The Magick of a K.I.S.S.

As the Fourth of July approaches, I know that most would expect me to climb on my rainbow colored pedestal and expound on the events of the past couple of days.  While marriage equality is near and dear to my heart, I feel that Facebook and other media forms have afforded equality more justice than I could ever deliver.

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My dear friend Maluna said it best:

Blessings and love to everyone. I’m a simple person. I look at everyone equally. I have lived many years keeping my views to myself….it’s better than arguing….being told what to think…when I walk into a voting booth…it’s my business…my beliefs and my personal contribution to society. I choose my friends for the goodness in their hearts…nothing more. My page looks fluffy to some…cats…flowers….a healthy dose of sarcasm to balance. Recently I’ve seen many pull away from Facebook…too much negativity….I choose to scroll by the negative…and keep my page on a positive note. I’ve said before, many times, I don’t care who you love…just simply love and respect your partner. Same-sex marriages are rights and laws….now you can get divorced and do battle…and lawyers will make money off you all too. (sarcasm inserted here)….the people of this country seem to take a step forward for rights….and step back for the controversy over a flag and what it stands for. Face it…people are just hell bent on fighting…which leads me back to my gardens…and cats…and loving everyone…and keeping my opinions to myself…and being kind. Am I Suzyfuckinsunshine? No. I’m simple. I’m me. And I’m strong in my convictions. And I do change this world. BB

I have come to the conclusion over the past week that life really isn’t all that hard.  It is people who make it hard.  In days of old, Vikings, Celts, Native Americans, had wars.  These wars were for land, livestock, and freedom.  Now we create our own wars.  Most of the day to day wars are a result of our own bruised egos.  It is as my dear friend said so eloquently…”People are just hell bent on fighting.”

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Maluna is one of the most genuine people I have ever known.  She lives for her gardens, her cats, and most importantly…love.  She loves with complete abandon.  She invests her heart and soul into people and the magick that comes with them.  She is honest to a fault and takes you at face value.  If that is what she means by simple…then I want to be simple.

I have watched her live her life.  She is one of the few genuine people I know.  She is a witch who completely believes in “Do no harm, but take no shit.”  She has been a true friend to me.  Sending praise for the good things I accomplish, but she has also read me faster than a set of Cliff Notes.

There has been many a moonlit night that Maluna and I meet astrally in her gardens or my courtyard, or in the woods outside of our condo.  Our spirits discuss those things that matter most to us. We commune with nature and the elements.  I dare say that she has as much of a love for Friz as I do…and I feel the same about her cats…and her skunk friends that visited her last year.  The one thing that I have tried and am continually trying to learn from Maluna, is to live a simple life.  She has taught me to pull on the experience of past lives and to trust the heart of the ancients within me.  She has taught me that the spirit is as old as the universe herself, but that the same spirit has no boundaries and cannot be confined.  She has encouraged me to do things I never thought I would be able to do.

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I went to the woods this morning before sunrise.  There was a coolness to the air.  The sky was spitting mist intermittently.  That little blue chihuahua walked beside me the whole way.  His leg is getting stronger with each walk.  In my backpack I have honeysuckle candles, my crow skull, matches and spell paper. I also carried a thermos of green tea and snacks for both of us…plus a bottle of water for Friz.  I had written mini-spells on the papers, hopes, poured all the magick I had in me into those small pieces of paper.  I sat down on the ground, lit the candles and after calling to the directions and elements, I lit each slip of paper with the flame from the candle.  Friz loved watching the pieces fly up and spark as they disappeared.

I pulled out his water and biscuits and watched him contentedly enjoy each morsel, while I nibbled on whole grain toast and yogurt.  He lapped at his water and then decided to christen one of the nearby trees.  I watched him balance himself on his stronger leg.  He is such a character.  I drank my tea and lay back against another tree.  I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply. I could smell the dampness of the ground…the moss surrounding the trees seemed more alive with the mist than I had ever seen it.

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Friz had joined me and was lying stock still at my side.  There was silence.  It was as if even the birds realized that this was a sacred moment.  We were still and silent for a while.  Our spirits did the communicating…nothing else was needed.  Then the silence was broken by the lonely sound of Friz leaning back baying….”Bowwoooooooo.”  Heart of a wolf, that one.  You can’t make magick any simpler than that….and trust me, it was pure magick.  We lounged on the floor of the woods a while longer, communing with the trees, birds, bugs…anything sent our way.  Friz always gets a good nap in his bed beside the sofa after a trip to the woods.

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After my errands tonight, Friz and I headed out into the courtyard.  I took a comfortable blanket and a box fan.  We lay side by side with the fan blowing over us….not exactly completely back-to-nature, but it worked.  As we lay there looking at the moon, stars, and clouds, I could hear the laughter of the fae ringing in my ears.  Friz and I both drifted off to sleep…lulled into the magickal simplicity of everything and nothing all at once.

I rest in the simplicity of living in that moment.  In that moment, there is nothing but the moon, stars, me and my dog.

Blessed Be!

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A Taste of Freedom

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During the New Moon this year, as I performed my ritual, I prayed that I would experience freedom like I have never experienced before.  There was a promotion on the horizon at work…I was hopeful.  On the other hand, I had been the ear for so much anger, bitterness…the type that makes you feel as if your skin will burn off if their words touch you.

I breathed a prayer, “Please Luna…breathe freshness and newness over your people.”  As I closed, I placed the seed from my moonflower plant in a cradle of soil on my altar.  I poured water over the seed and called for the elements to nurture everything that was lying dormant in that seed and bring it to fruition in my life….hope, growth, newness, and freedom from the shell it was housed in.

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As the week progressed, I watched New Moon Blessings manifest.  The promotion took effect today, lines of communication have been better between my partner and I,  Friz seems to be better (he hurt his leg a few weeks ago)…newness was pulsing all around me.  I can feel wonderful new changes stirring inside of me.

Today at work, I talked and laughed with new clients, had a meeting with my new team, and shared my knowledge with the ones who replaced me on my old team.  The day had been good.  At 6:00pm, I was packing my briefcase to go home…feeling content with the day’s accomplishments.  My phone rang.  I looked to see that it was my mother.  She knew it was my first day in my new position, so she was probably calling to see how my day went.

“Hey there sweetie.  It’s Mama.  I just wanted to call and tell you that your cousin died today.”  Now this wasn’t just any cousin.  This was one of the cousins who sexually abused me as a child.  My breath caught in my throat.  Suddenly, all the years of counselling came flooding back.  All the fear I felt when I first told my parents it was happening and they wouldn’t believe me.  I felt my cheeks flush…actually, I could feel every ounce of blood rushing through every vein in my body.  I didn’t know how to feel.

All at once, I was confronted with every emotion I owned…still sitting in my cube.  As I sat there not sure whether to feel sadness, elation…my mentor came up behind me and asked what was wrong.  “My cousin died,” I dryly said.  “There is more than that happening, but ok.  I am here if you need me.”  He patted me on my shoulder and smiled at me.

All the way home, all I could think of was how awful my cousin was to me.  His abuse didn’t come disguised as caring, loving…his abuse was just that.  Controlling, dominating, hateful abuse.  I am able to look back now and see that it was much of his own self-loathing surfacing, but that excuses nothing.  I have seen many in the same situations not resort to physically hurting others.  I remember the constant torment he put me through.  He would hit me and trip me.  I would go home bruised from his house as he told my parents that I was so clumsy…that my feet were too big for my body and I fell into everything.

I forgave him years ago.  I did this for myself…not for him.  He never changed.  I did.  No matter how far away I was from him, there was always something looming over me.  Forgiveness came easy, forgetting…not so much.  Dealing with the emotional scars to me was so much easier than seeing the physical scars on a daily basis.  Am I a stronger person for having dealt with this?  Yes…but no child…no adult should ever have to deal with this.

When I got older, he knew better than to mess with me.  I had come into my own and would as soon stomp him than look at him…and he always seemed to be at every family gathering.  I guarded my girls like a mama wolf when he was around.  They knew never to be alone with him, but it never stopped him from acknowledging me with that shit-eating grin that made him think he got away with something.  The other cousin who took part in this was more docile as he got older…not this one.

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As I drove home, I felt sick to my stomach…angry for feeling relief that he would no longer be standing there staring over my shoulder….sad, because this piece of shit left a wife behind (thankfully he never had children)…and thrilled that no one, ever, ever could be a part of his warped existence anymore.

I ran to the woods as soon as I got home.  I completely lost it.  As my body heaved, I could feel years of tension, years of feeling like the family guard dog, years of hatred and lack of control leaving me.  As I sat in the midst of the woods with my head resting on my arm, I felt something that I have never felt before. It was Freedom…Freedom.

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Blessed Be!

With the Heart of the Ancients

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I have been daydreaming a lot this week…more than normal. I find myself swept off to faraway lands full of forests and animals. It also seems that everyone I have been around this week has eaten a double portion of Bitchy Puddin’. In the midst of all the turmoil brewing around me, I have tried to drift away as often as possible. I have also been reading much about recognizing whether one has an old soul or not.  Apparently the Characteristics, according to one article written by Richard Crown, are as follows:

1.  You’re curious about whether or not you’re an old soul. Just the thought that you may be one strikes a chord somewhere deep inside of you.

