Samhain, was it??

2 11 2010

It didn’t pass me by, really, it just didn’t really happen in terms of ceremonials. Instead, it happened in terms of theatricals with the smallest member of the family whooping it up as, variously, a skeleton (who nevertheless ate his own weight in Cheezepuffs) a pumpkin and a ghost with remarkably fine lungpower. Imagine thirty something toddlers to early teens, high as kites on applebobbing, suspiciously viscous loud-coloured drinks, cake, chocolate and a Lady Gaga megamix which even had my toes a tappin’, and you’ll see why further demonstration of the season was unneccessary!

It’s Bonfire Night this weekend also, actually a preferable night for me as fireworks ar eone of my very favourite things in the world.

If you want to ask me what I did in the way of sombre, po-faced ceremonials then the answer is nothing, unless you count watching Rowan wistfully and wishing my grandmama might have met him. He would have entertained her, I think.

In other news, the bookcase / study area being built for me is complete in essence and requires fettling, fixing, painting and populating – this is the single most exciting thing that has happened to me in a while. If you need me to explain why a bookcase is important to me, well! My life has been at a total and utter standstill without my oodles of movable press and I keep finding myself in the storage room, whining quietly and wondering whether a scramble over unsteady, half-unpacked boxes is worth it just to get a Scott Cunningham. It probably is, but I don’t fancy a broken ankle into the bargain!


The Twining Vine

18 10 2010

I had an hour with Seshat yesterday, our first for a long, long while. It was wonderful to see her so wide-eyed and happy, I got the grin which I miss, I got the laugh and the devilry and some truly hilarious anecdotes, and just being with her and wandering arm-in-arm through the town cheered me up no end.

You’ll have noted, probably, if there’s still anyone here apart from me, that is! that I’ve been totally quiet for ages. I’ll tell you why.

After moving house last Yule, I haven’t even unpacked my altar. My books and papers are still in boxes. I have done no observance and made no progress in my spiritual life. Talking with Seshat, it seems we all go through this periodically but this has been my driest dry spell ever.

Part of the problem has been lack of space. Sounds ridiculous – I’ve moved to a house quite five times the size of The Little House, and twice as big as my previous home but that’s not the issue. There is no space for me – nowhere to call my own, no quiet corner where I can have my things, nowhere safe and private and unobserved where I can meditate. It is quite uniquely uncomfortable to feel as though you have nowhere that is yours. It is one of the worst feelings for a person like me, who could happily make use of a medium-sized room what with all my books, ornaments, computer, furniture, pictures, rugs, cushions and so on. I know it’s idiosyncratic stuff, I know it holds value only for me. However, it’s been packed away so long I no longer know what I have on hand.

Help has arrived, people. After hearing me sigh wistfully over an article in Country Living regarding outdoor rooms (or lurking huts, as I prefer to call them) the BB has come up with a solution. Our bedroom is quite large and has wonderful views, and light, and there is an alcove around the door which is totally un-utilised. The BB produced an architectural draft of a plan for a bookcase / cupboard combination, which will incorporate lockable storage for private items, and a fold-away desk / table. He has bought the wood, and has begun work. I am stoked. There’s about 40′ of shelving, and masses of room for all my ceremonial items. He has also made available a lovely little lady’s desk, with a drop down lid and pigeonholes, which will sit kitty-corner with the bookcase and make the whole alcove my own private slice of heaven.

With this amazing and unlooked-for treat in store, I can feel the green shoots of recovery twining up my ankles, a strange sight in Autumn I’m sure, but even if it’s out of season it’s wonderful. It’s the beginning of our year once more, a good time to start again. And I think it goes to show that there’s nothing that can’t be done, and no reason to give up completely if there’s the least hope of a renaissance in the offing. If you fall off the horse, give it time and get back on. You have to expect to take tumbles on this type of life-long journey; dust yourself off, learn a lesson and proceed.

