Saturday, October 1, 2016

I Dream of Mars

Before I head off to sleep - had an fun dream last night. I was on Mars and there was a bronze shield I could touch to turn into a griffon and then flew into a recently opened side of a hill or tell and into some ancient ruins of a civilization that was slightly advanced of our own.

This spot or city was remarkably preserved with the inside kind of hollow - some soft of shield that went up right before a catastrophic nuclear event. There were remnants of roads, some buildings, even what would have been an equivalent of a petrol station. I explored a bit - flying and trotting about as a griffion. It ended with something about being wary of the man who identifies himself as the mustached one, Hitler.

I'm guessing it was very much influenced by a good bit of Rune Soup stuff, Duterte in the news again this time comparing himself to Hitler (and previously saber rattling over the South China Sea), and possibly the griffon stuff in MLP all tossed into a blender.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Beltane 2016

Beltane 2016
Honoring the Trooping Fairies
Conducted by Three Cranes Grove
Hickory Grove Shelter @ Blendon Woods Metropark
Westerville, Ohio
~60 People
5/1/2016 15:30 PM

"Kitsune no Yomeiri" by Asai Chû ( ~1907)

To preface this ritual write-up I had a knee injury when this rite happened so I could not fully participate in elements like the working which was a dance. I also barely made it to the ritual having a lot of things come up while I was trying to leave and delays along the way.

That said this rite had three altars set up to the right of the main area (west) the Nature Spirits, to the rear (North) the Ancestors, and the left (East) the Shining ones. The ritual was begun with a procession and since it was dedicated to the Trooping Fairies a good portion of the folk were invited to process around the rest of the group to represent the fey. I stayed with the group watching the procession on the fey due to my knee injury. Following the procession the out-dwellers (including those trooping fey who were “monstrous not in appearance but in intent”) were offered a sacrifice in return for not interfering with the rite. The Earth Mother was called upon followed by the Powers of Inspiration. The Folk were then led in a light hearted guided meditation going under the fairy mound.

Our Gatekeeper Garanus Crane was called upon and the gates were then opened. Those we could then stood up and began the processing main part of the ritual. First the folk processed to the altar of the Ancestors who were called. The Folk then processed the Nature Spirits altar who were called. And Finally the folk processed to the altar of the Shining Ones who were called upon.

It was then the time for public offerings. I offered Sake at the tree of the nature spirits to the Fox Spirits I work with and those of the area. I then offered incense to Brigid for helping heal my Knee as it had somewhat improved from the previous day when I had made a sacrifice asking for help during a ritual I conducted at home. After the public offering the trooping fey were called upon and another round of public offerings were held.

I offered a decent amount of copal resin to the trooping fey as an apology if I had committed any offense since I had some many obstacles getting to the ritual and before that earlier in the month was a lore meeting. Getting to that lore meeting was a major effort even though the meeting location was less than a block from my house. I kept losing things and had to go back ending up walking back and forth about nine times then after sharing some lore about the fey and similar magical creatures in folklore from the local area I encountered a large amount of hardship. This included my knee suddenly taking a massive turn for the worse – were it had before been healing very well it suddenly developed massive amounts of pain and a rush to the doctor. I also lost a few items that seem to have disappeared in transit. I also had a few issues at work where situations beyond my control came crashing down upon me in the past few weeks. I got a strong indication that I had offended then fey by sharing bits of local folklore I had tracked down and hopefully the gifts (and more in the future along with others I have offered) will help alleviate the offense.

Following the public sacrifices, the omens were taken from the Ogam by Shaneen:
From the Ancestors: Holly (Tinne), giving the gift of balance.
From the Spirits of Nature: Yew (Ioho), giving the gift of ancient wisdom.
And from the Shining Ones: Vine (Muin), giving the gift of inspiration.

The waters were then blessed and shared among the folk and the able processed to an area to perform the Crane Dance for the enjoyment and giving energy to the trooping fey. The Crane Dance was modeled on both the square dance and a West Country dance unfortunately (or fortunately due to my lack of grace) due to my knee I did not take part in the dancing.

Processing back the fey were then thanked followed by each of the kindreds individually. Garanus was called and thanked as the gates were closed. The Powers of inspiration were thanked and lastly the Earth Mother was thanked.

