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My jasmine-scented backyard draws me to sit and rest like nothing else can.

It is evening – when the aromas are most powerful, and I am sitting in the gathering gloaming.

I can smell honeysuckle and the long blooms on my oak-leaf hydrangea that has grown taller than me this year.

I’m watching the shadows deepen as I bathe in Nature’s perfume.

The late Spring/early Summer evening is heavy with love.

I am glad to see the first fireflies in the deepening gloom.

Their love-dance of momentary brilliance seems fraught with desperation but their flight is so Fae it makes me happy.

Even with the traffic sounds, it is serene in my backyard.

I am serene.

How can I so love a world that shows me such tender beauty that even the breeze holds Her breath,

Yet a hometown away, a dear loved-one struggles to live, just one more day?

I’ve performed my magic and chanted my chants and lifted her into the care of She-Who-Hears-Our-Suffering and She-Who-Heals.

She is there and I am here, and we are both under the same sickle-new-moon.

O’ Moon, send her my love and bear her to the other side on your gentle moonbeams.

May her passing, when it comes, be as serene as my soul in my backyard.

It is the best I could wish her for her journey.

 

 

For my sister-in-law, Debbie

May 2018

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My Backyard is a River

Backyard is a River

Photo by Author of Author’s Backyard – Link back if used, please.

I sit on my deck, overlooking my backyard – a serene sea of green.

Breathing in the sights and sounds of my sanctuary I smell a river on the breeze,

A lingering essence of the recent rain.

I’m in a cocoon of green between the tall trees that surround me – safe in the soft green light.

Doves visit the bird feeder, softly whistling as they fly away, while

Squirrels scrabble up the pecan tree chasing each other and jump to the twin hackberries woven together.

Woven as I am – to this land, this house, this life.

§

Hanging from the trees so low they nearly touch the garden,

Voluptuous ponytails of ivy sway in the soft breeze,

While wind chimes softly announce the coming dusk.

My favorite liminal time – the hard labor of the day is done,

The evening’s diversions have yet to begin.

I sit and watch, draining the busy day away, remembering to see with new eyes

Noticing everything is verdant and fragrant – everything is so alive.

§

A wild bunny appears, munching in the tall grass, nearly invisible and so small and vulnerable.

Suddenly, a red-tailed hawk flies into the garden, magnificent striped feathers splayed out for my view!

Alighting on a short shepherd’s hook, the predator turns and just as suddenly flies straight toward me!

The bunny scampers to safety under the deck at my feet as the hawk swoops so close my heart nearly stops!

Thankfully, the hunter is empty-handed and chased from the yard by two very loud blue jays!

I realize my sanctuary is home but also a dangerous place for some.

Like the hidden dangers in every lived life – uncertainty and destruction are always near.

§

The evening wind picks up and spins the pinwheels in the garden,

Blowing the scent of the oak-leaved hydrangeas to my hungry nose.

Flowers explode in color, now that the harsh sun has fallen behind the trees.

Martins circle high overhead, joy-riding on the upsweep thermal winds.

Shadows lengthen at the edges, painting the bushes a deeper shade of green.

Faeries begin emerging, their clothes the color of May – as invisible and present as the bunny.

My heart sings with the wonder of it all, so full of gratitude.

§

Darker now, fireflies begin their lovely dance,

Soft lights in the dark at the edges, traveling stars in the gloaming.

The sky has turned a gentle shade of pink, illuminating the darkened trees as if they were on display.

My soul is bursting to be present in such beauty – I send love to all my family – of the heart and blood

Unbidden, my ancestors and dear ones send me overwhelming love in return.

§

All around me is love – my backyard is a river of love.

I see it in the pink clouds in the blue-gray sky,

Feel it in the dimming sunset,

Sense it in the underground river,

Hear it in the land singing in trees.

§

My tears flow freely.

Who am I to receive such riches?

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Looking back on the last year as one is sure to do on the doorstep of another, it is certain I have forgotten most of the low-lights and perhaps even some of the high-lights as well.  Ever the optimist, I usually float atop the river of mud, however slowly it might move, which makes for interesting times for one as impatient as I.  But liminal times call for liminal actions, and looking at the past while moving to the future builds character, teaches one the mysteries of life, and makes all your dreams come true, or so the Faeries tell me.  (They are always telling me that my dreams are coming true, though I have to take their word for it as I seldom remember my dreams…)

In early January 2013, I sat down with my Froud Faerie Oracle cards, which always tell me the truth, even if it is not what I want to hear, and pulled cards for the year.  A Spread of my own making, if you will.

