Celebrating Transformation

Two years ago I dedicated myself to the task of transformation – the journey of my own becoming. To be aware of the learning opportunities that come my way, however painful, mundane or joyful they may be, and to use these experiences to walk a step further along my journey home to Self.

This weekend the Goddess Association of Australia hosts their annual conference, with the theme of transformation. I am so very sorry that I am unable to attend this year – however instead I will be stepping forward on my journey of transformation as I co-host our Effective Parenting Weekend at Silkwood with my friend and colleague Melissa Joss. Transformation is our work now ūüôā

To the women and men who are attending the Goddess Conference this year, I offer you my blessings for an amazing weekend together, and I would like to share with you my dedication to self that I made two years ago :

Dedication

Serpentine Sister Initiation, June 19 2010

 I have been lifted with wings on my feet. I have been dissolved into the ether of the Muse’s finest imaginings, where I have received the gift of words.

¬†I have descended into the womb-tomb of Bone Mother, where I have been picked clean and laid bare, only to emerge once more, dressed in The Empress‚Äôs robe of simplicity, wisdom, joy, maturity and majesty, and clutching within my palm the seeds of the Reaping Queen ‚Äď seeds for me to nurture, to take responsibility for and make something of.

 I have embodied the Weaver as I enjoyed fits of giggles and long heart-wrenching sobs. I have learned to weave moments of stillness within the moments of madness and to constantly review my boundaries and revise my intentions.

 I carry a sword by my side, together with my pen.

Both I use to clear my path, that I may see in front of me clearly with the eyes of the Lady of Prophecy.

 I have merged into the body of the natural world and heard the voices of Shamanka Woman and my Ancestral Mothers Рmy roots Рin my blood, and in my body. Always a part of me, and always present as my Blood Keepers.

¬†I know the Sorceress‚Äôs power of alchemical transformation in form and soul and spirit and I dedicate myself to this ‚Äď to the study of Goddess Alchemy ‚Äď that I may continue to weave my way, to learn new skills and find the courage to stand in the face of the Unknown of my past, present and future.

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Expressing Gratitude with Children: Cinnamon Offerings

I posted recently about the prayer flags that I made with my children and playgroup to express gratitude. They are fluttering away in streaks of colour on my verandah, such a beautiful visual reminder of our wonderful blessings.

Another gratitude exercise we did together was to make cinnamon offerings as part of our Easter Celebrations. I didn’t plan this activity very well for playgroup, and we ran out of time to make it the special experience it could have been. I sent some families home with some dough of their own – that is, what was left after my youngest sat there eating it.

Cinnamon offerings are made from apple sauce and cinnamon. A lot of cinnamon. They are not meant to be edible, but as I said, my baby girl ate quite a bit of it while we weren’t looking, clearly thinking they were biscuits. Not sure how digestible that amount of cinnamon is, but she was perfectly fine. So – this activity works best with older children ūüôā

I did manage to make a few with my seven-year-old and my four-year-old at home. We talked briefly about our blessings and what we are thankful for. We cut out shapes and gave them our blessings. When they were dry hung them in the olive tree by our front path, and Buddha was given some blessings also.

The recipe for this dough comes from the book Circle Round, written by Starhawk, Diane Baker and Anne Hill. It is a book full of wonderful ideas for celebrating the seasonal festivals with your family from the Goddess Tradition: crafts, songs, stories and recipes as well as rituals. The dough is listed there under the heading of ‘Cinnanimals’ on page 271.

When these are cooking they are sooo fragrant. They smell¬†divine¬†when they are dried too. Make them to hang in your Easter Tree,¬†you can also make them for your altar or seasonal table. We didn’t have an Easter Tree this year because we were not home for this festival, so we hung them in our garden for everyone to enjoy.

APPLE-CINNAMON DOUGH

1 cup (smooth) applesauce

1 1/2 cups cinnamon

Mix together in a food processor. If you mix by hand do it carefully and slowly, adding a tsp of cinnamon at a time because the cinnamon is so fine that clouds of it will burst out of your bowl! Work it into a smooth and firm dough, adding more cinnamon if necessary.

Dust a flat surface with cinnamon and roll out small balls of dough to press out with cookie cutters. Bless each shape, name the object of your gratitude. Poke a little hole in the top with a skewer if you intend to hang them.

