The Christian Easter

So many things about celebrating Easter as a Christian confused me when I was a child.
 
Like, why is the holiday (as in the day off work/school, celebration style) on the day he was crucified? Why was is called Good Friday? Not Sad Friday or Bad Friday? Seems more appropriate to have the ‘holiday’ on the day he rose and call it Good Sunday.
 
But that raises an entirely different question. Because the death is honoured on the Friday but the resurrection is celebrated on Sunday. My math be off with all this new common core math stuff but I’m pretty sure that’s two days, not three.
One could argue ‘he rose on the third day’ and Sunday was the third day if Friday was the first.
But I always understood Christ’s death to be long and agonizing. It wasn’t something that happened early in the day. And we always celebrated his resurrection as a sunrise kind of occasion. Late Friday to sunrise Sunday is NOT three days. That always baffled me.
 
When I was in church? I never understood how chocolate, eggs and rabbits played into any of it. Ironically, knowing what I know now, the eggs and rabbits part would have been more interesting to me but Christians don’t really know why those are there.
 
Lastly? It’s never on the same date. They ascribed his birth a regular day (Dec 25). How can you be honouring someone’s ‘death’ if it’s not a particular day? As a kid in church I felt like people just picked a weekend to talk about Jesus death. That his birth was important enough it happened on the same day every year and we all got presents.
But his death? That part you told me was the most important part because he gave his life for my sins so I could escape eternal damnation? That most important and relevant day in your religious history? It doesn’t warrant a stagnant date? Accurate time frame? And why would you bring anything pagan (like eggs and rabbits) into your “Christian” holiday?
 
I wish everyone a wonderful spring!
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Blessed Eostre

So it’s Good Friday. The day we all get a day off work to celebrate killing Jesus. I always wondered why we got his death as a holiday but not the resurrection. One of my many confusions about Christianity. However that is another subject for another time.
March 21/22 is the marking of Spring. Everything is turning green and it is time to plant. The days are getting warmer as the sun is longer in the sky. What an incredible thing to celebrate.
And celebrate we did!
It was incredibly special to have a Spring feast with my landlord. We both are inclined to celebrate seasons, not ‘holidays’, so today I went up to her place and we made and old-fashioned, traditional Spring Feast. 
Wild meat taken by her son who harvested it respectfully and gifted it to his mother. I can’t wait to meet him. We made a delicious Elk stew. And we made it on fire. Yes, we used the wood stove to cook today. Tradition ❤
Her property manager’s daughter was there for a time. I had such a terrific time teaching that bright young lady what we were doing. She helped me manage the fire, learned how to make bannock and was very pleased with the book I gave her as a gift (yes, some ‘tweens’ still appreciate books). We talked about school and how she prefers to ride horses than study. Old fashioned.
Everyone who passed through the home today was welcome at the table. Shared harvests make for bounty. We shared food, shared wine and shared amazing conversation. We have such amazing conversations.
On so many levels my landlord is a woman I admire.
 
Some people can look to mothers and other older women for guidance. I never really had a woman in that capacity that wasn’t preaching to me. Until her.
 
My landlord welcomes me to her home to teach me the old ways from the land around us. She wants to celebrate the seasons with everyone around her.
She has all the tools, space and knowledge to teach me growing, harvesting and canning. And at 82 she still wants to learn new things. We’re going to learn how to make Honey Mead together this summer. Our drink when fall harvest comes and we celebrate the Autumn Equinox together will be our mead.
Spring, Eostre, is the time for beginning. Fresh starts. Planting. Looking forward.
I hope everyone has had as blessed a season as I have!

The Red Tent

*I’m pagan but grew up submersed in Christianity so the Bible is something I am still curious about but I’m not promoting a belief in it

**Please don’t judge my Netflix choices

The other day I chose to watch a series called The Red Tent. I chose it because the description said it was based on a book loosely based on the story of Dinah from the Old Testament of the Bible.

As a rape victim who was raped each time by known perpetrators I was curious about the story of the rape of Dinah.

Dinah. Genesis 34. Sister to the twelve tribes of Jacob. Whose brothers defended her honour when they believed she was raped.

The Netflix version presented another option to my thought process. Same story from another angle. What if she actually loved the prince and was only going against her fathers faith/tradition? Her brothers thought she was defiled but….

I went back and checked my Bible. I checked KJV and JHV (Jail House Version). I had some kind of Bible study looking the story up and comparing it to the movie/TV story.

