Am I a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?

Good Witch
Bad Witch

What if I am both a good witch and a bad witch,
depending on the day?

When did I decide that women are supposed to be sorted into good or bad? saint or sinner? When did I conclude that we are either innocent pure madonnas or conniving evil whores?

I blame my messed up need to decide whether I’m good or evil on too many Disney movies…  and I’m only half kidding!  I challenge you to name one female Disney character that is not some ridiculous caricature of pure good or pure evil.  And no, you CANNOT count the female dog in Lady and the Tramp!  I’m talking about female HUMANS in Disney movies – name one – I dare you. 🙂  Consider Snow White and her nemesis, the Evil Queen.  How about Cinderella and her Evil Step-mother?  Or there’s Ariel and the Evil Octopus Lady Ursula. We are talking some seriously twisted black and white views of women!

Or maybe I should blame it on my Christian upbringing… no, wait, those are ALL bad, evil woman images aren’t they?  Eve, Lilith, Salome, whorish Mary Magdalene. The only good female image I can come up with after years of Sunday School is Mother Mary and she is merely a vessel at the beginning of the story brought in to birth the baby Jesus. Then she exits quickly stage left.  The Bible expresses a pretty dark view of my gender.

But it’s not just women getting labelled all good or all bad.  The entire world seems to obsess about sorting everyone and every experience into good or bad, right or wrong, black or white.  We love to polarize! Watch what the politicians say about each other and you’ll see exactly what I mean.  Last week the Republicans praised Mitt Romney as our national savior and vilified Barack Obama as the evil anti-christ. This week it’s the Democrat’s turn; now Obama is wearing the white hat and Romney is pictured in black.  What if we chose to realize that BOTH candidates are just mere mortal men?  Human beings with both strengths and weaknesses?  What if we just stopped buying into this black and white bullshit?

If you hate politics, just watch a little reality TV and notice how black and white it is. The Kardashian sisters appear to spend every waking moment fighting about which of them is the good-est witch and which is the baddest!  Even the son-in-laws are sorted into good (Lamar) and evil (Scott).  It is so polarized and so divisive.  But it makes for tons of drama.  And we all just cannot seem to look away.

What if we just stopped playing the polarity game?  What if we chose to see the world as a thousand  different shades rather than just black or white?  Blow that black and white mindset up!  It only makes us crazy and upset anyway.

Ok, so what if I embrace both my good witch AND my bad witch?  Everyone who knows me will tell you I am quite capable of being both – and sometimes even in the same day. 🙂  What if I just relax and stop judging myself and my every experience as GOOD or BAD, RIGHT or WRONG?  And what if I stop judging everyone else too?

I remember a story I heard years ago about the dangers of judging our experiences as good or bad:

A farmer had only one stallion. One day, the horse jumped a fence and ran away.

All the neighbors came by saying, “Oh no!  Such bad luck! You must be so upset.”  The man just said, “Maybe good, maybe bad – too soon to tell.”

A few days later, his stallion came back and brought twenty wild mares with him. The man and his son corraled all the horses.

All the neighbors came by saying, “Wow! This is such good news. You must be so happy!”  The man just said, “Maybe good, maybe bad – too soon to tell.”

A few weeks later, one of the wild horses kicked the man’s only son, and broke the boy’s leg in 3 places.

All the neighbors came by saying, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.”  The man just said, “Maybe good, maybe bad – too soon to tell.”

The country went to war, and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight. The war was terrible and killed many young men from the region, but the farmer’s son was spared; his broken leg prevented him from fighting.

All the neighbors came by saying, “You are so lucky! Your son didn’t have to go fight”  The man just said, “Maybe good, maybe bad – too soon to tell.”

What will happen if I live in a state of not judging myself or my experiences?

What will happen if I meet EVERY experience with the energy of “maybe good, maybe bad – too soon to tell”?

Tree Joy

The trees are whispering to me,
reminding me of my roots, and my reach
… shhhhhh…
can you hear them?
Selflessly sharing their subtle song

~Jeb Dickerson

New Moon in Leo

Image from Lunaf.com

New Moon in Leo today; one cycle completes and another begins. 

What is ready to begin or renew in my life today?

What is trying to birth that I can contribute
my energy and consciousness to ?

Where can I begin to  generate and create something potent and magical?

What lunar wisdom does the Leo moon have to share
with me, if only I will listen?

☾☽

Learn more about natural rhythms and the energy of a Leo moon here:

 Lisa Michael’s Web Site

Watery New Moon

Renewal Time

☾☽

Tomorrow is the new Moon in the water sign of Cancer.

