A Solstice Celebration: Fishing, Skinny-Dipping, Lightening Bugs and Skeeters

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Today is the Summer Solstice…the longest day of daylight in the year.  The sun’s energy is very powerful on this day, so when I got up early this morning, I did something I haven’t done in a long, long time.  I went fishing.  Yep…I went fishing all by myself.  I loaded the car with my tackle box, a old cane pole, an old, thin blanket and soda and sandwiches, a can of dirt and worms I dug out of the courtyard, a backpack full of ritual supplies, and I drove up toward the northern part of Georgia.  I haven’t done this in ages…I felt like such a rebel, scooting out of sight before anyone missed me and leaving a note on the table that said simply, “Gone Fishin’.”

It wasn’t long before I reached the property of some friends and I dodged through the old cattle gates.  The only thing missing was my old pickup and being barefoot.  The latter would be remedied soon enough.  I got settled down at the edge of that old pond, rolled up my pant legs, shedded  my shoes, put on my ball cap, baited the hook and dangled it down into the water.  To be honest, I really didn’t care if I caught anything or not…that wasn’t really my purpose for being there.  I was there to worship the sun.  I breathed in all the smells around me…the smell of hay, the water, and yes, the pasture.  I felt the way I imagined a vampire might feel after the first taste of blood after a long famine.

I could feel the sun’s energy pulsing through my body, my veins.  I could feel it combining with the heartbeat of Mama Earth.  As I breathed, my own breaths danced in rhythm with all that was around me.  I felt revitalized in a way I haven’t in a long, long time.  I could feel the sun kissing my face.  The knowing that the Scotch/Irish in me would turn it a glowing red first, then the Cherokee in me would turn it to a glowing copper brown by tomorrow. I watched as the fishing line bobbed in the water.  Nothing was biting…that was fine with me anyway.  I let the remainder of the worms go and let the now empty hook bob up and down.  Hopefully the fish were at least entertained.

As I lay there in the sun, I could feel beads of sweat forming all over me.  I am not a fan of being uncomfortable and the water looked so inviting.  I took off my shirt and looked down at my Buddha-shaped belly and laughed out loud.  Before I realized it, I had shucked my shirt, my pants, and my underwear and was running like a wild man….screaming and laughing as I jumped in the water buck-assed naked.2014-06-21 16.06.04

 

I felt that primal energy of Cernunnos surging through me as I ran and jumped into that cold water…heated by the sun at the surface level only. When I hit, I took a hard breath in as I felt the shock of cold in places that I really had rather not felt it.  After I adjusted to the temperature, I floated backwards, again taking in the rays from the Sun God.  While I floated, my thoughts were everywhere and nowhere all at once.  Words to spells and songs gently caressed my brain.  It was like being a kid all over again…skinny-dipping at the old pond in my grandpa’s pasture with my best friend.  No shame…no fears…just freedom.

I brought myself lazily back onto the shore of that old pond.  I didn’t even bother to put my clothes back on…who was going to see me as far out as I was…the cows that may come venturing up wouldn’t care.  I situated myself back onto the blanket and pulled all of my supplies out of the backpack.  Everything went in its place…the candles, the skulls, the stones.  Today I brought incense with me, and poppets.  I have been making a mojo bag for my roomie…he needs a bit of luck, positivity, and prosperity in his life.  In this blue night sky bag with golden stars, moons and suns…I place a green beeswax poppet.  I had put a hole in the bottom of the poppet and filled it with ground herbs:  Basil, Cinnamon, Ginger, High John the Conquerer and Juniper Berries.  Inside the bag, I also included a male High John Root wrapped in a dollar bill and anointed in a money drawing oil.  I offered these under the sun and asked the sun to bless them.  I added some of his finger nail clippings and hair from his goatee to the bag. (Yes, he knew I was doing all this and why.)

poppet

 

I thanked the sun for the light and energy he provides and packed everything up…and begrudgingly put my clothes on.  I walked back to the car and put everything into the trunk and drove away….exhausted and recharged at the same time.

