The Music of the Night…

I have to admit to y’all. I do not like to be scared…or as we call it in the south, “skeered.” It tears my insides to shreds to think that anything would be out there to “git” me. I remember going to sleep as a child with my covers pulled all the way to my ears….guess those covers were magickal, because nothing ever got me.

I also remember sitting in horror as my grandma told me stories of the Booger Woods that were behind her house when my dad was growing up….stories of how a headless boar chased one of the neighbors all the way to edge of those woods. She would also tell me stories of “The Raven Mocker.” This was a Cherokee legend….a dead witch come back to prey on those that were ill or dying. The Raven Mocker will not come near a Medicine Man…or a Shaman. When I heard this, I told my grandma then and there that I wanted to be a Medicine Man. She laughed and told me that I didn’t have anything to be “skeered” of….I had plenty of medicine inside me…medicine so strong that I might not know what to do with it all. My grandma saw things in me that it took many years for me to see in myself.

I have always walked gingerly around anything that had to do with ‘spirits’ or ‘haints,’ as my mountain-born aunt would call them. I have always had a fascination/fear of them. Even as a child, I would dream about the spirit of those who had crossed over…sometimes letting my parents know that they had passed before they knew. In the dreams, though, I was never afraid of them. In my dreams, I have been approached by many different spirits to help them in their journey….most of the time it is one that is in trouble or ‘stuck.’ Lest you think I am constantly bombarded, let me just tell you that this only happens once in a blue moon. The last time was just after my grandma died, but I think that was to comfort me more than her.

This week, however, I have been dreaming non-stop….even to the point of having to watch daydreaming. Anytime my brain has been drawn from the focus of the present, I sense an urgency… a calling…a tweak in my own spirit. When I put my head on the pillow this week, my dreams have taken me directly into the woods. In this dream, I am in the woods surrounded by shadow people….but there is no fear in me. For some reason, I know these beings. I sense that they need me. In my dream, I transform into my chihuahua and then into a wolf. As I watch myself, it seems as though I am holding court amongst the shadow people. As the dream ends, I see them dissipate and as I walk out of the woods, I transform back to human. My partner says that I have talked up a storm in my sleep this week, and I always wake up with music that is tribal, yet Celtic, in my head. Since I haven’t felt threatened by the dream, I have just taken to pulling in protective energies ( just in case) and going on with business as usual.

Last night, I went walking…me and that little blue chihuahua. I don’ t know why, but lately I have been craving the night air. It seems as though my senses are keener at night and I am able to feel a new kind of energy. I have been sleeping later in the mornings and haven’t been to the pond since last weekend.

When we walk, that chihuahua doesn’t normally pull much. We normally walk side by side. Again, I had my headphones on listening to Omnia. I love how the melodies and beat speak to my soul. Apparently, I was mindlessly walking toward the place in the woods where I had gone by myself last weekend….the place that felt strange and forboding. As I walked, I could feel Friz pulling away. He really doesn’t like to explore new things as much as I do. I picked him up and carried him. He snuggled closer into my chest under my cloak (I gave into the fact a long long time ago that some of my neighbors probably think I am the village loon). I walk deeper and deeper into the woods. I look around for a spot where I can see Mama Moon the clearest. I settle in….I breathe in the mustiness of the woods…the smell of the decaying leaves. Friz pulls in closer. I remember the feeling I am experiencing….it was the same feeling I had on my first encounter with Lady Hekate. I closed my eyes and envisioned all my helper animals….my familiars, some would say…or power animals. Mama Crow, Wolf….I have Friz in my arms. One is missing. I turn around and look….I hear padding in the leaves…more of a tromping. Somebody is putting on weight…all the offerings I bring with me? It is black and white cat minus the harem. I settle in and close my eyes….strange for a kid who was essentially scared of the dark. I breathe in the mysticism around me. I can feel the magick. Funny, I have been dreaming of the circle of shadows only to end up in the midst of the Queen Witch. Omnia is singing “Wytches Brew.”

Thrice the brinded cat has mewed!
-Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined!
-Harpy cries: ” ’tis time! ’tis time!”

