What do you do when you have (maybe) one more year?

****Warning…this is a major downer…a big grief and pain trigger…there is no resolution yet…I am processing what is happening in my life and, since misery loves company, I am sharing 6 pages of bleakness.  What are friends for, right?****

So in September of 1984 I met a wonderful man…this guy, who was perpetually late and had a distinctive walk with keys on his belt so we could hear him coming down the ramp to the snack bar where this strange group of college students gathered (“Look, It’s Fred!” became our call in unison), and who intuited that the best way to get this smart assed introvert out of the shadows was to challenge her, and who helped chase off an awful dorm roommate, is the man who introduced me to Steeley Span, the SCA, Jethro Tull, and the Craft.  Fred was a blacksmith, a stocky and strong man, a member of the SCA and the first Neopagan I ever met.  At the time he had shoulder length red hair and a full beard.  He had the brightest blue eyes and a wicked grin.  I still remember my first country bumpkin good girl thought was (simultaneously) ‘Hmmm…that’s interesting! No it’s NOT’

Well there apparently was something.  We have been friends for 32 years in 2016 and lovers for 25 years and partners in life for 21 years.  Fred loaned me a copy of circle network news, bought me my first Green Egg magazine, introduced me to music and concepts and people and festivals.  Fred insisted that I go to the local Bulletin Board System (cyberspace) coffee (lovingly dubbed the Saturday Night Get a Life Club) where I met several of the people who would become my students and lifelong friends.  He encouraged me to go to Aradia’s Arcane for the discussion groups and classes where I met my first High Priest and other people who would become students, friends, and connections in the craft.  Where I am today is mostly to his credit.  He has been a resource, teacher, encourager, comfort and mostly a very deep love in my life.

In 2003, Fred went in for what we thought would be a relatively minor surgery but turned out to be a cancerous appendix.  He had chemotherapy and other testing and for 10 years all was well.  Then in October 2012, one of my best friends and (now) High Priest asked me what was wrong with Fred.  I actually admitted to myself that I had noticed that something wasn’t right.  He just wasn’t acting right.  My instinct was that the cancer was back.

In February of 2013, Fred finally got around to talking to me about it and explained that the symptoms he had had in 2002-3 were back.  He delayed doing anything about it until December 9th of 2013.  After 4 hrs of surgery, the surgeons came out and talked to me.  Yes, the cancer was back.  After the surgery and time in the hospital, he spent most of 2014 recuperating from the surgery.  In early 2015, we went to see an oncologist, finally…

Now, I am a therapist.  I am trained in, as well as having a natural talent for, reading body language and expressions.  I am good at reading between the lines.  So the following description rang very loudly even though words were relatively quiet.

We were in the exam room.  I could hear the doctor with another patient in the next room.  He was upbeat, laughing and joking.  Things were going well for this person.  He came out into the hall and I heard him pick up the chart.  The next thing I heard was a deep sigh.  He enters the room and assumes what I have been calling “The Undertaker Stance”…head tilted slightly to the side, hands folded in front of him, look of sympathy and concern on his face.  “How are you doing, Fred?” he asked gently.

During this visit, Fred asked in general, how much time he was looking at.  Of course they couldn’t give specifics or guarantees but at that time he was told, on average, 2-3 yrs….of course, my mind was asking 2-3 yrs from when the symptoms returned or from the surgery or from today???

It looks like it was from the return of the symptoms…because it has been steadily down hill from there.  He has been on chemo since March…has had a steadily decreasing appetite, increased nausea, and decreased resources-physically speaking.  In November, he had a blood clot develop in his leg which still has not been resolved.  On December 3rd I took him to the hospital with a 104.9 temperature.  He was septic.  After a week in the hospital, he came home.  Overall he seems fine… low energy and low appetite but relatively healthy otherwise…but I had the opportunity to put lotion on his back and legs recently…it is not encouraging.  What once were powerful shoulders of a blacksmith and strong biceps that I could barely circle with both of my hands are now quite thin.  This is a thing that I have watched before…my father and grandfather…especially my grandfather, who was a big man…wasted away to nothing with cancer.

He isn’t giving up.  He has not found his paperwork and gotten affairs in order or anything like that.  Maybe I am being paranoid or defeatist.  But my instinct tells me that he will probably cross the veil sometime this year.

With this in mind, I went looking for information about how to handle this year.  I mean, someone has to have written something, right?  I found heartwarming and tear jerking stories about a town that gave a dying child one last Christmas in October.  I found several things about dying parents sharing a last holiday with their young children…but I didn’t find anything about what to do when you are relatively certain that you have one more year with someone.

