MAKING EARTH: ON HOME VOL. 5
You might remember Diana Rose Harper from her first piece, Digital Covencrafting for POC Mystics. Creating real and conceptual homes is as important to her as it is for us and she’s offering a monthly musing on what home means to her, to people, and to the world. Expect to see anecdotes, words of wisdom, and tidbits of witchy knowledge peppered throughout.
Here we are, in the days and weeks after the light rebalanced itself on the Equinox, only to continue tipping towards longer shadows, darker nights, sunshine grown thin, grasses gone gray.
Here we are, within yet another unmerry-go-round of sickened hope, inarticulate rage, and cold despair as we watch political actors martyr themselves in the name of the greater good. All the while, the greedy, unhealed, and overly powerful reassert their diseased dominance.
Here we are, skin chilled as the dearly (and undearly) departed reach wavering fingers through a thinning veil, reminding us that this too shall pass, we too shall pass, all that glitters is gold and gold too will tarnish and disintegrate given enough time, given enough neglect, given enough erosion.
Welcoming Libra Season
Libra carries a reputation of unification, of harmony, of smoothing relations so that everyone leaves the party a little happier, or at the very least, pleasantly unharshed. But Libra comes as the pulsing liveliness of summer fades away into dead leaves, dried out flowers, roads made muddy by autumn rains. The easy existence of warm days dissipates as the knife-edge of decay reminds us that we, too, are mortal.
Libra also brings the reminder that experiencing balance can often feel like an upset. We spend most of our lives operating within what we accept as “normal” reality. Like men used to speaking as much as they wish and taking up as much space as they wish, most of us grow used to an existence without much acknowledgement of the beneath and beyond, without being touched by that which exists on the other side, without catching any glimpses of other worlds and underworlds and not-of-this-worlds.
As those otherworlds make themselves known, it behooves us to ask: What are these other realities? Why are they so uncomfortable? What does balance look like when it means acknowledging a reality that is not my own? What does balance look like when it means acknowledging the beautiful and ugly darknesses within me, my family, my society, my world?
Libra is preparation for Scorpio. Libra is liberating that which needs composting. Libra is remembering that while not every person will be sexually assaulted, every person can take an adamant stand against assault, against rape apology, against boys clubs’ ongoing normalization of traumatic horror. Libra is honoring the fact that not every person who is assaulted is obliged to become crucified saints in the movement to end rape culture and misogynistic sexualization; and even so, every person can look with honor and respect and awe upon those who do step forward, speak up, relive their traumas in the hopes of healing a wound deeper than the deepest cthonic abyss.
concerning, belonging to, or inhabiting the underworld.
"a chthonic deity"
Libra is making enough room at the party for gut-busting laughter and gut-wrenching sorrow. Libra is seeing that “balance” goes far beyond “homogenization” to a place where everyone has space enough to heal, space enough to celebrate, space enough to speak truth. Libra is remembering what “fair” actually means and doing what can be done to make “fair” the reality of this world, of this realm.
Libra is an invitation for everyone to come home.
On the opposite side of Libra is Aries, spring, new growth: the time when whatever we’ve composted over the winter becomes fertilizer for the flowers we’ll delight in come summer. Now is a time to think about that compost in preparation for those flowers.
A SPELL FOR CTHONIC TRANSFORMATION
To be done on a Saturday during a waning moon if possible
You will need:
A small banana, piece of plantain, hunk of sweet potato, slice of unskinned squash, or something similar
A knife with a sharp point or a very pointy iron nail
A place to compost: a hole in your yard, a composter, a flowerpot full of dirt mostly from the ground (not sterile potting soil), a worm bin, etc.
Start by identifying something you’d like to compost: something to be broken down into a new substance that will fertilize the growth of something desired. Some ideas: toxic masculinity, an old heartbreak, fear of failure, a blockage to speaking up, fascism, rape culture, your inexplicable discomfort around babies, etc.
Depending on the size of what you’re composting, you will be limited to how many words you can use. Try to get as concise and direct as you can, using a phrase or two rather than a sentence.
Once you’ve identified what you’d like to compost, create sacred space for yourself to work within, whatever that means for you. When you’re satisfied that you and your space are ready, breathe deeply and use your sharp object to carve your words into your compostable object.
Take a moment to feel into what you’re composting. What does the to-be-composted fear feel like? What does toxic masculinity feel like? Really imagine yourself into that ready-to-die thing, and then send all of that into your compostable object, infusing it as completely as you can. Try to get every last drop of that feeling out of you and into your object.
Then, carefully, bury your object. If you’re burying it directly in the ground, make sure that you leave a marker of some kind to indicate where you’ve buried it. If you’re placing it in a planter or flowerpot full of soil, ensure you have somewhere outside of your living quarters to keep it over the winter, either outside or in a nonresidential basement.
As you bury your object, consider speaking words over it regarding its new job of becoming compost. For example:
Now you are dead, your power is gone.
It is your time to rot, to decay, to break apart.
To become useful anew as sacred nourishment for what is to come.
Say whatever words feel good for you as many times as make sense; I like to use nine repetitions for this kind of work.
Cover the hole or pot with some dead leaves or other dried plant matter. Leave your compostable object where it is over the winter and into the spring. If you’d like, feel free to restate your burying words every Saturday when the moon is waning.
Come spring, your compostable object should be mostly decayed. You can then use this little bit of compost for a new working, but this time, for growing what you wish to exist, rather than for eliminating.
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