possesses the negatives aspects such as combat and ruin, but it also possess the positive aspects of ambition, courage, and escape. So a way for me to have consciously turned the fate of the card that was dealt to me today, per say, would be for me to go ahead and have gone to the gym tonight, even though I usually like the morning, when its empty. I, in a sense, (If I were to have gone.) possessed the courage to go on with my plans and perhaps upon going, I would have escaped from the “imprisonment” of the fear I once had of going. But let’s be honest, I didn’t go to the gym today either. Returning to its main negative aspect- Ruin and destruction of plans.

About an hour after my morning reading, I found myself in a sort of “lover’s quarrel”. But that was only brought on by my partner’s combative nature, and I had no way of going around it. This is an instance of a fortune unfolding itself, leaving me to deal with the situation. I quickly and swiftly corrected the situation upon remembering my earlier reading (ya, know, the one we are suppose to ignore till the end of the day. Well… you are supposed to put her back there because she comes in handy! I wasn’t thinking about it, but it came up.) In this situation I believe that I did not let the negative aspect of The Tower take control of my life in this particular moment in time by putting an end to what would have been a sizable argument. I, in a sense put “sudden death” to anything that would cause “destruction” or “ruin”, and then the situation was put behind us.

Even though we consciously try to live our lives to the best of our intentions, there are still times when what is foretold, whether positive or negative, cannot be bent around or changed.

Later on in the evening, my boyfriend’s uncle came by with his 3-year-old daughter, asking me if I would be willing to braid her hair this weekend. An escape from prison and all it implies. I can’t seem to get myself into the groove, so fate has brought it to me regardless!

If there is one thing I love, but haven’t done in ages, it’s braids! If I do a fair job, I will be doing her hair on a weekly basis for a small price. I was willing to do it for free, might I add! It was so strange how just seeing the little girl enlightened me in some way. I automatically wanted to just follow her around. I kept patting and touching her little hair bun. (LOL!) I was asking myself, “How would I part her hair to trail out the braids? Would it look better this way? That way? She’s a little baby so I have to do as little as possible…” I felt myself WANTING to do something. A sense of ambition.

Tomato… Tomatoe
It is important not to be looking for things to happen! For example: I woke up this morning and I’m out of toilet paper because my cat decided to teepee to living room (mistake for RUIN by the paranoid) , true story, btw. Or my Netflix got cut off (SUDDEN DEATH) . Also, did happen today. (-__-) . Not everything has something to do with that pesky little paragraph you read this morning! And not everything you read is LITERAL. “An escape from prison and all it implies, ” does not mean you are gonna get locked up today, and escape. “Sudden death” doesn’t mean that someone or something is gonna drop at any second. Your escape could just as well mean you finally were able to get out of the house to go get that mani/pedi you’ve been dying for. As a matter of fact, the definitions I posted for the tarot reading are not concrete definitions.
As I have mentioned before, divination is a practice that is subjective. The meaning of any one particular card changes from one person to the next depending on his or her own perception and concepts. One word can bring about different emotions and feeling amongst different people. The Tower card, to me, is entrapment and irritation, needing to find a sense of release but not being able to find one. Kind of like Rapunzel, stuck up in a tower, looking out into the world and all it’s beauty, but not being able to experience any of it. On the opposite side I see an escape by jumping off the side, or climbing down, which takes major courage and true deep desire for freedom and/or exploration. Is my form of expression in any way similar to what is written in text? I may say it differently, but the symbolism turns out somewhat the same. Tomato… Tomatoe…


Footnotes:
1. Crowley, Aleister. 2006. “Instruction for Thoth Tarot Deck.” U.S Games Systems, Inc.

2. Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot Deck

Of Witch’s Work, and Child’s Play

Of Witch’s Work, and Child’s Play

Author: Moly

“Yes, the spirits are real. Yes, the spirits are imaginary. Most of us, however, cannot imagine how real our imaginations are.” — Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford.

There are times when our study of the Great Work changes the way we look at life. That is, after all, why we study it. There are other times, perhaps rarer, and certainly more precious, when everyday life turns our understanding of Spiritual Alchemy entirely on its head.

