Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What He Said. (About Me.) (& the Maybe Blood Moon.)

"Mom, you talk to the Moon too much." -- The Changeling

I beg to differ... 
& were I predisposed to arguing, I might...
But I won't.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Poetry for the Esbat: Maybe Moon, 2014

XVII: The Moon from The Lost Tarot of Nostradamus, by John Matthews & Wil Kinghan, a peculiar deck which also contains a Suit of Moons.
XVII: The Moon (& others) from The Lost Tarot of Nostradamus,
by John Matthews & Wil Kinghan.
This is a curious deck which significantly, contains a Suit of Moons.

Maybe it is, Maybe it isn't.

Llewellyn calls it the Wind Moon. 
That makes sense in our desert bioregion...

Here in indecisive Alaska, it seems it might be the Soggy-Except-When-I-Think-I-Might-Snow-Again Moon. Is it Spring yet? Maybe. Maybe we will just call this the Maybe Moon.

A Witch told me that he heard from another Witch who said she heard it from some other Witches who heard it somewhere out in the world that this Moon is very significant to those who believe in the merits of certain ancient prophecies. This was news to me. I am told they call it the Blood Moon & that this is the first of four which are indicative of the END. Or something. Maybe.

Nevermind that this has happened before with no noticeable effects. But, let the dooms-dayers believe what they want to believe... after all, I choose to worship the Moon & Night & Her children among Others & isn't that just kooky too...

And I prefer to put my stock in the prophecies of science fiction writers who, it appears, thus far have the better record. Too bad.

So while we humans are all predicting the END, or not. I will share an incredible piece of poetry written by Welshman Mark Tredinnick. Tredinnick is a former lawyer & book editor who holds both an MBA and a PhD from the University of Western Sydney’s School of Social Ecology as well as numerous awards for his poetry. He is a founder of ASLE-ANZ, the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment & spends much of his writing time exploring "the attachment to place as well as the intrinsic qualities of landscape."

I have had this piece saved in my Poetry Foundation app (yes, I have an app for reading poetry, on a phone, which is all SO terribly sci-fi...) for over a year now. I read it from time to time, but it is a bit hard on my feelers. This is a challenging piece. This is an extraordinary piece. This seems to me to be the most appropriate response to this first Blood Moon & this stuff about the END that I could ever conjure. So here it is.

Red Moon Eclogues by Mark Tredinnick

Every year the moon inches away from us. In time she’ll swim too far out
to anchor us at our habitual angle to the sun, and that will be the end
of the well-tempered and recursive wildness
                                                             that conceived and suffered us,
and that will be the end of us. We have just two
billion years to thank her for our time here. Eternity has a use-by date

But it’ll be up long before that, and in the meantime,
I sit on the cold step of the cowshed and watch the world throw its shadow
on the moon like a horseblanket;
                                                             in the meantime the moon reddens
in the refraction of all our dawns and sunsets, in a kind of transfigured cosmic
smog. An apocalypse that lasts three hours until it’s time to go to bed.

And in the meantime on the floor of my shed, blue planets sing in the hands
of children as they once sang in war. Two small worlds forged to cry terribly down
like creation unravelling upon one’s foes now
                                                               make a peaceful clangour on my secular desk.
One spins from its orbit and quakes and chips its cerulean shell on the floor
of heaven. The tectonics of play. We are loved like this, and this is how it ends.

I’m arguing a lot with death these days. And last night I found myself
in court poised to clinch the case against the absurdity of life.
Certainly, this was sleeping and certainly
                                                            I was dreaming and I’d been losing the thread,
but all at once I saw where my argument must run, and I was running it there
when my small boy cried and woke me and I went to him and now I’ll never know.

Spring now, and the river has drawn back her bow. The lark ascends
from the cd-player, and black ducks sip brown ditchwater in the yard.
Everything’s in bud or leaf, last of all
                                                              the silver poplars and the Osage Orange,
trees flaring even now in the backyard of the childhood of my friend, the poet,
the poet’s son. The world happens twice. Draw the linen string taut and shoot.

One lives in paradox. Debussy plays; trucks flounder past like gods
who’ve lost control of their machines. In between one makes one’s life up.
The sound is the price you pay for the sight
                                                             that meets you every morning and half
of what you paid for the house. The shed puts the perfect sky in her pocket,
and possums rut in the roof. Eternity is in rehearsal, and this is its soundtrack.

Brad mows an acre an hour. A general at ease on his machine, a banker
in overalls, he’s rationalised our small republic on one tank of gas. And this now—
cutgrass at four o’clock—is how
                                                              hope smells. Some days I can see no way out:
the body of the world in entropy. But today I sit among the ruins
of the afternoon, and I cannot see how it can’t all go on forever.

