Though the Sorrow May Last Through the Night…

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I have been hated for many things over the years.  I have been hated for things I have done….things I have said….my belief system….who I am.  Through all of the persecution, I have always tried to be the bigger man.  I have always tried to reason with my brain and respond with compassion and love.

For some reason, though, the events that have bombarded the United States and the world over the past few months have drowned my heart in sorrow.  I am referring to the persecution of homosexuals in Uganda and Russia….also this “Turn the Gay Away” bill that seems to be rearing its ugly head in so many states.men-holding-hands-3CROP

I am a tolerant man.  I try to respect and honor all faiths. I try to respect and honor all races.  I try to embrace the differences that make us all individuals and make this world a more interesting place to live.  I try to surround myself with people who have the same kind of heart.

For those of you who don’t know, I served as a pastor for two mainline denominations for over ten years.  In those ten or more years, I was only met with intolerance once.  In that instance, the pastor of the church told me that he suspected me to be gay.  At the time, I was not out of the closet or quite as sure of who I am as I am now.  He told me that I needed to have an HIV test done and have the results submitted to him and his wife.  I had never been so humiliated.  In that moment, I hated myself for who I was and tried to hide anything about me that would give me away.

Fortunately, after that incident, I was hired into a large church in Charlotte.  I was met at the door with open arms and a love for any uniqueness that made me…me.  In time, I became more confident in who I was and more secure in my sexuality.  I remember one day when I went into my lead pastor’s office.  I had requested a meeting so that I might talk to him about my being gay.  He sat thoughtfully in his chair with his glasses perched on the tip of his nose.  I mustered all of my courage and said, “Pastor, I am gay.”  No reaction.  I said, “Pastor, perhaps you didn’t hear me.  I am gay.”  No reaction.  He picked up his bible and started thumbing slowly through it.  All I could think was that I was about to be blasted with scripture.  Instead, he turned to me and smiled.  He said, “Did you grow an extra head or something?”  I said, “No.”  He looked at me and laughed and said, “You are still one of the best pastors I have been blessed enough to serve with.  Now get back to work.”  With that declaration, he pulled me in for a hug, then put his hand on my shoulder and sent me back to my office….feeling more loved than I ever have.

There was a song we did in that church….the lyrics still come to my mind as I type:

I’m trading my sorrow
I’m trading my shame
I’m laying them down for the joy of the Lord

I’m trading my sickness
I’m trading my pain
I’m laying them down for the joy of the Lord

[Chorus:]
And we say yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen

I’m pressed but not crushed persecuted not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I’m blessed beyond the curse for his promise will endure
And his joy’s gonna be my strength

Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning

Thinking of these lyrics today reminded me….it is only in squeezing or crushing the grape, that the sweetness of the juice is released.

I know that there are those out there who would call themselves Christian who would rather spew out hate and vitriol than take the teachings of the biblical Christ to heart.  My days in the church were not spent studying a Christ who belittled and hated.  I spent hours in my office composing sermons of a Christ who sat and ate and drank with tax collectors and prostitutes (the vilest of the vile in his day).  I became acquainted with a Christ who, when told that a woman was caught in an act of sin and should be stoned, looked down at the ground and said, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”  He then looked at the woman with compassion and asked, “Where are your accusers?” She said, “There are none.” “Neither do I condemn you…go and sin no more.”004-jesus-washes-feet

My fondest memory of this Christ who receives the blame for so much of the hatred that spews from man….is the Christ who spent the night before his death washing the feet of his disciples.  He knew that one of them would betray him that very night….but he chose to take on the role of servant.  And again, I studied of this Christ….the one whom people blame for their right to picket soldiers funerals, and burn the sin out of people…this Christ returned from the grave to offer those who had denied him and spat on him and killed him, another chance for redemption.

So, if I have all of these wonderful memories of the church…all these wonderful remnants of who Christ was, buried inside me, why did I become a witch?  Because Christianity, to me, was limiting.  Why limit myself to one god….even if he was a three in one.  Gods and Goddesses encompass so much more than we are willing to give them credit for.  Humanity has always wanted to keep that which we don’t understand confined….if you don’t believe this, go to a zoo.

