Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Human awareness

I feel completely and utterly drained.  Yesterday I spent much of the day in bed, taking meds, hoping that at some point this cold would leave my body, and after a restless night's sleep, I feel exhausted.  It's a challenge being a sick parent taking care of a sick child.  There's that partial wanting to take care of your child to make them better, but also the other aspect of needing to put the oxygen mask on first, so to speak.

I've ceased communication with everyone since my class on Thursday, needing some me time and just relaxing, Goddess knows I needed the break, though I wish it had manifested in a less contagious sort of way, I still must find the gratitude in being only with cold, not something worse.  It's not much consolidation in these whiney moments.

Mercury has turned direct and I am breathing a sigh of relief.  This retrograde really didn't affect me the way the previous retrogrades have this year, but I know it was quite a stressful one for most.  I'm not saying I was free of some of the lessons and challenges this cycle can bring, but I think relative to communication I took a step back and stayed in a secluded box, not really interested in the drama of relationships.  It's still a strange time without the "bff", but we had drifted at the beginning of summer, I think what affects me most is that we would contact each other in moments of boredom or to share our exciting news or things that were really stewing in the mind, then we'd waste the minutes doing dishes, watching tv, listening to music and not really being fully present in the conversation.  "Wasting" time was a reflection here, but I think we're conditioned that it's sometimes necessary to have these kinds of relationships, the ones where you can be silly, the ones where you can be serious, the ones where you can be mindless and inappropriate, but I have grown tired of the relationships that don't stimulate any kind of mental awareness, and I'm sure this is a major reason why I have simply walked away from relationships that have fit this category, especially in the music scene.

I prefer to do things solo, this has never been a surprise, and there are times where I see my secluded nature may come off as alienation or somehow this image of superiority, so I attempt to connect, and re-connect, and it's beneficial, but also draining at the same time.  It doesn't feel authentic.  I don't always feel authentic in those moments.  Trying not to add or participate to the water-cooler gossip waste, or the insincere and mindless chit chat, I realize sometimes these "safety" mechanisms are ways to process through the nervousness of connection and, hopefully, will dissolve when sincerity surfaces.

It's a back and forth mental process.  Am I reading too much into this?  Some of my best, soulful, connections have resulted from connecting with those that have similar experiences relative to human awareness, of not fitting in, of feeling alien in this world, alien in ourselves sometimes, where our worlds are internal and our dialogue is self-imposed.  It's energetic vibrations.  I want to connect more with this invisible line of vibration and feel out the thread to a larger sense of community than what I have felt, or what I have perceivably desired in the years past.

I'm not interested in dramatic tales of how you came to be, I'm more interested in the tales of how you are relative to the integrated lessons of who you were.  I don't know if the community exists now or is waiting, souls gathering around on this earth wanting to connect for more meaningful way of life and being.  Please understand, this isn't me looking down upon those whose interests differ from my own.  Differ interests is a good thing, I'm not looking for the clone of myself, but I don't know how to participate in the chatter amongst friends about the latest reality TV nonsense, or how so-and-so clearly likes this person and let's now dismiss them as a human being by naming off the things we loathe when it merely highlights our own insecurities and reveals an ugly version of self... how does one participate in the day-to-day conversations that really don't interest you?

I'm sure, without doubt, this goes both ways.  It's not a me vs them.  We change and evolve, and I suppose judgment seeps through in wonderment when being a human being means more than superficiality.  It clearly is judgment -- whose to say that my view of what is superficial is not someone else's reason to live? 

I was reading recently about someone else's concerns over the lack of humanity, and today I started to think about our true, personal, definitions of humanity, and what makes a person a person, what makes us acceptable in the human race and what deems us unworthy or completely inhumane.  It's judgment.  It's all judgment.  Good or bad, functional or dysfunctional, we decide what is acceptable to the world based on our personal stories.  We make our viewpoint (or similar) right and the other wrong.  Not necessarily black and white...

Perhaps it's the cold meds fumbling up the words, or the last lingering shadow energies of Mercury's backwards dance, for I don't see this entire entry making any sense.

I'm optimistic about change.  Last night I made a decision that is relative to the "completion" aspect that the retrograde brings, and while it's not definitive, it's something I'd like to finally give myself permission to explore, and saying it out loud yesterday was nice.  I won't concern myself with details this season.  Perhaps after Yule or come Imbolc I will start to delve further, I have my hands full now with projects.  'Tis the way of the Capricorn, always starting... completion is often mucky.

I'm feeling optimistic and determined and still, slightly frightened.  I'm looking at the decision-making process the same way as I would teach my students relative to what I have identified as the Pyramid of Shifts (to be discussed further in other works in progress...): 1. awareness; 2. choice; 3. shift; 4. maintenance.

I am currently in the 2nd Pyramid: choice.  This is where my obsessive love of list-making comes out to play!

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Transitional ease

Mercury turns direct tomorrow, then I can really think about what the past 3 weeks has brought to our doorstep and make clearer decisions.  However, I am feeling much more at ease with the process, perhaps because my stubborn determination has decided to throw another option into the mix.  The comparison has been helpful, but also more challenging.

The past week has been busy and communicatively stressful.  My husband made this joke how much I really don't like the human race, and we laughed and I commented back that I like about 3% of them, to which his math calculated how much that would be and how I don't know a fraction of that many people... fine... I'm not entirely fond of the human species, more specifically as of late, but I know in general I grow tired of the constant battles they/we have with responsibility, respect, lack of compassion... it's been factoring into my decision-making mode as well, though in general I'm just frustrated with our lack of kindness in this world, and common courtesy.  Respecting each other's right to BE as they need/choose/want to be is one thing, complete lack of consciousness is another.  Judgmental?  Perhaps.  I'm not oblivious to my own areas of work here, where I could serve to be more compassionate and kind, chanting to Green Tara has been beneficial to remind me of that.

The Universe clearly would like me to take a break, to relax and not be in various projects, but to simply be... I have manifested a cold for myself.  We're all sick, which is always a challenge when you try to figure out who is less sick and they are deemed the one in charge, but when your child is sick with that strained voice, it's all you can do to not snuggle them up and take it all away.  If only my super powers worked that well.

I've been thinking about my role at the school, and while I'm honestly not sure whether it will survive another year between the economy and the vast changes occurring, I'm still there, sticking it out.  The local eatery where I would go for lunch for every class still remains, and the owner (with whom light and humorous banter is exchanged) commented the other day when I was there, "so, you're back?" and I said, "yup, I'm back".  It doesn't feel like it once did.  The illusions are gone, the "good" and the "bad" have neutralized.  While the memories are still there, it's quite literally from another time.  I almost can't imagine the "then".

Changes are occurring and my initial gut when I walk into the place screams of remaining cautious.  Where instant trust once lay it's now bordering on unfamiliarity, that feeling in your gut when you know something is off so you tread lightly so as not to disrupt the flow around you as you play detective.  My purpose is to teach the students, everything else I remain in gravity (neutral).

I had planned to change my altar yesterday, but I'm glad I didn't, I want to be able to be in full health before creating the change there.  Each year around Mabon I tend to manifest illness, though this year I thought I would allow myself to bypass this clearing, I can see, sitting in bed at this moment, that the cleanse is still quite necessary in this manner.  I need to pause and reevaluate everything.  I've been reevaluating connection, and these connections have reminded me of the astrology reading I had at the beginning of the year with Christopher.  He showed me in the planets where the connections are, and how this year in particular would be a good time to foster those new connections with like-minded folk, and even within the apprenticeship I see the balance of magick and humor that makes me appreciative.

I plan to spend the day mostly in bed, catching up on reading and journaling and sleep.  I'm glad I decided to make soup yesterday, today I am very grateful of that!  It will also give me some time to think about Yule gifts and what the rest of the year holds.  I don't want it to rush by, I want to enjoy every single second of it.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quickest blog on the block?

I'm notoriously known for my extremely long blogs/journal entries, however today it will be short... I'm leaving in a few for class tonight, then I'm teaching for the next 2 days. 

I haven't taught during Mercury retrograde in quite some time.  However this class was, essentially, a last minute class.  It was meant to be something else, we pulled it to start anew, then I decided to plug in this class and get the ball rolling earlier.  I was determined to manifest the reality of this program in the time frame I think would suit everyone, but I had forgotten about the retrograde.  The decision for the plug-in comes well before the retrograde took effect, so I have no concerns there, however I think I'd feel less frazzled if it were one of the other classes and not necessarily the first in the series.  Either way, perfection will reign and hopefully more students will be intrigued to pursue the rest of the program further.

There is, however, a lot of cleaning up that needs to be done relative to the energy of this program.  Too many uninformed people speaking to prospective students about what the program is about when they have never even been in the program themselves.  Frustrating, and really idiotic.  Is it such a challenge to have them come back and actually speak with, oh I don't know, say the instructor of the course???  Ridiculous, though not surprising, seems to be a pattern of not being thorough.

I don't feel quite as prepared as I would like for class tonight.  Wishing I had given myself more time to get caught up on the reading, despite having already read the material, I like reading it shortly before to have it fresh in my mind.

I suppose I'm simply feeling rushed with having my class tonight and teaching tomorrow.  The transition from student to teacher is fine, I just prefer personal time to process through my lessons... I will need to reflect further on that next time when schedule classes.  It's not to say I don't give my all, but I require my own private time and that is often put on hold until after my classes, and I prefer the process then, in the moment it wishes to be present and work with me than putting it aside as we have done for centuries as womyn. 

Tonight, however, I am working on being more open.  I'm quite quiet in class, playing my usual role as observer, but I know it doesn't make for the openness of connection... then again, the connection isn't indicative of my willingness to be chatty or not, not in this realm, where our spirits reflect our connectiveness.

I don't want to ask myself questions and distract... I find myself already running behind on my day!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Magickal moments

The past 2 days have felt filled with busy-ness, but in complete joyful and magickal moments... it reminds me that I must allow myself moments like this throughout the year, not simply during the darker half of the year.

Saturday I took Nimue to see Lama Surya.  We were running late (as only a parent of a toddler can understand), but got there just in time to grab a seat in the back and enjoy the meditation.  I could feel my spirit rest and be completely and totally present, in such a way that it washed away the frustrations of the week's thoughts and I was there, fully there, breathing in... breathing out... eyes closed, in the moment... then Nimue says loud enough for me and the row in front of me to hear "Mommy... open your eyes!".  Funny moments toddler's can bring.

I had my book signed and Lama Surya smiled at me with his warm eyes and said he had remembered me, then commented on how he liked my scarf.  A couple of years ago I remember going to one of his day-long retreats and had this beautiful red shawl that I wanted to wear(the one I wore on Saturday, in fact) and couldn't find it.  I decided that I would use my "fall-back" shawl, the one my cousin Lorena gave me from Chile, this sort of tie-dyed shawl with the planets in white scattered all over.

I got to the event, and generally in the midst of meditation I usually get chilly, so having a shawl is quite useful, so as we were about to begin I pulled mine out and got a few stares and smirks as my planets were open for all to see.  I smiled to myself at my own dorkiness, and went on meditating.

During our afternoon break several of us had gone up to Lama Surya to have our books signed, and I stood there, getting nervous as I tend to around him (or really any author -- I tend to get "star struck" at times), and when it was my turn he took my book, smiled at me, signed it, then looked at me and smiled and said "great shawl"... I'm smiling at the memory of that, it was a hilarious moment, but you could see his genuine nature of really liking this crazy shawl.  Saturday's comment about my red scarf reminded me of that.

It was nice to share that moment with Nimue, even if she was eager to go to the children's section, she said hi to Lama Surya, and he allowed her some moments to play with his Tibetan singing bowl which pleased her immensely.  It was a sight to see!

I met up with a friend later and we had some time to catch up and talk about Lama Surya, our first meetings, etc.  I will never forget the day I met him and how that has impacted me:

I went on the Borders website, reasons clearly channeled by the Universe, and was looking at their events.  If I may backtrack for just a moment, I used to work at Barnes and Noble -- Borders was our competition.  Needless to say, you wouldn't shop at your competitors, and even though I had already left the bookstore the year or so prior, there was still that conditioning that it was just this unspoken agreement, and frankly I had never shopped at Borders, the closest one (at that time) was an hour away while BN is 20 minutes, clearly not worth the drive.  So me being on the site and looking for an event seemed strange, even to me then in that moment, but I just humored myself.  I saw Lama Surya's name, that he was doing an event that night, and I grabbed my keys and left.  It actually was one of the first times I had ever done that, gone somewhere on a whim.

I remember the day before was a very very dark day for me.  A very dark day.  I was probably at one of my lowest, depressive moments, feeling defeated in life and in self, I was desperate, needing hope, needing something, and while I prayed to the Goddess, I still felt alone.  I can see images from that day.  It was quite hard.  I carried much of that sadness with me to see Lama Surya, unsure if I should even go, if I should step outside in a world so terrifying at that time, but there was something drawing me there, and I didn't want to analyze it, I just wanted to drive.

I got there, sat up front, and waited among these other 100+ people who came to see him.  Someone sitting next to me asked if I had ever seen him before (she was a long-time student of his), and I said I had never even heard of him, and her look of shock as she saw these 100+ people crowding on the floor to see him, she asked what brought me there, and I told her I just knew I had to be here.  She smiled.

When Lama Surya came out... I can still remember that feeling that pumped through my heart, it was beautiful, and opening, fulfilling.  I had tears running down my face, and he hadn't even spoken a word.  My friend on Saturday said that was a sign the Tibetans believe indicates ones teacher... this is not surprising to me.  In my heart I have known this from the moment I saw him.  I can't say that I have ever felt that with another teacher before.

