Finding Calm Amidst the Chaos: The Astrology of July 2018

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Originally posted on amor et mortem:
It’s fitting, I suppose, that such a monthly AstroCast post of mine falls on the holiday of the 4th of July here in the United States, a day whose theme of liberation from tyranny…

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Winner of Hebe’s Agon

Wow I won Galina’s June Agon for Hebe!

Gangleri's Grove

Congratulations to Amanda Forrester who won the Hebe Agon with her prayer/poem “To Hebe.” 

I’ll be in touch via email. 

remember folks, July’s Agon is for Saga so if you have prayers, poems, essays or artwork, please don’t hesitate to submit to me via email. First place winner will receive a full set of prayer cards for Frigga and Her retinue and I”ll donate to the charity of his or her choice (within reason – if it’s something I’m morally against, of course, we’ll have to find an agreeable compromise). Everyone else will receive a prayer card for Saga so be sure to include your mailing address when you submit material for the agon.

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hope for humanity

So moving to see people reclaiming their traditions and their Gods!

Gangleri's Grove

May all the nations of the world sing their own version of this song.

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Mentally Ill Online Pagan

This is a bit of an old post, and I’m not sure how exactly it came up while I was reading this blog, but BOY do I recognize the sentiments expressed within!!! I don’t think that anyone has ever said I should be barred from rituals because of my struggles with mental illness. That I know of; there’s always the possibility shit’s being said behind my back, I suppose! But I really doubt it. What I HAVE experienced a lot of is the advice to get off my meds. “You don’t want to be on that junk forever, right?” An acquaintance said IMMEDIATELY after I told her I had just gotten out of the hospital for suicidal ideation, and was now medicated and feeling a lot better. I was completely blindsided by her response, and I’m ashamed to say that I stammered out an “N-no, of course not! I’ll stop when I’m more stable.” Even through I KNEW it was a lie. Let me think, am I going to stay on the stuff that makes it possible for me to live a life with my crippling depression and anxiety, or am I going to rely on crystals and herbs and prayer and meditation in order to attain some vaguely-defined sense of spiritual purity. Nevermind that I had ALREADY been involved with the community for a while, and had used crystals/herbs/meditation/prayer for a good seven years at that point. And guess what? That’s not enough for some people, so yeah I’m going with science, because the Gods gave us brains for a reason, and the Greeks pretty much INVENTED the scientific method! Yeah it’s not a hard choice. I’m picking mental stability, thank you very much.
The Pagan community, the larger Pagan community, doesn’t trust traditional/Western medicine, in general. Big Pharma is only out to screw you and enslave you, they think. And even stranger, some of the more extremey of the so called love and light brigade claim that you can’t be Pagan and take medications for mental illness at the same time. Whaaaaaaaa. O.O I must have missed that line of the Delphic Maxims.

The Slavic Polytheist

Being a mentally ill “pagan” is all sorts of fun. (high levels of sarcasm here) Mostly because of all the people out there the broader community who all seem obsessed with how everything has to be “naturally” done, or go back to nature, etc. etc. ad nauseum, blah blah blah. And it’s not like this is anything new to experience or see going on; it’s not. Really, it’s rather old-hat around the pagan community, if you just take a few seconds to google or look up past conversations. And I’ve been dealing with the fall out of this ever since I was a baby pagan back at like 12 years old on Gaia Online (my very first experience with online pagans!).

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2 Submissions to Hebe’s Agon

2 separate poems for Hebe, Goddess of Youth, daughter of Hera and Zeus, wife of Herakles and cupbearer of the Gods. And, as is typical for me, I just BARELY skated in under the deadline by a few days …..

Gangleri's Grove

To Hêbê
By Amanda Artemisia Forrester

Hêbê, Attendant of laughter-loving Aphrodite,
I pray that you will fill my home
With the grace that You so easily embody
As gentle as the welcome breeze on a summer’s day

Hêbê, Protectress of Young Brides
Whose hammering hearts are flying high in fear as much as love
You are the guide over the threshold, from virgin to woman, from single to family
And as such, a Psychopomp of sorts, though I doubt You have often been hailed as such!

Hêbê, wife of Herakles, that mightiest of Heroes,
You must have an iron core not often spoken of by the ancient poets
To be a fitting match for the Slayer of Monsters.
Daughter of Hera, Cupbearer of the Gods, today I pour some wine out for You.

Empty Worship
By Amanda Artemisa Forrester

Hêbê, sweet Goddess of fleeting Youth
You are arguably the God…

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Memorial Day Thoughts

So, I’m late in posting this (as per usual). But I didn’t want to let that stop me. As I said before, I’ve recently completely rearranged my altar, to have more of a focus on Ares as I try to overcome my fears in a certain area. The fact that it was a few days before Memorial Day was completely incidental.

