All Acts of Love and Pleasure

I was musing this phrase the other day while I was out in the garden. I love my garden, it gives me space to think. When my hands are sunk into the rich earth, it connects me to my inner self.

Garden Goddess 2

A Shrine created in Love, Sacred to Venus, for all acts of love and pleasure.

Sometimes, because life has been demanding in other ways, my garden gets neglected, and I find myself getting low and cranky. Actually, sometimes I’m just cranky, I think it might be old age. But when I’m out working in the garden, I’m never cranky and if I find crankiness creeping up, there’s always  a dandelion or a dock to take it out on.

When we think of acts of love and pleasure, we often tend to think of this phrase in the sense of sexual and physical love and pleasure.  Of course, acts of love and pleasure are so much more than that.

All acts of love – that is doing the little things because you love doing them or you love the person you’re doing them for, like making a cup of tea for someone when they’re in need. (Yes, tea will often appear in my posts, as life is not worth living without it.)  All acts of love – such as being with people you care about, or helping someone in need.  All acts of love – such as caring for the animals that are your companions, or watering your houseplants.  All acts of love – the times when you’re so tired and worn out by your day, but someone dear to you has needs greater than yours, so you see to them. All acts of love – such as tending your personal environment and caring for yourself. All acts of love – and those acts of
love will give you pleasure.

I like to think that when you think of love in the big picture, you start to see it in the little things. The little things we do for one another, the little things that we do, because we love and in loving we give pleasure and they serve the greater love. The macrocosm of love fulfilling the microcosm of love and vice versa.

This brings us to the higher values of love. What is love? It is an emotion of course, but all of us will perceive it and feel it differently. We love differently. The love a parent has for a child is completely different to the love that a partner will feel for their other half.  The love we have for our friends is completely different to the love we have for animal companions. There are so many different qualities of love and so many different ways of expressing it. The Charge of the Goddess tells us “All  acts of love and pleasure are my rituals”.  So in expressing love and receiving pleasure from our loving and expressions of love, we serve the Goddess, we please her, we show her that we love her and we strive to please her in our loving.

So what happens when loving someone or something ceases to give pleasure, when that love becomes pain or when that love apparently disappears?  What happens to love when the person that you love tests the boundaries of that love to the limit, and what should be pleasure, then turns to pain.  Often you are hurt and yet you continue to love, seeking ways to ease that pain and retrieve the pleasure that should be in that loving relationship.  Love is not a tap. You cannot turn it off and say, “OK, this relationship is over, so I don’t love that person any more”. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could control our emotional state to that extent? But I do believe that we can ease that pain, we can accept that the love we are feeling is not returned and we can move on from it.

I believe that this is the point when you have to make a choice. Recently, a friend of mine married herself. That is she made a commitment to herself, she chose to love and nurture herself, to put her love for herself before everything else. This does not mean that she is not capable of loving anyone else, but what it does mean that in loving others,  she puts her love for herself first. She holds sacred within herself her connection to her higher self and her higher power. She will nurture herself, she will make sure that in what she does, who she loves, her love for herself is strong enough to protect her from the potential storms of love gone awry.

“All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals”.  So every time you do something with love… every time you do something that gives pleasure; from the smallest act to the greatest, you are performing the Goddess’s rites. With that in mind then everything you do, from cleaning the house,  to mowing the lawn, to cooking the dinner, can be done with the intention of expressing love, for yourself, your environment , for those nearest and dearest to you to the stranger on the street, and thus, you are performing  Her rituals. And if you do not love and nurture yourself, then not only are you doing Her disservice, but you are also doing disservice to all those that you love.

So, back to the garden, and just for Her, I reclaimed a few things, and made a space, very small space, sacred to Her and sacred to Love.  Blessed Be and Be Blessed in all you do!

