My Pagan Purple Heart

I’m afraid that unless I find a voice-dictation solution soon, posts to this site are going to slow for awhile.

I was helping to set up the ritual fire circle at Ignite last Thursday, and I fell from the back of a large pickup truck, belly-flopping onto the road with my left arm underneath me.

It swelled instantly, but we (the onsite nurse and I) concluded it was a bad sprain, wrapped it, and I started a regimen of icing and NSAIDs. The pain was pretty serious, but manageable, and I went on to have powerful, beautiful experiences at the three all-night fire circles that followed.

On Monday, after my return, I went to urgent care.

Turns out, I have a bad break of my radius, and I will need surgery. I have been referred to a hand specialist.

I’m not sorry I stayed at Ignite. I really needed the love and transformation to be found in the fire circle and its community. But now, I have to contend with the aftermath, and part of that is that my writing is reduced to one-handed hunt-and-peck. It’s slow, and tiring.

I’ll be back up to speed as quickly as I can.

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Ave Fortuna!

A guest post by Kaigi-Ron


Ave is the principle of gratitude.

Of recognizing, in each moment, how incredibly lucky you are…because it could’ve gone another way.  It could be so very much worse…but, fortunately, it isn’t.

Ave Fortuna!

It all started with the Focus to Fortuna.  In this world ruled by chaos, she rolls the dice.  They cannot be unrolled.  So it goes.

I added miniature decks (both standard playing card and tarot), a pewter ship (the winds of change), plus a full set of D&D dice.

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor…

…and I’m reminded of a passage from Leonard Mladinow’s book The Drunkard’s Walk – all about how we perceive randomness.  Think for a moment about rolling dice.

Is that process truly random?

Can you practice rolling dice and improve your game?

Can external factors “throw you off”?

(answers: yes, no, and no)

But even when I’ve asked my colleagues with science degrees, they often struggle against this illusion:  That external factors can somehow alter randomness.

That you can appeal to Fortuna – kiss her ass, give her what she wants, and she’ll reward you.  Hey, it works on people, so of course it works on Gods, right?

Sometimes the mere illusion of control is enough.  Thus I complete my ritual before my Atheopagan Focus.

Ave Fortuna!

In Memorium: Morwen Two Feathers

“To know who I REALLY am, you have to look into my eyes and dance when I drum.”

I learned today that my friend Morwen Two Feathers has died, following five years of living with brain cancer.

Morwen and her husband were among the early pioneers of what would come to be known as the Fire Circle tradition, a ritual tradition that is now practiced in many events throughout the country and the world, by a community of which I have been a happy member since the early 2000s. She was a woman of kindness, wisdom, humor and integrity, and a terrific ritual drummer.

For more than 25 years, Morwen was the Co-Founder and Director of Earth Drum Council, creating opportunities for people from all walks of life to come together to drum, dance, and build community. She was a teacher, facilitator, and principal influence of the community drumming movement, and helped countless people across the globe to start drum circles in their own communities.

She lived in New England and I hadn’t seen her for about a decade, but I still considered her my friend and was truly saddened to hear this news. She is survived by husband Jimi Two Feathers, children Wren and Kane, and hundreds of people who knew her as a bright presence in ritual and a powerful rhythmic driver during the long nights of all-night fire circles.

She will be missed.

Thanks for everything, Morwen. We will speak your name into the fire at the Fire Circle festival IGNITE at the end of this month. Hail the goer.

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Photocollage by Morganne Baum