Friday, November 13, 2009

Turn away, for this is too true.

Let it be said that no man without a strong spirit has loved a witch.

Then, too, let it be said that only men who are strong in the spirit of the real God's will seek out only those some who are declared in spirit and soul that which is called a wise woman... that which is called a witch.

oh. and it is too true.

raw and unpleasant for those whose skin is too thin to honor the season of the witch, let it be known that no man may put asunder the spirit of the woman who is known to the Goddess.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Learning to love yourself...

I am someone who tends to listen to my inner critic first, and the other guides and opinions later. If my inner critic has something to say, I'm usually half-way into listening to it before I realize that it may be over-reacting to a situation and not necessarily looking at me as a whole person.

Whether it's because my mother's generation felt that mothering included a healthy dose of criticism, or because I didn't have a relationship with my birth father.. or because I was born with some untended Karma.. I don't know. But I do know that getting older made me face up to the fact that I was not good at loving myself at all. So I started to learn. In places like this:

Loving oneself is about slowly, step by step, learning to listen to the critic inside and then ask her or him to be quiet. Learning to love oneself is making choices and allowing the outcomes to be what they are instead of sitting on pins and needles hoping that they turn out a certain way because that will indicate that you're OK.

Love isn't an emotion that comes with judgement.
Love doesn't make people feel less-than, small, or insignificant.
If the people in your life made you feel that way, then that was their problem not yours....
but how do you remember that when you're in the MIDDLE of feeling foolish, overly dramatic, or unprepared for some situation where you are desperately hoping for a clue?

I take a step back. And I breathe. I give myself a certain amount of time to process the feelings and then I ask my inner critic why she's being so hard on me. Then I listen. Most of the time she's trying to help me avoid disappointment. But when she goes unchecked, she runs amok... and she sucks all the joy out of live and leaves me feeling empty and hopeless.

So she needs to be quelled. I am not serving anyone, nor myself, when I spend a disproportionate amount of time feeling sad, down, disappointed.

I think I just came to a point where I was fed up with trying to be perfect.
I was fed up with some unreal, fake, plastic, media created image of a mother, wife, etc that just didn't seem like it left any room for love, creativity, and humanity.
So I put my inner critic on probation. And she's been there ever since.

She's allowed to voice her opinion, but she knows that I'm not going to listen to her if she carries on for more than a few minutes, or if she criticizes me more than once or twice a day.

And that's how I"m learning to love myself...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Letting go of the pain.. dancing with the dark.

The paths through the forest of spiritual development wind and turn. There is no straight path in my experience. While we may cry, rage, and whine against this reality - it doesn't change it. We cannot predict where we will be at any stage of our development, and in the long run this is an essential piece of the process.

Letting go of the pain and frustration is a tough skill to learn. Everyone one of us has a bit of Scorpio in us, that dark part of bitter pain that acts as both a seed for change and a poison that infects some of our work. Scorpio is the sign of death and transformation, this energy is critical to spirtual evolution. Scorpios are known to remember pains or betrayals long after others have forgotten them. Though they aren't all this way, this general perspective represents a truth about humanity in general: we don't learn to dance with the dark very well. The gift of Scorpio energies is just that: they dance with the darkness.

By dancing I mean that Scorpio represents the edge of creation that is directly preceeded by destruction. In short, we die in this moment to become what we are in the next one. Too often this truth is ignored in our rush for enlightenment. We want the process to be one of divine bliss, unfolding in layer upon layer of orgasmic love that heals all wounds and proves to us in no uncertain terms that we are sacred. OK.. gimme a break, will you?

Dancing with the darkness involves letting the pain go, letting it do it's work and then letting it go. It involves going all the way INTO the pain and then letting go and evolving like a butterfly in chrysalis. We cannot be ALL things all the time, no matter how passionately we cling to that desire. The darkness is a part of us, the pain will come again and again. Holding onto the pain only eclipses the joy and the bliss that follows as our new self is born.

I dance with the darkness more and more these days. I embrace the gift of Scorpio and her loving kiss of transformation, even as I see how much more work I have to do. I am sometimes depressed and discouraged because I feel as though I have travelled far, and the road curves ahead so I cannot see how far I have to go.... but in the end it's not the destination - it's the journey that molds us into the blissful beings we hope to become.

The pain has taught me that love runs deeper than any pain can reach.
The pain has taught me that my truth is just as important as anyone else's and it must be heard.
The pain has taught me to protect myself and to value myself as a sacred being.
The pain has taught me that the limits of being human are as much a beautiful thing as the limits of being a sunrise, of being a water fall, or of being a whisp of smoke that rises into the sky.

The release has taught me hope and faith.
The release has taught me the ecstacy of letting go and flowing with the energies.
The release has taught me how loving the Gods and Goddesses can be when we commune with them through the release.

Fear nurses on pain, it lives and thrives on pain. It starves and dies in the moment when we release and are caught in the loving embrace of our own divine existence yet one more time.

Let go, dance with the darkness.. but not dance in the darkness.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Of tradition and adventure, of old and new

"if what you seek you do not find within, you will not find it without."

Nearly every religion has some form of the above phrase in its teachings. Lately I have been challenged to find sunny energy and hope within, because I cannot find it without. I used to rely on traditions as a form of measurement, and adventure was my way of finding new traditions. I would explore new cultures, rituals, and the like to find experiences that made me happy -- and then turn them into traditions.

However, this rainy summer has brought me the realization that traditions for tradition's sake holds no hope. Empty rituals are just that: empty.

How then, does someone who has spent more than a decade learning about rituals and their power create new rituals that have life and hope in them? This is a common challenge that other HPs have faced in their lives.

Life isn't a movie, and those of us who are walking the path of service to the Gods do not always come forth in long, flowing black robes -- eternally mystical and powerful. Sometimes we just don't want to come forth! We too struggle with the challenges of old traditions no longer filling our hearts, and new ones refusing to surface to replace them.

What do we do then, when our fires run low and the thought of writing one more ritual makes us want to curl up and sleep for a month?

It's fairly simple, to be honest, we stop pushing ourselves to create and allow the creation to find us.

Tradition is a good foundation to build upon, but new creations demand to be brought forth. Adventure is a thrilling proposition, but it holds no value without some tie to traditions that are comforting and familiar. The old ways give us guidance and wisdom on how to proceed toward the new.

Thus I seek within the fires of hope and optimism that the sun brings as I work to write a ritual for Litha, and I hope that the spark of the divine finds me to ensure that I am nurtured once again.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Take long strokes, and relish the experience?

Throughout my journey, I have experienced lesson after lesson in how my perceptions of a given person or action are totally different from year to year. Having my moon in my 12th house makes me blind to some of the more simple-linear relationships and leaves me feeling a bit lost in the woods where my emotional ties are concerned.

Now we are nearing the end of a Mercury Retrograde cycle that crossed over my 12th house so I was given vision into the inner machinery of how my perceptions are formed. It has been time well spent, but in the end I'm afraid that knowing how my perceptions are formed does little for actually alleviating the pain of adjustment when I've trusted someone too much for my own good... or allowed someone to run roughshod over my feelings too long.

Though I admit to not being entirely sure of why I allow people to be so uncaring toward me, one thing I am sure of is that I am enraged at a deep level when I realize how long someone will go on doing that without stopping to ask if their rude or selfish behavior is offensive or hurtful to me. Of course, logically I realize that they're probably not seeing what they're doing as rude or offensive... but at some point I must have betrayed my feelings on my face, right? I mean I've been told dozens of times how terrible a liar I am because my emotions are so readily visible in my expressions. So.. if that is the case, then am I to assume that the others who hurt me just don't care enough about me to bother asking?

It is an interesting paradox. Because I tend to do things alone, and I have done so for most of my life. Early on in my life I thought that there was something wrong with me, then later I realized that there are other people who just "do things alone". I am not sure if we all do them alone for the same reasons, but in reviewing the lessons learned during this past Mercury Retrograde I am gathering that I don't care why other people do it... only that they do.

So... alone, with a Gemini moon... isn't a fun place to be. Gemini is the astrological sign of pairing, of sharing and connecting.. through Air signs in general tend to be more shallow in their connections than other signs... connections are still very important to them as a whole.

I carry with me this nagging feeling that the only way I will ever be surrounded by people who are genuinely loving and spiritually satisfying for me is when I die. The living are too frail and fractured to endure that level of commitment to the truth and to loving another person for any extended period of time -- save their children. I hope I'm wrong though, you know?

I hope that I meet someone who I can be friends with at a good, hearty level of emotional clarity. You know? I hope that this friend teaches me that my penchant for doing things alone is just a habit that has gone too far one direction and needs to come back to center more. *laugh*

I've had friends like that in the past...
I have had friends who were emotionally aware and present....
I have had friends that made every stupid activity that we did together more fun just because they were there.

But they tend to leave after about a year.
Not through anything that either of us did consciously, but because life takes them in a different direction (I.E. they move).

Yes... the astrologers out there would clearly state that this is my lot in life considering the stellium of planets that I have in Virgo in my 4th house -- Pluto, Uranus, and Mars. Yes.. I connect deeply, and then the wheel turns and the connections serve to teach me a lesson and I move on (or they do).

Though I'm also told that with this particular recipe of energy I am also gifted with wisdom from the pain of loss... I am told that I understand and respect the pain of deep loss and how it can change a person and make them more slow to commit... *chuckle*

Oh.. what if all of this is just guilty rationalization and I'm just a misanthropic bitch? *laugh*

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cozy, comfortable, and stagnant.....

As a grown up I feel like if I learned my lesson then I should get credit for it. Yet, in practice I find that this isn't how life tends to go. When I work hard for something, I expect to be able to relax and enjoy the feeling of having accomplished a goal... yet that turns out to be the result 1 out of every 4 times that I work hard. The first three times I am learning, and thus I have no reward at the end of my hard work other than knowing that I learned more... that really doesn't give me the cozy feeling. Should it?

I make this note to myself today because I'm doing magick to be more connected with the spirit world and learn more from my ancestors. I want them to help me understand why life isn't filled with more cozy moments of relaxation than it is... specifically MY life. Am I unconsciously choosing scenarios that I'm unprepared for which is creating this 25/75 success to fail ratio? *laugh* That isn't good.

In learning and growing spiritually I have always used the astrological wheel as a guideline to identify the point where comfort *should* be coming. In the first six houses of an astrological wheel, we are learning from the world - evolving. In the second six houses we are taking what we've learned and sharing it with the world. I tend to believe that comfort arrives somewhere between the end of the 9th house and the beginning of the 10th house (hence the 10th house's association with destiny). So in looking at why my life doesn't have more cozy moments, I am wondering: did I judge my distances wrong and set my sights too high in terms of when I should expect to feel comfortable? In short: am I shooting for the Moon and being unrealistic about where I am in relation to that goal?

My mother used to tell me that she was envious of people who were genuinely happy with a simple life. I think the key to this is understanding HOW they were happy.... and defining happiness for myself rather than constantly comparing notes with other people (authors, teachers, gurus, etc). The distance to MY moon is different from everyone else's.

In the end, I think I am happiest when I'm right on the verge of being comfortable. I'm happy in the space between knowing something and mastering it. Yet, oddly I'm only peaceful once I've mastered something. My life's spiritual goal has been very Capricornian in nature: get to the top of my mountain and ensure that I have done much work to assure my place there is secure. Why then do I spend so much time hovering on the edge of mastery? Maybe that is the definition of being a master --> never resting completely, because that would be considered stagnation? Maybe this is what makes a master: the endless flow toward the edge of mastering something but never quite getting there because everything is changing.. the wheel is turning, we are evolving, thus the journey toward mastery is an endless ride of 25/75 success to fail ratios that are eventually ignored because the peace comes in enjoying the journey rather than waiting for the cozy moments of relaxation.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dreaming of Monkeys....

I had the most amazing dream last night. I was on a spiritual sabbatical in caves in a desert land. There were about a dozen other students in this program with me where we learned everything about magick that was possible: dream guidance, herbalism, healing, spellwork, spirit communication, clairvoyance... it was all there.

I completed the program and as part of the final stage I needed a specific spell that was written in hieroglyphics with a pouch of leaves. I was to use the leaves to chew on (like tobacco) and study the symbols in the spell while the chemicals of the leaves flowed in my bloodstream. This was supposed to teach me my path and what my gift to the Gods and the world would be upon my leaving the program.

Just as the teacher came in with my pouch (they only gave out one at a time to the student who was ready to leave), a tall and pretty girl, who was the typical "popular bitch" from everyone's high school experience, came in and grabbed the pouch out of the teacher's hand and laughed as she said "HA! This is mine now!" I was enraged.

In anger and hurt I ran out of the caves and into the sacred well area where the cave mouths opened out onto a series of cliff edges that spiralled up and down. as I sat at the mouth of a cave looking up at the evening sky I noticed a white baboon sitting about 50 ft above me under a small waterfall. He was smiling and humming to himself as he munched on fruit.

As I watched him my anger dissipated and I smiled as well. He spoke to me
without looking at me and asked "Why do you think you need that pouch to be a magician"?
"Because that is the last piece to this training, without it my training is incomplete." I answered.
"What do you think we did before someone created those little pouches with the spell on the inside?" he asked me.
"I don't know," I answered. " What did you do?"

" Well, we measured the leaves ourselves, and the spells were given to us by the Gods and the spirits. What I want to know is why you would choose to rely upon someone else's work when you can create the whole thing yourself?" He said as he smiled up at the pink and purple sky of an evening sunset.
I closed my eyes and sat with his words for a while, and marveled at how narrow minded i had been assuming that without the pouch I was useless. My anger was more at the how little control I felt I had over that horrible woman who stole my pouch, but after he explained it I realized that I had given my power away the second she tried to take it from me.
When I opened my eyes the white baboon was right i
n front of me, smiling. It would have been a terrifying image to see up close if it wasn't for the deep loving energy that he projected and the wisdom in his eyes.
He chuckled to himself because I jumped a little when I opened my eyes and saw him there. Then he said "If I give you the spell, will you get the herbs yourself and work the magick?"
I nodded.

Then he said " Go and find the herbs, I'll be here when you get back."
So I got up and walked back into the cave. And the master teacher was there, sitting peacefully by a fire. He looked up at me when I walked in and said "I am sorry that you lost your pouch."
I smiled at him and said " It's all right, I don't need it anymore."
When he heard that, he looked shocked for a minute. His expression slowly changed from shock to pleasant understanding.
"You have found a way, haven't you?" He asked. I nodded.
"Yes, we have the leaves, we use them for all kinds of spells." He said. Then he paused and pointed to a wooden shelf along the cave wall, and continued, "There is a big pickle jar full of them over there on the shelf." On hearing that I walked toward the shelf, intent on getting leaves for my spell and going back to the baboon.
Then he warned me, "But you must measure the exact right amount for the final spell."
I took the jar off the wall, and reached inside and pulled out a few fingerfuls of the leaves and looked at them in the palm of my hand. I wondered if I could guess how much of the herb I needed from the size of the pouch that master had brought in hours before. Then I remembered what the baboon asked me:"
why would you choose to rely upon someone else's work when you can create the whole thing yourself?". I closed my eyes, felt the leaves between my fingers and rolled them around in my palm. I held my hand over the open mouth of the jar and let some of the leaves fall back into it, and with my eyes still closed felt the weight of the leaves in my hand. It felt right, so I poured the leaves into a small square of paper laying on the shelf, and folded it up.
As I started to walk back out of the cave I noticed that the white baboon had walked into the cave and was sitting on a ledge looking at the rest of the students seated in a circle, discussing lessons. He was smiling at them and seemed happy to see so many people learning together.
One of the students looked up at me, then followed my focus and saw the baboon sitting on the ledge. She shrieked and jumped up, pointing at him. All the other students stood up just as quickly, sending books and papers falling to a jumbled pile on the floor.
A male student picked up a rock and threw it at the baboon. I suddenly realized that they didn't see him the same way that I did and were intent on hurting him. I ran down the small slope toward the ledge where he was sitting and climbed up to put my body between his and the other students.
They shouted at me to move, and threw rocks to scare me off the ledge. I was full of emotions: shock that they would hurt me to get to him, sad because they couldn't see the wisdom in his eyes, worried for his welfare, anxious to get him out of the cave and away from the enraged and frightened students.
From behind me, the baboon said,"What makes you think I'm in danger?"
I turned slightly and looked at him in shock, and then saw him smiling at me.
I realized that again he taught me to stop and examine a situation before I reacted and assumed that my initial perception was the right one.

