Month: May 2010

Signal Boost: Rolling Thunder Ritual for Isaac Bonewits

Taken verbatim from multiple emails, this is one of those situations where I think copying content is OK and even good.

Phaedra Bonewits has put out a healing request for her husband, Isaac Bonewits (teacher, elder and author of many Craft classics, including Real Magic). Isaac has been fighting colon cancer for quite some time now, and has undergone several rounds of chemotherapy.

Unfortunately, he has progressed to the point where he is just not strong enough to survive another round of chemo. His doctor has told them that Isaac needs a miracle.

Therefore, Phaedra would like the magical community to kick in the magic and do a “rolling thunder” healing ritual on the night of the Full Moon, May 27th at 9pm.

A “rolling thunder” ritual, for those who have not ever participated in one, creates an effect like a global rolling thunderstorm. The basic idea is simply that you do the ritual based on your own magickal traditions at 9 pm, in your own local time zone.

Therefore, the East coast does it at 9 o’clock Eastern; central does it at 9 Central; 9 for those in the Mountain time zone; and yes, 9 o’clock local time for those in the Pacific time zone. The energies roll from one time zone to another.

As for what healing and magical techniques are used, Phaedra does not care. Her only other request, outside of it being done at 9 pm local time is that you use the following chant to link the energies raised: “Isaac’s tumors fade away. Thirty more years with Phae.”

WHEN: On the night of the Full Moon, May 27, 2010, at 9:00P.M. in your
time zone

HOW: Create a healing ritual within your tradition and that is joined
with the rising energies with this chant:
“Isaac’s tumors fade away. Thirty more years with Phae.”

THEN: It will comfort Isaac and Phaedra to know when your ritual is
done. Let them know – [Isaac’s link is on my blog roll – DR]

WHY IT MATTERS: Isaac Bonewits is one of North America’s leading experts on ancient and modern Druidism, Witchcraft and the rapidly growing Earth Religions movement.

A practicing Neopagan priest, scholar, teacher, bard, and polytheologian
for over 35 years, he has coined much of the vocabulary and articulated
many of the issues that have shaped the rapidly growing Neopagan
community in the United States and Canada, with opinions both playful
and controversial.

As the author of several books including Real Magic, Authentic
Thaumaturgy, Witchcraft, Neopagan Rites, and The Pagan Man, numerous
articles, reviews and essays, many songs and albums, and
“spellbinding” lectures, he has educated, enlightened and entertained
two generations of modern Goddess worshippers, nature mystics, and
followers of other minority belief systems, and has explained these
movements to journalists, law enforcement officers, college students,
and academic researchers.

Isaac is the Founder and Archdruid Emeritus of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A
Druid Fellowship (the best known Neopagan Druid organization based in
North America), a 3° Druid within the United Ancient Order of Druids
(the best known Mesopagan Druid order), a retired High Priest in both
the Gardnerian (“British Orthodox”) and the N.R.O.O.G.D. (“California
Heterodox”) traditions of Wicca (Neopagan Witchcraft), an initiate of
Santeria (Afro-Cuban Mesopaganism) and the “Caliphate Line” of the Ordo
Templi Orientis (Aleister Crowley’s Mesopagan magical tradition), as
well as a member of other Neopagan and Mesopagan Druid orders.

He has been a member of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans
(CUUPS) for three years. Having survived four previous spouses (and vice
versa), on July 23, 2004 he was handfasted to CUUPS co-founder, tarot
expert, writer, and Wiccan Priestess, Phaedra Heyman Bonewits (hope
springs eternal).

Articulate, witty, yet scholarly, Isaac is currently writing books on
Druidism, Witchcraft, Neopaganism, dualism, and polytheology.

Isaac wishes it officially known that he is not “A Pagan Spiritual
Leader,” but merely one of the Neopagan movement’s better-known
Unindicted Co-conspirators…

Folks, Isaac has given much to magickal communities the world over. We
can certainly give this gift back to him. Please forward this to your
tribes and Circles.

