Allyships: A Call for Submissions for the Summer 2018 Issue of Isis-Seshat Journal

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Really excited about this, folks! I’m going to be submitting a piece of my own!

amor et mortem

Seeking Submissions for the 2018 Summer Issue of Isis-Seshat Journal on the Theme of “Allyships: Spiritual Alliances with the Animal, Plant, and Mineral Kingdoms”

Deadline: Friday, July 6

Anticipated Release Date: Monday, July 23

Many of us who engage with the Sacred in Polytheistic, Pagan, or Animist ways maintain a “this-world” focus, believing that we can enlist the aid of helping spirits from the world around us in our Work. But what does that mean, exactly? How do you know when your pet cat, for example, takes on a role greater than that of household companion and aids you in your ritual magic?

cat-1841561_960_720 CC0 public domain image courtesy of Pixabay

What about the relationships you have with the plants that fuel your herb magic—how did you initially cultivate those relationships? What guideposts signaled to you that you were on the right path? How do you maintain those relationships with those…

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The Death of Ego

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The Death of Ego Meditation / Spellwork

by Kim Frank

 

Tools:

Hand mirror (cleansed and consecrated)
Incense (Gardenia, Jasmine, Rose, etc)
White candle
A picture or statue of the Goddess Kali (you may also use Durga if you feel more comfortable with working with Her)
A small offering for Mother Kali such as spicy food, black pepper, or something very bitter or strong tasting such as black coffee. Kali is also very fond of red hibiscus flowers if that’s something you’re able to obtain.

 

Light the white candle and the incense. Close your eyes and take a long, deep breath. Keep breathing steadily and wholly for as long as this exercise takes you. Even if you want to hold your breath, don’t. Breath through the challenges as they arise and trust in this Goddess. Let me set the scene for you so that you can be immersed in this world that we create together by word and thought. You are safe and nothing can harm you in this space unless you allow negativity to have complete control over you. Now, call upon the Goddess Kali in both Her terrible, weapon-wielding state and also the state of the Compassionate Mother.

 

Goddess Kali, please come to me! Show me what reflection truly lies within the mirror before me!

 

Raise the mirror up to your face and take a good look within that reflection. See all that you are and all that you can be as the future unfurls before you.

 

Kali poises delicately above you as She dances, a foot ready to stomp thunderously at all that you are within the blink of an eye. A completely destructive force begins to overtake you and you can barely catch your breath. Is it panic? Anxiety? No, it’s reality beginning to settle in around you. The remains of your ego are tattered and worn. You can clearly see that the ideas and ways of old no longer suite you.

 

Look deeply into the hand mirror. Study your face, the curve of your cheeks and the shape of your eyebrows. Look deeply into your own eyes. Let your mind’s eye take over and think about what you would like to change about yourself. You may envision all of your failures. They may be relationships that have gone sour, advice you didn’t listen to, and the many doubts that you have in yourself. You begin to stand back and realize the full force of what these thoughts have done to you and the damage they have inflicted in your life. You are feeding these demons by constantly doubting yourself and making the dame bad decisions over and over while expecting a different outcome. You have descended into a madness that only reality can set straight. You can trust that during this exercise, the Goddess Kali is watching and waiting for your next move. Will She help you on your new journey or will She hinder you?

 
While you’re in this state, the champion of mankind is patient and stays by your side. Her courageous nature beckons you to summon all of your bravery and keep going.  The only way out of this madness is by learning to take stock of your strengths and acknowledge the challenges of which your personality is comprised. The dark-skinned Goddess sticks Her tongue out and waggles it wildly about in order to pull you out of your trance and back into the moment. The fierce stare in Her blackened eyes is almost too much truth for you to bare. Kali tilts back Her head and laughs at the same moment you come to this realization, the sound echoes off the deep caverns of skull and brain matter that house your mind.

 
Kali says to you, “Child, do you know why I look so fierce?” You can only shake your head ‘No’ and await Her answer.

