In the full force of a Californian winter, in the thickest of the rainfalls, PantheaCon convened.
This is the largest witches gathering on Earth. More then two thousand pagan folks, from many traditions come together to share workshops, rituals and just visiting. Lots of young women and men, spilled out from San Jose airport, faces saying, let me get to my room, and change and hope I am not missing any hot parties or rituals.
The elevators worked full blast until one of them got “possessed” and would take people only to two floors, the bottom one and the highest one on the tenth floor. And, that’s where the private parties were held.
Granny rehab had herself a brand new wheelchair. A nice one from Craig’s list. The chrome shined, the brakes worked, the leather seat was comfortable. We used its back to hang on more things we needed to carry. Granny Rehab went in style.
Granny Rehab was presiding over two major rituals. One was well worn in, for five years, the Self-Blessing ritual, for women only.
The purpose of this one is to confront our reality, our bodies and change the paradigm with which we as women look at ourselves.
It’s possible you know to bamboozle even the smartest of us with constant barrage of negative female body messages. They show us the magazines in which even the thin models who had no other food for years but a leaf of lettuce, even those are air brushed to make them look ethereal, slimmer, or just dead. Women in those low-weight mass don’t even bleed every month. Mother Nature thinks fertility is wasted on them since they don’t nourish themselves. You’ve got to have a little fat for being able to nourish a baby.
So who is the good woman? Or the good enough woman? It’s a dead woman.
We have asked the women to step in front of a tall mirror, naked, and bless themselves with holy water, a mix of water and wine. Both are symbols of transformation.
Then dipping their fingers into the holy water, touch five points on themselves, while we all sing the Blessings song.
First the head.
Bless me mother for I am your child.
This one is received with arms stretched out, hugging the invisible.
This is momentous. We declared ourselves the child of the Great Mother, not a father. A potent heresy. This is when the magic begins. The self-transformation.
Bless my eyes to see your ways!
The women touch their eyes, lingering behind the darkness of their palms.
How often do we not see? Do we see the planet in her beauty, in our senses, and without? Do we KNOW who she is, this invisible omnipresent entity, this planet whose origins are our origins? How mind blowing is this? We are the same stuff, as the stars. Lunar primates, arrived at the historical geological scene just last few minutes, and already over ran the Earth with our kind.
We need to SEE her Ways.
Respect, adjust, flourish.
Bless my nose to smell your essence!
Here we are talking about smelling the Life around us. Smells have the most brain cells assigned, smelling gives deep knowing. Her essence smells good to us. It’s exciting and pleasurable.
Bless my lips to speak of your name.
Touching the lips, wetting them with wine and water. Joy and life juice.
Here the women take a deep breath. All our fears about cancer rises up in our throats as we sing.
Bless my breasts, formed in Strength and Beauty.
Indeed bless our breasts. Mammalian breasts. Species maintaining breasts. Much maligned and criticized tits. To big, to small, to old to young. Never good enough, poor tits. They need work. They need lifting. They need correcting; they are just not good enough.
If women spent the money they spend to “correct” their tits for the current fashion fascists, on KNOWLEDGE, we could have found the cure for cancer by now.
Bless our tits with health. For strength, and beauty.
Bless my belly for Pleasure and Life.
Ohh, ohhh the BELLY! Poor belly has a war waged on her daily. Belly which is the center of transformation, we put in our food there and we get energy to live and love, and make money. Food equals life, equals a happy tummy.
Millions of dollars are spent on tummy tucks, diets, workout gyms. We think we have to use less room in the universe. We believe that having a flat tummy will bring us love. This has been like this ever since I came to this country. At one point I lived on metrical for a month, lost all the second baby fat, got flat tummy. NO matter. Nothing has changed. You can be slim and very unhappy. Very lonely.
Bless my feet to walk in your path.
Here it is. The mission. Find your mission, and pursue happiness, walk the path of Peace. But wars follow us, and now the climate change is coming. Older folks hope they won’t see it, Granny Rehab worries that
She will see it, and perish. Like those skeletons from Pompeii, who didn’t flee as the rest of the citizens.
Women want to walk in the path of peace. Often we don’t know how. We attack each other, we accept the lie that women need men to survive emotionally, and hence we can never be friends with each other but only contestants. If you are gay, at least this part is not a pressure, since lesbians learned how to hang together one ex-lover at a time. A family of women. One clique at a time.
Finally the ritual ends as it has started. Arms to the sky, singing …
Bless me Mother for I am your child!
Embracing the transformation, feeling the connection to the divine.