rowanf: (Cigana do Almas)

LaSirenenecklaces.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I have been having very vivid dreams this week, many of which I have shared, but of course I don't remember them now when I go to put something to paper. This morning I woke up from a dream of being in Samara, Costa Rica. But, being me, it wasn't a nice dream about walking on the beach, it was a dream worrying about whether I could get enough groceries. I was debating between the little local (to Villas Kalimbas where I was evidently staying) convenience store and walking across town to the bigger market (which I was told is owned by Walmart though it is not so branded). I do get the sense that I wasn't there alone this time but I am not sure who my dream companion was. And I remember drumming on the beach.

Wednesday, I went over to the EDD/Connect and applied for ProMatch which is a peer-oriented job search group that Sunnyvale's office runs. I ran into Carol Daly who is evidently also unemployed (but already in ProMatch as she was one of the greeters). It seems like a pretty good program but one that it will take time to get into. Speaking of time, I have been unemployed since the end of March. I applied for UI at the end of April (after Costa Rica) and it is almost July and I haven't seen any money. I am very grateful that I don't have a landlord with a hand out or other money worries. If I didn't have a bit of severance, a nest egg and Russell... if I really needed umemployment to survive... I'd be in a right panic.

I have been making necklaces for La Sirene & Yemanja and otherwise getting my head into the right place for Saturday's necklacing. It is interesting. My hands aren't too happy about it, but I really felt I needed to make necklaces, so I am. Pomba had me buy Yemanja a cake. I admit to finding that really funny and a bit baffling. But she was very insistent, so a cake is on order.
rowanf: (Fox Rowan Lunaii)

Worker's hand
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Well, I've been back for a week almost and way too busy to write a journal article. LOL I can't wait until after Beltaine when things should get a bit more low key!

So I left Costa Rica on Wednesday and had a lovely stop over in Miami where I got to hang out with Mic & Rayna and the boys. The flight home was on a total cramped bus of an airplane but I slept a fair bit and got home on Thursday midday. Kurt picked me up at SFO and carried me off to my favorite diner for food. I am very happy to be home!

I don't really remember what I did Friday. Unpacked. Did laundry. Got started on my interfaith photo project.

Saturday was a bembe. Between this and that I hadn't been to a house event in months and it was really nice to reconnect with folks and with the Orixa. I went out for the usual suspects (Pomba, Ogun, Oxossi, Brigitte) but also for Oko since Diana and I were the only senior mediums present and she was still Nana at that point. It was really interesting. He looked at our dance floor as a plowed field that needed to be prepared for planting. There was thick broken glass shards (like maybe from a vase?) all over it which he saw as rocks that needed to be out of the field. So he cleared all of those and also took a trowel Ogun had been sharpening and tackled some of the weeds. He was very intent on making the floor into a place we (the House) could grow from. It felt like a pretty helpful working even though he isn't a Power with whom I have much history. I got home about 8pm and basically fell over. My pedometer says I danced a couple of miles over the course of the day. Orixacise. *grin*

Sunday morning I did some World of Warcraft. Sad to say, I haven't had any TIME for WoW since getting home to speak of. But I did an hour on a gear run in Ulduar and then an hour with Falkenrath Knights, our friends and family guild. And then I had to get ready for the coven and friends to arrive to work on Beltaine. We had a totally awesome get together which included a read through, restringing the maypole and a barbeque and picnic in the back yard. We have amazing friends and family and I hope Beltaine is as good as that rehearsal party.

Monday and Tuesday I worked on my interfaith photo project. It is about 95% finished; I only need to print some captions that had typos or that tore when I was trying to put them on. The tacky spray glue was much stickier than I had hoped (the period when you can reposition is quite short) and for some reason the fact that the cardboard tri-fold is black made my hands into grimy paws that a blackleg miner would recognize. Totally crazy. Russell came home and we cooked dinner finished watching whichever Harry Potter movie we're up to (we've been watching them one by one).

And so now I'm caught up. Tomorrow the carpet cleaners are coming, so I imagine I will finally get to play some WoW since I will be hanging out waiting on tradespeople. And then Thursday I have an interfaith meeting and I'll need to finish my project up. Friday David comes down in anticipation of Beltaine. Saturday we do the ritual and Sunday is the big culmination of Silicon Valley Reads and the Religious Neighbor Next Door project. So next week, I want some bloody time off. But I will probably apply for unemployment and make an appointment with the placement firm I have a month's consult with and, well, time off seems unlikely.
rowanf: (cigana rainha)

rose-cumple-cake1.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
This past Saturday was the 21st anniversary of the American Magic Umbanda House. Because of construction work at House K, we met at Cat's house in Concord. Beautiful altars were created by the Altar society -- the destruction of so much sacra in the fire earlier this year doesn't seem to hold them back.

