Wednesday, December 9, 2009

thought for the day...


I am a 59 year old woman with one foot planted in the business world, one in my personal life and both firmly planted on the path of the Goddess. I am a seeker, a left of center, tree hugging, dirt digging daughter of the Goddess, always have been, always will be, 24 hours a day.
I stand firmly opposed to the patriarchal, head in the sand, science denying, blindfolded, dogma driven institutions that want to pound us all back to the stone age. Whatever guise they are hiding behind.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

a time for reflection and study


I am trying something different this year as far as a little adjustment to the wheel of the year.
Like many pagans, I have celebrated Samhain as the end and the beginning of the year. Last year there was some discussion on the blogs about this and a couple of people offered that they celebrate Samhain as the end of the year and Yule as the beginning. The time in between is used for....whatever.
I am doing that this year. I will celebrate the new year at the winter solstice, when the dark begins to change back to light. And I will use the dark part of the year for reflection and study.
My studies are already lined up. I have begun a course on chakra healing with my teacher and I am well into book one of Christopher Penczak's Temple series.
I will let you know how both of these progress.
I am also going to make time to do more magick, Christopher's books have magickal exercises for homework, so those two studies will go together.
I feel good about this, it seems to have a natural flow that appeals to me at this time.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

feeling good...


I haven't been blogging. I haven't been doing ritual or magick. I haven't been learning my new runes. I have been studying....I am reading Christopher Penczak's Temple series, just on book one. He promised it would not be Wicca 101...he better get a move on.

ANYWAY, I have been finding excuses. Too tired, too hurried, too..........you fill in the blank.

So tonight I filled the bath with smell good stuff and epsom salts and HOT water. Took some ritual stuff into the bathroom. Goddess candle, sage candle, 4 candles for spirit guides, incense and Wendy Rule. Soaked and scrubbed and let everything just drift away. I didn't ask for anything or talk to anyone. I just let the warm water and the scents and the light of the candles and the music gradually replace all the tensions of the days and weeks past.

And I got it.

I have been avoiding ritual because I have been feeling unworthy. Hurried, rushed, not very forgiving, often feeling dirty (physically...I work with horses), just not up to ritual.

How incredibly CHRISTIAN of me. Unworthy to talk to my patriarchal, unforgiving, all-mankind-is-born-sinful, wrathful GOD.

What a wake up call that was. Nothing shocks a witch like realizing that I am acting and thinking like a Christian.

Goddess isn't about forgiving me, or judging me. She could care less if I worship her or curse her. She doesn't need me....I need her. I need the acceptance that this existence just IS.
That it is about learning, not getting a passing grade. Goddess and all the goddesses that we talk to, my spirit guides...all of them are here to help me learn my lessons. They can't do that if I don't talk to them and listen to them. But it's all the same to them...I am the one who is the Seeker, they already know the answers.

So why am I avoiding them?.......because when I am tired and frazzled that old childhood conditioning starts controlling my responses. The years of being told how unworthy, how sinful, how unlovable we are and that we need to kiss the feet of this god who seems to hate us...all that baggage is still capable of causing problems. Til I drag it out into the light of day and take a close look.

Oh, and I got one more message. Apparently that 4 candle holder that I use for my spirit guides is perfectly acceptable. But the four identical candles is getting old, those 4 spirits are not only not the same, they don't even like each other much.....at least that's what I got.

Light a candle, talk to goddess or spirit. If you don't have anything to say, then just listen.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Daily Practice (cross posted with A Pagan Tapestry)


There is always talk on the pagan blogs and podcasts about daily practice. Do you or don't you, why or why not, how to if you want....

Do I have a daily practice? Well, yes and no.
I spend time each day offering time or myself to deity. I spend time each day acknowledging the presence and importance of the elements. I offer casual conversation and my beliefs are part of my life, 24/7.
However, do I perform ritual everyday, no matter how long or short, how complex or how simple?
The answer to this is no, in spite of my very best intentions, plans and the energies that pull at me.

I hear and read many people in similar circumstances who chide themselves for being too busy or a little lazy or not dedicated enough.

I have always felt that this was not the answer. Maybe those answers apply to some, some of the time. But there is more to it for some of us, for many of us.

T.Thorn Coyle wrote about this recently and her words helped me put into words the feelings that I have about this.

Fear.
Fear of the unknown. Fear that those powers are really real. Fear that taking that last step, that moving from 99.9% dedication to the goddess to 100% commitment will set in motion unstoppable changes in our lives. So we dither on the edge of the precipice.
I think there is a special, individual, unique time that we are each invited to step off that ledge.

'when you have come to the edge of all light that you know
and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown
faith is knowing one of two things will happen:

there will be something solid to stand on
or you will be taught to fly'

Patrick Overton

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

cross posted with A Pagan Tapestry

Reading blogs and reading my own email and sometimes even the comments on my blogs, I realize that it is difficult for us to leave behind the concepts of deity that we are surrounded with in this society. I am talking about the role of the minister, rabbi, imam, priest, preacher.....and unfortunately the perceived role of the high priest or high priestess.

Do you still, sometimes, think of your deities as being 'over there' or 'out there' or 'up there' and they speak to an intermediary who will tell you what they said?
This is one reason I left Christianity.

I speak to my goddess.
I speak to the elements.
I speak to the spirits of the land
I speak to my spirit guides
and
THEY SPEAK TO ME.

If some little voice inside your head is right now going ....yeah-but....please take a deep breath, tell yourself out loud that you do not need anyone to speak to deity for you and say something out loud to the deity or element of your choice.

We are so conditioned to believe that someone else may speak to deity, but we, individually, do not. People with tin foil hats might speak to deity (or aliens) but we do not. Ministers and other clergy who are somehow morally superior may speak to deity but we do not. The high priestess may speak to deity, but we do not. We can grovel and beg and pray, but we do not converse.

Please leave that thinking in the closet where it belongs. If you want to have a personal relationship with deity, spirits, ancestors, elements or anyone else, you can do it. It is not weird, you are not crazy and there are no special requirements.

I found a book that can help you along this path, if you are interested but still skeptical or hesitant. Michelle Skye's book Goddess Alive is primarily a series of guided meditations and rituals to help you connect with deity. She focuses on the Celtic and Norse goddesses and their associations with sabbats and esbats. I recommend that you check this book out, it might be available at your public library. If a different pantheon is calling to you, this might still be helpful in showing you how to research and write your own meditations and rituals to connect to a particular deity. If you are seeking Celtic or Norse goddesses then she has done the hard work for you.
If you decide to use this book, please let me know what you think and whether or not it helped you.

