Tag Archives: stillness

Grandmother Winter Challenge

Free Image from Pixabay
Free Image from Pixabay

The crisp air of winter crawls up my nostrils.  I watch the steam from my cup clash with the breath streaming from my mouth. Great grandmother watched the signs of the seasons, she said that that fogs during the autumn indicated how many times it would snow.  Already, there have been two foggy days.  With the cold comes Grandmother Winter.  I dreamt there was a knock on the door.  Without hesitation or concern for who may be on the other side, I opened the passage into my home.  Snow drifts were piled high, the wind howled and I felt her presence as she rounded the bend to my door.  Clad in a heavy cloak, slouched over with a twisted cane was an old petite woman with eyes dark as coal and skin reminiscent of the deep cracks in bark.  Here, before my eyes stood Grandmother Winter.

This time of year I prepare, I go within.  For the next month, beginning this evening I’ll set the intention to connect with the dark, with silence and see what it has to show me.  From tonight until the eve of December 21, I’ll be documenting my experience here on my blog for the sake of accountability.  Deciding to use my beautifully illustrated oracle cards by Stacey Demarco, I drew the Skull of Darkness, beckoning me into the shadows to explore my own nature.  My runes revealed Isa indicating the need for stillness and receptivity.

Skull of darknessRecently, I’ve found myself amused at all the challenges floating across the internet.  Over the past week, the mannequin challenge has been on the news, on campus and during my daughter’s birthday party, in my living room!  In the spirit of challenge, I charge my readers to complete the next 21 days with me and share your own thoughts and experiences along the way.  How will the divine feminine appear to you?  What do the Shadows have to show you?  What might you discover in the darkness?  Let’s find out!

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.