When the Workings Feel Stale

2015-10-17 13.43.46

This morning I went to Red Top Mountain…my partner looked at this as a casual outing for us and a friend, but for me it was so much more.  For the past couple of weeks, I have felt stretched, stressed, tired, and stagnant.

Funny how things find their way into our paths when we need it most.  As we began our journey on the mountain, we came across a bit of stagnant water.  The closer we got to it, the worse it smelled.  My partner kept telling me that water couldn’t possibly smell like that.  He thought that something had died.  I told him to get closer to it.  He knelt down and took a large breath and then choked on it.  He apparently never encountered something like this growing up on the plains of South Dakota.  I explained to him that there was no source other than rainfall and no escape…so there the water sat…murky, polluted, dead.

As I explained this, a light came on in the back of my mind.  Of course, this is how I have felt lately.  I have circled too many times around things that didn’t deserve the worry I had awarded them.  I have sat around too much with my brow furrowed…contemplating things that needed to just be dealt with.  My rituals lately had been cardboard cut-outs of what I normally experienced.  The magick itself seemed to try to fly, but petered out a few feet off the ground. Then again, when the effort and intention is half-assed, then so is the magick it produces.

My trips to the woods had been quick and sporadic…the equivalent of a magickal quickie.  I could even see a change in Friz.  He would sluggishly climb on the back of my comfy chair and peer at me with one opened eye.  Silently pouting because we had been house-bound for too long.  When I would let him out into the courtyard for bathroom breaks, his selective hearing started.  He would get as far away from me as he could….spending as much time outside as possible.

I was feeling the onset of major depression.  This time there was no desire to fight.  I wanted to lie down and sleep forever.  I disengaged as much as possible.  I lived on Excedrin Migraine.  Avoiding issues and battles that we are too afraid to fight have that effect on us.

excedrin migraine

This past week, I finally got tired of all of it.  Thankfully, there was some semblance of fight left in me.  I realized that as long as I allowed myself to wallow in this and feel like this, that it was never going to end.  I may as well just stay asleep.  I asked a friend for a tarot reading.  It was dead on.  Successes at work…questioning my abilities…emotions that need to be dealt with…the “I care about you but I am mad at you” feeling…the feeling of being tired of going in a circle…the feeling of “I used to know the way but now I’m stumbling on a half-lit path”…and finally knowing that with all the decisions that have to be made that the wheel would continue to turn.

I needed something besides a small patch of woods behind a condominium.  I needed to spend the day among the trees and woodspirits…I needed to reconnect.  There was too much going on around me to spend the time needed in the woods.  I needed a mountain.

2015-10-04 11.11.19

We set out early this morning, cooler bag in tow.  I had asked a friend to go with us so that my partner would be entertained and I wouldn’t feel rushed.  It worked like a charm.  Once on the mountain, I was able to lose myself among the hiking trails.  As I wondered off the main trails and deeper into the trees, I watched in the distance as my comrades meandered slowly on the regular path.  I took my lunch separately and ventured out.

2015-10-17 10.43.23 HDR

As I climbed over fallen trees and through brambles, I noticed that there were mushrooms everywhere.  I was intrigued by the shapes and colors…fairy rings were rampant across the forest floor.  As I walked, I started seeing something that I had never seen as long as I have lived in Georgia.  At first, I thought that I was wrong…surely it was just another type of mushroom.  I moved closer to them.  Sure enough…Fly Agaric!  I was like a kid in a candy store.  I felt something stir in me.  I was reminded of blog after blog written by Sarah Anne Lawless about the Poisoner’s Path.  The baneful plants have always held a certain intrigue for me…that is why I have added mandragora and belladonna and monkshood to my gardening ventures.

I moved closer to the lake.  The sunshine felt good after being in the shade for so long.  It is sad that I have been in Georgia so long that 50-60 degrees feels cold in the shade.  As I flirted with the edge of the water…visualizing water nymphs singing their sirens songs to me, something beautiful and orangey-red caught my eye.  I could hardly believe it…more Fly Agaric!  As I moved closer to take a photo, I could hear that mushroom singing my name…calling to me like nothing has called to me in a long, long time.  I had to answer.

