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!

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The Heart Beats Stronger in Springtime…

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I am sitting in the courtyard this afternoon with a glass of Chardonnay in my hand.  I have soft jazz music playing in the background as the soft cool breeze caresses the prickles of hair on my head.  It is afternoons like this one that make me miss my family most.

I remember many an afternoon like this one…seventy degrees, breezy, the smell of flowers attempting to bloom for the first time.  My whole family would gather in the backyard by the pasture and mama would make sweet tea.  We must have emptied gallons of that syrupy strong brew as we rocked back and forth on the porch swing solving all of life’s problems.  In many ways, life in that small town in North Carolina was very much like the Mayberry  that Andy Griffith made famous.  singalongs-porch-andygriffithshow-secretsofabelle

We would sit there, guitar in hand…each member of the family adding their own harmony to one of the old songs as the bass-string strum provided the background music.  The dogs would run through the pasture playing chase with the younger ones or with each other.  It was in that place that the world couldn’t touch us.  It was there that we didn’t care how much money we didn’t have or what we couldn’t afford.  It was in that place that my granny used to say that she could hear the grass, trees and sky singing at the top of their lungs.  Most of the ones who shared those front porch moments with me are gone now, but I can’t help but think that they are a part of the symphony I hear as I am captivated by the concert that only nature can give.

I have spent much of today out cleaning the winter debris from the courtyard…uncapping the pots from their toppings of leaves and old mulch.  It is much like unwrapping a present.  I get so excited to see the small shoots coming from my hostas, and the spindly little purple leaves from the spiderwort are already showing themselves.  Even as near that half a century mark, I am still amazed at all the work that the Earth Mother still does in her sleep state.

This morning as Friz and I ventured toward the woods, the sun was already wide awake to greet us.  I love watching that little blue chihuahua as the sun rays bathe his back.  He stretches into it….just like he would if he were being rubbed from head to toe.  This morning, he stretched his little face to the sun with his eyes closed and his teeth showing, almost like he was smiling.  You could almost hear him telling the sun that he missed him and was glad to see him back.  He walked over to one of the bunches of daffodils blooming by our neighbors door….just as I thought he was leaning in for a sniff, he raised his little leg and peed in them.2014-03-02 14.48.08

We took our time getting to the woods this morning.  We spent the extra moments admiring the blooming tulip trees and weeping cherry trees.  It has always been mesmerizing to me that, in Georgia, spring seems to come overnight.  One week it is brutally cold, then the next week we are in the seventies with flowers and trees blooming all around.

Last night was spent with the New Moon.  Even though much has happened over the past month, there are even more new beginnings looming in the horizon.  For the first time in a long long time, I feel as if things are coming together for me.  I am seeing more than the light at the end of the tunnel….I am seeing the smoke clear and the magick is now more vivid.  Not only am I seeing spells taking shape quicker…I am also seeing prayers and whispers that I have only shared with the wind coming to fruition.

This mornings workings were orchestrated with the sun as an ally.  The newness of the morning, the evidence of life abounding around me….we have now come out of the darkness and are given the promise that the sun and spring have spoken of all winter long.  I started this mornings magick with a brightly colored thin blanket underneath me and Friz.  I brought gifts of bread and cheese and fruit for the fae and the woodland elementals (Friz didn’t seem to mind a nibble here and there either).  We could hear the birds singing all around us, the leaves rustling in the breeze…but there was one voice singing loudly that will never be ignored–Mama Crow.  It seemed as if she was playing in the tops of the trees, dancing in the sunshine.The_sun1

As I lay there sprawled out under the canopy of trees with the sunlight dappled all over me, Friz found that one spot that the sunlight never seemed to leave and settled into it.  As he lay there warming himself, I could hear soft snores coming from that little blue heap.  Underneath me, I could feel the vibration of the earth.  Even with the chill left  from the night-time air, I could feel the stirrings underneath me.  It was almost like sitting through the warm up of the instruments from an orchestra…first, the strings, then the woodwinds, then the brass was added and finally percussion.  With the percussion came the feeling of a heart being jump started once again.  il_340x270.431970633_cz5w

I have found over the years that I never have to beg the Earth Mother for the ability to hear her heartbeat.  I do, however, have to be willing to be still and quiet enough to listen.  In the world outside our doors, we are expected to be businessmen and business women.  We are expected to be husbands, wives, mothers and fathers.  We listen to the world tell us over and over again that we don’t and never will measure up.  It is in those moments that I make myself stop and listen to the heartbeat of the Earth Mother.  I am not what the world thinks of as glamorous, fascinating or even beautiful….but when I am alone with the heartbeat of the Earth Mother in my ear, none of that really seems to be important at all.

