Friday, July 23, 2010

Just A Little Push...

Merry Meet Family and Friends!

So, yesterday morning, for reasons still unclear to me, I recalled an incident that happened when I was a child. I guess I was perhaps 5 or 6 years old, give or take a year.

There was a girl my age by the name of Theresa who lived in the house next door to ours. She wasn't my favorite playmate, but her Mom and mine had been friends for years and so we played together often.

On this particular occasion, Theresa and I were playing in her backyard. The yard consisted of a small patch of grass next to a driveway covered by jagged, gravel rocks about the size of quarters. I can't recall what prompted her on that day, but for whatever reason, Theresa pushed me, hard, and I fell backwards onto the sharp stones. The palms of my hands had broken my fall and while I wasn't physically injured, I remember being hurt, emotionally, by her actions.

Sitting on the ground, brushing away tiny pieces of rock and dirt from my sore hands, I looked up at Theresa who was staring down at me with a self-satisfied expression of triumph. Being a timid, non-confrontational child, the thought of defending myself or of retaliation never entered my mind...nor, did it have to. What happened next became one of those inexplicable moments that burned itself into my memory.

As I rose to my feet, brushing off my clothing, I turned toward Theresa. Just as I did, I watched her falling backward onto the ground EXACTLY as I had only moments before, as if pushed by unseen hands. "You, you pushed me!!!", Theresa wailed from the ground below me. "I'm telling my Mommy!". But I didn't! I couldn't! But, how could I explain what just happened and more importantly, who would ever believe something that I couldn't believe myself! At that moment, a voice came from somewhere behind me. It was Theresa's mother. "She did not push you!", her Mom yelled from the window. "God punished you for pushing her!"

God's punishment? Really? Well, perhaps not in the Christian sense of the definition. I do believe, however, that on that day, in that moment in time, I was given a rare gift. Not the gift of karmic retribution for a child's unkind act, but of a glimpse into a World that exists beyond what we recognize as reality and a first knowledge of those that have our backs from beyond the veil.

Over the course of time, I have gratefully been on the receiving end of guidance and/or protection by those who walk between the Worlds. At my request? Perhaps. At others, not so much. It's on those occasions that a little "shove" in the right direction or when necessary to get someone's undivided attention is most welcome.

Possessing all the frailties bestowed upon humankind, I must confess that I have encountered situations in which my anger and frustation have gotten the better of me and I've danced the fine line of magickal ethics. Let's be honest, shall we? As mere mortals, our hearts are often in conflict with our heads. It might take a house falling on us to recognize the difference between what we want to do and what we should do. Thankfully, those instances have been few and far between, but hey, at least I admit it! In working with Hecate, or more aptly, in my devotion to her, I have seen lessons that bore her mark that were perhaps more harsh than anything I might have conjured up, but that were perfectly succinct, leaving no question as to their teacher!

I've since learned that it's not always necessary for me to push back quite as hard as I'd like to. I am comforted by the knowledge that there are those that walk beside me that are willing to do the pushing when I'm vulnerable and just need a little time to brush myself off!

In Darkness, Light!


Friday, July 9, 2010

Even God Makes Mistakes...

Merry Meet Family and Friends!

I consider myself a Steward of the Earth. As "new agey" as that may sound, it is by far, the most accurate description. So when events such as the gulf oil spill take place, and I see the carnage left in it's path, it leaves me feeling helpless and frustrated. But, not hopeless. Never hopeless. I believe that the Earth will take care of it's own and while there may be casualties along the way, the balance will be restored. Cause' the Mother's awesome like that!

And while I may be able to do little on my own to contribute to the clean up efforts, I continue to do what I can within my own sacred space.

We are in the midst of a brutal heat wave here in New Jersey. Temperatures have topped 100 degrees, with nothing more than a few sprinkles of rain for weeks. Our town is under water restrictions which I'm finding much more painful to accept and comply with when I look upon the herbs and plantings, that I have so loving cared for, withering in the unrelenting heat.

I stepped outside a few days ago and the humidity enveloped me like a shroud. The sky was perfectly cloudless without even a hint of breeze. I noticed a Robin attempting to drink from our pond and as I watched, it fell over. I ran to see if I could help and found it huddled under the shade of a bush, shielding itself from the brutality of the Sun's rays. I thought it might fly off when I approached, but it remained still, beak open, it's breathing labored. I quickly fetched my watering can and filled it with cool water. I gently poured tiny drops into it's mouth and over it's wings. As I did, it tilted his little head back to drink. I was relieved. When I returned later, it was gone. When I turned to go back into the house, I noticed it lying at my feet, eyes open wide. It had died. I was heartbroken. Nature can be so cruel, or so they say. Who are "they" anyway?

My husband would say, that I'm interfering with life's natural order. And perhaps, that's true. But, how does one know when to let nature take it's course or to give our best efforts to sustain it?

We humans become ill every day. At times, through no fault of our own, at others, by assaulting our bodies with our own personal gulf oil spills. And yet, when we develop diseases that threaten the preciousness of life, we pump it with toxins and resort to extreme measures to sustain it's quality, even long after that possibility no longer exists.

Is this not interfering with life's natural cycle? And why is life's importance determined by the order of species? What makes some species less worthy of life than others?

Humankind. The greatest creation of the Gods or a wonderment of evolution? Perhaps a little of both? So long it's been debated. I've yet to decide, nor am I certain that it really matters. In order of species, we are Masters of all we survey. I bear witness to the miracles of modern medicine and technology every day. And yet, yet...we have been the single most destructive force to the planet that continues to sustain us, despite the aggressiveness of our malignancy.

