D is for Deity/Divinity/Diversity

Yes, I’m still participating in the Pagan Blog Project; I have some catching up to do on my second “C” and first “D” posts, but I decided to post the current week and catch up later.

Deity, Divinity.

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

­-Lao Tzu

All gods are one god, and all goddesses are one goddess, and there is one initiator.

-Dion Fortune

I thought at first this would be an easy article to write: after all, I have a direct, personal relationship with many Deities, as well as the Universal Divine Principle (well, as personal a relationship as can be had, I guess). I believe that we all carry our own inherent, non-negotiable Divinity, through which we can perform magickal miracles, healing, divination, and other divine acts of compassion. I seek to celebrate all the diverse practices that honor the Divine/s. There are so many diverse views on the Gods and Goddesses, that it’s hard not to draw comparisons between different beliefs and point out ways in which I agree or disagree with those perspectives. I’ll try to stick with explaining my own beliefs and practices rather than making comparisons that risk sounding like I think others’ beliefs are wrong (’cause that’s just not true; I simply don’t share everyone else’s beliefs. That’s the point of diversity in paganism, after all, right?). I believe in the concept of Maya (reality as illusion). At the end of the day, I feel that everything we think we know is merely belief, and that we can truly know nothing for certain except what our own experiences tell us. You know?

The two quotes that open this article pretty much summarize my feelings of Deity; but as the Divine Principle is one, so is all of existence. We are all each other, on some level. We all break down to the same parts. To me, this idea does not negate the reality of each individual found within the community of Divine Beings. We are still unique, diverse, our own beings. To me, it is simply a reminder. We are all one. Everything that exists outside us, in the universe, exists within Us. There is no “them.” There is no external threat. We have no enemies. We are all together in this grand Spiral Dance of life, death, and rebirth.

I was raised in a rather evangelical Christian church that asserted that God was singular in His divinity, that we were wholly separate beings, as His creations, even though His Spirit (which, since it was a Trinitarian church, the Spirit was the same as God) resided within us (but that didn’t make us God). One Sunday when I was about ten, after an evening service where we had heard a sermon about how God is in everything, I turned to my mother and said, “So, we’re all God’s children, right? Every person who has ever lived?” My mother affirmed that statement, so I continued with, “Since we’re all made by God and God reaches out to us all, every god and goddess that has ever been worshipped, couldn’t they just all be expressions of God, and those people just didn’t know it?”

My mother laid a hand on my shoulder, and gave me a cold look. “No, Faye, that’s impossible, and you shouldn’t say things like that in church.” I feel blessed to have preserved this memory throughout all my other trials as a Child of Earth born into patriarchy.

Her statement left me feeling confused, wounding me and leaving a scab that I would keep picking at for seven years until I discovered the idea of Pantheism, that everything is divine, and Animism, that asserts that everything has its own spirit. I identified with those concepts as soon as I read about them.

Over the years, I have identified my ultimate spiritual goal. As believed by many Eastern Mystic and indigenous peoples traditions, I desire ultimately to reunite with the Universal Divine Principle that originates all life. To unify with that principle I must reach some kind of understanding of it, peace with it: I guess you could call it a personal Samadhi.

I work with deities for the same reason that I keep friendships. I can’t know the whole of the Universe without knowing and relating to its many facets. It occurred to me through a helpful friend that Deities are on their own learning and growing path; they are not infallible, they have not reached the ‘end of the road’ so to speak. They are also seeking Unification with the Divine Principle. My experiences have informed me that the deities of Compassion have reached Unification and have stayed behind to help others do the same.

