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Finding the Pagan Way

April 1st, 2016

findingpagan

Art by: Boy So Blue Graphic Arts and photography

With all the right wing and reactionary posts which have seeped into many pagan groups in this last year, I have been forced to reappraise my own position. I did not feel comfortable posting to pages that shared narrow-minded and bigoted views. I stepped back for a while and looked to my own beliefs. I realised that participation in group activities is not totally necessary to re-affirm our own personal stance. I turned my focus to what is important to me as an individual.

I have friends from many mainstream religions and I detest Christian bashing as much as any other form of xenophobia and fear mongering. All creatures react with fear at times when it is necessary, but only humans nurture fear and build it into the bedrock of their lives. Most of us have some element of fear motivating us, but we need to face up to it and understand its corrupting influence on our lives. We all excel at self-deception, but by accepting the underlying current of fear in our lives, – we can allow it to flow through us and eventually, reduce its impact on our lives and our actions.

One thing that helped me was to look at the core of my beliefs and remind myself why I became a pagan. The concept of the Lord and Lady and the balance which they bring to the world, helped me to bring balance to my own life. Likewise the turning of the seasons, and realising my own place in this, grounded me in a way that Christian mysticism never did. But this is a matter of personal need and personal choice. What helped me may not be so useful to another person. For me, the best way to explain my beliefs is through my poetry. I can express much more in rhyme than I ever could in any other way.

The Sacred Marriage.

The Lord and Lady glide about the forest, as the softly sighing leaves are whispering in the silver light.
The dwellers of the woods are quiet and still, and dark eyes gaze upon the scene entranced,
No man, nor beast would dare disturb the ritual of this night.
Above, the Goddess lights her emissaries, as the moon and earth enjoin in Sacred Dance.

Tall and stately like a silver birch, the Lady flows like liquid moonlight through the trees,
Laughter, like the tinkling of a golden bell, caresses sensual lips and flutters off into the waiting night.
Great Pan himself, is so enamoured of her beauty that he pauses in his play, to place a kiss upon her knee,
Then He resumes His Dance and placing pipe to lips, He fills the Still night air with merriment and pure delight.

Fire to speed the coming of the Sun, blazing high, as sparks are flying to the sky’s,
Warm the Earth!
Writhe like new-grown saplings reaching to the light!
Naked feet, caressing and cajoling Mother earth, can feel Her Spirit and Her Power rise,
And Spring, is surely hastened with the coming of Her Lover, at sunrise.

I was not there, I cannot tell this tale in full.
Perhaps my senses are too numb, perhaps my mind to dull.
But every day I ask the Goddess that I may Awake,
and every night I look up to the Moon for guidance,
for the journeys I may make.

Patrick W Kavanagh

I believe that there is much yet for me to learn, even after 50 years of searching. I know that when I touch the core of life that these are the images and emotions that flood my mind and heart. I am aware that I have an ongoing and evolving relationship with spirit which has guided and helped me for many years. There have been thousands of messages and hundreds of times when Spirit has physically helped me. There have also been hundreds of times, when I did not listen and paid for my own stubbornness. This is my journey and not anyone else’s, but, I hope that by sharing what I have been given, I can help others to make sense of some parts of their own journey. This is why I write.

Lord of the Woodlands

Dawn brings a cold grey light beneath a moody sky
that does not seem to greet the day with joy.
A sleepless night is followed by a solitary walk.
I long for peace, – but expectations are not high.
The glistening grass has soaked my feet,
and chilled me to the bone.
I curse myself for such a choice of routes,
but still I’m grateful for this time alone.

The woodlands beckon me with sheltered paths
beneath its softly sighing trees.
Perhaps in such a sheltered grove
My aching mind may find some ease.
So I wandered in that twilight world
that held the dawn at bay,
beneath its gently waving arch of green
that kept the world away.

