Today I tried a new magical technique for the first time thanks to the Goddess Circle's Creativity Course.  A sort of spirit walk (an idea I don't really know anything about and could well have go.  I centered myself and connected with the divine and asked to be lead to those things I needed to create my artwork and whilst I did find some interesting physical things, something else happened, several somethings actually.

Firstly the process was really interesting and useful and pretty wonderful.  I walk a lot, but always to either get somewhere or to exercise, I always wear my Ipod headphone (shutting out the world a bit) and although I do notice my surroundings on these walks I don't really notice them in a very deliberate and "conscious" way.  So going on a walk without a particular purpose other than a vague plea to the universe to show me what I needed to see was very different.  Very quickly I found myself in a very calm, spiritual headspace which kept up for the whole hour of my walk, despite the fact I was mostly walking in suburbia through some busy roads.  In fact I had to work very hard to ground myself after the walk and ate something as soon as I got back home because it was actually a little difficult to stop being in that headspace. Definitely a powerful technique even in the way I was doing it.  In fact it reminded me an awful lot of a technique a friend once described to me about 10 years ago.  They said that when they came to live in a new city, they would always go for a long walk in the city to attune.  Each city having it own rhythm and until my friend had attuned themselves to the rhythm then they could quite "get" the city - would find themselves getting lost perhaps or not finding the opportunities they were looking for.
A little over halfway through the walk it suddenly became very apparent that amongst the items I was picking up and the photos I was taking  a message was trying to come through.  Some truth or idea that the universe maybe thought I should know.  Since the point of the exercise was to listen to whatever I needed to hear I let the idea just flow, even though it didn't fall in the category of a feather for me to stick on my artwork.  The message built up slowly though, in layers until I felt I had an amazing idea, an idea which I could translate back into art...somehow.

I began by being drawn to little leaves and veins within them. Noticing that sometimes the colours of the veins was in a stark contrast to colour of the leaf, and sometimes less visible.

Then I saw the cracks in the pavement and the cracks in the asphalt. Cracks which I knew were caused by the roots of trees, breaking through the concrete cages we have built for them.
I thought about the roots of other plants around me all stretching out, connecting and growing unseen in the soil all around me, carrying information, drawing in water and nutrients.

I heard the songs of bird piercing into my mind carrying, messages and connections.

Eventually when I was sitting in a park somewhere I noticed

I had this sudden clarity of vision, of interconnectedness with this little seams of gold running from me to the bird, me to the person mowing their lawn and I thought about this planet we live with with all these precious little roots, veins and seams of interconnectedness and how we connected a million or more times a day without even realising it.  Like the person mowing their law and how they didn't know I was there, hearing them mowing but they made the connection nonetheless.

It was all so joyful and lovely...but that wasn't the point of the message.

I left the park and started for home.  No sooner had I shut the gate behind me when a couple of cars went past.  The noise of their engines was a connection with me.  But not a single clear note like a birdsong, or a deep conversation but a sort of scatter-gun of connection - throwing out the noise of their engines out into the universe with no purpose and not a care in the world about who and how many people might hear it.  This started me thinking that really the seams and veins and roots of the unseen connections in our world have become distorted, instead of these rare and precious moments we are actually deluged with connection all the time;  whether we like it or not. Advertising, TV, Radio, car noises and so many other things are like a tidal wave of connection which both drown out the important things and make it all a lot less precious. Seams of gold, become cliffs of gold and suddenly they are not that valuable anymore.
Now partly this is because I was on a spirit walk and had deliberately opened myself up to hear all this.  But the noise is going on and even if we tune it out, it is still there and we are probably using energy to tune it out.  I am not sure what this means I have to do (at this time), other than write a blog post, create some art and sent this message out into the world for people to ponder on.  I don't think becoming a hermit is the answer, those connections are really precious and we shouldn't run away from them. So I would love to hear any other interpretations of this!
So today I set about my work project in the same sacred spirit of reverence and joy that I put into the Antara Project.  I set up a beautiful working space in my sunny garden, I lit incense to feed my creative juices, I lit a candle, I drank in the atmosphere and connected deeply to the universe and...then I worked on my work project.

The wasn't too bad.  That sounds like faint praise and I really don't mean it to be.  I didn't experience the same depth of joy I feel when working on the Antara Project (and I didn't really expect to - the work project is still a bit dull compared to that).  But the work itself was so much easier,  the ideas seemed to flow better and I didn't resent the time anywhere near as much as I thought I would (and as I have in the past). I am still looking forward to getting the work project done and submitted but I am less stressed, more at one with the universe and feel I have done a much better job today. 

The lesson - I'll stop treating work as a total chore and less deserving of my spirit than other things.  Because when I give it the spiritual treatment, I get a lot more out of it.
I think very few Witches get to enjoy a true integration of all parts of their lives in one joined up tapestry.  Most of us compartmentalise our lives a little bit because there are lots of people in our lives who are probably not very supportive or understanding of the witchy stuff.

I am definitely in that camp.  I have a day job in a successful but very traditional career.  I knew from a young age I wanted that career and so even though I was a pagan before I was a lawyer I had already began to separate out bits of my life, because being a lawyer is hard enough without being labeled a crank.  Fast forward to today and we have a case in point. So I have a spiritual life and a mundane life and they are not integrated at all.  Not one little bit.

I had two projects to work on today.  One is a work project which is a bit dull and I am committed to for the next 18 months.  One is a creative project for my Antara life which I am committed to but is lots of fun and doesn't really have a end date (lets call that the Antara Project - since it is closely connected to spreading my Antara wings). 

For the work project I stuffed myself in my attic study, powered through it, resented the fact it took longer than I'd hoped, felt worried that the middle section wasn't very good and then realised I'll probably have to spend a few more hours working on it tomorrow (which I wasn't expecting) and got really stressed, frustrated and annoyed.

Then I did a bit of work on my Antara Project. Before I started I set up a table and umbrella in my sunny garden, centered myself spiritually, lit powerful incense, lit a candle and with joyous abandon wrote 1500 words like there was no tomorrow.

When I write it down so starkly the difference is clear. I am honouring and in control of one of the projects and it isn't the work stuff. I think if I approached my work projects with the reverence and acknowledgement of spirit I harness when I engage with my creative projects then life might be a little be easier for me.  That is tomorrow's goal - I'll let you know how it goes.