Magick with a “K”

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Blessings my dear friends.  Blessings.

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Transitioning Back Into the Magick Within Us

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Tonight is two nights after Samhain.  This year, Samhain brought in cold and howling winds and rain.  As I communed with my ancestors, I listened intently as the wind hammered against the side of the condo.  The trees whipped back and forth.  One could feel the cold prying its fingers in through the window sills.  It reminded me of an old quote from Mary Poppins,

Winds from the East…Mist coming in

Like something’s a brewing, about to begin

Can’t put my finger on what lies in store…

But I feel what’s to happen, all happened before!

In the new year that is coming upon us, it seems that my theme is to be slowing down.  I am one of those people who, if not careful, will allow myself to become a frenzy of work and home life and everything else in between.  Most of my life is lived at full tilt…just like most other people.  Ever have those weeks when magick can become an afterthought?

I love the quote at the start of the blog.  We let life on a daily basis push magick away from us.  We let circumstances and emotions push the magick all the way to the back of our minds.  Then when everything else seems exhausted, we think, “Oh yeah, I am a witch.”  Shall I raise my hands, wave them about and scream ‘Guilty’ at the top of my lungs?

Last week, I spent the majority of my time nursing a sprained ankle.  Last night, I ended up in the emergency room because when I drifted off to sleep, moments later I would awaken myself gasping for air.  I amaze myself sometimes.  I am the first to send healing, Reiki, or any other magick to anyone else…but I tend to lose my brain and any magickal abilities when it comes to myself.  Thinking back on it…if I had just stopped, calmed myself and done some Reiki and magick combined, I would have been fine.

Well, the diagnosis came back just as me and the doctor suspected.  I am fat.  I am sedentary.  I don’t exercise enough.  His solution?  Lose weight.  Exercise…walk.  Get outside more.  I laughed out loud.  My medically, scientific minded doctor was telling this nature-loving witch that he needs to be outside more.  He asked if I had a dog that I could take on long walks in the brisker fall air.  I told him I did and that we normally take short morning walks.  He asked my habits.  After reluctantly admitting that I am mostly a couch potato, my doctor looked at me, laughed out loud and said matter-of-factly, “You have become far to domesticated.”

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Domesticated?  I became a bit indignant.  I have always considered myself a bit of a wild man.  I am not like the ones in the earlier quote.  I am not domesticated.  After I pushed past my hurt feelings, I started thinking to myself…”When was the last time you ran through the woods or outside?  When is the last time you were able without gasping for air?  When is the last time you let a youthful sparkle shine from your eyes?  When was the last time that child-like wonder escaped from you with the sharp intake of breath that comes from seeing magick happen up close and personal?”

After arriving back home, I sat and thought about a game plan.  The doctor and I agreed that organic, healthy eating habits would be best.  Lean proteins, lots of green leafy veggies and plenty of fruits and nuts would help to get my body functioning more normally.  Exercise…such an ugly word.  Thankfully we are heading into the darker months of the year…this time of year is an energizer for me.  I function better in briskness and cool.  Mine and Friz’s walks are going to have to become longer….he will be more than happy.  He pulls constantly when we walk…as if he knows that I need to expend more energy…as if urging me to move more.

My dear friend Cindy posted a photo on her Facebook page.  This photo said, “November s the month of transformation.  It is time to prepare for the coming winter and a time to strengthen communication.”  My preparation is to be more brisk walks….music that inspires magick penetrating my headphones…a chihuahua for motivation…and healthy, delicious foods.  It is time for re-teaching.  It is time to listen to the heart of the Morrigan…there is a battle waging inside me now.  It is up to me.  I want to encourage that wild part of my spirit to surface…that heart of wolf who runs with the wind…that heart of crow who flies higher and higher.  2014-11-02 15.33.57

As the earth goes to sleep, it is my time to listen to my body, my heart and my spirit.  I sat in the woods this morning huddled in my cloak, Friz tucked underneath with my personal sized Book of Shadows in my hands (it is kind of like my ‘spells on the go’ book).  I am sitting there trying to write a spell to accomplish what I want accomplished.  Maybe it was writer’s block…maybe I was thinking too hard.  I decided to take a hint from my most magickal little blue dog.  I raised my head, nose to the wind.  I could smell the leaves around me….the cold tickled my nose.  It was exhilarating!