2015-10-17 11.14.15

I don’t believe it was coincidence that I had a paper towel in my pocket left over from a spring trip to this same mountain.  I reached out with the towel in hand and plucked the largest one.  I could feel its energy vibrating in my hand…this powerful mushroom singing to me the rest of the trip.  Just having it near brought a strong magick.

I sat and ate my lunch there at the edge of that lake.  The breeze pushed against me like an impish child.  On the other side, on the bank, there was a father with his children.  They laughed and chased each other.  I could hear their faint squeals.  It was like listening to the fae.  I was finally able to disconnect myself from that horrible numb feeling and I laughed out loud.

2015-10-17 13.21.30

It was an amazing feeling to feel like I could breathe again.  I am one of those people who would rather not air all my dirty laundry on Facebook, so when the depression tries to take hold, it is easier to joke on there and withdraw into my own cocoon…hiding so that no one can see the iron bands wrapped around my heart and emotions.

Fortunately there are witches who have a connection with me that is strong enough to sense this…and tend to call me out on it.  They (or should I say she)won’t allow me the luxury of wallowing in that muck and stench of a stale and rancid heart.  The reprimand comes quickly, “Get out into the woods! Now!”

Last night in preparation for my little journey today, I burned some of the Morrigan Incense that I have.  As it burned, I let myself drift into a meditative state…calling out for enough strength to fight the battles before me.  She listens strong and answers swiftly.

During my time on the mountain today, I was surrounded by crows…and I mean surrounded.  They played chase with each other in the trees.  The ran across the dead leaves on the forest floor…they cawed, they screeched.

After what ended up being more than a six mile hike, I was exhausted.  I cradled myself into a large tree and closed my eyes.  I felt a fortitude like I haven’t felt in weeks.  I closed my eyes and rested in it.  I heard my name.  I continued to rest…thinking the fae were close.  A hand reached out and touched my shoulder and I just about jumped out of my skin.  It was my partner and our friend.  They were ready to go home.  I had been exploring that mountain for almost seven hours.

I stood up and stretched my wings.  The steps ahead aren’t so sure…the path is overgrown and crooked…but I can see the light coming through….pushing me and guiding me.  I just need to let the wings do the work.

crowwings

Blessed Be!

Advertisements

Dogs, Pickups and Trust Falls

2015-06-06 21.31.13

How I have longed for the weekend this week.  I found myself encompassed by everyone’s mini-crises but mine throughout the work-week.  I know that Mercury is in retrograde and all that good stuff….but I have come to realize that people, in and of themselves, thrive on drama.  The most incredulous I encountered this past week was a co-worker sitting in her cube crying because one of her false eyelashes fell into her coffee.  I thought there may be more to it than that and asked her if everything else was alright.  In her biggest “I Love Lucy” Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!  She cried out that everything else was fine, she just didn’t want to go around with one eyelash on.  When I suggested that she take the other one off and asked if she carried mascara, you would have thought I saved the world.  Lord and Lady….I need to spend days…weeks in the woods.

It has been so much more than a yearning for the weekend for me though.  I need time.  I need space.  I need to feel the breeze pushing me from behind, the sun pulling me forward, and nature singing me to sleep.  I will get the time and space soon enough.  My partner is taking a trip back home to South Dakota for a week.  Those times are wonderful for us.  They give us time to miss each other…to think about the things that we enjoy about each other.  In a way, it can be more romantic for us than date night.

The yearning I am feeling is the type of hunger that makes you throw camping gear into the back of a pickup, put your dog in the front seat, load your backpack with your witchy goods and drive into the Tennessee hills until you can’t see civilization.  I want to get lost in Nature and rely on her for all that I need.  I want to curl up in the lap of the Goddess and feel that motherly nurturing…but also want to roam the land as the stag Lord, bellowing at the top of my lungs so that those within earshot feel my strength.

