Spirit

Why Talk About Myths?

“With the world going to hell in a hand-basket, why on earth are you wasting time talking about myths and fairytales?”

This is the unspoken question I face nowadays as I promote my upcoming myth series, Loss of Innocence. It is an excellent question, I must admit. There seems to be no end to the list of atrocities, scandals, political shenanigans, massacres and environmental outrages. It seems as if we either need to storm the battlements for life, liberty and justice or collectively bury our heads in the sand.

At a time like this, why would anyone want to spend her time studying those old tales of endangered children, mean middle aged women and absent fathers? Why indeed?

As I mentioned way back in one of my very first blogs, the old gods do not just fade away when their temples are destroyed. They remain in this realm by inhabiting or overshadowing those elements of nature that most resemble them in power, attitude and focus. So the gods of war haunt the battlefields and the gods of love leer suggestively in the red light districts. The gods of healing cycle through the hospital air system and the gods of knowledge sink into the libraries and lecture halls.

The same is true for the old tales.

When these old stories, like the old gods, are no longer spoken about around the glowing embers, when the dark is no longer propitiated with song and dance, and the bloodied teeth of the night terrors are no longer allowed to move freely through the words and gestures of the griot ... they take on lives of their own.

And these old tales and these old gods come alive without the mediation of culture, elders and the soul of humanity. So instead of us offering the first fruits of the harvest to the agricultural deities, we instead place monsanto derivatives into their soil of their bodies. Instead of offerings for the sweet waters of our rivers, we let industrial and superfarm waste spread diseases to all that lives down river. (And face it, we all live down river.) So the stories and the gods become distorted caricatures of their real nature. So the tortured land taints our food. And the dark tales enters the blood of the willing and terror is let loose upon the land .... and upon our very children.

So I seek answers within the words of our ancestors. Maybe we can identify why the wolf waited for Red Riding Hood instead of devouring her as soon as he found her in the woods. Or we can learn the skills of the dwarfs and rescue the lost children. Or maybe, we can strengthen our hearts, brains, homes and courage for the work that is already in our hands. And then maybe, just maybe ... we can reconcile these beasts of our own makings.

Surely it is worth a try. Join me for the first seminar on February 27th at 8 pm eastern. You can either dial in on our toll free number or join via the internet. This first session is free. Register online at www.reflectionsmyst.org

See you then.

Posted in

Submitted by katrina on Sun, 02/10/2013 - 11:21pm.

DC Pagans Countering Dominionist Prayer Campaign on October 30th

For Immediate Release

DC Pagans to Hold Halloween Ceremony Countering the New Apostolic Reformation Cursing Prayer Campaign On October 30th in Lafayette Square Park

Priestesses and priests from the Washington, DC Pagan community will hold a Celebration of the Divine Feminine and Religious Freedom in Lafayette Square Park across from the White House on Sunday, October 30th, 2011, as a protest to the New Apostolic Reformation’s 51-day prayer campaign targeting Pagans, Wiccans, Witches, Druids, Heathens, and other Goddess-worshipers nationwide.

The New Apostolic Reformation is a Dominionist group of Christians preaching that all feminine forms of deity are demonic. The NAR is engaged in a 51-day campaign of imprecatory prayer to create a fundamentalist Christian theocracy in the USA. Republican presidential hopefuls Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry are influenced by the NAR agenda.

Reverend Barry Lynn, United Church of Christ minister and executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said, “Some people think the Dominionists and the New Apostolic Reformation are a newfangled movement. I call them what they are: the Religious Right in a new gown. They're not fooling anyone. This is the same old bunch of theocrats we've been dealing with for more than 40 years. It's the same crew that believes only its narrow version of Christianity is acceptable and pleasing to God. It's the same collection of people who believe their religion gives them the right to run everyone else's lives.”

Rev. Lynn went on to say, “I have news for them: Wiccans and Pagans are part of the American religious mosaic, and they're here to stay. Founding Fathers like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison gave us religious liberty - and that means religious liberty for everyone. The followers of nature-based faiths are going to use it because they don't want to lose it. What could be more in keeping with the great American tradition?”