Deities need us, just as we need them. Yes, they are the forces behind Nature, but they also need us to be their hands in the world, to be their voice, to enact their Love to others in the World. I have come across obscure deities over time, and they seem to have lost their strength of identity over the aeons, fading into oneness with the raw forces of nature they represent. Some cling to their identity with anger at being ignored for too long, craving the power of worship to restore their strength. I do not feel that the Deities made us in Their image to worship them, but that they sprang forth from the Divine Principle, and we sprang forth from them, and as we took on our human form, so they formed with us, and became the Named Beings we knew then, and know today. Kind of how, when we have children, they are in our image, but not because we willed that into being. There is always an element of chance that mixes up the DNA. As our children grow, we in turn are shaped by our interactions with them. This is how I have seen it happen with Deities. They are our Divine Parents in the sense that they ushered us forth into being, but they are not the grand orchestrators of the minutiae of our existence.

If you strongly disagree with this idea, that Deities need us as we need them, try asking your primary Goddess or God what their ultimate goal is, and with an open heart and open mind, try to really dig with them to get to the roots of their Desire. They just might surprise you.

You are Goddess.

You are God.

I am Goddess.

I am God.

We are Goddess.

We are God.

Blessed be.

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I’ve Been Tagged!

The Domestic Pagan tagged me what feels like aeons ago, but I finally answered the questions and created my own!

The rules are:

1. Post the rules.

2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.

3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.

4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.

5. Go to their blog and tell them that you tagged them.

6. No stuff in the tagging section about “you are tagged if you are reading this. You have to legitimately have to tag 11 people.

(Rules 7-11 didn’t previously exist, but I thought that since everything is based on 11’s, that should be the number of rules, too!~FMC)

7. Take at least one deep breath every day.

8. Remember that nothing is really solid because space exists between atoms and sub-atomic particles.

9. Remember you are Divine.

10. Drink plenty of water, every day.

11. Nourish your body, to the best of your ability.

11 Random Things About Me

1. I practice yoga and meditation (passive and active); I am always seeking more knowledge of traditional chants and mantras from around the world.

2. I resonate most with the elements air and water (go figure: my sun’s in Libra, moon’s in Aquarius, and my ascendant is Cancer-so go figure).

3. I have passed two kidney stones, an experience which had long term effects on how I see my body, for the better. Now I follow Susun S. Weed’s Seven Rivers of Healing as a guide for healing myself. It’s opened my health up to miraculous healing.

4. I work with deities (including Jesus), nature spirits, fey folk, angelic forces, and whoever else is helpful and constructive and willing to work with me, including the occasional demon (yep, Jesus knows about that, too).

5. I am discerning whether or not it is on my path to become a certified root worker through Cat Yronwode’s correspondence class. It seems intense, but definitely worth it. The big question is whether this course is the right thing for me, in the near future.  I’m lucky to have a personal account of how the work progressed, written by Doc Greywolf, that outlines many challenges and points of preparedness on his path (the curriculum is NOT reproduced here; if you’re interested in more info about the course, go to Cat Yronwode’s site).

6. I run my own business as a Tarot reader: Real Life Intuition. I have worked for a Psychic hotline (it was okay, but I would be hesitant to call one, knowing that the requirements stress quota over skill).

7. I am interested in living from the land and being in a community as self-sustaining as possible (in terms of being able to meet its own needs through cooperation with others as opposed to participating in the naturally exploitive system of capitalism/corporatism), in alignment with my goal to live in right relationship with the Earth.

8. I believe that everything happens for a reason. Not some “Divine Plan,” or anything, just that – we seem to have the experiences that we need for us at the time. The more we consciously acknowledge and ask for the things we need, the more likely it will be for us to draw it to ourselves.

9. I first became interested in Tarot as a means by which to contact spirits (of all kinds). I don’t speak of that side of my work very much because people tend to think I’m crazy.

10. People say they love me for my authenticity. People say they dislike me because of the manner in which I express my opinions.

11. I am consistently working to expand my own world view. Because of this, I tend to judge how well I like other people based on how flexible their world view is. Sometimes, I don’t check my tongue and come across as judgmental (my Sun in Libra is conjunct Mercury: I’m a bit too eager to loudly declare what I do and do not think is fair).