Dwell on nurturing yourself.

Gently water yourself and your dreams with love.

☾☽

A Walk in the Woods

“Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine,then keep on going.”
~Mary Oliver

I went for a walk in the woods a few days ago. I love paths that are a bit wild and natural even in the middle of town. On this particular day, I am on one of my favorite trails; it meanders through  a dense patch of woods next to a big wide creek. The path has been left untouched for decades in many places and I love wandering there. But walking into some sections of this trail brings to mind Dorothy hesitantly walking into the dark scary woods with the scarecrow on her journey to Oz. Or maybe it’s Gretel wandering in the forest with Hansel, looking for her way home. Either way, the path can be a bit unnerving. I find myself humming that old Lou Reed song, “Walk on the Wild Side”, as I walk.

Deep dark untamed woods hold big, scary, archetypal energy for me and lots of other people; all those wild, uncivilized natural spaces where we might just meet something bigger and hungrier than us on the path. It is exciting and and enticing and scaryall at once. I think this is why our ancestors spent so much time trying to tame Mother Nature. Generation after generation of Americans have spent huge amounts of time and energy trying to corral and control Mother Nature;  e.g. clearing away the forests that once covered the northeastern US like they were tidying up a closet by throwing almost everything away. Or The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging and straightening and pushing around the Mississippi river decade after decade – we all saw how well that worked out for New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina made mincemeat of the Corps’ dykes.

Even logical and reasonable adults plant grass over mile after mile of suburban neighborhoods, then burn thousands of hours of free time and gallons of gasoline every weekend mowing their lawns down with military precision until the grass is a socially acceptable “tidy” length that resembles some perfectly green and uniform man-made carpet. We humans cannot seem to leave Nature to her own devices, can we?

Mother Nature scares the crap out of most humans. Mostof us either hide away in man-made homogenized boxes and pretend Nature doesn’t exist or we head out loaded for bear to try and kick Mother Nature’s butt and make her our bitch. In the end, neither way works very well.

I go visit an old tree every time I walk this path. Her diameter is larger than my wingspan. I remember the golden mean ratio – exactly how tall does that trunk diameter mean she is?  And how many rings does her trunk hold? Her rings must carry the wisdom and the history of this place at the edge of the path, this spot that she has anchored for at least 80 years . This tree has been here at the edge of this path for many, many years; she has seen all this human silliness before.

That’s where true wisdom comes from, being silent and still like an old tree; just absorbing what happens in whatever place I find myself today. And in taking the time to make the connections between what happens today and what happened yesterday on my path – and 2 years ago and 200 years ago. I need to remember to stop; get still, watch and listen to everything happening around me. And to take the time to reflect; to remember and store that longview of history like an old tree does.

I leave grandma tree and move on down the path. As I wander, I look up at the sky and realize that a storm is rapidly brewing on the horizon; it’s time to head for the safety of my house. Once home, I sit by the window in my study and watch the wind and rain thrash at the trees. Lightning splits the skyagain and again. Mother Nature is flexing her muscles. Even my tame garden seems a bit scary now. I watch the storm from a safe perch inside.

The path I choose again and again is not tame and civilized like a perfectly groomed suburban lawn. But it’s also not a solitary cabin surrounded by wilderness; I don’t require a life so wild and scary that I quiver with fear like the cowardly lion every time I venture out into the world.  I seem to constantly be searching for the middle path; in my mind I picture land on the boundary between wild woods and tame suburbs. That feels like the space where I belong.  It is the space where I feel most at home.

There has to be a way of living that is more in synch with my own inner nature. I want be find that way, to dig in and explore that middle path. I wonder if it is possible to live in way that is engaged with Mother Nature, fascinated and respectful of her powers rather than trying to subdue and mow and bend her to my will? And at the same time, can I develop a connection with Mother Nature so deep that I’m not left feeling completely helpless in her storms?

What is the middle path through this landscape? How do I become an actual friend and ally of Mother Nature? There are a thousand different opinions out there about how to walk softly on the earth; go vegan, buy local, grow your own, buy a hybrid, solar power… But I am wondering about diving deeper and making choices where I work with Mother Nature rather than doing things to her.

Whatever I choose has to come from my heart truly connecting with the natural world.  I wonder what will my life look like if I open up and deeply connect with Mother Nature? What would it look like to be close friends with this Earth? This feels like a shiftin my path… like rounding a bend on a trail and seeing a whole new vista opening up in front of me. And just like any great adventure, this new terrain is exciting and a little scary, but not too scary…