Individually Not Blog Posts – Together They are Blog Stew

Welcome to the little pieces of topics that I just cannot get a complete blog post around. So I shove them all together here and make a blog stew out of them. Not sure about the taste, but at least the ingredients get used, eh?

Let us talk blog posts, shall we? What an odd topic for a blog post – blog posts. In the past, I have tried a bit of scheduling and I have also tried posting whenever I feel like it. The odd post timing just does not work. Plus, I spend a lot of hours at the keyboard of the Mac in the evenings on the weekends. Instead of playing Zen pinball all the time, how about I start writing blog posts instead? And better yet, how about we do not let me get away with being lazy about it too? So, I will start scheduling blog posts here on Life With Trickster Gods – and how about we make it Mondays and Thursdays for blog posts, right?? And I can always get away with an unscheduled one from time-to-time on the weekends. Works for you?  Works for me. But that lead me over to another point about blogs…..

I am now writing blog posts for Moon Books. I am actually really chuffed about this. I have many of the Moon Books titles on my bookshelves and on my kindle. Most of my posts there will be related directly to a topic pulled from one of those titles. My very first topic-related post was on ritual and was inspired by Rachel Patterson‘s amazing book The Art of Ritual. Over there, I have decided to post twice weekly as well, using Sundays and Wednesdays as the days I will post. Stuff is a touch trickier there, but I will look into the ability to schedule posts there as well. Hopefully, I can do that, but if not – I will need to login there to make my posts. I am super excited to be posting there with so many of the authors that I admire greatly, and many, many thanks to Trevor Greenfield for providing me with this chance.  🙂

With the Major League Baseball season firmly in the books (Yah Astros!!), I am hard-pressed to find another sport to watch. I am not a fan of American football whatsoever, so that sport is out the window for me. With real football (soccer here in America) only available on the weekends (Bundesliga!!), I am giving hockey another try. I started out trying to root for the Winnipeg Jets, but I just cannot find anything I enjoy watching on this team. So, I settled on the Toronto Maple Leafs. I enjoy watching their style of play (they pass a lot more than other teams seem to), and….well…if I am going to root for a hockey team, its got to be in Canada. And no, I am not a Dallas Stars fan – even when they were good.

My calendar for the coming year will have me down near Mountain Home, Texas with the ADF Imbolc retreat – an event I have started to refer to as my “second home”. The people that attend this are some of the kindest, most loving people I have come to know. Whether they realize it or not, they have become family for me. After that, I have a professional conference for my job to head to in Corpus Christi – like IMMEDIATELY after. I will be there until Wednesday and then travel back to the Texas/Oklahoma border. I get one day off, and then it is on to Pantheacon that following weekend. Shenanigans are likely to take place, though I am wondering if I will be able to peel my eyelids back. We shall definitely see…..

And last, but certainly not least – the podcast will be back. Upon a Pagan Path has been on the back burner for most of the year. Mostly because I just have not had the time to mess with it due to a lot of changing aspects of life. But sometime around December 15 to the 20th – a new episode will be out. There will be more of the interviews. More poetry read. More Pagan musical artists featured. And maybe even a short story from time to time. What there will be less of is me. I need to take a major backseat to the rest of the podcast. So there will be a lot less of me rambling on about life…..and don’t try to fake that sigh of relief. ;)~

Anyways, that is all that I have. Hoping that you are enjoying what you read here. If you have anything you want me to write about in here – shoot me an Email:  elfster@gmail.com.  I promise I won’t bite.  Unless you want me to.    –T /|\

Review: The Art of Ritual

I started down my Pagan Path back in 1986, when I initiated into a Wiccan tradition. The concepts of being closer, more in touch, more connected with the Natural world were strong attractors for me. Some of the concepts of God and Goddess were difficult to completely comprehend, even with my own personal research into the Greek Gods and Goddesses. But the chasm to leap over wasn’t that wide, so it was a part of Wicca I understood well. Ritual, on the other hand, was an area I approached with great trepidation. This was completely unfamiliar territory – being a part of a ritual ceremony, playing a role, memorizing lines that just sounded odd to me. And to be honest, there wasn’t that much out there to help me, aside from my new coven-mates – most of whom I could barely remember their names. Damn, I really wish that Rachel Patterson‘s book, “The Art of Ritual” had been available then!

I love Moon Books, and their authors are folks that I tend to read a lot. I picked up this book because it approached an area that I still have issues with – thirty years down the Path. Most of my rituals are impromptu, and utilize very few of the “tools” that a lot of ritual ceremonies seem to. In fact, the only tool I typically seem to have on-hand is my staff. It doubles as a walking aid, as well as an impromptu weapon if the need arises. So when the Awen grabs a hold of me and has me calling Quarters and casting a circle, my gestures are punctuated by my staff. Most of the typical tools that most people associate with ritual are essentially foreign to me. Guess what?  There’s a chapter about that in this book! And the materials are explained very well, without going into ad-nauseum detail. While some of the descriptives are aimed towards a Wicca-centric knowledge-base, Rachel does a wonderful job of writing this in a manner that doesn’t have that overarching feel.

Then there’s the section about ritual preparation, as well as very well explained examples of some of the phrasing that is seemingly commonplace. What I wouldn’t give to jump into a TARDIS with this book in hand when I was first learning ritual concepts in my infant steps within Wicca. It would have saved many an awkward moment for me, not knowing if I was asking a stupid question about the way something was said. This would have been complete gold for me at that time. So I am envious of those newbies taking their first steps within Paganism with a handy guide such as this.

There’s also a detailed look at the Elements and the roles that each play within a basic ritual concept, as well as some conversation on energy working, calling the Gods and Goddesses, and preparing one’s mental frame of mind. The second part of the book focuses on an explanation of various types of rituals, the concepts behind each, as well as some advice on how to prepare one’s self for rituals. But that’s not all…. The section on ritual planning, in my opinion is worth double the price of the book, in my opinion.

Again, I wish that I had some of this written somewhere that I could have studied and worked with in my early steps on my Pagan Path. Instead, I am envious of those that will have this resource available to them, and will be happy that I will too. Even if it may be thirty years into my steps to where I am now. I can only hope that through my study at this late point on my own Path, that I will become a better ritualist – not only as a solo Pagan, but also in the future when I get the chance to work with groups. Rachel, thank you for writing this gem.