A Giddy Dream

I am the giddy dream of a giant gone mad

In the starry splendour of nothing I reach forth my hand

Grasping, petting, deluging my soul and the world around

With my needs swept tight and snug around me

‘Til my breath is nothingness in my chest

And the other world rings out:

Forthcome unto the Dreamer!  Forth come and be known.

Be seen.

Be touched and embraced and recognized

From within and without

As Spirits and Souls of the One

For the One and the One are One

And therein shall we find wholeness.

Be free of what Was.

Let the land of Because, the shadow of Maybe, the dream of Could Be

Go into the fading happenstance of yesteryear

For all is but occasion tossed upon our seas

The food for droughts, the water of the Divine

Into our own essence shall we forge

And forage the full becoming of our Selves

And therein know of madness and of Mystery

And all the Holy Places that lie Between.

Let us be so Blessed.

Let the Magick commence.

Saturn

~The Abysmal Witch

Letting go of the Goal

What if, instead of focusing on the end result, we concentrated on what we are doing, right here, right now?

I was reading an article on Yoni Massage and in it was reference to our almost pathological fixation on orgasms as the end result of sex.  And that in letting go of the goal or orgasms we can increase everyone’s pleasure in the process.  We can find greater connection to our sexuality and to our bodies, sensations and each other, by letting go of this goal fixation and enjoying the journey.

I mean, really, isn’t that what so much “self help” is about?  Enjoying the journey?

Don’t get me wrong, goals are a great thing.  I have goals.  I have daily goals and monthly goals and annual goals and life goals.  I review my goals, changing as appropriate, reorienting myself as needed, creating sub goals when advantageous.  Goals are darned useful things.

When they are a tool.

When they become the reason for movement, the only point of getting up is for the goal, then, then you run a risk of disappointment.

Because it can rob you of enjoying today.  Right now.  This moment.  Because you’re not experiencing now, you’re viewing everything through the lens of The Goal.

It can also rob you of ultimate satisfaction if for some reason that goals fails to manifest.  A man showcased on Humans of New York yesterday had been focussed exclusively for 12 years on getting to the top of Everest.  In the end, the manifestation of that goal was not in his hands, it was in the mountain’s.  In other words, the illusion of control sneaks into this arena too, that if we work hard enough we can achieve anything.  As with any ‘truth’ there is a yes and a no to it.

If you don’t get up and get doing towards your goal, it will never happen. That is a certainty.

If you get up and get doing towards your goal, it may well happen.  It is not a certainty.

But that is life.  Life changes and ebbs and flows and shifts and we adapt or get really, really frustrated and bitter.

Letting go of the goal doesn’t mean not having one.

Letting go of the goal doesn’t mean not working towards one.

Letting go of the goal is about releasing it from being the only reason, the only consideration, the only purpose.

It can be a best friend, a guide, a sherpa, a dance partner.  It is not you.  It does not own you.  It does not own your life.

You do.  So own it.  Let go of the need to be at the end of the journey, to have arrived at the goal, and instead spend your awareness coin on the process of getting there.  You’ll be so much more satisfied when you arrive.  And with stories to share.

Plus it’s good to stop and smell the roses on the way.  Just check for water droplets first so you don’t end up snorting water up your nose.  Life experiences, they come in large, small and sneeze inducing.

~Saturn, the Abysmal Witch

Learning to Play: Cards

I’ve been very focused lately on what I “should” be doing, what “needs” to be done.  To accomplish this, to do what’s appropriate with that.  Not just with work things, but in my play as well.

In fact, I realized tonight that I haven’t been playing.  I’ve been approaching all of my ‘fun’ things with a work ‘must get done’ attitude.

It’s not hard to see where this came from.  During my two years of major transitions, I kept to my hobbies, my crafts, by determination and will alone it seemed somedays.  I was exhausted through much of those days and I would have these litanies in my head such as “okay, you can rest, but right after you get that mead racked”.  Taking care of my mead became another list on my list of things.  It needed to or it would have stopped.  And I was NOT going to be stopped from continuing to do something I love.

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And let’s face another reality while I’m at it.  I’m inherently lazy.  I don’t want to do the things.  I want to lie on my couch with a book in my hands, tea to my side, cat on my legs and while away my afternoons.  Rain or shine doesn’t matter, they are both conducive to a lazy afternoon reading.  Doing anything beyond that requires a certain level of determination from me.  I feel like every hobby I pick up comes with the weight of fear and depression and childish whining of ‘it’s too hard’.  I don’t know when these things crept onto and started to leech at my joys, but it has happened.  Badly.

