Showing posts with label Lessons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lessons. Show all posts

13 September 2011

A Kitchen Witch In Summer's Reverie


September brings my favourite time of year again; the Autumn, that enjoins my reflection and introspection on what I've done through the cold of Winter, the birth of Spring and the work of Summer.  Yes, this is my time. I feel the changes in the landbase and the watershed;  I sense the anxious flutters of feathers gathering together and planning the great exodus  of winged things from this place.  I see the makings of harvest-time all around. 

Entering the garden is a sacred act. Yes, there are mundane chores to be done, but there are countless hours that must be spent grounding and nurturing the very essence of Life -- to do magic.  On the days the seeds were harvested from the stalk, dried in the sun, scarified and placed back into the earth, drowned in liquid miracles and born of the dark Mother's womb, and when the fruit was harvested, picked clean, peeled, prepared, combined with other fruits and delivered to the open mouths of those I love, I reflect in solitude.

My boys refused to help me set it up the way I had planned. There was too much shade. Not enough depth. There have been bugs on the leaves of the beans and the artichokes. My younger boys decided to set up targets to practice shooting their guns in my lovely garden leaving heirloom tomatoes a'shambles, cut off at the base and holes through the cabbage leaves. Yet, I loved in this garden. I grounded here. My tears were shed into the soil. My laughter and smiles greeted every leaf and stalk and root. I touched each bug chewed leaf with gentleness and healing.

As in all relationships, there is a time for incubation of thought and feeling, birth of new ideas and actions and implementation of plans, the hard work of doing the magic that brings life to it; and then there is time to look back and reflect. To learn. To be joyful at the successes and to be mindful of attempts that did not succeed. To engage in the turning of the Wheel, setting the course for Winter's contemplations and to return to the Darkness from which all Life is born. 

The moon is full and bright, glinting off the tall, bluish green of the leeks. There are blackberry vines that have come over to join the tomatoes (or have the tomatoes invited themselves to dance among the berries?). There is a contented murmur of the hens who are tucked safely into their bedding made of cedar shavings and bits of feather-dust. There is the slight crackling sound of the embers smoldering in the fire. There is the sound of darting bats diving through the swarms that glitter in the moonlight. There is a cool, mild breeze playing a tune through the pine and plum trees. 
There is Peace. What more could a Witch desire than to achieve what she set out to do?

16 February 2011

Let Your Light So Shine...

It's well past supper time and I'm still on my feet, putting the dishes away and tripping over the dog. My focus has been where it was best served the past week. My boys. The man-child has accepted a very good job opportunity that will allow him to work hard, earn a good wage and travel. All things that I can identify with wanting at his age (and doing, as a matter of fact). He's coming to terms with the responsibility of adulthood, and while his juvenile exploits have given him plenty of opportunities to learn, it is really the working responsibility of life that will reward him with growth. I've been close enough lately to watch as he works for his wings. 

Like any parent would, I suppose, I have inwardly struggled with fear as he flutters around the nest, waving about wildly and bumping into everything in ungainly gestures, likely caused by his expansion and the nest's stationary size. I needed to see this part of the transition for him. In looking at myself last June, I had to admit that I was allowing myself to be overwhelmed by his wing flapping and that it was increasingly more difficult for me with this Child of Air, to see beyond the cast-off down and preened feathers. I even did some magick to enhance my own ability to see him and to shine the light on his path.

As I close the cupboard doors and wipe them down, running the cloth across the counters in clockwise motions, I whisper a prayer, breathe an incantation, ground deeply and evoke an image of him; when my eyes opened and I hang the cloth to dry, and He landed on my cupboard. I snapped the shot, and as the photo uploaded to the machine, I began to see in digital imagery a now-familiar sight in my life. -- a tiny little creature whose shadow-casting wings dwarf the body, but whose light is unmistakeably radiant.

I am so blessed to see the Light of this Child. 

