Thursday, September 29, 2011

Witch 101 part 2- The Path Unwinding

Well, I was talking about holidays this morning, and that makes this a rather timely post. This is my second in my posts about my faith, so I'm going to be talking about holidays with relation to the Wiccan faith.

If you have any questions about our holidays, feel free to ask me, and as always feel free to ask any other questions you have. I'm an open book, and I'll tell you as much as I possibly can, or refer you to someone who knows better than I do.

We have two kinds of holidays. The first kind are called Esbats. An esbat occurs twice a month- once on the full moon and again on the new moon. These are nights where the witch is able to do particularly strong magic, because the moon is in its two strongest phases. In our coven, as a general rule, we use them for what we call "working nights" which means we work on spells we wish to be particularly effective, or when we need to make or charge or bless magical supplies. Things like that. Many covens will do ritual on these nights and spend time together. As of now, our coven doesn't preform ritual for esbats on a regular basis, but thats a scheduling thing more than it is a lack of wanting to do it.

The second kind of holiday we have are the High Holy Days, also known as Sabbatsor fire festivals. We have eight of them a year. For these we preform rituals dedicated to the meaning of the holiday. Each of them will generally have a certain theme, and sometimes a certain goal. Afterwards we have a "feast" and celebrate with what we call "cakes and ale" As general rule our group does not use alcohol but a specially brewed cider instead.

The first holiday on our calendar is also the one you're likely most familiar with. You call it Halloween. We call it Samhain (Hallowmas, All Hallow's Eve). This is our new year. Most celebrate it on October 31st. Some wait until the sun is at 15 degrees scorpio. Either way, the point is the same. In celtic, the translation for the holiday means "summer's end" Its the last of our fall festivals and the beginning of our year. The primary focus of Samhain is transformation, regeneration, honoring the dead, honoring the harvest and preparing for the winter. This is also a good time to do divination work. Its always been one of my favorite holidays.

Also, I came back after I posted this to address a myth I thought needed covered, however obvious Ithink it is at this point. No, we don't worship the devil on Halloween. We don't poison candy, we don't turn into bats, we don't fly on brooms. We do purchase new brooms, but that's a different story altogether. Incidentally, all those candy scares we had as kids, the one that supposedly started it off, well, there were no razors in the candy. Turns out the kids uncle gave him drugs, and that's made him sick. I should note, his uncle was not a wiccan.

Our second holiday is Yule (The winter solstice). Its when the sun reaches one degree capricorn. If I remember right, this year its on December 21 or 22. It falls close to the traditional Christmas holiday. The word yule means "wheel" and is appropriate as our first holiday of the new year because our holidays celebrate the wheel of the seasons as well as the wheel of our lives. The primary focus of the holiday is rebirth and renewal. It is a time of giving blessings.

Imbolc is next, its also sometimes called Candlemas. Imbolc means "in milk"and the holiday represents new growth, the end of the winter season and is a time for purification. This holiday is usually February 2 or so, when the sun reaches 15 degrees aquarius. Its alternative name, Candlemas, is coined from the frequent use of candles in ritual for this holiday.

After Imbolc is Ostara (sounds like Easter, right? its a similar concept) This is the holiday that celebrates fertility, the beginnings of spring. Its a time where (in popular mythos) Persephone would return from the underworld to begin blessing the earth with new growth. Ostara is on March 20, 21 or 22 when the sun is at 1 degree aires. In case you've ever asked (andI know you have) what it is that makes Easter have eggs, chocolate and bunnies...well, that's our fault. Eggs, obviously, are a symbol of fertility, and thus incorporated into our spring ritual. Chocolate is a food that represents love (also, ahem, an aphrodesiac) so we give it to each other as a symbol of love to come. The rabbits....well...have you heard the term "multiply like rabbits"? You can draw the right conclusion, I know you can.

