Today I took my sobbing heart to dig some earth
With each forward motion I felt my pain release into her rich and warm body
I played and felt and digged and squashed the black softness of her flesh in my hands
I caught myself smiling as I lifted some carrots off the earth bed and like orange lanterns they shone bright straight into my heart
The smell of nourishment entered my senses
I bowed all the way touching her in gratitude to the release of pain
As I was leaving my heart weighed less with sorrow and more with content
Today I took my sobbing heart to dig some earth
The wind is tangled in my hair and my bones are injected with the last sap of warm sunny days. I buzz with energy once again as we go deeper into autumn and Samhain gets nearer. I can feel myself touching other realms with my senses and ancient talk fills my ears. Communication with ancestors is made easier through a very sharp and clear mind and vision that allows me to see past the veil. I am surrounded by whispering energies and tingling sensations in my hands tell me magic is back. Magic is waking up from within me and ready to express itself in wild musings, deep ritual and spell work that makes everything in my life alive with energy and knowing. I cook, I walk, I dance and sing and read into the late hours of the morning. I am hungry for living and content with what it and who I am. This time of year is always grounding, safe, protective and wise. Autumn is an Earth element season for me and an open invitation to go deeper into my roots and into the layers of the underworld where darkness holds gold for me to treasure.
Image: Waterhouse, The Magic circle (one of my favourite paintings)
We are in autumn, a season perfectly aligned with the energies of taking stock, harvesting our gifts, desires, throwing away what is no longer needed and releasing through letting things go. It is reflected through trees unrobing their delicate bodies off foliage and exposing to the elements for better or for worse. It is a state of surrender and an act of acceptance in nature that always touches me deeply. What a perfect example of vulnerability and strength – a combination I admire so much.
Addiction, as a condition, is a way of holding on, keeping ourselves safe and hidden, partaking in activities that fill the void we feel inside, but scared to expose. It is a safe place and a defensive position against overwhelming feelings, life, connection to ourselves and others. It is an escape into seemingly blissful abyss, yet temporary. The pay-off is often high for that hiding that we adapt as a way to survive, a way to cope with what otherwise would feel unbearable. The price we pay for this way of trying to keep ourselves safe is always high and we pay with our bodies, minds and lives. Recovery requires tremendous courage. It asks us to wake up not just to becoming aware of our patterns of behaviour, but to our wounds that we are protecting with an addiction of our choice.
When is that time to wake up?
This year’s signature, as a goal for our growth, includes facing and dealing with our addictions. The year began with a clear sense that old ways no longer work. Our comfort zone is no longer comfortable, things don’t fit as they used to and patterns that we adopted started to show cracks in how we executed them. On one hand, one could panic and despair and begin searching for new replacements. On the other hand, it felt like an opportunity, a ‘no choice, but’ to start thinking of a potential change. What would that look like and feel like? The year progressed with addictions’ patterns and behaviour manifesting not just within us, but around us through people we care about, our loved ones. It began to open old wounds. Those behaviours that we had been in denial of in ourselves and others came in and slapped many into a full view of not just how ugly and unconscious it had become, but a fear of a potential outcome also hit hard.
Now, as autumn is at our door, I feel there is a chance to look at it again and become curious and open to the opportunity of release. I find vibrations of early autumn is similar to those in early spring, as with the new planting there is hope for potential, with dropping the old there is also a potential for something new coming. Purification (another signature for this year) is deeper in autumn though, because as we throw off our protective layers, surrender to the elements in our own way we are challenged to go through the ‘cold’ of winter and the bare state of the earth. We are challenged to withstand hardships to come out stronger on the other side.
Addiction recovery is no easy matter and very often a life-long process. What we are faced with this season is an opportunity to begin and this year’s signature for dropping the old, as something that no longer works. To give an example of that manifestation I would like to use the body. With addiction often it is the body that would have taken on years of abuse. The sign that addiction is, perhaps, has gone into dangerous territory and it is time to wake up would be body not coping with it, e.g. with smoking lungs become affected in a way of developing severe difficulties with breathing and your cough becoming chronic with discharge. The body begins to bark at us literary to stop. With food addiction a point to wake up would be when there is a degree of awareness that one can no longer ‘eat themselves better’, as the body has grown so much in size it is no longer functioning. We become hidden under flesh so much we no longer feel in touch with ourselves. We might as well be dead.
