3/7/2016 Ruis – Elder ~ Consequences – Endings

After a couple of intense days, I feel like we can move toward a more normal existence today. My take on #BulletsfortheMorgian continues to offer a different view of that entire debate and may actually

Elder_Ruis_frame400 (1)

EcoEnchantments Original artwork Ruby Clark 2010

lead me to write an article about how spirituality and political correctness do not necessarily to hand in hand.

When I last drew this Ogham, Morgen noticed my comment about not understanding her key words “Endings <> Consequences” in relation to all the other readings I had done around this Ogham. She sent me a private message, a portion of which I would like to share now:

In terms of the endings, it is more of a context of the ending transitioning to a beginning. More of an ending in order to bring about the new. Everything is circular, so not just a flat stop. And the consequences aspect doesn’t necessarily have the typical negative aspects. It’s more an acceptance for what you have created, good or bad. Acceptance for actions so that forward movement may happen. You aren’t wrong about inspiration – it’s all about personal intuition

PTSD and other mental illnesses are often reflected in this type of thinking and drawing Ruis today in the context of this explanation makes sense.

As PTSD rolls through a person there is a transition that happens into a type of madness. The abuser is everywhere and currently out to get you, even if you know rationally that it isn’t true. As you learn methods to cope with your triggers, you learn to end this madness and transition into a beginning. Each time you do this there is a feeling of great accomplishment and a real sense of rebirth and renewal. You wake, as I did today, hopeful not having had night terrors and better able to deal with the world.

When you first deal with PTSD, while in its grip, you react in extreme ways. You do crazy things that have a tendency to create drama and horrible consequences that will resonate throughout your life long after the episode of PTSD passes. It isn’t unusual for persons who suffer with PTSD to have problems keeping relationships or sticking with jobs or have periods of manic purchasing or spending. These impulses emerge as your psyche tries to figure out how to elevate the internal stress and pressure PTSD creates.

Over time, and with lots of therapy – specifically cognitive behavioral therapy, you learn to stop. You learn to try not to interact with others. You learn to not make big decisions. You learn to not write posts about people being snippy about you self identifying as Wiccan.  If you write it, you learn to not release it (or not).

You learn to recognize the rage and anger that well up when PTSD has got you in its vise grips.

Over time you come to recognize when the PTSD releases you and you feel like you take take a deep breathe and you feel you are safe. You identify the new triggers and start working on making them less effective at triggering you. And you come to the place where you look back on the days or weeks the PTSD had raged and assess the damage you did while possessed.

Today, looking back over the approximate seven days of PTSD possession I have had this time, I am actually pretty proud of myself. The worse thing I did was be a little snippy to someone who doesn’t know me well, write a rant about the semantics of pagan versus Wiccan and publish it, and be a little ornery with Stone and Tree Bear. My family coveners said things like, “I am sorry your so frustrated.” I was able to assure them all that it isn’t them.  This time I recognized I was in the grips of a PTSD episode about four days into it. Had I realized it sooner the whole Pagan/Wiccan thing would have never left my desktop. (Mind you, my opinion about how stupid that whole delineation is wouldn’t have changed. I would have approached any article on the subject differently).

I managed to not spend money in large quantities. I managed to not wreak or ruin any important relationships. I managed to do very little damaged as I processed. So as I come to grips with the consequences of having had a severe episode of PTSD, I am pleased at this ending with what I have to work with today.

3/6/2016 – Nion – Ash ~ Journeys – Action

Ash_Nuin

The Green Man Tree Oracle
by John Matthews and Will Worthington

STRENGTH GROWS FROM DEEP ROOTS

Strength comes in many forms and is often wrongly confused with power. It can also allude to endurance, the ability to survive in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. One of the most powerful characteristics of humanity, strength endlessly represents itself in the darker pages of our history,[removed] Inner strength, the gift of a spiritual presence within each individual, also lends itself to the imagery of the tree, whose life-giving sap courses through it like blood, drawing on the energy of the earth to give it the strength to grow. Growth itself is another aspect of strength, [removed] Whatever you may be looking for, Ash instructs you to consult your roots [removed]
The dual powers of the ash are its strength and its rootedness in wisdom. From The Goddess Tree.

