Backbone, Sparkles, and Bubble Gum

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When I got up this morning, after a particularly rough night’s sleep, I looked in the mirror.  The face looking back at me was scary…a mix of something from the “Walking Dead” and “There’s Something About Mary.”  Of course it got a thought whirring through my brain.  I soaked in that thought all day long.  We are a judged society of people.  We are judged based on our looks.  We are judged by our weight.  We are judged by our houses, cars, clothing.  We are judged by the way we talk.   We are judged on performance.  We are judged for who we love.  We are judged.

One would have thought that long ago we would have been through with the witch hunts and crucifixion.  It seems, though, that humanity is not happy unless it is vilifying something.  Because of condemnation flying around every corner, some of us have hidden a part of our most authentic self.  Our self-talk has become, “Don’t flame out too much.”  “Don’t be too witchy in public.” “If you wear clothes that drape, you won’t appear as fat.”  “If you really want that job, you had better put on a smile and work those jazz hands in the interview.”   We have become afraid and ashamed to be that eccentric uncle or aunt who lives life in color.  We look and look for our cloak of invisibility while others look down their noses at who we are.

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The past two weeks have driven this home with me more and more.  My partner and I were walking through the streets of Atlanta one evening after meeting some friends out.  I had been detained just inside the restaurant for a few moments, so my partner walked out ahead of me.  As he passed a group of young men, I heard the group begin to spew words at him.  “Faggot!  Homo!”  I ran to catch up to him.  I took his hand in mine and held on tight.  I turned to the group of guys and said, “Yes….and we are better men than any one of you asses.”  As I stood there…every feeling that could, ran rampant through me.  Anger, fear, hurt…I stood there refusing to back down.  My partner squeezed my hand and in a breath said, “Too much time has been wasted on things that don’t really matter.”  We walked off laughing…he was amazed that I had faced that small mob.  I was amazed I didn’t get killed.

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The next episode happened in our condo complex.  I was out by the bedroom window weeding and cleaning up one of my flower beds.  As I was crawling around in the dirt, I heard a male and female voice talking.  They got closer to me and I heard the guy say, “Some of the neighbors have said that he is a witch.”  Then the girl said, “That is just horrible to be gay and a satanist…those are two horrible strikes to have against you.”  In what seemed like one swift movement, I was on my feet facing them.  “Darlin’, first off I am no satanist….I am a witch.  I don’t believe in satan.  I work magick with nature.  Yes, I am gay and I love everything about being gay.  I would suggest that you keep your pathetic little ordinary mouth off of me….because not only can I do magick, but I do it fabulously with glitter and sparkles.”

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I have never been one to try to compromise much on who I am.  Life is hard enough without having to worry about who is going to find out my secrets.  I have pretty much always been an open book and even with the challenges that have come against me in life, I have always held onto a strong sense of self-worth.  That, for me, came as I walked through the healing process from the sexual abuse I endured as a child…a realization that I was worth so much more than the trash I was always told that I was.

I had learned to look backward through the mirror.  I received a comment on my blog a couple of weeks back:

I came across your blog a few months ago and have followed on the edge of my seat waiting for your next post. I even emailed you a little while back. Today with some time to kill I decided to go back as far as I could and read your old posts. Nearly every post has struck a personal chord with me in some way. I’ve been making notes as I read, which is a way I help myself solidify my thoughts. I had just finished writing a paragraph about how when I was I child I used to feel like I was special in some way or that I had a gift that was yet to be uncovered. Now that I’m pushing 40 and still haven’t found that gift so much about my life feels so average. I’ve chosen to ignore the magick around me. This post brought tears to my eyes; good ones. Thank you.

This comment touched me deeply.  That gift never left you…it is still resting deep inside you, waiting patiently for you to call on it…to speak to it…to nurture it.  You are never too young or too old to take your destiny by the hand.  It stands there waiting like a long forgotten lover, smiling at you as you finally take the steps forward.  The wonderful part is that the magick isn’t just around you…it is within you.  The world around you and circumstances have tried to make you forget that it’s there.  They have pushed you out of the way and left you wounded…but you are far from average dear one.  Magick even comes forth in your words.

