Battling Societies Demons

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I love Joel Robison’s photography.  It seems to portray every emotion that I could ever think of feeling.  His work gets right to the heart of people.

I had errands to run this afternoon.  This meant that I had to go out into the midst of people.  As I grow older, I despise being around crowds more and more.  As I strolled through the mall looking for jeans (nope, I don’t wear cloaks and robes all the time), I constantly had to dodge couples with strollers, endure screaming children, and watch others who felt way too entitled, run sales clerks ragged.  As I stood in line at one store to purchase that one pair of jeans, one of those self-entitled people pushed her way in front of me.  “I only have the one item.  I don’t have time to wait in line.”  Yep.  Wrong thing to say to this witch.  I could feel those flying monkeys raising up inside of me.  I could feel the poison beginning to drip over the apple. I looked at her solemnly and quietly said, “You need to get back in line.”  She ignored me and pushed me out of the way.  The push was all it took.  “Get the fuck to the back of the line, bitch!” roared up from my chest.  She stood there with her mouth gaping open staring at me.  Again, quietly, I said to her, “Get to the back of the line.  Your lack of manners and your sense of self importance aren’t going to get you anything with me.”  She slowly backed away from me to the tail-end of the slow moving line.

The second part of my journey took me to Michael’s.  I needed a few more fall leaves for the top of my buffet.  As I walk through the store, I hear a mother screeching at her child across that store and the child screeching back.  This went on for the entire 45 minutes I was in there.  I got in that line and who do you think I got behind…the banshee and her brat.  They are yelling back and forth at each other as they stand in line.  In fact, they are yelling so much that they don’t hear the cashier call them up to check out….five different times.  She screamed louder.  I told her that the cashier was calling her up. She then screeched at me.  I looked at her with fire in my eyes…”Listen, you loud-mouthed screeching heifer who is apparently passing all of your wonderful qualities down to your wretched child, move your ass to the checkout, shut your mouth, and get out of my sight.”  My mama always told me to offer directions to folks who needed them. 2014-10-05 19.09.14

The final part of my journey today, brought me back home.  As I settled in for a much needed nap,  I hear the upstairs neighbors.  It sounds as if they have the whole entourage of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey’s Circus up there.  I hear thump….crash….boom.  My dogs nerves are shattered.  My cats are hiding in the closet.  I walk purposefully up the stairs to the door of the condo.  I ring the doorbell.  The guy answers and his words are, “What’s the problem?”  “Oh, I don’t know.  Could it be the fact that you and your children sound like herds of wild horses running across my ceiling.  It isn’t like we haven’t discussed this before.” He responds, “I don’t think they are loud.”  As I walked down the stairs, I told him that it’s ok…from this point forward, the police will be called, the landlord…whoever I need to call.  I am tired.2014-10-05 08.59.19

I needed the woods desperately.  I could feel my blood pressure climbing higher and higher.  I needed to ground.  I needed time with my dog and no one else.  Friz and I head past the condos and back toward the edge of the woods.  I had my mini Book of Shadows with me.  Everything inside me wanted to spew out curses.  I was lying on my stomach in the dirt turning page by page.  I came across an entry from over a year ago.  I read it slowly.  As I read, I realized that I wasn’t battling people.  I was battling the demons or oppressive energies of society.  People are so stressed now.  They honestly don’t know whether to wind their butt or scratch their watch.  I look around and I see people moving in auto-pilot.  At least I have nature. I can look in their eyes and see that there is absolutely nothing there.

All I can do is try to insulate myself.  I have to keep myself surrounded in magick at all times.  It is hard to remember when tempers flair.  As I absorbed the coolness and the energy from the earth, I listened for the heart beat of the Earth Mother.  This time of year as the veil grows thinner, it is almost as if I can hear my grandmother in my ear.  “You have to move like the trees in the breeze.  You have to move like water…let things flow around you and through you….as long as there is movement, it will filter out the negative.”

