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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Let Freedom Ring

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This week has been a challenging one.  It seems that I have put on my counselor’s hat most every day.  Everyone I have talked to seems to be bound up…bound up by things that they can’t control.  It is like I have watched as people wrap themselves tighter and tighter in issues that they have either created or have let into the cracks of their lives and irritation resulted.

I talked to one woman who was consumed by jealousy.  When I asked her what her husband had done to build such jealousy and distrust in her, she answered that he had done nothing….that it was just the way she was.  She searched through his phone when he wasn’t looking, she followed him constantly (only to see him go exactly where he told her he was going), she questioned him and needled him every waking moment.  He had simply told her that he was tired.  She was so tightly wrapped up in her own mind, that she didn’t realize that she was exhausting the relationship.

A male friend I talked to this week, could do nothing but mourn the loss of a relationship that he had seven years ago.  He blamed all of his inadequacies on this person deserting him seven years ago and how this other person was ‘his heart.’  He kept going on about how I could never understand that kind of loss in my life. (Honestly, at this point, my eyes had rolled back into the back of my head in an ‘oh please’ type of reaction.)  No, I doubt that I could understand losing someone…never mind that I had dealt with the loss of a partner to AIDS.  As I sat there listening to him tell me how painful every day still was, I wondered why it was easier for him to wind himself up in the turmoil that he had created and not live his life a little more carefree.

As I listened more than talked this week…I think I realized something about people, in general.  People are afraid.  People are afraid that, without drama in their lives, they will be overlooked.  They are afraid that they will just blend in with everyone else.  As I talked to the jealous wife, I realized that her value didn’t come from her family or her relationship. It didn’t even come from who she was.  It came from being able to weave the tales of his betrayal…to be able to earn sympathy for something that her husband had given her no reason to believe.  When she told me that he hadn’t done anything and that jealousy was just a part of her nature…it told me all I needed.  Her nature was the damaged part of the relationship.

My male friend, even as he spoke about living with his heartbreak….in that same breath asked me why I don’t have any photos of Jim.  I told him that it wouldn’t be fair to my current partner and that was a part of life that was finished. There was no way that it could ever be what it was.  When I buried Jim,  I also had to bury that relationship.  I still carry the love and memories, but the love and memories don’t possess me.

Many may read this and feel that I am cold and heartless.  It isn’t that.  I just can’t imagine being bound by anything extra.  Life throws enough at you.  Why hold onto things that can make your life even crazier.  I have always been the type of person who believes that you live and you let live.  As long as you don’t hurt others or aren’t spewing vile…then I will peaceably live my life alongside of you.  Just like with my friend that is seven years out of a relationship….I asked him, “How often do you think he sits and thinks of you?”  Just like I asked the woman bound by jealousy, “Have you ever thought that if you let go of the jealousy that you could actually be with the love of your life, living your ‘Happily Ever After?”broken-chains

So many times, we concentrate on such tiny things….the things that rub like sandpaper.  If we were to just give a tug on those chains, we may just find that they are made out of paper.

My step-grandpa used to have cattle.  I watched as he trained an old bull not to tear down the fence.  My grandpa used an electric fence.  He would walk that bull up to that fence and right into it.  The bull would get shocked.  He did this many, many times until finally that old bull wouldn’t get anywhere near that fence.  While I don’t condone his methods, they were effective.  After that bull had it ingrained in his mind that the fence would shock him, my grandpa turned the electricity off to the fence.  In that bull’s mind though, that fence was still capable of shocking him if he went near it.

We have pretty much done the same thing.  We have confined ourselves based on past experiences.  The electricity has been off for years, but we don’t dare test it.  I guess I was always the stubborn child.  I would constantly go up to the fence, touching it to test it every time….not for fear of getting shocked, but in the hope that the next time I touched it, it would be powerless.

I have watched some witches become like Christian church.  I have always believed that whatever your path, faith is the primary part.  Faith puts feet to belief.  I can believe that the fence won’t shock me all I want, but until that moment I reach out and touch it, it is something only my brain has concocted.  The cunning men and women in the community were the ones that the townsfolk would come to for guidance, for magick, for something that everyday life couldn’t supply.  Isn’t it really time we lived up to that?

A friend of mine posted a photo today…I took it to heart.  Most might get offended, but it struck me as an epiphany.

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Blessed Be!