11 Questions Asked by Domestic Pagan

1. What is the defining moment of your life? Camping outside with friends and family, howling at the moon.

2. What song could you listen to over and over? Hyperballad, by Bjork.

3. What was the first music album that you ever owned? I don’t remember my first tape, but the first albums I purchased for myself were No Need to Argue by the Cranberries, and Smashing Pumpkins’ single, Perfect (bought at the same time). The first two vinyl record albums I ever bought were Days of Future Past (Moody Blues) and Let it Be (The Beatles) (I also bought them together).

4. Where is your favorite place in the world? Out in the wilderness. Preferably somewhere around here:

5. What is your dream car? An invisible hover craft that is powered by unicorn-poop (since we’re speaking of dreams).

6. Do you have any unusual talents or skills? I can astral project, or enter trance visualization, almost at will. This has the disadvantage of causing me to be a little disconnected from the mundane world at times. I’m working on that with lots of grounding.

7. What is your earliest memory? Sitting in my baby carrier underneath a Christmas tree (my first Christmas), feeling frustrated that I couldn’t reach the ornament closest to me.

8. If you were the opposite sex for a day, what would you do? The three really obvious things: masturbate, pee standing up, and… you can guess where this is going. Plus, I would dress up in my best David Bowie garb. 😉

9. If you could have any superpower, what would you choose and why? Shape shifting, so I could disguise myself as world leaders and power brokers to instigate world peace.

10. Why do you blog? I really just have to get it out of my system, sometimes. I wish to document my life, and blogging is easy to share.

11. Sum up your life using only 6 words: Mystifying creative musical walker between worlds.

My Eleven Questions for You:

1. What gem/semi-precious stone/crystal would you be, and why (if you’re stumped, try talking about what crystal/semi-precious stone/gem you most resonate with)?

2. If you could be a god/dess from any pantheon for a day, who would you choose to be?

3. Which of the four elements do you have the strongest affinity with, and why?

4. What deity are you working with this year that you haven’t before?

5. If you could rewind ten years and tell your Younger Self any one thing, what would it be?

6. As the deity you mentioned in your answer to question #2, what would you do with all your power for that day?

7. Which subject would you teach if you were an instructor at Hogwarts (if you’re unfamiliar, you can create your own subject to teach at a school of witchcraft and wizardry)?

8. What is your favorite book about paganism, magick, and/or witchcraft?

9. Do you work with divination? If so, how did you first discover it?

10. What is your favorite affirmation?

11. If you could go back and have a debate with any historical person, who would you choose and what would you debate with them about?

My 11 Tagged Bloggers (I’m borrowing Domestic Pagan’s technique of listing everyone, here)- if you wish not to have been tagged, message me and I can remove you. There’s no repercussion for turning this down. There’s no deadline on this, by the way, either. Please tag me in a comment when you complete this, so I can look at your 11 random things and your questions (please, no tags back!).

1. Because It’s Kismet

2. Way of the Rabbit

3. The Wilde Garden

4. Ladybug’s Adventures

5. Lorelei Moon Willow

6. Confessions of a Kitchen Witch

7. Witch Blog

8. The WishBringer

9. Quirky Knit Girl

10. Dreams From the West Wind

11. The Chaos Witch

B is for Birthing

When I was 18, a button came into my possession that said, “Born Again Pagan.” I wore it less to subvert my previous tradition, and more to reclaim the phrase in the pagan sense, as many traditions believe in some form of reincarnation, even if that amounts to crossing a threshold as a new person. I had been studying the works of Scott Cunningham, and the Sacred Circle Deck by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason introduced me to much Brittonic lore. In that deck (my first tarot deck ever) the traditional Judgment Card is substituted for “Rebirth.”

I would like to focus on birthing as a pagan woman committed to reclaiming her power as a Woman. I last trained in a tradition that taught me, I am Goddess. My Body is a Living Temple of Love. If my body is a temple, everything that enters it should be worthy of a temple offering. I started becoming more strict in what sorts of food I would eat, and am still taking steps toward eating closer to the land, because it’s both better for my body, and better for the body of the Mother.

