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, July 19, 2016

Poetry for the Esbat: Cool It Moon. July 2016.

“‘Heat, ma’am!’ I said; ‘it was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones.  Sydney Smith

It's hot.
It's hot.

It is hot...

Summer Sun through the smoke-filled air -- wildfires abound.
Summer Sun through the smoke-filled air -- wildfires abound.

...too, too hot.

The heat! 

This is something I expected from the high desert, but to return to Alaska to find the same! Context is everything. I adore the heat, but it doesn't belong in this place. Not like this. 

Besides, Alaskans can't handle the heat.

Neighbors who can't handle the heat behave badly.

And maybe the heat is getting to everyone having a Summer on this planet. I don't know, but it seems to me that someone shoved a stick through the hive & the wasps are very angry... turning on one another.

Perhaps we turn on one another in order to ignore the much larger, much hotter problems that loom over our so-called 'civilization.' 


These are times when I look to the Moon. She is the purest form of Quiet Calm -- a cool, reflective lens. 


Lady Luna, cool, quiet.
Lady Luna, cool, quiet.


Be still. (Moma Fauna)
Be still.

Be still, chaotic little children of Earth.
Cool it.

If we look to Lady Moon as our guide, She can remind us to be quiet & look within. She watches, unwavering as we scramble about, soiling our nest & blaming one another. She will witness our end & calmly continue to witness what lies beyond.

Last night I was awake late enough to see Her sliding along the neighboring rooftops opposite the never-quite-setting-Sun. To describe the feeling I experienced as 'reassuring' would be to understate the effect Her presence has upon my psyche. Centering, calming, clarifying, a sense of succor -- none of these suffice. Hence, the inspiration for this month's Esbat poetry. 

THE MOTHER MOON, by Louisa May Alcott

The moon upon the wide sea
Placidly looks down,
Smiling with her mild face,
Though the ocean frown.
Clouds may dim her brightness,
But soon they pass away,
And she shines out, unaltered,
O'er the little waves at play.
So 'mid the storm or sunshine,
Wherever she may go,
Led on by her hidden power
The wild see must plow.

As the tranquil evening moon
Looks on that restless sea,
So a mother's gentle face,
Little child, is watching thee.
Then banish every tempest,
Chase all your clouds away,
That smoothly and brightly
Your quiet heart may play.
Let cheerful looks and actions
Like shining ripples flow,
Following the mother's voice,
Singing as they go.

Blessings to you this Esbat, my friends.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Poetry for the Esbat: Darkness Moon, 2016

Almost there, sister.  Waxing Moon, June 2016.
Almost there, sister.
Waxing Moon, June 2016.

There are no words. No words to explain my delight in this Sky, this sprawling, Dark, Night, Sky...

Tonight I receive many, many messages & images from friends & my beloved. Tonight they are celebrating the Summer Solstice in that typically modern Pagan way -- on the most convenient weekend. They are also celebrating the Solstice Alaska-Style: in the endless daylight. 

here in the yawning Desert,
under the sable cloak of Night,
I find myself not missing it.
Not at all.

Tonight, in the company of crickets, I photographed the Moon. But first, I sat on the porch of the house (the one that stole my heart so many years ago) & waited. It took awhile. She had been playing coy behind the clouds. It doesn't matter really. I am patient. Besides, the Darkness is enough for me. Had She never left Her coverlets, I still would have left satisfied. 

Yesterday, while washing dishes to avoid the heat, I was reflecting on the raw thrill of the Darkness; the vulnerability & the opening of the imagination which only being doused & disoriented by the Dark can introduce. So I was very pleased to recover this Esbat's poem from my lengthy favorites list on my phone's Poetry Foundation App (yes, I recognize this app thing is cliché) this evening. Things always seem to fall together just as they should, no?

I know there are a variety of rich & thoughtful literary interpretations for the following piece. But, I personally like to take it at face value -- with a very uncomplicated ear & heart. I like to think it's really just about the Darkness & being a goofy human, completely & hopelessly maladapted to nocturnal living & literally smacking your face into a tree. Then, perhaps, with practice, patience & some caution, finding your bat's wings. I find that interpretation most satisfying actually.

We grow accustomed to the Dark - (428) by Emily Dickinson

We grow accustomed to the Dark - 
When light is put away - 
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Goodbye - 

A Moment - We uncertain step
For newness of the night - 
Then - fit our Vision to the Dark - 
And meet the Road - erect - 

And so of larger - Darknesses - 
Those Evenings of the Brain - 
When not a Moon disclose a sign - 
Or Star - come out - within - 

The Bravest - grope a little - 
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead - 
But as they learn to see - 

Either the Darkness alters - 
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight - 
And Life steps almost straight. 