The Raven Himself Is Hoarse…

burning crowCircling, waiting…poised to lunge.

Snarling, snapping…toward me you plunge.

You cannot touch me…Wards around.

The space around me is sacred ground.

Only troubles for you are found

Inside my circle made.

 

My spirit guides encamp around.

Your intentions now are bound.

You won’t come near me;

my chest I pound.

Your empty threats now fade.

 

Elements, directions, show your power.

Wolf and Crow, threats devour.

All multiply by three.

 

Seal this with the Moon’s embrace.

Begone from me without a trace.

Nevermore, I’ll see your face.

As I will, mote it be.

There have been some strange energies floating around the neighborhood over the past week…not just the neighborhood, though…big parts of Atlanta.  It has been like watching a television show where mental instability is the major theme.

I know that Atlanta traffic can be harrowing in itself…but I have watched this week as drivers seriously try to run each other off the road.  I watched in horror yesterday as an SUV came within inches of a sedan…forcing the sedan off onto the shoulder.  The driver of the SUV railing his fist out of the window and yelling obscenities.  I have watched in my own condo complex as gangs of kids walk the streets after hours, trying to bully anyone who reprimands them.  The police have been out here at least three times this week.bear

The neighbors have become combative and possessive. Energies have been way over the top. It feels like I have done more banishing and warding than ever before in my life.  On top of the anger that seems to be coming from all directions, crazy seems to have reared its head too. Not only are we dealing with the nasty neighbors, but at midnight we are hearing the unstable woman in the corner walking to the dumpster singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” at the top of her lungs.  I have been battling insomnia all week long so hearing “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord…” swelling through my bedroom windows don’t make me any more friendly in the mornings either.

I find myself going out in my witchy garb now just to scare the piss out of the neighbors.  They already look at me with a cocked eyebrow when I am out…but most everyone seems to leave me alone. Of course, though, you are always going to get that one neighbor who is going to try to pick a fight.  Early this morning I encountered her.  She was bitching about me parking in front of my own unit and then when I drove to the post office, she put her car in my place.  I put a note on the car asking her to park in front of her own unit…then it hit.  I got blasted.  She railed up one side of me and down the other.  I wish I could say that I was the model witch.  I wish I could say that I kept my cool.  I didn’t.  There was fire in my eyes and my heart….there was anger overtaking me.  What I was feeling came from deep inside my belly.  I looked at her and essentially said, “Do you have any idea who you are dealing with?”   I pointed at her and began an incantation….not the one above.  I created that to combat all the anger and negativity coming from all sides…and the gang mentality here.  Well, that woman got in her car and practically squealed her tires as she moved to the front of her unit. 2014-02-25 22.23.00

Shortly after, Friz and I took our walk.  I decided that today would be a good day to go to the pond.  To me, water energy seemed to be calling.  I needed the calmness, the coolness. I laid down on my stomach and swirled my fingers through the water.  I wrote my name in the water and watched the ripples reach farther and farther.  Friz climbed up on my back and patted my head with his paw and then proceeded to lick the top of my head.  This gentle pup was the same one who puffed out his chest and angrily barked at the gang of teenagers huddled outside talking about what trouble they could get into last night.

After my time at the pond, I took Friz back to the condo and then my partner and I got ready to go to a friend’s pool.  It was a wonderful time to soak up the power and light of the sun and to absorb the cool and calmness of the pool water.

Tonight, though, it was time for more spellwork.  I brought out my cauldron and dried nettles.  I had collected paper that the teen-aged gang had left…candy wrappers.  I also had one of the notes that the woman had left on my car along with something I had seen the “Battle Hymn” woman drop.  I combined all of this in my cauldron with just a tiny bit of denatured alcohol and copper sulfate (it makes a beautiful green flame).  I watched as the flames burned away the issues…and chanted the spell at the beginning of the blog.  As I brought everything to a close, I called on dragons and gryphons to guard my household…to fight off anything that I did not invite in.

There will be no more insomnia starting tonight. I will not tolerate the energy that has been swirling around the complex like a rogue hurricane. Sometimes you have to fight. Sometimes you have to let it fly. I am fine with being nice. I am not fine with little bogey men running around me trying to control every aspect of my life. I will take charge and it will be gone. So mote it be.

