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Flying in the Face of the Lammas Season…

***Excerpts from my Blog Post “Lammas and the Autumn Season“***

The Feast of Lammas is upon us!

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Wait, what?  What is this silly Hobbit talking about? Last year, I wanted to go into a new series installment called The Wheel of the Year.  I’d like to think I hit every holiday, but I don’t know right now, I have to go back and check on my past blogs!

Lammas (in Christian/Catholic context meaning “Loaf Mass”), is also called Lughnasadh. (pronounced Loo Nah Sah).  It is a Celtic Sabbat/Holiday that begins the first of the 3 major Harvest Festivals.  Oh, by the way, I wanted to educate those who say Celtic wrong.  Celtic is pronounced *KELL-TICK*.  NOT *Sell-Tick*. Okay, I admit, that rubs me the wrong way in so many ways.  It’s like someone called the Amish with the pronunciation *AY-MISH* or Italian like *EYE-TAL-YUN*.  To me, it’s a bit insulting, and it can truly drive many enthusiasts like myself, mental.  For some reason, many sports teams that have the word Celtic pronounce it Sell-tick, but I can assure you, the proper right way to say it is how I mentioned it above.  Okay, moving on….

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Lammas! Ohhhh I how love me some Harvest holidays! It’s probably one of the reasons why Thanksgiving is one of my favorite Holidays!  There is something about the word “comfort” that drives all of us to find our own sense of the word.  For me, comfort means my home.  And it’s going to be extra special since this will be our first FULL autumn in our new home!  It means all the stuff I love around me.  It means listening to music I love, smelling aromatic candles, drinking an amazing tea, reading a good book, a nice casserole in the oven, my husband and children around me.  That’s comfort.  Comfort is a rainy day in the autumn, when you wake up and realize you don’t want to get out of your pajamas.  And you don’t.  Whoever said  you have to get up every morning and get dressed like in your Sunday best everyday is for the birds!  People are going to accept you, whether you have makeup on, or going au natural.

Comfort is taking a nap in the middle of the afternoon on that said rainy day, smelling the rain and feeling the cool air coming in.  I love days like that.  But comfort is different for each person.  What is your form of comfort?  Think about it and write a list out.  When you realize what things make you feel comforting, then do what you can to make it happen!

Lammas is the beginning of the Harvest.  The first seeds planted in Spring are now ready to be picked of their ripened fruit.  Many will start to see the hay barrels in the fields from farmers picking their crops.  This is a good time to start thinking about what you are going to plant in the Autumn for next year!  Spring bulbs may be on sale in grocery stores or produce markets, so this is a great time to make a list of what you want to see pop up in Spring of next year!  Sadly, my garden has taken an INCREDIBLE beating this year with the heat and humidity of the Summer.  So much has died and withered, and I just wasn’t home enough to tend to them, OR I was home and the heat was too hard to bare, I couldn’t even get outside or my lungs would have flared up tremendously from how weak they get during this time of year.  So, I stay indoors and work on my dried herbs I already was able to harvest, as well as work with my tinctures and teas, and even today, I baked Soda Bread!!!!  YUM!

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August 1st is the Feast Day of the Celtic deity, Lugh (hence the name Lughnasadh).  Lugh was revered by many as the man who sacrificed himself to give people the comfort of a good harvest.  He was in ancient times known as the Corn God.  Understandably why corn is usually harvested this time of year.  Nevertheless, this is a time of turning inward.  Just the beginning of it, though.  We are still in the throes of hot and humid weather, with lots of sunny days and warm nights ahead of us.  But the air is changing, and many can feel it right now.  Some associate it with the beginning of school, and whatever you need to do to understand why we are in the process of a season change, go with what feels good.

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Right now, in my home, we are continuing our path to organization by preparing ourselves for what we hope to be an annual yard sale!  I promised myself come hell or high water we were going to get this house situated for living, and although we’ve been here for 9 months, we still have boxes to go through (yeah, I know).  Living with people who have a hard time purging old things, rooms can get pretty crowded in here quickly.  So, my daily talks about how good we feel when we are uncluttered I am hoping are getting into their heads!  I hope to be starting the autumn season with lighting some fall candles, and I don’t know about you, but it just feels right to do this now.  I love going to places like AC Moore and looking at all the Autumn/Halloween goodies that are already out on display.  I love planning on how I’m going to decorate this year.  I think its good to change it up every year.  It always gives off a fresh energy when you change things around, even with decor that only stays up a few weeks.

