Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wheel of Wonder July 13, 2014

The Finnish Pagan faith, or Native Religion, is called Suomeniusko.  Although the official religion of Finland is Lutheran, like in other areas of Northern Europe and the former Soviet Union, there has been a strong resurgence, and even new, old acceptance of the people's native faiths.  Such are the times we live in.   I surmise, we are not only on the threshold of greater scientific knowledge , we are also allowed, perhaps some are even hungry for, remembering that as Human Beings, we are also people of Spirit.  I intended to spend this week discussing Uralic neopaganism, encompassing Finnish, Estonian, Mari-El and Mordovian native religions, taking us across the Baltic Sea and clear to the River Danube.
  A large area, but one of similar spirituality. Finalnd however has had a longer time to remember, renew and revitalize pre-christian spirituality, as the other Uralic groups didn't really start this process until the 1980's and 1990's, around the time of the fall of the Soviet Union.  So this week will only be about Finnish Neopaganism.  The other Uralic perspectives on this spirituality will be covered in other Wheel of Wonder entries/shows.
  It also happens that in my research, I found that this day: July 13th is the date of a major Suomeniusko holiday called Karhunpäivä. This is the day of the Bear.  The Bear is, like the Stag of the UK, a sacred animal, a king of the forest in  Suomeniusko and Taaivaannaula neopagan spirituality. Karhunpäivä is a holiday that celebrates his spirit and  the forest goddess Mielikki and is in part, drawn from the sacred rituals people have always done in Finland when killing a Bear for food; rituals to assure that he would reincarnate into the forest and the gods would know he was killed for a special reason, not just out of carelessness or for sport.


The Finnish world view, like other spiritual and Shamanic perspectives in many cultures, consisted of three different layers of reality:  the upper world, located to the south and in the sky, the middle world, where people live, and the lower world, located to the north and under the flat earth, leading eventually to Tuonela, the land of the dead.  The picture above is titled "Journey to Tuonela 1"  representing the river that flows through the middle world and to the North (Pohjola), and eventually into Tuonela.  I found the picture on DeviantArt, and it is by a tattoo artist named Tuomas Koivurinne

After this week, I'll be on the road again, and Wheel of Wonder will be hosted by Lori, from last week, and some other partner djs until August 10, 2014.  Thanks for listening to Wheel of Wonder, streaming live at kaosradio.org!
    
 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wheel of Wonder June 29, 2014

The Wheel turns and we've made are way to Midsummer in the Northern Hemisphere.  Happy Litha!  By the time I hit the airwaves again, I expect to have been to the Tacoma Highland Games (They have a Bards Tent this year!) In many traditions the idea behind Summer Solstice is celebrating the fertility of the Earth as the Goddess' energy moves from the energy of the Maiden of Spring, to the energy of the Mother, it is also for celebrating the Male principle, which like the Sun up in the sky, is at its peak of strength and power, before weakening with the onset of winter.  This is often represented by the battle between The Oak king (God quality of Summer) and the Holly King (God quality of Winter), with the Oak king fighting on until he sacrifices his life at Lughnasadh to assure good crops for the next year and also to be reborn as the young Sun God at the Winter Sostice, beginning his growth into power for the next year, until he is sacrificed again.
For a man and his spiritual nature a simile could be made as to how well we do at our jobs, or in our relationships, covens, gorsedeau, or whatnot, in the area of learning, growing, and changing. As these experiences allow us  to grow, mature, they also offer new opportunities for learning and success. The end of one way of being and the beginning of another are like little deaths and rebirths as we learn from life, or advance in knowledge and spirit in the course of our existence, until the end of our last day of being in this incarnation.  Not being a Farmer, that's how I relate to these changes, relationship cycles, and even the seasons of the year.  In Autumn we harvest our knowledge, in Winter we reflect on what we've learned and how it can make us better at the dawning of a new year,  a new spring.  This also allows Summer to be a time for celebration!  I think that's why I enjoying taking a vacation from work and pursuing new experiences during July and August.  New experiences can make me a new man, sacrificing my last year with the coming of Mabon.

For now the Sacred Flame of knowledge still burns in my chest, and I hope to bring new guests and new music To Wheel of Wonder after attending the Tacoma Highland games and experiencing all my travels this summer.  On Wheel of Wonder we are in the middle of taking a metaphorical journey of music and ideas, based on a divining exercise with the Druid's Ogham.  I hope you'll tune in to hear what the Ogham has been revealing to us this week on Wheel of Wonder.  Also, thank you so much to the people who supported KAOS and Wheel of Wonder in our Spring pledge drive, it allows me and this great little independent radio station to keep sharing unique music and incredible ideas with all of you!   Summer Blessings!


