Wednesday, 28 January 2009

When I'm Calling Your Name . . .

I've said in a recent post that the events of the past few months have hammered home to me the truth that I am not my body. I live in my body for this incarnation, but my body is not me and I am not my body. I am more, much, much more than the flesh and blood that keeps my current vehicle physically alive. I am more than my drives, more than my impulses and more than flesh, blood and bone.

Likewise I am more than the things I feel. I am not my feelings and my feelings are not me. My emotions do not provide me with my identity. My identity comes from something much older, something that existed before my current body was formed and that will survive long after my current vehicle returns to the Earth.

This is something I've known for ages . . . but that's it, I've known it - has it actually sunk deep within me? I don't think it actually has. Like all of us I've become aware of just how much I've been clinging to this body and this apparent existance - that which I can so easily see, taste, touch, hear and smell, and it's this clinging, this inbuilt sense of dependence that in effect creates the false reality that has the potential to fool me over and over again until I start to trust, once again, in that which cannot be really trusted. The end result of this is that I actually loose connection with who I truly am. This happens as a result of impulse, or desire, overtaking will and instead of this vehicle becoming a voluntary collaborator, it becomes my master, and that's not good!

Spiritual growth has its birth in truly knowing who I am and more than that, living and acting and being in that truth. A member of staff said to me today "I'm a human being not a human doing!" and it made me smile that this old adage was being reflected back to me. It's a hackneyed statement, I agree, but one that contains such truth for all of that. What I do does not define me, even what I feel does not define me, it's the truth of who I really am that defines me and this comes from moving out of the realm of reactivity into the realm of claiming and living in the truth of my own birthright - I am from Source and I am of Source - I am as Source.

I have a sense of needing to travel back to the place of my origination. I have no idea if that makes any sense to any one at all, but I know what I mean! A need to travel back to the place of my true birth. Long ago, as recorded in this blog, I embraced Andrew, my Younger Self, and this was a deep and significant move forward for me, but in many ways that was something that happened on a psychological level - but no less real for that. Now I see I have a need to move in the power of my Magickal name and to truly embrace that aspect of me and to allow the power of that to flow through my physical body. I need to move in the power of who I really am and celebrate the strength and power of this. It's not just a case of being given a Magickal Name, it's actually about moving in the reality of that in a real and living way.

The more than time goes on the more disconnected I feel to this physical body. I don't mean that I disrespect it and I don't mean that I don't enjoy it. I experience this world and this incarnation through it, and many of those experiences and feelings are very pleasurable, but that's not all that it's about. I'm beginning to appreciate what the combining of the magickal and the pagan aspects of my spirituality means, and in a sense it feels as if I am becoming ever more Mystic. That's surprised me to an extent, but it seems that's the way I seem to be developing.

I don't think that this body needs to be punished into submission. Somehow it's about the body, the emotions, the mind coming together and working in cooperation and harmony with Spirit and somewhere in here, for me at least, it has something to do with fully and truly embracing that Magickal aspect of me and moving with it and in it. Truly being who I really am, fully connecting with my True Self, but on a much deeper level than I have hitherto experienced.

I don't pretend to know how all of this is supposed to happen, but it's a path that appears to be opening up ahead of me and it's one that I will have to walk down and, once again, it's a process that I feel will have it's inception at Imbolc.

It all starts on Sunday, then!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Dairy Free Andy!

Something that has increased for me in recent weeks is my sense of connection with all things. I've said many times before that I know I am part of The All, but this is something that has become more of a reality for me. I do feel part of it - part of the Dance of Life. It's like I've broken into the circle of dancers, joined hands with them and am dancing along! We're all dancing together, but each according to our own steps, our own paths, separate, yet together.

About three weeks ago I moved from being vegetarian to also becoming dairy free. I'm not about to get on a soap box about it, that's not something that I do, although I feel passionately about my reasons for wanting to live a cruelty free lifestyle. Many pagans have criticised me for this, some even suggesting that my lifestyle is incompatible with walking a pagan path. They are welcome to their view, I just don't share it! What I didn't expect, in taking this step, was the deepening sense of connection it bought to me with all things. I don't mean this in a silly Dr Doolittle kind of way, I just feel that I moved into a new space. I felt joined by the many sentient beings that walk this earth and make their own journey alongside me. It was something that I didn't expect, but it was a most welcome experience. It reminded me of this quote:

Animals... are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth. Henry Beston

I really want to mark Imbolc this year and because I've been somewhat out of action for a little while I intend to make it a kind of rededication to both the Lord and Lady. I'm feeling the 'shove' of Spirit! It's time for me to move on, to get active, to stop dabbling and to really get in there! Often in the past I've allowed this impulse to lead to a kind of frustration, as time and other pressures often get in the way, I'll explore this in my Imbolc ritual which I will carry out in my Temple Room sometime on Sunday. I feel really excited now I've actually written this down - it's a real and genuine intention and now I've spoken it, not only will it come to pass, but it will be eventful!