04 January 2011

Reflections in the Pond



We commenced the year together: Granny and Grandpa, Damon, Bones, Me & Doug. A few stragglers showed here and there, but for the first time since Momma left us to our own devices, we were all together. Funny how Mom is still the glue that holds us together. We made small talk for a bit, we dined, we drank and relaxed. We burned herbs in the darkened corners and lit candles together. Granny, Doug and I managed to break out of the small talk and address the elephant that was sitting in the room most of the evening. Granny is still struggling with Mom's loss, still a little angry about it, and she feels like her departure was a bit premature. She talked that out with Doug for a time, and his memory was a keen as ever. He reminded her that "way back when" when Mom was in her mid thirties or so, that he [Doug] was carrying her cancer-riddled body onto the sailboat and taking her out on the River so she could meditate. He said, "She was ready to die from the day I met her, and she lived for thirty years after that."

Granny then posed a question to me that I could not answer straight away. She asked, "Sis, if you had just one memory of Momma to hold onto forever, what it would be?" 

I was immediately flooded with thoughts, knowing that every aspect of my life contains a memory of her. How could I choose between the swing shift era spending every night together, talking, laughing, playing cards, waiting for Dad and my first husband to arrive home from work at 3:00 in the morning? The talking was priceless, immeasurably valuable and emblazoned upon me, as were the last-run-of-the-evening walk-on trips on the little ferry to see the candles on the water. How could I choose just one trip along the Columbia River, one jaunt through the estuaries, across country, up through the woods, and along the cliffs overlooking oceans listening to her make conversation with beaver and duck and deer? Which of the heart attacks she had in my arms would I choose? Which of the lessons in healing would I choose as a favourite?

I thought about how traumatic things must have seemed to others looking in from the outside.  And I never thought of them like that. We survived all things together ... and, I distinctly recall smiling. I recounted for the family the tale of her second heart attack; I knew the paramedics were on their way, but I also knew she was going to fall into unconsciousness before they arrived. I coaxed her to the floor, her head in my lap, her hands in mine and I was working diligently to ease the chest-clenching pains as blocked blood vessels cut oxygen to her heart. She was calm, even as her heart was stopping, and she looked up at me. I whispered that when she opened her eyes again, she'd see nothing but beauty all around her. 

Sure as the words spilled from my mouth, they came true. When her eyes opened, she smiled and pulling the oxygen mask from her face, she asked if she was in heaven. The paramedics asked why she would think she was in heaven, and she replied, "I've just never seen so many beautiful men standing around me in my life." She was right. Every one of those paramedics were gorgeous men, all standing over her, tending to her and smiling back at her. 

I caught myself smiling, too, amid the very worst of all my fears. The concept wasn't foreign and I'd heard it, as everyone did, from Charlie Chaplin's lyrics; but I understood it as we shared moments together, Momma and me.  I'm answering your question now, Granny. If I had but one memory to hang onto, it would have to be the memory of learning how to grin when it hurts so bad I can't cry, to bring joy into pain's presence  and to smile when what I fear most is gazing my direction.

09 December 2010

Schemes, Dreams and Themes

My son awoke yesterday morning as I gently nudged him and urged him to head to the shower and ready himself for school. He thanked me for having ended his night of dreams that had terrified him. I chuckled just a little as he described his dream . . . the same one I had a few nights before and had told my husband about.

I find that it is with great trepidation I teach him more about his own powers and abilities. Moreover, it has been with no small amount of fear that I have taught him since he was knee-high to a grasshopper about the returns we receive on all investments we make.

Earlier this year, I knew that my son was testing the "theories" I've taught him; he was busily engaged in seeking to prove me wrong. He did things that were against this momma's code of ethics and that I  advised him then he would later regret and would not escape dealing with.  At 17, we all really knew everything, and I remember well the decisions I made at that age that cost me for years.

When he told me of his dream, I shared with him mine and he and I just looked at each other knowing that the time was nigh. I could see his stomach turning, even though he's got a great poker face. I spent my day and early afternoon at work directing every bit of motherly energy into his better, beautiful self. Predictably, I got word that he was facing the consequences late in the day. They arrived in full to greet him, just as my dream and his confirmed it would.  I heard the strain in his voice and my heart broke just a little. I told him to be true, to be strong; I told him to accept and admit to himself where, why, how and when he had set the energy in motion. I hung up the phone and I cried just a little. To watch him grow is more painful than my own growth sometimes.

