Beltaine Excursion

This Beltaine my covenmate and I hightailed it, okay we ambled casually, over to Queen E park in Vancouver.

A beautiful place and highly welcoming.  The nature wights of the place were actually a bit confused as to why we’d bother to ask permission to do ritual there.  Don’t get me wrong, they appreciated the courtesy, but they’re so welcoming they just never worry about such things.

And yes, spring flowers were certainly the bloom of the day.  The number of hyacinths was remarkable, sending an intense wave of sweet scent over the whole park.  I love getting up close and personal with flowers, I’m guessing that’s obvious by my picture style.  In one case I got so close I was inside the flower:

Being Vancouver there were the odd markers of recent rain:

Now it wasn’t all flowers, all the time.  There were plenty of trees for us to commune with.  Many tall, straight and fair.  And some of them curlier than…well, the phrase that comes to mind is a bit rude and gives also the wrong impression so without further ado, one of the curly trees.

After touring the grounds and doing our magical thing, we headed into the Bloedel Conservatory which is in the middle of the park.  There was talk about closing it last year as part of a series of budget cuts, but so far it’s still there.  Inside there was another stream, a lot of tropical plants and trees, well labeled actually which was lovely, a display by the local orchid society and a selection of tropical birds.

There was some truly remarkable orchids, but I think my favourite were these ones.  First because of the colour and second because they made me think of two high society ladies discussing passerbys.

As we were heading towards the door we were greeted by yet another bird, this one who was kind enough to let me take his picture while he kept his eye on us.  Right up until the little kid came wandering up and then he was out of there!

And that, my dear lovelies, was the end of our ritual day.  From there it was lunch, a little metaphysical book (mostly window) shopping, and then a lacsidaisical drive home through the gorgeous sunshine.

Happy May Day to all!  And to all a great night.


I sit, quiet and still. I wonder not. I sit and welcome in the lines of dark branches. They sway entangled with each other against the gray of a sky that knew both night and snow.

I sit and sway, quiet. I have drunk in the stillness of the shaded pond and have become. Life swimming, swirling, snogging below the surface within me. But I remain still. And think of it not.

I live and sway, quiet. I need not. Not of things, not of thoughts, not of what has passed nor possibilities.


Samhain Memories

Okay, yes, I’m a little slow, but hey, I have at least one silly story and some fun pictures to share.  Like this one

It was a fabulous night.  I and my covenmate got together early in the day, where early still means afternoon.  After all, I’m just not that much of a morning person.  Our first stop of the night was to pick  up meal, snack and mead provisions.

I will say now, the mead didn’t make it.  It was my first attempt.  Our eyes glistened with sadness.  It was horrible.

Okay, phew, got that hard part over with.

While most of what we did I won’t be sharing (sshhhh, it’s a coven secret LOL really most of it was only interesting to us), the start of the night was sharably entertaining.

As twilight fell we attempted to leave my apartment to go visit Grandma Willow and do our first ritual of the night.  Yes, attempted to leave. We were a tad inebriated.  It was fabulous, don’t get me wrong, but it led to a few false starts.  But I’m slightly ahead of myself.

We bundled up, all nice and cozy and warm for an evening of walking.  I’ve got my long, black wool diva coat on (others have described it that way, it’s not my own label! lol), my Wicked (TM) witch hat (I adored that musical) on and some funky make-up.  My covenmate was in her robes.  We’re headed out the door and as we walk through it I commented “You know, for most people it’s come as you aren’t night.”

It took her a second and then we were both laughing.  She made a fabulously witty comeback which I’m so ashamed to say escapes me now and we headed to the elevator.

But shit! We’d forgotten the offering of mead.  Back in we went, filled a small tupperware container with some mead which went into my coat pocket since neither of us were carrying a bag and then we were back at the door.  I looked at her, at the door, and what did I say?  “You know, for most people it’s come as you aren’t night.”  We both snicker as she says her fabulously witty comeback and head back to the elevator.

Ah, crap.  No gloves.  The giggling has already started as we head back through my front door.  I’m falling over as we get back to the door, gloves in hand and I have to say “You know, for most people <snicker> it’s come <snort> as you aren’t night.”  My covenmate can barely talk as she gets our her rebuttal and we flee to the elevator.