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If you are interested in learning more about this upcoming season and how you can incorporate rituals in your life to make yourself more spiritually grounded with our Earth, keep coming back here, as I will have different ideas you can do to make this next season inspiring and fun!  Autumn is always easy, because there is SO much to do!  But remember: do what makes YOU feel good, instead of what everyone else is telling you how things should be.  You will be surprised how good it feels when you walk into this next Season doing things YOU love to do!

Next Saturday, my beloved Circle is getting together to celebrate this wonderful Season with great food and great drink, campfire and swimming, and crafts galore, and we continue as we always do, in perfect love and perfect trust.

As above so below, as within so without.

As the Universe, so the soul.  Blessings to you all!

Love, Peace and Macaroni and Cheese,

Bridget

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Feeling the Welcoming Shadows of Lammas…

First off, I cannot believe it is July 6th. I haven’t written in a long while, mainly it’s because I haven’t had moments like what I am having now.  I’m actually on vacation, or what we 9-5’ers call “Staycation”. I am home currently in my bedroom, lounging in bed, at 1:40 PM. The temperature outside is 95 degrees Fahrenheit and all my phone says is “Very HOT”.  No kidding.  Summer is in its full and unforgiving swing, with temperatures sweltering and the humidity sometimes unbearable.  I equally love and hate this time of year.  Our Independence Day celebrations here in the United States are FINALLY over, and hopefully our doggie Linus VanPuggle will fall back into his normal pattern (we had first-hand knowledge of what fireworks do to pets, and our neighbors setting off theirs at all times of the day resulted in our pup vomiting, shaking, dry heaving, and all other sorts of crazy anxiety-ridden ailments.

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(Fireworks and Pets DO NOT MIX)

On top of that, we had some pretty crazy stormy weather move in a couple days ago, which prompted our pool to change to a pretty color algae-green.  Yuck.  So, my boys and I are stuck indoors today while our pool is getting its much needed shock treatment to get it back to it’s pretty crystal clear blue.

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(Before the storms)

But as someone who follows the seasons (as you know), even with the heaviness of the heat and humidity, I can already FEEL the change in the air.  I knew this would happen since we had an early Spring.  So, naturally, the smell in the air is incredibly intoxicating with the musty scent of woods and grass, acknowledging that although Summer is very much the in season right now, Autumn is beginning its whisper.  And why wouldn’t it?  Just as it is in October we are wanting the Winter holidays, then in January, people start wanting Spring.  And it April, people long for the long Summer, so by July, Autumn is beginning to beckon us.  It’s who we are and we should NOT ignore the most basic of our bodies calling.  I talk about this every year and yet it still is important to mention.  Before religion became a “thing” in this world, the people ONLY had the Sun, the Moon, the Stars and the ever changing seasons.  Traditions and Spiritual paths are all based on this. Why we continue to fight this, I’ll never understand.

Yet here we are.

The last few days I had delved hard into the bedroom I share with my husband.  When we purchased this home a little over 9 months ago, neither of us had really any vacation time left.  So, I made a promise, that in the upcoming Summer, I would have a “proper” vacation, walking away from all work related calls, emails and the like, and settle on holing up in my home to do some proper nesting.  We went from a severely cluttered home to a “somewhat” cluttered home.  Trust me when I say, I feel like I’m living in a castle compared to what it had been!  We still have a lot to go through, and next month we are holding a massive yard sale to say buh-bye to those items no longer needed in our lives.  Anything we don’t sell, we are donating, or giving to my in-laws to continue to sell.  Either way, they are not coming back into this house.

I will say, I am rather bummed I cannot be outside right now, I know my plants are in need of my care. Sadly, my health and the outdoors in this type of weather don’t mix, and I don’t want to risk getting more sick. One can only hope we can get through the heat wave, and if not, I will continue to seed and plant, until Mother Earth tells me to settle in for the Winter.

