In Contemplation of 2017

Winter vacation is over, and we are slowly starting to get back to our normal day-to-day. The remaining holiday decorations have come down (save for the door wreath – I usually leave that up a while longer). Cleaning and cleansing of the house, while planned for earlier in the month have been a bit of a slog. I guess the blahs are stronger this year than I had previously assumed. There are still a few things to do before I pull out the smudge.

In my mind, I feel like I’m juggling a hundred paths forward, with no idea which ones to choose to follow. New adventures, both physical and spiritual are on the horizon for me. This new blog is likely where I will be keeping my free thoughts, crafts, and practises. The old blog is being retired after a long, and fruitful run.

Over the holidays, I received the unexpected gift of a Casio keyboard, so after years of wishing and wanting, I am finally learning to play piano (or “keys” if you prefer). It’s going well, so far. I think I have an aptitude for it, so long as my achy arthritic fingers want to cooperate.

The practical life of a mom resumes, slow and steady. After a month of cookies, goodies, and snacks, I feel like I’m re-learing how to cook nutritious meals. The kid is back in school, and I’m trying to fit errands around a strange mid-day class time while still finding the energy to be up and awake past 6pm.

I always have the urge to add more to my plate than I really need – things like a new fitness regime or a new diet are all very popular resolutions for the new year. I have decided not to do that this year. I walk the kid to school every day, and I hope to hit the treadmill at least once on the weekends (if we don’t end up going anywhere), but aside from that, I am keeping with a moderation diet. Eat what makes me feel good. Eat as much as I need to satisfy my hunger – no more, no less. Get out in the sunshine. Meditate. Smile more. Enjoy life outside of the computer screen.

I am considering a blog challenge to help fill things out a bit here. I haven’t decided whether I will do that or not yet. I am sure that I will have plenty to write about without the need for fodder, but some of them can be fun – providing, of course, that the prompts are well thought out and not terribly repetitive.

I’ve also had the urge to finally get moving on creating a Book of Shadows. Funds have always held me back from actually getting started. This year, I think I will be able to manage funding a post-bound leather BOS. It’s something I’ve been wanting for well over ten years. I think I deserve to treat myself to something that is just for me. I always start to balk at large purchases that I can’t say that I need, but I’m not getting younger, and I would like to have the book finished before my kids graduate school.

And then there are the devotional dolls. That has been moving slowly, but forward. I need a quiet day to get started on the sculpt. I think I will get back to that in the next few weeks.

I have also hopped on the adult colouring bandwagon as a way to keep my hands busy without actually doing anything productive. I find it to be deeply satisfying. I think I have spent far too long with the ‘Monetizing Your Hobbies’ monkey on my back. I hate it, and I am falling in love with doing something that can’t possibly make any money. There is a divine thrill to doing something that really is just for me. This is something that I will definitely be doing more of in 2017.

Like many others, I am optimistic about this new year, though that optimism comes with trepidation. I worry for my American friends. Their path will be a rocky one, but I have come to realize that my role is to focus on my own Craft. And be ready. Je suis prêt.

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The World Song – The First Steps

I first came across the concept of the World Song while reading Alison Leigh Lilly’s blog, Holy Wild (I am endlessly jealous of her naming skills, btw – Meadowsweet & Myrrh was perfect, and Holy Wild is even better). In her article ‘What is the Song of the World‘, she describes the Oran Mór (or Great Song) as

“…something like Divine Harmony — it’s not a personal creator god, so much as the on-going creative process of the universe discovering itself, unfolding playfully and joyfully in an endless and infinite variety of ways, all of which are part of an exquisite harmony that is inherent to existence yet always changing and deepening.”

This idea spoke to me in the same way as old stories that feature words that create reality, and the old cautions against speaking carelessly. In the book I am reading now, Eyes Like Leaves, there is a concept known as “taw” that is described as “silence that is like music”.

I’ve been hovering on the edge of the explorations of sacred sound for a few years now, and I think that part of this is what finally drew me to study the Bardic grade of the OBOD. There is something there that is pulling me to it – two of my unfinished novels explore the concepts of magic created through song. I’ve been amongst musicians enough in my life to have felt the energy that can be coaxed from an instrument. And I have felt the energy that can arise from a group chant and a choir. But there is more. I feel the need to follow this path. And I am very excited to begin.

How funny that it should start at Yuletide? Christmas carols were always the songs I played when I had the opportunity to play around with musical instruments as a child. And with all of the musicians and hope we have lost to 2016, I think that maybe this sort of magic is needed now more than ever.

Every day I see more of the damage caused by the new US President-Elect and his machiavellian antics. People are losing hope. There is massive discord, and violence on a massive scale seems inevitable. And I expect that religious practise of all sorts will be on the rise in the coming years. People will turn to familiar comforts.

For me, I feel compelled to draw my family close, and to commune with the sound and harmony behind and beyond everyday life. I feel the need to make a more direct contact with the fabric of the world – the web or strings or whatever you want to call it that binds us all to each other. The Oran Mór is calling. And I am listening.

Revival

The weird part about starting a new blog is that you have nothing to fall back on. No previous words, nothing to review or revisit. There is that generic first post and that’s it.

WAY back in the day prior to Facebook, Dreamwidth, and even LiveJournal, when discussion forums were still a thing that people used, I had a website. It was titled “The Land of the Phae” – my handle at the time was Phae Talon. This blog was named for that long dead website.

Continue reading “Revival”