Monday, September 26, 2016
Of course, having Aquarius Rising Sun does not help! I tend to become restless when I am not being challenged or finding my Present stimulating and challenging. I travel the past and the future very well, but have a hard time staying in the Present.
That being said! I am ready to begin the process of legally changing my name as I wrote in my last blog post. BUT, will sit with it until the first of the year! (If I can stand it!)
I am blessed with a most insightful and intelligent daughter. She called me last night after she finished work (11:30pm) and we talked until the wee hours of the morning about many things, but mainly my desire to change my name.
She asked questions that made me really think about why this has become important to me and then made a most amazing suggestion.
It concerned her that I was going to just be Angelique Autumn. She really felt like there needed to be a "last name." She had listened to the story I talked about in the last blog post.
This is what she said: "Mom, you keep talking about that you wish Grandma had used the name McGowan too in your name. That sounds very Celtic and also quite pagan. What do you think of Angelique Autumn McGowan!"
I was stopped in my tracks.
That was it! That was the missing piece!
So, I went to my ancestry chart to make sure I was spelling McGowan right as Stephanie began researching meanings, family crests, etc.
Now, there are 2 Rebecca's in my ancestor tree. I thought the maternal Rebecca was indeed the McGowan. NOPE.... my maternal Grandfather's mother is Rebecca McGowan. Her father is Daniel who came directly from Ireland.
I took pause as I am sure you can see where I immediately went: oh crap.... this is from my mom's paternal tree, but then realized that the name is still from the maternal side of the lake! whew! haha!
Stephanie and I had a blast reading about the family crests and coat of arms. The name derives from "son of the blacksmith". The crest has the Lion and the Boar (both in my animal pantheon). The meanings of the symbols on the crest are full of community, peace and protection messages.
So there you have it: one day I will indeed bear the name:
Angelique Autumn McGowan
Yep, me and the Witch Angelique do look a lot alike!
I think it is time!
Sunday, September 25, 2016
I want to legally change my name!
It has been heavy on my heart of late and has been for quite awhile.
Of course, I have changed my last name twice! I couldn't wait to get married so I could change my last name. It still makes me laugh, because I was a feminist even then, who never wanted to take the last name of my husband, but I wanted to get so far away from my maiden name that I was willing to do so.
Then when I got divorced, I couldn't wait to get rid of the married name and took back my maiden name. Upon telling the ex to expect the name change in the divorce papers I was filing, he said, "Good, my last name is too good for you!" Whatever asshole!
This week, I began looking into the legal process of changing my entire name.
I then reacquainted myself with everything I would have to do to change my name on all the legal paperwork; birth certificate, social security, credit cards, medical, etc. What I wasn't prepared for was the next thoughts:
1. This would upset my parents cause they put a lot of thought into naming me. (well really, my mom wanted to name me Angelique Rebecca, but dad said NO, and as a result I was named after Debra Padgett, the actress, along with a million other 1952 girls!)
2. Do I just let those who have known me as Debbie my whole life continue to call me that or do I insist they call me by my new name?
3. Will this cause issues in my parent's will?
4. Why do I care?
Why do I care? Why do I care what my name is? Does it define me? Am I really that pissed at my family of origin that I want to rid myself of the name given to me at birth?
My mother wanted to name me Angelique. I did not know this until I wanted to name my daughter Angelique and the husband/father would not allow it. The interesting thing is: the first time I ever heard this name was in Dark Shadows! I was totally enthralled with the Witch Angelique and dreamed of being her, having her name, and her powers! To this day, she "haunts" me with those beautiful eyes! I was already wearing my eye make up like hers before this show even came on!
During a Reike session in Virginia, without knowing all this name history stuff, the master said, "Your higher spirit was present today, she hovered over your Crown Chakra. Does the name Angelique mean anything to you?" I was astounded and told her the Story!
I want to legally change my name:
I want to legally change my name to Angelique Autumn!
I guess for legal purposes it would be Angelique as my first name and Autumn as my last. I do not want to be Angelique Autumn Hillman!
I want my own name that I think I was always meant to have. Sunshine Fae is my witchy name and it describes me to a tee, but there is something that calls to me in a Deep Soul way, saying Angelique Autumn is MY name. It is the name I should have had all along!
So, that is my current dilemma.
The next chapter to be written sooner than later!
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
I have been in a time of Deep Soul Work of late. As I look back over my life journey, I seem to do this work as Mabon approaches. This time has been life altering and revealing in a most significant way. The revelations will have to wait as they are still bubbling away in the Cauldron, but I do want to share my experience from last night.
