crowdog66: (Default)
Six hours of Wen-Do class, three of them full of hard physical activity, tired me right out. Then I had to pick up a couple of roasted chickens at Safeway and come home to run a Full Moon Group ritual.

We didn't do much, just a variation of the scrying exercise that was done by the inner court on Wednesday and a spell to help an absent member obtain a service dog, but I'm dead beat. I just climbed out of a hot bath and I'll soon be crawling into a warm bed.

Tomorrow we go to George's sister's place out in Selkirk, about an hour north of the city, for Easter dinner.

More about Wen-Do later tomorrow. Right now I can barely put a sentence together.
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A good Imbolc ritual this afternoon -- the energies were quiet, but effective. [ profile] diamond_lies composed a fine ceremony and it was carried out with great sincerity by all concerned. Thanks to [ profile] scorpio16's kind willingness to stop by a grocery store and pick up two roasted chickens for me (as well as some evaporated milk and buns), I was able to catch up on a badly lapsed schedule this morning and was ready to welcome people when they showed up on my doorstep. She also bought some lovely flowers for the altar, which, after everyone had left, I gathered up and divided into two batches. The first, smaller batch I set aside to dry, to make a Brigid Creativity mix of petals to be burned or included in amulets and charms; I'll be offering it to folks at the Full Moon ritual next Saturday. The second, larger batch I tossed into a nice hot bath and lay back in, soaking up the residual energy from the rite. Hope nobody minds. ^_^ It just struck me as a better use for them then throwing them straight into the garbage, though once I was done with them they were bundled up and disposed of anyway.

I might get around to doing some color holds on Joe in the Future tonight, since tomorrow I should get the FTP access info from Marvel and then it'll be right into the Uncanny X-Men recolor job. *taps into some of that creative power we were raising today and prepares to get down to work*
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I finally got around to codifying the ritual structure for the Full Moon Circle I run every month. So, here it is. :-)

Full Moon Circle Ritual Structure )

X-posted to [ profile] wiccanmoons.
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Well, Samhain Ritual #1 is over. The last people just went home about an hour ago.


A very good rite, with many fond memories of the beloved dead shared and many negativities burned/banished in the cauldron. AND my beef roast (sirloin tip) turned out beautifully after being sprinkled with rosemary leaves. Thanks for the tip, [ profile] nightdog_barks!

We DID burn more flash paper than I anticipated, which means I'll have to make a stop downtown on Monday afternoon and pick up more. *sigh* It's damned expensive stuff, but essential for that particular portion of the rite since regular paper burns with too much smoke. I got some good pictures of the floor altar (I hope), and the ritual text didn't clunk TOO badly... heh. K's boyfriend J did a great turn at invoking the Horned God, considering that he's never played any ritual role before. And everybody brought wonderful, wonderful food... K brought chips & dip/cheese & crackers, R a lovely bean salad, A a delicious regular salad with many kinds of green leaves and oil dressing, LA some ginger-and-stevia carrots, [ profile] cockatiel_art a yummy fruit stew, and K and J two luscious pumpkin pies. Everybody went away well filled, and the offering bowls to the deities/dead were packed with goodies!

I am dead tired (pun possibly intended). Bedtime for crowdogs... I'll worry about packing the Ritual Carpetbag for Samhain Ritual #2 (at Holly's on Monday) tomorrow.
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crowdog66: (joe)
Yes, I know I already posted a version of this ritual -- but I just reworked it based on some new material I've come across, and this is the version I'll actually be running. I've decided to leave the other version up because it's also workable, and has a slightly different emphasis.

X-posted to [ profile] wiccanmoons

Comments welcome, as always.

The ritual, redux )
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Okay... slept the day away, and went out for a nice supper with George. Now I'm up for sharing more details about yesterday's funeral service.

