Monthly Archives: February 2013

Listen to the Seasons

I’ve always believed seasons here in New Brunswick were the right length, because as much as we love each one, as it draws to a close we are ready to move on. Right now is a perfect example. I think everyone loves that romantic first snowfall heralding the end of the year. The popular ideal of Christmas is a white one, and for me personally I still hope for a Christmas snow storm like in all those claymation holiday specials. After the holidays, we enjoy a couple of months of sitting by a cosy fire or reading a book while a heavy blanket of snow covers the earth. Then, as the Spring Equinox approaches…we’re ready for it all to be over. Right now I long to see growing grass and budding flowers, and feel a warm breeze on my face.

Like many pagans, I try to find inspiration and guidance from nature and it’s cycles. I find myself wondering what this eagerness for seasons to change might be trying to say? What is it saying about this spiritual path I’m on? What does it say about my (hopefully) constantly evolving sense of pagan identity? What does it say about the people in my community, and how I interact with them? There’s not going to be one answer for any of these, but it’s interesting to think about.

Sometimes we have an early Spring, and the turmoil of dealing with Winter storms easily transitions into sighs of contentment watching the wind blow through the new leaves on the branches of still mostly bare trees. Sometimes a Summer heat wave persists beyond our patience, and we find ourselves angry in an eternal furnace of frustration. I know I personally find myself melancholy in Autumn, reminded of past loss and sometimes feeling like the upcoming holidays won’t be enough to overcome it. Then with Winter, after the big holidays, comes a hermit like period of isolation that eventually leads to cabin fever.

So what might these things mean?

Spring finally wearing through Winter’s blanket reminds me that sometimes the most calming change comes through patience rather than action. The frustration of Summer’s heat, as all encompassing as it seems at the time, eventually fades to echoes until we once again look forward to a Summer’s day – which tells me when I feel angry at someone or something and never want to see it again…eventually I might be okay with it. The return of Autumn’s loss is healthy, and deserves it’s time, but we can’t dwell on bad things and must to be open better times returning. The message I feel from Winter right now is fairly modern: it’s easy to feel contentment in a cocoon of high speed internet and digital cable, but when the snow melts it’s important to pull yourself away from that and find yourself face to face with other people.

There are dozens if not hundreds of different seasonal transitions, and ten times as many things that each of those might mean, but these are the thoughts coming to me now. I guess the important thing is to accept that while life is made up of cycles, each cycle still has it’s own identity and is different from those that came before. We still have to engage with them each and every time to find how to deal with them and to see where they might take us.

page-breakMike CMike C. is a geeky Pagan, living a quieter life with his loving wife in Riverview, NB

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Minimizing

I’ve been flirting with minimalism for a long time.

Minimalism is about having what you need. It’s about letting go of things that take up space and time that you would rather devote to something else. It’s a life style that encompasses everything from spiritual awakening to monitoring your carbon footprint. There is a form of minimalism for nearly anyone.

I consider minimalism to be a spiritual affair. Embracing empty spaces and keeping only the possessions that I use is an act of faith. I believe that I will be alright without truckloads of odds and ends. I am not afraid of wanting for anything because I believe I will have the opportunity to acquire things. I will get what I need when I need it.

Lots of people would call me a minimalist. I am not a person who hangs on to “things”. Even as a teenager, while other girls were filling scrapbooks with memento’s and photos and odds and ends I was rummaging through drawers to locate and annihilate anything I didn’t need. In my twenties I was as likely to live in a tent or a hut as a house, and paring down my possessions was a matter of necessity. As I have gotten more settled, my list of items has crept up.

These days, I have too much stuff. I live in a tiny house, with limited storage space. I chose this house on purpose – and I knew that it would severely limit the amount of stuff that I could expect to bring home. I prefer my possessions to be useful, decent looking, well maintained, multipurpose, properly stored and long lasting. I can guarantee that about half the things I own right now, do not fit those criteria.

When you settle into one residence and stay for a number of years, you bring things home. People give you things. Your junk drawer overflows and your closet suddenly houses shady characters you don’t quite recognize. I have lived in this house for long enough to have accumulated things I don’t use, don’t want or in some cases don’t even remember.

