Water drips through stone. Or throws it aside.

Water destroys. Water cleanses. Both of these are truths.

Last month my hometown faced days upon days of torrential rain. The water saturated the ground. The rivers, creeks, ponds, drainage pools filled and the water crested, overflowed, rose up through the soil. People lost their homes, possessions, animals. Some lost their lives. Towns and cities face uncertain futures, hoping for money from broke local municipalities and an utterly broken federal government.

Six weeks later the planet tilts a little bit further, the days shorten, the wheel turns – Samhain arrives.

At Samhain we reflect on the forces that brought us into being. We honor our ancestors, named and unknown, through shrines, offerings, and journeys to the Other side. The costumes we don, especially as children, may represent shadows shaping our lives. This Samhain,  I plan to focus on the forces that have shaped my life.

I have ancestors, recent and distant, who were powerful forces. Some were good, some were negatives. My life has not taken the course I set for it at many points. Sometimes I struggled to shift my trajectory, other times I accepted this new flow. The St. Vrain River jumped its channel during the flooding, setting itself a new course and abandoning the old.

Our lives change without warning.

Water destroys.

Water heals.
Golden Ponds During Flood

“Golden Ponds During the Flood” copyright Jacob Davis

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The Full Moon Mabon

Last night I met with my coven for the Harvest Full Moon and a slightly late celebration of Mabon (or what busy people call “Lunar Mabon”). We met on the banks of a pond in a local green way, with the sun setting over the western mountains. We journeyed into our place of equilibrium and feasted on corn salad and small green apples.

(Photos posted with permission of the talented photographer, Sherri Seward.)The Harvest Moon - photo by Sherri Seward

My coven is a place to relax and center in the presence of the Divine. Meeting in such a gentle and beautiful setting resets me. I can feel frazzled, disorganized, out of shape, ditzy, angry, or dumb, but when I walk away at the end of an evening, I have one feeling that matters: centered.

Equilibrium is not easy. My life has four major roles that I am constantly balancing: work, wife, student, and mother. “Wife” is often the most neglected of all, as the others demand constant attention. “Student” oddly provides the most guilt because I am paying big bucks to finish my schooling and it takes time directly away from my role of “mother”. “Work” is the easiest to manage – I show up, do my job, and go home. It’s a set schedule, so I don’t worry that while I am at work I should be doing schoolwork, spending time with my daughter, and so on.

Of course “Mother” is the most fulfilling, but also the most frustrating.

There are roles that don’t even get a mention for days or even weeks. “Witch” is often set aside for other concerns. Some days I can barely breathe with intention. I couldn’t tell you the last time I sat in meditation or aligned my souls.

Equilibrium is not an either/or balancing act, like a teeter totter or  a literal scale on which we measure our worth. It’s a balance of all of our parts, splayed out in a pentacle (or more!). My challenge is to find a way to integrate all of my parts, and then the Center will open, the Heart of the Witch.