Are you reading with as much trepidation as I am writing? Yesterday was certainly intense. I have found, in my life, that those intense days do not last  when you walk with the gods and goddesses. And so today it is not surprising that I have pulled Ash to be reminded by the gods that “humanity, strength endlessly represents itself in the darker pages of our history.” Matthews talks about rootedness. Although my childhood was certainly horrific, I had a rootedness very early in a complete and utter belief – faith – in God. I always knew, in very real ways, that the adults around me were possessed by pure evil or insane. I always had this childlike sense that I had been picked and chosen to walk this path because I was the one who could emerge from the other side in some semblance of wholeness and sanity. I always believed that rootedness was divinely given and sustained. As Matthews says, “Inner strength, the gift of spiritual presence within each individual…”

I still struggled last night trying to sleep. I pulled Alice the Pagan Service Dog‘s bed over to my side and had her take up sentry between me and the door. I finally broke down and took something to help me sleep and stop ruminating on what ifs. I fell into a sleep that was all about the love I have for those in my life and the love they have for me. I woke this morning, unwilling to try to battle my ghosts so I skipped meditation and went straight to my weekend chores to get ready for the class being held here tonight.

You should know, I am not sorry for the life I lived. I never wish it had been someone else. And, whatever your struggles and challenges have been, you shouldn’t either. You, right now, are the sum total of every person, life event, and coincidence that has ever occurred with you present. One of those missing from your life experiences, and you would not be you. Maybe you aren’t happy with you, though? Maybe you look back at your life with contempt and think – “I never wanted to be this person.”

You are rooted wrong. You live a life believing that the past makes you. Sure abusers and violators want you to believe that they have power to make and unmake you. It is a lie. All they can do is something to you – YOU have the power of response, reaction, decision.

None of these powers reside in your abuser. They reside in you. When you decide to get up and fight another day – you have won. When you decide to root yourself in a belief that all the things have happened to drive you into being the best person you could possibly be – you have won. When your past shapes how you fight for another’s future, you have won. When your horrors are ones you will not be silent about, through your voice you have won. Power is never really held outside of your own body. That is the ultimate lie every violator and abuser counts on you believing.

Power resides in you. It resides in me. I am reminded today how I am rooted and that being rooted is a choice and habit. If you read yesterday’s post, then you understand that staying rooted requires hard, consistent work.You know that sometimes it will feel like the violators win. Sometimes it will feel like you were never harmed.

How are you rooted? By choice or default? By conscious effort or apathy? By action or inaction? Don’t let  your yesterdays ring in your heart and mind. Root yourself in the inner strength of each moment when you chose and act contrary to every abuse ever visited upon you. ash_drew_nion

 

3/5/2016 – Onn – Gorse – Attraction ~ Energy

gorse

Art by Judith F. Hubbard; Tress of the Goddess

I am beginning to think that Blamires and I really disagree about things or I don’t understand or resonate with his point of view. I trust Morgen, which is why I continue to fall back to her given words of resonance for the Ogham. I keep finding in my daily application, that her words resonate more with my day than a lot of the description of meanings I keep finding.

Reading about the Gorse today, I find that key ideas do pop up consistently: Protection – because the gorse has thorns; Fertility – because the gorse blooms at Beltane; Work – the real physical labor of a thing.

The Order of Bards, Ovates, & Druids site says:

As one of the first spring flowering plants, the furze provides a plentiful supply of pollen for bees when they first come out of hibernation. The product of the bees labour, honey, is the Celtic symbol of wisdom, achieved through hard work and dedication. The furze tells us that if we apply ourselves and keep faith in the future, we will be rewarded. However bleak things may appear, there is always the possibility of periods of fertility, creativity and well-being; whilst its thorns remind us that there is protection from unwanted ideas or influences.

