Monday, August 30, 2010

Spirit Guides

"And there they are,
Calling me forward, just as before,
Sending me signs from the divide.
Which path shall I choose this time?
Who can I help along the way?
I think you sometimes find it funny,
the symbols and way you send your messages.
Leaving me stargazing and confused.
Lighted voices from beyond the veil,
What secrets have you come to tell?"


So, I have a partner in a swap that is working on gaining stronger connections to her spirit guides. And in researching some things for her, it's got me thinking about mine. I don't really contact them much unless it's through tarot. I use to use spirit boards, but some how using a Ouija seems to cheapen the experience lol. I know that's not true, but it just feels like I'm 12 again. I should probably invest in making my own. That would probably make me feel a little better about it. My grandparents who are spiritualists warn me quite often about it, saying it can open gateways and invite in unwanted visitors. I know that using any method of divination to communicate with the spirit can get me a direct line to someone I don't know who may just be wandering by. That's the chance you take. And I've had some experiences in my past with contacting spirits and they contacting me, so I've kinda came to the conclusion that if someone really wants to get a hold of me then they are going to do it anyways. I haven't had any crazy experiences since we moved houses back in the 11th grade (that other house was EVIL I tell ya! ok, maybe not evil but it definitely was not ok for me to be living in). I decided a long time ago that I wanted to be "normal." So I kind of just shut things off. Ok, so it's not as easy as it sounds, and it's not completely true. Things are completely shut off per se. Let's put it this way, I used to be able to see and hear things when I was younger, probably up until middle school age, or around there some where. But I didn't have anyone around me at the time to help me understand this and see it for something other than not "normal" and not supposed to be happening. So, I tried hard as hell to ignore everything and to just shut it off. But it's not a light switch, you can't just do it at will. I think instead of shutting things off, over the years I have gotten used to ignoring things and just pretending that their not there. Once I hit high school and I was able to really research and dive into things the way I wanted without parental permission or cast eyes. I started to really learn about what was happening and that for some people it is normal. I've tried to reconnect with that part of myself again, to strengthen it, but I'm starting to feel it could be a little too late. And maybe I'm still terrified to let it in. I've felt a stronger connection to my guides the past two years than ever before. Whether through dream work or just little things that have happened. I feel like they are here trying to let me know that everything is going to be ok. I think they're just waiting for me to say, "Ok, I'm ready this time." And I'm not sure I can say that just yet. I want to say it, but I'm not sure if that's something I can through alone again. Granted, I am surrounded by people who understand this time and who won't cast judgement my way, but I don't know, it just feels like something that will definitely isolate you for a bit.

I've known of one spirit guide for several years now, mostly through my grandma who said she made contact with her. I just kind of accepted it and was like ok, that's cool. But over the past two years I've felt her presence for myself and have even held conversations with her through a dream recently regarding my great grandmother and the issues were facing with finding her and this other woman with almost the same name. But last month I was having a dream, and I never have nightmares anymore so maybe these dream catchers are starting to work lol, but I was in the midst of this creepy, strange dream and you know how in scary movies the person goes to answer the door knowing that the psycho is on the other side and it's just anticipation until it happens, well it was kind of like that. I was about to open a door and confront this demon/thing that was chasing after me. I was like, fuck it! I've had enough! And as I was reaching for the door it's like this silhouette was cast from behind me out of nowhere and coming from my left side I hear clear as day "Wake up, Jessica." It was in this male voice, and the only way I could relate it to anything is it was almost like my dads but different. I can't explain it at all. But I just woke up right then and sat there for a minute like WTF just happened? And it's puzzled me for the past month, I think about it often. I have no clue what to say or how to feel about it. But suddenly my partner and I are talking spirit guides and I had one of those moments where you just go *facepalm* DUH! So I'm thinking maybe he's a spirit guide of mine. Strange for me to have a dude though. Not sure how I feel about that one, lol. I'm thinking that I am going to do this research for my partner and see what lands in my lap that can help me as well. She's pretty well versed with her guides though. I'm not sure how I can help her, but I'm sure I can find something she hasn't tried that will help strengthen her connection. And maybe when this is all done I will have strengthened mine as well. It would be nice. Honestly, I have only something to gain. What do I have to lose? My sanity? Psh, I lost that ages ago! HA! So hopefully some of my future posts will track my progress and even some of the methods I'm using. I'm still thinking I need to figure out this Annie Mae Brickhouse thing. I feel like she's a key somehow. To what? Not sure, but I know it's important.