As I finish writing this, I have turned off the music and am just sitting here snuggled into the cushions of the outdoor sofa listening to the sounds of the Earth Mother.  I finished that glass of wine ages ago and decided to go for a nice cold glass of sweet tea.  It’s funny, as I sit here humming along with nature, I can hear my granny and my two aunts harmonizing softly in the background.  Funny, nothing ever truly leaves you…those things that mean the most to us come back to visit just at the right times.  Come and sit down and pull up a cushion…here’s a glass of nice, cold sweet tea.  Harmonize with me a bit as we listen to the sounds of the world stopping for a moment…if only to allow us a second or two to just breathe.

Blessed Be!

A Season of Peace

As I sit here right now, I have a hot cup of mugwort and lemon balm tea sweetened with honey sitting in front of me.  Tissues are scattered around the desk and I have Vick’s Vapor Rub under my nose.  Yes, I know, not the witchy, swarthy version of the male witch that you have pictured.  My partner and I went to my folks house for the holidays this weekend and there was such a change in weather….and of course, I had to spend time outside…so I caught a cold.

As we drove the country roads through North Carolina, I could feel my witchy blood dancing through my veins.  I knew, without a doubt that I was going to get to spend time in my woods.  Those woods are so much a part of me and who I am that it is like visiting an old friend who I haven’t seen in a month of Sundays.

The times I have been home lately have all been for funerals.  So many family members and friends have passed over through this year.  Always a whirlwind trip…flying up there, funeral, fly back.  Even though this was a quick weekend trip, it was very relaxed.  We stayed at my aunt’s house with her and her five dogs….so I got all the puppy lovin’s I needed…and it helped me not to miss my dogs so much.

Late Saturday afternoon, I decided that it was time to socialize with my old friend.  I had taken my backpack with me and filled it with all my altar items, including my cloak and skulls.  I started on the trek to the woods but it didn’t seem right without at least one animal companion by my side.  It is funny how the gods and goddesses make the necessary arrangements for us ahead of time.  My dad found two kittens a few weeks back and got them good and tamed up and made them into comfortable little barn cats.  I am not talking about a stark, cold barn.  I mean inside heating and nice comfy beds….I couldn’t have done better myself.

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As I walked into the woods, these two little furballs were right on my heels….one, a little black and white..the other, solid white.  The black and white one tangled himself around my feet more than once, forcing me to try not to fall face forward.  I decided that it was time to cleanse and dedicate my skulls once again.  What better place than my home soil and what better time than the Winter Solstice?  I dug holes deep enough to place each skull in and placed the crow and wolf skull gently into the earth and then covered them with the surrounding soil.  I prayed a blessing over them.  The kittens played contently around me.  The little white one walks over to where the skulls are buried and pats gently at the dirt.

I sat there in the midst of my woods and watched.  I knew deep inside that there would be a crow somewhere close.  I looked into the trees and sure enough, I was greeted by that hard brash caw.  I greeted her with the same greeting I use in the courtyard back home.  I closed my eyes and could feel my years melting away.  I was once again the young boy who sat in the pasture or in the woods talking to the animals…listening to them as they shared their wisdom.

As the dark approached, I could see the Christmas lights of neighboring farms in the distance.  Peace came over me like no other time before.  I breathed in that feeling that can only come from the elements.  I opened my eyes and I was surrounded.  It was a funny sight.  Here I was sitting in the middle of the woods with cats, goats, chickens and a cow all standing around me.  I finished my ritual with them standing near and then wished them all a blessed Solstice.  A night of peace and comfort and familiarity…all sent to me as reminder that sometimes you have to take those roads back to where you started, if only to rekindle what brought the heart forward from that point.