I have been doing a lot of work, writing lately. My writing is often what I think or feel passionately wrapped up in my own issues. I am always working my issues. I have PTSD and sometimes it feels like there are these long periods where the person who was raped and beaten and belittled and violated was someone else completely – not me really. Then some new trigger in my life reveals itself and I find, suddenly and vividly, that it was me after all.

This is the “bleak things” the Gorse indicates. Last night I woke up screaming, “son of a bitch.” Tony woke, held me and I fell back asleep with him whispering, “You are safe. You are safe,” in my ears.

This morning I remember my dream vividly. I was holding a nine millimeter straight arm out in front of me as all of those I know and love were being shoved behind me with my other arm. Before me was my bio father his arm pointing at me.

“I am going to kill them all and you,” he said.

“Go ahead and try,” I said back, “You son of a bitch!”

What I remember about this dream was my complete and utter calmness about shooting and killing him.

I also know, I have to stop reading and watching Donald Trump. I had identified him as a trigger last week and now it seems pretty clear he is more than a minor one. His mannerism and not talk and belittling of people are so reminiscent of my bio father that I just KNOW my bio father is voting for him. I watch the zeal people have supporting him and wonder why no one else sees the monster? Of course, no one saw my bio father as a monster either.

Then there was the thread #BulletsfortheMorrigan. (ANTI threadPRO thread Don’t Want to really weigh in thread – ). There was some pagan dust up over an author writing about giving bullets to the Morrigan as offering. I read an entire blog about how we seem to have no problem dedicating swords and athames to warrior gods and goddesses but freak out when we introduce modern weaponry into the mix. Given that pointy things have been around longer and probably resulted in more deaths than guns, it is a bit amusing to think about. As if there is some honor in blade defense because it perceived as up close and personal.

Death by guns is most often up close and very personal. I should know. My bio father once pointed a nine millimeter at my head and threatened to kill me. I very calmly replied, “Please do and end my torture.”

He then put the loaded weapon to his head and said, “Fine! I’ll kill myself.”

“Even better,” I calmly replied, “Then we would all be free of you, not just me.”

He started to scream while bringing the gun back to my own head. I can remember  turning to give him my temple. I can remember the deafening sounds of bullets being fired again and again. I can remember how hot the shell casings were as they hit my arms and bounced to the ground. I can remember sitting still and thinking, “Well, damn, son of a bitch missed.”

“Why can’t I kill you?” I hear him whisper to me. I turn to see him looking at the gun as if it had somehow betrayed him. “I keep bringing myself to do it and then somehow you are still alive.” He turned on his heals and walked out of the room.

I was seventeen.

I sat still for a long time before I bent over and picked up the shell casings and hid them in my room. It was proof that this upstanding citizen was a mad man. Proof that he had, yet again, tried to kill me. The first time he used a kitchen knife. Proof that I wasn’t insane or crazy.

Then I went  to find my bio mother who was calmly making four huge pots of mashed potatoes. She had pealed every potato in the house which was two 10 lb bags while the drama in my room had unfolded.

“Next time,” I said calmly, “Remind him that I am a much better shot and he better never fucking miss again. I will gladly serve time for killing him.”

“He didn’t mean it,” my mother said, stirring those damn potatoes, “He was just trying to scare you, not kill you.”

I laughed, “Keep telling yourself that. I am not kidding. I will wait until he is asleep and I will blow his brains out and never lose a moment of rest my natural life if he points a gun at my head and pulls the trigger again. He better not fucking miss.”

A year later I would enter into a three day fugue state. I won’t remember what happened other than my mother wasn’t at home and none of my siblings. I remember washing windows and being dragged away from the chore by my hair and then waking up in a battered women’s shelter three days later. The shelter my depute sheriff father had told me the location of.

I am forty-three and still haunted. Still living periods of time where I think I see him on the street and wonder if he is going to recognize me and attack. Periods of time when I worry that he will see something about me on the Internet and come find me. Periods of time when I have to choose to write anyway because I would rather be dead with the truth of my life spread like a virus on the Internet and in book form, than dead another silent victim of domestic violence, rape, torture, incest.

If I die by his hands, I will be a martyr to the cause of ending abuse and violence not cowering as a victim. And facing him one on one with the end near would be preferable to this kind of haunting limbo I am forced to live.

You learn early on as you recover and deal with PTSD that you can’t call someone, or even the police, every time you think your abuser is near you. Mostly because, he isn’t really there. Your mind has dredge him up from the abyss and is trying to convince you that who you are seeing is him. I haven’t seen him in nearly ten years. I can’t even be sure I would recognize him. Even if I did, what do you tell the police? A long time ago he did terrible things to me and suddenly we are in the same store or medical facility or driving down the same road?

So you learn to really look at the person and rationalize that it isn’t them. You sometimes are brave enough to meet them in the eye and know it isn’t them because there is no recognition there. Or, sometimes, you duck down in your car seat and hope he didn’t see you even though you know it wasn’t him. It really probably wasn’t him.

I did that yesterday. Then you spend the rest of your day angry at everyone and everything around you. That pisses you off even more because I am forty-fucking-three. Shouldn’t I, don’t I deserve to not be haunted anymore?

This morning started with me meditating and trying to get my brain and body back on “normal for me.” I broke down and texted Stone and asked him to come upstairs. He did and asked about my dream. I said that I had already called my therapist to start a round of therapy again next week and I didn’t want to talk about it. So he said we should do something bad, like go to the movies. He spent the next twenty minutes filling my mind with silliness, playing with the dogs and in general trying to redirect my focus. Finally, we got up and started our days and I came down to pull and post my ogham.

And Gorse reminded me that in real work there are periods that seem bleak and fruitless and pointless and hard. In real work, PTSD will rear it’s ugly head and you have to deal with it and move on. Thanks to Morgen, I also know that work attracts energy. So PTSD is an energy that is created by the mind and draws to it more energy that will resonate with it. Going to the movies, then is a good thing to do with my day. It is a way to shake up the energy flow in my life, disrupt it and then come back to the world with a different energy vibration that hopefully is disconnected from some of these issues.

I may be very very sorry that Trump is going to be a fixture in our political sphere for a long time to come.

I am not sorry; however, that #BulletsfortheMorrigan is a thing. I used to take my shell casings out a hold them to reconnect with the reality that despite the fact that my biological family will tell you I am crazy and delusional, it had all really happened to me. A long time ago, a counselor talked me into giving them to him, a way to let go of some of the pain.

stock-photo-71206033-9mm-shell-casings

9 mm shell casings

However, in my own personal altar in my own private spiritual space in the etheric realms, I realize now, those casings are sitting on The Morrigians’s altar. A silent tribute to a warrior who has seen battle, lived, recovered, and continues to fight. A recognition that I now worship a goddess who doesn’t just want the love and light parts of me – she is willing to take my shell casings or even actual bullets as momentous of the battles I fight every day. She isn’t a goddess of pretty dresses and victory alone. She is the goddess of mud, death, oozing wounds, battle scars, and battle readiness that is gritty and dirty and uncomfortable to read and look at. I worship a goddess who takes my dreams where  the abuser always had the gun, transmuting that dream so that I have the gun. I can use the gun. I am willing to use the gun if I have to. Now he is the one without the power. I have the power and bullets on my altar to her represents my ownership of that power and responsibility.

All Praise The Morrigan! Goddess of the Battle! Goddess of the Warrior! Goddess of the weapons of war! Goddess, Keeper of Shell Casings and bearer of the inner trauma warriors are left with long after the field of battle has been abandoned! Thank the gods and goddesses, the Lord, the Lady, the spirits and etheric beings of this world and beyond, there is a Goddess who will take all of us, these wounded warriors, on. All Hail The Morrigan! All Praise The Morrigan!

