I really do not understand why I feel this way. Unlike many people who grew-up in a small town or the mid-west where Labor Day parades and faires are a much-loved event. I grew-up doing basic boring things on Labor Day weekend wondering why there couldn’t be anything else on TV other than Jerry Lewis. Later, when we had a cabin, we would spend every long weekend there – in the woods. But school always started after Labor Day. And now for my kids it doesn’t. For a little relative of mine who is in an L.A. public school it starts the first weekend of August and even then his school day begins at 7:40am. Our kindergarteners here in California have a full day until two o’clock. They get no naps. In fact, the curriculum will tell you it is not kindergarten but first grade. It is not an introduction to class mates and school but to reading and writing and math. Oh, but I am digressing. I can understand that taking almost three months off for a vacation most likely is not in the best interest of most students. I can rationalize and understand why school should (and does here) start before Labor Day. But every year when it does I just get mad and queasy to my stomach. No reason. I don’t even think it is about the tradition of it. Our family breaks all kinds of traditions without feeling “queasy.” It is not some pagan holiday celebration that my soul feels should be celebrated. But every year, I want to pull my kids from school and scream “get your hands off them until after Labor Day!” Anyone out there feel the same way? Or not? would love to hear about it either way.
A newer phenomenon within our various pagan cultures is the GodSpouse. This is very new terminology for me. And I have a limited amount of understanding and knowledge on the subject. However, I have tried to study and understand it as much as I can. I do find it a fascinating subject. Sadly though, it seems also to be a very divisive one as well. It is one of those subjects which people who are not called to be a GodSpouse seem to have difficulty that others do. And the variety of experiences which GodSpouses testify of their Spousal relationships has too few common threads to help the nonbeliever change their mind.
The GodSpouses I have read about are: newly arrived Pagans, life-long Pagans, Married, straight, same-sex, virgins, unwed, witches, non-witches, male, female. Some have multiple GodSpousal relationships and deem themselves to be “married” by more to more than one God/Goddess. Others could not fathom being married to more than one – it would be beyond unfaithful – blasphemy . Some have experienced a physical hand fasting with invitations, guests and their God or Goddess “horsed” for the ceremony and the consummation – yes consummation. While others have had a private, wooded ceremony in the other world. Some love to gather with other GodSpouses of their Spouse “Sister-Wives” and others can’t stand the thought of anyone else worshiping their mate in the same way. It seems to me that there is a commonality among GodSpouses and that commonality is that there is none. My very personal opinion here is that if as a group, GodSpouses wanted to appear more legitimate they would have a common description of rites of passage. And I think the lack of cohesiveness is the one argument that makes me a believer of the GodSpouse relationship.
In my heart of hearts, I think some sort of milestone (critical mass) has recently taken place with us mortals and our immortals. I mean with all of us flocking into this path, worshipping in the old ways how can change not happen? Certainly, my relationship with my God, communication between us is at a very different level and far easier than it was even months ago. Relationships are personal and individual and specific to each of us. A Divine relationship is built up over thousands of years, not over one life time; and so if my bio-father has a different set of emotions when dealing with my brother than with me; and if my grandmother had a very mischievous relationship with her older sister but one of pure respect for her middle sister – wouldn’t that go on to say that my relationship with my Divine is and will always be unique? It’s certain to me that our relationships with deities is not limited to brother and sister or child and parent, teacher and student; that a relationships of lover, consort and spouse is just as appropriate. In mythology, mortal and immortal physical relationships took place in every culture. I really, whole heartily appreciate the Gods being able to influence our lives again in ways we thought was lost forever.
Author’s note: A wonderful blog about GodSpouse is the Wytch of the North.
I am not alone in thinking that pets come time and again into the same families. Guardians of clans or Ancestors of the people they take care of and are watchful over. I do not believe all pets are ancestors or guardians but I do believe that some of our ancestors choose to protect us as animals. And our family happens to have more than one. Which I guess if you are born into have family of magick it is probably quite common.
