Managing my Well

“I honor your gods, I drink at your well…”

So starts the Druid vow of friendship.

Water is what an actual need looks like. It is essential. It is something that we Canadians often take for granted, especially living on the coast and over looking the Atlantic. Water is a thing that seems unlimited in the city, magically flowing without limit from the spigot when we turn the tap. We rarely have to think of it as a precious commodity. But it is.

I live in a very rural area surrounded by forest and ocean. Except for electricity I would be considered almost off the grid. I have an oil tank and a wood stove for heat in the winter, windows that open onto sea breezes for cooling in the summer, a septic system to handle waste water and a dug well for water. Because the well was dug 150 years ago, it is not a deep drilled well. Stacked stones, cut and placed by a long dead mason line the walls of the well. In the spring, the water level is just a few inches below my feet. As summer plods on in the heat and sun, the water level drops. It is only with being judicious with my usage that my well has not run dry. I budget my water carefully, plan my activities like others may plan their social calendars.

Others are not so fortunate. Even in Canada, there are areas of drought, people with no potable water and others with more people in their homes to share out the water. In other parts of the world, desertification is taking hold of land, water availability is a race or social class issue. Some countries, like Pakistan, deal with knowing that other countries could literally divert their water source, leaving them in a vulnerable or deadly situation. Others, like areas of South Africa, are allowed less water each day per household than I use to flush my toilet just once.

As I chose each day to either have a shower of wash a load of clothes ( but not both, One or the other) I am made aware of the element of water, it’s properties and benefits to each of us as individuals. For me, at this time of year, it is the most revered of elements.

I celebrate my wealth by sharing it with the crows. The bird bath holds fresh water. When we use our resources wisely, we have enough to share.

I hope that everyone who may read this has a glass of water to drink. I hope they can flush their toilet and wash their clothing and bathe their children. I hope they know how incredibly blessed and rich they are.

Bright Blessings,

Memy

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Watching the world wake up

I have two incredible pleasures in life. One, I live surrounded by wilderness and two, I am an early riser.

I fell asleep to the loons calling to each other last night while the rain thrummed lightly but steadily on the roof. The air cooled and the fresh clean sheets hugged me to sleep. I woke to the sporadic hum, not of the neighbors air conditioner but to the hum of a small female humming bird just outside my open window. The air was moist and still and very fresh. At 5:30, there was no traffic across the bay, no crunching of gravel from visitors to the graveyard. Just peace. Looking out the window, a doe silently stepped her way across the grass, eating the shrubs at the edge of the lawn. Fortunately, Sybil didn’t spot her or the the calm would be shattered. Robins sang their territorial songs and the occasional crow rapped out a few lyrics.

While I have these riches to enjoy, I can’t help wonder how long it will last. The planet is changing at a rate that seems unstoppable. Plastics are now forming their own geological layer, oceans are rising, ice is receding, species are going extinct. Consumers are still buying disposable clothing and things that they don’t actually need. “Influencers” are flying places that they don’t need to go simply to boost their ratings. Diet gurus are peddling an earth destructive diet of meats and fats. On top of that politicians are threatening each other with nuclear annihilation, governments are tear gassing protesting populations and the leaders that are being voted in are flaunting their ecological, humanitarian and fiscal irresponsibility. And they are still being VOTED in!

As the natural world wakens to the new day, Millennial’s tout the ” Be Woke” mantra. It is more important than ever in human history that Be Woke is more than just a mantra. It is vital to live and ACT on being woke. It is Vital to VOTE. It is vital to change to a more sustainable diet. It is vital to stop living an Instagram/Twitter/Facebook life and physically get out and advocate for a more woke change.

Wake and do what is important.

But don’t forget to listen to the birds.

