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

Hecate, Torchbearer, Guide Me

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re approaching a crossroads? Like whatever you decide next will have a major impact on the shape of your life moving forward? Yeah, that.

I am (once again) off work (mostly) for the summer. Even though I’ve technically been off since the beginning of the month, because of my trip to see my family and other obligations, I only feel like my time off is starting now. It feels different, somehow, than other summers. I feel like I’m being called to make a choice.

Two cards have been coming up in my tarot readings for other people a lot lately. Not every reading, but often enough to make me notice. I was taught that when a card comes up frequently in readings, that is my lesson. Apparently my lesson is The Chariot and The Tower. Some of you are familiar with the tarot, and have your own meanings for these cards, and some of you are not at all familiar with the meanings. I’ll share what they mean to me.

The Chariot, from The Robin Wood Tarot

The Chariot, from The Robin Wood Tarot

The Chariot: I’m feeling pulled in two different directions. Both of them are things that I want, things that are important to me. However, I’m not able to make much progress with either because they are not going the same direction. It’s time for me to take the reigns, and not be led along at the mercy of others, or these conflicting desires. When the question is either/or, the answer is both. When I can get the two working in alignment, I will make progress a lot faster.

The Tower, from The Robin Wood Tarot

The Tower, from The Robin Wood Tarot

The Tower: There’s a lesson coming around again that I haven’t fully learned yet. Or that the Universe is testing me to see if I have truly learned it. It’s been around often enough that I can likely see the patterns, if I’m aware. However, it’s also been around often enough that it has the potential to turn my life upside down. Our lessons get tougher if we don’t learn them well! The Cosmic 2×4 is headed my way, so it’s time to sharpen my senses, open my mind and see this pattern for what it is – an opportunity to grow, or be forced to grow.

Other messages have made themselves known to me recently. Astrologically, Venus is retrograde right now.

When Venus is retrograde, it provides lessons in evaluating the real worth and value of people and things in our life (Taurus-Libra issues)…

It is NOT a time, however, to act upon any unfavorable awareness. It is purely a time of evaluation rather than direct action. As little frictions and disagreements crop up, they serve to remind you that the relationship is not perfect. Under the retrograde influence, you must assess the severity of the problem and the “cost-benefit” of the relationship. Only after Venus turns direct should you initiate any alienation if this is deemed necessary.

-Lynn Koiner, Venus Retrograde for 2015

And from a book I just read:

Almost every woman I know has waded right out into the river and has been overwhelmed. Almost every woman I know is too busy. She is into this, studying that, driving in a car pool to this and to that, working hard on some big project, racing around until she is ragged. She needs to be quiet, to approach the vastness of life’s responsibilities in a more orderly manner, to do one thing, take one crystal goblet at a time, concentrate on it, and do it well. Then she may move on to other things.

-Robert A. Johnson, She: Understanding Feminine Psychology

So. It is time to evaluate. Be aware, watch for patterns, pare things down.

HecateHecate, Torchbearer, shine your light brightly that I may accurately assess the options that are before me. Stand before me at the crossroads to guide me on the path that is for my highest good and the highest good of all. Help me to stay focused on the task before me, and let me not be led astray by the shiny distractions that tempt me. Hecate, grant me the key to serve my community in a healthy way. Blessed be.

Blessings,

Mary

Under the Influence

I’m a goody two-shoes, a prude even. I’ve never smoked a cigarette, and I have never been full out drunk. On the very rare occasion that I do drink alcohol, I rarely get past “tipsy”. Pot smoke gives me a headache. The one substance addiction I do allow myself is sugar, and sometimes caffeine. I know. Pretty hardcore stuff, right?

The influence I am talking about here is the influence of the Gods. In my case, it is Goddesses. They act on my psyche in sometimes subtle, sometimes very obvious ways.

For example, when I was working with Hecate, I started feeling like maybe it was time to get another dog. It has been several years since we had a dog, and I kind of miss cuddling and playing with one. I grew up having a dog in the house. And then I remind myself that I really don’t have time to take care of a dog. My children already complain that I don’t spend enough time with them. Not to mention the extra costs for feeding and keeping a dog healthy. But one day I went as far as looking on the local SPCA website to see what kind of dogs were available for adoption. Hecate is very strongly associated with dogs. Dots connected.

Athena, Goddess of WisdomRight now I am working with Athena. And the more I work with Her, the more I see Her influence in my life. I’m taking online courses, and doing a lot of reading on mythology and Greek architecture and sculpture. My book choices are all non-fiction, even the audio books. I’m feeling a desire to champion a cause (because I have SO much spare time to do that). I spent most of the day yesterday picking the fringe off a piece of fabric strand by strand because I want to use it for a sewing project (Athena invented weaving).

And if I really think about it, the Goddess of Wisdom has been an influence in my life for many, many years. I was always a good student – learning comes easily for me and I enjoy learning new things. I also love sewing – I haven’t learned weaving, yet, but the idea intrigues me. There was a point where I wanted my own spinning wheel and loom (and then I had three boys). She’s the patron goddess of cities, and while the idea of self-sufficiency is wonderful, I am definitely no farm girl!

Sure, some of these could be pretty obscure references, and could be applied to a lot of different Goddesses. And still, somehow, working with Athena feels like coming home. (Does that make me a hero? She also helped most of the heroes of Greek mythology.)

What Gods or Goddesses do you find yourself coming under the influence of?

Blessings,

Mary