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Building your own Protective Construct and Connecting

When we begin to approach spiritual practice and the idea of protective constructs it can often leave us quite baffled. For beginners, terminology might seem confusing. Attempting to wrap your mind around energetic concepts without having any experiences to relate to is one major obstacle. Over the past few days I’ve been contemplating how to explain it in a way that allows someone to personally relate and connect to these ideas -hopefully, without sounding too complicated. Here, I will discuss energetic constructs of protection    -essentially our psychological sense and over-all feeling of safety. I will discuss how we can tap into them and use them in our daily lives as a tool to begin to feel better.

First, let me begin by saying that my personal ideas and techniques are by far my own. They may or may not work well for you. As was once said to me “everything with a grain of salt.” Meaning, consider it, work with it and if it isn’t right for you, you’ll know. First, a construct is something that an idea is built from. Each person experiences life in varied ways. Essentially, what makes me feel safe may not be the same thing that elicits feeling safe for you. To begin you may have to introspect and ask yourself some of the following questions:
• What makes me feel safe?
• What made me feel safe when I was younger?
• How do I imagine that I would protect myself?
• Do I work with any symbols or idea that evoke the idea of protection and safety? Do I feel connected deeply to these ideas?

When I was a little girl, I thought the closet was a safe place. I found them comfortable. After-all, nothing could sneak up on me if my back was to a wall, right? To boot, I loved my silky blanket. According to stories, my parents confessed, I loved my blanket enough for “silky” to be my second word. So, what in the world does all of this have do with protective magic? Really, everything but specifically the way that we connect.

Often we read that to protect yourself you can start by visualizing a bubble of light. The idea is to shield you from usually unseen energy that bombards us. The energy may be emotional (from other people projecting it), mental and more. Don’t get me wrong, the basic sphere or egg shaped visualization works alright. However, in many situations, I discovered that the white-light construct would cut me off from useful energies that I was attempting to work with. It blocked too much out. The idea of using an image to bounce energy back (such as the mirror shield) was ok except I didn’t feel comforted with the knowledge that the energy could take on the function of the actual stuff I was imagining (mirrors reflect). I didn’t want that stuff “reflecting” back and forth or all over the place -I mean, who knows where that energy is going or who might slam into right?  I wanted to feel the connection -personalize it beyond its mere mental functioning.
Personal introspection led me to the idea that we can first build our own constructs by considering places and situations and events that have occurred that have evoked a sense of love, protection and safety in our own lives. When we imagine those situations, it can trigger memories and hopefully the safe feelings that went with them. Then, we can tie those into the visualization we are using.
To do this try the following. Limit distractions (T.V, phone, pets etc) and settle into a quiet spot. After contemplating your personal ideas and experiences of “safe” and hopefully writing it down, take three to five deep breaths. Breathe until the feeling of “safe” washes over you. Once you have a good hold on the feeling then visualize something that makes you feel safe. Maybe it is rushing water swirling around you in a sphere, maybe it is a ball of fire or that big ball of light. Consider for a moment what you would like to keep in, let in and keep out. One method is to literally tell it what its job is. In a sense, you are programming a projected idea around you. This idea and the energy you put into it becomes your personal construct. It follows you wherever you go. The more energy you put into it (like sitting and visualizing it every day) the more stable it becomes. Go out and try it for a while. I’d love to have your personal feedback regarding experiences.

The Powers of a Witch

Prior to discussing this subject, I want to express that “The powers of a witch” are not for witches alone.  Many people may manifest spiritual abilities without identifying as a witch -or anything at all for that matter. Out with the labels or embrace them -whatever works. Now, on to business! New seekers have a lot of questions.  One I hear often is “What are my powers or gifts, can you tell me?” More frequently,  I hear questions that often indicate that way too much T.V. is to blame.  Questions of that variety sound more like this: “Can you shoot fireballs from your hands?”   “Can you float things across the room or turn yourself into a cat?”  Hey, I’ll be the first one to say that if I could fly on a broom I’d give up the idea of car payments forever and kick the dust from my brooms invisible transmission!  It is a nice thought.

It isn’t unusual for beginners to be interested in what their talents may be.  Answering this question isn’t easy.  While it is possible a person may be able to discern a special talent that you have, it is more likely that you will have to develop patience and practice to determine what gifts you already have.