I stayed in the woods for a long long while this afternoon….hours.  When I finally pulled myself off of the ground, my body was cold.  I could feel it down to my bones.  I think I realized today…I need to be in the woods more.  I need not to hear the voice of society…I do that enough at work.  I need to hear the wind, the leaves, the wisdom of the trees.  After all, isn’t that where the witches of old sought council?  Animals….trees….spirits.  I need to stop being bound by the devils that society has welcomed in and entertained.   I need to remember how to fly.2a244c55aaef21ef7f528aa59e3cd5b4

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Investing in the Magick of Others

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As I sit here writing tonight, Lifetime has a small Hocus Pocus marathon playing.  As I peck on the computer keyboard, I hear Winifred Sanderson wailing out, “Boooooooooooook!  Let thy presence be known!”  There is a slight (very slight) chill in the air…a light breeze.  The windows are open and I can hear the trees dancing a bit.  I have a cup of hot tea sitting in front of me, sweetened with honey.  Friz is lightly snoring on the back of the overstuffed chair and Merlin lies wrapped in a blanket on the ottoman.  Mabon has just passed and we run with gusto toward Samhain.  The wheel is turning.

I love the sky this time of year.  When I look up, it seems as though every cloud and open space has been painted with the colors of the season.  Yesterday when I got home from work, I could feel the sky calling to me.  It drew me near with an eerie orange color.  I pondered to myself about why it is this time of year that everything and everyone seems to be drawn to the color orange…the color of pumpkins and leaves.  I took Friz out for a quick walk before I left with my partner for his night with his bowling league.  Friz smelled the air and pulled against the leash.  I knew exactly which direction he was heading.  I had to corral him back to the condo with a promise of going out for a longer time once I got back home later.2014-09-07 22.57.47

 

I will spare the details of me sitting at bowling stuffing my face with chicken fingers and tater tots as my partner and his team bowled strikes and spares and splits and Tony Orlando and Dawn played loudly over the speakers.

We got back home and I told my partner that I was taking Friz for a walk.  “But it is after 9pm and it’s dark outside.”  I told him that I would be ok and that I had my ferocious wolf-dog to protect me.  He cocked his eyebrow at me in disbelief, but he agreed that I would be fine.  I knew I would be fine, but it was nice to hear the concern in his voice.

Friz and I followed our normal path.  As we walked, I talked to Friz about the changing of the season and the turning of the Wheel of the Year.  This was a busy week for us.  We had Mabon, a dark moon, and a New moon all in one week.  As much as I love the full moon…I love the New moon.  The New moon for me symbolizes starting over…new beginnings.  The way I look at the New moon is kind of like a large round magic eraser.  It has the power to do away with the past and make everything brand new and squeaky clean.  Hmmmm….Just like Magick!!  I can already hear people saying, “But it doesn’t do that for me….I have the same problems that I had before the New moon happened.”  Well, I am going to ask something that may sound a little harsh.  Why do you try so hard to hold onto it?  

Friz and I rounded our usual corner…that same one that we always look toward with anticipation.  We weren’t disappointed.  There perched the Green Wizard, but at the bottom part of the column, was a lump of hair.  I strained my eyes to get a better look.  As we got closer, Friz went into his little general pose.  His tail went straight up and he began a low siren in his chest that generated into a loud wail.  There was a dog with the Green Wizard.  As I got closer, I could see that it was some type of herding dog mix.  It was a good looking dog…but how did it come to be with the Green Wizard?

When I got close enough to both of them, I could see the immense grin on the Green Wizard’s face.  By now, Friz was calming down a bit and the sniffing had begun.  There were no growls…just tons of sniffing and butt-wagging.  I asked the Green Wizard, “Where did you get him/her?”  “He is a him, but he has been neutered.  I was walking in the outskirts of the city and on a not-so-busy street, a car drove by and I watched as he was pushed out of the door as the car slowed down.  He chased the car for a bit, but finally gave up.  I walked toward him and held my hand out.  He looked as if he had just lost everything…so I asked him if he wanted to go with me…and here we are.”  Unfortunately, one thing I have seen in Atlanta is that some animals as well as some people are looked at as disposable.

