Wheel

Harvest Festival Fun!

Well, there's so much going on these days, it's hard to keep track of! How to have fun, get out in the community, and celebrate the season you ask? Well....

Here are my fave picks to celebrate the Fall! Click on the festival title to take you to its website.

1. Mt. Angel Oktoberfest - We seem to go every other year, and therefore thoroughly enjoy it each and every time. They also have the biggest Craft Fair outside of Saturday Market, a huge variety of ethnic food carts, plus endless Bier/Wine Gartens w/funky Polka music. Get there early, park close, and take all day to wander the town - don't miss the Maypole & dancing!

2. Shrewsbury Renaissance Fair - We've only been twice, but have heard they now have permanent building and many improvements. We're looking foreward to going with friends from Salem this year for sure!

3. Oregon State Fair! Hey - and guess what!?? The Oregon Country Fair is presenting "LiveArt" (hands-on public art projects) at the Fair! The main artist directing the public art project is Francisco Letelier, whom I saw in person delivering a live poetry reading at OCF this year! I highly recommend visiting this year! You get a significant discount if you buy tix in advance from TicketsWest (online or at Safeway stores).

4. Your local Farm/Produce Stand - Often these places have big fall displays, like a Corn Maze, Pumpkin Patch or Cider-making/tasting. These are often free, and often have kid friendly activities. Yay! (Link takes you to info on farms in the Oregon Tri-County area; Multnomah, Washington & Clackamas)
  • Current Music
    Bach-Tocatta & Fugue in D Minor
Wheel

A Hike a Day...

Once again, Snabby & I visited Portland's "back-yard" forest. We also took little dude with us as a gauge of a certain little dude's hiking stamina. Turned out to be a great day! It was not too hot, actually a little cool, and there was plenty of parking in the tiny parking lot at the Hoyt Arboretum, (our starting & ending point for this hike).
The main plan was to hike around the Arboretum in a 4+ mile Loop along the Oak, Wildwood, Magnolia, Walnut, Elderberry, Hemlock, Pine, Creek & Fir trails. We got off course a little, but made up for it by taking some quicker routes. We nearly got run over by some illegal bikers along the Wildwood trail near the Bow & Arrow shooting range!
We stopped by the Oregon Vietnam Memorial, (which gave us a chance to discuss it's historical & social relevance with said little dude), and saw some really cool plants in the Winter Garden, including the Corkscrew Hazel. The nice thing about the Arboretum portion of Forest Park is that interesting and unusual plant specimens abound.
There were many bamboo varieties along the lower Creek trail; and of course we saw 5-6 or more different species of each kind of tree along their respective trails. We looked for Ginko trees along the White Pine & Himalyan Pine trail, but I think you'll need to take the Bristlecone Pine trail to see them. As we re-connected to the Wildwood trail again, we passed through a small Redwood stand, shades of California here up north.
The best part was saved for last, as we witnessed a plethora of Columbia Lilies and a few Native Columbines along the end of the Fir trail back to the Arboretum.
Good thing we were about to end our hike, as there was a wedding reception in progress at the Picnic Shelter area, loudly announcing it's boom box presence long before we got there! The Arboretum parking lot was now officially a disaster ...but we were leaving!

Notes to the wise, the Hoyt Arboretum has bathrooms and drinking fountains, so it's a great place to begin or finish your hike. It also has a little store which sells trail-type snacks & drinks, along with maps, jewelry, notecards & other miscellaneous trinkets.
  • Current Music
    Nada
Wheel

Free FUN!

We had a cool day today...My husband & I did about a 7 mile hike in Forest Park today. Very ambitious, but we're trying to do some serious training to hike a section of the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) for two weeks in August. We admit we're computer slugs most of the time... It was a perfect day, not too hot and not raining.
We did it in about 4 hours, and that was with lunch and "call of nature" breaks. We saw many unusual plant specimens and some interesting side trails we could take later. Beautiful views!

We started out at the Zoo, took the Wildwood trail up through the Hoyt Arboretum, then on up to the Pittock Mansion (nice, but ya gotta pay to get in..grounds are free to wander in..); then down across Cornell to the Audubon Society and finally the end of the trail at Lower Macleay Park in NW Portland. This is a nice way to do it, as there are plenty of benchs to take a rest if you need it, bathrooms at all the public stops, plus drinking fountains too.

A couple of caveats-

1)The most dangerous part was crossing Burnside, I'd suggest getting a very early start and don't try it at night! The other roads at least have pedestrian crossings (Cornell & Skyline), or have very light traffic.

2)Watch out for the the joggers and dog-lovers. Plenty of dog doo, and a couple of teenage renagade bikers (technically there's not supposed to be bikes on the trails).

For more info check out Friends of Forest Park
  • Current Music
    Andreas Vollenweider-Down to the Moon

Happy Solstice!

