Weather Observations – 29/10/13

Weather Observations - 29/10/13

The weather has not changed much since September. It’s still been hot, dry and sunny – summer has come early this year. Flies have been multiplying like crazy and our house has been temporarily overrun by them.
Bush fires have been burning through most of my home state with a couple of big ones located about an hours drive from my house. The skies have been filled with smoke ever since my birthday week (17th Oct). Thankfully we haven’t been threatened by any bush fires; my thoughts go out to all those who have been or are.
The sun is hot and burns the skin very easily.

Many of the ducks have been producing ducklings (daww) and surprisingly a majority of the ducklings I saw in May have survived and are looking like gangly teenagers now.

The ocean has been bitterly cold for the last few months but about a week or two ago had clearly warmed up – could this be changing tides?
Whales have also been migrating up and down the coast for the last few months… I haven’t seen any.
Dead mutton birds have also been appearing on the sand at the beach due to their long migration home. I’ve found a couple of alive ones who were clearly too exhausted to move on (they allowed me to pick them up). In this instance it’s hard to know what to do. I felt sorry for the birds but wasn’t sure if saving them now would really do them any good – they’ll just die next migrating season won’t they? I moved them into a nice shady area where they could peacefully die. I felt like that was the right thing to do.

As usual the magpies chicks are leaving their nests and we’re seeing extremely territorial behaviour from them. I’ve not experienced a swooping this year but I think they’re used to me (I feed them sometimes).

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Structure of a Basic Ritual and Spell

Introduction

The most important thing for me when I’m performing a ritual is keeping an open mind and heart. I try to allow fluid communication between me and the universe, which means that I don’t usually follow a set ritual layout. I don’t have a series of step by step instructions complete with a rhyme that I repeat whilst I light certain candles in a certain order, etc etc. I try to feel what’s right for the purpose of the ritual because, of course, each ritual has a different goal. I don’t believe in deities or I don’t believe in human representatives of immortals – maybe there are groups of energy out there that can help in a certain task but I’ve never really bonded with any of them. I also find it hard to believe that they have a likeness of us – this is what I mean when I say on my ‘About’ page that I manifest my worship into a God and Goddess model for familiarity. I don’t think they would actually be a Male and a Female human looking creature of some sort – more of just opposite energies (similar to the Yin and Yang concept).
So this layout is extremely basic. Hopefully I can get into the habit of actually documenting more of my specific rituals and spells.
NOTE: I use the words ‘ritual’ ‘spell’ and ‘praying’ interchangeably. I can do a ritual without doing a spell but I can’t do a spell without doing a ritual or praying and usually a ritual always includes praying of some kind.

Beginning

I get together all the things I’ll need for the ritual or spell – usually this includes my god and goddess statues, candles/incense, lighter/matches and something to help me focus on the purpose of the ritual. This could include stones, sticks, feathers, tarot/oracle cards, flowers, personal items, paper, etc.
I also usually have some water, some food and my Meditation flower essences (White Chestnut, Wild Oat, Clematis, Cerato and Heather) close at hand. I have these things close by because I’m a dreamer and if I don’t ground myself well after the practice I can start feeling quite out of sorts – it’s a blessing as well as a curse. It makes it easy for me to slip into ritual and spellwork but not so easy for me to come back out again or to even be that productive in my day to day life.

Here's an example of a structure of a ritual - this one isn't my usual but it's got all the basic elements.

Here’s an example of a structure of a ritual – this one isn’t my usual but it’s got all the basic elements.

Usually I’ll have the God on the left, Goddess on the right and the incense/candle in the middle with the point of focus around the center. Where I put the point of focus object usually changes depending on if I’m using other things for the ritual (such as a wand, pentacle, cauldron, herbs, burning of paper, etc). I tend to make it look balanced and pretty – that’s the Libran coming out in me.

Body

Once I’m set up I meditate – I pay attention to my breathing and strengthen my personal boundaries. Usually this involves visualisation techniques which for me include roots extending from my tail bone/spine into the Earth, which I then use to neutralise my thoughts and feelings (negative into the Earth and positive into me). I also use this connection to strengthen my boundaries – this is called by a few different names and everyone sees (or imagines) it differently. I refer to it as my aura but it’s also my ‘bubble’ and it’s where my presence is outside of my body in space – my ‘personal space’. I do this so that I know where to come back to and to know that while I’m off having a journey my body is safe inside a strong barrier.
Whilst I do this I’m simultaneously sending out a ‘Hello? I’m here’ signal to anything that would like to communicate.
NOTE: I think it’s important to establish a boundary before talking to anything so make sure your boundary is bright and strong enough for things to come in only if you invite them.