Last evening, as the family unit came together, and after he had hung his head in my presence knowing full well that not only had he wrought the stress and fear for himself,  but that his actions had impacted his whole family the same way, I asked him what he had learned. He didn't answer and I left the room to make dinner. He came in to me before bed, he pulled me up from my chair and wrapped me tightly in his arms and he told me that he was sorry, not only for what he had brought to himself, but also for my sadness, angst and fear. He told his dad that he didn't realize at the time that he would affect the family with his choices.

I don't fool myself into thinking that this will be the last time that we will walk down Consequence Lane with him, but I am so grateful he recognizes today that his path is not his alone. I'm thankful that he matters to himself, that his family counts in his thoughts, and that he chose to accept responsibility for his actions. I'm thankful that beyond taking responsibility for his own failures, he also voluntarily took responsibility for the feelings of those who love him.

He truly is my precious, perfect Gemini. And I am blessed and better for knowing him.

09 October 2010

Weekend Meditations



"One went to the door of the Beloved and
knocked. A voice asked, 'Who is there?'
He answered, 'It is I.'

The voice said, 'There is no room for Me and Thee.'
The door was shut.

After a year of solitude and deprivation he returned and knocked.
A voice from within asked, 'Who is there?'
The man said, 'It is Thee.'
The door was opened for him."

~ J. Rumi ~

13 September 2010

Collecting the Right Ingedients


My Saturday morning habit has been so easy to slip back into. Up with the Sun, coffee brewing, Damon giving me my morning kisses as I slip into my warm and cozies (slippers and fuzzy pants) and grab the paper before heading out to the car and driving to the reserve, picking up the litter that tourists have left during the week, making small chat with the fishermen standing on the flood gates catching bass, putting down the deserted, gravel road, and taking in whatever happens to be there in the moment. 

I spent time with a buck, his doe and a fawn; I watched a heron catch a fish and fly off; more deer; a rabbit and a few rodents; a hawk that took me half the length of distance that day ~ staying with me and flying ahead only to wait patiently on a fencepost for me to catch up and take another shot or two.


I see that the delicate Summer flowers are welcoming the morning dew and are strong, hearty, whispering to Fall that the carpets are laid and the final touches are being put on Her in anticipation of His arrival.




I head back home, fully awakened to the beauty that is Life, and I found myself ready to put the proper ingredients into the family's Winter preparations ~ the harvest is here and being processed. I put up peaches, salsa, mixed vegetables, peppers, jam, venison and stew. I made two pies, several meals over the weekend, fresh and grainy breads, cookie bars and collected more blackberries for putting up. Squash is here and this year, there will be lots to can. 





08 September 2010

The Priestess & Pastor Terry Jones; An Interfaith Effort


Our world isn't a kind one when it comes to trying to understand the wide variety of faiths and it is not at all surprising to me that there are folks like Pastor Terry Jones who opt for blood-letting as a favorable method of dealing with the diversity of the issues. He admits, however, that he hasn't read the Qur’an (because he just knows it is evil), and he is unwilling to because he most obviously fears it to the point he wants to build fires of it in the hopes, I'm certain, that such a destruction may allay his own fear.

I find that a bit humorous because setting it to the flame ... well, in my world, fire purifies, transforms and strengthens. Our country is a free one, where expressions such as these are going to happen; I am okay with our freedoms.  It did take me back to the days when Madonna's "Like a Prayer" album was released, and to be quite honest, I think all the burning and whatnot made her a very wealthy woman. Good things can come from the ill-intentioned actions of others.

As a Priestess of the Earth, I don't exactly feel powerless when other practitioners do these sort of things.  I'm able to do my part to counter the negativity that Pastor Terry Jones wants to share with the world, which is why for every book he intends burns in hatred, 

I've called upon the Fires he plans to light ~ 

The Wind will rise to meet the flash
As their teeth begin to gnash
Let them see the covers curl
And letters of the prophets whirl
Round and round their searing pyre~
May Flame transform their heart's desire.

I call upon the Fire tonight
Illuminate their wretched plight
Burning strong, an' harming none,
Bring the Light of God the Sun
And when they bow their heads in prayer~
May Water balance their despair.

Send Earthly love to those who see
These creatures who attempt to flee
The knowledge that would set them free
For none shall lose their legacy
Grant peace in perpetuity~
The spell is cast 
So mote it be.