Friday, August 14, 2009

morphing blogs

I have quite a few blogs going on. My pagan blogs are mostly about my spiritual path, although Pagan Tapestry wanders about sometimes. I have blogs connected to business websites that are only about the business.
And I have a couple of blogs about my normal everyday life. One of them is a journal of rehabbing a horse that I rescued. The other is a blog that just sort of wanders around..... like my mind.

It started out as political comment last fall. Then after the elections it morphed into being a participant in Creative Every Day. That was great fun, I had lots of followers, I followed lots of other participants blogs....but when I decided to start up my own business, it fell by the wayside. I still try to visit and catch up occasionally, but it just takes way to much time to really get immersed in that.

I also took a stab at 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women and again, due to lack of time, I didn't keep up. I am still plugging away at it...if anyone else is I would love to know as the official book group ended, oh..eons ago.

I decided that some things were too compartmentalized and needed to spread out between my mundane blogs and my pagan blogs, at least this one, which is about my own experiences.

So this is my long winded way of inviting anyone who is interested to visit my mundane blogs, the everyday life of a modern witch, maybe we have more in common than paganism.

oh, yeah....click here

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

a little perplexed but mostly just musing...

BAST
I have mentioned that Bast has moved into my life in a big way.
It all started over a horse that I am retraining...a spoiled horse with a lovely soft eye who had learned that 1. people are not to be trusted and 2. if you are a raging ass they will leave you alone.

So, because I try not to bite off more than I can chew, I was approaching this problem with some caution...lots of caution....delaying tactics was more like it.

One day in a meditation Bast appeared and in no uncertain terms told me that the Celtic goddesses that I was consorting with had no intention of helping me with the suck-it-up and get-on-with-it kind of courage I was looking for. Actually that is not what she said but I am assuming that she was borrowing from my very worst vocabulary and lets leave it at that.

On the other hand...SHE would love to help me out with this and if I would just trust her she would help me and things would work out just great.

So I did, and she did and it has.

She is not subtle. Before we started training this horse she sent me to buy this pendant. I told myself I had to make a run to a metaphysical bookstore on my way to the barn. It wasn't on my way, it was across town in the opposite direction and when I got there I searched, not knowing what I was looking for, until I found this. Fortunately it was affordable.

I have several times started to do some research on her on the internet and she has stopped me. Do it later, it will keep, you don't need to do that.

Just recently I asked her about this and got a cryptic, why aren't you happy with what you know?
So I said that I wanted to do some research for the Black Cats and Full Moons blog with has a promised second part on the Egyptian pantheon that is only months overdue.
OH THAT! oh, then go do the research, but don't bother to try to relate that to us. That will come later.

She speaks to me more plainly than any other deity. I have a very clear relationship with the Elements and with the Trickster and I sometimes wonder if he is an Elemental and not a deity.
Anyway, I have never gotten such clear messages from a deity before.
It is sometimes strange, sometimes perplexing and sometimes wonderful.
I have to wonder if when the horse training project is over...she will leave, because she seems more interested in that than anything else. I guess only time will tell.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

do I get any say in this?

I am Celtic by blood. I have always felt a deep connection to Celtic history, before I identified as pagan. I follow the Wheel of the Year, the Sabbats and Esbats. I feel at home in Celtic legend and myth and history.
So.......
I love the tales of Epona especially in her connection to the horse, I make offerings to her, I am a professional equestrian, I train horses, coach riders and have named and dedicated a horse related business to Epona.
She does not speak to me. I think she listens, I don't feel shut out, but she does not speak to me in any way that I am aware of.

On the other hand, I have had nothing to do with the Egyptian pantheon, except for some research for the Full Moons and Black Cats blog.
And yet Bast seems to make herself right at home here and has arranged things to have herself figure prominently in my life and in my rituals and meditations.

Half of me wants to laugh because this is so totally out of my control and the other half wants to stand with hands on hips..."hey!! what about me?!?"

Friday, August 7, 2009

festivals...

In that panel discussion in Florida that I posted a link to....there is a brief discussion about pagan festivals. It caught my attention since I had just posted about feeling supremely unmotivated to go to any. The consensus of that panel was that festivals are important to pagan community. We don't go to church on Sundays, many of us are solitaires, and even those who are members of active traditions still do much work on our own. So festivals play an important role. I am afraid I will have to rethink my position.
Especially because .....
This week I caught a killer cold, making me miserable, and I didn't catch it from any Pagan friends. If I was at Dragonfest this week I wouldn't be sick.
This is probably not what any panel member meant....but right now it is motivation for me.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

guided meditations for sanity

Life has been crazy lately and not in a good sort of crazy way.
I promised myself that even if the entire world caught fire, I was going to find time to meditate this evening. Enjoy one of Ariel's guided meditations, be open to a visit from spirit guides, leave the mundane world behind for 20 minutes or so.
Pure sanity, quiet, calm, did I mention quiet?
I highly recommend this, often, for everyone...including me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

panel discussion from the Florida Pagan Gathering

If you like panel discussions with some pagan elders, you will love this...

Elemental Castings Podcast

(subscribe to this podcast: via iTunes or RSS)

Episode #19, Florida Pagan Gathering, 7/24/09 download
Paganism: Past, Present and Future: A special podcast from the Florida Pagan Gathering. Thorn talks with Margot Adler, Chas Clifton, Gavin and Yvonne Frost and Lydia Crabtree.

Monday, July 27, 2009

chakra


Healer teachings are starting with chakras. Everything she does is connected to chakras.
I can do a chakra meditation to center, balance, energize or relax, that's about the sum total of my knowledge. This is going to be interesting. I will post more later.

Friday, July 24, 2009

festivals















I have found myself ducking out of invitations to festivals. Dragonfest starts in a few days and I am glad that I am working and cannot go.

This has bothered me somewhat. Am I anti-social? No, not really. I am not into partying much, but I socialize with a small group of friends and sometimes a large group.

Am I hiding in the broom closet? No, not really. I don't go around with a pentacle pinned to my chest, but if you ask, I will tell you my beliefs. I find that this doesn't come up any more as a Pagan than it did when I was Catholic, which is to say it is a non issue.

It hit me tonight....paganism is my spiritual life, not my social life.

This is in no way a judgement against those who love the festivals. Go and have a wonderful time.
But for now I will bow out, and not feel guilty about it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

how the universe works

So....I announce aloud my intent to use my journal at least partly to talk about what I have learned and what I want to learn.

And yesterday I was offered the chance to begin training with a healer.
Interesting how that works.

Friday, July 10, 2009

journaling


I am starting a magickal journal.....again.