Once I am happy with the state of my boundaries I will carry out the spell or ritual (Here is some examples of spells and rituals that I do) and here is where it varies. Sometimes I will light incense and carry out the spell imagining that the smoke is sending off my wishes to the universe, sometimes I will only imagine that once I’ve blown out a candle with the smoke off the wick – this depends on the purpose of the spell/ritual. Sometimes I will wear certain clothes or other objects to enhance communication with particular animal totems or other beings or sometimes I will just use a feather, a photo, an oracle card, etc as the focus object. Sometimes I will write what it was I want to achieve down but only if the words come to me easily. Again, hopefully I can try to document more of my rituals and spellwork.
Another great example of ritual would be my yoga practice. Some of the time it’s just exercise but a majority of the time it’s a spiritual event for me and I begin the same way I would any other ritual or spell.

End

The end is usually marked by a feeling of completion or the incense running out (but I have been known to light another incense stick or cone). At this point I blow out the candle and meditate again – strengthening my boundaries and so forth. I drink some water, have a little to eat and move around. I also find it useful to consciously identify objects (that’s a blue towel, I can hear a piano playing, etc). It’s also good habit to say thank you to whoever or whatever you were dealing with – I must admit I haven’t been all that good with offerings because I even forget to eat myself (see what I mean about being a dreamer!). I do try to leave some food out for the local birds because they usually accompany me but I don’t too often because I don’t want them depending on it. If I haven’t done the ritual or spell away from an altar space, I will leave the altar set up usually this includes spells or rituals to attract wealth, if it’s a ritual for the turning of the wheel or if I’ve done a spell for someone.

Goals for the Future
+ Try to hash out a basic structure to write in my journal.
+ Have two way communication with my animal totem eg. meditate with it specifically in mind and ask if it wants/needs anything, make some offerings to it specifically.
+ Come up with a more solid way to honor the God and Goddess. A short invocation at the beginning or end? Or maybe try to incorporate them into celebrations more. Leave offerings regularly.
+ Research some Aboriginal deities and see if any resonate with me.

27/1/13 – Weather Observation

27/1/13 - Weather Observation

It rained all day – literally I was woken up just before dawn and it was already raining. It wasn’t a drizzle or downpour but it was raining steadily. Generally this is an unusual thing for the 27th of January – my sisters birthday is on the 25th and we pretty much always had a pool party because it was so hot. It’s been a nice change though since Sydney has had the most days over 40C in 100 years this summer.
Haven’t heard much from any birds or other animals today. The corn is about ready to harvest, the peas are dead from heat and the beetroot has big leaves but not so big roots.

24/1/13 – Weather Observations

The last week or so has been hot and humid. We’ve had very gusty winds and a light sprinkle of rain on and off for the last couple of days. There was also fog the other morning – could we be heading into autumn already?

The corn we’re growing is about ready to harvest and all the other plants we’re growing have been absolutely loving the change in weather. My lemon balm died in the heat and the bean plant seems to have a disease brought on by the hot weather (we’ll need to plant it earlier in the season I think).

There’s this one bird in the tree outside our bedroom window and it’s been quite active lately – I have no idea what it’s name is though. I found two of it’s feathers yesterday while I was weeding (it seems to be following me). Another sunny morning – before the rains were blown in again – we woke up to the sound of what sounded like 5 kookaburra’s laughing right outside our window! When it was a reasonable hour I went out to find them all mucking around in the gum tree next to the jetty (the same one I sat under the other day). There are still baby magpie’s following their parents making a racket – admittedly not as much as when they were younger but I honestly think they’re getting too old to still be trying to scab food off their parents (it’s been months since they hatched). Have seen them further down the road though so they’re getting themselves out there. They still come around looking for food here but I’ve decided to stop feeding them because we’re moving soon and I don’t want them freaking out the new people or the new people doing something stupid.

My Animal Totem

Yesterday I watched Lupa’s video on Animal Totemism (you can watch it here) and whilst I kind of already knew a lot of the ‘basics’ already through my own practice with animals I found there were still little bits and pieces that I found very useful – it’s now conscious.

