mermaiden: (Cozy)
This Wednesday being Samhain (Halloween for all those crazy kids who don't wear pentacles and "Goddess Loves Me" shirts), I'm priestessing the FIRST EVER Samhain ritual at our Unitarian Universalist church. I orchestrated a Yule ritual there, and a very short and sweet Mabon ritual before our First! Annual! Mabon potluck, but they were both Pagan lite, in the sense that these were introductions to Pagan rituals for the congregation. This Wednesday will be the first ever COMPLETE Pagan ritual, which everyone seems to be super excited about. <3 This is what I wrote-up for our church newsletter:

Open Samhain Ritual -- The Beloved Dead
It was believed by ancient peoples--and still is by modern Pagans--that Samhain (Halloween) is the day of the year when the veil between worlds is thinned, and our loved ones who have passed on come to visit us again. Come and take part in a ritual that honors those loved ones who have gone before you, hallowing out a time and space in your life for magic. This will be a full Pagan ritual, including circle casting, Goddess invocation and a meditation. Please bring an image or trinket that reminds you of the loved one you miss most.

Samhain, I believe, is one of the most perfect Sabbats for non-Pagans to get super involved with. Everyone has a person or pet who has gone beyond, who they miss, and everyone understands the idea of honoring those who have gone before us. About a half hour before the ritual, I'm going to explain all of the building blocks of ritual--why we do it, and why we do each piece of the ritual itself. There are several people in the congregation who have been wanting to become Pagan, and several who are just open-minded awesome people, who want to be involved in meaningful rituals, so it's a very varied group. I'm so excited that people are so enthusiastic about this, and have a couple of surprises and magical ideas so that everyone carries something away from this, hopefully.

Jenn and I are both so blessed in the fact that our pastor, Lee, is so impassioned on how he backs up everything we want to do in the church. He *wanted* more Pagan involvement, and has asked me to do these things, when I showed interest in priestessing there. Everyone is so interested and supportive of our ideas, and backs us 110%. Sometimes, it makes me a little misty-eyed when I talk about our church family, and how deeply entrenched they are in our lives and hearts. We're more blessed than I could articulate. <3

So yes! Samhain! Open ritual! Lots of candles and cider and drums and magic! I can't wait. <3


I don't cook very much during the summer months because of how SATANICALLY HOT our house gets when it's hot outside. :D But cooking is one of my favorite things in the world, when I actually have five minutes in which to do it. And cooking in CROCK POTS is my FAVORITE. <3 I just whipped up a vegan pot pie in our slow cooker. SORCERY. Crock pots were invented by All of the Gods at the annual God Consortium one day, because they were like: HUMANS. THEY NEED SOMETHING AWESOME IN THEIR LIVES. And lo, verily, the crock pot was BORN. I know lots of people think crock pots are for old ladies with blue hair, but it is ALSO for YOUNGER LADIES with PINK AND PURPLE HAIR and everyone else, too.

C'mon folks. LET'S BRING CROCK POTS BACK. Like SEXY. But with more CARBOHYDRATES, surely. I will even give you my secret, super-duper crock pot recipe for my SORCERY Pot Pie:

Mood:: 'hungry' hungry
Music:: "Saltarello" from Music from the Time of the Crusades
mermaiden: (Autumn) now live!

This Halloween update, we've included Samhain Blessing Bowls--bowls that can be used to honor your ancestors, and help invoke the magic of a blessed Samhain night. <3

mermaiden: (Love:  Hearts)
It's dark out. The sun trips across the sky for only a few hours every day. The earth doesn't know what it wants to do, is half cold, half warm, thoroughly confused. It is past the Solstice, and yet we have not had snow. I hear the reports that in 1889 in Buffalo, they didn't get any snow in December, too. I wonder if they worried about the end of the world, if 1900 would bring about Armageddon, or if they were just really grateful that they didn't have to put on eighteen layers of coats and mufflers to go pee.

On the Winter Solstice, I performed my first ever Unitarian service. More people came to that service than the last three combined, curious to see what I was capable of...and they said they loved it. They warmed my heart with their joy for it, they made me feel like I had done what was needed, and they affirmed that little push in my heart that's been pushing for months. I'll...tell you about it later. <3

Afterward, we were taken out to dinner, we gave Bill his present...he shed and wiped away a single tear, and his voice shook when he thanked us. I cried when he gave us our present--my voice shook, too. Sometimes, the earth turns and magnificent things happen, and you meet the people you were meant to. And you can never predict exactly when that will be, or how long you have with them. So you're simply grateful.

