Category: Spirituality

The Past: On Trauma, Healing, and Cleansing


Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;

I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

The evil that men do lives after them;

The good is oft interred with their bones;

So let it be with Caesar.

Mark Antony, Julius caesar by william shakespeare

Hello, friends! I’m listening to Sarah Blasko’s version of “Life On Mars?”, originally by David Bowie. It was recorded shortly after Bowie’s death, and that makes this beautiful song poignant and timely. 

David Bowie

It’s strange to think that he’s gone. I only got into Bowie’s music towards the end of his life through a friend or two. I recorded an album based around his song “Heroes” shortly after some events that changed my life. “Modern Love” became the crown jewel of many of my playlists. I think I love his first album the most. “Letter To Hermione” hits me like a punch to the gut. It’s beautiful in a very sad way. “Did you ever call my name just by mistake?” he sings. 

Don’t we all ask that at some point? Don’t we all ask that or some variation of it at some point and then that leads us down a rabbit trail of pain and hurt? Most of the time it’s best to not go down that path, to not ask that question.

Questions

I’ve asked that question many times, and it never gives me a good answer. A lot of times it just brings me back to where I came from saddled with more baggage than when I started. The anger, shame, and hurt are real. It’s all real. I spent a really long time walking down the paths of “what if?”, even when my life was headed in a positive direction. “What if I mess things up?” “What if he/she/they leave?” “What if I really am as weird/crazy/messed up/selfish/mean/cruel/et cetera as I think I am?” To repeat: going down these paths never ends well. 

Thinking about the past usually goes one of two ways for me – I view it with rose-colored glasses as if nothing bad happened during that time in my life, or I see it as the worst time in the world, thereby completely ignoring the reality of the matter – there’s good and bad in every situation. Every. Situation. The past is as it is. We have to bury it, not praise it. The good is “oft interred with [its] bones” in many ways, as the quote say. It’s over. It’s gone. For lack of a better metaphor, remembering the past is a lot like remembering someone who is dead. You can’t change it, you can’t talk to it, you can’t reason with it if you get angry with it. You can only think about it and remember it. That can get very, very painful.

Flashbacks

I remember experiencing terrible flashbacks when my mind idled in class for many months after I had a series of harrowing experiences during college. I had no idea what was happening. All I knew was that I would relive these experiences if my mind started to wander over and over again. They were utterly terrifying. They began to haunt my nightmares. Over time, the rosy colored glasses I had once seen that time with turned dark with anger. I wouldn’t always come seeking the past, it would come seeking me. It would find me and pounce. I was haunted by a ghost that was never alive, and that made it more powerful to me. It was an event, you can’t banish that. 

Inconvenience

Sleep became just as exhausting as being awake, and it remained that way for many years, actually. I still have nightmares about what happened, though they’re few and far between. The flashbacks are also rare. It seems that I learned to banish the ghost, and one of the ways I did that was by getting angry. Very angry. I was very bitter (and likely very inconvenient to deal with) for a long time. I’ve come to realize that that’s perfectly acceptable when something bad happens, no matter how ugly-seeming or inconvenient that makes me. People should be able to feel their emotions and recover on their own schedule. 

Eventually, I had a realization looking back on the events that led up to where I am today. It took a very long time to first come to the realization and even longer to put it into words: those awful things that happened to me in the past caused me to question everything. I’m incredibly thankful for that. It sure as hell was a painful process, but it was entirely worth it.

Cleansing

In studying witchcraft literature, I have come across a lot written about banishing unwanted things and cleansing that which you use to keep unwanted things away. It seems that these last few years were a sort of self-cleansing as I subconsciously got ready for this moment. Because of this string of experiences, I would posit now that if I’m going through a lot of pain, I am being prepared for something enormous that I am presently unaware of as I was then. 

What kinds of things could I be being prepared for? I know I’ve been asking that quite frequently. I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about and putting a lot of thought into my mission in this life. I have thought about this sort of thing for years, but have been unable to remotely put into words until recently. In light of these thoughts and discoveries, it would be fitting to write a mission statement here. 

My mission is to touch one life every day in a positive way.