When I was fresh out of college, I found myself working in a daycare, changing the diapers of two and three year olds. It was unglamorous, but the daily drudgery of mopping the floor and applying band aids to tiny fingers was offset by the very real joys of play, and being with people for whom the entire world was new.

The true downside was the lead teacher. She was a behemoth of a woman, an ex-professor of some hard science like thermodynamics who had gotten her degree in the Soviet Union, and who, despite having experience personally designing jet engines, had to start her education all over again, and was none-too-pleased at becoming a school marm. Everything about the job made her angry, and her misery was contagious. Anything out of the ordinary caused her to yell at the top of her lungs, and I, being possessed of a slightly nervous disposition, lived in fear of her wrath.

One day, during naptime, I was left alone with the children while the lead teacher, we’ll call her Marya, went on break. My instructions were simple but absolute: kids stay on mats. Clean the counters. Barring a natural disaster, I intended to follow these instructions.

The room was dark when Marya left, and the children were sleeping peacefully — or so I thought. I turned my attention to my chores.

Suddenly, I heard rustling. Two children, Anna and Jon, age three, were up off of their mats, and were apparently attacking the wall, throwing invisible stones, or maybe swinging invisible swords. Marya wanted kids on mats, so, dutifully, I went over to try and right the wrong.

“Anna and Jon, back on your mats, now.” I said. Jon did not pause for a moment to acknowledge me, but Anna turned her huge dark brown eyes on me, her small, light-coffee colored face filled with grave seriousness, and shook her head vigorously.

“No. We have to get the blug before it gets all the children, ” she explained. Reflexively, I scanned the area that Jon was attacking, but detected nothing that I recognized as magical, and certainly no kind of entity that I had ever encountered. I did not discount the possibility that something was there, but judged it harmless due to the low level of energy in the area. Ana continued to explain — very loudly– about the “blug” and how all the children were in danger. I steered her away from the sleeping children.

“Ana, kids are sleeping, you can’t shout like that.”

Ana was not listening. Jon had stopped hurling the invisible stones, and was frozen in place. He and Ana seemed to be looking at the same point on the wall, following some invisible something as it moved slowly along the wall over the sleeping children. Each child in turn shuddered in their sleep as whatever it was passed over them. I realized that I was not feeling “nothing, ” what I sensed, I realized, was the energy and color of a “pretend” thing.

In a daycare, there are thousands of these baby thought forms. A plastic dish has an artificial elemental spirit shaped like a steering wheel stapled to it. There is a stationary “godform” of Princess Jasmine near the dress-up area. Teddy bears are “consecrated” to keep away monsters. But as a discerning practitioner, I fancied that there was a real, functional difference between the pretend things fashioned by adults, and those dreamed up by children. One was “magic, ” the other, fantasy. I had taught myself to screen out flights of fancy from my radar.

“The blug is real, and I have to go help Jon-Jon now.”

“I believe you, ” I said, “just let me take care of it.”

“No, you can’t!” Ana was on the verge of hysterics, her eyes darting back and forth between me and Jon. ” You’re a grown-up”

The blug, whether real, pretend, or both, was a problem I wasn’t going to be able to solve through a brutal application of authority. I taped together two Popsicle sticks with masking tape and handed it to her. “Here, take my sword, it has a plus six against blugs.”

She nodded, and took the sword, but we were too late. As I watched, Jon was suddenly blasted backward, as though hit in the chest by some unseen force, lifted off of his feet by the impact. He fell to the ground and onto one arm. Ana wasted no time to explain, but dashed and stabbed at the ground twice.

Jon did not get up. I was shocked. I don’t exactly remember if I said anything, or if I ran over, or walked. I remember taking his vitals, checking for injury or concussion, opening his eyelids and shining a light to see if his pupils were dilating unevenly. He was breathing and apparently uninjured, but I did not dare move him. He was not twitching, there was no sign of seizure, but he was completely unresponsive.