Let the animals dry in the sun, put them in the dehydrator or bake in a slow oven at the lowest temperature until they are dry and firm. They should be much firmer than a cookie.

They should last a very long time (although I think a few birds and animals have had a nibble at ours hanging outside!). The ones we didn’t hang are kept in a paper bag hanging in my cupboard. Spicy and sweet!

Sacred Essence: Shining Some Light On the New Year

I am excited! Our first Sacred Essence Women’s Circle has crept up on us and it is THIS WEEK!

Our monthly women’s circle is going to be held on Thursday evening this year – every SECOND THURSDAY of the month. Mark those Thursdays in your calendar now, so that you can plan to come, particularly if you need to arrange some babysitting.

Every day is a great day to set new intentions and goals – however there are times of the year that just seem to call out for the broad vision – a clear description of where we want to be by the end of the year and how we are going to get there. Everyone needs to do this. I am not talking about resolutions. New Years resolutions have never worked out for me, because just saying “I am going to do this” makes you feel great at the time, and inspired for a few weeks, but unless you have a plan in place to help you achieve that, then how do you keep the momentum?

One of my favourite quotes is ‘will power, like the brain, is like a muscle – it is strengthened with exercise’. I am not sure where I heard that but it is a reminder that stating our dreams and visions is the first step, but unless you take a step every day you can’t walk towards that vision.

So this will be our focus for our first circle of the year, and we’ll be doing this creatively within a reflection of the energy,¬†inspiration¬†and passion that the SUN brings to us. After our program of yoga, meditation, story and reflection we’ll be playing with collage – creating our own beautiful sun mandalas as a visual representation of our intentions for this year. Do you have some burning desires that need your focus? Do you have a lack of passion that needs firing with energy? Do you (like me!) have too many wonderful ideas for this year that need some focus? Come and join us, come and play in the company of women and sacred ceremony. This one is for you!

Go to Sacred Essence for more details and to follow our sacred work with women.

SACRED ESSENCE JANUARY CIRCLE

Silkwood School Moonlight Prep Room

39 Shepherd Hill Lane, Mt Nathan, Gold Coast

7:00 – 9:00 pm,

$20 or $45 for three sessions

 

A Day In The Temple

Written by and copyright to Jennifer McCormack, lavendilly@gmail.com, 2011

The sensation of earthly weight grows stronger as I slip back into my body after a night‚Äôs journey through the stars. Before my eyes open I become accustomed¬†to the feel of the sheets on my body. I become aware of my fingers and toes, my arms and legs, my breath rising and falling in my chest. My stomach¬†wishes me good morning and makes its first demands of the day. Not wishing the day to come rushing too quickly upon me, I do not yet open my eyes, but linger a moment more in my bed and cast my mind over the coming day. Knowing that my tasks are plenty I greet the Mother from where I lie, promising to spend a few moments more in grateful silence at Her altar when the time presents itself. When I feel fully returned to my earthly body once more I half open my eyes and see the light gray morning sky. It is early dawn and soon my tasks will begin ‚Äďmy day always begins and ends with the sun‚Äôs light. Before rising I summon Mother Mary to help prepare myself for the day ahead:

Into my Will, let there pour strength

Into my Feeling, let there flow warmth.

In the my Thinking, let there shine light,

That I may nurture this child

With enlightened purpose,

Caring with Heart’s love

And bringing Wisdom into all things.*

The verse is more for myself then for the children: that I may look after my own needs in order to look after others. To find the strength, love and wisdom to make the right decisions throughout the day. I am not ready to rise yet ‚Äď just a few moments more (please!) to think about what the day will bring:

My daily responsibilities in¬†the temple predominantly involve the nurturing of the children and care of the hearth. My day flows in a simple way ‚Äď simplicity is best with children, but the skills and strengths I need to move us from sun-up to sun-down are many. I call upon Artemis and her ability to set and reach her goals. I call upon Athena for her wisdom and skill. I call Mother Mary and her nurturing, encompassing love and patience. I call Demeter and her lesson of learning how to love and let go. I call Hestia and her love and respect for the home and hearth. I call Quan Yin for her endless compassion. Among others, I also call Aphrodite for her self-love and sense of play. I learned early that giving of myself to others is very wearying if I can‚Äôt renew the well-spring of love within me.

