Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Two of Pentacles

Hmmm... the first thing that comes to mind is duality. One figure, me, trying to juggle two very different worlds. I have used the analogy of IBM Vs. Macintosh numerous times in the past and in an attempt to ware it out, I'll do it again.

In a previous post Four More Swords, I wrote about my experiences as a Wiccan Chaplain at a state prison and the difficulties we had just getting to use the chapel. As it happened there was really only one person responsible for the interference and discrimination. And as always I somehow managed to Forrest Gump myself into the right place at the right time. (Thank you Tom Hanks)

So, I end up in the right place at the right time, talking to the Secretary of the right person. A really truly nice guy, who makes the mistake of asking me "how's it going?" *Que the Cheshire cat grin* "...well...um...better.... we had some difficulties getting started but things are starting to come around." So of course this sparked a great conversation about the obstacles I had been navigating through. I wasn't complaining, I was reporting improvements, after all, He DID ask me.

So at the right moment, I made the right comments. Stratigery Lieutenant Dan. And in the end it just came down to scheduling. I had explained that I would only be coming twice a month, every two weeks and only need the Chapels for two hours. You could see the math register in his head. Yeah four. When He realized he could fix all this with four hours of chapel time a month in each yard He asked me which days I would come, first and third? or second and forth?

I told him I couldn't say without looking at my calender. So he eyeballed the one on the wall next to him...trading glances... with me... and the calender...there was an awkward silence... which neither one of us understood...

What I meant by my calender was my Lunar calender. Hahahaha. We mark our work on a lunar schedule. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation does not. I don't know why. So after recovering from the irony of our miscommunication, I took a good long look at scheduling.

So here I am juggling two very different systems of thought. They have always existed. But how do I blend them together? So far I have not. I conduct services at the prison twice a calender month, regardless of the lunar phase because Chapel use must be scheduled. I felt it was more realistic to be included on the schedule than to convince the State to configure an entirely new Pagan ergonomic system. Baby steps.

That's what the ships are in the background. Our journey as Pagans, to the new world. I am not the Wiccan Columbus, but I like to think I'm a shipmate. And that's all I have to say about that.

For now...


Lavanah said...

Unless there are no jewish chaplains in the prison system where you volunteer, the concept of a lunar calendar shouldn't have been totally foreign to the administration. They/We (I confuse myself sometimes)mark the wheel that way, too.

WitchDoctorJoe said...

I'm sure there is a Jewish Chaplain,it's one of the Fab-Five, but I have not seen one yet. And although the "Community resource manager" seems to be the department head that includes religious programs it is not the only program, nor is it his specialty. It doesn't surprise me in the least that he had no clue. He strikes me as your average mundane muggle, more interested in local high school football, I like them, they leave us Pagans alone.