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June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
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Magical Household Cleaning
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An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
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The Evolution of Thought Forms
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
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December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
Native American Spirituality Myopia
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
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Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
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Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
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March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
My Concept Of Grey
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
A Strange Waking Dream
August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
August 10th. 2014 ...
As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?
The Power of the Gorgon
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Memory of a Scent
Article ID: 13011
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: August 2nd. 2009
Times Viewed: 3,551
Sometimes we all just need to breathe. Breathe in the dozens of scents on the earth. Everything has a scent: the rain, the soil, the cold, the warm, the snow, the sunshine, the fire, the windÖeverything has a smell.
I fill myself with these smells each day. I breathe them in, and each one evokes a different emotion, a different sensation, and a different memory.
I sit in my room, the smoke of my new Dragonís Blood incense swirling around me. The scent takes me back to a time in eighth grade, when my friend Kat and I were at our friend Hayleyís house. We were sitting on her floor, listening to Evanescence and talking about Wicca when we decided to go astral traveling.
And so we set down a blanket, cast a circle, lit candles and Dragonís Blood incense at each of the four corners, set Katís crystal in the middle (the crystal was red, and set me in a trance just by looking at it) , and held hands to astral travel together. We all were in a light trance, and I opened my eyes just for a moment.
The smoke from the incense was filling the room; dulling the candlelight and making everything look magickal. The smoke seemed to twist and turn, revealing images of roaring dragons, giggling, mischievous pixies, and all sorts of other creatures, smelling of the Otherworld.
When I looked at Kat and Hayley, they still had their eyes closed and seemed unbothered by the strange forms surrounding them. The smoke creatures tickled my arms, and when I blinked, their images went away, so perhaps it was just my imagination.
And still the scents of the world evoke images and feelings within me.
The smell of bacon simmering on the pan reminds me of when I was little, and I used to steal my dadís bacon when he turned away.
The smell of the Anchor River tickles my noise and reminds me of the days I spent inner tubing.
The sweet scent of the snow takes me back to times skiing at the Alyeska Ski Resort.
Indeed, even the moonlight has a scent. I lay in my bed at night, the moon sending shivering warmth down upon my bed, and I bask in the moonlightís scent; a scent I can never even begin to name or describe.
Can we give a scent a name? A scent is a distant memory, long forgotten. A scent is an emotion we cannot explain. A scent is the silent dance that weaves its way through the air.
Your nose can name and recognize a million different smells. The nose is still not completely understood by modern science. Itís a wonder how the nose can pick up smells from far away, how it can place them, how it can recognize them, how it can recall them from your distant memory. And when there is a smell you have not smelled before, it relates the smell to past smells and scrambles around in your brain for a word to call it. And once it smells a smell, it never forgets it.
Can you recall the first scent you have smelled?
Is it the scent of your motherís blood as you burst out of her, screaming and crying for grief of leaving the warm womb?
Is it the scent of your motherís breast milk?
Is it the scent of the room in which you were born?
Or perhaps you canít remember that time. Maybe your first smell was the smell of the dust in the road as you walked to school for the first time.
Maybe it was the smell of your favorite food, just before you ate it for the first time.
Maybe it was the smell of the winter air, as you saw snow for the first time.
Maybe it was the smell of the kitchen, where a million different foods are cooked.
Or maybe it was simply the smell of life, which you continue smelling at this moment.
Perhaps you can evoke the memory of the smell of the Goddess, the first time you experienced Her in all Her beauty, whether it be through astral travel, or through a dream, or when you stepped before a vast mountain range, or when you stepped in front of a huge tree larger than any youíve ever seen, or when you looked in to the face of the most beautiful girl youíve ever imagined, or when you held a baby close to your breast.
Can you remember the smell you smelled yesterday?
Can you remember the memory that went along with it?
I remember the smell of tears, running down my motherís face when her mother died. Though I didnít remember my grandmother, I cried for her, and I smelled the sea-salt smell of my own tears.
I can remember the smell of the day when my dad began to build our cabin, and the air was heavy with hope and the scent of the coming spring.
I recall the scent of pain, when I burned my finger while camping.
I can recall the smell of my memory itself, thick with nostalgia, regret, comfort, and promise.
Can you recall the scent of yourself?
Can you recall the scents of your memory?
"Your sweet scent
Lingers on the sweater I lent you.
The breezed smell
Of the beach we stood on,
Lingers on my jacket,
Just waiting to leave.
Each time I bring myself near to them,
Slip on the sweater,
Or pull on the coat,
I fall into a dreamland.
I am not in love with you, though,
But with Me.
I have fallen in love with
The person you have made me.
I have fallen hard.
As that scent disappears
I can only look back
Through my mind
And the few snapshots
We'd captured on that beach that day
But I soon realize
That I will never forget your scent.
It will linger on me forever,
not matter how much the wind blows
to try to steal it away
or how much time passes...
Your scent and your effect,
Remain in my heart
Never being blown away."
(--A Lingering Scent, by Penny roe, poems-and-quotes.com)
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