It would be too long, even for me, to write out the whole of my world since the beginning of November so I’m not going to try. I had a slow slide into mild depression, the first I’ve experienced since my mother died in 2006. It took quite awhile for me to notice it was more than my regular hermit mode of winter. Partly because some days were better than others and partly because I’m lacking experience in depression and what it feels like. From late 2015 and through a good slot of 2016 my life has been full of stressors. Usual coping techniques began to fail and I didn’t really notice I suppose. It was a bumpy up and down and somehwhere along the line I lost touch with my ever present Joy. It was still there, just not accessible as easily.
My downward swing seemed tied to the lack of sunlight in how it progressed so I bought a lightbox to see if this was so. It is definitely, if not wholly, tied to the diminished number of hours of daylight. What had been choice in how I spent my days became not a choice with the depression, and I felt the choice come back with usage of the box. This brought me gobs of relief that was quickly lessened by our beloved 14 y/o cat slipping out of the house unseen and being gone for 16 days. By his actions in the days prior to his disappearing act we assumed he’d slipped out to die even though he has been indoor only cat for 7 years. We had just informed his vet to mark his file “deceased” when he turned by up about 20 minutes after we returned from the vet’s office.
He’s pretty wasted from lack of food and he was severely dehydrated. He is slowly recouping and I have dubbed him the miracle cat. While I have some caution about celebrating a full recovery just yet he appears to want to live and many of the odd signs he showed prior to leaving are gone. My one friend said he decided to go on a spirit walk and this seems more true than any other reason. The vet’s office felt it was likely he’d been accidentally locked in someone’s garage and that’s why it took so long for his return, and why his body is so wasted. We’re just happy he is back. Immediately upon his return the weight of grief over him lifted from me and I realized just how much the lightbox was helping me. The tangle of depression and grief was bloody awful, and anxiety opted to roll in on top of both.
Grief I have experienced before. Some anxiety I have, too, but the combo of depression+anxiety+grief – well, I can’t really express it. I am thrilled to be coming up out of it. I feel better equipped to identify it in the future. I will be using the lightbox until the days are longer. I will pull it back out in Autumn as soon as DST ends. I don’t want a repeat of the past few months.
This post feels very rambly, but I’m not going to go back and try to tidy it up. I expect to return to blogging with some regularity, but my goals for awhile are going to be small, easily attainable, and things that brings me Joy or I’m not doing them.
Art disappeared from my life and that will definitely return. I have missed it so. That leads into my next post …. which is the main reason I wrote this post, to write the next one. I felt it necessary to explain my absence first.
Pumpkin and Wild Rice Soup for Samhain – from Penda aka MontiLee Stormer, horror write at large.
- 2 cups cooked wild rice
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 can (16-ounces) pumpkin (for thicker soup, use 2)
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Chives or parsley for garnish
The part that takes the longest for me is trying to figure out how much rice I want. I like my soups like stews – nice and thick and warming from the inside out. This means Math is involved so after trying to figure it out myself, I finally break down and find the husband who reminds me that Rice tends to double and to not go nuts. For more rice in this dish, I recommend 1 and one half cups (uncooked) wild rice made according to package directions. It’ll give you a soup you can chew, and if you’re like me you’ll be eating this while sitting outside feeding other people’s brats high doses of refined sugar. The chewing motion will keep you warm.
While your rice is cooking, you’ll be wanting to get all of the other bits of happiness together because as the rice finishes, you’ll be adding it to the soup. It’s all about synchronicity, which is perfect because if your halloween night is done right, the police will definitely get involved (see what I did there – I implied you’ll do something illegal!).
Chop your onion into pieces that could potentially be snorted by a toddler. You can use your best guess but if you have one around, the trial and error method works best. In a large Dutch Oven (or a big stew pot, whatever isn’t currently rendering baby fat) melt the butter and sauté the onions. You’ll want your onions the color of a three-day old scab, which is to say lightly brown and a bit translucent. Done over medium heat (because the husband put a regulator on the knobs due to “The Incident”) it should take about 15 minutes, about half the cooking time of the rice.
