Monday, May 30, 2011

Absolutely Nothing

That's what war is good for. Alas, it happens all the time. The founding of Rome is, not surprisingly, made up of war stories, whether it's Aeneas, pushing for borders against the Etruscans, or Romulus and Remus warring with the Sabines. First, the wars were about borders, next, they were about money and resources. Eventually, Rome had a monopoly on all of Italy. Once everyone had been declared Romans, the wars of ideology began, and they continue today. Nice legacy there, Rome. Way to go. /sarcasm.

Today was the first day we were able to get into the pool and I've forgotten just how exhausting pool + sun can be. Having fun is tiring work. I'm not complaining, I'm just apologizing for tonight's less than stellar blog entry.

This is the US Medal of Honor. It's given to soldiers for:

"Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against any enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party." has more info on the symbolism:

 The Navy’s version of the medal was the first to be struck. It is in the shape of a simple star, and that shape is retained in the medal awarded by the Navy, Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard. Its center contains an illustration of the Greek goddess of war, Minerva, repelling a figure known as “discord.” (emphasis mine)

Air Force Version
The Army’s medal is a star surrounded by a wreath. It was developed in 1904. The Air Force version of the Medal of Honor also has a wreath, but instead of the head of Minerva, it bears the head of the statue of liberty in its center. It was adopted in 1965. . Lady liberty has a pointed crown instead of a helmet. And she does stand for liberty although she is derived from the imagery of Semiramis, wife of Nimrod, and Queen of Babylon. Semiramis was famed for her beauty, strength, and wisdom and was said to have built the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon. She purportedly reigned for 42 years after taking control from Nimrod.

Very interesting symbolism: A Goddess at the center of a Pentacle pointing down, surrounded by a laurel wreath. (Don't forget Zeus' eagle on top...) Meanwhile Sgt. Patrick Stewart's family had to fight for YEARS to get a pentacle approved for his grave? Are you kidding me? I'm glad the pentacle was finally approved (If someone wants a Flying Spaghetti Monster that's their business), but my honest wish is that these services become unnecessary as peace guides the planets and love steers the stars. However, I'm practical and cynical in addition to being hopeful all at the same time. It's tough being a Libra. So here are a few listings of resources for Pagans in the military and their families. Please support them how you can, through a donation of money or time and effort.

Remembering Pagan War Dead : A note from Selena Fox

Circle Military Ministries:   Information, networking, and support for Pagans who are serving and who have served in the military, and their families and friends. Open to individuals and groups of many Nature religion, Earth spirituality, and related paths, including Wiccan, Druidic, Heathen, Roman, Greek, Baltic, Egyptian, Pantheistic, others. Sponsored by Circle Sanctuary as part of its military support services.

The Witches Voice Military Pagan Pages: Groups, listings, guidelines, past articles, all relating to Pagans in the Military

Thanks! And a random roundup

The response to last night's blog was unexpected. I suppose the best entries are the heartfelt ones- those that come to you naturally, the ones that are inspired as opposed to the ones I post because I have made a vow to put something out there daily. Since I can't possibly top that one right now, and because I did 5 hours of driving today, here's a round up of randomness:

• Today I went to a basic tarot class. It was an exercise in beginner's mind and honestly, a nice refresher. I finally noticed while looking through the cards that, in the Smith Waite deck, while the Page of Cups has a sneaky fish popping out of his cup, the King of Cups is wearing a fish pendant on a chain around his neck. Look who grew up n showed that fish!

• I've had a setback with the labyrinth. I didn't screw up the labyrinth, I screwed up the placement: My top brick was well over the property line and onto my neighbor's lawn. Oops!!! I've had to move everything down. Well, not everything entirely. Thankfully I've only had to pop 3 bricks out of the ground. The rest are fine where they are. But instead of planting bricks tomorrow, I have to finish the brick layout. After that, I have to plant 11 bricks every day to have it ready in time. Hopefully I'll do more bricks than that in a day!

• My Grandfather, the one I spoke about in the previous post, fought in WWII. He was a member of the VFW, worked at the VFW hospital in Brooklyn, and after he retired, he volunteered there every week. Throughout his life, he was a blood donor. He had a rare type of blood so he donated as often as he was allowed (aprox every 2 months). I remember going to a ceremony where he received an award for donating an incredible amount of blood over his donating career. Have you ever been a donor? If you can, please do. If you can't, please raise awareness and rally your friends and family to donate. I'm posting this tonight on the off chance you'll read it on Memorial Day instead of after the fact. Tomorrow, I might just take a look at ancient soldiering since we're supposed to be remembering fallen soldiers of all wars.

• Don't forget to vote for all of the awesome Pagan Moms with blogs! That pink button up there on the right will take you to the Circle of Moms site where you can vote daily for your favorite faith based blogs by Moms. There are over a dozen Pagan blogs in the running with a Pagan in first place! Yay for community banding together :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A childhood memory...

There's a song my Grandfather would sing to me, usually while we were working outside together in the garden; It was about a donkey pulling a cart and when we got to a certain part, I got to hee-haw and make donkey noises. There were also parts where you pointed to your face and tapped your chest, and all manner of involvement which makes the song fun for kids.

I've always wanted to sing this song to my kiddo, but although I know how to pronounce the main words and the chorus, I couldn't remember the whole thing, and with the Sicilian language, the spelling isn't so intuitive. Being the Queen of Google searches, I've been astonished to not have found this song over the years with a quick 'net search. The song was even used in the Godfather movies, and more than once! He sings it while waiting at Ellis Island and it's used again in #3.

Today, I was determined!!! Kiddo lo0o0o0o0o0oves Eh Cumpari, and I've got him bopping to Mezza Luna Mare (it's such a bright and happy song, who cares that it's one big dirty joke? lol), but I've always wanted to sing the donkey song with him.

I finally found it: 'U sciccareddu! Sometimes called U sciccareddu Siciliano, aka The Donkey Song!

I'm sharing the lyrics here. There are variations ranging from a different word here or there to entirely different or additional verses:

'U sciccareddu
Avia 'nu sciaccareddu
ma veru sapuritu
a mia mi l'ammazzaru,
poveru sceccu miu.

*Chi bedda vuci avia,
paria nu gran tenuri
sciccareddu di lu me cori
comu io t'haiu a scurdari. (2 v.)

E quannu arragghiava facia
hee-haw, hee-haw, hee-haw
sciccareddu di lu me cori
comu io t'haiu a scurdari. (2 v.)*

Quannu 'ncuntrava nu cumpagnu
subito lu ciarava,
e doppu l'arraspava
cu granni carità.


Purtannulu a bivirari
virennu l'erba vagnata
lu mussu 'nzuccaratu
di 'nterra 'ncelu spincia.

Chi bedda vuci avia
paria un gran tinuri
sciccareddu di lu me cori
campa tu e cu mori mori. (2 v.) 

