Magical Battle of America – The Answer Blowing in the Wind?

Last week, I did not work for this – not only were we overwhelmed with the final chapter of grief and loss for a friend – but I don’t feel a personal need to “clean America’s archetypes” much. The past IS as it is, I don’t need to white wash it to still defend the product OF that past — the NOW America I reside within.  If our archetypes are the results of the flawed actions of flawed humans?  Well, it is through failure and flaws that we learn; and then we move forward to put loss behind us.

This week’s task was summoning strong, cleansing winds of change.  I got my protective circle in place, looked around my Nor’west — spotted  the stream, visualized the fish leaping — because it was dark, I saw nothing.  I zipped to the dark Plains, and sat on the roof of my sod house, looking first up at the pentagram overhead.  No dripping sparkles of light this time, just a soft glow.  I looked to the East, a very faint golden-pink glow there, the dawn almost hitting the coastline.

I turned my back on the distant dawn and stood facing the dark West, though there should have been a nigh full moon.  Perhaps it set already, I did this quite late?  I shut my eyes, visual things are not my strength – having been nearly blind most of my life.  I listened, expecting to hear the banners flap and rope-fittings ringing; but no, scarce any sound in the still dark air.  I consider my energy and feel the almost unnatural stillness around me.  I decide I would rather get something partial done right than fail entirely.  I will call only for the West wind.

I lift my face and begin a summoning whistle.  For a moment, I am very much two places — lying relaxed with my cat purring at my shoulder, and standing there whistling and clearly hearing the high piping sound of my call.  I continue to whistle — once, twice, four times before I feel a motion in my own belly.  A swirling there, suddenly if barely perceptible.  Far away, I hear the slap and bluster of a blue banner…and a red one.  I scent dust in the air and feel my hair lift.

The grass moves against the bare sides of my feet.  I raise my right arm and pivot to the Northeast, directing the barely warm breeze growing in strength.  In my mind, I picture Washington, D.C – a place I have not visited since 1986 on a cold December day the week before Christmas.  But I paint it mentally with Spring’s colors and see cherry blossom pink.  The West wind rifles the trees, like children hitting chocolate filled Easter baskets — pink petals fly into the air.  They sweep in drifts along street curbs.

“Carry change,” I say, “carry courage and Will.”  I think of all the economically blighted places the wind passes and say, “Carry courage, give power and truth.”  I hear flag pole rings ringing against the metal and fabric snapping.  The glow of dawn is brighter, lighting up thin dancing waves of pink sweeping the streets before the Capitol.  “Relax,” I say to the wind, “Rest upon the sea and ride home round the world…”

My cat’s purr brought me back to my bed.  She moved closer to me as I opened my circle, and put her paw on my face.  And then to sleep, to dream, to hope, to dare…perhaps other nights for other winds?

Another Sunday After Action….

This weeks goal in the Magical Battle of America was to go to the astral center — seeing it as night-time — and more of less call a dawning. A dawning of sunny warmth, hope, cooperation, and recreation of America.  Glad Hekate is my ally with some lit torches is all I can say about that.

My first start was to pause at NW “home” to briefly consider leaping steelhead, heading upstream to breed and continue the thread of their lives.  Salmon spawn and die. We want magic and life, bread and roses, don’t we?  Then, I turned to “walk” to the Plains “center” as HecateDemeter envisions it — with a pentagram overhead and banners at each point connoting the different main regions of the continental USA.

I didn’t walk, though.  I turned and suddenly shot to center like an animated piece on a special effects chessboard…leaving a colored, fading shadow of myself where I had been mere instants before.  The blue-white horizontal pentagram over head dripped down lighted spangles like luminescent icicles.

I sat down on the roof of my sod house, shut my eyes and listened to the wind in the five banners; for me yellow at Nor’East, green at Southeast, red at Southwest, blue in Nor’west, and dazzling WHITE in the North – no black, no checkering, it felt white this time.  I sat waiting to feel a touch of dawning warmth.  Cracking an eyelid showed me only cascades falling from the five pointed star overhead — like sparks from a welder’s torch.  I could not glimpse or summon a dawning.

