Saturday, December 6, 2008

Integration

Hello blog! This week has been incredibly busy involving a lot of work and travel and as such I've not had a whole heap of time to post. This morning is balmy and breezy. Sitting in my dining room I can look out to the far peaks and listen to the birds and wind and let my mind wander and assimilate the information I am reading as I enjoy some quiet time before getting stuck into house cleaning.

This next chapter commences with a discussion about the God and Goddess of the witches. It describes the triple nature of both, the cyclic role they both play in relation to birth, death and re-birth and the various images and language used throughout the ages to describe them. While my practice is based very solidly on the seasonal cycles of the year, it's really hard for me to describe my own personal practices surrounding them. I tend to see them more as external manifestation as aspects of ourselves that work as tools to enable us to focus more clearly on our objectives and aspects of ourselves we would like to improve, but having said that when out walking I often identify the sun as Lord, the mountains as Lady etc. In fact more often than not I associate most things with the Lady as opposed to masculine principles - does that mean I have an imbalance in my approach to certain aspects of my life as a result? It very well could and deserves further exploration!

I started off this post thinking that there is no way I can both view the Lord and Lady as divine beings *and* as externalised aspects of ourselves and started to write from that point of view, however now I'm thinking why the hell not?! I try to make an effort in my everyday life not to take an either/or approach as I think that style of thinking can be very limiting - why should I pursue it in relation to my spiritual beliefs? Universal energy is universal energy, matter is matter - it exists in various forms - why can this then not be the same? The Lord and Lady exist both within and without - we *are* divine and so is this beautiful world we live in. An interesting thought to contemplate as I go about my everyday tasks today....


This image is actually a beautiful t-shirt that you can purchase.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Recap Prior to Commencing Month 2.


Well, month one is now over. While it's finished and with the new moon I move on to the second chapter, my learning is by no means complete. I am still discovering SO much about my new town and it's history that it's just not funny. A week and a bit ago I had cause to go up to Canberra with some colleagues and learnt on the way home that Brown Mountain is so named because of the Browns who used to own massive parcels of land in that area and cleared it all of wood. Fortunately it's grown back, although I would have loved to have seen it when it was pristine. In another spot one of my colleagues pointed out where the local nudist used to live and related the story of how he'd wave to passing motorists as he collected his mail from the mailbox at the side of the highway.

I've been slowly repotting plants and planning for my future garden - I managed to buy 3 Japanese Maples, a Hydrangea and a Magnolia all for $10 from a fundraising stall in town the other day! They are now sitting on my front porch as our puppy is in frantic digging mode. The sad news is that we are unable to care for her as she really is a working dog and needs to be on a farm instead of on a really big suburban block. I'm sad to say that we were ignorant when we moved here of just how active dogs like her can be. As a consequence we're waiting for the Animal Welfare League to find her a new home - she will be much happier but we are going to miss her terribly. I'm trying to keep a "stiff upper lip" and not be too sad about it and to look at the positives in terms of an undisturbed garden, being able to go camping in the many National Parks around our town on the weekend, etc. but gee, this place will be quiet without her goofy fun and beautiful personality.

I've ordered a hand pushed mower in order to get this place into some kind of order and get some exercise at the same time. With the wonderful rain we've had lately the land is greener than we've see
n it since moving in August and the birds spend their days singing about how happy they are and chattering amongst themselves. It's good to feel the earth beneath my feet again - when I lay in bed at night looking out at the stars and recall the day, I can feel my body begin to relax in ways it hasn't for years. My beginner's compost heap is going well and I'm hoping to top it up this weekend with garden refuse. I need to put my new wheelbarrow together - I bought it about two weeks ago now but got the wrong bits - they've been exchanged, and are patiently awaiting attention in the garage.

Now to get on with the day...... Postings for the second month of "A Witch Alone" will commence soon.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Catching Up


Well, it's been a while - and a very eventful while! Young Goddess has Type 1 diabetes and landed in hospital for a 5 day stay last weekend, so my time has been pretty much consumed. Work is still as hectic as ever and nights have been occupied with knitting gifts for the festive season. Amongst all of this, I've been attempting to stay centred and keep my balance - pretty tricky when you're juggling so many things! Young Goddess is fine, by the way.