Leaves swirl around me with abandoned delight…

My breath hangs in front of me here in my sight.

As the earth darkens around me, seeds of growth sown

New beginnings, new disciplines, a new heart will be shown.

Magickal workings encompass me round…

I listen and act so that blessings abound.

My body and mind and my spirit align…

Victory, health and prosperity are mine.

By word and action and now by deed,

As I will, so mote it be.

As if on cue, I hear Mama Crow behind me.  I look up and there she sits, looking down at me.  She offers that guidance I seek.  She flies.   Reminding me that I need to always remember to do the same.  Friz and I head back home, we wrap ourselves in a blanket on the sofa and ‘rest our eyes.’

Later today I read my dear Maluna’s posting:

Man changes our clocks.  Animals and some of us listen to our bodies….never mind human reasoning…it is what it is….Moon up…leaves down…I look at the positive….more time to see and spend with the silver globe of light….Full moon this week….work for healings, positive change for some….with the swirl of the holidays upon us…the temptations of wondrous delicacies…it’s time to take charge of your body…your eating habits….. bundle up and get outside…walk, yoga, dance…clean house…(yes it burns calories)….incorporate fruits and veggies in your diet of comfort food…and yesssss we all want the hearty, heavy creamy stuff….just balance with nutrition also. Excellent few days to put this program into motion…many depend on you…be healthy, for yourself…and those who love you! Now….go dance under that glorious moon…she’ll always dance along with you! BB

 

So here we go!  Blessed Be!

 

 

 

 

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The Gift of Magick

0e381d066b5dd51d017787b16f3eccacYesterday was a day of peace.  Yesterday was a day of renewal. Yesterday was a day of gifts.Yesterday was a day of being a part of all four elements and drinking in the wonder of nature all around me.

The day actually started off rather dismally.  I had gotten so little sleep the night before that I finally just got out of bed at 5am, fed the dogs, put Bella back to bed, and took Friz outside for our weekend witchy time. This morning, I felt the pull of the pond, so Friz and I leisurely walked in that direction.The sky was still a mixture of dark and light (a theme I am honestly getting used to and comfortable with in my own path). As we got closer to the pond, I squinted in disbelief.  I saw a figure in a cloak sitting on a stump close to the water.  Next to the figure was a dog…an all too familiar dog. Friz couldn’t stand it…he had to be near them…and I have to admit, my excitement was hard to contain too.

As we got closer, both the Green Wizard and Calliope turned to greet us. He had a broad genuine smile on his face and her whole body wagged.  It is hard for me to put into words what these small magickal visits do for me. It is almost as if I have a chance to spend fleeting moments with someone who transcends time.The green wizard

“Good Morning, Weathered Wiseman.  We had hoped that we would see you this morning.”  I answered his good morning and sat down in the grass.  Calliope rolled over onto her back with her tongue hanging as far out as it could go.  Friz, being the gentleman that he is, took that opportunity to pounce into the middle of her stomach.  She didn’t flinch.  She only licked him on the top of his head.  “Today is a day of gifts for you, Weathered Wiseman.”  He reached down beside him and brought out a walking stick…but not just a walking stick.  The textures and the feel of it were incredible. The color was rich.  My mouth fell open and I heard him chuckle, “Do you like it?”  ‘Like it’ wouldn’t do justice to what this gift meant.  I stammered, “Oh, you shouldn’t…”  He said, “No…don’t say it.  A gift should never come with a ‘you shouldn’t have.’  When a gift is given, it means only that the person giving it recognized that you needed it.”  I thanked him and told him how much I appreciated the walking stick and then we continued our conversation.2014-05-03 22.07.05

As we talked, he told me that he enjoyed this time of year most.  He explained that this was the time of year that all four elements seem to be most comfortable.  It is this time of year that he is able to feel the strength and peace of God, Goddess, and all manner of animal spirit.  It is in this time of year that his heart melds more with the heartbeat of the earth.  As the sunlight overtook the sky, I could feel myself getting sleepy.  I closed my eyes.  I heard him say, “Rest, Weathered Wiseman, rest.”  When I awoke, I shouldn’t have been surprised to see that the Green Wizard was gone.  He is always in and out with the breeze. I looked at the time on my phone and picked Friz up and ran back to the condo.  I had exactly 30 minutes to be ready to go hiking on Red Top Mountain with my roommate and a friend.2014-05-03 12.01.51 HDR