My roommate came into the living room last week.  He is haggard and down because of the job market.  He has interviewed and pushed out his resume only to be greeted by rejection.  I could feel his pain as the words left his mouth…”Am I really worth so little?”  I told him that he is basing his worth on other people.  “But isn’t worth what someone is willing to pay?”  “Yes, but the value is based on the seller. You determine the value that you carry…but it is also your responsibility to make others see that value…then you are worth more to them. Some people will never see that value, so you must determine whether or not they are worth your time.  Others will see that value and try to get it as cheap as they can.  Others will recognize the value, realize the quality and want to pay exactly how much the product is worth.”  The world has too many cheap trinkets already…isn’t it time that we show ourselves to be precious treasure that we truly are?

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I went to the craft store the next day.  I had an idea for a spell for him.  I picked up a small wooden treasure chest and some gold bubble gum coins.  I told him that anytime he started to feel like he wasn’t worth very much, to take one of the gold coins out, chew the bubble gum but to save the wrapper.  He was to replace whatever he took out with real money…whether it be a dime, a quarter, a penny, or a dollar.  He was to say, “I take the words of others, chew it up. The wrapper hid the truth. I put in its place the real thing, a better substitute.  With this the value I increase…I’m worth so much more.  I feel the power within me, to the very core.”  When the bubble gum is gone and replaced with real money, he is to take the wrappers and weigh them….then he is to weigh the money that replaced the gum.  For each piece of money he must write down one positive thing about himself.  He is only a quarter of the way through the chest now…but now as he picks up a coin, I hear him laughing.  If nothing else, joy has begun to take root in his spirit.  He is becoming more of the person I know.

Isn’t it time to embrace that person we see staring back at us in the mirror…warts and all?

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Blessed Be!

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Duct Tape, Sage and Healing the Spirit

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The one promise I made myself when I started this blog was to always share the truth surrounding my life.  I always wanted this blog to be a source of help and hope to others.  I made the decision that sometimes no matter how  badly it hurt, the truth should be shared.  So let’s go ahead and take the corner of that bandaid and start ripping.

It has seemed that every time I turn around lately, that something happens. If something good happens in my life, I have pretty much come to expect something bad to come as a counter.  I get a promotion….I go to the emergency room.  I get a raise…someone hits my car.  Nothing like the power of positive thinking, huh?

I remember when we were home at Christmas…my dad, normally a pretty jovial person, seemed sullen, moody, angry.  I tossed it off to the curmudgeon-ess that comes with old age.  Then last night, I was admonished by a dear friend after I had pissed and moaned a neighbor hitting my car and breaking off the driver’s side mirror.

Listen to yourself.  You hate.  You hated the neighbors upstairs…you hate this guy.  You are so filled with negative energy, you are filling yourself with sickness!!!!!  You have insurance?  It can be fixed.  You go against everything you practice by hating.  STOP IT NOW…LET IT OUT OF YOUR BODY…your mind is just consumed with drama and SHIT…nothing good is going to come to you if you keep it up.  I love you..and because I love you, I’m saying this…GET A FUCKING GRIP…I can’t send you anything because I see it just go all black around you.  I love you.  I do.  You are my heart and soul…but Morrigan will say the same thing if you listen to her…it’s coming from her.  I know you are tired…and no one can help you unless you help yourself first…that allows the flow to come in…CLEANSE YOURSELF…curdling is nasty…life sucks…but you just keep focusing on the positive and let the other fall away.

