Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Life, Love, Joy

This is my favorite music video at the moment.  I think the dance is just so expressive.  I have spend the past one and a half years mourning, purging, healing, and thinking about love and relationships.  The tears are long over and the pain is gone.  I can't say I'm not a little disgruntled, but that's okay.  That tells me I'm keeping my eyes open and not suppressing my feelings.

My family is going through a lot lately.  Growing old is not for sissies and my parents are certainly getting a boatload of challenges with my mom dealing with chemo and stage IV cancer.

I have to say I don't feel broken and empty anymore.  I don't feel the need to go find someone either.  Sure, I get lonely and cuddling on the couch a watching a movie with someone would be good.   Cuddling is good.  Financial autonomy is good too.  I'm really looking forward to the psych classes I'm taking this spring semester.  I'm looking forward to putting together an updated portfolio and even, studying for the GRE's.

One of the books that made the biggest impression on me this year was Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert.  She did a lot of reflection and research into the institution of marriage to write that book.  Another book on the biology of sexuality that I read this year was Sex at Dawn.  I am excited to see what further theories evolutionary psychologists and anthropologists come up with. 

My buddy Paul and I were talking about my choice to be alone.  Between my desire to have someone who is responsible, smart, magickally inclined, and good looking, that excludes, oh I don't know, 98% of people.  That's okay.  I'm not willing to settle anymore.  I have too much to offer this world to be wasting my time, money, and tears on anything less that soul dancing.  I have too much to do, to learn, to experience, to see, to be willing to squander it on the cruel, the manipulative, the games.  I've got to many planets in my house of work to be playing silly games or to be played.

Yay for turning 33!

Paul also shared this article today. Something Better Than Finding a Soulmate  Healthy.  It's such a novel concept!

I can't figure out if I want to paint or to dance.  

Smile, hug someone, laugh.  It's good for you.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The First Gate of the Underworld

Having spent over a year in forgiveness, patience, and being gentle with myself, I have started to ask myself the harder questions.  Little by little I have rebuilt and art practice, and yet, I am terrified to take on the big projects, the scary dreams.  I am afraid to raise the stakes.  I am afraid of the terrible purpose that guides me that compels me to paint and write and find out what remains after the fear has passed. 

What remains looks something like this.  Would you read a book written in such a way?

Madness.  It isn’t alluring in it’s macabre strangeness.  It is no gothic, romantic prison.  Madness is a wretched oubliette with no center of gravity, no compass, and no map.

Losing your mind, however, is seductive.  What is titillating and different, dangerous is captivating.  But it bend you, little by little, warping your mind out of shape, pushing you further and further away from the normal safe reality you once trusted and depended on.  With pain, excitement, and fear, you lose yourself step by step in the unfamiliar, the strange, dark forest.  The curious abnormalities push you further away from your solar center and further towards the outer reaches of your reality.  You shift, infinitesimally, moment and moment, day by day, until you grow accustomed to the eccentricities and the peculiarities.  Month by month polar north shifts until unperceivably, the world has flipped upside down upon its axis.  You don’t feel the earth turning, do you?

There you find the uncontrollable forces of the Old Gods.  There, in the hopeless solitude of maladaptation, you find Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto.  There you drown in the ocean’s salty tears of uncontrollable emotion, the riptide and tsunami of outer poles of melancholy and mania.  You think you have stretched to the outer limits of heaven, and, in fact you have.  But here there is no light and beneficent bearded father with angels in unending exultation.  Instead, as if by bait and switch, here in the edges at the beginning of time, you meet Oranos, the monstrous Titan father who devours his children.  Feeling betrayed in your shredded, masticated state, you sink deeper, into the cold waters of isolation and despair.  Here you meet, the terrible, the notorious, Lord of the dead.  You meet the abductor, the rapist, the end.  Here stands Hades, God of the Underworld.

Once having crossed the river Styx there is no turning back.  You have taken the oath, drank the draught of life and death.  By your will alone, you stepped on the ferryman's boat.  Here, in the underworld, your initiation begins . . . begins with death. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Gifts and gratitude

Getting home from my latest trip, I've been thinking about a few things. I've got a cold, so normally, I'd expect myself to be depressed, but I'm not. Normally I'd be crashing into the energy drop associated with the letdown of a social function with magickal people, but I'm not. Even my odd dreams make more sense. I have context to see them as creative rather than sexual, inner polarities rather than embarrassments.

I was bored today.  I am congested, so I didn't want to use my brain or hurt my eyes with reading a whole lot, so I went inward. 

For my Assisi Institute class I'm reading a wonderful book called the Gift by Lewis Hyde. It got me to thinking about the difference between selling and making art. I love making art.  I am sad when it sits around my house collecting dust after it's finished. I can engage in art and enjoy the process and give it away. I can find shows to participate in and do fund raising with it. I can share my art with others.  I am financially comfortable and can do art for enjoyment. 

I love teaching. I'm good at it. I don't get nervous about it and my audience gets something out of it too. Richard Tarnas spoke about choosing your audience and not writing for a watered down audience to be broadly accepted or be popular. Just because there isn't a market, doesn't mean you quit creating, you quit putting yourself out there.  I have a calling, a sacred charge, to share my perspective and insights.  I won't ever really know anything. I do have know the game that's being played but I don't have to play. 

To keep my mind alive, and my spirit engaged in the work of making art is enough. That will spill out in gratitude and abundance. Art making, rituals, teaching, relationships-- all of these things will fill my life with blessings. I look forward to the journey that make one's life work.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Stepping off the Bridge

Last year I felt like I fell off the earth. It was like the ground collapsed dermis in a rock slide and I tumbled into a frothing river. At times I had wondered if I was going to, or had already drowned. Sooner or later, I quit crying (like Alice) and dried myself off. Hopefully, unlike 
Alice, I wasn't running around in circles with a dodo. I walked along the bank, and through the mud, and climbed onto a bridge that would carry me over to a new shore. In the past year I have been traveling over the bridge. Now is the time to step off the bridge. I finally can see the new world awaiting me over the bank. I know that moving into the new possibilities means that I no longer live in the past. So, this is good bye. I can't start to till and plant new land until I leave the old one. 

I am willing and ready.  The old, dead tree has fallen to make the soil rich in its decay. I will not deny my destiny. I hear it calling and I follow, eyes open. 

Part of becoming the wounded healer means I must have the wise wound first. Art calls me, healing calls me, destiny calls me. I dare to dream big dreams as well as will to the passionate work to make them manifest. 

I love the vigilance my cat keeps over me.  Sometimes human touch would be good too. I carry my loneliness with me. Last night I told myself that I should get a big dog and call it a day. Ha!

I care for my family and tend the garden. I paint and dream and nurture the seeds of hope for the future. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Holding the Helm

This weekend I tended; the laundry, mopping, dishes, cooking, grocery shopping, weeding.  I listened and visited.  I know this plain, holding of space is soul work.  It is a group effort, a family project. We are all having tough moments. We try, forgive, appologize, and make the effort again. In this humble togetherness, we hold each other.  In grief, in laugher, in anger, in fatigue, and in fear, we witness. 

In gratitude, I remain- fully alive.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Traditions and magickal practice

R.O's playful jabbing at the Golden Dawn, and other Traditions got me thinking.  When we mix socially in magickal groups and meet people, a lot of assumptions are made based on what kind of magickal leaning you have.   

When I was hanging out with the OTO in 2008-2009, it was fun to learn about a different magickal school system and geek out on Qabala with people who were interested in such arcane systems.   Many times Pagans are not interested or aware of their magickal roots. One guy, after observing me for a while asked me,  "what are you?  I thought you were Wiccan, but now I'm not sure."  I laughed, enjoying the effects of the glamories I was trying that day, and told him,  "Wiccan....well, from a tradition that takes a lot from ceremonial magick and the lodge systems."

After going through a Minerval initiation and a class on Minerval symbolism, I decided that the OTO was not my thing. It didn't help that every time i attended something someone asked me, letcherously, when i would be the priestess for the Mass.  I threw myself deeply into my own Tradition, gaining a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose there. 

Now that I am no longer a member of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, I find myself, a 3rd degree, trained in a system of which I am no longer a member, from a stream of magick I can no longer access.  Yes I am Wiccan, technically.   I am much more interested in high ritual magick than I am in ecstatic witchcraft.  I have just about nothing in common with most Pagans.  I could care less that this month's full moon is on a Friday the 13th.   That smacks of superstition with no basic in magickal theory. 

Where does that leave me?  If I form a coven or lodge, then I will be starting with no lineage or informed school of magick.  That is the Pagan way, but seems to do a disservice to the initiatory mysteries from how I see it.  I could join another school, and learn a new system, but that seems unnecessary.  I also fear following any leader or system blindly or fanatically as I had done before. I have also seen what Tradition hopping does to people.  The answer is not outside of me.  It is within.  

All in all, I don't know what I want.  How do you do anything if you don't know your Will?  So far I have tried to be patient and been following my nose.  Healing takes time, self-care, and all that rot.   I know pushing too hard and too fast is actually perfectionism or a form of self-hatred.  It can also be laziness. I finish a new book proposal and decided not to submit it. I am teaching and leading Wiccan rituals but am mainly enjoying the friendship rather than the ritual or magickal engagement. I am loosing my religion is some ways. And in some ways, that particular religious path is completely over for me. 

