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Every Day Carry

Times are looking shady af. It is always a good time to think about emergency preparedness, and if you are wanting to also be of use to other people, it’s just something to think about. In that vein, the Lumberjack and I spent the day updating and taking inventory of our EDC’s and making list of things to get for an office kit for me. One of my dear friend’s asked to know what I carry with me, so in the vein here it is in case you find it useful or inspiring.

Now everyone’s EDC is going to be different, based on your needs and area. I hate carrying a lot of shit, so my EDC is as compact and minimum as possible.

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So this is it. Everything that fits in that little bag to the right. The bag is one that can be worn over the shoulder or as a thigh holster for longer distance walking. Starting over to the top left:

My keys, I attach to the outside of my bag with a 150 lbs carabiner. My keys include a small pepper spray unit. I like the small ones you can get pretty much anywhere so that it is out and easy to grab. It is also just good to have out for visual deterrent, rather than being buried in your purse.

My wallet, is that leather bag there. Inside I have a card with “Contact in Case of Emergency” information. This way if something happens to me people will know who I am and who to contact. I also keep a couple dollars change and will likely try to keep some nominal amounts of cash ($20 or so). Because where I work the electricity is dicey and cash is just handy. I also keep a card that has some duck tape wrapped around it in here. you can use and old gift card or any plastic card you don’t use and wrap a good amount of duct tape that won’t take up a lot of space. You can also wrap wire, thread, or fishing line.

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Beneath my wallet is a small clean handkerchief. Endlessly useful.

Next we have my medication bottle. This is going to be the big thing that I HIGHLY encourage everyone to make sure they have one them at all times. Enough of your medication for at least 48hrs. More if you can. I have my personal meds and ibuprofen in that container and have other first aid meds in the Lg. Altoids case.

Next we have my multi-tool and a pocket knife. I have my father’s Gerber Bluntnose Multi-tool.  Which is my preferred multi-tool. It’s slim, it is reliable. I also have a Gerber Remix Serrated folding knife. These are tools that are endlessly useful. In a folding knife, I want something thin and has quality blade.

Then we have a square  black makeup bag. This holds some loose end items, some example of which you can see to the right of it. This is where my earphones go, my glasses and glasses cloth, tampons, hair pins, a flashflight. Keeps everything neat and easy to get to. One thing I need to get that will go here is some beeswax chapstick.

Back to the top, is my check book.

Below that are a few pens, a sharpie, and a hair stick. Sticks are endlessly useful as a tool and for someone who has over 3 feet of hair.

Back to the top is my Clipper card (public transit card), a small Altoids tin (with actual mints in it) and a thing of post it notes.

The Large Altoids tin has some more first aid and survival stuff in it.  Which we will look at below.

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This tin holds some bandaids, two plastic baggies, one of which holds the following:

Strike anywhere matches
A pencil witch wire wrapped around it
Chalk
mini candle
Safety pins
My sewing kit. A piece of cardboad that I stuck a sewing needle into and wrapped some upholstery thread around and taped with masking tapes.
Fishing kit, has a goodly amount of fishing line and a hook

Then I have two zip ties, some aluminium foil, a garbage bag (doubles as a poncho if needed), and a swiss army knife.

Things that are missing from this kit because they got used and need replacing are:
Pepto bismol  pills
UTI pain pills
alcohol wipes

This is everything that I carry everyday in my purse. There are some items that I need to purchase to add to this. Some hand-sanitizer & sunscreen are at the top of my list. And the Lumberjack is talking me into carrying a stainless steel water bottle with me to and fro work. I currently have one at work but…I dunno. We’ll see. I see the use but I lose shit.

I will be making up a kit for the Office here soon that will be a little more in depth on the first aid and will include things like Milk of Magnesia and such, because I live in an urban area where tear gas is a thing.

People that are looking for a place to start in making an Earthquake emergency or just a general emergency kit for the home. There are pretty complete kits, it is a chunk of change up front but overall it would be just as expensive or more so to put it together piece by piece. Amazon has a 4 person Earthquake Kit for $105 and change.