Ana stood, looking over my shoulder as I did this. She said, “I didn’t hit him, I swear. He falled down by hiself.”

“I saw, Anna.”

“I didn’t hit him, ” she repeated, more quietly. “Tell Marya I didn’t hit him.”

I called 911. About thirty seconds before the ambulance arrived, Jon woke up, and immediately started crying. You will be happy to know that Jon was fine, and that the Children’s Hospital found nothing wrong with him. Still, this incident drove home for me the deadly power of the human imagination.

At times, those of us who practice magic have difficulty separating mystical experiences from imaginary ones. That is because, in a very fundamental way, they are the same thing. We bring order to these experiences, magical, religious, fantastical or imaginary, by playing games. Whether we are playing the game where you are the fire-man and I am the doctor, or the game where you are the hierophant and I am the neophyte, the game where we put out a chair for our imaginary friend “flopsy, ” or whether we are pouring out a libation for our “imaginary” friend Odin, we are accessing the same –very human– faculty.

As seriously as we take our religions, I assure you, children are just as serious about the games that they play.

The “Gloria Mundi” discusses the Prima Materia (that First Thing, which the Alchemist must find before any Alchemy can take place at all) , saying that it is…

“Familiar to all men, both young and old, is found in the country, in the village, in the town, in all things created by God, yet it is despised by all. Rich and poor handle it every day. It is cast into the street by servant maids. Children play with it. Yet no one prizes it, though, next to the human soul, it is the most beautiful and the most precious thing upon earth and has the power to pull down kings and princes. Nevertheless, it is esteemed the vilest and meanest of earthly things.”

When I consider the disdainful way that many of by pagan colleagues discuss the imaginary, or when I think of my own mother telling me to get my head out of the clouds, I could believe that the imagination really is “esteemed the vilest and meanest of earthly things.” Has it pulled down Kings and Princes? Imagining one’s self richer, or more powerful, or in possession of more land certainly has. Children certainly play with it, and if our everyday retail worker is the modern day equivalent of a servant maid, then for certain, I have seen many in this field so tired, crushed and frustrated by their work that imagination no longer had a space to breathe.

Everyone, though, rich and poor, has a flight of fancy, at least daily. And indeed, if you subscribe to the idea of a Creator, how could such a being create without first having imagined the end product? Possessing an imagination may be what is meant when it is said that we are made “B’Tzelem Elohim” or “in the image of the divine.”

Considering all this, I realized that the purpose of spiritual alchemy, for me, was the refinement of the imagination. It’s purpose was to gain control over flights of fancy, not only so that I could make better godforms, or craft stronger elementals, but so that, in casting a spell, or even in preparing for a board meeting, my imagination would not conjure up images of failure, and thereby undo all of my handiwork.

That which is dangerous is powerful, that which is powerful is dangerous. Be careful what you dream, because your dreams just might come true.

Grow Your Own Lunar Calendar

Grow Your Own Lunar Calendar

Author: Bran th’ Blessed

The earliest lunar calendars were small sticks into which some Neolithic hunter carved notches to count the days between full moons. This hi-tech device required no battery replacement and was accurate within plus or minus three days of the actual lunar cycle from new moon to new moon. Depending on the hunter, of course.

By such means, it eventually became clear that the full moon occurred every 29 or 30 days. Rather than leave the one finger uncounted on the third go-round, the length of the lunar cycle was set at 30 days (three hands of days) . This length worked well with the estimated duration of the *Celestial Calendar* year, which was 360 days. You may think that the year-counting stick was not as accurate as the month counting stick, but there is always with us humans the expectation of symmetry, and even today it doesn’t set well with us that our year should not end at the end of the twelfth month—as our 12-month Gregorian calendars so clearly attest.

It is because our years were set to 360 days—in order to match precisely with twelve 30-day months—that the circle is ascribed with 360 degrees. The zodiacal path is set to 360 degrees for the 360 days the Sun takes to encompass that circuit, one degree per day.

