Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holy Crap it's 2010...almost

I cannot even believe how long it has been since I have written a post. I am shocked and appalled with myself. Well, not really. I have been busy with other things. Plus, it is that time of year where people forget their responsibilities and turn into a frothy, maniacal, consumer. All of that is about to end on Thursday night, or perhaps the following Monday, depending on if you have to drive kids to school.

I have always enjoyed New Year's Eve, even as a small child I appreciated the excuse to party. I loved seeing my parents and their friends get schnockered and sing and dance and let us kids do whatever the heck we wanted for a whole night. As I got older the pressure of really celebrating New Year's Eve started to rear its ugly head.

There is a lot of pressure in our society to party hardy on New Year's. If you are not having fun, you are missing out. If you are being mellow and watching Dick Clark on the davenport while sipping on ginger ale, you are not really enjoying the holiday spirit. Go Big, or go home. How American, no?

As a Pagan I have always looked at Samhain as my New Year's. That is when I set my goals for the coming year. That is when I re-assess where I am headed and really look at what I need to change. The actual "New Year" has really just been a great excuse to party.

But something happened this year. I was sick at Samhain (as you might have heard me whine about already....I am over it now....mostly). My Samhain celebration was not what I expected or planned and I ended up sort of missing the boat on what I needed to do for my annual goal setting. I felt that after the High Holiday I would hit the ground running, really putting my all into ALL the things that I want to accomplish.....but that didn't even remotely happen.

After Samhain I dragged my ass. I stalled. I found excuses to not work on my dreams. I got sidetracked by the allure of money (it is hard not to...). I let myself get caught up in what I "should" be doing and not in what I want to be doing. All of this lead to me freezing up and not moving at all. When I should have started to take my first steps I was frozen and overwhelmed still at the starting line.

So now I find myself staring down the barrel of 2010. A whole decade has passed in the blink of an eye. All of a sudden, all of the feelings I was expecting to be going through at Samhain I am going through now...All of the projects I expected to start in November I am starting at the end of December.

How very "typical" of me.....Better late than never. Although you still aren't going to hear me listing my 'Resolutions' anytime soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What's Wrong with Obsession?

I jokingly refer to myself as easily obsessed. I am starting to see that it's not really a joke. For example in high school I really, I mean really, loved the movie The Lion King. I loved it so much I watched it seven times in the theatre, seven times. I collected action figures and happy meal toys. I had a wide array of all things Lion King, that no one was allowed touch. I knew all the words to all the songs, both versions. I was just a little obsessed.

Later my love for all things Stephen King colored my obsession. I started talking like some of the characters in his books, dropping phrases like "thankee-sai" and "my little cully" into conversation with people that had no idea what I was talking about. I signed up for a online fansite. I wrote him a letter and enclosed my picture in case he wanted to write me into one of his stories. (By the way...check out the last book of the Dark Tower series...there is a red-headed girl named 'Dani'...coincidence? I think not.)

These obsessions can be for a person, a movie, a book, almost anything really. I have never felt that it was ever taken to an unhealthy level. I mean it is not like I don't eat, or bathe, or could get arrested....(With the exception of the damn Twilight books where I wasn't so good about eating that week.) I have always figured no harm, no foul.

But since doing the work of the Iron and Pearl Pentacles (and really with the prodding of my partner) I have started to look at my obsessions a little bit differently.

In the past I always looked at my obsessions as distractions from reality. When my life is too mundane or boring I can drift away into a movie, or book and live vicariously through a character whose life is much more interesting and vibrant than mine is. But now I am starting to see my obsession with the vantage point of Iron and Pearl. Obsession is the gilt or gilded aspect of the 'Passion' point of the pentacle. Which leads me to ask myself...why do I take my passion to the point of obsession? How do I get my passion back in balance to where it serves me and the world, instead of me serving it. How do I get my passion to fuel me with fire and get me moving, instead of keeping me locked away in a cave muttering about my precious.

It seems this is my current task. If I can unlock this riddle I have no doubt wondrous things are waiting on the other side. That in itself fills me with passion.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Being Sick Sucks, or Why I Missed the Spiral Dance

A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with mono. Pretty lame for a 30 year old woman to have mono, but whatever, it is water under the bridge now. It took a long time for me to get better. Months in fact. Mono has left me with a specific form of PDST, post traumatic stress disorder that I totally made up....Whenever I even feel the slightest tickle in my throat I start to worry that it is mono coming back to get me...or worse EBV rearing its ugly head! OH NO!

Over this last summer I finally started to feel in control again. I went six months without getting sick. Not a sniffle, not a cough, nothing. I was happy to be well again and I vowed to never take my health for granted.

At the beginning of October my partner came down with the flu. I started to super dose myself with vitamin C, echinacea, all the stuff you are supposed to do to not get sick. I did end up getting the bug he had, but a much more mild version of it. He ended up being really sick for several days where I was just a little down for a day or two. I was so happy and so relieved.