The Sun is high in the sky and the shortest night of the year is upon us. As we move into the waning part of the year remember that this is a good time to work through all of the issues, the hurt and anger that we have dealth with this year and work on making it go away.
It is time to return to the Goddess as Her reign is now upon us.

Hail to the Goddess, merry meet.
Hail to the Sun God, merry part.
And to all of those whom I love,
Merry meet again!
  • Current Music
    Classic Rock
Wheel

Interesting Experience

This past Saturday, my daughter, (and by extension, my husband & I), were invited to a Bat Mitzvah here in town. It was a deeply moving experience, almost 3 hours long (my memories of marthon-like High Mass at The Grotto are similar), and was familiar, yet VERY different. It was held at the Beth Israel Temple on NW Flanders here in Portland. I knew it was special when we walked in, and I was right. It was built in the 1920's and condsidered one of the best examples of a Byzantine style Synagogue in the world. It is on the National Registry of Historic Landmarks. It was followed by a traditional reception across the street at the beautiful Schnitzer Family Center, where a Hamotizi prayer over Challah (the Sabbath bread) and Kiddush (the Wine Blessing) take place.

A Bat Mitzvah (for a girl-Bar Mitzvah for a boy), is a Jewish tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. It means a "Daughter of the Commandment". It signifies the coming of age and requires a commitment to accept responsibilites in the Jewish faith and community. The young lady celebrates this commitment by conducting the Shabbat service with the help of several Rabbis (there was a woman Rabbi present too). There was alot of Hebrew, which we didn't understand, and many other traditions with which we were unfamiliar, like the Bar'chu (the Call to Worship), the Shema (acclaiming the belief in one God), the Aleynu (Adoration) and the Kaddish (a prayer for those who have died). The last one, the Kaddish, meant the most to my husband and I, and we so appreciated being able to share in this service (although there was alot going on we really didn't understand!).

Upon the advice of a Jewish friend of my husband, we gave the celebrant a small gift with $18 enclosed. Each letter in the Hebrew alphabet is assigned a numerical value, and when the Hebrew letters for the word for LIFE are added up, it comes to 18; so money in multiples of 18 are given.

Please note I've used the Bat Mitzvah program as a source for most of the information given.

Bright Blessings to all!
  • Current Music
    'Puter Hum
Barnabus

Going to Italy

Well, in a few days Ben and I will be packing to go to Italy and England for 40 days and 40 nights (literally, not just metaphorically).

So if anyone wants a postcard from overseas, reply with your name and physical address. If you don't feel comfortable putting that here, e-mail it to me at SororLuna@gmail.com.

Specify whether you'd like one from Italy, England, or BOTH!

Love to everyone,

Christy

(no subject)

Welp. This conflict is really poor timing for me. Frankly, I'm surprised conflict because this intense. I'm going to step away not because I don't want to keep trying. I'm stepping away for my family, as well as my self too I guess. Babies take a lot of Energy.

I intend to contact individuals with whom I have a good rapport as often as I can.

To all I wish happier hunting and perhaps our paths will meet later in the year. If so, "merry meet."

Sincerely, Jillian

(no subject)

This is the email I sent this to the six current members of the Coven of the Red Vine on January 25, 2005.

 

Hello Everyone, I hope all is well. I am concerned about the meetings that we are NOT having. So I had an idea...

 

I thought that if we split up the duties we should be able to enjoy ritual every month or so (depending on Sabbats). I am asking if anyone wants to step up and plan Full Moon rituals for the following dates. Between the Esbats and the Sabbats we should see each other every month!

 

I have signed up already! I look forward to hearing from you.

Love to all,

Heather

 

Esbats (These are the actual dates they can be adjusted 3 days before or after. The actual day would be best!)

February 24 Thursday

April 24 Sunday

May 24 Tuesday

July 21Thursday

August 20 Saturday

October 17 Monday

 

November 16 Wednesday (Red Vine Thanksgiving, do we want Saturday the 12th or the 19th)

 

Sabbats (these are the actual dates they can be adjusted 3 days before or after)

March 19 (Clan)

May 1

June 20 (Terin and Heather out of town)

August 1 (Emily and Matt wedding)

September 24 (Clan)

October 31 Heather - our house - Oct 30 - 6PM-9PM

December 21

 

This is the only response that I received. The response is highlighted in Blue. I have edited out the names so not to violate the person’s privacy. At least I got one response!

 

“I have made comments below.  I'm willing to do these things, but I won't sign up for specific ones.  You all can pick what you want, and I'll take what you want me to take (with exceptions noted below).  We won't have them at my house, so Heather do you think we could reserve the club house for some of these (POOL PARTY IN AUGUST!!!)?

