Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In the hour of return, which year is which?

Mercury retrograde has begun, the Blue Moon is nearly upon us, and the calendar year is coming to an end... it's a bustling of energy moving around, and I've taken this past week to examine the vortex and the Wheel and my place in it (and around it).  Last night's dream gave me deeper insight into something I hadn't realized was truly a deep-seeded issue.  There was no glamour involved, simply the message, straightforward, and provocatively blunt.  I admit I'm still slightly rattled in my core, but a rattling that the inner spirit hears and is taking hold of the rattle, now.

The year is coming to an end, though I don't put much stock in 'relief' or 'excitement' that one ends and another begins, I'm fairly neutral when it comes to the calendar year in general. 

As Witches, we celebrate the New Year at Samhain, and for me that really begins the new year.  Come January 1st I am reevaluating what has been going on since Samhain and take the day for deep contemplation (which a few of my friends have commented that they think I "contemplate" too much -- which I think could be a case of worry if it wasn't met with direct action, but I digress...), and, come my birthday, I transition into the third and final phase of the new year where I put everything into motion.  That's the key there, the action/motion of what has been planted.  The third phase solidifies the growing process.  After all, isn't the day of our birth really beginning another "new" year anyway?  Perhaps I would think differently if all of these things weren't happening in the same general time frame, I'm not sure.  I suppose if I were born in the summer this entire thought process would be moot and my way of practice would shift.  Maybe.

November was virtually nonexistent in that I didn't accomplish practically anything.  Well, I didn't accomplish what I had intended, however other things were accomplished... the reminder to neutralize statements as well as observe and honor the gratitude in what each situation has to bring.  It's a continual process, and I feel like I'm standing on the verbal ledge observing my language more so now than before.

My guides are sharing with me some information on things they'd like to see me do that would, essentially, be slightly contradictory at this time of the retrograde.  It's not starting anything new, so it's not completely out there, it is a completion of sorts, but I'm not digging too far to figure out the "why's", but instead looking within and realizing how natural it feels, so I'm trusting my instincts here, and asking that all correspondences be for my highest good.

I had a really interesting conversation with one of the systers from ADC.  We have never spoken more than in email, so when she had asked if we could have a phone conversation it threw me slightly in that I knew it must be necessary so as not to confuse what email (the written word) can sometimes entail.

We spoke a bit about hexing, and I was eager to hear her thoughts.  She has been a Dianic HPS for 20+ years, and while I share that not as a way for others to bow down to her, but more speaking of her years of practice and devotion and having studied directly under the Dianic Mother, Z.  Her perspective was good to hear, from someone who has directly performed hexes and sharing how it stems from a place of love, when we say "For the love of All may patriarchy fall", it is a hex.  I admit, I never looked at it that way.  It is a phrase I am quite familiar with and stand behind, but to see it layered from another perspective was quite unique and a gift.

I find value in hexing, I do, and as I shared with the systers of ADC my first spell, one that I had written, was a hex.  It was to hex those who had harmed me in my sexual assault.  That was about 13 or so years ago?  Time can be a funny thing when you look back.

In retrospect I would have approached the spell in the same manner, to hex, however, I know there were components naturally missing.  However, it then led me to self healing from the inside out.

I'm not sure if she misunderstood that I don't find value in hexing, but it was a rich conversation none the less.  My choice in not performing hexing as part of my practice now isn't equated with me saying that I don't think anyone should never do them.  I think with any spellwork, with anything involving the art and science of the Craft needs to be met with an educated background, and sometimes that education results from pure trial and error.  Is it right or wrong?  I couldn't say.  As we progress through our personal journey's there is an aspect of us that is always in that dance of trial and error -- and, with pure intention for the highest good, I don't think it can be measured or analyzed in a simplistic lab of right or wrong. 

It was nice to connect, to hear her voice on the other end after knowing her and reading her messages on the list all these years.  Several of us from ADC would like to get together and have a retreat sometime in the future.  I can see that, us gathering together, sitting around the fire in circle, sharing and laughing and singing and celebrating in Her name.  I'm not sure when, but it feels more like a "when" than an "if".

I'm thinking of heading out later for a night of music, though I see the long list of things that must get done and the long drive that could be spared by tackling the many projects that don't care for excuses.  Still, it might be nice to abandon it all for the night...

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Communicative errors - the retrograde & beyond

I feel the misalignment of communication luring around the corner.  Not necessarily out of intention, but with Mercury turning retrograde once more before the end of this year it's a natural progression of this time, and in the shadow of the retrograde I am already noticing it. 

I had nearly forgotten that we had one more retrograde to go before the year was over.  It will run through my birthday next month, tied obviously into my Sun sign of Capricorn this time around, which will be particularly strong for introspection.  I have been delving within much this month, looking to refocus on certain aspects that I want to pay special attention to in the coming year.  I like what my dear friend Wendy does in creating goals for each of the 5 elements -- perhaps I will do the same for my birthday.  I started to think about it last night, so many tying into one another, as is a natural tendency with the elements when you look at the notion of all is one in the divine mind.  It's all One, but the separation is necessary for focus, for me.

I feel like it's going to be a strong year for me -- they say the "3" is focused this year on "creativity", which ties in brilliantly with the work I'll be focusing on in the year, but I am also in the energy of "balance" with this coming 3 -- the balance between two extremes, and this is a key point for me personally with a return to gravity, return to neutrality, and, with the retrograde in Capricorn: return return return.  I'm taking full advantage of this introspective time, and while normally I save much important communication (if it can wait) until after the retrograde, I am being clearly told that I will be right in the center of it, irregardless of my awareness of conscious communication or not, it's necessary for certain aspects of fumbling along in language.  It's not to be mistaken for careless language, the fumbling isn't about unconsciousness, it's not to negate kindness in communication, far from it.

I've been feeling the language barriers come up.  I'm not proficient in astrology, though, like most people on this path or similar New Age thinking, I keep track of when Mercury goes retrograde.  This understanding now of the Shadow aspect of the retrograde is fascinating and completely true.  It's really no different than womyn who experience their moon cycles and how it isn't simply for the week they are experiencing it, but the week before and the week after.  The release is extraordinary when you're looking at the culmination of the energy surfacing at the beginning, the release, then the aftermath.  Amazing.

It's the eve of the Solstice, blessings of snow have fallen upon New England and I took Nimue out in it this morning to play, throw snowballs around, even if I have fully accepted the fact that I will probably never make a decent snowball to save my life, we had a ton of fun, and she made her first snow angel... it was a great family day, much gratitude for these quiet days alone.

Tomorrow I am planning a Yule ritual after Nimue goes to bed, bringing in the light, gratitude for the Sun's blessings... so many blessings this year... I'm so acutely aware of the "small things" in life, the gratitude that each of those small things bring, even in the pain of loss that is still tender at this time (it has been a month since Jonathan and Amy's passing, to the day), I'm not losing sight of what each moment brings, and how I wish those moments to end.  It's not fear-based, for once it doesn't feel at all attached to fear, just this necessity to figure it out, to understand and acknowledge gifts, in a more heart-centered place.

Excited for the return of the Sun... return of the light... but more importantly sharing that light.  Let it emanate from us all, and return, threefold.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

The broom closet

I'm a Witch.  Openly out of the broom closet, I sometimes forget the road to coming out, and how others don't quite have the same blessings and opportunity many of us do have by being out.  It can sometimes come at a price, with many judgments, pain, and loss.  I think many of us forget that sometimes, I know I do.

I've been a practicing Witch for over 13 years.  An awakening that felt so natural, so much like coming home, my life is so rich from this connection to Goddess, which has connected me to some amazing systers and brothers in the Craft.

I came out of the broom closet early on, once I identified and realized that I was Witch, I wore my pentacle openly, and that was a huge step.  Even then, 13 years ago, it was a different time, such a different time.  I think the different levels of acceptance continue to shift, mostly for the better over time, but the levels of ignorance vary, though it's still there, some aspects more progressive than others...

I think we sometimes take for granted the ease in which we wear our pentacles.  I know I do at times.  It's been most recently that I have been having conversations with friends who are still in the broom closet, how they long to wear their pentacles out in public, to be able to attend such events as Pagan Pride Day so openly as I do, to even have their ritual tattoo art honoring their path not have to be hidden from others.  It's a sad reality, and even though some of the progression has been for the better, it doesn't make up for those living in fear of persecution.  It may not be the Burning Times, but people still have a lot to lose in being so open about their spirituality.

I can remember a time shortly after I had moved in with my husband (then boyfriend), and he had borrowed my car to go visit his mother.  When he came back I got in the car and noticed my pentacle was missing -- he had taken it off the rear view mirror and placed it in the glove compartment so as not to "offend" his mother, who has had issues with us being together since the beginning of our relationship.  She's by no means an extremist in her religious beliefs, but, like many of the baby boomers and beyond, Paganism is evil, it's not a legitimate religion, and, from his point of view, he didn't want to create any waves, but still, it had offended me at the time.  I had worn my pentacle openly, but it's not the same as coming out and saying you're a Witch.

There is a naive notion in some traditions that believe if you can't vocalize it then you're not really one, that you're still standing in shame from previous religious upbringing, etc.  I understand the general notion of how prideful and empowering it can be when you vocalize it, not to others, but to yourself.  It is a tradition, after all, between you and the Goddess, not society to approve or disapprove of. 

While the "rejection" I received by being open about my beliefs have been minor, they are rejections none the less, and they hurt.  I had a friend in high school, who I had known for a couple of years and was fairly close to find out that I practiced Witchcraft.  She stopped speaking to me, telling me "I didn't know you were one of them."  She was a very religious Christian, and we often spoke about religion, but she never once asked me what mine was.

I can recall going to a job interview and, unconsciously, not wearing my pentacle openly.  Perhaps there was a sense there that I might not get the job if I had it out, and after being hired I began to wear it, and my boss began to treat me differently.  His partner always had questions, but my boss never looked me in the eye again, and most often spoke to me through his partner.  It was strange, and distasteful, but it was a reality I accepted knowing that, at that time (and to some degree even now), people can be ignorant, and fear is quite a powerful hate.

You still hear of people losing their jobs, losing their families, being persecuted because of their willingness to stand, proudly, out of a broom closet that we should never have to endure standing in to begin with.

I have had several friends over the years who were secretly practicing Witchcraft, even from their spouses and partners!  Such a major aspect of themselves, how do you hide it?  How do you hide you?  I understand the fear, I do, it's a personal journey to embrace and transform, but in partnership with another, how do you share a life together when you feel that the other won't accept your beliefs? 

It's been a while since someone has recoiled in fear/disgust/ignorance at me for being a Witch... the last time that happened?  Jonathan's wake.  His brother, who is much older and I had never met, saw me talking to his sister (who apparently is quite fascinated by Witchcraft) and he looked at my pentacle and had this strange face of trying to place something he couldn't quite figure out.  He asked me what it meant, and I told him.  He literally recoiled several steps back, as though he could be struck down by merely sharing the same air as me.  It was strange, because I have not really ever had that kind of reaction.  There are the inquisitive ones who want to know more or who were brought up to believe Witchcraft is evil, but I would say 9 out of 10 times the shift is different because I don't, stereotypically, represent what a "typical" Witch looks like.  "Witches like neon, really?"... and we're even known to scramble our own eggs... go figure...

But at Jonathan's wake, to have his brother step back, I knew it wouldn't be an easy conversation.  We were both hurting at the loss of a wonderful man, though his relationship with his brother wasn't pleasant.  Jonathan was openly gay, not something his brother seemed to accept.  His brother is a staunch Catholic, with beliefs that homosexuality is wrong, that it will lead you to hell, that suicide is wrong... sad to think of where he believes his brother might be now...

He was looking to have an argument, I could tell.  He was in mourning and in grief, probably deeper than most people realized at having a dysfunctional relationship with his brother.  He accused me of buying Jonathan a book on astrology... astrology of all things, you would think I bought him a book on Voodoo art... pathetic.  He stood there, asking if I knew that I was on the "wrong" side, if I knew that God was the only right thing and how I was following the devil, etc etc. 

I'm not a confrontational person, I'm not.  Even in that moment, someone going on the defense, feeling the need to save my soul from the seduction of the devil, it didn't upset me, it just saddened me.  It saddened me for him, for his strict way of believing and living his life didn't allow any sense of openness to embrace another person's beauty, just as they are.  That's sad.  It's terrifying.

It has nothing to do with Christianity vs Witchcraft, far from it.  It's simple ignorance.  I don't think he much cared that I wasn't fighting him.  I didn't want to fight.  I don't feel the need to defend myself, and I think the one-sided discussion was more than speaking about religion.  I could see he was filtering through something in himself.

He went on to tell me how he grew up confused, looking for meaning in his life and found God.  God came to him, spoke to him, and he then started to get "proof" that his God is the only God... proof... he went on and on about this hard-core proof he had, how he had spoken to scholars and priests and they showed him the proof. 

It was the strangest conversation to have, and his sister simply stood next to me, unsure of how to react, because even he didn't know of her intrigue in Witchcraft.  He waited for me to say something, and all I could think of in that moment was "I'm happy you've found the path for you".  That's all I wanted to say.  I didn't want to debate him, not just because we were at a wake and it was completely inappropriate, but because I don't do debates.  I don't mind hearing your story, I'm actually intrigued by other religions, as I wasn't brought up in any sort of religion, but I also don't go around talking about the "proof" and how "mistaken" you will be in the "end"... another thing he informed me of, of my own ignorance, that in the end when I came face to face with the Creator I will be shocked to see Jesus. 

It was a strange conversation.  Sad that people feel the need to lecture vs share, and to force their "true" way onto you as the "only" way.  He did comment that he was surprised at how I didn't seem like a devil-worshiper.  Oh the sarcastic remarks that flew around in my head... inappropriate for the moment, but still, I wouldn't have responded in any other way, mourning or not.  Too much ignorance and hate is what lends fuel to the fire when it comes to Witchcraft.  I certainly don't speak for the lot of Pagans; you gather a room full of us and we're all different from the person we're standing next to.  We're rich in diversity... I quite like it that way.  Still, I wouldn't want someone else ignorantly speaking on my behalf, and I'm sure the same is true for others not wanting me to be the spokesperson for Paganism with my focus on devotional practice vs the science.

13 years later my work has been directly influenced by my journey as a Witch, especially out of the broom closet.  I commend those who have the strength to come out, and I honor those who choose to stay in, for the step is huge, and not everyone feels ready/willing/safe to come out.  After the conversation at the wake I can't say I blame them -- we're not a hundred percent there yet.  But when I think about seeing all of those beautiful, diverse faces at Pagan Pride... how the numbers grow each year, and to stand together, worshiping the Goddess as One... it's such a beautiful sight.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Non resolutions

I'm one of those non-resolution makers.  I don't make them.  I plant seeds in the new year at Samhain, so come January's new year, I am already in the manifestation of my goals for the year.  Also, with my birthday just a couple of days after the new year (January's, that is), I take a moment to refocus and shift what hasn't been working since Samhain as I focus on the year ahead -- my year ahead, vs the energy of this one day set up for whatever mindset we convince ourselves is fitting.

They say resolutions don't work because people set themselves up for failure, or that they do work if you put your mind to it.  Then there's the argument that there's too much emphasis on this one day to change your life.  Maybe all of them are right, I don't know.  I haven't focused much on why I do or don't do it, but rather I think of it as this vortex in the moment: what do I want?  Then I go from there.  The date isn't essential.  While I do plan things, like any good Witch, during the moon cycles and Sabbats or any other major planetary movement that I am aware of (since I am still only sporting basic astrology knowledge), if intention is there and you're in the mindset for the highest good, these other things can be 'forgiven' if you forget.

The other day I did a small, but powerful, ritual at my altar.  It was a release, and since then I have been carrying a major headache.  3 days so far.  It's not from lack of grounding, I did that, many times to be sure, and it's coinciding with my own moon cycle, so for the moment there's this surge of energy that is rising to my upper chakras, and the necessary aspect is that I need to journal this out, the overload of thoughts rising.  Good thoughts, truly productive thoughts, but they're stewing in the mind without a sense of progression.  That's what the headache is about.  It's compression of the mental aspect not being released. 

After the ritual I was thinking about my altar, and I did some minor changes, and while it works for the moment, I'm not fully content with it.  Something is missing, and I know what that something is, I just need to find where I had placed it.

After the drama/trauma of BFC so much had shifted in my way of practice.  Mostly for the better, though I had a discipline during that time that isn't quite measured the same now, but in a British Traditionalist path the discipline is generally quite stricter than other traditions, so it's purpose-less to compare.

I came across my old journal from my BFC years, particularly the one where I was getting ready to elevate and my then-HP decided I wasn't ready because I wasn't a very good "follower".  This came up any time he had a thought, asked our questions and I had a question in return.  Isn't that what good facilitators do?  Allow the space for open dialogue instead of assuming their way is the one and only way?  Rereading those entries was saddening to a point, because the general 'family' dynamic within the tradition itself (not within the coven I was a part of) is what I miss the most.  You have it for 5 years then in an instant you leave and it's all gone, as though it never was. 

He's now a born-again... it may sound awful, but whenever I think about this I can't help but roll my eyes and snicker just a bit.  It's not a surprise, but what a shame for everyone else who followed him and had to endure his doctrines of Christianity that he wasn't willing to leave behind as one who supposedly identified as being Pagan. 

Ew... a lot of judgment in that statement.  We chose to endure his doctrines, as we chose to be part of his coven.  I chose to be part of his coven.  I could have studied online, I could have traveled to one of the other states, but I chose to be there.  There is still some residual anger there, for his agenda, for the lack of voice I possessed at that time.  Yet, I ask myself why I'm still angry, when I'm more than content with where my path has taken me now?  I'm not sure I know how to answer that, instead to say that it was just painful, and sad, to be part of something that was full of judgment, and my experience then of assuming it was OK to be in that energy field.  A valuable lesson, and, with some judgment, I am glad that he is back in a tradition that he never fully left, so that he can stop sharing pre-conditioned and programmed judgment to other initiates.  May he find his true light there.

I got a message in my FB the other day about the Garchen Buddhist Centre in Singapore and the all day White Tara retreat they're going to be doing on January 1st, asking that we recite the White Tara mantra for Rinpoche's long and healthy life.  They're hoping they can accumulate 100 million White Tara mantras and asking those who can't be there to email in their count.  I'm excited for this and plan to joyfully take part on the 1st.  I wish I had been keeping count of the White Tara mantras I have been doing since my retreat with Rinpoche back in '04. 

He had asked us to recite the mantra 500,000 times, and that if we could do a million that would be wonderful.  One of the things I'd like to focus on is keeping actual count of how many White Tara mantras I do and reach the 500,000.  I have no expectations one way or the other in terms of reaching it next year, but plugging away at it with Her image and being in full awareness is my intention.

Tomorrow I have my W2 class and looking forward to seeing everyone.  After initiation last month I think we all grew a bit closer, and certainly more vocal, and I so genuinely like each and every one of them, it's something I look forward to each month.

With that said, I was hoping to get the next chapter read before class tomorrow night.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The snow, the winter, the stay

The rumours of snow are true -- woke up this morning to see the ground covered and the flakes continuing to come down.  I, personally, love snow.  I love winter, especially the first real snowfall, the big one where everything looks like a sentimental postcard.  I adore it.  It's precisely the reason why I adore New England and prefer to call this area my home.

