Temple Newsletter #11

Welcome fellow seekers to this edition of the weekly newsletter of Temple Of the Standing Stones. I am Cianaodh Óg, High Priest and guy who should know better but never seems to learn.

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #10.

It's OK to change your opinion based on new information.
It’s OK to change your opinion based on new information.

“Pagans don’t have a holy book, they have libraries.” -Phaedra Bonewits

Two of the most frequent questions I see from Seekers who make an intial contact with our temple via the Contact form on the website are:

“Are you accepting new members.”

Yes! Yes, Temple Of the Standing Stones is always happy to have new friends to work, learn and play with. We and other member groups of Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition are very friendly and accepting people. Of course, as with any group you may wish to become a part of for any reason, whether it is a spiritual group, a hobby club or an athletic organization even, are you and the group a good fit? Well, the best way to figure that out is you have to get to know each other. So, by all means, RSVP to one of our many open events (We have something going on almost every single weekend and come out to meet us. Register on our forum and take part in the discussion on the plethora of topics already going there. Talk to us, ask us questions, hang out a little bit. Even if we come to the conclusion that we’re not exactly right for each other, we might be able to help you find a group that better fits your tastes. There are many different flavors of Paganism in the world and it’s not unusual for folks to try a few before finding one that’s right for them.

The other very frequent question is:

“How do I go about joining.”

Well, first we have to get through the getting to know each other phase as mentioned above. Another step that we have available for prospective members is a Member Questionnaire which you may obtain here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/k6mpb2vpq0ovybo/Questionnaire.docx?dl=0

If you’re thinking of joining feel free to print the Questionnaire out and bring it along with you when you come to meet with us at one of our gatherings or you may fill it out on your computer and email it to templehp@templeofthestones.org if you wish. Be sure to check out our Seekers’ Orientation materials on the website under the About Us tab too so you’re more familiar with our way of looking at things and doing things. If that doesn’t scare you off come on out and see us! You will find while reading the Seekers’ Orientation stuff that there are different levels at which one may choose to become a member of our temple depending on what you are looking for and what you hope to get out of the experience of being a member of Temple Of the Standing Stones. But we welcome anyone who comes with an open heart and open mind. So don’t be afraid to reach out to us with any questions you may have.

– Cianaodh

This week’s contribution from the tribe comes from Cynthia who sent in this outstanding original poem she wrote. Thank you Cynthia!

“Our candles are lit
The drumming has begun
Our Circle is cast at the
Setting of the sun
Our spells we weave
Our Offerings we make
To honor the lord and lady
And life’s seasons celebrate.”

Cynthia says, “This is the first poem I’ve written in years feels good to write again.”

If anyone else has some original poetry, artwork or other creative work they would like to share in the next or other future newsletters please let me know at templehp@templeofthestones.org. I’m always happy to show off the talents of our tribe!

Upcoming Temple Events:

Beltane Crafts Weekend   – Saturday, April 25th and Sunday April 26th at Cianaodh’s house.Beltane is coming and we have a portable May Pole to refurbish, decorations to make and workshops to plan for.

Beltane Weekend at Tanglewood   – Friday, May 1st to Sunday May 3rd. Camping and fun for members and guests of Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition. Contact us for more details.

Music and Dancing Night   – Friday, May 8th. Gather at 7pm, start at 8pm at Wahya and Ta’li Seabhac’s house in Venus. This will be the first of our new 2nd and 4th Friday of each month get togethers for music and dancing. Already know how to play an instrument or dance? Come on over and join the fun! Haven’t yet explored these talents? We’ll teach ya some easy stuff to get started with! Address will be given to registered guests. Please use Contact form for more info.

We’re Taking A Weekend Off!   – Saturday, May 9th and Sunday May 10th. After Beltane we decided it might be good to take a breather so we can all get some much needed rest and catch up on projects at our homes. But we’ll be back at it next week so stay

You can always check our upcoming events on the Temple Calendar at the website: http://templeofthestones.org/calendar/

If you would like to help support our efforts please consider chipping in through our Meetup Group: http://templeofthestones.org/chip-in/

Health and Blessings!

Cianaodh Óg – High Priest of Temple Of the Standing Stones – Arlington, Texas

Temple Newsletter #10

Welcome fellow seekers to this edition of the weekly newsletter of Temple Of the Standing Stones. I am Cianaodh Óg, High Priest and fellow seeker of wisdom.

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #9.

