Wow. Today was a long day. I got up at 5:10 AM in order to meet Monk (aka Major Pain-in-the-Ass) by 6:00 AM sharp at his place. Luckily, I was wise enough to make coffee and eat breakfast first. Monk and I drove down to McNeil Island (the prison) and met with the inmates there in the Wiccan group Monk has been sponsoring for a long time for about three hours. We did a basic run through of ritual technique, I handed out a history of Wicca lecture, and Monk did a guided meditation that showed a way to work with certain energies.
I will be doing my volunteer training with the Department of Corrections on 3/20 (got my paperwork in today). With that done, I'll be a accredited volunteer with my own badge and free government photo on it. This will put me on equal footing with Monk so I can concievably go down to the facility on my own or take over for him if he moves away. I've been needing to get this done. Now, if only we could get them to offer the full sponsor training to make us completely legit.
Having the training has been an issue because Monk was restationed in Atlanta for two months and only luck of the draw on the holidays allowed him to be back for Yule with the inmates. There has been a change in chaplains at the site and with the supervisor running things directly, I'm not allowed on the site by myself. This meant that neither Monk nor I saw the guys in January which, in turn, meant that they missed out on a monthly meeting. My bad.
I got home from this about 2:00 PM (already a full day!) and crashed for an hour and a half or so to take a nap. Around six, after some dinner, R and I went to pick Madeline up. After that, we went over to Aion's place for a Tara Puja in his yurt with him, Sophia (his wife), Shade, and another woman. We wound up doing a 21 Tara sadhana in a slightly altered form. This is the first time Madeline has ever attended anything like this with me since she was a baby. I am fairly sure she was bored with the chanting but she didn't squirm much and didn't complain (except saying she was bored after the ritual) so I think it went well overall. R hasn't done a lot of this sort of ritual and I like my friends and family to understand more of what Tantric Buddhist ritual is really like and Aion kept it mostly true to form. The closing was abbrieviated but that was about it.
His and Sophia's yurt (http://www.psychicsophia.com/forestyurt.html) is, as always, a beautiful ritual space. It's about 16 feet across inside and they have covered the walls with textiles from their travels in Asia, along with thangkas, statues, candles, etc. The floor is carpeted inside and we sit on cushions. I can only hope to make my oratory/shrine area at home something as nice to work within.
My dad is visiting the area and he'll be coming over in the morning to go out to breakfast with everyone. He likes seeing his granddaughter and he doesn't get to spend a lot of time with me either. We went out to lunch on Friday and I took him to the Microsoft Company Store to buy a bunch of games and other software. So far, tomorrow afternoon is blissfully free of events but my dad is going to spend tomorrow night in the spare room so I can look forward to entertaining family...
By the way, R and I have put a deposit down on the Shumway Mansion for our wedding. The official date, barring complications, is now October 2 of this year.
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