CAYA 2017: Seed, Sprout, Flower, Fruit

It’s time to unveil the new CAYA Daily Practice song for 2017!

Our theme for 2017 is Seed, Sprout, Flower, Fruit.  This song by High Priestess Stella Iris RedRaven expresses the theme perfectly!

We are all growing together in this community, and yet each seed carries a unique signature and a unique destiny.  We share so much, and we also give each other the space to grow in our own diverse and delightful ways! This year, we invite you to write your own verse expressing your own beautiful truth. Each day, we will all sing our shared verse and strengthen our unity, then each of us will sing a personal verse and celebrate our individuality!


Here are Presiding High Priestess Yeshe and High Priestess Quetzal presenting the song in English and Spanish:


 


 

Here are the lyrics in English:

I am the Root, I am the Tree, I am the Branches
I am the Spark, I am the Flame, I am Free.
I am the Wave, I am the Sea, I am the Splashes,
I am the Light, I am the Wind, I am Me!



Here are the lyrics in Spanish:

Soy la raíz, Yo soy el árbol, Yo soy las ramas.
Yo soy la luz, Yo soy el fuego, Yo soy libre!
Yo soy la ola, Yo soy la mar, Yo soy la lluvia.
Yo soy la brisa, Yo soy el viento, Yo soy yo!



Here is the model for creating your own verse for the song:

I am the _____, I am the _____, I am the _______
I am the _____
, I am the _____, I am _____.
I am the _____
, I am the _____, I am the _______,
I am the _____
, I am the _____, I am _____
!



Yo soy la _____, Yo soy la  
_____, Yo soy la _______
Yo soy la _____
, Yo soy la  _____, Yo soy la _____.
Yo soy la _____
, Yo soy la  _____, Yo soy la _______,
Yo soy la _____
, Yo soy la  _____, Yo soy la _____!




Blessed Be As You All Blossom Beautifully,

Molly Blue Dawn

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nctS2GvwK_...

Forest Archery and Talking About Death: Moments in the Devotion and Community of a CAYA Priestess

by Gwen

I’m in two cults, or religious affinity circles, within CAYA, and I had awesome and fulfilling experiences with both recently.  I wanted to share the joy and meaning of these two different moments in the life of this CAYA priestess.

The Sisters of the Huntress, dedicated to Artemis and Diana, do almost everything in the woods.  It feels amazing to have a pack of awesome women who are down for putting the earth back in earth-based spirituality and following our Lady into Her wild places.  In September we made offerings of nuts, Greek olives, and water to Her and to the trees of the forest, and then headed into the woods for a day of archery and camaraderie—and our annual business meeting, held during a snack break on the trail.   I learned archery as a young Girl Scout, and it feels very right to be doing it again now as a religious act of a devotee of Artemis, among other devotees.  I’m not very good (yet!) but that’s not the point.  The bow and arrow and the company of sisters and forest bring me closer to my Goddess: not the lightning bolt of complete communion, but rather the sustained joy of hiking with a beloved old friend on a trail my feet know by heart.

This is me and my bow, ten minutes after our business meeting was concluded under a nearby tree.  I’m just sayin’.

This is me and my bow, ten minutes after our business meeting was concluded under a nearby tree.  I’m just sayin’.

And in the realm of Hekate, Torch-Bearer who lights the way for the dead, last month I had the privilege of leading Her Strophalos worship circle at the Sacred Well.  (The circle is allied with the CAYA Crossroads of Hekate cult.)  We processed Her statue to its honored place at the circle’s center, called in the crossroads of the realms of earth, sea, and sky, and invited Her allies of snake, horse, and hound.  All who wished, made offerings of red wine, olive bread, fig cookies.  And then I led a modification of an exercise I learned in my chaplaincy training in which all participants think concretely about their priority concerns regarding their own inevitable deaths.  (You can find an online version of the original exercise, Go Wish, here.)  I invite each of you to think about it too as you read this.  During contemplation and discussion, everyone narrowed down the things they expect to most care about when they are dying: freedom from pain or anxiety?  Ease of breathing?  Being clean?  Trusting one’s nurse or doctor?  Having family or friends present?  Having one’s financial affairs arranged?  Making peace within damaged relationships?  Having an advocate who clearly understands one’s wishes and values?  Having prayer, religious music, or ritual at one’s bedside?  Prolonging life with feeding tubes, IVs, or other measures (under what circumstances, for how long)?  We reviewed together the importance of communicating these desires to our loved ones so that when the time comes (hopefully a long way off for most of us, but guaranteed to every living thing) we have the kind of death we would want to have.  I’m a hospice chaplain, and I’ve seen the family-breaking fights and heart-rending physical pain that can happen when people don’t make their wishes known ahead of time.  After a discussion, we closed with divination and gratitudes to the Goddess and Her present allies.