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My trip to the woods this morning was a heavy-hearted trip.  As Friz and I settled in, Friz could tell there was something different about my spirit.  He quietly licked my face. He nuzzled me…he stayed close by.  I called on the elements, the directions…and this time I did not stop at the Lord and Lady I normally call upon.  I called upon the Christ that I had been acquainted with years ago.  We chatted about those who are using his name to hurt and harm and hate.  We also chatted about those followers of his who actually “get it.”

It doesn’t matter what faith you pursue or what you believe….there is never a place for hatred.  Hatred only destroys.  It turns the hater into a predator whose thirst for blood can never be sated.  It turns those who are hated into prey…constantly pursued and never able to rest.

As I lay back onto the earth this morning, I saw Mama Crow perched in the trees above.  She has only ever asked one thing of me….”Be true to myself.”  I have not been able to hide who I am in years, and I do not intend to start now.

I will stand tall with my sword at the ready…not fighting for the sake of the fight, but so that change may actually be affected.  I will love stronger than I have ever loved, and with every swing of the sword, I shall breathe compassion and healing over any who become part of the battle.  I will never go back into hiding. Witch or gay, my true self will always shine through.

As I lay there this morning, feeling Mother Earth pouring her magick into me and the Wild Man of the Woods pouring his stamina into  me,  I looked to my side to see a grouping of daffodils…not yet bloomed, but the color of yellow just barely peeking through.2014-02-22 15.13.15

Though the sorrow may last for the night
Joy comes with the morning!

Blessed Be!

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When the Past Comes Calling…

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This week was a very tiring week. There has become so much to do at work. I feel as though I am trying to cram two weeks into one. It has become the practice of the management to continue to add more and more duties to the ones that already exist for me. Of course, when I become overtired, that is an opportunity for things to surface in my life….most of the time, things that require working through.

On Tuesday, on the way to work, thoughts came racing to my mind from a good twenty five years ago….a time when I wasn’t so confident in the person I was….a time when the very essence of who I was needed, in my opinion to be kept secret. I was serving a church in the foothills of North Carolina. I was full time there as a project coordinator and part time in the local funeral home. I was struggling with what the church said God required of me and what my insides were telling me. I was living with one foot in the church and one foot in the gay community. I tried to live the way the congregation expected me to, but I felt like there was a constant war being fought in my heart and in my spirit. I remembered my last day at that church. I remember the accusations being hurled at me….the words spat at me in anger. The requirements made of me by someone completely ignorant of who I was or what my heart held.

I remember the pastor’s wife coming into the office that I was being sequestered in. She looked at me scowling. She roared at me, “You are a homosexual!!! You have AIDS!” I will never forget that punch in my gut…the sick, I’m-gonna-puke feeling. I was forced and driven to the local health department and made to take an HIV test. As I look back on this now, there are so many things I should have said and done, but I was a scared 22 year old kid. I did well to even remember my name in all that ruckus. This one incident effected the rest of my life.

I was required to take a mandatory leave of absence from another organization I worked with until I “worked through my transgressions.” I had to report to elders each week like someone in prison reports to a parole officer. I had to walk past faces filled with disdain and hatred as I walked past congregation after congregation….”working” my way back into the good graces of the church. To this day, that is why I hate to hear the phrase, “We need to talk about something.” and why I hate someone looking down their nose at me. It still haunts me…and this past week was one of those times.

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Throughout this past week, I have also been struggling with the need for “me” time. It seems that lately there has been no respite from anything. I escape to the woods and the pond as much as I can…but the mosquitoes are now getting fat. At home, my partner takes over our bedroom, the roomie has his bedroom, the living room is common area….sometimes I just take my phone, notebook and a pen and I sit in the bathroom floor for an hour, just for a bit of peace.

Yesterday morning, though, I knew that I was going to have some time to myself. I got up extra early and suited up my partner in crime. Friz wasn’t quite wide awake yet and wasn’t too keen on coming out of the kennel. After much coaxing, he finally stretched his way out, I harnessed him up and we disappeared to the woods. There was no ritual this time…no purposeful seeking out. I wound up my cloak and put it under my head…Friz curled up in the middle of my stomach and we slept. This was by far the weirdest sleep I had ever had. I dreamed constantly of the church scenario that I described above. Each time I would close my eyes and dream, it felt as if a tiny piece of my spirit and my heart was being ripped and shredded.

