Blue Jeans

Someday I will have someone special that I can put these lyrics to our relationship. Until then, I'll just keep listening to this song and thinking about the qualities I want in him when I find him.

Love, Affection, blue jeans, life, til the end of time, Denver Blogger
Unknown Artist

I will love you 'til the end of timeI would wait a million years
Promise you'll remember that you're mine
Baby can you see through the tears
Love you more
Than those bitches before
Say you'll remember, oh baby, say you'll remember
I will love you 'til the end of time

- Lana Del Rey


Summer Solstice Ritual 2012

Photo by Shawn Carter @mousebrat on Instagram Summer Solstice Ritual
This ritual is a rewrite of the original found at About.com by the amazing  Patti Wigington. You can see it here. The following contains rewrites and original content by myself. Enjoy.

The Summer Solstice, known to some as Litha, Midsummer, or Alban Heruin, is the longest day of the year. It’s the time when the sun is most powerful, and new life has begun to grow within the earth. After today, the nights will once more begin to grow longer, and the sun will move further away in the sky. 

Here's How:

Confirm altar is prepped with necessary herbs, candles, athame, wand (if being used), chalice, cakes and ale, any other offerings to be made and the salt, water and incense for the purification. Allow some time for breathing and centering. Light all candles from candle(s) burned on the day of the Solstice to introduce its energy into the space.

Begin this ritual by preparing the wood for a fire, without lighting it yet. While the ideal situation would have you setting a huge bonfire alight, realistically not everyone can do that. If you're limited, use a table top brazier or fire-safe pot, and light your fire there instead.

Purify your ritual space with the Blessing of the Bath or with smudge and blessed water.

Say either to yourself or out loud:

"Witches gather tonight to celebrate the Midsummer, Alban Heruin, the time of the High Sun, sacred to our Mighty Dead. The Earth as the Mother is pregnant and the God is at His peak. In the presence of those elements our ancestors held holy, the Sky above our heads, the Earth warmed beneath our feet, and the Sea who's embrace holds Us on all sides, we honor this and begin our dance between the Worlds with the lighting of our sacred fire."

At this point, start your fire. (Obviously)

Call in the elements using traditional callings or ones special for this occasion.

"Hail to you, Guardian of the Watchtower of the (East/South/West/North),

Powers of (Appropriate to the Element Called).

I do summon and stir you up

To bear witness this rite and to protect this circle.

(wait for the element to respond)

Hail and Welcome."

Repeat for each quarter. Include Above, Below and Center if desired.

Cast your circle using the following liturgy or your own.

"I conjure thee, Oh Circle of Power,

To be a boundary between the world of the Living,

And the Realm of the Mighty Ones,

A rampart and protection against all harm

To preserve the power raised within.

Wherefore do I bless and consecrate you

By every sacred name of the God and the Goddess."

"The Circle is open. We are between the worlds, in a place not a place, in a time not a time. Hail and welcome."

Build up the fire even more, so that you have a good strong blaze going.

If you wish to make an offering to the gods, now is the time to do it.


"Alban Heruin is often a time of rededication to the gods.
At all times the triple goddess watches over me,
And she is known by many names.
She is the Morrighan, Brighid, and Cerridwen.
She is the washer at the ford,
She is the guardian of the hearth,
She is the one who stirs the cauldron of inspiration.

It is she we call first into our circle

By all names known and unknown.

(include any invocation of all goddesses by name here)

The Lady is not without her Consort.

His names are also many and his power now at its peak.

He is the Horned One,

The Oak King,

The Hunter, The Lover.

When his horn sounds, the fabric of reality shudders.

It is he we call now into our circle

By all names known and unknown.

(include any invocation of all gods by name here)

Magickal Working - Burning Away Poverty Mind

A rite to pull in all positive energies associated with the Sun to burn away poverty mind that holds us captive and creates a mire we struggle through. By invoking the Sun and allowing it to burn away those limits in our lives we open ourselves to prosperity. During this rite the offerings will be charged with those limiting ideas and then offered in exchange in the ritual fire.

