Drought Time

I’ve wandered unwittingly into a desert. There were signs – I’m sure there were – aren’t there always signs? – but I plodded ahead and now I’m lost. It’s a featureless desert where nothing seems to matter and I have no connection to anything spiritual.  I stopped talking to Loki. I stare at the stuffed dragon Nammu wanted me to pick up and wonder if – or when – I’ll get the message to give it to someone. I’m still waiting after all these years for that sign.  I know that They’re still out there, even if They’re too busy to connect with me, but it’s cold comfort right now.

John Bennett posted the other day about the storm we’re in. He said it wasn’t a post for everyone. I’m one of those not tapped. I wish I were. I would like to contribute something. I’d like to have a role to play and a job to do. It kind of resonates with the military background. There’s a battle but I haven’t been invited to join the troops. I’m sure it’s my own fault, but that’s hindsight talking.

Our cat Abby went missing 10 days ago. Nic and I were heartsick. I called the county animal control but she wasn’t there. I called the local shelter without finding her. I hoped that she was taken in by someone who thought she was homeless, or that she had died giving life to another creature. I didn’t expect to see her again.

Last night, after reading a post on wandering in the desert, I took its advise and put up Loki’s altar. I put out the chalice, the pretty crystal, the poppet. I made an offering and talked to Him. Then I went to bed. It was another restless night and I tossed and turned until shortly after midnight. Then I heard a cat crying in the distance. I thought it might be the stray I feed but I didn’t get up since I had filled her bowls before retiring. It got closer and louder and my heart leapt in hope. It sounded like Abby!

It was Abby! She jumped on the table by the rv and demanded entry. I threw KoKo into the bedroom so she wouldn’t try to rush the door, and let her in.  It was a wonderful moment. I gave them all treats and fed Abby some canned food. She ran into the back looking for Nic, but their reunion will have to wait until he returns from work this afternoon. I called Nic (it was 0030!) to give him the happy news. Joy reigned supreme in the family…well, Chinle did hiss and bop her head as she walked by, but he’s never accepted them completely.

I thanked Loki, in case it was His doing. Maybe a sign that even though They’re busy, They are still watching.

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I am Enough – A ½ Day Silent Meditation Retreat

Meditation is a practice and that key part of that is practice there is no one who has perfect meditation. Our minds are made to chatter to tell us stories to keep us safe and to analyze our day making us better, smarter stronger and to adapt so we can survive.  I always say these words to people before taking them into a meditation because so often people are stuck on the idea that to be good at meditation our minds must be empty of all thought.

Hope asked me to share my meditation journey from a couple of weekends ago I had an opportunity to attend a ½ Day Silent Meditation Retreat at the studio I teach. I love a good guided meditation. I enjoy a few moments of meditation each day. Silent mediation is new to my practice.  I wasn’t sure about meditating for a full four and a half hours – that seems so long! It was the anniversary of our one year move to the swamp, though, so I though why not take the challenge and celebrate our move? Do something new and challenging.

Our pattern was 30 minutes seated, 20 minutes walking we did that 3 times with a break for snacks and tea, although the cycle times might have varied some. Our amazing mediation guide gave us the theme of finding calm in the mundane chaos that is every day life.  She gave us a verbal focus for each set then quiet.

The first thing I noticed is that when you are still and quiet the mind gets loud. Oh, so loud.

I was kind of expecting this – our mind is a big muscle it works all day and night to keep us alive. It’s constantly feeding us information though dreams and wandering thoughts.  Our mind how loves to go and to chatter.

During the first seated portion, my brain was saying:

  • Ouch
  • Sore
  • Gosh I’m tight
  • Ignore the discomfort it’s a distraction, signs of discomfort of being still in quiet
  • Don’t fidget
  • Don’t fidget
  • AHHHHH foot cramp slowly stretch that out
  • Oh I forgot to breath…. Breath count the breath
  • AHHHH… the foot again… okay acknowledge the signs of pain and mindfully move
  • So much better
  • Breath
  • Don’t’ forget to add onions to the shopping list
  • Over and over add nauseum

I was so sure that this was the longest 30 minutes of my life. It felt so good to get up and stretch and move then we started walking. The brain is still going but now we have more things to focus on.

