I didn’t post a blog last week. I had plenty to write about. I had photos. I theoretically had time. I just spent that time in bed recovering from being all peopled out. It was a busy week, and last week was as well.
Going through the equinox reminded me that this is all about balance. I’ve written about balance quite a bit. There is always something new for me to learn. I recognize balance is not a passive thing. I also recognize that it’s harder to maintain balance when the swing back and forth is very wide. My swing has been a little wide.
In my busy people weekend I had a great time. It turned into a weekend all about live music, what a treat! I ran into an old friend on-line. (Or as I like to remind her: I’m not her oldest friend; I’m just the one she’s known the longest.) Since I hate trying to have a real conversation through messaging (is my age showing) I asked what she was up to and if we could get together. She had plans with another of our High School friends and invited me to tag along. Music in the suburbs, good company – including the strangers who graciously shared their table, old fashioned rock-a-billy music and a lot of catching up.
Then the weekend got into full swing with both St. Patrick’s Day and Paganicon. This is Karina’s first St. Pat’s as a manager in an Irish Pub. I got several phone calls including the stories of all the “fires” that she needed to deal with. The folks I talked to when I stopped in this week had nothing but praise for her, so I suspect she rocked it. She had scheduled events at the pub all week. I went on Friday (St. Practice day) to hear Hustle Rose.
The band leader worked with Karina back in the day, so I’d met him and heard the band before. It was nice to support them both. I think they are very talented and I like their original stuff as well as their covers. David, the band leader, was even kind enough to give slightly intoxicated Mom, me, a ride home.
Part of the Paganicon line-up are the musical guests. Because I took Orion this year we were much more focused on the socializing than the workshops. Of course one of the best places to get together with folks is around the music. Saturday night is the ball, and another friend Tomi T-Time Majoros and his band stepped in when the scheduled band backed out. Even the musical guest of honor S.J. Tucker sang along. It was great to have a ball band that folks could dance too. A fun and friendly evening.
Orion and I also got to hear S.J and visit a little with her. She put out a special edition exclusive CD just for the Paganicon event. Her heart is as great as her voice.
This last weekend, as I said, was the equinox which meant ritual prep and execution. I also ran up to my folks for 24 hours (that’s 3 hours up and 3 hours back for an overnight). Dad wanted to caucus, my sister needed to do an equipment run (a hospital bed and a wheelchair coming soon for my Mom) and so someone needed to stay. Glad to be able to help even if it meant swinging that balance a little wide.
To check out my previous posts search on my blog page for:
It is the spring equinox, when day and night are of equal length. We’ve had such odd weather I’m not sure if spring is coming or going. I’m looking at the celebration of new beginnings and feeling like I need a little inspiration.
I spent the weekend going outward for inspiration. I went to my writers group and listened to these amazing women talk about their plans for their books and their writing. I left feeling better, but it was St. Patrick’s Day and that seemed to be what filled the air.
I also went to Paganicon, the local convention. I saw old friends, attended a few workshops, and escorted Orion around. I didn’t present this year. He really wanted to go, so this year it was his convention. One of the unique things about Paganicon is the exhibition of Pagan artists, sponsored by the Minneapolis Collective of Pagan Artists. There were some beautiful pieces this year.
I left the convention with some ideas about things I’d like to plant in my life this new year. I just don’t have clarity about how I want that to work. On the way home the weather turned again. The sun was shining and it was 55 degrees out. It really felt like spring.
I decided to follow an impulse and stopped to buy flowers. I brought them home and put them around my house. They are my inspiration. They are a little sign that spring is really on its way. They make me smile.
What is your inspiration?
Previous blogs about the spring equinox and about Paganicon:
I spent most of the weekend outside. Winter is coming. There aren’t that many lovely weekends left in the year. Last weekend was definitely one of them. It was warm, dry, there was a good breeze. The evenings cooled off, but didn’t get cold. Perfect weather for being outdoors.
Saturday was the community equinox ritual we often attend. I’ve blogged about it in the past. (Autumn, Darkness, Harvest, Balance – Wow I’ve been doing this for a long time!) I had Orion along so there is the additional piece about pushing him on uneven ground. I used to have to be sure I had someone else there who I could count on to help. Not so much this year. I made all the trips from the car (Orion, Pot luck cooler, Pot luck crock pot, Lawn chair and blankets) all by myself.
It was good to catch up with some old friends. It was also nice to have a community willing to share a dessert – so I could have a bite rather than throwing out most of a piece. The buffet table is still a challenge for me, but I have found that if I fill one plate (with an eye for both Orion and I) and then split it into two at the table I do better.
