Celebration

Yesterday I received word that not only was I accepted into Purdue University as a transfer student (hooray!) but that I’d received a partial scholarship that was renewable yearly for the remainder of my current academic track. This was a thrill beyond words. I busted my ass last year working 32 hours a week as a nurse while taking a full load of courses and made Dean’s List. However, I also realized in that time that the school I was attending wouldn’t meet my true academic goals, so I applied for a transfer to a larger university with more options. Now my desires have manifested!

It feels fitting to have the envelope with this information come at Noumenia, which is most auspicious for new beginnings. I’m starting a new phase of my life and moving towards dreams realized that I’ve held dear all my life. I am finally going to finish what I started and no longer be a slave to expediency. The cherry on the top was my husband telling me how proud of me he is. I’ve waited a long time to hear those words.

So I thanked Hekate by giving Her a freshly tidied Temple, finishing the work I started on Deipnon with Abby. Now people can move inside the Temple and find things. It’s a working space again. It feels good. I also got out my ritual robes that I wear for the Mysteries and am having them cleaned. Everything is falling into place. One more sign that I’m on the right track.

 

Dark Moon

Deipnon, the dark moon time sacred to Hekate, is a time for cleansing and purging. I have been doing that as the moon waned. Bits and pieces here and there, reorganizing my house to make things smoother, and to help things make more sense. It started with reorganizing and purging the kitchen and dining room spaces, and today it extended into the Temple proper.

Abby, youngest daughter of my friend and Sister Janelle, and one of my son’s best friends, was given a belated birthday afternoon with my son today by going to see Wonder Woman in the theater. This was a great time, my third for seeing the movie, and it just keeps getting better. Afterwards we came by the house because Abby had asked me if I had a corset or something that she could wear for a local cosplay event.

I had a couple possibilities, and I knew that one of them was likely in the Temple room. Recently with all the tarot decks and books from both my projects coming into the house in boxes, the Temple room has doubled as a cat-free storage space, and it has become a bit of a shambles. Looking for the cosplay stuff with Abby gave me a chance to clear the space and make it usable again. We found part of what she was looking for, but not quite what she wanted. We also simplified the room’s contents, moving the remaining decks and books into more consolidated containers and getting rid of other detritus in the process. I also found several things that I knew I would need to pack for Hekate Rising.

Abby spent much of our hunting time asking me about various things we found. She’s been raised Pagan, just as Tadziu has, but she’s inexperienced in the various accoutrements of Pagan practice, and honestly has little knowledge of various deities, practicing more of a generic Earth-centric Pantheism. So cleaning and arranging also became a time for some basic education, mostly just the names of the deities for whom there were altars in the Temple. Starting, of course, with Hekate Herself, when I asked Abby to put a box of supplies next to Hekate’s altar, we proceeded around the room, covering in turn Isis, Artemis, and Kali.it laid the ground work for her, and gave her something to explore on her own with her mom later on.

So dark moon became a time of cleansing, organizing, and teaching. Truly a good use of the time, and the Temple itself.

The Storms That Shake Your Soul

As can be inferred by the title of this blog, the aspect of Hekate that I work most closely with is Einalia, the Lady of the Waters. Living near the Great Lakes, Her presence is strong and has been with me since the first time we did Hekate Rising in 2010. One of the highlights of that year was doing a silent meditation under the stars while standing in the mirror-calm waters of Lake Michigan as the Perseids rained down. It was a profound experience for all who participated.

There is another aspect of The Boss who plays a major part in my life and my work and that is Brimo, Lady of Storms.  I have always been a child of the thunderstorm, feeling most alive when the winds blow fiercely and the lightning blazes across the sky. A late-night thunderstorm is usually a guarantee of a short night of sleep – not because the thunder itself bothers me, but because as the winds rise, I awaken and become energized. I used to drive my mom crazy when I was a child because I would run out and play in the storms if I could get away with it. I once even volunteered to be the one to run outdoors in the middle of a hail storm to get fresh vegetables from our garden.