The woodlands watched me as I walked,
Though lost in morbid thought,-
it’s little voices whispered gently in my ear.
Inviting me to share the home they loved so dear.
Slowly, carefully I walked,
in case I should disturb the woodland creatures at their play.
Watchfully, I carried on, fearful to arouse the beings
who live within the pause between the night and day.

But there He stood, despite my care.
Wreathed in mist, the sparrows nesting in His hair.
As He walked, the flowers bloomed beneath his hooves,
and though I wished to run away I could not move.
Eye to eye, I thought that I would die from fear.
But as I held His gaze, I felt my misery dissolve.
Emotions flooded through me, and then they washed away as tears.
For only goodness flowed from Him,
and if He wills it,
I will walk with Him for all my Years.

Patrick W Kavanagh

 

Politics

A really, really, long time ago the idea of Gods and Goddesses influencing how you ran your country was pretty popular.  Particularly amongst the Roman emperors whom had themselves declared living Gods, or at least declared that they were descended from Gods.  Then there is Aristotle’s Republic, which is another Pagan attempt at thinking through political concepts from first principles.  So why is there so little direct discussion of “political” issues amongst the Pagan literature [1]?  Is it because we all agree?  If so, why, exactly, do we agree?  Is there something we should agree on?

Or is it that we simply don’t want to exclude anyone who might feel differently?  After all Paganism is a wide, big tent, one that includes everything from the more “conservative [2]” elements of some traditions to the relatively “liberal” gay, women’s, and faery traditions.   It may be that in order to be Pagan we simply cannot identify a clear set of political principles and keep the tent as big as it should be.

What an interesting thought.

Or it could be we have little direct guidance on such things.  After all we don’t have a rulebook or encyclopedia of behaviors to choose from the way the book religions do.   Historically Pagan writings have been rather thin on the “social justice” issues surrounding how we treat each other.   Other than issues of religious freedom, women’s justice, and environmental stewardship only Starhawk and Reclaiming seem to have made a major push on the problem of social and political justice.  On the other hand it could also be because we actually do agree on many of the “moral” issues of our time, in the sense that we believe pretty much the opposite from what the “religious right” believes.

Before we start to think about political philosophy in the context of Pagan theology, we need to make some important distinctions.  Just like an onion or an ogre the question of the role of Paganism in politics has different layers.  At the innermost layer, the one closest to the actual worship of the Gods and Goddesses lies the question of the role of polis, or the organization of people and power structures, in and on the Pagan religion.  Can we even speak of “politics” in the context of our religious beliefs, given how disorganized and anarchistic we are?   At the next layer lies the question of how Pagan ethics and worldview inform practical actions in the world.  What is the underlying linkage between our understanding of the world and the way we behave in the world?  Finally, there is the question of whether any specific issues relate to those views.  How do we relate to the various “moral” issues that come up in things like elections?

Obviously none of this will answer what we’re supposed to believe, only what is consistent with some of the underlying principles.   We’re not running any empires here (that was Bush’s job), instead we’re thinking about where our faith might take us when we live it in the world.


The Inner Work

Does it make sense to have a Pagan polis?  In one sense it does, because it did at one time.  For most of the pre-Christian era Paganism filled the role of the “traditional religion.”  After 2000 years of book religions it may seem like we never had much say in anything, living underground and in small covens, if that [3].   However in the past we were “the man.”  We were the organized religion of the time, and in most cases we were intimately entwined with politics, the state, and political power structures.   Think about it, at one time Paganism was the Catholic Church, Jerry Falwell, and George Bush all rolled into one religion.   If it sounds just as bad as what we have in some places today, it probably was.

What’s more, this tells us nothing about how our underlying beliefs entwine with the world of politics.  Just as is the case with modern religions, when religion and politics mix the outcome is not usually a reflection of the underlying values and theology of the religion.  Instead, what happens is that political and practical considerations often use religion as a cover-up for what they really want to do?  Truthfully, if we looked into it, a lot of what went on during ancient times between religion and politics probably would not look very good in a modern context.