We were there most of the afternoon and late into the evening. Sat around the fire talking, watched the dancers and listened to the drummers in the background. The moon was high, the night was clear and the wooded grove a pleasant cathedral.
Sunday Karina took me off to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. We didn’t get there for the first cannon, that’s about the time she picked me up. We didn’t stay to the last cannon (hoping that leaving 5 min. early would help get out of the parking lot.) But we spent much of the day wandering around the festival.
The last time I was at the Ren Faire I was with a friend who was looking at knee replacement surgery. Neither one of us was moving very far or very fast. We took all day to circle the grounds one time through. We traveled from one bench to the next. This time was a very different story. We did sit down a few times to eat, grab a drink, or see a show. Mostly we were on our feet, back and forth across the entire park.
We had another beautiful day, warm with a breeze. We saw friends working at the festival as well as running into a few just visiting. Karina ate, and I nibbled off of what she got, so I didn’t struggle much with the food. The highlight of the day was visiting with the Morris Dancers. These guys are all friends of my daughters from when she was a waitress. They are a warm and welcoming bunch. They brought us up on the stage for one dance, and Karina even joined them in another.
We watched the full moon rising on our way home. It was huge on the horizon (as the harvest moon often is). When my Ex dropped off Orion he made me go outside again. The eclipse was happening so even though I was exhausted I got to see that as well.
I was tired enough to go to bed when Orion did. I ached. My ankles were a little swollen. BUT I got to do BOTH things this weekend. My ankles still look like ankles. I didn’t feel like if I sat down I was never going to get up again. I didn’t worry about walking or getting anything done all week. Life is so different this side of the bariatric journey. I am exceptionally grateful for good tired.
With the Fall equinox upon us I’ve started to notice the signs of autumn creeping up. The leaves are just beginning to turn. The trees that have been severely stressed by our odd weather are further along, but the majority are just hinting at colors.
That stress is definitely in the air. One day the highs are barely above 60F the next they’re well into the 70’s. Mornings are cool, almost cold when they are damp. There’s been hard frost further north and it would not be unseasonable to see some here in the city. It’s difficult to dress for such unpredictable, changeable weather.
The sun shines, equal with the darkness. It still carries warmth with its light, but that warmth seems more focused. It gets hot in the car, if it’s in the direct sun, but the warmth doesn’t creep past the edges of the shadows of the tree line.
I’ve had a fire or two in the fireplace, trying not to turn on the heat. It’s difficult to crawl out of bed when the temperature in the house is below 65. When I do turn on the furnace (because it’s impossible to get out of a warm tub when the air is that cold) I try to remember to turn it off again. Sometimes I get to wondering why I’m so hot before it occurs to me I’ve forgotten.
At least with the heat on the air is filtered. The cool and damp is ideal for mold – one of my worst allergies. It will get worse before it gets better as leaves fall into mulch. Soon I’ll be begging for the hard freeze, but I wouldn’t begrudge a few more weeks of summer weather after.
Happy Autumnal Equinox!
Previous Equinox blogs:
Last week was the vernal equinox, the official start of spring. Dare I mention that we had snow flurries this morning?
Dying eggs is a big deal this time of year. Whether you dye them for Easter or Ostara or just because it’s fun I have to wonder if part of the reason for dying eggs is just to put some color into the landscape.
In warmer climates there are native breeds of chickens that lay eggs of different colors. If you think about the climates in places like the Ukraine, famous for their egg dying techniques, winters are longer and springs can be pretty grey.
There are signs that spring may indeed show up after this very hard winter.
We have had quite a lot of melt (honest). There was running water in the creek and I even saw a minnow swim by in the icy water.
This year we blessed our eggs for the strength to hold on through the thaw. It may still be awhile, but it’s coming.
I don’t know why, but it seems October always sneaks up on me. Maybe it’s that “start-up” thing I get going in September. I never feel quite in the groove before October rolls around. Maybe it’s that Orion’s birthday is in October (the second) so it’s not just the beginning the month, but an event that catches me unprepared.
This week, besides Orion’s birthday, I’m on Blog Talk Radio – The Priestess Show, talking about Ancestors. (The first Friday of the month ALREADY?) The universe is being particularly helpful to me on this one. I was invited by a friend to attend the opening performance of the Black Storytellers Alliance festival. This year’s theme “Leaning on the Ancestors.”
