Archive | seasons on Earth

Happy New Year’s Eve!

It’s Halloween, or Samhain (please, say “sow-in”- that’s how it’s pronounced in the original Gaelic), and it marks the end of the year for pagans.

I haven’t danced much this year in the new house, I realized today as I was struck by a song on the radio and stood there, still and calm. It was “Breathe (2 AM)” by Anna Nalick and I closed my eyes as I listened. The sun came out and I turned towards it and felt the heat on my face and how it looks like your eye lids are all lit up when the sun comes through them while your eyes are closed. I was not dancing, but it was magic nonetheless.

When the song was done, I went to meditate. I lit the candles and got the sage smoking (that’s not a euphemism) and prayed to my ancestors. Both sets of great grandparents, now long dead. My Papa, who died a few years ago, but it still feels like I saw him last week. And to a newly dead great uncle- a very loving man who raised very loving sons and made the world a better place with his smile and corny jokes. The veil being thin this time of year, I thanked them for how their lives brought me forth and for the ways in which their spirits guide me every day.

I thought about the year past. Mostly it was difficult things I thought of. How I felt ridiculous and immature and incapable and not ready for so many things that happened. But also how I felt glad that I’d taken risks and been stupid and learned things about myself and my life and what I want to be and become.

That is probably what I like best about this ‘end of year’ versus the traditional New Year’s Eve: we recognize and celebrate the darkness in ourselves. We let it out to play. The part of us that might murder, the vengeful place inside our hearts, the seductress, the cruel one, the clown, the dead parts of ourselves- they all come out as Halloween costumes and we celebrate them. We reward them with candy, even! I think it’s incredibly valuable to recognize these parts of ourselves during this celebration and love them up, because magic doesn’t come from being good, it comes from being whole.

So, I sat at my altar and felt all the things: how feeling ridiculous is exactly like when I hit my funny bone in my elbow, but spread throughout my whole body. How I’d given bits of myself away and began calling them back. How it felt to remember things from long ago- painful things- and letting my heart hurt again. Regret. Regret sits like a mask atop my eyes but also drops down into my heart. I’m glad to have regret instead of wondering, even if it does feel like a weight. The various other feelings that needed space to be recognized and felt stopped by, too. It was sort of an ego death* parade.

I also took a few moments to send good wishes to those who had helped me in some way this past year- helped me learn, grow, understand. Even those who helped me feel regret or ridiculous- because they helped me know myself better.

And then I asked my ancestors to speak to me. The veil between the worlds is thin today and the next few days, so I believe their energy and messages come through to us living folks more easily, if we are open to them.

After it was all done, I took a very long, very hot shower. Not as a means of cleansing, but as a way of stewing in all of those things I felt. Today isn’t the day for getting all pretty and clean and free- it’s the day to recognize how dirty and broken and deliciously fucked up we are, and celebrate it anyway.

It turned out that the song I listened to was exactly right for today. “Just breathe,” she sings. Whatever comes, we accept it. And we breathe. Today I let all the ugly come up, watched the year march through me, and accepted all of it. Tonight I will celebrate it.

Much love to you, fellow travelers. I hope your Halloween is full of fright and fun- and I hope you get to be yourself, your whole self.

Joanna :: xoxo

 

Photo by Kento Iemoto on Unsplash

 

* Ego death is not what Jason Silva talks about on Facebook. Ego death is when we realize that something we’ve been attached to or believed strongly in (usually something that defines us) is either not true (as in, it’s actually a lie) or is no longer true for us. Examples:

  • I am a good person.
  • My marriage is safe.
  • There is a heaven.
  • I can have what I want.
  • I’m not broken.
  • I have a long life ahead of me.
  • God is only masculine.
  • If I am good, I will get what I want.

When we have an ego death, it’s a usually a horrible surprise: something we didn’t expect to be true, is. And it shocks us into a new reality. A reality where what we wanted or needed to believe is clearly no longer true. The part of our ego that was attached to that, that really, really wanted it to be true, has to die in that moment of understanding. So, ego death is the shock that opens us up to greater truth (even, probably especially, when we don’t like it or want it). It’s an incredibly valuable process. It’s better to seek it out than avoid it, if you ask me.

 

 

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Summer Solstice :: Sensual Treasures

[[ There are so many things I want to write about right now. I have posts about beer + baths, the sensuality of safety and the sin of beliefs sitting in my head. They will find their way out. I’ve been so angry and full of despair these past few days, so I am sitting on my bed writing this instead. With a packet of Pez and a Mike’s Hard Lemonade at my side (because there is a part of me that is still 12 with the ability to buy alcohol). I am also remembering that today is a very special day our house {personal thing} and I am delving into the joy of that to keep my spirit afloat. I hope you are well, fellow travelers.]]

