Sunday was the day of the memorial but it was after the Gnostic Eucharistic Service – A mystical Marriage of Soul and Spirit. It didn’t bother the others to follow it but it didn’t set right with this renegade. At least I wore my appropriate priestess garb because I had brought my favourite t-shirt from Northern Sun http://www.northernsun.com/Heretic-In-Good-Company-Poster-%284189%29.html
But I didn’t. The mix of people at Isis Oasis is a little odd. There are a lot of older people as in way older than me and close to older than the gods and a lot of younger people that are in their 20s and early 30s and then the ones in TOILA or friends of TOILA who haven’t had their senses of the absurd or humour removed surgically. There are a lot of people who take themselves way too seriously and don’t approve of us. And it doesn’t help that I seem to have received their senses of the absurd in triplicate. I’m afraid anything that starts with interpretive dance no matter how good it is, is going to send me into wanting to giggle especially when they don’t bother to explain it until afterwards and it had nothing to do with the service as far as I could see and they admitted they just made it up as they went along. I had to do a modern dance performance in school and I’m afraid I was a spare tire going down the highway after escaping a tire change when everyone else was doing things like The Arrival of Spring. Gag.
Being raised a strict Presbyterian as well as in family traditions AND two years at Catholic girls camp does not lend itself to sitting through a Mass of any sort and especially not one with a Communion which the strict Presbyterian part was shouting wildly about. Presbyterians do Communion about 4 times a year. The rationale being that it made it more meaningful if it was rare. And you weren’t supposed to just take it. Only people that have cleansed their conscience and are ready to receive the mystery are supposed to take Communion so this Druid/pagan/Wiccan was not about to take Communion. It wouldn’t be respectful of the tradition. So I did what to do when I was in Choir in church and sat behind the minister. I let my mind wander. I went over what I was supposed to read during Laura’s service. I asked Laura to help me keep it together and anything else I could think of.
Finally an hour late, we got to do it. We kept it simple and sweet and short. We read Isis Rising II and sang Diana’s Isis Rising chant. We read Laura’s 7 selves which wasn’t done at the Memorial last weekend. I think it might be my favourite. A did Open Heaven’s Gate after C’s introduction and Linda read her tribute to Laura, Mother of Cats which is wonderful. We sang the Knot of Isis and were delighted when people sang with us and showed my slideshow at the end. Short, meaningful and not unwieldly which was good because one of us was always crying but never at the same time. That’s a very good thing when one is trying to sing. Mid song we discovered Isis Rising was a round and it was one of those moments that singers have when something snaps into place and becomes magic, even with the tears. There is something about blending voices and listening to one another sing that is one of the most magical things you can do and doing it in a ritual takes it a step further. I didn’t get to have a part in the Memorial really last weekend. They “let” me do something on BunniHoTep and the slideshow but nothing else and I admit it’s sticking in my craw. This went a long way to soothing some of that. The 6 of us were on the same mental plane and it flowed and being with 3 women that I adore and don’t think I’m incapable helped too. I’m so glad we did it now and didn’t have to watch someone else who didn’t love Laura the way we do perform the ritual. There were a lot of people there for the first time and I was surprised they all stayed for it. We all expected there would be an exodus after the Mass but there wasn’t.
Then Diana and I headed home, she to her kids and me because I needed to be at work Monday. A and C stayed the extra days. It starts Friday and ends on Monday but I can’t take that long to stay with people who are so serious and can’t seem to raise energy at all which is how TOILA usually gets in trouble there. We raise the roof when we get going and it’s why Lady Olivia when she’s there has a tendency to tell the others how wonderful she thinks we are and people get pissed. We got an apology letter from her when she stopped coming to visit us the weekend before Isis Oasis and not visiting other groups. I guess other people complained loudly about it. Now she may never come again and it makes us sad. We miss her but I’m glad we had her when we did. The last time she was here a film crew was following her around and Lady Olivia made them interview some of us on camera and that couldn’t have helped.
So we survived doing the Memorial and I loved doing one more service for Laura and once I thought I saw her laughing in the back of the hall. So you never know…
Miss Kat’s School of Genteel Witchcraft
The Etiquette Lesson –
Do’s and Don’ts in Circle:
- Always inquire as to the proper dress – it may not be appropriate to come in full ritual drag if the ritual is public.
- Always ask before deciding whether you should be skyclad, you may be the only person in deshabile’ and not everyone may want to see your lovely corporeal form.
