Why Are People So Afraid of the Dark?

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This past week was a thought invoking week.  My brain has been mulling over so many things.  One of those things was the result of a wonderful new friend’s post on the Weathered Wiseman Facebook page.  She had simply posted, “I am thoroughly enjoying your blog!!  I found you on The Pagan Black Book.”  I responded by telling her that I couldn’t be more thrilled to hear this and I offered her blessings upon blessings.  Later in the comments, someone asked, “Are there dark blessings?  I didn’t know that.”  I didn’t think anything about the comment.  My response was, “Everything is a mix of dark and light.  It’s all about finding balance.  I don’t just work with the Dark Goddess.  I also work with Brigid, Cerridwen, Cernunnos…I always try to work in blessings.”

This made thoughts fly through my mind like snow flurries.  Why are people so afraid of the dark?  For that matter, why are they afraid of anything that they perceive  as dark?  Is it because the darkness is so mysterious?  Is it because darkness is seen as unpredictable?  In light, you can see everything that approaches you.  In darkness, you may hear what is coming, but you may not see it right away.

This morning I experienced the truth in that last statement.  Friz and I had gone to the woods early…before the sun came up.  It was dark.  The trees were very stark looking standing in front of me.  Add to this, the fact that I have horrible vision in the dark anyway.  I picked Friz up as a safety precaution.  I didn’t so much want to carelessly step on my dog.  We sat down next to one of the trees and I leaned back and closed my eyes.  As I sat there resting, I heard a rustling.  I shrugged it off.  I figured it was a cat, possum, a ground bird…everything that didn’t threaten or make me nervous.  I continued to sit there with my head back and my eyes closed.  I felt a hand on my shoulder.  I yelled.  My trusty guard dog barked after the fact because he recognized the scent attached to the hand.  It was only after I composed myself that I realized that I had picked Friz up and run quite a few feet.

As I composed myself, I realized that the Green Wizard and his ‘not such a puppy anymore’ pup was standing in front of me.  As I stood there breathing heavily, he apologized for scaring me…explaining that he thought that I had heard him.  I told him I did, but passed it off as being noise from an animal.  He leaned down and stroked Boomer and laughed saying that I was half right.

We settled down and I reached into my backpack and handed him a couple of sandwich bags that I had filled with biscuits.  I had intended to feed the birds and animals with them, but I would bring more back later and the Green Wizard looked like he needed them more at the moment.  I pulled my black candles out of the backpack along with my crow skull (I longed for simplicity this morning and what better for the dark part of the year and the dark moon).  As I lit the candles, the Green Wizard asked me, “Why black?” I explained to him that black was for protection and banishing any negative energies.  I told him that the crow skull was a representative of the Dark Goddess, the Morrigan.

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As we talked about the different attributes of the Morrigan, I explained that many people are afraid of her and that she is seen as a dark, harsh, killing force.  He smiled crookedly and said that people have a way of misconstruing things that don’t make sense to them.  He agreed that it was fear of the unknown.  I asked him if he saw me as a dark wizard.  He laughed out loud and told me that I was the farthest thing from it. He said that if nothing else, I was a very passionate wizard with very strong beliefs and convictions.  He went on to say that my practices fall back to the ways of the ancients as far as the herbs and roots I use and that the skulls and bones I use may make folks wonder, but that the honor I give to the animals and the protection and healing magick that I use would give evidence to the true nature of my heart.

I started to ponder the word ‘passionate.’  When we think of passion, we often think of something mysterious and brooding.  Does passion come from that ‘feel-good, love and light’ part of us?  No. It doesn’t.  Passion comes from a part of us that stirs deep inside of us…it is that part of our energy that can be unpredictable and sometimes untouchable.   Our passion tends to be something that we guard closely.  It is something that we don’t give away or show readily.  It comes from that hidden part of us.  If you were to ask someone what their passion is….first, they will hem and haw….then they will nervously giggle…then they will say quietly, “No….it’s stupid.”  We are leery of sharing that deep, hidden part of us with anyone.2014-11-22 15.15.46

 

I know that some people refer to this part of themselves as their ‘shadow-self.’ I remember a conversation some years back with a friend of mine.  He was just beginning to delve into that darker part of himself.  He was starting to see himself as he truly is…a mixture of light and dark.  It was after this soul journey that his passion became more a part of his everyday life and his business began to flourish.