Sometimes a dose of the truth is like really bad cough medicine.  It tastes like cat piss going down, but you know eventually it is going to do you a world of good.hate

I turned off Facebook and pulled Google up on my Ipad.  I looked up the word ‘hate.’  Hatred is therefore a hardening of the mind and spirit. Hatred attaches you to the thing or person you hate.  This person or thing that you hate becomes a constant part of your thoughts and emotions.People-Tied-Together

I decided that it truly was time to dig down into the center of this festering purulent wound and start the healing.  I started with a cleansing bath (I am a shower person personally, so to even lower my substantial rump into a tub was a beginning).  I poured Dead Sea salt in first…to draw out impurities.  I then added sage leaves for cleansing, lavender oil for calming, eucalyptus oil for energizing, juniper berries for more cleansing and some spearmint bubble bath for suds.  I sank down into the bubbles and inhaled the different scents.BA13535

My mind raced back and forth over Maluna’s words.  Yes, my heart had become darkened by hatred.  Where did it come from?  I questioned whether or not it came from my parents….no, no sense in giving anyone else the blame.  I am the one who took it in like a homeless kitten.  I am the one who nurtured it and fed it and allowed it to grow.

I had called on the Morrigan so many times in my anger.   As I felt the suds against my legs, she reminded me that she was not a goddess of hatred and anger…not a goddess of getting even…but that she was a goddess of justice.  My brain raced over and over that definition of hatred that I found, “Hatred is therefore a hardening of the mind and spirit. Hatred attaches you to the thing or person you hate.”  My mind and my spirit had been blocked…I had been looking a foot in front of me the whole time…never seeing the whole picture.  All this time I had talked about how powerful and strong magick is, but I had been tucking pieces of it into small boxes all around me….only keeping that which I was comfortable with close to me.

As I write this, I read the words of another dear friend, Celtic Oaksoul, “Just be…take in the darkness and make it your own.  Relax and let the storm take its form outside, around you.  It will always subside.”  I just realized that I had forgotten the most important thing about life….All things are temporal!  Nothing lasts…things only happen for a season.  I have been treating it like it is the be all and end all.

I lay in the tub feeling the water become cold and my fingers and toes becoming pruny.  There is more to do than cleanse…I have to turn and walk away from the hate.  I have to make a conscious decision every day, every moment of my life to let go and move past the temporal.  My hate doesn’t do anything to the people I hate…they could care less.  I am the one that pays the price….it is my blood pressure, my health…my heart and my spirit  that will end up shriveling into a poisoned wad of anger, bitterness and hate.

Duct tape fixed my car mirror for the time being today.  It won’t, however, fix the holes I have put in my spirit.  Those are going to take time with the gods and goddesses…the innocent fur and feather people…the elements.

The ones we love aren’t there to always tell us how wonderful we are…sometimes they are there to dig out the painful and hurtful parts of us that we have become blinded to…and we are never too old for admonishment.

As I spent time in the woods this morning, I did a spell to help me to always look toward the good things with gratitude and not dwell on the bad things that happen.  I know this is a spell I will have to do more than once.  As Maluna said, “It isn’t about looking at the world with rose-colored glasses, but knowing what’s important…about focusing on the positive and letting the other fall away.

Sometimes that splinter doesn’t all come out at one time.splinter

 

Blessed Be!

There and Back Again….

131164-bilbo-smoking“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.’

I should think so–in these parts!  We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures.  Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things!  Make you late for dinner!”

My best friend and I were talking last night as we walked out of the grocery store.  Me:  Do you think I have lost my joie de vivre?  Him:  Yeah, maybe a little bit.  You aren’t the same as even when I met you.  Me:  What do you think happened.  Him:  I think you let fear take away what was once inside you.

I have to say that I agree 100%.  When I look back at the person I used to be, there was a sense of daring….a sense of delight that overtook me when someone told me that I wasn’t capable of doing something.  Immediately, something was stirred inside of me that was determined to prove them wrong. RhosgobelWe are told, that as we age, we are to settle down….it is a time to become comfortable.  After all, retirement is looming around the corner and we know that somewhere in our future, rocking chairs and quilts abound.  We have been hypnotized by reality shows….we no longer have to leave our homes for adventure…..just turn on the tellie, and you can live someone elses life.  You can dream of what it would be like to be one of the housewives of Atlanta, or go Hillbilly Handfishing, or you can be Honey Boo-Boo Child……the aspirations are endless!

