Monday, June 6, 2011
A simple reminder, but possibly the most important thing we do. Not just breathing (although that is important too of course), but the deep, cleansing breath. The most important thing, yet the easiest thing to forget. So what do you do when you forget? Start over. How do you start over? See line 1, rinse and repeat.
We all fall away from our practice from time to time. I fall away quite a bit more than I like, but that is part of my journey, something I still need to figure out, and that's okay. Last night, I remembered to start over. It's the exact same technique you use when your mind drifts during a meditation session, accept the drift, notice it without judgement, and begin again. But there was a huge key in that technique which is incredibly difficult, which is the noticing without judgement.
I think it's in our nature to berate ourselves for our perceived failures. I have touched on this concept before. We need to have compassion for ourselves. We need to not judge ourselves based on our perception of others. For me, it is very easy to read the blog posts of some long time Feri initiates and feel discouraged that my practice doesn't have the same regularity. What do such self deprecating thoughts serve, other than to further drive ourselves out of alignment? Compassion my friends. You have to have it, for others certainly, but for yourself first.
Without that self compassion, you get stuck in the self perpetuated cycle of beating yourself up. It's okay that you haven't made kala in a while. It's okay that you can't remember the last time you made Ha prayer. It's okay because you are remembering now. You took your deep, cleansing belly breath. You are starting over. Maybe this is the time that it sticks, maybe not. Over thinking that doesn't help. Just be in the moment. Make kala with everything you have in this moment. Align your souls fully, being totally present in what you are doing. If you have a hard time doing that? I will sound like a broken record at this point, but that's okay.
Being in the moment takes a lot of practice. We are programed in our culture to disassociate, to be out of the moment. But that is what Feri is about, breaking our programming to become our True Selves. To come out the other side a strong and powerful witch. And when you are out of the moment? Out of alignment? Does that mean you stopped being a strong and powerful witch? Nope, it just means you forgot.
Remember and breathe my friends.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Inviting you to dance?
Venture you beneath the Mound
If you have the chance
No guarantee of safety
Else your eye they'd have to lance.
Twas mighty Freyr that sounded the call
While sweet Freya drew me in
Inside their mighty hall I knew
Never elsewhere would I be Him
Such as I became through their wild grace
Puck D. Coyote
Monday, March 7, 2011
The great cyclone of flame.
We are alight in you.
Stoke our will.
Feed our power.
You are the source of all reaction,
The great cosmic star.
We are in awe of you.
Feed our Mother.
Give us life.
You are the heat that warms our bones,
The first tribal light.
We survived with you.
Told our stories.
Filled our bellies.
You are the furnace of our bodies,
The heat in our veins.
We are animated by you.
Our hearts beat.
Our muscles move.
You are the exploding pyre of war,
The anger in our soul.
We are enraged by you.
Our call to fight.
Our drive to kill.
You are the engine of causation,
The chaos of life.
We keep in motion with you.
The will to be.
The will to do.
We call to you!
Be here now!
Puck D. Coyote
Saturday, March 5, 2011
She is found.
There she dances
There she sings
With summer's strife
Of the Night.
With joyous sounds
She draws you in
Madness waits you
In her fins.
Her tears amount
Lady of Water
She knows your fear
Lady of the deeps
Tiamat is here.
Puck D. Coyote
I don't know if the shift in my thought process is due to my Work, or if it is just additional wisdom associated with age, but my guess is a bit of both. I have found myself being truly grateful for my supposed "failures" as of late. It was through these experiences that I was really able to learn the age old question "Who am I?" Know thyself does not mean just think about the good parts. The real work comes in identifying those parts of yourself that you don't like and either working to improve them, or come to terms with them. Sometimes you can't improve on a past failure as they have already happened, but you can learn from them. And sometimes the lesson you need to learn is compassion for yourself. My gods! Of course I didn't succeed with that goal, look at everything else that was going on in my life!
And if it wasn't for those failures, I wouldn't be who I am now. It is through the rough points in our life that the real growth happens. I had a friend who used to talk about life like forging a sword. He would say that you don't get a blade by putting a chunk of metal on pillows. You have to throw it in the fire, bash it with a hammer, throw it in the fire again over and over again. This can not be a pleasant experience, but in the end the transformation has made something beautiful.
