Sunday, March 31, 2013

Free as a Bird!

Free as a bird! I grew up hearing this language and today sitting on the lake eating my oatmeal I think I finally embraced this as my own!

I live in a country where "Freedom" is the first name of United States of America. We claim to be a free country and we even send our military into other countries to make sure they are "free" too. But by whose standards do we define Freedom?

I am Free to think and feel as I want but not if I am too loud about it or offend someone. I am free to chose my friends but not my family. I am free to chose who to marry but not if they are female or transgendered. I am free to live where I want but not if I can't pay the rent when I am out of work. I am free to worship how and where I want but not if it means casting a circle and celebrating skyclad outside of my own apartment. I am free to be a woman but not in the pulpit of many churches. I am free not to be raped but not if I wear short skits and see through tops without a bra.

I am Free!

What I am free to be is ME! I am free to speak my mind, to believe as I want and to embrace whoever and whatever I want to. I am free to speak that I am Pagan Witch and not care if someone doesn't like it. I am free to be Woman and speak for the return of the matrilineal times of the Goddess. I am free to love or not love who or what ever I want. I am free to dance, sing and rejoice in the life that I live.

I am free to live in this body for as long as it lasts unless someone else decides that I am no longer free to do so.

I am free to be the Spirit that I was created to be.

And so I am free as a bird. Free to fly over the Lake with grace and beauty! Free to soar as I embrace all that I am. Free from the threats of hell and damnation. Free from the fear of sin and judgment.

I am free as a bird!

May you also embrace the freedom that you have. There are still rules and those who want to convince us otherwise, but we are still free! Not as the government says, but as the Goddess tells us!

Aho and Blessed be! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sometimes there's a pause in the growth

It's been a week since I took a walk in my Forest. The last time it was warm and every thing seemed to be bursting forth with new growth.

Today it seemed that nothing had progressed. I stood in the midst of the "winter looking" forest with the growth exactly as it was a week ago and asked Gaia, "What is going on?"

And She said: "The weather turned cold. Sometimes there's a pause in Growth."

Just like us human be-ings! All of a sudden this amazing growth begins; right after we have weathered a very long and stormy winter time in our development; and wham; it stops. We see the buds of growth and then nothing. And we get very frustrated. What is going on we ask?

Well, Gaia spoke Her Lesson today in very visible ways. Sometimes there's a pause in growth. Maybe it's because we hit a cold spell and have to wait until the warmth returns. Sometimes we have moved way faster than the Growth can happen and so we have to pause and let the Growth catch up to us. And sometimes we have to catch up to the Growth.

When that happens to me; I remember to sit and wait. I remember to be patient and trust that while I wait Goddess is stirring up more Growth to come. But it is always in Her Time!

It's Spring! The Wheel is Turning! Watch and Wait and then Sprout like crazy!

Aho and Blessed be!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

On Death: Ode to Nola Jean

Yesterday I had the honor of being invited to speak at the Celebration Service for a beautiful woman; Nola Jean! Her daughers invited me to join with family and friends to reflect on this last part of her Earthly Journey. This is what I spoke:

On Death from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran:

"Then Almitra spoke, saying, "We would ask now of Death."
And he said:
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the sheered not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and see God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of slience shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance."

My Reflection:

Death is hard. It is hard for the one who longs to stick around with family and friends and it is especially hard for those of us left behind while our loved one travels to Heaven; Summerland.

If we listen closely to Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, we hear words of comfort. We hear that we fear death because we fear standing before "the King". But Gibran tells us this king is there to lay hands upon "the shepherd" in honor and not in judgment.

He tells us that with ceasing to breathe, we are then free of all the restless tides. We are free from frighting the next fight; the next worry; the next disturbance in our soul and the pain that so frequently comes at the end of our lives.

We are now free to seek God "unencumbered." That means that we are finally free of what everyone else has told us about what awaits us; and we are free to search for the Divine Creator. We are free to sing and climb mountain tops and dance.

Can you see Nola singing and dancing on the mountain top?
Can you imagine her seeking her Creator amongst the Stars and Planets and the Moon and Sun?
Can you imagine how she will feel when she stands before her Creator and is honored for the Life she led while she was on this Planet?

Nola did many wonderful things while she traveled this Earth and she spoke words of the Divine to her children and to her friends and family.
She stood and gazed in awe at the celestial bodies; she looked at stones and crystals in amazement knowing that only something bigger than her could have created such brilliance.
She was seeking the Divine on her Earthly Journey and now she is rejoicing and discovering new and wonderful things!

"And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance."

Dance into Heaven, Nola Jean! Dance unencumbered and find your God waiting to honor you!

Let us pray:

Oh Mother/Father God, we thank you for the beautiful life of Nola Jean! Her time on this Earthly Journey has come to an end, but she left hand prints all over the hearts of everyone and everything she touched. Give peace to Dolores, Dory and David and all who loved her. Goddess guide her transition to Summerland and when we look at the Stars may we see her dancing there.

