Fire at My Fingertips

It seems I’ve decided over the last couple of months to completely rearrange my life.

I’ve been seeing Ravens everywhere online, and the local equivalent, crows, in the skies, on the ground, in the trees. It was more, to me, than a mere coincidence.

It was the Morrighan calling.

Warrior Goddess, she who stands at the forefront of the battle. Those who stand unafraid before her gain strength from her touch. 

I do not fear my own death, I fear only my cowardice should I falter in the face of a loved one’s pain.

I started listening to what Morrighan had to teach me. To stand up for myself, which I have a hard time doing. To stop putting my needs first in my life, above everyone else’s wants. To cut away the things in my life that were no longer furthering my goals & dreams, but were, in fact, keeping me from reaching those very things.

And, changes started to immediately occur.

I dyed my hair black. Not a huge deal, but it made a big difference in how I see myself in the mirror, and it’s about perception.

I got serious about getting into shape. I work out now 4-5 nights a week, eat better, & have lost almost 20lbs. I’m starting to feel really good again, and I’m not done.

I’ve changed/dropped a couple of relationships with people that I can no longer maintain for various reasons. Not necessarily good or bad, in and of themselves, but necessary to make the changes I need for my life.  (Ok, yes, one of the relationships was causing me more harm than good, & my whole family, as well as my friends, were all glad when I told them I ended things for good this week. He’s still being persistent, & I’m not sure how things will play out in the end, but I took the first step.)

All of this has happened since I started seeing the ravens…

There’s fire at my fingertips, raven feathers in my hair, & the Morrighan walks at my side, whispering in my ear.

Embrace the flames.

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Faith, Hope and Magick

The shower is a good place for me to think deeply. It seems to “wash away” the flotsam & jetsam of the day, clearing my mind… or, at least, focusing it, on whatever I’m trying to work out.

Tonight, for some reason, I while standing under the spray if the warm water, I started thinking about Magick. 

Yeah, okay, I’m a Pagan Witch, so Magick is part of my life on the regular. But, I don’t actually do a lot of spells, at least the way most people think of them.  I shift energy occasionally, putting good, positive energy into things I do, like cooking, or my crafting; even cleaning around the house gets a happy dose of “white light”, to keep the home feeling pleasant & welcoming. 

I use stones for focusing my energy transfers, too, but normally, only for myself. Like for healing, or meditation, or just for centering & focusing myself to regain calm during an anxious period.  I also keep a stone on my desk for focus while at work.

And, I’m good at getting red lights to turn green when I really need to get somewhere…

But, that’s usually the extent of it.

But, that’s not really the point of my post tonight.

My point, short story long…

I recently read some comments on a post in a Pagan group I belong to. Someone was asking for information about stones & their magickal properties, and one commenter got really shirty about saying that “Stones don’t do anything – they’re just rocks. You should use essential oils or herbs instead.”

And a bell went off in my head.

Of course stones don’t work for that person…they don’t have any Faith in it. They have no Hope. Therefore, their Magick will always fail.

One of the first things I learned in NY early training was that you have to believe.

YOU have to have Hope that the Magick will work to attempt a spell, then you have to have Faith that everything will happen the way it’s supposed to. If that means your money spell will see you winning $20 playing the lottery, or getting ok’d for overtime for a larger paycheck, then it works. If your love spell causes a stray cat or dog to follow you home, & you end up with a new pet, or you fall head over heels in love with your soul mate, that works too. And, if you do a spell that doesn’t seem to work, maybe the time wasn’t right for it, or maybe it was going to cause you to fall for someone abusive, so it was blocked by a higher power. Maybe you can’t have pets where you live, so instead of taking in a stray, you take it to the local shelter.

Any who, my point is – to do Magick…real, powerful, life-improving Magick… You MUST have both Hope & Faith. 

You don’t have to be Pagan to work Magick. You don’t have to light incense, or stir potions, or chant, or have “all the right tools”.