The Moon, too, encircles the zodiacal path, but it takes only 30 days to do so. In those 30 days the Sun moves 30 degrees, so the Moon must move 360 + 30 = 390 degrees to catch up to the Sun again. While the Sun moves one degree each day, the Moon moves 13 degrees each day. At the end of 30 days, they are united again, but at the beginning of a different zodiacal sign: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer; Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio; Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces…the signs (constellations) of the zodiac. (I have excluded the zodiacal signs, Doris and Butch, as these have grown into disuse over the ages. Pity.)

The Celestial Calendar provides further symmetries with 24 fifteen-day *Esbats* in each year, corresponding with the risings and settings of the zodiacal signs. There are three esbats (45 days) in each of the eight *Sabbats* of the year: The Solstices (Yule and Litha) , Equinoxes (Ostara and Harvest) , and four Cross-Quarter Sabbats (Winterwatch, or Imbolc; Beltane, Lughnasa, and Samhain) , and there are two sabbats (90 days) in each of the four seasons of the year.

This Celestial Calendar, however, is poorly matched by the realities of our astronomy. The Earth takes 365¼ days (not 360 days) to move from Winter Solstice to Winter Solstice. The Moon takes 29½ days (not 30) to move from full moon to full moon, and twelve months is actually only about 354 days. Alas, for a more perfect world, eh?

My *Pagan Seasonal Calendar* corrects the Celestial Calendar’s error in the measure of the year by adding five intercalary days to every year, four midseason, cross-quarter sabbat days and one end-of-the-year day. Winterwatch is added between the third and fourth Esbats (my calendar begins and ends at Yule/Midwinter) . Beltane is added between the ninth and tenth Esbats. Lughnasa is added between the fifteenth and sixteenth Esbats. And Samhain is added between the 21st and 22nd Esbats. Year’s End is added at calendar’s end. At the end of every fourth year (called a Span) , a sixth intercalary day called Span’s End is added, equivalent to our “leap year’s day”. The Span’s End day is not added to the 32nd and final Span of a Gaian Era (which is 128 years) . These few adjustments make my Pagan Seasonal Calendar, incorporating the Celestial Calendar, more accurate than the Gregorian Calendar we use with respect to the length of the year. But of course, it does nothing to resolve the problem with the month.

Real lunar months cannot be conveniently aligned with real seasonal years. Various cultures have tried to devise methods for utilizing a lunar calendar, but the two cycles don’t dance the same dance. The Julian Calendar of the Romans and the Gregorian Calendar of the Catholic Church both follow the lead of the Celestial Calendar in making months as long as desired, 28 or 29 days, 30 or 31 days. Lunar calendar systems make each year twelve of thirteen moons in duration, but the systems are either complex or set by visual observations. For my calendar system, I decided to look for a lunar calendar system that is accurate and works well on its own, and then fret the details of coordination later. This isn’t rocket science after all. The lunar period data available today is accurate to ten decimal places and more, and a handy pocket calculator (batteries included) is all I needed for the simple division problems. So here we go.

The period from one full moon to the next is very close to 29½ days. Two moons are twice that, or 59 days. This 59 day lunar cycle is called a *Doublet*. The *Morning Moon* of any doublet begins at midnight opening the 1st day of the doublet and ends at midday of the 30th day of the doublet; the *Evening Moon* begins at midday of the 30th day and ends at midnight closing the 59th and final day of the doublet. Morning moons begin and end in the morning, between midnight and midday; evening moons begin and end in the evening, between midday and midnight. Both moons go halfsies on the 30th day of the doublet.

The degree of error in a 59-day doublet is such that one day must be added after sixteen such doublets (32 moons) . This period of 32 moons is called a *Cynthiad*. The sixteenth and final doublet of each cynthiad has 60 days instead of 59 days. That makes each cynthiad 945 days, or precisely 135 weeks. The degree of error in a cynthiad is much smaller and in the opposite direction, requiring us to eventually remove one day after 47 cynthiads. This period of 47 cynthiads is called a *Lunar Age*, and it’s about 121 years and pocket change. The last doublet of the last cynthiad in each lunar age does not have a day 60. This last modification keeps the calendar within one day of accuracy for about 66 lunar ages—which is eight millennia and pocket change.