So I guess I will have to write it.  We just passed Yule/Christmas…I am sure I screwed it up…but he was happy to see my daughter happy with her gift.  I gave him what he said he wanted and I love the present he got for me…and after the kids left, we had a quiet evening and a long peaceful night with a lovely cuddle this morning.  I brought him home made ravioli and sauce from the Yule ritual I attended this afternoon and we are watching foreign language tv and mythbusters marathon.  The cat is napping on the back of the couch and I guess all is currently right with the world…or as right as it is going to be.

Here I am, 5 months later, writing again.  January through March were relatively quiet.  Then they started a new Chemo.  We went to the university for a consult.  Turns out there were only 2 more things to try.  So we began what was supposed to be an every other week treatment regimen.  The first 24 hrs were ok…then the pain started…he writhed in pain until I could finally get him to the clinic to get the pump off.  After that he rebounded relatively quickly.  He doesn’t remember the weekend much at all.  I do.

After two weeks they looked at his lab results and his white cell count was too low to do treatment so they put it off a week.  This time the doctor said to take the pain medication he had plus added  more nausea medication.  Again, he was fine until Saturday afternoon this time.  The rest of the weekend I pretty much snowed him and he didn’t feel much pain.  After the pump came off, he was fine until Sunday evening then a little pain and discomfort so another pain pill.  Monday morning, he was pretty confused & foggy…he still insisted on going to work but actually only made it about 5 miles before realizing that wasn’t a good idea.  Thankfully, he turned around and came home.

So another 3 weeks go by…to give him time to get stronger.  (By the way, in February of 2015 he was 170 lbs…at this visit he weighed in at 147)  He does the treatment and is ok…not stellar but ok…until about 2 on Saturday afternoon when the pain & nausea kicked in.  Rotated nausea meds and pain pills til about 1 am then I went to bed…he was fine.  I got up at 7 and did my routine but he was in the bathroom.  A half hour later I checked on him because he was still in there.  He came out of the bathroom completely stripped…which he hasn’t done since December of 2013…and got into bed.  A little while later he scurried back to the bathroom and I realized he had also removed the colostomy bag.  We got that dealt with and he wanted to rest so back to bed for a bit.

Then it was time to get ready to get the pump off.  I get him in sweats and socks and a shirt and try to get him out to the truck.  Nope…ended up fighting with him for 2 hrs about whether or not he was dressed.  A 5’8″, 140 lb (they weighed him that day) toddler.  Finally get through to him that something isn’t right when i tell him he’s acting like he had a stroke.

We made it to the clinic before they closed and his blood pressure was very low.  The nurse said to take him to the ER.  And he was there for 4 days.  In the ER I got to witness the callousness and impatience of the doctors…and recognized how little they actually listen to anything being said.  He was unable to sign his name, or communicate hardly anything.  He was like this until Tuesday afternoon.  Doctors were convinced it was an infection.  We have no idea what’s causing this behavior.  They did CT scans and xrays and an MRI of his brain.  Nothing unusual except his potassium is low and he’s very dehydrated.

He came out of the fog and by Tuesday evening he really wanted to come home.  I got him home Wednesday afternoon and by Friday morning he was back to work.  Another week goes by and the visit to the oncologist says he is down to 132 lbs.  He mentions a sore spot to them again and they look at it and just say ‘We’ll keep an eye on it’.  He and the doctor agree that he should wait another week before trying the chemo again.  So we had a relatively nice weekend, though he was tired and didn’t do too much.

The next Wednesday morning, I am awakened by him calling me from the bathroom.  Apparently the sore spot was something to be concerned about as there is now a hole in his abdomen that appears to be connected to his bladder.  We relatively calmly work on finding a way to manage that.  He calls the on-call oncologist (as it is before 7 AM) and he concurs that this is something odd and that he should go to the hospital, so we get it together and get in the truck to drive the 45 minutes to the hospital.

Once we are in the emergency room (room 13 again) they talk to his urologist and decide he needs a catheter to try to drain this away.  What appears to have happened is a fistula of the cancer has now grown out of his bladder and the bladder is now fully involved with the cancer.  What I have put together is that the particular type of treatment they did was more like pouring sugar water on bind weed…it just took off and grew very quickly.

This time he has to have the nefrostomy tubes inserted in the Kidneys and now two more pieces of hardware to deal with.  He tries to ask nurses, doctors and social workers about living with this…he gets blank looks in return.

After much more confusion and an 11 hr wait we got to go home on Saturday evening…which is when he stops eating again…(want to know how to drive a farm girl crazy?  Stop eating.)  He will eat an applesauce for breakfast, maybe a little serving of leftovers for lunch and a half a serving of whatever I make for dinner.