Beltane (May Day) is a special holiday for my coven, because it was the first holiday we celebrated together. It takes place on May 1, or when the sun is 15 degrees Taurus. Beltane means "bright fire" or "lucky fire" and is for the beginning of our summer. This is a time for love magic, weddings, and a time to preform ritual to protect your garden and animals. Most people are familiar with the celebration because of maypole dancing, which is still incorporated into many coven's rituals. It is also the holiday directly opposite Samhain, which makes it (technically) the second biggest holiday of the year.

Litha is our midsummer celebration, the celebration of the summer solstice. It occurs when the sun is 1 degree cancer. Usually the 20, 21 or 22 of June. This is another time to celebrate love marriage and the future before us. Its another holiday that is popular among Wiccans for marriages and divinations.

Lammas, or Lughnasadh, is the feast of bread. Its the celebration of the fall and the first harvest and takes place on August 1 or 2 each year. This is a time for playing games, blessing people, paying debts and preforming weather magic. It is a time to reflect on the gains that we have seen during our year.

Mabon, the fall equinox, is the last holiday before Samhain, and is when the sun is at 1 degree libra. It was on the 23 of September this year. It means "divine youth" and is a celebration of the second harvest. This is also the day where the sun is balanced equally between day and night, so ritual tends to reflect that theme. This year I preformed ritual and encourged my spiritual family to face the darkness within them as well as the light. It is a time to not only reflect on our gains, but to prepare for the coming winter, and with it, reflect on the "coldness" of our lives. Every person has parts of themselves that they dislike or fear and in those places are where I believe ew can find our greatest powers, the power to make change and do good, if we are able to face the darkness. That was a large part of my ritual theme.

That's the basics of what are holidays are for. As you can see, they reflect the cycle of the year, and thus, the cycle of our lives both yearly, daily and over a lifetime. I've only breifly touched on the themes of each holiday, and of course, there is much more to each of them. If you're interested in a particular one, as always, ask away.

I do want to clarify a bit about our rituals. There are so many rumors and supersticions about pagan holidays, I feel like I should address them.

First, I heard a lot as a teenager about "black masses" or Black Sabbats. These don't exist. There's no ritual sex in front of the coven, no dedicating ourselves to evil forces. Certainly there is no animal or human sacrifice. Anyone who's heard of these things going on should definately be wary of the term "wiccan" or "witch" because they don't have anything to do with our faith. We make a strict point to Harm None, which is one of our creeds. Groups that do that sort of stuff are cults, plain and simple, and have nothing to do with modern witchcraft.

Also, despite the term "cakes and ale" there is NEVER drunkeness in a ritual circle. One, its sstupid and dangerous (lit candles and a drunk? No thank you) . Two, you can't preform good magic, or magic at all, while you're tanked. IF there is any alcohol imbibed it is after the ritual and non-compulsory. Honestly, most of our coven don't drink, or drink so rarely, it would be silly to get tanked just because its a holiday.

Despite the fact that it frequently happens, we actually *can* preform a ritual during the daytime. WE prefer sabbats and esbats at night because of our belief that we draw power from the moon. So night is better, but not mandatory. Also, I think I've mentioned this, while we do sometimes have a bonfire, there is no requirement to dance naked around it. Some covens do, we sure don't. Its a preference thing. Also, with regards to "the witching hour" No, we don't have to preform ritual at midnight. The only time where we really like to do that is on Samhain, but that's because we believe thats the time when the veil between the worlds is the thinnest. Since we are celebrating and honoring those who have passed before us, we certainly want them to be as close to us as possbile.