Tonight, after my partner and I got back from dinner, I felt the need to have another ritual…cleaning, clearing, banishing.  I smudged the house, the courtyard, everywhere I could think that needed smudging.  I worked banishing magick on neighbors who have long since become a nuisance.  I washed the floors with my Four Theives Vinegar.  I used my besom to sweep out any negative energies or feelings and emotions. I put black candles on my altar along with a Nag Champa candle that a friend gave me.  I called on The Morrigan to push those things that were no longer beneficial or needed out of my life and to mold in me the heart of a warrior. I called on Cernunnos to restore in me vitality and strength and to build in me, the heart of the Wild Man.  I lit every candle on that altar and felt the energy build as the flames danced.

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I danced around the altar to the sounds of Omnia’s song “I Don’t Speak Human.”  I was consumed by the heart of the Wild Man and Warrior.  As the energy calmed, I could feel the heartbeat of the Earth Mother weaving her way through the music. I danced out into the courtyard and watched as flurry of lightning bugs seemed to swarm to the music.

As I write this, I am once again listening to “I Don’t Speak Human.”  Sometimes it’s true.  I speak a language as old as the Earth Mother herself.  It communes with the four-leggeds, the winged ones, the elements around me and the Gods, Goddesses and Spirits of the Ancients.

Blessed Solstice, my friends!

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The Music of the Night…

I have to admit to y’all. I do not like to be scared…or as we call it in the south, “skeered.” It tears my insides to shreds to think that anything would be out there to “git” me. I remember going to sleep as a child with my covers pulled all the way to my ears….guess those covers were magickal, because nothing ever got me.

I also remember sitting in horror as my grandma told me stories of the Booger Woods that were behind her house when my dad was growing up….stories of how a headless boar chased one of the neighbors all the way to edge of those woods. She would also tell me stories of “The Raven Mocker.” This was a Cherokee legend….a dead witch come back to prey on those that were ill or dying. The Raven Mocker will not come near a Medicine Man…or a Shaman. When I heard this, I told my grandma then and there that I wanted to be a Medicine Man. She laughed and told me that I didn’t have anything to be “skeered” of….I had plenty of medicine inside me…medicine so strong that I might not know what to do with it all. My grandma saw things in me that it took many years for me to see in myself.

I have always walked gingerly around anything that had to do with ‘spirits’ or ‘haints,’ as my mountain-born aunt would call them. I have always had a fascination/fear of them. Even as a child, I would dream about the spirit of those who had crossed over…sometimes letting my parents know that they had passed before they knew. In the dreams, though, I was never afraid of them. In my dreams, I have been approached by many different spirits to help them in their journey….most of the time it is one that is in trouble or ‘stuck.’ Lest you think I am constantly bombarded, let me just tell you that this only happens once in a blue moon. The last time was just after my grandma died, but I think that was to comfort me more than her.

This week, however, I have been dreaming non-stop….even to the point of having to watch daydreaming. Anytime my brain has been drawn from the focus of the present, I sense an urgency… a calling…a tweak in my own spirit. When I put my head on the pillow this week, my dreams have taken me directly into the woods. In this dream, I am in the woods surrounded by shadow people….but there is no fear in me. For some reason, I know these beings. I sense that they need me. In my dream, I transform into my chihuahua and then into a wolf. As I watch myself, it seems as though I am holding court amongst the shadow people. As the dream ends, I see them dissipate and as I walk out of the woods, I transform back to human. My partner says that I have talked up a storm in my sleep this week, and I always wake up with music that is tribal, yet Celtic, in my head. Since I haven’t felt threatened by the dream, I have just taken to pulling in protective energies ( just in case) and going on with business as usual.

Last night, I went walking…me and that little blue chihuahua. I don’ t know why, but lately I have been craving the night air. It seems as though my senses are keener at night and I am able to feel a new kind of energy. I have been sleeping later in the mornings and haven’t been to the pond since last weekend.

