"Do I consider myself a Seeker?"
This question came to me as I woke up this morning; it may have something to do with a dream I was having, though I can't remember. Still the question remains. Do I?...
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I've been feeling weird about getting so sick right at the New Year. This time was "supposed" to be my time to fully celebrate my transition into working full-time for myself. I keep fighting the idea that, as I'm recovering, I should be doing more - "Yeah, I'm no longer contagious, running a fever every day, lost in a pile of tissues - I should definitely be up and running around, Doing My Work!" In truth, I'm still very congested, still rocking an intense phlegmy chest cough that would make a Grandpa proud, and rocking a sweet sinus headache. It is no wonder that I am exhausted by doing small things.
Right now, today, my Work is resting until I am fully well. I keep reminding myself of the Fourth Agreement, Always Do Your Best - and my best right now is to take my medications, and do some laundry, and knit a bit, and nap a bit, and watch a movie here and there. As Danielle LaPorte says, "The journey has to feel the way you want the destination to feel."...
Well, as Samwise said at the end of The Lord of the Rings, “I’m back.” A string of family/personal life events have wrapped me tight physically and emotionally over the past months, and I’m just now climbing back into the writing and blogging saddle, so to speak. I hope some of you are ready to ride along with me again and haven’t forgotten me in the lapse, for I haven’t forgotten you.
This entry will be a short one—a teaser, so to speak. I’m planning to launch a series of posts about the mysteries of the sacred and the importance of ritual. I’m an admitted fan of Joseph Campbell’s work (right), particularly his explorations of the hero’s journey and the monomyth—the “one story” that wends throughout the human experience. In the hero’s journey—also called the hero’s quest—an individual receives a call to destiny, embarks upon a series of tests and challenges, and emerges at journey’s end changed in some way and perhaps even having undergone a rite of passage. Each of us makes many of these journeys in our lives, and it’s through these trials that we grow and find out what we’re made of....
At a time that was not now and a place that was not here, a woman, Anima, was blessed with a perfect life. She had never been sick, never suffered from hunger or lack of love. She went about her days without any worries or concerns. One day she came upon a young woman hurt and bleeding. The young woman told her tale of suffering at the hands of uncaring people and how she had been left to die. Anima took the young woman home, cared for her and slowly her wounds began to heal.
There came a time when Anima arrived home and found the young woman about to jump into a deep well. Anima pulled her friend from the edge, saving her. She felt frustrated for the first time in her life. She did not know how to help her friend. So Anima took the young woman to the local temple. There she asked the Priestess to help heal her friend of the wounds Anima could not see. The Priestess explained that Anima could leave the young woman at the temple to be cared for. However, if Anima wanted to learn how to heal her friend, she could undergo the temple’s initiation. Anima cared deeply for her friend and consented to the initiation.
On the night of the dark moon, Anima descended into the caves under the temple. There she was undressed, bathed in the waters of the cave and told to follow the stream. As she descended, the Priestesses slapped her face. Shaking and nude Anima was asked if she consented to continue the initiation. Anima consented. She continued through the caves with only the stream to guide her and its water to drink. As she went further, the Priestesses would appear in the darkness to disrupt her sleep or to beat her. After every disruption or beating they asked Anima if she consented to continue. Anima consented.
Finally the hunger, the aching muscles, the lack of sleep, and the fear of the next beating overwhelmed her. Anima came upon a deep pit in the caves and stood at the edge. She did not know how much longer the initiation would be. The stream seemed to continue on without end. She took a deep breath. As she stared into the darkness she saw light to her left. Anima headed towards the light climbing up to reach it. The rocks were sharp and slippery. Bloody, wet and exhausted she emerged from the caves.
The Priestesses stood around her in the light of the full moon. They beckoned her to bathe in the sea. Anima consented. Her wounds stung and she tasted her tears. The Priestesses welcomed her out of the sea with bread and honey. Anima was marked in the middle of her breasts, on her forehead and at the bottom of her back with the sign of Priestess. She traveled back to the temple and found her friend. Anima heard her story, understood her pain and supported her healing. Soon the young woman’s wounds, both seen and unseen, were healed. From then on Anima traveled throughout the lands listening and supporting women in their healing. Her life as Healer and Priestess began.
Mother’s Day this year had me thinking about my mother and my journey with Goddess. As a child, my mother was my first Goddess- I looked to her to keep me alive. My physical and emotional needs were met by her. As I got older, my mother shared the pantheon with the Virgin Mary. My mother is a Virgin Mary devotee with a liberal attitude toward divorce, birth control and other women’s right issues. As I grew up, I learned to look to my mother also as prophetic Goddess, showing me where our life was leading to. I would then turn to the Virgin Mary in my dreams to comfort me and shield me from my nightmares.
As a teenager, I became aware that Goddess existed as a truth beyond my own personal experiences. I grew away from seeing my mother as Goddess, archetypal mother providing me with all the love I needed. As I drew away from my Catholic upbringing I could no longer find solace in the Virgin Mary with her submissive undertones. As I grew into my sexuality, the Virgin did not resonate with me. I researched the Goddess in the Neo-Pagan movement-- I welcomed the Goddess who saw all acts of love and pleasure as her rituals. I started shifting my need for greater mother love to the Goddess as well. I learned more about all the different Goddesses-- especially Ariadne, Kali and the ancient Goddesses of Neolithic times....