Sunday, May 31, 2009

Goddess Sealed and Approved!

Merry Meet Again, Family, Friends, Lurkers and Followers!

Have I mentioned that I love antiquing! It's one of my most favorite hobbies and the one that gets me into the most trouble. For me, there's something indescribable about finding that one quirky piece that just screams, "I gotta have it!" Unfortunately, at this point, what I "gotta have" is a bigger house to accomodate all my stuff....preferably a vintage Victorian farmhouse on several acres of property!!!

Yesterday, we went to an antique show at a local college. It was enjoyable, but really nothing to break a sweat about. Then, just as we were leaving, I spotted something that I had been considering for quite some time, an antique farm table for my dining room. The tabletop is actually made from hand-planed, antique barn wood, the legs are painted red and have been distressed with black, it has a single draw on one side.

I was...smitten!!!! I turned to Ray and with an almost orgasmic tone to my voice said, "I must have this table". Now, the way Ray and I operate is that we both have to agree if we're going to buy something and often spend hours arguing about where were going to put it, why I have to have it and how much it's going to cost. If I madly and deeply fall in love with something, the latter is often my last concern, hence the reason I get into trouble.

I have to admit, there are times Ray just doesn't feel my "vibe" when I see a piece that evokes such a passionate response. Like the time I convinced him that we really, really, really needed a two hundred year old step ladder. In those incidences, I have to resort to the fine art of whining before I convince him that, once again, I'm right! On this particular occasion, he was not convinced and with valid reason.

You see, we already have a dining room table that we purchased when we got married. The problem is, it is completely and utterly...impractical, as most of the purchases we made when we first began collecting antiques tended to be. It's exquisitely inlaid with an ornately carved base. So, after two children and years of entertaining, it's beginning to show signs of wear. It was definitely not meant for every day use and rather than have it lose it's value, I thought that we should replace it with something more practical. See, now doesn't that seem reasonable???

So, an hour or so of incessant whining later, we were leaving the show, with Ray still not feeling my vibe. As we walked through the parking lot, I convinced him that we should go back, just once more, just to be sure. In his "I'm annoyed" tone he demanded, "what is with you and this friggin' table?" It's not really our taste and we don't even know if it's going to fit in the dining room!" I honestly didn't have an answer, with the exception of that I was never more certain that, "I hadda have it!"

Ok, so to make a long story short, I got the table and it's friggin' awesome!!!! Yes, it fits in the dining room, yes it matches all the other pieces of furniture, the red legs look absolutely beautiful with my red dining room walls and it was relatively inexpensive as far as dining room tables go.

Today, is our 24th wedding anniversary. Yesterday, while we were antiquing, Ray was spending an awfully long time looking at jewelry. I told him, "if you're thinking of getting me something, I would like a key". "A key?", he asked. "Yes, a key, to wear in honor of Hecate".

Hecate, my patron Goddess, is often depicted carrying keys. It is said that these are the keys to the crossroads, the keys of wisdom and knowledge, the keys to the Underworld.

Well, I didn't get my key and while Ray and I both found my affinity for this table a little...ummm, unusual, there was someone else who had a much deeper understanding.

Later when the table was delivered, we discovered something very unique that had been imprinted over time into the table top!

In Darkness, Light!


Friday, May 29, 2009

See ya on the way down!

Merry Meet, once again, Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers!

So, what do you think about love? Such a lovely and terrifying emotion, isn't it? I view it as the the ultimate paradox. Love can either empower us, or pierce our hearts with such force as to make the strongest of us crumble to our knees beneath it's weight. I truly don't believe there is another more complex or schizophrenic emotion. And while most of us are able to exercise a reasonable degree of common sense under normal circumstances, when we are in love, we are completely and utterly at the mercy of our hearts. As beautiful as an emotion as it may be, we lie, cheat, steal, and kill all in it's name. We lose our sense of judgement, self-respect and at times, our minds. Ah is grand!