As I said in a previous post, I can’t always touch many lives in a day. If I can touch only one person’s life, that can impact generations. I will be happy if I’m able to do just that. 

“Life On Mars?” has ended, I’m listening to my album. It’s strange how things like that go. I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him…

Thank you for reading!

Ears To The Ground: Listening, People, and Spirituality

Ears to the Ground

Hello, friends! Welcome back to the blog! Avicii’s “Levels” is playing on the speaker, my husband is playing guitar in the basement, all is well right now. I went on a coffee run for him a couple hours ago because he was having a migraine that was exceptionally painful. He says that he’s feeling a little better now. I’m feeling a lot better, though. I was starting to feel a little anxious, so I went on the coffee run. I went to the closest coffee shop and picked up a mocha frap with 4 shots of espresso in it. While I was there, I got to talk to two people who were running the coffee shop. That was very fun, despite my feelings of anxiety.  Thinking about this experience was an important reminder to keep my ears to the ground spiritually.

Anxiety And People

Oddly enough, my anxiety isn’t often legitimately tied to being around people. Sometimes being in crowds triggers anxiety, but there’s usually another thing behind that as a root cause. I also don’t often have proper panic attacks – instead, I have anxiety spells that last around 3 days. Many times being around people makes my anxiety better. 

I have something that I call my secret superpower. I can walk up to a stranger and compliment them without ever having set eyes on them before in my life. I am not afraid of strangers or what they might think most of the time. I try and be friendly to everyone because I believe that a compliment can save a life. That, to me is magical. 

Everyday Magic

I can think of one instance where this happened to me. I was in Idaho and I was having a very hard time. I ran into two of my friends in one of the school buildings doing homework. Studying with them was a girl named Elizabeth. The four of us started talking, and Elizabeth turned to me and said, “You’re wonderful, please keep existing.” I was floored. It was exactly what I needed. Because of her kind words, I will never forget her. I strongly believe in the existence of angels who protect us along with our spirit guides. I left my former church a long time ago, but there is a quote from one of the higher-ups there that sticks with me.

I have spoken here of heavenly help, of angels dispatched to bless us in time of need. But when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind. 

Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Ministering Of Angels”

I think a lot about angels, but not earthly angels as much as I should. I’m surrounded by a lot of them, that’s for certain. I think everyone is an earthly angel at some point, even if we don’t always try to be. 

Listening

I love working for Instacart, a personal shopping company, because it helps me interact with a wide variety of people. I am able to get to learn about them and from them, even if the only interaction I have with them comes while we’re standing in the checkout line at the store. Because I am home a lot in general, though, I have to get my social time via phone calls, Discord chats, and assorted messages. I feel like I am not as valuable of a human being when I’m home alone all day. However, I do get to listen to a lot of people each day. 

I’ve heard a lot recently about having to be worthy of spiritual things. This is heartbreaking to me. I’d like to posit that you don’t have to meet a sort of standard or quota to have spiritual experiences or to experience or use magic. I think that all you have to do is listen. I’ve been in bad spots recently and people seem to know that intuitively somehow. I almost always get a message or call from someone I care about when I’m in the worst of places. 

A Friend’s Intuition

One of my friends has very good intuition. We talk almost every day and she always calls when I need a friend, most times without me asking her to. I’ve told her I’m grateful for her time and time again. She says something like “It’s not much” often in reply. If you’re like her, let me tell you – it is more than “not much.” Calls like that mean the absolute world to me, even if all we’re doing is hanging out on the phone going about our days without saying much at all. Sometimes it’s not words that are needed, but presence instead. You are doing the right thing. 

And to the people who don’t have the energy to help, I see you. You’re valid. You don’t have to always be a helper – perhaps it’s a time in your life where you need to be helped. That’s a perfectly acceptable place to be in, as well. Receiving gifts and help from others is a skill I think we all should learn. I’ve known many people who get uncomfortable asking for help. I’ve found myself in that spot a lot recently. It’s a skill that should be learned and used, in my opinion, one I should get better at using when I need it. Nobody deserves to suffer in silence.

