By way of explanation: this was my end of a conversation where I was having a spiritual crisis. Did I belong where I was (in Metista at the time)? I'm hearing a lot in the Toteg Tribe about this and that belonging, and so I thought it was relevant. I also thought it relevant because it brought back a description of an experience I had many years ago that has convinced me that All Things are One Thing (or part of something so massive it's beyond my puny intellect) This was discussed on 9/23/2002 with one of my elders, and part of my transformation into what I am today.
<about an experience I had with what I thought of as The One>
For one, I deliberately used a different word because I'm not sure what I… felt... was quite the same thing as what you call the Creator. But... that personal mythology thing I mailed out a while back (my creation myth) was partially inspired by an experience I had. It was before I even knew what Journeying was, formally. I had a dream where... Well I tried to look it up in my journal just now, but I didn't write it down apparently, or it's on a disk in NC, so this is going to be sketchy. Let me start by saying that I believe I was very sick at the time, unless I misremember I had pneumonia and was in one of those half-dream-half-awake phases. Basically I ended up in this place where I spoke with my sister - but it wasn't her, it was someone looking like her in the dream. There was relevant symbolism there, in that I wasn't in a very trusting time in my life then, and Melissa was someone I trusted, who had a more spiritual outlook than I did at the time. We had a discussion about limits, and what was and wasn't possible. I particularly remember the idea of flying coming into it, and being told that I could fly in the real world if I looked at it the right way and learned to let go of self-imposed limitations.
I'm sorry if I'm putting too much spin and interpretation on this. My memory of this part is really hazy now, so it's hard to really explain... The interps and the "So that's what it meant!" realizations are what I remember more clearly than the details as the dream was... And I'm smacking myself right now for that. Even then I knew better. I just don't know where I wrote it down...
Anyway, I think the subject got around to limitlessness or something, but I was sent to this place... And there the five senses were irrelevant so it's really hard to explain. I sense things by pattern, by the taste of the thing. And I was this... ball of perception. And I was drawn toward something, kinda like by gravity but it was resistible, if I really wanted to. And I reached out towards it, and connected somehow... and I cant begin to describe what it felt like. Mostly because I can't begin to understand it. Overwhelmed. Identity irrelevant - cherished but irrelevant. It wasn't like I wanted to be absorbed there, it wasn't like I was insignificant... I don't know how to explain it. It was just irrelevant. I was part of the whole, and that was all that mattered.
And I felt myself... separating? Atomizing? Being absorbed? Soemthing like this, but these have a negative connotation and it wasn't like that at all. It was again the "becoming part of something" but that process of becoming... I couldn't stay whole, stay me. I couldn't wrap my brain around it, which was ok, because I didn't have to, but..... I still couldn't handle it. Gods. We don't even have a language to contain this. The closest I can come is "a drop of water being absorbed into the ocean" except even that's not quite right, because the drop isn't significant. Then again, neither was I, but the core of me was..... And the feeling was almost like you'd think the womb would be, except intensified a millionfold...
Am I explaining this at all?
*sighs* Anyway I sorta jerked back reflexively when I got scared (sensory overload kinda except not "senses" really), and it withdrew with a calm understanding and that sensation of being held, surrounded, part-of, stayed with me for a little while. I can still call it up for a little while if I try in the right way (don't know how to explain that either - I can't USE the feeling, but if I seek it for its own sake it sometimes comes).
Again, I know I was sick in the "very" kind of way, because Dad took me to the hospital. But that was because we were visiting my grandparents and didn't have a normal doctor, and I wasn't hospital-ized (and this happened in my bed at their house) so I don't consider it a near-death. The "texture" of the dream is familiar to me too from particularly intense Journeys, when I completely lose all awareness of my body (which doesn't happen often either).
