Cred and Reactive Comments

We’ve reached a choke point within the Thing that we call “spiritual culture.” We know we want to be here and anyone who approaches does so usually because they just got badly burned and are in need of real nourishment, to do, be, or feel better. The lights are a bit blinding, there’s lots of fear, and Something or Someone who has a job for them and cares for their wellbeing goaded, dragged, or seduced them to the place with all the sparking weirdos who were Awake at least to the point of being able to recognize that there was either Something More or that there was something other than what was being disseminated in the more popular religious/spiritual groups.

These groups/traditions were/are, to be sure, better funded, organized, and riding the expensive bloody coattails of Imperial history. (Or you just “got lucky” and “dug the good vibes, broh.”) Oftentimes, the very spaces intended to be sanctuaries and recovery structures can often become the theaters for middle-school-esque insecurities to blossom and in some cases perpetuate the same toxins that poisoned us before we arrived there. For marginalized people who have fought for the dirt under their shoes, this is not a casual issue. I’m one such person. I’m illustrating something hard to understand and harder to describe, but its important, so I’ll do my best. Take what your heart hears and leave the rest.

Each has their own story about why and how and what, but a rather universal experience, confessed or not, is the sense of being Other and wanting to feel this warmth of belonging, tribal strength, nourishment, and a sense of socially awarded honor that comes with being recognized as Same and Worthy. If you happen to be a survivor of human rights violations, modern slavery, chronic illness, acts of war, the daily trauma of racism, homo/transphobia, cult abuse, etc., this sense of “well, now what” can be almost unbearable and only a great few survive it. If we manage to find a group we like, we get a group label and then possibly people begin to listen to us for being qualitatively weird like them! Glory be! We feel a rush of real nourishment and for some it is the first time – in which case the wounded child aspects surface and we feel all of the repressed pain ride under the waves of belonging.

Thankfully, instead of just lynching people who are different, shooting them at home, or starving them into masking their true natures as in decades past, we’ve begun to boost the voices of marginalized groups, like transgender people and people-of-color, for example, because their daily lived experiences are, by conventional operating standards, incredibly difficult and horrific, most of it beyond their control. I have the blessing of having racial privilege while also being transgender, but appearing more or less like my-Self, so there’s little pushback that I encounter when navigating in society, though for many years, this was not my daily experience and walking down the street was a gauntlet. When you exist outside of what a group thinks is the sum total of reality, some people hold it against you.

I uniquely get to see how easily someone will be given the benefit of the doubt for traits completely beyond their control and another person completely denied said benefit for traits equally beyond their control. When these voices get boosted and welcomed into groups with very public and sometimes inherently political acts, people who have been ignoring deep wounds instantly see their shadows cast on people who are different and are compelled to oppress the marginalize – questioning their integrity, victim-blaming, erasing their daily lived experiences – because these narratives remind them of just how wounded they, themselves, still are and feel helpless to resolve within. Because one person over there gets loved, their pain gets louder, because they want that same love. This is why many people who seem to have social power will attack those who don’t seemingly for no reason. They don’t realize the neighboring narrative parallel to their own.

In other words, when the Repressed see the Marginalized helped, they react in anger because they feel invisible and like they will never have space held for them to heal if these invisible resources are given to groups that typically don’t get to experience any social privilege. Note that when I speak of privilege I mean subtle/not-so-subtle things like being silently judged a “safe” person, a kind person, or a person-like-me, in addition to things that are life-threatening like access to jobs with upward momentum and health insurance, home and business loans, compassionate medical care, marriage proposal. Its true that many people experience tough times, but here we’re referring to the vast majority of collective experience.

Its also important to note that US veterans who more often than not suffer from deep and relatively poorly treated PTSD and other health issues, including but not limited to missing limbs, are often provided little or no care or assistance re-entering what may appear to be an alien world upon completing overseas deployment in war zones having experienced significant violence. Some are fortunate and many are simply not.

My main point is this, if you sign up to run with those who honor “Wild” gods and practice working with energy born of Nature, then you will encounter often that which will stun you, terrify you, confuse you, charm you, be-wilder you, nourish you, seduce you, or even empower you. Nature is home to bunny rabbits and venomous spiders. Here there be dragons! People will be gay, bi, straight, pan, and none of the above. They will violate prescribed gender norms; they will engage in non-fetus-making sex. They will be solo and they will be in groups. They will be all shades of all colors. They will dance in caves and on beaches. They will be vegan and they will eat steak. They will exchange power and they will be militantly equal. They will speak with angels and they will fellate gods. We’re not here to destroy or cut down each other for being more or less Different than we are. If ever we feel the impulse to hurt our own with criticism or strife, remember there are actual wars with actual death being fought with clergy and citizens in actual danger right now.  I submit that we would do well to invest our energies building what we want, rather than critiquing what we don’t fully understand yet.

If you want a steady and consistent methodology and culture, come to Mass with me. If you want to run free, naked (or not) as you please, run in the Heath with me. However, you don’t get to turn around and decide that you are gatekeeper to other people’s lived experience, identity, Mystery, or relationship with deity. You don’t get to point your wand at people and say that their daily lived experience isn’t real just because it hasn’t spread itself out on your high holy doorstep or because you weren’t invited to their unique struggle. You most certainly don’t honor any gods, living or dead, by taking inflammatory reactions to others beyond your own property onto social networks and throwing tantrums, nor does it serve, in my humble opinion, for others to get in there and muck about on keyboards with those who are doing so, even with noble intent. This is all energy that could be spent in devotion, aka, shutting up and Living in reflection of They who have shown you Beauty beyond. In other worlds, let’s go build what we talk about.

