C: Charity & Community

I sort of missed my deadline for this week’s post on the Pagan Blog Project 2013 (PBP), I have some good reasons and some bad ones – as always. What happened was I had a hectic week as everyone in uni was back and in classes so they HAD to meet up, also I had a biteen of a date (and thats as much info on that as yer gettin’ from me!), and of course my own college work had to be squeezed in there somewhere. When I did chance “scribbling” a few words down none of it made any sense and frankly I was boring myself. So I left it all and went about my week glistening over when I heard about people getting all frisky for Imbolg, I mean what on earth was I going to do after the Full Moon last week I was still jittery all week and not to mention constantly shifting through zonked periods (still am hence rambling parts of this post).

Charity, Community & Magic

epic-fail-photos-disability-slogan-failAnyway a good friend who has been helping me with meditation and other valuable skills called and asked me to return some books today, which was timely too because he’d found a new space to use. I should qualify this statement in the context of this blog post; my friend is using this new space to support a local support group aiding people experiencing various crises. Right now this is a major issue as funding for all sorts of supports which would, in time past, have been funded or partially funded by the Health Services Executive (HSE) are being scaled back.

Some time back my friend and I were discussing the pursuit of magic which can lead the practitioner further and further away from their community or from their society. I’d been party of group rituals which sought to harmonise and heal and yet seemed to only reveal divisions. Had the magic gone wrong? No, I don’t believe it had. I’m a community minded person having been born gay and developing epilepsy in my mid-teens; before magic became a part of my life (at least not in such a recognizable way as ritual work), I was living in the liminal spaces. In these spaces I can experience and see a lot of what others miss around them. The differences of people often scare us so when it blasts its way into our lives we have to wonder what the feck!?! How can I possibly make this situation the same as mine, its why a lot of people think they’ve empathized enough with someone’s plight. My greatest sport in life is disclosing that I have epilepsy to people as freely as I do my orientation – the swiftness with which people will edit out or distance themselves from my epilepsy and make light of my orientation is remarkable. I get it! With orientation, you can like the funny side of that or the more palatable parts and won’t see the “messy” parts and with my condition well thankfully its nicely hidden away from sight and nicely tucked away in the brain.

Granny_Weatherwax-recap

Being Imbolg its understood to be a time of growing for new projects and plans. With so much on offer in terms of what may be borne from a tuathaid’s workings – so what have you done to build for the future of your community? Understandably this is mostly a rhetorical question, though if someone wished to express something of practical and pragmatic work – we’re looking for HEADOLOGY here folks! Sure you can perform on the necessary invocations and rituals (and sometimes I do!) but what else? Do you listen to people in pain, have you experienced it yourself? Nick Farrell once commented that he thought that there was an over emphasis on psychiatry and psychotherapy in modern magical systems – a lot of magical practitioners and people who like Granny Weatherwax tend not to use much [obvious] magic have made similar comments to me. I feel kinda good that often my magical rituals are subverted by the ‘intent’ taking seed much quicker than anticipated and finding community and charity groups being set up. I may not be as lazy as I first thought because if magic does bring us face to face with ourselves as I’ve stated to people before, then being more functional in our environment makes sense surely?!

My friend had been working on this idea for some time and I’d wondered what had been happening alright but as my own focuses took me elsewhere when the purpose for his space popped into my head earlier this week (my brain should come with <SPOILERS> sometimes). Then I got the call and found him quite busy. We spent some time moving bits and pieces around and preparing it for others to really get stuck in. As my friend made a wonderful prayer to the space I got the impression of an elderly monk or abbot coming down the hallway from the old prayer room for the monks. It seemed that the place had welcomed the space to be used. Personally, I think there will be more inspired from this space than even my friend imagines for it but time will tell.

I know people would have liked me to tell a story of Brighid – goddess of poetry, smithcraft and artisans et al. but to be honest thats not my Imbolg, my Imbolg was someone starting something new from something old. It was a story of alchemy and change following putrefaction. Of course these things are never so simple as to be the “Happy Ever After” story but in terms of a start.