Even in the Bible her ‘rapist prince’ comes to the father and tries to amend things. He allows Jacob’s sons to circumcise not only him but all his men to prove his love for her.

While they are in recovery? Jacob’s sons go in and murder her husband and all his men in their sleep and kidnap their sister back. They claim retribution but Jacob says they’ve brought shame.

Why would he feel shame in their actions if there wasn’t more to the story?

I’m not sure why I am even writing about this. I believe the Bible to be literature. Some of it is fairy tales. Some of it poetry. Some of it contains general wisdom.

I guess watching this makes me think about women.

The premise of The Red Tent is about what women learn from each other. It’s about the teachings and sacred things that happened in the outskirts where women were told to call ‘unclean’.

*I find that funny because I call ‘unclean’ and joke about ‘going to a tent’ when I bleed….   is that biblically taught behaviour?

In that sacred place they practice a religion outside of ‘Jacob’s’ faith.  I identified with the idea of a woman who came from a religion forced on her and broke free.

I watched it to the end. Biblically based (loosely) but it gave me a different perspective. Maybe a woman’s perspective? I’m not sure. But if you have any Christian inclination? I recommend this!

 

 

 

Full Moon Plans

Full moon is the best time for cleansing. Purge what is plaguing you and focus on making changes to heal.

Tonight I am so excited to have a full moon ceremony. I’ll be going to the river to skinny dip and then dance naked in the moonlight by a riverside fire. Cleansing. It’s time to let go of some things I have been holding on to.

Feelings of animosity. Feelings of shame. Feeling like I am not worth being healthy for. Feeling alone. Feeling incapable.

Tonight I plan to wash all that away by splashing in the river and letting it’s water flow over me. I plan to light the path to healing from those feelings with a cleansing fire at the river’s edge. And I plan to celebrate my change with dancing in the moonlight.

I have sage to burn, candles to light along with the fire and incense to make it all very peaceful. I have some traditional Celtic music to dance to.

And I’m so grateful for my friend who brought me to such a special, secluded place. It’s close enough to walk to and private enough to be myself.

Tonight is going to be magical. I feel it.

Solstice

Merry Midsummer and Blessed Be.

Blessed Be is kind of a Wiccan thing but I really haven’t adapted all my pagan things into anything formal. So? Blessed Be.

This is the first Summer Solstice, Litha, St Johns Day, Midsummer or just ‘Hey it’s Summer’ (whatever it is to you) that I actually took time in my day to do things to celebrate it.

First? I destroyed my Spinach. LOL

I mean, I took care of my garden. My spinach was going to bolt because I wasn’t harvesting it fast enough. So took the rest out and planted lettuce.

Next? I wanted to go to the river with my neighbours girls but they were both sick so I walked alone and instead gathered well water. Another story altogether. But I did gather earth water to put out under the moon and use for some cleansing things.

Lastly? I jumped a fire. I was nervous because I didn’t want anyone to smell fire in my yard and come calling. But I visited my neighbours before, told them my fire was private and then had someone act as my security.

I needed the fire for ‘purification’ type stuff, things I will meditate on soon.  Leaping a fire on Midsummer is, again, more Wiccan than Pagan but I still wanted to do it.

The entire process was cleansing for me today.

The fire fodder? Things I needed to burn. Including old letters, lists of things I want to cleanse/purge from my soul and, well, my spinach (the spinach wasn’t intentional, just ended up in there).

I built it myself and I didn’t have a lot of kindling but I managed to get it going quite nice so I could leap it. I stood with my hands open and sent all the intentions in that fire out into the universe. And I jumped.

Right over it.

If anyone knows how clumsy I am? This was a major accomplishment 🙂

Now I am sitting here after a bit more meditation and reflecting on the day. I am looking forward to whatever the next year brings. The past year was not easy in a lot of ways. I hope the next is better but I think I am better prepared if it’s not.

Gaining Power From Losing It

I jotted a lot of notes about this, except the actual date it happened. It was the day before my ex left, I think. I just remember it was while he was still here and very recent.

I had plans to clean that day. And a few minutes after my ex left for work? The power went out. Not just my breaker, for the park.

No internet. No lights. No cooking. No coffee. No hot water or power so? No cleaning. I went to the office to see if it was a glitch. But turns out they knew the day before that we would be without power for the entire day because of a BC Hydro thing.  Guess I forgot to mention no notice either. I was so angry. SO angry.

Until?