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This morning, Christmas Eve, I went to the woods here behind the condos.  I had my backpack and skulls and candles and cloak….and one little blue chihuahua.  Friz was feeling particularly frisky this morning and as we got to the edge of the woods, he wouldn’t budge.  I stood there trying to get him to move, but then as that calico kitten (who is not so small anymore), ambled up beside him…he moved on.

I settled onto the cold ground.  I put the skulls in the places that felt right and lit the candles.  I placed the crystals carefully around them.  I burrowed down inside my cloak and was oblivious to the two little critters I had burrowing into it too.  As I sit there, I breathe out Christmas blessings into the wind for those dear to me.  I hear very loud purring coming from underneath my cloak and feel warm fur next to me.  I am also greeted by the snores and wrigglings of that blue chihuahua.  I watch in wonder as my wishes and prayers fly toward the heavens like reverse snowflakes.  Again, Mama Crow squawks in the distance.

She reminds me that this season is about the rebirth of the sun.  It is about renewal in us.  Is it any wonder that the animals came to me in my woods back home? This is the season of the horned one.  Is it any wonder that we crave time indoors by the hearth fires and with trees lighted with magickally colored bulbs.  It is the season of the hearth fires.  It is that time of year that we long for the light of the sun.

My wish for you during this holiday season…..nothing more or less than Peace.  Peace with yourself, those around you, your decisions, your dreams, your shortcomings….in all if these things I wish you peace.

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Blessed Be!

As Night-Time Settles In

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As I sit down to the computer tonight, it seems forever since I have written anything.  Sometimes life overtakes us and other times we are just taken over.  Over the past couple of weeks here in Atlanta, we have had our annual Gay Pride…I spent a good part of that weekend with friends (my partner was sick, but still he said, “Go on without me.  I will survive.”  He has such a spirit of courage ;)….along with the spirit of Gloria Gaynor).  We walked the crowded thoroughfare of Piedmont Park, enjoyed the sense of community, and experienced the Pride Parade.  The weather was beautiful…the leaves in the midst of change, but the weather around them warm and breezy.

Then Monday came.  We were back in the throes of day-to-day life….my partner was back on his feet.  I went to work Monday morning feeling energized and then Monday night, the god of all stomach viruses hit me.  Most people who know me, know that I would rather be sick in any other way but vomiting….well, this virus did not get that memo.  I tossed my cookies from late Monday evening up until this morning….a total of three days.  I have been stuck inside the house constantly…well, except for the few hours I ventured to work to get middle of the month requirements done.  Other than that, I slept….a lot.

When I am sick, my dream life is something else.  Normally I take the opportunity in sleep to conquer all those things that come at me in my awake life.  I find it fascinating that when I am sick and need to send magick to others….I do it in my dreams.  My body and magick are so much stronger in those places between sleep and awake.  In those dreams, I have seen healing, employment issues resolved…and powerful things done with the wave of a wand and the spoken word.  I have even awakened speaking the words of spells that I had no recollection of ever writing.

This may not be a traditional post for me, but it is something that I needed to write….a place where my spirit was far more active than any other part of me.  A place where I wasn’t contained by what anyone believed or said.

As Samhain approaches, the veil is getting thinner between this world and the next.  It never shocks me when I am visited by spirits when I sleep….especially this time of year.  As I closed my eyes last night, I was visited by many…very few whom I recognized.  Even though they were not familiar to me, there was a comfortable feeling…a knowing.  I dreamed of my roommate and I standing beneath a streetlamp.  He did his usual thing…he looked at the light and it went out.  I remember faces…only faces coming toward me.  They weren’t trying to scare me.  I looked beside me and saw Friz…then in the next moment, he had turned into a rather large wolf with his same little blue chihuahua markings.  In the next moment, I was over a cauldron….throwing bits of herbs and hair and roots into the mix calling for peace as these spirits walked closely to the edge of the veil.2013-10-17 20.10.36

I could feel myself turn in my sleep and then there was a tree.  The tree was stark and black and empty.  I was the only one at the base of this tree.  I put my hands on the trunk of the tree and watched as this tree began heaving and crying.  Wolf-Friz was close to my side…not moving away.  Then I saw the fae coming near…..they were wearing muted tones….the colors of winter.  They were begging me to come sing with them, but Friz would not let me go.  I remembered in my dream that my grandpa once told me that if you went away with the ‘wee folk’ that you would never return.