You just have to believe you can, you have to direct your will, and you have to accept the consequences, whatever they are.

Without Hope and Faith, Magick cannot exist.

Dream Interpretation – The Marten

Most of the time, I don’t remember much about my dreams. Flashes, impressions, feelings, maybe a short “flash fiction” style scene, is usually all I carry into my waking day.

But, once in a while, I’ll have a dream so vivid, so full of senses, that I not only remember it when I wake up, I carry it around in my head for days, until I figure out what it means for me.

(This happened shortly before Xmas, too, & the dream then led me to email the Dragon, which is another story entirely)

Anyway, the dream I had just a couple nights ago, was just as vivid & full of sensory detail, & I’ve been mulling it over inside my head ever since.

In the dream, I was told by someone that “the marten you saved is inside the barn, you should check on it”.

Which to me was a confusing statement in & of itself, because I don’t think about martens much, & haven’t ever seen one, except in pictures. What is a Marten, you ask?

Not something that would have registered in my waking mind as something important, as they aren’t native to ND, where I live, so I wasn’t sure, in the dream, why the person who told me this was so specific as to the kind of creature.

So, I went into the barn, & to the stall where this little critter was curled in a great pile of fresh straw, almost sleeping, & seemingly, very relaxed.

But, as soon as I crouched down near it, it jumped up, very excited, & rushed over to me, crawling up into my arms, nuzzling me, & chittering at me quite animatedly.

I just sat there, holding this warm, vibrating furry creature, & felt totally at peace, as though it were perfectly natural to have a wild animal, related to wolverines, badgers & weasels, snuggled in my arms like a house cat.

And then I woke up.

I did some research on martens, just to satisfy my curiosity about this unexpected dream, & in reading about martens as a totem animal, came upon some surprising information that sounded completely familiar & made me laugh at myself.

Taken quotes from Spirit Animal Personalities on blogspot

SOCIAL OVERVIEW:

♦ Introverted, independent
♦ Not manipulative of people
♦ Reputation as a bit of a quiet hermit
♦ Don’t make new friends easily or often
♦ Social activity can be stressful, awkward
♦ Reserved and reclusive, but playful around friends
♦ Uninterested in people and in opening up to people
♦ Do not recognise or place themselves within social hierarchies
♦ Make for non-commital but non-judgemental and truthful friends

INTELLECTUAL OVERVIEW

♦ Very inquisitive
♦ Not perfectionists
♦ Tend to procrastinate
♦ Likes to keep options open
♦ Healthy amount of cautious
♦ Always prefer to work alone
♦ Seem disorganised and easy-going
♦ Do not function well under a spotlight

EMOTIONAL OVERVIEW:

♦ Conflict avoidant
♦ Emotionally guarded
♦ Clear comfort zones
♦ Sometimes insensitive
♦ Capable of being vicious
♦ Often passive-aggrepeople

PERSONAL OVERVIEW:


♦ Adaptable
♦ Terrtorial and private
♦ Protective of things and ideas, not people

And while I agree completely with most of these traits, & see them very clearly inside myself, I don’t agree with the part about me being non-commital towards people, & not being protective of friends.

I am fiercely devoted to the people I care about, & will defend &/or protect them with all I have in me. This includes blood family And Chosen Family. 

I’m actually better at protecting & defending others than myself. Just ask my kids, or even better, my Nephew – he who knows all the nitty gritty.  I suck at backing myself up, & will usually be the first to take blame or lay guilt on myself in any situation.

So! *briskly rubbing my hands together*

What does this dream mean for me? Well, I’ve taken it to mean that I have a new totem animal, the marten, & I need to explore this some more. I’ve already been exploring my introvert nature, & I’ve been working on accepting it, instead of treating it as though it was a problem or deficit of character.

I think this is the next logical step, really, & look forward to learning more. 