I keep thinking about the people who changed my life, and the people I love. 'Tis the season for it. I keep thinking about my little goddess daughter, sending her love and light every day. I keep thinking about the women and men and boys and girls that fill my heart, and it is full, so full it might burst, and I really don't have words to convey the gratitude for the card with the sparkling glitter and heartfelt message, and the little package I retrieved from the mailbox on the worst day of the year that reminded me that I was loved, or how my wife wrapped me so close and tight beneath the Solstice tree, and how my kid sister gave me something I've been wanting since I was fourteen years old, her eyes twinkling, and how I got a phone call because "I was thinking about you, and I love you." Even in the season of darkness, of cold, of gestation and waiting and sleep, we remember one another, we reach out with warm hands to hold one another in the cold, dying light.

That's family. That's love. That's the holidays.

I'm so filled with gratitude, it's hard to articulate here. There are little things I'm grateful for: with the money we got from the holidays, and my royalties, I was able to pay off a little credit card. We haven't been able to make any headway on the cards in about nine or so months, and it was fucking exhilarating to write that check. (Normal people don't get this excited about paying off a credit card, I'm sure. ;D) We have a long way to go, but I feel hopeful about it again. My depression is--knock on every piece of wood in the world--gone. We are closing Glamourkin in a few days, and the coming creation that has been held secret is ready to burst through the doors, and Jenn and I are so filled with excitement and plans and lists and lists that we don't know how we're going to contain it until opening day. We've been to so many UU services these past few weeks, multiple services a week, but we still managed to--in the middle of Pennsylvania on the drive back up to NY on Christmas day--find one at a Pittsburgh church, randomly, and go. The pastor was so funny--he read one of my favorite stories, "The Gift of the Magi," and the sermon made me cry. <3 No matter where you are or who you are or when you go, any UU church welcomes you, a stranger, with smiling people, huge hugs, talk and coffee. It's one of the most comforting things in the world, knowing that. (And my hobby of visiting different UU churches when we travel grows by one more, putting us at...twelve, I think? I want to start a blog about it. ;D *laughing*)

The year opens up, a bright shining star of possibility. And we wait, hearts warm, hands clasped...together. <3


Below is the Winter Solstice Ceremony that I wrote for the Pullman Church--I'm sharing it here so people can read it if they wish (or, heck, you could do the meditation part, if the spirit moved you). <3 It is "Pagan lite," as this was the first service that ever introduced Pagan concepts to the church--as the months progress, I will be introducing more and more Pagan ideas, rituals, concepts to the congregation.

Lee (our pastor), Laura (my kid sister, who graciously sang for us <3) and Jenn all had parts, which I've included below.

I hope you enjoy. <3

image by uberfischer

The Winter Solstice Ceremony at Pullman Memorial Universalist Church, 2011~ )
Mood:: 'mellow' mellow
mermaiden: (Solstice:  Blessed)
And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.

~Susan Cooper


Tonight, I am leading the first annual Winter Solstice ritual/service/celebration at Pullman Memorial Universalist Church! If you're local and can make it, we'd love to have you!

I designed the ritual expressly for a congregation of people who have no knowledge of Paganism or Pagan customs, so it's a good introduction to a very simple ritual, and yet still contains something for the seasoned Pagan. It is our intention to introduce the congregation to ritual, and then build from there with Sabbat rituals and occasional esbats! This will be the first public ritual ever held at the historical Pullman church, and we are ecstatic to be introducing it, and to such a warm and hearty welcome. <3 <3 <3 Hopefully everyone enjoys it and calls for more!

Wish us luck? :D #Sparkle #Joy #SOMUCHCOFFEE

by Raffledoocious
Mood:: 'Lots of coffee' Lots of coffee
mermaiden: (Bandyloo)

A bright, blessed Mabon morning has spread before us--a wild, untamed day of vibrancy and brilliance, leaves unfurling, and autumn descending, Persephone descending. Hail and welcome, beloved Autumn. <3 <3 <3

Today, we are applying for our marriage license. I was a little nervous that they won't give us one (they don't have to if it's against their religion), and we'll have to find another county to go to (I have activist courage about eleventy billion things regarding GLBT rights, but when it comes to my OWN WEDDING, I just want it to be all positive, all happiness--that's not such a hard-to-grant wish for most people, but for gay weddings, it is. I hate that.). Last night, I sat very still, eyes closed, and imagined them smiling when they heard the news we were getting married--getting the same reaction as all of the straight couples who go in for their licenses. I thought of all of the people who fought so very hard for us to even get to this point, and I stopped being nervous. If they treat us terribly, we'll leave, we'll talk about it, it won't stop us from getting married because nothing can stop us from getting married. That thought alone revived the great joy in my heart.