Kali nudges you and forces you to stare into Her limitless expression. There are No words, no thoughts, music or pictures that can convey to others what you witness in those two smoke-colored orbs. For just a moment, you see a beautiful woman clad in light. She is astride a hulking lion and Her aura burns bright and clear as if it was made of pure sunlight. She is Durga, the root of Kali! You are seeing all of Kali now! She is unlike anything you have ever perceived of Kali in the past. She is more than any history book or Vedic text has revealed to you. Look beyond the casing and seeing more of what She represents teaches you something about yourself in the process. You’re shaking with these new revelations as the Goddess winds down to your level and begins to speak. Kali leans in and whispers delicately in your ear.

 
“I am a reflection of you. All of My terrible attributes come from how terrible you treat yourself and others.  I am a reflection of the demons within that feast upon all of your potential and lies you tell yourself. The only thing to fear of Me is the truth and if you do not fear it, if you tirelessly seek it from Me, I will hand over all that is you and much more. If you can see that you are more than you’ve become, you will see more of My true nature. You will dream of things you never thought possible. You will do things you never thought you could do. I will kill and devour all you thought you were and help you birth yourself in the image of who you are, not what the world expects you to be. Define yourself for yourself and let go of the expectation of failure. That is the death of ego.”

 

And with a thought in your mind as powerful as the trident of Goddess Kali, you put aside your own self-hatred and see past your terrible form and focus on the whole person behind the reflection in the mirror.

 

Kali embraces you in a warm hug that hangs on your shoulders and permeates your being. It almost seems as if the embrace is just too short. The Goddess has much work to do and there are other adventures waiting for both of you now that these demons have been faced. The Goddess asks you to rise, face your demons and devour them! You feel compelled to swear oaths to yourself for yourself and stop worrying about the things and people you have no control over. The great lesson from the death of ego is that the only person you have impact and control over is yourself. Work with that, embrace it.

 

Kali Ma, I am rising up from the ashes of that fallen reflection!  I look into the mirror and see all of myself clearly and without the blemish of self-doubt.  I see my weaknesses as challenges to overcome and my strengths as tools to use to help myself and others rise up. Here is to the fight that ensues when battling these darkest foes, knowing You are there to guide me. Thank you, Kali Ma for the death of ego.

So mote it be!

What I Love about The Shaman’s Drums

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What I Love about The Shaman’s Drums

What I love about the Shaman’s Drums is the beat that carries from heart to hand
emotions stirred by smoke and trance,
feather and quill, laughter and tears culminating into a single truth
What I love about the Shaman’s Drum is reflected in the storm cloud on the prairie,
the sultry rumble of the solar season as it writhes Mother earth’s marshy thighs
The thrumming and strumming of the Shaman’s beat excites me,
summoning forth the wild rage within me!

What I love about the Shaman’s Drum, is the first reflection of memory,
like an icy mirror casting it’s gaze beyond the snowy mountains.
The sun peaks it’s head from it’s lofty throne and enshrouds us with light and clouds,
a velvet sunrise working it’s charm on my senses.
What I love about the Shaman’s Drum is the the way it resonates within me,
As if we’ve danced this dance before, caught in some vision left in a dream.
Dance in tune with his rhythmic being, cast a glance to sky and earth entwined
Let’s sing of victory! Of our losses! Of our ancestor’s tales!

Let’s love the Shaman’s Drum Together!
Let the beat carry between the walls formed by our imaginations,
Birth us into reality, bring us kicking and yelling into each other’s arms
In trance, in universal harmony with the heart beats of our brothers and sisters
What I love about the Shaman’s Drum is how it unites us when we’ve divided ourselves
One Tribe, Under Truth, One Rhythm of Voice

