There and Back Again….

131164-bilbo-smoking“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.’

I should think so–in these parts!  We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures.  Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things!  Make you late for dinner!”

My best friend and I were talking last night as we walked out of the grocery store.  Me:  Do you think I have lost my joie de vivre?  Him:  Yeah, maybe a little bit.  You aren’t the same as even when I met you.  Me:  What do you think happened.  Him:  I think you let fear take away what was once inside you.

I have to say that I agree 100%.  When I look back at the person I used to be, there was a sense of daring….a sense of delight that overtook me when someone told me that I wasn’t capable of doing something.  Immediately, something was stirred inside of me that was determined to prove them wrong. RhosgobelWe are told, that as we age, we are to settle down….it is a time to become comfortable.  After all, retirement is looming around the corner and we know that somewhere in our future, rocking chairs and quilts abound.  We have been hypnotized by reality shows….we no longer have to leave our homes for adventure…..just turn on the tellie, and you can live someone elses life.  You can dream of what it would be like to be one of the housewives of Atlanta, or go Hillbilly Handfishing, or you can be Honey Boo-Boo Child……the aspirations are endless!

You don’t even have to leave your home to have date-night anymore.  Turn on “On Demand” and order a movie…order a meal to be delivered and you never have to get dressed or even shower for that matter.  Is it any wonder that anymore we are becoming a batch of stinky, overweight, non-doers?  And trust me, I am  right at the top of that list.  I speak from experience.  It is so much easier to stay at home and never move from the sofa or the patio than to have to fight Atlanta traffic or make the effort to find new and whimsical things to tickle and enthrall the senses.  After all…..I have grown up responsibilities now.  I have two dogs and two cats that hang on my every movement and word….Yeah, right!

I do venture out to the woods or the pond on the weekends…sometimes even during the week.  I dress like powerful mage that I am (well, at least in my mind. LOL)  I look to the elements and the plants and trees and animals for the magick that I am so sure is inside of me.  But there is something missing.  There is adventure brewing in me that has yet to be tapped into.  There is that part of me who hungers to climb the hills outside of my courtyard, climb the mountains beyond and soar into the distance. My sword is at the ready….dragons are around the corner. 2012-10-10 15.00.59

I have entertained the Morrigan many times this week.  My encounters with her have been through the one aspect that I cringe at, but also crave.  She has spent the week calling me to change.  It is time to lay some old habits and thought patterns to the side and embrace a part of myself that I buried a few years ago.  It is one thing to grow older but one must also grow wiser.  The Morrigan showed me many mirrors this week.  In one reflection, I was a ferocious as a wolf.  That wolf, now, because of fear that has been allowed to creep into my life….will roll over onto his back and pee in the air like a submissive puppy.  In another reflection, I kept my wings spread wide like the crow…again, because of fears, my wings have been clipped.  Finally, I was shown the reflection of the buck.  My head high, my gait smooth, my speed swift.  I have allowed fear once again to cripple me and cause me to limp….afraid to move too fast.

I had forgotten that the person staring back at me was the one who had the nerve to leave home at 17 and pursue an acting and singing career in New York.  I had forgotten that this same person took on raising two girls without so much as flinching.  Most recently, he moved to Atlanta without the prospect of a job to be with the man he loved.  I saw courage in his eyes.  I saw fire.

I looked back in….the reflection didn’t seem to match who was staring back.  I have become far too settled.  I have traded adventures for stability.  This is not a bad thing, but I have let the stability become ritual with no expectations.  I have stayed where I am because it is comfortable and not necessarily the best thing for me.

Now I am not talking about getting up and forsaking everything that my life holds.  I have been called by the Morrigan to change those things that have made me monotanous….that have hampered and suffocated the magick.  I have started an adventure sheet.  I will be doing magick that will help to activate the adventure that I know is still there.  I may need to bare the teeth a little more, spread the wings a little wider, and race a little swifter into the wind….but I am willing to do these things.  That fellow I once saw in the mirror never went away….he was just napping.  Sometimes we have to wake that part of us up…..no matter how hard we protest.2012-09-06 12.09.40

It is time to free the parts of me that have locked away.  I need to remember to dance a little harder, laugh a little louder, run a little faster…..after all, life is one adventure after another.  I just had to decide to get up from the table, turn off the TV and run out of the gate just as fast as I could run.

