Sunday, 6 October 2013

Walking my Truth

I have been a practising pagan for many years. I knew as a child that I was attracted to an 'alternate' way of looking at life the universe and everything, from the one I was pushed towards by family and school although I didn't know it was paganism then. I soaked up the interesting books - Susan coopers series including the dark is rising and the greenwitch, the hobbit and lord of the rings, And tv dramas of the 1970s - the owl service, the tomorrow people, the changes, the witches and the grinny grog, star trek, and  Dr who amongst many others. They spoke of something 'unknown' and mysterious.

I felt 'different' then. I even thought I might be an alien changeling. Left on earth to experience something. I spent many an evening in my room in some kind of meditation sending out a silent telepathic plea for whoever had left me here to come back and take me home!

I never felt i was in the right family - i had 2 brothers that really weren't interested in me. My parents were more pro boys than girls and my dad often ventured the opinion that he wanted me to find a nice banker or accountant to 'look after me'. So when I showed an interest in wanting to act for a career I didn't get much support. I suppose that's why in the end after years of working towards this, I finally caved in and married the first man to show interest in me.

And so once I had my own space and started the busy time of kids and family, I began to remember my feelings about nature, magic and the mysterious. I began to explore my spiritual side, and that's when doors opened allowing me to train in all kinds of magical trainings, wicca, ceremonial magic, shamanism and so on.

It has been a time I treasure and has given me so much. It was needed as something that helped me understand myself more and how I worked out how life 'worked'. My meaning of Life.

And recently I have been exploring how I came to be this person. How the disinterest and conditional love from my parents and family brought me to this place and the person I developed into. Through some very personal painful experiences this year, I have found myself in a place where I am having good supportive counselling. Learning to deal with things I have shelved for so long. Memories that I gave so little import to in order to be able to cope with them have surfaced and demanded my attention and that I deal with them.

Its an ongoing process. I am not near the end of this particular journey, but I have come to some cross roads and after a pause am deciding which direction and path to take next.

The major decisions that have arisen from this are as follows;

I have for many years done things because I thought I had to always put other peoples needs and wants before my own. That's not to say Ive never done anything for me. But I have often carried on doing some things feeling I was letting others down if I didn't carry on. Relationships that have gone past their sell by date have continued. I haven't paid attention to my own needs which has come greatly (I think) from my early childhood experiences that meant I needed to earn the love of my parents and would have this taken away if I was naughty or embarrassed them as a way to control my behaviour.

So I intend to choose when and if I want to walk away from something by going by my own feelings of what I feel I want rather than what others want me to do. Or feel I should do. Or indicate I am being selfish or nonspiritual by doing what I want.

One of the main things that has changed over the years is my spiritual path and journey. I still believe I am a pagan. I still love the Earth, nature and firmly believe it has a consciousness of its own. It is a living breathing organism that I feel part and parcel of.

However, my expression of this has changed significantly I feel. I was trained in Wicca. I was part of the Goddess movement. I have worked with various different kinds of magical work. I don't look on magic as something paranormal now. I remember the phrase - magic is the art of changing consciousness in accordance with my will. This is not about mystically changing things around me. This is about changing me - and therefore changing how I relate to others or how I relate to their relating to me. So much of magic has become a kind of psychology for me now rather than mystical.

I don't now believe in Gods and Goddesses as separate beings. I see this as archetypal now. Aspects of myself and of nature. I still think there is a loving living intelligence in the Universe but don't give it a personality and believe it is part of me as I am part of it and them.

And so this will affect my spiritual practise. I don't pray outside of myself. I look within. I enjoy celebrating seasonal times and friendships sometimes and other times I don't need to. I have decided I can no longer facilitate groups, courses, training or circles for other people as I cant actually teach them something that doesn't hold true for me any more.

I no longer run a coven.

I have enjoyed writing this blog and the previous ones. I don't know if I shall write more but for now I have decided to take time away from it. To anyone who has enjoyed reading it - thank you for being an audience and maybe one day we'll meet up again.
xx

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Love of Lammas

Over the years I have enjoyed celebrating every festival we do - I loved the winter solstice, colours and craft making. Samhain and its fun as well as the chance to go inwards and remember our ancestors. The summer solstice and Beltane with the flowers and wonderful energies of growth. Imbolg with its promises of light to come and the equinoxes with their balances at each end of the year. However I have to say my most favourite festival of all is Lammas.

