Heyoka and Heka

Trigger Warning: A Native American spirit appropriated me. S/He does that.  This particular one is rather famous for spirit-napping people, actually. It happened. It was the focus of my life for some time. I’m gonna talk about it.

Note: This post is, um…well…hell, I give up.

Prior to becoming Kemetic, I spent a few years as a fool, or maybe as that other H word that I’m too white to mention in polite company. (This was originally going to be a post about Heka and the power of words, and then…I got lost on the way to the post?) (Wakinyan loves me anyway.) Ok, ok, the proper term is Thunder Dreamer, but when has “proper” ever been a relevant concern in this area? Seriously, think about it. Ask a Thunder Dreamer to be politically correct? That hurts my brain to contemplate.

I became a student of words in that time. (I originally started posting about words that are sacred and powerful, really I did! Heka! Dammit, Waki, hijacking the post…) I knew which words hit like hammers, and which ones whumped like pillows. I knew which ones would paint a big target on my chest, and I knew which ones would let me duck nimbly to the side. I didn’t always duck. I often secretly cheered for the ones who took swings at me. It was a fun and crazy time. I learned a lot from it.

I learned that sometimes things need to be said even when they make you unpopular, even when you know they will start taking swings at you. I learned that even if you have hammers in your arsenal, it’s better to use the pillows, unless you really need the hammer. If you use the hammer, be prepared not to duck. Take it on the chin and smile.  It is wrong to use the hammer. Balance requires that you are seen paying for it. I learned to take responsibility for my words. Underneath that veneer of recklessness, I had some high standards to maintain. It’s hard to keep the sacred in the fool. I was not allowed to lie, unless the lie told the truth better than the truth could. I fought ideas, not people. I didn’t hold a grudge even, or especially, when they fought back.

I could see that the shadows they thought they were fighting weren’t actually me. It takes only a few words to summon their demons from hiding, but the demon isn’t me. I let them fight me in the demon’s place, so that they could gain strength in the fight. You want to fight the white girl who dares to speak of power? Go ahead, I’m right here. It will make you feel better. Need more ammunition? I’ll hand you some to use. Go for it. Eventually they said it wasn’t worth it. “About damned time you figured that out,” I thought. It’s not worth it. It’s just a game. Go do something better with your time and energy. You are better than that. I believe in you. You want to be holy? Stop getting distracted by Fools and imaginary demons and go do it. I couldn’t tell them it was ridiculous. They wouldn’t have believed me. I had to show them.

(There, are you done now? Can I have my post back PLZ?)

I sort of do miss that time. It wasn’t my choice to leave Waki. We got done what we needed to do. I remember sitting on the rock next to him and smoking the cheapest, dirtiest, cigarette he could get his hands on as we watched the corpse of the old me sink into the earth. I work for Ra now and the difference is like Storm and Sun. Waki didn’t teach me anything about being Native American. I don’t pretend to be that at all. Waki taught me to be myself, giving me the courage to embrace both the good and the bad of it.

Words of Power, right. Sometimes you say the right thing and no one responds. Don’t get discouraged. Just because they didn’t say anything doesn’t mean it wasn’t read. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t remembered. If they argue, even better. It proves that they read it. The seed was planted. Let it just be. You never know when or where it will sprout. Most people want to live in the right. If your words align with Ma’at, they will see it, even if they don’t admit it. If the one you’re speaking to doesn’t see it, the others on the sidelines will.

The things you say have power to heal and to harm. When in doubt, don’t use the hammer. Use the pillow. Be kind. Plant good seeds without trampling upon them. Don’t be distracted by fools or by your own shadows. Don’t assume the worst in those you meet. They’re just people, like you. Don’t be too proud to take a hit when it’s required. Remember that it’s better to be right with Ma’at than it is to be correct.

The truth is that the words hide as much as they reveal. Use the words, but see beyond them. See that there are people there, not good people or bad people, but living people. If you think you know that person, chances are you’re seeing your own shadow instead. When you find your shadow, don’t blame them for it. Take it out back and shine some light on it. Why do those words have power over you? How can you free yourself? If you learn to defeat your shadow, then the words no longer hurt you.  (Note: I never said that was easy. Wakinyan kicked my butt hard and often, for several years, until I got it through my thick skull.)

Words can never hurt me? Not exactly. Words both hurt and heal. The words that have power over you, especially those that are repeated often, especially those that you repeat, cause you to hurt, or heal, yourself. Be aware when you hear them. Be aware when you use them on others.


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