Youthemeus

Because there are few things we can be sure of….

The Unbearable Weight of Truth

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The words which we don’t dare to speak,
Are the words that weigh us down.
The silent words that tell of pain,
Are those that help us drown.

The stories that we cannot tell
Are those that keep us bound.
The things that we can never say,
Will keep us in the ground.

The truths that can’t be said aloud,
Are those that stop our breath.
The sentences that set us free,
Unspoken, hasten death.

The darkness that we keep close by,
In the suffocating still.
The nothing we believe we are,
The void we never fill.

Though in the gloom; a spark! a breeze!
Of something simply kind.
A hand that reaches in the fire,
Bids us leave it all behind.

To tell our truth, to damn those lies,
Is to walk in light unknown.
The freedom that we yearn for now,
Grows the seed that hope has sown.

 

 

©youthemeus 2017

 

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Will the real Almighty please stand up?

Who's throne is it anyway?

When new friends find out that I follow a pagan path, their first comment is usually, “Oh! So, you don’t believe in God, then?” My answers tend to contain the familiar themes of “I believe in lots of gods and goddesses, some of which have names and faces”, or “it depends which gods you are talking about.” A discussion on the “Olde Ways” usually ensues and we may also talk about the ways that society was shaped by organised religions or how life is a constant battleground for those who choose to follow narrow doctrines. I find this particular exchange of ideas interesting and have learnt much over the years just by listening to other people discuss their belief systems.

However, if I were really open and honest, I would tell my friends that I actually DO believe in God*.

I just don’t like him.
Simple as that.

By making the preceding statement, I have probably caused offence to many who count themselves as “faithful”, “saved” or “chosen”. I would hope never to propagate a crisis of faith in anyone and would never attempt to change someone’s mind about their god; it is not my path with which to interfere. Nonetheless, I do feel it is appropriate to discuss the fact that God might be a nasty piece of work and that we should be able to say so without fear of censure.
God can be a bit of a brute, really. He is demanding, jealous, vengeful and angry (his words, not mine). He wants to be worshipped, followed and loved above all others. He demands utter devotion, faithfulness and (if necessary) the ultimate sacrifice. He gives and then he takes away again. He creates, only to destroy. He shows his love and confidence in someone by grinding their face into the dirt and then lifting them up by the hair to see if they still love him. He smites, saves, incinerates, heals, drowns, and visits plagues and pestilence on whole races of people. He tells us that there is no rock that he can’t look under, no depth that he can’t reach. In the middle of all of that hostile language, he also tells us that he loves us and can protect us. In any other circumstances, we would call this type of behaviour abusive.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with God. He does his thing (very well) and I do mine. I know that he exists, and therefore believe in him; but, as yet, I have not worked out his real name. He is really quite vague on that issue, and that in itself is suspicious. I don’t think his name will turn out to be one of those forbidden words, or the secret symbols that we are told represent him. He may just be called Cloud-Drizzle or Sparrowlegs. These are not really names that inspire awe – that may be why he’s keeping schtum. Who knows? Whatever he is called, God is a guileful character. Perhaps he did not expect the human race to play along with him to this extent and for such a long time. Maybe he just was looking for mischief and everybody got carried away, men grew their beards, slaughtered a load of goats and started stoning women to death in his name. (That’s another thing that I don’t like about him. Quite frankly, he has a dreadful attitude towards women.) After a few thousand years, it could be that he believes his own publicity and has become a self-fulfilling prophecy, a kind of circular theological argument. Again, who knows?

In contrast, the gods and goddesses that I spend time thinking about are energetic expressions of different elements, personalities and pathways. Some are easier to work with than others. All should be treated with respect and their individual aspects should be acknowledged. Occasionally, some of my pantheon can be quite demanding (Hecate, you know who I’m talking about). Conversely, some just love to drift in and out on a casual basis (like peripatetic deities, I suppose).

