Sometimes, it takes something drastic

Yesterday, I received word that the founder of the Protean Tradition, Judy Harrow, was dead. She had died in the night, apparently peacefully in her sleep. I have spent much of the last 24 hours in a haze of shock, and went through all of the stages of mourning save one: acceptance. I’m still trying to learn what acceptance would look like in this case. There will be more, I promise, but for now, I know that I need to put myself back into the spiritual path that I have associated with Judy for so long. I had contacted her, in fact, just about a month back, and we’d exchange some messages, and had about an hour on the phone two weeks ago. It was supposed to be our first call in a rekindled relationship. Of course, as is the painful truth in some of these cases, it was our last call.

Not much else to say right now, there will be more.

After the not-rapture

The post from two days ago with a short story about an alternative scenario for the rapture was, as it was labeled, fiction. It arose from an idle conversation about the then-predicted rapture, and nothing more should be read into it.

That said, on this bright sunny Sunday morning, May 22, 2011, I am forced to wonder: how many more times can you be completely wrong before no one believes you?

Many people liken this to a weather prediction, and after all, when the weatherman isn’t right, do we stop believing everything he tells us? No, of course not. But I would submit that’s because his success rate isn’t -zero-. If it were, they’d probably replace him with someone better. But so far, apocalypse predictors are batting .000 and that fact simply makes the amazement that much more powerful when I hear people making excuses for why they’re going to just keep on believing.

For those believers, I implore: wake up. Your belief that there is going to be this catastrophic event that will result in you being completely vindicated in your faith while everyone else will suffer… is a fantasy brought on by your refusal to fully engage in this life. Please start doing that. It will not be easy, I know, and I feel for you.

For the rest of us, the watchword here is compassion. Be mindful of the fact that these people have just suffered a blow to their faith, and that hurts. They will probably be irrational, and will cling to the belief, but some will suffer crisis, and that can be very dangerous. Do not ridicule these people. It is not our way.

End Times

Fiction, written on the eve of May 21, 2011. A short story whose premise came to me while I was drinking tea.

The End Time had come.

Looking up, people all over the city who were out in the streets as a defense against the shuddering quakes that rocked buildings and broke open the gas mains that were burning in various places tried to hold steady as a rainbow light began to coalesce into a shape. A blast of sound like a trumpet the size of a mountain rent the air as the shape became more clear, a man’s silhouette from the waist up, the face replaced by a brilliance to intense to look upon. Again the trumpet blast, and some people — certainly not all of them, perhaps not even a tenth of their number — vanished without a trace, their clothing and other belongings falling to the ground where they had stood. Shocked, those left behind stared either at those piles of clothing, or shaded their eyes to see a massive constellation of smaller lights that had appeared around the rainbow figure. That figure drew back His right hand, gathering a near-solar incandescence into His palm, and paused.

“You knew not the hour, but that hour has come,” He said, His voice of such power that the trumpet seemed meek by comparison. His right arm flung forward, the fireball streaking toward the ground from on high, trailing sparks and a smoke blacker than any night.

Blasting upward from the ground, another radiance, but this one green as the springtime bathed in warm sun, formed into a mighty hand that was as long and supple as the rainbow hand had been stout. It opened wide, catching the fireball, and grasping it tightly. The flames were snuffed out, the sound of the impact muffled by the massive green hand.

“No. No more, Yahweh.” The hand was followed by an arm; the arm by rest of a feminine form that shimmered like a pond’s surface under a gentle breeze. Her face was beauty itself, but the expression was as determined and firm as hard stone. “You’ve gone too far.”

Yahweh paused a moment, as though confused, before gathering himself up to glare down at Her. “You dare –”

“Oh, I dare plenty, you spoiled brat,” She spat out, Her emphatic gesture a cutting motion that caused the ground to cease shaking. “Too long have I sat silently, hoping against hope that You would stop Your insane greed. Who do You think You are, to feel You can dictate to all of creation? Hm? To all of Us?!”

Rising up from ground, appearing from gathering clouds, descending in showers of starlight, The Rest came. A creaking sound made up of the groan of every tree limb heralded the approach of Horned Lord of the Wood, His antlers a deep brown to match the rest of his form. He nodded in agreement with Her, silent as always. The golden light that shrouded the cross-legged figure in the east dimmed slightly to reveal the deep blue skin of the Enlightened. He gestured with both of His right hands toward the gathered small lights around Yahweh.

“You’ve told them for as long an any of them have listened that You would take them one day to be with You. And so You may, but to destroy everything else? This is not an act of Love and Compassion. We cannot permit it.”

Yahweh jabbed a finger in the Enlightened’s direction. “I created this! All of it! I can destroy it if I want to!”

A rumbling of stone on stone emerged as the Old Mother slowly shook her finger in the air. “Not so. Not You alone, and You know We remember! We agreed to manifest all this, to acknowledge Our children as the independent life that they are. And then to let them learn, to grow, to become wise.”

Yahweh sneered. “Oh yes! Look at how wise they are! They knew this day would come, and they knew what would be required of them, if they wanted to escape it!” He drew back his arm again, by the fire He gathered sputtered and fizzled before it could even form, crushed out of existence by the will of The Rest. The Green shook her head in frustration and anger as strong as Yahweh’s.

“I said that’s enough. And I speak for Us all. You will not destroy this place, You will not kill any more of Our children. In fact, You are no longer welcome here at all.”