Each CAYA cult is different, as each deity and each devotee are different.  I’m grateful to be part of a community that enthusiastically embraces such a diversity of expression of worship and love for the divine.  How do you live your devotion and your relationships with God/ess/es, ancestors, and allies?  As we swiftly approach Samhain, the honoring of the dead and for many of us, the turning of the year, it’s an opportunity for contemplation, evaluation, and celebration.  Blessed Be!

Join CAYA’s Divine Spiraling Rainbow Tribe at Trans March 2016!

The Divine Spiraling Rainbow Tribe, CAYA's Mxgender Mxtery Tradition, invites you to join us for...

Trans March 2016

Please join us as we celebrate the lives and experiences of trans and mxgender people. We will be offering blessings of prosperity, love, health, and more at our booth at the Resource Fair. During the March itself, we will be singing, drumming, shaking rattles, and making a joyful noise! People of all genders and none are welcome to join us. Drop by our booth or meet there to be part of our group in the March.

Friday, June 24, 2016
Blessings available 3:00-6:00PM
The March leaves at 6:00PM


Dolores Park
19th Street and Dolores
San Francisco


Feel free to bring percussion instruments for the March.

Please be aware that there are varying levels of nudity at the March.



 


 

Source: http://www.transmarch.org/

2016 Aspirant Training Program

CAYA Coven's rituals and public events/activities are always open to anyone who wishes to attend. However, there are individuals who choose to become committed members of the CAYA community, as well as those who wish to take the preparatory steps required to becoming a CAYA Priest/ess/x. Those interested in becoming committed members of CAYA, or who may wish to ultimately study for Priest/ess/xhood with us, are invited to apply for our 2016 Aspirant Program.

CAYA Local Aspirants meet one Sunday per month from 3-5 pm in a local Bay Area home. Classes involve personal check-ins, discussions about CAYA's core training subjects, and hands-on magical and ritual activities. Each student is asked to make a $10 donation per class.

Applicants will be notified regarding the status of their acceptance and further information about the program by Feb 5, 2016, and classes will begin in March.

To apply please fill out the form CAYA Aspirant Program 2016. To fill it out, visit: 
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1YPRgu2WwWfSgvsqMNAQ8Fq06JBZnRv5-0_a4arbeGeo/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link 

Looking forward to a wonderful year ahead!

CAYA 2016: Song of the Phoenix

Welcome to a Magical 2016, CAYA! Happy new year!

This year's theme is "Song of the Phoenix." At Harvest Home, we collectively gave CAYA of the past, and the wisdom of our collected experiences, to CAYA of the future. This was the ultimate step, I think, in our choice to Embrace the Mystery as a Coven last year, up to and including our IRS church application. The Mystery we embraced was...US...who we have been, who we are, and who we are becoming as an evolving community. WE are the huggable Mystery--a dynamic, transformative, epic, organic, spiraling wave of energy with many unique, precious, and irreplaceable manifestations. In 2016, we will take that spark of wisdom and magic that we each carry within, the wisdom of Inner Teacher that has been with us all along, and carry it forward into the world individually and as a community, watching it sprout fresh feathers and find its voice anew as an agent of courage, magic, and action.

This year's Daily Practice was written by Stella Iris, with music and arrangement by Yeshe Rabbit.

I am a creature of courage
I find myself in the heart of the fire
I find myself in my strength

I am a creature of magic
I find myself blessed with joy and love
I find myself spreading joy and love

I am a creature of purpose
I find myself rising, making change
Hear my voice! Hear my song!

I am a creature of wisdommmmm."

(We drop into a low hum on the last syllable, extending for the rest of the breath, gathering power at our core, then bringing it up to the surface as a burst of rainbow light on the in-breath that follows. Let that rainbow light symbolize whatever positive thing you want to share with the world.)

Here is a video of the Daily Practice:
https://youtu.be/4obgGkaGm_0

Here is an inspiring image from DeviantArt by Tripletace:
 http://pre07.deviantart.net/f132/th/pre/f/2012/187/2/0/rainbow_pheonix_by_tripletace-d567xwj.jpg

CAYA 2016 Reading: performed Oct 30-31 between 11:30 PM and 12:30 AM using Kris Waldeherr's new Goddess Inspiration Oracle. We looked to the Goddesses for guidance in our CAYA fields of activity for 2016. We collectively interpreted the cards, and I wrote down as many messages as I could capture.

