But Catholicism is my parents' thing, and I respect them about it despite how little religious respect I get back. Every once in a while, I allow them to drag me to church, and I go through the motions, sing the songs, and listen to the sermons quietly.
Today's sermon was about the Last Supper, and the Eucharist. The Last Supper is the last sabbath meal that Jesus shared with his disciples. It was at this meal that Jesus, instead of reciting the traditional sabbath prayers, held up a piece of bread, broke it in half, and said "take this all of you and eat it. This is my body, which will be given up for you" (loosely translated). He passed the bread around, and the disciples each ate a piece of it. Jesus then picked up a cup of wine and said "take this all of you and drink from it. This is my blood, which will be given up for you" (loosely translated again). Again, he passed it around, and the disciples all drank from the cup.
The Last Supper is reenacted during the mass, and bread (Eucharist) is given to each person who has gone through the Sacrament of First Holy Communion. Then the members are offered a sip of wine. The idea is that the bread and wine are ACTUALLY the body and blood of Jesus. Not just symbols.
The priest, during his sermon, said that the foundation of the Catholic beliefs is Communion (the whole eating bread and drinking wine thing), and that it is truly the body and blood of Jesus. He said, and I quote: "there is no negotiation on this." To be a good Catholic, you must believe whole-heartedly, without question, that you are basically committing an act of cannibalism.
There are a few things I have issues with here. One: flesh is meat, not bread. Wine is made of grapes and alcohol, not blood. They don't resemble flesh and blood in any way (I guess it would be a bit morbid if they did). Two: we cannot question this Catholic cannibalism. Questioning is how we learn. It is how we grow and evolve. It also helps us think for ourselves, so we aren't simply a societal robot.
The final thing I had an issue with was that there is no scientifically physical way a person can turn bread and wine into flesh and blood. Jesus doing so, is called among Christians, a miracle. A miracle, by definition, is "a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences," or "a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency." So let's face it. Miracles are just glorified magick. Magick exists everywhere, if one were only to look. Only when we glorify it, we consider it a miracle.
So Jesus was a witch. Or at least a magician. I don't think the priest would like me very much right now.
Speaking of magick...
Two nights ago, the night before Litha, I cast a spell. It was a protection spell for my child, which I thought, due to current personal events, was a necessity to do. The spell was a simple spell, found on a website called Spells Of Magic. All I needed was a white candle. The majority of the spell was a chant.
So for the first time, I actually casted a circle. Since my bedroom, where I perform my magick, is carpeted, I used white chalk to draw my circle. I pulled up the spell on my computer, and put it outside of the circle. My hope was that the circle would control my energies, and not harm my computer. It was my hope at least...
I entered the circle and closed it. And then things got weird.
I silently called the corners and then went to light my candle. Three matches later, it still wouldn't light. In fact, it was just putting the flame completely out. I decided to turn off my fan, which was set to a low setting to keep smoke at bay. The fan's chain was hanging just inside my circle, so I reached up and tugged it to turn it off. The chain broke. I had to open the circle back up, fix the chain, turn off the fan, then enter the circle again and close it. Fourth match finally lit my candle.
I knelt down and began to recite the chant:
"I call upon the four corners,
North, South, East, and West,
To craft this spell in the fire,
Craft it well weave it higher,
Weave it now of shining flame,
None shall come to hurt or maim,
None shall pass no none at all,
Protect this child I ask of thee,
Protect (him/her) now till (he/she) can see,
As I ask, so mote it be!"
While chanting, I felt a strange tingling sensation in the bottoms of my feet. Not like my feet were falling asleep, but almost like a vibration...a hum entering my body. If I wasn't on the second floor of my house, I would have guessed I was Earthing (connecting to the Earth through the feet, usually achieved by walking outside barefoot). But like I said, I was on the second floor.
I finished the chant and stared into the flame, visualizing my child protected by a glowing orangish white orb of protective energy. The same color as the flame.
After the spell was complete, I released the corners, thanked the Goddess and the God, and opened the circle. I then cleaned up.
Once everything was clean, I sat down with my computer and got on Skype for a while. Then I closed my computer and went to bed.
The next morning, Litha, I ran some errands. Took the dogs (my familiar and my child's familiar) to the vet for their heartworm shot, then stopped by the bank.
When I got home, I set up my painting things to work on a commissioned painting. I opened my computer to look at some inspiration and turn on some soothing meditative music, but my computer froze. And it was really frozen, so I turned it off. When I turned it back on, a nightmare began.
To say I had computer problems would be an understatement. After spending over an hour on the phone with Apple's techs, and having four different techs trying to figure out how to fix my computer. We realized my hard drive was completely gone, and my operating system just disappeared. I couldn't even log into my computer. And it had been a hot minute since I had backed up my data. Around 3:00 pm, I found myself at the Apple store with yet another Apple tech. She managed to hook my laptop up to my older laptop, and get my data off of it, thank Goddess. About an hour later, I was saying my goodbyes to my 6 month old MacBook Pro, while clutching my 4 year old, hanging-on-by-a-thread-of-life (it has no battery, so it must be plugged in to a power source to operate, and has a trackpad that won't left click) MacBook Pro, and the $80 external hard drive I had to buy to hold my data from my poor broken laptop. None of the technicians have managed to figure out why my laptop would all of the sudden act this way.
I have always had issues with electronics. Whether its my phone, iPod, laptop, or whatever else. Electronics hate me. I once went through 3 different cell phones over the course of one week. Even stranger, a few months back, I managed to charge my phone without plugging it in to a power source. The phone was plugged to the charger, but the charger wasn't plugged into the outlet. Needless to say, I watched in amazement as my phone charged itself in my own hands...or I charged it. I know what you're thinking, and I'm just as skeptical as you about it, and if it hadn't of happened right there in my own two hands, I wouldn't believe it either. But I'm telling you, it did.
I think it would be safe to assume that I have a high energy field around me, or an overactive aura. It's possible that Litha's powerful solar fields added to my energy when performing the spell, and in turn, attacked my computer.
Anyways, I should get my computer back in 3-5 days.
Oh, I bought a plate for offerings and sacrifices. It's now sitting on my altar. Below is my altar for Litha:
Here is a template view of my altar. The top of the image faces west: