Category Archives: Natures Cycles & Lessons

Goodbye Sweet Prince

“Now cracks a noble heart.
Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

The week prior, Vulture had made Her presence known and I knew we were reaching the end of our time together.

Tuesday I had my senior horse (I won’t use him name as I try to keep this blog anonymous to a degree) humanely euthanized. With cooperation from the landowner and my vet, I was able to walk to the back of the property where he could quietly and with little drama, be allowed to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

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As we walked there, near the end of our journey, two hawks came down and circled us. Probably a mated pair, giving their support and reminding me to lean on Grenwinae. I was fortunate that Grenwinae took off from work because it was so, so very hard.

Grenwinae told me afterwards that when he was giving him Reiki, he replied he was tired of having to do his job (looking after the pony girls) and was ready for his well deserved rest.

He came to me half starved, probably about 600 pounds underweight the victim of a selfish teenager (shown below) with the dent on his nose where a halter had compressed his skin. This photo was from a few days after I fed him up. For those with experienced eyes, you can see the weight loss in the neck and legs; winter coat and the angle I took this photo conceals the backbone and ribs that were evident:

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He was a horse I needed that I didn’t know I needed. He stood by me, teaching me things, and telling me that I could do this. He was the only horse I have ever seen canter with using three legs, and the weight bearing hind leg was off the ground! He could levitate when he wanted but generally he just liked to poke around, heavy on the forehand and convince beginner riders he wasn’t capable of much more.

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Even when times were tough he was giving me his all with a huge shoulder to lean and cry on. He showed me how to tough it up and take it on the chin, even if that meant leaning on the ropes, waiting for the bell to ring.

Like most Thoroughbreds, his heart was bigger then his brain. He was stoic through a lot of pain. When he fractured his pelvis, I had doubts he would ever walk again and he proved me wrong. He would and could endure. The day he took his first step outside of the stall into his expanded recovery paddock, I literally wept tears of joy.

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However, these last five years the melanomas (which is common in gray horses) were causing him a lot of pain and had doubled in size. These were located under his tail and on his penis, as well as (an educated guess) they were inside and also growing.

Twice these had burst and required antibiotics and constant cleanings to drain the foul smelling oily tar, puss and blood they produced. I was glad to care for him, but the reality is there is no cure for Melanomas in horses and it was just something to endure, like his other injuries and failing immune system.

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This last year I could not keep weight on him and this last three months, ribs were showing and weight continued to be dropped. The dew poisoning around his hooves, which he had never been able to get rid of, had increased in size and in sensitivity.

Two weeks ago I was finding blood in his stools.

Although he looked alert and was still eating, I didn’t know if I would come out to find him dead or dying. I didn’t have competent help at the barn to call me; my vet is 45 minutes away. We were out of town more and more. It became a daily worry what state I would find when I arrived at the barn.

He ended up hurting himself on the fence so this last week I had kept him up at the barn and separated, though he could still see his pony girls. In hindsight, this gave me time and peace of mind to reconnect and say a long goodbye. To spoil him with extra care, treats and grooming.

But it also cemented the inner knowledge I would need to make the Adult Decision we all have to make as pet owners.

This picture (below) was taken a few days before the passing of my mare due to illness about 8 years ago.  He was her constant companion as you can see.

He can run with her now.

Swift speed to you my dear boy and may you find pastures full of plenty mares all needing their Hero. They are calling for you. Go my sweet, silly boy.

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Owl reminds me

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Little Owl, Athena noctua

Driving to the barn this weekend with Grenwinae and in our path was a dead raptor. Well, that message was pretty clear so we turned back and Grenwinae gathered up the body in a sack to take home for burial.

He dug a hole were I asked – inside our yard, front the back gate to the greenbelt area. When he opened the bag and removed our bird, I understood. I had been expecting a hawk but instead it was a Barred Owl. The Owl that had begun all this business back in Missouri.

We buried Owl in the dark with ceremony. A Tigers Eye was gifted along with herbs. He is near the other Owls and their Hoots.

That night I had a confusion of Dreams. The last image in my mind before waking, was of me, a small Athena Owl on my shoulder.

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I have neglected the spiritual side of things. I’ve always been good at entering the labyrinth and fighting monsters but not so good at bringing back the hidden knowledge.

Shapeshifting

Last week I had a dream I meant to post; it’s too important not to post it so here it is:

I was standing in the front yard at our house in C__ Missouri. The weather was early fall and I looked up to a blue sky with just a few clouds. Two vultures were spiraling up from the valley in the National Forest and flying slowly above my head in circles.

I looked to my left and a huge vulture was sitting on the hand pump in our herb garden. She spread her wings out wide.. I was wrapped in darkness and then was a vulture spreading its wings.

Husband called my name and I returned to myself. The vulture became a pillar of smoky darkness and disappeared.

Later that week, I told husband I wasn’t sure I was ready for this next change. A call from my closest friend gave me details on how her life will change drastically. Transformation is sometimes impossible to ignore.

