NYT: A cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano shut down much of air travel to and from Northern Europe for a third straight day as a massive transportation gridlock spread around the world. Actual evidence of the ash was being detected in Britain, where air travel was likely to remain shut down until Monday.
Scientists were uncertain when the ash, reported to be drifting at altitudes commonly used by civilian jetliners, would dissipate.
Who can say how one Goddess or God chooses a person or how one person chooses a Goddess or a God? I've long been a devotee of Hecate, and she's confirmed for me that I'm "her girl." I don't think that it's entirely (hah!) a rational process, nor one that can be explained "logically."
But I do know that a huge part of the attraction that I feel for Hecate is due to the fact that she's the Goddess of liminal spaces (crossroads). Wiki says: Liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning "a threshold"). The liminal state is characterized by ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy. One's sense of identity dissolves to some extent, bringing about disorientation. Liminality is a period of transition where normal limits to thought, self-understanding, and behavior are relaxed - a situation which can lead to new perspectives. In my own limited experience, liminality is necessary for magic (aka, change in accordance with will) to happen. Liminality is not always, or even generally, comfortable. Ambiguity and indeterminacy can feel a lot more scary than good, a lot more uncomfortable than supportive. And, yet, even with my Moon in Taurus, I head like a salmon upstream for that liminality. Like Rumi, who says: I would love to kiss you. The price of kissing is your life. Now my loving is running toward my life shouting, What a bargain, let's buy it, I run to Hecate, all aware that the security that I've created at great price will likely dissipate at her crossroads.
Who can say how much of it is due to this extreme winter (which was due, at least in part, to global climate change) and how much of it is due to global climate change, but the micro-eco-system here in my tiny bit of Earth in Northern Virginia, is in the middle of a liminal shift. We're about a week-and-a-half to two weeks ahead of where we should "normally" be. This is generally true all over Columbia's district. It's always been the weekend of Beltane when I'm out sweeping strands of oak semen off of my deck, but I'm doing that now, a good two weeks before Beltane. It's generally Beltane when my lilacs bloom, but they'll be in full bloom on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, and that's only due to a late cold spell; otherwise, they'd bloom this weekend. I could go on and on.
It was the early "gardeners" (generally women), trying to grow food, rather than lilacs, who paid so much attention to the seasons and determined what we gardeners consider "normal." Now, we're gardening in liminal times. Landscape Guy tells me that he no longer believes the "zones" established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture; they've shifted due to global climate change, although admitting that would commit our government to admitting that global climate change is real. He grows things in his yard that "should" only grow down in the Carolinas.
I don't know any other answer than to pay attention. I sit out in my bit of Earth, watch, listen, communicate, and pay attention. I listen to the birds who are courting and nesting a few weeks early, I shift into the v slow attention span of the trees and hear what they are saying, what their roots are doing, the direction in which their new sprouts are growing. I work v hard to be the "witch of this space," which is how I announce myself to the Elements when I cast a circle. If I am to be the witch of this space, then I am the witch of a liminal, shifting, disoriented space. SomeWitch has to do this. It's my job because I live here.
This evening after dinner, as he was getting tired, G/Son complained that his arm hurt. Nothing had happened, he was just tired and having, IMHO, a bit of a growing pain and, as much as anything, he wanted some attention. I said, "Show me where it hurts," and, when he did, I said, "Can Nonna give it a bit of reiki?" He nodded, and, so, I did. In a minute he moved his arm to show me that it was better and said, "Why is that 'reiki'?" I said, "Well, that's just what we call it: 'reiki'." G/Son remembered an animated movie we'd watched, where a mouse checked a bird's broken wing and held her hands out over the wing in the same way that I held my hands out over G/Son's arm. And he said, "Remember when Cornflower did reiki on the sparrow's broken wing?" and I said, "Yes, that's right. I do remember that." And then we went on to something else, about Superman and Green Lantern and Iron Man. Damn, I love that kid.
When I read Tarot, I'm a big believer in paying attention to the card that "jumps out." You know, the card that somehow, improbably, falls off the top of the deck after the Querant has carefully cut the deck and dealt the required cards. The card that sticks to the bottom of another card and only shows up when you begin to turn the cards over to read them. That card. Heck, if there's a clearer way for the Universe to say: "OK, now pay attention," I don't know exactly what it is. (Well, I do, but I don't know any other way for the Universe to say this that doesn't generally involve pain, loss, a kick in the pants.)
So, when a book falls off of one of my bookshelves, all unasked, I pay attention to that, as well. It's tricky for books to fall off of my bookshelves, which have glass doors that, you know, tend to prevent "falling off." But when I open a bookshelf to get one book, and another "jumps out," I pay attention. Now, one of the earliest, truest, and most important magics that I ever did, all unknowing, as a young pentacostal catholic who would have been horrified at the term bibliomancy, was to open a book, read the top of the page, and take it to heart. To womb. To life. And that has made all the difference.
I'm not as young as I was, not all all pentacostal or catholic, nor am I at all horrified by any form of divination that does not involve live sacrifice. But I'm still often amazed at what bibliomancy can teach me. Ellen Cannon Reed's The Heart of Wicca, which I haven't opened or thought of in years, hopped merrily off of my bookshelf and onto my floor, open to the section where Ellen discusses the importance to her practice of relationship with divinity, particularly in its more personal and specific forms, and sent me an important message.
Lend me your dagger to cut away the unnecessary to find my true power Lend me your rope to hold fast to that which I still need Lend me your torch to illuminate the shadows Gift me with the sacred key to unlock the mysteries of life Show me my choices and give me the insight and strength to always choose the right path
To which particular deity do you pay attention? Why? What have you lately heard?
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."