Searching for your passion is not for the faint of heart…nor is it for the brainless.  Wars have been fought because of passion.  Men have died at the end of a sword controlled by passion.  Relationships have thrived and been broken to pieces because of passion.  On the other side of the coin, though, new world’s have been discovered because of passion. Lives have been saved because of passion.

A dark wizard?  No, I am definitely a combination of the two.  My passion?  Magick.  Completely and fully….I love watching energies swirl around me.  I thrive on seeing what the elements are capable of.  It gives me chills when I experience the Gods and Goddesses.  Am I afraid of my dark side?  Oh no….I have learned to embrace it and walk fully empowered by it and that part of me that calls to the light.

Here is a spell I concocted to stir that passion in all of us.  All you need is some hot red pepper jelly, some cream cheese and crackers.

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I start by taking out two of the crackers, spreading them with the cream cheese (a nice big dollop)….and then heaping that over with a nice spoonful of spicy hot red pepper jelly.  As they sit in front of me, I envision that part of me that I wish to access…that passion that I have kept hidden for so long:

Both hot and sweet, I call to you.

Stir in me what I’m to do.

Awaken passion deep inside…

No more to slumber or to hide.

Dark and Light I now embrace,

And with myself come face to face.

Heat and cool now intertwine.

A balanced life, now is mine.

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Blessed Be!

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You Can Blame It On the Moon…She Started It

 

 

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The pull of the full moon was strong this week.  I keep up with the phases of the moon on a regular basis, but this week, I could tell the full moon was powerful without the use of phases or almanacs or signs.  The moon revealed herself this week through nature…not nature as related to trees and the outdoor element, but through the nature of people.

Funny, the derivation of the word ‘Lunacy’ comes from the response of people’s spirit, nature, moods and energies to the moon phases.  “Moonstruck” is what this word meant in Latin.  I got a good strong taste of it this week.

Let me preface this by saying that I have had to implement some major lifestyle changes this week.  After a trip to the ER last weekend, I was told that if I didn’t put ‘healthier lifestyle choices’ into place, that my partner might be waking up next to a dead body sooner than later.  That was both a jolt and a slap in the back of the head at the same time.  Of course, my thought process on this was, “Ok, let’s do this.”  I didn’t give myself a choice….I didn’t look at other options…it just has to be done.

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Dieting can be stressful enough as it is, but when you have to allow for everyone else’s feelings and how they are responding to major changes, it can become even more stress inducing.  Tuesday night, my partner and I had a huge fight….about stupid things.  It boiled down to one thing, he was scared.  He wasn’t just scared about the fact that if I didn’t make changes, I wouldn’t be here long, he was scared of what was to come.  He has grown comfortable with me being heavy.  He has become used to my lethargy and lack of motivation.   Change can definitely be hard on the person that it directly affects, but it can also be a challenge for those indirectly affected too.

I normally try not to go to bed angry, but I did.  I stewed all day Wednesday.  When I got home from work Wednesday, I was still irked….perturbed.  As stood outside, I called on the wind.  Might have been just an eensy bit of a mistake….the elements do tend to feed off of our energies. The wind picked up and whipped and lashed and became cold quickly.  I didn’t have one bit of issue with that….it fit my mood.  Rather than go into the condo right away, I decided to walk into the woods.  I leaned against a tree…I sat down on the ground as my back rolled down the bark of the tree.  I knew I needed to release that anger.  It accomplished nothing…the argument was stupid.  It was an argument rooted in fear.  I utilized the power of the wind to blow that anger off of me.

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Did we make up?  Yes.  Was there understanding? Yes.  More than anything, though, it was about release….letting that energy flow out and away from us.

As I took Friz into the woods this morning, my mind raced.  This week was a week full of anniversaries of deaths, birthdays of those who have gone on, high energies and emotions.  As we settled down on the ground, I could feel the coolness of the earth beneath me.  The heartbeat is faint. The earthmother is in her death-sleep…waiting for spring.  Friz climbs into the circle inside my legs.  He curls in tight and looks up at me with sleepy eyes.  I rub under his cheek and leans into it and sighs deeply.  I start to rub his body with long sweeping strokes…breathing in and out deeply as I do.  His body completely relaxes…his trust for me is evident by the way his body feels against me.  It is much the same way I feel when I lean against a tree or lie against the ground.Spoolknitting silver thread and spool diy necklace

My friend Cindy said it best,

We together are a tapestry…but one silver thread connects the Goddess and you.  If it’s cut…all will unravel.  Enforce it tonight…make it strong.