As usual for a major Bembe we had the House Powers and the Loa and the Norse line invited. This was the Xere - Ancestors, Exu, Ogun, Oya-Yansa, Oxossi, Pombagira, Omelu, Nana, Aganju, Oxumare, Xango, Ibeji, Legba, Damballa & Ayida Wedo, Oko & Bossu, Gran Bwa, Simbi, Ghede, Brigitte, , Odin, Freyja, Freyr, Milokan, Olokun, Oxun, Yemaya and Obatala.

I went out for Ogun, Oxossi, Pomba, Oxumare, Xango, Simbi and Maman Brigitte. I was pretty heavily shadowed by Bossu but didn't go out fully so I kept within the Rule of 7. We had a pretty light attendance so Mama Maeva did give me permission to go over but as she says, I am a young Senior.

I am not a very good reporter of these things. I can't remember anything from my powers and although I spoke to most of the powers invoked, I don't remember more than that they were all happy to bless the House for another year. The drumming and singing was especially good and I definitely got my "orixacise" and was sore the next day. (Though as usual I blame a lot of that on Oxumare who thinks I should be waaaay more athletic than I actually am.)

After the powers were gone and the altars cleaned up so we could have dining tables with had an amazing feast. Kurt had gotten Fred steak and green beans and potatoes, I had made cauliflower salad and various other folks can contributed amazing dishes. I wish I could have tried Kaerla's sweet potato pie. But I am quite sure that no one went hungry and many pleasurable bites of feast were had.

It was almost 10pm by the time we got home and I have to say that even though I am almost back to health, an 11 hour excursion with hours of dancing is more than I am really up for. At least we won't have another Xere this long until New Years.
rowanf: (Cigana do Almas)

AidaWedofeast.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Friday I drove up to the East Bay for the first board meeting of the new Pagan library initiative. The drive was insane - took a bit over an hour going and two hours to get home as I hit the edge of rush hour. This puts a damper on my enthusiasm. But we have a space, the start on bookcases and we are entering our collection into LibraryThing as a start on cataloging. And it is good to work with Don & Anna, Glenn, Diana and Gus on the project. But oh, dear, that commute!

I got home and then went out shopping with Kurt to get the meal for Ember's necklace ceremony together. Aida Wedo had interesting dietary requirements - vegetarian except eggs with a dish of each colour of the rainbow. Kurt did three types of grains (rice, cous cous, quinoa) surrounded by colourful cabbage, tomatoes, lettuce, blue potatoes, etc. to get the palette. Colourful and tasty.

The ceremony went well I think, the power was well seated. I danced Ogun, Oxossi, Pomba and Maman Brigitte. I had taken a Huichol scarf for Oxossi and I got a Path I hadn't met before. Things did not go very well with him and I was late to horsing Pomba. All the Pombas were smoking cigars and I had an asthma attack. My lungs are still not back to normal, I guess. I hate feeling unreliable but I just couldn't do the last 4-5 powers after Maman. I was to be a "show must go on" type who can be counted on through thick and thin, but it is being borne in upon me over the last few years that I am not.
rowanf: (cigana rainha)

sopera closed
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
This past weekend was the 20th Anniversary of the American Magical Umbanda House and we had a bembe and Senior Dance out. more )
rowanf: (cigana rainha)

Nagrand2.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Maia was headwashed to Yemanja yesterday. It was a 33 powers bembe, of course, which is very grueling. My powers were Ogun, Oxossi, Pomba, Oxumare, Brigitte and Simbi with Gran Bwa and Kama'pu'a'a optional. I don't think I went out for Gran Bwa. Each of us who are going to do our Senior Dance Out in August were given a power we're not used to horsing, Simbi was mine. It was fine. The other "senior" thing that happened is that Mama handed me her staff and said "hold the floor" at one point. It was amazing, I could feel the energies of everyone on the floor. It was Oxun's time and there were several of her which was interesting energy-wise. Hmm. There aren't really words for this. But it was very interesting and I admit that being that hyperaware for an entire day would be tiring... and energizing... but mostly tiring I think. I was happy to hand it back to Mama. Gwen and I had carpooled and we were definitely both out of spoons by the time I dropped her home. I am not sure I'm robust enough to be an Umbandista. (Oh! I should record that Pombagira de las Almas wants into the House... under Brigitte not under Pomba. Gah.)

Sunday I went to the NCLC meeting at Nette's. We talked stipends and I am not going to Merrymeet. I stayed after to play Wii with her. And hang out in her pool. Visiting with people with indoor/outdoor connecting space always makes me notice how closed our home is. I don't mind it, but it is definitely different to be on a corner with no direct access to a yard.
rowanf: (dragon heart)

FC&P11-8_049.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I had a very nice weekend. Friday I exercycled and caught up on CSI Miami, shopped, went to my SL photo club (but it sort of fizzled) and ended the evening with a totally crazy WoW drinking game doing the instance Karazhan. I went through two bottles of cider and was pretty lit by the time we were done. But I didn't die even once. Go me. Typing otoh, was amazing hard. Luckily we were mostly on vent.

