Wyrd

I’m not going to get into the definition of Wyrd, other than it’s from an Old English verb for “to come to pass, to become” (Wikipedia), it’s sometimes the twenty-fifth rune in runic divination (http://www.midnightmoonchild.com/moonchildtwentyfifthrunepage.html) and it generally represents the mysterious power of Fate. Instead, I’m going to talk about personal examples of how my Wyrd has played out this past year, and address some common issues that come up about Fate with intuitive readings for clients.

When I got up on the altar of the UnitedMethodistChurch in my home town, to sing at my grandfather’s memorial service on Father’s Day of this year, I introduced my song with something along the lines of: “I appreciate the choir’s willingness to make a last minute change. The winds of fate have blown me here, and I’m thankful to have this chance to fulfill my grandfather’s last request of me.”

I sang “Amazing Grace.” My daughter nursed through the entire song, sometimes reaching up to try and take the microphone, but I made it all the way through. I held her with one arm and held the microphone with the other. I felt no shame. She obviously felt comfortable enough to nurse in front of the fifty or so (incarnate) people who were there (the sanctuary was filled up with Ancestors who came to witness our memorial, who I sensed as friends and family of my grandfather, though I didn’t know them all. I sang a variation that rose in key through the four verses, each subsequent verse picking up pitch where the last one left off, the fourth verse sending my voice up to the rafters. By that point I felt totally embraced by kind and gentle arms, surrounded by light, wrapped in love. Later, an aunt told me that many of the older choir members seated behind me, who had sung with my grandparents and me for decades, wore expressions of wonder. 

“But wait,” you might think. “She’s pagan. What’s she doing singing Amazing Grace at her grandfather’s funeral and having this spiritual experience?” Easy. I grew up in that church. It wasn’t quite coming home, but it was a visit to the home of my family. Still familiar, and though different in some ways, mostly the same. The church had used the building for over thirty years, and although the sanctuary has been expanded, the rest of the building has mostly been left untouched. Spirituality transcends walls and stained glass, but it was comforting to return to a place unchanged enough to bring back some of the more pleasant memories of childhood: coming along to help my grandmother while she worked at most of the blood drives that the church sponsored for a good couple of decades in their gymnasium, seeing her work in the kitchen at all the holiday potlucks I ever went to, tagging along with her to meet with a women’s group in the chapel, the same chapel my parents got married in… I recalled the taste of the fruit loop and cream cookies she would make for cookie socials. My grandmother passed in 2010 just forty five days after my daughter was born, so I had no chance to gain the closure of a memorial service with the family. I could hear my grandfather’s voice in the choir when they sang and I caught whiffs of his cologne. To me, the place has a magic that will always be waiting for me, like a scrapbook compiled of passing time.

(further details) A good friend of mine was there, who sang in choir with me through jr. high and high school, and after the service I played my grandfather’s cornet and he asked, “Was your grandfather a communion man?” For him, Communion is akin to my own concept of the Great Rite, a union of masculine and feminine Divine Energy that manifests the Holy Child.

I gestured to the pile of memorabilia left in the sanctuary, saying, “I seem to remember it being special for him. Let’s see if we can find anything here.”

In the stack of papers, I found a newspaper clipping on top of an original photograph of a bunch of men recreating Da Vinci’s The Last Supper. All of them wore beards and wigs and robes and I could tell by the sanctuary that the photo was taken before it was remodeled about fifteen years ago, and my guess by the style of the robes and beards that it was back in the seventies. The newspaper clipping listed all of the men, most of whom are Ancestors now. I showed it to Granger, saying, “I think this means yes.”

“Is your grandfather in Judas’ place? Look, he’s holding a bag of coins,” pointed out Granger.

