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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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!

Magick with a “K”

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It seems as if my pens, paper and computer have lain dormant for quite a while.  As I relaxed on the sofa this evening after a day of hiking, I could feel my thoughts bringing the past few weeks together into a blog post.  I peeled back the blanket I had been napping under and made my way to my desk…all under the grimacing face of a little blue chihuahua who had made himself far too comfortable nestled in the crook of my leg.

I made myself a promise at the beginning of 2015.  I vowed that I would spend more time living life…experiencing new things…going on new adventures.  I had started seeing life as too routine…a little too mundane.  I was starting to settle into middle agedom.  It was becoming far too easy just to come home, put on pajama pants and crash mindlessly in front of the television.

My partner and I had planned a trip to Orlando with some of his family.  The planning all came to fruition a couple of weeks ago.  We had made arrangements to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios and to the Magic Kingdom at Disney World.  I am a huge Potter nerd, so that part of the trip was for me and me alone.  My partner was so patient as I rattled on about the movies and books.

We got to Universal early that morning.  I practically flew through the park…I had to locate Diagon Alley.  As I rounded one corner, there was the Night Bus.  Stan Shunpike was standing next to it with the shrunken head in the window.  It wasn’t exactly easy finding the entrance to Diagon Alley, so we engaged the young man in conversation.

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He directed us toward the entrance. As I moved through the brick wall, my breath caught in my throat.  It was a sight like I have never seen.  It felt as if I had just come home after a long, long trip.  All around me was whimsy and magic and  all things fantastical.WWoHP-Diagon-Alley1

 

My partner stood back and smiled as he watched me run from store to store…gazing in all the windows.  He told me later that the only thing missing was the broom…otherwise, I was flying on my own.  We went on the Gringott’s ride, we wondered through the shops.  We stepped into the line for Ollivander’s Wand Shop.  Even with the children in line, there seemed to be a type of reverence as we stood there.  We were ushered into the heart of the shop and an older woman was chosen for the wand ceremony.  Her excitement could hardly be contained as the birch wand with the dragon’s heart string chose her.  Then as we were taken into the purchasing area, I chose Sirius Black’s wand…interactive of course.

I made my purchase and my partner and I went to lunch at the Leaky Cauldron.  The traditional English fare and butterbeer had us stuffed to the gills.  As I looked at the stack of cauldrons beside me, Jay announced that he needed to use the facilities.  We walked over toward the restrooms and I wandered into the beastiary.  I walked outside to try my wand with the interactive windows and saw a little girl wildly waving her wand at the window.2015-03-10 12.49.57

 

I watched the little girl as she dropped her arms down by her side and her chin went to her chest.  I heard her say, “I guess I’m just not magical.”  It broke my heart.  I couldn’t stand the thought of someone whose heart was so excited about all the magic around her (whether it is an illusion or real) thinking that there was no magic in her at all.  I knelt down beside her and held her arm and wand toward the window.  I told her that all she needed to do was to picture the magic happening with all she had.  As she made the motion toward the window, the bird stopped singing and toads began to move.  Her eyes lit up and she yelled out, “I do have it!  I do have magic!”  Her mother came up to me a moment later and told me that she really appreciated the kindness I had shown her daughter and that now even she believed there really was magic in the world.2015-03-10 17.42.35

The past few weeks have found me at Hogwart’s, Diagon Alley, and every part of the Magic Kingdom.  I have seen children and adult’s alike excited by the very thought of magic being real.  At the end of the day, I was able to hold on to that excitement because magick encompasses every area of my life.  It swirls around me and within me on a daily basis.  Many people have asked me why I spell magick with a ‘k.’  A friend posted something on Facebook that said it best:magick

 

 Didn’t we all grow up entranced by the illusion?  Isn’t that what first brought us to magick in the first place?  That thought…that hope….that somehow, someway….it all has to be real…isn’t that what motivated us to find our way to the Craft.

To others we may seem odd…eccentric.  After all, we believe in spells and energies and potions and all manner of magickal beings.  So what?  I am who I am.  I am a witch.2015-03-28 22.04.08

 

Last night, I fell asleep in the woods.  I went to the woods after a stressful day at work.  I left my cell phone and anything else that might remind me of the modern world behind.  I wrapped myself in my cloak and made my way to that familiar spot in the woods.  I dug out a hole and surrounded it with stones and built a small fire.  I stared at the sky and felt the cold ground beneath me as I called out to the elements and the goddess to clear my mind and awaken me to the sounds of the earth around me.  I remember starting to count the stars.  I awoke at midnight with the fire completely gone and a chill to my bones….but I was relaxed.  It was as if the earth herself soaked up the stress of the day and pushed her own strength into me.

