Seeking the Sacred

Today:

I can’t do this. I can’t. It’s too much. Better to just hide, to let it pass. I’ll feel better eventually.

No.

The voices come, tapping at my mind. No – that’s not right. Not voices, exactly, but knowing, thoughts, feelings. My subconscious is kicking me to move, to do, to get on. You have an idea. Get on with it, or it’ll be gone, and you’ll feel even worse.

I think back, to this morning. A story told to me by a beautiful priestess, of her own work with her Goddess, her commitment and bravery. I remember her smile, so very bright, and the hard work she puts in to her community.

This is spirituality. This is work, but it’s not – it’s just doing, being. A compulsion, drive, vocation. Making manifest what’s inside us.

I think back again, to the stories I’ve heard in the last week. Of doubts and accomplishments, madness and survival. The impossible but true. The voices of old friends and total strangers. Somehow, they know I’ll listen without judgement, and I do.

But where’s my voice? What am I doing with all of this? The current of inspiration is entering me, but then stalling, not flowing on. The connection needs to be reforged.

I call to those who listen to me. Random words – a prayer, a spell? Or just talking? Does it matter? I speak, and they hear.

I feel my stomach unclench, muscles loosen that I hadn’t realized were tense. My heart lifts a little. I reach out and fuss my puppy-dogs, who’ve been guarding me. One is curled up on my feet as I write this – one of his human companions, his safe place. Simple connection.

I remember what it feels like – the feeling of Self which that black fog blocks. I think of brief images from social media, as if friends have been rapping on my mind as well: wake UP, dammit! And myths of darkness, heading deep within to find what’s there – not evil or destruction (well, not quite) but treasure. A quest is pointless is there’s no challenge to battle through, with goal ahead and journey to learn from.

I love synchronicity. The map we have to remind ourselves to consult from time to time.

I remember love and laughter, joy in simple things. So easy to lose sometimes, but then easy to recall as well, if you know how and what you’re aiming for.

Yesterday, I was explaining to a random Interested Person about the sacred in the world around. He kind of understood, but the words weren’t sufficient – arm-waving was needed, and foot-stamping, and a lot of metaphor and random noises. We got there. Common ground.

And I was speaking to someone online who wasn’t really listening, caught up in their own concerns. Sadly, I had to step away. But I’m still here, and they know that.

I’ve been gifted two candles this month: one crafted, one foraged. They will light the way, as all of these people (and more) are inspiring me with their tales, bringing me back to what’s important.

The old tale of the Druid teacher is that they stand at the edge of the Forest of the Unknown, waiting as guide. Sometimes they point the way and let you step forward; sometimes they kick your arse to get on with it! Even Merlin went mad among those trees, but that wasn’t the end.

This is only the first step of this particular side-road. I can feel change in the air as my homeland turns into Autumn (my favourite season), and know it’s time to move. I’m not sure where I’ll end up, but the Fool’s journey has to begin.

 

I’ve often been asked about my writing process. It’s something like this. I would apologise for its randomness, but I feel it has to come out this way today – so here it is.

For an explanation of precisely what I’m doing, visit my main Druidry blog, The Catbox.

We step onto the winding road and head into the unknown…

Tool Tales

August is not my favourite month. I don’t do well in extreme heat, and humidity is my least favourite climate. Even on my hilltop in the Midlands, where there’s usually a breeze of some sort, it’s been very heavy lately in terms of air pressure, which makes for physical and mental tiredness.

Today, I’ve been pondering tools to help. Ritual tools are great when they’re needed (although not always as essential as some of the books would have you believe), but sometimes it’s just little things which assist you in both cosmic and mundane tasks as you go about your day.

My tiny quartz ring acts like a miniature battery, bolstering energy when it’s needed, even just to focus me enough to get necessary jobs done. My partner and I both have haematite items nearby when working as well, to keep us determinedly grounded if things get too chaotic.

I’ve grown to love my hairsticks and shawl pins, both of which bear more than a passing resemblance to Ollivander wands.

My shawls themselves sit around my shoulders like a comfort hug, reassuring and strengthening. Today, the Big Blue Blanket was also needed when I inadvertently fell asleep mid-afternoon from sheer overload.

These are little things, but meaningful. Usually hand-crafted by myself or someone I know, they are like friends to be called upon, each with their own stories, becoming part of mine as I share my journey with them.

And inside my handbag… once a necessary weapon in itself while commuting (along with my armour/leather jacket), it now holds everything necessary, from wallet and phone to small pouch of Necessities and keyring charm of paracord.

Tools aren’t just ornaments (although they can be that as well). Each has a practical use. You can tell the especially valuable ones, because they show signs of wear from being picked up over and over; the pretty-but-useless gather dust on shelves.

What tools bring a little magic to your days, and keep you buoyed when you need them? Let’s honour them as we take them up – not just when we can’t find them!

Returning

Here I am again  thank you for your patience, lovely reader! As I’ve said before, I knew this would happen. Summer is my busiest time, and there will be lulls in bloggery, due simply to Life. But this is about as a real as it gets – I’d rather be honest with my posting than force things under duress. This blog is to be written As It Comes to me. No pre-recorded work here!

