Every Bit Counts

One of the major aspects of my Work over the years has been self improvement. A lot of the struggles I’ve faced in life have stemmed from a long time of self loathing. Part of repairing that is giving myself the opportunity to build confidence.

Once I got into journaling in travelers notebooks, a great opportunity presented itself by way of art journaling and I’m so pleased and proud to have kept it up for the last couple of months.

I constantly find myself thinking “well, I can’t journal today. I don’t have this or that item that would be perfect”.

Each time I impress myself by responding to those thoughts with “otherness would be perfect if you got your thoughts and feelings on paper. It would be divine if you attempted to be artistic in spite of what you fear you lack”.

I completed my first insert recently and I was so moved when I flipped through and saw 2 and half months of progress. My first attempts at adding watercolors to a page. The first collage I did (and the first one I actually thought looked good).

I treated myself to a leather travelers notebook at Christmas time and will be starting a brand new insert. I’m anxious and excited to dive into a new blank canvas and see what other new things I can try. In the meantime, here’s a flip of my first completed book.

15 Years

I’ve been doing some reflecting on where my path began lately and realized that this year marks 15 years since I began a journey of self discovery through Paganism. I’ve written before, I think, about how my path began when I read The Odyssey for the first time in my junior high school library. It was a crackly, blue, hardcover book that the librarian told me hadn’t been checked out since she had been working there.

I checked it out several more times that school year and sought it out the next year to find that it had been swept away with the other unpopular books. I moved on to reading everything I could find about the ancient Gods and was overjoyed whenever my Ancient History class touched on the subject.

I didn’t know then that I’d been on this path now. I didn’t even know the term Pagan or that it was an available path to follow.

All I knew was that the God of The Bible was not the only to receive love and honor. I had tried to give Him my love and I had tried to receive His, but I never felt Him. There was never a connection.

I searched endlessly for that connection until I was 18, spending my days and evenings wandering the shelves in the local Borders bookstore day after day reading (but not buying…) their books on Greek Mythology, when I discovered the metaphysical section and learned that people worshiped, loved, and honored these Gods and others like Them.

I took a chance and began talking to Them like I had tried to talk to the God of The Bible. I spoke, I wrote, I thought, and I began meditating for the first time. And I waited.

At the time I was an avid writer and was working tirelessly on a comic book script. My time spent searching for the presence of these new-old Gods was focused on finding Apollo. So when the first signs came to me I knew it must be Him. I grasped firmly to that idea for a year, wondering why I didn’t feel fulfilled in that aspect of my spirituality.

Then He came to me. Bold and strong. Dark and awe inspiring. My loosely Christian upbringing led me to interpret His signs as those of Hades. Dark, smoldering, with a “pitchfork” of sorts in His hand. His patience was endless as I tried convincing myself of who He was, but He wasn’t.

While Hades lent me His council on many things during this time as I gave Him praise Poseidon sat closely by my side, whispering truths. And when I finally welcomed Him in my heart, He left a place for Hades that would be filled by His Lady Persephone in the next couple of years.

Throughout that time I sought council and learned lessons from the Gods – some Greek, some Egyptian, some Norse. There are still whispers from some, God or otherwise I’m not sure, that I haven’t yet clarified. I’ve met guides and spirits in passing and welcomed my One, Sunrise, into my life.

My depression still sometimes interferes with my ability to connect to the Gods and to nature (and to myself and the people around me, for that matter), but along with my daughter, the Gods help me to work through it and continue on this path.

Struggling

My depression and anxiety have been alarmingly bad lately. I’m struggling to connect with my daughter, my self, and my Gods.

I’m so far from my usual self, let alone the person I’m working so hard to become. It’s frightening. For the past 2 weeks I’ve made no strong effort to seek guidance from Poseidon or Persephone.

As I’m writing this I’m hoping it’s not an effect of separating from the bond I had been developing with Hekate, but I don’t think she’s spiteful in this way.

Today, moments ago actually, I reached out to Persephone. I saw a shower of flowers in the cave like dwelling where I visit her and was overcome by tears. It was so strong and sudden that I immediately pulled out of the meditation.

Why do I not feel like I’m ready for this experience? Is it some deep rooted healing? Am I in such bad shape that she would be so forceful in her cleansing?

I fear I may be and I fear I may not be able to handle such a healing at this time, no matter how much I may be in need of it.

((Somewhat of a ranting blurb, but I felt the need to share this.))

One and Only – so far

Spirit guides seem to be the hot topic this full moon and it calls to mind – and heart – my Soul Sister. 

I’ve had experiences with spirits and other nom-Deity entities in the past, but I have one guide who has been embedded in my spirit.

I found her at a time when I was having experiences that were pointing me toward possibilities in therianthropy. I never found any conclusions there, but I did find her.

I went to a drum led journey ritual at a local sacred land site. I had my doubts about the group I was with and the fellow leading with his Drum, but my doubts turned out to be unfounded.

I journey to a site of personal power and burrowed into the Earth until it gave way before me into a downward winding path. At the bottom I found her there, lounging amongst her tumbling Cubs. 

I don’t think my eyes ever left hers, nor hers mine as we stared into each other.

Her fur was like flames in the darkness. A large and royal beast. Full of strength and wisdom. Grace and compassion. 

My Tiger stared into and dared me to turn in fear or rediscover doubt. I’m so grateful to have found her that night.

She’s been by my side through health failure and depression. Child birth and self discovery. Now she’s with me through motherhood and the return of health and depression issues and I don’t know if I could keep going through without her. I turn to her and find reassurance in her gaze. Reality in her growl. Strength in her silence.

