Finding Your Strength

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It seems like an eternity since I have sat down to write.  Life has a way of picking us up by the scruff of the neck sometimes and shaking us like a dazed puppy.  Since January, I have had two strokes, my mom has been hospitalized for over a month, and our oldest cat TeeTee is preparing for her journey into the summerlands.

I hate to admit it, but in the midst of everything that has happened, magick tended to be done in hindsight…an afterthought at first to the situation at hand.  There were days after the strokes that I would find myself just sitting…staring out of windows…more conscious of the drooping or the lack of strength on my left side.  Funny, the doctor says that I have had ‘mini strokes.’  In talking to a friend of mine and through reading, I have found out that a stroke is a stroke.  There are no minis or maxis.

Through the challenges of recuperation, there were, constantly in the back of my mind, visions of my great grandma’s sister.  We called her Aunt Carrie.  I often wish I had gotten to know her before the strokes.  She was a beautiful woman always dressed to the nines, very passionate and eloquent from what I was told.  She was a teacher.  When I got to know her, she had been ravaged by stroke after stroke.  They had rendered her bed-ridden, only able to mouth and garble words, and only able to barely motion.

I lived in a world of not feeling like myself, fear of being that shell of a person I once was…but it was in the words of friends and family that I found the strength to push myself.  I found out from my mother that Aunt Carrie was given the opportunity to go through therapy but chose not to.  Her marriage was bad, her husband used to beat her.  She hoped for death but was given an existence with a husband riddled with guilt who now decided that he needed to try to make up for the earlier hell she had to suffer through.

I determined that I would not recreate that scenario for myself.  I had many friends that not only supported me through my healing but also pushed me.  They knew there was more fight in me than I was showing.  They also realized that I had pushed my magick to the sidelines.  Working side by side with them and my doctor, I used magick and medicine toward healing.  I did the therapies…I did the dreamwork.  I utilized stones, crystals and visualization.  I found myself in a good place.  My doctor had even told me that I had made progress that she wouldn’t have expected until the six month mark.

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I built a moss and fae garden to keep me close to the earth at all times…wear hematite for grounding.  Things were looking better daily.  I began to breathe again.

Then we noticed that our older cat TeeTee was losing weight and throwing up more.  We took her to the vet for bloodwork and xrays.  The bloodwork looked ok, but when they pulled up the xrays, I breathed in sharp.  I worked at a veterinarian’s office for ten years.  I had learned to read xrays.  When I saw the large fibrous mass staring back at me, I knew immediately that it wasn’t good.  We discussed options with the vet and came to the conclusion that as long as she wasn’t in pain and seemed to have a decent amount of energy that we would do whatever was needed to keep her happy.  We have blended the stinkiest of foods, hand-fed her, given extra attention…and now as I type this,  we know that it won’t be much longer.

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We know that we have given her the best life she could have.  From a wild, white feral kitten to a spoiled content house cat, she has been cuddled, pampered, catered to, and loved with complete abandon.  Where is the strength we pull on here? The knowledge that she will rest and walk side by side with Bastet…back with the energy and magick she came from.  We also know that they truly never completely leave your heart and side.

When you think you can’t handle anymore…the flood gates tend to open.  Toward the middle of April, I got a call from my aunt.  My mom had been admitted to the hospital that past Saturday.  No one wanted to worry me (give me another stroke) so they didn’t let me know.  My aunt was calling, however, to tell me that my mom had to be put on a ventilator and that the doctor had suggested calling the family in.  We left immediately for North Carolina.  My partner and I sat by her bedside for five days straight.  They had induced a coma…hoping that the rest would do its part in the healing.

My mom has always had a strong faith and believed in energies and such (with our family history, how could she not).  I had witches from all over sending healing and energy toward her.  My brother, who thinks my mom is more along the lines of a conservative christian, asked how I think Ma would feel knowing all those witches were sending her healing.  My aunt walked into the room behind him and whispered in his ear, “I think she would be completely fine with it.” With that comment, she looked at me and gave a wink and kissed the air.

In the process of that hospital stay, my mom coded not once, but three different times.  She always made her way back though.  She is a fighter.  She has always been the bedrock of our family.  I knew that if anything happened to her, that would fall to me.  My first visit, I whispered to her, “I am not strong enough for this yet.” I have no doubt that she heard me.

It has been a long, hard battle but she is now awake, aware, winking, smiling, and breathing air and not on oxygen.  They have decreased the size of the trach opening and have moved the feeding tube from her nose to her stomach.  She is now going through therapy and trying to mouth words.