I deeply believe that all people are capable of what is sometimes perceived as “supernatural” ability.  What should be remembered is that as we move closer to nature and reconnect, it isn’t unusual for us to suddenly recognize such things. Animals are very keen. We have been disconnected for so long that most of these abilities have been buried. Seekers are archeologists of the soul and the digging uncovers the self that we are at the core. Of course, I speak only for myself in regard to that belief.

I first encountered the “Thirteen Powers of the Witch” when reading a book by Silver Raven Wolf.  The excerpt goes like this:

Thirteen powers do the Witches claim
their right of lineage by Goddess’s* name.
Tie a knot and say the words
or hand on head – the blessing conferred.
A Witch can give success in love
curse or bless through God/dess above.
Speak to beasts and spirits alike
command the weather, cast out a blight.
Read the heavens and stars of the night
divine the future and give good advice.
Conjure treasure and bring fortune to bear
heal the sick and kill despair.
I list the gifts slightly different as can be seen below.  Some of the gifts will be more like skills -you’ll have to really work at them.  Others will really be more of a talent, maybe you could always do it and didn’t realize it had a name?  Often, it is the case that more than one gift is present.
  1. The Eyes: My mother talked to me about “special eyes” To have the eyes simply means that you have the ability to visually see the spiritual world.  That vision may come from dreaming or while a person is awake.  Often, clairvoyance (clear sight) many manifest through dreams. People with the eyes may be precognitive (seeing before something happens) or post cognitive (seeing events that have happened in the past.)
  2. Speaking with and listening to spirits/animals: By spirits, I mean all kinds: worldly and otherworldly, animals and plants, elemental and otherwise.
  3. The Gift of Projection: Those who discover this ability may be able to leave their bodies to astral travel, bi-locate, remote-view, dream-walking.  Though these talents can be used in conjunction with dreaming, I separate them because they can be utilized otherwise as well. I’ve also seen this manifest using the voice.
  4. The Gift of The Hands (Transference) and (Drawing):  witches of all kinds can learn to project, direct and absorb energy but witches with the gift of transference/drawing are often healers. They often become adept at moving energy inside the body (not just the physical body but often the etheric one as well.) Witches with this gift are often Psychometric.  They have the ability to touch objects and receive (draw) information from what they encounter.   This ability may include a gift to sever and connect energy lines (with or without physical touch).
  5. The gift of Divination:  Most witches use some form of divination.  Most commonly used are cards of some kind (cartomancy).  Others might read natural signs, use dowsing pendulums, black mirrors for scrying, runes and more.  The tool is just that and nothing more but it aids a witch in channeling information. If divination is your “gift” it may come very easy and you may discover an uncanny ability to discern explicit details when you look beyond or “through” the tool itself.
  6. The gift of “Wish” This was described to me from the time I was very young.  The gift of wish is exactly what it sounds like, it is the ability to make a wish, point and watch it happen. The manifestation happens quickly and appears to be almost immediate. I feel this wish falls into the bless and curse category.  Meaning that if you can bless you can also curse. The old adage “Be careful what you wish for” is taken very seriously with a person who is gifted with the “wishing.”
  7. Medium: Mediums are vessels, they themselves become the physical channels for spirits to communicate through.  Instead of needing a tool, the medium is the tool.  I’ve heard mediums describe sudden anxiety, cold sweats, intense pressures on their bodies. However, I feel this may be an early manifestation of this ability and is best guided by a well-experienced mentor who shares a similar gift.
  8. Discernment: (Clear Judgement) Discernment is an ability that often travels through the channel of clairsentience (clear feeling) as well as “The knowing.”  Often it is difficult to put into distinct words.  My mother referred to it as “gut feelings.” When a person discerns they are able to “tell the difference.”  They may know when a person is lying or immediately know if something is not in their best interests or the interest of others.
  9. The Gift of Empathy: Empathy is the ability to tune into the feelings of others.  Often, in the beginning, empaths may find it difficult to tell the difference between their own feelings and the feelings of those around them.  They are much like water spilled on a counter.  The water needs a container, empaths need time to retreat and firm emotional boundaries.

