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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Midsummer


I just found this post sitting all forgotten in my drafts. It's a tad belated, almost a month late but better late than never I think the saying goes...


Summer is upon us. The Earth is awash with green fertility and the pungent perfume of blossoms. The heat of the afternoon Sun will burn our skin if we venture out longer than a half hour (or is that just me?)


Last year I celebrated the Summer Solstice in the northern region of Australia. The wet days and the alternating chilly and clammy nights did little to inspire me. I unfortunately have to say I almost let any celebrations slip by unnoticed. I guess I am just one of those people who need to feel an inner urge to celebrate my connection to a sabbat in order to be spiritually moved.

This year I am temporarily back in the small bush town I grew up in. This morning I walked outside my door and was greeted with brilliant sunlight, the kind of light which causes us to squeeze our eyes tightly it's so intense. It was wonderful! The day before the Solstice and I am finally able to enjoy a hot, humid and bright Summer morning. Now we are getting somewhere.

I don't know if it is just me but Summer has this effect on me where it brings up a torrent of childhood memories every year. Blistering days where I remember the searing heat of concrete driveways burning the soles of my feet as my brother and I raced towards an ice-cream truck. The smells of eucalyptus and fosters reminds me of Summer nights. For me it is all about the aroma. The smell of the gum trees is something that has the power to move me to tears, and I do not consider myself a person who is easily susceptible to great shows of emotion. But if there is one thing that can trigger such strong emotions within me it is that single scent.

I usually celebrate Sabbat's 'organically' as in no set formal celebrations or rites. I prefer to experience the seasons and my personal ways of communing with nature which includes walks and spontaneous meditations. Basically I just want to be outside, it's a calling I feel in my bones that builds as the Summer season's energy intensifies. Summer is a potent time, it's searing hot and bursting with colour. The Summer Sun pours it's energy down upon us. When I sit in the sunlight of Summer I feel immense energy coursing through not only my body but the plants, trees and animals around me. Everything is alive and vibrant in this moment.







Monday, December 5, 2011

Of Gods.....


It has been too long since I have been stirred by Deity. So long in fact that I had thrown away the concept of Gods altogether and concentrated myself solely on the physical aspects of Pagan worship. While this was fulfilling and I learnt much about my own connection to the Earth and her cycles I truly, deep down felt as though something was missing. That I hadn't yet found what I was seeking. The problem is, is that I still have no idea if I am any closer now than I was all those years ago. But I will say this, it's going to be a very interesting experience........


I've always struggled with my belief in the existence of actual Gods despite my near obsession with mythology pertaining to the Gods. It a concept that greatly confuses me and I have spent many, many hours contemplating as to whether I truly am crazy for my thoughts even drifting in the direction of them being 'real'. I'm a practical person at heart so I have a tenancy to place my experiences in the crazy bin unless they have been physically proven or backed up by someone I implicitly trust. I have mentioned before that I am a Reiki practitioner and I have been asked as to how I can carry a belief in Reiki so strongly but dismiss the existence Deity out of hand. When I was first attuned to Reiki it was a brilliant physical experience. I could literally feel the energy coursing through my hands in the very same way I can feel my coffee cup in my hand right now. It was a tangible experience that has been backed up by many peoples experiences since. The concept of Gods is a little trickier to wrap my head around. In the last year I have had three separate Deities present themselves to me. All three feel as though they have distinct personalities and energies with their presence and so out the window goes my avoidance of polytheistic belief. I have spent a year in meditation with Deity, the journal that had sat unused for 4 years previously is now full to the brim of Deity experiences. I've flipped back through a few times and while I was reading through I could feel the ugly self doubt creeping back through - I'm crazy right? I'm just compensating for something and just creating 'Deity' experiences.

