Shining a Spotlight on Dark Nights of the Soul

Alone, alone, all, all alone,

Alone on a wide wide Sea!

And Christ would take no pity on

My soul in agony.

—Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere, In Seven Parts” (1798), Part IV, lines 224-227

In my last post, I wrote about the beauty and the power of prayer and how it forms the core of my contemporary Polytheist devotional practice. But I certainly have had my challenges over the years in sustaining my practice, like any other religious person committed to devotional piety.  Whether the span lasted for weeks or even months on end, the spiritual crisis known as the “dark nights of the soul,” a term first coined by the sixteenth-century Spanish Counter-Reformation mystic known as St. John of the Cross, was a dreadful phenomenon I’ve endured many times. Continue reading

“Tending to the Ancestors”: The Winter 2018-2019 Issue of Isis-Seshat Journal Is Now Available!

It gives me great pleasure to announce, after several days of intensive copy editing and graphical layout, that the 48-page, full-color Winter 2018-2019 issue of Isis-Seshat journal has officially been released! With its theme of “Tending to the Ancestors,” the issue features various Polytheists’, Pagans’, and Witches’ perspectives on the importance of  cultivating and maintaining ancestor veneration in their daily devotional practices, how they do it, or why they abstain. Hailing from no less than 3 different continents, this issue’s contributors reflect a world of culturally contextualized traditions, from the Heathenry/Teutonic Polytheism of Northern and Central Europe to West African and Afro-Cuban Diaspora religions. I’m so deeply thankful to the gorgeous and deeply personal original works of art, poetry, and essays that were sent to me as submissions! This issue would not have been possible without so many peoples’ support.

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My First Paranormal Investigation: Old Joliet Prison

On the night of Saturday, November 3, 2018 into the wee hours of the morning of Sunday, November 4, I had the pleasure of experiencing my first official paranormal investigation at the Old Joliet Prison, courtesy of the paranormal investigation groups Chicago Hauntings and the Joliet Paranormal Society as well as the Joliet Area Historical Museum. My friend Edward and I joined 48 hearty souls for the 5-hour-long investigation, including renowned psychic medium (featured on the long-running Travel Channel series, Ghost Adventures) Chris Fleming, who happens to be a Chicago native.

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Selqet: Ancient Egypt’s Scorpion Goddess

Editorial Note: This is the transcript of the presentation I gave on Saturday at the 25th Annual Fellowship of Isis in Chicago Goddess Convention. I added photos from my PowerPoint presentation and my references list.

Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us for this historic 25th anniversary Goddess Festival commemorated by the Chicago FOI Community! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Anna Applegate, I’m an ordained Priestess, and as a Polytheist primarily dedicated to the Kemetic or Egyptian Pantheon of Gods in my personal spiritual practice, I am very excited to be talking to you about the mysterious and powerful Scorpion Goddess, Selqet. I love Her very much. She features prominently in my ancestor devotionals and in the Spirit Work that I do, and I am deeply honored to ritually invoke Her in our Main Liturgy this evening, “The Mystical Awakening of Scorpio and Kundalini.”  

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Check Out My New Devotional Jewelry Listings on JackalMoonDesigns!

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.

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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.

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My Experiences at UAC 2018: Part 4 & Epilogue

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

“He went like one that hath been stunn’d

And is of sense forlorn:

A sadder and a wiser man

He rose the morrow morn.”

—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (lines 623-626)

The atmosphere in the Marriott Magnificent Mile hotel conference room where Dutch astrologer Karen Hamaker-Zondag taught her United Astrology Conference 2018 post-conference workshop on May 30, 2018, definitely felt gloomy and funereal. In many ways, the dimly lit and shockingly cold space would be a fitting Plutonian environment for delving deeply (six hours’ worth of learning in a single sitting) on the subject of “What Do You Really Want with Your 8th House and Pluto?”

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