This is the journey so far…every day I see a little more of him slipping away.  The messages I get from the Gods are that I have to leave this alone and let him go on this journey.  He acknowledged the other day that he doesn’t know how long he can last.  I have to figure out how to get him to tell me what he wants.  Cremation? Burial? If so, where? If he won’t do that, I have figured out who I will have facilitate the memorial and I think it will meet with his beliefs but also not be shocking to the good christian folk who will also be attending.

I also need to twist his arm to write down accounts and passwords and to get all the bills into the auto pay account.  I saw the hell that my oldest and one of my best friends went through with the sudden death of her husband.  She has been dealing daily with both grief and panic.  I don’t want to do that!

I was looking at a local hospice/palliative care group for information.  They facilitate anticipatory grief work with children but seem to ignore that in adults.  There is nothing being offered to help partners, spouses, adult children, or other friends/family cope with the long and winding road across the veil.  How to deal with frustration, anger, exasperation, fear, and all those other things that go into “Grief” seems to be a taboo subject….or is just so foreign to western society that we just expect people to suck it up and do it…whatever it is.

I will pause for now…5 pages of doom and gloom are quite enough for this entry…I am just processing and sharing my experience for now.  It is a record for later…for after…when hopefully I can use this experience to make me better at what I do in some capacity.

I will leave you with this.  Love each other.  Say it loudly, softly, wordlessly, and with a fully orchestrated score.  Today, here, now…that is the only happily ever after we ever really get!  (There’s an idea for someone to write…The Death of Prince Charming….)

Keeping Connection

It has been talked about and repeated often in my circle that we have lost a connection to the rhythm of the earth and the cycles and seasons.  It is complained about that people are unaware of what is going on around them and with others in our lives.  It is bemoaned that people don’t connect anymore.  Have you yourself noticed this?  Have you wondered why?

Well…I have a thought…on the eve of our national celebration of gratitude and helping each other through difficult times…it has occurred to me that it *may* be because we have lost the courtesy that our ancestors had.  Simple things…like returning a greeting or a blessing sent.  We currently have the ability to send our warm thoughts and blessings more immediately than ever and we likely receive them more often than ever in the past, but how often do we basically just blow off such greetings?  How often to you return a greeting or blessing sent to you…those random Hey I was thinking about you’s from friends…the full moon blessings…the hey, have a great day messages?  We seem to respond when it is a big thing…a Sabbat…a major life event…a loss…a win…but I think it is in the everyday connection that our grounding and rhythm are to be found.

 Love is the magic.  Sharing warm thoughts and even little frustrations without expectation is what draws us together…it lets us know that there are others out there…even if it is just to say, “I feel ya!”

So my thought is that trust and connection are built one little moment at a time.  I just heard tonight that a good friend and elder in the community has passed.  Unfortunately, my last moments with him were strained.  I wish I had followed through on a thought to shoot him a text…but I didn’t want to bother him.  

Others I have interactions with who do not respond…I will keep trying…I will keep sending the blessings, the hey theres, the random ILY’s.  In this way I am taking my own responsibility for being connected to people, to cycles, and to my community.  You…well, follow your heart…but really remember that all we have is this moment…if you feel it, say it.  The connection may not be there tomorrow.

BTW…ILY.

Grounding and Centering

Lady Rhiannon Dragcruin- 4/10/2014

Grounding, centering, and shielding are terms that are thrown about in the Craft like confetti, beads, and candy at Mardi Gras, but what do they mean? Ever had someone tell you. “Well just ground and center and you will be fine!” but you have no freaking clue how to do that? I know I have…it is not always easy, especially in the middle of an excited state of mind or an emergency situation. So let’s talk about it…

What are some symptoms of being ungrounded and uncentered?

Irritability, manic behavior, anger, inability to sit still, Restlessness, tiredness, lack of empathy, lack of awareness, lack of focus, loudness that is uncharacteristic, short tempered, inability to concentrate, desire to isolate, feeling discontent or wanting something but not knowing what, lack of appetite, or extreme desire to eat or drink despite not being hungry or thirsty, substance abuse, depression, violence, rage, extreme sadness, etc… These can all be symptoms of being overloaded and ungrounded. The energy of different people and situations and emotions tends to cling to us if we are not consciously sending it away. And just like any physical load, each of us can only carry so much before we begin to be affected by it.

Grounding: What the Heck is it?

Grounding is the act of taking excess energy or negative energy and sending it to a safe place (the earth, water, a stone, a fire). Just like taking a live electrical wire and grounding it, you will be less excitable, more able to think, act, and receive positive things from others. One doesn’t always need to ground only for negative events or energy. One may also need to ground when one is spinning up because they are happy. (There is nothing wrong with being happy but it certainly can turn into an uncontrolled state and things can be done or said that will have negative impacts on one’s life.)

