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~December Pagan Mama's Circle~ - Page 3

post #41 of 618
Thread Starter 
Wow- how exciting to "see" you all! It feels like a great big Pagan party! to old friends and new!

Yesterday, I went to a country club to attend an 80th birthday party for a lovely, lovely friend. I was expecting it to be rather proper. Well, it was a blast! The women were so cool- I sat next to a wonderful woman who made metal sculptures. The birthday girl stood up and talked about all the people there and how they were connected to her life. Really amazing. THEN...an Elvis impersonator came in a sang three songs! Wow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
And how much faith and trust people were showing by celebrating. It's dark, it's cold, the fresh food is gone and the stored food might be starting to look a little light for the amount of time you know is still ahead of you before spring. Livestock might be getting sick, people might be getting sick...it's a really really hard time of year in certain climates when you take electricity and "modern items" out of the picture.

So just the fact that people came together and shared food and warmth and company and trusted that the sun was coming back and the spring would come and people could play a role in that...well...it's a pretty powerful season.

Which kind of plays into not liking the cold weather...I don't think our ancestors really "liked" the cold weather either! Winter rituals and practices all seem to be forward looking (bringing back the sun, appeasing the winter spirits to grant prosperity and health during the lean season, giving gifts to support the community and "force" people to remain within the social network of the community, etc).
Wonderful post! And so true... Last winter we read The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder and it is an amazing example of how hard winters can be.

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Originally Posted by Indigo73 View Post
Sometimes all I can do is sun (or moon) like a cat, in the patch of moonlight or sunlight.
Sounds nice!

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Originally Posted by moosemommy View Post
Reclaim it! It was pagan before it was catholic! I take a bowl filled with stones, stick candles and greens in it. Not sure how i'm going to do mine this year, though.... now that i've moved from the pines back to the saguaros...... alas.
Your right! and great idea about the bowl of stones.

On my desk here is a piece of Cholla skeleton from when we lived in New Mexico. Back in 1992, our first xmas tree was a big Cholla skeleton- here is a pic of what it the cactus skeleton looks like.



Quote:
Originally Posted by brendon View Post
I had a very interesting dream last night- (just as background I love the dark and am not scared of it) I don't remember the details but I saw a very dark figure come to me and then everything went dark and for a brief moment I felt scared and anxious and then calm and warm. the black figure circled me and we became one. thats all i remember...I never have dreams like this...
Wow- what a cool dream! Thanks for doing the card swap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heket View Post
We like to celebrate a number of different holidays during December and the first is going to be St. Nicholas day. This is mostly for dh who's family celebrated it growing up and he'd like to continue the tradition. I think it's a good way to also introduce how St. Nick and Santa intertwine. Anyway, we'll probably be making some cookies for the kids to leave in their shoes for him. I'll be stopping by the dollar store to get something simple for St. Nick to leave them.
It's fun- we do St. Lucia's day too. I like to spread out the celebration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CariOfOz View Post

My husbands & my present to ourselves this year is that we signed on with Plan to sponsor a child We got our profile yesterday and we are now the proud & excited sponsors of a 10yr old girl in Sri Lanka. We are going to write our first letter & send a photo this weekend sometime. She is Buddhist, so I'm going to make a project of learning a little more about Buddhism & her culture for us. I feel almost like I have a daughter now !(hehe I have 5 boys so thats funny)
What a great thing to do!

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Originally Posted by Ambrose View Post
How in the HECK do you get the cool letters for your name!?!
I was wondering the same thing...
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Originally Posted by OceanMomma View Post
We're heading into summer here. Not that that makes any diff to the weather. We've got icebergs floating off the coast & it never gets that warm. Some days I can only tell the diff between winter & summer by the time it gets dark/light.

I'm planning something for the summer solstice. Just not sure on detail yet. It is wildly bizzare to have the summer solstice then commercial xmas straight afterwards in summer. Not to mention have I ever complained about halloween in the spring. I get quite disorientated.
Icebergs! I bet that can be disorienting- hard to keep the focus on where you are in the Now.

: Off to get more coffee!
post #42 of 618
Oceanmomma: Where do you live?

