Category Archives: Public

What Exactly Does Being In The Clergy Entail?

So one morning, I was greeted with this message about clergy as I was preparing to start my day…

Good morning. Quick question when you get a chance. I mentioned on the questionnaire that I might possibly look at the priesthood and initiation for your tradition. What exactly does the priesthood entail as far as duties, participation and the such. If you can message back or email that would be great. Thanks and Blessed Be!

See, it’s those “quick” questions that will get you nearly every time. Because there is no “quick” way to answer such a question when the querent requests an exact answer for an ambiguously defined role. It’s sort of akin to asking, what exactly a parent does or what exactly a doctor does, or what are the duties, participation and such expected of a member of a marching band. Well, it depends on which instrument they choose to play for one thing. It might depend on what specialty the doctor chooses to practice in or the subject and grade level the teacher is teaching. What’s your parenting style? There are a myriad of ways to approach such broad subjects and especially within an open and eclectic framework such as we employ within Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition. Because, you see, when Arachne Crowsinger, Sera Freya, and myself joined to form this tradition, even though we had all separated from the same previous tradition, we also had other backgrounds in various Pagan and other spiritual thoughts which we wanted to be free to explore and pass on with other seekers. So we purposefully, left a lot of things open to each, individual, member group to pursue as they saw fit so long as the path of study and practice remained true to the tradition vision statement:

An organization that welcomes any pagan spiritual path that brings its members to be in balance and harmony with the universe.

Therefore, what Temple Of the Standing Stones does might not necessarily be what Mystic Willow Coven does when it comes to cultural focus, esbat styles or concepts of the divine. We celebrate the diversity of thoughts and beliefs and focus primarily on our practices. Orthopraxy. We do the things together. You may take one thing from the experience and I may take something completely different from it. But we experience it together and grow from it. Clergy has the role of facilitating experiences for the seekers. If you initiate into the priesthood you will be undertaking the role of a person who is there to support seekers on their path in whatever capacity you may. If you are a 1st degree, help the initiates prepare to advance by teaching them about altar set up, tools, the elements, basic ritual format, roles. If you are 2nd degree then help the 1st, and so on. There are some basic expectations at each degree level and we don’t typically publish these publicly but I will share a piece from our initiate to first degree requirements for advancement at the tradition level:

From Initiate to 1st DEGREE – ANY QUESTIONS , PLEASE SEE YOUR HP &/OR HPS

_____ ENERGY WORK – Know how to focus, center and ground your energy; shielding yourself from others influence; also proper energy work within a circle. This is a taught form and is somewhat subjective. Questions will be asked regarding knowledge of what this is and how to do it. Student may be asked to lead a meditation for the group to demonstrate one’s knowledge regarding a technique to ground energy.
_____ Write or give an oral presentation report about Wicca/Paganism 101. Discuss with your groups Elder for approval and/or guidance before beginning your research. If a written report is give it shall be no less than 2 pages. The specs of what is required will be in another handout.
_____ Start to explore meditation. Start with once a week for the 1st month, twice a week the 2nd month, and increasing 1 day every week, every month until it is ultimately daily. Write or give an oral presentation on what you learned/experienced from meditating. If a written report is given, it shall be no less than 1 page. The specs of what is required will be in another handout.
_____ Explore divination. Find a method that works for you with some degree of accuracy. There are various methods out there, tarot, runes, I Ching, Ogham sticks, Lithomancy, Dream craft, Scrying, Pyromancy, Radiesthesia etc. Discuss with your groups Elder for approval and/or guidance before beginning your research. An Elder may ask you to perform a reading for them or ask you to explain the technique. This is to determine if you have done this assignment or not.
_____ Be able to do a quarter call or equivalent. You may be asked to perform a quarter call or your path’s equivalent on the spot by one of the Elders, at any time. This request may not occur in circle, so make sure you have a least one of them memorized. The style of the call is up to the student.
_____ Leadership skill awareness. Start asking yourself what skills are needed to lead a group and are you meant to do this. Provide feedback about ritual to group members and the Elder(s) about what you felt worked and didn’t work during the ritual. Make sure the Elder is aware of the feedback, i.e., send it in writing or make sure that an Elder is present and hears you giving the feedback to the people acting ritual leaders.
_____ Have and know what we call “elevator speeches.” This is a quick summation of what the subject is about. You are expected to have these prepared for at least the following subjects, maybe more depending on group:
_____ 1) Vision Statement of Spirit of the Sycamore Tradition. “Spirit of the Sycamore tradition is an organization that welcomes any group on a pagan spiritual path that brings its members to be in balance and harmony with the Universe.”
_____ 2) What is Wicca
_____ 3) What is Druidism
_____ 4) What is Paganism
_____ 5) What is your personal spiritual path.
An Elder(s) will spontaneously ask you these questions and you are expected to be able to give a coherent answer.
_____ The Initate will pick a ritual style type (Wiccan, Druid, Sumerian, etc.) and tell us about the various roles within the ritual and what these roles entail doing. Write or give an oral presentation on what you learned/experienced from meditating. If a written report is given, it shall be no less than 1 page. The specs of what is required will be in another handout.