Speaking of my garden, she’s not doing so well.  And as this is our first year here, I’m not surprised.  The ground is extremely brittle with areas of clay.  So, when watering, it just runs off.  I know it’s going to take another good year before I have good enough soil to get a better harvest.  My original goals of a decent harvest are continually being thwarted by this heat and the fact I get full sun for most of the day.  So, I really can’t water my plants after 7AM or they will get burnt by the sun.  Add the fact our house sits in what feels like a man-made wind tunnel, gardening this year has been completely exhausting.  And while I know the haters are laughing under their breath and desperately wanting to tell me “I told you so”, I know deep down it’s going to be okay, and that I just need to keep going.

(Sadly they don’t look this good anymore)

Kinda missing the Summer of 2014, now.  (For those on the East Coast of the US, it was the coolest and nicest Summer on record)

So, today I am painting.  Not walls, but canvasses. The Muse has been harnessed for a long time, sacrificing her time for a more rigid lifestyle of being an adult. The promise I made to myself when on this “vacation” from work to de-clutter my home, it was to de-clutter EVERYTHING.  So today, I am making space for my head and the right brained little girl who has been patiently waiting on the sidelines to come out and play.

(Couple little things I played around with today)

As I look outside and see the thick haze of the air, prompting the weather guys to issue a necessary air quality warning, I sit inside the imitation coolness of air conditioning, I quietly acknowledge change is indeed in the air.  This year in particular has gone incredibly fast. Which only solidifies my continuing argument that we are never guaranteed the next minute, and we can never get back the one that just passed. Be in tune with your breath.  Be in tune with your change. It’s who we are, it’s how we are. I for one, welcome the upcoming quieter time of the year.  But in the meantime, I will continue my lounging session for the day, before gearing back up to de-clutter more things around my home tomorrow.

The Season of Lammas is approaching.  Can you feel the shadows of the season coming?

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Imbolc – The Season of Spring!

 

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(our deck to the back gardens – a good foot of snow has already melted from last weekend)

With the harsh weather that the East Coast was dealt last weekend, much of my excitement for warmer weather went right down the tubes.  I wish I understood why Winter makes me sad enough to want to hide from the world.  But, I have hope!  This Winter has not been bad at all, compared to other years.  The last couple years we were dealt with ridiculous polar vortexes coming from the Artic. But the El Nino phenomena we are experiencing this year, I am grateful for the above normal temperatures so far, even with the blizzard.

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(Plants are still growing in the winter at Mabon House)

I have been diving knee deep into my sweet friend’s Jacqui’s video blogs on her Green Witch Herb School Series.  And as I am typing this, I am watching her Imbolc videos and then it dawned on me…

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IMBOLC IS NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!  OH MY GOD!  Samhain is coming to a close.  And one of my two favorite seasons is about to hit!

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So, if you are reading my blog for the first time, I will explain what I am talking about.

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Imbolc (pronounced IMM-MOLCK), or in Christianized meaning, Candlemas.  It is the Celtic season of Springtime.  The time where our beautiful Earth’s alarm clock starts going off, and when many of our little animals begin to be born (such as goats, sheep, deer, bunnies, etc).  And like many of us, we tend to hit the snooze.  And that’s what she will be doing.  February 1st, St Bridget’s feast day, or the Goddess Brighid’s feast day, is coming up next week.  It is the time where we begin our planning for the seasons of life.

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For me, it really is the beginning of my year.  Many men and woman celebrate the Celtic New Year on Samhain, which is October 31st.  And in a way, I agree.  Yule, or Christmas, is the first holiday of the Celtic new year, which is the welcoming back of the Sun.  And now, we are approaching Imbolc, which allows the early buds of Spring to awaken.  Crocuses, Snow Drops, Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths, and other early Spring flowers, will begin to crack open their bulbs and slowly and surely reach out to the light of the sun.  Right now, my beloved bulbs are under a foot and a half of snow.  So, it can be difficult to celebrate the upcoming Spring with all that white on the ground!  But, never fear, Spring WILL come!  That’s the beauty of our world.  Spring always follows Winter.  And for me, Winter is almost over.

