Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Survivor, a Card from the Joe Tarot

Like all Pagan communities, ours is composed of a diverse group of people and paths. One of the sweetest members of ours is "Jedi Kim," who is one of the coolest people you could ever have the pleasure of meeting.

We call her Jedi Kim because she is a Star Wars fanatic. But no worries, she's the good kind. She goes to the conventions and sends us cool pictures of her in outfits I saw on the big screen when I was little and have wanted ever since. Last time it was the bright orange jump suit with the cool white helmet they wear when they're flying around in those X-Wing fighters.

Kim has been coming to our Mill Creek rituals for years now, she has become family and we are lucky to have her.

A few months ago, just seconds before the ritual began Kim pulled us aside and told us she just found out she had uterine cancer. We were floored. It was difficult to focus on the opening ritual because I had to pass by her several times during the process. The first labor of our ritual is purification and I found myself wanting to linger with her each time I passed.

The second labor of our ritual is adoration, we called to the elemental spirits, we call to the God and Goddess. I fought the urge to plea for an instantaneous miracle. But it would come later. During the third labor, observation, we call for Craftwork and people share their magic with the group. My wife did a presentation on Garlic.

It took guts, but she gave everyone the full story of how she had gotten a yeast infection, how she had gone to the pharmacy and bought a real expensive medication that did nothing, and how she went back and bought another even more expensive medication that did less. She explained how she went online and studied different home remedies and eventually tried one that used garlic.

She passed around a large full clove of garlic while she explained how she broke off a small peace, ran a thread through it and inserted it like a tampon. There were giggles and grins and she laughed as loud as they did until she told them the infection was gone in less than three hours. That got everyone's attention. Results always do. Then she shared the spell she wrote to go along with it and everyone had a really really good laugh.

Before we conclude our ritual we open the floor to communication and announcements, it was then that Kim made her announcement to the group about her condition and explained that she wouldn't be coming for a while. We offered to do an impromptu group healing then and there and she accepted.

I called her to the center of the circle, I knelt down and slowly waved my hand over her pelvic area like Ben Kenobi as I said "This isn't the uterus you're looking for," handed her the garlic and explained that she would need to do this part herself. We all laughed so much we almost cried as we gathered around her closely and offered her our healing energies. Afterward she said that she already felt better, that she was going to beat this thing and when she did she was going to get a tattoo of the Jedi symbol. I took her up on her affirmation and promised that when she beat it, I would take her and pay for the tattoo myself.

A short time later my wife joined a Relay For Life team that another Mill Creek friend had started. My wife crocheted a king size afghan to raffle off as a fundraiser. It took her over fifty balls of yarn and three months of nonstop work, I missed her. My family rode with Jedi Kim to the relay last Saturday where the first lap is reserved only for cancer survivors, and I am happy to say this picture of Kim was taken on that first lap.

Kim will continue to come to Mill Creek rituals for years, she will always be family and we are STILL lucky to have her.

Thank you Lord and Lady for the Force and the Garlic, we will be heading to the Tattoo shop very soon. Blessed be.
Align Left

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Drummer, a Card from the Joe Tarot

I first met the the drummer at a CVPP presenters meeting in preparation for the event. Although at first glance he may have seemed out of place for some indiscernible reason, he was confident and comfortable. The great ones always are. He sat quietly, calm and relaxed.The first thing I recognized was the smile.

It was a good productive meeting which served as a precursor to the event. The meeting concluded as Pagan events often do, with many introductions after the fact. Someone asked me what I did for a living and I said, "...I live..." The Drummer over heard my response and joined the conversation. As it turns out, he works in the same field.

Our Coven had the honor of conducted the opening ceremony for Pagan Pride Day. Moments before we were to begin I was informed that the Drummer had offered to begin the ceremony with ritual drumming to the four directions. It was an offer which I enthusiastically accepted without a moments hesitation.

The Drummer opened up with a drum beat I interpreted as an "announcement," and it worked well in getting everyone's attention and drawing all those present towards the circle. (so if you run community rituals, take note.) After a brief solemn pause he spent time drumming to each of the cardinal directions. To each direction he offered a transmission, each completely different in speed, rhythm, tempo and spirit. It served as a personal confirmation in my beliefs that we're all doing the same things for the same reasons, it's mostly the culture that is different. Barely.

Later that day I took a break from cooking hot dogs long enough to listen to his presentation. He spoke with a passion and energy that few speakers have and all speakers envy. He spoke of simple, profound truths that made sense and made you laugh at the same time, another rare talent. He is someone you want to know so I made sure to reconnect with him, we spoke for a while, talking shop about our related field and exchanging contact information.

The other night just before bed that classic default setting tone notified me of a text message. It was from a number neither I or my smart phone recognized. The message gave the time day and location of a meeting called the "Communication Circle." Although the name was meant to clarify, it only confused me more. I sat staring at the phone trying to figure out who was on the other end when it went off again. (I spooks me every time.) The second message added that the sender would be at COS (Collage of the Sequoias) the next day for a Multicultural Day event. Signed the Drummer.

Suddenly "Communication Circle" made sense, I have been attending drum circles for many years and have come to learn about the magic communication of percussion. The next day at the event we sat, watched and listen to his performance. He told a story about Africa while he drummed. Then without warning he began inviting people from the audience to join him. My Wife and I were among the first, hoping to sway others to join in we took to the stage and selected instruments from the large selection that was made available. Soon we had a crowd, and the Drummer began giving simple impromptu instructions to the participants and before you know it we were rocking out like a folk symphony orchestra.

The Drummer broke off the session for a moment and acquired more reluctant volunteers, again he gave them a quick impromptu lesson in African dance and told them to listen to his drum for their queue. We seemed to resuming the music without any difficulty, and we were rocking out again when the Drummer pounded out a distinctive beat which set off the men tribal dance. I don't know who was cheering louder, the audience, the volunteers or me. I'm sure no one in the audience that day had come prepared to perform on stage, but they did. The Drummer took nearly twenty random people, threw them together without warning and got them all to play instruments, together in successful unity. Now that's Magic!