bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: sort of a re-blog

Silent: a piece for deep meditation.

Here is an excellent meditation piece – with bindrune – recently shared to one of my FB groups

courtesy of  the folks at Red Trillium Farm:

 

“Silent. Be still and know.

Find the quiet and empty places and all will fill you.

In the stillness, the gift will come.

Isa: Stillness

Gebo: Gifts, given and received.

Ansuz: Wisdom, revelation.

A piece for deep meditation, clearing the mind, stilling the thoughts.

Become quiet and you will hear your answers.”

From Red Trillium Farm

Food for thought: a re-blog, and my spirit animals

Asbjorn Torval’s latest post on spirit animals brings up some good points regarding spirit animals, personal bias and what he terms ‘power play’ when considering why there are so many folks who choose wolves and bears as their spirit animals, and yet no one seems to choose cockroaches or rats.

Why indeed, and this post has given me much food for thought regarding my own experiences in that if I were to choose a spirit animal, I would likely choose the fox, the horse, or the raven

– and yet, if I were to be honest –

The reality seems to be that my spirit animals are

 

 

Vultures

(L-R: Turkey vulture; Black vulture)

and

 

 

Possums!

(L-R: angry possum; possum ‘playing dead’)

You see, ever since I began working with Loki – and then later (and at present) Odin – my life has become overrun with vultures and possums!

Did I expect the relentless presence of vultures and possums in my life?

Well, I cannot say that I did, and yet – much like the Gods Themselves – I find that my life is full of signs of their presence at every turn.

So what have all of these interactions with vultures and possums taught me?

As many long-time followers of this blog may recall that I have written of my mundane (and spiritual) experiences with vultures, I don’t think I have ever written about my interactions with possums.

I grew up in a rather rural town in Massachusetts.  My father had quite a sizeable garden on the 1/2 acre property, and as you might imagine, I came across possums – both living and dead – quite often.

As a matter of fact, a dead possum was likely my first childhood experience with death – when, at the age of five or six years old – I found the very much dead body of a possum under an outdoor picnic table in the backyard. I remember my father explaining to me how sometimes possums would ‘play dead’ – just like I’d seen in cartoons – but that this one was really dead 😦

As well, my siblings and I would often come across live mama possums -with tiny babies – living in our root cellar, or trying to survive the winter by sneaking under the bulkhead stairs and into our basement. (I remember my older siblings and I learning to build a (humane) catch and release trap (courtesy of a Mark Trail book) for catching all the possums and other animals that snuck in, and how aggressively we competed with each other for the exciting and very honorable privilege of being the one who help our father carry the [occupied] trap into the woods to safely release whatever animal it had caught.)

But then, once I grew up and left home, I spent many years living in suburban areas and in bigger cities like Boston, Orlando, and Newark…and I didn’t see another possum for almost 25 years.

Fast forward to 2010, when my husband and I bought a house in a large Central Florida suburb…and I am telling you, I have never seen so many possums in all of my life.

In the month of July 2013 alone, I came across eight dead possums in my backyard; I swear that the vultures were bringing them – perhaps even dropping them – into my backyard, which is surrounded by a 6 foot privacy fence.  Two of them were huge- larger than each of my three full grown house-cats – and even my 75 lb Labrador retriever was afraid to go near them. (They were very dead and very heavy – and the body of one of those particularly big ones would not fit on the scoop/blade of my largest shovel.)

And nowadays, I’ve seen a few (thankfully live) possums while walking my dogs at night, either trotting down the middle of my street, or perched on my next-door neighbor’s fence or in the tree overlooking their swimming pool.

My dogs go berserk and stand out there barking at them every time one of the possums show up- but I don’t think they even blink anymore :/

~~~

 Most of those ‘What’s your Spirit Animal?’ websites (like this one) often portray Possum as a sort of trickster and problem solver:

  • Possum comes up with alternative plans for difficult situations that don’t require fighting/violence. They have an effective strategy – either by putting on an impressive display of ferocity or by playing ‘dead’ – and both strategies are indicative of one who is a master of projecting an impressive image of what they want others to see.
  • Possums are highly social with curious, inquisitive minds. They know when to run, when to hide, and when to move forward.
  • Possums are short lived creatures associated with youth and vulnerability. As a spirit animal, Possum assists those who are either young in spirit – or those who need to reconnect with their own vulnerability (or their inner child).
  • Possums are nocturnal creatures who are comfortable in the dark (in burrows underground) or in trees. Thus, Possum has strong element ties with the Earth and with trees. They have mastered navigating darkness and Possum serves as an excellent guide for those who seek to develop their navigation of darkness to uncover elusive truths, especially spiritual truths.
  • When Possum shows up – ask yourself if you are taking the right path toward your goals or if you have wandered off track. If the latter, Possum might be saying: ‘Be still and play dead’ and take some time to reflect and assess your circumstances. But likewise, Possum symbolizes to expect the unexpected and always be on the lookout for deception and lies. You are being called to challenge the status quo and outsmart the people who may wish to trick or deceive you.
  • Possum can indicate the need to be prepared for change – opportunity knocks! – but Possum’s message is one of caution: Not all is as it would seem. Some options will leave you exposed and vulnerable, while other options may divert you from your goals. Possums are creatures who look for the path of least resistance.
  • Ultimately, Possum is a survivor and the possum is a reminder that you will survive whatever threatens to overtake you, including your fears, doubts, or emotional trauma. Stay guarded, listen, and bide your time.