Blessings to you this Esbat, my friends. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Poly-All-In. Installment 1: Folly.

Installment 1 of an itch-driven yet somewhat spontaneous series of reflections on life as a modern day polytheistic animist.

Image appreciatively poached from the Open Gyre.
Image appreciatively poached from the Open Gyre

I have been having this conversation in my head.
I have been having this conversation in my heart.
I have been having this conversation with my beloved kindreds.

And this current stint here in the sprawling majesty of the Desert continually reaffirms this sentiment.

No matter how I approach this concept, there is only one inevitable conclusion: IT is a Poly-All. 

Just Look at the breadth of diversity of all things in this incredible, vast Universe! I gasp!
Inner Space, Outer Space, both reaching, reaching, reaching ad infinitum with endless variations we can scarcely imagine.

"There is a place with four suns in the sky — red, white, blue, and yellow; two of them are so close together that they touch, and star-stuff flows between them. I know of a world with a million moons. I know of a sun the size of the Earth — and made of diamond. There are atomic nuclei a few miles across which rotate thirty times a second. There are tiny grains between the stars, with the size and atomic composition of bacteria. There are stars leaving the Milky Way, and immense gas clouds falling into it. There are turbulent plasmas writhing with X- and gamma-rays and mighty stellar explosions. There are, perhaps, places which are outside our universe. The universe is vast and awesome, and for the first time we are becoming a part of it." -- Carl Sagan, Planetary Exploration

How can there reasonably be only One-Big-Beardy with a plan -- a plan which tends to the smallest details of our human lives? 
This shit takes a team.

I imagine the layers of the Unseen are as magnificently complex, diverse & interlaced as those with which we interface daily being living organisms on our delicately balanced planet. 

I believe it is best to give credit to all the varied, beautiful & essential Parts of the System rather than try to mono-simplify things for the convenience & security of my little mammalian brain.

As the Other-sides of Everything, the Spirits are equally diverse, "big" & "small." Our awareness can appreciate a scant few in the Great Scale of the Universe, but none of Them are truly knowable. So we Love them as we can, from our human frameworks & proclivities. 

And if you dig Big Beardy, this is a good thing. But I say it is folly to think for a moment that he is the only One. 

Theism digram by Moma Fauna.
Theism digram by Moma Fauna.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Poetry for the Esbat: Two Moon, Not So Blue (May 2016)

XVIII, The Moon.  From The Lover's Tarot Deck by Jane Lyle.
XVIII, The Moon.
From The Lover's Tarot Deck by Jane Lyle

Given my need to make up the difference this Esbat, it would be cleverly apropos if this coming Full Moon was indeed Blue, but it really isn't exactly

However, I will still make my amends this month by including the poetry I had planned for last month's Esbat. This time, it's a "two-fer."

Many people-projects & collaborations have swirled around & about, unfurled their fronds & closed up shop in recent months. As I prepare to migrate once again, I breathe a sigh of relief. I yearn for the quiet stillness of the slumbering Desert, the Sunrise ritual of incense & coffee with Breakfast Canyon, the soft Darkness of Night's starry cloak & of course, eye contact with The Moon. 

This should be a good time to reflect upon lessons. Lessons learned.  Lessons observed. Lessons digesting. People critters, they are a curious lot. Sometimes it is a very good thing to step away from the fray & regain the Outsider's perspective.


The poetry for this Esbat (& last) is about people-lessons. These poems can be understood in many ways, upon many layers, from many perspectives. Read & think. Think & read. Nothing is ever really as clear cut as we might prefer. Everything is an onion.

And the Moon. Here, the Moon, She is the Teacher, the Initiator, the Instigator, not necessarily the distant (or close), cool (or warm), Object-of-Reverence as in so many of the devotional poems. But, I like this side of Her. 

Last month's poem I snatched from the Evolver Social Movement's feed. Unfortunately, there isn't any credit information for this piece & it has now become something of an internet meme, making it even more difficult to track it's author... but isn't that just the way of people critters? Lost sources aside, I cannot succinctly express all the layers of Life that I have discovered in this short piece, but I will say I have not yet stopped peeling away at it. 

"You lost her... (to) dimly lit stars." Credit unknown.
"You lost her... (to) dimly lit stars." Credit unknown.

The poetry for this month's Full Moon has explicit source credit -- something I really dig. It also seems to demand that it be revisited repeatedly over a long period time. I have considering it for about a year now. I am not done. This piece from Rumi comes from a rare publication housed at Utah's Marriot Library. (Isn't that just keen how the departure poetry matches the destination?):

Sibyl Rubottom and Jim Machacek
San Diego, CA: Bay Park Press, 2000
N7433.4 R73 N49 2000
A flecked, navy wrapper is folded in three, housing the primary sheet which is, in turn, folded into three, unequal sections. Letterpress from Bodoni and Times Roman on Fabriano Rosaspina Bianco and Fox River Confetti wrapper. Images created using polymer plates, monotypes, linocut, and screen printing. Edition of forty-five copies. University of Utah copy is no. 19.