The role of Judas seemed to fit my grandfather well, not because he betrayed anyone’s trust, but he seemed to go against the grain of convention a lot. He juggled a tricky relationship with alcohol and sometimes full time service for the community, including carpentry work with Habitat for Humanity. In a lot of ways, I saw Christ in my grandfather, too. He took many less-than-ideal circumstances throughout his life, and transformed it all into a work of art. He loved telling jokes, and telling stories through his music. To me Judas represents the divine Trickster energy, something like the shadow of Christ consciousness, connecting to the Divine Troublemakers that carry out Divine Will under circumstances that seem less than ideal (after all, Jesus foretells Judas’ betrayal and himself treats it as a fulfillment of His Wyrd). He and I didn’t realize it, but my relationship with my grandfather in childhood prepared me a lot for my work with Papa Legba, another Trickster, who I consider the Father of Jazz. When it came to telling stories, he would always root for the “good guy” but I remember him saying more than once: “the bad guys are more fun.”

I am certain that the circumstances of my wyrd are what brought me to that place and time. My grandmother’s passage felt to me at the time like she had given up. Whether she had lost a battle, or had surrendered, circumstances led me to my grandfather’s service, instead of hers. He hung in there just long enough for my marriage to break apart in such a way that drew me out to Kansas to stay at an intentional community for six weeks, with ten days between Illinois and Indiana in the middle of that time. I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to my grandmother, but I felt her around afterward. Pa Pa  passed on the day after I arrived at the Light Center, and I was too close not to take H and go the rest of the way home.

The region I grew up in just happens to carry the nickname “Little Egypt.” Of course, the first time I get back to Little Egypt in six years is also the year I’ve dedicated to working with Sekhmet and Bastet. I am in no way surprised, either, that the first night I was back in my home town, the evening of the memorial service, an officer pulled me over (for putting my turn signal one way, then the other, and then going straight because I hadn’t driven in the town for ten years and was trying to decide the best way to get home) and two others joined him (no, they really have nothing better to do at ten p.m. on a Sunday, there). The officer cited me for my license plate not being mounted in the proper place (and the turn signal thing, because apparently that means I might have been drunk), but when I couldn’t provide proof of insurance and kind of broke down when I realized I had left my driver’s license at my aunt’s house in Evansville, the officer who pulled me over gave me two fix-it tickets: one for the light being out where my license plate was supposed to be mounted, and one for not carrying proof of insurance with me at the time. I think the other two were just there for fun, and to fulfill the requirement for Triune energy being a part of my daily existence.

Basically, the responding officer made sure I took my car to the shop while I had access to my parents’ mechanic, which ended up being a ten-day stay-over with my parents while various repairs were exacted on the car.

As much as my parents loved having H and I around, after ten days they were ready to let us go.

After this series of unusual events, it’s reinforced the idea that our Wyrd is something like fate. It’s the process of the bigger picture fitting together that sometimes pushes us toward certain outcomes, so that we have chances to fulfill karmic agreements with ourselves and others. If my husband would not have left me, I probably would not have left him, being determined to stick it out for the sake of our daughter. But, to paraphrase Bonnie Raitt, you can’t make someone’s heart feel something it won’t. It would have ended poorly if P and I had stayed together. Exploring the Light Center was an excellent experience that had the added benefit of landing me close enough to the heartland to drive there in one day, and I was finally in a secure enough place in my spirituality and my emotional maturity that I was able to not take my family’s behavior personally, not get offended by my parents’ open disbelief and sometimes hostility toward my own spiritual beliefs, rituals, and practices. I was able to come to an agreement with them that we would simply not bring it up, but they were welcome to ask me questions, so long as I had the ability to say, no thanks, to the topic at hand. The community in Kansas provided a respite for healing and processing the various chapters that had just closed in my life.

All of this, on top of all of that, happened during the tail-end of my Saturn return. Echoes and fractals of everything have been reverberating everywhere for the duration. I even got pregnant with my daughter at the beginning of the Saturn return, so all the karma that calls for resolution during Saturn return was emphasized and magnified by the occurrence of every little thing I thought I had gotten over from my childhood resurfacing during my pregnancy. Through all this, I know I’m on the right track in life when I can recognize the pattern and it holds beauty and brings resonance out from deep within me.

