Every day and every night that I say the geneology of Brighid
I shall not be killed
I shall not be harmed
I shall not be put into a cell
I shall not be wounded
No fire, no sun, no moon shall burn me
No lake, no water, no sea shall drown me.
For I am the child of Poetry,
Poetry, child of Reflection,
Reflection, child of Meditation,
Meditation, child of Lore,
Lore, child of Research,
Research, child of Great Knowledge,
Great Knowledge, child of Intelligence,
Intelligence, child of Comprehension,
Comprehension, child of Wisdom,
Wisdom, child of Brighid.
Carmina Gaedelica edited by Lunea Weatherstone
May my words be as considered as poetry,
May I reflect on all I do or say,
May I meditate on those things important spiritually
May I seek to know more of the lore
May I research what I am curious about and what will enable me to grow
May I seek to know great knowledge,
May I acknowledge the intelligence of others
May I comprehend what I seek to learn and apply those lessons
May I know that seeking wisdom is not the same as being wise.
May I be a child of Brighid.
SelfBlessing is by me
Fetaim lasrach soillse
Thoir cuireadh sinne
ris a’ bheatha
Brighid, Sublime Woman
Long may you burn bright!
You give us the invitation
to life everlasting
And Caremore is actually a part of Blue Cross
I woke up a bit angry this morning so I had to write this. I may never post it but here it is anyway. When you have a large group of allegedly equal priestesses it doesn’t work out that they are treated equally sometimes. The Hieromum was good at treating us all as equals with different talents and strengths and levels of burnout. Unfortunately, people who are very public priestesses like to think that they out rank others, they tend to act like they are the anointed ones. The simple fact is we all are even the ones who chose not to be ordained. I say again we are all anointed.
Some peoples egos are getting more than a bit stratispherically inclined, especially since one in particular after being away for over 10 years came back after the Hieromum’s death and seemed to think she still had the right to order us around, not so much.
During the planning some of us were treated badly. The language used to me personally was that “I was allowed to do x and y.” How nice that was decided for me, so much less stressful. I wouldn’t have been allowed any speaking part at all if some of the others hadn’t insisted that BunniHoTep was included. I “got” to do the slideshow which I was originally told was to be three slideshows. I did one. One loving tribute covering a whole life was enough particularly since I got many of the slides a few days before. Those slide shows aren’t plucked out of the air. They are carefully arranged and planned to go with the words of the music that takes awhile to choose also. It takes me a minimum of 200 slides to make one because I need the ability to select the exact right slide for what I want. They are not just thrown together and I never got thanked personally by the person who told me I was “allowed” to do it.
As I said I had no other spoken part except BunniHoTep and I was lucky to get that. Not one line of one poem. I have been a public priestess. I was for a very long time. The first times were with Comma, my coven which is now if not the oldest, the second oldest Dianic coven in Los Angeles. We aren’t hard line Dianic and never have been but we started out as Dianic and we are still inclined that way, we are all but one, lesbians so that was our way to go. Our first public ritual and workshops were for the Pallas Society at the Harvest Moon Festival in 1985 and there are still a lot of people who come up and tell me that they loved this or that women’s ritual we did because we did the Women’s Circle for all but the first and last years of the Festival. I taught workshops, I was on the board of the Pallas Society that at one point we had to change the name of and it became ESP and I’d have to go through a bunch of paper to find out what that stood for. I wrote for the Pallas Society newsletter which became the Pagan Digest and was an editor before it folded. When burnout set in and the Pallas Society finally died, I joined FERAL that ran events and Circles every holiday and taught Wicca 101 for them after I had taught it for the Pallas Society, I was on the board for United We Circle, an antidefamation group that was formed to protest when Hocus Pocus came out. We also had marches on St Patrick’s day to protest and that was covered by the local news. The reporter from KFWB told us afterward he liked the way that what we did meant something and wasn’t just about drinking green beer and getting drunk. By the time I joined TOILA I had a severe case of burnout and the pagan community had a lot more priestesses to go around. Way more than when I joined the community in 1984, so I found other ways to practice besides being a big hoohaw at the center of the circle. I was writing, I was documenting events. I was content to teach and then retire. My ego does not demand I be the center of attention. I carefully pick what I want to do out in public but not to be asked to do anything hurt. And yes, it’s my ego that is rearing its ugly head but I have been a public priestess longer than some people have even been out pagans. I know I get treated like I know nothing about how to do anything and I get told things gently and not so gently as if I was slightly addled and don’t know how to do anything. And I allow it because sometimes it amuses me but I didn’t just get made Arch Druidess because I sent all my boxtops in. I can pull power when I choose to. I just don’t need to prove myself to people all the time. Being pagan/wiccan or druid isn’t about that for me. Most of my practice for a long time has been solitary or with my sister or a very few others, none of whom think I’m incapable and for that I am most grateful. This weekend I got to be that public priestess and it felt very good to honour Laura with my other gifts besides slideshows. But I still woke up pissed off this morning and I have to decide what to do about it.
Last time I cut my hair I got rid of a lot of my hair clips. I love oak leaves and the Owl I have so it’s about time to invest in more. Plus these are the only ones big enough to hold my braids
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…
I’m doing the Light the Night walk for Leukemia and Lymphoma Societ which also covers the myelomas. Laura died of Multiple Myeloma. So if you feel the need, I’d welcome your support.