Your on, Pastor Jones! For all you do to bring discontent to the world, there will always be a Priestess working overtime to redirect your misbegotten fervor.

Here's another suggestion: If you want to turn this into a positive, consider a donation to the Zakat Foundation to aid the Pakistani flood victims in the name of Pastor Terry Jones. I've already made one for him. 

23 July 2010

The Mead Moon

To everything there is a Season. This is definitely the manual labor season and I'm consumed by the business at hand. I'm looking forward to Lughnasadh when the wane will find me, too, and I'll slow down. Growing down is exhausting work, but I'm becoming more and more pleased by the expansion of things that give rather than consume, and the reduction of as much of the rest as I can find and figure. The Earth in me is aching to become well-rooted again and to really push up some growth, while the circumstance is that I'm in transit. This, I'm thinking as I'm digging out my rhubarb and poppy, placing them unceremoniously into buckets and bins for their move with me. 

I laugh and I whisper to them that I know what it feels like. They will soon have their old home to get used to again; they'll dig in to old habits and the water may not taste the same for awhile. Mountain Springs and Lower Rivers taste different. The dirt. The new tastes and smells and Wind patterns differently. They are an old and faithful sort, these rhubarb and poppy. I cackle at them and remind them how deeply red and orange they will be; that this little bit of change won't kill them and will just be stressful for a fortnight or so. I chatter that they will adjust and they'll grow and be hearty for harvest once again.

I hear Her tell me the same thing, and it comforts me. It doesn't change the pain of growth, but it changes my outlook it which in turns, relieves enough pain for me to see the rest of it and finish the cycle.  I am contemplating the Autumn's arrival and I realize that this is the time to put in the work so that when He begins to set, I can show my most brilliant of colours as the pain fades away.

Death is such an amazing thing to behold in someone you love as much as you ever loved yourself. So often society sees this event, this passage of time, this cycle of birth and life and death and renewal, this ending part of living as being a transition from a youth free of pain into an aged, aching, tired body. I've seen it's other face, however. Youth is a time of great growing pains when all the lessons have yet to be learned and all the mistakes have yet to be made. It's an amazing moment in life, if we could truly capture it and hold it hostage for longer.

Oh, but how I love the wane far more than the birth! I'm drawn to it as the moth to the blazing  tongues of Fire. I love it because I've learned that if I go through Fire, headlong into the end -- I can place to rest anything I choose. I can recognize its significance and acknowledge it. I can allow it quiet, dormant time to heal through Winter. I can take what is left after Winter's pall, and give new life of it in Spring and recultivate it through Summer. I'm look fondly to the return of the Casting Off and I'm planning its vivid colors and brilliant landscapes.

The Moon will soon be full and my magic garden is coming to fullness rapidly.

16 July 2010

When You're Breathless

When breathless from that blow to the solar plexus that drops me to my knees and causes me to expel all the air within my lungs, my muscles tense, recoiling so strongly against the impact that they refuse to relax and allow me to draw in another breath ... this is to me the sensation of change, of revolution, of a turning tide, a death and a birth, an end and a beginning.

The pains of change are my new instructor; the application of my new learning will be the remedy that will eventually ease that pain, and I shall seek the pain of another teacher. Ignoring it doesn't work and the pain just intensifies, but I'm having a glass of wine with that pain and breathing as I engage it. We are breaking bread, this pain and I. We are beginning to understand one another, and the more I accept and breathe, the less intense the pain is becoming.

Okay, alright! I admit it! I hate changes!

I hate everything that comes along with them. I hate discomfort. I hate being ill at ease in my own mind, skin and home. What's more, I hate uncertainty. I hate the word hate, and I hate that I have used it so often to describe the changes that I knew many moons ago were going to kick my ass this year.

I hate the fact that I am standing on my own two damn feet and I hate the fact that I am not falling to pieces, crumbling like clumps of mud, dried out in the sun's unfaltering heat. I hate the fact that I'm strong and I hate weakness more. I hate that my temper cannot be soothed, even as I immerse myself in the love songs of Rumi.

I hate that I know what I have to do to create my new comfort zone and I hate the fact that I'm going to do it just to have it overturned again in a few more years. I hate that I'm getting better at change and am becoming more and more calloused by it. I hate that I have so much to learn, and I hate the fact that I know that there is time yet -- I hate more that I know this period of change is so damn vital to that learning.