You will be presented with a similar set of expectations at each level of clergy advancement and will have plenty of time to work through these and become proficient by the time you choose (yes, you choose) to come forward and ask to advance to the next level. There is a traditional minimum of a year and a day for each level along the clergy path but if life gets in the way and you have to put your spiritual studies on hold then you are not held to a certain timeline. If it takes you 3, or 4 or more years then that is okay. We’ll be here when you’re ready. But there will not be accelerated advancements or short cuts in our clergy training program. We are also, very much a participatory tradition. If one wishes to advance, one must be present at our functions. We have a requirement of 70% attendance by clergy within a calendar year before one is considered to be eligible for advancement. With 8 Sabbats, 13 Esbats and other various function it’s not difficult to make enough to be eligible. Being there is a big part of everything really. We didn’t set out to establish another correspondence course or online witch school. We are a participatory tradition and expect participation. A lot of what we pass on is done in person, orally and learned by doing, not by reading about it. We need to see you doing it. What ever it is, in order to evaluate your proficiency for clergy advancement.

Skyclad Embracement

​Because Temple Of the Standing Stones respects the concepts of naturism and freedom we provide an environment in our camping spaces and some of our gatherings where those who wish to be skyclad, free from the judgement of puritan based society or those modern fabrications of the notions of beauty, purity and what constitutes “proper” bodily adornments may do so in peace.

Not all within Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition embrace these concepts so these skyclad freedom zones are marked by signs declaring the space as clothing optional. Not everyone who enters such zones has to necessarily be skyclad but they must respect the freedom and rights of others to do so in a safe, loving, judgement free environment.

These are safe zones for those who wish to commune with nature and spirits in their own way so if the human body offends you be aware you enter such spaces at your own risk. You will not be judged if you choose not to participate in the skyclad activities (except designated skyclad rituals) but judgement of those who do so in these zones will not be tolerated.

Even the Charge of the Goddess says “and as a sign that you truly be free, you shall be naked in your rites”.

Blessed Be.

Please also see this wonderful article on skyclad workings

Cianaodh’s Corner #1

image
My Bedside Altar

Different people come to esoteric paths for different reasons. Some are seeking instruction in the magickal arts or others with whom to practice them. Some are seeking connection with their gods, their ancestors, nature and/or earth. Some are interested in paranormal events and researching those inexplicable things which happen as one realm of existence crosses paths with another. In Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition we are interested in all of these things but if there was one thing I would have to point to as primary in our pursuit it would be the seeking of a connection with those Kindred through whom many of our ancestors experienced the world in which they lived. Through ritual, myth, songs and stories of the gods and other entities in whom our ancestors (all of our ancestors) believed as well as their observances of the cycle of life and the wheel of the year they placed themselves in balance and harmony with the natural world. It is my belief that we have to place ourselves into this state of balance and harmony before effective magickal working can take place. Further, I believe we are better able to observe and make sense of paranormal occurrences when we are in a mind state that is attuned with our environment. So, first and foremost, in Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition and in my own temple, Temple Of the Standing Stones, we focus on ritual and having both a reverence for and relationship with the Kindred in whatever way we perceive of them. I believe the concept of gods is one that is rather elusive for the mortal mind to fully comprehend. We all have our own experiences with something greater than ourselves (or not) and we all take away from those experiences what we will based on our own interpretations and world view. What I might call gods and goddesses, you might consider to be “the universe” or a “collective conscious” and that’s fine. My interpretation is not more or less valid than your own. The important thing for us is the sharing of the experiences and, together, contemplating what they might all mean.

We are seeking to develop a culture of our own through our gatherings at Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition. We like to get together frequently because we genuinely do enjoy one another’s company. We throw around the term “tribe” a lot because we do tend to see ourselves as part of an extended, spiritual family. Oh, we certainly utilize many borrowed elements from the modern Pagan revival which those who have read about or otherwise experienced modern Wicca or other Pagan practices will readily recognize. We mix in some parts of our own which our sisters and brothers of Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition have created. We speak of the old stories and old gods of our ancestors in the present tense because we see them as living entities whose stories are not just something chiseled in stone and covered in dust but living stories still being written each and every day. We say that we are ‘Forging a New Pagan Path” and in our own way we are. We want to be accessible to, not only those who may wish to walk this path with us but also to those who seek to better understand and coexist with us as they continue to walk their own paths. For that reason, the majority of our gatherings are open to anyone who may wish to attend. Please do understand though that those gatherings held at private residences may have attendance limitations due to space considerations. But we want to be the folks you can talk to, hang out with and get to know without being told you have to come with a certain lineage or be initiated by a particular person before you can have a relationship with the gods of your ancestors. It is in your blood and in your spirit. We all have Pagan ancestry and you don’t need a go between to tell you it’s okay to speak with your ancestors. We are here to walk the path with you but we aren’t going to tell you that you need us to walk it for you.

That’s my two cents. That and about 4 bucks might get you a decent cup of coffee.

I’m Cianaodh. Have a Blessed Day.

