Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Elder of the Woods

I now live in a Cottage in the Forest.

Oh not in reality, but it is now where I look out from into the world. I would love to live in a cottage in the Forest; tucked away amongst the trees, the smell of wet leaves, the birds flitting from one tree to another. I would love to one day, have that little one bedroom cottage in the Forest.

I grew up playing in the Woods behind my house. I can still go back there when I walk through Woods surrounding my apartment complex. Even then, there was magic there. I loved when I would finally get deep into the Forest and could see nothing but trees surrounding me like a protective shield from a world that wanted nothing more but to pull me into the lies of a patriarchal society brimming with competition and materialism. I could be free in the Woods. I could be anyone or anything I wanted to be; and I very often was.

From my imaginary cottage, I see the world in a different and refreshing way.

I imagine a fire in the fireplace and a large cauldron hanging over it bubbling away with a stew made from vegetables I harvested from my own garden. I see an oak table with chairs around it waiting for women to join me for a cup of tea or cocoa while we talk of all that women share when sipping on their favorite beverage. I might even have home baked scones and a bit of butter and jam to add to our time together.

Here is where time stands still when I want it to. Here is where I slather Autumn Earthsong's Boo Boo Balm all over the still open wounds caused by years of wrong decisions and living in a world where bigotry, hatred and misogynist attitudes picked away the very skin that covered my precious woman body.  

Here in this Cottage in the Forest is where I will finally heal those open wounds and bear the scars with the pride of a Thriver!

There is Peace and Contentment in my Cottage in the Forest. I welcome the song birds and the vultures. I encourage the coyote to sit at my door step and the Wolf to lay by my bed. Mother Brown Bear will bring her cubs to me in the Spring to babysit while she forages the Forest for food for her precious young.

I am the Elder of the Woods, the caretaker of my part of the Forest. I see things here that not everyone is invited to see. I am able to live within the confines of Death and Life and not be afraid when my own time comes. I learn things here as Elder of the Woods that will be offered up as gifts to those who visit with me at my oak table sipping a cup of tea and maybe even having a scone or two. I have Knowledge and Wisdom to share. It is what an Elder of the Woods who embodies the Goddess is called to do.

In the Forest I watch the Moon Goddess change Her Visibility and Her Brightness. I am now so in tune with Her Energy that I too move from Full to Dark and back again in a month's time. I no longer Bleed but my Feminine Clock is set to Her Pulls and Her Power. It is different being a Crone. My eyes See, My Heart Knows; My Senses are heightened to Know the Turning of the Wheel.

I have learned these things from my Cottage in the Woods.

The reality is that I will probably always live in an apartment complex or maybe even one day have to move in with one or both of my parents to care for them as they begin to feel the pull toward what they call Heaven. But even then, I will reside in my Cottage in the Forest.

There is still much to learn here; much to discern and much to share with another woman around that Oak Table with a cup of tea and a scone.

And I bet that these scones that I will actually make with my own hands will be full of chocolate chips. Isn't that the preferred food of a Goddess?

The cauldron is bubbling with a hearty stew, the tea pot is singing her song, and the scones are hot out of the oven. I sit at the Oak Table waiting your arrival.

See you soon!

Blessed be!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

the Vulneralbility of Nakedness

A lot has gone on this week in my search for the Puzzle pieces of my Feminine Voice. I keep thinking I am done but then I realize I have pieces that had either fallen on the floor (don't you hate when that happens?) or just hadn't been discovered in the box it came in. And so I have finally come to realize that this will be a life long process. On some days it is exciting like this week and then some days like today it is not. But it is necessary if I want to continue to grow and evolve and be able to help other women as they struggle to do the same.

So, I went for my walk this afternoon deciding that going back to the new path through the Forest would be good for my Soul. I was not ready for the surprise I got.

Two weeks ago when I found this new path it was exciting and new and despite it being in the middle of the winter, it was full of life and light. Today, not so much. Today, even tho' the sun was shining like two weeks ago, today, all I could see was the Nakedness of it all. The only thing I could think about was how all we want to do is cover up; protect and clothe those parts of us that make us vulnerable and human. And as a result make us miserable.

Today, the walk was amazingly depressing.

The bare branches seemed to reach out to me (you know like in those horror movies when someone is walking in the forest in the middle of the night in deep fog, and a branch catches them and they scream!); the bark on the trees pulling away like skin on a sunburned back; the acorns and pine cones were black and decaying. I tried, I tell you I tried to find the beauty that was there 2 weeks ago, but it would not show itself.