Because I live in CA here is the FEMA Earthquake Safety Checklist for those wanting to get their emergency preparedness together.

There are a lot of things to consider in preparedness, especially in today’s current social climate. Stay safe out there! Be vigilant, and please do what you can to help those around you in need. This is a good guide for helping people being harassed (the comic is focused on helping those of the Islam community but I think it applies across the board): http://maeril.tumblr.com/post/149669302551/hi-everyone-this-is-an-illustrated-guide-i-made

 

 

 

Táin Tuesday: Before the Táin

Well this project took a little longer to get off the ground than anticipated. But now that I have both books in hand and have a few moments to peruse both I see that this isn’t going to be as straight forward as reading chapter by chapter of each one.

For the duration of this project I will be referring to the two versions by the last name of their translators. So, The Táin by Thomas Kinsella will hereforto be known as Kinsella and The Táin by Ciaran Carson will hereafter be known as Carson.

On the initial examination of both books it immediately struck me that the Carson does not begin in the same place at the Kinsella. Whereas Kinsella begins “Before the Táin” and includes the birth and rise of power of Conchobor, the story of the sons of the Uisliu, and the Pangs of Ulster. The Carson begins with the actual cattle raid with Medb and Aililli talking in bed. This is an interesting choice and I will go back and read Carson’s introduction to see if he explains that choice here. Maybe it’s the old stubborn person in me but I feel like leaving out those stories at the beginning leaves out a lot of the context for the cattle raid itself. Though I suppose I only associate them with the Táin because the Kinsella version was the first version I read. But to me they were world builders and set the stage for what was to come. Especially the Pains of Ulster! But then I am rather fond of that story and could be very bias at the moment.

But since I do find those stories to be important and since they are in the Kinsella, I will begin with my take aways and overviews of them and when the two version meet then we will have comparison. Seems fair enough to me.

With that said we being “Before the Táin

In Kinsella’s notes he attributes this anecdotal text to the ninth century text in the Book of Leinster. I have to say that it does have a different feel and sound to me than some of the other parts of Kinsella, but I wonder how much of that is Kinella’s own voice coming to the translation.

In any event this short little story tells us that the knowledge and story of the Táin itself was once lost or at the least not know in its entirety. And in the fashion of all good important myths and legends had to be quested for and sought out.

Now you may be asking “What can you possibly get out of this tiny little story?”

Well, not a huge amount but some things in my practice are certainly underlined and other things that I have known but not paid as great attention to are brought to the forefront.

In the start of this story it is plan that the “Poets of Ireland” have convened to see if they could all remember the story of the Cattle Raid of Cooley. This illustrates that the poets or bards were very much the history keepers. This is something that my previous research already told me, but it is them all discovering that they only know parts of the story and then deciding it was important to go and find the whole tale again that helps brings few things into focus for me.

First, that people especially educated people, and I will go a step farther and say probably especially educated people who considered themselves or were considered by their community to be spiritual leaders, had A LOT memorized. And by memorized I don’t just mean they  had the cliff notes version that I could tell you off the cuff, I mean it was in verse. Word for word, line for line, verbatim. This doesn’t just apply to Ireland of course, the ancient world in general seems to have this trait. A trait that we of modern times have fallen behind on and something I would like very much to work on. This isn’t to say that I’m going to memorize the Tain line for line, but who knows maybe someday. But I do want to memorize more prayers and songs, reading this helps to solidify my dedication to that cause. Also to you know…write more lol.

Second is a little more…spiritual practice-ish. In the story Muirgen, the son of the great poet teacher who set the challenge before them all, finds the gravestone of Fergus mac Roich (deposed King of Ulster who aids Queen Medb in the Raid) and entreats him in verse to tell the whole tale. A mist comes over Muirgen for three days and three nights he cannot be found. In that time Fergus appears before him (dressed spectacularly I might add) and recites the whole thing.   Thus Muirgen is able to return from the quest victorious and the Tain is returned to Ireland in full.