Cianaodh’s Corner is a sporadically published series of opinion pieces from Cianaodh Óg, High Priest of Temple Of the Standing Stones and a founding elder of Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition. It should be noted that because these articles are opinion pieces, the views expressed here are those of one elder of the tradition and may or may not reflect those of other elders or Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition as a whole. If you have questions, feel free to ask. I am always happy to clarify.

Temple Newsletter #46

Welcome fellow seekers to our new, monthly format edition of the Temple Of the Standing Stones newsletter. I am Cianaodh Óg, High Priest of this temple, an elder of Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition and very much just another ordinary guy trying to figure it all out. Sometimes, we have entries from the tribe here too. If you would like to have something of yours featured, please let us know!

If you missed our last newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #45.

Spirit Of the Sycamore Elders Hotline
Spirit Of the Sycamore Elders Hotline

Happy Gregorian New Year!

As we enter this new cycle of the standard calendar our temple and tradition are undergoing growth and changes which we hope will help us better serve our communities. One thing we are doing differently now is our newsletter will henceforth (fancy word) be published on a monthly timetable rather than weekly. We feel we will be better able to put out a more robust newsletter with timely information and interesting articles if we are not constantly pushing for a weekly deadline. Also, we are hoping to place more focus on content for the Spirit Of the Sycamore YouTube channel which will give us the ability to show and tell you more about ourselves and what we are all about. Please be sure and subscribe to our channel to keep up with our exciting new offerings. 🙂

Nothing is solid yet but talks are underway for Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition to be holding Sabbat rituals in various locations throughout the Dallas / Fort Worth area. There is a possibility of Imbolc in Garland and Litha in Fort Worth but, still, nothing is firm yet so for now, just chalk it up to the rumor mill. 😉

While this newsletter is rather sparse we do plan to roll out some new sections and content in future editions such as an herb of the month, stone of the month or a bit of lore, history and divination. As always, we are happy to include submissions from the tribe so if you have anything of your own creation which you would like to have featured in the next newsletter please do let us know. Have some ideas for content sections you would like to see added? By all means, let us know that too. We’re here to serve. 🙂

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Clergy Business Day – Saturday, January 9th

Our clergy will be taking this day to work on new ritual material and other items for the months ahead to better serve our community. Please feel free to attend our next public gathering on the 16th. 🙂

Temple Day – Electuaries – Saturday, January 16th, 3PM til 11PM

Our temple days are days of crafts, lessons, board games, music and general communing with our tribe. Sometimes we watch a movie together, other times we play board games, sometimes we have impromptu music jam sessions, poetry reading or story telling. The point is to have an opportunity to get to know one another and build the bonds of spiritual family. Won’t you come join in with us?

This Temple Day will be held at Cianaodh’s home in Arlington, Texas. The address will be given upon request to those who plan to attend. The focal point at this Temple Day gathering will be electuaries. If you would like to participate feel free to bring some natural, raw, honey and herbs you would like to infuse your electuary with. Not sure what we’re talking about? Check out this fine article:

http://pixiespocket.com/2012/01/lets-talk-about-what-is-an-electuary.html

What to bring: (Optional)

Camping chair
Craft Items (Varies per event, feel free to inquire)
Your favorite game that you might like to share with the tribe
Instrument For Music and Dance
Item For Potluck Dinner
Cash or Wishlist Donations for Cancer Care Services and/or Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition

RSVP on MeetUp – http://www.meetup.com/Temple-Of-the-Standing-Stones/events/227487996/

Wolf Moon Esbat – Saturday, January 23rd

Our apologies, but Esbats are open to Initiated Clergy, Spouses and Candidates ONLY as these are the times we do our personal magickal workings and hold temple business meetings. Please feel free to attend our next open event though!

Temple Day – Musical Experimentation – Saturday, January 30th, 3PM til 11PM

Our temple days are days of crafts, lessons, board games, music and general communing with our tribe. Sometimes we watch a movie together, other times we play board games, sometimes we have impromptu music jam sessions, poetry reading or story telling. The point is to have an opportunity to get to know one another and build the bonds of spiritual family. Won’t you come join in with us?

This Temple Day will be held at Cianaodh’s home in Arlington, Texas. The address will be given upon request to those who plan to attend. The focal point at this Temple Day gathering will be Musical Experimentation – Please Bring Instruments, Voices and/or Ideas that you would like to share or just some appreciative ears to listen, hands to clap and feet to tap or dance. 🙂

What to bring: (Optional)

Camping chair
Instrument For Music and Dance
Item For Potluck Dinner
Cash or Wishlist Donations for Cancer Care Services and/or Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition

RSVP on MeetUp – http://www.meetup.com/Temple-Of-the-Standing-Stones/

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/

May the kindred bless and keep you,

Cianaodh Óg

Temple Newsletter #45

Welcome fellow seekers to this Yuletide edition of the weekly newsletter of Temple Of the Standing Stones. I am Cianaodh Óg, High Priest of this temple, an elder of Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition and very much just another ordinary guy trying to figure it all out. Sometimes, we have entries from the tribe here too. If you would like to have something of yours featured, please let us know!

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #44.

Merry Yule!
Merry Yule!

Winter Solstice!

