Thursday, December 24, 2009

Regaining Time

Its early morning and I am up. There is nothing unusual about that, I am always up "early" compared to my partner. He and I have different internal clocks that compliment each other nicely. But being up early gives me time, something that I have not felt that I have had lately. There is no reason for not making time, or finding it, but it still has been elusive to me. Yet, when I put it into these terms I find that I smile for time is an illusion as well.

We count seconds, minutes, and hours on a clock; there are days which turn to months on calendars, but in the end we are the ones that create the fractured moments that we call time. Once created we then gain or lose the bits and pieces of a day. We can feel good or bad about how we spent our time wondering how the next day will be as if we have no say. It is all a choice. To an extent that is true, pressures outside of ourselves can dictate how we spend our day, our month, our life even. But not this morning; this morning is mine in the wee early hours.

I have changed my life, begun to reconstruct it in a manner that is pleasing to me. That sounds selfish and yet it is not. If I do not give to my family the best and most honest me that there is I am robbing both them and myself of what is most precious... an honest relationship. I had lost myself, lost in the world and its demands to be a "good" mother, partner, employee, employer, or whatever other label you would like to put there. But another self was crying to get out and be with the world. That self had been shuffled away for a few years in order to stay in front of all the demands that life and society had placed before me. I allowed it, I was partner in my own captivity, I could stop it, and I did.

I changed my life; reinvented it to an extent. I walked away from all of the things that I thought everyone placed value on and that I envisioned that was required of me. When I turned my back and walked away an amazing thing happened. Those that mean the most to me, those that I love, smiled. They were pleased that I no longer agonized over how my time and energy were taken from me every day and that I had nothing left to give at the end of each cycle. Everyone smiled and they still are smiling. I am now my true self, the self that I wanted to give to them but felt I could not. The person inside is no longer screaming to get out; she is out and gently sipping coffee in the very early hours of the day.

So who is this new person that sits where I use to? Well that is the beauty of it all, I do not know. I have a lifetime of discovery with family and friends before I answer that question. All I know for know is that time has returned to what it should have been all along. It has returned to the turning of the wheel, to marking passage through seasons not seconds, and most of all it moves at nature's pace and not man's.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Have you ever read a book that you could not put down; that you devoured until you reached the last forty or fifty pages? At that point you open it often and read a few paragraphs so you can finish, but somehow you find reasons not to continue. You do not understand why, it is a wonderful read and then it happens. You realize that you are delaying so that the story will not end. That is the only way I can describe Dance of Stones… a story that you just do not want to end.

Kenn Day, a modern day post tribal Shaman, retells the story of his 1998 trip to sacred sites in Europe. The trip was one of opening and enlightenment for both Kenn and his companion. Moving from site to site using intuition as their roadmap and magpies as their guide posts, self realization and new life paths were opened to both travelers in this story. It was a delight to take the trip with the two of them, but it was not just a matter of reading their story, it was also an opening of self for me as I took the journey with them. I had been thinking of this book for a while but had made one excuse or another for putting off reading it. As with all things, when it was time to act on this thought I dove in and I’m glad that I did.

My own journey has taken many twists and turns not unlike the journey in this story. The reading of the book happened when I needed to be reminded of lessons long ago learned. How many times has it happened that we slip into complacency and forget the magic around us? When that happens to me I begin to feel as if I am walking a fog; this book was the tunnel out of the fog. Passages of text to quote elude me as I write this. Maybe each person needs to read Dance of Stones to find their own unique lesson. If you need an inspiration to help you find a new perspective Dance of Stones will not disappoint you. Suffice it to say that I gained insight to the journey of two individuals as well as to my own path in this world.

Kenn has written in a manner that makes this book accessible to everyone. That is not to say it is a watered down bit of writing, rather it is in the language common to all of us; it is the written if he were speaking. I could not have gained what I did if it was written any other way. In writing about his journey, Kenn speaks to us as if we were sitting around a campfire, engaged in his words, body language, and voice and allows us to take the story to our heart to remember time and time again. Kenn’s talent in using story telling has moved from oral tradition to the written page beautifully.
Dance of Stones is a story to read over and over and I would recommend it to both those well along their path and those just beginning to search for one. It is a wonderful and gentle reminder that regardless of our experience we are all travelers sharing a common road and in one way or another we all have something to teach and to learn.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Change of Seasons

With time everything passes. The wheel turns, seasons pass, children get taller, and we grow older. Hopefully in the process we also grow wiser.

This last week saw the coming and going of my 50th birthday; what a wonderful passing it was and one that I have looked forward to. You may think it odd that a woman would look forward to growing older, but I look back on my life and it has been amazing. I say that knowing that not all that happened in the last 50 years has been easy nor has it all been what I wanted, but in the end every last moment has shaped who I am, who my children are, and where it is I will head in the future. In other words, it is the experienced moments of my life and how I integrated them into my self that matters.

