cross-posted to solitarywiccans, elaborating on a post by puzleves:
one of my favorite fictional scenes involving ceremonial magicians is from Katherine Kurtz's "Deryni" universe, in a short story called "Healer's Song." Kurtz's Deryni are a race of magic-users, and the tales are essentially medieval sword-and-sorcery. But this particular short story is about the christening of the son of one of the main characters.
The ritual framework is like this:
Cast the circle (water, incense, then with a sword or knife)
Close the circle and acknowledge the Deity
Call the quarters-this was particularly lovely. In the tradition of the characters, magic is practiced within a Christian framework, so the Wardens of the Quarters are visualized as Archangels. Four of the group stood in the Quarters and the father of the child went from east-south-west-north with the baby, presenting him to each Warden in turn. Adjust the visualizations to your tradition.
Once the Quarters are called, move forward with the actual work. The rubrics of a Christian baptism aren't all that bad a foundation here, just change the purpose. Christian baptism is to wash away "original sin." Make this a dedication to Lady Goddess and Father God, and we're in business.
Now, for the actual work. Anoint the child with the Four Elements:
Gather the materials to be used (listed below) on the altar and consecrate them to the Goddess. keep this short; remember, you've got a baby in the circle who isn't going to stay still forever. Then anoint the child:
Air: use a censor or perhaps stick incense to circle the child with a pleasant blend.
Fire: burn some sage or other dried herb using a Goddess candle, smudge the child's forehead with the ash.
Water: Sprinkle the child with blessed water using a tuft of greenery, perhaps some of the sage you didn't burn
Earth: Anoint with an essential oil invoking health or wisdom, perhaps something seasonal.
Formally "name" the child, presenting him/her once again to the Wardens of the Quarters as the name is given.
Dedicate the child to the Goddess and God, asking them to watch and guide the child as s/he grows and can make a decision for itself.
Thank the Goddess, God, and the Wardens for their attendance, Break the circle, ground with a simple (or not-so-simple) feast.
If you're going to invite family and friends outside your tradition, possibly chalk out or mark off the circle with string or ribbon, and invite the guests to gather along the edge of the circle. Bring the coven or those assisting you into the circle for the work.
What a lovely time and so much fun could be done with a baby-naming!
...a tune from One Mind Brass Band...
There's an article this morning on NPR about the Komen for the Cure meltdown. The piece leads with Brinker's video response that says no, it's really not a political thing. But the meat is a few grafs down:
The latest controversy appears to have begun last month. An evangelical Christian group called Lifeway was selling pink bibles for Komen. But Lifeway discovered Komen was giving Planned Parenthood money.
"As soon as people figured out the link between Komen and Planned Parenthood — that there was a funding link there — Lifeway pulled all the bibles off the shelves immediately," said Amy Black, a political scientist at Wheaton College outside Chicago who studies evangelical Christians. "This was the kind of thing that captured a lot of activists' attention."
Lifeway is a big player in Christian publishing, with both online and physical presences (NOLA folks: there's a Lifeway store in the old Gentilly Woods Shopping Center, next to the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary). Ever look at what's for sale at a "Christian" bookstore? The quality of the merchandise is usually pretty horrid. A gimmick like pink bibles would mean a big boost in their sales. Give the political and religious connections Komen for the Cure has to right-wing politicians and businesses, this is no surprise.
So, Lifeway finds out Komen is hooked with Planned Parenthood and blows a gasket. Who will ever buy stuff from them again if they find out those pink bibles are killing babies?
From Oslo, a "Lokaltog" pulling into National Theater Station in downtown. It's my ride to Lysaker, the 'burb just to the west of the city where a lot of the tech companies have their offices.
Public transit in Oslo is comparatively inexpensive. A 7-day tourist pass that covers commuter rail (this train, for example), trolleys, and buses, costs NOK220, which is about US$38.
Cafe' Rosenhuset is a little place across the street from my hotel in Vedbaek, which is along the straits just north of Copenhagen. Since I don't do "data roaming" when I'm in Europe and this place doesn't have wi-fi, I bring the android tablet with me and get a bit of reading/writing done in the afternoons.