When we walk, that chihuahua doesn’t normally pull much. We normally walk side by side. Again, I had my headphones on listening to Omnia. I love how the melodies and beat speak to my soul. Apparently, I was mindlessly walking toward the place in the woods where I had gone by myself last weekend….the place that felt strange and forboding. As I walked, I could feel Friz pulling away. He really doesn’t like to explore new things as much as I do. I picked him up and carried him. He snuggled closer into my chest under my cloak (I gave into the fact a long long time ago that some of my neighbors probably think I am the village loon). I walk deeper and deeper into the woods. I look around for a spot where I can see Mama Moon the clearest. I settle in….I breathe in the mustiness of the woods…the smell of the decaying leaves. Friz pulls in closer. I remember the feeling I am experiencing….it was the same feeling I had on my first encounter with Lady Hekate. I closed my eyes and envisioned all my helper animals….my familiars, some would say…or power animals. Mama Crow, Wolf….I have Friz in my arms. One is missing. I turn around and look….I hear padding in the leaves…more of a tromping. Somebody is putting on weight…all the offerings I bring with me? It is black and white cat minus the harem. I settle in and close my eyes….strange for a kid who was essentially scared of the dark. I breathe in the mysticism around me. I can feel the magick. Funny, I have been dreaming of the circle of shadows only to end up in the midst of the Queen Witch. Omnia is singing “Wytches Brew.”

Thrice the brinded cat has mewed!
-Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined!
-Harpy cries: ” ’tis time! ’tis time!”

Round about the cauldron go,
in the poisoned entrails throw
Skin of toad and spike of bone,
sharpened on an eagle stone
Serpent’s egg and dancing dead,
effigy of beaten lead
Double double trouble you,
bubble in a witches’ brew

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog
Lizard leg and fairy wing,
round about the cauldron sing
Double double trouble you,
bubble in a witches’ brew

Root of mandrake dug at night,
when the moon is full and bright
Slip of yew and twig of fern,
make the fire dance and burn
For our will it will be done,
when the hurlyburly’s done
Double double trouble you,
bubble in a witches’ brew

Double double toil and trouble
Fire burn and cauldron bubble
Double double trouble you
Bubble in a witches’ brew

I welcome Maiden, Mother, and Crone into my circle. Again, she brings the power of the moon into our midst. I sing to her the needs of those I have been dreaming about. You can feel her sweeping about the woods. Encircling this sacred place. She has always embraced the Wild Man that has been a part of me. I can hear her cackle as the urge to move is upon me. She always stirs that Wild Man in the Woods part of my soul.

I finish up the ritual. I bow to the Queen of Witches and leave my offering. I walk out of the woods holding Friz and with a chubby little cat on my heels. He knows I have food. I give him his offering in thanks for his services. Friz starts to squirm at this point. He wants down. We walk slowly toward the condo…..although he was reluctant at first…he starts to bounce like a pup now, teasing my ankles and play-growling. He’s fierce, that one. LOL!

There may be more dreams in the future….there were none last night. I must be a willing vessel. My grandma was right….there is medicine there. I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.

Blessed Be!

;

I Second That Emotion….

I think I have mentioned it before in here that I have “empathic tendencies.” It doesn’t tend to rare up unless someone that I have very deep feelings about is going through something….then it comes on with full force. This week has been full force.

Now, I will be honest with you—when I had the excess weight on, it seemed easier to deal with the torrents of emotion that would come at me. I would assume that is because I have had so much extra padding (no pun intended). I have found that with the weight loss I have experienced and the purging of all that is artificial and yummy, that my senses are heightened, my brain seems more alert, and I have way too much energy for the fat left on me right now. I always said that my fat was a layer of protection for me. This week, I think I found out that it was shielding me from myself. A friend of mine said this to me just yesterday: You have to restructure your mind with your new body Dave…it’s not all about the outside!

It seems as though so many people whom I love and admire are going through emotional hurricanes over the past week or three, including the little four leggeds. I have sat and cried like a giant baby reading what some folks have had to endure this week. And while I am saying this….I don’t dare stay in the room when I hear Sarah McLaughlin’s voice come on the television.