Saturday there was something weird wrong with our water (as in full of sediment) but we weren't able to reach anyone at the water dept. We still don't know exactly what happened, a neighbor says a well broke. And others said they were advised to boil water. I left to go to the House with Russell still trying to get through to the SJ Water Dept. He gave up on the "emergency" number after 30 minutes and sent an email which got a "we'll be in the office on Monday" auto-response. So fail.

But I escaped when Chris arrived as we were carpooling to the Ghede devotional and ancestor ritual at the Umbanda House. We remembered many Beloved Dead and it was very moving. Ember sang some amazingsongs. (I want to learn them nao!) And the feast was lovely.

Being a devotion, it was done by like 4:30 and I went with Chris over to Nettie's where Tracy had spent the day. We hung out with Nettie, Marina,
Sabrina, Jeff, Chris & Tracy for several hours of hot tubbing and Indian food. It was fab.

And yes, I got home about 8:30 and played WoW. No surprise there. :-)

Sunday I got up and made crab cakes for breakfast. Russell and I finished watching the documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price. I thought it was pretty good but didn't question enough. It was very much a chronicle of every day folks who worked for or against Wal-Mart rather than a news piece. We also finished watching the KQED four-part series, Saving the Bay. This I highly recommend! It was a history of the San Francisco Bay from prehistory to the present. I learned alot.

I also went to my SL photo club Sunday meet and took a lot of cool pictures of blue avatars. Blue, being our theme for the week. *grin*
rowanf: (bear Roszmairta)

FC&P9-4_018.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
The holiday weekend was quite fun. I spent a fair amount of it playing WoW. I'm enjoying my new server immensely. Also the rep in battlegrounds feature. My main did a fair number of instances and raids that she'd never have seen on her old server. My druid respecced for healing and spent a few days in BGs learning her addons... and made it to 60! My Tauren DK made it to 68 and headed to Northrend.

And I did my photo club in Second Life and got some fun shots. The one to the side is me in my "fish woman" outfit.

Sunday Erika & Russell & I went downtown to Tapesty in Talent. It has shrunk considerably since the last time I went down there. It was quite astonishing really. We enjoyed the fair food and the walking around in the lovely weather. Erika bought a fun lavender sun hat.

Then I took off and saw District Nine with [livejournal.com profile] mr_kurt and [livejournal.com profile] saffronrose and Arthur. It was a tough movie -- gritty and believable and astonishingly good science fiction. I recommend it.

Today I went to the Oko & Nena Feast and Devotional, celebrating the
bounty of the harvest and the wisdom of Grandmother Earth, that Loren & Diana put on for the House. We gathered and they gave talks on the two powers and then we set out the feast (roast goat, steak & chicken; amazing gumbo, black-eyed peas, ground turkey with yam & spinach casserole and other dishes that escape me at the moment. I didn't really expect to go out as they aren't powers with whom I work particularly. Evidently Nena needed more mouths as I was soon sitting and (so I'm told) eating everything in sight. My stomach agrees with that assessment. I am told I consumed a great deal of gumbo! And salad! And I didn't have any of the grilled steak I had brought even. I think my tastes and Nena's don't coincide very well. At least she only drank one beer. Anyway, I am home and overfull with memories of mud and long lazy rivers and not much else. I will have to do some altar work I think. I realized I don't have a necklace for either power but Diana & Sparrow have offered to remedy that for Nena & Oko respectively.
rowanf: (Rainbow Rose happy)

Bo-lunar2.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
[livejournal.com profile] rubibees wanted to hear more about the Bembe than "The 19th Anniversary Bembe of the American Magic Umbanda House was pretty amazing. I went out for Pomba, Oxossi, Oxumare, the Ibeji and Bossu as I recall. I didn't go out for Ogun and Xango really wanted me to but I resisted because I was very much needed in the chorus this time." Okay, that was a little sparse.

The big 33 power bembes are really hard, physically and psychically. I had expected to go out for Pomba, Ogun, Oxossi, & Oxumare. And probably Maman Brigitte. (Which I did, even though I didn't mention it in the first post.) But mostly I was on the hook as a chorus member because one of our main singers is taking a break in preparation for a big personal ritual. (Not sure whether to name names in open journal, no slight intended!)

The Ibeji were a big surprise and I went from them straight to Bossu. I remember saying, "no, I'm not going to be a cow" as I heeled right over into cowhood. LOL I had gone out for the Ibeji at their devotionals and maybe once before at a bembe. This was my second time for Bossu too. It is actually very restful to be a cow. Perhaps I should play my WoW Taurens more often. ;-)

We called the Ancestors just before a five minute break. They were so very present even after their 7 minutes of song that someone burst into Amazing Grace as the break began and then I sang Breaths for them too. It was so beautiful and special. After 19 years we have too many "ancestor" House members who have passed on and who are missed.

