Imbolc came and went with all the energy of the particular festival. As the light has began expanding for the past few weeks, there is a definite charge in the air, I can feel the pulse of the earth begin to get stronger beneath my feet, as life starts to emerge from the depths of winter. Not that it was a harsh winter by any account. But my city definitely becomes a different place as the sun becomes stronger and stays longer in the sky. The parks are filled with more people, and there are more people out and about generally. I see more cyclists. Today for example I met up with a friend at a local market – and its was PACKED! One could hardly move through the fresh produce area. It was really lovely. There is something to be said about the simple pleasure of strolling through a market that is abuzz with people. Everyone was chilled (as you’d expect for a Sunday morning) and I didn’t feel the sudden pangs of anxiety and stress that I often experience when faced with large crowds. It isn’t so much the crowd that brings on the panic, rather the tendency for people in such crowds to perambulate at a glacial pace, losing all sense of spatial awareness. Suffice to say there was none of that which was experienced by me.
As with the changing of the season, with the wheel of the year turning; life for me has also changed somewhat, hence my delinquency in maintaining my writing. Having spent about 6 weeks working ridiculous hours (including weekends), my situation has drastically changed, having rotated into my second group for the next 6 months. I am now working on secondment at a not for profit client. Needless to say it is vastly different! For one the offices are close to home so I can walk each day. This also have given me the luxury to enjoy breakfast at my own house before commencing my work day, as opposed to having breakfast at my work station. Also I don’t work till all hours of the night! I come home at a reasonable hour as well, which means I can participate in more extra –curricular activities! This new found time and freedom has required some getting use to, but slowly I am finding a new rhythm to life. I have even enrolled in a short Ancient Greek course to fill the time between October and December. It was quite fitting that this change has occurred at a time of the year where the rhythm of the earth also seems to shift, to change, in preparation of the summer.
I have also been reflecting quite a lot in the changes that have occurred in the past 12 months. It was around this time, during Imbolc, that I rediscovered (so to speak) my paganism, and have been on this new exciting road ever since. I have spent 12 months quietly observing the seasonal changes, and in that simple act, of merely observing, I have become so much more attuned to the breathing and exhaling of the earth. Despite the fact that I live in a highly urban area (just outside of a main city) I have managed to feel and build a connection with my local natural environment. I have realised how everything is intricately connected, and if we just take the time, to listen and to feel, the connections becomes evident. Now that connection is there, I next intend to commence trying out my hand at writing my own rituals – watch this space!
In the past 12 months I have also fostered a relationship with the divine, which is ever present in my life. Sometimes, the presence of Isis is so strong that I cant but stop and listen and feel the goddess envelope me in her wings. At other times her presence is much more subtle, but ever present, whispering in the background ‘I’m still here, I always was, and always will be.’
Dionysos is a different story, his mischievous energy comes at different times, obviously when drinking and when I am able to ‘let go.’ However my relationship with the god is not as strong as it is with Isis, however I understand this to be a never-ending process that just takes time. Like all other relationships, one needs to cultivate, and tend to a relationship. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I approach Dionysos with more trepidation than when I approach Isis. Dionysos is a mysterious and powerful god, and sometimes I am not sure whether I am ready of his energy and the things that come with it. For example, one mid week day late last year, I did a meditation on Dionysos’ godhead. I ended up taking a couple of days off work due to the bender that then proceeded the meditation as Dionysos made himself manifest. I remember the dream that I had after those events, where Dionysos appeared, as he does in the Attic vase paintings, in his flowing gowns, hold a staff, wreathed with ivy. He looked at me and simply laughed. Despite this I am also acutely aware of the consequences when one denies the Lord Dionysos (does anyone remember Pentheus).
I have also felt Osiris a little more in my life. Whereas Dionysos’ brings with him divine ecstasy and the iconoclasm that comes with truly being free the energy that Osiris exudes is of a different, kingly hue. Not that Dionysos is not a kingly himself, rather he is the more intoxicating components of Osiris. Osiris is wise of counsel, I see him sitting upon his throne in his hall, passing judgement over the souls of the dead. Not in a morbid way, but in a loving, compassionate truly just way. I still need to tend to this relationship as well.
I have also met some great new people, all on different pagan paths. I have attended a great weekend gathering where most of these meetings took place, and was also invited to a coven’s Yule ritual which was beautiful. In a few weeks, I will be travelling interstate to the Australian Wiccan Conference and will be hanging out with Pagans, witches and weirdos from all over the country – I cant wait! I am loving all the witchy things I am doing (as well as reading)!
So as the light begins to expand, I hope that so do my relationships, with the earth, the divine, others and with myself.