love your plants

a43bee3b-f536-4f3d-b58e-e08230c7b489

Often our plant helpers are the first in line to take a hit from something thrown our way. This little guy used to sit in my entryway. It died sometime during the night.. well, all but a little tiny bit. Was something sent to me? One can never be sure.. but I love my plants and they love me. I find that a little reflection never hurt anyone, unless they asked for it of course. Also, chances are he knows from which direction it may have come.. and can send it back with a little help. Take care of your plants people and they will take care of you.

Advertisements

in progress

0c40ae8d-208e-494d-be36-07887a01e309

Still a work in progress, this beautiful one, and I attend to her nearly everyday. Our relationship is changing, I believe, since I left our pact. She seems to need more work from me, and I give all I can.. I visit, I tend, I offer.. I listen, I pay attention, I do the work necessary.

here comes the sun

E80E9794-6901-4E7E-A10A-FE4537C0BB9F

I took a big step back this last wheel turn to spend some time moving inward. (Translation – I had been having a bad go and in true drama mama form, I slammed the doors of the hut closed and withdrew). I decided to continue to focus on simple ritual and take a walk this turn with the cards. I pulled three for the span, asking what was needed.. and with them came three more. I recorded my initial thoughts and revisited them over the course, pulling as I felt necessary. I watched them shift and change as I spent more time with them. Here is what I learned..

Sept 21- thru: the 6 of vessels paired with the 7 of pents..

The six of vessels brings insight to past issues and reveals if the correct path was taken – it was a card of looking back, making peace, and moving on to the next stage. The seven of pents gives time to heal and reflect after a difficult road.

These presented in so many ways.. with those I love, with those where love wasn’t enough, and with those I could love no longer. It moved all around me and was me at varying points. In my personal, these were already playing out and I secretly referred to them as the “I should listen to what the husband is meaning to say more often” cards.

I had been lying on the floor (again) having a very epic woe is me moment one day when the husband posed the question, “Do you think they are this upset right now? I am willing to bet not”. Let me save you the suspense on this one.. my answer was a definitive no and he was right. What’s more is that if I had really been in a normal state, I would have acknowledged to myself that I really didn’t care that much either.. but this bit of why I was so depressed of late resolved itself in the second set.. it just took me awhile to get there. 

(Spoiler alert – my life altering negativity was actually a side effect of a vitamin D deficiency and all has leveled out to normal with a few boosters/supplements.. I was very lucky and the world as we know it is not ending). 

By All Hallows’ I had moved into the next set of cards without giving them too much attention. I had set steps for myself and was just trucking along day by day. I had been to the doctor, I was keeping removed from unhealthy situations as much as possible, and settling into a nice quiet spiritual routine. This had the added bonus of more time with the husband, the cats, and my ever growing book collection.

Oct, All Hallows’- thru: the Archer paired with the 5 of pents..

The Archer whose bow is poised to release.. the power within and the potential that awaits. The five of pents brings a challenge to be met.

I laid these back out to revisit on the night of the dumb supper. They felt a bit off, and so I drew two more cards – the interloper oracle card and the tower.. the demon who vows to behave while overlooking an obvious problem paired with the Tower’s destruction. It looks like I was getting a much needed bitch slap. 

Who was being the self centered one now? (Hint: me – it was me). I could have taken the tower’s image and used it to slide back into the land of woe is me, but instead I looked at the Archer’s potential and the challenge of the five. I was determined not to create a narrative in which I was the poor damsel in distress.. that’s just not where or who I choose to be. I had made missteps and I own that.. so I pulled my head out of my ass and looked around.

I thought about all those at that moment in life and all those we were holding space for. Those going through much bigger things.. and those going through the smaller things. In that they hold great strength and great beauty.. even when all we could do was light a candle of support. We were present. We were doing our best to hold each other up.

I am now moving through my last set of cards and the lessons that smacking the earth beneath the Tower has brought. Walking in this manner with the cards has given me much more insight than I expected.

Nov 21st- thru: the 5 of bows paired with the 10 of swords..

The five of bows is the opener of ways.. it is a card of empowerment, and of overcoming negative self images and destructive emotional addictions. The ten of swords is the dark before the light.. here comes the sun..

These are the things I’ve managed to take away from this experience so far having identified those things I was too emotionally invested where I need not have been, where I’ve watched those I love overcome so much, and where I’ve just learned to try to take small pleasures in the day to day..

Sometimes the loss of what you imagined important, while painful, is just a necessity to clear your vision to what really is important. Not everyone you think will be there for you will be. You won’t always be there either. Sometimes you’re just not as important to someone as they are to you. Sometimes they are not as important to you as you thought. All of this is okay.