I have never managed to really keep a good journal of my progress along this path. I would like to have a record and a place to express what I am learning and how and why and what I want to do next week or next year and how that spell I did last week worked out, but I have never actually done it.

I keep a calendar/organizer that I am fairly good at keeping up to date. I keep a running to-do list that works (better all the time the older I get!), I have a gratitude journal of sorts that I bought because it is the artwork of Susan Seddon Boulet and I love it....it is one of those 'fill in the spaces' that is soothing late at night.

But although it has been my intent for a very long time, I have never kept a magick journal.
I think I am too judgemental, not only of my own thoughts, but of silly things like how it looks and what order things go in. I will start it as soon as I find that bit of poetry that I thought would be nice as a first page, or that photo that I wanted to put in it, or just the right pen. Good grief!

So today I am starting my very first magickal journal...it is allowed to be a mess, it is allowed to be illegible, it is allowed to skip from here to there and back, I may put anything in it that I want, magickal or mundane. I make no promises about its content, other than to try and make some sort of notes about new things that I learn. It does not have to 'go with' my BOS. The only requirement is to fill it up....with my thoughts or others...it is not even limited to me.

There is my intent.....wish me luck!
Nitpicking Virgo that I am, this is surprisingly difficult.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

meditations and candles on the web



Over at Spotted Wolf Wisdom, spottedwolf (who visits here) is very generously offering to share some wonderful guided meditations. Scroll back to his July 2 post for the first one and you will find where he offers suggestions for how to use the meditations. I will be recording these myself, I love the first one. Thanks so much for doing this, spottedwolf.

And if you are stuck behind a computer all day and really need 5 minutes to light a candle and meditate or offer a prayer, Debra at She Who Seeks found this wonderful free site created by a Benedictine monk, all spiritual seekers welcome at Gratefulness.org
After you light a candle you can open a minicandle and a tiny screen with your candle will appear on your desktop. Thanks for finding this, Debra.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

the gold puppy


My blogging friend Reya Mellicker at The Gold Puppy
is saying goodbye to the gold puppy today. Jake has had a long and good life and it is time to let him go.
As pagans, most of us believe that this physical form that we inhabit is just one phase of a cycle of life that goes on and on, but that doesn't seem to lessen our sorrow as one by one our loved ones, human or otherwise, leave this plane of existence.
Good journeys, Jake.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

solstice

I woke up this morning thinking that I needed to do a ritual. No real plan, just a vague feeling. My brain doesn't kick in until my second cup of coffee so this was just an impulse. I lit a sage candle, cleaned my little glass plate that I use for an altar, lit some incense, a candle to the Goddess and realized I had no real intent or motivation for this ritual, but I had lots of good energy.
So I invited the Goddess to just hang out for a while this morning. I chatted with her while I checked email, got dressed, had coffee. I offered the day to her and asked for her guidance.
I felt at peace and very content. Put out the candles and went about my morning.
Later in the day I remembered that it is Solstice and that I had not planned a formal ritual like I had been meaning to.
Sometimes, even though I love ritual, an informal connection with Goddess, or the Elements, or Spirit Guides is exactly what I need to make sure that this path is a daily one, and not just for special occasions.
Happy solstice, take a minute and say hello to the divine that you offer your path to.

Monday, May 25, 2009

let yourself hear

My once quiet life as a hidden daughter of the Goddess seems to have imploded beneath my feet.
My calm beliefs that had basically led me no where and were not required to be a shining beacon have led me to this current path of discovery and play and knowledge and people with great wisdom coming into my life.

I think that the most important thing that I have learned so far is that you don't have to "believe" to be touched by the goddess or gods or spirits or whatever is trying to help you along.
You just have to stop for 5 seconds, quit analyzing and questioning and proving to yourself that it isn't so...just stop it.

And your intuition, the OTHER side of your brain (that we are trained not to use), your spirit, your soul, your natural connection to the universe ....will speak to you. Maybe in whispers, maybe in shouts, maybe in song, or pictures or a beautiful dream....but it will speak to you. Just be quiet and listen.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

you have to let go for pathworking to work


I did a guided meditation a few evenings ago that gave me some good information.
I got to the point where sometimes I turn the meditation off and see what happens. Instead of the room that I usually visualize, there was a dark curtain that I couldn't see through or find a way around. I just waited, tried to keep my mind as clear and calm as possible and waited to see what would happen. Bast appeared again and told me to walk with her, away from the curtain. As we walked away hands reached out through the curtain, reaching for me. I asked her what was happening and she said that those were my fears...I have let them get so strong that they are controlling where I walk. I need to stop thinking about them and instead think about my goals and the good things about the work to reach these goals. We walked to a doorway and watched over a beautiful meadow for a while and then went back through the hallway, past the curtain with the hands, back up the stairs and to the end of the meditation.
Afterward I felt calm and focused and the next morning got a lot of things done that I have been putting off or obsessing over.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

dithering and meditation

I have been dithering for days. Slowly working myself into the kind of panicky feeling that vibrates your entire body. Just life, accumulated problems, how things pile up, not enough sleep....all those things that try to gang up on us. I have not experienced this is a very long time.

Meditation practice keeps me grounded in a way that keeps unfounded disaster scenarios from playing over and over in my head. I used to live this way, a roller coaster ride of good and bad times....not over the edge, but sometimes unsettling. For many years now, walking this path has let me enjoy the good times and not get sucked into the bad. This time was very frustrating and I found myself questioning everything, my path, my practice....talk about letting that negative energy take over.

With some help from Ariel's meditations....love them....and a sudden awakening of a sense of the ridiculous, life is getting back on track.

I looked at people in the grocery store and watched faces that are stressed, worried, fearful, anxious, rude and wondered how many of them are just having a bad day and how many are living in that state.

Then I came home, sat down for a moment, lit some incense, lit a candle and gave heartfelt thanks to Goddess for kicking me in the ass some time ago.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

meditating at work?

I have left the house for the last two days so frazzled that I'm surprised that people are not staring at my head spinning around on my shoulders.
Today while I was doing some mindless manual tasks at work I was listening to my iPod, head still spinning and I decided to listen to a guided meditation and see if that helped at all.
To my surprise I was able to listen to the meditation with about 90% of my focus, keep working and no one disturbed me for the length of the podcast...about 20 minutes.
Not only did it calm me down and let my fried brain recover, but I actually got into the journey. Not completely, but pretty well experiencing and enjoying it.


