My spiritual life is a little odd and definitely chaotic at the moment. On the one hand, I have four different other-worldly beings that I have to mollify in some form or another. And on the other hand, I have to balance the Kemetic want and need from my patronesses and the voodoo desires from the lwa who have made themselves at home. They all want something at any given moment and more often than not, it’s at the same time. This leaves me with a conundrum: who do I pay more attention to? Who gets me at that particular second in time? And, can I balance the wants of the lwa with the desires of the goddesses?
It’s a frickin’ balancing act.
And it makes my head spin.
Recently, she’s been on my mind. I think a large portion of this is because I’ve been feeling the wheels of injustice turning around me and as the goddess of justice, it only stands to reason. However, I think another part of this is because she was the first. And like all people who are suffering from a hard go of things, I turn to the patroness that is more familiar to me than all of the others. I know her presence as well as I know my own and so, it is to her arms that I find myself turning for comfort at this juncture in my life.
The other night, I had this insatiable desire to prostrate myself out in front of her residence on my Getting-Steadily-More-Crowded altar area. This was the beginning of her being at the foremost of my thoughts, actually. I didn’t end up prostrating myself that night because I like to give myself tons of excuses as to why I can’t do things. She was both amused and irritated with me since, obviously, if I had the urge, then I should do it. And of course, she knows better than myself that just because I feel something or I am told to try something that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to do it. (For example, my mother informed me that I should start watching The Big Bang Theory when I was living in Texas with her. Four years later, I finally took her advice, since nothing else was on that night, and found out that she was right from the very beginning.) In fact, if I’m told to do something, I’m even more likely to ignore it or not do it.
I’m just contrary, I guess.
That same evening, I got this distinctive impression that she wanted something from me. My mind is easy at supplying words to these basic feelings that I often get from her: senut, she says. And I’m just kind of like, “Really? Again? We want to do this again?” She wants formality; she wants my attention and above all, she wants me to start… something important. (Don’t know what yet.) However, to begin this little adventure of hers, she wants me to get back to formal and start doing senut with her. She says that she doesn’t care what I say or how I say it, out loud or in my head, but she wants offerings every fucking morning, damn it, and she wants my fucking attention. (Swears added by me, but the intent was there.) I’m just kind of like… “Can’t I just prostrate, instead?”
I’ve been praying to her, a lot, in the last few days, too. This is a part of her always being at the foremost of my thoughts. In the shower, outside during my walks, and just now before I started writing this: Prayer, prayer, prayer. Today, I finally did prostrate myself and I felt a little ridiculous (and monstrously fat). My son came over to see what I was doing and the dog decided she had to lick my face right that second to ward off any tears. (Actually, my son came over for similar reason only without the face-licking aspect.) I don’t feel any better after having done it, but I think it is to be a model for what I have to prep myself for.
This is the desire and demand of the Lady of the Flame.
She’s mostly a quiet goddess for me. A lot of this stems from our uncertain behavior with one another. She’s worried that if she throws herself all in with me, then I’m going to run away from her (again). And I’m worried that if she tried to throw herself all in, then I’m going to run away from her (again). So, we’re kind of taking things slowly. What this really means is that I give her some attention when I want to do Tarot readings—I light a candle to her and ask her to guide my hand before I begin—and that’s about it.
Her job around here, I thought initially, was to get me back into the sexual creature that I know I can be and just… aren’t. (Sexual abuse is so awesome! It’s the gift that keeps giving!) In fact, if I have an urge, I’m more likely to bury it under a heavy stone. I figured that she was coming around because, you know, this is bad and I’m actually kind of tired of it. If I could change it on my own, I would. However, I’m so used to not giving in to said urges that I don’t think I know how to actually, like, fix it on my own. So, I assumed that when she showed up … last year? (I can’t even fucking remember and I don’t have the energy to look back.)… that was her purpose.
And maybe that was true back then, but it’s not the case currently.
To me, she’s always been a magical deity. When I think about mother and wifely goddesses, I always think of Aset first. Hwt-Hrw filled these rolls before, but I always think of her as more with being one with the sexuality of being a woman, as well as sensuality, and magic. I’m not really sure where I get this feeling or idea. I mean, more often than not, I’ve noticed that most Kemetics have the two deities reversed: Hwt-Hrw for motherhood and Aset for magic. To be honest, and I’ve given this no thought prior to this second in time, I think the difference for me is because of my intense relationship with Sekhmet, who Hwt-Hrw is closely related to. I’m not sure how that correlates with how I view them, but I’m pretty sure it does…
…and I’m rambling.
So, what started her coming back around was my intense focus on looking into various magical paths. When I started reading about hedge witchery, I felt like she was standing behind me and reading over the material I was taking in. Every time I went onto Amazon to add more books on various magical traditions into my Wish List, I felt her there, guiding my hand. It is from her, I feel, that my magical practice will entirely stem. And this is what the hell she wants from me: she wants me to practice, she wants me to learn, and she wants me to stop putting it the eff off already! (I think that’s verbatim, right there…)
This is the demand and desire from the Lady of the Sky.
