Believe It

In order for me to add a concept to my belief system, I have to know why I should.

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Litha…Party Of Two

The rest of MoonShadow Coven’s members had other obligations and that was okay. Usually, I would host my annual Mid-Summer Faerie Ball, but this year I just kept putting off working on the details until it was no longer feasible to put it all together and pull it off in the flawless fashion that I demand of myself. When Sarinea commented that if I really wanted to host this bash, I’d have had the menu planned months ago, I realized that calling it off was a wise choice. It was going to be a much quieter Litha.

Dianthus had no other plans  and still wanted to come to Madison so she arrived Saturday morning. After a round of hugs and a trip to the guest room we made our way to my favorite Asian buffet and sushi bar with my husband, Randy in tow. The only other stop was going to a thrift store that we like, due to its nicely organized stock of really interesting items. It’s run by Lutherans, and for some reason they seem to have a knack for parting with some very unique knicks.

We played a game of ‘what the hell is that’ with an elderly lady in a brightly colored head wrap and kept her entertained with our old married couple banter. I picked up something that appeared to be a twelve inch tube of fabric stuffed with beans that had a loop on both ends. “What’s this thing…a husband beater?” The lady could be heard laughing two aisles over. “I gotta see this”, she said as she rounded the corner. My husband took it away from me, partially to keep me from using it and also to demonstrate what it actually was. He draped it around the back of his neck and said, “you put it in the microwave to heat it up and then put it on your sore neck”. By then, I was off to the next moment of discovery. Dianthus found a framed print for her kitchen and some stone finished coasters and we left empty handed, deciding there was nothing we couldn’t live without.

Back at the house, I poured myself an ice cold cucumber infused vodka martini while Di opted for her flavored water as we found ourselves on the deck to see if we’d become mosquito bait.  We slapped ourselves senseless for a bit, but for some reason the pests soon Magically hummed off.  We talked about our radio show, Hocus Focus,and gardening, birds, spiritually and more gardening as the birds, ground squirrels and rabbits played and ate in the yard below.

Di had requested the recipe for my mother’s famous carrot cake and I agreed to give it to her with the stipulation that she never defile it with frosting. The cake is so heavy and rich that topping it with the ubiquitous cream cheese goop would be both an abomination and render it inedible like when they have to douse an already sweet desert with sticky syrup. I get a toothache just thinking about it. This cake is dusted with powdered sugar and that’s sufficient as well as simple and elegant. As a surprise, I made the cake so Di could eat her fill and take what was left home to her husband. In addition, I also made some pastel colored sugar cookies…it’s a well known fact that Faeries love sweet things…and so do we.

Two cookies and a piece of cake later we made our way to my inner sanctum, affectionately known as my ‘broom closet’ to listen to a couple of our shows that are now in archives. It’s always fun to do that when they’re not as fresh in our minds because we can critique them with the same mindset as hearing what our audience hears. We like what we hear. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/moonshadow92/2014/05/25/hocus-focus-radio-topic-table-talk-and-divination

The mosquitos were beyond the practice round launched earlier on the deck and were now forming battle lines like Celtic warriors and we had no desire to meet them head on so our plans for a bonfire were scrapped in favor of calling it a night. Di wanted to get an early start for home Sunday morning so plans for hitting a local breakfast buffet were also amended to coffee and a few more cookies.  Tentative plans were made for me to head up north to record more shows since they flow better when we’re all together as opposed to using Skype. More hugs and she was heading down the road while I settled in a chair to savor the experience.

Sometimes the quiet grace of time spent in the company of the dearest of friends is exactly what is needed. Perhaps next year the fervor of a riotous romp, costumed in Faerie wings, will be too enticing to be written off as easily as it was this year. Dianthus and I agreed that we both needed this…time to talk, unwind, and enjoy a bit of Nature in the yard.

So, as the Wheel of The Year turns another cog, Solstice past, we are heading into the dark times now. No sadness comes as a result of this, only the contemplation of being in harmony with it all and the gentle acceptance of each season as it rolls out its own carpet. Be it lush green grass, gold and scarlet fallen leaves or crystalline snow, I will jubilantly dance upon each one.

 

 

A Bird Of A Very Different Feather

Most days I try to ‘map’ some expectations and include something so incredible and unusual that I will know when it occurs that it is confirmation of my ability to manifest via my connection to ‘The Universe’. This frequently involves being attuned with Nature and working with my guides who serve as omens. Yesterday, however, I decided to simply allow things to unfold and see what would happen. This seemed like the obvious choice to make since circumstances warranted that the plans I had made the previous night needed to be altered. I didn’t get out to my garden at all as I had expected. I had planned to spend most of the day out there cleaning things up in preparation for Spring, when I plant like a mad woman so that when it’s all done, all that is left to do is a bit of maintenance and relaxing in it’s beauty.