Tidings of joy and peace to you and yours in this season of so many stories and traditions passed on from generation to generation. Whatever your religious or cultural leanings you are sure to have a few favorite things which symbolize this return of the sun (or for some, the birth of a son) and ways of celebrating with your friends and family. Whether it’s the seeing a beautifully decorated tree, exchanging gifts, kissing under the mistletoe or singing songs of the season and laughing all the way. 🙂 We’ll be gathered for Yule tonight with our tribe and guests in Arlington with the burning of a Yule log and sprigs of holly as we bid farewell to the reign of the holly king and welcome the rebirth of the oak king while the days begin to grow longer following the Winter Solstice. In Druidic tradition the name of this time is “Alban Arthan”, which is Welsh for “Light of Winter”. According to a more poetic telling of the story, the name is “Alban Arthuan”, which means “Light of Arthur”. According to this tale, Arthur is represented by the Sun. In the Winter, the Sun dies and is reborn just as King Arthur is merely sleeping deep inside a mountain and will awaken when his people need him. By another story, on the longest night, in the darkest time of the year, we celebrate the return of the Divine Child, the Mabon, representing the rebirth of the Sun, who will bring warmth, light and life back to Earth again. Whatever tales are your favorite, won’t you join us in celebrating the rebirth of life and bid farewell once again to the darkness?

UPCOMING EVENTS:

TODAY! Yuletide! – Saturday, December 19th, 5PM til 10PM

Come ring in this Yule with Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition at Cianaodh’s home in Arlington, TX. The address will be provided privately to any who request it upon RSVPing to attend. If you need any info please email templehp@templeofthestones.org. Take part in our ritual and burning of the Yule log then enjoy a fine potluck dinner. We will be doing a white elephant gift exchange with a $20 maximum value so please bring along a wrapped gift if you would like to participate in the fun and games with us. Most anything will do as there will be a couple of rounds of trading or “stealing” so everyone has an opportunity to end up with a gift they are happy with.

What to bring: (Optional)

Camping chair
Instrument For After Ritual Music and Dance
Item For Potluck Feast After Ritual
Food Donations for North Texas Food Bank or Sponsored Families In Need
Cash or Wishlist Donations for Cancer Care Services and/or Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition

RSVP On Meetup – http://www.meetup.com/Temple-Of-the-Standing-Stones/events/227185764/

NEW EVENTS NEXT GREGORIAN YEAR!

Temple Day – Electuaries – Saturday, January 16th, 3PM til 11PM

Our temple days are days of crafts, lessons, board games, music and general communing with our tribe. Sometimes we watch a movie together, other times we play board games, sometimes we have impromptu music jam sessions, poetry reading or story telling. The point is to have an opportunity to get to know one another and build the bonds of spiritual family. Won’t you come join in with us?

This Temple Day will be held at Cianaodh’s home in Arlington, Texas. The address will be given upon request to those who plan to attend. The focal point at this Temple Day gathering will be electuaries. If you would like to participate feel free to bring some natural, raw, honey and herbs you would like to infuse your electuary with. Not sure what we’re talking about? Check out this fine article:

http://pixiespocket.com/2012/01/lets-talk-about-what-is-an-electuary.html

What to bring: (Optional)

Camping chair
Craft Items (Varies per event, feel free to inquire)
Your favorite game that you might like to share with the tribe
Instrument For Music and Dance
Item For Potluck Dinner
Cash or Wishlist Donations for Cancer Care Services and/or Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition

RSVP on MeetUp – http://www.meetup.com/Temple-Of-the-Standing-Stones/events/227487996/

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/

May the kindred bless and keep you,

Cianaodh Óg – HP of Temple Of the Standing Stones – Arlington, Texas and an Elder of Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition.

Temple Newsletter #44

Welcome fellow seekers to this edition of the weekly newsletter of Temple Of the Standing Stones. I am Cianaodh Óg, High Priest of this temple, an elder of Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition and very much just another ordinary guy trying to figure it all out. Sometimes, we have entries from the tribe here too. If you would like to have something of yours featured, please let us know!

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #43.

New Oak Moon!
New Oak Moon!

A relationship with the kindred

We, of Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition, speak often of the gods, our ancestors and spirits of nature and/or place which we collectively call The Kindred. It is a phrase which I first happened upon while studying Druidry with Ár nDraíocht Féin several years ago. I like the way they use the term because it encompasses a wide variety of ideas about who and what we may be seeking to commune with when we say a prayer, hold a ritual or do some magickal working. We all have our own ideas of what the divine may encompass but we can all pretty much tell when we have had a spiritual experience. You feel that you have connected with something beyond yourself and in that connection there is joy, calm and a sense of purpose. We may all come away from that with different ideas and interpretations of what it all means but we can all pretty much agree that we’ve had an experience. That connection is what we are seeking to achieve for ourselves and those who join us at our public rituals. It is our craft as clergy to facilitate that bridge between our realm and the realm of the kindred whether they reside within us or outside of us or both. Ritual is simply a series of steps we go through to set up sacred space, cleanse ourselves of worldly woes as we enter the space and commune with our kindred. We will be setting up sacred space tonight. Won’t you join us?