Questions to ask yourself for discerning the way of your Wyrd:

  • Are numbers repeating a lot for you?
  • Do you see repeating images, such as a significant animal, scenario, or other personal symbol that resonates with you, as you pursue a certain path?
  • Are you drawn to specific places that connect you to occurrences in your past (if you are geographically distant, this may manifest by a particular location bringing back memories of another place from your past)?
  • Do you find yourself being circumstantially brought to a place of resolving unfinished business from your childhood or adolescence?
  • If you practice divination, are the same handful of cards/runes/keys/etc coming up, in combinations that loop back in on themselves?

If you answer yes to three or more, you’re likely getting signals that you are on the proper path for spiritual progression. If your personal oracle is repeating itself, it’s likely you have more possibilities than you are examining, or key solutions to a lesson that is being emphasized, but in my personal experience, repetitive readings have happened both when I’m making constructive choices but am just missing a piece, or I just need a reminder that certain elements of my life are beyond my control and I get to work on acceptance.

What if I feel like I’m doomed to have bad luck?

I heard the question a lot as a telephone psychic, in various ways: “Do I have a curse on me?,” “Do I have bad karma to work out?,” or “Am I never meant to be happy?”

First of all, happiness is always a choice. Sometimes, it’s not appropriate to choose happiness, since life has its natural cycles. Even in the midst of the world falling down around your ears, there is always something you can be happy about. It’s good to have a mixture of emotions in trying circumstances; it’s important to release stress by allowing yourself to have fun in the midst of trouble. The Universe is full of love and wants us to be happy, and yes, directing focus to that energy does allow you to cultivate awareness of joy. Resistance leads to sadness and suffering, so the first step to happiness is acceptance of what is. I’m not encouraging any one to put a happy face on tragedy, but in the process of healing, to allow space for all experiences as they come, not getting totally swept up in one extreme or the other.

Second, negative karma is not a punishment, just like good karma is not a reward. Objectively speaking, there is no such thing as good or bad, it is only our thinking that makes it so. Good and bad are qualities, simply the same as favorable or unfavorable. Like attracts like, so treating others how you wish to be treated works to the extent that you realize that people have varying definitions of “respect” and “kindness” and communicating your own desires and needs to the people around you is a way of giving them tools to help fulfill those desires and needs if they so choose. On the energetic level, the energy you project is the energy returned to you, so if you project energy of feeling as though you are in danger, you will attract dangerous situations. By making yourself feeling safe (and backing it up with solid actions and positive self talk) you likewise ensure your own safety. By projecting an energy of service and receptivity of others’ needs (while maintaining healthy boundaries around your own needs), you attract people who want to help you while maintaining their own healthy boundaries. We create negative karma when we project negative energy at our situation, whether it’s specific people, places, things, or the world in general. If negative karma accumulates, there is always a way to resolve the issue with positive, life affirming thoughts, speech, and action. This draws positive energy in because we are also sending it out.

Third, curses only have as much power as the energy being of the subject is complicit to the aim of the curse. If a curse is laid for justice, for example, it will resonate with the Higher Self level of the entity and the Higher Self will cooperate with the energy of the curse to bring judgment on the 3 dimensional consciousness of the entity. If the curse is laid for unjust reasons, but plays to any self destructive aspects of the subconscious, then the subconscious mind will cooperate with the energy of the curse to undo the target of the curse. I believe that one of the best things a person can do to guard against both curses and undesirable effects of negative karma is to engage in lots of self love, compassion, and positive self talk. When Love starts with the self, it reflects and transmits outward, enabling kind actions and compassion toward others.

Remember, the first step to change is accepting what is: facing our Wyrd.

This blog article is written as part of the Pagan Blog Project (http://paganblogproject.com/). 

Victory

This is more of an essay on personal events and ethics, and the energy behind this concept, but it’s a topic I feel is relevant to modern Paganism and Earth based spirituality. Consider it a pagan memoir piece.  

This word evokes from my imagination the Winged Nike, triumphant Valkyrie bearing noble warrior souls of the slain in battle to Valhalla, Boudicca riding atop her chariot to set Roman Londinium aflame. Thinking about modern figures of victory, I see Susan B. Anthony advocating women’s rights, Rosa Parks sitting on that bus, Martin Luther King, jr., giving That Speech, the high school students in Little Rock being escorted to class by National Guard troops, Sally Ride on a space shuttle… The 14-year-old girl recovering from a head wound she got for going to school… Figures from history, be it modern or ancient history, committing infamous acts creates a certain immortality of its own.