People learn by feeling. Compassion is born of mutual suffering: com-passion. I only get to take another step in my journey once I have felt all there is to feel about an issue in humble quiet and not-so-quiet honesty with myself and Source. Its not anybody’s business, fault, or responsibility: its mine and mine, alone. I came to the Heath seeking to understand what was pulsing like sonar inside me and having watched my prior world and family ties burn to ash before me, there was nowhere else to go. That pulsing thing was my Heart and in healing her I got to see myself and learn what at least a kind of Love felt for the first time. That became the core of my work and no matter what comes up, it returns there and that is all that remains. The rest, the notoriety, the cred, the “traditions”, the groups, they all burn just like the sacred groves of old to which the Imperials set flame, the same way they crafted human torches out of women and the Different who dared wield strength, own their sex, go to Source directly, or own property like they were sovereign beings.

Here’s the point, no commentary is going to change what is or is not. It is the summary of quiet actions repeated daily that change the world. If you’re called to serve, to build up tribe long lost, or got a crow up your ear saying now’s the time, then burn your cred and get on with it. In the Wild places, you’ll find no trademark. There’s just blood, sweat, cum, mead, and tears and when you feel the world wash away again, the sun comes up and the horn blows anew. No one cares what your name is or how you identify; they care  whether or not your vibration helps them stay alive or die where they stand. To the gods, everything else is tripe that burns. Those that think their personal comments will erase what has been forged in hellfire will never see my face. Those who risk all to breathe free just might. The Mother knows us all, no matter our color or what swings between our legs. We’re all bratty toddlers to Her, so let’s get on with it, shall we?

Walk in Beauty, Strength, and Magic all your days.

This is the Royal Way.

– Freya Thunderheart

The Sword You Know

This week marks the third year I’ve participated in The Morrigan’s Call Retreat in CT, led by Stephanie Woodfield, and the second time serving as a temple keeper. I’m only just now recollecting myself as I undertake the next challenge from the Queen and gather myself for commission. Spirituality/SH/Pagan writers and discuss-ers galore often write on lore, some techniques, spells, mantras, pos-thinking, etc. After dying over and over, shedding skins, and seeing with new eyes, at a certain point the rules that work for some absolutely no longer apply. I don’t address this to the spiritual, pagan, or even heathen, community at large. I address leadership, who is comprised of individuals who aren’t quite recognized yet or expect official capacity of themselves as of yet. Listen up, because I’m calling you in.

At a certain level, one finds oneself “off the map” of recorded experience in liminal spaces. Historically, most of the authors we look to chart our course didn’t survive or journey further than fundamental illumination. The rest was left for others in the name of isolated teaching in secret circle or encoded in initiatory symbology looking akin to chemistry and mathematics than soul-wringing, mind-erasing lived experience. I’m taking up that path of refusing to be in context of jargon, permission from the prior generations, or even appearing recognizable to those whom I would love so very much to call tribe. At a certain point, the crowd becomes uncomfortable with the degree of Truth they see and they panic, attempt to grab onto something to replace their shattered play-house-life that they invented in lieu of the zoom-out perspective the Lightbringer installs. Truth is the key to Love, but it requires death. Anyone who’s been waterboarded can attest: everyone breaks under enough duress.

Hold up. I thought we were just going to get in touch with our roots, sing some camp songs, and wave some sage before the J goes around. ‘The hell is all this hard stuff about? That’s great for most. Some of us are called up to lead through the jungle and the coming Time. The 19-20th century methods are becoming the equivalent of popsicle sticks in the coming era. Our collective projection of the world continues to swirl into a sharper image on an exponential level and shows no chance of giving up anytime soon. What does that matter to hippies who ate the wrong(right) mushroom? It means you just stumbled on really-fucking-old war that’s been happening around you your whole life and you knew it deep down but had no way of directing, so it was better to ignore the whole thing and play Barbies. Many benefit from this impulse. I had a choice in my life, get eaten, or approach the throne. I didn’t realize my arrival was expected.

At this point, I’ve seen with ancient and newborn eyes, “male” and “female” perspective, outlaw and citizen stature, and with the mind of slave and master. The gods will poetically mention how tasting Truth takes one out of one’s “age” bracket entirely. Its not poetry. You’re forever changed by walking between worlds and seeing behind the scenes. his work is all real. The gods are intelligent and active. The human world is never what it seems. We are grossly undereducated and have no idea how far beneath our ancestors we are. This civilization is simply the most recent experiment in the ongoing development of an invented species. In short, just get over yourself and trust your damned feelings, please. They have root in worlds and battles you cannot possibly imagine at this juncture. Just go with it and wake up. None of it matters, anyway. Such fun, being a Truthteller.

A service I sometimes provide for a temple is that of Challenger, wherein I compel a seeking devotees to declare their naked truth before entering sacred space at the point of a holy sword. To some, this will sound extreme and “crazy,” while to others, this was how they knew they could trust both me and the entire collective represented by the role. It challenges me to be direct and fully present with someone, albeit surrendered to the hand of deity, Their eyes and ears. Having experienced great pain and twisted strife, my Libran nature urges me to be peaceful and harmonious with my peers, survivors and ravens of my Queen, in particular. However, it is required that my service take the form that stretches me as well as them, which of course makes complete sense in the grand scheme.