Ok, I'm off to clean some more. NO I HAVEN'T FINISHED YET!!! Jeez! Yes, it's taken me over a week and I'm still only half way done. But in all fairness to me I've been rearranging things in those rooms as well damn it. *sigh* Fine, I'm going. :P

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Face lift of the room kind

So, the room is partially finished. Just need a little tidy (aka the MOUNTAIN of clothes I need to sort and hang), and I have one wall left to put my stuff on. I rearranged my room on Saturday because my dad gave me his old tv, it's a massive 43 inch TV. I don't watch Tv hardly, but I plan on moving out of here soon and I would like to have a nice TV for my future living room to entertain ppl (and also to game on.... my old TV was crap for gaming! But I don't do that much anymore soooo yeah). Either way, it takes up a bit more room than my old small one so I had to buy a new TV stand. I love the local thrift stores!! I go a nice Sony Tv stand for about $20 and it's durable enough to hold my weight and the TV's weight (and let me tell you we are both some heavy things!). I took my old TV stand and turned it into a book/DVD shelf and then I realized I needed another book shelf for all my witchy/pagan books so I took my fabric shelf out of the craft room and transported it to my room. And I can say for the first time in a few years, my room is starting to feel like me again. College brought terrible stresses and made me feel like I was loosing myself. And for a while I did. So my room stayed the same pretty much. A dull blah reflection of what I was. Ok, that may be a little melodramatic. lol. I mean, the room is still pretty much the same, it's just moved around a little. But it feels new, and I even rearranged the stuff I have on my walls as well. So I'm just going to call it new! Anyways, I know it's cluttered looking but here is the new TV and bookshelves!! I'll have to add pics of the other walls and stuff later after it's all cleaned and finished. I've designated that wall as my entertainment wall hence the massive clutter of movie posters, signed cd's, travel puzzles, and post secret post cards. Oh and guess what else is in the photo!? A new printer!! Complements of Mon père (my dad!). The household one isn't working and the step dad hasn't bothered to fix it (probably b/c he doesn't need it so why bother, right? .... yeah :p ) And I was explaining to my dad how I was going out to get a printer on payday because I needed one to keep my files up to date and it comes in handy with swaps and patterns as well. We went to diner and he was like, "Well, let's go check it out." So Viola! New printer! And it even scans too! I'm so excited. It makes my life so much better. Now I just need to work on getting a new laptop that runs a bit faster. But it's ok, baby steps.

Massive ain't it?

My dad and I have always had a strange relationship. It's kind of complicated. He wasn't a terrible father growing up per se, but I think he could have done better. A lot of my contempt from men strands from him and a few others which shall remain nameless at the time. But anyways, he's done a lot of stupid shit... I mean really stupid shit. And up until recently I've disliked him.... a lot. But I think as I've gotten older and he's had time to reflect on things we've both come to an understanding about life and have gotten closer. It's nice and it means a lot to me. And a lot of that is probably because he's not attempting to be my coach on the sports arena any more and the fact that we don't live together. If those two factors were still in play I'm pretty sure one of us would have killed the other. No, that's not a metaphor, that's serious.

But, anywho, I haven't been able to get into my craft room yet. It needs to be cleaned and rearranged as well. And yesterday the urge to make something hit me kind of hard. So, I was googling around for fall crafts and witchyness and I came across a craft blog where these local ppl get together once a week or something and craft random things. And I found this post about beaded leaves. There was no tutorial on it, but from just looking at the pic I could figure out how it was done. Pretty much the same style as making things from pony beads when you were like 12. So here is my version of a maple leaf.

I plan on doing a few more or maple, oak, and regular leaf shapes and putting them together to make a Mabon head band or something. It's not half bad looking for no pattern or tutorial. It will look better when I get the red, green, and orange in there and make it look even more harvest like. I'm hoping that will ease my crafting needs for the week until I get the craft room sorted.
Oh, and the HP wands I was working on for my friend turned out ok. I didn't get a pic b/c they were a little substandard for me. But I have another batch of shortbread in the fridge waiting to be used so I think I'll work on those tomorrow and see how they come out. Shortbread was definitely the way to go with it. It held its shape way better. I still have until November to perfect them since that's when my friend's birthday is. I told her she would be having a Very Harry Potter Birthday, complete with skiving snack boxes, wands, and probably some pumpkin juice. I'm excited.Well, I think that's all my rambling for the moment. I have another Pagan-esque topic I want to talk about, but alas, my room awaits me for it's final face lift. Wish me luck that it doesn't eat me! lol

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Funday!!

