Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tomato Attack!

Warfare is going on in my tomato patch. And on my computer, as I try to figure out how to upload videos! I HOPE to soon have the text to the video added to the post, for my fronds who are hearing impaired.


video

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Strawberry in the Jello

Kay's death reminded me that, back in the day, a friend and I had a conversation about reincarnation on a yahoo group. Here's my main contributions to that conversation. Well, it was really a discussion of 'what service initiation actually provides', but most of the conversation was about what it provides the soul/spirit after death...

Re: Initiation as a Public Service?

--- In paganpath@yahoogroups.com, Daimon2@... wrote:
>
>>> So my first two questions are:
>
> 1. What do people think happens after death, both to initiates and
> non-initiates?<<

Dang Imps and their Questions! I don't 'know'. The Celtic
Reconstructionist part of me says we all reincarnate - that makes us
Celts brave in battle, a 'screw you and the horse you rode in on'
attitude towards death. It isn't seen as the end of anything except
pain.

However, if you look at reincarnation as a form of recycling: a tree
dies, rots, the atoms/compounds feed other trees. The 'same' tree
does not reincarnate, its atoms spread out to many other trees.
Perhaps the 'atoms' of the soul flow back into the Great Unincarnated
and mix with all the others there. Then a cup full of 'atoms' from
the greater mix get poured into one incarnation or another.

Or perhaps that is what happens to the 'common' soul - it ends up 'in
common', as one, with the rest. Initiation might act as a unifying
power on the soul, holding it together to act as one, not as if it
has 'individual atoms' or 'quantum units of power' in it. An
initiated soul would still get poured into the common mix, but hold
together in it - a strawberry in the jello of soul atoms! - and go
intact into a next incarnation.

>>> 2. How long do you think a soul lingers prior to reincarnation
if
> reincarnation occurs, or is it in a non-temporal state so that it
doesn't matter?<<

Dunno. I don't think it's immediate. I think that there is
some 'aging' or 'resting' done between incarnations, but can't back
my view up with anything.

>
>>> My third question is then, supposing existence is a roulette
game, and non-initiates cease to exist, or the material of their souls are
recycled into new souls prior to reincarnating, would it then be a public service to
provide as many open opportunities for people to become initiates of the
mysteries, what would be the ways to do this, and what ethical and spiritual
questions would it raise? <<


Who said incarnation is a good thing? We Westerners, who have
oppressed others effectively enough to be the top 1% of the worlds
population, who have enough to eat, homes, computer access, clothes,
are VERY happy to reincarnate. But out East, the Hindus and
Buddhists feel that incarnating SUCKS. That we are CONDEMNED to be
bound to the Wheel of Rebirth. Their whole bloody GOAL is non-
existance, in a way. Nirvana/Samsara is opting OUT of the game.

Initiation, if it lead to reincarnation instead of oblivion, would be
the ultimate self inflicted injury. Initiators would be seen as
enslaving souls.

So there.

Fern

Death in the Family

Cenn Ruahd/Kathryn "Kay" Donaldson long of Mugwort Grove of Ar nDraiocht Fein Druid Fellowship, passed out of this life in the early hours of this morning. By her stubborn insistance, no one was there.

She had been fighting cancer for about 20 years. She was a knitter - heck, she was THE knitter.

She was my friend.

I will miss her.

Grieving, Fern

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Chaos Multiplied!

Blessings, Darlings!

Have you ever spent a year being in trance or meditation EXACTLY WHEN the moon moves into specific phases? Especially when it becomes Full and when it becomes Dark? And I DO mean "Dark" - the 13 hours before the "new" moon silver is visible.

Most of us magick workers are familiar with the Waxing Moon energy (which starts 13 hours into the 'new' moon) - growth, beginnings, planning, etc. We're familiar with the warmth, blessings, sustaining energy of the Full Moon. We clean house, pay bills, let go of things during the waning moon's darkening nights. But then there's the Dark Moon ...