Also, I'd like to talk about the ritual circle. I mentioned in my last post that we use it as a sacred space to worship in. How anyone could thus believe that we are calling up astral nasties into the circle to go out and do our bidding is beyond me. For the record, no, we don't conjure spirits or demons or ghosts or anything like that when we're in the circle. We do ask that the spirits protect us while we are in it, but that's more like having guards than it is us yanking some spiny thing up out of the underworld (which we don't believe in) to do bad stuff to people who are mean to us. It is a holy place, a place where only goodness is allowed to enter. Sakura says to think of it as a portable church. This discussion could become complicated as we do take time to ask The Lord and Lady to be with us in the circle, and sometimes (like Samhain) we call on our anscestors so that we can honor them, but the long and short is, we're not dragging anyone out of heaven or hell so they can come chat with us. Suffice to say, we believe that the presence of Spirit and our anscestors is more what Christians might term as "in our hearts" than they are physically present like the ghosts in Harry Potter.

So that's holidays and a bit about our rituals. I hope you are learning, and interested, by these lovely updtes about my spiritual life. Oh- I did have a question asked earlier this week. It was an interesting one. I had someone on facebook ask me how Wiccans feel about LARP games. Uh, as far I'm concerned as long as you're not hurting anyone, go ahead and pretend to be a jedi or a vampire or whatever it is you role play. Now, you start hurting people and that's a big nono. I asked Saukura about this and he's on the same page I am. If there's a standard Wiccan party line on this one, I haven't heard anything. That sounds more like a coven preference to me. Sakura points out, there are some who pretend to be witches, but lets face it- they're pretending. There's no intent, so there's no magical work. If there is intent, well, lets go back to harm none. Karma sorts it all out in the end.

I'm interested to hear what you would like me to talk about next, so send me some suggestions, otherwise you're at my mercy for boring the hell out of you on some sort of witchy topic. Actually, I might cover astrology, if anyones interested in that.

Merry Part my friends,

Ps- I got a lot of my basic information from the wonderful head of the Black Forest Clan, Silver Ravenwolf. She has several books out there that are informative. I appreciate the tutelage she has unknowling bestowed on me. Also, I need to include a wave here from Sakura, who went over this post with me and put in his two cents as well. Its nice to have a teammate.

Oh, also, I don't own Harry Potter, Easter, Chocolate bunnies, or any other physical object I might have mentioned or franchise I might have talked about. Just so we have the legalities covered.

I've gotten so much braver, can you tell?

I'm hoping everyone found my last post interesting and educational. I'm planning on adding another new one later tonight, but for now I thought I would just talk about the things I 've been doing lately.

I had a good time for our Mabon ritual. It went suprisingly well. I really enjoyed it, as a practicioner, and I was pleased with the work I did. It was my first ritual that I wrote myself, and I was proud of my work. I was also really happy with my coven's response to it. It seemed like it really resonated with them, and I felt really good about it afterwards. I really feel like I am coming into my own power as a witch, and I'm enjoying it.

Speaking of witchy work, this week is the new moon and with it I am planning on a huge house blessing for our space. Its been a really long time since I've done one, and I'm excited to work on it. I have all of the tools I need now, thanks in most part to our local health food store. I couldn't believe how much stuff they have in their dried herbs section. It saved me a lot of time and a lot of money as far as mail ordering goes. I'm probably going to work the blessing tonight. I'm excited for it, even if it will leave me a little drained. I'm probably going to ask the girls to help me.

I also worked a spell for Flyguy this week, and I'll be interested to hear from him how its working. I think he was a little suprised bythe gift, but I'm also hoping he wasn't frightened. He seemed more pleased than anything.

Speaking of Flyguy, we went to the zoo yesterday and had a great time. The weather this time of year is perfect, the animals are a lot more active than they are during the hot summer months. I love watching them move. The lion was in full show mode yesterday, he stood out in the middle of his enclosure and roared like crazy. It was moving, and beautiful. As a side note about lions, I saw the Lion King in 3D a couple mondays ago and it was amazing. If its still showing where you live go see it. I cried like a baby. It was beautiful. It also renewed my love for Elton John. He's such a talented composer. I really enjoy his work.