This last week has been one storm after another, usually popping up in late afternoon and roaring all night. So I have been quite the insomniac as my energy batteries for creative work go on overload while the rain comes down in torrents and 80+mph winds whip the trees into a frenzy. I am glad that I tend not to suffer for it later. It is a gift of Brimo to me that the storms and I love each other.

Of course, this is not always the case. One story which I always keep in my mind to safe-guard against getting too big for my britches when dealing with any aspect of Hekate, let alone Brimo, is one that dates back to the summer of 2010, while planning for the first Hekate Rising. I had just left the local grocery store after buying some supplies for the first retreat when an afternoon thunderstorm began. My car at the time was almost 10 years old, and it would occasionally get cranky at inconvenient moments. It chose the drive home during that storm to act up in a dangerous way.

As the sky turned green and the rain poured down, the windshield wipers stopped functioning. This happened just as I was driving up the incline of an overpass. Suddenly I couldn’t see a thing, and it was incredibly scary. There I was in my car, supplies for Hekate Rising in the trunk, my nine-year-old son in the back seat, and I can’t see where I’m going! I was internally warring between being terrified that I would drive into oncoming traffic or off the overpass and being furious at my car and the weather for putting me in this spot. As I crawled along, trying not to kill us, I finally broke and vented my spleen by telling Brimo that if She wanted me to do this damned retreat, then She’d better do something about my car or the weather so I didn’t kill myself!

Well, the rain quickly stopped, and I was able to get home safely. I got my son inside, then as I was unloading my trunk to bring the supplies indoors, the sky opened back up and this time the rain was accompanied by hail, which pelted me mercilessly as I bolted for the door with bags in hand. An amused voice in the thunder seemed to say, “You made it home safely; now do your Work, and don’t be so lippy!”

Since that time, I’ve continued the Work that She gave me that summer. It has cost me at times, but it always ends up being for the best. Each time the thunder rumbles and the winds rise, I listen for Brimo’s voice in the storm, and I thank Her for my life, which has been Hers since that storm in July 2010. And I remember to mind my manners!

 

Holding Space

I’d been looking forward all week to my friend and Sister Nan coming this weekend to do my hair with me. It seems frivolous, but living in a house of men, girl time is precious to me, so this was a big deal. However, it had to be postponed.

Nan gave me a ring when she got home because her partner had a very rare weekend off. They’ve been mid-reno for months, and alone there’s only so much anyone can do, so understandably, this shifted her priorities from fun to getting things done that had been waiting for a chance for them to happen. No biggy.

The call went from this bit of news to something more important. Nan and I are both nurses. We currently work doing different types of care, but we’ve both been doing this a long time and have a wide base of experience. Nan needed to talk about nurse-life to someone who’d get it and know how to hold the space a nurse needs when they just need to let it all out. We’ve both been there at times, and it is a treasure to know that if it just gets to the point of “peak-nurse” where you just can’t take the BS anymore, someone is there to listen and let all that drain away. Someone who knows there’s no quick fix to a systemic issue across the board. Someone who knows that we do what we do because it is needed and no one else wants to – or they would. Because in compassion we answer the call of Kourotrophos and provide succor where, when, and how it’s needed. BECAUSE.

And so I held space for my beloved Sister. For the one who has massaged the knots from my aching body with her expert hands, and who has been there for me when it’s too much and all I can do is scream or weep. Because that’s also what we do.

Sisterhood

Today I was up preparing for the arrival of our refugee kitty when I got the message that she wasn’t ready to come yet. She was too frightened and traumatized to be transported again so soon. Turns out the man trying to control her cat momma had started abusing her, too. She’d been locked in a rabbit cage outdoors without any real shelter in the nasty weather we’ve been having. She managed to escape the cage and get into the neighbors’ attic, and they were kind enough to make sure that she got to the rescue. So her arrival is on hold while she calms down.