But two weeks later...the week before Samhain to be exact I start to feel like I had the flu, again. It started on Wednesday and I figured, ok, I will just rest this out and by Saturday I will be all better, right? Wrong! Wednesday was no fun, Thursday was worse, on Friday I cried as I forced myself to eat oatmeal alone on the couch watching daytime T.V. But I held out that Saturday would be ok, Saturday would be my golden return to civilization.

Because you see Saturday was Samhain. Saturday was the 30th anniversary of the Spiral Dance in San Francisco. Saturday I was going to wear the cutest Mad Hatter costume EVER! Not only was it going to be a big, fun, public Reclaiming ritual, and all my friends in the community were going to be there, but I was also supposed to help and put up the Student Altar.

Saturday rolled around and I debated going to the ritual all day long. I still felt like crap, but I thought I might be able to force my way through it. If I just didn't cough and used hand sanitizer every five minutes I wouldn't get anyone else sick either....but in the end my logic won out and I stayed home, alone on Halloween.

When my co-horts left for the ritual the first thing I did was have a good cry. I really let it go, really felt sorry for myself, really wallowed in it for awhile. I even called my mom and had her bring my french fries, but she didn't come in the house since I was so sick. Then I realized that I still had responsibilities to bear on the night when the veil is thinnest.

I had brought home all the written names of the Beloved Dead from our local public ritual. I had promised to dispose of them with the love and honor they deserved. So in a moment of strength with a belly full of amazing french fries I cast a circle around my house. I took my cauldron and headed out into my backyard with a lighter and the slips of paper.

I sat on the stoop amongst all the fallen leaves from my tree in the yard. It was dark, but the almost full moon allowed me to see quite clearly the names lovingly written at the ritual from the previous weekend. I read each one out loud for the moon to hear and the set each paper on fire placing it in my cauldron watching the smoke fill my yard like fog.

Ironically, or maybe not, the last name on the last slip of paper was the one that I had written. The name of my beloved dead.

Am I sad that I didn't make it to the Spiral Dance? Yes. I am wicked annoyed that I still feel like crap? Um, YES! But my Samhain ended up being just perfect.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Damn You T.V.!!!!

When I posted my last blog saying good-bye to my television I never would have guessed that it would become the topic of a second even more pathetic blog....Yet here I am!

There has only been one time in the past that I lived without cable television. Many, many moons ago when I lived out on the river, I didn't have cable. The reason for this was two-fold. 1) I could not really afford another bill, and 2) I was like, a totally anti-television hippy, yo. I think the no television stint only lasted about four months before I finally broke down and got cable. (Obviously not a very good, like, total, anti-television hippy, yo.)
Now this time I have only taken the T.V. out of my bedroom, it is not like I have cancelled the cable completely (cause the kids would kill me). But I have been feeling such a pathetic longing for the freakin T.V. it is making me crazy!

The thing is I don't even watch that much T.V. I don't know the story lines of any popular shows. I have never seen Desperate Housewives, or Dancing with the Stars, or whatever is raking in the rating right now. I just like to have the Tube on in the background. I like the noise of it. I like to have the little flashing lights in the darkness of my bedroom as I am falling asleep. I understand that having that constant flash and noise is actually not really good for the brain and sleep. I understand that the television is a total distraction. Helping me avoid dealing with my issues, or work.

So, what is the point?

Television has become a drug for me that takes my attention away from the crap that I don't want to look at. Sometimes for only half an hour, sometimes an hour and sometimes all darn day. It is like any other drug when abused. People become addicted to the drink, marijuana, coke, meth, whatever, because it helps them to dull the pain, and avoid dealing with reality. I think that T.V. does the same thing for me. I can get hooked into the lives and drama of the people in the glowing box, allowing me to not feel my feelings, or look at my shadows....instead I can just look and theirs, which is so much easier after all.

This last year has been a year of tremendous growth for me, spiritually speaking. I am stretching in ways that I have always wanted to, but didn't think possible. It is so exciting and so scary. I have worked myself into a place of spiritual rawness. Sometimes it feels amazing to be able to breathe without my home made cloak of B.S. wrapped around me, but other times it is incredibly painful to take a breathe through the rawness of it.

Right now I am on a plateau, looking back at the vast expanse that I have crossed to get here. It is good, but I am exhausted. Instead of taking this time to reflect, celebrate, process what has brought me to this place, I am hiding in the story lines of Roseanne reruns.
I never thought that taking the T.V. out of my bedroom would reveal this hidden trove of personal crap, but the Gods work in mysterious ways.