How the heck do you do it?

For every 10 people out there, there are probably 15 different ways to ground. The following are some ideas:

Taking a deep breath, Getting a hug, Sitting on the ground, taking a bath or shower, swimming, Sauna, Hot tub, running water over your wrists, sitting on a log in the forest, lying in the sunlight, taking a psychic shower, visualizing all the ick being washed off by light or rain or blown away by wind or burned away by fire, crying, walking in the rain, walking in the grass barefoot, digging your toes in the sand, staring at a lit candle, guided meditation, petting a cat, hugging a puppy, watching an aquarium, singing, dancing, drumming, sniffing your favorite flower, baking, making bread, weeding the garden, etc…

I think you get the point…it doesn’t have to be a formal, long, drawn-out event. It can be very simple but it *must* be intentional. Take some time away from stimulation to sort through and release the excess energy. Try some different ways to release this energy and find a couple of different ones that work because you, for example, may not always have a sauna nearby when you need it!

What happens if you have “grounded” but still feel scattered or off?

Then comes the next step- Centering. Centering is the act of bringing your own energy back from all the thousands of places that we send it every day and focusing back on our intentions in life. Every interaction we have with people, every little niggling thing that we do during the day takes energy. We leave pieces of ourselves scattered everywhere. Most of the time this is just a little energy…sometimes it can be bigger events such as trauma and that takes a different approach which we will discuss another time…but every little piece that gets scattered takes away from our focus and our ability to manage energy. Think about all the text messages you send each day, and the emails, and the conversations in the stores etc…. Interactions with family and the driving public are also taxing. Each of these is a little bit of you being scattered to the four winds. Centering is necessary to bring ourselves back to ourselves and to get or stay on task.

OK so you beat that into the ground but how do you *DO* it?

Again, everyone is going to have a different process to Center themselves. Some will hold a crystal that helps them focus, others will psychically reach out and find those pieces of energy and bring them back, some have enfolded this practice into their grounding and the act of sitting in the sun or with the toes in the sand or in a raging storm also brings their energy into focus. As I said…lots of different ways. We spend a lot of time outside of our own bodies and unaware of our feelings, both physical and emotional. That being said, it is not a lost cause and we can all learn to ground and center. It can take a more formalized approach if you have developed a resistance to being centered (often a defense developed due to some form of trauma). This can be through a guided meditation, receiving Reiki, massage or several other possible approaches. Each person has to develop their own method…we can each *learn* how someone else does it, but when it comes down to practical application, we can only reliably and quickly do what is natural for each of us. It is important to practice Grounding and Centering consciously to learn what works best for you. Also practicing this with intention can make it easier to notice what you are feeling and also to notice when you are not in balance or in sync with those around you. Being mindful of the state of your consciousness and your body can save your life!

OK, Frustrated yet? Because there is one more piece…Shielding.

Most of us have developed natural ways to shield…there are very few people out there who have NO shields at all. These are the things that keep us from taking on all of the free-floating crap in the world. They help protect us from everything from negative thoughts and intentional harm to big bad nasty beasties. They are the things that alert us to icky vibes and psychic vampires wanting to have a lick. They make the hair on your neck stand up in an empty room in an old house or make you look over your shoulder when a friend is sneaking up on you. They also keep your stuff from leaking out or a passing frustration from blasting the person who caused the irritation. They keep you hidden and protected.

There are many ways to envision shields…some are more efficient than others and some can be dangerous. A mirror shield (which is often one of the first things people think of) is dangerous. Have you ever seen what happens to a laser aimed at a mirror? Think about energy being sent at you hitting your mirror shield…how many innocent people may be hit by that refracted energy? A solid brick or steel wall also has problems…how do you see what is coming? How do things that you want to get out get out? Also neither of those encircles you. Always remember to shield about 3 feet under your feet too as well as above your head.

My personal favorite is to envision a semi-permeable cell wall. The cell wall is transparent…goes all the way around you…lets in what you want in (mostly) and keeps out what you want out (mostly) as well as lets unhealthy stuff out. It is flexible, responsive, and resilient as well as primarily self-sustaining. Experiment with different materials and designs. Remember to look up. Think about what properties you want your shield to have. How far out from you do you want your primary defenses? How many layers of shields do you want? Why do you want that many and not one more or one less?