I have decided that it is time for me to take Tai Chi and/or Yoga. I am finding it so difficult to center and as I age I want to regain the flexibility I have lost. I often drive by a place called: The Peaceful Dragon and decided to call them yesterday. The woman I spoke with told me they offer Tai Chi, Yoga and the Martial Arts. Their classes are based on Ancient Oriental spirituality and technique. She set me up for a tour and a free class last night.
Here is my experience.
The building is set on 12 acres of wooded land and has an outside sense of peace and tranquility; flowing waterfall into a beautiful pond with Koi and water lilies. As I opened the large door a sign said: "Welcome to The Peaceful Dragon Deb Hillman!" There was green tea beside a wooden bench in front of the front desk. A huge Buddha sat beside the bench along with beautiful Oriental ornamental wall hangings, etc.
Peaceful dragon it was not!
A kid's Kung Fu class was going on in the large room and many parents were sitting and standing talking loudly. A man approached me and begin talking about the Libertarian Candidate and how horrible Hillary is and how he will vote for Trump. I quietly walked away.
I passed a room with a large sign saying "LEAVE SWORDS OUTSIDE!"
Finally, George, one of the instructors, took me into a very small room and began the "interview" process. They hand select who can come into this school.We talked about why I want Tai Chi and Yoga and my past and present experiences with martial arts. I did a lot of listening as he did A LOT of talking about the Chinese philosophy of preparing for battle. He gave me history and rationale for why it is important for us to be "prepared". I kept thinking, "wait... I wanted to learn to center and be flexible".
With all this being said, the free class I was taking, was George showing me two Tai Chi poses and having me do them a few times. He then told me that I would take 2 Tai Chi classes a week and could take up to 4 Yoga classes for the cost of $200 a month for 1 year. I had to sign a year contract which had no way to get out of it, as this is a school. There is required clothing and also periodic tests to see if I could advance to the next level.
Holy shit.... All I wanted to do was run out! There was no sense of peaceful anything. There was only the Patriarch Mind Set of Battle, Testing, and lots of money. The noise in the facility was incredible.
I guess I just have a different idea of someplace called Peaceful Dragon. This is a wonderful place I am sure and the classes may be in fact peaceful when they aren't throwing swords, etc. But it is not for me.
So, I stopped by the local YMCA and got a free week to try their yoga classes. Then I will get a Tai Chi DVD and watch it on my new Smart TV.
As I was reflecting on the "dad" approaching me to trash Hilary, I began to laugh: oh what a sense of humor the Universe has! Ok, so I get it... I am not suppose to be here, but really???? I didn't even have my I hate Trump shirt on! I didn't wear my Fuck Patriarchy Tank Top! It was just me and my simple shorts and top!
Peaceful Dragon..... what ever! maybe there isn't any such thing!
Monday, September 12, 2016
For those who follow me and know me, you are aware that this is an eclectic blog. One time, I will pen a post about a beautiful Goddess, another time I will talk about my past and then other times I will be angry and opinionated. Oh wait... I am ALWAYS opinionated!
It is what I love about blogging.
This blog will not be a welcome read for many I am sure and I almost didn't write it. But when something won't leave me alone, I pay attention in my old age!
I am a 60's kid! I marched against the Establishment, for civil rights, and battled with Religion. It is in my blood to speak to that which touches my heart and stirs my soul. No where did a Flag or an anthem cause me to do so. I rallied behind the idea that all should be treated equally and fairly. I did so in peaceful protest, never violent ones.
In 1968 the world was appalled when American Olympic metal winners, held up their fists to silently declare: "This was a way of saying, at the end of the 1960s ... that the African-Americans had had enough of domestic racism and that here was an opportunity to express their feelings about that.”
The world did not end and racism did not stop, but more dialogue about racism began. This country then moved on to something else.
Lately, an NFL football player did not stand for the National Anthem. It became a national issue, with people threatening to kill him, to stop supporting the NFL, and to bash anyone who in this Democracy DARES to demonstrate in any way, much less in a Silent protest on National TV. What I heard was, "hey, he should be thankful to live in a Democracy where he can make millions of dollars, and live in a nice house. How can he do that? He needs to respect the anthem and flag cause lots of people died to make this country where he can have all these privileges."Yep... Democracy at it's best, right? You are not allowed to have a silent protest cause it means you are dissing America. If you believe this then you don't understand Democracy.
Here is where I stand on the issue of Flags, Anthems, and yearly remembrances of violence, torture and war.