So I shut my eyes and thought, very hard, over and over:

Wouldn’t it feel good again to be truly, really proud to be an American?”

“Wouldn’t it feel good to wipe away the shame?”

“Wouldn’t love and caring and sharing feel delightful and warm and good?”

I felt a sudden sexual rush, a bit of warmth of unexpected source.  But one I know means something right is happening.  Maybe later efforts this week will see a dawn yet?

 

Pick-a-Witch?!

I know there are other spell workers out there — I know about the “binding” spell and frankly, IF it works that is dandy with me. I’m just iffy about bindings if I am not more personally linked with the situation.  If anyone conceives the Magical Battle of America as more effective done BY binding the “deflated orange sponge” – so be it!

But I did find these “inspirations” very humorous!  Enjoy!

I was always tickled by the MacBeth witches — every time we brew mead here, they come to mind.  All that “cauldron brew and cauldron bubble” stuff, you know?  A carboy full of mead is full of roiling wee yeasty beasty bubbles — you can hear their pop and fizz!  I have been contemplating starting a batch with the command that these tiny living things, with each pop and fizzle – move a magical agenda forward; a sort of alcoholic prayer wheel effect, so to speak?!

Tomorrow there will be a new post up at HecateDemeter for the continued effort.  I am feeling an increased “vibe” so to speak; the working feels easier with repetition.  Since I am not the most “visually” inclined person, most of my cues to being “there” are still auditory — wind whipping “banners” (which for me are element shaded, with no pictures), splash sounds, human whispers, etc.

How is it for you?  I must say, as a solitary sort, I don’t much know how it goes in a coven.  But I’m pretty sure it isn’t as silent as this “virtual room”!

More Contrarian Tradition – Or, OMG Is She Into Plato?

I duteously performed the Magical Battle of America task on Saturday evening. I relaxed my aching back into my husband’s comfy chair FOR aching backs, put a warm throw over myself to stay warm. Pretty soft “duty” you might say.

I visualized myself ‘neath the glowing pentacle, saw the colored elemental banners and strode forcefully to the blue one in my home grounds in the Pacific Nor’west.  I stood stream-side and watched the salmon leaping.  There are no grizzly bears fishing on my stream.  Hecate-Demeter likely cannot know this, basing her visualization on nature documentaries; but we have damned few grizzly bears here and the dozen or fewer are up in the mountains.  I took the dogged persistence of the biology-driven fish back to the labyrinth overlay.  Yes, I certainly would like to see that in American political life to fight.

But IS this magical bit getting it there?  After all, the fish are NOT migrating upstream all the time.  And while the salmon runs are iconic?  Salmon DIE after their upstream battle.  I’d prefer to think upon steelhead – which do NOT die, but survive for multiple runs upriver!   If one visualizes something that is not actually in motion at the time, one visualizes only an idea, or a memory.  IS this like Plato’s idea of a copy of the ideal “form” – a shadow, so to speak of Kant’s “thing in itself”?  A memory can be quite strong, but only an idea of what one likely has never seen at all?   So this rite, ideally would be most effective  – or only effective? – WHEN the fish are running?  What about a visualization focusing on what IS actually enlivening IN that moment of magical action.  Is that not more practical?

I know: snipe, snipe, snipe.  It is what I do because accuracy and effect matter deeply to me.  Today, as some point, I will go out into my gardens to feed my circle of stones; it is the Equinox.  Doubtless on that small walk, I will gather potent small signs of indomitability to use in my next workings this week.  Fern fronds breaking out in fiddleheads.  Tiny blue-violet wind flowers trembling on the breeze.  The breeding Anna’s hummingbirds in a nigh flowerless environment – sounding off at my windows, demanding fresh sugar syrup, interacting with ME to preserve their own species!  They sit beneath the warming light in the dawn – persisting nevertheless!

I cannot believe, even when Dion Fortune launched a magical effort to protect blitzed England, that each adept – or each novice for that matter – did not have to individualize and adapt the images to what gave them the strongest response and ability to shape that “invisible” that we experimentally reach for in each working.

