Dulce Domum, the Soul Returns Home: Last Night’s Fellowship of Isis Funeral Ceremony for Grendel the Cat

The reality is that grief from pet loss is not as easily ‘fixed’ as some would have us believe. It’s hard to live in grief that’s judged as unworthy. Grief is about love, and our animal companions often show us some of the most unconditional love we could ever experience. How often, despite our best efforts, do we absorb some of society’s judgments and think, I shouldn’t be grieving this much? Yet when we let these thoughts in, we betray our genuine feelings.

Dr. David Kessler, You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding Peace After a Breakup, Divorce, or Death (Carlsbad, CA: Hay House Publishing, 2014), p. 136.

 

My role as cat midwife/cat mother has come full circle for my beloved Grendel: On September 21, 2007, I midwifed his feral birth in the woods behind my parents’ house; last night, June 11, 2019, I served as the death midwife who ushered him into the Spirit World after I made the heart-wrenching choice (given his Stage IV stomach cancer diagnosis less than 3 weeks ago) to have him euthanized at home sooner than I was expecting to. Continue reading

Announcing the 26th Annual Fellowship of Isis Goddess Conference and Festival in Chicago!

Calling all Kemetic and Sumerian Polytheists, Reconstructionists, Polytheist Pagans, Tameran Wiccans, ceremonial magicians, Fellowship of Isis (FOI) members worldwide, devotees of the Gods of the Fertile Crescent, and friends! All are welcome to the 26th Annual Fellowship of Isis Goddess Conference and Festival in Chicago! I’m very excited to announce that, for the first time in our FOI Chicago community’s history, the event will span multiple days: Thursday, October 3, 2019 through Friday, October 5, and will feature a Pagan Cabaret! The location this year is the city’s acclaimed Prop Thtr, located at 3502 North Elston Avenue on the city’s north side.

Continue reading

TENDING TO THE ANCESTORS: A CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR THE WINTER 2018-2019 ISSUE OF ISIS-SESHAT JOURNAL

Seeking Submissions for the 2018-2019 Winter Issue of Isis-Seshat Journal on the Theme of “Tending to the Ancestors, Propitiating the Dead”—Deadline: Friday, January 18, 2019

“Iba se Eggun.”
(“I pay homage to the spirits of the ancestors.”) — Start of a Yoruba prayer recited in Ifá at the outset of certain rituals

I paid a visit to my Oluwo (Godfather in Ifá) last night and we had a chance to catch up on the whirlwind of life events I’ve been experiencing since my father’s cancer diagnosis two months ago. We consulted Ifá, and the voices of my own Orí (Destiny/True Will) and my Eggun (Ancestors) resonated strongly in the oracle’s spiritual prescriptions. The restless spirits of the dead, teeming hordes of the Eggun Buruku, were also vying for my attention, a fact confirmed by my lived experience of increased spirit activity at both my home and my parents’ house, where I recently (and totally by happenstance, and during a thunderstorm, no less!) made contact with the spirits of a young woman and children that had drowned in the river marking the northernmost boundary of my parents’ property. By their clothing, they appeared to have lived during the mid-nineteenth century. The children (blond-haired fraternal twins aged about seven or eight years old), unrelated to the young woman, were lost and crying out for their parents. The sight of them made my heart ache. But I couldn’t focus on them as I quickly realized the other spirit posed actual danger.

Continue reading

Allyships and Familiar Spirits: The Summer 2018 Issue of Isis-Seshat Journal Is Now Available!

Tending to my cancer-stricken father has definitely pushed me way behind in my production schedule for the Summer 2018 issue of Isis-Seshat journal, a quarterly journal of the worldwide Fellowship of Isis for which I serve as the Executive Editor, but I’m pleased to announce that I’ve just launched it and PDF copies are available for immediate download on my Etsy site, JackalMoonDesigns.