Dark moon energy is ... sometimes a vortex .... sometimes a roller coaster ... never what you expect. It's a time when you can more easily get to know your Shadow Side, when you an end up face to face with parts of yourself you had hoped to deny. It takes you into your deep dark depths. Especially if that's not where you want to go. I see it as the time of the moon's cycle when you're most likely to have a spontaneous initiatory experience, and it will be one of the types where you are taken apart and re-integrated by your own 'demons'.

It's humbling. People tend to go into the Dark Moon expecting that they will surf the tsunami, but the thing about the Dark Moon is that NO ONE does. ALL get swept away by it.

This coming Dark Moon there will ALSO be a solar eclipse. So, instead of 'just' the Chaos of the Dark Moon, it will be magnified by the Chaos of Solar Eclipse. Wild Times.

Now, I've been around the block a few times. First spell in 1968 (one of Z Budapest's, gotten from a newspaper!), first Goddess experience around then. I still do not plan to do magic during Dark Moons or Eclipses, because I don't fool myself that I can control or harness the energies. I'll scry during them - I find the veils thin then. I'll do workings where I learn more about myself, especially my shadow self.

If an emergency arises, such as a family member in an accident or heart attack, sure, I'll do what I can. But most likely it will be prayers to a God or Goddess that I'm already tight with, not magick where I am going to pretend to be able to shape the energy. I'm not saying that if I did magick during a solar eclipse that I'd have some "monkey's Paw" result, or grow a second head or anything. But I'm sure that the results would not be what I anticipated - they would be off on some totally unanticipated tangent and the unintended result would be HUGE. Probably bigger than the Crone working that resulted in great intended results ... and a liver infection that made me so ill I barely left my bed for 2 months. And that was for an INTERNAL working.

I know of folks planning to do Big Ass Magick To End Oppression in Iran during the solar eclipse. What unintended consequences might come from that? Israel bombing the Iranian nuke plant? Dirty bombs in some cities somewhere?

Chaos trumps wimpy ass-covering statements of 'good intentions' such as "for the good of all". For the LONG TERM good of all might well be served by the world human population dropping to 10% of what it now is.

I am certainly arrogant. But I'm not THAT arrogant that I think I can manipulate the energy of the solar eclipse for magick, especially world-influencing magick, and be able to 'handle' any unintended consequences.

Frondly, Fern

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fern's First Flame!

I feel a rant coming on.

I'm no kid, as most of y'all know - over 50, been politically involved for over 30 years now, worked doing domestic violence and rape counseling for over 10 years, run my own business (soon to be busineses) etc. I've been around the block a few times and have political, social, and economic bona fides.

So when folks do 'calls for action' on, say, Twitter, I want to know EXACTLY what they want done. "Support those protesting the #IranElection fraud" is a prime example. Let's review - I've been involved in women's rights, freedom from sexual assault, freedom from domestic violence, active in groups in the US that fought apartheid in South Africa, was asking the US govt. and people to impose sanctions on the Taliban govt of Afghanistan for AGES before the US went in there after Bin Laden, etc. So if someone tries to tell me "Call on the West to take action!", I ask exactly what action do they want the West to take? I've not gotten an answer yet on that, other than I'm supposed to join Amnesty International (as if I've not been a member since the 70's?). The people sort of say that they want Reporters Without Borders to document what's going on, and AI to do that as well.

But when asked if they want sanctions and deinvestment - silence. No response. Oh, wait, there was THIS tweet "witchygoddess10 @Fernwise And I cannot support any nation that feels it has the entitlement to rape women and abuse people. If you don't agree, that's fine."

Gosh, that because I asked 'exactly what do you want 'the West' to do'? Snort. BTW, witchygoddess10 - just because you delete a tweet doesn't mean it goes away - it may be out of your personal time line, but they still show up on Search ... as do the replies. At least for 3 weeks, not sure if any of the search engines will have it after that.