Meantime the moon has made herself new again, and there has been rain.
The Marulan hills, which had almost forgotten the taste of the word,
are spelling green again this afternoon,
                                                             and there’s water in a lake that’s been a paddock
for a decade. Three black cockatoos, and then three more, fly over as I take
the southwest road. And into all this panoply of hope, the new moon falls.

Blessings to you this Esbat, my friends.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sleeping with Jody

The High Priestess, so sleepy, from the Portico Tarot by Elizabeth Jordan Leggett.
The High Priestess, so sleepy, from the Portico Tarot
by Elizabeth Jordan Leggett.

My absence from writing in the last few months has been fueled by several factors, among them, an extraordinarily active three year old, the loss of the charger to my camera (which I realize now, is an important part of my "voice"), copious amounts of dancing, the co-creation of a large public Animist Solstice Ceremony & Ecstatic Dance event & perhaps most importantly, a profound desire to SLEEP.

This preoccupation with sleep & in particular, dreaming, is nothing new, I have always been a fan. How avidly I pursue the occupation fluctuates over time. Right now, I really dig it. 

During the early stirrings of this most recent bout of sleep fever, I revisited a lucid dreaming video I had watched a couple of years earlier & recalling that I had liked it relatively well. When I listened to it again, it occurred to me that this voice that went by the name of Jody Whiteley, may have produced other videos... & by godz, she has. In the two years since I first encountered her work, she has expanded her collection of videos to over 300 (I think). Her offerings span the gamut, from anxiety to wish fulfillment (& plenty of subjects in between). 

After several months of having this quirky, brilliant presence in our bedrooms on a regular basis, everyone in our household is a keen enthusiast. If I were into gurus, I'd sign on as a disciple. But since I am not, I will just make a spot for her on the Dreaded "Guru Board."

I kept thinking I would write her a thank you letter, but during the mental composition, I decided she would prefer if I just shared my appreciation of her & her work with others. So, to keep is short & sweet, I will offer up an abbreviated list of the reasons why I love Jody Whiteley:

  1. She has a wonderful sense of humour.
  2. Her ability to assist with dream recall is remarkable.
  3. She can put the children to sleep with time lapse illustration like no other.
  4. She has helped me markedly improve my skills & confidence as a dancer, while sleeping.
  5. She too believes in magic.
  6. Although I have never actually used one (yet), I just like knowing that she has made 8 & 10 hour (!) long hypnosis videos.
  7. Waking up with Jody is a great way to start the day. Really.
  8. I dig her guided meditations (although I never make it to the end because I fall asleep).
  9. Her hypnotic bedtime stories work, especially for children.
  10. The fact that she has stills of strange, otherworldly rocks set to strange, otherworldly music makes me happy. 
  11. She gave me a name for my ASMR, an epiphany which I will elucidate upon more fully very soon.
  12. Did I mention that she has a wonderful sense of humour? Even in her dreams.

I will close this love letter to Jody Whiteley by sharing the trailer to her epic dream video, Sleep Hypnosis THE MOVIE Full Length Movie 2013 (I never tire of this dream story) & by saying thank you. Thank you Jody. I will go make you a sandwich anytime, with pleasure.

(We listen to the videos in bed using the YouTube phone app. It is a very different experience that way, with out the advertisements, popups & whatnot. I recommend it, if you have the option.)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Poetry for the Esbat: Practice Kindness Moon, 2014

XVII The Moon/La Luna, from the DaVinci Tarot, developed by McElroy, Ghiuselev & Atanassov & published by Lo Scarabeo.
XVII The Moon/La Luna, from the DaVinci Tarot,
developed by McElroy, Ghiuselev & Atanassov
& published by Lo Scarabeo.

Last night the snow fell in unexpected volumes & covered the filthy, thawing, litter-strewn land with a fresh blanket of glitter. A second chance to shine. If the clouds cooperate, I suspect this Esbat, the Land will be aglow with Moonlight, from head to toe.

Practice. I frequently hear people say, "In my practice..." What makes a religious or spiritual "practice"? I have been considering this quite carefully lately. How do we describe it? Where do we find it? Is a practice defined by our chosen label, symbols or the objects & gestures one manipulates about in space? Is it in the language, the words we utter when we make our adorations & offerings? Or, is it a core philosophical position, an approach to existence, a personal lifeway -- something much less precise, yet all-consuming?

If I were asked about my "practice" today, I would answer: My "practice" is Kindness.

If I were asked today, how do I "practice," I would answer: With every fibre of my being.

If I were asked today, when do I "practice," I would answer: Every moment, I try.

If I were asked today, what tools do I use in my "practice," I would answer: My Relationships.