 

I also have a comment on scheduling.  I think it's very important to schedule at least a few holidays this year where PERSON can come - in other words NOT on her regular work days.  I'm willing to drive all the way to Salem on a weeknight once a month, so I can't see why we couldn't do this for her since you're all right there......  PERSON has perforce been left out way too many times in the last couple of years, in my opinion.  Soap box crushed.

 

Yes, I'm working on an attitude adjustment and it's kind of taking a monkey wrench......


Esbats (These are the actual dates they can be adjusted 3 days before or after. The actual day would be best!)

February 24 Thursday

April 24 Sunday

May 24 Tuesday - Person can come, but can't plan

July 21Thursday - Person can come, but can't plan

August 20 Saturday

October 17 Monday

 

November 16 Wednesday (Red Vine Thanksgiving, do we want Saturday the 12th or the 19th)

 

Sabbats (these are the actual dates they can be adjusted 3 days before or after)

March 19 (Clan)

May 1

June 20 (Terin and Heather out of town)

August 1 (Emily and Matt wedding)

September 24 (Clan)

October 31 Heather - our house - Oct 30 - 6PM-9PM

December 21 – Person will be out of town – NO

 

 

 

I am very sorry that I have to take this action. I feel as if I have been put in a corner and since flight is not an option in a corner, I will have to fight and because fighting is an unnecessary action with negative consequences, I will not respond to any “posts” on the Live Journal or respond to emails that “blame” me for the “community” not being together.

 

Apparently our “community” doesn’t want to be one and the Coven of the Red Vine doesn’t respond so I will officially close down the Coven of the Red Vine and the Clan deAvalon at Mabon.

 

 

I will be practicing as a Solitary Witch.

 

I will go, in my official capacity as Crone, to a coven ritual only if I am invited by the Priestess of the Coven. I will not ask to be invited. If you want/need me there you will have to ask.

 

I am available by email and phone for any other Solitary that needs an answer to a specific question or to deal with a specific problem.

 

I am very pleased with the Star Crossed Coven for BEING a real coven, that have realized that they are truly a family. Great Job Becky!

 

I will check in on the Live Journal occasionally. I may even make a comment or two.

 

 

Remember to take responsibility for your self.

 

 

The Wiccan Rede (Long form)
(also known as The Rede of the Wiccae and the Witches' Creed)
Generally credited to Doreen Valiente

Hear now the word of the Witches, the secrets we hid in the night,
When dark was our destinies pathway, That now we bring forth in the light.

Mysterious Water and Fire, The Earth and the wide-ranging Air,
By hidden Quintessence we know Them, and we will keep silent and dare.

The birth and rebirth of all Nature, the passing of Winter and Spring,
We share with the life Universal, rejoice in the Magical Ring

Four times in the year the Great Sabbat, returns, and the Witches are seen,
At Lammas and Candelas dancing, on May Eve and old Halloween

When daytime and nighttime are equal, when sun is at greatest and least,
The four lesser Sabbats are summoned, again Witches gather in feast.

Thirteen silver moons in a year are, thirteen is the Covens array,
Thirteen times at Esbat make merry, for each golden year and a day.

The power has passed down the ages, each time between woman and man
Each century unto the other, ere times and the ages began.

When drawn is the Magickal circle, by sword or athame of power,
Its compass between two worlds lies, in the land of shades of that hour.

Our world has no right to know it, and the world beyond will tell naught,
The oldest of Gods are invoked there, the great work of Magic is wrought.

For two are the mystical pillars, that stand at the gate of the shrine,
And two are the powers of Nature, the forms and the forces divine.

And do what thou wilt be the challenge, so be it in love that harms none,
For this is the only commandment, By Magick of old be it done.

Eight words the Witches Rede fulfill:
If it Harms none, Do what Thou Will!

 

  • Current Mood
    crushed Hurt

My opinion

I have kept my tongue about many things within this community because people I respect have asked me not to add to the fire.

However, that compunction is no longer over my head and I have a few things to say...

One of which is I am tired of being judged and told how I should and shouldn't feel/act/schedule my time around this community. I hesitate to even call this group a community, really. We certainly aren't a religious community... Some of the people I have been in circle with wouldn't know the Sacred if it bit them on the ass. I have been in circle (perfect love and perfect trust, ya know) with people who bitched the whole time about their mother/husband/boss/job/child... That is not Sacred energy... that is not a Ritual... that is NOT a safe place for me to commune with the Divine. Our circles (not completely... but on the whole) have been a source of frustration and disappointment for me. I have tired of explaining to people why this is and I do not feel like I have been listened to and certainly not understood.