New Rule: A Poem By Rumi, illustrated by Sibyl Rubottom and Jim Machacek.
New Rule: A Poem By Rumi, illustrated by Sibyl Rubottom and Jim Machacek

Blessings to you this Esbat, my friends. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Wandering: Desperate Circus

Twilight over the Cook Inlet.
Twilight over the Cook Inlet.

With some trepidation I escorted my complicated companion to revisit the Place where Herne has made Himself recognized.

This was very much like a clown show or an early (or late) Trick or Treat: one behemoth of a Norseman "Pirate," one black hooded "Witch" & what might best be characterized as Professor Snape from the Harry Potter series.

Carrying three bottles of mead, a shillelagh, a very large Oath Ring (from a tug boat line) & a drinking horn, I confess that I felt a bit sheepish in the daylight as hikers & tourists looked upon us with complete confusion. As they should.

This was not the time for Herne-hunting. I knew this well enough, but sometimes people are so desperate for connection that you just hold their hand & do your best at the art of damage control.

Along the arduously disorganized & delayed trek, many trees were loved & libated. Many words exchanged that would soon be forgotten. Don Quixote himself may have been channeled.

This was a messy excursion by anyone's standards. 

As I squatted along the edge of the trail & listened to the one-eyed bear of a man extracting my slender, aching friend from the disappointingly vacant darkness of the forest, I could only say to myself, "This is not the Way..."

But what isn't one person's Best Night might be another's. Later, I found myself alone in the still silence, facing Twilight, admiring the expanse of Sea & Sky divided by the horizon, unsure which side was the real side. Really, it didn't matter.

And when I crept back through the dimming light to rejoin my party, I found them seated at the edge of the bluff, framed by sinewy trees & silhouetted against the golden horizon. From their deepest hearts & bellies they sang "Helvegen" in bittersweet harmony. I was enchanted -- it was just... breathtakingly beautiful. (Had it not been completely inappropriate, I would have secreted out my phone & filmed it.)  

I sat witness to this poignant scene until my legs cramped & my nose ran from the cold. I was finally relieved to see the Heathen's bulky shape rise & turn to me. Now would be the time to complete my own Work.

Down to the water we went, leaving the saddest member to wait on the bluff. He could never have managed the descent. The large man who followed me down the familiar trail was nothing graceful himself, sliding on the ice & crashing through the naked undergrowth. I could have managed very well alone, but we are trained as women in this society to distrust the condition of alone-in-the-dark (even when realistically, it might be the safer -- for everyone). 

The tide was high & the Ice ran right up to the water, dropping off abruptly. It made for awkward gyrations, but I did my cleansing & offerings as though atop an ice float at the edge of the smoothest Ocean surface imaginable. My dips made arcs which replicated across the water ad infinitum, playing the shadow against the last of the light. Nyx's starry cloak was surprisingly clear, in spite of the yellowing Anchorage glow. Perfect.

I was expedient, but not unceremonious. In general, I Work from the hip & this instance was no different.

In short time we returned to the bench on the bluff, only to find that our companion had disappeared, leaving the horn crushed, a bottle shattered & the Oath Ring cast aside. He was to have his own adventures, or misadventures, to which we (mercifully) would not be witness.

There is a very fine line between opening up & forcing the doors. Most of us have managed to err on the side of boorish & unproductive from time to time. Yet I find that the gods will still give us chances.

The trick is to learn from, not repeat, these mistakes & never to presume that we can force a "mystical experience." 


Today, idling in the chill winds of an incoming storm, I stood alone with my brooding friend in a different forest. In the aftermath, I recalled to him the events of the evening which had been hopelessly lost to him. As I mentioned his entreaty to Herne -- how he stopped at precisely the right place, poured his mead & entered his own lonely chaos -- he nudged me & said, "Do you see the moose?" Looking up, I spotted a long legged beauty, making her way around the Alder only a short distance from us. She watched us calmly, intently & we remained silent as she unhurriedly wandered around & away.

I looked up at him & said, "See, you just mention Herne & there you go."

The (sometimes desperate) path  of so many secrets.
The (sometimes desperate) path
of so many secrets.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Poetry for the Esbat: Flow Moon, 2016

Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.
Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.

There is a powerful synthesis happening. Strands of my life way, my cosmology, my relationships, my body, which did not seem to connect now find themselves intimately woven in the most sensible ways.

Everything keeps making sense & that is just a bit freakish.


In the past, when asked about whether I would be willing to "teach," I replied, "I only teach my accident." It was a gentle way to decline. 