Bright Blessings,

Memy

A Witch Choosing Simplicity

I am privileged ( and yes, white) so I have led a life filled with stuff and things and excess. While not the sort to spend outlandishly on purses and clothes and cars, I have amassed a library overfilled with books, an office overfilled with ephemera, a crafts room ( yes, so much fabric, paint, wool and thread that it needs it’s own room) stacked deep in fibers of various description. I have a shed stacked with oddments, a basement with walls lined in tupperware bins filled with a lifetime of accumulation and a carriage house with such objects as an oxen yoke, a walking spinning wheel and several old doors.

My issue is that I throw very little out. Not just my own stuff, but stuff that other people have foisted on to me. I had trouble saying no to a dying friend who wanted someone to house a pump organ, so now I have a pump organ in my winter room. My then husband’s parents wanted him to have a grandfather clock which his brother didn’t want, so it sits still in MY hallway. My mothers china dolls are in a special trunk, the Royal Doultons packed in another box and more china than an one person ought to have handed down from parents, aunts, great aunts. An ex girlfriends margarita glass collection, a High Priest’s books and tools, pictures of people whom I never met but are somehow related remain stacked in the basement.

This past year I have lost several friends. In each case, their Stuff has not been a cherished momento to those left behind. It is a burden, plain and simple.

I am not a person who desires “stuff”. I appreciate comfortable, washable clothing, a good bed and linen sheets, good quality hiking boots and a large mug for my tea. While I love hand thrown pottery dishes, I can’t appreciate fine china, crystal and silver ware. I don’t play the organ, I don’t play with dolls. I don’t look at pictures of people I don’t know.

I have a huge task ahead of me, paring my life down to what I want it to be. Living in the boonies means that holding a garage sale is nonsensical. Shipping on the objects would be worth more than the objects are worth. Some of the items will be eliminated with a small piece of my heart as they represent memories of my past.

No one wants these things. Young people these days know that these trappings are pointless and wasteful. I know that these trappings are pointless and wasteful. My generation followed the dictates of our parents, who followed the dictates of theirs. How wasteful we all were. Young people understand that our planet is at risk and that in many ways OUR generation and our parents generations are at fault. This is not to say that every boomer is a wasteful egocentric resource wasting fool but frankly, if we examine our habits we can’t escape the blame entirely.

Choosing simplicity is not a one week project or even a one year project. For me it starts with the stuff, both not buying anything and shedding all that is extraneous. It progresses to simplifying my lifestyle, eventually selling my house in favor of a much smaller apartment. I want to chose an area where I can shed the car and all that car ownership entails.Eventually, I want only that which I use on a weekly basis so that I can focus on creativity, experiences and my own connection to this planet.

I feel guilt that it has taken me 57 years to finally understand fully. As an Earth-centric Pagan and Witch, I’ve be blind to some profound truths.

I can only hope that this evokes thought in a younger person. When we lay dying, we have regrets. Mine and most of my generations will be “Stuff”.

We are better than this. I am better than this.

Blessed Be,

Memy

Boycotting Alabama

Where I am, I can not make my voice heard. I am an old woman in the middle of the wilderness. A grave injustice has been committed against the sovereignty of a woman over her own body by a gang of penis wielding politicians. I’m not there. I can’t vote. What I can do is boycott. I refuse to buy anything from Alabama. If you have an etsy shop and you are in Alabama, I will not buy from you. If you are selling a thing that I want on eBay, I will find something else in another state. I have instructed the movers to bring my furniture a slightly longer route to avoid Alabama. They will not buy gas there, eat at a restaurant there, stay at a motel there. I will no longer go through the state while vacationing. I will look up which musicians are from Alabama and not buy their music. I will not buy any books from Alabama, not even murder mysteries. I will encourage my politicians to avoid products made in Alabama.

I hope that others will follow suite. Perhaps if the Alabamaians loose enough business, they will realize that there is a world of dismay at their stance on abortions. Perhaps they will get angry at the dicks who passed this law.

In the mean time. I hope the women of Alabama refuse to have sex with men and the men who are uspet by this law refuse to have sex with women.

Full Moon Friday

Today is the Wind Moon and it is living up to it’s name. Living on the Atlantic Ocean means that the house rattles in the strong winds. Rollers come in from the open water, broken by the tiny islands at the head of the bay.