Today I was to notice the Vulnerability of Nakedness. The rawness of it all. Right in front of my eyes were the imperfections that spring and summer cover up so well with leaves and moss and all sorts of alive and growing things!

But not today.

And it made sense really. You see, I finally realized that I do not want to have a partner in my life and I put an end to a "fake" relationship with my very toxic sister.

 I took off all the clothing that society and religion had talked me into putting on and I claimed two very valuable pieces of the puzzle of my Feminine Voice. My letter to this "woman who came from the same womb as me", was raw, it was scabby and it made me very vulnerable. But it was necessary so that Spring can come to that part of my Life Puzzle. No longer do I need to hang on to Oliver Branches that never took root thus continuing the decay and toxicity of a relationship built out of this odd thing we call "family."

The Forest was Naked Today and Goddess needed me to see it. I needed to embrace the Death and Dying that is necessary for Life and Growth.

It was a long walk as most Naked Journeys are. And I found a tree that had long ago fallen and formed a natural bench and I sat and gazed around me at what was a Message of Endings and Beginnings. There in the Forest I put the two found pieces of my Lift Puzzle into their assigned places and they fit just right. And it was good and it was right; even in it's Vulnerability and Nakedness it was Perfect in it's Imperfection.

As I write I remember a poem by Rumi that is hanging on my refrigerator that Goddess gave me when I decided to quit work and move to South Carolina:

"Come to this street with only your sweet fragrance.
Don't walk into THIS river wearing a robe!
Paths go from here to there,
but don't arrive from somewhere!
It's time now to live naked."

Being naked opens us up to new adventures and understanding and yes, it makes us vulnerable but that really is OK. That is what Living is all about. When we cover ourselves with Masks and Belief systems that are not our own then we are like the Dead and Dying Forest Pieces.

The surprise tho' is that even in the Dead and Dying and Decaying places of our Soul, there is New Life just ready to push up through our Soil sending blossoms to adorn our Naked Journey!

Blessed be!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ode to Persephone

                                                                Ode to Persephone

Ah Persephone! 
Daughter of the Great Demeter! 
Lover of Hades! 
Maiden of our lives! 

How is it with you in the Underworld? 

Are you preparing yourself to leave the embracing arms of your Lover Hades
    so that you can bring Spring to the Land Above?

Do you remember that you must leave in just a few short months? Leave the soft kisses 
   and the Darkness of the Underworld Lover to join your grieving Mother? 

Do you know that the Upper World anxiously awaits the return of Your Joy and Delight that 
   looks so much like flowers and fruits and green leaves and seeds bursting forth from the cold ground? 

We have missed your smiling face, your joyful laughter, your incredible sense of Fertility and Growth! 

How is it with you in the Underworld? 

Are you preparing to come out into the Sun Light and Dance in the Meadows as they blossom at 
   your feet? Are you preparing to bring us hope that the Sun will warm us, that the ground will sustain us, that our very lives will no longer be trapped in Darkness as you have been for these cold Winter months? 

What do you have to tell us about the Darkness, Persephone? 
What can you tell us about accepting the Love of that which is Unknown and Unseen? 
What can you teach us so we don't get lost in the Underground times of our own lives? How do we find that Pomegranate that allows us respite from our own Darkness? How do we find a Lover amongst the Death and Dying of our Lives?

We patiently await your arrival our dear Sister Persephone! 
We stand with your Mother Demeter at the entrance to the Cave; pacing but knowing we must be patient for Spring comes when the Wheel Turns and we cannot make You arrive any sooner. Your Time with Your Dark Lover has almost come to an end. 

May we see you modeling the willingness to be in the Dark when it is our Time to do so. May we watch as you Love Your Time there, teaching your Sisters that the Darkness is not Forever. May we seek You out, Beautiful Goddess, when we are caught between coming and going; sometimes getting so use to the Darkness that we hesitate to Leave on our own. Or so comfortable with the flowers that we resist the hard decision to travel deep within our own souls.

But just like you, Dear Sister Persephone, we hear the call of Mother to come out and bless the land with light and joy, with smiles and playfulness, until we must go back to rest in the Darkness where we too will find our Hades to Love us even in our Dark Times!  

It is the Way of Women. So much we have to learn from you! So much we must re-member as our very own Feminine Voice calls us to Turn with the Wheel from Spring, to Summer, to Fall and to Winter. Those times where we are called to Listen, Learn and Teach! Thank you dear Persephone! Blessings on your journey to the Upper World! 

Blessed be! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Gathering with Women

She stands alone gazing at the Full Moon; Listening!

