Finding my soul

leaves

About fourteen years ago I was trying to figure out what was missing from my life. I was a full time teacher and it fulfilled me in many ways. I had a lovely home and did not want for much in material ways. My marriage was at that point pretty much over and I had become numb to the relationship. Most of my life I had been called a feminist. The current people that I was allowed to socialize with (gives you a hint about the marriage) called me a feminazi. In my younger years, I never accepted being told I could not do something because I was a woman. I had buried the strong female warrior that resided in me in order to survive in a very male supremacist social circle. Even the wives were all in agreement that women were subservient to men and they chastised me for rebelling and being as independent as I was. I became isolated and victimized. Fortunately, I got divorced. At the time, it was horrible but it was my salvation.

I look back and see that a door had opened.  I pursued alternative avenues for connection. At night on the weekends, I joined a group of divorced people in a chat room. Some of us splintered off and we met every weekend for over a year. I started taking classes at night and pursued learning about a path that resonated with me. All the people, male and female, who I was surrounding myself with were all Witches. The classes were in Wicca. I was learning about the Goddess.

Less than a year after I had moved into my new house, divorced and happy, I became very ill. I had five blood clots and one was very dangerously positioned near my heart. I have written about this before. After what was supposed to be open heart surgery, and they discovered all the clots were gone, I was placed in a room with a very sick woman. Turns out she was a Witch. At one point our hospital room was filled with several visiting Witches.

All of these events and connections were signs of the Goddess. I felt very strong back then and somehow I lost it. I have felt disconnect, frail and unsure for a long time. I needed to work through this and try different avenues of religion and practices to see where I fit. I honor all those who have influenced me and offered guidance.

My studies have brought me full circle and back to where I began.  But this time, it is not about Wicca. It is about being a Witch and what that really means. The media and other religious connotations and images are so absolutely wrong about what a Witch truly is. I did not get all of this even myself when I first was learning fourteen years ago. Finding the Goddess and being a Witch is about finding the soul of a woman. Even men have a feminine side. It is about strength and love. It is not about spells: anyone can cast a spell. It is about the Light within.  It is about connecting with the Earth Mother. It is about doing what is right. It is not about denouncing Jesus or God or bashing anyone or anything else. It is total acceptance, including self-acceptance and loving who we are. It is finding your soul.

If anyone would like to read an excellent book on this subject I highly recommend the following book. Do not be misled by the word Power, it is not what you think.

Power of the Witch. Cabot, Laurie (2013-12-18). Random House Publishing Group.

 

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What awakening means to me

spt morning     What does awakening mean to me? It has taken a lot of thought to come up with an answer and I am not sure that there really is a definitive answer. It has to be something that is so personal that only the soul knows. Yet, there must be a level of established acknowledgement; there has to be a place of achievement. As I face the blank page and reminisce about the thoughts that I sought to answer this, I hear the birds in my garden. I see the golden sunlight streaming as it pokes its head over my garden fence. I hear a chipmunk scolding my dogs for interrupting its breakfast. I see the golden spots mixed within the dark green of the leaves in my trees. The air is sweet, filled with the dusky smell of damp earth and fall blooms. The dew is still cast on the lawn leaving a gossamer film that shimmers and sparkles in the light. My flowers are radiant in the saturation of colors of pink and red. Even the grain on the wooden deck demonstrates the life force there in. I am one with this all. To me, this is part of being awakened.

I walked through life surrounded in a claustrophobic wrapper that I thought was protecting me from being hurt anymore. I had become something I did not like. I was fearful all the time. I did not trust and I did not love much of anything. My anger and pain was a cloak that never came off but was becoming so heavy I could not move. And so I did not.

Without going into too much history, I reached an apex when one night in the light of the full moon. I stood within the parameters of my garden circle that I had created and cried with my arms out to the Goddess, Mother Moon and all the spirits that could hear me to heal me. My words were, “I do not want to be so afraid anymore.”  full moon

The rest of my life will be spent in healing. I am in such an early stage of being truly receptive to learn and understand my intended purpose. Part of that is awakening. I have spent my lifetime learning. But the learning I am doing now engages not only my brain, but my heart and soul. I feel, therefore I am. I see with my heart as well as my eyes. The compassion within has always been there, but not felt. Sometimes it can be overwhelming and so I progress in stages of release. My vulnerability is apparent to the predator that smells the eagerness in me to serve and love. I am learning to protect myself in a whole new manner that allows the innocent me to be wise. This too is part of awakening.

