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[Witch Way] Volume #2 Issue #4 -- The Harvest of Mabon
September 13, 2009
I just got home from Front Range Pagan Pride Day 2009. What is Pagan Pride Day? Well, most larger cities in the US have one.
It’s a day when we as Pagans, Witches, Norse Heathens, and whatever else you might call yourself, gather in the open, out in public, and proclaim for all the world to see, that we are Pagans, and we’re not all that scary.
It’s a chance to educate the public about who we are, and what we do.
Pagan Pride Day happens on different days depending on the city, but it’s usually sometime in September. Local committees are sanctioned by the National Pagan Pride organization, and follow rules set down by that organization.
Today we had ours. We held it in a park that used to be where the runway of the old international airport used to be. In fact the place we had set up for parking is on the other side of the control tower, which still stands.
I’ve been involved with the local PPD committee for three years now, and I have to say that this one was the best so far. The last two years, the person running PPD was so out of the loop, that I don’t think I’ve ever met her. I certainly never saw her at any of the planning meetings.
This year we had a new coordinator, and her, me and a couple of others were able to plan and execute a great time for all who showed up. We had vendor booths for the first time. We had a food vendor for the first time, we had gust authors for the first time, and we had live bands for the first time. Our most anticipated act this year was Wendy Rule, a singer from Australia.
As head of security, it was my job to put together a small group of people to be a visible presence, and make sure there was no trouble. I figure the best way to keep trouble from starting, is to make sure no one wants to get into trouble, so I asked the Goethe or Priest of the local Heathen group if he and some of his Kindred would be willing to help with security.
You gotta love Vikings. They tend to be big, imposing, and well disciplined. The Goethe, (pronounced Go-thee) who is called Magni Thorsson, is a friend and fellow Priest. He and I don’t see eye to eye on everything, but we respect each other a lot. I have been attending the Blots his Kin hosts, every chance I get because they are very magickal, even though they are not my rituals.
I have talked with Magni and several of his Kindred at length. Even though we don’t practice our spirituality the same way, we recognize the spiritual bond between us. This is significant because in my local community at least, the Heathens don’t feel like they are a part of the community. They feel as though they are outcasts, somehow looked down on because their rituals and beliefs are different.
I have known Magni for many years, though most of that time we ran in separate circles. When we again renewed our acquaintance, we each recognized the Warrior in the other, and that has been the basis of our friendship.
I go to the Blots (pronounced bloats) his group hosts, and he has asked to come to a Witchcraft ritual that has substance. So when the group of Witches that I’ve been asked to form gets comfortable, he and his Kindred will be invited to join us for Sabbat.
The reason is simple; I like him and his Kindred. We aren’t that different. We use different names for the Gods, we Call the Quarters and they draw down the Runes, but we both worship within a Circle, and the Divine is there with us.
By inviting Magni and his Kin to help me with Pagan Pride, I have introduced our community to brothers and sisters in faith. I have shown the Norse Heathens that they are a part of the community in general, and we are all better for it.
Next year I think I’ll get t-shirts for the Security team that says Pagan Pride on the front, and “Norse Force” on the back. Magni will enjoy that.
As I said, this year’s Pagan Pride Day was the best so far. I expect word will go out and next year it will be even better. The only problem this year was that the temperature never got out of the 50’s, and it rained. Cold, wet Pagans...ick!
Next year Magni wants to set up a booth to educate people about Norse Heathens, and another booth for casting Runes. And to think not so long ago, he didn’t think he had anything in common with “us” Pagans.
If you’d like to find out more about Pagan Pride Day, or if there is one near you, visit the National Pagan Pride website.
A Monthly Column For Astrological Insight
Although the mid-September to mid-October period isn’t as astrologically busy as the mid-August to mid-September period was, there are still several important transits happening.
First of course is Mercury’s continuing retrograde.
Mercury is appearing to move backwards in its orbit, which began on September 7th and will be continuing through September 29th. As many of you know, Mercury retrograde often means trouble with communication and travel due to making incorrect assumptions.
This particular Mercury-retrograde period, with Mercury moving from the constellation early Libra, back into late Virgo, may also bring many of us face-to-face with the need to improve our presentation to others.
We may need to buy some new and better clothes, clean up our language around certain people, or we may simply find people demand a more “professional” (clean-cut, polite and service-oriented) approach from us than they have in the past.
It’s also possible that we become the more demanding ones. Things that are “ugly,” whether in form or in feeling, are no longer acceptable to us. We may find that this ugliness must be beautified or allowed to pass out of our lives. Either way, this “housecleaning” will leave many of us in a better place than we were before.
From September 10th through September 21st Saturn in late Virgo will oppose Uranus in late Pisces. This same configuration with these same two Planets at a slightly different degree in the same two Signs occurred last year during late October and into November.