I lay there for what seemed like hours and tried to make my mind obey me…to stop re-living something that was no longer a part of me. At that point I heard Mama Crow caw loudly. It snagged me away from that horrible memory and jolted me back to present. It was a loud, harsh caw….I look back on it now and realize that it was a call to magick. She was reminding me to take control of a situation and not let something so far away control my todays. It was time to take the person I have become and let that person battle the person I used to be. I created a scenario in my head of what I thought I should have done to respond to that situation and as I drifted back to sleep, I let that person take over the dream….who would have ever thought that one could reclaim a memory so easily and work it out for my benefit.

After I had reclaimed that memory, I scooped Friz up and we made our way to the pond. He yawned as I cradled him and we moved toward the water. We both sat closer to the water than we normally did. I got a stick from nearby and wrote in the water with the stick. I wrote all the negative things about myself that had been brought to mind this week…..all those horrible memories. When I finished writing, I took a nearby rock and threw it into the middle of where I had been writing. I watched as the ripples dissolved all those memories I had written in the water. Then I took the stick and wrote words in the dirt that described who I am now…who I have become over the course of the practice of the Craft. I smiled as the letters took form…..Strong…Outspoken…Wise…Dependable…Gay…Role Model. It took a long time for me to love the me I have become, but I am proud of the person I look at every morning. There is no need for me to let small minded criticisms from far too long ago take root.

I have decided that from now on, when the past comes calling, and it isn’t something that I want to visit with…a locked door can be my best ally. Why let the past take pieces of my spirit…..when it really isn’t worth the memory wasted on it.

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Blessed Be!

The Healing Stick

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Over the past couple of weeks, I have been working on something that I have wanted for a long, long time. I have been stripping and sanding and smoothing my own staff…..an honest to goodness sorcerer’s staff. Not unlike Gandalf’s staff in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy but also completely unique…encompassing those things that I love about the Craft and my magickal life.

The wood is the vine called ‘Tree of Heaven.’ You can see these vines on pretty much anything that will stand still in the south….but the twists and turns of the wood show so much movement on something so stationary. The staff will be topped with a crow’s skull and wrapped at the top with humanely harvested wolf’s fur with crow feathers hanging from the top. Embedded in the wood will be stones of Merlinite, Moonstone, and Dragon’s Breath. I will engrave sigils and runes on the staff and stain it with a red mahogany stain.2013-06-09 14.48.42 HDR

Working on this staff has been a wonderful refreshing time for me. My grandma had always taught me that the best way to get bark off of a branch or piece of wood was with a ‘tater’ peeler. I remember the first strips of bark I watched slide off the staff and on to the ground…..it came off like butter..so easy and so quick. Then I did the next thing my grandma taught me. Put the wood in a dry, even temperatured place for a couple of days to dry a bit. This is so the layer of orange-ish bark will show itself and then that layer can be taken off. I sat on the stoop outside of the condo. This time the stripping was a little more involved and meticulous. I used the ‘tater’ peeler and carefully and slowly began to remove the orange colored stripes that had come to light with the drying process.

As I sat there and worked, my partner opened the door and he came out into the courtyard with the dogs. He sat down beside me and the dogs were lying there on the cool patio as I smoothed out the wood under my hand. As we talked, he asked me what the staff was for and why I had wanted to make it. I explained everything to him and he listened intently. We talked about the meanings of everything that would be included on the staff. He ran his hand along the vine amazed that it was becoming so smooth. We talked about our relationship….and I opened up and told him that I felt like I was becoming more and more callous as I grow older. I told him that sometimes I feel like my heart is frozen…almost unfeeling at times. He looked me in the eyes and quietly told me that he understood…it was time to take the dogs to potty and then back inside. As he stood up, he leaned in and kissed my cheek. “Do you love me?” “Oh honey, I love you so much!”…then he walked out the gate with the dogs. I sighed quietly to myself and continued to work.

I got to a stopping point on the staff and decided to put it in the utility room until the next time I worked on it. I sat down on the couch with a book and started to read. My partner came over to me and kissed me on the cheek. “Do you love me?” “Yes honey, I love you more than anything.”…then he headed to the bedroom.

