Daily Archives: December 21, 2011

An actual pigeon isn’t going to speak English in your head.

Winter Solstice, 2011.

~*~

Listen, she says. Learn to listen to body-language. Don’t assume that, if only you were a better witch, all the Other People around you would start speaking to you in English.
A Jade Plant doesn’t speak English, but it’ll tell you it’s happy, or not, needs water, or better lighting, or not, if you start paying attention to what it’s saying with its body.

~*~

Animals are easier, and mammals the easiest of them, because they’re working with the same body-systems that you are. But rocks and squash vines[1] and rivers will do it, too, if you know how to pay attention.

A pigeon won’t land on your balcony and literally say-in-your-head “Listen up. I’m your ally on this trip. I can teach you resilience, persistence, and how to thrive against great odds, but you’ve got to start listening to me.”

She might say that if you went into trance and asked your allies to swing by and formally introduce themselves and Pigeon was who turned up. Maybe. I don’t know how it works for you. But an actual pigeon (a pigeon, not The Pigeon) isn’t going to speak English in your head. I don’t think.

However. A pigeon (or a lot of pigeons) might land on your balcony, billing and cooing and checking out the space behind your snow-shovel, until you notice that, Hey, that chicky-babe there has only one foot, and she’s doing just fine. Or: Isn’t it amazing how – in spite of humans putting down poison, and raw rice, and road salt, and belching exhaust into the atmosphere, and throwing rocks at them, and cultivating them as prey birds in the first place – pigeons are so capable of thriving in urban environments? Or: Y’know, even though everyone says they’re ugly, parasitic rats-with-wings, pigeons are actually really, really beautiful. Look at how they dance together. Look at how they fly. And maybe you eventually take a lesson from that.

This is the thing I forget when I’m reading Starhawk’s books or the blog-posts over at Root and Rock or what-have-you. That asking Nature “How do I change the system from within?” and getting a reply of “Systems don’t want to change themselves” isn’t literally a Q&A. It’s more “observe –> realize”. (It’s a bit like divination in that regard?)

And yet, I wonder. My Ghost (who is the [she] mentioned, above) gets memories off of everyone. Including, like, fish. She has to work on consciously shielding herself on the regular. Me? I’m wondering what I can do to open myself up a little wider – in a controlled way, at times of my choosing, granted – to be able to hear/see/know/catch things a little more easily.

Suggestions?

Cheers, and Happy Solstice,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

[1] Hail! :-D[2]

[2] Oh, how I love the squash. She’s one of my favourites. Spiky little thing when she’s freaking out, though. O.O

Oh, Holy Night

Winter Solstice, 2011.

It’s snowing right now – thought the high of 0C means that there’s a heavy possibility that this will turn to freezing rain[1] before the day’s done. I hope now. Do me a favour, weather-front, and stay around minus-seven today! O.O
This afternoon will be a flurry (ahaha) of activity – putting together the Midwinter Meal[2], making chocolates (I hope), and doing some ritual cleansing (and actual tidying) of the house, plus a couple of bottle spells[3] for good measure.

What is Winter Solstice – the celebration/festive-occasion, as opposed to the celestial event – for me? What kinds of magical things do I do in association with, or through, the Fun Stuff I do every year?

Divination (tarot – generally “year ahead” kind of stuff)

Warmth and light in the dark: Recognition that central heating wasn’t always an option by turning off the electric heat and lights and using candles for heat and light

Serving both The Traditional Foods of My People AND some Pagan-relevant goodies, plus sticking with the local-seasonal (to a point – this is a time of year when I bring in Clementine oranges and pomegranates, neither of which grow anywhere near here). A mix of stuff that’s less about symbolism and more about my connections to both the land I live on and the people through-whom I came.

Decorating with winter-themed stuff – icicles, snow-flakes, pine cones, sun, moon, and star imagery. Poinsettias, pine and cedar boughs, and the like. (I’m currently using a holly garland, but I could see switching things up to include spruce garland and maybe jars/vials of dried hawthorn (or rowan – maybe) berries as well. Or something…) It’s a way of making my house look “festive” in the manner in-which I was raised, while also letting me give a nod to the long nights, the cold, and the means by-which we survive it. (I’m so utterly tickled — I have a garland ornament that’s basically a pin-up girl with antlers: Olive, Goddess of the Woods. YAY! :-D)

Ritually cleansing my house with incense (cedar, dragon’s blood, white sage…), shooing the murky-crap out the balcony door to be whisked away by the wind, and re-strengthening the wards (it’s a very “shields up” maneuver, where I am – kind of Star Trek. ;-)) on the doors, windows, mirrors, taps, and drains.

What it’s for, though, what the point of it all is, is… joy. Joy and pleasure and being with the people I’m crazy about.

What about you?

TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden

[1] Snow doesn’t typically scare me. You have to slog through it and, when it’s really heavy and wet, it can lead to everybody sliding everywhere and low visibility, and the walk home can be down-right dangerous. But by and large, snow is big fluffy flakes and thick on the ground, and if you have to, you can dig a cave into it and not die. Ice, on the other hand, scares the fuck out of me. Ice offers no quarter and no shelter, and leads to bruises and big accidents, both. Be careful out there!

[2] Not to be confused with the Solstice Shindig. My Ghost asked me why I’m doing a Fancy Dinner for just her and me when there’s all this Other Stuff on my plate to get done and I’m feeling a little bit in over my head. My answer was that I like to do Something on the Solstice-proper to mark it. But I also like that the midwinter meal (a) was developed to accommodate the kinds of food that I can – for the most part (and currently entirely In Theory) – grow myself, and (b) is a much calmer, more introspective affair.

[3] In part done to take advantage of the soon-to-be-growing light levels.