I woke up early this morning to go hiking at Red Top Mountain State Park.  I went with friends and we took a picnic lunch.  There was no agenda….just a need to escape into nature and re-connect.  We walked, we laughed, we absorbed earth, wind, and water energy….we soaked up the fire energy of the sun.  For today…magick rushed around us.  We could all feel it sweep the week away and usher in renewal.  2015-03-28 11.54.30 HDR

 

We got back to the condo and our bodies called for rest.  We each snuggled under blankets and let our minds be captured by dreams.  I dreamed of the magick of the moon…the stars…simple things that hold far more magick than they are credited for.  Sometimes letting ourselves be swept away in the magick of those simple things is some of the most powerful magick around.2015-03-28 22.55.22

 

Blessings my dear friends.  Blessings.

Spring’s Flame Begins to Smolder

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We are at the cusp of Imbolc.  The home fires have been stoked and the pantry filled.  The days are starting to get longer.  Here in the south, we are starting to see signs of daffodils, snowdrops, crocus and even hyacinth peeking eagerly through the dirt.  I have also noticed that particular change in the natures of the animals. The outdoor female cats around the complex are becoming more vocal and rubbing against anything they can find.

As the earth begins to awaken again, so does that part of us that calls us to the mating ritual.  Our bodies and our minds begin to feel alive again.  The heartbeat of the earth around us beats with the pulse of sexual energy.

This week has been a phenomenal week for me.  I have touched a part of my spirit that has lain dormant for quite a long time.  As I went to sleep Sunday night, my dreams drifted toward a school where I was taking classes.  An old pickup drove up through the field surrounding the school and I got in.  Inside the pickup was a friend…as my leg touched the seat, he reached out to touch my leg, then my arm…and then he leaned in and we passionately kissed.  Moments later, we were in an abandoned cabin where the touches and exploration continued…the heat of the moment rose more and more.  It was if there were flames and ice around us at the same time.  And then I woke up.2015-02-01 08.19.17

The heat and passion inside that dream stayed with me through the day.  I could barely concentrate on work at times, because I could feel the same sensations I was feeling in the dream happening to my body over and over.  I kept a cool damp cloth with me all day.

Don’t get me wrong….I love my partner very much.  He means the world to me, but I came to the realization this week that we work so hard to push that sexual, fiery part of our nature out of the way….it has to find a release. As I drifted off to sleep each night this week, new people would become a part of my dreams.  Each dream was just as intense and heat inducing as the first.  I started receiving messages from those I dreamed about. “Did you, by chance, dream about me last night?” “Yes, why?” “Was it a strongly sexual dream.” “Yes, why?” “Because it felt like you were here with me….I could feel your lips, your touch.”

I didn’t try to ‘conjure up’ any kind of sexual dream and I definitely didn’t go in with any person locked away in that part of my mind…but still it manifested.  I decided that it was, once again, time for me to sit down with myself and see what I needed to do to give this part of myself acknowledgement and an outlet.

Late last night after everyone went to bed, I slipped off to my sacred space. Now guys….as you read this…don’t gloss over it or tune it out.  Believe me, it applies.  I had lit red candles throughout the space.  Sandalwood, Dragon’s Breath and Bergamot incense filled the space.  As I entered, I removed all my clothes.  We have all become so self conscious of our bodies…I’m too fat, too skinny…I don’t measure up…I am too hairy, nothairy enough.  Women…how many times have you stood in judgement of your own body?  You threw out the good before you even had time to acknowledge it.

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I watched as the candlelight flickered against my body.  I felt the heat begin to surface.  I used my breathing as a substitute for the heartbeat of the earth mother….and I felt the emergence of the Horned God.  I began to visualize the strength of the Horned God manifesting inside me.  My breath quickened.  I could smell the musk of my own sexuality filling my nostrils.  I could feel my face flushing as I breathed and concentrated on the candlelight.  As I came down from this indescribable high, I extinguished the candles one at a time until the final candle in front of me was the only one lit. I used my fingers to extinguish the flame…the pinch of the fire only added to my experience.