God is not like that, he is an all or nothing type of being. He seems to gain some pleasure from watching the “believers” argue over which of them are his favourites. Sadly for them, the answer is that he doesn’t much care for any of them. Again, as in many abusive relationships, these believers justify, excuse and ignore his bad behaviour. What is it that keeps them going back to him? Is it love or fear? I wonder if some of them can actually tell the difference. Luckily, I can judge when an energy is manipulative or intimidating. I stand firm in my own place of power and call him out to account for his actions. At time of writing, I have had no acceptable explanations. I’m still waiting. (Waiting for God-Oh!)

So, when you are able, take yourself to your own sacred space and gather your gods around you. It doesn’t matter whether your gods hail from Olympus, Asgard, Kirinyaga or even whether you find them in the rivers, rocks and trees.  In their (fascinatingly beautiful) differences and intricacies, you will find that they have all that you need for the rich spiritual tapestry of your life.

I will offer one word of caution, though; if you do find a jealous, petulant and controlling character along the way, make sure to ask him his name.

Just in case.

 
~ Youthemeus

 *I’m giving him a big “G”, just so we know who we are talking about.

 

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Song of The Earth Witch

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Song of the Earth Witch

My strength, my thoughts, my guile is found,
both in the earth and all around.

With corners called, the towers surround.
My words, my spells with intent compound.

E’en, from my lips my chant doth sound,
Yon circle spins my magic round.

And when my work is all laid down,
I plunge my roots deep in the ground.

The shadows fly, my wishes bound.
So mote it be! Let this resound.

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The Crone and The Keys

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The Crone and The Keys

“You have the keys to life,” she said,
As she sat and scratched her wizened head.
“And I can teach you nothing else,
than just to look inside yourself.”
Deep in her ancient eyes, I saw
Ninety sunsets, maybe more.
The autumn woman, wise old Crone,
Turned, pointing, fingers all a-bone.

“You, maiden! You, mother! You, future me!
The secret of it all, you see,
Is to let love guide your every step.
And treat all Magic with respect.
Your path is long, the climb is steep;
You’ll lose more than you ever keep.
You’ll heal, you’ll grieve, you’ll laugh, you’ll grow.
You’ll need our Craft where’er you go.

But when journeys o’er, and the years retreat.
Be proud, my dear, of a life complete.”
And turning, she pressed her hand in mine,
“Live well, live long – and don’t waste time!”
I watched her rise; her joints complained.
Very little of her light remained.
Then gone she was, no trace to find,
Of that sage old Crone and her infinite mind.

© youthemeus 2014

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I am the wind

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I am the wind, I am the air.
I am the breeze that kisses your hair.
I can caress, I can bombard.
I can play gentle, I may blow hard.

I bring the rain, I bring the snow.
I scatter dust wherever I go.
I blow through the hills, I blow on the beach.
I blow some things just out of your reach.

I carry seeds, I carry fire.
I lift the birds, higher and higher.
I have power, I have great force.
I can make all ships alter their course.

But, in the dark, when we’re alone in the night,
I am your breath, the whisper of life.
I am your friend; since your very first gasp.
And I will be with you til you breathe your last.

I am the wind, I am the air.
I am the breeze that plays in your hair.

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I am not a gargoyle!

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Very pleased to meet you, my name’s Doil.
Though I’m a grotesque, not a bloody gargoyle!
Those ‘goyles, you see, shoot rain out their spouts.
Whereas us grotesques all just sit about.

Come rain or shine, we are your lofty charms.
We scare away things of misfortune or harm.
But it’s lonely up here where the wind does play,
So blow us a kiss and make our day!

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Hail, Lady Moon

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I asked The Moon,
“Dear Lady, how is it to be The Moon?”
She sighed,
“Child, I have a heart that breaks and heals and breaks again.”

I asked The Moon,
“Why Lady, do you grieve so?”
She whispered,
“When men see me in my glory, they remember how much they love me,
and we dance like joyful lovers.
When I am quiet and dark, they forget me. I must dance alone.”