If I were asked today, what does my "practice" look like, I would answer: My practice looks very much like me.

Of course this is, in in all instances, it's inverse as well because my "practice" is also Relationships & the tool I choose to employ in them is Kindness. Ah, how the Mysteries fold & unfold on themselves...

Live. Love. Practice, every day. There is always another chance to shine.

The poetry for this month's Full Moon is from a little book entitled, The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry, edited by Stephen Mitchell. When I read this ancient poem, I wonder if I will ever feel the desire to read another poem again. 

Untitled, by Izumi Shikibu (974-1034 C.E.) 
Translated by Jane Hirshfield with Mariko Aratani

Watching the moon
at dawn,
solitary, mid-sky,
I knew myself completely:
no part left out.

Blessings to you this Esbat, my friends.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Animist Blog Carnival: Dreams

Four of Swords  from the Mountain Dream Tarot by Bea Nettles.
Four of Swords
from the Mountain Dream Tarot by Bea Nettles.

Welcome to the Animist Blog Carnival for March, 2014 -- The Dream edition!

I will begin by mentioning that when Heather told me she felt she was being pressed to have a Dream ABC in March (& that I was the natural host), it hadn't occurred to me that the first week of March, 2nd thru the 9th is, in the U.S. at least, National Sleep Awareness Week. I had already planned to begin using this time as a special dreamwork & devotional period, but like a good little forgetter, I forgot. But, I remembered in time... & what delightfully auspicious timing! 

We have a more modest collection of writings for this month. But, being an avid dreamer, I am not at all surprised. I find more often than not, when I begin to prattle about dreams, the response is invariably, "I don't dream," or "I never/rarely remember my dreams." However, I also find that those people who are in tune with the dreamworld never disappoint in their storytelling. 


Brian at Animist Jottings offered up two different essays relating to dreams.  

Animist Dreaming contrasts the multi-layered relationships people in hunter-gatherer societies have with their dreams against the relative lack of relationship, or merely speculative relationship to dreams & dreaming characteristic of modern, Western cultures:

"Modernist psychologists have, nevertheless, often dismissed them as random by-products of REM sleep physiology.  Even when acknowledging that dreams might be meaningful, psychologists and anthropologists have tended to treat them as objects that can be recorded and analysed without reference to their cultural or personal context.
Western psychoanalytic traditions have, of course, engaged with the meaning of dreams in various ways, but my preference is for approaches that let dreams speak for themselves, and, crucially, that acknowledge the potential reality of dream visitors.

Brian also mentions various alternative approaches to dreams, dreamwork & dream interpretation including the work of James Hillman (among my personal favorites, so will I give him this shameless promotion): 
"James Hillman called for an underworld perspective, ‘an attitude of unknowing’ that ‘leaves room for the phenomenon itself to speak’.  We should stay with a dream image, rather than dragging it into the day world of theoretical interpretation.  Dreams arise from ancestral and imaginal depths and reflect ‘the hiding invisibilities that govern our lives’.

In A Kingfisher Dream, Brian's writing becomes very personal as he unwinds a synchronous chain of dreams & waking day events seemingly precipitated by the rescue of a Kingfisher at a local pond. He recounts this tale as only Brian can:  

"Quite soon I was transfixed by a crystal clear image, in my binoculars, at unusually close range, of a female bird backlit by low winter sun.  The light alternately caught her sapphire/cobalt/green, back and wings -the colour shifts as the kingfisher moves due to the microstructure of the feathers rather than pigment (the so called blaustruktur or Tyndall’s effect)- etched a phosphorescent silver-blue arc against the dark backdrop of the canal lock as she dived, and outlined her fluffed-up warm orange/ochre breast in molten gold as she turned towards me.  There was a strong sense of restless tension as the bird examined the swirling waters with her dark needle sharp eye."
And his bold conclusion reverberates in my mind as it rings true of my own experiences with the dreamworld:
"From a Cartesian/mechanist-materialist point of view these experiences would only seem to be connected by random co-incidence.  From a divinatory/animist perspective it seems to me that they were connected by meaning, purpose, intention, action, and relationship.