I pulled one card for the year, and another 12 cards encircling it, one for each month.  Now a year later, I can look back at the spread to see how closely it came to pass, or if I have forgotten, to remind me of my lessons!

13 cards

  1. Year =                   # 60 – The Pook
  2. January =             # 38 – Laiste, Moon’s Daughter
  3. February =          # 48 – A Collective of Pixies
  4. March =               # 43 – Geeeeeooo the Slow
  5. April =                   # 50 – Arval Parrot
  6. May =                   # 51 – The Topsie Turvets
  7. June =                   # 0 – Faery Guide
  8. July =                     # 8 – The Singer of Courage
  9. August =              # 54 – Epona’s Wild Daughter
  10. September =     # 55 – The Soul Shrinker
  11. October =            # 37 – Tobaira of the Waters
  12. November =      # 64 – Gawtcha
  13. December =       # 29 – Ta‘Om the Poet

Listing them made me want to sum the card numbers.  They equal 537 which reduces to 6 (5+3+7=15 to 1+5=6).  In numerology, 6 can refer to Home/family; responsibility; and being artistic in nature.  Lissa Coffey, says 6 is ruled by Venus in Vedic numerology.  Venus; known as “Shukra” in Sanskrit, influences the sensuous side of humanity: beauty, passion, romance, and art.  6 people are artists – they’re creative and inventive, sensitive and emotional, lively, loving, and playful.  6 people tend to be lucky, like luxury, and have good taste. They easily attract people to them and are very busy and social.

So was 2013 a 6 year for me?  Well, let’s look at the cards a little closer.  It just might make sense.  Doesn’t it seem strangely coincidental that the card I drew for the year, #60 also reduces to 6 AND that the year itself, 2013 also reduces to 6?  (cue the eerie music here)

I want to talk about the Pook last though, so let’s go through each month and find out what they say.

Fairy Oracle Laiste Moon's Daughter 001

January # 38 – Laiste, Moon’s Daughter

Light cast in shadows. Spiritual Guidance.  Illumination.  Riddles.

In January 2013, I was interviewing late applicants to the Tree of Knowledge Coven for classes to begin on February 3rd, just a day after Imbolc.  Before the month was over, I would have 5 students starting.

Laiste is described as the bringer of light in the darkness, yet moonlight both reveals and conceals.  She is one of the guides at the passages between the otherworlds and this one.  She places obstacles into our path so that we are forced to wake up.

Laiste hopes one reaches for their higher self, their not-yet-realized cosmic wisdom.  She says, “You know far more than you know you know.”

My lesson?  I did know far more than I knew I knew.  Of the 5 students that began, only 1 precious student would finish and initiate into the coven.  And I knew it in my bones but hoped it wasn’t true.  I knew what I knew, but didn’t know I knew it.

pixies2February # 48 – A Collective of Pixies

Duty.  Willingness.  Joyful participation. Virtue. 

In February, I was running in place, learning to teach and writing classes for hungry students.  Work was demanding, coven activities were non-stop, and I was BUSY!  

A Pixie’s gotta do what a Pixie’s gotta do, and one of the things a Pixie has to do is dance.  It has to be done, so that the flowers will grow and fruit, the grass will do its photosynthesis thing, the trees will put down the roots properly, and other processes will proceed in their proper time, at their proper pace.

Approaching these tasks with light-heartedness is, they say, essential.  It lends virtue (in the sense of potency) to their actions.

My lesson? Work done with a light-heart and sense of joy will make joyful work and a better world.  Should I have been more joyful?  Perhaps.  I was reminded often that it needed a collective approach.  I got help…

geeeeooo the slowMarch # 43 – Geeeeeooo the Slow

Cycles of Time.  Slowness.  Waiting.  Patience.

By March I had one student missing multiple classes due to a job change, but thought we might be able to work through it with patience and make-up work.  My muggle job was becoming increasingly busy with big, big projects and hard commitments.  Everything needed patience, especially me.  I also had an annual Birthday return astrological chart done telling me things I didn’t want to hear…

Geeeeeooo is the Gnome of Slow Processes.  Like watching water wear the rock away.  He is also the master of clarification whereby we let something sit so the impurities settle allowing the substance to purify itself over time.

My lesson? I learned the value of patience and allowing what will be, to be.  After being told of a potential problem, I remember remarking, that we needed to ‘wait and see’ what would happen.  It would work itself out, I thought.  It did.  With no action on my part or theirs.   Still working on balance though.

arval parrot singleApril # 50 – Arval Parrot

Communication.

