I Have No Broom Closet

Or linen closet... or front hall closet for hanging coats in... or pantry. I barely have enough of a closet to hang my clothes in. Well what do you want? I live in a hundred year old house that used to be owned by crazy people. That last bit is based on the various home improvement projects I've tried to tackle over the past four years. Who stuffs a hole in the wall with paper towel then wallpapers love hearts over it? Who lays down carpet padding with a staple every friggin centimeter? Crazy-like-the-Shining people. That's who. I have nightmares about a guy with 1975 lambchop sideburns, a porn-stache, and a staple gun chanting "all work and no play..." Shudder.

This is basically a blog response to Monday's Wild Hunt post about the recent lack of figurative broom closets in the Pagan community. I don't have one and I'm not sure I ever did. Well okay, maybe there was a time in my early Pagan days where I was more worried about what people thought. As time went on I decided I didn't care a single bit. Everyone who knows me now knows that I am a Pagan priestess of the Goddess. I'm not ashamed. On the contrary, I'm proud of the fact. It's something I worked hard for so I see no need to hide it. Then again I don't go around advertising the fact either. I don't wear a shirt proclaiming my Pagan-ness nor do I just blurt it out to people I've just met.

I guess I don't really believe in the secrecy thing. How can other people learn anything if we aren't willing to be open and honest about what we do? This not only turns off other seekers but makes the mainstream folks uneducated and scared of us. And we know what happens when people get scared. Someone undoubtedly gets burned at the stake - sometimes figuratively and sometimes not so much.

With the exception of not wanting to give my kooky Southern Baptist Granny a coronary by using words that would trigger her devil-worship-radar, I am open about my beliefs. Gran knows I believe in the Goddess, that I don't believe in the Bible, and that I believe nature is sacred. That about sums things up and prevents agitating the elderly.

I take my honest and open approach pretty seriously and I refuse to play the Rumpelstiltskin game. What I mean by that is that I have known some people who keep their magic(k)al names secret because they believe someone will then have power over them. This measures a whopping 9.6 on my BS scale. (Granny passed some of her radar skills down to me I guess, but I use mine for the good.) Names are names. Go ahead and call me Fandula the Love Pig if you want. Who really gives a crap? My "magical" name is more of a priestess name to me. It's like how nuns take new names when they become... well nuns. It certainly means something but it's not an open door to my true soul or something.

As for some of the other things spoken about in Jason's post...

My altar is in my bedroom because that's where I like it to be - not because I'm trying to hide anything. I can be undisturbed there whenever I need peace. On any given day there are books strewn about my house: on top of the wood burning stove, the kitchen counter, the dining room table, the entertainment stand, and oddly enough on bookshelves. There is Goddess themed art on my walls, goddess chimes over the sink, and signs in my garden. I probably have less stuff than your average Pagan because I'm not really a buyer of those sorts of things. If I buy an altar figure it typically stays on my altar. And I make the decorative things I want instead of purchasing them. I'm not really a nick-knack sort of person.

Anyway... to sum it up I'm not in the broom closet but that's because I don't have one. I don't want one or need one. I am who I am and poo on anyone who doesn't like it. Except Granny.

Miscellany from the Hive

I have been extremely busy lately and I haven't been able to find a lot of time for Panthea - or the net at all. I was able to work a bit on the Demeter temple before life interfered and I have much of it done. It's not quite ready, but I hope it will be soon. I'll paste the opening "Musings" section below.

Kali is the winner of the latest poll so after I finish up Demeter I will begin her temple. I might hold off on another poll until I can at least begin on Kali.

I'm really thrilled with the temples project and I think I may even have another book in me based on these virtual sacred places and the concept of the Three Keys. I have a very vague outline done already, but it may just look good on paper. Not sure if I can really put together something cohesive.

