Sunday, April 28, 2013

Life: What it offers sometimes isn't what we expect!

Obviously, I have disappeared from Pagan Blog Project for the last couple of weeks.  Life has not trolled me, as it did last time, rather I have been busy with my students and with my own lessons.  Life has been quite awesome, despite the lingering cold of winter.

My own lessons have been more life lessons.  I have been dealing with a co-worker who is inherently negative.  When I say 'dealing with', what I mean is hitting her with so much positive energy that she either smiles or runs the other way.  Either way, her vibration rises for a few moments and she feels better.  Depending upon the day and how she wants to feel is how she reacts.  Lately, she has been running away, but she hasn't been unaffected by the positivity which surrounds her.  (Two of my other co-workers are inherently positive people, so they have been unknowingly bombarding her with positive energy, too.)

I have also found myself coming to certain realizations about life and people and recognizing how I read it or them.  My High Priest teaches that we all live out the myths and legends.  During the lessons on this, I got the concept and saw the truth of his words, but it didn't hit me until recently.  I have called it something different, recognizing it as 'The Pattern.'

All of life follows a specific series of events which repeat over and over again.  We call these things lessons because as we live the lessons, we either fall into a comfortable pattern of expectation (also called insanity) or we recognize the pattern and try something different.  In recent days and weeks, I have found myself stepping outside of The Pattern (at least, more than I normally do) and 'reading' events with a relatively accurate success rate as to how they will end.  Am I correct all of the time?  No.  Predicting when another person is going to give up their insanity (defined here as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results) isn't quite yet my strong suit.  I'm still working on observing the pattern of trial and error and seeing when frustration leads to a change of habit.  I may never be able to do that reliably with other people, though.  I know this.  However, in working on the pattern in my own life, I should be able to use it to recognize my own lessons and insanities and change my own failures into successes.

I like the allegory I was taught of living out the myths and legends.  It takes a difficult concept and gives a student something tangible like a story to wrap his or her brain around.  It gives us something to relate to because we have all read stories where we were drawn in and lived with the characters as they struggled through whatever was written.  In contrast, the only way I can describe 'The Pattern' is to compare it to being unplugged from the Matrix and being able to 'read' the symbols on the screen which represent certain people or programs.  It's not a perfectly accurate description, but it gives a relatively descent comparison.

So, while I haven't been doing much writing lately, I've been doing other work.  Sometimes life takes away things, like writing, because the receiving of my own lessons are more important.  Writing, for me, is an escape.  I step outside of life, whether it be good or bad, for just a little while, and become nothing more than brain, fingers, and keyboard.  Life has demanded that I be more than that these past few weeks.

Thank you, friends, for checking out my blog in this time, curious to read what I should write next.  It warms my heart and humbles me.

Brightest of blessings, wherever you are!

Friday, April 19, 2013

PBP: H is for Hekate

Hail Hekate, Queen of the Witches!  She who is my sister, mother, and grandmother, Lady of the Crossroads, and torchbearer!  Blah, blah, blah! I could go on and on with salutations, invocations, and other praises to Her.  I could talk about Her history.  I could go on and on about Her in some boring, academic way. (Actually, nothing about Hekate and Her history is boring...)  However, instead, I am going to use this blog to talk about my own personal walk with Her.  She's requested I do so.  Yet, my ego says it's a trite thing to sing the song of my patron goddess, but she begs to differ, so sing I shall.

I have been a follower of Hekate since Samhain of 2008, almost 5 years now.  I can not even begin to articulate just how much I have suffered and how much I have been rewarded in that time.  She is known as a Dark Goddess, and that gives most people pause.  "Dark" must mean bad in some way.  Aren't we conditioned to think that?  For me, "Dark" means tough.  It means strict.  It means she is harder-headed and wiser than I am.  It means that things will be done Her way and in Her time.

I'll begin my story in 2008, on that fateful Samhain night.  Imagine, if you will, a young woman, a solitary practitioner who was wholly in the closet.  As a solitary, I understood that I didn't need a lot of tools to practice my magic.  I understood that I didn't need anything but myself.  For a week leading up to Samhain, I kept getting images of a full altar, a skyclad priestess.  I saw myself calling upon the Crone and asking for guidance.  Until that point, my life had been pretty easy.  I never wanted for much.  I always had a full belly.  I had everything the physical realm could offer, but something was missing.

So, I called upon Hekate, the goddess I saw as the consummate Crone.  She was evoked into my circle and in a rush of power and fear on my part, She was there.  My altar set up was satisfactory and my offerings to her were enough.  Then, She lifted a gnarled finger, pointed at me and said three words, "You are Mine."

I'd been marked.  I asked Her for Her help and she replied, "Are you sure?"  I said I was and asked again.  Another, "Are you sure?"  The third time I asked, she cackled at me and replied, "Be careful what you wish for.  You just might get it." And She was gone.