 

I haven’t been hiking in ages…and yes, it is murder on the body…especially when you don’t realize that you have aged a bit since that last time and your body is completely out of shape. I had the walking stick that the Green Wizard gave me….and thank goodness, too.   Without that walking stick, I would have surely been dragging myself through the trails and ferns.  The one thing that amazed me was the fact that I breathed so much easier on that mountain.  Here at home, I wheeze and gurgle…a combined effect of fat, age, apnea, reflux and smog.  As I walked among the trees, I listened to myself.  Was I out of breath?  Yes.  Was there wheezing and gurgling?  To my amazement, no.

We hiked over hills and through trees.  We observed all manner of wildlife.  As we turned at one part of the trail, we all saw this giant crow.  Our friend mentioned that he had never seen a crow that big.  My roommate chuckled and said, “It’s his fault.  They follow him everywhere.”  Then he turned to me and said, “Don’t call it to us….that thing is as big as a dog.”  I laughed and told him that I have no control over whether or not he follows us, so he just needed to make sure he played nice.2014-05-03 12.14.04 HDR

As we climbed the hills on the trail, it was evident that the lake was coming into view more.  I asked the guys if we could go sit by the water for just a while.  They agreed and we made our way down a trail to the edge of the lake.  Both of the guys with me know that I am a witch…so there is no surprise when I start picking up sticks to make wands out of. But imagine the surprise on their faces when I open up my backpack and pull out candles and skulls and crystals and my own wand.  I had to laugh out loud at the looks on their faces.  “Are you going to do spells here?”  “Well, I really hadn’t given it much thought.  Do you think I should?”  I looked at them with a sideways grin and set everything up.  They went about their business for a little while (taking selfies against the backdrop of trees and water), then they came over to me and asked what I was doing.  “I am quietly enjoying nature and the elements around me.  I am giving thanks for this time with yáll and the heartbeat of the earth beneath our feet.” They quietly sat down on each side of me, closed their eyes and began to breathe slowly.  I looked up at one point to see each of them staring at my wand….so I looked around me and found two sticks that I had collected.  I handed each one and told them that this was a tool that I used to focus intention.  They placed them in their laps the way I had mine and closed their eyes again.  I could feel that wonderful peacefulness washing over all of us.  For those moments that we sat there enveloped in all four of the elements at once….we were concealed in peace and tranquility.  Nothing existed that would cause worry, pain, confusion….only calm.  At that moment, I explained to them that I liked to whisper the names of those close to me into the wind….offering them blessings.2014-05-03 12.10.55 HDR

 

It is in these moments of sharing that I see how truly strong the power of magick is.  It isn’t about becoming all powerful.  It isn’t about knowing or being more than someone else.  It isn’t about ‘see what I can do and you can’t.’ It is about showing others the magick around us and letting them know that they have access to it too.  It takes one simple thing:  Belief.

As we continued to walk the trails, I would point out areas that looked like little fairy mounds….covered in moss and flowers. It wasn’t long before we were all pointing them out to each other.  Yesterday was about allowing everything bothersome to wash away and allowing ourselves to turn our faces to the sun, feel the breeze against our skin, hear the sound of the water around us, and feel the earth beneath our feet…but more than that, to experience joy and laughter and peace.nature worship

Sometimes we just need to lose ourselves in the magick around us forget what the world expects of us.  The brothers and sisters I have in the Craft are a giving group.  When something calls to us for someone…we listen…whether it be a stone, wand, candle, or time.  It is always the perfect gift at the perfect time.

Do yourself a favor this week.  Give someone the gift of magick.  Both of you will benefit from it.

Blessed Be!

The Things We Search For Were Really Never Lost

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I have pushed myself so hard this week.  I have always been my harshest critic.  I can’t perform any less than 110% when it comes to anything.  Most would say that this comes from a childhood of always feeling as though I had to compete for approval. Not true.  My grandmothers made sure that I was made to feel important no matter what.  They were the foundation of my strength of heart…they always told me that there was something inside of me that no one else would ever be able to possess or take away from me.