Last Sunday to give the dog a break, we went for a walk in the off leash area which actually takes the
course of the Bega River. A very pretty spot where you can lose yourself and forget that the town is just a few steps away, you can actually walk along the river bed because water has been diverted to the farms. It was quite hot and at times I needed to put my thongs on (Aussie ones, not American ones), because the sandy river bed was so hot. The contrasts between light and shade were absolutely beautiful and reflected a little on what my life has been like lately. If you look closely in the picture above, you can just see Gypsy revelling in the water. It was such a beautiful feeling to feel water flowing over your feet while you stood in the shade after working up a sweat walking in the sun, drinking in the sights and listening to the breeze and the birds. Dragonflies abound both at the river and around our house and it never ceases to thrill me when I see them.

I spend a lot of time while walking contemplating what this land must have been like when indigenous people were the only human inhabitants and feel sadness for the loss of their lifestyle and regret that I will never get to see the land as it once was. In the present, however, I wander - meditating, contemplating and exploring with the wonder of a child, thankful for the beauty that surrounds me and paying homage to that sense inside of me or that aspect of the God/desses that told me moving here was the right thing to do. In spite of the loneliness lurking in the background even when I'm not consciously aware of my man not being here, I am thrilled to the core knowing that this place is home.

I have so much more to write about - the history I've learne
d about the breathtaking mountain when you come here from the direction of Cooma, the nudist that once lived there, how bright the moon is when full and shining in my bedroom window at night, the beauty of the stars. Unfortunately more "practical" things call, including getting out and feeling the earth beneath my feet as I spend time in the garden. I may or may not get to post about the rest later, as I continue to explore as "A Witch Alone". Not long until the new moon, when I move on to the next Chapter, but for the time being I am content to get out, renew my links with the land and spend time contemplating this wonderful, wonderful country.





Saturday, November 1, 2008

Om Mane Padme Hum

The other day I bought a "Mind, Body, Spirit" Book of Days to use in 2009 as my diary. It's filled with the most wonderful quotes, imagery and exercises designed to bring joy and understanding each day of the year. I can't wait to begin using it in earnest but at the moment spend time over breakfast flipping through and pondering various things contained within. It had a reference to the term "Om mane padme hum" which sparked my curiosity so I went in search of more information the net.


I was surprised to learn that Tibetan Buddhists believe that:
"
In the vajrayana Buddhist tradition, however, the blessing and the power and the superlative qualities of the enlightened beings are not considered as coming from an outside source, but are believed to be innate, to be aspects of our own true nature."
(Image and info taken from www.dharma-haven.org)

This is in harmony with my own beliefs and ties in to one of the exercises in the "Witch Alone" book that I am currently working my way through. The exercise is to explore other religions and paths while contemplating your own beliefs and what witchcraft means to you. While other pagans and witches believe in God/s and Goddess/es as actual Gods or supreme beings (please note I am not saying that all do), I see them as aspects of ourselves. By externalising them as Gods and Goddesses we are able to look at things more objectively and as such examine our own behaviour or project our desires/longings more objectively.

This post was really interesting in that it made me sit back and contemplate for a minute whether my beliefs were really accurately labelled as "witchcraft" or whether in fact I had been a Buddhist all along! The way in which I believe my practice differs is in the use of magick and attunement with the seasonal festivals and nature, as well as having a Buddhist-like component. In the end I don't believe it's really of that much importance in practice because as many have pointed out in the past, all paths lead to the same destination. This idea has caused a lot of discomfort among some people who adhere to the "my religion is better than you religion" point of view, however it resonates truly with me. Whether or not I believe that witchcraft can be classified as a "religion" or not is probably a matter for exploration another day.

In the meantime I am going to attempt meditating on "Om Mane Padme Hum" as part of my practice on a regular basis to see what eventuates.

Friday, October 31, 2008

This is the Life

How interesting it is that with the waxing of the moon again comes the return of my emotional light. While I'm still grieving over lost connections, it's incredibly difficult to be sad when one spends a day such as the one I've just spent. The morning involved running around doing good deeds for beautiful people which made my heart sing. Lunchtime saw me spending time at home with my daughter and talking to my sister in Cairns about preparations for the December holiday period. Work progressed on its usual pleasant course in the afternoon but it was what happened after work that once again left the Young Goddess (my daughter, 25) and myself once again marvelling at our fortune to have moved to this area of the world.

The weather has been stinking today - I've heard more than one person say it got up to 36 degrees Celsius and our town felt like it - sweltering under a sun that could very well have been a Summer one. After work we decided to go to a pub in one of the neighbouring towns because it sits on a hill overlooking the ocean and as a result is usually pretty cool - a really nice spot to sit in the sun, enjoy the breeze and a pleasant pub dinner. It was actually cool enough on the deck to need jumpers, so I minded YG's bag (Young Goddess) and another young woman's beer while they returned to their respective cars to get jackets and jumpers for us all. The other lady mentioned that she had seen whales a couple of times from our vantage point, then proceeded inside while we pretended we were still really warm in the hopes of spotting a whale.