Boudicca on her glorious bronze Chariot. I took a picture of her pretty much like this, once.

For me, Victory is a double-edged sword. It evokes simultaneously The Chariot and the 5 of Swords. With The Chariot, the only people on the “losing side” are those unfortunates who know no better than to stand in the way of the vehicle. Nonetheless the “losing side” must be considered a possible aspect of that card. You win, at what cost?

The 5 of Swords is much more bleak. I’ve seen the word “Defeat” as a caption on at least one deck for that card, but even when reversed, I seem to remember an elaboration on the original meaning, modified by “inconsolable.” Other interpretations stress the reversed interpretation to mean burying the hatchet with someone, or transcending a conflict by withholding participation in petty gossip.

Given my life circumstances, I felt drawn to write about this word for the Pagan Blog Project that I am so miserably tardy with. (I’m not giving up! I’m catching up!) Short story: my husband filed for divorce with me shortly after my 30th birthday (best. birthday. present. EVAR.), and I just filed my answer. I won’t go into details because the case is ongoing, but I’m feeling optimistic about the outcome. Last November or so, I started working with Ganesh on my husband’s desk with a simple request: Please influence change in a positive direction, for my marriage. At Samhain of last year, I also began making plans and discerning work with Sekhmet for the following solar year. The husband found a girlfriend in February, as I was in full-on dedication mode to Sekhmet. I got spooked about the new relationship and tried to get him to call it off… he left me for the new girlfriend.

This might seem at first like the ultimate spell back-fire. Friends of mine have chalked it up to further proof that polyamory doesn’t work for most people.

It’s a little confusing, until you zoom in.

In the moment when I see myself getting what I’ve asked for, I feel victorious over my fears that have been looming up to the moment of affirmative action. I also feel hesitant about the role my ego plays in claiming said victory. I learned early on that nobody likes a sore loser, but everybody despises a sore winner. I also wish to keep in mind that any experience of victory in this moment is just a small piece in a larger narrative, The Big Story. A singular favorable outcome does not alone determine the outcome of the whole. So it is with everyone, in everything: each victory in life, big or small, is party to a greater composition of events. I’ve been thinking about the Tarot as a wheel, with all the cards in a circle, an inner circle for the Major Arcana, and a bigger circle for the Minor Arcana, so help me examine opposites in the system as a circle. This would place the victorious Chariot directly opposite XVIII The Moon. Makes sense to me: Chariot, controlled outward momentum leading to calculated success. Moon, sporradic, unpredictable, tuning into inner power. Our Inner Power often does crazy things, beyond our control, beyond our ability to predict (even especially in tune folk). As with everything, I have to look at the shadow side of victory. I have to make sure my ego doesn’t throw me off balance because this event is dominating my life at this time. That’s just the way it’s going, and I’m working to change that, to.

The point of enduring failures is to learn from them. The Chariot evokes memories of specific events I felt led to failures in my life. The specific ones that come to mind were as a result of giving my power over to other people to decide my fate. Listening to someone else because I had tied my fate to them and that was all I knew. I’m done with that. My Goddess tells me so – the evidence in my forthright decisions and actions, with a supportive friend to back me up, but to whom I can say, “I’m sorry, I don’t want to go down that road with you” and she won’t take it personally to the extent of trying to manipulate me into giving her what she wants. She’s too confident for that, simply. This in itself is a situation I have been working with my magick to manifest, and it has come true.

This has been a rough five months. Lots of travel, visiting relatives in the event of my grandfather’s funeral, and now the Turn of the Witch’s Year is upon us, which always adds to my retrospection. My biggest victory so far is the success I see Hazel making every day, towards growth and new abilities. My second biggest is making sure my life grows from the new roots, in gratitude, trust, and pure intention.

I hope that this post hasn’t been too rambly, and that you my dear readers can see the relationship with the topic in my written wanderings.