Yes, I have felt that connection with another and have studied with some incredible people who Goddess has guided me to, and felt joy in my heart to be with them, but this was something different.  It's something I'm looking at deeper, as more questions arise, and the possibility of something that will essentially take me away from the physical connection, there's so much to consider.

"Letting Go Of The Person You Used To Be" was the book he wrote when I met him.  I waited until I became pregnant to read it.  I read through some of his other works, but wasn't ready.  I think that's why it was so important for me to share this with Nimue, because I would read passages throughout that book to her in the womb, purging my old self and making room for my newer being.  I'd like to re-read it again at some point.

Between Saturday and yesterday, I am buzzing with possibilities, but also the balance is I have developed more questions, and I see truer understanding in the saying of seeing how the grass is greener on the other side.  Why do we figure these things out later, rather than appreciate them in the moment?

PPD was yesterday, and it was joyful and magickal and really one of those perfect days.  I ran into several people I haven't seen in years, and the reconnection was beautiful, and it was such a joy, SUCH a joy that I can't even begin to express to be surrounded by like-minded people, to be in the vortex of a community that, essentially, shares the same beliefs as you.  I found myself fully in Goddess-self mode, without restrictions (not that I intentionally restrict, but I have the awareness that sometimes in an energy-field that isn't like one I am fully accustomed to or truly "want" to be in, I find the shields detract from embodiment of true Goddess Self). 

It was magickal, and while I didn't actually get to partake in any workshops, except for a Pagan Parenting one that was good in theory but I didn't really enjoy all that much, I had such fun.  Nimue did as well, busy in the kid's area making a magick wand, a mask, a besom (which I thought was very nice of them to have this year).  She got to dance and run and play with other kids, and we picnicked out in front of the stage area.  It was fun, a lot of fun, and I was bummed that I needed to leave before ritual, but it was an amazing time.

I came home with a lot on my mind, in an area I hadn't even thought of before.  I know there seems to be a lot of wishy-washy, not touching the center of what this abundant thought process is all about, but soon I will piece the puzzle together and share.  I need to work this out for myself, mostly.

I'm looking forward to Celebrate Samhain at the end of next month.  Christopher will be the key-note speaker, and it looks to be quite festive!

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

In the gut

I did an abundance of thinking yesterday (as I have since we've returned home), but yesterday that thinking manifested into anxiety stemmed from fear.  It's not a "bad" fear, but it's still there, scary and silly, joyful and frightening, it's an abundance of emotions and thought forms that it took on a life of its own last night, and my productivity in other areas became non existant as it was covered by this veil.  I can't say that it's any better this morning, and I partially understand why, I think once I vocalize this with others it will get somewhat easier, but also intensify the difficulty in many other ways.  I suppose I should enjoy the peace for this moment.

It's a sunny day today, the weather spirits shining a new perspective for me and giving me opportunity to enjoy the day away from excessive thinking.  The thinking will still be there, no doubt, but not as dense as yesterday.

Lama Surya Das has a book signing today and I am taking Nimue with me.  It's earlier than he's done in the past, then again I believe he's generally done the book signings during the week and not the weekend, so I suppose that's why it's throwing me off.  I enjoy the evening events, the energies of the night joining me in processing... but I'm looking forward to today, feels like I haven't seen Lama Surya in forever, and while I have no time to read anything new, it'll be nice to have one of his books waiting for me.

It's one of those fast forward days, I can feel it.  The original agenda for my day has gone out the window since I am opting to drive an hour to see Lama Surya, then at some point find time to get the work I need done, done, but I really want to enjoy this time here, in this space, right now, without the overload of thoughts and wonder, but true value and appreciation for this exact moment in this exact place.  I feel the impermanence of things right now, and gratitude for all is necessary.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

No lists, just life

I stopped the list-making moments for now, at least relative to the "pro-con" list.  The fact of the matter is, I believe I know what my decision is.  Now it's about waiting for Mercury to turn direct and from there stand in unision with the universe and see what happens next, with the attempts to not be so attached to the outcome, I feel somewhat attached already.  But I see the benefits in either way it spins, there's comfort there.

I'm still playing catch up with emails and ADC and all other commitments, tackling them bit by bit then getting side-tracked or distracted, Mercury clearly has other things in store for me, but we're seeming to be working together; my inner brat has decided to step aside from the need to make things her way and work in conjunction with this retrograde, unlike last time where clearly it became all about what *I* wanted in a ridiculously defiant way, it was rather amusing to watch in retrospect.