 

Photo by Max LaRochelle on Unsplash

 

Happy Summer Solstice to my Northern hemisphere peeps! (And Happy Winter Solstice to my Southern hemisphere peeps!) Today is the longest day of the year- the day with the most light. Which means it is also the day before we begin turning towards the dark again. I always find this kind of strange because summer seems so full of light, and yet we are losing 7 minutes of it each day as the summer meanders along. Human perception is so weird sometimes. In any case, these are the things I’m looking forward to enjoying this summer. [And here’s the list of what I was hoping to enjoy at the Spring Equinox.]

the first jump into a cold pool
late nights by the fire with friends
popsicles (orange!)
the blessing of central air
the smell of tanned skin + salty hair
chubby babies in swim diapers
nights so hot you sleep with no covers
the taste of salty skin, the smell of his sweat
the scent of campfire smoke in hair
s’mores
laying back, closing your eyes, and feeling the heat of the sun on your skin
walks on the beach
library days
adventures with the kids
the sweet anticipation of The Big Vacation
the sting of burnt skin in the shower (I burned the shit out of my shoulders this week)
the feel of cold, cold water down your throat, on your skin, after hard work
sitting under the trees, listening
watching the crew team from my friend’s house on the water
sparklers
the feeling of wrapping up in a towel at night because that’s all you’ve got
drive-in theaters
how the heat smells
sweet corn (with lime juice and salt)
the first cool wind in August
ripe strawberries (and real whipped cream)

::: ::: ::: :::

What sensual pleasures are you waiting to enjoy this summer, fellow travelers? Today is the doorway to summer fun- run through it like it’s 95 degrees and the sprinkler is on full blast.

Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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Waiting for Persephone to Come

It’s the first of May and it feels like Spring is finally here. Persephone, goddess of fertility, has finally, fully made her way back from the Underworld and she’s showing off her beauty. The signs started weeks ago, but she’s clearly here now, and will share her bright beauty for weeks go come.

It’s clear that Spring is the season of sex. Walking around my neighborhood last week you could see the first blooms that were paving the way for the full orgasm of blossom. So many trees and plants and flowers were right at the edge of opening, right at the point where you fall over the edge into beauty and bliss.

Just like any woman, there’s not much you can do to push Persephone towards her orgasm. You can only stay with the process, being patient, making it easier with rain + sunshine + attentiveness. Touching gently, digging deep, giving her what she asks for. Listening and staying with her, moment to moment. She might be stormy. She might be dark. She might show a different face each day, each moment. And while it may seem to take forever, eventually…eventually, she comes. And it’s quite glorious- with color + joy + relief + so much energy you’re utterly amazed. Just like any woman.

::: ::: ::: :::

The first of May is known as ‘Beltane’ in the earth-based traditions. Time to celebrate the Earth. Time to join in her fertility. Beltane is also when rituals were performed where the God and the Goddess (or, representatives thereof) were joined together to celebrate abundance, connection, and vitality. It was a time to honor sexuality as sacred, because you could see the power and wonder of sex nearly everywhere around you. It is the time of passionate fire- whether you gather around one or create it in bed with a lover.

Who are you thinking of with passion these past few days? What passion do you wish to ignite or give in to? What do you want to honor and celebrate that is full of vitality for you? Take a moment in your busy day and check in with yourself. Find whatever in your body or heart that wants to burst, to come, to rise out of the dirt and bloom. And let it do so.

 

Ready to burst.

 

It’s easy to think of Persephone as the maiden archetype. So ready to fall in love with Life and the world. So enamored and infatuated. Laughing, silly, and fresh. Like Mariah Carey on her Daydream album. I definitely identify with this energy, especially in Spring.

But I also love the re-telling of her story that we see today- as a woman who knew exactly what she was doing when she went to Hades. She was ready for the dark. Ready for the depth. Ready to reveal a different side of herself with the right lover. More like Joan Jett. Ready to rock and roll as an equal, as a queen. She returns with wisdom and dirt under her nails, ready to grow new things. Still Spring, but also strong.

I always feel pretty damn good when Beltane rolls around. My mood brightens and there’s just more energy to feed from and connect with. I’m a little bit of both versions of Persephone. And lucky is the lover who waits and tends to my needs. I will drag him down to the depths of playful darkness and push him back up again as we bloom together. [Ask my lover, he’ll tell you it’s true.]

 

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Playlist for Beltane

Always Be My Baby | Mariah Carey

Twenty two years ago this was a pop hit on the radio. And I remember because it’s when my lover and I were falling for each other. Falling all the way in.

 

Fantasy | Mariah Carey

“When you walk by every night/
Talkin’ sweet and lookin’ fine/
I get kinda hectic inside…

…but it’s just a sweet, sweet fantasy baby”

 

Rock and Roll | Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Because she’s the queen and won’t let you forget it.

 

Water Your Garden | Luscious Jackson

‘Can you be brave enough to risk it all’ as you emerge from the dark and the snow?

 

My Garden | Kat Dahlia

‘My roots been cravin’ lately, to soak in your diamonds.’

 

::: ::: ::: :::

I’m off to play, sacred ones.
Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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