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!

 

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!

The Song of the Sea Witch

2013-09-24 16.54.56This past Friday, my partner and I packed the car and travelled with seven friends and disappeared into the sand and waves of St. Simon’s Island.  This was a much needed vacation and I had not been to the ocean in eight or more years.  The drive was uneventful and I slept most of the way.  When we arrived a little after three, I could smell that warm salty air…it was calling me.  We hadn’t even unloaded the cars before we all were shedding our shoes, rolling up our pants and running through the sand.

My partner and I quickly waded through the pool of standing water to get to the little wedge of sand just over the horizon.  I watched as my partner took on a child-like wonder as he saw crabs scurrying into holes and minnow-sized fish jumping in and out of the puddles.  The beach was fairly empty so we took hands and walked along the shore in the sunlight…amazed at the beauty that lay right there at our feet.

We all reconvened at the house, made dinner and then relaxed with a glass of wine.  Most everyone in the house knew when we got there that day that I had a little surprise for my partner.  I asked him if he would join me for a walk on the beach just a little before midnight.  We walked just below the house to a log that I had seen earlier that day.  I was completely nervous and breathing heavy.  He asked what was wrong and we sat down on the log to rest.  At that point, I pulled a wooden box from my pocket, opened it…exposing a basic silver band, and asked him if he would be willing to share the rest of our lives together.  He grabbed me with both arms and whispered yes into my ear.

2013-09-24 16.57.30Afterwards, it was a scene from “Steel Magnolias” with a bunch of gay men running through the house.  I had to laugh.  We are all pretty much like family to one another anyway, so for the excitement and toasting to be rather boisterous was not surprising.

The next morning, I got up early.  The sky was in that place just between dark and light….the soft gray that comes before sunrise.  I sat down on that same log my partner and I had shared the night before….it seemed as though it was charged with as much love and peace as anything could be.  As I cradled my coffee in my hands, I thought about how different my life was becoming and where I had visualized myself at the age I am.  I think I had always thought that I would be quite the different person.  I had always fancied myself someone not so settled.  I have always lived my life with the philosophy that I didn’t want to be sitting around at 80 years old saying ‘I wish I had,’ but instead saying, ‘Damn, what a ride!’  I had always wanted to be so much more than the person who sits around watching the dark hair turn white.

2013-09-24 16.55.45As I watched the sun begin to push its way through the clouds, I realized that I am exactly where I want to be for the time that is.  I have very few regrets…I have always lived my life to the fullest.  I have been all those things I mentioned above and then some.  I closed my eyes and listened to the voice of the sea.  She is constantly moving…constantly changing yet she never changes her position.  I could smell the movement in her….that fresh salty scent that overtakes your soul.  My heart was quickened by the breeze around me.  If I had hair, I would have flipped it through the breeze with joy…instead, I settled for feeling the rush through my chest hairs.  I could feel her magick all around me.  It is no wonder we hear so many stories of sirens by the sea…..her allure is very powerful.

As I sat there lost in the mists of contemplation, I feel a hand softly placed on my shoulder.  I knew who it was the moment it came to rest on me.  I looked up to see my partner smiling down at me….he had a look of peace and contentment about him…..it positively radiated from him.  My mind could only think that where I am now is exactly where I should be.  It made me realize that we humans have forgotten how to be content and how to live in the moment…..we are too worried about the things that could happen that we sometimes forget to look at the things that are happening.

2013-09-24 16.54.06We spent a lot of time enjoying the day that Saturday.  We visited the pier (where we were surrounded by blackbirds that I nicknamed ‘sea-crows’) and shopped in town and walked quite a bit.  When we got back to the house, my partner and I prepared a low country boil for dinner.  We all gorged ourselves until we couldn’t hold anymore.

2013-09-24 16.52.46The group of guys we were with had told me that they wanted to be a part of the ritual that I was planning by the ocean for the Fall Equinox.  I had told them earlier in the day to find one seashell that ‘spoke’ to them and to think of something in their lives that they wanted to set in motion.  When we all got to the beach, I explained what would take place as far as creating a circle….inviting the elements….acknowledging the Lord and Lady.  Everyone was reverent and excited.  I handed each one a feather and a small container of food coloring and told them to write inside or on the seashell they collected that ‘thing’ they wanted to set into motion and put it down at their feet.   I told them to visualize that ‘thing’ coming to pass.  We talked and laughed and acknowledged all the good things in our lives.  I thanked the Lord and Lady and the elements and opened the circle……we returned to the house to eat and drink with some couples lingering behind for their own midnight beach stroll.

The next morning, we walked to the beach at sunrise to find our shells gone….swept out into the depths of the ocean by the waves.  I encouraged each person to now visualize their dream becoming fluid….moving into reality.  As we closed the morning time together, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that a small dog came bounding up to us.  The spirit of wolf and crow will find me wherever I go.

I think, though, that we all came to realize one thing.  Your dreams will only go as far as you are willing to take them.

2013-09-24 16.53.26Blessed Be!

Mabon’s Entrance…Hearing the Whispers of the Wind

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This weekend has been wonderful!  Waking up to temperatures below 60 degrees…breezes dancing playfully through the leaves of the trees…watching the busy-ness of the squirrels, and hearing the crows lilting caws.  It amazes me…the way that the trees and greenery responds to the slightest change in atmosphere.  I have spent much time watching the leaves this weekend.  I have noticed that many are already beginning their color change.  They are shedding the strong green of summer for the vibrant oranges and reds and yellows of Fall.