A week from today, we are getting married--legally married. We are four Glamourkins away from the completion of Operation Sparkle Wedding, we are seven days away from legal marriage, something no one can ever touch, no one can ever destroy. We'll be "official," "worth-full" in the eyes of a society that did not think this in June. I've never given a flying flip what society thinks about me, but now we're protected, we have our rights--we're safe.

Mabon is all about gratitude. Every day, I'm thankful for so very many things, but this time, the list is so much greater.

- People from all over the country are flying and driving and sparkling in to celebrate our marriage. They are taking time out of their busy lives to uphold us in love. Many more wish they could be there, will be there in spirit. We dwell in a veritable house of love, a mansion of love, a beautiful dwelling of heart and love--I could not be more grateful for you.

- We are getting legally married, a hard won, hard fought for privilege. So few of our community have this precious should not be this precious, but it is, and I'm so, so grateful for it.

- Every day, every hour, every moment, I fall more in love with Jenn in my life. She is my soul mate, the celestial body to my satellite, my morning and my star rise. I love her with all that I am, every day I fall deeper into that love, I can not believe that I am blessed enough to marry her again.

Whoever you are, whatever you do, this day, I am sending you love. This is the autumn of the year, this is the resplendence of the world, this is one week from a marriage.

Oh, bliss, bliss, bliss. <333333333333333333333
Mood:: 'joyous' joyous
mermaiden: (Unicorn)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 01:03pm on 21/06/2011 under , , , , ,
I know I ALWAYS SAY each of the Sabbats is my favorite, but I'm going to do it again! :D Midsummer/Litha is one of my favorite Sabbats. <3 It's so filled with joy, the ultimate time of plenty, the gardens burgeoning with life, the herald of a time of no cold, no snow, the opposite of winter. Perhaps, having lived in western New York for most of my life, I'm more highly tuned to the farthest point away from treacherous ice and snows as possible. Perhaps because it's the Sabbat closest to my birthday, and I associate such happy times and joyous moments with my birthday that it all turns into this great big package of sparkling days. Whatever it is, I love these days and celebrations with all of my heart.


I hope your Litha is beautiful and bright, and if you aren't of a Pagan-ish persuasion, that your Midsummer is filled with happy moments and bright, golden afternoons and fresh strawberries and iced tea and all of the comforts summer brings~ <3

Four days will quickly steep themselves in nights;
Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
And then the moon, like to a silver bow
New bent in heaven, shall behold the night
Of our solemnities.

~ from "A Midsummer Night's Dream"~ <3
Mood:: 'grateful' grateful
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 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: (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 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: (*  Faerie:  Midsummer)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 10:51am on 21/06/2010 under , , , ,

...Thou, sun, art half as happy as we,
In that the world's contracted thus.
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;
This bed thy center is, these walls, thy sphere.

~ from "The Sun Rising" by John Donne
mermaiden: (Default)
My life in the past few weeks, in lovely little digestible noms~

<3 I got my Star Girl added to my fairy tale sleeve, FINALLY!

Her heart was filled with stars )

<3 We picked poppies from a wild field~

<3 I'm working endlessly on editing Twixt. I have this totally unrealistic goal of being finished with edits by my birthday, July 6th. XDDDD Um. We'll see what happens.

<3 We're planning our first annual Midsummer extravaganza, which we're endlessly excited about and covered in glitter for.

<3 All of our fur babies are finally healthy~ I gave baths to Pan and Poesy last night, and told Link he was far too clean and dainty to get one. XD To which I'm sure he agreed. My two little wild muppets are always tangled in something, and their taller and more more esteemed brother is fretting on the sidelines while they chase frogs and find more ways to store grass clippings in their coats. XD

Poesy--practically CLEAN, compared to what usually happens on such outings. XD

<3 We finally have our vegetable garden rotatilled! I'm going to be consecrating the ground on Thursday (the full moon) and planting on Saturday~ My excitement knows no bounds~ <3

<3 I'm surrounded by people who love me and believe in me and my stories and never, ever, ever let me give up. That's pretty incredible, and something I am endlessly and forever grateful for. <3333333
Mood:: 'artistic' artistic


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