Fabulous! Wonderful! Or (as the Brits might say), Wizard! Bril! (that’s brilliant)
What other fulsome, overblown adjectives can we use? It sounds pretty gushy, but mere words fall short of our pleasure in recent travel experiences. We’ve just put in something over 2,000 miles on the road, in something over a week. It was a great trip, thanks to Ronn (Roy) and Raven of Fireheart, and to Patty of Greenleaf.
The weather was more than kind, affording us dry roads all the way, as well as the Mother’s beautiful autumn color scheme. The storms that were supposed to happen missed us somehow. An enormous heartfelt “thank you” to the Guides for all that. The magical site at Fireheart took our breath away. Praise and gratitude beyond words to the Two who steward and cherish the site for the pleasure of the rest of us. It is a world apart, where people felt safe to circle, to dance, and to visit the Underworld at the turn of the year.
A couple of images stay with us : the amazing skills that gave us the gift of carved pumpkin guardians; indeed the wonderful attitude of all participants; the feathered ones in the trees who felt safe enough almost to mingle right in with us featherless ones; the generosity and kindnesses without number of Roy and Raven.
Our hosts had arranged an open meeting at Toledo’s Unity Temple and had well publicized the meeting and its address. Attendance there was all we could have hoped for, both in number and in openness. An image from that meeting will remain long with us : the blonde lady who couldn’t believe that she could make the Crooks radiometer spin at law-breaking speed when she pointed her right hand at it, yet couldn’t make it move with her left hand. Sic semper in mundo, we suppose. Who says the magic doesn’t work? Our gratitude too to Reverend Lynn for the use of the church’s chapel and for her enthusiastic welcome to us.
Then off at the crack of dawn for the long drive to Springfield, Missouri, through countryside just beginning to show its autumn colors. In Terre Haute, Indiana, we stumbled across one of the best (east) Indian restaurants in the United States, the Taj Majal. Namaste. Then it was on around St. Louis and into Missouri proper. The Witches’ Ball there included a handfasting that was also a marriage recognized in the civil/legal dimension of life. Our warmest and best wishes go to the handfasting couple, and to the minister who shared words from a beautiful and moving script. What an evening. The Ball’s organizers brought us a karaoke interlude. Many, many people attended from all over. Costumes were creative and picturesque–and that’s an understatement. Three generations of families attended, gladdening our own hearts at the continuity they represented. Our thanks here go to Patty and the Greenleaf Coven group for all their work and preparation. Yes, we had a few American Legionnaires bug-eyed (it was their hall that Greenleaf rented), but they suffered no harm.
At the Annual General Meeting of the Church of Wicca, also held in Springfield, many topics were discussed. Attendees agreed not to change our first-degree initiation but to make it plainer to neophytes that it very closely resembles the third-degree rite of the Gardnerian tradition. Attendees also want to put out some kind of friendship certificate. Various groups would volunteer and commit to be f r i e n d s of other groups; that if they disagreed with other groups they would do so only in private, that they would do no public washing of dirty linen because such washing only weakens our Wiccan position and has already cost a couple of people jobs.
Redaers of this site are probably aware already of the fact that bringing religion into situations of employment, divorce, housing, and the like constitutes religious discrimination and instantly makes the discussion a federal case.
In this regard too, many self-appointed Christian reformers–current-day Cotton Mathers, no less–are changing or editing Wiccan writeups on the web. When you see such a thing happen, please, please change them back. A typical example : A job applicant says, “I’m Wiccan,” and the personnel staff say, “Oh, I’ll look that up. We’ll call you.” Then the staff sees some scurrilous comment about the Craft … and it’s all over with.
Rhiannon, in the course of our hegira we had several discussions about theories on the baton de commandment. One remark of note: “Well, I was always convinced that archaeologists can’t tell the difference between a cave and a hole in the ground.” (We apologize to any readers who are archaeologists.) “I’ll give you the idea of notches for animal husbandry if you’ll give me the idea that the animals included humans.”
Blessed be those who keep their minds open. Blessed be those who live ethically.
Gavin and Yvonne