solstice day // litha 2018

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Let us begin. Let us sing.

Singing of the small corn. 
Singing of the large corn.
Singing as the evening falls.
Singing as the light dawns.

The light dawns and finds us singing,
singing as the corn waves tassels at us.
The dark falls and finds us singing,
singing while the squash waves leaves at us.

The earth rumbles from the beating
of our basket drums.

The rain comes. The rain comes.

–Pima rain-making song in The Goddess Celebrates by Patricia Monaghan

I woke up long after dawn – I knew I wouldn’t have been able to rise with the sun, and that is alright. It doesn’t make me any less, and though I have to remind myself daily that I am not someone else, I am me and I have my limits, it is getting easier for me to accept that.

A bit after local solar noon here in the desert, I found my gorgeous Summer Solstice Story Goddess and my Divine Imperfection (which I have dubbed my Creative Spirit Story Goddess) from Brigid’s Grove, and placed them on our dining room table. I attempted to do a tarot reading, using the sun layout in the resources from one of the courses I am taking, but I did not feel the cards. It is the first time I have ever felt so disconnected from my cards. It was a saddening experience, and one that I hope to never feel again. I think, perhaps, that it was entirely situational and not based on myself or my cards – they just did not fit with what I was trying to do.

This morning I had decided to print out the free version of the Womanrunes offered by Molly Remer (full set available at the link above), and I copied down the original meanings from a handout offered in the Womanrunes course. I cut them out and put them in one of the many organza bags that I have laying around, and I shook them up. It felt right, and as I laid out the little runes with my Story Goddesses watching, it just felt right. And oh, my dear friends, the reading I received was insightful.

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I was in the process of writing out this reading in my personal journal (my book of mirrors) when my mentor arrived for our meeting. We discussed the symbols uses, but so much the meaning of those that were drawn for me – we had our meeting and towards the end she and I were discussing taking back some of our personal power. In my case, it is doing certain things on my own and for myself – like calling to make sure I have my medication, making appointments, confirming things.

She has been working on this with multiple clients of hers, and I find it interesting that I had come to the conclusion to work on it on my own. We had talked about it previously, about how I was trying to take control over certain aspects of my life and how that is a positive change, but it hadn’t been a conscious decision on my part until earlier this week. At this particular time in my life, where I am and what I am doing on a day to day, I have little control over many aspects of my life – so I am trying to find little ways to assert myself.

The reason I bring this up is because, regardless of the other symbols present in the reading, the rune in the space of “time to celebrate” (in the centre) is The Dancing Woman, Rune of Power. She asks how are you dancing in your power? where might you need to more fully inhabit your power?

After reading through the meanings of the symbols and coming to a better understanding of them and their placements, I realised just how much power I have let go of in my life. The Cauldron, Rune of Alchemy, in the position of “bring to light” asks what do you want to create? and what needs time and focus to brew? I want so deeply to get back to painting. I have missed it immensely, and I took the first step toward realising that desire today. I moved my space from the couch, where I have been for some time due to health issues, back to the dining room table. Being in the hearth space of our home has always been the best place for me to create.

On that note, in the space of “still in need of nurturing in dark and quiet spaces…” is The Broom, Rune of Purification and Cleansing. Decluttering my space, both physical and mental, has been a big goal for me these past few months. My mentor brought me some egg crates to stack up as storage in my hearth space, and though it worked relatively well for a short span of time, my space continues to accumulate clutter. It is an ongoing struggle, but I hope to have it tamed within the next few months…

It was interesting to receive The Yoni, Rune of Making, in the “what is blooming for me” position. This reading was filled with creation. Now the question is what are you creating, birthing, nourishing, and blessing? and I am sure you all know the answer: Aequoris. My current piece is coming along, albeit slowly. I am having trouble finding the right words, the right images, to convey the tale I want to bring forward. But I am sure that the sparks are there, and will come forward with a bit of coaxing.

The Cresent Moon found me in “what is withering in the heat” – this is the Rune of Divination, Ritual, and the Unconscious. I definitely have little motivation to drag myself outside during 102 degree weather, and my health has made me a bit less able to do much recently. I do hear the Moon Mother calling to me, every night – I also hear the birds and breeze and laughter that the sunshine brings during the day. Spirit is calling me, and yet my mind and body are more comfortable indoors. I am homebound, for a good reason (my roommate recently had surgery, and I am her live-in caretaker), but I know that I need to at least step outside and connect to the world around me for a few moments each day. I also need to find a place for divination, whether with Tarot or Womanrunes or some other system, in my daily life.

