Since opening my heart to a Pagan path my life has instantly become more beautiful. All the thoughts & senses that I have suppressed & hidden inside are now free. It's as though all my life I have contained my soul, my inner being, within a box & I've kept it controlled & done it harm. I have never before had the self confidence to open that box, but now that I have sunshine is pouring into my being! Things have changed in my life. I have a warmth inside me that brings me comfort & strength even at times of stress or sorrow. I understand with humility my place in this Universe & my duty to the Goddess / Mother Earth. I feel more connected than ever to the elements of Earth, Water, Air & Fire, to Nature, to the Moon & the tides & to the turning of the Seasons. I rejoice in all that has been revealed to me & I have a passion to learn & follow this path I have been shown to the full.
I am questioning lots about myself, or more correctly my life choices. After years of on / off vegetarianism I have now committed myself to a vegetarian diet, with the intention of also dropping dairy products & only eating my own free range eggs as an animal product. I am not against eating meat as such, but modern farming methods deeply trouble me & the cruelty many farm animals are subjected to upsets me immensely. I also know that I personally couldn't kill an animal for food, especially as I don't need to to live a healthy life.
In studying my life under a magnifying glass I can see how badly I have fallen into the traps of modern consumerism. I thought I was relatively eco-friendly as I recycle, compost, grow my own veg, monitor & reduce our energy usage, etc., etc. But I look at all the things I have bought from the supermarket recently & the potential harm the products are doing to Mother Nature & the planet scream out at me. When I was younger I was heavily into animal rights - so why now is my bathroom full of shampoos, soaps & chemicals that at best I'm not sure are tested an animals & at worst I know full well are tested in this way. It's not just toiletries & cleaning products either. I do buy Fairtrade when I see the label, organic sometimes if it's not too expensive, but shamefully a look in my food cupboard reveals items that have probably caused damage to the environment either through dirty air or road miles or in the chemicals & pesticides used to produce them. Clearly I have lost my way here! I'm not pretending for one minute that from this moment on I'm going to be a saint, but I'm certainly going to take a closer look at what I put into my shopping basket & try to make sure it's contents reflect more positively my desire to protect & respect the environment, Nature, the animals & plants that share this planet with us & humankind itself.
Other things have happened to me. A greater ability to reach out to others, to find kind words, to chide myself for unkind thoughts, a heightened psychic awareness, a new positivity in my life & a surge of creativity. I want to learn to crochet, get out my pencils & paints again, write, cook - anything to express the whirling, beautiful, passionate joy & exuberance in my heart.
Here's one of my first efforts - lovely homemade marmalade. Pop over to Herne Garden's inspiring blog for the recipe. I used demerera sugar for mine, & reserved all the pith & pips removed by hand juicing the oranges & tied it all up in muslin. I popped this parcel in with the rest of the ingredients during the soaking & simmering stages, then removed it before boiling the marmalade. Making the marmalade was a joyful experience! I gave thanks to the God & Goddess for the fruit & breathed the gorgeous citrus scents right deep down into my lungs. I just beamed when the finished pots sat in a row in my kitchen & I planned who to share them with. I am, of course, completely biased but it is the most delicious marmalade I have ever tasted!
There - I've shared it with you. All my joy, my hopes & my plans. Whatever you have planned or enjoyed I hope you have found sunshine during this cold month of January.