bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Month: August, 2015

Words from Hermes: Ordinary is OK

This. This. So much this.

Magick From Scratch

You guys. Look.

There is nothing wrong with being ordinary.

Ordinary is most people. If you think about it, greatness is really a measure of “being better than everyone else.” If everyone was just as good at painting as Rembrandt, that level of skill wouldn’t mean much. If having an exceptional skill was common, there would be nothing exceptional about it.

Some people have this idea that the gods only want exceptional people. That’s not true.

In some traditions, the point is that you have this small group of secret, elite folk who do special stuff for special, secret deities. Hellenismos is mostly an exoteric faith. It’s meant to be followed by normal people. It’s a city religion. It’s a religion meant to be followed by thousands, or millions, not dozens. We’re not looking for perfect people, or even exceptional people, we’re just looking for people who love us.

We don’t…

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Trauma…and healing.

Yesterday was very intense.
While there were not a lot of instructors, nor were there many classes, I attended a class called Healing Sexual Trauma.
Yes – I thought of J (and others) –  and I had foolishly hoped that I could finally learn -after the fact – about strategies that I should have known in order to help someone who had been sexually traumatized.

Because if anything, I’d wanted to at the very least provide others some sort of sanctuary from pain and negativity.
Instead, it seemed something that wasn’t so pedantic as ‘here are some strategies for helping yourself or helping others heal from sexual trauma’ as it was personal discussion about the instructor’s journey toward realizing and healing her own sexual trauma.  And I realized that the discussion was not so much about methods and strategies as it was about identifying and recognizing that there are traumas that need to healed within ourselves.

As an empath, I also found myself realizing and reacting to the obvious fact that I should take note that I have my own traumas to heal and how foolish I am to think that I would be there for any other reason.
Meanwhile, L seems to love to point out to me – through these sort of sneaky ton of bricks moments – that I am foolish, that I am denying myself compassion, and everything and I do  and I mean EVERYTHING –  begins with me.

He wants me to have compassion with myself and take care of myself:

You must take care of My Beloved.

And by the way: That is YOU.

However, I have always made excuses.

I have been told for so many years that it is selfish to think of oneself before others.

I’ve come to react as if one of the most hurtful insults that could be directed towards me involves being accused of being self-centered or selfish….but again and again He wants me to realize that that is damaging to me and an avoidance maneuver that is so ingrained in my behavior that it is likely not even a conscious reaction on my part anymore.

So there’s that self-awareness that He is so insistent upon, and I found myself surprised to realize this facet of my behavior.

Look at yourself; everything is self-work, you know.
And so I tried valiantly not to get overwhelmed by the sensation overload that I was experiencing when others talked of their traumas as well as trying to control myself in regards to my own traumas.
This must manifest itself as a sort of selfishness in that I want to help others/save others, even though I don’t even know how to help or how to save myself sometimes

So I want to talk and I want to share, but my talking and sharing is an avoidance maneuver. It’s me saying, ‘Let’s talk about you; let’s fix you, so I don’t have to fix myself,’ and if I do talk, it might just be my attempt to fill up the space with noise, or focusing on what anyone else is presently going through so I don’t have to handle what I’ve gone through.

It is selfish.   In a way, it is the way I block emotions in myself and block others from myself.

I hate myself for that.

I am aware that it is just me being closed up…another verbal masturbation session that I never intended but here I am talking about myself again.

*sigh*

I hold myself at a distance by talking, sometimes.  I focus on constructing a wall of words and sound to keep people from knowing me and to keep myself from knowing myself.
It’s times like that that I notice that there is such a gap between what I want to do and what I am doing, what I want to confront and how I avoid the confrontation.  The gap between engagement and avoidance.   I do lip service to a lot of want, but not a lot of doing.

(Thanks Loki.)

But how do I learn to stop doing that?

How to open myself so I can be open to others?

How to listen and help rather than just filling up space with pain and gloom and panic, wondering whatamigoingtodo?

Don’t look at me.  I’m in pain.

I can focus on your pain but that just distracts me from my pain for the moment.  I have a lot of pain in myself and I see others’ pain and I don’t know what to do about it.

I don’t know what to do with myself.

Is anything ever getting done this way?

No.  Of course not.
It’s all verbal masturbation.  This navel gazing has to stop.

 

I should do something but I don’t know what.

 

I have forgotten what’s important.

Nineteen minutes.

I wasn’t meditating.