Round about the cauldron go,
in the poisoned entrails throw
Skin of toad and spike of bone,
sharpened on an eagle stone
Serpent’s egg and dancing dead,
effigy of beaten lead
Double double trouble you,
bubble in a witches’ brew

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog
Lizard leg and fairy wing,
round about the cauldron sing
Double double trouble you,
bubble in a witches’ brew

Root of mandrake dug at night,
when the moon is full and bright
Slip of yew and twig of fern,
make the fire dance and burn
For our will it will be done,
when the hurlyburly’s done
Double double trouble you,
bubble in a witches’ brew

Double double toil and trouble
Fire burn and cauldron bubble
Double double trouble you
Bubble in a witches’ brew

I welcome Maiden, Mother, and Crone into my circle. Again, she brings the power of the moon into our midst. I sing to her the needs of those I have been dreaming about. You can feel her sweeping about the woods. Encircling this sacred place. She has always embraced the Wild Man that has been a part of me. I can hear her cackle as the urge to move is upon me. She always stirs that Wild Man in the Woods part of my soul.

I finish up the ritual. I bow to the Queen of Witches and leave my offering. I walk out of the woods holding Friz and with a chubby little cat on my heels. He knows I have food. I give him his offering in thanks for his services. Friz starts to squirm at this point. He wants down. We walk slowly toward the condo…..although he was reluctant at first…he starts to bounce like a pup now, teasing my ankles and play-growling. He’s fierce, that one. LOL!

There may be more dreams in the future….there were none last night. I must be a willing vessel. My grandma was right….there is medicine there. I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.

Blessed Be!

;

I Second That Emotion….

I think I have mentioned it before in here that I have “empathic tendencies.” It doesn’t tend to rare up unless someone that I have very deep feelings about is going through something….then it comes on with full force. This week has been full force.

Now, I will be honest with you—when I had the excess weight on, it seemed easier to deal with the torrents of emotion that would come at me. I would assume that is because I have had so much extra padding (no pun intended). I have found that with the weight loss I have experienced and the purging of all that is artificial and yummy, that my senses are heightened, my brain seems more alert, and I have way too much energy for the fat left on me right now. I always said that my fat was a layer of protection for me. This week, I think I found out that it was shielding me from myself. A friend of mine said this to me just yesterday: You have to restructure your mind with your new body Dave…it’s not all about the outside!

It seems as though so many people whom I love and admire are going through emotional hurricanes over the past week or three, including the little four leggeds. I have sat and cried like a giant baby reading what some folks have had to endure this week. And while I am saying this….I don’t dare stay in the room when I hear Sarah McLaughlin’s voice come on the television.

I have friends who have dealt with loss on so many levels this week. There are those who have had unspeakable changes hit them smack dab in the middle of the forehead. I have witnessed these strong, indomitably spirited folks pulling themselves up by the bootstraps…..walking forward (even though they may be walking with a slight limp)….picking up the shattered hearts of others along the way. I watch as they apply the salve to their own wounds so that they might help in the healing of the wounds of others.

I got up early yesterday morning, as is my habit….I wanted to go to the pond. I needed to get a bit of relief for the antsy-ness I was feeling. I gathered up the little blue chihuahua and bundled up and walked the same path, I always walk. I felt a whisper deep inside, “Why don’t you walk around the long way to get there?” Since I was in a hurry and bombarded with jittery-ness, I hurried along that same familiar path so that I could experience the peace of pond even quicker. I sat down as quickly as I could sit. I called for Friz to come and lie down on my lap. He wasn’t going to have it. I looked for the herd of cats…..nowhere to be seen. I put my head against my old friend Oak. I figured if nothing else, I might get a nap in……wrong again. Mama Crow was perched on her telephone pole. She proceeded to caw at me non-stop for two hours. Granted I have sat and carried on conversation with her before, but this was more like a lecture. When she finally let up, I got up and walked back home.

After everything that went on yesterday, I was essentially an uber bitch to be around, so everyone walked ten feet around me. I don’t blame them….I didn’t want to deal with me either. I made my dinner and at the roomie’s advice, went for a long walk as it cooked. I put my Iphone in my pocket and my headphones on and put the music on shuffle. As I walked, I listened to Omnia…one of my absolute favorite groups. Their song, “Wolf Song” came on:

Stumbling through the winter forest
Her feet froze’ to the bone
The darkness holds no solace
So very, very far from home
A crimson cloak behind her drags
It’s torn by thorns and snagged to rags

Pity maiden for your folly
To venture in these woods alone
Mercy lives not in the holly
No compassion from the stones
Your fear brings tears like summer rain
(Oh mother father where I am?)
They beg for me to ease your pain
(I’m cast adrift what should I do?)