Katrina Messenger, a writer, teacher, blogger, poet and Washington, DC native, will be the main celebrant in Lafayette Square Park. Ms. Messenger said, "The methods used by the NAR and other Dominionists are founded upon hate, fear, and ignorance. Their demonization of our Gods and Goddesses uses inflammatory language that can lead to violence and discrimination against followers of minority religions. We have choices in how to respond to this threat to our freedom and our faiths. Many are resorting to prayer, some to writing letters, and some to defensive strategies. We decided to honor the Queen of Heaven, the Goddess Inanna, in a public space, and demonstrate the very freedoms the Dominionists seek to destroy." Ms. Messenger is the founder of Connect DC and the Reflections Mystery School in Petworth.

Event organizer Caroline Kenner is a Washington, DC-born shamanic healer and teacher who now lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. “Nationally, many in our community are appalled by the scurrilous lies about our Goddesses spread by the New Apostolic Reformation. We Pagans are proud American citizens entitled to all the religious freedom granted by the Founders of this country in our Constitution. We are dismayed by the hate-filled rhetoric the New Apostolic Reformation uses, and we wish to show the public that our Goddesses are beneficent and peaceful deities.”

The event in Lafayette Square Park begins at noon and ends at 5pm on Sunday, October 30th, Samhain eve to many Pagans, leading into one of the most holy days of the Pagan year. “Samhain, or Halloween, is the Feast of the Ancestors in some of our Pagan religions. We will invoke the Founding Fathers and Mothers of our nation during our ceremony, along with a multitude of Goddesses from pantheons both ancient and modern. Among our Goddesses will be Lady Liberty and Columbia, the Goddess who stands guard atop the Capitol Building,” said Ms. Kenner. “The New Apostolic Reformation people would topple Columbia from Her pinnacle, and rename DC the District of Christ.”

There will be a number of people offering prayers during the ritual, including a Unitarian Universalist minister and celebrants from several Pagan faiths. After the religious ceremony, there will be drumming, dancing, chanting and energy raising designed to protect people in all fifty states and DC who support freedom of religious belief and practice for everyone. People of all faiths or none are welcome to join the event.

Sacred Space, an annual conference on metaphysics, mysticism and magick, now in its 22nd year, is the sponsor of the celebration in Lafayette Square Park on October 30th. Supporting organizations include Connect DC, Reflections Mystery School and Gryphons Grove School of Shamanism. Individual supporters include Washington, DC Pagan bloggers Hecate Demeter, Literata and David Salisbury.

For more information or to read the NAR curse against Pagans, visit: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wildhunt/2011/09/the-new-apostolic-reformat...

CONTACT:
Caroline Kenner
301-384-8455
301-412-1760
mythkenner@aol.com

Posted in

Submitted by katrina on Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:29pm.

The Raging Storm

Where to begin. There is so much swirling around me and within me at the moment, that I seem to fade into the background noise.

Who in their right mind would want be front and center to all of this ... madness and chaos?

I want to hide. I want to run away. Surely there is a place free from this ... storm.

But I have no place to hide, no where to run. It is too wide, too deep ... can’t get over it, around it or through.

So now what?

When I look around at the outer world I see signs of structural and ecological decay. I see our cultures carrying the contagions of neglect, abuse and alienation. Where there should be guilt, I see conceit. Where there should be accountability, I see a deficiency of outrage or shock.

But I also see signs of wellness, the evolution of holistic systems, and the reconnection of mind, body and soul. Where there is pain and conflict, I see attempts at reconciliation. Where there is fear and loneliness, I see signs of cooperation and connection. Where there is hunger and spiritual thirst, I see nurturance and spiritual depth.

So life is not without its salves.

But it is turbulent nonetheless. For every Apostolic reformationist, there is a Pagan permaculturist -- or at least I hope so. But the storm itself never recedes.

And so I retreat. Into the private world of my own makings. And here too, the storm rages.

My home is falling apart around me, my medical bills are piling up, my finances are dire and my schedule is too full given all the physical limits I have to endure.

But still ... for every sorrow, there is hope. For every pain, there is laughter. For every worry there is joy. But the storm still rages.

