There are amazing teachers that pass through our lives leaving a wake of change, enriching us, and fueling us to move forward to the next level on our paths. Shakma Winddrum, who passed into the Shining Land last night, was one of those teachers.
Here is one of my stories about how Shakma touched me and made a huge difference for me personally. In the spring of 2003, I had just joined Guardians of the Windsword when it had dedicated on Samhain 2002. I was excited to be attending a special event that the Assembly was hosting, having Shakma as a guest speaker for a weekend intensive. I had no idea what to expect. The air was still, and yet the excitement of the growing spring and our anticipation zinged through the great room like static electricity. Then Shakma was wheeled through the room to the front, I felt as if we should be standing in her honor. The sheer power of her presence was that of royalty.
She spoke of many things that day. Some I understood, like the value of truly having faith and listening without the need to immediately question or to react. She spoke to each of us who were in attendance, sometimes with difficult words of judgement, a call to action to each. She looked at me, a unsure, young woman of 21 and smiled in joy. The forceful pillars of firey power behind her eased, and I relaxed. She told me, "You are a priestess! Have you told your teachers your intentions?!" I said I had not, that I didn't know I was a priestess. "Well you better let them know! Cause you are a priestess! Mmm hmm. " She looked to the back of the room, shaking her finger at me, and gave Ivo a look. He nodded. After hearing what she had said, challenging some of my friends, I was petrified, glued to my chair in both respect and trepidation that I would set her off and break this spell of encouragement.
The next day we had a ritual in which everyone was to come to the center, the sweet spot of the domed great room, for an experience directly with Shakma and the Assembly's ancor, a huge brass cauldron. Shakma broke shells and barriers within me and I heard this ringing bell echo and spill forth from the cauldron, filling the room, and shaking through my being. That bell, was my own voice singing in joy and connection, heralding the priestess I would grow in be in the years to come.
That ritual was my first experience with cross tradition magick, Shakma, and the ASW's cauldron, open in all its splendor. The memory of the sound of that bell, that moment, the invocation of self, rings out to me often, awakening my magickal self and calling me to action in all of my parts. I would say that moment, is one of the most important tools I have as a magickal practicioner and I use it often.
The following is a glimmer of the hope and inspiration she called forth for us all. Thank you, and hail, Shakma Winddrum for the vital lesson and challenges you gave us all. The world is changed for the better for you having been here.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I was sardonically thinking earlier today as I contemplated a blog entry that I during the darker months I should change the name of my blog from "Letting go is Flying" to "Slogging through SADD". Fortunately, even when I'm in the dumps, I'm really not THAT negative, so I won't indulge in that idea.
Last night Craig and I had a conversation about the research he'd been doing at the medical library of the hospital where he works. He wants us to invest in several things to make our tiny urban apartment more of a sanctuary for me. This includes a white sound machine that has birdsong and rain sounds, switching out our lightbulbs for full-spectrum bulbs, and lots of plants. Everyone that knows me, is aware of my huge penchant for plants of all sorts. I have not had the spare income in the past few years to really devote the resources into indoor gardening though. Now, its become a priority and I have to say, I am tickled pink! I'm looking into hanging plants, forcing bulbs, and creating an indoor green sanctuary this winter.
We'll see where it goes, but I'm looking forward to not having everything bear after I take down my holiday decorating.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Spark of spirit,
joining sky to ground.
Timeless and forever
Split second, fleeting.
lost in eternity
formless and no me
No-thing hung in stasis
Is that how all of the universe was created?
How is it that life hangs on a pinpoint?
No thoughts, no words,
Connection in all, otherness, nothingness.
Memory is nothing too.
No time, just one circular Now.
I've taken a little bit of a break for the past few weeks not blogging, not writing articles. I've been very busy living. Priestessing, teaching classes, leading my study group... All those things are par for the course. I've also found myself stretching who I am, how I define myself, and how I have been living. I've been daring to have experiences I wouldn't have dreamed of in the past. I stripped on stage in a gay bar in New Orleans and danced myself silly in my underwear and a latex neck tie. I've been flirty and outgoing, chatty--I've been having fun and letting go. I'm living as the quirky, queer person I am without excuses, shame, or guilt. There just isn't time nor space for shame or guilt in my life.
My dreamworld has changed lately too. Dreams of passing through worlds, meeting new people, and shape-shifting into animals, speaking with animals, and flying. Both in dreams and in waking I find myself falling into the abyss within the eyes of another. This is not oblivion, but pure connection--Oneness.
Yet, in contrast to the incredible experience life is, I struggle. I struggle with the challenging boundaries and hard-knock lessons of Saturn. I struggle with the long nights of the dark time. I struggle with the separation that is existence in Malkuth. Because I call my yearly struggle SADD (Seasonal Affective Depression Disorder) it is as if giving the struggle a name should explain it out of reality. This is not a failing on my part to be spiritual, connected, or positive enough. This is part of my challenges in this lifetime. I'm okay and others understand and are gentle with me. Saturn is forcing me to gain new perspectives and look for different types of solutions. SADD too, has a solution and I'm going to find it.
I share because our human-ness, our struggles, and fears need voice. We are not alone in this human experience. We are in it together, all a part of this great spinning sphere we call Earth.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
So, now that over a week has gone by since the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel's annual Hecate Festival, I am looking back at the experience to see what has come of it for me. Let me give you a bit of back story on this year's ritual. This was the 10th time I've attended the ritual and the first time that I had the role as one of the priestesses aspecting Hecate. I was Hecate in her Mother aspect.
I think the main thing I am coming away with is that we all seem to hide in our personal universes in an effort to not let anyone hurt us. We turn away, shield, make facades and masks. We are circuitous, subversive, and we lie to ourselves and to others, hoping that naked truth of ourselves won't be discovered.
And yet, we are walking about naked as can be, as ourselves and just like each other. We are always together and always connected, no matter how often we deny this or turn away. Over and over again, I find that each time I stick my neck out, share personal things about myself or share a tear, a hug, a true feeling with someone, I not only find greater connection with people, but I also find a blossoming within myself.
Are you a tight bud, fighting against the frost, or do you wish to be a fully blooming lotus, floating in the life stream? There are no secrets, no shame. Step outside of the fear and connect, affect one another and tap in.
Everyone is seeking acceptance. Make it your part to contribute to that acceptance; of yourself, of each other. Look at people in the eye, not the surface, but the depth of their soul. Find yourself within. Put down the armor. The battle is an illusion.
Spread your wings. The sun, the wind, and Love is waiting.