Circling Back and Inward

Our lives circle endlessly.

The Tulip Staircase, Queen's House

We tell ourselves that our lives progress, we grow, we “move on” from who we were. We tell ourselves we’re not the same person we were as a teenager, when we got married, before we had kids.

Fallacy. Our lives spiral in a disorderly fashion.

I went to college at 18. I made it to the end, then flunked my last class. I said “fuck it” and walked away.

Three years ago I had a child, and a few months later realized what I want to be when I grow up. Although my school requirements had ballooned from requiring one class to graduate to 30 credits, I took on student loans and did what it took.

Now I am on my last class again. I am tired. I am sick of school, a child, a husband, a job, selling a house. But this part of my life spiraled back and now I will follow the energy of the spiral, taking it through to the end, rather than twisting the current in another direction.

Spiritually I am spiraling back into familiar territory. I am returning to the simple Goddess practices I worked many years ago. I am seeking to continue some of this learning, take it farther, follow the energy.

I can draw on my experience and fix the lines in my foundations, smoothing things over.

To Will

I complain a lot about school. I work full-time, have a child and a partner, and am finishing my bachelor’s degree. I put off assignments until the last minute – like right now, when I have a paper due tomorrow, I am suddenly inspired to blog again! Funny how that works.

Yet I want to complete my education. I want to push through this and just be done, ready to move on with life and pay my student loans. This is my Will.

The concept of Will has been poking through the ground and trying to get noticed. I have never had the most developed Will, and I often struggle with knowing what it is I want. I often feel like I float through life and don’t make concrete decisions for myself – I allow myself to be swept along to the next thing. This allows me to avoid responsibility for my choices. If I am swept along, then it’s not really my fault if life doesn’t go as expected, right?

This is a cop-out, a way of avoiding developing my Will. I chose to go to school. I chose to have a child (thank you, post-Roe world!). I chose to take a new job and move away from my comfort zone.

I embrace my Will, and choose to move forward. Image

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In the last three months my child was hospitalized for her first serious illness, I switched jobs, and I moved from a suburb of a large urban area to a small semi-rural city.

My life was stuck in the mud. It was moving, but not smoothly. I wasn’t unhappy but I was not enjoying life either. The last few weeks have been like stepping on the gas an flying out of the mud. But now I my life is trucking along again and I am feeling the effects. Problems previously buried are coming to light and being resolved. It’s a painful process that is cleansing. I don’t know where we will be by the end of the summer. I am comforted and guided by my practice as I take steps to claim my Will.

Photo: “graffiti” on a dead tree in a small suburban park.

Dirt Roads

High Tension

I hate tension in my personal life.

I can handle stress and tension at work, but at home, with people who are not paid to be in my presence, I start to crack.

Tonight I received a call from a family member wanting to take my daughter for a visit on Tuesday. She started the call by saying she had one thing planned. I said no, I already have plans for that day. She tells me she has different plans. Well fuck, lady, which is it? I would have no contact with this person were it not for the existence of my daughter due to her weird and unpleasant personality, but the cherry on top is her lack of boundaries. I feel like my rights as my child’s mother are being trampled on. I am treated like a second-class citizen in her life (by this person, not my daughter! She’s still young enough that Mommy is Goddess).

There are so many emotions tied up in this. The old practice of Kala from the Feri path never did much for me. Mostly it was an excuse to stay hydrated. I never felt like the knots of my troubles were undone or that I made any progress towards my problems with Kala. It was the other practices that made a difference, such as daily meditation practice.

I wonder if there is a practice with a similar intent to Kala but from a different perspective? I have so many emotions wrapped in this woman, and I feel really stuck with them, like they’re starting to run my life. I don’t want to live my days feeling animosity for another person. I want to seize the control I have.

The Sender is Sent

Marshall McLuhan was a Canadian media scholar, to put it crudely. His work revolved around media, and he is famous for noting “the sender is sent.”

I read this and felt a powerful connection to the ethics of my magical practice.

McLuhan was referring to the “mundane” idea of communication.It refers to the presence of the sender in all communications. When you call someone on a cell phone, you are no longer just in your own space. An extension of yourself is sent to the receiving end.

I doubt he’d say it applies to such “woo woo” ideas as magical practice. Yet this was the first context into which I put this quote.

When performing magic, we are sending our Fetch into the Otherworld to do our bidding. We are putting our intention into the world, and on any level this is a powerful act that has the potential to change the world. The ability to use media to put a message into the world, independent of your physical presence. The same is no less true for our magical messages.

We cannot divorce intention from consequence.

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 orĀ  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.