State of the practice: September 2011

The Mundane

I’m home from work today, because tonight I am heading out to see Secret Chiefs 3 play live again. I saw them over the weekend in a small club with a tiny stage. Only about 100 people there. It made for an intimate show and I had a blast.

As for the timing of this mini-vacation, it could not be better. My beloved cat Honey is not long for this world. She’s been slowing down over the last few years, and this summer, showing it even moreso. I’m not enough of a soothsayer to be able to say exactly when will be her last moment (and I am quite thankful for that fact), so I am making sure to peek in on her regularly. If anyone’s worried, I am not the only person in this house, so there’s not a concern of her being alone if she really needs anything. I’ve said my prayers to Bast that her transition be smooth.
(Update since I started writing, she’s acting a little more like herself now, so I doubt she’ll pass today. But it’s coming, and soon.)

For the month of August I was dealing with a major case of fatigue/exhaustion. I’m slowly recovering from it (I think it was adrenal fatigue showing itself, and the supplements for the adrenals I’ve been taking are certainly being a help) and prepping to do the final bits of work needed to secure my Master’s degree.

On to the practices…

Senut as a daily practice continues. I’ve done it daily (purity permitting) for over two years now. What a difference it makes. Starting out your morning with Deity is quite the experience. If you doubt what a daily devotional practice can do for you, try it for a while. Do one thing, but do it every day.

After many many years of knowing the importance of ancestor offerings and having some form of ancestor shrine, I’ve finally made weekly offerings for them a regular practice. Usually it involves a pastry (something I don’t really eat anymore), water, and a candle. This month I also made an additional offering for the Sixth Day festival, which is a Kemetic feast specifically for the ancestors. For that day, they received whiskey. I think I am going to keep that as the offering for the specific day.
This regular devotion is starting to pay off now. For the longest time, my ancestors have come to me as a sort of mass. All together, unable to discern specific people. Last week after I offered a lemon bar, I swear I felt the presence of one of my aunts. This aunt had been something of a surrogate grandmother to me, as all but one of my grandparents were alive by the time I was two, and she lived in Sweden. I feel thankful that I was able to pick up on her and that she enjoyed the offering.

My yoga teacher gave me “homework” a week and a half ago, when I told her about my fatigue issues. She said that I should practice yoga nidra at least three times a week. This is my kind of homework! It’s been a help, not only for my body, but also for my brain. Having been so busy and wound up from schooling the last few years, each session is untangling another knot. In addition, it’s also making it easier for me to resume a regular meditation practice.

Back in April I decided that I wanted to deepen my relationships with my fetches and other animal spirits in my life. Each month since then, one animal has stepped up, and I’ve just made it a point to be more aware of them, their energy, the presence, and what they bring to my life.

The green world has started calling to me. A funny thing, herbs and other plants are often seen as one of those quintessential aspects of magical work and witchcraft. I have always liked plants and loved the idea of working with them in spellwork but was apprehensive because I didn’t know how to start. As usual, books to the rescue! I just finished both Herb Magic for Beginners by Ellen Dugan and The Plant Spirit Familiar by Chris Penczak. The former is something I wish had been around at least ten years ago. Finally, someone laying out things like simples and other ideas for extra supplies. Penczak’s book is amazing, especially if you work in a more shamanic context. There’s a lot of great ideas on working with plants presented here. In fact I intend to use some of the ritual ideas in there to do a green dedication ritual for Mabon. Plant work is going to take a long time, and I know it, but now I have the time to do so.
Funny things relating to it: This summer I purchased a bunch of herbs and other plants from Dver. I guess they knew. Also, yesterday on the way to work I was pondering which tea to prep for myself to drink. I had thought of one, then discounted it as something I didn’t really need that day. Then I suddenly felt as though the plants in that bag were calling out to me and commanding me to drink. I did, and bow to their collective wisdom.

Finally, I’ve gotten some artwork mounted which has been sitting in temporary mounts or hiding in the closet for a long time. It’s a nice feeling. Once the last item is mounted I will post some photos here.

For those of you who have a love for fiber arts, my friend Beth has launched a new blog, Fensalir Fiber. There will also be an Etsy store of the same name coming soon. Good thing I am knitting again and started to learn to crochet!

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2 comments on “State of the practice: September 2011

  1. ((( Soli ))) We’re right there with you, with Honey, with our Sassy. You’ve got my sympathy. This is a bittersweet time.

    Chris’s books get some flake in some circles (hee, see what I did there?) but I rather like them. You’ve got me wanting to poke at that one. I am so thrilled to see summer going on its merry way, and it looks like I’m not the only one!

  2. Thanks hon. Her Highness is actually doing a lot better, and I think it might have been food poisoning. She’s still old though, so I know the clock is ticking. As it does for the rest of us.

    Penczak may get some flak but at the same time his books have a lot more depth than most of what’s on the market. That and they often go beyond the 101. This one especially, since he does go into baneful plants and how to approach them.

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