Letting the Wild Things Grow

ImageIn my little garden,

I let the wild things grow.

In a patch next to the tomatoes,

I let the weeds take control.

In that sacred corner,

In that mystery of land,

New surprises seem to pop up

Wonders I surely did not plan.

And today I found blooming

This giant flowering vine.

Pale crimson were the petals

It’s size was divine.

It reminded me of Spirit,

that great chasm of deep love,

Allowed to grow wildly,

 it’s beauty rises on above.

-Written today after I found this flower.

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Altar of Love

love altar

My Love Altar is complete and I am LOVING it! 😉

July’s Full Moon was the first day I danced, drummed, meditated, sang and prayed in front of it. I bedecked the table the love altar sits at with beautiful white things: shells, elephants, albino peacock feathers, my white jade cicada necklace, selenite wand and a white plate with a ram on it to honor the Lord of the Wild Things. I also painted a praying woman statue white and adorned her with red coral, white pearls and a red rose crown to be the Goddess of Love. The heart picture itself is a collage I made within a large shallow wooden box. The sides of it are painted with stripes of white and black.

love goddesswild things

The color white has been calling to me this year on my new Love Path. I’ve had night journeys of meeting with women who sang and danced healing songs. We wore flowing white garments that swayed with our bodies in song. I want to trade in all of my clothes for white ones in honor of unconditional love, in honor of the White Goddess, in honor of this power we all have to choose love everyday.

When I sit in front of my altar the red heart sings out to me in overwhelming pulses of pure emotion. I want to live my life more fully on this path. Life has a way of presenting me with what I need to learn and making sure I know what it is I need to do. For example, lately I have been confronted with a shadow person from my past who represented fear for me. I have had to face the idea that I must also love him too on some spiritual level.

I’ve been reading Mahatma Gandhi and Eckhart Tolle. I’ve been allowing my inner spirit to rest fully this July in absence of school work. I’ve been painting up a storm and singing with my new band. I’ve been trying to spend quality time with my family and our garden. I’ve been learning about religions I don’t know much about like the Baha’i faith and the Trappists. I’ve been collecting statues from any spiritual systems I can find and sleeping in hammocks under the bright stars. What a blessed summer..

Although I still identify as a Pagan/Wiccan, I know this is just an external label I feel called to seek wisdom and lovely mystery from in this life. The ancient energies of earth and of our ancestors still whisper wonders to me, Great Goddess still cradles me in Her arms, but I know that the Great Divine is an Infinite Spirit… and I open myself to it all. My Love Altar is a symbol of what flows through all of existence and connects everything.

May you seek love in everything and your heart be full because it is open to the Infinite…

Love and Power

I’ve been having deep conversations with myself for a few months now. How do I integrate the Path of Love that I am now on with the Path of Magic that I have been walking since the ripe age of 11?

Love is acceptance and freedom and nurturing and openness. Magic can be all of those but also mysterious, directive and me choosing to be powerful.

And then the answer came like most answers come: from somewhere unexpected. I was in a group activity at PSG (a pagan summer solstice gathering) and we were experimenting with different ways of communicating with each other. On the first level of communicating we only talked about shallow subjects such as facts (like how the weather is and where we were from). On the second level we talked more about personal feelings and experiencing. On the third and final level we were to be completely vulnerable and spontaneous. We were supposed to be communicating in our shared experience of the present moment. Well, on this third level I partnered up with a stranger and her and I just started laughing because we had no idea where we were to begin and it was funny to be talking in ways we weren’t used to. And then I started asking her questions about the universe and how we both experienced those questions in that shared moment. I described how I thought that all spirituality stemmed from love. She began to get teary eyed and said that was exactly what she needed to hear.

I told her my struggle of integrating my spiritual life of love and power and she looked at me point blank, “Well that’s easy!”

“Tell me!” I said.

“We have the power to choose love” She said. All the light bulbs flickered on in unison in my head. Within my own universe, all of the windows came flying open and a flower scented breeze came blasting through.

