Tag Archives: paganism

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 #34

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

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #33.

Nectar Of The Gods - The blessings of the gods are sweet.
Nectar Of The Gods

This week I would like to share an amazing, fictional short story with you by an author named Shelly Aspenson. I happened upon this and several other great stories on the site Living Write under their category Really True Fairy Tales which you can find here: http://livingwrite.net/category/really-true-fairy-tales/

The Word Sorceress And The Sword Of Truth

By Shelly Aspenson

She watched them prepare to burn her alive. They were in a frenzy to put an end to her softly spoken observations, and the clear-seeing of her gaze as she looked upon them. She had held them spell-bound with her words for so long, it came as a shock when the truth of those words began to cut like the sharpest sword, cutting into ego, and slicing away lies beheld as truth for so long.

Her voice rang out across the clearing, reminding them of how they had searched so hard for the magic of life, only to recoil at its power when they found it within themselves, scrambling frantically to destroy it, or at least cover it up-forever out of sight if not mind. They winced, and hunched into themselves defensively as she asked them what they loved the most about their lives. Was there anything that called to them; gave them joy? Did the heart inside them beat in excitement for anything? What did their eyes behold that left them in awe of the world? What made their souls tremble with ecstasy?

They stacked the wood around her feet as she stood calmly before them, tied roughly to the stake in the center of their world. Nobody would meet her eyes, but she saw their reactions as her words struck home over and over again, and she would not be silent. She would not turn away from them now, even when their every action conspired to send her into the darkness she was safe from, but would be their prison if they refused to listen; if they refused to awaken from their slumber.

“You think to send me into the Abyss, ‘the regions of Hell conceived of as a bottomless pit’. I know that you do this because I am the whisper that screams to your heart, the light of awareness that hurts your eyes, the fire of purpose that causes you discomfort, and the finger that points to the frightening power of your own heart. I know you are afraid of all you are capable of, but to ignore this truth of you is to sentence yourself to the very hell you wish upon me.

I am the Life you look out upon, your fingers pressed enviously upon the glass of the window, seeing freedom, and never touching it with your own hands. I am the Integrity you lost to ‘blend in’ with the crowd, I am the wild, the bold, the fearless, and the joyful part of you that will always remain silent if you do not heed me now. I am the Word Sorceress, the Sword of Truth, the Light of your Soul, the Way to Joy. I am the very best of you, do you really seek to destroy me to blend into the world of today?”

As she spoke, many listened, many held back, some were even brave enough to try to stop the few whose minds were locked into public perceptions, and acceptable behaviors. But the frightened were many, and the torches in hand reached desperately forward to light the lies stacked around her. As the flames fed greedily on the rebuttals, accusations, and denials, she closed her eyes and whispered into the flames that grew in intensity.

“May these words rise on my breath, above the lies that burn.

May every tear that falls from me be just a lesson learned.

And as I dance upon the flames, my spirit turned to smoke,

Let every heart I long to save believe the words I spoke.

At last, when fire lights my heart, as it is wont to do,

May that illumination be the Truth that leads them through.

Remind those who would disregard the Soul they hold inside

That Hell is here on earth disguised as Life they once denied.”

The crowd grew silent as the crackle of the flames grew louder. There was silence and sobbing, sorrow and joy in that clearing as she disintegrated into smoke and flame, the flame of her sparking in the hearts of those hungry, and the smoke choking the perpetually dissatisfied.

As the smoke cleared, all eyes were caught by the figure of a small girl, heart yet untarnished by world or ego. She seemed to shine from within as she walked slowly to the edge of the fire and picked up the Sword of Truth the Sorceress had dropped in her burning. There was total silence, not even a birdsong, as she looked at everyone and smiled sweetly, turning to walk into the forest alone, the heavy sword cutting a path in the dirt as the tip drug behind her.

And those who were not amazed, were envious.

The Word Sorceress
The Word Sorceress

UPCOMING TEMPLE EVENTS:

TODAY! – Temple Day and Wahya’s Birthday – Saturday, October 3rd, 3pm til 11:45PM.