I apparently fell asleep in my sacred space.  My roommate woke me up as he was heading out the door this morning.  What a visual that mush have been as he moved past the pillows and candles to find a large, hairy naked me sound asleep.

I got up and got dressed and went to the woods.  I went alone this morning. I needed time with me.  Friz must have understood because I could hear him snoring from inside the kennel.  As I settled down into the dirt, I took my shoes off so that I could feel her heartbeat a little stronger.  It was as if I could feel every breath….I could feel the life incubating inside her trying to burst forth early.  I could feel her heartbeat as she gave herself to the God in complete abandon.  As each pulse of her own flame met each thrust of his, her heartbeat quickened even more.  In these moments, I had not only become more intimate with the Horned God, but I had also experienced that same intimacy with the Goddess.match

I am a living breathing sexual being.  The spiritual part of that same nature is just as strong.  It is a brooding, pulsing part of my magick.  This afternoon, I lit some incense…the same as last night but with cinnamon added.  I lit red candles throughout the bedroom.  I brought out the massage oil and I slowly removed mine and his clothes…I always have said that magick is something that should be shared.

Blessed Be!

Becoming the Keeper of Your Own Flame

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This morning was indeed a glorious morning.  I was up before the sky goes from midnight blue to sunrise pink.  I did something this morning that made my time in the woods seem like a spa day.  I packed a thermos full of dark rich espresso flavored with stevia and hazelnut creamer.  As I led Friz down that familiar path, I could feel the warmth of the thermos pressed against my back from my backpack.

As we settled down onto the ground, I pulled that warm to the touch thermos out of my backpack, and as I unscrewed the top, I could see the steam escape.  Wonderful scents of cream and hazelnut and strong coffee wafted toward my nostrils.  In that moment, I couldn’t resist joining that joyous dance which is coffee.

I believe that all things happen for a reason.  There is magick to be found in all situations.  As I was dusting my bookshelf this week, one particular book leapt from the shelf and onto the floor in front of me.  This book is titled, “Random Thoughts n’ Lotsa Coffee.”  This wonderful book came to me through a dear friend in the fall of 2013.  As I leafed through the pages, I would find myself smiling or chuckling as I remembered when I first read this book by author J.V. Manning.

As I began to re-read the entries, I came across one that resonated deeply in my spirit.  This entry, “Only in Silence, Can You Hear,” speaks of taking a step back…removing yourself and allowing yourself to live life instead of allowing life to go on automatic pilot.  In that entry, the author herself was dealing with some storms in her own life…but think about it, even when storms aren’t surfacing, how often do we live on automatic pilot?

I know in my own life, each day has seemed to become more about rushing from one happening to another, barely taking time to breathe, let alone still my mind.  We are constantly bombarded with work issues, home issues…just the daily taking care of business.  Somewhere in that busy-ness, we are expected to nurture our own spirit, work splendid magickal workings, and take care of the needs of others around us.

As Imbolc approaches, I have been reading more about the goddess Brigid and who she is.  She is goddess of the land.  She is the goddess of peace. She is the goddess of the home fires.  She is the goddess of healing.  She is the goddess of contemplation.   All of these are things that I need to take to heart as the next part of winter moves upon us.  flamehand

For some reason….and I don’t know why…I always kind of kept it in the back of my head that it was the responsibility of the goddess to keep my fires “stoked,” so to speak.  I would continue running around like a chicken with my head cut off and scream up into the trees, “Stoke those fires within me, goddess!”  Then I would wonder why I would burn out faster than a Qtip soaked in pig fat.

This week has been a lesson in taking time.  Time for me…stopping and listening to the silence around me.  It is in that time that my spirit, my very soul is able to speak.  It is in that time that I am able to listen.  I have been using my sacred space that I created…to most it would seem like a large closet, but to me, it is a refuge.  A place where my heart can hear and listen.  It was in this time of separation and silence that  I was able to ask the goddess to show me the heart of someone whom I hadn’t given a proper chance.  It was in those moments of solitude and quiet that I was able to hear her tell me to look at this person’s heart…nothing more, nothing less.  It was in that silence that my heart opened to who this person truly is and the potential they hold.