The next minute, our companion came racing back out calling for us to go up to where she was as she'd just seen a whale breech! We raced to where she'd seen it, but couldn't make out anything except for perhaps a small bit of a whale's back. Admitting defeat, we went inside to sit in a warmer atmosphere while we enjoyed our dinner. The food was excellent for pub food, the Canberra lady joined us at our table and we all sat around swapping stories of camping, travel, bike riding and work when I looked out the window and WOW!!!!!!! There it was - a whale breeching right in front of me! I've only ever seen them on television before and was gobsmacked! I pointed it out to the Canberra lady and YG and as we watched we saw a couple of smaller whales surface for a few seconds before sinking back into the depths. The afternoon finished with a bit of a chat to the couple sitting next to us who had also seen whales breeching at Tathra wharf earlier that afternoon and the discovery that they were staying in the area for a week after travelling up from Melbourne for a holiday.

Our dinner eaten and with no more whales to be spotted, we started on our way home. Dusk was falling and as we passed the aussie rules field, we were stunned to see at least half a dozen kangaroos sitting and grazing there. The drive home revealed many more 'roos in fields and paddocks, the fattest kookaburra I've ever seen sitting on a fence post and a breathtaking sunset. Once again, YG and I marvelled at our good fortune to be living in such a place where we can spend such a wonderful evening and view so many different things with different people all in one night. Note to self: This will teach you to take your camera EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sunshine and Sleep

Sunshine and sleep are wonderful healers. Today I feel whole again, albeit a little sad, but who can stay sad for long when there are glimpses of mountain views to be seen from every window and the land calls to play in?

This morning I awoke feeling much better, Miss Blog, and performed a balancing meditation while I lay in my bed listening to the birds. It's a very easy technique that I've been using with progressive relaxation exercises for years. With every breath in you imagine everything in your body and mind coming in to balance, aligned and in harmony with everything else. With every breath out you feel tension, stress and worry leave your mind and body. I haven't meditated f
or a very long time, so am still getting back into the swing of things, but even 5 minutes of not-so-very-good practice makes a difference!

It's interesting how synchronistic life is. I believe that this is because when we're on the right path for us we get signs all over the place. (I also believe signs come when we're doing something that is not right for us as well, but that's a topic for another time). I subscribe to a Daily Om newsletter which sometimes doesn't speak to me at all and at others aligns perfectly with what I have commenced or have been thinking about. This morning is one such time with the daily email being about writing.

For a while now I've wanted to express my thoughts in order to re-examine my belief system and how I apply it to my life but I'm really not a pen-and-paper type person. "A Witch Alone", the book I am following, is my vehicle to allow me to do this but I guess I'm more of an electronic witch as far as communication is concerned so the idea of blogging instead of writing appeals far more -
whichever way it happens - the intent is the same. To me, that's what the craft and manifesting your own reality is about - intent.

More about that another time, but today the sun is shining, the birds are calling, my daughter's puppy is happily playing with a squeak toy and I want to make the most of it. Till next time.....

(
Image from www.goacom.com/goafoundation/legal.php )


Friday, October 24, 2008

After All, Tomorrow is Another Day


I was fine today until I got talking to a friend and colleague around lunchtime about a relationship that has just ended for me. Unexpectedly, the tears welled up but I managed to get them under control until I could take lunch. I walked through this magnificent town of mine with sunglasses on, trying to control my tears and not let on to anyone that I was upset, forcing myself to try and focus on the magnificence of nature surrounding me and how lucky I am to live in one of the most beautiful areas of Australia, but it was only partially successful.

I returned to work and threw myself into my job to stop myself from thinking too much, but when I got home it all came crashing back at me and it was all I could do to spend some time talking to my daughter before taking myself off to bed at 6 pm so as not to take my misery out on her. I lay on my bed and howled like a baby for the loss of the bond with someone I was sure I was going to grow old with and blissfully, sleep gradually claimed me.

I woke about an hour ago now, a little hungry but knowing if I didn't eat I'd slip back into the type of funk I sank into around eight years ago after a similar incident where I ate little more than pretzels and drank water for what seemed like months because of depression. Fortunately it's not that bad now, and I still feel in my gut that I did the right thing in taking the stance I did that resulted in our non-communication, but I wish my heart felt the same way too.