I am happy to be an American. On most days, I am thankful and proud to live in this country. I am grateful for all the opportunities I have been given and long for those yet to be achieved (ERA, civil rights, etc).
That being said, I do not stand for the anthem and I do not pledge allegiance to a Flag. I do not pledge allegiance to anything but caring for my neighbor and being a Voice for those without a Voice.
Definition of allegiance: loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior or of an individual to a group or cause.
A flag for any country is just a piece of material that has been designed as a symbol for said country. It is mostly a piece of material to separate and divide, to rally the forces, and to hang at half mast for those deemed worthy of such an act. What is has become is a god!
The anthem speaks of war and is another example of stirring up the masses to remember how "we" beat up others in order to have democracy.
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
In the 60's and 70's I was adamantly against and still am ALL wars as a way to solve issues. If women had been drafted at that time, I would have burned my draft card and either gone to jail or would have moved to Canada. I still feel this way at age 64. The anthem and flag are symbols of war.
It is why on my facebook posts there will be no "remembrances" of Pearl Harbor, the Vietnam War, Afghanistan, Iraq and even 9/11. What I will do is at my Goddess Altar will hold sadness for lives lost in senseless demonstrations of the patriarchal mindset of violence as the answer to problems with another. Why do we love to bring back to memory such things?
It astounds me that when the President wants to make peace with a leader from another country, the people here in the US, are outraged (i.e. Cuba of recent). If the decision is to pull troops out of another country is made, threats begin to pour forth from the mouths of those who have not and never will have to go into such wars. If the announcement is we are going to war, people put flags on their houses and cars and wave them as we go to kill other human beings and then get pissed at the numbers of OUR people killed and rally around the numbers of how many people we have killed. And then.... we celebrate if we win cause it was all in the name of Democracy!
My not standing for the anthem or the flag, is NOT a form of protest. I wouldn't stand if a Santa flag was brought into a football game. I don't stand when Who let the Dogs out is played at a basketball game. So why would I stand when a political flag or song is sung? I respect people who decide to use that as a form of protest, tho! This is America, this is a Democracy.... the Anthem tells us so.
I would also not stand if President Obama (who I respect totally as the leader of this country) or Queen Elizabeth (who I admire and respect as a woman in power) would walk into a room. I do not see that as a sign of disrespect, I see it as whether I would stand if anyone would enter a room.
It is all smoke and mirrors of power and control. The Flag and the Anthem, just like many Christian hymns are meant to insight not peace, but pitting one against another. Not love but through the use of violence demonstrating who is the bigger bully, and in that way rejoicing over making others "be like us, believe like us, live like us and act like us."
What bothers me, is that on the one hand we proclaim that this is a Democracy! We proclaim that others have died in war so we can enjoy the privileges of living is such a place were we can indeed speak freely. But this is ONLY if it is what we believe is true, what we believe is right and just. And for me that is NOT democracy! That is power and control. And I protest anything that reeks of power and control. I believe in protest, but Never Violent protest even if it is what I believe in.
So, the Black Panthers... peaceful, silent protest!
So, the NFL player...peaceful, silent protest!
Isn't that what America is about? I mean really.... we had to kill a shit load of people and have a shit load of our own people killed just so we could then bash someone who is actually taking this Democracy stuff to heart!
It blows my mind!
Thursday, September 8, 2016
This is how the most Ancient Texts speak of Persephone. Queen of the Underworld. Alone on the Throne, not standing or sitting beside Hades.
In Goddess Times, there was no King of Hades! There was only most lovely and powerful Persephone, Maiden of the Triple Goddess! Daughter of Demeter! Granddaughter of Hekate!
Persephone came to me during my meditations this week to tell me exactly this. But She had more to reveal!
The Ancient HerStory tells us that Persephone did indeed spend 6 months with the Dead and 6 months with the Living. She tended the Dead in the Underworld with Love and Compassion, Understanding and Protection. She appointed those who would help Souls arrive upon Death and appointed those who would help Souls move on to their final destination or to their next Life in Gaia's Garden.
Then when it was Time, Persephone left them in charge and She journeyed to Gaia's Garden where She meets Her Mother for the Time of Planting and Birthing.
Persephone then dances in the Garden, planting seeds, calling the leaves to sprout and the flowers to bloom. She continued to do this while Her Mother, Demeter, birthed!
Then when it was Time, Hekate, walked back to the Underworld Entrance with Persephone, and they said their good-byes. With this, the Garden Rested! And Darkness fell over the Garden not as a Time of Sadness, but as a Time of Rest, Renewal and Fallowness.