Lammas loaf at Eastbourne Lammas Fair 2013

I love Lammas. I love the feelings I get at this time of year as the wheel moves round again. I love the glints of gold in the fields of barley and corn. The grain harvests and the colours of the gold against the blue hue of the late summer skies. It isn't quite the golden autumn that comes around the later harvests at the equinox with its sunny but colder starts to the mornings, but it shows signs of the change of seasons as the nights are not quite so long.

I love all it represents. Natures bounty. The traditions throughout hundreds of years to collect, celebrate and share the harvests.

The harvests of foods, the preparation of the stores for the winter to come. I know that nowadays we have food to last through the year. Storage, refrigeration and so on means we don't worry that the food stores may not take us through to spring. That families no longer all go out together to bring the harvests in from the fields and celebrate with the villagers that all is in before the weathers change.


But underneath all our modern lives, with supermarkets, the food miles that enable us to partake of foods from other continents and cultures. Our freezers in the kitchen or the preserving processes now used to keep food longer.

Underneath all of this the link to the land is still strong in us. The echoes of what was done through the eons of time is rooted in the psyche of the people. Some feel it stronger than others its true. Some people are content not to participate in acknowledging the changes of the seasons apart from a nod at Christmas and Easter and maybe other social customs.


Some people enjoy the traditions of their communities. Taking part in the various local festivities. Spring or summer fairs, sea food festivals such as the whitstable oyster festival or the Brogdale apple festivals in Kent. Local Cornish festivals, or flower celebrations in Harrogate or Ely. The people may not be Pagans but still may have a rooted connection to the land and want to express it in their own way.

Others deliberately celebrate the seasons and the festivals as part of their spiritual paths. Christianity adopted most of our festivals in order to draw the people into the Church for conversion many years ago. And of course most Pagans will be celebrating the changes of the seasons along with any sacred days of the Deities they may revere.



Lammas has a magic I feel strongly. It may be the culmination of growth and harvests, but underneath it all I feel a bonding to the Earth and to life. It reminds me of my roots and my connection to nature. It brings up the feelings of being part of the Earth. Not separate or living 'on it' but as a part of it. I affect it, as it affects me. Of being part of a whole organism.

And so I weave my corn dollies, and make my crafts. Sing my songs and dance my rites of the seasons.

Yes, I love samhain and midwinter. I love Beltane and dancing round the maypole.
But Lammas..........ah......now that's my heart.



You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley.
You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky as we walk in fields of gold.
So she took her love for to gaze awhile upon the fields of barley.
In his arms she fell as her hair came down among the fields of gold.

Will you stay with me, will you be my love among the fields of barley?
We'll forget the sun in his jealous sky as we lie in fields of gold.
See the west wind move like a lover so upon the fields of barley.
Feel her body rise when you kiss her mouth among the fields of gold.

I never made promises lightly and there have been some that I've broken,
But I swear in the days still left we'll walk in fields of gold.
We'll walk in fields of gold.

Many years have passed since those summer days among the fields of barley.
See the children run as the sun goes down among the fields of gold.
You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley.
You can tell the sun in his jealous sky when we walked in fields of gold,
When we walked in fields of gold, when we walked in fields of gold.


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The value of snuffles and lurgies!


Like many people I have been laid up for a few days with a nasty viral cold. It started just over 2 weeks ago with a funny feeling in the back of my throat which although I don’t get ill often, I recognised as the beginning of something unpleasant to come.

Now I'm not a patient patient. Something probably to do with being an Aries for a start. At first the idea of a duvet day is quite nice. Not particularly unpleasant at first - not well enough for work. But that’s when the idea stops being nice. Being ill means I don’t feel well enough to get the paints and canvasses out to enjoy this sudden gift of free time. The new book I’m looking forward to is left untouched as my head pounds and I don’t want to open my eyes much. This 'extra time' I am given is not going to be utilised to do anything fun or enjoyable.

So after 24 hours I’m not feeling very happy at all. Its been a whole day! I should be better now. Why isn’t the paracetamol/throat lozenges working? Why cant I stop coughing. I DON'T LIKE IT!!