I went in and lay down during the Norse. I love that pantheon, but for some reason I often miss it in this context. Partly because they are mostly called in these really long Bembes and because my Norse head, Tyr, isn't in the House. I have been known to go out for Freya but not often.

There was a break after the Asian lines and we did a little singing for Shiva although he didn't come down. He has been being snarky in my head about Ganesha being called but not Him. He appreciated the chant.

I did mention the feast before. [livejournal.com profile] mr_kurt is doing a year stint as chief chef and he is, of course, an amazing cook. We had a choice of turkey alfredo with fresh basil or vegetable stew or beef stroganoff over rice plus salads. Evil Mo had made some gallettes, Kaerla had made rose cardamom cookies with a chocolate kiss topping each one, Kat had made rice pudding. And various other folks had brought additional amazing food.

After cleaning up we got home fairly late and I crashed. I was very sore the next day what with Oxumare who always is very physical and Bossu; and really just six+ hours of dancing/standing singing. It makes me appreciate our new style of devotional bembes where we are calling five-six powers at a time and it only takes three hours.
rowanf: (cigana rainha)

rose-cumple-cake1.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
This weekend was the one year anniversary of my Headwashing to Pombagira. We had a Bembe on Saturday and I brought a "birthday" cake to celebrate. I had to call four different bakeries to find a place that would put red roses on a cake. It was from Aki's Bakery which is a long-time San Jose business but I had never gotten a cake there before. It was great! Although the red dye from the icing got on everyone's whites. I hope it comes out!

Pomba wasn't called at this Bembe as it was the last in our series of exploring the powers for an extended visit. We invited Oko, Nena, Omolu, Ghede & Maman Brigitte to this Bembe. And remembered the Ancestors. I have really enjoyed the extended visits with the powers, but I admit I miss horsing Pomba every month. I envy the Exu heads whose Baba has to come to open the gates every time. Pomba is an Exa but she doesn't usually do the Padé.

I only went out for Maman, but we had some great new chants and I really enjoy being a chorus member and making the ambiance that allows the powers to come through. I am still rocking out to the new Nena chant in my head.

The other excellent thing about the five powers Bembe (instead of 13) is that we end a little earlier and people have good time to visit and feast together. Kurt outdid himself with a wonderful feast of red beans with ham and andouille sausage over rice and a four-cheese mac&cheese for the vegetarians. Kaerla baked a peach pie that was scrumptious. It was a really lovely day.
rowanf: (cigana rainha)

F&CP-cave_020.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Friday I shopped, played WoW and went to my photo club where we were being prehistoric babes. It was a bit of fun and only one of my pix really had the SL prim bug... and I knew it would. So not as grumpy a photoshoot as most recent ones have been.

Saturday I mostly played WoW because the At Home was cancelled. Then in the evening I went to a dinner for Exu by one of his children. All of the Exu Societé of the House was there along with some guests (live drumming ftw!). The feast and the company were superb. My cumple is coming up on 6/21 but I am pushing the celebration off a month since the Societé just met to July 25th and because we have a bembe on the 20th. I will take a cake to the bembe, of course. But I want to give Pomba a full dinner with all the Pombas & Exus.

Russell and I wandered around the Naglee Park neighborhood (just south of our Julian-St James neighborhood) doing their artist open studio day. It was a really beautiful day, sunny but not too hot, and it was so fun to wander! In fact it seemed like much of the 'hood was on the hoof. We hit maybe half the venues and saw a variety of painting, drawing, landscape design and an antique clock restorer. We esp. liked the clocks and the home of the restorer - a full wall of beautiful stained glass in their entry room backing on their enclosed porch. So fine! The last stop we made was at the home of a portrait photographer who travels the world taking pictures of people. I really wanted a print of a smiling picture of an elderly woman (probably in Tibet or nearby population) wearing a knit cap that says "power" on it. But, of course, I already own tons of flat art that is sitting in a stack in my room. So I passed her by. But it was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
rowanf: (Default)

FC&P2-27noob_029.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Friday was a normal Friday with some grocery shopping, life maintenance, by SL camera club and WoWing. I went over in the evening to help Kurt with the food prep for the headwashes but he had mostly finished by the time I managed to arrive. I did get a have a hot tub for my trouble though. *grin*

Saturday I got up to the House early and helped Kurt set up for the cooking. With Jess being a headwashee, Kurt had taen the post of Kitchen Maven. Various folks had contributed dishes and he was the ringmaster who made sure everything was ready on time for serving. The food was fabulous! The bembe was good too. All the power showed up ready to work and bless the headwashees and the dual headwashing came off beautifully with Exu seated on his children. I hadn't brought enough warm clothes and ended up foregoing consulto. I was sorry as I was looking forward to talking to Himself. Kurt said it was quite interesting as the pair would complete each other's sentences.

