The Crone (Anonymous Quote)

The Crone

I put your message into a spoonful of honey for your morning tea and wondered if you had noticed it. I also turned on the heat. My bones are cold, my blood is thin, and I am gathering into myself that which is mine. I am gathering in what remains to be seeded; I gather in all. I gather my animals into warm caves and drive my birds south to winter. I put my bears to sleep until springtime and change the coats on the backs of my cats, big and small. My dogs are guiding me; they howl if danger approaches. My faithful hounds, wolves and foxes are exquisite singers of the night, the crone’s serenades. I said yes to life, and now I am saying yes to death. I am the first in line to go over to the other side. My wisdom about the herbs, life, and love, I pass down to you. Did you get it? I put it in your genes, in your racial memories, and in your dreams. Those are good places to store wisdom, preserved like jars of sweet jelly.

I would appreciate it if you would use this wisdom. I myself received it this way. Its purpose is to strengthen my daughters and sons. What for? To transform your realities, to hold onto happiness, to bond and dance and rejoice in the circle of rebirth. If you’ve resented your life, the burden of freedom, the chore of keeping your body and soul together, your death will be just as unwelcome as your life has been. Death is not rest; it’s hard work. You must pass over to the other side; do you know where that is? There are no highways, there are no maps; you are on your own! I count on your love of life to help you find the next life beyond this one. Only I am here to guide you. Yes, I am the crone. I shall be waiting at the crossroads. You will know me by instinct and welcome me. I shall guide you into the light once more, because you have been a good child of mine. I reward you with deep peace and reincarnation, if you so desire. Be well now… until we meet again.

– Anonymous/Unknown

Sagely Mentor

I am blessed to have a wonderful mentor who I meet with once a month for supervision consultation. It is great to receive professional support and much wise teaching. He is older than I by about fifteen years and resides not far away from me. I am undergoing an apprenticeship in the truest sense. After our meetings, I drive a short distance to my office to start the work day, feeling full inside with this man’s guidance and care. In my own ways, I then pass this on to my clients as best I can.

Recently, my learning from this sagely man has extended outside of our supervision appointments to attending shamanic journeying and healing classes that he started teaching here in the city where I live.  I have always been interested in shamanism.  It is incredible, when I think about it, the synchronous series of happenings in which I met a wise, kind spiritual teacher, both professionally and personally, right here in my own backyard.

And while I have had some challenges to face of late, the bigger life picture remains beautiful, full, and wondrous. Among many people, places, and things, I have a terrific sage of a mentor to remind me how this is so.

She’s Not Understood

I enjoy watching old horror and sci-fi movies that portray beautiful, mysterious femme fatales.  Basically, in each of these films the dark aspect of the goddess is portrayed and misunderstood by clueless Westerners all around her, namely straight men and other safe (for men), bland-seeming women. A part of me can so relate to this archetype, trope, or whatever you want to call this “type.”

It is the rare person I meet who I feel deeply understood by. Perhaps, to some extent or other, this is somehow the case for most– if not all– of us.

Sitting with Humanity

I sit with humanity one person at a time, but humanity nonetheless. The universality of feelings, sensations, thinking, beliefs, and efforts at loving grows ever-more deeply familiar and beautiful to me, while simultaneously remaining somewhat mysterious. And that too is beautiful. I take much comfort in being with this lovely paradox and my clients seem to as well. The multidimensionality of the human experience is fascinating. After all this time, I still feel awe-struck with wonder and gratitude at the gifts these people bring to me through just their sheer ever-opening presence of Self.

Not So Kindly Remembering Billy Graham

I feel mixed about Billy Graham’s passing and his legacy, though mostly negative.  A good handful of my gay Pagan friends have expressed understandable disdain for him and what he leaves behind, given how he spoke hatefully about homosexuality.  Unfortunately, Graham’s son is even worse, another dime-a-dozen, polarizing evangelical hater we can do without.  Thinking realistically, I strongly suspect the son won’t change, much as some are surely naively wishing he will be “inspired” to be more like his father.  I have one friend on Facebook who wrote this as a wish before they then deleted the post after I filled them in about Graham’s stance on gays.

When you are actually a member of a group that is spoken of so hatefully, it’s different than being an ally of that group, no matter how well-meaning you are as that ally.  A gun pointed at one’s own head is different feeling than when it is pointed at your friend’s, much as the latter is painful and enraging to witness.  Allies can only empathize and understand up to a point.  Hence, I would have to be self-hating in the deepest way to block out feeling my own and the collective pain of my gay brothers right now to then somehow “rise above” and speak respectfully of Billy Graham.  For my own self respect and integrity and for that of my fellow gay men, I just can’t.