RECOGNIZING AND NURTURING OUR GIFTS

Now, how do these gifts manifest?  What can we expect and how can we recognize the development of these various gifts.   Can a witch have more than one gift?  More questions abound.  Lets’ address a few of them.  First, a witch could possibly have all of them but some will be stronger than others.  The strongest are often considered the “gifts.” I won’t dish out a name but years ago I was very close to a young man with the amazing talent to travel out of his body.  He described the sensations and had absolutely no clue exactly what was happening to him.  When he became frightened he often shifted out of his body.  He would describe seeing himself from above or be able to details scenes when he appeared to be unconscious.  During a doctors’ visit, he discovered he needed a shot. Being extremely fearful of needles, he attempted to distract himself with magazines or by humming.  A nurse and a doctor had him seated in a chair with an armrest and they pulled out the syringe.  The moment the cool metal touched his skin his color drained from his cheeks.  I’d been attempting to keep him calm when I realized he had blacked out. After the appointment, I discovered he was rather upset.  He was convinced that I was going to allow the medical team to hold him down.  He convincingly recounted his version of the events and reiterated that I should have left with him instead of choosing to ignore him.  I was profusely confused.  He continued to explain:  “They were going to put that needle in me and I jumped up and yelled no.  I told you to come on that we were leaving and you just kept your back to me the whole time.  You were ignoring me.” Suddenly, I felt an overwhelming compassion and at the same time, suppressed the urge to giggle just a little. I pointed out to him that he should look at his arm.  If he had jumped up and left how was their evidence of a shot?  I then retold him the story and explained that the reason I did not turn around was because I was attending to his physical body.  I explained that I didn’t hear him yelling at me.  It took him quite a while to recover from the shock.

Recognition should lead to a pursuit of knowledge.  Learn about the gift, research it and honor it by trusting it.  Of course, gifts should be used to serve in a way that is healing and helpful.  Each person has to discover how he or she may use their gift in compassion, wisdom and great love.

IDENTIFYING YOUR STRONGEST CHANNEL

They may manifest through various channels.  Some of these channels I have mentioned above. It is not unusual for one to be stronger than the rest.  A primary channel is the one that is utilized most often for information to be received through. What do I mean by channel?  In this case, I mean a pathway by which the gifts can unfold.  Here are some that you may encounter:

Clairaudience: The ability to hear clearly.

Clairvoyance: To see clearly.

Claircognizance: Clear Knowing

Clairsentience:  Clear feeling (sensation) that does not necessarily involve the hands.

Clairtangency: The ability to touch objects and retrieve information previously unknown.

Clairscent: Smelling the unseen -meaning there isn’t a logical reason to smell roses suddenly when there are no roses present or recently present.

 

In this post, I have not mentioned many things such as telekinesis, teleportation, telepathy -and so on.  My general attitude is that all things are possible.  Initially, I felt these needed a new category but in the end found myself undecided at where to place them. I list them as the nine gifts, of course, there may be more of these as they are broken down.  The Green Gift are people who have an amazing talent to grow plants and speak with them. Due to the nature of it, I lump it together with working and speaking with spirits. I find that most gifts are subtle in nature. Developing them is in part, a matter of not forcing it to happen.  Stay open, receptive and wonder at the world and all the things in it.  All gifts are revealed in time -and some quite a bit more mundane than you would expect.

 

 

 

Journey To The Underworld

 What Is The Underworld

I have seen that place as an endless forest full of lost spirits and creatures horrid that take the shape of something I desire. The cities are abandoned or forbidden, my beloved home is lost and my people are all gone. I am misplaced and my memories are so scattered I cannot recall how I came to this place or why I am here. Familiar places are buried by the sands of time and weep at the sight of them.  I swear to the archaeologists that it was only yesterday. I’ve wandered in honeycomb caverns with the deepest fear I’d never see light again.  My body has been pulled through the endless blues of a barren sea and I’ve felt devoured by it all.

The Underworld is a place to find lost things, to remember, to discover. It calls to us all and willing or not, there is a pull, a yearning, an urge to descend in order to discover exactly what is down there waiting for us.  What happens if we become lost?  How can we find our way out again?  Each person experiences the underworld differently and it may appear differently to each of us.  We go there when we choose to let go of a vice (addictions of all kinds.) When life reaches out with something unexpected and we feel devastated by a loss.  This might occur as a result of an accident, diagnosis of an illness that must be overcome or one that cannot be changed but only managed. It could be a sudden death, facing death or other unmentioned, unseen circumstances. One thing holds -none leave without being changed and feeling out of control is the general consensus.