Aho and Amen!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

In celebration of the last day of Winter

While the North East parts of the United States are enjoying a last day of Winter with snow, the South is saying good bye by dressing up and celebrating!

Yesterday it seemed that the Gaia was still in hibernation, but today many of the flowering trees and bushes have put on their best clothes for the last day of Winter. Bartlett Pear trees burst into their beautiful white flowers, Forsythia welcomed the warm weather with their yellow blooms and the spring flowers are pushing through the moist soil trying to beat out each other for the first appearance of Spring!

Gaia is telling us that She her Pregnancy is coming to an end and She invites us to watch as She Births forth new life and beauty into a world that has been without color it seems since the Fall!

But it is Time She cries out! Listen to Her birthing moans! If you are quiet you can hear the flowers and leaf buds pushing through the birth canals of each plant. You can hear the seeds cracking open under the earth and if you are really really silent you can feel the movement of the earth worms as they begin to wiggle their way out of their Earth Womb and into the light.

  Gaia is birthing, birthing, birthing with all her might and yet for most people, they just move through their day thinking of the next bill to pay, the next car pool to run, or the next argument that awaits them at home.

Gaia begs us to Stop, Look, Listen (hey, we learned that in Kindergarten didn't we?). She does everything She can to get our attention! She dresses up; She sends thunder and lightening; and She prepares the soil for crops to begin to grow so we can be fed!

Thank you Winter for your message of Resting; of Pregnancy; of Waiting! Thank you Winter for preparing us to birth that which we contemplated during our own Hibernation. Thank you Winter for being there in so many ways and forms. Thank you for reminding us that you will be there waiting for us in 9 months!

Good bye Winter!

Hello Spring!

May we all stop, look and listen just for a moment and honor Winter's presence in our lives!

Aho and Blessed be!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Demeter waits for Persephone

I sit on my balcony at dawn this morning and listen to the beautiful music provided by the birds returning from their winter sabbaticals; awakening a New Day! Spring is certainly on its way!

Demeter is waiting at the entrance of the Cave; it is Time for Persephone to leave her Lover Hades and come play in the Norther Hemisphere.

The Wheel turns and leaves another Winter behind. How many Winters have I journeyed through? How many came during Springs and Summers? Those times when the Light had gone out; and every thing felt Dead. But then again, there were Winters that bloomed with Freshness, Hope and Vitality!

This Turning feels a bit different. Like Demeter, I have grieved the Losses in my life; like Demter I searched the world over for that which will bring the Beauty, the Growth, the Warmth back into my Life! Like Demeter, I waited at the Cave for my Maiden Self to reemerge so I can run free in the Fields, letting my hair blow in the breeze; accepting the soft kisses of the Sun on my face and accepting the Joy in my Heart!

Like Demeter, I stand at the entrance of Death and know that there is Life encased in the Womb of Gaia. It is all as it should be; this Turning of the Wheel!

In 4 days, Persephone will emerge and join hands with her loving faithful Mother and they will wander this part of the Planet. Persephone will give Birth to Summer and Demeter will be a Grandmother. The Triple Goddess will sweetly complete the Divine Feminine Circle.

I honor this Turning as I put to rest those parts of MySelf that need to die and stand at the Os of the Womb as new Parts of MySelf are birthed bringing new Fields to run through, new buds to watch open and new Life to grow and bring Hope and Beauty into the World!

So mote it be with me and with you!

Blessed be!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Fight or Flight Archetype you are dismissed

Last week I made peace with my Protector/Rescuer Archetype. I thanked her for her service and dismissed her from being the main lens through which I view and interact with the world. I set the boundaries and know that it is a skill I am very good at and when she is needed I will be the one who calls upon her; not the other way around!

Now I had to come to terms with another strong Archetype that rules my Life and that is Flight or Fight. After the interaction with my parents and brother two weekends ago; I was able to watch it replay and saw not only the Protector/Rescuer but also that my first course of action when my mom called me was to "take on the Fight" which I did, but when it was all over I began thinking it was time to pack up my shit and move out of this state! Honestly I was thinking about it hard!

This began a journey into my Shadow side and I took many trips back through time watching as I got caught up in this tension deep within my own psyche! I left my marriage after 30 years of "fighting" and ran like hell!

This survival skill probably did serve me well in my marriage but like Protector/Rescuer it ruled my responses to almost all situations. I may not have actually "flown" away literally, but I sure did emotionally and mentally.

What I realize now is that I don't have to do either one of them.

But what hit me more is as a Woman I often felt I had no choice.

After years of buying into the patriarchal bullshit, I began to Fight (this in my later teen years) and Fight out loud I did; well, the best I could. Then when it got so bad with my parents I ran out of state to be with the man I would end of married to for 30 years.

