Watch your mouth! The worst four-letter words known to humanity and Paganism!

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My teacher and Pagan Clergyman Wade Mueller once told me, “Hope is the most dangerous word in the English language. By hoping something will happen in your mind, you’re not working to make it happen in the real world.” At the time, I had struggled with a huge fear of success and expressly seemed to embrace failure as if it had been my best friend. I had always been taught to use the word “HOPE” and because of that, I relied heavily on things happening by chance and not by my own efforts. I was a victim to my own toxic mindset. Wade Mueller of Deeply Rooted took away my hope and helped me discover for myself the kind of person I am capable of being. With that said, this article builds on his original work so please refer to him for more information on the topic.

And it was with that train of thought from my mentor that got me thinking about what other four letter words exist in much the same way as hope. What impact do they have on myself and Paganism in the larger scheme? Well, one of my huge struggles in becoming a Pagan was overcoming the pull of emotions that had me spread thin and usually exhausted from my efforts. Those emotions were expressed in three four letter words, “Love, Fear, Hate”.  In much the same way that hope is dangerous, so are these words and the emotions they can illicit. Words are incredibly powerful things. By invoking certain emotions, we open ourselves up for successes and failures alike.

Before I sound a little too much like a Vulcan from Star Trek, let me explain. I don’t think emotions should be purged from humanity in an attempt to create a more peaceful world. That isn’t realistic nor feasible at this time in our development as a society. One of the ideas I’ve been embracing is that emotions are tools for certain situations. They are never meant to overrun us and destroy the accomplishments and achievements that also go along with the failures and downfalls. We have to be a whole person and accept the darkness in our personalities as well as the light.

If you’re a Pagan, you might associate with the common-held belief that water represents those emotions. A little bit of rain is helpful for a crop of plants, yet an entire dam bursting is chaotic and destructive. Love, Fear, and Hate all fall into the category of dangerous emotions that can turn that nurturing rain into a deluge of epic proportions. The question I had to dig deep to find within myself was just this, “Is this situation worth feeling love, fear or hate towards? Is this something I *hope* will get better or do I have the ability to make this happen on my own or with help from friends?”

Is every Pagan out there looking at humanity and saying to yourself, “What the hell is happening?”

Love, Fear, and Hate all have different definitions to us. There is no single definition of these words. To each of us, they have a very different meaning and on top of that, there is no scientific evidence that PROVES these emotions exist. Emotions do not exist in “nature.” You can not go out and find “love” you can only see the evidence that the thought exists by actions expressed by people. Then, on top of that, you need to determine if the intent of the individual’s actions was really lining up with the emotion that YOU assigned those actions.

Ask a person with mental illness to explain what love is and you’ll hear a myriad of different responses from the normal associations to things that will curl your toes. Fear? Fear of what? Once you accept death, being afraid of anything is actually kind of ridiculous. Death is going to occur, and you will most likely not know the time and manner of your death. You can not escape it. And hate? That’s probably the most laughable emotion of all. Hate can be expressed by a species called humanity that seems to have social amnesia in regards to the value it assigns historical accuracy and so bored of being lonely that it has to compete against it’s self in RACES.  Race doesn’t exist. The only race is expressed by the genetics of people who have survived war, disease, famine and have bred healthy offspring. Genetics is scientifically proven, some abstract idea of people of varying skin pigments and other cosmetic features as being inferior is hilarious to me.

These words are the ones we’re taught to worship in our childhood. Why do you hate those neighbors? Why do love that boyfriend who hits you? Why are you afraid of that lesbian couple being married? So many people work like machines with predictable patterns because of the environment in which they were raised. It doesn’t have to be that way for Paganism. We can’t change the world over night yet we can change ourselves and thereby sending reverberations of that change to our community. We’re magickal folk and we can make this happen!

The first step for me overcoming these baneful thoughts was to diminish my ego. I had to completely redefine who I was and why I felt certain was before I could ever see the truth. When I asked my Gods to help me find that truth, they led me back to my past, to my future and how all of that culminated to create the present. Letting go of my love, fear, and hate helped me overcome years of pain and heartache. Sometimes I backslide and returned to old ways, yet it was only to remind me that I was just afraid of succeeding. I already had the tools buried deep within my personality, they were just turned inwards instead of projecting the person I really am to the world at large.