As I drifted in and out of the “sick-sleep,”  I kept seeing faces of those I love and cherish dancing in front of me…..I could feel their needs.  I would reach out to each one and feel them floating away as each was greeted with a kiss from a gray colored female.  I knew somehow that with each kiss their needs were being met.

As I ushered sleep away, I looked beside me to see a little blue chihuahua yawning widely beside me.  Always faithful….never moving from my side. He moved toward my face and softly licked my nose as I struggled to be awake.

With each deep sleep, I can feel my body healing.  I feel my spirit active…even though my body isn’t.  As the night fell, I visited gardens and farms and townhomes.  The only way I can describe it is to say that I got a taste of the old magick….that magick that the ancients before us.

As Samhain gets closer and the veil thins even more…..let us open ourselves even more to the lessons that not only spirit has to teach us…but also let us be open to those that we may overlook normally.Photo Jul 09, 6 19 20 PM

Blessed Be!

Through the Storms

tornado-and-lightning1It seems over the past month or even longer that I have watched folks go through some severely trying times in their lives.  I have seen normally strong people seem to crumple over in exhaustion as they fight….and I mean really fight through life lately.   I have watched as their support systems…their witchy family and friends, rally around them…pushing them, holding them up, holding up their arms when they don’t seem to have the strength to even bear a wand.  Then again, I have also seen those out there who are quick to judge…waiting like a spider who watches as a fly ensnares itself into its web…only to devour the weakening creature hours later.images (1)

I try to be a person who follows after that first example.  I try to send strength and healing to those who need it and I try to avoid those who follow that second example.  Life is hard enough folks.  We don’t need people in our lives who aren’t going to breathe healing and strength back into us.

I am very particular who I allow into my “circle.”  I only need those who see me for who I truly am and are ok with that.  I have never felt a need to have to prove anything to anyone or have to jump through hoops for friendships.  I have also never felt the need to be around drama mongers.  As I have said before, life is hard enough…..why try to create more crap to wade through?

Something I remember from growing up on the farm was that we were not supposed to walk in the cow pies that were splatted in the pasture.  My brother and I, always being model children, made it a point to walk through the pasture as  much as possible.  We loved to play a game we made up called ‘Dodge the Pile.’  We would run around the cow pies laughing and yelling at the top of our lungs.  We would inevitably lose our balance and step in a pile.  We didn’t mind it so much….it was warm and squishy between our toes.  It wasn’t as bad as mama made it out to be…..until one of us pushed the other and we landed face first in one of those big old piles of poop.  Where we had originally seen our little game as fun….we forgot one thing in the midst of it….it was still crap.

CowPie-JeffVanugaI think today, many of us have become adept at dodging the piles.  We go through life dealing with the issues that don’t seem to be so much of a bother.  Then there are those times when we get blind-sided and fall face first into what may have seemed small to begin with….but the more we wrestle through it, we realize that it is just pure unadulterated crap.  By this time, we are typically up to our necks, swimming in the aroma and we become afraid to ask for help.

As I said earlier, I learned very quickly who I can go to in times like these.  There are always those people who are quick to say, “Tell me all about it.  You can trust me.”  Then they run and tell everyone you didn’t need to know.  “Can you believe that poor So-and-So is having to deal with this?  It must be Karma.”  “So-and-So is having such a time of it lately.  He must not be holding his tongue right when he is casting.”  These are the people who need to be cut off like dead branches from a tree.  They suck the life out of those around them with their wagging tongues and false concern.

DSCN0625I want to be the type of person that someone can come to, tell me what they are dealing with (if they choose to), and know beyond knowing that when I say that I am sending healing or strength….that is exactly what I am doing.  I want them to know that I am surrounding them in all  the power and healing and love that I  can conjure.  I want them to know that when I whisper their names to the Goddess….that I am surrounding them in so much love that nothing else dare try to penetrate it.