I AM GOING ON AN ADVENTURE!!!!!the-hobbit_2422493b

Advertisements

A Walk Through the Gardens with Friends

tumblr_lqpfmb9s7r1qz9xqho1_500

When I was growing up, I was always reminded how important friendships were.  My mother was still friends with the people she was friends with in grade school.  My grandma still talked daily to “the girls” that she spent time with in high school.  Friendship and devotion were ingrained in me from an early age.  I am still friends with many of my exes simply based on this philosophy that was constantly spoon-fed to me. 

I still think of a group of guys I used to meet on a weekly basis, just to have coffee and mull over the happenings of the week.  I am still friends with the whole group.  We may only get to communicate via phone or Facebook now, but we do still communicate.

I was thinking about my friends and acquaintenances in the pagan community.  I have a large circle…but those that I am closest to are like my own kin.  In my immediate circle of men and women is a group of those that I trust implicitly.  It is with those people that I share parts of me that no one else gets to see.  Among those friends are also four leggeds.Basset Hound Laying in the grass.

I have long been a wanderer.  I guess you could say that I am quite a bit like a hound dog.  My nose leads me.  As I walk, a new scent will distract me and head me off into a different direction.  Today as I walked with Friz in the light mist of rain that encompassed the condo complex, I caught a whiff of something familiar, but wild at the same time.  I pulled the leash as I made my way around corners and through small groves of trees, up to a small patch of a garden.  I looked down and was surprised by what I saw.  One of our neighbors had planted a small batch of marigolds.  That familiar stench had wrapped its way around my nostrils and taken me back many years.

I remember sitting at the edge of my dad’s garden with my best friend from grade school.  We were playing and decided that we needed to cover our own scent with the smell of the marigolds my dad had planted throughout the garden.  We gathered the bright orange, yellow and burgundy heads from everyone of the small flowers and ground them into our skin. That smell still takes me to the verge of vomiting today.  It was that smell that your hands hold after a full evening of catching lightning bugs…..that wild musky rank sickening smell.  I laughed as Friz got close to the blooms and then recoiled at that stink. 

When we got back to the condo, I curled up on the outdoor sofa with Friz by my side and looked around at everything showing its springtime faces and blooms.  Many of my witch friends came to mind as my thoughts drifted toward herbs and flowers.  There have been many a night when I have danced through the courtyard knowing that the energy of my friends was dancing with me.  Some of these friends I have never met face to face….but I know better than I know some of my own family.  Some of them I have met and giggled with and hugged and it was wonderful!  It is in my darker times that I close my eyes and can feel those hugs and the giggles singing in my ears.

I remember a spell that I spoke out into the universe as a witchling long long ago.  I was sitting out by the chicken coop on the farm playing with one of the baby goats….I whispered into the air, “I never want to be without friends.”  At that moment in time, I was specifically talking about the four leggeds, but Goddess is far more faithful than we can imagine.

I know that it is very easy in a moment of loneliness to sit around and say, “Nobody cares….nobody loves me.”  You have no idea.  You have absolutely no idea how many people in the span of minutes have let you play through their minds and memories….thinking of how much they care about you. 

I danced in the courtyard again tonight.  I saw the faces of those who danced with me.  My darling Donna, Jerry, my little fireball Heather, Jason, my dear Jackie, my sweet Maluna….but the one who danced the hardest, laughed the loudest and sang with the most abandon was the Lady herself.

Come sisters and brothers, take my hand.

Dance with me across the skies.

Two-leggeds, four leggeds join in the song.

From this, our beginning, our spirit flies.

The brew, without you, is not complete.

Lend your voice to this, our spell.

As we cry, “So Mote It Be.”

The work is done and all is well.

Blessed Be!

2013-04-08 07.27.43

**Please join me on my Facebook page,  Weathered Wiseman**

Having Been Erased….

1010845_2bac_625x1000

It was a unique day today.  I won’t say that I have felt melancholy today….more like I knew something was going to happen.  I got up as normal, showered, shaved, drove to work, mechanically did my appointed tasks…you know, all that ho hum, work-a-day stuff.  I was in no way prepared for what was looming around the corner at lunchtime.

Now, I have talked about most of my relationships…..but there is one that I have not even shared with my dearest friend or my partner.  It wasn’t that it was so painful…but it was..and it wasn’t…and it was confusing and I didn’t know what to do with myself.  This was my very first relationship…in my mind, I put it into a special compartment….where it existed on its own, apart from my other relationships….but also where it didn’t exist.

