Returning From Eleusis

I’m home. And yet I feel like I am in a strange place.

Eleusis, spring mysteries, spring mysteries festival, journey to Eleusis

It’s always difficult returning from extended magical space – whether it is a festival or a course or just time with loved ones – and moving back into the mundane day to day life. Returning from Eleusis is no different.

I was in a world outside of time and space, a world apart from the concerns of daily life. It wasn’t that time didn’t exist – there was definitely a sense of treasuring and honoring the moments that I had with the family that was not of my blood, serving my community in such a unique and special way.

I’ve been home nearly a week. I’m back at work, and done (most of) the laundry. Not everything is put away yet – there are still a few bits to get put back in their homes. I’ve even had an opportunity to rest. I was forced to rest, really. My body decided it was going to get sick and make me take a day to do nothing.

The most challenging part of coming back is reflecting on the lessons and integrating what I’ve learned. Once out of the magical space, it starts to fade, like waking from a dream.

One thing that doesn’t fade is the connection that I worked so hard to establish with the Goddesses I worked with in the months leading up to Spring Mysteries – Hekate and Ereshkigal.

These two work very well together. I even learned that in the Greek Magical Papyri, they were event conflated as Hekate-Ereshkigal. Many people are afraid of the Dark Mother and the Underworld. And I’ll admit, if you are not ready to meet Her, or your own Shadow, She can be frightening. She is not soft and gentle, though She is beautiful. Terrifyingly beautiful.

Hekate, and Ereshkigal, will hold you accountable. She will kick your butt to keep you going. She pushes you to grow. And I love Her for that. She pushed me a lot. She is STILL pushing me to be more, be better, keep growing, and keep serving.

If you’d like to meet these Dark Mothers, you can go for A Walk with Hekate, or A Walk with Inanna (to see Ereshkigal). Are you ready for the lessons She has for you?

Blessings,

Mary

I Give Up!

I’ve created a schedule for myself that is very demanding, which means it is also exhausting. I’ve been feeling guilty about many things that I haven’t been doing, including writing a blog post in several weeks.

The lessons of the Dark Mother have been on my mind as well (probably has something to do with working with Hekate and Ereshkigal). The main thing I’ve been hearing is “surrender”. It’s a theme I have cycled through before (a couple of times!).

In looking at The Power Path Monthly Forecast for March, I had a giggle: the theme of the month is SURRENDER!

Blessings,

Mary

That Escalated Quickly…

This weekend was a rare weekend without a rehearsal for Spring Mysteries. I got to stay at home, and sleep in. It was lovely!

That escalated quicklyMy plans for the weekend were mostly to work on costumes for the festival. And hopefully get the washing machine repaired. Oh yeah – that died last week. 🙁 No, the repair guy never showed up.

We got some new bookshelves last week, as well. It’s been on our wish list for quite some time. So part of the weekend plan was to set up the bookshelves. As a family.

We started about 1:30 on Sunday. And of course, it wasn’t just building the bookshelves. We ended up rearranging about half the house. And cleaning. All the cleaning!

Normally we have about one or two bags of garbage in a week. Two is a lot for us. Yesterday we took out two.

I think we swept the house at least a dozen times. Having a wood stove means a lot of debris gets brought in. And that gets scattered around the house.

I’m not a big fan of cleaning. I’m a terrible housekeeper, honestly.  Yet when I start cleaning, it’s usually pretty thorough. The only thing I didn’t do today is mop (and it may happen yet…). I wiped down walls (fine, not all of them), I dusted, and brushed off cobwebs. Yeah, there is still plenty of dust and cobwebs. And our living area is a lot cleaner than it was 24 hours ago.

We live in a small house, that we probably outgrew some time ago. Every once in a while we rearrange and adjust and make it livable again. Today was one of those days.

By 8:30 pm, we were all exhausted, and irritable, and very hungry. Too tired to make dinner. My (wonderful and amazing) husband took us all out for dinner. Thank you!

My day didn’t go as planned, and I’m probably going to be sore tomorrow. And I’m pleased with what DID get done today. Now, hopefully we can get the washer repaired!

Blessings,

Mary

Random Updates & Rehearsals

Lots of little random updates today…

Mary 2017-02-12

I thought I was taking video, not a picture! LOL!

My birthday is coming up, and so I signed up for Sephora’s Beauty Insider program to get my birthday present from them (free stuff is awesome!). I also recently learned about Kat Von D makeup, so I picked up a little of that. You can see the results in the video down below, as well as in the picture. I’m pleased with it! It’s expensive, and the quality is worth it, I think. Let’s just say I now understand why so many of my friends like their stuff!