My day with the children moves in a series of flowing rhythms. Food, activity, rest. Joy, interest, tiredness. Blessings, bliss, frustration. Laughter and tears come and go in rhythmic, almost predictable cycles ‚Äď and that is not just the children!

I try to involve the children in as many of the hearth-tending tasks as I can. Together we’ll  (but mostly it is just I) rush about the house making beds, sweeping, washing and hanging out clothes, cleaning things that need to be cleaned and folding things that need to be folded. I sometimes see these tasks and other simple experiences repeated again in play and conversation with the children, and feel warmth in my heart to see our daily life unfold from the view of the child. At other times these simple tasks are like the torture of Prometheus.

At times I do feel so trapped in an endless cycle of caring, cooking, eating and cleaning, and I spare a thought for my own mother, who doubtless felt the same when I was small. But when I remember to, in the quiet moments I can relive the joy of the day, and revel in a moment paused. Grab the moment for myself and savour every bit of it ‚Äď squeeze every drop of creative pleasure and allow the moment to transform me. I can find my centre and reconnect with myself in a day of giving to others. Not every day is joyful but without the sad days, the angry days and the frustrated days how would we truly appreciate the joyful ones? This is something I have learned since I began my journey with children, and my awakening as a priestess in the temple. The best lesson yet: to be grateful and patient. To live and love the moment I am in now, and know that nothing stays the same, even if it feels that way at times. Our lives move in spirals ‚Äď we must always replay the experiences we have had before ‚Äď but what do we take from the experience this time, and how do we move forward with it?

I try often to share my experiences with other priestesses in my position.¬† We gather together and talk and work and play. A woman‚Äôs experience must be shared and understood by another woman! The tiniest hindrance to a free-flowing day, the tears that arise over the simplest of problems, the joy that comes with witnessing the smallest of achievements ‚Äď these are the things that can only be fully understood and valued by another who knows! This tie with other women and children is invaluable.

At the close of the day, with children asleep I’ll be tired too, but then I’ll have time to connect with my life partner and love, the one who walks with me hand in hand, to share stories of our day and to share time with each other; to support one another, to plan and create and love. The one who makes my day possible and is the light I seek at the end of it. It is time now to leave Mother Mary’s mantle of protection as a veil over the children in their beds. Time now to let myself expand in womanhood, to enjoy the company, conversation and touch of another adult. Time to let myself be and forgive myself the day’s frustrations.

And so I spend my days in service: I cook and I clean, I hug and grumble. I laugh, and ‚Äď yes I do often cry. I consider my task to be of very high importance, but at times it is so hard: I try to remain conscious of my moods, as children as so connected to their carer‚Äôs ups and downs. My responsibilities mean that I must be true to myself and care for myself before I care for anyone else. This is not easy! I thank the Mother Goddess every day for Her strength and Her Guidance and while our home is not the picture of compassion, or devotion to details every day, I do my best as I am able. I am a Mother and my home is my temple.

With these musings finished I summon my body to move from my bed. I can hear the children waking up ‚Äď always at the same time! With one last snuggle up to the reassuring, sleepy, loving, warmth beside me I open my eyes ‚Äď and like magic they are instantly at my side ‚Äď one searching for milk, the other standing by the bedside: ‚ÄúMumma, I‚Äôm SO hungry!‚ÄĚ How DO they know when we are awake? Daylight barely peeps through the bedroom windows. My day in the temple begins.

*Verse translated from the original by Dr Rudolf Steiner.

Self-Indulgent Beltaine Fun!

Sacred Essence Women’s Circle is this coming Monday night, 8th November and we’ll be having a bit of girly fun this night …. I”m talking pampering with home-made organic face masks, massage, chocolate coated strawberries – and of course a story and meditation also. This time, if the night is clear I am planning a moonlight meditation walk! It is going to be lots of fun girls and bookings are essential so let me know if you are coming!!

Sacred Essence Women’s Circle

Monday 8th November

7pm

$20 or $45 for three sessions

Silkwood School Moonlight Prep Room

39 Shepherd Hill Lane, Mt Nathan

Bookings: please contact me at

jennifer@ceremonieswithspirit.com

Three-fold Walking Meditation

This is the last post about Sacred Essence. Can you tell I found it an interesting night?!

