Monthly Archives: February 2010

Yes, there’s a conference for that.

Tonight I am heading over to Ballston to attend the National Capital Region’s Pagan Leadership Conference. Every year someone asks me why I continue to go. Sometimes the agenda is not something I am interested in. Sometimes the town hall session becomes unbearable.  Sometimes there is someone that I really don’t want to interact with who I know will be there. And yet if I don’t have a previous commitment on the calendar, I continue to go.

I find that I actually am looking forward to spending time with other pagans who lead groups and/or are very active in the local community. Swapping stories with people who share the same community organizer disease as I do (or “mad vision and masochism”) is fulfulling to me. Many of these folks are friends I see rarely because we live across the metropolitan area from each other (and we all know that pagans can’t cross running water like the Potomac River…or is that vampires?) and have calendars loaded with the day-to-day activities of coordinating an event or group of people. Other folks will have good ideas about how to handle the challenges we all face. I learn about new groups in the area and new events. I hear about how established groups and events are doing. And I get to meet new leaders, starry-eyed people who are just stepping out on the journey that I remember starting a decade ago. It helps with encroaching cynicism.

This year the official agenda is about financial responsibility, fundraising, and branding. Not personally my cup of tea, although I recognize how important these things are for the functioning of a group, and I believe we all can stand to learn more about them. But for me, as it has always been, it’s the people and the connections I establish and strengthen with my own kind.

Photo by KK+: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kk/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (Disclaimer: This is a random photo I found on Flickr. I have no idea what their religious beliefs, if they have any, are.)

Breathing Our Prayers

 Sacred Dove Mandala

About a month ago, I wrote about the magick of our breath. In our tradition, the season of Spring (early February through end of April) is the season of the element of Air and of the archetype of the Artist. We focus on our breath as the mover of life force, the meeting of spirit and body that is life triumphant. The breath is our spirit’s way of enlivening and animating the matter of the body. Attending to the breath links the conscious self to the other parts of our self, including our Divine Self, or our personal God/Goddess.

Our breath is our prayer to this Divine Self. Communing with that Spark is as natural as breathing in and out, filling ourselves with life and spirit. In Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition, Cora Anderson, one of the founders of the Feri Tradition and an influence in our tradition, tells us:

“The more natural and intimate your contact with the [Godself], the more sure you will be with the results of your prayer. You should pray first to your personal God before trying to contact other Gods. When this kind of prayer becomes as automatic as speaking to your loved ones, it is then possible to commune with the Gods in a loving wholesome way.”

And so, we practice the Ha Prayer, a prayer of breath and life force.  There are several variations of this prayer, each tailored to a particular path or need within the individual. This is how I practice this prayer.

Bring your attention to the energy all around you. Bring your attention to your breath. Begin to beathe comfortably and deeply.  Say “May all my souls be straight within me.”

Ask your Younger Self (or Fetch, Child Self, Lower Self, Wild Self, Unconscious) to store the energy you are about to take in.

Begin a four-count breath. For example, inhale to a count of three (or four or five or seven…), hold for a count of three, exhale fully to a count of three, and hold again for a count of three. 

Breath in sets of 4 breaths until your body begins to tingle and you fill yourself full of life energy. I find it helpful to dedicate the first breath to my body, the second to my Younger Self, the third to my Conscious Self, and the fourth to my God Self. This round repeats for 8, 12, or 16 breaths.

When you are well charged, ask your Younger Self to direct the energy where it is most needed to align your souls and create a clear channel of energy within you. Trust your Younger Self to know what to do.

On the last breath, tilt your head back as you breathe out and blow a breath of air upwards. Send the energized breath to your God Self, which you visualize as a ball of blue fire floating above your head.

By “feeding” your God Self in this manner, you are stepping on the path of connecting and communing directly with that part of you that is eternal, which is our link to the gods. As my teacher, Katrina Messenger, says, “our acceptance of the blessings of the gods is our greatest gift to them.”  The Ha Prayer is both an offering and an acceptance of the love and life of the universe.

May you be ever so blessed.

Sacred Dove Mandala (c) 2010

New Jewelry

Woodland Faerie Queen Necklace

I’ve spent several days indoors with the Great Mid-Atlantic Snowpocalypse of 2010. After messing around some and doing some work from home, I got down to being creative. I pulled out all my beads, got reacquainted with them, and made three necklaces.  The one above is my Woodland Faerie Queen necklace, which I’m offering for sale on my Etsy shop. The other two are private commissions, but I wanted to share them with you all anyway.

Compassionate Healer Necklace Holy Well and Sacred Flame Necklace