Being a witch living next to the ocean makes it easy for me to keep track of the moons. Even in the dense fog, the tide speaks of it’s relationship to Lady Luna. As I walked Sybil down the path between the old church and the graveyard the other day, I saw the devastation that Poseidon and Luna wrought on the spirit road. It was washed away into the ocean. I’m glad that the old church is still responsible for the road. I don’t need the expense of earth movers, trucks of boulders, shale and gravel, workmen and culverts.

For those of you who may not live with a cemetery in your front yard let me explain about the road. Early in Canadian history, churches were built and cemeteries were started adjacent to them. Sometimes the cemetery was practically on the church doorstep but more often than not the cemetery was separate from the church yard. The coffin would be carried from the church to the cemetery to the open grave, either by six strong relatives or by horse drawn hearse. The road between the church and the cemetery was called the Spirit Road. It is a barrier between the dead and the living where spirits find themselves confined to the boundaries of consecrated ground. Walking along this road often feels different from just walking along the path.

And so tonight, in the driving wind and rain, on this full moon night, I’ll go down to the shoreline and sing pax to any spirits that may be disturbed by the destruction. I’ll put my hand into the ocean and send hopes for peace to it’s inhabitants. I’ll kiss my hand times two to the moon as I was taught many many moons ago. Then I’ll take my battery lit torch ( flashlight to you kids) and head back up the hill. Tonight will not be a night for candles of long rituals.

Whether this is your wind moon, flower moon, pashel moon, good Friday or just the start of a long weekend for you, I wish you peace. May your heart be as full as the moon.

BB,

Memy

Women’s Day as a Solitary Witch

For the last several Women’s Day’s, I have donned my pink pussy hat, my Women’s Rights are Human Rights Hoodie, changed my hiking boot laces to my special rainbow ones and joined in on the Marches. I’ve listened to the speeches, signed petitions and have reveled in the power that being surrounded by so many women creates. It’s been like a giant coven of 13 thousand (plus!) raising energy and consciousness. Powerful and empowering.

So it’s understandable that this year, snowed in, not even getting mail, not seeing another female save for the dog, that I woke feeling the lack. Lack of women, lack of femininity, lack of community, lack of celebration.

But as all of the sisterhood does, I take that lack and turn it into a challenge, a gift.

I am ALONE! I can wear my PJ’s all day. I can light the fire in the hearth and set up my easel. So many ideas immediately channel surf my brain.

Statement pieces. Collage. Painting. Vignette. Sculpture.

Messages. Women chained. Women Freed. Women’s dubious role in mainstream religion. Sex. Motherhood. Mother Earth.

The power of creativity is something that women own. Whether it is creating a child, a home, a work dynamic, a relationship or art, women have internal power.

So, this Women’s day, as I sit at the kitchen table in my pink p.js. with my pink pussy hat, with my “concepts for Creativity” sketchpad open and my bundle of pencils sharpened, with feminist shows streaming in the background, I will celebrate my sex.

I am proud to be a woman. I am proud of my accomplishments. I am proud of the years that I have marched, the political causes I have supported, my strong, compassionate, feminist son and my strong, independent, caring daughter.

There is so much more work to be done. There are STILL stores with rhyming names that did not sell pink wool when an orange man gained power lest it be used to create hats. There are STILL religions that denigrate women as the cause of evil. There is STILL a massive wag gap between men and women. There is STILL under-representation of our gender in all branches of the governments that govern us. There are still laws being passed to deny us the rights of our own bodies, which endanger our well being and our choice

But I am snowed in so I will create Art. It won’t be sellable art. It won’t be a pretty landscape or a well balanced abstract entirely lacking a statement. It might end up being garage art*. As I create my art, I will send my power to my sisters who are marching, who are listening to empowering speeches and to every other sister who, like me, is alone at home, unable to join the throngs.

You have Power. Find it and Nurture it because that’s what we women do.

Happy Women’s Day, Sisters.

