The Nine Blessings of Yule 2013 – Part 1

Godhian tradition for the celebration of the Winter Solstice – the Yule – is to present a gift for each of the nine days and nights that Odin/Woden hung in sacrifice to gain the Wisdom of the Futhorc that he may grant it to Man.

In it’s simplest form, the gifts take place as a daily surprise for our children or our loved ones. In it’s sacred form, the gifts take the form of a daily offering to the God for his unmatched gift that raised us above the beasts of field and forest.

Yet there exists a third form that few of my kind – and we are few indeed – come to truly appreciate. They are not gifts of ourselves to others; they aren’t part of our rituals. They are gifts, blessings, given us by the Gods throughout the year. Often unremarkable until seen in retrospect, others that shine forth brighter than stars.

In the past 7 days, during my battle with bronchial pneumonia, I have had an extraordinary opportunity to look back at this past year and discover those blessings given me.

Cinmouii & Tiggami

Cinmouii & Tiggami

The first, though sentimental and bittersweet, came with the loss of my darling Cinmouii. She was a quiet, loving and gentle presence in my life for many years – and the best lap-warmer the Goddess ever gave four legs and fur. When age and illness took her, my heart was broken. But Fate, ever the capricious mistress, decided that Tiggami and I should not mourn her loss for long. That is when Baal entered our lives permanently. One of the many stray, abandoned, and feral cats that I keep watch over Baal greeted me every morning when I came out to feed them. Black as night, sleek and beautiful, but ever so quiet. After two years of his morning greetings, his absence for three days had me worried. I had just lost Cinmouii, and I couldn’t think of losing his solace. Then he reappeared, in his favorite spot on the porch, but badly wounded and very ill with an infected bite through his paw.

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Four visits to the vet, and close to $600 later, Baal became an indoor cat thoroughly ensconced as the new “man of the house.” He is every bit as loving, gentle and quiet a presence, with the added bonus that he keeps to my daily schedule far better than I do. He infallibly wakes me 15 minutes before the alarm – even on my days off – knows exactly what path I will take from the bed, to the bathroom, to the coffee pot and then the food bowls… and guides me every step of the way. When it is bedtime, he guides me to the bathroom and supervises while I brush my teeth, take my meds, and then patiently waits at the foot of the bed while I get in and get situated. Then he gives me goodnight kisses, a brief “massage” on my shoulders, then curls up at my feet until he knows I’m asleep. Tiggami welcomed the assistance with her job as Pusservisor – she’s an old girl, now, and I seem to need a lot of pusservision… according to her. But she never has taken to him as her constant companion, and there was something still missing from our little family.

Then came the second half of the blessing… Tima. The fore-shortened, feminine version of her full name, Tiny Monster, this itty-bitty yellow and white ball of fur had been hiding under my neighbor’s porch where she’d been born about 6 weeks prior. Her mother had been killed by one of the many cars that race up my hill, and that day I came home to find my neighbor on her porch. She told me what had happened to the mother, and couldn’t I hear the kitten crying under the porch? Oh, yes… so I stuck my nose into the gap beside the steps and spoke to the kitten, putting my hand down to search for it. I could hear from the cries that the kitten was close. That was when I suddenly found my hand full of trembling bones and fur.

La Petit Monstre

La Petit Monstre

I took the crying baby to my chest and snuggled her close… and there she’s been ever since. No longer quite so tiny, but likely to always be the runt of my litter, she has managed to fill the companion role for both Tiggami and Baal – to be honest, it takes all three of us to keep her amused… we’ll never be able to keep her out of trouble, even if we were a platoon of Marines! She excels at terrorizing Baal, tormenting Tiggami, finding new ways to create disasters from rolls of toilet paper, and is a master of getting into places where air doesn’t fit. During this past week, as I battled to breathe and fought my way through cycles of fever and chills, she decided it was the perfect time to go into her first heat. Perfect timing. It was then that I realized that she was not only perfectly named, but that she was also the perfect successor to Cin’. She’s every bit the Whore of Babylon her predecessor was, with the added amusement of performing contortions across the floor, accompanied by what I can only assume is the Feline version of the 1812 Overture, complete with cannon and fireworks! Poor Baal… he thought for sure he was going to get him some sweet virgin ass, but every time he tried, he ended up with a face full of yellow fury. To quote the best drag-movie ever: “He’s so confused he don’t know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt.” She’s a demon, she keeps Tiggami bemused, and she’s my constant shadow ever ready to curl up on my lap, on the pillow next to my head, or to remind me that whatever else I’m doing I must feed her FIRST!! Pushy wench. So the first blessing… to have lost one so loved, only to be reminded that our hearts have the ability to heal and there is always room to love one more.