Many women are fearful of childbirth. Men also tend to be terrified of it (the doctor who oversaw my birth immediately wanted to use intervention because Hazel’s heart rate had fallen – imagine that, I wasn’t pushing during the trip to the hospital, and she was in my birth canal, so she had slowed down her breathing and therefore her heart beat!). On my quest to know my body so that I could care for it properly and enjoy good health through all my years, when I became pregnant, I sought even deeper understanding of myself.

I found that loving myself meant listening to what my body wanted, and learning how to honor my body needed, and working toward healthier dietary choices for myself. I started paying attention to what made me feel bad after eating it, and what made me feel good. When I became pregnant, that became a lot easier because my sense of taste rearranged itself – I couldn’t even stand to eat leftovers because the smell was just a little off! I began learning more about toxins in food (I had already begun to learn about toxins in the home and had begun phasing out things like chlorine bleach and sanitizing cleaning chemicals) and began buying organically grown produce whenever we could afford it (also making other sacrifices to continue purchasing such). I looked for remedies to keep me from getting depressed by the fact that I don’t have complete access to locally grown food all year (we would need way more food storage room than what is accessible to us) and that organic food is considered by society at large to be a “luxury” (while a car remains a necessity, by nature of our transportation system), and that my little Strawberry already was developing with plastic in her bloodstream (that’s right, we’re all contaminated with plastic by-product pollution). I craved all kinds of vegetables, breaded and fried in olive oil. I indulged every little craving until by my ninth month I was waddling around with 180 pounds on my frame.

As I prepared for birth, I gathered as much knowledge as I could. I learned much about other people, at least, the type to call in to 800 lines, because I worked for one. The experience was a great in-taking of information. Some of my choices, people found it hard to abide. I cut back on tobacco (again, organic) rather than quit because of information from an ob/gyn in Oregon who admitted that quitting cold turkey can be worse for a fetus than smoking less than 5 cigarettes a day. I smoked one to three times a day, during my pregnancy, and could only handle the tobacco down to the tip of the eagle’s wing, which was little over half the cigarette. The brand I smoked is free of the additives that are typical of cigarettes, which include many preservatives. Smoking while pregnant is such a taboo that at least one person I know stopped talking to me altogether, beyond saying “hi” even though I don’t smoke any more (I lost the cravings once my daughter was born). I feel strongly that the fact that I cut back rather than quit altogether, was a contributing factor in not picking it back up, even nearly two years later.

Meanwhile, back on the original thread, I took as much yoga as I could stand and stayed in fairly good shape, up until the point that I had a pinched nerve in my hip and my ankles became too swollen to wear shoes. My midwife gave me a poke root tincture to take twice daily, and a mixture of other herbs to smooth the transition. I studied hypno-birthing techniques and worked in meditative space. I worked with Lakshmi, Fortune-bringer, and Artemis, Her own midwife, and my most familiar animal totem: Crow, as well as two deities especially associated with ravens, the Morrigu and Odin. I had a dream that our little black and orange kitty, Nuht, changed into a brown panther to fight something off that was threatening our home.

As my labor progressed, I had more difficulty moving Strawberry through my birth canal than I expected. My mother was in town for a visit (she said, in hopes that her granddaughter would have already been born, but also kind of knowing she would be here for it), and camped out in the living room of our apartment for most of the duration of my attempts to have a home birth (when she wasn’t making a run to the liquor store or getting more coffee). She was convinced that if I had my baby at home, that I was going to die (at least, she was acting that way, even though when I’ve talked to her since then she says otherwise). By 6:30 in the evening, I was getting tired. At a bit after 7 p.m., I asked my midwife how much more time she would give me before taking me to the hospital. She said about a half an hour. I decided to go ahead and go in that moment, to be safe. My little Strawberry was born at 7:32, at the hospital.

