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Posts Tagged ‘pagan songs’

singing and drumming in front of around 500 people or so.. no biggie

This summer solstice the family and I traveled to PSG for a week long adventure in pagan community, music, celebration, ritual and camping hosted by Circle Sanctuary. It was my 5th time attending and once again I found that a great love and understanding permeated every interaction that I came across. The first time I attended, I lost my phone card and someone tracked me down just to give it to me again. I can leave a folding chair anywhere for a whole day and not worry about someone taking it (very different from my own front yard!).

Besides a great deal of trust that flows throughout the festival, it is wonderful to see how our pagan community really works. Activists, musicians and pagan leaders are accessible (I chatted with activist Patrick McCollum, author Loren Cruden, musician Arthur Hinds, some members of Spiral Rhythm, pagan leader Selena Fox and the editor of Circle Magazine,  for example). Also, if you, yourself has a special talent, you are encouraged to make a contribution. No where will you find more of a safe and supportive environment to let your talents shine. Last year I attended a chant circle and shared some of my own original chants. I received such a strong, positive feedback that this year many were looking out for me specifically to hear more of my songs! A few even sang some of my chants back to me and told me that they had been sharing it with others all year!!

This year I found the courage within me to sing an original song on-stage at the talent show (probably around 500 people in the audience). That’s us in the picture!! This is only the second time I have sang on stage (the first was when I sang the Cranberries song, Zombie for a neighborhood block party). My two friends JJ and Tulie got up there with me to accompany me with their voices part of the time and a djembe and a rattle and we rocked!!! So much so, we are deciding to start a band!!! Youtube videos are shortly in my future so that others can use my chants if they wish and I’m sure my friends will be joining me singing a few of them. Side note: if you are close to the Quad Cities Illinois area, can play an instrument and are wanting to take part- LET ME KNOW!!!

I feel so blessed to be part of this amazing community. As Pagans and Wiccans, we are all making history as we are some of the first generations to be part of this growing earth-based religion!

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Samhain… the one night of the year where I don’t care how busy I am or how late it is… meeting with my community of witches and journeying to the Underworld is going to happen!

We were all busy that day: I had school till 9pm. Tulie had Trick-or-Treat with her kids. JJ was still in the process of moving out of her house. It did not matter, because come storm or sleet, we were meeting! Tulie and I have been meeting every Samhain night since we were 12 years old.

We do something a bit crazy on good old Samhain… we find a cornfield and we.. we… run around naked in it! Every year I am secretly dreading it the day of. It is so damn cold outside and I’m admittedly a wimp about the cold, but once we are out there running around with the air kissing our thighs I am in love. We shout to the moon and sing blessings to the earth. We renew our spirits and recharge our magic for the next year.

When we go back into the house we are huffing, our lungs burning and our skin tingling. From here the transition is made into ritual space and we dance, drum, sing and call to the spirits of our ancestors and the land.

Hecate, Kali and Oya was honored last night in accordance to our own Dark Goddesses we work with. The circle became heavy with the presence of many spirits. I’m sure our guardians was extra-alert for any mischievous Otherkind last night.

At this point, we were all in a deep trance and ready to move onto the next Samhain tradition. One at a time we approached the altar and knelt in front of the Underworld poison… a deep crimson juice of pomegranate, and we drank of it deeply. Reenacting our deaths, we stumbled onto our resting place already prepared. The other remaining priestesses covered the now motionless body with blankets stained in pokeberry juice and ornate celtic knots.

We journeyed to the Underworld to receive our personal messages for the following year. Time seemed to be non-existent. Our gods showed us our path and prepared us for the upcoming winter. These visions feed us through the new year.

When we are reborn into the circle we awaken from our graves and approach the altar. There, laid before us, is all of the major arcana Tarot cards face down and mixed up. Still in a trance state we choose one to see what the theme for the following year will be. This year I received the Sun, which actually fit perfectly with my Underworld vision.

As the ritual winded down we chanted one of my Crone songs to the beat of Tulie’s buffalo skin drum. The night was a success and we departed with warm smiles and hugs.

 

Lyrics to my Samhain song,

We are Witches Three

by Cicada/Bonnie Waller

We are witches three 

 we have a holiday,

when we go skyclad

in the fields we pray.

We are witches three

My brother do not fear,

We only honor

the ending of our year.

We are witches three

Watch us part the veil

Out through the mists

The spirits we do hail.

We are witches three

You think we are pretend,

Won’t you join us

dancing with the dead?

 

Now to show off the awesome El Dia De Los Muertos altar at Western Illinois University:

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My labyrinth is completely done!

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My living room wall mural is completely done!

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My rough draft CD to give to my backup singers and accompanist: done!

(okay, so not a good picture for lighting, but this is me singing last weekend on stage for the first time)

Whoooo, hard work pays off!

The Labyrinth… Today I hosted a women’s circle and I had them place the stones and bless the labyrinth with white sage, cornmeal, salt, roses, moon water and ringing a crystal bell. These women have been role models for me for the last 10 years and I am so grateful they came… even in the pouring rain! Tulie, my husband and I found almost all the stones around the Mississippi and a nearby creek. Lots of sweat went into finding those. My daughter and son helped me dig it (well, I mostly dug and they played in the dirt). So basically, almost everyone who has supported me spiritually in my life has taken part of this labyrinth and I feel so blessed.

The Mural… We bought our house six years ago and never planned on living in it this long because it is a small, two bedroom home. This means that we never went to extreme lengths to make it feel like a home. Two kids later, we find ourselves still here and finally we have decided we are going to stay here at least until I am done with graduate school (three years)… so we finally are starting to make this place feel like a home! We put up a fence so the kids can run free and I can do ritual skyclad if I want.  We are also making plans to make the attic into a bedroom. This mural was started to mark this important milestone in our lives.

The CD… After working repeatedly on tweaking many of my songs, I finally recorded a CD to give to my accompanist and backup singers! This CD is a collection of some of my favorite pagan songs that I have written over the last five years. I look forward to the future blog about my music finally being open to the public, but until then, I am just thankful for this moment in the process where I am only moving forward with the goal in graspable sight!

About two weeks ago I was sharing a new song to Tulie and our kids outside with our drums. Her son, who is five and is only recently begun to talk about his spiritual side, suddenly announces that a cicada on a tree started to come out as I was singing. None of us had seen this before (even me, who has the cicada for a totem), so we all got very excited and took it as a sign that my songs are ready to take on a new form and fly. We drummed and sang for an hour until the cicada completely left his shell. It was quite the experience that none of us will forget!

Thank You Infinite Spirit for giving me the health, support, inspiration and opportunity to finish these projects!

So Blessed Be.

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