Perspective

My long term memory seems to get worse with every turn of the wheel, but there is a moment that I remember with absolute clarity, one I don’t think I will ever lose.It occurred soon after my divorce. I was a neophyte just starting on my path, and still working through a great deal of sadness and despair. I was driving home after a class one night. I was on a dark isolated country road, and I had an impulse to stop the car. I got out, looked up at the waxing moon and the stars, and the feeling that shot through me physically overwhelmed me. I’ve always been an enthusiast of the night sky, so this wasn’t the first time that I had seen it.

This was the first time I felt it.

I felt the majesty and the divine wonder of being small and insignificant. The “problems” that I had been struggling with in my life were so minuscule and irrelevant to the beauty that I suddenly realized I was a (very small) part of. This event is one of a handful that I have experienced in this life that frame my path and my purpose. It was a turning point for me, and I cherish it deeply. I think back to this often, and am transported back to that tide of transformation; the moment that I gained perspective.

I was in no mood to go into work this morning. I was up late working on code for a website, I’ve been a assigned to a project that has not been going well, and I had 5 hours worth of meetings staring at me from my calendar. After starting up my computer and putting my lunch into the cooler, I ran into a coworker, we exchanged good mornings, and I asked him how he was today. “Doing good”, came the response. “How about you”, he asked in reply. Taking stock of my mood for a moment, I grumbled “Well, I’m here”. My coworker, who is confined to a wheelchair, stopped, turned around and said to me with a smile, “I consider that a pretty good day”.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the mundane tasks of running errands, doing our jobs and the rush of everyday, we lose perspective.

My coworker put things in perspective for me this morning. Although I had a lot of work to do, and little time to do it, I did so with happiness and felt a sense of fulfillment at the end of the day.

Focusing on petty annoyances causes us to lose sight of what is truly important. Forgetting the hallowed beauty inherent in our universe, on our planet, and the lessons that we learn from the never ending dance of nature. Forgetting the joy and comfort found in our communities and families, and the companionship and love they provide.

Join me in counting your blessings before you go to bed. In finding joy in a new day. By minimizing discomfort and maximizing happiness, and honoring the divine path that we walk. Blessed Be.

Fear, Hope, and Reflection

Often, life can become almost surreal, and time slips away from us. This turn of the wheel has had that effect on me perhaps more than usual. The weather has seemed bizarre to say the least; insomuch that it gave me a sense of the energy of Beltaine at Ostara, and of the tides of Ostara at Beltaine. I commute through mostly rural areas almost an hour each way for my job. Typically, I’ll see wheat being harvested here in Ohio in early to mid July. Imagine my surprise when I observed it coming down in mid June this year! With the seemingly endless heat and drought conditions of July, I’ve seen the crunchiest looking brown lawns in recent memory.

Today I saw a combine harvesting corn that was all of three feet tall – not much better than what it was in mid June. As poor as the yield of this particular field must surely be, the risk of leaving it thirsting in the field any longer is too great. This epitomizes for me the lessons of hope and fear that are so intrinsic to my experience of the Lughnasadh season.

I recall a cartoon that I encountered on the internet some time ago, that showed three glasses containing yellow liquid. These were captioned Pessimist, Optimist, and Realist. They, in turn, said “I’m half empty”, “I’m half full”, and “I think I have pee in me”. I think that Fear, Hope, and Reflection are somewhat like that. we can decide to let our Fear focus us on what we may miss out on. We can choose to center ourselves on Hope, and overlook potential problems closing in. Or, we can commit to Reflect, and let our experiences balance the two, and see beyond and between what is immediately before us. In this, we can make the best necessary decisions, and be as bountiful as possible.

In spite of what fears my have resounded through my being, my harvests the last several years have been abundant beyond hope. My path has infused my spirit with the strength to work through the challenges that have been presented to me. My spirit has reminded me to treasure all that the path has to offer. I Hope that this Lughnasadh season brings the same to you. Many Blessings.

Commitment

My thoughts of late have often turned to the idea of commitment – and how seldom I really think about it. Commitment can be a funny thing; some of us cannot seem to keep them, and feel guilt for not doing so; and some of us almost always keep them but in doing so may not always be conscious of what they really mean. As I sit here even now and think about the people, places, things, ideas (and ideals!) that I have committed myself to over the years, I can’t help but wonder how much I have missed by not being fully conscious of them.

