Hey, how are you all doing?
I realized that I haven’t really written an actual post in quite a while, though it’s not for lack of material.
Often, when I am planning to write about certain topics, my brain will inadvertently begin constructing these wonderfully succinct, perfectly worded posts upon those topics – usually while I’m doing something else (like doing the dishes, walking my dogs, or at worst, trying to sleep).
But the funny thing is, when when I sit down to write out those thoughts, I can’t think of what it was that I intended to say. My vocabulary just disappears! All of those effortless turns of phrase will suddenly feel out of reach, and I often feel like the moment is damned near lost as I wrack my brain trying to recapture whatever it was.
So, in that sense, my brain is filled with these half-formed drafts of well-thought-out posts:
So I’ve been taking this biweekly class on divination and mediumship.
Recently, when I was looking over the weekly ‘homework,’ I notice that the instructor will often reference information from the ‘class page’ or the ‘website’ and I realized
much to my dismay!
that I don’t know what he means.
So I went looking on the Internet for the information, only I could not find anything resembling a ‘class page’ or a ‘class website’, except the initial class registration page, and his FB page (which seemed to be simply a mirror site of that registration page.)
So then I sent him an email, asking specifically what he was referring to when he mentioned ‘as you may have seen on the website’ or ‘as was discussed on the class page…’
And, as he seems to live on the West Coast, I didn’t expect to hear from him a few hours.
Instead, I got to thinking about this anxiety that I’ve been having, not just regarding this class, but concerning my overall approach to my devotional practice lately. And, as I went about my morning tasks, I began to overthink, trying to pinpoint the root of my anxiety.
It occurred to me that I might have a fear of missing out.
Or perhaps my anxiety is rooted in the fear that others have access to something that I don’t seem to have access to, as represented by this class page/website that the instructor seems to reference.
And as a result, I am left feeling stuck. Feeling that I must be doing something wrong…that there must be a disconnect somewhere.
And suddenly I was struck with a thought: what if the reason that I cannot find this page that the instructor references is simply because there isn’t one?
What if the root of my fear – and therefore my anxiety – is that I am chasing after the lack of access to something that I’ve only imagined?
What if, indeed?
Well I still haven’t heard from him.
Perhaps I have answered my own question.
Asbjorn Torval’s latest post on spirit animals brings up some good points regarding spirit animals, personal bias and what he terms ‘power play’ when considering why there are so many folks who choose wolves and bears as their spirit animals, and yet no one seems to choose cockroaches or rats.
Why indeed, and this post has given me much food for thought regarding my own experiences in that if I were to choose a spirit animal, I would likely choose the fox, the horse, or the raven
– and yet, if I were to be honest –
The reality seems to be that my spirit animals are
(L-R: Turkey vulture; Black vulture)
(L-R: angry possum; possum ‘playing dead’)
You see, ever since I began working with Loki – and then later (and at present) Odin – my life has become overrun with vultures and possums!
Did I expect the relentless presence of vultures and possums in my life?
Well, I cannot say that I did, and yet – much like the Gods Themselves – I find that my life is full of signs of their presence at every turn.
So what have all of these interactions with vultures and possums taught me?
As many long-time followers of this blog may recall that I have written of my mundane (and spiritual) experiences with vultures, I don’t think I have ever written about my interactions with possums.
I grew up in a rather rural town in Massachusetts. My father had quite a sizeable garden on the 1/2 acre property, and as you might imagine, I came across possums – both living and dead – quite often.
As a matter of fact, a dead possum was likely my first childhood experience with death – when, at the age of five or six years old – I found the very much dead body of a possum under an outdoor picnic table in the backyard. I remember my father explaining to me how sometimes possums would ‘play dead’ – just like I’d seen in cartoons – but that this one was really dead 😦
As well, my siblings and I would often come across live mama possums -with tiny babies – living in our root cellar, or trying to survive the winter by sneaking under the bulkhead stairs and into our basement. (I remember my older siblings and I learning to build a (humane) catch and release trap (courtesy of a Mark Trail book) for catching all the possums and other animals that snuck in, and how aggressively we competed with each other for the exciting and very honorable privilege of being the one who help our father carry the [occupied] trap into the woods to safely release whatever animal it had caught.)
But then, once I grew up and left home, I spent many years living in suburban areas and in bigger cities like Boston, Orlando, and Newark…and I didn’t see another possum for almost 25 years.
Fast forward to 2010, when my husband and I bought a house in a large Central Florida suburb…and I am telling you, I have never seen so many possums in all of my life.
In the month of July 2013 alone, I came across eight dead possums in my backyard; I swear that the vultures were bringing them – perhaps even dropping them – into my backyard, which is surrounded by a 6 foot privacy fence. Two of them were huge- larger than each of my three full grown house-cats – and even my 75 lb Labrador retriever was afraid to go near them. (They were very dead and very heavy – and the body of one of those particularly big ones would not fit on the scoop/blade of my largest shovel.)