I already feel there is another Goddess/God calling me as well.  Kwan Yin will always be my Boddhisatva, but she knows I have more room in my heart for love & devotion. Love multiplies itself & expands the boundaries of the heart to encompass all. That’s the main lesson She taught me.

I’m ready to learn more.

Bring on the Dreams.

Silver Stars, Jingle Bells & Silence.

All is quiet today. 

The gifts were all unwrapped yesterday, the squeals of joy still echoing softly within my memories. 

The food, copious amounts of holiday delectables, were all devoured, the leftovers packed & sent along, saving only a few, choice morsels for myself.

The hugs & kisses warm me when I think back, bringing a lump to my throat & a gleam to my eye, as I know it’ll be a long stretch before it happens again.

But yesterday was successful and merry, just what I wanted for my Solstice gift.

And today…I spend alone.

You see, I am Pagan. I don’t celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. Mine happened days ago, on the 21st, the Winter/Yule Solstice. To me, it is a time of homemade, heart-made gifts, not all of the tangible & able to be wrapped in brightly -colored paper. Sometimes, it’s as simple as someone not-Pagan remembering to wish me a “Blessed Yule”. It shows they were thinking of me, & thoughtful enough to remember that my holidays are different, but are not forgotten.

Other times, it’s a child offering their help with preparations, without being asked, &/or just doing something helpful without my knowledge. 

I do participate in the tradition of gift-giving, & my family has done this on Xmas Eve for many years. There are many reasons for this, but the simplest is that my children all go to their fathers’ on Xmas Day. 

So, Xmas Day is my Quiet Day.

A day of contemplation & relaxation. One I usually spend in decadent repose, lounging in my jammies, hair wild from sleep & no desire to “fix it”.

A day of grazing on leftover treats…a little pumpkin pie for lunch, some fudge for snack…maybe some stuffing, veggies & mashed potatoes mixed together with turkey for supper. 

I miss my kids, don’t get me wrong. 

I loved having all 3 home again, noisy & raucous, leaving little messes lying around of drink cups & my grandson’s toys. It’s odd to not hear him saying “Gramma…you know what-uh?” 

Speed Racer in his race car, complete with padded “helmet”.

But, last night, after all the hustle & bustle of the rituals of food & gifts… There was the chaos of the leave-taking. Packing items for travel, packaging leftovers for a long haul to Washington for EldestDaughter & her SO, for the shorter trek for YoungerDaughter back to her apartment, & getting OnlySon ready to go to his father’s.

And…when all had departed for their next destinations, I was left staring at the silent night, inside and out.

The silver Star atop my tree will join the jingle bells I had hanging next to the door – both will be put away tonight, clearing the holiday decorations swiftly, now that the revelers have fled.

And I spend today alone, watching the silent snow fall, content with yesterday’s success, mourning it’s passing, & hoping for the new year to be brighter.

Happy Holidays, all.

(EldestDaughter, OnlySon, & YoungerDaughter)

From our homes & hearts to yours.

EldestDaughter, SO, & Grandson. (Newest grandson also in picture, but not snuggleable till Feb. release date!)

May your days be Merry & Bright!

Catching Up, Letting Go, & Shoveling Through

Got into an argument on the internet, today. 

Yeah, I know, it’s pointless, irritating & inflammatory to argue with strangers on the internet…but he pissed me off. 

It was in a pagan group, & he was busily invalidating people’s beliefs, so I spoke up & told him off. 

Politely, and with facts.

The subject was Wicca, & he was running his fingers, telling everyone that the only TRUE Wiccan was HIS type of Wiccan.

I pointed out to him that there are many valid paths, not just his, & he got condescending…which, you know, just calms me right down, because who doesn’t like being talked down to?

When I pointed out to him that Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, etc., were just as Christian as the Catholics, even though they’d split from the Holy Roman Catholic Church years ago, he totally ignored that, & spouted that I just don’t understand what true initiation is.