There is quite a bit in that little story. We see that there is a strong ancestral connection, even to figures of myth and legend. That they are real, that they are able to speak and teach us even after death. That is something that I have always connected with. That tangible thread of spirit that links the living to the dead, and the living to their ancestral and mythical past. It is a huge part of what brought me to the Gaelic Polytheist path. I started out following the threads of these same stories and heroes. Ok maybe it didn’t start here it started over a bit of water with King Arthur and his lot but still it didn’t take long to find my way to Erin.  For me this underlines the already standing practice of honoring and learning from the Beloved Dead. It is something that a lot of CR sites and Gaelic Polytheist talk about. Clearly with good reason.

The other thing that I note here and just sort of put on my List-of-things-to-look-for further in this reading, is the mist. The mist came and then knowledge from the beyond was received. There are several different things I can take away from this. One is that there may be future connection between the mist/fog and the dead/supernatural. My other research and knowledge and just flat-out gut says that this is so, but I will make note of it here and see how often this occurs.

Because then I can start and pay more attention to the mist and fog. I live in an area where it is not a stranger to me. Perhaps next time I look outside and see the mists at my door I will leave out an offering to passing spirits. Or it occurs to me that in times when the mist is coming in may be a good time to try to contact the Beloved Dead more easily. Things to think on, things to see how they can fit in my life.

A different take on the time that Muirgen spent in the mist; is that a mortal was able to gain supernatural information from the beyond. Granted this was lost information that was already part of the mortal world but I don’t consider it too far a leap to see a parallel in this to the times that I go into a state of trance and come back with new inspirations, song and prayers. Now I’m sure for some that might be too great a leap in lines of thought, and that’s fine. But for me I can see how the literary use of mist that hides a person for 3 days and 3 nights could in fact be a way to describe a state of trance. Where the body remains and the mind or soul enters into the mist and beyond. Like I said perhaps too far fetched for some but it makes complete sense to me. Which makes it reassuring and helpful. It’s not something I have talked at length about as it’s hard to articulate, but I find a great connection to the divine in a trance state. Interestingly most of my trance states happen in the shower, where there is a mist in the steam and water. This is something else that is on my list of things to look out for. The connections of the divine and supernatural to water, mist, steam etc.

That my friends are my take-aways from this wee tale. Also a very good example of what the rest of this project will look like. So if this interests you please stick around! Let me know what you glean from these stories. What are the nuggets that leap out to your mind. I’d love to hear!

I’m already working on next weeks so I do hope to have these up every tuesday but you know there may be some flubs here or there lol.

Altar of Bone and Flame

Hello little blog, it’s been a while. I find that frequently I just get wrapped up in the real world, or my own mind that leaves little room for things like blogging. But never fear, I always come back. Eager to share, and eager to continue transcribing my spiritual adventures. 

As it’s been a while I thought it would be a nice way to ease back into things by sharing photos from my recently cleaned altar. There are to be many projects, and much blogging on the horizon. This blog will get a face lift amoungst other things. But that is another post for another time. 

For the now I’d like to say how much I love my winter altars. They just come together so much easier. The bones, the stones, the furs, and wood. It all just sings in harmony and I love it. In spring and summer I feel the lack of color, the lack of being outside on a green hill in the open sky. But in winter, it is all stark and wonderfully homey. The bones I leave out all year round, they are spring and summer bones as well. But in winter they take center stage. Wonderful in their off white glory. Warmed to yellow in the flame. 

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There is something about candlelight that just makes an altar connect. It’s hard to capture in photos, at least it’s hard for me but still. The illumination of the flame has always connected to me. I think of it as the light of the human soul. There is something incredibly comforting and familiar while at the same time foreign and mystical about it. 