The decisive moment in awakening for me is that I decided to do any and all of this. I knew as I stood in the garden that night there was a better way. There was something within that I still cannot explain well that said, “stop, look, learn and be whole.” I knew enough to ask to be healed, even after years of attempts in finding salvation from external resources. It has to come from within. All the money and success and credentialing was never going to make me whole and I knew it intrinsically. There was a seed planted that needed to be nurtured and grow. I always had a hollow feeling within my solar plexus. It ached constantly as if something was haunting me. I thought it was because I was alone and scared and that was part of it. But now I know it is the true essence of me needing to be cultivated and cherished. I need to find my real place in this world and do what I am meant to do. But I understand that I need to grow into it because no plant flowers without early intervention. It needs nutrients and energy to reach its full potential.

So awakening to me is this process. It is opening the door and asking for help. It is the inner knowledge that something needs to change. It is the acceptance that there is more to life and that not everyone gets that and that is ok too. Awakening to me is like being in a dark void which is ok because there is no harm or danger, but there are also no feelings of any kind. And then one day, you come upon a door that is closed, but through the crack of the door jamb you see a brilliant light. You want to open it, but you think it is locked and you are not allowed. And then one day, something makes you push that door ajar. You peek through and see the most beautiful place you can imagine. And that vision is different for each person. You want to be of that place but fear holds you back. But something with in you tells you to take the next step, whatever that maybe. There are hands outstretched to guide you and support you. All you need to do is be available and aware. You need to be open and receptive and learn. You know mistakes will be made but it is all part of the process. Awakening is not the final result of anything. It is only the beginning. It is the opening portal and each step, each lesson, each breath taking moment, each sorrow and loss, and the resolve that there is a purpose to your life.Flying heron

August Garden

garden August 2014

Somehow so quickly, the summer has past. It was a cool and wet summer but the flowers loved it. I spent as much time as I could, which is never enough, sitting out and enjoying the beauty. This is my canvas and I paint  in spring with my flowers. Mother Earth fills in and takes over as the summer progresses. It is the first place I retreat to when I come home and I end my day out there. This is my garden at night.

At dusk

At dusk

The long view from my chair

The corner of the deck

The corner of the deck

View from my chair

View from my chair

View of my chair

View of my chair

During the day I have many visitors. I also have my favorite tree named Elgin in honor of Rising Hawk. Elgin gives me great advice.

Mrs. Bunny                       Elgin in the light

This weekend we leave for Sacred Ground. We are off to The River for a long week.

My meditation spot at the River

My meditation spot at the River

 

The suitcases are packed. However, I had to face this look all day. They know we are going. But they have their Auntie Carolyn to cuddle and smooch them up all day and every night and Uncle John, their favorite is coming over too. So they will be fine. However, I still had this face.

ms attitude

Namaste.

 

Peaceful, easy feeling

wild chives

Summertime and the living is easy. I have been living easy all summer. My blog has been sort of dormant because, and this is a good thing, I am at a place I am calling “in neutral.” I am not stalled out nor am I running my engines at full blast, just I am not in gear. I can be at any moment, but I do not feel the need. I think it is important to take breaks and pause on any effort in hopes to renew interest and vitality to the journey. I am still working on things; just do not feel the need to go into it.

I have been enjoying the wonderful weather and my garden has been fabulous. Everything seems so strange because of the summer shift in so many areas. For example, driving to work in the winter with dry roads can take up to a half hour to forty minutes. In the summer, I am there in fifteen to twenty minutes tops. No significance except that it impacts me by not making me crazy before I am even to work. I have little patience for stupid drivers, people who are texting while driving, or apparent feel they are the only ones on the road. And of course, there are only a handful of school buses and that helps immensely. There is one bus driver who has to pick up kids on every driveway and street intersections on this one road. However, if he sees he has a car behind him, he pulls over. I want to thank him for that.

relaxing with the kids

I wish there was a way to take the easy style of people in the summer and blend it into the frantic craziness that starts to rev up around the end of August. I know “back to school” influences the drama which flows into the air even if you do not have children. The Christmas crap starts with the introduction of Halloween, which around here gets as much decoration attention as Christmas. And then after we all are exposed to the insanity of the holiday BS (sorry for those of you who like it but I am completely turned off by it now) we slam into the winter doldrums. This is an extensive period of time where bitching and complaining about the weather and greyness is an art form. Then after about four months of that, we come to my favorite part of the year where green returns and so does civility.