It’s Wahya’s Birthday! Come help us celebrate and enjoy some social time with the temple and tribe.

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 Wahya and Ta’li Seabhac’s home in Venus, 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

RSVP on Meetup – http://www.meetup.com/Temple-Of-the-Standing-Stones/events/225358284/

New Harvest Moon – Saturday, October 10th, 7pm til 11:45PM.

It is the new moon beginning the cycle we call the Harvest Moon. The third and final harvest festival on the Wheel Of The Year, Samhain, approaches and at this time some of the final harvests of the season are being brought in to get us through the Winter months. Tonight, let’s gather around the fire and reflect on what our harvests in this modern life have brought to us this year. 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 8PM. 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

RSVP on Meetup – http://www.meetup.com/Temple-Of-the-Standing-Stones/events/225437109/

Alie’s Birthday and Temple Day – Saturday, October 17th, 3pm til 11:45PM.

It’s Alie’s Birthday! Well, Friday, the 16th was actually but we’ll celebrate on Saturday. 🙂 Soooo, come join us and enjoy some social time with the temple and tribe.

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

RSVP on Meetup – http://www.meetup.com/Temple-Of-the-Standing-Stones/events/225520255/

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/

Blessed Be and Bless The Bees,

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

Temple Newsletter #7

Welcome fellow seekers to this edition of the weekly newsletter of Temple Of the Standing Stones. I am Cianaodh Óg, High Priest and he who ought to know better but still doesn’t.

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #6 .

Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition is born!

Spirit Of the Sycamore Elders
Spirit Of the Sycamore Elders

Mudstara 2015 as it will be known henceforth was a muddy but wonderful Ostara Celebration that saw the birth of our new tradition as elders Arachne Crowsinger and Sera Freya from Mystic Willow Coven and Cianaodh Óg of Temple Of the Standing Stones received their metallic cords and crowns from recognized elders from their former tradition and with those the autonomy and blessings to forge a new path. It is an exciting time for us and we look forward to seeing what the future holds as we carry forth with our efforts to advance our particular take on Paganism in the years to come.

We didn’t receive any submission from members of our tribe for this week’s newsletter but I have been reading a wonderful book by Ceisiwr Serith lately called ‘A Book Of Pagan Prayer’ which I highly recommend. So why not have a prayer to Cernunnos from his website?

Cernunnos:
in whom opposites are brought together,
but not destroyed;
who cannot be known,
because there is nothing against which you might be compared;
because whatever is put against you, its opposite is there;
who cannot be approached, because you are the center
which moves with the one who approaches;
who does not move, because there is nowhere for you to move to:
you are already there;
Controller of opposites through stillness,
Possessor of power through calm;
the cold metal which is life,
the squirming serpent which is death;
between hunter and hunted you sit so still,
neither and both;
with animal’s antlers on human head:
neither and both;
Holding in tension unreconcilable opposites,
yet eternally calm:
in my turmoil, in my confusion,
in adversity from without
in adversity from within
in the twisting and turnings,
the seemingly unstoppable rush of my mind and words,
in the midst of Chaos:
I pray to you, to Cernunnos,
in whom opposites are brought together in restful order,
bringing a fierce stillness,
a diamond-flashing peace.

You sit between, Wearer of Antlers,
between the shining one
and the one who leads us into the dark;
between the one that hunts, friend of men, and the one who is hunted, the best of prey;
even you are between animal and man.
I praise the great between, where power is found,
I praise you, Cernunnos, liminal lord.

Your patience is infinite as you sit in calm:
you don’t move, though every else does –
It is through your stillness that you are everywhere.

See more on his website: http://www.ceisiwrserith.com/

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:

Pub Night!  – Saturday, March 28th  7pm at Danny’s Celtic Pub in Bedford.

April Esbat – Flower Moon  – Saturday, April 4th  7pm at Cianaodh’s house, Arlington, TX. 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.

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 #6

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

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #5 .

Happy Ostara!
Happy Ostara!