“Of course… that’s it!!” And the stranger who I knew not name, career or place of origin answered one of life’s sacred questions.

The Lesbian, The Christian and The Witch

(Because it applies to both of my blogs… I am posting this one here, too)

Last night in my multicultural counseling class we had a gay couple guest speak about the coming out process. I realize that there are many differences between the Wiccan community and the LGBT community, but I always find it interesting how many similarities there are because of us both identifying ourselves outside of mainstream society.

For one, we both face possible discrimination if we are publicly “out” and we have to constantly stand up for our human rights (so LGBT pagans really get a double whammy of work). Another thing they said was most LGBT people have usually felt a little different growing up, like they didn’t quite fit in to the main crowd so easy. Almost all of the Wiccans and Pagans I have known have said the same thing.

The couple went on to talk about the facts of coming out: it is not just a one time deal and you never have to do it again! The process never ends!! It is the same for Pagans… think about it: You may be out to your friends and family and maybe even those who you work with, but we are still having to judge the right time to come out to people we have just met, too.

For example, I have made some new friends at grad school, but I haven’t brought up my religion till last week because I wanted everyone to know who I was before any possible stereotypes would get slammed on me once I announce that I am Pagan. But here is finally how it went-and I wrote a nonfiction story about it so enjoy…

The Lesbian, The Christian and The Witch

Three female graduate students in their twenties are talking. One is a lesbian, one is a Christian and one is a witch:

The Christian to the Lesbian: “Sometimes I feel that others may be judging me on being a Christian because the stereotypes of Christians being judgmental, but I just want you to know that I completely accept and support your lifestyle. Not all Christians are the same… many of us do focus more on the love side.”

The Lesbian: “Thank you, that means a lot. I never really thought about how you are worried about stereotypes, too.”

The Witch: “Wow, I am so touched by this conversation and I am feeling ready to tell you both something: I’m Pagan!”

The Lesbian: “Pagan?”

The Witch: “Another common name is Wicca.”

The Lesbian: “No way! That is great- I don’t know any Wiccans. Hey my mom is really interested in the Salem Witch Trials.”

The Christian: “What does it mean to be Wiccan?”

The Witch: To honor the masculine and feminine divine and see the sacredness of nature mostly.

The Christian: “It sounds really interesting to learn about. I’m glad you told us. It sounds like we all have something we worry about being discriminated for. “

The Witch to the Christian: “I owe you an apology, I was worried about telling you because I was placing that judgmental Christian stereotype on you. I have experienced a lot of prejudice from Christians in the past, but now I see that is not true of all, or maybe even most Christians- thank you for being so brave and talking about your feelings.”

Three friends walk back to class… and it doesn’t matter which one is the lesbian, the witch or the christian, because the first word they think about when they see each other is, “Friend”.

The End.

awww… now I am all teary eyed just thinking about it again :)

Life Teacher

“What if our religion was each other
If our practice was our life
If prayer, our words
What if the temple was the Earth
If forests were our church
If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean
What if meditation was our relationships
If the teacher was life
If wisdom was self-knowledge
If love was the center of our being.”
~Ganga White

Art by Jenness Cortez Perlmutter

Training in Great Love

Those training in great love should forsake self-centeredness and engage in the Buddha’s practice , the root of which is compassion… Even if you cannot actually implement the practices of love and compassion, merely hearing about them establishes powerful predispositions for future success. This can be amplified by planting prayer-wishes aspiring to altruism.

-the Dalai Lama

Reading this passage today in How to Expand Love, written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, brought great comfort to me for I have been wanting to do MORE in service to compassion, but time and money have been restraining me. As a stay at home mother, it is almost impossible for me to find child care in order to go volunteer my time elsewhere. My husband is on-call through the hospital often so it is hard to plan things for the evenings or weekends, too. I am a full time graduate student so most of his scheduled free time allows for me to go to class. Then we have the situation of sharing a car and financial restraints… what am I to do? My cup is already over-spilling!