I've added a webcam stream to the sidebar in place of a profile photo. Whenever I am fit for camera I will try to stream. I think it would be interesting to use when I'm working on paintings in my studio too. There are a few audio tracks from the Pagan music group Gaia Consort attached to the webcam that you can listen to as well.

Okay, I've got lots to do today. Give the musings below a read if you've got the time. See you soon!
For centuries in Ancient Greece the ultimate vision of a mother was seen through the face of Demeter. She is most commonly thought of as Grain Goddess; a solely agricultural deity and patron of those who work the land. This is far too simple a role for such an important Goddess as Demeter. To followers of her mysteries she was the caregiver of the Earth and all who lived upon it. In many ways she was seen as the Earth itself.

Kore, Demeter's daughter, brought the Goddess much joy and while Demeter could hold her child in her arms all was right on Earth. Crops grew, animals multiplied, and flowers colored the land in splendor. But then Kore was taken into the Underworld by Pluton (Hades). Demeter's joy turned into terrible sorrow. Her heart broke without her little girl and the Earth began to wilt and die. As the Goddess mourned, so too did the Earth. Fruit rotted on the vine, flowers turned black with death, and nothing would grow. The land was barren and empty like Great Mother Demeter's heart.

Demeter called to me initially on her own, as part of an ancient, timeless myth surrounded by mysteries and traditions that have captured the hearts and imaginations of people all over the world for millennia. Her daughter Kore (in her guise as Persephone) soon began to take my focus however. It was Persephone whose voice rang out the loudest and it is through her that the understanding of her mother comes into light.

Step into this little temple and reach out your arms to Mother Demeter. Raise them up as if you were young Kore and embrace the Goddess who is Mother of all Life. Walk up to her shrine and light candles in her honor. Beckon her to enter your heart and gift you will the lessons you require. And as with her daughter, Persephone, may her light embrace you and take you into the hallowed caves of Eleusis with all the wisdom of an initiate.

Kali vs. Aphrodite

I can hear the announcer now - and he sounds like the guy who does the commercials for premier league football (soccer) in the UK.
"Kali-Ma V. Aphrodite; The dark Hindu Goddess matches up with the Greek Goddess of Love. Will Aphrodite mesmerize the crowd with her beauty or will Kali come out on top and covered in blood? Find out this week-END on Sky Sports."
Well that's what I hear anyway. Check out the poll - 2 posts down. It seems like there is a bit of battling going on. Every time I check in Kali and Aphrodite are neck and neck. It's like watching a really strange auction on Ebay.

Goddess' Messenger Rat

My daughter recieved $50 for her birthday over the weekend and immediately decided she wanted another pet. We already have two dogs, three cats, and some fish but Little Girl decided we needed to gather an entire food chain in our home by getting a rodent.

At first she was all about the hamsters. She had asked me at least a bazillion times, "Mommy, when are we going to get my hamster?" Finally we made it to the pet store where she all but ran to the pet rats.

I will admit I was much more willing to get a rat than a hamster. I had heard rats were like little dogs; smart, friendly, people-loving. We've already done the hamster thing and they are cute but don't really stay still for more than three seconds at a time. More annoying than anything really.

So we got a rat and I immediately fell in love with his little face and oddly human-shaped hands. It seemed strange to me. I looked down at this little creature, fully aware that his ancestors caused the black plague, and my heart melted. He sat with me for a few hours last night. Sniffing me, licking my fingers, sleeping in my lap. He's wonderful. This immediate connection to the rat led me to wonder if perhaps he wasn't sending me a message. Yes, it's a bit fluffy, but I looked up all sorts of symbolism surrounding rats anyway.

I already knew about the Karni-Mata temple where rats are the main occupants and considered sacred by all who visit. The rats in the temple are believed to be the incarnation of a Goddess who was herself the incarnation of Durga. Kali also comes from Durga (and is considered the same Goddess by some) so I find here some connections to my recent pull towards Kali.