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I am sitting here at home today, because we were running out of oil and needed to wait for the oil guy to come today.  I am watching the Green Witch Herb School as I said above, and she is teaching people how to make your own besom with witch’s (scotch) broom flowers, raffia and a piece of driftwood.  I think it is important to craft things that you can hang or show in your own home, because it really empowers the energy of the house as YOUR home.  In this case, I love besoms.  I have brooms in almost every room, and there are brooms at every doorway.  In old folklore, a broom at every door is meant to protect each and every entrance into your home.  At our Lughnasadh celebration in 2014, I had all my Circle ladies make their own broom.  It was so much fun and I look forward to doing more with my ladies this upcoming year.  Sadly, I had to make a difficult decision over the weekend regarding relationships in my life.  I know I made the right decision, but it doesn’t make it any easier.  All in the journey, I guess.  And knowing that I no longer have anything in front of me that would be keeping me from moving on in my journey, it’s almost kind of perfect that Imbolc should be the next holiday.  It’s about new beginnings.  New journeys.  New paths.

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I am currently burning sage in my family room, and the house smells AMAZING.  It’s a shame it’s so cold out, as I love to open the doors and let the fresh air in.  Hopefully this will be a different story come next month.

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Today, since I am home, I will be preparing some of my seeds to be planted in my containers.  Wait?  Isn’t it the end of January?  Yup!  But, now that I have more room, as well as areas where I CAN sprout and seed my fruits and vegetables, I want to give them a head start so they will be super strong by the time they go in end of March, beginning of April.  Baby steps…

I give myself 10 years to make this whole.  To create a self-sustaining homestead based on permaculture principals.  I want to be able to video all of my journey, but I feel especially right now, my sad emotions from the cold weather are keeping me from doing so.  I hope, like I said above, that will change come next month.

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What are YOU doing to plan for Spring?

Ideas for Celebrating Imbolc:

  • Make a St. Bridget’s Cross
  • Create your Garden Planner
  • Light lots of white and red candles
  • Make or decorate a broom
  • Have a gathering of friends to plan your spring and summer
  • Create a sacred space for ritual and meditation
  • Burn sage and smudge your house for the upcoming season

 

 

The Demon Within…

One of the biggest things I deal with during this particular time of the year is the big D.  Most people know what I speak of, and I’m sure many of you are sitting on the other side of your computer nodding in complete and utter understanding.

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Depression, as many know, is when a chemical imbalance in our brains result in a disruption of some-sort, creating a sort of chaos in our bodies that causes hopelessness. Most times, depression is the result of a tragedy a person experiences, whether it be a death, break-up, or any of loss of “something”….Sometimes, in my case, it could be just a simple explanation of the weather 5 feet from me.  It is one of my biggest struggles I face with in life, and every year I pray and pray that somewhere, somehow, this feeling of sadness would end.

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So, let’s talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)….

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It goes without saying that everyone, both of human and animal alike, NEED sunlight.  The vitamins coming from the sun gives off so much energy and a pulse of life itself, there is no wonder why people love to “Sun bathe”.  Sadly, for me, I’m a Celt by blood.  A mixture of Irish, English, Scottish, and German.  So, putting my pasty self outside for more than a few moments will cause my skin to scream.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t love to be out in the sun.  It’s why I am a morning person, so to speak…(I say that because during the Monday-Friday deal, I’m not really worth talking to in the morning, but that’s a whole other story LOL)

In the Northern Hemisphere, at the time of Litha, otherwise known as Midsummer or the Summer Solstice, the Sun is at his prime, beaming down with such veracity, it even finds the shadiest of places.  But sadly, after that prime day of days, the Sun begins its fall.  And within 6 months, the Sun, although still shining, does not have the luster and awe that we had just a few months before.  For many people, this time is the beginning of Winter.  And we start our slow climb back to the manifestation of the gifts the Sun gives us in the Spring and Summer.

So, during the time after the holiday and New Year season ends, there is a period of silence.  Nothing really happens until the next little break, which is Valentine’s Day.  And then, after that, is the Spring Equinox, Ostara, or as many know it to be, Easter.