In that moment in the woods, I realized that it was all about release.  As I released my own energy into the body and spirit of my little blue chihuahua, I felt his own energy meet mine.  Together…combined with that of the Goddess, the Earthmother…we felt the scales of emotion move into balance.  This morning was about my friend, my comrade and companion…who never seems to ask for anything.  His happiest moments come from just being close to me.  As we made our way back to the condo, I made a commitment…today would be about release.  I would pour my energy into those who needed it most.2014-04-13 19.23.21 HDR

 

We had planned last night to go today to the Atlanta Pet Expo.  It was a fun way to get to see other people’s animals and to see pet foods and products.  As we pulled into the parking lot, I could already feel the animals pulling on my energy.  As we walked, I would stop and talk to those dogs that seemed to call out to me.  We wandered through booth after booth…the newest cat litters, pet clothes, grain free dog foods… as we visited the booths and I stopped for the different pets, we could see the rescue areas in the distance.  I could feel the pull.

Years ago when I worked with holistic vet, I was trained and attuned in Reiki…I started the training focusing on humans, but my final trainings and attunements concentrated on animals.  I can and will do Reiki for humans, but would rather and feel more at ease working with animals.  As I rounded the corner of the first lot of rescue cages…I felt that little nudge…I could hear my inner voice telling me that now it was time for release….and so it started.  As I moved from cage to cage, from dog bed to cat bed, I performed Reiki on each one of the rescues I encountered.

The stresses and fears that sometimes our pets and familiars feel are sometimes enough to drive us crazy…not knowing how to fix those things.  The stresses and fears of those in limbo…shifted from foster home to foster home…waiting for that one person or family that will love and watch over you for the rest of your life…so many animals wound tighter than an overused wristwatch.

I slowly started to release my energy into them…one by one.  Sometimes the emotions that overtook me were overwhelming.  I left more than one animal with tears streaming down my face.  No.  I can’t save them all, but I can impart a bit of my own magick into them.  Many come into this world because of the carelessness and selfishness of us and then become throwaways.2014-11-08 22.47.16

I turned around to see a little chihuahua shivering in his kennel.  So much fear was present.  I had to start slow.  I rubbed his back through the bars.  He relaxed.  I rubbed more….he leaned back, sitting on his rear and eyes closed.  Then I took him out.  As I massaged and cuddled and poured into this little guy, he started making a low moaning sigh.  I finished and put him back into the kennel with a prayer that soon he would know the comfort of a lap and the warmth of sleeping next to someone who would love him completely.  With tears streaming, I silently wished I owned a farm where the leftovers could come and live…always surrounded in comfort, always surrounded in love.

When I look at the four leggeds and the winged ones…I always see them as the ones who held magick first.  I see them as the ones who don’t out grow it or stop believing.  The Goddess can communicate with them purely and without anything getting in the way.  2a71fcaecea94fe25e270662a93e0134

 

I make a commitment.  This commitment is the result of having loved several cats over my lifetime, an australian shepherd named Patches, and a little blue chihuahua.  As long as I am able to pour energy and love into any animal I come in contact with…each animal that meets my eye or sniffs my hand will know love, completely and fully, if only for the moment that we have together.

You can blame it on the moon.  She started it.

Blessed Be!

Corn-fed Crows and Resurrection from Rubble

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This afternoon, my partner and I drove past my dream home.  Yes, the picture above is that house.  I have driven by this house at least once a week for the ten years I have lived in Atlanta.  Up until now, it has remained there…in a certain state of disrepair.  For some reason, I thought it always would be there.  Nothing ever seemed to change.

I would stop by on a Saturday here and there to sneak peeks through the window.  You could see where the kitchen had been gutted.  There were leaves in the fireplace.  The small wooden porch in the back that had been enclosed was starting to crumble.  This was a house, that just by looking at it, you could tell it had a story to tell.