We followed up the silk painting meditation and the story of Fundevogel with a walking meditation called “three-fold walking”. This is a meditation in movement in which we become aware of what is actually involved in the activity of lifting out feet in order to move forward. It took intense concentration, and I with my heavy sinuses and tiredness found it challenging to keep my balance as we walked so slowly in a circle around our candle. This is an excellent meditation to do by the light of the full moon, by the way!

Here is a description of the three-fold walking meditation:

1. The Decision to Move Forward.

Stand still and tall with your feet together. If possible do not look at them and instead just feel them. Feel them beneath you: trusty and strong, bearing and distributing your weight, meeting the earth beneath you and testing it for security. Our feet are so important to us and we very rarely give them much thought.

The first step begins with the decision to go somewhere. Some thought goes into this and the idea is followed through with lifting your knee – not your foot! Our knees are connected to our vision because they point us in the right direction. Our feet are aligned with our knees and if not for our knees and our vision we would not walk the path we need to! When the knee is lifted the heel is lifted too. The ball of your foot and your toes are still touching the ground.

2. The Commitment.

With your toes on the ground you are not yet committed to your decision to go. It requires trust that your decision to leave the place where you are grounded is the right one. What should happen when your foot leaves the earth? You will have one foot only on the earth, not a secure position of balance at all! Do you go forth and see what happens?

You do. Your knee lifts your toes and your foot moves through the air to land with your heel on the ground in front of your back foot. Your front foot now rolls from heel, to the ball of your foot, to your toes. Firmly on the ground now, but not firm enough. One foot in front of the other is not an aligned position for your body because you still have one foot left behind.

3. The Leap of Faith.

One foot is still placed where you were standing before. In order to actually move forward we need to make the decision to lift this foot and bring it forward. This means leaving our past behind us. If we remain in our past we become static, unchanging, immovable. Forward we must go!

Shifting your weight forward on your front knee, and lifting your back knee your back heel comes off the ground, followed by your toes and with the process begins again: the leap of faith. The only way forward is to trust to your inner guidance, knowing that where your foot lands will see you safe and moving in the direction you need to go. Your back foot swings past your front foot, which is now firmly planted and taking the weight of your whole body.

Moving forward in our lives, in any situation, begins with the intention to go somewhere. It begins with the (1) decision to do something, (2) the commitment to see it through, and (3) the trust that it is the right decision, without looking back, without regret.

Absolutely everything we decide happens in this way. One foot in front of another. If you have a tough decision to make, perhaps you could try a three-fold walking meditation and see what decision arrives from the experience. Often it does not matter what you decide to do, so long as you decide something and trust in your inner guidance to see it through.

Sacred Essence: Silk Painting Meditation

Last night during our Sacred Essence evening we worked with the theme of Intention. Melissa is having her babymoon, after the arrival of her little one two weeks ago and little Linden is very happy to stay at home with her daddy in the evenings and help her brother and sister go to bed so I was also well and truly flying solo last night.

We had three activities last night as part of our observance of the Intention theme. I want to write about each of them so that you may be able to share in the experience. It is too much for one blog … already I’ve written this post and have realised that I will need to break it into three parts. So the first part I will share with you was our silk painting meditation.

We began our evening with our artistic activity first last night. A change in the usual program, but necessary as the venue we use has had a change in the security system they use. The lights are automatically switched off at 8pm! So we did the work we needed light for first. The rest of the program we pretty much spend with our eyes closed either listening to a story or in meditation/reflection so lights were not needed and candle light was perfect ūüôā

Our artistic exploration was silk painting last night. I sourced some beautiful hand-rolled habutai handkerchief silks, which we painted while wet. The purpose of the activity was not an exploration of colour or form. It was not an activity to purposefully create something beautiful, but to let go of all of those expectations and concentrate on the activity itself: to reflect upon how the activity feels so that we can bring awareness to our bodies and watch our bodies create something beautiful of their own accord. When we are aligned and peaceful in our energy and our thoughts then our bodies respond naturally in beautiful and harmonious movements. So I asked the participants to sit for a moment, making themselves comfortable and think of the following things as they worked:

How are we sitting in our chairs? Are our bodies comfortable? Is there any part of us that needs to be shifted, relaxed, straightened, in order to feel like we are sitting in a way that makes us feel alert and happy?

