Imbolc: Part Two

Expressing your spirituality.  What an odd concept for those of us who have been hiding in closets all of our lives.  I’ll skip the moaning and groaning about not being mainstream for now – we’ve all done our share, and we have all heard it before.  On a brand new college campus, I haven’t really scoped out the existence of any of “us”.  As far as I can see, its mostly “them”, though I’ve heard there are a few of “us”.  In any case, here are some ideas for some nice, calming, non-boisterous attempts at connecting with the Great Mother and her aspect, Brigid on the upcoming sacred day.

  • Walk – simple?  Absolutely.  But taking a walk – a walk designed purposely for observation and intentional connection with the world around you – that is a walk that can be full of spiritual implications.  Look up, look down.  Do you see the ants’ nest you almost stepped on?  Look for plants or animals that stick out – does it mean something?  The skies and seas and in between are full of signs just waiting for you to interpret.
  • Sunrise – Watching the sunrise can be exceptionally poignant on Imbolc, the time when the sun is finally beginning to make some progress in the wintery world.  If you live in the North or far from the equator, it may be difficult – don’t put yourself in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation on snow or ice.
  • Make Something – pick a goal – and then make a representative of it – be it an amulet or something else.  Brigid is the ruling goddess, the goddess of the smithy – you may find your hands work better than normal or you experience a creative surge as you go about your day.  Don’t be afraid to pick up a piece of wood and start carving it.  If you have a rare opportunity to visit a metalworker – go for it!
  • Action – the most important part of this holiday is taking an action, symbolic or useful, towards creating change within your life.  The power well is there, *USE* it!  Take a run, if you want to lose weight.  Begin your meditations on dance, if you want to learn about the subject.  Take the time to create that positive change in your life, and you may find that the rest of the days within this year flow easier.

Remember as a witch, or a pagan, not to get down when others go about their days and you want to shout at the top of your lungs, “It’s Imbolc!  Time to Celebrate!”  You can tell people, invite them to acquire the knowledge about our sacred day.  But a lot of times, at least, I find myself with a secret smile as I go about my day – today is a day which I have decided to set aside, make special.  Its that secret joy harbored within which has driven us solitaries for the duration of our lives, that sense of secrecy which has allowed to craft to survive and flourish.

Enjoy!!!

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Music and Mood

Have you ever wondered why people kind of lead themselves into depression that they can’t get out of? I really think that part of it is due to the music that they listen to, either through the radio venue, or their own music collection.

Growing up in the 90s, there were any number of tunes popular…and most of them focused on sex, the objectification of women, or guilt directed at self pity. Songs I remember (I’ve never been one for much ‘popular’ music) include

  • City High – What Would You Do?
  • Blink 182 – Adam’s Song
  • Blink 182 – The Rock Show
  • Shaggy – It Wasn’t Me
  • Christina Aguilera – Genie in a Bottle

That’s 5 examples. And I know, there are countless others that emerged in the same time period that were uplifting. But, those who tend toward self-inflicted depression (not the clinical depression that some unfortunate individuals suffer from) also tend to engage in behaviors that can encourage the feelings.

Now, before those of my generation get angry at me and leave my site – I am not saying everyone that listens to sad or self-deprecating music or other derivations which may lend to depression…is depressed. I am merely saying that, through my observation, people in my age group who consider themselves or are considered by others as depressed, often engage in behaviors which lend them to this diagnosis. I, myself, have about half of the songs mentioned above on my hard drive. I also have a copious amount of ’emo’ and indie music – Dashboard Confessional included.

My post is not intended to prove this opinion – I have not conducted any formal research. It is simply an observation. I would like to, now, bring this observation into the spiritual realm. Assuming that some people who are depressed are so because they engage in behaviors, such as listening to certain types of music, that tend towards the emotion, we have to examine individually what we, ourselves, engage in on a daily basis to affect our mood.

In terms of music, I have a playlist that includes the following artists for me to do my homework.

  • Red Molly (AMAZING bluegrass/county trio)
  • Journey
  • Eddie Money
  • Sister Hazel
  • Live

If these songs, all of which have words, prove too distracting, I turn on classical music. At the end of the day, I try to practice or create a little of my own with my guitar and my voice.

But, I find that if I engage in listening to too much of any artist, especially one that does not have motivational or happy, upbeat lyrics, I start to fall off of my center. Recognizing this, I balance my music, and try not to let myself do what may be comfortable (ex: crying as I moan out the lyrics to a love song when I find myself lonely), and instead do what I need to do to stay balanced(ex: go biking or running to relieve some strees). It is the maintaining of this balance, and every balance is essential to our paths. See where I’m going, now?

I’ve spoken of centering before now, and I find I must speak of it again. The act of centering is an important one, one that should be given special attention with regard to the date right now. We are two days from Mabon, the Autumnal Equinox; where everything – day and night, the seasons – are for the moment, in balance. It is the time to begin reflecting, because it is also the second harvest: the time to harvest those mental ‘seeds’ which you planted last Samhain.

Does the music you listen to reflect your mood? Or does it affect your mood? Just something to ponder.