Category Archives: Divine Messages

Goddess Nudges – Or is it the Way the Cookie Crumbles?

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Do I see the Goddess or Leaves

Do I See the Goddess or the Leaves? – Original Artwork

Dear lovely readers, my apologies for not posting in such a long time!  Part of the reason is that so much of this blog has been about my change in career from Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing (TODHH) to sign language interpreter, and now I’m back, teaching the sweet kiddos.  I felt that I had messages and nudges from the Goddess/ the universe/ the powers that be/ The Force, whatever you want to call it, to move in that direction, and now I’m back to what I was doing before? How do I explain that?

I’m still interpreting occasionally.  I volunteer interpreted at a rally, and I still interpret at a local Springtime music / pagan festival.  Two years ago in December, 2015, or maybe it was November, 2015, I got word from a fellow interpreter that a job as itinerant TODHH had opened up in her district, which was close to where I live now.  I got the job and started in January of 2016.  Oh, and I moved in with my sweetie sweetness, I’m not sure if said that in the last blog- I probably did.

I’ve been loving my job as itinerant teacher!  It was a learning curve to adjust to that, since I used to be a classroom teacher.  I used to stay in one or two schools, with a caseload of about 10 students.  Now I travel from school to school (about 13-15 schools and about 24-30 students in my caseload).  There’s fluctuation, students moving in or out of the district, graduating, or other TODHHs available, or not, to take on some of my students into their caseload.  I teach Deaf/Hard of Hearing kids from preschool to 12th grade.  For some kids, I help them develop vocabulary and language, or I help with literacy, or I help with self advocacy and care of their hearing equipment.  I still use my sign language skills in my job with some of my students, and I love that.

I had not really worked with preschoolers before, and audiologists took care of the hearing equipment needs.  Now I troubleshoot hearing aids, BAHAs (Bone conduction hearing aids), and cochlear implants.  I don’t know enough to program them or anything, but I can clean them and change batteries and put them on kids, and though I knew some of that, I know a lot more now than I did before.  Also managing the schedule and trying to see students in my caseload, and finding schools, kept my brain challenged and learning last year.  Now I’m comfortable with it.

Wow, preschool.  I am now comfortable with the wee little ones.  I was so used to secondary students.  I wasn’t sure what to do last year, and I grew into it, and figured it out.  It’s pretty fun being a goofball with little ones and figuring out how to draw language out of them, so to speak, and then driving and meeting with an older student. I like the variety I get in my job, and the flexibility.

So, did I get ‘messages from beyond’ supporting my decision to go back to teaching? Not really- unless I wasn’t paying attention to them.  It just seemed right and it’s been great so far.  But what about those messages from beyond before, how do I justify going against what they supposedly said?  I don’t know how to answer that.  I can’t justify it.  Lame, huh.  I’m a lame pagan dork.  And I’m also a fantastic pagan dork! Haha.

I’m still doing some pagan things. I joined a pagan chamber choir (I know right? Those exist? I thought all pagan music was heavy metal!) Joking on that last comment of course. I’m not as witchy-poo as I used to be; I’m not mixing herbs and doing spells and sitting at my altar like I used to.  I have kind of fallen off the magic carpet I used to ride.  What’s up with me? I have no idea.  I still love the Earth and I love connecting with other pagans.  But am I still pagan?  Yeah…. I just ‘practice’ the pagan stuff less.  I’m sure that’s why I didn’t get nudges about whether I moved in the right direction regarding my job- I didn’t ask. I just did.

My sweetie, who I think of as a gift from the divine and a somewhat subdued Pan in the flesh, and I will be getting married this summer.  After just dating a few months, we felt like we’d known each other forever.  Now, we’ve been together about 2 and a half  years.  He’s my gift, because of many reasons:  all sexual needs fulfilled, intimacy needs as well, he’s my Obi Wan Kenobi when it comes to my little worries and shyness and how to relate with people and how to be free in life, he’s my guru, my friend, and he’s my lover.  I am so blessed.

Anyway, I think I fell off of my overtly pagany ways, and so did this blog along with that.  I am still pagan though! I am, I am, I swear.  My brand of paganism is just less obvious than it was before… I am just me.  I haven’t felt a draw to go to circles and drum or do rituals with others, in fact, I feel a bit of a resistance inside.  I’m not sure why.  I think I’ve seen the people behind the curtain and I’m a little disillusioned.  That, and another group I know is wonderful is such a long car drive away.  Also, I had some magic experiences and then fell flat on my face.  After you do that, you might not want the magic experiences any more, or at least you might be hesitant about them.

I feel like my life is good right now.  I’m happy.  I’m free to be myself most of the time, and less shy to express myself the way I want to.  I’m with someone who truly cares for me and supports me.  I have sweet, sweet friends that like me the way I am.  My job is pretty darned good.  I have what I need in abundance.  Thank you, God and Goddess, for providing.  I am so grateful for this wonderful life.

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Be Untamed and Wonderful

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crows on telgraph pole darkened

I made this by combining two photos and tweaking them in various ways.

Some of you may remember the message I got from the Goddess (specifically The Morrighan and the Norns; whatever being it is that prefers to represent herself in those forms) two years ago:

“Know this.  I am to the right of you.  I am to the left of you.  I am before you and behind you.  I am always all around you.  My ravens will remind you of this.”

At that time, The Morrighan said that I would be fine for the next 3 years if I would let go of what was blocking me, and that I knew what that was.  At the time I wasn’t sure, but didn’t ask.  I think I know now what has been blocking me.

If you’ve been following my blogs, you’ll know that I’m in my internship for becoming a sign language interpreter.  Also, since my last blog, I’ve moved in with my new lover, and we’ve now been together about 7 months.  I’ve rented my place out to a friend of his, and am contributing money to food and board to my boyfriend.  I’m still tutoring which earns hardly anything, living off savings, and now the rent money is helping out.  So I continue to have my needs taken care of, while pursuing my new career.  I’ve been watching my savings diminish to less and less, and I still have enough.

In the internship, it has been pretty stressful, trying to get all the hours I need to pass, and to do well.  Like many of the students in our IPP (Interpreter Preparation Program) cohort, I am quite hard on myself and have high expectations.  For the most part, I’ve been doing really well in the internship, able to practice a lot and get great feedback.