You don’t even have to leave your home to have date-night anymore.  Turn on “On Demand” and order a movie…order a meal to be delivered and you never have to get dressed or even shower for that matter.  Is it any wonder that anymore we are becoming a batch of stinky, overweight, non-doers?  And trust me, I am  right at the top of that list.  I speak from experience.  It is so much easier to stay at home and never move from the sofa or the patio than to have to fight Atlanta traffic or make the effort to find new and whimsical things to tickle and enthrall the senses.  After all…..I have grown up responsibilities now.  I have two dogs and two cats that hang on my every movement and word….Yeah, right!

I do venture out to the woods or the pond on the weekends…sometimes even during the week.  I dress like powerful mage that I am (well, at least in my mind. LOL)  I look to the elements and the plants and trees and animals for the magick that I am so sure is inside of me.  But there is something missing.  There is adventure brewing in me that has yet to be tapped into.  There is that part of me who hungers to climb the hills outside of my courtyard, climb the mountains beyond and soar into the distance. My sword is at the ready….dragons are around the corner. 2012-10-10 15.00.59

I have entertained the Morrigan many times this week.  My encounters with her have been through the one aspect that I cringe at, but also crave.  She has spent the week calling me to change.  It is time to lay some old habits and thought patterns to the side and embrace a part of myself that I buried a few years ago.  It is one thing to grow older but one must also grow wiser.  The Morrigan showed me many mirrors this week.  In one reflection, I was a ferocious as a wolf.  That wolf, now, because of fear that has been allowed to creep into my life….will roll over onto his back and pee in the air like a submissive puppy.  In another reflection, I kept my wings spread wide like the crow…again, because of fears, my wings have been clipped.  Finally, I was shown the reflection of the buck.  My head high, my gait smooth, my speed swift.  I have allowed fear once again to cripple me and cause me to limp….afraid to move too fast.

I had forgotten that the person staring back at me was the one who had the nerve to leave home at 17 and pursue an acting and singing career in New York.  I had forgotten that this same person took on raising two girls without so much as flinching.  Most recently, he moved to Atlanta without the prospect of a job to be with the man he loved.  I saw courage in his eyes.  I saw fire.

I looked back in….the reflection didn’t seem to match who was staring back.  I have become far too settled.  I have traded adventures for stability.  This is not a bad thing, but I have let the stability become ritual with no expectations.  I have stayed where I am because it is comfortable and not necessarily the best thing for me.

Now I am not talking about getting up and forsaking everything that my life holds.  I have been called by the Morrigan to change those things that have made me monotanous….that have hampered and suffocated the magick.  I have started an adventure sheet.  I will be doing magick that will help to activate the adventure that I know is still there.  I may need to bare the teeth a little more, spread the wings a little wider, and race a little swifter into the wind….but I am willing to do these things.  That fellow I once saw in the mirror never went away….he was just napping.  Sometimes we have to wake that part of us up…..no matter how hard we protest.2012-09-06 12.09.40

It is time to free the parts of me that have locked away.  I need to remember to dance a little harder, laugh a little louder, run a little faster…..after all, life is one adventure after another.  I just had to decide to get up from the table, turn off the TV and run out of the gate just as fast as I could run.

I AM GOING ON AN ADVENTURE!!!!!the-hobbit_2422493b

Epona: Dancing Through the Stables and Riding Toward the Sunrise

epona2Epona: “Divine Horse”; “The Great Mare”; Goddess of horses; Mother Goddess. Fertility, maternity, protectress of horses, horse-breeding, prosperity, dogs, healing springs, crops.

She is a horse goddess with fertility connotations. A popular equestrian goddess closely allied with the Celtic trade in, and domestic use of, horses. Concerned with healing, and with the fertility of domestic animals.  She is arguably the only Celtic goddess to have been worshipped in Rome itself and her popularity was spread throughout the regions of Roman occupation.

Epona is typically with mares and foals, usually riding sidesaddle or merely in association with horses. She also holds cornucopiae sheaves of grain and other fruits suggesting an ancillary role as a vegetation goddess. Epona is also, on occasion, linked with dogs and birds. 
 

