Practice Mabon Ritual 2017

This marks my 18th anniversary of becoming a dedicated Pagan. In that time, I’ve learned a lot about myself and the world around me. It’s only opened up doors to more questions and more pathways yet unexplored. In this ritual, I honor the Native spirits of the land who first helped me in my journey as a child.

Priest: Mabon is a time when animals grow restless in anticipation of the coming winter. They are seen roaming the lonely, forgotten fields, fiery-leaved forests and in the chilling swells of lakes and rivers. For a moment, you can walk between these lands as both human and animal as we are all driven by the same beating drum. Life, escaping and chasing death in an endless spiral of cause and effect. The animals do not farm the land as humans do for they have no allegiances to countries and kings. They take only what they need and so, theirs is a harvest of will and instinct to survive. This ritual takes us through the turning of the wheel for an animal guide and helps us connect to the animal medicine we are seeking on our path.

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Priestess: Envision yourself standing upon one of the powerful branches of the Spirit Tree that embraces Father Sky. Raise your hands to the Sky, you are now the Spirit Tree with your roots going deep into the loam of Mother Earth. The Spirit tree is unbreakable and eternal yet its presence is felt as only a spark within our hearts and a testament to our strength is measured by how high we are willing to climb the Spirit Tree.

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(Participant 1 enters the Circle dressed as Father Sky. He wears clothing of white and grey to symbolize the clouds of the coming fall season. As He enters, He places pieces of howlite on the ground towards the center of the Circle preparing the minds of the audience to accept attunement to a higher consciousness)Priest: Father Sky, I call you into my Circle from the Wintry North. Soon Your skies will twirl and dance from vibrant blue shades to blotchy grey clouds.  Father Sky, soon Your dance will block out the life-giving sunlight and the trees will lose their lushness and plants will wither. The world will hold its breath at the sound of Your fearsome howls. Only the strongest of us will find the will within us to brave Your troubles upon the earth and learn the lessons of our inner strength. 

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(Participant 2 enters the Circle clad in a bright red dress to invoke Mother Earth. The fiery red represents the warmth and comfort of home and planet. As Mother Earth enters the Circle, She walks towards the center, dropping pieces of Carnelian  along the ground to harness and direct the flow of positive creative energy inside the home.)Priestess: Mother Earth, I call you into my Circle from your domain, the golden flames of the Southern Fire. You will enter our homes in the foulest of days and bring us laughter. As an ever-present Mother, You will be watching Us as young children who play and grow within Your protective gaze. When spring comes, You will leave our homes and yet keep a string within our beating hearts. When we leave the comfort of our hearth to toil in the spring fields, we seek You.

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(Participant 3 enters the Circle wearing a bright yellow dress or robe. She may be adorned with trinkets representing the bear such as claw or teeth. As She enters the Circle, making the movements of the bear as it walks through the forest, She drops pieces of Citrine towards the center of the Circle to represent the forces of Truth working on the audience.) Priestess: From the East comes the stoic Black Bear of the wood. Lumbering and swaying rhythmically in Order as She moves through the forest on the hidden deer trails.  She enters our Circle as the fierce warrior of truth who stands alone in Her efforts. The Black Bear is not a social creature. Her appearance is frightening. Her fur is as black as the coal heart of the Mountain. Ragged teeth and claws in the likeness of volcanic glass and eyes that are like the icy winds that collapse the Birch trees. Black Bear woman, come and speak the truth to us!

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(Participant 4 enters the Circle wearing a black robe or dress. He may be adorned with the trinkets that represent Coyote such as teeth, claw or a tail. Coyote will be dancing very wildly as He does this to represent the movements of the Coyote on the hunt. As He walks towards the center of the Circle He drops pieces of Snowflake Obsidian on the ground to represent the Chaotic unknown and the bright stars on distant horizons.) Priest: The howl to the West haunts our hearts and minds and floods our dreams with the unknown. Coyote enters the circle dancing and beating His drum. He’ll twist when you think He’ll turn and cry mightily to the heavens when His head should bow in respect. He is never motionless and is always ever-changing. The Coyote’s smile gleams with the promise of new stars on our horizon and His ever-present laughter rips us from our stagnant thoughts and thrusts us to new places. Coyote Man, sing us a song that stirs our spirits and shows us the narrow path to You!

Priest:  (The Priest holds a velvet or canvas pouch out to the audience and towards the Participants who act as the Directions. The Directions each take the pouch and place a small private blessing in the pouch in the form of words and sacred herbs as it is passed clockwise around the bonfire. The pouch is then handed back to the High Priest.) We now call with many voices to the sky, the fields, the waters and the mountains for the voices of our animal guides to be heard today. We call to those teachers who would guide us towards becoming better stewards of the land and of ourselves. We call You, sacred animals of Spirit, to be with us in this Circle and to make Your presence known to us! We seek a better understanding of our place in the Tribe and in the World. As we accept the honor of Your lessons, we give an Oath of Promise to you that we will strive to better understand You and to Honor the land that You first tread.

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In the pouch is the names of local animals. Horse, Weasel, Black Bear, Deer, Porcupine, Coyote, Raccoon, Owl, Morning Dove, Hummingbird, Monarch Butterfly, Orb Weaver Spider, etc. The pouch is passed around the Circle going counter-clockwise in order to have these energies dispersed to each member of the Circle evenly. Each member of the audience takes ONE piece of paper and studies the name upon the tiny parchment.

For the rest of the year, that Tribe Mate can create a spiritual name for themselves with that animal and find a way to incorporate the attributes of that animal into their place within the Tribe. The primary effort is to meditate upon this animal in times of stress or disruption in order to seek a place of balance. The audience may choose to make an oath to this animal and to the directions that have been called in the Medicine Wheel ceremony.

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Priestess: We now close our ritual with this feast that we have prepared for our animals and the land. (Participants 5 and 6 or the High Priest and Priestess produce a large serving platter with the bounty of the land upon it so that animals can feast at the expense of people. It would be preferable to have locally grown vegetables if possible. People in the audience can offer their own foods as long as it isn’t anything too processed. They may also leave offerings of birdhouses, etc.) We do not tell them to leave the circle for They were here long before us. We are now left to bond with the spirits that have presented Themselves to Us. 

Exit Circle

Sun Mandala Ritual

A small ritual to remind us of the warmth and laughter that friendship brings us on the coldest nights. Free to use as long as credit is given. Please leave the writing in its entirety if you plan on using it in combo with another ritual.

 

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Sun Mandala ever burning creature of light

In the stillness of the coldest night

We whisper words and feed the flame

In knowledge that our lives pass each other different yet the same

Herbs, incense , and elements called forth

West to East, South to North

In the sacred Medicine Wheel, we writhe and turn

Together in Sisterhood to share and learn

Circle of love, understanding, and trust

Fan the flame in inside our feathered hearts, never to rust

Quaking and beating like rattle, bell, and drum

A pool of energy begins to hum

We dance and cry into the night

In to the Sun Mandala, burning bright

~ Kim Frank

 

Powers Bluff and the Splintered Self

As many of my friends and family know, I’m on a spiritual quest. For so long in my adult life, I wasn’t exactly sure what that quest actually meant and how it related to becoming a spiritual person. The path I’ve taken in the last few months has twisted and turned in water-drop-275938_640some very unexpected ways and lead me to understand that the very first step is to become a whole person. While this insight is wonderful…what does it mean? How does anyone become a whole person and how does one recognize when they’ve made that transformation? I had so much more questions that my Gods, physical teachers and spirit guides merely smiled knowingly and asked me more questions so the answers could come from myself instead of another person.

However, when I ask myself questions like this, hard questions that will result in consciousness shifts and change being the outcome, I don’t always get the answer straight away.  Sometimes I think it’s my own mind that can’t quite face these uncertainties without a trip to the woods or work on the inner plane of the Astral world. water-464953_640I’m often visualizing my answers in the form of memories and pictures so these two mediums are my best sources of expression. So I got the privilege of taking a trip to Powers Bluff, just south of Marshfield, Wisconsin with a very good friend! 

If you’ve never visited Powers Bluff, I urge you to do so with your thoughts reflecting clear intent and your heart in a place of reverence and respect for the powerful forces of nature that are alive and well and dwelling large numbers around every piece of bark and stone. When I went there, I didn’t know I was searching for something outside of the questions that have been whirling around my head for the past year. I stepped out of my friend’s vehicle and watched as nature greeted me from all angles. The crisp green grass under my feet, the way the tree branches broke and spiraled down next to me and the way the golden sun rays kissed my face like a Grandmother who is excited to see how much her grandchildren have grown in the space between visits. I was welcomed and I felt welcome.

Then it hit me like a ton of unruly hay spilled down from the top of a barn loft by my childhood friend. Actually, it took one of my physical spiritual teachers to say this to me in a way that has been said to me time and again by others. She has the wisdom to speak in a language I readily understand. A language of artistry and visualization, both gifts leaf-183283_640which have emanated in my life in tremendous ways however I always took them for granted. What have I lost and how do I know I’ve lost it in the first place? I took a few deep breaths and walked along a path, listening to the jingle of bells around my ankles and occasionally, my own heart beat pulsing in my ears like soft thunder. Life force, connection, deep childhood memories and the urge to walk a path that has twisted and turned so many ways that sometimes I get dizzy when I look back on my life.

A memory of being a very little girl, perhaps six-years-old in age, in the heart of the Poconos, my parent’s summer home just outside of Jim Thorpe, pushed its way in front of the scope of my mind’s eye. I saw her, the whole person, dancing in the rain with a tiny stick painted with red and black stripes and topped with a turkey feather I had found while roaming my parent’s property. I remember creating the tiny staff with a clear rainbow-436171_640sense of purpose and intent. I hadn’t read a single book on Paganism, psychology or any other school of thought I am engaged in as an adult studying to be Clergy. I had only seen pictures of Native Americans and while I could read these words, they weren’t from any acclaimed Native American author; they were books that came from a library in a Catholic school in New York, one such Catholic school that forever changed the course of my spiritual path.

My youthful intent danced around the fact that I loved Native American culture and that even though I knew I was not born Native, I loved them so much, I wanted to imitate their ideas so that I could share in who they were on a personal, expressive level. Yes, I actually thought like this as a child and when I created that tiny staff, it began to rain. I sky-1494656_640first danced in utter glee at the thought that I had reached some Native American spirits and they were honoring me with an unforgettable experience. The funny part is that it rained for days after my little rain ritual and I wanted to go camping with my father. I asked the rain to stop and it didn’t. In my exuberance, I snapped the staff in half and threw it into the woods. An hour later, the rain ceased. From that moment in time on, my father who was watching from the house called me Rayne Drop. Throughout my entire high school experience, I went by the name Rayne as a way to honor the memory and him as he had passed on towards the beginning of that time period.

As I’m walking through Powers Bluff, surrounded by a host of childhood memories and the very real images of our collective human history, I am listening to the woods. They are speaking to me in every way that nature can speak to you. The trees are swaying and dancing, releasing a myriad of sound and symphony with a bark crescendo that explodeslaburnum-anagyroides-115758_640 into a leafy solo. The rocks around me seem to have faces peering from them and as I throw a few handfuls of rose petals, I bow my head in respect for the people that touched the land before me and left their whole selves behind.

Their whole selves… my mind reels again. I think to all the times that we as a culture, the American culture, have to label and point our fingers at external sources of pain and suffering. I think to how this has affected me in my own life. That slowly, by being female, being depressed, being a Pagan, being a lesbian or demisexual or whatever new word there is to express desire for the being of a person instead of the physical form, all of the therapy terms and political correctness puked on me from every angle that all of this took away from me just BEING. And labeling myself every way so people can better understand my path and direction. It’s pointless…and even destructive because it further splinters the self into more pieces.

The lesson I took from Powers Bluff is that there was a time before all of these terms existed and people just were. They didn’t feel the need to overly explain where they were coming from – they just did. They sought to understand the natural world around them plant-2675396_640and each other by asking questions with thoughtful intent and keeping their minds open to what was plainly around them. By using all of these terms to describe mental illness, one initially seeks a way to build an understanding. Our words are very powerful processes and they shape not only the world around us; they also shape the internal work within that we’re trying to accomplish. We essentially build a cage for ourselves that can be very hard to escape if we’ve spent a life time culminating this reality for ourselves and never going past what those diagnoses and labels are – we think we’re expressing ourselves when all we’re doing, ALL I’VE DONE, is further splinter me.

Another teacher at Deeply Rooted had tried to explain to me that our outward perception as well as who we are internal makes up who we are to the shared reality of the rest of the world. We can think ourselves, great spiritualists, however, if we walk a path of being a jerk to everyone on the outside – we are that in the shared reality of the world. Itflash-2702168_640 does not matter what our internal motivations and intent may be – if you create a rain stick – prepare for it to rain! I’ve been doing this for so long that the memory of myself as a little girl haunted me and was trying to get me to remember what it was like before the madness of being an “adult” in modern America. I never understood what this teacher was trying to tell me until I walked into Powers Bluff and took in all that was around me.

So now, my ideas have changed. I am on a path to eliminate the labels, disorders, and anything I see as more splintering from who I am.  I am just on my path and that thought is exciting to me. I am not depressed. I am just me. I am not bisexual, a lesbian, a married woman or any other label designated for sexuality. I just am. If people need an water-2630618_640understanding of me, I am going to explain myself differently. It’s going to take time to figure out how to do this properly for myself. I am going to need to ask more questions of my teachers and see if they have insight. Eventually, I need to find my own unique way of expressing that idea. That may take some work to untrain my mind of the social conditioning that I have received. This isn’t going to be easy however I am willing and able to take up the work to become better not only for myself  – also those who I will be trying to teach and learn from on my path to Clergy.

Thanks for reading along. These ideas aren’t easily expressed or even easy to share with so many strangers. It’s not the answer for everyone. It’s the answer for me on my path. I share these concepts with you as a way to build an understanding to different thought processes. Thank you again for being a part of that process.

 

A Spiritual Weekend at Deeply Rooted

This weekend was beyond anything I had ever experienced at Deeply Rooted in the six years I have been a member of that community. As the leaves begin their fiery bursts of orange and reds and the wind nips playfully at my cheeks, I am reminded of the turning tee-1698288_640of the Wheel of the Year. We are staring down the barrel of Mabon – a celebration of harvest and for me, a sacred time that represents my renewed commitment to Paganism as a whole and my own personal spiritual structure. Deeply Rooted has been so much a corner stone, a foundation if you will, of that change within me that I can not begin to put into words my everlasting gratitude and utmost respect for the land and the people that have committed themselves to its protection and operation.
When I was in the midst of doing spiritual work over the weekend, I thought a lot about my entire spiritual life up to and including recent events. I felt a sense of happiness that in the pain and suffering of the last year, my understanding of the Gods, Voodoo, mantras, and so many other spiritual dealings rose! It’s been a good year for that alone. I carving-2442286_640am blessed double by the mountains of support from people who are my Tribe. People that have worked hard to guide me spiritually and given me a sense of contentment and safety when the world around me felt very dark. The tribe that stood by me countless times and awakened a sense of purpose within my being. I can now take that sense of purpose of move forward to a future I could not have imagined a few years ago. Gods and Nature please hear my thanks!
Over the weekend at Deeply Rooted, I spent hours with smudge stick in hand, walking the grounds and visualizing the kind of community that I’d like to see. I did this with reverence for the spirit beings, the land, the Gods and also the community that shares these grounds. My visualizations included the thoughts given to me by others that are outside my own needs, however, have a deep meaning to the ones who expressed them to me over these last few months. I buried eggs in the woods as a way of “giving” to the sacred land. I adorned our shrines with rose petals, lavender, cinnamon and other sacred herbs as a way of me showing respect for the entirety of Deeply Rooted. I whispered to trees, rocks and to the winds as I made my way through the wettened wood.
I called to Grandmother Apple, ancestors of Deeply Rooted, my own ancestors, the Faerie Kingdom and also to Grandmother Bear. I see Her as a sacred and protective creature of the wood. At the apex of my workings on Sunday morning by Grandmother Apple shrine, a bear did indeed visit me! I heard the grunting and the foot falls behind me as the bear black-bear-1901957_640circled the shrine. I kept my cool and acknowledged in my spirit that I saw Her and that She had nothing to fear from me. I was here to honor Her. She left me and while I would not recommend the same actions from anyone else for safety sake, I am glad I was given audience by this kindred spirit. Our encounter was chance and in no way did I bait Her because that is a very dangerous practice.
I have been seeing images of Kamadhenu in my mind as I walked around DR over the weekend. She is the sacred “wish giving” bovine Goddess/spirit / Devi of India. You have seen Her as a white cow. I found Her statue in Goodwill and She is now sitting upon my altar. Goodwill in Marshfield where Indian deities are rare. I was floored to find Her in such a way and did some research before placing Her among the other spirits of Mother India. I am not a Hindu in the classic sense nor do I have the understanding that growing up in that culture would afford me however I feel a kinship with certain aspects that is unmatched.
Yesterday I did a ritual with Pan, carnal Lord of the forests and beasts. I was in the woods behind the house in Medford when I made a pact with the Forest Lord. As soon as I came back from my forest stroll, there was a huge storm that erupted behind me. I indian-cow-2579534_640didn’t feel threatened, I felt in awe. It looked as if a HUGE GOD was coming through the trees and making them sway and dance. I did not run into the house. I stayed and stared, letting the rain drop around me and cleanse me. I got very much the feeling that Pan had accepted my offer and would help me. I had, in the past, run screaming from storms like that because I was not looking at them with the eyes of a Pagan.
What’s odd is that when I had appealed to Pan, I had specifically stated that I had wishes that needed to be fulfilled for me to function. They are indeed somewhat selfish wishes however I believe that selfish wishes have their place. I am offering a sacred trust and bond to a deity and expecting no more in return than the commitment that I have given. That’s reciprocal and Gods often have a way of granting those wishes if we are sincere when we have thought them out and expressed them. Finding Kamadhenu in the Goodwill was rather intense of a find for me because I felt Pan had guided me to Her. Lord of the Beasts and Forests introducing me to The Sacred Beast.
Last night I had a dream that involved many people that I know. I was in a giant city being guided by Tyr. Tyr looked like the Norse version of Tyr until He turned to His side and faced away from me and He looked like a Native American man. He was dark haired, beautiful tan skin and the features of a Native person who was clad in light buckskin. I got a distinct feeling that He was more than one God leading me in the dream. Some one even said in passing, “This is the Native Tyr and He is coming to you in a form you understand.”
Kamadhenu was also guiding me in the dream. Her huge brown eyes brought me to places around the city. In each instance, I would visit a place in this city that looked very much like Deeply Rooted. Sometimes it was a faerie glen within the middle of a large retail book store. Every path I took in the city lead me back to a specific group of people buffalo-1436182_640that are familiar to me. One such person was a repeated theme and even a guide through some of the “scarier” parts of the dream that involved being lost in a large crowd of people and being trapped in a subway that opened up into a river as I walked down the tracks to a hidden path. Following that river, I emerged from the city and back to the group of people that kept reoccurring. I felt like the dream went on for many hours even though I know most dreams take place only in the course of a few minutes.
Kamadhenu lead me to a scrap yard in this city where I was taken to buy “parts” to help repair some machine. All of the parts were in the neat little plastic bags that automotive part stores wrap such goodies as o-rings, gaskets, and sealants. When I left the store, I was lead to a park where rusted geese lay dying on the ground. I repaired these mechanical geese only to see them shed their sooty black feathers and spring forward as geese-2415834_640real, living creatures. I am blessed to witness such imagery in my mind.
And so, that’s how I am going to “start” this week. These spiritual beings and mindset that are forever leading me down new paths and back to the same group of people – and the place that we gather – Deeply Rooted. I send you all blessings of light and love and ask you all to look within yourselves as the cool weather hits and we are again inside, facing each other in the long winter months. Let our ideas form into seeds to bring plenty not only to our own lives but to each other. An idea from a person who only had magickal connections to machinery that now extends into nature – the deep roots of longing and purpose of the land we encounter at Deeply Rooted.
Goddess be with you all.

Guilt versus Personal Accountability

I’m writing this article as much for myself as I am writing it for the people in my life that matter. I am actively pursuing the Clergy path and I feel that sharing my experiences and my inner motivations with everyone in my life is every bit as important as realizing truth for myself. This is a tale of the concepts of guilt and personal accountability as experienced by a Pagan woman who has lived most of her life in a mental construct that acted as a stone blocking a vast and endless river of energy, creativity, and will. I share these stories to chronicle my own journey through my depression, mental illness, and self-defeat, however, I write these articles in the spirit that someone who needs help will feel comforted that there are many people in the Pagan community who go through similar struggles within their own minds. Our greatest battlefield is the one we encounter inside our minds.

Our passions, fears, intellectual thoughts, spiritual constructs, perceptions, conditioning and deepest personal beliefs are all spread before us like some grand chess board. The only person we’re ever playing against is ourselves. Can we reconstruct our minds from toxicity after a lifetime of pain and sadness that we feel has been unfairly cast upon us? While I do believe in dharmic cycles and embrace karma, I have thoughts that are separate of the Hindu tradition of which I am studying. I am not fully Hindu nor am I purely Pagan. There is no such way for me to fully embrace a culture that I was born separate from however I do subscribe to the idea that I can passionately pursue my spirituality in any form that I desire and get some kind of result that will positively impact my entire experience. I’ve often said that life does not bestow sadness or happiness as some form of cosmic revenge. It is not personal in my belief that the universe has it out for us.

We may feel that we’ve lived a life that has been unfair and cruel. A ‘fair life’ is a construct of ego. There is no place in the natural world that says we are entitled to anything ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ In fact, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ do not exist in nature. Karma and the dharmic process are spiritual tools that help us understand how our actions can adversely or favorably reflect the reality we’ve created for ourselves in this life and the next. The only construct of entitlement comes from ourselves. There is the perception of reality within our minds and then there is REALITY, the shared concept of what we are all thinking, feeling, acting and saying that intermingles and dances between order and chaos. We may feel that we are lost to this tide, however, I challenge that as Pagans we are not slaves to fate.

I have long battled with a sense of entitlement that I can trace back to my early childhood memories. I very much wanted a mother who loved me and a father who understood my intentions and supported me in my pursuits. My childhood recollections do not reflect this as truth. For a very long time, the course of thirty-three years on this planet, I wrestled with the pain of that loss and also I strove to better myself as a parent in the pursuit of making my children’s lives ‘better.’  I felt a crippling sense of guilt when these ideas did not play out as I had originally intended for my family.

I felt I was cheated out of this life until I realized that my sense of entitlement was the very battle with ego that I started when I fully embraced Goddess Kali when I became a dedicated Pagan. Entitlement has a very negative connotation and this is where I may infuriate a lot of Pagans who read my blog without knowing who I am as a person or even people who consider themselves to be my close friends. Entitlement is a construct of the ego however it is not a purely negative concept. Wanting to be better than you are and rising above the expectations of others shows a healthy knowledge of self and also the ability to exercise one’s personal will to change reality.

In the pursuit of what I call becoming a ‘wholly person’ I challenged the idea of entitlement in my own mind and sought a way to see how nature and reality play a huge part in having a healthy grasp on what we can change our lives. Entitlement has a very negative connotation and this is where I may infuriate a lot of Pagans who read my blog without knowing who I am as a person or even people who consider themselves to be my close friends.

Entitlement is a construct of ego, however, it is not a purely negative concept. Wanting to be better than you are and rising above the expectations of others shows a healthy knowledge of self and also the ability to exercise one’s personal will to change reality. I would challenge the notion that what I am speaking about isn’t really entitlement as it so much is an expression of will that I don’t have a better word for at this time.

The truth is, I was never entitled to a life that was ‘better’ than what I received. If I am to fully embrace my spirituality, I have to understand and accept that whatever has befallen me is something generated by my karma from either this life or one in the past. That does not mean that I have to succumb to abuse and pain either perpetrated by my own ego constructs or the constructs of personal influences. Putting it as simply as I know how, I’m saying that my life, full of sexual, physical, emotional and spiritual abuse only had to go on as long as I allowed it.

As a child, I could not get away from my family who seemed to be actively working against me however as an adult, I chose to enter romantic relationships and friendships that generated that same violent and abusive atmosphere. It was all I knew until I allowed myself to see that I had something to contribute and therefore, with that as my end goal, I destroyed the ego concepts within my mind that kept these cycles of pain from continuation.

It’s hard work. First, I had to separate what was guilt, which in my definition is a state of being in pain caused by one’s actions that either belongs to them or not. Sometimes we feel guilty for the actions of others however I see that as paying car insurance on a vehicle you don’t own. Would you, the reader, be paying for some one else’s car insurance if that person would not pay for yours or even appreciate the fact that you were paying for it? Most of you would probably answer ‘no.’ I had to ask myself, WHY THE HELL AM I PAYING FOR THE ACTIONS OF MY PARENTS? I am not my parents. I have not forgotten their faces however I do not wear their face. I wear my own face and I wear it without a mask.

So why am I continuing the perpetuation of these self-destructive actions? Ah, here enters personal accountability. If you are able to recognize that your actions are your own and you can only personally blame your parents or anyone else who’s harmed you for so long as you can until you recognize that you are following hastily in their footsteps, then you have entered the realm of personal accountability. This is a terrifying place if you’ve never encountered it before and can keep you up crying into the wee hours of the morning when you realize that your parents or whoever abused you in the past, only did it as long as you allowed them to do so and your actions in spite of theirs caused you to lose a part of yourself in the process. It does not mean that this lost self is gone forever. It means that you now have the tool to take back what you allowed to be taken from yourself. 

Living this lifestyle does not suggest that you are now going to be ‘perfect’ in the sense of how humans understand and accept perfection and never make mistakes again. You’ll stumble, you’ll fall on your ass and you may even take three huge steps forward only to slide back two steps one day while you’re wrestling with your own mind. This happens to me frequently and all I have to do is keep reminding myself that I have the will within myself to change my circumstances for my own personal benefit and also the benefit of those around me if they are willing to engage in such a change.

It takes a huge amount of courage to face the real demons that have been living inside of you since you experienced this pain. Having courage comes from experiencing and acknowledging the fear that we all have within our minds. It can be a fear of failure or success. In my case, it’s a very real fear of success without having an ego construct to contain my urges. We all share in the pain even if our circumstances are different and we all have the ability, if we will it, to change our situations and ourselves so that we can adequately function and survive in a world that offers us no guarantees other than these two ideas.

Things will change. It will happen. You can not stop this from happening. Order and Chaos dance together throughout our universe and eventually, no matter how well you’ve planned or thought things through, they will find you and change you.

You will die. Your life will cease and everything about your existence will eventually vanish into the flow of time and destiny. How you are remembered by those you have touched is entirely up to you and within your control. It will be hard and painful to make that sacrifice however it is rewarding if you desire to be remembered a certain way. You may believe in an afterlife and I do as well, I believe in reincarnation, spirits, and an Underworld. I believe in Gods and Goddesses and I have had personal interactions with all of Them at some point or another. Death is not the end for me and I will myself to live in the face of this certainty that will inevitably find us all.

And more importantly, I see the guilt that was put upon me as a child in the visage of spirituality (Catholicism) and adults trying to justify their actions. I do not subscribe to their guilt or my own guilt over my life choices as a state of being. I made a very powerful decision to accept my actions and the consequences of those actions as reality and change reality by facing the ugliest parts of myself that I hid from the world unknowingly. I am actively changing my life even if it means that I have to sacrifice all of the pawns on my own personal chess board to save the Queen. Myself.

I’ll end this by saying that this journey is my own and these reflections of my meditations work only for myself and the life that I have lived. I’m not preaching this to anyone outside of myself. If my writing reaches you and gives you a different thought process that helps, I am happy to be of service. If my writing angers you, that’s alright too, you have an opinion in your mind that may be fact because it works for you. Only you, the reader, can make that decision. No member of Clergy, political official or even a therapist can completely understand what you are going through and the kinds of tools and gifts that have been bestowed upon you.

Personal Solar Eclipse Ritual

 

I see You, life-giving masculine rays of Sunfire, in all of Your glory. I call to You, Lord of the Sun.
I see You, mysterious and silvery Lady of the night, in all of Your beauty. I call to You, Lady of the Moon.

As You pass by each other on this special day, making Your presences both known during the enchantment of the solar eclipse, I ask You both to bear witness to the transformative energies that I have within myself and cast into the endless cosmic dance for the healing and benefit of all. Please accept my offering of light energy and please renew me so that I may continue to battle in Your honor, in peace, and in contentment.

Be welcomed into my Circle! HAIL THE HOLY SUN! HAIL THE HOLY MOON!

I call upon Lord Ganesha, the elephant astride the mouse who removes and provides obstacles. I humbly ask You to bear witness to my ritual and to allow me passage to the golden palace of the cosmic Gods and Goddesses.

I call upon the Goddess Durga in ALL of Her forms to watch over me this night and day as I work to remove the distortion from my life that keeps me from attaining my goals. HAIL THE GODDESS DURGA and THE MAIN ASPECTS OF HER BEING. HAIL THE GODDESSES LAKSHMI, SARASWATI, PARVATI, AND KALI! As mysterious and complex as any woman, I call upon the whole of the sacred feminine energy!
I call upon the God Vishnu in ALL of His forms from the Great Destroyer Shiva to the kindly Lord Krishna to have a better understanding of the facets of my personality that have guided my inner and outer motivations. HAIL LORD VISHNU and THE MAIN ASPECTS OF HIS BEING. HAIL SHIVA WHO STANDS TOGETHER AND YET APART. HAIL KALKI WHO BRINGS THE END OF WICKEDNESS AND EGO AT THE END OF KALI YUGA! As forthright and strong as any man, I call upon the whole of the sacred masculine energy!

I call upon Lord Brahma, the many-faced and all directional God to help me see my challenges from all sides and so that I may honor You by seeing my ideas and also the ideas of my peers, family, friends, and tribes from many angles that are not limited to my own perceptions. HAIL LORD BRAHMA!

I call upon Lord Hanuman, the supreme and most auspicious monkey Lord who is the master of faith and devotion to see my efforts through till the completion of this ritual. Be honored through my acts of faith and devotion as You have taught me in lore. HAIL LORD HANUMAN!

I call upon Grandmother Apple of Deeply Rooted! Ancient and Wise protector of the Green Wood, Mother to the sacred Apples of Love and Trust, I call upon You in all of Your Majesty as my most revered Teacher and Friend. Because of You, I am Deeply Rooted and protected from every direction of Your branches.  Within the darkness of the earth, I dwelled in quiet contemplation of my past life, fed by the healing rains gathered from Your roots, given fire from Your wild spirit to carry on and the breath of LIFE restored to me through the winds that tug and play at Your hallowed branches. I am reborn through You. I am Your grandchild and  I am born stronger, wiser and more patient in Your image and my own.

The pain and karma of the past are gone however they are not forgotten. I humbly ask that You accept my actions and words as I have demonstrated as a sign of personal growth in Your shadow. My words and actions are aligned to honor You, myself, my Tribe and the Gods. I will work to always understand my own motivations as You have taught me and also the motivations of my Tribemates. I will act as Guardian and Protector of You and the sacred wood in both Your physical and spiritual forms. I am consciously working with my own momentum to bring about the greatest possible change for the greatest possible balance. So mote this be!

I cast out the negative thought forms and constructs of my past and invite Teachers who will be positive in helping me accomplish my goal of becoming a WHOLLY PERSON as well as my spiritual growth and development. I invite Teachers from the winds, the wood, the waters, the flames and the realm of the spirit to please come forward and show Yourselves in my dreams. So mote this be!

I cast out the negative psychological and spiritual constructs of my mind and also the minds of others who have harmed me in the past either knowingly or unknowingly.  You can not harm me now.  I make room for the rightful teachers and energies to freely come into my life as they see fit and as I am ready to accept them. I transmute this pain into healing energy and send it back to the people and spirits responsible for harming me so that they can heal and never harm another soul again. So mote this be!

From my mind to my words to the spirit plane and manifested into reality, these are my intentions and vows. May I be held to my word! So mote it be!

Moana – The Journey of a Priestess and Pagan

 

Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, some one very dear to me called me a Princess. I was a very expressive little girl who connected with various Disney princesses from my youth. It was the biggest compliment I could have ever received.  That person failed me in so many ways however I loved them because, despite their flaws, I saw a strong person who was approaching the world in an unorthodox manner. Their struggle was how the dealt with their ego and expressed who they truly were despite everything they were ever told. That man was my father and while it’s true he made so many mistakes, I love him. The first lesson he ever taught me was “Even parents, like God, make mistakes.”

It wasn’t until years later when some one else dear to me called me a Princess that I took offense to that and got extremely upset. It was the moment when I truly faced my abyss. From that moment on, I had to prove only to myself whether I was a princess or not and what the definition of that meant to me. So, I went back to a time when it did. Let me take you on a journey of my life through a Disney cartoon named Moana.

Once, I was an innocent warrior. The natural world spoke to me. Long ago, I had a very clear vision of the Gods and Goddesses and spirituality. I saw everything in nature and loved it so much. I was a Pagan from my birth, and more than that, I was a spiritualist. The ocean which surrounded Long Island, the place of my birth was much like Moana’s village of Mata Nui.

Then came the relationship with my father. He was a mathematician, a talented business man, an engineer and a leader. He taught me everything he knew to help me become a leader. He did that very well. He always encouraged me to make my own decisions. There were many things he did wrong. One of them was substituted true love and compassion for food. It was his undoing and eventually lead to him dying of complications of diabetes.

After he passed away, I was so angry and sad. I spent my entire life telling my dad that eating sugar and junk food would kill him and watched the entire process unfold. My father died in my arms. I always felt I could have done more. Even CPR and pounding on his chest, screaming to the God to bring him back to me wasn’t enough. I kept that guilt inside of me my entire life. It festered and grew like a cancer. There was an antidote, however.

I found Paganism. Something to believe in that I could challenge my moral compass against to test myself. Prove myself as a warrior. I pursued Paganism much the way Moana did in the movie. I went to a place called Siesta Key Drum Circle and it challenged my entire belief system. I learned how to dance there as if no one was watching – however, some one was watching and it was a Goddess. Her name was Kali Ma. And thus began the dance against my ego. I stood on the beach, looking into the Florida sunset and asked, “How Far I’ll Go?” Mabon 1999 I dedicated myself to Paganism. I told the Goddess I wanted the strongest connection possible with Her. I started having dreams about trees for some strange reason.

“We Know the Way” A beautiful day in November showed me a new vision of Paganism in the form of a romantic relationship with some one. Much like Grandmother leading Moana into the cave to discover the origins of Her people, I had a guide who pulled me into the forest to discover what I had lost during my adolescence and death of my father.

Image may contain: outdoorA vision of what was, what is and what could be filled me every time I walked through a stream, down a rock road, picking crystals and laughing in the sunlight and slogging through the muddiest places to find the biggest bullfrog and name him the King of the Frog tribe.

The experience not only profoundly changed me on the inside, it was also my altar that changed and thus my connection to the Gods and the spiritual plane.This guide was powerful and the path with her lead me to anotherImage may contain: outdoor and water beautiful place. It’s when I met my spiritual teacher, Wade Mueller of Deeply Rooted, that my mind and connection to deity began to radically and fundamentally change on every level.

 

 

“You’re Welcome” was when I first met Wade Mueller. My first words to him were how I was a student of the Goddess Kali. He accepted that challenge and became my teacher because I was listening to the lesson. A teacher who showed me my ego by challenging everything I said. I fought him every step of the way until I realized what he was saying was true. I recognized it, accepted it whoever I had no way of expressing it. I taught myself based on a working model of truth because I had no working model of this from childhood. I continued to study. I had many teachers on this path. I may not have always understood the lessons however the truth is that they were there. It was my ego that showed me a distorted image. I responded to that distorted image.

One day, everything began to crumble. The earth shook and quaked and the teachers I had were suddenly gone. I isolated myself and went to the spiritual plane to look for answers. Like Moana, I went to the realm of Tamatoa with Maui, the lessons of my spiritual teachers and faced a mirror image of myself. It caused me to reevaluate my entire life. At the core level, my connections to this world and the spiritual plane began to reform like roots from a tree. In fact, I even had a Grandmother to guide me.

“I am Moana” When I had recovered the hook (Maui’s hook – a weapon made by the Gods) I had lost from the mirror of my ego, now I had to figure out a way to use it to save my village, Deeply Rooted. I doubted if I was able to do it at first. Then, Grandmother came. She was an old lady, a true soul in the form of a timeless Apple tree. A tree that stood for love – the one thing I had been substituting my entire life with so many other things. She taught me that love, emotions, in general, are tools to use, not weapons to destroy us as long as we made the conscious choice to use them for the right reasons.  I felt like giving up, and then when I turned to Grandmother for advice on how to help everyone else, She said very clearly, “Work on yourself. You are Kim. Be Kim.”

So I expressed Kim the only way I know how and found much more ways I did not know I could express myself. I went back to the limitless childhood of my past and found that the rainbows, glitter, sparkles, unicorns, and nature were all right there. I had the right ideas from birth and conditioning had prevented me from seeing that truth. So I shared with everyone else a way for them to connect with Gods to see something in themselves. The positive, the negative, all of it reflects our connection and view of the Gods and the divinity that exists within ourselves. Once we acknowledge that, we truly become students of the Gods we serve and that serve us. Now I had a way to unite my Tribe.

“Know Who You Are” takes me back to the original battle with ego. Some one called me a princess and it hurt my feelings. They did not do that to hurt me personally. They called me out and saw that I was a princess and I got upset by something that once brought me great joy and pride. That was the real issue, my outlook on princess made me take a statement and turn it into an attack.

I serve a Goddess who is portrayed in the western world as a MONSTER. She is not a monster. She fights monsters and that leaves a mark on a person. If I am true to Kali, should I not be true to another Sister in that same battle? The issue began with me so it ends with me. It does not define me if I chose it not to define it. My heart was stolen and the only monster I was facing was myself. Once I learned that I walked right up to the people I once saw as monsters, in memory or in life, and I confronted them and acknowledged their divine connection.

Suddenly they weren’t monsters anymore, they were teachers who taught me powerfully, transformative lessons. Just like people dismiss cartoons as fantasy, they can choose to acknowledge the lessons wherein and apply them to their own lives. I made the choice and I know I can convince more people. I just need to sit, reflect on these lessons and the answer will be clear. I return to my Tribe with a message and the tools to help anyone who asks for it. I have my answer now. The Gods are everywhere…and I know the way.

Most people usually think that Disney movies have a good message but they sometimes lack the understanding of why those tales have the profound impact that they do. What we allow our children to watch without context to can speak volumes of our character. If we watch something with our children, even if we don’t agree, we can take them aside for a moment and explain to our children the context. Children do not have context so to them, everything is true or false. If something makes some one happy or is a substitute for happiness, then it becomes true or good. If something makes us sad or is a substitute for expressing our sadness, it becomes truth.  Substituting one emotion for another is one of the personality traits of some one with mental illness. As a person who has never allowed herself to be defined as mentally ill, this is my journey through the path of Moana – a girl, a princess I could finally relate with and use as a working model to cure myself of my illness. Now that I am fully aware of my pain and not ignoring it by substituting other things, I am cured because now the only path is forward. I am a Princess and a Priestess and I am proud to be both.

At the time of my writing this, I am currently watching Moana with my own children. Teaching them that the biggest battle you have to fight is with yourself. Blessed Be, Tribe. Share this how you see fit, comment with your battle and be at peace with your decisions. Namaste, ❤