Just to put it out there – I am a bit of a Francophile and I believe in most things woo-woo. Even so, I was a bit taken aback when a moment of great clarity was brought to me via my Oui yogurt top.. Joie de vivre, the joy of living.
With all that is going on right now – stress and the scare surrounding Covid-19, the constant media bombardment, all of our communal uncertainty.. I am just happy to be living. I do my best to push past the fears of the day and be at peace as much as I possibly can because we still are here.. and that’s a wonderful thing. We only have so much control.
I have been keeping up with my meditations and since I work at what is considered an “essential” manufacturing plant, I have been lucky to keep my paycheck going. Because of this, I also haven’t experienced extreme isolation.. plus we will be having social distance dinner with our lovely neighbor friend this evening. There is still joy to be found and I count myself quite lucky. Even in the midst of this chaos, we can hopefully all find something to hold us up.. my yogurt label told me so.
For that which I am grateful for.. all the things:
- still working and am donating in smaller ways what I can from the distance because there is always a need
- all the beautiful souls in life who support and connect so we don’t feel alone
- more quiet time at home with the best husband ever and the fat cats
- my stash of hot teas that get me through the day
- grumpy cat slippers to warm my constantly cold feet.. although I almost wore them to work again this morning
- the reminder that it’s okay to slow down, I am trying to appreciate what beauty that can be found in the now
- all of the amazing people helping the collective maintain and provide necessities- gas stations, grocery employees, restaurants providing options where they can, medical staff, etc.. all working themselves to exhaustion. Where would we without these heroes?
I was milling about in one of my favorite local haunts, obsessively caressing the carnelians with those closest, when the most beautiful point caught my attention. I silently reasoned with it that we would have to get to know each other later as I currently had no wiggle room. I would be back, I promise.. for YOU and for my carnelian friend. I would not forget.
Phantom quartz, the local shop guru told me as the husband gifted it. It had a story, only partially shared, and he was sad to see it go. Honestly, it felt a bit melancholy as I cradled it safe and whispered to it that it would like its new home.. and that it was loved.
Even now, as I am forever learning, I find that I am still more apt to pick up what calls to me instead of intentionally seeking something out. As such, I probably have way more selenite, labradorite, and carnelian (and bones, and feathers, and sticks..) than your average. I am sure there is a message in there somewhere.. well, besides Kondo can’t touch my shiny preciouses. This one surprised me, however.
Phantom Quartz, I read later, is a powerful healer in that its phantoms bring their own additional messages of wisdom. It’s said to be a stone of growth and transformation.. and of leaving behind the ego to allow for this. When I am not holding it in council to help me work on moving through blockages, it holds space on my moon card pulls to assist in what I have been tasked to focus on. I now see clearly why it called.
Someone once said to me that I was a mirror.. that sometimes people see in me things of themselves they aren’t prepared for reflected back. This, I believe, may have been them eluding to the fact that I tend to ask the uncomfortable questions.. or I used to. These days I am doing my best to keep to keep my doors locked and my trap shut. I have lost many a friend with honest advice and so now I just don’t let so many people in. I write here as an outlet, a journal of sorts.. and this seems to keep me in the quiet for the most part.
Recently something similar floated over to me during a class – the universe as a mirror reflecting back to us our hidden bits. These are those things about ourselves that we don’t own up to, need to work on, or just don’t like.. and often we judge others on those same things. We may not even realize it. I picked three trigger words to work on. These are words that if I turn them onto myself really bring forth a negative emotional response and/or are things I find myself judging people on (and so by said theory are things related to my shadow in some form) – self-centered, manipulative, and insignificant.
I then tacked on a fourth because with mental illness in my family and those close, I find it to be thrown about too carelessly here lately for my taste with no regard to how it makes those who may be struggling feel – crazy. I have spent quite a bit of time this week living with those words and what it was in essence that originally makes them triggering for me. I am working through taking away their power as we speak and replacing them with kinder ones.. a practice to carry with me. How funny, such is the damage that can be done with one little word.
I was listening to her speak about the collective sister wound and how she felt this was a leftover from the witch trials.. of those forced to turn on each other or face even more horrid consequences. Was this wound set into motion at that time? It is an interesting theory for sure, but I don’t have that answer. What I do know is that it seems to be alive and well.. but I have hope for that to change.
