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.

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

 

 

Magick, Energetics, and Burn Out of Pagan Leaders

Magick, Energetics, and Burn Out of Pagan Leaders

I have said before I am a verbal learner and recently I took a car trip that was two hours round trip with a magickal practitioner as I am, although he would not self-identify as pagan. Our conversation has prompted me to write two blogs about energetics and magick in very specific ways.

In my book, Family Coven: Birthing Hereditary Witchcraft, I discuss at length the connection I believe is between the amygdala and the psychic or magickal centers of our brain. The amygdala is the place in our brain of primal thinking and instinctual fight, flight, or freeze response. The amygdala is where every instinctual impulse come from.

I postulate that this is also where someone connects with Divinity and work for mediumship is largely done. There is no clinical work that demonstrates that what I postulate is true. I found one study that showed less activity in brain areas that they expected would be used for psychic ability in experienced mediums, and they did not look at the link between mediumship and Divine possession and the amygdala.

However, I make this postulation on the idea that the link to the Divine is primal and has to be a state to supersedes the conscious mind – all parts of the conscious mind. Further the amygdala doesn’t communicate in words or language as we understand it but with symbols when properly trained. This is a common phenomenon of mediums, that they work with visual cues and not verbal or language related cues.

Given that, the energetic training of pagan leaders is often around being able to easily put oneself into a trance state that taps into this mechanism of the brain. The study I just cited says that less experienced mediums use “learning” portions of the brain in higher levels than experienced mediums. This suggests that there is a learning that occurs until the ability to use the amygdala has been established.

Pagan leaders who suffer from burn out or the bat shit crazies that seems to accompany a significant portion of pagan leaders, I think are abusing the amygdala.

These people are equating connection with the Divine and mediumship work with meditation when in actuality they are two different states of being for our brains.

When we activate the amygdala and connect with the Divine or perform acts of mediumship, it’s like running a car’s engine in 2nd gear. We can more easily steer around curves and better navigate unfamiliar terrane, but running the car’s engine in 2nd gear all the time will slow down the overall function of the car. It will have potentially devastating consequences for the vehicle has we try to force it to run at higher speeds than it is capable in 2nd gear.

Further most pagans see the act of meditation as a vehicle to gain better control of psychic, medium and channeling work, which is one reason for meditation. However, these same pagans often overlook another function of meditation, rest for the brain from ANY function.

Without some time devoted to resting the brain from the job of mediumship, psychic use, and/or channeling, the brain is running in 2nd gear all the time and eventually waking hallucinations and ideas around being the gods and not being ridden by the gods emerges.  I have watched experienced magick workers swat the air to remove the fairies that they can’t stop seeing. It’s like their brain has gotten stuck in 2nd gear – the gear of channeling and mediumship.

It wasn’t until this car ride, however, that I was able to articulate this postulation and gain some verification with another magickal practitioner.

“When I meditate,” he said, “Sometimes I have to say, ‘NO! Not that! Not now! I need to rest! Do you think that is normal to want Spirit to be quiet? Do you think that is right?”

I knew it was normal because I have fought the same battles when I meditate and I devised some specific mental tools to deal with having an easy connection to Divinity, channeling, and mediumship.

NOTE: I think that other types of psychic skill like reading someone’s thoughts or feelings or psychometry work different areas and mechanisms of the brain that mediumship and channeling which is another post all together.

Ham Radio Operator

It is a little known, but absolutely true fact that I am a certified ham radio operator. During the intensive training to become certified the mechanism of how ham radios work is carefully explained and must be understood in order to pass certification.

ham radio

When I ran into the Pagan World only to find that I was an oddity among most pagan energy workers, I was nearly immediately flooded with extrasensory information that I could not control. My circuits were in over load and on all the time. So I visualized a ham radio on my third eye.

Ham radios have some interesting functions. The first is that it can dial in to a very specific frequency with greater precision than normal radios in our car. For example, 94.1 might be a radio station in your area, but did you know there are actual frequencies to send radio waves on between 94.1 and 94.2? Ham radios can dial into these very specific radio frequencies with great accuracy. They have special dials to help you dial in to more narrow and more specific radio waves.