Continue reading

Allyships: A Call for Submissions for the Summer 2018 Issue of Isis-Seshat Journal

Seeking Submissions for the 2018 Summer Issue of Isis-Seshat Journal on the Theme of “Spiritual Alliances with the Animal, Plant, and Mineral Kingdoms”

Deadline: Friday, July 6

Anticipated Release Date: Monday, July 23

Many of us who engage with the Sacred in Polytheistic, Pagan, or Animist ways maintain a “this-world” focus, believing that we can enlist the aid of helping spirits from the world around us in our Work. But what does that mean, exactly? How do you know when your pet cat, for example, takes on a role greater than that of household companion and aids you in your ritual magic?

cat-1841561_960_720

CC0 public domain image courtesy of Pixabay

What about the relationships you have with the plants that fuel your herb magic—how did you initially cultivate those relationships? What guideposts signaled to you that you were on the right path? How do you maintain those relationships with those plant spirits?

basil-2406270__340

CC0 licensed public domain image courtesy of Pixabay

Those are the issues I’d like to explore in the Summer 2018 issue of Isis-Seshat journal, a quarterly journal of the worldwide is open to contributions from all theistic Pagans, Polytheists, animists, shamans, spirit-workers, and related magical practitioners besides FOI members (clergy and laity).

 

Content suggestions may include, but certainly aren’t limited to, the following:

  • Personal discovery essays, i.e., how you came to cultivate these Allyships
  • Incorporating the use of crystals or other minerals in energetic healing practices
  • The history and the role of the Familiar in Witchcraft traditions, and how your practices continue those traditions
  • Working with the Fae
  • Guided meditations in forming various Allyships with spirits of the land or sacred beasts

So those are some ideas that merit exploring in this upcoming Summer issue of Isis-Seshat. However, I will also gladly accept any of the following:

  • Reports of Summer Solstice (Northern Hemisphere) or Winter Solstice (Southern Hemisphere) group or solitary rituals
  • Announcements of any special events, clergy ordinations, etc. from any FOI Lyceums or Iseums
  • Original works or art / photography tied to the issue’s theme

Again, those are just some suggestions to get you writing!

As always, here’s my laundry list of criteria for acceptable content:

  • Essays, articles, poetry, meditations, electronic images of artwork that are yours, not someone else’s—you retain full copyright of your work.
  • If your pieces have been previously published elsewhere, that’s okay—just say so (identify where and provide the copyright date).
  • There is no word count limit. Previously published essays/articles have ranged from 1,000-4,000 words.
  • Please use MLA style when citing references.
  • The preferred format for written material is MS Word; kindly don’t send me PDFs.
  • The preferred format for digital art is JPEG or .TIF; please ensure it’s a high-res file (minimum of 300 x 600 dpi).

The deadline is Friday, July 6, 2018, and the anticipated release date is Monday, July 23.

This Call for Submissions is open to all Polytheists and theistic Pagans, irrespective of which cultural pantheon one’s honored Powers derive from—i.e., you don’t have to be a devotee of the Kemetic Neteru (i.e., the Gods of Ancient Egypt) to contribute content to Isis-Seshat journal.

I sadly am not in the position to financially compensate Isis-Seshat contributors. All contributors will receive a complimentary copy of the magazine. If you have any questions, please email me at jackalmoondesigns at gmail dot com.

I look forward to hearing from you! Blessings in the name of Isis-Seshat, Goddess of Writing! May She always render you True of Voice!

Seshat

Continue reading

The 2018 Spring Issue of Isis-Seshat Journal, “People of Prayer,” Is Now Available for Purchase

This is an exciting time! In the four years since I have inherited the mantle of Executive Editorship of Isis-Seshat, a quarterly, international journal of The Fellowship of Isis, this has been the favorite theme I’ve devised: Polytheists and Pagans as “People of Prayer.” Why did I choose this theme? Continue reading

Announcing the 25th Annual Fellowship of Isis Chicago Goddess Convention: “The Mystical Awakening of Scorpio and Kundalini”

It’s an exciting time for the Fellowship of Isis (FOI) Chicago community—a network of FOI-chartered Lyceums, Iseums, and Temples dedicated to Polytheistic outreach and to carrying the ideological torches of Goddess worship, eco-spirituality, and interfaith ambassadorship as envisioned by co-founders Olivia Robertson, Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, and Pamela Durdin-Robertson in 1976—as we’ve lined up quite a roster of public ritual and educational events for the next few months. The biggest news is that our annual Goddess Convention, traditionally held at Autumn Equinox and which draws FOI members (and friends from related groups) from a variety of countries to convene in Chicago, is having its quarter-century anniversary this year! That’s 25 years of uninterrupted public festival service to the broader Pagan and occult communities; for my part, it’s been a very exciting 16 years of commitment, as I participated in my first FOI Goddess Convention back in 2002.  Continue reading