Balancing

Today was about staying on track, both personally and as a Priestess. This started with me taking a couple days off since my husband just returned home from a long business trip, so I could give him all my attention and reconnect. This was essential for me to refind center, and so he could adapt to the various changes in routine due to the approach of Hekate Rising.

First was letting him know about the diet restrictions. While I don’t hold either him or my son to my restrictions, they are both sweet enough to adhere to them as well, at least when I’m present, to make it easier for me and to smooth such things as meal planning. Since the restrictions vary from year to year, and this year is fairly strict as compared to others, it was a bit for him to process. Fortunately, he did return home basically in the home stretch, so he’s only going to have to be a good sport until the end of next week.

I also let him know about the writing, and informed him that I wished to get back to it, because it does help me keep focused during this preparation time. It’s fine to want to chill on the sofa together in the evening and have a bit of us time, but my spiritual practice is important to me, and that includes keeping up the writing. I value this time near the end of my day to reflect and think about how my sacred life and mundane life intersect and co-mingle. Today they intersected mostly in my reminding my spouse that my spiritual work is a priority, even when he’s home.

The final piece of the balancing puzzle came with work. As a home-care nurse, I can be called and asked to pick up work at all hours, and have families asking me if I can come in on days when I’m normally not available. My giving nature makes me want to say yes, but if I said yes every time I was asked, I’d never see my family, and my spiritual practice would get lost in the work shuffle. I’ve done that before, and I nearly lost myself in the process. So one of my sacred challenges as an active Priestess is learning to say “no” and preserve the balance between the needs of my patients and my own needs. It’s easy to feel guilty when saying “no” to a patient’s mom who wants time to go work extra hours, or go to a family event, but it is part of making my connection with Hekate a priority in my life.

I did my devotee dedication and pledged myself as Her priestess many years ago, and it’s not something I take lightly. It’s why, when I teach students who wish to follow this same Path, I let them know right off the bat that it’s a commitment that must be taken seriously. It’s more than possible to follow a Pagan Path and be devoted to a deity without taking on the commitment of being a Priestess or Priest. In fact, if you don’t have the time or the energy to commit to the study, then you definitely don’t have time to commit to the Work.

Keeping it Zen

AceofCups

The last thirty-six hours have not been fun for LGBTQIA folk such as myself. It’s middling unfun for me personally since not as much of the nonsense was specifically directed at my part of the spectrum, buuuuuuuuut it hardly matters how it impacts me when it impacts several million people living here in the USA. However, I must say seeing a brief filed by DOJ saying that equal rights protections under Title VII don’t apply to me because I am in that spectrum was a gut punch. It’s like we’re fighting the same old fights again, and personally, I’m tired of it. I know it’s much worse for trans folk, since much more spleen from His Occupancy of the Oval Office was vented directly at them, but all the same Title VII is quite a bit to have go away in one brief. I hope the courts disagree.

It’s been easy to go from one end of the mood pendulum to the other, just waiting to see what that buffoon will do next. It’s easy to lash out at other folk in the Community as well as Allies. They know it’s bad, and their attempts at protest, humorous or serious, can be misunderstood or misconstrued, and attempts to correct them can make a gulf between the Community and Allies open up as they tire of us lecturing them on our newest no-no list. Hell, I tire of it, too, because I can hardly keep up with what the more Social Justice Warrior types among those I know in the community (and out of it for that matter) are going to decide is the offensive faux-pas of the week. I got to the point where I was over-reacting in all directions, and that was before the most recent load of nonsense.

So I stepped back. Trying to see both the forest and the trees, instead of lost in too much big picture or too much niggling details. Trying not to burn bridges or add fuel to the fires burning all over. Asked The Boss to help me find the words that would chill the situation the hell down before we all give ourselves coronaries.

Hekate is great at that – communicating I mean. She’s our Lady of the Crossroads, places where boundaries touch and people meet. As goddess of liminal spaces, She’s a natural for helping us build the bridges we need to cross from one space to another, and to open minds and hearts. Hekate’s a realm-crossing badass who doesn’t allow Her followers the luxury of excuses or self-deceptions, so we also have to work on our communication as part of opening doors with the Keys that She provides. So I dug deep when I saw situations escalating and people who should realize they are on the same side starting to succumb to the Occupant’s efforts to divide us. And I found my right words. I found the love. I found the humor. I found the way to teach both sides simultaneously and re-open the door.

We need to leave our egos out of the equation. Part of the Dark Night of the Soul within the Fool’s Journey in the tarot is The Tower. It’s the card of ego-death, where all the layers of what we think we are get cracked open so the Light of Truth can fill us. It’s a rough process. It’s painful. Slaughtering our personal sacred cows and using them as barbecue always is. But it’s so necessary. Turning to The Boss when the Tower is part of my life has helped me get through it. She doesn’t take shit from us, and She won’t let us accept our own hype. Hekate’s a tough-love goddess to be sure. But She takes you to that point where all you have left is who you are for real, and when you get there, finding the Zen and sharing it with others becomes that much easier.