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This discussion isn’t about gun culture in America or gun control. I have strong opinions about both of these things. I will say this. As long as I have a home that is also a temple to the community, where children and teenagers and people come and go, my guns, all like 23 of them, and their bullets, will remain in the fireproof safe and removed for recreational purposes only – which means target shooting practice at a certified gun range. However, if I am on my death bed, an old crone woman, don’t judge me if you find shell casings and bullets on my altar. Paganism is quickly becoming this EITHER ~ OR micro society. Many of us left some pretty stringent dogma to only come to this micro society and start trying to force our ideas, beliefs, opinions and DOGMA on everyone we find. I often think in paganism the real issue is how unable we are to deal with people who don’t agree with us. Even I struggle with this.

Maybe paganism, Wicca, The Craft needs more “that isn’t for me” and a little less “your an idiot” “stop deluding yourself” or the general suggestion that one of us has it all figured out. Just something to think about.

 

 

3/4/2016 – Gort – Friendship ~ Survival

g-gortSurvival and Accountability

I pulled this ogham early yesterday and cringed. I am at high risk for breast cancer and so I see a specialty group annually. There they do all the screenings available: mammogram, ultrasound, physical exam. When you leave (usually three to four hours later) you leave with your test results and a plan.

Pulling “survival” made me not want to think to hard about what Gort was going to teach me yesterday.

Gort was right – survival means you have to have a tenacity. Living means you have to be tenacious. You have to be willing to go sit for three or four hours to ensure your health. You have to be willing to work out and eat right and not smoke and meditate if you have any desire to survive.

They found new cysts to watch and because of go to this specialty location, I was able to have extra testing down immediately to determine my plan which is to come back in year. They know this because they have all the test from the past four years to look at which is why I will go there next year and be reminded of survival again.

Gort was also about friendship. Not wanting to freak out a bunch of people when I knew things were not “normal” because suddenly I was schedule to redo tests and the technicians are obviously measuring masses in my breast, I wrote my craft sister and co-high priestess, Disa. I experienced my text based freak out with her knowing she would not freak out too, she would ask questions and hold my hand through text message until the official word could come down. I knew I wasn’t interrupting her day or stressing her out. I was leaning on her in friendship.

She and I have teamed up with – let’s call him Gwydion – in a accountability group. We text each other every day to ask about things we are each trying to work on. Disa is trying to stop smoking and is pulling a daily rune and a weekly runic spread. Gwydion is working on daily offerings and meditation to rest his brain (not connect with the gods). I am working on meditation to rest my brain and trying to stop eating junk between meals and near bed time. This growing accountability relationship with them has helped me do hard things and deal with hard issues in my life without judgement. The next Ogham will expand on the use of accountability partners.

“Pagan” Is Yesterday’s “Wicca”

Okay – I am Wiccan. That’s right, sLOGOWhyWiccansSuckneer at me. Look down your nose at me. Roll your eyes and whisper around the fire at a gathering how you aren’t WICCAN but PAGAN then point with great conspiracy that I am Wiccan ~ and ~ GASP ~ have publicly admitted it.

Let me set you straight. Western Mysticism came from the likes of Aleister Crowley and Gerald Gardner and even L. Ron Hubbard. They were all contemporaries and exchanged ideas about secret societies, the Masons, the Co-Masons, and the revival of mysticism and magick (both high and low) in the Western World.

Sure, Gardner allegedly coined the term Wicca. When I started Wicca; however, everyone was Wiccan of some flavor or another. There was a general understanding that Wicca was growing, developing and changing and had its roots in Western Mysticism. Seriously, when I met Celtic practitioners they were Celtic and still Wiccan.

Today – many newer pagans seem to break out in allergic hives when Wicca is brought up. They see absolutely NO relationship between paganism and Wicca. I am so sick to death of reading this Facebook question in pagan groups – “I see all these Wiccans but who are just Pagan?”

Holy CRIPES! WE ALL ARE. When did we decide that there should be some us versus them mentality within the universal sphere that we collectively call modern paganism? When did we decide that Druids and Asatru and Hellenistic and Reconstructionalists have no common link? When did our goals get set on division, separation, and exclusion? When did we decide that there are Wiccans and there are Pagans and they have nothing in common?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?