What does it all mean? It's something along the lines of: I had a little donkey, it was really funny (awesome?) I've killed my poor ass. What a beautiful voice he had, like a great tenor. When he sang he went: he-haw, he-haw, he-haw.. My donkey love, I will never forget you. Ah, the triple meanings.

There's a youtube video of a mom and little boy singing the song and doing the gestures. I came across it when I did a search for the song. I'd feel strange posting that here, even tho it's exactly what I've been talking about in this post. When I saw the video, the memories flooded back. I don't just mean thinking about my Grandfather in general, I mean very specific memories of being 2 years old and out in the garden, singing this song, gathering vegetables, trimming plants, weeding, and doing the things that make family a Family. I feel incredibly blessed to have had that growing up: A sense of Heritage, both mundane and magickal. When I head back outside with kiddo tomorrow morning to work on the labyrinth, I'll finally get to teach him this song and I can already feel Gramps smiling on the endeavor. It feels like that tingle of Magic. That, I think is the main difference with "Strega" and Wiccans: In general, Wiccans have their mundane life and then they have their magic life: It's more compartmentalized/they have to work harder for it, like learning another language. Italians are a magickal people: it's our native tongue. The magic is so well woven into the fabric of every day life that it's inseparable- you don't have to think about it because it's always there and always in use. Even with most being Catholic (and you know I maintain that Catholicism is just repackaged Roman Paganism) they have a magickal flow to life: The intergration is nearly seamless: Their religious life isn't confined to an hour on Sundays- it's how you plant the garden, it's the art of cooking, it's knowing the times to honor different aspects of life, it's the thousands of little traditions that are so ingrained that though many have lost the origin of the practice, they know to do it because they know it works and because there is a certain respect for who and what came before. Italians, as a people, are lucky to have that bond of Heritage and Tradition. Italian-Americans who have it are luckier still that it was brought here across the ocean.

Here's a youtube video of the song. Aside from the one of the mom and her son, this is my favorite, because someone got their Zia to sing it on camera. It's not a professional, it's not a group crooning at a festival, it's just the family sitting around the table and singing one of the songs, recording it so they'd have it always. She also does the donkey part right: Funny, not operatic! It's a very dramatic song and then suddenly the singer busts out with donkey sounds! It's supposed to be funny, not some Pavoratti-esque thing. Ah, the ego. Get it out of the way and make with the funny! Italians know that humor is part of magic too! Enjoy! Back tomorrow, perhaps with more songs, perhaps with a labyrinth update- it's as much a surprise to me as it is to you!

I've changed my mind. They have 1400 hits, I think they're ok with people watching it/ Here's the Mom and Son:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bits and Bobs

Today I added about 70 bricks to the labyrinth and tomorrow I will add about 125 more. The layout should be completely finished tomorrow, but then comes the task of digging each into the ground! With the 90 degree weather I've been working in the morning- not something fun for this night-owl. I know the parents out there get it: You stay up late just to have that extra time to yourself. I'm trying to flip that into having time to myself in the early morning. Thankfully, my kiddo has been helping me to gather the bricks, to place them, and to move any "wiggly worms" we might come across.

This project, which has been in the works for well over a year, took on a sense of urgency in recent days. I'm not sure where that came from, but I do know that many people have come to me in the past week, inspired to get moving on a personal project that has been lingering. Was it the move from Taurus to Gemini? We're in a Mercury ruled house at the moment, so did this give us the inspirational boost we've needed?

I think we might be into a Neptune storm. It goes retrograde next week! It just moved into the first degree of Pisces, and now it's moving back into Aquarius.

From Astrology Insights:
Neptune turns retrograde on June 3 on the first degree of the water sign Pisces. Throughout the last several weeks our planet has been inundated by water. Rivers have swollen and escaped their boundaries, lives have been flooded, and emotions have run freely. Change is never easy and particularly not so when the forms we rely on are disappearing before our eyes. Neptune reminds us that nothing is as it seems - reality is fluid and ever-changing. Throughout the month of Gemini the influence of Neptune remains strong. We are invited to leave behind our perception of reality and open to the unknown realms. 

Take a gander at your chart and see which house is being affected: Neptune Transits to the Houses.

I hope everyone has a funtastic Memorial Day Weekend! I'll still be blogging, perhaps a bit of the fluff, or a bit of the pretty. We'll see what the day brings!

Book Review: Cult of Divine Birth In Ancient Greece've finally finished reading this book by Marguerite Rigoglioso. As usual, she outdoes herself as far as research is concerned. The author draws the picture, from ancient evidence, that Parthenogenesis, and those Goddesses called Parthenos, were not simply "virgins" but singular generative forces. She posits the theory that even Hieros Gamos, union with a god, was forbidden. The Hero was born of woman alone, the way drones are born of a Queen Bee.

There was too much, and yet somehow not enough: The book touches on Delphi, Delos, Dodona, and other sites. There is some discussion of Delphi and the oracle before Apollo came to be associated with it. It went on about the Pleadies as the divine source of humanity, about Athena, Artemis, Hera and others as Parthenogenic Goddesses and their cults. There were in-depth treatments of the concept of Hieros Gamos. She skillfully connected the dots of parthenogenic iconography and wrapped it up neatly with this excerpt from Homer, who I will never read in the same way again:

High at the head a branching olive grows
And crowns the pointed cliffs with shady boughs.
A cavern pleasant, though involved in night,
Beneath it lies, the Naiades delight:
Where bowls and urns of workmanship divine
And massy beams in native marble shine;
On which the Nymphs amazing webs display,
Of purple hue and exquisite array,
The busy bees within the urns secure
Honey delicious, and like nectar pure.
Perpetual waters through the grotto glide, 
A lofty gate unfolds on either side;
That to the north is pervious to mankind:
The sacred south t'immortals is consign'd.

This one passage sums up the entire body of evidence presented in the book for Parthenogenic cults in Greece. In the book, each of the following is discussed as a symbol for parthenogenesis:

Olive tree (sacred to Athena and Neith)
Cave, bowls, urns: womb, hi.
Weaving: Athena and Neith again
Queen Bees are parthnogenic
The "wind," particularly the North Wind as an instigator of parthenogenesis
Naiades and Nymphs as titles of a parthenogenic Priestess.

All that's missing is a bear, which is discussed in great detail along with cross-cultural references.

Was I impressed by this book? Meh. Not really. I think I've hit on why: There is talk of Greece, there is talk of Egypt, there is talk of Lybia and the rest of northern Africa. But why is there nothing about Italy? It's not like she didn't talk about the other neighbors. I was annoyed that she just plain syncretized Diana and Artemis, treated Greece as one whole unified country with one unified religion, and otherwise didn't look towards Sicily and bring her paper on Demeter and Proserpina and Lake Enna into the fold, so to speak, especially when evidence from the site supports her current work. There was nothing on the Romans or pre-romans to speak of either. You write a book about divine birth groups but don't include Vestal Virgins? Even if they were a pale shadow of what the other cults were, why not continue to syncretize with Hestia and investigate her cult?

