Speculations on events and possibilities from a Wiccan point of view
Dec 03 2017
Splinters-be-gone from each one’s eye
Let all behold the earth, the sky
The web of life in which we breathe
The common ways we love and grieve
To see with love, and with love see
And as …
Ritual of the Splinter
This ritual grew out of a discussion in our Wiccan book group regarding our response to our political situation in the autumn of 2017. It’s based on an image from the fairy tale “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Anderson.
A troll (coincidence noted) has devised a magic mirror, and the reflections in the mirror show everything in its most banal, ugly and unpleasant aspect. The mirror makes the most beautiful landscape look like “boiled spinach” – and shows living creatures and relationships in the worst possible light. The trolls believe the mirror shows things as they truly are and thrust the mirror in everyone’s faces, eventually carrying the mirror to the heavens to enlighten the Gods. Whereupon the mirror laughs itself to pieces, and falls to Earth, in splinters, shards and pieces as small as a grain of sand. Some pieces made into spectacles, some into windows, some stick in the eye, and some in the heart, which turns to solid ice. One splinter lodges in the eye of a child.
The child, Kai, once loving and devoted to his friend Gerda, casts her aside and goes off to play with the big boys, delighting in cruelty, bullying and one-upsmanship, abandoning his friend and all things feminine. When playing with the boys Kai is seduced by the Snow Queen, the embodiment of cold reason, and Gerda spends the rest of the story attempting to retrieve him.
This ritual is concerned with the mirror and the splinters, as an archetype of the narrow place we find ourselves in at this time, not so much with the rest of the story, which also has many interesting points – for another time.
Imagine the five of Pentacles in the Coleman-Smith/Ryder/Waite deck, with the beggars outside the stained glass window, left with nothing, and the splinter in their eyes distorting the stained glass to remove even the hope of improvement.
Imagine businessmen and trolls reaching for more and more goods, more power over others, looting the common springs of trust, feeling and beauty, denying that commonality is even good, let alone possible.
Wait, we don’t need to imagine that.
So, for the sake of this ritual we have a splinter problem – our vision is distorted, our sentiments distorted, even our vision of possibilities is distorted. It’s very easy to see the effects of the splinters in the eyes of our political opponents, not so easy to see the effects on our own perceptions. The ritual is not for a minute suggesting that all points of view are equal – things are as good or bad as they are, and it’s for us to discover. I am suggesting that the demonization and uglification in the times we’re living in are affecting all of us, and that the first step towards getting well is to realize we are sick; the second is to remove the source of infection.
This ritual is about removing splinters.
Apr 22 2017
We’ve explored a number of possible implications if luck is contagious, without of course proving in any way that it is. Most of the conclusions, in my view, align well not just with our own spiritual traditions but with those of most other religions. We’ve considered that:
- If luck is catching it says absolutely nothing about what our obligations are regarding the unfortunate or fortunate. Even if true, contagion doesn’t mean you stone the unfortunate villager. Courage, skill and compassion are possible, and may be required.
- We don’t really know whether luck is good or bad, and a healthy agnosticism might be wise, especially regarding our own luck
- A certain level of indifference to fortune and misfortunate might be a wise thing to practice
- There are means built into our religion, folk practice, and nearly every other religion to deal with contagion. If contagion is real, our hands are not tied
- It might be useful to think about luck, good or ill, as a physical field capable of manipulation and counter-action
- When we ally ourselves with our own Gods and Goddesses we often ask them to help with our own fields of fortune or misfortune and possibly those of others
- It might be the case that entities exist that parasitize humans using misfortunate to generate then consume misery
The most important takeaway may be that having a good relationship with our own Gods and Goddesses is the best possible guard against contagion. Nature hates a vacuum, and the best defense against burglars is a well-defended and occupied house, not one left untenanted, unmaintained and open to any invader.
Feb 04 2015
It's been a tough winter, but it's light at 5:00 now -- the energy has changed, and winter's running on empty. Soon there will be birds. Time to open our hearts to change, to new things.
Candlemas is interesting as a harbinger -- it's often cold, but the sunlight is definitely increased, and it's just a question of overcoming the reservoir of cold in the soil and water before spring manifests.
You can look at the progression as:
|Solstice||Astronomical maximum or minimum of light|
|Candlemas/Lammas||First manifestations of the change, time to prepare|
|Equinox Point of balance,||Aignificant manifestation of the season|
|Beltane/Hallows||Full acceleration ahead, look out solstice!|
So what's that about deworming?
Dec 21 2014
Sooner or later somebody will want you to do parlor tricks. The pitch is usually a little more subtle, but the gist will be clear. There's always the prurient curiosity of acquaintances, but more importantly students often come to the Craft seeking or building on an expanded view of what's possible. I've seen otherwise excellent Coveners drift away in covert disappointment because, on some unspoken level, they expected to be able to regularly "call spirits from the vasty deep", have them show up, and leave verifiable physical traces. It's wise to set expectations to avoid disappointments. Clickfor full text
Dec 03 2014
Watching Jackson's death was a lot like watching a difficult birth -- agonizing, excruciating pain, deep focus, an inevitable result, then -- a measure of release and ecstasy. Dying was damned hard work for him, and I expect for us. At the end there's likely to be peace, and reunion. But there also may be a measure of new challenges and assignments. I wonder how he's doing and what ours might be.