The attitude I get from those who self-identify as pagan drives me up the wall. I AM PAGAN. I practice a Wiccan slant to my paganism BUT I AM STILL PAGAN. You don’t get to cut me off because of whatever preconceived issue you have developed about Wicca. Don’t take your issues with Wicca out on me. In fact, give me the courtesy I have extended to self-identifying pagans – ask me what I mean by Wicca. Goddess knows, I have taken lots of my time to try to understand every single pagan I have met and some magickal practitioners and other self-identifiers without a nice label. In fact, I have spent the past five years carefully not asking all you self-identifying pagans what exactly makes you different from self-identifying Wiccans. When I say I am Wiccan I get eye rolls and sneers and sarcasm all of which I would happily put up with IF I felt those were actually directed at me, the person, not “Wicca” the term. (In some cases I will grant, it may be me ~ the person.)

Mostly though, stop trying to act like Paganism and Wicca have nothing in common. There is just this long, long history that Wicca and Pagan have in common, whether you like it or not. Today’s paganism is just yesterday’s Wicca – changed, formatted differently and based in that Western Mysticism that was once universally called Wicca.

For a calmer explanation of this particular rant I defer to the better judgement of Marietta at Witchy Words.  My only issue with her lovely post is that modern paganism, Wicca and witchcraft all are inexorably linked to the resurgence of western mysticism that started in the mid 1800s. It is from this common heritage that paganism has split itself from Wicca and Wicca has become the narrowly defined term that Marietta sites.

3/3/2016 ~ Ruis ~ Elder ~ Endings Consequences

ruis-elder-crop I am still having trouble matching the Endings & Consequences to this rune. Inspiration comes up over and over again. Once again I was drawn to The Modern Curio. This I was struck by arwen  or inspiration and hope this means that I will get some serious writing done on my current project. That would make me feel accomplished and peaceful.

3/2/2016 ~Nion ~ Ash ~ Journeys Action

 

Tree Lore: Ashe Order of the Bards, Ovates, & Druidsash_drew_nion

Thus the Ash tree is associated with positive enchantment and application of will to destiny, which in many cases represents a healing process as the individual comes into contact with the truth of their own identity and the shamanic wound.

Addendum:

I didn’t write much about this pull because I had spent the day in great sorrow. As a thriver of incest and familial abuse, some times, some days strike back and pull my wound open and it feels fresh and bloody and as if it never healed at all. This day was one of those days. I had to do something I didn’t want to do. I had to confront someone I love deeply with hard deep truths and in doing so I triggered every single horrible feeling I have ever had. For me – the people who love me – it is always somehow conditional and never quite real or solid or lasting. When I stand up for myself and hold my boundaries, I worry that I will find people unwilling to continue to love me. So this post and pull was a simple reflection of the fact that my shamanic wound and identity was bleeding everywhere. 3/3/2016 #DiaWrites

 

 

LEADERSHIP QUESTIONS

On my Facebook I have been posting questions around leadership for months. I have LeadershipDictionarydecided to expand these questions into regular blog posts. I have schedule myself to put these new questions on a regular basis.

Today’s question is:

What type of qualities are necessary for PAGAN leaders? Are your concerns around energetics and their abilities there? Divination? Spell Casting? Craftsman? Singing? Storytelling? Honesty? Integrity? Organization? What do you find is the most important qualities YOU look for in a pagan leader YOU will follow?

 

Super Tuesday: Go and Vote

12771506_10208598234657181_1534600744041270841_o Something to know about me – I HATE SELFIES. However, voting is a good reason to post ridiculous selfies.

I posted today on WDSC Facebook group the following statement and I wanted to re-post it here. Because voting is important.

POLITICS – In WDSC we have a varied representation of political opinion. We try hard to keep party politics out of WDSC. However, WDSC does believe that you should VOTE. Everyone, no matter who you vote for, should vote. Today is the day. Don’t let your country down – and don’t tell us who you voted for. Voting is kind of like your soul. How you vote is between, you, your vision of the Divine and the person you voted for. You just have to vote like voting is as fundamental to your life as a soul is. LMNC 3/1/2016, WDSC Group Facebook Post