I ♥ Sunday!! With all my atoms and molecules! It's my one day off from work a week and I use it to massive clean, bake, cook, or go see and catch up with friends. Having a job where you work 6 days a week regardless of the hours is still pretty meh. It's nice to have a day of no obligations except to me! Today I am going to go see one of my best friends Sherry and her motley crew ;) She had a new baby about 2 months or so ago and I haven't been out to see her at all. We live a good 45 minutes away and it's one heck of a drive out to the country. lol. I'm excited! She's been having a rough time with life for some time now, especially this week, so I vowed I would come over and we would play some amazing Lego Harry Potter on her x-box and I would supply rum and some amazing snackage. I decided to keep with the HP theme and I'm currently working on some cookie wands. I would do like everyone else and go the pretzel stick route but she isn't a fan of pretzels and chocolate. I just gave PB cookies a go but they flattened horribly. I'm looking for something that will keep a decent shape without going the Biscotti route (I hate biscotti). So my next try is a short bread which usually fairs pretty well. Keep you're fingers crossed. If it doesn't turn out we will be having strange shaped botched cookies.

My garden is still fairing pretty well. It's coming to the end of it's terms. The zucchini plant has finally flattened, the tomatoes are slowly dying, the cucumbers aren't as plentiful, and the cantaloupes are a little meh. I have an awesome pumpkin though! It's a little mini, but it's still great! And I have an eggplant still growing. I'll admit the fruits of the garden haven't been plentiful this year but it's my first year back at growing anything and I'm just happy that they all survived this long. I'm the most excited about my pumpkin!! Check it out!

^It was hiding in the butternut! I almost didn't even know I had it!

^Looks like I made a friend on my pumpkin as well! He's almost cute.... lol.... almost!

Here are some of my Dragonfly friends that come and dance with me in my garden. They have so much personality it's scary!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Unlock and Unwind

I've been really lucky this week. I have been working at a summer camp called Camp Gonnawannagoagin. This is a camp specifically for Autistic children and has year round sessions for winter, spring, and summer breaks. It's amazing. I got introduced to it almost 5 years ago when I started working at my job. I work in-home and in-community with an Autistic teen one on one. It's the best job I have ever had and I wouldn't trade it in for the world. I work the camp for about one or two weeks a year when the guy I work with goes. His mom prefers that I go with him and if I am unavailable she won't send him (which I didn't know until last year when I was unable to go..... stupid France). She prefers me because he can't speak. He only does sign language and he is very picky about several things and I work with him year round and I know how to handle his reaction and I can understand his sign language. So we go to camp every year and every year we have an AMAZING TIME!!

This week we have gone to the arcade, fire station, Aquarium/Horseback riding, kayaking, and not to mention we go swimming everyday! Tomorrow we get to go to a huge water park and we have a party complete with fun at the park and CUPCAKES (they have a party every Friday to celebrate and send off the campers who are leaving). It's a blast and it's nice, even if it's only for a week or two every year, to be able to go out to places with a group of others and feel like we belong. I take the guy I work with out in the community everyday but most people are still iffy when it comes to understanding why he acts the way he does. It doesn't bother me so much now, but in the beginning it was rather annoying having people stare at us or cast dirty looks. Now we just ignore them and we have a routine so the places we go to know us. It's just nice to be around others who understand and who are dealing with the same things we are.

I used to be a special education major in college for the first 2 years. I switched for several reasons. But I mainly switched because after observing and getting into the school systems I realized I couldn't make the difference teaching a class that I do working one on one like I do now. The school systems in Virginia are bogged down with restrictions and paper work. Did you know you can't even hug a child without it being misconstrued sexual harassment? I shit you not. I have a problem extremist structures and the school systems have become just that. I applaud anyone who can deal with it and who has made the commitment to work there. But it's not for me. I make the difference here, doing what I do. And that's all that matters to me.

Anywayz, needless to say, I have been super busy this week. Being a camp counselor is tiring! SHEW! But the pay is quite nice. I ♥ camp!!>

^Tire Swings Rock!!

^Another counselor tickling my camper

^ mmmmm, CUPCAKES!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dancing with Dragonflies

"Around he circles and follows near,

He keeps time with my steps and pace.

And much like a superhero he shows no fear

As he weaves in and out with childlike grace.

The water spritzes and the sun reflects

Displaying rainbows within the wet.

And quickly he zooms through its silhouettes,

With a careless poise that’s laughable, and yet,

It somehow becomes a dance of freedom, of wonder.

It entrances me and takes me to a place I haven’t been in a very long time.

Moments whirl by in a lifeless blunder,

And once again innocence and curiosity shine.

Without even knowing it Red teaches me so much.

Life is better kept simple without the rush."


And so it's August, the heat is in full swing, rain storms happen every night, and I am still dancing with dragonflies.

