A long night’s vigil

The altar was set up and ready for devotion long before the sun began to make his descent in the sky. A shoe with a parchment wrapped in red ribbon in it, on it hopes, wishes, and desires along with thanks for the previous year’s blessings. Yes, there have been some as ugly as 2014 has been and I am grateful for those blessings.

You can plan a solitary ritual as much as you want, script it, write it out, and run it through your mind as much as you want, but the hands of the unseen tend to move you as they see fit in spite of all of your well laid plans. I did have the core of everything I wished to do performed however, there were things inspired that I am in serious doubt I could reproduce. I planned on devoting just St. Nicholas. That is not what happened. St. Nicholas did get honored in fine fashion, but after him a parade of Feri and ancestral Gods bounded about the Yule altar all calling my name and pulling from my soul songs that even now the tunes fade away. I promised a long night’s vigil. The unseen took that seriously.

There were quiet moments watching the candle flame flicker on it’s wick. It was during these moments where work was placed before me. I was shown the iron and pearl pentacle as one. A pearl star with iron at it’s core. It cracked and broke and all the pearl peeled away in flashing chips and flakes, the words start again echoed in my ears. Red hot iron in the shape of a star with mangled points flashed in my head and I knew that in order for the pearl to straight the iron had to be right first. Pearl forms in layers, a continuing process of coating and growth; patience and vigilance are required here. A thing I now know to point out to my students: work iron first. It is your strength, your core. While I type this a Fremen proverb crosses my thoughts: Wisdom comes from the desert, polish from the city. What is the point in polishing a mangled piece of iron???

At one point in time while keeping quiet vigil, the litany against fear cropped up: I must not fear. . . It kept rolling through my head and did not stop until it spilled from my lips. There was a tightness in my gut that I noticed as I was saying this litany. The unseen whispered to consciously let it go. I was holding fear in place instead of permitting it to roll through me and leave. It washed through in a cascade of ice then a warmth took its place as began to breathe deeply again. I didn’t notice how shallow and tight my breath had become.

During my last night’s vigil, after all the work put before me was done, I was shown other shoes with other scrolls. An omen of good things to come? Maybe so, but for now, it’s all about reshaping hot iron before coating it with pearl again.

Shadows of sevens and stars

Iron, pearl, iron, pearl, peel away the layers and look. Not just look, but see, see all that is me, really me and not what others wanted or needed me to be. I have been stewing and simmering away the flesh just like when Hekate first pushed me in the cauldron all those years ago and I boiled apart to just the bones. It was about that time that I began to really take my craft and dedication to my spiritual path  most seriously. It was no longer something I skimmed the surface of and dived up and down into. I dedicated myself to becoming a priestess. The Feri path only deepened that dedication and the initiation process, which I think is still not done with me, cemented that.

I became worried when the divorce process came about that he whom I had sealed the process with, my current ex, was now forever and irrevocable bonded to me by magic. I remember thinking that not only had I taken sacred marriage vows with this person, that now I was forever sealed to someone who so obviously never loved me. Someone who loves you does not harm you the way he had. To my relief, my Oath Mother said that it was not to him I was bonded in that way, but to the God who claimed me months before the initiation actually happened. I was just affirming that bond when I made the mark.

I have been thinking lots about relationships of late. Good ones, my horrible one, and if the Gods allow, one I would wish for, to be wished for in a positive and thriving manner. One in which not only do I empower and affirm my partner, but one in which my partner reciprocates that power and affirmation in me. One where we mutually thrive and grow as individuals as well as a couple. I sometimes think I am too old to wish for such things, maybe it’s a fairy tale this Feri can never be a part of, but that’s okay, it’s a beautiful thought. I see that when I look at the relationship my parents have with one another. Both are strong individuals and together, they are even more amazing. If I can’t have that, I would wish it for my sister and for my children.

Part of me is very afraid to step back into the relationship arena. To make new friends even. I am filled with what if’s and supposed to be’s. I can see which points are still bent when I work the iron and pearl pentacles and I know where the blockages come from. One day maybe those blockages will just pop free and I will be free, but until then there is kala and work to be done. It doesn’t stop me from making a wish list though. I think I figure as long as it’s a remote wish list, no harm can come of it and it’s not real. I am safe just looking at what a relationship should be from afar and never really imagining I can have it. Again, a block. Iron, pearl, peel away the layers: self denial. . .  wanting something and making excuses for why I shouldn’t or can’t have it. What point is that?? Oh yeah, probably Power. At least I can see that . . . kala, kala kala and throw the reiki on it. I’m supposed to be a reiki master, time to act like it. Much depends on it and not just for me.

My Mother said something to me that began to draw me back into myself: “The core of who you are is still there. I have watched you closely and I know you are hurting, but you have only had a set back. This PTSD is only a set back. You are still you.”

Iron, pearl peel away the layers. I feel like I have been hovering just outside my skin. Sort of like I did when Mike was murdered almost 20 years ago. Other priestesses, magic workers around me and even a card reader called it by name: Shamanic death. I cringe every time I hear that. I fear egotism. In some manners, I fear the attainment of power: a voice cries out inside me warning of how easy it is to consider yourself superior to others and abuse that power. My fear does not change what is happening to and within me. As my sister would say: ” Suck it up Nancy and put those big girl panties on.”

Iron, pearl, peel away the layers. I fear I may never trust myself to be safe in sleep next to a partner again. As much as I would hope to have a relationship in the future, that fear lingers like a wraith in the folds of that broken heart I feel knocking around in my chest. It makes me feel hollow and damaged. Intellectually I know I am not damaged goods, but convincing the mechanism that causes the emotions to stir you up otherwise is a piece of magic I am working on. It creates frustration and self doubt. Add more kala.

Iron, pearl peel away the layers. I must not fear. . .

I will continue to take steps forward and yes even though it scares the holy hexes out of me, I will continue to look at what I consider to be good relationships. . . from a safe distance. For now. In the mean time there is magic and rebuilding to do and as a wise brother reminded me: hir who cannot hex, cannot heal. Hir who cannot blast, cannot bless. Hir who cannot curse, cannot cure. These things all come from the same power source.

Sex, pride, self, power, passion. . . The iron pentacle points need to be heated up and hammered straight within me. Not an impossible task. . . but still, I ask help from my familiars and Oddlings.

A friend was out for a walk the other day. He found a tarot card of all the blasted things: the 7 of pentacles. You know, the one that tells you to stop and take note? Maybe that card wasn’t just for him. Like the wolf who has had a trap snap on her, I am leery of the open field. I pace at it’s edge, but the moon is coming and there is a song that cannot be ignored.