I've been thinking a lot lately about ancestral spirits, not necessarily of my own blood-line, but in the lineage of my teachers and guides, though last night I started to think a bit about my own blood line, of family members I virtually know nothing about, but connected to their work and purpose and "orlay" as I am researching currently (the actions and words that have shaped who a person is based on their own personal wyrd [fate]).

I've been thinking about what orlay I have passed onto Nimue, the orlay in which I, myself, came into this world with, the karmic contracts that I not only carried from past lifetimes, and reflecting upon ancestors that I don't have a fully awakened relationship with, and who's orlay I was born with.  It makes me want to understand them, my ancestors, a bit more, adding to the notion of you can't know where you are going if you don't know where you have come from.  It certainly gives new meaning to the word "baggage", now doesn't it, ha.

It's feeling like the beginnings of beautiful New England crisp weather... I'm getting glorious chills just thinking about it.  Soon the leaves will turn, the nights will continue to grow darker faster, and the winds will pick up in chill and mysterious wonder... I can taste it already, and the excitement boils in preparation.

Last week I had my iPod on shuffle and there were several songs played back to back from a band I used to see fairly often.  The album itself is/was depressive, so depressing, the kind of music that makes you delve deep into the inner mindscape while attempting to not sit in a corner eating your hair.  It's perfectly miserable and deliciously thoughtful, it spoke to me and made me purge like no music has ever been able to do.  It dropped me to my knees a few years ago, and I spent a good year not listening to it at all, nearly forgetting all about their music, putting to rest all of the hurt that was associated with that time, specifically speaking of the confusion and manipulations of S... and now, when 3 songs came on back to back, followed by my own desire to listen to the entire album... I could remember, all of that, all of the pain, all of the hurt, the bleeding heart... but it may as well have been a movie, because it felt so outside of me, like identifying with a character and yet realizing deep down that it's completely fiction.

While I know it wasn't fictitious, it may as well have been, because it feels like anything that happened during my Saturn Return was complete illusion, and now as I look back I'm filled with a variety of emotions relative to that time: proud, angry, hurt, humiliated, powerful... it was part of the lessons I filtered through, part of the layers I needed to unveil, and it feels good, now, to look back at that time and see, well, I don't want to say "nothing", but really, nothing.  No-thing.  It's not necessarily indicative of an energetic void, but rather just this progression of flesh, progression of self, progression of mind that shedded itself right there and then, and I didn't even know it.

I released the trauma and the pain and am still left with the memories, but the memories are fantasy, like a character, you have awareness of the story, but unless you reread it, it's not something you directly remember at length.  It's strange... but I like it.

I don't want to put value or judgment (or not) in that situation.  I just want to enjoy the mindful moment where I discovered that that reality is: gone.  I let myself be part of a game that suited me for the moment.  Game's over though, and the results of the aftermath speak volumes in terms of the actual players involved.  It's funny how much credit we give those around us and how much value we emphasize on our connection to them.

I have, also, been thinking of connections.  I have a difficult time in putting labels to relationships being "better" than another.  I don't really believe in "best" friends or "enemies".  I think we're connected to the people we're connected to in the moment, some deeper than others, but the labeling frightens me, because it feels like a box, and we know I'm not a fan of fitting into boxes.

My "best" friend since childhood and I have gone through several years of not being "best" at all.  Not enemies either, but complete strangers, disconnected and no longer speaking to one another.  It comes and goes, and we have seemingly revisited that space and time once more.  I feel saddened, in that when you put a label such as "best" it's somehow supposed to mean something, like they are "better" than the rest, that you trust them with everything more than others... I can't say I felt that. 

Is this person trustworthy?  Yes.  Did we have much in common?  No.  Does that matter?  Yes, it does.  Most would say it doesn't, but as I get older, I value connection -- soulful, meaningful connection.  I'm not into the superficiality of connection, of meaningless conversation.  Been there, done that.  I want to connect on a deeper level, no longer being tied down by patriarchal bullshit, I want sisterhood and solidarity.  I didn't feel that with my "best".  From the simple and mundane aspects of taking over an hour to decide on what movie to watch because she was into "chick flicks" while I valued more independent documentaries; complaining when in the car together because she preferred pop music while the I was into indie; not being able to enjoy the same books for she was into memoirs and biographies while I lean towards spirituality and the like; not having spiritual conversations, not because she's Catholic and I'm Pagan, but because her belief in divinity was more part-time while my belief is every moment.

