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Death

Are You Afraid of the Dark? #WednesdayWisdom

As Samhain nears, there are a few themes that tend to recur to us witch type folks again and again: Death, Darkness, & the Unknown. Add the non-witchy folks and we add Fear to this list, as we’re then talking about Halloween, and peeps like to be scared silly for some reason (Yes, I know, a whole heap of witch-type folks are into the Scream Scene too).

Actually, I guess they all get lumped together on a regular basis though, don’t they? When it comes to Death, Darkness, & the Unknown, many of us tend to be fearful. Yet the reason for fearing the Dark and Death IS the Unknown. I was reminded of this as I started a little Harry Potter marathon, and started mulling over all of Dumbledore’s snippets of Wisdom.

Replace Fear with Curiosity #WednesdayWisdom #Pagan

Looking back on my own life so far, I can tell you that fear of the Unknown was always huge for me. This included Death. I would have ginormous panic attacks when I was supposed to embark on something new. Even when the something new was something that I had decided to try on my own.

Sometimes though, there was one thing that could manage to get me past the fear…and that was curiosity. If my desire to know the answer to something, or to know what this mystery thing does, or what it would feel like to do “X”, then I could somewhat easily manage to take a deep breath and just get to it. So, why is it that curiosity can so readily dispatch fear? Well, Author Alan Watts kinda nailed it when he said “By replacing fear of the unknown with curiosity we open ourselves up to an infinite stream of possibility.”

The possibilities are truly what does the trick! If you can think of, and focus on, even one awesomely terrific possibility…then why shouldn’t you go forth and brave the Unknown? Granted, you may want to be prepared for the journey…such as having a flashlight handy if you plan on exploring in the dark…a little protection for a romantic encounter…or other protective measures should you decide to commune with those residing across the veil, but journey you should. 🙂

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” 

James Stephens

These days I prefer to focus on the possibilities. The fear still whispers in my head every now and then, but I can usually shut it up pretty quick once I think of the good that could come from venturing into the Unknown…embracing the Darkness…and demystifying Death (it is merely another form of Life, after all).

So, if someone asks you “Are you afraid of the dark?”, hopefully you’ll be feeling confident enough to channel your inner Lauren Cooper and respond as such – just because it’s so much more fun that way!

catherine tate bovvered photo: bovvered face bovveredface.gif

If I lost any of you along the way…or drifted away from my point, please forgive me. we had a kick-ass Blood Moon ritual last night, and I’ve been in a funky head space ever since. It’s a good head space, just a bit loopy and funky. lol 😉

JourneyingGriefIt’s been a rough month for the Pixie. I’ve been busy writing an Esbat, taking a couple fun witchy classes taught by my HP, trying to get my house in order for guests that will be staying with us in July, planning a trip to Illinois for my Brother-in-law’s ordination as a Lutheran Minister in June, dealing with  some not-so-awesome folks that live down the street…the list goes on and on. Some of the stress was from good things, some not, but the thing that effected my peace of mind the most? Mothers Day.

Its impending arrival was the main reason why I haven’t posted to the blog in the last 2 weeks. It was at the forefront of my mind, and I just couldn’t bring myself to focus on it until other things were completed….so I pushed it back. For those of you who don’t already know, I lost my Mother to Pancreatic Cancer last August….so this Mothers Day was a difficult one.

Overall, I think I’ve been dealing with Mom’s death rather well. I have no regrets about our relationship. I said everything I needed to say to her, she knew how I felt about her, I knew how she felt about me, I know I did everything within my power to help her during her illness. But, the fact remains, I miss her beyond measure.

I’ve been doing some thinking about those “Five Stages of Grief” we often hear about: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I’ve personally experienced 3 of the 5; anger, depression and acceptance. It’s said that  most people experience all of these, but not everyone. “They” also say these stages can occur in any order, what they don’t say, is that some of them may pop up over and over again…which is something I’ve been discovering.

I mean, it’s not like I’ve never experienced the loss of a loved one before. I lost my Great-Grandmother in 1997, and my Grandfather in 2003 both of them were quite precious to me. Yet, those losses did nothing to prepare me for the profound level of grief I have experienced through the loss of Mom.

When the loss is of someone who has been your anchor, teacher, caregiver, support system for the entirety of your life, I guess it’s only natural that the depression stage emerges more than once. It doesn’t help that I’m already predisposed to depression…

So, how have I been dealing? By soldiering through. As Mothers Day approached, I started to feel her lack of presence…at least physical presence. When the issue with the folks down the street emerged, I wanted to call her, and vent and have her get me to laugh…but I couldn’t. Yes, I can talk to her – duh, I’m a witch who has a pretty strong connection with her ancestors – but, it’s not the same. But, I had shit to do, and as Mom once said (ok, maybe more than once, lol) “When there’s shit to do, it’s got to get done, so just fucking do it!” Yeah…I got my gift of colorful language from her, lol.

So, I got my shit done. I also finally took a few moments to let myself actually feel the sadness on Wednesday. I shed a few tears…and then I just felt…better. I’ve also been looking to a specific line in the Wiccan Rede:

When misfortune is enow, wear the star upon your brow”

This line is basically telling us to trust in The Goddess and your Faith to see you through difficult times. To remind us that everything happens for a reason…whether we like it or not, and whether or not we ever learn what the reason may be. Remarkably, it has been helping me since Mom first called me with her diagnosis.

The support of those around me has also made an immense impact on my ability to deal with it all. Yet another reason I am grateful to have become part of The Coven of Sangha-Sho…Their love & compassion has been a remarkable gift.

So, my journey through grief continues. Some days are good…some not so good. But, as long as I keep moving forward, and don’t allow myself to get stuck in a big ol’ pile of deep, dark, emotional muck, I think I’ll be alright.