For The Environment; For Our Future

Hey everyone –

A friend has asked me to post this and ask for views and ratings(good, of course) and comments for the video at Daemen College for a contest that its’ Environmental Club is entered in.  Here is the video:

Please click here to rate it and comment!

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The Final Stretch

Hey guys –

When I started this blog, I didn’t quite realize how inundated with work I would be.  I have a huge backlog of both school and personal work to do – but never fear.  After December 15th, I will be returning in full force to my this entire project, and maybe even have a new project to announce!

Good luck for any loyal college or high school readers on finals/end of the year tests and projects.  I know how teachers like to dump them on you.   Good luck everyone else on shopping and preparing for the holiday season, if you celebrate it in any fashion.  Blessed be!

The Meaning of Love

Personal experiences will not be mentioned in this post, as I am not comfortable relating *that* personal side of my life to the world wide web.  However, reading this post, you can assume that I have either experienced the things I speak of, or have observed people in those situations.  Both are most likely accurate.

What is love?  The love I speak of is not the love of a woman or a man for their child, or that child to their mother, or a friend to a friend.  That’s right: I’m talking about that icky, gooey, gushing romantic love that Shakespeare used to capture the hearts of millions throughout time.  Even the cavemen, I’m sure, experienced moments of love and affection where they weren’t dragging their women by the hair to the cave to *ahem*.  (Women: we all know it was the other way around!)

But do we love each other enough, that upon the supposed death of our partner, we ourselves commit suicide(referencing Romeo and Juliet)?  Or is it more like Much Ado About Nothing, where our friends secretly set us up, lead us to believe our to-be partner loves us, and this itself leads to our own love’s discovery?

In my not so many years on this earth, though significantly more than when I first started observing relationships, love, and such, I have come up with a theory which I will share with anyone upon asking.  Are you ready?

Love Is A Choice

There.  I said it.  Hate me?  You, who are surfing the internet, desperate to find some method by which to justify your still present attachment to your ex-lover?  They were the only one for you?

Love is a choice.  Love is an agreement.  If love were a contract, it would be the following.

(Promise below)

I promise to hold your feelings above others with (exception to family, no exceptions, etc).  I promise to devote some attention to you.  I promise to make you feel like you’re the most (beautiful/handsome/sexy) person alive.  I promise to trust you.  I promise to be trustworthy.  I promise to be that person that thinks of you each night before I go to bed, and wakes up in the morning with the same thoughts, and I promise to let you do the same.   I promise to share time with you in ways that I won’t do with anyone else (cuddle, sex, walks…)

Just like the 13 Principles view on religion, (We’re great with all religions that accept other religions) I feel the same about relationships.  You don’t HAVE to be the one for me – no matter how perfect you are.  In the end, love is a choice, and if you start choosing not to love me, I can choose the same.

That doesn’t mean I won’t feel the loss of our intimacy.  Not at all.  I may cry.  I may mope.  But I do so with the understanding that I can get back up and resume my life: you were NOT my only chance.  There’s never just one chance.

Not sure what spawned this particular post, but I hope that, if you’re in that situation or you haven’t really thought about it, I’ve peaked your interest.

And most importantly: don’t stalk your ex’s.  Its bad. (LOL)

Have a great day!

Jesus, I pray…

My high priest and I sometimes, although not often, converse about the prayer within, around and regarding Jesus Christ, their Lord and Saviour.  I hesitate to write this post, but I know I must, as I am entitled to my opinion, and generally I consider my own opinion of the open minded one.  If angered, upset, or otherwise taken aside by my post, feel free to comment or drop me an email.  If you enjoy it, comment as well!  The following will simply be a collection of comments regarding a few select interreligious experiences I have had with Christians extremely set in the, “My way is the only way” type of mindset.

It Begins…

“Lord Jesus, I pray you take these sinners into your hands and bless them, make them see your way, O Lord, that they may be saved and not perish in the fiery pits of hell…in the Lord’s name, Amen.”

I don’t have the magic priest-talk down – quite yet – but I think I did a pretty damn good impression of the few encounters I’ve had with Christians who have asked if they could pray for me.

I suppose I shouldn’t have started exploring so young.  The first time I purposely encountered a fundamentalist preacher was when I was fifteen or sixteen, curious about their path, which claimed to be open minded.  Mind you, I am referring to a church which is not part of any larger commune of churches – it is  a small town church, in its own little world.  I explained to the man that I doing research on churches and was wondering if I could ask some questions.