When I was working in the church, too many times I heard the phrase, ‘Christians shoot their own wounded.’  That phrase is not exclusive to Christians.  I think that the premise behind that comes from the fact that if we can draw attention away from ourselves and to something or someone more vulnerable, then we can create a safe place for ourselves.  Not true.  Eventually, what we were trying to cover up in the beginning is going to shine so brightly in the moonlight and show itself to those who were never really fooled in the first place.  Those around us aren’t really as naive as we think they are.

This morning was a glorious morning for a trip to the pond and the woods.  It seemed as though I had been away from them for far too long.  I roused that little blue chihuahua way too early, it had seemed.  He yawned and stretched as he slowly came out of his kennel.  It wasn’t long before everything was packed up in my backpack and we were ready for our little jaunt.  When we walked out into the courtyard…there was that glorious briskness that only fall can bring.  Friz’  nose was already in the air experiencing the smells of fall all around us.  I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply.  I could feel rejuvenation rushing through every fiber of my being as I took in the crispness that was greeting me.

We stopped by the pond first.  So much healing and strength was needed for so many.  Friz and I lay on our bellies on the bank with our noses pointed toward the water.  He always seems to be so alert when I do things with the water.  He watched me as I whispered the names of those with needs.  As I whispered, I touched my finger to the water and caused ripples.  Each time the water moved, Friz would let out a quiet, “Buf.”  It was almost as if it was his way of adding his voice to mine.  We lay there for a bit…then I rolled over and he crawled on my stomach….he knew there was more to do.

We walked toward the woods.  He danced as we left the sidewalk and started on that familiar path.  As we left the sidewalk, there was a familiar little calico on our heels. Friz licked her across the head and she grimaced…but only for a second.  We settled in the midst of our tree friends and I arranged the skulls of wolf and crow.  I put the candles in the middle, lit them and made our circle.  I called on the Morrigan.  Those who I know are dealing with issues need strength and the power for battle to be sent to them.  None of these people are weak by any means…..but when dealing with things that blindside you…you always need more battle-sense and endurance.

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In the midst of those battles, you need people who are willing to encircle you….form a human shield….and help to eliminate anything extra that would try to weaken you.  You need people who are willing to say, “You aren’t crazy and you aren’t weak….you are tired and fatigued.  That is why I am here.  I am going to help you hold that sword or that wand.”

We finished our time in the woods and as I thanked the elements and the Lord and Lady and the directions…I packed everything away and listened as Friz played with the kitten.  I looked up to see them wrestling and as I shuffled, they stopped mid wrestle and stared at me.  We began the short journey back home….dropping off the little calico squirt with her mom first. (Mom just stands at her gate and waits for us now).  Friz and I walked the rest of the way to our courtyard…we opened the door to the condo and Friz bounded toward the sofa.  We both collapsed into one big snoring heap and rested…..completely rested.

Blessed Be!

 

Sometimes You Truly Cannot Go Home Again

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I have tried to make my life as cozy and comfortable as possible.  I don’t like clutter, I like to have things I love close at hand.  I like nothing better than settling into the sofa with a book, a glass of wine or coffee and losing myself in some place fantastical.  I love to lose myself in my magickal life sometimes….but many days, real life takes over and tosses me like a ship in choppy seas.

My mom called this past week.  She wanted to know if we would be coming home for the 4th of July.  My partner and I wrestled with the decision.  You see, as comfortable and cozy as a trip back home should be…it is the complete opposite.  It seems whenever we do visit, that all we get to experience is rush and stress and a plethora of other issues surrounding it.  We have to consider the dogs….do we board them, take them with us, ask our roommate to take care of them while we are gone.  Then there is the fact that it just isn’t cheap to drive 6 hours to visit for two days.  There is also the requesting of time off from work…..that is like pulling donkey teeth.  When a business is short-handed, it doesn’t matter how many PTO hours you have…..it becomes impossible to escape, if only for a day or so.

So after the stress of breaking the news to my mother that her first-born would not be coming back to small-town life for a few days….I escaped out to the pond with Friz.  It was a bit overcast this afternoon, so it wasn’t too bad sitting out by the water watching the cranes and the chipmunks and of course Mama Crow.  I must smell to high heaven now.  I come to start carrying different treats in my pockets for the different animal friends I have made.  I pulled out a piece of raw meat that I had stashed for her just before going out.  I threw it in her direction.  I feel that she is coming to trust me more and more.  She visits just outside the courtyard now and always comes along when Friz and I visit the pond.