Sunday I went to WECSOR, the annual meeting of several academic research organizations including American Academy of Religion (Western Region). My friend Michelle was presenting a paper and had told me about it. I went to her session where her paper on "Bisexuals and Choice" was presented in the Queer Parenting theme along iwth with "Womanist Approaches to Lesbian Parenting" and "Lesbian Mothering: In or Other of the Closet - Does Internal Homophobia Increase, Decrease or Neutrailize Once You Have Children?" The session was quite interesting. I hadn't really been exposed to Alice Walker's notion of "Womanist" and found that quite interesting. I thought the question of internalized homophobia was also quite interesting and I'd like to see more of the survey responses on which she based her research.

Michelle & I blew off the keynote and went out for coffee at Mission City. It was nice to catch up. We may see her in NYC next month too.

Then she went to a women's studies session and I went to a session on Indigenous Religious Studies. The four papers were "Cherokee Agency in the Christian Encounter", "Babylon Inna Hopiland: Articulations of Social Injustice by the Hopi Reggae Musician Casper Loma-da-wa", "Secularization by the 'Sacred': Discourses of 'Religion' and the San Francisco Peaks" and "Bwino Epistemology and Post-Colonial Scholarship: Toward a New Approach in the Study and Teaching of Indigenous Religions". The first was a scholar arguing with some other scholar's interpretation of how the Cherokee Nation after the Trail of Tears did or did not benefit from and adopt Christianity and Christian missionaries. The second was a rather amazing tail of Reggae among the Hopi and a Reggae stylist who puts Hopi stories to his own Reggae tunes. And how the Babylon-Zion dichotomy in Reggae had translated to Hopi terms. I'd like to hear some of the music! The next was about a legal battle between native people in Arizona against a ski resort on some sacred mountains. The question was whether invoking Christian analogies suchy as calling the mountains a "church" undermined the animist worldview of the peaks as an otherworldly being. His conclusion was that it didn't given the context of the legal battle. But it was an interesting question because it is something we who do interfaith on behalf of indigenous religions are constantly questioning ourselves about... how much to use common terms to talk about our traditions in order to dialogue in a foreign context. The final talk was by a professor about how to teach about African religion in a post-colonial world whilst rooting out colonial concepts that have fueled research in the past. He also mentioned a new two volume "Encyclopedia of African Religion" Edited by Molefi Kete Asante and Ama Mazama, published by Sage Press, ISBN: 978-1-4129-3636-1, that sounded really interesting. If I had $300 to spare, I'd be tempted to buy it. :-)

Then I blew off the afternoon sessions and went shopping for Tuesday dinner. I had ordered corned buffalo from Whole Foods. Unfortunately when they checked it this morning it had "turned". Before I could freak out too much they gave me 8lbs of buffalo and suggested since I had two day I should brine it and it would be at least a little corned. Eeep. Well, at least Tuesday dinner will be cheap this month since WF so kindly paid for the meat.
rowanf: (Default)

Oxun_058.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Reading back over my entry from the airport, I see I left out two notable events.

Thursday night we went celebrated the eve of Oxun's feast and also went over to Pepito's apartment to wish them happy. I got to see his lovely temple room and large collection of soperas. I was unfortunately very allergic to his two cats (in addition to respiratory symptoms I started swelling up *sigh*). It was a great visit anyway. I shared the sticky honey Oxun song.

On Friday as we were leaving down we were hawked by some street vendors selling fruit... and I recognized it as genipe - a tropical fruit from my Panamanian childhood. Back in April 2005 there was a meme that swept Lj and I answered that this was my favorite fruit. And I tried very hard to find some back then. Anyway, I bought two bags and finished one of them that night. The other is on my counter and I plan to savour it. Rayna says it is called something else in Mexico so I need to find that name and see if I can get a tree. *happy dances*

from the meme since it has a picture and no-one knows this fruit
6. Your favourite fruit or vegetable. I remember them being genipe or genip but he says guinnups. I would *really* like to have one. They don't grow in North America, of course. *sigh*

rowanf: (Cigana do Almas)

Exujazz_048.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Well, I said I'd write up the Bembe but I don't really have much to say. Our House chorus rehearsals have recently changed from once a month in San Jose to twice a month, once in SJ and once in Oakland. So Friday night Chris & I made the trek to Oakland. We had a great meal at Tropix Caribbean and then went to Edoras. Somehow in the change of venue, no one had thought to mention that household includes four cats. I did my usual "oh, I'll be okay" and breathed myself into an allergy/asthma episode. *sigh* We moved outdoors and I managed to stay for most of the rehearsal but it really banjaxed my lungs.