After doing some running to look at a new combination smoker and grill that my husband would like and another trip to the grocery store for steaks, it was well after 2PM and my energy was lagging. I figured that after dinner I’d just get my bird feeders filled and sit in the yard allowing the Earth to envelope me in Her nurturing embrace as I listened to the fountain splash. Wild Violets, my favorite flower, are scattered throughout the lawn wherever the Great Mother had tossed them and never fail to make me smile.

I came around to the front yard and headed toward my griffon bench for a front row seat, as the chorus of bird song was just warming up. There, on the ground beneath my feeder pole, laid a male Red Winged Blackbird. Whatever occurred had just happened prior to my arrival because he had not been there on my first pass through. I bent down and scooped him up in my hands and he began to show signs of fear, but was too disoriented to do anything but accept my interference.

Gently probing his feathers, I didn’t detect any obvious wound from a bird of prey, but he was too far away from my window for me to assume that he had hit the glass. I held him, speaking softly to him while stroking his soft little head and he began to relax. His eyes became less glazed and he started to make a move to escape. At one point he took advantage of my loosened grip and jumped to the ground. He seemed unable to take flight and hopped the length of the side of the house until he entered the back yard. Anyone who doubts a bird’s ability to outrun them should try chasing one.

He reached the rock wall where he came to a stand still. There was no way that I was just going to leave him to his own devices since in this state, he was a ‘sitting duck’. I picked him up again and returned to the bench with him. My husband came outside so the two of us began to play doctor, offering him water, which he drank one drop at a time off the tip of my finger, and simply letting him rest in my cupped hands. He’d open his eyes and make a break for it again, but still was not able to take flight.

Finally, it was time to go inside, so we exchanged ideas as to what to do with him overnight. With three very inquisitive Cats in residency, it was obvious that creating a make shift hospital indoors was not a wise option. I put a cushion at the bottom of a garden carry-all and found a ‘cage’ fashioned from hardware cloth. It was carefully placed over him so he was confined to a smaller, but airy space. A small dish of seeds was placed inside with him and another garden pillow served as a lid for the cage and the device was carried through the house and placed on the deck off the upper level so he would be high enough to protect him from predators.

I proceeded to do some things around the house while my husband gave me updates. “He’s ok. Just sitting there peering into the patio door wondering how he can get the hell out of there”. With darkness falling, there was not much else to be done until morning.

So, it’s a bit past 5AM and still dark so I am anxiously awaiting some daylight so that I can see if he’s ready to be launched back into life as he knew it before whatever it was had altered it. Come to think of it, my life was altered too. As I sat there attempting to provide what he needed, an overwhelming sense of having to nurture flooded my senses. How appropriate for Mother’s Day weekend. My daughter and her husband have to attend a birthday party for a ‘godchild’, so I will be spending Mother’s Day sans child. My own 93 year old mother is going out to dinner with one of my brothers and since we were not asked to join them, I really would feel like an intrusion if we made the hour and a half trip to ‘visit’. Having my husband take me out for dinner seems a bit odd because, as he has pointed out in the past, I am not his mother.

Getting out in the yard to do yesterday’s gardening will be a fine way to celebrate. After all, what a better way to spend the day than to be in the presence of the greatest Mother of all, in service to Her by having a ‘day of beauty’ in the spa… plucking weeds, and adding some color and polish.

Ah, I see the light of day has made things out the window visible and recognizable. A Grackle is already having breakfast, probing the peanut feeder for a nut to fly off with. A funny spin on the end bit of that line takes over my brain in the form of mounting the broom with a fellow crazy Sister Witch. The goofy shit my mind takes and twists just enough to leave puzzled faces in the wake of my sudden impulse to share them scares me. The closer I get to being 60, the more bazaar those things become. Oh well, I’ve been politely described as “eccentric” all of my life so the stiletto granny boot fits. And yes, I wear them, adhering to my sentiment, “if the shoe fits”, as in comfortable, “it’s ugly”.

Well, time to check on the patient. I guess I’ve been stalling because as eager as I am, there is that twinge of fear that I will find that he has joined the friendly skies on the other side. In the words of Wayne Dyer, “Excuses Be Gone”.

Rock Your World

Things can get a bit intense around the office, so I have an assortment of crystals on my desk to help alleviate much of the stress. When I feel the pressure mounting, I take the appropriate stone and hold it for a moment. I focus on the energy of the properties it possesses and allow it to work its Magick. Visualize the energy as light associated with the color of the crystal spreading throughout your body. Once I feel grounded and back in control, I express gratitude and put the crystal back on my desk. When I feel the need to cleanse it, I simply hold it under running water and focus on having all past influences drain away and it will be ready to assist me again.