Ears To The Ground

I’ve found that those who have their ear to the ground spiritually will go where they’re needed. Sometimes you don’t help out a billion people. Other times you can. I think you’re doing just as much good helping one person as you are by helping many. By helping one person alone, someone can change generations. I’ve been kind of stressed out recently because I have told myself for so long that I’m not helpful, that I’m useless, etc. that I don’t realize all the ways I do help out already even though I’m home all day most days. Lying to myself is never okay, I’m learning. We are all magical. We all have something to offer, even on our worst days. We all can be angels. 

Thank you for reading!! Be sure to join the OID Discord chat!! 

-E

My Rest A Stone

 

The first white stone.

Hello, all!

I’ve spoken briefly before about my Mormon background. I was a member of the Mormon (Latter-Day Saint) church for six years. I joined when I was 14 and loved it for a time. As I got older, though, more and more questions went unanswered, and following a spiritual warning, I left. Some things from church still follow me, and some of them are hymns. The title of this post, “My Rest a Stone”, comes from one of my all-time favorite hymns that we sang in church often. The line comes from the second verse:

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

“Nearer, my god, to Thee”, Sarah Flower Adams

This song never failed to make me cry when we sang it in church. I still enjoy it even though my beliefs have changed. I love this song because the imagery is beautiful. I’m still not sure why this song makes me cry. I believe that it’s tied to something spiritual. Today I want to use it to tell a story and to talk about something important. It goes like this.

Our story begins in about March of 2016. I was at a therapist appointment in Annapolis, Maryland. My dad had died in February and I was part of the way through my freshman year of college and I was broken. My therapist and I were talking about doing what we can and only that. She had me lay down and think about that and asked me at the end if I could find a symbol that I could use to remember that. I chose a white stone. The white stone would be my symbol of resting when necessary and doing what I can.

As my beliefs went away from the traditional Mormon mold, one thing remained constant – my need for that white stone. I wanted to get a white stone tattoo, I thought about it often for many years. A white stone even made it into my handmade oracle deck along with a black stone. My friend and I were walking along a lake yesterday and I noticed a pretty white stone among the other stones. I snatched it up. It’s the stone that graces the top of this post.

As we were walking back, my friend picked up another white stone.

 

The second white stone.

 

The black stone.

It’s more of a pure white than the other one, which is striped. Further up the trail, I picked up a smooth grayish-black stone.

 

The stripes in the first white stone.

I liked it because of its shape and texture. It was then that I realized that there was more than one white stone, just as there are always multiple reminders to complete spiritual assignments such as learning to move and learning to rest. I’ve been given several spiritual assignments and I’m not super great at doing them. I don’t show up for myself a lot, but I think that will change. In my oracle deck, the White Stone symbolizes good luck, finding what you need, and that the universe is listening. The Black Stone symbolizes the coming of truth, cleaning house, and the cycle of pain and then joy. You can’t have pain without joy, just like you can’t have joy without pain. That’s something I try to always remember. I find it interesting that the first white stone has black stripes in it.

I still need to cleanse these stones and put them someplace nice. I want to put them in the kitchen somewhere. They need to have a place of honor and I need to remember to do what I can. A lot of the time, “doing what I can” means pushing myself more. I can do a lot more than I think I can most days.

Here’s my to do list for today. It looks like a lot, but I break big tasks up into tiny ones for satisfaction’s sake. I don’t know what’s cooking today! I’ll definitely put some tea on and take notes on it. Once I get this done, I’ll rest! I also need to exercise today..

Stay cool!

Eris

My Ko-fi button

Buy me a coffee!

Hello!

I’m Eris. Welcome to my blog!

I’m what the kids call a crazy kitchen witch. I love to cook, share recipes, and talk about spiritual things. I am very new to the term “witch”, so bear with me as I figure stuff out! Everyone practices differently, so I’m trying to find what suits me. I’m leaning towards herbal and food magic. You’ll find me on my computer blogging, talking to my friends, in the kitchen making food or tea, or doing my thing on Pinterest! I’m building a witchy compendium of goodness there and I’m quite pleased with it. Follow me!

I’m blogging buddies with Tori at The Less than Perfect Life and we both cook and do awesome stuff with herbs, so you’ll be hearing from and about her, too! She’s awesome.

Watch this space and stay cool!

-Eris

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