I hate that I'm happy to be going home to the land that stores so much of me within it; I hate that I have given up running and I hate that I am looking in the mirror and loving more and more of what I see, because that is only going to serve me with pain later as I know I am going to love bits of me that will and must change.

It's just as well and there it is. I've said it. Relax and breathe...sounds like some guru-published load of crap.

I'm breathing deeply and relaxing. I'm moving through these changes in every, single, solitary facet of life; nothing is left untouched or unchanged. I should be grateful. I should be thankful that I am changing; were I to remain the same, I would be missing this exquisite sense of fury and the many joys that my sorrows have brought me.

06 July 2010

Monday Musings


“The secret of attraction is to love yourself. Attractive people judge neither themselves nor others. They are open to gestures of love. They think about love, and express their love in every action. They know that love is not a mere sentiment, but the ultimate truth at the heart of the universe.”

~Deepak Chopra

29 June 2010

A Witch's Summer Brew


The Wheel turns and so do I. I've come through the Winter, frozen and almost starved,  to find the warming rains of the Spring and my appetite is ravenous as the Summer's life bursts forth from Her belly and begins its ascent to maturation, when I will feast.

I attribute the foulness of my mood as though it were a hunger; a hunger that requires my own action to sate. Just as She demands of me that I serve her to win the reward of drawing my own life from her womb, I, too, must serve my own needs to win the reward I seek.

In the dank recesses of the daub and wattle hut in which I store my ill-temper, I peered out the window to see Him shining light and I thought, "-- if only I would go and stand in it." When in  the throes of change, of discomfort and dis-ease of mind, I brew a concoction that is absolutely fool-proof in my experience, and it brings me back to balance. I go to a friend's work to share a hug, take a book to another, smile and laugh for a few moments with more still, I stop and get cherries for Damon on the way home because I feel in my gut he's had a rough day, and in return I've received more in one day, than any girl with a bad attitude should.

I've been given a hug; I've gotten to chat with an old friend who I haven't seen in awhile and I miss; I've eaten cake worthy of a Queen's table; and best of all, I got a special hug from Honey, and the tiniest words:

"Thank you for stopping and getting me cherries. 
It's been a shitty day and 
you've made the brightest spot in it."

Windows. Those little, translucent panes are everything.

20 June 2010

A Woman's Lack of Good Temperament



          This time last year, I threw a fit. A temper tantrum worthy of a toddler, really. My mother was gone and I didn't yet accept it. What I did accept was that I wouldn't have time to put in and tend my garden. I bitched and groaned, bellyached to the walls and got quite sullen. Midsummer last, I was so despondent with my lack of time to spend in the earth that I brought home bags and bags of daisy seeds and threw them all over my garden (my mother loved daisies). They brought me no joy as the planting wasn't right for them to grow. 

       Funny thing is, midday last, I went for a short walk through the pasture to see if I couldn't catch sight of the Old English and her chicks, and as I neared the garden patch -- overgrown as we are moving -- the most fantastic result of my distemper was laid out like a white and yellow carpet before me, with a few volunteer garlic, onions, poppies and cosmos. Who says having a bad attitude doesn't pay off ?  I think I may have to disagree; and I may go further to say that sometimes, you just have to cast your seeds blindly and know that time will pass and bring beauty of ugliness and joy of sorrow. 

      I've cut my share and my bath is now filled ... and I'm dyeing them. Third grade science, I know; but I also like blowing bubbles. I celebrate the coming of Midsummer with my tantrum-bred daisies.

19 June 2010

Welcome Midsummer


Rest is not idleness,
and to lie sometimes on the grass
on a summer day
listening to the murmur of water,
or watching the clouds float
across the sky,
is hardly a waste of time.

~John Lubbock~

08 June 2010

The Strangest Things Happen


I came home from work last evening to a doe lying beneath the apple trees in the back yard. I sat down in the grass and we had a bit of a chat. I wasn't but maybe 3-4 yards from her. She and I stood and sat at roughly the same height, so we conveniently could see directly into the eyes of the other. 