Today, when we drove by that crumbling little cottage that I had so many times, in my mind, refurbished and resurrected…we saw a ‘For Sale’ sign.  Not just a sign that noted that my little gray cottage was for sale, but that it was under contract.  I quickly texted my landlord to see what was happening.  He asked if I wanted to take a look inside of it, and of course, I jumped at the opportunity.

As we walked through each room, I could feel wonderful energy throughout the house.  The fireplace that, in my minds eye, I could see generations of families laughing in front of….the dining room, where I could visualize birthday parties and holiday meals…the attic, which was so huge and spacious and full of marvelous energy.  We walked through that gutted kitchen and I could feel the energy swirling around as decades before, meals had been prepared and canning jars lined the counters.SHORPY_8b30802a.preview

I have been in old houses where you could feel turmoil and anger….not this house.  This house had been a much loved home.  My landlord laid out the story of a little old man who had held onto his home….refused to sell it as long as he was alive.  A man, who fought with all he had to keep this little gray cottage, even in its disrepair, until the day he died just a little over a week ago.

As I walked up the permanent attic stairs, I could feel something surge through me.  This would have been my workshop of witchery.  Something that would well outshine what those girls from “Charmed” had.  I could visualize my book of shadows on a stand in the middle of a pentagram painted onto the floor.  I could see the walls lined with bookshelves filled with all of my ‘witchy’ books and all manner of herbs and magickal accoutrements.

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As we finished our walk-through, my landlord broke the news to me.  Not only was the house under contract, but the house was being torn down.  It was bought for the land and the promise of a brand new, generic looking, cookie cutter monstrosity being plopped down over the space where this wonderful cottage stood.  I went into mourning for the rest of the afternoon…until a beautiful friend suggested harvesting some bricks (with the new owner’s permission) for garden work…I could also use it to make brick dust.

Of course, I can see how everything in life orders itself.  This morning, Friz and I decided to walk a path that we haven’t traveled in a while.  We headed out toward the pond. As we got closer, Friz’s tail starts rotating wildly.  If it could have propelled him hard enough, he would have left the ground.  I looked up and in the distance saw a familiar mutt loping toward us.  Friz couldn’t stand it….he wanted to play.  I have to admit, too, that my heart skipped a beat or two in excitement.  I questioningly called out, “Calliope?”  The dogs tongue lolled out of her mouth and she ran harder toward us.  When she reached us, she danced around my legs and Friz danced along with her.

We walked along the path that had been created by so many of mine and Friz’s journeys before.  As we arrived at the edge of the pond, we moved closer to the trees that dotted the landscape.  Leaning against the one that Friz and I normally shared was the Green Wizard.  He was reaching into his pocket pulling out handfuls of something and throwing it toward a murder of crows scavenging the grass.  As I got closer, he stopped what he was doing and stood to his feet.  A smile came to his face as he said, “Good morning, Weathered Wiseman.”  I smiled and chuckled, “Good morning, Green Wizard.”

I explained to him that I wasn’t sure that I would ever be seeing him again.  He looked at me with a seriousness about himself and told me that he had thought the same thing, but had felt that our time together was not quite finished.  We both sat down in the grass….the talk came so easy…as if we had known each other for centuries.  We talked of the coming Blood Moon and the energy that would be available at that time.  We talked about the closeness of Beltane and our mutual love for the sleek black gravelly voiced birds that surrounded us.  We laughed and talked about our love for the fur people and feathered ones and any other manner of critter.qri-17a

 

I asked him what he had been feeding the crows.  He pulled his hand out of his pocket and opened it to reveal many golden kernels of corn.  I asked him where he had gotten it.  He told me that there was a huge pile of it under a few trees a ways back….then I remembered the neighbor who likes to feed the squirrels.  More than once, I have seen Friz look up at me with yellow crumbs around his mouth from foraging and finding her huge piles of corn….and of course, the plethora of poop that followed.  I was amazed at the number of crows withing walking distance of us.  They were having the most wonderful time.  They were cawing back and forth…moving non-stop.