Of Trolls and Fools and Smelly Socks

sockprofile

Image by Gavin Morrison

There are lots of things in the world that really annoy me. Amongst these are such things as leaving my tea until it gets too cold in the cup when I wanted to dunk a biscuit, forgetting to put the recycle bin out until late at night when I’m walking the dog, being caught in slow moving traffic, people who tell lies about themselves and then get offended when they’re caught out, and people who hide behind fake identities on the internet and then are incredibly offensive or rude. Some of these things I can change by giving up biscuits or just remembering the bin is collected every second week. Others, like the traffic are simply unavoidable and one has to give in with good grace or walk. However, the liars and the smelly socks who like to troll, well there’s not a lot one can do about them, except perhaps to ignore their existence.

Recently, I came across one such trolling little sock. This sock appeared because a situation arose that I should have paid more attention to and an error was made. This required time and effort to put right, and apologies had to be made (though it transpired that apologies were actually made to the wrong person, but that’s another story). However, troll person decided that it was too good an opportunity to let go and was extremely childish, rude and tiresome. In the process of being childish, rude and tiresome, by the content of what they were writing, it became very clear as to their identity. In their real identity, this person has always been rather on the periphery of my existence, but polite enough every time we’ve had any interaction.

That’s just the background to my musing, because it did get me to musing. We have a great literary tradition of using characters in drama to say things that the main characters would not or could not. These characters are often presented as being simple minded, not really understanding the depth of what they’re saying, and can be “alter egos” to the main character- Shakespeare’s Fool.  Now, I’m not saying internet sock puppets who troll people have any depth, but they do appear to be “alter egos” used to express things that it would be impolitic for someone to say themselves, or indeed, they are used just to bully and be nasty to people. I object to it, because it can be hurtful, it can cause harm,  and as a witch, this goes against the core of my belief.

The internet has perpetrated the existence of the alter ego, people start using it as if it were a real place, and their “sock people” appear to become as real to them as they themselves. Magically, this could be a very powerful device. People who play games on the internet create “avatars” or characters within computer games that by the nature of the game for the duration of play become “real”. As one of my friends online pointed out, it becomes the creation of a thought form, a magical fetch, that in and of itself is created by the power of will. When the game is over, depending on the intensity of the relationship with the avatar, the duration of play, etc., it has the potential to manifest within the real world. I wonder, to take this idea further, can this occur with the “sock creations”, the Fools of the internet and social networking.

These are not real people, and yet, once they make comment on someone’s Facebook page, or whatever their preferred social medium is, they engender response and interaction. We are not interacting with a real person, but rather a creation of someone else, a vehicle by which they can say things they would never dare say themselves, or indeed be used to back up something that they have said themselves, believing that there is power in numbers. In one of the worst cases of sock puppetry, two sock puppets belonging to the same person, entered into a relationship with one another. No, seriously, it was just like a soap opera. These are the things that psychosis is made of.

Magic, it is said, often borders on the edge of madness, but this is not magic, nor is it madness, although it may be psychosis. It is not madness, because it is done with the creator’s full cognition and it is done with purpose. It is psychosis, because it is not something most people would not do. Neither is it magic, although it is done with purpose and intent, two essential ingredients to work magic, it is not done with thoughts to the real consequences. It is not done with maturity or understanding, but rather done as a child would, demanding attention and gratification.

As I said, there is nothing one can do with the smelly socks who love to troll the timelines and newsfeeds of the internet. They will always try and get in. The only thing I can say, if they don’t appear real and you don’t know them, and your friends don’t know them, then don’t let them in. Shut the door and bar it. Eventually they will probably go away.

The start of the adventure.

referendum-map

The green is all the constituencies that voted Yes and the red the lone one that had a majority No vote, but even then it was only 48:52 Yes to No

This is just to put my toe in the water in the great sea of blogging. It’s more or less a nothing post, just to see what it’s like. My idea for the blog is for it be a bit random. Sometimes a sharing of experience, such as the great outflow of emotion that was the last weekend when Marriage Equality was voted for here by a staggering 62%. One of my friends said to me that he felt as though he were “joining Rosa Parkes at the front of the bus”. I can’t even begin to understand that feeling, but it must be incredible, and I’m proud that I added my voice in my own small way to the campaign and final outcome. It is a good feeling and a unifying one. Anyway, I think you get the idea, this is what it’s going to be about. My thoughts, my ideas, my experiences and if you want to read about them, then welcome to the start of an adventure. 🙂