I’m going to be incredibly busy myself for the next while but in saying that I do look forward to hearing how the space my friend has helped to create grows from here and possibly helps others move beyond the pain. I should quantify my views here because I’m being vague to be kind but this space is rented for one group but I sense that others will come on board as they open to the value of the old building and its inherent spirit.

Yule 2012 – Órfhlaith Robin

Yule 2012 - Órfhlaith Robin

Yuletide gifts from Órfhlaith Robin 🙂

Oh yeah! I’m so happy with my prezzies! I really didn’t expect this because if you only know her by interactions online then let me tell you Orfhlaith is so nice. We attend the same college together, while I know that there ARE other Pagans around the campus who could come forth when I’m ready to make UL Pagan Soc a thing its so nice to have touched base with someone genuinely nice and not a weirdo! (I checked she takes marshmallows in her hot chocolate! We’re all good!)

So its the Winter Solstice and today was an epic day of awesomeness with friends and meals and drinks. A truly pagan way to ring in the Winter Solstice. Its been such a hectic year for me and my friends – some of which has been recorded here, most not! A symbol of Light is just the ticket. Accordingly I will consider what ritual options are open to me. The candles above are anointed and crafted with runic symbols and Irish words to bring in power to help study and the coming year will require lots of that! So from the bottom of my heart I want to thank Orfhlaith for her kind thoughts and consideration!

Lughnasadh 2012

Hi folks,

This is going to be a short one as I’ve no plans for ritual tonight/tomorrow. August is already such a busy month and I shall be celebrating Lughnasadh with community friends of mine from the Grove of Sinann this coming Monday travel plans not withstanding. I’m up ship-creak without a paddle because I have no piece ready for the Feat of Bardship. I wanted something cool to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of this place. So if anyone has any suggestions send them in an email as spies everywhere! lol

The fun thing is this year two members of the Grove, including its founder; Chris Thompson, have something to celebrate because they have launched a new projected I blogged about here. So far feedback is great for the project. Its essentially a podcast with articles and a blog to accompany it. Chris and Isolde explore Irish mythology for its value in story and archaeologically as well as through culture and do so very interestingly even if I do say so myself.

http://www.storyarchaeology.com

The Grove itself is for people of all Paths and none, so naturally I’m very much at home in this space and its lovely to meet with others for celebration of the season and not merely due to shared labels. I’m not very sporty so I’ll never make an Ildánach (though a wonderful fluke allowed me to be Quary at Samhain in my first year… just wish I’d known the terrain better and worn better footwear). In any effect its not the sense of accomplishment that is glory of victory but in claiming something for one’s self that works in this space.

For those celebrating Lughnasadh or the Harvast season tonight/tomorrow wish you many blessings and joyous times. Remember that fosterage is an emblem of the triad of armament for this season and the voice of women very important! x

Beannachtaí mó bráthaireacha & súireanna! x

Imbolg 2012: Busy bee!

I’ve been in a sort of petrified limbo concerning my final year project. I say petrified because thats exactly it. I’m petrified. I decided very early on what I was going to write on and some wonder Facebook friends gave me resources to help solidify that decision over a year ago. So why can’t I write? Truth is I can, I’ve been on Facebook and undertaken a HUGE clean-up of profiles and if maintaining two forums, two blogs and a number of websites and groups and pages wasn’t enough I gone and bloody started a new profile… *sigh*