Normally, when I would have a week like this one has been, I would be able to call either one or both of my grandmas and the sound of their voices would bring peace.  Their voices…I never thought I would have to learn to live without those voices.

It was in the midst of this week that I found my mind…my body….my very heart and spirit craving the elements around me.  There is a large maple tree just outside of our courtyard wall.  On Wednesday afternoon, I got home at the regular time….I could feel the weight of pushing myself exhausting me.  I stopped.  Only for a moment and leaned against that large old maple tree.  It was as if I could hear the voices of my grandmothers whispering in my ears again.

Once I had gotten inside and changed out of business casual into backyard grunge, I went back into the courtyard and started digging in the dirt….just to get that cool damp feeling on my hands…that connection to the Great Mother.2014-03-26 22.37.11

 

Friday I craved contact with water…..it was as if all day long I could not get enough water into my system.  I drank water non-stop.  It was rainy most of the day here….there was a part of me that did not want to come inside.  I hungered to be out among the rain drops…feeling the rhythm against me and around me.  Again, when I got home from work, I stood in the midst of a short rain shower….feeling it wash me from head to toe.  I could feel the rush and pressure from the week washing away as each drop caressed me.  I sat in the middle of the courtyard…smelling each plant as it soaked in the nourishment.

The rain continued into the morning today.  I took a clue from Friz and spent more time smelling the air and enjoying the clean feeling that only rain water can bring.  I wore a tshirt and shorts out and walked barefoot in the mud.  Sometimes, it is just being able to feel the wet earth under my feet that keep me grounded.

2014-03-26 22.37.04This afternoon, my time with wind came.  We had just gotten back from the grocery store (where a crow perched on the shopping cart beside the car….scared my partner to death).  As we were getting out of the car in front of the condo, a strong cool wind came up.  My partner mentioned that it got really cool quickly and the wind was so strong.  He ran inside with the groceries, but there I stood in the courtyard with my arms spread like I was ready to take flight.  I believe if I had concentrated hard enough, I may have gotten lift off….and damn! My besom was inside.  I could hear the throaty laugh of Mama Crow in the branches above me.  She sensed my joy in the breeze.  She sensed my hunger to be a part of air.

2014-03-26 22.37.01 I could not leave my old friend fire out of the circle.  Tonight, just before sunset, I went to the woods with my smaller cauldron.  I sat down in the cool leaves and put my altar in place.  I brought some dry leaves with me and set them to smolder in the cauldron along with some sticks and incense.  I watched as the fire danced in front of me.  Something about watching those red-orange flames burning away the deadness of the sticks and leaves leapt into my spirit.  I stood and danced with the flame.  Sometimes I have to abandon all feelings of ‘what if someone sees me’ and just do what my spirit is compelled to do…..it is the most freeing experience that I could ever describe.  Too often we become bound up in what is proper and what is ‘normal’ that we forget that freedom that magick brings…and the relationship to the masculine and feminine divine.

I had a wonderful dream last night.  I was trekking through the mountains.  The air was cool.  The sun was shining all around.  There were a few other people there that I knew.  I remember meeting my old friend wolf in a grassy field.  We wrestled and tumbled.  I laughed until my stomach hurt.  I went into the small log cabin with wolf at my side.  In the cabin was a dark haired, dark eyed woman….a witch of Nordic descent.  I knew this woman and I knew her well.  She was extremely gifted in psychic abilities and divination with candles.  I remember after laughing and talking to her, going to a cabinet to get the candles out.  As I looked at each candle, runes appeared on the bottoms of each.  I remember that I could read them very clearly.  One, in particular, carried the words, “There has been a path forged before you by the ancients.”  It essentially told me that the path I am on… I am not to venture off of.

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As I think back on it….a friend brought it up tonight, the woman in my dream was a part of me.  It is the part of me that I still search for…the part of me that I enjoy the company of, but haven’t entirely embraced.  Maybe now is the time.

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!

Howling at the Moon…

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It seems that this week has been the week of secrets. At work, I have been told things that I am not to share with another living soul. Co-workers have corralled me and told me things that I am supposed to guard with my life. Our roommate has told me things this week that I am to take with me to my grave. Even my partner has started sentences this week with the phrase, “now don’t tell anyone.” I completely hate this. Anyone who truly knows me, knows that I cannot lie to save myself. Whenever I try to divert attention from a subject or even try a half-truth…..my face, my body language….everything about me gives me away. I turn blood red. I stammer and stutter. I fidget. So why have I suddenly become the keeper of secrets?!?