So watch out for those four letter words. They’re powerful, they have meaning to you that is hard-wired into your subconscious. You can overcome any subconscious programming if you work hard enough and accept what the truths lay at the root of your old ideas. If you work hard and discover you really do hate yourself and have valid reasons, write them down! Make a plan on how you can fix these toxic behaviors and why you have them in the first place. Maybe you aren’t a nice person yet you love yourself and no one seems to like you. If you are alright with accepting that you’ll never be more than a nasty soul, than be content in that personal expectation and turn that hate where it belongs. Yourself.

This world is much like the magickal world as expressed in “As Above, So Below, As Below, So Above.” Be careful what you invoke in your life by the words you choose to assign situations. You never know when you might have to redefine what something means to you because of the actions of others or something else life throws your way. Don’t let love, fear and hate define those situations. YOU can define what emotions you assign these situations. If you work hard enough, you will be in control of yourself as long as you are working on being in control. So mote it be!

Life Through a News Lens

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Do any of you folks out there wear glasses? Ever have a scratch on a lens that has been there so long you don’t even see it anymore? Our brains get used to seeing the scratch and suddenly the view of it is minimized. There’s other circumstances when the human mind will do those things and it can have a huge impact on our lives. There were some big ugly scratches on the lens that I use to view myself and my life’s story. I was so used to those thought patterns that I couldn’t see what detriment they caused in the long-term. As author of my story, I felt it was necessary to set the record straight on how I was able to turn myself inside-out and why I didn’t succumb to the demons that threatened to topple those efforts.

Two years ago, I had a problem. I sold myself the lie that some one else was in charge of my future and I believed it so much it almost came true. The problem was so large and I was so deeply entrenched in that situation that I couldn’t see that I was even suffering from abuse. I kept hitting rock bottom and bouncing right back up to the top because I refused to stay down when taking knocks. Some people would certainly brag about the idea of being so stubborn, and at the time I was certainly one of those people, yet there was a huge disadvantage to never giving myself the time I needed to heal.

And where was the source of the abuse that kept rearing it’s ugly head into my life from time to time? It was without any sense of doubt coming almost exclusively from myself. Those demons I was talking about earlier, their place of residence wasn’t the Christian hell, the whole experience of pain, doubt, regret and self-hatred was being generated exclusively by me.  I felt the need to lash out in many ways which cost me many great opportunities, relationships and sanity along the way. I know now how much pain and sadness I could have avoided if I hadn’t abused myself so badly by ignoring my own needs.

My observation from life is that we Pagans who were raised Christian really need to be aware of the psychological detriment that a Christian mindset can have on some one who is Pagan. Now let me explain that before people think I’m bashing Christianity because I have no such intentions. Pagans live by a very different moral code than Christians. For a Pagan, real mental pain occurs when you break your oaths whether they are to Gods, friends or to yourself. A Christian makes a covenant to an outside force, God. Christians believe that an outside force can either be savior or villain (Jesus vs. Satan) in their Bible, so they raise their children with this very spiritually reinforced idea of all problems occur from outside of us. Christianity, in my opinion, is deluded in ego which is why it’s on the decline.

Pagans believe in self-accountability and that internal forces cause pain.  We believe in keeping our oaths to our Gods, Tribe and ourselves. I was raised to believe that only some one else could be responsible for me and not given the heads up that I am the author of my own story. That’s also my perspective on Paganism in macrocosm. Each Pagan is the sum of Paganism. All of our actions have a very direct impact on our direction. We are the sum of ourself, which is many things to many people yet some how only 1 person to yourself. It seems like humanity has a really weird view of it’s self, doesn’t it? Imagine if you are the savior of your own future.

 That’s PAGANISM! No one, except for you, is going to be your savior. You can have friends who guide you and great teachers yet not one of them is going to be a savior because you can not hold your standards to another’s. You are going to disagree with folks, you’re going to be dead wrong and very right about certain concepts. Even if you consider yourself a psychic, you’re not going to be dealing out the right advice 100% of the time. And how do you save yourself from yourself?

Accept yourself. You’re fat, you’re skinny, you have some mental disorder that was diagnosed to you by a professional. Hey, listen, those are just labels that are used to describe things that you can fix, overcome, accept or conquer. Get the medical help by all means, yet do not stay in the mindset that you are just a patient or a case study. They do not define you and neither do people who do not have your best interest in mind. Only you can define who you are and make it known to the people and Tribe that are most important to you.

