The Heart of the Season

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The Wheel of the Year keeps turning.  It seems that just yesterday, we celebrated Samhain….then we watched as the world celebrated everything it was thankful for.  Now, we are looking toward the Winter Solstice and Yule.  Our homes and altars are all decorated with greenery and pine cones.  We smile to ourselves as we light the candles on our Yule log.

We bake and we add more lights and we run to the mall and we run to the grocery store and we run to party after party.  We stand in line at Target and find ourselves getting more and more agitated.  “Can’t that cashier go any faster?  Doesn’t she realize that I have a party I have to go to in two hours and that is not nearly enough time to get ready?”  We give a slight smile to the person out on the corner collecting for charity.  Do we put money in the bucket?  Sometimes….but we have to keep every extra penny to buy gifts for friends and family.  For the month of December, we forget to listen to the heartbeat of the earth.  It may be a tiny bit more faint than normal, but the heart of the earth still beats.

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Yesterday, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few items.  I hurriedly picked up the things I needed because, of course, I had plans for later in the afternoon and evening.  I run with my cart to the cashier and I end up standing behind a little old woman who was standing there counting her pennies.  I looked at the order in front of me, which included generic Ensure, a loaf of bread, cat food and bagged beans.  Apparently, she didn’t have enough money and asked the cashier if she could take the Ensure off of the order.  In that moment, my heart broke.  I couldn’t stand the thought of this little old woman walking out of that store without everything she needed.  I put my hand on her shoulder and asked her if she would mind me paying for her groceries and if we could go get a few extra things.  I told her that she reminded me of my grandma and that I was missing her a lot this time of year.  We went back through that store arm in arm and I could feel the earth’s heartbeat as we talked and laughed.

My grandma used to love to go barefoot….even in the winter.  She told me that the reason she loved being barefoot was because she was able to feel the Great Mother’s heartbeat better.  I have found that to have so many meanings as I think more about it.  It was in making a part of herself more vulnerable that she was able to feel the Great Mother stronger.  I had to stop yesterday and see something outside of myself….be willing to feel the heart of someone else.

I got up this morning and went to the woods….it was wet and cold.  I could feel the breath of spirit on me as I led that little blue chihuahua through the morning mists deeper into a world that he and I have become so familiar with.  When we cross the threshold into ‘our’ woods, we feel spirit, ancestors, animal spirits….we become lost in a time when magick danced through forests freely.  We get caught in that energy and feel more at home than we do in our comfy cottage-like condo.

I get everything set out as usual….skulls, candles, and herbs.  I covered myself in my cloak in front of it all and rolled onto my stomach.  I put my hand on the earth and my ear to my hand.  I could feel the cold of the ground permeating my hand.  In the silence, I could hear the breathing of my little blue dog…but more importantly, I could hear the heartbeat of the earth.  As I lay there lost in the wonder and simplicity of this magickal moment.  I committed, to the Lord and Lady, not to lose the lessons I have learned about this time of year.  I lay there in silent meditation….opening my heart to everything that needed to be taught to my spirit.  I heard Mama Crow and Wolf to the sides of me.  I watched as wolf circled and finally laid down.  Mama Crow landed on the ground beside him and nestled in his tail.

I reminded by them both that this season is a time of rest before the regeneration.  It is time to feed the spirit and heart.  This is the time of year that the earth slows down.  This is when the roots of the plants grow….when the plant produces the beginnings of the buds.  This is the time of year when the internal work is done for the external explosion of spring.

I called on the power of the elements and the Lord and Lady to give me heart and spirit to listen to all things around me.  This is the time when temperatures plummet and animals seek shelter.  My courtyard and surrounding areas are set for any that may need comfort from the elements.  You will find boxes and blankets all over in anticipation of winter visitors.  There are bird feeders and areas for the squirrels to eat….places for stray cats and pooches to dine in secret.  I have seen other neighbors adding to the areas.

There are people in need all around.  I wish to walk in compassion this season.  I wish to nurture kindness.  The homeless person sitting in the cold needs warmth…..coffee, a blanket.  Starbucks here has a program going where you can give money for coffee so that if anyone who can’t afford it comes in for coffee, they can get it at no charge.  If you want to jump start your heart…volunteer at a soup kitchen.  Most of the people that show up are no different from you.  The only difference may be a missed paycheck.homeless

 

It is time for us to “take off our shoes” and feel the heartbeat of the earth.  My goal for this holiday season is to keep things simple, give more of myself, love with complete abandon, and let the magick happen around me.

Blessed Solstice, Blessed Yule, and Blessed Be!