Shields also have to be fed. Some people like to consciously tend their shields, others like to set up passive power sources for their shields. To consciously tend the shields, often a person will do maintenance while they do their daily meditation. The shields are created to alert the protected one of damage or trouble and the person will tend to immediate things as needed and will do a full survey of their shields as part of the grounding and centering process.

A person who chooses to have a passive power source may have jewelry that is charged and feeds the shields or have some sort of action that they do regularly that sends energy to their shields. Again the shields are often set to alert the individual of problems with their own integrity or they make a practice of looking at them regularly for maintenance.

How to set up a passive power supply is a completely different lesson and we will talk about it later. The important thing is to practice grounding your energy, bringing your energy back to yourself when it is scattered, and protecting yourself. It is not reasonable to expect to be able to handle and channel large amounts of magickal or spiritual energy or to be able to use your skills and talents reliably if your energy is all over the place! Much of this work can be done on your own, as it is a very personal thing, but it can also be helpful to talk with your teacher or others in the Craft for ideas and feedback on what they are sensing. Remember, no one can find the holes in your shields like someone you love! Practice with friends to check for vulnerability. Your shields and your awareness of them and of your friends’ and partners’ shields could be very important in many different situations.

Imbolg 2014 Meditation

(This was the first meditation written by myself for group use.  It was read by my High Priest because he has a *great* voice for it! 🙂 )

As we gather in this space, we recognize both time and place. We see the winter’s
frozen days ending as forward we gaze. The time has come to stop and release
those things that do not bring us peace. Beliefs, thoughts and actions that bring us
low it may be time to let go. So hearken to the words we speak and journey to find
the peace you seek. All are safe and all are free…and all shall certainly blessed be!
Take a deep breath in and exhale gently.
Just become aware of the speed of your breathing. By breathing deeply and slowly,
your body and mind gradually relax.

Close your eyes and feel your breathing…

Inhale … and exhale. Inhale, feel the air fill your body, and exhale, feel your
body release tension and stress. Feel the air fill your body, and feel your
body release all of the energy that no longer serves you.
Become aware of your physical body. If you need to adjust your position to
be most comfortable feel free to do so. Scan your body looking for areas of
tension. Look for areas of concern; Areas that cause pain. Visualize the
breath filling the problem area, and on the outbreath, visualize all the
tension and stress leaving your body.

Starting from the top of your head – feel the stress and tension melt away.
Your forehead, your eyebrows, your eye, your cheeks, your jaw, your
tongue, the back of your head and your neck. Feel the tension just melt
away.

Over your shoulders, into your upper arms, down past your elbows, into
your forearms, past your wrists, into your hands and fingers. Feel the
energy flow through your crown, down your arms and out your hands.
Immediately you should feel more relaxed, more at peace, and more in tune
with yourself. Stay aware of your breathing as we continue with the physical
relaxation.

The front of your chest, the back of your chest, your solar plexus, and your
lower back, your stomach, your groin, your hips and upper legs. Feel the
tension melt away.

Over your thighs, to your knees, front and back. Your calf muscles and your
ankles. Feel the flow of energy, flow smoothly from your crown,
encompassing your arms and torso, legs and ankles, and finally your feet.
Feel the energy flow freely from your toes.

And while aware of your breath, you should now feel complete, relaxed, and
in tune with yourself.

Imagine walking in the rain. But know this time, the shower is magical. The
water falls from the sky at the perfect temperature. Just stand there and feel
the warm rain gently embracing you. Keep your breathing relaxed, so it’s
nice and deep and slow.

The warm rain has now washed away all stress and all tension. With your
mind’s eye, Look down to your feet, and see all of your tension and stress
simply be washed away.

As you step forward, the rain starts to change color. Firstly, the rain turns
into a beautiful vibrant red. The red water pours down and energizes you,
right to your core. Just stand there a moment and feel yourself infused with
the beautiful vibrant red. Now feel this color washing away all of your fears.
Without any resistance, they are simply washed down and taken away,
returned to the Mother Earth. Release your fears to the warm red water. And
you are now free from fear.

With another step, the rain starts to change color again, and this time, it
becomes a brilliant shade of orange. Orange opens you to experience joy
and allows you to release shame and guilt. Feel the orange wash over you.
Feel the orange color wash through you, washing away all that no longer
serves, making more space for joy.

Stepping forward again, the rain becomes a bright shade of yellow. Feel the
yellow water cleanse emotional pain. Realize that some things are out of
your control and you can best handle them when you are calm and collected.
Feel your body strengthen and become more secure. Yellow clears the mind
and invigorates the digestive system. Take a nice deep breath and feel the
clarity within.