Am I the only one thus contrary?  Or is this so obvious that I am the only one just NOW thinking about it, since as a usual solitary, I’ve never before worried about how to work in groups?  Or IS it really a group with such disparate natures and locations?  Is it a thousand magical archers shooting at an invisible target over the horizon, with each one using a different means of spotting the bulls-eye?

 

Today’s Task

In the Magical Battle of America today, we are asked to turn back the tide of cynicism and apathy in America.  I have read the working, and it will percolate all day as I go about mundane tasks.  This evening, as dusk falls (if I am lucky) or later at bedtime (if hectic time prevails), I will perform the working.

I am fortunate today.  As I have relayed before, I am not at peace with the images on the “banners” selected by Hekate-Demeter as I simply find no resonance with some of them, I find one hopelessly Euro/white-centric, or I cannot visualize something as vague as “the Underground Railroad” as a visible device.  This week’s target area is my home Northwest, however, and the leaping salmon of our many dam-threatened streams and rivers.  I can work with that visualization.

I suspect I will struggle in the weeks ahead.  Walden Pond does not speak to me of New England.  The “Underground Railroad” for the South does speak, and loudly — but I can’t make it an image, for me it is scurrying sounds in the dark, hushed voices, smells of sweaty frightened hurrying people.  A cowboy for the Southwest is a hopeless bit of white colonization that I prefer to NOT identify as a main American aspect to be pushed as “what to defend.”  In my visualization — I see the banners as colors instead.  As colors with elemental connotations.  I see the NE banner at pentagram point in vivid yellow; the SE banner is verdant green; the SW banner is burnt desert red, the NW banner is water blue, and the tip banner is alternating white and black.

I do value Hekate-Demeter’s desire to find a visual image for each region, but I suspect I am not the only one needing a more general image or a completely different image to actually work with so that the mind doesn’t go off in a rant about Euro-entric Marlboro men.  Hey, when I played cowboy and Indians as a kid, I insisted on being the Indian in spite of being given numerous cowgirl outfits.

Or, as I will do with the Southeast?  I won’t make a visible image at all — I will hear that demanding search/run for liberty.  But even that will be a work in progress.  If this exercise is to awaken cynical/apathetic hearts — is it enough to only reach for those already more or less mobilized?  What about the white, largely not-considering-Underground-Railroad-past populace of the Southeast?  How does magic create empathy and connection there?  I feel this being left out of the working IS a problem.  We can’t just look at what we LIKE, we have to look at what we are NOT seeing and do NOT like as well.  ALL of it is part of the mundane/magical equation.

I am a Westerner by feeling, frankly suspect of things East of the Rockies; and East of the Mississippi – forget-about-it!  I have lived in every part of this nation; New England’s beauties moved me.  Walden Pond did not.  But the American South is a hard sell to me.  “If they threaten to secede again,” I’ve often said, “Let them!”  So, like the kid with negative behaviors that eats all the parental energy — I find myself getting into snarling knots about how to “reach” that bit of my nation.  I want to punish and slap them first – and only reach when they are contrite!  So there is my Hekate/guide/avatar with a torch AND a sword?  I am spending a lot of energy trying to amend my attitude.  And parts of me are mounting a vivid resistance to amending that attitude.  So it goes.

Thank goodness, we start the effort with my own Northwest — I have “grappling time” before I tackle the South.  And then, perhaps, as HD said about discomfort in working, or fear or threat, it IS “ok” to sit out a working for fear of fucking it up.  By the time we get around to the SE banner, I should know if I can do it at all or if I will let that one ride on someone who liked “Gone With the Wind”.  (I know, I know — hoity-toity and dismissive.  We ALL know this IS me, right?)

How do you see the “banners”?  What do you find at the heart of America beneath the center of HD’s pentagram hovering over the continental U.S.?  Is there a section that you most align with; is there one that is the hardest reach for of all?  ARE you doing the exercises/workings?  Or still thinking about it?  How shall we, a sort of virtual circle, go about this?  Everyone hitting for the brass ring weekly (or as I do about 4 times a week)? Or should we trade off — a couple people working, everyone else concentrating on energy work FOR the workers?