  • Ah freedom to move – but move with focus so heel, ball of the foot, toes
  • Right foot
  • Left foot
  • UGH have none of these people ever march in High School marching band?
  • Is the circle getting smaller?
  • Right foot heel, ball, toes
  • Left food heel, ball, toes
  • Where is our rhythm
  • How many times around the room is this?
  • Why are my hands so sweaty?
  • Am I breathing?

Back to seated with some more stretching and settling down adjust the props so I feel better when I’m seated and start.

  • Focus on the breath
  • Thoughts are slowing I can see just one at a time now
  • Back to the breath
  • Don’t forget to add onions to the grocery list
  • Breath
  • Breath
  • Back to the breath
  • Inhale
  • Exhale
  • Pause
  • Must straiten out my leg
  • Breath
  • Wait was that the chime? It can’t have been 30 minutes

Standing up and stretching moving preparing to walk we are switching going counter clock wise this time. Hurray for change!

  • Start on left food heel, ball, toe
  • Right foot heel, ball, toe
  • Oh, circle is getting smaller step out wide right foot heel, ball, toe
  • Oh foot cramp again, stretch to the top of the foot this time heel, ball, toe, top of the foot to stretch – ah….  
  • Oh yeah breath…
  • Feel the feet on the floor the cool spots, the warm spots of sunshine

Break time! Tea & Snacks but first we need to journal. Write out all those thoughts you had in the previous sets of meditation. Write them down and get rid of them.  What does she mean get rid of these thoughts?? These are my precious, precious thoughts each one of these thoughts are deep and important to me. I love them! And I can’t forget onions for dinner tonight! Without onions we will surely starve!  So, I did as asked. I wrote down all these thoughts – all this junk – and I let it go. It was hard, but once done I was lighter. I drank some tea and ate a muffin.

We got ready for our third round of seated meditation. So many props, but my body felt good and relaxed.

  • Let it go
  • Just be the breath
  • Did I just fall asleep?
  • Let it go
  • Just be the breath

Standing stretching moving ready for our 3rd round of walking back to clock wise

  • Right foot heel, ball, toe
  • Left foot heel, ball, toe
  • Ugh they still can’t step together
  • Let it go
  • Breath
  • Relax my hands
  • Relax my shoulders
  • Breath
  • Relax my jaw
  • Right foot heel, ball, toe
  • Left foot heel….wait what we are done walking already?

Short closing seated meditation we find the breath we find the self and we relax. Our guide asks in one-word answer “How do you feel?”

                Complete

                Whole

                I am enough  

“What does that mean?” Hope asked after I was done telling her this story of my morning.

“Just that.” I answered “I am enough, if I just do one load of laundry today and the pile of dirty cloths is still taller than my head, I am enough. If I get one thing done on my list of the thousand things to do today, I am enough.  I am a complete being I am a whole being. All these crazy thoughts, all this breathing, it is enough. It is okay not do it all, it is wonderful to be enough.”  

Violet Tincture

I was so inspired by Michelle Thereze Enchant The Ordinary
Post on Daffodil Tincture that I wanted to make my own. Their pictures
were so inspiring.  Spring is early in the jungle/swamp so I was not ready
when the daffodils started to bloom. By the time I got my ingredients, meaning remembering to go to the liquor store to by vodka the daffodils were on their downhill side of blooming. 

Nature however always comes through for us 

Violets all parts of the violet plant are edible

My yard is now full of violets

I have never really been fond of candies violets or other floral flavored candies, sweets and alcohol. I guess I’m just not Victorian enough to enjoy eating flowers.

Violets have other important uses. 

You can make a violet face wash using violets to help calm skin. Violet leaves are very mucusy – mucilaginous if we wish to be all scientific. That means the leave are full of mucus like aloe vera plants. The mucus in the leaves helps to soothe red irritated skin. Violet face wash will act as a skin toner (makes your skin feel tight) and is antiseptic to help with acne. 

I am going to try some face wash tomorrow. Today I am making violet tincture. The mucilaginous aspect of violets makes them wonderful for treating coughs and congestion. 

full jar of violet flowers and leaves

I lightly packed a pint-sized jar with my violet flowers and leaves and covered with a good vodka. (when making your own use 80% or 100 proof vodka). I will let it sit in a cool dark spot for the next 6 to 8 weeks. Then I will strain and store in a light sensitive jar for well indefinitely or until all used up.

