Sunday, June 27, 2010

Familiars and Totems

"Hand print, paw print,
padded foot and claw.
Gaia she speaks to me,
through silent glances,
or momentary shadows.
Almost as if to tell me,
'Wake up. It is time for your eyes to breathe.'
I clothe myself in the suns long arms
And intake the sweet wind.
I am listening now, my animal kin. "

~Rippled Water

I dream a lot. I always have, but recently it has seemed to be more vivid and memorable. I usually journal them somewhere like a scrap of paper or a word.doc on my laptop, but this week I have been less inspired to jot them down. I'm not sure why. The past two nights though the dreams have been a little out there so, I thought perhaps it is time I stop pussy-footing around.

He has the most amazing yellow eyes.
They flash green with a camera
My cat has gone blind recently. It's really taken a toll on him and me. He's been in the family for 19 years now (human years), and he has been by my side for all of them. Seeing him almost helpless and unsure of himself really bothers me. I mean it was only a few months ago we got a new dog and when we introduced them he gave her an introduction she will never forget. He's such a bully. But now he just wonders around, meows when he feels lost (which is more often than not), and sleeps all day. He feels most comfortable and doesn't meow so much when I am in the room with him. Last night I had a dream that he went "missing" for about 2 days. I kept asking my mom where he went and if she had seen him. She had told me, "I don't know, maybe he just ran away." After about 2 days of worrying I found out that he had died, and my mother had burried him in a pet cemetary under another name so that I wouldn't know. I was so angry with her and pissed off. Needless to say I did not wake happily.

<--sleep faceplant
It scares me that one day soon I'll wake up in the morning and he won't wake up with me. We've had a lot of pets in our family since I was a child but he's mine. I've always considered him my familar in sorts. We have a strange relationship and it's unexplainable. But he's defintely not just a family cat. That's forsure. We'll be taking him to the vet in a few weeks to have him checked out and see if there is anything that we can really do. I worry about scarring him now because we found out a few months ago that he has a heart memur. I hate doctors, they never tell you anything good. I've set up an altar for him though. I was given a Bast statue many years ago by one of my best freinds who knew my uncanny love for ancient Egypt. So I have set up a small altar with the statue and I light a candle everyday in hopes that it will help his sight. Maybe Bast will help him see what he cannot with his own eyes. Who knows.

I haven't any other familiars (although the squirrels and I are spending some time together, probably because I feed them. They eat out of my hands now). I do consider myself to have a few totem animals though. Well, kind of. Perhaps it is more like they have made an appearance in my life in a strange way that has never been done before. On Beltaine, I can in contact with Brother Hawk. I went to the local festival and took a walk in the forest surrounding the area. I decided to walk down to the lake and relax and just commune. Along the path I stopped to watch a lizard scurry by and above a HUGE shadow came swooping by. The hawk landed literally no more that 10-15 feet away from me in a near by tree branch. I looked up at him, he cocked me a glance and then went back to hunting the poor lizard. I snapped a few photos and walked carefully up to the tree to get closer. He just looked at me and ignored me. We stood together for a few good minutes before I decided to continue on my path to the water. I live in an area where we have a lot of falcon and predatory birds always soaring high. You can't miss them when your driving home from anywhere. I have lived here all my life, but I've never been able to come in contact with a wild one this close up before. Usually it's at the zoo or with handlers at the local pow wows. I could be over thinking things. It happens. But It feels different.
I also had a short and strange run in with Mother Bear a few weeks ago. I was driving down one of my favorite roads, not paying attention to much of anything besides the music and the car in front of me when out of the corner of my eye, up ahead on the side of the road at the tree line, I saw a shadow. I looked over and emerging from the wood was a giant black bear. Just sitting there with its front paws up on a fallen tree. It was just looking at the traffic go buy like it was either bored or scouting for something or someone. It was beautiful. Black bears are pretty populous in Virginia, but with all of my camping trips and expeditions to the mountains I have never seen one. But of course when I am about 15 minutes from my home one just decides to pop out for a visit. I turned around and tried to take a photo, I knew none of my friends and family would believe me, but by the time I got back (within a matter of seconds) it had already left and returned to the woods. It will be a month on the 30th now since it happened (yay for writing down these things in other journals!). It was definitely a highlight of my day, I couldn't stop smiling for some reason. Way too cool of an experience. I haven't given much thought to it lately, I've had other stresses on my mind. But the night before last, I dreamt of the bear. I dreamed that I was standing at our back door looking out into the yard and my garden like I usually do in the mornings. And off to the left in the shade of the apple and wild cherry tree the mother bear was walking around. She stopped and stared at me, almost mean like. I turned to the living room to tell my mom, when I noticed she was sitting in the recliner with her feet up and a big cub just sitting around her feet. I remember saying something to her, then turning to see the mother bear notice the cub and run toward the house. I turned to mom again, yelled something and the cub got up and began to run for the door to meet the mother. When the the cub exited the house I awoke.
I'm not sure what this all means. But recently my dream patterns have been a lot more different than what I am used to. I feel like they are evolving. Perhaps I'll be lucky enough to evolve with them. I feel like since I came back from spending time in Ghana I've been a lot closer to nature and the Earth. As well as my life being an incredible yin yang. Changing from chaos to order sporadically. But Mother Earth has definitely put herself in my face the past 11 months. I wish i had someone close by to help me decipher things. I also wish Gaia wasn't so mysterious and would just come on out with what she's trying to say. But it all happens in its own time I suppose.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Pagan Heart

"And through the mist and fog I heard it,
Guiding me, calling me forth and keeping me near.
It's drumming, keeping time with the wind,
allowed my feet to lift and move forward
in times of uncertainty and desperation.
It is my compass to life,
allowing me no need for a map or hand written journey.
I only need follow the drumming,
the sounding that has been here from the start.
I only need follow my Pagan heart."