I had to tell myself this over and over again as I worked on myself through Shadow work. If you vow to be a healer, then be a healer. Be the best healer you can be without worrying what unnecessarily at the trolls that will almost certainly be around to heckle. This formula applies to the whole of life. Be all that you are, all that you want to be and don’t worry about failing. You will fail at some things and if you keep an open mind, you’ll learn how to make those situations better. Life isn’t always in extremes. As a devotee to Kali, this can sometimes be a hard lesson to grasp. Kali is ever patient, mind you.

I see life through an entirely new lens now. That’s also where I see Paganism. I see Paganism reexamining it’s self and growing. I see more people realizing that the truth is far better than the lies we tell ourselves just to keep the status quo. I would like to see more self-accountability in the community, especially around our young. I think of all the things I could have avoided and all of the heartache had I just taken responsibility for my situation instead of handing it off to something or someone else.  That means trading the ego for the truth and living with the consequences. and for me, as well as so many more, that’s a huge step towards real enlightenment.

I have a real zeal for life now. I’m no longer sitting here and being a spectator. I’m running like an athlete to be the kind of person that can help shape Paganism. A huge weight off my shoulders when I realized my own self-worth. What got me here? What’s the miracle cure? Telling myself the truth, hard work, believing in my self, and having a really great support group like Deeply Rooted to steer me into becoming a better mother, author and Pagan.

I can honestly say I’m happy. I know there’s hardships ahead, I know there are challenges within myself and I accept that I could fail horribly. I’m also kind of brave and adventurous so I oathed to myself that I would see this new life through no matter what. For those of you that follow this blog and my journey, thank you! May your lens be clear, your opinions loud and your snark be clever and original. SO mote it be! 🙂

 

 

Dear Silver RavenWolf, you were right!

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Dear Silver RavenWolf,

I’m writing you this letter to thank you for helping me get started on the path to Witchcraft and Paganism. I want to tell you the tale of how I came you and your inspirational writing so you’ll have a better understanding of the impact it had on my life. I was 14 years old when the first copy of “Teen Witch” fell into my hands from one of my Wiccan friends who had her own high school coven. At the time, I was fence sitting between a very poor understanding of Christianity as explained to me by my Grandmother and this new path, modern Paganism. I remember being so afraid to make a choice between those worlds that I actually asked my friend, “Well, can I be both?”

My Wiccan  friend at the time explained it to me while passing Teen Witch into my hands. I remember being so upset at not understanding what was going on at the time. “You can’t be both. You’re one or the other. It isn’t Paganism that has an issue with you being Christian, it’s Christianity that has an issue with Pagans. Those two belief systems don’t work together because of the fundamental tenets of each.” I remember the hot tears rolling down my face as the insecurity of leaving Christianity behind began to raise the bile up in my throat. I had to get answers from some one I trusted more than just a girl I’d known in high school for just a few months.

I brought the book home and thumbed through the pages. I didn’t give it the attention that it deserved. My home life was less than perfect. My dad was dying from end-stage renal failure and needed a lot of my help and my mother, of whom I had never been close to worked a full time job as a nurse. Spirituality was the realm that my father ruled over because he was the only parent that spoke strongly of his beliefs. You couldn’t call my father Catholic, although he was raised to be a devout practitioner of that particular path. He was fairly open-minded and was always up for some kind of debate as to the nature of things. I look back on it now and I see my dad struggling to see reality in much the same way I have done in my adult life.

I asked my dad about the nature of God, the universe, and even the powers of the mind. At the time, I was opening my mind to the reality that Magick existed and I was not crazy when I put my intention in something and it came true. My dad explained that no one really knows the true answer and that we either have to follow our hearts or follow our minds to the answer that is right for us. Some people find a lot of validity in Christianity and that’s alright for them. It does not give anyone the right to “hi-jack” your spirituality no matter what path they serve. I didn’t come out and tell my dad that I was considering Paganism yet I have the overwhelming feeling that he already knew that the tide was turning for his daughter. My dad had some natural intuition that I’m only now beginning to recognize as I raise my own five girls.

