The Magic & Medicine of Autumn

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I’m sitting in my sacred space tonight, reflecting on the shifting of the seasons, and the palpable changes I’m sensing stirring on the winds. I can feel the coming storm of Mercury retrograde, and instead of allowing myself to tense and work myself into a tizzy like I usually do, I am stepping aside, free of any kind of judgement or opinion or reaction and simply allowing the energies to filter through me. I am taking the necessary steps to shield myself a bit more energetically, and I will be frequenting the internet and social media spaces less as a whole; I will also be working more closely with my guides over the next few weeks as not only retrograde comes into play but the thinning veil of the approaching Samhain Sabbat does, as well. Overall, though, I’m not feeling the usual panic that accompanies such a tumultuous astrological event.

Samhain, however, holds an interesting anticipation for me this year. As the veil begins to thin and the spirits begin to stir, I feel this need to root deeply into the earth and the season, and allow them fully into my energy sphere. I believe I can already hear the ancestors on the breeze, especially during this time of the (almost) new moon, and I want to sit with them, listen to them, and absorb their timeless wisdom and history. I want to open all of my senses, all of my intuition and gifts, those already present and those still latent, and really truly partake of this season in the way that our ancestors and ancients did. With magic and passion and presence. Reverence. This is a sacred and powerful season full of medicine and mystery.

The past few days have been ones of much needed magic and medicine for me. Especially yesterday. My husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary together, and what an incredible day it was. He and I went down by the river for a short time, and I was able to meditate with the sun on my skin and my toes in the dirt. I brought a few stones with me, as I always do – I am never without at least one or two stone companions these days – and I allowed myself to drift into the sky and the earth and the ethers, stones in hand, the wind in my hair. I was even able to tune out the sounds of the cars passing by on the bridge not far from where we were. A beautiful hawk came to keep me company for a time, soaring and gliding above me before disappearing across the river to hunt. My crows came to say hello, cawing and flirting with the breeze overhead. A Jerusalem cricket nestled in the dirt near my stones and feet before moving off and finding a place to nest. Numerous small sparrows and finches flew all around, their lovely songs filling the air with late summer sweetness. And all the while, the wind sighed through the trees and the river flowed quietly and yet strong, just like the blood inside my own veins. My husband sat quietly by my side, drinking in the beauty all around us, the nectar that is the pulse and the breath of life.

And last night was absolutely beyond words. I told him that for our anniversary I wanted to go out in the hills or trees somewhere, and watch the stars without any light pollution from the city. Well, he came through for me and then some. We found a beautiful place to park the truck that was far enough away from the city that the sky was a huge open canvas of stars and meteors. The moon was dark and the silence was so thick that at first it was suffocating. I forget sometimes just how quiet the wild places still are, for I am seldom able to escape to them these days. After a time, I relaxed into the stillness, and allowed myself to be pulled into the cool healing light of all the thousands of stars in the sky. My husband and I curled into one another, and didn’t say much save to ponder the vast complexities and mysteries of the Universe and all that lies beyond our scope of vision. I love that he is awakening to all that is out there, all of the unknowns and the possibilities, the uncomfortable places and spaces and questions that many in our sphere of existence don’t dare to venture into. Having a man who is present and coming into his own power is an incredible gift, one of sacred magic and mystery and beauty. I am honored to be his partner during his exquisite journey, just as I am so grateful he is beside me in mine.

It was magic. Pure, simple, beautiful magic. New traditions were formed, new history written. I cannot think of anything more sacred and magical than that.

When it was time to leave, I felt the bottom of my stomach drop just a little. How my heart and soul cry out for the healing silence of the wild places. How I long so much to be able to run wild and free through the trees and the mountains, the cool brisk winds of autumn chilling my naked skin. Howling at the moon with the creatures of the forest and the shadows. My kith and kin. Someday….

Someday.

Autumn has and always will be my favorite time of year. The approaching darkness, the shadows and the chill, the groaning of the wind through the trees on a stormy night….all of the things that call to you, whisper to you on that wind…all of the things that go bump in the night. The slowing heartbeat of the earth Mother, in preparation for a season of withdrawal, rest, and internal journeys….I thrill at the mere thought of it all. This is truly my season, my time, and I continue to drink up the nectar and the medicine of the lengthening shadows and the ancestors calls through the rustling of leaves and cornstalks.

The journey to the shadows begins. May you all be blessed and well on your own descent into the darker half of the wheel. And so it is.