I may have mentioned that although I deal primarily with the Celtic deities, Bast has been knocking on the door every once in a while. I don't know what to do with her so I have been ignoring her. While I was doing this meditation, suddenly there she was, in the place of the spirit that was being described by the narrator. She was telling me that if I would just listen for once, she could tell me how to deal with my fears that are holding me back. It was a very strong and clear conversation, ok, more like an angry lecture, but it was awesome as well as instructive.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

today...

The podcast 'Why Shamanism Now?' has renewed my commitment to pathworking and dispelled (at least for now) my frustration at the erratic pace.

I am going to miss the new moon circle with my new coven. I have only been participating with this group for a few months and was looking forward to this new moon. I will have to do something special for myself in ritual. I have started incorporating more new moon work into my routine than I used to.

My reports on my astrology class have moved to my Seeker blog. As soon as I can string two coherent sentences together I will write more. I am getting it, it is making sense, but it is still stuck in the intuitive part of my brain and only reluctantly letting the other half of my brain try to verbalize it. This is actually good because I am so analytical that things usually happen in the reverse. I am thrilled to have my intuition speaking up for once and telling the logical side to just shut up for a few minutes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

pathworking

If you are interested in pathworking or journeying I highly recommend a fairly new podcast...Why Shamanism Now? It is available on iTunes.

It started in January and has been a weekly show since. I have only listened to the first three shows but I am enjoying it quite a lot. If it continues to be good I think I will put a permanent link on this blog. I recommend that you start with the first show...each one builds on the last.

If you like the show, please let her know. I think we need more podcasts like this. The website is Last Mask Center for Shamanic Healing

Sunday, April 12, 2009

finding the goddess

There is some discussion around the blogs about the broom closet...in or out (thanks to Pagan Prompts). And earlier in the week a friend and I were talking about the fits and starts of many of us in casting off the old beliefs and embracing the new.
I have been mulling this over a lot; how for many of us our old beliefs are so constricting, long after we try to put them behind us. I wanted to share this poem by Ann Moura with you. I think it says it all.

I talked with thee once, when thou wert a child,
I spoke with thee then, in gentle tones mild.
Ye knew me and loved me and danced in my light;
Why did ye then turn away into the night?

I saw Fear creep in and then steal you away;
I saw the Dark Demons come dampen your play.
I saw how you shook and beseech me for help;
But when I appeared, you with terror did melt.

Who was it that turned you away from my love?
What horror replaced the Light shone from above?
Who told you I'm evil when never I was?
Who took away beauty and washed it in blood?

I never demanded so high an emotion;
That caused you to bleed for any devotion.
I stood by aghast to see where you would tread,
I never deserted but stood by your stead.

And when you did stumble, I held out my hand;
And when you did plead, it was my own command.
I answered you truly each time that you spoke;
And waited with patience until you awoke.

I did not tell you that knowledge was wrong;
Nor say it was evil to sing your own song.
I did not lay down long listings of rules;
Yet all new religions still honor my Yules.

If all of my days are special to others;
Why can't my children act more like they're brothers?
The dictums of priesthoods, by whatever name;
Serve only their leaders for fortune and fame.

Though avarice lies naked before every view;
Their immoral doctrines still full up the pew.
With learning constrained to a pitiful few;
The lessons are curbed lest the teachers they hew.

Keep ye the Sabbats or let them dance by;
I care not a whit if you do not abide.
There never was any but one rule, no guilt;
My guidance: "An it harm none, do what thou wilt."

I never demanded sacrifice of blood;
Never call thee 'sinner' nor gave thee the Flood.
I offered Knowledge and Wisdom for thy life;
But never suggested an eternal strife.

No minions of darkness attacking at night;
No angels, no demons, and no cosmic fight.
My Eternal Dance is of joy and of life;
My Song is of laughter and ending of strife.

So when did it happen? That moment, that spark?
When Knowledge and Reason at last struck their mark?
Though counseled by others to say in the dark;
You strove to gain Wisdom, and learnt with a start-

That all your old longings and feelings were right!
That I am the one whom you've never lost sight;
Together with Uma, Am Glory and Might-
The Song of the Ancients sung morning and night!

With tears and sweet laughter I welcomed you back;
You know that false dogmas no more can attack.
For Wisdom you sought, and there Truth have you found;
The Old God and Goddess with love still abound.

I dance in the Cosmos, I dance in your heart;
We dance now together and never will part.
Thy childhood is over, here starts your next stage;
To bask in the glory of life as my Sage.

Come dance at our Sabbats and sing to the Moon;
Thy Lord and they Lady both welcome thy tune.
We now dance in they heart and fill thee with love;
As it is now below, so it has been above!

Ann Moura

Thursday, March 26, 2009

from Hecate's blog

why why why why why ?

On Ostara I did a very simple ritual. I got up at before dawn and laid out all the parts for my wreath and smudged them and left the incense burning. At dawn I lit a candle for spring, cast a circle, welcomed the Elementals, said hello to a goddess or three, told Eostre that I was making the wreath and dedicating it to her as a thanks for the coming spring. The wreath practically strung itself together, I dropped the circle, thanked everyone for coming and hung the wreath on the wall.
I was so full of energy I was humming all day.
It feels SO good to do that.

So WHY have I not done another ritual all week? Why do I tell myself every evening that I am too tired and will do one in the morning and in the morning why do I tell myself that I am too rushed and will do one in the evening?

Why do we avoid doing things that make us feel good and are good for us???
I say "we" because I know darn good and well that I am not the only one.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

pagan clergy

I have been sitting on the fence on the subject of pagan 'clergy.'
I have been swayed in both directions. To me paganism is all about finding your own personal path to divinity, whatever that is.
You can't tell me how to connect to the goddess, I can't tell you. All the research and education in the world is only one small tool along that path. A good tool, a necessary tool, but still just a tool.

OTOH, the arguments for presenting a public face that doesn't speak of Buffy or teenage Goths has great pull. We all want to be respected in our beliefs, in our lives. We all get tired of saying "I'm-pagan,-no-it-is-not-satanism" as if it were all one word.
Having someone ELSE front and center to make explanations and create good will is very very tempting these days.

My mind was made up this week in a gigantic leap, a vivid light bulb moment. I sincerely wish that I could credit the person who caused this, but I have been unable to. Instead I will relate how this happened.

Driving to work, listening to an NPR story about the Pope in Africa. Someone from one of the many health organizations trying desperately to stop the relentless advance of disease in Africa was being interviewed. I started listening at the very end of the interview, which is why I don't know who this was.
The questions and answers turned to the Pope's remarks against the use of condoms and the interviewee said:

"...he cares more for his dogma than for his people's lives."