We have come full circle – I began this little journey into my Womanrunes reading with The Dancing Woman, Rune of Power – and here she is, in the final position, telling me it is time to celebrate my power. And I am, in my own silent way, celebrating my power – however small it may seem at this point, it is a step forward for me.

This Solstice has been the first time I have celebrated, with intent, a sabbat for quite some time. I usually find some reason to put it off, mostly because I feel disconnected from Spirit, or just unmotivated. But, recently, I have felt a deeper need to reconnect with my path, and this was the best way for me to start that journey.

☽ ✰ ☾
victoria

calling my spirit back…

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“Every time you are aware of yourself slipping you call your spirit back, you call your attention back, call your focus back. It is a constant discipline. It’s as simple as that. You make it your discipline.

It’s quite an elegant spiritual discipline and a very healthy one, because you live it every moment of the day. You’re constantly calling your spirit back. And, it helps so much because it makes you aware of how easily you negotiate the presence of your spirit in your body, how easily something can take it out…”

–Caroline Myss, Anatomy of the Spirit

I am starting my Solstice celebrations a day early this year, primarily because I have never been very steady in my practices. I cannot say how well I will be connected tomorrow, but today I can feel a deepness within my spirit that is begging to be acknowledged. I have found so much inspiration through the free courses offered by Mystery School of the Goddess, a few of which are written by Molly Remer of Brigid’s Grove.

In one of my favourite books, a historical fiction about a Native American tribe, they speak of mental illness as the soul/spirit wandering in the woods, getting lost in the forest. There are rituals to bring the spirit back to the body, though they can be dangerous for those performing them. I understood this as another way of saying someone was “out of their mind”.

My spirit has been lost in the forest for so long, and I finally feel as though all of the little pieces that have been dropped along the way are starting to come back to me. The work I am doing, with the help of a wonderful woman and mentor, has been helping me so much. Just opening up to her and having someone to listen to me has been tremendous.

It is a slow process, and I have been terrified of it before because I’ve never known what to expect. But, between the words of my favourite online author (Sarah Elwell), the understanding guidance of my mentor, and some wonderful resources I have stumbled across, I find that the process of putting these pieces together has become less daunting.

The quote above speaks of making the act of “calling your spirit back” a regular occurrence. It is interesting because my mentor has been talking to me about negative self-talk, the one constant in my mind that has been the perpetrator of my spirit wandering the forest. She has suggested that every time I catch myself talking poorly to myself, I should stop and counter it with something positive. Instead of getting lost in the darkness of my inner monologue, I need to pull my attention back and focus for a moment.

The Solstice is a natural time to reflect on the things that have come to pass and consider the things we want to manifest in the coming months. I believe that there is no better time to begin working on the spiritual and mental discipline of calling my spirit back. I know that it will take time, but I cannot leave my soul out in the forest any longer.

☽ ✰ ☾
victoria

centre and surrender…

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Centring is such a large part of my personal practice – I cannot properly perform any sort of magic, be it writing or painting or cooking, without first finding a moment to centre myself. If I do not, my work is haphazard and half-hearted, and no one fully enjoys it.

I find centring easiest in the open air, preferably surrounded by trees and birds and wildlife. I do not often get to centre myself in my ideal setting, so I am learning how to find that same balance where I am at any given moment.

Centring is a concept that I learned at a very young age – my mother was unsure of including me in her practices because of her beliefs, so she began to slowly introduce me to the basic concepts of energy, manipulation of that energy, and balancing the mind and body and spirit. In her eyes, once I had learned to ground and centre properly and quickly, I was ready to move forward. The practice has not been easy and I still struggle with it – do I not struggle with most aspects of my personal practice? – but with each day it does get better.

Surrendering is a different concept for me, primarily because it brings up notions of giving up, submitting, and defeat… I desire strength and control in my life, I am uncomfortable with the idea of handing things over to someone else to take care of, regardless of the stress those things may cause me. But, it isn’t about handing something over, but about releasing those things that do not serve you. Prejudice? Release it. Anger? Release it. Guilt? Release it.

“Unclench your life”, as Molly Remer writes in one of her courses. Soften yourself and let it go. This wording resonates with my spirit much better than the common verbiage that goes with the concept of “surrendering”.

For so long, nearly my whole life, I have had to put this strong mask on, because if I was soft I was seen as weak. I was a target throughout my childhood because I was not well-versed in wearing this mask – but as I grew older, I learned how to roar with my kitten voice and appear larger than I really was, despite the tears in my eyes and my shaking hands. I hid my anxiety, my fear, my sadness – I learned to hide my tears and my pain.