The wisdom of the crone - I may be commencing menopause, but I wonder if I really ever will grow up to be a wise woman? I recognise that at the moment I'm in mourning - for my love, for our relationship, for that fact that even after all this time he is still in such a dark, dark place and I can't help him. I also can't help but wonder if I'll ever be able to love like that again. I keep hoping for a phone call, an email, even a visit that will change the way things are, but am not sure that's the solution. I truly believe we create our own reality to a certain extent but I wonder how much fear prevents us from achieving all that we truly yearn for?

It is with a heavy heart I take myself back to bed and pray to the Old Ones for some peace and perspective. After all, tomorrow is..........

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lesson for the Day

I've spent a really great day at work - full of productivity and getting things done.

Even better, I've spent the evening meeting new people in my adopted community, lovely people who are very easygoing, tolerant and open minded and they KNIT! So not only did I spend the evening with them, I got to participate in one of my favourite pastimes with fellow addictees - what a happy little witch I am!

Anyway......... I came home intending to study for an hour before bed, but my internet was playing up and then I had to check gmail, and then I had to check facebook and normal mail and icq and .. and ... and ... I decided to stumble a couple of pages before going to bed and came across this - which I know I can certainly keep in mind when going through my day!

http://carrieanddanielle.com/give-em-a-break-everyday-love-and-assumptions/

I hope someone else can adopt it as a mantra, too.

Goodnight and blessed be :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Calm

Tonight's entry will be a quick one as I need to get some sleep. I've spent a couple of nights outside now looking at the moon (or where the moon would be when the night is cloudy!). It's so beautiful to be able to look on her with minimal light from other sources and bask in her rays, feeling contentment and peace flood through me. The other night when it was full I woke some time during the night wondering what the time was and opened my blinds to look outside. The moon was peering down, lighting the whole of my backyard and much of my room. I should have taken a photo but I don't think I'd found my camera at that stage!


The above image is by Michael Roppert. I found it here.

With much excitement, I climbed back into bed and drifted off to sleep under the comfort of her glow. I spoke to a woman who is my soul sister on the phone tonight after what feels like forever and she suggested I spend some time outside every night to reconnect with la luna again, which I think is a brilliant idea and started to embrace as I was talking to her. Unfortunately, being city-born and bred I spied a spider on the concrete near the front step where I was sitting and ran back inside quick-smart! (I didn't tell her that though :))

I have surprised myself by gradually becoming less afraid of them - I wonder if I'll ever get to the stage where I can renounce my "the only good spider is a dead spider" philosophy and really be able to embrace how good they are for the environment by letting them live?

I can hear my bed calling - tonight I go to bed with a peaceful and happy heart, grateful for such incredibly beautiful, supportive friends with whom I can share my life. Ang, if you read this at all, I love you! xxx

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Musings

Yesterday we went to visit the Bega Pioneer Museum. Unfortunately, still getting used to the ways of a small town, we didn't think to check open days beforehand and it was closed! Talk about frustrating! Instead we went to a building supplies shop and bought a star picket post to wire along the bottom of a fence we've created to keep our puppy in.

From there we went to explore the Kangarutha Nursery - what an absolute delight! It's magnificent and it's easy to see why they've won so many Garden Centre awards. I could easily have spent the whole day there but was mindful of my funds and only bought some lettuce, a strawberry plant and some rosemary, as well as a little pink dragonfly to stick on my window in the bedroom.

Having lunch at T
athra pub overlooking the ocean and watching for whales, we then set off in search of a fishing hole that a lady at work had told us about - Mogareeka Inlet runs from the ocean to supply water for the town of Bega. We haven't yet been fishing there but it looks great! Driving on, we came to a turn off for Mimosa Rocks National Park.

Following the dirt and gravel road down t
o the car park at Moon Bay and a short walk through all types of ferns, grasses and trees lead me to an incredible lookout. This walk did me the world of good, allowing me to reconnect with energies I haven't felt for quite literally years. I felt myself slowing down on purpose, listening to the whisper of the wind, the chattering of the birds, the creak of the trees. The overwhelming message was one of welcome and an incredibly embracing sense of belonging. Every time I think of it I experience this huge sense of release of a burden that I wasn't even aware I was carrying and know that in spite of making some heartbreaking decisions in order to move here and revitalise my spirit, I have made the right move. I am home.