My first exercise had me imagining my channeling, mediumship ability as being housed in my own ham radio situation on my third eye. This allowed me to tune into specific Deities or deceased persons by dialing in the correct frequency. Every day for nearly a month, I visualized this radio on my forehead. I started out by naming what the dials were and what they did. I played with them to tune in The Morrigan and the in turn tune her out. I set a button to change from Divine frequency to the frequency of the dead. Then I used another dial to hone in that frequency. I went to grave yards to play with the radios function. Sometimes I would literally mime turning the knobs on my forehead.

When I was confident with this function, I turned to another staple of Ham Radio – the antenna. The antenna takes the frequency being used and boosts it beyond the distance it would normally travel. The antenna is limited by how high it is, how many arrays it has and where it is on the physical landscape that is the earth. Naturally, an antenna on top of a high mountain will allow for you to send signals further away and receive signals from farther away.hamradioantenna

I began to visualize my antenna coming out of the crown of my head. My physical antenna had a crank that I would use to raise and lower the antenna for the purposes of sending further or receiving better. In my mind I built myself an antenna and began working on lowering and raising the antenna to send further and receive better. Now I have multiple visuals to aid me in fine tuning, strengthening and weakening my own personal medium and channeling abilities.

Then I started practicing turning off my ham radio and lowing my antenna into my body. No signal in and no signal out is the goal. This is where a meditative practice to let the mind rest comes in. Once you have cut off the signals, allow yourself to concentrate on breathing or relaxing muscle groups, I know spend ten minutes a day in REST mode. No Divine connection, no connection with the dead and no psychic activity. Just resting the brain and my amygdala.

I have found that the more I rest, the easier it is to get into the states of channeling and mediumship. I have also found the longer I use the ham radio tools, the easier it is to control my reception in large crowds and at pagan gatherings.

What About Burn Out?

This, however, did not really address energetic burnout. This has been a topic of discussion between myself and my craft sister, Disa, for a long, long time. How does burnout energetically happen? Why? Of course, she and I have certainly learned all about making time for self-care and I believe for high priests and high priestesses that self-care should include meditation that is tied to resting the brain.

But the energetic mechanisms for burn out continued to elude us. Until I actively tried to run a coven. This coven was done in a hierarchical model of organization. There was a HPS and HP then everyone was below those two. Energetically this works like trickle-down economics. Energy flows from the Divine and Earth through the HPS to HP and then into the group. Unfortunately, energy that is set loose always looks to anchor itself. In this hierarchical model, the energy anchors itself to the HP and HPS. This means the starting and ending point for energetic workings in the coven is with the HP or HPS or sometimes both. After that coven invariably imploded. I was asked to help set up another community.

This community structure is an inner and outer structure. There is a core group of members on a leadership team who do the actual work required of the community. The outer structure is any general members and then any members of the pagan community who come in peace to our open Sabbats and classes.

By this time, I had been working with the grounding stone with my Family Coven for quite some time and it seemed to me that what the group would need is an energy source that is not reliant upon a person. So I mentally created a grounding stone for the community. I charged the stone with the purpose to draw energy from the elements, the earth, the sky, and Divinity. I charged the stone to cycle that energy through the core of the earth to keep it naturally fresh and free of contagion. I then tied my energy and the energy of the founding members into the stone. The strength of your tie is directly related to the strength of your physical participation in the group. If you are on the core leadership team, your connection and access to the grounding stone is greater and easier than if you are a general member. The idea is that everyone’s energy is fueling the group and it isn’t one person.

Of course, this energetic work must be backed by physically not being the only person doing the work which requires delegation and a type of leadership that seems to be missing from most pagan communities. It also requires tending. Someone needs to frequently check the stone, check the shields, check the ties to the stone. This isn’t a one and done working. It requires some planning and some creating and then it requires tending.

With the first group my descent into burn out was fast and nearly debilitating. With this group, there is a sense that the group might not be around next year if everyone involved doesn’t pull their own weight or if the outer membership of the group doesn’t connect and buy in. However, the inner circle I have no doubt will continue to be around. The Outer Group is energetically expendable if necessary and I can always pull the leadership team back into the inner circle and let the outer circle go completely if necessary.

Further my personal energy is not the only energy being used to power group mind, group connection and monitor group energetics. Every person in their own way who is tied to the stone is doing the same. This spreads the energetic stress out among many instead of one or two.

 

There you have my little explanation of energetic burnout and magickal working around channeling and mediumship. I’d love to know what you think about these topics.