My love oh I beseech thee
Throw thy cloak aside to feed me
Crimson rivers from your veins
Crimson rivers feel no pain
Your long red hair ensnares me
Your warm red blood it calls me
My red right hand shall take thee home

Leave it to Crow and Wolf to lead me yesterday. I felt that whisper again to go a different way from my normal path. I followed this time. It led me deeper into a wooded area surrounding the condo. I went deeper and deeper into the woods. This did not seem like as friendly an area as my pond. It was overgrown in brambles and briars…it was much darker. I smelled the air and it seemed as though trouble had visited here. I felt the beginnings of fear try to rise up. I felt movement by my side…it was the spirit of wolf. I felt the fear start to dissipate. In that same moment I heard Owl in the tree to my left. I knew that all of my dear witches were showing up one by one…..I could sense the spirit of dragonfly, butterfly, cat….and of course, the spirit of Crow. I called on them to encircle me. I sat down gingerly next to a wad of vines….I heard movement. Fear started to grip me again. As I felt the color leaving my face, I see black and white cat padding through those woods…I just about passed out from relief. He curled up on me and looked up at me as if to say, “The same spell doesn’t work for every need.”

Needs have to be met where they are. I know that some of my friends have been going through extremely dark times….as an empath, sometimes I must endure the darkness (accompanied and surrounded by the energies of those who guide and protect me) to send the energy needed and the hope for brighter times. Does it scare me? Sometimes, yes. But sometimes we have to push head-first through fear for strength to kick in. Do we get tangled in the briars and brambles of others troubles? Sometimes….but they do not have to ensnare us and trap us. It is in those moments that Magick truly happens…..we realize who we truly are and what we need to do.

In helping to heal the pain of others, sometimes we find ourselves. We understand that as shielded as we may think we are, sometimes we have to be vulnerable to allow Magick to work through us for others.

I made my way out of the woods with a little black and white cat moving quickly beside me. Once I was on the sidewalk, he was gone again. When I got home, I was greeted with, “Where have you been? I took your dinner out for you before it burned.” The only answer I had was, “I went for a walk…and you wouldn’t believe the things I saw.

Blessed Be!

The Last To See….

Last night I watched an episode of “Once Upon A Time.”  This episode featured Ruby (Red Riding Hood) and the way she dealt with the fact that she turned into a wolf on the full moon.  She was more afraid of herself and the change that took place in her than anything else.  She was searching for anything that would help her to understand herself and what was going on.  The peculiar thing was that her friends could see her true self even in the midst of the transformation.  Some of the lines that stuck out in my mind are in  a conversation between Snow White and Red:

“My Mother wanted me to choose between being a wolf and being human. Granny did too. You are the only person who ever thought it was okay for me to be both.” – Ruby
“Cause that’s who you are.” – Snow White

Even Ruby could not accept who and what she was.  Somewhere in the midst of the change, she got lost in all the fur.  How many times do we do the same.  We anticipate this huge transformation in our lives and are disappointed when it is not the way we planned or foresaw it.

As you know, for the past couple of months, I have been in the midst of a “lifestyle” change.  I have been incredibly good.  I have planned out my splurges and done everything that the doctor has told me to do….but the problem is, when I look in the mirror, all I see are the bulges and dimples and creases and blobs of fat that are there.  Of course, everyone around me tells me that I look so good…it is so evident to them that I have lost weight.  One girl at work even told me that I looked ‘deflated.’  I, however, keep seeing the same me in the mirror.  I see the big, fat blob of a person staring back at me……until this morning. 

I looked into the mirror and staring back at me was a thinning face.  It was markedly thinner than I am sure it was the day before.  I could see my eyes shining out at myself….not the pushed together slits staring out from the doughy fat cheeks that they once did.  I could finally see what I had been working so hard for coming to fruition.   Even though the scales registered the transformation weekly….I had been oblivious to it…until I was ready to see it.  Sometimes we are our own worst enemy.

I am reminded of a dear sweet young witch.  When I first got to know her, I remember her inquisitiveness, her uncertainty.  She was looking for guidance and second guessing herself a lot.  Though many of us around her could see all the possibilities and potential in her…I don’t believe she saw it.  I could see her in my mind’s eye standing out in the yard doing weather witching almost shaking from trying to get the energy to work. Frustrated, she would tell us of how she had tried and failed…..we, on the other hand, watched her trying and trying and then becoming.  This young witch became one of the most powerful hedge-, garden-, hearth-, solitary- witches I know.  While she saw failed attempts or questioned her motives and abilities, we saw the transformation into what she had in her all along.  She was stepping back and the Magick was allowed to step forward and take over.  She was becoming more and more like the Goddess because that was who she was spending time with.