I arise today
Through The Gods strength to pilot me;
The Dagda’s might to uphold me,
The Dagda’s wisdom to guide me,
The Morrighan’s eye to look before me,
The Morrighan’s ear to hear me,
Manannan’s word to speak for me,
Anu’s hand to guard me,

 

 

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The Gods way to lie before me,
The Morrighan’s shield to protect me,
The Dagda’s hosts to save me
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.
Gods shield me today
Against wounding

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The Gods with me, The Gods before me, The Gods behind me,
The Sea around me, The Land beneath me, The Sky above me,
My Beloved Dead on my right, My Beloved Dead on my left,
The Ancestors when I lie down, The Ancestors when I stand,

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The Dagda be in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
The Morrighan be in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
The Spirits be in the eye that sees me,
Imbas in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of my beloved Gods, of the Valiant Dead, and all that came before.

 – Prayer adapted from Carmina Gadelica St. Patrick’s Breastplate  

To hear the lessons of the Mountains

I’m heading out to the Mountain today.  A brief visit with the Unlaws and then out to the wilds for a quick but much needed camping trip. It’s been too long since I’ve been completely out in the woods. No cabin, no stove, no insulation. Just a thin barrier of nylon between us and the world at large. The Lumberjack has asked repeatedly if I’m sure I want to go now, it’s still below freezing up there in the night hours. But I’m sure that I need to clear my head.

There is a perspective out in the woods that is hard for me to really keep hold of in the city. Right now all the astrology is talking about the intensity of Mars, and I cannot say they are wrong. I’m seeing intensity from a lot of different angles in my world right now. Stress, people being overworked and under appreciated, the blatant rewriting of events for personal gain, people in tension with their loved ones, the news media failing in seeing the pervasive rape culture that it is attributing to, the fall out of that rape culture that has already scarred so many, miscommunications, long time aggravations continuing to brush the wrong way, people breaking free , people doing the hard work. It’s all around, it’s everywhere.

Then, in the back of my mind there is a whisper. It is not silken, it is not soft, but a whisper none the less. Just as I’m about to get heated up in the moment, just as I am about to slam my fist or tear my hair.

It’s all moot. We’re all going to die. 

And I laugh. I can’t help it. I can’t stop it. It’s not a joyful ringing laugh. But it is a deep and very mortal chuckle.

I am comforted by that whisper and that laugh. Inevitably I wonder what that says about me, in fact I wonder even more now that I post this here for all the internet to see. But after two seconds of wondering I shrug and decide that the comfort is worth more than whatever judgement people who I know or do not know may or may not put upon me. After further reflection I can say with certainty that my deriving comfort from that is in no way hindering my ability to live and therefore is not something I need to worry or work on.

Because it’s not actually nihilistic. It’s not there is no reason to do anything because the only guarantee in life is that we are going to die. It’s that you are only guaranteed this one life now, so do your best. It gives more meaning to what we do now because we are in fact fated to die. So don’t waste that meaning on trivial things, don’t get too caught up in the details, the picture is bigger. Your time is short, use it wisely.

I dunno maybe that is nihilistic lol but I find it a useful moment of levity.

The frailty and strength of life and humanity becomes so much more…glorious in it’s tragic beauty.

That’s what the Mountain teaches me. The boulder is unaffected by the squirrel having a fit trying to get a seed open on its surface. It’s seen squirrels having fits before, it will see squirrels to come, it’s still going to be a boulder long after that squirrel is dust in the ground.

The trees are unaffected by the fact that they may get chopped down, or burned, or broken in a storm, or blown over, ripped from the ground in a landslide. They are still going to grow, they are still going to seed, they are still going to be trees.

The Mountain is unaffected by the countless animals (including humans) who have died peaceful and violent deaths on its rocky exterior. It’s forest may burn. People might decide to blow a hole through it and make a tunnel. The rains may come and wash whole portions of it away. In fact the plate it resides upon could begin to shift and destroy it completely. But the Mountain is still a Mountain.

I can take that in and feel the strength of it.