I will use my violet tinctures the next time I have a wet, heavy mucus cough and need some help clearing the lungs.  Just a drop or two will do. The tincture is an expectorant so it will help to clear your lungs

I shall try to make face a violet face toner with in a couple of days. If it works I’ll share my results

filled to the top with vodka

Happy Spring my friends! Stay healthy!

Please go check out  Enchant The Ordinary’s beautiful post on Daffodil Tincture
https://enchanttheordinary.wordpress.com/2019/03/15/making-a-daffodil-tincture/

Nettle and her cat 

The Scientific Symbolism of the Statue of Shiva Nataraja at CERN, Switzerland

This is one of the few times that I say read the comments

Lord Shiva is one of the most important deities in the Hindu religion. He is known by many names such as Mahadeva, Neelakantha, Rudra, Shambhu, Nataraja.

Source: The Scientific Symbolism of the Statue of Shiva Nataraja at CERN, Switzerland

Interesting Experiences

I got my reiki degrees 10+ years ago, in order to help a friend overcome chemo induced nausea etc but never used it after that. Why? Well, looking back I realize I wasn’t ready to use it. The attunement happened over a weekend, with no real training in either I or II, and I got the III attunement on a whim. Then I was left without guidance or training, and finding other practitioners in the area was impossible. So I stopped. I did get a book or two on the subject but as I said, I really wasn’t ready.

Now I’m rereading the one book I found accessible – Essential Reiki by Diane Stein – and it is making far more sense to me than it did a decade ago. I expected to continue to feel heat in my hands when giving reiki back then, and when it tapered off and stopped I thought that for some reason the energy wasn’t there any more, and there was no one to set me straight.  When Nic asked me for it I felt like a fraud and so I stopped doing it.

I’ve been giving Nic sessions at night for the past week, and I’ve gotten the tell-tale feeling of tingling/pins and needles that lets me know the energy is cycling. Dian talks about the different ways that the energy manifests besides heat, and I’m relieved to discover that I am feeling it again. I’ve used the Cho Ku Rei symbol each session, since that is the healing the physical symbol and Nic needs his hip, knees, and back to heal so he can work without pain or stiffness.

Sunday night I added Dai Ko Myo to the session. It’s one of the two third level symbols, the only one used in healing. As soon as I added it in, I felt energy begin to build at the top of my head, and my crown chakra opened farther than it’s ever been opened previously. I could feel the energy cascade down from the crown to the shoulders, from the shoulders to the hips, and from the hips to the feet, wave after wave of it.  It was very intense and very interesting.

Last night I added it again, but the effects were much less. I still felt the crown chakra open, but the feeling stopped at the shoulders. However, Nic said that he woke up without feeling achy and that it was a great improvement. As long as he’s healing I don’t care if I feel overwhelming energy levels or not.

 

 

THE OUTLAW’S HANDBOOK: A Guide to Staying Wild Against All Odds

Ethical Chaos

I posted this poem to Tumblr a few years ago, dedicated to Set, Loki, and Dionysus. It’s still one of my favorites.

  1. Learn, god damn it, and never stop learning. Develop an insatiable hunger for knowledge, different perspectives, for facts and figures but also for pieces of beauty that touch some great unnamed force inside of you. (More on that later.) Learn to loathe the idea that you’re being deceived, learn to love the sensation of your assumptions being torn into tiny little pieces. Everything from here on out is pointless if your mind is in chains; besides, a stupid rebel is as good as dead. Pay attention; wildness does not equal thoughtless and impulsive. Question. Think. Wonder. Read. Devour everything they’ve ever told you and tear it all apart looking for the truth.
  2. Discover the core of your being and recognize it for the beauty that it is. In…

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January thus far

I kind of wanted to give a snapshot of our life at the moment, nothing really weighty or deep, but just how sometimes things conspire to make you sit up and say ‘REALLY???’

We finished up our assignment in WA the beginning of January. The plan was to travel down through OR and CA, and across, ending in CO.  We had some work that needed to be done on our new rv and due to the company we bought it from being useless we had everything shipped to CO to the shop we normally patronize.

We were going to leave on a Thursday, and everything was ready to go. I switched on the ‘bring the bedroom slide in’ and it worked as expected. Then I tried to bring in the other two slides….nothing. Okay, it’s bound to be something simple, right? I checked the fuses. No bad fuses. There wasn’t another option that didn’t require a schematic, and the company doesn’t pass those out. We were stuck. We called around to find a mobile tech but had no luck. Cats got out of their carriers and we delayed the trip.

