The other day my friend Nora came over to visit and help me pack up my studio. She was still kind of drifting in that in-between space you inhabit after a peak experience, as she had been home only one day from a week at Pagan Spirit Gathering in the Midwest. PSG is a festival Nora has attended for many years as a Circle minister, and the community there is one of her spiritual homes. She was too ill to attend in 2013. Her return was all the more poignant because her husband Bud had expected to take a portion of Nora’s ashes to PSG last year, when we were all expecting her imminent death.
One turn of the Wheel later, she returned to the arms of her spiritual family with great joy, love, and laughter.
And we all stand in awe, once again, of the Great Mystery.
As Nora left my house, I saw a little black snake slither through the edge of my garden. I’ve lived here six years and have never seen a snake here before. Change. Rebirth. Transformation.
“Snake Woman, shedding her skin,” the chant goes. For I am changing too, shedding one house and home for another.
As I took to Facebook to bemoan my “betwixt and between” state, no longer at home here but not yet settled there, my friend Lunaea reminded me that those liminal spaces are “where the magic happens.”
Oh yes. Where would we be without our sisters to give us these gentle reminders?
And so, in this in-between space, I am sorting, purging, and packing my possessions. Craig and I did one round of this in April when we put half our belongings into storage, in preparation for putting the house on the market. We took loads of “stuff” to recycling and thrift shops. But still — “stuff” remains.
Sort, purge, pack. Sort, purge, pack. I become ruthless, not allowing myself to be sentimental. “Off with their heads!” I would mutter to myself, visualizing the many-armed blue Kali (instead of the Red Queen), blades in hands, slicing away at all my possessions. (Except the art supplies. Never throw away art supplies.) Books, I’m releasing. (Not all of them.) Tarot decks too. CD’s? In the box. (They’re all digitized anyway.) I cranked up the soundtrack from “Nashville” and hacked away.
Then I stopped, gobsmacked, by two big boxes full of magazines that contained artwork or articles that I’d contributed, some going back to the 1980’s. SageWoman, Circle, The Beltane Papers, and a few others. I laid some of them out on the floor, looking at the fruit of my labors of the last 20+ years. Felt a little misty-eyed, I must say. It was a whole lot of good work, and I’m proud of it.
Then I lifted those boxes again. Heavy! And I thought about how I lugged those boxes around from house to house, and never opened them except when I’m moving them. A candidate for the blade of Kali / Red Queen if there ever was one. So, quickly, before I could think too hard about it, I posted a giveaway on Facebook, and within an hour I had divvied the magazines up between several people.
I don’t regret it. I feel really good about the magazines going into the hands of mostly younger women, the next generation of Goddess women. The ideas and artwork in the magazines will spark them, inspire them, nourish them. This is so much better than having those boxes stuck on a shelf in a closet in my back room!
I have the sense that I am creating a bright open space for new creations to inhabit, by letting go of so much “stuff.”
Today, I am back at it. Sort, purge, pack.
Snake Woman, shedding her skin.