It may seem silly, like it shouldn't be a factor, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't.  I don't hold many close friendships, partly from closing myself off out of dysfunctional fear and feeling quite alien in this world, but I have an image in my mind of the kind of relationships I wish to foster in my life, especially down the road, and I think we have both subconsciously (and consciously) agreed that this is just not one of them, for either of us.

Our communication simply drifted, not calling each other, not emailing each other, she has become, again, a stranger to me, just as I have essentially become one to her, but neither of us are "fighting" for connection, because I think one of the reasons we held onto the connection this long is because it's difficult to let go of something you've had since childhood, even if you've "outgrown" it, there's some essence of safety there... of it being familiar.

I may sound bitter, and really only my spiritual mother has been able to understand the space I am coming from when I say these things, that it's not in bitterness, not in spite, not in anger or frustration, just in exhaustion. 

As she so often reminds me, my contract is *here*.  It's here.  Connections are necessary, but the labeling isn't.  I don't want to "best" this and negate that, at least not in terms of people.  Seems small, rude even. 

Christopher told me that this would be a great year to start connecting and building those relationships with people who share the same passions as I do, and I slowly see that happening as I network with other Goddess-worshiping folks.  There's an essence of freedom there, to say what you think and feel without (too much) judgment, because they, on some level, have felt the same spirit connection you have spoken about (or one can hope).  Though I am speaking about the heart-felt connections of those who have walked the walk, not simply read about it.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Returns, thoughts, catching up, rocking out and PPD rants.

Back from vacation... and it was blissful and perfectly timed.  Ah, how I love this time of year!

It was actually the first real vacation we have taken, just the three of us, as the last one was with my spiritual mother, which was still a grand time, but it was nice for the 3 of us to have this time together without obligation, and we made the most of the perfect temperature week, the amazing outdoor pool (me, tanned, yes), and just enjoying the view, which was breathtaking.  We ate breakfast everyday out on the deck, watched the golfers, enjoyed the view of the water and the moon, oh She was glorious, Lady Luna shining in Her full glory, mysteries abound, almost forgot Mercury went retrograde shortly after we arrived.  He felt like he was on pause, and we weren't "affected" in the least -- at least not in a conscious way.

I did a lot of thinking while away.  A lot.  We have been discussing a variety of things, and I have been filtering through some possibilities, and the moment we hopped on the turnpike the urgency of needing to process through some stuff became apparent, and upon our return it was eerie how it all tied together.  I want to elaborate more, but won't.  Not yet.  This is still something we need to figure out.  I'm also quite aware of not starting anything new during the retrograde, about the fine art of completion, though this particular instance has an even mix of both new and complete... I'm tuning into what my guides suggest we do next.

I'm a believer of perfectionism, in a way that is unexplainable, but rather energetically felt.  It's not a process of "better than", no, that's not divine.  It's colored in light that hasn't been met by human eyes, it's non-judgmental, it knows no "better or worse" syndrome, it's ultimate perfection, in a way that feels almost fairy-tale like, but pure.  That's the level of perfectionism I work with and view.  So, in that same mindset, I am allowing the perfection of this situation to be as it needs to be, though I am quite surprised at how much I want this, despite the fear -- functional fear though.  Functional.

I have been slowly catching up.  My sense of time is off since our return, and while there is much awaiting my attention, I have abandoned all commitments since my return and am starting to dip my feet back into the waters of return.

-AT Initiation ritual is Friday, it will be nice to feel that sense of completion and gratitude towards Shekhinah's work that I have so admired and benefitted from.  Looking forward to revisiting my inner temple in for this ritual.

-I have some deadlines to meet this week and while there is that normal panicky notion of not being able to do it, it brings me back to high school during big art projects in studio class and cutting it down to the wire when turning it in.  My inspiration wasn't on a deadline, and while I commited myself to one in this realm, it was an odd vortex to be in.  I'm reminded of that time now, in a blissfully fun kind of way.  I apprently thrive on deadlines.

I'm ready for Samhain... so ready!  I want to decorate and gather all the mysteries in my bag and lay them out, inviting the spirits of the home and the lineage of ancestors to circle round... but I don't want to miss the beauty of Mabon either in my eagerness.

Mabon feels so soon.  Right around the corner.  I remember a few years back doing this amazing ritual in the ethers to Mother Bear.  I may do that ritual again.

I got back from vacation on Saturday afternoon, came in and unpacked everything, to which I am completely grateful to the aspect of myself that thought this was a good idea, because it was nice to not have to deal with it the very next day.  Smart smart!