Book religions, on the other hand, have it pretty easy when considering what to think about the world.  They have explicit instructions, written down in manuals, about what they are supposed to do.  These manuals describe a polis, a community of “brethren” or like believers.  It defines a hierarchy, and relationships between the communities.  They also describe how to treat everyone, including outsiders.  In particular the Christian gospels provide a compelling, and perhaps unique, tutorial on justice, caring, and how to behave in a radically good way toward other people.    Do we have such a compelling challenge?  If so, what is it?

Wait, what?  The guy who holds forth that “Christian Pagans” is an oxymoron (“Christian Witches” is another thing entirely) is referring to Christianity as a standard for how to behave in the world.  Well, yes, in terms of social justice, their underlying theology is pretty compelling.  It just doesn’t compel very many of them…

At the same time I contend that, if you ignore all the trivial charges Christians can bring against Pagans, it is the lack of the clear and forceful articulation of a standard for justice, caring, and love found in the gospels that is the most effective criticism they can use against Paganism.  They have the teachings of Jesus and we don’t.  It doesn’t matter for our thinking whether that they tend not to listen to them much.  Social justice and our theology is a huge challenge from an ethical and “how you live your life in the world” standpoint.   Something we will need to address if we are going to have a thoughtful and mature theology.

It is completely possible that there is no inherent tie between a Pagan belief system and the need to treat others with justice, fairness, and compassion [4].  Instead it could either be that Paganism is neutral towards how we act in the world.  This would leave us with only a humanistic approach toward the world, which in some ways is unsatisfying because it leaves such a central part of who we are divorced from or what we believe.  Or Paganism could support a purely selfish, self-centered, worldview where everyone pursues their best interests, the strong survive and the weak perish.  In this formulation there would be nothing compelling justice, caring, or selflessness.  Rather it would be an entirely “Darwinian” system patterned after the competition and cooperation seen in nature.   While this tribal and harsh approach towards how the world works may be the most historically accurate in pre-Christian times, we have come a long way in our thoughts about behavior and justice since then.

On the other hand we do have a starting place to start from.  There are several different aspects of our theology that can provide a compelling set of guidelines for political belief.   I’m only going to talk about two of them here, but I want to acknowledge that I am only choosing two of them.  Other guides could include the genders of the Gods and Goddess, and the cycles of the world.

First, if the Gods and Goddesses are real, and we experience them in the world, then we and the world are in themselves divine.  Second, the divine world, and the way we experience it, act together to produce the magical intuitive experience of wonder.  Our “blessing” is the wonder we feel as we experience and interact with the world, and the divine.  So what do we have?  We have the Gods and Goddesses as real entities that exist and we interact with.  We have a divine world.  We have the blessings of our wondrous experiences of magic and the divine.

We should be able to make something from those two pieces of our belief:  the divine world, and the role of magic.
The Middle Lands

Who are we?  This was one of the questions Jesus was asking when he started his movement.  His answer was, “we are part of the kingdom of god.”  Discounting the historical context within which he preached, the “kingdom of god” is essentially a utopian vision of what life would look like were everyone to accept the radical proposition of a loving god that wanted us to treat each other with the inherent respect due his children [5].   Ok, this, for us, is relatively meaningless, but the idea is an inherently good one:  how should we behave if the Gods and Goddesses exist?

In keeping with my generally existentialist view of the divine, I would say the fact we know that the Gods and Goddesses exist is a radical proposition for us Pagans.  If the Gods and Goddesses exist what exactly should we do?  If the Gods and Goddesses bring magic, wonder, and mystery into the world, then what should we do?

So, if we believe this, then what should we do?  I’d break the “what to do” problem into the following general principles [6]:

All things that act in the world are reflections of the divine, we should honor them, respect them, and value them for what they are, not what we wish to impose on them.  If the world is divine then other people have that same reflection, that same complexity of good and evil that the Gods and Goddesses have.  It is not up to us to judge them, or to try and force them to do or believe the way we do.  Instead our goal should be to work with them in a way that honors both the divine within us as well as the Gods and Goddesses.  This requires a considerable maturity in order to see that the multiplicity in behaviors and attitudes and personalities that we see in the Gods and Goddesses are also present in other people.