With that, I would like to share with you one of my favorite songs by Tuatha Dea which fits this concept. It’s a track called Mishiamagu. The simplest explanation for the meaning of “Mishiamagu” is that it is a Cherokee expression of thanks to the universe for allowing us to be together.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

TODAY!New Oak Moon – Saturday, December 12th, 5PM til 10PM

It is the new moon beginning the cycle we call the Oak Moon. A time to honor the majesty and power of the mighty oak tree. The Celtic meaning of the oak tree deals with symbolic themes of durability, purity and constancy. With Yule soon arriving and the winter cycle upon us, our ancestors’ durability was tested at this time to weather the cold months ahead until Spring arrives. We will have games, music and social time as well as a fine ritual to share with all. This event will be hosted at Cianaodh’s home in Arlington, Texas. Gathering in at 5PM for social time, ritual to begin at 7PM. Address will be given upon request to those who are attending.

What to bring: (Optional)

Camping chair
Instrument For After Ritual Music and Dance
Item For Potluck Feast After Ritual
Food Donations for North Texas Food Bank or Sponsored Families In Need
Cash or Wishlist Donations for Cancer Care Services and/or Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition

RSVP On Meetup – http://www.meetup.com/Temple-Of-the-Standing-Stones/events/227067081/

Yuletide! – Saturday, December 19th, 5PM til 10PM

Come ring in this Yule with Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition at Cianaodh’s home in Arlington, TX. The address will be provided privately to any who request it upon RSVPing to attend. If you need any info please email templehp@templeofthestones.org. Take part in our ritual and burning of the Yule log then enjoy a fine potluck dinner. We will be doing a white elephant gift exchange with a $20 maximum value so please bring along a wrapped gift if you would like to participate in the fun and games with us. Most anything will do as there will be a couple of rounds of trading or “stealing” so everyone has an opportunity to end up with a gift they are happy with.

What to bring: (Optional)

Camping chair
Instrument For After Ritual Music and Dance
Item For Potluck Feast After Ritual
Food Donations for North Texas Food Bank or Sponsored Families In Need
Cash or Wishlist Donations for Cancer Care Services and/or Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition

RSVP On Meetup – http://www.meetup.com/Temple-Of-the-Standing-Stones/events/227185764/

NEW EVENTS NEXT GREGORIAN YEAR!

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/

May the kindred bless and keep you,

Cianaodh Óg – HP of Temple Of the Standing Stones – Arlington, Texas and an Elder of Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition.

Temple Newsletter #43

Welcome fellow seekers to this edition of the weekly newsletter of Temple Of the Standing Stones. I am Cianaodh Óg, High Priest of this temple, an elder of Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition and very much just another ordinary guy trying to figure it all out.

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #42.

Temple Day Crafts
Temple Day Crafts

A thousand words…

Some time ago I made a commitment to myself to try to write at least a thousand words per day for Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition as my personal contribution to our cause of building a body of materials which represents the studies, beliefs, thinking and practices of our tradition. A number of these articles reside in clergy training materials available to our initiated members, some are still awaiting review, possible editing and hopefully eventual approval to be published on the Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition website as publicly available articles in our effort to tell people about ourselves, who we are, what we believe and how we do things. Some might become future segments here on this weekly newsletter as well. I enjoy writing about spiritual matters, history and new findings on the frontiers of science. To me, the search for the truth is a common thread that runs through all of these pursuits and truth is a very worthy quarry to seek on anyone’s quest in life I believe.

As of this past Samhain Temple Of the Standing Stones now has it’s first 2nd Degree Priestess and Priest and they have been doing an exemplary job of writing and officiating our rituals for us these past several weeks for which I am so very grateful. Not only have Wahya and Ta’li Seabhac brought a fresh, new perspective to our ritual style but, having taken the lead on these clergy duties they have afforded me the time to concentrate on doing the writing for our tradition which my position as an elder calls for.

Our sister Arachne Crowsinger, High Priestess of Mystic Willow Coven has been busy this week as well getting new pages and information up on the Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition website at http://spiritofthesycamore.org/ including a Branches Page with contact info for our individual groups as well as both the Seekers and Teachers Bills of Rights. Soon, we will also be adding events to the calendar for the entire tradition there. So, this might be the place to check in and see if there is something going on near you. Go check it out and come check us out at one of our…

UPCOMING EVENTS:

TODAY!Temple Day – Saturday, December 5th, 3PM til 10PM

Our temple days are days of crafts, lessons, board games, music and general communing with our tribe. Sometimes we watch a movie together, other times we play board games, sometimes we have impromptu music jam sessions, poetry reading or story telling. The point is to have an opportunity to get to know one another and build the bonds of spiritual family. Won’t you come join in with us?