Speak up!  I’m actually a bit sick of the sound of my one hand clapping!

Breakfast (Brunch?) With Jack

Is it really breakfast still if it happens after noon? I woke up with my shoulders and back in spasm.  Today is the day the new washer arrives and the used, larger, dumber old school refrigerator.  So before my coffee was downed, I moved things on my bread making counter, got up atop it, and slipped down behind my current wide but shallow fridge; to push it straight out into the kitchen to clear the space for its replacement.    Something crunched alarmingly as I pushed it clear.  But, triumphant, I pushed it across the kitchen and plugged it back in on the other side.  Only five minutes later did my husband notice the bloody prints across the floor.

Apparently a piece of glass was the crunch and as I pushed the fridge, I stepped upon it and took a goodly chunk of skin and flesh off one toe.  :::sigh::: That kind of day?  We bandaged my toe and I dressed to go to lunch with the Germans anyway — delivery won’t be till afternoon.  By the time I arrived, my back was being a misery and my toe, inside my low boot, felt oddly squishy wet.  My appetizer was a shot of Jack Daniels to kill the pain and close surface capillaries.

But it is not the thing to quit.  Minor hassles are – well, minor.  Fuck them.  So, why, those of you here ask, the privacy of shut doors here at Steel Kachinas?  Because physical hassles are easy to see, feel, and address.  Here, we will be discussing more subtle hard-to-track and react sorts of hassles.  Here we will have to discuss things others might dismiss as mere shadows.  But even shadows have their effect, their beauty and elusive qualities measured only on the subtle human soul, don’t you think?

Shadows, reflections, and invisible things – that will be our workplace, our tools here.  It feels like we’ve overdosed on Harry Potter, perhaps?   I know that this blog has many followers that boggle my mind; they are Christians and some of them of the liberal philosophical sort, but others  are of the rather fanatic “suffer not a witch to live” mentality.  Sometimes I think they follow my blog as a sort of surveillance – tho’ saying that aloud in print makes me feel like paranoia is my middle name.  Mind you, my personal belief is that their nasty vengeful “only ME” “God” is but a well-fed thought-form being and no really deity at all and they couldn’t “prayer warrior” their way out of a wet paper bag.  I do not want to feel censored, or have any of my viewers and commenters feel that need to self-censor.  Thus, the privacy to openly discuss things that might not be squeaky logic, things that might be paranoia!

Only open discussion will allow us to weed the fears in the garden of our actions.  I tend to do this aggressively.  I too well recall all the spell beggars on AOHell going on and on and on about being hexed and they “knew it by the pimples on their little chins”.  For everything I’ve ever thought might be negative magic in my direction?  I’ve debunked it myself in 90% of the questionable cases.  But even non-magical (don’t say “muggle” or I will throw virtual cat litter bombs at you!) fanatical monotheists CAN cause mischief.  I believe this is because magic or whatever it’s proper name ought to be IS the inheritance of humanity.  So, while their conscious minds might flail and tell their god to do it for them, their unconscious minds might just let fly with something maliciously effective.  Thus, as Hekate Demeter has told on her blog, the need for psychic protective measures.  And non-psychic stuff like a privatized blog.

So, when I am not tossing furniture about like a Klingon girl in love?  I will come up with what we military sorts called the “SOP” — Standard Operating Procedures.  These are not only daily operating procedures, but trouble shooting guides to keep the normal going normally.  Yes, magic has results – both where the person wanted it (if lucky) but also, frequently within the sphere of the practitioner.  This does not mean the 3-fold law is operating, not to me.  Nor do I acknowledge karma.  I acknowledge exhaustion, lack of focus, lack of spell crafting precision.  And yes, I acknowledge attacks.  Most attackers, in my experience, expect the attack to be like a freaking A-bomb: they expect you to drop dead/out of action at once.  Slinging it back at them usually puts them on their ass in every sense of the word.  So, I want to come up with an SOP of what has worked for me since I began, once upon a tentative time in about 1986.