When my dad passed from this world on July 20th, 1999, my entire world changed. First, I was angry at God and told the universe that I was done believing in fairy tales and bible stories. Then I found that there was a scary, black emptiness that accompanied me during this time. It was depression, repressed memories of childhood and a host of other dark thoughts that occur to teenagers when they loose a parent. I was alone in the world, or so I thought at the time. My Wiccan friend was long gone out of my life and was no longer there to talk to since during my initial shock of losing my dad, I told her off and said things that I shouldn’t have said to another person.

All I had was the title of a book to give me some kind of direction in life. I went to my nearest Walden Books and bought myself a copy with the money from my summer job. I poured over the pages and studied each section carefully. No longer having my dad for any kind of direction, Paganism began to take root in my heart as a form of guidance. It was your words, Silver, that inspired me during the darkest time of my life. I remember Mabon of 1999 when I swore my first Oath to uphold all that being a Witch was, according to your book. In fact, while performing the ritual, the page got away from me and I was inspired to make my own ritual to put the most of my self into the promise.

Thank you, Silver RavenWolf. Eighteen years have come and  gone by since I took those first awkward steps on my path. I’ve made a lot of mistakes yet I’ve also done a lot of good things with my life. I’ve recognize my own passion to write and you’ve been an inspiration for that realization. I’m going to be a Pagan writer myself and follow in your footsteps.  I’ve found a wonderful Pagan community full of teachers, friends, and challenges that force me to be a better person.  That Community, Deeply Rooted, is where I’m currently pursuing the path of ordained Pagan Clergy. While so much of my beliefs have evolved since reading your book and I don’t agree with everything you’ve written, I do recognize the amazing work you did to show so many wayward girls and boys another way of doing things.

This blessing is for you, Silver. May you always have the inspiration you seek to achieve your goals. May your writing always impress upon your readers all the potential that Neo-Paganism has and challenge them to find answers to questions that they seek. May you live a long, comfortable life and may you always have a voice in our community. Thank you for the memories, the adventures, and the personal realization that there is always a choice to be a better person than you were born. May you always know that fact, Silver! Blessed Be!

 

PS: Congratulations on your new book and line of candles! I’m excited to work with them!

 

 

Forgive Yourself – Be kinder to yourself than others have been.

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I’ve been quiet for a long time on this blog which has been kind of a shame. This is one of the best outlets for my emotions and yet when I’m emotional, I do the exact opposite of what is beneficial for me! Why is that? Well, I did some meditation with Lord Ganesh and found out some pretty interesting answers to that question and a few others. I’ll share some of my insights with you and maybe it will help make some sense of challenges going on in your life as well.

 

Image result for om Who was the cruelest person I’ve ever known? Myself.

Oh, I most certainly have been cruel to myself in the past and I still have more to work on in the present!  The cruelty I showed myself in my developmental years was something of a spectacle. I had to sit down and think about all of the toxic, self-depreciating and horrible acts of hatred towards myself and when I did, I was mortified that I could be capable of such negativity. Just because I saw myself as a positive person don’t mean that the inside matched the outside. It was the foundation of a relationship with Kali that began to take me through destroying my ego and becoming the person I knew I was completely capable of becoming.

I made poor choices in relationships. I constantly felt the need to be *with* someone one who I thought was smarter, stronger and wiser than myself. I gave away my freedom to choose something better for my future and I did it with a tearful smile. I did it because I knew that the ultimate way to defeat myself was to break myself of feeling empathy, love or any emotion connected to my root/heart chakras. With that fact in mind, the cruelest acts became when I decided to break up with that person because I was fighting what I really wanted with what I had allowed myself to believe. And I truly believed that I deserved the worst of people in life to make myself happy.

 

Image result for om How was I able to discover my own self-cruelty?

It’s a scary concept when you’re being completely honest with yourself and begin to drill down the reasons for WHY you do the things you do. I would say that several things really helped me along the path with discovering these motivations. These are the disciplines I learned to recognize value in so that I could recognize the value in myself.

