Friday, October 23, 2015

Shining light on the Dark

I was minding my own business today and suddenly it occurred to me.  I have an addictive personality.  I don't exhibit classic behaviors of a substance abuser.  My addictive traits are much more subtle.  I engage in sensation and thrill seeking behavior.  I get bored easily so I have to amp up the stakes for myself.  Everything I do, I want to do as obsessively and as fast and hard as possible.  I always called that over-achiever. 

I have always been attractive to Type A, super-intense men (romantically, career-wise, and socially).  I can ride their enthusiasm and push my limits that way.  That's thrill seeking.  I have allowed them to enable risky behaviors that I otherwise would be too cowardly to engage in. 

I have always been geared toward indulgent eating.  I drink alcohol and caffeine daily.  Sex, exercise, ritual, BDSM, "adventures", anything to get a shot of adrenaline, oxytocin, or dopamine. 

On March 19th 2013 I did hit rock bottom. 

I dug myself out of the crappy hole I a dug myself into.  I put down a lot of boundaries and promised myself to learn a new way and not get myself in such a pickle again. 

I keep learning.  Life is much better and I am still learning. 

I choose a path of moderation.  I can get probably more well-being from exercise than I can from coffee, sugar, and alcohol.  Time to clean up my mess.  This is the path to stability, weight-loss, mental health, and balance. 

It's finally time to quit giving in to restlessness and temptation.  The only way I can reach my dreams is through focus and discipline.  There's a new way to guide the future with productive intensity. 

Now, its time to make plans and shoot for the stars. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Seeking the Underlying Translation of the Image

So tonight I attended the first tele-seminar for the Beginning Dream Analysis course with the Assisi Institute.  After being tired for weeks and dragging myself through my job and the burden of life's challenges, I feel alive and excited!  I am finally lapping back around to the core of what I really want to be doing.

As I was listening, to Dr. Conforti speak, I was looking around at the art pieces I have decorating my bedroom.  Most of the images are of the the maternal feminine and the archetype of the priestess.  Some of the images are about union of male and female, sacred female sexuality, and the stages of a woman's life.  Several of the images are nude, a peculiarity that is often pointed out to me by uncomfortable observers visiting my home.  During 2013, I mourned these images, as I felt out of water, that I had left the mantle of priestess behind.  Tonight, however, I realized that I couldn't put these images away because I have, and still am living the story of the Persephone myth.  My raven tattoos and collections of ravens, augury, mirrors, trance work, priestessing, and leading ritual, all of these things are aspects of Persephone.

I have had a deep connection with the spirits of the dead and otherworldly things my whole life.  I was obsessed with Halloween as a kid.  Edgar Allen Poe was my favorite poet.  Lewis Carroll, my favorite author.  I have often drawn mirrors, spirals, dreaming of falling, all these things aspects of the underworld journey.  My personal astrology and transits scream Persephone.  My personal relationships too-  my father was a strong benefic, like Jupiter or Zeus.  My romantic relationships were controlling possessions and involved violence, rape, and coercion.  Now, I have gone back into the sun, knowing I will forever be returning to the delve into the depth of the ancestors, the dead, the dying, and the grieving.  I will forever be fascinating in the plumbing the depths, falling through the rabbit hole.

Based on my life, my age, my experiences, I may always wind up being whole unto myself as well.  I may not wind up with a traditional long term relationship or children.  I may fulfill the mother archetype by creating the therapeutic container and being the generative mother in that way.  The work of therapist, guide, and mentor is important, worthwhile work as well.  Once Persephone becomes queen, she has power of her own.  She is no longer defined by her relationship to her powerful mother Demeter.  She is no longer the abducted kore, captured by the dark Lord of the Underworld either.  She is a Goddess and queen in her own right.

I too, no longer have the earthly presence of my mother as support and guide.  I guided her over the River Styx, much as she guided me into this world and into adulthood.

On my own I make the next descent.  I am ready and willing and attend to this work by my own volition and by my own power.

Blessings on the path ahead.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

So much energy, so little focus

And now for something completely different...and serious...

Some people know my history of working low magick.  Some on this list don't.  I dabbled a bit the first couple of years with detrimental results.  At the ages of 17 through 20+ I didn't know what I wanted and sabotaged myself a lot with my magick.  In the words of Ego Likeness, I got just what I needed the most just when I wanted it least. 

So I took a break from low magick and focused on high magick ritual.  I realized in 2008 or 2009 that this was a cop out and boned up on low magick and spell craft.  I tried a lot of things that didn't work and I got great results when I was both really clear on what I wanted and harnessed energies I fully had embodied in my understanding.  I do very well with planetary magick.  I do well will green magick and devotional work with Gods with whom I have established relationships.  The stuff that didn't work I either didn't empower properly or was giving the wheel to the men in my life so that I was only in a supportive role. 

In 2013 I went down a path that led to the completion of my 3rd degree work and coincidentally, to the destruction of my life as I knew it as well as my personality, spiritual compass, health --everything.  I spent the next two years doing self work, rebuilding my mundane life, and caring for my mother who was diagnosed with incurable cancer in 2014 and passed in July of 2015. 