There is a laundry list of things that could happen to me on a daily basis. There are a hundred million dramas that could play out in my life time. I will take part in many of them. I will feel pain, sorrow, loss, stress, anger. I could lose all my love ones. I could in fact die tomorrow, today even. Yet none of that is going to prevent me from living the life that I have now. None of that will actually change who I am. That I am going to try my best and live my life in the pursuit of happiness. I can hold onto that truth and the rest falls away.

I can hold on to that truth and be the Mountain.

Holding the Media to a higher standard

If you keep an eye out for pagans in the media you will probably be aware that FOX News recently picked up an old story apparently just so that they could make elitist  sexist, ignorant and generally to be expected base remarks on Pagans and Wiccans in particular. You can find the details at The Wild Hunt.

While I am not surprised by this in the least, as FOX News has already proven itself time and time again to be a irresponsible propaganda machine in far more damaging ways than this infraction. I was happy to see many in the pagan community taking a real course of action and stand about demanding a higher standard of our news media. I personally believe that this needs to happen on a wider scale across the board, and am hopeful that this beginning will lead to more.

With that said, I stand behind the statement of my community and coven in regards to this issue:

The Clergy of Come As You Are Coven, an Interfaith Pagan community in Northern California, take exception to the statements about Pagans and Wiccans made by Fox Network commentators Anna Kooiman, Clayton Morris, Tucker Carlson, and Tammy Bruce on-air Feb 17, 2013.  The inaccurate and slanted reporting and commentary permitted by the Fox Network on the topic of the recognition of Pagan and Wiccan holy days by the University of Missouri was an incident of egregious misinformation, lack of research, blatant sexism, religious prejudice, and personal invective. The remarks made by these Fox Network hosts were especially irresponsible in light of the increasing diversity of religious tradition in America, where members of minority religions still struggle to establish equality and fair treatment in their schools, local governments, civic organizations, and communities.

Given the current politically divided climate, it is crucial for the media to hold a high standard of integrity and commitment to reporting fairly about the diverse cultures in this country and the countries with which the United States interacts. This is achieved through unbiased reporting, sensitive yet unemotional delivery of factual material, and thorough research to establish the verity of assertions made by reporters and commentators. The media has a responsibility to act with conscience and accountability in the selection and appropriate preparation of the individuals who are professionally tasked with informing large portions of the population. In this case, accurate factual information about Pagan and Wiccan holidays is widely and readily available online, in libraries, in government documents such as the US Army Chaplain’s Handbook, and in a number of state and district court cases where Wicca was specifically recognized as a religion protected under the First Amendment. There is no sufficient excuse for the gross misrepresentations allowed by Fox Network on Feb 17.

We request that this issue be addressed by Fox News Network via an immediate, prominent, on-air apology; significant on-air retraction of specific comments with factual corrections; visible dialogue with practicing Wiccans and Pagans conducted in a respectful manner; and appropriate commitment by the Network to providing the individuals responsible with a mandatory professional course of diversity training in religious and sex/gender sensitivity.

As an Interfaith Pagan organization that recognizes Wicca as a major influence, and that also recognizes the First Amendment right of each individual to choose a personally meaningful spiritual path, we denounce any effort to undermine the sacred nature of any religion/practice, holy day, and/or celebration, especially but not limited to those growing, emerging, and/or marginalized religions/practices.

We applaud the University of Missouri’s sensitivity to the needs of its Pagan and Wiccan community members via recognition of their holy celebrations, and encourage other academic, government, and business institutions to include similar awareness of these holy days in their own administration and planning.

We support the varied and diverse efforts of the concerned individuals and groups who are bringing this issue to public attention and mobilizing Pagans and Wiccans to demand public accountability and fair resolution.

__________________________________

The Clergy of my coven, the Come as You Are Coven, and myself will be printing and signing this statement and sending it to the following addresses:

FOX News Corporation

1211 Avenue of Americas, 8th Floor,NY, NY 10036

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

 

If you like this language and it expresses your feelings well, feel free to adjust and use this for your personal or group purposes.

