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Green Spirit

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The Pagan Experience’s Monday Musing: Any topic of your choice! Have fun with this one. Prose, poetry, fiction, art work or any other creative format are welcome!

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[Image by Michal Ivan]

[Poem by me – Lia Hunter]

 

Green Spirit

 

I am the sister of the herbs

the trees

the flowers

 

I am the fey presence

from among the leaves

 

I hum and pulse

with wind and water

trilling

 

I am the song that weaves

from between the leaves

 

In shadow and dappled sunlight

in mountain moonlight

I flow

 

I am the eyes that watch

from behind the leaves

 

I walk the forest floor

leap through the understory

sleep in the earth

 

I am the life that breathes

from within the leaves

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Ebb & Flow

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The Pagan Experience’s Monday Musing: Any writing for the letters E or F – We are keeping this familiar format on week 4 for those who have joined from the Pagan Blog Project.

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[Photo by John Mee]

 

E is for ebb, F is for flow

the rhythm of life, like the breath

living awen, inspire and grow

expire and draw back, like death

to and fro, above and below

ever-moving requires some rest

 

I think it’s important in a time-oriented culture… in an achievement-oriented culture… to remember the nature of life. Being a living creature means going AND stopping. It means working AND sleeping. Living AND dying. It’s not OR. It’s both.

Like disowning death, disowning rest and withdrawal has dire consequences, in the end. Is it any wonder we have endemic anxiety problems in our society? Our cultural script is telling us we must GO GO GO! Pausing means you’ll miss the train!

But pauses are essential. Continue reading

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I Am Grateful: Relationship With The Divine

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The Pagan Experience’s Monday Musing: Deity and the Divine (Alt Prompt)- What is your relationship with the Divine? Is it Devotional? Collaborative? An agreement of reciprocity? How does this engagement flow into your mundane relationships? or Does it?

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I see myself as part of the Divine, as with every being, every thing that exists, and every non-embodied concept we humans keep in our minds and the experience of our emotions. The whole of nature, together, is my concept of the Divine. My pantheism folds easily into my animism, since if I can have an individual consciousness while being part of the whole, I can interact with everything as if it may, as well. Even if it has no consciousness as we know it, it’s still part of what we all are. God/dess, Divinity, the Universe… whatever you want to call it. I even see the Gods as sparks of the Divine, and may also have individual consciousness. So I can interact with them collaboratively, the same as I do with animals, plants, landscapes, stars, spirits, etc.

Take the picture of the lovely, towering pampas grass, above, from the river I live next to… is that one in the center really grass without the other grass it grows among? Would it be pampas grass without the river bank on which to grow… without the mountain from which the river flows, and the rain and snow that feed it? Would it be, if the Sun didn’t create the planet? Would its leaves and stalk be green without the chlorophyll interacting with the photons from the sun, scattering the light until we see only green? What about our human eyes, evolved to catch all this light and these colors? What about our language, which named the grass, and our minds which love to categorize things and said that this is a grass, not a rush nor a sedge? Would it be pampas grass without its ancestors… even though they’re not here, in this time? Would it be a grass without the animal ancestors who co-evolved with the plant kingdom, each nourishing the other, and exhaling the kind of air the other needs for breathing… for life?

Continue reading

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As Above, So Below

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The Pagan Experience’s Monday Musing: As Above, So Below – What do you seek from the Divine? How is that reflected in the mundane? Where do you find your place of synthesis?

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[Image by Robin Quinlivan]

I have always loved this proverb (The Law of Correspondences). “As above, so below. As the universe, so the soul. As within, so without.” It doesn’t even need elaboration. You can even snip it to the first third and get the key concept, and start imagining all the ways it applies.

What do I seek from the Divine? Do I seek anything? A relationship… but then, that already exists simply because I exist and am a part of it. Realizing a relationship, then. Perhaps I seek to express divinity, as well as to observe it being expressed through other beings and other existences, and to love all of the expressions.

