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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Where Did ‘Once Upon A Time’ and ‘Happily Ever After’ Go?

Once upon a time, long ago in a land far away…….It is amazing where my brain takes me sometimes when it has the opportunity to slow down and just think. It goes to far away places with dragons and sword fights and castles.

Most people dont know one of my favorite indulgences. It isn’t candies or sweets or bucket loads of ice cream. I love to read fairy tales. I have a book of Grimm’s fairytales that I love to take with me whenever I have time to read. It accompanies me to the pond quite a lot. I am one who can, quite literally, lose myself in a book. When I am reading a story, whether it be one of the Grimm’s tales or “Harry Potter,” I am lost in that world.

As I sat by the pond this morning, I contemplated all the ‘Once Upon a Times’ and ‘Happily Ever Afters’ that I have read in my lifetime. I started to wonder about Snow White and her Prince Charming. In the time between ‘Once Upon a Time’ and ‘Happily Ever After’ did they have to clean up hairballs that the forest animals had left around the castle? Were the seven dwarves constantly under foot with non-stop whistling? And talk about mother-in-law issues……how many of us would be able to stand a mother-in-law who you just couldn’t trust when it came to fresh-baked apple pie? I told you….the places my mind can go can be quite scary sometimes.

Over the past few months, I have become quite addicted to the show, “Once Upon A Time” on ABC. I love the fact that the cast of characters have all been magickally transported to a small town in Maine named Storybrooke. For a while, magick did not exist there and no one remembered their past identities….and then magick was brought back to them. So here they were stuck in this world…knowing who they were and forced back into an unremarkable life.

Again, my brain was just reeling over all the possibilities and how this could apply to my life. I asked myself, “When did my ‘Once Upon A Time’ start?” Truth be told, it started the day I was born. My life is by no means a fairy tale. I haven’t been poisoned by apples, slept for 100 years, or even worn a glass slipper. I didn’t have a fairy godmother to get me ready for my proms in high school….and alas there were no castles.

My ‘Once Upon A Time’ starts in a small town in North Carolina and then the roads curve into the different adventures that my life has taken me through. My life is not one of heart-wrenching tragedy, but it is also not one of stupendous conquests and beanstalks.

One thing that I have learned in my years as a witch is that everything is about intent. If I desire adventure, then it is up to me to make that happen. If I sit on my broad part all day long and never try anything new then there is an issue. I have made a decision in the past two weeks to take an archery class. I have always wanted to do it…..and now my intent has matched my desire. Atlanta…..watch out for flying arrows!

If you think about it, the content between Snow White and Prince Charming’s ‘Once Upon A Time’ and ‘Happily Ever After’ was survival and to eventually have the life that they knew was out there somewhere. Ours is the same. Every day of our lives, we fight traffic ( that alone is Atlanta’s own Dragon), we work diligently at our jobs ( Hi Ho, Hi Ho), and we clean. If you are like me, you constantly have a broom in your hand.

Like Snow White, we have to find our safe place. Hers was the forest with the seven dwarves. Mine started out as my courtyard….then it became the pond. I was seeking a place of refuge where I could get away from the day to day world….from the responsibilities that seem to constantly bombard me. A place where magick once again exists in a strong way and nothing can make me forget who I am. Think about it. How many times during a day have you been so beat down and walked over that you forget the power that actually lies within you? How magickal do you feel in the midst of that 13 hour shift? How magickal do you feel wiping puke and hairballs out of the floor at 3am? How magickal do you feel before that first cup of coffee in the morning? It is important to remind yourself of who you are and what you are capable of.

I am not talking here about living forever in a fantasy. Goddess has given you power…..don’t forget to access that at all times. I realize that Prince Charming is not always 6’3 with shiny brown hair and perfect teeth. Sometimes he is 5’5 with glasses….but he is everything you ever dreamed of. Your trusty steed is a 2007 Toyota and the sharpest sword you will ever draw is a ballpoint pen, but you are still strong and powerful. You have within you more power than any evil queen dared to dream of. Stop looking in the mirror and seeing all the faults and blemishes. It is time to see yourself for who you are….you are a god. You are a goddess. You have a universe of power right there at your fingertips.

It is time to realize that ‘Happily Ever After’ is just around the corner. You have the ability to make it happen. Contentment is such a hard thing to realize. We are always so conscious anymore about ‘keeping up with the Joneses.’

I am not a rich man, but I am perfectly happy with what I have and who I am. I may not be able to afford too many luxuries, but I am able to make many of the things I need or buy cheap knockoffs. I think the key, for me, is that I have learned that I don’t need to compare myself to anyone. I am me. I am the most magickal me that I can possibly be. I have my courtyard, my pond, my herd of cats, a little blue chihuahua, a little black doxy, and my own Prince Charming. That, in itself, is a whole lot of magick.

As I thought of all these things, I felt a smile play across my face. That feeling is magick in its purest form….without ritual….without ceremony.

Think about the things that make you happiest……