  • Meditation / Shadow Work – I realized much of my “meditation” in the past had been incorrectly defined “astral travel” and “dream work.” I had always gotten a lot of dreams as a child/teenager/adult and for a good long time, I didn’t understand what they meant. When I decided to start logging the dreams down in a journal, studying the themes and then meditating on that theme, I discovered SHADOW WORK. I plunged into a world of self-help that wasn’t in any books. It was inside of myself! I knew exactly how to identify what was going on by writing, listening to music, meditation and finally taking my dreams to the next level!
  • Great friends – I have been blessed in this life with many people who have come forward on their own and told me some harsh truths.  I used to hold this against them for the longest time because I wasn’t ready to make changes. I surrendered to the biggest obstacle in my life, which was my own view of self. My ego and when I did that, I began to take in their advise as if it was nutrients and not a poison.
  • Teaching my Children about the Gods – Spiritual parenting should be done in such a way that both parent and child learn something from shared experiences. Teaching my children about the nature of the Gods I worship, how I worship Them, and how I relate it to my life began making me rethink the entirety of my spiritual practices. I learned not only about myself in the process. Through the scope of the adult, I looked deeply at my own parents and their lives as they related to the lessons they tried to teach me. I was compelled to have a big family for as long as I can remember. For over a decade, I tried to create that family from the ether because I felt that a being a parent might slow me down enough to start taking in all that I have learned on my own life journey. When I succeeded in having my own children, the lessons of my past began to take root within my mind.

Image result for om Where did the cruelty come from?

When I first tackled this concept during my shadow work, I could easily pinpoint about one hundred scenarios related to other people in the first three minutes. That was not where the lesson end, however, as I was soon to find out. It came down to a few moments in my childhood that were both painful and traumatic. My entire self-worth was based on not having any validation from my mother that I could trust because of her own problems and because my father passed away in my arms and I felt responsible for his death. I felt helpless that I could not help my father through his hardships with his health and relationships and helpless because I could not assist my mother with her life challenges. I realized how co-dependent I was at my very core!

It was then that I began to take stock of my accomplishments despite feeling so… helpless. I wasn’t always so cruel to myself. I would keep myself entertained for hours by writing stories, telling my friends crazy outlandish things so that they would forget their problems and move on, and I managed to have many adventures in the process of discovering exactly who I am.  I wasn’t helpless! I was helping myself through helping others yet I realized that IT’S that attitude that makes me CO DEPENDENT! All of the anger at others was at myself for not meeting my own expectations! There was no need to carry this anger or feel that any time was wasted with these people. It lead to my understanding of where I am right now and there is no price you can put on TRUTH.

Image result for om So… what now?

Good question. Understanding all of those workings takes a long time to process and an even longer time to commit to memory. Luckily, I’ve always been good at writing stories and this work is a part of that mental exercise. When I was feeling at my darkest of accepting this TRUTH, I went inward and discovered that I did need help in accepting my biggest vulnerabilities.  I went to Ganesh and in my OWN words, I gave myself Wisdom in what I had told Him in prayer.

Lordly and Compassionate Ganesh. Please hear me!
Thank you for taking the obstacles out of my life so that I might want for nothing.
Thank you for put obstacles in my way so that they may define my character.

It’s those words, that I tell Ganesh every day, that are my sanity. It tells me that even though I’ve made decisions that are unpleasant for myself  in the past, that they were huge steps in discovering my own self-worth.  I can see now that I can forgive myself for having gone through those painful moments, that I can forgive the one’s I thought had wronged me and I can also make better decisions moving forward. Sure, other people’s decisions to be cruel to me were hard to live through. Yet, their karma is not my karma and I do not have to answer to anyone except myself.  My parents tried to do the same thing, yet I was more successful at understanding WHY I was torturing myself so that I will not be torturing myself in the future any more.

 

So that’s it. Very simply, all I did to move forward with my hardships was recognize where the break down was, forgive myself for the break down, and make new choices to have a different outcome. Easier than pie, right?  Tell my ‘past-self’ this new revelation. Hail Ganesha! 😉

 

 

The Memory of the Ocean

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I wrote this poem as an apology to the God Poseidon. It’s actually two poems in one, representing the dance of earth and sea. The grounding forces of logic and reason at odds with the dance of emotion beating within my breast. When I was a teenager, I made a terrible error in judgment. I have boasted that I once yelled at the God Poseidon during a hurricane and challenged Him to destroy me. I thought myself brave for having faced a God, however, I have changed much as a person since then.