Killing the ones we love

479px-Bald_Eagle_PortraitI made a decision Friday that is devastating and irrevocable. It was necessary and had to be done; I know it was the right decision but I am horribly sad and grieving. Sorry for the tease, I won’t be sharing it here as it has nothing to do with this journal – only the aftershocks does.

Yesterday, I decided to keep busy running errands and we headed off to the store. I spotted a beautiful Red Tailed Hawk flying in circles (he flew relatively close right over my car) and pulled over in the parking lot to watch for a moment. Later, as I pulled around to park, a large shadow crossed my car and I looked up again to see his mate.

They were flying high, circling together, supporting each other and taking the long view.

That morning I had impatiently pulled a card from my Druid Animal Oracle. I was in the whatever-the-fuck-okay-I’ll-do-this-it-means-nothing-nothing-means-anything mood and got The Eagle. Because of how I pulled it, I don’t know if it was right side up or reversed.

The Eagle has many of the same qualities as The Hawk – wide view, focused attention, staying on target, striking at the right moment; however, where he deviates is his connection to Heaven and Earth, Heart and Mind, and the balance between them.  He has a stronger connection to Grace, Courage, the Spiritual World of Heaven and reducing the over analytical thinking mind and allowing the intuition from the heart to have its say.

After I told Grenwinae about pulling the card and seeing the Hawks, he remembered a dream he had the night before that he had planned on telling me (I’m sure in the morning chaos and anger that got lost in the shuffle):

He was waiting for me in a building. Noticing they had an atrium, he went over to sit under a tree. He heard a bunch of noise above him and saw three mature Bald Eagles in the branches. He thought: “I have to tell Becky about this!”

No, I didn’t feel cured of my despondency or even better about what I decided to have done but I know it was the right and correct decision, no matter how painful and devastating. Sometimes you have to see the big picture and have the courage to make the break – to order the hangman’s noose, to pull the lever and press the plunger.

I am still too heartbroken to figure out the entire message here. I am not surprised that an Animal Guide had to go sideways  – through Grenwinae – to reach me during this time as I have put up barriers so I can weather through this.

I’ll think about it later. When I’ve picked up all the broken pieces of my heart and get back to doing more than just functioning.

Lions are roaring, Mercury Retrograde disrupts everyone

Since last Monday the week prior, I’ve been feeling a bit off. Just not able to think clearly or stay as focused and on target as I like. Than on Thursday, son got into trouble at his volunteer job and will have to go to court! (short version, he was told to hand out beverages and put a beer on the counter for the bar manager that a teen took as part of an undercover sting operation!).

The February MR was oh so good to us that we are still reaping the benefits of that change. This one not so much.

This time the entire family is in flux. And the mood has been riding high. I am angry that son has to go through this, angry that we have to hire an attorney at our cost with no help from the non-profit that got him into this mess, worried about money, he is worried about going to court, daughter has finally caught up on two months of school work she has ignored and has one week to pull up those C’s to at least B’s, and suddenly, Grenwinaes’ job has decided to move up a deadline by 45 days at a time when we need his attention.

It has been gloomy around here with no sun. That has only added to the sinus pressure, the allergies, and everyone being snappish. At the end of the month son leaves for college – daughter wraps school and leaves for her non-profit training – and it just may happen before I kill someone in this house, or at the very least box their ears.

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The mystery of the starving horse has been solved. The owner came out and I was going to go up and talk with her (not sure how to politely address starving your horse but was game…) when I noticed that the gate into her paddock had a padlock. Mystery solved – she hasn’t paid her bill so the HO is the one who hasn’t been buying feed.

I will continue to feed the horse and let it all sort out for itself. At least I won’t be the one wondering why my horse is a rack of bones.

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Last week I thought Hawks were telling me that Young Horse would sell. No. They were telling me I would be getting some news alright and none of it good. 😦

She went back to being lame so we scheduled a vet appointment with x-rays. It shows that she has a thin sole so now she is going to undergo some treatment that will hopefully allow the sole to thicken. That means time. Time that she can’t be worked but I have to pay for.

It was upsetting. Things exploded. Hm well, I exploded!

However, I’ve calmed down and we went to visit her and the trainer today. Another month out of training but hopefully we are getting to the real root of the problem and we shall see improvement when it resolves.

conspiracy theory

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So after I wrote about the neighbor horse, the resident incompetent idiot saw me feeding and throwing hay over to him. I waited for the phone call bitching me out but nothing happened. Hm.

I decided WTF might as well be hung as a wolf as a lamb, and put a rubber feed bucket at the fence line and upped his feed. And waited.

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We got hit by a second wave of ice and low temps so off I went to feed horses. Surprise, there is a new resident on the other side of starving horse. Had no hay bale. I feed my crew and the starving neighbor horse and came back home.

A couple of days passed and more ice coming. I get a group text from the landowner that the “horses all have hay” and an individual text that I had one more round bale on my account (which I figured) after he put out hay for the ponies (which I had requested 10 days prior).

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Went out early morning while a second wave of ice was coming in. Plan was to feed and get back home before it got too bad. When I got to the barn – ALL the horses had a round bale out and my rubber feed tub was back under the fenceline on my side.