I still hold onto that mask, some days, and my voice raises and my words grow harsh, and I heart those around me because I feel vulnerable and targeted. It is unfair to everyone, including myself, to continue with this mask on my face and spirit. I am trying to allow the softness within me to come through, I am working on letting go of the pain and anger, and fear, that has gripped me for so many years. There are few places I feel comfortable enough to put the mask down, completely, and be the person I am within – this blog is one of those few places, while my books are another.

I am not a woman who runs with wolves, though part of me has longed for that to be true. I am a woman who drifts with deer, as Sarah Elwell writes about here. I am “a deer woman who has learned, the hard way, how to run with the wolves” (Terri Wilding, on the same post linked above). To be fair to the timid deer, they can be protective and fierce of their young (like the Mule and Whitetail deer), and my children bring out the fierceness in me.

This is what I am working on, this surrendering to the softness within me, to the quiet and to the timid that has been asking to be let out for so many years. Timidity is not a weakness, it takes courage to be vulnerable and open. Deer Women, Rabbit Women, and all other quiet Women are not weak, we are strong in our ways, and we should be celebrated just as much as Wolf Women and Bear Women.

☽ ✰ ☾
victoria

the darkness within the brightness…

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While reading an article posted by John Halstead, I was introduced to the idea of honouring the Dark during the Summer Solstice, just as we do the Light at the Winter Solstice. The concept makes so much sense, I am surprised it has not become a more common practice.

It is incredibly hot here – upwards of 102, or more, some days – and though I enjoy clear skies and nice weather, it is near unbearable for me outside most days. I prefer to hide in the cool and dark house during bouts of heat. Because of this, celebrating and honouring the darkness and cooler aspects that we will be moving toward in the coming months has quite a bit of significance for me.

Instead of being an outer and social holy day, the Summer Solstice is a very solitary time for me. It is a time when I want to experience the Sun at the special times of day – dawn, noon, and dusk. But I do not want to answer to a group, nor do I want to be responsible for any sort of elaborate ritual. My personal practice is very simple and minimal, and because of this I feel that honouring not only Light aspects but the Dark as well, works rather well.

According to the vast knowledge of the internet and computers, local sunrise on Solstice day will be at 05:16, solar noon will be at 12:22, and sunset will be at 19:29. I am not the best morning person, but for me, sunrise is not the most important time of day to honour and worship the sun during the Solstice. Noon, the point where the sun is highest during the day, is most important for my practice in honouring Light.

I am unsure just how I will be honouring both Light and Dark this year, but I hope to have the motivation to stick with whatever I choose, and perhaps I may even have a few photos to share with you.

☽ ✰ ☾
victoria

meanderings

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image from pixabay

I am wild, wise, and wonderful.

“Peace of mind is not a rare and exotic flower that only blooms on deserted islands or on top of mountains. You don’t have to travel far and wide to find it. Relaxation is actually a native plant that grows in your own backyard–a hardy one at that. It never entirely gives up, although we repeatedly try to uproot it.” 

–Veronique Vienne (The Art of Doing Nothing)

Recently, I was asked where my heart is meandering and how I might delegate certain tasks in order to follow those winding paths through the forest of my mind. It has not been easy to delegate – the other adult in the house currently came home from a second hip surgery, and helping her is a major task that cannot be delegated but takes up much of my day. I may get frustrated or irritable here and there, but this is a fulfilling task that brings me a sense of joy.

The smaller tasks, like dishes and laundry and certain meals, I have been able to delegate to my Sun. Most days, he is more than eager to jump up and help because he earns extra time on his Minecraft style games. Other times, he is grumpy about the prospect of cleaning and doing chores – which is completely acceptable, everyone is allowed to have a bad day or a bad couple of days, and he does end up helping with a bit of coaxing.

My left wrist and hand have been acting up on me – we are sure it is just a carpal tunnel flare up, which may not sound serious to some, but those who deal with it know that it can be very serious. It is uncomfortable to type and pick things up with my left hand, but the real pain comes when I twist my wrist a certain way or attempt to grip something too strongly.

I haven’t spoken much about my recent steps toward better mental health, mostly because I am unsure as to how to word it, but what I have been doing has been such a major force in my life these last few weeks. My medications have changed and I have a bit of time to myself in therapy twice a week. Between these two things, I have been able to settle my spirit a bit in order to truly sense the Great Spirit around me. Yoga has become a near-daily routine for me, and I catch myself regularly connecting with Spirit in ways I had never done before.

Where is my heart meandering? It is leading me down the path of discovery, and I am rather content with my progress thusfar.

☽ ✰ ☾
victoria