The Spring Equinox comes on or near March 21st each year as the time of daylight reaches the time of darkness in our hemisphere. Although it is very likely that ancient Pagans in Celtic lands celebrated this time of year no traces definitively tying the equinox to Pagan traditions have survived. However, the church adapted the name Easter from the Saxon goddess Eostre whose symbol is the hare. In 13th century Scotland, a parish priest was brought before the bishop for having celebrated Easter week “according to the rites of Priapus” which were considered heresy by the church. Apparently he had gathered the women of the village and had them dance around a phallic standing stone while singing in what may have been a vestige of past Pagan practices.

If you are not able to join us for our Ostara Celebration today in Venus, Texas we hope that your Vernal Equinox is safe, happy and fun where ever you spend it!

We have had a few new additions on the website this past week. There is now a Temple Calendar with our upcoming events throughout the year. Keep in mind that things farther are out are tentative and might be changed to accommodate different situations. Also more details will be added as they become available. But at least there is an outline and you can see what we have in mind for the year ahead.

I decided it might be a good idea to add a Meet The Clergy section to the Seekers’ Orientation page so I started by adding my own for now and will encourage my brothers and sisters to write up ones for themselves to be added later. You can find my bio under the heading Meet Our High Priest. Disclaimer, not responsible for any damages incurred by your spewing beverages onto your monitor, keyboard or other devices due to anything said or pictures posted on my bio. 😉

We’ve had several new posts and a couple of new members register on our Forum recently. The various boards on our forum are a great, interactive way to get questions answered and learn things from one another as well as helping us to build community within our tribe and beyond. Have you visited the forum lately?

Our brother Ta’li Seabhac has written another very inspirational piece and shared with us this week:

Within the realm of living breath
Behind the walls where spirits nest
Along a path toward enlightenment
You shall find the Temple Stones
Awakening blessed comforting
Inside the depths you hear them sing
The kindred are there listening
As you speak to the Temple Stones
They radiate and illuminate
The dwellers cannot penetrate
The earth and clay that hold the way
To form these Temple Stones
The Sun and Moon light every room
And with every move we show them who
Will guard these Temple Stones.
Like a Willow tree and the Sycamore
Our roots run deep
We kneel before
In perfect trust
And love forevermore
These sacred Temple Stones
-Tali’ Seabhac

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:

Ostara Celebration  – Saturday, March 21st  12 Noon at Wahya and Ta’li Seabhac’s House.

Pub Night!  – Saturday, March 28th  7pm at Danny’s Celtic Pub in Bedford.

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

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

Bíodh sé amhlaidh ,

(Be Shay Owlee) [Let it be or So be it]

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

Temple Newsletter #5

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

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #4 .

NOTICE: Every first and third Sunday at 10:30AM please come on down to Arlington UU at 2001 California Lane, Arlington, TX, 76015 for a cup of coffee and good conversation. Members of Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans are usually on hand to discuss activities the CUUPs folks have going on.

This is NOT the ritual we will be doing for Ostara on the 21st but when the call went out for submissions to include in this week’s newsletter it was suggested that it might be fun to share the Lesser Banishing Ritual Of The Chocolate Rabbit with our readers. So, without further adieu feast your eyes on this:

LBR of the Chocolate Rabbit on About.com

Looking for a digital way to pay temple dues or make a donation to the temple? Look for the Meetup “Chip In!” button or link on our website in the left column menu, on the top row of links at our forum or on the Meetup group page. Temple Treasurer Wahya will be notified and she will be sure to credit each member with their donation. Thank you for supporting our temple and our efforts to forge a new Pagan path!

Hey y’all! Wahya has shared her recipe for Armadillo Eggs with us. Wanna see?

Armadillo Eggs

Ingredients: Jalapenos, cream cheese, and bacon.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Cut your jalapeños in half, long ways. Use a spoon to take out all the seeds and stem. Then fill the jalapenos with cream cheese. Cut your bacon in half. Wrap the bacon around your peppers, one slice per pepper. You may have to use a toothpick to hold it all together but most of the time the bacon will stick to the pepper pretty good. Place all of your finished peppers on a cookie sheet and pop them in the oven. Should take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes.

