Defending My Space (With Gods)

I did say something about a part two, so I guess I have to write a part two now.

Back in December I split up with one of my major deities. The problem wasn’t that I didn’t like him. The problem was that I forgot what boundaries were or how they worked. I was to the point where I would do anything he asked of me, even if it went against my personal values. Some would argue that’s what being a good devotee is all about. I disagree. Ra and Heru also did not agree with that premise. Heru pointed out the problem to me and told me it was time to leave. Once I explained to Ra what was happening and why I left, he apologized. Getting an apology from Ra feels like a once in a millennium occurrence. It proved to me that he took the situation seriously. He did NOT want his will to supersede my own.

This wasn’t the first time he’d made that clear. When I first started serving him I felt confused about what he wanted from me. He can seem very stern without giving away any of his thoughts. In frustration I kneeled before him, wondering if that was what he wanted. He smacked me across the floor. No, that wasn’t it at all. I would be worthless to him as a mindless follower. I needed to be strong enough to stand up to him if I was going to be strong enough to stand up for him.

It wasn’t that I gave away my will on purpose. Ra is just that powerful. We were working very closely and I got dazzled by his energy. I loved him deeply.

So I went back to Heru and I got a lesson in open doors and closed doors as it applies to energy work. You can share energy with someone without giving them access to everything. He wanted me to practice making conscious choices about what to share and what not to. I didn’t need any reason other than, “I don’t feel like going there today.” He also wanted me to recognize and respect these doors in others. These might seem like very simple concepts, but somewhere in my otherkin mind I have memories of being a guard, a soldier, an energy being, who was linked to something similar to a hive mind. I had no expectation or desire for personal space or even identity. And in war, who has time for respecting boundaries? I knew I couldn’t go back until I learned how and why to keep some things to myself.

It’s been about four months. I started working with clay again, and it seemed like I kept wanting to make Ra things. I thought I was making a Heru falcon, but then it needed an obelisk, and wouldn’t a sun disc be nice too? Then I made a Ra figure in a boat. There was no mistaking that he was on my mind again.

The first time I went back did not go well. I took everything I learned and threw it out the window. I took in too much Ra energy and then was astrally trying to hoark it back up. It made me sick. But I’m not very good about leaving things alone. The next time I went to see him, he told me to pause and think about what things I didn’t want him to change. I didn’t want him to compromise my morals, and there were other things that still felt too sensitive to let him touch. I walled those parts off in a cocoon of feathers. That time I maintained my shields as he energized me. That time it worked. I felt better, not sick at all. It’s not quite the same ecstatic abandonment that we used to share, but it is healthier and more stable.

Then he tells me to keep reading Shamanic Wisdom in the Pyramid Texts. That’s when I got to the verse about Ra feeding the pharaoh and calling him son. Then the pharaoh turns into a bull and visits several goddesses in a row. This is sort of how my service to Ra has gone. He empowers me and then he expects me to use that power in various ways, usually doing energy work in the astral. You can see why that moral thing was an important point to make with him.

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Foundation and Center

Back in the terribly fragmented EEeee post, I briefly touched on the idea of foundation and center. I think of this as a tai chi concept, because that is where I encountered it most clearly, but actually it’s just basic physics. No architect can get by without it. Actually no one can get by without it, but some need to be more consciously aware of the idea than others. It isn’t something you have to actually think about every time you stand up, even if you are practicing it.

In the physical sense, “center” refers to your center of gravity. I’m really wishing I had a video clip of Mr. Wizard explaining what center of gravity is. That’s where I first learned of it when I was a kid. In short, if you were to hang an object, any object, from a string, the center would always fall directly under the point of support. Alternatively, if you were to balance an object, any object, on a support, the center would always be directly above that support. If it isn’t, the whole thing would fall down. I found this video on YouTube to help get a good visual on that.

I use this principle in my tai chi class to explain how balance works. In most humans, the center of gravity is a point inside the lower abdomen. While standing, look down at your feet, then imagine an outline that includes your feet and the space between them. Alternatively, you can draw the outline around any point of weight-bearing contact you have with the ground, be it a chair leg, wheels, or a cane. Notice the position of your center in relation to that line. If you lean, notice what happens the very instant that your center crosses the imaginary line. You start to fall. (Please don’t really fall!) The space that imaginary line encloses is your foundation. Notice how much smaller it gets when you pick up one foot. Depending on the width of your stance, you probably reduced it to about a quarter of its previous size. If you rise to the ball of your foot, then you probably knocked another two-thirds off the remaining space. As long as your center stays over what’s left of your foundation, you’ll be fine. As soon as it wobbles out of that area, you get into trouble.

What does this have to do with paganism? Nothing specifically, I guess. I just think it’s something that applies to EVERYTHING. This is one of those physical laws that seem to translate well metaphorically into psychological and spiritual worlds. How many times have we been told to “Ground and Center?” I don’t think Foundation is exactly the same idea as Grounding, but they do seem related.

Foundation is the line you must not cross lest you find yourself on your way to a fall. If you stay on this side, you’re safe. It’s amazing how precise the line actually is, nothing fuzzy about it. The fuzzy part might be your awareness of your center. Know thyself, or else. Can you handle that one cookie without blowing your diet? Or will it tip you over the edge until the whole package disappears? To answer that question, you have to know your own center.

This is not the same thing as pushing past your comfort zone. The comfort zone is where you can handle things easily. Then there is an area where you must use greater effort and skill to succeed. Going past your foundation, however, is pushing to the point of failure. The line might not be visible, but it really does exist. No amount of will power can change it.

Let’s look at that will power thing for a moment. Going back to the standing example, leaving your comfort zone might be like leaning at an odd angle. Sure, you can do it. Doing so will both strengthen and tax your muscles. Old style tai chi was taught by having students stand in various stances until they increased their internal strength and stability. At first it’s not so bad, but the longer you do it, the more your muscles tire. Eventually you must either return to a comfortable stance, or risk falling down. After you’ve rested, you can try it again later. Resting is not failure. It is preparation for the next workout. Also remember that people get bad backs and various chronic aches and pains if they lean on a daily basis. You must rest. You must return to neutral on a regular basis, or you will pay for it in the long run.

Only you can figure out what Foundation and Center mean to you. They may mean different things in various contexts. Heru told me recently that he was my center and Ra was my foundation. It will take awhile for me to really appreciate what he meant by that.