I lived in California for a year as a child, and while the first month was exciting, when it came to the darker half of the year it was a complete disappointment, and I longed for the cold, for the snow, for the winters I had grown accustomed to as a child.

In our talks about the possibility of moving to Florida this was pretty much on the top of my "con" list.  I didn't know if I could go through missing another snowstorm, missing the bitter cold, missing the various layers for warmth only appreciated during this time of year.  Even though all of the signs kept pointing to stay here, Florida was beckoning us, but now, looking out the window, seeing the snow fall and fall, I'm glad we opted to stay.  Aside from a number of other reasons to stay, the weather itself was huge priority.  It's a reflection of how you tend to appreciate what you have when it's gone.

My sleep has been off for a good week now.  My dreams extremely vivid, it doesn't feel like sleep at all, but a journey into the other realms to continue work, and in this space and time I generally "awake" exhausted.  The last 2 days I have needed to nap, and even in the nap the dreams have been wild.  Yesterday I was woken up by my panicky moans of fear, a continuation from the dream before.  They all seem to be continuation of dream after dream after dream.  They're all related, and that's not something my dreams have done in quite some years.

It's been a crossing over the veils, which has been beneficial in the healing process, and I awake carrying some form of inspiration to work on.  It's a beautiful gift, yes, but I am ready for the balance in rested sleep.

Next week ADC starts Chapter 2 in HBWM.  There are still some questions in the first chapter that I am exploring for myself.  I've been thinking about spellwork in such a different capacity, and while it has this balance within being a magickal act(ion) it's also polar in its stillness of devotion/prayer.  It's made me see the imbalance within my own practice of spellwork, at least in this moment with delving into W2.  I haven't felt the need to practice spells in the way I once had with BFC.  My path took me deeper into devotion, which is not to say that there is no room for spells, but the identity of the spells took on a different meaning, so its actions were changed as well.

I'm still struggling with this piece, this outward expansion of Self where it's available to all.  Seems silly as a Priestess, where you put yourself out there, but the energy and intention is sometimes different.  Holding space for another and facilitating their awareness isn't the same as holding space for yourself in a revealing manner.  Then again, that may be the piece that holds me back: revealing.  It is unveiling, it is release, it is sharing and allowing the art of priestessing to be circular, not simply with shapes that allow for rest in the corner.

I find such comfort in holding space for another.  Listening and sharing love is where my work begins, but when the focus is shifted to me the corners in the shapes is where I long to be.  It makes me think back to my friend who was taking "inventory" of herself.  The bravery it took to open yourself up to these various perceptions.  All part of a story, yes, but the story has value, especially if you can relate to it or are triggered by it.

The story is unfolding, and the character is expanding, but it doesn't work if she seeks solitude out of fear.  I can't say that it's "never" worked.  Each moment has had its purpose, each moment has had its value.  My "problem" is that I'm not identifying with that purpose or that value from then... and there is a part of me that is trying to convince myself that it's not ok, only it is. I don't identify with the then because it was then.  So obviously then that it humors me in its simplicity.

Such random reflections on this snowy day...

)0(

Directing/Directions

I feel inspired... inspired!  I have been working on this piece for a couple of years now that I sometimes bring into the classes I teach and today while working on another piece, it started to reveal itself again.  It's magnificent, and while I certainly can't take all the credit, as my guides have been instrumental in answering my questions, it's a huge step in this phase of putting it all together, and the next step is directing itself, even before I have had a chance to pretend to orchestrate its next move, it has pulled itself together and is pointing the way through the clearing in the forest... my my what a bright light that shines ahead...

I love those instrumental moments where clarity mixes with the muses and the canvas no longer feels like this immense, blank object standing before you... "It is green; it is aqua marine.  It is colors I have never seen..."

It really is colors I have never seen.  I love new/renewed self discovery.  It's a culmination of the loss experienced last month.  My dreams have been incredibly vivid, each moment is a sequence of moments entangled as one, without the need to cut them away or feel strangled by them, but moments upon moments that make you step outside of yourself and really see all that is there.  ALL that is there.  The last time I can recall having vision that intense was after my refuge vows.  Clarity then was completely different than now, as it would be, because the clarity offered then was surrounded by an awakening I asked for.  I did ask for clarity, here, and the openness in which the question was asked had truly no attachment.

The lack of attachment has been most recently judged by the outside as indifference in its most discordant ways.  It's indifference, yes.  It's gravity.  It's the language piece.  This is what it comes down to each and every time: language.

My language isn't above others, it isn't always vibrating in love and light.  It's a constant reminder of what works, what doesn't, and what needs to be shifted.  It has apparently come off as an illusion to others as "superiority".  In a joking format I hold the title with much humor, however when the "gift" was laid out in front of me, with all of the things I lack and the ways in which I am dysfunctional -- it was a challenge to not want to throw that disgust away from me.  However, it had value in the moment.  Even now as a realization of how one person's truth is truly not your own, and how do you stay in the moment with someone else's perceptions that don't even feel like "lies", but simply feel like nothing to you: no thing.  It comes off as superiority at times, as not caring, as the indifference of an ugly truth you are unwilling to see, though it's far from it, from any of it.

I'm not a confrontational person.  I'm not proud at my natural instinct to simply walk away.  I don't always identify as the Warrior aspect of the Goddess, though I have had to pull out my armor now and again.  When my integrity is under attack I don't see it as a sign to come out fighting.  Nor do I see it as a sign that I am meant to "defend".  I don't even know how to relate to the aspect of defending oneself.  Is it a problem?  I don't know.  I reflect back on Ruiz's work about how we're all characters in a story, and someone else has written up a character of who you are, to them, and the role you play in their story.  It usually is not the version of who you are in your own story.  I completely vibrate with his description of this.

When you can start to see yourself as a character, it changes everything.  For me it allowed me to step outside of the story to see what aspect of the character was true, what aspect I enjoyed being that I could relate to, and what aspect did it trigger something in me that I didn't like.  Even if it is a story, if you're willing to listen to it, there's an agreement there, to hold that space in the moment, and sometimes that holding space agreement can be misinterpreted as agreeing to play the role of said character.

I'm still standing at the entrance of my comfortable cave.  The odd thing about processing through loss is that it does one of two things (in its extremes): you either appreciate and value everything around you and want to be closer to it; or you appreciate and value everything around you and want to not be closer to it.  I'm teetering on the edge of the latter, where I am in deep gratitude for all the amazing gifts around me, but I am valuing alone time.  Alone time that I find comfort in much too easily which becomes misconstrued as alienation, but it becomes a valued time for internal dialogue, something I think only other writers and introverts can really understand.

My altar begs to be redone, though we're both indecisive of how the flow must go.  However, since I am in W2 it only seems appropriate to lay out the altar in a fairly "traditional" manner.  It brings me back to old BFC days... my altar has been spirit-led since I left.  Both have their values, but it was necessary for me to experience both extremes as part of my spiritual growth.

I feel this coming Yule and the return of the light is going to bring much more than the light itself.  It feels powerful, yet subtle.  I suppose "subtle" isn't the right word.  It borders on subtlety but will be incredibly breathtaking for those with that conscious awakening and awareness.  For me part of it is this project that I am working on -- oh how mysterious it sounds, but the true mystery is the empowerment.  For now I am keeping it sacred until all the pieces come together perfectly.  It means I must mix intellectual with action.  It is manifestation in motion... incredible!

)0(

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dream within a dream within a reality within the dance.

December days are quick in their short hours, but I have been in renewal since the month began.  As each day brings us closer to the light, each day the light shines a new gratitude, or renewed gratitude, that I has this sense of relief from its presence.

Nimue has turned 4 today, and the beautiful memories that have gifted my day has been a treasure.  She has been my greatest teacher; an ancient spirit of the ancient ones sharing her wisdom, her joy, her love and her pure, delicate light.  She shares it so freely, it shadows my own light in only the most glorious of ways, and her being makes me want to be a better being.  Some days I am better attuned with this aspect than others, but today was one of those days where I was just in the center of the Wheel, adoring this treasured Goddess-embodiment.  It's no wonder she chose two amazing Goddesses to be named after...

I don't feel the heaviness this month that was weighed with loss as I did last month.  It was painful, and the memory is still like a tender bruise, but the gift of present awareness and compassionate gratitude has been connected itself in spiraled energy from surface to core and back.  Only a couple of days later did it dawn on me that the anniversary of Kamala's death was here, as she reached me in the dreamworld.

To say my dreams have been heightened to this thin level of standing with both feet on either side is an understatement.  The process of release in loss has been worked through and healed in the dreamworld, and I began to delve into other aspects of parallel work that was helpful in my growth and healing to my spirit.

I participated, on the anniversary of Kamala's passing, in a rare display of extreme dysfunctional C/C loop communication.  It was ridiculous.  It had no function... well, I suppose I couldn't say that, after all the awareness alone that I was in this vortex of dysfunction had value.  I didn't fully see myself in the C/C loop until the end of the conversation, and I had this moment where I smirked to myself, thinking of Kamala, and realizing this was her gift.  It was her memory, this aspect of her legacy to carry on in my personal work.  She always knew that I could understand the Four Forces in a way that made it such a natural process for me, and it had been her hope that I would take over her classes.  Training ensued, but I left, creating an alternate realm where this work continues in the "modern" form she had wanted.  I can't say that I don't have any desire to continue it in this time, but I know that it's not the time right now.

After this reality of dreamscape conversation I finally dropped into Gravity the next day.  My comfort area, the GEM Loop is a natural place for me to be, which explains much of the humor surrounding my lack of presence in linear time and my ability to not participate in the "dance" of the C/C Loop.

The concept of the Four Forces isn't a terribly difficult concept to explain, yet it's not really for me to explain, as the work has, essentially, been left to another, so I feel I can only speak of these terms, in this somewhat coded manner, knowing that it makes sense to me (and those who have taken the Four Forces, but more importantly actually understand it), but Gravity can sometimes be equated to Grounding and Centering.  You drop out of the chaos around you, drop into Self.  It is free of judgment, free of the "either/or" game; it's complete neutrality.  It's observation; it's awareness.

I have a natural tendency to the Gravity state of consciousness, and that day I dropped into Gravity; I observed the dance around me, looked at my interpretation of this dance, and I let it go.  The Full Moon was amazingly powerful, and standing in the center of the theme of this cycle: I Adapt, brought a twist in the adaptation of present moment awareness.

I bathed myself in the light of the Moon, the Lady guiding me into this cleansing that grounded me instantly and began the releasing process.  It was calm and beautiful, grounding and natural (a key theme for me today it seems), but it wasn't the only process of release I would experience, and She made me aware of that.

Later that evening I experienced the balance in polar extremes that She spoke of, and the purging that ensued was horrific.  It was extremely painful, and while I rarely beg, I begged.  I begged and pleaded and then, when in doubt, I breathed.  I breathed from a place of trauma and felt my body lighten.  It lightened not from the actual purge, but from a shift in consciousness that was necessary for my "survival" in the moment.

Let me clarify "survival": it was the pivotal point in the release.  The purging and releasing isn't necessarily indicative of what is ejected, but rather when that sort of critical mass takes place and your body (this physical manifestation of what your spirit self is experiencing) makes a choice.  A choice... a piece in the Pyramid that I have been spending so much time "perfecting" before truly delving into sharing it forward.

My mental self has no participation in this post which probably makes no "sense" at this point.  It's part of the dreamworld/dreamscape that dances with reality.  It's a dream within a dream, which has become a dance within a dance, and that dance has some incredibly powerful steps.

)0(

Friday, November 27, 2009

A week, a month, & the times in between...

It's still November, but a different November than the month originally started, or how I originally perceived it.  One week has completely shifted the entire month, which has completely shifted my entire presence in this moment... in that moment... it feels so separate, yet circumstances have been oddly aligned, and my process through it has been in part shattered grief, in part redefined purpose.  It's such a strange place to be, it loses identification even in memory.

Back-tracking seems silly.  Pointless even, but it serves its purpose, even now, to bring me back to the present moment, where I am still sitting in confusion, and loss.

Last I wrote, I was going to Lama John's day-long retreat on Access our Best Inner Resources for Service and Social Action: Meditations of Natural Wisdom and Compassion.  It was a long drive down to Northampton, the weather spirits dancing in mystery that I felt but wasn't willing to fully interpret.

The morning was presented as an opportunity for us to identify benefactors of love, and I was impressed by the universe's gift to identify a benefactor even before the retreat began.  It was a moment where strangers met, shared space and conversation, but without fear, which this person seemed to have been met with.  It was a moment of non-judgment, I wasn't even fully present in the moment and that initial, momentary, meeting brought me into this space of natural awareness, and the cold rain as I walked to the church for the retreat was awakening.

The retreat itself was amazing, and I was feeling this abundance of love emanating so easily from me.  I had lunch with a womyn who I had just met, just enjoying the conversation about our thoughts on compassion when I went to check my phone for any messages before shutting it off again for the second half of the day.  I never did get to experience the second half... I got a call I won't soon forget, and the pain isn't as piercing as it was, but it's still there.

My friend Jonathan killed himself.  I, alongside many of his friends who loved him dearly, waited, impatiently, hoping for the best, never considering the worst, not realistically.  You can't ever really, truly, imagine the "worst" until it comes to you, so fast, it's blurry, it's confusing, it's unreal.  Completely and totally unreal, though, it is, real.  Painfully real.

I left immediately, making the long 3 hour drive home desperate to just hold Nimue, to connect with life, to safely release the emotions of feeling the loss of my friend.  Even now, simply typing it out, I almost don't want to let myself go there.  It still feels like an illusion.

I walked around numb for the next few days, until the one day that I started to feel like I could center myself fully, I got another call from my friend Joe... our friend Amy was in the hospital, and the doctors said she wouldn't make it through the night.  It had only been 5 days since Jonathan's death.  He asked if I could come to the hospital, to be there, to heal, to support, to do what she wanted me to do, which was to help her in any metaphysical and magickal way possible, so she could cross over.

I spent some time that evening speaking with Christopher about it, wanting to get his perspective, as it's not something I've ever had to do.  It put into a whole new perspective about the art of priestessing, and how it isn't all handfastings and baby blessings.  The Wheel does turn, and equal measure is experienced and nurtured and honored in its time.  His words were extremely helpful, and our discussion on the detachment was precisely what I needed in that moment.

I went to see Amy in the hospital at midnight.  Not caring what time it was, needing to be there for her, for Joe, and for me, feeling like she was, indeed, slipping away, I needed to be there to say bye, but I needed to be there to fulfill her wish.

I didn't know Amy very long, she's best friends with my friend Joe, who spoke often to her about me.  I still remember the day we met at an Averi show when I was doing merch, and how she didn't even know my name but called Joe that night to say "I met her, I know it's her", and how she spoke about this light that I was emanating that clearly made her see it was me. 

She considered me her mentor on this path.  A title I didn't give much thought to, as it felt heavy, yet in reality look at the work that I do, priestessing is mentoring.  That's part of the process of facilitating in many ways.  Still, I saw it as being there, sharing with her as I would share with anyone... to hear, now, what she really thought of me, how important my role was in her life is both beautiful and painful to hear.

She was in ICU, unconscious, brought into the hospital unconscious, it was a strange feeling gowning up before entering her room.  With each layer I placed on, the more detached I became.  Not out of an act of coldness, no, never, it was to center myself in the work.  I was there for a purpose, and I was honoring where I was at, but this was about her, her journey. 

I won't go into details of the process of the foundation she allowed me to lay for her.  It's sacred, and I want to honor her experience and hold it for her.  It was one of the most profound moments I have experienced as a Priestess.  Incredibly powerful, and I am more honored than I can say for her allowing me to do that for her.

She physically passed from this realm on Friday... I go the news a half hour before I went to Jonathan's wake.  It does come in three's, and saying goodbye this past month from Joe, to Jonathan and then Amy, it was hard.  It is hard.

Friday, itself, was painful.  To be there, to hear exactly what happened to him... I'm not sure I have cried that hard in a long time.

I'm not going to ask the proverbial questions of "why"... I can't say that I know exactly why, but I can understand, to some degree, why.  I was depressed once.  So depressed, so lost in a darkness that I really, honestly, never thought I would survive.  I never thought I would survive it.  I would never have predicted this life, now.  Never.  I was suicidal, attempted to take my life on more than one occasion, and yet, I didn't.  I awakened from the darkness, still in it, but not teetering on personal loss of self, but desperate to follow the voice of the Goddess who was guiding me.

In the balance of death I am seeing the rebirth, the Otherside and the beauty to where their spirits are, in the Summerland, in the Otherworld, embraced by the Goddess.  Still, in this physical realm, it's strange and sad and terrible, a great many painful things, but I am holding space for them, remembering them, crying for them, crying with them... I miss them. 

A lifetime feels like it has been lived in this very short month, even shorter week.  I still feel slightly disconnected from everything around me, not interested in hearing the complaints of the world, the bullshit details of mass consumerism for Black Friday and how we "must" purchase the "perfect" gift for someone to show them our love.  Like most who process through loss, your vision changes, and you simply want another moment with those gone, numb to the aspects that aren't harmonious, and it makes you feel just a little more disconnected from those around you, who mean well, but they themselves don't know how to comfort, and many don't want to.

My experience this week with cheap and thoughtless words of "comfort" has been upsetting to witness.  The common, cheaply used phrase of "well, there was nothing you could do" angered (and continues to anger) me in ways I can't describe.  Not out of a notion of guilt.  As I've spoken about before, I don't identify with guilt, not in the way society poisons us with.  It upsets me because what kind of world do we live in, what kind of people are we if we go around believing that we can't help anyone?

What would be the purpose of my work then?  Yes, sometimes we tell ourselves this, share it with others to ease our own guilt, so that we don't beat ourselves up any further, but I have no desire to listen to it.

Granted I have not had much experience in loss, thankfully, but I reflected on what it is that I would want to hear, if it were me, and I attempt to stand in that space for others.  I don't want cheap words, I don't want the proverbial "they're in a better place" when you yourself believe in nothing.  You don't believe in a "better place", so where, exactly, are they?  Even if you know that I believe in the after life, in reincarnation, in another realm, still, why...

It's exhausting to process through these thoughts, but it's a necessary part of the healing.  It has been another layer of personal growth, an initiation that comes as initiations sometimes come: when you think you are least prepared for it.

For now, I sit in the center of the Wheel, observing the cycles turning, focusing on L.O.V.E. (Luminous Omnipresent Vibrational Energy... thanks Jack!).

)0(

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In the center of compassion

I'm really excited for the launching of Charter for Compassion and feeling hopeful that by the hundreds of people who have affirmed the charter and acts of compassion will generate a need and desire to cultivate compassion in our daily lives.  I was the 610th person to pledge, and, at the time of this post, it is already in the 900s... amazing.  In the suffrage of patriarchy we must return to compassionate ways of being, of not only sharing it outward, but instilling inwards, after all, you must first begin the healing process within yourself before it can be shared with others.  We must learn to be compassionate towards ourselves.

That's a hard one, especially for womyn, who are so used to the dysfunctional programming of our society and peers.  The back-talk has become natural, sharing that unwanted behavior and passing it onto our children, our families, our friends, like an unwanted gift, but still, I find value in the unwanted, always finding the treasure in the bottom of the bin.

Someone once asked me if my view of life is too idealistic, too much focus on finding the gift or lesson in things that simply are sometimes shit.  I look at it as manure, fertilizer, transforming and growing into something beautiful, but it takes patience, and it does compassion.  I once read a quote from Lama Surya who said something to the effect of how shit is sometimes shit, it's not manure unless you know how to use it.  I do agree with that -- it reflects back to the notion of awareness.  I think it also is indicative of our inner world, of course.

We've been having some amazing conversation in ADC relative to the ethics of spellwork, it really got us all thinking about our view in magick and for me it has given me an opportunity to see what I don't like and where my foundation really is in the magickal world.  As I said, I do see value in hexing, when appropriate, but I also see it, mostly, as a last resort.  Perhaps it's been my journey through Buddhism that has enhanced my desire to cultivate compassion and looking at magickal endeavors from a loving-kindness foundation.

My practice comes from love.  It's not to de-value those who wish to hex or focus on spellworkings or magick as manifestation of will of what you desire, but it's not my focus.  My path reflects on devotion, of service to the Goddess, from a place of loving-kindness and compassion. 

It's not to say I don't have my shitty moments, moments where I say or do something that in retrospect makes me reflect on how I could have done it better (again, releasing the judgment of the "should" mentality), it is, again, a lesson, another stepping stone in my growth as a spiritual being having a human experience, as Dr. Dyer would say.

I grew up in anger.  Surrounded by anger and despising everything, happiness was part time, illusionary, not connected to anything, which always drove my desire for something more, to not buy into the stories around me of how "life sucks and then you die"... no joy, no compassion, no passion for that matter. 

Upon my journey into discovering/rediscovering the Goddess, I had more questions, which led me to my apprenticeship into Shamanism, connecting me even further to the three realms, to guides and spirit teachers that my general training in Wicca hadn't provided, at least not beyond the surface level.

It answered internal questions, connected me so deeply in the spirit world, my connection to the other realms is a direct reflection of my 2-year training with Leontine, to which I am grateful.

That training, though, left another spot, another question that began to stir as I first began meeting my guides, specifically my spirit teacher, Kwan Yin, the compassionate bodhisattva.  She planted Her seed of compassion in me, and I knew that there was still more training for me to continue with, which in inevitably led me to Buddhism.  It was here, from readings and workshops with both Lama Surya and Lama John that my questions of loving-kindness and focusing on awareness that led me to develop a compassionate awareness I had never freed before.

Speaking of compassion, I'm excited to be doing a day-long retreat with Lama John on Saturday: Access our Best Inner Resources for Service and Social Action: Meditations of Natural Wisdom and Compassion.  It's right up my ally and will only help further my role as facilitator and priestess in the work that I do.  Then Sunday I am teaching another Inner Child Empowerment class which really connects to compassion in how we facilitate the inner child's journey.

It will be a powerful weekend of going within, sharing without, and centering self.  I'm excited.

)0(

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Haunted by that same closed door..."

I can't seem to get "Planets of the Universe" by Stevie Nicks out of my head.  I've been singing it to myself all morning, thinking about this past week and the developments (and non developments) that have occurred... the lyric "and the days go by" always pop into my head when I think of weeks like this.

There's been a lot of processing in the dreamworld, in fact I was reading something about lightworkers at this time having "nightmares", and more and more people are confirming this.  I admit to being one of those people who, despite being an avid journaler, I do not keep a dream journal.  I will write it later in my actual BOS journal, but I don't keep a separate one or bother to write it down the moment I wake up.  I've tried, it takes me out of the moment fast for some reason.  I do tend to remember my dreams in detail, and as long as I keep the general theme in tact I'm ok with this process for now.

The beginning of these 'nightmarish' dreams began with some EPC with people I have lost touch with or don't connect with much in this life.  It was therapeutic, but confirmed the separation in this moment.  The progression then shifted to fear, not deep fear, not the kind of fear I'm used to processing through, it was a strange fear, a superficial fear that felt as though its main purpose was for confusion.

Confusion is good, I think it serves to get you out of a stagnant moment and into neutral 'gravity' (relative to the Four Forces).  The confusion has actually been a great catalyst for movement in my work...

We were supposed to head to Presque Isle on Monday but things changed Sunday night and the trip was canceled.  It was for the better, and I support Drac's decision to not go there at this time.  Earlier on Sunday I was packing, getting things together when near the end of it I decided to stop and take some time to do some journaling, some stream of consciousness writing, I felt something surface that needed to be released...

More information came out about the Pyramids that I work from/teach.  It's not something relative to one of the DoveStar syllabus/classes, this is something I have been developing for a while and I have introduced it in part to my students in class, but it has only ever been an introduction, I haven't delved into the deeper aspects of it with them, partly because it's my material and I don't want to confuse it by taking it away from the purpose of the actual class intended.  It has value in many classes, I know that, but I suppose I'm not ready to present it in a way that could be "borrowed" from someone else when it's material I have been working with for a while.

As I sat down to write, I channeled more information relative to this practice.  There was a connectivity to the elements that I had known was there, but I hadn't seen the outline before, not in that manner.  It was amazing, it drove me, it made me want to put everything aside and just write a chapter on the practice (which I know will be something to come later).  I was thrilled.  I AM thrilled.  It tied together some of the missing fragments and became the Pyramid of Shifts that I have been teaching.  It's active... it's moving and flowing and raising.  That's the whole thing, about raising consciousness, and this became more detailed on Sunday night.  I'm excited!!

I've been asked by several people just this year alone about writing a book with focus on developing the inner Priestess.  It's odd, because while I do consider myself a writer (who joyfully makes many "writer mistakes" and doesn't care!), I've held back from putting my work out there.  It's another layer in the illusionary fear that rises to the surface asking for a decision.  Even blogging, putting some thoughts out there for others to review and digest is strange and scary, because they're mine.  I suspect I felt this way when I first began to teach.  In fact, I know I did.  Wondering who would want to take my classes because what did I really have to offer that was so different, and yet seeing the variety of students who have taken my classes through the years... it's amazing.

I never thought I would have taught so many classes that I would look back and nearly not remember all of the people, all of these amazing faces who have gifted me with their time, but I have.  I ran into 2 recently who came up to me, thrilled to see me, chatting away and catching up... meanwhile I couldn't remember who they were.  People come up to me all the time to talk, I've been told I have this energy about me that allows people to release, and I hold that space for them proudly, so I thought this was one of those times.  Then to hear them talk about a class that they took with me, going back to the year and describing what it was like for them, I can't even begin to describe how humbling it was, how it brought tears to my eyes to know that my work, just sharing what I know, made an impact.  I'm grateful, more than I can say, but shocked that some of these faces are hard to remember.  I suppose I had this idealistic notion that I would remember every single one in my class.  A naive thought, perhaps, but it came from an innocent child-like notion, and still, that aspect makes me smile.

The book is already written in my soul, it's there, been pieced together carefully with mis-takes and disruption and chaos, both functional and dysfunctional, but it's there.  Drac has encouraged this as has my spiritual mother for years, years and years waiting patiently.  I recently ranted to Drac, relative to my previous post about the ethics of spellwork, and he smirked and said "just write".

The continued information on the Pyramid of Shifts isn't the focus of the work, but it's a key, a huge key, it's the foundation in which movement and transformation begins.  We all talk about the "beginning", having the beginner's mind, looking at this with new eyes, and that's wonderful advice, I work to step into that mindset often when I feel I am out of touch with purpose, but what about the bridge between this mindset and actual purpose?  The action, the movement, where is it?  Stillness is valuable, but there isn't enough discussion or education on the action of being still, the actual vibration that occurs. 

I'm thrilled and excited and feel like the rest of the work is coming together outside of myself.  It's within, now it's time to permit it to be without.  My general approach to life is all permissive, I'm not a demander, there's no room in spirit for demands, it's the same with self.  It all starts with the self.

)0(

Friday, November 6, 2009

Spells & ethics & the "within"

The past 2 months I've been reading various books, some for personal study, some for reviews, some for research, and the thing that has been surfacing a lot in these readings is about spell work.  More than the spell work itself is something that has been not only perplexing me, but annoying me.

Ethics.

There has been a great lack of explanation relative to spells.  Like any sincere practicing Witch, you grow tired seeing spell book after spell book being published that has no substance, that lacks a common explanation about not only why certain ingredients are being used and their ultimate purpose, but when and how to do a spell.  More importantly, why certain spells should not be done.

The area this is most noticeable is in love spells.  Book after book (crap after crap) is out there for the naive and the sincere simply looking for love.  Companionship and, oftentimes, loneliness is an easy target for these publishers and authors looking to make a quick buck.  It's appalling, and it doesn't give me much hope for what else is to be released.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with spells, or even love spells for that matter, but why have we lost focused, never mind as a society, but as spiritual beings on what true aspect of love we must manifest?  Let's not forget one of the most poignant lines in "The Charge of the Goddess":

"...for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without."

The true Mystery of all of this, be it love, prosperity, protection, is Self.  WE are the Mystery, WE are the One, no distortion between Self and Divine, and yet we look outside of ourselves for something we feel is not within.  It's sad.

It's an issue of dysfunctional programming.  To decipher where that programming stems from, the journey into the Self must begin, peeling away those layers bit by bit, without buying into the notion that if something comes up that we don't like or no longer "need" that we just "get rid of it".  "Getting rid" of aspects we manifested for ourselves is in essence getting rid of ourselves.  The hollow takes over, and the dysfunction in the shadows reigns, and we are left with an emptiness that isn't equivalent to what Buddhists seek, it's an emptiness that feeds us a belief that we are lacking, and we turn without, believing that we don't possess the Mysteries within.

The most recent books that I have been reading have particularly delved into the love area of spells, telling you to write the names of the one you desire, casting a spell, and then awaiting your lover to come.  In general I am quite disinterested in any books relative to spells as a whole, though I do appreciate the kind of spells that I vibrate with: empowering the Self, building stronger connection to the Divine, etc.  Those kinds of spells relate more to my practice of devotion, though these are few and far between, they don't seem to make for good sellers in the publisher's eyes.

I had a conversation recently with another Pagan friend about spell work and in particular these love spells I have been reading about and my thoughts of how unethical it is to promote such spell work, with complete disregard for karmic law, or worse, thinking that sharing the one line in the Wiccan Rede "an it harm none, do as ye will" is somehow enough of a disclaimer for the sometimes uninformed reader.  It's not!  It's not nearly enough.

I looked at it from my personal point of view, of someone possibly reading this book, attempting to cast a love spell on me.  There were other irresponsible spells that went as far as to "secretly" feed things to the one you desire.  Anyone else thinking of the chocolates Harry Potter received, or Mad Eye Moody and his flask?  Fiction, yes?  But one never knows the desperate attempts of someone following what they believe is good advice.

Her response to this, my annoyance and disgust?  She claimed that if the person the spell is intended for has strong will, has their shields up, is in tune with the Universe that they won't be affected by the spell at all, so the point is completely moot.  So that's it?  The end?  You cast a spell and it's heads or tails on the outcome, if another person is the target it's a game of who has the stronger will?  What becomes of, then, for those who perform hexes?  If one hexes a rapist to stop their horrific actions, could this be equated to the same will and supposed "strength" of who will be affected and not?

It's often a blurry line of ethics in spell work, and the Wiccan Rede will only guide you so far.  After all, if you want to get philosophical about it, can one really "harm none"?

As these studies and reviews plug along, it's been a good exercise in personal desire, stemming back to the Charge and empowering the Mystery within, in hopes that the next generation cultivate their own sense of awareness and strengths from within and utilize what some of these amazing (and even crap) books have to offer: a guideline, a suggestion, not a rule book of how to be or how to practice.

)0(

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Canada, here we come... almost.

We're apparently going to Presque Isle on Monday.  There's a lot to work out and we're both not entirely sure why Drac's mom actually has to go, but we're all going.  We think she might have something up her sleeve, as she usually does, but she won't clue us in on what that is.  I tried to do some research on Drac's brother, to see if we might be able to, somehow, miraculously find him when we're up there, which then got me thinking of his other brother that I have been wanting to find for him for quite some time, but that will take more patience and research on my end.

Years ago I wanted to find information on his father for him.  I didn't want to tell him, figured I would go on the only thing I had (his name) and if nothing came up, fine, I wouldn't get his hopes up.  As luck would have it, after much research, I found out a decent amount of information and we were able to get some more information from the army about him.  To this day it still pleases Drac to know how much work I put into it for him, as he never got to meet his father who died when he was 3 months old in an accident.  His mother doesn't speak much about the past at all, so getting information out of her is difficult.

I wish we could be up there longer, to make the most of the trip, but it's incentive to gather more information and keep looking.  I've always thought of him as an only child, as, essentially, he is an only child with his adopted mother, but he has 1 brother who he had kept in touch with and 2 others he never saw again after they were put up for adoption.  Nimue could have cousins... it's such a strange thing to me, and I have asked if he has any interest in ever finding the other 2, and he does, but I think he doesn't want to do the work, for fear of not coming up with anything and leading to disappointment.  It is bringing up a lot, so I can understand.  It's made me want to look at my own family ancestry, which is a bit of a challenge as we're the first generation American's and trying to find anyone in Chile is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

We'll be leaving on Monday and coming back sometime Tuesday evening since Drac has to work on Wednesday and can't take anymore time off since his funeral leave.

I'm saddened by the news that Maine did not pass the legal marriage act for gays on Tuesday.  Awful.  To be quite honest, I was actually really surprised.  If NH could pass it, a state that is supposedly "live free and die" but quite Republican and essentially a step backwards in various aspects, if they could pass this, surely Maine, the state where everyone is free to be who they are, such the relaxed and open atmosphere, would be willing to pass it too.  Such a shame.

California, while a surprise to some extent that Prop 8 was even passed, I suppose that when looking at how large the state is and just how many people really don't vote, it was a sad and harsh loss to the LGBT community felt everywhere.  With Maine, I thought it would be a victory and a sort of slap in the face to CA and would push them even harder to fight to overturn Prop 8.

The ads were beautiful.  I was on vacation in Maine when I saw a couple of them and it brought tears to my eyes to see the beauty and bravery of these families to put themselves out there in hopes that people would see them just as they are: regular people trying to enjoy love, just like everyone else.  It's hard to not feel defeated when you hear news like this.

Though, the upside had me thinking of the struggles we've had in this country and how each of those have been overturned for the better.  African American's not being able to drink from the same water fountain; womyn not being able to vote, these were huge aspects of our history that shifted, in time, and while there are still those close-minded people who still mentally live in that time of without justice, there are the warriors fighting this fight now, and this, too, will be won.  It's disheartening, yes, because we want that time NOW, but it will happen.  The upside in all this horrific turn of events is that Kalamazoo passed Ordinance 1856, 62-38%.  It is a victory, and we must take each victory with strength, because the losses are hard.  It's not lost on me that Obama has signed the hate crime legislation, which is another big step in equality and tolerance.  It's days like this that make me sigh a heavy sigh for our world, wondering how much personal, human emotional and compassionate advancements we are really making in our world.  There is only love in my Avalon, and I must continue to cultivate a compassionate way of being. 

As Gandhi said: "You must be the change you want to see in the world."

Today that quote has whole new meaning for me.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Last minute trip?

Last night I was up later than I had intended (but not as late as my general hours of sleep tend to be), journaling and thinking about the "what next" in the scheme of things to accomplish around here, and I feel like things are moving fast, general time is moving fast.  We "gained" an hour from daylight savings ending, but I feel like I gave up a couple of weeks for that one hour.  Strange.

Some things have come up and Drac and I have been discussing postponing the move for a few more years.  Not exactly what either of us wants, but there are a lot of things we are putting back on the table that would make much more sense (in all aspects of life) to stay here for another 5-6 years, hopefully at most.  I wanted to be able to be settled in the town we want to live in before Nimue started school, but the sacrifice of that is small in comparison to what we might be able to give our family overall by staying here, plus it'll keep her closer to our family, and I know she needs that.  Plus I know it'll help me with some of the long-term goals I have in mind, though it'll put some other aspects on hold. 

As they say, everything happens for a reason, right?  More importantly, my questions and requests for guidance and signs from the Goddess have been answered, and what I thought might not be possible could very well be.  As I said, we'll see.  Everything seems to shift in just mere days, and this morning was no exception.

Drac's biological mom called, grieving still from Joe's passing, she is still making plans for her own passing, whether she thinks we're aware of it or not, we know this is the case.  She called very early this morning to ask Drac to drive her to Presque Isle, which is pretty much knocking on Canada's door.  That is where they are originally from, Presque Isle.  Drac has mentioned a desire for us to go there, for him to return to his old home area and see what is left, what has changed, etc.  We had talked about doing this at some point, in another year or so, making a trip out of it, but now that his mom has to go up, to get some paperwork there and needs a ride (a 7+ hour drive), he asked quickly on his way out the door for work if we might all be able to go.  She wants to go next week, he has Monday and Tuesday off, and frankly there's no way he could do it alone.  I'm the late night driver, I'm the one who can virtually stay up all hours of the night and be quite alert.  He'd need me there, more than just for driving, I know he'd need us there for support.

Going back will bring back both good and bad memories of his childhood.  I'm sure it will for his mother, too, but she keeps much of that to herself.  I want to support him, to simply be there and hold his hand.  It's quite last minute, and I don't know if this is something we can swing so last minute with potential classes I need to take this month for my CEU's.  Financially this is not the best time for this, however I know she will pay for as much as she can, she's quite stubborn that way.

I think it would be nice, too, for her to see Nimue again.  She has only seen her as a baby, it has been years, and Nimue just lights up a room, gives you her everything and can heal by her mere presence.  Having her there with us would only help, I know.

It would be exciting to go, though, to see where Drac grew up.  Granted it would only be for a day, but still, I do love road trips!

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

The New Year's Cleanse

The New Year is beginning with a cleanse of the old -- I went to bed early last night after much fun taking Nimue trick-or-treating and laughing at all the candy people kept giving her because of how cute she is.  We didn't hit as many houses, she's still fairly young and it's all about dressing up, but my my did she do amazingly with chocolatly goodness.  All in all a lot of fun, though the weather completely threw me off.  Last year it was quite cold, briskly New England, yesterday it was in the 70s... warm.  Warm on Halloween?  Brought back memories of the one year I spent in California as a kid.  It's not supposed to be that warm on Halloween! 

I have been processing a lot through the dreamworld, last night was no exception.  I woke up every 3 hours from strange dream after strange dream, it was this strange alternate universe of what is to the extreme.  It was strange, and I felt oddly not strange in it.  Confused, yes, but not strange.  Today I have been processing through this cold, relaxing and thinking... thinking...

There is something about the school that I am not feeling kosher about.  As this is a public blog I tend to never use names of actual people, however I will say that there is something quite sketchy about leaving someone who you essentially work for message after message and have them not return it.  It's sketchy, and annoying.  This is not a new development, my internal questions about the school.  I came back after K's death feeling like things would be moving in a positive direction, feeling like I needed to come back both for me and for the students. 

Now?

I've seen things, felt things manifest there, and it's a shift that feels questionable.  I came back as a favor, and the person that I felt I could trust has been... well, shady.  There's something off, and I don't know what it is since I'm not there that often, and when I am there I am focused on class and I go.  The last time I was there in the capacity of listening and observing what I observed was both intriguing and slightly alarming.

This person who I trusted, I've seen her essentially talk shit about everyone, people who we are friends with, and it's made me see that the reverse could also be true, her speaking about me, about my life.  I'm not overly concerned about that, about "secrets" that get revealed.  It's a fact of life, I don't think any secret is meant to stay secret, and I think that the mere fact of our revealing them makes it clearly not secret anymore.

She's been cavalier about people who work there, about the intelligence of some of the students, of the teachers.  It used to be about the service, about the work, about facilitating healing... it's about money now, and I was naive to think otherwise.  One legacy left behind debt over progress, another follows suit.

On the home front we are observing another possibility that we have put on the back burner that is now  making its way to the surface for us to review: this possibility or moving next year.  Both with its pros and cons, this week we're hoping to get some further answers to decide what we'll do next.  I've asked the Goddess for guidance here, I will take some time in reflection after this cleanse works through.

Full Moon is tomorrow, theme is: I Have.  I'm focusing on gratitude for this moon cycle, something I have been journaling about, also something that Nimue and I have been doing at bedtime for evening prayers.  We do a faerie blessing that asks for protection, followed by prayers to the Goddess and focusing on the day's gratitude and blessings we've received, asking for blessings for the family, then story time.

I know there are plenty of Witches/Pagans who come to Witchcraft walking away from a Catholic or Christian upbringing, and equate any form of prayer as being tied to their religion.  As someone who was never brought up in either religion, I don't hold the same feelings towards prayer, and in fact as a child really wanted that established in my life.  Chanting, spells, prayers, all the same.  While it's interesting to note the various ways in which Witches practice, for me my focus is about service and devotion. 

I have friends who focus solely on spellwork, those that focus on the science of the Craft, some that deny Witchcraft as a religion and see the art in it only, it's really interesting to note where people stand, where their beliefs are.  Nearly time to get my tarot cards out, I wanted to wait until the evening where things would be quiet and I could focus on the cards.

Drac has the next 2 days off and I have a lot on my to-do list, one of which is possibly going to see the Michael Jackson film that's only out for 2 weeks.  I admit, I'm curious, and I was saddened by his death.  His music brings so many wonderful memories of my childhood, and later it became quite healing during my depression.  Then it's time for holiday making!  The first project on the agenda: a purple pair of knitted socks for my mother, who has been hinting and hinting for a knitted pair of socks ever since she saw the first pair I made.  I will, however, vow to not knit myself a pair with the snazzy multi-colored goodness yarn that I purchased until after the holidays.  Really.

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tricks or Treats, Samhain has come!

Halloween and Samhain are here -- how did the end of the year come so quick?  So much to reflect on, the day already feels like it's simply whizzing by.  Thankfully Samhain isn't simply celebrated on today, the 31st.  Each tradition is different; when I was in BFC we observed Samhain on November 7th; many traditional Pagans celebrate on October 31st, others continuing through to November 2nd, as well as getting the opportunity to celebrate once more when Lunar Samhain rolls around.  This many days of celebrations?  Jai Ma!!

I was going to go to my old covenmates tonight for ritual, but she has informed me that she was just exposed to H1N1.  She works as a nurse so I imagine being exposed to a variety of illnesses is fairly common, I trust she will be well but sending her light none the less.  So, tonight I plan to stay in and enjoy the evening after taking Nimue trick-or-treating.

Our town is one of the few in NH that actually has trick-or-treating ON Halloween.  Such a shame that days had to be specifically set aside for trick-or-treating.  What has this world come to?  Such a shame.

Nimue has requested to be a Princess this year.  She picked out her pink ballgown dress, has several wands at her disposal (though found a Disney Princess one at the store that I allowed myself to purchase despite the "Made in China" stamp... grrr), and a purple tiara.  When discussing this yesterday, about her outfit, she realized that she didn't have any "Princess shoes"... when I suggested sneakers (as they won't be seen due to the length of the dress) she simply scoffed at me, "No Mommy, that won't work"... to be the parent of a possible fashionista, oh my!  Clothes are clothes.  I want to make sure they weren't made in a sweat shop, that I'm not supporting a Communist China, and that the fibers haven't harmed... with that said I'm definitely not into fashion in the least.

However, we came to an agreement on the shoes, providing the rain holds off I suggested she wear her "flower girl" shoes that she wore to my sister's wedding this year.  "That's a GREAT idea Mommy!"  Whew, crisis averted!

She has requested that Mommy dress up as a Witch, which was her request last year and I imagine many more years to come, too cute; and she requested that Drac be a Prince... hm... a Princess and Prince, me the Witch?  Perhaps too many Disney movies at work here!

Tomorrow I am planning on doing ritual, honoring the elders who have passed this year and paying homage to my ancestors on the other side.  I'm also planning on doing a ritual that I posted on ADC (which reminds me that I must close the gates after today).  We've begun our HBWM studies and, in perfect time for Samhain, I want us to do a ritual to meet our Slothwoman. 

Z describes this in the beginning of Chapter 1, on page 8:

"My theory is that deep within ourselves, there lives a creature I call Slothwoman (or Slothman).  She is our ancestral brain that is the repository for all our racial memories, that controls healing; a sturdy creature, to be sure, but speechless.  She is into the elements, this brain: fire, water, and earth.  She controls our instinctive behavior.  Our sex life would be boring without her help, and generally she is what we deny in ourselves in this modern life.

In order to impress our Slothwoman, we have to do tricks, like making up little rhymes, easy ones she can rock to back and forth, and make a pretty little altar that would turn her on.  We can use candles and incense to fascinate her within -- use magic, which is her language, her form.

This sweet gentle giant is the key to our lives; she is body, health, sex, instinct, creativity, and love.  She wants securty from us.  She wants to be regarded.  She wants to be called forth.  Otherwise, she can sleep through our modern lives and do nothing.  She is Slothwoman, ancestor."


I think it's important for us to identify these ancestors, these guides, in our lives to be able to foster the next steps in spiritual journey.  I have decided to make this part of my Samhain ritual this year.

I have a lot on my plate this Samhain -- good thing I like to celebrate on the various days mentioned above!  A vision board is on the list, which is a different area of manifestation that I don't often utilize, relative to visualization, my manifestation comes more from the power of words and symbols, so this will be fun to explore and nurture the inner child who loves to paste!

And of course we must not forget the annual new year card reading for the year!  I will pull a card tonight, however I plan to do a full reading either later tonight or tomorrow after ritual.  Generally I tend to choose the deck I most resonate with in the moment, the one I have worked on the most, however last night in contemplating my approach to this my guides very clearly said that I would benefit from utilizing all of my decks for this reading.

This has been a big year, coming out of my first Saturn Return, the various changes I made in my professional life and the continued changes and shifts in my spiritual life, the cards and utilizing all of them is another layer of expansion.  I will choose one card from each deck, some will have focus for each month of the year, while the others will serve as further guidance.

Much to do in such a short amount of time, I'm looking forward to what the New Year will bring, reminding myself to pay closer attention to language and the power of speech, as well as what I am cultivating, but more importantly, how I am choosing to cultivate it.

Blessed Samhain wishes to all, may the wisdom of our ancestors bring a new dimension of growth!

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

EPC

I don't know why, but in general I tend to get a little surprised by people who don't know what EPC is, more particularly spiritual people.  Really?  Most people have practiced this and have no idea, and in fact I would say that's true about 98% of the students I teach.  I suppose it's just the label of which we define it that might not make sense to people, I know I'm certainly one of them at times.

If you don't know what EPC is, it's Etheric Plane Communication.  The basic way I like to start discussing this with my students is that it's communicating with another being on the etheric plane.  Some will go as far as to describe the etheric plane as the dream plane, though I don't equate the two as being the same, but that's a discussion for another day. 

In this communication, you are able to speak with another being and begin the process of healing.  You are in a safe space of being able to vocalize what you want to say to another without possible consequences that you might have in person. 

Many people do this now, in their daily lives.  Have you ever wanted to say something to someone and imagined them as you looked into the mirror, or perhaps spoke to them while driving in your car, having this internal dialogue with them, saying what needed to be said?  That is a form of EPC.  We all do it.  Most people who do EPC tend to equate it with hypnotherapy, but I have been doing this work long before I became a clinical hypnotherapist.  Though many traditional hypnotherapists don't define it as such, it's taken on a common practice under alchemical hypnotherapy, which happens to be the type of hypnotherapy I studied and practice.

My practice in hypnotherapy has shifted from my initial training to include deeper aspects of spirituality and shamanism enfolded into the mix.  My practice in healing is a direct influence from my daily spiritual practice, my passion cultivating into spiritual rebirthing, all of which I practice in Her name.

Last night I processed through the dreamworld with EPC, and what has slowly morphed out of that has begun another layer of healing on the physical level that was needed, more relative to relationships that I haven't quite let go of in this life, but have simply left ignored, never really dealing with it.

The thing about EPC is that once this form of communication is complete, once you begin this process, there is, inevitably, a shift that not only occurs with you, but also tends to affect the relationship between you and this other person/being.  What that direct shift is is individual.  There are no case points to say it will be "better" or "worse" (words I choose to shift in my general vocabulary), but there is an energetic occurance that happens that is, to me, quite marvelous.  It's not about bending will, nothing in the least to do with that.  This is about you, YOUR healing, your perspective, your voice.

Let me be clear, the communication isn't a platform for you to spew out hate, this is about communication, it's done from the core of your spirit, releasing what needs to be released.  The object isn't to be hurtful and hateful, it's to find resolution.  You say what needs to be said, to their etheric self, while also being open to hearing what they, in turn, have to say.  Can you come to an agreement?  Do you feel at peace?  Has there been a resolution made?

The thing about the inevitable shift that occurs?  You must release your attachment to it being your way.  We exist in a multitude of planes, thus the results of how this unfolds will also exist in these planes as well.  Sometimes it's quite obvious in this waking realm, other times there is a knowing, there is healing that has occurred and it's beyond the need for us to understand it or experience it any further on this physical plane.

My approach to life is quite similar, if not entirely mirroring the way I teach and practice, in that I like things to be done in a permissive manner, and when in doubt, do my best to come from a place of loving kindness.  EPC is the same way.

I think we, as a human species, have sometimes lost sight of how to communicate with others.  We talk at each other, we don't tend to fully listen, and when we do listen, most of the time it's merely done with our physical ears, not "hearing" with the other senses, which is something I do focus on as an instructor.

Last night's EPC was healing.  It was letting go.  This morning I saw a physical shift with one of the participants, and with the other I have given myself the permission to walk away, at least for now.  The release was necessary, but more importantly I was ready for it.  The charge is no longer there.  It's another gift in liberation.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Passing thoughts

I've been waking up late the past several mornings, mostly due to the cloudy haze and darkness that it still feels like 4 or 5am, so needless to say I go back to sleep. Today I was up early, awoken from strange dreams, the rain has me wanting to curl up with several good books.  Or to study.  Or knit.  Clearly I can't make up my mind this week.

Christopher emailed this morning to say that Ted Andrews had crossed the veil on Saturday.  So sad.  I was just thinking of his work last week, how "Animal Speak" is quite essential in any Pagan/Witch library.  Such a year of loss, so terrible to lose people who have created some amazing and powerful works this year, such as Andrews, as well as Marion Weinstein, watching more and more of these authors cross to the other side.  It's inevitable in the cycle of life, still, quite sad to see them go, hoping that what gets left behind is not just the memory of their work, but inspiration in younger authors who will pioneer as well.  I'm not seeing much of that lately.  Much of what is being published is the same old same old.  It's been awhile since I have felt compelled to pick up anything a new author puts out.  Then again my tastes have changed considerable.

I think that most of what gets published now is still for the beginner.  Much of the gems for those wanting to explore beyond has been there, hidden in the dust, but I think more than that is this realization that when you get to a certain place in your practice no book is going to tell you how to expand further.  As a Witch we must go further within, traveling to the realms of our spirit guides and ancestors and studying with them.  These books, these marvelous gems that have greatly impacted my life and still hold value is the foundation.  How we create the rest of our journey is truly up to us.

Samhain is but a few days away -- planning on taking Nimue trick-or-treating, even if her cold isn't fully gone, it's once a year and she's quite looking forward to it, lots of layers, she'll be fine.  I had thought of attending the NH Witches Ball this year, but instead I may head over to my old covenmates for a ritual.  It's not exclusive to her coven and she has extended an invitation which is nice.  I believe, aside from ancestral honor, there will be focus on a Buddhist Chod practice -- a practice of cutting through the ego.

Aside from being a Witch/Pagan, I am also a Buddhist practitioner.  I took refuge vows back in 2004 and, for me, the combination of my Pagan, Shamanic and Buddhist practices and training has all tied together nicely.  One has directly influenced the other, and it has flowed.  My old covenmate is aware of this.  In fact we were both together for my refuge vows and did a White Tara Empowerment with His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche.  It was most enlightening, and it created a massive shift in consciousness for me.

I'm also doing a bit of house cleansing around here, preparing for the new year, clearing out the old, both physically and spiritually, and making way to allow for the new. 

Also, as Samhain approaches, I will be closing the gates to ADC for another season until Imbolg of next year.  I like this approach, allowing it to open at certain times, giving those who really want to be part of this group (and simply not just join for the sake of adding Dianic groups under their belts) a chance to really be part of something that I hold dear to my heart. Hard to imagine how long this group has been going.  I was still a girl without a voice, taking over because I didn't want to see it go, and now, it's intimate and safe, and it makes me hopeful for what can happen when you gather in the flesh, because we have allowed ourselves to strip away the layers, and we're each digging and sharing deep within.  It's not an easy task, and the atmosphere of permissive energy is quite needed in this oftentimes harsh, patriarchal world.  It gives me further hope for what comes next.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Coming to the Goddess

At ADC we've begun our book study with Z's HBWM, and upon reading through the intros and first chapter I felt that we needed to begin with sharing what brought us to the Goddess.  Z shares in the few first pages about coming to the Goddess, saying "falling in love seems to be the biggest recruiter for the Goddess."  It's not the same as our coming out of the broom closet stories, the identification of coming to the Goddess is a huge thing to vocalize, and it felt important for us to begin there.  My own story has many parts.  Here is what I shared with the systers there:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What brought me to the Goddess?

As I child I longed for some kind of spiritual direction.  My parents are non-practicing Catholics, I was baptized in the Catholic church and my religious education in that tradition ended there.  Years later my brother made attempts to teach me on his own, from his religious books from CCD, but even then I couldn't identify as God being masculine.

During my childhood years I can recall so distinctly this sense of being attuned to nature -- trees, the Weeping Willow was a guardian, my guardian, even then.  I equated Her with safety and familiarity, Her presence, then, wasn't something I identified as Goddess-embodiment.  I just knew that talking to Her, talking to, what I felt at the time was simply speaking to myself, was really speaking to Her, the Lady.  Nights spent under the moon sharing my soul to what I simply assumed was the void was connectivity in motion, and it wasn't until November of 1995 that I identified that the connectivity was the Goddess.

On Halloween night, 1995, I went out with some friends, attempting one last outing of trick-or-treating as 16 year old's, not dressed up at all, though, I recall the exact outfit I wore to this day.  Details that were foggy once before have become so clearer as the years go by. 

My best friend at the time was dating a boy who was less than kind.  He was verbally abusive, cheating on her, abusing her friends, and sadly she took it, not knowing any different.  That night on our way to finding our friend's house, we got lost on a few side streets, ending up in a dead end street that had a couple of abandon houses, near the highway.  We turned to leave and there was her boyfriend, along with 2 of his other friends.  3 of us, 3 of them.  He had been rude, calculating, playing a game knowing he had her, and essentially us, trapped.  One of them took our friend in a choke-hold, punching her, kicking her, suffocating her, while the other took me, proceeding to touch me in places I still cringe to think of in memory.  She, my best friend, was meant to watch, to stand there and watch while her boyfriend made crude remark after remark, describing in detail what was being done to us, and she stood, out of body, paralyzed and numb, as we took the abuse he had meant for her. 

The other girl, nearly purple at this point, managed to slip out of the grip one had on her, while I stood, paralyzed myself, being touched, being groped at, begging internally for this to stop, yet saying nothing.  I think had the abuse been physical, as with our friend, then maybe I would have fought.  I had grown up being physically abused at times, I would have fought back... this was new to me, to think that someone would willingly sexually abuse another, it wasn't something I had ever really known.

Her escape, our friend who had been choked, was really the saving grace for our exit, as her screams became louder and louder, all the intentions they had vanished, and their parting threats began what felt like a prison sentence.

I remember that night sitting in the corner of the tub, hot water pouring over me, feeling as though I'd never be clean again, feeling as though I would never ever be safe again... it was a scary place to be. 

My friend and I had no plans to sit back and do nothing, though my best friend urged us to forget about it, see it as the mistake that it was and let it go, our friendship soon ended after that incident, and our directions in life turned. Mine taking a leap of faith in the justice system, going to the police and determined to make as much noise out of this as I could, only to have the police turn me away, urging me to even move out of the city I was living in, for the boys who did this came from families that were in prison for things that I didn't know existed in human reality.

Girls in school who had found out what happened told me of their own stories of abuse by their hands, but wouldn't come forward, hoping I would be the one to do it.  The other friend, she left, left school, left the city, I never heard from her again. 

All of this was in the span of less than 2 weeks after the incident.  Less than 2 weeks where I began to fear the solitude and safety of the night I once held so dear, where I no longer slept, where I feared being anything at all. 

I don't recall the exact night this happened, but I recall all the details of the night where I had felt my final ounce of hopelessness.  I had received a threatening message from them, and I felt the end of everything.

The details of what happened next feels like a novel itself, but to shorten this lengthy post, I tried to take my life that night.  It saddens me to think of how desperate, how sad and lonely and scared a child could be to go to those extremes.  I share these details, details that were significant in every step of the way, because these steps, that moment of desperation, was the awakening I took in coming to the Goddess.

It was Her voice I heard, somewhere in the inner mindscape, that told me to call for help.  It was Her voice that kept whispering in my ear to not give up, to find strength, no matter how small it felt then, and to hold onto that.

I held onto that fear and that pain for quite some years.  Bit by bit shedding the layers, transforming and releasing, She was the one who sat with me during the years of depression I had, helping me to hold onto the light that was within, especially at my weakest, embracing the Goddess within.

This Samhain marks 14 years since that has happened.  A horrible memory embraced by the realization of how powerful a day the New Year can be. 

It's from that incident that so many other marvelous things began to unfold, such as the healing work that I facilitate, especially for the empowerment of womyn.  As Richard Bach says, "You teach best what you most need to learn", and it was a great deal of processing, with the safety and love of the Goddess by my side, that my own lessons of empowerment began to rebirth. 

This time of year I am always reminded of that time.  Of a 16 year old girl who retreated internally and sat enclosed in a web of fear, but emerged, from the fear, with the fear, without throwing any parts of myself away, all from coming home to the Goddess.

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