And yet, in reality She stands with All Women throughout Time. All Women of all ages! She Stands; Listening.

When I began blogging a year ago, I named this blog Gaia Speaks. I knew that She spoke to me on my walks, through nature, animals, stones and other humans. She had a message for me from Her and I wanted to share it with others. For you see, We as Women carry the Stories for the next generation. We hold Stories in the Sacred container of our Womb (not just literally) and We Speak them when it is Time. We Speak them in Love and Truth.

But we must Listen! And to do so we must be willing to Stand and Wait!

And as such I have been standing Alone with Goddess; Listening and then Speaking when She asks me to.

Now I Speak as the Mystic Crone!

Yesterday, I spent 2 hours Working with Women. Now, I work every day with women, but this was different. This was Sacred Work. We were clearing a path through the Forest. And this was not just any path; this was a Sacred Path as it will be the way to get to the Earthen Moon's Sweat Lodge.

A wonderful woman, Jamie, has had a Vision on her heart and in her mind of a Sweat Lodge for Women nestled amongst the trees and ivy in her backyard. She and her amazing partner, Alison, have Dreamed of a place where Women will gather for healing, for transformation, for respite, for fun, for support, for learning and for Story Telling!

Women are the Keeper of the Stories remember!

Yesterday 7 Women gathered at Earthen Moon, the home of Jamie and Alison, to work together to assist in the realization of this Dream. Why? Because Spirit called each of our names to arrive at a certain time and place to join our Stories together. It was an honor that Spirit put it upon the heart of Jamie to ask us to gather for a Time such as this.

And we pulled Ivy and got dirty! But most of all we did what Women do when we Gather. We began with a blessing of the land and ourselves and the Dream. We laughed and we teased, but most of all we told Stories. We shared not only our work talents but our hearts and souls in Love and Truth. We looked out after each other, making sure those who needed rest go that rest and those who could reach up higher or were stronger took on those tasks requiring those skills. There was on need to "measure up" or to prove anything. Women don't need to do that you see. We have a Story to tell and Stories to Hold!

Together, we told the Story of how Women Gather! 

And thus we Told the Story of Earthen Moon!

There are Times when we Must Stand Alone to Listen. But even in those Times we Gather with All Women from the Past, the Present and the Future. For We are the One's called to do so and to then Hold the Stories, Tell the Stories and most of all Live the Stories!

So mote it be!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

OCD: Organization Control DIVA

So I like things organized. My moto is everything has a place and everything in its place! I like things clean and neat. I don't like a lot of STUFF! I am not a collector but I am sentimental and like to keep things around that house memories and are of antiquity. But even those have their place. I am not OCD!!!!! I refuse to claim that title (I am not talking about the mental health diagnosis here, I am talking about Obsessive Cleaning Disorder). I just like things...neat and orderly, ok!

The fact that I was a Social Worker for 33 years is amazing I guess since people's lives are far from orderly and clean especially if they are as dysfunctional as the families I worked with were. No they are messy and dirty and well yes, very very unorganized.

And I loved every minute of that work. There was something fulfilling about being a vessel to bring order out of chaos! Yes, I even used contracts to help families bring some sort of functionality to their very non- functioning  lives. I didn't even mind helping families clean up the mess of their living quarters as we were cleaning up the messiness of their parenting skills.

Well, I was off from my job for almost 2 weeks and came back to a cubicle full of invoices and purchase orders and mail that had to be sorted and matched. As I stood there gazing at the chaos, I could feel the adrenalin begin to course through these old veins of mine. And I began.

As I began to sort through I looked at my desk and thought: OMG what a mess!!!! This is terrible! It will take me the whole week to make sense out of all of this. And I took a picture. I took a picture so I could see the "mess" on my desk!

When I got home and downloaded the pictures I began to laugh! 

OMG.....when I was sitting there I felt like papers were out all over the place in a state of total chaos! (let me assure you these pictures were taken after I had worked on the numerous piles waiting for me) I laughed because what I see as disorganization, to most would be organized. Look at the neat piles! While I was sitting there I saw continued chaos but in reality there was organization already coming into play!

I wish I had taken a picture at the end of the day. ALL the piles were gone and my desks were totally bare! Ahhhhhhh

Thinking about this led me to a new description of my OCD anachronism : Organization Control Diva! Yes! That is me! I am the Diva of Organization and Control. This is the way I have always been and I guess always will be. It comes naturally.