I paid a visit to the pond today in the afternoon rain.  I have been begging for the cold weather to set in.  It was coolish, but still not as cold as I would like.  The blue chihuahua curled up on me as though he was freezing….as did the herd of cats led by black and white cat.  As I stared toward the water, I imagined all the things that had happened around it to make the pond what it is today.  I imagined the impatience of the Lady of the Lake as she waited for her home to take shape…the searching that mama crow did before settling on the telephone pole across the way to nest.  Everything needed to make it what it was to be was right there the whole time…..it was just waiting for it to take shape and then to recognize it.

I look at my own impatience….especially in matters of magick.  Everything needed to make the magick is right there.  It is just waiting on me to put the pieces together.  Once everything is in place….the magick flows and flows superbly!  It may not happen the way I think it should or manifest itself the way I think it should look, but it is there.  In no way was the voyage anything that I had expected…but the outcome was magickal.

What are you looking for?  As the new year begins, what is in you that needs to be recognized and nurtured?  Do you see a gift that is uniquely you… as a curse?  Another line comes to mind from “Once Upon A Time.”  It was when Belle was talking to Ruby:

“There’s good in there. If we can all see it, why can’t you?” – Belle

Blessed Be!

It Can Only Be Taken….If I Allow It

Never let another person take away who you are. You have so much strength, power. You allow it to be taken away, it’s not taken from you. YOU allow it. Pull it back in. Take CONTROL. You are a warrior. You are in control. Things don’t happen to you, you ALLOW it to happen. YOU are a WITCH. You have the power of the GODDESS in you. DO NOT allow it to be taken away.

This was something that a dear, dear friend of mine said to me this week as I sat in the midst of a gigantic pity party I was having.  I had allowed something that someone said to me in anger wipe away all memory of who I truly was. I allowed feelings that had not interrupted my brain for years to come flooding back into me like a tidal wave.  I let every ounce of self-doubt smack me up-side the head.  I didn’t think that I was that fragile….but my self-esteem shattered like a mirror that had been hit with a sledge hammer.

It took the strong words of a dear friend to help me to realize that I am stronger than mere words.  I was answering accusations with pure, raw emotion.  I had to be reminded that there is more to me than emotions that can be shattered at the drop of a hat…..hell, I have been through my own sexual abuse, the death of a partner and countless other crises that made this one seem almost insignificant.  How did I originally respond?  I pissed and moaned and felt sorry for myself.  I pouted and sulked.  I forgot what and who I was.

For a while, I was having trouble finding myself in the middle of a crisis.  What did it take to help me find my way out?  It took loving words lined with just enough “swift kick in the ass” in it.  I had forgotten that I am a witch and that I have something to work with that can make all the difference in the world.  I have Magick!

I settled in to make some Witches Salt.  I scraped the bottom of my cauldron with a spoon and combined it in my mortar and pestle with some black lava salt and ground it into a fine powder.  It was time to banish some negativity.  I needed to get rid of negative emotions, negative self-talk….I needed calm, peace and my sanity back.  I lit the candles, opened the circle and then proceeded to put the Witches Salt everywhere that it needed to be.  After the ritual, I thanked the elements and closed the circle. 

I slowly walked down to the pond…..that is the one place where I feel completely me and completely magickal.  Friz walked leisurely by my side.  I looked down at him and I saw the hair on the back of his neck begin to bristle up.  He saw something that he didn’t recognize and he started barking uncontrollably.  I tried to quiet him down, but he continued to bark.  No matter how hard I tried, I could not get him to calm down. 

A thought raced through my mind. “A chihuahua is going to be a chihuahua, no matter what.”  Little did I know that was what my dear friend was trying to get through my thick skull.  “A witch is a witch, no matter what.”  I have an obligation to myself and to the Lord and Lady.  I am to be the strongest, best me that I can be….no compromise….no faltering.  I have all the strength and power of the wild God…..the stamina of the Horned One.  I also carry the strength of the Warrior Goddess….the power over those things that would try to conquer me. 

I need to show myself for who I truly am.  I have the power of generations of Ancients surrounding me and inside me.  I only have to access that power.  It is as easy as lighting a fire in my cauldron.  As I made myself comfortable by the pond, the herd of cats came padding toward me.  Again, I am reminded….I have to be who I was created to be.  The only reason that flame can be snuffed out, is if I allow it.  I must stand guard over that flame.