So I retreat into the work. And here finally there is calm. There is silence. There is softness, a place to rest. And here within my work, I breathe ... shallowly at first, then deeper as I return to grace.

But then I am conflicted. Why does peace for me exist only in the places between? Why can’t I bring this peace with me? What use is this bliss if I cannot bring it to bear within the worlds, the people, the pain, the decay and the fear. What use is my serenity if it is outside of the very worlds I occupy.

So I surge forward into life bringing with me all the bliss, peace, silence, softness and generosity I can muster.

And yes, I still stand in the midst of the madness, but I am not afraid. I rest within the swirls of chaos and I surrender to it.

I am one with the pain, the loneliness, the decay and the conceit ... and I am filled with peace, outrage and compassion. I am angry and I am delighted, I am grieving and filled with hope, and I am silent and screaming.

It is so easy to retreat from it all. It takes a bit of madness to face the abyss .... and smile. And I am grinning like a Cheshire cat as I surf the currents spilling tears over all I see and sense.

I am crying for all the pain and I am crying for all the beauty. May my tears bring moisture to the thirsty. And may my ramblings bring nurturance to anyone suffering in the storm’s wake. Let us join hands and ride this wave together. For in all of this chaos, remember that you are not alone.

Posted in

Submitted by katrina on Mon, 10/03/2011 - 6:20pm.

A Great Lion Passes Beyond the Veil

Shakmah WinddrumShakmah WinddrumShakmah Winddrum has passed beyond the veil and I am at a loss to truly express my sorrow and my gratitude. Thankfully, my dear sister, T. Thorn Coyle has written the very words that resonate within my heart.

We within the Order of Elemental Mysteries are officially in mourning. We stand with our sisters, brothers and warriors of the New Seed Sanctuary and their sister tradition Light Haven in love, light and ultimately in grief.

May She return to the Mystery that borne Her and may Her name resound loudly through the hearts of all who walk the path She carved out of sheer Will and boundless Love.

Shakmah will be remembered, and she will live on in our hearts, in our minds and within our work.

Ashe! Blessed Be! Amen!

Posted in

Submitted by katrina on Sat, 11/27/2010 - 11:43am.

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Recent comments

  • Nephthys (not verified)

    I've been with Firefly for a number of years, I recently left my position at The Firefly Community to pursue other dreams but to be clear how much I was involved before I address the statements made, I was a teacher, Priestess, member of the Inner Circle of the Council of Elders, Course Contributor, Clergy, Delegate and Divination reader so I was quite involved with Firefly on many levels.

    I am offended by your statement that Firefly is cultish. Given my involvement as listed above I can safely say that Firefly members are not cultish in behaviour nor is Firefly cultish in of itself. I am no longer involved with Firefly in any strong capacity other than that of a student so I can also safely say this is not coming from a blind faith position. I will be the first to admit that part of the reason I left Firefly was because I did not agree with some of the changes Lady Iris intended to make, that being said, I don't support the idea that abuse should be turned into a political statement.

    I don't know Sean and I am not close to Lady Iris (I live in a different country) and have not commented on the situation with her marriage but some of his behaviours are reprehensible. If a President did this he would be impeached and booted so I fail to see why it should be ignored and relegated to 'personal marital issues' when behaviour like this is indicative of larger psychological issues. If Sean Bennett is allowed to use and abuse women in this fashion, eventually he would work his way through the single ladies in the OHF and what would you be left with?

    1 year 47 weeks ago
  • Virginia Carper (not verified)

    I for one have been pondering this question. Iris did highlight a valuable point - how are checks and balances established to prevent potential abuse and to air concerns. These are hard lessons that groups need to learn.

    Without denying people their agency, how do you set up a system that will prevent abuse by other members? How far does a group go to ensure the mental and emotional safety of the adult members?

    For example, I know with my disability (brain injury), I would deeply resent being told that the group is looking out for my best interests. It would seem to be paternalistic on the group's part to assume that I cannot fend for myself. But because of my disability, I can be easy prey for a con-artist. How do you solve a dilemma like that? Can this be encoded or is this sort of thing too nebulous to pin down?

    1 year 48 weeks ago
  • Virginia Carper (not verified)

    I have a traumatic brain injury.