The Green Wizard turned to me again and with a more-than-serious face asked, “Why aren’t you afraid of me?  Why don’t you rush in another direction when you see me…the way your neighbors do?”  I answered truthfully, “I am not threatened by you.  I see nothing to fear.  I feel a kinship….and my dog likes you.”  Right then, as if on cue, Friz stretches and pushes his back feet against the Green Wizard.  He laughed and told me that was the reason he trusted me….his dog liked me.  I told him that I learned a long time ago not to judge based on differences.

I was actually able to look into his eyes at that moment.  There, staring back at me through damage inflicted by the elements, was a softness.  Such kindness and truth like I had never seen, looked right into my spirit.  I don’t give into that type of vulnerability often.  I keep myself shielded until someone proves their authenticity to me.

He smiled and said to me, “Weathered Wiseman, the coming moon brings so much to you.  You need to take your time with her.  Woo her. Sit with her and talk to her.  She is the key to all that you have set into motion.”  I sat there with my mouth gaped open.   I am amazed that such wisdom comes out of someone so young.  I am then reminded that even though he is young, he has been seasoned well by wind, water, earth and the fire of the sun.  7521dfb1e888171f287d63e396bc5b9f-d5kdtom

It was then that he said something to me that I knew beyond knowing.  He told me that we had known each other in other lives.  We had been connected many times before and we would be connected many times more.  I know where the connection lies and I feel he does too, but we quietly sit and enjoy the sounds of the dogs snoring and grunting.  He leans his head back to rest and I do the same.  All I can think is that this is a man who seems to have nothing other than his dog….but yet, not once has he ever asked me for anything.  I get up and tell him that Friz and I will be right back.  I go to the condo and make an egg and cheese sandwich with a travel mug of milk.  I bag up a big portion of Friz’s kibble for Calliope.

I walk back down to the pond and he is standing up.  I hand him the sandwich and he thanks me.  He eats it slowly….savoring every bite.  The reaction I didn’t expect was the one I got when I handed him the dog food.  He choked on the words as he thanked me and scooped his hand into the bag.  He talked to Calliope sweetly and tenderly as he fed her from his hand.  She, too, seemed to savor every bite.

We said our good-byes.  I don’t know if today is the last time we see each other in this life or whether I will see him again next week.  All I know is that I have learned valuable lessons in perception this week.

Never look at anything the way those around you expect you to.  Always look upon someone or something with a heart of magick, vulnerability, truth and love.  It is in those moments that you will see that person or thing for what it truly is.

Today…I am awe-struck.  I am humbled.  I have possibly spent time with the greatest wizard in the world.  He lives his life simply and with great humility and love.  I have witnessed some of the most powerful magick that exists.

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You Better Work It…

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I have been reading about the New Moon coming up on January 30th.  They call it the “Black Moon.”  It is the second New Moon in the month of January.  It is an omen of change and during this moon, hidden truths are brought to the surface.  It is in the midst of this “Black Moon” that I will be moving into another phase of my life.  I am leaving behind my work at the animal clinic and moving back into corporate work.

Am I sad in this transition?  Maybe I should be.  Am I?  No, not at all.  This is a time of celebration for me.  It is time to move past a time of oppression and stagnancy into a time of joy and forward movement.  This change has been a long time in coming.  I have done ritual after ritual devoted to this change…..friends have dedicated ritual after ritual to the same purpose.  It has not been an easy road, but finally I am able to see the manifestation of months and months of magick and hard work.

Work?  Yes, work.  Any real witch will tell you that magick takes work….and dedication….and purpose.  Most folks are used to seeing what is represented on television as far as the Craft goes.  While I love the fantasy that most of those shows represent….the Samantha Stevens, the Endoras, the Charmed Ones, and the newer Witches of East End….we all know that instant gratification is a rarity in the Craft.

I remember the first “spell” I ever cast….*note I used cast here and not ‘the first spell I ever worked.’  Being a new witchling, I stood in front of my altar and waved my hands like a fool and uttered something that I thought was magickal  and waited to see the puff of smoke and the explosion of glitter….or even the little ‘tinkle, tinkle’ sound I heard on “Bewitched” whenever a spell was cast.  Nothing.  I was devastated.  Of course, I had not studied under anyone or with anyone…I knew nothing about the elements, directions, herbs, intention….not one thing.  I only knew what I had seen on television.  All I could hear in my head was the sounds of large tongues blowing raspberries.

