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 did the Road Trip this weekend and it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Diana and I went up to Isis Oasis on Friday or at least headed in that direction. We stayed at a Motel 6 in Santa Rosa that could use some rehab in the bathroom dept. Maybe it was because we were pagans but the shower only had 2 speeds. Oh my Goddess, I’m in Hell hot and Oh Shit, Hell has frozen over and nothing in between and when you finally got it to stay at a tolerable grade of hot it would spontaneously change to cold. Mind you it was mid hair rinse and the noise I made made Diana laugh when she heard it.
The drive up the 5 is usually terminally boring but we never really noticed we were talking so much. The 5 is a lot like driving through Kansas I’ve heard. Mostly flat with either low golden brown hills and lone oaks or crops like cotton, corn or orchards of peaches, walnuts, pistachios and almonds with scattered citrus. We had one of my goddess music cds in and just barely noticed that is was repeating. We stopped at a 7/11 rest area and we could have gotten lost in there. There was stuff I’d never seen in a 7/11 and a lot of local things like the nuts. Very Cool!
We safaried the rest of the way up to Santa Rosa and checked in, went to dinner and since it was really cold and not what the weather report had said it would be we ended up on a shopping spree at that elegant French dept store Target’ and buying warm pajamas and Diana got a really pretty aqua/teal sweater.
The next morning we got tortured by the shower and were off to Isis Oasis and the Convocation. We wanted to be there before Linda Iles’ workshop on Bast. She just published a wonderful book after 12 years of research and she had so much left over she is presently writing one on Bast rituals. Amazon has it here http://www.amazon.com/Bast-Cat-Goddess-Ancient-Egypt/dp/B008I6H6HI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381783027&sr=8-1&keywords=linda+iles if you are interested. I liked the workshop a lot. Her focus in the talk was Bast’s relationship to Isis and Osiris and I should have taken notes but I was enjoying it and the warm sunlight in the room too much to take notes. The Kat in my name does not refer to the animal but I have some really cat-like tendencies including the urge to curl up in a pool of sunlight sometimes.
We had a nice chat with Linda where she dropped a bomb on us. The reason we had come up in the first place was to represent the Temple of Isis/Los Angeles at the Memorial. We were just supposed to attend and that was it. It turned out Loreon who runs Isis Oasis had set the time aside but because she and Laura had not gotten along nothing had been planned. This caused a slightly frantic phone call to our two sister priestesses who were still on their way up. It was a good thing there are smartphones and that we had done two rituals last weekend. No resting for the weary, grieving priestesses.
And then we were bad conference attendees. We skipped out to go to Ukiah to visit the City of 10,000 Buddhas there. http://www.cttbusa.org/ They have a heritage tree that is a huge old fir at Isis Oasis and it’s really sad. It feels like it has retreated and is grieving itself. And there are a lot of animals that are in cages there and some don’t get enough attention. There is a cockatoo that is constantly screaming “Hello” and he is alone in his cage. Lemon crested Cockatoos have the intelligence of a 5 year old child and if they aren’t paid enough attention they get destructive and neurotic. He was radiating loneliness and frustration and he was so sad. Never allow a Druid to have to be in close contact with sad trees and animals. It’s horrid. So we ditched the conference and drove north to spend a few hours and had a lovely time. It’s really beautiful and filled with happy trees and animals that aren’t afraid to come up and interact with you. We saw squirrels and peafowl that came right up to us. It was really beautiful there and on the road because the trees are turning colour and so are all the grape vineyards on the way. We had a lovely lunch at a local restaurant and headed back to be in time for deTraci Regula’s http://www.amazon.com/The-Mysteries-Isis-Llewellyns-Religion/dp/1567185606/ref=pd_sim_b_5 workshop. She had a reproduction of an ancient Egyptian Jewelry mold so we used Fimo to make Tyet knots and/or Jedpillars. (you can look that one up). Diana cheated and made a Khephre amulet. There were several different things to do on the mold. I have to find some red ribbon to put my knot on. Linda and deTraci were the ones who did our Arch Druidess consecration last weekend so it was great to see them two weekends in a row.
Then it was off to Catherine’s timeshare where we were staying at to meet Catherine and Anniitra. They were going to the Opera there that night and we were joking that you could only see 2 priestesses from TOILA at a time unless it was ritual space or there would be a space time continuum problem. We hastily threw a ritual outline together for the next day and they were off to the opera and we to make dinner and upload photos and rest. Didn’t quite go as planned since when they got back we talked until after one in the morning.