Last night, I went line dancing for the first time in eight years.  I have to admit, it stirred some wonderful memories.  As I shuffled and glided across the dancefloor, I was taken back to a time in my life when cares were few and far between. 

Growing up on a farm, you often helped other farmers during the spring and summer.  I have worked pig farms, chicken farms, dairies….but one of my favorite was spent helping a neighboring horse farm.  It was one of the first times I ever got a glimpse of the true magick and power inside of an animal.

I have to confess before I get too far in that I had never really heard of the Goddess Epona until I was introduced to her by a friend this past year.  This friend embodies everything that a goddess to the equine population should….she is beautiful, strong, graceful, and quite a bit of a spitfire.  Her passion for Epona started something ruminating in me.  I had to find out more about her.  I had to know this Goddess who showed herself so evidently in my friends love and passion for horses.

As I studied and meditated, I was often drawn backward in time to my own contact and work with some beautiful animals.  My first contact was with a horse named Coal.  Coal was, of course, jet black.  He was the horse I learned to ride on.  My friend, Nancy, lived on a farm in South Carolina.  I was very young and she was very persistent that I should learn to ride a horse.  Coal seemed to me to be the biggest horse I had ever seen.  She also had a Belgian Shepherd name Beatrice.  For some reason, Beatrice did not like anything about me.  It was her goal to make sure I didn’t make it off that farm alive.

I had finally given in to learning to ride Coal on an overcast Sunday afternoon.  Beatrice was put into the house to keep her away from me.  I was taught the correct posture for riding and how to ‘steer’ Coal.  He was so gentle.  It was like he knew what I wanted and needed before I did.  As we rode, I could hear Beatrice barking wildly in the background.  I was fine as long as that barking stayed in the distance.

We had been riding for about 45 minutes and were working our way around the horse ring when suddenly Coal came to a dead halt.  I had a weird feeling in my gut when I heard Beatrice barking five feet in front of us.  She snarled and growled and I saw my friend’s sister running toward us.  Beatrice had broken a window to get to us.  As scared shitless as I was, I remember hoping that she hadn’t hurt herself leaping through the window. 

Coal never reacted to Beatrice at all.  If she started toward us, he would turn as if to initiate a body block.  He never bothered to try to kick her.  He never got spooked.  I look back and think that I could not have had a better teacher in that first riding session.  It is because of him that I continued to learn.  He became a trusted friend over the years, and as I think back, I can still feel the sadness that I felt the day I watched him ride into the summerlands with Epona guiding him.

I also remember the summers of rodeos and time with the horses.  I know that many people do not like rodeos.  I absolutely love them.  It was on the rodeo circuit that I got to see the true human/equine bond.  Some of those men and women treat their horses better than they treat most other humans.  It was not unusual to walk around and see a cowboy or cowgirl conversing with their horse…and to watch the communication of the horse with the rider.  You haven’t experienced the power of the Goddess until you have looked into the eyes of a horse.  You can see fire and passion, but you can also see strength and peace.  You look at him and you know that he honestly had the strength and power to crush you, but the control to keep himself from doing that.  Wild-Horses-Harvest

This one thought came in an epiphany…..it is in my time with horses that I did learn control…it was in the teaching I received while learning to ride….it wasn’t so much about learning to control the horse…it was about learning to control myself.  Isn’t that the way it is about most things in life.  It isn’t about the situation, but it is about how you handle it.  It is in reigning in a horse that we learn to reign ourself in.  Horses mirror us in so many ways.  That wild part of us longs to go at full tilt.  We push and we push until we are forced by our own body to relax.  The reigns of everyday life move us left and right into decisions and circumstances, but that wild part still lies underneath….that fire.

I have heard the phrase used regarding “breaking a horse.”  Most horse trainers that I know would disagree with this terminology.  It once referred to breaking the horses spirit.  Putting that horse under your control.  It is not about “breaking the spirit” at all, but learning to work with that spirit. It is that same spirit in the animal that excites us.  It is that spirit we long for when we climb on and feel the motion of that magnificent being beneath us.