Sometimes people will just project their shit onto you and sometimes they just have their own to deal with. We can’t always all be the center of the universe all the time. And sometimes.. sometimes there are just assholes sitting in their grand tower of crystals being assholes because that’s just where they are in life right now. Take it day by day. Do the best you can to move past it and move forward.. ask the cards to walk with you.

into the quiet

3E513F64-B6A0-4E5D-93F4-465EC644DB06

I spent the equinox feasting with the ancestors of spirit. I left them with many offerings. It was the second harvest and even with all that had passed, I was still very thankful. I left the water collected from the hurricane with them during the feast, I planned to use it for cleansing and such later. A friend came by and cards were pulled. I was feeling very optimistic about the cycle ahead even with them showing challenges.

The next day I woke with the calling to dig. She had been at rest for a long time. I found her quite more intact than she really should have been, and I thought.. maybe she just wanted me to know all was as it should be.

C4BD83F4-5F9D-4C2E-AB98-16E685ACD935

You see, the weekend before the storm had found me sitting at the base of the twisty tree. I had broken my pact with owl as I found it no longer served. I had taken this bit of spiritual very seriously but it had been out of balance and I needed to no longer hold that space. Having been visited by owl in the old graveyard previously, I had to think Spirit already knew.. this really was just a formality.

Over the past few months I had been working on daily solar rituals balanced with a bit of moon work. Sometimes it was just finding time to light a candle to connect and greet the day. That rhythm had brought with it a bit of clarity.. simplicity being key for me at the moment. Lately I have been pulling away from things more and more.. be that good, bad, or merely cyclic.

Where I will find myself after, I just don’t know.. or if I will even make the journey back. I find that I am less inclined to put myself out there of late. For now, all I can really speak to is my truth as it stands in this moment- that I will be stepping away.. from the blog, the rabble, possibly even the work.. and into the quiet.

 

it’s complicated

EF7A7F4E-415C-4E0A-9B3E-6DD51C409FEB.jpeg

I enter the forest line, following Baba.. she appears suddenly in my face.. she barks “pay attention!!” She takes me to the river and a giant spider walks by in the background. It is a place I know. She leads me into the water and I lay down. I am floating on my back. Let go.. let go.. and I am trying. Small spiders cover my body and a snake wraps up out to the water around my ankles to coil up around my torso. It rests its head on my chest as it’s body pulls up to rest laying on me.. it is red. I am trying to become one with the water. She is frustrated and lays a big turtle shell over my face.. it smells of dank sour mold and rotting leaves, it smells of her. “Silence!!” she says as everything is blocked out. 

 
This, sent from Baba, was clearly telling me to keep silent. I did not listen.

The night before, I had dreamed of a beach filled with dead birds. Some were in open holes and some just laying on the sand. The one I touched, woodpecker to mockingbird, left blood on my hands.

I had just given away something most wanted to spirit, passing it to her in an olive bowl. I was told I could not do it alone, and so I had to let it go. Tears were streaming down my face. I realized later that that which I gave up required more than just me.. and when I walked out onto the bird strewn beach, I was alone. I woke from the dream hearing my other given name.

Days later we went to the river to greet the sun. We had three stones – one for each of us and one to hold the space.. I was sad. A random friend wandered in to join and before leaving, said “It is the beginning and the end.” “Yes”, said thought.. although that was not what he was referring to.

More days later, someone I love gave me two stones – a labradorite and an apophylite. She said that I had been on her mind. Grounding and healing.. I have been spending much time with the latter. I had developed angry edges on my sad and holding the stone feels very softening. I should have listened to Baba and kept my silence.

I went back to the river a few days ago for the full moon. I did not take the stones or hold any space. I realize things will be as they are needed to. I asked the moon to help guide me through this movement, and I quietly let things go as best I could.. it’s complicated. I no longer felt sad.

And my point to all this rambly? Those you work with bring you messages for a reason.. and sometimes we still choose to learn our lesson the hard way. Path is what you make it. As for the teakettle, the following quote of Pratchett’s was sent to me from Walking Bear sometime after we saw the three owls in the graveyard.. but that’s a story for another day.
3B8D3E98-E256-4CD5-A8BE-893109621FF0

a work in progress

IMG_1005.JPG

(a belated post)

“Sooooo.. we’re doing a rose garden?”, the husband asked when I yet again brought home another rose. Apparently so, said thought.. knowing more were soon to arrive. It’s early spring here and I was thinking about cycles and death.

The weather has been quite erratic this year so far, much like my spiritual. The garden is barren, most of my plants did not make it through the many trials of this past season, and I seem to be near about starting over. As usual, it is fitting.

I am always in awe at the synchronicity between personal and garden. This almost spring thus far still seems to be carrying forward some of the harsh emptiness of winter but I’m feeling that slight stir to start moving on.. having ripped out the expanse of death lingering about.
I am now hesitantly potting up the new. Some of the plants are ones I’ve never grown before so I am a bit curious as to what they will bring.. and of course I keep bringing the roses.