Why you may ask? Well because I found more and more “randomers” adding me on Facebook and as my undergrad draws to a close after 12 LONG YEARS I need to turn my attention to the public face of who I present. I’m blessed with wonder friends and acquaintances who have taken time
out to get to know me so I’m not worried about them misconstruing me as either a weirdo or pagan fluff because of what I believe or accept as the belief (or lack thereof) of others. Perhaps its the bridging of two worlds – Paganism and LGBT that help people or simply because I found some wonderful folks. Either way I can’t guarantee that employers will be so respectful.
12 Years is a long time with a series of trials and tribulations and even some battles to get me past a 4-Year Undergrad. I’m thrilled with the life experiences this time has afforded me but further study beckons as does career plans. One thing I’ve not mentioned to anyone before was in 2006 I remember looking at my student ID and the date of finishing. 2010. Nice date to finish college and depending on Masters I could still be fully qualified by 2012. But a niggling in the back of my mind told me 2012 was graduation year for me from Undergrad. I’m not going to argue with whether this might have been a self-fulfilling prophecy because I’ve decided in true existential fashion doesn’t matter. I’m richer for experience.
This truth is the important piece but I can’t help but feel my Granny’s loving embrace once more as she often brings dreams and tidings to help me navigate my way. Considering Imbolg in Ireland is widely celebrated as Lá Fhéile Bríd or St. Brigit’s Day perhaps some synchronicity here considering my Granny’s name, Brigid. I don’t really get much from the goddess Brighid personally but hey if works for you go for it. I’d considered making a Brighid’s Cross and visiting river Shannon to commune with Sinann, but college work and then oddly timed upheaval in college exec (whole other story) interceded… (rolls eyes… fine I debased myself by watching but least I voted).
Tis all a weird mesh of occurrences and happenstance but wonderfully so. My commitment to filling this blog this year is still on going and I have received some emails from people (thank you kindly folks) and I hope now college is more planned out to respond over coming days. Please enjoy the coming of Spring over the next few days as it plummets to -6ºC here thanks to a Siberian cold snap from nowhere. Suppose tis ideal for Brighid’s Cloaks if anyone has a mind to?

My New Year Magic!

Having woken in 2009 with a dream of the past haunting me I found it poetic to realise in the glowing day that I was on the cusp of a new decade with a Blue Moon looming overhead. The day itself was rather quiet was my family and I still dealt with the daily humdrum. I did consider whether I ought to prepare my ritual space or what little of it I have in the homestead since returning to college. In the end I decided to trust the evenings flow.
After catching up with everyone online and in forum land (and finding out that one of my old forum haunts will be back up and running soon: Gaywitch.org), I found the New Year creeping up fast. A text from my uncle told me that the Blue Moon would also be in partial eclipse tonight. So my Mom and I made sure to watch out for that at 7.22pm when the Moon had just gone full at 7.13pm. The moon was eclipsed at 20% and it seems that this is a phenomenon that won’t happen again for another 353 years! Truly magical indeed. So not only was it the first Blue Moon in 2.5 years (which is how long between Blue Moons anyway) but it was a partial eclipse.
As the Moon continued to pass overhead we continued to keep the hearth-fires burning as bright as we may so that we could well be warm, that is what a fire is for. When the heat began to split the wood logs cinders came flying out. This is usually seen as wealth and prosperity for the home. Something I think a lot of us feel a need for in order to feel secure.
To celebrate the New Year turned out to be more magical than I expected. We hugged and shared in the hope of a brighter tomorrow and then we opened the back door to let out the old. During this I felt the negativity and old, stagnant energy leaving the house and as I did so felt Reiki energy ushering it out in my hands. I visualised a red X nullifying the negative energy of the past and closed the door. Then I rushed to the front door and felt drawn to head out into the moonlight and draw down the energy. As I did so Mom said she was so glad I’d gone outside like that so I could be the first dark haired man to walk in the front door. Its a custom in Ireland around New Years. Taking my opportunity I brought the new energy in with me.
And so begins my year on a magical footing, even those in the house felt lighter and renewed afterwards without even knowing what I was doing. Have a very bless’d Year ahead, already feels so much lighter than the last. x

