Spring Equinox (I Suck at Blowing Eggs)

The day before the Spring Equinox I belatedly started getting ready for it.  I normally do this so that I have time to spare, but I’d been so busy things had been left for later, so of course it was one of those times when things didn’t go according to plan.

I tried to blow eggs for the third year in a row and still haven’t been able to get it right.  Last year it didn’t work because I didn’t put a bigger hole in one end of the egg than the other.  This year I don’t know what went wrong, but I was rushed and may not have given it my best shot, so I’ll try again next year.  My betrothed tried and got quite a bit out of the egg, but then the shell started cracking so he gave up.

So for the first time in my life I dyed the eggs, which involves boiling them for twenty minutes, so I didn’t have to blow them.  I tried at first with the juice from a jar of picked beetroots.  This didn’t work, so I looked at the instructions at (http://www.dltk-holidays.com/easter/natural.htm) and used turmeric, which the instructions mentioned.  The turmeric dyed the eggs a bright yellow and after that I used onion skins, which dyed one egg orange and the other a shade of red my betrothed calls “sunburnt”.  I suspect that the red egg had more onion skins around it than the orange one.  This was the only craft thing that went right for this ritual.

Then I got out the paints I had bought at my local art shop and tried to paint the eggs, but the paint didn’t work on the eggs.  For my ritual I was going to paint one egg to symbolise the dark days and the second to symbolise the light days, say some words about the dark days ending, then break the dark day’s egg and hold the light day’s egg up to celebrate that the light days are here and the dark days are gone, but I had to do the ritual without the eggs.  In retrospect, I should have painted one piece of paper with dark days symbology and the second with light days symbology and used this, as the ritual felt a bit flat with only words.

I also managed to make chocolate nests.  These are cornflakes covered with melted chocolate with three Cadbury’s mini-eggs in the middle, and even this didn’t go right.  I think it was because I was cooking on gas (the vast majority of my cooking has been done on electricity) and the hob was too big for the pan, so the chocolate didn’t melt gently and started congealing into a lump.  The nests taste okay, they just don’t look very good.

It was a bit of a disaster, but I muddled through and the most important thing is not to leave preparation late, although my new year is March 25th (more on that later) and I haven’t made the ritual up yet…

Bad Ritual

Last Friday I went to a group called “A Sacred Place” in London which was supposedly not for beginners and was supposedly to utilise ritual for magic in a group setting.  I thought I could learn something from them and it would be interesting.

I came in and was given a refund on my money because of the Tsunami.  I asked why we were being given a refund as I would have been okay with my money going to help the survivors and the person manning the desk didn’t know why.

We then went downstairs and after introducing ourselves we split into groups to discuss why the Tsunami happened.  The leader is a nature worshipper and couldn’t make sense of why it had happened and was upset because of it.  I later learned that the Shinto monks in Japan had campaigned against nuclear power on those sites as it was against the land spirits.  When we reformed into one big group the idea put forward was that “it happened because of the planet’s karma”.  One of these days I’m going to have to learn about karma just so I can tell people why they’re speaking absolute rubbish.

The leader called for a break so that they could smoke and get the room ready.  Candles of colours representing north, south, east and west were placed in the corners of the room.  Since we would be casting a circle of some sort I wondered why we were putting candles in the corners which delineate a square.  I would have moved them forward till they weren’t in the corners, but still standing at the compass point they represented.

Then we stood in a circle and the circle was cast by the leader pointing a wand at us and every time he pointed the wand we had to say “I cast this circle with care and compassion”.  It’s a basic tenet of every type of witchcraft or paganism I have come across that when you cast a circle you are inside the circle.  This was setting us up to be the circle, which is so not a good idea.

The wand went faster and faster around until we could go no faster.  It was a good way of building up power, but there was so much power already in the room that we didn’t need to build anymore up, we could have used the power that was in the room.  We also chanted “earth, water, fire and air” to build power up.  That worked, but the ecstatic dancing around the room (everyone was left to their own devices as to which dance to do) dispered the power somewhat and broke the circle.  After which the ritual just ended.  I didn’t dance as half-way through the ritual I had wondered why there was so much power in the room and then I realised it was because they weren’t doing anything with the power they had built up.  When I realised this I hastily protected myself and stood outside the ritual as all that they were doing was turning themselves into one huge, blaring lighthouse for anything out there and I really didn’t want to be in the firing line when anything out there noticed them.

This was a ritual to help the tsunami.  I’m very glad they didn’t do anything with the power because as I understand it a tsunami is the water which has been displaced by an undersea earthquake and therefore has more than enough power of it’s own.  If these people had sent out all the power to the tsunami the power would just have fuelled it on.  Plus the chant for raising power should have been something appropriate, not “earth, water, fire and air”.  The tsunami was fuelled by earth and water and I hate to think what a mix of power raised by chanting these elements would do.

I’m glad these people were too inexperienced to know what to do as otherwise it would have been a prime example of the amount of damage that can be done by a little information in the hands of people who can’t think through what they’re doing.

Lords of Battle

I have finished reading the book “Lords of Battle” by Stephen Allen. This book doesn’t say anything which hasn’t been said by other and better writers. It picks up mythology from Miranda Green, which has her usual superman-like leaps of logic and sent me looking at the notes to find out who had written the rubbish I was reading. I can’t fault the writer for this as he was taking notes from a known professor.

All in all, I would give this book a miss.

Thomas the Rhymer

On Wednesday 2nd of March I went to Treadwell’s to hear a talk on the shamanic journey of Thomas the Rhymer.

The talk went through the whole ballad and emphasised its shamanic parts.  It was interesting to hear what was to me a new theory on the ballad (and a lot more new theories when we were discussing the ballad afterwards) but I’m not sure if the ballad is shamanic or just a bog-standard ballad which someone has tried to force into shamanism.

However, to find this out would mean doing a lot of study on shamanism, of which I know very little.  It’s something I would like to look into but current demands on my time are keeping me too busy.

It was a good talk and I enjoyed the discussion afterwards.

No Teacher

I’ve been ill for the last week, which is why you haven’t seen any posts from me.  But I’ve finished off a lot of books recently, so you can expect more reviews from me.  We now return to normal service with this post…

I have been without a teacher for nearly all the time I have been a pagan.  While it is a tough road teaching yourself, the upside is that you are able to think through everything and know and understand what you are doing.

It’s as the Bible says : “ask and ye will seek, seek and ye will find, knock and the door will be open unto you”.

If you expect answers to be handed to you on a plate, then you will be left wanting for a very long time.  But a seeker will always be able to find what they are looking for if they look long enough.

I have been seeking for 8.5 years, mainly through books, experiences, asking questions and looking for answers and reading on forums and message boards.  I often find that when you are seeking for an answer you find questions that you haven’t yet asked.