How do our bodies move as we begin painting? How does the brush feel in your hand? How softly can you hold it, and still control it? What does the brush do when you dip it into the water? How does the water respond?

When you choose your colour, how does the brush and colour meet and join? How then do they part as the colour is applied to the wet silk? How does the silk greet the colour as your brush moves over it? What happens when the salt is sprinkled over the colour?

It was challenging to let go of form and transform the experience into a meditation. I struggled with it myself as I was painting during the session. In fact I ended up crumpling the silk in my hands, not because I was unhappy with my efforts (which was not the purpose) but because I felt it would help me to let go of the form I had made. Applying salt to silk dye on wet silk changes everything you’ve done to it also: it draws the colour out of the silk, forming rivers of no colour, and concentrated spots of intense colour. Our silks were beautiful. I would have liked to spend more time on it, but I was conscious of being able to clear up before the lights went out!!

Such¬†worldly¬†interruptions to matters of spirit ūüôā

Learning to love receiving

I had the most divine experience today – something that completely sealed my decision to be cared for by a home birth midwife. I just do not see an obstetrician or a doctor having the time to care for me in the manner I received today!!

My midwife, her midwife partner and her student midwife all participated in giving me the most luxurious massage today. With six hands gliding over me there was not a bit of skin that did not receive the loving touch of three women who wanted nothing more than for me and my baby to feel relaxed, nurtured and loved – and so I received all that they offered and just slipped away into dreams and memories, together with my baby.

I have to admit it was quite overwhelming, receiving so much love all at once. I started feeling all choked up at one point – and then asked myself why I would feel like crying when I was surrounded by so much love. I took my cue from my baby and just lapped it up. Babies are so good at receiving love, they just look at you and accept it as their right, which of course it is! I could feel my baby moving gently into the best position to receive those beautiful caresses, and so I did too. Laying in the warm sunshiny room, feeling those fluid strokes made me feel like I was lying in crystal clear water on a shallow beach in the sunshine, with waves lapping over me.

It is my right to accept love too – but at what point do we begin feeling that we do not deserve it? At what point do we learn that it is better to give love than to receive it? I think it was a mutual experience today. Those three beautiful women genuinely enjoyed sharing their skills to make me feel wonderful – and so I feel wonderful.

I am a giver. I do feel immensely wonderful when I am able to give someone something they need, when I am able to help someone or teach someone, or watch someone gain enjoyment from something. It is a total buzz for me. Harder to accept it from others.

My friends gave me a blessingway last week and I am still on a high from the warmth they wrapped around me. I sat in the circle and listened to things being said about me that I might have suspected, or hoped I could achieve one day, but not crediting myself with the fact that I already hold the qualities I strive for. It was very humbling – and again I fought the urge to deny the love being freely directed at me.

Why do we wait until we are at a life transition point to accept the love others have for us? Honestly, we should ask for regular blessingways! Not for a birth, or our birthday, not for an anniversary or a life change … or a funeral … why not ask your friends to arrange one for you next week? Take turns. I¬†guarantee¬†it will be a buzz for everyone.

There is a growing global movement to begin RED TENTS – monthly sanctuaries for women to give and receive¬†the¬†nurturing they deserve. I guess that is how I feel about our Sacred Essence Circles … where the focus is on looking within ourselves at what drives us, inspires us .. and a good honest look at where our skills lie ¬†… and then making them shine. Even though I co-host these circles I feel just as nurtured from them as I hope the attending women do. Love is freely given and received in these circles – but how nice to arrange something with the special women in our lives to give back to them what they give to us?

I’m serious! Arrange a group of women and set aside a monthly time to nurture each other. meet for massages, rub each others feet, give each other facials, cook treats for each other, share stories about how you met and why you are such wonderful friends, sing together, make a group gift for each other. One woman a month.

(Another) new beginning ….

Today is Winter Solstice. It marks the end of the period of darkness and the beginning of the period of light. Tonight is the longest night of the year, and tomorrow will see the return of the sun! This makes my husband feel VERY happy (“best news I’ve heard all day!”) and it makes me … a bit sad actually. I quite like the cool and quite of the darkness ūüôā

Many people understand the Winter Solstice to be a time of turning inwards, of reflection and rest and self-care. I believe that if you have waited until the solstice to do this, then you’ve left it too late!! The whole period from Autumn to this point is in preparation for this moment, and I sure feel like I’ve been on that journey.

