Vintage flowers

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Give it to the Mountain

Work has been blechy lately. Busy. Oh so busy. Budget time, deadline time, audition time, busybusybusy. Everyone seems to be stretched for time and patience, grating on each others' nerves, and trying to invent more hours in an immutably 24-hour day.

The only saving grace is that despite the frigidly cold weather, I can still get my daily walks in. Walk to and from work, and a little half-hour jaunt on my lunch break. It just gives that little mental break that allows you to come to he desk with that little extra patience, the smile, and a kind word.

My boss is a great outdoors enthusiast. Hiking, biking (that's her idea of a vacation!), back-country skiing, rock climbing, you name it she's probably done it. She takes her lunch break everyday outside, usually hiking the small mountain trail nearby everyday. We were chatting the other day about stupid, ridiculous people, getting yelled at for things that are not your fault, and just the unfairness of it all! She told me there are some days when she laces up her boots, heads out for her lunchtime hike "and that mountain is a little smaller after I'm done with it. Just give it to the mountain, it can take it."

Ah-HA! Something finally clicked into place. Visualization is not the only way to release your negativity into the earth! I have lot of trouble with visualization, it's a major snag I've uncovered when working through the Pagan 101 books. My mind is always sitting there in the background saying "it's not real, you know.  You can't really feel anything, can you?" But here my very non-pagan boss-lady had the key. Take it out on the mountain. Let your shoes pound the trail, let all your anger and frustration drain through feet and into the earth. These mountains have been standing for thousands of years. They can take it. Let the air fill your lungs and with each exhale your soul unburdens and becomes a little lighter. And while you're busy taking it out on the mountain, the mountain takes care of you. The trees, the breeze, the scenery....the tourists you blaze past...all serve to make things a little better. Yes, especially blazing past the tourists. And trust me, with my lungs burning and blood pounding this is very much something I can feel.

I'm not quite sure how I can incorporate this into a practice (aside from being a very good reason to get off my butt and get outside), but I'm certainly going to do it the next time someone sends a snarky note about me to the outgoing president of my company (...and the incoming president....and 4 members of the board...)....just give it to the mountain.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Hallowe'en 2011

Another Hallowe'en come and gone, another year I keep pronouncing "Sow-en" as "Sam-hane." I just can't break myself of that habit, I always see "Sam-hane" whenever I read "Samhain". Other practicing pagans must have this problem, I can't be the only one.

Sowen/Samhain/Hallowe'en, call it what you will, it was yesterday. And, I did virtually nothing to celebrate. Bad pagan, bad pagan! It was supposed to be a super busy day with work and a class in the evening, I wasn't even going to be home for the trick-or-treaters. Honestly...I hadn't planned ahead or done much of anything. I didn't have any decorations, was at a loss for a ritual that I could do in a rush with my bf hanging over my shoulder, and didn't even have a pumpkin.  Halfway through the day I found out that my class was canceled for that night, so I came rushing home after work to get ready for trick-or-treaters. Woohoo, small children in adorable costumes! I've never gotten to hand out candy before, so I was definitely looking forward to it.  I live in an apartment, but my balcony is on the main floor facing the road so I figured we'd at least get some people coming by. I sent the boyfriend to the store to pick up a pumpkin along with dinner, but wouldn't you know all the pumpkins are gone by 6pm on Hallowe'en night. Not to fear, Martha Stewart to the rescue! I used an idea out of last year's Halloween magazine (I bought it to read on a flight. Don't judge me! :P) and carved a butternut squash instead!

The Screaming Squash

Not too shabby, eh?

Despite my wonderful carved creation, we didn't get a single kid at our balcony, not a one. *sad face * :( I had to resort to yelling at people I knew walking down the street and forcing candy on them. Okay, it was just one person. But he did take the candy. Then we invited some friends over and ate the rest of the candy while watching Star Wars: Return of the Jedi on Blu-Ray.  And that's it. C'est tout.

So a very last-minute and un-pagan-y Halloween. I just couldn't find the energy to come up with my very own Samhain ritual, and now that the holiday has passed I probably won't. Also, I still feel very stupid doing rituals if I know that someone (aka the boyfriend) could walk in while I'm doing it. How about you? What did you do to celebrate the witches' new year?