Heather at Eearth Animist offered up a treatise on "dream types" & her experiences with them, Dreams: Intrapersonal and Interpersonal. This is a particularly meaty piece in which she tosses out bits of brilliance like popcorn in a parade. Instead of offering a single blurb, I will leave you with a smattering of teasers. I cannot help myself: 
"By age 13 I was less than impressed with Jung. I could not see how a white European educated privileged man with access only to his cultural references could create the Collective Unconscious."
"Time exists because I often describe past dream events to current dream people. It’s a living map of where I have been, who I have known and what I have done, the last one being in the dreamscape."
"Most of my dreams are “digestion dreams.” ...There is nothing to learn from these. However they are the sort of things archeologists shift through to learn about a culture, like how looking at an animal’s scat can tell you what they ate."
"I so tired of the dream genre, I sat down and said I refused to continue. My mind was not expecting that. I tricked my own mind. The landscape wavered a bit, but nothing replaced it, because my mind was confused because I changed the rules of the dream."
"Is it a dream if it is happening in Awake Land? I was asleep, so I suppose so, but…. This touches on major new animism topics: nonduality, vast diversity, and monist interlinking. Sleep Land and Awake Land can overlap. Instead of being different worlds, they are different parts of the same MoreWorld."
"...That dream like anything… divine caused me to feel awe, awesome, awful, awestruck."

Matty at Nature is Sacred gives us an historical overview, Animism and Dreams, of dreams as understood in early human, animist & shamanic cultures followed by a treatment of various Western psychological, anthropological & sociological theories & perspectives on the various functions of dreams for the human animal. He concludes with an animist perspective & (an often overlooked!) tip of the hat to daydreams :

"Like ancient animists, I believe that dreams are important... because they can reveal to us valuable insights about our lives. I believe that we should regularly day dream to help us be more creative and deal with problems. And I believe that dreams can be part of a process of psychological healing for us when necessary."

And at Mythic Cartography... Willem, oh Willem... what do we say? How will we answer the question? His invitation is palpable as he leaves you STANDING AT THE DOOR OF THE HOOP:

“All the paths in your palm seek to return to the pulse in your wrist, just as all the rivers in the world seek the ocean. Every Spring, a door opens again. How many more times will it open? No one knows. Few more indeed for your kind... Behind this door beats the heart of the original human places. Which means the original wild places of course. The ancient invisible gardens of wasteland and wilderness, rich with food and comfort for those who have eyes to see..."
How will you receive this breathtaking invitation?


Finally, here at Pray to the Moon, I have been working steadily on another devotional project (this one virtual) involving mother Nyx & her children, specifically Hypnos & the Oneiroi. I will be building upon that over the course of this "Sleep Week" as well as into the future. My plan was to unveil a portion of that along with this Carnival. But, as I was working on some images for Morpheus, I stumbled upon an older post (of epic proportions) which I simply could not ignore. Curiously, I had completely & utterly forgotten that I wrote this beast:  Transforming "Spiritual Warfare": Day 33 (Ohio) [A Photo-filled Magickal DIY of Epic Proportions] 

This post was one of my "Transforming 'Spiritual Warfare'" aka. Mushroom Hatred Remediation Program entries, a lengthy undertaking which involved a curious combination of dreamwork, remote land & art awareness, magick & mycophilia. It is an extensive walkthru of my technique (which, at that time was already 32 workings into the process) for using dream incubation as a platform for spellwork... animist-fueled, fungi-driven spellwork. 

Of all the quotes I could take from this piece, I will just leave you with this:
"Ah, & you thought you were weird..."

So, please enjoy the Carnival & thank you for attending! If you dig it, hop on the bandwagon & join us at headquarters: Animist Blog Carnival (free to good home!)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

ABC: We're Still Sleeping

"Somnus" by Perham Wilhelm Nahl. Image from the de Young|Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.
"Somnus" by Perham Wilhelm Nahl.
Image from the de Young|Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.

If you didn't get the memo (& we did send out a memo), we're still sleeping. 

We've set the alarm for Monday, March 3rd. So start the week off dreaming with us & the Dreams edition of the Animist Blog Carnival. 

And please, if you have a dreamy piece to contribute, send it to momafauna (at) gmail (dot) com before Monday Alaska time. We take poetry, prose, visual art, ramblings, meanderings, wanderings, lucid & not-so-lucid works of all kinds. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Poetry for the Esbat: Lover's Moon 2014

The Lovers, from the Mystic Dreamer Tarot. An unexpected gift from the HPS of the Temple of the Sleeping Lady.
The Lovers, from the Mystic Dreamer Tarot.
An unexpected gift from the HPS of the Temple of the Sleeping Lady.

Completely & utterly.

I already had a poetry piece & card photographed for this month's Esbat -- I only needed to conjure a Moon moniker. It wasn't forthcoming. And, for the last several weeks I have been scouring books & the Poetry Foundation's website for verses related to a public animas ceremony I am creating (more on that later) & in the process I found myself quite taken by a handful of pieces by Rumi which either mention the Moon, or simply reminded me of Her. Of course, being Rumi, they are all 100% about Love. And, I couldn't get the thought of this being the "Lover's Moon" out of my mind.

