Saturday, June 3, 2017

you just NEVER know...

I am a creature of ritual. They provide me with a sacred space to ground, and focus, and set intentions for my day. I have always been this way, even before I knew what "rituals" were. Sure, I knew about the ones in the Catholic church where I was reared. I thought them all morbid and grotesque. Even at the ripe old age of twelve. But ritual was part of their modus operandi, in keeping with the tradition of suppression. I left the church when I was TWELVE.

But that didn't keep me from my research. I wanted to know how and why people were so easily swayed. I wanted to understand the blind following of such an enormous segment of the population. How was it that people who appeared to be so intelligent could follow such ghastly teachings in the name of salvation? I was, to say the least, a "problem" for the nuns.

All that aside, for all the searching I've done throughout my lifetime, I have never once swayed from my love of ritual. Burning candles has been a mainstay for me since I was eleven or twelve years old. I also find great comfort in writing down my intentions on fine linen paper, drumming on my beautiful hand drum for some time, and lighting that paper on fire. There is a trust in my self-developed rituals that I never once felt when I was a member of any church. In essence, I suppose you could say that I found my own religion...and it suits me just fine.

{A little aside here: I have been called many things in the name of my chosen path. Heathen. Witch. Heretic. Devil worshiper. Etc., etc., ad nauseum}. I've always found it more than amusing to hear folks call me such things. Especially when I see how they live their so-called "christian" lives. Sad. Hilarious. Ridiculous. No matter. Unlike many who claim themselves "christians", I do not judge. I simply recognize their judgments...and carry on. Like any solid Heathen would do.}

{P.S. You may or may not have noticed that in most of my posts, I do not capitalize words like "christian" or "god" or "pagan". This is not an oversight. I simply do not adhere to the rules of dictatorial grammar. I am who I am. And I ain't Popeye.}

Back to the point...

One of my funnest dalliances is with Medicine Cards. It is a sort of Tarot deck, but based on Native American teachings from various elders in the Choctaw, Lakota, Seneca, Aztec, Yaqui, Cheyenne, Iroquois, and Mayan traditions. I do not use these cards to map out my Life. Rather, I use them as a sort of guide to those things that  I may be ignoring. Or unaware of. Or...just some shit that needs dealing with. Yep. There's shit. And if we go 'round pretending it's everybody else's fault, we miss the messages that so madly wish to be heard.

So anywayzz...

I pulled a card the other day...and it was Hawk. Now, first let me say that I DO hold totem animals in high regard. Just so happens, Red Tailed Hawk is mine. Which, for all my logical and/or pragmatic reasoning cannot be explained. Just feels right. Love those critters in ways that simply cannot be explained. Just is. I trust it. As much as some trust the "word of god". As much as a mama knows when here baby is in trouble. As much as when your bones tell you it's going to rain.

So I pulled the Hawk card and read (again) the message that Hawk is meant to bring. As I read, remembering all the many times I'd read this message, I felt the chills run up my arms, to my neck, up into my skull.I felt that lovely familiar grin creep 'cross my face. Ah YES. Hawk has returned. Couldn't have been timed any more perfectly.

{Such is the Magick of my Life.}

{Second aside: As I write, I am listening to the brilliant Ed Sheeran. THIS is the song that has me stuttering on the keyboard at the moment. Dude makes me jump up and DANCE. Barcelona...}

Hawk's message, in the most condensed Reader's Digest version is this:

Pay attention. The Magick you have forgotten is all 'round you. PAY. ATTENTION.

(Again, a most condensed version. I am doing my best to keep this missive short enough to retain your attention without losing the gist of this Magick. Please. Bear with me.}

{Did I mention how much I adore Ed Sheeran??? "Galway Girl" }

After pulling the card and reading Hawk's message, I set it up on a little stand, jotted down a few words, and went about my day. The particulars of this day were to go to the grocery store. Trader Joe's is my go to for most of my food stuff. I've been going to TJ's for decades, and this one in particular for the past fourteen years. The folks there are the BEST. They're friendly and helpful and plain ol' fun to see. I have my favorites, all of whom always give me a hug when they see me. It is, for the most part, the largest part of my social life. (No. I'm not kidding. I like being a hermit!)

Before I go further, I need to back-track a bit. About a month ago, after my first-of-the-month visit, I came home feeling the joy of seeing my pals and hearing their respective tales about their own lives. I was happily putting my groceries away, smiling at the interactions and feeling deep gratitude. When I was finished storing my food, I sat down at the computer and wrote a letter to Trader Joe's headquarters. It was simply a letter relaying how awesome the staff at "my" store is. It was, in essence, a thank you note for the terrific job they do. Unbeknownst to me, that letter was forwarded to the manager at my store to be shared with the entire crew. It was also posted in the Regional Newsletter. And, also unbeknownst to me, it was the very first time that the Escondido store made it into that Newsletter. Apparently, an enormous deal to those Crew Members.

So...back to present:

I walked in the store and almost immediately heard someone holler (quite loudly!) my name. I turned to see Brenda, one of my pals, coming toward me with a giant grin and arms open wide. She gave me the biggest hug and told me about the letter. She was beyond thrilled about the whole thing. She said, "We've never made it into that Newsletter. I've been here for seventeen years and this is the first time. I can't tell you what that means to me."

I was completely blown away. I had no way of knowing how much that simple letter would impact her or the others who had also been there for years. One after another, as I went about my shopping, these women would see me, shout my name, and give me a big ol' hug, thanking me the whole time and sharing their own versions of how long they'd waited for this. I couldn't believe it! Such a simple act. Such a massive response. I had done what I do (write), with only gratitude in my heart. And that gratitude came back to me a thousand fold. By the time I left the store, I had tears in my eyes for all the love that had been showered on me while I shopped.

I'm tellin' ya, it was AMAZING!

As I drove home, I remembered what Hawk had reminded me. Pay attention. Watch for the Magick that is all 'round you. Remember your blessings and share your gifts. I had goose bumps all over me, all the way home. I felt as if the skies had opened up and showered a million stars on me. I felt like it was my birthday and Christmas all rolled into one. And now, a day later, I'm still feeling all of that love. Just for writing a simple letter!

The thing I wish to convey here, more than anything else, is that you just never know what one simple act of kindness and/or gratitude is going to do for others. You don't have any way to foresee the massive impact your kindness can have. So just do it. Do something that you feel is good, just for the hell of it. Jot a note and mail it to someone, without signing your name or expecting anything in return. Open a door. Carry a package. Do anything you might think of to show kindness.

Hawk is always watching.

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