Saturday morning Kurt & I coordinated and took my desk up to Etherius in Berkekely. Yay! The desk is gone. And Monday night I ordered an exercycle. I'm hoping to stop being such a slug.

So I headed on to the House with some trepidation. My chest was sore from the attack and I was afraid that the cigars would be bad since I was already triggered. Nine Exus took the floor and proceeded to smoke. Yep. I'm in trouble. I hang out in the always no-smoking food tent. I do not dance for Ogun or Oxossi but they have plenty of mediums on the floor. Somewhere in there some wonderful person gets the idea of setting up a fan to provide an air barrier between the floor and the food tent. And someone convinces me to use my inhaler. That makes a difference. I dance about half of Pomba's time before two Exus light cigars. Back to the food tent.

I did manage to hang in there and dance Oxumare and Brigitte. Oxumare was amazing. I haven't danced him/her in way too long. I managed Brigitte for one song. Oh! And I had an interesting experience when Ghede handed me a plastic skull. I got a hit from a spirit who said he was "The Major" and that he was an Revolutionary War Hero and an ancestor of the House. I couldn't get him to tell me how that might be, but he was very glad to be there. Okay. I seem to get random spirits who really want to be a part of us. I introduced him to a couple of people in case they want to talk to him too.

By 5pm we're not quite halfway through the xere and I'm exhausted and sore and decided that the hour drive home was about on the edge of my capacity. Mama walked me to my car and I went home and collapsed. Bah. I missed the wonderful pork and rice feast Jess was making and all the visiting and hanging out I had been looking forward to. The Orixa with whom I interacted were all concerned about me. Omolu and Oko in particular sent me energy which helped me stay as long as I did.

Note to self - yes, you really are severely allergic to cats. It doesn't matter that you love them. DO NOT HANG OUT WHERE MULTIPLE CATS LIVE!!!! Esp. when inhaling to sing with nice deep breaths.
rowanf: (Default)

Dragon Raid
Originally uploaded by lynnellen.
Last week was very busy with lots of catching up at work and things like Tuesday dinner to get ready for. Then the weekend was fairly quiet and the days mostly in Second Life.

Friday I spent the morning inworld, hanging around hoping to take my volunteer exam for IOW but my mentor wasn't inworld. Then I rode my bike downtown to have lunch with Russell and wander the farmer's market. In the afternoon I read (finished the last Merry Gentry book in paperback) and slept and then headed off to an Exu dinner by a member of the House. She was thanking Himself for a year on the job and all the member of the House Exu Society were invited. (In case it isn't obvious, my headwash to the Exa Pombagira made me a member of that Society).

Saturday I went inworld for awhile, then watched the latest episode of Swingtown with Russell and then went back inworld for the Isle of Wyrms raid on the Second Life birthday celebrations (SL5B). Hatchies, wyrmlings and wyrms descended on the SL5B sims. I ended up at the main stage area and found a giant cake. I mentioned that one the raid IM and everyone came to the lure of a "dragon-sized cake". The picture isn't one of mine, although quite a few can be found in my photostream. I just like this one better. Must have happened after I left.

The one lovely outside thing I did on Saturday was go up to my friend [livejournal.com profile] amidb's birthday celebration. Lots of good friends, good food and conversation. Things were really just getting started when I left at about midnight but with an hour to drive home, I couldn't stay.
rowanf: (Default)

Rowan-Braided-Hair-4.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Well, the big day has come and gone. Kurt got to my house at 7:30 and Chris soon after and we got everything packed up for the journey to the House. On arrival I went into seclusion in the temple and set up my Pomba altar with the amazing new doll/statue that [livejournal.com profile] wynkat1313 made for me as the centerpiece. If I go out of the temple I have to wear a veil so that I am deemed "invisible".

Everyone busily bustled around and set up all the outside altars and got the feast going. Kat showed up and as my handmaiden redid my finger- and toenails for me since I had pretty much botched it (due to a top coat disaster). I can now say I have had a professional pedicure. If it counts when one is sitting in someone's front yard wearing a white dress and veil and being invisible. Still not sure I want to draw that much attention to my boney feet - but it made Herself feel like dancing so it was a goodness.

I did do a pre-headwash reading but I don't remember what the cards were except that the Star showed up again. Only half an hour late I was called out to do the pade. The day was very hot again and the air still under the tents. Gah. Where is the fog!? Soon I was surrounded by Exus and we were off. I got all kinds of messages as well as energy from the Orixa and we did manage to capture some of them as about half way though my friend Chris became my scribe. The highlights I can remember without the notes - Ogum thinks I should necklace to him, three different Orixa talked about "when you start your own House" (nope, no way!), lots of Orixa thought I should go out to a specific spot in nature to recharge some.