Pitching a Hissy-Fit When Things Don’t Go the Way We Planned

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I remember one thing I learned long ago in a little country town in North Carolina. It was a hard lesson that my grandma taught me. Temper tantrums accomplish absolutely nothing. For that matter, any type of “hissy-fit” as she called them accomplished zip…nada…not one damned thing.

I was six years old, and though I am sure that when I was younger I threw quite a few tantrums her way, but knowing her…she paid em no never-mind. I was told by a little boy in my first grade class that if I cried and screamed and kicked that I would get anything I wanted. He apparently didn’t know my grandma.

My grandma always babysat us after school and in the summer time. So we would go to her house (which was not laid out with all the most modern conveniences) and we would spend several hours or the whole day. She kept a huge garden in the back of acreage and would always haul us out there with her. We were too young to leave in the house and she would always hang blankets from the trees around and we would play under them. One particular day, we were going to pick up ‘taters as she dug them. I hated picking up taters. I will be honest. When I was young, I was a slug of a boy. I wanted to be in front of a fan watching tv. It wasn’t until a few years later that I learned to appreciate what nature had given us. It was on this day that I decided to try the wisdom of that other six year old boy in my class…so I sat down in the middle of the dirt and proceeded to “pitch a hissy-fit.” I wailed and I cried and I kicked and I stomped…just knowing that my grandma was going to crumble before my eyes and beg my forgiveness for expecting me to ever step away from in front of the tv.

In the middle of my hissy-fit, I hear something strange coming from my grandma. I stopped what I was doing and looked directly at her. She was laughing. Well, she was not just laughing….she was laughing at me. I stomped my foot at her and turned red. She stopped laughing. She cocked her left eyebrow, walked over to me, whomped me on the butt hard with her hand and told me, “Boy, if you ever do that again…you will see me pitch a hissy-fit, and I guarantee that you will not like it.” I never pitched another one.

Over the past month or so, I have had a few challenges rise up to meet me. I have dealt with the flu, pneumonia, and now another little issue. I had a biopsy done of a lump below my right pec on Friday. When this little lump showed up a few months back, I headed to the doctor and he stuck a needle in it and aspirated it and it looked like fat. When I went back for the pneumonia, the lump was firm and not moveable. He told me that he would feel better if we did a biopsy. I was ok with that.

When I first got the news that he wanted a biopsy, I was fine. Kinda numb actually….I mean I had an aunt die from cancer this past year, a grandma that was diagnosed with cancer on her kidneys right before she died, another aunt diagnosed with bone cancer…..hmmm seemed like cancer was running rampant through my family. Fear tried to kick in. Panic attacks started. I wrapped myself up so tightly in the fear of what could happen, that I pulled into myself and then proceeded to pitch my own little hissy-fit. I pissed and I moaned to the elements….to the Lord and Lady….to any of the natural elements that would listen. After all, I didn’t need to burden my friends, family and loved ones. I moved into my bitchy zone.

I really didn’t spend all that much time outside….I just kind of boarded up my own little pity house and moved in. I didn’t even realize that it had been a full week without any noise or sound from Mama Crow. A dear friend texted me one night after I had finally ‘come out’ with the news of the pending biopsy. “How are you?” “Fine….well, actually a little scared.” “You have to get control of yourself through this!” Huh?!? You mean she wasn’t going to join my ‘poor me’ party? All over again, I could hear my grandma telling me that if I didn’t stop it, that I was gonna see a hissy-fit like I had never seen….and I wouldn’t like it. It was just the smack I needed.

I walked out the next morning to take Friz to pee and I noticed that Mama Crow’s nest had been torn down from the telephone pole. In the complex, every so often, they try to keep the ‘scavenger’ animals out. So I am quite sure I know who took the nest down. Over the next few days, I noticed the silence in the air. No calls through the trees, no reminders of things to come. Silence. I was prepared to start the grieving process for a friend lost.

I came home from lunch on Wednesday of last week and heard a familiar sound. That harsh crackle of a voice ringing through the trees…I looked up and I see Mama Crow back on top of the phone pole. What is she doing? She is rebuilding her nest. I had to laugh. A setback did not eliminate her….it didn’t deter her….it only changed her path for a few days. 120401fi

My grandma was a lot like that old crow….and I should be too. When the wind changes, that crow doesn’t just stop flying. She just changes the position of her wings. She doesn’t piss and moan and curse the wind, she just makes the necessary changes in her….hmmm couldn’t we all learn a lesson here? I have purposed that no matter what the results of the biopsy are….I will not let my life be derailed. I will continue forward. Do I know where forward will take me? No. But I never did before either. I only need to continue moving.