Yes, I know what effects sanctions had on Iraq when imposed by the GWBush administration. I also saw what sanctions - and more importantly deinvestment - did to promote change in South Africa. OTOH, South Africa now has the highest rate of rape in the world. I'm not saying that sanctions will necessarily work in the case of Iran, anyway - in South Africa those working for change were branded 'commies' by the PTB there, so the PTB weren't about to trade or accept other aid from the USSR or China. Iran DOES get aid/support from Russia, and I don't see Russia joining in sanctions and deinvestment.

I expect that when folks tweet wanting others to take action that they are taking action, have a game plan, have SPECIFIC ACTIONS that they want SPECIFIC GROUPS to do. Merely joining AI or whatever isn't specific. Recording abuses is fine, but what will simply recording them do?

Maybe the movie "Gandhi" made it seem like the press spreading word about British govt abuses in India made the Brits move out. Very dramatic for a movie. Not exactly accurate. What got the Brits out was that they had to put all resources they could into rebuilding their island nation after WWII and couldn't support an army in India. Heck, with all the resources that were also going into rebuilding mainland Europe, the British people were on SHORTER rations AFTER the war than DURING the war (US food stocks weren't just feeding them any more, but feeding much of the mainland as well).

But even if you think that publicizing abuses had an impact on the British govt - the Brit govt had to face more real elections, so if the British people objected to what they were doing in India they'd have faced being thrown out of office. The Iranian people ALREADY know the score, they ALREADY voted for moderate change. How does the rest of the world knowing affect that govt? Yes, if ALL nations imposed sanctions, if MOST countries/companies deinvested, that would do it - but, again, their main trading partners are NOT about to do that, even with abuses publicized.

The only way change is going to come to Iran is with the people continuing to be ungovernable. Will more people die? Yes.

Kind of like how the US revolution went, eh? How did the rest of the world help the US revolution? The main sacred stories we have on that are about individuals coming over and fighting with us. Marquis de Lafayette did, among others. Yes, France put in a naval blockade - mostly because they wanted British territory in Canada and in Asia and the naval involvement was part of THAT strategy.

Now, it could be that donating to the Red Crescent might bring medical aid to the protesters - I have no idea (RC isn't mentioning that on their web site!). That might be directly useful, or it might not. I have no info on how corrupt or not the RC is there. I stopped donating to the Red Cross in the US ages ago.

But, ANYONE who calls ANYONE to vague action ought to EXPECT to be asked what SPECIFIC action they want taken. And they ought to actually have a logical answer.

I'm just sayin' .....

Forcibly, Fern

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Smith & Wesson Protection Spell ™

Blessings, Fronds!

Keeping one’s home and person safe is a basic part of both Pagan and Survivalist living. Because we want to KEEP living as well as we can, and as long as we can with high-quality.

The Smith & Wesson Protection Spell ™ helps do just that. Now, given that I live in a state with no Concealed Carry I can only use this as a protection spell for my home and my family while we are IN our home. Y’all in states with CC can expand the protection accordingly, as long as you have your CC permit.

The working parts of this spell are about acquiring, getting adept with, and anointing your magical tools – your firearm, cleaning kit, bullets. For parts of this spell you will need teachers, if you do not already know how gun safety, loading, cleaning, and accurate shooting. Getting that training is part of your spellworking. It is part of the energy you are using to infuse the spell and make protection manifest in your life.

Your first step is to buy a gun. Go to a gun shop with a wide selection of models to choose from AND A GUN RANGE if you can find one. If the gun shop does not have a range, then ask them where you can go to test fire an assortment of guns to see what fits your hand, doesn’t overwhelm you with the kick, etc.

While the title of this spell is Smith & Wesson Protection Spell ™, don’t feel that you must be limited to a Smith & Wesson, or to a handgun. Kelly over there uses a Beretta. You may choose a shotgun for household use. It’s all good.

So, you’ve decided on a gun. Go thru’ all the appropriate paperwork, get the appropriate license, etc. Buy the gun. Buy what you need to clean and gun and keep it in good shape. Have the store employees show you how to clean it and keep it in shape if you can. If not, back to the gun range for that, and/or find a local National Rifle Association (NRA) group for help. Buy ammo. Lots of it. Because, especially if you’re not an experienced shooter, you’re going to need it.