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:

Temple Craft Day  – Saturday, March 14th 3:00pm at Wahya and Ta’li Seabhac’s House.

Ostara Celebration  – Saturday, March 21st  12 Noon at Wahya and Ta’li Seabhac’s House.

Pub Night!  – Saturday, March 28th  7pm at Danny’s Celtic Pub in Bedford.

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

May your flags be strong, your fodder be fulfilling, your flax keep you warm and may you have plenty of passionate and joyous visitations from Frigg,

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

Temple Newsletter #4

Welcome fellow seekers to the fourth edition of the weekly newsletter of Temple Of the Standing Stones. I am Cianaodh Óg, High Priest and resident lunatic of the temple.

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #3 .

Today’s the day everybody and our t-shirts came in so we should be wearing these out at North Texas Irish Festival today:

Temple Of the Standing Stones T-shirts.

Come on out and enjoy the fabulous sites, sounds and flavors of the festival. Don’t forget to bring your canvas shopping bags! Dress warm because it’s going to be a chilly day but there are plenty of indoor activities too.

Have you noticed some new articles showing up on our About Us page? One by one, as they have been reaching a point that they are ready to be “revealed” we have been rolling out portions of what will eventually become our Seekers Orientation module on the website. We hope that this feature will help those who are curious about our beliefs, practices, vision and history get most of those basic questions answered and be in a position to make an informed decision as to whether we are the group for you. Even if we’re not quite a fit for you we know a lot of folks within the community and don’t mind helping seekers find a group that is practicing in a way that might be a better fit for them.

Unfortunately, last week’s Divination lesson wasn’t well attended because of the wintry weather we experienced which caused some icy conditions out there on the roads. That’s okay! We would much rather have you all stay safe and warm than take chances on treacherous roadways and we can definitely schedule in another class a

Kennocha shared the following delicious recipe for her famous (well, around here anyway) “Sweet Meat Treats” with us:

Ingredients:
Pitted Dates
Almonds
Bacon
Maple Syrup
Toothpicks

Recipe:
1- Insert one almond into each pitted date
2- Slice bacon in half
3- Wrap each date/almond with a half slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick
4- Baste all treats with maple syrup
5- Bake in oven that was preheated to 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until bacon is fully cooked

This recipe came from: My mom used to make these and take them to parties. They’ve always been one of my favorites.

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:

Temple Field Trip – North Texas Irish Festival  – Saturday, March 7th 10:30am at Fair Park in Dallas.

Temple Craft Day  – Saturday, March 14th 3:00pm at Wahya and Ta’li Seabhac’s House.

Ostara Celebration  – Saturday, March 21st  12 Noon at Wahya and Ta’li Seabhac’s House.

Th-th-th-th-That’s all folks!

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

Threefold Blessings,

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

Temple Newsletter #3

Welcome fellow seekers to the third edition of the weekly newsletter of Temple Of the Standing Stones. I am Cianaodh Óg, High Priest and opinionated curmudgeon of the temple.

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #2 .

Have you seen our new stylized logo by artist Emily Dewbre-Young of Primal Aspects Art Studio?

Stylized Temple Logo
Stylized Temple Logo

We’re really excited about this new design! Kennocha has even stated that the colors make her think of stained glass. We should be sporting these on our new t-shirts at North Texas Irish Festival on March 7th if all goes well and might have window decals soon too. A hundred thousand thank yous to Ta’li and Wahya for making that happen for us. I am proud to have y’all as temple family!

Have you visited our Recommended Reading List lately? Kennocha has been busy, busy, busy writing book reviews this past week and as a result 43 new books have been added to our Recommended Reading List. Yes, I said forty-three of them. I told you she was busy y’all! Go check them out!

Work also continues on our upcoming Seekers’ Orientation module for the website. A few sneak peak articles have been published already on the About Us page of our website. When the full orientation is ready for publishing it will have a page of it’s own linked from the About Us page.