I told myself I wasn’t looking for a fight – not really – but I had been under the tutelage of my high priest for about a year and was just itching for a chance to stand up for what I believed in.  Eventually, the questions came my way as I was sitting in the man’s house.

“Are you a Christian?  Why not come a few more Sundays?  There’s a great teen program…”

And eventually, as I stood to leave, he asked if he could pray for me.  I assented of course, and the prayer above is about what I got.

Now.  If I ask to pray for someone, my prayer’s going to be something along the lines of,

“Please (insert gods names here), bless (insert persons name here) and give them the strength, courage, and faith to continue along their path.”

Not…

“Please (insert gods names here), help (insert persons name here) to see the error of their ways and convert to Wicca so that they don’t…”

Oh, wait.  We don’t have a “The gods are going to spank you if you’re naughty!” line.

Damn.

It Continues…

Onto the Mormons.  God, I love Mormons.  They are the most respectful, shy, and tolerant people you will ever meet.  The missionaries are people just like myself in terms of age, who are required to walk around, knocking on doors, spreading their faith.  My guess is, they’re so excited you’ll talk to them, they don’t even mind if you don’t plan on converting!

I started talking to them when I was sixteen as well.  They showed up at my door one day, and I was busy, but I offered to meet again with them later, where I worked – the local library.

I went through a few sets of Mormons this way – they kept my phone number, calling occasionally.  But, there was one set of Mormons I especially remember – I feel bad that I can’t remember their names.  If you don’t know the basic Mormon missionary set up, they usually travel in pairs in towns, stay for a month or two, and then move elsewhere.

I met this pair in the library after work.  They immediately wanted to talk to me about their faith, and how I should convert.  After a brief biblical conversation, in which I proved myself relatively worthy of speaking to, I said something that most likely blew their minds:

“I’ll come to your church.  But, only if you come to mine.”

And so… a few minutes later, on a hot summer day, I had convinced two Mormon missionaries to trek out to the woods across two corn fields with me, all dressed up in their white shirts, dress shoes and black pants.

And when we had gone down the deer trail, onto the main trek, down a hill covered in dead leaves to the valley I practiced in, adjacent to a small, bubbling creek, surrounded completely by nature, I invited them to sit with me on the stumps that served as chairs.

“This is god.”  I said.  “This is where I worship – with the sky as my temple, and the ground as my floor, and God all around me.”

The need for argument, for convincing me to confess my sins and turn to the right path was gone, and left only wonder, and tolerance in place.  The only thing further spoken of my faith by those missionaries that day was,

“As long as you believe in something – I think we all find God in different ways.”

Take that for tolerance, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The Final Note

Well, you’ve heard two anecdotes relating Christians and myself.  Now, I have one last thing – something my high priest and I joke of occasionally…

I beg you, Jesus – let the rapture begin!  Take your Saved away and give us back our earth…

Til next time!

Communication

Just a friendly reminder since we’re still in the ‘just after Samhain’ period.  Samhain is all about communication.  (Future) Yule is about immortality and the cycles of life.  In my tradition.

So, in terms of practicality, I find certain things popping up –

  • I walked outside this morning, and for the first two minutes of walking, I heard and saw no wildlife.  How odd.  The first animal I saw was a crow, perched on top of a tall tree on campus.  Alone.
  • Yesterday, when my roommate and I were walking a few miles, we saw probably over a hundred crows, cawing and flocking together.

If you’re looking for ways to be practical about your beliefs, and apply them daily instead of eight times a year at the sabbats and thirteen times a year at the esbats, watching the world around you is a great way to do it.

The silence this morning, I think, represented my state of mind – weary, and tired.  The first wildlife I was able to pick out seemed to be taunting…as if poking at an injured bear.  Crows are known for their intelligence and cunning, and also for their relationship to Hecate, who at best has a weird sense of humor.  “Stand up.”  I find myself saying, “Stand up and be strong.  You are a priestess.”  And so I begin my day.

The crows yesterday was also a weird parody on what should have been geese.  But the geese are gone, and the crows (I believe) stay over winter.  It was like they were having a convention.  They were very noisy too – it reminded me of being on campus after a game ends or something.  I got the same dark-humor vibe I got today – and I mostly just smile – its a sign that Hecate, and the other gods – they care.

Communication shouldn’t just span between you and your gods, or you and nature.  How are your relationships with your pets?  How about with your parents?  Your significant other?  Your children?

I have a great relationship with my parents and my living-mates.  I love where I am in life right now, and who I spend my time with.  I am also not that influenced by them – I do not drink, I do not smoke, but I can accept their decisions and still have fun.  That tolerance is also a lesson to be learned from Samhain.