I asked The Moon,
“Beautiful Lady, why then do you go from our sight?”
She breathed in my ear,
“Because those faithful souls who truly work my magic will do so in the velvet blackness. It is they who heal me and persuade me to return once more to shine for those in need.
These silent, invisible ones are my children, the shadow walkers, the cloud sailors.
They are with me, in the dark. ”

I asked The Moon,
“My Lady, may I love you thus?”
She kissed my brow, “Why dearest one, you have always belonged to me. I have watched you sleep each night, sang my secrets into your dreams. We are as one.”

She sighed and shook her platinum hair, “Now come to me, let us paint the trees silver and keep the people from their slumber.
It is time to dance behind the clouds and set the dogs a-barking.
Come to me, my very own, my beloved Moonchild.”

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St. George’s Day 2014

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Today is a day to pay respects to my English heritage. Therefore, I make no apologies for the origins of the blood in my veins.
I love my Mother Country, her gentle curves, her secret groves. I love her brutal moors and dramatic shoreline. I honour her quiet places and her ancient stones.

In the marrow of my bones is the rich soil of her lands, the chalk of the south and the granite of the north. Her tides ebb and flow along the estuaries and fill the bays and coves; so, too, my life and experiences flow and flood

Nestled in the mighty oak or hidden under a summer willow; there you will find my peaceful heart. Sown throughout the fields – both young green and wise gold – is the story of my life. The blackbird sings me home and the buttercups celebrate my return.

This is my England.
Noble, ancient, magnificent, beautiful.

Today, I rejoice in having been born in such a blessèd country.
Today, more than ever, I am English and proud.

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The shadow of a gecko

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I was feeling cut adrift, whirling loose in the wind. Like a piece of sail ripped from its lashing.
My mind churned, spitting out worries like cherry stones.
The clock shouted time’s passage with each clock-click tock-tick tic-tac-toe.
Lists upon lists upon lists in a tower of to-do. Lists listlessly listing, tilting, toppling; balanced upon the acropolis of my thoughts.
Anxious energies were stealing the oxygen. My heart was trying to escape my ribs in an attempt to reclaim the precious air.
The spiralling whirlwind picked me up and span me, spun me, would not stop spinning me.
From the corner of my dizzy eye I caught a movement.
I looked.
I looked again.
The world stop turning.
The flags grew limp, the air grew still and calm stepped back into my presence.

I saw the shadow of a gecko on the wall.
A shadow on the wall.
The tiny shape clung and cleaved to the impossible surface.
Amid the maelstrom, the creature moved with purpose and focus.
Its shadow lay on the wall, reminding me to be. Just be.
I am only a shadow, and the wall is not my experience; it is merely one of many ways that I express myself.
I am the gecko in the light.
It’s my shadow that is feeling the wall, that is all.

The shadow of a gecko guided me home.

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In praise of the witches’ cackle

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In popular culture, the witch is often portrayed as an ageing crone, chanting over a steaming cauldron and cackling in the moonlight.

Moonlight, cauldron, crone, chanting; we understand the significance of all of these. The significance of the cackling, however, is harder to define.
Is it diabolical ecstasy or a sign of madness? Are we drunk on power or dizzy with the moon?

The answer to these questions is very simple.

We witches cackle because when we get together it is impossible to keep a straight face. The outside world looks on as we invoke our gods and goddesses; perhaps thinking that we greet them stony-faced and in mournful humour.
The reality being that, as each entity and energy draws close we feel the power and joy that they bring.

No-one can experience the dark humour of Hecate or the mischief of the Elementals without a little grin. How many times have we giggled as the candles blow out, or the charcoal won’t catch light? When we stop taking it all so seriously and just enjoy our craft and our rituals, laughter surely follows.

In our community, we are blessed with the company of like-minded souls, misfits and raggle-taggle wanderers. We gather together, as one, in our motley crew then we form a circle and celebrate. We dance, we sing, we cast and we laugh because we have pushed away our cares for a while. We are in the presence of our ancestors, our deities and our magical family.

In the witches’ cackle is the beauty of belonging, the joy of sharing and the song of our soul.

To our cackling brothers and sisters: we hear ourselves in your laughter and we bless you for your happy noise.

Our circle is open but unbroken.

~ Youthemeus

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