In a nutshell?  I’ve forgotten how to play.

So I’m going to try something new.  I hope.  I’m going to try and find the play in my interests.  Grins in my hobbies.  Laughter in my crafts.

Tonight I played with my three favourite card decks.  Joie de Vivre, Thoth and the Celtic Book of the Dead cards.  Check out the spreads, my friend!:

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Each one with a tale.  Each one whispering of things to learn and to discover.  Life has changed.  My emotions will run strong and there will be storms and high seas.  And therein too lies the joy and the fun.  Living is going to feel good!  Or, well intense.  Intensity can be its own good sometimes.  Any way, though, I hope to embrace and live and try to find the fun and the bounce.  To do what I love because of love.

What is fed, grows.

Saturn,
the Abysmal Witch

Things can change in an instant…but mostly they stay the same

Or change really, really slowly.

I nearly died today.  One of those moments that happens periodically, when you feel the brush of death closer than usual.  Not the slow caress of death from bad habits or long-term illness, but the flirtatious goosing from a near miss.

I was out for a walk, headed to a favourite park that requires walking past some major intersections.  Please note that I was wearing a purple jacket, orange and black socks, and green laces on my shoes.  Really, I was a jokeresque symphony of colours.  Not exactly blending into the background.  I have proof, check the picture.  The pic is from after the rain (and thus my drowned cat impression) but at the time of this story, the rain had yet to start so visibility was perfect.

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I had already started to walk across the street, cheerfully following the instructions of the little glowing white man on the pole across from me.  That’s when a truck decided to run the now ended left turn advance signal. Thankfully, the person he cut off honked.  I say thankfully because that’s why I looked up and paused and waited for the idiot to pass me by with a couple of feet to spare.

If I hadn’t paused, at minimum he would have clipped me but most likely I would have been perfectly aligned under his right wheel as he hit me.

He noticed me about ten feet past where he would have run over me.

I shared a bewildered head shake and shoulder shrug with the woman in the car beside the crosswalk.  Idiots.  What can you do?

Life can change like that, one instant to the next.  Boom.  Crash.  Bang.  (Anyone else remember that Roxette song?  Well, Crash Boom Bang technically.)  And all of our life can be gone, all those unique memories disappeared into shmutz on a road.  We are ephemeral by definition of our lives.  It pays to remember this, at least now and again.

Naturally I kept on walking.  Because what else do we do?  My life hadn’t actually changed.  No broken bones, no death, might as well keep to my purpose.  My thoughts churned around the importance of life and all of those typical things and then, as we tend to do, the moment passed and I was back in the musings I’d started with.

About a week before I’d done the same walk with friends.  On that walk I came across some banana peels that demanded I take their pictures.  Hey, it was my birthday weekend, I didn’t say I was sober during this walk! lol.  Here are those banana peel portraits:  Banana in Puddle and Banana with Bag.

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So here I am a week later, on essentially the same walk, and what do I see?

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Oh, banana, poor poor banana.  Slowly fading into the past.  As most of us do.  Most of life doesn’t change in that quick instant, that lightening strike of a car.  Most change is slow, changes coming in small bits, microbes eating away at who and what we are until we oh so slowly decay from living until death unto dirt.

Thankfully, it is slow!  Meaning there is so much time to enjoy the moments, large and small, crazy and plain, thunderous and whisper soft.

Those goosings from death are a chance to take the appreciation for everything else a little deeper into ourselves.  I know this in my head but it’s my heart that needed the reminder.

Time to go live some life.  Because what is fed, grows.

Blessings of the deep and wild to you all.

Saturn,
The Abysmal Witch.

 

 

What is fed, grows.

What is fed, grows.

What we practice, we become skilled at.

What we think about becomes present.

When we pay attention, we demonstrate caring and then caring grows, love grows.

This phrase has been knocking on my inner doorways.  It has been bouncing like an exuberant child on a bed telling me to pay attention.

What is fed, grows.

My life narrowed these past two years down into its most important parts:  work, school, new business, coven.  Adding in where I could some fun, the occasional flirt, community events, a movie.  But there was very little time for things beyond the necessities of make money to live, study hard to change where I am making the necessary money for living.  My life was stripped down to primarily necessities.