The next day I called the company that made the rv and talked to a tech. She fixed me right up. The battery interrupt button was pushed in, cutting off power. How it got pushed in is a mystery. I pulled it out – the slides did what slides are supposed to do – huzzah! But Nic had paid through the weekend so we ended up staying another 3 days. My plans were slightly disarrayed.

Monday came, we pulled out on time, and drove into OR. We got past Salem and almost to where I had booked us overnight…and the check engine light came on. We camped and in the morning we called around to the dealers to see when we could be brought in for diagnosis. Saturday morning. We called the man who had done the engine rebuild when we bought the truck and we were able to bring it in that morning. He ran the diagnostics and found a couple of things that needed replacing, and was able to get the parts and do the work that day. We spent most of the afternoon in a Starbucks. It was boring. The work cost us a little over $1k. We were able to leave Wednesday.

As we were leaving Ashland OR, just 6 miles from the CA border, the engine died. We lost power and braking. Luckily we weren’t going down a hill at the time. We coasted to the shoulder and I called Good Sam, who got us a couple of tow trucks. One took the rv to a park in Ashland and the other took the truck to the dealer in town.  Thursday morning we called the dealer and they were able to put it on diagnostics that morning. We find out that afternoon that the fuel pump injectors had died. They could order parts that would come in Friday and get it worked on then. We agreed, paid up on the rv park, and waited for Friday afternoon. The dealer called just before 1600, they had to order the parts and would fix the truck when they came in on Monday.  We stayed in Ashland over the weekend, and got the truck back Monday afternoon. We left Tuesday.

Got in to Redding Tuesday evening and spent an uneventful night – only to wake up and discover that someone had stolen the two spare propane cylinders and the gas can out of the back of the truck.  Consoled ourselves that it could have been worse. We left Redding Wednesday morning (now a full week behind our schedule) and drove to Eureka. It took us 6 hours to drive 158 miles. SIX HOURS. The cats, riding in their carriers in the back seat, were silent the entire time. That was amazing. We finally got into Eureka and parked in the rv park, and everyone was exhausted.

The next morning – Thursday – we wanted to unhitch and go into town. The leveling jacks would not descend. We couldn’t unhitch. Called around and found a mobile tech who came out on Friday and found it was a burned out cap on the mother board. He replaced the board Saturday- $560.

Also Saturday I talked to my repairman in CO – the kingpin shroud had arrived shoddily packaged and smashed, and the countertop had a corner broken off and wasn’t the right one for this model. There was no use for us to drive to CO. Getting everything replaced would take weeks.

By now if you’re like us you’re probably cringing, wondering what could possibly go wrong next. We had gotten the message loud and clear that we shouldn’t go any further. There was a job assignment in this town and Nic had been accepted although we were still waiting for a contract. We settled down to recover our nerves and wait for the start date. The next week was quiet. Nothing broke. We bought another propane cylinder to replace the one stolen. Friday Nic got an interview in Gallup NM and we discussed the two jobs merits. I sought out advise from Nettle and Coyvere. Nic asked for a sign. Monday approaches.

Our savings has been severely depleted by all the expenses, and our travel money is drained. I don’t know how we can afford to go to Gallup, even if it is a better assignment in the long run. We may be forced to stay here at least for one assignment, just to get our finances into better shape.

This is an example of Something not wanting us to go somewhere. We’ve encountered it before, in 1997 when we decided to go to Alaska after Nic’s retirement from the military. Amongst other things that time, the rv caught fire!  We stubbornly pushed through but events didn’t work out as we had hoped and we scurried back to the Lower 48, tails tucked twixt our legs. So we know the sound a Celestial 2×4 makes as it contacts our aching skulls.

Nic is having pain management problems; his hip and back are causing him to seriously consider taking disability. I began giving him reiki at night before we fall asleep, and putting an emerald green cocoon of healing around him until the next session. It seems to be helping. I hope it’s helping. Morgan Damlier also posted a bit on elfshot and what to use to counteract it. Nic might have gotten elfshot – I have a convoluted and fraught relationship with the fae and they aren’t above attacking my husband – so I have bought elecampane and will be applying it to his hip, which is where the pain began. If it works – wonderful! Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to heal him.

As an aside, after some consideration I’ve decided that I was happier just working magick, without the complication of deities and Powers, and that’s what I’m going to go back to.