In fact, the opposition was “perfect” (the two Planets were exactly 180 degrees from each other) on Election Night, November 4th.
Last year, the influence of this Saturn-Uranus opposition helped many of us here in America to unite to elect people (both to the Presidency and to Congress) we hoped would be a new kind of leader. This year, from the 10th to the 21st we may find ourselves in need of proof that our hopes--not only in our leaders but also in ourselves--were justified.
Any proof of our hopes that appears during these eleven days more than likely will turn out to signify genuine and long-lasting change for the better. If proof does not materialize under this transit, when many of us may feel we need it most, those we put our hopes in (including ourselves) may find themselves remembered as villains rather than as heroes.
If we find our leaders or ourselves to be lacking, constructive criticism and a co-operative approach will go much further than harsh words and independent action.
September 20th and 21st Venus in early Virgo will trine Pluto which is in early Capricorn. This transit represents compulsive creativity.
Many of us will be compelled to “get creative” in our relationships or artistic endeavors these two days because we realize everything has not been as it seemed. These realizations may be frightening, but if we embrace them we will begin to build something positive that will last the rest of our lives.
The Autumn Equinox will occur in Denver on September 22nd at about 3:45 PM (5:45 EDT – 9:45 UTC). When the Equinox occurs, the Sun in early Libra will square Pluto in early Capricorn.
This tells us that for the three months from the Equinox to the Winter Solstice, many of us may find that what “authority” (parents, teachers, bosses, governments) expects of us does not serve our higher purpose, and those of us who identify with authority may find that identification weakening during these three months.
The key to this kind of a transit is group action. We must declare our goals to ourselves individually and work to accomplish them, but accomplishing them requires working with others as equals, and allowing these others to go their own way when the time comes.
From October 10th through October 15th Mars in late Cancer will sextile Saturn which is in late Virgo. During these five days, many of us may find we have a discipline and attention to detail we normally lack. Any project that requires discipline, hard work, and offers long-term rewards will go very well if begun at this time.
Almost every major transit happening during this time directly involves Virgo, in addition to the Sun being in Virgo while most of the transits are happening.
The one major transit that does not directly involve Virgo (the Sun-Pluto square on the Equinox) occurs as the Sun is leaving Virgo and entering Libra, lending Virgo an indirect influence on this transit. In this case it represents the “old business” from the previous three months.
In its highest aspect, the Sign of Virgo represents “service”. The way we make ourselves useful to our fellow human beings, even at the expense of ourselves. Virgo can also talk about health, employment, and attention to detail.
These four things— service, health, employment, and attention to detail— will very likely be major factors in our collective thinking during mid-September to late-October, even more so than they have earlier in the year.
The downside of Virgo is a tendency toward criticism. If something isn’t exactly right, it’s totally wrong and has to be corrected.
It would be wise during this time to give people as little reason to criticize as possible, to be gentle with those you feel don’t live up to your standards, and to listen.
Although Virgo can be unpleasant to listen to when being critical, she is almost always right.
Have a great Autumn Equinox.
NOTE: This is not a typical “horoscope” reading, breaking astrological influences down by Sign for a given period of time. The information in this column should apply to most people, most of the time. If you have any questions, or want specific personalized information on how what’s going on in the heavens affects you, contact Jim Trader.
Time of The SeasonMabon, is the Autumnal Equinox. This is the second time in the year that the day and night are divided equally. We all take a moment to pay our respects to the impending dark.
We also give thanks to the waning sunlight, as we store our harvest of this year's crops. The Druids call this celebration, Mea'n Fo'mhair, and honor the The Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees.
Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time. Witches celebrate the aging Goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone, and her consort, the God as he prepares for death and re-birth.
Various other names for this Sabbat are The Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Feast of Avalon, Equinozio di Autunno (Strega), Alben Elfed (Caledonii), or Cornucopia. The Teutonic name, Winter Finding, spans a period of time from the Sabbat to Oct. 15th, Winter's Night, which is the Norse New Year.
Making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods, walking in the woods, scattering offerings in harvested fields, offering libations to trees, adorning burial sites with leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have passed over, are all activities appropriate for this time of year.
Mabon is considered a time of Mysteries. It is a time to honor the Aging Deities and the Spirit World. Because it is a time of balance, it is when we stop and relax to enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests, whether they are from toiling in our gardens, working at our jobs, raising our families, or just coping with the hassle of everyday life.
At this festival it is appropriate to wear all of your finery and dine and celebrate in a lavish setting. It is the drawing to, and of family, as we prepare for the winding down of the year at Samhain. It is a time to finish old business as we ready ourselves for a period of rest, relaxation, and reflection.
All year, we have been working on a spell to bring into your life, that which you most desire. We have planted and tended our mental garden, and now it is time to reap the fruits of your labors.
