mermaiden: (*  Faerie:  WAY)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 01:14pm on 25/01/2011 under , ,
So, yeah! Remember seven months ago, when I was all like THIS THING IS GREAT AND COMING SOON, and then it never came?

She's here~ <3

After five thousand layout changes, post re-dos and second guesses, I have FINALLY launched my blog project, MuseRising.com--I hope you love her as much as I do. <3

I'm going to talk about creation, accomplishing what you want to do in your life, witchcraft, the Goddess, minimalism and creating the life you want to, all in hopefully poignant, somewhat dramatic and slightly hilarious bits. We'll see if I can manage that. ;D

Mood:: 'accomplished' accomplished
mermaiden: (Yoga!)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 03:53pm on 07/01/2011 under ,
I've been doing yoga since I was twelve (TWELVE. I was a crazy child.), and ever since then, I've been trying to get a daily yoga practice going in my life. I'll do it for three months, then stop one day, and I'm back to my sporadic few times a week.

I'm a little obsessed with Yoga Journal--it's the only magazine I read front cover to back cover, every single month, and they have this *wonderful* thing starting on Monday, called the 21 Day Challenge--from their site:

Have you ever tried to start a home practice but couldn't stick with it? Well, we have the solution! In our 21-Day Yoga Challenge, which starts on Jan. 10, you'll receive all the help you need to create a home yoga practice that works for your life. No matter how much time you have or how you feel on any given day, it's still possible to practice yoga and reap the benefits.

How does it work? Each day, we'll present original videos of yoga sequences. There are 15-minute videos for morning and night; 30-minute videos to help refine your poses, work your core, and develop strength; and a super fun 45-minute flow sequence that'll have you moving all around your mat and getting a great workout in the process. By the end of the challenge, you'll have an arsenal of practices at your disposal to use whenever and however you want.

You'll also be able to listen to mediation and pranayama exercises, thanks to our friends at Sounds True. And you can blog about your experience on our Challenge Chat page. Finally, our Challenge newsletter will give you a little nudge each day, with background information about that day's video sequence, practice tips, and healthy and delicious recipes from Vegetarian Times.

How do you join in? Just sign up here with your email address, and on Jan. 10 you'll receive your first newsletter and a link to the first video and the 21-Day Yoga Challenge website. That's it! It's free and it's just for you.

What are you waiting for? Take the challenge!


Whether you're a beginner who has never said an "om," or you've studied with the major yoginis, this sounds like it'll be fabulous and fun, and holy heavens, it might actually get me to everyday and keep me there. I don't want to pin my hopes on it, but why the heck not~ ;D That's my yoga of hopefulness right there!

I wanted to mention it here to see if anyone else would like to do the challenge with me~! I don't consider yoga an exercise (though it does have awesome healthy benefits!), but a spiritual practice...if you've always wanted to, there's no better time than the present~ Also, I'd love a few people to do it with and share our happy findings~

Who thinks they might like to try it? :) <3

EVEN THE KITTIES LIKE YOGA:

image by Greenland♥Canada♥
Mood:: 'excited' excited
mermaiden: (Caretaker)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 12:28pm on 17/11/2010 under , ,
God is in the ozone layer; holier and holier,
God is in the atom bomb (or at least the atom bomber's mom),
God is in Chechnya, Sobrenica, Slovenica, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovia, Montana,
Oklahoma...
God is incredulous at all the stuff we do to us,
God is inspired by those who fly and those who try,
God is insatiable so sing and dance way past full.
God is in you and me, someday God will help us see that
God is in love with love so live and love and that's enough.
God is inside of you and all you don't and all you do,
God is in your greatest doubt, the jury's out, the doctor's out, but
God is in, God is in, God is in your darkest sin, and out and in, and out and in, and God is
In .... Goddess in .... God is Zen .... Got us in .... God is in.