For Christmas this year, I gave my partner a romantic horseback riding afternoon ending in wine in a pastoral setting.  Just me, him and the horses.  I have longed for and needed that contact with these magnificent creatures.  I can feel Lady Epona stirring that wildness and calm all at the same time.

When stress seems to take over, I go back to a vacation 10 years ago in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  I was allowed a very special gift.  I got to watch the wild horses on the island run.  There is nothing quite so spectacular as seeing a creature unburdened by the cares of the world run at full tilt racing the wind.

Lady Epona, help me to leave the cares and stresses of day to day living behind and feel the wind caressing my cheek as I call on your strength.

Blessed Be!Alone-a24173267[2]

Finding Your Way Through the Dark

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I told you all in my last post about the dream I had where I ventured into the woods with Wolf and Crow (actually several birds in one). In that dream, I found myself inside a cottage or hovel deep into the woods. There was a fire in the fireplace and anything I could imagine for potion making.

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I have found myself using this place as my “happy place,” so to speak, this week. I don’t know if it is because this place came to me in a dream, but it has been extremely easy to just close my eyes and visualize myself next to the fire. I also found myself, when stress came into play, closing my eyes briefly….only to find myself standing at the table putting the ingredients together for the most powerful concoctions. This week taught me a lot about visualization and intent.

I found that I could put myself in a place that relaxed me and comforted me…just by closing my eyes for a moment and thinking about the place I longed for….I know that for many people this sounds like a form of escapism. I say bull crap. Sometimes the most magickal thing we can do is mentally remove ourselves from a situation to keep from choking the living shit out of someone. I found, at work, that it actually helped to diffuse the situation. I did not react to a negative behavior and therefore the person pitching the hissy-fit calmed down.

I love the place that I live. I have worked very hard to make it comfortable and inviting. To build an open but enveloping cottage-style experience from the moment you walk through the door to the moment you leave covered in cat hair. It is very evident that a witch lives here. My smaller cauldron is in the middle of my buffet and it is flanked on the left by my huge cauldron. The buffet is loaded down with crystal points and stones and different magickal items that friends have sent me. My gryphon statue stands regally to the right side next to my carved candlesticks. My big gold framed mirror (which I got for a steal at Goodwill) hangs proudly over the buffet. I love that mirror. It depicts pastoral scenes with stags and doe all through. I love the tribute that it pays to The Horned One. The antique lamp reflected from below pays tribute to my ancestors. I enjoy the fact that my living room alone is a call to the “witchy-ness” that lives within me.

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It is, however, wonderful to have a place that calls to me most every night when I lie down. As I drift off to sleep, I do my meditation and breathing work. I visualize where I want my dreams to take me…as I fade into the world of dreams, I find myself walking down that quiet forest path. Again, I have two friends at my side….Wolf and Crow (who sometimes decides she wants to be an owl or hawk….I think based on my needs at the time). We walk slowly down a makeshift path….we look into the trees above and all around…then we see it….the little vine and grass covered dwelling next to a pond. I can hear the whispers of the ancients as I reach for the door handle. A familiar voice whispers coursely into my ear, “It’s time.” I recognize it immediately. It is the voice of Hekate. I walk toward the hearth…the fire is already burning. This time there is a mirror hanging in the corner next to a bouquet of drying lavender. I look into the mirror and am completely shocked…..I am older…substantially older. My long white beard lays softly against my robe. The laugh lines are deeper than they have ever been….and I know that they are laugh lines….these are lines brought on by joy and happy times. I have started the potion making. Wolf lies down by the fire and Crow perches on the chair. Looking at them relaxes me. Wolf has eyes like that little blue chihuhua back home…they are so inquisitive. I always end up relaxing by the fire with Wolf asleep with his head on my knee and Crow asleep next to or on my shoulder. I always wake up at home in my own bed.