Used with permission from the artist, selphy6.  The pic can be found at: http://selphy6.deviantart.com/art/Cleffa-playing-balloon-380231141

Used with permission from the artist, selphy6. The pic can be found at: http://selphy6.deviantart.com/art/Cleffa-playing-balloon-380231141

I’ve felt pretty confident overall, though confidence is a strange animal (like one of the gazillion Pokemon– I think I’ll call it Wonkywonks or something- my lover’s 17 year old daughter knows all about them).  Confidence can inflate to be way too big, to medium, and then lose air like a balloon and become almost non-existent.  And it has special powers:  when it’s too small, it can make your brain run really slowly, and when it’s too big, the brain runs fast and wildly.  Over the course of the internship, it went from a little more than medium, to medium pretty steadily, and recently it’s taken some dips into small.  Last week, it got way too small.  There’s a Philosophy class I’ve been interning in,  and the professor is super smart and talks a mile a minute.  Sometimes the structure of his lesson is difficult to discern, and as interpreters in the class, we have to have faith that what we’re interpreting will have come kind of cohesion and make sense eventually.

I’ve struggled to keep up with this professor, and I realized that what was keeping me back was my perfectionist nature- I needed to get all the concepts correct and tie it all in with the gestalt (this is interpreter jargon we students have started to incorporate into our internal lexicons).  So, last Tuesday, I was going way slower than I should have been and I dropped the concepts, so that my supervising interpreter had to pick up the slack many times and take over.  After the class, she gave me some crushing news, that she may have to take over the class if I didn’t speed up.  That same day, I had a voicing test, and I’m not sure if my nerves over the test affected my interpreting that day, or what was going on, but my self confidence had become small.  I had to struggle to build it up again and try to relax a bit before the test so that I wouldn’t freeze up.  During the test, I lost a lot of chunks of information, and I felt like I had bombed it.

So: back to that strange transparent fish that wanted to escape capture: what was it that was blocking me from shining at my best?  Yes, my perfectionist nature, but more than that:  I didn’t have faith in myself.  I felt like I had to over-monitor how I was doing, in order to do well, instead of letting me just do what I am already good at.  I was micromanaging myself.  I’m not sure if that makes sense.  I had to free the wild awesome woman that I am, the wild interpreter.  Or, maybe ‘wild’ isn’t the right word- more like a wild animal, untamed, rather than acting wildly.  I had to relax to let myself be the best untamed human I can be, and trust that I CAN be the best I can be.

On Wednesday, I did well at my internship in one class I consider to be easy, and another class I consider to be more difficult.  That helped my confidence a bit.  My new lover also helped me feel better, expressing his faith in me and to not worry about results of things or how other people grade me because that can be subjective and unreliable.  (He’s very skilled in interpreting data and even has a degree related to it.)

That night, I came up with a way to help myself feel better: a plan. I always feel better when I have a plan.  In case my supervising interpreter decided on choice A: to let me have another chance before taking over, I would up my game and rise to the challenge.  In case she went with choice B: take over the class, I would accept it as a relief from stress (I hoped I would react that way, anyway), and record the lectures and observe her sign choices, and practice interpreting the lecture afterward.  That way I would still be pursuing my goal to be able to handle the class.

So, to prepare for choice A, I brought up a youtube video related to the same topic, with a fast talking professor, and practiced signing.  I sat on our bed, practicing signing a mile a minute, finding that I could keep up with the professor for the most part!  I also needed to limber up my fingers to fingerspell quickly.  At one point, signing wildly on the bed, I looked up and saw our dog looking in the doorway, with a stricken look on her face.  She stood still and stared at me- this strange transformation of my calm and quiet self into a crazily waving person (in her view, I’m guessing).  At one point I took a short break, and she came up on the bed (where she prefers to be, in arms length of petting).  After a while I started up with signing again and she left, like “Ok, I’m outta here.”  Pretty funny.

The next day, last Thursday, I felt a little nauseous with worry over what would happen.  I practiced again, had more caffeine to wake up my neurons, and drove in to the internship site.  Before class, I was fingerspelling philosopher’s names in the hallway, when the Deaf student came up and caught me practicing.  We chatted a bit, then entered the room when the supervising interpreter came walking up.  It turned out that my supervising interpreter chose A, to give me a chance, for which I’m grateful.  She started first, interpreting for 20 minutes, as we had previously agreed.  Then it was my turn, and I … want to say I was on fire, but I think that’s my heart being happy about it.  I wasn’t really on fire, I was *just right.*  I did it!  Later at class that night, I found out I got a B on the test.  What a relief! I had done better on that test than I had thought.

Back to the ravens.  I had a thought this week that since I’d moved far away from where I was living before, I hadn’t seen any ravens, and I missed seeing them.  Guess what I saw on Wednesday and Thursday?  Crows, not ravens, but close enough to give me a wonderful feeling.  I’m still being taken care of.

So:  my soul homework is to let my wonderful untamed interpreter woman free to be the best I can be, and not be so restraining of myself.  I also need to trust that I’m still being taken care of by deity.  It’s a wonderful cozy feeling.  I hope that you, reading this, can take some tidbit of a reassuring lesson from this, to apply this to your life as well.  So mote it  be. ❤

Letting my Life Thread Flow

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life threads

Original artwork

This past June, during a meditation, I received a message from divinity to “Go with the flow.”  In the past months, I’m realizing more and more what this means for me.

I think I may be going through a kind of biological mating imperative lately.  My psyche sometimes fights a slightly crazed feeling of “Must mate, now!  Who’s next to try? Will it be you?”  I hate that feeling!  It is what it is, and I’m not constantly feeling it, thankfully.  I also wonder if part of the feeling comes from remnants from being married (i.e. mated) already, and wanting that seemingly steadfast bond with someone again.  Or, it could be those magical moments I had this summer that I just didn’t want to end.

But relationships are not constantly magical.  We are not living and breathing and pooping rainbows all the time.  For me, it wouldn’t be rainbows, but it would be starry nights or full moons.  I love that energy, I love the ethereal connection I had, but there’s also the other parts of ourselves we need to consider.  We are not completely astral, and if we were, things would be so much easier.  We need to work and learn and feed ourselves.  Our teeth chip or our cars which spew ick into the air may break down, but we are tied to these earthly things.  We are not completely pure and evolved, either.  We have jealousy, or feelings of abandonment.  We (well, I; speaking for myself, here, but assuming I’m not the only one) are all dealing with these things in waves.

