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From Christian to Pagan (Part III)
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Gratitude from a Green Witch at Mabon
Article ID: 12864
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,429
Times Read: 3,725
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Author: Sia@FullCircle [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: September 6th. 2009
Times Viewed: 3,725
The maple leaves are beginning to turn, and apples are ripening in the farms below. I breathe in the rich scents of hay and horses from a nearby farm along with the spicy aroma of fir trees, herbs, and native grasses that grace my own little Avalon. I can see two red tailed hawks turning, wheeling and rising in the early morning light. I feel the kiss of the wind that allows them to rise, and I imagine that I am flying alongside them on warm currents of air, currents that take us all the way up to the sun. It will be some time before we feel it's warmth again, and I will cherish this feeling.
It's late in the day, and I'm up on the top our mountain with Madame, our dog, planning a dawn hike I plan to take in a couple of weeks to celebrate Mabon. I'll go to a place I know where I can watch the sun rise over Mt Hood. The growing light will glisten off the lake beneath me, and turn what clouds there are pink and red; the colors of those apples I will use in my ritual that day. If I sit very still I may see Mamma bobcat again, out hunting for her young, or share the morning peace with a flock of mountain quail or see a white tailed deer and her doe out foraging for food.
My thoughts will be with our loved ones, human and non, with our dear friends, both close by and far away. Later on, I will do some gardening and perform a small dedication on our land, before joining friends and loved ones for a feast. Before the sun sets, I will sit out on our deck with a strong, dark cup of coffee and write both my Gratitude List and my list of Intentions; two things I use in rituals this time of year. It's important to keep these lists in my heart as the wheel turns. I want the perspective a Gratitude List brings and the focus of will my Intention List offers as I enter the dark labyrinth of winter.
I never go in but I come out changed.
I will later burn both lists at Samhain, as dedication and cleansing. I will also make up my book list and my writing list. The book list is a reference to the glorious tower of books I will now have time to read when the dark and cold keep us indoors. My writing list includes all those articles and essays I hope to gather in book form. I have finally carved out enough time in my life to do this work. It's something I've been saying I want to do for many years now - Let's see if I really mean it.
I have many things to be grateful for this year, including that fact that it will soon be 24 years since I quit smoking. People I love who did not do so are gone now. I allow little room in my life for hate, but I do hate cancer, and this article is dedicated to those in the Earthwise Community who seek health and healing. May they find the tools, the teachers and the courage they need to face whatever life change they need to make. I say this as someone who needs to visit the gym and practice her yoga more often then she does....
Have you ever made such a powerful change that it leaves an imprint, not only on your life, but on the very time of year it happened, for many years after? It's that way for me at Mabon. Powerful changes come to me now in the fall. I quit smoking for good at equinox, as I said, after dozens of other attempts. I wondered then where I would be a year later.
When the wheel had turned, I stood in circle, holding hands, as a group of us honored a dear friend and mentor. Her two year old danced in the redwood grove while we remembered her mother and I thought "Carpe Diem". I think that every year around this time. That girl is in her 20's now, happy and healthy and tending to children of her own. Mary, if you're watching, you must be pleased.
Mary was smarter then me in many ways. She never smoked. Nevertheless, she died of heart disease - another cruel killer of women - when she was only 40. So today, in her honor, I'm going to ask, "How is your heart health?" If you don't know that answer to that question, maybe it's time you saw your doctor. Like my own said, learn and live.
Many years ago at this time I also forgave some childhood hurts that had been a difficult burden. I've felt lighter ever since. Soon after another equinox, I left a long relationship and began a Saturn Return that left me breathless and shaken, but whole. Years later when I was living more of my life, and not someone else's, I began new work worth doing. The harvest that choice produced has blessed me to this day. So that's how it goes. Change comes to me in the time when the apples ripen and fall. As I scatter small Gala apples for the deer that come to our meadow, and begin to make Pink Lady pies, I watch and wait for the lesson.
As you can see from this story, gratitude is the reason for my Mabon hike. The place I go to is a small, high, open set of hay fields bordered by fir trees. This spot lies just off an unpaved maintain road, on a ridgeline near the summit. It has a clear view both east and west, and down into the valleys below us. It's a spot I have visited many times. Few people know of it and fewer visit it, except for those of us who live nearby. Day Trippers will sometimes find it, and stop to enjoy the view, as will local drivers of small trucks who use our mountain pass or those hard bodied cyclists out on training runs but I usually have this spot all to myself. Most times these people respect the place, but sometimes not, and I never leave there without picking up any litter I find. It's a deal I have with the place.
I protect this little bit of paradise, and I am gifted in turn with hawk and blue jay feathers and the odd, discarded snakeskin. I leave nothing behind and take nothing away that grows there. Sometimes I go up there to see the moon rise at night, and I might meet amateur astronomers, pleasant folks who come to our mountain with their large telescopes to do some star gazing well away from city lights. They often offer to let me look and treat me to sights of colored stars and spiral nebula. Since I always travel with a pack of food, I offer them baked goods, in turn. We don't talk very much, these folks and I, it's enough to share chocolate squares and awe.
Sometimes I go to see the sunset and sometimes I go at dawn. This place and I have come to know each other’s moods, the way friends will. It will be cold up there, just before sunrise, and I hope it will be clear. Most days now are glorious and you can see for miles. But fog or no, I'll go up just the same. I have a lot to be grateful for.
Happy Fall Equinox and Blessed Mabon to all here.
Go well, stay well,
Copyright: Sia Vogel
Location: Portland, Oregon
Author's Profile: To learn more about Sia@FullCircle - Click HERE
Bio: Sia is the founder of a number of Pagan and mundane projects and is active in companion animal and wildlife rescue groups and with groups that protect wild lands. In her spare time she works for a living, reads to the cats and takes the dog for walks. Her writing has been published at Vox for years and has appeared in PanGaia magazine. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, and you can often find her at Powells.
Other Articles: Sia@FullCircle has posted 23 additional articles- View them?
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