This week has also been a week of constant change. Little things inside of me. I shared a while back that I had a small tumor that showed up just to the left of my right pectoral muscle. I had it biopsied and it turned up to be a fatty lipoma. Well, not long afterward, a friend shared a bit of information that she had accessed months ago. She had heard that Agaricus Blazei (mushroom) was good for getting rid of tumors. I ordered some right then….didn’t question it. Well, the good news is that the fatty tumor has been shrinking more and more each week that I take this mushroom capsule. It is now barely noticeable.mushrooms_65DD849291544

This same friend introduced me to Hawthorn capsules to help get hypertension under control. Since starting this regimen, I am also pleased to announce that my blood pressure has been remarkably lower. I am almost to the point of being excited to see my doctor at my next checkup (well that and he is also amazingly hot).

My spirit has been in the midst of change too. I can only compare it to what a werewolf must feel during the transformation process. It hasn’t all felt warm and fuzzy….in fact, some of it has been quite painful. I have felt most of these changes down to my very core. These new feelings have made my mind, my stomach and my chest hurt.

It is almost as if I have become aware of myself. For the first time in my life, it doesn’t matter where I am….it is like watching a recorded program of my every move. I have had to listen over and over to every word I say. When I go to bed at night, my dreams replay the activities of the day, letting me hear and see myself over and over. I realized that I spent a majority of my day trying to be invisible….trying to keep from being acknowledged or recognized. I also realized that I spent a huge amount of my day being a peacekeeper or liason.

I had to stop and think, “Am I only an ear? Am I someone who lies low just so the circling vultures won’t see him among the dead? Am I slipping into indifference?” I listened to myself as my roommate asked me, “Is working out really worth it?” My answer: “What do you think?” Where is my head? I should have been screaming out, “Of course, it’s worth it! Can’t you see all the positive changes happening with your body? You feel better…your love handles are going away….you seem happier!”

I have often said it to others…..”Boy, get some gumption about yourself!” “No wonder you have become the keeper of secrets…..you’ve been keeping to yourself all week.” It is one thing to need time to yourself….it is something completely different to be absent when you are in a room full of people. It has been far too easy this week to keep my “witch” hidden….to leave him tied up somewhere in a corner.2013-01-02 22.49.41

Friz and I took to the woods this morning. Mama Crow has been noticeably quiet this week. I have made myself stop and listen….talking to the telephone pole in the distance, but no replies were heard. As we moved toward the woods, darkness still looming behind us, I heard a familiar sound. That raucous loud raspy voice was like music to my ears. I turned around and looked high. I could see her perched in the tree to my right. She was cawing non-stop….it sounded too much like a scolding for me not to stop. When she had finished her lecture we continued on to the woods.

I settled down under the biggest tree I could find. I unpacked my mini-altar…laid out the skulls and candles carefully. I did everything that has become second nature to me….trying to not be so mechanical. I settled down in front of the skulls and stared at them. I realized that I had become a victim of my own routine this week. I had been trying so hard at work not to make ripples, that I had just become complacent. I had been trying so hard at home to unplug that my flame was growing dim in the process. I was trying so hard to catch up on cleaning and cooking and crafting that I had forgotten to incorporate the magick that can be and is such a part of each activity. Walks with Friz had even become just that…..short trips out to pee and then back inside to ‘catch up.’ images

As I lay there on the leaf covered floor of the woods, I had again forgotten all about Friz. I had left him in his harness and the leash was attached to a low branch. Friz did the one thing he knows to do when he is alone or ignored. I heard one solitary sound……”Bowwooooooooooo.” It is such a pitiful soulful sound that when it comes out, you stop dead in your tracks. When you look at him, you get a look that says, “I really didn’t mean for that sound to come out.” It is a moving back into the primal part of who he is. I unhooked his harness from the leash and moved him closer into me. He was feeling frisky now. He danced around me doing his little play growl. When he finally stopped, he sneezed, blowing out one of the candles. I laughed and realized it was time to have a little fun with the ritual.2013-08-31 21.39.43

I crouched on my hands and knees and Friz did his play-bow in front of me. I responded in kind. We moved and play-growled and wiggled our bodies. It was nice to feel primal….even if it was the primal that a little blue chihuahua feels. We both collapsed onto the leaves…me, breathing hard and Friz panting. We could both feel the sunrise between the trees covering us. I rolled onto my back and Friz crawled onto my stomach (he likes the bounce he feels when he’s on it). I could hear Mama Crow just outside of the woods….but I could also feel her getting closer.