I finished the chapter I was reading and decided to head to bed. I leaned over to kiss him goodnight. “Do you love me?” “Honey, you know I do. Why do you keep asking?” “Because I know that you love me…..you just need to realize that the heart inside you is a good heart….one full of an infinite amount of love….a heart that is capable of anything you can imagine. It hasn’t become hard or unfeeling….it just gets tired and stressed sometimes.” I rolled over quietly. My mind was going hundreds of miles an hour.

As I rolled over onto my side, my mind raced back to my days in the church. My partner had reminded me of a sermon I had given years and years and years ago. I have always held the thought that we can learn something from all faiths. I watched myself in my mind standing behind the pulpit. I was delivering a sermon based on the scripture where Jesus had been resurrected and was talking to Peter. “Do you love me?” “Yes, Lord, I love you.” “Feed my sheep.” “Peter, do you love me?” “Yes, my Lord, I love you.” “Feed my sheep.” He asked him a third time, “Peter, do you love me?” “Lord, you know all things. You know that I love you.” “Feed my lambs.” In these verses, Jesus did not ask Peter if he loved him so that Peter might feel shame…or that Peter might think that Jesus questioned his love. Jesus asked these questions of Peter for Peter’s sake. Jesus did not want to condemn Peter….Jesus wanted Peter to get a glimpse of his own heart. It wasn’t Jesus who questioned Peter’s love….it was Peter. It wasn’t Jesus who thought Peter had failed…it was Peter.

As a Pagan…a witch….I think we feel that others are always passing judgement on us. Most of the time, we are the ones who question our own hearts and motives most harshly. If a spell or energy working doesn’t go the direction we think it should, there must be something wrong with us…..we don’t take into consideration that the universe works in ways that we may never get to see.

I have determined that I am my own worst enemy. I will never have to worry about the proverbial Dorothy dropping a house on me…I will have already stood under a condo, a house, an office park waiting for the worst to happen.

I have lived a full life….that life includes hurt, betrayal, confusion and the death of dreams. There is still so much love that radiates from that stringy little organ inside my body. I feel that love every time I sit in the courtyard under the moonlight with a friend who is hundreds of miles away physically. I really don’t have the time or the energy anymore to concentrate on who hurt me when…or who all has ever betrayed me. Those are the things that harden the heart.

What is it that brings healing? Sitting on the stoop in the courtyard barefooted, feeling the shavings hit my feet as I whittle and carve on a stick….a stick that can help facilitate a lot of healing….a stick that prompts conversation and thought…a stick that may mean nothing to anyone but me….but it is my healing stick.

Blessed Be!

‘Tis You Who Hath Made Me Wicked……

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This week has been a challenging week, if nothing else. My partner had his ear surgery last week and instructions were given for him to take it easy. In our household, that comes to mean one thing….I take on every little chore and undertaking. Now, I am not complaining….it had to be done for his healing. The cat boxes needed to be scooped, the dogs had to be walked, the house had to be cleaned, laundry had to be done, the courtyard had to be maintained, meals had to be cooked….and of course I had to watch him like a hawk. This also happened to be a very hectic and busy week at work. So this week….let’s just say…..I am pooped.

Now I normally try to be as upbeat as possible around home and work. I feel like sometimes we are so bombarded with bad stuff that we need that someone who can make us laugh at the dumbest things. At work, I am always posting dumb little pictures just to build morale and instigate a giggle or two. When I am overtired, however, I can be the biggest grump you have ever seen. It doesn’t help that I am living life on decaf….which is essentially flavored water. At home, I try to be equally as jovial. I try to make light of situations just to keep my partner’s mind from circling small issues over and over again and turning them into mountains.

So, I am at work this week and trying to deal with some major issues, when one of the women I work with asked me something that she should know backward and forward. I snapped at her. This woman also happens to know that I am a witch….and as she is walking away from me, I hear her mutter under her breath, “Hmmmpfh, looks like Glinda is gone and the Wicked one has taken over!” It kind of took me by surprise. I know I sat there with shock on my face, but also, it made me angry.

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It seems like most of my life, I have been held to a different standard. My time in the ministry made me walk tightropes as far as behavior went. After all, the pastor is supposed to be loving, even-tempered, and long-suffering. Now, I have explained before that I am a complete fire sign….so to hold my temper all the time just ain’t gonna happen. In the church, I was always told that ‘righteous anger’ was ok. Well that is fine and good….but what about the ‘stupid people who could use smoting up-side the head’ anger?

