PantheaCon 2018

Monday, 19 February 2018

With the close of PantheaCon earlier today, this concludes the third somewhat major retreat-like event I’ve attended since 31 January. I have a lot to process, and will be processing all of it for some time, I think.

I really like it when PantheaCon and Lent overlap. And this year at a workshop for self-care, I heard another Christian-Pagan talk about a Lenten practice of self-care rather than self-denial.

I learn something new every year, and I am blessed and privileged to do so.

The Heretic’s Rosary

My primary rosary is an Episcopal one, arranged in weeks instead of decades, given to me by my beloved friend and mentor, Rev. Gina Pond. This is how I pray it.

For the Sign of the Cross…

In the name of Mary,
and of Joseph,
and of their beloved son Jesus,
amen.

For the first large bead…

Our God, who is within us, hallowed be your Names,
Your community come, your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us today the blessings we need,
and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Don’t put us to the test, and protect us from harm.
For yours are the community, the love, and the beauty
now and forever,
amen.

For the next large bead…

Glory be to Mary, and to Joseph, and to Jesus,
as they were, are now, and ever shall be
the Holy Family forever,
amen.

For each small bead…

Hail Mary (Magdalene), full of strength, God is with you.
Blesséd are you among disciples,
and blesséd are the fruits of your study with Jesus.
Holy Mary, Consort of God, pray for us learners
now and as we discern our ministries,
amen.

The Heretic’s Rosary

My primary rosary is an Episcopal one, arranged in weeks instead of decades, given to me by my beloved friend and mentor, Rev. Gina Pond. This is how I pray it.

For the Sign of the Cross…

In the name of Mary,
and of Joseph,
and of their beloved son Jesus,
amen.

For the first large bead…

Our God, who is within us, hallowed be your Names,
Your community come, your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us today the blessings we need,
and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Don’t put us to the test, and protect us from harm.
For yours are the community, the love, and the beauty
now and forever,
amen.

For the next large bead…

Glory be to Mary, and to Joseph, and to Jesus,
as they were, are now, and ever shall be
the Holy Family forever,
amen.

For each small bead…

Hail Mary (Magdalene), full of strength, God is with you.
Blesséd are you among disciples,
and blesséd are the fruits of your study with Jesus.
Holy Mary, Consort of God, pray for us learners
now and as we discern our ministries,
amen.

Today, I Name Names about the First Coven I was in. #timesup #metoo

Content Warning: Emotional and physical abuse, gaslighting, financial abuse, mention of kink abuse I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts in the wake of Moira Greyland publishing her book about her life and the accusations she made against Isaac Bonewits. You’ve got the usual spread of folks who don’t believe it, folks who do, […]

2018: Jubilee Year in the Names of Saints Echo and Narcissus

The
year two thousand seventeen of the Common Era was a very difficult
one for me, even as it was a year of healing and introspection.
Various aspects of my health are in decline, including my mental
health. Yet, starting medication for my mental illnesses and taking a
depression management class have helped greatly.

What
does this have to do with Echo and Narcissus and why do I call them
Saints? Various reasons.

Part
of Echo’s story was that she was yet another mortal woman seduced by Zeus. Some translations
use the word “ravished” which in modern times is often equated with “rape.” When Hera came to question Echo,
the mortal told the goddess long stories to distract from from her
pursuit of Zeus. Echo was covering Zeus’ escape, it seemed. Hera
cursed Echo so that she could only speak the last few words she heard
another speak. This was how Narcissus was caught staring at his own
reflection. She’d fallen in love with him and wanted to speak to
him, but was only able to repeat some of his words back to him. As a
result, he was tricked into falling in love with himself.

So,
in this tale we have a randy, powerful being seducing someone who really
didn’t have the power to say no. And unforgiving wife struck out at
the target she could reach and as a result ruined at least two lives.

In
Echo, I see those who are used sexually and don’t report for fear
of backlash, yet backlash struck her anyway. In Narcissus, I see
those who have learning disabilities, mental illnesses, or some
combination of both, and who can be very literal in their understanding of language.
They can be led, by accident or by design, to self-destruction or
wasting away.

In
modern times, people use the phrase “echo chamber” to deride
those who are unwilling to the voices that speak out against them.
Sometimes, this phrase is used to shame the marginalized for creating
safe spaces. The word “narcissistic” is often wrongly used to
describe persons whose self-esteem has grown to the point where they
aren’t willing to take the abuse that’s so casually given to
them.

I
say, we should build our echo chambers! We should surround ourselves with those who
don’t speak ill of us. We know those other voices are there. We
can’t escape them. But in creating our echo chambers, we can give
ourselves a certain measure of peace from those who hate us.

I
say, we should fall in love with ourselves! We should fill our minds with thoughts of
self-worth, because we know there is no shortage of those who hate
us. If our self-worth causes them to be angry, then perhaps it’s
not us who are medically narcissistic.

Hail
Echo, patron saint of the used, frightened, and misunderstood!

Hail
Narcissus, patron saint of learning disabilities and mental
illnesses!

Amen,
and Blessed be!

2018: Jubilee Year in the Name of Saints Echo and Narcissus

The
year two thousand seventeen of the Common Era was a very difficult
one for me, even as it was a year of healing and introspection.
Various aspects of my health are in decline, including my mental
health. Yet, starting medication for my mental illnesses and taking a
depression management class have helped greatly.