Hello, my name is Red and I have a T.V. addiction.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Good-Bye My Love

Dear Day Time Television,

Everyone knows how much I love you. I love you so much one could consider it an obsession. I love your sense of humor. No matter how blue I might be feeling there is something you can show me to cheer me up and make me laugh. And on the other hand when I need to get some emotions out you always give me the space to cry. You are smart, funny, in touch with your feelings, clever, and generous....of course that depends on what channel I am watching.
Keeping all of that in mind there is something I need to tell you. We have to stop seeing each other.
I know, I know. I have said it before and have always ended up crawling back at a moment of weakness or boredom, but things are different this time. I see now that you are not just a huge waste of time, but a destructive relationship. I find myself sitting in front of your beautiful glowing box flipping through the channels until my eyes cross, letting hour after hour just float on by while my brain stops functioning. I mean yeah it feels good sometimes, but I think it is getting a little excessive.
You are starting to get in the way of my dreams and desires. Instead of working on the things I want to do in my greater life I am throwing my time away with you. You are not helping me advance and you don't really support me. Everything you have to offer is completely superficial. I need to stop letting you interfere and distract me from my goals.
So this is it. It will be hard. I know that I will be tempted, but you are getting kicked out of my bedroom and that is just the first step. It is time for me to say good-bye to Todd Manning, Marty Thornheart, Dorian Kramer and the whole crew at OLTL. It is time to shut down What Not to Wear. And the most difficult will be kissing the Charmed Sisters for the last time. You girls I will miss most of all. But trust me this is for the best.

With all my heart,


Thursday, September 3, 2009

So Angry

Lately I have been super angry, like all the time. I wake up feeling pissed off. When one of the kids asks me a question I feel irritated for being interrupted (even if I am only playing solitare). Not that I have ever been a patient driver, but even my road rage seems to have escalated. I can recognize the anger when I am in it. I can take a step back and see that I am being unreasonable. I can watch the seething happening, but no matter how hard I try to look below the anger to see where it might be stemming from I just can't seem to get under it. What is worse than that....when I am feeling mad, I don't want to look deeper, I just want to be mad.

Since returning from WitchCamp I have noticed when I am sad, depressed, angry, or really any non-serving emotion, I can take a step back and look at the situation from an outside perspective, but I choose to not change the negative behavior. Which only leads me to feel frustrated with myself thus leading to more negative behavior. It is a vicious cycle.

When discussing this recently with a friend they suggested that maybe my anger is a result of not being grateful for things I do have. He suggested that I think of five things to be grateful for every morning before getting started, a little addition to my typical morning routine. This is an exercise that I have done before and found helpful, but when he first gave me this bit of advice what I first felt was an overwhelming urge to tell him to piss off....I mean who do you think you are anyway?

But after a few days had passed and I was able to let go of my wounded pride for a bit I thought that I would give it a shot. I mean, it can't hurt, right?

So this morning when one of this kids was annoyingly singing over the sound of the radio making me want to kick her out of the car, or perhaps just shoot her (immediately deciding this would be too messy and too difficult to explain...well she was singing.....)....I instead took a couple of breaths and thought of five things to be grateful for right-that-minute....1. I am grateful that I have a functioning car, 2. I am grateful that I am able to drive afore mentioned car, 3. I am grateful for breathing, 4. I am grateful to be alive, and of course 5. I am grateful that I am able to hear anything at all.

You may be asking yourself if this little exercise helped to diminish my anger? Well, maybe a little, but not as much as I had hoped. Maybe this sort of thing just takes practice? So I am going to continue giving it a try. In the meantime I truly hope that I don't kill anyone....(fingers crossed.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Meaning of Mabon

We are coming close to the next of Pagan holidays...Mabon. This has got me thinking, what exactly is Mabon? In my personal practice Mabon sort of gets left by the wayside in my thinking and planning. Samhain, Beltane, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Lammas....these are all big days for me with traditions that I enjoy following....but Mabon? Sheesh I am starting to feel a little bit guilty.

When I studied on a Druid path I learned that Mabon is the son of Modron. Modron being the ultimate Mother, making Mabon the ultimate shining Son, but what does that have to do with the Autumnal Equinox? Interesting that the first harvest is named after the Celtic god Lugh and the second harvest is named after the Celtic god Mabon.....Hmm. Look like there is something for me to look into here.

In elementary school I learned that the Autumnal Equinox is one of two days where the light and darkness are completely even. A day of perfect balance? Sounds pretty good, right? But it is also the start of shorter days ahead and longer nights of winter.

My later Pagan learnings brought me the knowledge that Mabon is also the second harvest. Our ancestors were still working away in the fields, getting everything stock piled for winter. This was the time when they were hard at work mid-way through the harvesting. In my part of the world the grape harvest happens in September. The fields here are filled with people picking grapes and soon the crush will start. All in preparation for the coming winter.

Mabon also marks the point in the year when the heat of summer is winding down. The mornings and evenings are getting chillier but the heat is still strong in the middle of the day. As the year is waning so were the ancient gods and many traditions worship the aging gods at this time of the year.

