Thursday, February 26, 2009

Deciding to Check Out

So, perhaps elective surgery at age 97 isn't such a good idea. My grandmother died this morning. She came through the surgery just fine, but the day before she was to be transferred to the rehab unit, she picked up an infection. It was the hospital itself that wasn't healthy for her. She was treated for that infection, and while waiting for a new bed to open at the rehab, picked up a new and different infection. And so it went. She would heal from one thing, and the doctors, erring on the side of "caution" would hold her for a day or two before releasing her. Just long enough for her to pick up something else.

We went and visited her last week. She just talked about how she wanted to get out of the hospital and get on with things. It was decided by my aunts to bring her home and get her 24 hour care, that that would be healthier for her. The idea made her much happier, too. She missed her home and her things and most of all, her dog. Once she was healthy, she would then enter the rehab and learn how to use the new knee. But finding that kind of 24 hour care of the quality required took some time. When I spoke to her a couple of days ago, she told me that she was tired of waiting, that it was time to leave. She pointed out that if things had gone according to plan, she would have been finished with the rehab and been back home by now. "Its time to leave" she said, using the name for me that no one else used (well, my mother used that name for me, too). I knew what she meant.

My grandmother was a determined and decisive woman. She had lived a long life, and had much joy, and much pain, too. She decided on having the surgery so that her life might be worth living. At age 97, illness and permanent incapacity was simply not an acceptable alternative to death. As she once said to me (and I think I was the only one of her descendants that she would talk to about such things) "there are worse things than dying; especially at this point."

The doctors, the hospital, much of the family wanted what they thought best for her. She just wanted out. So, last night she went to sleep, and at approximately 5am this morning, she got to leave the hospital-her way.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why wording is important, even in the little things

Monday night, I did some trance work. Since it was the first time in nearly two years, and it was successful, I felt pretty good about it afterwards. Elated, even. Writing down, and then reading over my notes, I felt very good about what I had seen and what I had done. Everything was remarkably clear, especially what I needed to do, going forwards. It wasn't until later on that evening that I started to get suspicious; was it too clear? The assignment too pleasing? The rewards for completing said assignment too enticing? That night, I had a series of dreams, all on the same theme. One person after another (some I knew, some I didn't) distrusting of gaining a promised reward, behaving in a way that seemed to lead to short term gain, but actually losing all gains, promises and advancements. I woke up thinking "OK, time for trust and following through on this." That was Monday night, with the decision to trust and follow through, on Tuesday morning.

Tuesday evening, I said publicly that I wished for more useful dreams that night. I got them, oh did I get them. But useful and pleasant are not the same thing. And useful and restful are not synonymous. What sleep I did get was full of nightmares. It took a long time this morning to calm down enough to untangle the threads of the dreams. They were painful to think about, to follow through to their logical ends. But the dreams were useful information. Very useful.

Next time, I will try for useful, with as little pain as possible.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Renovating the Astral Temple

Last year, when working my way through the JM Greer book "Learning Ritual Magic" I created an/my astral temple. The book described what the temple was to look like and the instructions were to practice visualizing the space, and then using it for ritual. As I recall, I had some trouble with the visualizations, until I thought to reach out and touch the furnishings and the walls of the temple, itself. After that, it was easy, I was there. It was a real place and exactly as described in the book-except perhaps for the size. There was no mention of size in the book, and when I told DH of my pacing out the walls, he was surprised at just how big the space was. Other than that, everything that I described to him was familiar. It was a ritual magic/Golden Dawn style temple.

Over the last few weeks, it has been changing. At first, I wasn't aware of my changing it, and I was concerned. But now that the renovations are, if not completed, at least at a resting point, I can see how this new temple fits me so much better.

It is still has the appearances of a human constructed space. But rather than a room, it is an open pavilion. The round floor is a black material, perhaps marble, and the domed roof is supported by a series of doubled pillars, so that there are 2 pillars with a narrow space between them, a large arched opening, then 2 more pillars, and another large arch, the pattern repeating itself all around the circle. The roof has an oculus, so it is open to the sky. Pillars and roof are white, again perhaps marble. The whole space is very to the outside, and airy. There are trees all around, but not so dense that light and space cannot be seen between them.

This is a comfortable and above all easy place for me to work. I suspect that the renovation project may not be finished, but at this point I am happy with it. Because, I suspect, it is mine.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just Reading

Just reading the Enochian Calls before going to sleep encourages odd dreams with very clear images. Last night I had a dream that had to do with a physicians office at the end of the world. Beyond the building (which stretched up forever and down forever, and yes, the wait in the elevator lobby seemed to last forever) was both infinite space and infinite (stormy) sea. There was also something about a pastry shop in the building, where the decorations on the pastries got more elaborate and detailed, the closer you looked at them-like fractiles. It felt very familiar, as if I had been in this place before, or I had had this dream before. But looking through my journals, this was the first time for this dream.

