four quotes and a song

These may be repeats, but I like them…

“You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?” ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

“We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

“We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes–one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way.”
~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

“Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will.” John Beckett

 

A remix that (and I thought I’d never say this for this song) is a million times better than the original…

…and the sign said the words of the prophets are written on subway walls and tenement walls and whispered in the sounds of silence.0

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On the Pulse of Morning by Maya Angelou

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Mark the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,

But seek no haven in my shadow.
I will give you no hiding place down here.

You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.
Your mouths spelling words

Armed for slaughter.
The rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.

Across the wall of the world,
A river sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.

Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.
Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.
Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more.

Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I
And the tree and stone were one.
Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow
And when you yet knew you still knew nothing.
The river sings and sings on.

There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing river and the wise rock.
So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew,
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek,

The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the tree.

Today, the first and last of every tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the river.
Plant yourself beside me, here beside the river.

Each of you, descendant of some passed on
Traveller, has been paid for.

You, who gave me my first name,
You Pawnee, Apache and Seneca,
You Cherokee Nation, who rested with me,
Then forced on bloody feet,
Left me to the employment of other seekers—
Desperate for gain, starving for gold.

You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot…
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru,
Bought, sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.

Here, root yourselves beside me.
I am the tree planted by the river,
Which will not be moved.
I, the rock, I the river, I the tree
I am yours—your passages have been paid.
Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage,
Need not be lived again.

Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.

Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts.
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.
Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.

The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me,
The rock, the river, the tree, your country.
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes,
Into your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.


A short garden blessing

A blessing to the ground beneath my bare feet,
A blessing to the seeds that scatter,
Where they fall upon the meadow, in the field, or in the woods
Let Earth’s garden grow.

I ask the Soil to nourish the seeds,
I ask the Sun to warm the shoots,
I ask the Rains to quench the roots.
Help this garden grow.

I give thanks to the bees that dance with the flowers,
I give thanks to the worms digging deep and true.
I give thanks to the microbial world, tranformational.
The Oikos that we all call home.


Hymn to the Unknown God

O Ruler! Lord of the universe,
Whether thou art male,
Whether thou art female,
Lord of reproduction
Wherever thou mayest be!
O Lord of divination
Where art thou?
Thou mayest be above,
Thou mayest be below,
Or perhaps around
Thy splendid throne and sceptre.
O hear me!
From the sky above,
In which thou mayest be,
From the sea beneath
In which thou mayest be.
Creator of the world,
Maker of all men;
Lord of all Lords
My eyes fail me for longing to see thee
For the sole desire to know thee.
O look down upon me
For thou knowest me.
The sun–the moon–
The day–the night–
Spring–winter,
Are not ordained in vain
By thee, O Deity!
They all travel
To the assigned place;
They all arrive
At their destined ends
Whithersoever thou pleasest.
Thy royal sceptre
Thou holdest.
O hear me!
O choose me!
Let it not be
That I should tire,
That I should die!

Attributed as a Peruvian prayer in the 1913 book “Pagan Prayers” by Marah Ellis Ryan via Sacred Texts


Assyrian Prayer for the Dying

Bind the sick man to Heaven, for from Earth he is being torn away!
Of the brave man who was so strong, his strength has departed.
Of the righteous servant, the force does not return,
In his bodily frame he lies dangerously ill.
But Ishtar, who in her dwelling, is grieved concerning him, descends from her mountain unvisited of men.
To the door of the sick man she comes.
The sick man listens!
Who is there? Who comes?
It is Ishtar, daughter of the Moon God!
Like pure silver may his garment be shining white!
Like brass may he be radiant!
To the Sun, greatest of the gods, may he ascend!
And may the Sun, greatest of the gods, receive his soul into his holy hands!

From the 1913 book “Pagan Prayers” by Marah Ellis Ryan, via sacred-texts.com


Pagan Serenity Prayer

As the holidays approach, something all of us may need to maintain our sanity!!

The power of Fire, for the energy and courage to change the things I can.
The power of Water, to accept with ease and grace what I cannot change.
The power of Air, for the ability to know the difference.
And the power of Earth, for the strength to continue my path.

(author unknown, but obviously adapted from the AA serenity prayer)


Maimakteria Rite

A Hellenic ritual for early winter…

Underflow

Honoring: Zeus Maimaktes, or Blustering Zeus
Date: Exact date unknown, presumably held during the month of Maimakterion (late November-early December)
Season: The beginning of winter
Region: Athens

Items needed
Bowl of water and stick (incense, punk, or natural) to light and douse
Candle, matches or lighter to light the stick
Bowl of barley
Offerings
Libation bowl
Cup

Procession

Assemble and prepare to process to the altar.

We go to the holy place with reverence and love, to honor the gods.

Proceed to enter the sacred space.

Purification of participants

Light a stick and extinguish in the bowl of water, creating lustral water.

May all be made pure who wash in this water.

Pour water over the hands of each person so that they may rinse their face and hands in the lustral water.

Purification of space

Pass the bowl of barley among the participants so that each may take a…

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