2.  You enjoy spending time alone… a lot of it. For you, being alone is not lonely. You feel much more comfortable with your own company than by being surrounded by other, less mature souls engaged in frivolous pursuits.

3.  You tend to see the deeper meaning in every situation you encounter. You understand clearly that every event happens for a reason, that there are powerful forces at work in our lives that are not readily apparent.

4.  You make a living in an old-fashioned or artistic way. Maybe you deal in antiques or handmade artifacts or you’re an artist. Perhaps a traditional occupation like being a carpenter, farmer or a weaver appeals to you.

5.  Some of your friends are older or much younger than you, and you’re very comfortable with them. Age is not important in choosing your friends. Their level of maturity is.

6.  You enjoy being outdoors in natural surroundings. Time spent in the great outdoors in nature resets and recharges is you better than anything else.

7.  Your idea of a good read is something that stimulates your mind, provoking thought and self-examination. Spiritual books, history and philosophy are far from boring to you.

8.  You’re not interested in the National Enquirer, gossip and idle chat or football scores. You’re easily bored with popular TV and idle time wasters.

9.  You spend money on spiritual pursuits or helping others. You get more pleasure and satisfaction from spending money for a spiritual journey or meditation retreat, or on helping another person, than from buying the latest gadgets or indulging in expensive restaurants.

10.  People trust you and come to you for advice. Other people are not afraid to open their hearts to you and share their most intimate problems. They know they can trust you, confide in you and rely on your advice to help them make the best decisions.

I will admit that many of those things do describe how I am or how I feel, but I believe that there is something missing from those characteristics. I believe in the midst of all those things, there is longing…a yearning…a homesickness for certain places and certain time periods.

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I have found myself in that boat many times over the past week. I have found that when I close my eyes to rest or sleep, that visions and dreams come to me of a place long buried in my memories. I dream of an Irish countryside…of a modest hovel buried deep in the forest. There are people there that I recognize…people that I have heard stories of from my mother’s mother. A cousin, who has long since faded into family history sits at a primitive table…if I had to guess, I had made it with my own two hands. I am standing close to the fire preparing herbs and other ingredients gathered for the potion at hand. My face is furrowed with the etchings of a challenging life and my beard is scraggly, long and white. We laugh together as I speak over the pot in a language far from the butchered southern English I speak today. The brew is for one of his animals…staving off sickness. I have had this dream…this vision over and over this week.

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I have also dreamed of a woodland village deep inside the hills of North Carolina. In this vision, I am sitting in the center of a shelter made of grasses and animal skins. I listen intently as one of the young men of the village asks me for guidance as he prepares for a hunt for food. I close my eyes and I can smell the smoke of fire close by. I can feel the earth beneath me as I listen to what the spirits might tell me that could be useful for this young man.

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The dreams I have had have seemed more real to me than the reality that has manifested itself around me. With each dream…each vision…I awake with a deep yearning, a hunger to be back there. I have walked through each day with a dull ache in my chest….feeling as if had left something behind. In each dream, there is one spirit that I recognize no matter what form he may be. It is the spirit that resides inside my little blue chihuahua. In the vision of the forest cunning man, his spirit shows itself to me in the form of a fox that has taken up residence with me. In the vision of the old shaman…the Didanawisgi, I recognized his spirit in the body of the young man seeking guidance. He has been a part of many lives for me…either as familiar, charge, or teacher.

As my mind has circled this week around these visions, I am reminded of the movie “Somewhere In Time” starring Christoper Reeve and Jane Seymour…lovers, friends whose relationship transcended the boundaries of time. I can easily relate to the feeling that Reeve felt at the end as leaving the past became harder and harder. I found myself dwelling on these places…on these times. I found myself yearning for the person that peered back at me through that portal. I found myself yearning for the land around me…the coolness of the woods around me.

It is funny…as I grow older, these dreams/visions become more frequent….stronger. In these dreams, there is always a life lesson for me. Deep in that Irish forest, there is the lesson that we must always take care…protect those things we were given to keep watch over…whether it be our animals, children, family. Inside that shelter in the midst of the Cherokee village, I am taught that bravery is not something that comes to one automatically. It must be learned…it must be nurtured. I have awakened with my joints and muscles sore…as though I am older than I am, but their recovery is fast. I have also found myself looking deeper into the soul of that little blue chihuahua.

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We are told that we should train our pets…teach them to obey. But it is the soul of that little dog that teaches me patience, endurance, strength. I have watched him move in pain this week without once wincing. I have seen him show joy no matter how badly he hurt. He has listened and quietly sat with me this week with no judgment. I dare say that I have so much more to learn from him.