When the shift came, even though I knew it would arrive, it was a surprise.  It still feels like it is creeping up on me.  The shift from working full-time and in school to working for myself, not yet 20 hours per week (though spending time working on changing that so it’s not that little of a time investment).  And no commuting.  This should mean that I have oodles upon oodles of more time, right?

Well, I used to say that I never carried a large purse because the crap I carried would breed to fill the empty spaces.  And it is a certainty that distractions and desires will fill all of the crannies of our daily lives if given the opportunity.

But that was just it.  I had this crazy opportunity to rebuild life as I wanted to.  I’d already stripped everything down to primarily basics.  I’d already cleaned out the closet, so to speak.  So what should go back in?

Stage one:  healing.  I needed (and still do) to rest.  To get ridiculous amounts of sleep.  To forgive myself for all the things that are (still) not getting done.  To give myself the gift of time.

Stage two:  notice what I’m adding back into living.  Please note that this was not an immediate conscious choice, that the doing happened before the thinking.  This is so easy to do!  But also very telling on what I am emotionally drawn to at this time in life.

Stage three:  consciously decide what I’m going to keep doing and what will go.

What is fed, grows.  But not everything can be fed, and not everything needs the same food.  And there isn’t enough hours in the day to feed it all.

It’s all about making choices.  If I feed my Facebook addiction, that will grow.  If I practice making fimo sculptures, that skill will grow.  If I date, my relationship skills will grow as will my heart.  As will my heart.  My heart grows when I do what I love.  In relationships, in crafting, even on FB, when I read about what my best friend got to have for dinner, made by her sweetie who is an absolutely awesome cook, I celebrate with her (with mutterings and cursings, ahem, jk, love you!) and so as odd as it may seem, our connection grows.

As I enter this new stage of my life, with new career, new styles of life management, I get to choose what is put back into it.  My pagan tribe?  Absolutely.  But also my kinky tribe.  And the discoveries of polyamory.  And sewing, I’ve missed creating through cloth (and boy could my skills use improvement in this area).

The tricky part is that there is so much I want to do, but still not nearly enough time in the day.  Because first and foremost, I would like to manage my life well.  I would like to not stress about upcoming deadlines.  Or the piles of ignored paperwork.  Or those emails I didn’t get to.  There still some old shit I need to clear out from the-before-times.  And some bad habits from those days, too.  And I’d like to live in a clean home so that when I do get some spare time, it is easy to flow into something (and not be tripping over last week’s craft project, for example – clearly I’m still working on this part).

I will have to make some hard choices.  Or learn how to balance my various loves and interests better.  Okay, both.

Regardless, it is a conscious choosing (mostly) and a conscious reevaluation of what I am feeding in my life.

I have not fed this blog for a long time, nor my podcast, nor any of my more public pagan side.  Perhaps this rambling is a sign of things to change.  Or perhaps I will discover that this is not where my passions lie anymore and will put this down.  But I do think, one way or another, that it is time to find out.

What is fed, grows.

On the Other Side (& Project Pagan Priest)

It’s rare for me to be swept up uncontrollably in my emotions.  Or, at least I like to think so.

More accurately, I used to think so.  Now, my emotions are more alive than they have been in years.  It disturbs me.  It takes me out of a place of conscious control and makes me uncomfortable.  Because I’ve always been conscious and conscientious of how I appear to people, how what I say can be taken.  I’ve had moments of this in the past, I will have moments in the future.  I’ve just had one of those moments.  And now, sinking and slipping into the other side of it is a place that fascinates me.

As I become quieter, I look at my emotional excess and I want to run from it.  I don’t want to own it, I don’t want to have been naked in my emotions.  Especially before others.  But I let it sit.  I let it stand.  And I touch it, hold it and see what I have to learn from it.

First, I want to thank two people, my dear sister Pixie and Devin Hunter.  These beautiful people gave me space for my emotions, for my reaction, for everything I was experiencing in their own ways and I am grateful for it.  

I should say that my viewpoint hasn’t changed, I’m just able to speak of it in a more balanced and nuanced way.  I do think there is a need for those who do not live as women to take a deep breath, step back and let the women who need it the opportunity to speak without needing to assuage the concerns of the men around.

This is important to me because of my own need to find my voice (in certain areas because we all know I have it in others!).