Then I’m worried about how much time off work I might be having. I should be dragging myself in..coughing blood discreetly into my linen hankie. Pale and wan, heroically pulling myself up onto my desk and quietly martyred, ease myself into the working day. As my circumstances at present mean I'm working part time to be available for ailing parents that makes me feel doubly like I'm letting the team down. I can't even be there for the few days I'm meant to be. But that is another of my demons I am working on at the moment.

This week wasn’t great to be ill at home. I had the builders in creating a new bathroom. No use of a loo for most of the day - I had to pull out the camping toilet and enthrone it in the bunnies shed for a bit of privacy. (Note that camping toilet is really a large bucket with a toilet shaped lid). Nice picture in my head now!!

Even though my nose felt like someone had taken the entire roll of toilet tissue and carefully stuffed it up there, somehow I could still smell the very strong smell of paint, tiling mastic and glue which also rested itself on the back of my throat. I couldn’t go back to bed so I languished in the living room with the computer and the iPlayer for company. (its a times like these I wonder if it would be good to have a TV again after all!!) With odd trips out to the shed with the rabbits warily watching me and wondering what my business was doing my business in their domain.

Mind you at the end of the week, my new bathroom and the addition of a shower was very nice, gleaming in red and white so I suppose it had been worth it.

After the 3rd or 4th day of being ill I settled down to letting it wash over me and move through it. With large doses of vitamin C and drinking hot lemon juice with manuka honey to ease the throat I got down to mulling over the uses of being laid up for a short while. At first all I can think is that it is an annoying situation.  I don’t get colds or virus' very much. Maybe once a year and sometimes not that often.

Of course my cold is nothing compared to many people with debilitating illnesses and problems, but I do believe that things we experience all come with something to learn whether it be patience, forbearance, acceptance, surrender or maybe to fight, to find strength, to say no - this is not acceptable. I have been fortunate not to have life threatening problems to deal with although I have experienced ill health that has been long and drawn out before. In my 30s I suffered with post viral syndrome which was diagnosed as ME for a while, although I eventually got better after a couple years. You would think with that alone I might have become more patient. And I do think that I did gain some perspective during that time.

My 3 pregnancies were not particularly comfortable either. Each one getting progressively worse until my 3rd one I was ill throughout all of it from suffering with sickness morning, noon and night, the softening of my pelvis to the extent that I walked with a stick or not at all, and the most painful piles that prevented me sitting comfortably. (add that to the fact that I couldn’t sleep lying down and had to sit up, you can imagine my sleepless, painful 9 months turned me into a bit of a deranged zombie begging to be induced early. I was also in pain in my stomach a great deal. A couple of weeks after the birth it turned out I had gall stones too which had been causing the pain (Hah! - to the doctors who told me it was all in the mind!!).

But this isn’t meant to be a list of 'Illnesses I have Suffered' rather than to just mention that I have had some discomfort in my life and can speak from experience of how I have come to view these experiences.

And what I have found is that each time - whether it is a short snuffle or something that extends over a period of time, I am not someone who can surrender willingly at first. I resist and push against it. Until the time comes sooner or later that I must accept it is there. I have it. I must go through it.

The benefits to me are that I do eventually get to rest. Maybe I have been doing too much and needed this time. I have been known to ignore the messages and the universe may have to slap me in the face to get my attention! Maybe I am not looking at other things in my life that need addressing and this enforced rest allows me to think and consider more as my mind is occupied by thoughts rather than what I must do next.

Maybe it also means that I realise that sometimes my body is not completely under my control and that I need to honour it more. Listen to the signals and messages. Love it and look after it with foods and treatments that show I appreciate my body and its wonders. (though during the snuffles I'm afraid I do try to bribe it with chocolate!)

I've also come to appreciate that the odd cold or sniffle is boosting my immune system. Building up a body that may find it has more fighting power against any more serious bouts of flu or virus infections that are ahead.

So eventually I gave in.

Surrendered.

I took a few days off work. Slept on the sofa for a day or two until the building work was done. Threw open the windows to let the paint smell out (and the fresh air in) and left the unread books on the coffee table until my head stopped pounding, and I had enough interest and no eye strain to write this blog post..... Sniff.

 
Get Well Soon



Tuesday, 23 April 2013

To Everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose.......