This brings me to the admission of guilt which follows: on the brink of posting the verse of Izumi Shikibu accompanied by a Moon card from the DaVinci Tarot, I succumbed to an uncontrollable urge to make this Poetry for the Esbat a VALENTINE (whaaaa?) to the Lady (and you) instead. (Besides, who knows when will this Valentine's Day/Full Moon thing happen again?)

So there we are. Love triumphs over ideas about profound self-awareness & spiritual gnosis, once again. It's becoming a habit. And maybe that's just fine.

Two pieces by Rumi, poetic lover par excellence, make up the poetry for this Lover's Moon Esbat. I have taken these translations from Deepak Chopra's The Love Poems of Rumi. This book is so juicy with Love, it's sticky to the heart & hands -- reading & rereading is irresistible. 

The Privileged Lovers, by Rumi

The moon has become a dancer
at this festival of love.
This dance of light,
This sacred blessing,
This divine love,
beckons us
to a world beyond
only lovers can see
with their eyes of fiery passion. 

They are the chosen ones
who have surrendered.
Once they were particles of light
now they are the radiant sun.
They have left behind
the world of deceitful games.
They are the privileged lovers
who create a new world
with their eyes of fiery passion.


Untitled*, by Rumi

In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.

You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,

but sometimes I do, and that
sight becomes this art.

Blessings & Love! to you this Esbat, my friends.

* Reprinted in Chopra's The Love Poems of Rumi from Coleman Bark's book, Birdsong: Fifty-three Short Poems

Sunday, February 9, 2014

What he said. (About life choices.)

What is the mystical faculty of perception? Is it just a phosphorescent disease of the mind? Or is it actually a door opening on to the transcendent? Make up your mind, because what you decide will decide the whole of your life.  -- Andrew Harvey

What will it be, my dear one?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

For the Files: Mother's Moon Memories (& a Few Thoughts on Offering)

Luna, just after Moonrise, December 16, 2013. Mother's Moon, aka Long Nights Moon.
Luna, at Moonrise over Breakfast Canyon, December 16, 2013.
Mother's Moon, aka Long Nights Moon.

How difficult it is to get back into the habit of writing regularly! Quite regrettable, really. But at least the time has been put to use along other creative avenues…

Below is what remains of my memory of December's Full Moon. It's mostly about Love & offerings & a cat who knows a little something about both. I record it here, for the files.

❉ ❉ ❉

Single parenting in the high desert, the children & I prepared for the Esbat, sans the Hubby. Alaska keeps him on a short leash nowadays. I wanted to make something the children could contribute to without irreparable mayhem -- we opted for old fashioned oatmeal cookies with chunks of milk chocolate. No chips. Chopped up bars, just as it should be…

I was really wanting said cookies anyway & that's the thing about giving in relationships: the best gifts are generally those you would really like for yourself . (Unless you & the recipient are hopelessly diametrically opposed & then I suppose that principle is hopelessly inadequate.) But since I Love(!) that Moon, I leave Her things I would serve my very best friend, or my Mom, or the sausage cat… were she a human (although, as a cat, it is actually best if she doesn't eat such things, but I am quite certain she would love them if given the opportunity). 

There is much debate regarding the subject of offerings, but were it appropriate, I would offer the Moon my favorite blankets & a down pillow. I would beckon Her inside & offer Her a cup of coffee, tea or wassail if she has a craving for sweets… I might not offer wine, only because I am dubious of the quality & condition of the bottles which remain lurking in our cellar. Would She like to curl up by the woodstove? May I offer my precious candy cane cookie stash? Better still, how about some homemade buttermilk bread with spiced, wild rose hip butter? 

In short, I would offer Her every last ounce of Love that breathes within these walls… were it appropriate.

Instead, we baked dozens & dozens of cookies. Way too many, really. We saved the cookies we wanted the most for Her, setting them carefully aside. Then we awaited Her arrival. 

The children didn't have it in them to join me outside that night. So I mixed up a Negro Ruso & stepped outside with the cookies safely nestled in little wooden offering bowl Hubby made. I walked over to the big log under the failed crow-feeder which, by some strange force of habit --or something -- has become the offering table. 

The Moon had already risen & loomed quite high in the sky. The light reflected off the snow made it look like some preternatural version of daytime. Despite my desire to stay in this dreamy world, I did not linger because I felt I should attend to maternal duties. As I pulled the door open, I found myself halted by an unexpected sight. There stood the semi-sausage cat formerly known as "the skeleton cat."  She wanted to join me.

This might not seem unusual, a cat wanting out, except for the fact that this cat has been so horribly ill that she has had little interest in doing much of anything at all, let alone venturing outdoors, in the dark, cold of the winter night. She is, after all, a career indoor cat undergoing a medical alternative to chemotherapy. 

So I let her out. 