This is important to me because I see in the reaction myself.  I have often, and have really noticed it recently, my own tendency to want to defend my own actions as separate from those who are behaving poorly in a given situation.  “Yes, that is wrong, but see, I don’t do it, I do this other thing.”  I don’t like it when I do it.  Not surprising when I think about it, that this combination led to a most unhappy me yesterday.  (I’ve also since been reminded that while there is still, in my opinion, room for realization and growth around this topic for those who don’t live it, that the people I know are so very far ahead of the regular game for the most part that while I still would ask for the space, I want to say again how much I love the good men, because there are way too many idiots out there and maybe with your help we can change that percentage.  Sigh, a run on sentence, but hopefully you get the gist.)

In the pagan community, women’s voices is a particularly interesting topic.  I’ve been around for a decently long time (with usually the grey hair to prove it, but since I just had my hair done, my age is today my not-so-secret-secret lol) and have seen a strong tendency for women who have been abused, whether within a context of a male-focussed religion or just within their personal experiences, to come into paganism, particularly Wicca, and it’s goddess-centric devotions.  It’s been a place where women are revered, honoured, respected, worshipped.

That is a most beautiful gift.

I think this has gifted us with a greater amount of healing, it also means some of us still need more healing, and it means that we’ve always had an interesting time balancing this need for feminine healing with a love of the masculine divine.  It also means that it’s rarer for me to come up against the male-centric frustrations in those around me and didn’t help when I had some of that experience and how hard it hit me.  

Some traditions have taken a road that has concentrated solely on the divine feminine.  Leaving aside any other discussions on this, I will say that I understand completely why this would happen and the power that it offers to the people who practice this way.  I applaud it and support it.  

For myself I’ve always been a balance nut.  An embracer of all sides, masculine/feminine, dark/light, yin/yang in all its expressions.  Twenty years ago when I saw my first Goddess tarot, I started plotting out a God tarot, because dammit, why wouldn’t there be one?  (yeah, I can’t draw, that didn’t get far.)  He has always been as important to me as She.  It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this is part of why the discussions to move us towards a world of healthy masculinity in support of themselves and the feminine around them is so frakking important to me.  

And thus it thrills me to no end to see that the aforementioned Devin Hunter has begun a Facebook group that I suspect will grow into much more, Project Pagan Priest.  It is a closed group, for identified males, to explore their spirituality and sexuality and I couldn’t be happier about it.  I suspect the origins of it may have been in the angst of the past days that pushed at the male/female divide.  If so, one could argue that as a sad origin.  I, quite frankly, don’t care what inspired it.  I am just so happy to see it.

Just as women in society at large are devalued and many other unpleasant words, I have seen the same happen to men in our community.  It isn’t good, it isn’t healthy and while I understand where it comes from, it is something that we as a greater community need to overcome.  Mind you, I think (I hope?) that in many ways this is better than it was a decade ago.  Gods, I seriously hope so.  Regardless, so so so happy to see this be born.  

May it grow, may it serve, may it prosper and bring a beautiful and healthy balance to our gloriously divine feminine.

Blessings upon us all, wild, deep, dark and bright.

Saturn.

Stepping Out & Giving Space

It is a few days after the Isla Vista murders so naturally the net is awash in commentary.

Must of it is good, inviting us to consider what we can do, how we can change.  Some of it bad, “if he’d come to my school of how to get laid, this would never have happened” (yes, those sites exist, no I will not link to them).  It has sparked the #yeseverywoman feed (yes, every women has had to deal with male violence in some form or another) and the related #noteveryman (it’s only some of the men, not all of them).  

This part (or a particularly piece of it) has caught my heart and my mind.  It is more of a side trip, really.  But an important one.  At least to me. 

I have witnessed multiple discussions wherein the topic has become a defending of each side.  “But it’s not all men, it’s not me!”  “Yes, but all women have had to face it – not from you but from a few.”

It’s tragic to me.  That those of us who should be working together are not.  I will likely get lynched for this next bit by a few people, but this is important to me so I shall stride forward. 

The good men around us are feeling shut down, excluded, not listened to, marginalized, blamed, lumped in with the bad ones or some combination thereof.

Welcome to a woman’s life.  And probably every other marginalized person’s life, but that is not my topic today. 

It sucks not to be listened to.  It sucks for a group that you’re a part of to get labelled as less than stellar.  What I bet really sucks is feeling that there is a relationship between you (by your gender) and the pain of the people around you. 