Having spent many years descending and ascending, I wonder how long I stay before I dive into the depths of those places again. The recent Mercury retrograde has me in an introspective tizzy.  I have been reflecting on my experiences and how I have recorded (mapped) them through the years.  I hope to perhaps record my next descent consciously and place it here for all to see. Since each journey is different, my own can only be an abstract for those who are interested in swimming deeper.

Willing Descent

After the dream visit from the Crone, I started to feel like it was time to go see her.  For several weeks I spent time searching the various names any myths of the dark goddess.  I wondered why she had come to my door and what is was I needed to learn from her.  My own Underworld visits often begin with a dream.  These “big” dreams are my signpost for important change in my life.  With change always comes sacrifice.  I wanted this time to be different.  I didn’t want to go kicking and screaming to the underworld; pulled into the caverns by faceless, monstrous voids, grabbed and dragged into street drains into the watery depths.  This time, I wanted to go to the gates of the Underworld myself and descent into her sacred realms.  What might I lose or set aside?  What might I gain?  How much time do I truly have to prepare? and How can I utilize and integrate what I have learned?  These are the questions I set out to answer as I begin another descent.

What follows is a description of a ritual I will work to mark descent.  Often, these experiences happen all on their own without an individual seeking to initiate the experience.  In my own case, I have chosen to complete this ritual to symbolically mark my own experiences and process through what I need to ascend to the surface with.  As Meredith points out in her book, some people are caught in the underworld for a very long time without the understanding of how to integrate the wisdom accumulated there.

Signs and Preparation

The first signs I am entering the underworld is often an unsettled feeling followed by what I referred to earlier as a big dream.  The experience of such a dream indicates to me that my life is about to change (not that it is all doom -it is most definitely the opposite.) I didn’t plan to begin another underworld journey without research.  I discovered a book called:  Journey To The Dark Goddess, a book by Jane Meredith.  In her book, Meredith explains that prior to an intentional journey, the first step should be preparation. My own preparation will involve several steps. In my preparation, I considered the ways in which I have journeyed the Underworld previously and write out how I can prioritize time to visit this realm at least once a year.  I was delighted to find the suggestion in the book to write a letter to yourself prior to descent.  While different, I do often write letters to “Old Mother.”  These letters often provide me with guidance concerning daily aspects of my life. The outline below is a rough sketch of what Meridith describes in her book and it does not include every detail of ritual planning due to the spontaneous nature of my own work.

  1. Acknowledging the dream (the call) and asking myself big questions:  What must I face?  What must I embrace now?  How can I grow from this experience?  What actions can I take? (Reflection of the dream and contemplation through questioning and silence.)
  2. Prepare my backup plan. In this step, I decide who I will use as my “safe person” This person is aware of my ritual and what it is that I am doing.  They are there if I need them.  If I go to deep this person helps to pull me from the underworld. I let them know when I begin the ritual and when I end. In the past, this was sometimes a person who literally monitored the ritual.
  3. I spend time listening and nothing more.  This may be for a set time period such as twenty minutes for three days.
  4. Choose offerings for the underworld.  I will create something:  a song, a painting, a dance.
  5. Create a sacred space.  This can be done in a number of ways, I typically work with plants so I will smudge the area or burn an oil.
  6. I gather all of my tools which will include the way I plan to record or map out my journey.  Since I often write, journaling is the easiest route -of course, my journals are never limited to writing alone.  I will gather pens, colored pencils or any other objects I plan to use.
  7. Review my life journey so far both positive and negative events:  I do by first writing things out and then I create a drawing that expresses it.
  8. Conjure the energy for casting circle and complete the circle casting ritual.  Verbally announce the purpose for the journey.  Often, I go through these rituals and then they play themselves out in my dreamscapes.
  9. Descent.  Often I use dream imagery and guided visualization that helps to move me into the Underworld.  Since I’ve been there before, I often find myself descending deeper into broken roadways at construction sites that lead into the ground.  I’ve also gone to this place through a large opening in a tree.  This first image is the first gate.  I’ve heard that there are seven gates, from other’s who have made the journey, nine gates. At each of the gates, I give something up in order to go deeper.