We’re at the elevator and I have that horrible moment, “You know, I forgot–”

“Don’t even say it.”

We didn’t go back again.  I don’t think we could have lived through it.  We wouldn’t have been able to breathe.

Out the door and off to Grandma Willow (yes, the same one in my Grandma Willow post).  Unfortunately, the lid came off the tupperware and by the time we arrived we only had half of the offering left to give.  And I spent the rest of the night reeking like an English pub.  Made me thirsty.  From there we went on a meandering walk back to my place, through the side streets filled with trick-or-treating kids and decorated houses.

And a lot of people with little dogs.

Every time I saw one of those, I cried out “Damn you, Toto!  It was your fault!  I know it was.”  That made for a lot of laughter on my side and on theirs.  The dogs didn’t seem to care.

On one house there was a large video screen stretched out from the balcony railing to roof playing The Blob, entertaining the adults while the kids went up to the house.

We passed a particularly friendly fellow and I insisted that my covenmate get her picture taken with him.

There was this one apartment building near my place where a group of residents had gotten together and done a wonderful set up in their front lawn.  Though the best part was the very movie style zombie wandering up to two blocks away who would come towards you with brain stealing intensions clearly written on his empty face.

And my final picture for you is of the “Smash Me” pumpkin.  I can’t help but wonder, did it survive the night?  What do you think?  What are the odds?


We spent some time in a coffee shop chatting about all kinds of wonderful things and then it was back home to cook dinner for us and the anscestors and watch some Halloween classics:  the original Halloween and Wizard of Oz.  In and amongst that was more ritual.  What more can be said than:

Happy New Year to all!  And to all a Good Night.

~The Abysmal Witch


Life is Good – Savour it when tasty

You know those moments, right?  When you stop whatever you’re doing for a mental check in and just feel *good*.

And it’s not necessarily about anything in particular.  In fact, there may be a shit storm flying through your world, but right in that moment, in that centeredness of being, you feel and remember that life is good to live.

Okay, sure, there may be a few sweat-induced endorphins helping to inspire the sensation <ah-hem> but still, isn’t it great to be alive?  To know people?  To see the sunset?  To experience and taste and touch and giggle and shiver and feel so in love with life that your heart is going to explode with the joy of it all?

And if this sounds like over the top hooey to you, have you thought about how cool it would be to share my ecstatic/joyful/just-plain-satisfied sense of being?  You know you wannnnna.

Dance with some favourite music, smell some good smelling flowers, eat your favourite fruit, touch your skin with your favourite fabric (or person if they’re handy) and realize how damn good it is to be alive.


Wandering at Williams Park

What a beautiful day for a walk.  The sun is shining but the heat is in the happy bearable range.  The wind is brushing skin but not trying to take out weak trees (that was a couple of days ago, what a windstorm!).  It was time for another walk through childhood memories.

Williams Park was a huge favourite growing up.  Sure, it had big, wide open spaces, but far more importantly, it had (and has) a creek that is the perfect wading depth for children.

Or adults for that matter.

Yes, I took that picture while standing in the middle of the creek and I can honestly say that the water was wonderfully cool.

I wandered up through the hilly parts and found trees:

And of course trees have leaves:

And some of the leaves were in front of other leaves:

And then there were the different looking leaves (wild rhododendrum?):

Then it was back down to the many trails along the side of the creek and into the bushes.  A little too into the bushes in some cases, but that’s okay.

Lucky for me, I got the chance to embrace my love of water AND my love of roots.  Life is good.

Now if you flip the perspective of water then roots to roots then water, you get something more like this:

I also found some lovely big mushrooms growing on stumps:

And baby mushrooms inside of a stump:

I even found some lovely spiderwebs, such as this one:

Alas, it was time to leave, a final walk back up the path to the car I went:

This park is such a beautiful place, I really must remember to go back more often.  Funny how when we return to things and places and people we enjoy, that we’ve spent too long away from, that we have that experience of ‘I really should do this/see them/go here more often’.  Why don’t we?

Why don’t we fill our lives with things we enjoy this much?

Is it because when we do do things we enjoy all the time that the specialness drifts away as familiarity grows?

Or are we so lost in the day to day practical that we forget to embrace the day to day joys?

I really hope it’s the first.