Think about it. Almost every song you hear is either about looking for love, falling in love, falling out of love, losing someone you love, reuniting with someone you love or hating someone you love!!

So, what is it about love that causes us to throw caution to the wind and act completely out of character? I mean, if we began behaving this way independent of a love affair, we might be considered good candidates for psychotherapy.

I believe that "love is blind" may be truest words ever spoken and if you've ever been in love, you know it's true. No matter how many red flags go up in a relationship, at times, the only thing we hear is the th-thump, th-thump, th-thump of Love's beating heart. We see someone that in our mind's eye is perfection incarnate and who possess none of the faults and frailties that we humans are famous for. We put that person high atop a pedestal, often bestowing upon them the infallible characteristics that are attributed only to the Gods. The danger is, that the higher up on the pedestal you place someone, the farther they have to fall.

What I find mind-boggling is that we never seem to hold ourselves in the same regard. We rarely love ourselves in the same unconditional, all consuming manner. And if we did, we would probably be considered narcissists! It's like the old song says, "you're nobody unless somebody loves you". Well, that's bullshit, but if it were true, that "somebody" should at least begin with YOU!

All this pondering made me recall a time, way back in the day, when I had fallen in love. I was in deep smit! The sun and moon rose around this person and despite all the intuitive warnings, I too placed him high atop a pedestal. His attention, or lack thereof, colored my every emotion. Yet, all the subtle nuances of his personality that I should have recognized as an impending disaster, I chose to blissfully ignore.

Well, the day finally came when I had to face the undeniable truth, that yes, he was in fact, an asshole! And when the pedestal I had placed him on finally toppled, as often they do, it was with a "thud" that could be heard around the World. Yes, those aftershocks you felt came from right here in New Jersey! Ok, well, that's a lie but it definitely registered a magnitude 8.0 on my little "Richter Scale O' Happiness".

When the dust eventually settled and my head had cleared enough for me to survey the carnage, something unexpected happened, I was actually...relieved! It's emotionally exhausting trying to reconcile the truth, with what you would rather believe. But, there was something else, I began to reconnect with someone I hadn't thought of in a really, really long time...Me!

Oh, it didn't happen overnight. At times it seems like forever before our hearts wrap around what our mind already knows. I mourned the loss of the person I believed in, I mourned the story with the "happily ever after" ending I told myself, I wondered if I had always been this friggin' naive or was it a trait I acquired over time. What I didn't miss however, was the person I became when I believed that someone else deserved that place on the pedestal more than I did.

And all for one beautiful, terrifying and complex emotion. Love.

In Darkness, Light!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

What Do You Believe?

Merry Meet, Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers!

There are some people who undoubtedly presume that for magick to work, you have to believe in it. All I can say is, let me know how that works for ya!

I recently read an excellent book called, Shaman, Healer, Sage by Alberto Villoldo, Ph.d. Dr. Villoldo is an anthropologist who visited Haiti on an expedition with a senior colleague. While there, his colleague introduced him to a Voodoo priest with whom he shared the opinion, that magick, witchcraft, Voodoo, etc, only works if there is a belief in it.

The priest and his colleague were highly amused by this and decided to put this theory to the test. Prior to his return to the States, Dr. Villoldo was told that an experiment would be conducted on a specific date and time. He was so certain that he would not be effected, that he placed a hundred dollar wager on the same. Well, the day came and went without incident, confirming what he suspected. A few days later, however, he became violently ill. He was struck with a blinding headache and excruciating abdominal pain that prompted a visit to the hospital. His symptoms were so severe that he feared he might die. After a battery of tests, the medical professionals were unable to determine the cause of his illness. A day or so later, he was on the mend.

During a subsequent conversation with his colleague, he cockily reported that nothing happened on the designated day or time, therefore confirming his beliefs about magick. His colleague took great pleasure in telling him that the experiment was unable to take place on the previously agreed upon date and time, but in fact, was performed one hour prior to his trip to the hospital. Coincidence? Perhaps. Dr. Villoldo has since dedicated his life to the healing arts.

