Thursday, November 20, 2014

Transgender Day of Remembrance

This week my Throwing Thursday post will be silent.  I've decided to skip that in recognition of The Transgender Day of Remembrance.  

Each year members of the Trans* community are singled out simply based on the fact that they are gender non-conforming.  The are often raped and murdered simply for being who they are.  This year 226 people have been killed.  Today is a national day of remembrance for those who have lost their lives to hate and violence of bigotry.

I light candles to honor the memory of those who have been taken too soon.  May they guide your way to the next realm.


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson



Earlier this week the world lost an phenomenal voice for Trans-activism.  Author, activist, revolutionary communist, lesbian and human, Leslie Feinberg passed away on the 15th of this month from complications associated with Lyme Disease.   Leslie was in the company of  spouse Minnie-Bruce Pratt.  Their work associated with the rights of the disenfranchised all over the world was immense. Leslie gave notice to the world that no voice should be silenced.  With books like Stone Butch Blues and Transgender Warrior, Leslie shared life experiences and strength with the nation that shined a light on the inner workings of someone left on the outskirts of our society.  Leslie's work carried many through hard times in their lives and was an inspiration to me on a personal level.  The voice, the imagery and the action will certainly be missed.



"Feinberg preferred to use the pronouns she/zie and her/hir for herself, but also said: “I care which pronoun is used, but people have been disrespectful to me with the right pronoun and respectful with the wrong one. It matters whether someone is using the pronoun as a bigot, or if they are trying to demonstrate respect.”



Photo Credit - Leslie Feinberg - Image in the Sun
www.transgenderwarrior.org



Information on Leslie Feinberg
http://www.transgenderwarrior.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_Feinberg
http://transgenderlawcenter.org/archives/11216


Information on Transgender Day of Remembrance

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unlawfully_killed_transgender_people
http://tdor.info/
http://nsrap.ca/community/tdor
http://www.transrespect-transphobia.org/en_US/tvt-project/tmm-results/tdor-2014.htm
http://www.glaad.org/tdor
http://standingonthesideoflove.org/resources-for-hosting-an-international-transgender-day-of-remembrance-event/


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mulengro - Denial

I've been participating in a book club reading the book Witchcraft Theory and Practice by Ly de Angeles.  Thus far there has been a great deal of introspection.  Understanding my own motives and my own responsibility for what I bring into the world.

I thought it might be interesting to do a few blog posts around the seven faces of mulengro and see how they play out not only in the magical world but also the mundane.    I'm starting in no particular order.


Mulengro is the name of an entity that is like an alien barb; one that has become an out-of-control arrow that pierces generation upon generation with its poison. It feeds on its own likeness and people are its hosts.  - Ly de Angeles - Witchcraft Theory and Practice pg 29


Image Source - Google Search Results

synonyms: contradiction, refutation, rebuttal, repudiation, disclaimer; negation, dissent
antonyms allowance, approval, grant, OK

Wrapping my head around this one has been a challenge.  To me, to refute something or to offer a dissent is an opinion.  So what does Ly mean here?  What does it mean from the perspective of mulengro?

As I'm reading this I can see where the other forms pop their heads in as well.  The denial of a lie for example or the denial of greed could fall here.  How does denial come into play in your life?  What do you do to stop it?  Remember the only way to move forward and defeat the powers of mulengro is to not participate in it. What do you do to stop it?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Preaching to the Choir

First I’d like to start out by saying, I am not a lawyer.  I have completed the requirements for paralegal in the state of Virginia and attended some classes for the State of California however I am not a lawyer and recommend that If you have legal question that you consult an attorney specializing in this subject matter.

Recently I came across a share of a Family Law blog that had the following statement.

                               Screenshot from the webpage – www.wakedomesticlaw.com

At first I was pretty disturbed by this statement as you can imagine.  This statement is based on a case that was ruled in the North Carolina Supreme Court related to Lynch.  The Lynch case created a standard that any marriages officiated by ULC Ordained Ministers were voidable.  Now to the layperson this may sound as though ULC Ministers cannot marry in the State of North Carolina.  This ruling was later overturned in Fulton v. Vickery stating that ULC Minsters can perform marriages in North Carolina.  Now, that being said we should keep in mind that marriages can be declared void for all sorts of things and being void is different from being voidable.  Voidable means that they are valid but can be declared void based on certain set of criteria.

As an Ordained Minister with the ULC I contacted the church immediately to determine if this was indeed the case.  I was responded to almost immediately and informed that the only state currently that does not recognize ULC Ordinations is the state of Virginia.  There have been incidents where marriages have been ruled void based on the trials below (See NC & NY) those are on a case by case basis and do not apply across the board to all ULC officiated marriages.

In my zeal for investigation I quickly was brought back to earth by my hubby who said, “If you want to do a marriage, just CYA by getting a JP permit for the day and do the marriage that way.”  At first my double standard kicked in and I was irate.  Why should I, simply because I do not follow a Christian dogma have to take an extra step to conduct a marriage ceremony. I mean honestly can't they just accept me for who I am?

I appealed to my group, The Covenant of Hekate, to determine if anyone had become Ordained and based it on the process of becoming a Torchbearer.  There is a certain amount of study required and we do have to take an oath and complete a ritual for admission.   Even though this requirement exists which is more than “merely mailing in 10.00 to get a certificate” no one had thought of this as being enough to satisfy the religious training/study requirement. So my search continued.