- Follow your High Priestess’s lead – Let her do the invoking of the deity. You may invoke an incompatible Deity. Wait to be invited to participate.
- When involved in a Spiral Dance, do not indiscriminately drag people in to the Dance – They may be disabled, and being kicked with a leg brace is not grounds for ecstatic dancing.
- Ask to see if it will be appropriate to use your own athame – Sometimes only the Quarter casters are allowed to use tools. Another reason to request whether using pointy things is appropriate, is because you may be in a small space and the person in front of you may not be into kinky things like piercings.
- If you have to leave after the Circle is cast make sure someone cuts you out of the Circle or cut yourself out. Reasons may include the call of Nature or uncontrollable coughing or laughing. It also may include having your comfort level exceeded.
- Don’t sing or chant louder than everyone else – Its not nice and the Priestess may have been planning something different than you expect or have a change of words.
- Don’t point out -” THAT’S NOT THE WAY MY TRADITION DOES IT!” No one cares and you aren’t H.P.
- Don’t hog or over-indulge in the Cakes and Ale.
- Do Not backwash in the Chalice!
- Please always move deosil (clockwise) around Circle unless instructed otherwise.
- If you are in charge of blessing and purifying and you are using incense, respect the fact that some people are allergic to it. Waving a stick of incense in someone’s face who doesn’t wish it, could get that stick placed where things don’t generally burn well.
- Do NOT invoke the God in a Dianic Circle.
- If outside in a park, leave the place cleaner than you found it, doing this in some one’s house is usually not appreciated. Unless, as Apprentice, your all powerful H.P. has instructed you to do so.
- During guided meditation snoring with your mouth open is a dangerous prospect.
- If you are Dianic and find yourself in a mixed Circle it is not appropriate to rescue the Chalice from the Athame during the simulation of the Great Rite.
- Sex in the bushes after a public ritual is frowned upon as you could:
- have the sponsor lose the use of the place you are having ritual.
- get a disease; ritually contracted syphilis or AIDS is not anymore comfortable than the garden variety version.
- find poison oak, ticks, and rattlesnakes – Nuff said?
- use your own bed; it’s more comfortable.
- Do Not pick up anything on the altar without asking permission. Some people are very picky about their tools and besides it could be loaded.
- It is Always appropriate to ritually bathe before going to a public ritual. This also includes those attending large outdoor Festivals. Not every one appreciates your dark musky aura (odora), Nature Boy/Girl.
- Passing the tongue with the ritual kiss could get you bit, at the very least and at the most, part of your anatomy could become an impromtu sacrifice.
- Wearing the largest pentagram you can find will get you pegged as a novice faster than you can say “ LaurieCabot’.
- Have Respect!!!!! for yourself and for the people around you. If you don’t, Trust me, the Priestess will remember you. And that’s not necessarily a good thing.
- Be on time! You may get locked out and Pagan Standard Time (P.S.T.) is just plain rude!
We had an absolutely glorious day and ritual on the beach celebrating Isis’ birthday and honouring our Hieromum. Some of us got there early to set up when the marine layer hadn’t quite dissipated. We set up the altar on the sand and then four of us that were setting up went down to the water and called the dolphins to come.
And then every one started to arrive in dressed in the colours of the ocean that reflected back the sea and sky. This is the first Iseum and Lyceum’s birthday ritual too so we call the Sisters of the sea that we started by, Mari, Isis, Nepthys, Brighid, Yemaya, Quan Yin, Aphrodite and then the dolphins came and danced in the waves for us much to our and the surfers who were there’s delight and then they were gone. D had created a beautiful new song from one of Laura’s poems that made our hair stand on end. It will be lovely at Laura’s memorial. We asked our traditional question “Isis, how old are you?” and opened heaven’s Gate.
We built our traditional mermaid and offering to the sea. We sang the knot of Isis and were bid farewell to the goddesses and made offerings to the sea and enjoyed each other’s company. We always do this in the early morning because more people aren’t there and it’s fairly quiet. Not that quiet as Isis’ beach is Isadore Dockweiler beach and that just happens to be directly under the flight path at LAX so we just shake our sistrums and rattles when the planes take off overhead.
After ritual and enjoying the beach we adjourned to Hurry Currie in Venice and had lunch. I was excited to see that not only do the carry Indian grocery items, they carry all kinds of British items like Bisto and barley water and my vice, Smarties. No bacon crisps, though. L I drawn the line at prawn and beef and onion, ick.
We know Laura was there because it went so smoothly and she brought the dolphins. Wonderful day.