In the dream, the pastries were really appealing, but thinking about them now, they were in odd colors.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Me thinkes I lyed all winter when I swore,
My love was infinite, if spring make'it more.

John Donne
Loves Growth

There is much more to this wonderful poem, to the wonderful body of work written by John Donne. But this couplet seems to have been calligraphied, acid-etched and burnished into my memory.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Vow

Nearly a year ago, while my Study Partner and I were working our way through the JM Greer curriculum, DH suggested that I read "The Golden Dawn" by Israel Regardie (or better, compiled, and/or written by I.R.). Since I was already reading one Regardie book, as part of the curriculum, and was about to start a Dion Fortune book (for the same reason), I told him that it would have to wait. And so in late July 2008, once I finished the Greer curriculum and had taken a small break, I started reading "The Golden Dawn."

I am still reading "The Golden Dawn."

DH never came out and said "this is a reference book." He said "read it." It wasn't until much time had passed that he commented that most people don't sit and read it through, cover to cover. In fact, that while he has read the entire book, it was in the manner of looking up what he was interested in, or needed to know, not by reading it from front to back. But by that point, I had invested so much time in it, that I was determined to read it through.

It makes a lovely bedside table, read a bit of it right before falling asleep, book. And, I rarely have trouble falling asleep these days.

I am close to being finished. Close enough that I have another book on the end table, waiting, and encouraging me to finish. There are nights when I pick up "Golden Dawn" with a sigh, because I'd really rather not. The other night DH said, "it can't be very interesting, reading it like that-its like reading the encyclopedia." No, it isn't. I read the Encyclopedia Britannica as a kid. I was that kind of nerdy kid, and I lived in that kind of nerdy household that actually owned a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica. Reading the encyclopedia was fun; and I can still get lost in a good dictionary. (although nowadays, it takes both reading glasses and a magnifying glass to read the Oxford, alas.) While there have been a couple of "aha" moments with "Golden Dawn," I don't really think that any of it qualified as "fun."

But I vowed to myself that I would read it through. And if you can't count on yourself to keep vows made to yourself; how can you trust "you" to keep vows to others?

Friday, February 6, 2009

just make sure the audio is on

According to Constantine von Hoffman at:

The UK’s Dairy Crest dairy has reported increased sales over the past quarter thanks in part to an ad campaign featuring former Sex Pistols’ lead singer John Lydon (ne Rotten). Sales of the company’s Country Life spreads leapt 85% in the latest quarter, “in part to promotions and also to the success of the John Lydon advertising campaign.

You really should watch it. Oh, and check out some of Cons other posts, too.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Halfway to Spring

Everyone has something that they think important, that they are almost dogmatic about. My issue happens to be the astronomically based holidays. Yesterday, most Pagan folk celebrated Imbolc, however, today is the actual halfway point between the first day of winter, and the first of spring (at 11:45am est, if you really want to be dogmatic about it.) Not being Wiccan, nor Druid, nor Celtic of any type, Imbolc doesn't work for me. For similar reasons, neither does the idea of celebrating Candlemas or the Feast of Bridget. Instead, I will celebrate the Feast of the New Year of Asherah.
Next week, on the Jewish calendar is Tu B'shvat, the New Year of the Trees. Tu B'shvat means nothing more than the 15th of Shevat, which is the Full Moon. But the New Year of the Trees was moved to that date by Rabbi Hillel, during the Roman era. Previously, it had been celebrated at the New Moon. The association between Asherah and trees has always been close and the New Year of the Trees was an ancient holiday by the time it was first mentioned in the Mishnah. In the Near East (ancient and modern) the trees are just beginning to flower. Here in the NE United States, the sap is just beginning to run (maple syrup, anyone?). The connection between dairy (Imbolc/Ewes Milk? as I have read) is not far-fetched, either. The Great Mother Goddess feeds her children, how?
We are half-way to Spring. Right now, looking out the window, I see a curtain of snow falling (covering the layer of ice that was laid down last week). But the sap has begun to rise, and the snow will melt. Babies will be born (admittedly and thankfully, not in this house!). Today, I made my seed list for my gardens, later I will place the orders. I baked a cheesecake, so that we might celebrate now. Spring is not yet here, but it will come.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Saturn Salts-redone

I don't know. I see trees, or maybe one tree (a banyan?) here. But then, I'm inclined to see trees and living things. I don't know why the salts formed in this pattern. And, yes, there is a very fine covering of salt crystals in the "empty areas" between the trunks and the top. The crystals themselves, are very fine, just deposited unevenly. Unlike the Jupiter salts, which had a hard, bright sparkle to them, these have a soft creamy look to them.