Search for stones that will have the correspondences that you are most likely to need. Make sure that you have a clear quartz crystal in your collection. Not only will it serve with properties of its own, but it will also enhance the power of any other stone that you work with. A search on line for the metaphysical properties of crystals and stones will allow you to choose the ones whose uses will best suit your individual needs. Mine range from the calming effects of blue lace agate to the energizing energy of orange calcite. http://www.healingcrystals.com is a great site. It includes pictures so you’ll have some idea of what to look for before you begin shopping.

You may choose to keep your crystals out of sight instead of out in the open. Keeping them in a little cloth bag or tucked away in a drawer will protect them from curiosity seekers as well as avoiding having them handled by those whose energy may not be conducive to your work with them. If you feel the need, you may also decide to carry it with you in a pocket to keep it close at hand.

Gem and mineral shows sponsored by geological clubs are a great place to shop and learn. You will have the opportunity to handle a variety of stones so that you can choose those that ‘feel right’. Many stones are set into jewelry that can be worn to utilize the properties on a regular basis. Those with protective qualities are particularly desirable.

Engage in the entire process of procuring and using crystals to enhance your life in many ways. A display of larger pieces is a beautiful way to incorporate Nature into your living space. Enjoy and rock on.

Don’t Cast Your Shadow

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We all have one. But, most often we are encouraged to suppress it, hide it, or engage in the futile attempt to eliminate it. I’m speaking of our ‘shadow self’. The often negatively  portrayed and misunderstood part of us that is regarded as sinister and evil. Actually, it is none of those things. The fluffy bunny is still romping in the forest, it just slicks down its fur.

Neutrality in Magick needs to be accepted and that is what we work with before we utilize our power of intention to direct it. When the Moon is waxing, we use the energy to attract and when it’s waning we use it to banish. But, there is also the need to go deeper and work with the aspect of ourselves that is hidden behind polite smiles and strained small talk. To degrade it to the level of psychotic tendencies is unjust and the suppression of it defies all human logic…because, after all, it is human.

We accept the fact that there are things that we just don’t like.  Cottage cheese, lima beans, clunky unfeminine shoes, and yes…Goddess preserve me,…football and its rabid fans.  All of these things are those that I simply do not like or have any interest in. I’m sure you have your list as well and every one pretty much accepts that it is perfectly fine to have a list, some longer than others, but that’s okay. It’s even rather nice when you find someone who has some of the same things on their list so you can loathe them together as kindred, lima bean hating spirits.

However, we are taught that not liking certain people is somehow, not very nice and we really should try to like everybody. Again, that is not normal or possible. My favorite Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, has confessed to meeting up with some people at retreats that just rub her the wrong way. I’m not sure what the correct way to rub a Buddhist nun is, but apparently there are some other people who don’t know either, because she freely admits to struggles with this. Being Spiritual doesn’t make a person immune to feelings of discord when we encounter those who are not compatible with us.

If someone is hostile or has an overly assertive personality and you are empathic and highly sensitive, it is common to raise your shields and want to retreat. However, it’s also common to have people like this pick up on your feelings and get satisfaction from deliberately jerking your chain and they will pursue you when you try to emotionally back away.

When we feel ourselves tense up and our eyes narrow, it’s a good indication that a long, deep growl is forthcoming. We will feel protective of our aura and sense that we are under attack. If this psychic predator keeps us in their sights, we need to stand our ground and don’t worry about being nice. We can take our cue from Nature and work with that part of us that dwells in the shadows and not feel that we have to override it or cast it aside. We don’t need to accept this any more than we would allow ourselves to be abused physically.

Don’t hesitate to do a binding. If we are mindful of our intentions and do this responsibly, there is no reason not to utilize this option to protect ourselves when we become the target for unwarranted aggression. Trust your instincts. We have been instilled with a wariness that will guide us and let us know if a binding is applicable. Trust it. The shadow knows.

Nose To The Ground

How much do you miss as you run for the bus or race across busy streets? Even if you take a stroll through the park, do you ever avert your eyes from what’s ahead to what’s below? If there was money on the sidewalk would you pass it by? Stomp foot first into something that you’d rather not? Trip on an uneven strip of concrete? There are many reasons and occasions to pay attention to your feet and where they are taking you.

When you allow yourself to really pay attention you will find treasure at your feet and not just in the form of spare change or a lost piece of jewelry. Is there a beautiful feather in your path? An acorn or pine cone that will dispense tree energy when carried in your pocket? Will it make you smile when you reach in and touch it, a well kept secret from the person who might be talking with you or the boss you’re getting a reprimand from? Does its energy and the joy you get from the tactile connection with Nature calm you or make you feel empowered?

Did the perfect leaf fall at your feet? Does it bring to mind childhood memories of pressing it flat and coating it with paraffin to preserve it and use it as a marker in your favorite book about Nature? If you display it on your desk, will that inspire your mind to travel to a forest path amid your hectic day?

There is treasure where you stand. Gifts from Nature to remind you that you are only a step away from the beauty and wonder once kept and now freely given. Watch where you’re going and you may discover that ‘eye level’ will allow your vision to expand.