Perfection and Balance!
But then the patriarchal religions began to permeate Gaia's Garden and with it came the need to destroy the Goddess and Her Power. The Ancient HerStories were altered bringing with it violence, hate and power and control.
No longer was there balance! Now the Underworld had a King who arrived into the Garden and kidnapped the Maiden Persephone, and raped Her, making Her his own! Of course, Demeter was distraught and as punishment (also a patriarchal idea) brought "winter" to the Garden and everyone and everything suffered.
But alas, good ol' boy Hades did in fact make a deal (power and control) and "allowed" Persephone to spend 6 months with Her Mama and Grandmother. The very act of Hades "allowing" his wife to visit the Garden was what made everyone and everything happy! Not Persephone!
As such, Balance was not restored and the story became all about Power and Control/Grief and Loss, and less about the Way of the Goddess and Her beautiful Plan!
During my Journey with Persephone, She then told me this:
"I, Persephone, embody both the Dark and the Light, just as we all do."
Persephone showed me that as the Maiden of the Triple Goddess, She is the Caretaker of the Springs and Winters of our Lives. She is both the Dark Moon and the New Moon. She is the Sun Rising and the Sun Setting. She is the Beginning and the End.
Persephone’s Story is one of Fertility and Death. This makes Her very unique in the Triple Goddess archetype.
Most important, She told me, is that She does this by Her own Free Will.
From this, all Womyn must re-member that we all have this Free Will. It is in re-claiming our Free Will that we will cease to be caught in the Story that is written for Us instead of by Us!
For the Northern Hemisphere, Persephone is beginning Her Journey with Her Grandmother to the Underworld Entrance. This is a sweet Good-bye; no veil of sadness and grief falls overs the Garden. They both breathe a breath of Completion and Gratitude for the opportunity to let Gaia's Garden rest.
So much to glean from the way HerStory is meant to be read!
Let it soak into your very Being and watch as we then learn to rejoice both in the Dark Moon and New Moon Times of our lives.
And may we honor and adore Persephone as She makes this magickal Journey!
Thursday, July 28, 2016
"There is no Greater Good, only Good, however small the Good!"
Funny, how while watching a TV show, a profound and life changing statement will give me pause!
"There is no Greater Good, only Good, however small the Good!" said Dr. Theo Yedlin as the decision was made to hand select those going back into the pods. "It is for the Greater Good to only take those who are healthy and breeders." said Jason, the demented leader of the army in Wayward Pines.
This gave me pause.
I took an Ethics class in my graduate program where we struggled with what it means to make decisions based on "The Greater Good." Wars are waged and fought for "the Greater Good!" The Mentally Ill were mass sterilized at one time, "for the Greater Good!" Women were not allowed to vote "for the Greater Good!" LBGT community were not allowed to marry "for the Greater Good!" And I could go on and on and on!
My question in the Ethics course was very simple: "Who gets to decide what defines the Greater Good?" Of course we talked about how it depends on who is in charge of "the big decisions", be it religious leaders, politicians, doctors, judges, etc. There was a head nod to how each of us must make these decisions on a daily basis; as we discussed whether to let totally disabled babies live, whether to quit a job and have to live on food stamps because your boss asks you to falsify records, and such.
It was all framed around The Greater Good. Here is how the dictionary defines the Greater Good: "The benefit of the public, of more people than oneself; that which is better and more correct."
"That which is better or more correct." "The benefit of the public."
What is better or more correct than: THERE IS ONLY GOOD!
Dr. Yedlin says "There is no Greater Good, only Good, however small the Good."
Dr. Yedlin wanted to make the choices for who would go back into the pods and wake up thousands of years later, by lottery, since all could not go. That would be fair he said. But "for the Greater Good" the leaders only wanted those "perfect people" who could then breed to make more perfect people.
Yes, only a TV show, but I have found this story to really cause me to take ethical pauses, especially in this highly contested election year we are in.
I watched both conventions even tho' I am a Democrat. What I heard from the RNC was how one person would make the decisions for the Greater Good. What I heard from the DNC was how WE collectively as much as possible will make decisions based on THE GOOD!
We have been challenged, just like when JFK ran for office and won, to take care of our neighbor; our Muslim neighbor, our gay neighbor, our black, Asian, white neighbor, our poor and stinky neighbor, our mentally ill neighbor, our single mom who had an abortion neighbor, our pagan and Jewish neighbor.
WE ARE TO CHOOSE ONLY GOOD, NO MATTER HOW SMALL THE GOOD!