~Rippled Water

MMmmmm, New blog? Why yes, yes it is. I'm not sure what spurred me to start this, but here I am. Here I plan to keep documentation of my life as a person, a woman, a college graduate, and a Pagan. So where do we go from here? How about I introduce myself and my path :D

Well, my name is Jessica I do have a preferred pen name of Rippled Water. There's a story behind that, but for now that will have to wait. I am in my early twenties and I have "officially" been on the Pagan path for almost 5 years now (unofficially I would say I have been Pagan from birth) for some reason I keep telling people 6 years without realizing it til later. It's been 6 years for something completely different and only slightly related. I must learn to keep my head straight :D . I'm an Eclectic Solitaire Witch and while I'm not particularly interested in coven or group work, I do love attending public rituals just to see how others do things and I am trying to become a part of my larger community of Pagans. I'm a book worm and it's easy for me to read up on how to do things and flip through pages and memorize magickal properties and what-nots but there is a difference in reading it and living it. Being able to be a part of my larger community keeps me feeling connected not only to the divine but to the world around me. It's nice to not feel alone and like your insane or a spiritual anomaly. I feel like everyone needs a support system in which they can turn and ask questions and seek knowledge of the wise ones who have walked the paths before. I am not a hereditary Pagan/Witch. I was raised Christian in many sorts. My father is Methodist and my mother is Baptist. I grew up reading the bible, going to church, participating in Sunday school and joining organizations like the Girl Scouts. I met a Christian evangelist/extremist ( I know there is a difference but I have yet to see it)a few years back and we had a discussion (actually it's a funny story and you should ask me about some time and how I beat him with a hug) and he asked me, with a dumbfounded look, if I was raised so Christian how did I "go astray." Well, there's a story to every path of life. I simply told him that it was an educated life choice I made. That I had done a lot of research and it just felt like this is what I was supposed to be. But honestly, coming to your path, it's not easily described. I've tried many times to put it into words for my family, friends, even myself and, honestly, words just don't sum up half of it all. But, if you're interested, here's my story in a very, very small nutshell.

I feel like everything in my life, from the moment I was born, has been preparing me for this path. Everything in my heart has guided me here. My grandfather would send me "rocks" when I was a baby. I'm about 2, what do I need things like giant chunks and clusters of amethyst, rose quartz, agate and others for? My parents put them in my rooms non-the-less. From the time I entered school and could check out library books I would read up on ancient civilizations, mystical and sacred sites, I was even a avid researcher in palmistry by the time I hit middle school(though I am terrible at it). I mean, what child does this? It could be common, but with my friends and family it was treated as if it weren't. I did a lot of my research in private and secrecy because of this. By the time the Internet became popular (Oh, AOL and your terrible dial-up connections) I was looking up the metaphysical and discovering so many more topics than I knew what to do with. After I finished schooling and when I headed to college I decided I wanted a label. I knew what I believed, I just didn't know where I belonged. I mean, obviously there were others out there like me, I had been reading about all this stuff for years! And I know label's aren't always important, and what IS important is knowing in your heart what you feel and believe, it's just that I was getting tired of being wishy-washy when people would ask me. So I narrowed my beliefs down to Buddhism and Paganism through some reading and research(yes, again with the reading and research. When I said book worm I meant more like a giant anaconda or some prehistoric giganto worm the size of a mountain). I kept leaning toward Wicca though. But I didn't want to accept it. I knew the stereotypes that went along with it, not to mention the tools in high school who gothed and vamped it up just to get attention (I know stereotyping, but I knew some of those people personally, and I'm allowed to at least make this statement based on them). One Christmas day, I was awakened in the middle of the night with what we will term an "encounter" for lack of a better word. And from that day on I have claimed the Wicca/Pagan path. Seriously, it was like something just decided yo say, "Look, you need to wake up and get on with it." Once I started claiming and practicing I realized that I didn't even have to go out and buy tools. Some how along my life journey I had already acquired an athame, a cauldron, statues, everything. Now I know in order to practice you don't need the material possessions, just you and some free time, but it was almost reaffirming my choice. Just like something was telling me, "Yes, this is exactly what your supposed to be doing. We've been waiting for you to realize this." So here I am, still walking the same path I have been on since birth. I've just learned to recognize my surroundings more and to follow my Pagan heart.
So that's me in a tiny nutshell. I hope to expand more as I continue to post. But for now, I don't think it's too bad of a first post for a newb.