Archive for November, 2011

My Goddess

by on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

I think I have mentioned before that I am studying Witchcraft from a book called Dedicant by Thuri Calafia. I have monthly lessons to complete for a year and then I can be considered an Initiate, that’s level 3  in Wicca, not going into too much detail here.

So I started monthly lessons in October and will complete them in September of next year.  This month, November, my assignment was to find a Goddess symbol and name that I can relate to.  I think it is so interesting how the universe provides exactly what you are looking for.  So before I tell you what I found, I have to let you know this.  4 or 5  years ago my family visited our family summer home in Culver Indiana.  While there, we did a little shopping in town, its  a very small town in the middle of the corn fields of northern Indiana and has about 6 shops and 3 or 4 restaurants for the summer stock that inhabits lake houses during the warm months of the year.  I found a tiny little antique store with some interesting things, including a little bowl full of old rings priced reasonably.  Among the rings was a white gold ladies ring with the symbol of the angle and compass used by the Masons.  I knew a bit about the Masons, my grandfather was a member as well as my dad for a short time, and I had just read the DaVinci Code (now I was really an expert) so I snatched up the ring for $90.  I have been wearing it for almost all this time and have enjoyed reading about the mysteries of the Masons.  You might be aware also that they do not allow women members.  So the delicate womans’ ring I wear is a curiosity in it self.  Inside the angle and compass image on my ring is the letter G.   Silly that I haven’t done any research on this until now.

I found a website the other day in my research about goddess symbols, actually it was the first website I went to, it was called Woman thou art God.com/Goddess symbolism within freemasonry.  And as you might guess, some of the mystery of my little ring was revealed.  Here is an excerpt:

 

A few years ago I came across an illustrated Freemasonry book in my local library and glanced through it, out of idle curiosity, I was surprised to find I was able to pick out Goddess symbolism within Mason images. Which was a surprise, because Freemasonry is suppose to be a male dominated secret society. So why would a organization that has steadfastly refused to allow female members within its ranks for hundreds of years, use Goddess symbolism? It didn’t make sense. I began to read more about Freemasonry and found enough information about the connection between
Freemasonry and Goddess worship to fill a book. This article is a taste of what
I have discovered so far.

Since then I have discovered I am not alone in realizing there is a hidden Goddess within Freemasonry. I have since gone on the Internet and by simply typing – Goddess, Freemasonry – in a search engine I have found web-sites saying very much the same thing. Many it seems from ex-Freemasons. Though I have to say these people seem to have a different perspective to what I have. Mostly they seem to be
fundamentalist Christians who believe strongly that the Bible is the word of
God. Then they become Freemasons and were shocked to discover its Goddess
origins. Some of these men have gone as far as accusing Freemasons of being
Satanist.

Symbol of Freemasons

Faith Hope and Charity

The above drawing is called Faith, Hope and Charity. As in other Mason drawings Faith, Hope and Charity are represented by angels or Goddesses. In this drawing we only see two Goddesses or angels so where is the third? The secret meaning within
this drawing is that the third Goddess is the Compass and Square image in the
middle of the drawing.

Freemason ring image

Within the space made by the square and compass sometimes a letter is put there. Mostly it is a G though sometimes it is a M. So what do these letters mean? Masons claim that G is the secret name of God. Which is a mystery in itself because clearly G would stand for God, so it is not a mystery at all. To make it a mystery suggests it must be another name. Masons themselves claimed that G stands for geometry. This is
because Freemasons refer to God as the Great Architect and you need geometry to
create a complex building like a Church.

Freemasonry is certainly not a atheist society and they even banned people from joining it who are atheists. In my opinion both the Great Architect and Geometry are really very poor names for the Creator. After all there is a vast difference in
planning a building and creating life. They are names that wouldn’t satisfy a
person who has the imagination to wonder at the diversity and complexity of life
and the universe. A better explanation comes from Gerald Gardner who was not
only a Freemason but the originator of modern Witchcraft. At the end of a
article about Witchcraft he was to write.-

 “The Myth of Witchcraft seems to be the story of the goddess here quoted. I am forbidden to give her name, so I will call her G.”

Since I am unable to switch the font back to normal here, this is me, not a quote for the article.  William bond, the author of the article goes on to discuss St. Brigit who was once the Pagan goddess Brigit. She was given the title of saint to attract the pagan worshippers to Christianity.  So I have chosen my personal Goddess name, Brigit,  and the Symbol that I will use to represent her.  The unsolved mystery is of course, what was a woman doing with a Masonic ring?  She must have been a member of the order, and what order of Masons allowed women?  Was she from Indiana, or did the ring just end up there somehow?  I don’t know how to begin a search like that.  Maybe someday!  With help from my Goddess Brigit. 