Autumn Reflections

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Ahhh, Autumn. How I have missed you. And how I love everything about your magic and mystery.

It seems ages since I have written in here. My life has been a whirlwind of change over the past several weeks – emotional, spiritual, physical, seasonal. You name it, it’s been happening in my world. The planetary energies are getting progressively heavier every day also, and I just realized over the weekend that no sooner is Venus Retrograde settling down just a bit, but we are gearing up for another Mercury in Retrograde. Plus a lunar eclipse, right around the time of Mabon, or the Autumn Equinox. Some verrrrry powerful astrological magics, indeed. Whew!

All of that aside, however, I find myself slowing down a bit, both internally and externally in preparation of autumn and all of the magic of the harvest season. I am preparing my sacred space for the upcoming winter, with lots of books and magical tools to keep me focused in this season of internal work and quiet reflection. I am clearing out all clutter, both in my home and my psyche, as I know there will be more coming up and out over the winter months of shadow and journey work. I am beginning to reflect on all that I have reaped at the closing of this magical season, and preparing to release those dreams and plans and hopes that did not blossom as I had anticipated. I have also been working on getting my physical health under control, so that I can better care for my family and bring out my soul gifts into the world. I have struggled with a great deal of chronic pain over the past several months, pain that has not only crippled my health and normal day to day life, but has weighed heavily on my emotions and mind, as well.

My husband and I have reconnected very deeply on a soul level of late too, and we are finding that we are manifesting some beautiful and powerful circumstances and situations for our family. There has been a great deal of healing and magic happening in our home and in each other, and I find myself incredibly excited for our futures together.

I have spent more and more time with just my children, particularly in these last couple of weeks before the onset of the new school year. I have found myself so desperate to savor this last bit of constant one-on-one connection with all of them, especially before my teenager becomes preoccupied once more with clothes and boys and the latest school gossips. She and I have come a long way in connecting and building a stronger, healthier relationship in which there is mutual trust and respect on both sides. It hasn’t been easy given where we’ve come from, but we are really, truly getting somewhere. She is changing and blossoming and becoming a strong, beautiful, compassionate young woman; not an easy feat with the world and culture that we live in today. I am more and more proud of her with each passing day, and I have no doubt in my mind that she is going to go out into the world and do great things someday. As for my littlest ones, they are thriving more and more, growing and changing and developing at paces that are almost unheard of! They will be homeschooling with me this year, and I am honored and excited to have this privilege to teach them and share with them all of the magic and mysteries and wonder of knowledge.

As for myself, just myself, I am heeding the call of Spirit and my guides to unplug more and more. From the internet, from spending money too excessively, from eating and doing things that are no longer healthy for my body or my spirit. I am digging down deep inside of my heart and my psyche and really working to heal some very deep wounds, some that have plagued me since my earliest childhood. I am struggling through fears and scars and tears and anger so that I can become the whole woman and priestess and shaman and mystic I know I was born to be. And I am diving in deeply to my spirituality, something I never realized could be so satisfying and yet so terrifying, all in the same turn.

The reason I say terrifying is that no matter how deep you submerge yourself, no matter how many layers you peel away….there is always more. More and more and more. And there are times, when I’m faced with still more, that I wonder….will I ever discover all that there is to know? Will I ever even discover all there is to know about myself?

The answer to that is….probably not.

And that, to me, is the terrifying part. I always like to know, to be and have control over everything, including myself, and the reality is – in the grand scheme of things we cannot control anything. Not even really ourselves. Oh, sure we can control aspects of ourselves and our personalities. But at the same time, there are elements of our growth and our shifts and transitions that we cannot and should not control. I don’t believe that we can truly evolve as a species, as collective beings of light and universal energies by keeping the reins on too tightly. One cannot grow when one is too closely suffocated or constrained. Am I making sense?

As I sit here musing….I am gazing out of my window at the leaden grey of the sky, listening to the cornstalks whispering in the neighbor’s garden right behind my house. The wind is kicking up, and I swear I can see the first hint of the leaves beginning to change. Temperatures have been cooling down more and more over the past several days, and I see that the birds are beginning the process of foraging and storing up for the upcoming winter. This morning was a frenzy of gathering activity – blackbirds and robins and sparrows and pigeons were busily scouring the neighbor’s garden and fruit trees for delicious delights; there was much talking back and forth and fighting over the spoils. My crows came to pay me a visit as well, nesting in the nearest tree and talking to me for nearly 20 minutes. I feel the energy of the moon waning ever so slightly, just as I can sense the slow but steady winding down of Mama Earth’s energy….preparing for harvest, preparing for introspection, preparing for a time of darkness and rest. There is so much magic in the air today….and I am just taking it all in. Moment by moment, with each breath, with each steady beating of my heart. I am resting in the healing power of gratitude and awe for the turning of the wheel of the year, and the blessings of the Universe.

