Taking some time to catch up after the day-long Temple Leadership Retreat. I never get tired of them, wishing I had more availability in my schedule to take time out to do more of them, each one is a new experience, new moment of self-discovery, and moments of connecting and reconnecting. Today was a different retreat than those I normally tend to participate in, but it was a good different.
Gathering together with the other ministries and getting to hear first hand what the intention is, who the faces were behind each of these pillars was quite exciting. The brainstorming, the collective conscious, the respect that was shared in that room today was empowering, and really gratifying to be a part of. I was so impressed with everyone's thoughts and how far the Temple has come and the excitement of where it will be going.
We had a lot of time to talk, to experience, and follow-up with ritual by the end of the retreat. I hadn't yet decided, by the time the retreat began, as to what ministry I'd like to work in. When the initial questionnaire came out I was choosing between three: Ministry of Sagittarius - The Teacher, for the obvious choice in that I am an instructor already and it's something I find I more easily gravitate towards and further workings on the philosophy of Witchcraft excited me; then there was the Ministry of Cancer - The Mother, which had other areas, aside from the fact that I am a Mother both in physical form but in this aspect of the Triple Goddess in my life right now, but also because of my passion towards womyn's mysteries, as well as my (somewhat surprising to myself) leaning towards children's education within the Craft. It's a natural tendency to bring Nimue up in a tradition that I most resonate with and one that we practice as a family, and it made me look deeper into the religion as we could share it with children; not as dogmatic rule, but as a way of practice, something that can so easily flow for children with their beginner mind and openness without pre-program. Then the final choice I was considering was Ministry of Scorpio - The Guardian. In particular, working with people and families to help cross over veil and their transition between the worlds. I owe my interest in part to both Jonathan and Amy for this -- mostly Amy, who wanted me to be there to help cross her over and the gift and lesson she presented me with when I was able to do that for her brought home the purpose of ministerial service and how as Priestesses we must remind ourselves that what flows from Her is also something that returns and flows back to Her. It's easy to get caught in one aspect over the other. I was also interested in the sacred sexuality aspect.
So, with that in mind, I came to the retreat open, knowing I would possibly dip my feet in other aspects of the ministry as a whole, but really wanting to have a foundational focus for my work and purpose there within the Temple. I felt confident that by the day's end that I would have a clearer vision of where I wanted to lend myself to, and in part I do have more clarity.
The end of the workshop aspect brought us to the evening ritual where we journeyed to learn more and gather more information on our role in the Temple. Here I received a really interesting message, letters and a number, just a single number, it could have read like a license plate. There were other aspects within the journey that became clearer and clearer, but I had no idea what these letters represented, and I had this moment where in my journey I smiled to myself remember the simplistic, yet powerful, approach to receiving an answer to a question: just ask.
And so I did.
My power animal told me what the letters represented and how it affects where I will place my main area of focus within a particular pillar. I love how when you allow ego to step out of it and you and spirit are attuned to one another, the information just easily soars. That journey, specifically, gave me more insight as to where my purpose in the Temple might be.
I took a moment before leaving to thank Christopher for inviting me to be part of the leadership with all of the other wonderful witches he had gathered today. It was comforting and affirming to hear him tell me how in his vision of gathering those he could trust and who he felt could be an asset to the Temple that I was one of those people. Amazing to reflect back over 8 years ago when we met, he and I having small correspondence via email and getting a chance to meet him at the first (and only) NH PPD he did and walking up to him telling him I wanted him to marry me and Drac... he had just recently become ordained and hadn't really told anyone yet. I firmly believe my presence at that year's PPD was to meet him.
From there I wanted to study with him but had myself so committed to BFC it just didn't seem appropriate or right timing. Sounds so familiar now, with Lama Surya, and yet, it took me some time, but years later I am studying with Christopher and actively part of the Temple organization he has co-founded.
This all comes together nicely as Imbolc is only a few days behind us, but the energy of beginnings is still fostering itself and lingering about. I had the workshop with Lama Willa that I really enjoyed. It was a short event but produced this really amazing moment of connecting to an understanding (within that very moment, this is key: present awareness) about the past.
"The past is the past... let it go"... how many times do we hear this? More often than not it's said in malice, in anger, in frustration... we, as a culture, hold onto the past, with white-knuckled grips, and we carry it with us, from moment to moment, sometimes adding to the story that has already been played, but hearing to "let it go" from a place of love and of ease and of natural wisdom was refreshing. I was in a place where I was ready to hear it in its simplistic form, and I was able to internalize it in a way I hadn't allowed myself before.
In listening to the dharma talks from the retreat I wasn't able to attend last month, it's been so eye-openly awakening that it even has me going "holy shit". Truly, these are not "new" concepts; the lamas would be the first to tell you this, but there is something about hearing it in a way that you hadn't really "heard" or "listened" to is incredibly empowering.
With the pleasant exhaustion that comes from each retreat I do, I am blissfully ready for beautiful sleep. I want to allow my being to internalize this information of today while I sleep. I love these kinds of days.