I always feel in alignment weilding Severity in Love, for I understand it. It compels loving surrender and distills the community. Its not about me and makes me as vulnerable as those challenged. When I am challenged, I am so grateful, because it allows me to be in the moment fully and display that I can be trusted in the face of death. I’m not here to just make s’more’s, ok? (I love mf s’mores; don’t get it twisted.) I expected the role to draw dislike, contention, or resentment; I was wrong. It came back to me that people were immensely blessed by the Challenge, that it helped people receive.

Furthermore, what of me was there to witness the work was humbled by just how many of us in spiritual warrior work have shattered hearts, scars, and the unyielding hope of the child who’s lost everything and yet praises the sun in the morning. Being a warrior isn’t about strutting, barking, or dick sizes, metaphorical or otherwise. Its about taking another step, when you don’t know if you even still have feet or ground to stand on. By facing the Sword we Know, we are able to stand again, fearless, and Seen – in Love.

All we have is Love in this present moment, then its gone. After walking through hellscapes and undergoing mod after mod, readjusting, watching each world I called home turn to ash, here we are in the present, me marking up coded thoughts on electrons, that are sent through pulse waves across the four winds to you in the right time, and you seeing what you decided you finally wanted to see, at last – the past be damned. This is not the first life, nor the last, for in Ascension, we simply evolve further, always a student, always a teacher, always walking magic. Trust it. The Truth is beautiful and it is deadly and terrifying. But trust also that it is all real and its ok. You are safe in the moment and need fear nothing and no one.

Though you walk through the Valley of the shadow of Death, fear no evil, for We are with you – and We kick ass. (The Gospel According to The Thunderheart)

The events of the retreat and the Homecoming with tribe moved me beyond all these words and more. I was cut up and cast out of chosen “families” after I refused again to be made into someone’s pet or mascot. You find out who is truly your ally when you receive true power and fertility. After walking alone and burned for so long, undergoing secret and not-so-secret training, and just a lot of shutting tf up and doing the Work, I was met with wave after wave of, “Yes, this is real, you are enough, and We are One,” over and over and over again. I watched my work heal people as everyone stepped into their greater self and we continue to develop a culture that abolishes this soul-theiving culture we all once called our own.

Know, tribe, that we are one, I am with you, the future requires all who See stepping into servant leadership, and getting the fuck out the way of discovery, play, solidarity, and healing. We must absolutely surrender to the flames all that does not ring true to our hearts and clear our heads. I strike down the culture of so-called punishment for “Sin,” miserly control of other’s progress by those attached to cult of personality, and the lie that women find spirit through men, for we all come naked and alone before the gods, no matter form, nor function. The rest is our momentary invention in the name of survival. The Lightbringer sees all and the Queen demands your naked heart. If that’s not for you, close this page now and you will not even remember what you read or where you read it. If I’m speaking to you: Just. Keep. Breathing.

This is the long and the short of it. If you would survive, you must absolutely focus on yourself. If you would Live, you must surely die. In this, is a Mystery both terrible and beautiful. I challenge you to bow before Joy and seek first the Love that brought you forward, that we might all burn brightly in deepest night.

This is the Royal Way.


R. Freya Thunderheart

Just Go.

Look around.

Feel within.

Is this who you are?

What motivates you more:

– The thought of falling flat on your face in potential disgrace for having striven for something that made you feel alive

– Or the thought of being at the end of your life as you begin to slow and approach decay knowing that you had a shot and never chose to stand for anything beyond what other whiners told you were the utter limits of the world based upon what they wanted to believe?

There will always be someone disappointed.

There will always be someone sitting on their butt quick to critique and observe flaws because that’s the only way they still feel they are connected.

There will always be someone who won’t want to keep up with the greatness you have found within yourself. Its their job to follow theirs and you to follow yours. Or you can both just sit there watching your train roll away from you. Love is never forced upon anyone.

If you want to win. If you want to watch the world blossom around you. If you want to see what you are truly made of. I dare you to tune out those who won’t risk feeling and tune in to the sound of your own mighty heart beating – the one that’s kept you alive through all what came before and what is coming now.

The Sun rises and falls, so does my ego.

Look around, it confounds even your deepest need though.

I dare you to surmise what I prophesy,

This is the end of a time,

So sublime, look inside and you will find,

Lost memories, so serene, it seems,

We live somewhere in between,

What was, what is, and what seems to be.

All is one,

One is all,

In this and this alone,

Are we really Free.

Consciousness burns.

We like to talk about meditation like brushing our teeth or recycling. We like to craft a low risk language around the practice and experience of rewriting the code within our own mind like its just taking a different kind of shower. For many that resonates and if helpful, I’m certainly all for that. But people rarely discuss just how much being conscious truly hurts. Not like a sore muscle hurts; I mean the way a 3rd degree burn hurts, I.e., searing loud silent ringing pain in your ears for weeks. I mean the way a puncture wound changes the way you walk, sleep, eat, and breathe. I mean how being conscious of something after years of habitual white-washing has masked a bubbling cauldron of chaos inside you is something that cannot be unrealized.

Your true reflection is something that once tasted, can not be unknown. Once seen, you cannot be unseen ever again. Consciousness is like a mark on your face that only appears in the mirror. Its like a chip in your head that translates layers of default reality into narrative and explosive change. Once awake, your own consideration of yourself instantly dies and you’re left mourning the illusion of control you had over your being.

The “red-pill/blue-pill” awakening is no exaggeration and once experienced is maddening until you manage to complete your own funeral and then comes the fun part, starting again as someone else, someone who was there all along but whom you couldn’t understand. And the world just keeps on turning like nothing happened.