We have come through a time when it is all about the "I"! We are in a time when the Enemy is everyone who does not look like us, does not believe like us, does not love like us, does not worship, work or dress like us. The Enemy is everyone who is of a different race or nationality or an immigrant.
It's for the Greater Good I heard during the RNC to be forceful, carry more guns, hate, and eject those NOT LIKE US. And one man, all by himself will be making the decisions for the Greater Good.
NO MATTER HOW SMALL THE GOOD! That is what really gave me pause.
I pray that I never feel like I cannot stretch myself to do Good! Whether that be to fill up a backpack for underprivileged children, send a card to someone hurting or celebrating a birthday. Whether that be smiling at everyone I meet even when I am in my own pain. Whether that means "voting my conscience" and being proud to live in a country where I can do that. Whether it means leaving my pentacle at home on the day I helped my elderly mom serve lunch to her church ladies because I knew she was scared to death they would find out I was pagan and not Christian.
Whether that means praying for others, lighting candles for the sick, those morning and the world. Whether that means caring for animals and the earth by doing all I can in my own little piece of the forest.
Once upon a time, in my younger days, I truly felt it was all up to me to save all the children throughout the world. I convinced myself that without me, things would fall apart in my family of origin, my marriage family and my job and church.
One day, I was in a true panic attack over it all and I heard Goddess say to me:
"I ONLY ASKED YOU TO TAKE CARE OF THAT RIGHT IN YOUR PATH. IF EVERYONE WOULD DO THAT, WE WOULD NOT BE IN THE SITUATION WE ARE IN."
That is The Good!
That is The Right!
To be kind, caring, compassionate, positive, giving, thankful, at peace, loving, faithful, and accepting of others to do their part in the unique way they are asked to fit into the puzzle.
In the end, Dr. Yedlin, only got his wish by sneaking in a gay boy and his quirky probably mentally ill receptionist. But I can promise you, all those in the pods waiting for the next time in Wayward Pines are not Pure, Perfect People. But someone, the"I" made the decision, all alone as to who would help the Greater Good!
We must all be intentional about doing Good, HOWEVER SMALL THE GOOD!
We do this while the crazy, "all about me" world goes on around us. And just maybe our example will spread like the mint in my pots... the plant started in one and now has sent out delicious shoots that have invaded all the other pots in my garden balcony! Ahhhh mint!
Pause. What are you really doing to choose the Good. Where can you discern how decisions made for this Greater Good hurts many others in the process. Will we always succeed? No! Will we make mistakes? Yes! Do we keep trying? Yes, cause as President Obama said in his DNC speech last night, "That's what happens when you try, mistakes happen." Then Trying leads to Hope in the face of Difficulty. And Hope leads to a better Today and Tomorrow!
Idealistic? I don't think so! I think this is what we are suppose to be doing, and have lost our way. If we take care of the neighbor and the neighbor takes care of us; there is no need to make decisions that ultimately exclude others. Because when Good is only doing for "the good of the public" then the individual faces go out of focus.
Be the Good, live the Good, demonstrate the Good!
Friday, July 22, 2016
Grieving is like a dark cloak; both smothering and comforting. For many it will be the first time they find themselves cloaked in a dark and unforgiving world from which they never seem to wake up. For many it is the comfort of a familiar; calling them cloak and heal. And for some it is the Cloak of Fear and and Terror. And yet, at some time, we must all put on this Cloak of Grief.
I saw it in different forms this morning in the ICU where I volunteer! The Dark Cloak surrounded a Family who sobbed as they stood vigil with the man they loved as he took his last breath. The Dark Cloak surrounded friends who were told that the person they had gone to dinner with just 2 days before, was on life support and would not live. I also saw the Cloak of Grief as a Family Cried, Laughed and praised their God for their loved one was finally out of pain and misery in her death!
I also watched as a woman donned this Cloak of Grief following the news that her husband would be going home today and she would have to give up her job to be his full time caretaker. She was going to file divorce papers last week when he became critically ill. She now feels responsible to be by his side for an indefinite period of time.
How long will I feel like this? You will feel like this until you no longer do. Everyone is different; every situation is unique and every cloak is needed for as long as it takes.
Don't be willing to give up the Cloak too quickly. Don't leave it hanging on the rack ignoring the call to put it on!
Embrace the Cloak, savor the Cloak, live in the Cloak.
And one day, the Cloak will have tucked itself into a drawer for future use. And you will breathe knowing that it will not be the last time you will need the Cloak, but you will rest knowing that the Cloak did not smother you, strangle you or kill you. The Cloak was your Dark Necessary Companion.