Get this though, without the destruction of everything I would not have worked through some major emotional and mental hangups I had to growth.  I would not have gotten out of horrible relationships.  I would have lost my sanity permanently.  I am physically and mentally healthier than I have ever been.  I have had valuable time with my parents I wouldn't have gotten otherwise.  I am completely debt free and have 6 months of my expenses saved up in an emergency fund.  I am saving for retirement.  I did wonderfully on the GRE's and am in the process of applying to school to pursue the career I've dreamt about since before I graduated from undergrad in 2003!  Life force moves in my life and things have fallen into place in incredible ways.  Mostly I have not done "spell craft" per say to get these things.  However, I have used sigils, astrology, influence, NLP, harnessed desire, petitions, and a lot of planning and visualizing to make a lot of this happen.  It's been crazy amazing how well things have gone for me in the past 2 years.

Now the universe is throwing a lot of abundance at me with a ton of options.  I know in general what I want but I am concerned what I want isn't singular enough for me to successfully focus on through spell work.  In the mundane world, I am applying to 4 schools and will be applying for assistantships and scholarships.  I am pretty sure I will be able to be accepted by several of these schools.  I cannot afford my top choice without a full scholarship or assistantship.  I can afford two of the other choices without financial assistance.  Yet, the easiest choice I have a pretty good chance for an assistantship. 

I don't know what I want!  A lot of the options look good!  I want to trust that what will be best will work out, yet I also want to make sure I get some money for it. 

I'm getting excited and nervous and antsy.  I need to be using this amped up energy to make shit happen!  Yet here I am wondering how to focus on it. 

This much I do know:
I want to be an art therapist and then go for a PhD in Jungian psychology.  I want to work with a hospital and/or hospice to work with 4th stage oncology patients and end stage cancer patients. 
I HAVE narrowed my choices down to 4 schools:
George Washington University, Alexandria VA
Florida State University, Tallahassee FL
Ursuline College, Pepper Pike OH
Saint Mary of-the-Woods, an online program based outside of Indianapolis, IN

GW is my top choice.  They have the best program in the country and I have a support system there, and I'd be close to where I grew up which is cool too culturally.  I cannot afford this program without a full ride.  It is insanely expensive.  I will not mortgage (read death-grip) my mind.  They do have a 3 year option so I could spread it out and work more than I could in a 2 year program.  I visited them a couple of weeks ago and was very impressed with their facilities, students, and staff.

FSU has a great program and I could stay closer to my family and its in state.  Its the most affordable option.  I also have met the chair and think I have a good chance of getting assistance.  If I don't, I can afford this option if I have to, though I'd have to work quite a bit to make that work while I'm in school.  

Ursuline is a small women's college and I enjoy the small communal atmosphere of small schools.  Its a bit too expensive to pay for on my own, but I will see what I can do as far as scholarships go.  They also have classes scheduled in evenings and weekends so it would make it a lot easier to work almost full-time while I was there.  The have rolling enrollment too so I could start there sooner than at GW or FSU.  Downside, lake effect and a new place I've never lived before.  I'd also be far away from my family.  Looks like I might have magickal friends waiting for me there as well.  very tempting...

Saint Marys is online so I could keep my job and stay near my Dad.  We could continue to share living expenses and I don't have to move again.  The program is extended so I could more easily pay for this option out of pocket without dipping into my savings.  I am concerned that the internships and clinical as well as dissertation experience is lacking in this school.  I would wind up with the licensure and technical skills I need to practice, but  I am afraid that it would not prepare me for a competitive PhD program. 

I'm doing all the mundane stuff I need to in order to actualize my dreams.  Now I need to figure out what magickal actions to take to give it a better push.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Back to the land of eternal summer

This past week I had a tour through the mid-Atlantic. I saw my first ex husband, my best friends, my hometown, and went to the Cruicible Convention. This was the first time I'd be around serious, experienced Magickal practitioners in a year. 

Instead of feeling pain and loss I felt joy. I saw where I've been, where I am, and visions of what I want for my future. I realized connection with Magickal folk is of utmost importance to me. I have not lost my religion or world view. How that will develop I have no idea. 

One of the things that's bothered me in Florida is that the seasons are subtle and different in the subtropics. Yes, the zodiacal wheel of the year applies but seasonal changes are not congruent with typical Wiccan practice. I thought I'd get some Mabon flavor up North. I did. But I made another connection too. The Celtic fae I'm familiar with are not present in this area. 

I shared a story at the con about my mom while she was in hospice. She kept speaking about the big black man in her  bathroom. She also kept saying she had to go and had me help her stand for hours until she had to lay down due to complete exhaustion. The next day I saw and felt this presence she mentioned. It was the figure of a large black man with a top hat dressed in all black. I knew this figure was an opener of the death gates, a guide for her.  I accepted his presence and helped her accept her work. I also evoked her mother to come help her over too. 

At the conference I talked about how a representation of The Baron didn't make sense to me as my family is Celtic by heritage and I have never worked with Voodun energy. 

It occurs to me today that is about my location and how not connecting with these traditions further isolated me from local Magickal sources. I had thought I was ill-suited to voodoo. I wonder. 

I feel competent and hopeful. I am peeling back deeper layers of grief and that's ok. I want the world and won't settle for less.