Now some folks would have probably given up after casting with no sparks, bells or whistles.  Not me.  I was determined to find out why it didn’t work.  I began to devour books on the Craft.  Some of the first ones I got my hands on were Scott Cunningham’s books.  I was transported to a world of magick I had no idea existed.  Then one day, when I was browsing in the ‘occult’ section at a local bookstore, I was invited to a local coven to take part in their program for initiates.  I enjoyed much of the teachings and the natural setting.  I settled in there for a time and then realized that the path they were on wasn’t the path calling to me.

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That was the one thing that I enjoyed so much about the Craft.  There was no one path for everyone.  There were so many directions one could pursue.  No matter which path I was interested in, I found that it still entailed work.  There were still so many things to learn….how to send energy without depleting your own energy stores…how to charge crystals, candles, etc…how to pour yourself into the workings of the magick and how to ground yourself before, during and after so that you didn’t become one big ole quivery jello witch.

The biggest things that I personally had to learn was how to listen to and utilize and trust my intuition  and how to purpose my own intent.  I compare it to a baby learning how to talk.  It surfaced on its own….at first it was clumsy and broken and hard to understand, but the more I practiced; the more I worked….it flowed better…it became second nature.  I still work and practice on a daily basis….there is no room for laziness.

As I continued to grow in the Craft, there were other adventures that were opened to me.  I had always heard other witches refer to spirit animals.  I thought that it was a wonderful thought….having the spirits of animals at your beck and call.  Again, I got every book I could find on the subject and read and re-read.  I talked to my grandma about the Native approach to spirit animals…then I began the work….the constant vigil of observation, the energy work.  I will never forget the day the first manifestation came.  I was lying in the dirt…my mind lost in thought about my spirit animal.  I closed my eyes and focused my energy.  It was in that moment that I heard that lovely, melodic scream of the crow.  I looked up and there she perched on an old fence post.  In that same week, wolf came to me in my dreams….again, after a time of focus and intent.   The work had been worth the end result.

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This morning, I went to the woods.  This morning, there was no little blue chihuahua to be seen…he was allowed to sleep in.  This morning, no calico kitten showed up.  In my backpack were the usual tools…my skulls, candles, incense, matches.  This morning, more offerings were carried than normal.  This morning was a morning of gratitude.  The directions were called upon….the elements invited…Mama Crow and Wolf took their places.  Candles were lit, incense was burned.  Notes of gratitude and adoration were written on flying paper to all involved in the magick that was manifested.  The notes were carefully twisted and set on fire.  I watched as they flew into the air and disintegrated into the breeze….the wind carrying the magick forth.  I cracked an egg onto the ground for the animal spirits to devour.  I poured milk, honey and wine into the earth in gratitude to elementals and any other spirits involved.  For the lady herself, a small bouquet of dried flowers….grain and corn rounded out the offerings for the Horned One.

Was the work finished?  Only for this phase of the magick….it continues every day.  I have found through my studies and experiences that magick is a living being.  It is constantly moving and changing…just as we should be.  So it is because of magick that a 47 year old witch is now embarking on a brand new adventure.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Blessed Be!

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

The Lost Boys

 

2013-06-13 11.04.28This week I have wanted time outside more than any other.  I know that most folk, when the weather starts to chill and the wind picks up, want to cuddle up inside with a blanket and hot cocoa.  It is with that briskness and bite in the air that I want to wander….I hunger for exploration and romping.  It is like that primal animal part of me kicks in and has to get outside.

I have done so much people watching in the past few days.  I have noticed that many people are afraid of themselves.  We have learned to hide behind facades in our lives.  I have watched many, this week, smile sweetly and feign pleasantries when it was so very evident that they wanted to scream and cry and run.  It has become second nature anymore for humankind to pretend that life isn’t there and that we don’t have to deal with anything…..after all, no one wants to hear it, right?

It seems, this week, that so many people have crossed my path….men particularly, who have become adept at blending into the background or becoming invisible.  I have met fellows who have taken a part of themselves….the part that doesn’t seem to fit with what society expects of them and bury them.  I mean, bury them deep….so deep that you might need a jackhammer and dynamite to unearth those pieces of themselves.

