Happy Lunar New Year 4719, Year of the Metal Ox!

Get. Excited! I’ve waited 12 years for my Lunar New Year animal, the Ox, to once again come into prominence in the collective consciousness: Yaaasss! While 2020, the Rat Year, was a true year of purging for everyone on the planet, its vibrations were amplified incredibly for people born in the Year of the Ox (folks born in 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009) because it was a time to draw the past 12-year cycle to a close. The sweat equity Oxen are known to put into all aspects of their lives (you’ll never find a more tireless worker than an Ox!) has translated into rich dividends to be reaped; we’re talking major life transformations for the better, and my own life story charts this trajectory. It’s truly a lucky time, especially as I view my horoscope and see transiting Jupiter in Aquarius crossing over the exact degrees of my natal Jupiter in Aquarius, my Aquarius Moon, and my Aquarius Ascendant! I know this incredibly fortuitous Cosmic Timing has me poised for unparalleled success, especially in my career! And I give great thanks to all my Holy Powers for this!

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Welcoming the Lunar New Year 4713 and the Kalends of Mars: Matronalia

It’s been a busy weekend for the Chicago Fellowship of Isis (FOI) Lyceum of Alexandria, one replete with two milestones: the re-launch of Isis-Seshat magazine, the quarterly issued journal for FOI members worldwide (I serve as the Executive Editor); and our first-ever public ritual, held last night, celebrating both the Chinese Lunar New Year 4713 (the Year of the Wooden Goat) as well as the Matronalia, the Roman Pagan festival honoring Juno as Goddess of Sovereignty; it occurred in ancient times at the onset of the Kalends of Mars (March 1). The evening was quite a departure from our usual public gatherings, wherein we enact a ritual chosen from the FOI’s official published corpus of liturgical texts for clergy training. Instead, Demetria, our Lyceum’s Priestess-Hierophant, and I devised a program comprised of short lectures (related to, in honor of the Year of the Goat, goat deities from around the world; astronomy and astrology; Taoism; the I-Ching; and Roman observances of Matronalia) broken up by the ritual activities of breath work, meditation, the blessing of seed packets, and a healing prayer circle we call the Pillar of Light, whose purpose is to channel energy for those not present who are in need of, and who have asked for, healing to enter their lives. Once the circle was opened, we celebrated with potluck feasting and cheerful conversations with the two newcomers who’d graced us with their presence; not only were they new to the Fellowship of Isis, but they were new to Paganism in general, so it was very pleasing to get to know them and receive their feedback that they found our gathering welcoming, informative, and heart-centered, which was music to my ears. Continue reading

Eastern Currents for Western Magicians: Taoism and the Five Elements

“Eastern Currents for Western Magicians: Taoism and the Five Elements”

A Talk I Gave at the 19th Annual Fellowship of Isis Annual Gathering, Chicago,

September 29, 2012, at the Latvian Cultural Center of Chicago

Introduction

Hello and welcome to this year’s annual Goddess Festival sponsored by the Lyceum of Alexandria. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Katakhánas and I’ve been involved with the Lyceum of Alexandria rather intensively for the past 6 years, though I joined the Fellowship of Isis 4 years prior to that. Earlier this month, on September 9, I became an ordained priestess in the lineage of Lady Loreon Vigné of the Temple of Isis and Le’ema Kathleen Graham of the Lyceum of Isis Serpentarium in California; if you’re curious, I’ve pledged myself to lifelong service of the Goddesses Nebet-Het (Nephthys to the Greeks), Bast-Sekhmet, and Hekate. I’m also a Theosophist, which means I really enjoy comparative religious studies, which is why I wanted to give this talk today.

So, thank you for coming and making the decision to spend your weekend creating conscious spiritual community, honoring the Goddess Nu Kua and learning more about the metaphysical aspects of China’s rich cultural heritage to get us attuned to the energies of this evening’s ritual.

Given that theme, what I’d like to talk about with you for the next 20 or so minutes is the amazing series of ancient Chinese teachings that fall under the religious, philosophical, and magical rubric of what we call Taoism, or “the Understanding of THE WAY and its Virtue” as the underlying force that governs the workings of the Universe.

My agenda is threefold: (1) give an overview of the belief system, discussing its historical context in what’s been called the “Axis Age” of the 6th century Before Common Era, looking at Taoism’s parallels and sharp differences with the philosophy of the ancient Greek philosophers of that time period; (2) outline Taoism’s contrast to Confucianism, and, (3) critical for our purposes, examine Taoism’s tremendous appeal for modern Western Pagans and practitioners of Western magical traditions, given its “Mother Goddess” overtones and the intriguing application of the Chinese notion of the Five Elements or Five Phases, especially when we look at astrology. Continue reading