Greetings, magickal ones! It's been a while since I last posted, and I'm sure I've consequently lost the limited readership I had. Ah well, tis the way of it. Inspiration waxes and wanes, and I've felt in need of the Star as of late - perhaps all that inspiration was spent on my one and only graduate school application, which I finally submitted with a stamp and a prayer last month. May it be met with wise eyes and open hearts - I suppose its not everyday a Wiccan priestess quotes Starhawk on a gradschool application. Let's hope not anyway.
In the meantime, I've been in a bit of a spiritual rut, most likely of my own creation. I'm more journal-ist than journalist, so reporting on the goings-ons of the Baltimore pagan scene seems a bit daunting and perhaps pointless, given my limited to non existant involvement. Since relocating here from my NYC home and wonderful Pagan family in January of 2011, I've attended a handful of Pagan events: from the Sacred Space conference, to a Norse-inspired Samhain ritual in DC's Sacred Circle Books, to Baltimore Pagan Meetup gatherings, to regular stops in the local occult (sorry - "new age") shop in Hampden. I've also gotten to do a little traveling, returning to NYC for my own ordination; to the lovely woods of Virginia to observe Lughnassad with the welcoming folks of Shadow Grove; to the delightfully Pagan shops and streets of Seattle, WA (if you ever venture Westward, be sure to check out Edge of the Circle Books. The epic tarot collection alone is worth the trip.)
All the while, no Sabbats have been left unobserved - each month for an entire year, beginning Imbolc 2011, I've hosted Sabbat dinners (inspired by Passover Seders held by friends over many years) for friends and family, often attracting friends-of-friends. Its been part educational circle (as most people are unfamiliar with Wiccan ritual) part interfaith circle, part dinner party. I've been incredibly moved by these dinners, for several reasons: the fact my friends actually humor me and show up; the willingness to observe and share experiences, fears, and hopes with everyone present; the enthusiasm brought to ritual, all of which is participatory; the awesome wine and food everyone has brought to share. So many aspects of ritual are universal - the circle of women (and the occasional man) such a powerful symbol and reminder of sisterhood and sacrifice - of the communal nature of education and nurishment - of the importance of sacred and safe spaces. The Goddess is in all of Us - she is alive and well, so long as we are eating, laughing, and sharing with one another.
One of my best friends in the entire universe (and sabbat attendees) is leaving for California next month to embark on postdoctorate work. I too feel the West calling my names - both magickal and secular - and am trying to plant seeds for that journey. Baltimore is not my home, though it contains much of my heart. I have dear childhood friends here, I have a lovely sister and mother and a couple bright souls I've stumbled across in my car-less travels. But it does not feel like home - even less so than the chaotic streets of NYC felt. I havent made friends here, as I did easily in New York. I worry about the sanity and stability of those I have made - I wonder about that line between fantasy and spiritual calling Pagans seem to sometimes tread.
One insightful person I did meet in Baltimore said the reason she loves this city is its energy matches hers - that each city has a unique energy and the best we can do to find that one true "home" is try out different places until the energy matches ours. Baltimore does not speak to me - Seattle chattered. San Francisco hummed. Berkley sang. I'm sure somewhere out there I'll start to sing along.
Tomorrow is Valentines Day. I plan to celebrate it in my finest red attire and bright smile, like a prop in one of the storefront windows I help decorate. I'm ok with the plastic hearts and roses - I like the Vagina Monologues - I love getting to spend the entire day with the person I love. The one lovely thing to come out of this broken city drives a mini cooper, sings like a rockstar, chain smokes, and studies rocket science - and I'm looking forward to our first of hopefully many VDays.
I guess the theme here is Inspiration - to go - to breathe - where one is inspired. I find lessons everywhere. I meet amazing, consciousness shifting people everyday. But to feel inspired - for more than just the passing moment - I have to pack my bags and try again. Hopefully this time, my muses will follow.