I often point out how Italy was not one unified country until recently; Well neither was Greece. However, she seems to treat it as if it was. I do appreciate that she uses the lore about deities and sacred sites as clues to the earlier mythology and at least skims the surface of it in relation to the point of the book.

How can I read a book that proposes an awesome alternate theory for Daphne and Apollo and still leave it feeling unsatisfied? What was that, you say? An alternate Daphne theory? Well, not so much alternate as seen in a new light. Daphne is called a Nymph in all of the tales. Right there we have her, as per the author's theory, endowed with the title of priestess of parthenogenesis. She is, in some stories, related to a river god, in others an actual mortal king. The typical story is that she and her sister nymphs kill a man who dressed as a women to gain access to them and pretended to be one of them. They used spears, which was a secondary weapon of Artemis. So now we have Her title, her dedication to a Parthenogenic Goddess, and now enter her flight from Apollo. This echoes the flight of Syrinx from Pan. Daphne runs from Apollo and turns into a laurel tree to avoid hieros gamos to keep her (inferred) vows. The author briefly gets into shape shifting and trance and actual men as vessels for divine seed, but it's skimmed over in favor of the single payer system. Why no reference to the shape shifting of Italian Witches? Where is Actaeon? Why am I disappointed that this reads like a research paper and less like a narrative? I know it needs to be academic to avoid being fluff, but it still bothered me. When you have references to divine birth, the scientific reality of parthenogenesis, references to Atlantis, Amazons, oracles and shape-shifting, your research has to be top notch to be taken seriously at all.

But still... I hope her other book, Virgin Mother Goddesses of Antiquity, is a better ride.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Center.

Aw man, I want another "pretty" post, don't you? Feh! Tonight is about the crossroads instead. Pretty or not, take it for what it is.

Hekate and Hermes (what can I say, I love alliteration) are paired as both crossroads and underworld deities. What is it about crossroads that relates to the dead? Why are they drawn to it? Why is that the place to leave offerings for The Opener(s)? Why is that an opening? I've pondered these questions over the years and am never satisfied, tho I do have an answer that lets me sleep at night.

When a circle is cast, we are creating crossroads. There is a North-South axis and an East-West axis. In the Center is (typically) the altar. We are working at the center of a magickal crossroads. We're not just picking points on a circle, tho that symbolism has its place. Let's remember that we are at the center of magic when we cast that circle because we are using the crossroads. Have you ever cast a circle at the center of a natural crossroads in the woods? The power is certainly amped up. At that center point you are between the worlds- neither here nor there, and all possibilities are laid out before you in all directions.

All of that possibility can be daunting, especially when there is no focus, no clear goal, no priorities. I like doing devotional work, but I really like doing practical work, creating that magickal space which gives me access to all possibilities. I can reset. I can go down a new path. I can make changes. It's the blank slate, so to speak. It's not blank at all, it contains all possibility and if the work is done right, it can affect reality.

More pretty tomorrow!


My head is full tonight. I had a wonderful experience earlier this evening and am still high on the energy. I feel like this waning moon is helping to release that which does not serve. It's been a clarifying moon and I hope to be ready to take things to the next step when She is waxing once again.
I feel like a bit of the pretty tonight, so I'm going to post a bit of poetry by an Italian (ok so he's only half Italian, but I like him so just go with it...), Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Astarte Syriaca
MYSTERY: lo! betwixt the sun and moon
Astarte of the Syrians: Venus Queen
Ere Aphrodite was. In silver sheen
Her twofold girdle clasps the infinite boon
Of bliss whereof the heaven and earth commune:
And from her neck's inclining flower-stem lean
Love-freighted lips and absolute eyes that wean
The pulse of hearts to the spheres' dominant tune.
Torch-bearing, her sweet ministers compel
All thrones of light beyond the sky and sea
The witnesses of Beauty's face to be:
That face, of Love's all-penetrative spell
Amulet, talisman, and oracle,—
Betwixt the sun and moon a mystery.

Fior Di Maggio
Oh! May sits crowned with hawthorn-flower,
And is Love's month, they say;
And Love's the fruit that is ripened best
By ladies' eyes in May

AFAR away the light that brings cold cheer
Unto this wall,—one instant and no more
Admitted at my distant palace-door.
Afar the flowers of Enna from this drear
Dire fruit, which, tasted once, must thrall me here.
Afar those skies from this Tartarean grey
That chills me: and afar, how far away,
The nights that shall be from the days that were.
Afar from mine own self I seem, and wing
Strange ways in thought, and listen for a sign:
And still some heart unto some soul doth pine,
(Whose sounds mine inner sense is fain to bring,
Continually together murmuring,)—
“Woe's me for thee, unhappy Proserpina!”   

Sonnet XX: Gracious Moonlight

Even as the moon grows queenlier in mid-space
When the sky darkens, and her cloud-rapt car
Thrills with intenser radiance from afar,—
So lambent, lady, beams thy sovereign grace
When the drear soul desires thee. Of that face
What shall be said,—which, like a governing star,
Gathers and garners from all things that are
Their silent penetrative loveliness?
O'er water-daisies and wild waifs of Spring,
There where the iris rears its gold-crowned sheaf
With flowering rush and sceptred arrow-leaf,
So have I marked Queen Dian, in bright ring
Of cloud above and wave below, take wing
And chase night's gloom, as thou the spirit's grief                                                              

Venus Verticordia
She hath the apple in her hand for thee,
Yet almost in her heart would hold it back;
She muses, with her eyes upon the track
Of that which in thy spirit they can see.
Haply, "Behold, he is at peace," saith she;
"Alas! the apple for his lips, - the dart
That follows its brief sweetness to his heart, -
The wandering of his feet perpetually!"

A little space her glance is still and coy,
But if she give the fruit that works her spell,
Those eyes shall flame as for her Phrygian boy.
Then shall her bird's strained throat the woe foretell,
And her far seas moan as a single shell,
And through her dark grove strike the light of Troy


I would absolutely love it if the readers out here would post their favorite poems. No need for it to be specifically Pagan, or Italian, I'm of a mood tonight and want to enchanted with words!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What am I doing here?

Readers will IM or email me about the blog more often than they comment. Totally understandable: some conversations are better had instantly, or in private. I love chatting. But I don't love expectations; My body rebels against them. I think it's a defense mechanism for my perfectionism. I know nothing is "perfect" but work so hard to make something as close to perfect as possible that I wind up exhausting or disappointing myself more often than just enjoying the process.