Feile na Samhna 2009

Greetings blog buddies, sorry have been very hectic, still am really but Open Office and college work was stressing me out and I needed an accomplishment so here I am updating my blog 🙂
Samhain 2009 was so cool I cannot tell you. It was my first time spending the festival of the pagan New Year with other Pagans, creating a warm and non challenging atmosphere. I was invited to the Grove of Sinann in my home county of Leitrim. Once upon a time the Grove would have been hectic with people visiting for the festivals but as time and money matters come into it all it seems to have found a slower pace which oddly still suits in a weird way. Like I have this chance to see something undergoing a rebirth.
I met up with some of the Grove attendees on the Saturday afternoon with cake in tow. It’s just not cool to show up to a pagan event with nothing in hand. The night began with us all working to place everything, due to the weather we were playing it safe and didn’t set up in the tree circle. A large table and some decking was left out for us and a terra-cotta plate for the bonfire was placed at safe distance. I was tasked with gathering wood, uwwgh I felt as manly I tell ya! 😀
As the house owner regaled us with the Tale of Fionn and Eileen of the Sidhe, the deeper meanings and understanding to the past as we look toward the future seemed oddly fitting with recent events. It delivered home the difference between letting go of the past and letting it take it’s rightful place in the order of one’s life. Recent personal intuitions have also been confirmed with external readings to much of the same effect…what? I never said letting go was easy?! Now is the time for me to take control of matters myself and fearing my own shadows doesn’t aid my higher aims.
I didn’t come to this conclusion in all this time but after the sceal was told as a newbie I was nominated as the Quarry which represents the Sidhe for the coming year. The other guests represent Fionn. Each of them gave something precious to be returned on the top of Slieve Beagh which hosts a court cairn. I won but only after dodging the cow pats along the way up only to reach the very crown of the cairn and slosh into a whet one! lol I gotta say I love the irony of a “fairy playing a faery”.
Before we “broke break” we offered something to the fire and warmly wished each other a love-filled New Year.
I also got some cool information about Sinann the goddess I’ve been drawn to for a long time. I’ll share those details with you in a second installment. x

Midsummer and me

The Summer Solstice always marks a special time for me as it’s the day I took part in my first group ritual. The first was two summers ago in 2007 and contained an small, hab-dash gathering of people whom I had met. The Summer Solstice Ceremony itself was composed by Frater Yechidah from Occult Ireland with some spacing alotted for personal elections by individuals and considering that we were all coming together from different personal spiritualities it was the easiest option to make the overall Ceremony viable.
The event was arranged for June 21, 2007 in Dalkey Beach, Dublin. I remember feeling very nervous and wanting to do right for all the group and considering I was assuming the role of consecretor by Fire (I will have to double check that mind) and at that point most of my personal workings had centred around Earth energies as a personal comfort zone. I remember creating the Solstice Incense blend (happened upon the remainder) for the Incense and a Fire Element Mojo to help align my own personal energies to the impending work. I also wore my brightest red and yellow jumper and t-shirt respectfully. I spent a solid week working on the incense and I must say felt very witchy.
Eventually when we all made it to Dublin we went to Dalkey via the DART (my first time on a DART by the way!) when we got off we seemed to be quite some distance from the intended rendezous and so we lost one member of the troupe. Two more were no shows but you know sometimes things happen. So in the end we had to double on roles. But in no time at all we had the circle laid out. As we were laying out the required impliments wouldn’t ya know it a Reiki group showed up. I still maintain they cheated with their fire not having 9 sacred woods and by using fully dried out wood and you know if I was the skeptical sort I would suspect them of using petrol!
The day itself was quite overcast to start with but during the course of the Ceremony there came a point after all the elements were invoked and Sol was also invoked that over the horizon and presumably in the East and watching the clouds almost part as rays of light shone down on the horizon. I left with windburn (fire element perhaps) and some really chaffed and burned feet.
Last year Summer Solstice for group was a no go but one year on we all managed to meet up again and discuss things since the last meeting and how we’d all managed to grow and learn and really make headway in a lot of different avenues.
This year also had a lot of firsts for me personally as I formalised a working group with some others. For me Midsummer is certainly a time of new beginnings and achieving goals. I look forward to the seeding of today’s energies taking effect and wish everyone a blessed and happy Midsummer, Litha, Summer Solstice. x