The Dance

Don’t invite anyone in unless you know for sure you can trust them, obviously.

I go to my room and shut the door. I turn the music on and take my place. My eyes are closed. I listen to the music beat. I hear the notes call, but I don’t move.

I remain still. I wait for him to understand my patience.

I feel his breath within me, small and quiet. I listen.

Slowly, my hands move. Slowly, he listens to the music’s call.

Everything is small, as listening turns to understanding. The music begs me to move, but we do not rush. We wait, for hands to float, for hips to sway. We ride upon the music together.

Then we dance.

His body talks about the burning sun and sand. I see the adobe houses. He does not take No for an ending. I feel him call for the black earth to grow underneath them. He dances for the people. He dances for their arts and livelihood.

The music changes. I see feathers on his arms. He flows with white fire. He hears her call. He listens and responds with life and hope.

Now it moves faster. The fire grows hot and the hunt begins.

My muscles shaking and trembling I collapse on the bed. I drink water. Then I return to the floor.

The music has changed again. “This one is yours, Lunatic. Show me.”

I trade the tightly controlled movements that made my legs shake for something freer. I move around swiftly with no real reason or care. I dance about my frustrations, uncertainties, and doubts. I dance out my love and my worries, and can I ever make it right? I want to make him understand what it’s like on this side.

Then it’s over. I lay on the bed and stare at the ceiling. I know my muscles will be sore. That will be my offering, as if the entire thing wasn’t already an offering. As if my every day of living wasn’t an offering. I feel him wrap his wings around me. Until next time.

Sunset

I followed Heru down the winding stairs. He brought me to a room where the other gods waited and watched. He handed me a blindfold. Did I trust him? Of course. I put it on. He told me to follow him. I could feel his presence leading me as I put one foot ahead of the other. I couldn’t see with my eyes, but I knew where we were going. I crossed the chasm on a narrow plank. Honestly, if my eyes had been open, that crossing would have been much harder to handle.

In the next room, he removed the blindfold. I saw my heart set out on a platform. Then it was sliced in two. He handed half of it to someone I couldn’t see at the time. He kept the other half. He and I couldn’t do it alone. That other person I couldn’t see was part of this too.

That’s why I was not surprised when another name, Ra, followed Heru’s during my Rite of Parent Divination. I hesitated a moment because I had a history with him, and not exactly a good history. Still, I could not deny that he’d had a major role in my life. It seemed inevitable. So I went along with it. I made the promise to serve them both.

I tried hard to keep that promise. I worked to get past my anger and my lack of trust. At first it was duty, nothing more. Then I started opening up to him. Then I loved him. I wanted his approval. I wanted to serve. He got me through a difficult time and made me stronger. I became dependent on him.

A couple days ago, he asked me to use that strength. I didn’t think about what I was doing. I only thought about serving him, gaining his approval. I was proud to be able to do this for him, but the usual safeguards and worries and concerns were absent. It seemed ok to put those aside for him. Not just set aside, because that assumes I thought about them at all. I didn’t. I was just following orders, nothing more than an extension of his will. Isn’t that what all servants are after? Erasure of self for the greater good?

Yeah, Heru was pissed. He said it was time to leave. Djehuty explained to me that it was a breach of contract. Heru’s claim came first, and what happened tried to negate that. No worries about repercussions from the promise made. I did my best. My legal backside is covered.

That’s the easy part. The hard part is that I loved him, or I think I did. Our relationship was never very clear. It was wrapped up in a tangle of duty, and service, and being angry for what he took, and being grateful for what he gave. And being ashamed of requiring what he gave. How did I get to the point where his approval meant more to me than my own values? Because that’s where we ended up.

I was addicted in a way. Heru and the others threw me a cold turkey party. I wrapped myself in a blanket on the couch. I felt cold. They hung around, offering comfort, reminding me they would still be there for me. I looked over at Sekhmet and I saw it. I wasn’t the first, or the only, or probably even the last. He just does that to people without even realizing it. I hope he doesn’t realize it. I don’t think he meant for this to happen. He actually apologized for a change. He is the sun, a star, a giant gravity well that turns us in circles. Not one of them blamed me for getting sucked in.

So, what now? A name change might be in order. Shezep is still just as true as ever. The dawn is still part of me. The bright white light is like the white fire I wield in the astral. The white fire deserves more respect. It is a tool for purification and healing. It is not for indiscriminately rooting out the source of paranoia. The white fire deserves more respect. Shezep deserves more respect. I deserve more respect. But the Shuty part is no longer valid. It’s not Two Feathers anymore.

Why am I telling you all this? Is it a cautionary tale about blind faith? No, I still trust Heru that way. He’s never given me any reason to doubt him. Ra gave me plenty of reasons and I tried to work around them. I succeeded, and that was a bad idea. It’s not a cautionary tale at all, because those don’t work. I thought I was doing the right thing by keeping my promise. Maybe I shouldn’t have made the promise? I wouldn’t say that either. The struggle itself taught me a lot that I wouldn’t have learned any other way. I think I’m just writing to say that there are no easy answers. Life happens.