~~~

So, considering best laid plans and all that…

Every time I see a vulture, I take it as a reminder that I need

  • to rely on the tools given to me
  • trust in the process
  • look for opportunities to transform
  • accept that what seems like an end is not the end of the world

And, oddly enough, when I see possums, I take it as a sign that I need to:

  • Be resourceful
  • Meditate on my options
  • Learn to navigate the darkness and don’t be afraid of it
  • Learn to accept that appearances can deceive
  • Be cheerful

That being said, I think Vulture and Possum are my unexpected spirit animals

…and I imagine that they are here to stay.

 

 

 

 

 

Some food for thought from Patheos…

This article:

 The Toxic Narrative of “Being Chosen” by Gods and Bad Boys 

came across my Facebook feed yesterday afternoon.

  I am glad that it did.

Misha Magdalene’s words have given me lots of food for thought concerning Deities and the topic of consent as this is an issue that has been on my mind for quite some time.

Like the author, I too have definitely noticed a particular toxic narrative be bandied about in several Pagan communities, and I agree with the author to some degree on the most problematic aspects surrounding the belief that one has been ‘chosen’ by a Deity, and more importantly, the inherent unhealthiness of attraction and desire to be chosen by  ‘bad boys’ (let alone Deities) 1

Now, before I get too involved, I do want to state that while I agree with the author on some points in their argument, I do disagree with some nuances of their argument.

Allow me to explain…

While I agree that it is a toxic and unhealthy thing to believe that devotees “are powerless protagonists at the mercy of domineering [Gods Who are]

socially inept aggressors who control the relationship” 2

(because I believe that such a mindset is an insult to humans, let alone Gods;  aside of the fact that  as much as one might be tempted to apply tenets of human psychology to Gods, They aren’t human…)

but more importantly, I disagree with the author that the Gods don’t choose Their devotees

(because, sometimes, They do.)

BUT… on the point of contention concerning consent – I do believe that just because you are chosen by a Deity

– Loki or otherwise –

1.) Being ‘chosen’ doesn’t confer some extra legitimacy to your praxis

and

2.) You don’t have to say Yes.

But….this article gave me food for thoughts that led to several jumping off points in my head concerning consent in regards to Deities, more toxic narratives regarding Loki as found exclusively within Lokean communities, as well as some convoluted thoughts involving the ‘legitimacy’ surrounding experience, praxis and UPG within said Loki-friendly communities.

~~~

  1. “…some folks derive both personal validation and self-esteem from the fantasy—or, in some cases, the reality—of being romantically involved with someone who’s just bad news, relationship-wise. They’re emotionally stunted, they’re dangerous, they’re “troubled,” they’re emotionally absent, or they have some other personality issue which makes them fundamentally a poor choice for an emotionally intimate relationship. The kicker, though, is that it’s precisely this unsuitability which makes them such a desirable relationship partner. The risk of being harmed—emotionally, financially, even physically—makes the dalliance far more exciting and gratifying than being involved with someone safe and, well, boring. The thrill comes from the danger, but also from that feeling of being chosen. Remember, of all the people this moody, dangerous, emotionally distant partner could’ve chosen, they chose us. The “bad boy” doesn’t like anybody, but they like us… and that makes us feel wanted, desired, validated. It makes us feel special, and “feeling special” can be intoxicating, exhilarating, incredibly seductive.”
    (from the article)
  2. Ibid.

Pandoramancy: Lost.

There is nothing wrong, and yet I have been rather socially-avoidant today, just fumbling through the hours.

It happens.

But then a notification came through my email: an old acquaintance of mine wrote a post on zir blog little while ago, and damned if it didn’t give me a bittersweet feeling of nostalgia:

You see, I too, have had Him come to me as Peter Pan, and yet oddly enough, I was an adult – with adult responsibilities such as a job, bills to pay, and a child of my own – so I didn’t understand the meaning of His usage of that particular face during His visitation at that time.

And yet…

I believe that it was a sign, a marker of sorts – meant to remind me of the part of me I hid, that part that I never really allowed to be- the part of me I’d chosen to tuck away from my everyday awareness.

Perhaps it is a cliche – the playful attitude, the sense of wonder – but I will not deny its importance.

I was a serious child with a vivid imagination and if anything, I’d always thought someday, I would come back to that part, I would allow myself one day…

To remember the boy who waited at the edge of those bad dreams…

The young man who lived in the woods

whose face I drew incessantly

whom I was half in love with

before I even could have known what love was.

As He was – and yet He was not – Peter Pan, but it was not until I realized much later that the face of Peter Pan was a convenient and rather apt metaphor for what I had pushed away from myself.

Come find Me, He said.

You know where.

Diagram.

 

whatisay:

This handy diagram explains everything concerning what I experience on a daily basis whenever I attempt to communicate my thoughts to others, let alone when I try to write posts.

O.o

 

 

A Thursday Throwback: Sometimes.

Here’s a Thursday Throwback – from 21 February 2013 – that I am sharing at the request of a dear friend.

Enjoy!