We made reservations for our family vacation last week too. Every year right before thanksgiving we go on vacation. We like this time of year, in part because its cooler and we can enjoy the trip more; also because there are less people in a workplaces wanting to get away, so we can take off longer without feeling guilty. As a bonus, it gives us a chance to relax before the holidays begin, which we need very much. This year will be our coven's first year practicng through the winter holidays, and I forsee there will be a little stress involved. Our families still use the Christian calendar, which is fine, but it means we have an extra load of holiday visiting. We'll have Thanksgiving, then Yule, our winter holiday, then Christmas, then Candlemas, another one of our holidays right behind it. On top of Halloween (our new year) and the calendar new year too. Its a lot to handle.

Anyway. This year we're going to Eureka Springs Arkansas. Its a little victorian town settled in the mountains. It was made famous because of its enormous quantity of springs in the vicinity. We're planning on having a relaxing trip. We'll go to one of the bathhouses for massages and springwater baths. I think the girls are excited at the prospect of a couple of ghost tours I've foudn for us to take. There's also a substantial wild cat preserve nearby. Plus great shopping and amazing restaurants. Its one of my favorite places to visit and I haven't stayed overnight since I went with Rogue about four years ago. Kitten and Oscelot have never stayed overnight, Oscelot has never even been there. So we have a lot to look forward to.

Also, I have to mention, because Kitten will be delighted I reported it, last night I lost a game of scrabble. She and Flyguy played me a couple of games. They kept me under 200 points both times (hard to do, I promise) and Kitten trounced me the second game. It was Flyguy's first time playing, and I'm looking forward to having a rematch with him, because he's remarkably good at the game, for all his protests of needing to study first and not knowing what he's doing.

My lovely coven has been keeping me busy, but in a good way. Hedgewitch and Sakura are over a lot, which is lovely. I get a chance to talk to them and stya balanced. I like having people I can share myself with that aren't my partners. I have finally found that balance that gives me a chance to be myself with other people without the worry of what they think. No one cares that I like to be close to them, in fact, they're all nice touchy feely people, which I need. They give me a chance to grow, which I love, but at the same time, they make me feel like a wise person as well. I am always delighted to have them in my home, and I can't wait to spend more time with them.

I'm off to work now, so I can make some money and get back home to being happy and fulfilled.

I hope today is treating you all well.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wicca 101- The I do's and I don'ts

I've been facing a lot of questions about my personal beliefs lately. Almost all of them have been respectful and kind. Actually, most people seem terribly afraid of asking me about my beliefs for fear of offending me. I am also preparing to do a brief talk about Wicca at a local youth community group for a series they are doing about different religions. Some of my coven mates are going through the same experience, so I thought this is a perfect place for me to talk about Wicca, my practice of it, and some of the basics.

I apologize in advance if I bore you, I promise I'll get along to posting something interesting to my non-interested readers soon. I also apologize in advance to my other Wiccan readers out there, if, at some point, I say something that doesn't particularly jive with your personal beliefs. I know we all operate on different traditions, and as mine is an eclectic, I know some of my ideas may not be the same as yours. I bless you in your differences as I trust you bless me in mine.

Also, there will be many times where I will refer to a Christian practice as an analogy for a Wiccan practice. I do this because a better part of the people I know on an aquaintance level are Christians, and I believe this will help them relate to an idea.

Lastly, I want to make clear that I am firm in my choice of religion. If you want to have an open and honest conversation about my beliefs and how they relate to yours, you're in the right place. If you want to tell me I am wrong and I'm going to hell, I respectfully ask you leave. I believe you have the right to your beliefs, same as I have a right to mine. I won't hate on your religion, and ask you respect my choice of beliefs, I am not up for conversion.

So. The basics. I want to get a few misconceptions out of the way first.

Yes, I believe in god. No, it isn't necessarily the same god a Christian might believe in, but then again, it might be. I believe that there is one spirit that created everything. I believe that this spirit has both a male and female aspect. In simplest terms, the one god I refer to as Spirit. I refer to the non-specific male and female aspects as Lord and Lady. I also believe the Lord and Lady can take many forms and personalities. This is not unusual, as the Judeo-Christian god is seen as both a loving god, a vengeful god, a just god, a righteous god, etc. Think of it that way. The aspects of the Lord and Lady are manyfold in that way.