Since, my life has been in disarray.  I'm not going to say it's all been bad, but every time I step off of the path She has set out for me, I have difficulties. Also in that time, I have had the pleasure of experiencing her as both the Maiden and the Mother.

As the Maiden, She comes to me as The Torchbearer.  Her dark eyes glisten and there is mischief about her.  She holds the flame up high and whispers, "Come, follow me!"  Her steps are light and almost silent, as a deer bounding through a meadow, but her torch guides the way.  I see her light far ahead of me, and then She is near.  I know that there is nothing to fear when we play this way in the darkness.

Often times, She comes to me like this when I am approaching a crossroads and there are serious decisions to be made.  Through this game of chase, she helps me narrow down my choices and I come to a place where they are not so overwhelming to me.

As the Mother, She is stern, but just.  Usually, we meet at a crossroad under the light of the moon.  There is a place we meet that has a small altar, tree, and rough seat.  When I come to this point, I am often weary from weighing the decisions.  I sit in the seat and She puts her hand on my shoulder as I release all of my anguish over my decision.  I find this gesture to be very supportive.  As the Mother, She allows me to take each scenario, each path, through dozens of unnecessary endings before coming to Her and simply giving it to Her.  She allows me this for now.  I know that there will come a time when She will no longer allow it.  There will come a time when She is the one sitting at the crossroads, not me.

As the Crone, She is also full of mischief and mirth, but it is the kind of mischief that can only one with years of wisdom can create.  More than once, I have felt Her near me and, in an instant, She has taken over my brain and words are tumbling out that I could not fathom saying.  Literally, it feels as though She has stuck her finger in my brain.  It can be quite embarrassing!

So many times when I am not paying attention or when I am not listening, Hekate leaves me scraped up and bruised.  It is Her way to let me make a few mistakes.  It is Her way to spank me when I do anything other than she asks.  I would not wish the service of my goddess upon anyone, knowing what I have had to endure, but I would never ask Her to release me, either.

I have said many times and I will say it many times more, "I walk a path of service; service to my gods and service to my community."  Hekate makes sure that my walk stays true to my path.  She allows stumbling blocks.  She removes stumbling blocks.  She gives.  She takes away.  So it is with any path of personal responsibility and any path of personal growth.

Hail Hekate!!

Brightest Blessings, Friends!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

PBP: G is for Gender

Once again, I've done that thing where I'm supposed to write but my inner child throws a tantrum and refuses, so I flake out on PBP.  At least this time I'm only late in getting it done, right? :)

This week's blog is about gender, when it's important, when it's not, and my perceptions on why this is.  Speaking in spiritual or energetic terms, gender is a very nebulous thing.  What we term 'male' energetically is  the projective polarity that sits on the opposite end of the receptive polarity we term 'female.'  I see it, quite literally, as the yin and yang.  Two opposite parts of a whole with a drop of each other inside to keep the balance.

In some Wiccan traditions, gender matters.  In these traditions it is said that only women can draw down both the moon and sun and that men simply can not invoke the Goddess. (Here, I speak in physical, genetic terms of male/female.)  Other traditions teach that this division is a load of crap because both the Lord and Lady reside within, two halves making a whole.  My personal belief is that gender only matters at certain times and during certain rituals, specifically, certain Rites of Passage.

Many Rites of Passage are gender neutral, such as Wiccanings, The Rite of Mystery, and Crossovers, however, many are not, such as puberty rites and your Men's and Women's Mysteries.  My understanding of Rites of Passage is that these rites are a celebration of the individual reaching certain physical milestones in their life and these milestones are specifically related to ones gender and the physicality of the body.

So, what exactly, does this mean for our transgendered and gender queer friends?  It means quite a bit, actually.  Whether you have a uterus or a scrotum, quite literally, determines which mysteries you are a part of.  For instance, it would be quite confusing to put a queer boy through a young girls puberty rite.  No matter how he may try, no matter how much he may identify with the feminine, he would never be able to produce the monthly blood of a woman.  Much in the same way, putting a queer girl through a male puberty rite and asking her to produce semen would create internal confusion.

It is my belief that we must first learn the mysteries of our physical body, whether or not we identify with it or want to change it.  In accepting what we physically are and trying to understand it, we can come to a greater understanding of why we perceive it to be 'wrong' mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.  Much in the same way that the modern world requires a certain amount of counseling and living as the opposite sex before a gender transformation operation, we as pagans should do something similar spiritually.

In this exploration of the physical versus mental/spiritual/emotional it is of utmost importance to recognize that there are spiritual reasons and spiritual lessons for being gay or for being transgendered.  It is not punishment.  It is not the Universe being mean.  To be Two-Spirited is a pretty special thing.  However, to completely ignore ones physical nature and toss it to the side because it doesn't 'feel' right is to deny ones Self of that completion.

Gender only matters when it comes to the physicality of this manifestation.  We have lived many lives, many incarnations, in many physical bodies.  The Spirit simply is, but it must manifest itself in polarities.  When we are one within ourselves, then we can become one with the Universe.

Brightest Blessings, Friends!!