Thistle, Gomory and I joined Angie Buchanan for an Imbolg celebration in Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago. Imbolg is one of Grace’s favorite Sabbats, but though I knew about it, outside of it being “Candlemas” I never got it before. Not really. I don’t have Angie’s email, but I am including a cc to her husband Drake. This couple is doing phenomenal work for Pagans as Drake is a licensed Psychotherapist and Associate Professor at Chicago’s College of Professional Psychology downtown. What makes him truly special is that he was a Captain in the Air Force in his capacity as a psychotherapist and has dedicated his career in melding his magick into the military AND academics. He is well matched with Angie who is a Pagan representative on the Board of Trustees – Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions. I could spend my whole email here talking about these two, but this isn’t about Drake and Angie, but about Imbolc, so alas, I have to keep my paragraph clipped to simply an introduction. Rockefeller Chapel is HUGE. It was designed to mirror a medieval cathedral, and is truly magnificent. It’s where all the world dignitaries speak from when they visit here. Seriously how in the name of all dancing deities do you call THIS a Chapel? AND the Dean was most engaging. I feel she’s my best friend (probably completely inappropriate and me not getting boundaries). She took those that could get up the 275 steps to the Bell Tower (not me) to see Chicago. There are 72 bells up there, the biggest one being larger than Big Ben. Was there even 15 people there? I don’t know – but I’m not sure how anybody can NOT be transformed when the gods are setting the scene so magnificently. I guess I needed the lesson hit over my head with a 2×4…but now I’m looking at Circle Babylon germinating on Imbolg and I am profoundly moved. There are seeds planted here for an amazing opportunity to exercise the Craft but believe it or not, the archetypes being established do reflect real life experiences and slow growing transformations.

I was visiting Gomory yesterday to practice I Ching even if only by tossing quarters. She wanted her husband to join us. He has a lot on his plate, but one of their challenges is that he claims to be an atheist. He does NOT believe in all that stuff (he says). Gomory and her husband are Eastern European and I know there’s a lot of different approaches to spirituality there but its especially difficult talking about witchcraft. At some point in the evening the three of us were sitting on the couch and Gomory told us a story about a Hungarian acquaintance of hers that wanted her to read cards. She made a light comment about being a witch, I chimed in that she had a real talent for witchcraft to which Ivan said in a low voice, “Don’t call her that.” He was deeply affected by how her talents (which only became obvious in the last 5 years) influenced their daily lives. He doesn’t understand and he’s scared. The I Ching’s advice was that her goals were best attained through slow steady progress.

Paradoxically (maybe not so paradoxical) she’d invoked their marriage into an avocado seed last November and prepared it in the water to germinate. The internet said it took 8 weeks to sprout and after 12 she was about to throw it away; BUT…she looked closely and found that surprisingly some roots are beginning to push through the seed! and then last night Ivan and I had a serious conversation around her spirituality that so radically changed her. Slow and steady, Ivan.

Babylon is but a seed germinating in its womb (cauldron) and some roots are beginning to poke through the seed. Herman was supposed to come over last Wednesday to initiate me, Gomory and Aset, but canceled 20 minutes before the ritual. Niles was already in my dining room when he got the call. If Gomory and Aset hadn’t been on their way, I’m sure he would have just gone home. He did stay and initiated us into first degree so the Circle starts where the three of us begin creating the spaces you guys are about to fill in just a few months from now.

Forestiere got 2 sheets of copper that will be cut into 1-1/2″ x 12″ for the blade and handle as well as supplying the files so we can file the edges to make a blade. Niles reminds us not to make the edges too sharp. It’s not a ceremonial knife, just an athame. Herman called me Friday night and wants an athame. (Woot, our grandfather’s back).

Yesterday Gomory said the reason she believes in Babylon is because of the really cool people we have here. In a lifetime, we get to meet maybe one or two really amazing people. How did we end up with so many powerful awesome and people? I agree. Its dark now; we’ve had a lot of snow this last weekend, but Spring is in the offing and I’m extremely excited about seeing what kind of sprout Babylon is going to be as its stalk begins to climb to the sun.

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