In some ways this requires what I would call “radical acceptance.”  It requires us to accept the diversity and multiplicity of people, interests, goals, and attitudes in the world.  While it does not require us to agree with everyone and get along with everyone, remember the Gods and Goddesses don’t either, it does require us to understand that the other person’s perspective is “right” just as much as our own, that their personality is “right” just as much as our own, and that their actions have as much worthiness as our own.

Ok, but what if people do bad things?  Shouldn’t we punish them?  In the Christian theology acts of “sin” require forgiveness.  Jesus spoke of a radical type of forgiveness, something that seems to be forgotten by some of his more ardent followers.  However I’d say that “forgiveness” is not an inherently Pagan concept, in the sense that there is a historical and theological association in Christianity between what the “father” (i.e. god) does and what his followers should do.  He forgives us therefore we should forgive also.  Since we don’t have that legacy from our Gods and Goddesses (some do forgive, some, not so much) I would argue that acceptance takes the place of forgiveness in how we deal with bad behavior.

Instead of turning the other cheek, and forgiving, as in the Christian sense, our relationships with the Gods and Goddesses produce an intuition within us that all types of behavior go into making us, and other people, into who we are.  We acknowledge the misbehavior, but we also realize that it is only an out manifestation of an inner problem, an alienation from the Gods and Goddesses and magical wonder of the world.  We don’t have to condone it, but we don’t condemn the behavior either.  Instead we ask what elements of their (or our) inner selves that compel the behavior we find wrong.  And then we apply the magical world to help heal that element which has gone awry.

The other avenue of approach toward a Pagan polis is through the magical nature of the world.  Here I am talking about the underlying wonder we feel and see as Pagans in the natural world.  It is a magical place that fills us with an inner light and excitement.  Our relationships with the world and the Gods and Goddesses provides a center of wonder that makes hard times less difficult, and allows us to have a richer way of being in the world.

I’m not specifically talking about magical practices here, but instead of the underlying magical “energy [7],” if you will, that we perceive running through the world, through each other, and contained within the Gods and Goddesses.  That divine energy, or source, is a very different way of approaching problems in the world than almost any other religion.  Instead of seeing the world as condemned, as evil, and as fallen, we see it, and life in general, as wonder-filled, peaceful, and uplifting.  It is when we lose touch with and are prevented from seeing that light-filled aspect of the world, that we become alienated from the Gods, Goddesses and the world.  That alienation is what we understand produces behavior that works against the world, other people, the Gods and Goddesses.  Without a sense of the magical it becomes harder to sense the magical in others, and in the world.  For Pagans alienation is not only distance from the Gods and Goddesses, but deadness to the magic in the world.

Yes, this begins to articulate a theory of magic, with the underlying sense of wonder in the world being the basis for how magical belief affects us, and others.   It is a thread that I would like to explore further in future columns as it represents an alternative to either the naturalistic “energy” based approaches toward magic, or the inner-based approaches of Crowley and others.

The Outer Work

Then there are the specific issues of living every day Pagan life?  After all,  we are all well aware of the fact that it’s not all fairies and butterflies as we skip hand in hand with the Gods and Goddesses through life.  It mostly sucks, particularly when we’re at work.  Just watch the Office, or Mama’s Boys, or any number of other reality shows.  Or just watch your own life.  While the world can make things difficult for us, there are other people out there that  go a long way towards making it even a much harder, crueler, worse world than it needs to be.  How do you translate belief into specific action?

I believe that the two aspects of the divine world we have discussed above give us some guidance.  Acceptance easily translates into a requirement to treat people as aspects of the divine no matter where or how we encounter them.  It’s easy to see that from acceptance we can arrive at a political theory requiring us to the GBLT community no differently from anyone else.  It may become harder when you have to practice acceptance of your fundamentalist relatives.