This opened up my day and it was quickly filled. A temple Sister and friend called needing a ride in the afternoon. I’d been planning on taking my car for repairs to the brakes once I knew the kitty wasn’t coming, but I wanted to help. Fortunately it was made possible for me to do both.

It was good to see my friend and hang out. Her helping hands made quick work of some temple chores related to getting copies of some tarot decks out in the mail. I had planned on doing this work today, but it was fantastic to have assistance. The process of boxing decks also gave us time to talk about Hekate Rising and other events upcoming for the Temple. Time quickly flew as we discussed the upcoming retreat. The time is swiftly closing in for this year’s festivities, and it’s going to be a busy weekend.

Going over it all with Rena helped me sort out what needed to be done yet in prep for the retreat, and I got some useful ideas from her as well. There’s always so much to be done, but this year seems especially packed. I was honestly starting to feel overwhelmed by it before discussing it with her, but now it’s good. I have to remember that my Temple Sisters are there to help, and it’s not my job to do it all. I’m terrible at delegating, but if Hekate didn’t wish for me to do so, She wouldn’t have sent so many talented and capable women my way.

Synergy

Tonight my son and I got to meet the young man I reached out to a few days ago. From the blue, he messaged me an invite to meet at a local coffee house. Connection made!

He’s fun, silly, gentle, and humble. He and my son hit it off, and all I needed to do was sit back, listen, and drink my coffee. But he wasn’t content with that. Unlike many men – regardless of age – he noticed I was listening far more than talking and reached out to bring me into the conversation. It was a novel experience and one that endeared him to me.

We talked coffee, tarot, music, cats, and many other things. My son gained a friend who he regards as a peer. I’ve found a possible musical collaborator on a project that will be an offshoot of Verses in the Key of H. Magick happened slowly, subtly, but also definitely in about two hours. All without anyone having to be anything other than what they were.

All the while The Boss was smiling and chuckling. She loves it when a plan comes together.

Overload

Today I dealt with one of the drawbacks of a nearly meat-free diet for me: empathic overload. The less meat I consume, the more psychically sensitive I am (and that’s pretty much the case for anyone with any kind of sensitivity to magickal energies). That’s very good for doing ritual work or when working with the tarot or other divination that I do during the lead up to the Mysteries. However, it becomes an issue when I’m in a patient’s home with his very over-whelmed mother who is worried about her coverage since the regular nurse (I’m the respite nurse) is going to be taking vacation. Today I was bombarded with that for an entire shift and no way to shield because I have to pick up on my patient’s tiniest nuance since he can’t speak and has little body language.

The fallout was a general sense of anxiety to start with, which progressed to confusion, feelings of being shunted aside, and then when I started to try and push past it, over-compensation in an attempt to sound cheerful. By the time I got home I was definitely, as we nurses state it, emotionally labile. Generalized feelings of doom combined with a desire to curl up and cry, plus a heaping dose of hyper-apologia, bleah. Fortunately my son knew right away I wasn’t myself, got me into my room, and brought me cats. Cats, for those not used to their ways, are great for sensing distress and using their natural soothing tendencies to calm emotions and lower the overall physical and emotional manifestations of it. A heavy dose of Popkin and Leeloo was quite the physic, then I spent time talking to The Boss, got a one-meal-only dispensation to eat some chicken to finish the grounding process I needed to get back to equilibrium, and took my sweet boy out for dinner to a place that has a Tuesday special that includes their famous broasted chicken, a three-topping pizza, and salad in as much quantity as one might wish to eat for a quite reasonable sum. I got to ground, the sixteen-year-old stomach got fed in vast quantities, and all was restored to normal.

Lessons from this: 1) carry a grounding stone with me until this period is over; 2) make sure to get more sleep even if I resist it (I’m going through one of my periodic bouts of insomnia and that just heightens the issues with not being as grounded as I normally am); and 3) don’t be afraid to ask anyone, including Hekate (or perhaps especially Hekate) for what I need when I truly need it.