Take your gun, ammo, cleaning supplies. Head to the gun/NRA range. Get trained in gun safety, accurate shooting, reloading, and appropriate cleaning. Figure on spending a full moon cycle training at the range regularly. You won’t be an expert shot at the end of that time, but you SHOULD be able to safely handle the gun and care for it by the end of that time. Also, the repeated use and cleaning of the gun over the month cleanses it of all previous people who have touched it and helps bind it to your energy.

Now you have the tools and experience you need to consecrate your new Magical Tool for Protective Work.

Surely you already know how to consecrate a magical tool? Oh, okay….

At home, take the gun, cleaning supplies, salted water, incense (and censor), matches and sit at a table you can work on. Visualize a blue protective bubble of light around you. Charge (end focused energy into) the water. Light the incense. If you oil parts of the gun charge the oil, too. Thoroughly clean and prep the gun, focusing increasing the safety of your home and self.

Touch the salted water, and touch the gun, saying “By earth and by water, I dedicate this gun to protect my self, my family, my home. So Mote it be!”. Wave the gun thru’ the incense smoke, saying “By fire and air, I dedicate this gun to protect my self, my family, my home. So Mote it be!”. Ask any God or Goddess you work with (assuming you’re not working with Quan Yin or such) to bless the gun as a tool for your protection. Visualize protective energy from the Divine Ones filling the gun, then flowing out of the gun into your blue circle, filling the bubble. Now expand that bubble, so it surrounds your entire home. See the protective energy surrounding your home. Hold the vision, then let the vision fade – the protection remains.

You will need to reinforce this spell with regular shooting practice, and by keeping the gun in a safe but ACCESSIBLE place in your home – and by being willing and able to use it as need arises.





Frondly, Fern

Monday, July 13, 2009

Auto-Immune Epidemic

What the heck IS it with so many folks now being affected by auto-immune disease? Type 1 diabetes, much of heart disease and high blood pressure, lupus, Multiple sclerosis, the list goes on and on and on. Now a friend's 3 year old with Kawasaki disease.

The healing arts used to be about helping kickstart the immune system - even leeches were about removing things 'that stood in the way of the body healing itself' by sucking the nasties out. Immunizations were next, training antibodies. Then antibiotics, to stop bacteria from reproducing so the body had time to beat them into submission. And the biggest gains in public health came from enforced sanitation laws combined with refrigeration and appropriate use of food preservatives.

But while we weren't looking the game changed. I suppose that the fundamental rules of the game are the same, but we are seeing a new facet of it. And I've not seen the Pagan community's healers address it at all - not that I'm up on all that's going on everywhere, mind you.

But I remember during the beginning of the Zoo Flu that everyone was quoting Susun Weed, and talking about tonics to help fight it. Never mind that what tends to kill in the flu is cytokine storms - the immune system going into overdrive and destroying the lungs. What we needed - and still need - to discuss is how to CALM the immune system so it responds in ways that don't kill us.

The extent of my knowledge of THAT is pitifully small. Ginger and turmeric are spices that help calm the immune system; Mediation may help reduce inflamatory response; and I suspect that chakra BALANCING (not 'turning them up') would be useful but I'm guessing on that. That's not much knowledge, and no useful treatment in it, just generalities.

Crap.


Frondly, Fern

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Drought or No Drought?

Being sluggish this morning I'm disinclined to look up the definition of 'drought'. My garden says we are having one. The statistics in the newspaper say that we are far from a drought, having had VERY much rain in May and June.

"VERY much rain in May and June" means we had gullywashers - short, hard, intense rains that mostly ran off in to gutters and streams and into the Chesapeake bay. Not long, slow, soaking summer rain that brought moisture 10 or more inches into the earth. Did my rain barrels get filled? Yes.

