Thoughts, lessons, and theology from an eclectic witch from a varied background.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Moura Week 1 Thoughts

Something of a more personal post right now, I apologize if this is not very well done. I have found myself in the position of scrambling about and playing catch-up on all fronts. It is honestly quite exhausting. My health is somewhat better than it was a little while back but my brain is still not functioning quite right. This leads to a bit of shading to details and facts that is not accurate. This makes me additionally somewhat miserable.

I had planned to do so many things over the last week. I told myself that I was going to take the kids out and do fun things. I told myself that I was going to finish getting my pile of mending done, finally. I even told myself that I was going to get a big ol' heap of tarot reading emails finished.

Functionally, I accomplished a very small fraction of it and more of my time was spent trying to keep the boys from fighting. I feel rather demoralized by that. I don't know if I was going into the week hypomanic or not. I just know that I had set out a list of goals. I thought they were reasonable. And then each one passed me by with little to no work done upon them.

I'm not sure what the theme of this month is going to be. So far, it looks like learning to live with the fact that I am more limited than I once was and that I really just have to accept it. I'm not very good at that.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Moura: 13th Month & 5th Season

If you follow the Filianic/Déanic calendar, you will realize that we are on the second day of the month of Moura. In the Filianic/Déanic calendar, this is a month that is outside of the ordinary year. It counts as the thirteenth month of a twelve month cycle. It is also considered the fifth of four seasons. This is also the month that includes the intercalculary period known as Hiatus.

The Filianic/Déanic calendar describes itself as a solar calendar. The thirteen months, however, are highly reminiscent of the lunar calendars of the world. The intercalculary period serves as a time that allows for the calendar to reconcile that lunar influence with the solar calendar. It even happens in the Julian calendar. This would be why we have Leap Day at the  end of February every four years. In the Filianic/Déanic calendar, that Leap Day manifests as a second day in the period of Hiatus, which is a single day on all other years.

Moura is generally described as a period of purification and anticipation. Many compare it to the liturgical season of Lent observed in most Christian denominations. Moura is a time that many households of the Filianic/Déanic faith work on their 'Spring' cleaning. This is less a matter of 'time to clean everything up because it is Spring' that many others would present this concept as, and more of a process of cleansing the household (and ideally oneself) in preparation for the high holiday of Eastre, and the beginning of the Spring season of the calendar.

The dates observed in Moura include the first day of Moura, which is known as Moura Day. This is often a day of fasting after the Mardi Gras like celebrations of Moura Eve (2/19, the 28th day of the month of Brighe). Med Moura (Moura 14th, March 5th or 4th, on Leap Years) is a break in the austerity of the season. It is a feast day wherein mothers and creative people are celebrated.Also celebrated are people who act as spiritual guides for others. Given that my observances are of a more gender neutral orientation, I celebrate parental figures, creative people, and spiritual guides and teachers of all walks.

At the end of Moura (Moura 28, March 19 or 18th on Leap Years), the year officially ends with the observance of the solemnities of Kala. Kala is the date of the death of the Divine Daughter. All icons of the Daughter are customarily shrouded to reflect her death. These will remain until Eastre, the date of her resurrection and the beginning of the next year. Kala is considered the first date of the celebrate of Eastre.

After Kala comes the period of Hiatus. During Hiatus, thoughts and discussion of the future are generally taboo. The Filianist is encouraged to meditate upon the death of the Daughter and her absence from the world. Some will wear somber colors. This is considered an inauspicious period for beginning new things. Hiatus is technically not part of the calendar. Many who publish Filianic calendars will not post Hiatus upon their calendars.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Herbs, Treasures, & Tools.

Initially, I started out with this wild idea that I was going to write weekly posts about herbalism. I then realized I did not know quite enough to do so and the end result was my basically sharing what I was finding via research as soon as I found it. This lead to some poor posts and I stepped back to reconsider the whole matter. After a great deal of thought, I have come to a few conclusions.