The auto gate got stuck so I had to call the landowner who came to unstick it and while ice was blowing down our necks he told me that it looked like the gate was blowing fuses as there were several on the ground next to the gate – resident idiot must have replaced and dumped them on the ground. LO tells me “you have to tell me about when things get broken or I won’t know.”

Thoughts:

1.) RI (resident idiot) agreed to feed starving horse but HO (horse owner) did not continue supplying money for feed or money to feed. HO has run out of money and can’t afford horse anymore but is ignoring issue.

2.) RI was supposed to put out hay bales with tractor and didn’t because RI is lazy. Remember, RI couldn’t open up a GATE ONCE A DAY because it was too much trouble. RI couldn’t check horse water till 3 p.m. on an ice/snow day because RI would have had to get out of bed.

When LO (landowner) came over and realized no hay for neighbor horse, put bale out.

3.) LO was too embarrassed and put out a hay bale for everyone because the new people would notice the starving neighbor horse.

Well, who knows maybe I’ll find out one day. Meanwhile, I’ll have to up my feed bill till spring. When the Young Horse sells, Big Old Horse will be moved to a full care facility come next winter and I’ll keep only the ponies out there.

I hate boarding my horses. I hate horse barn drama. I hate fools.

(these photos are of my muppet Pony, one of two miniature horses I still have. As you can see they stay out in the snow and ice regardless that they have shelter. Must look for food – as you can tell she’s starving!).

The 24 Plan

You might be asking yourself at this stage what does any of this (the last few posts) have to do with being Pagan, living a Pagan lifestyle or communing with Hawks, Owls and Vultures? Well it has quite a bit to do with it because it is a huge turning point in our life, the axis which will align many stars and change the course of planets.

Our largest debt is on our house mortgage. The house takes up one of our two paychecks each month due to its high amount. Because I’m doing taxes, I have on hand some illuminating numbers:

Expense Item Annual 2014 Goal 2017
House mortgage $20,100 $12,000
Real Estate Taxes (included in mortgage exp) $2482 $800
Utilities (gas, electric, water, trash) $5787 $1500
TOTAL HOUSING $28,369.00 $14,300.00

To sell the house, we have to repair the house. To repair the house, we need money. Now we have money.

Starting March 1st we go to the plan we are calling 24 -24 months to get this house ready to sell and go on the real estate market. The countdown begins in two weeks!

When the house is sold, we plan on buying land and downsizing our 2700 sq. foot house to less than 1,000 small home. The ultimate goal is to get a monthly housing expense (land, utilities, mortgage) to less than $800 a month.

We have a large equity in our home, that if we can sell for what I hope, we could probably put down 1/2 on land AND build a house if it was less than $20,000. At the time this plan goes into effect, our son should be graduating college and daughter transferring to her four year college so our household will be cut in half in terms of expenses for food and utilities as well as living space (square footage) needed to keep us all sane.

Side note: other expenses will rise such as paying for college dorms, helping son get moved and established in a new job – I expect some shifting in the finances, not necessarily an across the board decrease however, living is a huge chunk of monthly, reoccurring expense and what I must cut heading into the end of our working lives before retirement.

My entire energy has to be directed towards getting this house ready! Because it fulfills a 20 year old dream of living in the country, having my horses with me, being able to see nature everyday and deeply satisfying a hunger for my own land that I have had since I was at least 8 years old.

The bankruptcy unexpectedly finishing was like the greatest gift I have been given in a very long time. Whatever, stars aligned for this happen I am deeply appreciative.

That Trickster, Mercury Retrograde

I was not happy to read that we would be going into Mercury Retrograde this early in the year. I have a lot of stuff to do and this was just going to screw things up royally.

Sure enough a few days ago, things started to go splat. A Medical Benefit suddenly disappeared that we had counted on; a mirror got broke; and last night I got an email from one of my faux-siblings (faux because it was all pretending like we are just soo chatty, nice and actually care about each other – what a joke!).

The good news is that the email was to let me know to expect a registered letter from my mom as she was making a gift to her offspring to offset taxes. That’s going to help a LOT! So I’m very grateful but of course, was very surprised.

The next two weeks is going to be full of Trickster activity I can tell.

As long as the negatives are small and the surprises hold some good, I can deal with it.

Duh-moment and Hawk gives thanks

At the barn was about ready to wrap up and feeding the last horse, when looked up to observe a crow attacking a hawk (probably a Red Tail). The crow stopped attacking when the Hawk moved out of his territory; I’m always amazed at how unconcerned Hawks are when these birds dive and poke at them.

He came towards where I was standing and did a lazy, slow clockwise circle over my car. I thanked him and he flew off. I think this was in reply to me getting my meditation area cleaned up and putting my Hawk feather gift in a prominent area.

Most of my interactions with my Animal Guides is just recognition, no messages. Just a “hey, I’ve noticed you, here’s some support” and my “thanks given” energy returned.

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Okay, Duh-moment, on the way home, I realized why Vulture was so prevalent during our time in Missouri. That was the transition time when the Physical was transformed to Spirit. That is why, now, different guides are becoming more prominent.

I knew that but I didn’t know it.

Peacock is definitely wanting my attention and is rather insistent and persistent.