What do we do during this period?  Well, for me, I kind of go crazy and start cleaning and regrouping my life, creating goals for the warmer weather to come, all while taking care of my mind, body and soul, who is sadly ill-at-ease over the lack of warm sunlight, growth and overall life.

It’s why I love living myself according to the Celtic Seasonal Calendar.  It makes sense for me, because I always was like a month early to prepare for each season/holiday.  In just a few weeks, MY Winter will be over.  On February 1st, I celebrate the feast day of St. Bridget, who holds the keys of the kingdom for my favorite Season: Spring.

February 1st in the Celtic Calendar is the Season of Imbolc (Pronounced IMM-OLCK).  It is the beginning of the Springtime, the time where our Mother Earth is stirring and beginning her slow process of “waking up”.  Just as we, each morning, open our eyes, stretch our arms and legs, and get reacquainted with the morning and the light, so does Mother Earth.  The soil, through its Winter hibernation, begins to warm up, allowing the seeds within the soil to take heed and blossom.  One of the greatest gifts we can get in the Early Springtime are Crocuses.  They are Mother Nature’s quiet little trumpets, usually peeking up within the snow and cold ground, alerting us all that warm weather IS coming back.  That is the beauty of this planet.  Of where I live.  We know Spring follows Winter.  It’s how life is.

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So, what do I do in the meantime?  Even as I type this out, on this lazy Sunday morning, I feel sad.  Sad because going outside would require me to bundle up because the air is SO cold, it would actually hurt my skin.  Make my eyes water.  Even the “smell” of life, is not there.

What makes me gaga over being outside?  Feeling the grass beneath my bare feet.  Smelling the seasonal flowers breezing through the air.  Seeing the magnificent trees, shrubs and bushes blossom with beautiful green leaves…In the Celtic myths, Autumn and Winter meant Jack Frost was out and about, dropping hints of frost and ice among everything alive, telling them it’s time to die or go to sleep….In the Spring and Summer Months, Jack in the Green is our go-to guy.  He is the one who warms the skies and the Earth, and instead of frost, we have beautiful droppings of dew.

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(one of MANY Jack in the Green Parades held every year in Europe)

This is what makes my pulse quicken, my heart smile and my soul beam.  Warmth, light….like Persephone feeling so out of touch down in the Underworld, where she could not use her Gift with the Living World, and patiently waited until it was time for her to go back up, and be among the Living again, to feel the warmth of the Sun on her skin…Yes, I feel the exact same way.

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Since going off all Depression and Anxiety medicine, and opting for my Kratom intake, I can honestly say it hasn’t been TOO smooth sailing.  Of course it would be easy for me to put some chemicals into my body and numb myself…but it would be a disservice to me to do so.  I know not everyone agrees with me on that.  I always welcome other’s opinions and ideas…it’s just…it’s not for me.  I’ve been very careful over the last several years to deal with my addiction to pain killers…and for someone like me who is always in some kind of pain, it’s an easy excuse for me to pop a pill and call it a day.

No, as much as times like these where I wish I had something to numb my physical and emotional pain of the Winter, I know that in the end, it helps me SEE who I really am, because I am completely bare and open to the senses entirely.  I feel things now more than I ever have.  So, yes, the depression sucks.  But I also know, that there are times I feel such immense joy, that knowing I wouldn’t even feel an inch of that when trying to control my depression with medicine, gives me the honest knowing that I’m doing the right thing.

Don’t get me wrong:  I think about taking something every day.  Even right now, I feel incredibly blue (Get it?  Winter “blues”?) and staring at the walls may be what I need right now to numb the sadness of the lack of life outside….

This depression began in 2001.  And slowly progressed as the years went on…Now that I am in the beginning stages of my body slowing down and turning into the Crone, I feel this even more.