Leadership & Learning- Sekhmet- strength of female lion; pride; creating strength in fierceness/witchcraft/revolution; exploring the Solar nature of women and feminist leadership; our next batch of students are going to embody the spirit of creativity, change, revolution, and justice. There is healing in experiencing righteous rage when it is appropriate. Also, some of us may choose to learn about beer and brewing methods.

Education & Information- Kali Ma- Our web site redesign will be very different; "the more you resist, the harsher she gets, but if you meet her with courage, there is love there"; making strong statements about our stances, policies, and positions in the Pagan community; sharing our revolutionary sensibilities and fierce matriarchal values; employing #matriarchy, #366feministwitchcraft, #allmyselfiesarefeministselfies, and other call-to-action hashtags we design

Rituals & Events- Hera (also a lion goddess)- Accountability from everyone to be doing the work; sovereignty; dignity; protection and propriety in our ritual and event spaces; the lesson of the peacock: "One cannot be first in all things." On a practical note: CAYA will begin to offer pop-up weddings at PCon, Pagan Fest, Hexenfest, and other Pagan events! An interesting quote I found about Hera on wikipedia: "There has been considerable scholarship, reaching back to Johann Jakob Bachofen in the mid-nineteenth century, about the possibility that Hera, whose early importance in Greek religion is firmly established, was originally the goddess of a matriarchal people, presumably inhabiting Greece before the Hellenes. In this view, her activity as goddess of marriage established the patriarchal bond of her own subordination: her resistance to the conquests of Zeus is rendered as Hera's "jealousy", the main theme of literary anecdotes that undercut her ancient cult. However, it remains a controversial claim that primitive matriarchy existed in Greece or elsewhere." 
(I daresay, whenever people try to tell me that matriarchies don't exist, or have not existed, I just sort of blink and tell them they must be mistaken, I know they do, because I live in one.)

Pastoral Care- Psyche- under the patriarchal medical model, the doctor is the all-powerful God figure and the patient is the supplicant who has little to no say in the proceedings. In the matriarchy, we enlist individuals in their own care, and honor the medicine woman model that treats the whole being. The Pastoral Care track has a butterfly effect. We have the capacity to make significant change; responsiveness to the results from the health needs survey; the priest/ess/x journey is filled with challenges to learn to love more and go deeper, to learn to tend the whole person; transforming attitudes from ignorance to wisdom

Public Service- Baba Yaga - being "good fairies" for change means sometimes we might seem like the "bad fairies" to those looking to maintain status quo power dynamics; taking strides to transform the invisibility and forgotten-ess of older women; looking with courage at what frightens us about our own mortality, and that of other people; turning away from nothing we find aversive, or that we fear; not turning away from the vulnerability of others simply because it reminds us of our own vulnerability; finding courage and compassion hand-in-hand; ridding ourselves of toxins and poisons in thought, word, and deed; looking for the forgotten or hidden places where we can be effective; how we help the homeless; shamanic work

Center- Main Message: Astarte (another lion goddess)- watch the planet Venus in 2016; stars are the souls of the dead watching over us with wisdom, compassion, and quiet witness; Iris and any other astrologers here can look at Venus in the CAYA chart for 2016; love is the way, love is the only reason to fight and the only way of fighting, if there must be a fight at all; hate will never win anything, but pleasure wins the hearts of many; collectively becoming Celestial Queens; embracing a cosmic view in addition to an immediate earthly mode of thinking; all acts of love and pleasure! Spirit year in Mother of the New Time- Statue needs a meteorite embedded in it.

Overall message of this reading: Attune to the vastness of the cosmic. Think and dream big. Look to the stars for guidance. Create structure and policy from a global framework, while still serving the local with wisdom and courage; cultivate more "authentic self" and less "ego-self." Less "me" and more "we." Collectivity supports us. Care well for the realms that sustain you: this Earth, this community, and your body, among others. There is wisdom and strength in the structured, strategic actions of determined matriarchs of all genders in leadership that is not modeled on the Mother archetype, but rather the Queen, a sovereign. Yet sovereignty is not about self-centeredness, it's about serving the highest good of all who rely on you. In a matriarchy, to maintain sovereignty by serving the highest good of the realm happens not only in a motherly way, but also in a queenly, tactical way. Teach the coming students well and with excellence.

Love, magic, and wisdom,
Yeshe Rabbit