How public or private are you with your beliefs? Are you okay with your picture being featured at Pagan activities and gatherings in our temple’s publications offline and on? If so, please be sure to ask us about our new photographer’s release forms so we can have one on file letting us know it’s okay to show pictures of you hanging around with us and doing stuff.

We are considering having a movie night soon. How does everyone feel about watching “What The Bleep?” with your temple mates while munching on popcorn and other snacks? Let us know!

Upcoming Temple Events:

Lesson – Divination Overview  – Saturday, February 28th at 7pm at Cianaodh’s house.

Temple Field Trip – North Texas Irish Festival  – Saturday, March 7th 10:30am at Fair Park in Dallas.

Will you be joining us tonight?

image

Email: templehp [at] templeofthestones [dot] org for the address if you plan to attend.

Gwilym Holz-Drache The Bard shared the following wonderful piece of original poetry with us:

As I walk this world on this path.
Into the forest grove I relieve myself of the worldly wrath.
I feel your presents every step of the way.
I feel at peace from the energy that is gave.
To hear the songs of all the creatures.
Knowing that our Divine Creator is everywhere even in Nature.

“Gwilym”

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 [at] templeofthestones [dot] org. I’m always happy to show off the talents of our tribe!

Want to learn more about Celtic Mythology? Check out:

image

The Celtic Myth Podshow will tell you ancient tales and legends of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany and the Isle of Man bringing you the bravery of heroes and heroines, the magnificent pantheon of gods and goddesses and the magic and wonder of druids, faeries and folklore.

Join Gary & Ruth and their friends as they tell you the great stories from Celtic legend. The series started with the Book of Invasions from the Irish Mythological Cycle and progressed on to Welsh Mythology with the First Branch of the Mabinogion.

NB: This Podshow and the website are, and always will be, KID-SAFE and FREE. Again, that’s The Celtic Myth Podshow

That’s it for this week folks. Flags, Flax, Fodder and Frigg!

May you never thirst!

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

Deity

As mentioned in the Basic Beliefs section, our approach to Paganism is such that we leave our individual members’ personal relationships with the divine up to them and explore many different concepts and aspects for deity in our practice, classes and rituals. Temple of the Standing Stones believes that deity is a very personal matter. We strive to make our temple inclusive to Pagans of all flavors, while encouraging the specialized relationship each member has with their own god, gods, and/or goddesses.

Some of us believe in the saying “As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…” –  Hermes Trismegistus. So, we look to nature and the universe when we seek answers to life’s great mysteries. There are certain patterns and interactions of energies that occur at every level throughout the universe. The macrocosm and the microcosm. In pondering these things we believe it is possible to grasp a better understanding of the nature of deity.

Now, because we are Pagans living in a modern day world, we adopt many of the ritual elements and god/goddess names and concepts into our practice that a great number of today’s Pagans are familiar with. Some of our temple members may speak of the divine as ‘The Lord and Lady’, some may refer to them as ‘The gods’, some may use more encompassing terms such as ‘The Kindred’ (meaning gods, ancestors and nature spirits). That is all okay. Those are reflections of each individual’s perception of and relationship with the divine at this point on their spiritual journey.

Pondering these great mysteries of the divine and sharing our perceptions with one another is what makes getting together with other Pagans such a great thing to us. Your perception may be different from any that we are familiar with and among our members you may find a concept that you have not yet examined. We invite you to come share with us so that perhaps together we may all grow and learn.

RETURN TO SEEKERS’ ORIENTATION TABLE OF CONTENTS

Temple Newsletter #2

Welcome fellow seekers to the second edition of the weekly newsletter of Temple Of the Standing Stones. I am Cianaodh Óg, High Priest of the temple.

If you missed last week’s newsletter you can still see it on our website at: Temple Newsletter #1.

This week we’ve seen some new faces join us on our Meetup Group and hopefully soon we’ll get to see some of these new faces in person at one of our upcoming events like tonight’s teaching event on energy working and psychic challenge games.:

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What do we mean by psychic challenge games? Well, for those who were at our Yule gathering this past December you might recall some of the games Temple Mother Em’ introduced such as blindfolding one participant and seeing how well he or she might be able to identify others in a circle just by their energy or seeing who can most closely identity an object sitting on a stool in another room. Games like these are fun, challenging and give us a chance to exercise those extra sensory abilities.