And all of you here, intending to participate may toss in your own suggestions of course, or question mine.  I don’t DO “high priestess” except for the Dead.  So I don’t give commands to any of you any more than I do to them.  I “suggest” and occasionally make warning sounds.  A priestess SERVES.  I serve the dead, and I serve America for which they died.  We must raise a wall to counter the one Trumplethinskin wants to protect him from the brown people – a wall to protect what America was meant to be, what it has tried to be.  We must protect and serve the vulnerable, the powerless, the frightened.  Not with hostility and negative hate; but with an overarching love and compassion that will put itself like a shield betwixt the haters and the America-at-risk.

Make it so!

 

Magically Battling On

So the Magical Battle of America continues, still in the phase of building the “tools” of the working.  As it has been all along, I am a walking heterodoxy with the way HecateDemeter envisions it — looking for “American” archetypes and allies, instead I find the ones I’ve always had coming to my call.  Last week, inspired by a flitting vision, I walked my Labyrinth in reality as I meditated to see what allies would come.  On a calm weather day, at the center, I felt a strong wind in my face and heard the thunder and snorting of masses of horses.

So this week, in meditation last night with a protective circle in place, I was uncertain what to expect — Valkyries?   Wild horses?  Mounted Comanche warriors?  The dead troops I’ve walked Inward?  Last weeks goal was to free whichever willing warriors would come back OUT of the Walk of the Fallen.  This weeks goal was to find personal ally-archetypes for America.

I shut my eyes, and reinforced the darkness with a sleep mask.  Then I was standing in dark starry night air – hovering upright betwixt the glowing pentagram – it’s northern point directly behind/above my head.  Below me glowed my own labyrinth shape, super-imposed upon the Plains heartland, with a sod house center.  I looked down and instantly descended, my feet hitting the roof of the sod house with a distinct thump that I felt all the way up my spine.  I was facing South, and the West Wind was blowing the grass and my own unbound hair towards the East.  “Who will come with me?” I asked.

FullSizeRenderIn front of me, a shape spun in the air.  A peace sign’s lines without the circle – each doubled into a pair?  What, I thought, a stolen Mercedes emblem of some sort?  No…three lines meeting, each set double with a space between, like a road between curbs.  And it clicked — the sign of Hekate Tri-via!  Horses, dogs, and serpents are her creatures. She carries torches, evocative of the one in Lady Liberty’s hand.   Instantly a beautiful face, a bit like Isabel Rosselini’s, smiled at me briefly.  Hekate Enodia, I thought-cried out!  She who will walk the roadways of America for (with?) me!  She has long been the invoked sister-walker of the Labyrinth I keep.  “What will you see?” I asked her, “What will you tell me?”

Still thinking this communion, I fell asleep and dreamt.

A Few Things Off My Chest

I’ve been troubled on so many levels since November 8th, that I feel a wee bit like Indiana Jones, dropped into the tomb full of snakes. But I like snakes better than I like the things disturbing me, to be honest, because snakes ARE more honest.  They kill to defend or to eat, not to be mean.  People can’t always say that.  I have tattoo’d snakes going up my left arm, and people sometimes shudder to see them.  Snakes don’t make me shudder, people DO!

These things that trouble me, things that marginalize and “liminalize” me, sap my energy.  These are things from my alleged “own side” that make me tilt my head, scrunch my eyes, step back in dismay.  To me, long a student of history and schooled in the ways of “the Red threat” — these are things I could safely categorize as “fifth columnists.”  Do the perpetrators of these troublesome bits KNOW they are a danger to their own side?  I rather doubt it.  They THINK they are helping to whip up the troops.

But they are whipping fears and divisions and hatreds.  They are fanning negative flames instead of building warming home-fires.  What do I mean?  I’m only going to hit a couple examples.

