Be careful what you ask about…

 Every month I spend a couple hours giving readings at a local pagan shop.  This is something that is very enjoyable for me.  Not only do I feel I help others, I feel like with each reading I also learn something new about myself.

I am always amazed at some of the people that come in for readings.  Of course I get many of the general questions from clients; relationship stuff, finding mister/miss right, when they are going to come into money, stuff like that.  But there are also many times I get someone that has something going on in their life and are trying to hear a different answer than what they are getting.

One mundane example was when a woman came to me who was trying to decide whether or not to leave her husband.  The husband had been sleeping with the woman’s best friend for several years, and he and the best friend had been open about it.  This continued to occur even though the marriage was supposed to be monogamous.  The cards told me this woman was being stepped on and put through hell, and I told her so.  But even though she confirmed what the cards said and shared stories of things she had gone through with me, by the end of the reading she was of the mindset that she just didn’t have enough information to make the decision, and thus was going to consult with other readers.

Basically, she didn’t like what she was hearing.

This happens a lot.  One tarot deck I have has a very ‘no holds barred’ style to it.  I had a client ask specifically for that deck to be used in her reading.  By the end of the session she was so mad that she could barely speak.  I don’t know if it was at me or at the friend sitting next to her saying “I told you so!” throughout the reading.  Yet again, the client was getting the answers she needed to hear and act on, but since they were not the ones she wanted, she got mad instead of listening.

There could be many reasons for this.  Many times a reading will pull out details that make people uncomfortable, or the answers to the questions that are asked will push the querent into a situation that is outside of their comfort zone.  But what the querent has to realize is that the answers and information is there for a reason.  The Gods are asking you to grow, or else you wouldn’t be in the situation in the first place.  It is our nature on this planet to deal with these scenarios over and over again in order to transcend the problem.  We must grow and push ourselves through these issues, for if we do not, we become stagnant and wither.

I know acting on things isn’t easy.  And at least for me, sometimes I have to be put in the situation several times before I fully grasp what it is I have to learn.  That is ok.  We wouldn’t be human if we got things right 100% of the time. And it’s OK to be upset about answers that aren’t what you want them to be.  Just don’t get mad at the messenger.

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And about Loki

 I thought my last post about the gifts would be enough of me opening myself up for the day.  Apparently not.  I guess it’s time for me to look into another area that scares the hell out of me, and that is starting to publicize the new (yet old) relationship I have with Loki.

Loki is a God that has scared the hell out of me for many years. Seriously.  I even refused to say his name out loud or even think his name in my head.  I was always afraid of invoking him by accident (oh, I heard my name called, I think I’m going to screw with you today!).

Don’t laugh, that’s what I really thought.

In my mind, a God like him didn’t make sense.  Why in the heck would anyone want to pray to a trickster God whose sole purpose is to screw with you? It felt like the energy he brought was something that was dark, and only something that should be handled in very low doses like it was radioactive.  Yeah, I fully understood back then that balance is key, and in my mind Loki was a necessary evil, but to fully revel in it as someone worshipping under Loki felt like it was very unbalanced.

Looking back, I realize now that there seemed to always be this ‘dance’ between him and I.  For crying out loud, he was considered a patron god of a coven that I was with for several years and learned a significant amount in.  I worked a great deal with laughter in gathering energy and in circle, and yet I just never saw the connection.  Or I ignored it.

Flash forward to the night I was kept up by him whispering things in my head.  With the mindset I had of fearing him, you can bet I was freaked out when that started to happen.  What would happen to my life? What would happen to the semblance of practice I had going for me at the time?  How badly was he going to uproot my existence?  I went into full panic mode.  Here was a God making himself known to me stronger than any Diety had ever done before, and it was the Trickster, known for pulling the rug out from under people in unexpected ways.

All of this course happened immediately after Marvel makes a new image of him by a hot actor.  It seemed like overnight, the term “Lokian” became mainstream pagan.  I understand there are people who  worship that aspect of  him.  But for me, I didn’t want to be associated with it.  In fact I’d rather be as far from it as possible, a fact that Loki as I know him finds largely amusing.  I just cannot wrap my brain around wanting to include a comic book aspect in my serious, religious practice, especially one that feels so biased.  To me it just screams fluffy-bunny, new age/wannabe rebel.  Even watching those movies now bothers the heck out of me (and is again something that amuses him to no end).

So after several drama filled days of deep thought, discussion with my husband and with some trusted friends, I have accepted working with Loki.  And immediately after my life did change, but for the better.