I went to another page Universal Life Church in Modesto CA , even though crediting the same founder Rev. Kirby Hensley who ironically grew up in North Carolina is the parent church to the ULC-Monastery with BR. G. Martin Freeman as the Presiding Chaplain; Monastery is a completely separate church from the ULC mentioned in the cases.   Then I saw several other websites popup, including ulc.net, ulc.org, ulchq.com to name a few.  Each with links to purchase ordination certifications and credentials.  I sat looking puzzled at the screen.  Which ULC was which?  And does it really matter?

You see, earlier this month as I blogged about marriage equality and how marriage was a civil institution.  We needed to keep religion out of marriage because it was wrong to tell LGBT people that based on the "bible" they could not be married.  Yet, here I sat annoyed that the State would tell me if I was legally allowed to solemnize a marriage.

I had that “ah ha” moment.  I realized that my ability to “legally” president over a spiritual bond is moot.  No one is going to come to me looking for a standard wedding ceremony.  They will be someone who is looking to be joined together on an entirely different level, and this something that no government can ever grant anyone.  So while the legal status of ULC marriages may hang in the balance to some, the fact of the matter is marriage is a civil union brought together under the state.  It is governed by the state and should be overseen by the state. 

My recommendation to those looking to preside over weddings or become wedding officials, take the extra step to those protect those you are providing your services to.  Become a magistrate, or a Justice of the Peace.  Take the steps to be “legally” recognized as a member of the clergy to protect your clients from the possibility of legal issues going forward.  At this time ULC Minsters can indeed preform weddings in the state of North Carolina.  It seems to be some confusion around which ULC is which but it is always better to be safe than sorry.  

On a personal note, I can say it was a bit disheartening to fully accept that my path, though shared by many was still a very few and due to it being such an ancient belief system, not fully recognized to be “allowed” to legally solemnize weddings made me sad.  Briefly.  I then realized that what I offer to others is more of spiritual counseling and guidance as opposed to just a ceremony and I suddenly got it. 

No one can endorse my relationship with a deity.  It is something very personal as it should remain.  I will continue to list ULC Ordained Minister on my credentials next to my Torchbearer for Covenant of Hekate.  

I believe both have a place in my life.

Sosanna Olson - 
Ordained Minister - ULC
Torchbearer, Covenant of Hekate




Sources:

Clay Molds

This week I spent a bit of time working with clay molds and presses.  Some turned out ok, others, not so much.  Here's what I ended up with.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mulengro - Deceit

I've been participating in a book club reading the book Witchcraft Theory and Practice by Ly de Angeles.  Thus far there has been a great deal of introspection.  Understanding my own motives and my own responsibility for what I bring into the world.

I thought it might be interesting to do a few blog posts around the seven faces of mulengro and see how they play out not only in the magical world but also the mundane.


Mulengro is the name of an entity that is like an alien barb; one that has become an out-of-control arrow that pierces generation upon generation with its poison. It feeds on its own likeness and people are its hosts.  - Ly de Angeles - Witchcraft Theory and Practice pg 29



Photo Credit - Google Search

synonyms: deception, deceitfulness, duplicity, double-dealing, fraud, cheating, trickery, chicanery, deviousness, slyness, wiliness, guile, bluff, lying, pretense, treachery; informalcrookedness, monkey business, monkeyshines

antonyms: honesty


Deceit has to be the one face of mulengro that I can say honestly makes me crazy.  I never fully get why people have the need to lie.  Deceit is pretty much lying.  I am one of those people who believe that if nothing else you can always tell the truth.  The truth is not always pleasant.  It isn't always what you want to hear.  Sometimes the truth hurts.  However it doesn't change the fact that it is the truth.

A few years ago I got into a discussion about "truth tellers" with someone on Facebook who said to me (well typed to me) "You use the truth as a weapon to hurt others."  Now let's look at that for a second.  Granted there are times when I have said things a bit harsh.  I tend to be a bit over zealous. I'm not hateful about it though.  I'm not going to walk up and tell you that that dress makes your ass look big.  But if you ask me, I may say that, I don't think the dress is flattering to your figure.

But if you create a training platform and want professional feedback, or want an honest opinion about something and not someone to blow smoke up your behind, then I'm your gal.


So back to my "truth teller" discussion.  She said to me, "You use the truth as a weapon."  For the longest time I walked around thinking, I don't use it as a weapon. I don't attack people with it.  I don't hunt people down with it.  I use the truth as a way to combat deceit.  Then it hit me!

The reason my "truth teller friend" saw my truth as a weapon was because her lies were a shield.  She was creating a defense based on a lie and in this instance yes, my weapon of choice was indeed the truth and it would destroy the lie every time.    I still smile a bit when I think about how poetic this whole thing turned out to be.

Honesty is the antonym of deceit.  I do everything in my power to always approach life with honesty. Honesty in my relationship with others and in my relationship with myself.  I don't offer what I cannot afford to lose.  I do not give when I cannot do without.  Understanding that others can and will deceive you is tough for those of us who spend our days working in an honest state.  Learning that it can happen and refusing to participate in that is a tough lesson to learn.

Recently I had a situation where another acted unjust to me.   In a neutral setting, what should have been something strictly professional, the other person brought in their mulengro and removed things that belonged to me.  I felt angry and hurt that they did not have the ability to act professionals and set aside differences for a mutual cause.  I was reminded that not everyone sees the world the way I do.  I was reminded that even though I see an obvious divide between business and professional. Public and private.  Right and wrong.  Others may not see that same line or they may choose to ignore that line.  I cannot expect (expectations again) others to act or react the way I would.

It is still a learning process.  I don't think I will ever get to a point to where I cannot learn something new.  I always want to be in the learning/growing state, honestly.


Sosanna