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The Wheel turns and, once again, the days begin to grow longer.

Blessed
Be!
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*chuckle*  In the midst of cleaning and reorganizing after the flood of a few weeks back, I found a stack of my old high school poetry (written almost exclusively in Grade 12). I've begun putting the OCR software that came bundled with my scanner/printer to use, reclaiming my writing from those old dot-matrix printouts (yes, dot-matrix). Much of the poetry is dated, some of it is cringe worthy, and a few are... revealing. 

Take, for example, this poem about Death, in which I discovered I had some understanding of a fundamental pagan truth years before I actually became pagan:



Death 

I am Death. 
I am not Evil. 
I am not Good. 
I am feared, and hated, 
Yet I bring lasting peace 
I am an agent of Destruction, 
And by destroying, 
I become an agent of Creation: 
Allowing change, renewal, 
And rebirth. 
I am a destroyer. 
I am a creator. 
I am a bringer of change. 
I am Death.


Yes, not my most brilliant work (I was 18, cut me some slack!), but, yeah, the concept of Death being intimately tied to Rebirth is one I did not realize I had rolling around in my brain for so long.



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The candle I lit against the longest night is still going strongly. Good thing, too! I went out to greet the Sun with song for what should've been sunrise, but it was far too cloudy to see the Sun at all (still is). Regardless, I sang a few songs and shared a bit of libation, so it wasn't for naught. I checked the mailbox on the way back home and, most unexpectedly, there was a parcel for me. Yes, I got a present to open for Solstice Morn this very morning! Hee! (Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] magikgypsy!)

A photo to share with you this beautiful Yule morning:



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This is a true tale, a recounting of how my skepticism regarding things of a supernatural nature, most notably revolving around the existence of an afterlife, received a very solid kick to the groin.

Witness a tale of supernatural going-ons... )

Blessed Samhain!
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At some point in the fairly near future (read as 'when my rune stones get unpacked'), I'll be performing a three rune reading for [livejournal.com profile] kitrona. As it takes me a bit of prep to get myself in the mindset for proper readings, it only makes sense to get in a few extra readings for that effort. So who would like a three rune reading? I'll take the first four respondents to the post (which will remain open until I actually get to doing the reading (either tonight or tomorrow evening)). You may post your questions to me here or in a PM. If you wish, include a little context to your question so I can fine tune my intuition for the answer that best suits the situation. 

Tips are not required, but if you really, really want to thank me, go do something nice for somebody and tell me about it (ya know, like a 'pay-it-forward-kinda-thing').

Standard disclaimers apply (i.e. the readings are for entertainment purposes only and do not constitute as legal, medical or professional advice).

Edit: I appologize for the delay. The move is taking a wee bit longer than anticipated. It'll happen by week's end, though (hopefully).


Edit the second: I finally got the readings done last night. I'll be posting the results shortly. For those who didn't post a question, I simply asked what the Universe wanted you to know.


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Although, I must admit it seems kind of odd celebrating first harvest just prior to a tremendous amount of change in my lifestyle to occur later this month. It's like I'm undergoing a lot of action when I should be reflecting. Ah, well. I'll just have to catch up on the reflection at Mabon.  :)
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Inspired, in part, by conversations with [info]swankivy , I've decided to put some effort into maintaining seasonal displays. I've put up displays for specific seasonal holidays such as Samhain, Yule, and Ostara before, but I've never put up anything for Midsummer. That changed not long after my Midsummer stay at the beach.

Below is my first Summer seasonal display, featuring sea shells, gathered during my Midsummer vacation, and one very cute stuffed lobster toy:

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I will be performing rune casting for charity beginning 12:00 AM (AST) and ending midnight on April 22nd. During that time period, if you purchase a charity v-gift (see the list of available ones below), and reply to this post with a link pointing to the profile for which it was purchased, I will consult the runes with a 3-stone draw to respond to a question you pose. The question can be for you or someone of your choosing. Please specify if you want the response to be delivered privately. I will be popping in and out through the course of the day to cast runes and respond to queries. (As this will be my first time doing this kind of event, I will be limiting my responses to the first 30 queries.)