After those wonderfully magical experiences I had in June, the mundane issues came back.  My life thread wants to bond and mate, but that’s not necessarily healthy, it’s like ‘Chill out, life thread!’  The other person I was involved with- that my life thread sought- isn’t ready for that and is sifting through his own issues.  And I’ve come to realize that while my soul was seeking his, he’s not really seeking mine back, that I can tell (unless I’m totally oblivious to something or too impatient to wait for the signs).

I tried seeking other life threads through online dating.  What a weird mental space that is!  It’s like you’re shopping for other people, and they’re shopping for people, of whom you’re one of the commodities as well.  Then you start connecting with someone, but it’s not truly connecting, or you think you do and it was a lie, ugh it’s so shallow and strange.  Just strange!  I’ve been on a few dates, and that concept of “Go with the flow” is back.  No need for anything immediate to happen.

I’m cutting off that internet dating thing this weekend, as school’s about to start again.  The whole arena kindof turns my stomach anyway, but I’ve met a few people and had some wonderful conversations in the process.  We’ll see how it goes, no magical connections, but can you expect to constantly have magical connections?  I wish!  It’s a rare thing.  (Update from 8/14:  just had a second date with a guy I met internet dating and I stand corrected, I just had a wonderful, magical time with him!)

Go with the flow; it’s all about developing your own enjoyment of life independent of anything else.  Being open to opportunities as they arise, keeping an open mind and heart, but not tying your own heart down or anchoring it to one possibility.  That last bit is what I’ve been struggling with this summer.  And I think I’m getting there, and becoming really comfortable with just being me right now.  Developing and strengthening my own life thread, putting life and color into it, and weaving it wherever I want to weave it.

We are Opening

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A year ago, I posted about the most wonderful experience I had ever had worshiping the divine.  This time around, it was just as wonderful, but in a different way.  The one experience doesn’t top the other, they are equally wonderful.  I believe from now on, Litha will be my most favorite pagan sabbat.

It took place in the mountains of Colorado, just like it did last year.  Many of the same people were there, some new, and some people from last year weren’t there.  But, just like last year, all of the people who were there are grounded, sane (for the most part!), and good people at heart.  I believe that’s the most important thing.  Just like last year, those who wished to do so planned the ritual.  The gentle man (no longer part of a couple) brought his tipi, just like last year.  The weather was beautiful, the nature was beautiful, and so were the people.

There were are few differences from last year: more people joined the ‘collaborative planning’ part of the ritual (which follows a specific process so that one voice is not heard more than other voices, it’s very nice).  Instead of many butterflies flittering about, we had more mosquitos, but in my experience anyway, they weren’t so bad.  We didn’t have someone so drunk that they fell into the fire.  A few were a little stumbly, but not out of control.

I came up a day earlier than I did last year, a day before the ritual.  I set up my tent, with a little help from a friend (that one part where it’s supposed to pop up but it doesn’t quite want to pop up), set up my hammock that I’ve been using lately (oooh yeah baby), and then relaxed.  I hula hooped, the kids hula hooped, I nalbound (an ancient pre-knitting technique I do sometimes), and lay in my hammock.  Then I took a little walk.  Just barely about 10 minutes away there was a grove of aspen trees, and it’s so beautiful.  I stopped there to meditate.  Here’s a picture from that area:

Summer Solstice 2014 (16)

Aspen grove where I meditated (original photo)

I didn’t get as deep in consciousness as I usually do- I was too wiggy about mosquitos.  Using the rainbow induction by Starhawk (I really will blog about that soon!), and getting down to the last color: white (a white woman, all white, wearing white), instead of walking or running down the path to my little cave (which has started to look like rock formations from a place like Red Rocks or Utah), where I meet with the divine and come to my own power- I floated like a feather.  That was nice.

I was facing a decision, and, like always, seem to get the same answer over and over, in card readings or otherwise, and my meeting with the Goddess was the same, though she clarified it.  I was a little confused by the answers I had been getting, which was a lot like ‘do what you will, just don’t hurt anyone,’ (like the Wiccan Rede).  To me that wasn’t clear enough.  This time it was about the same, but a sense of ‘have an open heart and open mind’ (emphasis on the open heart).  Let what will happen, happen.  It will be alright.  Don’t worry so much.  (I get this message a lot- can you tell I have an issue with worrying?)

More about the decision I was facing:  I was wondering whether to say anything about this because it’s pretty new and personal, but I met- well really re-met- a man at Beltane, at the Spring festival that I go to every year.  We both felt attracted to each other.  He has some similarities to me as well that I hadn’t realized before- he’s teaching middle schoolers, which is something I used to do.  Someone who can appreciate middle schoolers can easily take a big step towards being in my heart!  He also enjoys making artwork, which is something I love.  Then there’s the way he smiled at me, warmth coming from his eyes.  And I can sense that he’s a good, stable person.

Later (at the Spring festival) we both danced around the fire- and both of us stripped off clothes- though I hadn’t all the way- and it was really nice and freeing to dance like that and symbolically release and give up to deity and honor deity.  Sometimes I got tired and sat down, and he came around and pulled me back up, beckoning me to dance in a very sexy way.  It was very flattering that he wanted to dance with me around the fire, a handsome, nice, charming pagan man at that.  At the end of the dancing, we walked together and talked some, kissed some, then… he told me he has some issues he’s dealing with in his life and it ended there, pretty much.  I resolved to be his friend and that was all.

Since then, I had a very strange and quick romance where another (seemingly pagan- I’m doubting some of the things he told me now, though he may have been telling the truth) man, who seemed extremely wonderful and a lot like me in the beginning, then it crashed and burned within a week when he became controlling, jealous, paranoid, thinking I was cheating on him with a male friend (or friends plural- it expanded from one friend to several in his mind), to the point where if I smiled a polite smile that lasted a millisecond at a guy, he wigged out and wanted to know what that was all about.  I can’t be with a guy that is like that and ended it there.  I almost gave him another chance, but when I wanted to spend the night by myself, he wigged out again, insinuating I was cheating and broke it off.  Reminded me of my first husband, though thankfully not as bad, since he didn’t stalk me afterwards, and I realized that I’m so much stronger than I used to be, to be able to end it right there and hold to a boundary that I won’t cross again.