In "animal medicine", or the concept of totem animals, I found some things to be significant about rats.
"If a Rat has appeared to you, the message is to examine the ways you may be participating in wasteful consumption or fearful emotions and to awaken from your illusions." (link)
Fearful emotions was the something that caught my eye. I have allowed myself to become a worrier at times and I have recently let fears creep up into my life. I think this is the obstacle Kali has been trying to remove.

So, I am now a rat lover and this morning I am running up to the pet store to get another one. I did some research last night (which I should've done before hand) and found out that rats are extremely social and it's popularly believed by fanciers that they should never be solitary due to emotional stress, neurotic behavior, and other problems. I have enough room for two but we'll be getting a larger cage for them in the future.

By the way, the rat's name is Toby. My daughter wants to name the second one Wubsy, but I'm trying to talk her into something like Buddah or the Dude. Even Dave would be cooler. :) Pictures of Toby and the Dude (aka Wubsy) coming soon.

Demeter It Is...

I've let the poll go to 20 votes and Demeter has won with 9 of them. Thanks to everyone who voted. I honestly appreciate your input. Now I have to turn some focus to the Great, Greek, Earth Mother Goddess Demeter and see where she leads me. If anyone else has musings on this face of the Goddess please feel free to get a conversation started.

I'm still looking for historical proof of the laws of Demeter - or the Thesmoi of Demeter. If anyone could point me in the right direction on that I would be eternally grateful.

I have posted a new poll leaving Brigid, Kali, and Isis in place as options and adding Aphrodite to the list. Don't let Aphrodite fool you. She is much more than your average Goddess of Love. So let the voting continue and when Demeter's temple is done a new one can be started immediately.

Vote here or check the sidebar at the right.

Stonehenge Decoded

Last night the National Geographic Channel premiered Stonehenge Decoded and presented new theories about the ancient stone circle to the world. The newest theory is all about how Stonehenge was a monument to the dead; a sacred place where people may have brought the ashes of their deceased loved ones to join their ancestors. A bunch of evidence was presented to support this theory. While archeology is often full of guess work, I think this theory makes a lot of sense from a Pagan persepective and I have some elaborations on the info I watched last night.

First, I think the theory is most likely right about Stonehenge being a temple of the dead. As the show pointed out, it's made of stone, which makes it permanent (like death). It was built to honor the sun at Midsummer, when the sun begins to die. If people brought cremains there perhaps they implored the sun to take the spirits of the dead with it as it waned in the sky over the following months.

There is a wooden henge a couple of miles from Stonehenge. As the theory goes this was most likely a temple for the living; for celebrating life. It's made of wood which is impermanent like life. At Midsummer the people would walk to Stonehenge and then walk back to the wood henge; going from a place of the dead to a place of the living. At Solstice they took the opposite root and stood to watch the Solstice sun set through the wood henge - which seems to have been built specifically for the event. Here they would know the sun was being reborn; that it would soon begin to wax again as the days grew longer. Perhaps the sun also had the power to give rebirth to the people who had died and whose ashes had been spread at Stonehenge? Maybe the ancient Britons believed that as the sun was reborn at the "Temple of Life" so too were the spirits of their ancestors.

Regardless of what actually occured at these sites it seems rather obvious that the ancient people who built them were people who lived in harmony with nature. They were agricultural and depended on nature as their way of life. They would've been interested in praying for fertility, honoring the dead, and celebrating life. Ah... those lovely ancient Pagans.

I think this is all very Goddess-y in nature though there has yet to be any evidence of a female god - or any god to the best of my knowledge. It seems the emphasis here is placed on the ancestors, though there is little to support this as well. I would say there is better evidence to support a deity of the sun. There is no way to know for certain what was worshipped at these sites, at least not until some idol is unearthed. Until then we will have to theorize.

Watch Stonehenge Decoded on June 5th at 9pm on the National Geographic Channel. Image found at the official National Geographic web site for Stonehenge Decoded. Go there for more theories and more info. Check out the Earth Mother theory too.


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