How do I deal with it?  It’s a demon inside of me I deal with every day between Thanksgiving and about Mid-March.  For some people it’s less time, and for others, it’s more.  It feels like the Postpartum depression I had for the first 4 weeks after my son’s birth.  It begins as a nagging feeling, that turns into a feeling of dread.  Dread?  Yup, dread.  It overtakes me like a demon overtakes a human…I cry at everything and anything, I sleep more, I stare more, and I tend to lash out more.  My husband, sons, parents, sisters and closest friends know it the depression talking.  The know this silly little hobbit doesn’t usually act like this, and know how to approach me during my times of struggle.  They know and respect the fact I don’t want chemicals in my body.  They are patient and kind, and allow me the time and patience I need for myself to understand how my body reacts to this rough season.

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(seriously, whoever created these are a GENIUS)

Kratom certainly helps, but, it is just a band aid.  It does NOT take away the full feelings.  But it does lessen the load.  And the best part?  It does not numb me.  If there could be anything that I hate, it is the numbness of my body, mind and soul.  To lose the essence of your life just because there’s a period of time each year where I feel sad, it’s just not enough for me to make that kind of decision.  That’s not for me to judge anyone who DOES.

So, for the next few weeks, I will be quietly tinkering away at my new home.  Putting things in their place, and dealing with the sadness I not only feel for the cold months, but for other things I cannot control.  It’s a continued lesson in humility, and I love that I’m always up for the challenge, no matter how tired and sad I’m feeling at the moment.

What makes me happy during the colder months?

  • Music – Usually Celtic/Irish/Scottish music, 80’s Pop, and some Sacred World music, from either Lisa Thiel, Snatnam Kaur, or Spiral Dance
  • Painting – I am still trying to find my easle, but the moment I do, I’m off!
  • Festivals – There is an amazing Scottish and Irish Festival that happens in February, and it truly lifts up my spirits EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
  • Garden Planning – For the first time since 2007, I will have my own garden again.  Planning it has definitely helped tremendously during this time.
  • Snuggles – My boys know all these need to do is snuggle up to me, it will bring a big smile.  I love my family.
  • Cleaning – I tend to light A LOT of incense that smells of lavender, jasmine, and other springy smells…as well as light lots of candles…and the smell of Pine Sol?  OMG Don’t go there with me…it’s like heaven haha!
  • Ritual – if there is anything I love to do, is to be in ritual with myself.  That time you give to yourself, whether it is meditating, chanting, praying, or even something simple like taking a nice, warm bath…yes, it helps a great deal.

I know there are probably more, but these are the big ones.  Tell me about what you do!  I am always looking for suggestions.

Lots of Hobbit Love,

Bridget

 

Thanksgiving Sale at the Spiral Willow!!!!!

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Everything in the Spiral Willow store is Buy 1 Get 1 for 50% off!

Save on Oracle and Tarot Readings by taking $5.00 off when you order one of my readings!

Wishing you all a wonderful and blessed holiday here in the US!

***Good through Sunday, 11/30/2015***

 

Samhain and the Time of No Time…An Earth Spiritualist’s POV…

wheel_of_the_year    Today I was listening to the Starz’ Series Outlander Volume 1 and 2 Soundtrack on my computer and couldn’t help but feel a jolt of excitement.  Samhain is coming up next week, and if anyone has watched the Outlander Series, Claire’s journey begins on the feast of Samhain.  (Mind you, the book is different and shows that her journey begins on Beltane, but I kind of like this change, since Samhain is literally strewn in mystery, which is what time traveling is all about, right?)

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Samhain.  The end and yet the beginning of the Celtic New Year.  Halloween itself started about 1300 years ago in the Celtic Isles, however Samhain has been around much much longer than that.  This Holy Day, was the original holy day of obligation that many today know it as All Saints/All Souls Day.  The ORIGINAL holiday was called Samhain or Samhuinn (pronounced SAH-WHEN).

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(Samhain Ritual and Celebration at Columcille Megalith Park in Bangor, PA 2013 – Photo taken by Sean DeStephano)

So, how can I go from understanding myself as a Galactic Starseed during this Ascension process yet still can resonate with my Earthly bound needs?  Well, for me it’s quite simple.  Our souls are galactically bound to the Heavens, to our Creator.  It’s so vast and so strong and powerful, there is no denying where our souls come from. (at least in my opinion).  However, we are humans of the Earth right now, and we asked to be a part of this planet to learn the lessons our souls need right now.  And there is no doubt, no doubt, in my mind, how connected I am to Mother Earth.