We broke into separate covens because we don't like each other. It's blunt, but true and the lie that we have been living under has created divisions which don't need to be there. Perfect love and perfect trust (which I think is a load of hogwash most times) is not possible when you think the person next to you is abhorrent. People couldn't get along and so they separated (which is the way it's suppose to happen) which is why we are not one coven/community. AND THIS IS FINE!!!!! Well over 65% of the practicing Neo-Pagan population is solitary for just such a reason. The false notion that we should be one happy family is just as false in this instance as it is in any propagandized notion of unity. We will never be unified as a single group because we aren't one. AND THAT IS FINE!!!!! The separation we have CAN create harmony, but to live the lie that our goal is unity (which we have been living under) drives us further apart.

I am tired of people being judged (notice a pattern here?) for what they have not done. I am tired of people acting like their way is the best way (even when they say they don't) and looking down on others who are not as 'advanced' or as 'committed' as they are. The CRAP I read about who was busier than who just made me want to VOMIT! Being told that "I could make time, if it was important enough to me" is the coldest, lowest form of emotional blackmail I have heard in YEARS! A PERFECT example is Heather... our "oh Baby" crone who has been in and out of serious, life-threatening health issues and even committed herself to the Mental Ward SEVERAL times in the past year or so... I can't imagine why the Coven and Clan has been on the back-burner in her world. But yet, did anyone step up and take over the scheduling/arranging/hosting/communicating about the Red Vine coven? If they did, I never heard about it. Did anyone offer to take dinner over to their house after Heather got out of the hospital? Did anyone step up and offer to help them with their computer issues so that she had access to the board and e-mail on-line? If they did, I didn't hear about it. Has anyone EVER consistently helped her with the myriad details with this group? BUT what some people did do is COMPLAIN that she is not active enough in our community. Wow, that is caring and considerate. That is a really good example of Perfect love, and perfect trust.

I have often said that I am a Episcopalian stuck in a Pentecostal group. This still holds true. I realize that not everyone is into the level of ritualized Ceremony that I am and that many people do not feel Sacred when they are within a (semi)-ridged structure. But the very definition of Ritual is the "prescribed order of a religious ceremony". Personally, I do not think that passing out the ritual as we are lining up to start circle is any kind of preparation. HOWEVER, I understand that the Clan has all levels of people and for some the victory is simply participating in public and I honor their victories. Again, HOWEVER, we ALL know when the clan meets and the covens know far in advance who is going to take which holiday. If we don't, then take some initiative and VOLUNTEER for a holiday and then PLAN IT. You don't even have to be part of a coven. I don't know how often I have heard the lame excuse of "Oh, well it's a Clan event, it's suppose to be loose/start late/unorganized." BALDERDASH... and again... I say that is just BULLSH*T!!!! I could just SCREAM when I hear that... What? Our Goddess/God(s)/Universe isn't important enough to put thought and feeling into a ceremony? Is our Spirituality just a GAME? or worse yet a JOKE!?! I don't think so and there are a number of people in this organization who don't think so either. Things happen and sometimes events don't go as planned, but that is not what I am talking about. Personally, for a ritual to be effective we need to create a safe, liminal space. Liminal means a space between... Twilight is liminal because it is between light and dark... liminal space in the ritual sense means that we are not in the world of the mundane and not really in the Otherworld but in a Sacred space between those worlds. This doesn't happen when there is casual conversations/caustic banter/confusion because people have never even read the script before or the general disorganization which is prevalent in almost every ritual I have been to in the past 6 years. Big groups are hard to commune with and it is VERY difficult to create a Sacred space for each person at a large group, but we haven't learned anything over the years. There hasn't been any improvement in the methods of dealing with these issues. It seems that, as a group, we all look at the leaders, (The Crone, Loki, and the Baby Crone), to "make things better" while many of us chat through the ceremony and then complain that it didn't "feel Sacred" but then don't take the responsibility for making it better next time. And those of us that do try to create that space end up feeling like we are Pre-school teachers keeping a class quiet.

But I think that I am mostly tired of the judgmental, petty, prissy, gossipy drama which seems to always surround this group every time I am there.

If you are angry at me for saying these things or think that I am being too harsh, then maybe you need to look at how close to home they hit. I stand by what I have said and if you think that I am talking about you, then I probably am. I think the better question would be, how are you going to prove me wrong?

Blessed Be.
  • Current Mood
    angry angry

Scheduling discussion

I have been getting e-mails which are talking about changing which holidays we would be meeting.

Several people have talked about moving the meeting dates to Summer Solstice and Samhain. However, there are lots of people (ok...four) who have some pretty significant issues with this move. Namely, Heather, Terin, Christy and Ben

Now, having said all this... this is a discussion.... NO decisions have been made... but I thought I would open this discussion within this context.

So... My opinion (which I have said in the e-mail discussion) is that I do not think that it is the date or the time of year that creates more or less attendance and so I would advocate for leaving the dates alone.