Drown your onions in chicken broth. You can use vegetable broth, but as it’s a harvest holiday, somewhere along the line an animal should have given its life. To tease the onions into thinking they may be rescued, drop in the pumpkin by spoonfuls and chuckle to yourself at the folly of hope. Create your own maelstrom with several good stirs to drive home the finality. Cover and simmer another 15 minutes. To the surviving onions it’ll be like turning off the sun.
Now is a good time to check on your rice. I don’t know about you, but my rice likes to burn itself to the bottom of the pot. I think it’s an emo-thing as they can’t cut themselves, but they can be all angsty and affect the “blacker-than-thou” bit to your cookware if you don’t keep an eye on them.
For the rice that has chosen to go on and become productive members of society, it may be added to the pumkiny broth. There will be no surviving onions at this point, and the rice will use this time to claim the corpses for their God – which will be you. Sprinkle upon them white pepper to show you accept their tribute. Cover once more and give everything in the pot a chance to consummate their new relationships. If their anything like my last boyfriend, 10 minutes should be more than enough time. Stirring in the cream is like wrapping a glass in a napkin, stamping on it and yelling “Mazel-tov!” as the happiness in the pot is just that great. Bring everything to one final boil and serve sprinkled with chives or parsley, like the funeral wreaths upon the sea in memory of the fallen onions.
I’m not saying the Presidential election isn’t important, but it isn’t everything. And it isn’t the thing that determines the shift of the country’s consciousness. Economics are not the only thing that don’t trickle down. This year the newly elected President knows they get bonus power with at least one Supreme Court Justice appointed, but that is not the usual case. So vote for whoever you please for the Oval Office. (Except not Trump.)
Back towards my point – one of the few things I think our system does right is the power being divided into three groups. So while the Executive branch is important, it is less important than the other 2 in many ways. For one, it has term limits. I understand why the SCOTUS doesn’t. If every sitting President could switch out the justices then either laws would be flipped every few years or nothing would get down as they made decisions vying to be re-appointed. Ugh. But Congress? Those people need term limits and an end to lifetime benefits like health insurance. It should end when they leave office. And their pension should reflect the number of years they held office. Just like the rest of us. Nothing makes you care like being one of the people held hostage by your decisions. In the meantime, without term limits, those folks have long-term entrenched power and if we want different people in there we have to put them there.
OK – my actual point. Local and state elections – who we vote for matters more than who we vote for for President. Congresscritters usually filter up from state and local governments. Presidential candidates come almost exclusively from Congress and state governments. If we want different candidates for President, we must put different candidates in office downticket. That’s where our vote truly matters. That’s where the change begins. If we help put someone in office who turns out to be vile, we need to work to unseat them. Whenever possible, pick candidates who are for term limits for Congress. That forever candidate and seat holder is dangerous to public welfare. Once ensnared in the political machine, they spend most of their time and decision making energy on staying there, rather than doing what is best for citizens.
Change from the ground up – that’s how I vote, in every election. I encourage you to do the same.
Reblog: 2nd dark moon for justice.
I cracked open the Jim Donovan DVD again and practiced rhythms while the hubster was upstairs playing the guitar. As usual the wee bagel dog is terrified of the drum. I’m getting more consistent tones with both hands, but I’m still better with my right hand for base notes. I find that weird since I’m left handed. Open notes are fairly even, and the slap notes are the same in volume, but the hits sound different to me, like I’m hitting with different parts of my hands.
I self-taught some beats and a number of rhythms years ago and though the sounds are the same as the ones on the DVD, I’m using my hands in different order than I’m supposed to so I’m trying to correct that. It’s hard. But fun. *grin*
I need to buy a frame drum with a synthetic head. The humidity here makes mine with the real head unplayable for half of the year. ~sigh~ MUSIC GOALS! I HAZ ‘EM!
The Pentacle of Charisma: Invoking the Black Heart of Innocence in Community Leadership
November 4-6, 2016, at a cabin in Raccoon State Park
Hookstown, PA 15050
Limited number of slots
Charisma is a necessary component of effective leadership in community. People love it when they see it, embrace it when they have it, yet shy from naming it. Let’s remove the stigma, and learn the art of being charismatic through the Black Heart of Innocence. Let’s Trust, be Present, act from Authenticity, be mindful of our Impact, and move in Delight.
