Monday, February 12, 2007

Invocation and Introduction

I was raised in the South, a good Southern Baptist boy for most of my first two decades. Important events and undertakings in those times and places began with a preacher, or my father, or some august male person saying “Let us pray.” I’ve traveled some way since then a nd I am no longer a good Southern Baptist boy, but I think I shall commence this with my sort of a prayer. So let us pray:

Oh, Lady
You who must be adored,
With shining hair and honeyed breasts,
Mistress of the caverns whence issue
men and women, magic and all good things
Weaver, Brewer,
Singer, Bender,
Sower, Reaper,
Field and Forest, Stone and Sea
Nourisher, Inspirer, Slayer,
Great Whore, Limitlessly Pure
With Moonshine in your eyes

Come sit beside me,
Mother, Sister, Queen, Lover and Muse
Bless this new work of mine, which I dedicate to you,
Fill my heart with the wine of your true singers

Oh, Lord
You Old Horny, Wounded, Goatish Trickster,
Dancer in the wild places, stepping it with
the power of the storm wind,
the frenzy of the wild fire,
the grace of flowing water,
the twisted eloquence of the ancient oak
that bursts from and thrusts into the earth,
Guide to Lovers, makers, seekers and the Dead,
Conjurer, Swindler
Seducer, Redeemer,
Scourger and Encourager
Spearman, Horseman, Cocksman,
Rogue in the Night, who breaks all bonds
with Lightning in your eyes

Come Walk beside me,
Father, Brother, Lord, Friend and Accomplice
Shove me out under the lights, and
up to the battlefront, and into
her arms, kick me in the ass if I start to
doze and snatch me up by the hair if
I fall to my knees,
Bless Me
with that yawning need,
that endless desire
that moves the world

Hello, then. I am a Pagan. I have known that I was a Pagan for about 22 years now. I spent about 12 years before that hunting along that path that led me up to that mountaintop. I’ve been a Christian, an atheist, a Taoist along the way. I’ve called myself a Witch, a Wiccan, a Neo-pagan, and so on at times, but have finally decided that simply Pagan is the only word for my pact with Old Gods, Daimons and Spirits.

I am quite gray and middle aged now and suspect that time is running out on me, but I have a few things to say before I’ve quite pissed my life away on trivialities, hence this endeavor. I want to write about what I think I know about Gods and people, and other entities, and how one is to understand their being and one’s own and how the heart of the world was broken by human betrayal, and how humans thus maimed themselves in so doing, and what is to be done about. I want to talk about the great work of charming the Old Gods back to the light of plain day and what that might mean to us all. I want to discuss the shape of modern Pagan philosophy. I want to discuss why magic and sexuality have to central issues to a meaningful Pagan practice and why real Paganism can never be respectable to the big imperial religions that have leeched off humanity, and why modern Pagans who believe all religions must aspire to the condition of Episcopalianism are doomed.

It will of course, be all Only My Opinion. (Not a particularly Humble Opinion, as I am not a particularly humble person.) Henceforth, mon semblable, mon frere, you may take it as read that any statement I make, if I have not attributed it to someone else, is Only My Opinion, and that I am aware of this. Also, please understand that I do not claim the back of any Authority: I am not revealing the hidden truths of any tradition, I have not access to any otherwise-secret hereditary lore and I have not been given an assignment by any spiritual entity or formerly living person. I don’t fancy myself a guru or the leader of a movement (though I hear it’s good work if you can get it.)

But it’s all just me thinking and throwing out some ideas and trying start a discussion or possibly and argument. I don’t mind argument: I argue for a living and I’m pretty good at it. I don’t form opinions easily: if I have something to say, I’ve worked on it for awhile, chiseling away at them until I’m happy with. Other people do this, some perhaps better than I. I hope to hear from you, if you one of those; I don’t promise to ever give ground easily, but I hope I can at least always grant respect to a well formed thought.

On the other hand, not all opinions are created equal: some -- many -- are stitched together from unexamined received wisdom, half-understood tags of brighter people’s thoughts, propaganda, cant and unearned hipsterism. Such will also be given the respect they deserve.

I don’t propose to talk much about myself after this initial introduction, in part because I’m not very interesting, in part because I practice law and help to raise grandchildren in a smallish southern city, circumstances which require a prudent discretion for someone like me.

If you find any of this valuable, I’d appreciate knowing it. If you find it boring, incomprehensible or silly, well, I wish you well in your other endeavors.

All this said, let me wind up my spell with this:

Oh, Lady, Oh, Lord
Brilliant girl and ancient boy,
Here, while fiddle my craziest song,
Dance the dance you do the best,
Roll and Shake,
Twist and Shout,
and When your moans and screams have
shook the mountains to their roots and
rung the star’s crystal sphere
to the shattering note,
then may your mingled juices
rain down on the brittle bones and
sterile clay, that here
something new and strange
may grow

May you all Blessed Be.

No comments: