November has sunk into the valley in a cold, wet way. Having had a warm, sunny October, I don't feel comfortable complaining, so I wait for the dry mornings to take my walks and extend hope that the deep cloud lets a bit more light through each day.
I'm feeling myself slip into that familiar hibernation feeling that happens as the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop. To combat the urge to curl up and not move again, I've committed to using the treadmill on the days I don't go out for a walk. I've been having quite a bit of fun on it actually, and I've found that a good, hard pace and the steady thud of my feet on the machine begins to take me out of my body, and leads me to some interesting meditative experiences and epiphanies. I think that this is not unlike the euphoria that is referred to as a "runners' high" - except that I'm rarely at a full run. It may be more along the lines of what is experienced while doing ecstatic (trance) dancing or a drumming journey - the sound of my feet and the white noise of the treadmill offering up a drum-like repetition for my mind to escape in to.
The whirling Dervishes knew how to get there.
The other body-magic synergy I've been pondering is muscle-building as sympathetic magic.
Muscle is created after first tearing down the tiny muscle fibers in the tissue. Your body then repairs or rebuilds these little fibers and the newly generated fibers begin to create bulk. You are essentially tearing yourself down and rebuilding yourself - stronger. This really gets me excited when I think about combining it with activities such as "tearing down" non-beneficial habits, relationships and situations where you just didn't say "no" when you might have wanted/needed to. Add to that some work on creating new energy or movement in certain areas of your life, while your body is literally creating new muscle cells. Work associated with health, fertility, prosperity would all be something I'd consider here.
I've been glancing at the hand weights that have been winking at me from the corner of the room, and I've been thinking that since I'm no longer hauling dirt, plants or vegetable harvests or pushing a lawn mower anymore, it might be time to pick those little irons up again.
And why not work a little magic while working my muscles?
* For some great reading along this topic, check out the brilliant Peter Paddon's "Visceral Magick"
* Although I'm fiercely behind on her podcasts, "Iron Powaqa" is a weight-lifting witch with sass - worth a listen! I'm going to try to catch up on these and see what insight she has on this topic.
* art "Dancing Dervishes" by Amedeo Preziosi via Wiki Commons