O Nap

O Nap

Thou divine purveyor of the little death
Granter of restoration
And serenity most needed
Why are we kept apart?
What is this dogged and evil force
Driving itself between us
As the day rams itself
Between dusk and dawn

O Nap
It has been too long
Since thy loving embrace
Has taken me down
Light or deep
Short or long
O Nap thy arms I miss!
As the eagle misses the wind
And the gopher their hole

Without thee, O Nap
My life is fraught with living
With doing and necessity
And blurry-eyed and burning
Bone-dragging and flesh sagging
Weariness beyond hope
Beyond surcease

O Nap
Come once more unto me
I beg of you
And you come!
Dressed in your simpleness
Of pillow and blanket
Needing naught else
To offer me comfort
Yet by the world we are denied
I am torn from your loving hands
Almost before we could touch
Thrust into light
Bound by practical necessity
To my feet and my waking

O Nap
Will you wait for me?
If I come to you in three hours
Will you be there?
Waiting for me?
Or will you forsake me
For my unintended fickleness
I pray that this be not so
That your warmth
Your caress
The cocoon of revival you offer
Shall await my arrival.

As soon as the world allows
I come to you
In love and desperation
I come to you
In stumbling fuzzy headed exhaustion
I come to you

Wait for me.
Just wait.

~Violet, The Abysmal Witch

Self Care

I recently read a great article on self care.  As we discussed it briefly on FB, I summed up a friend’s commentary as “self care is setting yourself up for future success”.

Self care can be bunny slippers, hot baths, pedicures and long walks.

Yet more often these days I see self care as taking a nap when I realize I’m getting too tired.  Forcing myself to take care of at least one practical thing per day.  Eating healthy food as much as my energy levels can manage.  Trying to keep my place organized and cleaned as I can so that when I want to do something I don’t need to clean or find things in order to do it.

The more prepared I am.  The more organized things are.  The easier everything else gets.

I am told that I am efficient.

I am not efficient (well, I am, but that’s not how I define it).  I’m not, I’m lazy.  I want to make the least amount of effort possible to make things happen because (sometimes) I’m lazy or (sometimes) I’m just too tired to be able to do more than the bare minimum.

Self care ties into efficiency.  It says that since a lack of energy is typically part of the need for self care, the more efficient we can be, the less energy we will need.  Then the better we will feel.

Fear and helplessness and anxiety and depression are also often behind the need for self care.  If our lives, at a basic level, are being managed, then we will feel better.

This is not fun.  It is not easy.  It is not the joy of avoiding life in order to look after ourselves.  It is recognizing that dealing with life is a necessary part of looking after ourselves.

Adulting is often self care.

We do not need to do this to the point of making ourselves crazy again.  But making the effort to see ourselves fed?  Rested?  Rent and utilities paid?  That means something less to worry about later.

That’s a nice way to look at it sometimes.  To go, if I do this now, how much easier will it make life later?  Matched by, if we’re too tired in the moment to handle things, can this thing wait until later until I have the energy to handle it?

Self care is about taking care of what’s necessary and recognizing that part of what is necessary is that we feel rested and healthy at the end of it.  Which is why I say it is setting us up for future success.  It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole.  But with some good choices when we can, we can set ourselves up for the best future we are capable of making for ourselves:  tonight, tomorrow, and onwards.

The Abysmal Witch

Chinook at rest

I know


I know that Venus is retrograde.  She tugs on my emotions, upon the depths of my heart within my soul and spirit.  The depths of old pains are risen up to the surface to demand their place in the moment, this moment, regardless of my wants or desires.

I know that I have had recent loss.  I miss my baby-girl (cat), eighteen and a half years was not enough and though she slept all day and I wouldn’t see her for hours, she was there, always present now gone.  Loss is in me, clear and supple in its freshness.

I know that August is an historically difficult month for me, for reasons even I don’t understand.  Depression caws and calls and laughs bitter jokes at my expense, irrespective of what I think or what I do.

I know my fears about the success of my new career.  Doubts abound, failure seemingly a looming danger growing with each week.


Knowing changes nothing on fear, knowing only allows a modicum of delusion, a dollop of superficial control over the emotion itself.  It is dancing ants across the nape of my neck, cavorting in style over my not-yet-dead-corpse.

Knowing changes nothing.  I sit and feel.  Pain, sorrow, loss, fear, ragged shards pushing out from my core and piercing me, inside to out.  I am jagged and fraught with danger even to myself, especially to myself.

Knowing the reasons for the feelings gives an entryway to deeper feeling, not less.

