Last week’s entry for the Pagan Experience was on the topic
of Knowledge, Wisdom, and Gnosis. I was very busy preparing for a variety of
things last week – among them getting ready to be on Spring Break as well as
prepping for my classes at Between the Worlds. It seemed to be a good idea to
hold off on writing this entry until after Between the Worlds, not only in the
interest of the very mundane and practical issue of time, but because I knew I
would have plenty of inspiration to write about all three after the conference.
I was given a choice in writing about something to do with
either the letter “C” or “D” this week, and I chose D for Death and Dying,
because it is something that has been coming up quite a bit recently for people
of my generation. We are of an age where we are losing our parents and other
older relatives and friends. Death is not something we handle well in Western
culture, although I think perhaps we are getting better at it in some regards.
My friends and I are of an age where our parents and older
relatives are dying.
I have been working on a Self-Portrait as part of my Magical Women series. I ran into a little bit of artist's block during the Fall when I became VERY busy with school and did not have time to pay attention to my own work. Working on the self portrait has enabled me to get back in touch with my own personal spiritual practice (as anyone who reads this blog knows, art is a huge part of my spiritual practice) and back on track with making art and making progress on other projects. Whew, long sentence.
February 11, 2025
Too many people on the bus from the airport
Too many holes in the crust of the earth
The planet groans
Every time it registers another birth
Paul Simon inBorn at
the Right Timeon his Rhythm of the Saints Album
The planet is fine. It’s
the people who are f*cked.George Carlin
The Earth We Walk Upon. The Kingdom. Malkuth. These are a
few of the terms used in my spiritual tradition to refer to our home, this
planet called Earth.
How do you define “humanity”? What is your contribution
to the collective space of humanity? How does your spiritual path support this
definition and contributions?
I have been thinking about these questions ever
since they were put forth to me, and I am realizing that my definition of
humanity is actually pretty broad. In my own mind, I have been using the term “personhood” as
opposed to “humanity” to denote an independent, sentient individual. Sometimes
I feel as though the term humanity is not all embracing enough.
January 29, 2015
Finding My Avalon
One of my earliest
childhood memories is of singing along with my father as he either played the
banjo or the ukulele. I learned a lot of “old timey” songs that way, including
one called “Avalon,” penned by Al Jolson way back in the long ago time. The
chorus stays with me, and although the song was later recorded by Louis
Armstrong (also of favorite of my Dad’s), it’s my father’s voice I always hear
in my mind when I think about the lyrics.
In my practice as an artist, I often feel called to explore
the divine in its many manifestations, but I am most interested in the Feminine
Divine. This is a calling I have felt for many, many years, reaching back into
my early childhood when I wondered why many ancient cultures could see the
female in the divine, but Western beliefs had no room for the feminine. God was
a white bearded man sitting on a cloud somewhere, and he had a white, brown
bearded son, and an amorphous Holy Ghost who may or may not have been in
possession of a gender.
Personal practice is one of those things that I try to
impress upon my students – to just develop some kind of practice, whether it is
mindfulness meditation or journeying or guided meditations. It is necessary in
a variety of life’s passages to have the focus needed to accomplish great work
– whether the work is of a spiritual nature, an artistic nature, or just about
anything that needs doing. As a teacher, I often find myself guilty of falling
down on this end of my spiritual practice, just as any other human being trying
to navigate this world would be.
We are already into the second week of 2015, and I have not
set any New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions have come to seem like a very
meaningless exercise to me as they are so often unfulfilled. Coming across a
writing prompt called “New Year’s Intentions” seems much more likely to inspire
me to try things out a new way. I can state an intent without feeling the same
feeling of inevitable failure that making a resolution seems to bring me.
Last year, during the summer, I had every intention of
keeping my blog going on a regular basis.
I have previously written about the connection between
creativity and depression when I wrote about my own experience with depression
a few years ago. I found that was utterly incapable of being creative or in any
way productive during that time. During
that period of my life, it was a good day if I made it out of bed and didn’t
spend the entire day weeping. I am usually a happy, extroverted person – most
people would probably not think I ever suffer from depression, but as one of
those creative types, I can tell you I am as capable of it as anyone else.