Despite how the journey is made, whether you design your own or follow a formatted based from myth, understand that the journey results in an internal change that often causes external things in your environment to change.  The descent is only that.  Merideth pointed out in her book that the general format above can get you into the underworld but not out. While you are in the underworld,  it is important to keep your focus on the purpose of the journey and to give yourself a reason prior to return.  This was my own challenge as I discovered I’d already been living in the Underworld for quite a long time.  It is for that reason that I’ve chosen to ritually acknowledge the journey and begin the ascent to the surface once again.  If you a preparing for a descent, I’d fully recommend researching mythic stories of descents and picking up the book that inspired me to write this blog.

 

References:

Journey To The Dark Goddess How To Return to Your Soul -Jane Meredith

 

21 Day Challenge Journal

Night 1

I realized quickly how much I might appreciate silence if I’d make the room for it.  Today was hectic.  I spent the day running errands, checking on relatives, and driving out of town to appointments.  Clearly, I need to let some of the rush and clatter go.  A few moments of silence before bed on the first day is what I allowed myself.   I thought it was a sad start but then I scolded myself for being a bit too critical.

Night 2:

On day two I worked for ten hours came home and suddenly realized my most optimal quiet places would either be outdoors early in the morning prior to going to the gym or while I was in the bathroom.  I felt a yearning for the quiet as if it might bring me an unexpected solace.  The dark was cold, I was outside and grateful to be without the buzzing of mosquitos over my head.   My fuzzy red robe brought warmth as I sipped hot tea and sat in the swing.  I could still hear birds flapping and chirping in the trees.  Briefly, my mind wandered to my father and back again.  My eyes settled on the oak tree.  Fifteen minutes had passed and that felt like a good start.

Night 3:

Tonight, I chose my fifteen minutes of silence in front of my altar.  One candle flickered in the darkness and I sat and gazed at the smoke rising up from the burning mugwort.  A heavy creak moaned across the ceiling and I felt a presence behind me.  I chose not to panic despite the spiked heart rate.  Breathing myself into the calm I sat.  I ended the time and acknowledged what I felt and heard.  I followed up with something to eat and watch on T.V before bed.

Night 4:

The sun rose early and  I enjoyed the near silence.  In the distance, I could hear a few cars starting and I was nearly startled into getting up and getting the day started.  All the things I needed to get done were on my mind.  I could hear myself questioning if I needed the silence and knew immediately the thought indicated that I did.  The air was cool, damp leaves were piled under my feet.

Night 5

Dreams of winged monsters lacking in ferocity shrieked across my dream.  The witch in my dream seemed to know the monsters personally.  She felt sorry for them saying “Poor thing, it has been too long since you’ve eaten, the beast seems to have taken over.” As though it were ashamed of itself the monster wailed and flew away.  In the past five days, my dreams have become more vivid.  Also, I recognize my need to create something -anything.  I picked up my paint and started working today.

Night 6

My family and I attempted to put up the Yule tree tonight.  It was a little disaster. I wanted everyone to enjoy the experience, to put the tree together, instead, there was complaining and corrections, directions and criticism.   I recovered from it by going outside with a hot cup of tea and discovered my inner critic has been on the rage.  Why I wondered am I so critical -of myself and sometimes of those that I love? I asked the question out loud and let it go for a while.  Much of it is due to expectation and hoping that those around me will enjoy it as much as I do.  I couldn’t see joy, I felt that others had a “could care less attitude” and it frustrated me.  The dark brought calm as I drank my chamomile tea and listened to the migrating geese flying south for the winter.

Night 7:

Day seven was spent sitting at the base of a gum tree.  I settled myself in the little warmth the sunlight offered and sat at the base of the tree.  I’d decided to simply sit and look -nothing more.  I noticed the spiky seed pods on the ground.  Some of them were withered without spines.  They appeared alien but I felt tempted to bag them and roll them in glitter when I got home.  I resisted the urge -barely.  Red and orange leaves dappled the damp ground nearly covering the small parking lot.  In this space, I felt calm.  Few children played in the park. As the sun set, I found myself alone in the park, the night settled in and I packed up for home.

Night 8:

On the porch, darkness waited. A large cup of tea rested warmly between my palms.  I sat in a chair at the edge of deeper shadows cast by trees and bushes. This is where I met the dark goddess in my dreams last year.  She came with the snow and I let her into my home without hesitation.  I closed my eyes and called out to her.  Silence settled into my surroundings.  Crickets stopped chirping and for a moment the only sound was a buzzing streetlight.  I focused on the sound of my breath until I was suddenly startled by dogs beginning to howl.  The sound was eerie and seemed to echo.  As suddenly as it began, the howls ceased.  Steam danced from my cup and warmed my nose.  Without a doubt, Old Mother was listening.