I find the same standards in witchcraft. After all shouldn’t we hold ourselves to a higher standard? I also think that we shouldn’t be forced to stifle all that is natural in us. As a man who loves to embrace the wild part of myself, I would much rather snap as a warning to someone (the way the wolf or dog does) than let them put their hand right at my mouth and force a bite. With most of life, I have learned that sometimes growling a bit lets someone know that it is time to back away from me.snarling-wolf

Frisbee is very much mostly mild-mannered. When he feels threatened, his fur bristles, he growls, he bears his teeth. We have one neighbor that either out of ignorance or shall we call it ‘her own state of simple bliss’ doesn’t realize that these are warning signs a dog gives when you are invading his space. I have told her over and over and over to please not approach Friz by reaching at or over him….don’t make direct eye contact with him…..be as non-threatening as you can possibly be around him. She doesn’t listen. This week, I was walking Friz on my lunch…as I do everyday and this woman comes up to him. She proceeds to reach at him. I asked her to please step back and don’t touch him because he is feeling uneasy. He proceeds to growl…..as did I. She looks at me vacantly and says, “Oh all dogs like me….that’s just his way of being friendly.” So I tell her, “I work in a vet clinic and those are all the postures of a dog who is uneasy and feels threatened.” She continued to ignore me and reached toward Friz like Elmira from Tiny Toons…with Friz backing farther and farther away.tumblr_m9wqojaget1qisyigo1_500

Finally, I put myself between her and my dog and growled, “Back away from my dog or you won’t have to worry about him biting you….it will be me.” She said, “You don’t have to be mean!” I said, “I guess I do because you didn’t listen to me when I was trying to be nice.” It is sad that you can’t be firm, or give just a growl without someone looking at you as if your skin has turned green, your nose has grown crooked and sparks are flying from your fingers.

Now I wonder just how much we may have misjudged all those witches that we have come to think of as wicked over the years.

  1. The Wicked Witch of the West: So many accounts are out there now about how she became Wicked. There are suggestions of her being scorned by the Wizard. Maybe she was just having a bad day, but we labeled her “Wicked.”
  2. The Evil Queen from Snow White: Most of us have watched the episodes of “Once Upon A Time.” We have seen the hurts that Regina has been subjected to…only because she was never allowed to live the life she wanted.19b24eb7f81ed3e9ab5d24f6e63a89d1

I try very hard to be a gentleman, but when somebody pisses me off…..there can be hell to pay. I try to be kind with my words, but my tongue can cut you to shreds if you threaten me or any of my family….extended included. I would never use a spell to harm anyone, but I will pull out all the stops if you come at me. I have been told for so long that I should always keep the ‘negative’ emotions under wraps. I don’t really see any emotion as negative. If I let any emotion go to the ‘nth’ degree it can go haywire.

Am I wicked? Yeah, sometimes…..but I am also just as kind and gentle. It is not dependent on me…..but on you.

Blessed Be!

Fanning the Flame of Brigid

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Brigid is the Celtic triple goddess ruling healing, poetry, and smithcraft. She is one of the great mothers of the Celts. Brigid is best known for her associations with healing, poetry, and smithcraft. As a healing goddess, she governs childbirth and the birthing time.  As a goddess of poetry, she governs not only the inspiration and writing of poetry, but also divination and prophecy. As a goddess of smithcraft, she governs the forge’s fire. It is for these reasons that she is considered the “Bright Goddess” and is associated with the element of fire. In all her forms, she brings to one inspiration (a fire quality) and provides the spark for motivation. She is also the goddess of the hearth-fire, the fire of the home, since she contains the mother and fire aspects.

The festival of Imbolc on February 1 is dedicated to Brigid. Imbolc is associated with the lactation of ewes (Imbolc meaning “in the belly” and Oimelc meaning “ewe’s milk”) and is one of the four major Celtic festivals (Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh also known as the greater Sabbats).