By April, I informed one student he was out, one stopped showing up without warning, and one realized this wasn’t their path.  Added to the student who changed their mind at the last minute and decided not to begin study; 5 had become 1.  I was depressed about it until late in the month, my one remaining student dedicated her life to the path of Wicca.  It was beautiful…

Arval says that almost any situation can be improved by people listening to each other, and that listening is a full half of good communication.  The other half, of course, is speaking truly and clearly.  Arval has many wise sayings to help us, such as, “it takes two to say ‘yes’ but only one to say ‘no’.”

Arval reminds us that clear communication is sometimes hard work.  It requires elbow grease.  He wishes us to know that his elbows are well-greased.

My lesson?  Clear communication was key to getting through the month, most of us employed it, and when we didn’t there were hurt feelings and additional work to be done to get back to the issue at hand.  I needed to begin listening to my body.  It was telling me something I didn’t want to hear.

topsie turvetsMay # 51 – The Topsie Turvets

Change of viewpoint.  Fresh Looks.  New ways of seeing.

By May, we were, “Witches Three, a Coven of the Tree,” reveling in our romantic view of three witches performing magic under the moon enjoying the wholly feminine energies of our work together.  I would get to witness my one initiate graduate from College with a Bachelor’s Degree after attending for nearly twenty years since her children were small.  I was as proud as if I were her momma.

When life is confusing, the Turvets come to visit you.  Nothing draws them like a bit of mental muddle.  Confusion is an important stage of growth and they delight in helping things grow!

When the Topsie-Turvets show up, it indicates that someone needs to look again, to make an effort to see things from a different point of view.  Most emphatically, they suggest that we start trying to see things as they really are rather than what we think they should be.

My lesson?  I needed to look again at what I had and be glad and grateful and not mourn the loss of what was with what I should have or could have done differently.

Faerie's Oracle blank card 0 001June # 0 – Faery Guide

Guidance.  Direct Communication with Faery.

June is hot in Dallas.  Very hot.  It is also supposed to be Mid-Summer, but experience tells us it is really just the beginning of several months of hot, hot, hot weather.  But this year was different.  It wasn’t as expected.  It rained more, and had cooler temperatures.  Almost human.  It was perfect.  First June in a long time I did not begin to think of moving North.

I was surprised to draw this card!  It is meant to be my own Faery Guide, and I could draw them on the card if I chose, or I could picture my Faery Guide telling me what I need to know.  I had not thought before of “a” Faery Guide or that I might only have “one”.  I wasn’t sure what to make of it.

My lesson?   Just like the month surprised me with its mild weather, this card surprised me by being blank!  Meditating on it as suggested revealed to me the importance of the magic of Mid-Summer/Litha, when the world of Faery and the world of people are closer than at any other time.  Faery is ever-present if we pay attention.  My “Tree-Faeries” were telling me everything was going as it was meant to go and just pay attention to the magic already in my life.

singer of courageJuly # 8 – The Singer of Courage

Bravery.  Sublimation of Fear.  Moral Strength.

In July, I am faced with facilitating the Second Degree Initiation and then a week later the Initiation as Maiden of my Initiate, Gwenhwyfar.  I am preparing like a mad-woman-witch and terrified I will not ‘do’ it right or I will ‘mess’ it up.  By the end of the month, I am so relieved that everything went well, and I learned to trust myself.  I know what I know…

Someone once said that courage is not the absence of fear, but that which enables us to experience fear and not be stopped by it.  It is also what enables us to do what is right even when there is pressure to do otherwise.

Ordinary living takes courage and to rise above the ordinary into the extraordinary takes even more.  Courage also has its quiet, hidden side because we cannot expect praise or recognition.

My lesson?  Use the energy of the fear itself to power through with courage.  I was able to successfully do what needed to be done.  I learned I can do it, even when I am afraid of failure.  I continue to move forward…

eponas wild daughterAugust # 54 – Epona’s Wild Daughter

Inner Shadows.  Nightmare.  Depression.  Madness.  Growth.

During August I travel with my little sister to Great Britain, just as we did 7 years ago after the death of her daughter, my niece, just 14 years old in a freak accident.  The trip is fantastic, and there is healing through vulnerability.  It is filled with magick and growth and we learn more about ourselves and our roots.

