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.

Research for “The Book”

The Thirteen Classes of the Turning Wheel

There is a caste system based on Karma in the pages of this book. All spiritual structures begin to line up within the story of these souls. From each place in the caste structure, we live a different life fraught with the lessons of the past and the connection with the future. All of our destinies are entwined, dependent and sought after by the other. Even the greatest enemy is bound to our life chain as strongly as our mate of the soul. We need each other.

As those caught in the whirling tides of Atlantis’ vision, we seek to restore the knowledge of before. We embolden even our fiercest enemies to join us in the hunt to reclaim our magickal birthright. No human can remember their place among the stars except for those who have been born elsewhere and return. These children come into this world in disastrous ways to maintain the connection to the Otherworld. Often they die in the process to maintain their spiritual integrity. Let us honor them now with the memories of this life and of the lives that touched it. Let us also remember that human history is not building it’s progress forward but desperately trying to recreate the lost cities and planes of old. It is how Kali created us, to be each other’s infinity.

dharmachakra

  1. Watcher – Records, watches events, offers guidance. Usually sits on a council and judges others when the universe is out of balance. Works closely with deities who are in charge with maintaining order. They often have the terrible job off passing on news of death, destruction and sadness to others. In truth, they hate their existence but understand the need for consistency in the universe. It all comes down to timing for a Watcher. They are usually obsessed with selling false ideas of time to others so that Time and Lord Shiva will be their sole domain. Sometimes a Watcher gets too carried away with their concept of the universe and own self worth and Goddess Kali sets them straight. Straight into oblivion.
  2. Warrior – Fights battles for establish sides like good or evil. Never passes to one side easily. Can be swayed by acts of deception, personal challenges and displays of dominance from a superior warrior. Can be any size, shape or design. They follow politicians, nobles, Justice Bringers, Destroyers and sometimes even Oracles. They do not like to blindly accept the orders of an Oracle due to the extreme emotional energy and lack of control over logic and reason. The Oracles can be physically dominated into submission but if they are pushed hard enough, a Seer can physically overpower any foe. This earns the loyalty of the warrior clan.
  3. Healer – Heals and mentors other in medicine, alchemy and magick. Always a teacher and usually the one on the wrong side of a sharp stick. While they can be rather tedious to understand, they usually speak for the good of the clans. Healers tend to stick with other healers as only they can truly understand their plight as “weak yet strong.” Some Healers and Oracles make good friends due to the connection of the third eyes to the forces of the universe but often the Oracle is too spacy and airheaded for the Healer to put up with for very long.
  4. Thief – Steals what they can through trickery and visual deceit. Very theatrical and entertaining even when you are being spiritually pick-pocketed out of your most passionate talent. Can take on any appearance they desire. Usually offer apprenticeships to anyone who is willing to take the fall for the trainer. They tend to build up a lot of negative karma, but instead of taking the brunt of that karma for the lesson, they pass it on to their student. Learns by being deceived and repeating this action to others. Without this constant buildup of negative karma and release to those who are unwittingly putting themselves in the face of danger, the universe would instantly halt and Chaos would reign. Thieves are a necessary force regardless of what the Justice Bringers tell you.
  5. Mercenary – Like demons, angels and so many more, these are dangerous. They never truly choose an alignment and can be terribly unpredictable. All of the mercenaries are annoyingly clever and use reason and logic like the sharpest blade imagined. Drawn, oddly enough to the Justice Bringer. They mourn the falling of these souls harder than anyone and feel that it justifies their actions. They can be heroes at the darkest of times and villains in times of merriment and rest. While they can form close friendships with others, they tend to hang on for themselves and their own best interests. It’s nothing personal. A Mercenary can choose to be many things, including a hero, a villain or they can evolve to become the Justice Bringer.