This season and cycle concludes, and the next one begins. Life is all about changes and transitions, ebb and flow, birth, death and rebirth. Each season, each cycle is a blessing, a sacred dance of energy and life, even the painful bits. Even the scary bits. Maybe most especially the scary bits, for without them one cannot fully appreciate the light and the joy and the peace in those moments of beauty and stillness.

Today, I am grateful. For today I am alive, I am well, and I am blessed beyond all measure. I give thanks on this day of transitions and change and harvest, for all that I have, all that I have ever had, and all that will one day come to pass.

Blessings to you all on this beautiful Autumn afternoon. May your journeys be blessed with love, adventure, happiness and magic! Aho, amen & so it is!

The Winds of Change, They Are A Blowing.

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Everything is changing. The winds of fate and destiny and synchronicity are blowing in my life now, and they are carrying me places I have only before dreamt about. I am terrified and exhilarated and a little in shock, actually. All good, I assure you. But unlike anything I have ever experienced before.

I hesitate to speak too much aloud at the moment. There is a great deal of magic happening behind the scenes right now, and I don’t want to speak of it until it is done. Suffice to say, however, that the huge shifts and changes that I felt hovering out on the horizon for some time now have finally arrived on our very doorstep. Gateways to other places and dreams and things that I had long since given up on. However, everything comes full circle at some point in time, and it seems that that is the case in my own life, right at this very moment.

Fall is coming, too, with a speed and fierceness that quite startles me. As we prepare to transition into August, the hottest month out of the year, the shadows lengthen more and more at night, and the whispers of the spirits and the ancestors can be heard on the night breeze. We are spiraling into the darker half of the year, the cool darkness of the earth’s tomb, and I feel relief. I am a creature of sun and warmth and heat and fire, but I am also a creature of darkness and shadow and moonlight and ice. A creature of solitude, and the darkness is my cloak. My refuge. My magic and comfort in the midst of a ragingly chaotic world. I relish the time to retreat into that safety for a short while. It is coming.

It is coming.

I have already begun my retreat into solitude. I stepped away from the social media circuits this past week – I do that from time to time to recharge my batteries and quiet the hum in my head – but this time is different. Perhaps another step towards a more permanent hiatus. The noise and buzz and snarl of social media numbs me a bit too much, and I am finding it’s just another face in the many of addictions and cycles. Another place to hide and bury yourself when you’re too afraid to face the music of your own life. I realized that I spent more time talking with others about living a magical life than I was actually living that magical life. And that unsettled me to my very core. I truly believe in living the kind of life that I speak to others of – experience the magic and the depth and the passion that I am always encouraging others to find – and when I realized I wasn’t quite doing that, it stopped me in my tracks.

The past week of disconnection from the interwebs has only served to vastly improve my connection with everything else around me. My husband, my children, my magical and spiritual work, and most of all, my connection to Mother Earth. I commune daily with the sun and the moon and the sky and the trees and the birds, and I have to say, I have never before felt so held and nourished by  the earth as I have of late. I feel cocooned in the warmth and electricity and energy of the planet’s very core, and it’s the most amazing thing. I can feel the moon spiraling in her orbit out in space, I can feel the shifting in the seasons long before the physical signs manifest out in the world, and I feel the ancestors and the guardians and the elders all around me. My guides. My friends. They speak to me and move me and guide me in all areas of my life, and they protect and support me in all things. It’s like nothing I have ever known before, and everything that I have known before. Somehow.

I used to feel lonely a great deal. Not just alone, but I mean really, truly lonely. There are not many people who stay in my life for long periods, my relationship with my biological family is almost non-existent, due to the rigidity and bitterness of their beliefs and treatment of me….and for quite some time, that wounded me. Saddened me. Brought me down and stirred the deepest of loneliness inside of me. But one day I came to realize that the loneliness I thought I felt due to my difference, my inability to keep people in my life long-term, had absolutely nothing to do with any of that. My loneliness stemmed from being so disconnected from myself, from those that were around me, from the very planet and the stars and the magic. Once I began to cultivate and deepen that connection….the loneliness vanished. Completely.

