Monday, June 28, 2010

A "New" Video To Share

Found a link to this on Facebook, thought it was interesting that a Christian minister finds nothing wrong with Witchcraft in her parish. The lady in the giftshop, she's another story.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Artists On My Itunes

2 posts ago I had mentioned that iTunes is one of my "new" things I enjoy doing. I had a response about listing who I listen to. I will list the artists, but not all the songs, as there are far too many. Here goes, in no particular order:

Alicia Bonnet
Heather Alexander
Emerald Rose
Starhawk & Reclaiming
Loreena McKennit
Inkubus Sukubus
Lindie Lila
Gary Stadler & Wendy Rule
Coleen Rhalen Renee
Blackmore's Night
Spiral Rhythm
Alice DiMichele
Tina Malia
Gaia Consort
David & Steve Gordon

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Membertou 400 & Why This Makes Me Sad

So, I'm taking my son today to a celebration of First Nation culture. There is a huge gathering of First Nations (Canada's term for Native peoples) in one of the city's parks. A brief history of why there is a celebration: 400 years ago when European settlers were discovering the New World, they were having some trouble staying alive. The 1st winter spent here was brutal, but with help from the local Native tribe, the Mi' kmaq (meeg'mah), they did better the following year. There was peaceful communications between the Natives & the Europeans, which was rare because as the Europeans moved on throughout the New World, they didn't have good relations with other Natives (which happens when you try to tell them that they are savages, heathens & you steal their land). So, 400 years ago, Chief Membertou, a tribal Shaman, renounced his beliefs, took a French name & was baptized by the Catholic Church. This is a celebration of that decision he made. Yes, I do understand he did it for peaceful relations with the French (as they were the "1st" settlers to the New World) but I can't get my arm around the fact that he gave up his beliefs in the Great Mother, the animal spirits, they became myths to his people.

So, you're probably wondering why a Pagan, such as myself is going to this? Since I am taking my son, he has not really been exposed to this culture, like I was. I grew up in a rural town with a reservation, went to school with them. Here in Halifax, there's not that many First Nation peoples, ok, not close to where I live, just a cultural centre where we get ice cream cones in the summer. There will be a Pow Wow, drum making, dancing, etc. So, I hope things go good, in spite of it being a celebration of a fear tactic 400 years ago.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I have A New "Thing"

Ok, I must confess this to you all: I'm addicted to iTunes & CD Baby. In the past few months, I have accumulated over 300 Pagan songs, chants, etc to listen on my iPod. I have music ranging from Kellianna to Moonstruck, Blackmore's Night to Alicia Bonnet and then some. I find these to be particularly uplifting, esp. recently as my mother was going through a quadruple bypass and I needed something to listen to, to keep me sane in the hospital waiting room. So, if you get a chance to, check out iTunes for these artists. Another artist I have been listening to is Heather Alexander, she's mostly a balladeer, a minstrel. I found her through my good friend, Cliff. who turned me onto her music. Her songs are quoted in The Change series by SM Stirling, another science fiction series that is heavily influenced by Paganism.

I've also been keeping busy catching up on blogs that I haven't read in a long time. Boy, there was a lot I missed about blogging. There are a lot of giveaways on some. I'm still thinking about doing a giveaway on here, I just have to find the perfect thing to giveaway. Does anyone out there have any helpful suggestions??

I will be heading back into the wilds of north-central Nova Scotia very soon to partake in a "Nature by Night" activity that Cliff is hosting at his homestead. We will be journeying through the wilderness at night, using red flashlights (so the light doesn't disturb the critters) to see flying squirrels, deer, bats, etc. then ending up spending the night in a cabin. There will be a group of us gallivanting about in the woods. Hoping that the Horned God doesn't mind us in his turf, maybe some of the earth spirits will help us on the way. I feel such a connection to the land since I was last at Twa Corbies Hollow. I have a better sense of the city spirits that dwell near my apt. Unlike their country counterparts, they are a lot more difficult to make a connection to, as they seem to be wary. To find some gentler spirits, I have been going to a park in my city that is surrounded on 3 sides by water, with a sparse wooded area. I go to a little nook I love to visit and meditate, taking in what is all around me.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Death In The Family

Blessings to you all. My journey is still ongoing, as yours is as well. I've been doing a lot of reflection this week about my faith. My cat, Loki died this week & I had to do a solitary burial ritual for him in my backyard. Since I live in an apt complex, it had to be a little inconspicuous.

I've had my cat for 4 years. He was 4 when I got him from an ex. He started showing signs that something wasn't quite right when I came home from my visit to Twa Corbies Hollow. He was being aloof & not himself. At first I thought he was a little upset with me for being gone for the wknd, then I started to notice he was losing weight. Loki was a fat cat, no lies there, but the following wknd while petting him, I could start to feel his backbone. Even my parents noticed the weight loss. I thought he was getting sick from his food, so I changed up the food to another brand he liked, still lost more weight.

I went to the vet to ask about what could be causing this to him. I couldn't afford to get him for an exam, as I had just paid my rent and I was broke. They said it could be a number of things, from feline leukemia, to a blockage. They wanted to see him, but all I had to my name was $50 til payday and they don't do payment options. I did get him 2 cans of a prescription wet food for him to keep him hydrated with an oral syringe to feed it to him. By this time Loki refused to eat or drink, this was the only way to get things into him. He still purred, slept with me each night & cuddled. I made pleas with Bast to help him, to lessen his pain and if She had to take him, to not let him suffer. I even bought an Egyptian cat figurine to place on my altar. I cried each night, feeling helpless to help Loki.

This past Tuesday, Loki left me. It happened while I was at work. When I left in the morning, he was in his usual place under my bed. I placed some of the wet food there for him, watered down (as per the vet). I kissed him goodbye, told him I loved him and that I would see him when I come home at suppertime. When I came home, my other cat, Callie didn't run to greet me, which was odd for her. I walked down the hall to my room to see Loki. Callie was on the floor in the bathroom sleeping in front of the vanity. She lifted her head up when I saw her. I looked under the bed for Loki, he was not there. I looked for him in his spots, but he wasn't there. I found him on the floor beside my storage closet door, curled up as if he was sleeping, but I knew he wasn't. Through my tears, I kissed him & said the hardest thing: I love you & goodbye. I petted him, even though he couldn't physically feel it. I stayed with him for a while, petting his soft fur, my tears falling onto his body. I found a remnant of some blue fabric and carefully wrapped him up in it (wearing gloves) and cleaned the floor where he was laying, there was a clear watery fluid tinged with blood. I Javexed the floor & cleaned the litter box.

My son came home that night from his dad's so he could say goodbye to Loki. I didn't allow him to see Loki, as his face was scary for a 7 yr old to see. He petted the wrapped cat and told him that he loved him & goodbye. Loki would sleep with my son until I went to bed each night. While my son slept, I went out into the yard to bury my handsome boy. Without going into detail, I did a burial ritual for him as I said my final goodbyes, crying. Loki was buried with pictures of my son, myself & Callie and some treats wrapped in paper towel (in case he gets hungry on the way to Summerlands). It was hard for me to shovel the earth onto him, but I knew the Goddess gave me the strength to do it. I placed a flat rock to mark where he lays & I can see his resting place from my diningroom window.

Even though he's physically gone, I know he's my heart. I even see Callie going to his spots to sleep. I know his death affected her, but she is a strong cat.