After that, the guy I had re-met at Beltane and I started chatting on Facebook.  I got to know him pretty well, and he has a lot of really great traits: he had been in the military, doing good things in other countries, and now he’s off active duty, working on getting a good job where his heart is:  outdoor education. And I love his sense of humor, he’s smart, and we talk very naturally with each other.  I was excited that he would be at this Litha event, but I was on the fence about being more than friends, especially after the recent crash and burn, though my heart wanted more than friendship, because he was turning out to be a very awesome guy as I got to know him better.

Back to my meditation:  as I always do, I give a thanks of some sort to the Goddess and cosmic mother and father (again, more on that later), and I visualized the beauty of nature showering out to them.  If it were possible to share with them the beauty of nature!  Along my walk to that spot and the walk back, I felt very nice and calm, and happy in the beauty all around me:  yellow flowers everywhere, some white or blue or orange as well, a crow in a field, aspens, and beautiful large smooth rocks.

Summer Solstice 2014 (6)

Original photo

Later, in the evening, people sang and chanted around a fire, and I joined a few people in the tipi and we also sang and chanted, and chatted.  It was lovely to be in the tipi again, among people who have beautiful hearts, and joining together in song.

The next day, we got together to collaboratively plan, a group of wonderful people, sitting in a circle, respecting each other and what we all had to say.  Many of us felt a need for wisdom or advice with decision making, so Hekate was a natural choice in a goddess to call to our circle to aid us.  As that was mentioned, one person who was there for the first time said that he has been a ‘son of Hekate’ for a long time.  And later after the ritual, another person who hadn’t been part of the planning said she was very happy that we had called Hekate; that goddess was special to her.  So it really seemed fitting to those who attended to call Hekate, even though traditionally, people call for her wisdom around Samhain (in October).  Hekate stands at the crossroads,  holding a light, guiding the way to go; the one who was a ‘son of Hekate’ said that if you ask her advice, then go against it, you’ll get smacked upside the head by her.  (smile)  She’s not a Goddess to take lightly, but then again, who is?

Last year, we had called Pan and forgotten to say goodbye to him- I suggested we do the same this year (jokingly).  And this part is kind of funny- I think Pan really wanted to be invited, because Pan was mentioned again in the planning, but people said, ‘let’s just say whatever god you want to call in.’  The priest was confused about what we had decided and we reiterated what we had decided.  But, as we did the ritual later, he called Pan… and then added ‘or whatever form the god of summer is for you,’ (something like that).  I just had to smile at that point!  It was fitting that he was called, in my opinion.

Something else was pretty special:  there was a woman with a hearing loss there.  She said she gets confused when she doesn’t know the lyrics.  That’s something several people may feel, but with a hearing loss, I can really understand this.  Some of us were going to practice the lyrics after the planning (since some of us were going to sing during the ritual, myself included).  We invited her to join us to learn the lyrics.  After the ritual, she thanked us for including her.  She seems like a very sweet person, always wanting to help.

We had our lovely ritual, during which we put something natural in the fire that represented a gift we had been given.  I waited and wasn’t sure why I was waiting, then finally stepped forward when it was clear- and the guy I was talking about stepped in the same time!  Not sure if he waited for me to step in (I doubt it, it was almost literally the same time), but I thought it was cool, since my gift was related to him:  an open mind and heart, which I already felt opening, and no worries, as well as my sign language skills which are improving and working towards becoming a sign language interpreter, which I had mentioned wanting to do last year at the last Litha.  And now it’s coming to ‘fruition,’  which is a very nice Litha-like word.

After that part of the ritual, many of us shared what our gift had been; some had turned it into requests which was fine.  I didn’t share my own, it felt a little too near and dear to me.  The fact that some people misunderstood the intent of that part, and that it was fine- was wonderful. I love this about this group- they are flexible, so that whatever needs to happen is recognized and appreciated.  For the priest and priestess, it’s not their way or the highway.  They let us collaboratively make the ritual with them, and it is so deeply personal and special, and therefore powerful.

During the ritual, we had invited in our ancestors.  I tend to especially invite in my grandmas, since I was closer to them, but I also thought of a grandpa I had known a little bit, as well as people further back I hadn’t met.  After we gave our gift to the fire, we meditated for guidance.  I had already received my message for my open heart mind, and was also confirmed I’m on the right path with interpreting.  At the end of the guided meditation (or this may have happened later in the ritual), our priestess said for us to thank our ancestors.  Upon thinking about things that they would like as gifts of thanks, it made me really miss my grandmas and I cried.  I thought of giving my mom’s mom some grated carrots and garlic, since she seemed to love eating that, and a hug.  It was always so nice to hug her.  For my dad’s mom I gave her some cross stitch type of thing- something flowery, since she loved to work on that kind of thing, and a hug.  When she hugged, you got enveloped in her softness, which was so nice.

At the end of the ritual, the ancestors, deity, and all the elements were duly released.  Pan was as well, though I silently thought ‘Though you are welcome to stay if you like!’

After the ritual came the drumming and dancing around the fire- and it was wild and wonderful!  Several of us got completely or partly naked (guess which I was! Yes, for the first time in ritual!), we drummed, I danced with my spirit monkeys which are always present (yes, yes, I know I promised to blog about that too, I will, I will!), we sang, honored each other and the divine, and it was beautiful.  Last year was powerful and loving and beautiful; this year it was powerful, loving, beautiful and wild.

One of the songs we sang really reflected what I had personally been working on, and I believe some others there as well.  It goes like this:

We are opening up in sweet surrender to the luminous love-light of the One,

We are opening up in sweet surrender to the luminous love-light of the One.

We are opening, we are opening, we are opening, we are opening.