Every cynthiad in this age begins on Sunday; it’s the 7th Age of Balder (or some other Sun God/dess of your choice?) in this *Lunar Epoch*. Because of the dropped day at the end of each age, the cynthiads of succeeding Ages begin one day earlier than those before them. Thus the next Age will be the 7th Age of Saturn, in which all the cynthiads will begin on Saturdays…then Fridays (Freya) , Thursdays (Thor) , Wednesdays (Woden) , and so on. (The Age of Woden, with its Wednesday cynthiads, will begin the 8th cycle of ages.)

As I write this, the upcoming new moon of October 26th, 2011, will be: the 1st day of the Elder Moon, the 16th Morning Moon of the 41st Cynthiad in the 7th Age of Balder, and the 1311th moon in that 46th full Age of the Lunar Epoch. This is the first day of the 16th doublet in the 41st cynthiad of this age.

I associate the 32 moons of a cynthiad with various totem creatures, although I’m not settled on any but the 28th moon (Crow Moon) at this time (and that of course only because it is the moon of my birth, so I name it for my own totem animal, the Crow) . Here are the sixteen doublets of a cynthiad and the names of their morning and evening moons. You should change these totems where you feel it appropriate, but I hope you’ll leave the 28th (Crow Moon) as it is.

Doublet – Morning Moon and Evening Moon
01 – Oak and Owl
02 – Redwood and Bear
03 – Ash and Fox
04 – Walnut and Deer
05 – Hawthorn and Rabbit
06 – Willow and Dove
07 – Pine and Coyote
08 – Cedar and Snake
09 – Holly and Otter
10 – Maple and Mouse
11 – Cottonwood and Buffalo
12 – Hickory and Hawk
13 – Cypress and Spider
14 – Sycamore and Crow
15 – Birch and Badger
16 – Elder and Wolf

There are only six and a fraction doublets in any given year. The doublets of this year (2011) have begun or will begin on the following dates.

(0) – November 6, 2010
(1) – January 4, 2011
(2) – March 4, 2011
(3) – May 2, 2011
(4) – June 30, 2011
(5) – August 28, 2011
(6) – October 26, 2011
(7) – December 24, 2011

(To find later dates, simply count down eight weeks and over three days on your calendar from the last known beginning doublet date.)

On the smaller scale of time, each moon (month) is viewed differently in this lunar calendar system. Three days make a *Lunar House* (or *Temple*) . Three houses belong to the *Maiden Goddess*, three more to the *Mother Goddess*, and three to the *Crone Goddess*. These nine houses mark the visible days of each moon. The other days of each moon belong to the dark moon House of Kore/Persephone. The days of each doublet are as follows:

Day 01 – (Morning Moon Begins) – Dark Moon – House of Kore/Persephone

Day 02-04 – Early Waxing Crescent Moon – House of Selene/Luna (Maiden)
Day 05-07 – Late Waxing Crescent Moon – House of Artemis/Diana (Maiden)
Day 08-10 – Early Waxing Ovate Moon – House of Hanwi (Maiden)

Day 11-13 – Late Waxing Ovate Moon – House of Ngame (Mother)
Day 14-16 – Full Moon – House of Ishtar/Isis (Mother)
Day 17-19 – Early Waning Ovate Moon – House of Nana (Mother)

Day 20-22 – Late Waning Ovate Moon – House of Mawu (Crone)
Day 23-25 – Early Waning Crescent Moon – House of Cereddwyn (Crone)
Day 26-28 – Late Waning Crescent Moon – House of Hecate (Crone)

Day 29-30 – (Morning Moon Ends) at Midday 30 – Dark Moon – House of Kore
Day 30-31 – (Evening Moon Begins) at Midday 30 – Dark Moon – House of Kore

Day 32-34 – Early Waxing Crescent Moon – House of Selene/Luna (Maiden)
Day 35-37 – Late Waxing Crescent Moon – House of Artemis/Diana (Maiden)
Day 38-40 – Early Waxing Ovate Moon – House of Hanwi (Maiden)