Petey was and is my wonderful little beagle. But for a beagle he was not so very little. In fact, he was one of the largest beagles a beagle can be without being a harrier or some other breed. So, I named him after Peter The Great. When I would walk him, especially when he was young, many people would come up to us and tell us how they had once had a beagle but he ran away or was driven over while still young. When my grandfather saw him his eyes lit up and said that he had once owned a beagle by the name Pedro (Peter in spanish-my grandfather being Spanish). I asked my grandfather how long his beagle lived. He said 8 years. I asked if he ran away. He said no, his father shot him for getting into the chicken cages once to many times. But it turned out I never should have worried about my Petey’s longevity as he was just shy of 17 years when I put him down. It was a hard decision to make. But when I made it I felt that I planned it out well. He was always well taken care of but that last week no king’s hound had better treatment. We walked him at beautiful parks. I would take him upstairs to my daughter’s room and pet him while I shared stories of his bravery, of how well he handled going blind (a regular Mr. Magoo!). How he once ate the dish of food while two other dogs were fighting eachother over it. How he saved our kitten from the jaws for our german shepard – the only time he ever stood up to her. How we would miss him. And then the next morning after a nice time at the school park we went to the vets and I held him while he was put down. Not easy. Only sad. And he has never been forgotten.
Years later I had a meeting with Petey in my Dreamtime. I was standing in the living room and moved the curtain from the wall and their he was! And all excited to see me! And he told me through pictures in my head all about his long journey to come back to me. How very difficult it had been but he was here and we were together again! It was a wonderful dreamtime experience. And when I woke up I did not think about a dog at all I was thinking about our cat. We were going to pick up our kitten in two weeks from the breeder. But I was very anxious. I needed to get my cat today. Anytime I pushed the thought out it came back. I thought about calling the breeder who lived 2 hours away. But she was not in town. I was so very anxious. So, I did what I could do, I took my daughter for a special day (school started that Monday and it was Saturday). We went to the pet store to get something for the new kitten. And that was when I saw him. I stood there and across the room was my friend , in a cage, as a siamese kitten. I saw him and knew him way before we crossed that room. The man sitting next to his foundling told me that this kitten does not like people. I told him it would be OK. He told me this kitten was a feral kitten that has only known the wild and his car (he kept him in his car because he was too wild to bring into the house) and he would not be good with children. I told him it would be OK. And then he handed him to me and after a short while I handed him to my daughter and then we took him home. We did not name him Petey, We named him Hansom Jo-Jo. And later my mother told me “Oh we once had a cat named Jo-Jo.”
We did get the other kitten too. And they had a fun time growing up together. The other kitten as far I feel is not an ancestor spirit. But rather an Owl. I will save that story for another time perhaps.
The Pagan Blog Project. I just want to offer my thanks and gratitude to this wonderful project by Rowan Pendragon. This has been a wonderful experience for me both in writing and journaling and also as a reader. I have enjoyed long hours reading the thoughts of others on such a wonderful variety of subjects from the vary lusty, to the practical, thoughts on ritual and dress on myths and lore. I am often humbled by the authority and knowledge of the writers. And just so very grateful to being living at this time. Thank you Rowan Pendragon. This is a wonderful thing!
The Ogham is an ancient celtic alphabet and divination system based on trees. Trees. How cool is that. Sometimes on my blog I shy away from the very personal posts. To allow myself to be vulnerable is not a pleasant feeling for me. BUt how else to really share with others? I was trying to join a wonderful coven. And they very graciously, permitting me to take lessons and welcomed into their more open circles. They were very kind and generous and well established. But I actually, for the first time in my life, had panic attacks during the classes. I have done work in very arduous areas. I have feared as others do and have had to put my fears aside to do work which was necessary. And never in my life had a panic attack. So, after the second panic attack, I went and talked to my God about this and asked what was I do to if not to take classes in a welcoming coven. And the vision I had was a simple one. Me leading my immediate family into the forrest. Over and over again I saw this and along side the very personal words he spoke to me understood I was to learn the Ogham, the ways of the trees. Trees have always been a companion of mine. I do not usually hear them with words but they call to me. Much like a favorite spellbound blanket that your grandmother made but with much more soul. I found a wonderful set from ETSY by WytchenWoods.