047

I am not sure where everyone goes. My workplace is pretty empty. I work on the second floor with all the other managers and C suite. There was one day it was so quiet I played nature sounds on my computer out loud for the few of us there. It made the interior bleakness of the overly air-conditioned staleness much easy to take. There used to be a tradition in many manufacturing and other corporate places where they actually shut down for the first two weeks in July. I know many people who live only for those two weeks of vacation instead of incorporating the vacation attitude into their lives year round. One time we were driving around a state park up by the River and it was during a very rainy period of time including that day. As we slowly drove past campsites, people were wet and miserable and the looks on their faces were so telling. There was anger and disappointment. I bet they were fun to be around.

orange moon

Full moon at the River in August 2013

Friday night was full moon. I sat in the radiance of the slightly orange glow as wisps of vapors and feathered rainbow clouds drifted slowly across the sky. I am wishing everyone who reads my blog the peace and tranquility of the summer day and the connection of spirit in the summer night.

all photos jdemeis@2014

June and July garden views

Normally I write inside and I though I would show you where I write. In the summer, I move my laptop outside to the garden. I decided tonight to show pictures of the garden. There is another page I added to this blog which shows pictures of the garden in May. These are June and July shots. I spent a lot of time today giving plants a good trimming and weeding and we worked on the new rose bed. I love roses. For my birthday, my husband gave me a dozen and I had them next to me in my indoor spot.

writing spot

Birthday roses 6-15-14

 

I love to grow roses but I have very little sun. I put in one rose bush last year and it  gave me

eight beautiful roses. open roses  This year I added another one that makes abundant little ones.                                            new roses

Now to the rest of my garden, my paradise.

Garden to the left

  Garden to the left

Garden to the right

Garden to the right

This may look like a lot of work to maintain, but it is not.  Having said that, I can hardly move tonight but it is ok….it is a good hurting. I have the mulch put down and the only thing I do is water, mow and prune….. ok, and plant and weed.  The Rhododendron had a tough winter like us all and I did not have the normal blooms. The oldest one suffered freezer burn and I had to whack it back. But it is back completely and blooming. Joe and I  did put work on the lawn and put in new grass as we had nothing after winter. But we had heavy rains and it washed a lot of the seed down the hill. Matter of fact, the drain by our property has wonderful grass growing from it. The new stuff we put in way in back looks great.

Ms. Cookie

Ms. Cookie

The kids love the garden almost as much as Bishop did. I do have a planter in honor of the Bish.

Bishop's planter   Browny and Cooke spend as much time as they can playing and laying in the sun.Browny

This year I skipped growing tomatoes and went for herbs and lettuce. The lettuce is ready to be picked. herbs and dirt for the dogs

basil and catnip   And I am growing all different Basil and catnip for Magoo, our cat.

tiger liliesElgin and friend

                                                                                                          I love my garden.

Summer Transitions

looking ahead

I survived. Not sure what option I had, but I got through my 60th birthday. I had a lovely week of celebration. I think people should be honored at their birthday and I like to have it linger. It is a holdover from childhood that I think is a good one. We went to the River for a long weekend. I took over 260 photos which I will share as time moves on. Today I want to muse about the upcoming summer, the summer solstice and the energy that seems to be currently around a lot. This is my circle that I am reflecting on and it may not be like this elsewhere. Does it not seem lately that the energy seems pinched? It is like so many of us are going through a tiny passage and we are being squeezed as we pass. Some people are not making their way and others are reacting by being snarky or frustrated. I too seem to be in another place where I am dealing with a big issue that I have had all my life. It is so deep that I am not even ready to share it. Just the concept of working on it has been very overwhelming.

Summer to me is a time of doing things outdoors, so I am at my most connected. The garden is gorgeous and I have a series of pictures which somehow I ended up creating a second blog page when I posted it. I enjoy sitting out at night and meditating and this is the time of year where the nights are the longest. When I was a child, I used to hate having to go to bed when it was still light out. I love it now as it is like having a gift of freedom to enjoy even when you work until 5PM. In the winter here, I go to work in the dark and return in the dark and it really gets to me. The solstice is the point where things will start to shift and the light will begin to decrease. The month before the solstice is my favorite time of the year. But it may be that energy of the shift that I am sensing and seeing in others. The energy that we are headed to a new period and the transmission is causing unrest. The solstice is a time to honor the Earth Mother and all her gifts to us. I love the greenness of the area I live in and the beauty of the flowers and plants. It is amazing that every year this gift comes back to us. This year I sense another energy just on the other side and I am not sure what or why. It is making me a bit off center, a little dizzy.