Its at the moment when it is simply important to breathe.

And come back.

To just the Moment as it is.

Its just meditation after all.

Honor the Rage

Imbolc blessings, to those who observe, and so begins the palpable return of Summer light in the Northern Hemisphere. This recent Full Blue Blood Supermoon (yes, really) in Leo has us all shaken up with what we can and also what we probably should not take pride in. Where is your fire and sense of loyalty? Have you, like me, felt the rage as deep reclamation of the deep soul light within and fiery majesty comes rocketing out of centuries of suppressed collective consciousness? As one culture of oppression, abuse, silencing, and objectification of the feminine within all is withering away and becoming more exposed, we get to see our entanglement with that paradigm and social philosophy become raw and exposed as well.

I feel it so deeply. I’m asking myself the question of whether I form value judgments informed from lack or another’s power, rather than what truly makes me come alive and seamlessly co-create with others of a like mind and heart. This is heavy stuff if you have an identity tied up in illusions of grandeur or having as its very foundation the weaknesses or toxic fuel of codependency and strife. In other words, whatever space you hold for addictive cycles or forming your self-worth from someone else being “less” than you or “more” than you is being made instantaneously obsolete.

And it fucking hurts.

Its a blessing, of course, because when who you are not melts off of the true vision of who you are underneath your own and others’ projections, you get to bask in the grand unity that we all share and innocent light that we hold, but oy it hurts getting there. Trust that your ego will be checked and the only way forward will be to humbly walk in genuine love and zeal for that which inspires you to life, love, and battle for the sweetness of Be-ing. We can no longer look to others for who we should be, nor can we hold each other back from flourishing into who we are becoming. Try to be anyone but your raw beautiful self and you will surely fail. Cast off the illusion of separateness in favor of being truly “enough” because the unity is perfect and on time and you will surely thrive. Perhaps, it won’t appear as you had predicted, but that’s the fun of life, isn’t it?

When you surrender to this process, it hurts at first, and then the realization comes that sets you on fire. Its when you see what you settled for previously, the lies you told yourself about your potential, the fetters you wore as badges of permission, that you can rip them off like paper chains and the rage of love sets in. Its the kind of rage parents feel when they hear word of their child being hurt by someone. Give that honorable love to yourself and hold yourself close. Remember, we’re going for progress, not perfection. 

I challenge you to roll with this evolution and burn the rags you previously wore to light the signal fire for the new time. Its a huge risk that will yield a far greater reward than you can imagine. Its a beautiful and soul-wrenching cycle that has the rewards for those who surrender all to the oneness within. Its awesome and its scary.

But really, what else did you think you were going to be doing?

Religious Fervor

Why so much religion, but no intimacy? When is the last time you actually felt something other than the state of your buzz or reaction? Why are you or I often afraid to taste any depth of experience?

Because it will forever change who we are.

While living in a city with deep and ever-evolving diversity, I get to mingle and witness a multitude of fervent to casual religious expression and also utter lack thereof. Many also replace a prescribed or historically mandated expression of faith for one of dogmatic isolation from their own intuition. Others stir themselves into paranoid Inquisition-esque outlashing at an imagined Other as fashion statement or even core identity trait. How about that Muslim ban?

This post isn’t about politics, its about us. Its about who or what is with me when I shut the door on the rest of the world for at least a few hours. Too often it feels like I’m just left with the list of failures to meet the expectations of the few-to-hundreds of people I intersect with that day. Do you also feel like a beeped-out pinball battered about the machine? We speak of self-care, but there are multiple paradigms at play. We’re entering an entirely new playing field with multiple social castes layered within it that fluctuate depending on what constitutes marketable value, many of which we can be very unaware do to groupthink and degree of access, for example.

People form an identity and then when life peppers open its inadequate facade, we don’t know what to do. We ultimately have more or less two options: get more Real or Blend In, even at the risk of severing that which makes us truly human from our conscious life. Both are tactical choices, but ultimately we look ourselves in the mirror and are either covered in disguises or truths. Both can be uncomfortable, but only one is toxic.

This isn’t to say, I think that we should flout nor should we hide how we experience divinity and connection. I’m not saying we should tell everyone everything or make a loud choice when a subtle one is healthier. This is rough terrain and there are centuries of blood layered in the dirt under us. We’re doing a new thing and evolving. Art is never neat at first.

But I am saying, honey, you should feel and love who you actually are underneath it all in a space that no one gets to question. Its the simplest thing and can also truly be one of the hardest things in life.

Hating is easy. Loving is harder, because it creates Life and Life creates…

Change! And that’s where the fun begins.

 

 

Wildcat/Scaredeycat

Its Leo season, which means my inner wildcat hisses my inner critic back into the front row seating where she belongs and I get to note all the ways I’ve been unsatisfied with the level of expression and passion I need to feel alive…

AND…

ALL of the Owie that gave part of me good reason to not put myself out there until the shell shock, ear ringing, and flashbacks stopped, and where the hell are my good shoes?

There’s an energy that flows easily through us that can carry through to show us how we can best add value to the circle, but feeling your way to that magic hurts.

Sometimes it hurts a lot.

Like whole several-year-periods-of-your-life-missing a lot.

Look around. Feel within. Is this who you are?

What motivates you more:

– The thought of falling flat on your face in potential disgrace for having striven for something that made you feel alive

– Or the thought of being at the end of your life as you begin to slow and approach decay knowing that you had a shot and never chose to stand for anything beyond what other whiners told you were the utter limits of the world based upon what they wanted to believe?

