Articles/Essays From Pagans
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
Hearing The Music And Dancing The Dance
A Tale of the Wood
June 9th. 2013 ...
The Nature of Sacrifice
The Magick of Buildings
Start your own Pagan Church in Canada - A Detailed Guide
June 2nd. 2013 ...
Maiden, Mother, Who?! (A Discussion of the Triple Goddess)
Gods Who Live In My House
Why the 'Redneck Pagan'?
Among the Greenwod - An Interview with Raven Grimassi
May 26th. 2013 ...
So You Think You've Found a Teacher...
Learning To Live Your Own Life
Raising Personal Magickal Energy for Spellwork
Casting The Wiccan Circle
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichťs
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Go Slow Now: A Letter
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Article ID: 14934
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 408
Times Read: 2,412
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Author: Paladin of the Waxing Moon
Posted: May 6th. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,412
Merry Meet, Friend,
Iím surprised that a single thing, like a standard television commercial, can throw me into a magickal decision that changed me. Well, Iím uncertain if itís a change, exactly, or more likely, it was just a realignment of notions I once held about the world and how Iíve lost touch with my spirit.
One morning last summer, I tried to wake up before the long creep to work. I sipped black coffee and watched the talking heads of the news repeat stories of war, famine, unemployment, and civil violence every ten minutes. What could anyone do about those events, anyway? Then, I saw a commercial for the Ringling Brothers circus.
I half thought, chiding myself, ďIf I could go, could afford to go, maybe I would.Ē
But the circus was in an arena across the bay from here. It would be a journey to go there. Where would I find the time? I had to prepare for ritual with my coven. I had so much work waiting at my job, and I knew the traffic was growing and slowing. I had to hurry; I turned my thoughts from the misery of humankind toward the job and earth-path that sustains my life.
Iíve thought about it since then. I saw the Ringling Brothers circus when I was a child of nine or so. But I havenít seen a real one since. In the late autumn, a small, shabby carnival of sideshow rides and cotton candy arrived for a weekend and set up camp across from the local bowling alley. We mustíve been just another stop on the road before they, too, folded up the rides and retired for the winter.
Some believe the child that we were still exists somewhere within us. As a kid, I climbed tall trees and swung around, and I did somersaults, too. So, sometimes, I could have been in a circus of my imagination. In a real circus, the lion tamers were always neat to watch. I loved the acrobats, of course. The clowns were always great. But what could I be?
Itís like a question in a job interview. The interviewer sits across the desk, watching the computer screen, while you sit in the chair that is set a little low, fielding the questions with the window light in your eyes. Perhaps youíve had the tricky ones like this: if you were in the circus, what job would you like to have? (The wrong answer is ďclown, Ē of course.) In my childhood, reaching out limb-to-limb, like Tarzan, or hanging by my knees from a high tree limb, risking my little life if I fell, I could think of myself as a flyer on the trapeze. But what about the catcher, who also hangs by the knees and swings out to meet the perilous flyer suspended in space.
The flyer gets all the attention, but the suspense that stops our breath is what happens if the catcher misses the catch and the flyer falls. Itís thrilling in a circus. But itís different in real life where the human condition has inspired spiritual philosophers for ages. I recall the old metaphor that weíre all on a circus trapeze. We climb a high ladder and leap alone into space carrying all our hopes, dreams, and happiness; and when wounded, we fall in pain, disappointment, or sorrow. Of course, I, too, have been such a flyer that fell, and I struggled to ascend the ladder and leap again.
One evening, thinking about the circus and my childhoodís play, I recalled reading a theologianís observation how important it is for the wounded among us that there is someone to take their hands. When we reach out to grasp other hands in ours, like the catcher hanging by the knees from a trapeze, and pull them in to safety, I believe it to be a magickal act of humanness.
Voices from many traditions call us. For example, Shantiveda, a Buddhist teacher of the eighth century, wrote ďWhoever wishes to quickly rescue himself and another should practice the supreme mystery: exchanging of himself and the other.Ē Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran theologian executed by the Nazis, interpreted the Christian Sermon on the Mount as a call to discipleship of service. Ram Dass, the psychologist and spiritual teacher, discourses about Karma Yoga, action to help others. From such voices as these, calling us to action, where could I find such a voice in Wicca? I found only a version of the Charge of the God that was scribbled in my Book of Shadows: ďAní it harm any, do what ye must.Ē That, too, is a call to act, to aid, to do what we must for others. Many spiritual paths think alike.
Perhaps Iím still a flyer, a proto-mystic spiritually, I guess, a pilgrim on a journey, leaping out into space in a somersault with my spirit. Itís the places my spirit takes me that define the parameters of my being. I meet with friends in secret and shielded by the night; but this world, in which all life is inter-connected, is the sacred gift of the Goddess. We must live in community with this world, my friend.
Thatís not always obvious to us. The wounds I carry are from the injuries I have caused others and such injuries I have received from others. Itís easy in our digital age, and as I suppose it must have been in ages past, to look away with thoughtless complacency from daily human suffering. But when we pause to think about what we see in the world, or rather, we havenít seen, then maybe we can open up to what we must do. Itís not an easy path. When we know people who struggle alone in the quicksand of dark feelings, anger, resentment, or depression, and then when we accept such wounds that are within us, then we can feel empathy blossom. Itís a magickal moment. But this isnít self-pity; itís not just boosting your self-esteem or confidence. Itís grounding, awareness, mindfulness. Compassion for yourself is the beginning of compassion for others.
A gentleman whom I know, a retired engineer who sells insurance now, has been teaching himself Chinese. One of the phrases I saw him practice with an engineerís precision and patience is ďGo slow now.Ē It takes forty-seven strokes, he said, and means: ďTake care of yourself.Ē That is, first, weíre in our own healing hands. I think it should be a first step in healing before we can take other hands in ours.
The voice of action I sought before was always within me but lost on the earth-path I tread for a while. Perhaps my job in the circus of life may be to open myself to the possibility I could catch other flyers before they fall. It may mean a late-course change of occupation into one of the helping professions, probably counseling. I know it wonít be easy.
One warm Saturday, I held the hand of that child within me and let him out to play. Itís abuse to neglect your inner child. In the shadow of more impending lay-offs at work, Iíll be taking better care of both of us, slow down some. Iím not sure Iíll claim we climbed trees; but please donít be too surprised that we meandered our way to a carnival.
Blessed Be To All That Is,
Paladin of the Waxing Moon
Location: Colma, California
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