Turning ahead towards Yule, I find myself looking at the cycles of life with awe, and wonder, and a little bit of fear.  I am old – it seems, although I am only 19.  I am expected in the next few years to leave college and enter the workforce!  Start a family, perhaps.  What lies ahead of me?  And what lies behind me?  What are those universal truths that have been present throughout my life, regardless of age or mood or ideology?  Those truths will be there for a long time to come – and the immortality of the gods and the cycles of life remain, ever changing.

Have a great day!

(To Sum Up)

Samhain Exercises – Communication, Omens

  • Recognize the wildlife you see throughout the day – what are they doing?  What are they trying to tell you?
  • Try to have a real conversation with someone close to you
  • Try to have a real conversation with someone not so close to you.

Yule Exercises – Immortality, Family

  • What are the universal themes in your life?  Are they present throughout?
  • What is the significance of your physical family?  Your spiritual family?  (If they are different)
  • What does meditation on the significance of an evergreen reveal to you?
  • How is the darkest day and longest night relevant to your life?  What aspects of your life should you be paying attention to right now?

Evolution; Intelligent Design

You know, as a pagan in a predominantly Christian world, I can honestly say that often, I find myself comparing and contrasting spiritualities, religions, and beliefs, with my own.  I always tend to wonder – how are we different?  And most importantly – if I believe that (some of them) they are so closed minded, what have I accepted as truth that is closing my mind to other revelations?

My place of higher education is having a speaker today on intelligent design.  Now, I don’t know much about it, but I do know that, for whatever reason, evolution has been handed down as a theory, and not as a fact of life.  We learned briefly about intelligent design in high school.  Personally, I think its a mix of the two.  After all, our creation story tells us that

The goddess existed, and she cut herself in two, and she made love with herself, and created the world.

(To sum it up…I know there’s lots of details in there, but I’m rather short on time)

It’s a beautiful story, a little more romantic than either of the others.  But, I’m not really sure what I think – and I don’t see how or why the beginning of the world *really* comes into play in my every day life.  Now, I know there are plenty of reasons, and I can contradict myself…but to me, its an arcane argument that can’t really be won, and I would end up choosing arbitrarily unless I a) spend lots of time in meditation or b) find an in-between animal the evolutionists claim to have existed.

Keep in mind that I am a biology major.  You know what that means?  Yup.  That means that everything I learn in my biology classes is related to evolution!  So, as a means of ease, I accept evolution for what it is – a theory that is widely used in the science world, a theory which many other theories are based on, and a theory which I must base at least some of mine on.

I would be all for the theory of intelligent design, which I am merely guessing can be summed up as, “There was an intelligent creator who made the universe.”  Its great right there!  Stop, ye Christians!

Because I know, that even though I cannot attend the lecture tonight (I have a test), the speaker will end up along one of these tracks…

  • And then Jesus died, and so we all must be Christian
  • Surely it was a great God who created this world
  • My entire theory is about disproving evolutionism

So, although I take both with a grain of salt; evolution wins in this case.  And only, only, because it is the lesser of two evils.  Let’s just say I don’t like having Christian beliefs shoved down my throat (which is how the concept was introduced to me, in the first place).

Have a gorgeous day!

The Path

I don’t often delve into poetry much anymore, especially not of the rhyming type (review the previous post, Reason in Rhyme, for reasons) but I did delve a little the other night, and I thought I would share my very elongated haiku-type poetry form with everyone.  Since I am currently relatively one handed (tendonitis flare up in my wrist – can’t hold anything, can kind of type, can’t wash my own face without pain…) I thought I’d post some previous material.  Enjoy!

My heart seeks the dark
Of your womb, Great Mother of Earth
Searching for comfort

Amidst the lonely
And those who have never known
The pains of love lost

For we have been took
From the comfort of your love
Thrust into new hands

To guard and to give
Beyond our most inner selves
To that which is you

You are our lady
The one to whom we bow first
And foremost, we love.

And we are your priests
Sworn to honor and hold true
Meanings of your ways

And so we sit, lost
In a world which is too bright
For our infant eyes

Struggling to see through
The glory and mystery
Of your sacred path

Great mother, bless us
For what we do, is for you
Above all, we live

And we seek not but
The love you have promised us
On our sabbat days

Give, and then receive
Such is the cycle of life
Of which we are part

Glory, goddess, you
Are our light and our darkness
Ever sworn to be

My lord and lady,
Accept these gifts of our love
From our hearts to yours