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From gardening, to the Moon, to understanding my body’s wants and needs, and how this is all connected to the core of my humanness, my soul.  See, what many people don’t either understand or care to want to educate themselves on is that these Earth Spirituality faiths were the original religions.  Yes, I know it may come as a shock to many, but these “religions” came before Judiasm, before Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and so on.  What has happened today is that Jesus’ legacy was severely altered by subjecting those followers to believe that honoring the planet we walk upon should be viewed as “evil”.  Men perversed the Earth religions because it overpowered their own beliefs.  How the written word has literally been changed time and time again over thousands of years.  How sad is that????  Think about it this way:  You decide to start a company.  You begin in the trenches and work your way from the bottom.  Then, something happens…people start buying into your business.  You make enough money and some big investment firm offers you a proposition that you simply could NOT turn way.  You leave your company in the hands of those who never knew what you had to do to get where you are today.  Fast forward 5 years, and everything you originally started the company was no longer there.  The product changed.  The logo changed.  The mission statement changed.  Everything you thought of, dreamed of, was gone.  Why?  Because someone else decided they wanted to make it different.  And all it takes is a little marketing and boom….it’s a new brand.

This is precisely what happened here.  The old religions were shunned aside, making way for something different.  And I mean, come on, let’s look at Christianity.  The teachings Jesus taught.  Do you REALLY think that’s what the church stands for today?  I’m not looking for debate here, I’m not looking to insult anyone’s faith.  In fact, I love Christianity.  Well, the way it WAS, at least.  I live in a way, a Christian life.  I am kind to EVERYONE, even those who have hurt me.  I forgive.  I work hard and am humble. (at least I try to be).  I try to set a good example for my children.  I am loyal.  And I believe EVERYONE is welcome to enjoy the glories of eternal life, no matter WHAT faith you walk by.

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But see, I’m more than that.  I wish you could feel what I feel when I go outside at night and look up at the Moon.  Or when I light some incense and close my eyes and think about how I can be a better person in life.  Or a take a set of cards and lay them out, trying to find out what I need to do to work on myself.  Or when I stand in front of a table, with statues or pictures of people I love and honor, and pray to help me here in life.  Now, let me ask you:  Do I sound like a person who is evil?  Do you think I am playing with fire?  Because that’s truly what people think.    I’ve learned to let it go, no matter how much it breaks my heart.  But my love of this planet, my creator, and everyone around it is MORE important than a few people who think I am damned to eternal fires.  It just has to be this way.

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(The Moon from our deck just now)

This coming weekend I will be spending a quiet evening with a couple of people I am incredibly close to.  My next of kin outside my own blood family.  And we will be honoring those who have passed on, especially those in the last year.  I have a list of friend’s relatives, family and friends who have been asked to be put on my special intentions list, and we will be remembering them that evening.  I will call them to join us for dinner, and to stay with us in deep and spiritual meditation, reminding them how much they were loved here, and how they will never be forgotten.  In Latin communities, they call it Dia De Los Muertos.  In Christian communities, they call it All Saints/All Souls Day.  Again, let me ask you, why is it okay for those in those communities to do what I do, yet what I do is evil?  Asking people to let down their guard, as well as their egos, can be quite a challenge.  But I always welcome this conversation, because I believe everyone has a right to believe in what they believe in.  And as long as they respect me the way I respect them, we will live in more harmony.

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(Ritual of Dia De Los Muertos in Mexico)

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(Catholic Cemetery honoring All Souls Day in Bangladesh)

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(Traditional Altar honoring the ancestors at Samhain)

Samhain is a time of reflection, a time where we go into a void until the Winter Solstice, which is the beginning of Yule, the welcoming back of the sun, or in Christian communities, the Son.  I love this time of year, because it is an amazing experience to really go inward, and let go of your ego, and you realize what true humility is like.  It’s precious, and I take advantage of every moment I have in reflective solitude.

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I am going to begin doing classes for those who are interested in my path.  I look forward to helping people on their path, whether it is along my side, or on a different road.  Either way, I will always be there for those who need me.