Recently my graduate program has required me to get four hours of volunteer work through a a local non-profit of my choice. I am so glad for this opportunity because finally I can justify taking out the time to do this. My hope is that I can find an organization flexible enough to keep having me come in maybe once or twice a month where I can fit in a few hours.

Either way, reading the Dalai Lama’s word’s today has brought me inspiration for even if I am unable to do the things I want to do for compassion and the betterment of this world, simply speaking prayers of peace, working magic for healing and fostering feelings of altruism is doing my part. Maybe all of these acts will make the foundation that I stand upon strong and fertile for a future where I can be more active in the community as I want to be. And may I not forget the other part of “training in love”- forsake self-centeredness. This I definitely need to work on more.

May we all be blessed with hope.

Image from www.foreignpolicy.com

Inspiring Movies

Earthly love seems worthless, insipid, and dull, compared to his flaming devotion for the Unchangeable.

He has one desire, one aim, one goal–to reach the bliss which he has briefly touched in rare moments of ecstasy and rapture.

The Secret Rose Garden, Sa’d ud Din Mahmud Shabistari 1250 CE

I was lucky enough to come across the movie With One Voice on Netflix today. It was a documentary that interviewed mystics from all over the world, of all different religions, and how they experience the Divine, the Infinite Spirit, and what they have learned over time. In the beginning of their spiritual journey they underwent an awakening of true reality… they felt themselves connect with everyone and everything. They felt immense love and it changed the path that they were previously on.

I’m glad that they mentioned this in the show. Since my profound experience with Infinite Love as God/Great Spirit/Divine I have probably been sounding like a nut to people. When one goes through an ecstatic experience it is beyond logic and explanation. The interviewees on the movie also sounded a bit out there, and I say this in the best way possible… but they were genuinely trying to describe what had happened to them to cause them to lead such wonderfully loving lives.

One thing that I struggled with while watching was that there were no Pagans interviewed. There is a common belief that Paganism was completely wiped out a long time ago and that people who identify themselves as a Pagan are simply kidding themselves… I’m guessing this is why a Pagan was not interviewed. However, I ask you this: if all Christians or Buddhists were supposedly wiped out at one point, couldn’t the person who discovers a dusty bible and begin to practice what it teaches many years down the road reclaim that religious title again? This is what modern day Pagans are doing. However, it is not one book that leads us- it is Nature and old customs that honor nature that serve as our basis of wisdom. The old gods were not simply comic book characters that entertained with stories; there were people who dedicated their whole lives to them in temples, homes and outside many years ago… they were real and continue to be real to many people. Last night I was with my local pagan community and there was someone there who had never been to a pagan ritual. Afterwards she told us that this had been the first religious ceremony she had ever been to in her life that felt natural. To the point:t he Pagan path is one of many paths up the spiritual mountain.

Another issue I had was that an interviewee mentioned that although there are many paths up the mountain and they all lead to the summit, it is important to stay committed to your own religious path and not “mishmosh” all the other paths together.. I felt this was a bit offensive. First of all, in a previous scene Love was described as being Infinite and the Source and once this realization was in view, all religious paths can be looked upon as being similar in their goal and it doesn’t matter what religion you came from. My question is: what if one of the paths up the mountain is to be a seeker in all aspects? So many religions rely heavily on tradition (scripture, customs, etc.) and just a bit on experience. Mysticism of any sort, however, rely mostly on experience. The Mystic Path goes wherever the Heart takes you, wherever you feel the pull of Divine Consciousness… if this involves being open to many religions then so be it!

Swami Karunananda, a lovely woman interviewed, said it best when she compared God to food: She described a room with people proclaiming that their food was the best food, “Pasta is the best food!” “No salad is the best!” “Pudding is the only thing good for you!” As silly as this seems to us to imagine, it is truly what is happening when people try to define God and what we should all believe…

Another movie that I watched recently was Les Miserables! I went to see the singing, but left realizing the absolute best thing about this movie was the story of unconditional love and how just one act of unconditionally loving someone can ripple through the future and bless many in it’s path.