But the effects of that rain on my veggies was short-lived. And, of course, I've planted more veggies since then, and they are not yet deeply rooted. So I've used up all my rain barrel water already. This coming week I'll need to use city water at least on the beans and turnips, maybe on the tomatoes as well. I'll use grey water from doing dishes for part of it, but I know that I'll have to use 'virgin treated tap water' for some of it.

Dramatic sigh. Officially a drought or not, my garden needs added water or it will die. In MY life, that qualifies as a drought.

Frondly, Fern

Friday, July 10, 2009

Magic Menu and Casting Cupboard

Blessings, Fronds!

One of the many recommendations on how to learn magic is to do magic every day. I remember reading that, getting all enthused, and jumping in. Immediately. And with in a few days failing. Miserably.

Why?

I blamed myself for a lack of will power, or even lack of Will. Now I only blame myself for youth and ignorance.

What's the Key? The Magical Menu

My problem wasn't in the concept, it was in approaching it as if, well, as if I could approach it on a day-by-day way. Instead, I've learned that kitchen or other witchery has to be approached just like menu planning and execution in a well-run kitchen.

Plan your work, then work your plan

That means plan in advance. Enthused over doing some magic each day? Great! Want to start today? Well, okay, if you're talking about a visualization you send energy to. But you're probably not going to want to do just visualize and pump energy magic every day.

So, plan a week or two worth of spell work in advance. Sure, leave room for emergency magic as needed - that's a different topic. Get the list together. Now, go over each spell and figure out what items you're going to need for each spell. How many candles, what color. Incense? What scent? Going to make it yourself? How much time will that take? What ingredient will you need? Are any of the spells best at certain times of year, moon, day? Figure that in. Will you need oils? Will you need altar clothes in certain colors? Will you want to wear certain colors for the ritual or the rest of the day?

Lay it ALL out, in detail. Make lists.

Now, check your supplies. What are you missing? Okay, can you get that stuff locally anywhere? Will you be able to get to that store in the next few days? Will you have to order some of the supplies online?

Now that you have a two-week plan that you can do, get thes supplies and step in. AND during the first week, make your next two week list and start working on what you need for that - this may be when you do spells you had to order supplies for.

CASTING CUPBOARD

Of course, having ingredients around for spur of the moment or emergecy spellcasting is something I recommend. The Prep/Survivalist posts here aren't just for THAT community! Here are things I keep around all the time:

Candles: In the late fall, I get several boxes of Hanuka candles at the grocery store when they are on sale. They are usually good for every standard color except brown, grey, and black, and burn about 20 minutes. I also stock up on Jewish memorial candles in their glass cups when they are on sale - those burn 24+ hours.

I also have a few tall glass enclosed candles from the Latin American aisle of the grocer, in a few colors, and a few black,grey, and brown candles so I'm covered for colors.

Candle sticks/holders: Mostly bought at garage sales, and supplimented by the used glass candle jars as they get used.

Oils: Really, I just use peanut oil and work in whatever herbs I want for any use.

Herbs/Spices/roots/resins: I mostly use kitchen herbs and spices, but I have a LOT for cooking. Allspice thru' turmeric. But I also keep around some myrhh, frankincense, sandlewood.

Charcoal to burn herbs/incense on: This I usually buy several packages of a year, if I can't get the husband to buy it for me as a Yule present.

Altar Cloths: If I wasn't trying to Buy American, I'd just order a dozen multicolored bandanas from Oriental Trading Company. Instead I get end pieces of material from sewing supply stores or good parts of old clothes. But a scarf or two will do.

Incense Burner: Sea shell w/ sand in it will hold charcoal. Shot glass w/ sand will support joss sticks.

Matches: Duh.

Those are all you'll need for most workings. Sure, you will probably build up a larger cupboard over time. Acorns, pine cones, dried flowers, rocks, sea salt, whatever. But with the basics in place you can pull off pretty much any NEEDED magic or any EMERGENCY magic with relative ease.

Frondly, Fern