I have lived with codependent relationships for most of my life. It began with my father who taught me that I needed a relationship to survive. This may not have been his initial intent, however, I believe he realized it shortly before his death. When he did pass on, I bounced endlessly from one destructive relationship to another. I craved human contact because I felt I needed that ever-present feeling of another person in my life. In reflection of the last year, I realize that those emotions have always been my undoing.

I have been haunted by dreams of the ocean, felt a kinship with Siesta Key Beaches and have always had a passion for horses(whom were created by the God Poseidon). I have been studying about the Sumerian God Enki who I have recently discovered is closely related to the God Poseidon. I want to set right the offense I have caused for the sole purposes of maintaining a relationship with Poseidon and allowing His lessons to flow through me as waves do upon the sand. I wish to master my emotions so they never become my undoing again and so I can continue on my path as a healer.

This poem is an experiment. As I briefly mentioned above, it’s two poems in one. Each representing the eternal battle of earth and sea raging within me. It’s an expression of being a Capricorn (the goat fish) and all that is the existence of one caught between two worlds. May this be the first step in showing respect to one I have wronged. Poseidon, my apologies to you for any offense. I was self destructive and I hated myself because I could not replicate the feeling of safety I felt when my father was alive. I hated myself for not being able to convince him to save himself, for not being able to resurrect him with CPR when he died and for the feeling of dishonor when I dropped out of school to get a job. I no longer hate myself and have forgiven myself in earnest for these actions. Please accept my apology and teach me more about the ocean of feeling within me. Thank you.

 

The Earth and the Ocean have been ripped apart,
Atlantis has fallen, a world grieves at the shock
a sequence of happenings mysterious to the heart,
an amnesia of culture for others to mock
given the shrill and the nature of the screams,
we can only surrender to the feeling of loss
the mind only remembers through a myriad of dreams,
the chasm of water little more than mirrored gloss
Surrender to the sea and dive into the ill,
Shaman and Priest trapped in their minds
When Zeus and Poseidon have enacted their will,
and in eternity’s embrace, the cosmos align
Planet by Planet, Jupiter and Neptune dance,
the blue-star will flow and blossom once more!
and send the Spirit Voyager into Rhythmic Trance
if only a whisper to sleeping children’s lore
This is the tale of the Great City-State,
Atlantis our home!
Taken by hubris and cast unto our fate,
if now only a memory buried deep in the loam.

To lose a friend…to gain an understanding!

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This year, I had as many victories as I did failures. It does not matter because those failures are readily turned into lessons and those victories have been steps in the path to a better understanding of my True Self. I realize that much of my conditioning involves relationships and those relationships heavily effect my actions upon my own life. I am no longer a slave to this because through hours of self-guided meditation, introspection, my astral and physical Guides, I have identified so much of those patterns. As I felt the unfolding of yet another self-imposed trauma, I stopped myself and fully revered the engines that were powering my self towards another broken future. I’ve lost a friend in the way that I readily identified that person as a friend however I have gained new insight and understanding into myself and the driving forces that keep me locked in certain patterns.

It’s always a sadness to lose a friend, however there is joy in knowing that to recognize certain patterns frees one’s self from the ever-present prison of certain habitual patterns. It does not have to be sadness if one can readily identify the value in the lessons learned from both the external and the internal sources. One more step in the path going forward. One more brick taken from a wall of ignorance. Gasping, grabbing and ever-reaching towards a light existence.

I am in a cave created by my own mind. If I wish to be freed from it, I must step back from certain practices that inhibit my path forward. I’m tearing down the walls created by a life time of conditioning and rewriting an entire personality that will play my world persona. It does not mean that I do not have certain obligations to others, however, it does mean that I will not engage the same way in all of my present and future relationships. Friends have come and one from my life. It is only now that I can see the lessons that each of these individuals had to teach me to further my understanding and connection to my True Self.

I have the will through Magick and the life-giving and sustaining forces of Reiki to make dramatic changes that will enhance the life I already life on the outside and nourish the world within so I can connect to my higher consciousness. It’s going to take time to strip away these old habits, however, it is necessary for something else to take place. I am on that journey because of my adoration of spiritual truth and because of my outward desire to pursue Clergy. Those are the tools – the true motivating factor is connecting with something greater than myself and a will that is higher.

You can call it nature, God, the Higher Self, Magick, the unconscious mind, my dreams or whatever moniker that humanity has fashioned. I’m done playing the game created by myself and moving onward. Stay tuned.

