Actually it’s two songs, Sorrow/Babylon. The first one, “Sorrow”, is a (sub?)standard, rather namby-pamby folk-protest song, but around the 3:45 mark hold on to your seats because you’re going on a journey… into awesome! The full title of the second song is “Babylon Is Fallen”, an old Shaker hymn from the early 19th century, and in a way it’s odd that I should like it so much, because it’s full of the kind of triumphalism that helped turn me off Christianity in the first place; but the music just grabs you and doesn’t let go.
Isaac Bonewits and Real Magic did a fairly clever parody/reinvention called “Avalon Is Rising”, where they not only rewrote the words but actually inverted the chorus so that the melody rises instead of falls; some day I would love to put together a band and give that song the treatment it deserves. For now, though, “Babylon” remains one of the true pinnacles of the folk/rock movement, and deserves to be remembered in all its glory:
 If you want to know a LOT more about it, go <a href=”http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=4024“>here</a>
…if we no longer call out to the moon slipping between the clouds, or whisper to the spider setting the silken struts of her web, well, then the numerous powers of this world will no longer address us – and if they still try, we will not likely hear them. – David Abram, from Becoming Animal
I had a powerful experience of this the other day… I was walking into woods, and chanced upon a butterfly resting by the side of the trail. I paused to greet it, as I try to do on such occasions; it regarded me for a few moments, then flew up around my head and fluttered down the trail before settling down some distance away. As I caught up, the performance was repeated – my companion swooped and glided* before me and on ahead again, only to come to rest as before until I came alongside again.
We proceeded in this way for a full three minutes or more, until the way opened into a clearing; here the butterfly alighted on a branch at the edge of the trail, obviously intending to go no farther. I thanked it sincerely for keeping me company through the darkest part of the woods; it sat with me for a minute in companionable stillness before fluttering between the branches, and so away.
*I do mean “glided”, like a hawk riding a thermal – if it had not been so near the ground I would be tempted to say it soared…
In the last couple of months I have found that I may still have some things to say, but I have also determined that the Executive Pagan “identity” has outlived its usefulness.
I started up a new private blog back in August, just to use as a personal journal, but as it happens I haven’t really done much journaling there… so I have decided to open it up. It will probably be both more personal than this blog, and less narrowly focused; if anyone wants to join me in the journey you’ll be welcome, but be aware that I’ll be writing this one more for myself than for “publication” per se, and probably updating on a much more occasional basis.
So, going forward I can be found at Sightless Among Miracles… come along if you care to.
I’m still pretty much not writing this blog, but I did want to break the silence long enough to add my condolences to Phaedra Bonewits, and my best wishes for Isaac’s long and well-deserved rest in the Summerlands. We had the privilege of attending a CUUPs Convo a few years ago where Isaac and Kirk, the current ADF Archdruid, were the featured speakers; we were able to attend a couple of the workshops they gave, and Isaac and Phaedra led the main ritual on Saturday night – it was a truly magical (in all the senses of the word!) experience.
Our world is a richer place for Isaac’s having walked here – may whatever comes next for him be as much a blessing as the ones he gave to us all.
[Edited to add: My condolences also extend to Isaac’s son, Arthur Lipp-Bonewits. May the Gods be with you in this time as your father joins your Ancestors.]
I realized today that it has been almost a month since I wrote anything, and over two since I wrote anything really worthwhile… and at the moment, I don’t miss it. I don’t know yet whether I’ve said everything I have to say in this venue, but for now I feel the need to open to some deep inner work without the distraction of feeling compelled to blog.
I may or may not be back online at some point, but for now, this is definitely more than an extended blog “vacation”. The archives are not going away, but I’m turning out the lights for now.
Hail and farewell! Be blessed.
To be honest, I have no idea if tonight’s working had any effect at all… but as Rick reminded us that Daven pointed out once, sometimes you stand around for a while and then go home, and you just have to trust that it meant something and did some good.
As to what was done: I began with offerings of alcohol and tobacco (since it seems increasingly likely that some spirits native to the Americas don’t care for alcohol); introduced myself and stated my purpose; offered prayers of apology for what we are doing to the Gulf and of hope that the flow will be contained quickly; then I called on Poseidon and petitioned Him to lend what aid and strength He could both to the spirits of the area and to the people working to fix the problem; and finally I tried to open to let the healing energy flow through in a directed fashion, and then stood in the water for a while just being present and bearing witness.
To any of you who felt moved to join in sending your own energy, many thanks!
First thing Thursday morning I’m headed down to Naples, FL for my dad’s memorial service; the city is on the Gulf coast, but hundreds of miles away from the oil-spill. I’ve been trying to think of something suitable that’s disaster-related to do while I’m down there – beyond trying to drive less (ironically) and donating to groups working on the cleanup, that is – and the only thing I’ve thought of so far is to bring prayers and healing energy.
So, that’s what I’m going to do – my current plan is to be on the shore between 10-11 PM (Eastern) on Friday night, offering said prayers and energy to the gods and spirits of the Gulf area and specifically petitioning Poseidon to give Them His aid. I invite anyone who wants to participate in making this a group healing to jump in during this hour and send your own energy; or, if you have a prayer you would like me to carry, you can post it here or use the Contact form above.
If this strikes you as a worthwhile endeavor, please feel free to spread the word!