Soothing with Water


I’d planned to update sooner, but we had an old friend come to visit and my best intentions for writing went out the window, since reconnecting was more important. She was over at our place a lot back when I was still in grad school (we both attended the same university, though not in the same MA programs) and she moved back east after she finished her coursework. We did end up in the same graduation ceremony, so the last time I got to see her was nearly three years ago.

We’ve all changed. Eowyn probably most of all, since she wasn’t even three months old then. But it was the sort of time where we were different but the same – the intervening years have altered us but that core is relatively unchanged. So we spent a few days talking, hiking, watching Sherlock, arguing about plot points in Buffy, and just being. I caught her up on my religious transformation, she talked about where she was, and we told story after story.

One of the hikes around here leads to a waterfall. I love it – it’s a beautiful area and at this time of year some plants are flowering, there are berries, and the path is not completely flooded. I slipped off out of the way when we got the falls, and let Beowulf chase Eowyn so I could spend some time in a short ritual.

It came together out of what sprang to hand: three red huckleberries, a fallen feather, a small cluster of flowers, and a handful of spring water. It was born out of need – my anxieties have been such lately that I’ve been experiencing some violent intrusive thoughts (this is not an uncommon thing for GAD, but it’s frustrating; I don’t really want my nightmares spilling over into the waking world, even if they’re just scary thoughts at the back of my mind. The best thing to do is to acknowledge the thoughts’ existence but not obsess about them, which is, of course, easier said than done). Magick, of course, isn’t just going to make the anxiety go away, but I hoped the formality of doing something would reassure my mind enough to help it calm down, which might decrease the frequency of the thoughts.

I traced a pentacle in the sand by the rushing water with the feather, and placed the berries, flowers, and feather in the centre. Then I turned to the river. I’d originally planned to select a small stone from the water to add to the pentacle but in the moment I found myself scooping a handful of water from the river and pouring it over the offering instead.

Then I spoke what came to mind, trying to visualize a circle around myself (visualization is currently a weak point for me). What came was a plea to Brigid to offer her aid in finding calm. “Brigid, who purges with fire and soothes with water” were the words that I remember.

When I ended it and rejoined the others, I felt better for having done something, even if it was small and unscripted. The thoughts didn’t vanish then, and they aren’t gone now, but the burden feels a bit lighter.


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