I feel like in the midst of all of these things happening around me, that I have lived any spare time I have beside ponds, in woods, and walking mountains.  On my last trip to Red Top Mountain, I looked forward at the path ahead.  It was crooked, scattered with rock, muddy in places, but oh so calming and lush.  An old bible verse sprang to my mind, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains, from where my help comes.”

There is an area hewn into the rock on Red Top…I crawled into that cubby and lay my head back.  I woke up an hour later after the most peaceful sleep I have had in months.  Life is going to give us twists and turns, scratches, bruises, pain…and yes, even death.  I have found though that I do have the strength to face each one.  It doesn’t mean it isn’t going to hurt or that there won’t be loss or challenges, it means that I can survive.  I can come out of it stronger…the armor might be a bit dirty or scuffed and even broken in places, but I have the choice of getting up and continuing on, or falling back and dying.

I walked out into the courtyard yesterday after work.  I finally gave up and just started leaving food for the birds, squirrels and anything else that might be hungry out there.  Mama Crow was perched on the wall eating peanuts.  She looked straight at me and gave me her comforting ‘Graaaaaaaackkk’

I will keep getting up as long as I am able.

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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!

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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You Can Blame It On the Moon…She Started It

 

 

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The pull of the full moon was strong this week.  I keep up with the phases of the moon on a regular basis, but this week, I could tell the full moon was powerful without the use of phases or almanacs or signs.  The moon revealed herself this week through nature…not nature as related to trees and the outdoor element, but through the nature of people.

Funny, the derivation of the word ‘Lunacy’ comes from the response of people’s spirit, nature, moods and energies to the moon phases.  “Moonstruck” is what this word meant in Latin.  I got a good strong taste of it this week.

Let me preface this by saying that I have had to implement some major lifestyle changes this week.  After a trip to the ER last weekend, I was told that if I didn’t put ‘healthier lifestyle choices’ into place, that my partner might be waking up next to a dead body sooner than later.  That was both a jolt and a slap in the back of the head at the same time.  Of course, my thought process on this was, “Ok, let’s do this.”  I didn’t give myself a choice….I didn’t look at other options…it just has to be done.

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Dieting can be stressful enough as it is, but when you have to allow for everyone else’s feelings and how they are responding to major changes, it can become even more stress inducing.  Tuesday night, my partner and I had a huge fight….about stupid things.  It boiled down to one thing, he was scared.  He wasn’t just scared about the fact that if I didn’t make changes, I wouldn’t be here long, he was scared of what was to come.  He has grown comfortable with me being heavy.  He has become used to my lethargy and lack of motivation.   Change can definitely be hard on the person that it directly affects, but it can also be a challenge for those indirectly affected too.

I normally try not to go to bed angry, but I did.  I stewed all day Wednesday.  When I got home from work Wednesday, I was still irked….perturbed.  As stood outside, I called on the wind.  Might have been just an eensy bit of a mistake….the elements do tend to feed off of our energies. The wind picked up and whipped and lashed and became cold quickly.  I didn’t have one bit of issue with that….it fit my mood.  Rather than go into the condo right away, I decided to walk into the woods.  I leaned against a tree…I sat down on the ground as my back rolled down the bark of the tree.  I knew I needed to release that anger.  It accomplished nothing…the argument was stupid.  It was an argument rooted in fear.  I utilized the power of the wind to blow that anger off of me.

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Did we make up?  Yes.  Was there understanding? Yes.  More than anything, though, it was about release….letting that energy flow out and away from us.

As I took Friz into the woods this morning, my mind raced.  This week was a week full of anniversaries of deaths, birthdays of those who have gone on, high energies and emotions.  As we settled down on the ground, I could feel the coolness of the earth beneath me.  The heartbeat is faint. The earthmother is in her death-sleep…waiting for spring.  Friz climbs into the circle inside my legs.  He curls in tight and looks up at me with sleepy eyes.  I rub under his cheek and leans into it and sighs deeply.  I start to rub his body with long sweeping strokes…breathing in and out deeply as I do.  His body completely relaxes…his trust for me is evident by the way his body feels against me.  It is much the same way I feel when I lean against a tree or lie against the ground.Spoolknitting silver thread and spool diy necklace

My friend Cindy said it best,

We together are a tapestry…but one silver thread connects the Goddess and you.  If it’s cut…all will unravel.  Enforce it tonight…make it strong.