It was truly a privilege to participate in this event, and the audience does participate! These were master storytellers. Their stories come out of their experiences and their history, but they embrace and welcome the whole of the human experience. The storytellers came from all across the country, and even (although he currently lives in Maine) from Brazil.
The event began with drumming, the drummers mostly children from the community. They did impressive work, shared the spotlight and encouraged the audience to clap along with the beats. Then libations were poured out to honor the Divine that has gifted us with our lives, our ancestors and our descendants. This piece was beautifully done. I’ve seen many versions of this and both my friend and I were impressed with the grace and eloquence of this little ritual. But then, these are storytellers aren’t they.
There were family stories and old fables with new twists. There were stories of imitation and of recognizing our own worth. Every performance acknowledged the ancestors as a source of power and wisdom. These are the shoulders upon which we stand.
Orion and I also attended a community equinox ritual. This too acknowledged our history and our futures. We made wishes for ourselves and our community. We cast our coins into the wishing well, but then were taught that we are the well, the water the change makers. We are the one’s with the power to make our wishes manifest.
Because making wishes has consequences we were also given charge of someone else’s wishes. We each got an old roman coin (about 2000 years old). So now I carry, not only my wishes, but the wishes of those who used this old coin to achieve their own desires. Ancestors and Descendants. I am blessed.
As we approach the autumnal equinox I am finding myself torn. On the one hand I feel this “start-up” energy that comes with the beginning of school and the bounty in the gardens. On the other hand I recognize the shortening of days, the approaching darkness.
After this coming weekend our nights will be longer than our days. This is great for romantics, evening walks in the cool sunset and not too late nights under the stars. This is not so great for mornings, getting up before the sun makes getting up that much harder.
Spiritually, the dark side of the year is an opportunity to explore the “hidden” parts of ourselves. This can be working with darker aspects that we don’t like to acknowledge or just spending more time in quiet meditation. It’s a time to work through old issues and clear out the attics of our souls.
It’s also a time to nurture ourselves. Those tender seeds sprouting from that fall planting need time to gain strength before they break through into the light. There is the nesting that comes with the harvest season. The gardens are put to bed, fruits and vegetables canned. I have an urge to bake, keeping the house warm without turning on the heat.
This is my third blog on the autumnal equinox. I’ve written about Choice and I’ve written about Balance. This year though I am headed into the darkness. I’ve reached an age where it’s important to me to be honest with myself about myself. I have to look at making some changes to my lifestyle, pruning away the things that interfere with my ability to truly prosper and grow.
These are small seeds I plant in my heart this season. The dark is scary and compelling. There will not always be a light to guide my way. I’ve commented on several of your blogs how facing fear, taking the risk and moving forward is the best way to grow confidence. Maybe I’ve been talking to myself all along.
Blessings on your equinox. May the balance shift in your favor.
The harvest is upon us. The first frost warnings are going out. The equinox has past and it is officially Autumn.
There is something about September, about the harvest, about beginnings and endings that touches my heart. In the whole of there year it is at this time when I am most aware that everything is a circle, a cycle.
We have much of the grains in,the apples are ripening each variety in its turn and after the frost can start on the wine grapes. The pumpkins and other winter squashes begin to make their appearance in the grocery stores. It is a time of bounty where anything is possible and everything is ripe and available.
But it is an ending time as well. The summer is truly gone (although we need that frost to mark a true Indian Summer). The leaves are beginning to turn and slowly fall from the trees. This is the week from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur the high holiday of the Jewish calendar. The New Year and also a time of atonement and forgiveness.
Truly harvest is about choice. When do you gather in your crops? What do you chose to use immediately, what to use soon, and what to pack up in freezing or canning for the winter ahead? What do you keep for yourself and what do you let go, either back to compost, to seed or to sell?
The metaphor of the harvest may have meant more when our culture was closer to our agricultural roots, but it is still applicable. It is a time for review. A time to make choices. A time to review one’s live and to make adjustments to get on “the right course.” It is time to rid yourself of excess baggage. Throw away the summer clothes that are too worn to make it through another season, dust off the old winter coats and see if they were stored well or if they too need replacing.
The baggage comes in relationships too, and hence the Jewish tradition of asking forgiveness for one’s wrongful actions. It is in September that we realize that summer romance isn’t going to last. It is in September that we begin to fret about starting that diet in preparation for November’s feasting.
What treasures from the year are you choosing to take with you into the winter, and what things have come to the end of their usefulness? What behaviors do not serve your greater purpose? Where can you make “adjustments” to the course of your life? Are there people that you have wronged that would appreciate an attempt to make things right?