There will always be someone disappointed.

There will always be someone sitting on their butt quick to critique and observe flaws because that’s the only way they still feel they are connected.

There will always be someone who won’t want to keep up with the greatness you have found within yourself. Its their job to follow theirs and you to follow yours. Or you can both just sit there watching your train roll away from you. Love is never forced upon anyone.

If you want to win – if you want to watch the world blossom around you – if you want to see what you are truly made of, I dare you to tune out those who won’t risk feeling and tune in to the sound of your own mighty heart beating – the one that’s kept you alive through all what came before and what is coming now.

Leo is the fire of nobility of heart expressed. Its donning the crown. Its reveling in the glory. Its fire shining because it can. Also if you’ve ever gotten burned, scalded by hot water, you know its not the initial flare that hurts. Its the wave that comes 1-2 seconds after that lets you know you were just overwhelmed with a significant degree of energy your body couldn’t ground effectively. You get broken by that power and you learn to respect it – even in spite of both the pain and how much you need it.

Whether you’ve been burned by what you thought love was,

Whether you’ve been burned by who you thought you were,

Whether you’ve been burned by what someone told you God was,

Whether you’ve been betrayed by someone you called Family,

We’re still here.

We need that Fire.

We have earned our crown.

From the journey here, our seat at the table is unquestioned,

Because our story is written in our eyes,

In the fruits of our labor,

And the company we keep.

Its time to know again what was worth the fight. The pain. The isolation.

Its time to honor what remains.

To rise with dignity and grace,

And take back your own life by the reins.

We deserve to be loved for wearing our truest face,

And revel in the sheer awesome glory of our shining manes.

Get it done.

You are loved,

— R. Freya Thunderheart

 

Photo from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rexraxon/8986889921

When Deity Gives You a No-No

This is for my friends who have a more visceral experience of deity, especially those devoted to one or a few. This is all born of what has worked for me and I’m glad if it resonates, but if it doesn’t, that, too, is important to take note of so you can find where you are to thrive, instead. Enjoy.


So, I hear your god/dess-deity friend/cohort/owner doesn’t like you doing a particular Thing. If you’re reading this, you’re probably a bit of a spiritual “rebel” like me and want to hunt down a more authentic way – or you got lost on your plan to control the world like we always do – if we’re lucky… Either way, a mutual Friend cares enough about you and your work together to explain it in words instead of crises in your life. Congrats! Take note that the following can apply also to many kinds of dynamics, not just the woo kind.

If you’re “strong-willed” like me (and usually for a good reason you say), you will usually have tried to appease someone once, twice, or as many times as it took to almost die, who maintained a highly toxic situation you were entrenched in (even if it was illusory) to the point of meltdown, so now you’re hellbent on forging your own path and stamping out that foolishness with vigor and you called upon some god/dess forms who are familiar with this feeling and mindset for assistance.  Furthermore, if you were even the least bit authentic and vulnerable enough to resemble energetic compatibility with them, then you probably got a response, however it was more of what you needed than what you were initially wanting – the response of Someone far wiser and older than any of us can imagine with our wonderful little ape brains. You might feel like you’re popping out of a wormhole somewhere, minus, some baggage, pride, and fragile now-former friends.

And it probably hurt. A lot.

But the process established report and now They have your ear and you don’t quite trust yourself as much as you used to, having seen the world go topsy-turvy in multiple ways (#Logic, amiright?), and you’re also still getting your bearings on what this healthy relationship thing looks like. So you get used to taking advice…and then you get the Orders. What that looks like sounds and appears different depending both on with Whom you are working, devoted, or in relationship and who you are at your core/ how you tick. However, they’re very distinct, very personal, and very motivated, and (if we’re on point) they are measurable and independent of your inherent human quirks. Most of our fellow humans at this time don’t dig into what they feel to this degree. Its generally only triggered by a response to war/extreme trauma on enough of a scale to change you permanently, which more of us experience than we might first realize due to how we have grown up and under what circumstances.

If we are who we say we are in these sacred spaces – that we’re the ones who stuck around and desired evolution and space-holding – then this is exactly what we asked for: dialogue, no? Yet its quite another thing when you receive intelligent direction that you, yourself, did not originate (which, if you ask me, by this time you would do well to know how to verify such with ease and grace).  So this is great, however there is a catch. What if this influence or strong recommendation from your patron (dare I say command) comes contrary to that which you would normally do?

Let’s check in. Do you also find yourself not being able to have an original thought that didn’t have something to do with said deity? You might be out of balance and They, being the charismatic thought-forms who drew us awestruck to Their throne or nook (whichever) in the first place, might be oh-so-happy to have your attention wrapped around their dazzling finger. Any celebrity figure you relate to a lot would garner your fascination and they wouldn’t even need 5-9th dimensional status to do so. Think for yourself because that adds beauty and power because no energy is wasted in the cosmos.

I, personally, love tasting Their energy and being charged up by it, to feel it deeply flowing through you in Their presence. It feels delicious and bright and can be very healing, however if there is no mutual investment or direction in place, then you might just be playing with each other. I say each other because it takes two. Now, far be it from me to get in the way of a good time (quite the opposite, to be sure), but if you, the human are just getting tossed around like a toy at the risk of your personal goals, responsibilities, and close healthy relationships – like any relationship – you should take note of what the exchange is, or you’re in for a bumpy ride and not even in the fun way. Particularly if we are approaching god-forms for strength, power, a sense of purpose, clarity, fertility, fun, etc., it can feel intoxicating to finally taste that thing that we hungered for and fought for and/or had stripped from us in times past, but I feel its important to remember that codependency is a pitfall that can blossom in a temple just as often as it happens in a crackhouse. The difference is superficial because the intent is the same: to Heal. That may cut the ego a bit, but we all have the same needs as humans, even humans who dance with another ontological species.

