Archive for February 27, 2012


1. On the whole, I can honestly say that my spiritual exploration hasn’t been bad – no negative experiences (i.e. like growing up in an IFB cult or anything). I haven’t had any negative experiences with Catholicism (well, except for my First Confession…that was a little scary and intimidating…). Nothing bad in the Methodist church. My experience with the Episcopalian church was wonderful – one could not ask for a better reverend. The reverend at the Episcopalian church was an amazing and an intelligent person whom I respected very much and still look back on with fondness in my heart.  In fact, his wife was a reverend too and occasionally made a guest appearance there to lead service.  That rocked!  The only thing I found lacking was a deity that I could relate to. That’s what sent me back to the Catholic church – in search of the Feminine Divine that I thought I would find in Mother Mary.

I had been a solitary Pagan for a little while before I came out and started participating in rituals and classes with the the first “Wiccan-based eclectic Pagan” coven I found in Central TX . That was positive…until around Mabon/Samhain 2007. There were some  internal issues going on, some personality conflicts and personal struggles going on that led to an almost complete breakdown of the coven.  I still remained friends with some of my coven mates and consider one of them to be a Sister. Did some things with the Fort Hood Open Circle. A really great group of people and I’m thankful for them and other circles like them for being there, but it just wasn’t for me. Again, very eclectic, a lot of people coming from different traditions and again, some internal issues and drama.  I am a Virgo – you’ll have to forgive me.  I very much like organization and order.

 

2. My first experience with the local CUUPS in Anchorage was back at Lughnasadh 2009. It was a Discordian/Chaos Magic  open ritual.  Again, think about that for a minute and then think about what I said in the previous paragraph.  Virgo – perfectionist, loves organization and order…Well, life got a little hectic for me as I was pregnant with my second child with a 10 month old at home.  It wouldn’t be until Imbolc 2011 that I would finally venture back out again into the Anchorage Pagan community. I knew from my previous experience that there were a great group of people there, though I still a little nervous.  The Imbolc open ritual was a full out ADF Druid High Day Ritual and that rocked my world!  I met a very awesome woman who organized a Goddess Circle for women that was totally awesome – just what I needed at the time – time away with some rockin’ women who shared my love of the Goddess…how I miss them…

With Christianity, my problem wasn’t so much with the people as it was with the institution. I remember as a little girl, laying in bed at night listening to the Christian station, crying my eyes out begging God to forgive me for my sins, to make me a better person, not send me to burn eternally in Hell and to love me.  After all, we all know how sinful 8 year olds little girls can be.  As I got older, it was the utter lack of recognizing a feminine deity that I knew deep down in the very essence of my being was there. She was just no where to be found in Christianity. As for the beginnings of my Pagan path in a group setting – it was awesome at first until the personality and internal issues and conflicts arose. FHOC was very eclectic; it had to be as there were people from all different traditions and levels or points on their paths. My Anchorage CUUPS experience was great because it was  a bit more organized and  my first experience with Druidry just really really called to me.

 

"The Pythian Anomaly" by Catalyst Design

3. If I had to choose one thing to call G-d, I’d call G-d “Goddess”. I have been known to use “The Divine”, “Creator”, and “Great Spirit” when I’d been asked to say blessings for meals during my time as a Chaplain’s Assistant in the Army. I guess it would depend on the situation and the company I was in. I kind of have a problem with the word “God” because it just reminds me too much of Christianity. I also like the term Godde (singular) or Goddes (plural) – a little something I picked up from the Tuatha de Brighid Druid group as it includes both the God(s) and Goddess(es). But I truly prefer Goddess because I can connect and relate better to Her. She is closer than the “Ultimate Being” (not really sure what else to call it) that I feel is out there, somewhere…composed of both male and female energies – a continuum of spiritual energy if you will; just pure energy that is completely and utterly intangible.

 

kali

4. I have experienced Deity from everything from little feelings, inner voices and nudges (not physical), to overwhelming feelings of complete and utter rage to divine love that made my heart swell and bring me to tears. I have had “physical” contact with Deity (the Goddess) in a few dreams which I experienced pure unadulterated love – every cell of my body was filled and resonated with light, love and pure ecstatic joy. Since I’ve learned what I’ve needed to learn so far in Ereshkigal’s realm, I’ve not felt the rage anymore.

Was it the Goddess in the rage?  Part of me wants to say no, but part of me knows that She was – lest we forget about the warrior Goddesses who are associated with such emotions…

The least I would need on my altar would be my statue of Brighid, a candle, incense holder and well to hold water. The other added little trinkets (i.e. bell, amethyst, Brighid’s cross, etc.) are added bonuses because they are associated with Her, were given to me or I made them.

"Laka" by Kristine Provenza

“Laka’s themes are tradition, heritage, weather and arts.  Her symbols are lei flowers, dance and the color yellow.

Laka is the Hawaiian Goddess of Hula, through which the myths, legends and histories of the Hawaiian people are kept intact. Today She charges us with the sacred duty of collecting the treasures of our personal legacies and recording them for sharing with future generations.

In stories, Laka is the sister of Pele (the volcano Goddess) and a nature Goddess who can be invoked for rain. Artistic renditions show Her wearing yellow garments, bedecked with flowers and always dancing.

The cherry blossoms of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Hawaii are spiritual, not real, symbolizing the power of tradition among the predominantly Japanese community. On this day people gather together and honor their heritage by participating in martial arts, Japanese dances, weaving and arts competitions. So, if there’s any art or craft you learned from an elder in your family, take the time to display that craft or work on it today to commemorate Laka’s attributes.

If possible, get together with members of your family and begin creating a family journal that will record all the important events in your lives. Cover the journal with yellow paper dabbed with fragrant oil to invoke tending care on the sacred documents.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Laka is most well known as the Goddess of the hula and the forest. Even today, in very traditional hula halaus, an altar or offering is prepared in honor of Laka with a very specific succession of plants.” [1]  After the dance, “the altar is dismantled and ever leaf is taken to the ocean or a deep stream as a way to honor Laka further.

She is also known as the Goddess of the wild woods and over all vegetation.  Plants sacred to Her are: maile, Lama, hala pepe,`ie `ie, ki, `ôhia lehua, and palai.  The maile flowers are commonly used to make Lei, which are draped over the neck.  As vegetation Goddess, She is associated with the nourishing elements of light and rain.  Rain connects Laka to Her husband, Lono, the fertility god who descended to earth on a Rainbow to marry Her.” [2]

“In some traditions of Hawaii the hula was brought to the islands by a brother and sister, both named Laka. Although prayers are addressed to Laka in many hula performances, few, if any, hulas are ever dedicated to her. Because of many stories connecting Laka to impregnation and fruitfulness, Beckwith calls Her ‘the Goddess of love.’ The name laka means “gentle, docile, attracted to, to attract,” and there are old chants asking Laka to attract not only love, but wealth. Of very different origin, She was nevertheless incorporated into the Pele religion. Due to Her associations with the forest She represents the element of plants.” [3]

Sources:

Flidai. The Goddess Tree, “Laka, Polynesian Fertility Goddess“.

King, Serge Kahili. Hawaiian Huna Village, “Hawaiian Goddesses“.

Please also visit these sites for some great information on Laka’s background and associations:

Lakainapali, Tracy. Hawaiian Huna Village “Hula: The Soul of Hawaii“.

Powers That Be, “Hawaiian Goddess Laka“.

Retro Glyhs, “Laka“.

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