  6. Noble – Usually soulless. There’s a lot of soulless out there. People who are more like cannon fodder than flesh and bone. The obscenities that leak from their bodies are as offensive as the stench of old decomposition in humid lands. These people tend to be the ones to outline what is good and what is evil when neither one can truly be “right.” They usually ally with the thief, the politician and the deceiver. They are the bane of existence to all justice-bringers and watchers as they play within the rules yet escape truth through their own divine methods.
  7. Villain – Always evil and doing evil deeds. Yawn. They’re kind of boring when they are the only one in the story. Pretty predictable and often monologues their plans during song and dance. If you listen closely enough, you get all the answers you need to overthrow them within five minutes. The universe and all in it truly despise them and the heros because of their over-written and under explained attempts at destroying one another. Just take their word for it, they’re a villain!
  8. Hero – Another really predictable and annoying sort of class of people. These folks often end up dead or with a terribly boring progression to their story. They seek to marry, have a load of children and die quietly in their old age. Because the universe hates things to be boring, they are often killed off in more inspiring manners to help the rest of the universe carry on without falling asleep.  They are truly the sort of folk you read about in faerie tales. Always the good guy and never deceptive. Just take their word for it, they’re a hero!
  9. Politician – A constant stream of rules, double-talk and illegal use of Oracles are the pulse of this breed. Their acts against Seers is unspeakable as they aim to twist the words of the Gods and the will of individuals for their own selfish needs. Politicians tend to travel in large, fat herds where they can attempt to cling to their fractured view of security by intimidating predators with their numbers.
  10. Justice Bringer – Probably the most annoying class in the entire universal structure. These folks bring justice at any cost – even the cost of their own life – even if you fall in love with their characters and see all the good that their existence will bring – NOPE, THESE GUYS BRING JUSTICE! Ahh, sweet justice. Shall we talk about that here? No? Let’s move on then. Justice Bringer recognizes the Deceiver as soon as he opens his mouth to lie. He will not destroy the Deceiver but he will keep an open eye and ear to all that he says.  There is sometimes a grain of truth to those terrible lies and the Justice Bringer seeks truth out even if it means he must wade in lies.
  11. Deceiver – The Deceiver is more than just a really skilled bookkeeper. He’s the one in charge of the budget, the hiring and firing and also those annoying lunches scheduled with the part of the universe that believes squirrels are intelligent life. Often really pessimistic, kind of like that annoying jackass the Justice Bringer, he’s just telling you the truth – or his version of it.  At all costs, the Deceiver maintains his life even if it means that the universe will become unbalanced. His control over his own will is unparalleled to almost anyone except the Justice Bringer.  Immediately upon seeing each other, both will recognize the other for who they are and engage in endless debate. Such is the way of things.
  12. Destroyer – One of the most misunderstood of all of the classes. They do not just take by destroying all known things in existence. They destroy by giving life to those who will alter courses and give key points of information. They favor the Seer because of their grasp on reality and firm hold on their emotions. Destroyers do not show emotion because they view if as a weakness Unlike everyone else, they tend to have emotions that rival even the Oracle at times. They don’t believe that they do and there’s no telling them otherwise. They will forever seek the assistance of the last class to keep their stories twisted in a rather loose knot.
  13. Oracle – The most rare class of folk that the universe boasts. They were once great in number until the fall of their world, Atlantis. Growing to prideful and upsetting the working of the established universe tore apart the “universe within a universe” that was the many-portaled plane of Atlantis. The destruction of Atlantis left a rift in the universe that is so large, it can be felt by all creation – even a foetus in the womb. They are passionate about life in all of it’s forms. Oracles tend to make friends with awesome and horrendous creatures such as The Gods of Old, faeries and those in the court of Seelly.