Thought download of an American Citizen

Today I’m going to break the silence on this blog not to talk about the wonderful trip that I had up to the Mountain, or the crab apples, blackberries, and onions that I harvested. I will have a post up about the amazing crab apple butter that is making my house smell delicious. At some point I’ll finely edit that article on house wards, and I’ll even sit down to write about the nuts and bolts of putting on a public ritual.

But today I’m going to talk about my country, and the shitty politics that are happening. Because election day is around the corner and even tho I’m fairly confident that Mitt Romney doesn’t stand a chance at election; I’m still a little scared. But more than that I’m mad.

I’m mad that I don’t have the luxury of voting on actual economic strategy or structural constitutional legislation because civil rights and my autonomy as a person are very seriously being threatened. If you don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about being a free thinking woman in a country of misogynists at power that want to make decisions for me.  (A list of SOME of the Bills proposed, Another account State by State)

I’m furious that a bunch of hypocritical wing nuts who continue to tout about their deeply held religious beliefs and blaspheme the constitution of the country they claim to love. I am so pissed off at Corporate lackeys and lobbyist monopolizing the system while running the country into the ground and continuing to move on and never looking back.

Watching the RNC coverage and the amount of bullshit that paraded up on that stage all under the wholesome guise of “family values” and “American Christian Nation” made my stomach turn. The extreme disconnect between common sense and decency and the actions that this people are calling for.

I now know why the Romans looked upon Christianity as a cult that upset pacata atque quieta – settled and orderly.

I am a deeply religious person. It is a part of my everyday make up and I do not wish to take that away from anyone else. My religious beliefs are the compass to my life. MY life. Not the world, not the country, not all people always. It is the compass, not the terrain in which I walk. I am a citizen of the United States of America and whatever my religious beliefs. Say those beliefs were that eating meat were sin (thank the Gods that they are not) it would not occur in my brain that we should then make meat illegal in this country. To say that out loud is absurd. But to Evangelicals and other extremists because it is written in their book and they take to it we should take it up as law. Absurdity.

I am a citizen of the United States of America and whatever my religious beliefs I uphold the Constitutional just laws of this country foremost.

It should be a simple fact of all people. It should. But that’s not their way. It’s zealot fanatical behavior that is truly frightening to behold.

What do I want? From my country? What would I like to see?

  • Separation of Church and State being upheld far more than it is today. To truly have politics be a secular discussion.
  • Take the money out of politics. No more billionaires advancing their interests by donating truck loads of money to their candidate. We should try a system of tax bond for each American that they get to choose who they give their bond to, to support. American businesses would have a tax bond as well that they get to say who they are supporting. And that’s it. That’s all the money candidates get. You run for office you become a Public Figure and your taxes become public record.
  • We need to pass a Read the Bill Act to allow for more transparency in our legislative process and to stop lobbyist and politicians tacking on in-congruent laws to bills, or worse voting on bills that they haven’t even read.
  • We need to kick lobbyist out of D.C.
  • Us to pass a Universal Healthcare system
  • Us to modernize and reinstate the Glass Stegall Act
  • Us to get rid of ALL of the remaining pieces of the Patriot Act
  • We need to plug up the holes in the tax code that allows billionaires to get away with paying pennies in taxes.
  • I’d like to see us try a system of taxing business that employ workers outside of the country and give tax breaks to those business that employ American workers. More tax breaks if they provide health care for those American employees.
  • More money in education. We spend far more money on our prison system than we do on our education system. We have to invest in our future. We need to expand the idea of education beyond the tried (and failed) method of 4 yr university. We need to have federally supported programs for skilled trade. We need to teach our kids basic modern life skills, how to choose a credit card, what an interest rate is, how to get a loan, how to get a small business loan, how mortgage’s work. We have to give them the tools to make a better future. Really we need to provide this same education in our Welfare system to the adults that never got those tools either.
  • We radically need to restructure our healthcare system. The Baby Boomers are getting older, we are all living longer, and the statistics of that is that we live long enough we will get cancer. Or something else. The current system is not prepared for the needs of that aging community. Our current way of handling the elder does NOT work. We have to get minds working on this. Doctors, scientists, economists, nurses, psychologists. Because it will have a major effect on our economy and our society in general.
  • We DESPERATELY need to invest in eco-friendly energy. We need to fund research and development. But more than that we need to USE it widescale.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. That’s just the topics that I think about almost daily. The topics I WANT to hear my politicians talking about, the kinds of ideas I’m looking for. The forethought into putting America’s future back as priority.