I'm trying to enjoy this process and not overly define it. I'm still wondering what I've gotten myself into most days. Sometimes it's about opening my magickal life and my heart to others and not caring about judgment. Sometimes it's about sharing my research and pet peeves. Sometimes it's about educating people on where their traditions originate. Sometimes it's an exercise in questioning everything I've come to know and seeing it through new eyes: Beginner's Mind. Sometimes it's just a slog through the thoughts and words to keep a promise.

Here's a bit of all of the above for tonight's post:

I have a tattoo. I got it after a birthday, during my Venus return, as part of my first initiation. I have another tattoo coming. There will be henna trials first, tho I'm pretty positive where it needs to be.

Sicilians invented the wheel.

The more I dig into my studies, the more I understand that each region has its own lore and idiosyncrasies. They also overlap a lot in ways that are surprising. It's one thing to know something is the case, it's another to understand.

I'm cranky today because I haven't been setting aside enough time for my studies and meditations and I've been feeling disconnected. Time to plug back in!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


So last night I found a new family member. We might be related by marriage more than DNA, but having talked for a good long while about how and where we both grew up, I realized that we're related by something incredibly important: We're related by Brooklyn.

Why Brooklyn and not "The Italian American experience?" Maybe because, despite Boston being an arrival destination, most Italians arrive in New York and settled in Brooklyn.

So what did we have in common? We both have one side of our family from Naples and the other from Sicily. Big deal, right? Well, yeah. It led to a conversation about teaching styles: In both cases our Napoletan relatives taught methods that were painted with a catholic veneer: saint intercession, novenas, The Eye, witches are bad, but we do the good magic so it's ok, here's what you do for protection, to bless your house, here is how animals give us info, etc etc. Everything is what we come to understand as "catholic" as opposed to just plain christian. However, with the Sicilian sides of our families, things were more open. Not public, mind you, but more honest about what was being done, even admitting it's magic that's being done, that it is indeed Witchcraft and the tales about bad witches are church grown bullshit.

So why the huge difference? Sicily is a whole other world than Naples. Naples is Rome's next door neighbor. They had to hide what they did moreso than the Sicilians, who were hundreds of miles away by land or sea. Hopefully we'll have a post soon about the corruption of Sicily after its annexation by Rome from Dusio. Maybe we have to cheer him on? ;)

Anyway, back to the topic: My Family, once they came to America, had such a desire to fit in that they felt the need to hide who they were. I don't mean as practitioners of Magic. I mean the old world customs. They'd be kept in the house, or in the community, but now, surrounded by outsiders, as opposed to living in proximity of your extended family, it became important to distinguish what could and could not be talk about to outsiders. It's only in the past few years that I've been able to publicly speak about my family practices and traditions and invite others into them. 125 years since my Great-Grandparents arrived here. What can I say, they're patient lol

 Are you? One of the themes of the NYPL event this weekend was to have both the Patience and Fortitude to rise up to the challenge of completing the quest. The two lions outside of the NYPL were named Patience and Fortitude by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. A Paisan ;)

As I've been writing this, I've been going through more genealogy records and info I have stored here and on line. Some of my family arrived before Ellis Island and aren't so well documented, but the search continues, and not just here, also on the other planes. If you reach out, they will reach back. Have you tried? What have you done to reach out to family, both past and present?

I'm leaving it here tonight and hope to have something especially interesting tomorrow night. I'm working on it!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

"And so, have them for yourself, whatever kind of book it is, and whatever sort, oh patron Muse, let it last for more than one generation, eternally."  -Catullus

I posted this quote a few nights ago, but today, I am an author with my work preserved and protected by the NY Public Library. They were hand binding the book pages as we wrote them. What a wonderful, crazy, exhausting experience. I think around 3:30 am I started writing rhyming couplets about my amazing new philosophy: "Don't be a jerk." Yeah, we were all a but punchy around 3 AM. Ask me about the video I took of the squad who sang Kokomo... Or perhaps it's best you don't...

The challenge was multi-layered: Everyone broke out into squads had to "unlock" the 100 artifacts by finding and scanning their code via smart phone, then writing about it. Next layer: The book could only be 600 pages. That's 6 pages per artifact. For 500 people. Folks signed up to write so everyone knew what was being worked on. Next layer: The first 25 challenges had to be done by midnight. Another: Certain rooms were closed at certain hours! It was hard to fit artifact finding then writing. Fortunately, we found the way to hack the game and everyone was able to unlock the assignments they wanted to.

There were several points during the night where we'd glance at the time and realize we had only a few minutes left to publish it!

It was fabulous and frustrating and tiring and I'm glad I got to be a part of it. I was up for 24 hours and have had 4 hours of sleep since. I hope to get back into the swing of blogging properly tomorrow. For tonight, you can go Find The Future for yourself!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Live bloggng from the NYPL

I'm here, checking in, going to try to live blog as we go. Here's an invocation I wrote on the way in:

I sing, O Muse, of your dwelling place; Where the future is built upon the stacks of the past. I pray you, honored triplicity, grant us your gifts of inspiration, reflection and eloquence. Guide us through these marble halls to treasures vast, so that through the art of play we might lay the foundation for the great work ahead. 

In the spirit of collaboration I invoke thee! Hail and Welcome!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Warning!: Rambling stream of consciousness ahead!

Tomorrow night I'll be at the NYPL for the Find the Future Scavenger Hunt/Book Writing challenge. There are 100 items to find and write something about. ie: A draft of the Declaration of Independence. One challenge, sample or not, we don't know, is to write your own declaration and get 37 people to sign it. Tomorrow is also about inspiration and how the objects in the library, the past, can inspire you to create and shape the future. So naturally, my mind is on Inspiration itself.

How do ideas come to us? What is that flash, who turns on the lightbulb? Is it a bunch of random neurons firing? Is it one of 9 Ladies? Tonight I'm taking a look at the Muses since I will be spending the night in a cult site of the Muses, a Museum.

The Muses, their concept and attributes, are a multi-layered mystery. There were three, there were nine, they were collectively in charge of all arts and sciences, they had their own specialties, etc. Some say they began as water nymphs. Their cult centers in Boetia and at Delphi predate its dedication to Apollo.I've been reading various texts about Delphi and what was there before Apollo slayed the python. I have a thing for Dephi <3

Varro writes about Three Muses: Practice, Memory, and Song and how they are, respectively, born of the movement of water, sound on the air, and the human voice.

Who's your Daddy? Zeus? Jupiter? Apollo? Since the Muses were worshiped at Delphi before Apollo was, back when Gaia Herself ruled the area, it seems Apollo is out of the running on this one. There are other stories where Athena is involved, Pegasus, more water nymphs...

Funny how it comes back to water time and again. Today, many neopagan traditions look to the west, and water as the source of emotion and, as a friend just reminded me: The Stream of Consciousness. It's all about the water. We sing in the shower, we soak away our troubles in a hot bath...

Tomorrow night I'm going to try to blog from the library during the event! May all of The Muses be with me!

