Friday, October 31, 2008

Samhain, Enchantments, & Faeries

This is the time of the Wild Hunt. If I listen carefully I can hear it. There. Do you hear it too? You might have thought at first that it was the sound of a beat up car with a bad exhaust. It just rumbled by. Look beyond the glamour. And the children wearing fairy wings and death masks are looking for sweets for the new year. Beyond them, if you squint, you can see the Faery Queen. The children are part of her court, protected by her this night. I can hear the bells on the bridle of the Queen's horse. Or is that an elf whispering in my ear? Ahhh. It is Hallows Eve.

Most of our trick-or-treaters are gone. Soon we'll bring inside the candles that guided the little ones up our steps. I just took my candle snuffer and put out the black candle that lit up the Katrina doll we got in Mexico a couple of years ago. She still stands in our front window, waving her bone fingers.

I had a lovely Halloween thus far, thank you very much. I drove to Portland today to attend a class my friend and mentor is teaching at one of the colleges there. It's called Faery Shamanism! Can you imagine? I sat in this classroom today listening to a anthropologist talk about faeries, shamanism, gender roles, soul rescue and more. It was delightful! I'm teaching this class in a couple of weeks while my friend is gone. I'm looking forward to it very much.

I realized this week that I have been under a kind of enchantment. Some people might call it a curse or a thought form. I like the idea of an enchantment. It sounds less...curse-like. Enchantments can be good or bad, and if you can sing something into existence, it seems to me you can sing it out again. What I mean by enchantment is this: We all have these untrue things we say about ourselves or about things in our lives all the time. (In fact, we may have said them so many times that they actually have become true.) When we tell ourselves these stories again and again, we are casting a kind of enchantment over ourselves.

I hear people repeat these kinds of enchantments again and again. Things like, "I just always say the wrong thing;" "I never fit in;" "I'm stupid;" "nothing I do ever works out."

One of the enchantments I've been saying for years is that I am not a good teacher. I thought this was fact. And yet when my friend asked me to teach her class, I was very excited. I used to teach college composition, and I loved it. I didn't really love reading and grading all the papers, but I did enjoy interacting with the students.

This week, I began planning for the class, which is four hours long, and I didn't feel a twinge of anxiety, which one would expect if one was really incompetent at something. And suddenly I realized my idea that I couldn't teach was an enchantment I had put on myself. Where did it come from? When I was managing a branch library, I would train staff, and I realized that I knew how to explain how to do a particular task one way. If they didn't understand my explanation, I didn't know how else to explain it. Since I knew this about myself, I would tell my staff that if they didn't understand me, figure it was my fault not theirs and they should ask me again and I'd get someone else to train them on a particular task. Today I realized that just means I'm a poor instructor which is completely different from being a bad teacher.

Knowing that a community college in Portland offers a class called Faery Shamanism has gotten me thinking about all kinds of things. Maybe I could teach again. It's a thought.

So I shall begin the new year without that particular enchantment on myself. How about you? Are you ready to release some of your enchantments?

Tomorrow friends will gather here for more magic, and I'll let you know how it goes.

May Our Ancestors Rest in Beauty!



Kim Antieau said...

This "new" template (new compared with Furious Spinner) cuts off all my photographs--the right side, even when it looks fine in preview. I'm not happy with that. Anyone know a way around that?

gb said...

It looks to me that you've set your main-wrapper to a width of 410. The image width is set at 500. Since the image floats to the left the computer cuts off the pixels on the right that won't fit into the 410.

I think.

gb said...

Not to be too anal about things, but I meant 480px, not 410. Whatever, there's still 20 pixels the computer can't fit into the space so they get ignored.

Now I have to go. I've noticed that the rug in the entrance is half an inch too far to the right.

Kim Antieau said...

That's funny, Guy! I don't think I can change that because it's a set template--I think if I change the parameters it will...change the parameters and then unfettered chaos will ensue. (Could chaos actually be fettered? I think my cornball Midwest humor is gurgling to the surface. The horror, the horror.) But I'll experiment and see.

gb said...

"Could chaos actually be fettered?"

Perhaps as result of a takeover by obsessive-compulsive anarchists.

Anonymous said...

You might try reducing the dimensions or the resolution of your images. Are they set at 72ppi?

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