Sunday, December 23, 2012

Oneness and Salvation
Oneness and salvation...two words that most Pagans shy away from using or have banned from our vocabulary. The memories attached to them are sometimes painful and infuriating when placed in  the context of a former religious tradition. Why? Because words have power. They evoke memories which cause us to relive situations. What we miss in our hurry to cast off words such as these is that the power they have is infused by us-we ourselves give them power. Words are just tools, and until we realize that it's not the words that are the cause of our knee jerk reaction and  gut-wrenching pain, but our definition of them, we are going to be slaves to the negativity we ourselves create. Oneness is the unity of many parts:it is that which has come together.

Just being together is generally a good thing. Sometimes it's a necessary thing. We are not so much independent as we are interdependent. Our existence matters to others, and that's why we get together for conversation and dialogue, to sing and dance, to simply be.

The need to be together surfaces intensely during the winter holidays. Perhaps it's something in our genetic code that relates directly to our tribal origins. We gather to remember things we did together, things and people we have lost, traditions we hold dear. We gather to share the stories and beautiful music of the season. We gather to witness the return of the light and to experience our mortality. We gather to celebrate.

And celebrate we do! We bring evergreens inside our homes, stake up a tree and decorate it with fantastic and magickal baubles. We feast and make merry. We grow close and love. Our last days of the waning year are mostly spent in a frantic observance of hilarity and excess, which for the most part, is intended to make us happy. We make magick in the mundane, and it is the only time of the year when it is not only acceptable, it is expected.

We expect miracles out of nowhere. Out of thin air, the most dark, dank, boring  everyday parts of our lives are suddenly supposed to be transformed into something glorious. Because...Everything looks better with glitter.  In those precious few days at the end of the calendar, we ought to renew and transcend ourselves. Few of us actually know how, and this, I believe, is what causes what we've come to know as the 'holiday blues'. When our high expectation falls flat or is not met, we suddenly sink into the dark and cold parts of our souls, defeated. What were we thinking? Why did we dare to dream? The demon of depression sits heavily on our shoulder, and he has our ear.

The fact is that life goes on, even without us. That puts our existence into perspective. We are here now, and tomorrow we will be gone. What makes that matter is what we do with our time here, and who and what we love. These last few precious days of being gathered together with a singular focus is the only time for some when it is safe to love, as if they need permission or an excuse. Love, however we define it, bids us to come closer. It enjoins us to become one, and our Oneness, our recognition of our being a part of something larger than ourselves, is our true salvation.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Take A Moment Out of Time

I'm suggesting we all take a moment to simply gather our thoughts...and breathe. With a breaking story on the news this morning that 27 people are dead in an elementary school in Connecticut at the hand of  another gunman, we are once again reminded how unpredictable, fleeting and fragile life truly is...and yet again we are struggling to understand.

Let's try to be a little kinder to one another from this day forward. The world is a big, scary place full of the Unknown and Unforeseen. The truth is that although some of us can, indeed read signs and omens, they are only glimpses of what may come...and in many cases we can choose to change the course of events if we dare. I hope we choose to live authentically, but with understanding where we can. In those other places, I wish the use of discernment and compassion.

In these long nights of darkness, as we bundle ourselves against the cold, may be warmed by the Light to come, and the Light within each of us.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Reason For The Season-Revisited

We all get our very own reason for the season, and in the larger scheme of things, I honestly don't believe it matters what that is. We're in the final weeks of a dying year...Good, bad or otherwise we made it through another one!  That alone is  cause enough for celebration. Let's go out with a bang, we deserve it just for hanging in there!

The Nativity story transcends the birth of Jesus; in fact, it goes beyond the birth of any one we hold as a god. What I see is the never ending saga of our own birth and rebirth. In that old story I hear the echoes of the story of our own creation. I see the nativity of all of us, not just one, because every child is a Divine Child born of Mystery. I see parents in a committed relationship who have endured hardship, who have risen above, who have endured. I see their devotion to one another, and to the new life they've brought into the world. I don't just see Mary and Joesph...I see Tom and Mary...or Mary and Susan...or Tom and Joesph... and their child. Every child is a gift and we are all Divine.

The reason for the season is being born into Life. It is enough without all the trappings of myth and folklore ( which does, admittedly, make it more interesting). Please do drag out the decorations to brighten your home in the drab, long days of winter...which are drab and long even if you live in sunny Southern California or Florida because winter is as much a mindset as a season. Bring in the evergreens and light the candles. Hang your stockings with care, because a jolly old elf with a sleigh full of goodies just might stop by while you're taking a long winter nap. Pull everything out of the fridge, raid the cupboards and put out a feast...and don't forget to invite the neighbors because they probably feel just as crappy as you do right about now. Misery really does love company, so have a party. Have a drink and don't be afraid to be silly, because it will make you feel better. Let loose and sing until you're hoarse or someone calls the cops...Ring up someone you haven't seen in awhile and tell them you miss them...and don't be afraid to cry because you miss someone who's no longer here.

The reason for the season is whatever you want it to be. Okay, if you STILL need a reason, it's the Solstice. It's all science, folks. Hallelujah and pass the eggnog!