**I am posting this here only for my own notes and memory… it is about my magic and faith beliefs and experiences, and how it intertangles with my mental health. It is from an email correspondence with someone in my faith tradition**
This week has been really helpful. I went out to Turtle Hills Beltane at Ramblewood – a piece of land I have a decades worth of history with. I was asked to lead the gender shapeshifting ritual I was gifted by Raven Kaldera, but my own modification on it is that everyone does 3-soul alignment work before we open the door to the astral. Holding that space for them, and then 2 days later taking 10 people on a mindfulness hike through the property, followed later that day by teaching magic+bondage work with an intimate group of journeyers… it was beautiful.
Friday, as a way to process some of the choices on my table and emotional work, I built a spiderweb on a suspension frame and climbed up and down it, felt the vibrations on the lines of my life out into the universe, hung from it, danced in it. There is a lot of anger in my being. Being informed by my partner that our potential parenting path is on pause for who knows how long/permanently, my challenges with my other partner/human, my work uncertainties and forks in the path that I stand there with.
But on Thursday I had an intense magical moment with the Star Goddess. I built an altar in the cabin, with her candle and my collar to Bear at the center, framed by antlers, and a bracelet I am slowly dedicating to the Star Goddess, as the necklace I got at PantheaCon broke. I recently got a new set of prayer beads, which is a leather bracelet covered in Nasty Pig rivets. 45 in total. At each one, I chanted “Holy Mother…”, each in a different tonality and energy. By 30 or so I was streaming tears. It was so beautiful.
Teaching Feri tools has come so easily from my being, and as I lead others, my being on all levels instantly follows along. But in the past few weeks, outside of those spaces, I have only been able to alight twice and perform kala twice, ground maybe once. It has been disheartening, and at times I feel lost in it all.
And then, at Beltane, there was M.
I have known M for a decade. She and I started going to Ramblewood around the same time. We have done posessory work side by side, walked magical paths together, shared energy. In the past 5 years her work felt less and less authentic (she became obsessed with oath-commitments to a wide variety of Dieties, none of which I felt were present with her). A year ago, she told me that she had been diagnosed with BPD, and had just gotten out of inpatient – about a year after I had done that dance.
I sat with her at Beltane gathering, as I felt her emptiness across the way at one of the large rituals. Out in a field, she told me that she had basically become an atheist. That she is struggling whether any of it had been real. I told her how, for about a year, I rarely “heard” Bear any more, and it had, for me, gone from a period of experience, to a period of faith. That Bear eventually informed me that She had hacked my software as far as She could, but it was now my job to work on the hardware. But M is looking at all of her magical and energetic experiences as part of her madness.
It was an intense experience. Seeing a dark mirror to my own journey. The questions of 2 years ago came back, of madness, of fear, of questioning my own truths, journeys, faith and more. And me having to pause afterwards and truly sit with where my work with Bear, where my possessory work, where my magical work, where energy, where Feri, sat in my life. What is truth, as it were.
When I got out of the hospital the second time, and onto meds that actually worked (rather than sedated me, and did very little else other than have me gain almost 40 pounds in 4 months), I came to the realization that though my energy and faith was real, experienced, tangible – my responses to those experiences were not fair and balanced. When given a request from beyond the veil, instead of looking at all of the ways to approach it, I would dive into the (often deepest) one that sat before me.
For example, when I got the knock on the back of my head that Ameratsu needed my skinsuit for a solar cutting working that was needed for a member of my kinky congregation (back when I was involved with GoddesSMack), instead of even asking for how long, what would happen to my flesh, etc… I just stepped aside. When first meeting Melek Ta’us one on one, and he stood before me in his full prowess and glory, and he said come to me, again, I did so without question, jumping into not just the moment of experience, but proclaiming that he would be a part of my life, a part of my journey, a part of my work ahead… and his smile took my breath away. When my work with Gorson was in the height of my left-hand path working, and I was told I needed to make a decision around one of the actions set on the table before me – I made one of the more extreme and self-sacrificing choices I could, cutting my palm with the fae, rather that even looking into other options. When I had to make a choice between two roads ahead at one point in my life, I never asked for more information. I chose with passion, in the moment… these are all examples.
I called them, at the time, profound acts of faith. And looking back, they were the right choices (except, perhaps, the last) for me, especially at the time. But in the light of mental health assessments, I do sometimes pause now – check in with myself – look at what is mental health related and what is “real.”
But my experience says that the work I am doing is indeed real. It was hilarious, at round two of patient intake, when I was being interviewed. She asked if I saw things that were not there. I looked at her and asked whether she considered faith-based experiences that helped my life and journey counted. Asking for more details, I spoke of how Bear, for example, helped me find a healthy way forward when I found myself emotionally lost. She said that I probably should only say, when in the hospital, that I was a person of faith, and that my faith helped me… but not mention any audio, visual or kinestetic experiences. And she did not write it on my chart.
But here was M. And her eyes reflected my questioning during and after my first intake. And, interestingly, I came out with my faith stronger for talking with M. And that was not what I expected.
Amidst feeling energetically disconnected, I feel my faith grow in balance. I can still “see” the magic around me, see the work that others do, bear witness and know – but my own work feels tapped down. I was angry about it, but right now, I simply continue to believe. And try when I feel like I can.
My therapist has asked me to build a daily and weekly action system, a checklist of what I commit to do. I will literally be, daily, going through the list and doing the basic self-care work that needs done. There is a piece of me that thinks it is absurd that I need to be reminded that I work better in the world when I bathe, eat at least 2 meals that are not sweets-based… things that seem so obvious… but I am aware that I struggle with it. And, one of the things I will be putting on it is that daily, I will be setting aside at least 15 minutes to work on meditation, alignment, kala, prayer or some sort of other self-based energetic working. 15 minutes, each day. It is such a simple thing, but I have been finding that doing ancestral altar work has been “easy” because it is “for” someone else, not for me. And before I can serve others, I really do need to work here. Which scares me more. But I have the tattoo “know thyself” on my wrist for a reason. Because it is my current project. That I need to know the rose above me, in all of it’s parts.
So yeah, a bit of a ramble, and there is other stuff as well… but I wanted to make sure I replied with *something* as I have been off the radar.
It’s about building your battery, not about whether you plug into strobe lights.