The hospital visit left a mark on my body and my psyche: I suffered a perineal tear (still, less painful than healing from a cut), which my midwife informed me later of how it could have been prevented (by simply lowering my feet out of the stirrups to relax the tissue). Additionally, since I had not signed a waver before arriving at the hospital in labor (because being in labor makes a woman apparently unable to make medical decisions), the hospital staff administered pitocin to “help my uterus close up.” I was so out of it, I didn’t really process that something was wrong with me. After 15 minutes or so of the i.v. bag of pitocin, I couldn’t stop shaking, so badly that for a while I couldn’t even hold Strawberry because she would start crying from my jitters. When I finally fell asleep, I experienced horrible nightmares of a bloodied battlefield, corpses being picked over by the crows. The crows drew me out of the nightmare, as they circled overhead, and I felt grateful to my guardians for drawing me back to the light, and to consciousness. When I fell back asleep, I found myself in the same battlefield, but kept waking up, drawn up on the crows’ wings. I have long been a dream traveler, and never before have I returned to a dream that horrified me so. Every time I woke up, I held my daughter close to me and blessed the night with gratitude that she was still breathing, sleeping… and breathing, and nursing!

I was not opposed to a hospital visit if necessary, and I try to trust the process, but sometimes I still wish I had trusted my midwife and rode it out (would she have been born at that time, anyway, had I stayed at home? Without the help of the vacuum that my husband still gets chills thinking about?). Everything happens for a reason. In a moment, I decided to sacrifice my own choice for my mother’s peace of mind, but it would be the last time I would let her conquer me in such a way as to thwart my goals. In the aftermath of emotional distress, and guilt issues over giving in, I decided that I must have been too attached to the outcome of a home birth, and too attached to appeasing my mother to create my home-birth dream. I still felt disrespected by my mother, who seemed to not be pleased by anything until I went to the hospital, but have learned to forgive her. My daughter was baptized by my blood as she passed through my yoni into the world, under bright lights, in a cold, sterile room; as I had been baptized in my mother’s blood. Patrick stood by her as she was weighed and measured on a nearby table. I held her close, to let her know, for now, with me, she was home.

Now she is a toddler. She cries and sometimes screams when she doesn’t get her way. We let her build up her disappointment muscles, knowing that as she grows more grounded in expressing her feelings, the more she will learn about compromise, and know what she truly needs, the things too dear to be compromised. When she needs me I do my best to be present for her, which means knowing my limits with other things so that I have enough energy. I made a commitment never to consciously override her desires for the sake of my ‘peace of mind.’ I began to honor the holiness in all the little rituals in our life; the holiest ritual being her taking nourishment from my breast.

Not all women get this type of birthing experience in their life. The ones who don’t, I would encourage to become more familiar with the process to their abilities, and to work with the energy of shifting focus to a creative endeavor (not necessarily a child!) in prosperity work.

I may write again midweek, a visualization to use if you are interested in recreating your own birth in trance. If not this week, then later, and I will link this post to it. Blessed be.

Follow My Blog Friday #4

FF#4 Question: Have you ever used a fictional character as a archetype or patron goddess?

When I started writing this, I thought my answer would be “no” but as it turns out… I gave it some thought and realized I have consistently been doing this for years. I have adapted fictionalized versions of historical/mythical women as archetypes and ancestresses.

The first female figure that came to mind is Morgaine from The Mists of Avalon series (Marion Zimmer Bradley) was the first of these to come to mind. I picked up this book when I was pregnant with my first child, and the magick that she performs both in the act of conception, and during her pregnancy, has inspired some of my own ritual workings in very real ways. I never shared her despair in pregnancy to the extent that she does, but her interaction with the realm of the Fay reminded me of otherworldly encounters when I was enduring the darkest hour of my life. Mordred and Morgaine have been cast as such pure villains in other versions of this story, I really enjoyed seeing them depicted as magical humans. Mists of Avalon doesn’t exactly turn them into figures of sweetness and light, mind you. Mordred gets almost universally cast as evil in the Camelot cycle, his character twisted somehow by his parentage and their “unholy” union.  I still get a haunted feeling when I look at images of Morgaine from the film or in fan art, especially with Mordred as a boy.

