This week, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, wisdom, music, arts, and learning comes into our lives to serve as guide. Beautiful Sarasvati appears when we are on the cusp of enlightenment, of new learning, of finding new ways to express ourselves. If you have set creative, spiritual, or intellectual goals for the coming Spring (in the Northern Hemisphere), Sarasvati has come to tell you that you are on the right path.
It's been a busy month for the Third Wave Witch. I've been adjusting to having more structure in my life than I've had in more than a decade. With the (exciting, wonderful) new job has come the need to adapt to an actual schedule -- with a wake up time, a "get to work" time, and a "quitting" time -- as well as to make the internal adjustments that go along with not being quite as much of a free agent as I've been for the last few years. I've been very used to having near-total control over my own time, to following my whims throughout the day, to doing what I feel like doing at any given moment. (Essentially, I've lived much like a large housecat, but with opposable thumbs and a bank account.) In some ways it's been a process of taming myself. It's a strange feeling. I enjoy my job (and the financial freedom and career advancement it will provide). I am doing work I believe in, on a campus that is incredibly supportive and diverse. I even get to read more, now that I have a train commute each day. And I've also chafed at times, trying to find the sweet spot between structure and freedom.
Freedom has always been one of my core desired feelings, to borrow a phrase from the wonderful Danielle LaPorte. This desire for freedom is what kept me self-employed (and under-employed) for much of the last decade, caught on the adjunct treadmill. My only real experience with full time corporate work had been so negative and scarring that I wasn't willing to go back there. But over the last year it became clear that while I had much control over my time, the poverty wages I was earning as an adjunct actively hindered my freedom. A long and heartfelt conversation with my partner encouraged me to rethink what it mean for me to have freedom, to be free.
One of the things I love most about Kris Waldherr's Goddess Inspiration Oracle is that it features Goddesses from around the world. I've had the chance to learn about Goddesses who never appeared in my mythology courses and who seldom (if ever) get invoked in the rituals I attend. And while I am always seeking to be mindful of issues of cultural appropriation when working with Goddesses from other cultures, I have found valuable messages in learning about these Goddesses. I especially appreciate Waldherr's inclusion of Goddesses from First Nation and African traditions in this deck, as these are faces of the Feminine Divine that so often get passed by in the Feminist Witchcraft I know.
The past two weeks have been full of movement and change, not to mention the perils (and blessings) of Mercury Retrograde. One of the major gifts of a Mercury Retrograde is the ability to finally put to rest things that have been unfinished, and this has been happening for me on a major scale. I have had the chance to really look at past patterns and lay them to rest, to pick up neglected projects and work on them, to revisit things I had laid aside. I led my first public women's Full Moon circle in over a decade, and remembered how much I love creating ritual space and sharing it with other women. I did a major cleaning of my living space, and am engaged in energetic decluttering even now, creating a space that will nurture me and my loved ones. I began teaching my first online class at Mystery School of the Goddess, and am plunging excitedly into developing more courses. And, just as Mercury came out of Retrograde, I was offered an amazing full time job -- after nearly a decade of poorly paid contingent faculty work. It's been a time of immense growth.
I am excited to have Diana, Roman Goddess of the Hunt and of the Moon, along with me during this exciting, energetic time:
The rains continue to pour in North Texas, keeping me inside rather than planting my container garden, swimming in my pool, or enjoying what is usually one of the most beautiful times of the year. Twenty years of living in an area plagued by drought have taught me to never, ever wish for the rain to stop -- the memories of watching cattle die in the fields just a few years ago are too fresh for me to do anything but revel in the power of the storms and the swollen rivers. Though my thoughts are also with those who are seeing their homes washed out, and I hope that the rains slow down a bit soon to let Mother Earth absorb the much-needed moisture.
Even though I've had to pursue indoor fun the last few weeks, this is still a playful time for me. I'm between classes right now, and my freelance work has slowed down, allowing me a much needed break. Much of my focus has been on job applications, but I've found time for relaxation and recovery from a long, emotionally draining semester. The Universe itself seems to be also feeling the playful vibe, as it has sent the Hindu goddess Lalita to frolick with me in the spring rains.
This is one of my favorite times of year. Spring is in full swing here in Texas, finals are over and I've finished grading the mounds of papers and exams, and I have a little respite before my next round of classes start for summer school. I celebrated this past weekend by taking a trip home to South Dakota to see my youngest niece graduate from high school. As always when I return home, I am struck by the way that the Sacred is close enough to touch there -- in the wildlife that approaches almost without fear, in the early morning quiet and birdsong, in the plants and animals I can identify almost by instinct. While I firmly believe that Goddess is everywhere, in a busy city She can be a bit harder to find sometimes. Trips home nourish my soul and help me remember how to see Her everywhere.
I'm clearly destined to spend more time remembering how to see the Sacred in my everyday, as Maia has come to be my guide for the week. This Greek Goddess is one of the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades, and is also the mother of Hermes. She encourages us to see the magick in our everyday worlds and to use it to help us bloom.
I spent this weekend celebrating Beltaine, the arrival of the season of fertility and growth, with my local community here in Dallas-Fort Worth. While it's been spring for a while here in Texas, it's been a mild and wet spring -- but this past week has brought the first real days of springtime sunshine. The landscape is vivid green punctuated with our signature wildflowers -- bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, primroses, and Queen Anne's lace. The open community ritual I attended (presented by the Texas Local Council of the Covenant of the Goddess) took place in a sun-dappled grove of trees, and was followed by community feasting and socializing. Things have certainly begun stirring beneath the Earth, and within me, which are bursting to be born into the light.
These past months have seen me spending a great deal of time reflecting on the directions in which I'd like to grow, particularly in my career. As an adjunct professor, I am part of a chronically and drastically underpaid workforce. The work I do feeds my soul and feels like a calling, but often leaves me (and people like me) struggling just to pay our bills. This winter has been a season of confronting my feelings about poverty and lack, about my work, and about what I want the next phase of my life to bring -- in terms of work, relationships, spirituality, and more. (Why yes, I did just turn 40. Why do you ask?)