First, I am going to start posting again about herbs and plants. Those posts will talk about things ranging from the basics on how to keep your plants alive to what the folklore surrounding the plants is. I will also have stuff talking about what bit of familial knowledge that was passed down to me by my relatives. Some of it is going to sound a little odd, but it actually does seem to work. I am also going to be posting my notes as I am engaged in my attempt again to grow something of a container garden this year.

Secondly, the posts about herbs and plants are not going to be the only topic that comes up at this time of the week. I am going to begin a series of posts talking about magical tools. I sort of started with that post I did a little while back regarding sickles. The next one is going to be addressing wands. There will be a short video to accompany these posts. The video is going to be featured on the main site. The text discussion (with some pictures to illustrate my points) will be available on the main site and the mirror site.

The third new element that is going to come into play here is something that I am not entirely sure how often it will show up. I am going to start posting about items that I find truly wonderful and special. I will be posting a picture of my treasure. I will also be posting a little bit of the story about how the object came into my possession and what I love about it. Some of this is going to be jewelry that I inherited, random stuff that my kids have made, and items that if you just saw them sitting on a shelf you would have no idea why they mattered to me.

I look forward to sharing this adventure with you. I hope that you have a lovely day and that something delightful happens to find you at just the right time to make you smile when you need it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Amity Day: Love is Love is Love.

Today is commonly known as Valentine's Day. It is the feast day of the Catholic saint named Valentinus. The stories surrounding this saint all agree that his death was decidedly unpleasant (one variation included his being beaten with clubs and beheaded before getting dumped into a shallow grave before being disinterred and reinterred elsewhere by the Christian faithful). The general reasons for this man's death usually are cited as performing marriages for Roman soldiers who had been forbidden from marrying and his association with Christians. Precise details about this era are not as strong as one would like because there are multiple individuals known as Valentinus who died for approximately the same reasons. This is additionally confused with the very varied writings that made up medieval hagiography.

Within the Filianic/Déanic communities, February 14th (also known as Brighe 23rd according to the sacred calendar of these faiths) has become known as Amity day. This is the day where love is celebrated in its many splendid forms. Where as the secular over-culture that we are generally aware of focuses upon romantic love (of a very specific variety) on this day, the Filianic/Déanic communities have a broader perspective. Indeed, it is often found that a focus upon Platonic and familial love in these communities. It is not that romantic love is unimportant as much as Platonic and familial relationships more closely mirror the ideal relationship between worshipers and Dea.

There are many in the wider pagan community that honor this as the feast of Lupercalia. Lupercalia is an ancient fertility festival that is reckoned to have been celebrated at approximately the same time of the year. The festival is historically associated with wolves and the deity known as Faunus (who is considered a Roman cognate to the Hellenic deity Pan). The focus of this festival has historically been the celebration of fertility, the appeasement of unfriendly spirits, the increase of health and vitality in the community, and purification of the city. One would only presume that along with the focus upon purification of the city, there was perhaps a parallel focus upon purification within one's own home.

Today, the 14th of February is treated as a day of sanctioned debauchery along certain lines. The indulgence of people in extravagant purchases to display their affection, in having sweet treats, and physical displays of affection is so heavily entrenched in the over-culture of the United States that it seems some sort of strange irony considering how many people are judgmental of others for such indulgences at other times of the year. The ideas that there is a certain standard of behavior that is required to observe this day properly creates an incredible amount of stress and anxiety for many, many people.

There are people who are extremely upset that they do not have a lover to dote upon them. There are people who are extremely anxious that their displays of affection are not extravagant. The combination of the stereotypes of what a 'good Valentine's day' looks like and the general lack of reasonable allowances for people to express their affections in a manner that is most comfortable for them turns a day that could have been one for deep spiritual and emotional connection in to a day of anxiety, stress, and general misery for many people.

Thus, one is encouraged to focus more upon love as a concept at large rather than a specific manifestation, with the exception of how those manifestations enrich one's life. Taking time on amity day to focus upon acts of self care as healthy self love is just as valid as taking one's sweetheart out to dinner. Some would dare say that that moment of self care is even more important right now. Focus upon love as that all encompassing wonder that moves through the world.