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Just as it was turning dark this evening, I took that little blue chihuahua for a walk in the woods. The dreams I have been having are so vivid that I find myself searching for that little cottage. In the distance, I know I hear Mama Crow. I turned to my right to see if wolf was beside me. It made me think…..”You know, I love being a witch!” Because of the spiritual path I chose, I have access to all the elements. They talk to me and I talk to them. I get to commune with some of the most fantastical animal spirits and familiars that one could ever imagine. I get to go places through visualization and astral travel that many people never get to experience. Hell, I even get to shape-shift on occasion.

As it got darker, a humid deep fog drifted in through those woods. It was magickal watching the light and dark play through the mists at the same time. Friz stuck his nose straight up in the air to take a deep whiff of what was happening. You could almost hear the fae singing softly. It’s funny, I have been going into those woods for a few weeks now and my biggest fear was getting lost. Who would have ever known that I would find myself waiting right there.

Blessed Be!

The Last To See….

Last night I watched an episode of “Once Upon A Time.”  This episode featured Ruby (Red Riding Hood) and the way she dealt with the fact that she turned into a wolf on the full moon.  She was more afraid of herself and the change that took place in her than anything else.  She was searching for anything that would help her to understand herself and what was going on.  The peculiar thing was that her friends could see her true self even in the midst of the transformation.  Some of the lines that stuck out in my mind are in  a conversation between Snow White and Red:

“My Mother wanted me to choose between being a wolf and being human. Granny did too. You are the only person who ever thought it was okay for me to be both.” – Ruby
“Cause that’s who you are.” – Snow White

Even Ruby could not accept who and what she was.  Somewhere in the midst of the change, she got lost in all the fur.  How many times do we do the same.  We anticipate this huge transformation in our lives and are disappointed when it is not the way we planned or foresaw it.

As you know, for the past couple of months, I have been in the midst of a “lifestyle” change.  I have been incredibly good.  I have planned out my splurges and done everything that the doctor has told me to do….but the problem is, when I look in the mirror, all I see are the bulges and dimples and creases and blobs of fat that are there.  Of course, everyone around me tells me that I look so good…it is so evident to them that I have lost weight.  One girl at work even told me that I looked ‘deflated.’  I, however, keep seeing the same me in the mirror.  I see the big, fat blob of a person staring back at me……until this morning. 

I looked into the mirror and staring back at me was a thinning face.  It was markedly thinner than I am sure it was the day before.  I could see my eyes shining out at myself….not the pushed together slits staring out from the doughy fat cheeks that they once did.  I could finally see what I had been working so hard for coming to fruition.   Even though the scales registered the transformation weekly….I had been oblivious to it…until I was ready to see it.  Sometimes we are our own worst enemy.

I am reminded of a dear sweet young witch.  When I first got to know her, I remember her inquisitiveness, her uncertainty.  She was looking for guidance and second guessing herself a lot.  Though many of us around her could see all the possibilities and potential in her…I don’t believe she saw it.  I could see her in my mind’s eye standing out in the yard doing weather witching almost shaking from trying to get the energy to work. Frustrated, she would tell us of how she had tried and failed…..we, on the other hand, watched her trying and trying and then becoming.  This young witch became one of the most powerful hedge-, garden-, hearth-, solitary- witches I know.  While she saw failed attempts or questioned her motives and abilities, we saw the transformation into what she had in her all along.  She was stepping back and the Magick was allowed to step forward and take over.  She was becoming more and more like the Goddess because that was who she was spending time with.

I paid a visit to the pond today in the afternoon rain.  I have been begging for the cold weather to set in.  It was coolish, but still not as cold as I would like.  The blue chihuahua curled up on me as though he was freezing….as did the herd of cats led by black and white cat.  As I stared toward the water, I imagined all the things that had happened around it to make the pond what it is today.  I imagined the impatience of the Lady of the Lake as she waited for her home to take shape…the searching that mama crow did before settling on the telephone pole across the way to nest.  Everything needed to make it what it was to be was right there the whole time…..it was just waiting for it to take shape and then to recognize it.