I don't think there is a support group for my type of OCD. Maybe I should organize one! I could control the meeting times and what snacks we would have; no a better idea would be to delegate the snack job to someone else, but then what would happen if they forgot or brought something everyone didn't want or brought sticky stuff without napkins. Well, I could get someone to be in charge......

Oh hell, I am where is that stack of bills I need to get paid? oh, they are already paid! Never mind!

Blessed be! And blessings on everyone else who shares my new definition of OCD!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Simple Pleasures!

So, it just so happens that the Universe has a silly sense of humor sometimes. You see, as soon as I got settled into my cubicle this morning, I had to go to the bathroom! (no, that's not the silly sense of humor I am talking about!) Off I went, down the hall, and into the women's bathroom at 9am. Two out of the three stalls still had the lids up and the chemical cleaners in the water.

I love being the first one to use a clean toilet at work, don't you?

Now, I know, you think I have been hanging out with my brother's dogs for too long and have flipped my ever loving mind, BUT....hang in there with me a minute!

As I was leaving the bathroom I heard a soft voice in my head saying, "Simple Pleasures! That's what life is full of, Simple Pleasures!"

Yep; the Universe has a sense of humor! (and now I am talking about the whole clean toilet excitement on my part!)

But isn't it true and don't we just look right over Simple Pleasures in hopes of those Huge, Mind Blowing Pleasures. (Oh good grief! I am not talking about SEX!!! Well, maybe, but it has been so long, I don't remember what that looks like: huge or mind blowing!)

Oh how I digress.....

Ok, so here is the point! (I think!)

The Universe sets up Simple Pleasures all through our day. Yep, a clean toilet at work is one of them for me. And so today I tried to take notice. Drinking my hot cocoa, grabbing a quick talk with my daughter, putting nice smelling hand lotion on, finishing all my work and going home an hour early, taking a long walk in the brisk afternoon air, sitting on my brother's balcony with three dogs and watching the blazing sunset on the Lake and noticing each star as it appeared in the darkening sky! And I am sure I missed a whole bunch more.

Simple Pleasures: eating left over pizza, drinking a beer and catching up on Facebook! All while listening to the movie Sleepless in Seattle in the background.

My life is really good. I am not rich monetarily by any means; I live alone; and I am pretty healthy for 60 years of age. And I must admit that the Simple Pleasures sure do make for one hell of a good life! I am past the whole needing to change the world or finding a partner who I can have that mind blowing sex with; I am so over the need to see the BIG and Orgasmic happenings! For you see, if I wait for that, then I miss so much! It's the Simple Pleasures that fill our days. And I don't know about you, but I get tired of waiting for the Spectacular and the Sensational! In my 60 years, they most often are overrated!

Hope you have a Simply Pleasurable Life!

Blessed be!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 already?

Happy 2013! Yep; another year is upon us. Another year to look forward to. Another year for me to say, "Is is me or does time seem to move faster than ever these days?"

My cousin from Pennsylvania came to visit me for New Years. His first stop was the Verizon store to purchase the new IPhone 5! He tried his best to get me to purchase one which meant I then would have to add a data package to my current bill. You see I have a cell phone for calls and texting and that is it and it drives him crazy!

As I stood there in the Verizon store I flashed back to December 31, 1999! We had spend months, like everyone else preparing for Goddess knew what would happen when we moved into 2000. When I look back at all the hysteria I do laugh, but at the time we were all engulfed in fear of the unknown! So what did my family do? We threw one hell of a New Year's Eve party waiting for the entire financial market to collapse;  waiting for electricity to go out; waiting for....oh hell, we didn't even know what we were waiting for, we were just sure something terrible would happen! And guess didn't!

Anyway...I digress! So, it has been 13 years since that trauma! 13 years! And boy has there been lots more drama in these 13 years; 9/11 happened, presidents have changed, more states approved gay marriages, we have had mass murders, etc etc etc. I divorced my husband, retired, graduated from graduate school, left the Christian Tradition, embraced the beautiful Pagan Witch Path, moved 4 times and moved away from my beautiful mountains! Oh I had heart bypass and cervical neck fusion.Oh yeah, I turned 60 too! Whew!

2013 already? On some days it seems like a very long time, but most of the time I say "2013 already?"

I think what bothers me the most now is that in 13 years I will be 73 years old! that feels so old! Will those years go as fast as these? I honestly hope not but I am sure they will and probably faster!

So, Happy 2013! May your year be all that you want it to be; healthy, happy and secure! May you know the love of Goddess and all those around you! May the scars you have developed over the past year begin to heal and smooth out! May you know that I am thankful for you agreeing to be on my journey into the New Year!

Blessed be!