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As I sat there listening to the noises around me, it dawns on me how much I have changed over the years.  I think it is peculiar that the place that once meant comfort and soothing to me (my own homeplace) has come to represent stress and hurriedness.  The times I sat out at by the pond behind the barn or wandered into the woods back behind the property seem only a distant memory sometimes.   I have made my nest where I am now….and I realize that even that, someday, will change.

My magick has even changed over the years.  I remember when everything had to be just so.  I have found that I love a more relaxed approach to magick….I have found that it makes things progress more naturally.  I also find myself drawn toward more natural and ancient elements…bone, fur, feather.  I find that working with that which nature provides holds a stronger magick.  Now, I do not go out and kill anything just for the purpose of using it in magickal workings.  I patiently wait until it is offered to me by nature and the animal itself.

On many of my walks, I find remains from all kinds of animals that I incorporate into magickal workings.  After I cleanse the skull or feathers or whatever I may find (just on the off-chance that whatever I did find met with a violent end, I want to offer the spirit of that animal a chance to move on)…I love the feeling of being so in touch with nature and the elements and those who sacrificed for those magickal workings.  Over the past couple of weeks, I was gifted with the remains of a crow and a chipmunk. One skull will be gifted to a friend and the other will find a home on my altar.

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As I sat by the tree at the pond today and watched Friz and Mama Crow.  I couldn’t help but think about how honestly animals live their lives.  I have tried to do the same thing…..I have tried to be no one except for who I have become over the years.  I have tried to live a life of purpose and one of integrity.  When I go home, it feels as though I am being asked to put on a mask for the time I am there.  Let me clarify…I have never ever been one to hide who I am….gay, witch…however you want to see it.  The way it is put at home is, “Isn’t it bad enough that people know you’re gay?  Do they have to know you are a witch too??”  I explained that as long as they were talking about me, then all the rest of town was getting a rest.  They didn’t seem amused.

It isn’t that I don’t want to go home.  I have learned to create home wherever I am at the moment.  At this moment in my life….home is centered around my pets and having them be as stress-free as possible.  It is about  me being able to practice my Craft whenever I feel the want or need.

Last weekend, I took a little visit to the old house that we lived in just before this last move.  This was the house where I had my herb gardens and I used to camp out in the grove of holly trees and work magick.  As I pulled into the drive, I found a sign stating that the property was to be bull-dozed for a subdivision.  The yard was overgrown….all the beautiful herbs I had planted had become mounds of tangles.  The grove of holly trees had knee-high grass all around it.  I took out my pocket knife and made a massive herb harvest….feverfew, lavender, rosemary, monarda, yarrow.  I laid them all out in the trunk of the car on newspaper and then I walked gingerly (to keep from stepping on snakes) to the holly grove.  I sat in the crook of that old familiar tree and rested my head against it.  I thanked it for all the wonderful magick it had worked with me.  As I walked back to the car, I gathered some branches from around it…maybe a wand or two will come out of them.2013-06-23 15.40.47

Yes….things are constantly moving and changing around us….the wheel of the year is never at a standstill.  It is up to us to determine how we will use those changes in the magick that has been gifted to us.  Is our home a finite place?  No.  Home is wherever we are…surrounded by whatever it is that encompasses our spirit.

No….I cannot truly go home again.  I am already there.

Blessed Be!

Sometimes the Most Powerful Place to Be is Inside the Darkness

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The photo above was taken by my roommate a couple of weeks ago just prior to a pretty major storm.  When he sent the photo to me, he commented about how powerful the energy felt in the midst of the lightness and darkness of the clouds.  As I looked through the photos on my phone tonight….I kept going back to this one.  It reminded me that the strongest, most powerful areas of our life are where lightness and darkness intermingle.