May the Goddess weave this miracle on his behalf.
– Beth Owl’s Daughter

Using magic to stop a gang war

a tagged fence on the street behind me

Much to my serious anger, there’s a gang war afoot in Minneapolis and now the little brats are spreading it across all neighborhoods, nearly and actually killing people caught in the crossfire. Oh hell no. I did not leave Chicago area for Minneapolis to end up just living in Chicago, the colder edition. It’s bad enough that the Disciples marked up the Hindu temple. It’s bad enough that the rules of the tagger are being violated, and I’m seeing more and more private property tagged. I’m not crazy about sidewalk and bus stop tagging, but I tolerate it if it says something more than “X Gang I’ve enslaved myself to is cool!” But when you’re tagging somebody’s porch – and it’s someone who’s got nothing to do with you? That’s too far, you shooty little shits. Now that people are dying, and getting shot or nearly getting shot, it’s beyond too far. Our police force here may be slightly unhinged, but apparently it’s so they’re well matched to the criminals.

Divorcing a Real Witch Update: the full scope of the project

These plans may well change based on what happens as I go through the query/book proposal process. If I land an agent – and then a publisher – I probably give up a fair chunk of control of the project (and the title will probably change.) If I am unsuccessful at landing an agent and/or publisher, we’re looking at, a touch of public embarrassment (hardly the first time) and, for whatever it’s worth, enough creative control that about 25 people will look at this project and 3 might buy a copy. I acknowledge I may fail. I’ve failed before, and to date, my survival rate is phenomenal.

Also to date, so those of you especially who see me Tweet-tweeting about this know, my intentions are as follows:

1)Book – in rough draft. Just got the first chapter in 2nd draft on Sunday. This means that it’s now coherent, but the prose can still improve and the manuscript is quite likely riddled with the sorts of typos and grammatical errors that bypass Word. I realize I’m in rookie zone since I have the entire book give or take a few sections already written. Even if it doesn’t get picked up as is, the additional chapters are still usable.

2)Survey – I have doubts that any survey is fully scientific or reliable, and Gods only know if I’ll get enough data to define anything relevant. Even so, through this survey I am inviting the neopagan/Wiccan community (and Reconstructionists if they can tolerate the neopagan header as a kindness to me) to add their own voices and perspectives to this project. While mine will be loudest – I am the self appointed narrator – I want to offer a)numbers I don’t know that we’ve gathered recently or ever on divorce among these particular Western-world faiths and b) to offer anecdotes and experiences that drastically differ from mine. Advice that lingers with me from an old screenwriting professor applies here: “Don’t even try to relate.” By speaking from personal experience without care for whether or not others “get it” I’ve found that people who might not connect at all can connect and add to our collective lessons from these experiences.

3)Documentary – This is where I venture out of my comfort zone. I thought of this initially as a website promotion, but then I realized that I might do something more, if not necessarily better. I intend to interview on camera any willing participants in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area. If I’m lucky, someone may let me video their handparting ritual. While I don’t expect much from the production quality – I’m working with two Flip cameras – it’s something I can release free online that people can share freely.

That’s my current total intention for the Divorcing a Real Witch project. The survey itself is in beta right now, and anyone else who wants to beta test, please let me know. Mostly I’m looking for when/where the survey breaks so I can do what I can to make sure it stays operational.

Also, when I do post the survey, if you’re a blogger looking for something to post about, please run an announcement about the survey once or twice. I’ll be more than happy to return the favor on any of your projects.

On Friday I dehaunted two homes!

Bear with me on this one. I performed something a bit more than a house cleansing and a bit less than an exorcism on two homes on Friday. It took all day, though most of that time I spent preparing materials for the living inhabitants to use since the actual spirit-dealings were not as time consuming as talking with the homeowners to fully understand what was going on. If you read nothing further on this post, please take this away for your own workings if you deal with hauntings, ghost hunting, etc.: when a house manifests psychic phenomena look first to the lives of the living people there. A lot of people are programmed to look to the history of a building or locale for a romantic story of haunting, but ultimately a living psyche is needed to fuel the majority of phenomena. There’s a Japanese horror trope where it’speople that are haunted and not buildings; while I refuse to watch any more such horror movies ((I almost bought a tarp for my television after watching Ringu II)), I agree with the trope.
(There’s also a snake picture below the cut for those who are freaked by snakes.)

