conversations with ivy

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I am sure she felt a little like I wasn’t paying attention that night as I wove the binding cords and fixed the vessel to be passed on to those who needed, but I was.. I always do in such matters. Conversation flitted through many things, as it often does, but Baba found her way in. We were discussing the making of sacred space and thought poked at me that I really needed to do better.

Later in the week or so, I listened to a lady speak of working with Baba.. how it was good for her to have her own space, favored offerings, and how she is often of threes. I thought of Baba’s layered whisperings. The lady mentioned returning to find the rum depleted and the food dull of color.. and Baba’s love of tobacco.

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I spent a few weeks slowly moving Baba’s area to a larger space and making it more hers. If we were going to be spending a greater amount of time together, I wanted it to be something more. I began the work. I cleared off what used to be the main altar and began collecting the pieces.. crow’s wing, birch branches, and the image of old woman death.. Baba always being the old woman in my dealings.

I dedicated the space to her on the dark moon before all Hallows when experiences that I choose not to share assured me that the boundaries were indeed blurred. I fed her over three nights and on the final one, I shared a smaller meal and the tobacco brought to me by Walking Bear. I had participated in a dumb supper with some of my closest earlier that evening and time was short.

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The following weekend, my fellow witchlings helped me dress the burrs and magnolia cones in rosemary and spirit calling herbs. These were to be left in the graveyard the next day on walkabout with Cin. I try to do this offering a couple of times a year in remembrance of those long forgotten dead.

For me Baba often does work in threes, so I felt it no coincidence to have celebrated in such.. the making of space, the dumb supper, and finally a trip to the graveyard to leave the offerings as I entered this turn of the wheel with a stronger dedication to Baba.

my thoughts were filled with Turtle Butt

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Muddied tones of green and brown, earth sliding into the river, and the slight impression of the circular.. my thoughts were filled with Turtle Butt. Let me explain.. Turtle Butt is my nickname for this amazing photo taken by my uber talented friend Cin and is one of the few non-birdy ones she has.. she’s a bit of a bird lady. When I think of her, I think of a tall white crane – full of grace and spiritual joy as she often appears as in my cards.

The photo itself was taken not too far from the place where I most often go to stick my feet in the dirt. It speaks to me not only of those earth to water places, but also of cycles. There is a certain perspective one gains when revisiting the same place in life from a different point along the path.. often I journey or revisit things in said near place. Turtle butt was the first piece I placed on my revisited earth altar.

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Nestled there, along with, is a jar of witches burrs and one of magnolia cones.. the latter collected from a local graveyard where I occasionally attend to the long forgotten. Sitting on a plate near the Greenman and Greenwoman imagery, I have a small plate containing a jeweled serpent with some rocks and stones.

Several of these rocks were gifted to me from Schatzi, another beautiful soul that I am lucky enough to be blessed with in my life. She smuggled them all the way back from Greece and each has its own story of place to tell. Schatzi, I am told, means treasure in German and she is that. I hope she realizes that.. and not just because she brought me the beautiful rocks.

ancestral revisit

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I had been seeing spiders.. spiders that were there and not there. The night before Walking Bear contacted me, I was woken up by the man of shadow. My first thought was, why is he here? I didn’t even think to be startled. He just turned his darkness sideways and I felt his amusement (or something of the like). Oh yeah, that’s right.. I had a few more things to settle up.

Walking Bear contacted that next morning. I had been worried about his silence but I also knew he had a lot coming up. He said he could feel my disconnect and I told him how I was trying to settle into the new routine. Truth be told, I had become a bit complacent in certain areas due to all this mundane change. I didn’t tell him about the shadow man’s visit.. mostly because I knew he had much on his plate.

I started that weekend off wrestling the garden.. it was in quite a state. It is forever a reflection. I moved the gargantu-bay back to his old spot. He had been protesting the last move, dropping quite a few of his leaves. The wisteria was wildly awry.. throwing tendrils out in every direction. I left her be with only a slight trim. I enjoy her angst. I harvested the mint, wild lettuce, and Melissa.. then I sat down to contemplate the morning’s text that I had received from my Julia.

She had sent a picture of dad’s gravestone that had just arrived. It was bittersweet but he had been on my mind this month with father’s day approaching. I thought of a post of Heron’s from a bit back and how it had reminded me that I needed to add something for him on my ancestral altar. I had just not been quite the ready at that time. I also had not been keeping up with any of them as I should. The entire thing seemed overwhelming. Now it was time. The dark moon was soon here and so with the pending release of the last of my remnants, I added the wake poem.

the joy of cats

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Nope, ma.. this is my spot.. my wing.. mine..

I came home one day to a floor full of feathers in the workroom. This wee kittah is the wildest of the wild. She often reminds me of a lynx. Once, when working with bear, she was referred to as such by said.. or maybe that was thought..

When she was little, she had this teeny tiny turtle tail. Now it has grown to resemble more of a lemur tail. She also has these cute little black bear paws – dark as midnight on the bottom and quite the sharp. She also has a taste for bird wings.. hence the carnage of the day. She growled ferociously at me when I tried to remove the crow wing from her jaws of death… she got to keep it.

It seemed that it was time to put everything into jars. I resigned myself to another necessary altar adjustment. I collected up some of the feathers lying about. I put them in a small jar with grandmother crow’s skull. I housed the rabbit skeleton in a larger jar with some river rock from the garden. I moved a bit of other things around and pieced back together a workable arrangement. I thought of hanging owl up high a bit.. how far can she jump, I pondered.  I may have to think on that one a bit. Then I lit the sage.

I kept the lynx’s favorite spot open. I’m pretty sure that she would clear it if I decided to get smart about putting anything in her way. She is the dominant one here.. again, wild as the wind but worth all the trouble.

of practical things

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Once I finally managed the altar into place (what seems now an eon ago), I started putting the workroom back together. I am sure I have mentioned how lucky I am to have my own space that opens to the tiny back garden.. kind of my own itty bitty witchtopian woman cave (yes, I just made up a word). It is usually strewn with dirt, plant matter, and all sorts of other working materials.. rarely is it in order or clean for that matter. I am a messy little dirt worshipper after all. I spent a couple of days getting it clean and organized (mostly) and so now it feels all Zen.  I moved in my garden books and field guides. I cleared out the awesome old cauldron Walking Bear gifted me with the intention of housing my most usefuls in it. I arranged the bench beside my meditation seat (seriously an old shipping pallet with a comforter folded on.. super fancy ) to serve as an extension of sorts to the altar so I would have some more immediate space. It is still crammed full of bits and bobbles, don’t get me wrong.. I fear I shall never be that organized person I so want to be. However, it is at least a more workable space at the moment. Now, if I can only keep the cats from rearranging..