Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ritual and Magick

Magick happens in Ritual. In good Ritual, it follows you home.  In powerful Ritual, it tears you open and pulls down the walls, it leaves them in piles of rubble, and lets loose all that was hiding within them, within you.  It takes time, I think, to become accustomed to the affects of that kind of Magick.  And not every Ritual is designed to do that.  Some are for celebration, some for empowerment, but each person who participates will be affected according to their need, preparation and will.

I have been stuck for a while.  I have been afraid and frustrated and lonely.  I have been holding onto things as if they somehow keep me alive.  When I reach that place, I need help tearing down the walls.  I am not always capable of tearing them down, truth be told, I am not always capable of seeing them, and it is difficult to pull down that which you cannot see surrounds you.  I have vowed that I will not let them stand but, sometimes I need the catalyst of powerful Ritual, and the Magick that happens there, and the Magick that follows, to begin again. 

The Raven of the Void provided that catalyst, and the Magick has indeed followed me home.  I have been tearing at the walls every day and exploring what has been hiding behind them.  I have been writing every day and discovering things that are very uncomfortable, but that are necessary if I am to serve my Community and my Gods in the way that They would have me serve.  Happiness is also one of the purposes of this Magick and, I want to be a happier person. The Magick begins in Ritual but, the work has only begun.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

the Raven of the Void

This past weekend I attended the annual Yule ritual conducted by my Tradition.  I have only attended this ritual once before, seven years ago, before I knew any of these amazing people, before I was a part of this Tradition, this community.  I should not have let so many years pass between.  It took place after the sun had set in a circle surrounded by woods.  The night was unusually warm and the wind blew with an energy that reminded me of summer.  The stars of Winter’s first night were unmistakable in the clear dark sky above.  The path to the circle was lit by candles as was the circle itself and in the center of the circle a fire burned bright and warm and was tended by two members of my Tradition as an act of service.

The ritual is beautiful and moving.  The White Lady of Winter speaks to those in attendance as does the Sun Lord.  But in between, the Raven of the Void comes into the Circle and exhorts us to release those griefs, sorrows, fears and wounds that we have been holding onto as if they would somehow keep us alive.  As it happens, I was holding onto much more than I thought.
After the Raven speaks, he invites us to keen, to release our pain by screaming, shouting, wailing and howling.  The sound is not only unearthly and seemingly inhuman but it is impossible to remain unmoved when bearing witness to it.  Before you are aware of it, you are weeping and keening and the Raven takes all of that sorrow and pain and through the fire, transforms it into something else.

I remember some of his words deep in my soul; they were not for remembering so much as for experiencing in that moment.  They are not available to me as memory of language but as memory of magick.  I know that when the ritual was over, I felt less heavy, less tight, less cold, less afraid.  I felt cleaner. 

I have spent most of the past year actively learning to let go, to allow life to happen, but I have so much more to learn about myself, about life, about how the Gods expect me to serve them and my community.  I thought that I had done what I needed to do but, there is always more.  

Sometimes you have to welcome the Raven of the Void.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

on loneliness and wishing on a star...

Sometimes I feel lonesome.  Not all the time, not every day, but sometimes loneliness creeps under the door into my tree-house and wraps itself around me when I am curled in my bed with my Pwca.  It happens most often when the light fades from the sky, when the weather is cold and I am less likely to venture out at night. 

Truth be told, I am a bit of a home-body.  I love my home and my Pwca is a wonderful companion but, as much as I enjoy the quiet beauty of my lovely rooms, and the solitude necessary to do my work, I sometimes long for the comfort of a warm human body and heart and mind and soul to engage with. 

Intimacy is a human need.  It is not a need that can be met through casual interaction in the everyday world.  It requires a familiarity that can only be found in the personal connection that exists between friends or lovers or family.

As the longest night of the year approaches, I am glad that I have a tree decorated with lights to cheer my home.  It will stand in its place until I can detect the return of the light.  I am grateful that I have a warm and loving feline spirit with whom to share my evenings.  I am grateful that loneliness is only an occasional visitor and that I will be able to visit with my beloveds on occasion over the next few weeks.

But sometimes, I wish I could spend the evening with my arms wrapped around a beloved and with theirs wrapped around me.  This is my wish for the new year.  The first star I see on the longest night of the year, I shall wish upon it.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Magick without Words

I have been very quiet for a while now.  I have been wanting to write but have been focused on listening.   I have been dreaming much more than I ever have in the past.   At first the dreams were expressions of my hormonal situation (it seems that my body was reacting to the imminent onset of menapause by ramping up my libido to epic proportions)   Being single and living alone, it was a bit frustrating.  But that seems to have passed for the moment and for a while now the dreams have taken on a quieter and more reflective tone. 

After the frenzy of the past few months I feel exhausted and my dream sleep has become difficult to surface from on a daily basis.  I find it tiring to engage with others.  I find myself wanting to be with loved ones but engaging them does not come naturally.  I want to sit silently and be near them and watch them and listen to them but, my thoughts have difficulty finding their way into language and then to expression through speech.

I held my granddaughter yesterday for the first time.  I could have happily sat there for days.  Because I did not have to use words, I could simply hold her close in my arms and allow my heart to feed my love directly into her little body.  I could simply feel her breathe and whisper into her ears, my voice and my breath carrying energy and light into her sleeping mind.  It is a magick without words. 

That is strange to me.  My thoughts have always before expressed themselves through language.  I love words.  But it seems as though one of the results of the initiation is that I now experience and express magick and ideas through images and other sensory information.  Perhaps this was the way I functioned when I was young, before I fell so completely in love with words.  I do not know but, I am becoming more comfortable with it and better at interpreting it.  

It seems as though, in order to write, I must disengage from it, to surface into the waking world, and as soon as I have achieved my purpose, I sink back into the dreaming without words.  I do hope to find a way to integrate the two.  Perhaps this next month will hold some key about how to do just that.  Blessings upon you as we approach the return of the light.