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.

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