(repeat and add whatever you wish)

The guy I’ve been talking about (he really needs a pseudonym, doesn’t he?) sat next to me to drum, and at one point we kissed.  Well, at several points!  🙂 Our sweet priestess told me later it was the most romantic kiss she’d ever seen.  I certainly enjoyed it very much!  And afterward, we had a lovely time.  We are still exploring to see where it will go.  This morning, I talked with a friend about it, and she mentioned working on living in the present in her own life.  I said that would be a good way for me to just chill and enjoy, whatever happens, and not try to nail down the future.  What will be, will be, and I can’t help but hope that it will be beautiful.

May you lovely readers be open and willing to surrender your fears of the past and future (and myself as well).  And free yourself to enjoy what nature has given.

So mote it be.

 

On Being Zen and the Not-So-Thick Veil

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As I’ve been living my pagan/mundane life, walking my path in ‘this’ reality with most of my being, and walking in the magical realm with one foot, or, more often, just a few toes or a pinky finger trailing in the  mist, I’ve been at a bit of a loss for what gems of ideas to share on this blog.  I’ve had a few ideas here and there, but nothing really grabbed me, until today.  Part of the reason for my state of cat-caught-the-tongue is something that touched me deeply:  a friend of a nearly mutual faith has recently passed.  Before she passed, since her eyesight was failing, her daughter read my blogs (few as they are) to her.  I can’t help but be thankful that my last ‘gem’ revolved around the reassuring message from two faces of the goddess.  One of those faces was a Norn, the message from which hopefully brought a message of comfort to my friend in her last days of life here, because she is (was) Asatru:  a person who follows the ancient faith of Scandinavia.

The reason I’m writing today is just to share the lessons I’ve learned the last few months.  These lessons have been simple and profound for myself.  They may or may not have come from an ‘otherworldly’ source, but then again, I’m becoming more and more convinced that the blurry line between the worlds is a lot more blurry than we would like to believe.  Most people fear the world of the mystical, but I’m coming to believe that the mystical is really more homey and real than most want to believe.  Yes, the ‘veil’ is thinner around Samhain (Halloween), but in my opinion, the veil isn’t all that thick at all other times.  (Also, why would the ‘veil’ be thinner at Samhain for those who believe it so for that time of year, and be thinner for Chinese people at their New Year, which tends be around our Imbolc/Candlemass time around February 2nd? How can ‘the veil’ change in how thick or thin it is according to where and when you live in the world? Who decides how thin it is- do we and our cultural norms, or do forces beyond us? I digress.) So, lessons we learn may seem to be pretty mundane, when they may actually come from a source much deeper and divine.

Both lessons have roots in my new loving relationship.  This new loving experience I’m having is different than all the other ones I’ve had.  Of course, each one has been different from all others, but this one seems to be unique in that it is full of genuine love.  I’m realizing a few things about myself, that I need to keep in check or to improve on psychologically, in order to fully embrace this man and this relationship.  The first lesson is to be more zen and to trust, which is a recurring theme for me, as I tend to be a ‘worry wart’ and anxious about the silliest things.  However, I didn’t expect this lesson to surface from experiences in this relationship.  

The reason why I should be zen and to trust is because I am truly loved.  I can never really reach into someone else and pull out their innermost feelings and thoughts and examine them closely, so I need to trust that this is true.  I hadn’t realized this until recently, but in all my previous relationships, I assumed I wasn’t loved (I didn’t trust), and did everything I could so that I could be loved, or continue to be loved.  I just falsely knew without being aware of it, as much as I knew my own face, that I couldn’t just be simply loved for no explainable reason. Or, if I was loved, it wasn’t a true love that would last- it was a flimsy love that would easily disintegrate unless I did whatever I could to be some kind of super-pleaser.  I still had that attitude in this relationship and it was driving me nuts with anxiety, until I realized that he still loved me, with a simple, earthy grounded assurance.  

It’s quite a different experience to relax and enjoy a wonderful, simple gift that has been given, without any work to try to keep it in place, when I’m so used to all that work and stress.  It’s as if I am seeing a beautiful mountain range for the first time, and realizing that it’s not going to melt away the next day or the next; it’s still going to be there, just as strong as the days and years and millennia before.  And I don’t have to keep on painting it or molding the vista (or even assume I can) to make it real.  While I’ve come to an awareness about this lesson, I’m still learning it, and many times I’ve needed to tell myself to stop building whatever scaffolds and walls or worry about whether this is going to continue, because of silly little things, like wrinkles on my face I hadn’t noticed before – that he’ll notice them and suddenly not be into me anymore – or countless other little shallow things that can easily draw me into a place of worry.  

That place of worry and anxiety is the antithesis of living in power.  Being zen and trusting also comes from a state of letting go of things I really don’t have control over, but would like to have an effect on.  Once I can be in that state, I am calm, it is easier for me to live in a state of loving, and I feel more confident. I also love myself more.  The trick is staying in that state and not sliding back into worry again!  I’ll get there and stay up on that rocky ridge and not lose my footing, I hope!  Maybe sliding back is just a part of being human.

Another lesson that might not be quite as profound is that, while our faiths seem to be fundamentally opposites (he is Catholic and I’m rather obviously pagan), the faiths haven’t clashed, yet.  Yesterday, we decorated his Christmas tree (a pagan activity, though this wasn’t really labeled as such as we did it, and it was a bit Christianized with some of his ornaments being angels and a cross) and set up his nativity scene, a decidedly Christian activity.  If he had been the sort of Christian that would believe that because I am ‘pagan,’ that means I’m a devil-worshiper or demon possessed, he would have been surprised that I didn’t have had some kind of fit from The Exorcist as we put up his nativity scene, or hissed like a vampire as I touched the cross ornament!  Of course none of that happened and it was a happy and peaceful thing that we did together.  It’s just kind of a funny thought, and I’m glad he’s not the sort of person that would believe that kind of thing!

If this was about, oh, six or seven years ago, I would have felt internally conflicted at setting up a nativity scene, even if it was owned by someone else.  About ten to fifteen years ago, I was just starting on the pagan path, and shunning my past faith which was Christianity.  For several years, I was angry at the Judeo/Christian G-d (angry at both G-ds, from the Old and from the New Testament of the Bible- they do seem to have different personalities), because if he was as powerful and as loving as many parts of that book makes him seem to be, why did he allow horrible abuses to happen to his ‘children’?  Even as I turned away and believed he didn’t exist, I ironically was also angry at him.  So, I fed the fires of his existence with my anger at his existence, while believing he didn’t exist… ya dig?