So I have decided that this year I am going to make a big deal of Mabon and start a new tradition. I am going to have a Mabon feast. I will take some time to release what no longer serves, letting go of guilt or negativity and filling up with love and acceptance.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Kitchen Witch

I am a sensitive place of self reflection and a little bit of self abuse. Not intentionally self abusive, it just sort of happens that way sometimes. Of course no one really sets out to intentionally abuse themselves, or do they?....but I digress, I am getting off of point. The point is when I am in a place like this I tend to notice synchronicities more often. I have had a lot of 'signs' pop up, sort of gently smacking me to pay attention, or help me notice when I am wondering off of my path.

Today in-between getting myself a bowl of cereal, cleaning the kitchen, and working on an article I looked up to see my kitchen witch staring at me.

The women in my family have always had kitchen witches. Although none of my aunts or my grandmother consider themselves witches, they all have a a little witch somewhere in their kitchens. When I first moved out of my moms house she gave me a kitchen witch for my own place. She said that every woman needed a kitchen witch. So I have always had one.

I now have more than one kitchen witch, but the one that was giving me the stink eye today hangs right above my dining room table, where I am sitting to type this. She is really typical of a story book witch. She is wearing a pointy hat, has on a green dress, is old and wrinkled with a wart on her nose. She had grey hair sticking out of her hat and is riding a broom. The cool thing about her is she is wearing sandals....so California.

The reason her staring me down stuck out is because I was thinking that I am just not doing enough. I am not crossing enough things off of my list. I am playing too many games of Solitaire and not writing enough. I am not planning enough, good enough, smart enough, worthy enough........"ENOUGH" my kitchen witch yelled at me with her beady eyes as I looked up from my own barrage of internal abuse.

This is what her look told me.....I can only do what I am doing. Beating myself up for all that I have not yet done isn't helping me and it isn't making it get done better, faster, or at all. I have to accept my limitations and just allow the flow to happen. After all it is not like I am sitting still, or hanging from the ceiling.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What I Learned Today

I have spent many hours over the past few weeks helping to plan a baby shower. My hubs eldest daughter is pregnant and I am about to become a grandma at the ripe 'ol age of 31. Yes that's right.

Now, I am cool with being Grandma. I was cool with helping plan and execute the baby shower, but now that it is over I am totally exhausted not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. You see, I have three step-kids. The eldest is only six years younger than I am, but she is still a step-daughter. Their biological mom lives several thousand miles away, so I really felt like I had to step up and get things done for this shower, or it was never going to happen.

At first I was happy to do this because I like planning events like this, but I started to feel like it was all up to me and worse than that.....the kids mom was going to be coming. So I had to do all this work, all this planning, all of this spending...and she would get to be the proud happy grandma. The ex-wife would get all the glory.

Needless to say we have less than a friendly relationship. This goes on for many layers of levels, but suffice it to say I was dreading having to spend the day around her. I was dreading being around her. I was dreading having to take a back seat for all my hard work. I wanted to get out of the entire shower fiasco, but that became impossible.

Through all of this inner turmoil and strife I realized something amazing today. She is not just my husbands ex-wife. She is my step-kids mom. No matter what, we are going to have to deal with being around each other for these BIG moments in life. Today was just the first one. We get along just fine with that is the premise. When I stop being the 'new' wife and she stops being the 'ex'.

Today was ok. I was able to keep busy and feel proud that everyone was having a good time. I was able to let her be the proud grandma. There was more to my feelings than just what they seemed on the surface and I really did feel like I gave a bit of an offering today. I chose to do that, no 'glory' required.

Now that we have had this one big moment out of the way hopefully the next one will be easier.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Something really interesting has been happening, or at least I have just started to pay attention. I have heard from several people, read on several blogs and Pagan magazines, and just generally felt over all Lammas confusion. In 'general Wicca' Lammas is known as the first harvest, but does that apply to everyone all over the world?

Obviously people that live in the Southern Hemisphere are not about to celebrate their first harvest. They are rolling along right towards spring, so there is half the planet that "harvest" does not work for. Modern Wicca's roots stem from England. The seasonal patterns in England (although not too far off) are not in alignment with the seasonal patterns in Northern California. So it seems reasonable to think that the harvest they are experiencing in the 'motherland' (so to speak) is not the same as the harvest I am experiencing right now.

Looking at Sonoma County, California where I currently call home, the main agriculture is hay, apples, and of course, grapes. If you were to look around here today there are lovely, warm, golden, bundles of hay wrapped up in blocks all over the fields waiting to be thrown into the backs of trucks and carted away for the abundance of local cows to dine on. We are definitely in the hay harvest. But the apples and grapes are still one to two months away from being ready to eat (or drink). I suppose this means for us here in Northern California this would be the first harvest, with still more to come.

What is amazing and beautiful about Wicca or modern Paganism is the rule of anarchy. The only real rule is that there are no rules. Maybe there are some basic threads, but beyond that it is pretty much anything goes. Which leads me to this thought.....if August 1st doesn't fit into your idea of harvest time, then figure out what it does fit into. Whether the fruit is ripe on your local vines or not, the earth is pregnant with possibilities right now. If your apples are not ready to eat just picture them growing on the trees as a telling reminder of the harvest that is soon to come.