Throughout the year, you should have seen signs that your spell is working. Things that seemed to line up for you, pointing toward your goal, should have happened from time to time.
A large part of magick, is creating a mental attitude that allows you to see situations that are more favorable to making your spell work. Grasping these situations, and working with them, are what make magick possible.
Sometimes these situations or favorable circumstance make perfect sense in their appearance. Other times, they seem to appear out of nowhere. In either case, it’s your ability to notice, and take advantage of these situations, that determine how well your spell will work.
It’s all about Intent and Will.
Find a comfortable place to sit back and meditate on the final outcome of your spell. Whatever it is you’ve been working toward, meditate on what your life will be like with it, and how your life is now. How far are you from attaining your goal? Is it within reach? Have you already got it?
By looking at what you want, and how your life is currently, you get a good perspective on how far you’ve come, and how far you have yet to go. By now, you should either have the spell completed, or be very close to its completion.
Remember, you have to not just believe that your goal is reachable, you have to know it! That was the mentality you needed at the beginning, and it’s just as important now. If you let your Will waver at any point, you took energy away from the spell, and it will fail.
Even if you haven’t got what you originally cast the spell for, you may find that you got what you needed instead. That is the way of the Universe, to give you what you need, even if you don’t realize you need it.
Recognize and harvest the gifts that have come into your life. Give thanks to the Spirits, Deities, and people who brought these gifts to you.
Next month we’ll close this spell, and ready ourselves for the next.
Old-Fashioned Discernment in the Age of the Internet
By Perry MarshallYou know what’s wrong with the Internet??
Smart people and stupid people get equal airtime. And since stupid people tend to shout longer and louder than people who have acquired wisdom and judgment, ignorance generally prevails.
Is that a bit too cynical for you?
"When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will track it (if you are a Microsoft Windows user) for a two week time period. For every person that you forrward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay you $245.00, for every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $243.00 and for every third person that receives it, you will be paid $241.00. Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact you for your address and then send you a cheque. I thought this was a scam myself, but two weeks after receiving this e-mail..."
Remember that one? Did any of your friends fall for this and forward it to you?
I rest my case.
Listen up: The stupid will always be with us. “If you don’t want to win, no one will stop you.” Stupidity is not a function of capability, it is a choice.
At any Hooters restaurant, on any given day and at any given time, there’s a guy in there who thinks the waitress is attracted to him. Did you see that, Bill? She’s hot for me. Did you see how she was looking at me? I’m tellin’ ya, she’s gonna give me her phone number, just you see, Bill...
Uh-huh. Yep. Sure Steve, I think she really does like you. (Reality is no match for a good fantasy.)
OK, so what’s the point? The point is, stupidity is cheap and plentiful. With stupidity, your options appear to be endlessly open. Enticing possibilities, immediate, apparent, as though you could just...
Wisdom is scarce and expensive and usually involves up-front commitments.
You decide between the two, every hour of the day.
Customers decide between the two, every hour of the day.
At my first engineering job there was a guy in the next cubicle named Boris, who was a Russian immigrant. Boris explained to me what it was like to stand in bread lines in the Soviet Union and have virtually zero choices, then come to America and walk into a supermarket and suddenly be assaulted with choices, inundated with options from every direction.
The effect on him was visceral. Physically overpowering. It was so shocking that some of his Russian friends literally got on the plane and went back home, to where the number of choices was manageable once again.
That conversation happened fifteen years ago. How many more choices do we have now than then? No less than 100 times more, probably 1000 times more.
1000 times more people talking and sending out newsletters, and only you can decide who to pay attention to. 1000 times more places to spend or invest your money. 1000 times more businesses you can get into. 1000 times more opportunities to screw up. 1000 times more opportunities to succeed.
How do you navigate?
Being tech savvy won’t help. College education won’t help. A faster Internet connection or 30” widescreen monitor won’t help. Having more connections and a bigger rolodex won’t help. Being more motivated won’t help. Being a better writer won’t help. Getting more visitors to your website won’t help. A bigger email list won’t help.
No, all these things will only get you in more trouble, faster, unless you have THE number one 21st century success skill.
In the 21st century the #1 success skill– a skill that NOBODY ever seems to talk about – is discernment.
Discernment (di-sûrn'ment) n. Keenness of insight and judgment.
"How Do You Teach Someone Discernment?"
That’s a million dollar question, my friend. And the best answer I can give you is...you just have to watch both stupid and smart people thrashing around in the mosh pit of life and begin to discern the difference. It’s all in the contrast.
In no particular order, my own observations of wise men vs. fools:
If you have an article you'd like to submit as a guest author for Witch Way, or for CyberWitchcraft, go to the Contact Page and click Submissions in the drop down box. Let me know what the article is about, and I will reply back to you so that you can attach it in an email.
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Until next month, may you be blessed in all that you do, or as we usually say,
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