This last week has been sunny and warm. It’s as if Winter forgot that she was supposed to be working and Summer decided to fill in for her shift.
This happens in February around here.Winter takes a break and summer steps in for a week or two. It’s a false start to Spring. But one that is often welcome after cold nights and damp days.
This year I am being taken back to a time two years ago when the weather made this shift and I was holding vigil while grandmother was dying. First the days and nights were in the hospital then a care home. I sat and I knitted and moistened her mouth and sang her songs and told her stories, and held her hand and kissed her head and swore at the hospital bed for not having enough room for me to crawl in next to her but trying anyway.
For three weeks my mom and uncle and I took turns by her bedside leaving her alone for very short periods of time and trying to comfort her the best we could. This false Spring takes me right back to those moments that were sweet and painful and beautiful and devastating in their darkness.
Today is the anniversary of her death. That night the call came just after 10pm. I drove to the care home she was at and opened her window to the cold night and bathed her body with warm water and rubbed lavender salve into her cooling skin. I cut a piece of her beautiful salt and pepper hair and whispered my love in her now deaf ears. But I knew she was listening.
There was a time when we as culture spent more time with death. Where we helped the dying to cross to the next realm and held those vigils collectively as a community. They still exist. In some cultures and some families this does in fact occur. But as a culture we have moved farther away from this experience. We fight each day against aging and dying. Avoiding our own mortality and thus avoiding everyone elses as well.
There is something beautiful and precious in these moments of goodbye. Don’t get me wrong, it is also painful and heartbreaking. Yet honoring the leaving of the world as we honor being birthed into the world completes the circle, the cycle that is our journey in this body. This is the same cycle that moves through the seasons and all beings on this planet.
The ending of something is after all, just as important as the beginning.
Losing my grandmother was devastating, being with her in the process of her death was painful but also sacred and I was honored to share that time in between worlds with her.
Today I light a candle for my Grandma, and read some of the stories she wrote about her life and most of all I remember. For what is remembered is not lost.
This experience brings me back to the questions “How am I honoring endings in my life?” and “How am I honoring those that have come before?” . Wise Women, I invite you to ask yourself the same.
My inner rebel is on a rampage! I'm having one of those weeks where I have been fighting myself on everything. I am vacillating between being a toddler having a temper tantrum and an unruly AF teenager. This is usually an indication that either I am not having enough fun in my life, or I am burnt out. Or perhaps both. (Not to mention that big and powerful Full Moon energy that has been building).
So yesterday I played with this a bit. I watched a movie instead of cleaning my house. I painted my nails with grey and glitter even though I know they will be chipped by the end of today and I put on makeup and had a dance party in my living room. Then I purposefully didn't respond to emails , left the dishes in the sink and made sure to howl at that full moon.
I feel a little less rebellious today, (although the black eyeliner is still whispering to me from my bathroom drawer.) But I am left with the reminder that all work and no play makes Emily a very cranky girl, and that hitting pause on a few things does not mean that the world will crumble. I share this with you, as I'm pretty certain each of you has had your own moment of rebelliousness at some point and likely will again. Consider this your PSA, get the music bumpin and let that wild woman have a little freedom!
This morning I woke to my alarm cat (5 am every day!) and let him outside. A little later, after tea and toast I went to let him back in. But instead of letting him in and starting the laundry, I grabbed a spell bundle from a ritual we did in my women's circle a few weeks back along with clippers, a lighter and a mini cauldron. Then I went out into the very windy morning and stood in my pjs and slippers under the glow of the full moon. I burned my spell to release it, I harvested some white sage and then stood beneath the massive moon to the west with dawn beginning to leak into the sky in the east, and felt the wind and listened to the air in the branches and the wind chimes.
That moment was purely magical and awoke a different kind of energy in me, part rebellious, part priestess, all wild. The one who wants to put her naked feet on the earth and allow that howling wind to tangle her hair and carry her voice to the corners of the world. The wise woman that shrugs off the mundane responsibilities to meld with the powerful elementals, bathing in the smoke from the fire of a lunar cast spell, harvesting garden herbs and listening to a story unfolding all around echoing through the setting moon and rising sun.
I know you have these moments too.
I know between moments of working your muggle job, cleaning, and cooking, shopping, child and/or pet tending and socializing, you have moments where your inner priestess awakens and for a moment or maybe an hour, you feel transformed, standing powerfully in the world, connected to the elements, connected to Source and connected fully to yourself.
My intention here at Wise Women Witchery is to help all of us connect to that part of ourselves more often, and more powerfully.
Registration for the Priestess Path is open. This 13 moon, 12 month journey is an experiential invitation to delve more deeply into foundational magical practices and deepen your connection to Source through accessing and listening to your own inner wisdom.
You can read more Here. We begin March 8th, 2020
Working with the Lunar CycleAs we move into the Waning phase of this moon cycle, I encourage you to consider what it is you would like to let go of and shed as we move closer to the start of Spring. What is no longer serving you Wise Woman? Write it down, maybe choose a natural item to represent this and find a place on your altar to let this sit during this waning phase. Then just before the dark moon, release this, burn it, bury it, give it to the water. In whatever way feels right to you, let this go, so that you can cross the threshold into spring feeling lighter and ready to grow.
New Podcast! Full Snow Moon in Leo!
Last night was the Full Moon for this month and it was pretty spectacular! This moon was the inspiration for this weeks The Witch Next Door podcast. Where my friend Veronica and I talk a little science and a little moon magic! Take a listen. And be sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode. Next week we are talking divination!
Emily Morrison MA, MFT