April Fool’s Day Poem

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April Fool’s

Humanity is a curious paradox. Free will used to enlighten versus free will used to harm.
A world of contradictions and duplicity.
I learned this for myself in the course of my path!
Are you a victim of your own self-delusion?
Have you looked into the mirror only to discover that you are reflecting on your failures?
Have you ever considered that you’re the mirror of what you think you are?
That the lies you’ve told yourself have become reality?
What will you do with that new found power?
Will you turn it around? Will you prove yourself to yourself?
Can you help others? Can you bring them to the same mountain that you’ve scaled?
Is the patience there to overcome the energy that’s released?
Or will you seek more darkness because hiding has become all too familiar?
Can you take these lessons and look at the victories that are also present in the whole image?
You were never meant to be defined by your failures…
You were meant to shine like the sun.
Your eyes are meant to reflect the awesome power of nature….
Twin orbs, one reflecting the inner and one the outer vision, the completeness of self and acceptance
Not only defeat and arrogance
We are the sole authority on who defines us, not other people
So stop blaming them, stop lying to yourself, you knew what you got into when you did it and ignoring the strength is just as bad as not having any at all.
Those are all aspects of nature whether we deify it or not.
That is the power of Truth, the power of being
That is the power of not being a victim to your own circumstances.
Accept the ills of your past, don’t forget them, don’t be complacent in that knowledge
Look also at what you were able to do,
Stop looking for something to come along and save you, people don’t work like that
But you can! You can make the world you want to create!
Stop looking for a way out, it isn’t there
There’s no heaven or hell, there’s only this life, and what comes next is not the same as this precious moment in time
This time, you know what you can do to make it right
The Savior comes from Within not from Without
From being the sum of parts as a whole, not broken and separated
Be something more in spite of your abuse, neglect, bad decisions, not because of it.
Be something more than a victim, be your own hero!

April Fool’s, the only joke you ever played was on yourself!

Stop!

Be Awake! Be a Pagan! Be a Witch! Be!

Find peace in that Truth!

April Fool’s on Self – Ignorance!

Self-Forgiveness, Truth & Sowilo

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“Lies are like a cataract over our Third Eye. When we lie to ourselves, it distorts the view we have of others. Only when we are honest with ourselves do we see beyond the veil.”

Today I saw a very strange rune in my vision as I was dancing around with my kids. Dancing lately has been a huge outlet for my emotions and is proving to be very beneficial. For a brief moment, in the midst of a trance, I saw the rune Sowilo very clearly! It flashed hotly in my mind’s eye for a moment and I realized I am ready for the next step in my transformation. I’m truly ready to forgive myself for all of the decisions I made regarding my own fate. Often, I saw things very clearly for what they were yet I ignored them because I didn’t like the path I was going down and I was scared to ask for the help I really needed. Sowilo, what does this mean to me?

File:Sowilo.png - Wikimedia Commons

I’ve spent the last year or so “reprogramming” my psyche. I’ve been doing all sorts of mental exercises to achieve this goal and make it a reality. Everything from meditation, shadow work, complete and brutal self-honesty, and working through my anxiety. It’s been a painful and terrifying experience yet I am glad that I was able to witness both the best and worst of myself during this period. All of those experiences, whether they had a “bad” or “good” outcome gave me invaluable personal insight.

There were times I was screaming hysterically, in a fit of tears in front of my entire Tribe to when I looked up during a ritual and realized the people in that ritual were truly engaged in the process. These are the ups and downs of reality. It isn’t personal to me or anyone else who begins to take these experiences and use them for their intended purpose. Human beings were never designed to sit around and be miserable about their circumstances. Human beings were meant to take these experiences as lessons and improve the next session with the wisdom acquired from these experiences. Evolution judges winners who get up and do something instead of whining about their circumstances.

If I had stayed on the road I was on, buried in self-loathing and lies, I would most certainly not be typing this article right now. I doubt I would even have overcome enough of my depression to get out of bed and shower. That’s how debilitating it was to be a prisoner of my own pain. Yet that’s the secret right there. Sowilo is the Norse rune of the sun. It represents enlightenment and victory. Shedding light in these times of darkness and motivating us to find a way out of the cave of the Underworld that we’ve imprisoned ourselves.