Reading Prevention Technique &cetera…

22 01 2010

I’ve got the perfect thing, for all you witches out there who don’t want to read anything:

1. Move house. 2. Pack all books into cartons. 3. Stack cartons in inaccessible boxroom with labels facing in and no hope of accessing said cartons in any case. 4. Sit at door and sigh impotently as you think of all the pristine, uncracked bindings that await you in *one or another* of the cartons you can’t reach.

For some reason, when I moved this time, I kept all my stones, altargoods, textiles and supplies to hand and packed all the books away safely. And now I want to read them and I feel like a dog without water on a sunny day!

In other news, I am feeling the want of a familiar – now settled at the new house and feeling robust and as if I have time on my hands, I made the fatal mistake of viewing a puppy at the rescue centre yesterday. Many tears were shed when I got home and was kindly but firmly told that trying to introduce another dog to our current spaniel would likely end in tears, as he’d seen one off before. Boo hoo. No puppy for me, but I might be able to have a cat. As I had hoped to take the pup to work with me and have it as my constant companion a cat might not fit the bill so well, but you cannot gainsay the relaxing and soporific qualities of cats – and they are so beautiful and strange. And they kill mice. Which in our current place would be no bad thing. I will keep you posted!

I haven’t made anything beady for an age – since before Christmas actually. Seeing that Fox has got the restocking of Shades of Midnight underway has spurred me on to at least think about projects for the Spring. And Tattooed Witch is seeing us all off with her glorious textiles and embroidery. A real natural. I say, chaps – do cakes count?!

Divergence and Laziness

27 05 2009

There’s a very great deal to be said about the power of the urge to do nothing. It’s closely allied to the conviction that there’s no time to do x, whatever x happens to be. In some people, this could be characterised as a conscious decision. In me, I’ve seen it as simply laziness and inattention.

I was looking round my rooms the other day, and saw all the books lining the walls for the first time in a long time. In many respects, books, moveable press, are a form of interior decoration to me. Not, as I saw once, a way to add colour to a room – when I asked the owner of the house if she’d read any of the books in question she gave me an extremely funny look and said no, of course not; she’d bought two tonnes of green-spined books from a wholesaler and was using them as decoration. No, my definition of decorative goes more toward Rennie Mackintosh – both beautiful and useful.

I’ve got books in every room and some of them are unread, the bindings uncracked. Most of the books in this category are regarding pagan studies. I realised concurrently with my musing over the number of books unread that I haven’t done a really meaty book review (read: hatchet job) on anyone’s work for a good long while. And as I am going to be absent from the Ludlow Symposium this year, and therefore unable to provide a digest of the day, I should get reading and noting.

One of the downsides that we all acknowlege about practising solitary witchcraft (if we do; you might not!) is that sometimes, and sometimes for extended periods of time, life supervenes or you lose your way or your thread or your enthusiasm, even, and everything stops. I’ve had six months or more of this, feeling like there’s no energy or will in the pot for anything other than dragging myself out of bed, getting Rowan ready for nursery, keeping the house straight and trying (and mainly failing) to keep up with my friendship commitments.

One of the things I always do in this situation is believe that the false dawn of returning energy is the end of the problem. I forget every single time that it’s just a burst, a sprint for the tape, a momentary second wind. I become part of the problem, by forcing myself back into the fray. This tendency has an unfortunate side-effect – it seems to make other people doubt me when I say I’m fine (or maybe it’s the edge of hysteria on my voice. ‘I’m fine. No, I’m fine. FINE!’ 🙂

I don’t think I’m fooling anyone, though; least of all me. I’m getting too old to be constantly hauling myself up right and soldiering on if I’m down. And I am down; why do women like me never give themselves credit? I’ve left and divorced my husband in less than a year, moved house, become a single parent, dealt with crises at home and at work, held down a full-time job, done a good job as a parent and haven’t actually gone insane or become emotionally incontinent in the process. That’s quite good going.

