Give Me Shelter

Today we were supposed to get a little orphaned kitten to foster. Got up to animal control to find out the little guy already had a pending adoption application. While this was great news, it did leave my son and I a bit flummoxed. However, it turned into an opportunity for another kitty.

While I was busy talking with the staff at animal control, my son had been busy making the acquaintance of a juvenile Maine Coon cat in the bottom cage. My son likes cats in general, but he and this one truly bonded within a matter of minutes, to the point where he had started calling him by a name, Leo, and the kitty was responding to it. So this kitten, who is about a month older than Leeloo, ended up coming home with us to foster.

The entire trip home, he was cheebling and chirping at Tadziu the way Maine Coons do, and as soon as he was out of the carrier, he made himself at home. My son is pleased by the way things turned out, and Leo’s already fitting in with the other cats quite well.

We’d been planning on giving comfort to one refuge cat, and though the cat changed, we are fulfilling the Divine Obligation of hospitality with another wanderer of the fringes. A cat, who until 3pm didn’t have a name, and was just listed as young male Maine Coon, unaltered. A name is a big thing, but especially with cats, who tend to not come to a name unless they choose it. Leo was coming to his name before we even left animal control. I’m not sure if Tadziu picked him, he picked Tadziu, or they just recognized kindred spirits in one another. In this case, I don’t think only Hekate took a hand in helping Leo find a place to be, but Pan, my son’s primary deity, was in on it as well. Tadziu wasn’t originally going to come with me to get the kitten, but changed his mind almost at the last minute, and if he hadn’t come, it’s likely Leo would still be there.

There seems to be a conception in non-Pagans, and even in some Pagans, that when the gods speak to us it’s usually an ostentatious thing. But it’s often a gentle prompting, an urge, a feeling that something is supposed to be. While Hekate prompted me to step forward and offer shelter to a homeless cat, Pan is the one who decided who that cat would be.

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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.

 

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.