But the acceptance I’m talking about goes further; in many ways it is the same as the Christian imperative to “love your neighbor as yourself.”  Instead our acceptance of the multiplicity of the world means that we love everyone and everything regardless of ourselves, and regardless of their behavior.  The Gods and Goddesses call on us to see within the other what they show to us themselves:  the being that calls us to love that exists behind the imperfections.

By extension all of this loving and seeing and divinity means that we must act in the world in a way that is consistent with the values we place on others, and on the world.  Practically this means helping both the least among us, through service, charity, and love, as well as the greatest among us.  Because everyone has various traits that mask their inner divinity, the less fortunate may not have time or ability to see deeply into the universe, while the most fortunate may have wrapped their inner divinity in self-indulgence, lies, and poorly considered actions.  They all need us to see them through the lens of the Gods and Goddesses, and to act toward them in a way consistent with the divine elements we know are in them.

What saves us, and allows us to have great impact in the world, is modeling our magical approach toward life.  If we truly see the magical aspects of the world, then we are satisfied in a deep way with those experiences.  Our ambition is to see more of the magical, not ego, self, or control.  This smallness of vision, a vision that looks into the world not out of it and out of ourselves, can ground us and provide peace.  We are “small” in that we look into the world, into nature, and into ourselves for the force we need to love and accept others.  Our vision is not eschatological, it does not force us to look to the future or somewhere else for that love, rather it places it in the “here” and “now.”

Those who see us as calm, balanced, and deeply happy will associate that with the Pagan path.  They will realize the depth of perception we have within the world.  It is not necessary to introduce the Pagan religion directly into the polis, rather it is through our behavior and modeling that the greatest effects will come about.

Fundamentally the Gods and Goddesses and magical world call us toward a quiet, colorful, and wonder-filled life, one that is radically distinct from the aggressive, needy, and stuffy way in which the book religions have organized things.  This, more than anything else, represents a radical challenge to the status quo, to the existing “polis.”  It also holds the greatest promise, a promise of a world driven not by progress toward an uncertain and potentially catastrophic future, but one that looks toward the wonder of what we have and respects the eternal cycles.  One that looks to what we’ve got, where we are, instead of what we don’t have, and where we’re going.

[1]  Starhawk is an obvious contra-example to what I’m talking about here, but in many ways she stands out because she is the exception.  She is a strong advocate for social and ecological justice.  But it seems like most political advocacy within the Pagan movement centers around either environmental issues, or religious freedom.  While both of those are important, it leaves open the question of social justice and other issues that only tangentially touch our overall faith, i.e. issues of governance, rights, and responsibilities.  Those are what I’m trying to talk about here.  So by “politics” I mean the commonly understood idea of governance by vote, and the issues that come up as part of it.  By “polis” I mean something more abstract, or the underlying relationship between our religion and action in the world.  By “social justice” I mean the common sense usage of the term, how we treat the least in society, regardless of their location or affiliation.

[2]  I was going to say “Norse and tribal” traditions, but then I realized that even the word “conservative” has many different meanings within the Pagan traditions.  It can mean “traditional” in the reconstructionist sense, or it could mean rural/fam-trad and from the land, or it could mean tribal and clannish, or it could mean politically conservative.  Since I don’t really know what I mean, I’ll just have to leave it open!  In saying some are liberal and some are conservative, I’m opening myself up to the criticism that others are not.  This is the challenge of talking about political views in such a diverse path.

[3]  Lets just assume something survived if nothing more than the Troubadours, Arthurian legends, and a romantic ideal of pre-Christian aesthetics.

[4]  And I would contend that would be a bad thing for Paganism.

[5]  I use this piece of Christianity as a foil because I believe it is inherently worthwhile, much of the other, guilt inducing, nonsense was larded on in subsequent explanations of what Jesus really meant by the apostles and the church.