That night I dreamt about spiders. I was exploring a cave with a female friend that I could not see. My brother was ahead helping to clear. He said to us that there was nothing there but sh*t and graves.. and to watch out for the spiders. We had been covered in spiders this entire time. I told him that I had already been bitten. I told him that Grandmother said it was okay. The four of us, if I include my unseen grandmother, moved further on.
The number four is the numerology for the year 2020.. which is of the heart. It is the number of compassion, letting go, stability, vision, and doing the work to cultivate these things. In today’s climate, all of that feels very needed. I know many feel the same. Changes need to be made to heal this wound.. to heal and support our fellow. I only have what I can do.. but ripples, no matter how small, still bring movement. My sisters, please join me.
I was dreaming of the monster when I missed the call. I was too well in to wake up. She was trying to give me a motorized boat. I remember it was partially orange and I told her I wasn’t sure I could drive it. I was just so used to paddling.
She had just given it to him when the dream shifted. He was always her favorite. We were sitting in a theater at that point, and I was in the middle. There was a line of starving children to our left. I remember telling her that they needed food. She threw them a piece of popcorn.
We were staring at a blank screen in between shows when he put his hand on my knee. She knew he was molesting me but she sat there and she said nothing. I sat there as well, unflinching and resentful, knowing that she knew.. and I was angry that she wouldn’t feed the children. I was thinking how he was still her favorite when I woke up.
When I finally returned the call, I was still sleepy. My friend Walking Bear told me he had seen a seagull, wing folded over as if broken and tilted to the right. He thought it was for me. I told him that I had never worked with seagull but that I would sit with it. He said he thought that it was more about the wing. It wasn’t until later, sitting with my card draw, that it occurred to me.. apparently more shadow work was needed.
My new moon card was all about women and sisterhood. I had just spoken with a fellow witch on the struggles of knowing where to put your trust. It is not an uncommon problem, sadly. I am just now healing enough to approach such relationships.. maybe.
I am leaning heavily toward cautious, anyway.. there is so much backhanded in the world, not that I am innocent. I learned from the best after all. I intend to break this cycle of non support. I realized then why the wing was broken, what the monster stole from me long ago.. my trust in my own.
The winter solstice was filled with friends and soulful small rituals. There was much bonding over local mead one evening, followed with a lovely fire of dried herbs and petition burning on the next. Standing around we watched them drift away, some still smoldering, to be carried off by the wind. I went home and lit all the candles next to the Yule tree to honor the longest night. It was a solstice full of motion.
Following, I cleaned and organized life away from work. Slowly a new sacred space formed as all the remnants of the holiday were tucked away. Baba was moved to the hearth with the help of the husband in hopes of having more time with her away from the cold room that she used to keep to.. well, as much as she keeps to anything.
The spider was left to dwell in its chosen spot as I did my best not to disturb her in my cleaning. I brought some of the old in to mingle with the new. One mustn’t forget what came before. I lit the candles and smoke, leaving offerings of welcome. Later in the following week I opened my Rituals for Living planner to address some more everyday tasks. It read, “This week, create or refine your sacred space”.. way ahead of you little keeper..
This past new moon had me pulling “worth” from the moon deck – teaching your inner negative Nancy to be more supportive, and freeing yourself from critical thoughts towards body and worth. I honestly felt that I didn’t need that work. However, as I took the time to pay more attention to how I saw and spoke of myself, I realized that I did – the deflecting, the pulling away from affection, the joking self deprecation, and even my lack of caring for myself on most days.
I was having trouble making peace with my new form. My body and self worth had indeed changed. In this new I cannot be as spry, my sleepless habits can be read in the lines on my face, and I am quite a bit rounder than I have ever been. Yes, I had been quietly shaming myself for longer than I cared to admit.
Over the past few weeks I have been streamlining and organizing most of that which makes up my day to day in order to simplify and take back my worth inside and out. My work closet (because we all know it’s the clothes fault that I feel hideous and unkempt) is down to five tops and some jeans that will make morning life easier.. bonus points for less laundry and not sacrificing feeling like I put myself together somewhat.
