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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.

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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 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.

Comfort on a Spoon

I came down with a bug that has been making the rounds through my office. I’m taking a day off today, to rest and allow my body to do its work fighting the infection.

When I am ill and alone, I make Lunaea Weatherstone’s chicken soup recipe –  Comfort on a Spoon. It is straightforward folk magic at its best.

Chicken Soup

A Fresh Flame

After reading this lovely post from Teo Bishop, I took action to clean off my altar and prepare it for the autumn.

I once had a lovely dedicated space for my altar and dedicated spiritual work. I could open the back door listen to the sounds of birds and squirrels while meditating in the morning, or the thrum of crickets during evening ritual. I could close off from the rest of the house and enjoy a great deal of privacy.

Then I popped out a rug rat, and I had to give up that space because our house is fairly small. (It became our bedroom, not the baby’s, due to the outside door. “The Lindbergh baby was a thing”, as a friend put it).

My altar space became the top of a bookcase in the hallway. Not private. No ambiance, considering the spare TP is stored on the floor next to it. (Perhaps the TP is blessed by its proximity to my sacred things. Some may argue that TP is a sacred thing. I do not disagree).

And thus the tale of my two and a half year falling away from my spiritual practice. I’d gussy it up now and then, but then it would collect dust, spare change, and baby barrettes. I’d ignore it, or at least try not to look at it more than I had to.

But on Friday evening, I cleaned it off, dusted everything, and laid a fresh cloth. And then I put a small votive in an old rose quartz holder and lit it, and left it (safely) lit for the rest of the evening.

Then again last evening, and this evening. As the house starts to darken, I light the votive for the evening. I take a breath, and continue with my regularly scheduled programming. The light reminds me, inspires me, comforts me. But in a small way, the way a daily practice should.

It’s a start.