~Abysmal Witch

To Grandmother’s House…and More

The quasi-occasional-nostalgic nature of my holidays continued today with a trip up to Chilliwack, the once upon a time home of my grandmother.  She passed away many summer solstices ago, but memories of her stay with me.

I haven’t been back there in probably almost twenty years and her house hasn’t really changed, except for more weeds in the yard and stuff in the driveway (she didn’t own a car, for instance).  But it looked well cared for.

But of course going into the house wasn’t really an option or checking out the old garden in the back so instead it was across the street to the park that we played at so very often when we were kids.

Unfortunately, all of the playground equipment I played with is gone and replaced with new-fangled stuff.  And some swings, but since I didn’t want to scare the young lady looking after two kids (why is that crazy tattooed lady hanging around the playground taking pictures while MY kids are here?!?), it was a short, but nostalgically happy visit.

From here it was off to Bridal Veil Falls, just a few minutes past Chilliwack on the freeway.  We went there often as a fun thing to do when visiting grandma.  We would take a picnic and the family (minus my father who was off playing golf most times) and go up to the falls, have a lovely meal and then take the short but so very vertical walk up to the falls.

The walk begins through trees and ferns, the sound of the waterfall above muted by the forest.

The first part of the walk?  Not so bad.  Sure it’s up and I’ve gotten lazy since the knee problems but it’s relatively short and pretty is always a nice distraction.

And then you get towards the bottom of the falls and look up and WOW.

Sure, there are bigger falls.  But how many can you walk all the way up  to?  There’s something lovely about these ones and maybe it’s just because of my childhood memories, but then again, she had a lot of admirers today so perhaps it’s not just me.

Naturally all of this water made trickles and mist and puddles everywhere.  And I like getting in close with the camera for the great texture shots.

It was just about time to head back down the hill? mountainside? well, whatever you call it, I got in a few more shots before my camera battery died and I started the great descent (jk), and here is my final picture of the day to share with you.  It may just be my favourite from the day.

All childhood memories should have such wonderful continuity and gloriously sunny days to explore them in.  It doesn’t always work that way, sometimes the memories are buried under a Kwik-E-Mart but sometimes pieces from our past continue to exist in ways we can re-explore in our present.  I think grabbing hold of those moments, reflecting back into childhood from a now perspective and enjoying both together is a fantastic gift we give ourselves.  I hope you get to enjoy something similar this summer.

~Abysmal Witch


Yes, I’m afraid there’s no deep meaningful title, no alluring phrase when it comes to a day at the beach.  It simply is.  Wonderful, windy, wet, dirty, smelly and glorious.

This is the beach of my childhood:  White Rock beach, so named for the massive white rock at one end near the pier.  These days it’s painted white (damn graffiti artists!) but I’m old enough to remember when it was naturally white.  Well, whiteish.  It’s much more striking of a white these days.  Paint helps.

Naturally, a stroll of the beach was required, getting wet all the way up the legs, but hey, that’s why I wore shorts.  There’s more seaweed than I remember.  Even the rocks are coated.

Amongst the seaweed and crab legs and shells, I also happened to spy a jellyfish floating along (I tended to assume it was dead, but I’ve never seen one that big so up close).  Please excuse my hand in the picture, I’m not as good with the camera when I’m wearing sunglasses.

Then it was time to stop for lunch which earned me some very intense local interest.

I had to share.  Well, at least the fries.  The fish was mine!  Fish and chips from Moby Dick‘s right along the waterfront in White Rock. Highly recommend it.  Though when you ask for one piece, you get two, ask for two, get three, etc.  so be prepared. It took only seconds from when I sat down before I had a congregation of hope surrounding me.  Naturally this led to some in-fighting.

After lunch it was time for a little spell working.  Just a simple spell of marking my intention into the sand and letting the incoming tide release the spell.

I had meant to take a picture of the tide claiming the spell but alas, the tide was too quick for me and my sunny day distraction.  It wasn’t long after this, though, that I came across a young woman doing pretty near the same thing though I doubt she was thinking along the lines of spellwork when she did it.  How many wishes have been laid in the sand and offered up to the gods and goddesses of the sea?

And so my day at the beach came to a close as must this post.  Here is my final picture of the day.  I hope you enjoy.


Changing Direction

I’m sure I’m not the only one.

There are days when I wish I was other than where I am.