On a personal level for Lammas, we all have our own 'inner gardens'. Now is a good time to do some personal tending. What is ripe in your personal garden? What is ready to harvest? What plants have taken over and need some pruning? What weeds have you been ignoring that need to be pulled? I plan to take some time over this Lammas to tend to my own internal garden. Not only to get rid of the weeds, but to remember all that I have brought to fruition.

However you end up celebrating....Have a very Happy Lammas.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Men and Women

I just realized that what society tells us to believe about men and women is total crap. I just watched a preview for a movie...another romantic comedy...and it is about (surprise) the differences between men and women. What society expects us to believe is that all men just want to chase the next piece of ass and all women want is to settle down and have babies.

I know enough men and women to know that this lame 'truth' is just that...totally lame.

I was raised to believe that men only wanted "one thing". I was raised to think that no matter how nice a guy was, ultimately he only wanted to get in my pants and once he had, he would leave me, alone and sullied. What crap! My job was to weed out those pigs and find a true knight in shining armor to take care of me. But I also needed to always take care of myself because no matter how shining the armor he was still, just a man.

I know that I was not the only one raised to hear these things over and over again. Now that I have some perspective I can see the huge holes in this theory.

There are just as many women in the world that are only after the goal of getting into someones pants. There are just as many men out there that want to settle down and have families. The problem is our greater society doesn't really accept women that just like the chase, we call them sluts. And men that choose to stay home, or want to settle down are soft. It is unfortunately the way we force and label women and men into little boxes.

I for one will no longer place that label on people. Women and men should be who they want to be. They should have the relationships they want to have and they should not apologize or have to hide it. I will not support any more of this societal crap that reinforces the stereotypes. I am totally over it.

End Rant. :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Solstice

Is it just me or does it feel like Summer Solstice totally snuck up this year? I cannot believe that it is already Midsummer and honestly, it makes me feel like a bad Pagan for being so out of touch with the Cycle. Before you say anything....I know there is no room in Paganism for guilt, that is not part of our deal, but that doesn't change the fact that I do feel guilty...

So in order to offset some guilt I spent the morning thinking and reading up on the Summer Solstice. Here is what I think is so cool about the Summer Solstice....although it is not usually the hottest part of the year, it is officially the longest day of the year. For me that is the best part about summer, the fact that it stays light out until 9 or 10 o'clock. What is a bummer is that on the Solstice we start to lose daylight everyday, but at least it won't feel like it for a little while.

Many Pagans celebrate the Summer Solstice by creating charms or protective amulets and charging them over a summer bonfire. In fact having a bonfire is also a big part of the celebration, the heat of the fire representing the heat of the summer sun. And really what is more fun than having a bonfire?

The Summer Solstice is also a really great time to gather herbs for drying and storing the rest of the year. Of course you have to know what you are doing. You need to be able to recognize that you are harvesting not only the correct herbs, but that you are doing it sustainably.

Like many of the warmer season holidays the Fae are known to be out and about during this holiday. If you have noticed the presence of a wee one in your area (things gone missing, items being moved without explanation from one place to another, etc.), or if you want to make them feel welcome in your space, leave them a little offering of food. They love milk, honey and practically anything sweet.

For our family celebration we usually have a feast. I try and make bright colored foods that match the feeling of the holiday. Oranges, summer squash, lemons or lemonade, potato salad, any foods that are bright or remind you of the summer are great to have as part of the feast. We frequently have our feast outdoors, it is the kids favorite part of the celebrations.

This year none of the kids are home for Midsummer, so I don't have to worry about making my celebration 'kid friendly', but I have no idea what to do. There are several public celebrations happening in my area and I am seriously thinking about checking one of two of them out. It is always good to meet people in the community. Plus I am rather shy by nature and this always helps to force me out of my shell a little bit.

For now I want to take some time to acknowledge that Summer is here. School is out, the weather is heating up, my allergies are still kicking my butt, and Witchcamp is just around the corner. Perhaps today I will take a little walk around my neighborhood and see what the season has changed...

However you celebrate have a Happy Summer Solstice!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Is There Really Such a Thing as Balance?

Balance, balance, balance. I need to get my life into balance. I need to try to balance work and home. I need to balance my needs with the needs of everyone else in my life. I need to find my own balance with all I need to accomplish.

Is it just me, or does it seem like 'balance' has become some sort of crazy buzz word and has lost all meaning? I hear so often (many times from my own mouth) that balance is needed. As if balance is the secret to a happy life. And maybe it is, but is it really possible?

When I think of balance I think of riding a bike, or walking on a balance beam. They say (whomever they are) that once you learn how to ride a bike you can always ride a bike. It has been my experience that this is true, but learning to ride a bike does take a certain amount of balance. You have to learn to hold your body in the middle, not leaning to far to the left or the right, or else you splat onto the pavement, no fun.