Devotee Sabari offering fruits to Lord Rama (Statues at Simhachalam, Andhra Pradesh)
Devotee Sabari offering fruits to Lord Rama (Statues at Simhachalam, Andhra Pradesh)

Sometimes when we who have devoted our lives to the work of clergy are approached by seekers it is seemingly as if those who are seeking are expecting to meet a guru on top of a mountain who may impart great wisdom and enlightenment in just a few words. Nothing could be farther from the truth however. All of us within Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition are just regular people who have ordinary lives. We’re parents, employees or business owners, we have vices and character flaws. We are just basic human beings who have felt the pull of the kindred (our gods, ancestors and nature spirits) to learn and impart onto others what we have learned. We develop and officiate rituals to help ourselves and others connect with the spirit and with one another. We collect prayers, meditations, chants and give classes and workshops to teach techniques which we have learned about or found useful in our own quests for wisdom and enlightenment. But we are not above making mistakes or having our own human struggles to work through. So please, do not put us on a pedestal. It’s a long fall down from there.

This week’s contribution from the tribe come’s from our brother Ta’li Seabhac who has found this recipe for Beltane Cakes which he says he plans to make and bring out to share at Beltane. Thank you Ta’li Seabhac!

TOTAL TIME
7hrs
PREP 1 hr
COOK 6 hrs

This is a cake for celebrating sexuality and bringing out the sex god/dess in everyone. It is a rich, intensely flavorful cake loaded with aphrodisiac ingredients. I served it at a 2005 Beltane gathering and it was devoured with passion.

INGREDIENTS
Nutrition
SERVINGS 12-24
3 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1⁄2 nut nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cloves
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3⁄4 cup milk
1⁄2 cup brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1⁄2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1 ounce damiana extract
1 1⁄2 cups butter
1 lb dark brown sugar
6 eggs
375 ml amaretto liqueur
cocoa powder
DIRECTIONS

Have all ingredients at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a large bundt pan.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave then set aside to cool.
In a small bowl mix milk, brandy, vanilla extract, ginger and damiana extract.
In a large bowl, cream the butter.
Add the brown sugar to the butter and beat until fluffy.
Beat the eggs, one at a time, into the butter mixture.
When the chocolate has cooled to body temperature, mix it into the butter mixture.
Alternately add the flour mixture and milk mixture to the butter mixture in small amounts at a time.
Bake for 2 hours, or until done (knife test).
Let the cake cool for 20 minutes, then remove from pan.
Allow the cake to cool fully, then invert it into a bowl that is just large enough to hold it, but no larger.
Pierce the cake bottom (now on top) in several (8-10) places with a skewer, being careful not to go all the way through.
Pour about 1/5th of the amaretto over the cake. When it has all been absorbed, add another 1/5th of the amaretto. Continue until all of the amaretto has been absorbed by the cake. This will take at least several hours. Keep the bowl covered during this time.
When all of the amaretto has been absorbed, gently invert the cake onto a plate. The cake is soaked with amaretto, thus every bump or brush will leave a scar, so treat it delicately.
Dust the cake with cocoa powder until there is a layer of dry powder (the first applications will soak up moisture).
Keep the cake covered until serving. It will get better if you wait 8-24 hours, but can be eaten immediately.
This cake is very rich and intensely flavorful, so serve small slices. Also, you might want to let guests know that it contains a fair amount of alcohol.

If anyone else has some original poetry, artwork or other creative work they would like to share in the next or other future newsletters please let me know at templehp@templeofthestones.org. I’m always happy to show off the talents of our tribe!

Upcoming Temple Events:

April New Hare Moon  – Saturday, April 18th  7pm. TONIGHT! This will be our first ever New Moon ritual held by our temple. This event will be open to the public and you are welcome to wear your ritual robes if you have them or just dress in casual attire of your choosing. It will be hosted at Wahya and Ta’li Seabhac’s home in Venus. Address will be given to registered guests.

Possible Tanglewood Cleanup Make-up Day – Sunday, April 19th All Day. Since we didn’t make it down to the land on the weekend of the 10th to 12th due to weather reports, perhaps on this day we will make a day trip to get some work done at the campsite.

Beltane Crafts Weekend   – Saturday, April 25th and Sunday April 26th at Cianaodh’s house.Beltane is coming and we have a portable May Pole to refurbish, decorations to make and workshops to plan for.

Beltane Weekend at Tanglewood   – Friday, May 1st to Sunday May 3rd. Camping and fun for members and guests of Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition. Contact us for more details.