As a bonus (and 'cause I want to support this particular charity on Earth Day) , for the first fifteen responders (NO DONATION NECESSARY), I will purchase one of the Gulf_Aid_Now v-gifts (with the cute seabird and turtle). (Make sure that your profile will accept v-gifts!) Heck, you don't even have to bring a donation and a question to receive one, just show up and say "Hi."

Rune casting is CLOSED.  HAPPY EARTH DAY!!!  :D

List of charity v-gifts here... )

Retrospect (shortly after): Well, that didn't work out as planned...

Hrrmm... ) 
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Sorry this comes a bit late, but I wanted to share with you a couple images of both the egg I created for our Ostara ceremony and an arrangement I created for my seasonal altar.



And, yes, that silhouette IS a cut-out. It's my first go at this kind of sculpture. Mistakes were made along the way, but it turned out not too bad, no?
More photos here... )
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For Imbolc, my offering of inspiration was delivered in the form of a Brigid's Cross engraved onto a small, polished piece of hematite:


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As many of you are aware, last evening's Lunar Eclipse, in occurring on the day of the Winter Solstice, is quite a rare event. Sadly, I could not participate in it as I would have liked: the weather was just too foul to see anything in the night sky (and, in actuality, I even had some difficulty seeing some of the city's taller landmarks). I did, however, shared a few words with the Goddess and laid out a number of my female aligned altar and ritual items on the windowsill to absorb a bit of the extra Female energy that was about. 

Later on today, of course, I will be having a private Yule ceremony in which I will be honoring the rebirth of the God. For me, it is a time of new beginnings, as the energies of the world shift from building potential to beginning action. As such, I've chosen this evening to consecrate my new sword, which will finally see ritual use, as well as reconsecrate a number of my other implements. 

In her article for The Washington Post, 
Out of darkness, light: Solstice and the lunar eclipse, prominent Pagan author Starhawk wrote:

More of what both Starhawk and I have written about the Solstice... )

May the promise of the returning Light fill your hearts with warmth, joy and peace this holiday season!
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I just downloaded a funky moon phase calculator app (titled MoonCal) to my Crackberry. I noticed that it listed November 21st as a 'blue moon'. As it is NOT a second Full Moon in the month of November, I was a little confused.

A little Google Fu later and I came upon this at infoplease.com:

Although the full moon that you will see on Nov. 21, 2010, looks like an ordinary full moon, it is actually a bit extraordinary—a blue moon.

What is a Blue Moon?

There are in fact two definitions for a blue moon. According to the more recent definition, a blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. For a blue moon to occur, the first of the full moons must appear at or near the beginning of the month so that the second will fall within the same month (the average span between two moons is 29.5 days).

The Other Kind of Blue Moon

The older definition, which is recorded in early issues of the Maine Farmer's Almanac, states that the blue moon is the third full moon in a season that has four full moons. Why would one want to identify the third full moon in a season of four full moons? The answer is complex, and has to do with the Christian ecclesiastical calendar.

Some years have an extra full moon—13 instead of 12. Since the identity of the moons was important in the ecclesiastical calendar (the Paschal Moon, for example, used to be crucial for determining the date of Easter), a year with a 13th moon skewed the calendar, since there were names for only 12 moons. By identifying the extra, 13th moon as a blue moon, the ecclesiastical calendar was able to stay on track.


So, yes, my app is indeed correct in keeping with the older definition. BTW, it also calculates the lunar phases, the solstices, the equinoxes, the Chinese New Year and what Zodiac sign the moon falls under. It's a really funky app!
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Yes, I've managed to transplant one of my favourite public pagan events from the West Coast to the East (though it did take a few tries). Last month, we had a blast doing a bunch of collaborative poetry whilst sharing good company and good cheer. This month, the event took on its own flavour, bringing in collaborative story writing, with often hilarious results.

I iz pleased!  :D
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May the coming year be filled with many reasons to rejoice!