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Samhain, the Time of Remembrance.

Samhain… the time when we of the Old Path remember our lost ones, when the veil separating the Living and the Dead thins to a whisp, when we meditate and give thanks for the blessings those departed gave of themselves to make our lives the wondrous things they were meant to be.

Carry their blessings forward, give them to those who come after you, and thank the Gods for the gift.

To all my friends, family and loved ones – past, present, and yet to come. Thank you. I remember.

In loving memory of Cinmoui

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For the past thirteen years you have blessed me with your sweetness, your gentle spirit, and your love. For so long you gave me comfort, companionship, and a warm, fuzzy lap. Your beauty, grace and quiet voice were a balm to a weary heart. Freya grant thee peace, Little One, Idun grant thee rest.

Cinmoui “Fuzzy Britches” Burkey, January 2000 – April 2013

Justice Scalia is an Ass!

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As you may or may not be aware, yesterday Justice Antonin Scalia took yet another opportunity to draw parallels between homosexuals and murderers. Speaking before a crowd of students at Princeton University, Scalia claimed that legislators had a right to ban that which they had a moral objection to. When asked by 16 y.o. freshman, Duncan Hosie, why he equated bans on homosexuality with those against bestiality and murder Scalia responded, “It’s a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the `reduction to the absurd… If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?” Scalia is a master of snide, sarcastic and specious comments, and has proven that mastery on many occasions. He went so far as to belittle Hosie with the sarcastic comment, “I’m surprised you aren’t persuaded.”

This is but the latest example of Scalia’s bigotry, his homophobic and prejudicial writings extending all the way back to his dissenting opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, the judgement that finally struck down anti-sodomy laws. Mommie Dammit says enough already! This flatulent toad has disgraced the Supreme Court for too long – proof that our vaunted Forefathers weren’t as wise as we’d like to believe when they made these appointments life-long… but then, in their day, the average life expectancy was 50… hmm… pause, consider, sip coffee… enjoy the malevolent thoughts for a moment… AHEM!

So, rather than ineffectually venting my spleen here and moving on, Mommie Dammit has decided to get back in the saddle…. don’t even go there you ungrateful little wretches! … and put on my activist panties once more. I have taken myself to We The People, the petition Web site for the White House and the Obama Administration, and created a petition to demand that Justice (cough-oxymoronalert-hack) Antonin Scalia be recused from the upcoming Prop 8 and DOMA cases that the Supreme Court announced last Friday that they will hear during their current session.

I have no delusions here, O’ My Children – Mommie Dammit knows full well that the President has no power to force a sitting Supreme Court Justice to recuse themselves from an upcoming case. That is not the point of the petition. Our aim here is to raise awareness in the general public of this blight on our highest bench, to generate enough publicity in the media, and to create a broad and loud discussion – both on Scalia’s unfitness for the Bench, and the fact that he is clearly unqualified to sit these cases.He was unfit when appointed by President Reagan, railroaded through a Republican-dominated Senate, and he proved it again when he cast is concurring vote in Citizens United. Throughout his history on the Supreme Court bench Scalia has proven his hypocrisy by twisting the Constitution to meet his own views while vehemently attacking those who view the Constitution as a “living document” whose interpretation must evolve with our society. By creating the petition at We The People we create the avenue for the Obama Administration to weigh in on the cases, and to take a position on Scalia’s lack of qualifications to sit in judgement on them. Even if the President takes no position, or states the fact that the Executive has no such authority over the Judicial branch, it is still the point that this is about generating heat. If we bring enough heat to bear, focus enough light of public scrutiny on Scalia’s bigotry, we stand the chance that he might grow a sense of responsibility…. oh, alright, I had a brain-fart… hmmm…. can’t use “that he would be shamed enough…” either as we all know the man has none. Perhaps, then, the best hope here is that we may force the rest of the Court to demand that Scalia recuse himself – and that works well enough for Mommie Dammit.

Those of you who’ve been thinking - don’t deny it, I can smell the smoke from here – are also aware that Scalia’s recusal would also eliminate what is sure to be one of the nay-votes from the Bench. You’re not the only one to realize this. Our friends and enemies will also realize it, and it will create its own firestorm in the media. That’s all to the good! The more discussion, the more Scalia’s unfitness for the bench becomes public knowledge, and the less credibility and influence this homophobic, sexist, racist, corrupt man will wield.

We’re playing the long game here, O’ My Children. Recusal of Antonin Scalia is but a ripple in the tidal wave of change we are about to embrace. Winning the Supreme Court decisions is only the beginning of what will be a long, uphill battle. It is entirely likely that the Justices will pass a narrow ruling on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, limiting the effect of their ruling to the State of California. If that happens we must then carry the battle to each of the other 29 states that have enacted laws or constitutional amendments denying us our Civil Right to equal protection under the law and to have our legally recognized marriage, entered into in one state, recognized by all. This is to say nothing of the various ways the Court could rule on DOMA.

Antonin Scalia portrays himself as a “textualist” and “originalist” where the Constitution and civil laws are concerned – meaning that we must interpret these documents in the context of the period in which they were written. This didn’t stop him from concluding that – though the Constitution makes no reference to corporations anywhere within its contents, and certainly never grants them the same rights as living, breathing, individual human beings who are citizens of this nation – the original framers of the Constitution merely left corporations out because such an entity did not exist at the time. Furthermore, since corporations are made up of individual human beings, those rights must be conferred upon the artificial entity of the corporation as well. So much for originalism and textualism.

In his dissenting opinion to Lawrence v. Texas, Scalia makes a central meme out of his idea that the Constitution is a “DEAD” document. As such, reading into it a socially evolved interpretation of the original text to include the rights to privacy and equal protection under the law for homosexuals is wrong – such rights, according to Scalia, do not exist.

Mommie Dammit is certain that I am not the only person who immediately sees the falacy in that opinion – let alone is repulsed by the sheer hypocrisy. If the original text of the Constitution of the United States is a “DEAD” document, one which is not open to interpretation within the context of an evolved society, then tell me… why in the hell did the original framers of the Constitution provide for the means to ammend it?

Indeed, had they not and were the original Constitution a “DEAD” document, then Black people would still be slaves, women – as well as anyone who was not a white male property owner over the age of 25 – would not have the right to vote, prohibition would never have happened let alone been repealed, and Presidents could run for as many terms in office as they damned well pleased. There would be no right to privacy, no right to equal protection under the law, no right to have a legal contract entered into in one state (such as marriage!) honored and upheld by all the other states. All of these rights that we hold precious, that we believe are the foundations of our nation, are ARTICLES and AMENDMENTS to the original document of the Constitution. CHANGES made to it by the original framers and subsequent generations of people with a far greater  understanding, and greater intellectual honesty, than Antonin Scalia of what our Constitution is, means, and how it exists within the framework of the society of each successive generation.

And so I ask you, O’ My Children, to join with me in creating this public debate – let us focus the spot light of media attention on this bigoted man foisted upon our highest court by a railroaded Senate and a criminal President  – let us join together and demand that he recuse himself from the Bench for these most critical Civil Rights cases of our generation. Join me in signing my petition, repost the link to it – and this post, the link or the entirety – wherever and whenever you will. Tweet it, Facebook it, email it to every- and anyone you know. Make your voice heard at any and every opportunity.

UPDATE:

The White House decided that my petition was outside the parameters of the We The People forum, and the petition has been removed. HOWEVER – another has been started for the same purpose on Change.org