I was simply enjoying some quiet time after dinner, relaxing on my bed with eyes closed, letting thoughts run through my head…

I wasn’t actively thinking of L, but then, suddenly, I saw His face.

I wasn’t sleeping -I hadn’t any intention of sleeping – and yet I could see Him in front of me.  I did a body inventory to check to see if I was dreaming.  What was unusual was that I could still hear my kid (K) talking loudly in the kitchen, so I figured that I couldn’t have been dreaming.  As a matter of fact, I could have easily followed the conversation that K was having with his brother in the kitchen – if I had to – and yet I was also experiencing this vision of L behind my closed eyelids.

I thought of how I could open my eyes.

I thought of how I could move and that vivid image of L sitting on a green hillock overlooking a valley below would have likely faded back to grey as these images usually do

… and yet I couldn’t shake it from my mind.

So I opened my eyes briefly, testing my theory, and upon closing, He remained…just as before.  He was dressed in a pair of black jeans and a light blue shirt.  He was, as usual, barefoot.  I was standing a few feet behind Him, and He was sitting in the grass, looking over His shoulder at me, looking up at me.

I examined His face, trying to commit the details of His present form to memory: He had blue eyes, and His long hair didn’t match up with either His eyebrows or the stubble that shadowed along His jaw, as both were several shades darker than the bleached blonde of His hair.  He had those familiar scars along His lips, that sarcastic grin…and He had facial piercings.

I couldn’t tell if He was going for ‘surfer dude’ or ‘suburban hipster.’

It struck me as strange, and I wondered if this was a sort of amusing game to Him; He kept tossing  His head as if He was striking poses for me, and yet He slyly commented that I should stop trying to mentally inventory His face, and actually talk to Him for a change.

He was right in a way; perhaps I was trying to mentally inventory His face.

But what struck me was that I was neither sleeping, dreaming, nor meditating, and yet, I was *seeing* Him.

And even more unusual, when I tried to dispel the vision, it stayed in my mind’s eye.

So, you would not want to see Me? He pouted. He sat up straight, clasped His knee to His chest, and tilted His head prettily.

Sit with Me.

But all I could think of was how graceful was the curve of His neck as He looked up at me, and how seeing Him, feeling His presence like that suddenly engendered specific thoughts in my head that left me to grin like a smitten fool.

Perhaps you are, He drawled, and what of that?

(Perhaps those sudden thoughts that I think should remain unspoken.)

~~~~

We talked for what seemed like two or three  hours, on that hillock overlooking the valley below.

I felt the rain on my face as He drew complex diagrams in the dark soft dirt.  Perhaps we talked of magic or runes or other matters entirely full of important points that could only be conveyed with the help of visual representations.

I’m not entirely certain of every thing that We discussed; I mostly remember His laughter and the steady humming patterns of His voice, along with those diagrams.

For once, I didn’t do much talking.

For once, I was simply content to listen to Him.

Talk less; listen more.

~~~

Another odd feature of  this interaction was that this discussion which seemed to have lasted for two hours…

actually only lasted 19 minutes.

From 9:00 to 9:19pm

Hmm.

 

 

 

All.

‘All you can write is what you see.’

– Woody Guthrie

Hmmm

‘I’m not sure which is worse: intense feeling or the absence of it.’

Margaret Atwood

Song for You

I had just returned from walking my dog, and I sat down at the computer to check the Book of Faces to see that Lori – friend of mine – posted a link to this video:

Now, Lori might not know how much I have always loved the original of this song, as it was penned by Leon Russell, but to realize that there’s a version sung by Ray Charles makes it even sweeter.

Thank you, Lori.

You’ve no idea how much I love – and needed – to hear such sweetness today.

More of a dichotomy.

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I wish that this icon was bigger.

These points give me some food for thought today.

 

 

Journal Challenge, Week 1: August 2nd

I was a few days behind on this challenge, but I caught myself up the other day when my Oracle cards arrived in the mail.

If any of my readers would like to participate in this challenge, here’s the opening meditation link at Cauldrons and Cupcakes.

 

I am using the Druid Animal Oracle cards for these exercises, and my guidance stone is a piece of lepidolite.

