Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Thousand Words

During my tour in Iraq I had several near death experiences. I don't make a habit of speaking much about such things, but when I do I have found it very hard to find the words to express myself adequately.

I came so close to being killed many times, although each occurred under different circumstances, they all invested me with an incredible yet indescribable sense of being.

Yesterday my Grandmother forwarded me an email with this picture and the following caption:

Look at the picture above and you can see where this driver broke through the guardrail, on the right side of the culvert,
where the people are standing on the road, pointing.

The pick-up was traveling about 75 mph from right to left when it crashed through the guardrail.

It flipped end-over-end, bounced off and across the culvert outlet and landed right side up on the left side of the culvert, facing the opposite direction from which the driver was traveling.

The 22-year-old driver and his 18-year-old passenger were unhurt except for minor cuts and bruises.

Now look at the second picture below...

Yeah... it's like that.

Thank you Lord and Lady, thank you.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

THE AUGURIS, The Mill Creek Book of Shadows

So I took a break from my current writing project to complete another. The book I've been working on for some time now is a narrated version of the Auguris, my Book of Shadows. I starts our with an introduction I give at my annual lecture at Fresno State and for the Department of Corrections. From there it takes you step by step through our system, which I am quite proud of. But for those who use our system inside and outside the prison system, there has been a need for the "bare wire book"

About five years ago I went down to Kinko's with a flash drive and had a little twenty page "Workbook of Shadows" printed up for some of my classes and the inmates I work with. But it was just a small chunk to assist with learning our ritual. Then again later another small chunk from Kinko's for my Wheel of the Year class and some more inmates. The only consolidated work has remained in my possession, until now.

The main purpose of this project was that I wanted to produce the Auguris on a larger scale, to fill the needs of inmates and member of our organization. I wanted it to be a more than another trip to Kinko's. So I ended up on Lulu and a week later the Auguris has an ISBN number. I priced it at sixteen dollars and the cool thing about this is than for every book purchased, the revenue generated pays for a copy to go to an inmate for free. So for the record, I'm not making a dime, it all goes back into my prison work.

But a word of warning, to the "uninitiated," it will seem completely ambiguous to anyone who is not familiar with my tradition. There is no narration, or instruction. It does not read like a normal book, it reads like a book of shadows. Its literally a collection of spells. But when you perform the spells in a particular order, it's a ritual. The Auguris is divided into what we call "the Five Books of Labor."

Liber Lustro: (Purification) In this first section we perform the opening acts of purification.

Liber Adoro: (Communion) This section includes invocations for the two ways we call quarters, the Vigilia, which is invocation of the God and Goddess, and the Great Rite.

Liber Rota: (Observation) These last three books are considered "vocation" or the Craft work. Liber Rota contains the calls for all four Esbats, Eight Sabbats and rites of passage from birth to death and the first degree oath.

Liber Sitella: (Divination) is a simple section, I only included three symbol sets: Geomancy, Runes and Ogham. I purposely kept the meanings vague, the user should develop their own personal interpretation.

Liber Defixum: (Incantation) Spells! Spells! Spells! This last section is just a collection of spells that have been fashioned within our tradition. Again, no instructions, explanations or details. That's all coming in the second book.

There's also small Liber Missa in the back, which is just the closing words. Throughout the five books there are thirteen ritual tools: Bell, Candle, Besom, Censer, Aspergillum, Athame, Lodestone, Pentacle, Cup, Boline, Sitella, Wand and Cauldron. Each one of these tools has a rubric, a definition of use within our tradition, and each tool is used in the ritual with the corresponding spell. We use the first six tools for purification and the next tree for adoration and communion. The boline is used for call for craft work and symbolizes the holiday work, the Sitella symbolizes the divination portion of the ritual, the wand of course for the spell craft and the Cauldron symbolizes the cool amalgamation of the groups energies as we close.

The labors are set in a particular order of precedence: Sabbats, rites of passage or esbats, then normal craft works. So we just start at the beginning of the book and work our way through. So for anyone feeling froggy, feel free to jump. But bare in mind that we are "Wiccan." This is a very simple ritual form and structure for a group Wiccans to get together and conduct a ritual. It's not High or Ritual Magic, but it works very well for us simple folks. I will be posting more in-depth explanations one book at a time in the next few weeks.

For anyone interested in purchasing a copy here's the link. Thank you and remember it's going to a good cause!

Thank you Lord and Lady for your inspiration. Blessed Be.