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We have to take time to take care of our own spirits.  Life has become a whirlwind around us.  If we don’t make the time for those small, seemingly insignificant moments where we are allowed to sip on a cup of coffee and process life around us, then we have become machines.

This morning, as I leaned against that comfortable old tree with that little blue chihuahua in my lap and my hands wrapped around a thermos lid full of coffee, I closed my eyes…I listened as my own voice broke the silence…”Let me be real slow to anger…Let me speak blessings…Let me look on each day and each circumstance with gratitude…Let me always be honest to a fault, with myself first and then to others.  Let me be a vessel of peace and healing…Give me the strength to always fan the flame within my own spirit first and then to help to fan the flame within others.”

In that moment, I felt a warmth from the top of my head to the soles of my feet.  I don’t know if it was the coffee, the goddess…all I know is that at that moment, the hearth fires within my very soul were burning strong.

The Magick has come easier this week.  I have learned that sometimes it isn’t about creating the spell…it is about listening to everything around you and letting the spell create itself.  Magick is weaving itself around us all the time.  It is a living breathing thing that is constantly moving and constantly changing…and just waiting for us to catch up to it.  If we could only learn to stop trying to outrun it.

Blessed Be!

 

 

Here is the link if you are interested in a copy of “Random Thoughts n’ Lotsa Coffee”

http://www.amazon.com/Random-Thoughts-Lotsa-Coffee-Collection

 

Duct Tape, Sage and Healing the Spirit

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The one promise I made myself when I started this blog was to always share the truth surrounding my life.  I always wanted this blog to be a source of help and hope to others.  I made the decision that sometimes no matter how  badly it hurt, the truth should be shared.  So let’s go ahead and take the corner of that bandaid and start ripping.

It has seemed that every time I turn around lately, that something happens. If something good happens in my life, I have pretty much come to expect something bad to come as a counter.  I get a promotion….I go to the emergency room.  I get a raise…someone hits my car.  Nothing like the power of positive thinking, huh?

I remember when we were home at Christmas…my dad, normally a pretty jovial person, seemed sullen, moody, angry.  I tossed it off to the curmudgeon-ess that comes with old age.  Then last night, I was admonished by a dear friend after I had pissed and moaned a neighbor hitting my car and breaking off the driver’s side mirror.

Listen to yourself.  You hate.  You hated the neighbors upstairs…you hate this guy.  You are so filled with negative energy, you are filling yourself with sickness!!!!!  You have insurance?  It can be fixed.  You go against everything you practice by hating.  STOP IT NOW…LET IT OUT OF YOUR BODY…your mind is just consumed with drama and SHIT…nothing good is going to come to you if you keep it up.  I love you..and because I love you, I’m saying this…GET A FUCKING GRIP…I can’t send you anything because I see it just go all black around you.  I love you.  I do.  You are my heart and soul…but Morrigan will say the same thing if you listen to her…it’s coming from her.  I know you are tired…and no one can help you unless you help yourself first…that allows the flow to come in…CLEANSE YOURSELF…curdling is nasty…life sucks…but you just keep focusing on the positive and let the other fall away.

Sometimes a dose of the truth is like really bad cough medicine.  It tastes like cat piss going down, but you know eventually it is going to do you a world of good.hate

I turned off Facebook and pulled Google up on my Ipad.  I looked up the word ‘hate.’  Hatred is therefore a hardening of the mind and spirit. Hatred attaches you to the thing or person you hate.  This person or thing that you hate becomes a constant part of your thoughts and emotions.People-Tied-Together

I decided that it truly was time to dig down into the center of this festering purulent wound and start the healing.  I started with a cleansing bath (I am a shower person personally, so to even lower my substantial rump into a tub was a beginning).  I poured Dead Sea salt in first…to draw out impurities.  I then added sage leaves for cleansing, lavender oil for calming, eucalyptus oil for energizing, juniper berries for more cleansing and some spearmint bubble bath for suds.  I sank down into the bubbles and inhaled the different scents.BA13535

My mind raced back and forth over Maluna’s words.  Yes, my heart had become darkened by hatred.  Where did it come from?  I questioned whether or not it came from my parents….no, no sense in giving anyone else the blame.  I am the one who took it in like a homeless kitten.  I am the one who nurtured it and fed it and allowed it to grow.