These men, I have found, have powerful magick.  Most of the time, as they grow in their abilities, they encounter some part of themselves that society has deemed inappropriate.   I know that in my own life, it was that very essence of my spirit that I have come to know as “Wolf.”  In many Native American traditions, wolf appears to you only when you have requested the tribe’s greatest teacher.  Wolf teaches you who you are and teaches you to develop strength and confidence so that you don’t have to constantly prove yourself.  Wolf brings forth the teacher in us and guards us fiercely. 2013-11-09 22.26.48

In my own life, fear of punishment for those things which “weren’t right or permissible” was what brought wolf energy into my life.  I was always told that it was wrong to be the way I am….you can use any scenario you want there….for being gay, for having certain ‘special’ abilities(talking to animals), or for just being ‘artsy,’ as my uncle called it.  When Wolf stepped in, he stepped in strongly and confidently and has been teaching me ever since how to live by my own inner guidance and not get stuck in the safety of a well-worn path.  Wolf teaches you to listen and communicate with the other animals through body language or that long soulful howl.

In my encounters with men from many different walks of life this week, Wolf has again stepped in strongly and confidently.  In my mind and with the help of a friend and ally,  I have formulated a name for these men….”The Lost Boys.”  With each of these men, spirit has been calling and calling hard.  They have been listening….and with each instance, they are being called to a truer existence.  Some have been called to abandon pre-existing ways of thinking about themselves and spirit.  Some have been called to leave hurt and distrustfulness behind.  Others have been called to abandon the cage of what society thinks and run toward the primal part of themselves that pulls its head back, opens its mouth and releases that roar that has been building inside their own spirit for years.

I have learned, over the years, that when it comes to releasing our inhibitions and opening our spirits to be guided….we can be our own worst enemies.  We go…..but we go kicking and screaming.  We walk the familiar paths with weapon in hand, ready to attack anything that doesn’t look familiar.  We forget that it is in leaving the familiar path that brings adventure.  I remember a quote by Rita Mae Brown. “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”   That is what makes us the lost boys.  Men….even gay men, are notorious for not asking for directions.

In magick, we are given guides…whether it be ancestors, animals, angels or gods and goddesses.  Too much, we like to go it alone.  For some reason, we have come to think that makes us tougher, stronger, more powerful.  It is one thing to be solitary….it is completely different to become isolated.  Wolf travels in packs, but may not always stay with the pack.  Wolf likes loyalty, but also thrives on freedom.  Wolf does not follow a prescribed trail.  He weaves in and out of trees, moving on and off paths and trails and across long stretches of land.

It is in this season….the season when darkness begins, that if I listen closely, I can hear that strong heartbeat of the Earth Mother.  Some may hear it as drumming….music.  That heartbeat is calling to that part of my spirit that hears it strongly and clearly.  There is that primal part of me that connects with every part of the Earth Mother and the fur people and the feathered people and the finned people.  It is like the energy of the buck seeking out that female….that musky strong rutting energy that courses through each of us….that part of us that seeks out nourishment to store up until spring.  My spirit hungers for so much more than the mundane that I encounter each morning……I release myself….I let my spirit run.  I open myself to the teachings of the guides I was given.

You see, I never really was lost.  I was forging a new trail.  My nose was to the wind the whole time…I just never saw what was happening inside of me.  Now I know…..it was all about the magick.  I opened myself up to what my spirit hungered for….what I starved for, and there it stood…right in front of me.  I only had to reach out and take it.2013-11-10 00.14.01

 

Blessed Be!

The Song of the Sea Witch

2013-09-24 16.54.56This past Friday, my partner and I packed the car and travelled with seven friends and disappeared into the sand and waves of St. Simon’s Island.  This was a much needed vacation and I had not been to the ocean in eight or more years.  The drive was uneventful and I slept most of the way.  When we arrived a little after three, I could smell that warm salty air…it was calling me.  We hadn’t even unloaded the cars before we all were shedding our shoes, rolling up our pants and running through the sand.

My partner and I quickly waded through the pool of standing water to get to the little wedge of sand just over the horizon.  I watched as my partner took on a child-like wonder as he saw crabs scurrying into holes and minnow-sized fish jumping in and out of the puddles.  The beach was fairly empty so we took hands and walked along the shore in the sunlight…amazed at the beauty that lay right there at our feet.