We have been continuing our work on writing a completely new Seekers’ Orientation section for the website to welcome new comers to our temple and let folks know what we’re all about. When the work is complete (although nothing is ever really “finished”) we hope to put it together in booklet form to hand out to people when they come to our gatherings. The work has also led to some interesting and deep philosophical discussions on the nature of deity and how each individual might perceive the divine. Such discussions are one of the many reasons that, in between the wonderful times that we can see one another face to face, I like to encourage everyone to drop by our forum at least once a week to see what new topics have been posted or who might have thrown some new thoughts into an old topic. So yeah, do drop by our forum at: http://templeofthestones.org/forum/ sometime soon and say hi!

Do you dream of drinking from the Grail?
That the truth is held within a tale,
And Arthur sleeps now, ready to return?
Do you know that Jack lives in the Green,
That things are never as they seem,
And life is more than the money that your earn.

– Damh The Bard

One thing I would like to share with everyone this week is that our temple is looking at various ways that we can be involved in community service and charity work. Temple Of the Standing Stones cares about our community and we want to make the world a better place for ourselves, our children as well as our friends and loved ones. At this past Imbolc celebration we asked attendees to bring canned and dry food items so that we may start a collection of donations to take to an area food bank. Currently, Cancer Care Services is the one we are looking at but I have not yet made arrangements with my contact person there. In any event, we will make sure a worthy recipient is selected and the donations are made. We would like to continue this practice of collecting food donations at our rituals for this purpose. We’ve also been discussing the possibilities of doing blood drives with Carter Bloodcare, adopt a highway cleanup programs, collecting box tops and food labels for school programs and other potential causes. We want to show the world that we care and are here to be a positive force in the community. Would you like to help?

As a reminder, coming soon we will be having a wonderful outing at the North Texas Irish Festival on Saturday, March 7th and we hope to be wearing some new, snazzy t-shirts with our temple’s name and website address on them so if you see us out there, won’t you please come and say hi!? We love hugs by the way. 🙂 For more information about North Texas Irish Festival see their website: http://www.ntif.org/ It is a wonderful event full of music, dancing, great shopping and food and a huge dose of good old Irish culture!

Upcoming Temple Events:

Lesson – Energy Working and Psychic Challenge Games – Saturday, February 21st at 7pm at Cianaodh’s house.

LessonDivination Overview  – Saturday, February 28th at 7pm at Cianaodh’s house.

Email: templehp [at] templeofthestones [dot] org for the address if you plan to attend.

Temple brother and Guardian Ta’li Seabhac shared the following beautiful piece with us recently on the forum as a song idea that he would like some collaboration on. Let’s put our talents together and make something tremendous!

Blessed

This ground…
Is more than just the dirt.
My body…
Is connected to this earth.
These winds….
With this air I breathe in life.
I can feel it…
From within these powers take flight.
I know they can hear me
Can hear my voice.
I know they can hear me
Can hear my voice.
This fire…
Is more than just the flame.
These embers protect
Send the negative away.
These waters…
Bring in the waves of needed change.
This water sustains and washes all my pain away.
I know they can feel me
Can feel my love
I know they can feel me
Can feel my love.

So I heard the call
I walked down that path
To embrace these spirits
Of the long gone past.
There’s magic here
All around us I want to
Draw them in hold them high in trust and I know…
They can hear my voice
Yes I know,
They can hear my voice
And I feel blessed.

That’s all I have for this week. May the gods smile upon you and yours and the blessings of our ancestors light your way on life’s journey and this spiritual path.

Many Blessings To You and Yours,

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

Temple Newsletter #1

A Blessed Lupercalia and welcome to the first edition of the weekly newsletter of Temple Of the Standing Stones. I am Cianaodh Óg, High Priest and blabbermouth of the temple.

