The Sun’s annual transit through Taurus is one of my favorite times of the year. There’s a real palpable sense of Spring finally arriving (its arrival is typically delayed here in chilly Chicago): the trees and tulips are flowering, the warbler birds are out in full force to serenade day and night, and my personal artistic/creative endeavors receive a very welcome Venusian boost of energy. I’ve been making quite a lot of necklaces to sell on my Etsy site, JackalMoonDesigns, and I’d like to showcase a few of them for you now. COVID-19 be damned: it’s time to get our ritual bling on!
The Fall Equinox is almost upon us and tomorrow will also the biggest day of my public Priestessing schedule in the year, as the Chicago Fellowship of Isis community presents its 25th Anniversary Goddess Convention. The day-long event, featuring a Tibetan Singing Bowl Sound Healing Concert and workshops on every subject from Contemporary Western Tantra to accessing the Akashic Records to the Astrology of Fixed Stars and my own presentation on the ancient Egyptian Goddess Selqet, will culminate in the late Lady Olivia Robertson’s gorgeously composed Divine Liturgy of “The Mystical Awakening of Scorpio and Kundalini.” As a devotee of the Goddess Selqet, it thrills me to no end to have the honor of my ecclesiastical role in the Liturgy be that of Her Priestess. When I recite the invocation, I get goose bumps every time. That’s the sign of heka at work, friends! And yes, I’m going to bring with me from my home temple space my giant, four-foot-tall replica statue of the Goddess.
I’m not just going to be a workshop presenter during the day and one of the officiating clergy for the Divine Liturgy in the evening; I’m also going to be a vendor, selling my Polytheist devotional jewelry pieces from my business, Jackal Moon Designs. I’ve had a spate of creativity in the past week and have made a bunch of new pieces that I’m selling online. Some of them have Eastern religious motifs of ties to Hinduism and Buddhism; others are Kemetic. Our Divine Liturgy this year honors Deities from India and Egypt.
This past Saturday at World Tree Healing, I led a workshop on “Loving and Serving ‘Dark’ Deities.” It was a well-attended workshop and for the first hour, I engaged the participants in a series of discussions based on the following prompts:
- How has staving off criticism from mainstream religions made Paganism afraid of its own shadows?
- How do you help outsiders to your tradition distinguish between “darkness” and “evil”?
- Has anyone ever had an experience of invoking Dark Deities in a group ritual context and then been castigated for invoking Them?
- How is the function of the Trickster valuable to a society? Who is devoted to Trickster Gods?
- In his Manifesto for his powerful Apocalyptic Witchcraft, Peter Grey has declared: “We call an end to the pretense of respectability.” What are your thoughts on this? What do Pagans lose by attempting to claw their way to the interfaith table, begging for scraps of acceptance from Abrahamic religions?
It was a great discussion that appeared to make two people with Abrahamic allegiances very uncomfortable, so they left after I had announced that we’d be taking a short break before our ritual to Nephthys would begin. Good riddance, I thought. I certainly didn’t want the miasma, or spiritual pollution, of their presences to spill over into my devotional ritual to my Patron Deity. The major risk of hosting a public Pagan ritual is that you never know what kind of people may show up, especially folks with overtly hostile ideologies (read: patriarchal monotheists) who attend solely to destabilize the gathering, which is why I absolutely favor doing private ceremonies in the company of fellow devotees I can vouch for.
What an auspicious and delicious Friday the 13th this has been, and I haven’t even left the office yet to begin my lovely and leisurely three-day Valentine’s Day/Presidents’ Day holiday weekend! (Io, Aphrodite!) I’m just giddy that this is the first easy-going Friday I’ve had at my job in months. And while much of my focus, die-hard romantic gal that I am, is centered on the joie-de-vivre that my bodacious beau Daniel and I are sure to experience tomorrow at the Lyric Opera production of Wagner’s “Tannhäuser” (let’s get medieval!), February 14 is also a very special day for me because in the old Cairo calendar, it’s the Feast of Anubis, the jackal-headed son of my Patron Goddess, Nephthys. The Egyptian god Anpu or Yinepu–Anubis to the Greeks–has been making His presence known in my life in major ways in the past couple of weeks, particularly by offering His services as a spiritual guide and protector, so I’ve decided to set up an additional shrine to Him here at my office desk just now! (Crazy colleagues and clients, be gone!)