 Sacred Fire and Golden Pentacle great art by great artists!  I couldn't find the name of the Artist of Sacred Fire, let me know if you do please.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Wheel of Wonder May 4, 2014

The wheel turns and we are moving beyond Beltane.  In this part of the world it has been very hot, a few days at a time, and then raining for a bit, the rain cools things down, its rhythm can put you to sleep in the nighttime, and the people with allergies receive a break from the assault of pollen.  The Oak tree out my window went from budding to leafy in only one day!  In the land down under our friends Louisa John Krol, Adrienne Piggot, and Wendy Rule are moving past Samhain, and into the dark part of the year.  The balance remains true. 
Those of you who feel the pounding of the earth's heart and the flow of her plant children's energy whether it seems to be slowing and sleeping, or budding with the quickening, undoubtedly have a firm grasp of we as Humans live in relationship with all other lives on this earth.  Interestingly, this is one of the transformational processes often attributed to the transition from the age of Pisces, to the age of Aquarius, mentioned in my last post.  Perhaps it is also the true feeling of compassion and connection.
  This week on Wheel of Wonder we'll be addressing the idea of Men who live outside of the "Man-Box"compassionate souls who understand that being a truly effective man includes living a life of compassion and caring for others, not just a life of competition and commanding the other.
Kozo Hatori is a man who wrote a very inspirational article on this for YES magazine, he observed, or reflected:
"I remember being a very compassionate child. While watching "The Little House on the Prairie," I cried my eyes out when Laura couldn’t give Pa a Christmas gift. But 12 years of physical abuse and being forced to the confines of the “act-like-a-man box” wrung most of that compassion out of me by the time I reached adulthood.
I knew I had to change. I started with empathy, which led me to compassion. I committed to a daily meditation practice,  and completed a 10-day silent meditation retreat. I read and researched everything I could find on compassion.  I found that the more compassion I felt, the happier I became." (yesmagazine.org, from Spring 2014)
Also this week, in partial celebration of Beltane, and love and compassion as well.  We will have an Interview and Poetry reading from Malachi Wavebreaker, OBOD member and poet/writer of the book:  The Voyager of Cardinal Water, A love story.
Compassion is a wonderful Human strength, celebrate it while celebrating Beltane and the Love of the Lord and Lady, in whatever form you experience them.

The picture above "Healing Hands" is from wakeup-world.com

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wheel of Wonder April 6, 2014

The wheel turns and we've left the darkness for Spring's new light.  In the public rituals of this part of the world we'd be in the time of the east, sunrise, and new beginnings.  Many of us have recovered from the cold a dark time of the year and feel life surging through the ground, the leaflord smiling in the trees, trees that seemed bare only three or four weeks ago.  The joy of birdsong, and the cleaning out of old things, old baggage, and the creation of our own garden of Gwynedd, or our sanctuary in this world.
Many find the spring to be a time of inspiration, undertaking new work that serves our true purpose of cooperation and collaboration, a natural state that comes with being an authentic Human.  The wheels of Wheel of Wonder have been turning for five full cycles now and it has brought me into a greater level of connection virtually and experientially with so many people, whether they be artists, academics, musicians, priests, ministers, progressive thinkers, or no particular theology spiritualists.
Again, in this part of the world . when the corners are called in public ritual, east is the direction that corresponds to the Element of Air.  Air corresponding to song, oratory, and voices carried across the wind.  Even the throat chakra if you like to see things that way. The throat chakra for finding your voice.
One of the great things that have come out of being able to broadcast Wheel of Wonder across the radio waves at KAOS 89.3 FM in America, or kaosradio.org on line, all over the world, is it has offered up a medium to break down misunderstandings of what non Judeo Christian Spirituality is, it has also given me a forum to share the occasional great news happening in the world about Environmental Sustainability, and the many different spiritual paths people take to achieve their highest purpose.  On occasion, I've even been able to share new findings in modern Science, that once again change, or challenge our concepts of a static, well known, concept of reality.  Reality is just as dynamic and mutable as the people living in it.  This is all because the broadcast medium I use for Wheel of Wonder is at its heart, a Community-owned, yes that's public, non-commercial, radio station, which is only surviving because of people starting or renewing memberships.  To start or renew a membership does include a donation of money, there are many levels at which to do that (go to kaosradio.org for details).  The public still owns this radio station it can bring you independent media information, hundreds of different types of music(80% independent, small label artists only 20% big commercial labels; required policy)as well as the shows New Dimensions, Time of Useful Consciousness, Philosophy Talk, Democracy Now, and of course, Wheel of Wonder.  Next week (April 7 -13) is KAOS' membership drive, please help keep this gem of independent thinking going with a donation and membership, there are very few sanctuaries of free thinking like this left in this world. It is , in a way, its own unique garden of Gwynedd.

------(Radio) Ray
the graphic above, as you may recall is called " Aquarian Awakening" there is an idea, among ascensionists, that, in the course of Human life in the Universe, we are leaving our age of Pisces, and finally approaching the Age of Aquarius (a time of transformation and oneness, yet where our independent, personal identities of  mind,body, spirit can continue to exist as well).

