Magic for the buds

Tonight I’m snuggled up and trying to stay warm while (yet another) snowstorm hits, here in February when we might expect things to be getting if not spring-like then at least a little milder. Tonight I will chant the names of plants and animals, and include many a prayer for the ones I do not know. Tonight I murmur over the unknown names of the people who are out of doors for any reason. Tonight I chant the names I know of my landbase, and include silence for the names, to borrow Eliot’s words,

…the names that you never will guess;
The names that no human research can discover—
But the land itself knows, and will never confess.

Tonight I say the names, and I keep the silence, and I pray my prayers to the nearly-full moon, and to all beneficent powers, to be merciful to the buds which have just appeared, and to the people who are out of doors, and to the land.

budsWhat are you doing to turn the Wheel?

Columbia, help us rise

My dear friend Hecate is fond of calling Washington, District of Columbia her shining city on a swamp. It’s an apt metaphor for politics. Columbia, help us rise above the swamp, and shine again.

columbia-freedomColumbia’s district isn’t quite as swampy as urban legend suggests. Still, it’s a good metaphor for politics, because that’s where human life starts: down in the mud and muck. As much as other religions would like to claim that there is some bedrock of truth with a capital “twue” that we can start from, my experience and belief lead me to see our foundations as much more earthy, organic, and prone to change. Like the old joke about the foundations of the universe, it’s turtles all the way down.

What’s amazing is that we can and do build great edifices out of those uncertain foundations. By virtue of our agreements with each other, our cooperation, and our valorization of certain principles, we raise up amazing structures and manage, more or less, to live in them. While we like to imagine our great monuments and governmental buildings of shining stone, and we splash the colors of the flag on anything that will stand still long enough, deep down at the foundations of this country are fragile pieces of paper and the agreements made by men – men whom we hold in esteem, yes, but men who were also flawed, and made of mud and muck just as much as any of us.

I have been saying since the emergence of the Tea Party that it is terribly dangerous to the functioning of a democracy and the system of representative government for people to elect politicians who proclaim their fundamental mission as NOT governing, politicians who claim that they do not believe that the institution they are going to be part of should exist in its current form and fulfill its current functions.

The Tea Party and other ultra-conservatives have announced from the beginning that their mission was to stop government from working the way it has been working. They have been true to their word. They have come to this shining city and rather than trying to participate in the building up, or suggesting different goals for building, or even just getting out of the way when they have lost a disagreement and multiple elections, they are actively hindering any progress, any ability to agree, any effort to raise ourselves up. They drag us back to the muck, kicking and screaming, and at the moment they have fulfilled their mission of stopping government from working.

Remember, these folks don’t really believe that the government should do much beyond run the military. It’s okay with them if kids don’t get cancer treatment and national parks are closed and so on – they’d rather see those things privatized anyway. This is why they were willing to take a shutdown, and insisted that it wouldn’t hurt people or the country very much. Being wrong has never stopped them before, and it didn’t stop them now.

So in these days I pray: Columbia, help us rise above. You stand at the apex of the building where our elected officials meet. Concentrate our voices, help us remind them that they are supposed to commit themselves to the rule of law, and of elections, and all the forms of life that help us build a shining city on swampy foundations and some pieces of paper and the ideals that even we can’t quite agree on. Columbia, help any who are willing to hear sense and to do their jobs within the institution they were sent to serve; help us to throw out any who insist on dragging everyone into the mud with them.

Columbia, help us rise.

For Boston

May Brigid bring healing to all who need it – including the caregivers.

May Morrigan help us understand what happened so that we can respond appropriately.

May Manannan help us steer through this storm.

May Lu show us his bright sun again when we are through.

I was going to post something else today, but events have overtaken me.

Balancing, moving to the light

This week the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about striking down DOMA and Prop 8 in favor of marriage equality. I concentrated some of my Ostara work on this subject, and I will be taking part in an interfaith event to show support for marriage equality. There will be another event the night before. If you can come out and show support, that’s wonderful. If not, please consider directing some energy to this important event. Here are three ways you might join in this work:

Include support for marriage equality in your intention for either Ostara or the full moon:

The world is poised at the turning of the year towards increasing light, with warmth that will nurture many new lives. Let our symbols of new life in seeds and eggs remind us not just of physical fertility, but the possibility of new life brought about by love. In our own lives, let our love make space for new arrivals and open the way for new possibilities.

Pray to Columbia:

Hail Columbia, matron goddess of your district and of our government! You represent our highest ideals of freedom and liberty, calling us to fuller expression of equality. Columbia, help us change our laws to honor all forms of partnership, giving all acts of love and pleasure equal status under law.

Pray to Justice:

Justice, be not blind, but look into our hearts with piercing gaze to discern the ill intent of those who would rule over us with theocratic mandates full of hate. Redress the wrongs and balance the scales to provide equal recognition for all partnerships formed in love.

Bonus: as Hecate suggested, if you’re in the area, you might also consider visiting the Cyrus Cylinder, one of the first human rights documents in history, and empowering it as a symbol of the progress we’ve made and hope to continue making.

Reiki Principles

Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in Adam Miramon’s Intuitive Reiki Level I course through the Reflections Mystery School. Like others there, I had received a Reiki attunement previously, but I wanted more in-depth study and reflection on the practice from someone who does this professionally. Adam is a kind teacher and obviously a dedicated healer, and he did a wonderful job.

The class is called Intuitive Reiki because it fuses regular Reiki as a self-regulating energy system with the energy healer’s own intuitive perception of what’s going on in the client, using that to direct or shape the Reiki energy being provided. I think most Reiki practitioners do this to some extent, but Adam has spent a lot of time reflecting on this and cultivating his own approach. As part of the class, we did exercises to strengthen our intuition, and they were a good challenge that helped me learn more about how to work with the various and sometimes hard-to-express ways my intuitive perception takes place.

Adam also covered some history of Reiki and the principles of Reiki. He encouraged us to find a translation or adaptation of the principles that works for us, and in that spirit, I offer my own adaptation here. It draws on the metaphor of orienting myself in time and space, which connects it to grounding and centering for me, and uses simple gestures:

Here and now, (open hands)

I am not angry about what lies behind me,

nor worrying about what lies ahead of me.

I work diligently (raise right hand to chest level)

and live gratefully (raise left hand)

as I respect the oneness of all. (fold hands in prayer mudra)

Of course, if you are left-handed, you may want to reverse the actions.

Adam will be teaching a Level II course in December, and I’m looking forward to it!

A prayer to Justice

Since conservative Christians have decided to go on a prayer offensive about the upcoming Supreme Court hearing on the Affordable Care Act, and will do so again in hopes of trying to take away women’s freedoms, here is my prayer to Justice:

 

Justice, be not blind, but look into our hearts with piercing gaze and discern the ill intent of those who would rule over others with theocratic mandates full of hate.

Let their will be weighed as naught when you lift your scales that judgment be not swayed but find the rightful balance to help us live together in pluralistic peace.

Ways to support Columbia

Here are some ideas of ways you can participate in supporting Columbia and defending religious liberty against the upcoming “siege” of DC by fringe Christians.

Read more