Someone get him some Kool-Aid, wouldja? Jim Jones wants to visit with him.

So, I dropped the mic on the conversation & left the thread. 

Let it go. Trolls shouldn’t be fed, I wasn’t going to get him to understand that he’s just as bad as the fundie Xtians who think all of us Pagans are going to hell, & I just get all riled up with no resolution.

Time to do something a little more constructive.

Like baking cookies. Chocolate chip are all baked & ready to go on Monday. Snickerdoodles are waiting to be mixed next, & they go in the fridge overnight, so I need to get on that.

I also need to shovel my front sidewalk, but that’s not happening anymore to right. Maybe tomorrow…maybe I’ll wait till my neighbor decides he’s sick of looking at it & clears it for me with his 4-wheeler…

I also need to get busy on Yule gifts & a custom Xmas order my mom wants for a family member.  Trees…trees, trees, lots of little wire trees. Nothing I Can show you till  after the holiday season, since they’re all going to be gifts, but I will post pictures then.

Annnd, I’m almost done painting inside my house for now. The living room & dining room/office/gym/ferretarium are painted, & most of the hallway is finished, with only the trim at ceiling & floor, & around doors is left. Touchups, really, then I’m done for now. I’ve got some demolition to do in the kitchen before I can paint in there.  I’ll post pictures of the finished painting as soon as it’s all done. I’m rather proud of having done it by myself. I love the soft grey color that seems to shift throughout the day with how the light hits it. Sometimes it’s just grey, sometimes it looks more blue, sometimes more lavender, but always clean, soft, & comforting. 

There, now you’re caught up. 

Time to go mix cookies…

Thor’s Protection

I’m not a follower of the Northern Viking pantheon, but this last weekend, I prayed to Thor for protection for my nephew, who was in the path of Hurricane Matthew.

I found this online at http://www.northern paganism.org , and felt very strongly that I was heard, & His blessing of protection was granted.

I will be doing a ritual of thanks this upcoming Thursday, which is the name given to “Thor’s Day”.

Thunder rolls, lightning strikes,

And the hammer flies across the sky.

 

God of the weather, chariot of the storm,

Master of rain and torrents,

Son of the strength of Mother Earth,

I ask you to grant me that strength for myself.

You who are so great that you cannot walk

Across the Rainbow Bridge without breaking it,

You whose tree is the mighty oak,

O Thunor, grant me that unending sturdiness.

Let me not break beneath the blows of misfortune.

Keep me from being crushed when the powerful

Stomp their large feet on the smaller ones below.

You who are the guardian of the common man,

You who care for the farmers and workers,

Look upon me here in this place where I am

Only one of many, and protect my steps.

Make me resilient and mighty as your own arm,

Make me unbreakable, you who are Friend of Man.

I ask for one small percentage of the vigor

Of the right arm of the Thunderer,

That I might brave the tempest

And stand firm in the gales.

 

Thunder rolls, lightning strikes,

And the hammer flies across the sky.

Peak Hours

Anxiety is so bad right now. 

Random pains are causing aches & spasms in muscles that shouldn’t be hurting.

Heart is racing, breathing is fast & uncomfortable. It actually hurts to draw breath, & I know I’m not inhaling deeply enough, but can’t seem to regulate it myself.

Hands & feet itch & twitch, restless & irritating. 

Why?!?

I can’t pinpoint the reason for this slow-building panic attack. It just keeps getting worse as the evening goes on.

Please, Goddess, let this be the peak of my anxiety, so I can see the other side, sloping down & away. Please let me be on the downhill slide of this.

I’m not into extended adrenaline rushes.

I just want to sleep, but know it won’t happen till I can calm myself somewhat.

Time for some external assistance.

Blessed Kwan Yin, hear my plea.

Calm and serene, comfort me.

Mother of Mercy, hold me still

Peace surrounds, by your will

Loving Goddess, I ask this now

Heal my soul, your child by vow.