So, could the focused intention behind lighting candles or reciting an incantation really produce a desired result? I will be honest, when I first began practicing, I had my doubts as well. Now...not so much.

Aleister Crowley said that, "Magick is the art and science of causing change to occur in conformity to will". Well, isn't that what prayer is? The simple act of focusing on a specific intention to produce a desired result? The only difference is, for some the Will is not there own, but that of whatever God or Gods they believe in.

There have since been many studies documenting the effects of the power of prayer on healing. And just as prayers aren't always answered, no matter how badly we want them to be, the same is true for magick.

And as far as spell casting is concerned, sometimes that's not even necessary to produce the results one desires. At times, simply having the focus and intention is more than enough. For example, say you're concerned about how a situation is going to play itself out. You ponder all the possibilities, trying to plan the best course of action and then, as if by, oh I don't know, magick, things work themselves out in the best possible way for the good of all. I don't know about the rest of you, but I friggin' love when that happens!

Sure, there are some that will say, "oh, well that was just luck" or a "coincidence". True, but coincidences happen randomly....not consistently.

So, for those who might be reading this and thinking you have to believe in magick for it to work, well perhaps you're right or perhaps it's just wishful thinking.

In Darkness, Light!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Did Anyone Else Get The Memo?

Merry Meet Again, Family, Friends and Lurkers!

Yesterday, I awoke with every intention of going to work and I would have gone too, if it wasn't for the damn meterologist on 1010 WINS!

From the moment I opened my eyes, he repeatedly taunted me with predictions of a glorious day filled with sunshine and warm temperatures. As hard as I tried to prepare myself for a day at the office, I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

Sometime around 9 a.m., I heard the doorbell ring. "Strange", I thought. I wasn't expecting anyone and no one knew that I'd be home today..not even me. I looked out the window and there were no familar cars in the driveway. I decided to err on the side of caution and not answer the door.

Later, when I went out to retrieve the mail, I found a flyer stuck in the door. On the front, in big, bold letters it said, "How Can You Survive The End Of the World? And then, "You are warmly invited to come and listen to the answer".

The World is ending??? Holy Crap!! Why didn't I get the memo!

I realized that this cheerful message had been brought to me courtesy of the local congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. I wondered why they got the news that the World was ending before anyone else did. I was certain that the Buddhists would have gotten it first. And, didn't they realize that "warmly invited" and "End of The World" doesn't belong in the same context?

I also wondered, what makes them so sure that I want to survive the end of the World? Who else was going to be there? Did they have a list? Were the Pagans invited, or did we need to convert first? These things are definitely going to effect my decision. More importantly, if the World ends....where are they going to put all the survivors?

The flyer was actually an invitation to a program on "mindful watchfulness" or "Keeping On The Watch" for signs that the end was near.

The program included:

*Staying Awake as Christian Families (I knew there had to be a catch! I'd have to convert first)

* Know That the End Is Near

* Imitate Jesus' Example of Watchfulness

* Keep in Expectation, Watching for Jehovah's Day.

Well, needless to say, as much as I hate to miss it, I think I will respectfully decline their invitation. I do however, think that a lecture in "watchfulness" might seriously benefit the congregants who distributed the flyers.

Because unless they just happened to miss the huge pentacle on the front door and the plaque that reads, "Best Witches", chances are they won't be amongst the survivors.

In Darkness, Light!


No Duckin' Way!!

Merry Meet and Happy Morning, Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers!

So, a few mornings ago, I was watching the ducks swimming around my pond and they began acting strangely. The male duck seemed to be trying to drown the female. At first, I was alarmed! Maybe I should run outside and try to save her! Then I realized, they were mating! In my pond!!! With my fish!!! My husband walked in, just in time to hear me exclaim, "fucking ducks". He glanced out the window and asked, "Why? What did they do?" "No", I said, "literally". "What?", he exclaimed, as he looked out the window. "Don't watch", I scolded him. "Give them some friggin' privacy". "They're ducks, Trace, they don't care who's watching". "Besides, I've never seen fucking ducks before. Maybe we should videotape it!" OH NO HE DIDN'T! I was appalled!!!! Duck Porn!!!