In that moment in the woods, I realized that it was all about release.  As I released my own energy into the body and spirit of my little blue chihuahua, I felt his own energy meet mine.  Together…combined with that of the Goddess, the Earthmother…we felt the scales of emotion move into balance.  This morning was about my friend, my comrade and companion…who never seems to ask for anything.  His happiest moments come from just being close to me.  As we made our way back to the condo, I made a commitment…today would be about release.  I would pour my energy into those who needed it most.2014-04-13 19.23.21 HDR

 

We had planned last night to go today to the Atlanta Pet Expo.  It was a fun way to get to see other people’s animals and to see pet foods and products.  As we pulled into the parking lot, I could already feel the animals pulling on my energy.  As we walked, I would stop and talk to those dogs that seemed to call out to me.  We wandered through booth after booth…the newest cat litters, pet clothes, grain free dog foods… as we visited the booths and I stopped for the different pets, we could see the rescue areas in the distance.  I could feel the pull.

Years ago when I worked with holistic vet, I was trained and attuned in Reiki…I started the training focusing on humans, but my final trainings and attunements concentrated on animals.  I can and will do Reiki for humans, but would rather and feel more at ease working with animals.  As I rounded the corner of the first lot of rescue cages…I felt that little nudge…I could hear my inner voice telling me that now it was time for release….and so it started.  As I moved from cage to cage, from dog bed to cat bed, I performed Reiki on each one of the rescues I encountered.

The stresses and fears that sometimes our pets and familiars feel are sometimes enough to drive us crazy…not knowing how to fix those things.  The stresses and fears of those in limbo…shifted from foster home to foster home…waiting for that one person or family that will love and watch over you for the rest of your life…so many animals wound tighter than an overused wristwatch.

I slowly started to release my energy into them…one by one.  Sometimes the emotions that overtook me were overwhelming.  I left more than one animal with tears streaming down my face.  No.  I can’t save them all, but I can impart a bit of my own magick into them.  Many come into this world because of the carelessness and selfishness of us and then become throwaways.2014-11-08 22.47.16

I turned around to see a little chihuahua shivering in his kennel.  So much fear was present.  I had to start slow.  I rubbed his back through the bars.  He relaxed.  I rubbed more….he leaned back, sitting on his rear and eyes closed.  Then I took him out.  As I massaged and cuddled and poured into this little guy, he started making a low moaning sigh.  I finished and put him back into the kennel with a prayer that soon he would know the comfort of a lap and the warmth of sleeping next to someone who would love him completely.  With tears streaming, I silently wished I owned a farm where the leftovers could come and live…always surrounded in comfort, always surrounded in love.

When I look at the four leggeds and the winged ones…I always see them as the ones who held magick first.  I see them as the ones who don’t out grow it or stop believing.  The Goddess can communicate with them purely and without anything getting in the way.  2a71fcaecea94fe25e270662a93e0134

 

I make a commitment.  This commitment is the result of having loved several cats over my lifetime, an australian shepherd named Patches, and a little blue chihuahua.  As long as I am able to pour energy and love into any animal I come in contact with…each animal that meets my eye or sniffs my hand will know love, completely and fully, if only for the moment that we have together.

You can blame it on the moon.  She started it.

Blessed Be!

Be the Witch You Are

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Sitting outside, minding my own business, playing with my phone and eating my lunch while overhearing a small group of inconsiderate Buckhead Bettys talking smack about everything from their husbands to the maids and everyone in between. When a bird flew by and crapped in one of their salads. You should have seen the look on her face and heard the shriek she let out when she bit into a spoonful of bird crap.

This is from the Facebook post of a friend of mine.  We have all been fed crap at some point in our lives.  We have been told that we aren’t doing something correctly or that something we believe isn’t the truth or that we are wrong for being who we are.503155

In looking back, in so many ways, I was a chameleon.  I was always changing to blend into my surroundings.  I think back to my high school years…I was neither jock nor redneck or geek or popular.  I blended with all of those crowds.  It was easy to fade into the background, never having enough voice to speak to who I really was.

As I aged, I became more confident in who was inside my skin.  It became easier to say the “G” word.  I was confident enough to walk down the street holding hands with my partner.  Charlotte, North Carolina was not quite as confident in my ‘gayness’ as I was.  I remember being beaten up a few times just for standing strong and believing in who I am.  I couldn’t understand why other people should be allowed to show the love they had for their significant other in public places, but I couldn’t.

