Good Medicine

bucket of herbsYesterday, after writing that last post, I noticed a huge drop in my energy. It didn’t take long before the blues hitched a ride, and by the time I got home from work, my throat was clogged with unshed tears. Once home, I snapped at – and then immediately apologized to – my husband, quickly changed clothes, and made my way to the back yard where I grabbed the shears and started cutting huge handfuls of herbs well into dark.

By the time I had finished, my hands were saturated in the essence of Lemon Balm, Oregano, Basil, Tarragon and Stevia. I felt slightly buzzed, and totally calm and at peace. Mother Nature had done her blessed work.  I bow to the herbs for their healing and grounding.

If you’ve ever been in a situation that seems impossible to change, you know there’s this hopeless feeling that can be debilitating if it’s not nipped in the bud. I feel it every now and again, especially if I spend too much time focusing on the NOT THERES, rather than on the THERES – which is exactly what happened yesterday.

When it comes to my marriage, I’m usually hanging out some place between acceptance and appreciation. On a great day, it’s both.  The Serenity Prayer, something I’ve practiced for several decades, has taught me so much about living a Surrendered Life. I know from experience that my inner world improves significantly when I accept life on life’s terms rather than kick and fight against What Is.  As the brilliant Byron Katie says,

“I realized that it’s insane to oppose it. When I argue with reality, I lose—but only 100% of the time.”

It also helps me to understand how I’m personally affected by the Universal energies that bombard us on a collective level all the time. As Above, So Below.

The Neptune Retrograde, for example (which has been going on since June and will be stationing in just a couple of days) has been a huge contributor to the psychic overload I’ve experienced over the last couple of months. It’s comforting…and strengthening….to know it’s really not “all about me”, even though it is.  Kinda.

And then there’s Saturn (currently in Scorpio – the 8th sign of the Subconscious) which will be in my 8th house until 2015. One astrologer says the 8th house rules all things totally beyond our control and our attitude towards them. Another says the 8th house carries the energy of The Snake which sheds its old skin to reveal the new.  On a more “superficial” level, this is the house of sex, shared resources, and relationships pertaining to spiritual, emotional, and physical support.

I find it SO fascinating to read about this stuff when I’m in the hotmess middle of experiencing all of it very intimately. The Observer in me thinks it’s creepy cool in that Great Mystery kind of way, even when it’s extremely uncomfortable.  I’ve talked a little about approaching my Second Saturn Return, and all the craziness surrounding the recent Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio/Libra or the full eclipse of the Full Moon in Aries.  The synchronicities within my own life can not be overstated.  One of the ways these cosmic energies have played out in my own life is that I’ve become much more aware of (i.e., seen past the illusions of) who and what I can really trust….who I can rely on to be there for me, who’s a real “friend” and who’s just playing the “oh I love you, dear friend!” bullshit that means nothing in Real Time.

In the process, I’ve found myself letting go of a lot:  Ways of interacting with others; things around the house I don’t need; people I don’t jibe with any more.   I even cut my hair off in a symbolic ritual (also an 8th house attribute) to rid myself emotional and energetic baggage, and show the world a NEW ME!

In the midst of all the crazy energies, and my imperfectly perfect life, I realize I need to be much more mindful of my focus if I’m going to make this transit and transition smoothly.  I have SO MUCH to be grateful for, including the fact that I married my Guardian Angel. This is so important to me that I’ve even considered looking for a mentor – someone who will be a reliable Guide and Companion for the next phase of my journey.

But in the meantime, thank God for the Garden! I really needed those Plant Healers to touch me … as much if not more than they needed me to give them a good shaping up! Their medicine was a magic, miraculous, and organic way to rid me of all that funky business…

OREGANO – Used for happiness, tranquility, luck, health, protection and letting go of a loved one. It symbolizes joy, and is said to banish sadness. (CHECK!)