Well, for one thing, almost every day when I get the mail (and email), there is a plea to send money to this or that candidate in some other state.  This bothers the hell out of me.  To me, the people IN that state are the ones who should have the say in THEIR election.  Some years ago, here in Washington State, there was an effort to get through a bill about gun sales.  And oh, the OUTRAGE of the Democrats that the NRA and their many “civilian” supporters sent money from OUT of STATE to “interfere with OUR election!”  Well, pot meets kettle, don’t you think?  IF it is wrong for the Right to do it; why would it be right for the Left to do it?  Yes, I am big on the idea of fighting fire with fire — but you have to know when that fire is going wild to burn EVERYthing.  So hell no, my money will not go to other states even to support candidates for ‘my’ side; I think that is a political SIN to interfere in the sovereign voting rights of other citizens of my country.  . I think that is overstepping the bounds of political decency.

Then there is this little hate-clad thing about the wife of the Presidential Celebrity Apprentice (because ISN’T he an apprentice?). First there were snarky signs: “Melania, are you alright?”  That was semi-funny.  But also semi-sad; because when I looked at most of the photos, she actually looked tense, possibly frightened.  She looked like a woman doing an unwanted performance and she was largely ignored by her husband as she did it.  Then there were bloggers saying, “Well, first I felt a little sorry for her, but she married the jerk — so she can lie in that bed.”  Wow.  How fucking compassionate is THAT?

This woman was an immigrant.  Personally, having been hungry and desperate enough to want to run away from where I was in my life?  Had I actually run and an apparently rich and powerful man offered me marriage so I could stop worrying about hunger and a roof over my head?  I’d likely have taken him up on it, too.  And any of you out there sneering down your nose about now, saying “Fucking never!” – tell me how hungry you have been.  Tell me how much you struggled and for how long with NO help before you judge me OR her, ok?  Does she regret her choice now?   I don’t know; judging by his divorce record I’d say chances are she might.  I sort of wish that wasn’t true for her sake – because an unhappy marriage is such a hell that starvation doesn’t sound like such a bad way to go.

So, if it was shitty of the Republicans to trash Hillary, and her daughter?  If it was wrong to call First Lady Obama an “ape” — by what fucking fair play rules is it right to pick on a woman who still sounds like she struggles a bit with English and is just hoping to raise her son in peace?  Also, it is pretty shitty fucking feminism to blame a woman for her husband’s bad behavior; remember how you ALL said that when Trump blasted Hillary Clinton with Bill Clinton’s bad actions?  

So if you want to be spoken to civilly by ME?  Knock that classless shit OFF.  STAY on the message instead of engaging in cruel, useless ad-hominem attacks on wives of ANYone.    About now, I’m sure someone wonders why this largely political post is here on my “spiritual blog”?  Well, because if a person believes in attempting magic?  They need to know something about the energy the practitioner  is going to be trying to throw about, ok?

IF the witch/magician/sorcerer/shaman/priest/priestess is polluted with hate, anger of the wrong sort, etc?  Then their magical energetic aim is NOT coming from a premier source and it damages the effectiveness of the working.  This was clear in Dion Fortune’s letters, as I recall.  She told her groups to keep working positive — to focus not on attacks, but protections; not on tearing down, but on building up.  And that resonates for me with political action.  We can resist all the horror we want, but if ALL we do is react to dreadful things and fear?  We are not building something effective in which to survive and live.  That counts politically and magically.

So, as this blog will soon go private, and I will send invites and accept emails asking for invites — let it be known, if you do NOT clean up your own act first, you will not be part of this virtual circle.  Trust me, it’s not easy.  I know.  I am a bite and smite special, myself; but I know when I have to bank the fires of anger to keep the warmth and avoid the melt-down.  I have to MAKE myself look to what makes it better.  IF this post gets you all riled up and righteous about “who the hell does she think she is?”  Well, then I am almost certainly talking to you.

Don’t just get scared by the world that needs fighting, get righteously angry at the wrongs being done.  But don’t just get angry – get rationally and constructively engaged.  To do that from a place of pure flowing energy means you can’t pour emotional/political poisons into the fucking cauldron!

Deep Breath….

…Not a good week here. Tired, feel like a gut bug of some sort is chewing through me. I know I said that this blog was going to go private at some point, I think I may be about there.