I had a lot mixed thoughts about the rite mostly at my misfortune that may have been coming from the spirits of the occasion. While for most among the folk it was a wimisical happy rite for me the goal was propitiation of the spirits. I've had some hopeful omens that this mess may be soon behind me and I remain hopeful going forward that the amends ares being made and the past few weeks of extreme troubles will be ending.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Spring Equinox 2016

Spring Equinox
Honoring Artemis and Hephaestus
Conducted by Three Cranes Grove ADF
Spring Hollow Lodge @ Sharon Woods Metropark
Westerville, Ohio
~45 People
3/20/26 15:30

The Spring Equinox rite for Three Cranes Grove ADF honored Artemis and Hephaestus. It was conducted at the Spring Hollow Lodge at Sharon Woods Metropark in Westerville Ohio. To begin with Shawneen, a member of the grove, led the folk in a short meditation remembering the time when they were most connected to nature and a meet and greet exercise. This was followed my the procession into the ritual area from the outside where we had gathered. On the way in we where purified with water and incense. The Outdwellers were offered whiskey in exchange for not interrupting the rite and then the ritual proper began.

Since this was a Greek flavored ADF rite Hestia was honored first with wine then the Earth Mother in the form of Gaia was called and honored. The nine muses were called upon for inspiration and the folk were then led in the two powers meditation. The hallows were hallowed next – the fire lit from Hestia's flame, the well silvered (by sinking some silver into it), and since it was a Grecian rite a stone annotied as the omphalos to stand at the center of the worlds. Rev. Michael Dangler then called upon Garanus Crane to serve as gatekeeper and asked him to open the gates through the hallows.

Now with the portals opened the kindred were called upon. First called were the Ancestors then the Nature Spirits, and last but not least the Shining Ones. This was followed by a round of general offerings from the folk – at this point I offered incense to a fox spirit I work with. Next the two deities of the occasion were called upon and honored separately first Artemis and then Hephaestus followed by another round of offerings from the folk. I offered incense to each of the deities of the rite.

Anthony – a member of the grove then took the Omens from the Greek Alphabet Oracle.
From the Kindreds: Rho, interpreted as wait until things are good.
From the Artemis: Beta, interpreted as she was there and guiding us.
From the Hephaestus: Alpha, interpreted as the gift of everything.

This was followed by a final sacrifice of thanks to Artemis & Hephaestus.

The waters were blessed with light shining the virtues of the gifts into the waters. The waters were distributed and ingested by the folk so that the gifts may flow to the folk. The Working part of the right then commenced; The tools had been piled onto a table in the center of the ritual area before the rite and they were now to be blessed with the waters in addition to the hands of the folk who wanted their hands blessed. As the blessing was occurring Hephaestus was called upon and sound of a hammer rhythmically hitting steel sounded as a member of the grove used a sacred hammer to hit a block.

After the working Artemis and Hephaestus were thanked followed by each of the kindreds. Then the hallows were de-hallowed and Garanus the gatekeeper thanked. The muses nine were thanked then Gaia as the Earth Mother thanked and finally as it was a Greek rite Hestia who is always honored first and last was thanked.

Overall this rite especially the working was rather powerful and while I couldn't connect well with one of the deities of the occasion when we did a grove meditation a few weeks beforehand it was a good rite.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Podcasts wot I listen to.

I walk a lot, do a lot of mindless maintenance for commodities, and do a bit of overnight work. As such I end up listening to a decent number of podcasts. So for a bit of randomness here's a quick list of the podcasts/downloadable radio shows I'm currently listening to (in no particular order):

Edit: 10/1/2016
I'd like to like to add two more really good podcast I've been listening to:
Edit: 2/12/2017Revised and updated!

Religion/Magic Podcasts

Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio

A good little podcast exploring the gnostic perspective and associated spiritualities. My main quibble is that the intro bits can sometimes go on a bit too long such as 15-30 minutes.

The Astrology Podcast
A really good podcast focusing on astrology and astrology topics. One of their bests was a really good discussion on Astrology & fake news. The podcasters traced the NASA Zodiac thing from a NASA Kid's page to a click-bait blog advertising mill to Facebook and beyond. It also has a lot of good discussion on the history of Astrology such as how and why the Tropical system exists as it does today. There is also a bit on intellectual laziness in research and criticism. The page itself also provided a timeline showing how the NASA Zodiac fake news grew and spread. Good Stuff.

Beyond Belief
Very much like 'In Our Time' 'Beyond Belief' has host Ernie Rea gather a panel of experts for a chat. The main difference here is that this show is focused exclusively on religion and spirituality. It's a very great show if you're interested in a great range of religions and topics in religion.

The Celtic Myth Podshow
 A really good podcast retelling Celtic Myths.

Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole
One of the better magic interview podcasts, this show hosted by Andrieh Vitimus and Jason Colwell is the cream of the crop. Featuring vetted guests and a no-nonsense attitude this is quite possibly the podcast you should be listening to if you practice magic. I have much respect for Andrieh and his works and it's always a treat to listen to his interviews and follow along to the broadcasted rituals.