Her peachy fur glowed curiously in the Moonlight. She snorfled all around the house, huffing & puffing scents I could only imagine (but would rather not). The carport in particular held many mysteries for her. She was so incredibly alert & alive. Electrified by the light of the Moon & heady fragrances of musk & urine & godz-know-what-else… she was luminescent, ethereal & yet still very much an instinct-driven creature of the Earth. 

As I trailed her, I was filled with relief, delight & so, so much Love. The entire unexpected circumstance reminded me of a lifetime ago; waking in the night from time to time when I was a child. In my memory at least, it always seems this happened when there was ample Moonlight. I would go skulking about the house or out into the yard, pretending -- nay, wishing -- I was a cat. I would sniff about the walls or shrubbery, making that classic cat "stink face" & peer about with a territorial gaze. I was always dying for a real catfight. How exciting that would be! (Or so I imagined. Nowadays, not so much.) As a wee lass, I had cat-envy, cat-awe & here I was, reliving those fantasies, only this time, I suppose it was more "real." What an honor to escort my beloved companion on a Moonlit, olfactory-driven prowl. Just me, my little grrrl & the Moon...

Besides, whatever that cat wants, she will get. Unless it will make her barf. 

That's the thing about relationships: when you Love, you want to give, to share, to nourish, to offer of yourself. I will offer what little I have, because I Love.

When she was done with her inspection, we walked back into the house together & I recognized that, as always, this night was exactly as it should be. 

❉ ❉ ❉

That cameo-coloured fluff sausage knows more than a little about offerings too. A couple weeks later, she brought me her first mouse since her illness. It was a lovely White Footed (Peromyscus), of course. Chirping gaily, she pranced into the bedroom & then scrambled around the bed to my side. What a beautiful prize! I would have accepted it with great ceremony except for one small detail -- the wee creature was very much alive. Ah, offerings. Symbols so fleeting. So we just keep on offering.

Lady Moon, Luna, December 20th.
Lady Moon, Luna, December 20th.
She keeps giving too.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Poetry for the Esbat: Long Night's Moon & Thusly, the Mother's Moon

Nyx & Selene. Attic period (circa 430-410 BC) pottery pyxis. This object is among the countless ancient treasures of The British Museum.
Nyx & Selene. Attic period (circa 430-410 BC) pottery pyxis.
This object is among the countless ancient treasures of The British Museum

Ah yes. The Esbats.

Not that we had forsaken them during our unrecorded period, but in a peculiar way, it feels a bit like we did. 

This forthcoming full Moon is of course, The Long Night's Moon, but I find I must also designate this one "The Mother's Moon." For some, this may seem slightly contradictory -- especially those inclined toward the more traditional Neo-Wheel-o'-the-Year. But, what I do doesn't make much sense to most folks anyway. Nonetheless, I will attempt to explain this Mother's Moon moniker -- in a much abbreviated fashion -- below (perhaps I can elaborate further in future posts).

The past few months have involved a great deal of tying together of strands in the web of my own personal devotional cosmology -- as opposed to a grand-scheme cosmology which I tend to think isn't really all that important or even practical as a polytheistic animist. What I have had is a subtle yet grand connecting of dots, one of those, "Aha!" moments followed by a wide-eyed & protracted, "Whoah…" Except it wasn't actually a moment because it took awhile to unfold in a chain of fantastic "coincidences."

In the process of all this stumbling-upon, I have become, shall we say, familiarized with the primordial mother Nyx. But as Nyx is not the focus of our Esbat activities, I will not elaborate here except to say that as the personification of Night, doesn't it only make sense that she be also honored at this season, when the nights grow to their fullest? Maybe I am backwards, but I don't think so. I think there is great merit in embracing, respecting the darkness & honoring the strength of the lengthening night in opposition to the abbreviated & weakening day. We may still hold our vigil for the Sun & even lament the brevity of the daylight, but let us not forget to relish the richness of Mother Nyx at the acme of her attendance. 

I also mention it because in the process of honoring Nyx & her vast assemblage of children, I spent hours & hours reading Greek & Roman texts, including many of the beautiful Orphic Hymns. So it is that I have come to this Esbat's poetry. I am springboarding or segueing from the devotional project mentioned very vaguely some time ago which led me through an incredible process of discovery. It also, quite by accident (I think) to the Orphic Hymn No. 9 (or 8, depending on if you begin with 1 or 0). This hymn was composed for Selene, Greek goddess of the Moon & although I reserve my devotional practices for the Moon Herself, I find it just as thoughtful & appropriate to share poetry dedicated to a lunar goddess. Besides, I am not entirely certain that the ancient Greeks delineated between the two. (If you know, feel free to clarify.)