That is reflected in the “mundane” — which I don’t see as mundane because everything is sacred (when nature is your god…) — in absolutely everything! All the natural processes and everyday realities are expressions of nature… nature/multiverse/universe unfolding… in all directions and dimensions.

You could say that it is reflected in my hearth-craft, since I imbue my very housework with sacred meaning, and practice it in a devotional and mindful and heartful fashion. My hedge-craft as well, because I bring the inner/outer dimensions of dreams, spirit work, and practical knowledge into balance with each other and with everyday life and community. Even poetry… a blending of mythos and logos… off-label language use… spinning magic and smithing art with soul-fire and the tools of culture.

My place of synthesis is in balance and wholeness. From all I gather in, I take inspiration and create. Observe, learn, create. Gather perspective, study, and generate. Live, laugh, love. Learn so much from everything I can, that the big picture becomes clear, and I can see the imbalances, and reach out to help correct them, and even realize how little reaching it takes. Love gives leverage, and lends quite a bit of power to healing. The big picture also reveals the beautiful balance of light and darkness… every knit stitch is also a purl, from the other direction… and the tapestry is awesome. And we get to participate… as weaver and weave. And in loving it, it becomes indescribably beautiful, just as it is. Each change made is another beauty… each thread, each dye, each dive and soar of the shuttle… order, chaos, change… sacred dance.

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Wisdom

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The Pagan Experience’s Monday Musing: Knowledge, Wisdom and Gnosis – What do these words mean to you? How do you express these principles in your spiritual work? Is any one of them more important than the others? Why?

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Knowledge as the theoretical or practical understanding of a concept in both the individual and aggregate human body of knowledge can be an intoxicating thing to pursue. Geeks pursue thorough knowledge on a topic or topics, and become experts, whether recognized with formal education degrees, acknowledgement of time spent and quality of knowledge, or unrecognized. The more topics they study and gather knowledge about, the more expertise grows and they can make connections about principles that apply widely, and this gives more of the big picture and more surety that they know where they are and how to navigate reality. It can be exciting to make these connections! Continue reading

Aside
Aside

Fog-Brained

I’ve been sick for the past week. I missed a choir retreat, practice, and performance (grrah) but I’m finally on the downhill side.

I was sitting here thinking about asking people if they have found that getting older means they feel too tired… too damn tired… for life and work and passion, but then I remembered that I’m sick. Duh. And I’m not that old. I turn 38 this month.

After eating some lunch, I found that I have enough energy to write up this wee aside, but the Monday Musing on Knowledge, Wisdom, and Gnosis might have to wait until actual Monday. I’m a little short on access to my knowledge and wisdom today, in this fog-brained state. So I’ll see you tomorrow.

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Community

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The Pagan Experience’s Monday Musing: Any writing for the letters C or D: As with the format of the Pagan Blog Project that The Pagan Experience has replaced… this week, write about any topic that starts with the letter C or D.

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I was going to write up Druidry, but I started to and realized that I couldn’t think very well due to having the flu this week, and since it’s dear to my heart, I’d like to give it the attention it deserves. So I will most likely be writing about that later. For today, I think I’ll take it easy and riff on C for Community (and circle/choir/church/coven/coterie, hehe).

For the past year I’ve been attending the Pagan-friendly and non-creedal Unitarian Universalist church in order to connect with community. It’s like church and also not. I am practically allergic to the word church, but to me this is really more of a social club for intelligent and compassionate people. The “sermons” (at least where I attend) are more in the realm of philosophy and social justice, and the music is always fantastic and uses inclusive language. I love the sorts of people it draws (professors, librarians, activists, liberal Christians, Pagans, Buddhists, humanists…people who love knowledge and love the world), and I love the organization’s ethos, so I chose to seek community there. There used to be a chapter of CUUPS (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans) in the area, but currently there is none. I know some of the other UU Pagans, some of whom ran the local Spiral Scouts circle that my kids went to.