~ from "God is In" by Billy Jonas
Mood:: 'tired' tired
mermaiden: (Beloved)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 01:27pm on 10/11/2010 under , , ,
I have made the first of two posts of Goddess icons at [livejournal.com profile] ohsweetwitchery--these are of various images of the Divine Mother. They were made as a thank You to Her, and a public offering of gratitude~ :) <3



( For behold, I have been with you from the beginning... )
mermaiden: (Magick)
- Last night, Jenn and I went with Hugh and Jer (and two of Jer's awesome friends) to the live Rifftrax screening of House on Haunted Hill. It was so great, oh my. XD For every major holiday (and even for some none-major), they do live screenings at certain movie theaters across the country, riffing movies like they used to do in their old MST3K days. It is still brilliance--and, perhaps, even better now (and I'm one of the biggest MST3K fans alive!). If you ever have a chance to see a live screening, do it! It's totally worth it, wickedly hilarious and positively awesome. :) Last year, we saw a bunch of Christmas shorts live, and it was just as great. I'm hoping they do one for Yule again~!

- It's totally silly and cheesy, but one of our Halloween/Samhain traditions is a visit to Holiday Hollow, which we saved to do for this Halloween weekend. I'm so sad that they're closed tomorrow--the only day we could do it. ;-; What will Halloween be like without the great pumpkin quest?! (Jenn will probably be endlessly relieved--the show changes very little, year over year, and she's always like...yay?...when I'm like WE SHOULD GO THIS WEEKEND! :D)

- So, instead, we'll probably go to the Great Pumpkin Farm Pumpkin Festival tomorrow, before...

- Maddie's annual Halloween party! :) Maddie, Jenn and I are Three Witches this year...my sister is going to be Lady Gaga, with all that entails. XD Yes, there will be many pictures.

- This is what I'm dressed up as, for work today!



A few more! There's a surprise under the hat! :D )


- (Can you tell this is my favorite holiday? Naaaaaaaaaah~ :P)

- Our house is decorated to the nines (you can see a few pictures here!). But, my favorite thing that I wanted to share was the window display at our local cloth-work store (they sell counted cross stitch and quilting supplies, and the ladies are AMAZING--as evidenced by this window display. :P). Here is the stuff nightmares are made of (he also has an evil twin!:



- Our Samhain celebration is all day Sunday--we're going to hike at Allegany State Park--one of the most haunted places in the region (I know I've talked about that place before here--it's one of my favorite parks in the world, and it's so very steeped in ancient Native American lore, stories and ghostly encounters. I love it with all my heart~), culminating with a feast at our house, and a beautiful ritual. I can't wait~ <3

- On Sunday, Samhain, is my eleventh anniversary of my dedication as a Witch. :) Oh, blessed Mother--thank You these years, most amazing. <3

- Whatever your plans this weekend, whatever celebrations or sacred or spooky things you'll do, whatever you may spell or conjure--may it be wonderful~ <3333 Happy Halloween! Blessed Samhain! <33333

Mood:: 'geeky' geeky
mermaiden: (Persephone)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 09:58am on 20/10/2010 under , , , ,
One little compliment can make you feel amazing.

So give me a compliment, anything in the entire world, even that my shoelaces are pretty. If you like, put this in your journal, too--and once you get some comments, put that entry in a memory or tag and when you are feeling down, just go to that entry and this will remind you that you are fabulous and loved. Comments are screened~

Don't forget to post this in your own LJ so I can compliment you, too! :)


~*~


As a side note--I just wanted to publicly rejoice and mention some gratitude. Last night, I was starting to get sick, and I prayed with all my heart, took a bunch of vitamins, used some essential oils and trusted I would get better (I don't have any sick days left, and the next two weeks are filled with constant obligations). I was like: "Goddess, please, please, please--I can do all of this, but I can't if I'm sick. I need some more strength and courage and wellness, oh Mother, please..." And I had the most restful sleep I've had in months and am--this morning--totally well. I am so endlessly grateful--it's a tiny, perfect miracle. <3
Mood:: 'relieved' relieved
mermaiden: (Woods)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 10:33am on 22/09/2010 under , , , , , , ,
Last night, after we got home from a lovely dinner party with Maddie and Jared, I walked the dogs. It was late and so, so warm--the sweet, sharp scent of changing leaves had merged with the grass from the meadows, from the wind, from the moving branches. Clouds scuttled across the sky and over the face of the almost full moon.