Then I remembered Dinah from The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I read this book when I was in college, years before Mists of Avalon, in a time when I was sort of lost when it came to my pagan practices (I had reverted to being in the closet because there were no active groups in my area, and out of respect for the wishes of my best friend at the time, who was concerned that people in the community would judge her if I was out of the broom closet. I now have my own independent existence and decided people can either take it or leave it). Dinah is the only female sibling mentioned in the story of Joseph (of Technicolor Dreamcoat fame) and his brothers who later became the patriarchs of the twelve tribes of Juday; she is only mentioned in the Old Testament briefly, as being abducted and raped. In the fictionalized version by Anita Diamant, Dinah absconds with a Gentile prince, and is actually kidnapped by her brothers and returned home against her will (and possibly starting a war in the process, though it’s been some years since I read it). I started working with Dinah as an archetype for empowerment in espousing broader world views than my patriarchal tradition had handed down, and for working with ideas of inter-cultural marriage. It took some years, but I feel that her character is very real in figuring into breaking down the unnecessary structures left by that world view in my life.

Another work of fiction that I read in college that changed my life was The Wolf and the Raven, by Diana Paxson. When I made her acquaintance in 2008 at a Goddess Spirituality retreat, I had to gush to her just a little about how her storytelling really brought the figures of Brunahild and Sigfrid to life for me (she expressed surprise that I hadn’t yet picked up a copy of Mists of Avalon, which she has been working on sequels to, and I felt a little embarrassed having not read that – but, as I mentioned above, I have since read the whole trilogy and loved it). Diana’s portrayals of the Valkerie and the AllFather, especially, were formative for me in future work with them. Her book was also the first piece of fiction  I had found that really opened up the meanings of the runes to me. I felt more connected to my Germanic heritage through reading that novel, to boot. I recommend it for anyone who is interested in the rich lore behind Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung cycle, or who is studying the Teutonic/Norse pantheon, or whoever simply likes a well-told story.

Death and Delerium from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series are also female figures I have worked with.

All of these relationships have been very informal (except in the case of the characters from The Wolf and the Raven, as a result of which I was spiritually initiated as a Daughter of Odin), but I think I will begin revisiting these fictional heroines in a more serious light. It can be invaluable to have “real life” examples of real women facing and dealing with hardships, and working with their figures in ritual potentially yield interesting, empowering, and very effective results.

As I’ve been proofreading this article, I had another memory. The book Wait Till Helen Comes, as dark as it was, featured a ghost named Helen who actually helped me, as an eleven-year-old girl, in embarking on relationships with the dead. I would have to reread that book to recover many more of the memories I have of that work, but there is the shadow of remembrance, that she came alive for me, so to speak. Perhaps it wasn’t her character at all, but a local spirit that I invited to be a guide for me at that time. It was kind of a scary experience for me, since the character of Helen isn’t exactly someone you would call a higher being.

I welcome any and all constructive comments. Thank you for reading!

Follow My Blog Friday Question #3

This is my first entry for the Follow My Blog Friday hosted by The Domestic Pagan. I am already staying up too late, so my answer is going to be brief.

FF#3 Question: How did you first get interested in Wicca, witchcraft, or paganism?