The official podcast of OBOD (the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids) hosted by the man himself, Damh the Bard. This podcast is all sorts of wonderful with great "Talky Bits" from people both inside and outside of the Druid community and wonderful music. Go check it out, you won't regret it.

Heart and Soul
A great BBC program focusing on topics in religions & spirituality around the world with intersting topics like the history of mosques in America, the rise of the occult in modern Russia, and Lulik the traditional religion of East Timor.

The Hermetic Hour
Poke Runyon and the OTA (Ordo Templi Astarte)'s podcast. This podcast is hosted by one of the greats of the magical community, Poke Runyon, who rediscovered and popularized the technique of using black mirrors for Solomonic and other grimoric based magic. He also heads the OTA, a Neo-Pagan based Ceremonial Magic order which does some very interesting adaptions of traditional Ceremonial Magic.

The Higherside Chats
This is a stoner conspiracy podcast and I'll be honest - I can't stand to listen to a number of the shows but some are really interesting it just depends on the guests and he has had a number of good guests from John Michael Greer to Peter Levenda to Gordon White. Other episode I enjoy because I find the odder far out conspiracies such as elves working with the US government to be fun. Also there was an interesting episode where American UFO folklore was smashing into encounter/tales that could come out of more traditional folklore with animals acting as messengers of the gods and/or shape shifting tricksters.

Interfaith Voices
A rather good weekly radio show that is broadcast on many NPR stations that focuses on religious and interfaith issues.

Mysterious Universe
A fun podcast featuring a couple of guys talking about paranormal topics and news bits. A rather fun and humorous listen.

New World Witchery
Hosted by Cory and Lane this is a really great podcast covering American folk magic traditions (such as Hoodoo, Granny Magic, New England Witchcraft, Pow-wow, Etc.) and general American folklore (and the Folklore podcasts have spun-off into a side podcast Chasing Foxfire. Includes a number of really good interviews, practical spell work/techniques, and decent research on the various traditions covered (one particular highlight is the episode on Pow-wow ). Highly recommend for American magicians if only for the lore.

Occult of Personality
Quite possibly the greatest occult interview show out there - with great interviews with some of the best and interesting people in the occult and pagan communities this podcast is one I try not to miss despite its semi-erratic schedule.

Part the Mists Podcast
A podcast that's just starting up from two members of ADF's Columbia protogrove. This seems like it will develop into a good ADF/Druidy centric podcast. There is already a good dynamic between the hosts (Jonathan and Arin) and it has promise.

Radio Free Golgotha
An excellent podcast from Al Cummins & Jesse Hathaway Diaz that explores western folk magic especially Mexican and European Catholic traditions.

Rune Soup Podcast

Another great occult interview show hosted by Rune Soup's Gordon White. Quite possibly the best magical podcast I listen to - it never fails to bring on interesting, knowledgeable, and utterly solid guests. This podcast is responsible for me buying several books and seeking more than a few things out. Top Notch Stuff!

A fascinating podcast hosted by Alex Tsakiris that explores fringe science & spirituality such as parapsychology, remote viewing, and non-materialists/idealists views of the universe.

Another good occult interview podcast from occult author Jason Louv (most famous for compiling Generation Hex)

VH Frater BT's Esoterinerd Podcast
From Edward Reib this occult interview (well mostly interview) show focusing mostly on the Golden Dawn stream with side trips to topics such as The Source Family and Andrew Da Passano (who taught a westernized form of Tibetan Buddhism). Having recently caught up with the show it's a really good show if you have a strong interest in Western Ceremonial magic. Some highlights are the Andrew Da Passano series and the interview with Bryin Dall who was the man behind the 'Golden Dawn - LVX' Album that had a musical take on GD rituals.

History/Informational Podcasts

The British History Podcast
Quite frankly one of the best history podcasts I've ever heard. It's been covering the history of the island of Britain in chronological fashion since 2011 and is only now just getting to the life of Alfred the Great. Jamie (the host) has done tons of research and spent a lot of time on the oft neglected era of the Anglo-Saxons bring the period to life and showing how it really is the basis of the English part of British history and traditions. Give it a listen, it's wonderful and its the only podcast for which I've signed up for a membership for the Members Only Podcasts which covers side topics (such as the culture of the Norse in Scandinavia) in great detail.

Chasing Foxfire
A spin-off from New World Witchery, this podcast explores American Folklore and provides a fascinating lens on American folk culture.

From Our Own Correspondent
A great selection of interesting stories from around the world covering everything from the newsworthy to the mundane from BBC international correspondents. Always an interesting listen.