I am in need of Adventure.

2015-06-06 13.32.39

I can hear those mountains calling to me…just as they first called to me fifteen years ago.  I was living in Knoxville Tennessee at the time.  I was in school full time, working full time, and feeling completely lost.  I rarely got any time to myself and days off were scarce, but I happened to have one Saturday with absolutely nothing to do.  One of my school mates had agreed to keep my aussie at her farm so that she and I could be together.  The farm was only a ten minute drive from the apartments I was living in, so it worked out wonderfully.  That Saturday, I threw some sandwiches and sodas in a cooler, put it in the back of my old Ford Ranger, and stopped off to get my dog.  She bounded into the seat beside me sensing what was stirring in my craw.

We just started driving.  The windows were down and I could feel the breeze pulling me deeper into those Tennessee Hills.  We ended up somewhere outside of Sevierville in an area that was some sort of State Park/camping area.  I got out and Patches came bounding out behind me.  She was one of the best herding dogs I ever had, watched me like a hawk and did exactly what I asked her to do.  We both climbed onto the tailgate of that old pickup.  I opened the cooler and dished some of the cool water in my hand.  Patches lapped at it until she had her fill.  We ate sandwiches ( I would have a bite, then she would…this is the way we always did it).  I washed out one of the coke bottles in the lake nearby and filled it with the water from the cooler and we both started up the mountain.  To be that skinny and in shape again…LOL! We trekked through the trees and trails…Patches was so excited.  She had a grin that always indicated to me that nothing in the world could be more fulfilling.

We walked a little slower as we came to an area with a beautiful view of the lake.  I sat down on a fallen tree and there was my dog sitting right beside me.  She was the first animal who truly had laid claim to my heart.  She was mine and I was hers.  She was fearless (well, except for thunderstorms) and she was the one who taught me to let my senses lead me.  She is the one who taught me that some of the best sleep happened in the woods with a dog next to you.  To Patches….everything seemed new.  She romped and jumped and danced at everything.  Her favorite thing of all times was to play tag in the back pasture.  Many days I would find myself running  back and forth…all for the entertainment of that blue merled sweetheart.

Patches taught me many things.  She taught me how to walk fearlessly toward anything new.  She taught me to always run toward those things that showed promise.  She taught me to be a fierce friend…and on this day, she taught me that you could always climb mountains as long as you had momentum behind you.  She also taught me something else that day…probably the most valuable lesson I have ever learned.  I had turned my back for a minute and Patches had run up the ridge behind us.  I turned around and she was leaping toward me.  There was three feet between me and the edge of that mountain.  There was no doubt in her mind that I would catch her…and there was nothing else for me to do.  I had to catch her.  I reached into mid-air and grabbed her and held her as close to my chest as I could.  She looked up at me panting, but smiling that uncomplicated, trusting smile.  She knew I would never intentionally let anything happen to her.

2015-06-06 11.36.32

I realized in that moment that life is one big trust fall.  Things happen….alot of shitty things.  So many of us have become untrusting of so many things…even ourselves.  That day, that innocent little dog taught me to trust in myself, my doubts, my fears.  Over the course of time, I let circumstances and the turbulence of life make me afraid.  Sometimes when it would have accomplished so much more to leap head on into life…I held back, scared that there would be no one or nothing there to catch me.

Lately, my heart has begun to crave the new….the uncertain.  Lately, life has been about conquering the unconquerable.  Too old….not me.  Too fat…give me time.  Never been done…watch me.  I don’t know what has shifted in me lately, but when I look into the distance, I don’t see something I can’t reach.  I see an adventure lying on the horizon just waiting for me to leap toward it….and I fully intend to bring a few folks with me.  Some may go kicking and screaming and some may embrace it…but I am not going alone.

If no one else wants to come…I know a little blue chihuahua who embodies that same spirit of trust and adventure who will run right alongside me.

Blessed Be!

2015-06-06 11.34.49