 
  1. To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
    There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
    And a time to every purpose, under Heaven                                                                               (The Byrds - Words adapted from The Bible, book of Ecclesiastes
    )
The seasonal wheel of the year is an interesting way to work through the year. To appreciate the different seasons, weather patterns and to really connect with Earth spirituality and its magic. Over the years I have often celebrated various festivals, enjoyed the activities either arranged by my circles or open gatherings.

Recently I have seen articles and thoughts put forward criticising the use of the wheel of the year. Claims that it is an ancient system may be upsetting to purists but I for one love to use it to mark the times of the year. I suppose if one was to insist that the only way to celebrate it was to stick to the usual 8 festivals often mentioned then it would merit such critical discussion. I personally enjoy working with those 8 festivals myself although that doesn't discourage me from celebrating any other festival that seems to have an emotional or spiritual connection for me.

The wheel is a skeleton. It can have 8 festivals. It can have 4. It could have 27 - really it is up to the individual to choose what they wish to observe. Most public gatherings tend to follow the 8 that most people know about these days, but it really depends on what kind of spiritual path you are following, if any. Whether it is one that many people enjoy or one entirely created from your own experiences and ideas it really doesn't matter.

One of the interesting things that has been on my mind recently is how it was natural for me to just get on with it. To do it without analysing what it meant to me, how it was affecting me and how I changed and grew from it. As I got older, I took into account the way I felt, the fact that my body and feelings often mirrored the weather, the seasons and the natural ebb and flow of nature. I began to take more of an interest. To document my body's reactions to the summer and the winter changes. It may seem obvious now, but I was fascinated as I recognised the patterns in the same way as I had worked with the moon phases and noted their effect on me during a time of more formal magical training I had with a wiccan coven during the 1980s.

With the seasons of the year I began to look at the seasons of life. I have recently written a little on this in an article on menopause and croning for the Goddess Pages magazine so I don't want to repeat too much of what I said before.


However, it had occurred to me that the wheel of the year is part of a larger wheel of life and death - often mentioned in the mythical teachings of various cultures - the fates of Greece, Moirai, Sudice and Parcae spinning and cutting lives on the wheel of life. The cycle of the the day in Egypt - with Ra the God of the Sun, crossing the skies in his bark. Even time is described as a curve rather than a straight line. Many things repeat themselves in history. Life is so many circles within circles. Birth, life and death, seasons, years, cycles spinning on and on. To me the celebration of the wheel of the year is a comfort and a joy. An active participation and acknowledgement of my part in the nature of things.
And so I turn to the seasons now and how they mirror so much in my life. There are answers to questions here that I need to ask. And if I don't, then the experience rolls round again on the next cycle whether it is next year, in the next stage of my life or maybe even in another lifetime?

Then on to the actual yearly wheel and how it differs year to year in parallel to the similarities that bring a comforting familiarity to following this yearly map. Each year brings possibilities. Do I grasp them with both hands or as I get older do I hesitate, more worried at removing my comfort zones.

This last year in particular is on my mind considerably. My winter had felt like such a long one. I have experienced much self doubt and questioning.
The timing was interesting. I am at the early stage of my autumn years and questions of my mortality have surfaced once or twice in the last year or so. Particularly during the winter months. More time spent indoors keeping warm and looking out at the snow and rains. The spring and summer doesn’t seem to echo that introspective time within.

Now at last the sun has begun to show itself more regularly after such a long grey winter - I know the seasonal wheel has long been turning since the midwinter solstice, it has seemed to be a long climb back to the fresher, warmer days that are more regular now.

And with it comes the familiar sense of new beginnings, desires to de-clutter - surroundings and life itself. The anticipation of coming projects - planting in the garden and its hopeful harvests to come. Planning the fun and enjoyment of holidays, activities, events and celebrations through the year.

I love this time particularly as there is so much potential. So many plans and ideas and the realisation that there is still so much life left to live.

During the winter, I have been mulling over those thoughts and ideas often associated with that time of year. Of death and endings. Of settling into a dark cave of brooding thoughts and hibernating. It was a time of rest and conservation of reserves. It has given me lots of food for thought. As I am getting older do I think of these things more?