And there has been much busyness. Handfastings, general work, heaps of travel… and recovery. This can sometimes be the hardest part, as I’d rather be getting on with something that sitting about. But rest is needed.

For the past week or so, my mind has simply not wanted to get on with ‘work’. I have the (kind of) luxury of being able to indulge that, being self-employed, but on the other hand, if I don’t get on, work doesn’t get done – simple as that. I have to prioritize.

But it’s not just always about the body needing rest. The mind and spirit need recharging as well, of course, and that’s very hard to quantify in time-slots or achievements.

So I’ve been letting things come as they wished, indeed. Knitting commissions and gifts, writing short articles, being there for those who’ve called. Still working, but gently.

The ups and downs have come and gone, as they will. From happiness to anger, enthusiasm to lethargy – I try to tap into each as it arrives, transforming it where I can, flowing with it if I can’t. Sometimes I’ve been overwhelmed. Surfacing again after such engulfment is the reward. I survived again.

This morning, I’m up and out the door with the dogs, enjoying the crisp air before the day properly begins. The birds are up, a few other dog-walkers and their friendly charges, but the peace of ‘early’ is so valuable to me. Time just spent being, without obligation or urgency.

And it’s possible anywhere – necessary, in fact. I used to take the time on the walk to work: from sitting quietly on the commuter train, to walking up the Thames (literally with the flow)… even being stuck in traffic more recently. Not exactly Zen, but in the moment, allowing the dreams and thoughts to come and go. That’s where ideas come from.

So here I am now, back at my laptop, tapping my thoughts. Inspiration for the day once again – and more writing ahead. We do what we have to, but these are our lives we’re living. The alternative is to stop, and so very much would be lost if we do.

We keep moving. Onward, as always.

To Be Silent

In recent days, I’ve been reminded of that old Mother’s saying: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it at all.”

I’ve been speaking a lot – in person, through messages and emails, organising, helping, working and chatting. That’s life. We communicate.

But I’ve also been more aware of what I’m saying. The intent behind my words, the effect I hope them to have. Doing my best to achieve understanding.

Ultimately, everything you say (in voice or in writing) is utterly beyond your control once it’s said. It’s out in the world, for good or ill. And always open to interpretation. As a writer, I’m very aware of this.

Obviously, the simple example that most of us can relate to is social media, and the frequent misunderstandings that come about because of lack of context, proper explanation or over-simplistic soundbites. Again, though, we can look deeper, to the intention of the speaker/author. Do the words really mean to directly hurt or anger you, personally? Or is the creator just expressing themselves and their current emotional state (not necessarily well)?

This New Moon, I’ve been feeling deeper flows moving beneath us. Change is very much in the air. Sometimes that means simply stopping your own monologue so that you might better hear it. Your story goes on… just in descriptive terms, not conversational.

Yes, communication is good; so is information, of course. But we also need time to pause, to reach beyond language, to see, hear and feel what’s really going on.

Appreciation

Very ill today, due to intolerances (and sneaky hidden nasties in yesterday’s food). Extreme dizziness, nausea, lack of concentration… now faded, thank goodness.

It may be surprising, but in recent years, illness or incapacitation has actually made me thankful (when I’ve stopped groaning or hiding under a blanket). It forces me to honour aspects of life that I might have taken for granted, by feeling the loss when they’re taken away.

Sometimes it seems that there are few greater joys than a really severe headache finally receding. When the world ceases to sway as I lift my head, or I’m able to focus again. With the severest migraines I’ve ever had, the moment when I can actually see at all, or sometimes even regain the power of coherent speech (a truly terrifying experience).

I know there are so many who are worse off than me – my complaints are comparatively tiny. But we all have our foibles, our needs and reactions, physical and otherwise to varying degrees. We try to get on regardless – or in spite of – because the alternative is to give up, which is no solution. Even if we pause to recuperate or take stock, we hold on to that intention to move again… eventually, once we’re able.

Tonight I was working again, gladly and with many smiles. The sunset as I drove home was beautiful, with the promise of rain imminent. I’m settling down now to rest, with my book and bed a safe haven.

I might whinge… but I’m still thankful to be moving.

Honest Rest

I’ve met a few dogs (and their owners) in recent days, and the same comment has come up each time.

Dogs cannot fake it. They are intrinsically truthful (even when trying to be sneaky). If they love you, they show it.

Today, I learned one of their lessons all over again. It was a day of Enforced Rest, after overdoing it working too hard lately.

Sometimes, you just have to stop. And as you live (work and play) with full focus, so it can be good to rest in the same way.

Until you’re ready to face the hard business of chasing, walks and playing again tomorrow.

🙂

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Tired Reflection

Such a busy week.

Outside once again with the puppies this evening, I’m so tired, I’m operating largely on sensation.

I walk through wet grass, feeling it tickle my bare feet through my sandals. A much-needed warm breeze brushes my arms, even hours after sunset. Bats flit through trees. Tiny lambs peer curiously through the gate to their field-home.

I come back to a cosy home, the last few chores and a welcome cup of tea before snuggling into bed with my partner.

My space. My neighbours. My land. My loved ones.

Gladness.