This Temple Day will be held at Cianaodh’s home in Arlington, Texas. The address will be given upon request to those who plan to attend. The focal point at this Temple Day gathering will be Musical Experimentation – Please Bring Instruments, Voices and/or Ideas that you would like to share or just some appreciative ears to listen, hands to clap and feet to tap or dance. 🙂

What to bring: (Optional)

Camping chair
Craft Items (Varies per event, feel free to inquire)
Your favorite game that you might like to share with the tribe
Instrument For Music and Dance
Item For Potluck Dinner
Food Donations for North Texas Food Bank or Sponsored Families In Need
Cash or Wishlist Donations for Cancer Care Services and/or Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition

RSVP On Meetup – http://www.meetup.com/Temple-Of-the-Standing-Stones/events/226928805/

New Oak Moon – Saturday, December 12th, 5PM til 10PM

It is the new moon beginning the cycle we call the Oak Moon. A time to honor the majesty and power of the mighty oak tree. The Celtic meaning of the oak tree deals with symbolic themes of durability, purity and constancy. With Yule soon arriving and the winter cycle upon us, our ancestors’ durability was tested at this time to weather the cold months ahead until Spring arrives. We will have games, music and social time as well as a fine ritual to share with all. This event will be hosted at Cianaodh’s home in Arlington, Texas. Gathering in at 5PM for social time, ritual to begin at 7PM. Address will be given upon request to those who are attending.

What to bring: (Optional)

Camping chair
Instrument For After Ritual Music and Dance
Item For Potluck Feast After Ritual
Food Donations for North Texas Food Bank or Sponsored Families In Need
Cash or Wishlist Donations for Cancer Care Services and/or Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition

RSVP On Meetup – http://www.meetup.com/Temple-Of-the-Standing-Stones/events/227067081/

Yuletide! – Saturday, December 19th, 5PM til 10PM

Come ring in this Yule with Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition at Cianaodh’s home in Arlington, TX. The address will be provided privately to any who request it upon RSVPing to attend. If you need any info please email templehp@templeofthestones.org. Take part in our ritual and burning of the Yule log then enjoy a fine potluck dinner. We will be doing a white elephant gift exchange with a $20 maximum value so please bring along a wrapped gift if you would like to participate in the fun and games with us. Most anything will do as there will be a couple of rounds of trading or “stealing” so everyone has an opportunity to end up with a gift they are happy with.

What to bring: (Optional)

Camping chair
Instrument For After Ritual Music and Dance
Item For Potluck Feast After Ritual
Food Donations for North Texas Food Bank or Sponsored Families In Need
Cash or Wishlist Donations for Cancer Care Services and/or Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition

RSVP On Meetup – http://www.meetup.com/Temple-Of-the-Standing-Stones/events/227185764/

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/

May you never know hunger; may your thirst be ever quenched,

Cianaodh Óg – HP of Temple Of the Standing Stones – Arlington, Texas and an Elder of Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition.

Temple Newsletter #42

Welcome fellow seekers to this edition of the weekly newsletter of Temple Of the Standing Stones. I am Cianaodh Óg, High Priest of this temple, an elder of Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition and just another ordinary guy.

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #41.

Hello spirits of peace and harmony. Spirits of restorative justice, poetic justice and compassion.

Show me how to work for you in the world. Show me where to push and how to speak.

I want to make a difference. Teach me deeper compassion and the means to make justice and peace.

– Nimue Brown

The Peace Of Wild Things - Wendell Berry
The Peace Of Wild Things – Wendell Berry

Kids and Spirituality

Here we have another excellent question via email from a parent concerned about how and whether to involve their kids into their spirituality. Speaking from my own perspective, this author will attempt to answer as well as possible. Since we each have had a different upbringing and different life experiences to bring to the table. Others might approach this differently but for what it’s worth, my answer follows the question:

Also, I’m not sure how I want to involve [my children]. I don’t want to indoctrinate [them] into my beliefs, but as [their] parent it’s my job to guide [them] and [they’re] going to want to do what I do whether I push it or not. I mean this is totally different than most religions, because fear isn’t a motivator here, but the issues and guilt I encountered as I grew up make me hesitant to push my beliefs on [them}. The road to hell is paved with good intentions you know? Just because this is what I think is good for me, doesn’t mean it will be good for [them]. I tend to overthink how strongly things influence [them] too. I just want to raise [them] in a way that in which [they feel] like it is okay to be happy with who [they are] and I don’t want [them] thinking [they have] to pretend to be something to make me happy. Kids are hard.

I think you’re approaching this from a very healthy point of view. I personally don’t feel a child is any more equipped to decide for themselves what spiritual path is best suited for them than they are, for example, what political party they should subscribe to. Let them be kids while they can and help them explore, answer any questions they may have honestly and when the time comes that they have decided what they believe spiritually, they will know it. I’ve seen many examples and I am sure you have too in which kids are raised by parents who very strictly require them to adhere to one religious faith and condemn all others. Then, when the child reaches adolescence or adulthood they rebel in a big way from what was forced upon them. I think children are able to make more informed choices when they are allowed to decide for themselves. Now, obviously, you don’t want a kid taking up practices that involve harm or to disrespect and condemn your beliefs either so it’s reasonable to set ground rules for what is and is not okay. My own mother considered herself Christian but did not attend church and was very suspicious of organized religion. I inherited some of those qualities myself so it’s a bit ironic that I am now an elder in a religious organization. But she allowed me the freedom to explore and choose for myself and I am grateful for that. I was well into adulthood before I learned about Pagan religious practices and began studying them but I did not begin from a place of fear that many have instilled in them which prevents them from looking beyond the limitations of the religion they were raised in.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

TODAY! Trade Moon Esbat – Saturday, November 28th, 7PM or so.