I grew up in a strongly communal setting, where my neighborhood was kind of like an extended family, and I was aware that my entire state (Utah) was full of such neighborhoods (wards) that were all affiliated with our church and shared the same religion/culture. And my family itself was huge… clans of six kids (or more) who all had six kids… I have somewhere around 70 first cousins and 36 nieces and nephews. I am used to existing in large groups (even though I’m an introvert.) The way they practiced community often didn’t include healthy boundaries (and the patriarchal authoritarianism…) but it doesn’t have to be like that. Continue reading

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Hearth Goddesses

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The Pagan Experience’s Monday Musing: Deity and the Divine- This will be the third week’s topic every month and an opportunity for you to share with everyone those who guide, inspire and inform you.

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In last month’s Deity and the Divine post, I mentioned being more of a naturalist Pagan and pantheist and animist who views the universe as deity. I view God, herself, as an anthropomorphized conceptualization of that which is bigger than us, and if we are gendering it, I like to give the balancing feminine in my naming of it, since the masculine has taken over for so long in our civilization. Ideally, if there wasn’t an imbalance to fix, I’d prefer balance in these biophilic traits ascribed to the divine, but I think of the divine as beyond gender, ultimately. Beyond human. Beyond living things, even, though including them. Everything that is, is God. Not just the sum of her parts, though… everything that is includes our experience, thought forms, and qualia. That’s why my concept of God includes the archetypes and cultural deities, too.

Western civilization is a little obsessed with categorization, separation, and crisp definition.  Reality is a bit more blurry at the edges than that. The five human senses can only get you so far in a world and universe that wasn’t made specifically for humans, but evolved with many different kinds of beings and senses and didn’t evolve “for” anyone or anything. It just became, and is becoming what it is. We can follow along and observe with whatever senses we can evolve, and participate as the human part of the universe, of the whole. I am part of the human expression of God/dess. As are you. Thou art God. Continue reading

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Earth Our Mother

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The Pagan Experience’s Monday Musing: Earth– The word “earth” has multiple meanings. What does it mean to you? How do you use its definitions to support your work?

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[Link to my chosen background music for this post. Opens in a new tab. Won’t auto-play.]

As with Terra and Gaia, Earth/Hertha/Nerthus is a personified goddess. I think civilization has always acknowledged her as Mother. We keep calling her by goddess names, even in monotheist eras.

I find it a little odd that we also call soil “earth”. Mother as the sum of her parts – the physical matter of her body, but reduced to the rocky sediment. But really, ocean is as much “earth” as soil is. Air, lava, and living organic matter are, too. You and I are “earth”.  So this wording from our language draws my eye to the separateness and stage-set attitude of Western Civilization being “on the earth” rather than “in the earth”. On a ground or stage, rather than deep within the biosphere… itself deep within the universe. Above, on top of, dominating, walking on… Planet as mostly inanimate prop to play out the lofty human drama, instead of the reality that Pagans know of planet as living home and community to which we belong and mother from which we emerged… inseparable from ourselves.

I see soil as deep and fecund, and the ground as a lot more than a simple surface. Continue reading

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Be A Good Ancestor

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The Pagan Experience’s Monday Musing: Humanity– How do you define “humanity”? What is your contribution to the collective space of humanity? How does your spiritual path support this definition and contributions?

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I define “humanity” as broadly as possible… all of the humans (maybe even the proto-humans and someday the post-humans?) who have ever lived and are living and will live. Ancestors, cohort, and descendants, mine and yours, and our shared ones.

My contribution to the collective space of humanity is also broad. I do everything I can to improve the world for humanity. I fight for sustainability, I work to understand and to heal the parts of culture that are harming people, I pay attention to my values and how they actually play out in the world, I contribute to the collective consciousness and try to clarify information and keep a steady signal of compassion and best practices going. I try to teach what I’ve learned and keep learning more. My studies and my writing are mostly dedicated to my commitment to my beloved world, my beloved fellow humans. I want to live a life that is a gift to everyone. I want to help make a world where everyone can live in peace and health and feel loved and have a chance to contribute whatever they were born to express. I love you all, as a whole and individually, even if I’ll never meet or see you. Even if you have done terrible things. You are my family. I owe you my best. I want my best for you, as I want your best for me and everyone. Continue reading