"We give honor to you here,

And make our requests to you now.

As the Wheel turns for the next year and a day

Grant us wisdom, blessings upon our endeavors,

And all that we desire.

As the ever-present Sun turns around us in the next year

May your faces never be far from our call.

I make this offering
To show my allegiance,
To show my honor,
To show my love,

To remove all that holds me back from achieving prosperity,
To You.

Cast your offering into fire."

Cakes and Ale

Take a few moments to reflect upon what you have offered, and what the gifts of the gods mean to you. When you are ready, if you have cast a circle, dismantle it or dismiss the quarters at this time.
Allow your fire to go out on its own.


When a God Plays Hide and Seek

Pan Invoked by Shawn Carter Greek God Pagan Musings - Denver Blogger
Pan Invoked by Shawn Carter
The question was asked in a forum/group I am a part of on Facebook- "I'm know this question is as old as time itself but I would like to hear from you guys on how you became devoted followers and servers of your deity or deities? I wanna know it all from what brought you to them all the way to now." and "Also on what age you were too. Was it per-puberty or post-puberty? And if your transgender was it pre-op or post-op?"  I have the hardest time crunching things down into a few sentences, let alone a paragraph, so of course I had to blog it.

I would say Pan is my chosen deity although you could argue the reverse just as easily. I've had a longtime fascination with him that started at a very young age. I'm not sure if it started with the image of a faun hoofing it (ha ha ha) through the snow, loaded down with brown paper-wrapped packages, tail over his arm and a snow-covered umbrella in hand under a lamp-post or if it was the discovery of the guardian of the forest in the forest grove watching over a baby otter until his worried father and a mole found him. If you know the books I'm talking about, you get cookies. If not, well, I guess I could tell you that they were The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. The LtWatW sparked an initial interest in all things Greek mythology. Willows had a more subtle effect realized much later when I understood how very much Pan was the spirit of the forest and how my relationship with him early on was more of a child's curiosity.

Of all the characters in Greek myth Pan was the one I found completely fascinating for reasons I didn't really understand. Admittedly, there was some attraction to the Greek gods for their muscled bodies and the fact that nobody seemed to want to put clothes on them. I came into my own sexuality very early in life, but more on that in a bit. But outside of the physical appearance of the gods there was a very human quality to them that I did not find in the god my fundamentalist Christian parents wanted me to devote my life to. They were much more easily identified with. And yet it was not Pan's human half that attracted me to him. In him I found a wild, beautiful, "dark" side that appealed to that hidden side of me that hung back from the main stage of The Life of Shawn.

As I got into my teenage years and hormones took over and the chaos that was being a closeted gay who loathed his sexuality came into play heavily I started to crave someone like the protector of the forest who's perceived calming and comforting presence was welcome. I began to connect to the idea of Pan as a father to all those who were not "normal" and who were the undesirables of society. I specifically remember going back to the chapter in Wind in the Willows and spending time rereading it trying to capture the image and sensation that I was Portly the otter and there was nothing to worry about. Looking back, Pan might have had some unrestrained influence on my more suicidal moments as life went up and down for me and panic set in over losing what was my entire world at the time, but such is life lived with a god whose own immortality tends to put a lower priority on whether you breathe air or not. Alive or dead you are still very much a part of the matrix that makes up a god's life force, right? A question for another long entry.

After exploring my interest in all things Celtic and druid in high school I started pondering how much the Horned God of the druids had in common with the Horned God of Arcadia. My blood is pretty green even though there is no immediate connection to a Celtic or Gaelic ancestry until you go way back to my Saxon ancestors who seemed to give birth to a long line of political opportunists who married and or slept their way around what is now Scotland, Ireland and then England. I'm mostly American mutt. But the interest and pull of Pan was strong as was the pull of the magic of standing stones, avenging ancestral dead and a race of god-men who fought glorious battles before accepting their receding part in the ongoing story of the rise of Men on earth. So I just let it be. No point in fighting what comes naturally.