I lost a dear friend last weekend. His wife died almost a year ago to the day. She was the first person I came out to…the first person that I made my heart the most vulnerable toward. I spoke to him two days before he passed. Many were praying for healing…many were cursing their gods for taking him too soon. Sometimes the greatest healing takes place in the transition from one plane to another…and now he is able to walk side by side with the love of his life. I did learn something invaluable from him…find the joy in everything. Even as he spoke to me that one last time, he said to me, “I am so happy.” “Why?” I asked. “I get to be with Donna again. I have missed her so much!”

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Yes, I am an old soul. Yes, I long for the times that are embedded in my mind, heart, and subconscious. …but I have so much to do here. There are so many people depending on me that I haven’t even met yet. This life prepares me for the next. I take the lessons I have learned and the ones I have taught into the lives that follow this one. I am sure I will encounter some of you in that journey. There is one thing for sure, though, there is a little blue chihuahua that is walking beside me in each life I transition from and to.

I only hope I prove myself as faithful to him as he has shown himself to me.

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Blessed Be!

Midsummer: Sunshine, Brambleberries, Playing in the Dirt, and a Little Dab of Truth

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I am a solitary witch.  I love everything about being a solitary.  I don’t begrudge anyone who belongs to a coven…some of my dearest friends do.  This is my path and my preference.  Yesterday was spent outside…all day long.  Just me, the dogs, dirt and the Lord and Lady.  Now I am normally not a hot weather kind of guy…as a matter of fact, I abhor summer heat.  Lately, though, here in Georgia, it has been quite a mild summer.  Our days have been supplemented here and there with rainstorms and showers, so when I have been outdoors, it doesn’t seem to be as bone-drying hot.

As the Summer Solstice draws nearer, I find myself craving time in amongst the sunshine and the trees.  After the afternoon storms, the smell of wet dirt calls me seductively….begging me to run my fingers through her and to feel her shifting under my feet.  Yesterday was one of those days when it wasn’t sweltering hot and a soft breeze visited regularly just to let you know that all of the elements were out to play.  I knelt, crouched, walked, scooted over all the planted areas around the condo.  I made sure the ferns and hostas and hydrangeas inside the courtyard were comfortable and well-watered. I left a small plate with a couple of creamer cups with milk and honey just under the biggest Autumn fern for the fae.

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Then it was on to the outer courtyard wall.  I spent most of the afternoon weeding and raking and back filling as I watched the plants spring to life.  I sang and talked to the plants and the dogs as we passed the time.  The dogs were tremendous helps digging right alongside of me.  We worked until time for them to eat…I left milk and honey underneath the spiderwort this time.  The lime green leaves with the bright purple flowers remind me of a canopy that the fae would use for a party.

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I was outside until the wee hours this morning.  When I flung myself across the bed, my body was achy and stiff, but it was worth every moment.  The fact that I was exhausted with very little sleep did not keep Friz from pulling me out of the bed at 5:30 on a Sunday morning.  He knew that the woods were beckoning.  I pulled on a pair of cotton lounge pants, my sandals and a tshirt and we were set.  Candles, a thermos of coffee, and a bottle of water were stashed in my backpack.

As I unpacked the candles and coffee and settled into the dirt and leaves, I watched as Friz moved over toward a bramble bush.  I have always said that he would eat poop if it stayed still long enough…and he has.  I called him to me and he is just smacking and chewing.  He had a big ole mouth full of blackberries, or brambleberries is what we called them growing up.  I walked over toward the bramble with him and picked enough to fill my shirt front.  I drank coffee and filled up on brambleberries while Friz had water from the bottle and what seemed like just as many berries.

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After we were both stuffed, I lit the candles and called on the directions.  Then I called on the elements and then invited Mama Crow and Wolf to join.  We spoke to the Oak King bidding him peace as he moved into his time of rest.  We spoke to the Holly King and welcomed him back.  This is when I completely adore practicing alone.  I plunge headfirst into my ritual…I am immersed in the Lord and Lady.  I am laid bare before them….no pretending…no mask.  They see who I am, warts and all.  I always have those around me who will hold me accountable…trust me, I get away with nothing, but when I work magick, there is none but me, god, goddess, and all things magickal.

