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Articles/Essays From Pagans

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April 13th. 2014 ...

Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!

Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils

Being a Worrisome Witch

What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops


April 6th. 2014 ...

The Elements and the Quarters

Dark Moon Scry: Aries 2014

How the Wheel of the Year Works “Down Under”

13 Keys: The Understanding of Binah


March 30th. 2014 ...

Manifesting the Dream: On Religious Organizations, Pagan Abbeys and our Order

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Thoughts on Unverified Personal Gnosis

My Beautiful Grove- A Matter Of Perspective


March 23rd. 2014 ...

Spirituality and Social Change

The First Step to Anywhere!


March 16th. 2014 ...

From Christian to Pagan (Part I)

Nature And The Celtic Tree Calendar

The Teeth in the Darkness


March 9th. 2014 ...

Healing the Witch Within

Incarcerated Witches

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March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright


March 2nd. 2014 ...

Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward

The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role

Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?

The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects


February 23rd. 2014 ...

Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences

Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless

The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community

What Makes Us What We Are


February 16th. 2014 ...

The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief

Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing

Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence

Alternative Medicine – What Is It?


February 9th. 2014 ...

Words of Power!

The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse

Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings


February 2nd. 2014 ...

The Magick of Jewelry and Metals

Building a Magick Mirror

The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)


January 26th. 2014 ...

Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do

The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)

13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed

Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected


January 19th. 2014 ...

Open Letter to the Goddess

A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality

Social Conventions and the Pagan World

Reclaiming Independence


January 12th. 2014 ...

Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing

One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression


January 5th. 2014 ...

Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age

Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey

2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!

Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild


December 29th. 2013 ...

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)

13 Keys: The Might of Geburah

Beyond The Season of Greed


December 22nd. 2013 ...

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)


December 15th. 2013 ...

The Hex Murder of 1928

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)

Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)

Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots


December 8th. 2013 ...

Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey

Using Your Wand in Reverse

The Cry of the Soul

Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward


December 1st. 2013 ...

The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness

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November 24th. 2013 ...

The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective

The Pagan and the Papacy


November 17th. 2013 ...

Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca

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November 10th. 2013 ...

Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?

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The Celtic Tree Calendar

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November 3rd. 2013 ...

The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?


October 27th. 2013 ...

Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society

Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them


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Article Specs

Article ID: 13232

VoxAcct: 134788

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 1,824

Times Read: 1,902

RSS Views: 68,252
Compost

Author: Gaia Ivorywitch [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: April 19th. 2009
Times Viewed: 1,902

The stench of rot assails my nostrils as I heave and push the cart towards my destination. Flies, deprived of their meal, circle me but eventually lose interest. As I trundle out to the edge of the woods, I look up, my eyes searching. The Owl usually appears in the time just before the light fades completely. I hear the call, and hoot softly back, mimicking, still unsure of the reception. Again the call comes, closer this time.

I wait, silently, hoping for the windy sweep of huge silent wings to grace my field of vision. Not tonight though. Owl was out there, somewhere, but something else had proven more interesting than the crazy human lady who tried to talk to him. I say him, but I have no idea the sex of the Owl, just that it comes, and goes, silently, majestically, leaving me awed in its wake. Apparently knowing the flight patterns and timing and a fair turn at mimickery isn’t enough.

Owl does not appear.

I set about my work. Shoving and lifting and transferring the oozing mass of rotting kitchen offal into the waiting bed of seething organisms of decay. I see that the recent dry spell has given the ants an opportunity. They heave and slide in exorbitantly precise mounds of legs carrying the pupae of their nursery to safety. Ants are necessary, as necessary as flies in the grand scheme of decay and breaking down of matter into the gold that will tease the green things from the soil of my garden.

My hands are sweating inside my gloves and my hair streams into my eyes with the sweat of my exertion. It isn’t that hot really. Not that humid either. But I can feel the straining muscle behind my ribs and the burning in my upper chest that say it is still too much for them. I pause to rest again. Gasping now, cursing the childhood of second hand cigarette smoke that left me with permanently scarred lungs and full blown COPD by age 28.