When I was in my 20s and 30s, even in my 40s, I don't remember thinking of my finality as much. Well can I remember my teens and 20s. I was immortal! No thoughts of illness or endings. Well, not enough to make me stop and think. None that would make me pause to wonder if my actions or ideas could be detrimental to my health! Eat less sugar, exercise and keep active! Life stretched out before me eternally. I made plans up to a point but expected to be able to change my life direction as and when I felt inclined. No idea of having a time limit. Go to college and become a performer and then change my mind and become a mother. I had time to do the college bit. I could travel later. But later becomes months and years.
I had commitments of course. I was married and had children so couldn't just jump into anything without taking them into consideration. But I had that bravado that comes with youth. That everything in my life would just fit into wherever I took it. And as long as my husband at the time was willing to be supportive, I would dive into new interests, take myself off to workshops and camps (quite often taking the children along too).

But as I have got older and reached what may be the peak of my life, I have found my thoughts and ideas often tempered with other ponderings. I sometimes catch myself thinking about my mortality. My health and occasional lack of it. I suppose it is inevitable that as we approach the autumn and winter of our own lives that we dwell more on what is to come. As some of our friends pass out of this life through illness or old age I suppose we are bound to think of our own final moments as these things are so fresh and directly in front of us. Being forced to acknowledge these. I have loved ones who have succumbed to cancer. And more sadly - friends and teachers that reached an age when they admitted that for them living had become more of a tiring hindrance and they were ready to move on.

But I’m not ready for that yet. I had a sobering realisation recently that things I had put off to do later were unlikely to come around again now. Not impossible but unlikely. And these things have spurred me on to make changes. To take hold of life again on this part of the cycle and change the dance steps. Maybe because of the time of the year, the place on the wheel. The spring has quickened my blood and once more I feel I am empowered to make those changes. Maybe that connected with my realisation that time is not so much on my side now and to do some of my dreams need urgent action. Get out there. Do it or put it down and leave aside any feelings of regret.

I remember as a teenager in the 70s my life was so focused and geared towards getting into drama college. I acted, took dancing classes and even chose my school subjects around secretarial lessons to enable me to have some kind of earning ability in between acting jobs I was sure I would get. Auditioning and gaining a place at drama school. And then I met someone. Everything changed and I married, had a family and took up amateur performing. Telling everyone I was content. Part of me was. I loved my children and found my way to other spiritual people with similar ideas and feelings. But I couldn’t admit even to myself that I often wondered....'what if?'.......

Jump to the here and now. Marriage long over and family almost grown. Just a few weeks ago browsing on face book and an old friend had joined a college reunion for a class back in 1979. My college. My year that I would have been part of. Looking at the pictures posted of events, friends, parties and performances of that time brought a lump to my throat and I think I even died a little inside. There was a ghost in these pictures. My ghost. I should have known these people. I should have been in these photos. What can hurt more than the memory of something that could have been, that I thought I had let go. I try to be objective. I have children that may not have been here had I gone down that road. I wouldn’t be without them for the world. I have experiences and events that make me who I am now. I like that person. Would I be that person had I stuck with the plan?
Who knows.

But I still have time. And so I am taking action. Not into performing, but into Art. My other love. Giving myself permission to do something that already has its critics although I don’t allow them to make a difference this time. Planning stages were quick - action and decisions were needed and had to be seized. Changing my life is scary when you are out of your comfort zone. But if I don’t, one day I will see those reunion photos again with the missing face and smile and maybe die a little more inside before my time.


 
To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Feel the Fear?




I have realised I am going through some changes recently and its giving me a lot to think about. With all the negativity around us at the moment with cuts to public spending, cuts to the services needed by so many vulnerable people. The attacks on the poorer parts of our society and the gap between the rich and poor ever widening, it is easy to become cynical and worried about people, life and humanity.

Closer to home I can worry about my children. My older children's relationships, and my youngest childs' future.

I don't wish to become blinkered either. To pretend that everything is wonderful when there is so much hardship around is quite insulting to those who are suffering. And then there is the wider aspect. So many people in other countries starving, having their freedoms removed, being killed for daring to follow other spiritual paths or being controlled by their gender and religions.

But for a time I realised I had lost my optimism. My hope. My trust in something greater than what is so prevalent at the moment. Not necessarily something greater than humanity - I'm not talking  about God or Higher consciousness here. I'm talking about something buried deep in people. Something that isn't always obvious especially when you come up against a person who seems to be determined to make others suffer.