I was totally amazed at the story.  I could see a few abrasions on the dog.  He seemed to have good teeth and strong musculature.  He was probably only about a year old.  He had the shape of a mix of Border Collie, Shepherd…who knows what mix.  He was probably way too much energy for the people who abandoned him.  I told the Green Wizard to meet me back here in the complex in the morning and we would take him to get him checked out.

We walked on toward the woods.  I asked the Green Wizard if he had named his new friend.  “His name is Boomer.  That’s short for Boomerang.”  He winked at me as he said this.  I had told him the story of wanting to name our other dog Boomerang so that we would have a Frisbee and a Boomerang in our care.  So here we walk toward the woods…a Weathered Wiseman, a Green Wizard, a Frisbee and a Boomerang.

Friz is a great judge of character…I guess he figured that since this new dog was a friend to the Green Wizard that he might as well play nice.  We settled down in our clearing.  Boomer nestled in closely to the Green Wizard…he put his head down on his leg.  I can imagine that he longed for that contact…that certainty that he wouldn’t be deserted again.  The Green Wizard leaned down and kissed him on the top of the head.

As I set up the altar…candles, skulls, crystals…I would lean in to light the candles.  I will say that Boomer is a curious pup.  He would lean in close to the candle where I guess the smoke tickled his nose.  He would huff and blow the candle out.  We went through this process at least three times. It was a night of animal magick.  Crow and Wolf stood at a distance.  I performed Reiki on Boomer as Friz wallowed in the lap of the Green Wizard.  When I finished, it was like having a wobbly putty-like dog in my hands.  He ambled back over to the Green Wizard.  I watched as they put nose to nose, forehead to forehead.  I listened as the Green Wizard whispered to his new companion that he would never have to worry about being left or abandoned again.  I watched as this dog leaned his weight into this young man, choosing to believe every word he said.  He chose to cling to his new beginning.

I whispered blessings over my friend and his new companion.  I watched as they both drifted off to sleep under the night sky.  I packed up and asked him if he wanted to come with me.  He followed me through the complex.  I had not even paid attention to the fact that Boomer was wearing the collar that Calliope had worn.  As we parted, I told him to meet me at the front of the complex as soon as it was light this morning.Starlight-night1

 

I drove to the complex entrance and there sat that young wizard and his new friend.  I had them get into the car…which was a bit of a struggle for poor Boomer.  I imagine memories don’t fade that quickly.  It was 7:30am and we arrived at a low cost clinic.  We went in and signed in and I think the Green Wizard was more nervous than the dog.  He pulled out a $20 bill and told the receptionist that he wanted Boomer to have what was necessary and this was the money he had.  I had already arranged for vaccines and a physical when we walked in and told the receptionist to take what he offered and I would cover the rest…just not to let him know it.  It isn’t charity…It is like I told a friend today, “I believe in investing in the magick of others.”  I have never been disappointed….and I have always received far more than I have ever given.

I challenge you as the seasons change and the wheel turns.  Look for ways to invest in the magick of others.  You will be surprised at what comes back to you.  The investment can be in humans, animals…any number of things.  Isn’t that what truly encompasses the heartbeat of the universe?

Blessed Be!

 

The Energies Around Us

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My partner and I took a long weekend trip to Savannah last weekend.  It was a wonderful trip…we were able to spend time together, get to know each other all over again.  It was a wonderful time.  So many old sights and old beautiful buildings…it truly is one of the oldest cities in the south.

One thing that I have found as I have visited many areas in North and South America, is that with old cities comes energies…lots of energies.  Years ago, when I visited Ecuador, as we traveled the mountain villages of the Quituan people, the ancient energies permeated the atmosphere around us.  It was the same as we walked the lands of the Lakota on the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota.

I had always heard that you couldn’t walk two feet in Savannah without walking over a dead body.  After visiting the city, I can believe it.  There is energy coming from the Native American spirits buried beneath the city.  There is energy coming from the settlers and those who died from yellow fever who are buried in mass graves throughout the city.  There is pirate energy left by those who ran rum and shanghaied sailors….and there is energy left inside the houses of the long-dead rich who showcased their fortunes through these grand homes.2014-08-30 10.58.17

To be honest, as wonderful as our trip was, I was surrounded by what felt like constant static electricity all weekend long.  We would come back to the room at night and we both would completely sack out.  I realized later that this came from the constant buzzing of spirit energy around me.