The personnel at the funeral home, including the owner of the business, were very polite and professional. The family and friends were wonderful to deal with, even though I accidentally stated that the deceased had relocated to Winnipeg in 1998 (rather than 1999) and forgot to bless the mourners with the phrase "Kia Kaha" (Maori for "be strong") as they came up to take a stone from the bowl. Very kind and forgiving folks, they were. *is ashamed*

The service went very well. The mourners, in spite of overwhelming unfamiliarity with Wicca, had instructions on the handouts they'd been given to say "Hail and welcome" at certain points in the ceremony -- and actually did so. Afterwards I received many congratulations for an excellent service, but I expect that this is standard operating procedure at any funeral. Still, it was gratifying and encouraging. Some of them even asked intelligent questions about Wicca, including books that they might read to learn more. *feels a little better*

During the service, two accidental events were accepted by the family as proof that the deceased had truly joined us and was present during -- and involved in -- the proceedings.

First, just as I was saying "I would now like to share with you a traditional Wiccan tale, that of the Goddess in the Kingdom of --", the picture of the deceased fell off the altar with a loud THUMP, and the glass cracked across the middle! The picture was in a big oval frame and balanced on one end, leaning back against the podium, which was up against one corner of the altar, so perhaps I accidentally shifted the podium and that made it fall... still, the family chose to see it as her intervention, because apparently she was clumsy in life and it was JUST the kind of thing she would have done. (Her best friend remarked afterwards that perhaps Lesilee felt how very sad everybody was and decided to lighten the mood a little...)

As the family chatted and laughed, I stepped forward, picked up the picture, and repositioned, it, saying to it: "Thank you, Lesilee!", which brought good-natured laughter from the audience. Whew! Crisis averted. (I was later told by at least one person that they admired my coolness and leadership, and the way I kept charge of the situation in spite of the accident. I was also told that in her home, the deceased had a picture of her father, and whenever it fell off the wall, she would say to her partner, "See! Dad's trying to tell us something!" Genuinely spooky.)

The second incident was a lot less explicable, and occurred just after the mourners had come up to make offerings of flash paper "prayers" in the cauldron (and most of them did, which surprised me). The very last person was the deceased's best friend, who brought up a leather medicine bag with beaded tassels, which she started opening to take out some incense to put on the charcoal as an offering. She was standing at the altar in front of the cauldron and the bowl filled with the remaining strips of flash paper... and suddenly the flash paper just went UP, all at once -- WHOOOSH! -- in a ball of flame easily a foot in diameter! She jumped back -- the crowd gasped... then, when they realized that no harm was done, they started to laugh, and some people actually clapped. Apparently this was ALSO the sort of thing the deceased would have appreciated and even caused to happen!

The flash paper was a good eight inches away from the cauldron that enclosed the charcoal, specifically to prevent accidental ignition. The only explanation I can think of that even vaguely fits is that somehow the best friend, in opening the medicine bag, generated a spark that touched off the flash paper... but HOW that could have happened, I have no idea 0_o However, it delighted the family and friends, so it was all good.

There were about 60-80 people present, including one woman who did not know the deceased but who'd had a dream the previous night telling her to come to the funeral home that afternoon. The owner of the funeral home even made noises like he'd be willing to have me back to do another service at some point... and I don't think he was just being polite. Now that I have a ritual under my belt, I'll be putting in my business card and a little package to various funeral homes around town, letting them know that if someone calls, I'm available, because the family in this case called EVERYWHERE looking for a priestess, and nobody knew where to find one.

At the very end of the afternoon, as I stood before the altar to bid farewell to the God and Goddess and extinguish the candles representing them, several people joined me, including the Pagan best friend but also people who were definitely not Wiccan. They listened as I thanked the Deities, mostly off the top of my head; this is what I said, as best I can remember:

"Gracious Lady (or Lord), Goddess (or God) of a thousand faces and names, O Thou comforter and consoler, we thank You for attending and protecting this rite, and for joining us as we gathered to mark the passage of Lesilee, Thy child, into the Summerland. And ere you depart for your lovely realms, we bid you hail -- hail and farewell!"

And darned if they all didn't repeat "hail and farewell!" after me, with real feeling. :-)

At any rate... my earlier post about the ritual can be found here.

And now, the Funeral Ritual, Final Version )
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crowdog66: (Default)
The photos from and around the time of K's belly blessing ritual that I just got developed...

