Friday, July 5, 2019

To Write Is to Cast a Spell

Photo by Erick Zajac on Unsplash

Witches, Pagans and other practitioners of magick aren’t the only ones who cast spells. Writers and poets are also wielders of words and energy in ways that create change.

Many of the words I write come from a place deep within. They rise up from an inner well and are often charged with strong feelings (energy). This is truer of some of the personal blogs, essays and poems I write than a how-to article. But even there I’m casting a spell with the intention to infuse the reader with something they didn’t know before.

There’s a reason we use the word “spell” to indicate putting letters together to create words. Language was probably the first magical tool humans created. Our experience is colored by the words we use. Our thoughts and beliefs are made up of words. These affect our feelings which in turn influence our actions. Our actions create our experience and situations. We are “spelling” all the time.

As writers we utilize this tool to extend our influence. With our words and works we can change hearts and minds. We move people with what we write because we were first moved. If we don’t feel our words, other won’t either.

The word made flesh isn’t just the creative power of the Divine becoming form, it’s the power of our writings/spells to become not only a real experience in the reader, but an influence that pours into the world through the reader now changed.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Petals Will Fall…Letting Go In Order to Live and Create

Photo by Charles "Beautyseer" Elliott

Even the beautiful flower must let go of its petals. When the petals are no longer needed they simply fall away. Letting go is like that. It’s a natural process. It’s a necessary process. When we let go, so much more can happen. The fruit of our being can grow.

I’m still learning to do this with grace, but I understand more than ever that letting go of everything allows things to fall into their proper place. It’s true when I write, and in my creative life it has become easier than it once was. It’s also true in life. That’s where I have trouble letting go. I hold onto those petals, the things I know.

The ways of doing and seeing that feel comfortable can block what is yet to come. And there is always a “yet to come” in life and beyond. Even if you believe there is nothing beyond the physical, your body will transform and become the earth and the plants and the air. Even the fruit is not the point. It is all ever becoming.

To hold onto anything is to block this natural process and flow. Sometimes we even try to make things fit where they don’t belong. But we will discover there is magic in letting go. Look at the flower. The flow…er. Its name reminds us that it is just one stage in a process. Once it’s been fertilized it knows it’s time to move on and become the fruit that holds the seed of its continuation. But it’s not just the seed that holds promise. Those dropped petals become food for the plants all around. When we let go of things they can then find their next true place. When we let go of old ways and thoughts the next stage of our growth can take place.

The irises in the front garden are huge and lovely. Their petals stand tall and announce life with their color and shape. I can stare at them for hours. Each one is a beacon and has a purpose. Beyond reasons of reproduction though, each iris seems to be here to share its beauty and remind us to look closely, for its existence is brief.

The iris pictured above will soon become seed. And so the process continues. There is no end to the becoming. But while I’m in this moment with this flower, I glimpse eternity.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

In the Balance

Painting Celtic Equinox Sun and Moon by Melissa A. Benson
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As fast as the rain began, it stops. The sun seems ever brighter behind dark clouds. The day opens and all begins again.

Today is the Spring Equinox. Day and night, light and dark share equal time, for a moment, balance. We rest at the precipice of the fall towards longer days. We are reborn into another season and in the stillness of this balance we can let Nature have its way. There is no stopping spring from coming. There is no stopping the rain. There is only the reverence which fills us if we’ll let it.

Do we build a life or does Life build us? We build only in the sense that we open ourselves to the forces that create.

Stillness. The wind even slows to an almost imperceptible movement of leaf and flower. My breath slows. Peace presides. There is only this and the possibility that lives within spring, within us. Always within, deep into the source of all we find what we’ve been looking for. I step out into a new day, a new season and it is everything.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Build a Life Based on Beauty

Butterflies, wild flowers and swallows, one by one come into my consciousness. All is awakening.

These are signs of spring, of renewal and rebirth that I have noticed a lot lately. This morning I spotted a small flock of cliff swallows flying about outside my window. And now they’re back. They swirl and swoop. They arrive with the vital energy of spring. Maybe they will take up residence in our terraced neighborhood, nesting under the clay tiles of our rooves.

In these days of transition between winter and spring, we get to witness many firsts and great flowerings. These liminal days are powerful times in which we can, if we become very still, catch a glimpse of the beauty that underlies all we see.

This beauty lives in us, but so often we’re too busy, too clouded and clogged to recognize it. But it is here that all life truly begins. It is what holds us even now though we may see nothing but disharmony and ugliness.

To build a life based on beauty is to realize it right where you are. When swallows rise up from the south to fly outside your window, notice. When butterflies flicker at the edge of your field of vision, notice. When wild flowers rise in the desert, notice. The weed that breaks through a crack in the sidewalk, the moonlight glittering on late spring snow, the smile from a passerby, notice all of it.

We are walking bundles of awareness, creating our world from within. We notice beauty, because it is what we are. When we see death and decay, it doesn’t have to be ugly. They are merely stages of transition. All is becoming. In the in-between-moments we come face to face with our own becoming. We realize transition is always happening. Spring is not static; it is on its way to becoming summer. In these days before spring, I see beauty just as I see beauty in the darkest days before winter. It is because beauty is the basis of all life.

Take a few moments during this liminal time to slow down and feel the wonder of being alive. Catch sight of the beauty that wants to break through every fiber of being. Let beauty become the path. Open to it and you will discover exactly who you are.

Friday, March 8, 2019

An Ode to Women on International Women’s Day

Image by johnhain on Unsplash

One by one they pull back the veil and step upon the stage of this moment.

This is you. This is me. This is now.

It’s time to rise and meet the stars that birthed us and continue to live within us.

Every day women rise with the dawn and begin the work of building their life. But their work is not only for themselves. It’s for those standing next to them and those falling into bed on the other side of the Earth, exhausted by the day.

We step up to the moment ready, courage in our hearts, love in our hands. There is no moment bereft of our compassion. If we falter, she lifts us. If we soar, she encourages us. When we turn around we see the heart of the world beating in the bodies of all the women. All the women rising. Not just moon, she is sun, a force on fire with purpose. Her pull is strong and she leads the way.