When career opportunities in the day job presented the prospect of a two hour commute every day to work and back I seriously considered whether any job would be worth it. Four hours a day on trains and buses seemed a pretty daunting prospect to say nothing of the demands on my time.
Admittedly I have none of the usual pressures that most women have, I don't cook or clean (I enjoy an open marriage and leave all the domestic business to my husband's other lady) nor do I have children, an addiction to soap operas or numerous friends clamouring to visit the pub with me. My time in many ways is more flexible than it is for most people and given that my free time is almost exclusively spent working for Witch Path Forward or writing romance novels I thought my literary pastimes might be something that could be adapted to daily travel.
I weighed up the opportunity until I was certain it would be at least bearable. I can manage quite well on six hours sleep a night and although there would be a fair bit of walking involved that could surely only be a good thing for a woman with a size 18-20 waistline. All things considered it was certainly worth a go and even it turned out to be a sacrifice I expected at least to be able to manage it.
What I didn't expect was to enjoy it. At least not to the extent that I do. I believed commuting would be something that took me away from my witchcraft and reduced the time I spent on my spiritual needs but contrarily and to my real surprise commuting turned out to be very harmonious with my life as a witch...
The train ride is very green and that is a big part of why I have become so passionate about my commute. I can't bear being trapped in cities or towns. I need the infusion of green in my life to function positively. Not that I'm a great walker, I appreciate nature most when I'm sitting down and that is exactly what the train journey allows me to do. I flood my eyes with a constant barrage of green, it invigorates me at the start of the day and soothes me at the end of the day. I whizz past trees, fields, hills, rivers and lakes immersed in scenery that most people only get to see on weekends and holidays. Every day is a chance to connect with nature and the world around me. After a while I began to see the commute not as an evil necessity but as a privilege and an opportunity to build on my relationship with the earth.
It is more than just what I see though, it's also the distance that I see things at. When commuting I'm always looking at the horizon and stretching my view to the distance beyond. Have you ever noticed that when taking a bus to your local town your eyes never focus more than ten metres in front of you? The immediate world is very close and claustrophobic. A close world limits perspective and it makes me feel very trapped and stifled. It hurts my sight to focus so closely on objects and buildings so nearby. I revel in resting my eyes on the green that stretches all the way to the horizon.
As a commuting witch I have also developed a far more profound relationship with the sun and the moon that I have ever had. I'm more aware of the seasons and the moon cycles and it is an awareness borne from personal interaction and not following a moon calendar. Like the Pagans of old I have a direct link to the world based on my own observations of the Earth, Sun and Moon. This has enhanced my ability to incorporate these elements into my magic.
When I commute I become freer, more aware of the world and the people beyond my own life. I pass over motorways filled with cars and people flowing from buildings at the end of their working day and I feel a sense of consolidarity with them. I look at the houses and imagine the people who might be living in them. My awareness of others and their humanity is enhanced.
I see commuting as the transition between worlds. I do sometimes wonder if as people we are closest to being ourselves when in no fixed place but travelling between two points. On the train I'm neither the mortgage advisor I've left behind at work or the wife I will become at home, I can concentrate solely on being myself, alone with no expectations and free of the roles that await me at either end of the day. It is in these inbetween times that I feel closest to my craft as a witch. There is a good deal of emphasis placed on the inbetween times in witchcraft - think the changes throughout the day, the magic times of dawn and twilight. Or the changes in the year, the solstices marking the turning toward the light and dark halves of the year. Commuting for me is the same thing - it is stepping between the worlds and resting in the temporary and welcome oblivion of nothingness. The train for me is the land of no expectations, a place I can exist for myself and nobody else.
There is also nothing to do in the sense that there is nothing I should be doing. This is what I mean by a lack of expectations. It is enforced leisure time and isolation and for somebody who finds it hard to turn down the volume of consistent work the rest is welcome relief.
I actually use the time I spend commuting to useful effect. I write snippets of my novels and devour romance novels from my competitors. I meditate on my ideas and plots for my books and attend to the Witch Path Forward correspondence. But I use th
e time constructively in a spiritual manner as well. I meditate, ground, shield and centre on the move, I listen to beautiful music and I take the time to ponder on the philosophical questions beyond my own mundane existence.
I step out of the world for between three and four hours everyday and far from seeing this as a bind or an inconvenience I see it as another welcome part of my life as a witch.
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