I started this to find truth and to find peace with God.  I found that and still have it.  Magick gave me confidence and the ability to get results when I am so motivated.  I still have that too.  What I don't have is a great sense of purpose anymore. Ego death is good.  So is leaving the guilt, obligations, the oaths and oath breaking. 

What's next?  The end of desire. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Walking in the Now

I haven't been posting much.  I've had a lot of vacillations lately as I've been building a new life for myself and have been spending less time ruminating over the past.   I've felt very grateful for the challenges and changes I've made as I become comfortable with a new way of walking in the world.   

I have found that I am less invested in interactions, in a healthy way.  I can maintain my boundaries with confrontation, getting bent out of shape, or even needing to explain myself.   Recently I had a flat conversation with someone that ended with me knowing my message was not heard, possibly not even my words remembered or processed consciously at all.  At first, I felt guilty for not trying harder to communicate and make sure I my meaning was understood.  Then I was able to release it, step back from it, and realize that those who are not listening, will never hear you.   Those who have not ears to hear....   I decided I was not responsible for their process, what they think they heard or wanted to hear instead.   It completely wasn't my problem.  Or as Jeff, my therapist would have said, NMFP (not my f-ing problem).  This realization that not only did I understand but was able to put into action, not reaction, was like releasing one of Jacob Marley's shackles.  This has been an ongoing struggle for me in my life.  Several instances of this issue have surfaced in the past month for me with various people. 

I don't need anyone to agree with me, understand me, listen to me.  I've seen people react to me who practice this energy.  It used to unnerve me and I would misread it.  I get it now.   

I have no idea what I'll be doing 5 years from now.  So much is changing.   Being a witch is in my bones, that is part of me no matter what form my practice takes.  I am creative and am overjoyed with the creative process that is rising from the ashes this year.  I am thrilled with the Educational endeavor I am on with the Assisi Institute.    As I go to new places and meet new people, I am finding that social anxiety is not going with me. I am not trying to make grand plans for the future but follow my bliss and follow the energy of creating presence-- the joy that unfolds when you are engaged in purpose.  

There are a few things guiding me along the way:

I am patient and gentle with myself
Am I being mindful? Am I fully present?
Am I breathing?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

On Coming Out

Last night I participated in one of those silly Facebook tag games where if you comment on somebody's fabricated status, then you have to choose an option and put it on your status.  So, being a good sport, I posted that I am gay. 175 likes and comments later I feel bad, because I'm not gay.  In fact, I had people telling me they knew I've alway been gay and glad I decided to come out.   I feel like that kid in the Goonies that played the prank in the theater. So, instead of freaking out, I've decided to make lemonade out of lemons. 

I've always openly been bisexual.   I've never been in the closet about anything.  Well there was this one time in middle school, but I digress.  It hit me last night why this isn't accurate that I'm straight, gay, or bi.  As a kid, I was an uber tomboy.  I wanted to be male.  I self-identified as male until I hit puberty.  It became a little impossible what biological gender I was at that point.  Much of my path into Paganism has been about letting go of Patricarchal religious view such as being the lesser sex, women being the originators of sin, or even always being told to "be ladylike".  So, I have accepted I am biologically female and have lady parts.  Penis envy will just be a part of life for me. It helped me deal with the confusion and the pain of being gender queer. However, psychologically, I have some masculine aspects and still inside wish I had been born male. Paganism gave me new archetypes to incorporate female power and deal with gender roles, expectations, and expressions.  It gave me an opportunity not to accept whole hog what a "normal" woman is in society today.  Gender will always be something that I think about and to some extend wrestle with.  

Gender identification is not the same thing as sexual orientation.  However, to be straight or gay implies that you are one gender and are making an absolute statement about which binary gender you are attracted to. While I could name qualities of someone who is my "type", gender just isn't on the list.  I would have to be hard nosed about my own gender for that to make sense. 

So, my gender is somewhere in the non-binary middle and so is my sexual orientation. Nothing new there. So I'll indentify as pansexual.   Pansexual includes all gender identities.  In my case I just don't care about someone's gender, so rather than "all of the above". It's more like non-applicable to me. 

Pansexual, polyamorous, polytheistic...why choice one when you can have the buffet?  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dissolution and Letting Go

On a late Sunday morning I stepped through gates of light into a dissolution of light and water.  The vibration and brilliance was blinding.  In joyous embrace I walked into a new reality. And left the old universe behind.  This was a minute or two of a realm I had never touched before.   During the next three years I spiraled inward.  The first year consisted mainly of practical matters of worldly roles and responsibilities of priesthood. The second year was a spiral downward in panicked fear, isolation, and a turning away from the material in hopelessness, despair, and depression.  There was a break, an expulsion from Eden if you will that forced me to move forward utterly alone.  Alone for the first time completely I must add.  In the haze of being unmade, I hoped there was purpose of the rubble.  In the still, quiet, I sat.  I let go; of loved ones, goals, physical belongings, expectations.  

In this space, came Joy.  Through the tears came laughter. The light of life fed me, and I grew in a new way and was born into a new life.  The next step, is being integrated as we speak, the soft shell grows strong again, ready for new challenges.  Blessings flood in and abundance abounds.  

The lesson was the anthethsis of my 2nd degree lesson.  Did I make the wrong choice when I chose to sacrifice myself for the service to the whole, to others?  Or was it that I needed to see the further outcome of that path in order to be able to make a different choice later on?  That contradictory choice later was more sophisticated and more conscious that the confused painful choice that had been made earlier.  I believe that the second choice would not have been understood had the struggle of the earlier one not been played out.  

The gateway of light in my 3rd degree initiation, by my doing, made it necessary to reform my reality entirely.   Isn't this what we ask for on the path of initiation?  Change, growth?  Do we give ourselves completely to the force of magick, or are we getting our toes wet, just dabbling?  For now, I am giving myself over to patience, time, and sunlight.  The Gods wil do their work and I have returned to speaking their messages, just as I am destined to do.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Open Letter to the Goddess

In case you missed it elsewhere, I had an article featured on Witchvox this week.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The road ahead

Life is really incredible, but only if you're willing to wake up and engage it.  One after one things line up and tell me that God is belly laughing every time I smile.

Last week I was unhappy about a first appointment with a new therapist.  She told me my issue in managing my love life is that I need to find someone that would commit to me and abstain from sex for 14 months.  She told me monogamy is not natural.  Its very hard... I told her that's why I've never been monogamous, and yet, here I am celibate for the first time since my adult life.  Irony.  Last March, 3 men embarrassed the daylights out of me by giving me a gift on their collective knees.  In one day, one had burnt the bridge out of my life, 12 years, completed, and over, in one phone call.

Another I burnt the bridge myself, over control and ego.  Finally, the last, I finally gave up on, over control, and ego.  Ganesha opened the door, I surrendered to the Morrigan, and at each step, the road opens unto me some more, just another bend in the path, glinting in the sunlight.

I lost my will to see the light.  I turned into the cave of the existence.

"Wizards need the sun and the open sky to do magick."

No longer here to please others or seek praise, now I'm living my life.

Funny story:
My first private session with the therapist who saved me, back in NJ, he told me to watch the movie, "Into the Wild".  I bought it, and never read it.  He told me it was about a guy who graduated college and left his identity, abandoned his car, burned his money and his ID and went out into the world with no identity.

I went to a new therapist yesterday.  I told him I just moved from NJ.  He said that he went to school in NYC and knew a guy he was in college with who was from Dover, NJ.  He said that he once called him and told him that he was going to run his truck into a lake for the insurance money.  No one ever hear from him again.  No one found his truck.  He was off the record.

I said to him, "You ever seen Into the Wild?" and I told him what it was about.

He said, "You know, I never thought of it that way".  That must have been what he had done.  I knew somehow he wasn't dead.

It was like my first therapist had a message for the new therapist.  At least I know that this one is the right now.  Funny how that happens.

At the end of the session, my new therapist gave me a little day calendar photo of a highway through the desert.  It say something like, "The road opens to me every day."

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Portends of the future

Over the years I have been privy to visions of the future.  Often, I don't understand the importance or the context of these messages until the moment in the future when they come into being.  Most often actually.  

What is the point of seeing what may happen if you don't understand or can't do anything about it?  Is it really a heads up?   Is it my own lack of perspective that I don't understand the message?  Is the point that when the event comes about it is divinely guided?  Often I find that the moments I can pick up on are emotionally charged ones, or regular things happen in an emotionally charged time.

A vision of a man pointed at the road would have saved me from a tire blow out from a pothole.   I ignored myself, a friend of mine listened, but I ignored myself despite his inquiries until it was too late.  

At Samhain of 2012, I delivered a message during a seidr to my husband of very dark times ahead and loneliness.  Did I forsee our divorce or just hard times ahead?  

Hades told me I would not descend into the darkness the year and to stay in the light and seek my joy. Did He forsee my relocation to the sunshine state?

Many a Greek tragedy tells the story of the vain attempts people make to avoid a foretold destiny.  In there responsibility in this power?  Is it about trusting the message?  

Things that vex me....