Monday, March 24, 2008

Ostara 2008

I hope everyone had a joyful spring equinox! I had a nice quiet ritual -- the most traditional ritual I've ever done for this holiday, actually, complete with natural dyed eggs and seed blessing. I rather enjoyed the fact that it came so close to Easter this year, as well, since it meant that I enjoyed Easter dinner rather more than is usual for me. Perhaps that is why I indulged in the egg dying, too.

And the seasons are almost cooperating -- while the weather on the actual day of the equinox was cold, cloudy, and generally uninspiring, things have been looking up since then, and I even saw my first crocus' of the season today! I have faith that spring proper is on its way. For once, I'm outraged at the climatic inability to deliver spring on schedule. It's a pleasant change, really.

(There are pictures of the eggs, but my new camera is not playing nicely with my computer yet, so those will have to wait until later.)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cycle interruptus

Life is not a simple cycle; neither is the year. Summer interrupts autumn, autumn reclaims some of what is rightfully winter -- so it goes, no stage content to stay in its rightful place.

But how it hurts, when a warm day appears, you think is spring. You reach out, uncoiling from your closed bud, reaching out towards the possibilities before you, the sap within your veins responding to the fresh sunlight.

And then its gone. You bolted too soon, and now the cold has returned, forcing you back into your hard casing, severing yourself from yourself. Painfully, you draw yourself back together, return to wholeness. You wait in the dark, nursing your hurt in bitterness.

But the sun comes back (it always does), and you stretch out again. However many time it takes, you will reach towards that light, knowing that someday, it will last.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Creating sacred space in my apartment

Ever since I first read The Circle Within, I've wanted to consecrate my entire apartment as sacred space. I was especially drawn to the idea of using permanent elemental markers, probably because I loved the challenge of finding/creating them. Well, slightly over a year later, I've finally done it! It took me that long to find the perfect markers. I will be keeping them as I move from place to place over the years, as a way to maintain continuity (her idea was to switch them for a fresh start in each home).

I will be curious to see how inhabiting sacred space changes how I feel about my daily routine, and my living space in general. Washing the dishes isn't a chore; it's cleaning my temple. The half-finished projects scattered everywhere aren't clutter; they are sacred creativity.

I took pictures of the markers themselves, since I'm rather fond of them. Earth is a grass basket (woven by the Tohono O'odham) filled with some of my favorite stones. Air is probably my favorite, because I made it myself. It was only my second attempt at collage, and I am very proud of how well it turned out. Fire was the first marker that I purchased, over a year ago. I know that the stone in the middle ought to make it more "earthy," but to me it is evocative of the raw volcanic power of fire. And water uses a stained glass bowl that I've had for years, certain that it was destined for some purpose, with rocks from the Cape Cod beach where I took my honeymoon.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I've read books, stories, essays in which someone's life seems to occur in time with the changing seasons. In fiction, I've always seen it as a variant of the pathetic fallacy; in non-fiction, as either grandiose imagining, or else massaging the truth for a better story.

I guess I'll have to rethink that attitude, because it's happening to me.

With the coming of autumn, I sank down into a dark night of the soul, found myself knee deep in the Underworld with no choice but to trudge onward. And I trudged on through the winter. I slogged through the quagmire of self-doubt, the murky depths of pain, until I found myself staring at my own raw fears -- that I am destined to be disappointed, miserable, constrained, trapped, and yoked blindly to a path I would never willingly chose. (Also, drowned in melodramatic metaphors and grandiose phrases, but that comes with the territory).

But things are changing. Lessons that have been repeated since fall -- that I need to let go my fears and embrace the passionate exuberance of life -- are finally sinking in. Revelations and discoveries and fortuitous books* are all spiraling together to call me to myself. And something is in the air. A new smell, a fresh breeze, a lightening of life that I can feel with every breath. That surge of potential beneath my feet, struggling to come out. I can feel it everywhere. After nearly suffocating in the darkness, even this small light is freeing. I can feel the pulse of rebirth echoing my own, and I can't stop smiling!

*Refuse to Choose! A revolutionary Program for Doing Everything That You Love, by Barbara Sher, thanks to Magical Musings for mentioning it a few weeks ago!

* * * * *

This season always reminds me of the following poem, and it ties in with how I'm feeling today -- that the world is full of a million different things that I can dive into, that my life is full of potential - so I thought I would include it. My apologies if the spacing gets messed up.

In Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful
the queer
old balloonman whistles
far far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and



balloonMan whistles

-e.e. cummings