Over the years, I’ve mellowed a lot about that Christian G-d (which I’m spelling that way to please those who believe in him).  I still believe that the G-d of the Old and the New Testaments wouldn’t be a god that I would follow or revere, but I now accept that loving, good people believe and worship that god.  I’ve let go of my anger concerning him, in coming to know other faces of the divine that I feel that I can follow and revere.  And in doing so, that part of me has relaxed, become more zen and trusting, and a stronger love for others, no matter what faith they have, has sprouted as a result.

I didn’t really see until I wrote this that the two lessons are connected, coming from the same root lesson.  Be zen, trust in love – both divine and mundane – and let go. Let go, of anger and the false assumption that you can control and have an influence over that beautiful love. Instead, embrace the existence of the solid rock of millennia, that simple, unconditional (in every sense of the word) love, and that it will continue to exist beyond time.

My Ravens Will Remind You of This

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My life the last few months has been so different than the last many, many years.  My stress level is so much lower, things are going great, and I haven’t wanted for anything.  I even have a new boyfriend, and that relationship is going very well.

After all of that hemming and hawing and riding the fence and ‘camping out’ at the ledge, now that I’m living the life on my new road of learning to become a sign language interpreter, life is great!  I *can* imagine what I was afraid of, but the reality is so much better.

The major message I have received from deity is “Don’t worry. I’ve got this.”  I have discovered what a worry-wart I can be, and it keeps me from living life.  And it keeps me from being happy about my lovely life.  It’s pretty cool how deity has spoken to me, and how messages coincide with each other to reinforce that ‘this is real, believe it.’

Besides all the supportive readings and messages I had *before* I made my decision, I continue to have this message (‘I got this’) after my decision as well.  The first message came through an experience I will never forget.

I went to another pagan festival, which is a pagan (they call it ‘spiritual retreat’ to open it up to other religions, but really, in my mind, it’s pagan) retreat in the mountains of Colorado in August.  One tradition that they always have at this festival is “Drawing Down.”  This means that priests and priestesses allow themselves to be vessels for a god or goddess, so that those seeking a message from deity can communicate with deity through that person.  I have been secretly wigged out (and at the same time, morbidly fascinated) by this concept.  It sounds like possession and it *is,* but by deity; it’s not demonic.  People who care about me, who don’t understand this, would say “how do you know?”  You know.  You really just know.  I would retort, “How do you know that when you pray to God, that He is the one to whom you are speaking?”

One person described opening ones’ brain to channeling messages (not to the extent of embodying deity but even just channeling) as turning a radio dial in the brain to the psychic channel.  I actually hadn’t made the connection to the word ‘channel’ until now, I may have just made a pagan pun actually!  That idea has helped me when I ‘channel,’ myself, because it is a kind of mental feeling that you know a certain thing, that something is right and not scary-bad.

Anyway, my experience with Drawing Down was the real deal and not demonic.  I don’t really believe in demons, but I do believe in bad spirits, or spirits that were messed up when they were alive and continue to be in the afterlife.   There are also fae spirits that don’t always have our best in mind.  It’s probably just semantics, just as different aspects of deity are just ways we as humans try to describe deity, when deity really is just indescribable to begin with.  This did not involve any malevolent spirits.  There are ways to safeguard against them, and I believe the people involved in this event at the festival had taken those precautions.

That said, I felt like I was being called to go to this event.  So, despite my little worries, I did.  Before I did this, I had participated in a rebirthing ceremony, which probably deserves its own blog post.  That experience was very special.  So this time around at festival, I was already opening myself up to deeper internal work than I usually do at this fest.  Two different people had asked if I was going to this event, and this time around, I felt a little response within me, saying, ‘Yes. You should go to this.’

Drawing Down began with those of us seeking a message from deity sitting quietly in a grassy waiting area.  We were surrounded by aspens and wildflowers.  It was pre-twilight.  Each person ‘drawing down’ a deity had their own tent or canopy about a two minute walk away from the waiting area, and attendants to that deity came to us in the waiting area and picked out those they felt called to pick.  When ‘my’ attendant came, I knew she was going to pick me before she even got to me.  Our eyes locked and she knew it too.  She led me to The Morrighan.  I don’t know much about this deity, but this is what I already knew before my meeting with her:  she is a triple goddess.  Some people think of her as maiden/mother/crone.  One aspect of her is that she, like the valkyries, helps bring the spirits of the dead to the afterlife.  Her ravens help her to do this.  I also think of ravens in connection with bringing messages to those who have passed, because of Huginn and Muninn who serve Odin (of the ancient Norse belief).  The Morrighan is a Celtic goddess, or more accurately, a triple goddess or group of goddesses that work together and are somewhat a part of each other.

Before leading me to The Morrighan, her attendant, who was a pretty young woman probably around 18 years old, told me that I was going to see The Morrighan and that she can be ‘pretty intense,’ but not to worry.  She brought me to the tent.  Inside the tent, there were three people seated in chairs; a woman who sat in the middle with a fierce gaze and queen-like demeanor, and a person sitting on either side.  A man sat on one side and woman on the other; the man had green and yellow makeup in a diamond pattern on his face.  The man and woman on either side sat, watching, and not saying anything.

The Morrighan motioned me in and indicated that her attendant should leave.  I knelt in front of her.  She got right in my face, though not too close, and looked straight in my eyes from every angle, her head moving like a snakes’.  She asked me what my question was and I said, rather timidly, “Will I be O.K. for the next 3 years? Will I have enough to live on?”  She sat back and said that she saw that I’m going through a transformation, and I will get what I need, but only if I let go of something that I’m allowing to block me.  “You know what this is.”  (I’m still not quite sure what it is, perhaps my fear?)  She said I will learn a lot.  She asked what I’m afraid of, in a tone that indicated that the fear is unwarranted.  I can’t remember exactly what my reply was.  I think I said I have a fear that I can’t accomplish it.  She said, “Do you want my blessing?” I said yes.  She said:

“Know this.  I am to the right of you.  I am to the left of you.  I am before you and behind you.  I am always all around you.  My ravens will remind you of this.”  

Those words still give me chills.  It was done.  I thanked her and left.