Whole30 update: I said last week that I was extending. And I have, mostly. I’ve had some inadvertent, and some deliberate, contaminations. For example, wheat gives me belly cramps, even in small amounts. If I have a digestive tablet before and after eating wheat, I can minimize, but not eliminate, the belly cramps. And sugar is really a “food with no brakes”, as they call it in the Whole30 program. Having a little makes me want more. So I need to be strict with myself, because I actually prefer how I feel when I’m NOT having sugar.

Rehearsals for Spring Mysteries Festival are going well. We get to rehearse at this really cool shop in Seattle, called Edge of the Circle Books. There’s a little video below – I apologize for the quality. It’s an amazing shop, and I encourage you to give them some love, in the form of purchases, if you’re ever in the vicinity.

Did I mention my birthday is coming up? I think I might do a sale on my meditations – what do you think? Would you like that?

Blessings,
Mary

Extending my Whole30

30 days have come and gone. I’ve had no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no alcohol, and no sugar for over a month. Well, it’s possible I had a little bit of sugar – I prefer not to eat salad without dressing, and I’ve been eating out because of travel. However, it’s nowhere near the amount of sugar I had in my diet before.

It’s been an amazing month. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, though there were a few times when it WAS hard (can you say PMS – I want to eat ALL THE THINGS!). It’s also been a crazy month, with ups and downs in my health unrelated to my diet (thank you, sinus infection; NOT).

whole45So here’s the benefits I have received from eating this way:

  • My skin is clearer.
  • The eczema on my hands is reduced.
  • I’ve experienced less inflammation and pain.
  • My gall bladder has not been bothering me.
  • I wake up easier in the morning.
  • I have more energy.
  • I don’t get (as) winded climbing the (steep) stairs at work.
  • I can take the stairs at work faster.
  • I have more will-power.
  • I’m not (as) tempted by junk food.
  • Fewer cravings.
  • I don’t need caffeine to get through the day.
  • My energy is more sustained – I don’t crash at 2 pm, or 6 pm.
  • I’m more productive.
  • I sleep better.
  • I’ve started doing yoga again.
  • I don’t use food as a reward anymore.
  • I don’t comfort eat.
  • I completed what I said I was going to do!
  • I released 13 pounds.
  • I reduced an average of 2 inches in my measurements.

Now, those last two are happy side effects. They weren’t my main goals setting out. My main goals were more energy and less pain. I’ve definitely seen improvements! And I’m not quite where I would like to be.

So I’ve decided to extend another 15 days, and *then* start reintroducing some of the foods I’ve been avoiding. (My birthday is at the end of the month, so I want to be able to treat myself!) If I’ve seen this much improvement in 30 days, I’m hoping that continuing to eat healthier will continue to bring more improvement to my health.

Blessings,

Mary

Journey to Eleusis: Walking with Hekate

I’ve posted a few times already about my Journey to Eleusis this year, and I haven’t really talked about the Goddess I am working with yet. This year, I will be holding the energy of Hekate at Spring Mysteries Festival.

Temple of Hekate

“Hekate”
by Cassie Gendlek and Dusty Dionne
Model: Mary Malinski
Aquarian Tabernacle Church – ATC Intl.

Hekate is the patron Goddess of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church. She is known by many names – Torchbearer, Keeper of the Keys, Goddess of the Crossroads, Mother of Witches, Psychopomp…

In modern paganism, a lot of people see Hekate as the Crone face of the Triple Goddess, the wise woman. Others see her as the hidden fourth face, the Dark Mother. To the Greeks she was a young woman, or the triple Goddess all on her own (Hekate Trivia). One thing Hekate keeps telling me is, “Just because I am ancient doesn’t mean I am old!”

Walking with Hekate, I’m seeing more patterns in the world.

“It’s all been done before.”

“There is nothing new under the sun.”

Hekate has been around for a very, very long time. I personally believe she is pre-Greek. I believe she was a Goddess of Place, local to the area that became Greece, long before the Olympian mythology. Not unlike Brigid to the Irish, she was popular enough among the people that the incoming (invading?) religion could not push her out. So they included her as one of the Titans, one who came before the Olympians.