Knowing conveys an illusion of management.

Feelings will not be managed.  They will not be kept or contained or bartered with no matter what parts of my soul I offer in return.

What wouldn’t we give to not feel pain?

I am submerged in the river of it and I would willingly drown if I knew that was the end of it.


But it isn’t.  For the next minute continues and into the next.  With all the attendant agonies crowding in for attention.  Hungry children in a household without enough food.  There is not enough of me left to feed them all and still be me at the end.  Yet to ignore them, to deny them, to reject from them nourishment, is that truly better?  They are, after all, me.

So I sit.

I hurt.

I fear.

I feel.

Hoping that the feeling will pass as a storm on the lake, leaving stillness, quiet, cleansing in its wake.  Hoping the storm will pass and I remain recognizable after.  Hoping the storm will pass.


~The Abysmal Witch

Things can change in an instant…but mostly they stay the same

Or change really, really slowly.

I nearly died today.  One of those moments that happens periodically, when you feel the brush of death closer than usual.  Not the slow caress of death from bad habits or long-term illness, but the flirtatious goosing from a near miss.

I was out for a walk, headed to a favourite park that requires walking past some major intersections.  Please note that I was wearing a purple jacket, orange and black socks, and green laces on my shoes.  Really, I was a jokeresque symphony of colours.  Not exactly blending into the background.  I have proof, check the picture.  The pic is from after the rain (and thus my drowned cat impression) but at the time of this story, the rain had yet to start so visibility was perfect.


I had already started to walk across the street, cheerfully following the instructions of the little glowing white man on the pole across from me.  That’s when a truck decided to run the now ended left turn advance signal. Thankfully, the person he cut off honked.  I say thankfully because that’s why I looked up and paused and waited for the idiot to pass me by with a couple of feet to spare.

If I hadn’t paused, at minimum he would have clipped me but most likely I would have been perfectly aligned under his right wheel as he hit me.

He noticed me about ten feet past where he would have run over me.

I shared a bewildered head shake and shoulder shrug with the woman in the car beside the crosswalk.  Idiots.  What can you do?

Life can change like that, one instant to the next.  Boom.  Crash.  Bang.  (Anyone else remember that Roxette song?  Well, Crash Boom Bang technically.)  And all of our life can be gone, all those unique memories disappeared into shmutz on a road.  We are ephemeral by definition of our lives.  It pays to remember this, at least now and again.

Naturally I kept on walking.  Because what else do we do?  My life hadn’t actually changed.  No broken bones, no death, might as well keep to my purpose.  My thoughts churned around the importance of life and all of those typical things and then, as we tend to do, the moment passed and I was back in the musings I’d started with.

About a week before I’d done the same walk with friends.  On that walk I came across some banana peels that demanded I take their pictures.  Hey, it was my birthday weekend, I didn’t say I was sober during this walk! lol.  Here are those banana peel portraits:  Banana in Puddle and Banana with Bag.

RIMG1442 RIMG1443

So here I am a week later, on essentially the same walk, and what do I see?


Oh, banana, poor poor banana.  Slowly fading into the past.  As most of us do.  Most of life doesn’t change in that quick instant, that lightening strike of a car.  Most change is slow, changes coming in small bits, microbes eating away at who and what we are until we oh so slowly decay from living until death unto dirt.

Thankfully, it is slow!  Meaning there is so much time to enjoy the moments, large and small, crazy and plain, thunderous and whisper soft.

Those goosings from death are a chance to take the appreciation for everything else a little deeper into ourselves.  I know this in my head but it’s my heart that needed the reminder.

Time to go live some life.  Because what is fed, grows.

Blessings of the deep and wild to you all.

The Abysmal Witch.



Food Happies

I know I’m sporadic about postings these days.  Trying to do too many things and something languishes.  Which is here and the podcast.  However, something is also fermenting in the background.  That’s right, my thoughts don’t sprout and grow, they putrefy or ferment.  Muwhahahaha.

I go through quiet stages when I’m evolving.  I like to think that’s what we’re all doing, or trying to do.  Not just exist, not just live, but evolve.  Become more.  Expand to the very edges of our skins and revel in our uniqueness and in love.

Universal love, baby.  It is where it’s at.  In all its nasty, decaying, looming, laughing, sparkling, dancing glory.  Because love has never been just Valentine’s love.  It’s always been cleaning dirty diaper love, on babies and on parents because that’s love.  Or should be love, but that’s an entirely different digression I choose not to make today.

Love has always been messy and painful, uplifting and clarifying.  It’s always been the worst torture and the only reason for existence.


