Cancer is an evil robber. It robs you of the light in people’s eyes and their love if they die and even when they survive, it changes them forever. Sometimes that’s a good thing if it stops them for pursuing bad behaviours but no matter what a friend or family member that has come face to face with their morality in such a deadly way often now has an underlying fear that it will come back and it shows in their eyes.
Even the 15 years that Cam had between the first time and the reoccurrence when they told him he was cancer free, he was always waiting for that next seizure that would tell him that the doctors were wrong and the cancer was back. He did start to do things like start Square Dancing which he refused to do when we were little and I was teaching folk dancing and church became more important to him. When he first got sick he refused prayer from me and my friends because I wasn’t Christian. When he got sick the second time he wanted prayer from any one with a good heart.
I hate cancer for taking Laura. I know as a pagan that she will be back when she chooses. I know as a scientist that no energy is ever lost and that all of us are always here some where, some way. But when cancer takes someone from you, you don’t have them in the here and now when you want to talk to them or ask a question or just give them a hug. It’s a selfish human thing but it’s true and even if they survive, while they are sick, you fear to hug them and give them your germs or that they are fragile. When they do survive you watch them for any sign they might be sick again and that the cancer has come back. You do that even when its been 20 years since their cancer diagnosis.
Maybe it’s selfish to hate cancer because it’s about you losing someone and how you will live if the person is gone but it’s a human thing and I hate cancer!
I had the weirdest dream last night that I had a baby and that I’d was married to some one Jewish. I never saw whether they were male or female but I was at the baby’s blessing which for some reason was in a full stadium in Santa Monica where the Highland Games were held as a kid.
The first part was the Hebrew blessing of a baby girl and I remember walking into the stadium and having 2 problems, 1) I decided I didn’t like the name we had picked out. RosemarieMichael. (Don’t ask me why because in real life I never would have picked that name and 2) She had just pooped in her cloth diaper and she was also wrapped in 2 swaddling clothes one for the first ceremony and one for the second ceremony that was going to be the wiccaning.
So I spent the rest of the dream trying to find someone with a disposable diaper which I don’t like but I thought would get us through the ceremony without another incident and trying out new names. RosemaryMichelle, no and while the hell Michelle or Michael when no one in our family has those names. I finally or Rosemary for that matter but I did have a teacher in Junior High that called me that among other names since she could never remember mine.
I don’t know if I ever found the diaper or see my partner but the name turned out to be MairiRose. Weird dream because I got spayed back in ’96 and this body is too damn old even if I could and that ship sailed a long time ago and who would want to have a baby at 59. you’d never see the kid grow up or just barely. I’m waaaay to old to go running after a toddler. And I’d never name a kid Mairi Rose when I got called MR when I was a kid and it stood for something that wasn’t very nice and definitely not PC.
Last Sunday’s ritual for Laura even though it was supposed to be done by other people and ended up being done by us instead was the best for me. I don’t know if it was because it turned out to be basically in the style of my coven, Comma or just that it was done with good friends who were sincere in their wish to honour Laura and ego wasn’t involved about who got which part.
Or both reasons.
My coven has a rather unique style due to a fortuitous accident in our first year. We started out scripting everything because that was the way I was trained and so was the one other trained person in the coven when we started. We did ritual with one hand on the Spiral Dance by Starhawk and the other on our wands. One night no one could find their copy of the book and we decided to wing it from our hearts and that worked better than anything else we had tried and we never went back. We still planned our rituals but it was more, lets ask A to call East and B to call South, A guided meditation by one of the priestess pair putting on that ritual and an arts and crafts project like Bake a Goddess, etc. with everyone writing their own parts or making them up as the spirit moved them. And it’s worked for us for 27 years.
We don’t have an HP, we never have had. We always split up rituals into pairs of facilitators for the whole year in November and unless something happens the pair designated plans the ritual and they are the HPs for the night.
Laura’s service was the same way. It more scripted because we used poetry written by Laura and divided up the lines to be read out loud but we were all equals. We did do a little re-writing in the middle when Diana realized we had 2 of us repeating stanzas because we forgot Linda and deTraci when we first decided to put 7 Selves that hadn’t been in the ritual of the week before and we really liked it. So Di and I gave our copies to Linda and deTraci to read the 2 extra stanzas and being the consummate experienced priestesses they are, they read them as if it had been planned. I could see Laura smiling at this as we did it.
TOILA tends to be a little more scripted than Comma simply because there are more of us in a public ritual and Comma doesn’t do public ritual any more but corner calls and calling the Goddess is up to the assigned priestess.
The key to winging it as we do is trust in each other and being grounded in the moment to be in sacred space. The old “Be here now” thing. You have to be completely willing to give yourself up to your sisters and trust and sometimes that can be incredibly difficult. And sometimes we have failed and failed rather spectacularly but most of the time it has worked and it’s the way we do it.