The same is true for a balance beam, but there is one more trick with the beam. Not only do you have to find that middle point not putting too much of your weight to the left or the right, but you cannot look down. (Booyah, for my two weeks of gymnastics classes when I was 8.) On the balance beam you are supposed to look at a point ahead of you and not at the ground or to your sides.

What's your point Red? Well it is this.....I find myself trying so hard to stay in balance or find my balance that I am so totally not in balance. I am sure that if this is a problem for me it has got to be a problem for someone else right? I am so busy leaning to the left and over correcting to the right, which forces me to lean to to the left again that I have taken my eye off of the goal. I am so caught up on trying not to fall over that I am not really getting anywhere, just swerving dangerously around on the road. If I don't fall over on my own a truck will probably hit me, either way, no thanks.

I need to stop putting so much energy on trying to find the balance and more on getting to the goal, a sort of combo between the bike and the beam. I need to focus on the end point, pushing one petal down after another. Keeping the flow and rhythm of the bike moving forward towards my end target. I think the balance will happen naturally once I am moving forward.

At least that is what happens when I am on my bike.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Strange Dream Phone Calls

Yesterday we found a lizard on the floor in our kitchen. I always take it as some sort of sign when I see an animal somewhere that seems 'out of place'. So I looked up lizard in one of my favorite books Animal Speak, by Ted Andrews.

It seems that lizard deals with dream time. Also with intuition and listening to your instincts. It just so happens that last night I had a strange dream.

My dad was in the dream. He was telling me something about phone cards and wanting to give them to me. In the dream I said "yeah, yeah, whatever" and went about my business of dreaming. Then in my dream a phone rang...'brrring brrring'. I looked down at my dream cell phone and noticed a '415' area code was calling. I don't really know anyone from the '415' area code, but in my dream I answered the dream phone anyway. It was my dad calling. He was testing out the phone cards he had been telling me about and wanted me to see how great they worked.

It was then at 3:13am that my actual real life cell phone started to ring. I don't normally leave my cell phone in my room at night, but somehow it ended up being in there. I grabbed my phone and saw a number I didn't know so I ignored the call assuming that it was someone calling a wrong number. I tried to go back to sleep. Ten minutes later at 3:23am my actual really life cell phone started to ring again. I looked at my phone and saw that it was a '415' area code calling. I got scared. I mean really scared, like breaking out in a sweat scared. I tried to shut off my phone, but I was having a hard time getting it to turn off. I figured it was just because I was so tired.

I finally got the phone to shut off, but I could not fall back asleep. I lay in bed thinking of what it all meant and who it was that was calling me and WHY. I kicked myself for not answering the phone, but I also felt justified because I was still feeling scared over it.

In the morning I had a voice mail message. I was rather eager to hear what message might have been left. I was actually expecting to hear the drunk voice of someone who had dialed the wrong number. You can imagine my disappointment when the message was of nothing, no words, no voices, nothing.

My husband thinks I should have answered the phone. Part of me thinks I should have too. I was just so afraid I could not move past my fear. I think that is the lesson. In order to succeed I have to push past my fear and answer to who is calling for me. I can only hope that they will call back.......

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Unemployment - Day Three

It has been three business days since I have had any business to deal with. I have not yet had the opportunity to fully enjoy sitting on my arse enjoying day time television, but yesterday was close. (And yes I know it has only been three days and really today is day three...)

Friday was spent busily getting my Beltane things together for the ritual that night. (Which was wonderful, thanks for asking.) Yesterday I tried to stay pretty mellow. No sleeping in for me, because I had to take the kids to school, but I got a chance to finish a painting that I have been working on and I also got to enjoy a slightly altered state for a few hours all on my own.

Today I feel like I should be doing something. Yes, it has only been three days, but I am supposed to be using this time to start my new life. I should be busy, like, doing that. I feel like three days have gone by and I have already wasted so much time. (Will I ever stop being so hard on myself?)

I have some lame, mundane, crap that I need to do around the house. I wanted to empty and re-organize the file cabinet (Whoo! Watch out for excitement!) I have to work on the guest bathroom because it would be a total embarrassment if we had anyone ever come over, which we don't. Things like that....but what I really want to do is watch One Life to Live, not shower, and become a total vegetable. The problem with this is that I know myself. Once I head down the lazy path, it will hard to come back from it.

So this morning I actually went to the gym. I worked out for almost 40 minutes (YES, count them, forty minutes!). I am writing a blog and I am going to shower at some point, I promise. I made plans to have lunch with a friend on Thursday and I am getting my hair done on Friday. Saturday I am taking a ritual mask class, which should be amazingly awesome. (Wow, who am I?)

So yes, I am staring my new life.....with all the bells and whistles. Just gimmie some time to figure out what exactly that is supposed to mean, alright?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The End is Near, or why I love to read.

Que dramatic music *dun dun dahhhhh*.

