Yesterday I drew my Ogham but didn’t post any information on it. Today the Ogham is about friendship and survival. It could just have easily been about surviving friendship. Most of us repeat patterns of behavior that we develop with our biological family units. However, many times these units didn’t prepare us for healthy relationships. When forced to deal with someone who is trying to encourage healthy interaction it often feels uncomfortable and wrong. Our brain says that it isn’t. Our logical self understands that relating is happening in some different way. Our emotions are not always so quick to follow suit. I have found in friendship stick-to-it-ness is a very desirable quality. Sometimes in the face of someone dealing with their issues, simply refusing to leave is the best course of action in friendship.
Considering how tired I keep hearing those around me say they are and I feel, I was glad to see the boost Onn might give this day. Bringing energy to us to keep the work done that we need to do is important. Knowing what we attract and how we attract it is also important. What energy are you attracting? Is it adding to your energy bank or only taking withdrawals? What can you and those around you do to fill up you energy bank?
I didn’t post yesterday the Ogham for the day. I was very very busy with work, my little part time job and ministerial duties. Mostly what this ogham for this day has meant for me is that when partners have a common passion movement can happen. Good solid work can be done. Are you and the partner(s) you work with passionately connected? Do you have similar drive? If now how can you all get on the same page?
This is one of the few Ogham I am more familiar with than others. I have been signing my books with this ogham for years. I adopted it long ago when I read that this symbol was often the symbol of the chieftain of a clan because the qualities of the Oak were desirable in a great leader.
As I have been studying leadership, I could not agree more that strength and responsibility are the two key words of leadership. Without strength, lesser people will quit and without strength you cannot own the responsibility, the mantel of priesthood. All this translates into integrity. My favorite leader, Jerrie Hildebrand, told me not too long ago that integrity was what she lived and died by. Her family, each one, were ruled by integrity and interacted with each other and the greater world with integrity. They asked themselves if what their actions were stayed in integrity or not.
As I started writing my next book, I found that the first word I started to work with was integrity. I realize that I judge my own seekers based upon their relationship with integrity. Do they do what they say they are going to do? Do they commit to things they do not follow through on or only give a small percentage of their attention to? Do they offer excuses after excuses for lack of completion? Is there ownership of their actions and the result of their actions? When they speak can I rely upon what they say, or do I automatically make alternate plans to take up slack I know they are going to create?
My integrity, strength and responsibility as a minister and pagan leader often centers around how people feel. You hurt people’s feelings in leadership and I firmly believe we all have the right to feel – whatever it is we feel. Many leaders treat feelings in a couple of ways.
They dismiss them. The person feeling doesn’t have the right to that feeling for whatever reason.
They analysis them. Sometimes a leader will try to figure out why someone has a feeling, often focusing on their own behavior or worse on what they believe the motivation for the feeling is within the Seeker.
They correct them. They set out to admonish the Seeker for having the feelings in the first place.
In integrity, I have found, good leaders validate all feelings. We all have a right to feel what we feel without judgement or analysis or condemnation. It takes a lot of strength to acknowledge pain someone is sure you have caused them and then own what part you have played in that pain.
I have learned as a leader that “yea but…” is a terrible apology. The strength and discipline it personally takes me to see a Seeker in anger or pain and then simply say, “I am sorry for any part I have in this.”
Defensiveness often demands we add, “yea but..” Yea but, you did xyz. Yea but, if only xyz had or had not happened. Yea but…… Integrity demands we wait it out. Acknowledging, validating and loving our Seekers through pain and anger is part of the job. You can always take up the “yea but(s)” later. And that job certainly takes integrity as well.
Because in integrity and dealing with feelings, you take ownership for what you have done. You judge whether or not the time is right for you to pull apart the issue? Is the person still in the heat of feeling their pain? If so apologize and then sit with them in that feeling, don’t attempt to change it. The heat of anger can be painful to bear and as a leader sometimes we sit and help Seekers bear it.
Part of the responsibility of pagan leadership is that you often can see the actions and feelings and behavior patterns of your Seekers better than they can. Although, I have found in this, all Seekers universally believe that they are inherently right, correct, and omniscient. So pagan leadership is often about leading a Seeker to see patterns of behavior in a way that empowers them to change. Empowers them to see destructive and defensive behaviors and take ownership.
Integrity demands we find ways to empower them, shed light upon behavior patterns and a reluctance to take personal ownership. Sometimes, however, sometimes, the oak wishes it were just a lowly Thistle. Just bloom and die and hibernate and be appreciated for being useful and treated with respect because all that useful beauty comes at the expense of barbs in your hands. Mostly because we never talk about the barbs leadership leaves and the scars on our hearts, souls, minds, and bodies. Leadership may require the qualities of the oak and often inside that same leader lies the heart of a thistle.