I feel deeply saddened writing about this, but I feel it is necessary to make that call to be brave, to be present and conscious and I understand that it is no easy task to ‘stand in the cold of winter with no clothes on’, just as we no longer rely on drugs or food for comfort. Exposing, painful and a lonely place to be, yet one must not forget that there is a fire that burns within each of us. That fire is called spirit. We are stronger than we think most of the time and trying to save yourself is an honourable task. Loving ourselves the way that we are, broken, is an act of heroism and immense growth. Imagine if you can do this, you can do anything. Imagine the potential life you can have if only we decide to stop hiding, escaping and facing that wintery wind with your bare skin, vulnerable yet so heroic.
What lies on the other side is freedom and it is always worth fighting for.
Air fills with chilling promise of glorious explosion of moist spider webs in the morning and vibrant colours of the land. Its breath is fresh, slightly biting to the skin, similar to that in early spring, the time my soul also adores. Autumn is an Earth element season for me. It is the time when I feel profoundly grateful for all the bounty and abundance the earth provided us with. Its delicious produce carries a reminiscent flavour of hot summer days, in which fruit, berries and vegetables busked in ripening to their fullest. It reminds me that we sowed and we reaped, we sorted through the waste and abundance and took stock of what we are to carry forward with us into the darker part of the year. I feel autumn is the beginning of an introspection journey, incubation and cooking in the cauldron of psychic material and shadow work. I look forward to darkness, to me it is comforting. Cold air is not just refreshing to my senses it puts me in touch with my body and how freely and much more easily it can breathe with less sun.
I begin to burn oils carrying scents of cinnamon, frankincense and orange. It is woody, smoky and rich scents that take my preference at this time of the year. Candles are lit more frequently and my time at my altar increases, as my enthusiasm for life returns to my soul and body.
One would think quick manifesting is a great thing, however, I am finding out it is not always the case. It can be so quick one has no time to settle into an idea of something to be manifested. Often we confuse our desires with needs and mix our attachments and history into the mix. If your tendencies are to do everything quickly, very organised and efficient it is likely you will be able to manifest things quickly. You will possess a strong Air element qualities (good networking, working things out, communicating, create lots of ideas and be inspired a lot) as well as strong Earth element qualities (bring ideas to life, good decision-making, sensible ways of going about things).
What I am being shown lately and, on reflection, not for the first time that sometimes a long game is much better where a range of qualities get tested and clarified and there’s a satisfaction of achieving something at the end of it having gone through a process rather than a single action. This longer process is still manifesting yet being in life at the same time, being present with each step weaving magic carefully with evaluating every step rather than experiencing it so quick it can feel almost unwanted at the end. This puzzled me a couple of times before and the more recent events, which included super-fast manifesting, made me stop and reflect. When what seemed like ‘a dream come true’ action occurred very quickly I was thrown into the sea of emotions and not the ones I would have expected to feel. I felt tangled up, very unclear in my mind with a lot of shadow material of the old original coming forward in me. I couldn’t understand it. This felt like something that did happen before and it made me think about manifesting quick.
We are such animals, I think, that need to have things settled within us. Part of the problem today is that we rush and we don’t stop to hear ourselves, listen to our hearts and slowdown in life, therefore nothing has time to settle in its planning stages and subsequently post- manifestation. I believe we need to pause and often with ourselves to check, to feel, to revise, to ask lots of questions and be in our bodies fully. I failed to do all of the above this time round, which then activated events, e.g. accidents and illness, having to do things I didn’t want, almost on the back of that ‘awesome’ manifestation that happened.
Quick magic and modern life, perhaps, is a way of bypassing the moment of quiet slowing down and settling in the heart. May be they don’t mix well when done impulsively and with what can be described too much Fire energy. Perhaps, manifestation spells and work should be more aligned with Water and Earth qualities within.
This is such a good lesson for me and I hope some of you might relate to this and continue to observe your own magic in this world and learn to navigate it with more awareness, softness and patience. I do have patience, but it seems to present often in a direct competition with my driven, impulsive nature. I need to learn to balance.
I recommend this book on the subject of weaving magic in the modern world.
2016 was all about intense shadow work, a type where we were given little choice but to face our individual and collective Demons with an aim to understand, accept and transform.
2017 is all about here and now, being present with yourself and life. It is about questioning what it is all about here in the life that we have created for ourselves so far. It is not so much about reflecting on the past but moving forward and thinking ahead with actively engaging with our present. This year is a great opportunity to consolidate and bring to active being, feeling and doing day by day, moment by moment. It is about creating steps and rituals which root us in who we are and what we are doing here. It is about meaning and purpose and participation in all things heart, community, work, relationships. No more messing around, time to really live!
It is about the Sun rather than the Moon, about light with holding darkness in check and awareness. About blooming rather than withdrawing, opening up not closing down. It’s about being a warrior for the good of yourself and humanity at large!