I have two, yes count them two, days left here at my office before my world changes completely. There has been basically nothing for me to do here at the office since all my duties are now being performed by the companies New York office. This has prompted me to do a lot of reading.

I posted before about Jen Lancaster's books and how I really came to enjoy her (even though at first she came off as a typical snobby, self-absorbed, bitchy, trendy, American princess). Her books really gave me some good insight into some things in my ordinary world. After flying through all three of her books I made the tragic mistake of reading Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer and my world was destroyed.

The first book Twilight, is not really a shining example of good writing, but there is something so compelling and attractive about the characters that I had a hard time putting it down (so I didn't). In fact in one week I read all four of the books: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. I totally alienated the people in my life for a week wanting to do nothing more than read and become totally immersed in these stories. Once I was through them all I got depressed.

So now it is three days later.....I am starting to come out of the Forks Washington induced fog and back to my world, only to discover that I am standing on the ledge of the ending of my employment (how did that sneak up on me so fast?). Of having to rediscover myself and find my place in this world. I mean, how old am I that I don't already have this figured out what my place is already?

But that is what I love, love, love about books. They have the ability to completely sweep me away from my life, to take me to far off places and exciting adventures. To show me another world, and allow me to fall in love with an angsty vampire. I only have to open a book to let go of all my worries and cares and be completely a part of the drama belonging to someone else.

How cool is that!?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bitter is the New Black??

So I guess I should start this off by saying that I am an avid reader. I read A LOT. I read all sorts of book, genres, authors. I just love books. My preference are books that have some sort of message or lesson or spiritual message, but I also adore books that help me to completely escape reality by drawing me into a great story.

I am often seen in the halls of my office walking slowly back from a break with a book open in my hands. My co-works will often chuckle when I run into the corners of office equipment from not paying attention to where I am going.

A couple weeks back a co-worker brought me in three books to read. They are all by the same author and tell her story of self discovery after losing her job, house, and car. All told from her perspective dripping with sarcasm and humor. Since I will also have no job at the end of this month they sounded like just what I needed!

I had a really, really hard time with the first book. The author starts out so self absorbed, so caught up in designer labels, so over the top with her perfect coif, perfect nails, perfect drink, perfect "life", that I almost put the book down a couple of times. I have a hard time with people living in such excess and being so snobby and bragadocious about it.

As you might have noticed I didn't put the book down and ended up reading all three of her books. At the end of the third book I was surprised with myself. The author is an ego inflated, self absorbed, at times whiny, spoiled princess republican from Chicago, but she really did learn an amazing lesson and in the process taught me one.

After getting kicked out of her frou frou apartment, having her car repossessed, and being unemployed for over a year she started to see what was really important in life. Although on the surface I have nothing in common with this woman the more I read the more I could relate to her. I laughed as she cleaned dog pee off her expensive carpets for the umpteenth time. I cheered her on when she choose to live her passion by becoming a writer and leaving the high pressure sales job behind. I could relate when she worked pathetic temp jobs that a monkey could do for minor duckets. Plus, I find her sarcasm totally hilarious! It is rare that I meet someone more sarcastic than I am, but she puts me to shame.

What is the point in relation to my spirituality, you might be thinking? Well, the old saying, don't judge a book by its cover, really fits this situation. If Jen Lancaster and I ever met I doubt that I would have really thought to give her a chance. I would have seen her bleached hair, her Prada purse, and manicure and figured we would have nothing in common, and I would have been wrong.

Life's lessons are hidden every where. We just have to be open to seeing them.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Personal Integrity

A very wonderful mentor of mine used to say, "Walk your talk". Now I know that this is not new groundbreaking advice, but this is something that was ingrained in me at a very early stage in life.

Ken was one of my High School teachers. I went to a continuation school called Phoenix (like the bird rising from the ashes). One of our 'core classes' was called psychology, but it was really a personal power course. The biggest theme from that class was about personal integrity.

Phoenix and Ken, really pushed the meaning of integrity to us kids. They really made us accountable for what we said. If you say you are going to do something, then you better do it! Walk your talk! That was more important to our advisors than anything else.

At the Imbolc ritual I attended this year we did a guided meditation. We walked backwards through the year to the previous Imbolc. We started with Imbolc 2009, and looked at the day before the ritual. We moved backwards to the week before the ritual. Examining where we were, what we were doing, what promises we might have made. We moved back further to Yule, and further again to Samhain. Samhain is where I got stuck.

Ken died just before Samhain. I was able to visit with him briefly on the Isle of Apples when the veil was thin. His advice to me at that time was to 'walk my talk'. As I continued walking back through the year of 2008 this replayed over and over.

When we were brought back to Imbolc 2009 we were asked to make a pledge to the Goddess Brigid for what we would do the coming year. We were asked to think of what we might pledge and hold that pledge in our hearts. I heard Ken's voice as clear as if it he was standing behind me telling me to 'walk my talk'.

