Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Saying Goodbye to Persephone: Mabon arrives!

Good and gracious Tuesday! We move toward Mabon this week and as such we begin to say good bye to Persephone! I do not accept the patriarchal rewriting of Her Story where She is stolen away by Hades, raped and kept captive. No, I accept the original story where Persephone makes the decision to leave the care of Her mother, Demeter, to care for the Underworld for 6 months.

We have a lot to learn from this story and I think it may be why this time of year is always different for me. I was married in the Fall. Both my miscarriages happened in the Fall, I returned to work after the birth of both my children, in the Fall. Then my children went to public school and then college, in the Fall. And I ended my 30 year marriage in the Fall.

Persephone stands for me: Major Transitions.

It is necessary that Persephone leaves Her mother, Demeter. And as we all do, during major transitions, we grieve. Demeter grieved so much that even when Hecate came to minister to Demeter and assured Her that Her daughter was ok; Demeter still was so sad that the Garden rested and went barren.

One of the major gifts of aging is the ability to look back and see how life unfolded and have faith that it will continue to unfold for our highest good! I learn a lot in the Fall. I learn about being quiet, about what harvest looks like in my life and the life of others. I learn about sharing what I have with others and I learn to be a gracious receiver when I am in need of something from someone else.
I am drawn to going within and "licking my wounds", of acknowledging what has died and what I need to let die! Patricia Monaghan says in her book: Seasons of the Witch: "This is the time to decide what will die. Not all of last spring's calves and lambs and ducklings can be fed through the winter. Some will die, and in the dying provide food. It is a season of decisions. And of prophecies: for as other life dies, it foreshadows our own deaths.... As she moves through autumn, a woman.... does not try to nurture everything and everyone, for she knows not all can---should----survive. She becomes selective. There is enough of everything---strength, love, passion, lust---everything but time."
Persephone leaving Her mother, had Demeter realize that. What would it look like if we followed suit.

We know that Persephone will return to Demeter and to us bringing flowers, vegetation, and all that grows to nourish and sustain us. That is Hope. But what about those who have lost that hope? That seem to be my challenge in the Fall and Winter.

The answer is we share from our Harvest! We each have something to bring to the Table. It may not be actual food and water, but it may be compassion, understanding, a sweet and unexpected note, or a message of "I get it and I care."

 Mabon will arrive without a fanfare, without fireworks and without front page news, but come She will. She will come in Silence. Soon, Persephone will be deep within the Cave and before we know it, our fires will be lit, the harvest will be over and we will be cuddled up on our chairs with hot cocoa and a good book!

 May we all be aware of the Silence, of the need and the want and the deep stirrings in our soul of what it means to be without Persephone for the next 6 months!

Blessed be and So mote it be!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Wear the World like a Loose Garment!

I have never ever liked tight clothing and I still don't.

I feel smothered and restrained and if it is two things I despise they are not being able to Breathe and being restrained! Or maybe you haven't noticed!

So today as I was listening to a recording, the woman said these words that were really not the point of the teaching but made everything else she said disappear from my thought processes. I guess I will have to go back and listen to that recording again sometime.

She said, "We are to wear the world like a loose garment!"

What would it look like, I wonder, if we all wore the world like a loose garment. You know a garment that only touches us in certain places... those places we desire them to touch. Yes, we want pants to fit around our waist so they don't fall off, but does that mean we pull the belt so tight that we can hardly breathe? And is that about not wanting the pants to fall off or is there another meaning to be gleaned there?

Yes we want our shirts to hold on to our shoulders so they won't fall away either, but what happens when that strap has to be so tight that it causes a mark on our shoulder? Or how about the shoes we wear that hurt our feet but we wear them because they make our legs "sexy"? We could go on and on you see!

Most of us take personally, what is happening in the world, especially since the last presidential election. So that, no matter who won, we take it personally and the garment of the Election begins to make us so uncomfortable (like those too tight shoes) we become irritable, angry and down right mean!

Our family drama... and yes, that is personal.... begins to strangle us like a scarf tied too tight to keep out the cold.

And we can't breathe.

What would it look like if we Wore the World like a Loose Garment?

I imagine it would make me feel free and light. It would not make the World go away, it would make me less restrained and bothered by that which causes me to be irritable, angry and mean. It would hang on me like my Goddess cloak hung on me during my Croning Ceremony. I could barely feel Her on me and as such I felt Powerful, Empowered, and Authentic to accept the anointing and also then be free to decide what this meant for my ongoing Journey. How would I stand in my Croneship? How would I treat others? How would I live a life standing in my Truth and Wisdom?