About the “new” atheists

Egregores blog has a post about atheism as the new bigotry. I think a lot of atheists, especially those who consider themselves progressives, will find this take either very surprising or as just another attack from the aggressively religious to force them to assimilate. I have no interest in assimilating anyone, and given some of the treatment I’ve received and observed from atheists and the traditionally religious, I have to say this: as in all things where it’s not just a difference of opinion but a difference of taproot-level attitude, the words that express the attitudes must be taken on a case by case basis.

I am not a person of absolutes (contrary to popular opinion), and there are a lot of conversations I’ve had with atheists where comments made to me might sound bigoted to casual passerby that were perfectly acceptable and even appropriate within the context of the conversation. That said, some conversations have simply revealed to me that yes, the occasional atheist is simply a religious bigot of a newer and trendier variety. This is always the loudmouth that makes the humanists, agnostics and civilized/meditation-based atheists look bad.

Adult-ish material ahead

myself aspecting the deadly sin of Wrath

This is the face I wore to Goth Prom last night. Goth Prom in Minneapolis is a fundraiser for Sisters of Avalon, a sort of anarchist collective food shelf charity. While a lot of my friends have traditions around this prom, this is the first time I’ve ever gone. I hadn’t played dress up since 2005 when I did the Erotic Angels exhibit for my friend Paul, and I’ve always shied away from extreme makeup. The theme was the Seven Deadly Sins. While most people just “gothed it up” some of us did choose a sin: Brenda went as Vanity, her fiancee as Despair. We did choose sins that fit our daily personalities the best.

I don’t worry about sins much, because in terms of lifelong proportion, I just don’t think I’ve committed all that many. Foul-ups, mistakes, hurting people through forgetfulness of how their emotional reactions can physically hurt them I’ve done plenty. But intentional sin, that’s just not in my wheelhouse, unless you count converting to a religion outside monotheism as a sin. The way I see it, that’s your problem and not mine.

Odd conversation snippet

Never had this conversation, but for some reason it’s rotating in my head. Sometimes unsatisfied dialogue does that to me. Especially since I keep picturing this dialogue with my Internet crush. ((An Internet crush is someone you pretty much only know online who you consider to have a sexy, sexy brain.)) Right now it’s just one statement.

“A lot of people practice witchcraft to feel powerful. That’s not what it’s about for me – that’s never what it’s been about. I practice witchcraft to feel normal.”

Opportunities for YOU!

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For other pagan-writer types who read this at my main site or on my LJ:

Facing North needs reviewers!

No, really, Lisa’s got a stack of books that’s threatening to force a neighborhood rezoning. The full details are here.

I’ve known Lisa for well over a decade and worked with her just a little less than that; this is as stable and well-organized as a pagan-oriented project can get. Also, you get to work for books. The catch is that you have to actually read them.

Also, and related to my work with Facing North:

I need hungry people this week.

I’m reviewing a book called Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life for Facing North, and just for fun, I’m also doing photography, etc. The idea is that healthy/local food need not taste like it’s good for you. While much of the recipes are well within my culinary wheelhouse, it’s interesting to try things from this author’s perspective – and equally interesting to feed them to other people. It will also help if you like/tolerate avocados and kale. I tried making kale chips yesterday and while not bad, it does resemble vegan cheese in that you know what it’s imitating and it’s just… like watching a drag queen who hasn’t learned about tape.

There were no kale chips recommended in the book, it was just an adventure warmup.

Over the course of the week I’m going to be making salads with nori and kale, avocado-carob smoothies and walnut cakes. Tonight I’m making chickpea cakes since it will be the least difficult to get Mike to eat. I hope.

So, except for Monday night, if you’re in Minneapolis – and I know you – let me know if you’d like to stop by for a culinary experiment for lunch or dinner. Joel and Mike can’t eat everything, after all.