When the meditation was over one of the facilitators of the ritual came forward to tell us how we would each get a chance to step into the center of the circle and make our pledge to Brigid. She said that Brigid is a Goddess that 'walks her talk'. When I heard this my heart froze in my chest! It is so rare to get immediate confirmation! Not only was my pledge confirmed, but the fact that I had been feeling as if I needed to work with Brigid and this felt confirmed as well.

I made my pledge. "Just like you Brigid. Walk my talk."

To Ken and Doug my wonderful Phoenix advisors: thanks with all my heart. To Brigid: forever in your service.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Having Confidence

I was listening to the television news this morning. It was playing in the background as I got ready for my day. This is my usual daily routine. I like to have the noise in the background. I am sure it would be healthier for me if I listened to music, but that is another blog for another day.

Today I heard the lovely ladies on Good Morning America discussing the current dramatic state of the American economy. I am sure that you all have noticed. The economy has taken a crap. Things are not good and they are not looking like they are going to be good for awhile still. Anyway...

The point is they had quote after quote of some governmental figure or another discussing how the American population needs to stay confident, be confident, have confidence. Diane Sawyer had a panel of supposed "experts" that she was questioning on this line of thinking. "Can the thought of having confidence actually create real confidence?"

The overwhelming answer to this was yes....

So why as a Witchy woman did this seem so interesting to me? Well, I'll tell you. This premise is something that Pagans have known for a dogs age! This also goes back to a previous post. What you think, you put out there. You create what you think! If you expect the financial situation to improve it will!

Now I understand there is lots of evidence to contradict what I have said here. For every American that wants things to get better there is one that wants things to fail. But what is stronger? What position will prevail? What side do you choose to fall in line with? Do you want to be part of the light or part of the shadow?

I pondered and pondered on this for a long time today. As much as I am skeptical on our government, I choose yes. I choose being in line with the light. I choose being a part of the positive. That is my choice.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Words have Power

Have you ever said the phrase "sick and tired"? I know I have. In fact it became one of my favorite phrases for awhile. "I'm sick and tired of my boss." "I'm sick and tired of the kids being lazy." "I'm sick and tired of so and so." I'm sick and tired of blah, blah, blah."

Well guess what....I only thought I was sick and tired. When I actually GOT sick and tired I realized the error of my ways.

Words have power. What you put out there will come back to you. If you keep putting out into the ethers how sick and tired you are of everyone else's crap, guess what? You get Mono.....(granted this is just my example, but it is a good one). If you constantly complain about being broke, why are you so surprised that you are always broke? When you complain about your pathetic love life, why are you surprised when your love life sucks.

Lately there are have been a lot of books and movies like, The Secret and What the Bleep, coming out showing the power of thoughts and words. All of this information is not anything new to the thousands of Pagans out there. This is something that is a basic tenant of our beliefs. What you put out there comes back to you threefold. Or, an it harm none, do what thou wilt. Or more commonly know, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Seems pretty simple and obvious to me.

What I really want to say is watch your words and thoughts. Stay positive. Think positive. Speak positive. Live, love, laugh......put out into the world what you want to get back from it. You'll be happy with the results.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Crawling Through a Window

I am sitting here at my office desk inside my little cubicle walls pondering on, well, why am I doing this? Why I am sitting here bored and internet surfing? There have been interesting developments here at my office. Interesting in that devistating kind of way. Almost one month ago my co-workers and I were all called down to the conference room for an "Emergency Mandatory Meeting". (Dhun, dhun, dhun, que the dramatic music.) There were whispers on the way down...what could this be about?....are we going to lose more stuff now?....are we losing our jobs?

Well the answer to all those questions was a resounding YES! Um...what? Excuse me? Yes, they are closing our office and moving all of our jobs to New York. (New York City?!?) Most of my co-workers will be gone in the beginning of April. Some of my co-workers will be here until the end of May. I am here until the end of April. So I sit here sad, mad, frustrated, and really a little bit relieved.

All of this leads me to look at what in the name of Hades I am doing with my life. I mean, don't get me wrong, my job is a good job, but it is not something I love. It is not something that urges me to get up and get going in the morning. It is not something I want to shout from the rooftops. "I'm in Customer Service and I love it! Whoo Hoo"

I have never been fired or laid off before in my life. I guess that is pretty good, yeah? But I am taking this as a blinding, slap in the face, message from the Gods. It feels like they are practically yelling at me! I hear..."RED, you have been wasting you life! Here is your opportunity to do something amazing..DON'T SCREW IT UP!"....Uhh, no pressure right?

So I am faced with the age old question. What do I want to be when I grow up? And the even bigger question......What is my purpose? What am I here? What should I be doing?

A door closes and another one opens, or if you cannot find another door, find a window to crawl into. The Gods never give you more than you can handle. I really truly believe this all the way down to the bottom of my heart. The Goddess has just unfolder her arm pointing the way. She is urging me forward to make a difference. This is the year of "Change" after all, is it not?

I am listening Mother, I hear you calling. I am open to receiving your blessings. I am searching for that window.