Now that I have gotten my history out of the way, I want to speak to what I feel he has done.  Loki is someone that makes you stare deep within yourself.  He puts a mirror up to your soul and forces you to see the things that which you do not want to see.  It doesn’t matter what aspect you are holding baggage in, he will force you to deal with it.  He already has taken me to task about many parts of my life that I held negativity in.  And if you are ready to let things go, the transformation is like a baptism of fire.

Loki  is serious and stern taskmaster.  He however does expect you to stand up to him when you feel things are going too far.  It all goes to the task of making you stronger and more willing to take care of yourself. In turn, his devotion to you can be just as strong.  He just is not the type to show it, or if he does, it is not in a way that is expected.

I have to admit my journey with him has just started, but I don’t want things any other way.  He has helped me to become comfortable in my own skin I think for the first time in my life.

The acceptance of the oath I have made is not permanent.  This whole thing is a trial, a stipulation I asked for when he first made himself known to me.  I cannot tell you that it will always work out so beautifully, but I can tell you that my whole opinion toward him has changed.  Now I will always be grateful that he has called me to dance with him through the fire, no matter how long this lasts.

 

Hearing the Voices, Seeing the Spirit, Feeling the Heart

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Never open your gifts in a spooky prison.

One of my old teachers calls metaphysical gifts blessings and curses.  I tend to agree, especially when it comes to hearing, seeing and feeling things that others cannot.

I’ve known that I’ve had these gifts since I was a child.  I would always have experiences that others didn’t.  However it wasn’t until my college years that I actually understood what was happening, why, and how to control them.

I seem to have three distinct gifts when it comes to seeing, hearing and feeling things.  The first is mediumship.  It’s not one I am particularly fond of, and thus is one I try to use rarely.  Most of the time I effectivity shield myself from things, but there are those times where it comes through the shields whether or not I want it to.  Those times are usually when someone around me has passed on in some way.

Depending on the case and the circumstances, I can also at times see the spirits of the dead.  For example, one time an associate that I worked with had a heart attack in our office.  The first responders started working on him until the paramedics arrived, and then they continued.  Fifteen minutes into the paramedics work I could have told them that it wasn’t going to help because I watched the associate ‘stand up’, look at me, wave, and walk away.  He indeed passed away that day.  That was a very trying time for me.  I mean, what could I have done – looked at the medics and tell them “ah, you can stop now, he just started crossing over…”?

One thing to never do if you have this gift NEVER drop shields in an area that is considered haunted unless you want lots of input from the area around you.  I was stupid enough to do so in a haunted prison during a nightly ghost hunt.  The resulting headache lasted for days.

The second gift is hearing the Gods and spirits of this earth.  I am told that there is a term for this in some traditions called a “Godphone”.  From the research I’ve done on the web about the origins and use of this term, it seems pretty controversial.  The origins, as I see it, was from looking at an older phone/landline and discussing how some people have a gift of that type of line to divinity.  The thing is, sometimes you get busy signals, sometimes calls don’t go through, or you have bad reception.  The whole analogy does fit, although I don’t know if I really like the term.

It works for me sort of like this – when it comes to hearing from spirits, Gods, Goddesses and the like, it’s really all up to them.  I don’t get much of a say.  Sometimes they are in my head until I do or say whatever it is that they need, sometimes I can put my foot down and tell them not right now, and if they so choose to heed me, I am allowed a break.  However lately, I’ve been welcoming this more in my life.  It helps to have guidance, especially on these new endeavors that I have been attempting.

Finally, I put the gift of empathy in under hearing, but this is also a gift of feeling.  And again, this is a gift that I have known I have had for a very long time.  I also recognize that there is an ancestral tone to this gift.  My niece and sister also have the gift.  My sister chooses not to handle it in a metaphysical way, however my niece, her daughter, is having all sorts of fits with it, and I try to help her when I can.

The big negative with empathy is that you can easily mirror the malady that you are feeling.  If someone is angry, you feel afraid.  If someone is hurt, you feel the hurt.  If someone is having an anxiety attack, then guess what you could have.  You have to have a strong sense of self in order to properly work with this gift.

All of these gifts are significant, and I am happy to have them, but learning to work with them has been a significant amount of trial and error, doubt, fear and strife.  There is also a lot of doubt that goes into these.  That’s where validation from others and teaching can help.  I was lucky to find metaphysical teachers in my college years that had the same gifts as I did, and thus I received training from them in how to use these.  But even with that training I found that my doubt clouded my judgement, which meant I didn’t use these gifts to my (and the Gods) full advantage. I think that’s one thing this post is about actually.  Twenty five years a pagan and this is the first time I’ve ever come out publically and said “Hey, this is everything I got.” I think it’s part of the shaking of the bones that I talked about in my last post.  This is who I am.  It’s time I embrace it, put it out there, and fully accept everything about it.