Bite Sized Goals (New Year, New You)

So, as you know bob, I’ve signed up for Miss Sugar’s radical-magical-transformation project. Not long ago, I stated my Big, Over-Arching Goal for the year (and the foreseeable future) as being:

I want my LIFE to be this glorious mash-up of art and sex and joy and beauty, I want my LIFE to be built on and fueled by, and in a symbiotic relationship with, pleasure in all its many forms.

So. Miss Sugar’s latest prompt pertains to taking that Big, Over-Arching Goal and breaking it down into bite-sized micro-goals that actually move you towards your Big Goal in manageable steps.

Good idea.

So. She asks what I can reasonably expect to accomplish by Valentines’ Day.
Fair enough.
Now, I look at that date and basically quail in despair. Because I’m temping until the end of January and, even at half-days, it eats a lot of my time.
I know that, right now, I’m just trying to get through the next week (or so) and, after that I can worry about this Radical Transformation stuff.

Which, of course, is garbage. I mean, (a) Why wait? and (b) I’m not actually waiting. Not really. I’m poking at fears, I have a date with my honey-pots booked (the questions is: Will I successfully keep it[1], cocnsidering it’s tomorrow and I’ve got a dinner to make…), and I’m doing More Reading (in the blogosphere, so far, with a book-list starting to grow) about hedge witchery – a subsection of (frequently?) solitary pagan practice that simultaneously fits beautifully with how I understand the world AND scares the ever-loving fuck out of me because, as much as I don’t want to get hit with Radio Silence, I think I’m actually more scared of getting an answer[2]. Particularly if it’s from someone I’m not expecting. :-\

But, anyway. Tangent.

Things I can do before Valentines’ Day that will – physically or magically – help to push me towards my Big Goal:

I can do my two honey-pot spells – one for career/jobs/money (that is specifically to do with the kind of jobs I want and enjoy and could thrive in) and one for drawing creative inspiration & activity (writing-wise and crafting-wise, but particularly wrt poetry and erotic fiction).

I can send out an email on, say, the 28th of December, reminding my various figure-modeling contacts that they should hire me for their January-April/June sessions.

I can make a point of actually using my scheduled afternoon non-blog-based writing time – rather than letting it slip away answering emails or running errands – to write fiction and/or poetry.

I can learn how to make soy-wax candles that don’t crack all over the place, and experiment with the essential oils I ordered to find useful combinations – with the idea being that I can (a) use my experiments to further my own goals, but also (b) when I get the hang of it, I can start adding drawing-in candles to my list of Crafty crafts that I can, potentially, sell online (or at, say, the annual Yule Craft Fair, or where-ever).

I can order up to two new books on Craftiness of one sort or another, and actually read them in a timely manner.

I can practice reading my tarot cards. (Maybe I can write poetry about each one of them, or something, I don’t know, to get to know them better).

I can routinely check out Kijiji, Craigslist, Charity Village, and the MM Casting Calls page for jobs/gigs that actually fit with my Big Goal, and apply for them.

I can wear perfume (or use other forms of glamour) to put myself in the right headspace and pull (good/useful, one hopes) attention towards me. I can write/think/read more about Femme (which is up to its elbows – at least for me – in sensual hedonism, feminine sexuality, AND feminine power). I can take baths full of epsom salts and essential oils (myrrh, sweet orange, and cinnamon?) and use the time to (a) de-stress and (b) shave my legs and do other routine maintenance that leaves me feeling more powerful and on top of things and more myself.

I can take to doing tarot readings in local cafes just to see if I catch the interest of anyone who wants to pay me to do one for them. (This has happened before. It could happen again).

Speaking of which: I did a tarot reading for myself today, with a fairly wide-open “what’s coming up, can I do this for a career” kind of question. The answer I got was, basically:

You learn by doing. It’ll be hard to break through the barriers you’ve put up to your own knowledge/understanding/sight but if you keep working at it, you’ll get there.

My signifier was the King of Swords (which, in my deck, is “Control”, and which I tend to think of as the Lord Domly-Dom card), and I’m not totally sure what that’s about, unless it’s something about me holding myself in a rigid position because I’m afraid of losing control by trying something outside of what’s familiar to me[3].
‘Cause, boy-howdy, is that ever the case! O.O

Miss Sugar’s fourth point in her post, the one about consulting with whichever spirits/deities you work with regarding the Stuff that’s preventing you from achieving your goals? That’s the one that scares me. I’ve talked elsewhere about being (slightly) more afraid of getting an answer than I am of getting radio silence if I hard-core reached out and went “Mamas, I have got to talk to you about something”.
Whenever I do this, I basically talk (half in my head, half outloud) to “the air” and remind them all that, basically, I’m really obtuse and if they want to point me in the right direction, they’re going to need the biggest neon finger in the world to get it through to me.
This works surprisingly well, actually.
Who knew?
(Granted, in this case, I think I know what’s stopping me: Fear. Because it’s pretty much always “fear” with me. Fear of failure. Fear of success leading to my getting in over my head. Fear of getting noticed in a way that leads to my being some kind of a target. Fear fear fear fear fear. I know that one).

Anyway.

That’s it for me this evening. Tomorrow, I’ll probably be on here flailing about getting the root veggie roast done on time, but for now I’m going to bed.

TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

[1] How horrible is that? Canceling a date with your deities? WTF…

[2] This happened once, when I was very new to Paganism, and was wanting to do a blessing ritual and was working out the ritual poetry in class and… she showed up. Maia, I mean. She’s an alto, as it happens. She sounded both amused – possibly because it was obvious how surprised I was – and… and “Okay, kiddo. Now that I’m here, you’d better not be wasting my time…” Y’know?

[3] Which is, perhaps, reading things into a card that, really, I could have told you without the visual aid. 😉