I'm thinking about that spark that sometimes I see when I read an article in a magazine or paper. Or see a video or news item that is celebrating an idea or human achievement. Or when I'm speaking to friends that are starting new paths or just happy with the one they are on. Or even just like today when I looked at a picture of someone in a facebook status who has started a therapy centre after many years of study in areas that are patently obviously meant to benefit people and help them find their inner joy and peace.


Its so easy to get bogged down in the sadness's around us. And I do realise that its necessary to be able to experience both sadness and happiness. Such is life.

But sometimes I find I have allowed myself to swim in the waters of worry and despair for too long. I start to find I am getting physical reactions. My gall stones flare up, my immune system begins to allow for bugs and illness. My digestive system goes haywire. My mind begins to allow itself to fear the future, my kids future. It can even cause a kind of paralysis. A fear of moving or doing something different in case it goes wrong.

But I cannot live this way. Fear is sly, it creeps in the door and whispers worries and concerns until I can stop trusting myself. I read a book many years ago called Feel the fear and do it anyway. I hold to that statement although I also realise that doesn't mean go off and do something stupid. Some 'fears' are useful as they give you a pause for thought before doing something too rash.

I'm talking about the fears that stop you from making changes in your life because it takes you out of your comfort zone. Leaving a job you hate to work for yourself even though your wages are cut. Moving from an area you grew up in to travel and find adventures even though you don't know anyone where you are going to or family dont approve. Starting a new path on a spiritual pathway that is different to the one you have been brought up in or your family considers to be the only authentic way.

So many things can halt people in their tracks and sometimes stop them from going any further. Of course you may not succeed in what your original plan was. I was going to say of course you might fail. But I don't think any experience is a failure. Its something to learn from. Its an experience. Its not always going to fit your idea of how its meant to be, but its still movement. Its still valuable.


Fear can keep you immobile. Stuck. Afraid of change.

Sometimes I know I have let fear stop me doing the things I planned. Dreams I had were wasted - not because they weren't achieved, but because I didn't allow myself to try. If I had changed my dreams that would have been ok. But some dreams I opted out of, because I was afraid. Because I took the easy road. I also try not to live with regrets. I try to remember that I am the person that has evolved from those experiences. Theres a fine balance here and sometimes I can walk it, and other times I fall on one side or the other.

I enjoyed a film a while ago called the Yes Man. Based on a book where it is advocated that we dont say yes enough to life and need to say yes more. The film was a comedy that had the main character saying yes to absolutely everything which caused a lot of chaos. But it also gave him experiences and relationships that he would have missed by saying no. It also came with a message that balance was important in this, but also, to take a chance was a good thing too.

Today I was wandering around facebook. I like to read the status' of my friends. What they are up to. Projects and ideas. And I realised I was reading an awful lot of the shared news articles about the terrible things going on in life and around us. Its a bit like rubbernecking on the internet.
I don't enjoy knowing these things are going on but there is something that draws us to reading bad news. Is it the idea that we are sharing the bad times as well as the good? Maybe we feel better knowing other people are having as bad a time as we are!

As I realised I was bringing up the shared articles that highlighted the negative side of humanity to look at I also saw one of the status that says someone has a new 'friend'. I'm always interested in reading about new people and assume that any of my friends who have made a new friend, that they will have interests and ideas similar to mine and my friends.

So I clicked on their page to read about them. It was a nice colourful page. Nice looking person with some interesting things she has done. The point about her therapeutic centre being opened was interesting as well as her background and training. But there was something else.
She beamed. Now I don't know if she is having hard times with her family, work or relationships. I don't know and I am making all kinds of assumptions.

But she beamed. She had a light about her and something that reminded me that actually Ive got that somewhere inside. I just lost it for a bit. What have I done with it? Where did I put it away? I want it back!

In a fragment of time, I realised what I have allowed my negative self to do for sometime. I have wallowed and swum for too long in this well of despair and fear. I want my authentic self back. I want to believe that in the end, or even sooner, that all things will be ok.

"All shall be well and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well".