No, I do not worship the devil. In fact, I don't personally believe in the devil. I belive that the evil in the world is created by humans. The devil is a way to villify wrong action and gives a chance for some to lay blame at another's door. When evil is done, it is done by the person, by their own choice. Wiccans in general, and my coven in specific, are ardently against any wrong magick or personal action.

So, as a follow up, yes I believe in right and wrong. I believe that you should choose each action you take with the intent to harm no one. Not yourself, or others. Now, this doesn't mean I think its okay for people to walk on me, or for me to let them, but I choose to make my decision with the intent to never hurt a person if I can help it.

I do not believe I am god. This was a huge one I heard when I was growing up, that Wiccans believe they are god. Not true. I believe that my spirit, my soul, is connected to all other living spirits and souls. I believe that the whole of the earth, and the universe, is connected to Spirit in that way. That is my connection to god. Now, sometimes a Christian will refer to being "filled with the Holy Spirit" and like them, we have times where we feel filled by god. There are times when we specifically ask god to fill us. We believe this is possible because god has shared the divine spark, the spirit that connects every living thing, with us. This does not mean we believe we are god. Not at all. We are human, and fallable, like everyone else.

I do not go to a church building. This is because I believe that you can be with god anywhere. Now, when I do worship, there is a specific sacred space. We call it a circle. This is a space that we purify and consecrate so that we may be safe and happy when we worship. A circle, however, may be created everywhere. Most commonly mine are in my home or in my back yard. But I could do it at work, or in a park or in the middle of a freeway were I so inclined. Another note, we also take time to purify ourselves before we practice. This is simply a time where we cast away negativity and harmful things from ourselves so that we may approach Spirit with a pure and happy heart. Sometimes that involves simply a meditation and prayer, sometimes a bath, somtimes other things.

I do not practice Wicca naked, or "skyclad". There are some covens out there that do that, mine is not one of them.

I do not curse people, hex them, or any other negative thing with regards to magick. Its not that I can't. I could if I wanted. But I choose not to. Here's why. Wiccan's believe in the threefold law: whatever you send out you receive back three times. I don't believe hate or anger accomplishes anything, and willfully harming someone goes against all my beliefs. As a bonus, when I don't harm other people, I don't harm myself. It may sound pragmatic, but its true. Of course, because I believe that all living souls are connected, it seems silly and wrong to harm someone else on purpose, because I share the same divine spark their soul contains. It would be the essence of cutting off my nose to spite my face.

Another reason I choose not to hex, and in general make an effort to be a good person is because I believe that I share karma (spiritual reward and retribution, for now, I'll discuss that more in detail later) with my coven. They are the ultimate version of accountability partners. When I do wrong, I am punished. But my spiritual family is also punished. This gives me pause when I think "maybe its worth the karma to get back, just this once." I stop and ask if my spiritual family would think so, and if they would be happy to receive that punishment as well. 99% of the time, it isn't worth it. Its also nice because they function as a support system for me. When I am having trouble "being good" I can call them and ask their advice, and as a general rule, I receive very good advice indeed.

There's a start on the I do's and the I don'ts. I would be delighted and honored to answer any questions you might have for me. I am planning on doing a rundown of my holidays in my next Witch 101 post, so I'll focus on those and any questions you have for me. Feel free to leave them in my comments, I have the anonymous option on there for you. Of course, I am always happy to know who I am talking to, but if you feel better not telling me I understand.

Merry part, my friends, until we merry meet again.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Don't Want Them to Win Anymore

Ten years ao today I was laying in bed with my girlfriend at the time, DimBrilliance. We were woken by a phone call from her mother. I don't need to tell you why she was calling. That day was a tragedy. It truly was. Since then she and I have moved on. She and I are living on opposite ends of the country, but we share something special. We've both become happy, successful people that lead productive lives.