This last weekend I was asked to think of my "bucket list", the list of things that I would like to do before I die. I chuckled and then I thought about the question and it took me a while to find an answer. What are the things that I WANT to do? This last summer I had made the statement that my first 50 years where driven by my obligations; however, my next 50 years would be spent following my desires. We all understand the responsibilities of adulthood: children, home, job and the like, in a sense those things that we define success by. However, those things that would bring me joy do not necessarily fall into those categories. So I was now forced to truly decide what was the single most important thing that I would like to accomplish. Did I find it? Absolutely, only it was two items combined. Now comes the pursuit of the dream. It is a rediscovered purpose in a goal that I have been working towards. Yet now I have now a drive that had not quite been there before. A drive that could only be born from a new appreciation of how long I have been dreaming this particular dream.

I look around at those that I work with each day and see that they are still plodding along the road of obligation. I do not feel that weight of "doing what I am suppose to" any more. Do not get me wrong, I still need to pay the bills, buy groceries and generally stay within the lines of socially acceptable behavior; but there is a lightness about my day. I know that the star that I had only seen as a distant glimmer is a very real possibility. This is true magic, understanding that all things are within our grasp and that we all have the ability to make our dreams come true. Sometimes that means allowing the change of the seasons within our life take place naturally and not struggle to keep everything as it was.

I am not going to tell you, my dream is mine to discover. Everyone has a dream, a thing, a bucket list whether they know it or now. Ask yourself the same question and allow the season to turn so that you can begin the chase of dreams in your own life.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


This summer has been a journey for me. One that has had its moments of both sadness and joy. My partner and I left the city for good; we have moved to a farm that we are now the stewards of. We will be planning this winter for the spring, we are learning all those things that our ancestors knew and our generations have conveniently forgotten. There is great joy and satisfaction in the process, even when we make mistakes we are moving forward in our learning.

It took moving to a farm to help me regain the perspective that not all crops harvested are those that we expect or that we even understand have been planted. Last night was the Mabon ritual for the group that I am a member of. It was a harvest ritual and I was ready to join in as I have in all of our rituals. But something changed; we got a puppy yesterday morning and all previous plans were made irrelevant. We did not have the proper setup for leaving a puppy alone while both of us participated in ritual, and even if we had, on her first night with us she shouldn't have to be alone at any point. This is the time of bonding and building trust. Planting the seeds of our new relationship with Cerri*. So the decision was made. I would be at ritual but I would not participate in ritual. Instead, I would wait outside the circle taking care of our new child and calming her fears about being gone from her brother and sister.

Now I must tell you that my circle is a long standing one. We have practiced together for many years and while we all walk different spiritual paths with varied beliefs, we have a great sense of self as a group and respect for all of our individuality. Last night was a first for me though, I stood outside; outside of my family, outside of my circle, outside of the energy that was initially built. And yet I was a part of the All.

As darkness enveloped the group a calmness came over the land. Cerri laid down at my feet, watched a part of what was going on in front of her, and quietly fell asleep. What happened next was humbling. The voices of my family of heart began to rise in the darkness, the lone candle on the altar shone brightly, and the energy of the Gods themselves filled the area. The love and beauty was not confined to the circle that had been cast, but engulfed all that was there. I was outside and yet connected deeply to what was transpiring.

Standing outside and looking in I longed to be with my kindred and yet the responsibility for the tiny creature sleeping at my feet allowed me to look at my path, my group, my choices in a whole new light. I was able to harvest a new love and respect for myself and those in my life. Harmony danced on the wind, peace within blessed me with understanding. The crop of desire to be loved and accepted that I planted so long ago when I stepped on to the pagan path was shown in full bloom last night. My path has always been clear to me, but in the darkness last night I was able to harvest the understanding that the path had been chosen for me long before I took that first step.

May we all be so blessed as to trust that our instincts are correct and to find the courage to move beyond fear in our life. It is only then that we can begin to sow the seeds of our life and enjoy the harvest along the way.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Its early and the sun is bright this fine Sunday morning. It is time for the chill to be behind us and for everyone to move forward to the next stage of living. Sounds so simple, so true, and yet there are so many complications that come with the thought of moving forward.

I have one child who is looking for a new job. In this economy that is difficult at best, but in this case it becomes complicated due to the need for health insurance. Simply moving to a new employer isn't always that easy. When your children have needs that out weigh your desire it can become overwhelming. I have another child that is moving to the next phase of his life; he is getting married. What a beautiful and natural transition this is but it too brings the complication of knowing that you are now truly responsible for another person's well being and that in turn they are responsible for yours. Both of these positions in life that my children find themselves are all about trust. Yes that is all it boils down to: trust.

Trust in themselves to make the right choices and in doing so begin to build the lives that they are suppose to have. I too am on a cusp which involves trust. To sell my home and move from the city to the country. This is something that my partner and I have talked about for some time now and we have found the place to move to. It is beautiful, wide open spaces, wooded acreage, an old farm house, a huge barn, and plenty of potential for whatever it is we wish to do with it. But now it comes down to trust. I have to trust that all the work that went into finding the perfect place and holding it for us was the right thing to do. I have to trust that selling my home for several years is the right thing to do. I have to trust that the universe answered my spells and requests and brought this place to me even though it wasn't quite on my time frame. And I have to trust that all that needs to be done will fall into place. Easy. Right?