Later that evening my brother and I went to the Heart and Journey concert, where I knew I would once again emote from the beauty of the lyrics that brings me to another time.  Heart, for me, brings back both painful and beautiful memories of my depression as a youth.  I can remember many many nights sitting on my bed, afraid of the world around me, listening to my then boombox (how dated does that sound?) and crying... it was a dark time for me.  A dark time, in fact, that comes around every Samhain.  It was from that darkness that I heard the call from the Goddess and began to reawaken.

I stood there in the venue Saturday night, remembering all those moments years ago and as the "These Dreams" began, the tears welled up.  Music really is so amazing in its time-traveling abilities, isn't it?  Being able to be brought back to that same time, that same smell in the air... it's incredible.  I could feel both the fear and the empowerment, and my tears silently shed for the memory of that self, and strength I gained from that experience.

I don't feel haunted by the memories anymore.  It was a dramatically painful and darker than dark moment that allowed me the opportunity to step into my purpose in life.  I have gratitude for that, and each year on the anniversary and as the time approaches I am reminded to stand in my strength and not get lost in that memory.  I will be needing to remind myself of that more as Samhain gets closer.

I'm also wanting to plan some fun activities with Nimue, embracing the beauty that only New England can really hold during this time.  I've lived outside of New England for one Halloween -- wasn't the same.  Here the mysteries are really felt, the veil is beautifully thinned and spiraling energy is unlike any other.  I missed it when I was younger, and this year I want to embrace it all with her.

Next week is Pagan Pride Day which I get excited for every year.  This year it will just be me and Nimue, and I am hoping she will be willing to sit through one of the workshops as Susan Weed will be one of the presenters and I am quite excited to see her!  She has done so much in the way of herbalism and the womyn's movement, it's quite a treat to have her here!

The SNH PPD occurred when I returned from vacation, so it was basically over by the time I arrived.  And in all honesty I had no real desire to go.  Their PPD has been a vast disappointment from the get-go, and this year I had so many issues with certain aspects of it, it was just as well I didn't go.  Maybe it's a silly rant, but I was quite bothered by the fact that this is a Pagan Pride event... a Pagan event.  I think it's appropriate to showcase the many wonderful talents and wisdom of those who identify as Pagans, not simply spiritualists who would prefer to not be in the same category as Pagans.

The SNH PPD had vendors and workshop presenters that weren't Pagan at all.  Not at all.  I know some of them, these are some people I call my friends.  Brilliant and kind, yes, but that's not the point.  Yes, the event welcomes all faiths, but wouldn't it send a stronger message to be able to present and shine the light on our Pagan community to other faiths rather than say "well, here are some, but you're really getting no sense of what Paganism is or who the faces are since we didn't bother to invite them to be part of this".  Each year it's a disappointment, and while every year there is a new coordinator (translation: no sense of continuity), I did hear that this year's coordinator was much better than the year's past.

I think part of the problem is that so many have been disappointed, nearly ashamed of how the events have gone in the past that they don't want to be associated it with it any longer.  A friend of mine who is a prolific teacher won't even be part of this event because of how ridiculous it was when he first did it years ago.  Maybe that's why they've had to invite other non-Pagans to be part of this, because the Pagan community itself won't fully support their efforts. 

It's sad, really, because what is PPD if your community won't even stand behind you?  My preference has always been to the MA one, because they put on a great event with integrity. 

This isn't meant to be hurtful.  A friend of mine was one of the coordinators and I value her efforts and hard work into helping to put this event together, but still, my annoyance over this is one of the reasons I decided to not go.  Then again, maybe it was a successful event.  Either way, I am looking forward to Sunday's event, even if all I do is spent the day in the Kid's Area with Nimue :)

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Boats and cars, time to go!

Last night was Chad's booze cruise and I must say it was a fabulous time.  I missed last year's cruise because he was the opener and, frankly, the year before really made up my mind that it would be awhile before going on another.  Don't get me wrong, he's an amazing singer, clearly one of my favorites, but that one show was quite disasterous and he's well aware of why, however, last night completely made up for it, and I found myself having more fun and being more social than I thought I would.  In fact several people commented in general how I'm always an "outgoing" and "social" person.  Really?

Really?

Strange, I never think of myself as either of those traits, and while there is an aspect of ourselves that may not see what other people see, I've come to realize that these parts of ourselves that are masked for others are channeled moments of what both spirits need in human form in the moment.  I'd reflect further on this thought, however I'm on a tight schedule...

Leaving in an hour for vacation!  Excited, yes, but having that nagging feeling that I have forgotten to pack something, though not dire, as we're not leaving the country, but still, I think I always have that perpetual nagging feeling of forgetting something.