I look at my own impatience….especially in matters of magick.  Everything needed to make the magick is right there.  It is just waiting on me to put the pieces together.  Once everything is in place….the magick flows and flows superbly!  It may not happen the way I think it should or manifest itself the way I think it should look, but it is there.  In no way was the voyage anything that I had expected…but the outcome was magickal.

What are you looking for?  As the new year begins, what is in you that needs to be recognized and nurtured?  Do you see a gift that is uniquely you… as a curse?  Another line comes to mind from “Once Upon A Time.”  It was when Belle was talking to Ruby:

“There’s good in there. If we can all see it, why can’t you?” – Belle

Blessed Be!

It Can Only Be Taken….If I Allow It

Never let another person take away who you are. You have so much strength, power. You allow it to be taken away, it’s not taken from you. YOU allow it. Pull it back in. Take CONTROL. You are a warrior. You are in control. Things don’t happen to you, you ALLOW it to happen. YOU are a WITCH. You have the power of the GODDESS in you. DO NOT allow it to be taken away.

This was something that a dear, dear friend of mine said to me this week as I sat in the midst of a gigantic pity party I was having.  I had allowed something that someone said to me in anger wipe away all memory of who I truly was. I allowed feelings that had not interrupted my brain for years to come flooding back into me like a tidal wave.  I let every ounce of self-doubt smack me up-side the head.  I didn’t think that I was that fragile….but my self-esteem shattered like a mirror that had been hit with a sledge hammer.

It took the strong words of a dear friend to help me to realize that I am stronger than mere words.  I was answering accusations with pure, raw emotion.  I had to be reminded that there is more to me than emotions that can be shattered at the drop of a hat…..hell, I have been through my own sexual abuse, the death of a partner and countless other crises that made this one seem almost insignificant.  How did I originally respond?  I pissed and moaned and felt sorry for myself.  I pouted and sulked.  I forgot what and who I was.

For a while, I was having trouble finding myself in the middle of a crisis.  What did it take to help me find my way out?  It took loving words lined with just enough “swift kick in the ass” in it.  I had forgotten that I am a witch and that I have something to work with that can make all the difference in the world.  I have Magick!

I settled in to make some Witches Salt.  I scraped the bottom of my cauldron with a spoon and combined it in my mortar and pestle with some black lava salt and ground it into a fine powder.  It was time to banish some negativity.  I needed to get rid of negative emotions, negative self-talk….I needed calm, peace and my sanity back.  I lit the candles, opened the circle and then proceeded to put the Witches Salt everywhere that it needed to be.  After the ritual, I thanked the elements and closed the circle. 

I slowly walked down to the pond…..that is the one place where I feel completely me and completely magickal.  Friz walked leisurely by my side.  I looked down at him and I saw the hair on the back of his neck begin to bristle up.  He saw something that he didn’t recognize and he started barking uncontrollably.  I tried to quiet him down, but he continued to bark.  No matter how hard I tried, I could not get him to calm down. 

A thought raced through my mind. “A chihuahua is going to be a chihuahua, no matter what.”  Little did I know that was what my dear friend was trying to get through my thick skull.  “A witch is a witch, no matter what.”  I have an obligation to myself and to the Lord and Lady.  I am to be the strongest, best me that I can be….no compromise….no faltering.  I have all the strength and power of the wild God…..the stamina of the Horned One.  I also carry the strength of the Warrior Goddess….the power over those things that would try to conquer me. 

I need to show myself for who I truly am.  I have the power of generations of Ancients surrounding me and inside me.  I only have to access that power.  It is as easy as lighting a fire in my cauldron.  As I made myself comfortable by the pond, the herd of cats came padding toward me.  Again, I am reminded….I have to be who I was created to be.  The only reason that flame can be snuffed out, is if I allow it.  I must stand guard over that flame.

My favorite quote from the first Harry Potter movie will suffice.  “You’re a wizard, Harry…..and a thumpin’ good one, I’d waiger.”  Yes, I am a wizard, witch, sorcerer, magician…..whatever word you want to use.  It is just a matter of semantics.  It is my choice as to how good, bad, weak, or strong.  From now on…..I choose strong.

Blessed Be!