I like to think of him as a kind of spiritual tornado that comes up and messes shit around until you’re left completely lost and thirty miles from home. I mean, obviously, he’s the kind of tornado that you can survive (so therefore, not in this plane of existence). But, in an odd way, I really see him this way. I suppose that comes from the fact that he decided to show up in my life and almost immediately started messing around with things. Obviously, I needed the kick in the pants he gave me since I wasn’t doing it for myself. He and I have come to terms with the fact that he messed around with things until I am where I currently am and that I really wasn’t really happy about it. I guess we’ve surpassed that phase in our relationship.
As the guardian of the crossroads, choices are entirely his domain. At least, that’s how I like to see it. It’s like anything that I decide on this long road of mine is important to him and something that honors him, in a way. To be honest, I want to make him a little shadow box with green grass on either side of this random white gate in the center. I think he’d get a kick out of it and, you know, since he’s all about gateways, too, it’s kind of like an ultimate of ultimate saying, “Hey. I accept you. You’re cool shit.” I think it’s also a way for me to (A) get down with my creative genes, (B) deal with the whole “fucking with my life” stuff that he likes to do and (C) make amends for my snotty behavior right after he fucked with my life.
He started falling into less prominence lately, which bothered me. I didn’t hear a word from him until well after he had ruined my working career (at a shitty place of business that I never would have left if he hadn’t changed things). So, I’m a little frightened by his silence. He tells me that I shouldn’t be because he’s a busy little lwa and he’s got other things to do. However, he does stop in sometimes, in the morning hours when we’re sharing a cup of coffee together, he asks things of me. It was during one of those moments that he demanded I write something for him. An offering from your most important creative center is what he said.
And he really does seem to like that little poem/sonnet that I wrote to him. I even told him that I would be printing it out for him on some nice paper when I have money again. I also promised that I would frame it, as he had asked. It would do a spot nicer to have it all done up and pretty-fied since the original copy is pretty much being torn to shit by the fact that it’s just lying on top of the Mutual Altar Space. While I plan on keeping the original (possibly folded up in the back of the printed copy), at least I won’t have to worry about spilling coffee all over a framed version.
Just the other day, though, he asked me for a big one that I’ve been kind of debating about. He asked if I could move Papa Ghede from the Community Altar. He’s encroaching on my spot and I’m sick of it. When I thought about moving Papa Legba to a spot, somehow, over by the front door (since you know, doorways are his thing) he told me to take a leap. I believe the wording was: I was here first, damn it! He can move the fuck on! This leaves me in a bit of a space issue and a quandary. And of course, it’s not like Ghede wants to tell me what the hell he wants because that would be too easy.
No, he just expects me to guess.
In the mean time, I get the feeling that Papa Legba is having a pouting adventure over on his portion of the Communal Altar Area. I don’t blame him and he’s right: he was around first. He’s the one who suggested the shared altar and how to set it up. He has every right to stay there. So, while he’s having his pouting session until I come up with something decent, I’m left in a bind.
This is what The Old Man requires and requests of me.
I have the hardest time with this particular lwa. He doesn’t seem much on chattering away like Papa Legba was after he came over to me. I think, sort of, that this has to do with the fact that he has to do with the dead. I would gather that the dead don’t speak much unless spoken to. I mean, honestly, I don’t really know. I talk to the dead (or myself) all of the time, but Papa Ghede is anything but a talkative lwa. It’s like he gets off on being all inscrutable and ineffable. To be honest, I’d say that it’s annoying, but I honestly don’t know if he would be amused, bored, or irritated by the sentiment. So pretty much, I just guess on what the hell I’m doing and hope that it’s okay.
He’s inquired after my serving him, which has been his only request to date. Everything else has been me, hoping to impress or gain his acceptance. I don’t have a mentor that I can turn to and discuss this with. A lot of time I have doubts: is it Ghede? What if it’s something else masquerading? What if it’s another lwa who is now offended because I don’t know the difference between Ghede and —–? How do I know that I’m not just insane? I mean, if I had someone around nearby who hung out with the lwa, I could at least voice this opinion to someone and get their thoughts on it. And if they were nearby, they could maybe tell me what they felt about it.
In the mean time, I’m left, as I said, guessing.
The move to a new spot is paramount for both Papa Legba and Papa Ghede. I have a kind of idea about it, but since Papa Ghede is doing the mysterious shtick, I can ask his opinion and not get anywhere. There is a possibility of a place since the representation that he has is a picture: I can, of course, hang it up on the wall. It came with a little hook thing that I can use to attach it to a spot in the hallway (one of the few places I feel comfortable placing it). However, I wouldn’t have anything to use to place any offerings for him. And since, I do want to make him 21 Pepper Rum, I do need to have a spot to place offerings.
Thus, the conundrum.