But all of this has to be put aside because I’m still fighting for equal pay in the work place, for the right to make choices for my body, for the right of people to marry who they wish to.

It just boggles my mind.

The Beltane Fires Blaze

I came running into the month of Beltane with fire in my hands and joy in my heart. Or more precisely Beltane and I went running out together in the high summer sun. It has been a non-stop adventure exhausting and exhilarating. While I see the shadows crossing with my rays of light and fire, I know there is more to come.

For me Beltane has always been a time of holy sacred fire. It is one of my top holy times of the year, and for me it last all the month of May. In the Irish tradition, Beltane or Bealltainn was the start of the summer season, an agricultural festival of blessings and protections. It was the time when the cattle went up to the summer fields to graze, their safety of high import. It was the time to put out the hearth fires, and relight them from the blessed bonfires of the community. Blessing were lain on house and field, rowan tree limbs collected for protection and prosperity. Being the beginning of summer the larders would be bare, and the harvest being planted. It would be a time of possibility and uncertainty. Over on Tairis there is an excellent article on the folk customs of the Irish and Scottish of Bealltainn throughout the centuries.

Add to this historical understanding of the festival, is the knowledge of the season. It is spring, the start of summer. The air is charged with change, will it frost the night and kill the blooms shyly peaking out? Or will the summer winds blow in hot and steamy? Everyday is an unknown. The world is on the edge of a new now, a new standard. The spirits are a buzz with the energy being put out by everything. Things get knocked over, go missing. Tempers are wild, and everyone seems on the edge of absolute joy or a ragged frustration that could end in a brawl or a roll in the bed sheets. The blood begins to pump faster, with more vigor and heat as the sun showers it’s glory upon the world more and more. Now is the time of action. The start of the cattle raiding. Three of the legendary invasions from the Leabhar Gabala happen in the time of Bealltainn. To hunt, to plant, to fuck, to create, to conquer, to woo, to run mad, to laugh.  The veil is thin, the Gods and all those who dwell in the Otherworld draw closer with their mesmerizing golden haze. In a word it is one of my favorite times of year, complete with it’s stress, and maddening mood swings.

Now that we’ve covered the flavor and lens in which Beltane is known around my household you’ll get a much better sense if the emotive and energetic charge of the evens that have transpired over the last few days lol.

The build up began on Friday April 27th, with me facilitating an amazing ritual put on by the lovely Lady Yeshe Rabbit and Thora Azuolas. It was made even more special as we were joined by Guest Priestesses Kris Freewoman and Larissa. It was a ritual in honor of Oshun, as this is the fifth year of Yeshe Rabbit’s dedication to her. It was high energy, dancing extravaganza. Kris Freewoman is an amazing dancer and has such an energetic grace in how she directs the movement of the room. It is a skill that is lacking from our Tribes public working and one I would love to at least tap into. We had a room of 25+ women dancing in naked glory without a care in the world other than how beautiful they were being for Oshun. Not my pantheon but impressive and moving on all accounts. Larissa is an amazing drummer and had brought her talented friends with her, to truly make this a ritual to blow others in the rhythm department. For an hour or so that little yoga studio was transformed into a temple, an open field on the river bed, and a tribal communion ground. And by the end of the night I was bushwacked! lol

But there is not too much rest for the wicked. I was up bright and early on Saturday for a lovely day trip to a flea market with the Lumberjack. It was filled with all kinds of treasures that we wished we had room enough to hoard. In the end I bought some trinkets and a beautiful gold cuff and was contented. A quick stop at our favorite BBQ place for sustenance and it was back to the house to piece together an outfit befitting a Tickster of the May. Three hours later we were satisfied, the house completely destroyed, and hurrying on my way to  get to ritual.