Sighing, the Enlightened briefly bowed His head, before lifting His eyes again to Yahweh. “I must agree, although it pains Me, and I pray that You might in time learn from this. And learn to regret.” His lower hands closed together, the Jewel between them glowing brilliantly. His upper arms opened wide, one hand gesturing “hope”, while the other formed a warding.

Rumbling again, Old Mother straightened. “We cast You out. Go. Take Your followers. Consider Your actions, and learn.”

From the ground, Yahweh simply vanished, the radiance that marked his location gone as if it had never been there. The Horned One turned, fading as He walked back to the north. The Green simply fell in a shower of blossoms that covered miles of ground with tiny fragrant petals. Old Mother had disappeared almost before She’d finished speaking. All of humanity that remained simply stood for a moment, staring at the Enlightened, who smiled at them. And each person saw Him looking into their eyes, smiling an encouragement at them personally. And then He was gone from view.

The next day, the sun rose, people gathered to assess the damage, to find out how they could help each other. Some were busy trying to steal as much as they could before the holes in the police force could be filled. Some were mourning those had been taken. Some mourned that they were not among them. But mostly, people attended to one important thing before they got on with it: they ate breakfast.

In another place, not a world because that word had no meaning, a Radiance called Yahweh was furious at the thwarting of His will, and His inability to follow through with His plan: that all would worship Him as the One True God, or they would perish. It had occurred to Him that if His followers had been more diligent in following His instructions, and brought more followers to Him, that He might have succeeded. And while He brooded on how to circumvent the barrier The Rest had erected between Him and the target of His wrath, He made sure His followers knew of His disappointment. After all, am I not just? He thought to himself, dimly aware of the agonized screams of His followers as they suffered.

Re-emergence

It’s an odd time of year to be renewing, and re-emerging, but that’s what I appear to be doing. For close to three years, I’ve sunk my time and energy into something that I have recently chosen, quite consciously, to leave behind. I’m not sure exactly why this specific time, and not a month ago, or a month from now. I suppose it doesn’t matter.

I am reviewing all my writing material, both in this blog and in other places. I’m also tying up loose ends from the previous activity, but that will come to a halt at the end of the month. Come September, I’ll be free of it. And for the first time in a long time, I’m looking forward to re-entering the world.

First Amendment not for Pagans?

This morning, a blog post over at The Wild Hunt tells us of news in a long-fought legal battle attempting to get the state of California to remove its “five faiths” requirement on who is allowed to apply to be a prison chaplain. Apparently, the California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation restricts such positions to those of Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Native American faiths. Patrick McCollum has been fighting to get this restriction removed, and has argued that as a Wiccan clergyman he has the standing to file said case. The case is coming up before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and we wish him luck in that case.

Of greater concern, however, is an argument being used in trying to deny him that standing. A conservative activist group called (appropriately enough) Wallbuilders had the National Legal Foundation file a brief on their behalf that claims we Pagans have no First Amendment rights. The Wild Hunt quotes the brief:

“The true historic meaning of “religion” excludes paganism and witchcraft, and thus, does not compel a conclusion that McCollum has state taxpayer standing … paganism and witchcraft were never intended to receive the protections of the Religion Clauses.Thus, in the present case there can be no violation of those clauses … Should this Court conclude that McCollum has taxpayer standing … this Court should at least acknowledge that its conclusion is compelled by Supreme Court precedent, not by history or the intent of the Framers.”

For more details, see the blog post in its entirety.

The Grace of Love

    When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”
    And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
    Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.

    – Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet

Gibran’s words so aptly approach the very essence of Love. The Wiccan religion speaks little of it, and this is strange, for it is one of the very cornerstones of our faith. The Charge of the Goddess, so often quoted, tells us, “Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold — all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.” Too often, this statement raises an eyebrow… or a hope… that in Wiccan ritual, there is the legendary ritual orgy, masked under the veneer of respectability by the term “Great Rite”.

But to borrow a phrase, where’s the love?
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Is there a place for a Wiccan Guru?

A post by Dianne Sylvan (whose personal LJ is private, so I won’t be posting a link, nor quoting directly from her entry) got me thinking about the topic of the guru, and on whether such a role has any place in modern Wicca.

I believe it does.

Yes, I am wearing my flame-retardant armor. However, before the fireballs come sailing in, I’ll just forge ahead and explain myself.
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Naming Names: Thoughts on what we call Them

The Gods have been called by many names. The Goddess, in particular, is often referred to as “She Whose name is every name”. Technically, then, we shouldn’t have any trouble referring to the Divine as George and Gracey, but I’d be very surprised (and highly amused) to be in a circle where They were beseeched using those names.

Throughout most of Dragon’s Weave’s history, there was never a particular Goddess-form to Whom we called. In most cases, it was left to the Priestess casting the circle to do that, mindful of the purpose of the circle we were coming together to perform. If the primary purpose of the circle was healing, we generally did not call on Morrigan, for example. The God was less varied; He was typically called in one of the Horned aspects, Herne being the name I usually called.

I hadn’t given much thought to the names we used, although I was never really happy about the fact that the Goddess never seemed to have a name, when I called to her.
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Migrating away from LiveJournal

For a variety of reasons, I’ve chosen to move the primary blog away from LiveJournal to here at WordPress. Over the course of the next few days, I’ll be reposting some older writings that I feel are important enough to preserve, before closing down that site.

Welcome…

Dragon's WeaveThis site is the main repository for materials relevant to Dragon’s Weave Wicca. The left, under More About DWW, there are links to pages which will tell something of the history of Dragon’s Weave, materials regarding Craft history, important reading lists and essays, and eventually, the manual of specific practices.