Blessed Be!

I Second That Emotion….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessed Be!

How Do I See the Myself I See?

Here we are at Mabon. The fall of the year is upon us. Before we know it, it will be Samhain and then Yule and then wheel of the year will start over. This week has been another week of self discovery along with a week of frustrations.

I took some extra time at the pond this week. I needed the relaxation in the midst of a week that was whirling around me. I dealt with a bout of the flu earlier in the week. I am one of those people who don’t like to be slowed down when I am sick. I don’t like to miss anymore work than I absolutely have to….so with Zpac and vitamins and alot of fluids in hand. I trudged forward. I missed one day of work, but oooh was I mean the rest of the week. Now, by nature, I tend to be very fun-loving, caring, gentle….you know, all those warm fuzzy things—but when I am sick….watch out.

I realized this month that the veil seemed to be thinning earlier than usual this year. Especially with the deaths that have happened in my family. My grandma has been ‘hanging around’ much of the time. I figure that I will entertain her until Samhain and then send her spirit on.

It just seems that so many people have had to deal with so many things this year. Sickness, death, finances…..seems like it has just been going non-stop. Memories and spirits have been high on my list.

One of the things that came to light for me in the past week was, in fact, my past. Now for those that don’t know, I was sexually abused from the age of 4 to 14. My way of dealing with this was years of counselling and eventually making my mind up that it had to be put away in a box that was never opened. My thought was that past is past. Move on. I don’t believe this had anything to do with me being gay….I had those feelings from what seemed like the day I was born. Our emotions have a mind of their own, so to speak. This became something that I dealt with on a daily basis.

It is amazing to me what we are willing to believe. I let myself believe the things that the abuser told me about myself for years. When I forced him to stop the abuse at the age of 14, I was told that the only reason he “did that for me” was because he felt sorry for me. I was too fat and ugly for anyone else to care for me. I was too much of a mental and emotional mess for anyone else to be willing to invest in me. Those were words at that time that I chose to believe. It is incredulous what we see when we look at ourselves through someone elses mirror.

It took years of me trying to prove this man wrong to start seeing my true self emerge. I was told I wasn’t talented. I went to New York and acted for a year. I formed musical groups and sang as much as I could sing. I was told I was fat. I starved myself into thinness. I became a gawky twig of a man at the age of 24. I was told that no one else would be willing to invest in me….I jumped from relationship to relationship and from man to man. Even though I thought I was proving something to someone, I was still holding myself to the standards of what I saw in the mirror he held up.

It was a crisp fall day back 10 years ago or so. I went to visit the person who, I felt, had put me through so much. It was time for me to break the glass in that warped mirror. I stood in front of him and told him that he was a liar. None of what he had said to me or about me was true. It was amazing to me what release I received just by putting a voice to that child inside of me who had been suffering for all those years.

When I got home that day, it was time for me to pull out my new mirror. Mine. No one elses. Mine. I actually stood and looked at myself in that mirror for a good long time. Now, when I saw “The Help,” alot of folks made fun of the housemaid telling that little girl, “You is kind, you is smart, and you is important,” but I have found over the years that the way we speak to ourselves is so very relevant. I look at it as a spell spoken over myself. I look at myself in the mirror every morning and speak the qualities that I want reflected.

Now you don’t have to struggle with years of abuse for this to be an issue in your life. Those were just my circumstances. We are all so guilty of measuring ourselves based on someone elses opinion. I have to deal with collections at work. I was beginning to get quite a reputation for being a bitch to deal with….mostly because people seem to treat you like it’s your fault when they don’t pay a bill. I started to see it affecting my personality. I was approached by a fellow supervisor at work a couple of weeks ago about an answer to a situation that had come up. She came to me because “everybody else is afraid of you.” Now that kind of slapped me in my face a bit. A little healthy respect in the workplace is one thing. Fear is another. I like to envision myself more as a modern day Dumbledore, not Dolores Umbridge.

I realized this week that I have allowed myself to slip back in front of someone elses mirror. I had started becoming what everyone thinks of collections people. I made myself promise this week that no matter what, I refuse to respond with anger to anger. I will keep myself in a calmer place. Nothing is worth my blood pressure jumping around like a spastic child. I even went to a fellow employee this week and apologized for a fit of temper.

