ramblings

Reflections of the Dark Moon

She is in the sound of bare feet running across the dirt and stone. The thud of bone hitting earth and making it stronger. She is the song without words but whose depth of truth is unquestioned. The cry of beast and mortal alike. Hear her in your beating heart as the pounding drum. Hear her in your mind as the wailing carnyx. A force of nature. A force pushing you to beyond. Beyond your current limits. Ever striving. Ever changing. Ever thriving.

The Dark Moon. The Full Moon. The Summer. The Winter. She is there.

It is the Samhain season, and there is much to do, but there is also a need to sit back and reflect. The bones have been released on my altar. The Ancestors are getting their daily offerings and prayers. The Morrigan’s Holy day was marked in the dark of night under a fog covered sky in the Oakland hills. Every day is full with work.

Work that brings my household money and stability. Work that keeps my household healthy and feeling supported in the hard times we are currently in. Work to prepare for the new year in the Cauldron and what we wish to offer the community. Work for my household Gods and Spirits, to continue our mutually beneficial relationships and bring them honor. Work to shore up and refresh my wards for the house, my loved ones and myself. Work to become a better person.

Amongst all that work it would be easy to get lost. To focus solely on what is directly in front of me and move forward. But moving forward without knowing where you have come from means that you may not realize where you are going. So I wanted to take a moment to pause. The Great Queen wanted me to take a moment to pause.

Herself has been very present this season. The shadows are more than a little deeper. My emotions are a little stronger. Under the surface bubbles and restless energy, it can be harnessed and focused to accomplish so much, but it also threatens to overwhelm and fantasies of literally running wild are never far away. These are some of the markers of the Great Queen’s presence to me. The feeling of a deep endless chasm within me that will never be filled and never run dry.

Several years ago during a trance ritual with the Morrigan it seemed important for me to start working on some form of divination skills. This was difficult for me. It’s not a skill I am particularly attracted to or one that I feel that I am good at, but there was something in the practice of prophecy that clearly she felt would be good for me. That is the crux of my relationship with the Morrigan. Becoming a better version of me. The better version of me that she sees even when I do not.

So I bought Brian Froud’s Heart of the Faerie Deck and started doing readings and it was remarkably easy to listen to them. Now whether or not they had anything useful to say, is another question entirely. I didn’t bother with a Tarot deck. Something about Tarot has just never appealed to me. There are some truly beautiful cards but it’s just…not for me.

I don’t read for people often or even for myself. When I do people seemed to genuinely get something out of it and I have started giving myself calendar year readings annually. For a while that seemed enough.

Not this year. Time to step it up and branch out lol. It started earlier in the year with the random idea that I would like to have another deck, not just those wilde Faeries, to read with. But as mentioned Tarot still seemed not for me, so then was the somewhat difficult task of finding another Oracle Deck that I could speak with. The timing of finding a possible deck has worked out in that witchy way. My dearest sister, Brenda called my attention to the “With Your Shield or On It” deck by Pam Wishbow on my instagram. It was an insta-buy. Something I don’t do often. They arrived a few days before the Dark Moon and the Morrigan’s Holy Day, and as soon as I had them in my hands I realized that I would need to spend time getting to know them and learn their language. It wasn’t one I could already speak like my Froud deck.

It just seemed correct to do a daily card pull to get to know the deck, to see if it was the right one for me. From Dark Moon to Dark Moon seemed natural. Asking the Morrigan to bless the deck and open my eyes was second nature. We are seven days in and I can now see a little of how good of a practice this is right now.

Life is more than a little full and hectic right now. A family member is in the hospital, my partner is on leave to help in their care. Our “normal” has been packed up for another time. Spending some small minutes in the morning to sit in the quiet. To shuffle the cards. To think about yesterday and wonder about today has been supremely beneficial.

Added to that is the fact that there has been a lot of energetic shifts happening around me. In communities I am apart of, in neighboring communities, and just everywhere I look to be honest. This Dark Moon of the Morrigan’s  I told her and felt the truth that it felt like the long holding pattern I was in for many years is over. I am no longer treading water. I am moving forward. This practice of prophecy, of divination, is one of looking in all directions and listening. When there is so much going on, it is important to listen. To be in closer in connection with her voice, to hear warnings, to see patterns, to know.