Please hear me when I tell you, it is not your pain.  If you have done nothing to be responsible for it, then you are not responsible. Let that go, let the defensiveness go.  And then please allow the women to have space for their own pain. 

If there are women who are leapfrogging off of this recent horror to claim all men are bad, then shame on them.  But for most of what I see, I see women taking this chance to say yes! that is how I feel.  They are saying that they are always aware of the choices they need to make of what they will wear in the day, where they will walk, how they can keep themselves safe, even down to “is it safe for me to say no to this offer of a cup of coffee”.  That’s horrific.  Saying no to a polite offer should not trigger an internal assessment of how safe it will be to say no.  But the reality is that it does.  Not for everyone, but for many women, especially those who have been hurt before.

Of course men have been hurt!  Of course men have been abused and raped, have experienced violence at the hands of women.  But that is not today’s discourse.  And today’s discourse doesn’t discount that.  It doesn’t say that hasn’t happened.  It just says look at what’s happening here. 

I hurt inside because instead of talking with people of how horrid it is that our culture is perpetuating chains of thoughts that feed into a delusion that men can take what they want from women, that there is an entitlement there at a very basic level, we are talking about (in my little corner of the world anyway) of how the good men are being unfairly lumped in with the bad.

Guys, I love you, but you’re pissing me off.  Take a deep breath.  Step out of the situation.  Are you feeling defensive?  Are you reacting from a place of defensiveness?  Are you being attacked?  Personally?  Really?

Yes, there is a lot of negative going on right now.  Yes, there are a lot of women expressing potentially a lifetime of angst, of DAILY reminders that they are not as good as men, not entitled to the same as men, feeling potentially daily that they are not safe because of men.

NOT.  ALL.  MEN.

But some.  And that some is significant. 

I want you to be on my side.  I want you to sit here and discuss with me how we can make it better.  I don’t want to have to explain, yet again, that I’m not attacking you directly, that the generalization is that all women have experienced some form of violence at the hand’s of a male, NOT that all men are violent.  They are two different statements. 

I don’t want you to apologize for your gender (though that might be nice, who knows) and I don’t want you to sit there and feel lumped in with the enemy.  I don’t want to lump you in with the enemy!  I want to know that I’m surrounded by that other side of the male coin.  But when you don’t listen to my pain, when you focus on your own instead, then I will shut you out of my experience.  I’m not lumping you in with the bad group.  You might be doing that to yourself, but that’s your business.

What I am doing is shutting you out of my healing experience because you are not helping me heal.  You are pissing me off because instead of asking “can I help?” or “shit, love, has that happened to you?” or “what do you need” or just the commiserating “I know, I see it, I wish we could change it”, you are crying out “but it’s not me!”

Yep. Got it the first time.  I know it’s not you.

But it is the group of guys I walk past on my way to the grocery store, who point, comment, snicker and make me evaluate my safety level.  It is the one who stares at my cleavage and just smiles and winks like I should be flattered when I catch him at it.  It is the ones who have touched inappropriately and worse.  It is the ones who refused my no.  It is many of them.

I am not attacking the good men.  I back them.  But today, today is not about you, my loves.  Today is about me and my sisters, and the women who have been hurt.  Today they should be receiving my care and attention.  We should be gathered together (in internet land if nowhere else) supporting each other.  And instead, I am reassuring men around me that it’s not them.  Reiterating to other women sometimes that I don’t mean all men (though I honestly don’t know how I can say it clearer than I have been).

I know it is hard to witness such anger and pain and know that you are related, if only by a Y chromosome (or personal identification to gender if you’re XX but feel XY) to the cause of it.  But let me say again and for the last time, for those who don’t perpetuate any of the violence in any of its forms, this is not about you.  Take the comfort from that.  Know that I am just as in love with men as I always have been.  After all, I’ve been dealing with this problem my whole life and it’s never stopped me from having male companions on various levels.  It’s just unusual to talk about it.

Please don’t feel excluded from the group trying to make it stop.  Please don’t exclude yourself from the group trying to make it stop. 

If you really want to support and be a part of, tap gently on the door and just ask if I’d mind if you sit a bit with me, in silence or not.  And if someone says no, consider that their response has everything to do with being authentic to what they need and nothing to do with you.

In the end, I’m asking for a bit of space for what I’m feeling, a bit of space to look after me and my sisters and not have to worry about you for a bit. I’ve been trained my whole life to look after you first.  For this little bit here, I’d like to put the women first.

End of rant.