Just like in any other dynamic, if we don’t say, “No,” when its a No and tell the truth about our whole self, we have nothing of lasting worth. For those of us who feel we are in service to a deity, owned by Them, or a human part of Them, this can feel tricky and giving anything but submissive feedback to the target of your devotion and/or awe, particularly for many survivors of abuse, which I am no stranger to, can initially feel like a form of betrayal or not being a “good” [insert-role-here]. However, consider that if someone were in your service and lived in a different environment than you, wouldn’t you want proper and crystal-clear feedback of how that direction you are giving to them is landing and impacting their health and wellbeing? Wouldn’t that sober feedback from your subordinate give you insight into their strengths and weaknesses and wouldn’t that knowledge, shared clearly, with courageous dutiful vulnerability, give you a sense of both trust and intimacy with said subordinate? Wouldn’t you feel well attended to and honored by their transparency, not because they gave excuses for why they couldn’t or wouldn’t do xyz, but because they were loyal enough to reflect truly who they were at that point in their lives, what they yearned for, and how they felt about the whole mess in the first place?

Would you feel well-served? I would. I would feel motivated and stronger than before because I could thrive in the strength of who was beside me, receptive and sharp, who took responsibility for their own actions and wouldn’t crumble the moment I stepped out of the building. While many gods aren’t of a “human” intelligence, They do work with our species and for some reason and enjoy doing so! Thus, if you find yourself deeply challenged by something a deity with whom you are established (read: mutually invested for long-term) is telling you, I would invite you to consider (as I had to learn from ramming my head against a wall like an idiot for quite some time) whether this is a whim of theirs coming to you out of a quirk of personality or cultural origin, or whether the essence of this direction given to you is in observation of your balanced conditioning, a rule to follow that you might develop deeper integrity with who you can become and accomplishing your shared goals. Does the adjustment, once made, have long-lasting empowering effects, even if at first its feels uncomfortable or strange? Strange exercises are often taught to accomplish other goals in martial arts, for example.

Oftentimes, for me, They would articulate such things to the Truth of me, not the facade I showed the world and pretended to be. Humans deal with the face and set of actions you show them interpreted through the lens of their prior experience with the world. Deities experience the harmony of your output to the space around you and respond to that – your core – and this can be upsetting if you’re particularly attached for one reason or another to thinking of yourself a certain way that is ultimately not genuinely blossomed from your actual nature. Like mom, They call you by all three names, not just what Jimmy from college calls you.

I am a daughter of the Morrígan and She and I are both different and similar in many respects. Observing both is important for the health of personal and collaborative development, but I’m essentially useless to either Her, myself, or anyone else if I can be batted about like a tennis ball. What we have in common and have negotiated makes us both more blossomed, but the development is integrated rather than in a “people-pleasing” way. In fact, a lot of my challenges have been about thwarting people-pleasing constructs and habits – an ongoing and potentially lifelong battle. The intent is to learn how live in such a way that is self-nourishing and balanced, like tree with plentiful water running deep underneath to keep it fed and blossoming.

For example, once upon a time, I enjoyed rolling my own cigarettes, but, scientifically speaking, they would kill me 8x more quickly than most. In the interest of my self-sovereignty, the Morrígan made it a geas for me 6 months before my doctor told me that. No rolled tobacco for me outside of spirit work and my life has flourished since, though I miss it sometimes. But I comply with this restriction and it makes me better in so many ways. This would be very different from Her wanting me to not hug anyone ever (which She hasn’t done), which I would disagree and not comply with because healthy contact makes me come alive and that I need, despite historically long droughts of such in my life. Its important to say no when its right, otherwise you’re just a toy, which is much cheaper to find, to be blunt.

But even then, I’d check into the essence of a thing and see, is this [insert deity]’s personality and/or culture, or could I benefit from a thing being brought to me? For example, do I engage in physical intimacy as a way of trying to earn love to the degree that I am drained and inauthentic? Its not impossible. Am I afraid to refuse hugs from some people as a symptom of my inability to set healthy boundaries? Or is this just a symbol of control and, if so, am I comfortable with that and find it empowering and helpful to my growth?

In slight contrast, She’s flapped, goaded, and pecked at me specifically so that I would get a little fire under me, stand up straight, be Authentic and say, “Stop” to Her directly – a hard-to-do-initially and stalwart act that earned Her respect, when it felt like I might be about to have my head chopped off (again). Having developed that strength via goading, I now had a new skill we could both make use of. A sly one, She is. If I can set a boundary with a seemingly unstoppable force of a primal Queen from the Otherworld than you can be quite sure that I can set one with humans. For this among many things, I love Her. She helps me hold steady in the Truth even when it shakes me to the core and all my insecurities come flying out.

In short, give yourself a break and ask for one when you need one. Honesty is a core aspect of devotion. Without the safety of honesty, you cannot truly surrender and have zero chance at resting in Authenticity. So if that notion that surrendering even at the expense of transparency is getting in your way (like it often does me and its the worst, right?) then toss that right out. Consent culture is a key aspect to our collective healthy evolution and it starts here – with ourselves in our most vulnerable spaces. Practice it with your gods that They may defend you in battle knowing and loving who you truly are, what you’re made of, and what truly feeds your vitality as individuals and whole tribes. The face the world sees is yours gilded from Their presence. Give them this honor. This is your devotion.