More years added more callouses.  I came out of another closet…the broom closet.  Once more the chorus of background voices started singing the “you need to…you ought to…you’ve got to…” serenade.  People can’t seem to understand that others have to walk their own path.  We feel the need to push them bound and gagged down the path we think they should follow.

Social media has become a great source of access to those practicing the Craft, but with the many groups, it can also be a great source of judgement for those who may be new and walking with a bit of uncertainty.  Don’t get me wrong, there are groups out there that are honestly interested in the growth of those new to the Craft.  It is when I see others take a holier than thou attitude when it comes to aiding someone in their journey that starts that slow burn in me.  I also have no time for those who will question or ridicule a path that someone walks because it doesn’t mirror their own.1375283_10152309486609007_5108159257972466424_n

Our lives are an evolution.  We are constantly growing…branching into many different directions.  We have to allow others to walk, to fall…but we have to be willing to pick them up.  We have to be willing to change.  The world around us shows us that change is the only constant in our lives.

This morning, when Friz and I made our way to the woods, I could smell change in the air.  Even though it was still warm-ish out, there was a crispness in the air.  I carried Friz most of the way this morning.  It had been a week since we had seen each other (I was away on business in Florida).  I honestly have to say that as we rounded the corner to the column where the Green Wizard normally shows himself, I felt a bit disheartened when I didn’t see him.  I walked toward the woods with Friz cradled in the crook of my arm.  We got to our little clearing and I started unpacking…candles, bones, magickal what nots…and breakfast.  Just as I settled in, I heard a rustling that startled me.  I turned quickly and let out a short yelp as the Green Wizard rushed toward me.  Friz was all excited.  I think I peed a little just from the surprise.

He fell onto the leaves laughing and I did a mock scowl.  He chuckles out an apology.  I can’t be mad….after all, I was so disappointed when I didn’t see him…and it was so good seeing the twinkle in his eyes coming back.  We talked about everything and nothing all at once.  He asked about the trip to Florida and I questioned him about his journeys for the week.  We talked about the approaching change in seasons and Mabon.  We talk about things to come.  The Green Wizard’s mood becomes more somber, “You know you are the only person who doesn’t look at me and see a homeless bum.  You have taken the time to get to know me.  You understand who I am.  You have taken time to understand my hopes and my dreams…to know that there is more to me than ragged clothes and a wandering path.”

I explained to him that to some degree, we are all wandering.  We are all ragged and dirty from all that life throws at us and throws us into…but we continue the journey.  We find who we are buried in those moments when no one else is looking at us…when we fade into the background.  It is in the silence that we learn to hear and recognize our own voices.

I read a piece written and shared on Facebook by a dear friend of mine, Cindy Maluna,

Mabon…September 22. The second of the three major harvests, and also the autumn equinox. The balance between light and dark. Southern hemisphere….Ostara…spring equinox. The days grow shorter, darker from here on out. Things die, or will become dormant…a necessity. This marks the descent of the Sun God….he will return at Yule. Just a short time actually…and the coming months are full of activities to keep us busy. We’ve enjoyed the veggies…will savor the fruits…and survive the winter. We will. We’ll order bulbs…plan our gardens….tend our houses. You can’t change the cycles…one balances the other…death. Rebirth. You have to look at it with practicality, with realism. Our bodies change, we grow old, we die. Those who give birth….our legacy…goes on. Those who don’t have children….you leave your mark on this world…your thoughts, deeds, yes…you are still part of the great thread of life. We’re entering the Crone stage….and believe me…it’s an awesome time…can’t have children anymore? Give birth to yourself….create this special time of YOU. I move slower, ache more, take longer to do things….but I enjoy what I do, what I create….I savor it. I love it. You have so much to contribute to this world…until the day you die…you have opportunities right in front of you. Don’t miss out by looking back… what you were…..create what you will be. Harvest, eat it up…and enjoy. You are on this Earth….make it count. Become a legacy….welcome Mabon. BB2014-09-20 18.38.13

 

I explained that it was through Magick, through our own legacy of the Craft, I came to know and to understand him and him, me.  I walked him through my own daily journeys….learning every day to be a more genuine, effective me.  Those closest to me see my failures…they watch me fall.  More important than anything in the world, though, is the fact that they see me pick myself up, brush off the dirt and keep on moving.  I have only one desire and that is to be the best I can personally be.  I fully intend to be the witch I am.

Blessed Be!