It was Poesy's turn, and we walked out into the meadow together, intent on moonbathing. I lay down on a bed of hay and looked up at that heavenly, silver creature. Poesy nestled up to my stomach, and sighed contentedly, and we stayed there for a very long time. I didn't think of anything--I just stared up at the moon, at the clouds, at the countless stars and velvet black of the night, at the face of the Goddess everywhere, in all these things, and my heart soared, with gratitude, with love. My cup overflowed with it all, and we lay and we moonbathed in the silver light, the cicadas singing sweetly...it was the purest magic.

Poesy got bored with my silent joy and nudged my hand. I sat up, drew her into my lap and said: "it's all so beautiful, isn't it, baby?" She licked her face, wagged her tail, hopped off my lap, ready to go on to the next adventure.

I rose, too, and blew a kiss to the moon, my heart full.

And so, the Summer Queen stepped away and down, and Autumn--sweet Autumn, in all her resplendence, took the throne.

Hail, my beloved Autumn~ <3 Hail, Mabon~

mermaiden: (Little Red)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 03:04pm on 09/09/2010 under ,

The following is lifted entirely from The Wild Hunt -- because I believe it's crucially important and perfectly said:
 

~*~


It seems fairly obvious that the debate over the Park51 community center has morphed into something far larger. It has transformed into an unacknowledged national referendum on the place of Islam within American society. Tensions are rising, and there have been a number of frightening incidents across the country aimed at, by all accounts, peaceful and integrated Muslim Americans. The recent punditry, activism, and protests seem to have awoken something ugly and uncontrollable within our body politic, and even demagogues like Sarah Palin are calling for cooler heads to prevail. As we ramp up to the anniversary of 9/11 this Saturday, with the protests (and counter-protests) in New York and the headline-grabbing Koran burning in Florida what should the Pagan response be to this turmoil? Can there even be a “Pagan response” when we are so diverse?

The Board of Trustees of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, which counts three Pagans as members, has issued a call for solidarity with the Muslim community (a call echoed by some individuals within the Pagan community). Starhawk thinks we should turn off our TVs and go out to meet our neighbors, while Alison Shaffer wants nothing to do with the protests or counter-protests, and instead wants to honor the Buddhists commemorating the dead on the Hudson River, while engaging with Muslim scripture and poetry at home.

“Here in Pittsburgh, I will be lighting a candle of my own, and reading the astounding poetry of the Qur’an (in English translation), as well as the poetry of those Sufi mystics who inspired me, when I was still only a teenager looking for answers, with visions of beauty, longing and connection that eventually led me to my Druid path. In this small way, I hope perhaps to begin the process of bridging the great gulf between acts of hatred, and acts of honor. I hope to affirm the sacred connections we share even with those who disagree with us or threaten us. I hope to participate, by doing my small part, in the transformation of our community not by trying to repress or intimidate those who lash out in fear and anger, but by learning how to reach out to them in fellowship and forgiveness.”

Perhaps the most eloquent response to the hate, fear, and anger comes from T. Thorn Coyle, who proposes that we counter hate with compassion for those who are truly in need.

This Saturday, a certain Terry Jones plans to burn copies of the Qur’an outside his Gainesville, FL church. People have been mailing books to him, to help with this cause. Meanwhile, the children in this photo, along with 20 million others in Pakistan, are displaced, hungry, and struggling. Which do I care about more? Terry Jones is seeking publicity – which I am giving him right now – so I’m going to use this publicity mongering to bring us back to sharp attention that we all have a chance to do some good to counteract hatred and ignorance. We can help some people who are in dire need.

This Saturday, to honor the memory of those who died in the toppling of the World Trade Centers in NYC, and further, to honor the memory of those who died on September 11, 1944 when Darmstadt, Germany was destroyed in preparation for the more famous Dresden bombing, I say let us organize to send whatever we can afford – be it prayers, energy, or money – to Pakistan. Let us feed the three to six million who have not yet received food or medical care. Let us not let the likes of Terry Jones win this day. In the name of all who are Compassionate and Merciful, let us not give up on humanity.