The next day at the festival, I had an experience that reinforced the idea that The Morrighan (or that aspect of the goddess deity) is with me.  I went to a ritual about the Norns.  Through this experience, I found out that I had already received the message I needed, and although I probably didn’t need the message again, it was a beautiful experience.  I went because I love the idea of Norns from the ancient Norse belief.  The Norns are the three goddesses at Yggdrasil, which is the tree of life.  One of the Norns measures our life thread, one spins it, and one cuts it.  I’ve always thought of these Norns like The Morrighan, because they are maiden/mother/crone, though they feel a little more like home and less scary to me.  Since my own culture is Swedish-American, I feel a strong link to Norse things.  And, I love working with fibers, so both of those aspects of myself finds a kinship of sorts with the Norns.

There was a whole bit of closing the circle and some personal thought about our life thread beforehand, but I’m itching to skip to the juicy part: the guided meditation.  Western style guided meditations tend to include a way to come ‘down’ to a lower meditative state using imagery.  In this meditation, our guide used the image of a tree, and we went down the inside of the tree (which represented ourselves) and out a door at the bottom.  I didn’t feel the right mental state through this imagery, so I added my own take on Starhawk’s Rainbow Induction as described in her book The Twelve Wild Swans.  I could do yet another blog just describing it.  I’ve found it very helpful in grounding and getting at lower consciousness levels for meditation.

The rainbow induction goes through the rainbow colors as you descend downwards in elevation, and you are those colors and are dressed in those colors.  I include non rainbow colors of brown, black and white at the end.  So, when I walked out of my life-tree, I was wearing white.  Our guide told us that hanging on the tree was our life thread, woven into the tree.  Since I like to make things with fibers, I pictured a beautiful weaving, almost like a spiderweb, entwined in the branches.  The weaving had tendrils of gauzy thread hanging from it.  One of the threads was long and led off into the distance.  She had us follow our life thread until we came to Yggdrasil, the tree of life.  She called it the World Tree.  It had all our threads leading to it.  To the left of the tree was a lake.  As soon as our guide said that, my spirit lept into the lake!  (My inner child is alive and well!) Now, with my white dress on, it seemed a bit like a baptism.

Our guide told us that at one end of the lake there were grottos; three little caves leading from the water.  In each cave stood one of the Norns.  As is done in many of this kind of meditation, we were to speak with one of the goddesses and receive a message, at which point our guide stopped talking to give us time to do this.  I used to get anxious during these meditations, that I was not keeping up, but I’ve learned that you can listen and let the meditation take its course.  Sometimes your own meditation follows along at the same pace, and sometimes your own meditation has its own take on things.  If the guide goes on, don’t panic; just listen, and know you’ll catch up or make your own way at the correct time.

Original Artwork

Original Artwork

At this point, I was in the middle of the lake.  The Norns were standing at the other end, each in her own cave.  In my meditation, the left-most Norn was the one with a spindle, spinning thread.  The one in the middle was measuring and holding the thread that the left-most one spun, and the one on the farthest right was cutting the threads that the middle one held.  As I swam, I felt The Morrighan (but just the aspect I spoke to the day before) behind me.  Incidentally, she didn’t look like the woman who had lent her body to the goddess, who is beautiful in her own way.  The Morrighan was regal and beautiful.  She walked at the edge of the lake with long strides, slowly and serenely, towards the Norn with the spindle.  The spinner said that The Morrighan was vying for my attention, with amusement in her voice.  I couldn’t turn my back and ignore her (since that would be disrespectful), so I accepted her presence.  She reached the spinner and held her hand, her hand held out like a queen, palm down, the spinner holding her hand up, so that their clasped hands were like yin and yang.  I felt that they were indicating that they are the same, while having their own different personalities, and that they were giving the message in tandem.

The spinning Norn seemed to get a silent message from The Morrighan and spoke to me, saying “You doubt that I’m good at what I do?” implying that my tendency to worry about the future was an insult to her.  That was my message:  to trust that the Spinner knows what she’s doing.  I mentally searched the other two Norns but they didn’t communicate with me.  The one with the shears put them behind her back, which was reassuring.

So that was it.  We were led back to the World Tree, and back from there to our own tree-selves, and back up it into our own bodies.  Again, I added the reverse of the Rainbow Induction to help myself back to the waking mental state.

We ended the ritual with vanilla wafer crackers and water that was passed around the circle, and I went back to my tent afterwards.  The rest of the festival was lovely, and I drove home, full of a secure feeling of being loved by deity and by good friends.  As I arrived home, there were three large ravens flying to a tree and lamp post in the parking lot.  We see crows a lot and ravens occasionally; ravens are much more rare.  They were cawing loudly as if to say, “She said we’d come, and we’re here; don’t forget!”

My most recent sighting of a raven was on a card from a divinatory playing card deck I have.  I had not even started my card reading when it fell out.  Again, reassuring me that all will be well.  In this season of thanks, I thank The Morrighan and Spinner-Norn (and I’ve seen her referred to as the weaver) Verdandi, for the continual reassurances that all will be well, and as Matthew wrote in his Gospel, to be like the birds who don’t worry about a thing, knowing that their needs will be met.

Jumping Jumping!

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Yes, that’s me, in my dream car, not my actual car. The license plate is from a photo of Emma Peel’s (played by Diana Rigg) car from the Avengers TV show in the 60’s. She had a white, then two blue cars of the same kind, a Lotus Elan.                                  Original artwork.

The bullet has been bitten.  I have now pretty much resigned from my job as Teacher of the Deaf.  An email, very carefully and kindly worded, has been sent to my superiors.  The official resignation form has been filled out, and will be turned in to Human Resources next week (next week, because I am car-less at present- it’s in the shop and should be drive-able soon).

I have been ‘camped at the precipice’ for nearly a month.  I’ve been making this decision, then hesitating, then making the decision again, then hesitating, for quite a while.  I had found out that if I’m not in an interpreter program going for a degree in interpreting, that only a few courses at the local community college would be open to me.  I just got off the phone with an administrator in the interpreting program, who is going to meet with me to discuss my transcripts (which I have already) next week.  At this point, I could perhaps audit classes, or transfer previous classes I’ve taken and delve into the program, and it sounds like it will be the latter choice.  I’ve passed two exams in order to bypass two classes: ASL 1 and 2, and another exam which officially got me in to the interpreting program.  I also already have my student number!  It feels really _odd_ to be a student again, and also quite nice!

