This past weekend I was honored to perform a wedding for two great friends, M.J. and Cary. I was honored when I was asked many months ago, and we talked periodically throughout the year to pass ideas back and forth. The biggest concern for all was how pagan the rite should be considering that a large percentage of people invited were going to be Christian in faith. We decided in the end to do a full core order ADF ritual, and I was going to do most of the work.
This past weekend was Charter Oak Grove's festival, Harvest Nights. I have to say, it is a gem of a festival in large part because of how relaxed it is. It started Friday with me doing a seidhr ritual. I kept it rather low key, and more along the lines of a blot, and by fast not an ADF style ritual. No journeying of everyone to some place, just me doing the journeying and an "adult" to watch over me. We had about 10 questions, and had a being give me an answer but limited me in what I could tell the person who asked.
This has to have been one of the worst starts to fall I've had in a long while. When October hit, I got hit with some kind of eye issue. Still have no idea what it was, but one, and only one, eye started to be seeking up. After it was obvious it was not allergic, I went to the doctors, was prescribed antibiotics, and went on my merry way. Well, it took about a week for that to clear up, just in time for my annual change of seasons cold to hit. I was out of it for about 3 days, and was feeling mostly myself by Sunday the 11th.
Two weeks ago, I went on my annual pilgramage to the Between the Worlds Mens Gathering. It was a wonderful time, and I got many things out of it, even though I did not really attend many workshops or rituals. One workshop I did attend was "Slaying Trolls" which was all about those internal things that are holding you back. Through meditation, you found one of the things and gave it a name. Then, you color a troll on a piece of paper to depict the thing, and burn it.
Today starts the yearly pilgrimage I make to Wisteria. Way back, in the spring of 2004, I got this message on gay.com from some random, older, and slightly creepy man. He was, as I found out later, going through all the profiles of gay men in the north east and if they had "pagan" in their profile, he sent them a message advertising his event. Between the Worlds Mens Gathering (not to be confused with Ivo Dominguez's event Between the Worlds).
This last, long weekend, was a productive one for me. Saturday I had to go to my mom's house in NJ and do a little work on it to prep it for the open house that was happening on Sunday. This meant driving 2 hours down, working a few hours, eating dinner, then driving back. We got done what needed to be done, and there appeared to be interest from people at the open house, so here's hoping it sells quick. I'll miss the house, and am not looking forward to driving to Delaware, but life goes on.
Everyone in America has every right to practice their own religion as they desire, but within the limits of them not infringing on the same right of others. I just saw a news story this morning that touches on this point. A Georgia church held a service for a high school football team and gave the kids an "option" to go through a full immersion baptism. I personally have no issue with this on the face of it, until you realize that this is using coercion to put these kids through this. Kids wish to please the adults they like and respect.
Over this last weekend, I was initiated into the ADF iniates current. This was an interesting experience, and some of what I went through I can't really divulge. To start with though, there are 3 ordeals. The first is being asked questions about the work you did up to that point. This was public and everyone present could hear your answers. I was confident in my work, and my initiators knew me well enough. There were some difficult questions, but I got through it. Word of advice for future initiates, review your own work, especially if you have taken years to get to that point.
Since the tragic hate crime that was the shooting of parishioners in a church, during bible studies, in Charleston SC, there have been many things that came about in such a short time. Firstly, let us not forget the victims, their family, and their community. This is the time to give them support and be there for them. They are suffering, and they deserve the support of the nation.
This topic has come up in many places, many times, and rather often recently in my life. I keep finding it being used to justify speech that in whatever venue is just not appropriate, or where it is just obviously hate speech. In the US, Freedom of Speech is not an absolute, and only applies to the government and governmental agencies. Let's actually look at the text of the first amendment.