My email wasn't working so I've missed notifications :-o I think I have it fixed now. I will be able to resume snarking in comments! \o/
Here is a wonderful post from one of the Moms in the Circle of Moms faith blog listings called Parenting by the light of the moon. She and I seem to share many basic opinions on Witchcraft and she has a wonderful reading list up which includes some of my favorite and most recommended books. To quote:
Witchcraft is one of those annoyingly authentic things that can only be transmitted from person-to-person. It is one of those stubborn religions that needs energetic information passed from initiate to student as well as words. It is not self-help disguised as the Craft and most importantly, it is NOT FOR SALE.
A post that is a new favorite of mine is from the Kitchen Witch blog, yet another bloggin' Mama I seem to have lots in common with. There is a reason why these two women are in the top 25 faith blogs. Any parable that has "yes, it's about you" attached to it sets my snarky heart a-flutter. Yay for fellow AP, lactivist, ranty Mamas!
And so I don't leave you without a dose of the dolce tonight:
Hubby gave me some blog fodder the other night but I wasn't in the mood. Plus, I don't want to make this blog Catholic-heavy. However, I've realized it actually fits the theme I had been working with recently, so let's tie it all together. My Mother-in-law was quite angry the other day; It was supposed to be the Feast of the Ascension celebration at church, but that had been moved to the following Sunday. She was, I presume since I got this second-hand, livid. The date is when it is and that is that. Funny, this might be one of the few things she and I have in common! I understand the practicality, but still hate the practice of celebrating an event on the weekend, at everyone's convenience.
So who cares about the bee in my MIL's Sunday bonnet? It led me to something much more interesting. The Feast of the Ascension, for those who don't know, is supposed to take place 40 days after Easter (which is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox), and celebrate Jesus rising bodily into heaven. In Venice they have a different celebration: The marriage of Venice to the Sea, Festa della Sensa. The Doge processes to the sea, throws a gold ring into it and prayers are said for the sea's tranquility and abundance. Sounds like a wedding to me! Venice is called La Serenissima, serene waters. There is a page here with information on how, when and why it started. I believe this particular public ceremony began this way, but it has much deeper, more ancient roots. Here is an interesting excerpt from that page which I plan to address:
In 1177 the two largest European powers of the period signed a peace agreement in Venice which ended the long struggle between the Papacy and the Empire.
This came about principally due to the diplomatic involvement of Doge Sebastiano Ziani.
Pope Alessandro III, as a mark of his gratitude to the city, gave the Doge a blessed ring, pronouncing "Ricevilo in pegno della Sovranità che Voi e i successori Vostri avrete perpetuamente sul Mare" (Receive this ring as a token of sovereignty over the sea that you and your successors will be everlasting). He then imposed the wedding between Venice and the Sea "Lo sposasse lo Mar sì come l´omo sposa la dona per essere so signor" (Marry the sea as a man marries a woman and thus be her Lord).
I've only briefly touched on the idea of Goddess as Kingmaker in the past 160ish posts because this isn't a 101 blog. I assume folks have some idea about paganism when they get here, and I'm happy to answer direct questions if anyone wants more clarification. It's a concept that cuts across Pagan cultural lines: The Goddess is the one with the power and chooses her King/Consort as with Diana and the Rex Nemorensis. Inanna was a kingmaker as well as Macha. It's the Goddess-on-Top version of the Hieros Gamos, the Sacred Marriage.
Remove the implied "lord over her" misogyny from that quote and think of it in terms of "Lord and Lady" and here you have a hieros gamos: The male ruler of the land has been given his power by the Sea, La Serenissima. If she didn't want him to be the ruler, she would have dashed his ship for trying to sail on her. He is honoring Her with the offering of the ring. I think Venice might be in trouble today because they no longer ask, it's more of a shotgun wedding :P
Timing-wise, it happens around the same time as la mattanza. What is it about this time of year and the sea?