The secrets for the week, I whispered to Mama Crow. She can take them as far away as she pleases….no more hiding in the shadows for me. When I do find myself sitting isolated, you may just hear one lone, solitary “Bowwooooooooo.”

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Blessed Be!

Back in the Saddle Again….

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To say that this past weekend was busy is an understatement.  So many things were going on, plus it was a holiday weekend. 

The planning for this weekend started in late November of last year.  My goal for buying Christmas gifts for my partner was going to take a different turn.  I was investing in “activity gifts” for both of us…..Cooking classes, massages, and a ‘Romantic Couples Horseback Riding Lesson.’ 

I had to make the reservation a couple of weeks ahead to secure our time and space….only two couples do the lesson at one time.  I was a bit nervous because my partner’s ear surgery was wedged right in the middle of all of this planning.  He was given the ‘all’s clear’ by his doctor with the understanding that he would take it easy and was told there needed to be absolutely no galloping.

I got up early Saturday morning.  I had to go early to do fluids for our friend’s dog.  I got on the road, only to be texted ten minutes into the drive to be told not to come.  I was just a tiny bit perturbed.  I had left Friz asleep in the kennel after his quick meal and potty break.  He looked at me as if I had scolded him as I headed out the door.  After the phone call, I rushed back to try to walk Friz out by the pond.  I harnessed him up and we walked toward the pond.  Everything seemed a bit out of kilter.  The crows were going crazy.  I had never seen them so antsy. 

Friz and I sat down under our old tree friend and I leaned back.  I could not relax…..Friz couldn’t settle down either.  He shuffled and he moved and he shifted and he licked non-stop.  I finally got so unsettled that I scurried back to my feet and quickly ushered him back to the condo.  As we walked away, I saw Black and White Cat coming up in the distance.  I waved quickly and we kept moving. 

I got Friz comfortable with my partner and I hurried to meet our roommate in the living room.  We had planned on going to brunch.  We got in the car and rushed to our destination.  We arrived at the restaurant with not a minute to spare.  We were seated quickly…..right in the middle of a section that had some of the most ill-behaved children I have ever encountered.  As we tried to talk and eat, these children shrieked and screamed and ran around the tables without so much as a ‘No’ from their parents.  We practically swallowed our meal whole just to get away from the chaos.

We thought that as a breather that we would head over to Starbucks.  We figured that we might be able to sit outside, enjoy the weather and relax a bit.  This time we happened to grab the last table…..and of course, it was beside a table where the occupant talked loudly to himself the whole time.  We also got to experience a dog that was there with his owner.  Obviously the dog had not been very well socialized as it barked and yowled at every passerby.  I looked at my roommate and said, “I am ready to leave now.  I need to start getting ready.”  6781100867_0d43e04b3b_z

We left and got home in record time.  I had time to jump in the shower, put on my jeans and boots, hop in the car and head to Adairsville.  Thankfully, our roommate had agreed to feed the dogs and keep them out while we were gone.  We fought the Atlanta holiday traffic on highway 285, highway 85, and highway 75.  We had finally gotten far enough out of the city that things were beginning to settle down.  We went exactly where Google Maps told us to go and ended up lost on a road that did not hold our destination.  It said that we needed to park and walk over hills to get to it. 

I told my partner to stay in the car and I walked down the road to neighboring farms to see if I could get accurate directions.  After stopping at five different farms, I finally came up on a little white haired woman. “You ain’t far from it…..don’t know why you’s way over hyar.  It’s right around that curve up yunder.  You’ll see the sign.”  I texted my partner and told him to drive down and pick me up and we drove around the curve.  Sure enough it was right around that curve ‘up yunder.’  We got out and our instructor was waiting for us on horseback on the other side of the pasture gate.  There was another couple with us.   He told us to come around the gate and follow him to the barn.  Thankfully I had worn my boots and jeans and thought to tell my partner to do the same.