For all that I am grateful. To the Great Queen who constantly inspires me and drives me, I am humbly grateful.

To all those seeking, my best advice to you is to listen and act. Don’t let the doubt freeze you into inaction. Start small. Start with something manageable, but doable. A prayer once a week. An offering on the Dark Moons. Deciding to read one of her stories and legends. Listen while you are doing these things and take time to reflect.

May this time of great depth and possibility give you what you need to reach a new personal level. May you continue to thirst for greater understanding and mastery of yourself. May your loved ones be safe and protected. May your household be prosperous and joyful even in times of stress. My the Great Queen bless us.

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Magic. Protection. Safety.

 

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Hermitage and the year ahead…

If you are a follower of this blog, or my tumblr, or happen to be someone I know, you may have noticed that I have receded from outside interaction for the holidays and new year. No real reason, it is just one of the those things that occur every now and again.  I think that it is overall a needed and good thing. In those time of hermitage, I get a lot of time to be with myself and my own mind, in these times I remember myself. It’s not that I forget, but being present in the NOW has historically been difficult for me. I spent much of my youth escaping, at first through books and other peoples stories, and then just as easily into my own mind and stories. At the heart of it all I am very much a dreamer. But I have learned how to have a fulfilling joyful life here in the now of this reality as well. It took a concentrated effort to do at first, and now I find that I easily get caught up in the details of things in the now. The tasks that are right in front of me take so much concentration that the doors to those other realms of reality get firmly shut. When I get some time and space away from other voices, opinions, projects, interactions, I open those doors again and am refreshed with soul lifting spirit of my dreams and the aspirations of my true self once more. Because that’s the point of living to me, always striving.

Maybe none of that made much sense to anyone else, and that’s ok. The crux of it is that I need time with just me and my beloved. I thrive when I get some time to myself to listen to music and walk, or read a novel, or watch movies. They feed me. Particular stories and songs remind me of what I am striving for. They swell my heart and soul with courageous deeds, and impossible odds, that give me the strength to keep on. I am so grateful for those times.

I have to say this hermitage was particularly fruitful. I realized that teenage me would be so fucking impressed with me now. I have achieved much of the levels of coolness that I wanted then. Silly as that may sound it is comforting. What’s more I know that there is more that I want to accomplish.

And in that vein I’ve decided to make a list of things that I would love to do in the year ahead. Just a small reference for me to look back on in 2016 and see where I was. Nothing on this list is set in stone, and I leave room for things to morph and do and accomplish things I cannot even imagine at the present moment instead. But for the now I’m just going to mark some things that would make me happy.

Home Life

  • Become financially stable and more independent better able to provide for my family and household
  •  Start putting away money for special trips and buying a home
  • Get the closet under some form of control
  • Replace the TV stand
  • Continue to upgrade the little things about the house that make me happy
  • Go visit the folks in NC
  • Make the Lumberjack’s 30th be something special
  • Do more home cooking
  • Get drivers licences
  • Sew some of the projects I have planned
  • Get rid of some of the stash of fabric I have

Personal

  • Eat healthier
  • Join a gym or class of some sort
  • Get eyes checked and new glasses
  • Go to the dentist
  • Continue annotation and comparison of the Tain
  • Continue prayer memorization
  • Read at least one of the books on my shelf
  • Make art
  • Coordinate and plan two ritual camping trips
  • Hold a blessing of the blades service in honor of the Morrighan
  • Write more prayer songs
  • Go for more walks with my music
  • Continue visiting my sacred places
  • Get away with the Lumberjack to the woods and just be
  • Continue to be involved in demanding change from our government on all levels
  • Try to stretch daily
  • Continue with daily practices
  • Finish writing one of my fanfics
  • Rent a cabin in the woods with my dear friends and be delightfully and terribly witchy
  • Do some of the projects of presents for people that I love
  • Read one of the comics that the Lumberjack wants me to
  • Go someplace new
  • Continue to update my wardrobe into what I want
  • Have more pampering days that involve oil, and lovely scents, and general wonderful things
  • Have both Mom and Dad record or write down a beloved story/memory from their childhood
  • Honor the festival days, holy days, household deities, ancestors, Gods and Ungods
  • Continue to research and learn more about the Gaelic world view and lifeway

Well that’s all I can think of at the moment…May at least some of these things happen and more that I cannot think of now.