Well I am just so excited about decorating today. So I think while I have the motivation I will do some light hanging and work on the altar. We decided on a small live tree to put on the altar this year. Last year our tree got infested with black widow spiders... We are also going to make a little "winter" scene with some craft foam houses and cotton batting. We also hang lights inside instead of outside, to much of a PIA to do it outside. And this year seeing as I am pregnant again, I am not going to hang all crazy off a chair (dh just isn't into lights, so he puts it off forever!) to hang them outside.
The kids and I are going to make gingerbread cookies too. And dd's girl scout troop is doing a fundraiser of gingerbread house making. So we are making three of them... one to eat right off, one to leave to get all hard and stale (LOL) and one to give to FIL.
I am feeling so great today! Yipee!

Hugs to all you wonderful Pagan mamas! I am so happy to be back talking with all of you!

H
post #43 of 618
We're going to go to Lowes today and buy an outdoor fireplace! Well, one of those copper bowls with legs that you can have a fire in? It's DH's silstice gift for me and we'll be able to have a real solstice bonfire in the backyard! Yay!

Of course, he'll get to use it for random BBQ and outdoor fun, so it's a real "family" gift.

We went down to the Commons this morning (a pedestrian mall that runs through the heart of our town, it's about 3 blocks from my house) to watch Santa arrive. The local SWAT team dresses like elves and the captain dresses like Santa and they rappel down the side of one of the taller buildings on the Commons. Right as Santa started coming down the rope it began o snow really hard...it was perfect!

Hope everyone has a good day...
post #44 of 618
I have one of those copper bowl fire pit things! I love it!

H
post #45 of 618
I'm trying to get motivated to get off my bum and clean this (ua violation) place.
Not gonna put the tree up til next weekend.

I went out to Barnes & Noble this morning to enjoy a latte with my very last $4. Hey, I had some alone time and wanted to fully enjoy it.
I need to go to the grocery store but I can't stand going on the weekend. Can't stand going at all but the weekends are the worse. Too many people. (i get very anxious around lots of people).
post #46 of 618
Oh, amazon has the kids book The Shortest Day that explains the winter Solstice. The illustrations are nice but I think my ds is a bit too young for it yet.
Guess I can just read a little bit here and there. Oh, and it cost just $10.55 (for a hardcover)!
post #47 of 618
Okay ladies, keep good thoughts and fingers for our garage sale today! I'm expecting big bucks for my FIN (and a little extra for us wouldn't be too bad either. ) Dh is running it with some friends to help him also watch the dc, as this is my Saturday to work. But it's gonna turn out good and I know we're gonna raise a bucket load of money to get our FIN an awesome gift card!

Tonight we're going to take the children down to the local commuter train station to see the Holiday Express train. The commuter train service decorates one of their engines and some cars with holiday lights and Santa comes to visit. They also participate in the Toys for Tots drive. I'm looking forward to it.

CariOfOz: I participated with Plan once, and it's great! Unfortunately we got to where we could no longer afford to sponsor our child, and that was :. You're going to enjoy it -- it's one of those things I'd like to do again once our finances are back on track.

I stopped by Michael's last night to get some mini-stockings for my staff at work and wound up also getting simple gifts for the members of my library teen group and St. Nick's Day gifts for the kids! Ds will be getting a small wooden bowling set and dd will be getting a wooden memory game -- both only $3 each! I love when things just fall together.
post #48 of 618
Hooray for outdoor fireplaces! We, too, are very excited about this year's solstice fire . . . usually we would do a fire in the fireplace or woodstove, but in November we moved into a place that has neither. What we DO have is an outdoor firepit--not a copper one, one that is built into the ground and lined with large round stones! I am already daydreaming about the lovely ritual fires we could have out there, this winter and next year . . . and of course it will be a great place to socialize with friends when we have summer BBQs.

Heket: Lots of prosperity coming your way for a fun AND profitable garage sale.
post #49 of 618
we are leaving to goto to caroling in a bit...I love music in any form

dd make a gingerbread house...it was great! we went out for lunch and made crafts!

thanks for sharing your traditions! I love to hear about the different celebrations. we are heading to the library monday to pick up our solstice books that we borrowed from inner library loan...
post #50 of 618
I live in NZ, way down south by the ocean. Strictly speaking over a harbour but the ocean is on the other side of us over the other side of the peninsula. I certainly could not live out of sight of the sea now.