Thanksgiving

by on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Looking forward to a relaxing Thanksgiving this year.  I haven’t been hosting for a couple years since my sister-in-law’s mother started joining us.  She is in a wheel chair and our house is less than wheel chair friendly.

A couple years ago I began writing down things I am thankful for at the end of the year.  It helps remind me when I look back, that I do have something good going on.  Especially at times when I feel frantic and upset about life.

So, here is my list for 2011:

1.  I am thankful for my husband Michael who does so much for us and who is always there for me.

2. I am thankful for making it “through” tough times, I am just now beginning to see the end of that tunnel.

3.  I am thankful for what lessons I learned in the process.

4.  I am thankful for my 2 beautiful children who are now (almost) 2 beautiful adults with good values and good heads on their shoulders.  They are making good choices and making me proud.

5.  I am thankful for the rich wonderful life I have.

 

It’s Working

by on Friday, November 18th, 2011

Hey!  I’ve logged in about 6 hours of practicing this week so far and guess what?  It works!  Surprise :)  I’m building my repertoire  for the Holiday open house I’m having for students.

Holiday Open House & Cookie Exchange

 When:  Sunday December 18th from 1pm to 4pm

Where:  Tracey Phillips’ House

What to Bring: 6 bags, boxes or plates of your favorite cookie recipe to trade

A holiday or other song to play on the piano

A snack to share

I’ll whip up some hot chocolate, warm mulled cider, tea or coffee, and plenty of good holiday cheer!
There will be tasty treats to nibble on and we’ll have a warm fire burning to take the chill out of your fingers before you play.

So save the date and come play!

Yes work is fun sometimes!  I played a bunch of songs last year, and am planning on playing a bunch again this year.

Ok, so here’s the list:

Good Enough (Amy Lee)

Turning Tables (Adele)

Set Fire to the Rain(Adele)

Hundred (Isaac Slade)

Yes Anastasia (Tori Amos)

Linus and Lucy (vince Guaraldi)

Pure Imagination (Leslie Bricusse)

Chopin Edtude #1 (Trois Etudes)

Chopin Nocturne (Op. 9 No. 2)

Plus an assortment of holiday music of course.

Hey, that’s quite a list!!  So I do have a repertoire building up and am not the slacker that I thought!  I have been developing an idea.  A friend of mine, Dennis Lynch plays piano and has been in various bands for a while, or another friend has been doing solo piano gigs too.  I also know a couple of guitar players.  I would like to build my repertoir of “lounge” songs this year and see what my schedule presents next year.  It would be so fun to see if any of these guys wants to play out next year…kids will be gone, I could free up my weekends and see about doing that.

The add to’s that I’d like to get on my list would include some Billy Holiday and Amy Winehouse, I like Fiona Apple too.  There are obviously more, but it’s a start for now.

Hmmmm, Tracey P. lounge singer, performer….it is starting to take shape.

 

Practice practice

by on Saturday, November 12th, 2011

My recital went well last week, for the kids.  I was so relaxed going into it that I was feeling really good.  Then we got to the church and it was locked. We waited for 20 minutes till it was past 1:30 (recital starting at 2pm) and finally looked up my contact on Mike’s phone and called him.  Big “whoops, I’m sorry!” from him, but we still didn’t get in to get set up till a quarter till, and by then I was frazzled.  I did have lots of help from my parents coming in and Mike got our sound system set up fast too, but the damage to my relaxed mood was done.  So much for sleepy time tea.

Mentally, I was prepared to play or not play the Chopin, but when it came down to it I failed.  Half way through I choked.  Not sure anyone cared but me, I was obviously unprepared for losing my voice, and unprepared to play anything else.  Bottom line, unpracticed.

So, life has been keeping me so busy, and for the last couple years too, that I haven’t had the time I really need to put into my practicing. Sabotage again.   I determined about a year ago that for the level I’m trying to play at, I really need about 2 hours a day.  So just this last week, I have become more committed to practicing and have added  at least an hour a day.  It’s a start.  I feel the need to redeem myself to my students (I played the Chopin for a few of them at their lessons) and so am planning on playing several things at the next recital…my Christmas Cookie Exchange.