And on Sunday, I plan to continue to look at Inspiration itself and specifically how it was viewed in pre-Roman Italy. Sometimes we have to start with the popular lore, search for clues, then strip the layers! That's my mission here. Maybe it was inspired by The Muses ;)

"And so, have them for yourself, whatever kind of book it is,
and whatever sort, oh patron Muse
let it last for more than one generation, eternally."  -Catullus

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I've been working all day and I'm pretty wiped so here is an Alessandra Belloni video where she talks about and plays the Pizzica Tarratata. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quiet moments

It's an exhausted kind of night. Instead of trying to cobble together a less than stellar post, I'm going to share a quote that has been on my mind lately:

"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives." - Henry David Thoreau

Until tomorrow...

Bringing Sexy Back (adult post alert)

Last night I started chatting about Mercury and made allusions to a forthcoming post about Him and various regional Italian celebrations and perhaps even putting the sex back into His lore. Looks like we have to turn elsewhere, at least to start:

"We are singing for the sake of Eshu
He used his penis to make a bridge
Penis broke in two!
Travellers fell into the river."

" In condomble, Brazilian orisha worship, Exu rules over sexual intercourse"

The Roman lore surrounding Mercury, other than the remaining clues of Him being the divine spark of sex itself, is basically devoid of anything sexual. What does the lore tell us? We hear about being a messenger, about commerce, thievery and being a trickster, but where's the lovin? The Greek lore that remains has a glimpse hither and thither: Herme's son, Autolychus, was born of Chione, a Princess he "ravished." Let's not forget that one of the symbols of Hermes is the rooster, aka, The Cock.

Let's get back to Italy, Pompeii to be exact:
There He is, winged shoes, caduceus, and All his "Glory."

Now let's talk about Herms. wtf is that?  One of these:

Hermai were boundary markers and also intended to ward off evil. Hermes is a God of boundaries, and a big giant penis pointing at me would certainly scare me off. Well, one that big anyway...

How big were phallic symbols in Italy? (pun intended lol) I'm wearing one right now: The cornicello. Out of all the symbols of La Vacchia that survive today, one of the biggest (there's a theme here, roll with the jokes) is The Horn. Italians who have no idea about their Ancestor's pre christian practices still know what The Horn is and how to use it. 

So where did Mercury's Mojo go? Priapus. Argh, more names! Now who is this guy?

Fresco of Priapus, House of the Vettii, Pompeii.

That's him. Yeah. He's weighing his, er, manhood. Some say he and Mercury were "conflated" but it seems more like he is the sexual side of Mercury, reduced to a "rustic" deity. A deity of the lower classes, the country folk, not the distinguished citizens who were so refined as to vomit so they could eat more at a party... But I digress...

Right now I'm going to chisel you and give you the best thing ever: Excerpts from Hermes Guide of Souls  by Karl Kerényi. There are discussions on Samothrace, Herms, His sexuality and so much more. It's definitely a favorite.

PS: You can now follow this blog using your facebook account. Yay!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Buon Mercuralia!

Happy Birthday Mercury!

I started writing a post about The Mercuralia, which was a Roman/State celebration, and the different regional traditions and celebrations involving Mercury/Turms/Hermes, etc. But I just threw a kiddie birthday party and I'm telling you, 8 children in one room feels like 18 children. The energy just multiplies itself. I'm pretty tired, so I'm going to share with you a favorite musing of mine:

Mercury was "born of May." aka Maia for whom the month is named. Considering that 'Planting May" or piantarmaggio is a euphemism for sex, and His father is said to be Zeus, it makes sense to me that Mercury is the energy (lightning/divine spark) of sex itself. His parentage is both aetheric and cthonic. A lot of the sex has been taken out of Mercury's popular lore. He is better known for thievery and merchant patronage and delivering messages. Outside of Rome, however, He has a very different depiction. Apologies for leaving it hanging here tonight. I really do want to keep going with this, but I'm afraid I'm going to fall asleep at the keyboard tonight and I want to write this up properly and do justice to the topics; Both Mercury and regional differences with the official roman state religion are favorite musings of mine and tackling both together gives me a happy the likes of which I can't describe.

Hail Mercury!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Why do we Italians talk with our hands? No idea. I think it's ingrained in our DNA. Some of the gestures are mundane, some are not. Applied correctly and with intent, gestures can have as much of an effect as an entire spellworking. You can claim a space, you can direct the force of your energy toward a specific goal depending on the emotion behind it. Italians are so concerned with "the eyes" because they know it can happen by accident, with gesture as well as a look (we are a passionate and gesticulating people).

Other traditions have their common, ritual and secret hand signs too. But this isn't a blog about BTW offshoots. Some gestures have concrete evidence, er, well bronze evidence at least, as with the Roman hand of Power that I've blogged about in the past. Statues, artwork, mirrors and even some games give us clues as to hand gestures of yore. I know Wiccans who study Hindu and Egyptian Mudras which have been passed down virtually in tact. Again, if there's a system out there which will give you access to what you need, go for it. Are these the only "power gestures" out there? Of course not; However, there are the secret handshakes with the Gods that our Ancestors used. If you meditate on it, if you're in tune with your Patrons, or Ancestors, you can divine, or recover gestures your family used as keys to the Mysteries as they knew them. Or, start your own handshake with your Patrons. Many pick a "magickal name" so why not a magickal gesture?

Do you really think Christians invented crossing themselves? Hahano. They didn't even invent the cross as a symbol. I don't mean the equal arm cross either. From the Cyprus exhibit at the National Museum in D.C.:
The oldest form of worship on Cyprus was veneration of the Mother Goddess, source of life and fertility. A number of figurines from Chalcolithic villages, depicting seated or squatting women in the act of giving birth, may be an expression of that devotion.
Small cross-shaped figures also seem to represent women giving birth. These were often worn as pendants, especially in death. Great numbers of the stone pendants have been unearthed from cemeteries at Souskiou.

Taking up the mantle of your Ancestors can be like walking an old footpath in an overgrown forest: Sometimes the path is well-worn, sometimes there is barely a trace, and sometimes you're the one who has to clear away the brush or even forge the path yourself. We might find map clues in the folk traditions of our family, but you have to want it and you have to work for it. Desire is a lot but it isn't enough. Even as I look for the metaphorical path of my Ancestors, I know that I am forging new relationships with our Patrons.

I was about to post something about how I use gestures but was told to not make that public. I'll talk about it more in person. Sometimes, certain things require you to look into the eyes of another to impart information. Sometimes it's about the vibration of your voice imparting the information that makes it stick. I suppose if it's not the kind if thing you would mail in a letter, it's not the kind of thing you should put on the internet. Even though I feel like I'm "talking" to all of you, I'm technically not. I'm writing a love letter ;)

Speaking of love... Buon Mercuralia! Tomorrow I'll be posting my thoughts on the birth and the Parentage of Mercury and how the lore informs us of his true nature.