Monday, 26 January 2009

The Imbolc Quickening

Firstly, I want to thank everyone who has posted on my blog in recent weeks and months. I've been away, and I've probably been away for too long, but it feels good to be back. My time away has taught me many things, things about myself, my spirituality, it's practical expression (walking the walk as well as talking the talk) the physical world around me and those I share this experience with. It's been an invaluable time. A dark time, yes indeed, but without darkness we will never know light, and all things have their germination in darkness, before reaching toward the light.

I posted a 'thank you' yesterday on my last posting so I won't rehearse that here, other than to say my thanks are genuine, your support has been incredible, and I've both felt that support and grown as a result of it. It's carried me, and for that I am more than grateful.

My father is making very slow, but very steady progress. Tomorrow I take him to the Bristol Royal Infirmary for a check-up, the results of which, I hope, will see him discharged from Bristol in order for his care to be provided more locally, that would be a blessing for him, and for us. My mother has also been poorly in recent weeks, and that's been a great concern to me, but she appears to be slowly recovering. What a time it's been!

My work has also been changing around me, causing me to have to travel further and wider and to have to take on duties and roles that were hitherto not my remit, or indeed the reason for taking up my present post. I am first and foremost a manager of people, this is where my skills and abilities lie, yet I am being taken away from this, so I face challenges on many fronts. I have a feeling many of these will be met head on this year, in some way, shape or form.

It is no coincidence that I mark my return to the blogosphere today. At this time I usually feel the Imbolc Quickening and this is something that I have been aware of for some days now. An inner stirring, a hunger for divine connection, a yearning for spirit, an inner exuberance, a need to run and celebrate - and all this because the dance is beginning again. In many ways Imbolc is my favourite time of the year, a time full of such promise, everything is opening up before me once again, and it is my will that can begin to shape my own destiny. I am both excited and also in awe. I have such a sense of things changing - I don't think things are going to be same at all at the close of this year. In here somewhere, and I don't pretend to fully understand it yet, is something about my own ability, as a magickal being, to create my own reality - to open those doors, to make those things happen, according to my will. This is something I am going to learn this year, how I am not sure, but I feel it.

I feel that I have faced something of my own mortality in recent months, and to my surprise, this scared me. My foundation didn't feel as sturdy or as strong as I thought it was - there was doubt, untested belief. How can ones mortality be tested, without tasting death itself? I guess seeing ones own father stare death squarely in the face is pretty much as close to it as one can get, travelling that same journey with him, albeit by a different route. I have a greater sense of the reality of life, death and rebirth. Suddenly I am aware of walking this earth before and also of the reason that I walk this world now. My connection to everything feels greater, especially the earth itself. I do feel, more than ever, like spirit within a body, a life within a tent, seeking, growing, learning and yearning and becoming something new, something greater, to be born anew at sometime, in some place, until I have achieved whatever it is I am supposed to achieve and I ascend to higher realms. Suddenly pagan dogma means less to me and my own spiritual experimentation more. I may not always have a theory to hang something on, I may not always be able to explain it, what I feel or say may come in for criticism from my learned pagan friends, but what the hell? All I can attest is the truth of my own experience. Whilst I want everything I believe to have a sound foundation, I won't be quite so harsh on my own experience any longer, nor will I take the sometimes harsh criticism of others quite so much to heart.

It's weird, I feel as though I am seeing things with older eyes, yet I don't feel old! I feel wiser, yet not particularly wise. I most certainly feel stronger and my Inner Critic has been silenced somewhat! I often fall into the trap of 'oughts' 'shoulds' 'coulds' 'musts' and all the other imperatives, those that have been self imposed, and those that are imposed by others, however well intentioned, but I now embrace a greater freedom. It may not be as easy for me to have my morning meditations, my reading time may be more limited for a while, but hey, I can meditate when and where I can, and I can read when and where I can - I feel a travelling altar coming on! It's time for a more flexible structure to my spiritual life, and life in general, and I will whatever form this takes in the on-coming months. I've spent too many years beating myself up, it's time to forgive and love myself a little more - and actually see and embrace what is truly important for me, today.

It's corny, as it's a phrase that has become so hackneyed in recent years, but I have seen what 'living in the now' or 'embracing the moment' is really all about - I've tasted and ingested the reality of this truth, and its power. It's quite incredible. Truly entering the moment, separate from cause, apart from effect, just truly being - there is power, there is wonder, there is reality in this moment. It's somewhere I want to be more often.

So, the magick of Imbolc stirs. This time of germination, it feels like something of a pre-beginning, only that makes little sense, I guess! My intentions were set around Samhain and now they have been well and truly watered and fertilised. Now is the time of Nurture. That's something else I love about Imbolc, it's a caring, nurturing time. The frosts are not fully over yet, shoots, if they are evident at all, are very young and tender, and they require protecting and guess what? . . . it's okay! One doesn't have to be big and brave all the bloody time!

And I think that's the key for me at the moment, more than anything else, more than getting it right (which has driven me for too long) I simply want to make it REAL.

It feels good, being back!