The Moon.
From the Fantastic Menagerie Tarot.
I even found a tarot card for this Esbat, taken from our ever proliferating collection of decks (they are much like mice that way). I took a very clever photograph of it paired with one of my latest box rejuvenation projects. Unfortunately, I seem to have arrived in the desert without my camera cable. Luckily for us, the Moon card's captivating image is available at the deck's website: The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot. (Yet another [1, 2gorgeous creation by the creative minds of Karen Mahoney & Alex Ukolov of Magic Realist Press.) I did not actually select this card, it selected me -- if you understand & I am sure that you may. Or not. The imagery in the card has some apropos symbolism, including the owl so often paired with Nyx in artistic renderings of her & there is also the mouse… *sigh* the mouse which reminds me of the altogether too clever white footeds who have truly overrun this beloved house of ours… what we need are some owls.

But enough prattling of predators & prey -- on to the poetry! (And some really lovely music too!)

 Translated by Thomas Taylor

Hear, Goddess queen, diffusing silver light, bull-horn'd and wand'ring thro' the gloom of Night.

With stars surrounded, and with circuit wide Night's torch extending, thro' the heav'ns you ride:

Female and Male with borrow'd rays you shine, and now full-orb'd, now tending to decline.

Mother of ages, fruit-producing Moon, whose amber orb makes Night's reflected noon:

Lover of horses, splendid, queen of Night, all-seeing pow'r bedeck'd with starry light.

Lover of vigilance, the foe of strife, in peace rejoicing, and a prudent life:

Fair lamp of Night, its ornament and friend, who giv'st to Nature's works their destin'd end.

Queen of the stars, all-wife Diana hail! Deck'd with a graceful robe and shining veil;

Come, blessed Goddess, prudent, starry, bright, come moony-lamp with chaste and splendid light,

Shine on these sacred rites with prosp'rous rays, and pleas'd accept thy suppliant's mystic praise.

Blessings to you this Esbat my friends.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Where to Begin (Again)?

Where do I begin when so much has passed that has not been written?

In the moment, 
I suppose.

With something beautiful...


In this dry, desert climate, everything parches & crackles.

When I pet the cat -- who is not so much a skeleton anymore, but more of a bony steroid-plumped sausage -- in the rich, dark, darkness of the silent, high desert Night, her fur sparkles with electricity... & it looks just like fireflies.

I love fireflies

I love that cat. 

...& despite all of our whirly-gig, pants down, ass-end-up human foibles & hopeless stupidity,

I Love you.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Love Letters

AMoma Fauna & A Wordless Love Letter: A living shrine to Nyx & her many children.  Thousands of beads -- each one an essential word in the sweaty, sparkly wordless-ness of my gesture to Her.
Moma Fauna & A Wordless Love Letter: A living shrine to Nyx & her many children.
Thousands of beads -- each one an essential word in the sweaty, sparkly wordless-ness of my gesture to Her. 

It has been a very long while. The time has given me an unexpected new perspective and a sense of investment in things I may otherwise have ignored. Our household still remains without a computer & the telephone &/or Blogger is/are quite uncooperative. First I tried to text this message to myself & paste it here, but it did not work, so I pasted my texts & emailed them to myself so that I might once again paste & make it work... Do you remember when we used a typewriter? It was easier. Or something. Perhaps it is all in the expectations. I lament my inability to keep record of our family doings -- first & foremost, I write here for the children. But I also lament the absence of my own self-expression, the processing of thoughts, ideas, memories, happenings with words. In all the gaining of perspective & investing in new investments, I also have discovered that I miss my Love Letter. More often than I realized, this is a place for me to write Love letters. To you, to me, to the Old Ones, the new ones, to Love itself, to the Universe, to... I always tell myself I don't write to an audience here (save for the ABC pieces) because this is not for pleasing a vast & intangible world full of mysterious readers. It is not my entry into a popularity contest. It is not my ticket to fame. It is just my "truth" (lowercase "t") for today. Except, I keep writing love letters. If you understand this, or even think you might, I have probably written a love letter which was for or about you. I am not really missing the internet much. But I miss you. I miss writing you Love letters. I suppose I also miss writing. In the interim, I am learning to create Love letters with sequins & beads, with my body, breath & sweat, with foodstuffs & kindnesses, with my heart & the hearts of others in my fleshworld. Lady Moon rises tomorrow, ripe in the midst of Her absolute rule. Oh! How I miss writing Her Love letters with words! Oh! To do so now! But the fickle phone says, "Keep it short & sweet, sister." So I say: I Love You. And you.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Animist Blog Carnival: Death. I lied.

Jae Rhim Lee & the Infinity Burial Project.
ABC: Part of what I hoped to write about. Jae Rhim Lee & the Infinity Burial Project.