I had called on the Morrigan so many times in my anger.   As I felt the suds against my legs, she reminded me that she was not a goddess of hatred and anger…not a goddess of getting even…but that she was a goddess of justice.  My brain raced over and over that definition of hatred that I found, “Hatred is therefore a hardening of the mind and spirit. Hatred attaches you to the thing or person you hate.”  My mind and my spirit had been blocked…I had been looking a foot in front of me the whole time…never seeing the whole picture.  All this time I had talked about how powerful and strong magick is, but I had been tucking pieces of it into small boxes all around me….only keeping that which I was comfortable with close to me.

As I write this, I read the words of another dear friend, Celtic Oaksoul, “Just be…take in the darkness and make it your own.  Relax and let the storm take its form outside, around you.  It will always subside.”  I just realized that I had forgotten the most important thing about life….All things are temporal!  Nothing lasts…things only happen for a season.  I have been treating it like it is the be all and end all.

I lay in the tub feeling the water become cold and my fingers and toes becoming pruny.  There is more to do than cleanse…I have to turn and walk away from the hate.  I have to make a conscious decision every day, every moment of my life to let go and move past the temporal.  My hate doesn’t do anything to the people I hate…they could care less.  I am the one that pays the price….it is my blood pressure, my health…my heart and my spirit  that will end up shriveling into a poisoned wad of anger, bitterness and hate.

Duct tape fixed my car mirror for the time being today.  It won’t, however, fix the holes I have put in my spirit.  Those are going to take time with the gods and goddesses…the innocent fur and feather people…the elements.

The ones we love aren’t there to always tell us how wonderful we are…sometimes they are there to dig out the painful and hurtful parts of us that we have become blinded to…and we are never too old for admonishment.

As I spent time in the woods this morning, I did a spell to help me to always look toward the good things with gratitude and not dwell on the bad things that happen.  I know this is a spell I will have to do more than once.  As Maluna said, “It isn’t about looking at the world with rose-colored glasses, but knowing what’s important…about focusing on the positive and letting the other fall away.

Sometimes that splinter doesn’t all come out at one time.splinter

 

Blessed Be!

There’s Something About the Woods….

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You’ve changed.  You’re daring.

You’re different in the woods…

You’ve changed.  You’re thriving.

There’s something about the woods…

The past couple of weeks have been challenging around here.  I have had the flu, an upper respiratory infection, and a blocked salivary gland.  In that time, I have worked, I have traveled, and had the opportunity for far more activity than rest.

Friday, my body required me  to pause long enough to have to be checked out.  I woke up Friday with the left side of my face swollen so big that it actually scared me.  There was a tremendous amount of heat coming from it.  I texted my boss and headed to my doctor.  He looked at my jaw and put his fingers all in my mouth and told me that he was sending me to Emory for a CAT Scan and Kidney bloodwork.  I looked down at  the prescription he gave me to hand them with his instructions.  The first words I read:  Cancer Check.  My heart sunk as I read and I called my roommate to see if he would go with me.

We got there and spent a huge amount of time waiting.  I remained patient, knowing that the flu season had officially started in Atlanta.  I watched as a little grandma across from me wept and whispered how much she hurt.

When I was finally ushered into one of the rooms, I endured the smacking of fingers against veins and listened to the nurses tell me what I hear all the time, “You don’t have much in there as far as veins.  I am going to have to use the back of your hands, legs, tops of your feet.”  They all seemed amazed at the amount of swelling in my jaw and neck. “That just happened overnight?!?”  I would nod and smile.

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After the CAT Scan and bloodwork, the doctor seemed certain it was a blocked salivary gland.  She prescribed antibiotics and lots of sour candy to get the saliva flowing.  I promised as I left that I would check in with my own doctor yesterday morning.

I followed through and went to my doctor yesterday.  He was surprised that the swelling had not reduced much.  He brought up the fact that there had been a resurgence of mumps lately (which I, of course, had never had).  I went back home to my sour candy and antibiotics that would give an elephant diarrhea.

Late last night, I had been house bound as long as I could be.  I begged Jay for a trip to the movies.  We went to see “Into the Woods.”  This has always been one of my least favorite musicals, but I thought that it might make up for my having to be away from my woods for so long.

