Category Archives: uu

atheism & wicca

I cannot even keep track of my own contradictions and the myriad culs-de-sac in my brain. I am loving all over this incredible Julia Sweeney monologue, (thank you Eden, this is so smart!) and I’m trying to figure out about my involvement in the pagan circle at church. I had a big heart to heart with Blue and told him I wasn’t in, wasn’t coming to the organizational meeting Thursday. Then I had a whim and emailed him and the informal leader of the group and said I was coming. That I need to make my spiritual well-being a priority and blah blah blah. Now I’m regretting my RSVP and thinking I’ll just keep having these reservations about the group and Wicca in general and I should bail. But these are friends… I’ll go, it’s not a commitment to participate from here on out.

Fuck. I can’t even get my ass in gear to get to church ever.

I don’t know. On one hand I’m really feeling athiest at my core- believing and cherishing the metaphors of all my beloved myths and Goddesses but not believing per se in any literal way at all. But that doesn’t take away the power of ritual. It feels so primal and ancient, and even if that connection is only with primitive human beings, so what? That’s an unbelievably important connection- to feel rooted in the wonder and magic we created out of not knowing why and how the universe is and works.

And I see Molly learning about the Goddess as she grows, I want to teach her this. Meh, I’m overthinking again. I’d love so much to be able to just be tired and go to sleep like my husband and daughter. OK, she fought it some tonight. But Bu just lies down, and zip-pow: snoring stillness. A brain that feels like a weird clovkwork machine should have a weird clockwork off switch.

Waiting for Benadryl to knock me out.

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art of the sun

~::*HAPPY SUMMER SOLSTICE!*::~


I need sun magick so badly. I’m in a very black sluggish mood. Terrible to feel that today. I started a sketch last night called “Self Portrait as The Sun”, with Emsy as the Moon, but I had to divert my energy elsewhere and didn’t get beyond a few lines scratched in my book.

So to cheer myself I’m googling the sun (that’s fun to say out loud) and immersing myself in warm solar vibes. Since I didn’t finish my own Midsummer’s Eve art, I’m sharing my favorite image search results for “sun illustration.” The first is from a Debra Frazier book, On the Day You Were Born. Now I want the book- it looks incredibly lovely.

The next few are an Arabesque Sun from Sakkal Design, with very nice patterning; then a cool educational diagram with a pretty airbrushy aura that struck my fancy; and an old alchemical illustration from levity.com. Alchemy is the most fascinating metaphor for just about everything there is. I would like to wallpaper my bedroom in old alchemy text imagery.

The Solstice Fair was nice- we didn’t stay very long because Bu hadn’t eaten dinner and we didn’t have cash on us for hotdogs at the fair, and it was past Emsy’s bedtime- inasmuchas she has a bedtime, which is to say she doesn’t really but has been going to sleep rather early for a few days and I wanted to encourage the trend. But I got to catch uyp briefly with a few friends and actually ran into an old friend from junior high school who was getting ready to perform belly dance and looked gorgeous… I wish we could have stayed to see her dance.

Tonight we’re going to the Art Walk after our meeting, and leaving the baby with the grandies so it’ll be like a mini date night. Art and walking around downtown are a good solstice celebration I think. I miss being really a part of the art community, or at least being on the fringes of it as a student and emerging artist. I swing back and forth between feeling like an utter fuck-up slacker who’s letting mundane bullshit get in the way of creating beauty and feeling like a strong self-assured new mom who’s proud to say that I spend as much time as possible with my baby and building up our business. I think the reality of it is somewhere in the middle. I can learn to manage my time better so I can do more, but at the same time, I know I’m really doing awesome with Emsy and that’s by far the most important thing to me.

I’ve always struggled with my priorities as an artist and my instructors were so frustrated that I never made it the centerpoint of my life. I do wish I’d done that as a student- if I had better work habits before I night have a better feel for making room for it now. But I to realize the futility of being angry at my past self, and my priorities now are exactly as they should be. The idea of Emsy as the focus of my little world isn’t a decision; it’s like a biological imperative. When my gut tells me that I need to cut short a night out and be with the baby, that’s what I do. Everything else can fit around my mothering, because it has to be the center. It just is. It’s the sun, my art can be the moon. Bu is the spinning Earth under my feet and my gravity.