We all reconvened at the house, made dinner and then relaxed with a glass of wine.  Most everyone in the house knew when we got there that day that I had a little surprise for my partner.  I asked him if he would join me for a walk on the beach just a little before midnight.  We walked just below the house to a log that I had seen earlier that day.  I was completely nervous and breathing heavy.  He asked what was wrong and we sat down on the log to rest.  At that point, I pulled a wooden box from my pocket, opened it…exposing a basic silver band, and asked him if he would be willing to share the rest of our lives together.  He grabbed me with both arms and whispered yes into my ear.

2013-09-24 16.57.30Afterwards, it was a scene from “Steel Magnolias” with a bunch of gay men running through the house.  I had to laugh.  We are all pretty much like family to one another anyway, so for the excitement and toasting to be rather boisterous was not surprising.

The next morning, I got up early.  The sky was in that place just between dark and light….the soft gray that comes before sunrise.  I sat down on that same log my partner and I had shared the night before….it seemed as though it was charged with as much love and peace as anything could be.  As I cradled my coffee in my hands, I thought about how different my life was becoming and where I had visualized myself at the age I am.  I think I had always thought that I would be quite the different person.  I had always fancied myself someone not so settled.  I have always lived my life with the philosophy that I didn’t want to be sitting around at 80 years old saying ‘I wish I had,’ but instead saying, ‘Damn, what a ride!’  I had always wanted to be so much more than the person who sits around watching the dark hair turn white.

2013-09-24 16.55.45As I watched the sun begin to push its way through the clouds, I realized that I am exactly where I want to be for the time that is.  I have very few regrets…I have always lived my life to the fullest.  I have been all those things I mentioned above and then some.  I closed my eyes and listened to the voice of the sea.  She is constantly moving…constantly changing yet she never changes her position.  I could smell the movement in her….that fresh salty scent that overtakes your soul.  My heart was quickened by the breeze around me.  If I had hair, I would have flipped it through the breeze with joy…instead, I settled for feeling the rush through my chest hairs.  I could feel her magick all around me.  It is no wonder we hear so many stories of sirens by the sea…..her allure is very powerful.

As I sat there lost in the mists of contemplation, I feel a hand softly placed on my shoulder.  I knew who it was the moment it came to rest on me.  I looked up to see my partner smiling down at me….he had a look of peace and contentment about him…..it positively radiated from him.  My mind could only think that where I am now is exactly where I should be.  It made me realize that we humans have forgotten how to be content and how to live in the moment…..we are too worried about the things that could happen that we sometimes forget to look at the things that are happening.

2013-09-24 16.54.06We spent a lot of time enjoying the day that Saturday.  We visited the pier (where we were surrounded by blackbirds that I nicknamed ‘sea-crows’) and shopped in town and walked quite a bit.  When we got back to the house, my partner and I prepared a low country boil for dinner.  We all gorged ourselves until we couldn’t hold anymore.

2013-09-24 16.52.46The group of guys we were with had told me that they wanted to be a part of the ritual that I was planning by the ocean for the Fall Equinox.  I had told them earlier in the day to find one seashell that ‘spoke’ to them and to think of something in their lives that they wanted to set in motion.  When we all got to the beach, I explained what would take place as far as creating a circle….inviting the elements….acknowledging the Lord and Lady.  Everyone was reverent and excited.  I handed each one a feather and a small container of food coloring and told them to write inside or on the seashell they collected that ‘thing’ they wanted to set into motion and put it down at their feet.   I told them to visualize that ‘thing’ coming to pass.  We talked and laughed and acknowledged all the good things in our lives.  I thanked the Lord and Lady and the elements and opened the circle……we returned to the house to eat and drink with some couples lingering behind for their own midnight beach stroll.

The next morning, we walked to the beach at sunrise to find our shells gone….swept out into the depths of the ocean by the waves.  I encouraged each person to now visualize their dream becoming fluid….moving into reality.  As we closed the morning time together, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that a small dog came bounding up to us.  The spirit of wolf and crow will find me wherever I go.

I think, though, that we all came to realize one thing.  Your dreams will only go as far as you are willing to take them.

2013-09-24 16.53.26Blessed Be!