<something about being real and not real, cut to protect the author>
Typically when I read something like that I get this half smile and blush and nod and in general feel really sheepish. When I read this tho I was just startled that I might be made uncomfortable by what you said. And then was startled that I was startled, not sheepish. And basically that's because I don't put myself in that class (holy person) at all. If help is requested I will give it. I rarely volunteer it, and only when I'm told to. I'm not like you. I know you hate hearing that you're special, well get uncomfortable because you ARE. You're a shaman. I'm just a mage.
I used to do things differently, get all egotistical about "helping" and stuff. I guess I must have gotten over it somewhere in there. And that's part of what surprised me so much, because I don't remember turning in my sword and staff and crusader's gear. But apparently I did somewhere along the way. And I'm glad.
<something about a breakthrough I may or may not have been coming to>
I dunno what it is. I just... OK. I do things on an elemental system, earth air fire water spirit. I Try to keep those elements balanced within myself, and each element balanced within ITself. If tht makes sense. I am a fire water person. When I was sick and suicidal part of my problem was that I was so far over into the water that I couldn't do ANYTHING. I was drowning in it, and it was drowning everything else. That's when that totem showed up. She happens to be my Earth helper as well, and she basically WAS my earth until she could beat me into grounding, getting some earth, and getting that water under control. When it wasn't overwhelmed by the water, the fire came back into balance on its own. Spirit I started working with a lot with my journeying. But there's this one element left that I have massive issues with. That's air.
It may seem weird that I have an issue with air, I've got 3 planets in air in my natal chart and when you look at air as inspiration and intellect you'd think I have it covered. But it's that... bird caught in a hurricane feeling. It terrifies me. A bit less so now than a couple months ago, but I'm still Not There Yet. Air is not my strong suit, no how no way. (as I'm reminded of that "let go of your limitations" thing I mentioned above...) Anywho... I got informed a couple (2? 1.5? or so? Flora might know better than I, we discussed it but my time sense is SHOT lately) of months ago that It's Time To Learn Air Now (Read: The issue with the baby. My husband's company started discussing folding - which it did last week, so until I pick a job offer and start we're both technically unemployed). And I just got this "be the calm in the center of the storm" directive, and a "here it is, I'll put you there this first time, now it's up to you to stay there." Well I lose it sometimes, and I'm having a hellish time maintaining it and trying not to stress over this decision, but in general I'm doing pretty darned good. I haven't spazzed out yet, I haven't gone nuts yet, which is a marked improvement over the way I USED to handle this sort of thing.
And I'm noticing it bleeds over into other things too. Like relations with my mother, with difficult coworkers, etc. I'm just... more grounded and centered somehow. More... click! If that makes sense. And well - that song was the result of it too.
<songs I mentioned were relevant>
Thanks! *Grins* The melody's... a bit odd. I hadn't written a song since '98, then that one and another happened within two days of each other (the other... isn't appropriate on list at the moment because it mentions the mcVeigh situation as an example of something... oh hell. Attached.) Both in F major. Surrender was written first, One Brick Slips Out was written the next day. OBSO had a nice folksy melody all ready for it almost as I wrote the lyrics, but Surrender took a lot longer to resolve into a melody. And it's an odd one. But then, I'm a fan of Sondheim (who changes keys like most people change measures) so odd melodies work. It's still VERY rough tho.
<about my marriage, and what led up to it>
Two years ago Kernunnos showed up again. Told me it was time. Told me I had to learn to trust now. I had to learn surrender. Now. And then he "attacked" me. And I ran. So the next night he came back and it happened all over. And so on. And I finally bit my lip and stopped running. <other bits about stag spirits from other folks>
*blinks* How strange.... Wow. Well that's my guiding spirit right now, and well - you read the song so I guess you prolly have a good idea of where I stand with Him.
<thinking learning surrender would be the end of it>
But that didn't begin to be the end of it.And I'm beginning to wonder if that benefit was just incidental to the big picture. But I've been learning to trust, to not fight to be in control of it all, to take it as it comes and accept that I will be guided. And it's hard as hell.
<Talking about doubts>
One of the things I insist on when I work with a group in a magical context is independent verification - someone else being able to identify the same thing without knowing my "sense" of it. How could I have known about your stag spirit when I told you about mine?