May you all have the time and space to think, reflect, and feed your hearts and souls when you need.

To hear the lessons of the Mountains

I’m heading out to the Mountain today.  A brief visit with the Unlaws and then out to the wilds for a quick but much needed camping trip. It’s been too long since I’ve been completely out in the woods. No cabin, no stove, no insulation. Just a thin barrier of nylon between us and the world at large. The Lumberjack has asked repeatedly if I’m sure I want to go now, it’s still below freezing up there in the night hours. But I’m sure that I need to clear my head.

There is a perspective out in the woods that is hard for me to really keep hold of in the city. Right now all the astrology is talking about the intensity of Mars, and I cannot say they are wrong. I’m seeing intensity from a lot of different angles in my world right now. Stress, people being overworked and under appreciated, the blatant rewriting of events for personal gain, people in tension with their loved ones, the news media failing in seeing the pervasive rape culture that it is attributing to, the fall out of that rape culture that has already scarred so many, miscommunications, long time aggravations continuing to brush the wrong way, people breaking free , people doing the hard work. It’s all around, it’s everywhere.

Then, in the back of my mind there is a whisper. It is not silken, it is not soft, but a whisper none the less. Just as I’m about to get heated up in the moment, just as I am about to slam my fist or tear my hair.

It’s all moot. We’re all going to die. 

And I laugh. I can’t help it. I can’t stop it. It’s not a joyful ringing laugh. But it is a deep and very mortal chuckle.

I am comforted by that whisper and that laugh. Inevitably I wonder what that says about me, in fact I wonder even more now that I post this here for all the internet to see. But after two seconds of wondering I shrug and decide that the comfort is worth more than whatever judgement people who I know or do not know may or may not put upon me. After further reflection I can say with certainty that my deriving comfort from that is in no way hindering my ability to live and therefore is not something I need to worry or work on.

Because it’s not actually nihilistic. It’s not there is no reason to do anything because the only guarantee in life is that we are going to die. It’s that you are only guaranteed this one life now, so do your best. It gives more meaning to what we do now because we are in fact fated to die. So don’t waste that meaning on trivial things, don’t get too caught up in the details, the picture is bigger. Your time is short, use it wisely.

I dunno maybe that is nihilistic lol but I find it a useful moment of levity.

The frailty and strength of life and humanity becomes so much more…glorious in it’s tragic beauty.

That’s what the Mountain teaches me. The boulder is unaffected by the squirrel having a fit trying to get a seed open on its surface. It’s seen squirrels having fits before, it will see squirrels to come, it’s still going to be a boulder long after that squirrel is dust in the ground.

The trees are unaffected by the fact that they may get chopped down, or burned, or broken in a storm, or blown over, ripped from the ground in a landslide. They are still going to grow, they are still going to seed, they are still going to be trees.

The Mountain is unaffected by the countless animals (including humans) who have died peaceful and violent deaths on its rocky exterior. It’s forest may burn. People might decide to blow a hole through it and make a tunnel. The rains may come and wash whole portions of it away. In fact the plate it resides upon could begin to shift and destroy it completely. But the Mountain is still a Mountain.

I can take that in and feel the strength of it.

There is a laundry list of things that could happen to me on a daily basis. There are a hundred million dramas that could play out in my life time. I will take part in many of them. I will feel pain, sorrow, loss, stress, anger. I could lose all my love ones. I could in fact die tomorrow, today even. Yet none of that is going to prevent me from living the life that I have now. None of that will actually change who I am. That I am going to try my best and live my life in the pursuit of happiness. I can hold onto that truth and the rest falls away.

I can hold on to that truth and be the Mountain.