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Archive for the ‘Making Things’ Category

From melissadesa.wordpress.com

With none of my household being Christian, Christmas is an odd holiday to celebrate.  But as my daughter so aptly observed, “I like getting presents!”  Yes, tis the season!  Commerce has packaged December as the month of buying, whether you be Christian, Jewish, or African-American, or none of these.  Who wants to be left out of the present-getting?  (A lot of people, but…)  I most likely would not celebrate Christmas at all, if it were not for my daughter’s desire to eat sugar, get presents, and do fun creative stuff while cooped up in the house.  As a mystic reveler, it is my challenge to turn Christmas on its head.

Goodbye, Baby Jesus.  Hello, 2-dimensional Christmas.

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"Poem" by Bob Grenier

At 3rd Ward in Brooklyn, NY. To sign up, go here.

“At its most basic, writing poetry is to experiment with letters, words, sounds, and symbols. Keeping that in mind, we will look at poetry in this class not as a static sub-genre of writing, but rather as the very basis of writing itself. We will experiment with the idea of “text-as-textile” in an effort to re-experience writing as something that can be handled and manipulated.

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Outside of brochure for The Society for All

First up in our profile of new religions is an interesting little path manifest around the idea of waiting—or longing—as one might experience while waiting—or longing—for the bus to arrive. A truly urban religion if ever there was one, The Society for All is a path of wonder and devotion for the beloved (here in the form of a city bus). Adherents of the path, known as Omnes (meaning “everyone”) chant and travel this world waiting for the arrival of…. hmmm…..

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During the months of October and November I had the privilage of being witness to a number of brandy spankin’ new religions being made manifest in my “Start Yr Own Religion” class at 3rd Ward in Brooklyn, NY. I will being profiling these this week.

Stay tuuuuned….

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One of my students passed along a link to her documentarian friend, Phyllis Galembo’s, website cataloging ritual clothing. One image is above.

Why?

Recently, in my “Start Yr Own Religion” class we discussed the use of clothing in ritual and ceremony and the difference between “formal wear” and the “come as you are” approach. The question there being, what exactly demarcates a space as “sacred?” Is it because we name it so? What effect does having “special” clothing (robes, gowns, face paint, horns!, skycladness, etc.) have on separating the mundane from the sacred? Is such a dichotomy over-played and unnecessary? Of course, these are questions the sadhaka, the practitioner, will decide for her or his self, individually, or by consensus in community, so in some ways the question is moot. However, when we live in a world where most ritual and rite has been vacated of potency, it helps to at least take a peek at the opportunities we might have to don that headdress or rock up in PJs.

Perhaps it’s a question of urgency -vs- initiation.

[some vids after the bump jump]

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In many ways, a candle is a self-contained magic. It contains within itself the three elements of earth, water and air in such a way that the fourth element, fire, can be sustained by it. The magic of candles is so widely accepted that many people use it without even realizing (who hasn’t blown out the candles on a birthday cake and made a wish?).

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The spiritual meaning of various crystals and stones is widely known (and commercialised); you can buy a selection of polished gemstones in any one of thousands of shops with a little label explaining what it should mean. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that in itself but what about the private, almost intimate, interaction between a person and an object?

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