So, I’ve had a number of balls already rolling, I just needed the big one to budge, just to show me that I can indeed pursue this.  It has budged and is starting to roll!  Watch out world!

For me, it’s best if my brain matches my gut and my heart, and if it doesn’t, it’s very difficult for me to justify making a huge change like this.  My brain also needs to be on board! I needed to know that working towards my goal would be feasible.  I also needed to know that I would have enough money to live on and take classes, and I have figured out that, yes, I can do this.

I’ve analyzed my finances, which was good to do, no matter what.  I’ve figured out ways to save more money, and am following a pretty tight budget right now.  I aim to save considerably more by the end of my current paychecks in August.  I have figured out that I can live on my savings AND pay for a complete interpreter program’s worth of credits, if I need to, and have money to spare.  (Not much money to spare!)  So if anyone’s worried about me, don’t be!

And the last thing I needed to satisfy my nitpicky brain was to know that, if I resigned, I would still get paid throughout the summer (I get my paychecks spread out over a year instead of only the school year), and I will not get blacklisted in my district if I wanted to apply for a teacher job in the future.  This is according to the union rep I spoke to last month.

So, now that my worry-wart brain is satisfied with all of the angles of possible scenarios, I can also give even more credence to the spiritual messages that I’ve sought out, or that have sought me out.  And there have been many!

The first message came around New Years, when Elfy Momma (my friend who I write with once a week) and MM – Massage Man (my now ex-boyfriend, though he was my boyfriend at the time) and I met to read cards for each other.  One of them – I think it was MM- did a reading for me for my three decisions at that time: 1) continuing to work at what was my current position, 2) working at an elementary school and 3) interpreting.  The first one got a message that it would have job stability.  The second one said I would have to be creative at the job but other wise it would be the same old thing.  The third one said I would have less money and I would feel free.  And that reading has turned out to be very true for all three scenarios, although I no longer have choice number one.

The next spiritual message happened when I was at a ritual with my small spiritual group.  We got together to send one of our members off to California and to do energy work for her.  As we talked before we started, it became clear that ALL of us were going through a major change in our lives, not just the woman who is moving.  One of the women there, Phunky Goddess (a friend of mine who makes awesome funky clothes and who loves Phish), led us in the meditation.  It was her first time leading us.

In our meditation, she had us all meet together, then each take our own path with a basket.  We were to gather things in our basket that we would share with each other later.  As I started down my path, I was skipping and happy, and hearing the music of “April Fool’s Day” by S. J. Tucker.  A frog jumped into my basket.  I knew the frog was meant for me, but wasn’t sure what it meant just yet.  I gathered some things for my friends who were meditating with me in the circle as well (to remain private).  Then Phunky Goddess had us go to a clearing where there was drumming and dancing, and we danced together or hung out enjoying the drums, after which we shared each other’s items.  At the end, she had us go back down the path to where we started.

As we each came out of our meditation, we told each other what our items were. As I shared about the frog, they said that, of course, I need to jump!  It’s just now that I’m writing this, that I’m realizing that the song was perfect, too.  ‘April Fool’s Day’ is about a ritual S.J. Tucker goes to, that celebrates The Fool.  How fitting that the song in my meditation matches what I’m doing- jumping into the abyss like The Fool card!

After this, my friend that I write with, Elfy Momma, did this little finger pulling thing (some kind of psychic thing she does to get answers) and said I should get my EIPA  (Educational Interpreter performance test) results back in July.

About a month ago, I had MM do an astrology reading for me about which scenario was best:  continuing with the plan my job had for me – to switch to the oral Deaf Ed program in a hearing elementary school (oral: hard of hearing kids who speak and lip-read, and do not sign);  or interpreting.  His reading said that in September, I will experience someone at work trying to undermine me – working against me – and I would feel like I couldn’t tell anyone about it.  He also said that I should be doing a Sagittarius type of job:  to be a tour guide of sorts for others.  He said interpreting is kind of like that, and is a “Sag” type of job.  He also said that I would likely need to share assets (8th house), like to take out a loan or have a roommate.  He also felt that I would get my results from the EIPA test in July (if I remember correctly).

The next message came when I tuned my mind to what my monkeys were doing, while I was driving to MM’s house last week.  We were going to hang out a bit (we still do about once a week, even though we broke up).  After hanging out with him, I was going to drive to my parents’ the next day.  I was planning to tell them about my decision and was very nervous about doing this. (I ended up chickening out, but have dropped bits of information about what I’m doing here and there!)

We interrupt this rambling blog to explain about ‘my monkeys.’  Be warned, I’m about to let you know just how weird I am!  Over the years, starting in about 2002 or so, I have come to believe that I have monkey spirits that hang around me.  They are like spirit guides or totems, in a way.  Other people have confirmed that they are there; it hasn’t just been me ‘imagining’ things.  They have become a way for me to tune in to the psychic channel of my brain, and whenever I’ve asked them a question they have never been wrong.  I’ve tuned in to what they’re doing from time to time.  More about them in another blog for another day.

As I tuned my mind this time (while driving to MM’s house) to what my monkeys were doing, what one or two were doing was unusual.  They were holding up my head.  My sense was that they were ‘keeping my head up’ and giving me confidence.  I thought what my monkeys were doing was cool and it confirmed that the spiritual-messaging part of my mind that they occupy is fully in support of my resigning and becoming an interpreter.

The most recent spiritual message came in a dream I had last week.  Last Fall, a Special Ed teacher at “my” school (the one I worked at the last six years), resigned after about a month of school.  She had met her love over the summer and was moving to be with him.  She also knew she wanted to get away from our stressful job.

In the dream,  she had parked sideways on my front lawn.  She yelled out the window to “Come join me!”  I ran out as she took off down the road.  I chased her a bit, but she was too fast and her car was shrinking so I wouldn’t have fit in her car, anyway.  I ran back to get into my own car, when I woke up.  I think that clearly states I should do what she did:  follow my gut and my bliss. The dream clinched it for me.  (As if there haven’t been enough spiritual messages saying I should be doing this, right?)

Juuuuuuumpiiiing!!