That all said, speaking from the concept of relativity placed along a spectrum of “bad to absolute worst,” I do wish all evangelicals were more like Rev. Graham, who was “bad” behaving as opposed to “worse” or “the worst” among all the offenders of such social and (un)spiritual conduct.  For he too adhered to the sticky wicket of hating on us gays in the name of being “true” to the Bible and its teachings.  Such extreme, troubled thinking and speaking has been a big part of visible, vocal “spiritual” expression in the U.S.A.– by Graham and his generally even more intolerant ilk.  Billy was accepting of other faiths and races, as I heard liberal Christian apologists say on public radio earlier today, and they are right, of course.  But, yet again, that leaves just us homosexuals as the token pariahs or “filth,” one group among the masses, the rest all to be loved by “good Christians.”  So, Graham was part-way to decency, which still left him short of full arrival there.  Logically, how was he completely a “good Christian” then when Christ himself preached to “love thy neighbor as thyself,” leaving no group of people, including gays, to be left out of that admonition?  Expecting me to praise Graham would be like expecting a black person to think and speak kindly of an inherently racist leader upon that leader’s death, even though said leader had expressed and done goodness in so many other ways.  The white, heterosexist patriarchy holds its haters close and dear, including Graham.  After all, it’s “just gay people” and nobody else.

It’s simply too soon to expect those of us who were direct targets of Graham’s deeply hurtful beliefs and words about us to “get over” this.  Healing takes time.  Maybe someday I will have more positive things to say about this old preacher, maybe, though maybe not– regardless of how healed I and my brethren have become over this spiritual level of toxic shaming Graham participated in doing.  Ultimately, I trust and hope, Graham will have to account for that somehow in the after life now that he’s shed his mortal coil.  Regardless, his relevancy for me and my fellow queers is fast-fading away, and therein lies the healing.

I feel very similarly about the current Pope as I do about Graham, except maybe a little softer towards the former because he seems to be wrestling a bit with his beliefs against gays, perhaps.  The Pope in his position is the gentlest of “bad” compared to his “absolute worst” predecessors, and for that I am guardedly thankful.  On other fronts these days, there interweaves a network of far more hardcore, villainous-behaving leaders and followers who we GLBTQ+, other minorities, women, and disenfranchised/vulnerable groups of people are up against.  We need to do all we can to neutralize them from power as peacefully as possible.

Reflecting on Billy Graham’s legacy, I am reminded how organized religion has not done well by me or my gay brethren.  This has been particularly the case for Abrahamic faith institutions– though filled as they are with wonderful, loving individuals.  Hence, this is a big reason why I am not a member of such an organization.  I worship the gods alone and in small groups, making my way on rare occasion to a local Unitarian Universalist Church, where I take the best, leave the rest, and am accepted, at least formally, as I truly am, a gay Pagan.

Mini Movie Review (BLACK PANTHER)

As an Eclectic Pagan, I appreciated the shamanic ancestral practices beautifully and respectfully shown in the BLACK PANTHER, as well as the nature-based, animal form goddess and god worship in that movie. The religious and spiritual material appeared to be inspired by and derived from centuries, even millennia, of a variety of actual indigenous tribal ways, with a bit of ancient Egyptian and Hindu pantheon names (Bast and Hanuman, respectively) thrown in for good measure. And while the cosmology of the Wakanda peoples and land was entirely made up, it was laid out at the start in a caring, celebratory way that left me with a sense of honoring or veneration. This pleasantly touched the devotional side of me. The very positive, normalizing portrayal of a culture of Pagan worship that is also technologically advanced while existing harmoniously with the rest of nature (or so this was at least suggested) felt deeply affirming for me as a modern Pagan. There really is a lot of goodness to be found in the refreshing imagery and ideas within the film BLACK PANTHER, from which I continue to derive good feelings.

Vessel for the Self

Sitting with people as I have done all day, five days a week, for the many years I’ve been doing this sacred work has helped me to better see, and then assist in bringing forth, the essential Buddha/Christ/Divine/deeply good nature in people, all sorts of people. On increasingly rarer occasion, I haven’t been able to do this with someone.  It’s clearly been because I wasn’t the right vessel at the time to allow an individual’s core, good Self to come through, sometimes due to my own blind spot(s) I still need to address.  However, more frequently, it’s because of their own issues, or parts, somehow clashing up against the image and sense of me they see and hear before them.  But, often, the person is simply not yet ready to allow this healing process to happen the way they so badly need it to.  At those times, I turn over trust to the universe that these folks will find the right healer(s) and place to finally arrive more into their true Selves. And to that end, I offer them other names of colleagues and other supports as indicated.