I played with a pagan/wiccan religious worldview for a few years while trying to figure out where life was going shortly after leaving home and coming out as the atypical gay guy I accepted myself as. I found myself generalizing a god and goddess for reasons I wasn't entirely certain of. It wasn't until I decided that I was ready to take the plunge and go from a solitary pagan into an actual coven that I started revisiting the idea of this god who I seemed to have a stronger connection to than any of the others I'd flirted with. At a pagan festival in Colorado I attended a workshop where our goal was to get a taste of aspecting or invoking a godform. At a point in the lesson we were to close our eyes and drop into a meditative state and allow any god or goddess to make themselves known. Immediately I found myself in a grassy field bordering  a forest. Nobody showed up for a few minutes so I kicked back and waited until Pan popped in ten yards in front of me. Not totally surprised and definitely happy about it. My first reaction was to head towards him. His response was laugh his ass off and head off across the meadow with this wordless invitation to find him if I really was serious about wanting to invoke his name. After that, shit got serious.

About a year later I ended up finishing the basic courses with the coven I was training with and decided to pursue first degree initiation in their tradition. Part of this process was choosing a deity to work with and a magickal name to dedicate with. Five guesses what deity I chose. The first four don't count. The name I ended up choosing was a funny sequence of events but the end result was that I chose a surname of "Paikon" that, after much help and some study of the numerical value of the final result, translates to "priest of Pan" roughly. It's one of the few things I've created in my life that I'm completely happy with even to this day. I initiated with my new name and dedicated to the study and worship of Pan and Selene.

Shortly after my dedication I led my first coven ritual celebrating Lupercalia, an old Roman festival that honored the wolf, werewolves, and in many accounts Pan/Faunus/Pan Lykaios. While Pan's direct connection to the festival is debated (some people believe that the Pan the Romans worshipped was a "master of werewolves"), I took what I had and ran with it. Further maturing of this ritual is a constant project of mine as well as a way to make it more relevant to modern pagans. That night solidified it as Pan's holiday for me.

After a year of first degree classes I ended up parting ways with that coven over differences of opinion on where the coven was heading and a change from a working family to a more public and polished identity. With this parting I took away a fantastic new first hand relationship with invoking Pan into my body. My first time was during an invocation class and I have invoked him a few times since then, sometimes with intent and other times spontaneously. My understanding of who he is and what he is seems to have been embedded deep inside me waiting for me to uncover more and more the deeper I get into that relationship. A year of focused learning and experience that have proved to cement him even deeper into my own identity and spur me on to learn more and more about him every chance I get.

I don't claim to know all about Pan and I have kept out a lot from this post to save it from being a four-hour novel. Hopefully it gives anyone interested enough to either relate or get curious about this goat man who ravishes nymphs in his off time when he's not playing on his pipes. At some point I will offer up a more expanded post on my understanding of this god through my own experience paired with what history has to tell us about him.


Randy Phillips and Video Posting

This post is really just an excuse to post a video. I would like to mention though that this guy is a big inspiration for me. He is/was in the military and decided to come out when DADT was repealed (much cheering and applause) and has taken to YouTube to share his thoughts, workouts, and healthy living ideas with the world. Very cool guy. I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to have coffee with the dude.

And that's about all. Please check out Randy's channel AreYouSurprised on YouTube and remember to subscribe.


A Thoughtful Wander with a Fun Endpoint

I find it so odd that while I have this intense desire to write, the minute I sit down to do it is right when all the juicy stuff evaporates. Is there such a thing as "writer's curse"? Similar to the writer's block? Warning: this thing started as a ramble and turned into me talking about my own psychology. Lol

Remember that post from back in November of '11? The one where I mulled over my identity, or signature? I've been thinking. Yes, always dangerous as it is for many people who take up the habit. I like to go back and read bit and pieces from my entries from time to time, just to get a feel for where the blog is at, where it's been, and where it may be going. After landing on that article again and thinking about how things had changed in the last three months, I first thought that I had dropped that "quest" completely. That was, until I thought about it from a different point of view.