I'm on a mission to look for decent kids books this week. Any suggestions ? I also was considering getting my middle dd some tarot cards for xmas. She is almost 6 & is very good with pictures & symbols. I had read somewhere that the tarot of the cat people was good for kids. I'm still deciding if she is too young as well.

Another thing I wanted to ask. I've been looking at older religions. The whole idea we were matriachal & the warlike men took over which I am not sure how accurate it is. I've also seen Maria Gimbutas (sp?) discredited in places. Are there any more accurate historical books on paleolithic spirituality & how do you tell if they are accurate ? Editing to say that what I was specifically looking at is our relationship with the horse from a spiritual point of view so I decided to start with the older religions first to see if the horse was anything more than a food animal then.
post #51 of 618
oceanmomma: I was thinking you might live in NZ. I looked at a map to see where you might be with the weather and iceburgs. LOL
I have wondered if there ever was a group of people that truly honored and listened to women and held them up as leaders. I sort of think we like to think that, but there wasn't any. I want to be wrong, but who will we ever know for sure if a group really did have a female lead society. Sad.

H
post #52 of 618
I haven't actually seen any icebergs yet. You could see them from the high road out the peninsula but when me & the kids went it was too misty. We climbed up this amazingly wild steep hill covered in massive rocks & found loads of dead & decaying sheep. dd tried to bring a skull home. It was quite an unreal place. They're doing plane or helicopter rides to see them for something like $500 which is a bit out of my budget right now
post #53 of 618
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanMomma View Post
I live in NZ, way down south by the ocean. Strictly speaking over a harbour but the ocean is on the other side of us over the other side of the peninsula. I certainly could not live out of sight of the sea now.

Another thing I wanted to ask. I've been looking at older religions. The whole idea we were matriachal & the warlike men took over which I am not sure how accurate it is. I've also seen Maria Gimbutas (sp?) discredited in places. Are there any more accurate historical books on paleolithic spirituality & how do you tell if they are accurate ? Editing to say that what I was specifically looking at is our relationship with the horse from a spiritual point of view so I decided to start with the older religions first to see if the horse was anything more than a food animal then.
Cool! My dh and I visited New Zealand in '99- we had a wonderful time- amazingly beautiful place! We only made it as far south as Central Otago- wish we had seen your area.

About Marija Gimbutas- I think she was always controversial in archaeology circles. But- to be honest- I have not kept up with the archaeology world (I got my BA in Anthropology with a concentration in Archaeology). My limited experience in that academic realm gave me the opinion that theories come in and out of style like fashion. She certainly did a great service to the world by saving and translating the myths of her region. Many people took her theories and ran with them. I am very hesitant to believe that we can deduce very much about religion from prehistoric archaeological finds.

Wombatclay must know about this!

Oh, has any one seen the movie Sign out of Time about Marija Gimbutas?

post #54 of 618
Quote:
Wombatclay must know about this!


Well...not to get too deeply into academic arguements (there are many, and heated, and can spawn camps that fued for generations...it's wild), but yes...many of the earlier "archaeological theories" about a peaceful matriarchal culture being converted into a more agrgessive patriarchal culture (via warfare, or the shift from gathering to hunting) have been pretty much discredited.

Part of the problem is that evidence can be read in different ways by different people, and that interpretations of data that make great sense at one point can suddenly make a lot less sense as new data comes to light. For example, much of Gimbutas' theory rests on a specific interpretation of the remains at sites like Catalhoyuk...but the archaeological interpretation of those sites has changed a lot since she started writing as more of the site has been uncovered.