~~~~

“Sometimes, He is not pretty.
Disheveled, stinking of piss and filth.
A frightening homeless man
Shouting at me from the other side of the train station:
The face that you often see is nothing but a glamour crafted to be pleasing to you.
But, sometimes, I am tired of that
face, and you will see Me as I am
An ancient being, whose face bears the ravages of time, and what appalling marks
Grief, pain and madness have inevitably made upon Me.

While it may be easy to approach Me in a finer guise,
Silk cravats and topcoats, leather and flash, I am
Also this, at My core. This is also Me.
I am bloated with rage, and careless
grime settled in the creases, compulsively licking
The blood and the spittle that collects at the corners of My ragged lips.
My yellowed, broken teeth have gnawed and ground down upon the offal and
bones of My very long memory.

I call to you
but you must approach Me.

Would you kiss My mouth?
~~~
And I see Him across the room, and His voice is interwoven with the cacophony of noise that is noon at South Station, Boston.

I cannot will my feet to go forward, but I see His eyes, the intense clear blue of Icelandic water, His disheveled hair an awkward penumbra of red and gold, His face unshaven and streaked with the filth born of having slept in the elements upon concrete. He raises a hand, and makes a beckoning gesture. Oh I see you, little one, He drawls. I notice that His fingernails are dark with grime, and He smiles, a grin of wolfen teeth, and He licks His cracked lips, waiting.

For all that He looks, His voice is not unpleasant.

But I am afraid.

I am cold, I realize, and I hug myself tighter, as if my own arms could possibly warm me enough, and yet I know that I am holding myself in.  This is me putting up all my walls and fronts.

You have so much shame, He shouts, You have learned nothing….

The rumble of the trains pulling into South Station obscures His voice, His tirade, for several minutes.

There are too many trains, I shout, I cannot hear!

He begins to laugh, shaking His head. He tilts His head, almost menacingly, working out a crick in His neck, as He continues, Oh no, my dear. It is as it is always, with you. You are too cold. You cannot hear. You have a headache. You are afraid….

He glares at me.

He pulls a cigarette from the pocket of His shabby, unseasonably thin coat. Oh, spare Me the details of all of your excuses, He snarks at me, loudly, angrily.

He reminds me of Heath Ledger’s Joker, as He wipes His sore and tattered mouth with the back of His grubby hand, before placing the cigarette deftly on the edge of His lower lip, and lights it.

A lone ribbon of smoke curls and spirals ever upward over His head, strangely unbroken and unbuffeted by the crowd and activity that surges about Him, between us.

10031491-man-smoking-cigarette-over-black-background-low-key-light-image

 

 

Come. Kiss Me. I might believe you.

 

But I cannot will my feet to go forward. I will have to push myself through this crowd, I am thinking.

The air feels thick and heavy, my head rings with high-pitched buzzing anxiety, and my skin prickles with heat.

Poor little girl, is His singsong sigh, half a sarcasm, half a reprimand, to me, as He shuffles His feet, waiting.

Come to me, He whispers, more within my head than without, and His words seem to reverberate like a humming inward chant, in my head.

Come to Me.
Come to Me.
Come to Me
.”

 

(link here)

 

3 Thoughts for Empaths Who Are Feeling Drained

“…When you’re feeling overwhelmed, like you have given all your energy out to others and need to recharge yourself, always remember:

1.) You deserve happiness; take time for yourself
2.) Your feelings are no less important than anyone else’s
3.) We are all connected – when you hurt yourself you are hurting others”

(Taken from this article by Hilary Gerstler)

Month for Loki, Day 18: Lost…and found.

Since I am still struggling with several overlapping illnesses at this time – ear infection, sinus infection, and general malaise – you may that I haven’t had much of the wherewithal to write these past few days.

Hence the reason that I’ve gotten so behind in keeping up with my daily posts this July in the Month for Loki.

But I have been reading a lot – and this powerful post came across my WordPress feed today, concerning Loki as a God Who is rather popular with folks who have struggled with various forms of abuse, difficulty, and dysfunction in their lives.    I agree with her especially in this:

