Thursday, June 25, 2009

My horoscope this Week

uh oh:*

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): (My horoscope for the week of June 24th)

A delicious forbidden fruit will be more available than usual in the coming weeks. You can choose to ignore it, of course. You can pretend it's not even there and instead concentrate on the less forbidden fruits that are tasty enough. Or, on the other hand, you can sidle up closer to the forbidden fruit and engage in some discreet explorations, testing subtly to see whether it's any healthier for your sanity than it used to be. I'm not sure what the best decision is, Pisces, but I do suggest this: Don't just rip off all your defenses, forget all your commitments, and start heedlessly taking big bites out of the forbidden fruit.

Funny: that seems to be the theme underlying the Twilight Saga books. I am almost done with the last one of the series, and while I don't feel ready to comment on the whole "message" yet, there is definitely a subtext about controlling one's physical desires. But it's the quotation from Genesis at the beginning of Twilight that is obviously connecting with my horoscope (above) from Rob Brezsny:

Genesis 2:17
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

I've been having a recurring nightmare for the past several years where I wake up an hour or two after I fall asleep and can't determine whether I'm still alive, or dead.

I look around my room, and it seems different. I take stock. I look at everything and it feels out of place, and I feel like there is a voice, or a message, telling me that "this isn't real, it's not your real life, you're on the other side now." And it takes me a good 5 minutes or so to figure out that I'm actually alive.

This nightmare went away for a while, but has been back in full effect recently. I wonder if my Twilight obsession is feeding in to this - the idea of eternal life mixed up with eternal death. It's very unsettling. I've been thinking that this is happening because of my big birthday coming up.... but maybe not. Do you all have any ideas?

* I don't generally put a whole lot of stock in horoscopes. I don't think they predict the future. But I do think that one should take a close look at "coincidences" and see if there is a message from the Divine that I should be listening to. The stained glass is from Chartres Cathedral, in France.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy Midsummer!

I hope you and yours have an awesome Midsummer, or St John the Baptist's Day, whichever you call it. I just found out that the Finnish National newspaper (Int'l edition), Helsingin Sanomat, takes the whole month of July off, I guess it's "a slow news time" there, after Midsummer and all. Finland is great!

I guess over the weekend in Rutland, VT(?) there was a Finnish Midsummer festival. I love the "wife-carrying contest".

On Saturday we had our own Midsummer party - a dinner party for some local friends and neighbors. It was potluck and fun! I'm hoping we can make it a tradition. Finnish flag was flying too.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Translating Mary

My dear friend, Mama K has a new blog: Filling the Chalice. It's awesome! [Way to go Mama K!]

Anyways, I can relate to her recent post on "language barrier" in chruch - the spiritual/religious sphere. She and I talk about this a fair amount. But, being raised in the Episcopal church, the liturgical year, and Bible stories are my foundation. So, when people talk using those terms, I "get it". Even though my most "spiritual" (spiritually moving - that brought me back to religion) was during a Wiccan ceremony. That was when I realized that there was a cosmic force that was powerful out there.

But for me to understand and participate in religion, I need to have a community and a structure, I can't create it from scratch (which is how all the Wiccan groups have been that I've been involved in, and it's too hard for me). But, what I love about the Church's liturgical calendar, is that it pretty much follows the Solar calendar* (which is the foundation of Wiccan practice - along with the Lunar calendar, of course).

Anyways, I had an epiphany when I read the Mists of Avalon, and thought about Mary as the continuation of the Goddess in mainstream Chrisitian practice. That she's never gone away. And that is a thought that gives me a lot of comfort.

* I'll write more about this later, but I'm planning a St John the Baptist's Day celebration for our church on June 24th. Stay tuned for more details.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Brandish Your Piece for Jesus

I'll start with this quotation, which I found on Faith & Theology, and was labeled, "a quote for Pentecost":
“It is the Spirit’s work to draw what might otherwise be a cacophonic disunity into symphony. The Spirit worked to transcribe God’s music for playing on the human instrument of Jesus of Nazareth; the Spirit now works to orchestrate that theme for an ensemble of billions.” —Mike Higton, Christian Doctrine, (SCM 2008), 161.

Because I'm not sure how to reconcile the idea that Jesus "packs heat." I found the image (great graphic!) and story at Gawker. This is incredibly disturbing:
"In light of George Tiller being gunned down in a church, this blows the mind: a Louisville pastor wants to expand his flock by encouraging them to brandish firearms while they worship." - Gawker
Here is a potential rebuttal to the Louisville pastor, from Monte Asbury's blog. It's a long quotation, but we need something to counteract the firearm brandishers! Sheesh:

"I’ve been thinking a lot about why we come here.

We need a sense of that – a sense of what we’re here for. Just making a church bigger – that doesn’t do it for me. We’ve been down that road. It isn’t enough to satisfy my hunger.

Why do I come here?

I think I want one thing more than anything else: I want to bring love into my world. I want to bring it to my family. I want to bring it to you. I want to bring it to people on the street. I want to bring it to political decisions. I want to bring it to unloved people. I want to bring it to people on the internet. I want to bring it to the nations of the world.

I want love to change this world. I want it to smother tragedy. I want it to expose selfishness. I want it to change the way my family lives, my workplace operates, my government thinks.

What I want to do here is to re-capture that source of love – and share it in such a way that you do, too – so that love will make everything you touch as you walk through your week just a little different than it was before.

But my world doesn’t get that. It thinks love is a wimpy thing, not the way of heroes. So all week long I talk and visit and write to people who are convinced the Kingdom of God is not enough, and it cannot bring what the world needs. And sometimes their arguments wear me down.

And that’s why I come here. It’s because we’re doing something together. We’re believers that the love of God is stronger than anything that’s wrong in the world. We’re determined to bring it to the places we live and work and vote and write. You’re doing something."

And hopefully, we're doing something for the common good.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Half Way Through....

So, all, I'm half way through the Twilight Saga, and I gotta say, I'm hooked.

I started out a firm supporter of "Team Edward", but at this point, am fully behind "Team Jacob," I don't see how that feeling will "wane", but you never know.....

Dude. It's intense. :)


Check it out: Adult Swim encapsulates the series for us... funny.

La Pieta OR "Heaven to Hell" by Lachapelle, and more

WOW. Not sure about Courtney Love as Mary, but....

Thanks to religious imagery in culture for the image. Be sure to visit their blog for more fantastic religious art and images. They've been posting some amazing stuff recently - keep up the great work!

I just found this link to the outstanding work of Azerbaijani photographer Rena Effendi today, via Heading East. You've got to check it out. You'll understand the connection when you get there. Fantastic work!