After the Titanomachy (the overthrow of the Titans by the Olympians), Zeus divided up the rule of the worlds between all those who had assisted him. Hesiod tells us:

And she [Asteria, wife of Perses] conceived and bore Hecate whom Zeus the son of Cronos honored above all. He gave her splendid gifts, to have a share of the earth and the unfruitful sea. She received honor also in starry heaven, and is honored exceedingly by the deathless gods. For to this day, whenever any one of men on earth offers rich sacrifices and prays for favor according to custom, he calls upon Hecate. Great honor comes full easily to him whose prayers the goddess receives favorably, and she bestows wealth upon him; for the power surely is with her. For as many as were born of Earth and Ocean amongst all these she has her due portion. The son of Cronos did her no wrong nor took anything away of all that was her portion among the former Titan gods: but she holds, as the division was at the first from the beginning, privilege both in earth, and in heaven, and in sea. Also, because she is an only child, the goddess receives not less honor, but much more still, for Zeus honors her. Whom she will she greatly aids and advances: she sits by worshipful kings in judgement, and in the assembly whom she will is distinguished among the people. And when men arm themselves for the battle that destroys men, then the goddess is at hand to give victory and grant glory readily to whom she will. Good is she also when men contend at the games, for there too the goddess is with them and profits them: and he who by might and strength gets the victory wins the rich prize easily with joy, and brings glory to his parents. And she is good to stand by horsemen, whom she will: and to those whose business is in the grey discomfortable sea, and who pray to Hecate and the loud-crashing Earth-Shaker, easily the glorious goddess gives great catch, and easily she takes it away as soon as seen, if so she will. She is good in the byre with Hermes to increase the stock. The droves of kine and wide herds of goats and flocks of fleecy sheep, if she will, she increases from a few, or makes many to be less. So, then, albeit her mother’s only child, she is honored amongst all the deathless gods. And the son of Cronos made her a nurse of the young who after that day saw with their eyes the light of all-seeing Dawn. So from the beginning she is a nurse of the young, and these are her honors.

~Hesiod, Theogony

We see here that she had a great many roles and honors, more than some of the Olympians even!

I’ll leave you with the lovely Orphic Hymn to Hekate:

Hekatê of the Path, I invoke Thee, Lovely Lady of the Triple Crossroads,
Celestial, Chthonian, and Marine One, Lady of the Saffron Robe.
Sepulchral One, celebrating the Bakchic Mysteries among the Souls of the Dead,
Daughter of Persês, Lover of Solitude, rejoicing in deer.
Nocturnal One, Lady of the Dogs, invincible Queen.
She of the Cry of the Beast, Ungirt One, having an irresistible Form.
Bullherder, Keeper of the Keys of All the Universe, Mistress,
Guide, Bride, Nurturer of Youths, Mountain Wanderer.
I pray Thee, Maiden, to be present at our hallowed rites of initiation,
Always bestowing Thy graciousness upon the Boukolos.

Blessings,

Mary

Rant and Rave: Shopping in the US

I’ve been traveling down to Washington state regularly. Shopping for food that is Whole30 compliant – RANT!

On the other hand, I found two amazing pairs of boots for significantly less than I would be able to buy them up here in Canada – RAVE.

Here’s to better luck next weekend!

Blessings,
Mary

Journey to Eleusis – It’s a LONG Journey

I’m probably more than a little crazy. Almost every weekend from January to Easter, I make the long, long trip from my home to Seattle (or sometimes Index) for a four hour rehearsal for Spring Mysteries Festival.

Is it worth it? Yes!

Whole30 update: Woo hoo! I’m half way through!

View from the ferryI’ve been having “food dreams” the past few days. I wake up feeling guilty about cheating. In my dream, I will have had a huge bottle of (not natural) lemonade, or a giant chocolate Santa. I don’t even wake up craving or wanting those things, just guilty that I consumed them, or disappointed that I have to start over.

And then I’m super grateful that I DON’T have to start over!

On a positive note, it’s easier to climb the stairs at work. We have two very steep sets of stairs at work. We jokingly call it our work out program. Before the Whole30, I would get quite winded climbing them. Now, I am much less winded when I get to the top. OK, still a little. And it is so much better! I can go up more quickly, too.

So, I’m starting to see improvements. Yay!

How was your week?

Blessings,
Mary

Journey to Eleusis – First Rehearsal

I’m very excited to be at “The Tab” (The Aquarian Tabernacle Church), reconnecting with some of my spiritual family that I haven’t seen in a while, and getting ready for the first read-through of the script for this year’s Spring Mysteries Festival.

I also give an update on my first week of the Whole30. (It’s not entirely easy to manage while eating out, and I made good choices!)

If you haven’t registered for Spring Mysteries Festival, and you would like to go, you still have a couple more days to get in on the Early Bird pricing! Go. Register now!

Blessings,

Mary