You can always check our upcoming events on the Temple Calendar at the website: http://templeofthestones.org/calendar/

If you would like to help support our efforts please consider chipping in through our Meetup Group: http://templeofthestones.org/chip-in/

Health and Blessings!

Cianaodh Óg – High Priest of Temple Of the Standing Stones – Arlington, Texas

Temple Newsletter #9

Welcome fellow seekers to this edition of the weekly newsletter of Temple Of the Standing Stones. I am Cianaodh Óg, High Priest and fellow seeker of wisdom.

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #8.

I have been reading from Ceisiwr Serith’s book ‘A Book Of Pagan Prayer’ a lot lately and sharing excerpts that I find particularly inspirational and enlightening on our forum and on Facebook. Perhaps to the point that others might be getting annoyed with me and for that I apologize but I am enjoying this book immensely! Anyway, the other day I posted this on our forum:

“…he discusses techniques in one chapter that can be employed to compose one’s own prayers and he discusses the pros and cons and the arguments given regarding Set Prayers (ones which are already written) versus Spontaneous Prayers (ones you make up on the fly). He says that you can impress the gods with your sincerity by speaking what you truly feel. But he also notes that while some who are opposed to set prayers feel that all prayers should come from the heart or that they lack sincerity or authenticity and that while he can get behind this principle he doesn’t think that it has anything to do with the legitimacy of set prayers.

I can see where he’s coming from on this. Think about all of those times you’ve heard a song on the radio or wherever and the words of the song spoke to you perfectly and expressed exactly what you might be going through at a particular time in your life or a memory of another time. Those words to that song were written by someone else at another time but they still legitimately expressed how you may be feeling in your own heart. That expression is still sincere even if you yourself did not write the words to the song. It’s the same with prayers. If they fit the situation then they fit. It’s certainly a wonderful thing to write your own if the words come to you and that’s a powerful gift indeed. But using another’s prayer if it truly fits is not lacking in authenticity or sincerity if the words express how you truly feel. The gods will appreciate the offering if it is given from the heart. ”

If you would like to add some thoughts to this or perhaps carry on a discussion about another subject you may find this particular post on the forum in Outer Court Chat under the heading Spontaneous Prayer. Please drop by the forum: http://templeofthestones.org/forum/

This week’s contribution from the tribe come’s from sister Kennocha who has shared this recipe for the Rumchata Pudding Shots which she and her family brought to our Ostara celebrartion at Wahya and Ta’li Seabhac’s home and we’re hoping she will bring again at Beltane. Thank you Kennocha!
Rumchata Pudding Shots

1 package of Jello INSTANT cheesecake pudding mix
3/4 cup of milk
3/4 cup of Rumchata
1 8 ounce package of Cool Whip
Cinnamon Graham Crackers

Mix first four ingredients together.
Divide mixture into shot glasses/cups.
Grind graham crackers and sprinkle over each serving.
Freeze.
Enjoy!

If anyone else has some original poetry, artwork or other creative work they would like to share in the next or other future newsletters please let me know at templehp@templeofthestones.org. I’m always happy to show off the talents of our tribe!

In addition to this, I would like to reach out to anyone else who might be looking for sources of information and training on Shamanic and Native American spirituality. Kennocha put together, back in February, a wealth of great resources worth checking out on the subject, some local, some online and a list of books. If anyone needs a copy of this information packet entitled ‘A Few Shamanic Resources’ please let me know. I have about 5 copies left in my purple Temple Business binder available for sharing and can make more copies on request.

Upcoming Temple Events:

April New Hare Moon  – Saturday, April 18th  7pm. This will be our first ever New Moon ritual held by our temple. This event will be open to the public and you are welcome to wear your ritual robes if you have them or just dress in casual attire of your choosing. It will be hosted at Wahya and Ta’li Seabhac’s home in Venus. Address will be given to registered guests.

Possible Tanglewood Cleanup Make-up Day – Sunday, April 19th All Day. Since we didn’t make it down to the land on the weekend of the 10th to 12th due to weather reports, perhaps on this day we will make a day trip to get some work done at the campsite.

Beltane Crafts Weekend   – Saturday, April 25th and Sunday April 26th at Cianaodh’s house.Beltane is coming and we have a portable May Pole to refurbish, decorations to make and workshops to plan for.

You can always check our upcoming events on the Temple Calendar at the website: http://templeofthestones.org/calendar/

If you would like to help support our efforts please consider chipping in through our Meetup Group: http://templeofthestones.org/chip-in/

Health and Blessings!