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wheel of Wonder March 2, 2014

It has been an interesting observation for me to see how people following a "Witch's path" in their spiritual lives are very attached to the phases of the moon along the wheel of the year, and people following a "Druid's path" focus on stages of the sun.  Sometimes these are the same people; I've met Wiccan Druids, and Druidic Wiccans, one does not necessarily exclude the other.  Some people are just witches (not following the Wiccan disciplines) and some people are just Shamans (Celtic, yes, but not following Druidic stages of learning).  Its not my intention to simplify either the Druid path or the path of Wicca, nor that of Shamans, Witches, Magicians, or any other, even within these broad headings their are many differences in practice, some believe in soul ascension, some have different focuses within them.

 I've met people on moon based paths calling the Spring equinox Ostara (after a germanic Goddess), and people on sun based paths calling it Alban Eiler (welsh for light of the earth).  I've been to Sun ceremonies (eight stages of the sun) and moon ceremonies (13 stages of the moon). There are many rituals reflecting  Earth's relationship to celestial bodies.  Alban Eiler and his Sister Ostara, as one would expect from the Spring Equinox ("equinox" meaning "equal parts") is also about balance, balance between the darker side of our nature, death before rebirth when we need to get moving on, and the lighter side of our nature, when perhaps we need allies for new projects.  So I have been thinking about balancing Sun energy and Moon energy along this quest for knowledge.  I found a bit of prose "A letter to a Witch from a Druid" and that has helped me work through this idea, here's part of it:

Though I see you before me as a reflection in a mirror
You who follow the Moon, as I continue along my path of the Sun
We are a shared existence

As my spirit flies on the wings of the white raven
May I meet you on the snow white wings of the owl
In that place between the day and the dark
and in sharing that sacred space within the spirit realm
Let us now bring the sun and the moon back into balance
seeing that one reflects the other and the other reflects the one
let us awaken our sleeping souls to their spiritual birth right
bringing blessings of peace to the earth and all life.

This week I'll be reflecting on these words, punctuated by all the great independent music you expect from Wheel of Wonder.  It is good to have something to think about.

As I'm sure you've noticed the art above was created by artist and writer Selina Fenech.  Visit her site here.






Sunday, February 16, 2014

Wheel of Wonder February 16, 2014

Today wheel of Wonder is being hosted by the KAOS world music director David.  I'm off on the road again, I hope to be bringing you updated information about the Finnish neo-pagan movement and how it resurfaces in Finland, Kirilia (Land of the Kalevala)and even Moldavia.
As most people realize nearly every Christian holiday can trace its roots back to a fine pagan festival.  For Valentine's Day, we can trace the festivities to the Roman Lupercalia.  Happening during "The Wolf Month" as we spoke of February being last week (Luper from the word Loup, or wolf).  Lupercalia is a fertility festival (not the same as the chocolate-sweet, romantic festival Valentine's has become.) Which included a playful scourging of the local women on the course of a procession by men in loincloths.   Sounds pretty festive wot? All of it was done in fun and to assure the fertility of the next years crops.  Neo-pagans these days are not likely to do a lot of scourging, but Lupercalia festivals still exist in modern forms.
On the lines of fun and fertility (in this case, of nature), David agreed to cover god news around environmental justice issues, along with all our usual, great music. Please post comments about his show, thanks for checking out Wheel of Wonder!

The picture above represent romulus and remus and their mother, the she-wolf.  Romulus and Remus were of course, the twins who founded Rome.  Lupercalia is intended to celebrate them and their Mother as well.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Wheel of Wonder February 9, 2014

Having made it through the dark time of the year and come out the other side of Imbolc, we look forward to the turning of the wheel into longer days, and in the Northwest of North America, still very cold nights.  Today as I write , I look out the window at a quiet world, beneath a blanket of new white snow.  February is sometimes called the Wolf month, or the dead month, and this year it has lived up to its name, the wind bites, and a deathly cold creeps through the land.  On those sunny days though, I enjoy the blooming of the heather, and the alder trees sharing the first hint of buds.  The Cailleach of the snows stubbornly holds on to the land , but the breath of Bridgit (Lady of Imbolc) still breathes the sweet scent of the coming spring through the trees and the gardens.
 "Imbolc" by Hamish Burgess: from the blog mauiceltic.com

 I've been to many public rituals at the turning of the seasons;  Wiccan, Druidic, Medicine Wheel, just to name a few.  One thing I've noticed, especially about the Celtic based ones, many officiates will try to include the participants in "calling the Quarters"  or asking who would like to evoke the spirits of the four directions to create the sacred space, or complete the spirit circle for the ritual.  Many times the participants get nervous and can't think of what to say, or what element is attributed to each direction.  In the northern hemisphere most groups agree its East: Air, South: Fire, West:  Water, and North: Earth, and most groups will also call the Center:  Place of God and Goddess, or Place of Spirit.  This week on Wheel of Wonder we'll explore the meanings, permutations, and symbolism of these Elements and Directions, so if one should ever like to join a public ritual, create their own sacred circle (sacred hoop), observe a change of the seasons, its change of energy, or any other special observance it will be more clear what calling the quarters is all about.  This week on Wheel of Wonder.