I celebrated my second Priestess Initiation at dusk on Saturday evening. I was surrounded by my friends and mentors who had walked together with me on our journey, my family, and my friends who have supported me on the journey. Thank you for being there for me.

Whenever I mention that I am a Priestess, I then am required to explain what that is … and until now I’ve always been a little stuck for words. Is it witchy, pagan stuff? Not for me (but for some it is). Is it women getting¬†naked¬†and dancing under the moon? Not for me (but the potential is there!). Is it some kind of anti-christian worship? Not for me.

How do you describe something that is so whole in your heart, something that runs in your blood and calls to your imagination? I know many of my family and friends think it is just another one of those strange things that I do … but to me that is stuff that had its place once upon a time but is no longer the social norm. At first I would tentatively dip my toes into the rip that carries you across the tides …. but now I can jump in whole heartedly and not mind a bit what others feel or think, because for me it feels like I am answering a need that cannot be ignored.

My Priestessing is the same thing.

Blood Sister

Priestess is someone who lives in connection to the sacred feminine mysteries – the knowledge about womanhood, our bodies, female history and personal development that ALL women should be aware of, no matter what faith you belong to. It is the stuff that used to be passed from grandmother to mother to daughter.

It is celebration and acceptance of the beauty of our bodies with all the awkward bits, all the lumps and bumps.

It is celebration of the cycles of our bodies – of our blood and our emotions, in all its messy and confusing glory.

It is the celebration of the women who have walked and weaved the path before us – who have been brave enough to speak out, to move against the tide.

It is celebration of our connection to the earth and the heavens, the cycles of our natural world.

It is our birth right and so much more.

Mother Tiger

It doesn’t matter what faith you belong to, learning about your sacred womanhood is your responsibility – to know yourself better, to become the person you were born to be. It doesn’t matter how you do it, the important thing is that you find ways to deepen your connection to the essence of your being.

My responsibility now, as an initiated Handmaiden Priestess is to continue this work in the community, but first and foremost to continue this work with myself. A task I can’t help but continue because it is daily¬†practice¬†now ūüôā Joyful daily practice.

I will write more on this as time goes by because there is so much to say!

24 hours of Sacred Idleness

Yesterday, after my wonderful felting workshop, I found myself in an empty house. The place was filled with peace from the lovely energy left from my workshop, I had no cleaning to do, my dinner was made, my family were visiting Nana and¬†Poppa¬†for the weekend … I was alone!

I’ve been dreaming about this moment for several months now. I have always wanted to do a¬†Vipassana. My last chance to do one was when I first heard about them. I was pregnant with my first child at the time and chose not to go. I wish I had gone because since then I have either been pregnant or breastfeeding or unable to leave my family for 10 days at a time. I am also not sure I really understood the value of 10 whole days of nothingness at the time. Six years of parenting has left me with a craving for nothingness that has lately been consuming me.

At the end of last year I had determined that 2010 would be the year of¬†Vipassana. My daughter was no longer breast-feeding, and I had no concerns at all about leaving the children with my husband for a week and a half while I went off and spent time in meditation. Then I got pregnant again, and busy again, and … well you know how it is …

So I had determined that I would do my own¬†Vipassana. At first I dreamed of going in to the bush to spend two days and a night alone, just me and a tent and some food and my thoughts. Bliss. All it required was for me to book in a weekend and make sure my husband would be free …. but it didn’t happen. Weekends are always challenging – that is when I work, and when things done at home. Weekends have been crazy for us since the year started.

So this weekend, like another gift from the Goddess, I find myself alone in my home, with time.

Time I was not going to waste.

I could hardly wait to get started.

I put on my warm clothes, insect repellant and left the house with my ritual pouch, a shawl and a blanket. There is a creek and a bushland reserve in front of our house, and it was my intent to find a spot and just¬†sit. Before I sank into stillness I felt the need to make my space sacred. I was, after all, about to embark on a moment of Sacred Idleness and it felt appropriate to mark out the circle within which I would sit. From my ritual pouch I selected items to help me create the boundaries of my circle: a shell to honour the water in the east, a feather to honour the air in the south, a bone to honour the earth in the west and a¬†snake-skin¬†to honour the fire in the north. I couldn’t help singing softly to myself as I traced out my circle. I sang to the elements, to the¬†ground¬†I was about to sit on, to the mosquitoes … asking them respectfully not to investigate my sweet-smelling life blood too closely!