But strange things & strange persons happen. And sometimes, they change the rules. Or, perhaps they unveil rules you never knew existed. And in this change or unveiling, I began to teach. Of course, it has not been in the manner to which I originally consented or anticipated, but isn't that just the way of things?


One of my True Loves is Sigil Magick. Yet being a critter of much privilege & little for which to want, my practice of the Arte is often lacking impetus. Perhaps this is why I needed to teach the art to others.

Here on this Esbat I find myself working out the last details of a traditional Golden Dawn style talisman for presentation -- but also for myself -- the pieces of which seem to be attempting to tie my worlds together. The focus of this talisman, in brief, is Flow. Hence the card for this Esbat, "Going with the Flow," the Ace of Water from the Osho Zen Tarot -- a deck I discovered while working on this particular project. 
Ace of Water, Osho Zen Tarot.
"The figure in this card is completely relaxed and at ease in the water, letting it take him where it will. He has mastered the art of being passive and receptive without being dull or sleepy. He is just available to the currents of life, with never a thought of saying "I don't like that," or "I prefer to go the other way."
Every moment in life we have a choice whether to enter life's waters and float, or to try to swim upstream. When this card appears in a reading it is an indication that you are able to float now, trusting that life will support you in your relaxation and take you exactly where it wants you to go. Allow this feeling of trust and relaxation to grow more and more; everything is happening exactly as it should." -- OZT

And isn't that just so very apropos for this Lunar occasion?

Concurrently, my studies in dance have been directed at this subject of Flow & somehow (ha!) this brought me to discover the underwater dance images of American belly dancer Delilah:

Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.

Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.

Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.

Her flowing (quite literally) being so illustrative of a condition I seek to realize for myself.

Moma Fauna working on Flow

Not only in Dance, but in Life. (And are they not the same thing?)


This brings me to the poetry for this Esbat. In keeping with all the flowing & synthesizing & surrendering, I present a poem I have been sitting on (in my Poetry Foundation App) for several years now. The reasons for this I do not know, perhaps it was just not time. If I am honest with myself, I actually think I never quite understood it completely -- until now. 

[As if the moon could haul through you], by Neil Fischer

As if the moon could haul through you
Its tremor of light and stone,
Be cleared of sound. Plough
The mind's noise until it's a shine

In the purl of south-bending river that bears
Itself toward a blacker part of the forest.
If you hum, hum through the motes of air,
Perhaps your nerves will find at last

A tone to which they will succumb.
Be still. Be not so heavy-hearted
For a moment. All is not a tomb,
Blind sarcophagus staring dumb, thwarted

Pleasures nailed inside. These fireflies
Sweep their tracings on the evening.
Weep if you must, but board what falls
Away, abdomens flaring—

The brief, nomadic intervals.

Blessings to you this Esbat, my friends.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Wandering: More Lessons in Seeing & Perspectivism

Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
― Anaïs Nin, “Seduction of the Minotaur”

As the ice has begun breaking up so very early, we chose to resume our habit of wandering. This time, we ventured to Point Wornzoff & found an unexpected lesson in the art of seeing. Or is it understanding?

We descended the steep grade onto the beach & were taken aback by the number of people there -- it was uncharacteristically populated, crowded even. The voice of one of the Little Lad's friends chimed from below & a small hand waved about frantically from the relative throng. But a after a moment of focus, it became clear that more than half of the beach's population stood silent, unmoving & they spread far down the beach, away from where most humans choose to venture...

Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

What I immediately noticed was that these frozen persons might have been more alive -- more real -- than most people that move & breathe.

Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

And I found myself absolutely captivated by the beauty & horror of this collection of persons. Completely faceless, yet so expressive it pained me.

Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

And of course, we had need to speculate on their origin, their stories, the meaning of this collection of personalities constructed of burlap, straw, concrete & rebar, lavishly strewn across the ice without explanation.

My husband felt they were post mortem sculptures of real people -- a most unusual memorial service.

Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

I could not shake the feeling that I was standing among the crypts in the Tarot's Judgement card & felt a curious need to move among them with caution -- never to touch their cold yet very alive bodies.

Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

Sculptures, Point Wornzoff, 2016

Whatever they were, are, they made their indelible impression. They changed us.


It wasn't until later in the week when I learned what these sculptures "really mean," or rather, what the artist intended for them. Across a steamy hot tub a friend explained in her chirpy Moldovan voice that they are the Faces of Depression...

I can see that. I even understand that.

I can also see a memorial 
& a Last Judgement 
& even a memento mori

I see much more than that, but I will keep that close, without further elaboration, as I prefer to leave the seeing & the knowing & the understanding to each person & their Selfs.

So much of the Magic of Life lies in the perspective of our Be-ing.

Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

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