What was the basic Fight or Flight? It was between my need to claim my Feminist/Goddess Self and trying to be the "good wife"; "good daughter"; "good member....volunteer..." The Fight/Flight was within as much as without! I would "fight" for me and then I would "flee" back to the comfort of what society, church and parents had taught me so well.

Now, Protector/Rescuer has a companion in my personal tool box. I have dismissed Fight/Flight to take her place there in the box. There may be a time when I need to use her, but it will be up to me and I will take her out and use her appropriately.

For the most part I am learning that I am the one who controls which reaction I bring to the table; how I handle each person and situation! Now; I don't expect that every thing will be rosy and I won't fall back into old habits, but I think if it happens it will be fleeting. I already am finding myself saying, "nope...get back in that box; I don't need you today!"

This is beginning to be fun! It is exciting to address these companions on my journey and let them know they are no longer needed; that I can navigate the path without their constant services.

May your journey be filled with only the Archetypes you choose to take with you!

Namaste and Blessed be!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lesson Learned!

I laughingly tell people that I am a slow learner, but on some levels I honestly think I am. There has been a Lesson brewing in my life for awhile now, and finally Goddess threw everything She could at me to get my attention! I think one of the gifts of being 60 is that I don't seem to have the energy to fight against Her the way I use to and so, I finally learned a Lesson I have needed to learn for a very long time!

One of the archetypes that is strong in me is the Protector/Rescuer! This served me very well when I was a Child Abuse Social Worker and when my children were small, but what I never understood was that our archetypes are useful in some aspects of our lives, but damaging in others. I spent most of my adult life; living as the Protector/Rescuer!

What would my life have looked like if I had had a knowledgeable woman to teach me how to compartmentalize my archetypes? What would my life have looked like if I had not tried to protect my children from their father's pornography addiction while I was trying to protect his right to view whatever he wanted and leave it out for the kids to view? I too often confused loyalty and protection  with love. And I became paralyzed in too many situations as a result.

But what if I had had that Circle of Women to sit with and tell my story so they could have helped me understand how to acknowledge the different archetypes that embodied my very Person? How would my life have been different if I had even Known to put a name to how I was living every situation in  my life? Maybe, I would have made different decisions, and I believe I would not have been so tired.

It's tiring and draining living the life of the Protector/Rescuer!

So, the past few weeks, Goddess had enough and one trial after another came my way. I was yelling at my middle sister for how she has been treating our parents. I did the same with one of my brothers. I went to the head  manager at work and took on the role of protecting the staff I work with from their incompetent, irresponsible supervisor. And I am always fighting not jumping in an airplane and heading down to Florida to tell off my daughter's supervisor who treats her terribly.

And guess what? I began to complain about how tired I was and that my neck was hurting me and I woke up knowing I had been grinding my teeth (haven't done that in like 8 years!!!)

So, with the help of a wonderful sister I finally heard what I needed to hear. I finally understood and could name this archetype that I could say good bye to as the lens through which I view the world and every situation I encounter.

I realized I was trying so hard to be my sibling's conscience, hoping they would realize how they are "mistreating" our elderly parents (not abusive, just asking them to do things they really shouldn't be doing and not calling, etc.) Of course "mistreating" is my interpretation. And my parents have such a need to "be needed" and not "be old" that they say yes and then complain to me; I then take out after my siblings; and it is a vicious cycle. My parents are 80 years old and they have not lost their faculties and as such if they want to have to get out of bed at 10pm and let my brother's dog out across town, well then that is their right to do so.

So finally, thanks be to Goddess, and numerous sisters last week; I woke up! And it felt so good. And it was the New Moon; and I released this Archetype from the control I asked her to have over me all these years. I released her to be there when in fact something or someone needs to be rescued. And I realized that now I must learn to live my life welcoming the other archetypes who have been dying to come out and play!

I am a very good listener! So now is the time for me to listen through ears not ruled by Protector/Rescuer! This is the time for me to discern the difference between helping and enabling; and the difference between feedback and problem solving.

But I come back to the question: what would it have been like....
And then I get sad because I realize I wasn't that mother for my daughter when she was growing into her adulthood. But I did the best I could at the time and now I can model and help her see her different archetypes and invite which ever one is needed for each particular situation. I will have to learn this too!

And as a Crone I now can sit in Circle with other women and be that which I was so missing in my life! So that when another woman shares with me her struggles I will be able to look through eyes not with the understanding of only a Protector/Rescuer, but from a Whole Woman who is still on the Journey, but realizes I now have a lot more company!

This Life Journey is one Lesson after another, but I will say, there is comfort knowing this is one Lesson I now have down pat and won't have to experience in my next Life!

Now on to the next one! I hope it's not as hard!

Blessed be!