So, evolution stepped in and chose me to rise up from my current predicament and take action. If you’re an atheist, simply stop there. It was evolution. If you’re a Pagan like me, I see it as Gods because I worship nature and that’s where this insight originated. While I was sitting in the woods, usually by myself, the lies I had told myself over a life-time began to fade away. My own inner voice rose up and began telling me the truth about my childhood. As I sat under a very beautiful, very ancient flowering Apple tree, yelling out my frustrations and agony, I looked up to see a flock of birds over my head that had gathered, very uncharacteristic of their nature.

Moving through the interaction with nature, I asked for insight. To be fair, I was more than a little freaked out that this was occurring. I had always considered myself one who could only work magick with machines like my father.  Maybe there was more to it than that, I pondered. Suppose the Gods were listening to me. I asked for inspiration. I asked for the Gods to help give me lessons necessary for my eyesight to be correct and match up with reality. The ugly truth is, when we spend most of our lives lying to ourselves (and we all do in varying degrees) we forget what reality actually is aside from our own perceptions of life. You see, that’s where the battle of ego took hold and finally exposed it’s self as the demon ego.  I realized then there was a really good reason why I was attracted to Kali in the first place as a teenager.

In spite of the overwhelming fear, I jumped into the battle head first. I spent long hours writing, crying, thinking and remembering my childhood. After a while, I began to realize the strength that had accumulated over the years as well as the weaknesses. When I had identified these strengths, I used that Magick on myself to accept the weaknesses and work through them. This is the Magick that a Pagan can really have and use to institute real changes in their lives.

I looked at my failures, honestly, and I forgave myself for making those painful decisions. I also looked at my victories and that invigorated my sense of purpose. What’s my purpose? That’s where SOWILO comes in! Sowilo helps a person realize their full potential. By accepting both of these aspects of myself, I attained balance. Balance helped me look at myself both emotionally and objectively so that I could think clearly and listen to both of the needs of my heart and mind. I realized that these two forces had been at odds for a long time. In that time, my will was strong in whatever direction yet I wasn’t accepting of myself so thus, I could not accept my true potential.

I’ve learned to accept myself as the person I am. I forgive those in the past and thank them for teaching me the necessary lessons that have helped with my transformation. There is no shame in any of our unions. I forgive myself for making those decisions, because I understand why I was lying in the first place. Any reality was better than the one I was living in after my dad died. I sold myself short and made some pretty shitty decisions regarding my well being. Those people who hurt me? It wasn’t personal. They would have done the same thing to anyone else who treated them the way I treated them and vice versa. I could see it from their point of view when I acknowledged the ability within myself to do exactly as they had done to me.

Is that enlightenment? Did Jesus and Buddha run into the woods and discover this reality for themselves? Were they at first dishonest about this insight only to become aware of the fact that lies hide us from the reality that frees us? What if reality wasn’t the enemy, I asked myself a year ago. What if reality, what if Truth, was the God I was trying to petition before I got knocked off course by the same thing I was looking for…Gods. Gods, God, science, psychology, whatever anyone wants to call it as long as whatever it is called is held sacred to the person who represents that idea.

This experience has been sacred to me and full of lessons learned that have been a delight and horror for me to live through. That’s truth, non-sugar coated. The most important thing you can do is forgive yourself, accept reality, and work to get the hell away from whatever made you unhappy in the first place. You can’t ignore it with lies to yourself, you  are the only one who can make your truth. Never allow anyone to take that from you, because as I’ve learned, that’s what makes a Pagan a Pagan!!!

 

 

 

The Raven and the Wolf

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The Raven and the Wolf were as different as can be,
the Raven cawed and talked, as if there was no one but he
the Wolf rolled his eyes and crawled into his den,
and would wash away the moments telling stories to his ken,
Raven saw this Wolf one day and flew right over!
Wolf was unimpressed, another storyteller,

And one day I’ll finish this, lol.