My Alternative Island Life… Cometh the Hour

The Philosophers’ Stone

Today my blog is about the philosophy underpinning my alternate life, and how I got to this point. Like all philosophies it is fixed to the point in time that I write, and subsequent events and influences will change my views and life choices. I see my philosophy like lego. If I gain a few bricks, I might take down what I have and build up in a different way, but the old bricks will still be there along with the new. Outwardly the structure may have changed shape, but the old bricks are still helping to hold it all together. This blog is all about how I live and the choices I have made so far.
 It is the story of how the beliefs I hold that underpin my philosophy and my lifestyle, and the strange magical way these came to be. It concludes by offering you tips and some of the pitfalls involved in making your own lifestyle magical.  wight weekend

Cometh the hour…

my mother that had a huge repertoire of proverbs, one for every occasion. She used little bon mots of wisdom, which I suspect my grandmother and probably great grandmother used too. They are old wisdom and have stood the test of time and are often surprisingly wise. 
  ” Cometh the hour, cometh the man,” was used to explain that things only happen when the time is right,and at that right time things and people appear in a timely way. That’s what happened to me, magical things happened at the right time in my life.

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In 2005 I stumbled upon a book on witchcraft, only I didn’t know at the time it was about that, and didn’t know real witches existed outside history books and fairy tales. I thought it was just a catchy draw attention title. I found it in the  box of remaindered books at work, and since it contained home made recipes for cosmetic creams and salves I purchased it with the intent of giving it to my then daughter in law at Christmas.

Afterwards I had a second thought, it was that word ‘witch’. My no longer daughter in law is an extremely sensitive soul, and she always felt that she was treated differently to my daughter and took offence where none was intended. A book with the word witch in the title? Think again, so I put the book in the back of the wardrobe in the spare room and thought no more about it.

In summer 2006 I was clearing the junk out from the spare wardrobe, full of stuff put there in case it came in useful, but never did!
Once again I found the book, sat on the bed and began reading. I now know that it was a glossy take on the craft but there was a list of books in the back which invited you to dive deeper. There was a huge bibliography, and I only selected some, again ‘something’ guided me in the right direction.  In the short space of a month a whole host of synchronicities happened like I’d opened the flood gate these things were waiting behind. I knew I’d come home and I knew it was meant to be.

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That’s how my alternative journey began.
Would I describe myself as a witch today?
No! 
For a lot of reasons which could be the subject of another blog, but it was my starting point and foundation. 

Coincidentally, (or was it)? There was a full moon shining in my window all of that night, and on the following day I was visiting the Isle of Wight with my daughter and grandchildren. I think something was pushing me, it kept on pushing me and still does. 

 Why “Cometh the Hour”? 

Because my chidren were grown up and had homes, partners and children of their own. I was established in my career, was earning a fair salary and my time was essentially my own. I was settled and in a place where I could focus on a new direction. 
 I could have incorporated pagan beliefs into my life at any time, but earlier would have been much more difficult. I lived in a small village, and people fear what they don’t know or understand. 
My daughter won an assisted place to a prestigeous boarding school at age 11. Five hundred girls tried for just 10 places! 
When she succeeded there were parents and children at the village school that would no longer speak to us and called her a snob! Similarly when she brought one of her new school friends home to stay for the half term, a small gang of children followed them around shouting out the N word at her friend. What would they have done if I had become pagan then? 
So “Cometh the Hour” I firmly believed, and I still do, that someone or something guided me into a place at the right time where I instantly felt I’d come home.

About the Pagan Path

Part of any pagan path is respect and veneration for nature, not taking more than you need, not destroying the planet which is viewed by pagans as a living sentient being often referred to  as Gaia who is a Greek goddess, personification of the Earth. (see wikipedia here )
Let me make it clear, Pagans do not worship the Earth, they respect the earth!  They see themselves as part of the living world of Gaia, part of the collective consciousness of the planet and universe the sharing with the animals, the rocks, the soil the seas and the plants which are actually sentient in their way. All  joined by a common collective consciousness. Destroy the planet and you are destroying yourself. The planet is not ours to do with as we will, Gaia has a greater intelligence than we, and global warming etc appears to hold this to be true. The earth could survive without us, but we cannot survive without the earth or anything upon it.

This is not pagan 101, so I’m not going to go into great detail here, but if you email me  here I will be happy to answer any questions about paganism that you have.

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As a result of my further reading and investigation I began to look seriously at my impact on the planet, and started with, the now so fashionable, but at that time rather wierd, habit of taking reusable bags shopping and also taking a bag on my walks to pick up other peoples’  litter. How wierd! Now everyone picks up plastic on the beach!

 

The Path so Far

so from an ‘ordinary’ life  12 years ago I have progressed to an alternate life, ever stretching the ‘don’t take more than you need’ principle.
I remind you dear reader of  “Cometh the Hour” . Some of the things I have chosen to do, I could only do because it “the hour” was right  me.
For example  one year after I had begun this path I moved to the Island. (2007)
I could have had a big house and a large mortgage because I was earning a good salary. Fortunately I had already begun to think in terms of “Take only what you need.” A big house requires big heating, big maintainence and me rattling around in a huge house only occasionally filled, as tempting as the offer was status and all that, I declined, and just as well given the 2008 crash was just around the corner. Are you thinking “How Wise and magical?” Read on!