I was very young.  We had been dating for five years.  We met when I was sixteen.  It had happened by accident.  He was a sweet boy the same age as me.  We did everything together.  We went hiking, white water rafting.  We discussed poetry and languages and wondered to each other about where we would be when we were fifty.  We were in our fifth year together and making arrangements for me to move in with him.  His family didn’t like me and mine didn’t like him….all because being a couple made both sides face the truth of who we were and who we were becoming.

Then it happened.  I got a call from a friend who worked with the local VFW.  There had been a fire.  They had found him unconscious hanging halfway out of a large window.  I rushed to the hospital.  He was still unconscious.  The family let me into the room for ten minutes.  Then I was hurriedly ushered out.  From that point on, I was not allowed to go back into the room.  I was alerted a few weeks later that he was coming around.  He would recover physically, but one thing had happened.  His memory was gone.  He couldn’t remember much of anything but bits and pieces.  He had no clue who I was. 

His aunt was appointed his caretaker. She had gone into his home while he was in the hospital and removed all traces of me.  She had taken all photos, all gifts…anything that might stir any kind of memory.  In one puff of smoke….I had been erased from his life.  To him, I had never existed.

I was hurt…confused.  How could someone be so inconsequential that they could be wiped completely from someones memory.  Not one speck of me existed in any of the recesses of his mind.  It was as if someone had gone into that big whiteboard of his mind and wiped everything clean.  I had become Mr. Cellophane.

Most people would have crumbled under these circumstances…..I proved something to myself in those months.  I am stronger than any situation that can hit me.  I decided at the moment that I was “removed” from his life…that from then on, I would always be memorable. 

It was then that I continued my pursuit of acting and singing for a time.  It was then that I gathered the strength that I would need to eventually be a pastor to hundreds.  It was then that I pulled from what was buried deep inside of me to begin the study of the Craft.  It was then that I began my journey into what would become the Weathered Wiseman.

In the years that followed, I did all the things that would make me, me.  I don’t regret one thing.  Have I said some things I shouldn’t have?  Sure.  Have I done some things that I might have been able to live without doing?  Sure.  Have I lived a life instead of existing?  Definitely.  Have I lived a life erased or invisible?  Oh Hell No!!  I am stubborn, opinionated, funny, loving, wise, and all over awesome.  Not because I was erased from someones memory…but in spite of it. 

I have learned so many things over the course of this journey…..things that I may have never learned had things taken a different turn.  I think on it now….the element that I most identify with is Fire.  The element that changed my life the most…..Fire.

Many years later, I was working at a local retail store. He came in with his aunt (who didn’t realize I was working there).  He looked me in the eyes and smiled that smile that I had known so intimately.  His aunt politely said, “This is Dave.”  He looked at me quizzically.  “It’s so nice to meet you, Dave.”  Once again, he was hurriedly ushered out of my life.  I sighed. It hadn’t hurt as much as I thought it would.

Back to today….I had gone home for lunch like I always do to walk the dogs.  I spent a little extra time looking at the different plants and flowers poking their lazy little heads out from the dirt.  I had just finished walking the dogs and was rounding the courtyard.  My phone rang.  It was my mother.  She said, “David, I am off work today and the strangest message was on the answering machine when I got back from the grocery store.  It’s for you.  I don’t know who it is.  It’s just strange.”  She played the message into the phone.  It was very brief, but very powerful at the same time.  The words spoken were, “Dave, it’s me.  I don’t know if you are even still at this number.  I don’t know if you even still live around here.  I just wanted to let you know….I finally remembered you.”  Then I heard the dial tone.

All he did was confirm what I had already known.  I am not and will not be erased.  I am not Mr. Cellophane.  I am far too strong to ever be invisible.  I am content.  I hope he is.

InvisibleMan2

The Moon, The Stars and Me

531273_386483018080879_441527697_nWednesday night was a wonderful night.  It was rainy and overcast and the moon was shining through at intervals.  So many inconveniences had happened in the five days preceding.  My partner had put his phone and Kindle on top of his car and drove off with them up there.  The neighborhood that they flew off in offered no hope of ever getting them back.  His insurance check that he was going to use for the down payment on his car was four days past the refinance date.  My bosses had been nit-picking all week.  Hinting that I ‘seemed down’ over the past couple of weeks….and that I needed to find a way to be more upbeat. 
 