Normally my equinox consists of a simple garden ritual and a trip to the local nursery. I wander among the rows of baby plantlings and try to find the one that calls loudest. I take it home, build it an altar of offerings, and then plant it to see what it has to bring. This year I believe that decision has already been made and now I am just sitting in the empty.. waiting.

** Since writing this, the roses have budded and I have spent many hours in the garden toiling in contemplation of personal. What needs to stay and what needs to go? The answer isn’t always so easy.. and it’s still a work in progress.

Recently (ish), someone new came to me for direction. I said to them that the one thing I felt that was important to take away from these things is that you are building your path, not following a set of instructions. You get out of it the work you put into it. Do things as they call to you. Use the information and inspiration that feels right for you.. lay aside what doesn’t, even if at some point it did. Path is constantly evolving and you will always be learning if you decide to stay on it.. but it should be yours, not anyone else’s.

One of my witchlings said to me that I should write a post on that. I thought I wouldn’t.. I mean, I feel like I preach that all the time. People are surely tired of hearing it. I realize now that this time I needed to hear it.

and a bit about how I work with roses..

Love, passion, good fortune – such earthly desires are said to be linked to the rose. It all sounds so lovely, but one must remember the thorns. Thorns to entangle and draw blood.. of struggle and suffering.. she just isn’t the innocent beauty she seems.

I use the thorns for cursing and protection.. not even going to sugarcoat that. I bury pictures under the roots for the latter (a tidbit I picked up from a class I attended at Hexfest). I expanded on that with poppets or root bags that I want to get firmly choked and entangled by the roots for the former.

I combine the dried petals for incense, normally with basil and patchouli amongst a few other things. I use the fresh petals in making “Florida” water. I also make a honey elixir for my tea. When I have more than I can use, I often take the petals down to the graveyard and scatter them about the graves to honor those long dead.. but not forgotten.

 

three days in

IMG_9411.JPG

I spent some time really looking at The Fool card before asking it to show me its spirit and tucking it away under my pillow. In my deck it is called The Wanderer and feels very liminal to me. It’s cloudy beneath The Fool’s bare feet.. one which is firm connecting to the earth and one poised to take that step into the unknown. The rainbow shows a path but The Fool cannot see what he is about to cross. His hands are out in surrender or welcome, the forest ahead is both menacing and full of mystery; and his back is to me.. is he willingly going forward or turning away from a situation which no longer serves? It feels like a pause to me. There is a face in the trees and something beckoning in the distance. It reminds me of a recent time when I had to make a choice in path to leave the road I started on, sure this was what I wanted and discovering that in fact it was just a connecting path to new friends and an even newer undertaking.. and again just this past weekend of a leaving behind of some things.

“Your goal is to make the cards an extension of you”.. such was the beginning of the course. I am taking 78 Days of Tarot which so far has been a spirit shaker.. and has found its way to me at the most perfect time.

I actually brushed up against The Fool early in the year, leaving a path that turned out not mine. In between that brush and when I took his hand, I spent some time breathing in the cleansing air rolling off the ocean with Walking Bear. It was the third anniversary of my fathers passing. Already so much had passed in the Wheel’s previous turn.

Soon after came a weekend of truths, giving me a view from the other side.. albeit in a different situation. This plunged me into a deep depression- the kind we are not supposed to talk about. I wanted to walk away from everything in life and spiritual. I was tired.. but then came Walking Bear’s call and slowly things moved back to okay.

The Shaman looks directly at me in challenge.. the answer is there but am I ready to know it? The spirals on his body make me think of cycles and the skulls about him are the knowledge keepers. He is draped in the skin of Bear as if they are one. This is a familiar card to me as it sits opposite the Seer in my deck and not only does he show when I need to hear my brother’s voice in my head, but when I find them together in the same reading then I know it has to do with us both. This card, when I pull it, is almost always Walking Bear.

“There are two sides to every story and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.”

This morning I drew the five of arrows.. frustration. I had to ask myself once again if I was the archer or if I was the goat.. and again, I was both. Last time I pulled this card I had gotten hurt pretty badly.

One side:
Yes, I am absent. Yes, I am lacking in providing the level of support you seem to expect. Yes, I am not a good friend in your eyes. I see all of your points and I understand where they are coming from. I have things holding my time that you may not deem important.. but I do, and maybe that could have been addressed with me directly. I can only do what I can do.. and I have made my peace.

*snick* I am closing that door, I cannot live up to your expectations, nor will I try to.

The other side:
I put on my big girl panties (by this time very worn and tattered.. I may need a new pair) and opened the discussion. Brutal honesty was given in the hopes of some sort of resolution.. there was not one. I could not truly summon the level of sympathy asked for. In the end, I didn’t like myself very much.. but it is what it is.