For one thing, there are few readers anyhow; so I’d prefer to feel a bit more protected so I can be a bit more personal. Second, since I expect to go a bit deep-endish in discussions about the Magical Battle of America? I’d rather not have those posts be public.

Doubtless I will feel less unraveled when my gut settles down; but I’m just not feeling the vibe to be all public-spirited this year.  Nor likely for the next four years.  So, who will I list as a “user” on the blog?  I know some of you commented before asking to be listed.  If I had the energy to search out that post it would be better — but I do not.  I will say in advance that I will likely only list folks I actually have known online for some time.  So, no, every current “subscriber” does not get an automatic “in”.

Call me paranoid, but hey, I LIKE it in the dark, ok?  I just prefer to know WHO or WHAT is there in the dark with me!  My last public post may be next Tuesday’s tarot posting.  I do sort of wish WordPress was like Dreamwidth, where I can make some posts private and others public — but I don’t have that option here.

Of course, that brings up the option of moving the private posts TO Dreamwidth to herlanderrefugee@dreamwidth.org instead?  But how many of those readers who want the private bits want to move to Dreamwidth.  I know, I got bloody sick of playing musical chairs with blogging platforms – so I hate inflicting that option on others.  But it would leave this blog public, if rather rarely written upon.  All the deeper darker and more private stuff could go on an access list on Dreamwidth.

What do you, you few, you bored, you who still read this, think?  Speak now before I turn out the lights and march off to the woods….

I Dream…

feather-fortress…again, of military camps.  For decades, my nights left me exhausted in the morning because all night long I worked setting up mess halls and beds in my sleep.  My muscles ached in the dawn, as if I’d been at hard real work.  My skeptic’s mind fought the idea promulgated by more “pagan place” minds that told me about astral planes and work there by night.

But for over half my adult life, several nights a week – my dreams were full of busy activity in a war “we” were certain of winning, but one that never seemed to end.  With the building of the Walk of the Fallen Memorial Labyrinth in 2003, however, those dreams slowed (but didn’t completely stop) – as if my work in the here and now on the stones in my back yard took precedence.  But a few months ago, the martial midnight images returned.

Last night, I was again at work in a vaguely military uniform.  My Minotaur was there with me for the first time ever.  And another man, younger and full of vitality – pursuing me with an odd romantic fervor.  He would rub my aching shoulders and fetch me warming blankets.  I was never one to dream of (even would-be) lovers, so this was a peculiar change.  The other change was less charming and more alarming – gone was the certainty of winning.  A bitter desperation and a grasping after any sweet solacing moment was a theme in the dream.  Thus, I suppose, the romantic against the grinding labor in which my husband and I were engaged?

Do I believe in the astral plane, that “other where” out there?  Let’s say I wonder if it is more than a mental state.  It often seems to me there is a substrate of reality we somehow miss with our ordinary every day perceptions.  I speculate that it is where ideas come from or go to – those curiously contagious ideas that suddenly manifest in four places at once around the planet – as new inventions.  I can’t know this, of course,  I can only wonder as I wander.

But it feels like it would be a sort of dishonesty and cowardice to completely discard the idea as impossible.  Because I can’t prove to myself that it does not exist either.  Perhaps that is what age is for?  Learning to live with unanswerable questions, with ambiguity?  Becoming comfortable with ambivalence?  In youth didn’t we all pursue certainty?  Wasn’t science a wonderful thing because you thought it always gave you that desired proof?

Except it didn’t always.  Sometimes scientists cooked their own books, played with data.  Some claimed they got repeat results that they did not.  Even scientists are humans with a burning desire to see their best hopes realized.  We all still play at least a mental/emotional game of alchemy, do we not?  We move the ideas, beliefs, facts around in our heads like a mental game of Tetris, trying to fill in the magic spots of  “don’t-bloody-know” to get the musical reward and sparkly answers that reassure us, comfort us, answer us.

But slowly, sometimes so very slowly, progress happens.  Science moves forward with truths from experimentation.  So, in the dark wintertime of my life?  I will experiment, since apparently I WILL dream, whether or not it is my desire.  After all, can I really risk losing a “war” because I won’t admit it exists?