May you spend this holiday season dancing to the song that your heart sings!YB-yule-ball-238849_1024_768

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Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This

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The past couple of weeks has been a whirlwind for me.  I have been in the process of preparing for a charity show that I was performing in.  Everything else in my life took a backseat.  I mean everything.  I sang my way through life oblivious to everything else around me.  I was immersed in only this….obsessed with making sure all was done to the best of my ability.  I haven’t felt that type of energy since my days in the theater.  I look back, and honestly the past couple of weeks are a blur in my memory.  The only things that come to the front of my mind are the dreams I have had in that two week period.

I have always had vivid dreams….I dream in color and, most of the time, what I am dealing with in life manifests itself in my dreams.  My dreams of late have been unique, to say the least.  The most prominent dreams of the past couple of weeks involve me lost in the woods.  I am accompanied always by wolf and some bird, whether it be owl, or crow, or hawk.  In the dream, I end up at an earth covered, green cottage by water.  It has one door and one window.  Inside is everything that I could ever think of needing for potions and spells and all manner of sorcery.  Wolf watches me mindfully by the fire and the bird of the night perches on a chair or the table that I work on.  As I work on the magick in front of me, there is no question about what ingredient or word comes next.  I am going about everything I do with a fervor and a purpose.

In this dream, I see all manner of energy floating around me.  It seems to be there for the taking.  All I have to do is reach out.  Different colors represent different energies and I know which color is what.  Blue is for healing, green for growth, red for passion, yellow for happiness, orange for courage, and purple for knowledge…..I walk through the room trying to grasp some of each color of energy only for it to swirl out of reach.  Out of the corner of my eye, I see Wolf.  The energy is coming to him. Each color encircles his head and he closes his eyes and inhales…..each one wisps into his nostrils and I watch as his eyes light up with the power of each color.  I look to the chair or table and notice that the same thing is happening with the bird.  I am working so hard and can’t even catch a smidgeon of the energy…..they do nothing, it seems, and it comes to them.  I sit down in a rocking chair beside the fireplace.  I am completely exhausted.  Wolf sits beside me and puts his head on my knee.  The bird sits on the chair top beside my head.  We all go to sleep.  I can feel the energy swirling in circles around me.  As I breathe deeply, I can feel each color of energy being inhaled.  I can feel them taking root inside.  I decide that I want to stay in this dwelling.  Everything I need as far as Magick is right there.  I get up and begin potion-making again….Wolf settles again in front of the fire and the bird flies toward the table…I wake up.

I realized looking back at this dream today, that it was mirroring everything that I have been dealing with over the past couple of weeks.  The bustle of life was evident….as was the premise of me “chasing my tail.”  It seems that over and over again this week that the thought of “animals having great empathic abilities” has bombarded me.  I have noticed that as my activity has gotten more fervent, that the animals in the house have become more anxious.  There have been no trips to the pond or the woods this week for me and Friz…only short trips outside to pee so that I could rush back into whatever was consuming me.  He stood at my feet begging me to sit down for just a moment….long enough for him to lie down on my lap and doze off.  It didn’t happen.

I have all this energy now that I don’t know what to do with.  The weight loss and change in habits have caused me to become fidgety with energy….not completely sure how to handle it.  I am feeling a call to meditation.  I need to slow down.  I need simplicity.  I need to find that dwelling place where I feel completely at ease.  I know where everything is, the right words, and I know what ingredients it takes….but I have forgotten the most important thing….the intent.  My intent is to be one with Lord and Lady….to take time and spend time in nature.  Last year at this time I gave a friend of mine some advice that I need to heed.  I told her to “put her hands in the dirt,”  to feel the earth energy, the grounding.  I have forgotten that I need grounding every day.  Animal energy is that of grounding….earth energy.  Wolf is a pathfinder and a teacher in many native traditions.  Wolf also teaches balance.  The crow is the “keeper of secrets or mysteries.” He brings transformation of the inner self. Hawk brings illumination of the past, present, and future. Owl brings vision of the situations at hand.

Even when I was too “busy” to see any of this while wide awake.  Goddess knew I needed to hear this message.  She sent messengers that she knew I would listen to and put me in surroundings where I would be open to hearing what she said.

Tonight before I wrote this, Friz and I went to the pond….we sat for a bit.  We also went to the woods.  We sat again.  I am learning slowly and surely that I am not a human doing….I am a human being.  Sometimes all that is required is to be.  The phrase is not “Blessed Do.”  It is in fact, “Blessed Be.”

If we could only take a lesson from our animal friends and familiars.  They live in the moment….not what is happening tomorrow….not what happened yesterday.  They envelop the energy around them as it happens….they don’t try to “catch it.”

My promise to myself this holiday season is simple:  Simplicity,  Live in the moment, and just Be.

Blessed Be!380798_10151538882172656_1102113718_n

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!