Mama had suggested that as an ordeal I was to stand for the entire xere, sitting only during the breaks. I am not sure this was a good idea. I am stubborn enough that I did it. But I think that I would have been better served, energetically, if I hadn't been in pain for the last 1/3 of the xere. It was harder to accept the axe from the Orixa across the pain. But finally the xere came to an end except for Ossain and Pomba and Kat & I retired to dress me for Pomba. My outfit was amazing, a many-ruffled flamenco skirt and ruffled top, my braids down with tembleques across the back (and once she was seated a tiara). I heard the Ossain chant start whilst I dressed and I came out and lay down on the bench where Mama laved me with sweet smelling water and the House sang the Pomba song I had chosen. They were to sing it three times, by the middle of the second time I was gone and Pombagira Cigana Rainha took the floor. Other songs were sung, she approved with amazing feast that Kurt, Jess, Sparrow and other kitchen ninjas had prepared and presented. There was pulled pork with horseradish sauce. Duck with rhubarb (which was practically orgasmic), stolen lamb stew, fried plantains with kahlua-rum whipped cream. Greens from Sparrow's garden and a quatro leches cake and a chocolate rum cake from Prolific Oven. Plus champagne and cava sangria.

As I had suspected would be the case, Cigana wasn't actually interested in eating, she was interested in people enjoying the feast. So she retired to the temple to do consulto (with a plate of food from which she basically ate cake and champagne). She spent several hours reading cards for people, as she said, "mostly telling them what they already knew". But She was very happy in the doing of it and I hope that folks found the exercise helpful/interesting. I was shadowing her off and on but not really around. I don't remember any specific readings really. Just a succession of people and cards drawn and hands waved. *laugh*

About midnight the last querent came in and finished and then Kurt & Ember packed up and we headed back home for the vigil. She left once early one when Kurt invoked the Navigatrix with a directions question and I hopped through to help. K&E sang Pomba back though and she enjoyed the drive. She was fascinated. She didn't seem to have very good access to my modern knowledge and she loved the speed and the bright lights. The moon is waning but still very bright and full. She loved the moon in the sky. She had a sense of wonder I hadn't expected.

We got home and set up an altar in the living room. I meditated and She did a card reading for me. It was The Allegrias, The Star and the Ship which we both thought very clear. I'm happy, have a goal and am in the arms of the Mother. Ember volunteered that she hadn't done consulto at the Bembe and Cigana did a reading for her that was much more complicated. She liked that. My reading was boring to Her in its clarity.

Around 4am we were talking about the cards again and Her desire for us to work on a Second Life deck of the Gypsy fortunetelling cards. This led us into a discussion of flickr and I came back to handle that. After a bio break I decided that I didn't think we needed to sing Her back, that we had done all the communing we needed to do. Dawn was 5:17am, and with the dawn Kurt was gone to try and get some rest before heading off to be in the NROOGD Litha. Ember & I chatted until about 6am and then I went to bed. Mama called at about 8:30 and woke me up to see how I was doing. I went inworld for awhile and fished (that being the extent of my energy for things). It is almost 11am and I can't tell you what I've done for the last two hours really. I wouldn't mind going to Litha with Russell but I am not sanguine. I also have to shop for Tuesday dinner fixings today. I have no idea what I want to cook. And the bags and baskets from the headwash are strewn all over the kitchen and livingroom and I have to put things away and generally do life maintenance things that have been on hold during the prep.

I don't feel particularly different. Time will tell whether the communication channel between me and Cigana is strengthened as predicted. I do feel very close and affectionate toward Her. But mostly I just feel exhausted.
rowanf: (Default)

pomba_073.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
We had a good chorus rehearsal but then I stayed up to 11pm. I really need to conserve my strength better. And then I got up and ate outdated yogurt for breakfast and scared myself about food poisoning. I am an idiot sometimes.

I did have a good meditation session though. This morning's reading started where yesterday's ended.

16 - The Star. This is the guiding star that presages luck and success.

27 - The Letter. You will get a message or acknowledgement.

19 - The Espiritualidade. This card is about spiritual evolution. It instigates us to look at the world with the eyes of the soul.

So things still seem to be on track. Kurt came over in late morning and we did plantains cooking tests. Then we went off and did the shopping for sauce makings and picked up the chocolate rum cake from Prolific Oven. He is puttering in the kitchen cleaning up after the pulled pork-making whilst I write in my Lj.

I do feel like things are on track. I'm nervous but happy and buoyed up by Pomba's presence on the edges of my mind. And, as usual, stress makes me sleepy.
rowanf: (Default)

Pombacigana_023card
Originally uploaded by rosenelsl.

Today reading continues to flow, communicating the obvious but pointing out warnings and telling me to be open.

17 - The New Things (?) (Novidades). A card of good omens of new things coming and a warning to be open and not to erm, descontraidamente, which I think means resist new ideas. Yes, I think this headwash is the new thing coming. :-)

30 - The Rivers. This card means deep peace, interior serenity. A state of grace and contemplation. It invites us to observe it and to meditate on its nature. To perceive that everything is in harmony and in peace when the flow of the life occurs without resistance.