It's been 3 months almost since I graduated from college and not a job in site. Let me reword that. There are tons of jobs in site, just nothing local. And I can't afford to move out on my own to another state just yet. And I wouldn't be too pressed about it if things were a lot better at home or if I wasn't so worried that putting so much time between myself and my degree field would make me obsolete. But in all honesty, I'm not sure I even want to work in degree field. I have toyed with the thought of opening a restaurant or bakery since that is one of my passions. Or I have even contemplated opening a crafty business. I had my heart set on the latter for almost a year now, but Mabon is almost here and I don't have any stock or money to make stock in order to sell at the upcoming Pagan Pride Festival. And with that being said, I am vowing that in a year I will have amazing, crafty, pagan, goodness to sell next year at Mabon and Beltaine and maybe even a few of the other local events outside the Pagan community. And hopefully a second job or a full time job will come my way in the mean time to help me secure funds for all of this. Either way, I know everything will work out. It always does. Kind of like when I lose things, like my keys or money (which I happily blame the fae for!) it always comes back, one way or another. And that's not belief in destiny, that's belief in life in general. :)

Life has been crazy busy the past few weeks. My nanny died last month (that would be a grandmother for all you non nanny label users, lol). My dad is taking it in a decent fashion. We don't talk about it. That's how he handles things. I get that from him. We prefer to suffer in silence and carry on with the world on the outside. I was preparing my what-to-make-for-christmas-and-for-who list yesterday, and it just was weird not putting her name on it this year. I made her a country-esque quilt last year that she loved. She grew up on a farm in the Midwest, somewhere around Illinois and Missouri. I'll always remember her for her country style and slang. Growing up she would make snow cream in the winter.... you will never have anything like hers. It was amazing. And she made the best damn mashed potatoes and fried fish and chicken!! Dad loved her collards and corn bread. Around here in VA it's called soul food, and that pissed her off. She would always say, "Ain't no damn soul food! That's country cooking! Been around longer than damn soul food!" hahaha. It was terrible. She's had lung cancer for quite a number of years now but it hadn't been affecting her too bad, considering it was terminal. She was perfectly ok until February before her birthday. She had to go in for surgery and things were never the same from then on. She spent the following months in and out of the hospital and nursing home. Finally, last month she passed due to a mixture of pneumonia and the cancer. I went to see her in the hospital the day before she passed. It was like I knew what was going to happen. She had been unconscious for days now drifting in and out, but mostly out. I walked in, said my goodbyes and held her hand. As I was about to leave I told her "Goodbye Nan! I'll see you later!" And she opened her eyes and looked right at me. Her arms jerked like she wanted to move but didn't have the energy for it, so I went in and gave her a hug. Her eyes remained closed but I know she knew I was there. I had been dealing pretty well until now, but thinking about the holidays makes it harder now. I only have two blood grandparents alive now. My mom's mother who lives in South Dakota. We don't speak. And my dad's father who is currently in Missouri somewhere. Last I heard from him was when I returned from Africa in Jan. 2009. He had sent me a package of all the old photos my mom and dad had sent him throughout my childhood and up until current. He included a note that said he wanted them returned to me in case something happened. He knew his wife wouldn't be able to go through everything and handle it. I've sent him letter and called, but no one answers or replies. He could have passed and I don't know if anyone would ever tell me. But I can't think like that. I know his wife would find a way to tell me. She's a sweet woman. I wish I had been able to spend more time getting to know her.

So in between dealing with that and the memories of others who have passed before, one of my best friends was dealing with issues with her fiance and I was trying to be supportive for her, and of course the home front which I'm trying to remain positive about life has been, well, pretty complex. Not that life has ever been anything but. ;) Any who, here we are again. I find the most freedom in my crafting and in nature. It's the only time throughout the day when I don't have to think about others around me and I'm able to almost empty my mind and just..... breathe. I think this summer my favorite part of nature are the dragonflies. They've played an important role this summer, more than usual. When I go out to water my garden or just to look for things to harvest one is always around. I have about 2 or 3 that I call my "usual suspects." One I have affectionately names Red. Why? Cuz he's red. Creative of me huh? lol. He likes to come around and he actually will dance and run in and out and around my spray from the hose. It's like he's playing with me. It's adorable. I'll have to catch it on camera next time. So as an ode to my Red, I have themed this summer as "Dancing with Dragonflies." I think it has a ring to it. Red and the others help to remind me that there is nothing wrong with childlike perspectives on life, and sometimes that's exactly what people need. It's ok to believe that hiding under a blanket will protect you from monsters, or that sometimes when life has given you weights you just need to throw your hands up and start dancing. Take simple pleasure from listening to the birds, or feeling the breeze wrap itself around you. Life is terminal, and there is just too much of it rushing by when you just stand there. I started to breathe and live life 6 years ago my junior year in high school. And since I made that promise I think I have done pretty well with it. Now that everything else is over and I am in the "real world," as others like to say, it's time to really do some living and go for my goals. It's time to take flight and dance with the dragonflies and not look down or back.