This autumn has felt different to me in many ways. Usually autumn depresses me. It’s not warm enough, and I know it’s only going to get colder. The knowledge that the frozen, wet winter is coming casts a shadow over most Autumn festivities, and I’m never happy with what I’m wearing. I feel like a drab, dead leaf, cold, brittle and uninteresting.
But this year, it’s different. I don’t know if it’s because I’m living with G, after so many years of awful roommates. Maybe it’s because I’m not working full time at a job I hate, so I have the time and freedom to appreciate the smaller joys in life, like yoga classes and nice weather. Maybe it’s because, though I never thought I’d say this, my grandmothers have passed on, and I am no longer worried about them, dreading the day I will have to say goodbye. Most likely it’s a combination of all these things, and something inside me has shifted.
After my dentist appointment last week, I went to Kinesiology class. It’s my most difficult class, but I enjoy it. When I got home later that night, G was still up and awake. I gave him the run-down on my dental appointment, and he hugged and kissed me and told me he was proud of me. We stayed up a little later than usual, talking about things.
When he went to bed, I changed into some black clothes, and approached my altar. I had a lot to be thankful for, and a lot to pray for. I turned off all the lights in the apartment except the kitchen, which provided a soft, ambient glow. I lit my candle, started some incense, and refreshed the water in my bowl, which represents the ocean. I placed a stone of clear quartz in the water for clarity, and a yellow stone of unknown identity, for happiness, in the water. I lit my gold candle and held it high over my head, turning to the east, south, west and north, giving thanks to the elemental spirits for blessing the events in my life, and committing myself to further work in all areas. I stood in the center of the circle I had created and held my candle high above my head, praying for continued strength and guidance, and that I could continue to feel my power fully, and be able to tap into and use it when needed. Then I sat on the floor, placed the candle in front of me, and let my mind flow.
I must have sat there, giving thanks, conversing with the goddess, for a half an hour. It was warm, and quiet, and dark. I felt my feet grounding and connecting with the earth, and felt the air drifting through my ears and nose. I sensed the fire flicking in my candles, and felt my blood gently flowing through me with a rhythm not unlike waves at the beach.
I have a small deck of Goddess Cards that G bought me a while back. Every so often, I draw a few, and see what the girls have to say. Whoever I draw sits on my altar until the next divination, so I can be reminded of their messages. It had been a while since my last divination, so at some point during my ritual, I removed the cards from my altar and returned them to their deck. I shuffled them around and drew new cards:
Sarasvati, the Arts
Ixchel, Medicine Woman
Sedna, Infinite Supply
Their messages, printed on the cards:
“You and your loved ones are safe and spiritually protected.”
“Express yourself through creative activities.”
“It is time for a cleansing detoxification of your body and mind.”
“You are a channel for divine healing power.”
“You are supplied for today and all of your tomorrows.”
I thought about my parents, and how I worry about them, Dad’s blood pressure, and Mom’s loneliness. I smiled, remembering their stories of the many activities they are involved in right now in their community, and how much fun they are having. I thought about my grandparents, and how safe and happy they must be now, together in the otherworld. My heart glowed, knowing I would see them again someday.
I thought of my writing, and this blog. I thought of my play, which I’ve re-worked, and am planning to share with a couple of people. I remembered my box of beads, and that Christmas is coming. I thought of the song I’d written in my sleep and then forgotten. I thought of many, many ways I could express myself creatively.
I thought of my diet, and how I’ve slacked during the last six months, and how awful my allergies were this past summer.
I thought of my very first shift in the student clinic, which I was scheduled the work the very next night.
Infinite supply… I realized this does not mean money, and my focus on money has been blinding me to sources of nourishment and paths to fulfillment.
I went back to my Goddess Deck. I dug through it until I found the card for Aphrodite. She has come up in the last three divinations I have performed, and her image has graced my altar for more months than I can remember. For some reason I just wanted to see her again. In this card’s depiction of her, she has long, wildly flowing red hair, pale skin, and wears elaborate green robes with ropes of pearls around her waist and shoulders. She holds a honeysuckle vine in her right hand (honeysuckles grow in the backyard of my house in Illinois) and a dove flutters around her (my friends from my old tree). This is, of course, a fantasy image of myself. She is shown with her arms extended and her back arched, dancing, eyes closed, with stars sparkling behind her. The caption says Inner Goddess and her message is “Awaken the goddess within you through dance, self-care, and appreciating your own divinity.”
I fastened this card to the wall above my altar before putting the deck away. I’d like Aphrodite to stick around for awhile, even though I’ve clearly gotten quite good at the practices she has taught me. I may not need her right now, but I really like her.
The next day, Friday, I had my first shift in the student clinic at my school. I had three clients, and performed three 60-minute full body massages. My clients were happy with my work, and said so on the evaluation forms they filled out before they left. They tipped me. I thought my heart would burst with love. Love for humanity, love for the generations of women in my family who passed their nurturing spirit onto me, and love for myself, for finally having the courage to do something so directly in line with my ideals for living, for taking the risks associated with pursuing this line of work. Thanks, Ixchel. The few dollars I slipped into my pocket were simply earthly representations of the real payment I received – the knowledge that I had made someone feel better, that I had helped to heal, even in the smallest of ways, and the awareness that this time next year, I would be taking my place in a community of healers whose motto is Do No Harm.
If only that were everyone’s motto.
Yesterday, G and I did some work on my car’s brakes, and we got some domestic work done, groceries and whatnot, just because we had the energy and the time.
This morning, we were rewarded for our hard work with a lovely blanket of snow, and the knowledge that we had no obligations to drive anywhere today. When the snow let up at about 10:15, G readied himself to finish the work on my car, and today, we are doing that together, in front of the building we live in together.
This week I will start a detox diet, and next weekend will do a one-day fast. It feels like a whole-body representation of getting my cavities filled. The December 15th Full Moon will appear right in the middle of all my dental work. Full Moons bring abundance, and signify projects coming to fruition and, well, fullness. I’m thinking a little “mid-term” celebration might be in order. I’ll still have one set of cavities to fill, and who knows what the periodontist might say. But getting that first set of fillings on the 12th is going to be a real accomplishment for me, and I plan to acknowledge it!
The next New Moon is December 30th, New Year’s Eve. I’ll be spending it in Maine with G and Trip and Slam. I’ll have a mouth full of healthy teeth and a de-toxed body. I’ll have completed two more clinic shifts by then, and another set of exams.
That champagne is going to taste very, very sweet.