Night 9:

A raccoon attempted suicide by leaping in front of the van I drove this evening.  I missed.  I was greatly relieved that I would not have to contend with the guilt of viewing an animal carcass in my rear view mirror.  I felt grateful for that.  The rune Isa greeted me as I settled into mediation.  Sulfur streaked up my nose as I lit the singular white candle this evening for meditation.  I caught an image of a warm hearth fire in the dark darting across my thoughts as I glimpsed the first flicker of the flame.  I resign myself to silence, not to think but to wait until my mind finds the quiet.  Floating in the velvet abyss, I lost track of time, consciousness shifted in and out.

Night 10, 11 and 12

Night 10: Silence continues to be a daily practice.  The past three days were documented in a written journal I refer to as I write here.  I’ve noticed a restlessness settling in my spirit.  It has made meditation difficult; silence even more so.  On night ten I sat to paint.  The results were a myriad of colors painted over abstract forms I’d sketched months earlier.  I felt a frustration rise and fall as I painted.  I’ve encountered this before.  I do not judge it, I acknowledge it and clean up for the day.

Night 11: needed to be spent moving.  I wondered briefly to myself if I was uncomfortable with stillness and if I was actually seeking to avoid it.  I breathed and considered the thought for a moment. I danced and recorded it.  I played it back and noticed myself smiling.  Dancing made me feel very good when I was a little girl.  I started writing out of a need to express pent up energy and emotions I could not express to anyone else.  Still, something deeper is calling me.

Night 12: Silence was a matter of ten simple minutes setting in front of my altar space.  I found I was tired and falling to sleep.  Right before bed is never a good time for silence.  It lulls me into dreams.  My dream journal yielded positive results with a message that felt more like a warning.

The message was this:  The Price is Too High.

Night 14, 15 and 16

Night 14:  Tonight was more formal.  I decided to sit down and connect with my guides.  Lately, I’ve had more trouble than I’m willing to admit connecting to them.  The facts are in, I’m avoiding something.  Still, it is difficult for me to pinpoint exactly what.  It is the “something is amiss” feeling. The theme of my dream tonight was an apple.  I did not recall the details clearly but I remembered the image of a T.V. with dancing figures that had no faces at all. Night 15:  Earlier today, I was delighted to find that a book came in.  While digging deeper into the stories of the dark goddess, I came across a book called:  “Journey to the Dark Goddess How to Return to Your Soul” by Jane Meredith.

Night 15:  Earlier today, I was delighted to find that a book came in.  While digging deeper into the stories of the dark goddess, I came across a book called:  “Journey to the Dark Goddess How to Return to Your Soul” by Jane Meredith. Although only a few chapters in, I find myself able to connect with the text.  I am most interested in the exercise she called “Listening to the Underworld.”  I put this into practice tonight.

Night 16: Although being formal doesn’t make it more likely that I will connect with my guides, I am lured to ritual.  I enjoy the beauty, the sounds -and in some cases the lack of it.  Tonight is the second night I am listening to the underworld.  There were vague whispers and in my own inner vision, I saw images from previous dreams drift in and out of my visual frame.  Tonight, I chose not to become drawn in but to linger in that space to familiarize myself with the feeling. An eerie feeling settled in behind me, I breathed with it for a while and decided to go to bed.

Night 17:  No Silence

I did not sit with silence today.  It was difficult to find it -make it.

Night 18:

My favorite place for silence, the shower. I set candles on the counter by the sink and in the corners of the tub.  A spell for peace helped me along the road to silence. I sat in the steaming water and listened.  Tonight was without murmurings or noises from the rest of the house.  Everyone was gone.  I don’t mind that sometimes.  It felt good.

 

Night 19:

It is December 10, 2016, as of the fifth,  I’ve given my notice at work to return to work with the school.  I need the flexibility.  It does make me a little nervous but I know that things have a way of working out.  I feel that I am in a safe place with people I can trust.  It is time to move forward though I’m sure I carry some naivety regarding the meaning of forward. I reorganized my altar and drew a rune before beginning.  I received Fehu.  Tonight my mind was active.  I pictured work I’ve done old and new.  I find that I am concerned about my future and my ability to be more decisive.  I wondered if my thoughts would abate and had to bring my attention to the sound of my breath.  I wanted to stay in the “breathing space.” It was more peaceful.  I am looking forward to a little silence every day.