Cianaodh Óg – High Priest of Temple Of the Standing Stones – Arlington, Texas

Questionnaire

Temple of the Standing Stones Member Questionnaire
Potential member of Temple of the Standing Stones: We ask that all our new members fill out this small questionnaire so that we can better get to know them, and possibly assist them on their journey. Thank you for your cooperation! Please feel free to use the back of the pages if you feel like you need to add more information. You may return this form in person, or to templehp@templeofthestones.org
1. What do you hope to get out of being a member of Temple of the Standing Stones?
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
2. What do you think will be your favorite part of being a member of Temple of the Standing Stones?
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
3. Do you currently follow any particular path of Paganism, or identify with any particular Pagan label?
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
4. Please tell us a little bit about your background in Paganism. Feel free to include such details as length of time studying, favorite books you have read, any groups or covens you have belonged to previously, and/or any other information you think is appropriate.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
5. Are there any areas of study that you would like focus on with your fellow Temple Members?
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
6. Do you have any knowledge or skills that you would be willing to conduct a class on?
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

7. Do you work with any particular pantheon of Gods, or have any patron Gods or Goddesses?
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
8. What are your favorite parts of ritual/spell working? Or, what do you think will be?
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
9. Do you have any physical limitations (such as not being able to sit/stand for long periods of time, unable to perform a spiral dance, etc.) or mental limitations (such as fear of public speaking, boundary issues related to touch, etc.) that might impact your abilities to participate in various portions of rituals/spell working? If so, do you know of any ways we can accommodate you?
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
10. Do you have any food restrictions (such as vegan or gluten free) or intolerances (such as allergies or sensitivities)?
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
11. Do you have any objections to having your name or image used in any of our temple publications? If so, would you rather be omitted or do you have a magical name or pseudonym you would like to use?
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
12. What were your general impressions of the seeker’s packet?
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
13. Do you hope to go beyond the dedicant level and initiate as a Priest or Priestess of Temple of the Standing Stones?
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank You For Your Time!

Temple Newsletter #8

Welcome fellow seekers to this edition of the weekly newsletter of Temple Of the Standing Stones. I am Cianaodh Óg, High Priest and fellow seeker of wisdom.

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #7 .

Daniel Quinn speaks a great deal in his novels about Mother Culture. According to him, we have all listened to the voice of Mother Culture since we were born and are so accustomed to listening to it that we don’t even know we’re hearing it when we do. Mother Culture encourages us to maintain the status quo, to follow the herd, to fit in. Even as we watch the herd stampede off the edge of the cliff Mother Culture tells us to stay the course. One thing I have often taken pride in with Pagan culture is that we tend to be more awake to different ideas, unique strategies and exploring trails off of the beaten path. But we are not immune to a lifetime of mainstream culture’s programming. We too, sometimes succumb to Mother Culture’s alluring voice. So, when you’re faced with a decision about a thing ask yourself “Am I listening to my own heart and spirit or am I doing what Mother Culture tells me to do?”

Or, as my friend Carla Hargrove recently said:

image

This week’s contribution from the tribe come’s from Amy Wilson who has shared this beautiful owl painting she has done with us. Thank you Amy!

image

If anyone else has some original poetry, artwork or other creative work they would like to share in the next or other future newsletters please let me know at templehp@templeofthestones.org. I’m always happy to show off the talents of our tribe!

Upcoming Temple Events:

April Esbat – Flower Moon  – Saturday, April 4th  7pm at Cianaodh’s house. Skyclad- Initiated Clergy, Spouses and Candidates ONLY

Tanglewood Cleanup / Camping   – Friday, April 10th til Sunday April 12th at Tanglewood. We will be painting the bathroom house, clearing dead wood and other projects to make ready for upcoming camping events.

April New Hare Moon  – Saturday, April 18th  7pm. This will be our first ever New Moon ritual held by our temple. This event will be open to the public and you are welcome to wear your ritual robes if you have them or just dress in casual attire of your choosing. It will be hosted at Wahya and Ta’li Seabhac’s home in Venus. Address will be given to registered guests.

Movie Night!   – Friday, April 24th at 7pm, Cianaodh’s house. Come join us for a showing of ‘What The Bleep?!’. We’ll have popcorn, other snacks and refreshments as well as all your temple friends.

You can always check our upcoming events on the Temple Calendar at the website: http://templeofthestones.org/calendar/

If you would like to help support our efforts please consider chipping in through our Meetup Group: http://templeofthestones.org/chip-in/

Health and Blessings!

Cianaodh Óg – High Priest of Temple Of the Standing Stones – Arlington, Texas