 

 

Clergy Assignment: Afro-Carribean Voudou

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The stench of urine filling the nostrils of the people aboard the vessels was on overwhelming reminder of what had been stolen from each of them. Gone were the swirling winds and soothing bonfires encircled by the proud cries of warriors from their native land. The darkness that encircled them now had never been known to them in ages before and perhaps never fully understood in some far-away future.  Bound together in chains, forced to sit in each other’s fetid waste, and starved like savage dogs was nothing compared to the foreign language being barked at them by their European oppressors. They did not know the meaning of these words that would eventually shape their future,  stealing away their culture like a wraith in the night and transforming the mindset of their children irrevocably. The feeling of dread filled each man, woman and child’s stomach like a serpent slowly devouring a squirming rat.

“You slavers will know what it’s like to be a slave
A slave to your hearts, a slave to your head
A slave to your souls, a slave to your graves” ~Dambala by Exuma

How could anyone truly understand the kind of spirituality that is born from the psyche of a desperate mother who is shrieking wildly as her child is ripped from her arms and sold in auction? Nearly a complete attempt at the cultural  brainwashing of an ancient, sacred people into thinking that they are less or sub-human to their authoritarian overlords is the motivating force behind so many paths that arose from the politics and trade embargoes of the 1500-1800’s. Obeah, Wanga, and the various paths of Voudou provide a window to our shared human history and the condition of a displaced people in a strange new land. No words can be strung together in modern times to fully appreciate the unique culture that rose from African diaspora during the European craze of the sugar and spice trades. Those paths, like an interwoven basket, made for an interesting melting pot of new spiritual practices that differed from those that had roots in Africa.

Obeah is the focus of the path that I have chosen to study currently while immersing myself in various African traditions. Obeah is sometimes associated with having it’s start in sultry and exotic venues such as Trinidad or Jamaica. Those who are adept at Obeah ritual will tell you that the source of this power and understanding over the physical and inner worlds belongs to no single source and is free to be used by anyone who feels that their mind is halting their growth along their chosen spiritual path. No tool or teachings should be hidden from anyone who is seeking to challenge themselves to move forward and seek growth from their journey.

In modern times, we have just began to realize what slaves we have become. Tortured by the need to feel relevant, we fervently push the limits of our bodies, minds, and spirits with stress, fast food and a media-centric culture that does more harm than good. Trapped in a cage of our own creation, we can rise above the conditioning of our society and open a door to a more healthful and intentional life style. The voices of slaves crying into the night as the realization of their predicament began to solidify and twist reality can indeed be tapped into and respectfully adopted into our spirits as a way to motivate ourselves in modern times. There’s no more need to offset this karmic imbalance by feeling bad for ourselves. Obeah can help tap into our higher selves and release us from the binds we have chosen and further push us towards a heightened state of consciousness akin to the Siddhas of Buddhism.

In Obeah, nothing is freely given without immediately bearing the responsibility of the intent behind each action whether they are physical actions or actions on the astral planes. The attraction of a ‘loaded weapon’ draws many to the path of Voudou, Obeah and Wanga however, without proper deliberate thought of the entire picture, these traditions and their energies can take the participant on a wild and dangerous ride through their own minds and right past any spiritual defenses that one thinks may protect them. The appeal of accountability is what initially drew me to the African traditions as a whole. I believe Obeah can assist me in contacting my higher self and finding out my life’s true ambitions instead of concentrating on apparent distractions from this work.

In conclusion, I’ve only scratched the surface of the true impact these practices can have upon the practitioner. It is my wish to further my studies and abilities within this chosen sect of Magick because I no longer wish to be a slave to my emotions, conditioning or the actions of others that have molded and shaped me into the individual I have become. Reaching higher and harder is much of my personality however I am often finding myself working against my own previous momentum in an attempt to right what I believe is lacking or in dangerous abundance within my mind’s private battle with it’s self. The realization that I have never been alone in this is comforting to me and also brings forth tears of what humanity is capable of in the most frantic and madcap of times. As terrifying as it is to meditate on these closed doors within my mind, and even more frightening still to open them, I do it with the knowledge that the brothers and sisters of my past faced far worse and accomplished far more. It’s refreshing to have the bar set so high by so many brave souls and that is the realization that comes to one who is a student of the African Obeah law.