There have been so many changes in my life lately…wonderful, fantastical changes.  We all know, though, that even with good changes, we tend go kicking and screaming.  While our animal friends are adaptable…humans don’t adapt well.  With all the changes taking place, I have made it my goal to simplify.  Life, in general is complicated.  I found myself feeling the need to explain myself to everyone.  No one could understand what was going on and most don’t care…I only allow a few the insight needed to add their voices to my life.  I started dissolving relationships with those who insisted on elevating life to a reality series.  I cut the cords with those who sucked the life out of me harder than any vampire on True Blood.  I have endeavored to pull on as many positive aspects of my life as I can find. There is a quote that has been credited to Meryl Streep, but it is actually her quoting a quote.  It was originally written by José Micard Teixeira.   It is as follows:

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” _ Meryl Streep quoted it as words she lives by!  

It seems that I have spent so much of the time allotted me, trying to prove myself.  There is no need.  I only need to be true to myself…being who the universe has called me to be. I am only one person…and it is far too easy for one person to become lost in the multitudes. Life whirs by too fast.  Over my years of working with the Craft, I have learned that humans are the only creatures who don’t take things at face value.

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I am exactly who I am supposed to be.  There is no time for closets anymore.  Everyone who knows me, knows I am gay.  A select group know that I am a witch.  No more pretending.  It is time to stand in the sunlight and let the midsummer sun shine through us and show us as we really are.

Blessed Be!

Dogs, Pickups and Trust Falls

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How I have longed for the weekend this week.  I found myself encompassed by everyone’s mini-crises but mine throughout the work-week.  I know that Mercury is in retrograde and all that good stuff….but I have come to realize that people, in and of themselves, thrive on drama.  The most incredulous I encountered this past week was a co-worker sitting in her cube crying because one of her false eyelashes fell into her coffee.  I thought there may be more to it than that and asked her if everything else was alright.  In her biggest “I Love Lucy” Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!  She cried out that everything else was fine, she just didn’t want to go around with one eyelash on.  When I suggested that she take the other one off and asked if she carried mascara, you would have thought I saved the world.  Lord and Lady….I need to spend days…weeks in the woods.

It has been so much more than a yearning for the weekend for me though.  I need time.  I need space.  I need to feel the breeze pushing me from behind, the sun pulling me forward, and nature singing me to sleep.  I will get the time and space soon enough.  My partner is taking a trip back home to South Dakota for a week.  Those times are wonderful for us.  They give us time to miss each other…to think about the things that we enjoy about each other.  In a way, it can be more romantic for us than date night.

The yearning I am feeling is the type of hunger that makes you throw camping gear into the back of a pickup, put your dog in the front seat, load your backpack with your witchy goods and drive into the Tennessee hills until you can’t see civilization.  I want to get lost in Nature and rely on her for all that I need.  I want to curl up in the lap of the Goddess and feel that motherly nurturing…but also want to roam the land as the stag Lord, bellowing at the top of my lungs so that those within earshot feel my strength.

I am in need of Adventure.

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I can hear those mountains calling to me…just as they first called to me fifteen years ago.  I was living in Knoxville Tennessee at the time.  I was in school full time, working full time, and feeling completely lost.  I rarely got any time to myself and days off were scarce, but I happened to have one Saturday with absolutely nothing to do.  One of my school mates had agreed to keep my aussie at her farm so that she and I could be together.  The farm was only a ten minute drive from the apartments I was living in, so it worked out wonderfully.  That Saturday, I threw some sandwiches and sodas in a cooler, put it in the back of my old Ford Ranger, and stopped off to get my dog.  She bounded into the seat beside me sensing what was stirring in my craw.

We just started driving.  The windows were down and I could feel the breeze pulling me deeper into those Tennessee Hills.  We ended up somewhere outside of Sevierville in an area that was some sort of State Park/camping area.  I got out and Patches came bounding out behind me.  She was one of the best herding dogs I ever had, watched me like a hawk and did exactly what I asked her to do.  We both climbed onto the tailgate of that old pickup.  I opened the cooler and dished some of the cool water in my hand.  Patches lapped at it until she had her fill.  We ate sandwiches ( I would have a bite, then she would…this is the way we always did it).  I washed out one of the coke bottles in the lake nearby and filled it with the water from the cooler and we both started up the mountain.  To be that skinny and in shape again…LOL! We trekked through the trees and trails…Patches was so excited.  She had a grin that always indicated to me that nothing in the world could be more fulfilling.

We walked a little slower as we came to an area with a beautiful view of the lake.  I sat down on a fallen tree and there was my dog sitting right beside me.  She was the first animal who truly had laid claim to my heart.  She was mine and I was hers.  She was fearless (well, except for thunderstorms) and she was the one who taught me to let my senses lead me.  She is the one who taught me that some of the best sleep happened in the woods with a dog next to you.  To Patches….everything seemed new.  She romped and jumped and danced at everything.  Her favorite thing of all times was to play tag in the back pasture.  Many days I would find myself running  back and forth…all for the entertainment of that blue merled sweetheart.

Patches taught me many things.  She taught me how to walk fearlessly toward anything new.  She taught me to always run toward those things that showed promise.  She taught me to be a fierce friend…and on this day, she taught me that you could always climb mountains as long as you had momentum behind you.  She also taught me something else that day…probably the most valuable lesson I have ever learned.  I had turned my back for a minute and Patches had run up the ridge behind us.  I turned around and she was leaping toward me.  There was three feet between me and the edge of that mountain.  There was no doubt in her mind that I would catch her…and there was nothing else for me to do.  I had to catch her.  I reached into mid-air and grabbed her and held her as close to my chest as I could.  She looked up at me panting, but smiling that uncomplicated, trusting smile.  She knew I would never intentionally let anything happen to her.

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I realized in that moment that life is one big trust fall.  Things happen….alot of shitty things.  So many of us have become untrusting of so many things…even ourselves.  That day, that innocent little dog taught me to trust in myself, my doubts, my fears.  Over the course of time, I let circumstances and the turbulence of life make me afraid.  Sometimes when it would have accomplished so much more to leap head on into life…I held back, scared that there would be no one or nothing there to catch me.

Lately, my heart has begun to crave the new….the uncertain.  Lately, life has been about conquering the unconquerable.  Too old….not me.  Too fat…give me time.  Never been done…watch me.  I don’t know what has shifted in me lately, but when I look into the distance, I don’t see something I can’t reach.  I see an adventure lying on the horizon just waiting for me to leap toward it….and I fully intend to bring a few folks with me.  Some may go kicking and screaming and some may embrace it…but I am not going alone.

If no one else wants to come…I know a little blue chihuahua who embodies that same spirit of trust and adventure who will run right alongside me.

Blessed Be!

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Moving On…

Seems that as the full moon approaches every month…the closer we get to the solstices, my mind and heart are flooded with nostalgia.  This morning was no different.  After some much needed time in the woods, I settled down onto the outdoor sofa in the courtyard with my cup of coffee.  The sun was smiling down on me and the breeze was softly kissing my ear.  I was in a half daydream, half napping state.  I found my mind drifting lazily back to Charlotte, NC in the late eighties.  I could feel my soul being pulled back to a three storied home in one of the up and coming South Charlotte neighborhoods.

I can remember the sounds of Bette Midler wafting through the air as we all sat around the lawn drinking gin and tonic, bloody mary’s, sweet tea.  A group would be conversing in one corner, another group playing badminton in the area furthest back.  There were gays, straights, transgendered, bisexual…every type of human relaxing and enjoying the long southern days offered to us.  As the day danced into evening, the music became softer and the small Christmas lights strung in trees and overhead would begin to glow a soft white.  Our hosts had kept the grill going for most of the afternoon, so no one had the occasion to be allowed to feel the grip of hunger.

I always seemed to end up in one of the hammocks hanging between two large trees as others scattered lawn chairs around me.  Conversation always seemed to turn to what adventures life could bring or what magick really entailed.  No.  This was not a coven of witches, but just a group of friends making the most of their youth.  As I lay there waxing philosophical, Jim would come in behind me and hand me an ice cold drink and then stabilize the hammock as he lay down beside me.

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We would lay there for most of the evening, making plans…laughing at the mistakes we had made.  All of our older friends would tell us that they were living vicariously through us…that it was nice to see two people so in love.

My mind also drifts back to daily life with Jim.  Was he the love of my life?  Yes.  Are we allowed many loves of our lives?  Perhaps.  In those days, I was working corporate. We would get up in the morning and make breakfast together…he always made sure I was greeted with a kiss and a hot cup of coffee.  After breakfast, we would maneuver around each other as we got showered and dressed.  He always said that I looked so handsome in my shirt and tie….he said I looked like a corporate version of Freddy Mercury.  He was a nurse.  I do so remember how he filled out those seal blue scrubs.  Mercy!!  He was an ex-marine and his frame was 6’4″, brownish-blonde hair, piercing blue eyes, muscles in just the right places.  We would kiss good-bye…always careful to say ‘I love you’ before rushing to start the day.

I normally made it home first in the evenings, so I would start dinner.  I can close my eyes and feel the warmth of his body pressing against mine just after he walked in the door.  He always stood against me, his arms wrapped around mine, nuzzling the back of my neck.  On days that I would get home late, I would always find a bouquet of sunflowers on the table and a card that read, “Simply put, you make me feel wonderful.  Jim.”

You see, Jim had been diagnosed with HIV before we met.  I can still see the wonder in his eyes when I asked him out and he told me that he was positive.  I had been working with a local AIDS task force whose work included helping, working with, and doing whatever was needed for those in our community with AIDS.  I sang at far too many funerals in the eighties and stood in as surrogate family for too many who had been turned away by their own…but then again, this was what was needed.  Yes, this was in the beginning and yes, I was scared, but the possibility of missing out on someone like Jim scared me even more.

I was there through the drug cocktails.  I was there as the T-cells climbed and dropped, climbed and dropped.  I was there when the lesions began.  I was there when his eyesight began to fail.  We laughed and talked through it all….but always careful not to go too far into the future with our plans.  I remember one of the biggest belly laughs he ever had.  One of his guinea pigs had gotten loose and proceeded to chase me around the living room ( I have always been horrified by rodents.  Any rodent.)  As I run around the room like this tiny wad of fur is going to eat me, Jim is rolling on the sofa.  Sometimes, I would love to hear that laugh again.

Our last week together, I found out that Jim had done some dreadful things…things that would still end up effecting me to this day.  I remember the night that I confronted him.  We are at a bridge in Charlotte on the 4th of July.  We had met earlier at our friend’s home.  He greeted me with a bouquet of red, white, and blue flowers.  I had so much anger in me, I couldn’t even look at him.  We walked in silence to the bridge.  As the fireworks started, so did ours.  I let the anger that had been lurking just beneath the surface lurch forward.  We cried….I screeched.  He begged forgiveness.  He pulled me to him and kissed me and I jerked away.  I walked home that night.  It took me two and a half hours.

I got home and Jim was in bed.  His breathing was funny.  He had been coughing more that week, but I was wrapped up in anger.  As we slept, his breathing became more labored.  I called an ambulance.  They came and got him.  I watched through the coming weeks as machines breathed for him.  When his family came in….I was pushed out of the way.  I was relocated to the place of ‘roommate.’  Then there was the pain and anguish that he actually was not there anymore.  In one instant…gone.

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Jim knew I was studying witchcraft.  He often joked about him being Darrin and me being Sam from Bewitched.  My Darrin had been taken.  I retreated to my woods on the old farm back home.  Over the years, I have dreamed about him constantly.  He has come to me in times of trouble, fear, even stress.  He offers comfort.  I even believe he orchestrated many things between my partner, Jay and I.  Jay and I began our relationship on July 4th…exactly ten years after that night on the bridge.  I am the one who does the protecting and comforting now…Jim did it the whole time we were together.

I wonder how many witches can say that their spirit guide is their last lover?  I was sitting in the living room with my roommate the other night watching a tv show.  As we are watching, I am sitting there wiping my eyes.  My roommate says, “You are dreaming about him again, aren’t you?”  I told him I was.  He looked at me and point blank asked what I was holding onto.  He wanted to know what I haven’t forgiven myself for.  As I wrote this blog, I realized that I have not forgiven myself for not telling him I loved him on that horrible, horrible night.  I haven’t forgiven myself for not listening…only yelling.  I haven’t forgiven myself for walking away from him that night and not holding him tighter.

As I write this…I feel the tears streaming down my face.  I feel his presence behind me…trying to tell me that he never believed for a moment I stopped loving him.  I have a lump the size of a tennis ball in my throat and my heart hurts as badly as the night he slipped into the summerlands.  Tonight is the night that I have to forgive myself….to release the chains that have held me prisoner for too long.  Tonight isn’t about Jim.  It is about me and repairing what was broken years ago.

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I don’t write this blog to wallow in the past, but so the future may be more magickal…that my life may now be fuller…that there may now be rest.

Sleep well, my prince.  Sleep.

Blessed Be!

Being Magick

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Me?  ‘Course I want somethin’.  Want a buckle made outta shiny silver to fasten onto my shoes.  Want a dress with lace.  Want perfume, wanna be purty, wanna smell like a honeysuckle vine.

Want things I’ve heared of and never had before–a rubber t’ard buggy, a cut-glass sugar bowl.  Want things I cain’t tell you  about–not only things to look at and hold in yer hands.  Things to happen to you.  Things so nice, if they ever did happen to you, yer heart ud quit a beatin’.  You’d just fall down dead.

I can remember sitting as a kid with my aunt Cathy watching the musical “Oklahoma” as Laurie fantasized about all the possibilities that the Elixir of Egypt could bring.  I remember thinking to myself that one day I would make a potion like that…one that would bring all my wildest dreams to life.  I could feel the excitement of all the magick that one little bottle might hold rising up inside me.

I also remember listening to stories my grandmothers told about spirits and haints and otherwordly happenings.  The other grandkids would run to the other rooms to avoid hearing the tales, but even as scared as I was, I would sit and listen to every word with my head covered by a blanket.  I remember the stories of the uncle who knew when things were going to happen….the cousin who knew when someone was going to die…the Cherokee cousin who would sing to make the wind blow.2015-05-21 08.49.34

I remember all those years of wishing that I was special…wishing that there was some kind of power within me.  I can remember lying under the stars in my backyard begging them to imbue me with some sort of magick.  I remember begging the universe to make me anything but ordinary.  And so the journey  began…

The little things that seemed to come so naturally to me, I didn’t think twice about.  I thought everyone held conversations with goats and chickens and dogs and cats.  I thought that it was normal when I would see things in the corner of my mind’s eye and then later on they would happen.  I thought it was normal to have dreams in which those who had crossed over talked to you.

I guess I was fortunate in the fact that I was never told that I couldn’t do something.  I lunged through life expecting to be able to accomplish everything I had ever dreamed of.  Many times growing up, I was pushed toward the challenging….more by my grandmas than anyone else.  It was one grandma who taught me to be as intimate as I could with nature…it was the other who pushed me toward academics, music, art.  It was one grandma who talked me into working for a summer on a Lakota reservation…it was the other who talked me into majoring in Art and Music the first time through college.  I grew up feeling like failure could never be an option.

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Through this time, I begged the universe for magick.  I needed it more than anything.  My coping mechanisms were worn out.  Here I was in college in a large city…there was no nature around me that I could see….no animal friends to talk to.  I found myself withdrawing.  I found myself….well, lost.  For so long, I had wanted to do magick.  I kept waiting for the sparks to fly from my fingers.

A minister friend noticed the change in my personality.  He consoled the best way that ministers can, I guess…by suggesting I pray about it.  I looked at him and flatly said, “I never have quite understood prayer.”  He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Prayer, my friend, is all about energy.  You have the supernatural energy and you have your own energy.  Prayer is where those two things meet.”  Nothing more profound could have ever been said to me.  My thoughts started to grind together like the gears of a watch.  “If prayer does that…..and prayers start as words, then wouldn’t a magick spell do the same thing?  Different dieties…different direction…but it is energy.”  That is the moment when I became magick.

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It took time for all of this to soak in.  This epiphany that magick wasn’t necessarily some lifeless ‘thing’ to pursue was something that wrapped itself around me and through me….it is me.

As I walk my path today, I still find myself thinking that magick is some outsourced product…something that lies just within reach.  Each year that I mature in the Craft, though, I realize that magick is something that I am, not something that I do.  It is kind of like the words Human Being.  It refers to what I am….not what I am about or what encompasses my time.  If that were the case, we would be called Human Doings.

I have had to share and direct my energy quite a bit over the past two weeks.  There were wands to finish crafting and ship out….as I work on them, I chant, I sing….I share my energy.  There were deaths to walk through…my mom’s dog crossed over last weekend.  My mom had the wonderful opportunity to sing to her with her head on her chest as she closed her eyes to sleep as she moved into that next plane.  I shared my energy with my mother as she remembered the beautiful energy that little dog brought.  I have shared my own energy with Friz as he recuperates from a leg sprain and the challenges of aging.  Tonight in the woods, we held a type of croning ceremony for us both.  We lay together in moss and grass of the woods, combining our energies…embracing the aging cycle that is unfolding before us.  This doesn’t mean we are lying back waiting on death….it means that we were manifesting the energy that it is gonna take for us to go dancing and singing and running into old age.  We might be slowing down a bit, but we refuse to stop.

Every challenge that I have ever faced in life has scared the shit out of me.  Many of the challenges that I have walked through, folks have said at the end, “Oh, you must be terribly brave to do that.” No….I am not brave at all.  I just move forward…knees shaking, sweaty palms, and shallow breaths and try to look toward the end result.  I think that the biggest fear that most of us have is that fear of being insignificant…..but we are afraid to take the steps that might make us exceptional.

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Had I not decided to take on that mantle of Magickal Being, those who have required my energy and the magick it holds, may have been left in despair…hurt…pain.  I can buy or make every magickal tool you could think of, but without the magick within me, those tools do nothing.  Without my intent, a spell is just lifeless words written on a piece of paper.

Since he hurt his leg, Friz isn’t allowed to jump up on furniture.  This is especially hard for him because he wants to be as close to me as he can be.  If I am sitting on the sofa, he feels the need to jump up to be there.  I have been lying in the floor an awful lot this week.  Friz doesn’t care why I am on the floor…the only thing he knows is that I am being with him.   In that moment, nothing else matters….just being.

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