My gratitude stone is a piece of honey-red carnelian, tumbled smooth.

~~~~

After listening to the first guided meditation, I received not one but two colors to focus on for the first week’s exercise.

First color was an electric yellow green

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followed by a second color, which was a pale turquoise blue

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I quickly wrote down my impressions of each color:

Electric yellow-green reminds me of happy, sunny things.  My first thoughts concerned warmth, happiness and youth.

This color is especially keyed into one of my favorite flavors, and I tasted it immediately upon seeing this color: lime.

I  love lime-flavored things, especially that tart-sweet flavor in candies like Skittles and LifeSavers, and I know that I might be the odd one out to say that I absolutely despise when candymakers change their green flavored candies from what was formerly lime-flavored to a dreadful sour apple, or worse, kiwi-flavored candy.

But other than that, this color is a very evocative color for…my tastebuds anyway.

Meanwhile, this pale turquoise blue is related to that green in that I also associate it with a particular flavor – the taste of mint, of menthol.

This shade of blue makes me think particularly of water and sky — cool, peaceful sensations of calm and steadiness — with a subtle undercurrent of sharp intensity.

I think of still calm waters that belie icy depths.

I think of breezes that precede the approach of storms – wind, rain – and change.

~~~

Now, the word:

Allow.

I think of all that I have allowed.

I loved it when:

I’ve allowed myself to be happy, when I’ve allowed myself to enjoy.

This is difficult work for me.

I need to:

Allow myself to see.

Allow myself to become aware of my own value.

Allow Them to show Their faces to me.

He waits — but I am afraid and I negotiate myself out of allowing Him access out of fear.

~~~

The Oracle Card:

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The Raven

This card makes me think of….Odin.

As well, the intuitions that come to me from this card concern path-work, mystery, the process of reaching goals.

I think of autumn when I look at this card, and I notice the mountain in the background with its winding path to the summit.  I see the suggestion of a gate at the base of the mountain and a few spiral motifs featured on the stones scattered there.
Spirals can represent energy radiating out (or inward depending on your perspective).

Spirals can also symbolize growth, birth and expansion of consciousness.

~~~

Of course, there is more, but these are the main jumping off points for my journal-keeping this week.

 

The second guided meditation -for Week 2 – is here.

~~~~

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Heart-light

As far back as I can remember, I have had this tendency to wake up in the middle of the night, usually between 1-4 AM.

Even if I were to go to bed and sleep at 1 AM, I’d still find myself awake at 4 AM or so.

I’ve pondered over the various reasons for this – on this blog and elsewhere – but recently, I’ve truly come to accept this about my sleep schedule.   I used to think that my tendency to routinely awaken during the chime hours was something that I needed to overcome.  As a result, I’ve employed strategies ranging from medication to behavior modifications that involve everything from meditation to putting constraints on food/water intake to decreasing distractions from light or electronics or whatever…and nothing seemed to change.

So as you might imagine, I’ve read much about this, and often that reading occurs at times such as -you guessed it- 4 AM.

I came across this article recently.

While there wasn’t a lot of information that I hadn’t come across before concerning how  modern technological advances have affected human beings on a biological and psychological level, I was struck especially by this portion where Clark Strand discusses ‘inner light’:

“In the absence of artificial illumination, the human mind naturally begins to quiet down a couple of hours after dusk, and then remains quiet and at peace throughout the dark hours of the night. After about four hours, through some mysterious trick of mammalian biology, a light goes on inside our heads and we wake for about two hours. But it isn’t an artificial light, or even an outward light. It’s an inner light, softer than a candle. It doesn’t come on strong or dominate our consciousness the way a light bulb does. It doesn’t even require us to be fully conscious or awake. It’s gentler and more receptive than that. It’s inviting, a little like that tiny white spot in the dark “feminine” half of the Yin-Yang symbol.

The Song of Songs describes that state of mind with the words, “I sleep, but my heart is awake.” This isn’t a metaphor: It’s an actual state of mind that anyone can reclaim just by turning out the lights. It’s part of our biological and spiritual heritage. It’s encoded in our genes.

Why experience “the Hour of the Wolf,” when you can experience “the Hour of God”? That is the ultimate question for our light-saturated culture of insomnia. Of course, I’m not speaking of God in religious terms when I use that phrase. The hour I am talking about is much, much older than religion. I believe— and Thomas Wehr reached the same conclusion—that this is the state of mind that all religions in the world are attempting to get back to today.”

 Strand asserts that what seems to be an obstacle (the tendency to awaken in the middle of the night) is perhaps an adaption to how the presence of artificial light has affected how humans perceive the length of a day.  Therefore I am heartened to consider that I am in good company with the rest of society, for once.

 In that sense, what I thought was insomnia is just a modern adaption to human circadian rhythms.

I intend to pick up Strand’s book, Waking Up to the Dark: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age.