I never thought of my abilities as anything supernatural – I just saw people who I knew weren’t really there. I could also pick up energy around things and people, although this freaked me out more than seeing ‘ghosts’ or spirits (not sure why – will have to explore that in journalling. I suspect it has something to do with my encounters with beings having been more controlled, whereas picking up energy could feel invasive, since it would take over my emotions).  Over time, I began to dismiss my powers as stemming from my imagination. When I was seventeen, I met my very-first-ever self-proclaimed pagan – well, the first one who would really talk to me anyway (I’m fairly sure I met a Wiccan in high school who would have nothing to do with me because I tried to convert her, but I don’t remember for certain). I fell in love with this certain pagan, and he fell in love with me, and together we had an amazing time making magick and love. Up to that point, I was a staunch Christian, but by the time I met Michael my religious identity was sustained more by fear of being ostracized by my community. By then, I was away from home, training for the Army National Guard, and had more freedom in my choices than I did in living with my parents.

What really hooked my interest in exploring this path was when he told me that there were modern people who honor the Earth as alive, as sacred, just like Native Americans do, and furthermore, these people could harness raw power to perform Magick. In a sense, this idea opened a door to me, one that I felt had been previously closed in terms of my heritage being predominantly Anglo-Saxon, and my own customs and family traditions being wholly European-American.

So began my journey… and what a long, strange trip it’s been!

Automatic Writing as Aspecting 1.3 – Sekhmet

I noticed an immediate difference in contacting Sekhmet, from contacting Bel or Brighid. Bel was by far the easiest to tune in to, since I have the longest standing relationship with Him (I worked with Artemis more as a child than Brighid, especially since as a staunch Methodist, my mom went out of her way to discourage me from learning anything about the saints, but somehow was okay with me being exposed to Greek mythology at a young age. I worked with Bel, thinking He was Blonde Jesus – I only know that from the work I did with him last Tuesday; He did not tell me this right out, the knowing just slid into place).

I haven’t done any work with Sekhmet before now – I have known I am supposed to work with Her this year, for a couple of weeks, but the relationship is still in its formative stages. I know that her tests will be to my willpower, and I have seen visions of coming into greater self confidence and empowerment in my work with Her, so long as I direct my focus and keep my appetites in check. I have no solid plans for an altar, but will be setting some time aside this week to construct one, though I am not getting a strong drive to.

My meeting with her ended up being much lass of an aspecting thing and much more of an astral projection where I found myself deep inside her temple. in an unlit chamber. I could hear the purring of a very large cat, and felt its whiskers brushing against my legs. Finally, there was an accepting nudge and a nose-to-shoulder kitty rub up against my legs that almost pushed me over. At this moment, a torch lit in the corner of the room, and a woman with a lioness-head mask on stood before me, chest bare, but bedecked in a gold necklace and a red skirt.

What She guided me in doing, is a fast, for three days – I can eat beans, rice, and raw fruit in small amounts, but nothing else, and I can only drink water with lemon and raw milk. I am starting tomorrow.

On the third day, I am to feast with those dearest to my heart. She simply said “You will,” so I’m not clear whether this would be something She arranged, or whether I am supposed to make this happen. I think a part of it shall be to bless whatever food I eat to break the fast with a specific remembrance of all those dear to me who are not present for the meal.

After that three-day fast, I will be worthy to make the offering I wish to make: to offer Her my Blood that I have collected from this month’s cycle. I am making this sacrifice in hopes that She will grant me the Strength to achieve some specific goals for myself in my Search for Power-From-Within. She will accept it if I am true to my fast – Her first test of my willpower. So far, She is being kind in considering my low blood sugar imbalance problems  (something close to hypoglycemia) and my needs in nourishing myself to keep up my milk supply – or maybe it’s coming through this way because I am directing focus towards being kind to myself.

Note: when working on this kind of connection to Deity, be prepared to enter into a contract as part of establishing your Trust relationship.

All Hail, Sekhmet! Thank you, Sekhmet. I dedicate My Acts of Self Love and Strength to You for this coming Year and a Day, beginning at Imbolc.

Next comes – my approach to this work, and how I feel about my experiences overall.

Thank you for reading.

Here is a beautiful painting of Sekhmet by Tara Cochrane of deviantart. Blessed be.