Woods and Witches

Last night I wandered no the woods near my house, something I’ve missed doing while living on the other side of the state.   Since we’ve moved ‘home’ I haven’t done this as much as I’d like, something I plan on changing. 

Anyway, it was twilight after a rainstorm and the forest was dark and full of night-sounds as I wandered. There is a trail and to one side was the woods and marsh while on the other side is a highway. The two worlds are so close to each other, separated only by a thin swath of dirt and weeds. 

I felt myself poised between both halves of my life – the ancient and modern, the mundane and the magical. I’ve felt this before (I’m sure many of us have) but what made this different is that, for once, I didn’t feel torn between the two.  I was poised, balanced. 

Perhaps it last because I was in a city for so long, cut off from the large swaths of woodlands that populate my home town. Perhaps it’s because I wanted to be more ‘scholarly’, but I’d forgotten how comforting the night woods are, how connected to the land I become when I’m in them. 

I was full of night-thoughts, of how this is the connection I’ve been missing. This is what has been lacking in my practice. I’m a child of the woods, a being of earth and fire. I’ve tried to forget that, to be something I’m not.  It’s time for me to set my fingers into the loamy earth of my woods and relearn my childhood lessons. I open myself to the spirit of the forest. 

Return, o Witches, to the woods and wild. You won’t be disappointed. 

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Loki and Change

Yeah, I’m still on this kick.  It probably won’t end any time soon.  I know a lot of people don’t like him but he’s gotten back into doing my daily practice AND talking to my other Gods.  Something I’ve been apathetic about for several years now.

So….

In doing research tonight I read a part that really resonated with my current situation:“Change causes both obstacles and opportunities but it rarely gives us exactly what we want; we have to work for that. Life isn’t supposed to be easy, a point often reflected in the Old Religion.”

Case in point… I applied for a similar position at a different company.  They called me and I have a phone interview tomorrow.  Am I doing this because I need to?  Or because I want to change something and this is the easiest thing?  I don’t know but after tonight you can damn sure bet I’ll be thinking about it.  Because I don’t really need to change my job, I’m slowly getting out of the department I’m in and I’m pretty sure I’ll persevere in the end.

Just.  There are times when I get, for lack of a better word, itchy.  I want to do something different, break out of the rut (real or perceived), shake things up.  And am I doing it because it’s necessary or because I can?  The article also said: “…and change for the sake of change is chaos.”   And part of me feels that would be right up Loki’s alley.

In my defense, I just started actually studying about him.  Before now it’s all been what little I remember from my long ago comparative literature classes as well as odds and ends I picked up as a child.

Maybe I’ll have an answer the next time I’m here.

Dream

Before I talk about the dream, I wanted to say that my life has been insane.  I’ve been working 50 hour weeks in a department I hate and when I get home I’m exhausted and in pain.  Not good conditions for Wrenn to pay attention to her spirituality.

Fast forward to today.

My grey cat is sitting beside me, watching me, trying to insinuate himself onto my lap.  His purr rattles my bones and yet is comforting.  I only mention said kitty because I’ve recently determined that Loki shows himself to me, from time to time, as a small grey cat.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Last night I had a dream.   The facts of something as nebulous as a dream tend to get lost pretty easily, this one is no exception.  Pertinent details have been lost between sleeping and waking, blurred and muddied by thinking about them and trying to piece it all together in my head.

What I’m certain of: Loki of the sly, crooked smile appeared in my dream.  He was agitated, perhaps unhappy.  Perhaps angry.  Definitely in a state of high emotion.  My pulse in the dream picked up, worry blanketed me.  The background swirled into hazy lines of charcoal grey and green.  Loki (maybe physically, maybe not) grabbed me and dragged me to my altar.  I don’t remember actually feeling him touch me, so I’m not sure how I ended up there.

I woke with my heart pounding in my throat and a restless need to move. I was out of bed and walking before I consciously decided to do so, then I felt silly and convinced myself to go back to sleep.

When I got up for the day the dream was still lingering, it has followed me as an almost palpable miasma.

Now, I’ve toyed with the idea of Loki since Gina found him as a patron.  I’ve avoided him.  Hid from him.  Partly because of the Marvel movies but also because there is just something about Loki that stirs something uncomfortable within me.  Loki fascinates me, in that unpredictable and scary way snakes fascinate their prey.

Deep down, I’m afraid and I hate to be wrong.  What if Loki isn’t calling me?  What untamed roads will he lead me down?  How much of myself will I uncover or lose in the process?  Am I just drawn to him for his wild nature?

I just don’t know.  I hate not knowing.  I hate feeling uncertain.  All of this pushes my buttons but I need to stop pretending I don’t see him.  Right?

Leshachikha

Lady of the Forest,
Falling, Fallen
Only to be reborn.
Harsh protectress
marking your boundaries
with dusty leaves
and offering protection
to all within.


“Leshachikha’s themes are earth, nature, harvest, birth, and protection.  Her symbols are leaves and seeds.  A Goddess who sometimes appears as a Slavic forest, a wild animal, or a leaf, Leshachikha is said to have died in October and revived around this time of spring. She fiercely protects Her lands, not taking kindly to any who abuses them. In this manner She teaches us about reciprocity and nature’s fury. Additionally, Leshachikha’s watchful aspect can be applied to our figurative lands – for example, safeguarding our homes.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

forestgoddess

Tamra

tamra

Tamra, Lady of Birds,
You encourage us to stretch our wings and
soar.
Blessed Lady,
Open my earthy heart and my airy mind
To Your blessings.
Inspire my words that they may be
pure and true
clear and concise
and full of compassion.
So mote it be.

Tamra’s themes are air, earth, nature, health, longevity, devotion, wishes and relationships.  Her symbols are feathers and birdseed.  In Hindu tradition, this Goddess was the ancestor of all birds, She can teach us their special language, which often bears communications from the divine. As the consort of the turtle god, Kashyapa, She also represents a potent union between earth and air elements.

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Ode to Marzanna

Marzanna, Marzanna
Goddess of Winter’s death
and Spring’s rebirth,
You rule the cycles of
change and growth.
Aid me in the transitions
of my own life
And let me blossom
in the warmth of the
new season.


Marazanna’s themes are spring, weather, protection, winter, death, rebirth, cycles, change and growth.  Her symbols are dolls (poppets) and water (including ice and snow).  The Polish Goddess for whom this holiday is named represents an odd combination of winter, death and the fruit field’s growth and fertility. As such, She oversees the transitions we wish to make in our lives.

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)