I can’t say for sure when that happened, because honestly, I do not know. But I really began noticing it this past week, when I stepped away from the distractions and busyness of social media. I look around me now and I see the magic. Not just feel it but see it too, in shimmers and rainbows and dancing energy. I can feel the hum and pulse of the earth under my feet, I feel the stillness and power and utter beauty in a sunset, feel the whispers of the ancestors and the ancients in a nighttime gust of wind across my face. I feel the sacred dance of life and love and magic and beauty that is inherent in all things. That surrounds us all in everyone and everything.

There are no words for this feeling. This connection. I only know that I never truly knew what I was missing before until this moment, and now that I have discovered this….feeling….this sacred beautiful dance….I never want to lose it again. I absolutely cannot picture life without this feeling.

I am even discovering the beauty in city life, something that before was completely foreign to me. I have never adapted well to the hustle and hurry of city life, with its noise and fury and angry scream of humanity; I have always longed for the woods, and I have always flourished in the quiet and solitude of nature. I hated the city and all that it stood for…..and yet now, I realize I don’t hate it quite as much. I am learning to look beyond the city streets and sidewalks and lights to really, truly look at the sky and the clouds, smell the wildflowers and the sage growing along the far-off hillsides. I am learning to tune out the unnatural sounds of the city, and listen more closely to the cries of the birds, and the song of the wind gently whispering through the trees. I close my eyes and, instead of breathing in the stench of smoke and smog and pollution, I inhale the scent of the grass and the canyons and the pines dotting the landscape. I look out my window, and instead of seeing the city, I see the earth. The land. The trees. The animals. The parts of this town I live in that are still nature’s, and nature’s alone.

I choose to see the beauty and gentleness that still remains, instead of seeing the negativity and darkness of the city life.

I am growing in gratitude and love, thriving in the beauty of acceptance and connection. Healing my soul of darkness and anger and hatred and pain, and instead growing in love and joy and compassion and peace. I am beginning to really find my happy place, and my life is changing and shifting and growing right along with me.

I am on the cusp of great things. Huge changes, that will shift my family and I in incredibly big ways. The winds of change are beginning to blow in my direction, and for perhaps the first time in my life, I step out bravely to meet them, my arms thrown open wide. I am no longer afraid to embrace my destiny, no longer afraid to walk this path that was set before me long, long ago. I choose to walk a magical path of Spirit and teaching and learning and growing, and I know that to truly live this life, I must live it and accept it without fear and doubt.

I do. I really, truly do. I am open to Spirit, to All that was and all that shall ever be, and I embrace the cosmos and the earth and the magic with my entire being. I walk the crossroads in between all worlds, and I am not afraid. I heal my soul and work to find the balance in both halves of my ever present whole. I listen to the wisdom of the earth and the ancestors and the spirits, and I trust in their guidance over all others. I walk the sacred path of life, death, and rebirth, and I am unafraid, for I see the beauty and the joy in all of it, even in the darkness. I am on the journey of a lifetime, I know it, I can feel it, and I revel in it – even the unknowns. I truly believe that everything happens exactly when and how it’s supposed to, in divine order, in divine time, and I am honored to be a part of the dance.

The winds of change, they are a blowing. And oh, how ready I am to greet them, and flow with them wherever they may take me.

Living A Life of Pure Magic

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I feel a deep stirring in my soul today, a stirring of such complexity and enormity that it’s difficult to put it into words. I am drawing inside myself more, exploring the vast mysteries and depth of my soul, my gifts, and my power, but it runs even deeper than that. I feel such a profound connection to everything that surrounds me, from my crystals that heal and teach and nourish me so much, to the sacredness of my ritual space, to the rhythms and the cycles of the animals and the trees and all of nature. At night, when I lie on my back in the grass and stare up at the vast beauty of the cosmos, I don’t feel the disconnection from it that I once did not so very long ago. I feel just as much a part of it, just as much a grand design of all that is and ever was, that sometimes it steals the very breath from my lungs and leaves me shaken from the sheer enormity of my own power. My own essential part in the great plan of All.

I am truly beginning to live a magical life.

It isn’t all rituals and incense smoke, either, although I’m finding even the simplest of things can be a ritual. Sitting underneath the light and warmth of the sun and watching a butterfly flit by on the breeze…that act alone is a type of ritual. Praying and offering up gratitude to the stars and planets and moon, all while cloaked in the mystery of the night is, in itself, a ritual. Feeling the pulse and breath and life of the planet underneath one’s feet is, again, a type of ritual. Each and every single day, I find something that makes me pause and reflect on the enormous web of interconnection between every single being on this planet, and I feel a well of gratitude inside of me that I have never before experienced. I am truly discovering the peace and joy that comes with living a life of magic.

