Tonight was one of those peculiar, unforgettable nights.
I had a pretty rough afternoon emotionally. I found myself overly stressed and overwhelmed with negative stimulus and thus barely managed to get through the bare minimum errands I needed to do.
Faced still with pressure to study anything/everything for DP work and this weekend’s ritual I kinda fried a little bit, not to mention feeling some intense pain in my leg to boot. Things were going kind of rough. I got home, had a bit of a lie down, and did a tiny bit of reading.
After a thirty minute or so rest I got up, sat at my desk, and opened up some windows and devices to tackle a little more reading/writing/studying. At some point I remembered a video put up on YouTube not long ago, a talk by Rev. Dangler, that I had meant to watch but hadn’t made the time. I set down my (barely utilized) tools feeling rather frustrated by my inability to focus and digest, and turned on the video. I intended to sort of listen to it in the background as I worked but I found myself tabbing back to it and rewinding to catch little bits my ears had glanced and my brain had missed.
Eventually I submitted and just placed my full attention on the video.
If you would like to watch it I recommend it. As a matter of fact I would suggest watching it in it’s entirety before you read further, for the reason for this article was indeed the result of a surprise buried in this talk.
Back with me?
So I’m watching the presentation and slowly losing myself inside. I’m seeing warm, familiar faces from Three Cranes. I’m hearing Kirk’s unmistakable voice. I’m enjoying the stories and the curiosities from those gathered. Then mention of a small ritual arises. Michael asks if those in attendance brought the stones that were suggested.
Now of course I’m watching a video recording of an event from a festival and, as such, came unprepared. I didn’t even prepare to be unprepared! But the inertia is there.
Oh. And I totally felt a convergence of realms, like, minutes before. I felt a tremor of power rip through me. I felt and saw an arc of flame that took the shape of a galloping horse. Yeah. I see you. Welcome back. I missed you!
So there I am, feeling somewhat as if in a grade-school nightmare, as Michael explains they will do a small ritual and some magical work on a sort of talisman to aid them in need.
Michael told a story about how, through some circumstance, his stole became inhabited by a living energy. There was life in that cloth. I know well the magic of Things that have Life. So many objects, otherwise cold and inert, possess the energy of history and memory and all that have touched or spoken of or thought on them. Some might consider it a sort of sentimentality, but I’ve so often seen it as so much more.
So I full well know the power and importance of Things That Have Life. But I also so easily forget. Depending on the eyes and ears you are wearing in that moment a ring could just be a ring… Or it could be a font of energy filled by every living ancestor that has ever slipped it ’round their finger. It could be a circle of tarnished metal or several hundred years of strength and wisdom.
In my moments of weakness I often feel alone and overwhelmed. There are few moments of weakness that I can recall more vividly than my ongoing struggle with study. Whether my brain be addled from age and injury or other things I find myself often struggling not only with patience and lack of focus but just the sheer vortex of too-much-information and not-enough-information and retaining it.
But in all my struggles, though I timidly throw casual questions to young coworkers about “How do study plz?” I so rarely sought help from those whom my studies would directly influence relations with. Not once had I made offering or prayed or meditated on learning or study.
So as Michael spoke further on making good relationships with good allies and then came to the surprise ritual and work towards the end… Well… I think I’ve spoken before about what magic is to me. Something about getting smacked in the face with “Surprise! It’s ritual and magic work right now right now!” is another one of those sparks. That sudden clash of opportunity and moment and lack of preparedness. That’s a spark. It lit a fire in me.
I could not find a stone that would take ink (or was otherwise occupied) but I still had several twigs gathered from travels sitting on my altar. I took one that called to me and submitted my full attention to the ritual. There’s something powerful about just being “there” through even a recorded medium. Despite the living magic having occurred elsewhere some time ago it felt no less warm and active and real. Perhaps that is a thought for another writing, however.
With the galloping horse still fresh in my mind my initial reaction was to ink some sort of horse icon on the little stick and… I don’t know. But then Michael began to offer suggestions. Simple symbols to represent strength or wisdom or else.
A quill. For study. For writing. A quill.
And so I inked a tiny quill on this little twig and joined the circle in working the magic.
So now, even when I am venturing deep into the darkness of my own frustration and despair, I too have a sword. I need not be alone, for we worked the magic together and now we will do this work together, my allies and me.