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
|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
|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
|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.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
|"The Moon now rises..."|
True traditions take time to develop.
We cannot get them from someone else's book.
They are organic & take on a life of their own...
The Wheel still turns. How do we know? Traditions. Once again we found ourselves constructing a Mushroom Moon Shrine. How quickly the helix that is Time winds & unwinds.
We breathe life into them from our spirits, with our hearts.
All the signs were auspicious. All the signs were just right. We entered the dripping forest, rubber-clad to find one welcome after another. Old friends, new friends. Just right.
"Welcome to the forest," they whispered...
|Artillery, or Cannonball Fungi with Moose dung & the loyal dime.|
"...the rich, fertile, viscosity of fruit & decay awaits..."
|Fungi & slime. Auspicious indeed.|
Something new, long anticipated emerges from the duff. Auspicious.
|Hydnum umbilicatum, the Sweet Tooth or,|
perhaps Hydnum repandum, the Hedgehog Mushroom.
Hooray, either way.
Old friends arise...
|Amanita muscaria. One among thousands.|
...& rise to epic proportions. Playfully auspicious.
|A. muscaria tabletops. |
Befuddlingly large & abundant this year.
(The camera is a healthy SLR size.)
We arrive at our shrine site. As before, it is just right...
& still with remains of last year's shrine,
|Last year's Aritst's conk (Ganoderma applanatum).|
& again with the fruit of the Wolf's Milk. So auspicious.
|Wolf's Milk Slime.|
Keeping with Tradition.
We get to our work & this time, this time no mess, no fuss. Hubby is with us & the Changeling nods off & the result makes my heart sing & I gasp & squeal like a suckling pig. We are all smiles in the drip, drip, drip of the weeping treetops.
This is all for Her...
...& all of them
This is the bud of Tradition.
The Wheel has turned, Tradition tells us. "The Moon now rises to Her absolute rule..." (H. D. Thoreau)
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
|Bee & flower. They are part of everything.|
If I were doing my bioregional Full Moon naming, I might call this Blue Moon the "What the helvella happened to Summer Moon?" or "When will we see Her again Moon?" But I'm not.
|Tree & polypore. |
They are part of everything.
Sometimes, in the fray of it all, it is easy to forget that we are also part of it All.
I often find that quite ironically, my pagan community causes me to feel more distanced, neglectful, forgetful of the core of my beliefs. Sometimes, they simply serve as a stark contrast -- a reminder which illustrates, spotlights or reinforces my personal values.
|Hawk & prey.|
They are part of everything.
Ah, humans. Ever so categorical, ever forgetful that we are part of Everything.
So I turn to the voice of another human, a stranger I love from afar, to offer the words, the poetry for this Esbat. I am so thankful for his gift of verse. These are the words I feel in my breath, in my blood, in my bones.
She is. I am. As are you.
We are all part of Everything, each in our own way, with our own individual parts to play in this great Web of being. May we be ever mindful of the Whole.
|Slime mould & decaying wood. They are part of everything...|
& when I look at them, I see Her.
Monday, August 19, 2013
|Dark Arts/Conjure Box by Moma Fauna.|
See our FUNDRAISER AUCTION WEBSITE for details.
Between foraging & coordinating a spectacular community fundraiser auction, I have had zero time to invest in journaling... *sigh*
It is a wee bit out of character for me to use this place as a forum for advertising, but I am going to do it... just. this. once.
One of our community members sustained serious injuries during land site preparations for the Summer Solstice festival. His condition requires surgery to the tune of $25-32K out-of-pocket as he is uninsured. We have come together to help support his family with this difficult situation.
Please consider participating in our auction, this Saturday, August 24. The auction opens at 12:15 am, AKDT & closes at 5:00 pm, AKDT. My husband & I are the administrators for the auction -- feel free to email me personally with questions: momafauna (at) gmail (dot) com. Visit the FUNDRAISER AUCTION WEBSITE for details & please, please, share it far & wide. Thank you.
I made a bunch of the items for this auction, some of which I find very difficult to part with... ah, so painful to be an animist sometimes. Below are some photos of a few items (but by no means all) up for bidding.
|Sickle Pendant/Locking Mechanism for|
Dark Arts/Conjure Box by Moma Fauna.
|Upcycled Tarot Storage Box with Waterhouse Art Print|
also by Moma Fauna.
|Dionysus Devotional Statue.|
|Inked Glass Jar with 13 High Desert Sage Smudge Sticks.|
(plus assorted optional labels) by Moma Fauna.
|Aphrodite Devotional Statue.|
|Raku BodiceVial Pendant with Vintage Beaded Mohair Cord.|
Tomorrow is the Esbat. I have not forgotten. We have big plans for another Mushroom Moon Shrine. We shall see if the forests will collaborate.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
This eye-candy peppered opinion piece is a part of the Animist Blog Carnival of August 2013. To read other animist perspectives on birds, please visit Brian Taylor's wonderfully thoughtful blog, Animist Jottings.
