Personally, as a water sign, I have never connected well with fire. It may sound laughable, but I often draw a blank when it comes to invoking the element. I mumble something about passion and action and move on. I never light our balefires. I leave that to my fire-sign husband. I am notorious for trying to shift Imbolc, a celebration of fire, into a ritual of ice or water. I'm just plain bad at it, really.
As our Mabon ritual continued, we "harvested" these aspects of the elements into our lives. We showed gratitude and closed. We ate ourselves stupid, like you do, and our community Mabon gathering came to a close. However, as the week went on, I continued to reflect and meditate on that seemingly non-descript moment. It shouldn't have meant as much as it did. It was like having a breakthrough in therapy because of advice from the Snapple cap you twisted open in the waiting room.
But, the Goddess moves in mysterious ways.
You see, at that point in time, two things were occurring in our home:
- Our family was floundering. We had just lost our
dream home. Papa J was having a terrible time at his new job. Doodle
Bug was failing at school. I was angry and the hits just kept coming in
little ways. The car broke down. We had clashes with an old friend.
The continual disappointment and heartache was turning me numb.
- I had begun to pray to the Greek Goddess Hestia every morning with my coffee since July. I knew her to be a matron of house and home and we were struggling. I was mysteriously repulsed and drawn to her at the same time. When we lost the bid on our dream home, I was angry with Her, of all things. After spending so much time conversing at her, Hestia felt like a friend. When everything began to fall apart for us, I felt betrayed. I threw out the candle I'd made for her. I even thought of leaving Paganism behind. I told myself that I'm a scientist and academic at heart and perhaps I was just an Atheist in reality.
It was a bad time In the House of Mama Stacey. But then, my sister said those words.
Papa J and I often share late-night chuckles over the antics of our friends, Table for Eight. They are those folks who never budget, constantly have shut-off notices, and live WELL beyond their means. They adopted a horse without any knowledge of how to care for one. They bought plane tickets to Las Vegas before even finding a sitter or thinking of next month's mortgage payment. We consider them reckless and shake our heads when they suddenly have to rely on a food bank or write a bad check. On the other hand, we are that family who always budgets and meal plans. We never ask for a sitter because staying in is cheaper. We are a 'checks and balances' family. Of course that means we never take sudden vacations. We never have date nights or order out. We've never taken in a pet or let our kids buy into a new fad. We never risk living in the moment. We always err on the side of caution, as society tells us practical and responsible people who are building a future DO.
All of these things were swirling in my head during yet another "what are we doing wrong and why can't we get ahead?" discussion. Suddenly, I turned to Papa J and said, "F*ck it. Let's just do it. Lets order Chinese. Let's get a dog and a house and let the pieces fall where they may." He agreed and we devoured some General Tso's bean curd.
It was as if we had cast a spell in that moment.
Within 30 days, things smoothed out at the lumber mill for Papa J. We were gifted a puppy by a friend. An even better house fell in our laps. Doodle Bug was transferred to a new Special Needs program. It was mind-boggling how many things suddenly came together.
In my mind, it's because we embraced the aspects that had been drawn into our harvest circle. We took a leap of faith, grabbed what we wanted, and ran with it.
There is now an altar to the Goddess Hestia and the element of Fire in our home. THIS statue of Her is on my Yule wish-list.