This post is about devotion. In Western culture, we might equate devotion to the loyalty one has for their country, a particular football team, a political idea or even the ties we have to family. All of those things have a place in our society yet that is not the kind of devotion I’m about to tell you about and why it is a significant part of my life at this stage of my metamorphosis. You see, I’m going to talk to you all about fear, uncomfortable memories, death, and doubt of the self and how the devotion that has blossomed in my heart towards my Goddess has spread to this dark places and become a strong foundation for what lies next. In 17 short days, I become ordained and the relationship I have with Kali, spirituality, and fellow Pagans jumps to the next level.
Becoming ordained is really just a title and the title has no bearing on my responsibilities to my Tribe – or does it? I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, meditation, and shadow work lately to probe the inner recesses of my being for a very important reason. It’s not something I’m proud of telling people yet I’m going to show the world that I’m not going to let fear rule my world any longer. This is about growing up and accepting certain things about myself and in that, changing what needs to be changed and embracing the strength that has been kept under lock and key for the last 19 years. More than just embracing that strength – letting the tiger out of it’s cage and giving it freedom where there was once apprehension.
I’m a high school drop out. Around 19 years ago, my father died and my home situation was quite turbulent. Being in school and making stellar grades was no longer my priority, it was day to day survival. I won’t bore you with the details, yet it’s safe to say that there was a lot of abuse going on and I could no longer stomach it. I left home and I left a part of myself behind. I was a very good student, a natural leader, and a giving friend to those who surrounded me. I might have been able to salvage my high school career and make something of myself which was important to everyone around me except myself. My teachers, friends, and even my mate at the time was astonished that I threw away everything just to escape the bonds at home. I was, however, angry with life and the lot I had been dealt and decided to punish myself for years by acting like less than who I was on the inside.
I associated with very dark people and allowed myself to be less of who I was meant to be in order to maintain the constant feeling of sadness and depression. The entire process consumed me and it lead me to become violent, alcoholic, and abusive to myself and others. The person who suffered the most – as karma dictates – was myself. I was raw and bleeding inside and even though I believed in Kali and felt that I was a devotee, I was a pretty piss poor one by any one’s standards. I was ruled by my own demons and because of that, I spiraled down until I hit a rock-bottom that even I couldn’t play off with lies, fake laughter, and stories. I was forced to stare in the mirror and accept how low I had become and how much help I really needed.
Enter my Teacher, Tribe, the land of Deeply Rooted, and also a Goddess who refused to give up on me. I had great friends who pulled me out of the darkness and began to help me piece together what was really me admits the litany of lies I told myself. It was so ingrained in my personality to hide from the world that I didn’t even realize what I was doing or the impact it had on my life and others. It took a lot of hard work to pull myself out of that hole initially and I’m still sifting through the painful memories and toxic thought processes. I have progressed – I’m going forward – and I’m a whole helluva lot happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life.
After quitting high school, there was a giant hole inside of me that threatened to consume me from the inside out and it got very close to doing the deed. It set a foundation of failure and no matter how I tried to raise myself up with what I told myself no words could put a band-aid on the pain I felt inside. During my time at Deeply Rooted, I was given many challenges. Some of those challenges I ran from initially because I was terrified at manifesting the person I saw inside of myself into the real world. I kept at it though and thanks the encouragement of so many beautiful people – I ran headlong into my work. Slowly, I began to piece together the person I wanted to be, not the person that I had been sold into believing that I was and that planted the seed of accomplishment inside of my soul.
17 days is all it takes. While I am scared and excited, I know that I have to hold out for the prize at the end of the tunnel. I haven’t self-sabotaged or talked myself out of following through with the one passion that I’ve always had since I was a little kid, my spirituality and the desire to guide others along their individual paths. In it’s self, it’s a huge accomplishment to finally finish something and be recognized for it. It isn’t the title – it’s the ability to look myself in the mirror and know that for once in my life, I didn’t sell myself short because of the demons that have plagued me. What was once taken from me through emotional, mental, physical, and sexual abuse is restoring me to full capacity. I can’t use excuses, stories, or anything else from now on to belittle myself into doing things that are less what is worthy of a priestess.
Being a Priestess of Kali, discovering the meaning of being a Pagan, dedicating myself to Deeply Rooted (the land and Tribe) and all that it stands for is the final battle with my last demon. I’m proud of myself and grateful to all of the teachers (the obvious and the unlikely characters) that have been there along the path. Every action from now on is built on the foundation of this accomplishment and knowing that there’s something else for me and it isn’t failure. Dedicating myself to Kali is an all or nothing process and even in my darkest moments, I kept my eyes on Her – She who is without equal and who forces me to confront the truth of each and every situation that presents its self in my life. HAIL KALI MA!
Devotion to the self is like running at a sword. I had to give all that I was and surrender my ego to attain freedom from the lies that kept me caged.
The honor and privilege of being Clergy for my Pagan Church is my most treasured personal accomplishment outside of being a mother to my five beautiful little girls. I’m still changing, still transforming, and still learning things along the way yet I have a renewed confidence in myself that I haven’t felt in a very long time. I want to share this joy I feel with everyone who is depressed, feeling weak, or suffering from anything that makes them feel like less. It’s no longer about me, being Priestess is being mother to many and seeing that the needs of the community are met to the best of my ability. Thank you to everyone who reads my posts and shares the journey with me. This blog is more than just a blog, it’s proof that you can start out at the bottom and fight your way to whatever makes you truly complete – a whole person.
This is Lettie Lutz from the movie The Greatest Showman. This song is how I feel on the inside and the vision I have for so many people who feel like life is out of their control. Here’s the truth, life is not out of your control, you can rise and you can shine as brightly as any star in the sky. May the universe and all the beauty within be with you inside.