Raised Catholic, I think I had always known this, but never said it outloud. Yes, he does.
And I realized that we must NEVER EVER fall into the trap of believing that my way or your way or
anyone's way of approaching the gods must look a certain way or feel a certain way or contain certain words. The moment that we anoint people to step forward and say that they represent Pagans, we are heading for the slippery slope of caring more for dogma (and for appearances) than for connection and knowledge.

Most of us are so indoctrinated, more honestly we are brainwashed, into thinking that 'religion' must look a certain way and act a certain way. Even when we think we have thrown off the shackles and started down a path of freedom and knowledge, those old beliefs start to tug at us.
Clergy, temples, sacred texts tipping into dogma. We are conditioned to it, we must resist it or this path can just become another way to control other people.

double posted, here and A Pagan Tapestry

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ostara


Long before I called myself Pagan, long before I knew the names to call the Goddesses, long before I saw a drawing of the wheel of the year, long before I knew that there were other people like me and that they did not consider themselves crazy....I celebrated the turning of the Wheel.

I have always observed the Solstices and Equinoxes. Sometimes I felt silly, sometimes I felt childish, but I still felt compelled to somehow mark these days.

I didn't have formal ritual; no lighted candles, no chanting, no circle. I was always aware of the presence of the Elements.

On the spring Equinox I nearly always found a few moments to be by myself at noon. I would give a silent thank you to the Spirit of Spring. I always felt that somehow this was appreciated.

My Spirit of Spring I now call Eostre, but I add Spirit of Spring. I had never, that I recalled, read anything about Eostre. I had no way of knowing that she embodies spring, childhood and celebration. I had no way to know that pastel colors, spring winds, the hare and easter eggs all belong to her. But somehow I knew all this. Not consciously, because I didn't analyze or really think about these things.

I just knew it was important to say hello to the Spirit of Spring.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Astrology



I am going to take an astrology course.
The circle that I have been invited to has a regular astrology course. It will start in a couple of weeks and run once a week until we 'don't have any questions.'
I'm thinking I could die of old age in this class.

I'm excited about this. I have shrugged off opportunities in the past to take a class and everyone assumes that I don't believe in it. That is not the reason at all. I know that the very little I know is just barely scratching the surface and it can be incredibly complex...it has intimidated me.

So I am going to do this. I guess I should trot over to the DCW and tell Ariel. He is one of the ones that I have made excuses to.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Raven Woman portraits


You know I love the work of Susan Seddon Boulet. I just found two of her portraits of Raven Woman. This one is titled Ancestor of the North. The one I just dropped into my profile is simply called Raven Woman. This one is on the March page of my new calendar. Either I have never seen these two before or I just hadn't noticed. Like I hadn't noticed the Raven that keeps popping up in my dreams and my meditations.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

full moon


artemis, hel. eve, white shell woman, bast, eagle woman, morgan le fay, rhiannon, epona, diana, spider woman, lady of the lake, ishtar, changing woman, valkyrie, arianrhod, etain, isis, osiris, flora, hathor, sedna, amphitrite, fortuna, hina, demeter, athena, aphrodite, tlazolteotl, thetis, lilith, mary, medusa, minerva, pele, persephone, hera, inanna, ix chel, kaltes, themis, selene, kuan yin, goddess, gaia.......who do you speak with?

Monday, March 9, 2009

wonderous

I am working at my desk and look out the window to see...

a nearly full moon hanging in a dusky blue grey sky, sitting on the ends of the branches of an evergreen tree.

Tomorrow night I will join a circle of women and pay honor to the Goddess. Not to ask for anything, not to follow the examples of my childhood and beg for forgiveness, not to grovel before a scary deity.

Just to hold hands and be part of an ancient tradition of connection to the Goddess. to the earth and to the universe.

Friday, March 6, 2009

apropo of nothing...

I hate daylight savings time. I hate it, my animals hate it, it disrupts feeding schedules at home, at the barn, everywhere. It disrupts everyone's sleeping patterns, it means long hot summer evenings when the clock says it is time for bed (since I get up at 4am) and the sun says it is still afternoon. It's not like it is actually another hour of daylight....
I hate daylight savings time.

Just in case you were wondering.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Mystic's Dream

After I saw The Life of a Witch (posted on A Pagan Tapestry) I looked around YouTube and found this. The Mystic's Dream by Loreena McKennitt is one of my all time favorite pieces of music and this collage is well done with some lovely images. Enjoy!


Sunday, March 1, 2009

a different kind of visualization

I always have a difficult time with doing the 'visualize how you want it to be and not how it is. '
It is hard for me to focus on this and not let the change creep in or even the present with what I WANT to creep in. I can do it, but it is very hard and never seems to get easier.

I have been trying to do some magick related to a new business that I am starting and getting stuck in my visualizations with the process of starting it and not on a successful business. This week I tried a different way of doing this. If anybody tells me, oh yes, this is how you are SUPPOSED to do this, didn't you know? I think I will hunt you down for not telling me!

So here is what I did. I started off with the winter meditation (listed at A Borrowed Book of Charms) where you go down into the earth and watch the activity there. I did that until I felt very calm and centered. Then I visualized myself as just a spirit or an energy form and I went flying over to where I will be living in the future. I skipped past exactly where that was and how it looked and focused on inside the house, where I watched myself go about the day in my new work-at-home job. Details about phone calls and messages and return calls and my office, all the little stuff in a work day. Then I went back to where I was grounded, came back into my meditating self and was done.

For the first time not a hint of the present or the process slipped in to distract me, it was only about how I want it to be. It was quite enjoyable and seemed quite real. I hope that I have hit on a method that will reliably work for me because this has been a major stumbling block for me and I feel that it has sometimes rendered my magick ineffective. This has been frustrating because I knew what the missing piece was but seemed unable to fix it.

Forgetting my smartass comments above about hunting you down, I am curious if anyone else takes this sort of round about approach to seeing what you want, or perhaps another even more round about. How DO you make sure your visualizations are only what you want them to be?

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Witch's Primer

A Witch's Primer is a podcast of basic 'how to' for newcomers to the Craft. It is nondenominational, there is no agenda and it is an excellent podcast. (It is also put out by my personal favorite podcaster, Ariel). It is wonderful information for anyone new to the Craft, for any solitary who is figuring things out alone and for all of the rest of us who could use a refresher or just find it interesting. There is a real need for this information and I personally applaud Ariel for taking on the project.

A Witch's Primer was available on iTunes but it came to the attention of some of the religious zealots and attracted hate mail and negative comments on iTunes. Apparently there was some response from it's loyal listeners and a flame war was in the making. Since this was not the intent of the project, Ariel removed the show from iTunes, hopefully temporarily.

