To make it even more special, it was Orion's first Wintry experience! So, you know I took a bunch of pictures. Enjoy!
The other day, I woke up realizing something inside has changed. A shifting had occurred, slowly, nearly imperceptibly. I would have missed it entirely if it hadn't been for my purposeful invitation of presence and mindfulness in to my life.
This whole time things moves strangely for me these days, both ludicrously fast and ever so slowly. I'm not entirely sure if this is from having a young child or because I'm learning to be more present and have all but unplugged from technology (who has time for that stuff with a 6 month old?), but it's fucking weird. :)
Moons wax and grow to swollen, then wane and go dark and I've not done a stellar job of observing them for a while. I haven't seen a full moon since the super moon on the weekend I went in to labor, not because I haven't gone outside (I get super antsy around full moon, so can't really miss her) but because there have been clouds every single time. Last night I went out, but again, clouds. It's the strangest thing and maddening in a way, but like so many things lately, I just have to let go and let things do what they will.
Orion at 1 week old helping Joe brew beer (top) and at 6 months (bottom)
My practices have softened and shifted, I take a few moments each day at the altar, to pull a card, to look deeply in to the depths of a black cup of tea, to throw my eyes skyward and watch the family of crows that moved in wheel over head. I notice more, even as I practice and do the Work, less. Vulture stood tall on a pole, spreading his mighty wings today just as I went by. A few weeks back, a huge red shouldered hawk swooped from the tree in my front yard, flapped his wings twice in the few foot distance between myself and my front door before flying over my neighbors roof and away. The small birds of Winter scratch in the hedge outside of my bedroom window, chattering to each other while I lay with Orion while he naps.
Soon the altar will need to be put up or moved, out of reach of little hands that will be grasping and pulling up before I even realize it. And I will observe my spirituality in other ways, in smaller altars and magic spaces tucked around the house or find it in the simplicity of my breath, as I use it to come back fully in to my body and out of my mind; if only for a few seconds. There's magic in the medicine bag between my breasts, in the stones friends I tuck in to pockets or turn in to jewelry, in the curvature and stretch of the body I've so rarely appreciated as it flows through a yoga class. And one day, the altar will be put back out, when little fingers know not to eat mom's stone helpers or man handle the bones which she keeps.
* For a Yule celebration split between friends and home. I didn't do what I normally do, which was good because I didn't have the energy for a big cooking session or staying up in to the wee hours. It was exactly what I needed.
This Week I am Grateful For:
* Incredibly thoughtful gifts under the Yulemas tree.
* New crystal acquisitions! I picked up a few tumbled stones to wrap and a raw flourite and amethyst for my altar and the girl at the gem store gifted me with 5 amethyst points just because! She had no idea that amethyst is my favorite stone or how badly I need it's energy. I love those magical moments! While I was sorting the tumbled stones, one of them was giving off such high vibrations the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end - a highly holographic bloodstone. It refused to be put away, zinging me if I tried to do so, and so it joined the others on my altar.
Before I shift gears and share a little bit of what's going on here for the holidays, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who commented on my last post, emailed, texted, called or drove to my house and lifted me up and shared their own stories. It's a lot less dark when you realize how not alone you really are. So, thank you all. I had my first therapy session last week and not only am I comfortable with the therapist (I dig her non fluff attitude) but she has given me hope that I will be feeling better sooner than I anticipated and that, if once we've overcome this hurdle I'd like to stay on and do some of the fucking deep healing - she's on board for that too. It just feels good to know that the very hard first step was worth it - I feel like I'm exactly where I need to be and am doing what I need to be doing. The work will be rough and I can't go as often as I'd like to due to budget constraints, but all in due time, right?
With that out of the way, I hope everyone had a magical Solstice and New Moon! How was THAT for a double whammy of releasing and inviting in new beginnings? We went to meet up with my sisters of the new moon to share a meal and sit around the fire for a bit before Orion decided it was time to go home and to bed. I think we may have a sensitive old soul on our hands here - he likes new people, is calm when they hold him and takes in his surroundings with very serious intent but once his cup is full he is quick to let me know he wants to be alone, or sleep or go someplace quiet. And we oblige, because this time of baby hood is so very short. Once we got home and I had him settled, Joe built a fire and I worked a little bit of magic at the kitchen table with some Earth medicine and my oracle cards. It's funny, before I had Orion all of my big work was done outside or at the altar in my bedroom. Now that he bunks in there, I'll make sacred space wherever I can carve it out, including on top of a ridiculous snowman tablecloth in the kitchen. Ah, lessons. After I was done, I left my pulled cards and the citrine stone that my Work was focused on in the grounded jaws of badger in my South facing window to absorb the magic of the newly rebirthed Sun. I need this immense fire energy right now, but it needs to be harnessed lest it burn me beyond the point of rebirth. I'm tempering the Phoenix medicine that's been appearing so frequently around me (oh, do I know there are big scary changes in store when Phoenix comes and shines her hot light in to my heart) with my belovedly stodgy Badger.
We also made time to see the big man himself!
In more mundane magical happenings, we've finished decorating the house and getting our gifts together and are ready for Joe's parents to join us through the New Year. I'll be taking plenty of breaks with my kiddo in the quiet bedroom to nurse and get some introvert time in so I don't become overwhelmed. The holidays are always pretty taxing on me and with a house full for over a week, if I'm not careful I'll be ragged and edgy by Saturday. I'm ridiculously pleased with what I managed to pull together in the gift department without stressing myself out. Thank the Gods for nap times, the internet, thrift stores and a future sister in law who let me borrow her sewing machine at the last minute.