Day 41-43 – Late Waxing Ovate Moon – House of Ngame (Mother)
Day 44-46 – Full Moon – House of Ishtar/Isis (Mother)
Day 47-49 – Early Waning Ovate Moon – House of Nana (Mother)

Day 50-52 – Late Waning Ovate Moon – House of Mawu (Crone)
Day 53-55 – Early Waning Crescent Moon – House of Cereddwyn (Crone)
Day 56-58 – Late Waning Crescent Moon – House of Hecate (Crone)

Day 59 – (Evening Moon Ends) – Dark Moon – House of Kore/Persephone

I hope this lunar calendar will be useful to those who hate to wait for the Farmer’s Almanac to come out each year in order to know the new and full moon dates, which is what I used to do back in the age of dinosaurs when there were no computers. I have found this doublet system quite reliable for well over a decade. Sometimes the moon dates may be off about a day due to astronomical variations or when an intercalary day is coming due or has just been added. But I have noted very little such inaccuracy actually. I hope I have provided enough information for you to take it from here should you so choose. – Bran th’ Blessed


Footnotes:
None

Your Daily Cosmic Calendar for March 11th

Psychic storm warnings are posted for today and tomorrow as the Moon continues its transit through Scorpio’s icy currents while Mercury is on the verge of making its retrograde station early tomorrow. Be extra sensitive to female relatives under pressure as Venus makes an off-kilter, 150-degree link to Juno (5:06AM PDT) and the Moon opposes Venus (9:33AM PDT). Even though tensions are palpable, you should be able to tap into your problem-solving skills since the Sun is making an inspirational, 72-degree contact with distant Pluto (5:12AM PDT). If you are in the mood to learn about unusual subjects, check out the wide-ranging literature on advances in holistic healing and alternative medicine as the Moon trines Chiron (8:34AM PDT). Counter any tendency toward worry and pessimism by lifting your spirits through enjoying your favorite arts, crafts or hobbies as Mercury forms a 30-degree link with Venus (8:47AM PDT). Take a good look at your insurance rates and coverage later on as Venus makes a similar link to Vesta (1:30PM PDT). Consider completing key tasks and work assignments today rather than tomorrow as Mercury in Aries shifts gears into reverse at 12:49AM PDT on Monday.

Calendar of the Moon for March 11th

Calendar of the Moon
11 Nion/Anthesterion

Anthesteria Day 1: Pithogia

Color: Purple
Element: Earth
Altar: On a purple cloth set a bottle of wine that has not yet been opened (preferably last year’s homemade), a chalice of water, many cups, a wreath of pruned grapevines, and three purple candles. All should enter the sanctuary bearing the model of a Greek ship with purple sails, entwined with grapevines, which should be carried with all ceremony to the altar and set thereon.
Offerings: Libations of wine to Dionysos. Opening yourself to experiencing Him.
Daily Meal: Goat or lamb. Lentils. Greek food. Wine.

Pithogia Invocation:

Behold the ship of Dionysos!
He sails into each safe harbor
Like a wind of change that cannot be denied.
Be warned, you who have become
Too comfortable, for he will cast up
Your safe life and show you
All the thorns you have pretended not to see.
Honor the god of the Lesser Madness
Lest the Greater Madness swallow you whole!
Taste his gift and wonder, that raw juice
Left to age can slowly ferment
And turn into that which gives delight
And terror both.
Tremble, for he is coming for you!
Whether you drink his gift
Or give it back to him,
It matters not; your days of
Blind unquestioning comfort
Are numbered none, and end today.

(Each comes forward and selects a cup, into which is poured equal parts water and wine. Each may taste of the wine, if they wish, and then pour out the rest as a libation, or they may pour it out entirely. As the pour the libation, each says, “Io Dionysos!” The ship remains in the sanctuary for three days, until Anthesteria is over.)

Chant:
Flower of the vine
King of the wine
Dancer in the soul
We gladly pay your toll