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!

 

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Let none despair who call upon My name for succor!

The title of this entry is a line from The Charge of Hekate, which I wrote several years ago. It came to me today as a command from Einalia, my boss. I am pleased to rise to the occasion.

You see, I had taken my son to see a movie after some repairs were completed. Once the film was over, I checked my messages, and there was one from an animal rescue for whom I foster cats who have no place to go. I rehab them and love them back into adoptibility. This time, though, a different type of need came to me. A woman, needing to leave an abusive relationship, was in desperate need of a home for her cat. She had good reason to fear for the cat’s safety if she left without her beloved companion, but most shelters won’t allow one to bring pets unless they are service animals. So she was in effect hostage to her abuser of out fear for the safety of her kitty.

My first impulse was just to say yes. Bring the kitty, of course there’s room. However, sharing a home and life means sharing decisions like that, so I consulted my husband, who also said, yes, of course, the kitty can come stay as long as needed. It was a no-brainer for both of us. We both answer the call of compassion. In fact, almost all of our kitties have come to us through acts of compassion, starting with our first cat, Iko.

Iko was a handsome senior kitty who was caught in the middle of a bad breakup. When our friend Meg split with her boyfriend, the apartment she found didn’t allow pets, but the boyfriend said he’d take care of Iko. He lied. When she went back to their place to get some things she’d forgotten, she found Iko eating from the garbage. There was no food for him in the house, and he was obviously ill. So, as the only people in our circle of friends to own a home, we were appealed to to become his refuge. We took him in and got him to the vet. He had abscesses in several teeth and had developed diabetes from the infections. This fourteen year old cat had to have rounds of IV fluids, antibiotics, and a special diet after the infected teeth were extracted just to get him back into health. It was worth every penny. He bounced back within weeks and was lively as a kitten.

Iko lived another four years, receiving twice daily insulin, as well as being utterly spoiled. He lived long enough to not only see our son born, but nearly until his first birthday. He developed kidney failure at age eighteen, and he passed gently in my arms at the vet’s office. Iko’s entrance into our family set the precedent.

Today the call came again to help a cat in need of an escape from abuse, and in this case to help her owner also escape by knowing that her kitty will be safe. As a survivor of domestic abuse myself (long before I met my husband), this call was doubly urgent for me. And so another suppliant in need of succor is about to find shelter within our home. This is in its own way the most important functions of my calling as a priestess. Our home and the temple within will always shelter these feline suppliants. It is my sacred charge and my honor.