In the bleakest part of the night, Dorcha, the Wild Daughter of Epona, Lady of the Horse and the Moon, comes to us, wearing her crown of faery stars. She kneels on an ancient owl, bearer of the hidden wisdom of the night, and, facing into the past with a clear, unflinching gaze, she holds us.  We are held immobile, inwardly focused, by her comforting, yet implacable light-filled hands.  She asks riddles that often seem impossible to answer—yet she will not let us go until we find the solutions within ourselves.  She is one of the great teachers of Faery, but her lessons are about the shadow side of ourselves—the things we fear, our insecurities, self-doubts, and denials.  She practices ‘tough-love’ therapy.

My lesson?  Seems obvious.  Facing the death, depression, nightmare, growth, and healing of my nieces’ death with my sister in a vulnerable and frank way.  She has healed though will never forget.  Have I?

soul shrinkerSeptember # 55 – The Soul Shrinker

Cruelty.  Malice.  Gossip.  Curses.  Destruction.  Blessing.

In September, it is the job I return to after my extended vacation gallivanting across Scotland that eats up my time and soul.  We deliver a huge project the team has been working on non-stop for months and everyone is tired and disagreeable.  The more time I spend away from the job reminds me how much I absolutely hate it and the demands it puts upon my time.  I also lose much-missed creative writings when my home computer dies and I don’t have a current back-up…

Once, long ago, the Soul Shrinker was very beautiful, but listening to and witnessing all the human ugliness in thought and speech has rubbed off on his appearance.  The Soul Shrinker’s heart is compassionate and anguished, his heartfelt wish is that we learn ‘right speech’ and ‘right thought’.  Ugly words and thoughts become curses, positive words and thoughts become blessings.

My lesson?  The way I think and talk about my job has a detrimental effect on me and my people.  Do I want to curse or to bless?  The choice is mine.  The other side of my demanding job is the blessings it provides, like the extended trip to Scotland for my sister and me and a new computer within a week to replace the one that died.  Think good thoughts and say good things and blessings will flow.

faery_oracle_37October # 37 – Tobaira of the Waters

Emotions. Serenity. Meditation. Gracefully accepting change.

October brings a much anticipated First Degree Initiation of my student and a coven trip to Beaver’s Bend, OK where both my new First and Second degree initiates do an all-night Vision Quest.  I am so proud and full of love for these beautiful women who have committed to serve with me I can’t contain it.

For a moment, close your eyes and just let yourself feel the cool, sparkling faery waters flowing through your fingers. Imagine drinking this sparking coolness from your own cupped hands, and imagine the water flowing down your throat. You may even be able to feel that magical, energy-filled coolness flow right through to your toes.  Ah!  Feel better?

Water is mutable, changeable, fluid, and Tobaira speaks to us of a particular kind of change in emotions and possibly health.  The two are related.  We choose how we will meet those changes.

My lesson?  Tune in to my emotions, my body, and my health.  Each is in need of my attention.  Change is coming.

gawtchaNovember # 64 – Gawtcha

Sudden shock.  Unexpected events.  Rude awakenings.

November brings much-anticipated time off work with plans to complete all kinds of coven work, but the time seems eaten up.  A last-minute trip home to see my men-folk; father, brother, son, and grand-son is too short and I am concerned with my father’s health after the recent death of my step-mother.  She died while I was in Scotland, and it is my first trip home in a year.  He seems much changed, and much older.

Gawtcha is the Out of the Blue Faery.  He likes to surprise us.  You know—you’re walking along, minding your own business, and the universe smacks you on your blind side with something that makes an awful splat.

Gawtcha is trying to teach us two things; first, we need to be awake and aware and trust our intuition (and listen to it), and second, we need to learn to roll with the punches, learn what we can, and regain our balance as quickly as possible.

My lesson?  Accept my father’s aging and eventual passing, and learn to deal with the heart-ache of missing my son and grandson ALL of the time.

imagesDecember # 29 – Ta‘Om the Poet

Clear sight.  Poetry.  Erotic energy.  Laughter.  Not getting into serious mischief.

December brings down-time with an Ice-pocalypse 3-day weekend without power keeping warm by the gas fire-place and gas-stove, 5 Yule/Christmas celebrations, (one with coven, and four for family – two sons of SO and my two step-daughters from Ex that could not be all in the same place at the same time due to work or travel!)  I find time to write (like this) and create a new calendar for the next student year for 6 new students that will start coven classes the week after Imbolc.  Christmas comes too soon, and I thought I was ready!

Ta’Om has a poetic spirit, which involves much more than just the writing of rhymes. It is about being able to see things as they really are and recognize the beauty sometimes hidden by difficulty.  His is the understanding we get from joy and sorrow, ease and hardship, pain and pleasure.  He brings a lusty appreciation of life and laughter.