I received a very nice thank you note from Nana regarding her stay here.  She included a comment about my “lounge” song that was very nice, “you should play more of those, you’re good at it!”  I cried.  Acceptance.  And that’s what I want to do.  In the mean time now I have 3 girls who want to play in the Sonatina Festival next year.  Luckily 2 of them are playing the Mozart Sonata in C major, which is so easy, I can practically sight read it.  No problem.  I will still need to play it so that I can  show them what to do, it is added to my practice repertoire.  The challenge is Kira.  She will be playing the 2nd 2 movements of the Sonata #8 by Beethoven.  Wake up call.  I played that second movement at a recital 3 or 4 years ago, then again at the spring recital this year and when I sat down to play it yesterday I still had trouble remembering  it!  Whoa.  So, that is added to my practice regime and then I want to finish learning that 3rd movement.  Motivation helps, and now I do have to learn it so I can show Kira how to do it.  Putting the Debussy Claire de Lune on hold for another year.  But, there is more.  i’ll still be playing the Turning Tables by Adele at the christmas recital and added to that Yes Anastasia by Tori Amos and Set Fire to the Rain by Adele.  Christmas music?  Better start practicing.

So the”my life is too busy to practice”  part of it is starting to slow down (don’t remind me that the holidays are right around the corner).  The exterior of our remodel project is almost done and Mike has promised to  sub out the rest of the work: Insulation, drywall, fireplace, carpet, paint.  I’m not doing any of it.  And Mike is spending days at his brother Jay’s now to help him on his major remodel project.  So my life has been freed up by a lot.  Winter is almost upon us so yardwork is also almost done.  I can breath again.  There is room in my life for doing the things I want again.

About time.

Recital Today

by on Saturday, November 5th, 2011

I’m getting better at the nerves thing I think.  About F-ing time.  I hate it when I do that too, it’s like “fight or flight” adreneline pumping through my veins.  Every cell in my body is telling me to Run Away!  And I stand shaking and face the music. Literally.

I did really well on the Halloween recital, I was a bit worked up because it is a lot of work getting ready.  I have to clean and get food out, my costume prep takes time and I have to be ready with my song.  This time, my mom and Nana came to visit and see the recital too.  All signals were for me being stressed out of my mind.  I wasn’t terribly stressed though.  I mean, yes, a little, but not to the degree that I usually do.  Writing it down helps me move through it, and breathing.

So it’s possible that the last few years, dealing with the scary uncertianty of Dylan’s concussion and that  and on top of that our financial stress with Mike not working and losing so much money, between those horrible events and the possibility of losing more than we did (Dylan and all that we own), I could be a little more hardened.  A recital is after all, just a recital.  There is no possibility of a horrible out come.  What could possibly happen that could endanger a life? Or cause the world to come to an end?  As I always tell the children, no one is going to throw tomatoes at us if we don’t play well.  Breathe. This is not a hurricane or Tsunami, or financial disaster, or anything horrible.  Just a bunch of kids playing piano.

This morning I woke up without a voice.  Bummer.  I was going to sing that Adele song.  Don’t think so Froggy.  I’m going to replace it with my Chopin Etude, the Post Mortem #1 of his Trois Etudes.  Because I can.  Breathe.

Proud Parent

by on Saturday, November 5th, 2011

I’m super proud of Dylan this week.  I picked up his Senior pictures and they are really cool.  I’d have to scan it to post it on here and there’s a learning curve involved with that.  Then, he got his letter of acceptance from UWMilwaukee, his school of choice.  Hooray!!!  We expected him to get in but I think there was a little doubting voice in the back of all of our heads.  Even D said he was worried that he didn’t fill out the forms correctly.  So I told him that now, and it’s only November, he can cruise through the rest of his senior year, no worries.  BUT… I do want him to still get good grades.  He’s funny, he said, “What?  Forget that!   I don’t care about grades any more Mom!”  Ha ha, kidding of course.  Of course.

Wow, my little baby is all grown up and going to college!  I get all misty when I show people his senior pic’s, not like with Erika.  When I picked Erika’s senior pictures up I  sat in the car and cried for 5 minutes before I could drive home.  I guess it’s because he’s the second child,  I’ve been through it already. Or, more likely, I’ve put my emotions on hold for a bit because part of me expects Dylan to screw up again.  I’m holding my breath.  I’ll cry when we get him all tucked in to his dorm room.  Likely I’ll cry a lot.