That is what it feels like, unrest. It is not always bad but can be disturbing. People who I talk are describing this feeling in their lives and how unsettled they feel. At work, we have a lot of turmoil and have recently found out our CEO is leaving. When you work in healthcare, there is nothing but change but having your leader leave can be altering. I know people who seem to be normally pretty focused now seem unraveled and disheartened as to their life direction. I am struggling to articulate this well.

To me it seems like many are on a roller coaster ride. You pay to take the ride and then spend most of it trying to get off the ride. I do not feel that off kilter, that I am up and down. I feel more like I am going through a tunnel again with a tiny speck of light just beginning to appear. I have done this before and came through to a wonderful place, so the fear factor is minimal. Actually, there is some excitement about whatever is coming and I feel that for others too. For now, I will hold on and encourage those around me to do the same.

 

 

The Steady Path

Spring on Lake Ontario

Spring on Lake Ontario

It is time for my Sunday morning post. I used to write every day and although I enjoyed it, I turned the limited time I have before work into my time for meditation. It was a trade-off that has helped me to start my day with a little more calm and being a lot more grounded. I also have begun my nightly ritual of sitting in the garden and ending the day out there. We have not had a lot of nice weather lately and I feel cheated when it is too cold or raining, especially after the winter we had. Sunday is a perfect day to recap the newest steps and thinking from the previous week.
I am trying to reach a state which is what this recent part of my journey has been about. Homeostasis: the tendency of a system, especially the physiological system of higher animals, to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated response of its parts to any situation or stimulus that would tend to disturb its normal condition or function. I have been diligently working in many areas of my life to achieve this very difficult and sometimes elusive state. I have been reading and from my fellow bloggers, there seems to be a lot of us who are struggling with this. I wonder if it is actually a natural state or being human is made up of highs and lows. I think that is true, but there is a degree of height and depth that needs to be maintained in order to be whole and healthy.
The one thing that keeps the pendulum from erratically swinging is trust. I suck at trust. Anyone who has lived a life like mine would have issues with that. And it is not from living in the past either; it is living in the present completely and being aware. I have had to learn forms of protection and I am learning to instinctively know true danger in the present moment and what is a trigger from the past.
The next step I have taken is to let go. This has been very hard for me as the lack of control is frightening. But, I never really did have control, only the illusion. I am finding this hard because I have always been a goal setter and a scheduled achiever. The big issue is to feel safe and comfortable with simply trusting that the path will be laid out before me and it will be the right one. It does not help that I turn 60 in less than a month. I do not want to waste my precious life only to end up… see; I cannot go there as this only demonstrates my lack of trust that things will be fine. It is so easy to fall into this thinking. I am struggling with my mortality and the concept of being the big 6 0. However, I have never been so aware and my past is no longer a weight I lug around. There is  freedom in the wisdom of letting go. Having a spiritual path is the greatest privilege of being human.
And speaking of traveling a spiritual path, I realized that although the last two years have been a concentrated effort working with mentors and support, this journey actually began when I was very young. At one point around the age of eight, I wanted to devote my life to God and become an Episcopal nun. I got very heavy into Christian studies at 15 in an attempt to find refuge from the storm of my home life. I joined youth groups and was very active in my church. My first real mentor was a priest friend who faded from my life around the time I was 27. He has returned to my circle in the past year as a support. When I was in my forties, I turned to a Pagan path and studied the ways of the Goddess. I have a blended approach now which has only been enhanced by the work and influence of my recent experiences and studies. I have been reading metaphysical authors such as Florence Shinn and Napoleon Hill for over fifteen years and belong to all kinds of email groups with varying degrees of spiritualism.
So I am not new to being spiritual. I am new to the healing and being more even. My path is actually very long and had many turns twists, pot holes, trenches, mud pits and mountains. There will be more of that as long as the Devine allows me to walk the path. The difference is that the holes are not so deep and the mountains are easier to get over. I am equipped with gear to get myself back on my way and the confidence to work through the ruts and tunnels…most of the time. I am human and have doubts, worries and fear still. I am very new to this trust thing and have to keep working until this becomes a solid piece of my knowledge and inner being. Most days I am up to the challenge. What is a new part of me is that I allow the down time to heal and gain strength to move on, as moving on is what I desire. And as the path I travel on steadies a bit more, I move on with my eyes and heart open, trusting myself, being aware and mindful of the great possibilities of life. Amen, So Mote it be, and Namaste.