The trouble with reccognizing this day, almost like a national holiday, is that so many people are celebrating it with a sense of patriotism. I completely disagree with that. Today is the anniversary of a great tragedy in the history of our country not a day to scream and wave flags. I know a lot of people disagree with me.

The point of terrorism is to put fear into the hearts of the people it strikes. In this way, I think the terrorists from that day succeeded far better than they ever hoped. They tapped into America's greatest weakness- our fear of things unlike ourselves. Since that time we have gone into a war, one I dont agree with, and it has divided our country. Since that time, extremists in my own country have had louder voices, ones that more and more people agree with. We've forgotten what we are, what we are supposed to represent.

Our country was founded on the ideas of personal freedom, religious freedom. Our founding fathers were radical thinkers. Today, they wouldn't stand a chance in the political arena. You see, they're too out there. I am disappointed as I look at Facebook posts proclaiming "support out troops" and "repost if you support one nation under GOD" because I see where we are headed and its disappointing. I believe in one nation under god, but my god may be different than yours. I want us to worship as we see fit. I want my muslim friends to be unafraid and proud of their faith. I believe in supporting our troops. They're doing what they think is right. They're brave people. But I also believe in supporting love instead of war, and in truth over dogma. We have too much of that. I don't think we need to wipe out all the muslims. I think we need to wipe away all of the hate.

I'm lucky to live in a country where I have a relatively free access to the rights other people enjoy. I know that. I'm a proud american most days. I'm also a proud witch. I am also a proud lesbian. And those last two things will for some time set me apart because people where I live are afraid of things not just like them. Its a shame.

I hope today that we can mourn. The people who died on September 11, 2001 didn't die for my freedom. They didn't die for America. They died in a sensless act of cruelty designed to weaken our country. So far, their deaths are in vain, because we haven't taken their sacrifice to heart. We've responded to the terrorists in like, with hate and fear. What a difference we could have made if we had chosen to act differently.

I want to mention this before I go. I work for a woman (Mrs Boss) who is as different from me as could be politically and religiously. She and believe separate faiths. We have different ideas in politics. She's a heterosexual and I am not. I am fortunate, because despite these differences we are able to love and accept eachother . We can work together and appreciate eachother. We respect the differences we have. I respect her immensly. She treats me with respect as well. To me, Mrs Boss is a true American patriot. She loves her country, she loves the life she lives, but she also loves and respects people who are radically different from her. That takes more courage than firing a gun or protesting in front of a mosque. Every day she makes a difference in her emploees lives and in my life, because she chooses to love rather than hate. I wish there were more people out there like her. Our world would be a vastly different place if there were.

Today I will take time to grieve for the suffering of the survivors of the attacks. I will remember the families who lost loved ones. I will celebrate the new lives of those who went to the Summerlands. But I refuse to take time to hate, because there has been so much of that already. What my country truly needs now is compassion and wisdom. Tonight, when I pray, that will be what I pray for.

I hope all of you are able to take a moment today and think of how your life would be different if you took a moment to hate less, and love more. I'm not perfect. I hate too. I'm trying to work on that. I hope you will also. That should be our true goal.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Can You Count to Ten, Can You Let It Pass?

Sptember is here, and with it thoughts of fall. I've already begun to prepare for the autumn. The wreaths in my house that normally hide in the living room are more prominent than before, I have garlands of fall leaevs hanging from my curtains. Before the week it out, I'll be stenciling fallscapes on my walls as well, so that I can celebrate the season. I'm enjoying looking at Halloween decorations immensly, and I am taking time to plan for our next fall ritual.

With this season comes thoughts of death. For me this is natural. The wheel of the year is turning, slowly and symbolically, to the time when it is darker and we spend more time sleeping, storing and waiting for brighter days. This is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year. However hot it is where I live (we're still experiencing extreme summer weather, we've had heat advisories this week with tempratures well over 100) I cannot escape the fact that, for me, fall is here. I should be celebrating it.