It is known that the small amount of Oracles that are left are usually enslaved by Politicians, Deceivers, Nobles and sometimes even corrupted Watchers. They live a wretched existence, paying the cosmic toll left to them by their foremothers and forefathers. It is unknown how many Oracles still retain the knowledge of Atlantis. It was decided long ago, during a Watcher council set up to restore balance, that the survivors of the Lost Kingdom never regain their memories.

Some of those Atlantean Priests and Priestesses foresaw this judgment and cast a circle about themselves to escape the fate. At least the two of them succeeded in this and were still joined in handfasting. Had the memory of Atlantis faded from them, their union would have been null and void and they would not have the promise of being reincarnated with each other. The karmic fallout from this action of going against the will of the universe caused a rip in the substance of one of the Oracle’s stars.

The lovers were destined to meet each other but eventually the energy from the damaged star would drain, killing the owner and ending the life prematurely. The mate of the damaged Oracle star did not accept this and caused another terrific event to further push the wheel of the universe off kilter. She sought to repair the rift within the star with the core of a Phoenix, but it was too late – the star had died. Overcome with grief, she caused a bubble in the universe much like a miniature version of Atlantis and lives there with the memory of her former lover. Cursed and yet content in her madness.

She creates worlds of fantasy for them to escape in and live out the lives that they were cheated of by the decisions of others. Her laughter is in the shrill of death overtaking the innocent and her sobs can be heard moments after the lightning strikes. Her lover ever reminds her of their mortality as they deplete the energy left by her master’s once healthy star. Going against death itself, they create a new life from a memory and the energy of a single, defiant star. A baby grows in defiance of the entire cosmic flow.

 

Sacred Land

Does anyone remember this commercial?

I’ve seen this clip a dozen or so times in syndication. It’s dated, a bit stereotypical but for the time period it expressed a view that was just becoming a reality for mankind. A period of life when people were beginning to open up their eyes to the destruction they had caused Mother Earth. It was just two years later, in 1973 that people were rocked by an oil crisis that made them consider their actions just a little harder over their eggs and bacon. Was it really worth driving that giant, fancy car around if it meant that we would be causing our own annihilation in the process?

It caused rifts in families that were still married to the idea that the earth was created just for the benefit of mankind and those of the younger generation that were first hearing the spiritual call of a world that was bigger than just small-town notions.  The point of that commercial is that the land that we humans build upon is sacred and we are ignorantly destroying that fragile place. Pagans should not become ignorant, complacent or contented. We should always hungry, strive and seek to conquer for ourselves the land where truth is alive. Otherwise, we are the ones that are conquered in our inability to enact our will.

Let’s just get this one fact established. All land is sacred. Human beings are the only creatures that terraform the land and take away it’s inherent beauty. We create things around us as the image in our mind dictates must be our reality. We do it with our hands when we create buildings, structures, farms, parks. We literally tear life from the land around us in order to create ‘beauty’ without much thought or regard to the larger consequences of our actions.  We also do it with our minds. As Pagans, we do it with our WILL.

Upon first setting foot on my Pagan homeland of Deeply Rooted, I knew it was a place like no other. When I lived there, I used to joke that it hurt to re-enter the ‘muggle world’ after passing the driveway. It gave me strength when I had none, health when I was challenging death during lifetime illnesses and it provided me with the setting in which I found my true family. Deeply Rooted is all that to me. It’s different to every individual who steps foot there and that’s exactly why I’m writing this piece, to get people to see the ‘bigger’ picture and how our actions directly impact the place we consider cherished homeland.

Trying to raise a banner to protect that sacred land is challenging for someone like myself. I’m not really a warrior. I’m neither physically imposing or quick-witted with calculations. I’ve had a life that I’ve lived where I’ve done many things that I’m not proud of and I still make some of the same mistakes from past lessons. I’m just a person who sees the land as more than just a place I inhabit for a weekend or so. I also know that I am a Pagan. My thoughts, actions and intent are all a part of my will. Will is a very powerful tool. It can bend and shape the world around you. The more you believe in the power of your own will, the stronger it becomes and the more damage it can potentially do.

Unlike the Native American in the commercial, I’m going to do more than just shed a tear for my land. I’m going to communicate my will and act on it. I’ll do it by building shrines, attending every work-weekend I can possibly attend and push my body and mind past the original programming. That’s because I see the need to terraform Deeply Rooted but by doing it conscious of the larger impact that it will have. Unlike the ignorance of generations before me, I will tread carefully on that sacred land to ensure that it yields the best possible harvest.

Huh? What? Well, as modern humans we have this drive or craving to understand life in a basic manner. What we reap from this sacred land will be more than just a garden patch of vegetables. It’s a place to foster our younglings on their path to understanding themselves and potentially becoming a new generation of Pagans. Deeply Rooted provides nutrients in it’s ‘soil’ that can transform an individual 180 degrees and leave them open to pursue their wildest imaginings.  I’ve personally seen people change in ways I could never imagine and I have a big imagination. Our sacred land can do all that and a lot more. But I want you to think that a harvest is only as good as the work we put into it and the fertilizer that we use.

Are we out to pollute the water table with negativity and bitterness or can we sustain our crop with intellectual debates and challenging mental concepts?  How about something simple like laughter? Laughter doesn’t build out-buildings, trails or shrines or does it? Getting along seems to be the most productive way to herd the cats so to speak.