*Garage art is art which I create that doesn’t quite work out. It’s lines are too sloppy or it’s colours are unintentionally muddy or it doesn’t convey the meaning that I wanted it to. It is relegated to the garage walls. Remind me to tell you about my haunted garage some day.

Why a Witch?

DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE CHALLENGED BY ANYONE QUESTIONING YOUR RELIGIOUS PROCLIVITIES OR YOUR DEITY’S GENDER. SERIOUSLY, GO LOOK AT VIDEOS OF DOGS GETTING CAUGHT BEING NAUGHTY. THEY’RE AMUSING.

I was asked a question yesterday by an older christian lady. “Why do I call myself a witch? How can any intelligent person believe in witchcraft and hocus-pocus?” My first reaction was anger because she was passive- aggressively calling me stupid; my next was to laugh. Bear in mind that this person openly and verbosely believed in god- an invisible, omniscient un-provable entity with ultimate power over every aspect of her life and afterlife, who cared if she wore a dress to church or said dammit. But I didn’t laugh because that would have been rude to our hostess.

Instead, I pointed out that prayers and spells are kissing cousins, all gods/goddesses are all part of one being, that I connect to the feminine aspects of Deity, that religions evolve and shift according to the society in which they exist and I have chosen not to hand my personal power over to a man god or his minions. Oops. I hit a nerve there, didn’t I.

For a few thousand years, men have told women what to do, what to believe and their place in the human and otherworldly hierarchy. At the top of the pile is a man god. He hangs out (or not, depending on the flavour) with son-god and angel dudes. His priests are guys. His churches/synagogues/mosques etc. are run by owners of male genitalia. Sorry (not sorry) to be rude but you have to admit that I am right.

Their holy writ tells women that they are inferior. Blame is ultimately woman’s. There is even a passage in the bible (1 Corinthians 14:34 if you care) that tells women to not speak in church and to be submissive. What are they afraid that women might say? What would happen if we were to tell the men to shut their mouths and cower before a female goddess? Would men meekly go along with it?

What about the pantheons before the Abrahamic religions? When Goddesses were revered and high priestesses conducted rights? When the ability to grow life in ones womb was seen a special and not just a woman’s dangerous lot in life? There were still gods because both male and female were acknowledged as being valuable but they co-existed with goddesses. How about now? Where are the Goddesses except in Craft and some eastern religions?

Exactly how are those man religions fairing? Just Jim-dandy if you are a man but not so Jane dandy for the ladies. Religion is used to subjugate women, to under-value their contributions, to control their thought processes and deny them equal rights. Man religions go to war, abuse children, make women wear tents or arguably worse, polyester 2 piece skirt suits on Sunday and denounce everyone who is not made in their own image.

I am reminded of a saying of Pat Robertson, an infamous american TV evangelist (a pox on all TV preachers. May their personal jet planes all be built on a Monday after a long weekend) He said, ” Feminism encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” Of course, he was wrong. My children are still alive and well . Frankly, if a man is abusive, leave him. Capitalism is destroying the planet so stop buying into it, and how do you women know that you are straight if you’ve never tried to make love to a lady? Question everything. Doubt everything. Investigate. Think. Determine and choose.

I know that this post comes across as militant feminist. I get that way when the pot calls the cauldron black. So I ask her and all of her ilk right back: How can any intelligent woman buy into the mangod religions. How can anyone with an iota of common sense not see it all for what it is: a power play used to control half of the population. How can any woman see her children abused by priests or mutilated in the name of their faith and still think that a god who allows that and turns a omniscient blind eye to it is a god worthy of veneration?

So yeah, I am a witch who believes that I can exercise personal power over my life and I can draw on the energies of the universe. I’m okay with you believing in your choice of deity as long as it is actually your well determined and educated choice. You go ahead and rock your personal faith; just don’t mock mine.

Until women everywhere deeply question the nature and gender of their deity, there can be no equality in either the heavens or the earth.

Rant done.

Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Innana.