In the end, it’s all about space or a lack thereof. I know what I [eventually] would like to have for a spot for Papa Ghede, but in the mean time…
I do know that the grave-tending is tantamount to the servitude. This is unquestionable and one of the few things that I actually do know. (This also leads me to wonder, more often than not, if it isn’t Papa Ghede and maybe is just the Baron whose come a-knocking.) Every time I go to a cemetery with the intention of bringing them into the foreground, I get a feeling of lightheartedness and gaiety. This is, of course, why I know that I’m doing the right thing. And I, at least, didn’t even have to guess what it was or wait to have it requested, at least.
I just wish I knew what he wanted. All the others have had no problem demanding things of me, but this one lwa… It’s all a game, maybe, and I’m the only one with pieces on the board.
What a balancing act. I absolutely admire you for being able to handle four entities at once.
I don’t think I handle them that well. Heh.
Is it possible that because you have both Iwa on the same shrine, and PL isn’t happy about it, that the other is made quiet until you move him? I’m not sure if such a thing can happen, but maybe one is muzzling the other.
Maybe his lack of speech is his way of making you trust your gut. I imagine there are reasons for it, whatever they are.
Balancing is fun! :D
I never thought about it. Maybe the animosity between the two is gagging the other… P.L. is the lwa that you call on to interact/speak with other lwa during ceremonies… So he could be forcing his silence.
And it’s definitely making me trust my gut more.
Oh, do I hear your balancing act…it’s grand fun, isn’t it? Papa Legba pulled something similar with me, only *he* wanted to move away from *them*. (sigh)
But just as a BTW from someone who is also always budget conscious…instead of promising something to Papa *when* you have the money for it, tell him if he wants it, he needs to get you the money for it. I know…its a small change but it never ceases to amaze me how fast money comes around when I put it that way!
Usually that’s really a given, if the Lwa want something (or the Gods and Goddesses) then they will provide the means for it.
The Lwa will happily take hand made stuff too. You don’t have to serve with bought items. One of Papa Legba’s favourite things is old bones, especially if they’re bound into a cross with red thread. We leave him chicken bones at crossroads, or pennies and a few splashes of rum/coffee. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
I figure he’ll provide me with the funds when he’s ready. Sigh.
Actually, a lot of the things that I want to give to the lwa is hand made in origin. However, I’d like to have access to funds to buy crafting items. ^.^ I’m thinking ribbons for my spirit bottle. And then, maybe, the accoutrement to start on the shadow box I have in mind.
Ghede are just like that sometimes. Papa Ghede has always been a quiet, sometimes stern old man to me.
Ghede take over EVERY SURFACE, they need a spot of their own, period. We have THREE levels to their altar, and there’s so much crud that a lot of it is actually in a box. They also like to take things from others, especially offerings of food and drink, so that is also something to consider.
I’m not close and you don’t know me all that well, but I’d happily chat with you if you want talk stuff out, and I am sure Shadow would, too. I think I emailed you about skype and stuff.
All right. So maybe, I’m not crazy! Woo!
I have a general idea for something as a rightthissecond kind of thing. I’m sure PG will like it since it’s four tiers of nothing but whatever he so desires. (It’s part of my entertainment center. Since I haven’t been able to set it up as an entertainment center while living here, I’ve been using it for knickknacks.)
I don’t know much about Skype. I’m not computer/Internet literate at all. I’ll talk to TH about which one would be better for me and let you know via E-mail what happens.
If Hwt-Hrw showed up during a time of frustration over sexual duress, I imagine there would be some significance to that. As a fellow survivor of sexual abuse, I wanted to tell you that I empathize with your long hard road out of that particular type of hell. It takes so much patience and bravery and fortitude to initiate and continue the healing process. I hope that you are involved with some supportive people who can be there for you– either a therapist or a survivor’s group or what-have-you.
I also know how frustrating and difficult it can be to connect with others about the effects that sexual abuse can have on spirituality, especially when that spirituality is something like…well…you know…THIS! I know that everyone handles their emotional dealings differently, but creating supportive connections are really FUCKING IMPORTANT to me and — one survivor witch to another– I just wanted to make sure you knew that you could reach out and talk to me if you need to vent or chat or shoot the shit.
I always assumed Hwt-Hrw was all about just fixing my broken parts. I mean, I have a lot of them. And I’d really rather like for them to be fixed. It’s irritating, you know, to not be able to have sex whenever the hell I want. I’d also like to learn to keep my brain the fuck out of it because, seriously, what the hell does the brain have to do with the body’s reactions? Nothing except releasing those endorphins. However, I think in working down the magical realm, she’s kind of leading up to it. It’s like I can only see a tiny corner of the painting, though, that she is creating.
I would *love* to be a part of a survivor’s group. I think that would help me a lot better than a therapist. However, there don’t appear to actually be any of those types of things around here. I’ve given some serious thought (not long ago, actually) about either joining one online or starting one of my own.
Thank you for the offer. I love-love-love to know that (A) I’m not the only person out there and (B) others are willing to help if help is needed.