Now the rain turns to a brilliant shade of green – balancing and restoring the
physical body. Green purifies the whole system, renewing your expression of
love and forgiveness. Just as you love – you are loved. Feel the green water
open your heart to all the love you deserve. Know that you are connected to
all.

Then the raindrops change to a beautiful, cooling, magical blue. This blue
enhances self-expression, allowing you to speak your truth, the universal
truth. Feel the blue all around you, allowing you to express yourself,
according to your true-self. Tilt your head back so that the blue water falls
right on your throat. Let the warm water relax all the muscles of your neck.
Breathe in and out freely.

The rain changes color again. It now changes to a color containing indigo
and purple. Feel it land on your crown and wash all over you. Indigo and
purple stimulates your own healing power and wisdom. Indigo stimulates
your third eye and intuition, and purple increases your cosmic connection.
Feel the calming influence of the velvet dark colors of indigo and purple.

And finally, the water turns to a brilliant glowing white light. Feel it embrace
you, warm and pure. This heavenly white takes away any pain and heals any
hurt. It shows you the peace and joy within your own spirit. Take this
moment to enjoy the white light that surrounds you, that fills you, that holds
you secure.

Take another deep breath in and exhale gently.

Envision yourself beside a stream…the rain has stopped and your vision is
clear…you are dry and warm…the edges are crusted over with ice…the stream
runs clear and cold…see the path that runs alongside that stream…
the path leads you forward…follow the path and hear the music of the stream…it
speaks and beckons you…as you walk along you notice your surroundings….see
the vegetation…smell the air…feel the sensation of the path beneath your feet…
The path leads you to a clearing…the new moon is visible in the starry sky above
you….it shines clearly and its pure clear light touches you…(wait 3 breaths)

In the center of the clearing you see a ring of standing stones…the stones call to
you….follow that call…do what feels right…(wait for 6 breaths)

When you are ready, enter the circle of the stones…make your way to the center
and look at the stone altar set there…
Feel the peace of the space…feel the burdens you have been carrying…(wait 6
breaths)

Notice that you have been carrying a basket…this basket contains representations
of your burdens…notice how heavy this basket feels to you….
Look in the basket and see if there are things you are willing to leave behind
you….lift them up and look at them one by one….then, if you want to let them go,
or even if you just want some help carrying them, place these items on the
altar…(wait 8 breaths)

When you are finished…look at what has been left…thank them for their
lessons…then turn from them and gaze up at the sliver of the moon….feel the light
touching you gently…look around you…see what or who is there for
you……approach the person, animal or thing that is there……..spend some time
communing with this gift….(wait 10 breaths)

When you are ready, take your leave of the person or animal…or pick up the
item…thank the stones and walk out of the circle, taking your basket with you….
(wait 6 breaths)

Return to the path beside the stream…walk back the way you came…notice the
changes to the landscape….(wait 3 breaths)

As you approach the area where you became aware of the stream, see the white
light forming the first step leading your feet back up to the world…know that this
white light protects you and surrounds you always.

Take another step and you are on the next level of the path to now…the purple and
indigo light which stimulates your own healing power and wisdom wraps around
you and raises you up.

A third step brings you to the blue light of self expression. It infuses you and
carries your truth forward.

Your fourth step brings you to the brilliant shade of green light – again balancing
and restoring the physical body.

The fifth step brings you to a bright shade of yellow. Feel the yellow light cleanse
emotional pain and uplift your spirit.

With your sixth step, Feel the orange color wash through you again, washing away
all that no longer serves, making more space for joy.

The final step, the seventh step, brings you to the beautiful vibrant red light. This
light energizes you to the core and removes any residual fears you may be
carrying.

A layer of each of these lights envelops you as you move forward…returning to this
time and place.

With this you have returned to the beginning of this journey…come back to this
circle….(wait 5 breaths)

when you are ready, open your eyes and return to this time and place….sit and relax…and come back to yourself.

Keeping the Temple

Keeping the temple Lady Rhiannon Dragcruin 5/28/2013 To many religions, the temple is a place that is separate from the individual.  To Christians, it is the church or cathedral, to Jews, it is the synagogue and to Muslims it is the Mosque.  But the Covenant of Kernunnos is an earth based tradition in a Pagan religion.  So what is the Temple to us?  Our Founding High Priest, Lord Balor, always spoke of living a magickal lifestyle.  In his approach, everything one does is a magickal act and takes part in sacred space, from doing dishes to sweeping the floor to making love.  In our Founding High Priestess’s (Lady Rhiannon) view, every act should be made with awareness, intention, and forethought, choosing actions and words with forethought of the consequences.  Everything we do has repercussions in the world and should be considered magickal.  This makes the whole world our Temple, but that is a bit big for us to consider.  The following will discuss the parts of the Temple and how the Tradition views it’s care.  We do recognize that we all have faults and blind spots, and that we always have room for improvement, however it is good to have an ideal to work toward.