My lesson?  When a poet shows up, then get to appreciating and writing.  Read and enjoy life.  Spend time with friends and family.  I did all those things.  It was a wonderful month and a wonderful way to end the year.

Now for the year in total as forecasted by the Pook!

pookYear # 60 – The Pook

Shape-changer.  Good in bad, bad in good.  Paradox.  Resolution.

As noted in each of the monthly updates, the year 2013 was a growth year for me.  I grew more knowledgeable in my craft, grew experience with my coven, grew closer to my family, grew closer to my coven, grew wisdom of self and what I need, and grew more in love with the life I lead.

I recommitted myself to this wonderful and fulfilling magickal work I do in Wicca and am looking forward at this liminal time to working within my tradition and my community to strengthen bonds and ties over the next year.

The Pook is a shape-changer.  He is a master of the arts of illusion and delusion, holding up a magickal mirror to reveal the good in the bad, and the bad in the good.  He is very against rigid thinking and mind-sets and encourages the development of inquiring minds.  His challenge for us is to wake up and stop projecting our expectations onto reality but to gain a more balanced understanding of how things really are.  Once we see the truth, seeming contradictions and paradoxes melt away, like finally realizing the solution to a Zen koan like, “What of the bud before the flower?”

My lesson?  My lesson for this year and for all years, is to see the good in the bad and the bad in the good.  Do not close my mind but allow myself to consider paradoxes.  Go with the flow and be the shape-shifter as needed to meet the needs of myself, my family, my coven, my direct reports at work, and my community.

It is always about balance.  May it be so for you.

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During August in Dallas, TX, the last thing one would want to do is appreciate the Sun.  The temperatures are over 100 degrees day after day and everyone just wants to escape the sun and the heat, not appreciate it.

How could our lives be changed if we turned that around?  If we appreciated the miracle that is occurring?

 

“This is the miracle–
Every tree becomes beautiful
When touched by sunlight;
Every soul becomes God
When touched by the Sun of Tabriz” –  Rumi 1

 

This month’s New Moon took place in gold-hearted Leo. Astrologers typically describe Leo as extroverted, playful, and creative. Yet perhaps because Leo is placed in the 12th house of my own natal chart, I find meaning in its deeper side, experiencing it as a kind of inner “pilot light.“  In this sense Leo can manifest as the spiritual light-force that powers our faith for, as Rumi writes, “He is the Sun in whose track every heart must follow.” 1

Mystics across the centuries, for instance, have spoken of the Sun as a doorway to the realms of spirit.

How can we rekindle the light of our soul hidden within us? How can we experience the Divine Light that is our original nature? To begin with, it helps to concentrate on the light we see reflected in nature.  Find a place to meditate outside, or position yourself near a window.  Soak in the sunlight that shimmers through the air and lovingly caresses the trees and plants. Feel yourself warmed by the Sun’s rays; allow your body to be filled with its vital, life-giving magnetism.  Close your eyes and, as you inhale and exhale, breathe in sunlight until your whole body is vibrant with light. Feel your aura radiate. Let your consciousness expand into space; be awed by the fiery plumes of light exploding from the Sun’s corona.  Spin with the planets as they encircle it’s mother star.

Next, imagine that your whole psyche is being bathed in a shower of light.  Allow every dark corner of yourself to be lit up; experience the Sun’s kindness as it generously melts away your fear, shame and guilt. The Sun is the ultimate lover: all your hard, unforgiving edges melt away in its broad, beneficent, light-giving Being.  Slowly, as you feel more and more filled with light, you may feel as if you have returned to a place that feels familiar.  For as it is taught in many wisdom traditions, your true self is a ray of light descended from the Sun of Suns, the Divine source. During the course of your journey on earth, however, the core of light within you became veiled, eclipsed by the darkness of forgetfulness and ignorance. Now, experience the joy and love that comes from reconnecting with your genuine heritage as a being of light.

Finally, close your meditation by experiencing the light coalesce into a solar disc within the inner chamber of your heart.  Recall, for instance, images of saints and prophets whose hearts were aflame with love of God, light streaming from this divine center through their fingertips, illuminating their faces, shooting out the top of their head in aureoles of luminescence.  It is the power of their faith that burns so brightly; it is knowledge of their true origins that generates their soft glow.  So remember, when life is hard, and the embers of faith burn low, that your heart, too, is a Sun, a “light upon light”   whose home is in the stars.

Taken from:

http://mooncircles.com/leo-new-moon-sun-meditation

References

Rumi: In the Arms of the Beloved, by Jonathan Star

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