I've dismissed them many times and every time I have Their quiet voice within me has become a roar. If I ignore them them I find that my thoughts become consumed with thought of them. Back in August I had finally had enough so I sat down and did one of my favorite things. I closed my eyes and thought about what was troubling me and especially about how I feel when Deity is around me (which is wonderful but still entirely and frustratingly confusing) then reached out my hand and randomly pulled a book from my shelf and let it fall open in my lap. This time I had opened to page 148 of Eat, Pray, Love and my eyes immediately fell upon the words:


"That's just your ego, trying to make sure it stays in charge. This is what your ego does. It keeps you feeling separate, keeps you with a sense of duality, tries to convince you that you are flawed and broken and alone instead of whole."


That Richard is a wise man.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


This is the time when we recognize that the veil is thin that divides the worlds. It is the New Year in the time of the year’s death – the passing of old growth. The leaves are turning and falling, the dark continues to grow, the days are getting shorter and colder. Earth’s tilt continues to move us away from the Sun.
The story of Old tells us that on this night, between the dead and the born, between the old and the new, all is possible; that we travel in the Womb of the Mother, the Dark Shining One within, from which all pours forth, and that we are the seed of our own rebirth. The gates of life and death are opened: the dead are remembered, the Not-Yet is conceived. We meet in time out of time, everywhere and nowhere, here and there … to transform the old into the new in our own bodyminds.

Glenys Livingstone, PaGaian Cosmology.


For myself, Samhain begins on April 25th with remembrance on Anzac Day and flows through until Sunrise May 2nd.

I believe ANZAC Day remembrance is well within the Samhain spirit. This day represents sacrifice, death, survival, and transformation. The men and women who have served and those still serving have an intimate understanding of the journey to the Underworld.

As a child I marched in place of my lost Grandfather, his medals hung heavily from my chest. Over the years the men and women who walked beside me were slowly replaced one by one with their own family members marching in their stead and now, all grown up with children of my own, I watch as my husband marches with his own medals upon his chest.

Samhain is a time of endings as well as a beginning. We watch as the new generation remember and pay respect to their ancestors, they walk beside them and for a brief time they merge and become one as they march. But it is the new generation that will take the next step forward, hopefully with accumulated wisdom of those that have gone before them, and they will forge a new path.

Life is a cycle. At Samhain the veil is lifted and the worlds merge, and briefly, so does time. There is no beginning and no end, there is only the sacred image of the Wheel, the cycle of the seasons and metaphor of our lives.

Physically we notice the cycle of nature around us, the turning of the Wheel through the seasons. Only now, where I currently live, the weather is beginning to dip down into winter. The nights have become chilly and the mornings frosty. Though I know that the temperatures here will not fall greatly even in the depths of the winter months, I still feel an internal shift, This is the time I allow myself to become quiet and retreat within. It is my time of introspection for what the last year has entailed and what will come forth from the new. During this time I think about what I feel I need to shed, what I am not ready to let go of and what I would like to bring into my life throughout the coming cycle. I journal, I cry, I laugh and I hug. I let go of my inner ego so that I can open myself to new experiences whether they be baneful or blessings. I know from experience that through the hard times is when I grow the most, when I appreciate the most.

Upon my altar Samhain night I will lay the foods of the last local harvest time, celebrating that the Earth is turning through her own cycle. I will place photos of lost loved ones along side one of my husband whom I will soon say goodbye to as he will be leaving for deployment not long after. I will not see him again until after next Lughnasad. Though his goodbye is not permanent it is still a form of departing.

I will allow this time to cleanse me, bathing me in the darkness of night, beneath the stars and this year a moonless sky. I will remember those that have touched my life and I will be thankful for those who are still with me. I will ask questions about my future and impatiently as always await an answer. And when all is said and done, I will watch the sun rise on a brand new day.

Samhain is not only about death. It is about transformation and acceptance of such changes that occur in our lives. It is a time of letting go. Whether that be someone we cherished, a bad year, negative emotions such as insecurity, resentment or even our own ego. It is a time to remember our pasts but more importantly it is the time to look forward into our future. We cannot change what has already been but the future is ours to transform.