Well, not really, but it is the only thing that I can do and I suppose that is the bottom line of it all. When we trust we are taking the leap of faith required to move forward even though we are scared. We understand that failure might occur, but we accept the risk as a minor part of the movement. In order to grow and find where it is that we need to move to there will be pain and grief to a degree but it is over shadowed by the joy that is brought by our trust in ourselves and others. We will never realize the rewards if we do not trust and so here I go, we go, again... the possibility of a "new" old house in my life that will give me the room to plant and grow and grow and grow all I want. This is the right thing to do in this season of growth.


Sunday, April 5, 2009


It was a wonderful day; one rich in conversation and love. What more could a person ask for? Nothing really. Bill and I puttered around, went out briefly, but all in all just spent the day together; it was wonderful.

Part of the later afternoon I placed candles in the quarters of the circle out back. It was time to open the circle into Spring and I could feel it. The time for winter has passed and now that the energies have shifted our focus, my focus, is on the magic of growth and renewal. White candles in each of the quarters to honor the forces, energies, and elements that find their home in each direction. I let them decide on who goes where rather than asking that specific ones be in specific places as I would do in a regular ritual. You see these are the ones that live with us all year regardless of whether they are active or dormant. This is also their home and it is no more my place to tell them exactly where to be than it is for me to tell my neighbor what to do. We are neighbors and I honor all the creatures seen and unseen that coexist in this small patch with us.

With the candles in place it was time to light them, ignite the incense, and then to offer a small gift of mugwart as a smudge to signal the shedding of the winter cloak and to embrace the coming growth. No wind would harm the tiny flames as they burned through the late afternoon; their lights were strong and calling. As the day moved forward and twilight came I glanced outside to see them still burning. I knew it was not time yet for the final bit of work but the time would come soon. More conversation and slow movement took me from the window and soon darkness came. Now was the time to finish and Bill was ready as well. We live together and it was important that he help in the opening and the honoring.

There were only two things to do: 1) to place the birdbath top back on its pedestal and fill it with water and 2) give an offering of sage to honor those that were drawn there earlier by the incense, mugwart, and light. By morning it is likely that the candles will be burned out; it is just as likely that not all of them will have exhausted their life by then. The sage left on the stone altar will have given its scent to the wind to say "I am back and allow me the joy of riding on your wings." Finally, the honoring of those we live with has been done.

Bill and I did the same for each other today by giving our time, our words, and our love. Together we honored those energies and spirits we share our home with by giving them gifts and acknowledging who and what they are. Our home is well blessed and it is important that we honor all those things around us that we sometimes either take for granted or forget because they have become too familiar to remember them. May you always take time to look around and remember to honor those people and beings that give you love and life everyday.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spring and the Joy of Sharing

It was an interesting home coming last night. I had been to a co-workers house helping him connect to the world electronically while recovering at home from surgery, so my trip home was not the normal trek. That did not bother me. I got lost a little in my own town and was allowed to view the city from different places seeing different faces. People were out walking and smiling in the sunshine and warmth. Warmth, such a subjective thing. It was only in the 60's but what a wonderful change from the winter months.

As I approached home I felt a little disoriented; I was driving my partner's vehicle and negotiating the hills is very different in his SUV from how I glide through with my little dragon. But home I came. Students out on porches and balconies beginning the rites of spring as only students can. It is Thursday and that is the day the weekend starts in a college town. But there was no parking near our house. I just smiled and thought that this is the Universes way of making me walk and enjoy the sun while it lasts. Around the corner and up the hill I parked, walking back to the house to view the yard and what work lies before us. A very happy place to be to know that we will be out and working to make the yard come alive again. But once I came inside I heard something that wasn't quite right. It was a thumping sound periodically coming from the back yard.

As I looked through the opening to the ritual room and then the window to the yard beyond, I saw a young woman with a bow and arrow. She placed the arrow in the bow, drew back the draw string, and released to allow the shaft to fly towards a target to the side of the yard. Then a second young woman with a hula hoop began to move her way across the yard beyond where the circle is outlined, and finally a third young woman just strolling around in a small area with her dog. Now you must understand I have no fences defining my back yard; but in the area where I live there are very few back yards. It is an oasis in a university neighborhood as far as grass is concerned. So in one sense this didn't surprise me.

I walked out back and approached the three and asked if they knew that this was my yard. I'm really not that possessive but we have sacred space there and I truly don't want it to be disrupted. They were confused, their landlord never explained that the grassy area wasn't for everyone to use; his answers I'm sure were vague when they inquired. So I made some new friends, met the neighbors, and gave permission for the archery to continue. Seems a little surreal to be honest, but anyway...

I explained about our ritual area and then engaged in a small conversation regarding beliefs. Wiccan, Pagan, Heathen, etc... it all came out. So now the witch of Lancaster Avenue has once again made her self known to the transient occupants of our area. They will be invited to drumming this summer if we have it here. They will be invited to watch ritual if not verbally then by the fact that we are not secretive about what we do. So sharing space, sunshine, energy and smiles today, for what better way to celebrate Spring!