Night 20

My most notable observance are that my dreams appear to be clearer.  I sat in silence but this time with the intention to listen to the house.  I heard creaks and moans and the whiz of electricity, snoring of dogs and suddenly, I found myself turning inward, away from the house and into myself.  I considered for a moment that when I dream, I am able to reflect upon my life by seeing the “condition” of my inner home.  Within the silence I felt something, it had little form but I felt it, something is coming with the winter, I need to find more silence to understand the message.  I crave silence now.

Night 21 (The Final Night of Silence)

The more I sit in silence the more I hear.  I place my ear low to the ground to hear the whispers of the underworld.  Silky darkness brings flourishing dreams that I record each morning.  A new chance is coming but I must release something first.  Today, I decided to let my job go.  The pay was decent but in order for me to complete school I needed more flexibility.  I discovered there may be more to what I desire.  I am “called” to be honest with myself, to consider what I deeply desire and to move forward without hesitation.  Before the stillness,  I first ask a question.  Often one curiosity leads to more inquiry and because of this I don’t move to the next one before clearly hearing the answer to the first.  From silence I’ve learned, I am impatient with myself and that this need needs to be addressed.  Silence holds many gifts.  Embrace it willingly without defined expectations.

Finding Stillness

Finding stillness in a busy chaotic world full of chores, to-do lists, work and play can be a challenging effort. How can we find the stillness we need and what can if offer us? How do we know that we need stillness? I place my hand in my rune bag and move it in circles. The tips of my fingers move the pecan shells around until just the right moment. I feel a cool zap and a rune catches between my fingers. I’ve drawn the rune Isa (stillness) more than three times this week. Images of a standing tree in the winter time or the quiet of the darkness when it is cold are the memories I’ve associated with this symbol. It hasn’t been drawn since early last year so I sit for a while and reflect upon the week I’ve had.

At work, tension builds up as the new versus the old way of doing things play tug of war through fellow employees and leadership. On the homefront, my father and I reconnected after eleven years and to say the least, he is in rough physical and mental shape. Neglecting his health and well being, life now forces him to look at the difficult time ahead of him if he chooses not to make a few relevant changes. He is a man without resources in regard to savings, health insurance, medical provider, or healthy living choices. The reality is, I am not able to care for my father the way he needs to be cared for. He is a man of pride and stubbornness and he desires deeply to keep as much of his freedom as possible. When I say he is the kind of man that would pack a bag and vanish into the forest I am not kidding.

In the past five days, I’ve gone on what feels like endless errands, attended work meetings that were scheduled last minute to deal with new team membership challenges, and got my little girl started at school again. My father’s partner had an accident and the doctors have sent her for recovery in a nursing home. I’ve spent time visiting her and updating her on how my father is. This, of course, does not omit the reading for my own classes that begin tomorrow, taking care of the house, pets and yard work. My own routines of going to the gym and completing my morning dream journaling have all taken a back seat. Frankly, the permeating feeling is on of exhaustion. After a long night of sleep last night, I sat down for my cup of coffee this morning and nearly fell to sleep in it!

This week, I’ve decided on a stillness dedication. Stillness is my own point for rejuvenation. It is a state of receptivity where I do not try to do, to visualize, to think etc. I take a nice nap for thirty minutes, I make warm tea, I go for a walk. Because I love to talk -a lot, I promise myself to speak less. In the time of stillness, I may observe where I need to prioritize my energy. I may discover what drains me or sustains me. I am the kind of person that looks around and discovers a plethora of activities to keep me moving; walk the dog, do the dishes, fold the laundry, read for school, exercise. Not moving leaves me with a sloth feeling and some regret that activities are not finding completion. The result is feeling worn and having little ability to respond to my usual “pick-me-ups.”

When I begin to buzz back and forth almost mindlessly, it is the first sign that I need stillness. To do this, I have to call upon my own boundaries. I turn off my cell phone, the t.v. and stop checking social networks online. Stillness means saying no to those that are constantly interrupting the time needed for restoration.

I place the Isa rune back in its sachet with the promise to myself in mind. I acknowledge my busy list of things to do but set them to the side until I must do them. Until then, I set boundaries where necessary. I choose to sit in stillness and listen to the darkness.