(Julian of Norwich)



Now I just have to climb out of this well!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Just on Time


Time
 

 
Time is waiting in the wings, He speaks of senseless things
His script is you and me, Boy!  (david bowie, aladdin sane)

Having observed the interesting attitudes and behaviour around the world regarding the end of the Mayan calendar in December 2012 it got me thinking about time. Thoughts on how it is regarded, recorded and observed. I believe that Time is a form of energy. Most people tend to think of linear time – as our lives on a line starting from birth and leading onward until the finish. History having events on various points along the line of time. However I have also read of time being a ‘curve’ that may be why some points of time converge together and touch. Maybe enabling us to be out of our time. Could this be why some people see Romans marching through ancient sites? Not ghosts but a brief connection of the ‘time line’. I remember as a child watching a series on BBC TV about children finding gateways to other times – Timeslip, a brilliant children’s drama from the 1960/70s.


There are occasions when one may experience an awareness of being ‘out of time’. When the ability to experience other dimension all at once. We cannot do this easily at present for it would overwhelm the human mind at its present stage. Those rare souls that do experience this would do this as a momentary experience of Outer time. Maybe similar to the aborigine dream time. By learning consciously to do this, can we change the barriers of the time we exist in? By moving time, extending time and even travelling through time?
 I also remember reading a story (maybe by Isaac Asimov – to be honest I can’t remember if it is his) where a child – very advanced works out how to loop time using something similar to a figure eight and mentally projects it so he can move through time and space.

Time has been recorded, identified and its possibilities noted since records began. Seen of course with the calendars of different cultures. Even our own celebrations of seasons and festivals are as marking of the passage of time. Of course the most recent in peoples’ minds has been the Mayan calendar that some even believed indicated the end of time. Though of course many others have felt this is the end of time – as we know it. That some energy or changes are happening on other layers and levels to be understood when we are ready for it.

Time is affected by the rate of speed that our galaxy moves at. Some scientists have found that galaxies father away can have a higher rate of speed which should also create a differing speed of time. I have read somewhere some enlightened scientists describing it as the universe in the act of breathing in and out. The study of space, quantum physics and time shows us that the exhale is probably where the big bang of our universe came from. There could also be a big crunch when the exhalation will change the face of the universe. Not destroy it, but change it. Ancient stories describe this. The Egyptian stories refer to the Boat of a Million Years, the sun God Ra moves across the celestial skies. The Indian philosophers talked of the Year of Brahma which lasts 321 trillion years. The Hindu year refers to a cycle of cosmic breathing heralding an age lasting trillions of years.

 It has also been said that we ‘dream out of time’. In Outer time there is a point where all is One. Every conceivable thing of life and experience at every level of the universe converges and is instantly present. People have dreams in a few minutes or even less that in a state of wakefulness could take several hours to experience. May be this can suggest why some people dream of events that happen in the future. They are out of time and therefor can move to the future. Sleep is the same state as deep meditation. The Alpha brain waves are similar in sleep as during deep altered states.

How has Outer time been measured? There may be various places as doorways to outer time. Pyramids, stone circles and other sacred spots are usually sited on geomantically important areas. On ley lines which may also travel along the Earths fault lines. The siting of these ancient monuments has been investigated in many ways – scientists found that within the areas there are stronger currents of electro-magnetic energy Ceremonies, magical acts and inner journeys within these areas have often wielded interesting results.  Certain times of the year can also provide these areas with different energies.  

 

During the 1980s experiments recorded fields of energies within sites tested. Stone circles emitted ultra-sonic signals at the equinoxes whatever the weather patterns. These signals faded at the solstices. The west of the UK has the highest incidence of fault lines and interesting that the majority of crop circles are in this area too. Many believe these are also time related and that may account for the reason why these beautiful and intricate patterns appear overnight. Certainly not the result of some chap with a board!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Time of the Crone?



You may be thinking this is a strange kind of thing to write about at this time of the year. Spring doesnt tend to make people think of endings, death or the time of the Crone. However, I am writing from a personal point of view and how I am feeling at the moment.  Seasons do have an effect on us all, sometimes some more than others, but I am writing from the perspective of personal seasons, lifecycles and even planetary effects.

The last few months have held some interesting experiences, thoughts and events for me. It has made me think over big issues – you know the kind I mean; Life, the Universe and Everything!! First of all we lost a couple of pets to illness and old age, and I was aware of some very tragic events to people I know, losing precious young family members to accidents and other sad situations. Then I fell ill to a very nasty attack of the Flu and for a few weeks was really unable to do anything more than lie in bed and rest.