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Today I was out and about shopping on my day off. Whilst initiating a quest for a cheap light source that might restore life to my ailing tomato plant, I was thinking about Samhain and just how unenthused I was about it. Again, it'll be a simple affair. I'll be working that evening, so attending an open ceremony is out. I'm also just not finding the enthusiasm to buy and carve a pumpkin. Costuming, again, is out due to lack of funds to do something serious. In fact, I've just been feeling really blah about the whole holiday, and getting kinda down as a result.

Trying to knock myself out of that funk, I decided I would try and make the best of things and buy something Halloweeny to put on my desk at work, as well as some treats to hand out. Thinking along the lines of getting a wee jack'o'lantern and an artificial candle to go in it, I came across this little guy:



 


I handpicked him out of a bunch of others. When I finally got a hold of some batteries and got him to light up, I must admit, my smile did, too.  :)

Edit: I just HAD to go back today and get the green one, so now I have two. *very silly grin*

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Okay, despite cranking the volume on my phone and placing it right by my bed, I still managed to sleep through all attempts by my parents to contact me before they left. As such, I literally slept through the last opportunity to see them before they leave NB for five or six months. *sigh*

Of course, that may not have been entirely my fault; I have reason to suspect that my phone isn't ringing as it should be. I shall have to actually test it, which means putting money on my pay-as-you-go. Blech. A call has to go to tech support anyhow, as I'm getting long distance charges on calls that should've been free as they should've gone through wi-fi. Grrrr....

The suckage continued as my back was still too buggered to go to martial arts class, but, if given lemons, I attempted to make lemon juice and finally made it to the Farmer's Market. At first i was still pretty glum about the whole morning thus far and I wasn't really taking in any of the energetic atmosphere of the market fair. As I cast further and further about for the pagan friendly stand that [livejournal.com profile] karibu  had told me about, but wasn't finding, I began thinking that I was going to leave the market with nothing in hand save more disappointment. Fortunately, I did finally find the stand in the furthest portion of the mall and made very pleasant acquaintance with the proprietress who was not only able to offer a variety of pagan oriented offerings (I purchased some incence, essential oil, and an oil burner with pentacle designs), but also provide some muchly desired information on local pagan associations, as well as the current whereabouts of a pagan friendly store that I thought had permanently disappeared. Afterwards, I was much cheered up and indulged in odd bits of food, including a honey and garlic sausage bun and purchased what was promised to be a close resemblance to scrumpy jack. Sadly, I am stymied by the lack of a %$#*ing bottle opener and will have to dig the cork out with a knife or somesuch (yerg!). I even got a bead on where I could get some pottery lessons and, more importantly, access to a pottery studio!

So, all in all, today has had a rough start, but seems to be getting much better. (Yay!)
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'Tis the day of the Autumnal Equinox, often celebrated amongst Pagan enthusiasts as Mabon, a harvest holiday during which many of the aforementioned Pagans choose to reflect upon and celebrate the fruit of their labours over the course of the year. (For more info, check out[profile] karibu 's post on the topic (found here: http://karibu.livejournal.com/290474.html). Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do much celebrating today, courtesy of work schedules and such, but I do intend to engage in some revelry tomorrow, if the opportunity presents itself.

I have, however, been able to engage in some reflection. Recently,
[personal profile] haikujaguar  performed another one of her well known One Card Draws. The card she drew for me, in response to my query "Is there anything the Universe wants me to know?", was, emphatically, The Plow (http://haikujaguar.livejournal.com/556998.html?thread=9118406#t9118406). Her simple message was to just get out there and work hard; I'll enjoy the results of my efforts later. Now, on the surface, that might seem out of sync with musings about celebrating the harvest at the end of all the work, but, in a way, it kind of IS a fruit.

Yes, I'll be working hard, but that's all I need to be doing. I've gone through quite a bit of change, including changing not only jobs, but even countries. The last few years of my life have presented me with a constant diet of turbulence and uncertainty. Frankly, to be told that all I have to do for now is just work hard at whatever it is I'm currently doing is actually a relief. No thinking. No worrying. Just work. As such, The Plow, to me,  is not only an image of 'good hard work', but a measure of solidity, too. I like solid. Solid works for me. So, yeah, after all my struggles over the last several years, The Plow is definately a fruit of labour.

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