November and the Shaking of the Bones

IMG_0667I take a break from my day job by taking a daily walk around the area near my work.  Normally, the stroll involves a dead end street that has very few businesses and lots of trees.

As fall hits the Midwest,  I have been struck by how much the trees have changed after the falling of the leaves.  The trunks of some of these trees seem like they have become whiter as the days grow colder.  That whitening very much reminds me of the process of bones being whitened by their exposure.

The analogy fits for the time of the year.  The celebration of death and the harvest has come and gone.  Now we are catching our breath and be still before the rush of holiday mundanity hits us between Thanksgiving and New Year’s day.

The vision of those whitening trees awoke in me another realization.  It takes stillness to start the transformation into something new.  Stillness allows you to look within yourself and listen for the voice that gives you direction to move forward in a new way.  We must make time for that stillness in order to understand what our next steps in this life are in preparation for the new beginnings of Yule.

This is so very true for me in this moment.  I recognize the need to be still and let my own bones picked clean of things that I no longer need in my life.  I need to recognize the fact that I am enough.  I don’t need the baggage I have carried around for years in order to move forward spiritually anymore.  I am OK to be who it is I am; no gimmicks, no self-imposed guilt, no Ego.  Just me, myself and I standing in the dark, ready to accept what is in store.

It’s harder than it sounds; I felt like I have pushed myself to have control for a significant portion of my life.  Now in many aspects of my life I am no longer in control, and I have had to learn to be OK with it.  Further, the only way to really be true to what it is I am and what I am to do is to recognize that I don’t need to be in control of what is happening.  I just need to learn to trust myself and my strengths in order to get through this time within my life.

When I started this new path, I was told that things would be uncomfortable; but that I would never be lead into things I could not handle.  I deeply trust in that.  I am being asked to be still and look into that which I am frightened of during this dark time of the year.  I will do my best to do just that.

 

 

 

Learning what it is I am, and what I am not

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The beginning of a new part of the Journey

I have had a very on again/off again relationship to divinity.  As a Wiccan I held the belief that all named Gods and Goddesses were facets of one source of divinity.  Those names were created throughout the ages to allow humans to interact with them as they needed.  In more modern times, an aspect of divinity was called upon to intercede when necessary regarding specific problems and needs.  And while in Wicca the thought of a Patron God and Goddess did come up, it felt right for me to only call them by generic names.

Later on in my pagan journey I changed my theory some.  My rationale was simple; why focus on one facet of a crystal when you hold the entire crystal in your hand?  Thus, I started to change aspects of my energy work and spirituality to focus on the entire source of divinity.  And while I recognized that as a human I could not comprehend the vastness, complete power nor the understanding that the source of divinity entails, I did my best to be a vehicle for that source on this planet.

Some think that working with such a high level of energy all of the time that it would eventually burn you out.  And while I understand the theory I never had the problem.  I am of the opinion that if this source is all knowing and all powerful, it already understands how much you can handle and thus will not go beyond sending that amount of energy to you.  In fact, I didn’t have any problems with this until more recently, when found I had somehow caught the attention of a certain Norse Trickster God.

Loki made his presence known by not letting me sleep for several nights.  He was constantly in my head, not allowing me to do much of anything else but to think of him.  Therefore, after some soul searching, conversation with my husband and with a trusted friend who followed Norse tradition more closely, I starting really listening.  Finally, I realized how he and his aspect fits into my life, and how he was the ‘yang’ to the ‘yin’ source energy I had been working with for so long.  .He is the missing piece to my balance.

Once I started working with Loki more deeply, I realized there were other things that I was missing.  I am more in tune with the seasons and the spirits of the land than I ever have been.   Many of my gifts have reopened to me, and find myself doing more spell work again and reframing other beliefs that I thought were settled.  In many ways these things are new to me, but in other ways I finally feel myself coming home.  This is exciting, but scares the hell out of me all at once.

I know many people might look at this story and immediately think what I am doing in terms that fall under polytheist or Northern Tradition, but I am not labeling it.  I am who I am, and I am allowing this to grow organically.   No one should rush into a relationship with any God or Goddess unless they understand what it is they are getting into.  And while I understand some of this, it will take more time to understand the true nature of what it is that he asks of me.

This blog is another aspect that has evolved out of my relationship.  I know a lot about Wicca and many other aspects of paganism.  What I find I am not aware of are the newer concepts and labels used in the pagan community.   In that regard I find I am like a senior citizen trying to learn how to use a computer for the first time.  That is why I am here now; learning to empty some of what I know out of the full cup in order to gain new understanding of what it is I am being asked to do.

I welcome comments, suggestions and thoughts