And last week, my original teacher and High Priestess of the first Coven I was trained in passed to the summer lands. Sylvia was a good old age, well past the 3 score years and ten and had lived an interesting and eventful life, so not an unexpected event when her life finally ended. Even so, it gave my heart cause to grieve at her loss. She was a Great Lady, trained and advised a great many people who entered her circles, and was a wonderful role model for many Witches and Pagans.

My parents are in their 80s now and although fairly healthy, I have become aware that their time is limited and one day I shall have to encounter a personal grief when I lose them. And then my 50th birthday comes up next week and I have been menopausal for a while now.


It’s a time when I feel I want to look at my life now, and what is possibly to come. Im aware that certain birthdays can initiate these feelings and make you feel that it should be acknowledged. However at the moment it seems more than that. I feel the call of the crow as she calls me to pull the dark robe of the Crone over my shoulders and follow Her path now. I’m sure (well, I hope!) I have many more years to go before I am called to cross the Styx, but it feels almost like I am entering a cave for another initiation that I have only now started to become aware of.


When I originally trained in Sylvia's coven Moonshadow, back in the late 80s I was eager to learn, work through and take the formal initiation ceremonies available to me. Over 3 or 4 years I learned, practised and ceremonially took the 1st 2nd and finally 3rd degree initiations to allow me to become an elder of her coven and eventually form my own groups and circles. My understanding then was that the 1st degree was akin to connecting to the Maiden aspect of the Goddess. Then the 2nd was connection to the Mother and finally the 3rd degree was that of the Crone. And as a 3rd degree initiate I could call myself that!
 
Ahh the arrogance of the young! (well actually I had just reached 30 when I finally took the 3rd degree initiation - but still had a lot to learn on my spiritual path). I can see that my initiations to the Maiden and the Mother could well connect to the Maiden and Mother Goddess as I had lived as both, I had - obviously, been a Maiden and had already had the first 2 of my 3 children so had experience of motherhood. I think I could also say there would have been some identity of running and teaching a coven, often 'mothering' some of my circle members.


Maiden by Rachel Mayatt

Mother by Rachel Mayatt
 I like to think of these times as my own personal seasons.






I had some experience of the seasons of maiden and motherhood.

However, the only experience I had of the time of the Crone was that of observer - with family or friends. I could read as much as I wanted about women experiencing their own Crone time, but without being immersed in it myself, I could only guess at what it really means to be there.

And strangely enough, I feel it has crept up on me. Or maybe it wasn’t obvious to me because of all the experiences I needed to have before my body started its journey to becoming the Crone. Mental, emotional, physical and spiritual experiences, from the end of my marriage, the descent into my own personal dark night of the soul that lasted for several years, and the birth of my last child. I have spent the last few years still in the mother phase - and this will stay fairly intense for several more years yet as my youngest daughter is only 8 years old. However, I have also become a Grandmother. My periods have stopped and have only reappeared once in the last 12 months and I am regularly woken with amazing rushes of heat as I ride the power surges that are my journey into the realm of the Crone.

meno pause by Rachel Mayatt
And then as I mentioned previously. I am on the precipice of my 50th birthday which is also astrologically the time of my Chiron return. Death and endings are always around us but I have become more aware of them lately as they have been people or animals I know and care for. I can sense a new awareness of the Crone as she beckons her wizened finger to me to enter her Cavern and begin a new time of learning. I am apprehensive - am I ready? Will I be able to sufficiently rise to this challenge? Actually I think I will. I think whatever is on this new path to be trod; will be particular to me and my experiences.

Funnily enough, as I have got older, I had begun to shed the layers of should, should nots and must or must nots that we often encumber ourselves with during our spiritual journey. I don’t see myself as not being equal to the tasks ahead. As all my experiences, all my feelings and expectations are right as they are. Any feelings of inadequacy or concern are waves of negative energy that I can either indulge in, or waft away. I am all that I should be. I can be more or less if I wish.


Maybe that is one of the biggest lessons to learn as a Crone.

But whatever is waiting for me in Her cave, I know now that the experience is what will truly initiate me and give me the right to call myself Crone.