Find the Future - The First 500

I've been invited to be one of 500 people to play the Find the Future game at the New York Public Library! You know the Library- it has the two big lions in front of it and was the location of the first ghost they encounter in Ghostbusters :) We're locked in overnight and hunt down 100 artifacts and write about them. A book will be compiled from the writings and published.

A friend mentioned the contest to me but I didn't really give it any thought until I started searching for the Leo Martello book, Curses in Verses. Turns out the NYPL has a copy. I was going to reserve it, and a day to myself so I could read it there. They don't really loan out rare books lol

Here's is a link to the CNN article about it.

What does this have to do with Italian pre roman religious traditions? Everything. We've lost so much of our cultural history because it was destroyed, then it wasn't safe to write down again. Libraries conserve. Libraries keep the past alive. The NYPL is more than a library, there are photos, prints, and the original Winnie the pooh stuffed animals that belonged to the real life Christopher Robin.

"The Rare Book Division houses approximately 130,000 titles, covering five centuries of printing—from the 1450s to the present—and representing Continental Europe, England, and the Americas."

There are nearly 500 books about Giordano Bruno, over 2,000 books on "Witchcraft" including the records of the Salem Witch Trials and the book written in the late 1430s, Formicarius.  It was the first printed book to discuss Witchcraft and its practitioners.

NYPL also has: Two copies of the first folio edition of William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories and Tragedies, published in 1623, The earliest known copy of the "Nican Mopohua," a narration of the mystic appearances of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1531, Aphra Behn's works... I could keep geeking about it but I'll stop for now.

With the Ritman Library closed and the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel working on creating the New Alexandrian Library, conservation seems to be a hot topic. We've had to rebuild over and over throughout the ages. It's time once again.

I'm ridiculously excited about this upcoming experience. Perhaps I will dress as Lara Croft...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

It's not always a rant.

But sometimes it is.

Motivation. You haz it or you don't. Sometimes you find it, sometimes you lose it. The trick is to keep it once you find it. How to keep it? Momentum. Object in motion stays in motion. You are that object. Whether we're talking about exercise, or studying, or daily practice, or something completely crazy like blogging every day for a year, the more you do, the easier it is to do. The plateau I talked about last night has more to do with the fact that I've surpassed my usual devotional set than me running out of things to write about or motivation to write. I've mentioned before on the blog that I usually choose a daily devotional and keep it up for a turn of the wheel ie Spring Equinox to Floralia. It's typically a 3 month chunk of time. I've done over 130 posts, that's 4.5 months of the same daily devotion. I'm past my set point. Perhaps changing up the other offerings I do will approximate the feeling that I'm shifting seasonal gears. That, or I just have to change my set point and up my range from 3 months to 12. That's only 4 sets of 3! Hopefully my brain is now wrapped around it and there will be no further namby-pamby whining about it again. Hopefully.

So what do you think about Jason Pitzl-Waters from The Wild Hunt campaigning to be on The Daily Show? I think he needs to write a book first. I think he needs to write a book anyway! Here's the link to the facebook campaign.

Speaking of books, it's time to go read Cult of Divine Birth. Nighters!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I feel like I've hit one with my posting. Part of me isn't motivated, part doesn't have the time for a proper post, part doesn't have the energy and part of me wants my privacy and is rebelling against expectations. This is post # 131. Not every post will be a winner, but I certainly don't just want to take up space. I'm going to focus once again on my reading list and report back. Over the next few days I plan to finish reading The Cult of Divine Birth in Ancient Rome and post something in-depth next week. Tonight I was reading about early immigrants to America and the development of "Italian-Americans."

Until then, here's something that's been bugging me and I'd love to know what you think of it:

"May you never Hunger. May you never Thirst."

I've never liked these lines because, as a friend points out, they are "negations and poor magic. The subconscious has a problem with negatives." It's true- the focus is on the main idea, not on the negative word added before it. Try it: Don't think about elephants.

Oops, I bet you just did. Wouldn't it be better to say "may you be fulfilled" or perhaps "live long and prosper?"

What really bugs me is that many don't know where it actually comes from and try to pass it off as "teh uber ainshunt wurdz." They're from Stranger in a Strange Land, the science fiction book by Robert Heinlein. Seriously, kids, know what you're saying before you say it. Why not a star trek or star wars greeting? All are mythologically valid and valuable.

New things aren't bad just because they're new. I've said it here before: Italians use what works. We might laugh at people who use "jar sauce" but most of us are fine using tomatoes from a can instead of making the Sunday gravy with fresh produce!

I've been going over my list of posts to write and I've been editing. There are things I've decided to not share and more things that I want to get deeper into, including Joseph Campbell and the common threads of myth that connect all ancient world cultures. And I'm positively surrounded by gorgeous men who are devoted to Isis and the Kemetic Ways. Just saying... That's 3 now, It's a message!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Just popping in

Tonight is an uber quickie. I had a wonderful, long day celebrating my son's birthday, also known as: my initiation into the Mysteries of Motherhood. I hope to have something written up on this tomorrow. Yesterday's post about the five fold fuck up was fun. I hope to follow it up tomorrow with something equally cranky, er, I mean thought provoking.

Birthday cakes are Italian in origin, by the way ;)

As per the holy wiki "the intertwining of cakes and birthday celebrations stretch back to the Ancient Romans."


Monday, May 9, 2011

The 5-fold fuckup. There. I said it.

I was just pondering the Five Fold Kiss. Here's the text:

"Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways.
Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar.
Blessed be thy womb, without which we would not be.
Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty.
Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names."

Breasts formed in beauty? Are you fucking kidding me? o0o0o0o Bo0o0o0o0o0obies ::dro0o0ol:: Hmph. A man wrote this. There is no way a woman wrote this, and if it was, she was not a Mother. The Path of Motherhood is an initiatory path that not all can or choose to walk. That's fine. It's certainly not for everyone.

Why am I all ranty about this? Breasts are more than ornaments of beauty. Breasts nurture life. Without breasts, YOU wouldn't exist, despite what nestle and the other formula companies and victoria's secret try to tell you. You weren't nursed? So what, my statement still applies: There was a point in history where there was no formula, no bottles. Your ancestors drank from the breasts of their mothers. If a mother couldn't produce enough milk, another woman in the family or community would step in and nurse the baby and she would be treated as a "godmother" to the child.

I think it should be something more along these lines:

Blessed be thy breasts, which nourish life.

Instead of the male version which reads "formed in strength" (which is also ridiculously sexist- let me tell you it takes more strength to nurse a baby than you'd know unless you've done it), it could read something about comfort. Men can comfort nurse. There are tribes out there who still practice this, but I'm sure any male readers I have just freaked out. A man's chest should be a comforting place- ever see one of those pics of a shirtless man holding a baby and just swoon? Yeah, a man's breast can be comforting.