One of the biggest groups of people who tend to find themselves interacting with Loki are those who have been abused in some way. The ones who have lost themselves and need to be guided back – who need to learn who they are again. Loki teaches us that it’s okay to not be okay. He teaches us that it’s okay to be wounded and feel the wound so that it can heal properly.

While my experiences were not exactly the same as those of Ms. Kyaza, I can relate to a lot of her experiences, especially in regards to dysfunctional family relationships.

I can definitely identify with the ambivalent feelings that arise out of having suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of those whom I trusted most to love and respect me.

In fact, there were several occasions wherein I found myself dangerously close to tears while reading her post, as her description of her thoughts and feelings about her mother and their relationship so closely resonated with my own experiences so powerfully.

Reading her post made me feel a strange mixture of feelings.

I felt both a sense of exposure and a sense of triumphant relief in reading this post.

I felt an incredible sense of exposure and shame – as in reading her words, I was so acutely reminded of the immensity of my own desire to please my mother (and in turn, my siblings) who often rejected my efforts by responding with anger, ridicule or outright dismissal.  And yet, I remember that guilt, that shame.  I had grown up feeling that somehow, if I could just do better, work harder, love more – then finally, I would receive love; I would deserve love.

And yet, while reading, I also felt an undercurrent of strange relief – here was someone who writes so eloquently of navigating emotional landmines that I understand.

I felt understood.  I felt heard.

I am not alone in this pain.

I am not the only one.

You see, I have both loved and hated my mother and my siblings – and as a result, in turn, as a woman and as a mother, I have both loved and hated myself.  I struggled – and still struggle – with the emotional scars of my upbringing.  I crave to feel understood, to feel safe, to feel loved, and yet I have been skeptical of the existence of a relationship wherein I can feel understood, safe and loved.  Sometimes, I find myself skeptical of those who have tried to nurture me, so deeply ingrained was my belief that I did not deserve even my mother’s love, the love of my brothers and sisters.

It took me years to decipher that it was not my inadequacy or failing, but the lack of self-love and incapacity to receive love that my mother (and perhaps of those even further back) suffered with that continues this horrible chain.

It affects all of my relationships. I have tried valiantly to be the mother that my own wasn’t, and yet, I still find myself wondering if I’ve fallen short, if I’ve done a disservice to my children.  As a person, I have endeavored to be emotionally reliable, compassionate, and kind, and yet, sometimes, I am a victim of my own perfectionism and pessimism, and my own distorted habits and worldviews.

I am estranged from my family, even today.

But the truth is, I am no longer estranged from myself.  I am no longer lost.

I had to learn to break the cycle of the past.  It is daily work to remain mindful of my emotional responses and reactions whenever I interact with others.  (Is it kind? Is it necessary? Am I responding from a place of love and understanding rather than from fear or anger, for example.)

I have learned to be acutely aware of my own negative self-talk and self-limiting behaviors and beliefs.  I am learning to accept myself and recognize my strengths and weaknesses, as well as accepting and recognizing that everyone else also has their own struggles with similar issues, with similar emotions, behaviors and beliefs about themselves – and none of us are perfect.  Perfection is stagnation.

I am learning to allow myself …to feel vulnerable.  To feel angry.  To be open to my own emotions and not fear the emotions, reactions, or responses of others.  I am learning to be accountable.  I am learning to let go of what doesn’t work and focus on what does.  I am learning to let go and trust the process.  Trust Him and trust myself.

Loki taught me a lot of these things.  He has taught me to embrace imperfection, to confront fear of loss or change, to let go of the need to control outcomes, to work with what I’ve been given, and most of all, to allow myself, to open myself to love.

Love the process of living, love the process of learning.

Just…LOVE.

~~~

Hail Loki, God of the lost and…found.

Thank You for finding me.