So yes, I am very grateful for my failures, for it is through them that I have become more whole. I have even found myself grateful for the latest schism within the tradition, and yes, even grateful that people attacked those I care about. I have learned a lot about myself these last months. These events threw me far away from my center. I allowed my rational points to be overshadowed by my rage. I let myself be goaded, and I sank to a level of pettiness that I thought myself above. I let myself be consumed by it, to the point that Storm even told me to stop engaging, but I couldn't. I had to defend my coven, my initiator, my friends. I had to *make* people see that what was happening was wrong. I let it shake me to my very core, and it took me to a place that was the very opposite of the goals of my Work. And I am grateful for the experience. I have taken a step back. I have regrouped. I have found my center, and I am done. I still read things that other initiates have written that make the anger start to well up, but I just let it move through me. I breathe, I make kala. I still find the whole thing very frustrating, but I don't let it overwhelm me. I remember that I am not my emotions, they are mine. I am not my thoughts, they are mine. I have risen to this new challenge, I have been made more whole because of it, so I am grateful.
Yes, I still wish that people would accept our diversity and see that there is room for all walks of Feri within the tradition. We could all put the anger and hostility away, but I don't expect it to happen anytime soon. I know that I won't be the vehicle for that change, especially from a place of anger myself. And that's okay. Because I know that for me, Feri is about *MY* Work. I know that no matter what others do or say, I will do my Work. I will be the Witch *I* need to be. I will keep growing, keep learning. I will keep letting my initiation "steep". I will keep raising myself to the power of divinity, and I will also keep falling. And that's okay. I will pick myself up, dust myself off, and learn what was needed to be learned.
The only real failure is to never try.
Just keep laughing!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The Divine Twins seem to be a major focus of my practice right now as I see them everywhere. The polarity yet resonance; the conflict yet harmony; the pull yet push; the paradox of dualism. My work with Freya and Freyr has been helping achieve a better balance of these forces in myself (There are some lines of Feri that view them as another incarnation of the Divine Twins, a view that I personally hold to be true). I have felt very called to work with her for some time, yet when I would approach him he would be cold, so I assumed that meant I was to be her priest alone. He and I find that very amusing now.
I think at that point he sensed that I wasn't ready, that I was so closed off from those parts of myself that are him, that he just let me be. Or maybe I pushed him away for those reasons, I don't know to be honest. But that has changed. Since Con I have felt him strongly, and done some very powerful trance work with him. I have felt the hunter stir within me, and rather than detract from my work with Freya, it has made it stronger. To take it out of the realm of deity, its like I am finally cultivating my yang energy in a positive way, so that the resonance between yin and yang can sing aloud.
But yes, for me they are everywhere. My work with the Iron and Pearl pentacles have become an exercise of the Twins. I run them separately, and feel them pull toward each other in my body like iron to a magnet. When they touch, they join in a flash of peacock blue light into the Copper Decagram which takes seat in my heart. It's a really beautiful experience. When I did kala this morning after that, I sensed the twins in the energy I put in the glass, swimming together like two fish playing, then as a shark chasing a minnow, then back to the two fish playing.
What does it all mean? I have ideas, but they aren't concrete. For now, I am just going with the flow, loving the creative inspiration it has sparked in me, and enjoying the ride.
Monday, February 28, 2011
to hunt my Lady Blue
Stalking her from tree to tree
frolicking in the moon
The Lady, she beckoned me close
in lovers sweet embrace
though how sweet was that act
twas not my true purpose in this place
The Amber one, she turned in two
And the pair they led me down
Down away from safety's path
To the temple by the mound
The cloudless sky turned dark just then
A powerful ancient storm
It gathered round that mighty place
For I was to be reborn
The lightning bolts, they struck down
To the circle on the ground
The land itself began to shake
With the arcane power found
The rite itself was secret bound
I dare not mutter here
The things that I was shown that night,
but now I own my fear.
Puck D. Coyote
Let me tell you, don't should yourself to death. For me, the shoulds were just another vehicle for devaluing myself. I should be doing this, but I don't so I am a bad witch. The real help I got dealing with that particular complex didn't come from Feri per se, but from my exploration into Taoism. Don't fight the energy, go with it, like a reed in the stream. Wu wei, inaction, or better yet action through inaction, which I think is wei wu wei, but don't quote me on that. When you should yourself, you are trying to swim upstream.
Now I am not advocating lack of practice, or total stillness, just awareness of where you are in the moment. I look back on all the times that I beat myself up over "not doing my work" when in fact the work was doing me. Feri is more than just sitting in front of an altar and doing "the exercises," it is a living breathing practice. Although I also acknowledge had I done those exercises that maybe those times of "not doing my work" would have been less painful. Contradictory a bit I know, but hey, its Feri.
So my work this morning, which was the original point of this post, brought up a significant amount of fear that I have sitting in fetch. This morning I start a new position at my job, one that has significantly more time with the kids, of which I am very excited about. But it is also presenting quite a few challenges. It's scary, and fetch knows it. What if I can't do it? What if I lose my temper? What if I end up hating it? What if? What if? What if?
In the past, I would have had a hard time "dealing" with that fear. What I know today is that there is nothing to deal with at all. That fear is valuable, it is primal, it lets me be aware of potential pitfalls, and most importantly, it gives me power. Instead of running from it, trying to bury it, trying to hide from it because it was unpleasant, I let it be. I pulled the energy of that fear up, and used it to pound the drums of war in my heart. War you say? I thought you worked with kids? So if you don't get the analogy you have obviously never worked with kids. ;-) But seriously, yes. The heart of the Warrior that beats in my soul and doesn't back down. Fear is nothing to be afraid of, it lets us know we are alive, it lets us know we are doing something right!
I welcome my fear to give me the strength I need to do my Work.
Be Blessed my friends!
Sunday, February 27, 2011
deep in the Earth it lays
Follow the stairs that will lead you there
down to the land of blue roses.
Follow the path into the darkness,
deep in the Earth you go,
Climb down the stairs if you have no fear,
down to the land of blue roses.
Emerge in the light inside the land,
deep in the Earth you'll find,
A lush meadow of magic wonders
down in the land of blue roses.
Follow the path, don't wander far off,
if you value your mind.
Beware, for they will beckon to you,
down in the land of blue roses.
Follow the road and you'll find the mound,
found you the Court of Fae,
She waits inside on her Crystal Throne,
down in the land of blue roses.
Her hair is the moon, her smile the sun,
Amber is all she wears.
The Sacred Queen will capture your heart,
found you the Lady of Blue Roses.
The Lord of the Mound
climbs his throne.
He laughs aloud
It draws you in
The Wild Hunt
is about to begin
Come my Lord,
Take up your bow
Stalk your prey
While your lust grows
Come to us
Come Horned Lord
Let us join Your Hunt
This morning I woke up before everyone else in the house. This isn't entirely unusual for me on the weekends, but in the past it has been a source of discomfort. I would be awake, and all by myself, what on earth was I to do? This usually consisted of trying to make myself go back to sleep for a while. When that would be unsuccessful I would usually stare at my wife until she would wake up, or turn on the TV, or play video games. Just this one simple thing, my reaction to waking up early, shows me how much I have grown. I laid in bed for a while this morning, but without the nervous energy. I didn't feel compelled to wake up my wife, I just noticed my breath and thought about my dreams with a smile on my face. I explored my mind, where are my thoughts going this morning, where am I distracted? When I had enough of that, I just got up. There is a stillness to a house where everyone else is sleeping that used to make me uncomfortable, but this morning it was peaceful. I put on some music that I do qigong to (quietly of course) and went about doing my work. First a seated meditation, then some qigong standing meditation, a few qigong movements, but then I just allowed the energy to move within me unguided. This is something we do in class from time to time, and I find it so freeing. Freestyle Tai Chi if you will. I aligned my souls, I made kala, I siezed the day.
I find myself having spiritual epiphany in the most mundane tasks as of late. It's the whole "chop wood, carry water" idea from Chinese philosophy. Yesterday for example, I helped my mother in law muck out a pig stall. So those of you who know me can attest to the fact that by nature I am a soft city boy, so needless to say this was a new experience for me. If you have never had the joy of doing this task then let me illuminate you...it is revolting. I found the smell so overpowering at points that I started to dry heave. So you may be asking yourself at this point, how do dry heaving and spiritual epiphany come together? Well, I'm glad you asked...
Sometimes this work is not fun. Sometimes, when your goal is to heal your scars and become more fully yourself, you have to wade through a lot of shit. I have had times during my work, that I forgot that I was doing it. I would be so overcome by the discomfort of my situation that the pain was all I was aware of. And let me tell you, when you are ankle deep in pig muck, it seems like a task that will never end. But what choices do we have? Can we walk away from our work? Sure, for a time, but the issues will still be there effecting you in ways that you are not conscious of. The pigs won't muck themselves. I wasn't going to allow my 68 year old mother in law to do all that hard labor herself, and there was no one else to do the work that needed to be done. Sound familiar? You can't let someone else do your Great Work for you, and no one else can do it but you anyway. The only way out is then through. You have to suck it up. My brain kept flashing to Thorn saying "I know you are scared...So what" during the Morrigan ritual at Pantheacon. I know this is gross....So what. I know this is hard, that it's painful, that you want to run away screaming...So what. It has to be done. So you keep going, you keep filling the wheelbarrow with shit, dry heaving and all, because it needs to be done. You keep going, and suddenly...the task is done. You made it through to the other side. I had such a great feeling of accomplishment when I was done. My fetch wanted to laugh and dance, because I persevered. It was the hardest, most revolting work I had ever done, and I stuck it out and finished. This has been my spiritual work. The few years afer my initiation was *really* hard. I had my Saturn returns at the same time, my life was chaos, but I have moved through it. I am stronger now, having gone through those experiences, I am more the Witch then I ever have been before. Does that mean the work is done? Of course not, but I will be more prepared for the trials next time...and maybe, just maybe...shoveling the pig shit won't be so hard the next time. But even if it is, I know I have the Warrior spirit within me to face it with my head held high...
But I will still probably bitch about it.
Be blessed my friends.
At Con I had a very profound experience that let me know it was time to return to some very important work that I had been taking a break from. I have been working with Freyr in that regard, and I have been inviting him and Odin into my dreams to help me with that work, with some really potent results. Of course in the dream they are just casual comments, but upon awakening this morning I had a huge "AH HAH!" moment. The funny thing is that this ah hah moment was something I was advice I was giving other people at Con. You can process stuff out with Talker, you can explore and process past pains to death, and that works for talker, but those scars will stay in Fetch. Fetch doesn't process, it doesn't reason, it needs to be soothed and assured. It needs the Ah hah moment to really be able to start healing and move on.
I also have had some realizations that by coming into Feri and beginning my training toward initiation so early in my career as a witch it has left me lacking in some magical areas that other initiates may take for granted. During my trance work with Freyr last night, he was trying to coax me out of my body to hunt with him, and as much as I wanted to go, that is something I have never been able to do. It's been somewhat frustrating, because full OBE astral travel has been a desire of mine since I started practicing, but have never been able to figure it out. I feel my astral body, but getting my consciousness into it and be able to move has escaped me. I tell myself that it will happen when the time is right, just like everything else, but it is frustrating nonetheless. It feeds into my still lingering inferiority complex. That is a complex that I do kala on all the time, but still clings, and that is okay. We all have those I think. But things like this, where I feel that as a witch and especially as an initiate that I "should" be able to do really make that complex twitch. But like I said in my last entry, I am a newbie initiate, and I am trying to accept on a fetch level that no one other than myself expects me to know everything. I would like to learn from other initiates, more experienced ones that I haven't worked with much, but unfortunately my current location makes that somewhat difficult.
But I breathe. I look outside at the snow on the ground, glistening while the sun melts the ice, and my heart is filled with joy. I feel more like the Witch than I have since right before and after my initiation, maybe even more than then. I am able to laugh at my unrealistic expectations on myself, most of the time anyway. I am excited for the future of my work, because I am a young witch, with years to perfect my practice. I also honor and acknowledge my strengths. I am a great energy worker and empath. I am a healer and a lover. I help heal the scars in those that are too young to be able to heal themselves. I laugh, I dance, I sing. I walk the middle road, yet dance ecstatically on both sides on occasion.
Today, even with its challenges, life is good.
Be blessed my friends.
In conjunction with that feeling, is the fetch understanding that I am still a newbie initiate, and that there is nothing to be ashamed of in asking more experienced initiates for advice and teaching. I don't know everything, in fact, I don't know as much as I would like, and that's okay. Initiation is a beginning, not an ending. I thought I understood that before the rite, but its like thinking you know what sex is like before you have had it. I understood the concept, but didn't have the fetch grasp of the sweaty complexity of it. And as much as I will pound that in the head of soon to be initiates, they too won't really "get it" until they experience it. The....oooooohhhhh.....Man
Yup..... And that is freaking awesome!