If that cloak had been tight, I would have spent more time adjusting and fidgeting and would have been distracted and ultimately irritated and angry. That would have ruined the Journey for me.

So I choose... yes it is a choice.... I choose to wear the world like a loose garment; only touching me where I need and want it to touch me. Notice, this does not mean I choose not wear the world at all. Oh my goddess.... that is not possible and most certainly not wise. The point is I will choose how it touches me and hangs on me. I want the world to hang on me in the same Divine Fashion that the Goddess Cloak hangs on me. 

I choose to Wear the World in a way that gives me pause to Breathe and Reflect so I can make decisions from a Divinely inspired place and not a place of irritation, anger and meanness!

I want the World Garment to touch me in my Heart and Soul for those who are marginalized, hungry, abused, neglected, discriminated against, and for women's right to choose. For others, they will choose for the Garment to touch them in different places. But for all of us, the garment that hangs loosely allows space to Breathe, to Speak, to Listen, to Pause, and to Act!

What pieces of clothing need adjusting in your life? Is there a way you can loosen the belt, scarf or buy a different pair of shoes?

A loose garment allows me to flow through the tough times, allows me to twirl in celebration and to spread my "wings" when I need to go into battle!

I choose to Wear the World like a Loose Garment! Want to join me?

Blessed be!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

What happens in the Pause?

For the past few months, I have listened as my Gentle Flow Yogi, Brenda,  reminds us to Pause before taking the next Breath. Just a second or two, but to Pause. It is interesting how just a second or two Pause makes me feel like I am smothering. But yet, today, I finally GOT IT!

Today, I sat in the Pause.

Today, only for the second or two there, I soaked in the Quiet, the Stillness, the.... Pause!

The Pause from thinking about the next breath!

The Pause from thinking about the next Pose or the next Thought!


In this fast paced life we now Journey through, there are seldom Pauses! We rush from one thought to the other, one thing to the other, one person, event, relationship to the other.

And we wonder why we are always Tired.

Now, I won't be intentionally Pausing between Breaths as I go through my day, but this is what I gleaned this morning.

It is important to Pause between the things on our list, the thoughts going through our head and even the channels as we cruise through the remote!

If we would, I do believe we would find ourselves in a much different place. A place of Quiet and Stillness and even Void!

A lot happens in those 1-2 seconds. I did not suffocate. I did not panic or even die.

What I did do was experience the Divine in a new way and in a new place..... INSIDE ME!

That is where the Pause exists!

Come with me and find the Pause! As you are rushing through your day, intentionally Pause before getting out of the car at your next stop. Pause before answering the phone or sending the text. Pause before selecting your words during a confrontation or even a moment of tenderness.

Pause so you don't miss the Rainbow, the cloud formation or what Moon Phase is shining in the nighttime sky! Pause to actually taste the coffee or the sandwich you are swallowing whole to get to the next appointment.

Pause to give thanks! Pause to give or receive a compliment! Pause to laugh and pause to cry!

Just Pause!

You will be glad you did!

Blessed be!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I walked with the Suffragettes!

I have been able to vote since I was 18 years old. I have never taken it for granted. Every time I vote I say thank you to all those brave warrior women we call Suffragettes who made it possible for me to make a decision and cast my vote.

This morning was different tho'. Luckily, I do not have to drive to my polling place. It is held in a small church on the main road right at the entrance to my apartment complex.

So, I got up early, bundled up as it was 37 degrees outside, chose one of my Goddess figurines from
Brigids Grove (https://www.etsy.com/shop/BrigidsGrove) and began my walk. Maybe it is because the Veil is still thin from Samhain, but whatever.... all of a sudden, I was with the Suffragettes! They were all around me... marching to the Polling Center. I stood tall and regal and walked slowly breathing in all that happened prior to the 1920 ratification of the 19th amendment and afterwards! Breathing in those Women who were put in prison, who were beaten and abused, who were demeaned and lost family support. Breathing in the brilliant choices of those such as Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

I walked with my head held high this morning with the Spirit of all those women who made it possible for me to vote in this country.

But today was different in another way. I was voting for a Woman to be President of the United States of America.

There are many who have accused me of voting for Hillary Clinton JUST BECAUSE she is a woman. Well, yes, her being a Woman is incredible, but let it be said, when Sarah Palin was running as Vice President, I did not hop on her bandwagon JUST BECAUSE she was a woman. There was no way, I would vote for anyone like her, woman or not... thus why I am not voting for Donald Trump.