    That being said, I got caught in the cross-fire in the Firefly Campaign, since I did not get with the program - i.e. Firemoon was abused by a sexual predator, who for the sake of the community had to be removed. I was shocked at how this mantra was repeated over and over everywhere it could be. I was shocked at how the Firefly folks did not identify themselves as they sought to achieve their goals. It left a poor taste about Firefly in my mouth since I started to regard them as "cultish", incapable of independent thought or discussion. Also it disturbed me how the Firefly folks who had nothing to do with DC, carried water in the campaign as well.

    Since I had lot of free time, I researched the consistent posters and everything I could find, and an disturbing picture arose. The one you described of a one-sided campaign to achieve a stated end, without proper identification or perspective.

    As for the brain injury - I got raked over the coals for making light of the issue from an avowed healer, who thought my injury was a ruse. That scared me into thinking that perhaps my impression of the "cultishness" of the Firefly group was true. (I know cult is a loaded word, but I cannot think of the word that would indicate a group of people, emotionally inflamed with one mission in mind, and not allowing any dissent.)

    1 year 48 weeks ago
  • Kali Firemoon (not verified)

    Katrina,

    I am so sorry that we have not met yet since it so obvious from your comments that you are a close personal friend of Iris’s and know all there is to know about the situation from a front row seat. I mean, after all, one who has seen a woman four months pregnant, losing weight and physically appearing to not be pregnant would of course understand the emotional, and yes, physical stress she was under. But of course, since you were there I don’t need to remind you of that. So lets move on to the rest of the story, you know where her husband chose to have unprotected sex with someone else, who I am sure was a complete virgin and posed no risk to mother or child, and then husband went home to engage in carnal activities with his wife, confident that his unborn child was never at risk. Yes, I am sure that all of your female students understand why you are firmly in the husband’s court. After all, it’s always the woman’s fault when marriages go bad. Or at least that is what I seem to glean from your article. Yes, I am Firefly, and I was one of the one’s chosen to help this woman after she was victimized by this predator who seems to have persuaded the pagan community that it is acceptable to treat not one, not two but at last count four woman as though they were simply a means to his end. And BTW I know she attempted to alert the community to her situation and apparently no one felt it worth even a cursory investigation. Oh yes, one more example of us not wanting to rock any one’s boat. I will tell you that in response to her story, several other pagan women have come forward with similar stories of abuse reported to the male members of a community met with similar disdain and an obvious desire to hide this type of behavior. Do I believe it happened this time, yes; do I believe that this community is willing, no matter the cost, to hide this type of behavior, yes. No one wants to call attention to the pagan community because we already have an undeserved stigma. But that does not mean we should allow behavior none of us condone simply because we are afraid of controversy. If one of us needs be sanctioned, then we either stand and sanction or accept the stigma so many would place upon us. We need to “police” our own. When four and probably five women come forth and tell the same story of predatory behavior against women we either act or fold the tents and go home. So I suggest you talk to all of them before you post any more pontifications. I also realize you can never post this but we both know you will have read it.

    1 year 48 weeks ago
  • Cara Schulz (not verified)

    Hello Katrina,
    Although we know one another, mostly online but also when we met at Sacred Harvest Festival, for your readers let me note that I'm the Managing Editor of PNC-News and the Co-Editor of PNC-Minnesota. I was the primary author of the PNC-News statement that you are writing about.

    The persons who contacted me asking when PNC would cover this were not Firefly members. Most were not local to DC, but were Pagans and polytheists in other parts of the country who had donated to the Pagan community center in DC and naturally had an interest in it. Why would they contact me? Because I'm the Managing Editor and people often contact me to ask if PNC is covering a story or to request that we cover a story. That's how we get many of our articles - through our readers.

    As for why PNC-News put two different situations in one statement, it's because they are related in nature and both needed to be addressed promptly.

    If anyone has any questions, we encourage them to contact us and ask them.

    1 year 48 weeks ago
  • Kat, Emralde (not verified)

    Thank you for this perspective. I very much appreciate the voice of the elders as I struggle with my own (not-voiced) feelings about this situation and its outcome.

    1 year 50 weeks ago