Every action you make, every decisions, every sound, every word has consequences for yourself and for those in your sphere of influence. Only persons who have found complete control of their actions, words, decisions are acutely aware of the consequences or the possible consequences they are creating.
What consequences have you created? What consequences are you creating? Do you own your behavior and words BEFORE you commit them or are you constantly apologizing for your fuck ups? Could a change in how you approach your words and behavior be in order?
Communication and insulation is the theme today and as I look forward to this day I know that this is an appropriate draw.
Today I will have to talk about communication and how communication works. I will have to talk about how sometimes we are insulated and that causes us to not have empathy or understanding when it comes to dealing with others. It causes us to not be fully aware of how stretched we are or whether or not we are over committed. All of these things are certainly going to be part of my day.
Today Vesper chose my Ogham. I laughed because I had already decided to buy hair dye to cover my silver roots and had gone on and on to Stone about how awesome my body looked 20 lbs thinner and in the outfit I picked to wear today.
As I was looking for images for this post this am, I came across one that we associating the Apple with the Priestess. It was the Green Man Oracle. As I have been gifted that oracle by Renee, I was going to pull it but couldn’t find the deck or book associated with it.
Health and beauty are associated though. The impact of food on our bodies, our hair and skin has been well documented. So today – what are you doing in the real world to improve your beauty? Drinking more water? Cutting out processed sugar? Meditation?
As my day often is, it starts out in one place and leads to me going around all over doing things, pick up people, collaborating, working in Starbucks. Yesterday was another day that I woke thinking would go one direction and then lead in some completely different direction.
When I pulled the Oak, I noted the words Morgen gave Oak and then as my day has gone on and I have worked and collaborated with Valencia on a energetics workshop I am putting together, I have completely forgotten what the keys words were. Blamires is at home, though, I don’t think I would have read him if I had him.
Oak always reminds me of Stone – my husband priest. He is a very hard worker, dare I say, “workaholic?” My day has been about ministerial work that is focused on delivering ministerial assistance to people, organizing visual aids for classes I am developing and making appointments and sending emails around my Family Coven and those mundane issues that we forget to do: make a counseling appointment or check on insurance payment for services rendered.
Although I don’t know what the words are suppose to be, work, real hard labor, comes to mind when I think of Oak and that has certainly born itself out as I have gone through my to-do list and forced myself to complete some tasks and just get some things done and off my list.
What is on your list? When do you plan on getting to it? How much more time would you have if you just devoted yourself to finishing three of those little outstanding issues?
YEA! Elen Sintier! I guess the book I need to get is Trees of the Goddess! Not only did I find her description helpful and scholarly, it really was more about what the ogham means spiritually which is far more closely related to what I want. AND Morgen and her agree!
So yesterday the co-high priestess of Dragonstone Family Coven and Willow Dragonstone Community dedicated. Lady Disa Freyjadottir has been my sword sister and friend for as long as I have been in the craft. I can still viscerally recall meeting her. To have had her agree to co-high priestess with me and work in this amazing community is more than I hoped for when I originally approached her.
I woke up today singing a song in my head that was written for Frozen and never made it in the final cut. From the DisneyWiki Site:
Lyrics (first part)
Elsa: Hello little baby, you’re princess just like me
Bet you’re thinking maybe it’s a pretty cool thing to be
But soon you’ll see that everyone expects a lot from you
They’ll say that there are things a princess should and shouldn’t do
But you and me, we, we know better
Elsa and Anna:1, 2, 3 together, clap together, snap together
You and me together, knees together, freeze together
Up or down together, princess crown together
Always be together, you and me
1, 2, 3 together, clap together, snap together
You and me together, knees together, freeze together
Up or down together, princess crown together
Always be together, you and me
Elsa: They say a princess is full of charm and grace
They say she always knows her place
They say a princess wears pink and frilly clothes
They say she never laughs and snorts milk out her nose
They say she’s calm, they say she’s kind
They say she never speaks her mind or freezes nanny’s big behind
Both: But you and me, we, we know better
Nanny: You girls are in so much trouble! Wait until I tell your father…
Anna: How come you can do that and I can’t?
Elsa: I don’t know, I wish you could though…
Elsa: They say a princess is super duper sweet
Anna: She doesn’t fight; she doesn’t sweat
Both: And you never see her eat
Anna: They say a princess doesn’t climb and scrape her knee
Elsa: They say a princess wouldn’t freeze her tutor’s tea
Anna: They say she’s poised
Elsa: They say she’s fair
Both: She never mentions UNDERWEAR!
Anna: Or longs to see the world out there
Both: But you and me, we, have big ideas of our own
For the distant someday when we’re grown
Elsa: When I’m queen
Anna: And I’m your right hand
Elsa: You’ll get to travel
Both: Throughout the land
Anna: I’ll tell them of my sister and the magic things she can do
Elsa: We’ll take care of our people and they will love
Both: Me and you
No one can tell us what a princess should be
As long as we’re together, you and me
As I have personally struggled with leadership and what leadership requires, I am learning that the adage “Many the hands, light the work” absolutely could not be truer. Since Lady Freya, as we affectionately call her, has joined DSFC and WDSC I have been able to get more accomplished and feel more balanced than ever. Sovereignty is always viewed as a choice to hold power singularly. What I have learned is that sovereignty is really about admitting that one person – even Queens – cannot rule alone. It is simply too great a task.
However, two Queens, well just imagine if a chest board allowed two queens on one side? The advantage would always go to that team. Can you say, “Check mate?!”
“And in this choice lies sovereignty.”
We have encouraged an idea around pagan leadership that it is singular – one High Priest or High Priestess or at best a High Priest and High Priestess – but what if we opened up that view to able bodied people who work together? As I explore the types of pagan leadership I am coming to realize that some singular or even partnered leaderships do not work because they are missing some vital aspect. When this is recognized and that aspect is added, venerated, empowered – this changes the energy and stress and exponentially raises the ability of the group. Today WDSC and DSFC are more stable, grounded, and able to deal with anything than we were before. Because leadership is a choice as much as a calling. We can all chose how we lead and what our role as leaders are. We chose. Sovereignty demands a choice. How do you chose to lead?
I am still baffled by Morgen’s word associations and what other sites and Blamires says. Blarmires goes on and on about the Holly being a substitution for the Oak. He also seems to suggest that every tree is some step toward ending and beginning.
I look for practical things when I am working with the Ogham. Practically what does Holly and Tinne have to say about what is important for my day. Sacrifice is often unjust. I had to go to my mundane work today – my little job that only takes up less than 10 hours per week but provides a monetary cushion that allows my family to live without worry and with less debt.
However, this keeps me from being as productive as a writer and that is irritating. Add to that the talk I had today about “living a token life”© and I find it challenging to find the justice in Holly.
I was talking with someone in community who had had a serious debilitating illness that has left them struggling with stamina. I commented the the balance point between pushing yourself so that you have greater stamina and over doing it is a thin one and hard to find as someone who struggles with chronic illness. My system of tokens is how I approach life. I wake, we all wake, up with a certain number of allotted tokens in our bodies to give – energetic coins for any expenditure required of us in a given day. From getting out of bed, to getting back into bed, everything we do has a energetic token cost associated with it.
I have learned to wake and check in with myself. How many tokens do I have? What do I have to do today? How long with my activities be going on? Is there ritual tonight? Is there something important tomorrow? All of these questions play into how I structure my day and what I plan for myself to do. I have learned that sometimes the day goes well and you find you had more tokens than you thought and sometimes the day goes badly and you suddenly are out of tokens. I have also gotten my immediate family coven to talk to me in terms of tokens.
Instead of saying, “You look like your too tired.”
They say, “It looks like you have used all your tokens.”
This difference may seem nominal to those who get up daily with a healthy number of tokens to spend, but to someone who is consistently shorted in regards to their tokens, it is an indication that the act of going through the day has taken energy – tokens, if you will – and is not a reflection upon the chronically ill that they are lazy.
It is a silent acknowledgement that sometimes getting up and going about your day is a win for someone who is chronically ill or recovering from serious injury.
So the challenge I face is one I face daily, how many tokens do I have on any given day? How am I going to spend them? What is the best use of my energy tokens? How can I save or conserve energy tokens?
And it may be unjust that some of us struggle and have fewer tokens to utilize than others; however, those of us who live that token life can learn to better spend the tokens we do have. This will allow us to have a greater impact than some healthy people who never spend all their tokens and therefore aren’t pushed into the frugal greatness token lifers are.
Do you live a token life? How can you re-frame how you think about your token life? How can you better manage your tokens to improve your frame of mind and your emotional feelings around being a token lifer? What challenges do you face as a token lifer? Do you get up with all the tokens you need everyday? Are you a good steward of the tokens you have or are you wasting them?