Monthly Archives: October 2007

Tiphareth and Geburah

In the last couple of days, I have finished two new qabalah collages.

Geburah

I have been collecting images on this one for a while, but they didn’t come together until I found the top image of the woman pointing and screaming. Her rage at injustice, the breaking of chains, and the destruction of a bombed out 1940s London seemed to pull together nuanced aspects of Geburah.

Tiphareth

I was inspired to work on Tiphareth just yesterday by something another sister on the path wrote in her LiveJournal about the sphere:

To part the veils of pride…to seek voice in asking for aid…to be the sacrificed one for the many, the devoted mystic.

I’d love to hear your take on both the images and the spheres.

My other qabalah images are on Flickr.

[tags]qabalah, sacred art, collage, tiphareth, geburah[/tags]

River of Birds in Migration

This morning at the outdoor train station, I was staring at the tracks and wondering why I get up before the sun to go to work and wishing I were still in bed. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed movement in the sky.

Thousands of little birds, black against the pre-dawn sky, were riding the air currents from west to east. Like a river, they flowed and meandered — here they are wide and spread out, there they come together in a dense rush. The river moved from one channel to another, but the birds were moving as one. My eyes followed them back behind the trees, across the sky, and over the horizon — thousands and thousands of wings. Their quick movement added a sparkle to the flow.

I also noticed that I was the only one who turned up her head to watch them. I felt the smile spread across my face in wonder of the beauty of these very natural things that most seem to ignore. My delight and movement alerted the other commuters to “something strange” and they began to watch as well.

It being Samhain, I wondered if the birds were the souls of those who have died passing from this world to the realm of the Ancestors.

There is flow. There is movement. Life goes on.

[tags]pantheism, flow, Samhain, wonder[/tags]

Becoming Samhain Journey

If you are around the DC area….

Journey to the Otherworld
Saturday, November 3, 2007

Time: Gather in at 6:30pm. Ritual begins promptly at 7:00pm.
Location: Campgrounds at Watkins Regional Park, Upper Marlboro, MD.

Written or emailed RSVP required – Angela (at) Becomingdc.org

Do you dare to cross the threshold and walk the unknown path? In the temple of the Otherworld, a connection to the Heart of the Universe is opened. Take a journey to the oracle of the Heart. Only you know what you are seeking; and who knows what you will find at the Heart of Mystery.

You only need bring food for potluck after the ritual, a flashlight, a small token offering, and yourself. Sturdy shoes and warm dress is encouraged as we will be outdoors the entire time. Depending on the attendance, this ritual can last up to 3 hours. People between 12 and 18 must be accompanied by a parent; no children under 12 should attend this ritual.

More information will be sent when you RSVP. Please include your name and the number of people you are bringing. If you do not have a car and would like to carpool, please indicate that as well. We will try to make arrangements for a pick-up from the nearest Metro station.

Let Angela know that you are coming by Thursday, November 1, 10:00pm.

[tags]Becoming, Samhain, announcements[/tags]

Caring for Each Other, We Care for the Earth

Every spring, Becoming goes on pilgrimage to the source of the Potomac River to give blessings and praise offerings to the beginning of the river that runs through the land on which we live. Some years, we have had lots of snow in the mountains, the land is saturated, and the spring is full and flowing. Even then, the Potomac at this stage is small enough to stand with one foot on either “shore.” Some years, there has been little snow or rain, the land is parched, and the spring is empty. During these years, we pour water over our cold hands into the spring, praying for rain and lending our energy to unblock the flow of the waters.

Every fall, we meet near Hains Point, where the Anacostia flows into the Potomac, and the river becomes tidal and salty with the waters from the far-off ocean and Chesapeake Bay. Here we give thanks for the abundance of our lives and the land on which we live, and we give back some of that abundance in appreciation.

In our monthly circle yesterday, we mixed water from the source with salt to bring together this two annual rites for us. Becoming is about connections and community — connections with the world around us, with each other, and with our gods; and being in community within these relationships of connections. This has been a tough drought year for our region. Many of us in the group belong to community supported agriculture coops and are learning from our local farmers and from the vegetables that do and do not show up on our tables how the lack of rain affects us directly.

In circle, we cannot just pray for rain and expect it to come. A cone of power can do wonders, but learning through doing is more effective for our group. So, gathered in sacred space, we teach ourselves how to nurture and care for the earth by nurturing and caring for each other. We wash each others hands in the salty water, gently showing caring for each other. Care. Compassion. Love. Respect. Our simple actions embody the attitude we wish to carry forth in our lives to others and the world around us.

The water is then lovingly spread on the ground between us. From the earth to us, from us to the earth. May the rains fall. May your harvest be bountiful. May your life have meaning. And may the earth be renewed and loved.

Blessed be. So mote it be. So say we all.

posted as part of Blog Action Day

[tags]Becoming, ritual, Potomac, water, compassion, pantheism[/tags]

Journey of Transition

On the night of the New Moon and the eve of National Coming Out Day, I had the honor of priestessing a ritual for a friend of mine who is transitioning male to female. She has been passing as female since starting graduate school this summer, and now is starting hormonal treatments. She wanted to honor her transitional journey and set her intention to reshape her body with the help of the hormones with the New Moon.

The intent of the ritual was to:

  • release the male identity and honor the death of the male body
  • accept the female identity and celebrate the journey toward the
    female body
  • experience the Mystery of the liminal space of transition and her personal identity

Prior to the ritual, she wrote on slips of flash paper those aspects of identifying as male and being in a male body—both good and bad— that she was releasing, on slips of colorful origami paper those aspects of identifying as female and transitioning to a female body—both joyful and challenging—that she anticipated. The strips of flash paper were strung on a cord tied around her neck.

Three of us (myself, a Radical Faerie priest, and a transgenedered priest/ess from the West Coast) gathered with our friend near the arbor of her backyard under the night sky. We purified the space and ourselves with sage and lavender. We cast the circle and called in the elements. We invoked deity as Divine Male, Divine Female, and the Divine Two-Souled. Our friend invoked her higher self into the circle and called upon her spirit guides to help her with her intent.

To release the male identity and honor the death of the male body, my friend pulled off the slips of flash paper from her necklace and read them aloud one-by-one, before burning each in the candle flame. We then washed her body with salt water to honor the body she was born into and the lessons she learned in it.

To accept the female identity and celebrate journey toward a female body, she read each slip of origami paper aloud one-by-one and strung them onto her necklace. We then anointed her body with oil and welcomed her as a strong, beautiful woman.

To experience the Mystery of the liminal space of transition and her personal identity, she stepped into her place of power to commune directly with herself and her spirit guides and to offer prayers for how her body is to be kept healthy while being transformed into a new feminine shape.

As we welcomed her back into the circle, a gentle rain began to fall. Tears of love from the Goddess, indeed! As the drops grew fatter and fell more quickly, we thanked the Divine and the elements, and opened the circle.

Fare well on your journey, my magnificent and glowing sister! You’ll do just fine.

[tags]ritual, gender issues, transgender, rites of passage[/tags]