What
does this have to do with Echo and Narcissus and why do I call them
Saints? Various reasons.

Part
of Echo’s story was that she was yet another mortal woman seduced by Zeus. Some translations
use the word “ravished” which in modern times is often equated with “rape.” When Hera came to question Echo,
the mortal told the goddess long stories to distract from from her
pursuit of Zeus. Echo was covering Zeus’ escape, it seemed. Hera
cursed Echo so that she could only speak the last few words she heard
another speak. This was how Narcissus was caught staring at his own
reflection. She’d fallen in love with him and wanted to speak to
him, but was only able to repeat some of his words back to him. As a
result, he was tricked into falling in love with himself.

So,
in this tale we have a randy, powerful being seducing someone who really
didn’t have the power to say no. And unforgiving wife struck out at
the target she could reach and as a result ruined at least two lives.

In
Echo, I see those who are used sexually and don’t report for fear
of backlash, yet backlash struck her anyway. In Narcissus, I see
those who have learning disabilities, mental illnesses, or some
combination of both, and who can be very literal in their understanding of language.
They can be led, by accident or by design, to self-destruction or
wasting away.

In
modern times, people use the phrase “echo chamber” to deride
those who are unwilling to the voices that speak out against them.
Sometimes, this phrase is used to shame the marginalized for creating
safe spaces. The word “narcissistic” is often wrongly used to
describe persons whose self-esteem has grown to the point where they
aren’t willing to take the abuse that’s so casually given to
them.

I
say, we should build our echo chambers! We should surround ourselves with those who
don’t speak ill of us. We know those other voices are there. We
can’t escape them. But in creating our echo chambers, we can give
ourselves a certain measure of peace from those who hate us.

I
say, we should fall in love with ourselves! We should fill our minds with thoughts of
self-worth, because we know there is no shortage of those who hate
us. If our self-worth causes them to be angry, then perhaps it’s
not us who are medically narcissistic.

Hail
Echo, patron saint of the used, frightened, and misunderstood!

Hail
Narcissus, patron saint of learning disabilities and mental
illnesses!

Amen,
and Blessed be!

A Jesist at Christmas

Today is Monday, 25 December 2017. It’s Christmas, the celebration of when Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love were made incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth, the one Christians call the Christ.

Christian. It’s an interesting word. It can be used both as a noun (as I have above) or as an adjective. These days, I call myself a Jesist rather than a Christian. There are various reasons I do this, one of them being I don’t like where modern American Christianity seems to be going a lot of the time. That said, I’ve encountered welcome among the United Church of Christ, DignityUSA, the Progressive Christian Alliance, and the Episcopal Church (my current “home” denomination) to name just a few organizations. At the individual level, I’ve encountered more welcome than resistance to my existence. This welcome is Love, which gives me Joy, bringing me Peace and Hope.

What can be very difficult, is remembering in the midst of my oppression to bring the Gifts of Advent to those around me. Others seem to be better at remembering to do this, which leaves me somewhat ashamed as a clergy person. Ritualizing life can help with this, and Episcopal worship seems more formally ritualized than a lot of what I’ve been experiencing since leaving the Roman Catholic Church in 1988.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about making various things “great again,” and it’s even been suggested this needs to be done with Christmas. But, that’s just it: Christmas celebrates how the Almighty was incarnated in a life so delicate it had become a refugee. Greatness starts small. That is growth. Also, the greatness that came out of Christmas stood against the empire and the wealthy and the powerful. The Gospel is full of inversions, and Christmas is when those inversions really started for Christianity.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, help me to remember to bring the Gifts of Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace to the world, bringing blesséd Inversion to the empires of the world, in whatever small ways I can.

Amen, and Blessed Be.

A Jesist at Christmas

Today is Monday, 25 December 2017. It’s Christmas, the celebration of when Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love were made incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth, the one Christians call the Christ.

Christian. It’s an interesting word. It can be used both as a noun (as I have above) or as an adjective. These days, I call myself a Jesist rather than a Christian. There are various reasons I do this, one of them being I don’t like where modern American Christianity seems to be going a lot of the time. That said, I’ve encountered welcome among the United Church of Christ, DignityUSA, the Progressive Christian Alliance, and the Episcopal Church (my current “home” denomination) to name just a few organizations. At the individual level, I’ve encountered more welcome than resistance to my existence. This welcome is Love, which gives me Joy, bringing me Peace and Hope.

What can be very difficult, is remembering in the midst of my oppression to bring the Gifts of Advent to those around me. Others seem to be better at remembering to do this, which leaves me somewhat ashamed as a clergy person. Ritualizing life can help with this, and Episcopal worship seems more formally ritualized than a lot of what I’ve been experiencing since leaving the Roman Catholic Church in 1988.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about making various things “great again,” and it’s even been suggested this needs to be done with Christmas. But, that’s just it: Christmas celebrates how the Almighty was incarnated in a life so delicate it had become a refugee. Greatness starts small. That is growth. Also, the greatness that came out of Christmas stood against the empire and the wealthy and the powerful. The Gospel is full of inversions, and Christmas is when those inversions really started for Christianity.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, help me to remember to bring the Gifts of Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace to the world, bringing blesséd Inversion to the empires of the world, in whatever small ways I can.

Amen, and Blessed Be.