So on a strictly academic level the writings of theorists like Gimbutas,
or Murray, or Graves, or Mellaart, or...well...the list goes on...but in general they get lumped into a "your theory may not be wrong, but there isn't enough evidence to support it to the degree you imply" pile which is not used for "serious" scholarly debate. Many scholars who straddle the worlds of public-academic-role/personal-pagan-convictions tend to describe these theories as "mythic history"...the stories people tell themselves about where they came from that help them make sense of their lives, but not something to be read as "truth". Like a Christian with the bible...you can read it as a mythic history and take the messages you need to grow, or you can read it as literal fact and find yourself explaining why people are confused about the dinosaurs.

In general, to determine how "accurate" a book is, check to see that it was published recently-ish (more than 20yo is a problem, and recent publications that just re-write old material aren't helpful...you want current data), that it was reviewed in journals of that field (and the reviews are either positive, or the problems raised in the reviews are not items of concern to you), that the book itself provides detailed bibliographic information into their sources and that these sources are generally accepted in the field. You might also search a general database like Worldcat (now free to the public) to see how many large academic libraries have copies of the book, and check a resource like google scholar to see what papers are being written that use this book are a resource.

Although I haven't read all of them myself, three books I've seen mentioned favorably within the literature on goddess themes in paleolothic religious study are "Concept of the Goddess" by S. Billington, "Ancient Goddesses" edited by Lucy Goodison and Christine Morris (very readable, fairly short scholarly essays with a great list of "further readings" identified for each article...and the only one I've actually read), and "Women in Prehistory" by Margaret Ehrenberg.

I don't know if any of these have information specifically on the role of horses within the culture. I know there is information on the horse within petroglyphic images, so you might want to see if your local library can request information on the anthropological (or historical ) study of paleolithic groups associated with a horse culture...like the nomadic tribes of China. A book like "Pagan Celtic Britain" by Anne Ross to see if there is any information on the development/growth of the "Epona" cult. (I have that one at home...I can check tonight if you want).

Okay, massive scholarly hat off...back to life as we know it!
post #55 of 618
You see that makes far more sense to me than the idea we had some wonderful peaceful matriachal culture that got overtaken by warlike men! I always found it wierd that there were no matriachal cultures like that left anywhere.

I'll look out those books. I did suddenly remember the white chalk horse on those hills somewhere in england the other day. I think I need to delve more into what books are in my library!
post #56 of 618
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanMomma View Post
I'll look out those books. I did suddenly remember the white chalk horse on those hills somewhere in england the other day.
Do you mean the Uffington White Horse? It's so wonderful! I hope to visit it one day.

Wombatclay~ thou rockist! living up to your DDDDC yet again.
post #57 of 618
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salvia View Post
Do you mean the Uffington White Horse?
It's quite the sight/site. I didn't get close up to it but we did drive by it.
post #58 of 618
Attempted going to the UU church today. I stayed with ds in the classroom. He would not join the other children for activities/circle/snack. Sigh. I was getting quite aggrevated with him.

At coffee hour, it was so crowded, ds kept bumping into people (spilled one elderly gentleman's coffee). Tried picking ds up and carrying him but my muscles kept screaming at me.
Not fun.

So, I'll do it again next week. giggle.
They have the holiday music program next week and I really want to be there. Let's hope ds doesn't freak out if I leave him in the classroom.
post #59 of 618
Hi, mind if I jump in here? I've been interested in Paganism for several years. There was a large Pagan community near the university I attended, and I was rocked to my core when a Pagan "minister" (not sure if that's the right word) spoke to my and DH's Sociology class. But we graduated and moved back to our Bible Belt hometown, and it wasn't until I joined MDC that I had a resource to learn more. I've been reading the Circle threads here off and on since I joined, and I've been doing simple things with DD for about a year--feeding the birds at solstices and equinoxes, putting flowers on our ancestors' gravestones at Samhain, etc.--but I think I'd like to jump in and learn more.
post #60 of 618
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salvia View Post
Do you mean the Uffington White Horse? It's so wonderful! I hope to visit it one day.
I lived in england for quite some time & I never visited it that I can remember : There's some unreal old artifacts over there. I'm quite big on stone circles myself. But yes. That is the one I meant. I started out looking for a tattoo design. Then I got to wondering about the significance of the horse as I am sure we have a very deep spiritual link with them. I just could not find much ancient art that didn't depict them as a food animal.
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