Sliding scale fee: $230-$150 to sleep over in cabin; $100 to drive in and out each day
Friday evening to gather and settle into the energy: 6p.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday to embrace and work the points of the Pentacle: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday to discuss and begin to integrate the experience: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Payment through the donate button on Blossoming Bones. $50 deposit to hold your slot, full payment due by October 15th.
Send an email of inquiry to email@example.com, subject line, “The Pentacle of Charisma” to receive the registration form.
More from the Facilitators:
Thoughts from Amoret:
In all the world, there will never be another just like you. You, one of the many facets of the Universe, your living Black Heart is a droplet of infinite stars. Unique just like everyone else, human and of the gods, we each have a handful of years to take our Self and offer it to Life.
I say again: there will never be another just like you.
We have all felt the gravitational pull of Leaders. Sometimes we call that pull “charisma”. Many times I have looked at someone who was particularly compelling, someone who was brimming with magic and thought, “I wish I could shine like that.” In truth, the desire I feel in those moments is this: I want to unlock my own unique wisdom to share with the world in service. What if charisma simply describes those moments of congruence when we tap into our personal wellsprings of magic and are able to share our essence with others?
This is an invitation to befriend Trust, Presence, Authenticity, Impact and Delight – let’s use this pentacle to bring our gifts into the world, in service.
Amoret BriarRose | I am a poet, witch, and synergist, and have been working Reclaiming magic for 16 years. I seek the sacred in words and woods, in song and silence, and in the intimate magics of the everyday. I endeavor to look life in the eye and believe that surrender holds a key to grace. I am called to divination, gathering messages from tarot cards and runes, from the sounds of tree roots stretching and the drumming of heartbeats. I am called to community, knowing that many hands make light and interesting work. I come alive when our voices come together, calling to the Mysteries.
An itinerant Priestess at heart, I currently reside in Pittsburgh, PA, traveling to make sacred mischief. Find out more about me at http://www.amoretbriarrose.com.
Thoughts from Boneweaver:
What happens when we are in the presence of charisma? For me , I fall in love. I fall for the very essence of who they are. My spirit is touched and reaches back to them in reciprocity. I am enthralled. I want to spend time with them. I want to soak up what they’re offering. I want more.
When a leader in my community has charisma I find I want to be like them. I desire to have an impact as great as theirs. They inspire me to Trust in their Presence, to rise with their Authenticity, to welcome their Impact, and to squirm with Delight in all of it.
I stand Black Heart open, receiving and wanting, each cell begging to return this precious gift to those around me. I want this. I want to give with my whole self those things of service that only I can bring, those things that would be missing from my community if I didn’t show up and offer them.
Boneweaver |Chants, trance, and dance. I believe in the power of words, and particularly the power of words in song. I believe in the power of deep collective magic through sinking down, in and connecting outward to the all. I believe in the power of the body to move in rhythm with all the worlds, and I dance the borders between here and there, now and then, and life and death.
I am a death-working, transition loving, Reclaiming/Feri Priestess artist. I talk to the Dead, and They talk back. I thrill to stepping off of that cliff into the unknown, trusting the process to carry me to my work. I work to build healthy community through intentional compassionate magic and ritual, near Pittsburgh, PA. Visit me at http://www.leanintojoy.org to learn more about me.
Join us for our official kickoff of this new Pentacle!
Reblog. My heart.
Now I want you little sisters to remember this one thing if you don’t recollect another thing: dying ain’t the worst thing that’ll ever happen to you. The worst thing is to die before you get your call. And let me tell you the truth as I know it. You there, you lean in and listen well. Some folks don’t die at all. Some folks just leave. The wild will call and they’ll be gone, just like that. And the choice between the two is yours. You can die off like some poor ol’ feral cat, or you can leave when the call comes. And it will come one bright day, whether you answer or not. But you’ve got to listen, you know. The loudest words ain’t never said out loud, and the wisest words are plain and barely spoken above a whisper. And the wild’s call will…
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November 4-6, 2016, near Pittsburgh, PA, Bone & Briar are unveiling a new pentacle!
The Pentacle of Charisma: Invoking the Black Heart of Innocence in Community Leadership
How do we dance between Authenticity and Responsibility?
Charisma: what a loaded word! Come work a new pentacle with us, and explore this concept as it relates to leadership and community. Stay tuned for details!