I have friends who have dealt with loss on so many levels this week. There are those who have had unspeakable changes hit them smack dab in the middle of the forehead. I have witnessed these strong, indomitably spirited folks pulling themselves up by the bootstraps…..walking forward (even though they may be walking with a slight limp)….picking up the shattered hearts of others along the way. I watch as they apply the salve to their own wounds so that they might help in the healing of the wounds of others.

I got up early yesterday morning, as is my habit….I wanted to go to the pond. I needed to get a bit of relief for the antsy-ness I was feeling. I gathered up the little blue chihuahua and bundled up and walked the same path, I always walk. I felt a whisper deep inside, “Why don’t you walk around the long way to get there?” Since I was in a hurry and bombarded with jittery-ness, I hurried along that same familiar path so that I could experience the peace of pond even quicker. I sat down as quickly as I could sit. I called for Friz to come and lie down on my lap. He wasn’t going to have it. I looked for the herd of cats…..nowhere to be seen. I put my head against my old friend Oak. I figured if nothing else, I might get a nap in……wrong again. Mama Crow was perched on her telephone pole. She proceeded to caw at me non-stop for two hours. Granted I have sat and carried on conversation with her before, but this was more like a lecture. When she finally let up, I got up and walked back home.

After everything that went on yesterday, I was essentially an uber bitch to be around, so everyone walked ten feet around me. I don’t blame them….I didn’t want to deal with me either. I made my dinner and at the roomie’s advice, went for a long walk as it cooked. I put my Iphone in my pocket and my headphones on and put the music on shuffle. As I walked, I listened to Omnia…one of my absolute favorite groups. Their song, “Wolf Song” came on:

Stumbling through the winter forest
Her feet froze’ to the bone
The darkness holds no solace
So very, very far from home
A crimson cloak behind her drags
It’s torn by thorns and snagged to rags

Pity maiden for your folly
To venture in these woods alone
Mercy lives not in the holly
No compassion from the stones
Your fear brings tears like summer rain
(Oh mother father where I am?)
They beg for me to ease your pain
(I’m cast adrift what should I do?)

My love oh I beseech thee
Throw thy cloak aside to feed me
Crimson rivers from your veins
Crimson rivers feel no pain
Your long red hair ensnares me
Your warm red blood it calls me
My red right hand shall take thee home

Leave it to Crow and Wolf to lead me yesterday. I felt that whisper again to go a different way from my normal path. I followed this time. It led me deeper into a wooded area surrounding the condo. I went deeper and deeper into the woods. This did not seem like as friendly an area as my pond. It was overgrown in brambles and briars…it was much darker. I smelled the air and it seemed as though trouble had visited here. I felt the beginnings of fear try to rise up. I felt movement by my side…it was the spirit of wolf. I felt the fear start to dissipate. In that same moment I heard Owl in the tree to my left. I knew that all of my dear witches were showing up one by one…..I could sense the spirit of dragonfly, butterfly, cat….and of course, the spirit of Crow. I called on them to encircle me. I sat down gingerly next to a wad of vines….I heard movement. Fear started to grip me again. As I felt the color leaving my face, I see black and white cat padding through those woods…I just about passed out from relief. He curled up on me and looked up at me as if to say, “The same spell doesn’t work for every need.”

Needs have to be met where they are. I know that some of my friends have been going through extremely dark times….as an empath, sometimes I must endure the darkness (accompanied and surrounded by the energies of those who guide and protect me) to send the energy needed and the hope for brighter times. Does it scare me? Sometimes, yes. But sometimes we have to push head-first through fear for strength to kick in. Do we get tangled in the briars and brambles of others troubles? Sometimes….but they do not have to ensnare us and trap us. It is in those moments that Magick truly happens…..we realize who we truly are and what we need to do.

In helping to heal the pain of others, sometimes we find ourselves. We understand that as shielded as we may think we are, sometimes we have to be vulnerable to allow Magick to work through us for others.

I made my way out of the woods with a little black and white cat moving quickly beside me. Once I was on the sidewalk, he was gone again. When I got home, I was greeted with, “Where have you been? I took your dinner out for you before it burned.” The only answer I had was, “I went for a walk…and you wouldn’t believe the things I saw.

Blessed Be!