To read works from previous Animist Blog Carnival or join us, visit headquarters here: The Animist Blog Carnival at Eaarth Animist.
|Black-billed Magpie, (Pica hudsonia) in the Autumn leaves.|
Last week, I reluctantly rose from an incredibly vivid dream during which I may or may not have realized I was dreaming. After completing Robert Moss's Conscious Dreaming: A Spiritual Path for Everyday Life, I segued directly into James Hillman's The Dream and the Underworld. At the sacrifice of several other activities (like writing), I have been working very intensely again with the dreamwork. This time, not as a vehicle for working magic, but as my personal communication line to the Oneiroi (Ὄνειροι); the gods, daemons or personifications of dreams -- pick whichever makes you most comfortable. The specifics of this dream constitute much too cavernous a rabbit hole to venture into here, but the events occurring immediately outside this dream were of direct relevance to the topic at hand: birds.
My neighbors across the cul-de-sac always have scores of magpies (Black-billed Magpie, Pica hudsonia) in & about their yard. To this I confess a deep envy, for I love those raucous, showy beasts. They are among my favorite corvids, even if they are comparatively small & lack the edgy quality of their larger, more popular ebon brethren. So often I have watched the magpies from the kitchen window & muttered wistfully to myself, or the skeleton cat, the children, anyone who might listen… "How come they never hang out over here? What are we missing?" This morning I was pulled from my dream repeatedly by a cacophony below the bedroom window. A single magpie, riotous as ever there was one, summoning me with relentless vocal vigor, back into the waking world.
A magpie... What does this mean? I could check some book of correspondences or bird symbolism (Jungian, Native Alaskan, Celtic, Chinese… pick your flavor, they're endless), but I won't. I know what that bird was about.
That bird was pulling me out of a potentially sticky situation which I could not perceive from my vantage point in the dreamworld.
The bird was also really digging the insects hovering about our lawn...
|Canadian Geese (Branta canadensis) |
demonstrating a genius we can only lamely imitate.
|Sun Salutations of the Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura).|
(American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos).
Which brings me to a tale of bird-related "Native American" symbolism. Let me begin by very briefly stating that I do not practice "shamanism" specifically because I am deeply uncomfortable with the degree to which non-Native people have co-opted, misused, misinterpreted, misappropriated & marketed the "Native American" & pretty much all other indigenous religious systems worldwide. I might share certain spiritual perspectives, values, inclinations & behaviors, but I do not consider myself a student of any the "Native American" or other indigenous world religious systems. This tale is not about that. It might however, be about the folks who do… or not.
A couple of Winters ago, I was looking for specifics on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 because, as a scavenger, I have an uncontrollable urge to drag home body parts. Sometimes those parts are bird parts. At some point I realized that there was a high probability that much of what was accumulating about my homestead might be contraband. True to character, I never got to the full text of the treaty act because I ran down a rabbit hole of the most diversionary kind: a Yahoo discussion thread.
In the thread, some human person -- non-Native I presume from their avatar -- was asking about the "Native American symbolism" of the "eagle." My immediate reaction was, "Well, for starters , what sort of eagle? Which tribe's lore? Where? What time? What else was happening?" This person "saw an eagle" which I must presume was a Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) because it would be the most common, recognizable eagle in the lower 48, but there was little more symbolically or otherwise, to go on. However, this did not hinder a glut of culturally non-specific correspondences to be bandied about throughout the thread. The querent was quite wound up about knowing "what it means" to see an eagle & the conversation went on for several posts. Down the thread a ways, someone responded by identifying themselves as a Native person, (I believe one of the Pueblo -- Hopi, I suspect, but I forget) chimed in with the most interesting, pragmatic reply. This person said that whenever they see an eagle "on the rez," they just think, "It's an eagle." No big deal. Except when the eagle crosses the road in front of the car. Then they turn back.
I loved that thread because it illustrated the murky conundrum that comes from extracting symbols & correspondences out of context -- physically, personally & culturally. The symbolism, the omens are pragmatic, if we apply them in the proper context. But, willy nilly, generalized or "universal" hodgepodges of symbolic "meaning" leave me itchy. This is why I prefer to stick to personally relevant symbolism -- I would rather strive for communication.
|Midsummer Willow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus).|
|Early Spring Willow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus)|
& quite possibly the same as above.
|Raven (Corvus corax)|
|Immature Red-tailed Hawk (?) |
And the magpie? …hasn't returned, much to my chagrin.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
|Ms. Luna, gaining.|
It is what we do.
To the North!
It makes for pandemonium of various sorts.
It made for a squirrely Esbat.
Out the window!
Save for the sheer poetry of the skies She inhabits:
And the poetry of Her rare dance with the Sun,
when They share that same sky,
over our beloved Breakfast Canyon:
|Moon & Sun over Breakfast Canyon.|
And the poetry that is Her body,
swelling in the daylight
clear & cool:
|Swelling in the daylight.|
She peeked through the cloudy veil,
to find our offerings.
Butter coconut cookies & a lemon lychee vodka with soda & a twist of lime.
I stood at the fence & tried to sing like Mira Billotte
to a five equine audience
while the boys kicked a soccer ball across the darkness.
Heading back indoors for sleep after such a busy day
& more preparations...
We discover that our offerings have been accepted,
by two greedy horses
who hang over the fence, jockeying for more.
Hubby shrugs & says,
"Hey, however She wants it."
I say, "Yep. But those horses can't have any more vodka."
Blessings to you this Esbat, my friends.