In my strange flawed thinking I thought: “Move to the Island and get more leisure time” How did I think I would do that when I had taken on a more responsible job and promotion. I see it with tarot readings, people want to change just one thing in their lives and keep everything else the same. But you can’t you have to move forward, one thing changed, changes many things.
I soon realised I had only half thought things out, I moved because I was drawn here, AND to have more time to follow my path, what happened to more time?
But pushed again by unseen forces, volunteers for redundancy were called for during the Island’s school reorganisation, after much soul searching I volunteered.
Let me tell you it was a very, very ,very scary leap into the dark like The Fool card in tarot.
Fortunately I had not chosen that big mortgage, fortunately my redundancy payment reduced my mortgage by £400.00 per month. Fortunately there was some supply teaching work, but sometimes I earned less than £500.00 per month. I did achieve the leisure time I wanted…beware of what you wish for!

 A community workers’ job came my way, and that again was truly was a series of timely events that I can honestly say I did not set in motion, but I believe I was steered toward. I ‘knew’ as I applied I would get the job, never had one moment of doubt it was almost as if the job was already mine. Cometh the hour!

 I can work less hours, because now my mortgage is now ended, thank goodness that big house I looked at fell through.

Didn’t I mention that? I was tempted by the bank’s offer of a big mortgage and put in an offer on a big house, the survey was terrible!
And then there was the second house, another expensive survey, and then the vendor changed her mind after it had been on the market for over a year!
And then my little cottage… I noticed the empty cottage when viewing another property and thought:
” I wouldn’t mind living there”
Two weeks later the estate agaent rang to tell me about a cottage fresh to the market, that cottage!

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I would be the second person to see it, only I wasn’t because the others dropped out, I was the first! I saw it with no floorboards down on the ground floor, but I knew as soon as I walked in it was ‘right’. It only took 6 weeks before the property was mine, after 6 months of searching, no hitches!  Who put all those spanners in previous works? Cometh the hour! 

But Before you Envy my lifestyle

  These  limitations are part of my choice:
One tank of petrol has to last for 1 month.
My total grocery bill cannot exceed £40.00 in any week.
My fuel (heat & light) expenditure has to be monitored.
Majority of clothes from the charity shop.
No holidays abroad.

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 I chose a green energy company for my gas/electric this is more expensive than the cheapest but it is my lifestyle choice. I don’t really want my electricity to come from coal or gas which has to be moved in ships or in pipelines, double pollution whammy!
You will not find me rushing to put on the heating, extra jumpers and thermal underwear are one off buys and better value. But let’s be practical, if it’s really cold, I put the heating on. 
I try to limit my oven use to once per fortnight, I always fill it up, and this means planning ahead. I consider anything else I can cook for later in the week, plus a dish that will cook slowly in the residue heat when I switch off, (or part cook).
The freezer is a great help in planning ahead, but I have to stick with my planned choices, changing my mind mid-week because I don’t fancy what I planned or buying a takeaway (are you kidding one third of my weekly budget), are not options. Nor is putting on the oven for random oven cook ‘convenience’ meals full of salt and sugar.

So I never do these things right? Wrong! Of course I do, just not very often, my alternative isn’t to live like a monk! I enjoyed a big Mac last week.

Pinned on the inside of the door of my ‘cupboard under the invisible stairs’,  (it’s like your cupboard under the stairs but it isn’t under stairs),  I have the electricity cost for 1 hour of both large and small ovens, the various sizes of hob rings and the microwave.

This is what the choice to live in an alternative way means. Remember I had already learned that you can’t change just one thing in your life and expect everything else to stay the same! Do you really envy me? Perhaps, perhaps not.

 

Cometh Your Hour

I couldn’t have chosen this path 10 years, 5 years or even 2years ago. Some people would still not choose it! I could still be earning lots and consuming lots, going on holidays etc. In material ways my lifestyle is limiting but in spirituality and self fulfilment  it is not. I feel truly blessed.
It is definitely a case of my hour cometh, but make no mistake, this lifestyle still needs as much planning as any other. Currently I am very much enjoying, with no regrets. I feel no need to add more lego at present. That could all change tomorrow, and  in 4 years time there is a whole new load of bricks coming down the line and I am planning what I may (or may not) do with them. 
My advice  is always to plan, and take little steps towards the life you seek. Sometimes the little steps tell you to go deeper, at other times they prevent you from making a big mistake because you realise it’s not for you.
Sometimes a big scary leap may be necessary, but you will ‘know’ when the time is right for that. It will still be scary though, and it won’t hold any guarantees. But if your current life doesn’t make your soul sing, why are you living it?
 Enjoy the life you have now, this time won’t come again and you don’t want to waste any of your current life opportunities seeking a future that may never come. If you don’t like your present life, then change it! It may not be possible to leave that dead end job, but it is possible to learn skills for a future better job, perhaps moving is not an option at present, how do you know? Turn it on it’s head could you get there in some alternative way? If you don’t put it out to the universe then how can it respond. Like the good woman that asked God why she hadn’t won the lottery, God replied “work with me, you have to buy a ticket” Start buying your tickets now. Live in the present but plan for the future, just don’t set it in concrete.