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.

 

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.

Vox Deae

Listening for the voice of the goddess I serve can be a complex thing. Hekate Triformis is honestly Hekate Multiformis in that She has so many places from which She manifests. Last night just as I was falling asleep, She came in the winds. A storm was building and moving in around midnight, and I went from being drowsy to instantly wide awake – a sure sign of Her presence for me. I was energized and inspired to write. I wrote until I was utterly spent then fell into a deep, satisfying slumber that was dreamless. The next morning I awoke clear-headed though I’d been short on sleep.

It’s been too long since I simply opened myself to Hekate’s Presence and just let myself absorb what She had to say. The words were for me alone, which is frequently the case. I’m not an Oracle, just a woman happy to have found the work for which my heart longs. And it is work, make no mistake. My friends see me as someone constantly having so much on my hands that I’m like one of those plate spinners that would show up on the Ed Sullivan Show. It’s so many little things, but it’s all one WORK. Hekate’s service isn’t for the faint of heart or for those inclined to half-ass their way through life. You may run out of hours on any given day, but the next morning you just pick back up where you left off and keep moving forward. But back to Her voice, last night it came with the wind and storm, other times it comes in dreams (this is the most common way for me), still other times it comes as a sudden KNOWING, with the Boss you never know how it’ll manifest. So instead of worrying about how She’ll show up, I just keep my ears open and listen.

So the prep for the rites continues apace, and my active listening is still my greatest challenge. Maintaining the shell of separateness which allows me to listen for Her even while my person is busy doing a tube feed or suctioning a trach or driving in traffic is harder than giving up sugar, harder than doing daily yoga, and by far harder than anything else I need to do to prepare. Our world is filled with a constant din of electronic noise, mechanical noise, and organic noise and it all wants the attention NOW NOW NOW. The act of consciously stepping back from that din and silencing the noises is hard. You get so inured to their constant thrum around you that selectively tuning them out means first consciously processing them in a way that we don’t normally do. Most of it is just an accepted part of the background of life. Opening the awareness to this background, processing it, and then selectively shutting it off is painful at times, but having done it, the reward is experiences like last night, and that I wouldn’t trade for the world.