The things you learn about people after 24 years of marriage!

In Darkness, Light!!!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Gifts of the Mother...

Merry Meet and Happy Monday, Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers!

If you are a Mother or have a Mother, as I'm certain you do, yesterday we celebrated Mother's Day.

If, like myself, your Mother is no longer living, you celebrated her spirit or perhaps, your relationship with her wasn't all that great and you didn't celebrate at all. Be that as it may, you can't deny that you wouldn't be here reading this if it weren't for her.

This was a particularly significant Mother's Day for me. Thirteen years ago yesterday was also Mother's Day. On that day, I was giving birth to my daughter, Kyla. It was a life threatening pregnancy, followed by a long and difficult labor which ended with my declaring, "I'm not friggin' doing this again...ever!!!" and I didn't! I didn't have to. It was all worth it the first time.

As is tradition, I celebrated Mother's Day by honoring the Earth Mother. I filled the flower beds with beautiful red and white impatients and spent the day connecting with all the Elements that make our World beautiful. After I'd finished, I came in for some tea and sat down to read.

I was interrupted by my son's voice yelling, "Mom!!!!!!! When are we eating?" Now, I've heard my son's voice calling "Mom" more times than I could count. Today, his words caused the breath to catch in my chest and my eyes to fill with tears as I remembered another Mother, his Mother, my sister, who gave me one of the greatest Mother's Day gifts I have ever been honored to receive, her son...our son.

Happy Mother's Day!

In Darkness, Light!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

For The Love of God....Literally!

Merry Meet and Beltane Blessings Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers!

It seems like forever since we've chatted! My good ole' desktop computer saw it's last days recently. And while I must admit we'd seen some great times and shared some laughs, I have since lept into the 21st century and procured a laptop for my birthday. My birthday was on April 30th, Beltane, which I suspect might have something to do with my overwhelming affinity for Witchery!

This past Saturday, we celebrated the Sabbat of Beltane, right here in my backyard. I gotta tell ya, it was pretty amazing! If you know anything about Ridgewood however, then you know this is probably the least likely place you would expect to find a major Wiccan Sabbat being celebrated. But celebrate we did, maypole and all! We feasted, we sang, we kissed, we laughed...and the weather, despite predictions to the contrary, remained glorious.

On Sunday morning, I was lured out of bed by the aroma of fresh brewed coffee. As I glanced through the kitchen window there, once again, was Jesus Christ! Yeah, I know what you're thinking, "that's some nasty ass hang over", but alas no, it wasn't the mead. My neighbor, who while generally speaking is a fairly nice person, is also a very devout Irish Catholic. Each time we are gathered, be it for the magickal or mundane, she puts a huge crucifix on her patio table. The purpose of this is to ward off the demons that she has convinced herself we are conjuring during ritual.

I wonder if she realizes that when she does this, she is actually invoking her God, much the same as we were doing. The difference is that we don't feel compelled to protect ourselves from her God's wrath. You see, she believes that any and all Gods aside from her own are demons. This is what she was taught and what her faith demands that she believe. Pagans believe that the Gods have many faces and that we choose or are chosen, by those that resonate most closely with us. Our Gods don't represent ultimate good or evil, but have the qualities of both darkness and light, just as we humans do.

So, what demons did we invoke, I pondered, as we shared song and poem, drummed and danced. It was a celebration of life and love under a beautiful moonlit sky shared by new friends and the kinship of those who's bonds have been nutured over time.

My neighbor may have placed Jesus there to protect her from demons or perhaps he was really there to witness us carrying out the very message he sought to bring to the World.

"Thou Shalt Love They Neighbor As Thyself"

In Darkness, Light!


Please do take a close look at the photo. The sky was cloudless and there were no fires lit at the time it was taken. The mist that appeared as yet it remains...unexplained.