When I say that ‘it’s now conscious’ I’m referring to Jung’s concept of the shadow and the ego. I’ve not read this guy’s books but I have read a thing or two about his theories (more through other authors who expand on his ideas). Basically, I work in two ways – my subconcious and my conscious. My animal totems were more of a subconscious or ‘shadow’ part of my practice meaning that I’ve never really used them for any particular purpose, I mostly just felt comforted when I saw them. Sure I have ‘rituals’ dedicated to them but they’re mostly on the I’ll-wear-a-kookaburra-feather-in-my-hair side as opposed to the let’s-meditate-and-talk side. I’m aware that this is probably a really poor way of explaining it because some people would argue that meditation is a subconscious thing – but hey, that’s where I’m at right now and that’s what I’m doing here so for now that’s what I’m going with.

Anyway, Lupa’s video has inspired me to get more in touch with my Totem which is the Kookaburra. I’ve been observing Kookaburra’s since I was quite young and have always felt comforted and safe whenever they were around. I’ve never actually done any meditations to find out that they were my totem – one day in high school they started appearing during times of great stress and anxiety. I hated high school and I felt like they were always there protecting me because they would always turn up when I was making a big decision or thinking about something important.

Today, I started sketching a Kookaburra from a photo I took of one not that long ago – during that time I went into a bit of a meditation. Kookaburra’s have been seen as a symbol for healing and I’ve never really understood that until I was drawing this picture. The thing is, art used to be my life – I remember saying to a friend in high school that “I don’t know what I would do without art” but since graduating I’ve hardly even done a thing. I’ve attempted a few works but never finished. I was lazy with my photography and always thought too much about what it was I was doing. During this sketch I realised that the thing I loved most about art was that I could disappear into it – I meditated and my whole world was consumed with whatever it was I was painting/creating. It’s probably the first time I’ve done that (sober) since I graduated high school and I definitely think I’m on the right track.

Basically: Kookaburra = Healing Through Art

I’ll continue to blog about this part of my life – I need to paint, draw and create more.

4/1/13 – The Kookaburra’s have Returned

I live in a place that’s perfect for Kookaburra’s to thrive – I found this fact truly exciting when I first moved in as Kookaburra’s are a part of me. I’ve always seen their seemingly coincidental appearances during important life events as a sign of guidance and protection. That’s why I noticed when one day they seemed to just disappear.

They can be stealthy when they want to be, but I was sure they weren’t around. I couldn’t feel them, I couldn’t hear their unmistakable laughing and I stopped being visited by them which, in itself is unusual. At first I feared that maybe they had left me because they weren’t happy with how I’d been acting (after a tarot card reading I realised that I had a pretty shitty attitude – my cards don’t beat around the bush and they’re not afraid to hurt people’s feelings), then I thought maybe I wasn’t in need of their guidance anymore because two big black crows/ravens showed up in their place (I have an inkling they’re Ravens but ever since childhood everyone I know have called them Crows). I must admit, I was sad and a bit nostalgic – they’d been there for me for as long as I can remember and it just seemed my whole life, including my guardians, were changing.

About a week ago however, I woke up to the beautiful sound of their cackling laughter and I smiled. A day or two later I was visited by a beautiful Kookaburra (I still haven’t figured out if it’s the same one that visits me) with a giant worm hanging out of it’s mouth and again this morning another one visited. After some reflection I realise that maybe there was another reason entirely for their departure – Magpies.

I’m not sure how many of you know about Magpies but let me put it this way – they’re extremely protective of their young. The Kookaburra’s had disappeared around about the time when Magpies were laying their eggs and I had witnessed a few tiffs between the two. It actually kind of surprised me at the time because Kookaburra’s had always seemed fairly intimidating – however, I’m not a bird and I suppose anything with a sharp beak and claws would be intimidating to me. Looking at them now, especially at the one that visited me this morning, I realise they’re more of the class clown of the Australian wildlife. Always laughing and doing whatever they please – you should see a group of them together.

During the absence of the Kookaburra’s, I got closer to the Magpies. My fiance and I were sitting on the back balcony one day, talking and enjoying the view, when a very large Magpie landed on the railing about a meter away from us. If I thought Kookaburra’s were intimidating then Magpie’s were just downright scary – I was in awe though so I just sat there while Brian got scared and went inside. Magpies are reasonably easy to deal with though – I just complimented the shit out of it’s scary looking beak and claws and told it how lustrous it’s plumage was (I wasn’t lying!). Looking back now I realise that maybe this Magpie, which I believe to be a male, was deciding whether or not we were a threat to his soon to be babies. After that experience I left regular offerings for the parents and then their young when they were old enough to fly – this seemed to put me on their good side and they haven’t seemed all that interested in us since (a part from when I try to stick a big black camera in their face).