On this full moon I dedicate the light in the sky to her as The Lighthouse Moon. No storm yet has run me aground with her lighting my way.

Self Discovery Through Journaling

Journaling used to be something I did when I was down. I journaled regularly from around 7 or 8 years old all the way through life. Mostly it was text. Pages and pages (and pages…seriously I wrote a lot in one sitting) of emotional text. I would write and it would sit on the page and fester.

They say there’s no wrong way to journal but, for me, that was the wrong way. I spilled everything onto the page without processing my feelings.

When Hekate entered my life this year She set me on a journey to find the right way. First with bullet journaling. I learned to organize all the things in my head without being too restricting. Tasks, events (what few I may have), journaling, and the endless supply of random ideas I have. All in one place.

I became comfortable with the my junk drawer of a mind and fell into an easy step with my bullet journal. Hekate led me by the hand (tugging at me a little to keep up…because She’ll do that) to the point in my journey where I now rest comfortably: traveler’s notebooks.

The method is simple -small notebook “inserts” placed into a simple cover via elastic bands- and the system of bullet journaling can still be applied. I tackled the DIY lifestyle and made my own notebook cover and inserts (after much trial and error even still). My traveler’s notebook has become more than “the thing I journal in”. It’s a companion, a friend, and assistant. 

Like a horcrux, but without the murder and the evil. A piece of me lives in it.

I’m finding that this is increasingly more true as I move forward with this style of journaling. At this stop on the journey, Hekate has shown me that journaling does not need to be frantic words that I spill onto the page without thought. It can be a tool for discovering myself not only later, but as Im journaling. It can be artistic. Visual. Interactive.

Ah, yes. Art journaling is where I have found myself from following behind Hekate’s billowing cloak.

I have never considered myself an artistic person. I used to cringe at the sight of any doodle, sketch, or handcrafted artwork of mine, be it traditional or digital. Now I look at my journal pages with watercolors and collages and I’m inspired and grateful to have discovered this ability, this piece of myself that I had never met before.

I find myself needing fewer words to express my thoughts and emotions. I react to my thoughts as I place them on each page and record them in turn. I draw conclusions and find solutions without brewing over my frustrations for days on end.

And at this stop, Hekate has gotten off the journey. Perhaps only for the time being.

Poseidon never made me choose but I’ve come to understand that I did so anyway. I didn’t put Him in a position to have to ask me to choose. Now Hekate lurks around the edges, patient, perhaps, for me to call on Her again.

I feel the openness of the space that W/we had made for H/her and I know that now W/we have to fill it back in. My pace has faltered from losing this Friend. This Guide. This Wise Woman who showed me my own hands and let me see their beauty.

I feel no malice from Her, but I know that if and when the time comes that I return to Her, it better be bearing gifts and marks of progress.

Replanting Roots

I’m embarrassed to say that the only reason I haven’t posted in almost a month is because I couldn’t decide what to write about. But a recent milestone in my healing journey has sparked me with inspiration.

I’ve been on a healing journey since 2011 and, for the first couple of years, it was mostly a journey of physical healing. Last year, my path turned deeper inward and I began a course of healing my deeper self by way of the chakras.

Only this month did I receive a message that my Work in Muladhara, the Root Chakra, was complete and I could continue on to Svadhisthana, the Sacral Chakra. I say “complete” in terms of my current Work. I feel that there are always lessons to be learned from the energies within and around us.

My Work in Muladhara was rewarding, but extremely difficult. Many times I found myself alone in the dark with overwhelming revelations about my past, but I cannot express enough the importance of finding out the source of the actions and habits that you are looking to release.

The best way that I can describe the situation with my chakras is that they’re in knots. While I may be able to begin healing in Svadhisthana now, I will no doubt be returning to Muladhara before I complete this journey.

A Clash of Wills

I’ve spent most of the last year working on cleansing my chakra system, beginning with the commonly known 7 chakras. I was quite disappointed to realize that my root chakra was far more damaged than I had previously thought (and I was expecting some serious damage, mind you).

Poseidon and Persephone guided me along the way, teaching me lessons of patience, self love, and trust in myself. With Hekate now added to the fray, I took the time to turn to her through a tarot reading and my if that didn’t stir up some conflict.

guilded tarot and dragonfae oracle

The reading itself was very straightforward. It wasn’t until I got to the Oracle cards at the end that there was a problem. I drew one for each of the Gods in my Family, Poseidon, Persephone  and Hekate.

Persephone was level headed and to the point ands usual, but Poseidon and Hekate had messages that seemed almost agressive. Nothing like the interaction I have with Them One on one.

Not only did Hekate demand of me something that We both know I’m not ready to do, She demanded that I dive into it immediately and at full strength.

Poseidon rarely has the need to assert Himself in my life. He is my Always. And he rarely has to take in the role of Protecter. But He did both of these things with a single card draw. 

After some thought and reflection I thought it best to go to Poseidon through meditation and request clarity from Him. As I expected, He felt pushed aside when I turned to Hekate specifically for the overall reading. He felt like the Oracle cards I drew for Him and Persephone were afterthoughts. That’s a wrong that I cannot hold on to and I will have to work to write it.

More than that, He feels that Hekate is overstepping Her bounds and over staying Her welcome as a Figure in my life.

He hasn’t spoken, yet, as to whether He will make me choose between Them or not and this is a first for me in general. Poseidon and Persephone have worked well and closely over the years. Hekate is new in my life, as I’ve said, and has been a wealth of guidance and wisdom throughout recent issues.

I don’t usually like to break the wall and ask anyone reading questions, but I’d love to hear from and any other polytheist out there if you’ve had a similar incident with Deities clashing.