I will be bringing some work on vacation as well, though my focus is unplugging and enjoying a blissful week of no obligations, no priorities, simple enjoyment at its best.  I realized last night on the drive after the boat that when I returned I would have a decent amount on my plate that would be taking up a lot of my time:

-Finishing up W1 and getting ready to start W2
-HBWM study with ADC
-Classes at DoveStar (though sadly not as many as I would like)
-Reviews
-Possible restart of the New Moon group (although if I have to give up something I admit that this will be the first to go)

Plus I want to make time for my own personal practices -- this is also a wonderful year of festivals that I'd love to bring Nimue to this season, and I'd like to prepare for the holydays properly without rush.

But, for now... last minute gatherings and time to drive...

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Magick of the season

When it comes to packing I love the slow process.  Gathering clothes, refolding them (don't ask), putting them in piles... and the lists, oh the mounds of lists I make when going away (or really when doing anything) is insanely exciting... this time?  The lists are there, but I sort of want this instant gratification to the packing process, just longing to be on the coast and enjoy the time away.

I'm feeling the magick of the season start to awaken and I'm trying to figure out how to schedule things properly when we return.  I have my W1 studies and need to get started on the intros to W2; HBWM begins in October with ADC because I just knew this month was going to be a bit crazy when we returned that I didn't want to focus on starting anything. 

I am planning a New Moon ritual to tie up the end of our studies with AT -- working through the book and reflecting on Shekhinah's legacy was quite powerful, and each Cycle flowed so smoothly, so perfectly, even the Cycle on Plant Magic was inspiring (which I am slightly interested but admit that aside from the basic knowledge of herblore that it's never been at the top of my list to delve further into study).  It makes me wish that I had been more active on Moonspells when Shekhinah were alive, but then I was with BFC and had enough on my plate going through all those lessons.

I had the strangest dream of my old HP the other night.  It took place in the present, where he had already walked away from BFC to be a born-again Christian, but there was no hostility there.  He was riding this horse and I was standing behind a fence watching him.  He wanted to politely start a conversation, and I was hesitant in my dream because that chapter is closed, but there was some healing there, to say that he returned to the path that was clearly where his spirit had always held space and me embracing with that the spirits are sharing with me, we both just energetically acknowledged our peace within the past and went our separate ways.  I woke up with less anger towards the situation.

It's odd, most of that had been buried away until I ran into my old covenmate when we saw His Holiness.  I was accused of studying too much, of having too many interests and not being focused on one sole path, and she is both a HPS in the tradition as well as took ordination vows in Buddhism... though I can't say for sure if he had any problems with that, I had been long gone by then... my choice, I know... but the contradiction brought back some buried anger/frustration/annoyance towards him... especially when I was told he left his position at BFC to become a born-again... though I wasn't the least bit surprised.

I was going through some of my books the other day and ran across Lama John's book (which I still haven't read yet), but I was thinking about that one-day retreat years ago on loving compassion and that's been brewing in my mind for a few days on practicing that art once more. 

It's funny, when you practice loving-kindness and start to see everyone as divine, there is this sort of cue in the mind that says "good work", and so you slow down, slack a bit, and the practice fades.  Chanting has still been an active part of my practice, I have been writing a lot about the importance of devotion and prayer, but I have sort of let the practice of loving-kindness fall behind.

My breathwork led to that dream of my old HP. Fitting.  It's a new breath I am working on that Christopher taught us, and I'm exploring the emotional triggers relative to the breaths I teach, but I digress, it's not so much about the breathwork as it's about the processing.

I have held onto this anger over things between us that I didn't understand then, and to some degree there is an aspect that doesn't understand it now, but I understand the perfection of him channeling this very important message so that I could leave BFC, because leaving meant that I would find my way to here, this space that has infinite possibilities.

Upon a recent journey to my inner temple I met a messenger.  He said he was there for the spirit teacher of my tradition, and there was the understanding that I had to go find a physical teacher within this realm that would be part of that lineage... I got a name, well, more like a title.  The messenger told me I would know when I saw him, but the human mind is playing tricks right now, and there's that little child aspect of wanting to know "now", it's clearly about being patient and trusting the process. 

I'm looking into this one center that has been in the back of my mind for quite some years... one of the teachers there, the resident teacher, holds the title the messenger shared with me... and everything in this center is fairly aligned with what I'm looking for, but I don't want to add too much to my plate.  Yes, I am the perpetual student who, according to many teachers, really no longer needs to be, so I'm going to soul search further on this, and inquire some more questions, both within this realm and in the inner temple, reconnecting with the messenger.  I want to focus on that aspect during the retrograde vs diving head first into something, even if diving in is one of my favorite things to do.

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