selenite0: (evolution)
[livejournal.com profile] thegameiam prompted me with I'm always interested in religious belief.

Not a great topic for helping beat writer's block . . . but here goes.

Simply put, I don't have religious belief. I've tried more than once but wound up going through the motions, trying to will myself into believing and failing. It's not that I'm opposed to belief. I've seen what it's done for people and I think the universe is too complex to be described with equations alone. It's more a case of being someone who can't believe in a divine being. In Kipling's words, "To these from birth is Belief forbidden."

***

[livejournal.com profile] rick_gerdes asked What was your family like growing up?

Small. I'm an only child, born when my father was finishing his BS degree. He died while most of the way through his PhD. I was five. So for all the childhood I can remember it was just my Mom and me. We were close but didn't have much time together, she had to work long hours to keep us going.

***

[livejournal.com profile] carbonelle asked tell us an amusing, charming or just sweet story about any or all of your kids

Maggie and Jamie are a very sweet pair of kids. Not to say there isn't the normal amount of sibling violence, but when they're not squabbling they're very affectionate. They're only 18 months apart so when Jamie was born we got a twin stroller to carry them in, one of the side-by-side models so they could see each other. Sometimes they'd hold hands together in the stroller. And four years later they're still doing that.

Yule

Dec. 20th, 2005 03:26 pm
selenite0: (anvil)
Sunday I went to a Yule circle with [livejournal.com profile] drgnmoonshadow, Kit, and Kelly. The coven is "Ceilidh House", which I'll have a link to when I can find their website.

The trio picked me up at home. [livejournal.com profile] celticdragonfly gave them a quick tour of the house before sending us off. We arrived in Denton early. They were having the typical potluck social before the circle. I didn't know anybody but there were a few familiar faces--turns out a bunch of these folks had been at Fencon. The potluck displayed the usual Celtic fear of divine retribution should a guest leave the house still hungry. Good stuff, too.

The circle was very grounding for me. I think the ritual was much closer to Wiccan than AKC, but even with the different patterns it felt like I was finding a connection. I was also meditating on the bonfire--we were breaking in a brand new copper fire pit.

More socializing afterwards. Turned out some of these folks are filkers, and have an annual filk bardic circle first weekend of February, coinciding with their Brighid/Imbolc circle. So there's a good chance I'll be back up there for that.

We were back home before 11pm, so everybody hung out and chatted with [livejournal.com profile] celticdragonfly for a while (I'm not sure how long, I turned in at half past midnight).
selenite0: (Hawk)
Al Qaeda reports Zarqawi is wounded, requests prayers.

Glad to oblige.

Lady Morrigan, if it's not too much trouble, could you deliver this man to his richly deserved punishment? Thank you.
selenite0: (Default)
I was pretty disappointed that [livejournal.com profile] celticdragonfly couldn't make the CUUPS Beltaine ritual. OTOH they didn't have a Maypole (rained out) and it was a pretty generic ritual, so she may not have been satisfied with it anyway. As it is she's been run ragged, fighting a cold I gave her and having the kids climbing all over her.

Our private Beltaine )
selenite0: (Default)
Our CUUPS group had its Beltaine ritual on Saturday. I'd gotten a bit too volunteering-happy and wound up with two roles--storyteller in the ritual and donation-raiser outside it. The storytelling caused me the most stress. I've done a bunch of it, but it's been years since I've done anything before a crowd, and I didn't have any guidance on what to do. I finally settled on a mini-history of Beltaine and was still editing it at the site that afternoon after the workshops. Then I had to memorize it.

Read more... )
selenite0: (Default)
Last night we went to the Ostara ritual hosted by our local CUUPS group. This was Ostara as in "name for a pagan vernal equinox ritual", not as in "Northern European fertility celebration." The priestess was using American Indian symbology which is new to me. Have to say I'm spoiled by Ancient Keltic Church--the ritual kept getting bogged down by logistical bottlenecks, the kind of stuff AKC has trained people to figure out while designing rituals. Plus it didn't have as much emotional impact as an AKC event. But it's still good to get out and meet people and feel part of the community.

One other big difference was the number of kids at the ritual. With 40-45 adults there were a dozen pre-teen children, three of them babes in arms. It's nice having other kids for ours to play with.

There's a full moon circle we're planning on attending in two weeks, and they're going to have a daylong bash for Beltaine. After that the schedule's not fully settled. Laura may volunteer to run the Lammas ritual. I'm glad we found CUUPS, I think we're going to be going to a lot of their rituals.
selenite0: (Default)
Back in my college days I was hanging out with some friends listening to a guy bemoan the situation he’d gotten himself into. He was starring in a stage play and had a dramatic scene where he did a rolling dive across the stage. The rehearsals had been spaced out enough to let his ribs heal between each one, but now he was doing two shows every day and the accumulated damage giving him hell. My comment was “I’m devoted to my muse, but Clio doesn’t demand such sacrifices.”

I’ve kept up my interest in history since then, both with professional interest as a military officer (now inactive reservist) and as a hobbyist. Now I’m applying that knowledge to the current war. I’m optimistic but I still feel the need to speak out to help keep us on the right course. In my grimmer moments I worry about the disasters that could come from Islamofascist attacks or a loss of American will. Just as I think history shows our victory is likely, I can see precedents for other outcomes, all the way to genocide or civil war. In some of those scenarios my duty won’t be to just voice my opinions but to take up arms.

Clio may demand great sacrifices of me.

I’m prepared to make them. But I should learn to be more careful about what jests I make. You never know when the gods are listening.
selenite0: (Default)
Lord Lugh, guide our warriors' hands, that they may strike true and kill the evil, not stray and hurt the innocent.

Lord Tubal Cain, strengthen our warriors' arms, that they smite the evil ones so they will not rise again.

Lord Kernunnos, lighten the feet of the conscripts facing our warriors, that they may flee to safety and not die in the service of evil.

Lady Bride, ease the pain of all those wounded in this war.

Lady Niamh, comfort the parents and widows and orphans of those who die in this war.

And Goddess Athena, though my blood is not of your tribe, I beg you to grant wisdom to our chiefs, that the ashes of this war may fertilize a harvest of justice.

This we pray with all our heart and soul.

So Mote It Be.

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