Unfortunately now I need to connect with the domestic energies that lie forever dormant within me and go do some housework! It's such a gorgeous day that I really want to be out planting out my goodies from Kangarutha and revel in the feel of my hands, feet and spirit connecting with the earth - that will be my reward for the cleaning. Blessed be.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Starting Day

I've been reading tips on how to make your blog more readable and a suggestion that struck me was to write as if you're writing to just one person. As a result, I'm going to make you one of my best friends, blog, and talk to you because I'm not sure anyone else will ever read this!

The book I'm following says that if I'm going to follow the 13 lessons it contains, I need to set a start date, preferably after a new moon. I wasn't sure when that was, so I found this nifty calendar which lets you know when the moon phases are - even better, it's Australian!

The new moon is on 28th October so 29th will be my starting date. In previous years, I would have associated this time of year with Beltane as a celebration of crops being in and growing and to perform rituals that would strengthen them and assist their growth. This year, however, I don't have much growing so while I'll perform a small ceremony, Beltane will be more about celebrating my growing urge to reconnect with the land and myself.

Really, I've already made a start by beginning this blog. Today I plan to see if the library has the books I wish to read and make a trip to the Bega Pioneer's Museum to look into the history of my adopted area. It's 10:22 am, so I'd best get a move on!

Exploration

Image from totaltravel.com

One of the things that appeals to me most about this area is it's natural beauty. We haven't been living here for very long and a favourite past time is just walking, looking, absorbing the energy of the place. We walked our dog the other day in an off leash area which ran beside the river which was pretty much dry with pockets of water along it and it felt surreal to be walking along a river bed, surrounded by greenery and beauty on all sides with no one else in sight but for my daughter and dog. The delight we took in both each other's company and that of our puppy is indescribable. The sheer joy of watching our dog bound along the river bank, sniffing and exploring and leaping into the water to explore was exquisite! The fact that I had a long skirt and boots on which ended up filled with sand and water only added to the fun.

It's been literally years since I've been able to take my shoes off and feel nature between my toes - such a grounding, connecting thing. I'd forgotten how good it felt. The power of the place is amazing. Not only in the more isolated areas, which leave me speechless - places like Dr George Mountain, Mumbulla, the bush past Eden and even Tathra beach, but also the built up areas like Candelo, Bega and Bermagui all have a magic of their own. I wonder if the energy flowing here is what makes the people so amenable and easy going?

While I've not yet spent time alone in these places connecting with the energy on a more contemplative level, I've begun to explore and question, to reconnect with that which is magical in my life and to put my sorrows into perspective. I can feel my empathy re-awakening, which is both a good and a bad thing for there are some for whom I have great admiration who are going through some pretty tough times at the moment. This can make it pretty painful, but it's nice to be re-connecting with who I am - it's been a long time.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Lost Soul


How did it come to this?

I used to be a spiritual person, able to rise above the rough and tumble of the everyday world and see the greater order of things. I used to be able to intuitively key in to people's thoughts, feelings and passions, often without thought and in such a way that I couldn't tell where they began and I started. When my daughter was very young and I was in a pretty bad space, I wandered into the Adyar Bookshop in Sydney one day and there I found a book by Silver Ravenwolf. While some in the witchy world regard her as a "fluffy bunny Wiccan", the concepts embodied in her book "To Ride A Silver Broomstick" felt like coming home to me.

For the first time in my life I felt that there really was at least one person in this world who thought and felt the way that I did - that living the way we do is entirely artificial and that there has to be a more spiritual approach to life, where one can practise unconditional love and respect for all living things (notice I said "practise", not perfect!) and follow in the footsteps of their forefathers, albeit from a more modern perspective.

Between now and then I have walked many paths and undergone many experiences that have enabled me to grow as an individual and refine my thoughts and approach to life. Somewhere along the way I seem to have lost contact with what I valued most of all - my connection with the spiritual. At one stage many years ago, I joined an online discussion group in order to explore Marion Green's book,
"A Witch Alone: Thirteen Moons to Master Natural Magic". I can't remember why, but for some reason the discussion never eventuated. This, then, is my Book of Illuminations as described in her book and hopefully the instrument that I shall wield to enable me to reconnect with all that I valued so long ago.

Please, feel welcome to post and join me in my explorations. I do not consider myself "Wiccan" any more, even though so many, many moons ago I dedicated myself to the Goddess and God. I still hold my dedication true - I just perceive the "Goddess and God" very differently from the way I did when exploring with Silver Ravenwolf. It is my hope that not only will this grimoire lead me back to my own personal connectedness with universal energy, but that it may also assist others who may be seeking the path that is right for them.
There was an error in this gadget