Warning! Lots of pictures! )
crowdog66: (Default)
Hate, hate, hate. >.<

Nevertheless, I've washed all the dishes, washed and changed the cat box, washed the floors, and tidied up the living room. I'm now in the process of cleaning the bathroom fixtures. Bleah. :-P

*checks the calendar*

Yep, it IS the year 2005... where's my futuristic self-cleaning apartment?

Next up: LAUNDRY! Oh, fabjous day. But once I'm done the laundry and the bathroom, I'm finished. Nothing to do but wait for the guests. :-)
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(Almost) nine hours and counting to the ritual tonight. I just nipped out with George and picked up some supplies (apple juice, a nice white roll for the Small Feast during rite, coffee), and am just about to start cleaning up the apartment in earnest. Because George has been working so hard on Albion, he's sleeping today and I'll be doing both dishes AND laundry. Joy and bliss is mine. :-P

Interesting find today... on the way out of the apartment to get supplies this morning, I spied a garage sale happening across the street and dragged George over to it. Boy, am I glad I did! What should be sitting on one of the tables but a Power Mac 6500/225 -- that's right, a Mac tower, complete with three boxes of miscellaneous computer stuff AND a 12-inch monitor.

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From the link above...

The Apple Power Macintosh 6500/225, based on the Gazelle architecture, features a 225 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, 32 MB of RAM, a 2.0 GB or 3.0 GB hard drive, 2D/3D graphics acceleration, and an SRS 3D surround sound system with subwoofer in a sleek tower case. There were two different versions of this model, one for the education market which shipped with a 2.0 GB hard drive and an internal Zip drive, and another for the consumer market which shipped with a 3.0 GB hard drive, but without the Zip drive.

The one we picked up is the 3.0 GB hard drive version. Apparently it works, and since it didn't actually belong to the fellow selling it but rather to a friend of his, he parted with the whole kit and caboodle for $5.

Yes. Five. Dollars.


Hell, even if the computer doesn't work, some of the stuff I saw kicking around in the boxes (including many, many different cables and a set of speakers) will make the investment worth it.
crowdog66: (Default)
I actually got out of bed, had a shower, got dressed and got out of the house. Yesterday that would have been inconceivable. Today it's still incredibly hard, but I managed.

Went to Warehouse One (a downtown clothing store) and picked up a new pair of jeans for George, who needs them for Sunday and is working like a dog on Albion at the moment. Then walked over to the Bargain Store and looked around, ending up with a pair of cheap jeans for myself, a set of four bowls, and some paper plates and napkins for tomorrow.

Tomorrow... oy vey. The Full Moon ritual, and eight people in my living room, looking to me to lead it. I'm doing my best to pull up out of this tailspin, and fortunately it looks like I'll be in shape to run the ceremony plus play host, but man, that was too close. I really have to have a talk with my psych doc...

At least it looks like the weather might cooperate and let us worship outside tomorrow night. I just finished packing up the ritual suitcases to haul out to the park, and am now quite exhausted. I'll take a bit of a rest, then start cleaning the place up for company.
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That's what it feels like I'm lying in. The depression is that thick. I could not get out of bed this morning, and finally dragged myself out at about 5:15 pm because a friend and I were supposed to meet for coffee after 5:30 and I had to get up to explain the situation to him over the phone. It literally took me two or three minutes just to get up -- first sitting up, then taking a little numbness-break... then sliding toward the edge of the bed, then taking another break... then legs over the edge, and a break... then, finally, with a tremendous effort of will, actually standing up.

I feel like a real mess, but at least a little more lively. Lively enough to type, as you can tell. One Ritalin and a half a Seroquel tablet down the hatch, and we'll see what that does.

And I have ritual in two days. >.<

Fuck. Well, at least I have tomorrow and most of Saturday to clean the place up and get stuff in order, so I can actually take today as a "mental health day" if I need to.
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Number of Hardy Boys pages I painted today, from true-color flats prepared over the last couple of days:



And I might get a few more finished before I go to bed tonight.

Tomorrow's prosperity spell )