I know it's not the same at all, but that faith isn't exactly blind... I just wish I could help with the crisis. *sighs*
<challenge facing me at that moment>
The calm is - for that air discussion above. And the challenge is just the job offer situation. I've got two offers, both identical pay. Both would be no-brainers (in the "should I take it?" mode) if I got them individually. One is more of a challenge than the other, but it also has some questionable stuff and a not-so-good feeling about it that I don't know if it's mine or just my husband not liking me being pushed. If the feeling is real, then I don't want to take it. If the feeling isn't real, then it's far better for my career track than the other one. That fluff I posted with the cards - the followup questions gave me lots of harmony cards (with the broken tower in the "behind you" position) for the non-questionable job, whereas the questionable one had the Tower as the "me" position, and the significator/crossed by was the Star crossed by the 10 of birds (swords) which in this deck is disaster as in natural disaster. But it had decent outcome cards. So I Can't tell if that's a warning or a "this one's rockier but more worthwhile." I think I'm going to end up defaulting to the harmony one, but... It's just a major decision. And NOTHING is helping, not my husband, not the benefits packages... It's a real "flip a coin" case. And I think it may be a test. But I don't know in what sense. And I'm spinning my wheels in a BIG bad way. But I'm not spazzing, so we're still doing good.
<Feelings of not belonging in Metista>
*sighs* Thanks. Sometimes I feel like I just start flooding the list and wonder if I have a clue WHERE this is supposed to be going. And while I'm not precisely afraid of you or the beloved grumpy bear, I also don't want to be interfering either, and well... Sometimes I wonder if I'm just out in left field, in relation to where you guys are going. And I guess I'm somewhat fighting yesterday's war, in that I'm trying so hard not to do what I have been known to do in the past, if that makes sense.
I dunno. I'm just turned around right now... playing the pinata game only nobody's steering me at the pinata for the moment and I'm just afraid I'm gonna thwack someONE with that stick instead of someTHING, if that makes sense...
<how we can disagree on some things and agree on others and it's all right>
Oh hell, I know I want to continue on the list. That's never been a question in my mind. And really, the agree/disagree thing isn't much of a concern either in general. I just don't know if I'm developing along a different path and if so if you want that "contaminating" your well, if that makes sense... (mind you, nobody's saying the contamination isn't kool-aide mix for the well, just not necessarily WATER...) When I joined the list I didn't have much of a definite direction. Well I seem to have acquired one, but it's not through an agency that particularly cares WHAT I call it, or what it's called, and like I said, while my understanding of the declaration is in line with it, y'all's understanding of the declaration may not be, and I don't want that to cause a problem. It feels like it might very well be Metista. Problem is it's not wanting to use words with me, and Metista is at this point a word because the only "pattern" I can "taste" for Metista is my understanding of Metista, which isn't the same thing as Metista itself, and I'm getting mixed up in words here but I hope you get my point....?
<Spiritual Crisis - do I belong in Metista or not?>
I know nothing in it contradicts the Declaration. I know I "feel" the same type of connectedness I'm trying to learn to maintain, present in this list. I know I haven't encountered much on the list that isn't supported by my Spirit, and generally what isn't is just a question of details it seems. But I'm not guided by the creator directly. I'm guided by an intermediary. And I don't know if that's relevant or not.
<confirmation that it's probably not an issue, and that each "craft" has its own teachings>*nodnod* I know what you mean. I'm just saying I ain't no shaman neither. You're the shaman-type-person. I'm a mage who just got picked up by a rather insistent and demanding spirit. BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG difference there.
Well, I guess I was clearly wrong. At the time I wasn't a shaman type. Now? Now I've undergone a transformation. I'm a Visar, and other people keep calling me a teacher. People called to our work tend to come to it kicking and screaming, once they know what's involved. This, that I have shared with you, was part of my struggle.
conversation 9/23/2002; Posted 10/16/04