I really believe that this information, in this format, is essential at this point of the evolution of the Craft and I would like to ask everyone who reads this blog to help to get the word out, within our community, that this podcast is still up and running, it is just not on iTunes any more.

The show is at A Witch's Primer

Please help spread the word, and you might like to tune in and listen for yourselves. I do and I enjoy the show a lot.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Druid Animal Oracle Cards



Raven (Gaelic, 'bran')

Initiation, protection and the gift of prophecy.

The power of the raven can also bring you the very deepest form of healing, which is achieved through a process known as 'the resolution of the opposites' making it possible for you to resolve conflicts that have long lain buried in your unconscious or in your past.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I found this fabulous information about the Raven
at Animal Totems.
Magic, Healing, Creation

If a raven totem has come into our life, magic is at play.
Raven activates the energy of magic and links it to our will and intention.

With this totem we can make great changes in our life;
the ability to take the unformed thought and make it a reality.

The Raven shows us how to go into the dark of our inner self and bring out the light of our true self; resolving inner conflicts which have long been buried.
This is the deepest power of healing we can possess.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hibiscus Moon said...

Can you tell us more about how you do your pathworking meditation? I would love to hear more about that.

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I would be glad to try.
I posted last night and this morning found the post garbled and at least half of it missing. I will rewrite it and post it again later. sorry. blogger must have had a hiccup last night.

Here is the second rendition, I hope I didn't leave anything out.
----------------------------------------------------------

I was a solitary witch in the most 'living in a bubble' sort of way. I had only a few books, I never thought to do research or buy more books or even search the internet. I was really content with my knowledge of the goddess and everything else was secondary.

I worked off and on with meditation. When I was interested in Shinto I tried it. When I got into a little bit of Yoga I tried it. My brother taught karate as a lifestyle instead of a sport and he persuaded me to try meditation. I had so-so success with it and never really worked at it much.

A few years ago I started working on it more as a stress reducer than as a spiritual practice and found that with some practice I was able to shut up some of the mind chatter for a short time and that was a huge stress reducer.

Backing up a little bit; I lived in the southwest for many years and was very interested in the shamanic journeying that is part of the spiritual practice of many of the Pueblo Indians. But my understanding was that this work was augmented by drugs, primarily peyote, and fasting, often to the point of starvation. So while I was interested in it, I also accepted the 'scientific' explanation that it was primarily hallucinations brought on by extreme physical stress and drugs.

A few years ago when I began doing much more studying of the craft and researching of topics that interested me I did some reading on pathworking and tried it myself for quite a while. I think I had some inhibitions against it, didn't really believe that it could work, or at least that it would work for me and never had any success.

Then I discovered guided meditations and found that some worked very deeply for me and some not at all, the imagery had to be just right for me for it to work. And it had to be simple or it just became more mind chatter rather than less.

I started looking for guided meditations for pathworking and discovered that there were very few, most were too detailed and I somehow got the sense that even the narrator didn't believe this stuff.

Then I found Ariel's meditations online, including one called Working with Your Guide. Ariel's meditations can be found here and they can be downloaded at iTunes.

The Working with Your Guide meditation is guided, but you have to fill in the details yourself.
I did this meditation everyday for a few weeks and I still use it if I have trouble focusing on this.

My pathworking goes like this.
I do some breathing and relaxing exercises, like any meditation. Then I visualize myself standing at the top of a stone stairway that leads down into the ground. I concentrate on this visualization until I can feel the stones under my bare feet and I can reach out and touch the stone walls.

Then I go down the stairway and come into a room or center hallway. It is constructed all of stone, the sun is shining into it and a large room and two hallways lead off of this central area.

I wait there for my spirit guide, sometimes he is waiting there for me or he is sitting in the room, which is sort of a library. If there is no one there I wait. Sometimes I go into the room and look around but I don't go any farther. If no one shows up then nothing happens. If the meditation goes well and my spirit guide shows up he leads the way. Before the meditation ends I find myself back in this center hallway and then the visualization dissolves.

The key for me has been having a specific, detailed place to start the meditation. This stairway and room is so real it is nearly like a vivid memory. Until I found this technique I had no success with pathworking. Just clearing my mind and hoping someone would show up and talk to me did not work, ever.

This is something that no one ever told me and I never found it in anything that I read about pathworking. It is worth trying for anyone who has tried pathworking with no success.

This has been a long roundabout way of telling this, but many people have told me that they have had no success with pathworking. I think it takes time to find a technique that will work for you, to let go of the inhibitions against this and to let down your guard enough to let whatever is going to happen...happen.

Monday, February 16, 2009

the spirits whisper, and I stick my fingers in my ears and say la-la-la-la-la

I have been spending some time on a regular basis with my pathworking. It has been very enlightening and several times I have been able to make decisions based on what I learn during the meditation. One thing that has been very disappointing is the lack of an animal spirit guide. The spirit guide that shows up each time has been a person.

The animal spirit that I already have a relationship with is the Trickster, as the coyote. But I have never had any sense that he is interested in being a guide or a teacher.

I have been fairly well set on finding that my spirit guide is a wolf. I greatly admire the wolf and have done a lot of research on the wolf. I have been fascinated by this animal since I was a small child. So I have done everything but conjure up a wolf for myself. I have looked and anticipated and tried my best to force this pathworking along the path that I want.

It has done me absolutely no good. No wolf. No mention of the wolf. No sign that the wolf is just around the next corner. A HUGE disappointment. It becomes harder and harder to let the pathwork unfold and not manipulate it, but manipulating it does not get me what I want either.

Then it occurs to me last night, that the animal that is always present in my pathworking, that I have consistently ignored or taken notice of only as another creature in the area, is the raven.
Perched over doorways, in trees, on bookshelves, ever present whenever the meditation is really working well.

Now don't I feel stupid. big duh. So with a great sense of apology, the next time I do a pathworking meditation, if the raven is present, I plan to talk to it. This may be interesting, in a totally groveling sort of way.


photo found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24786666@N02/3200805995

Monday, February 9, 2009

full moon

Tonight I celebrated the full moon with a circle, for the first time ever.
It was a lovely experience. This is a group of mature women of all ages who meet to celebrate the Goddess.

Women all over the world have done this for thousands of years. The details have changed over time, we don't really know what women did, exactly, to honor the gods and goddesses long ago, but we do know that they met, openly or in secret, to share their spiritual lives.

I thought of that tonight and was glad to be joining in the timelessness of the ritual.

