Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I've written before that the time between Samhain and Yule is a period of hunkering down and nesting for me. The darkness and longer nights lend themselves to reflection. I have an extensive library because I love books: all kinds of books. I was a bookseller a decade ago,and  handling books everyday gave me a new respect for the artistry of the medium. Books have a life force to them which I don't feel when I use e readers; although there is nothing wrong with a e reader- I think they're great- they're just a different form of media. Books are  handled by many people before they end up on your shelf at home, so possibly what I'm picking up is the energy left not only by the author, but everyone who has been involved in the process. I also find that books which come from the little hole in the wall store have a definite vibration- but that's a whole other blog.

Not everyone has the luxury of kicking back every evening to read. I realize that. It was always a chore for me when I was working long hours: all I wanted to do was fix a little dinner and relax with a book. I owned the house my grandparents left me, and it was, frankly, a fixer-upper. It took a lot of fixing and maintenance. There was a big yard with a huge lawn that always seemed to need mowing, the garden needed weeding, the flowers needed watering and pretty soon I found I was a slave to the house.

I was overwhelmed by working and then coming home to do something for the house-not something to improve the quality of my life, mind you, but something the house demanded. While I was grateful to own my own home, I was growing resentful that it took away so much of my time.

It was an Epiphany when I discovered that it was more important to take care of me than the house.
I became run down and was sick more often. I'd take a daily shower but only wash my hair every other day because it took 30 minutes to condition and dry it, so I'd pin it up to be presentable so I could use the 30 minutes to garden. Or do laundry, mow the grass, prune bushes, dead head flowers, repair whatever needed it. I realized I was just doing these things to keep up with the neighbors expectations. So I stopped. The vegetables got a little too big and the weeds got a little taller, and the dishes piled up in the sink some nights, but I was tired of waging of doing battle.

Learning to prioritize wasn't easy. The house and job still made demands and deserved their respective attention...but I carved out my time because I deserved a little attention, too.

I began to schedule a couple of hours every night to just relax, read and study. I made it into a ritual: after dinner I did what absolutely had to be done in the line of 'house work', then I got out the books I wanted to read, a writing tablet, a cup of Earl Grey tea, and went to the living room and lit a candle-a cast a circle. This was now sacred space and time, and nothing was permitted to intrude. I read, I took notes and reflected on what I was reading, drank a  couple cups of tea and snuggled with my cat. It became a magickal time out of time and I looked forward to it every night. I became calmer and more sane because I was feeding my soul.

Now this is what deep Autumn is for me: a time of regeneration. What always felt like a fallow time of the year is now rich and productive. Over the last few days I've thought about what I wanted to do to improve myself, my life and my world, I've thought about how I can be of better service to others- and then I went to my bookshelves and made a list of books. Some I need to re-read in more depth so I can see them with new eyes; others I will read for the first time. My evenings to delve into this world of discovery are delineated by sacred space. I have found candles that burn for approximately two hours, and I have a lovely incense to help set the mood.

Within in that time I will become lost in the pages of a book or two...but I will find myself in the dark and quiet of deep Autumn's dying down. Life begins with a spark in the darkness, a desire to become, to form, to be.

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