One of the things that bears thinking about this time of year is the darker side of the self, the things we fear, the things that run deeper than surface. Every person has their dark side, for some of us it is more prominent than others. For me, I feel, its hidden, but not well, and it spends quite a bit of time simmering just below the surface. If you were to meet in me in a public setting you'd be likely to say that I am a happy, friendly person. I'm nice to people. I'm affectionate. I'm empathetic. You'd be right. I am, as a general rule, pretty happy with my life and the people in it. I try to be kind to everyone whether I think they deserve it or not. I listen well when you can get me to stop talking, and I relate well to most people's life experiences. But then, you're only scratching the surface.

Anyone who has been visiting any of my blogs for long knows there is much more to me. There is quite a bit of that fear in me. There is a darker side of the self, one that I am much less reluctant to show here than I am anywhere else. I have many things that I am afraid of. I fear letting myself, my partners, my friends down. I am afraid of losing the security that I treasure so much. I am afraid of lonliness and of the disapproval of others.

More than that, though, I am angry. More than I should be. This is my true darker self. There's no question for me. One of the things we did this year while celebrating Beltane was to discuss as a group what it was we were wanting to achieve spiritually. Where our hearts, as it were, were needing change the most. I said I wanted to work on my temper. I'm angry almost all the time, even when I'm happy. Years of therapy never really did teach me to let things go. I received a not so subtle message from God and Goddess earlier in the week that I need to get ahold of myself, my temper was going to fuck up everything I am working for, if I am not careful. It was definately not news to me, but getting the wakeup call was startling nonetheless, I felt like I was doing better.

Then I got to thinking about it.

I'm still angry with my family about a lot of things. Despite the fact that I've accepted it and moved on, I'm angry with several of my exes for things that happened while we were together. There are sometimes I am angry at things I can't even control- my helplessness at cruelty in the world, the ignorance of others, the savagry of the human race. On a smaller, but no less important, scale I find myself angry that I don't try harder, or do more. I get upset when I find myself in a position I've been in before and I react the same way knowing what will happen. I get angry about work, about not going to school. Hell, sometimes I even feel angry at my very good friends because they're so good to me I feel like I ought to be a more deserving person and I'm nto sure I can't. I was mad at Oscelot the other day because she asked for candy at the gas station and said I could pick anything, and the pressure and worry of picking the wrong thing caused me to panic and not pick anything at all.

Its not just the anger though. Its how I handle it. I never just say something. I let it simmer. I think about what I would say if I had the courage to, if I knew I wouldn't be punished for it later. I think of how I would act, were I not a rational human being. Once, I saw myself as a panther chewing up one of my customers and then puking her back up on the table like a hairball, because she had made me angry. (actually, it frightened me at the time, but now I feel like that was a pretty healthy expression of my rage. I got it out of my system, and I didn't say anything.)

So, here I am, at the time of the year when you're supposed to be embracing your fear and your darker self to make positive change. Embracing the dark self is an amazing way to improve your abilities in the Craft, and I want to. I really do. The question for me is, how do I take that and make it into something positive and useful? I know my fears. I can find positives in them. I am safe and secure. I do my best to be a good partner, friend and coven mate to my chosen family. I know I can be the things I want to be, the things I chose to be, I just have to have faith in myself.

But how do I control the anger? How do you channel that into something good, into something useful? One of our rules is to never work when you're angry. ("Work", mind you, not work) The things I get angry about like politics and cruelty, those things I know I can work on. I talk about them here, I volunteer, I try my best to make people aware of the good they could do instead of the cruel. But stupidity in others is not something I can fix. And I am not patient. Not at all. I want what I want yesterday, but since I can't have it yesterday RIGHT NOW will have to do. This means I have to learn to be patient, but being patient when I don't want to be makes me angry. See how the circle begins? I don't want to be a martyr, and sometimes when I'm angry about some of the things in my work and personal life I feel like I set myself up that way. I'm bearing things as best I can, setting aside the injustices that I feel are done me, all to better my karma. Self serving, isn't it? Even when I try to be good I can't win.