When I got up yesterday morning, it was almost chilly outside.  I let the dogs do their quick morning potty and then I scooped Friz up inside my cloak with my backpack over my arm underneath it.  When I feel the beginnings of fall stirring, I am drawn more to the trees and flora and fauna of the woods.  We made our way to that all too familiar place and settled down among the leaves.  I set up my mini altar and laughed as I watched Friz dig himself out a nest.  Such a frenzy for a little squirt….leaves and dirt flying everywhere.  We got comfortable and I lit the candles. The soft breeze was calling to me from the tops of the trees.  I could hear it making its way downward to commune with me.  I love watching Friz when a breeze comes up….he lifts his head into it, opens his nostrils and inhales as much of the energy of the air as he can.  His eyes become dream-like and he is stock-still, if only for a minute.

I should have guessed that we would be visited by a little calico kitten.  I think she has fallen in love with Friz.  I have gotten used to hearing her scamper through the leaves in the woods….an energetic little critter…only to become ragdoll-like when picked up.  While we relax in the comfort of the woods, she comes up to me and says her ‘hello’s’…rubbing against my knees and hands and anything else she can get to and then going to Friz and lying down on top of him….I hear him snort at first and then he realizes that she is not going anywhere and I hear a ‘humph’ come out of him before he lies his head back down.

I close my own eyes and raise my head to the breeze, listening to the secrets that the wind can tell me…secrets that are so much older than I am…secrets as old as those ancients who have gone on before.  I feel that I have become so much more familiar with the elements around me.  It is almost as if my ancestor’s are showing themselves more through me.  I am learning to recognize an approaching storm by the feel of the breeze, I am learning to feel the heartbeat of the earth underneath me and learning how to listen to that heartbeat and access it in my own spirit.  I am becoming closer to the fur and feather people.  Their voices resonate inside of me more every day.  I am no longer who I was when I started my journey….no longer the child I was when I started walking the path.

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I am learning to recognize the voices in my own spirit…..see the changes that are happening in it.  Wolf and Crow are no longer just familiars….they are a part of me.  I am finding as I grow older that I care less and less about what people think of me and am more concerned with who I am becoming.  As long as I listen to the spirit inside of me and the heartbeat of the earth, then I will become all that I am supposed to be.  As long as I walk in integrity, honesty and love, then I am a reflection of the Lord and Lady.  I fail so miserably at times…but that is ok.  I am not going to beat myself up for my own frailties, just as I shouldn’t attack someone else for theirs.  Yes.  I follow the path of the Morrigan….but I also follow the path of many other gods and goddesses.  I am not just one ingredient in this recipe of life….I am the whole freaking cake.  The cake is just as much a part of the banquet as the main course.

As we finished our time yesterday, I thanked the elements and spirits and Lord and Lady for all that was imparted to me.  I feel honored to be trusted with the secrets that they have shared with those before me.  We walk out of the woods and pass by the condo that Beatrice (the calico) lives in.  Her mom is standing there beaming.  “She sure does love you and that little dog.”  “Well, we sure do love her too.”  Friz and I head to our place and lie down on the sofa and drift off to sleep quickly.

We wake up slowly and I look out the window at the large tree in front of the condo.  Even the demeanor of the trees and plants and grass is changing.  The trees, who seem to stand strong and sturdy with the summertime breezes, are now bending more and whispering among themselves more with the Autumn winds approaching.  Last night, we were invited by friends to have dinner out on their balcony.  As we settled into chairs, with wine in hand to toast our friendship, we each commented on the smell and crispness of the air.  We laughed as the breezes tousled the hair of each diner…..well, except me.  They all know that I am a witch and know that during our vacation next weekend that one of the Sabbats fall on Saturday.  They asked me to tell them a bit about it, so I told them what Mabon is and what it represents.2013-09-15 12.25.50

I explained that Mabon was the Autumn Equinox…the time of year when day and night are equal.  I told them that this was the time when the goddess went from mother to crone and explained her coming death and rebirth.  I talked to them about how my birthday, Lammas, was the first harvest and that Mabon was the second harvest and that this time of year was when the veil started to thin between the worlds.  I explained to them that the meal I would be preparing for the Mabon feast (a low country boil) would incorporate the gifts of the ocean (shellfish) and also the bounty of the harvest (onions, potatoes) and even the significance of the apple dumplings that we would have for dessert that night.  I told them of my time that I would be spending at the ocean in ritual and reflection.  I invited them to join me (as long as they were respectful and open to whatever may come).  As I looked around the table at each one sipping their wine, I saw dream-like smiles playing across their faces.  More than one asked if they could be a part of the celebration and ritual.  Last night, as I drifted off to sleep,  my brain was inundated with visions of the ocean….peaceful dreams that will carry me through this week.  I have goals that I have set for myself in this change of seasons.  I am excited to watch them unfold in front of me.

It excites me to know that I carry on the workings of those who lived centuries ago…those who held the Craft just as dear to themselves as I do.  Those who walked their own path….oblivious to what others thought of them, but always aware of the needs in front of them.  The things I hunger to see flow forth from me and even out of my fingertips, I can barely comprehend.

Blessed Be!

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