Over the past few weeks I have been doing some purging. I’ve been sorting various drawers and cabinets and really examining my possessions. I ask myself, if I charged this item rent for living here, would it have enough opportunity in any given year to work off the debt? In an embarrassing number of cases, the answer is no. If an item is not able to earn its keep, it must fall into one of two categories. It is either a sentimental item that makes me happy, or it is just “stuff” and can be removed. I am a big fan of donating unused and unsuitable possessions. I’ve practiced it most of my life.

There are things that I will never part with, even though I only enjoy them once a year – like certain Farley Mowat books I have been reading since I was in grade two. There are a few movies that I love and watch over and over. These are things I will always come back to, and consider worth having at my finger tips.

Over the next few weeks I will be continuing my purging project, and probably slipping in some spring cleaning. Most of the items I no longer wish to house will be donated to friends, family or charity or sold online. I will store a few very sentimental items that I can’t part with but don’t wish to display.

Minimalism does not have to be about creating a sterile existence and living like a monk. It can be, if you want – but in my case it is about accountability. I want to possess the things I need or enjoy, without being possessed by them. I believe that creating empty spaces encourages creativity. I know for a fact that a clean and uncluttered living space will triple my productivity, drastically boost my mood and increase my energy level.

What are you hanging on to?

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Katie P is writer, reader, drummer and certifiable nature nut. She lives rural New Brunswick, where she spends far too much time frolicking in the bulrushes. She also blogs at Wyldwomyn.ca

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Waiting No More

I have been thinking a lot about what I want out of life spiritually, physically, and mentally. I have been devoting a lot of inner talk to those three ubiquitous attributes that I so desire to feel complete and solid. Over the years that inner voice has been negative, damming, and chaotic. But I feel that a new voice is taking over. After years of being lost, I have once again come full circle. Once again found my path.

Druidism is something that called to me when I first realized I didn’t have to be Christian. I was raised by a very strict Roman Catholic and thought that was my lot in life. Then I studied, and I learned and I grew. I realized quite by chance that whilst studying Pagan societies that I could be Pagan. ME. It was a shock to the system – but one filled with excitement at this new prospect, this new path so suddenly cleared of spiritual debris.

I spoke with friends and one broached the subject of Wicca with me, and I began studying all things Wicca. I absorbed the information I read both in books and online. I read about alternative options – there wasn’t just one form, there were many Pagan and Heathen paths! I was astounded. I created a website in hopes of helping myself clear the clutter, and with the hope that it would help others as well.

Then it all came crashing down in conjunction with personal struggles…and for more then five years this is how I felt…

 What am I waiting for

The dawn has come
lush with new life
and
I am standing still.

Holding back
from what
I know can be
from what
I should be…

What am I waiting for?

I feel the energy
flowing through my veins
I know what
it tells me,
what
I should be.

What am I waiting for?

It pulses through me,
like a concert
of life telling me
what
I should be.

I hold on,
hold on to the everyday
while
I should be
on that plane
where my dreams will
be reality

What am I waiting for?

I’m not waiting anymore. I finally broke down my brick wall, bit by bit, piece by piece. I wrote about renewal in my last post, and I feel it even more fervently now then I did at that time. I patiently (not really) await my first Gwersi (weekly lessons) from the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids to arrive so that I may embark on a path that initially sparked a flickering flame. But I’m not waiting for it, in the meantime I have begun to read other books on Druidry, planning my spring time gardens, looking into growing fresh herbs again, and have been in the process of revamping my website.

There is an excitement and anticipation in all of this. One I am abundantly ready and willing to share.

I’m breathing it all in deeply. Once again I feel the presence of world energy all around me. It’s exciting, inspiring, and energizing. Over the coming months I hope to share this resurgence with you and explore what is to come. I feel a flame burning within that was but a mere spark before. Are you feeling inspired? If so, what are you waiting for?

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Reverse Tattoo

Crowwitch is a spectacular balance of chaos and order. This energetic hockey, soccer, ringette, karate, mom works hard to keep up with her two brilliantly funny children, and enjoy some quiet time with her devoted partner in the evenings. She also maintains a personal website called Crowwitch.

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