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

Riding an Emotional Roller Coaster

Last week was pretty emotional for me. I was up and down (mostly down) all week. Strong emotion is exhausting. Even as I am writing this now, I would rather be taking a nap, though that could be because I just got home from my 7 year old’s birthday party.

roller coasterIt’s possible that I was reacting to the energies of 12-12-12 leading up to the Winter Solstice, aka the end of the world. I’m taking that with a healthy dose of skepticism. While there is definitely a part of me that would like to be more sensitive and psychic, there is also a part of me that doesn’t want to be associated with all the fluffy, head-in-the-clouds type new age girls.

Another factor in my extreme emotions last week was physiology – namely, PMS. The ‘pre’ part didn’t really apply, but my moon cycle hit me much harder this month than it has for a very long time.  I don’t know if that is because it coincided with the actual moon cycle being dark. All I know is that I cried a lot last week, even at work when there wasn’t really anything to cry about.

Then there are the stresses at work, and I’m not even going to mention the horrific events that happened around the world on Friday.

The biggest factor was financial stress. December is an expensive month for me. My husband’s birthday is at the beginning of the month, my youngest son’s birthday is at the Winter Solstice, and then of course there is the consumerist holiday… I mean, Christmas itself. Yes, we still celebrate giving gifts at Christmas, mostly because of the children, and partly because I haven’t gotten out of the habit. I would celebrate Yule, except that I feel it is more important for my son to have his birthday, so we celebrate Yule on the 25th.

And this year, my parents are coming out for a visit. I’m really looking forward to that, because I haven’t seen them since my grandmother died a few years ago, and they haven’t seen the boys for even longer than that. And it adds a little more stress to the household finances.

I pride myself on being a positive person. While I am not completely immune to fear, I can generally move past it pretty quickly. Once in a while, though, I stumble and fall hard. Last week was one of those times. I succumbed to fear for a few days.

Thankfully, I have an amazing partner who helped me move through the fear without pushing or ridiculing. I also honored Hekate by celebrating her Dienon (ritual dinner) on the night of the dark moon. Here’s a link to the beautifully written ritual I used. This particular ritual includes blessing a non-perishable food item and donating to the local food bank.

For good measure, we also “sacrificed” a goat to Hermes. Before you freak out, sacrifice in my world means “to make sacred”. I made a donation of two shares of a goat on Heifer International. Heifer gives the livestock to families around the world who need a little extra help, and trains them how to sustain themselves with the animals. For example, using the goat’s milk to help feed the family.

Both of these contributions helped remind me that I really do have a lot, and there are so many people out there who have less than I do. It helped me move from fear back into gratitude. And a little caffeine and sugar boost didn’t hurt my mood either!

Blessings,

Mary