So this is my rant for the evening. Enlighten me, please: How is this not sexist on so many levels? If anyone would like to add to the discussion, especially any Wiccans who actually practice this, please do reply. I might be a curmudgeon at times, but I'm always open to discussion and learning something new. Are you? ;)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Deep Thoughts

Someone, whose name rhymes with Pon, complained that my posts have all been quickies lately. It's true. I've found that I've been moving from research to practice in the past month. If I'm working in the practical, I'm too busy to sit at the computer. It could just be the timing; Now that we're halfway through Spring, the weather has been warm enough to be outside. Experiential learning is as important as research. But since much of it is so personal, I'm limited on what I'm comfortable posting.

Here's something I am comfortable post about, especially since today is Mother's Day: From my experience the other night during my waining moon astral meetup:

I went to the Southern area of the astral temple space and there I saw a desert/beach and a large white brick fireplace that you can see through to the other side (The kind that would be in a fancy backyard). In it was a large black cauldron and under the cauldron were logs/a fire. There was also a fire in the cauldron/flames coming out of the top, burning red and yellow.

I didn't sense anything for a moment other than the heat so I walked around the fireplace looking for salamanders (I saw one, but it kinda looked up at me as if to say "Yeah, what? You're not really looking for me"). Then I felt a presence and called out to Hestia. She answered me and came over, first as a young child in brown tunic type clothes. She immediately morphed into wise women, women from my family. She changed into several of them, none of whom I had ever met before. It was wonderful and a little disconcerting how the faces and bodies morphed into each other so seamlessly.

I talked with Her about a few personal matters and asked what I could offer in return for Her guidance and wisdom. She said to light a candle by the hearth because lighting one relights all others that have ever been lit. There was suddenly a mantel on the fireplace and I lit a tealight from the cauldron flames and set it on the mantel. As soon as I did that, hundreds and thousands of picture frames and candles appeared, spiraling upwards into the sky. The longer I looked, the higher the spiral. I wanted to stay and marvel at it, but She told me I had to move along to the West.

Lighting one candle in honor of your Ancestors relights all others that have ever been lit for that purpose.

I walked away from this experience with a deeper connection to those who I didn't know personally, but who were honored by those I honor.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Maypole Joe

I didn't know him that well. We'd met a few times, but on each occasion we were so busy running our respective events that we really didn't get to talk a whole lot one on one about anything much other than the business at hand. He passed in 2002. I wish I had gotten to know him better while he was here.

NYC Pagan Pride awards a scholarship in Joe's honor. The goal this year is to give $500 to a Pagan Student whose education will help them be of service to the Pagan Community. We need community builders and role models and we need to foster and support young Pagans. By "role model" I don't mean someone who is "perfect." Everyone has faults. I bet Joe had a fault here or there too, but Joe was a role model for service to his fellow Pagans and in building a Pagan community of varying traditions. That's what we're looking for: the next Joe: Someone to take up the mantle of weaving this diverse community together.

There were a handful of people at the event today who had actually known or heard of Joe, even though he and Jackie Beltane started the Beltaine festival about 15 (18?) years ago. I'm glad I could help bring back fond memories for some and introduce Joe to others. We need to know our history so we can build the future.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Book review

I like kids books sometimes, what can I say. Rick Riordan books are typically a fun ride, especially when you're not overly serious about your lore and mythology. I really liked the Percy Jackson series of books (the movie was horrible, but that wasn't Rick's fault!). Since I'm a big fan of Greek lore, I saw the twists and turns coming in the Percy series, not so much in the Kane Chronicles. It's a bit like the Percy series (young teenage Heroes/Demigods and the adventures they go on encountering deities and artifacts, both popular and obscure). Since I'm not as adept at Egyptian lore, I've enjoyed following along, looking up deities when they're mentioned. He oversimplifies a lot of the lore, but that's to be expected, especially for a kid's book.
I like that they don't make out Isis to be all sunshine and lollipops and fairy dust. There is a power hungry dark side to her as well. Again, the whole thing is oversimplified, but still. After reading an email thread tonight about discounting lore about deities that doesn't jive with what you want and only accepting the lore that does, it was refreshing to be reminded of the example of this book: There is always more to the story and some of it won't fit into your current worldview. Thing is, in this book, the view expands instead of the kids sticking fingers in their ears like if they ignore the "bad stuff" will go away.
If you haven't read the Red Pyramid, I highly recommend it for a fun escape. If you have read it, you check out the first chapter of The Throne of Fire here

SPOILER ALERT:  I did enjoy the scene where they encounter a Roman burial site in Egypt which had been part of a Roman colony/defense. The mummies were prepared for the Egyptian afterlife, but none of the spells were done to properly send them off. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Egyptian Italy part 1 (quickie)

Egypt is right next door to Sicily, so it's not too surprising that there were cults of Isis and Osiris found there. What might surprise you is that Pyramids were found there too. This page has pictures of pyramids there as well as their angles to constellations.
I've also been perusing The cult of Isis among women in the Graeco-Roman world  By Sharon Kelly Heyob.

Here's a picture of an Isis statue from pompeii:


Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I'm sure most of you saw the misquoted MLK jr speech or the cheers and virtual grave dancing all over the internet the past few days. I was terribly annoyed. I say, if you're not a New Yorker, STFU, but that's my opinion and I'm a New Yorker :) What bothered me most is that people were telling each other how to feel or shaming others who didn't react "correctly" in their eyes. Bullshit. You feel how you feel and that's that. I'm sure most of us feel a mix of emotions.

My answer to all of the posts? A correct Martin Luther King Jr. quote: "the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice." Take that as you will. Everyone gets to define "moral" and "justice" per their own life and associations.

I'm here tonight to chat a bit about revenge. Tho the phrase existed earlier, The Godfather further popularized "Revenge is a dish best served cold." There are a few old Italian proverbs of a similar vein:

"He who cannot revenge himself is weak, he who will not is contemptible."
"Revenge a hundred years old has still its milk (baby) teeth."
"Who has patience sees his revenge."
"In revenge, haste is criminal."

From a speech recorded by Livy:

     “The Romans are a race who know not how to sit down quiet under defeat;              
any scar, which the present necessity shall imprint in their breasts will rankle
there forever, and will not suffer them to rest until they have wreaked manifold
vengeance on your heads.”

This is the quote which leads off this paper (a pdf which downloads when you click the link) on revenge and justice as seen by ancient Romans. It's long but very well written, research is cited (there are footnotes! <3) and it touches upon many things we've mentioned in this blog including Roman founding myths, Octavian, Lucrece, Etruscans, and the Latin wars (where Rome decided to conquer their neighbors and take over. Kinda like NYC invading NJ for the farmland. Not that I'd mind Cuomo as governor, but anyway...). It's something to read when you have time to sit down and take it in and to pull up the original texts cited.