I figured the universe needed me to learn something. I took some deep breathes, lit a candle and decided it would be a GREAT time to read a card for myself. I pulled a card that told me I need to be more grounded. It actually says in the ‘book’ that comes with the cards that ‘you’ve been spacey and  need to focus’.

I went outside and planted my bare feet on the ground. I focused my energy on trying to figure out my day. Literal grounding practice.

When it got a bit chilly? I came in and decided to work on a piece of artwork I have had in my head for a while. I coloured. Then I remembered I still had music.

(One thing I came to appreciate about my ex was his love for chargeable/portable electronics. I had the iPod ‘n’ Bose fully charged and wireless.)

So there I was drawing, and then dancing, when I got a knock at my door.

My drumming friend. Yep, what an ironic day for him to come and bring some spiritual peace to my life. We talked and shared for a while. I read his cards, too. Made plans to see each other again.

It was sunny (noted in my notebook LOL) so I went outside and gardened. I had an afternoon fire and I prepared for the coming full moon by meditating on my intentions at that moment.

I had to read notes to remember the details of the day. What I can’t get out of my memory? Is how much personal power I felt at the end of that day.

Losing ‘power’ gave me so much personal power because I made choices to do positive, healthy things. I created, meditated, danced, gardened, made full moon intentions.

Looking back? I know I needed it for what was coming. And I am grateful.

So? How do I bring myself to do that without losing power? I loved it so much and yet I don’t choose it unless forced?

I’m gonna work on that!

Cleansing

I have a stretch of time alone in my space today. I thought of all the things I could do, some things that need to be done because they have been neglected. It felt very overwhelming at first and I had no idea where to begin. My thoughts were running around so much I couldn’t concentrate and it made me feel like I would spend the whole day in anxiety, failing at accomplishing anything with my precious alone time.

When my mind is clouded by rampaging thoughts and I feel like they are engulfing my spirit the starting point is cleansing. So I set about clearing the negative energy and purifying my space.

I started with quiet reflection and setting the intention to cleanse the energy in my space and clear my mind. I meditated to some Celtic music and afterward I smudged my space with Sage as I danced, unclothed, around the entire trailer ensuring that I smudged every part. I focused on cleansing the negative energy and wishing a quiet, peaceful mind and heart for all who come into my home.

Afterward,  I lit a blue candle for peaceful energy and lavender incense for relaxation.

What a release. And a perfect beginning.

Tidying up after my cleansing dance led to naturally taking up some of the tasks I had been avoiding so long. I dusted my living room and vacuumed very thoroughly. I washed down some of the furniture.

I moved on to the outdoors. I watered my garden and harvested some spinach for a sauce I am going to make.

Back indoors? I cleaned up my kitchen, did dishes and began preparing a feast of a dinner for tonight.

My mind isn’t perfectly clear of ruminating thoughts, par for the course with anxiety, but after today’s cleansing ritual I feel more focused than I was. I don’t feel overwhelmed anymore. And I feel like I got some things accomplished today.

 

I Need Air

In my spiritual journey I have explored so many assets of myself.

EARTH. I plant. I learn about the foliage around me for what is wild edibles and medibles.

FIRE. I have used fire in my cleansing and I have fires regularly while I meditate on how fire cleanses.

WATER: I’ve had spiritual experiences at the ocean. With fire. And not. More recently? I fell into the ocean on Beltane and  bricked my phone because it was in my pocket. LOL

But AIR? I haven’t done air yet.

Today, I was exposed to some sky-diving videos.

My very best friend in the entire universe from many years back gave up alcohol to pursue better things. He wanted family, better jobs and… air. He wanted to skydive.

So…  if my long time bestie can give up alcohol to pursue other things? I can give up my wine. At least long enough to pursue AIR.

If I was Wiccan and wanted to call the four corners? Air is a key.

I am pagan. I don’t ‘call’ anything. However I feel I want/need to bring all the components of the universe to me.

I have felt the earth. My gardens grow in the most inexplicable places. I have felt the fire. I spent months cooking over one to feed the family around me. I have used it to cleanse my soul. I have felt the water. I wash my feet in the ocean while I contemplate how I can keep creating life.

Air? I have not felt.

It’s the last of the quadrant. I think I have a way to get it. It’s a terrifying, kind of expensive on my budget, idea. Thus, the giving up of wine to pursue it.

I’m going to give up wine for a month and put that money toward sky-diving. There is a place that is local who does the skydiving thing. I watched a video of someone diving from that local place.