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Another great thing about the next several weeks of being in “no time”, is in that reflection, I will find more time for my art.  My art in writing, painting, drawing, and other crafts.  If you are interested in a painting or drawing or anything of that matter, please let me know.  I have found my best work, albeit in my poetry and artwork, always comes between November and the first 3 weeks of December.  My inspiration?  The skies at Sunset.  Trust me when I say they are extraordinary.

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(December 2013 Sunset near Appalachian Mountains)

Will you be participating in anything honoring your ancestors this week?  If so, how?  I love to hear about what everyone is going to be doing.

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Photo:Copyright JOE;CONLON;ATHBOY;;;

(Photo:  Joe Conlon)

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Well, this is new…

JOYHonestly I wasn’t going to be writing anything up for at least a few days.  I myself am nursing a bit of a tummy ache due to some over-indulging on amazing foods the last few days.  Thankfully due to my Kratom tea and Juice Plus I can easily say this is the first true year I did not get sick.  Don’t get me wrong, the sickness TRIED with all of its ugly might to get to me, but I really believe my immune system is getting stronger each day.  And being off of all my meds, this is indeed a miracle.

This holiday proved to be very nice and rather quiet.  We didn’t have my step-son on Christmas morning as this was his year to spend with his Mom.  So, it was just Scott, Timmy and I to see what Santa left under the tree.  While I watched with a big smile on my face as my son opened his gifts, I noticed something for the first time (I love when that happens), that I wanted to share.  It was a feeling of some sort, that I pretty much ignored until I got into my car to come home from Christmas dinner.  I wasn’t sure if anyone else feels this way, or at the very least, have a modicum of an idea of what I’m talking about.  But I thought it was definitely worth sharing.

Even with growing up in the household I did, where Christmas was literally THE BIGGEST thing to celebrate in my family, and even with all the giggles and joyful glees from the previous years even up to today when hugging my Mom and kissing her and loving the fact I got to celebrate Christmas at home with my family this year (Scott and I alternate each year), something was definitely changed.  

I noticed that my “holiday” spirit wasn’t really there.  Well, not like other years, at least.  I always found myself around Christmas Eve through Christmas Day to be in such a state of  such anxious happiness that at times I couldn’t contain myself (when I was 10 I threw up all night because my body couldn’t handle the nervous excitement I was going through), and it was profound enough for me to notice I didn’t have that this year.  Why?  Nothing much has changed.  In fact, financially we are a bit sounder than we have been in years.  But, as I was driving home from my Mom and Dad’s this afternoon, I realized I was thinking about how much I was looking forward to taking down the decorations.  But not for the reasons many would assume.  With society needing this almost perverted way to incorporate the Christmas commercialism of gifts and decorations galore earlier and earlier each passing year, many people tend to find themselves wanting to tear down the holiday décor and get back to ordinary time as soon as the gifts are unwrapped and before the dinner is digested.  So, I thought about that, and it wasn’t that reason either. It really started bothering me that I just didn’t feel any type of emotion of why THAT “spirit” wasn’t within me.  I was so happy, but not like I had been in previous years.

And then it dawned on me:  See, I AM happy.  The “spirit” within me never left.  In fact, it’s very much there.  What I didn’t realize is that the spirit within me has moved through me so much, that I can’t really determine what the “Christmas” spirit is anymore.  Because I celebrate life every day.  So, today was just like any other day, and I realize it doesn’t need to be “extra” special just because people observe the birth of Jesus, or the returning of the Sun, or whatever reason people celebrate this time of year.  For me, the spirit is ALWAYS in me, so there’s no need to have the “Christmas” spirit, because it lives through me every minute of every day.  I can’t tell anymore!  How crazy is that????

I am relaxed.  Happy.  Blissful.  Hopeful.  And in love with life.  I realized today I don’t need any specific holiday to get me into a special spirit.  Because the spirit and I are finally one, and it is indeed special. 

I can sure celebrate every holiday like I do each year, but now I have a better understanding of myself,  knowing full well that although the holidays gives us that “special” spirit, because that spirit lives and thrives within me continually, EVERY day is a holiday to me.

And that’s the fact, Jack. 

~ Bridget