Slow Dancing and Living Life On My Terms

Choices

Friday was my birthday.  I made possibly the worst decision of my life.  I sat down at 11pm and watched a movie by myself.  The movie?  “Marley and Me.”  I heaved and I sobbed for the last hour of the movie.  I had to get a hand towel from the closet, it was so bad.  It pulled every emotion I felt for the past twenty years up and out.

Now this little sob fest had nothing to do with the fact that I am now two years from fifty.  It had nothing to do with the fact that life in general is a whirlwind.  It was because this movie takes you from birth to old age and finally the death of a beloved friend.

I have always believed deeply in the quote at the top of the page.  It has always been my mantra that we are the end result of all the choices that we make in our lives.  Our hearts, spirits, bodies are the summation of every good, bad, or so-so choice we have ever made.  If you think back far enough, you can take a choice that you have made and correlate it with a later event in your life.

I was in Florida most all of last week.  Many things were presented to me in that leg of my journey in life.  I was able to visit with a friend…able to walk by the water with him….feeling that balmy breeze against my face.  We were looking for makeshift ingredients for a spell.  I look back now and see that it wasn’t looking for ingredients as much as it was about listening to the sounds around us.  I think back on that night and I see more of who I am becoming.  It is becoming more obvious that the Morrigan is the goddess with whom I work.  My words, my actions are becoming more blunt…less willing to allow things that I think are harmful to come into the picture at all.

I know that age is a part of that too.  Too many times I have wanted to pull someone aside this week and ‘enlighten’ them…simply because I have been there before, I want to save them the pain, I want them to be able to see with the eyes of the crone…one who has felt that pain and moved past it.  But I also know that each one has to walk out their own path, their own journey.  I can’t do that for them.  We each have to feel the pain and elation that comes with life.  The only thing that I can do is pray for clarity.

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One thing that I have mulled over in my mind all weekend is the fact that we, as witches, are often quick on the draw with the spellbook.  If you think about it, though, every word that leaves your mouth is a spell of sorts.  Whenever you sit and fume over what the neighbors do…you form intention and out spews exactly what you wish would happen to them.  Each argument that you have with your spouse or partner has the power to build up or rip to shreds.  The words you say speak your own truth daily. Think of your own self speak.  What do you speak into your own life?

baby raven

Last night, I dreamed that I found a baby raven.  There was no mother or father anywhere to be found.  As I sat talking out loud to this little black ball of fluff, it ambled out of the nest and plopped itself right down into the middle of my hands.  I picked it up and carried it home with me.  I wasn’t sure what to feed it, how to feed it, or how to nurture it.  Throughout the dream, with no help from me, the raven seemed to grow and mature.  It was a time span of only a month, but this raven had grown into a throaty, raspy voiced adult that only attached itself to me.  Wherever I went, it went with me….riding contentedly on my arm.pet raven

Has a new vision been birthed in my life?  Is it a vision that is going to take a growing strength? Or maybe I am adding to the vision inside of me.  I won’t pretend to be this gentle, plodding soul of a Cunning Man who constantly navigates the woods or creeks or ponds of life.  There is also just that much of me that lives life here in the city and curses when he is cut off in traffic.  He is that person that struggles sometimes with whether or not to break out a poppet and stick it full of pins instead of blessings.  I am the witch who would honestly rather use “Bitch Be Gone” Powder more than “Come to Me Oil.”

I feel that as I move more into the Samhain of my own life, when not everything is about ‘love and light,’ that I have to become more confident in the magick that is brewing inside me.  If I were to feel little bubbles of light all the time…honestly, knowing myself, I would just have to chalk it up to gas.

The one thing that I strive for more than anything with the rising number of years that come with each birthday…is transparency.  I always want to show forth exactly who I am.  Some days that can be a good thing…some days, not so much.  I always want people to look in my eyes and see that no matter what, I will never compromise who I am.

While I was away last week, we were thrown a party.  There was food and drinking and dancing.  I sat at my table and watched as the men and women danced.  I watched as heads were lain on shoulders and people got lost in the moment.  It was during my little daydream that a male friend of mine sat down at my table.  “I feel bad for you.  You don’t have anyone to dance with.”  With those words, this tall, rugged looking straight man takes my hand and leads me to the dance floor.  “You’ve got me for the rest of the evening.”  With that, I put my head on his shoulder and listened to him hum.  He was no less straight and I was no less gay.  He was completely comfortable with who he is and living his life on his terms….and forever, he will be my hero.

Blessed Be!

slow dancing