Damon and Jay came home about that time. I was afraid the sound of the car doors slamming and the casual conversation they were having would disturb her, but it didn't. She stayed as I got up to greet them. I introduced them, went and retrieved my camera so that I could take pictures. I told her that I wanted photos of her and she seemed obliging, even standing, stretching, scratching her chin with her hind leg, reaching up to munch contentedly on the tiny, green little knobs hanging from the limbs above. The lighting was amazing and the digital images were just divine as I looked at them on the screen.

It wasn't until later when I downloaded the photos that I found not one single photo where she wasn't completely distorted. I had to clean up this one to even get her outline. 

Odd, indeed! Most delightfully, I'm left with the memories of our conversation with very little by which to remember what I saw. 

03 June 2010

Stripping off the Self-Imposed Layers

Are You Naked Yet?

Thanks to Philip Carr-Gomm, I feel much less alone in this world.

Now, cast the bloomers and everything else to the fair winds and embrace all of our humanity!

18 May 2010

Thirty Years Ago


My Aunt 's autobiography "Wind in My Face" I saw on my bookshelf this morning and I've been thinking of her all day today. What amazing stock I come from, my grandmother's mother, she and her sisters . . .

I remember her regaling me with tales of walking on the wings of the planes (and what the Wind taught her up there) and about riding cross-country on her Harley in 1938, her friend Maddie riding alongside her; I remember her story of she and Herb, a man of many precious qualities, who never tried to harness or inhibit her feminine potential.

Thinking back to when Mt. St. Helens erupted thirty years ago, I chanced on these memories.

13 May 2010

To Worship & Adore

Hecate was kind enough to pass this along, and Thorn penned it out perfectly.  I wish I could put that sensation to words...

If you see me posting "NO SPRAY" signs, or batting my eyes at the gorgeous guys in velvety horns trudging through my apple trees, or whispering poetry out over the driftwood in a sing-song sort of way, or you see me touch a dandelion or a beetle as though I were in love (or Goddess forbid you catch me kissing a frog just to test the theory), it is because I need from them what they need from me. When I reach out in Love, they send me a breath of air, a torch to heat my blood and light my path, and an infinite flow that showers and cleanses and brings things to rights. All these I need. I must do better; I must teach my child to do better. It will take a few generations, but I know that what I do matters -- even if nobody else recognizes it until my great, great, great, great grandchild walks in these places where I have stood.

It matters.
It matters.
I matter.
What I do matters.
I count.
As one of all living creatures.
Energy rising.
I am forever destined
To have this burgeoning desire
Boiling in the cauldron,
Hot within me,
To the point I must burst!
And just as I begin to sense
The sweetness of that release,
The elements come to my "aid"
Ensuring I expand instead.

Oh, Goddess,
Hold Me Always On This Edge!
s.m.i.b.

12 May 2010

A Witch's Scrying Vision

I'm working with a vision that appeared as I was scrying into the deep. I gazed at my mirrored image for a very short period of time before the water began to move; with each ripple of the water, a new set of my eyes and face appeared before me. 

I recognized each one immediately. They were all me and they ranged from the hideous to pleasing, some had clear definition and characteristics and others were without gender; some were blind, more still were without any bold distinction. Some were quite extroverted and appeared with great enthusiasm; the apprehensive ones in the throng, staring at me so intently as if they were a bit unsure if their presence were welcomed at this gathering of my Selves, were the ones who captivated my attention almost immediately. 

At first, I tried to sort through the many aspects there before me -- but each time I tried to set them into categories, they rearranged themselves back to their points of origin. The wholeness of the group, each face being without form in the absence of any of the others, was marked indelibly in my vision.

I was flooded by the sensation that this was the same vision of me that my mother had -- the whole of me. I know now that my anguish in her absence is not one borne of desire for one-on-one human contact; rather, a longing for the comfort of that "other" whose vision could not look upon me without seeing all the aspects of which I am comprised. I feel her loss most poignantly as I look within myself; this must be defining loneliness in a crowded place. I miss the unconditional nature of that love, the eyes upon me that did not attempt to avoid some of my aspects or favor others; I miss the certainty of that love and the comfort of that acceptance.

I don't know if I will ever have the opportunity to be seen by another again in this life, and I am grateful that I once was, even if only for a short time.