On Sunday night, we took a tour of the Sorrell-Weed house…equipped with EMF detectors, recorders and cameras.  I listened as people tried to provoke spirits.  We were warned not to get left behind.  Of course, we are all in the basement and I walk around a corner, only to be warned from a distance that it is the corner of the basement with the most activity.  I turn around only moments later to find that I have been left alone in the basement.  I ran to the courtyard to join the group and am standing over an area of bricks to be told that where I am standing is where the lady of the house plummeted to her death.  I moved quickly.

I realize that we are around spirit energy every day of our lives, but this was so much concentrated energy.  This was old energy…energy that has had centuries to build.  I also realize that we need to ground and cleanse after that much exposure to that much energy.  I dealt with this energy most of my week last week.  Every day that I worked, I faced the harsh, unresolved energy that most often raises its head in anger.  This anger came through the tongues of my customers.  By the end of the week, I was exhausted.  I was not going to have time to myself until after I got back from my partners Friday night bowling league.2014-09-05 14.08.57

When we got home, I made a run for the woods.  If I could have crawled inside of one of the trees, I would have.  I needed to feel grass.  I needed to feel dirt.  I needed the feel of tree bark against me.  I needed the calmness of the elements.  I nestled myself against a large oak tree.  I closed my eyes and called to the elements to pour over me…to cleanse me of any residual energy that may have come with me from the trip.  I dozed off against that mighty oak, comforted by the heart of the tree and the earth beneath me.  I was awakened by the scream of the cicadas swarming around in the night air, but still so masterfully hidden.  I stumbled back to the condo…rejuvenated but still tired.  I crawled into bed and dreamed of witchy things.  It is funny….I think sometimes that I am the only witch who seems to have Harry Potter-like dreams.  I soar on broomsticks and watch as magick flows from my wand.

I woke up before dawn this morning.  Friz missed our weekend ritual as much as I did.  He spent last weekend boarding.  He had to trade his walk through the trees and grass and leaves for a cement floor and sleeping in a room with his sister.  He was ready for lap time with his Pop and morning woods time.  We made our way into the heart of the woods.  Even though the heat is still in the air, you can also smell the beginnings of autumn.  The wheel has begun its shift.  Leaves have started turning and falling.  This morning I took pumpkin scented candles with me and one called ‘smoke.’   As I lay there watching the flames lick the air, Friz curled up under my chin and drifted off quickly.  I could feel the heartbeat of the earth under me.  I listened as Mama Crow and Wolf joined us.  I took deep cleansing breaths….breathing in the freshness of the trees and leaves around me.

As I absorbed the calmness…I couldn’t help thinking about what I hold inside me.  I walk through each day with the power of magick.  Everything I touch, I impart magick to.  As I grow older…just as the Lord does this time of year, it seems that those beyond the veil become more approachable and not so hard to connect with.  As Mabon and then Samhain draw closer and the veil becomes even thinner,  I intend to spend more time among the trees absorbing their strength and calm…and when I lie down at night to sleep, I will continue to dream of flying.

Blessed Be.

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Riding Out the Storm

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For some reason, I have never really been afraid of storms.  I can remember, as a child, when a storm would come, my mother would gather us up (kids, dogs, cats, everyone) and run to the middle of the house.  She needed for us to be as far away from windows and doors as possible.  We would all huddle in the hall next to the bathroom and she would sit and rock and cry.  My inclination was quite the opposite.  I wanted to run toward the door, fling it open and be right in the middle of it.  The lightning was fascinating.  My grandma would tell me stories of the Cherokee Thunderers…they were fierce beings, but I was never made to feel afraid of them.  I saw them as something otherworldly and magickal.

Still now, when I feel the electricity that comes with a thunder and lightning storm, I am drawn to it.  I feel the need to be right in the middle of it.  When I hear storms brewing, it brings to mind what I learned in school…”the calmest place is in the eye of the storm.”  Right there in the middle of the storm is the calmest, most still air.  It is funny to think of it this way, but right there in the middle of what may be a hurricane, is the lowest amount of pressure.  That area is where there can be an opening for light to come in and where the breezes are light.