Over this past week I was encouraged, in preparation for Imbolc, to do a detailed study of Brigid.  I have to admit that my knowledge of her was a basic one.  I had only ever known her as the Goddess of the hearth fire.  In my mind, I guess I always pictured her as the quiet little house-witch ever-diligently tending the fire of the hearth where sustenance was being prepared as a strengthener for that weary witch who called on her.  Let me just say…I was so wrong.  I guess I should have honestly known better.  I have never known the Celts to have “settled in and comfortable” goddesses. The ones I have studied in the past have all been powerful, strong battle-strong goddesses.  I ask the forgiveness of the Lady Brigid for my desperate misinterpretation of her.hearth_and_hound_2_by_beautifuldragon322-d4mbez6

As I began studying, the first aspect of Brigid to show itself was the healing goddess.  It was not surprising that birth and the anticipation of the birthing time came forth.  As we come into Imbolc, it is in anticipation and preparation of spring.  It is shortly after this Sabbat that we begin to see the tell-tale signs that spring is around the corner.  Hibernation ends in February and March for those animals that do and they begin making babies.  It was always such a wonderful time in the spring on the farm when all the animals would start having little ones.  I remember vividly helping many a mama goat deliver twins or listening as the first faint peeps could be heard under the setting hens.  All of these memories stirred helped me to see Brigid as a goddess of beginnings.  As the darkness of winter starts to fade, she brings the light of new possibilities.  It is in that time that we come out of our own darkness…blinking constantly as we adjust to the sunlight of a new day blazing down on us, finally absorbing the warmth that floods us with hope.

This led me to the second aspect of her personality: Poetry.  This took me to a study of the word.  Back in my time as a minister, I studied Greek and Hebrew…..for far too many years.  In Greek, the word poiema means “a work” or “that which has been made.”  So this shows Brigid as a goddess of action.  She is considered to be the goddess of inspiration, divination and prophecy.  All of these traits combine in the form of a Creatrix…once again bringing forth the mothering part of her nature but that part that is very much ever-moving and ever-changing.  As I meditated on this part of her nature, I sat in front of my cauldron with flames licking forth from the belly and I called on her to awaken in me the things that are to born out of my heart and spirit in the coming year.  It was in that time that I felt an excitement and stirring deep within my own belly….much like those flames reaching higher and purposefully out of my own cauldron.  I know what visions and dreams were given and shown to me in those moments, and I look forward to sharing them with you as I watch them unfold.

The next aspect of her personality that came forth to me was the goddess of the forge’s fire.  Brigid is the goddess of smithcraft.  If you look into the history of smithcraft, it is only in the direct heat of the fire that metal is made maleable.  It is in that heat that impurities are burned off and the metal is able to be shaped into what the smith has need of.  It is that same thing that Brigid offers.  In the light of spring, we are given the chance to start over…to become anything we desire to become.  In those days, we are given the chance to fly again.  It is only in the light of spring that plants reach higher and higher, face to the sun, becoming all that nature intended for them to be.  Brigid offers us that same option.  Our potential is limitless.  We are built to grow, to change, to become.  We are one large compilation of energies….our energy is designed to work with and play upon other energies.

In the midst of this study time, I was forced to look eye to eye with myself.  Am I sitting on my broadest part waiting for life to come to me?  Brigid has awakened that part of me that may have actually been a little afraid to dream, to visualize.  She also stirred the wild man inside again.  For some reason, whenever I tend to become far too civilized, the horned one and a fiery goddess begin whispering in my ear.  When I get too busy to listen, I get a louder call to get back to that wild part of myself.  As I sat in front of the fire of my cauldron, I swear I could hear the flames laughing….urging me to laugh along with them in anticipation of the newness that life was about to take on……the dance of the wild man welled up inside and I couldn’t help myself.  The excitement of the Fire Goddess called me to dance and sing and move….always forward. 

Anticipation.  Inspiration.  Motivation.  Sounds like a hell of year is about to unfold.

Blessed Be!imagesCAVMK0TZ

Where Do I Fit?

This past weekend I had alot of time to think about things by the pond. The coolness in the weather seemed to call me outside more than normal. The wind was begging to play and the water was laughing as it was tickled by the breeze. It seems that I am called to the pond so much more lately. My courtyard used to be more my refuge, but it always seemed so ‘put together.’ I knew that my spirit was being summoned to something wilder…something that had not been tamed by the city.