I’ve let some of my devotion fall to the wayside (never a good thing) as I battled depression about the dream of the homestead ending (for now? It might start up again in the future, I don’t know.) But the last 3 months or so, I have been oddly motivated in ALL areas of my life. Stuff has been changing. I’m in an intense period of transformation right now. I put myself back out in the dating pool and had my first date in 8 years (which went very well by the way). I’m taking control of my health, going to the dentist and getting long overdue work done (NOT FUN, but necessary), I’m taking an online class in Old Norse in order to try to explore this connection to Odin I seem to have, and probably most importantly for taking control of my life, I’m taking a driving class and trying to get over my fear of driving after a bad wreck I was in.

So I wanted to do something on Memorial Day for Ares and the military dead. Some stuff happened, and I wasn’t able to do so the day of. Now in my depression I would have felt bad about that and done nothing, but SOMETHING is ALWAYS better than nothing, so got back on the horse and did it the day after. It was less of a ritual and more of a spontaneous prayer and acknowledgment, and when i made tacos for myself I was inspired to offer the best and most delicious looking one to Ares and the military dead. Offering, after all, is the heart of our religion and how we show our Gods and spirits our appreciation. I also offered barley to Deimos and Phobos, asking Them to please STAY AWAY so I can get over my fear. I REALLY don’t need “Terror”, the inspirer of phobias, in my life right now!

I also watched a few episodes of Band of Brothers. My brother loves that show, but I’ve never really paid much attention. As good as the acting was (and it was phenomenal), the documentary ep with the actual elderly former soldiers of Easy Company reduced me to tears. That lead me to a lot of thinking about why.

Most of the Gods I worship are War Gods. Even those for Whom war is not a primary concern often have significant war aspects. Despite this, I am not a soldier and I have never been to battle. (Strangely, I get asked if I’m a veteran a lot, and I haven’t been able to figure out why. I wear army surplus clothes sometimes, but I know people who wear those and are NEVER asked that same question, so I’m still perplexed by this.) I have immense respect for those who fight for our freedoms. When I was young I had an obsession with G.I. Jane and wanted to be a Marine. The first boy I kissed was in the Air Force. I have a draw to warrior energies, and even in fiction I have a thing for warrior cultures. Vikings, Klingons, Mandalorians, Dwarves, whatever. I love them all. All of them have differences and they are all fascinating to me in different ways, but it was only recently that I recognized the “warrior” connection.

Yet I know that I would never have the discipline to join any branch of the military myself. With my history of mental health issues I’d never be accepted anyway. I’ve had to fight my entire life for everything I’ve ever had. I am definitely a survivor and a fighter, but that’s not the same thing as a warrior, not exactly. There’s a tendency in modern Paganism to dilute the meaning of that word, “warrior”, and I think that’s a shame. We can all benefit from warrior energy at times, but I don’t think that makes us all warriors. Someone who runs willingly into the chaos of battle, who watches their friends die, suffers that powerful trauma, and STILL GOES BACK, that’s a warrior. And we shouldn’t water down the meaning of the word, because it dishonors them, both the living warriors, and even more, those who didn’t make it back.

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Honoring our Military Dead on Memorial Day (Part I)

I happened to have rearranged my altar a few days ago, for a multitude of reasons. It’s now focused more heavily on Ares for the time being. Its interesting timing; the reasoning was because this summer I am working on facing and overcoming some deeply-rooted old fears of mine, fears that are bad enough that they impair my day-to-day functioning, and I need to appeal to Ares for courage to do this work. I had completely and totally forgotten that Memorial Day was coming up. Its completely and wonderfully appropriate, and I’ll have to make sure that I make some offerings to Ares and the military dead tomorrow.
This is my favorite part of Galina’s article: “Civilizations are built on the backs of warriors. It may be an ugly truth. It may be something that our politically correct social justice weasels today don’t like to acknowledge but it is, however reality. When we refuse to honor them, we spit in the face of every one of our ancestors who ever had to take up arms to defend their homes, families, countries, and kin.”

Gangleri's Grove

memorial_dayIt’s been a really rough week and I’m not in the mood to mince words today with this piece. This weekend is set aside in our calendar to remember and hopefully honor those who died while in active service to our country.  

Today I skimmed an article at Patheos, one that essentially suggested that while this is a day to honor those that have died while serving in the military during our numerous wars, we should also take Memorial Day to honor civilians (and pretty much anyone and everyone else) who have died or suffered as a result of those wars as well. Apparently our service men and women aren’t deserving of respect on their own.

Oh that last bit wasn’t in the article but it was implied and really, I get so tired of this. Those writing and agreeing with this are the same people who hit the…

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