The last sun art piece is a stock illo from some random stock site that I found. I love the cuteness of it. I miss mom right now. She had a thing for celestial imagery too. I have a few random sun star moon things around the house that were hers and I love looking at them. A lot of the knick knacks or art pieces are golden and a deep blue, almost indigo. That color combination speaks of her soul to me. The blue featured prominently in my last series of ceramics work. The deep blue was her spirit and the idea of water. The clay body was a pale creamy sandy color. Maybe that was me- the blank canvas color in physical form that was my waiting to learn myself.

busy | bee


I have a slight case of rumbly belly from excitement and nervous energy. It doesn’t take much at all to give me butterflies. Nothing huge is going on, but we have a lot planned and it’s making me vaguely happy/edgy.

There’s a bunch to do this week and weekend. Tomorrow I’m spending the day with my supervisor at a fundraiser, then going to a Solstice Fair (squee!) at church. I’m excited about Solstice, as always. It’s my favorite holiday except for Halloween/Samhain. I’m a sun junkie. I want to do a tiny little blessing ritual for Ems because she’s old enough to have honey! & I want her first taste of the yummy sacred fluid to be in a magickal context. I don’t know what we’ll do, but something maybe… Honey’s such a big deal to me. I love Starhawk and her book, The Fifth Sacred Thing, and the melissae play a huge role in it. (By the way, this is my current favorite Melissa, who posted recently about how awesome her name is. My former favorie Melissa was a delicious crush from Pittsburgh.) Also, Emsy’s hair is exactly the color of honey. So pretty, my honeybear.

Thursday the art festival in our lovely l’il town kicks off with an Art Walk gallery open house downtown. Some friends of mine also have a house on the East End that’s empty where they’ll be showcasing their beautiful work too. We have a meeting with a client at 5, but she’s an artist & friend & I’m hoping we can all hang out after we show her the delicious designs I have for her website.

Saturday we have been hired/invited to photograph/attend a first birthday party at a pool club. That evening I have a bridal shower for a cousin. Saturday and Sunday there’ll be arts & crafts downtown that I really want to see, including this dude’s chalk art, which you may have seen in the gazillion mass emails that have circulated with his work.

In between all this fuss I have that pesky catalog project to finish. It’s just corrections, so I think it can be done. Fun fun fun.

Edit: the whole reason I started yammering about honeybees in the first place was to link you here, and I completely forgot. Apparently feral bees and those on organic farms aren’t inexplicably dying by the thousands. Hmm. Could pesticides possibly be harming insects? Do ya think?

a little the(o/a)logical/sociopolitical aside

Heather at Hathor the Cow Goddess is a lot more crunchy than I am, or possibly than most human beings, I don’t know:) Usually, though, she inspires me and as with all mothering influences, I take to heart her perspectives and assimilate them into the ever-evolving complexity that is my parenting approach. Just sayin’.

Today she referenced an article on Christopher West’s website Theology of the Body (a project by late Pope John Paul II, apparently) about breastfeeding and I’m so glad I read it. It’s eye-opening to read about non-pagan religious perspectives relating to the female body, because they have influenced nearly everything about our culture’s attitude toward women.

The article’s very positive and in defense of the sacred beauty that is a woman feeding her child. I love reading this- a Catholic seeing the biological as sacred is very cool. (I think I don’t give Christians enough credit for celebrating the magic of the body, maybe because my knowledge of the faith comes from feminist critical texts and ancient history more than experience with the modern church.) I feel the most powerful connections to the sacred through primal, body experiences like nursing, sex, dancing. It excited me to see breastfeeding elevated to the sublime in another religious context.

A little thing itched my brain and irked me though; this quote: “For those with the purity to see it, a nursing mother is one of the most precious, most beautiful, and most holy of all possible images of woman.”

As amazingly Goddessy as motherhood is to me, as deeply as the experience has empowered me as a woman, this standard in which motherhood is the most perfect thing woman can attain, oh it just grates the feminist mind. Women create great works, do serious good, explore new… Gods, am I writing this in 2007?… sounds like the passionate simple grrlpower essays I wrote in junior high. My point is, are we still stuck in the Madonna/Whore thing? Is my power still solely defined by my reproductive organs? (If so, I seem to have less every day.) According to this guy, apparently. Sigh.

Why does it have to be “Motherhood is sacred, therefore, the highest best thing a woman can be is a mom,” or, alternatively that putting motherhood first is a betrayal of feminist work. How complex of a thinker do you really need to be to realize that we can both celebrate the sacred experience of motherhood as well as the infinite range of other choices a woman can make?

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P.S. In typical Heidi fashion, I’m second guessing myself and trying to soften the tone of this post, and I look again and see that he’s written “one of the most precious, most beautiful, and most holy of all possible images of woman…” and I thought maybe I should lay off, delete the post. So I tried to think of other positive female Christian icons and I can’t think of many outside of the Madonna & the Magdalene (don’t get me started on how she’s misrepresented.) But, as mentioned, I’m not highly educated.