I have "followed" Hillary Clinton since the early 80's. I respected her Voice for Women and Children, for her Activism and for her political decisions. I was thrilled when she became First Lady and then Secretary of State and Senator. She is an intelligent, compassionate, forward thinking, political savvy woman!

Does she still have one foot in the Patriarchal Mind Set? Yes! But you cannot get things done without understanding the abuses of power and control, the misogynistic, bigoted mind set, and you cannot understand how to "work the system" if you are not first a part of it in some way. It is women like Susan B Anthony who "worked the system" to finally achieve something she did not live to be able to take part in. She died before the ratification, but had left other women to continue the fight and finally win.

Hillary Clinton has to swim in those waters so her voice will be heard. This is the way changes will happen, with a Woman at the helm.

But she cannot and will not be able to do it alone. She will have a hard road ahead of her, as did President Obama, but she also has a shit load of Women surrounding her.

Like Susan B Anthony, who did hard work, suffered for it, and raised the awareness of other Women to continue the fight! We must continue this work. We cannot be Silent when the Election is over!

So, there I was surrounded by men and women (some with their children just like I use to do), all ages, races and stories. There I was surrounded by people in work clothes, some like me in my walking clothes and some in their Sports shirts. There were many holding coffee cups and lots on their phones. And yet, for me.... I was surrounded by All the Women who came before me so I could be standing in that line...knowing who I would be voting for and not worrying about who anyone else was voting for.

It was just me, Goddess and the Suffragettes. 

And I voted with Goddess in my hand! I voted with a smile on my face! And as I walked home I cried!

I voted!!!! It is a good day!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Name change update!

This Black Moon has been powerful for me. It is bringing change and transformation. I am feeling it in my Deep Soul work.

Of course, having Aquarius Rising Sun does not help! I tend to become restless when I am not being challenged or finding my Present stimulating and challenging. I travel the past and the future very well, but have a hard time staying in the Present.

That being said! I am ready to begin the process of legally changing my name as I wrote in my last blog post. BUT, will sit with it until the first of the year! (If I can stand it!)

I am blessed with a most insightful and intelligent daughter. She called me last night after she finished work (11:30pm) and we talked until the wee hours of the morning about many things, but mainly my desire to change my name.

She asked questions that made me really think about why this has become important to me and then made a most amazing suggestion.

It concerned her that I was going to just be Angelique Autumn. She really felt like there needed to be a "last name." She had listened to the story I talked about in the last blog post.

This is what she said: "Mom, you keep talking about that you wish Grandma had used the name McGowan too in your name. That sounds very Celtic and also quite pagan. What do you think of Angelique Autumn McGowan!"

I was stopped in my tracks.

That was it! That was the missing piece!

So, I went to my ancestry chart to make sure I was spelling McGowan right as Stephanie began researching meanings, family crests, etc.

Now, there are 2 Rebecca's in my ancestor tree. I thought the maternal Rebecca was indeed the McGowan. NOPE.... my maternal Grandfather's mother is Rebecca McGowan. Her father is Daniel who came directly from Ireland.

I took pause as I am sure you can see where I immediately went: oh crap.... this is from my mom's paternal tree, but then realized that the name is still from the maternal side of the lake! whew! haha!

Stephanie and I had a blast reading about the family crests and coat of arms. The name derives from "son of the blacksmith". The crest has the Lion and the Boar (both in my animal pantheon). The meanings of the symbols on the crest are full of community, peace and protection messages.

So there you have it: one day I will indeed bear the name:

Angelique Autumn McGowan

Yep, me and the Witch Angelique do look a lot alike! 
I think it is time! 

Peace out! 


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Changing my name legally and the interesting thoughts insuing!

I want to legally change my name!

It has been heavy on my heart of late and has been for quite awhile.

Of course, I have changed my last name twice! I couldn't wait to get married so I could change my last name. It still makes me laugh, because I was a feminist even then, who never wanted to take the last name of my husband, but I wanted to get so far away from my maiden name that I was willing to do so.

Then when I got divorced, I couldn't wait to get rid of the married name and took back my maiden name. Upon telling the ex to expect the name change in the divorce papers I was filing, he said, "Good, my last name is too good for you!" Whatever asshole!

This week, I began looking into the legal process of changing my entire name.
I then reacquainted myself with everything I would have to do to change my name on all the legal paperwork; birth certificate, social security, credit cards, medical, etc. What I wasn't prepared for was the next thoughts:

1. This would upset my parents cause they put a lot of thought into naming me. (well really, my mom wanted to name me Angelique Rebecca, but dad said NO, and as a result I was named after Debra Padgett, the actress, along with a million other 1952 girls!)
2. Do I just let those who have known me as Debbie my whole life continue to call me that or do I insist they call me by my new name?
3. Will this cause issues in my parent's will?
4. Why do I care?