We have had some exciting and interesting things happening these past few months at our temple that I would like to share in this edition. Back in November we officially hived off from Sacred Fire Temple within the Esoteric Path of Enlightenment tradition then about 6 weeks later, on December 14th, my temple and two of my High Priestess sisters formally resigned from that tradition to forge a new path of our own. We decided that we have a different vision and philosophy on how our Paganism should be practiced and wished to be unencumbered from traditional models. While I work on my temple, my two sisters are forming a coven of their own in another area and we hope to launch a new tradition of our own together soon.

So, we have been establishing a ritual structure that works for us and have asked our founding members to let us know what works for them spiritually as well so that we can collectively better provide an environment for our members which allows us all to progress on our paths. The Seekers’ Package has, just this past week, undergone an update to all documents to better reflect our views and vision. But it’s not stopping there, a complete rewrite and restructuring will be forthcoming in the near future. In fact, it is still in progress nearly each and every day currently. Don’t worry though, the content which is currently there will still be valid but more will be added and it will, hopefully, be better organized. In order to gain access to our Seekers’ Package materials one need only come meet with us at one of our gatherings and indicate a desire to learn more. We will set up an account for you on our website which will give you access to these and other informative articles. If you have been to one of our gatherings and would like to see these living documents please feel free to email me at templehp [at] templeofthestones [dot] org to let me know you are in need of a membership account. I will simply need a username you wish to use, an email address you would like to  link the account to and a password will be emailed to you at that address.

We have revised and are in the process of updating our Recommended Reading List with recommendations and synopses from our temple priests and priestesses. This list is now open to the public so please feel free to click on the link and see what we have there so far. More public documents will be added soon so always be sure to visit our news tab on the website to see what the latest is at http://templeofthestones.org/news/

Making Brigit's Crosses
Making Brigit’s Crosses

We had a magickal Imbolc celebration this past January 31st at Arlington UU which also served as a learning experience for some of our temple members as we broke away from our typical ritual model and did this one in ADF Druidry style. It was a blast from the past for me as I hadn’t done such a ritual in more than four years but it was well received by most of the attendees even if we, as we later learned, should have had a bit more preliminary education on this style for all attendees beforehand. The prior weekend we had a great time making Brigit’s Crosses from straw and some from pipe cleaners (which are quite colorful and easy to work with by the way!)

Pipe cleaners make great Brighid's Crosses
Pipe cleaners make great Brighid’s Crosses

Coming soon we will be having a wonderful outing at the North Texas Irish Festival on Saturday, March 7th and we hope to be wearing some new, snazzy t-shirts with our temple’s name and website address on them so if you see us out there, won’t you please come and say hi!? We love hugs by the way. 🙂 For more information about North Texas Irish Festival see their website: http://www.ntif.org/ It is a wonderful event full of music, dancing, great shopping and food and a huge dose of good old Irish culture!

Before I close out this week’s newsletter I would like to encourage you to set aside some time each week to visit our forum on the website too. We are constantly adding new material and our very beautiful and talented acting High Priestess works hard each week to get out a list of upcoming events in the North Texas area and beyond which are of particular interest to the Pagan community. You’ll find these posts on our Outer Court Chat board under the topic This Week’s Events followed by the dates. Our Outer Court Chat board is the most easily accessible of the boards on our forum. You don’t even have to register an account or log in to gain access to it. But we do hope that you will register an account with us there anyway and gain access to the many more boards that we offer covering a variety of fascinating subjects. You will find our forum at: http://templeofthestones.org/forum/

Upcoming Temple Events:

Lesson – Energy Working and Psychic Challenge Games – Saturday, February 21st at 7pm at Cianaodh’s house.

LessonDivination Overview – Saturday, February 28th at 7pm at Cianaodh’s house.

Email: templehp [at] templeofthestones [dot] org for the address if you plan to attend.

In closing I would like to impart to you some wise words I was recently blessed with:

May it never be said that I sat when I should have stood.

Remained silent when I should have spoken.

May it never be said that I did not honor my gods.

When my path becomes faint; I will carve my own way.

When I speak, may it be words of truth and worth.

And when I come to the end of my journey, may I never look back with regret.

Many Blessings To You and Yours,

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