One of the central ideas behind most magickal traditions (although it may not be so blatantly stated) is that enlightenment is reached partly through awakening of awareness.I was watching a television program earlier this week where one of the characters asked of another, “Are you a robot or an alien?” – which one can basically understand to mean “Do you just go through life like everybody else or are you different?” In this paradigm the aliens would be the enlightened ones – and who hasn’t felt alienated while being committed to a spiritual path? But does this alienation truly exist or is it just a heightened awareness telling us that somehow, we are different from the robots…

By remembering and reflecting on the experiences that really jump out in our minds, we can realize the power of a heightened awareness, and then apply it to experiences where perhaps our powers of perception don’t hold quite as much sway. As I said earlier, my thoughts of late have been of commitments. About making them, about breaking them, about not really thinking of them at all.

The commitments we make are an expression of our will; they are our word. But not being fully conscious of our commitments, and thusly, our will, we let much of our personal power ebb away. Unrealized, discarded, and forgotten. It can be quite a loss. Beware the mental autopilot. Just because we meet our commitments doesn’t mean that we honor them in the way we truly should. This week I will make a new commitment – to be aware of my commitments – and the people. places, things, ideas, and ideals that I interact with – the things that grant me my personal power.

My word is my will.
SMIB

Fear

I was in the religion aisle at the bookstore today. Two young men were in the new age section in the adjacent aisle, and I briefly overheard them discussing wicca, and that there wasn’t that many books to choose from in this particular bookstore (which is all too true). When I was finished in the religion section, I made my way to the new age section. The two men were glancing at a copy of To Ride a Silver Broomstick, which, upon seeing me, they hurriedly but back on the shelf and abruptly left the store.

So, the question in my mind is, were these two finished with their shopping? Was the fact that someone was now next to them in the aisle provocation enough to abandon their browsing? Or, were they simply finished and my interpretation of this situation is simply a projection of things I have seen or experienced elsewhere. I may never know, and unfortunately the friend of mine that is an expert on this type of thing is still not back from California – She could probably shed some light on this for me…
Left to my own subjective devices I find that fear exists all around us, sometimes in ways so unprofound that we may call them something else, something lesser in title, but not any shorter in power. Fear. It is easy for me to think that these two young men feared being seen in the new age section of the local bookstore, or that they feared how people would see them looking at a book about Wicca. It is easy for me because this is what some part of me wants to see…

I don’t like to call people on the phone. Despise it. Can’t even stand to order pizza. There’s a fear there. I don’t really know what it is and largely ignore it. Maybe the best tribute to the two young men I saw in the bookstore today is to take this opportunity to explore this. Or some other oft-ignored fear.

Perhaps the best way to acknowledge a perceived wrong is look in the mirror and pay homage to what you see in yourself.

Transition, Connection

Today was my last day at my current job. Monday I start a new position in a different location of my company. It hasn’t been one of the job promotions that I have gotten overly excited about; actually I have felt very little as I have gone through the transition of training my successor and getting prepped to move in to my new office. The biggest benefit and the real cause for excitement that I’ve felt around this is that I will get to spend more time with Renee and Lily, since my new position will entail me working during the day.

Today I wanted to take some time to say goodbye to each member of the team that I have led for the last year and a half. About the time I had gotten half way through everyone, I found myself becoming very emotional. I hardly know these individuals outside of their work habits and basic personality traits; but their lives have been interconnected with mine for some time now. And I felt myself pulling away from that matrix as I said my farewells. It strikes me that this rending away was simply of form of building power, not much different than chanting. But this is in the “mundane” world. I believe that feeling this building of power in the mundane world is one of the ultimate goals of any spiritual training. It is the power of connection. It is the power of release. It is the power that fuels every moment and transition point of our lives.

I know that this experience brings me a little closer to being more aware of the magick of life. I find this especially fitting considering that we are on the cusp of the season of connection. I am blessed to have shared such an experience with these people.

Many Blessings,
Palentine

The Winds of Change

It’s one of those days – you know, the kind that happen often in early spring. The wind is so strong you can almost feel it blow through you. Even though it is snowing here, spring is in the air and the wind reminds me to be aware of that. What better force in nature to both gently and powerfully affirm that it is time to air ourselves out? The growing season begins soon as the currents of life from the star within the earth surge toward the surface. I can feel the star within surging outward as well – and the wind today really seems to stoke the fire – the fire of change. It’s soothing because I know that the effects of the career flux I seem to be trapped in will be manifested soon and I can focus on other things. It reminds one of how wonderful an ally the rhythms of our planet are – when we remember to turn with them.

Blessings of Breeze,
Palentine