In Our Time
Quite simply this BBC program is Melvyn Bragg grabbing a bunch of experts on a variety of subjects ranging from culture & history to modern science and having them talk and/or debate on a panel. It's always very varied and fascinating - a good sample would be to check out the Essential 10 episodes chosen by the production team.

No Such Thing As a Fish
A podcast featuring the researchers of QI, this is the most irreverent factual podcasts out there. In between the interesting factoids there is plenty of joke and humor making this podcast a sheer delight to listen to.

Gaming/Misc Podcasts

The Completely Unnecessary Podcast
Hosted by Pat the NES Punk and Ian the CU Podcast covers Gaming and Movie news with an emphasis on retro. It's my to go podcast for gaming news and they've covered things such as the saga of the Retro VGS/Coleco Chameleon (which at one point they were at the center of when the head of that project started attacking them as 'Drunken Idiots' for their coverage of that console. They have a good bit of humor and a very good dynamic that makes this a very entertaining news podcast.

The NerdCubed Podcats
From Youtubers NerdCubed, Mattophobia, and Many A True Nerd this podcast officially focuses on video games but often runs over into movies, British and American Politics, and anything else they happen to fancy at the time with a good bit of humour and in-jokes.

Hosted by Jim Sterling, Gavin Dunne (Miracle of Sound), and Laura Kate the Podquision is hard to describe. It's technically a new rundown podcast but it's most the group discussing the gaming industry and anything thing else they fancy which often leads to crude humor, brilliant comedy, and the occasional serious bits such the end of episode 68 where Laura talked about her battles with depression right after they had spent a good bit of time on sex jokes. It's got a great mix of the crude and serious and is often the highlight of my week.

Dead Podcasts

The Equestria Daily Podcast
It's a podcast from the Equestria Daily writers dealing with everyone's favorite tiny multi-colored equines. It's got fan discussion and the occasional interview - if you're a fan of MLP it's a great listen.

The Jaguar and the Owl
An exceptional podcast on shamanic practice hosted by James Stovall an initiate in the shamanic traditions of the Q'ero people of the Andies Mountains. It covers a lot of really topics in the shamanic and pagan spheres such as dealing with the ancestors and is just exceptionally well done.
The website is gone now and the cast has merged with 'Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole'  from which it originally spun-off but the old episodes seem to still be on iTunes:

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Imbolc 2016

February 7th, 2016
Three Cranes Grove @ Blacklick Woods Metro Park
Ritual dedicated to Brigando.

The rite began with a pre-ritual briefing and we were led outside of the ritual area for a centering exercise focusing on the seasons beginning to turn from winter to spring. When the ritual team was ready we were led back into the ritual area being purified as we walked in with water from a sprig and incense. As always the first honor and sacrifice was given to the Earth Mother. This was followed by a general purification and an offering to inspiration in the form of Agneos. This was followed by a sacrifice to the outdwellers (Strong Coffee) so they might not interfere with our rite. The Two Powers meditation was next followed by the portal song with the hollowing of the hallows.

Garanus crane was called upon as gatekeeper to open the gates by the grove. Offerings were then made to the three kindred. I took this opportunity to make offering to some fox spirits I work with. Then the deity of the occasion, Brigando, was called upon and the folk brought praise and offerings. During this time an effigy of Brigando (the Brideog) was taken around and all of the folk got some time with her. After this candles were lit to the poem “Nineteen Candles for Brigid” by Philip Carr-Gomm. Teams of two paired off and I read “Eighth is the strength of your oxen of Dil - Fea and Fernea, the red and the black“ while another grove member lit a candle.

Following this Omens were taken using the Ogham ask what blessings each of the three kindred had for us. From the Ancestors we received muin, the vine, which was interpreted by the seer as inspiration. From the nature spirits Eabadh, The White Poplar, interpreted as buoyancy and overcoming obstacles. Finally from the shining ones we received Duir, the Oak strength. Upon the pronouncement that the omens were indeed good the priests then invoked them into the waters which were shared with the folk.

After this was the working in which the Three Cranes Grove healing quilt was recharged for the year with the folk intoning and channeling healing energy into it. Brigando was then thanked followed by the three kindreds and Angneos for participating in the rite. Garanus crane was then thanked and asked as gatekeeper to close the gates and the hallows were returned to their normal state. The Earth Mother was finally thanked ending the rite.

The rite was followed by a walk and sing to the nearby bog to deposit the sealed offering that had been sunk in the well in the past year. This year there was no ice so it was easily chucked in so that the offering were taken from the secular world and given to the gods and also in the far future confuse any archaeologists digging on the site.

Over all the rite was moving experience and while I was tired and still semi-ill I had a wonderful time as Imbolc is traditionally one of our biggest and most important grove rites.