And nowadays, I’ve seen a few (thankfully live) possums while walking my dogs at night, either trotting down the middle of my street, or perched on my next-door neighbor’s fence or in the tree overlooking their swimming pool.
My dogs go berserk and stand out there barking at them every time one of the possums show up- but I don’t think they even blink anymore
Most of those ‘What’s your Spirit Animal?’ websites (like this one) often portray Possum as a sort of trickster and problem solver:
So, considering best laid plans and all that…
Every time I see a vulture, I take it as a reminder that I need
And, oddly enough, when I see possums, I take it as a sign that I need to:
That being said, I think Vulture and Possum are my unexpected spirit animals
…and I imagine that they are here to stay.
I am not a fan of New Year’s Eve. I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s Eve.
So, I was delighted to see such an apt quote on my social media feed today..being the last day of December, the last day of 2017.
Like Sam Shepard, I detest endings….but perhaps it is simply that my perception is faulty.
May 2018 be a worthy beginning for all of us ❤
I don’t think people have demons.
I think they have themselves and things they aren’t ready to be honest about yet.
It is not easy to come to grips with the fact that we’re capable of hurting people with the same instrument we love them with.
The heart is a hungry wolf
and it is made of glass.
~King (Austin) Longton~
(Artwork: wolf heartline by linhopereira on DeviantArt)
Though my intent is to write every day, sometimes I struggle to write about certain topics.
And this topic – and its array of sub-topics – is one of them.
How important is ritual? How important are offerings?
How – or why – would anyone do any of this? How important is it to do any of this?
And then, this article came across my feed this morning, and I immediately thought to share it.
Because this part especially, hit me hard:
“Have you ever heard about people who accomplish amazing things, and been jealous? I know I have. There are many ways to be successful. I’m not the prettiest, not the smartest, and definitely not the most talented or luckiest. But the one thing I have always been is as stubborn as the day is long – not in some petty way (mostly), but in the kind of way that makes me get up when life knocks me down.
I’m not the fair-haired hero. I’ve never been the chosen one. I’m that other guy. My power isn’t born of charm or good looks. I was born to wear a t-shirt that says, “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.”(1)
We live in a cynical age where our fair-haired heroes have revealed themselves as paper cutouts, our leaders have sold themselves to the highest bidder, and the world gets less friendly every day. We wake up and go through the motions and wonder if there’s a damn thing we can do about it.
And you know what? There is.”
Because, much like Christopher Drysdale, I too, am as stubborn as the day is long.
And yes, I have been jealous of the success of others.
And yes, I have realized that I am not special nor am I particularly disciplined all of the time.
I have wished that my week could be stripped of Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings, because sometimes, what I am doing is not easy nor is it particularly rewarding…
But then it is.
And when it is rewarding…when I look back at the trajectory of my Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings
That is when I realize that that is the essence of why I do what I do, and why it is important that I keep doing.
You want the carrot…you gotta be stubborn.
You gotta chase the stick.
So I was finally catching up on Doctor Who this past Sunday, when the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) from the Christmas 2016 episode, The Return of Doctor Mysterio, has this exchange with a young boy named Grant who asks the Doctor who he is:
YOUNG GRANT: Who are you?
DOCTOR: The Doctor.
YOUNG GRANT: Yeah, but who are you?
DOCTOR: The Doctor.
YOUNG GRANT: Which one, though? There’s lots of doctors.
DOCTOR: The one. I’m the main one. The original. I started it. They’re all based on me. Now everyone who wants to sound clever calls themselves Doctor. Bandwagon!
YOUNG GRANT: In a comic book, you know what you’d be called? Doctor Mysterio.
DOCTOR: Oh, I like that. Doctor Mysterio! I’ll have that. Nearly ready.
But it is this line that first caught me off guard:
YOUNG GRANT: What is it?
DOCTOR: Well, in terms that you would understand? Sorry, there aren’t any. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a time-distortion equaliser thingy.
YOUNG GRANT: A what?
DOCTOR: Well, there’s been a lot of localised disruption here in New York, so, er, my fault, actually. Hopefully this will make it all calm down.
YOUNG GRANT: I don’t understand.
DOCTOR: Do you know what a lightning conductor is?
YOUNG GRANT: Yeah.
DOCTOR: Well, it’s not like that.
I hate to get all Pop-Paganism on y’all, but this particular Doctor evokes so much of the essence of Them for me that I am continually being thrown off guard by those sorts of random side comments. Especially when I find myself wondering what the heck They mean…because there is so much about Them, what They do and what They want that I have gotten to the point that I am beginning to wonder if it will ever make sense.
But as Madeline L’Engle wrote:
It’s kind of funny that the word “learned” is used here, since what she’s learned is that you can’t know everything.
Instead of learning as gaining knowledge, here it’s recognizing a lack of knowledge.
Today I made an offering to Loki
and received this odd little bit of synchronicity:
From Gravity Falls’ Mabel, of all places.
Point taken, Sir. ❤