Perhaps my efforts are, as my husband suggests, tampering with with life's "natural order". Perhaps allowing nature to take its course is what, in the big picture of things, I'm supposed to do.

Me? I'm going to continue screw with nature! I will water my herbs when the Mother sees fit to withhold rain. I will feed birds and animals in my sacred space when she blankets the ground with snow. I will continue to aid all those sentient beings that allow me the honor of living amongst them, in the place that was "home" to them long before we decided it was "ours". For me it's more than a labor of love.

I consider it penance for being one of God's greatest mistakes.

In Darkness, Light,


Monday, July 5, 2010

Crazy Little Thing Called Love!


Merry Meet Family and Friends!

So, I've encountered one of the stranger and dare I say, darker aspects of social networking. Oh, it was bound to happen. As much as I have enjoyed reconnecting with childhood friends, there are really good reasons why some people don't stay in touch for 30 years!

In this year past, I've reconnected with a couple of male acquaintances from High School. One out of sheer curiosity, (it was rumored that he was....ummmm, deceased) the other, because I truly wanted to believe that with age comes wisdom, and to that end, offer the benefit of the doubt.

You would think I would know better by now! Oh, I still believe that wisdom comes with age for most people. For others, insanity gets there a lot quicker than wisdom could ever hope to!

The first, was a guy I dated for about a week and a half during my freshman year in High School. I had been forewarned that he was "strange", but decided that I shouldn't judge his character based on sheer rumor. Suicide attempts, drug overdoses, strange obsessions with male teachers finally led me to the conclusion that the doubt definitely outweighed the benefit!

In the first 15 minutes of reconnecting with him, he sent me a Facebook "gift" with a little note that read, "I send you a yellow rose of friendship, because alas, you are betrothed to another". Yes, lovely, I admit, but considering the brevity of our High School relationship and the fact that we hadn't kept in touch for 30 years, it seemed rather odd. I learned that he had been married and had a child. He sent me a photo of his wife, that I suspect was not really his wife at all. He further told me that he was a sanguine Vampire, who only slept during daylight hours. For those unfamiliar, a "sanguine" Vampire derives energy from feeding on human or animal blood, as opposed to a "psychic" Vampire who feeds off human energy. This, I found this all quite befitting of what I already knew of his personality. "It's all good", I thought. Seriously! I'm a Witch. Who am I to judge!

In the weeks that followed however, his behavior began taking on a decidedly possessive turn. He became agitated by the fact that I wasn't commenting on every status update or spending my entire time online chatting with him. His frustration was obvious in the increasingly antagonistic comments made to my posts. Finally, when he sent me an email asking why we weren't chatting regularly, I explained that I really didn't spend a lot of time chatting with anyone. That's what "Status Updates" were for. He became irate, demanding to know why I "sought him out, only to ignore him". He suggested that if I weren't going to chat with him or anyone else, I should cancel my account. I "clarified', in retrospect, perhaps a little too harshly, that it wasn't I who "sought him out" and that it was unrealistic to assume that I would spend every moment I was logged on chatting solely with him. "Remove" and "Block". He later confided in a mutual friend that he had been in love with me since High School. Who knew!? I thought he was gay!

The second, was someone that I knew quite well in High School and beyond. I had ended the friendship several years ago when I realized that he was hypocritical, judgemental and if you disagreed with his perspective, at times, menacing. When a "friend request" arrived from him recently, I hesitated for a few days before accepting. In retrospect, waiting a few more weeks would have saved me the trouble of hitting the "block" option.

You see, this man had been courting a twisted, 30 year long obsession with his High School sweetheart. She and I had been best friends back in the day and it was I who had introduced them. They established a long term relationship that began the Summer before High School and that ended shortly after senior year with a broken engagement. And although it was his choice to break the engagement, he continued to blame her for it's ending and for his past 30 years of romantic failures.

Upon accepting his friend request, he shared with me that he wanted to make amends to those people that he'd hurt in the past. He also shared that he was seriously ill, a fact that he only wanted to a few people, myself included, to know. In the first 15 minutes, he mentioned his High School sweetheart three times. He made it abundantly clear however, that she was not one of those people he wanted to share the news of his illness. It was perfectly obvious however, that his reason for contacting me had absolutely nothing to do with making amends, but was intended to fish for information about her. A few days later, not only did I learn he'd contacted her, but was attempting to use his illness as a means of it rekindling their relationship.

She however, had recently remarried, so I knew he was going to be seriously disappointed. When he learned of her marriage, he began sending me rambling messages, referring to she and her new husband by vile names and accusing her ruining his life. Despite my repeated attempts to put things in a clearer perspective for him, the line between truth and fantasy continued to blur. He had absolutely no intention of closing the door on the past and any suggestion of him doing the same angered him. I didn't realize how fatal his attraction actually was until one of his messages described, in detail, his delusions of premeditated murder! I couldn't hit the "Remove" and "Block" functions fast enough, but not before warning him that I had copied his messages to her and that if he contacted either of us again, I would forward them to the authorities in his current State of residence.

My experience with Internet communication has led me to to conclude that one can tell, usually within the first 15 minutes, whether the person with whom you are chatting is crazier than a bag of rats. A diagnosis not found in any text on Abnormal Psychology, but accurate, to say the very least. Of course, I admit, I have also encountered a few exceptions my self imposed "15 minute" theory.

I recently decided that if I have to think twice before "friending" someone on Facebook, that's one time too many.

My status has been updated thus far to read, "Tracy's Facebook Page is now a "Psychopath Free Zone". Of course, there are always exceptions!

In Darkness, Light!