Seed for the garden
Food for thought
Offerings to the Gods in whatever shape or animate
that they have made themselves known to you.
John Beckett writes on Patheos, beginning with
I saw a green glowing bird this morning. I don’t think it belongs in this world, but there it was.
It wasn’t a parakeet or other tropical bird. It was an ordinary bird: a sparrow, I think. But it was glowing green, in a way that animals just don’t do. It wasn’t a dream – I had been up for over an hour and I was outside on my morning walk. The bird didn’t talk to me, or look at me, or do anything other than mind its own business and then fly away, as birds do. Except it was glowing green… unlike the other birds in the immediate area, which were normal bird colors.
The musing, called The Otherworld is Bleeding Through, for me revisits some experiences that have left lasting impressions upon my heart and soul, and parrot a set of messages that some folks, in all the spectrums of spirituality and magick are hearing. It isn't all good, it never is, life is shadow and light, action and consequence, seen and unseen. We are in a dance with spirits in an animated world of intelligences, threats, humanity and all our potential to receive genius, and yet still perform stupidly.
Of course I could just be painting a thread of red through everything I see, that's the nature of consciousness and, in my opinion, part of the design of a living experience. Yet however I chose to contemplate what I am feeling I am left with the following communication everywhere I turn.
Mind you. I am a person of knowing, not faith in a religious sense, and I don't need [biblical] language to correct me about what I think Faith is. "From the Anglo-French and Old French feid, or foi. 'Faith, Belief, Trust, confidence, reliance, credence", from Latin fides 'Trust, faith, confidence, reliance...' and from root of fidere, 'to Trust." For me faith means trust, and I build trust with myself and with the connections I make in relating with the world, seen and unseen.
I have trust and relationships, and John brings in a particularly clarion call from the Good Folk, the Spirit, from nature.
"But the Myth of Progress is being exposed for the lie it is -- what goes up must come down. The sun and moon remind us of the cyclical nature of life. The Otherworld is bleeding over into the ordinary world once again, and it's bringing things a lot more troublesome than green glowing birds, things they don't teach you how to deal with in high school... or for that matter, in Sunday School."
It has been my personal experience that there comes [first] a point of realization that this magick thing isn't just in my head; and then later comes the realization that it isn't just "magick" as I've been taught. I believe that the second opening comes through as a realization of how complex and fantastically woven this world is with interrelating beings and things from the terrestrial to the divine which is both high and low, near and far, dark and light. Here at this point we can realize that it's not all about me, as the Western World has made me feel privileged to believe. That in fact we are but small pieces, many small pieces, in the great and layered strata of nature.
That we are, as Caroline Casey once observed on the Visionary Activist show, "Small, small little humans in the big, big forest of the world."
As I continue with The Otherworld is Bleeding Through, we read some items. I felt it was a standing checklist of what is tugging at me right now.
- Recommit to a daily spiritual practice
- Firm up your spiritual relationships
- Firm up your this-world relationships
- Pay attention
Recommit to daily spiritual practice. If you’ve been meditating, praying, studying, making offerings, or anything else on an irregular basis, make it regular. Find something you can do every day. Regular spiritual practice is what grounds us, feeds us, and supports us through good times and bad.
For myself, and many of my students; and for my own education on the Witches path through The TempleOfWitchcraft.org, commitment to the daily practice is essential. Temple Los Angeles just welcomed a second circle of magickal seekers in a book study, and the challenge regardless of our age or trajectory in life [with a spiritual practice] is dedication.
Firm up your spiritual relationships. Has a God been tapping you on the shoulder? It’s time to say “yes.” Has Someone been calling you to deeper work, to a more committed relationship? It’s time to say “yes.” The Gods are our strongest allies – we need Them at our sides. Have you been neglecting your ancestors? They’re our most accessible allies – honor them all, and find the ones who will support you in your work and in your life.
Commitment to tend our magickal relationships applies as it does with family and friends. If I do not recognize the living connection and honor it with attention, love, and respect, how long do I expect that relationship to last? We recently had a parting of ways with some folks and I really marvelled at this ability in humans to be tribal to such a degree that they fail to see the personhood in others. Others are the Spirits, Divinities, my loving four legged companion Trixie, and the unseen but completely tactile and sensual relationships with the magickal world.
Firm up your this-world relationships. Whatever is coming, whether from this world or the Otherworld, you aren’t going to get through it by yourself. You need friends and relatives you can count on – and who can count on you. Been too busy to go to your Pagan group’s circles? Make time. Not part of a group? Find one. Not one around you? Start one.
How often do we think, am I supposed to be here, while we are in a relationship with someone, or some group that we don't really feel connected with? I think I need relationships that I am in that I am accountable for providing love and life, comfort, respect, and communication just as I receive it.
Inclusive circles, friends that support -- mindful of getting caught in a fishbowl of sameness where no difference is discussed -- might be the helpful thing you need.
Looking at our relationships both spiritual and mundane, is important. I look into my own past and I think, why was I even at that event, party, or working with people that really didn't give a damn? Not about my life and the actual contents in it, if only to think it's weird, or behave dismissively and uncomfortable to my experience. I know I didn't feel supported. I know I didn't feel I was in relationship with someone who would really hear me. I know I was in a relationship with people who didn't show up, didn't call, and didn't approve of what I was doing; and rather than relating they just 'didn't come.'
When I began to relax my heart and focus on the way I do relate to the world and sung that song, and made that a point of living then I came into a place where I found similarly diverse, queer, and magickal folks that enrich my life, support me as I do them, and are striving to live in relationship with everything else... and that isn't easy, it's often hard, but it is beautiful.
Pay attention. If there’s one thing worse than ignoring the intrusions of the Otherworld, it’s assuming everything you encounter has your best interests at heart. Gods are by definition virtuous, but being virtuous doesn’t mean making things nice and easy for you. Gods have their own goals and desires, and while I have found working with and for Them to be deeply meaningful, it hasn’t been easy.
And that cuts a path back to the meaning I draw out of John's musing on the Gods and the Otherworld beings. If they are calling to us, and if I am not in practice, and I don't hear, and I'm unprepared, whatever changes or cycles I am in personally and natively are going to go unheard. And Spirits, like people (who may have been people once) aren't going to wait around forever knocking at your door. Eventually they will think that there is just another person, not home, and move.
Something is happening now. We feel it when we Gather in the park, when we circle with our hearts, and when we council at the Dark of the Moon. There are changes in our world we are very much accountable for. There are relationships we have forgotten.
Have you felt it lately? I have... it's tremendous.
It's time. Come into your practice. Develop a relationship with self and clean that person up. Bring out your most respectful and amazing. Dedicate to The Work. Get in circle or whatever your magickal forum is and start a dialogue with nature, with Spirit(s), and start to tend these, and the physical world relationships and spaces that matter to you.
Don't forget to check out his great musing via Patheos! Thank you John Beckett!
Scott K Smith
One of many magick makers.