The Body is your Temple:  Each practitioner of the Arts has a responsibility, especially when working with a group, to maintain their body.  What does this mean practically?  First- Clean yourself.  Have pride in your appearance.  Bathe, comb your hair, and wear deodorant.  Wear things that fit to the best of your ability…this does NOT mean Armani suits and Prada…this means to the best of your ability have clothing in good repair and unstained…if you look good, you feel better…and your energy is more positive and is clean.  If you have medical conditions, allergies, sensitivities- attend to them!  Take your medications as prescribed, eat as you are supposed to, and exercise at least a little.  We want you around FOREVER (despite occasional whining that the children won’t go away)

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Your Home is your Temple:  Each practitioner is responsible for maintaining a healthy living environment.  If the home is dirty, cluttered, and disorganized then the energy of the people who dwell there is going to be also.  It leads individuals to depression, anxiety, and all manner of openness to illness.  It also makes it more difficult to feel the energies around one because we become numb to our surroundings and move into our heads to escape the overwhelming crush of things around us.  It makes it difficult to work with others or to do positive things for ourselves.  Practically, what does this mean?  First- Clean your living space.  Look around and make hard decisions about what is still serving you.  Make a commitment to yourself and your family to make it a happy place to live.  Ask for help if you are overwhelmed…we are a community (but that will come later) and we are a family and we love you and want you healthy, happy, and safe.

Your Mind is your Temple:  Each practitioner is responsible for maintaining a healthy mental state and feeding their mind with knowledge.  Do you have mood issues?  Attend to them!  Find what helps you.  Meditate, take herbal supplements, see a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist.  Socialize and get outside input…you are NEVER as bad as you see yourself.  Your mind will work against you if you let it.  Watch the types of substances you use and monitor the effects on your mind and body.  Know who is good for you and forge good relationships with them so that you can get the support you need.  Are you in a Bonded relationship?  Remember the key is open, honest and clear communication, otherwise the insecurities can be overwhelming!  Learn to find a quiet space, whether physically or just mentally, and commit to taking care of YOU.  Do you thirst for knowledge?  Have conversations, read, take a class, or offer to lead a discussion group.  Feed your mind!  Stagnant minds cannot clearly feel the energy.  We numb out and get in ruts which lead to atrophy and dangerous states of mind.

Your Community is your Temple: Each practitioner has a responsibility to those in the community, to help guide and guard new members, to help build a support network for times of trouble, to communicate with the people around them in Honest, Open, and Clear ways.  We also have the connection to the earth around us… the two leggeds, the four leggeds, winged ones, finned ones, and the legless and many legged.  We should endeavor to treat each other, the earth, and all her creatures with respect.  What does this mean practically?  Tend your land, create a garden and share your produce with others, be supportive and honestly caring to those around you…not just those of the Craft, if you are so drawn- get involved with charitable or activist organizations…work to create the world you want to live in.

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Your Spirit is your Temple:  Each Practitioner has a responsibility to their Gods, to the Fey, and other magickal creatures, as well as to following one’s own dreams and aspirations.  You are drawn to different activities and paths for a reason.  It is one’s own responsibility to create a life that nurtures the growth of one’s own spirit.  What does this mean practically?  Create a relationship with other humans that nurtures your spirit and encourages your own growth.  Cultivate relationships with Deities that also support your growth and lessons, pay attention to the signs around you, listen for the whispers of the divine, honor the fey and nisse…but most of all, listen to your Spirit as you create your path.  It will know where you should be moving and when you should stand still and learn.

All of this is intended to help guide toward a fully integrated life.  In the fully integrated life, we recognize the Sacred in all things and walk in harmony with our purpose as People of the Earth and Keepers of the Craft.  We are part of the guides and guards of the Earth.  We are some of the Wise Ones tasked with leading others to balance and healing.  But in order to do these things, we must first walk the path ourselves.  We must work on coming into balance and attend to these very important parts of our lives as we walk this path.  By doing this, we will be the example that we wish others to follow.  Our Covenant bids that we teach…to teach we must always be learning.  By Learning we will always be growing and as we grow in healthy ways we shine.  Let’s be the light for those who seek such a path by first caring for our Temples!

The Lady Speaks of Drawing Down

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I see you there, my Lord, my Love…standing beside him always…protecting, guarding, guiding…and ready to be embodied by him. His strength reflects thine own. His form is a fitting shadow of Thine. His heart as strong and true as thine.

