Living the Demetrian Wheel, reality strikes

October 27, 2008

I feel like I should title this post “bad priestess no biscuit”. October has been a wash, ritually speaking. Thankfully Demeter seems to understand and be rather tolerant of my efforts to get my life in order. Or at the very least she has not ripped open the ground at my feet or anything that dramatic.

My plan in drafting a Demetrian Wheel of the Year for my own working was to follow it for at least a year to see how it fit into my life and to learn from the experience. After all, if I claim to be Demeter’s Priestess shouldn’t I walk that talk in a very real sense by walking the path of her festivals? Well as with many well intentioned plans… life er… had other plans?

This is the complication of being a priestess and having a chronic illness, everything needs to be adjusted to the needs to the body. Oh. Goodie. So October has become “Flue” month rather than “ritual” month as I was planning. *sigh*. But then again, Demeter seems to understand what she has in me… so this all seems to be part of the process. Yeah, the process of teaching an Aries to mellow out and walk instead of run into everything! Riiiiiiight. Good luck!

All that being said… a few things have been accomplished, a little out of order… but I’ll take all the successes I can get.

I now have my out door altar to Demeter. This is a stand in for the Temple that is to come. The hubs and a cluster of other crazy friends have offered to assist in the creation of a larger exterior “temple” for her in the same spot. We are designing it along the lines of the Asian Spirit / Ancestor Houses which are built as mini houses in various designs for the spirits to live in. Since this is for Demeter, it will be Greek in style of course. And I have finally worked out what I want… hmm… what we want I guess is the better phrase. A four (Doric) column, single room temple with three steps leading up to the entrance. Nice and simple.We are going to rig an opening in the roof so that I can place the Demeter Altar Doll I made several years ago inside during the dry summer months and take her out in the winter. I’m pondering painting the image in Pediment rather than trying to create a set of mini sculptures for the whole thing! I found this very cool website that goes through the stages of development for the Greek temples complied by John Porter of the University of Saskatchewan. I’m hoping to have the temple built and put in place in time for Plynteria in April/May.

Over the weekend I ordered Barley seed so that I can plant a winter batch as soon as they arrive. I will need to work out a private honoring of Proerosia (about a month late, ah well) and include preparing the container and the location I am going to set the seeds out in – near the new altar.

I have a great idea planned for honoring the Stenia, but my schedule keeps getting messed up and timing with the group of ladies who are game to join me has been fubared – we all seemed to have gotten sick this month. My plan is very un-ritualistic and horribly contemporary but entirely within the spirit of the thing. A Girls Night in with videos, tasty things to eat, questionable drinks, and lots of bawdy girl talk. In particular we’ve been plotting a viewing of a lovely little musical called Naked Boys Singing. The Musical is much fun and the dvd was well done… and well… what can you say about lovely men with no clothes on who are enjoying themselves and singing about it? So again, the celebration will happen… just very out of sequence to the actual calendar.

I did manage to do an honoring of the Thesmophoria in a way… another very contemporary approach to ritual, but honoring the spirit of the festival if not the actual script. October 15th is the anniversary of the day I went into the Emergency Room at Disneyland in anaphylactic shock, which is a much longer story that does not need to be told here. That event triggered the toxins that had been stewing in my body from an exposure to Formaldehyde about 18 months earlier. The anaphylaxis pushed me over into full blown Multiple Chemical Sensitivity – the chronic illness I now live with. This year my business partner Jamie and I created a ritual to help me mourn some of what I had lost through that experience and celebrate some of what I have gained. We performed the ritual on Friday October 17th at the Berkeley Marina with a handful of other friends who shared in letting go some of their grief and celebrating some of their joys. It was a quiet and poignant evening.

Now the wheel turns and the Wiccan in me prepares for Samhain this weekend. More honoring of grief and joy at the end of the year. Somehow it all fits together. And just behind me, supporting and offering comfort and understanding, I can feel Demeter’s presence. Sister, Lover, Mother, Goddess, Cohort in Crime, and Friend.


4 Responses to “Living the Demetrian Wheel, reality strikes”

  1. Susie said

    Catherine, I’m so happy to find you! I love your site and what you are doing, how you transformed your diagnosis of MCS into a new life for yourself. I want to ask you so many questions about your art and ritual. I look forward to visiting your blog and learning more about you and your life’s work! Aloha, Susie

  2. Hi Susie, Welcome!
    I’m glad you found my site and am delighted to have you come visit. Feel free to look around and ask questions, I am happy to discuss my work and figuring out a life with MCS, its certainly been interesting!
    Blessings. Kate

  3. I used to own a metaphysical bookshop called The Rosetta Stone, here in Hawaii, three shops actually, a lifetime ago (1988-95) before I got sick. MCS was the reason I had to close shop, I couldn’t do the math at the cash register when people had perfume on. It was a beautiful shop, specialized in sacred artifacts from around the world. It was home base for a wonderful women’s group, we drummed, we worshipped, we howled at the moon. We rotated priestess role for each gathering. After I closed up the shop, we all met once at my home, but I couldn’t do it anymore. They kept it alive elsewhere, meeting at the beach, but I faded away and have now created a completely different life for myself, writing out of my home office for the CEO of a large institution, a different universe. Finding you has been a reminding that my love of all things goddess is still within me. Sekhmet and Tara are my protectors, my loyal teachers, they’ve claimed me in so many undeniable ways. Thank you for the reminding. More soon. Aloha, Susie

  4. Your shop sounds like it was a wonderful place for you and everyone who came visiting. I do understand the math problems! I thought I was going crazy at work when I could do math in the morning but not in the afternoon. I was an Office Manager when I got sick. It was only recently that I have come to understand the real cognitive impact of MCS.

    I was very afraid that I was going to lose my connection to spirit with this illness, and in truth my connection to the wider Pagan community has by default diminished because I just cant be “out and about” too many folks wearing perfume! But through grace and I guess stubbornness (I am nothing if not stubborn!) I held on to what I needed to keep myself going – so that works! Its very different now, but I am learning that different is ok too.

    It’s wonderful that you were able to craft a life for yourself that feeds you – and I love your website! It sounds like Sekhmet and Tara have been keeping a loving eye on you through all of your journeys! I’m delighted that I could be a catalyst for your remembering their connections in your life.


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