He jumped down off the ledge, and casually strutted back out onto his ledge at the mouth of the cave. The students shouted behind him and threw rocks, which all fell short of hitting him by feet. I jumped down and followed him out of the cave, dodging rocks as they came in.

Once outside, the night sky was bright blue with millions of stars. In the nights before this one I felt like a small child wrapped in a magick blanket under that sky. Now I felt more like an adventurer whose map was laid out before her in white dots against a blue background. While I stared up at the sky, the baboon asked me "Since you have your leaves, are you ready to learn the spell?"

I pulled my gaze away from the sky that seemed to be calling me to read more and learn more, and looked down into his eyes. He was smiling, still. I was amazed at how peaceful he was, no matter what happened around him he was always smiling. I nodded at him, and sat down in the loose dirt and sand.

He extended a long finger and began to draw swirls and symbols in the dirt. He motioned for me to put the leaves into my mouth and let them dampen with my saliva. He continued to draw, and as he did the herbs started to work on my senses. I began to hear the stars whispering, and the swirls and designs in the dirt moved in front of my eyes. They danced and morphed back and forth between being hard symbols and dancing images of Kokopelli, jackals, and snakes all mocking me and luring me to listen to their trickster words.

I looked up from the symbols in the dirt, and the baboon was gone. He had climbed back up the cliff walls and was now disappearing over the top edge of our mountain. For a moment I was scared without him there to reassure me throughout this journey, then I realized that if I needed him, he'd be there. So I must be ready to make the journey on my own.

I looked back down into the dirt, and the symbols had faded back to the spells original form. And I closed my eyes and saw a setting sun on the ocean, heard a man's voice in my ear singing, and smelled the warm-sweet smell of curried food cooking.

Right before I woke up, I heard the voice say: " There is no single answer, there is only the open heart that takes each step of the journey and allows the moment to unfold before them."

Namaste ~ Let the journey begin with an open heart.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Old woman, old woman, will u do my washing?

The Deaf Woman's Courtship.

Old woman, Old woman will you do my washing?

Speak a little louder sir, I'm very hard of hearing.

Old woman, old woman, will you do my ironing?

Speak a little louder sir, I'm very hard of hearing.

Old woman, old woman, can I come a-courtin'?

Speak a little louder sir, I think I almost heard you.

Old woman, old woman why don't we get married?

Oh my goodness, mercy sakes! Now I really heard you!

These are the lyrics to an old Apalachian folk song. They teach that we hear what we want to hear, and tend to NOT hear what we don't want to hear. It is a gentle, loving reminder that all of us have the tendency to not register things that aren't pleasant or that we want to ignore.

Mercury goes retrograde on the 8th, in Gemini. Mercury is the ruling planet of the sign of Gemini, and they both represent the energies of communication, mundane (daily) tasks, and short distance travel (around town).

With Venus and Mars conjunct in Aries, and square a retrograde Pluto there are also energies that are milling around boundaries, power, and forging ahead... READ: Antsy energies.

I posted the lyrics to the song because there is great power in simple verse that makes people smile while reminding all of us that we are bound by a great equalizer: humanity. So through this equalizer, we learn that we don't always hear what was said, we don't always say what we mean, and as such we must smile and try again.