A ritual I only vaguely remember lol. It was a large production befitting Beltane, there was a lot of talking coming out of my mouth. A story weaved in rainbow colors about the Tribes of Love and Fire. How man came to be the fragile forged steel that it is today. A large community passing through the Beltane Fires that leaped high burning with excitiment, many blessings given. A new May Court crowned, and general revelry ensued. Another late night and sore feet, a heel objecting to being used as a bull hoof to drum up people’s attentions. Food hastily eaten in good company, and then to my soft calling bed.

The morning brought some respite but not much lol. Preparations needed to be made! It was Beltane Eve! I cleaned my destroyed house and set about to baking my offerings of honey cakes for the beasties and shining ones. They were damn tasty too.

I had some important spell work to prep and get done on the day. As well as a need to prep my flowers that were given to me by the Lumberjack. They are now drying for future use in incense and other spell work. All and all a busy day around Fort Epic.

And just when I was tidying up the Good God’s kitchen altar, it was time to leave for another adventure! For not only was it Beltane Eve, but the birthday of one of my beloved soul sisters! Tauri women rule, for the record. For this celebration we were off to get a lesson in archery. Something tantalizing but foreign to me. Turned out to be an addicting thing, and to most of our surprise we were not so helpless around the bow and arrow. Indeed I feel the possibility of a new wonderful hobby on the horizon….

With the night still young, and the Beltane blood high we went out to celebrate Tiki style. It was a lot of fun, I’ve never really been to a bar before. And certainly had never gotten drunk at a bar before lol. Good times all the way around. I discovered I have a taste for a drink known as Navy Grog (good thing to know for the future).

The good and happy drunk stumbled her way to bed, in enough of her right mind to have a glass of water and ibuprofen before diving headlong into Morpheus’s sweet arms.  But wait! Sleep was but a sweet passing allusion. Somewhere inbetween the Mai Tai and Navy Grog, smashed between the talk of finding the bones of the dead on the beach, and oogling Elvis on the screen, there was the persuasion that took hold on my drunk little heart and I agreed to go up to the Inspiration point and watch the Morris Dancers and greet the first rays of the sun.

4:30 comes all to soon, and while the Portal turrets played their harmonic opera, the happy drunk stumbled confusedly back out of bed. Finding that those 4 hours alone in the sleeping realm did absolutely nothing for my balance and stability on my boozey feet. But the sunrise beckoned! And in the little marshmallow car the three bleary-eyed bull-women made their way up the hills, through the magic mist to watch that golden coin take it’s royal seat in the sky.

And it was worth it. While the Englishmen danced with their bells and ribbons the Sun began to show hit glimmering glory.

 One moment you are holding your breath in anticipation, the next a sliver of gold, and then a brilliance to bold to look upon. Such is the glory of the Beltane sun. With joy we  washed our hands and face in the morning dew. Gratefully we happened upon some wild Lady’s Mantel. All seemed delightfully right in the world.

The rest of the day past in a Gatorade, sleepy haze. As I worked the day and went home very tired. But certain things still needed to be done. Our Beltane fires needed to be lit, all of the house (including the cats) needed to pass thru for a good healthy year. And then the altar needed to be lit. Once the business was taking care of, and even then I completely forgot to bless the car which led to a different kind of adventure, but most of the business taken care of it was time to rest in the house and the home that I love.

I have to say it was one of the best first of May’s I’ve had in a long time. And the month isn’t even over yet! I realize that this post comes weeks after the event,we are now in the height of May-dom, so many more exciting adventures have transpired. So much more magic has been made. But that’s the thing about busy adventures, you’re too busy experiencing them to blog about them. But don’t fear. I’m taking pictures, and making notes. So as soon as I catch my breath there will be more blog posts to come!