While I wouldn't say that I have spent any great amount of time thinking about that question, I have subtly altered how I analyze and examine the things I do, what I say and how I respond, and how I react to the world around me. This has actually started some great progress towards solidifying the more abstract parts of what make me up. For example, in a situation where I am faced with making a choice over whether I find someone worth my time and effort or no, I have really been weighing in the pros and cons. It takes me a bit longer to make up my mind, but I am finding that I spend time with more people who have something valuable to teach me, directly or indirectly.

I also am noticing more of a shift in focus onto the things that I want to do. Rather than approach life with a "meh" attitude, I have been actually pursuing those things that I am passionate about but have put on the bottom shelf because they weren't "the thing to do" or "I'd like to do that someday". I realize that I do a lot of talking about these things thinking that are a big part of who I am. But how can that be when I haven't engaged in these activities in months or years? One cannot call themselves a painter if they don't pick up a brush and canvas on a regular basis. You can't call yourself a mechanic because you fiddled with your car's engine five years ago.

I talk a lot. Mercury does have quite a bit of influence in my life. And I have the best intentions of carrying through with the ideas that I talk about. Half the time I am successful at following through. The other half of the time I either forget about them or set them aside long enough that they lose whatever oomph they had. And then occasionally touch on them again and get excited only to repeat the same pattern. I have a lot of theories on why I do this, fear of failure being the winning one. I talk, but I see a trend forming lately that may just fix the part where I splat five thousand feet before the starting line.

I think the key is to attack this one thing at a time. I've been talking for years about going to the gym. Tying it into getting in shape for a holiday, beach time, vacation or other event always gets me excited about it, but once that holiday gets close I lose all motivation. What I had to ask myself was why am I not doing this for me? Aren't I the most important person here to be making promises to? Shouldn't I care about the constant trend of disappointing myself? As the one perceiving and translating every thing in the world around me into time and life, how I treat myself is directly affecting how I treat others and my interaction with every other part of my life. So I decided to join a gym. And I made it all about me. I don't go for the company, because company won't always be there and they may let you down. I don't go for the attention, although I definitely love when I get cruised or "accidentally bumped" in the ass. I go for me. To spend time with me. And to enjoy the fact that I feel better because I did something good for, you guessed it, me. One thing at a time.

That example out of the way, you can see how this selfishness would apply to picking up my love for art and making things, being socially active again, and top on my mind today, finding a boyfriend. And this is the part I'm working out in my head right now. My apologies in advance since this will probably be disjointed.

So much of the process of finding a boyfriend is focused on what we want in someone and then seems to turn into what we can contribute. If we are living honestly with ourselves and being true to who we are, what we contribute will be what attracts other people to us. So why are we hung up on this? I'm not convinced it's a good thing to focus on when finding that special someone. Focus on doing what you love and finding someone who is what you want, not what the culture says you should want. I find it out of place to focus on settling for someone because they fit some of the bill and you can always find a way to sacrifice some part of yourself to make up for the rest. Fuck that, I say. Get out there, find what you want and go for it. If they like who you are they will go for it. If not, take what things you can learn from the relationship and aggressively move on.

I think a lot of this probably falls into the idea that the right person will come along if you just focus on being yourself and living your life. Many of the people I have been, or currently am, interested in generally fell right into my lap while I was busy living life. The times I've been so focused on nothing but finding someone and setting aside the things I enjoy have led to some of the most depressing times in my life. So, ultimately, I've probably not really stumbled onto some new take on life and relationships, I've just found a new way, for me, of looking at an old idea because of recent changes in patterns of thinking in my life. I like where this is going.

ShareThis With Your Network