I decided to wander out there today after work. It was a really stressful day and my blood pressure decided to bounce up and down like a yo-yo. I found myself getting angry at every stupid little comment and trying to separate myself from everything and everyone. Now was my chance. I went by myself today. I could feel my Lady of the Lake singing to me. I could feel Oak calling for me to nestle myself against his trunk (when I am lying against him, it is almost as if he is absorbing the negativity within me and pushing it deep underground with his roots).

My mind was going in a thousand different directions. I thought about the past. I thought about all the things I had been allowed to do in life. I was a singer, an actor, a clown, a minister, a counsellor, an artist, a boyfriend, a farmer…..it seemed to me like it had been too short a life for all those personalities to be wound up inside me.

I have always been a mutt of sorts. I have always used the old phrase “Jack of All Trades, Master of None.” It is one thing to be able to do alot of stuff, but if you don’t completely excel at those things, it can be dreadfully unfulfilling. There were only two things that ever felt completely natural to me…..being gay and being a witch. I felt like I excelled at both. In the church, I had always been taught ‘Father God’ but I always felt drawn to the Horned one and Mother Goddess.

I laughed out loud today as I remembered my days in the church. I was very much like Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. It seemed that the other pastors I worked with were always singing, “How Do You Solve A Problem Like David.” I always had an unconventional approach to things. I loved to take the classes I taught out into nature to experience what I truly knew was Divine. I spent my lunches wandering through woods and creek beds. I never quite fit into the mold they had created for me.

And this is why I went to the pond today. I am feeling like I am not so much fitting anymore. I am caught inside the hamster wheel. Before the ooohs and aahhs start, my relationship is fine, my walk along the Path is fine, I am basically fine. There is just a puzzle piece loose somewhere.

I think the clearest when I am in nature. I can breathe again. I needed my time with the Horned One and Mother Goddess. I needed it to be me. Just me. I took my shoes off straight away and dug my toes into the dirt. I pushed my hands down into the grass just to feel that connection with the earth around me. I could hear the crows in the distance. My have I heard the crows lately…..and seen the crows…they have been everywhere. I have also been having more dreams about travel this week. I travel in my dreams by broom or by foot or just by puff of smoke.

This has also been a week when animals have been drawn to me more than ever. Dogs that I don’t know at the clinic are running up to me in a crowd of people. The clinic cats have been leaving gifts (goddess help me) on my desk. Today I was standing in the hall at work and I see this flash of white running toward me……it was a ferret who had escaped and ran at me and climbed me. Now you have to know that I am afraid of ferrets, rats, anything along that line. I am hyperventilating and he is having the best time. Everyone around me is laughing because they know of my fear.

Of course as I come to this revelation, it should not surprise me that at that moment there is a black and white cat winding itself around me. I don’t think I have ever heard him purring as loudly. I feel my brain starting to relax. Too many thoughts have been circling it. I smell the turn of the wheel as I sit there. I am delighted by having friends circled around me. I take my cue from them. I make myself laugh with the water. I make myself dance in the wind. I make myself calm and steady along with the Oak, and I breathed contentment like black and white cat.

I am far from depressed. Something has just been off. I find the best way to deal with that ‘off’ feeling is to put myself in the place that I fit best…..right in the midst of the Lord and Lady. While I am watching the world start to go dormant as the wheel turns, I am reminded that there are those times in us when we feel like a blank page. It is in those times that I must allow the Lord and Lady to write on those pages. I must also allow my elemental friends to do the same….it is important to pull on the personalities of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.

I gather myself and bid black and white cat ‘Good Evening’ and give my offerings to the elements and head back to the condo. I go about my regular nightly duties. I empty the garbage and head to the dumpster with the bag. I open the door into the courtyard and look up….there is a hawk sitting on the brick of the courtyard fence. I fumbled for my camera and end up with a blurred picture of bricks. Immediately I think about the significance of the hawk. Hawk brings awareness and perspective ( Am I going through life blindly right now…going through the motions). He also brings insight and vision (Am I bottling my creativity? Is my self confidence waning a bit). He brings initiative and decisiveness (Am I procrastinating about something).

I can definitely see that the weeks ahead will bring many new thoughts and ponderings…..many days by the pond….culminating in a trip to the mountains of Asheville the first weekend of November. I see an adventure in the making.