Why do I care? Why do I care what  my name is? Does it define me? Am I really that pissed at my family of origin that I want to rid myself of the name given to me at birth?

My  mother wanted to name me Angelique. I did not know this until I wanted to name my daughter Angelique and the husband/father would not allow it. The interesting thing is: the first time I ever heard this name was in Dark Shadows! I was totally enthralled with the Witch Angelique and dreamed of being her, having her name,  and her powers! To this day, she "haunts" me with those beautiful eyes! I was already wearing my eye make up like hers before this show even came on!

During a Reike session in Virginia, without knowing all this name history stuff, the master said, "Your higher spirit was present today, she hovered over your Crown Chakra. Does the name Angelique mean anything to you?" I was astounded and told her the Story!

I want to legally change my name:

I want to legally change my name to Angelique Autumn!

I guess for legal purposes it would be Angelique as my first name and Autumn as my last. I do not want to be Angelique Autumn Hillman!

I want my own name that I think I was always meant to have. Sunshine Fae is my witchy name and it describes me to a tee, but there is something that calls to me in a Deep Soul way, saying Angelique Autumn is MY name. It is the name I should have had all along!

So, that is my current dilemma.

The next chapter to be written sooner than later!

Blessed be!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Peaceful Dragon

I have been in a time of Deep Soul Work of late. As I look back over my life journey, I seem to do this work as Mabon approaches. This time has been life altering and revealing in a most significant way. The revelations will have to wait as they are still bubbling away in the Cauldron, but I do want to share my experience from last night.

I have decided that it is time for me to take Tai Chi and/or Yoga. I am finding it so difficult to center and as I age I want to regain the flexibility I have lost. I often drive by a place called: The Peaceful Dragon and decided to call them yesterday. The woman I spoke with told me they offer Tai Chi, Yoga and the Martial Arts. Their classes are based on Ancient Oriental spirituality and technique. She set me up for a tour and a free class last night.

Here is my experience.

The building is set on 12 acres of wooded land and has an outside sense of peace and tranquility; flowing waterfall into a beautiful pond with Koi and water lilies. As I opened the large door a sign said: "Welcome to The Peaceful Dragon Deb Hillman!" There was green tea beside a wooden bench in front of the front desk. A huge Buddha sat beside the bench along with beautiful Oriental ornamental wall hangings, etc.

Peaceful dragon it was not!

A kid's Kung Fu class was going on in the large room and many parents were sitting and standing talking loudly. A man approached me and begin talking about the Libertarian Candidate and how horrible Hillary is and how he will vote for Trump. I quietly walked away.

I passed a room with a large sign saying "LEAVE SWORDS OUTSIDE!"

Finally, George, one of the instructors, took me into a very small room and began the "interview" process. They hand select who can come into this school.We talked about why I want Tai Chi and Yoga  and my past and present experiences with martial arts. I did a lot of listening as he did A LOT of talking about the Chinese philosophy of preparing for battle. He gave me history and rationale for why it is important for us to be "prepared". I kept thinking, "wait... I wanted to learn to center and be flexible".

With all this being said, the free class I was taking, was George showing me two Tai Chi poses and having me do them a few times. He then told me that I would take 2 Tai Chi classes a week and could take up to 4 Yoga classes for the cost of $200 a month for 1 year. I had to sign a year contract which had no way to get out of it, as this is a school. There is required clothing and also periodic tests to see if I could advance to the next level.

Holy shit.... All I wanted to do was run out! There was no sense of peaceful anything. There was only the Patriarch Mind Set of Battle, Testing, and lots of money. The noise in the facility was incredible.

I guess I just have a different idea of someplace called Peaceful Dragon. This is a wonderful place I am sure and the classes may be in fact peaceful when they aren't throwing swords, etc. But it is not for me.

So, I stopped by the local YMCA and got a free week to try their yoga classes. Then I will get a Tai Chi DVD and watch it on my new Smart TV.

As I was reflecting on the "dad" approaching me to trash Hilary, I began to laugh: oh what a sense of humor the Universe has! Ok, so I get it... I am not suppose to be here, but really???? I didn't even have  my I hate Trump shirt on! I didn't wear my Fuck Patriarchy Tank Top! It was just me and my simple shorts and top!

Peaceful Dragon..... what ever! maybe there isn't any such thing!