I have been surrounded by people this week enveloped in storms.  It is like I have said before, people are attracted to the magick they see in others.  I have been called on by folks in the midst of breakups, depression, anxiety. My advice?  Learn to ride the storm.  The one thing that I have noticed regarding humans, is that they always want to fist-fight the wind.

Watching people weather the storms in their lives reminds of the rodeo.  It is much like bull riding.  Why in the world would anyone want to climb on the back of a bull and see how long they can stay on? A sense of accomplishment?  Maybe.  To prove that they can? Possibly.  They reason that cowboys will climb onto the back of a bull to see how long they can stay on…the prize at the end of the ride.  So you just climb on the back of that bull, sit down and do nothing but wait for the ride to end, right?  No.  Your body has to follow the motion of the bull.  You must be aware of the movements the bull is making and mirror that to some extent.  You definitely have to be flexible.

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I was walking Friz through the complex this morning.  Again, we were greeted by the sight of green dusty cloak and a familiar mop of dirty brown hair.  He sat in the same spot he was last week.  It tore at my heart to see him sitting alone.  Isn’t that how most of us try to face the challenges and hurts in our lives, though?  Alone. His face lights up when he sees little Friz saunter up to him.  Friz’s whole body shook with joy seeing our friend against the early morning darkness.  The green wizard scooped him up and leaned into the thousands of licks that invaded his cheeks.

We walked and talked as he carried Friz close to his chest.  He talked about how hard the past week has been for him….like a part of his heart had been ripped out.  He said that it felt like walking with one leg and no staff.  Sleeping was hard because he had always fallen asleep listening to Calliope breathing.  I looked in his eyes and noticed that the sparkle that is normally visible was faint. His eyes looked weak.  As we moved closer to the center of the woods, he seemed relieved to see the canape of branches and leaves above us.  He lay down in the midst of the leaves and pine needles.  Friz took the opportunity to crawl up onto his belly and nestle.

I never know how often the green wizard gets to eat, so this morning I had made a cottage cheese carton full of grits and eggs and cheese. I handed it to him with a bottle of juice.  He laughed out loud, “Who would have ever thought that I would have run into another magickal being here in the middle of this condominium complex…much less two?”  I saw him wink at Friz as he said it.  He ate slowly….savoring every bite.  He shared a bite with Friz here and there.  We talked about magick.  We talked about animals.  We talked about friendships.  We laughed about unlikely friendships.  I sat there as he rode the winds of his own storm.  I watched as he released the pain of loss.

It amazes me how much magick is contained in the things that we seem to take for granted.  The Hedge witches of old knew this.  Most of their magick involved the things found in everyday life.  Herbs, animals…the things that were right outside their doors.  Who would know that tears could be such a powerful potion.  It is the magick that stirs inside of us that could very well bring healing, peace of mind, understanding and courage.

I was taken back to my childhood today.  I have written about Crazy Mary…the local homeless person in my hometown.  Everyone was afraid of her…they always went the other way.  I remember her smile as a five year old Weathered Wiseman hugged her.  That memory washed over me today.  As I wrapped my arms around the green wizard, I could feel the magick working.  How many had turned the other way when they saw him?  How many had kept from making eye contact?  He had his own storms to ride out just like everyone else.

In all my years working at a vet, I have seen dogs with storm phobias out the wazoo.  Thankfully, my dogs have never been afraid of thunder or rain.  This afternoon, however, I was sitting on the sofa when a huge boom of thunder rang through the house.  My cat, Merlin, sat straight up on the dining room table….I could see his eyes dilating.  I began talking to him.  “What’s wrong, Merlin?  Everything is fine.  Do you want to come and sit beside daddy?”  With those words, this seventeen pound cat, who most of the time seems fearless, climbed onto the sofa beside me…leaned hard into my side, closed his eyes and purred.  In the midst of his fear, he found that calm place….right there in the middle of the storm.

Blessed Be!

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