I needed this ‘moon time.’  I gathered my cauldron, some herbs, matches, candles, my cloak, my wand and some paper voodoo dolls of things that needed to be banished from my life.  Worry….Fear….Anger…things that I felt were holding me back.  I lit my candles.  I lit a fire in my cauldron.  I called on the directions.  I called on the elements.  I called on the Morrigan.  I could feel something pushing up inside me.  I felt the assurance that I had been longing for all week.  I love my partner dearly, but I am constantly having to be the strong one….I am the one who is not supposed to show weakness…I sometimes remember that part of my last partner.  He was an ex-Marine.  When I felt too weak, I was allowed to crumble into him.  It was only in the months leading to his death that I had to call on all the strength that was within me.  I haven’t let that strength rest since. 2013-04-03 20.24.31 HDRIt isn’t that I have felt like crying.  It isn’t that I have hurt.  It isn’t even that I have felt vulnerable.  I have just felt tired….weak…..even maybe a little unsure.  It was only in these couple of weeks that I have begged for dreams of him…..dreams where I could feel that strong backbone and those enveloping arms….dreams where I was the one being told that it would all be ok….but they never came.  It was as if the Lord and Lady were telling me that it was time to rely on other things.  It was in this realization that I started to crave time with the moon. 
 
I did everything I could earlier in the week to spend long amounts of time under her, with her.  Every day I could hear Mama Crow fussing at me from her phone pole…..reminding me with that course caw that I needed more time with Mama Moon.  I would try to settle under her as daylight was conquered by nightfall, but something always interfered….either we got torrential rainstorms or I was side-tracked by the needs of my pets…or somebody in the household needed me to be strong for them…again. Wednesday as I started preparation for ‘moon-time,’ I quietly beseeched the Lord and Lady under my breath, “Please, do not let me be interrupted tonight.  I truly truly need this time.” 
 
As I settled in front of the fire in the cauldron, the heat from the flame felt like the broad chest of the strongest person I could imagine.  I imagined in my mind that it was that chest from long ago…but then a realization hit me.  It wasn’t him.  It wasn’t a familiar feeling…not a bad feeling…actually a strong and incredible feeling.  I realized that I had fallen upon the chest of Lord Cernunnos.  I could feel a quicker heartbeat than anything human.  And so I rested.  As I rested, I felt the hands of the Triple Goddess upon my head….caressing, encouraging.  I sat stock-still absorbing the magick of this moment…..whether it was all in the intention stirred inside me or a manifestation of that need.  I knew that it was just that….sheer magick.
 
In my own courtyard, I felt the silent strength of the wolf spirit wander up beside me. I felt that noisy, ambling spirit of crow make its way to brick beside me.  I could feel the fire burning through them.  I took each paper doll…one at a time and set them on fire by the candle flame and dropped them into the cauldron….visualizing each barrier disappearing into the ash as it fell….feeling each chain falling to the ground.  I could smell the sage and mugwort intermingling with the smell of burnt paper.  As each doll burned, I watched the issues that were scrawled on each one evaporate into the flame and then into the smoke that rose toward Mama Moon.  I could feel the flames leaping and reaching…encompassing all around me.  The spirit of wolf was smoldering as was the spirit of crow….everything around me was smoldering….like the end of a fire, but also like the beginning.  2013-03-06 08.28.14I feel strength burning inside of me again.  I don’t feel like I did when I walked outside…like the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, with a pole shoved up my back for support.  The strength I felt now was a burning strength….not a strength that could be pulled from a partner or a friend or even a group of witches.  This was a strength that came from all elements….Fire, Earth, Air and Water….each direction…South, North, East and West…..a strength that could only come from the Lord and Lady.  It reminded me of a verse I learned in Bible school…..”I lift mine eyes unto the hills from whence my help comes….”  My help comes from everything that encompasses those hills…..all of the elements, the spirits, the Gods and Goddesses.2013-04-06 11.53.20 HDRSpiderwort is one of my most favorite plants.  Two years ago when I was working for a horrible boss in a bad situation,  I would walk up the driveway into work every morning and I was greeted by these beautiful purple smiling faces that seemed to be perched on top of weeds.  These little purple blooms signified hope to me….the fact that something so beautiful and unusual could bloom out of a patch of what looked like weeds.  I walked outside this morning and  I found a small purple face smiling up at me…..a familiar friend had resurfaced to show that there is so much hope….so much wonderful to look forward to.  I am reminded of a quote from “Steel Magnolias,” “I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”
 
Thankfully, life doesn’t just give us thirty minutes of wonderful….instead we are given many thirty minutes of many wonderfuls…..all we need is the strength to open our eyes.  I found my strength this week.2013-03-31 11.37.24