I did find myself to be a little bit more of an observer than a participant. In my solitary practice my focus and concentration are undisturbed. I found that I was distracted somewhat by being in a group, a thought that had not occurred to me until it happened. I think maybe my solitary practice could use being jarred out of complacency. It was a good experience, one I plan to repeat.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

an interview...with me!

I have been interviewed by the most creative blogger, Gypsy. If you are in need of some inspiration, visit her beautiful blog at
Barefoot in the Sand. Or even if you aren't.
Here is the interview:

1) I see you a Celtic Witch on a Wiccan Path. Are you both a Wiccan and a Witch? If so, explain the difference. If not, explain why as well.

I consider myself Wiccan, but I am not initiated into a coven, so some would disagree with me. But Wicca is the spiritual path that I follow. I an also an animist and I am exploring shamanism.

I am a witch. I use witchcraft or magick, I perform spells, I know the power of the mind to make real changes. In my life the two, witch and wiccan, fit together seamlessly as they do for many, many people of various pagan paths. I think most pagans incorporate witchcraft into their spiritual beliefs. It is a great freedom that many religions deny to their followers.

The two are not synonymous, one can be Wiccan without making use of witchcraft I suppose, although I would not understand that. And one can be a witch and not follow any spiritual path or even follow a spiritual path that denies witchcraft. There are Christian Mystics who practice witchcraft. That is a convoluted and difficult path, in my opinion.

2) How has the Celtic Traditions/Beliefs influenced your path and your life?

Three of my four grandparents are of Irish descent so I have always been interested in the heritage. I have also always been fascinated by Celtic myths and legends and was frequently in trouble in my Catholic grade school for insisting that faeries and little people and banshees were just as 'real' and relevant as any characters from the Bible.

I feel very much at home with the gods and goddesses of the entire British Isles, I have incorporated Hern into my practice as easily as Brigid and Epona.

I rarely step outside of this pantheon, although I have dedicated this year to exploring the myths and getting to know White Shell Woman of the Native American deities, it is more as a visitor than a permanent part of my practice.

3) In your Borrowed Book of Charms blog, are all these your charms, spells, and poetry or have you painstakingly researched them for your practice and have you implemented any of them into your practice/path?

The Borrowed Book of Charms is kind of a mixed bag. There are a few things on there that I wrote myself. All of the spells are from my Book of Shadows or are things that I am going to put into my BOS. Right now, I use most of the material there on a regular basis, as the number of spells etc. grows that will not be true.
The artwork is very special to me, it is artwork that I would like to own. Instead of writing down names and artists on a list somewhere I decided to keep it in front of me where I can look at it.

4) How do you Connect to Your Inner Goddess?

I have kind of a weird hierarchy going on in my mind. Goddess is Gaia, Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Creator, whatever name you use. She is everywhere and everything. I connect to her thru meditation and my esbats are dedicated to her.
There are also numerous goddesses and a few gods (I think my practice is sexist) that I connect with through rituals. I do not believe in many faces of one goddess, I do believe in many deities, each an independent entity.

5) Lastly, what is your favorite time of year/Sabbat? How do you celebrate? What rituals do you implement into your practice, if any?

The most important to me is the Winter Solstice. I do not call it Yule, that has Christian/Christmas associations for me. Solstice has been very important to me since long before I considered myself pagan. It is, in both a scientific and a spiritual sense, an awesome moment. This planet stops in it's trajectory, heaves itself into a different balance and allows the seasons to change again. Every year. Nearly every religion or spiritual belief in the world, past and present, takes time out to acknowledge the importance of this event.
I have not had a set ritual to observe this day. This year I cast a circle, called the Elements and then just sat quietly, grounding and feeling the earth. I liked that a lot and I may repeat it next year.

My favorite, in the enjoyable sense, is probably Imbolc...spring is here!!!

-------------------------------------

These interviews are making the rounds on the blogs and here are the rules:
If you would like to be interviewed, just follow the steps below. I would love to interview someone else!
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me".

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions and then let me know when this is done so I can link to it.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5 . When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

spirits of the land

I have been trying to remember some of the things that I experienced prior to acknowledging my pagan path that influenced me. I think there is probably an accumulation of experiences that reached a critical point without me even realizing it.

One memory of a very cool experience came to me just the other day. I hadn't thought about this for many years.

When I lived in Albuquerque (it was a smaller town than it is now) I used to take the dogs for long runs along the base of Sandia Crest. There are lots of canyons cut into the base of the Crest, some big enough to have names, many smaller ones.

One day the dogs led me into one of the smaller canyons and we hiked up it for a while, then came to where it changed into a series of enormous steps reaching up and back into the mountain. A little bit of climbing, not too difficult, led to the second step which was a large shelf with trees, a small spring and a great view. I now believe that this place was an energy source, populated by some spirits of the land. At the time I just felt that it was unusually peaceful there. I would talk out loud to the mountain, to the rock formations, and I would leave feeling energized and peaceful. I thought it was a little silly, but never analyzed my feelings about this place. I went there regularly for years. The dogs liked it too, rushing to get to that lookout point, but never showing any inclination to go farther.

This was an experience with the earth that I never noticed as being a big deal, but it may be part of why I am where I am today on my path.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tarot

I went to Isis Bookstore yesterday to get the Druid Animal Oracle cards...they had them on sale and while I am yakking about it...here is a plug for Isis online...it is an individually/locally owned bookstore and healing center...great online store and not a big box store.
ANYWAY...
On impulse I had a Tarot reading done while I was there. I wanted to get some input about my new career plans and I just decided to get input from someone else through the cards instead of my own (possibly biased) readings. It was very nice, all positive signs and some good insights.
We also talked about how those Saints from my childhood prayers had popped up again and seemed to want to communicate. I am never quite sure what is real and what is my imagination. She helped me sort some of that out. It was very nice to get some objective feedback and we had a lot of fun. I was feeling very calm and grounded and happy when I left.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

wildthings

Early this morning on my way to work I saw a huge bald eagle perched in the highest branches of a large cottonwood tree next to the highway. Many miles away from where the bald eagles usually hang out.

This afternoon I spotted a coyote running parallel to the road, he stopped and looked directly at me, yellow eyes meeting mine, then turned and trotted away from the road.

This evening as I drove past the closed site where I used to work I spotted a large raven on a fence post next to the road. There used to be a pair of ravens that claimed that entire area, banishing all rivals. They had been tagged by the wildlife department and were approximately 30 years old at that time, about 15 years ago. I wonder if it was one of them.

update
I wanted to see what the Druid Animal Oracle cards had to say about the animals that I was seeing. I think it is not so much what is there...it's a crowded planet...but what you actually see at any given moment.
The eagle and the coyote (wolf) are teachers of courage especially courage to make changes.
The eagle can teach about the courage to move into new territory and the wolf can teach about the courage to take risks.
The raven can teach about intuition, healing and learning.
All good things for changes that I am working on.

pathworking

I had set aside my pathworking meditation for a while. I found I was struggling with it and drowning out any message I was supposed to get.