As mystically inclined Pagan, I am ever remembering my sense of connection with you, with this planet, with the stars, trees, and waters, and with God Herself – the Great Beyond, the Limitlessness, Ginnungagap, the Void, and the Existence. God Herself is comprised of every Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Christian, Bahai, Buddhist, Atheist, Heathen, Wiccan, Quaker, every jasper, every lamb, every grouper, every blade of wheat, every redwood, every crow. There are people who would argue with me about this. That is fine. As a polytheist and non-dualist, I can take these arguments as part and parcel of how things grow and evolve, of how we learn and change. I don’t need agreement from anyone. I do need to cultivate strength and mercy. I do need to generate the life energy that is the return to the great cosmic flow. I do need to connect, here on earth, to every particle that exists in past, present, and future. Right now, I need to connect with millions of people in Pakistan.

Thorn’s organization Solar Cross, will be donating to Doctors Without Borders to try to help get aid directly to people in need. For those who prefer a slightly more political response to the Koran burning, while still engaging in sending relief to Pakistan, Pagan priestess Morpheus Ravenna suggests making the donation in the name of Koran-burner Terry Jones.

Whether you are for or against the Park51 community center, even if you are ambivalent regarding the burning of the Koran, we can’t allow our civil society to deteriorate to a point where open persecution, violence, and acts of vandalism become tolerated. I’m as sympathetic to the criticisms against the dominant monotheisms as the next Pagan, but we can’t allow our rhetoric to empower, directly or indirectly, those who would use it as a mandate for discrimination and harassment. Arun Gandhi, the fifth grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, says that the wounds of 9/11 will never heal because we lack “genuine commitment to find common ground”, and do not allow for real healing to begin.

“For a wound to heal it needs proper medication and, above all, the wound needs to be rested. If we keep scratching and irritating the wound it will just go on festering. I have never looked at 9/11 as an isolated instance of some mad people ramming airplanes into the World Trade Center. It was the result of decades of exploitation and generations of bitterness between the Muslim and Christian worlds.”

Perhaps, as Pagans, what we can bring to this ancient tension between Christians and Muslims is to be outside of the “crusades” mentality of endless hostility and exploitation. To ignore the pundits and extremists on both sides and instead pursue a campaign of simple humanity, targeted charity, religious tolerance, and continual openness to dialog. We can avoid being swept up by the passions of either side and instead pursue our own agenda of growth and a new paradigm of interfaith relations. Not to forget the crimes and sins of either side, but to instead forge a new tomorrow where conflicts over simple belief is seen for the irrationality it is. We are small, and factions within Christianity and Islam ever-eager to engage in battle seem huge by comparison, but we must avoid the temptation to pursue their agendas, and instead work for the good a Pagan tomorrow could bring the world.

mermaiden: (*  Beauty:  Peace)


I am the firebird! I am his daughter!
I am the firebird's child!
I am the firebird! I am his daughter!
And like the flame, I am wild wild wild wild WILD!
I am the firebird, the boldest song you've ever heard!

To see a maiden dance around a fire is not so strange
but fire dances round the limbs of this uncommon maid!
Be brave enough to burn and you'll be brave enough to fly!
Join your sister Solace as she lights the morning sky!

I am the firebird! I am his daughter!
I am the firebird's child!
I am the firebird! I am his daughter!
And like the flame, I am wild wild wild wild WILD!
I am the firebird, the boldest song you've ever heard!

Sister will you follow me?
Sister will you dance with me?
Sister sorrow walk with me!
Sister sorrow dance with me!
Like a flame you must be wild!

~*~


Imagine this:

You've just taken part in one of the most amazing rituals you've ever experienced. You're at Diana's Grove, surrounded by exquisite community, men and women who shine with a vibrancy that can only be summed up as divine. You've gone through a weekend filled with growth and magic. Music begins, and you rise because you must. You rise to dance.