I have dreamt for so long that I would discover and live and learn from the magic inherent in the cosmos. In all acts of creation. Stemming from the roots of the trees, the big, wide expanse of blue sky, the magic of birdsong or the whispers of the Earth heard inside a gust of wind. To feel source, to connect with the divine inside myself and all around me is something I never really thought I would ever experience in this lifetime. I have heard many speak of the miracles and wonders surrounding them, but truthfully, not so long ago I had given up hope that any of it really existed. Sure, I put up a brave front for everyone else, talked some incredibly big talk, but through it all, down to my core, I just wasn’t feeling it. Call me jaded, and you are probably right. At least, you were. I don’t feel so jaded anymore, although there was a moment, a split second, where I was beginning to wonder if all the pain and trauma and heartbreak I’ve endured over my short lifetime to date had completely shattered what love and compassion and magic I had inside my own soul.

I’m ecstatic to reveal that that is no longer the case. While the journey to get here hasn’t been an easy one, I can say with all honesty that it was more than worth it. Even during the darkest nights of my soul, even when it felt as though I was forced to walk through the fire of my own heartache and shadows and hatred…it was worth it. Every single second of blood, sweat and tears.

I don’t feel so angry anymore.

I don’t feel like a huge ball of resentment and broken dreams.

My heart isn’t so heavily burdened by pain and regret.

I am beginning to love and honor myself, as much as I love and honor those around me.

And most of all, I am awakening to the vast current of life and power and abundance that thrums in the very earth under my feet. My inner wild woman. The beautiful goddess residing within me whom I thought had vanished long ago.

I feel more and more out of place in many social circles. I struggle with polite small talk, for it doesn’t stir the chaos and beauty of my soul. I want conversations about love and compassion and the stars and the earth and nature. Talks about the healing powers of crystals and herbs and home-grown food, fresh from the womb of the earth. Talks about the interconnection of all living things on this planet. The real things, the deep things. Truth and laughter and love and ecstacy….those are the things that feed my soul from the inside out, and I am actively beginning to seek those things and those that believe in them, too. My kindreds. My brothers and sisters of soul and heart, who are awakening right along with me.

Such a beautiful and powerful ride, this life of magic and transformation.

I even feel the shifting of the seasons in a way that I never have before. Right after Beltane, I felt the earth transition into the heat and and electricity and frantic dance of summer, just as this past week, I have felt the ever so subtle shift that heralds that autumn is just around the corner. I believe that perhaps fall may come a little sooner than expected this year, and I relish the idea of that. For as long as I can remember, Fall has always been my favorite season and my heart longs for the chill in the air, the crunch of dead and fallen leaves underfoot, the scent of smoke and shadows heavy in the evening air. Even now, there are some nights where I sit outside underneath the stars, the wind caressing me and whispering in my ear….and I can smell the faint scent of bonfires and darkness in the air.

As I turn inward more and more, exploring the depths and caverns and unexplored terrain of my own personal mysteries, I realize that I have turned a corner in my life, a rather pivotal one I think, and although I have no idea what that means exactly, I have no doubt in my mind that big changes are on the horizon. For me. For my life. And most importantly, my spiritual path. I believe that at some point in the next couple of years, my journey will take me to someplace new, some place far away from where I have lived and breathed and grown all my life, and while I do not yet know where that place is, I truly feel that I will know when the opportunity presents itself. My soul path and purpose is more clearly illuminated to me all the time, and I am blessed with an amazing set of guides and spirits that hold me, lead me and nourish me as I step onto the path of the great Unknown. I am learning to surrender and trust, even when I cannot clearly see what or where I am supposed to be going, and I am learning to listen more and more to the inner voice that I have denied and run from for so very, very long. I am not afraid of my power, although there are times that I am intimidated by it. I am learning simply to embrace it, with grace and humility and gratitude, and allowing all the changes to integrate the way they are meant to, without fear or judgement. Incorporating the wisdom I have accumulated from the depth and pain and power of my life’s experiences. Absorbing the magic and the beauty and the wonder into every single cell of my being.

I step into the beautiful, orgasmic rush of release, transition, and awakening and I embrace this beautiful, chaotic, painful, electrical life of magic with open arms and trusting heart. Finally, I am home. Aho!