My favorite quote from the first Harry Potter movie will suffice.  “You’re a wizard, Harry…..and a thumpin’ good one, I’d waiger.”  Yes, I am a wizard, witch, sorcerer, magician…..whatever word you want to use.  It is just a matter of semantics.  It is my choice as to how good, bad, weak, or strong.  From now on…..I choose strong.

Blessed Be!

Smoky Mountain High

It was a long drive on Thursday…a five hour one to be exact. We stopped at three Walmarts and one Ingle’s grocery store. I had worked late the night before, so I slept a good part of the way. I did wake up when we hit Asheville. We had been warned that they had gotten snow up there two days before.

As we drove in, you could see little remnants of snow everywhere. Most of it was in varying stages of melting. When we started driving up the mountain where our cabin was, though, there was snow everywhere. Just enough to look magickal. There was some cloud cover, so the snow had a blue hue to it. I am not normally a wintery weather type of person, but it took my breath away.

I could already feel myself shaking off the cares and worries from the week. I felt the excitement that I remembered feeling as a child….waiting to hear if you have to go to school. Rain and snow have always been cleansing for me. I could feel years of stress washing away as I looked at the blanket of white before me. The child took over…..I picked up handfuls of the soft powdery wet snow and packed it into a couple of the best looking snowballs I could form and I threw them…..both at my partner. His child-likeness apparently hadn’t kicked in yet….I was greeted with a scowl, but it quickly turned into a devilish smile and I could tell that I needed to keep my guard up….at least for a while.

We got settled into the cabin….got room assignments and got into our comfy clothes. As the evening progressed, I was greeted by one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen. The Lord and Lady outdid themselves as they painted oranges and pinks and blues and yellows across the evening sky. As I settled into the comfort of the symphony of colors, I could feel the magick welling up inside of me. I knew I would have to separate myself before long and have some time with the Lord and Lady and the fae.

I had packed a small altar set to take with me. I had a few stones, some small candles, my wand, my smaller cauldron, and my cloak. I disappeared later that night as everyone slept. I found a small clearing in the mountains where the snow had not been disturbed. I built a small fire in my cauldron and put the candles on each side. It was so cleansing. I felt like I had stepped back in time. On that mountain side, I was communing with the Ancients. I could feel my mind clearing as the wind circled around me. I could here the creek talking to me….so I talked back. I whispered the names of friends and loved ones into the wind….and it whispered back. Of course I could hear every type of noise that night time in the mountains could offer. If I hadn’t grown up with the sounds of nature in my ear, I would have probably been frightened.

I could hear the Ancients whispering the secrets of the mountain to me. I remember asking out loud, “Why have the mountains been around for so long?” The answer whispered back on the wind, “Because they are constantly changing.” I thought to myself, “I have to be willing to change….not the core of who I am….but I have to be open to new ideas, new ways of doing things.” The core of the mountain doesn’t change, but the change is in each thing that is a result of the changing seasons. As if on cue, a lone yellow leaf fell into the flame of my cauldron. I watched as it experienced another change…from ash to smoke.

I put out the fire, sat there and let everything cool, then took everything back to the cabin with me. I slept so peacefully that night and awoke rejuvenated the next morning. I was excited to see that a friend had seen some of the photos I had posted of the mountains and she suggested that I make a snowball, fill it with wishes and throw it at a tree. I loved that suggestion…..on impact all of the wishes are released into the universe! What a way to start the day!!!

On Saturday, the plan was to hike to different waterfalls closeby. I was so excited. I had planned so much water magick before the trip started. As we hiked, which ended up being ten miles all total, I found a staff that I used to help me keep my footing. When you aren’t used to hiking…much less walking that type of distance…it helps to have something to lean on. One set of falls, in particular, struck a note with me. It was called “Triple Falls.” This was where a couple of scenes from “The Hunger Games” was filmed. I climbed and moved to the middle falls…I could get close enough to feel the spray on my face. It was just cold enough to enliven me….to make my spirit jump with anticipation. I sat on a rock next to the fall….I wasn’t shocked as another hiker’s dog came up beside me and sat next to me……I was given a gift as I sat and communed with the water and the land and that gentle Boxer. Later as I chatted with the Boxer’s owner, I was told that she just normally doesn’t sit that still….again, a gift.

After the day of hiking, I was exhausted….not the kind of exhausted where you can’t move….the body was just tired. My heart, my spirit was ecstatic. I felt as though I had been a part of the universes wardrobe change. Again, that night, I slipped into that little space among the trees. I just sat. I had no cares at that moment….I was too tired to have cares. I curled up next to my cauldron and dozed for about 20 minutes…..just me in my cloak, asleep in the snow and dirt. Such a connection I felt with the Ancients again….and to my God and Goddess.