To become One with Universe.  To be the Embodiment of Love.  To just get something done freakingly awesomely well.

Because that is all it takes.  Embrace the things that make you feel grand, completed, living a real and connected life in this crazy, fucked up world.  Do what you love and do it again and again and again and watch yourself getting better at that!  Revel in that.  It’s never been about where you get to, though that’s good too, it’s always been about how you get there.  In your time.  On the path that you need to take.  That leads you in a direction that refines you into Love.

So tonight’s meal is brought to you by sliding into the Land of Capable After All, past the City of And You Thought Living Like This Was Too Much Work and settling into the County of Being Really Connected To What I Do Makes Me Feel Great and Damn It’s Tasty Too.  It is a lot of work.  You have to love the results, desire, craze, long for the results.  Otherwise you’re only bothering because someone else told you it was good for you.  And even here Fake It Till You Make it works.  And so does accidentally trying new things until you find yourself in the position you never really considered yourself either capable of or simply not one of those people who did those kind of things.  I feel a bit like I’ve arrived and it’s good.

What I did is really no big deal for most people.  I made soup from scratch, shredded chicken and sprouted rice with quinoa soup (using homemade chicken stock) and desert is lemon blackberry jam swirled cheesecake on cocoa cookie crust.  Yes, I’d made the cookies previously too.


And that’s what makes this so amazing.  I was a lousy or lazy or just non-existent cook growing up.  My tendencies combined with other cooking siblings and a family that at the time was not overly insistent about food in any extravagant way, made for one insipid avoidant cook.  Food was not inspiring to me growing up.  I had favourites but I felt no call to cook.

This means that I’d never made chicken stock before.  Hel, I roasted my first chicken less than 6 months ago.  And yes, the chicken stock was made from another chicken I roasted (because it really was pretty damn easy and sooooooooo tasty and I could buy a chicken that was free range, organic, etc).  And now I’ve made chicken and rice soup from it.  Even the rice wasn’t just rice!  It’s TruRoots sprouted rice and quinoia blend.  As to how have I never made even chicken noodle soup before?  Well, not big on soups and didn’t grow up with it all the time (sometimes we had homemade, many times we had Lipton) and well, I just didn’t see it on my list of easy capabilities or something.  I don’t know, k, it’s just weird.

This was, however, not my first cheesecake (I’m braver with baking than cooking, but not my all that much).  It was, however, the first one where my cookies became the crust.  They were really good cookies too, with extra cocoa, semi-sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips, that were super soft and crumbly.  So I embraced the crumbly.  And the jam?  Well, that I didn’t make, but my friends did.  Lemon Blackberry jam and don’t doubt for a second that they picked every one of those blackberries.


This was a full wholesome meal, made frame scratch.  With scratches in the scratch!  And I think it’s the scratches in the scratches that are making me feel pretty damn proud.  The realness of it all makes me feel connected and healthy.  And the gift from friends?  That just makes me feel loved.

Love to you All, too.

~The Abysmal Witch

p.s. I only cut my finger once and I’m so much faster at bandaging these days.  😀

p.p.s.  While starting to clean up from dinner I then have this absolutely happy moment and yes, I feel like I’m bragging, I’m just so damn happy about it!  And yeah, kinda proud too.

FB moment:  “That moment when you look at your wall of mead and think “shit, I’m going to have to start drinking some of this, I’m out of space and there’s almost no more storage in the closet”. And then you stop. Realize what you’ve just said to yourself. “Holy Fuck, I have a FULL WALL of MEAD!” That’s a good moment.

(To be fair, though, only 4 rows of shelves are mead, the other 3 are my magical library so it’s not as much mead as it may sound like. Oh, still a lot, just not *that* a lot. Which actually makes it harder, not many bottles left of any individual mead, so I can’t just drink them *casually*. Snort. I’m a hoarder, and in this instance I’m almost okay with it.)”

Wanna see?  Well, for now you get a Samhaine picture of it with poor lighting, an unsteady hand (it was really low light! lol)  and angle to really showcase it because the only other pic of it I have handy would be incriminating for friends of mine.  In appearance, only, mind.  😉  Someday I will have a better picture, but that!  That is NOT THIS DAY!  Happy trials!


Abymsal Witch – Episode 5

Last night I did a ritual to say farewell to my friend.  I recorded a podcast episode right afterwards (so that I would remember what I had done) as I thought some of you might find such a ritual interesting and/or helpful someday.

Above is the altar (or part of it).  I think it’s pretty.  But then, candlelight makes most things lovely.  Following is a picture of the inside of the offering bowl (for a description of what is in it and what it was used for, you’ll need to listen to the podcast).