Fortification

Recently Ra told me that he wanted me back in fighting form, and I should consult with Heru to learn how to do that. Heru’s immediate response to my question of what I should do first was “fortify your house.”

First, I rearranged the energy flows in the apartment I keep spirit-side. Then I visualized walking around my earthly house, sprinkling natron in all the corners and next to all windows and doors and vents, etc. While doing such things is good practice, the cards informed me that I was still missing something.

Shortly afterward, lucky circumstances have put the prospect of buying the house, and making improvements to it, back on the table where it had been gathering dust for too long. He wasn’t just talking about spirit-side, apparently.

If I want to get back in fighting shape, without suffering burn out again, starting with the house makes a lot of sense. I need a secure place to rest and recover. I need a place I can retreat to and turtle up if needed. I also need something that is MINE that is worth fighting for.

Back when I did cause trouble, I wasn’t that kind of fighter. I was a crazy-assed warrior with nothing to lose. I hit everything at 100% and I nursed many day-afters. I suppose it was a fast way to learn, but it wasn’t very smart. That’s who I was when I was with Wakinyan, until Waki finally put a stop to my self-destructive attitude. I wasn’t quite sure how to get back in the game after that.

When I talk about fighting, some of it was astral journey work stuff. Some of it was verbal sparring with people online. I was a relentless trouble maker, especially once I caught a whiff of holier-than-thou. (I hear that’s not an uncommon trait for those under the influence of trickster types.) I’m not entirely sure what Ra has in mind for me to do this time around. I’m not as young or dumb as I used to be. Nothing wrong with getting back in shape though, right? (What IS he planning anyway?)

Starting at home does make a lot of sense. It reminds me of that principle that it’s much easier to change yourself than it is to change others. What can I do to my own space to prevent or defend against future “attacks?” Minor adjustments now can avert bigger problems later. Have I been keeping up with repairs? Locking the doors? Is there anything I’ve been putting off that I need to work on? What kind of improvements will make life smoother going forward?

Uneasy

I am a cracktastic woo-ist. My stuff is so weird it makes me cringe. There are conservative pagans and Kemetics who would absolutely call blasphemy over some of the things I do on the other side. Luckily, what happens in spiritside, stays in spiritside.  It’s not my goal to piss off the conservatives, or anyone, really. It’s not my job to please them either. I have to live with myself and my gods 24/7. I answer to Them, not to random strangers. It still makes me uneasy though.

I realize now that I have some pretty good reasons for handling my spiritual life in this way. It’s been like this for years, and it’s not likely to change any time soon. Once I get a handle on my current issues, I’m sure something else will take their places. Why? Because I’m not content sitting still. I push against those things that unnerve me for a reason. I am always learning, always expanding my boundaries.

So here’s good news and bad news for the younger spirit workers. The good news is that there is a method to the madness. Keep pushing, keep learning, and you will make progress. The bad news is that it never gets easier. There will always be something else once you scratch this one off the list.

My private journal is full of weirdness, and then whining and rationalization for the weirdness. A few friends do have access to that one, and though they haven’t said so to me, I wonder if they’re sitting on their side of the monitor and telling me to either give up the weird, or learn to deal with it. I’m sure the constant whining is not amusing to read. I am chronically uneasy about the whole thing. I have no idea how the gods put up with me either.

But they do, and most of this was their idea to begin with. They push me beyond my comfort level again and again. The result is that I’m a better person because of it. There are recurring themes here of connection and opening the heart. There is empathy, compassion, and understanding, and many lessons about how I’m the very last person who should throw any stones around. There is shadow work and light work, and some days the light work is the harder of the two.

If it starts to feel easy and controlled, does that mean I’m slacking off? If I’m not standing where I want to be, then probably so. I’m using this as a means to test myself, my inner strengths and weaknesses, and meet them head on. Not all the battles have been won, but my opponent’s face is starting to look familiar.

Transpersonal

I’ve started on a new project recently. At first I was hesitant to talk about it. I still think that caution is in order while discussing it because if I use the wrong words , well, certain words seem bigger and louder than others and tend to get stuck in the forefront of attention, hiding the real meanings underneath.

As for the title, I knew there was a T word somewhere that would hit upon the idea. I’m not terribly familiar with this word, though using it in a search did pull up some interestingly relevant links. On the wiki page they say that “Transpersonal experiences may be defined as “experiences in which the sense of identity or self extends beyond (trans) the individual or personal to encompass wider aspects of humankind, life, psyche or cosmos”. -Walsh, R. & Vaughan, F.On transpersonal definitions. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 25 (2) 125-182, 1993

Well then, that works for me. The article goes on about how that applies to the field of psychology. So, if you’re in the market for a psychologist who might be able to integrate your spiritual life into therapeutic practice, this might be a good keyword to look for.  Very interesting. I’m not an expert. I just stumbled on the word this morning.

At Ra’s suggestion, I’ve been visiting and getting to know as many different neteru as I can, one at a time. It hasn’t just been talk. I’ve been receiving a small piece of each one’s energy. I think it’s much more polite the way I’m doing it rather than to try to fill my stew pot with bits of them, as the old magicians talk about in the Coffin Texts and the Book of the Dead. Those references always made me kind of angry. How I receive their energy will be left to your imagination.

The thing is that I’m finding a lot of value in the project. It is very transpersonal. When I close my eyes I can feel the lines of connection that I’ve been forming, like sitting at the center of a web. Each one I’ve met so far is very different, and each one is beautiful in their own way. I don’t have to wonder why someone would want to worship this one or that one and hold them above all others. I’ve seen why. They’re becoming more than just obscure names written on a page.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to set up altars to each one myself. Just because I can see why they are worthy of worship doesn’t mean I’m obligated to do it myself. It just creates a point of understanding with the Name in question and also with those who follow them. At this rate, my list of “beloveds” is going to get very long. That doesn’t mean they’re all happy to see me. One didn’t seem to like me that much, but he wanted to be heard, so I listened. That’s part of the deal.

Many of them are ones that I haven’t had much experience with before. Several times one would show up and I’d have to play a guessing game to figure out who it was. I do look them up afterward, but I don’t really know who is going to show up ahead of time. That’s probably a good way to do it to reduce bias ahead of time. Sometimes the experience matches the description, and sometimes it doesn’t. More often the experience emphasizes an aspect that I might have overlooked if I read about them first. I know why Hapi is called “the Father of the Gods.” I know why I can feel the memory of the Nun just below Ptah’s green skin. I know that Djehuty is far more powerful than his quiet nerdy appearance would suggest. I know that I can learn a thing or two from Montu. (Where are the goddesses? I seem to be meeting the gods first for some reason. The polarity will probably switch after awhile.)

There are a couple reasons why Ra set me on this task. One is for healing. It’s like a soul retrieval quest. I have been broken in typical spirit-worker fashion. When you go back to glue the pieces together, it’s not uncommon to find that a few are missing, or that they have crumbled into dust altogether. Each god contains a tiny bit of something that I need to fill in the gaps. I must humble myself before them and be receptive, or else it doesn’t work.  I am Hem-netjer, a servant to all of them.

The other reason is that the network of connections is something that I need on an instinctual level. Both of my divined Fathers are kings. What is a king other than someone who builds connections and ties it all together? It is someone who listens and cares for many different voices, making sure that each one is heard. It is someone who somehow manages to bring those voices into harmony. I’m not a literal king, but I can work on building those skills.

Stone and Fire

Devo posted about being broken in order to let the god stuff in.

Mine was a long slow creep, dying by inches over years. It was a low grade daily torment that I believed I could not escape. I have an idea what caused it now, but back then, I had no clue. It was just how life was. I would show the enemy no weakness. I put on the stone face. My ability to feel also turned to stone. My “enemies,” concerned teachers who were mostly just trying to do their jobs, pushed even harder to get through to me. By the time I graduated, I was completely burned out at a time when I should have been revving to go. My grand ambition was to find a mountain somewhere and sit on it. I’d had enough of the mix of praise and shame that battered me from both sides and seemed false on either end.

I kept walking because I had nothing better to do. I kept pace with the people closest to me, but I had no real volition of my own.

Then Wakinyan, the Thunder Being, found me. It took a couple years before I gave in to its stalker ways, but finally I realized I was being stalked for a reason. I gave in about the time I realized that the very worst thing that could happen to me was nothing. Anything, even the madness that Waki promised, was better than the continued nothing of my life.  I told him that I would not run.

Wakinyan gave me pain. He taught me to yell and to fight. She taught me to embrace all things and all people equally. I embraced my enemies and fought with my friends and realized that there wasn’t a huge difference between them. She taught me to take joy in all of these things. He taught me to scream in pain, and pleasure, and passion, and rage, and joy. They taught me to live again.

Eventually the day came when he tricked me into killing my self. I killed her in the most horribly brutal way possible. She was the one who wanted to die. I gave her what she wanted. I remember sitting on a rock, sharing the cheapest, nastiest cigarette Waki could find, as we watched her body sink into the ground. It was over. I wasn’t sure if we were celebrating or mourning. It was both.

Ra came looking for me next. He hit even harder than Waki ever did. Lightning strikes where the path is open. The sun does not discriminate. It burns everything. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. I wanted to die again. I grew afraid again. I thought I’d lost everything Waki taught me. “The Thunder Being made you strong enough to receive my gift,” Ra said. I had a hard time swallowing the word “gift.”

Six years later, and I finally feel like I’m getting back on my feet. I realize that sun and storm are both part of who I am. I am lightning and fire. I am passion and purity. Netjer brought me here, practically against my will. What about it was so important that it had to be that way?

I’m here, so now what? I’m at the edges, and on the edges I will probably stay. The gods are full of fire and passion and blood and tears, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at the Kemetic community. Where is the life behind the stone faces? Why bring me here, to this place where I will always feel like an awkward outsider?