Oh yes, that fertilizer is our day-to-day interactions with each other because we are all crops of the land that we hold dear. Keep the fertilizer simple. If you’re sad, fine. It can’t always be avoided but don’t complicate the ingredients with unkind acts or thoughts. If you truly believe that you’re Pagan, then you will take stock that your WILL feeds the crops around you.

And weeds? Yes, they happen but they aren’t always a ‘bad’ thing. They can choke the life out of the plants around them. But as Pagans, we don’t see weeds as just weeds. Just because they don’t produce a beautiful, sweet smelling flower or a tasty meal doesn’t mean they don’t have value. Those weeds can be medicinal. They can be transplanted, nurtured and shaped into something that will benefit everyone. Sometimes those weeds aren’t innocuous  and need to be identified properly to manage them best. That’s also where our mighty will comes into play. We can use that ability to change our world to make the land the best yielding, most surreal and treasured place we can see in our mind’s eye.

We really are stewards of our land and each other because we call ourselves Tribe. Let’s act like that and be mindful of what we’re putting in the soil. If we poison the land, we poison ourselves. It causes no good to come from those actions and is a waste of our small time on this planet.  Deeply Rooted can be our legacy if we so will it to be and we can all make our marks on the land in a positive way. This comes from every single action we engage in as a way of bettering ourselves as Pagans and as a collective. If we were one small tree in a grove, we’d get trampled by a spring storm or eaten as a young shoot by a deer. If we’re a fully-functioning and producing place, we stand less of a chance of being consumed if we stand together.

While a lot of people might think that this is a sappy commercial about emergent environmentally conscious from the 70’s. It has a lot more meaning to my life than that. It gets me thinking, “Is it worth it to be right no matter what even if it means not only annihilating myself but also the land around me?” Heck no. I want every action to be of stewardship and protection because that is my will.   I am a Pagan and therefore I believe in the power of my will and know how those actions and intent will impact the harvest. Deeply Rooted is more than just the idea of a homeland for me. It’s a place that is alive, reacting to the day-to-day interactions of the people I misunderstand and cherish. It’s where my crop is growing and where I am both the harvest and harvester.

If I fight for a land that is being burned and salted behind me and I have no consciousness of that fact, then what am I fighting for in the first place? Just an idea? Ideas have to have tangible roots in reality or they remain ideas and are nothing more. That’s why will and action go hand and hand with each other.

I’m not the original author of “Pagan Homeland.” This piece is just building on that idea in so much as the references to Pagan land. That article, which is worth a read if you haven’t read it, can be found here: Wade Mueller speaks on the need for Pagan homelands

It’s written by my friend Wade who sees an even bigger picture than I can imagine and has a will even stronger than mine. Take a look.

Pan, Yemaya, Durga and the Dharmic Chakra

Let me first honor the deities that brought me my wildest dreams last night. I want to say that I am truly thankful for the blessing of being able to channel these visions and dreams as they are in my mind’s eye. Double-blessed because I am able to write about it here. Just the highlights because there isn’t a lot of time to devote to this but I’d like to reflect later. Thank you Goddess Yemaya, Goddess Durga and Lord Pan for visiting me. Thank you ancestors for also being a part of the vision.

  • Yemaya came in the form of a blonde woman, blue eyes and ebony skin. Surrounding Her were lions and spectral sharks. She held a rattle that was also a mirror. She was very happy and content to be with me. She spoke to me about root magick and some of the changes coming for myself and those I love. I will put that somewhere private as I can not share all of it publicly.
  • Yemaya spoke of ancestors past, future and present. She told me who was reincarnated as what and what I could expect to learn from them in a different form. Most notably were my dad, grandfather, grandmother and a spirit I knew as a child who was my father’s exwife’s mother-in-law.
  • Durga came in the form of a curly haired, dark skinned, dark eyed woman. Let me know that it was time for me to build a relationship with ALL sides of Her. Keep my eyes on Kali but my heart in Durga.
  • Durga told me that one day I would visit the land with a flower as a flag by plane. I think She spoke of India. I felt the warm rush of wind as I came to the realization that India’s flag has a wheel on it. Durga asked me to concentrate on the wheel because there was a lesson there to be known.
  • The wheel is the Dharmic Chakra. I believe Durga centered my attention on this for a very special reason. She pointed to both of my new necklaces. One is a Raven, one is a flower. The Dharmic Chakra looks just like the flower necklace I’ve been wearing. The same amount of spokes on the wheel and everything. My new path is now meditating on the Dharmic Chakra and taking in the mysteries of each step. I plan on writing a small story how each path so far has lead me on my journey to my true self.
  • Pan also visited very briefly. I have been attempting to make some contact with Him because of my issues with my own sexuality and my past. It was surreal. Very brief. It felt like bird’s wings on my nose. Hard to describe the sensation. I will not be beaten by memories!

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Avidyā (ignorance)
Sanskāra (conditioning of mind unknowingly)
Vijñāna (consciousness)
Nāmarūpa (name and form – constituent elements of mental and physical existence)
Ṣaḍāyatana (six senses – eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind)
Sparśa (contact knowing others, the land, the physical)
Vedanā (sensation that there is something amiss)
Tṛṣṇā (thirst for something more than the obvious)
Upādāna (grasping reality)
Bhava (coming to be the true self)
Jāti (being born in a spiritual sense)
Jarāmaraṇa (old age and death of the physical form)

rinse and repeat 😉

A Tribute to the ‘Isla de las Munecas’

A Tribute to the ‘Isla de las Munecas’

better known as the Island of the Dolls

What do you get when you combine an urban legend with a truly macabre collection of dolls? Probably one of the most interesting sights and stories to behold!

Hail and tribute to the late Don Julian Santana Barrera! Don’t know who he is? Let me expand upon this intense retelling of an urban legend. As the Legend goes, Julian came across a poor drowned girl on the Island he lived alone on in Mexico. She had been drowned under unexplained circumstances and hermit Julian had been unable to save her. As a way to pay tribute to the young child, Julian took the doll he found beside the tiny victim, which probably belonged to her and hung it on a nearby tree as a sign of respect. The caretaker of the Island was forever rocked by the situation and devoted his life to collecting and hanging the creepiest little dolls around the property. Close friends and family reported that Julian seemed to be possessed by some insatiable drive to perpetuate the memory of the little girl. 50 years later, Julian was found dead in the canals where he had first encountered the poor child.

Many questions remain unanswered in the case of the Island of the Dolls. While visitors allegedly report seeing the dolls on the island turn their heads, blink or even whispering among themselves, the truth remains that the island is a mysterious and unintentional tourist locale. Did Julian actually drown the girl? My intuition says probably not. Did he create the story as a way to cope with his apparent loneliness? No, that still seems wrong as Julian had chosen to be a hermit and that is not a decision that is made lightly. I think Julian had come across a very tragic scene and perhaps the spirit of the girl had spoken to him in such a way that it made him want to keep her memory alive. It was the ancient Egyptians that believed that if you kept the memories and name remembered of a passed on individual that the act made them immortal in a sort of way.

Julian successfully did just that in his seemingly disturbing quest to memorialize a girl whose name may not be remembered. As many of you know me to be, I am a ‘spirit vessel’ caretaker. All of my dolls and other vessels (they come in all shapes, sizes, ages and colours) are my ‘spirit babies.’ As a woman who walks between the worlds of the living in the head (see two-headed woman in the conjure culture) I feel like it is my job to respectfully honor these souls who have chosen to stay behind. I can personally identify with Julian even if we both seem a bit queer in doing our work.

It is really no different than those who attend to the graves of loved ones. Graves, although separated from the home (in most cases, anyway) act as a symbolic conduit to our dead loved ones. We pay tribute by placing flowers, stones, letters and other mementos on these graves as a way to remember and possibly communicate with those on the other side. Modern society has done it’s best to clean up death and dying and separate it as a way of ignoring a part of our culture that is admittedly hard to deal. I believe that visitors are drawn to the Island of the Dolls not only because it’s an interesting source of conversation or a disturbing sight, but also because there is the innate human need to understand the process of death. Macabre fascination is not only normal but very healthy. It’s just not a topic that most of us feel comfortable explaining because it forces us to look at our own fragile mortality. So HAIL, Julian! Your work is respected and appreciated. Hail, little unknown girl, may your spirit find peace in the afterlife!