16 - The Star. This is the guiding star that presages luck and success. The querent will find success in all the enterprises and have spiritual protection as well. Sounds good to me!

I did my morning meditations and then Kurt came over and we started the pork slow cooking. We ran various errands and got ingredients and party paper- and plastic-ware. Now I have a dinner break before the folks get here for our usual pre-Bembe House chorus practice. Whew!

Headwash water recipe:

Pombagira 2008 - Rowan

8 c water
2 t rose oil
1 t frankincense oil
4 t hibiscus flowers
4 t sandalwood
6 t oakmoss
8 t rose petals
27 green cardamom pods
rowanf: (Default)

Pombacigana_012
Originally uploaded by rosenelsl.
This morning started much like yesterday. 6:30-8:30 working on Isle of Wyrms, then shower and Pomba meditations at 9am.

Today's reading:

14 - The Traps. This is like the Devil card in the Tarot, warning against getting stuck in misconceptions. It can also be external forces but I'm thinking this is warning me to be open and not naysay things reflexively.

35 - the Anchor. This is a card of security, safe harbour, a trustworthy person. Also self confidence, but I'm guessing this is [livejournal.com profile] mr_kurt who is being an absolute rock of steadiness and beacon of safe harbour.

31 - The Sun. Illumination, clarity and enlightenment. Also a protective card associated with Oxala.

After my meditations Carole came by for our weekly tea (since we was down this way anyway and I wasn't going to be up her way). We had berries and cream and good conversation.

Then at noon, [livejournal.com profile] mr_kurt came by and we bombed up to Oakland to make sure Jess had enough money to buy the duck for Saturday's feast. She is doing an amazing duck and rhubarb dish. So I saw the amazing stand that [livejournal.com profile] wynkat1313 has created for the Pomba doll she is making for me, complete with LED campfire to dance beside. And let Mama smell my headwash water proposal which met with approval in that quarter too.

Then we headed to Los Altos where Chris had the pork shoulder packed for us and we picked up a few more incidentals. (Pomba is out of her Anton Berg liquor chocolates and this Draeger's didn't have them so she settled for Asbach Uralt chocolate-covered cherries.) Oh that reminds me! We stopped at the Bank of the West at 52nd and Telegraph and noticed a chocolate shop called Cosmic Chocolates and bought four truffles. The dulce de leche chipotle was amazing with the chambord frangelico a close second. The others, strawberry champagne & zinfindel ganache were fine but not outstanding. They have a "monthly fix" chocolate club. So tempting!

And now I have a few minutes before Russell gets home to catch my breath.
rowanf: (Default)

Pombacigana_006
Originally uploaded by rosenelsl.
Saturday I puttered about and went to see The Incredible Hulk with [livejournal.com profile] mr_kurt and [livejournal.com profile] saffronrose and their sprat. It was loud and felt true to the story. Tony Stark turned up at the end. I am looking forward to all the Avengers showing up one by one. *grin* In the evening I went to Berkeley for a red cord elevation and also had dinner with [livejournal.com profile] pearlshadow to talk about the headwash. Very productive. Also we ate at Cafe de la Paz and Pomba was happy to get yummy comfort food too.

Both Saturday & Sunday I went to Isle of Wyrms staff & volunteers meetings. We are ramping up for the hatching. I'm learning alot about the Isles. It is a cool community. On Sunday afternoon I wandered over to the twin's birthday party at K&M's pool and visited with folks and ate way too much birthday cake, keilbasa and fred steak with various trimmings. Yum! Erika & Russell joined us briefly after their walking tour of San Francisco before they went home to fall over. I think it must have been quite a walk as they were very tired.

Monday was my last day at work before taking off to prepare for my headwash. Naturally the printer was broken so I couldn't do what I had planned. But I did get a fair amount of other work done and that was a goodness. Monday night we danced and did sword work. Fun!

Tuesday was my first day off. At 9am (an hour divisble by 3), I set up my altar for the week and did my first card reading. I got

13 - The Child. Which I took to mean the intention to learn free of preconceptions, child mind.

20 - the Plants. Which is "you are responsible for what you cultivate" but also I think my headwash herbs and oils. It is also Ossain's card.

8 - the Candles. This is the equivalent of the Death card in the Tarot. Big transformations in store. Can you say "Headwash"?

Then I worked on Second Life Pomba pictures. And went out shopping for champagne and rum. And in the evening I cooked curry and we had Bollywood night watching Krrish. We had seen Koi Mil Gaya last year and this continues the story with the son who turns out to have super powers. It was fun but almost 3 hours long and Chris & Petra left without seeing the end due to exhaustion. Oh well.

May 2015

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