Feel what resonates.
Leave the rest.
You are loved.

— R. Freya Thunderheart

Image from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thecrazyfilmgirl/3248283617

How to Stop Sucking

From a young age, I felt a strong instinct to seek out the heroes – those mostly grown-ups who seemed to have things figured out, who knew what was up. I found a few problems over and over again really quickly.

  1. Those who loudly say they know what’s up are usually scamming you *or* (worse) they are scamming themselves out of their own life with a worldview completely contrived and designed to sabotage itself indefinitely.
  2. Most average people actually have no idea what’s going on because within the span of 15 years, the world became a weird sci-fi novel due to exponential tech expansion and data exchange.

On the upside, I have gotten to meet some very interesting people, but it often cost me dearly and I’m now the wiser for it. But as I mature, I’m noticing a lot of iconic folks who triggered the development of the ideals we hold close now, like equal rights for all, free expression, and the universal vote, for starters, are dead. We have satellite hookups that can send countless commands that have real consequences in the world sitting in our pockets and we don’t know what to say or do with them. We don’t know how to take a simple action and our brains get understandably anxious and sad about this confusing dilemma that our ancestors couldn’t quite sit inside. Though arguably wiser, we have personally begun to suck – ontologically.

And I mean actually suck, meaning draining environments instead of cultivating fruitful balance within them. Instead of innovating, there’s complaint. Instead of exuberantly seeking out solutions, there is compulsive consumerism. We seek nourishment from malnourishing places – like a dog drinking out of a puddle of trash water in the street. I feel that we have collectively grown underdeveloped in key aspects of our understanding of natural human cycles and have lost skillsets our ancestors had forged for survival due to our focus on the emerging technology and the skillsets required to survive in a new world of cloud-based commerce and data infrastructure.

We need the Mother. We need security in development. We need to know how to sense our individual and collective needs and compassionately and accurately assess how best to meet them promptly, so we can grow and forge new paths. Markets can respond to needs when enough demographics call for solutions to them. We can influence the future if we stand tall in the present and put whatever dollars and time we have directly and consistently towards the lifestyle we seek to design.

A collective mistake during post-revolutionary times was to undervalue the calm and purifying safety of maternal energy. The Universal Mother and our planet naturally generate this energy. We just have to proactively perform consciously that we want and receive it. This looks like leaning into our meeting our needs. This looks like taking a breather instead of passing blame or flaming at someone. This looks like saving and investing income wisely. This looks like setting time boundaries to get proper sleep and turning off the beep-boops long enough to get a clear head. This looks like learning how to easily say, “No.” This looks like saying, “Yes,” to your own gut instincts on the situation.

This looks like looking at yourself the way Big Mama looks at you, Her precious child. If you would be one of the new heroes in the world, then put your air-mask on before assisting someone else, lest you pass out before the battle even starts. Honor the blessings already given to you by breathing in and relishing them, eager to receive more from the Love that is already within and around you.

Our focus is fertilizer.

What you resist persists.

What you seek, you are.

Its time to open up and receive that nourishment, baby.

You are loved.

— R. Freya Thunderheart —

The Morrigan’s Call ’17 – or just my piece of it

It was the Summer Solstice, whereupon we remember the darkness we survived and brightness that has met us once again. I sat on my fire escape in the Summer sun remembering the fight I endured the past several years – that finally culminated in the last several months –  to get to a place of  harmony and order that I now abide in, by grit, divine grace, and a volume of tears. I’m thankful because I set a course and it has held true. I look forward to even better times.

I was invited to serve as a member of the temple staff and was humbled and grateful to do so. I had spent over a year outside of any community, during which time I dove deep into my own darkness and attachments, shedding them one by one, to make a healthy space for the fertility to come. It was a long hard ride to Square 1 and that’s where I sat upon arrival to camp.

On Thursday, I hauled a bag full of supplies and sacred things through Manhattan and aboard a train not knowing what to expect or who I would be. The Presence was strong and my heart was at peace knowing I wouldn’t return to the same world or be the same girl. Upon arrival, I settled in and heard the sound of the rushing river outside my assigned cabin – #13 (of course). I smelled the woods and heard the call of the birds around me, far from the diesel and echoing clangs of my urban jungle home.

Once gathered, staff honored the Queen in ceremony before the retreat began and rather than asking for things, we offered to Her our own blessings, which was surprisingly vulnerable for me. I shared my voice and we ended as one, ready for the work to come. My heart wouldn’t sleep and I returned to the now dark fire alone and completed the words I had choked on under the internalized self-pressure of group setting. I see and feel deity a bit differently than many, as for me its quite visceral and though not “human.” Deity to me is fully animated and intelligent, woven throughout time and warm from the touch of many throughout the centuries. I wanted that reflected to Her and all felt better.

On Friday, the group began to arrive, with both new faces and returned, each with similar expectations of a new beginning. The warm reception I received was something I hadn’t expected coming from NYC, where though flooded with humans of all types, one easily feels isolated. My first challenge was to let myself feel and receive anew the Love that had set me on this path in the first place. It became apparent to me over time that, like myself, we had all had quite a year of upheaval, death, and becoming someone better than we thought we could before. My personal challenge has been swallowing the hubris that fools me into thinking I am somehow above intimate surrender and nourishment.