It is night. A full moon nestles in a bed of silver cloud overhead. A drum pounds all around you, creaking floorboards beneath your bare feet, the night smells sweet and green and there is grace everywhere. Women surround you, women in swirling skirts and jeans and t-shirts and velvets, and they're laughing and twirling and moving their bodies in a perfect embodiment of the Goddess. You're moving with them, slapping your feet against the boards, arching your back under the myriad of stars that crown you, overhead. The song shifts and change, and you hear cries of the purest joy. "Firebird's Child" begins to pump through the speakers, and suddenly, you hadn't even noticed, but the women are dancing in a circle, and you're calling to them, and they're calling to you. You are their sister, you are the firebird's daughter, and you must be wild, wild, wild. And you are. Oh, you are.

Something moves through you. Joy, euphoria, Goddess. It's all the same thing, isn't it? She moves through your limbs, and the fingers against the sky are yours, but not your own, and your legs move, and oh gods, you're a serpent, aren't you--the way you move your body, the way you bend and curve, and it's not you, but it is you, and it's the most you you've ever been. The candles burn, the flames flickering as the breeze moves among the women, circling them, drawing you closer. Your heart thunders along with the beat, and as you bend, heart up, arched like Diana's bow, suddenly, the skies open.

Rain, rain, cries of delight and joy, and everyone keeps dancing, but more and more and more, and it's a rising crescendo of euphoria and witchery and beauty and oh gods, it's building like the most exquisite circle casting you've ever taken part in, and it is, and the power, the power of woman, of beauty, of love, crashes around you and shoots into the sky, a reverse falling star--rising, this time, into the heavens.

The song ends, and everyone erupts. Cheers, applause, a deafening echo that you add to, by crying out from your belly, clapping your hands against your thighs, twisting and turning as another song takes place, surrounded by sisters, dancing in beauty, Goddess incarnate.

All acts of love and pleasure are Her rituals. And oh, you know this. So well.

Every time at Diana's Grove is life changing, an evolution of soul and spirit. I am a completely different person from when I went there, and the time before that...and before that. It is community, it is love and a place of safety and solace created by the Goddess Herself, it seems. The rituals, the community creations, the evolutions, the skins shed, the tempering fire, the illustrious inspiration of air, the crashing crescendo of water, the solidity of earth...I can't articulate it. The rush of the creek, the movement of the serpent, the embraces, the shift of tree overhead, and the echo of breath in my breast and the sparkle of every eye that held divinity...which was every one. Oh Goddess. Oh Beloved. Oh Brilliance. I returned from my time there Monday night, utterly spent, but glowing.

And tomorrow, we leave for Salem.

My heart is overrun, a pool of starlight, a spout of fire.

I am the firebird.

I am his daughter.

I am the firebird's child, and I am wild, wild, wild, wild, wild!

mermaiden: (*  Pagan:  Jubilation)

26

posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 10:20am on 06/07/2010 under , , , ,
Today is my birthday--I turn twenty-six.

Here are a few truths about me:

- I know the most amazing, incredible, kind, compassionate, passionate, exceedingly beautiful and magical people that this world possesses. When the Goddess made me, She whispered into my ear: "oh, baby, what a family you'll have..."

- I know great magic. Inside and out, I can see the web of the world, how it's put together, and the splendor in all things. Even in my darkest hours, there are stars. When the Goddess made me, She whispered: "you have everything you need, and someday you'll believe that."

- I'm a good writer, and I believe in myself, and in that. Every year on my birthday I've made a post about hope and writing, and how they're intertwined for me. I decided not to do that this year. I know what I am, and who I am, and it's Storyteller. When the Goddess made me, She said: "Tell the stories you know, and the ones you don't. This gift I have given you, use it wisely."

- I can speak the language of animals, of nature, of the clouds and sea. I am as much a part of the earth as any stone, and that connection is a constant. When the Goddess made me, She said: "you are part of everything, and you will know this, always."

- I have found my soul mate, my twin flame, my anam cara, my everything, and I have the complete blessing to share my life with her. When the Goddess made me, She said: "oh, my darling, you will find her, you will love her, and it will be so beautiful..."

And twenty-six years ago, I opened my eyes to this splendid, wonder-filled and full planet, and I smiled for the very first time, and I thought: thank You, thank You, thank You.

Goddess, I love You, I sing Your song, I sing through You and of You. Thank You for this blessed existence, this life, this everlasting love. Thank You, thank You, thank You.


photo by santacrewsgirl

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