[6]  These are not the only two possible divisions, and there are significant other elements toward an understanding of how we interact with the world.  The next two I’d add to the list would be the cyclic nature of the seasons as a metaphor for the cyclic nature of everything, as well as the binary dichotomy implicit in the male/female.  I don’t include these, or many others, here simply for space reasons, and because I believe that this “divine world” and “magical” argument is relatively unique, while the cyclic and dichotomous concepts are relatively common and have been included elsewhere [ref Starhawk].

[7]  Being an engineer I totally hate the idea of calling this “energy” but it will do until I come up with something better.


In Memory of Dr. John Thomas Bailey

(South Louisiana Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1866)

We’ve all of us heard o’ the Queen o’ the West

In the summer o’ forty-five.

And how they desp’ratly clung t’ the boats

When she took her final dive.

We’ve all of us heard of the boilin’ sun.

And the hunger And tharst bearin’ down

For twenty-nine days on the rolling sea

And prayin’ for to drown.

Some says they ate their shipmates

So as to stay alive.

Ninety-eight souls in two little boats

And ended with thirty-five.

And we’ve all of us heard o’ Doctor Death

And his pickin’ who lived and who died.

And maybe it’s true and maybe it ain’t

But the women and children survived.

But when it was over and when they was found

The doctor, his life was done.

He lived but he died in that terrible ride

Of twenty-nine days in the sun.

They called him a killer. They called him a fiend.

They called him a murderin’ lout.

He crawled in a bottle of whiskey.

Crawled in… and didn’t crawl out.

He gave up on healing. He gave up on life.

He took for to death as a trade.

He cleaned ’em and dressed ’em And buried ’em

And he wept and he drank and he prayed.

He drifted around to hide from his shame

Through the years that the tale would span.

How Doctor John became Doctor Death

Then, “Buzzard” the Buryin’ Man.

For ten long years he ran from his past

Then finally settled down

As the funny old drunk with the measuring tape

That laid people down in the ground.

In a tiny town where nobody knew

And nobody seemed to care

That the village drunk and buryin’ man

Was more than it would appear.

In time he built a life, of sorts

But not like the one he knew.

And sodden drunk and sombre

He watched as his business grew.

Sodden drunk And sombre

And dressed in his black frock coat

He’d  clean ’em And dress ’em and plant ’em

And remember those days in the boat.

He dwelled at society’s bottom.

Humanity’s lowest place.

He hid behind his bottle

And his sombre buryin’ face.

Then a horror came to the little town

Worse than those days at sea.

When Yellow Jack stalked the village

Taking one out of three.

And wagons rolled in with the dying,

And the hospital beds were full.

And the moans of the sick and suffering

Gave the Buryin’ Man’s heart a pull.

Three wagons came in, in the morning

Thirty souls who were at deathes door.

Thirty desperate, suffering people

The poorest of the poor.

And the Burryin’ Man, he saw it,

And he knew what had to be done,

And he knew there was no one to do it.

And he went to them at a run.

And they laughed when they saw ‘im comin’

With his battered old bag in his hand.

Sodden drunk and sombre,

Old “Buzzard” the Burryin’ Man.

But he didn’t come for the dyin’

He came for to make ‘em live.

And in he dove with a mighty shove

And gave all he had to give.

For four long days he stood there,

With his measure around his neck

But in his mind he wasn’t there.

He was back on that pitching deck.

Back then they’d called him “killer” and “fiend”

And called ‘im a “murdering lout”.

But whatever they’d thought of “Doctor Death”

The women and children got out.

Now the sodden drunk old Burying Man

Looked to the work to be done,

He stayed on his feet through the tormented days

And he never lost a one!

And the whiskey vapors left him.

And ‘is mind began to clear.

An’ th’ man that they’d called a murderin’ fiend

Felt somebody standing near.

And when it was over and when it was done,

He silently went away.

As if it had never happened,

With not a word to say.

Nobody noticed his going.

Nobody noticed he came.

Except for the sick and the dyin’

Who prayerfully uttered his name.