I've done my best to try and breathe deeply and let things go. It doesn't work. I get more mad. I can't even meditate anymore, because all the things that I'm trying to wash away from myself come flooding into my head and it becomes a personal rage reflection time. I've tried cleansing breaths, I've tried talking it out. I've even tried writing it away.

My best bet, so far, I think, is to take that rage in me and work visualization. To think of that rage as a reflection of my power and strength as a person. I mean, if I can work that much energy into being mad and never express it, think of how amazing it would be if I took that energy and turned it into something else completely. Think of the power behind love or compassion or just plain old raw energy with that sort of strength.

My mission right now is to find a way to work that transformation. To create personal alchemy, as it were. I want my mettle to be made of better stuff. I am completely unsure of how to do it. I'm working up a plan. If you have suggestions, I'm always open to them. If you don't want to comment them to me, I've got an email address for that reason. I always like mail from people that love me. Even the electronic kind.

I want to be better. That's the first step, right? I mean, I had someone tell me yesterday that I'm sometimes too nice. Too nice. I wanted to laugh, because honestly, if most people took time to crawl around in my head, I think they'd run screaming the other direction. Its a scary place, even for me, sometimes. I mean, I know that no one healthy has Candyland up there or anything, but then, they also don't have panthers stalking in the tall grass waiting to chew you to peices and cough you up into a hairball, do they?

Count to Ten, Take a Breath.

I'm glad you're here, and you love me, even if I am a little nuts sometimes.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

You've Disappeared Somewhere

As I lay in bed the sleep crowds out the light prickng the corners of my mind. Iroll over, sigh, and find you waiting there in the room you live in inside my head. Its a small room, not too big for you, its place enough for you and me.

I watch you as you slip off your shoes and walk barefoot through the early morning light. Its like a gallery here, with pictures of moments between you and I hung on the walls for us to look at. Theres a soft, comfortable place for us to sit, and I wander over to you and settle in, my arm around you, and you smile at me.

It beautiful, brilliant, more radiant than the rising sun, and it takes my breath away. You sit and look at the pictures of us and I gaze at you, wondering what you see. Do you see the moment you first took my hand and we felt that perfect rush of warmth between us? Do you see the starlight in my eyes the way I see it in yours? You close your eyes, and I wonder what you hear as you incline your head slightly towards me, as though I am speaking to you through the quiet. Do you hear my voice, resonant, pleading, begging for another moment of quiet bliss with you? We don't have to speak, there's a pulse, a soft beating like my heart and yours when we sit together like this. There's a whisper, like my indrawn breath when you come close to me.

I could watch you all day, and I do. Even when I rise you live in that little room. You speak to me when I have nothing and no one. You remind me of tiny moments, hearbeats, seconds, where you and I were in perfect accord. I can see you move inside me, the stillness broken by the song of your body. You dance, you move, and I can see your bare feet tiptoeing through the soft places in my memory. I can listen to their glide as you move me, one moment, and the next, as I think of you.

There's poetry there, a beautiful, simple verse sometimes...other times an elaborate sonnet, written with all the passion we are capable of together. You recite it to me, and the rythm of my day changes and pulses with the words you give me, echoing lightly in my head. The verse and time are setting my breathing, they move my feet to a new, gentle beat that echoes the sound of my heart as I walk from one moment to the next without you.

You are there, though, never far from me. You linger, filling my thoughts in the moments you are away. I seek them, I let them wash over me in a rising flood of heat and need while I wait for you. you always come to me though, I can count on it, as I lay down again, searching for the warmth of your touch and your voice. I feel you there, your tender caress ready for my eager reception. Again, I say nothing. You've been here with me all day. Nothing needs said that you don't already know.

I've missed you. I've been waiting. I'm so glad you're here.