Days when I look at what I owe (gulp!), or what job I do (sigh), or even just assess my general level of happiness with the particulars of my life and I come up wanting.

Wanting more.  Wanting different.  Wanting something other than what is.

And somedays I dream about the magic solution.  You know the one, just wave the magic wand and have the knight in shining armour ride up to rescue me or the lottery website to shout out “yes, it’s you!  you’ve won!”.  It’s not very practical, but it can be emotionally satisfying.  Until the water in the tub gets cold and it’s time to pull the plug and dry off and get back to the practicalities of daily living.

The answer of what to do is pretty obvious.  It’s not even hugely difficult.

But it’s not at all sexy.  Or fun.  And the very simple steps it requires may spell the ultimate defeat.

It’s living life differently.

It’s not going out to dinner so often or not buying that fun gadget so that more money can be applied to debt.

It’s choosing the carrot sticks and pickled beets (okay, I adore pickled beets but some change is fun and tasty!) and saying no to the chocolate cake.  Not every day, perhaps, but most days.  Where most days = almost all.

It’s doing the small thing today that contributes to the future you want.

It’s NOT saying “I’ll start tomorrow”.

It’s about living today the life you want tomorrow.

And you know what?  Sometimes living that life you think you want teaches you that you really don’t want it after all.

Being slim and fit requires (for those of us not endowed with a high metabolism and high athletic ability) EFFORT!  Daily commitment to eating right and exercise.  Daily.  Every day.  As in that is your life.  You don’t get to the slim & fit by not living the lifestyle of the slim and fit.  Just doesn’t work that way.  Alas and alack.

I don’t get to be debt free by spending money rather than saving it and applying it to my debt.  Just doesn’t work that way.

Our dreams don’t come true unless we live their lifestyle now, as in today.

And sometimes when we live that lifestyle we discover that we really don’t like it.

If I don’t like the lifestyle needed for my dream then I’d best be changing my dream, hadn’t I?  After all, the dream is an image I’m attempting to create.  If I don’t like what it takes to live that way, why do it?  Time to think of something else that will make me happy, to dream of, where dreaming of means actively taking steps to make it happen.

Or maybe my dream is my life right now.  Ummmm, no.  I have more dreams than this.  Time to go make them happen.

To change direction in life doesn’t require a winning lottery ticket, a rich and generous uncle, or meeting the perfect person at Starbucks.  It requires taking a step today that will, if followed up with similar steps every successive day, take you somewhere different.

And hopefully somewhere you wanted to go.

Where are your steps leading you today?

~Abysmal Witch

Awakening the Infinite Sun

Days creep by, one after another, slipping and sliding into the future without any effort or thought on our part.  It simply is, a lovely cascade of sunshine and rain and wind and action and repose moving unstoppably forward into tomorrow.

But we stop and look and see what today is.  Today nears the height of the sun, the pinnacle of His power.  The Sun comes into the fullness of His time and He is stretching between the poles of sunrise and sunset with all the lithe, long grace of a lion getting ready for his day.

How glorious is He, how wondrous the heat on our skins, the light dancing over the trees and plants and buildings.

He will not stretch this long into time for another year, He will wane and appear to diminish, but His strength remains eternal, it is only our perception of it that must, by necessity, change.  And that is good too.

But now that He has filled the edges of His being, we will feel even more His power raining down on us.  The strength of summer will now come to us, full and ripe, filling out the way a man comes into his form and his soul after he has reached adulthood.

I revel in Your beauty.  I rejoice in Your presence.  I wear sunscreen to keep my skin safe from Your strength which is, alas, too much for me.

Giver of life, bringer of death.  All hail the Sun King!!

Do you feel the Sun within yourself?

Do you?

You have felt Him upon your skin, tasted Him in the plants that you eat, watched him with every sight that daylight brought to your eyes.

But He is more than that.  He is part of more.  He is the Sun and the Sun is greater than that.  It reaches far across the Universe and through all time and space.  It is the Infinite Sun, that is beyond gender, beyond knowing, beyond all ken, but yet still reachable, still touchable, still experienceable, if we but reach out, gently, and with care.

Do not let yourself be burned by it, but instead, let it enfold you within the rapture that is at the very heart of It.  We are one with the Infinite Sun and have only to awaken to the possibilities it holds within us.

~Abysmal Witch