I won’t lie. The thought mortifies me. Giving up wine? LOL I’m more scared of that than the idea of jumping out a plane and that makes me want to crawl in a hole.

But I need AIR. And watching those falls? After the terrifying push out of the plane where I shit my pants on the instructor riding tandem? I think I could love a free fall through AIR. Pull that rip cord and let me float and meditate about it. I may even prepare something to say through my mind as I float.

AIR.

It’s worth a break on wine. We’ll see how long that actually takes.

 

 

 

God, The Bully

I do not put my faith in the Christian God, whether I believe he exists or not. But I was raised Christian and I sometimes have ‘mental after shock’. I also maintain a lot of Christian friendships so I still hear a lot of the rhetoric.
 I was reading a post on Facebook where someone wrote how Jesus can be seen in every book of the Bible.
“In Job – He restores you and shows Himself strong on your behalf.”
Wow did that flood me with thoughts.
I grew up believing in Job. He was God’s servant that never gave up no matter what was thrown at him. And he got some things back in the end. He was tempted and passed the tests.
Now that I am older I see it different. I did a small google search could not find any other reference to a god tempting someone. Only in the Bible does a God allow us to be tempted and provides so many rules you can’t possible pass the temptation.
Christians believe God has power over all. Job worshiped him and did everything to serve him. He was a loyal and faithful friend who loved God. God allowed him to be tempted in immeasurable ways and when Job passed the test what was taken was restored.
I’m going to describe how I really see this, but in modern terms. I was born in the 20th century so I see this from that perspective.
Job, this really great guy who totally loves God, has a home, family and a way to make money. He’s done well so he also supports a bunch of other servants and their families.
One day Lucifer shows up and hedges a bet with God. “See that pal of yours? I bet I can get him not to like you anymore.” God says, “Sure, go ahead. There isn’t anything you can do that will make that guy hate me. Kill his family, destroy his livelihood, make him sick…. he’s all yours.”
Lucifer does just that. And not in some ‘disaster’ that wipes it all out at once. He does it slow and painful. He comes back to God after each time to see if ‘that’s enough’. God tells him each time to go ahead and do more. It’s like a torture master but instead of breaking him for information he’s testing Job’s loyalty.
After all is said and done. God gets him to the hospital, hooks him up with a new GF and finds him a new job.
Is that “RESTORATION”?
Or isn’t God the ultimate bully with a horrible ego? He allowed, encouraged even, his mortal enemy to mess with his best friend. He allowed everything to be taken in a torturous fashion and what? Job should be grateful that it was restored?
If your best friend allowed their worst enemy to kill your family, destroy your business and inject you with a disease simply to prove you’d stand by them no matter what? Would they still be your best friend? Would you worship them?
And about that restoration? Would you be happy with a new partner and kids or would you miss the ones taken for the sake of nothing you did wrong?
If I believed the Bible as more than stories (which I no longer do)? Job makes me think God is a bully and that no amount of restoration is enough when everything you have is taken for his ego.

This New Moon

Time and time again I find myself thinking about my spirituality. How I am not paying attention to the things that help me grow. I miss my inner connection. So, I’ve been reading a lot about rituals, new moon vs full moon, and how I can bring some change to my life.

New moon is for intention. It’s the birthing cycle of the moon phases. Set goals. Whereas, the full moon is for purging. It’s the time to let go and make change.

Today is new moon. I am using today to regain some spiritual connection and set some intentions for when the full moon the comes.

I am thinking about new moon like planting seeds of intention.

  1. Decide what I want to grow. I want to develop my spirituality. I have been neglecting that side and I have been missing it. Also, I want to embrace a life of more moderation. I know I have often lacked self control and I want to gain that. Those are what I choose to grow.
  2. Plant the seed. In other words, make a plan. I have some thoughts about plans and I will contemplate them more before I take the next steps.
  3. Water. I will water my plans and intentions by meditating on the change I want to bring to my life. Because I believe in the power of candles, I will light one of an appropriate colour and use it to keep my focus my goals for the days it burns keeping my inner focus on my intentions. It allows the watering to begin growth.
  4. Grow. Allow my focus to take action. Begin to bring the plans to life by allowing the intention to take hold and root my life. Full moon will be the time to set all my changes in motion and it is the time for changes.

I am excited today to cleanse a sacred space, send my intentions out to the universe and put changes into motion in my life.