As we were leaving the mountains on Sunday, I laughed out loud as I heard a crow caw from the trees behind me. Why should I expect any less…..for all I know, mama crow could have followed me up that mountain. As we wound our way down that mountain, I saw movement on one side of the road….I told the fellow driving to stop and we watched four doe dance across the road into a field. I took it as a sign that the mountain was telling me good-bye and to come again soon. I smiled to myself as everyone in the car sat in awe of the deer.

Granny, you were right. When you turn to the mountain, everything else does seem smaller in its shadow.

Blessed Be!

A Final Kiss Goodnight…

Tonight is Samhain.  Because of a hectic work schedule, end of the month and vacation starting tomorrow, I had to do my ritual and my supper early.  The invitation was open for those dear to me to come and commune for just a little while….human and animal alike. 

Since my grandmother died in August, I have been having dreams about her.  Dreams of her being beside me…intervening in areas of trouble in my life.  Dreams of her strong Cherokee spirit encouraging me and pushing me.  In the dreams it was the younger version of her…her dark hair and eyes.  As she aged, she started dying her hair a mousy brown and the dark eyes became hazy….but the spirit never changed.

She was a feisty one.  She would tell me stories of the trouble she would get into as a youth.  She was always very headstrong and mischievous.  Hmmm wonder where I got mine?  I remember, as a child, feeding a baby green snake up through a hole in the outhouse while my substantial sized aunt was using it.  The snake climbed upward and apparently its tongue came in contact with a butt-cheek.  Next thing I know, I am running down the hill with my aunt running after me screaming with her pants down around her ankles.  I know now why my grandmother never spanked me for it……she was laughing too hard.  She told me later that she had to go hide in the barn because she was laughing so hard…..said it reminded her of herself.

As I said….the dreams about her always had her strong, unwaivering spirit showing through….until two weeks ago.  I had a dream that she had become very feeble and that I was having to support her when she stood.  I discussed this with a friend and we both agreed that granny had been hanging around until Samhain.  It would be important for me to tell her that it was important for her to go into rest in the summerlands.

Tonight as I sat down to eat and drink with my wonderful guests, I could smell the faint aroma of gardenia.  It was grannies perfume.  She was always so fond of that smell…..the rest of the family thought it was horrible.  So many of them would give anything for the smell of that perfume once more.  I was gifted with that.

When we finished the meal and I bid all of my guests goodnight….I felt a brush of wind against my cheek.  I whispered, “I have loved having you watching out for me granny, but it’s time.”  I felt that movement…that release as she shifted through the veil into the other world.

It was a gift that I won’t soon forget.  I will have plenty of time to ponder all these things when I go on vacation tomorrow.  We will be going to the mountains of North Carolina.  I love the North Carolina mountains.  They bring back memories of my childhood….we spent so much time there.  We would walk the paths of the Cherokee reservation that only the Cherokee walked….not the roads that held the touristy shops and metal tipis.  We would play in the creeks and race along the creekbeds…many of the same creekbeds my granny ran along. 

The one thing she always told me that will always play over and over again in my brain is, “When you are troubled and don’t know where else to turn, always turn to the mountain.  In the shadow of the mountain, nothing else ever seems quite so big.”  I have always taken that advice.  I went to college in Boone at Appalachian State University.  I went to Bible school in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Whenever things seemed to get too hard to bear, I went running to and through and over the mountains.

Whenever I am in the mountains, my feet instinctively know where to carry me.  I normally kick my shoes off and run…..there is just something about feeling naked ground under your feet…especially when it is ground that has been calling to you your whole life.

I know you know what I’m talking about.  There is a place in your life that calls to you.  It draws you to itself….whether its a mountain or a pond or a creek or a hillside.  Go to it when it calls.  That is where your spirit is nurtured, strengthened.  That is where the Goddess can meet you completely stripped bare. 

I plan to bury myself in a big old pile of leaves this weekend.  I will carry my wand and my cloak…..but I will also have my pipe and my flute. They were given to me by a wonderful Lakota friend in South Dakota.  I will sit in the middle of those mountain woods and sing with the symphony of nature.  I will find a secluded spot and dance naked before The Horned One and Mother Goddess in reckless abandon.  I will not only be celebrating the end of the Witches year, but also the beginning of a New Year.  A year brimming with new magickal possibilities.

Blessed Be!