For the last two evenings I have found a few minutes to ground and quiet myself and begin the meditation that begins in the stone room. On both occasions my guide greeted me without words, led me back into a long hallway with many closed doors and indicated that I was to walk down that hallway. There was no sense that there were any 'good' or 'bad' choices to be made, just that I should go that way.

I think this is an affirmation that the somewhat tentative first steps I have taken to make some major changes in my life are in the right direction and I should continue, perhaps with more confidence and looking behind even more closed doors.

Monday, January 19, 2009

an invitation...is it time?

I received an invitation today...kind of out of the blue. As you know I have not been a part of a coven or even any other group of pagans. My aborted attempts to make contact with other pagans through meet-up groups was the focus of a post that now is funny but at the time was just depressing. (Solitary or group practice?)
I had decided that if and when something came along I MIGHT look into it.

So today I was chatting with a lady that I give riding lessons to and she invited me to join her 'women's group.' Thinking to myself, .....knitting, quilting, husband bashing...nope, not me, I stalled and asked 'what sort of group?'
It's a circle she said, we meet on the full moon every month. I was speechless.

Turns out that her 'little women's group' has been the host of the women's circle at a large pagan festival for several years.

I am excited. Is this a gift from the goddess? I know I was not going to seek anything out on my own for a long long time.

Interesting timing.

Monday, January 12, 2009

to be or not to be?

I think I am about to drop the term 'wiccan' from my self description.
I feel wiccan, I follow the sabbats and esbats, I'm polytheistic, the Rede makes sense to me and probably because of my upbringing I am more comfortable with some structure than without.

On the other hand, for a long time my path was a faint set of footsteps that I followed without much looking around but now it is getting wider and I am picking up things along the way.

I am definitely a witch. My practice is decidedly wiccan.
But some days I am a wiccan witch and some days I am a green witch and some days I am a druid witch and some days I am a shaman witch and some days I am a secular witch.

Do I have to have a name for it? I'm afraid that 'pagan' won't do. There are too many alien forms of pagan that I can't relate to at all. If I have to have a label it has to be more accurate than that.

Maybe I don't need a name for it. I can always use wiccan so that Homeland Security knows which file cabinet I go into....I'm sure that one's a mess anyway, they will never get it sorted out.

Do I have to have one name? Perhaps I could have little cards made up with a diagram on them. Like we were taught to diagram a sentence back in grade school, it could show all the descriptors.

I'm still thinking about this.

Friday, January 9, 2009

an incredible act of nature


The geese are on the move. The skies are full of noisy flocks.

The local flocks are flying in close formations from lake to lake, scoping out the best possible nesting sights.

The migrating flocks are flying high and hard and fast, heading for their temporary resting place a few hundred miles north. One stop on their long trek north.

South Platte, Nebraska, where the North Platte River and the South Platte River come together to form a large area of wetlands, is one of the largest layover spots for migrating birds in North America. Here in Denver we are not in the center of the path of migration, many birds fly too high and fast to be seen easily and some travel at night. So the main indicators for me of this activity are the flocks of geese.

I have traveled to South Platte a few times to see the migration. I don't do it often enough. The highways between here and there can turn in a heartbeat from clear and dry to dangerous blizzards with drifts higher than a car. But the main reason is that my sense of spring approaching doesn't really come alive until mid March and by then the birds are gone.

The largest part of the annual migration arrives in early February. The lakes are frozen here, the ground inhospitable. I have to wonder about the landscape that these birds are hurrying toward. It surely can't be any more welcoming the farther north they travel.

The resting area in the wetlands is unbelievable. I once counted 70+ golden eagles in a bare cottonwood tree. One of hundred of trees around the ponds, each full of eagles.

I saw snow geese and swans so crowded together on ponds that I was reminded of overcrowded knick knack shelves.

Five foot tall sandhill cranes, so many in a cornfield that they surpass any crowded mall at Christmas time. Thousands and thousands of birds, as far as the eye could see. As I approached them, even though their legs are as long as mine, they did not walk away. They would make a small jump into the air, spread their enormous wings and glide 50 feet away. Feet trailing a few inches above the ground, an apparently effortless change of position. Occasionally one would lift his enormous wings over his head in a beginning courtship display. The sound of the flock chattering to each other was deafening.

I saw every sort of hawk and falcon, crowded together in trees, motionless, silent, unmoved by my presence, photographed often and by better than me.


The birds arrive in February and by the first week in March they are gone. Some rest for weeks, pick mates, court and dance and eat. Others come in and rest motionless for days or weeks and move on. Some arrive in large noisy flocks. Some travel with a mate or last year's offspring. Some are flying totally alone.

I have been incredibly moved by this gathering since I first witnessed it. And humbled.

Long ago our first ancestors came down from the trees and moved into the caves. Found fire, art, community, tools, building, teaching and learning. Civilizations have been born, died and their remains have disappeared. Wars have been fought, won and lost. We have been proud of our learning, our building, our skyscrapers, our space shuttles, our 'power' over the earth.

And throughout all this time, the geese fly north every spring.

Friday, January 2, 2009

getting off to a good start

I feel that I have, at least temporarily, cleared my mind of some of the incessant worthless chatter that had nearly consumed me a few years ago and still annoys me.
It is a continuous uphill battle but the small victories are worth it.

I am doing several things to fill my mind with more useful, enjoyable and even soothing things to think about.
I am taking a few minutes each day to do some meditating, even if I only have 5 or 10 minutes it is worthwhile.
I have started working on some of the things I want to learn in my spiritual life.
Like taking the time to really listen to Celtic Myth Podcast. It really can't be absorbed while driving or working.

I purchased some new books on assorted aspects of Goddess worship and modern Paganism. I have yet to find just the right book on Shamanism. I have thumbed through many but put them back for various reasons. I am open to suggestions, if anyone would like to send me the name of their favorite book on Shamanism I would at least check it out, but not promise to buy it.

And I am opening myself up to setting aside some serious time for my creative side. I used to be a semi serious artist but that part of me got pushed aside by letting my life run me for many years. I joined a couple of group blogs on creativity. I think that allowing myself to exercise some creativity in my pagan blogs has re-awakened that part of me.
I feel invigorated and like I am starting a new phase of my life.