the cone of power, the fizz of modern myth
Is there anything more boring than another article on pagan religious revivals on Halloween...if you think yes read this from the sfgate.com...
All are welcome, a reflection of the pagan belief that the divine is present in all things and people. There is little dogma, and participants hail from many different traditions.
"I'm Hecate," said Kala Levin of Oakland. "She's the goddess of death."
Levin walked using a staff and wore a hooded cloak and leather mask depicting another Bay Area witch who had died.
"When you have choices in your life, and you're at the crossroads, she guides you," Levin, 60, said of Hecate.
Depicted in pop culture as a witch flying across the moon on a broom, Hecate typically walks with a hound, which wasn't feasible Saturday inside the pavilion, which is usually a basketball gymnasium.
A self-described pagan Jew emceed the event in a cloak and yarmulke. And a lapsed Roman Catholic enjoyed the pantheistic nature of pagan worship, which she said reminded her of the variety of Catholic saints.
Jaynie Lara, a 50-year-old member of the Yaqui people, who are native to the Southwest, said worshiping with pagans made sense.
"They honor mother Earth, they honor sacred animals ... they honor the ancestors," said Lara, who said the Yaqui traditions she practices also recognize that this time of year is the best opportunity to communicate with the dead.
Samhain is one of eight major festivals that pagans celebrate, one at each solstice and equinox and the midway points in between. The holiday honors the death of the growing season and recognizes a time when people believed their ancestors would return.
"Death is never seen as something final," Starhawk, 55, a witch and priestess, said in an interview. "It's always seen as part of life, part of the whole cycle, so that's what the ritual is focused on."
Through an escalating series of ceremonies, the rites that make up the Spiral Dance are believed to transform participants individually and as a group and change the world at large. The evening culminates when believers hold hands in a line and wind around one another in a spiral, in which each person is supposed to be able to look into everyone else's eyes.
The dance stops at this climax, but the choir's chants continue and the singing rises. It becomes an arms-in-the-air, foot-stomping, rhythmic and explosive drumming release of energy.
Spiral Dance participants believe this energy is directed into a "cone of power," directed "toward a particular intention or goal," said Starhawk.
The goal this year, she said, was to "turn the wheel of life back to courage, creation, justice and healing ... to put our energies toward shifting our society away from greed, corruption and destruction." Political issues such as the war in Iraq, the right of a woman to choose an abortion, and global warming were given voice throughout the night.
(ugh, says steve in the cone of no power)
posted by wrangler steve at
Tuesday, October 31, 2006