So it’s been edited and is complete now. That’s what I get for doing email posting.
I’m going to get accused of being a fluffy bunny for this but oh well. I like using bubbles in ritual. I think it speaks to the part of us that makes magic. And that is that over-used word, the inner child, but it is the child side of us that makes magic, that believes in magic and can do magic.
It isn’t the over analytical skeptic that makes magic work it’s the part that believes they can change the world.
And so I use bubbles. Bubbles are cheap. You can get them at the dollar store. You can buy huge jugs of them to go around. If I plan a ritual that doesn’t have bubbles I hear about it.
They are about the easiest sympathetic piece of magic for a newbie to understand. I make a wish while blowing a bubble and it floats away from me and *Pop* the magic is away. It’s why when I was asked to do a ritual with a bunch of main stream Christian clergy to show what pagains/wiccans did in ritual I brought out the bubbles.
I was on call clergy for my local AIDS service center and when we went on retreat I was the odd person out so I was quite delighted to be asked to do a ritual.
Explaining how magic works with a bunch of people who were extremely hesitant at first was easier after I brought out the bubbles and since it was after the circle was cast they did take me seriously. Some of them were flat out scared before we started and it showed.
I asked them to think of their highest good and wish for it and then blow the biggest bubble they could and they did it whole heartedly. I still treasure the sight of a Catholic priest in his collar with his face scrunched up like a five year old in total concentration on that bubble. Or some of the guys who were also clients forgetting for a moment how hard life was to simply blow a bubble and let it go. A lot of them came to me afterwards and talked about how scared they had been before I started and how surprised they were about feeling good afterwards and that it had been healing for them. Isn’t that what circle is about? To be out of this world and into another where we are free?
BunniHoTep rituals always have bubbles but I’ve also done it in big public rituals and been rewarded with the sight of pagan elders acting like small kids with wonder and delight. That is the place we make a better world and that is the place we often take ourselves to seriously to arrive at because true magic is in the world of magic and wonder and sometimes we forget that. I’ve done it at funerals to remember the dead.
A bubble is a lot like our Circle. It’s an ephemeral creation of spherical space full of energy that exists for a time and when we let it go the energy is gone. There to pull up for the next Circle.
So tonight for new moon, take yourself out into the hot night, out into the back yard or out your window and see what you want to create new in your life. Visualize your highest self’s good. And if you don’t want to wish for yourself wish for healing some of the world’s hurts. There are certainly enough people hurting in immense ways right now. Put some energy into lifting a little of their burden, even if it’s only for a breath. Lighten the load a little.
If you do have needs for yourself go ahead and do it. The bottle is full of bubbles waiting to float away. What do you want to start that you haven’t had the courage to ask for. No one else needs to know what that dream is. Picture it as clearly as you can. Maybe you don’t even know? Ask Iris, goddess of iridescent rainbows to let you dream your best self and blow a bubble. Blow the biggest bubble you can. Blow it as slow as you can and let it float away. And no pressure if you can’t blow the biggest or you don’t have enough breath, swing your arm instead and make an arc of rainbow bubbles. Let them go… Let them take your dreams… and then think of one small step you can do it make that dream come true. Remember the night rainbow.
Our 2012 mermaid and after the seagulls found her
I have no intention of becoming an activist for pagans with disabilities but I have a big mouth and I have a double dog dare for every event going on for the next year. I dare you to attend the event you run for 3 hours with one of the following in the middle of the event:
In a wheelchair with no one to push you.
With a blindfold and no silliness like blindman’s bluff
With earmuffs or noise cancelling headphones.
With one arm in a sling
With a cane and a brace on one leg or a foot bandaged
Or run a workshop with one the above disabilities and make them available to any attendees to also participate.
I dare you to see what life is like for people with disabilities.
I’m hoping this is my last post on this because some people missed the point and maybe I wasn’t clear enough because even some friends didn’t get what I was trying to say so I will say it plainly because there is a lot of blindness due to uncomfortableness to the subject. We are a not a friendly community to the disabled. Very few people born with a serious disability would ever even think that their body was a temple. That is a statement from people that have always been whole and maybe age is starting to slow them down in some fashion but they don’t get it.
I’m also talking to the people who organize events. Some of whom just patted themselves on the back and said to themselves, “We’re very friendly to the disabled we even have an accessible building.” Hate to break it to you but you probably aren’t terribly disabled friendly. You able bodied people just think you are.
We are living in a peculiar time of being in between ages of the disabled. When I was kid there were a lot more people around who had had polio and were in wheelchairs or had big braces. There were a lot more blind and deaf people around that whose mothers had had rubella. There were more kids born with CP (Cerebral Palsy). So a lot of younger folk don’t see as much of what reality used to be.
And that is about to change in a big way because baby boomers are about to hit their older ages and there will be more people in wheelchairs and with walkers of canes, or with hearing aids or losing their sight that will want to continue to come to pagan events just like they always have and the pagan community is in for a reality check and the rude truth that they aren’t terribly friendly to the disabled with one exception, the Dianic community usually does think about it more than the rest of Clan Oblivious.
So I will share some things I’ve seen. When you plan a spiral dance, where is the place for your elders and the disabled? The outside of the Dance? Or did you put them in the center and let them be part of the energy if they so chose? Because “letting” us be on the outside is condescending not enabling.
Did you have a sign language interpreter? Or did you say we don’t have any hearing impaired people. Maybe they don’t come because you don’t have one?
Do you print your programs and flyers in small type with no large type available?
So you make it easy to find the way to workshops for the people who aren’t sighted or do you just hand out a map and hope everyone gets there? Or point out the room names are in Braille on the doors. Really you expect people to feel their way around the floors and hope they get where they want to go?
Do you space things far apart all over your event site on uneven ground because it looks prettier? Or do you make it easy for someone with a cane or a walker to get from place to place.
If you are having camping, do you have an area for people with disabilities to camp? With volunteer helpers? Because some of us old Girl Scouts still like to camp but don’t if the bathroom is ½ mile from the camping area. This is something the West Coast Women’s Music Festival was excellent at but few pagan camps are.
Do you announce events like fire drills with a bell or bullhorn but not a light?
Do you actually do something to help or do you hinder?
Most people with long term disabilities have learned to cope and they won’t say things and they won’t come out to your events and you will never know they were there and you temporarily able bodied people will go around thinking the people with disabilities don’t exist until one of you aren’t able bodied anymore. And you start asking, “Where is ___? I miss them.”
My body is not a temple. It is a vessel for my spirit and mind. I give thanks for the body and its functions. That at the moment I can see and hear. That I have my cane to use when I need it. I will take care of it because I like being around on the physical plane. I give thanks for what I can do and let things go like the love of dancing. I used to teach dance and love to dance and I will never really dance again. I let that go. I used to be a runner. I will never run again. I used to be a gymnast. I will never do intentional gymnastics ever again, I’m not ruling out any spectacular falls. I’m good at those. But don’t ever tell me my body is a temple.