I am slowly moving to making better food choices and have been doing my yoga every morning. I am keeping up with my meditations and am working on a better sleep schedule. I have also incorporated some simple ritual into my morning quiet daily because my spiritual is very important to me. I plan to keep with this card through the next moon cycle as I feel there is more work to be done here.
In the quiet place before my ancestors, I settle comfortably on my cushion. I have a candle, usually something seasonal to honor nature’s cycles, sitting in front of me. I spray myself with my meditation spray, breathe deeply, and speak to greet the day – “in flame, in fire, light that warms my soul, sacred sun”. I then light the candle. In the flame’s warmth, I take up my Mala beads, close my eyes, and move into meditation.
Every Saturday morning I have coffee with my ancestors. I sit before my hearth where all the candles, photos, and objects personal reside and I speak to those who came before – my ancestors of blood. After, I usually do my meditation.. often I find it brings me a bit of order.
I had taken a break from my usual murder mystery/cult/cooking podcasts (don’t judge) to listen to some mindfulness ones. I decided if I was going to be trapped in the car for two hours a day that I might as well work on the happiness master plan. Less negative, more productive.. water the flowers not the weeds.
This is where I had originally come across the Mindlove podcast and a new meditation ritual (stress less, accomplish more episode) – fifteen minutes, twice a day, no timer. You learn to just work intuitively with the flow of things.
First, awareness, and using your senses to connect with what is going on around you. Next, focusing on your mantra.. if you wander just gently find your way back. You end with acknowledging something you are grateful for and visualizing a goal as if reality.
I liked the approach.. simple and effective. I used the given mantra “one” as I imagined roots unfurling from my body connecting me to all things. It was what brought me back to focusing on my spiritual practice. I rarely miss a meditation these days.
”Where we believe what is given to us by the earth is all we really need to live happy and healthy lives” – Tamed Wild
Years ago I wrote on feeling the draw towards working with crystals after years of being a rock/shell/feather dedicant. I had been picking up one here and there, but with so many clouds around sourcing I never fully immersed. I am not militant by any means in this.. we do the best that we can to care for Mother Earth, and for every person that can’t be everything. I release this.
Recently I revisited, the idea that crystals are the bones of the earth floating about. I have a couple of local (ish) people/places of trust and when asked for a simpler start I was directed to Tamed Wild. I couldn’t find sourcing information, but I very much like that they are partnered with the American Forests fund. Why not let the universe decide what’s needed?
My first box was amethyst, an amethyst moon ring and some rough emerald. Amethyst, a favorite of my Pisces soul, is said to be a sleep helper – soothing the mind and the nervous system. I have also found it to be good for dreamwork. Emerald is aligned with the heart chakra and said to be a stone that amplifies love and friendship. I put both of these beside my bed.. it seemed fitting.
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As I heard this saying filter across my tiny sphere of existence, I thought – yep, that is DEFINITELY me. I am that person, even to my own detriment, who will wear themselves down with the compulsion to help/please/fill needs. Often I become quite the Bitter Betty about it. The lesson is that giving should be done freely and without return expectations.
I do realize, of course, that this is not a fair response. After all, did I not give the permission to ask, ask, and even expect? Indeed I did. There is no use being cranky about it, but my ego doesn’t always read the memo.. hence the downward spiral of codependency and apathetic breakups. I am just no good at tribe.
As part of my full moon just past, I decided to explore an expected ritual.. or more that I took this class hoping for inspiration and received the usual cleanse-meditate-release formula. At the onset I was a bit bitchy about it (and the knock to my bank account) but I wound up getting a lot out of it. I had to eat my words.
I took the salt bath and oiled my skin. As I drank my special tea and started the meditation, I quickly found myself wandering off the given path onto my own. I have always been terrible with directions. In my mind’s eye, I pulled the moon’s energy into my body and focused on the drums beating as I walked to meet my ancestors. Bear kept a watchful eye on me along the way.
I asked them what was needed this cycle. The answer was swift – weed out the chatter and listen to the deep within.. boundaries, fear, and the need sickness are holding you. It is a time for shifting. When these unserving become, acknowledge them with gratitude for the lesson and move on. “Don’t dwell”, spoke the oldest woman sharply. She was new to me in this circle.. the hyenas near her were not. I left quickly and made my way back for the work ahead. Oh, and the release? I set to flame those things I was beating myself up with and went in about my evening.