*snick* I am closing the door, it is time for me to step away.

The Seer is enveloped in the wisdom of owl, skull suspended from her neck. Her cloak echoes the Shaman’s. There is a carving of a Labyrinth supporting her vessel, filled with the reflective waters.. but her eyes are closed. She does not need it to see. The tree seems to whisper to her from behind as its roots reach out toward her.

Today was my walk with The Seer and I spent it trying to embrace silence.. but silence would not come. All of these things were still floating around in thought. I do not know the truth of the middle, I have only my truths to live by. The Seer stands in that middle, she is the gateway keeper and sometimes that is a painful place to be.

*snick-snick-snick* I close the door on the path not mine, I close the door on expectations that I cannot fulfill, I close the door on relationships that no longer serve; and though I may find myself sometimes in the middle.. I do not fear turning my back and walking off into the unseen. I am three days into this course, and already I have found so much..

 

 

 

around the fire

IMG_8910.JPG

Out in the wilderness around the fire, I sat with Walking Bear. Underneath was the impression of a mundane meal. As he was about to eat, he laid a piece of food as offering on the table but around the fire he handed me the small lifeless body of a robin. There was something special about the logs in the fire.. I had the impression they were fortuitous. The banshee came at me from behind, shoving my face in the dirt as I stuck my arms back in supplication. At the table, I started to leave but instead I forced myself to still. Back at the fire I asked the banshee, “what does she want?” I struggled to my feet as the banshee started choking me.

My husband woke me that night before I found the answer. I had been making choking sounds in my sleep. It was the eve of the solstice, around three in the morning.. always the threes.

I had stepped away from many things and had endured what I thought to be a decent amount of upheaval.. funny how thought works out. Yule passed, marking the last witchling gathering and I spent my 12 days in meditation with plans to tidy up some final decisions. The Cailleach shook out her cloak and what came with the snow was a deceptive quiet.

The new year had just made its rounds when the wheel took a chaotic spin and damn if all my tidy little decisions flew up into the air. Once again I found myself back at the place of hard decisions, and my twisty path was no longer clear. I found myself a bit unsure of where I might put my foot down and other than a few little inklings, I find spirit to be stubbornly quiet on the matter.

Do I trust in the beginning, taking the fools first step once again into the unknown of possibility. Do I stay the course and, much like the hanged man, surrender to the in-between to chance what is hidden. Or (*cackle), do I succumb to Baba’s comforting embrace.. stark as death, shutting tight the doors to sink into the quiet once again. Finding my thoughts in a jumble, I hover half in and half out of my hut with one foot in the air.. waiting.

 

swept away

IMG_8576.JPG

A biting cold greeted as the way was made down to the twisty tree. Offerings were laid out in abundance.. honeyed cream, incense, Florida water, and whiskey. I released my tobacco from the bindings of red cloth and thought fleetingly of snake. Where might that take me? I shook it off for the then, continuing the task at hand.

The river had swept the heart away from where it once hung heavy, stuffed and carefully sewn.. and swift action had been brought in its absence. The weeks prior, filled with change, carried hard decisions in the end.. at least for my path. The time for introspection was nearing.

The twelve days has always been an in between time for me. This coming, I have decided to spend it in contemplation. I know the approaching year poses much for me to figure through. I plan to dedicate some work to the hearth flame and at the very least, sit those twelve in meditation’s quiet. I have time, this I know.. and the work, as always, needs to be done.

sometimes strength comes from the kitchen floor

IMG_8306.JPG

(later that night, from DeSavyok Elfhame Tarot)
The Ruined Tower- “.. the Devil’s tutelage has started a trajectory of growth and re-appraisal of everything..”
The Sun- “.. and they realized kinship – in a way that is beyond ordinary conception..”

I spent a good hour the following morning crying on the kitchen floor.. kitty bellies being offered up in earnest. “You don’t have time for this”, said thought. “Time to put on your big girl panties”, third thought added. I had almost made the call.. some soothing would be nice. I decided that I was not about to bother Lola with this. When she got the call it would be for something vastly more important.. so I just lay there wondering if I was becoming my mother- ’tis the season of familiar and all that.

I spent much time the evening before feeling out of sorts, and for whatever reason lesser. Yes I have been absent, but while laying there in commune with the cold floor, I didn’t really feel bad about that. My spiritual means so much to me and I was working on something of great importance. “Maybe it is just what it is needed to be,” thought interjected.. thought really could be a bitch sometimes. “Yes”, third thought pointed out, “sometimes these things are set forth in order to move forward in the work”. It’s always good to know where you stand.

I believe that I had already decided to let it go almost the instant that my face touched the floor, but that release was still needed.. and maybe I was being a bit melodramatic. I was not lesser. I had made my choices for a reason.. and anyways, I had things to do. I pushed myself up off of the floor, tightened that spine, and started the bechamel.