After the movie last night, I drifted to sleep.  In my dreams, I walked the woods over and over with Mama Crow and Wolf at my side.  I dreamed of Frisbee dancing alongside me.  Funny, I was never the baker, or Red Riding Hood, or Jack in my dreams….but always the witch…always searching for those perfect ingredients for healing.

I woke up this morning as the rain was still spitting and hissing through the clouds.  I couldn’t stay inside one more moment.  I had to be apart of the outdoors.  I had to be a part of that which I had been born of.  The elements called to me…I could hear the birds and the wind.  They longed to dance and play.

I pulled on my cloak and roused a wild little chihuahua.  We made our way through puddles and mud into a place where we feel more at home than on our own sofa.  I had brought a tarp and blanket.  I have found that after a good rain, it keeps us from being soaked but still allows us to feel the ground under our rumps.  As I closed my eyes and inhaled the smell of the damp outdoors, I could hear the sounds of nature around me.  I had the feeling that I would see the Green Wizard this morning…just one of those knowings that brew deep inside of you.

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Of course, his first words are, “Oh my gosh, what happened to your face?!”  I explained what had been going on.  He laughed and asked if I had dried arnica, dried calendula,  charcoal,  and lavender oil back at the condo.  I told him I did.  He told me to go get it.  He was already digging out red clay from an area behind us and getting handfuls of other things as I walked back to the condo.

I came back with the requested items and he added them to the clay mix.  After everything was mixed thoroughly, he plastered the muck behind my ear and down the side of my jaw and neck.  He told me to leave it on for a couple of hours and then I could wash it off.

Today was a singing day.  We would take turns breaking out in songs that just came to our heads…..some based in pure nonsense, some serious.  We took turns dancing with the dogs and the breeze.  When we collapsed on the blanket…laughing and breathing heavy…he smiled and told me that he could tell that the Weathered Wiseman needed time with himself in the woods and that he would give me my time.  Part of me wanted to object because we were having such a good time, but there was that part of me that knew he was more than right.  I rubbed Boomer under his chin as Friz did one more play pounce on him.  The Green Wizard picked Friz up and rubbed him on his neck and then put him down in my lap.

As I watched the Green Wizard walk off through the woods, I am sprawled out with that wild chihuahua bouncing on my belly.  I listened as Mama Crow crackled out her sounds of approval.  I speak out loud to her, “Mama Crow…what is coming?  Where will the magick take me?”  She laughed her course laugh again…in a way telling me that no matter what, I need to meet it with flexibility and all the magick I have in me.

I close my eyes and ponder over my dear friend Maluna’s words:

Cold, Wolf, Chaste, Ice Moon, Sunday at 11:53 pm. Looks like ice and cold are on tap here. Winter is about to descend on us with a vengeance….Things are bare…except for the evergreens, and the Ivy that surrounds our house….ever green…ever Goddess. It’s pouring rain…it will turn to ice tonight….the deadliest of the Water forms (in my book)…it shows no mercy. My thoughts and studies turn to Brigid….goddess of springs, holy wells…fire…and for me she represents the waters of our land right now. Old farmers are saying the water content is low….for the coming growth season we welcome the rains and snows…one of the reasons I don’t get depressed this time of year….what is happening now….will benefit the summer. This is the full moon before Imbolc….February 2nd…full Quickening Moon….the 3rd. I have a full month of workings before Imbolc….confused? It’s ok….this works for me…you’re welcome to try it if you like. I’ll work this Cold Moon for the abandoned and abused animals….wildlife has a tendency to survive Nature….or not….that is their law….humans and their cruelty kill more than the Elements…I provide as much food and shelter possible….opening myself to the fires of Brigid for warmth….protect them all…please. Deepen your winter journey….work to provide for others, help those in need, the elderly…use the warm and cleansing energies…If you focus positive energy on the future, understand what is happening in the coming months….(granted, we don’t LIKE it) but it’s much easier if you accept and acknowledge the flow of Nature. It’s challenging….and rewarding to work with the Elements….without Earth, Air, Fire, and Water….we would not be….I give thanks for their gifts…and survive. BB

That is the one thing about life and magick…it is always moving forward.  We have to choose whether we move with it or not.  Nature is always changing, as shown by the seasons.  The wheel doesn’t wait for us to catch up.

It is never more evident than when I am in the woods that I am a part of that.

Oh, and by the way, after two hours with that muddy salve on my neck, jaw and ear…the swelling had almost completely gone.

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