May 8th, 2012
Okay. Entry number three. I’ve been meaning to write this for a few days but I keep getting distracted by sleep and
housecleaning. Herne has been rather quiet the last few weeks. Still there just hanging out quietly behind me, a hand on my shoulder. I think He knows I’m a little too tired for any intense interaction at the moment. I was out on Friday to see my pre-natal shrink which was a nice visit. I always enjoy going to St. Paul’s Hospital, it’s one of the few hospitals that don’t give me the creeps. On the way home I walked through the woods beside the creek, checking out the new growth so far this year. On the bus before I got off I was thinking about a post in my Druid group pertaining to how much time we spend online and if members made sure they spent a certain amount of time or anything outside on a daily basis. So I decided since I would be walking that way to get home anyways I might as well walk in the woods.
I’ve had some major anxiety issues going through there since we moved here almost five years ago. I won’t go near it in the early morning or near dusk. I’m quite convinced some creepy serial killer will be waiting for me. I also avoid it around these times because I have encountered a bear once in there. Now that I’ve been medicated for a few years it has been easier to go in there. I’m easing into it. There is a spot that I like to go to for ritual but I only go there in the summer when the ground is dry. It is mildly treacherous getting there so I most definitely haven’t been since I got pregnant. I’m hoping I can remember the longer way to get in there so I can go with the baby. The longer route is easier and doesn’t involve scaling along skinny walkways that may crumble and drop you into the creek. The funny thing is the more difficult entrance, which is my favourite, is the one spot in the whole walk where the energy of the area goes really spooky. Something bad happened right there. I’ve taken my good friend with me and showed her and she agree’s. She is also a Pagan and very in tune with these things.
I was super smiley by the time I got home. Took a bunch of pictures which are posted here. I lay down on my couch nest and began poking around online when a big fat crow plopped into the top rail of my patio. Bent over and took a peek at me, murmured a bit at me. Hung out for a good ten minutes. I haven’t had a visit like that in quite some time. I’m taking that as a sign that my forest walk was a good idea. I’ve also been reading up on ants. I know part of the reason they are poking around, the more mundane reasons, involve the rotting boards in my deck, the wet cat food (they seem to love it) and the heavy rains. They seem to show up more to me than my hubby though. So here is what I found:
ANT The ant is a very hard worker and conscientious in every detail of its work. They live in huge communities where most tasks are delegated to individuals who form work groups to carry out various activities of hunting, gathering, nesting and nursery, habitat construction, and protection. The ant accepts its position within its community without question and is totally dedicated and loyal throughout its lifetime to the entire community.
ANT MEDICINE: The ant people are wonderful builders and architects. They can show us ways to build a reality based on our dreams. Ants are determined and relentless in pursuit of their mission. If the ant people come to visit you, it may be this quality they will teach. Solidarity and collaboration are keys to the success of the ant. Every individual in the community does its duty to ensure the welfare of the whole colony, regardless of its personal safety or how long it must labor. The ant spirit teaches us teamwork and loyalty. Ants are unselfish and sacrifice themselves to benefit the community. Learning this valuable lesson of the ant can be the greatest of all gifts. Honor and respect are the hallmarks of the ant people. Ants are tireless workers and hunters and teach the art of perseverance and patience in all that they do. Those with this spirit will find that many of their life lessons will involve the mastery of patience in some way. Ant medicine is subtle yet powerful. It teaches us how to release our egos and aligns us with the virtue of equality. Imagine what the world would be like if humanity held and applied the values that the ant expresses. The next time you step on, squash, injure or kill an ant intentionally, ask yourself why you are choosing to destroy the unconditional love that the ant shares so freely. Valuable insights about yourself and your history can be learned from this tiny little totem.
Now, I must say that I have no qualms about killing these little guys when they are crawling on my counters. I leave them alone outside. But when four or five of them are cruising around my kitchen I WILL squish them. I’m doing my best to keep these things in mind though when it comes to the ants. They still need to stop coming into my house though.
I have also turned my “kinda” shrine in the living room into an actual shrine. I have set up places for candle and incense and now put fresh flowers there as soon as the old ones fade. I have also started keeping fresh flowers on my main altar as well. When I awake I get up do the usual bathroom/brush teeth/make tea/have breakfast then cover my head on the days I feel compelled to and light a candle and incense on the living room shrine. When I go to sleep I light candles and incense on the main altar beside my bed. It’s becoming a nice daily set of ritual. I’ve also been experimenting with using an oil burner on the main altar. The stick and cone incense seems to be bothering my eyes and nose all of a sudden and my hubbys. And the bedroom doesn’t have nearly as much space as the living room so it gets overpowering really fast. It is also the only way I know to have cedar for an offering right at the moment. I plan on identifying cedar out in the woods so I can bring some home and figure out how to make my own little incense cones. Then I can control the size. I usually burn Indian type incense. Perhaps with the more prominent emergence of Herne coupled with my insanely sensitive pregnancy nose the stronger Indian based ones are not being accepted as offerings now.
The newest development is my interest in “Soul Midwifery”. One if the Sisters in CiL mentioned it and it immediately struck a chord. Caring for people comes very naturally to me. When I miscarried I read a good book on death and dying and felt the urge then to look into something I could do to help people transitioning into this part of their lives. The idea brewed for years. When my Grandfather passed away about a year and a half ago I took another little step in the direction of assisting the dead. We were lucky, even though he had passed away at the hospital we were given the opportunity to just sit with him for a good three hours before they had to take him away. They let us sit in the cast room with him until they had to open it around 7am. We all sat and touched him and cried but also wished him a peaceful journey, happy for him that after 10 years he would be back with Grandma and that he would not be in pain any longer. I don’t remember at what point I did this but I think it was right before we left. I knew it was time to go anyways, his body temperature was noticeably cooler and his muscles had started to harden. I knew he was most definitely not attached to his physical form any longer but still with us. I placed my hand on his chest and read a prayer for the dead from a book of “re-paganized” prayers from the Carmina Gadelica that a member of my Druid group had put together. What made it extra comforting was that I knew my Scottish Grandfather would appreciate the words and everyone else in the family (all Christians of some persuasion) thought it was beautiful. And I don’t think it really occurred to any of them that it was technically a Pagan prayer. My Uncle’s caregiver (he is handicapped) wanted to see the book afterwards as well.
Today though when my Sister mentioned it I was struck with the urge to jump up and down screaming YES!! THAT’S IT!! So I have contacted the Canadian society for Soul/Death Midwifery to see if there is training available locally. My Sister sent me info on an amazing looking group but it is in the UK. I won’t have the money to go to the UK let alone pay for the classes ANY time soon. So, I’m crossing my fingers.
I am feeling more on track as far as my practice goes. I have begun developing my relationship with Herne. I will be reaffirming my relationship with The Morrigan soon as well. I know that at some point in the near future I will also be getting to know The Cailleagh better. I feel this will happen sometime after the baby is born though. I am becoming more and more comfortable with my covering as well as developing a daily ritual routine. I feelmore peaceful. It makes me happy.