So, this morning, I went to the pond. The breeze was dancing with the branches of the trees. That little blue chihuahua was right by my side every step. We passed a fellow with a bigger dog and that little blue chihuahua started kicking at the ground and barking and growling. It was obvious that he saw himself through his own mirror. He sees a wolf in the reflection. I had to smile. He also sees me in the mirror that I have made. He sees the gentle soul. He sees the nurturing, loving papa. I nestled under the tree with this little blue warrior and in the distance we see black and white cat coming toward us. I brought cat food this time….I just about never got that smell of sardines out of my clothes last time. He ate pretty close to us. Friz and I had started to drift off to sleep under that big old oak tree and we were both startled awake…..by the feeling of someone making biscuits in my lap. Friz leaned back with a look of disdain. I look down and black and white cat is getting comfortable right beside Friz. Friz leaned his head in, gave black and white cat a lick and we all drifted off again. I guess now I need to give him a real name.

Maybe the reflection I see in that mirror now isn’t so much a Dumbledore, but more of a Hagrid. LOL! The one thing we do have to be able to do is let that reflection change as we change. We all sat there in a clump under that old oak tree listening to the wind blow and feeling the coolness off of the water. This is the Myself I choose to see today.

Blessed Mabon!

Stirring the Pot

I was raised in the south.  In my family, you were taught not to show any kind of vulnerability.  That meant that any emotion you felt, you buried.  When you felt sad, no one knew it.  When you felt disappointed, no one knew it.  When you felt angry, no one knew it.  If anyone asked how you were doing, the proper southern response was, “Why, fine.  Thank you for asking.”  We all learned early to live behind a smoke screen.

Now, I was sexually abused from the ages of four to fourteen.  Who did it is not important. Why it was done is not relevant to this story.  I reveal this only to preface the fact that I had a load of hidden emotions buried deep within me.  I started going to a psychologist at the age of twenty to deal with these feelings.  I went only because I was dealing with some depression.  Next thing I know, I am dosed with Sodium Pentothal and I am discussing the events that led up to the visit to the psych.

It really surprised me that I didn’t feel sad.  I did not feel numb.  I felt angry.  I was angry that someone took something from me and I essentially had no control over it.  He took my innocence. 

As I said before, with my family, it is all about saving face.  I was told to keep this to myself.  Don’t be angry at the person….it is all about the forgiveness.  Well, I listened carefully to what my mama and papa told me and then…….I let it fly!  I let every ounce of anger that had built up in me for all those years loose.  No dragon could have had more power behind it.  Looking back, I see now  that this is when I began to see glimpses of magick in my life. 

I had worked in the church for years.  I listened carefully as people again told me that I had to forgive.  I had to bury those feelings of anger and replace them with love.  I started studying the Bible even more.  God experienced anger.  God was a wrathful god.  Jesus got angry.  I researched other religions and faiths.

This was when I began to dabble in witchcraft (Oooooooooooo).  I studied the gods and goddesses.  I studied the Morrigan.  Hmmmm a goddess of war. It was then that I realized my destiny.  I did not have to hide or camouflage my anger.  I could use it—make something constructive of it.  I realized at that point that when you combine the anger with the workings of magick that you get a powerful result.  I am not talking about hexing people.  I am talking about pushing every ounce of that energy into the spellwork.

Many nights I have stood over the cauldron with a flame burning inside (me as well as in the cauldron).  As I started the magick with the anger seething deep within, I found that as I meditated on whatever the need was (whether healing, or financial needs, or protection), the anger fanned the flame.  It brought power  to the moment. 

As an example, I have a dear, dear friend who had to have brain surgery recently.  It was the anger at whatever was invading her body that brought the magick to a boiling point.  It was the love that I had for her that fanned that energy and pushed it out into the universe.

For these reasons, I never hold onto or hide my anger anymore.  I push it out, confront it, and move beyond it.  Sometimes you really just have to put into words exactly what you feel.  Once it is out there, there is room for the love and healing to take place.

Am I an angry person?  No….not anymore. I say what I think, when I think it.  Does that make me a bitch?  Sometimes.  Does it strengthen my magickal life?  Definitely.

There is a reason that Native Americans give war cries in their ceremonies.  It is a cry out to the Great Spirit.  My war cry is loud, piercing, and fierce.  It accomplishes all I need it to.