Blog Archives

creating ritual: purification

if i absolutely had to pick a religious identity, i would label myself “Christ-emulator”, as in i try to emulate the teachings of Christ. to me, it differs from being “christian” in many ways, and it allows me to weave in truths from other spiritual practices while not feeling fake. i celebrate jewish holidays in honour of my matriarchal russian-jewish heritage. my time living in japan, and my affinity for japanese culture, drew me to shinto { and buddhism, and taoism }. my ojibwe heritage has opened me to elements of native american spirituality. my love of mythology has opened my mind to the idea of many gods and goddesses. i’m a feminist moon-worshiper. all of the preceding hold TRUTHS; my creative persona finds comfort, calm, and solace embodying the crazy-mixed-up jumble of beliefs i hold in physical rituals.

there is a salus per aquam { spa } near my home where i retreat to in times of high anxiety. in the decompressing area, hidden in a pile of feminist books, i discovered the goddess oracle–a collection of stunning cards used for divination. after using them several times, i decided to purchase my own, since i find them more intuitive and illuminating than tarot.

in order to cleanse my personal deck of any residual “ick”, and to truly set the intent, attuning it to me, i performed a purification ritual. first, i laid down fabric which will adorn my alter, and lit my homemade “saints” candle { one side is an image of carrie fisher, the other of david bowie. i coloured in the images and affixed them to a beeswax pillar candle }. i poured water into a bronzed bowl, then lit a sage smudge stick whose smoke i used to bless the candle, the water, myself, and the cards in an anti-clockwise fashion. after cleansing the cards, i laid them upon a small scrap of silk a top the fabric, and then cleansed the two stones i had chosen to fully align my deck. clear calcite, is a stone of clarity,insight and manifestation- facilitating inner clarity and initiating multilevel awareness. selenite is as tone of spiritual activation, aiding in communication with one’s higher self, and facilitates the experience of receiving inner guidance.

once purified, i placed these stones upon my deck and covered them with a remaining scrap of silk, then again smudged everything in one giant anti-clockwise circle. now i sit, with a calming herbal tea i blended myself, waiting for the deck to set.

Advertisements

an imbolc prayer

for all the times you have been silenced:

may you take pride in voicing your opinions without fear

for all the times you have felt alone, left out, unworthy, unwanted:

may those deep wounds be healed; may you find yourself surrounded by love & support

for the years you felt trapped by gender roles:

may you be freed daily from oppression

for the times you have been quiet, meek, timid, and worried about other’s opinions:

may you find a willingness to share yourself with others; to know your true value & worth

for the times you feel self-doubt:

may you see what i see in you and recognize your inner strength. may you know that you reside in the Divine, and She resides in you.

blessed be.

 

little victories

i just got back from a 2-mile walk. i realize that may not sound terribly impressive, but to me, it’s a fairly big deal. in my life, i want to be more active. i want to be fit and healthy. i want to live a long life with my awesome spousal unit. depression gets in the way. A LOT!

in therapy yesterday, we danced around the ideas of: 1. giving myself permission { whether it’s permission to practice self-care OR permission to be as i am, in that moment, without judgement } and 2. to celebrate/revel in/ be proud of little victories { REALLY DIFFICULT CONCEPTS FOR ME}

the universe must really want me to take those lessons to heart, because not only did i share { in solidarity } this with a co-worker, but one of my “regular sites” featured this post on how “tracking positivity” can help with depression.  so here i am, celebrating my little victory with the universe.

an amazing mentor { and friend  AND founder of The Women’s Intelligence Project } shared an enlightening piece Centering Wellness: Reimagining Justice, Care and Change Making Professions. the author, jardana peacock,  is speaking specifically about fields of work when she stares:

“we must see our work as trauma work.

We often experience that trauma as overwhelm, anxiety and stress. Compound that with personal trauma(s) and we are headed toward breakdown and burnout.

Without an emphasis on wellness, folks will continue to suffer exponentially from burnout, anxiety, and spiritual malaise….

The truth is trauma never goes away. Trauma will always exist in our world and in our bodies. Self-care/Community-care, wellness and spiritual practices will, however, provide a container of healing.”

this is what i am attempting to do: practice self-care. i want to heal.

The grange watercolor female profile

the shortening of days

every year, the length of daylight ebbs and flows…it’s impossible not to notice. the languorously long, sun-soaked summer days eventually give way to the chilled, dreary-dark of winter. and yet, i have never noticed it quite as much as this year.  though i recollect the year i lived in rural japan {“teaching” english}, where in august it was bright past 11, and in december, it was pitch dark walking home from work at 4, never before have i noticed how i tend to embody the changes in season. perhaps, i never took the time to notice.

more than ever, i’m recognizing patterns: in the foods i crave, in the activities i want to do, in the beer i drink, and in how i notice/partake in time. in the bright months of summer, i want nothing more than to be outdoors–even if it’s just reading a book, with a thermos of unsweetened, iced green tea or mugicha by my side. i crave cold/cool things, lighter in body, simpler in profile: sushi, salads, watermelon, fresh fruits/veggies, cold pasta/chicken/tuna salads. i drink hefeweizens, pale ales, things low in abv. and above all, even with loads of sunlight, it feels like i never have enough time to accomplish everything i want to–> time slips by unnoticed.

in contrast, these shortened days we’re now facing, i’m amazed at all i get done before the sun sets, particularly on my days off. i drink heavy-bodied ales: stouts, porters, things barrel-aged, barleywines, spiced ales, pumpkin beers. i want hot, rich, savoury foods: casseroles, soups, crock pot meals, fresh-baked breads, root vegetables & gourds, things loaded with cheese/sour cream/ butter. i prefer being indoors, under loads of blankets, with my kitties on my lap- sipping hot cocoa, cider or small-earthenware pots filled with lapsang souchong or puerrh.

even with all the technology at our finger tips- instant communication, movie streaming, the “plugged in” culture- and all the modern “food” conveniences- like raspberries at the grocers in january or the conveyor-belt sushi joint by work–it’s absolutely,mindbogglingly amazing to me how my body still is in tune with its surroundings. it hasn’t lost touch with seasonality, and i endeavour to do the same

envy & blessings & regret

it’s phenomenal how often in my life these three things { envy, blessings, regret }become inexplicably intertwined. the “negative” states of being force me to remind myself of what blessings i have, but reminding myself of said blessings makes it painfully clear the things i am lacking. and i’m not even necessarily referring to tangible objects. here is what i’ve been reflecting on recently….

BLESSINGS

i’m not one to usually divulge such information, but since it will put it painfully into perspective, our family { self, spousal unit, 2 kitties } officially made under $8,000 for the fiscal year of 2012. that’s not a typo. under $8,000! with unofficial income { aka cash } that puts us up to maybe $10k at best. and yet, we never went hungry. we always made rent. we paid our utilities. we were able to move. we were able to insure our car and keep gas in it. because of supportive family and even strangers we have been able to keep going. what a blessing indeed! and yet, there are still huge unresolved financial burdens { old medical bills, student loans, the constant use of our one credit card when times get tight } that i mire in worry & doubt about how much longer can this continue? i have tried to take steps to become more financially stable { my job is at best 25-30 hours a week and is under $12/hr….but with awesome benefits } but the harsh reality of the economy, and my marketability have so far gotten me no where. which leads to…

REGRET

i regret all the little “life altering” decisions that, if i could go back in time and change them, would put us in a better life situation. i find myself regretting what i studied in college, or even that i WENT to college, and sometimes even that i decided to pursue my master’s degree…which seems to have made me LESS marketable instead of more.  i regret that i didn’t take more advantage of opportunities that were before me during my academic years: i should have studied abroad more, done more internships, submitted works for publication or consideration at conferences.  i know i can’t change any of things, which can hurt so deeply and { for me at least } makes it difficult to move forward with my life.  i get overwhelmed by the people around me, whether they are total strangers or people i have known for decades who seem on the surface to be struggling less than i am; than we are. which leads to…

ENVY

the inner beast. the peculiar thing is, as previously mentioned, i don’t feel/think i’m envious of tangible, physical STUFF. as a clear example, i will reference someone i recently reconnected with through the magic of social media. { i will try to keep it as anonymous as humanly possible } i can not remember a time i was not jealous/envious of…let’s call her uma. i met her in college, and she radiates warmth, vivacity, joy and is impossible not to like. i wanted to BE her { not in the creepy SWF way }. she had a childhood i could only dream of–uma’s parents were missionaries { which, in and of itself, i’m not envious of. i had a hard enough time with my own father who had ALMOST become an ordained minister. } which meant she grew up in far-away exotic countries, was well-traveled, and truly “worldly”. she was, and still is gorgeous- in part because of those qualities she naturally radiates- but also because she doesn’t try to be gorgeous. part of my collegiate envy was professional–i was a theatre major, and was certain at the time, that acting was what i was going to pursue. uma was not a theatre major, but was involved with theatre, and we regularly would get called back for the same roles….and they would go to uma. it was heart-breaking– particularly *because* of the fact that she did not want to professionally pursue acting, and i did. how was i supposed to gain experience, and hone my skills and get better if i was never given the opportunity? and uma was? sigh…fast-forward to the present day and reconnecting. she is still gorgeous and radiates this odd inner joy/peace/vivacity/beauty that i’m both drawn to and am envious of. she lives abroad…which i am envious of. not only that it’s not HERE, but that’s she has lived in so many places that i want to visit & experience for myself. and cannot { at least now } afford to. she has 2 beautiful children, and while i am not envious of the having kids { i really don’t think i ever want any }, i am envious of the capability to afford children. the more i find myself filling with envy over other people’s lives, i realize because it HURTS SO BAD that my life is lacking those things.

i’m not really sure where i am going with all of this. it is so difficult to make heads or tails of it all.