Thursday, May 31, 2012

Skull Appreciation Day Blog Hop!


For the second year, Smeared and Smudged is celebrating the Skull Appreciation Day, on June 4th. There will be several bloggers participating and lots of really creative, talented artists showing their art.

If you love Skulls and all the symbolism behind them, you just can't miss it! There will be great blog posts featuring handmade projects and lots of giveaways.

I'm joining the fun again, and this year, besides blogging, I'm donating a couple of my Carioca Witch skull keychains filled with herbs:

 I can't wait to see what the awesome artists participating this year will bring to our delight. Don't miss the fun! :o)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The little witch being witchy

Last Wednesday, after breakfast, Lucas decided that he would make a new potion. Sometimes he wakes up all witchy, and it's fun to see him dealing so naturally with his spiritual path on our daily routine. He really enjoys being a little witch.

So he asked me which kind of potion he could make, and I suggested a health potion - one that is always welcome, after all. So there he went researching and taking my herbs to mix them with our mortar and pestle. He took sage, calendula, lavender, clove and St. John's Wort.

After mixing them well, he put them into his potion bottle, shaking it hard to create a thin layer of foam - a must, according to him, (but I think he simply loves doing it for the fun of it...)

Then he placed the bottle outside under the morning sun to absorb its energy to our little health ritual that evening. In the afternoon, when he was back from school, he grabbed it and took it inside to filter the herbs and finally pour the potion into the new vial he got from his cousin. It's now resting on his altar, on his favorite Voodude's lap. ;o)

That morning, I posted at my FB page his photo mixing the herbs, and some friends asked me to add their names or friends/relatives' names in our ritual, so I took note of all of them, adding my family's too, and in the evening, after lighting a white candle, and Lucas opening the circle, I folded the paper and placed it into my cauldron, dropping some potion over it, along with a generous pinch of the herbs that I have filtered and dried in the microwave, saving them for healing spells. We said a little prayer to the gods, asking them to protect and heal those who needed to be healed, and I burned the paper, letting the names become ashes and smoke and good wishes. So mote it be, we said.

The following morning, I buried the ashes and the remains of the candle wax in my flower bed (that soon will have no space left to bury all my things!).

I love this good feeling after performing our simple rituals, a sense of connection, the satisfaction of sharing something so special and vital for me with my son. In the future, when he reaches that age of questioning even more life and everything else, he'll probably start looking for other paths - I encourage him to learn about all religions and I answer all his questions about them with an open heart, not showing prejudice (that I don't feel anyway, except against bigotry itself) and making sure he knows it'll be okay if he ends up choosing another spiritual path for his life (I joke saying that I'll only disinherit him if he does so, but that this is only a tiny detail, lol). What I mean is that, no matter his choices in the future, he'll have a very solid background of respect, knowledge and love for both worlds around him, in all senses, so I know he'll be wise and I'll be proud of him.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Another religious issue

Hi, everybody! Bear with me a long post on another religion drama.

At Lucas' Catholic school, every Friday first time, there is the religion class, which, of course, it's optional for the students. So my son doesn't attend it, also and especially because this year they're into First Communion classes until next year.

At first I took him to school straight to the second class time, but two weeks ago, one of the coordinators, a nun, asked him to be at school at the usual time and stay in the supervisor's office reading his book until Religion class was over. Hm... I didn't like it,  but I know the lady, and he wouldn't be by himself, after all, so I agreed to give it a try.

Last Friday, I waited with him, as usual, until the supervisor arrived and took him to his reading time, and I left to work. When, later in the afternoon, I arrived to take him home, the supervisor told me that one of the nuns (who's a teacher for the kindergarten classes), who didn't know about Lucas not attending the class, saw him waiting for the supervisor at the waiting room - who gods know why had to leave him alone to talk to the director - and wanted him to get into the classroom to join the others. The supervisor said it was something that happened "really fast" and that she "controlled the situation right in the moment it happened".

I only knew all the details on our way back home, when he told me exactly how the story went. When the nun approached him, he told her he wasn't catholic, and she immediately started lecturing him (grr...), went into her office, returned bringing a blank paper and a pen, and told him to write an essay about "Who God was in his life". That was only then that the supervisor arrived and explained Lucas' situation to the nun, who, according to Lucas, left really annoyed.

Lucas was so indignant he said he wanted to punched the nun's face. I laughed, because that was completely opposite to his nature and showed how upset he got about it. So on those 15 minutes' walk back home, I talked to him, instructed how he should behave in a next time. I reassured him that he was right in telling her that he wasn't catholic, that he had nothing to hide. I explained that he didn't need to go proclaiming to the four winds about being a pagan, but if the subject aroused, he had the same right as anyone else of telling which his religious path was.

I could hardly wait for Monday to come, so I could talk to the supervisor about it. I made it clear that I got really upset that so many wrong things happened in less than half-an-hour - from my son being left alone in a waiting room, to having been approached by a nun who wasn't even, at least, teaching to his grade level, not to mention the bullying at trying to force him to write an essay on a subject that, by the Constitution, is obviously a personal choice that can't be discussed that way. And not to mention that she aggressively approached an eight years old unattended child! Everything wrong. I was fuming.

She - who's in fact a very nice lady and always correct with me - just didn't know what to say to apologize. She said I was totally right (of course), and that she had already talked to the nun (who wasn't there - why people are never where they should be when I want to rip their faces off??) and that it wouldn't happen again. I told her that I knew it wasn't, because from that Friday on, I would take my son to school at the beginning of the second class, like before, and he wouldn't spend the first class time with her anymore. She couldn't do anything but agree with me, and keep apologizing until we said goodbye.

Man... Sometimes I also want to punch stuff, like that "I'm in the Band" song. I am so serious with Lucas about respecting others' choices, especially others' religious choices, that when something like this happen, is like discrediting all my words. Thank the gods, I also always explained to him that sometimes he would meet people who don't respect and understand that others may have a different opinion, and that is okay, he just needed to breathe deeply and be firm in his beliefs, avoiding, IF possible, useless arguments. That's what he did, he told me. When he noticed that she wouldn't let him speak and that the supervisor was arriving, he simply shut his mouth and ignored her. He's a good natured boy.

I would love, though, to see the nun's reaction if he wrote that his God had horns and goat feet. Chaos would be too kind a word to the mess it would be, lol

The moral is, being a mother (and father, in my case) is keeping eyes open and ears pricked all the time. Do whatever you want to me, but just-don't-touch-my-kid. My claws grow.