Meditation has never been my forte, and it wasn’t my intention at all in this exercise. I think it happened accidentally for me this weekend. All I wanted to do was experience the joy of doing nothing at all. Sacred Idleness: spending time being still, noticing the happenings of the world as it continues¬†its¬†busy-ness without my contributions. My world stopped, but Mother Earth continued. I settled in and watched the spiders weave webs, the ants bustle about here and there, little tiny grass leaves twitch with the tiniest of breezes, ¬†the reflected light from the creek water blessing the branches in the trees. I listened to the birds, the miscellaneous rustling amongst the leaves and undergrowth, the water greeting the rocks and then bubbling over them. I listened to roaming groups of 10-year olds crashing through the bush and exploring. I listened to the mosquitoes, disturbingly close to my skin, and chose to ignore them for as long as I could.

The hour of sitting I managed before the¬†mozzies¬†got the better of me was bliss. I can’t tell you how long it has been since I have¬†had¬†the opportunity to think my own thoughts for as long as I want to! Both my children have turned into such delightfully chatty little things with interesting observations and questions about the world. If they are not talking, they are whooping and calling and singing and making general nonsensical sounds at the top of their lungs as they play outside. They are joyful sounds of childhood, but they still loud and are not exactly conducive to the kind of peace I have been needing lately. I like quiet.

I returned from my hour of sitting to a house of comfortable stillness and ate my dinner outside under the gaze of the moon.¬†I was itching to write about my afternoon on the computer, and got as far as¬†lovingly¬†caressing the ‘on’ button of my laptop … but I knew that I would immediately get lost in time as I wrote, time that I could be enjoying doing nothing. The opportunity to NOT do anything is so rare!

So I sat outside and listened to more sounds. I didn’t think, but like the clouds crossing the moon thoughts came and went. Great ideas, old thoughts, memories, plans … after a while I felt the urge to write them down, so I went inside and by the light of the candle I did some automatic writing in my book. Then to bed. It must have been 7:30pm.

I woke 12 hours later, wondering why it was so quiet – surely the children must be up to something if it is so quiet! And then I remembered. Oh I didn’t miss them at all ūüôā

This morning I spent some time exploring some thoughts that came to me last night … spending time with my ancestors. One of my latest assignments in my¬†priestess¬†studies was to map out my ancestors – not to find out who they were, but just to¬†acknowledge¬†their presence and their contribution to my life. It was an awesome experience, and very¬†overwhelming¬†as I counted all the mothers and fathers in my history, 7 generations of mothers and fathers before I ran out of paper, all of them leading eventually in their unions to me, to my birth. I felt very special. I felt very humbled. I felt very grateful.

Some¬†more time spent drawing – this time a picture of a tree that I realised was my dreaming for the birth of this baby I carry. More about that later …

Then a walk to the creek for another hour of sitting in sacred idleness, after which I collected some river stones to make a set of runes before returning home, stripping off everything and basking in the sun outside. Baby hasn’t seen or felt much sun and I could feel contended movements within me as my belly warmed up. I imagined what it must look like inside: all rosy and pink. I am so in love with this baby, and while I am not in a hurry for this pregnancy to end, I am looking forward to the end of the mystery. I haven’t had any scans or any tests. I haven’t had any intuitions except for an idea of this baby’s birth totem. To me that is like skipping ahead to the last chapter in a book to find out the end before I even know how the story gets there. I spent some time with our Mystery Baby today.

After lunch I made my¬†rune stones¬†and began to embroider a bag to keep them in. My family returned and while I was happy to see them, I didn’t feel quite ready to have my sacred thought-space disturbed. To be honest I have such a back log of Sacred Idleness waiting that I could have done with another day at least. It was such a joy just being able to drift from one thing to another, from thought to thought, and enjoy purposeful but¬†non-essential activity. To just BE.

I’ve always been a bit jealous of my husband’s¬†RDOs¬†(rostered¬†days off) – when do I get mine? So now I know that if I want time to myself, all I need to do is ask. It is that easy. So I will.