It was a set that used a twig from the actual celtic tree for each symbol of the alphabet. I am a tactile person so the feel of each wood and each symbol means something to me. And I just love this set. I first bought one for my self and then one set for each family member. So, I went to my sacred space and meditated on which letter/symbol/tree to start with and of all the ordinary things, I was suppose to start at the beginning. The beginning is Birch/Beith/Beth. To help me experience Birch I walked around the neighborhood. Feeling all the birch trees that I felt I could get a way with. Letting my hands linger on their trunks. Feeling their leaves and seed pods. Collecting samples from cuttings and leaves from the trees. I went home a drew pictures. And I looked on line. I drank its tea and journeyed with the Neighborhood mother birch tree. It is easy these days to look on-line for the meaning or spirit meaning of trees. And Birch is a popular tree. And so I learned and read that the Birch is the first to populate a new budding forrest. It helps to break the soil for Oak and others. It is a fast grower. Straight and tall shooting up 20 to 60 feet. The are short lived. Their leaves are used in tea especially for cleansing the bladder and kidney, also as a relief to arthritis. The fresh leaves when made into a tea tastes similar to grass without the bitterness. When dried they taste more like apple tea. Syrup is made from the sap. The Spirit of the tree is the Lady of the Woods. Strong and tall, a fast learner. It is a time of new cleanings, new beginnings. Brooms and switches are made from Birch to eli cleanse the spirit(s). Its time is December 24 to January 20th. And its symbol is the Stag. Wait a minute did you say the Stag? The Antlered Red-Deer Stag. Why? Well because every website I went to said so. Did it say why? Well no. Did these sites state a source where it derived the symbolism of the stag to the Birch tree? No. Well then Why would the deer Stag represent the the Birch Tree? Could it be that the deer stag is the consort to the Lady of the Woods?
No. The Oak God is in his youth at this time (Dec 25th to Jan 20th), just newly born. Real Stags are loosing their antlers at this time or have already lost them. And the tree’s spirit is a strong warrior female. But is their an antlered animal that is symbolic with this time of year? Yes. The reindeer. Do they loose their antlers at this time? No. Humm. Does the female have antlers too? Why yes. Could it be that the actual symbolic animal spirit associated with the Birch Tree is the female reindeer, which is symbolically used in stories and mythes for this time of year (Dec 24th-Jan 20th)? Yes. That is what I am putting forth. It is the female reindeer not the male deer stag which is the symbolic animal of the Birch Tree. This thought came to me over and over again as I studied the tree. Then this past July I had the pleasure of attending a wedding in Sweden. Where the restaurant we went to was the Bjork or in english, Birch. As we rode on the high sped train you could easily see the birch trees standing sentinel over the forrest edge. And when we went shopping in old town Stockholm all the stores offered reindeer skin pelts for about $150. They were everywhere reindeer and birch trees, birch trees and reindeer. For the reception at the wedding? Reindeer stakes. I felt it was a joke from the Gods to me. Yes it is reindeer. Yes in this particular association, it is the female, antlered, resplendent, strong, uncompromising, enduring reindeer as the symbol for the Birch Tree. How could it not be? I am not a feminist other than to say that woman are equal. And I do not look to make things feminine. I love the male is all his forms and especially the Deer Stag. The the time of the Birch is not the time of the Stag. The Birch tree is the lady of the woods. The female reindeer is the lady of the woods.
Ogham : Birch I lovingly encourage everyone to challenge and re-examine what is being recited as common knowledge of spirit related information. Our Gods have come back to speak to us our paths are open in ways that have not been since ancients walked with earth. Additional sites worth a visit: The Village Witch, Eco-Enchantments, Elen Sentier: Reindeer Goddess
Thank you A Sacred Journey for nominating my blog-site. It is nice to know that someone feels your words have value. The rules to accept this nomination are:
- Thank the blogger who gave it to you and share the link back to the awarding blog.
- Name five (5) fabulous moments in your life.
- Name five (5) things that you love.
- Name five (5) thinks that you hate.
- Pass the award onto five (5) deserving blogs/bloggers.
Fabulous moments: 1. My Wedding. 2. Holding my daughters for the first time and every time. 3. Walking on the Kona Coast at Sunrise. 4. Walking on the Kona coast at Sunset. 5. Earning my wings.
I hate: Nothing. I strongly dislike: 1. highlighting evil in the news and social media. 2. famine. 3. unsafe drinking water. 4. The lessor evil. 5. intolerance.
I love: 1. My family. 2. The sun waking me. 3. The moon on my pillow. 4. Mine and His. 5. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Spider Goddess http://spidergoddess.wordpress.com/
Sarah Lawless http://witchofforestgrove.com/
Elayne Lockhart http://elaynelockhart.blogspot.com/