When I look back at some of the most profound moments….the deepest changes….the most powerful magick in my life, it is always….and I dare emphasize always when light and dark butt heads.  When I think of this, one of the darkest times in my life comes to mind.  I was just out of high school.  I had left home and family hoping to find myself among the bright lights of New York City.  I had been there for eight months, sharing an apartment with six others actors, waiting tables on the side…sharing crumbs with the roaches.  I was struggling with my sexuality at the time….after all, nobody in television or on stage was gay….ok, right.  It was 1984.  I had done some commercials, voice-overs, even some theater.  I was actually doing pretty well for just starting out.  I can remember sitting on the fire escape one night….trying to get a glimpse at some of the stars that it seemed I had left back in North Carolina.  I watched as the lights of the city flashed around me.  I looked down and watched the sparkle in the streets.  I yelled out, “I am gay!!”  I did it a couple of times.  Finally, a voice shouted back to me, “Good for you! Now shut up and go to bed!”  My being gay was such a heart wrenching ordeal for me….but in that moment, someone who really didn’t care…let me know that it really didn’t matter all that much to the world around me….why should I let it bury me in self-loathing.New_York_City_at_night_HDR_edit1

Another instance when light and dark met for me was just as I was finishing up my college for the ministry.  I had become so intwined in the problems of others….learning to hide myself again…that I fell into a deep depression.  I went to bed and slept…..for weeks.  I remember my mother coming into my room and saying to me, “Where is my David?  I am used to him being my rock….my strong place.  I don’t know what to do with this one.  My insides hurt when I look at him.”  I crawled back into myself and listened to my spirit cry.  “Why was I who I was?  Why couldn’t life be easier?”  I had been on antidepressants, sleeping pills….whatever could be prescribed to numb my heart.  I had pulled myself out of bed to go to church one Sunday morning in July.  It had been raining for a week and I had to go over a bridge to get to the main road.  As I have mentioned before in here, the water came behind my front tires as I tried to back up.  I was swept out into the flood.  I watched my car sink as I struggled.  It would have been so easy to give up, but something rose up inside of me as I saw the sun between the trees.  I fought with everything I had and hung in a grove of trees until someone heard my screams and a rescue boat was sent out.

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Probably the darkest time I have endured is the death of my partner.  We had loved each other wholly and completely for three years.  When I close my eyes still today, I can remember everything about him.  He was 6’4, an ex-marine, bright blue eyes, brown hair, muscles in all the right places.  His heart was as good as any man’s heart could be.  I knew he was HIV positive when I asked him out for the first time….I never dreamed he would say yes…he himself was a dream.  He did say yes and we spent three short years in bliss.  Nothing was ever too much to handle as long as we were together….he ingrained this mantra into my mind and my heart.  But then, that day came when we weren’t together….when the ambulance took him away.  That day was so dark….watching him on that ventilator day in and day out….finally watching him slip into the summerlands.  This was a time when I realized just how strong I am.  I came to understand how strong loving him had made me.

It is in these darkest times of my life that I learned how to fight.  I understand that as witches, sometimes it can be easier to roll over and just say, ‘Goddess has got this.’  Yes, she may have the situation well in hand, but she also teaches us where our strengths lie and how we are best suited to battle.  I can see in each situation, how I was shown how to get my armor and weapons ready.  Each trial teaches us how to more effectively wield our sword.

I have to admit, it is far to easy to whine about all the little things around us. Trust me, this week I have done my fair share of bitching….about air conditioning not working, people being bitchy.  It is in those times that I need to reach into those recesses and pull on the power that Goddess has placed inside of me. 

If you think about it, we are becoming more like tempered steel every day.  The heat that we endure with each circumstance we face….the strikes that every day life lands against us only sharpens and purifies us.  We are more powerful when we strike because of the processes we go through.

No, I haven’t endured what you have.  You haven’t been through the things I have.  I am not trying to one-up anyone.  All I am suggesting is that we each utilize those things in our lives that should knock us down for the count….show what we are actually made of and bounce back like the biggest mother-fucking ball you have ever seen. 

I have mentioned to you before…a circle of strong witches that I have come to know as family.  That circle grows more and more daily.  I am fortunate….I have a strong circle of witches (male and female) that surround me.  They call me on the carpet when it needs to be done.  I do the same with them.  I love them….I cherish them…..they stir up the fight in me daily.

When you find yourself surrounded in darkness….all you have to do is keep walking forward.  Eventually you are going to see the sun shining through…and I bet you find yourself even more battle-ready than you thought you could be.

Blessed Be!