Our time is always so short with them. We spend eternity with our energy intermingled but we have not the intensity of the human experience. We cannot touch in the way that they do…cannot embrace or kiss in a physical way. Cannot feel as they do.

When we are invited and allowed to share their bodies, the pleasure, the intensity, the comfort and connection with you is complete. When the Priest and Priestess also share a love so deep, it but enhances our own connection. When I share mind and body with her, I see her love for you and her love for him. I see the complications and frustrations she has with sorting the feelings. I understand the hopes and fears she has for him who is the son of her heart, her friend, her partner, and her beloved… just as you are mine.

To feel your touch when they embrace is a sensation so deep, so moving, that I want it more. She allows me to experience it all from the electric spark of an incidental brush of the hand to the deep pleasure of even the most chaste of kisses. It leaves me wanting more…but that will be with another Priest and Priestess, for we will not meddle in their lives that way. That would be a betrayal on our parts…these two who willingly open to us should be blessed and supported; for without them, and those like them, we would be denied this feeling, this connection, and this experience.

Without them, we would exist in the concept of Love but never have the true experience. We would have connection of energy but not mind and body and spirit. Through them, we understand our children in ways that we have not for centuries, as their kind were nearly silenced and we were nearly forgotten with the stories.

Today we live…we love….we thrive…because the people hear our song again and their hearts respond. They come to worship and praise, to call on our power and the gifts they are born with to help this world to which we and they are bound. Together only can we make the changes that so many years of blindness on their part, and arrogance on ours, has made necessary. Our hearts beat in time with the rhythms of the earth. Theirs can again with but a small connection to us. The leaders, the brave ones willing to be open and vulnerable to us, to trust us to share in their lives wholly are the ones who will create the movements that will affect the change.

So we must be gentle, we must be mindful, and We must be Respectful to them, lest we lose the last chance…and in doing so, we lose each other. This is a price I will not pay, just as she would not lose him.

So come, My Beloved, walk with me in the green of Spring, as we have done so many times. Let our Love renew and Awaken. As we work with him and with her they will build the bonds and the bridges which will allow it all to come together and save us all. Through love alone will it be done. Mine for Thee, his for her and hers for him, Theirs for all who follow.

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Even my Gods say I’m crazy!

Greetings! My name is Rhiannon…I am the founding High Priestess of the Covenant of Kernunnos Tradition.   Never heard of us?  I am not terribly surprised… We are a small tradition of very diverse witches.  We are group of teaching covens (only 2 active at this time but we’re poised to grow exponentially).  One of my first students was RevKess (Philipp Kessler), co-founder of Pagan Musings Podcast and Pagan Weekly News and Musica Pagani all available here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pagan-musings

He is also an up and coming writer in the Pagan world (http://paganactivist.com/2015/03/19/elder-care-who-cares-for-the-caregiver/) (https://revkessreviews.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/threshold-by-chronilus/) He has been an inspiration and seems to encourage me in my madness! (lol Love ya Phlil!)

So what am I doing and what does this have to do with the title of this post?  Well, Thursday I was sitting at work and I got a wild hair….and the interaction went something like this (oh by the way, and you may have guessed this, my primary deity is Kernunnos…been with me about 46 years now so our relationship is somewhat informal…more on that another time!):

“I can’t do that…that’s totally nuts!  I’m way too busy as it is!” I said to myself in my mind, “There’s no way.”

“Of course you can…” he says as he walks into my office flops down in the chair and drapes a leg over the arm. “What is it that you think you can’t do?”

“I can’t write a blog! Why would I ever even think about writing a blog?”

“Maybe because it’s something you’re supposed to do?” he said, flipping his long auburn hair over shoulder and smirking at me.

“What do I have to say that anyone would be interested in hearing?”

“What don’t you have to say?” he says…only rolling his eyes a little and still looking amused

“I didn’t even call you here…why are you arguing with me?” I say to him a little annoyed

“Because somebody has to and that’s just your negative self-talk going.”

“Look I’m the one that’s a therapist!”

“Yes, and I’m a God.”

“What are you even doing here anyway ? I’m at work and you’re bothering me…” I say, trying to get away from the whole idea.

“I’m here because you are stressing and you know that work, and home, and spiritual life are all the same thing, so I go where I’m needed…so what’s the real problem?”

And the discussion went on from there and no matter what I tried, I knew that this is where I was going to end up.  So here I am…the night before our Eostarra ritual, creating a brand new fresh and shiny blog.  It will probably wander a lot.  It will have original writings and maybe more information on our Tradition…I hope you find it interesting!  Let me know, ok?  Maybe you will give me an excuse NOT to do this that He will accept! *lol*