Ok, so I lied.

Due to the our technological meltdown, the October edition of the Animist Blog Carnival has packed up it's wagons & moved over to headquarters: Eearth Animist: Animism in Global Weirding. Please be assured that all your submissions have been forwarded to Heather.

But I claim dibs on Death next year.

And thank you to everyone who submitted.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Animist Blog Carnival: When Data Dies (or, When Technology Fails Us, or, The Curse of the ABC)

 Jae Rhim Lee & the Infinity Burial Project.
Part of what I hoped to write about. Jae Rhim Lee & the Infinity Burial Project.

Last week an errant metal object careened into my husband's PC laptop. The impact rendered the LCD inoperable. Shattered might be a more accurate description.

This week I pulled my beloved, long-time companion -- my Mac laptop -- out from her hibernation hidey hole under the bed. I found her to be unresponsive. We choked up the cash & replaced the battery which had been fading. Still, she does not respond. It turns out she probably has a known issue for her breed which requires the long pilgrimage back to the Apple homeland to have critical organs replaced.

I am trying not to have a heart attack over the 30-40,000 photographic images, hundreds of digital art pieces & four years of writing stored inside her hard drive. My last backup was before we left for Utah. That means the photographic documentation of an entire season of foraging, ceremony, discovery & magic are cloistered there & only there... 

Ok, perhaps it is in my memory too, but that is admittedly less reliable.

Maybe my precious laptop died of neglect, but I have been suspecting that this is all a sinister plan on the part of my phone to further insinuate itself into my life. For now, if I want to accomplish anything across the ether, I must take the children to the library (it's a bit like herding cats... noisy cats) or, I can use the phone.

Ah, the phone which I had to use to call Heather Awen to leave her a panicked voicemail. The phone who says, "Ah, see, I can be just a useful as your precious Mac. I can let you post to the blog!" Except that it fails to recognise that it takes crappy photos & it is a pain in the ass to peck away at this tiny keypad.

The phone also allowed Heather to call me back & to tell me she believes that there is a Technology Curse on the ABC. This is very curious, on many levels.

If my life were more invested in social media (or should I say, at all?) or were I still ensconced in the virtual world of a MMORPG, this whole situation would be devastating. At present, it feels like some kind of subtle oracular message. Probably something deeper than, "back up your data," although I am sure that is part of it.

In lieu of a lengthy post about various spirit-selves, myco-remediation of human corpses, the Western taboo of death & all the other good stuff I intended for this month's theme, perhaps, dear readers, you might share an anecdote or two of your own about your experiences with "data death," the failure of technology &/or becoming abruptly disconnected. Your stories need not involve computers as the technology du jour -- tell us about when you lost your phone, your electric toothbrush died, your apple press was irreparably damaged, your roof began leaking, or about the car you drove into the ground. We are all in relationship with objects & devices & their technologies, yet we rarely pause to examine those relationships until something goes sour. It seems to me that isn't too different from how we manage most of our human relationships & in this respect, I think it begs closer examination.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Never Fear, The Animist Blog Carnival Will Be Here! (October 2013 Edition)

The best of company: My husband & a handful of Amanita muscaria.
The best of company: My husband & a handful of Amanita muscaria.

Many inquiries & messages have arrived regarding the October 2013 edition of the ABC/Animist Blog Carnival. If you are beginning to wonder, I have indeed received them (the same goes for comments to this blog), but have yet to reply because, because, because...

I am knee deep in one of the mainstays of my animist's Craft: foraging for wild foods. For me, foraging is about being in relationship & continually enriching my understanding of relationship. It is about understanding the relationships of others; my neighbors, strangers, new friends, perhaps adversaries. It is about understanding my relationship with my body, with my instincts, with my children & partner. When I can begin to look at a patch of ground & predict who will be living there & with whom they will cohabit, I know I am beginning to understand something about relationships. When my child points to a patch of trees & can tell me what we will find there, I know I have taught him a small piece of the Craft. 

Dizzying moments of mastery drive me now -- I know I am working with precision when I locate food by scent, intuition or a deep sense of knowing. 

I feel most like the human animal that I really am when I am foraging & when I am dancing. Both are skills which require the merging of intellect, instinct, intuition & sensory awareness. Unlike dance, foraging has a critical window of opportunity -- so I must move now -- carpe diem. We have already had our first frosts & the Termination Dust is settled in on the mountains. Time is almost up. I can dance through the winter, but the time for knowing the forests is now

What possessed me to offer to host at this time of year is beyond me. But nevertheless, the Animist Blog Carnival for October, 2013 will be hosted here. The theme for October's edition is Death. Please feel free to email me with enquiries &/or links to your submissions at: momafauna (at) gmail (dot) com. 

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