Thursday, January 31, 2013

Full Moon Room Service

Notes from a ritual conducted on January 26th:

"Love notes from the universe" continue to shower down on me as the many
fragments of my lessons mingle and form powerful patterns.

For deities, I decided to work with Skadi (SKAH-thee), the Norse giantess of the
snowy mountains, but of course I'm beginning to see that she chose to work with
me, too. (This came from a recent class assignment)

The full moon happened to come on the second night of a weekend in the
moderately-high altitude of Tempe, Arizona. The hotel was built into the side of
a giant rock! I felt Skadi's presence even in the cactusy desert. Why was I
there? My extended family had organized a financial seminar to learn about being
responsible stewards of our resources (yes, we are a unique family). I felt this
portended well for my coven's request to include Wealth Consciousness into the ritual.

The packed schedule of the seminar had a fortuitous window of time between 4 and
6:30 PM which I earmarked for this sacred practice. I had wanted to do the
ritual outside, on top of the "mountain", but rainy conditions and lack of
privacy decided that my room would be the place.

I wanted to put meat on the altar, for Skadi is a hunter. 30 minutes of
wandering the grounds, thinking I'd get some jerky at the the gift shop, or a
burger at the restaurant, but both were closed. I realized this was my way of
"hunting" for meat! Instead, I ordered room service meatloaf, and cast the
circle.

On my altar were a pair of scissors, to represent my version of "skis" (another
emblem of Skadi), a glass of water into which I placed ice cubes from the vending
room, and a book about the Runes (by Ralph Blum). (I have never worked with the
Runes before, and this book just leapt off of one of my bookshelves as I was
packing for my trip, right?) After invoking all of the assembly, I spoke the
requests for blessings of Wealth Consciousness for CAYA.

My activity was a meditational cutting of paper snowflakes out of pages from the
financial seminar binder. I had cut five when room service delivered the feast.
I placed a portion of food onto a plate for myself and poured red wine for the
blood of the hunt, toasted Skadi with a "Skol!" and conversed with her as I ate
my share. I learned a lot by listening to her.

To cast the runes, I added the numbers of the date and my room number to come to
the 11th Rune, Fehu; "Possessions, Nourishment, Cattle." Wow. You ever feel like
you just got zapped? "We are here to nourish God." I read the reversed too,
because Skadi rules the darkness and destruction. One definition of her name is
"Shadow." I read, "In dealing with the shadow side of Fehu, you have an
opportunity to recognize where your true nourishment lies." Ahhhh.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Transcultured

Having moved so much, growing up with a (possibly partially actual?) gypsy
mother with an untraceable heritage, and an appetite for all cultures, languages,
teachings, husbands, cuisines, churches, whatever! My paternal side is a pretty
big question mark beyond Swedish/Irish/Midwestern. I never felt a deep
connection with any particular place or people, and after losing my mother, I
didn't even have her roving vortex to cling to. I have often felt like a child
of the world and an orphan in the storm all at once.

Still, why does Chinese medicine resonate so well with me? Perhaps it is the
many trips to Chinatown SF when I was a kid. We'd stay in a residence hotel at
Grant & Broadway, mom would give me 50 bucks and tell me, "Stay on Grant
Street," then disappear into her adventures. So Chinatown was my babysitter, and
I never got in trouble there. I loved to wander the stores with such strange
smells and unexplainable objects. Now the bitter, musty reek of Chinese herbs
smell comforting and healing to me.

I felt safe in a situation that looks totally insane in hindsight. Perhaps Kuan
Yin was watching over me, after all. I feel I have some overdue gratitude to
offer my Chinese allies.