I resume my work. The quicker I get it over with the quicker I can get back inside to rest.

There is rain in the western part of the state tonight, pushing the low-pressure system hovering over our area. Somewhere up in the Dakotas a river has burst its banks, defying man’s control with his dams. But the winds and storm fronts will eventually wind their way downwards, south, and east to meet the burgeoning storm fronts ahead of the Gulf Stream, the storm to the west poised to lash the valley here in east Tennessee.

I briefly wondered about my friends scattered about the country. And of still others I’ve never met but know live close to the wall of water or the areas where floodwaters threaten. All that water will evaporate and combine to bring much needed rain again, this time to me and my garden. The sacrifice of others’ possessions to the storms and flood waters will yield precious moisture that will allow my spring garden to sprout, and we would have carrots, potatoes, onions, and lettuces into the early winter if I were vigilant and didn’t’ give up. Remembering what goes into the storms that water my garden serves to remind me to be grateful and work harder for the bounty they bring me and mine.

I chuckle to myself. It is painfully obvious how little it takes to make me give up. A failing body that cannot keep up with the mind that never stops. Yeah, I am the picture of the conscientious gardener. But still, my efforts now, all the wheezing and gasping for air, are MY sacrifice for the bounty that will hopefully grace my table later. A fair trade I suppose, then again, measured against the cost of the water, perhaps not.

I cannot yet see the New Moon. But I can already feel the shift in the tide, the pull of electric energy that the lunar body pulls from the Earth and Her humans. Soon the soil will fill with fluids drawn up and outward by the movements of the Moon. A marvelous symphony of movement, that. We are ever at the beck of the Moon, always dancing to Her rhythms, consciously or not.

My task complete, I find there is not enough of the previously rotted material to cover the new mound of fresh decaying material. I pull the cart behind me over to the drive where a decaying pile of dried mulberry and maple catkins and small twigs waits its turn to become compost. Bit by bit, I shovel it into the cart, careful to get every last scoop available. Then back over to the pile, spreading the drying material over the wet, oozing mass of glabrous decay, covering the odor with its dryness, yet feeding the ever - revolving cycle as well.

We are compost, I think. Or we should be.

I briefly marvel at the brilliant red of the rotted tomatoes against the duns and browns and blacks of other materials – such a vibrant, living red. The green of cornhusks are yellowed and mushy, already they are breaking down; taking their place in the chemical process that is decay. When we die, our body should do this too. But we are so obsessed with living forever that we drain the fluids that would feed that process and replace them with toxins that, while preserving the body, will eventually pollute the soil around it, regardless of the lead vaults that might contain it.

I see the hair from the last vacuum cleaner bag, protein, slower to break down, food for the tenuous stalks of the green things it will later give birth to. Eggshells, cracked but still discernible, like our bones, that linger after the flesh has gone, but eventually they too will dry and burn in the sun until they are ash. Again, feeding the never - ending cycle of decay and rebirth. Death is easily welcomed and encouraged here in the compost pile. It is part of the life of the green things. It is part of the Circle of Life.

We humans keep trying to separate ourselves from that cycle. This is a mistake, I think. We tend to forget, in our search for ‘ethical’ diets, that the green things are living beings too, just as much as the animals with faces and legs. To ignore any part of the bounty available to us, to me, seems ungrateful, sacrilegious - almost.

Amid the wars and political games, the devastation of natural disasters and the everyday activity of the workaday world, compost continues, just like the Moon in Her phases. Ever evolving, changing, growing full and green and dying back and drying out to become fodder for the next cycle of green. Sometimes I wish I could fast forward to the new, nubile body awaiting me in the next life, with strength enough to care for this land that I am charged with caring and nurturing.

The bullfrogs are deafening. The cart empty once again, I wheel it back to where it lives, with the tools replaced in their slots, removing my gloves at last and pushing the hair and sweat from my eyes. I take a deep breath, somewhat ragged breath and let it out.

As I turn to go inside, done for the night, I hear the call of the Owl, and shiver.





Copyright: Gaia Ivorywitch, 2008, 2009



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