So to get irritated at myself for not continuing my observances, work, writings, visits, pilgrimages and dedications seems specious to me. None of these things are dispensible in my life, but neither is my son, earning a living or having peace of mind and heart. So, not indispensible; but slightly more dispensible than the things I kept up with.

I’m here, Goddess, I still hear You. I worship You. I think the life you’ve given me should be lived well; and so I dedicate all my efforts to You. By doing my best I give my best to You.

David Beth

21 02 2009

Seshat has recently written a long post to which I wish to draw your attention; it is the summary from Seshat’s point of view of David Beth’s latest podcast.

David spoke at the 12th Thelemic Symposium which I covered in this post. Since the symposium, Seshat has made a study of his work with La Couleuvre Noire and Voudon Gnosis. This podcast draws together many of the disparate themes of the subject matter, and Seshat’s summary presents it in an accessible style and I recommend it to any interested parties. David has approved the work; meaning you may rely on its accuracy!

Typing like a maniac

5 08 2008

I’d been talking about good motivation; I seem to have found some energy and application that I’d lost since university days. It hasn’t diminished or got any less vigorous; it’s just been sitting there, in suspended animation, waiting for me to remember it.

An avenue of study has opened up over the last few weeks and I’ve been dipping my toes in the water, no more. It’s warm. And I want to throw myself in and go wallowing around in all the wonderful images, ideas, theories and strategems and then swim off down the little rills that lead from this pool to other pools and to yet other pools… it feels like C S Lewis’s Wood Between the Worlds from The Magician’s Nephew. Actually, that’s a really good and coincidental analogy, come to think of it…

In any case, here I am in this pool of knowledge and I hadn’t looked for it – had never expected it to come my way. I’d been wishing for it without really knowing what I wanted, and now I have it. I am spending my evenings reading, making notes, typing responses, putting together ideas, testing them, reading reading reading. Thinking critically and in an organised fashion, for perhaps the first time in ten years. Frightening, exhilarating, astonishingly beneficient.

Why frightening? Because when my mind takes over it rules me completely, and nothing else gets a look-in. But it’s also frightening to note the difference between my mind now and the excuse for thinking I’ve made do with in the recent past. No comparison. I love to think, and to stretch my mind. I feel like a cat waking up from a long nap.

The Tumblers Turn and the Door Opens…

30 07 2008

Seshat’s Voice has been speaking about the great need in us all for a mythology. I’ve been thinking quietly about myth-making, mythology and neo-paganism for a while, in a particularly formless way; Some good ideas but no focus. Nothing I could pin down.

Seshat’s post struck home with me even more than it usually does, because she goes on to discuss the results of committing yourself to a course of action with no messing about. You want a mythology? Go find one that appeals to you and work with it. Learn it, immerse yourself in it. Find the universal truths inside it. Where is it different, where the same to what you’ve known before?  Above all, why are you attracted to it?

This can be the most revealing work of all, and some of the most important for any neo-pagan to undertake. Self-discovery cannot possibly come any more directly from the soul than this. So, it’s spriritual and personal growth. Not bad results for making a commitment.

Then she discusses the returns for committing yourself, consciously and subconsciously, to action. Your needs and wants suddenly begin to be fulfilled. Seshat’s were for companions, community and a teacher. I’m no different – I believe these things to be universals, more or less, in the path we follow.

I’ve discussed recently and in the comments thread of this post the difference between teaching and proselytising, so it ought to be clear that I see a distinction between the two states; I feel the need for some guidance. Teachers may provide many things; the raw materials of wisdom are the most important in my view. Not information, pre-digested; not a packaged world view or a mythology or even an opinion, simply ideas, vistas, fresh air.

So, suddenly my vague and uninformed ideas about myth have received some of that fresh air; an incisive and insightful commentary and expertise that I couldn’t find in my reading. Answered.