And I was foolish enough to think I was doing it alone, even as I stood side-by-side with weathered warriors from across the country.

Overall, there was a shared sense of having survived a challenge and a readiness for the warm embrace that is the reward for surrendering to the loving Truth of What Is and Should Be. A Queen declares the sharp reality and then nurtures the collective strength of those who survive its cut. Note that its one thing to say that, but another to feel it animated around and within you.

I served as smudger/banisher for the oracular temple that night and the team was in sync and delighted. Having banished and exorcised many a abysmal nasty from my life this Spring, I felt the reward of the ease in which I could hold space for others to feel this in preparation for sacred space. I hadn’t anticipated this and realized then the sheer awesome power that comes from taking care of yourself *first* before going around pretending like you can help anyone with anything. 

The truth is, I don’t care who you think you are or how you identify your life expereince, Woo or otherwise, we simply can’t. Clarification: someone can prattle The High Mighty Witch Wokeness to me until the cows come home, but until I:

  1. decide to surrender to my process within the whole,
  2. breathe in and out and
  3. bee-line it to my personal honeycomb (note to self: Build a bigger honeycomb.) to nurture the Good Stuff…

I won’t progress at all beyond fitting in a smidge better at Woo parties because I can recite the most-holy-jargon like a kid 30min before their SATs. I grew up with this being the norm while most people suffered in silence and spiritually plateauing 3 feet off the ground was customary. Instead, I got to see this principle of strength-together played out around me in real time. Because I had gotten over myself (somewhat) and was humble enough to just get out of the way and work and was experienced enough to be fearless in the face of uncertainty, I felt richly rewarded and for this I am eternally grateful.

Saturday brought revelations. I had settled into temple-tending and while still working on this amazing concept of self-tending. Battle wounds and gauntlet bruises from the past crept up and I wondered if they would ever subside. Surviving trauma puts me at odds with the Ego who must assert that I am worthy of my needs met absolutely (a good thing), but then I have to surrender said Ego so as to not assert a right over others’ needs like some had done to me. This is the work of creating new healthy cycles and earthing the harmful ones. Its one that survivors of all stripes are tasked with if we are to leave this world better than we found it. When in doubt, shut up, breathe, and nourish yourself. Someone will take note.

Repeat after me: Everyone wins when I care for myself.

At camp, I was divined into the Sword clan (of the four the bowl provided, with each specializing in a specific area of developmental focus). Sword was for development into priesthood and deciphering what that meant to each person and their work ahead. Rather than live in reaction to the world, I found that I truly want to hold a light of truth and create the best for myself. It cuts, but it heals, too. It banishes, but it holds safe the space for innovation. It warms the mind and transmutes the soul. This is the sword I found.

I attended a class on working with personal energy in sovereignty by Izzy Swanson of Feileacan Ministry, based in Austin, TX and came away with a sense of unity within myself and community. All too often in New Age, pagan, or other sundry “woke” demographics, we emphasize Oneness without breaking down how that germinates into authentic practice, White people erasing the experiences of people of color through arbitrary moralizing, for example. Izzy taught an excellent format. She emphasized the need for, in practice, asserting that your energy stays in your body and my energy stays in mine, for a best practice toward total health. Too often, in the name of love, we break down our good boundaries to please others, earn affection, coerce, or steal others’ pain, etc., and often with good intention, though not always. This also leaves us vulnerable to parasitic energy and predators. How are we to fuel collective healing if we don’t steadfastly ensure our own health and well-being?

I’ve been learning that when I develop myself in the way best suited for my needs and strengths, it helps reflect others’ potential to them, and together we create a cohesive whole, rather than clown-car-ing our way through the world and manifesting burnout, resentment, and co-dependence. It also crystalized for me important aspects of serving in ministry, not to take others’ process from them, nor to dump mine onto them, but to hold a space together where we can develop side-by-side, so as to stand strong in Oneness. Regardless of ability, we each can touch the space that needs healing within us so much better than any other person can even attempt and we’re each stronger for it.

Of course, directly thereafter, I was faced with a challenge – that of Challenging. I was to challenge others coming into special temple space that night as myself in service, as opposed to serving as an oracle where the deity, themselves, takes charge of whatever challenge is at hand. I’m not naturally confrontational and tend to work diplomatically it unless its direct intervention is necessary. Thus, I was resistant to this role, but received the wisdom that, “If we only play to our strengths, the tribe can never evolve.” In compliance, I held the sword. I was humbled and the work showed me that despite many dark walks through dirty streets, feeling alone, in truth so many of us fight side by side for ultimately similar things feeling the exact same way. Only the masks and circumstances vary. The Heart will always pulse as one.

Sunday passed too quickly. I awoke with a new sense of being and service, the kind that gives ease to your mind via excitement in gratitude and was ultimately something I had hoped would come for years. My vision is that when people surrender to that, not only does fulfillment follow, but collective healing becomes inevitable and contagious. You may sacrifice temporary popularity, but you will gain wholeness. This is the new way forward for me.

I sought direction from the Queen and received it clearly. I’m to lead by example and fill the gap where I am. The Love and Strength are there and I am ready to walk in them. The road is not easy, but it will be well worth the journey.

If you hear the Morrigan’s call,

I challenge you to ride with me,

Side by side like a shield wall,

In Love, Honor, and Loyalty.

With each as one feather

On Her mighty wing,

Perhaps we can steer this world aright,

And the song of Life again to sing.

"Lo! I gather up every spirit that is pure, and weave them into my vesture of flame."

%d bloggers like this: