Many times when we witches use the word banish, most of the world around pictures large ominous black clouds behind us and a cauldron with large billowing fumes pouring forth. We chant hardcore chants and screech toward the sky as the banishing takes place. It sends that which we see as a threat deep into the abyss of nothingness for eternity.
Banishing to me, is just another coin of a phrase. It is simply relinquishing, releasing, letting go. Granted, this is something I don’t have completely under my belt yet, but this has been a week of lessons about release and letting go.
We will start with the first of many hard lessons. I have a dear sweet Cherokee grandma who is on her deathbed right now. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t make her out to be a saint….this woman is a fighter…or as a dear friend calls her, a warrior. She is sweet when she wants to be….her words can drown you in syrup when she desires….or she can be tough and as strong and protective as an old grizzly bear mama. This week, however, has shown her in a place between the two worlds. Her mind and spirit are ready to move into the summerlands, but her body–as tired as it is, still has fight in it.
I visited her last month and she and I had “the talk.” She told me in her own way that she wouldn’t be around when I came home next. She told me that it was “her time to move on.” I knew inside that it was true. It hurt me tremendously, but I knew I had to say my goodbyes then. We hugged many times during that visit and most of those hugs held a little longer than normal. When we kissed and hugged at the door as I left, we both told the other how much we loved each other and knew that it was from a place inside that was so raw and real with emotion that it felt like it wrapped us both up into it. I eased into the front seat of the car and I felt in the deepest part of my being a release…..it was then I handed her spirit over and knew that it would be taken care of. That doesn’t mean I won’t feel it when she actually passes. It just means that I have released her spirit to move on when it needs to.
Another hard lesson I had this week was in regards to my own anger. Once again, I allowed something at work to piss me off more than it should. My blood pressure had been playing the up and down games that it normally plays when I am stressed. I am standing in the hallway of the animal clinic I work at. I watch as a puppy is getting angry at its own leash. It starts winding itself through the leash until it is completely tangled up. It is now lying on the ground unable to move. At that moment it hit me. I am just like that puppy. I am letting things that are only an aggravation wrap itself around me until I can’t move, think, or function. I am tying myself up with my own rope. The people that I was aggravated and angry with could care less. I was the one getting worked up. I was the one causing my own frustration. If I had just moved past the initial aggravation, that rope would have loosened up and I could have escaped.
I have to be brutally honest at this point. Letting go of something can be the easiest thing in the world. It can be as easy as letting a balloon go flying out of our hands and into the sky. It can be. I am one of those people that sometimes, just as the balloon escapes my fingertips, likes to jump up and grab that string back.
I was confronted by another issue this week that I thought I had released. I have talked about my last partner who died a few times in here. Well, there were some money issues that were left with me when he died. This week, those issues came back to try and haunt me for a bit. I found myself grabbing hold of that balloon string. I was angry…..I also realized I was just a tad bitter and I had not forgiven him for putting me in that situation. Now, this is where I will throw a little of what I learned in bible school out. I used to always hear that once God forgave you, that he forgot your sin. Me, being the nosy-assed thing that I was went and researched that. I had always been told that you “forgive and forget.” Well, like I said, I researched that information and found out that the translation was not to forget….which is an unconscious effort, but it was “to choose not to remember.” Now that action takes some work.
So, me and Jim had a talk this week. I sat down with that memory and released that bitterness and anger and I forgave that boy. Now honestly, I don’t really think it affected him one way or another, but with me, it loosened some of those ropes. I began to realize that there were so many other strings I was holding onto with so many other people, so I decided it was a good week for a new beginning. I loosened up some more ropes. I could feel myself lightening up. Not so much anger inside…..the blood pressure wasn’t flying up as often.
I remember as a little boy, my grandma would take me out into the woods. We would watch and listen to the animals and the sounds the woods made. One afternoon, I caught a butterfly. I was a mean little kid then. I wanted to put it in a jar. Granny always carried a mason jar in her apron to collect plants and all kinds of goodies in the woods. She told me that day, “You don’t want to put that butterfly into a jar. It don’t do nothin’ there. It just sits.” She put the butterfly into the jar and sure enough, it didn’t move. At that point, she takes the butterfly out and as he sits on her finger, she waves it. The butterfly takes off and she laughs. “That’s what they are supposed to do! They fly! Don’t ever let anybody clip your wings boy! You fly just as high as that butterfly every day of your life.” I never forgot that lesson….and no one has ever clipped my wings.
Lessons don’t always show us the shiny side of our own coin. Sometimes we have to be the one to take out the rag and scrub it. But if you work at it hard enough, I can promise it will always come clean. I had to be taught again this week how to let go….but I also had to be taught to choose not to remember those things that had made me feel so compromised.
I am still flying granny. Sweet dreams!