I am reeling in shock, having received word that my beloved first cousin Milica, whose 52nd birthday was yesterday, died last night of an apparent aneurysm in her stomach’s blood vessels, just hours after my mother and I spoke to her at length on the phone. Continue reading
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.
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?
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?
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!
Nine years ago today, my friend Maris made the tragic decision to take his own life; he was two weeks shy of turning 22 years old. He served active duty as a Senior Airman in the United States Air Force and was stationed at Hickam Air Force Base on Oahu, just blocks away from my former home at Naval Station Pearl Harbor. Maris was the middle son of Ray Butta and the Rt. Rev. Deena Celeste Butta, my former ArchPriestess in the Fellowship of Isis and founder of our Chicago-based Lyceum of Alexandria. In the fall of 2012, Deena herself was shockingly diagnosed with a rare brain disorder; in the 8 weeks remaining in her life after her diagnosis and the rapid onset of symptoms, Deena spoke often to me about how she relished to be reunited with her son–that she could literally feel his presence luring her towards the Mysteries on the other side of the grave.
Shortly after Deena’s funeral at Imbolc of 2013, I had a series of visitations from both her and Maris for several weeks and knew that mother and son were indeed together again in the Afterlife. The two of them would stand motionless at the foot of my bed, silently staring at me. Both had completely white hair. Deena looked just as I had known her in life: tall, beautiful, and elegant, her dancer’s training evident in her poise. Maris, however, had appeared as he must have looked when he was seven or eight years old–Maris as a child, albeit with the surprise of the all-white hair. Maris only ever appeared to me in that state and always with his mother, whereas sometimes I would have visions of Deena walking alone on a moonlit beach and I realized she was aligning herself with the energies of the Lady of the Lake, one of her favorite Goddesses.
The shock of Maris’ suicide rippled across the Pacific. There were no indications that he suffered from depression. Military service runs in the Butta family and Maris was proud to have served his country in the Air Force. He left no note behind, no clues. He took his life in a public location in downtown Honolulu and nearby security cameras captured everything, quelling fears that he may have been the victim of foul play. In the immediate aftermath, Deena asked me about my experiences with what I perceived as profoundly negative spiritual entities residing all over Oahu’s lush, rain forest-canopied leeward coast, where Maris and I both used to go hiking. Could any of those hostile spirits have driven Maris to suicide? I do believe that such a phenomenon could have been at least partially culpable. I had a horrible, heart-sinking-into-the-pit-of-my-stomach feeling that Maris’ spirit risked becoming earth-bound on Oahu and possibly subjugated to the more powerful, nonhuman entities that hold such sway over the island: as a result, a massive undertaking of repeated ceremonies of release, performed both on Oahu and in Chicago, went underway.
And all of it, of course, coincided with the energies of Samhain.
As it still does.
With the great gates of Scorpio swung wide open to usher in the season’s retinue of restless spirits in this liminal time between the ending of the ancient Celtic year and the beginning of the new, I take comfort in one of the maxims my Gardnerian coven used to say in ceremonies performed on behalf of the Mighty Dead: “May we meet, know, and remember, and love one another again.”
Tonight I will hail Maris at my shrine of my beloved dead. A Sagittarius in life, he wanders freely still–of that I’m certain. All I can do is pray that my love and prayers born of tremendous heartache can reach his spirit and the hearts of his living family members.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than twice as many Americans die by suicide each year than by homicide. Please seek help for a loved one in crisis or reach out for help yourself if you’re feeling suicidal: someone is waiting to take your call 24/7 at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
On March 13, after having been informed that I passed my comprehensive exam with 100% accuracy, I officially became certified as a Death Midwife. Continue reading
What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea’s throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.
–T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets (“Little Gidding”), 1942. Section V
Epilogue, Part 1
Thursday, July 9, 2015
“Anna, my spirit guides told me this: ‘The place where this all started [Hawaii] is what’s going to heal her.'”