Blessed be…

2.0 – A is for Automatic Writing

I have had vivid contact with Deity as long as I can remember. I didn’t have many playmates as a child, and so I quickly adopted an invisible friend and did things like host communion for Jesus and the apostles with white bread and red kool-aid.

I have had the ability to slip into an altered state of consciousness for long enough that I don’t exactly remember the first time that it happened. Growing up, I would often hear something like, “Oh, Faye’s just off in her own little world, again.” I would become so immersed in whatever book I was reading that background conversation would fade and I would enter the world of the book. As a child, angels and faeries were as real to me as flesh-and-blood people. When I grew up and started looking at it for what it was, I realized I had been walking in between worlds for years, and felt very blessed to be so closely protected and guarded by Spirit Guides and Animal totems through the times that I had been in danger of losing touch with myself.

As a result of being able to access Other Realms so easily, I’m afraid I don’t have much practical advice for beginners who are totally new to this. My guess is, though, that more people do this than who realize they can. When I want to contact Deity, the easiest way for me to do it is by sitting and meditating: I close my eyes and visualize being in the realm of whatever Deity I am contacting. I do my best to imagine tastes, smells, and textures as well as sights and sounds. It is important for me to tie in all my senses to the experience, to feel materially connected to that place. Ambience plays an important part in my ability to “depart” from this realm into another. I don’t really leave my body, in the sense of astral projection – what I do is closer to creating a ‘tesseract’ as it’s called in Wrinkle in Time (one of my favorite books as a child), where I draw the alternate dimension where the Deity dwells to me.

In the case of automatic writing, I have attempted long hand exercises with no success. I either begin to think, or receive thoughts, and those make their way to the page through me knowing exactly what I am writing, or my mind stays blank and my pen strokes remain indiscernible loops and scribbles for pages and pages. I work around this state of being by entering into a meditative state and contacting the Deity directly, so I receive my information in a way that is closer to Aspecting, which I covered in my first PBP article. Even when I am transcribing my experience with Deity, it is almost reflexive for me to go back and correct any little typos I make. It can be maddening at times, and hard not to let it pull my entire consciousness back into my body. Slowly I have learned to let my fingers and eyes do what they do to get the words on the screen, and let my soul remained engaged in contact with Deity. If I feel pulled back to my physical body, I don’t fight it (fighting with Self is something I recommend avoiding altogether) – instead, I listen to whatever needs my body or personality has in the moment, and then either address them or release them depending on their urgency. To get back into the contact with Deity, I open myself to be completely receptive to their presence. In the case of Bel, I was bathed in warm, golden sunlight. With Brighid,  I was drawn to listening to birdsong in the distance, and to the song of the wind as it played over the gentle slope where I stood on with her. With Sekhmet, it took me longer to establish contact, but once I was there, the experience happened so fast that I was never really drawn out of it. I suspect that contacting different Deities would yield different results for anyone, depending on the depth and length of their relationship with that Being.

Can the process I just described count as automatic writing? Or is a part of the inherent definition involve the writer being unaware of what they are writing at the time? I would appreciate feedback, here.

I have learned from personal accounts, myths, and my own experiences (luckily more from the former two than latter one – the Gods and Goddesses have been kind to me in my lessons, maybe because I’m willing to listen to others’ cautionary tales?) that it is a dire mistake to assume that a deity does not have their own personal agenda in working with you. For a good (if exaggerated) example, read American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and see for yourself. Deities have their own free will that cannot be dictated by human consciousness (at least, not without serious ramifications, just as with controlling another human/animal consciousness against their will).

Always ask your Innermost Self (through a divination tool, if need be) whether you really want to work with the deity you have in mind. Then ask yourself whether it is for your mutual highest and best to work with the deity you have in mind at that time. You could have an affinity for a deity but not be compatible with them at the moment that you would like to work with them. Spend time in a sensory experience with the deity’s energy, either by looking up images of that deity, reading their stories, or working with the elemental energy they are connected to, along with the sound of their name.

I hope this information helps in your experiences, no matter what those may be. Blessed be.

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.