Enlighten me- what are some powerful stories and images of women in your faith? How does your religion view motherhood? What’s your take on my rant? What’s the atheist perspective: Is it silly to elevate a very simple mammal act to have spiritual significance? Is that a symptom of how egotistical our species is? Should I maybe not be thinking so much and just shut up and go pump?

charge of the goddess

A piece of art for my dear UU friend, who is also a Mary-revering pagan. The text, unfortunately illegible here, is the Charge of the Goddess. Since it’s one of my favorite prayers, I’ll indulge myself & post the text below:

Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who of old was called Artemis, Innana, Demeter, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Diana, Brigid and by many other names.

“Whenever you have a need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, you shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me who am Queen of all Witches. You shall be free, and as a sign that you be truly free you shall be naked in your rites. Sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in My presence, for Mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and the Mine also is joy on earth. For my law is love of unto all beings. Mine is the secret that opens upon the door of youth and Mine is the cup of wine of life that is the holy grail of immortality. I give thee knowledge of the spirit eternal and beyond death, I give peace and freedom and reunion with those that have gone before. Nor do I demand sacrifice, for behold, I am mother of all things, and My love is poured upon the earth.”

Hear the words of the Star Goddess, the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven, whose body encircles the universe: “I who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars and the mysteries of the waters, I call upon your soul- arise and come unto Me! For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe. From Me, all things proceed and unto Me they must return. Let my worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.”

Let there beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And you who seek to know Me, know that thy seeking and yearning will avail thee not, unless you know the Mystery; for if that which you seek, you find not within thee, you wilt never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.

Blessings!

saints & such

Shane’sa right- I do research too much. Right now I’m filled with crankiness at Saint Nicholas. I was researching to origins of a certain innocuous Christmas symbol, trying to form a good plan for explaining him to a young and curious Mollybird in years to come. I was hoping for some ways to align him with Solstice as well as Christmas, figuring he has nada to do with a Virgin Mama and a manger full of baby Holy Cuteness so it might be easy. I’ll probably have more luck with Yule symbols and such. At any rate, I got stuck on this very informative site about the saint.

Turns out, when he was the Bishop of Myra, Nicholas attacked a temple of Artemis and crushed it to bits. Since She is second only to The Ever-Compelling and Mysterious, Dark, Yummy One Persephone in my esteem, I am sad and pouty right now. Not surprised, as many saints are lauded for such, but I’m bummed.

I’m having a religious reality check lately. Last night Mamaw & Papaw proudly showed me Molly’s newest books- pop-ups about Joseph’s coat, Noah’s ark, and one called Jesus and the 12 Dudes Who Did. I’m very fine with them exposing Molly to their beliefs, but I’m realizing that if I don’t get more involved in my church and circle, she’s going to get the majority of her religious teachings from them. That’s just not going to happen. It’s an uncomfortable situation family-wise with Shane disdaining all organized religion, even when it’s as poorly organized as my pagan friends can be…haha. So I feel a little like I’m alone in her religious/spiritual upbringing and it seems like I want to indoctrinate her. It’s not that I’ll be angry or upset if she would choose to enter the LDS or any other church, I just want her to have a broad education. If I were a Christian, I wouldn’t feel like I was pushy if I insisted she go to my church, so why do I feel it’s strange to want her to attend circle and learn about Wicca? I’m afraid UU can be a little more intellectual a path than spiritual, and I know adults who left their childhood UU faith because of this. I want her so much to follow the UU Principles and to learn the beautiful lessons of service and compassion that the congregation teaches, but I specifically want her to know about Earth traditions.

Is it confusing to a kid that we can be UU and Wiccan? Do I even classify myself as Wiccan really anymore? I don’t know. I’m thinking this over too much. I’m sure I’ll inuitively learn as we go what to share with her. It’s just weird… religion hasn’t been a terribly important part of my life (though spirituality of course is ever-present) for a while. I’m sure many new parents find themselves reassessing their devotion. The cool thing is, many of the families at the UU congregation are dealing with similar quandaries. I need to take my lazy ass to church more often. We even have a RE (religious education) class called Parents as Resident Theologians. So, I’m sure they’re addressing many of my worries. Just need to get more involved.

End rant. Have a very Happy Solstice (technically this evening, but I don’t know if this means today or tomorrow is the shortest day, but I’m thinking tonight’s the longest night, so we’ll light our special virgin holly-shaped gold candles and say prayers this evening.) Tomorrow we’re baking baker’s clay ornaments of suns & stars for keepsakes. Molly won’t remember her first Yule but I will, and it’s a good start to new traditions- I wasn’t raised UU or pagan, probably obviously.