Friday, December 23, 2005

Make The YuleTide Gay

Happy Day-After-Solstice, Loyal Readership. In honor of...yesterday, I'll keep my promise to tell you about Yule.

Last Saturday was Spiritual Co-Op Yule. Like Samhain, about which you did not hear because of my absence from all things Internet, it was held at one of our local UUs (Unitarian Universalist churches, for the uninitiated.) It's a pretty little church relatively close to my neighborhood, that I would probably attend were it not that on the rare occasion that I am actually awake on a Sunday morning, I usually spend that time at temple, instead. But it is a beautiful church, so much more so many other churches let the pagans use their space instead of freezing outside? So a thankful WOO to First Unitarian Universalist, to start.

I almost didn't go to Yule. Last Saturday was our purely secular Day of Shopping, Nails & Movies, where myself and my 2 best friends from high school got together, got manicures (a gift from Design School Homie), randomly ran into one of our favorite high school teachers at the nail salon, spent vast amounts of money at the Green Hills Mall (for those non-natives in the Loyal Readership, GHM is somewhat upscale and pretentious, but has recently come to include one of the only non-chain bookstores in Nashville that is not primarily a used bookstore, Davis-Kidd, and one of the better movie theaters, hence the choice), got the Worst Service Ever in the new instore restaurant at the aforementioned bookstore, and went to see The Family Stone, which I really enjoyed, despite the fact that I am not generally a fan of either the Christmas movie or the family movie. It was no Royal Tenenbaums, but I liked it a lot.

But my beloved CDHSarah was going to Yule, and even the nonreligious High School Homies pointed out that if I expect anyone to show up for our Beltane next year, I need to get out and represent. So, full of Xkzule joy and with fabulous nails -- light blue/purple candy paint -- I rolled down the road a piece to the UU.

The group hosting had some familiar faces, but it was the first time I had encountered them as a unit. At least as far as I was concerned, they hit this one out of the park.

They did potluck first, which I skipped due to the day of eating and movies. When it came time for ritual, they had us line up against the rear wall of the church, at which point one member began singling, beautifully, a vaguely familiar song that I later found out was one she had arranged using a passage from The Red Tent. She led us around the sacristy (I don't know what the Unitarians call it, but you get the idea) and when her song was done she started one of the better-known neopagan elemental chants, the exact words of which escape me at the moment, in which most of the participants eventually joined in. As the line passed back around into the rear of the church where the ritual area was prepared, Heather, one of the coveners, smudged each person.

Quarters were called, in the usual fashion, marked only by the fact that each covener addressed his or her quarter in an original manner -- one hailed a Watchtower, one gave a Namas'te to the spirits of Fire, etc. The bulk of the ritual was a reenactment of the birth of the Moon and Sun, complete with blanket bundles representing the infants which were passed from hand to hand. (The cuteness of CDHSarah explaining in a stage whisper to our friend's four-year-old "That's the Baby Moon" is indescribable.) We were reminded of deep roots, of the need to care for one another, of all those home-hearth-and-family things that are representative of the Solstian holidays in nearly all traditions of which I'm aware.

So I met some pagans I like, did some networking, got invited to yet ANOTHER party scheduled for tonight (I'm going to three, including that one). This one is an End of the World Party, prepping us for 12.23.2012 and the end of the Mayan calendar, being thrown by a healer whose business card quotes the "By their works you shall know them" verse from the New Testament, which I think is awesome. Also, I got to actually have a conversation with the aforementioned Heather, who is super-cool and also, apparently, a friend of LadyA's. It was awesome, and I enjoyed it, and I'm ten times more hyped for Beltane now than I was before.

In more recent news, I spent last night with my Hindu teacher, since her drum circle went until 12:30 am and we sat up talking for 2 hours after that. So I woke up today instensely happy, as sleeping in the shrine room and waking up looking at Kali and the great view of the woods will do that. This afternoon, I hooked up with Army Husband Buddy to pass along his present for shipping; we went to Baja Burrito, went and hit up Mad Mod and Pre To Post Modern. At the latter I found a classic pinup-girl ashtray and a funky blue and green striped throw for the ugly-but-comfy green chair, which made me quite pleased despite that fact that, after a short Goddess & The Moon visit, I had to go to work.

Going into work at 6 pm is such a demotivator -- by that point I'm having a natural low and would rather do anything except be responsible. But tonight was pretty good, as I got to give the kids of the Second Most Evil Bosslady in the World their presents...Where the Wild Things Are for the three-year-old, Harold & The Purple Crayon's 50th anniversary hardcover edition for the one-year-old. And the 2ndMEBitW got a lamp ring-style diffuser and some lavender essential oil, in the hope that the aromatherapy will chill her ass out.

The purchase for her went like this: go to the Body Shop to get lip crap for self's cracked and bleeding lips, because the Body Shop has the best lip crap ever. (Got the Hemp Chanvre this time, as they have no kiwi-related flavors this time of year.) Have vague thought in head of getting something beauty-and-health related for 2ndMEBitW, combined with fervent desire to no longer be making single yearly trip to mall, which cannot end until present is purchased, as book I planned to get her (Don Miguel Ruiz's Four Agreements) she has read and, apparently, absorbed no information from whatsoever. Upon approach by cute and earnest salesgirl, tell her you need a present for $10 or less for a total neurotic. Shoot down her suggestion of a traditional diffuser with candle on basis of 2 children under three and accompanying fire hazard issues. Seize on her suggestion of lamp ring and lavender oil as thoughtful and of benefit to self as well, as changing table for 1-year-old is in the bedroom where gift would likely be used and lavender more pleasant scent than ones usually emanating from there.

However, 2ndMEBitW did redeem herself by giving me a Christmas bonus, so I regret in small part my Scroogish thought process during gift purchase...but only in small part. I celebrated by going to Cafe O2 and giving Kara her new ba-gua for the front door of her new house, which made me super-happy as I managed to find one of the ones with the concave/convex combo mirror, which is the best thing for front door use.

So it's been a great day, but right now I have a random back cramp and my bed calls. Happy belated Solstice and early Christmas, guys. Talk at you soon.


At 10:48 AM, Blogger Lady A said...

Yaay, Yule and presents and fun.
And you're right, of course, it was enlightening. But it devoured my evening, at least.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger parcequilfaut said...

It will do that. I read the first half of it in Books A Million.


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