We've talked briefly about defixiones tables before, mostly in relation to fertility. There were several categories of curses, from winning competitions, to politics, to court cases, to sex and love, to business to straight up revenge. Actually, many of the tables involved a plea for revenge or justice, as the writer saw it.

Hekate, Persephone, Pluto, Hermes were all invoked, as were others. The cthonic deities were involved in this magickal letter asking for help. The letter, scribed in lead or some other thin metal, invoked a deity, stated what they wanted done, then it was folded over, pierced with a nail and either buried or tossed in the water.

Revenge and vengeance have been personified as deities by both the Romans and Greeks who called to Invidia and Nemesis respectively. Nemesis was originally one who distributed balanced, justified fortune in due measure without any "good or "bad" connotations. She became an avenger figure later on.

So why am I going on about this? Revenge runs deep. Thousands of years deep. The paper I linked to above makes a distinction between revenge and justice. Revenge is thought to be emotional, a primal kind of if you get hit, you hit back for survival, lest you be shown as weak. Is there a difference? It's a matter of perception. YOUR perception, and whichever side of the quotes you were on this week, how you take it is up to you and no one else.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Punch and Pie

Actually it was fruit punch and everything bagels. That was the Hecate supper I left at the crossroads tonight. I feel like the irony was appreciated: Grain plus poppy seeds plus onion and garlic... Yeah. lol There was more traffic than usual. I'm not just saying that because I was paranoid, it felt like there were more people out because it was still light outside.

I went home right after and launched into a group visit to an astral temple. It was an interesting experience and I have to say that I prefer doing it in my own space rather than have everyone together in the same space. It's easier to bend time, to pause, to see what you need without one person's voice guiding you specifically. I'm going to talk more about time in the future and the tools you can cultivate to access different times.

I feel like I've always had an affinity for the subject in the same way I've always understood astrology. As a child I just knew what the planets were about and their relationships to each other the same way I understood Greek mythology without having ever been taught it. I believe we recall more from past lives than we realize, it's just a matter of personality and will and the environment in which you grow up that determines how much of it continues to blossom. I just plain knew astrology 101 when I popped out lol Astrology is a measurement of time and the possibilities of each moment. We are walking moments in time. When you were born, the stars were aligned in such a way that they will never be again. You are full of possibilities, as is every moment and every person. Your natal chart is a picture of you, as seen through the planets. So why can't we access other moments in time? Who says we can't?

You've heard a song that brings the memories flooding back, You've smelled something that transports you... and it can transport you. I'm not talking matrix or inception type stuff here, but more is possible on the astral and on other planes than we are willing to realize.

Time for me to get to bed to digest the work done tonight. We'll talk more about astrology in the weeks to come and how Italians invented and perfected it ;)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Dark Moon in Taurus

Tonight's post is a quickie. I'm off to do some Dark Moon work. Well, it's true dark after 2:30 am so technically I'll be doing waning moon work. The sabian symbol for this dark moon at 13 degrees Taurus, is a porter carrying baggage. I'll that that to mean it's time to shed the baggage that no longer serves us, or at least a good opportunity to do so. 

I don't feel right doing my Hekate ritual tonight, mostly because I didn't get out to leave the offerings in the place I wanted to. It's not right to show up to a party without bringing something, know what I mean? I'll do that tomorrow night, when the moon is officially dark, but before the first crescent appears.

It's hard to do inner work yet come here and blog every night without going into TMI. I suppose it only feels TMI to me because it is so personal and I keep it close to the vest.

I started down a research path and looked up and an hour had passed. That means I'm calling this blog done for the night and I'm off to my work

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Petals off the Rose

Today I participated in a ritual that was steeped in kabbalah. Spheres were equated with quarters, the name of each sphere was intoned and there were other references as well. That's all beside the point. I realized, while driving home, why I don't "feel" kabbalah.

When introducing a friend, I say: This is John.

I don't say: These are cells and these cells make up tissues and these tissues make up organs and these organs make up a body and this body is paired with this mind and this soul and this personality, and so on.

That's what kabbalah feels like to me. You're picking at something, trying to break it all down into its contingent parts when the whole is the point. I was searching the interwebs and various books trying to find a connection between Pythagoras or Plato or the Babylonians and their take on it, figuring if I come at it from another angle then I might find more of an affinity for it. Nothing yet. I just plain don't care for it. I get it conceptually, but I just don't feel it. I have no use for it as a system by which one can categorize the universe.That might change someday, and I'm willing to work on it because like my Ancestors, I'm willing to use what works. For example: In Leland's Aradia, he talks about a lemon spell. Lemons allegedly weren't cultivated in Italy until brought there from the middle east. We found something that works, we used it. Allegedly Pythagorean theory works nicely with Kabbalah, wot with the Pythagorean love of the number 10 and there being 10 spheres. Were they explaining the same thing? Am I that willing to get that deep into Pythagorean theiry and Magic to find out? Nah. He was Greek. ;)

Hope everyone had a lovely Floralia!

Hooray! Hooray!

The first of May! Outdoor F-ing starts today! \o/

This is an adult-oriented post. Keep the kiddies away from this one :)

In Italy, it's called piantarmaggio, the Planting of May. winkwink-nudgenudge! A giant pole made from a tree is planted into a hole in the wet, fertile ground. The entire celebration is "the great rite" but done on a grand scale. Two poplar trees are cut down one for the shaft and one for the tip. The trees are stripped of leaves and bark and branches and are then strapped together and brought to the town square/center of town where the hole was dug. On May eve, the pole is erected (heh) and slid into the hole (heh heh) where it stays for the whole month of May as a symbol of fertility.

Here is one of the many videos to be found on youtube of this wonderful festival. I've even come across news stories about the trip to pick the trees and have seen different regional variations where cows are driven through the town carrying the trees to plant. This one covers the whole event, including one town's "cover story" invented over 1,000 years go to make the tradition acceptable to the church so they could keep it going.

In honor of "Planting May" here is a list of euphemisms for sex: Bang, boom-boom, bonk, bump and grind, dip the wick, do the nasty, fornicate, get a home run, get it on, get laid, get your rocks off,  glaze the donut, hit it, hide the salami, jump your bones, knock boots, Lay pipe, make whoopee, mattress mambo. nookie, the nasty!, nailed, pork, poke, rocking the casbah, roll in the hay, score, screw, shag, sink the sub, thread the needle...

Hey! Wait! This is a blog about Italians, so where are those euphemisms? Where's the Italian slang? ok, quick lesson!

horny: arrapato, assatanto,
sex: chiavata, fottere, scopare, trombare (as in trombone haha)
quickie: cosina veloce, sveltina
penis: minchia (this one has always been a fave of mine lol), uccello
orgasm: sbrodare
masturbate: raspare, sega (told you video games are just playing with yourself...)