Sodden drunk and sombre,

Dressed in his old frock coat.

He slaved o’er the sick and the dyin’,

The same as he had in the boat.

And sodden drunk and sombre

With his battered old bag at his side,

T’was sodden “Old Buzzard the Burying Man”

As kept us all alive.

No matter how other folks seen him;

For those to whom he came

T’was th’ angel o’ God’s own mercy,

And “Buzzard” was his name.

NOTE: Dr. Bailey was essentially accused of implementing a system of “triage”, assisting only those who he estimated had a chance for survival. This was considered unethical for a physician at the time. There were accusations of “cannibalism” made by the press although there were still supplies in the lifeboats when the victims were recovered. None of those charges were ever substantiated and he was acquitted in a public trial of any wrongdoing. None of the survivors of the shipwreck would testify against him. This however did not prevent his license to practice medicine revoked or his being denied a further licence to practice medicine.

© 2011 by J. Lee. Choron; all rights reserved unless specifically granted in writing by the author.

The children of the Craft of the Wise

Look greatly forward to this day

When the time is nigh for this beloved Sabbat

We know the light is on it’s way

Through this longest night we celebrate

Knowing now the light will grow

And the joy that every spirit feels

Proves that the heart does also know

As the sun goes down

And the Yule logs burn

Our loved ones gathered round

And even Earth’s creatures participate

As they do not make a sound

When the fires cold and the night grows short

This sacred time comes to a close

And the flames, and joy that come at Yule

In each person’s heart now glows.

Since the Sun is also considered helpful in workings of prosperity, during the burning of the log provides an opportunity to work some prosperity magic as well.  One way of doing this is to take a square of cloth or paper and lay it out flat.  Add one or more herb’s for prosperity such as cinquefoil, clove, or patchouli.  You can add a written request before drawing up the corners and tying it into a bundle to be burned in the fire, or you can speak your desire as the bundle burns, but either way I have found this to be a successful added bonus to the Yule fire.  I hope all of you have a Blessed Yule and a Merry Christmas!

Beltane

 

A young virile hunter, this balefire:

Enveloped in a red orange cloak of passion,

Arms stretching eagerly towards Her dark tresses,

Growing aggressively with the gentle caress of Her breath.

He is impatient, the way he prepares

 

The entire clan of gathered pagan folk

Merry, lusty and carefree

In their celebration of fruitfulness and prosperity,

The sacred marriage of Cernunnos and Gaia

Nothing is more joyous

 

Giving everyone a purifying blessing.

They all should pass between the fire, bathe in juniper smoke.

This is time for feasting, rejoicing and frivolity.

When they tie the bells, they jingle.

Their brilliant, cheery song

 

Chasing wee folk, faery lore heeds,

Around the pole the dancers prance.

Remember pink primrose from the garden,

Weaving chains of daisies for the young

Keeping marauding faeries away.

 

They blend the honey

Sweet and raw, add yeast and ferment.

The lips of the pagan folk drink with intoxication.

Six months waiting for bottled cheer.

Ah! The feast of May Day is finally here!

Mother Oh Mother where art thou

I am lost, I am found where are you, I need you

Where did you go, Oh that’s right I know

God please I don’t want it to be so

Mother Oh Mother where art thou

I was mean and I was cruel,

But you still loved me, thank God for that rule

Oh Mother I still need you

You made me so mad I am glad,

How sad is that glad to be mad

Mother Oh Mother where art thou

Please, please I need you with me

Mother Oh Mother where art thou

I remember when, breakfast in bed

For you my Mother Oh Mother

Oh that special day for you

Mother Oh Mother how I miss you

Where did the time go, I swear it was just there

I was afraid and there you stayed

Mother Oh Mother where art thou

You were always there

Oh I curse that day you were taken away,

You were strong and I was weak

God help me this is no lie

Please help me Mom I am going to cry

Mother Oh Mother where art thou

Dedicated in Loving Memory of Dora L. Isakson

August 25, 1940 – November 1, 2003

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