LEMON BALM – A sacred herb in the Temples of Artemis and Diana, and the herb that assisted the ancient beekeepers in keeping their bees happy, Lemon Balm assists with finding joy and peace in the simple tasks of homemaking. (CHECK!)

BASIL – For psychic cleansing and protection, tranquility, and happiness, basil is widely known for being an anti-depressant. (CHECK!)

TARRAGON – Another herb connected to the Goddess Artemis (Goddess to Herbalists, of the Wild Things, of the Moon, and of the Hunt) , Tarragon helps to relieve anxiety and stress. (CHECK!)

STEVIA  – I don’t know much about Stevia in folk medicine, but I know one thing for sure:  It adds  major SWEETNESS to everything it touches.

And what’s not to love about that?

Night Visions

California Spotted Owl

California Spotted Owl

A couple of months ago, some owls came to visit and apparently decided to stay.

Last night, as I was sitting in bed playing around on the iPad and smoking some weed, they started talking to each other and the sounds absolutely captivated me. Owls are particularly rich in symbolism amongst a number of spiritual traditions and mythologies, and I’ve never cohabited with them before.  It’s SO exciting! The noises they make are at once hauntingly beautiful and heartbreakingly forlorn.  And I know they‘re hanging out with me to give me a message….one I’m just now beginning to understand.

But first, a confession.

No, NOT the weed thing! That’s 40-year old news.

This particular confession is actually much more intimate than many that I’ve shared over the years here…and revealing in a way that makes me feel vulnerable and exposed in the telling.  But here I go.

I sleep alone.

As in, Married-With-Separate-Bedrooms alone.

In all fairness, it’s my preference….sort of. It all started right after we first remarried in April of 2012.  We wanted to buy a new bed, and since The Man was still recovering from a very painful knee replacement, it seemed reasonable to let him chose the style. Unfortunately, his preference (an extremely expensive and glorified air mattress called a “Sleep Number”) left me crippled and in pain after a year of sleeping on it.

So when we moved into a bigger place, I commandeered my favorite of the smaller bedrooms (maybe under the guise of creating a  “guest bedroom”) and never left.  It’s cozy and comfortable, with a window that looks out through the trees to the sky and hills beyond.   It’s my little nest…and a private sanctuary where I retreat regularly while The Man enjoys his manshows and his news.

And when it’s time for bed, we kiss goodnight, and he goes his way and I go mine.

It’s actually not such a bad arrangement, if you take out all the “married people who love each other should want to sleep next to each other every night” stuff. I mean, we have extremely different sleeping patterns and sleeping styles. For example, he sleeps and I don’t that much. And when I’m up in the middle of the night, it’s nice to be able to sit in bed and do “whatever”, knowing I’m not disturbing him.

And just to be clear, The Man knows exactly why I’m in a separate room, and that if we were to get a different bed, I’d move back in. But he hasn’t been inclined to make that change.  Apparently he’s comfortable, too – I mean, it is “his” bed – and since we don’t have sex anyway….

Oh, wait. That’s another confession, isn’t it? And not entirely accurate, I suppose. There was that 5 minutes last April….

Anyway, back to the owls.

For the first month they were here, they were hanging out in the back yard near The Man’s bedroom. It was so cute!  Every morning he’d ask me, “Babe, did you hear your owls last night?”

But I couldn’t, with the distance, and a closed door and all that. But just a couple of nights ago, the owls moved to the front of the house, to hang outside of my room. Now it’s my turn to sit still and listen to their ancient Wisdom and Oracles. I’m racking my brain trying to figure out what needs to die in my life in order for some major changes to take place. And I’m trying to look through the darkness, beyond the veil of Illusion, to where my True North and radical transformation lie.

Because frankly, I’m feeling stuck…Trapped in a life that I didn’t intend and never saw coming. And I know that Owl has come, a harbinger of the Goddess, to guide and protect me to a place where my soul sings and I feel nourished, inspired and loved