I meditate and do a small ritual every night. It's so soothing to pad my feet to the Temple Room, shut the door in the quiet of the dark, light my candles, choose my incense, ground and center and Open the Door to magic. I write every day--A Lot. The ritual replenishes me in a bone-deep, soul-deep dimension. I could never keep up the pace I do if I didn't have time, each day, at that proverbial well, replenishing my creativity, feeding the sparks, making time for the ushering in of magic in the form of Goddess, of Universe, of Faerie.
First, the hour begins in the dark. I listen to the shush of insects outside, or--if it's cold--my own breath and heartbeat, a primal rhythm. I plug in the fairy lights, suspended in generous loops around the ceiling, and suddenly everything changes. There is an expectant hush to the air as I light the candles lining the room, saving those on the altars for last.
On the main altar, the candles are lit: one for the Goddess, one for Creativity (in any form She chooses), one for the Goddess Mary (which Jenn gave me for Yule~ <3), representing compassion and love. I choose the incense with care. What am I thinking about tonight? What's in my heart, what's on my mind? Am I happy, or worried, content or wondering, peaceful or expectant? The incense is lit, waved in the air in the shape of a star (if I close my eyes, I still see the brilliant outline), placed in its holder.
On my Brigid altar, the candles are lit: three of a vibrant red for the Poet, the Healer and the Smithy. The final, tiny stub of sacred candle (blessed and consecrated) is lit to invoke Her.
"I had a good day," I tell Her with a smile. "Thank You for the sunshine, for the way Link leans on me when he's happy, for the jokes Jenn said that made me laugh for ten minutes, completely unable to breathe..." I pause and laugh and place my hands over my heart, breathing out long and low as I thank the Goddess for a stream of lovely little moments I was blessed with.
The Temple Room contains a never-ending circle of invocation, so I don't need to cast it, but some nights I do, just to replenish its hold. After the circle is cast, after the gratitude is done, I turn on the classical music, sit in my favorite meditation pose and...listen.
Meditation is, perhaps, my oldest magical tool. When I close my eyes and dive deeper, into still waters, there is such a sense of peace. The Universe is a chalice of light, of possibility and magic and brilliance, and all else fades away as I go deeper.
Sometimes, I meditate for ten minutes. Sometimes an hour or longer. I get story ideas, I go fantastical, magical places...I sit in the presence of the Holy of the World. I am humbled and awed by beauty, reminded of things I humanly forget, am connected once more to all that is. We are all, always, connected to one another, but it's a conscious reminder of the web of life.
Sometimes, I sit with the messages of the meditations for a long time. I'll make an offering of gratitude, in the form of more incense, or a special candle or a piece of dried fruit, placed in my offering bowl. The Faerie denizens of our house and land love this new bowl, in particular, that a friend gave me--an antique bowl, blue as the sky and translucent, and I often give them shiny crystals to play with in it.
Tarot and Oracle cards are usually pulled out, then, though it depends on the day on which of my beloved decks I use. Lately, I've been using the Froud Faerie Oracle. I am passionate about this deck--the fae are strong and vibrant and so helpful and kind, though very blunt (aren't they always?).
"Yes, I know," I sigh and wink up at the heavens as I pull a card reminding me to take time to myself. "That's what I'm doing right now," I tell the Universe with a laugh, and then I pull another, and breathe out, hushed, because it's a reminder again of how connected I am to All That Is, and I know that, but sometimes...it's just lovely to be reminded that you are loved. There are tears.
I thank the faeries, I thank the directions, I thank the elements, and then I talk to the Goddess. "I'm hopeful about tomorrow...I'm releasing a novella," I tell Her, even though she probably already knows. "I'm so excited," I say, and breathe out. "Do You want to tell me something?" And then I shuffle the cards, getting ready to pull one, and I don't get that chance, because one falls into my lap.
This is the card of yes-ness, of the world going right, of your hard work blossoming into something unspeakably beautiful.
Physical work, emotional work, mental work, all tied up together in a single, simple message of yes-ness from the Universe, of an embrace from my Divine Mother...of a moment of you're doing all right, kid.
And I blow out all the candles but one and I watch the incense burn down to a single flame, listening to my heart beat and feeling whole.