The final aspect of the new year (in that triplicity I spoke about before) has arrived -- celebrated my birthday on Tuesday.
After taking the few days before to look back on the previous calendar year, and looking at the patterns of where things have been carried over functionally, and what I have carried over from a dysfunctional behavioral pattern. Thankfully not much, but there are, naturally, areas I'm still working on, such as compassion and truly seeing the Divine in each and every human being, not being selective in the moment or telling myself I will and then get caught up in the idle gossip around me. Perhaps another reason why I'm just not into group environments. Open the moments of the lull and gossip ensues around. I think to some degree we're all guilty of it, and even if my role in it is conceivably small, it's still a role I don't wish to participate in.
I took the evening after putting Nimue to bed for ritual. We're on Chapter 2 in HBWM in our ADC book study and Z has this ritual in that chapter, A Ritual For Self-Realization, that really spoke to me. She also has a beautiful birthday ritual, but it wasn't what intuitively felt right, even on my birthday, the self-realization was appropriate, so I chose to go with that.
She suggests we do it in the hour of Venus, performing it on Venus' day (Friday) each week until we feel that full realization, so today is the next part for me. I wasn't concerned about doing it on a Tuesday (Mars), because while planetary hours have their important factors, lets face it, anything with math sends me in the opposite direction! When I was in BFC we had to learn planetary hours as we progressed through our studies, I think most all traditions lead you there after the basics of Witchcraft, and it has immense value, but I admit it's not my forte, so I tend to take the approach that intention is best, and if I can do what I can to align my work with as much astrological alignment as possible, then it's a success. Of course, there's always the mention and intention that all workings be for the highest good, and I think that planetary hours are the same, it's intention, and for those that can delve further into it with great understanding, all the better! Though I know we'll be delving into it in W2 this year... I'll cross (or recross) that bridge when we get there!
The ritual itself was amazing. A wonderful gift to myself on my birthday, it lasted for about 2 hours start to finish. It tied in perfectly with the theme of this year for me: Balance. It was so tied together that it was truly perfect, and the emotions that surfaced were somewhat surprising. You address the things you both love and dislike about yourself, looking into a mirror and addressing them in balance. Not focusing on simply the ones you love, then the things you dislike, or vice versa, because that is too off-kilter and doesn't serve you at all. The back and forth about giving love to each aspect, whether you love or dislike it, is an empowering step.
I admit I got annoyed probably halfway through it. My ego was stepping up and wanted to know why I would love an aspect of myself that I didn't like instead of loving yourself in spite of this attribute. For example, one of the things I dislike is my lack of compassion in certain situations. I'd like to think I am compassionate, but there are still areas I am working on in sharing love without attachment (to me or another). Z suggests you say something to the effect of "I love you, Silver, because you lack compassion in certain situations"... at first these things were fine with the first few I had come up with, but when others became more specific it was harder to say this without annoyance or even anger (perhaps Tuesday's Mars energies were adding to this!). I wanted to say that I loved myself in spite of this, but when I stopped for a moment to contemplate who really wanted to say that, and why, I realized it was more fear-based energy, afraid to let go.
One of the things I speak about a lot is befriending those aspects of Self that we don't love; to befriend it, find out why it's there, what is its purpose, and how can we work together functionally, in harmony. If there is no working together harmoniously, we send it away with love, filling the void with something beautiful for ourselves so that it doesn't return. I realized this was the same thing. If I'm unwilling to love those parts that I truly do dislike I won't learn to really love myself as a Whole. These attributes are here for a reason. I created them for a reason. In this moment I don't really need to concern myself with bombardments of "why", but just focus on this step of mirror-work to give it love.
As Z says, the practice is to develop divine compassion in yourself, and I could feel that in certain areas more than others, but overall it was eye-opening, and healing. It may have seemed odd to do this as a personal birthday rite, but intuitively I was quite drawn to it, and I'm glad I did it.
I completed the ritual with a birthday spread for the calendar year and it was spot on with messages I have been receiving since Samhain. All tied together, the new year for me has fully begun.
We had class on Wednesday night and did some meditations for Fire and Water, and I was actually a little bit surprised (not much) by my resistance to Fire's energies... personal Will... I suppose I'm really not all that surprised. Christopher gave me the incense and one of the candles from the meditation to work with, which I plan to do after this weekend. I want to focus on devotions and the self-realization ritual again and then focus on more Fire and Water next week. The Water one was much easier. Helpful messages from my guides that I am integrating, still tying in with the theme of compassion.
I am hopeful for a day of rest. Everyone around me has been sick and it's not unusual that after my birthday arrives that I fall sick. Well, generally it's the week of my birthday, which as anyone who knows me knows that I tend to view it more as a cleansing than a mundane aspect of simply "getting sick". I'm quite surprised that I didn't start the new year with being sick, considering how many around me are currently. I also realized that part of that sickness is just programming, telling myself that there is a "need" for me to cleanse each year with a fever, stuffy nose, cough, etc. when in reality there really is no "need" for me to process through that kind of physical ailment. None at all. I can still process and cleanse on any of the other subtle bodies without need to manifest them into the physical body.
With that said, I'm still planning on joyously laying under the covers, drinking juice, wishing someone would make me soup and slipping off into a good, deep nap.