Our apologies, but Esbats are open to Initiated Clergy, Spouses and Candidates ONLY as these are the times we do our personal magickal workings and hold temple business meetings. Please feel free to attend our next open event though!

Temple Day – Saturday, December 5th, 3PM til 10PM

Our temple days are days of crafts, lessons, board games, music and general communing with our tribe. Sometimes we watch a movie together, other times we play board games, sometimes we have impromptu music jam sessions, poetry reading or story telling. The point is to have an opportunity to get to know one another and build the bonds of spiritual family. Won’t you come join in with us?

This Temple Day will be held at Cianaodh’s home in Arlington, Texas. The address will be given upon request to those who plan to attend. The focal point at this Temple Day gathering will be Musical Experimentation – Please Bring Instruments, Voices and/or Ideas that you would like to share or just some appreciative ears to listen, hands to clap and feet to tap or dance. 🙂

What to bring: (Optional)

Camping chair
Craft Items (Varies per event, feel free to inquire)
Your favorite game that you might like to share with the tribe
Instrument For Music and Dance
Item For Potluck Dinner
Food Donations for North Texas Food Bank or Sponsored Families In Need
Cash or Wishlist Donations for Cancer Care Services and/or Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition

RSVP On Meetup – http://www.meetup.com/Temple-Of-the-Standing-Stones/events/226928805/

New Oak Moon – Saturday, December 12th, 5PM til 10PM

It is the new moon beginning the cycle we call the Oak Moon. A time to honor the majesty and power of the mighty oak tree. The Celtic meaning of the oak tree deals with symbolic themes of durability, purity and constancy. With Yule soon arriving and the winter cycle upon us, our ancestors’ durability was tested at this time to weather the cold months ahead until Spring arrives. We will have games, music and social time as well as a fine ritual to share with all. This event will be hosted at Cianaodh’s home in Arlington, Texas. Gathering in at 5PM for social time, ritual to begin at 7PM. Address will be given upon request to those who are attending.

What to bring: (Optional)

Camping chair
Instrument For After Ritual Music and Dance
Item For Potluck Feast After Ritual
Food Donations for North Texas Food Bank or Sponsored Families In Need
Cash or Wishlist Donations for Cancer Care Services and/or Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition

RSVP On Meetup – http://www.meetup.com/Temple-Of-the-Standing-Stones/events/227067081/

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/

May you never know hunger; may your thirst be ever quenched,

Cianaodh Óg – HP of Temple Of the Standing Stones – Arlington, Texas and an Elder of Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition.

Temple Newsletter #41

Welcome fellow seekers to this edition of the weekly newsletter of Temple Of the Standing Stones. I am Cianaodh Óg, High Priest of this temple and elder of Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition.

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #40.

I'm Tired Boss
I’m Tired Boss

Accentuate The Positive

When I graduated from High School in Fort Worth Congressman Jim Wright came out and spoke to our class. He lived through the era of World War II when it seemed that the whole world was spinning out of control and war had become a fact of life all across the globe. He spoke to us of a song by Bing Crosby that was popular in his day that went like this:

You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene

The message was then, as it is now, that there will always be times that life seems to be spinning out of control and fear and anxiety seem to be taking hold everywhere. But, no matter how dark and gloomy the clouds look, there is always something positive we can focus on that will lift our spirits and give us hope. Look for those things in your life. They can be as simple as a beautiful sunrise or a flower blooming or you can find them in your children, your family, your loved ones, a faithful companion pet. Whatever vibrations we send out into the world, we are telling the universe, “I want more of this”. So, don’t waste time and energy on worry and fears. Send out what you want more of and watch it unfold. Oh sure, troubles are going to come. Into each life a little rain must fall. But if you keep the momentum positive then you’re heading in the right direction. It’s magick! It really is.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

TODAY!Temple Day – Saturday, November 21st, 3PM til 10PM

Our temple days are days of crafts, lessons, board games, music and general communing with our tribe. Sometimes we watch a movie together, other times we play board games, sometimes we have impromptu music jam sessions, poetry reading or story telling. The point is to have an opportunity to get to know one another and build the bonds of spiritual family. Won’t you come join in with us?

This Temple Day will be held at Cianaodh’s home in Arlington, Texas. The address will be given upon request to those who plan to attend.We will be crafting and using scrying mirrors as well as beginning some musical projects. Bring an instrument if you have one and would like to participate in that portion of the activities. 🙂

What to bring: (Optional)

Camping chair
Craft Items (Varies per event, feel free to inquire)
Your favorite game that you might like to share with the tribe
Instrument For Music and Dance
Item For Potluck Dinner
Food Donations for North Texas Food Bank or Sponsored Family In Need
Cash or Wishlist Donations for Cancer Care Services

Trade Moon Esbat – Saturday, November 28th, 7PM or so.