We arrived at the barn and the instructor talked to us about respect for the horse.  He discussed energy with us and told us we needed to release any tension or frustration that we had because he would not allow that type of energy around his horses.  We all separated ourselves and did breathing exercises.  Once we were in the right mind frames, the instructor introduced each of to the horse we would be partnered with.  My partner was paired up with a quarter horse gelding.  He was directed to stand in from of the horse and breathe…In through the nose and out through the mouth.  The instructor called this ‘Equus.’  He was directed to rub the horse all over his body in circular motions with just a small amount of pressure.  This was to increase the human/animal bond.  Then he was shown how to direct the horse without forcing him.   This all clicked very easily for my partner and before long his horse was following him like a puppy.

In turn, the other riders were introduced to their steeds.  I was the last one to meet my mount.  I had turned my back for a second, and as I turned toward the stall, I saw the instructor lead out one the biggest animals I had ever seen.  He told me the horse was a Percheron and his name was Billy.  He was ginormous!!  Then again, this horse had to be able to carry mine and his own weight through the trails.  I had tried to release all of the tension of the day.  I went through all the directives that I was given.  I started to lead Billy.  He wouldn’t budge.  I had already been told that he was extremely gentle…but also stubborn.  He had been aquired through a rescue group and was a remarkable animal.

I walked slowly around him breathing and rubbing in circles.  I took the rope in my hand and proceeded to walk. Nothing.  I wasn’t about to pull.  After all, how effective would that be with a 2100 pound horse?  The instructor came over to me and told me to let the horse help me with my own energy.  With this instruction, I began to rub Billy’s face…breathing deeply as I did.  I whispered out, “Lady Epona…I call on you.  Make mine and this animal’s spirit one.  Renew and refresh our energy.  Calm us and build in us your heart.  Bring us together with you.”  I heard the instructor say calmly, “Will you look at that!  He is asleep.”  Billy slowly opened his eyes and I swear it looked as though he winked at me.

The instructor helped me up on Billy and gave some basic instructions.  Now, I have been on horses before, but it had been so long that I decided to let the instructor treat me as a beginner.  Every gentle request I made of Billy seemed to be second nature to him.  It was as if he could read my mind.  I was third in the line of riders with Billy with my partner and his horse behind.  Billy moved precisely the way he needed to with very little pressure on the reigns.  The only difficulty we had was the part of the trail through the woods.  Billy was so tall that I kept getting smacked in the face with tree branches.  One branch smacked me squarely under the eye and I heard my partner gasp.  I laughed and told him that is what I get for being so heavy….a horse so tall that I am in the higher branches.

As we would go up hills, Billy would pick up speed to get us up the incline.  He never seemed to lose control…..he always knew just how much speed to add without going into a gallop.  As we cleared the trees, we came into an open pasture with a pond nearby.  Each one of us was helped off the horse and they were close beside us.  We were given a mini bottle of wine and allowed to spend time as a couple with both of our horses.  Billy would playfully rub against me and I would do more circles.  My partner’s horse seemed absolutely enamoured with him.  He looked at him the way my partner’s own dog looks lovingly at him.  We laughed and talked about how fascinating these creatures were.  I put my hand on Billy’s forehead and listened as he breathed out.  I could feel the presence of Lady Epona right there in the midst of us.  She was offering her blessings to me, my partner, his horse and Billy.

We climbed back on our horses and made our way back to the barn.  Everyone was helped off their animal and then it was my turn to dismount.  I sat on Billy and the instructor took the rope to lead him.  Billy decided to turn around and head back out of the barn.  I had to direct him back inside.  The instructor said with a chuckle, “Doesn’t look like he’s done with you yet.”  We went to the middle of the barn and I swung my right leg backward and of course couldn’t feel ground.  Even getting off, I was still a good three feet off the ground.  The instructor grabbed me under my arms and helped me down those extra few feet….if I had tried myself, I would have landed with a thud.  As I turned, Billy turned to nuzzle me and I thanked him and Epona for such a wonderful afternoon…..and afternoon wrapped in the arms of the Divine. 

As we walked back to our car, we walked in silence.  We knew that we had experienced something unique.  We knew that we wanted to do this again….soon.  We are already planning dates.

Blessed Be!2013-05-25 17.47.10-1