Sometimes we need to remember to not just drink from life, but sniff it, too.  Scent is a powerful tool, but that is a topic for another day.

Take care of yourselves, and those around you.

~Abysmal Witch

Stoner Report – Nirvana Quartz

I touch it, and there is peace.

I hold it and the universe opens wider.

A quiet universe, full of patience, full of time.

Nirvana quartz is from the Himalayas, quartz that lay underneath a glacier for thousands of years.  It has been roughened, cut, changed by the ice.  And now the ice has receded and the results of its passage are revealed.

The feeling of it is of love and peace, but not the simple love of rose quartz.  It has been tested, changed, tempered.  Its colour is subtle and its effects as relentless as the ice that shaped it.

It has known heights and depths.  It has been buried into darkness and found its own inner light.

It has been outside of time and only recently revealed to us.  It is the gift of a higher spirit, reaching out a hand to lift us up.

I adore this stone.

Monster Bush – Fear the Wisteria!

If you look into this picture:

You’ll see a couple of branches that make up the trunk of this plant.  Four weeks ago, that’s all there was.  Three branches coming off the trunk of this evil plant, no longer than what you see in this picture.

I’d taken this chinese wisteria tree and hacked it down to nothing.  I figured it had had it’s time, and I needed the real estate it was taking up.  It was spindly at the top, hasn’t flowered in years.  And I was tired of it trying to crawl up INTO my building.  It was sending up these long questing tendrils in search of a new home, a crack, or anything it can crawl into or latch onto.

Four weeks ago, that’s all it was.  Bare, dead looking wood.  But hey, I thought, I’ll water it anyways.

Two weeks ago it was liberally studded with unfurling leaf buds.  Wow, the damn thing won’t die, I thought.

Now it looks like this:

And I think, holy over zealous tree, batman!  And do you see the tendrils climbing up the window?  Seeking some new place to sneak into and take over.

To hell with bamboo, fear the wisteria!  It will take over the world. It will crawl into any crevasse.  And it can not be killed.  Fear it and you may survive.

~Abysmal Witch

Oh, gods, I think it’s grown while I’ve typed!

Stoner Report: Dragonfly Over Marsh

Hello!  Yes, I feel very excited about sending out a greeting.  Perhaps I spent too much time on my own these past several days.  Perhaps?  Okay, fine, I obviously did.  Further evidenced by this arguing of my multiple personalities.

Right, back to the blog post.

I’m adding a new semi-regular blog topic:  The Stoner Report

It will highlight certain stones that I’ve picked up over the years, some that are simply pretty, some that I use in more magical ways.  To kick this off I’m starting with a pretty one.  Oh, so pretty…

This is a rutilated smoky quartz, I believe.  The inclusions at the bottom strongly resemble reeds in a marsh and the flaw (or whatever the proper term is for the plane of visible crystal) about a third down from the top can resemble a dragonfly hovering over the reeds.  The piece has been cut and polished from its natural state and is about 4 inches high.

Magically it would be easy to work with this piece for connecting with or working with some aspect of marshes, the quiet, the life-filled land, liminal boundaries, fecundity.  I haven’t worked with it magically as of this time but I have it in my living room window and look at it on a very regular, enjoyable basis.

This Stoner Report has been brought to you in part by the wonderful selecting abilities of Stone Haven Gems, which is where I purchased it.

~Abysmal Witch

Sheer Abandon

Mason, my handsome grey brat of a boy cat, has this way of falling asleep on me that I adore…and feel just a tad envious of.

He doesn’t just stretch out across me.  It’s like he throws himself into the most flaked out, relaxed, expansive position across me that he can.

His limbs are draped over mine, limp as noodles.  His body is flopped between my calves with a leg draped over my ankle and another over my knee.

I don’t think he could be more relaxed if he tried.  But more than that, he has entirely relaxed into his space.  It’s not just that his body is limp, it’s that he’s so utterly at ease within the entire context of his world.  Or in other words, he ain’t passed out from drugs or a knock to the head or a desperate need for sleep, he’s just that completely, utterly comfortable in his skin and where his skin is.

He has put himself into the moment with sheer abandon and no concern for when the moment may end.

Lucky brat.

~Abysmal Witch

p.s. I just had to share this other picture.  He loves this little sleep tent so much that he’ll sleep in it, on it and occasionally he’ll crawl in under it.  Yes, voluntarily.  I certainly wouldn’t try putting him there.  As you can see, even his brother thinks he’s a tad nuts.