Our apologies, but Esbats are open to Initiated Clergy, Spouses and Candidates ONLY as these are the times we do our personal magickal workings and hold temple business meetings. Please feel free to attend our next open event though!

Temple Day – Saturday, December 5th, 3PM til 10PM

Our temple days are days of crafts, lessons, board games, music and general communing with our tribe. Sometimes we watch a movie together, other times we play board games, sometimes we have impromptu music jam sessions, poetry reading or story telling. The point is to have an opportunity to get to know one another and build the bonds of spiritual family. Won’t you come join in with us?

This Temple Day will be held at Cianaodh’s home in Arlington, Texas. The address will be given upon request to those who plan to attend.

What to bring: (Optional)

Camping chair
Craft Items (Varies per event, feel free to inquire)
Your favorite game that you might like to share with the tribe
Instrument For Music and Dance
Item For Potluck Dinner
Food Donations for North Texas Food Bank or Sponsored Family In Need
Cash or Wishlist Donations for Cancer Care Services

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/

Flags, Flax, Fodder and Frigg,

Cianaodh Óg – HP of Temple Of the Standing Stones – Arlington, Texas and Elder of Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition.

Temple Newsletter #40

Welcome fellow seekers to this edition of the weekly newsletter of Temple Of the Standing Stones. I am Cianaodh Óg, High Priest of this temple and elder of Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition.

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #39.

Unity
Unity

Let’s Make A Difference!
This is where I will be today staffing an information table for Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition much as I did back in September at Pagan Unity Fest. It should be a cooler day today though and I hear there will be some delicious barbecue on hand too. Why not drop by and chat with me? Here are the details…

Saturday, November 14, 2015

10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Arlington UU Church

2001 California Lane, Arlington, TX 76015

A Community Outreach event sponsored by the Texas Local Council Covenant of the Goddess. Entry is free! Please join us to learn how you might make a difference in your community!

Learn about our rich diversity from esteemed Doctor Beth Fawcett, PhD, MPH. Dr. Fawcett is a sociologist who teaches undergraduate sociology classes in the DFW area. She specializes in race and ethnicity courses. She credits her students for inspiring her to step outside the classroom to promote diversity and social justice.

Dr Fawcett will lead a “Privilege Walk.” Be a part of this powerful experience that helps us recognize in a very personal way how power and privilege affect our lives, even when we are not aware of it. This eye opening experience also bears discussion. So, join us after the walk as Dr. Fawcett leads a discussion and presentation on diversity and racism.

Post presentation, there will be a Unity ritual to celebrate our humanity.

Peruse information booths and learn about your neighbors and other cultures!

Enjoy one-of-a-kind shopping with unique vendors just in time for holiday giving!

Have some tasty BBQ and visit the beautiful grove on the UU grounds!

Win a chance to take home fabulous gifts and support a worthy cause!

Our efforts will support the 501c3 organization, Black Transmen.

You can learn more about them at: www.blacktrans.org

Afterwards, come on over to my place and join us for a New Moon ritual written and officiated by our newest 2nd degree priest and priestess, Ta’li Seabhac and Wahya. Just let me know if you need the address and I will give it to you privately.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

TODAY! New Trade Moon – Saturday, November 14th, 5PM til 10PM

It is the new moon beginning the cycle we call the Trade Moon. A time to trade and barter among our own tribe as well as others. Our ancestors knew the value of trading in goods and services long before the invention of currency and it is well to remember that real value comes from real skills and items of value. We will have games, music and social time as well as a fine ritual to share with all. This event will be hosted at Cianaodh’s home in Arlington, Texas. Gathering in at 5PM for social time, ritual to begin at 7PM. Address will be given upon request to those who are attending.

What to bring: (Optional)

Camping chair
Instrument For After Ritual Music and Dance
Item For Potluck Feast After Ritual
Food Donations for North Texas Food Bank or Sponsored Family In Need
Cash or Wishlist Donations for Cancer Care Services

Temple Day – Saturday, November 21st, 3PM til 10PM

Our temple days are days of crafts, lessons, board games, music and general communing with our tribe. Sometimes we watch a movie together, other times we play board games, sometimes we have impromptu music jam sessions, poetry reading or story telling. The point is to have an opportunity to get to know one another and build the bonds of spiritual family. Won’t you come join in with us?

This Temple Day will be held at Cianaodh’s home in Arlington, Texas. The address will be given upon request to those who plan to attend.

What to bring: (Optional)

Camping chair
Craft Items (Varies per event, feel free to inquire)
Your favorite game that you might like to share with the tribe
Instrument For Music and Dance
Item For Potluck Dinner
Food Donations for North Texas Food Bank or Sponsored Family In Need
Cash or Wishlist Donations for Cancer Care Services

Trade Moon Esbat – Saturday, November 28th, 7PM or so.

Our apologies, but Esbats are open to Initiated Clergy, Spouses and Candidates ONLY as these are the times we do our personal magickal workings and hold temple business meetings. Please feel free to attend our next open event though!

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/

Flags, Flax, Fodder and Frigg,

Cianaodh Óg – HP of Temple Of the Standing Stones – Arlington, Texas and Elder of Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition.