A Glimpse.

I like the feel of holding a deck of Tarot cards in my hands. There’s something incredibly fulfilling and empowering about being able to pick up those cards and catch a shadowy glimpse of what may be coming, what may have happened, and what I need to do next. One of the things that I tend to forget when I’m going through a hard time is just how empowering and fulfilling those moments can be. I forget that I am good at this. I forget that I have an innate ability to catch those glimpses. And I forget that it’s calming to shuffle those cards over and over again. I spend so much time hiding from my cards when I’m depressed that I forget all of these things. I just need to remember that when shit is thick and I’m feeling like a caged animal.

I was talking to someone a while back and I mentioned that I had a thing for Tarot for as long as I’ve known about it and as long as I’ve practiced it. I mentioned to that person that when I shuffle those cards, I can enter a sort of meditative state that brings me down from whatever level of fucktopia I may be in, if only for a few minutes. The meditation of that moment when I’m shuffling those cards, before I pull them out and attempt to put meaning to the puzzle in front of me, I feel good for just a second. I feel like I can reach up to the stars if I wanted to or that I could travel wherever I want to go. I’m not kidding when I said that I feel very empowered when I’m touching a deck. But it’s more than that, too. It’s more than the empowerment and the meditation and everything in between. It’s something fulfilling, I guess, though even that word feels like it cannot begin to describe what it’s like.

It’s a part of me, I guess.

Sometimes, though, when things are particularly difficult for me, it’s not just the fact that I have the power to see a little bit in the future and possibly undermine whatever is going to happen, but a simple fact that I don’t particularly want to know what’s coming or what’s happening. I have a habit of burying my head in the sand when shit is rough and that translates over to my Tarot. That’s the dangers, I guess, for anyone who has some of those out-of-the-ordinary abilities. While mine can and mostly manifest in whatever I can gather from a card pull, it’s not necessarily the entirety of what I see. Occasionally, while I’m staring at a spread before me, I can catch bits and pieces of things that have caused whatever it is I am asking about or what I can do in an effort to push back the flood around me. And sometimes, the entirety of the situation is so shocking or so startling or so fucking huge that I just don’t want to know what the fuck is coming at me.

They say that ignorance is bliss and in some cases, I have to agree.

But in forgetting that I can do a little bit here and there to mitigate what the hell is coming at me, I’m doing myself a severe disservice. By hiding in fear at whatever I may see playing out in front of me when I pull those cards, I am allowing myself to have shit flying at me from every possible nook and cranny. I’m allowing this shit to happen by not using what I have available to me at least try to fucking alleviate it. This is something that I have to keep reminding myself as the shit mire I’m living in keeps getting worse. I watch as the leaves fall around me and I’m still supposed to stand strong, like the trees losing their leaves, while everything around my falls away. I’m not a tree, though. I have feelings about everything going on, many of those feelings are not quite appropriate for voicing or print, but I still have to stand strong like that damn tree.

So, I turn to the Tarot cards and hope to catch a glimpse.

Lately, things have been so difficult that I feel like I’m walking around in a world of gray. Even though the sun shines and the leaves are brightly colored to red, gold, and deep browns, it still feels like I’m walking in the middle of a rain cloud. I know it’s really just depression that’s coloring everything around me. I can see things in a logical manner, of course, but that doesn’t negate a damn thing when it comes to my feelings. As far as I am concerned (and I know that some people I am friendly with do not agree), emotions are not logical. So, even though I can dissect how I’m feeling and know that the world around me is very much not surrounded in shades of gray, I still feel that way. Everything is barely being kept together, no matter how hard I try. As I sit in this gray fog, screaming for help that isn’t going to arrive any time soon, I’m also trying really hard to not completely and utterly fucking lose it.

But I’m pretty damn close to losing it.

As someone who has been barely keeping her shit together for years, this is completely and utterly not fucking tolerable. I cannot lose it. I absolutely fucking can’t just let everything fucking go. I absolutely just fucking can’t stop. As much as I want to sit and lay and be depressed and read books and escape and not be a parent and not be in a relationship (because that would take away from the former bits about depressed and reading and not doing things), I have to keep going. Like I said, I have to be like a fucking tree and just withstand the shit storm heading my way. In the rallying cry of every fucking adult everywhere: I don’t fucking want to. But, as much as I don’t want to and as much as I want to fucking lose my shit and as much as I want to do something stupid and impulsive, I just keep going through the motions because I am an adult and have a responsibility to my family.

I’ve begun thinking about how to get past all of this. I legitimately don’t know. Whenever I get to a point where the world feels gray to me, I really start trying to think more rationally and more logically. I know how impulsive I can be when things suck. I mean, like seriously, on a scale of one to ten, my impulsive level shoots up to like 99 when shit sucks. So, in an effort to not do something too stupid, I’ve been thinking about things rationally. I’ve been telling myself that things have to plateau at some point and then move up from there. (Where did that phrase come from, anyway? A plateau means you go up and then you even keel and then you shoot the fuck down to the bottom again. That’s a horrible fucking phrase.)

And then last night, I was reminded that when I try to be logical and rational about things, I end up fucking things up worse. It doesn’t always seem that way when I make whatever logical decision I’m making, but it sure as shit ends up that way. I never listen to my intuition. I never go with something that feels right. I always make a rational decision because that’s what responsible adults are supposed to do. It could also be because I have a family that I need to support and, like, we can’t live off of good vibes and rainbow farts. But, I keep coming back to the feeling that whenever the hell I try to make a really good decision that’s supposed to take care of my family, I end up getting screwed over in the long run, so maybe I need to really stop doing that.

Thus, like the rambling circle that this entry apparently is, I come back to the point: Tarot.

So, when the world is gray and I start thinking that shit is just going to pile up and bury me alive until I can’t breathe anymore, I suddenly remember that, you know, I have a way to see things and to figure shit out. I have a way to get to the bottom of all of this. I have that innate ability to pull shit out of my butt in the form of pictures on cardboard and figure out the meaning behind all of that. And sometimes, if I’m really trying hard, I can see a lot more than just the pictures of those cards and see the shit that’s behind all of this.

It sure as shit sucks when I discover I’m really not so far off the mark with random comments I make off the cuff without thinking about it.

What sucks even worse is that I really am fucking excellent at squashing my intuition to the point where it’s a tiny mouse’s squeak that’s been squeaking at me this entire time.

And what makes shit even fucking worse is the fact that I could have fucking figured this shit out months ago but was too scared to look.

Consider this a warning to other people who do silly shit like hide from their own abilities: yeah, don’t fucking do that. You may get pissed when you finally take a listen and realize what that part of you has been saying this whole time because you could have already started working on the bullshit months ago.

Whoops.

The Break.

You ever just get so tired of all the nattering going on around you that you just want to throw your hands in the air and scream, “fuck it,” while you stomp around like a child? Or, you ever just get so fed up with everything that you finally realize if you don’t do something, possibly crazy and definitely unintended, you’ll end up wrapped in those hug-yourself coats for a few years? Or, maybe, you just get so sick and tired of the constant background commentary going on around you that you finally come to the crushing realization that you are so far off your intended course and you don’t know how to get back there? Yeah, I’ve been there. Hell, I’m still there. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get back to where I want to go, but I know that I need some time – a few weeks, a few months, a few years, the rest of my life – so that I can at least try to choreograph my movements more precisely…

I’ve been pretty tired regarding all religious items for the last few months. Everything that I have been building up to and creating had been jettisoned to the backseat in since, oh, around February or thereabouts. It was something that would leave me awake late at night, while I stared at the ceiling unable to sleep. All of the things I’ve been doing lately have all been those surreal and frightening experiences relating to my godphone or adventures on the astral. Everything was suffering because of this, not least of all me. I have to admit that when it comes to constantly having some really tough fucking conversations with beings who are bigger than you are, it can take a lot out of you. Never mind the addition of running around on the astral and the absolute desecration it can have on my energy reserves/spoon management. I have to say that since my godphone got really loud this year, everything has suffered. It’s felt very much like I’ve been trudging along and just trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy as my Kemetic practice slammed on the breaks and halted in its steps.

Every post I’ve written regarding the whole “doing as opposed to thinking” or the entries where I harp on how we need to live in ma’at or the entries when I go on about how we need to remind ourselves that our religion is an orthopraxy… Every single one of those posts in recent months would rear their heads at me on those nights where I would toss and turn because of religious matters. It was like a poker of guilt had begun to wedge itself at the back of my mind until I found myself unable to do anything but ponder how much I was putting off or not doing. There are so many varied aspects to my practice, specifically relating to the orthopraxy, that I try to do. But with each step further into the astral, each step further into questioning my sanity, I began to feel like I was failing all over the place. I knew that I needed a break, some quiet time, and figure out what in the world the next step with all of this was.

The thing is about asking for a time out is that you may not necessarily get it. As many parents are wont to say to their children, “the worst they can do is say no.” And in this case, it was something that was a little more important than asking if you could borrow someone’s Hot Wheels or asking to go along on a shopping trip to the mall. I was asking for myself, specifically, and a deep-seated need to step away from everything that was peripheral. I needed to jump back into the foundations of what my practice is supposed to be – laity – and shunt things forward on that. If I’m legitimate about wanting to create a layperson practice specifically for other people in my shoes, then I need to focus on what the hallmarks of that laity will be so I can explain it to others. And frankly, I’m having a hard time focusing entirely on work nowadays with all the head crap going on inside of me. There was no way I was going to be able to adequately focus on what I needed to without some form of, “I need some indefinite time off while I work on this.”

I have to admit that I’ve felt completely wrung out in recent months. I know a lot of it has to do with my personal life and work life. Neither of those two items have been particularly … smooth lately. It takes a lot out of you. But, even with all of the crap going on when I was unemployed or I was having troubles with my family, I had the ability to throw myself gung-ho into my religious practice. I knew that while things may been kind of crappy in other arenas that at least my religious practice was where I needed it to be. And it would always just be there to help me pick up the pieces with everything else sucking so badly. However, since I started working I’ve noticed a severe downtrend in my religious life. While I have attempted to keep a balance, it was like the only answer was to listen to the godphone messages and to have those conversations and to go to the astral more frequently. Bitterly, I would give in to each impulse to discuss, to go, and ten times more bitterly, I would come from those sojourns knowing that I was failing somehow, somewhere, in some way…

Whether or not my OTHERS™ saw it as that is irrelevant here. I know for a fact that they were quite all right with my going off to do the things. However, I was not all right with this trade off. I know that it works in some peoples’ practices, but not mine. I’m supposed to be creating a fluid practice based on laity for all and sundry to pick and choose from. I’m supposed to be the keeper of the faith – the person who tells everyone, “Hey, yeah, it sucks but you have faith in your gods, right? So keep it going.” I’ve still been sending those messages, but I no longer feel like I’m as full of faith as I used to be. And damn it to fucking hell, that fucking bothers me. That’s the whole point – to me and my thoughts – in this shit, “have faith.” And if I’m having some severe troubles with the “have faith” message I try to pass around, then I think there’s a huge fucking problem. No matter what my OTHERS™ may think or feel on the subject, this is about me and what the hell I had initially wanted when I entered this whole religious sojourn.

So, I asked for a break.

Not in so many words.

How do you convey to your gods that you can’t do this anymore? How can you really just sit down, look them in the eye, and say, “I need a time out. Please put me in the corner.” That statement makes it sound so, so easy and it’s just really not. After years and years of wanting this whole kind of experience – and getting it – I was asking for them to kind of take it back. And it wasn’t like I was saying, “for right this second” or “for the next few months.” I was just thinking that I needed a huge break. The volume was too high and the words were too painful and there was so much fucking chattering from every fucking corner of my religious life that it was just… eating at me. So, without using words and without really getting into the details here, I kind of surged my feels at all of them. After writing my post about the godphone mess, I just felt all of these horrible, awful things relating to my practice and just kind of made them realize what the hell was going on with me. Why things were slowing down; why I felt like I had no energy; why everything was too difficult to do besides sitting on my ass when I got home from work… I just laid it all out there without thinking or even talking or even asking, but just feeling. That night I dreamed I went to a party with every single one of my gods.

The lwa were conspicuous only in their absence.

I didn’t really understand what it was I was seeing in this dream. All day, I thought about it. I wanted it to mean as a kind of like “farewell, bon voyage” kind of thing. That’s what I was hoping. When I got home from work, I decided I needed to at least ask if that was the case. I pulled cards to clarify. It felt like if I tried to contact them via the godphone thing that I was really just saying, “kidding!” And besides, I had used my cards for so long and had relied on them so heavily. And then in recent months, you know since February or so, I stopped paying attention to them outside of the general deck I use for everyone but me. I just… It’s like this quintessential need to go back to the “simpler times” we hear old fogeys talk about. Yeah, you know… it was exactly like that.

There’s something really meditative, for me, when it comes to reading cards. So, I was pleased with myself when I very easily went running to something that I knew, for sure. I mean, yeah. It’s always possible that I could be screwing up the interpretation. And in same vein, maybe some netjeri takes a hold of what it is I pull and fucks up everything. But, there is just something soothing about the control of being able to, well, see the future for a bit. During the entire reading, as I went through the meaning behind each card, I kept getting this feeling like I had a year to see this reading through to its completion. And you know what? I was pretty okay with that time frame. A whole year to get through whatever it was the cards were telling me? That seemed like a pretty good deal, all said and done.

The gist of that reading? I had to focus on the foundation of my practice. I had to go back to the beginning, sort of. There was more to it than that. The cards all hinted at the return of my energy and a return of my faith, which is an excellent idea if you ask me. But it also told me that it was time to start applying all that I’ve learned, from the books and from others and from various trial and error, to get this cohesive unit of a practice going. It also reminded me that I have a strong intuition – which is where I get the ability to Tarot so effectively, if you ask me – and that no matter how much I cry, later, about taking this back, I had to keep going and trust my intuition. And frankly, unless my gods are planning on smiting me down all wroth like, then I don’t think I really care right now. What matters is that I’m getting what I wanted.

After a year or more of constantly being told I have no choice in anything that gets thrown my way this is… well, it’s a novel experience.

It’s like asking for a lollipop and getting an entire chocolate cake for dessert instead.

It’s time to get back to the foundation of what it is I’ve been intending on building from the get-go. It’s time to remind myself that I am full of faith. It is time to stop worrying so heavily about whether I’m normal or insane. It’s time to get back to it. Now, let’s just see where we should begin…

Shadow Work With the Ex-Husband (TW).

You know how you set down some guidelines or plans to get shit down and then more shit comes in and blows all that shit out the window? Yeah, that just happened. You see, today, I was supposed to post my “offerings 301” post that I’ve been slowly working on all week. I was supposed to sit down and hold some hands (metaphorically speaking) and tell it to you straight. And I’m still going to tell you straight but I think the hand-holding will be more like you trying to comfort me instead of vice versa. The reason being because last night, some seriously fucked up shit happened in my head… all while I was trying to compose a comment to someone else’s blog post. It’s funny how random things like that can cause you to have MIND BLOWING REVELATIONS but it’s the little things, I think, that can bring on the biggest changes. To start this post off, let’s talk a little about my ex-husband.

TRIGGER WARNING AHEAD.

My ex-husband came from a really troubled family. There were four children and two parents trying to make it through. The entire family went shitting down in flames when he was in high school. I’m not quite sure how old he was when his family fractured unbelievably the second time, but I know that the first mind-fuck was when he was a teenager. It came out that his step-father was molesting his sister, who wasn’t really his little sister but due to physiological issues and mental issues she was pretty much his little sister. The step-father preyed on the quietest and most unlearned person in the house to fix his control issues (he found psychological help in jail and figured out what his issues were). The family was completely devastated. The step-father went to jail. The mother went into a deeper bout of depression than she was prior to the molestation starting (which is partly why the step-father preyed on the girl in the first place or so the theory goes). The ex-husband went out to fend for his family. He did the “man thing.”

One Christmas, he came home to find his step-father in his house. There he was, just hanging out like nothing bad had happened at all. He had been the man of the family and then, in one move by his mother’s decree, he was being pushed back into the realm of a child. As if the whole previous situation wasn’t enough to fuck up a young man’s psyche, we can pretty much imagine that not only being pushed back into the realm of “child” after being “a man” can do. And then add to that the fact that his mother was willingly bring the man who had molested her daughter back into their house to become a happy family again and you’ve got some serious fucked up. This is when the family fractured.

The molested daughter was, in effect, kidnapped by the ex-husband’s grandparents to move her out of the situation with the step-father (and on that, I can never truly say if that was a good thing for her or a bad thing for her but I can tell you that they sure filled that girl’s head up with some fucked up LIES about her mother after the fact). The ex-husband wandered back and forth between which side of the family he wanted to be on. He lived with his mom and step-dad, he moved in with his grandparents. When he lived with his grandparents, he had his name legally changed from his step-father’s name to a familial last name (which is my current last name) from two or three generations back. And then moved back in with his mom before moving in with his best friend’s family. His eldest sister was on the fence and came down heavy on the side of her mom and step-dad because they helped her out, cared for her, and didn’t treat her like a “fat slob” as her grandparents did. And his younger brother had no choice, but stayed in the care of his mother and father.

END TRIGGER WARNING.

So, the family is all fucked up and the ex-husband has “the one who got away.” This happened in conjunction with the entire family’s fracturing. She and he had been together since they were freshman or sophomores in high school. They were “meant to be together” or whatever. Their senior year of high school, she started talking to some guy from an online forum the whole group of friends frequented (let’s also keep in mind that I am using the term “forum” but this is before forums, as we know them, happened… so like ’97 or ’98). She started Internet cheating with some random guy before it was cool to do so. She had a really shitty family life – I don’t know or care why personally – and she decided to run away. So, the father files a police report about her running away since she was only 17 and the ex-husband is called in to unlock her computer for the cops. So, not only does he find out she was cheating on him after he bought her a platinum diamond ring but he also has to print out the conversations, line by line, for the police officers. Talk about some serious mind-fucking, right? Right.

Why am I telling you all this? Why am I unleashing a man’s personal secrets in this blog? What did this have to do with anything? I’m saying all of this because I want to paint the picture of the man who I met when I was eighteen and he was twenty-one. I want you to see that what I say about the shadow work that happened isn’t a happy-slappy band-aid to what happened between us. I want you to know that he had issues before everything that went down between us happened. I just want you to know that he was as fucked in the head as the rest of us are and what I’m about to say isn’t because I want to fix it or that I want to be able to look at things differently. I, also, don’t want to paint myself [entirely] in a negative light here, so let’s not think this is all altruistic drivel or any of that bullshit. I just want you guys to know that I got with a man who had some serious demons.

And we were working on them. When we first got together, there was a night that we spent at his parents’ house. He wasn’t all that recovered from what had happened in his family. I remember him being awake and kneeling above me, a butcher’s knife in his hand. “What are you doing?” I remember asking him.

He looked at my funny, like I had said the most retarded gibberish ever. “I’m protecting you from him,” he said to me.

So, no. He was not healed. He was not fixed from his previous ordeals. I did start him down that route. I started to talk to him about this stuff and he was open with me about it. We had good conversations, working through his stuff. Yes, he had issues. And yes, he really sucked at handling women who had been sexually abused. And yes, he probably still has issues. But the thing is, he can speak civilly to his step-father to this day because of me. I think, too, the living in Texas thing helped tremendously. He wasn’t always reminded that shit was so bad or that shit had happened. He could speak to his step-father, or not, on the phone. And there was always the fact that his parents did a lot to help us out. They let us live in their house until we found our own place when we moved back up to MA. They gave us not one, but two cars. They gave us money. So, the distance helped, but I think I had a pretty big hand in it, too. And you know what? The only reason I didn’t want the fracture to deepen wasn’t because I wanted to help him but because I honestly feel like, if you have a dad and the dad is trying to make amends, shouldn’t we at least try? I don’t have a dad so I don’t get that chance. Selfish bitch – that’s me.

(Yes. I know that not everyone’s daddy situation is fixable or amends can be made and all of that. I’m just saying that if the chance is there, maybe it’s not so insurmountable. And no, I won’t comment back to anyone who has anything to say about it because I respect that everyone has different views, different opinions, and different situations. I’m just laying out what happened with me and the ex-husband.)

So, let’s stop getting morose and talk a little about the ex-husband and me. (Okay, so maybe getting away from morose isn’t going to happen here…)

We weren’t good together, at all. If you just look at our astrological signs, it’s pretty fucking obvious. In the western zodiac, he was an Ares and I am a Leo. Those two are both head-strong fuckholes who aren’t interested in listening to what anyone has to say if isn’t telling us that we’re right. (And I should have known this because my mom? Ares.) So, you can imagine the explosive fights over stupid shit and over big huge shit that happened since neither one of us was wrong because our astrological charts say so. In the eastern zodiac, he was a metal monkey and I am a water pig. (Ew. I hate that shit.) So, while I can’t possibly comment on how the eastern zodiac formulated who we are – and I will steadfastly avow that I am not a fucking water pig – I bet that says something to other people out there. But, really, without bringing that stuff into it, we were not good together. We had good times and we probably helped each other out a lot in various ways, but you know, we just butt heads more often than not. I can remember thinking on numerous occasions before we were married that things were over between us. Yeah, if you can think that, then maybe, they are.

And I just didn’t quite get the memo.

Or, he was really good at talking me out of major life decisions.

You know, either one is possible and probable.

So, anyway. Let’s move on to today before we head back in time again.

Today, Lady Imbrium wrote a blog entry that really knocked me for a loop. I was all like, “RIGHT ON, MUTHAFUCKA,” and reblogged that shit like I was a two-bit blog whore. And then I started formulating a response besides the “excellent” I had put up there. I started writing this out in my head and of course, I mentioned my ex-husband because he was a firefighter and paramedic before we got divorced. (I PUT HIM THROUGH THOSE SCHOOLS DAMNIT. I DID IT EVERY FUCKING YEAR AND I WAS GOOD ABOUT IT. I DESERVE A COOKIE.) And that’s about the moment that I had a really fucked up epiphany. That moment is when I felt like my world was swirling all around me as a thought expanded past any comments I may have been making. That thought that expanded and filled my field-of-view for a good fifteen to twenty seconds was, Maybe that’s why shit went down the way it did.

Okay, so here’s this man and I’m with him. And he decides to go be a firefighter with the volunteer department on the island we lived on in Texas. (Yeah, there are islands in Texas and no, not just Galveston.) This meant that he had to get his EMT-basic to continue with the fire department down there. After that, he decided to go into paramedic because, why not? The money was better and he wanted to use what he was getting from the fire department to buy me a house where he could shut me off from my friends and family keep me happy while making me his pretty little arm candy. So, we did the schooling and we moved up north and he got a job at AMR. (If you don’t know what that means, Google fu, bay-bee.) After that, he began looking for paramedic positions and whatnot. But the thing is that even at AMR, he began to change.

The job sucked.

He was just hired as an EMT because he was mid-process with his national certification for his paramedic. In AMR lingo, that pretty much meant that he was driving sick people to their appointments. One day, he came home from work and smoked my entire pack of cigarettes. This was because he got to travel the distance of the entire state with a vegetable boy who had been put in that state because his mom won custody of him and then took a baseball bat to him when she had a psychotic break, after the dad proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she would have one. Yeah, it was a shitty day. Another day, he came home and jumped in the shower with all of his work uniform on (this was at a different city’s company and when he was a paramedic) because he had to work a suicide that was not just messy but fairly ripe, if you catch my drift.

I’m sure there are lots more days like that, but I wouldn’t know about them. Those were the only two instances he ever told me about his day. Otherwise, he buttoned up like “the man” he was. That’s the thing that gets taught to these guys in this line of work that shouldn’t be: you don’t discuss it. To them, you joined the men’s club, so you go to a bar and get fucked to shit and then call your wife to pick you up. Or, if you’re in a small town, maybe a police officer on duty will take you home in his squad car. Whatever. That’s what these people are taught and that’s just wrong and stupid. The ex should have been open about the shit he was seeing and the shit that was eating up his head. But, he was “a man.” And, so he didn’t.

And while I know he had issues. And I know that they were probably around and were causing him to do his fucked up shit (being a control freak, for one) before the job. But maybe he changed so dramatically and drastically in the less-than-a-year we were together and in Massachusetts because of the job. I’m not denying that he wasn’t already fucked up in the head and that, probably, I couldn’t have fixed it. But I think shit went so sour so quickly because he couldn’t handle what his job was and what he was seeing. And in all honesty, I wasn’t the person to help him with that. I wasn’t the person then that I am today. I couldn’t or wouldn’t have seen it as anything more than him being a selfish prick. And while I could help him with his daddy issues and his mommy issues, I don’t think I could have done much more than, “Hey, that sucks. Let’s go out to eat tonight,” to help him out. And it would have eaten him up anyway. And probably me, too.

The thing that this shadow work shit is beginning to teach me is that things aren’t black-and-white. Before today, I would have said that he was an asshole control freak who wanted me under his thumb because then I couldn’t do to him what his ex-girlfriend did to him. And yeah, maybe that is part of it.

But it’s not the whole enchilada.

And that’s something I’m rapidly realizing.

Ganesha, My Hubris, and the Lesson Therein (PBP).

I seem to have a thing for three types of OTHERS™: liminal, destructive, and dead. Okay. Maybe it isn’t really a thing that I have, per se, more like a sign post or a neon flashing sign that I can’t see on top of my brain pan. In any case, it seems to be something that I have inside of me that brings these types of OTHERS™ to my attention. I’ve always had a thing for dead things (being a pseudo-Goth in high school will do that, I suppose). I’ve mentioned the destructive aspect of my personality in conjunction with destroyer goddesses. And then I have this gateway/crossroads thing that brings forth all manner of liminal OTHERS™ into my range of study.

Ganesha was my real and true first, though.

As I’ve said repeatedly (ad nauseum), I wanted to get down with a god. I’m not sure Photobucket what made me choose Ganesha. I suppose the whole liminal deity thing had something to do with it, although I don’t think that was a conscious something. I’ve always enjoyed his imagery, though. I don’t know if it’s the elephant’s head, the raised foot, the multiple arms, the color blue or anything else that I can’t think of when I think of his imagery. It’s just one of those things, I guess.

You know, even as a kid, I was kind of pulled to look at his stuff. Hell, to be honest, even as a kid I liked looking at the Hindu deities. In that case, I’m almost positive that it was because they had so many arms and they were blue colored. Plus, let’s face it: I must have been an idolater from the get go. Getting statues in the shapes of my goddesses is pretty important to me (I like to be able to see and feel who I’m praying to).

So, as everyone else was partying down with the gods they had chosen, I was trying to forge some kind of connection with Ganesha.

I think the very first mistake I made was not learning more clearly and concisely about him. I’ve studied Sekhmet and her imagery for years before I ended up in her care. In the case of Ganesha, I just started doing Google searches, which is how I began with Sekhmet but instead of doing the research on a years-long basis, I did it in a matter of days to a month. I didn’t take the time to learn everything I could about him. I didn’t learn his mythos; I didn’t learn what he is like; I didn’t learn what specific things he’s into for offerings; I didn’t really learn much of anything about him that’s not related to skimming his Wiki page. So, really, there was my first major downfall and my first smack in the face with my hubris: I thought I could get a little bit of knowledge in and then learn it as I went.

I think I felt that I knew it all because I had read a single Wiki page and stared at his imagery for hours. I think I felt that I was king of kings here because everyone else was doing it, so why couldn’t I? And in all honesty, when it comes to my ego, the thing is fucking huge-ginormous. And by that, I mean that it could probably kill a small child just by looking at it with its terrible powerful intent and self-entitlement issues.

The real problem here wasn’t just that I didn’t study. It was just simply feeling very lonely. There’s that song or something, “looking for love in all the wrong places.” That was the actual mistake here. I wanted to be close to something bigger than myself and instead of taking the time, being patient, I threw myself into a direction that was wrong. In all honesty, I think this is a common issue when most people start down a pagan path. The new people read about patrons (as I had) and want to have that type of special connection without taking the time to get there. That was my problem here: I wanted my cake and I wanted to eat it, too.

My second mistake was a major pitfall to all that is me: impatience. I have a really nasty habit where the whole waiting thing doesn’t get done as long as it should. If I don’t find myself with immediate results, then I get pissed the fuck off and just want to destroy Lego buildings while screeching my rage. I’m good at hiding the impatience, but it’s the feelings of wanting to rage around that I have a hard time keeping to myself. I tend to spout out at people without thinking when I get like that and breaking things because of how angst-ridden I am at the moment. This is, actually, how I’ve managed to lose both friends as well as items of mine. I’ve been so busy on feeling the anger of my impatience that I react instead of act.

So, while the Sister and the EM were bonding, I was getting pissed the fuck off. It didn’t seem particularly fair, to me, that they were making headway. (Well, the Sister was making headway. Who in the world knows what the EM was actually doing…) The Sister’s headway was mostly due to meditation, which I’ve never been good at it and I’ve pretty much decided that I never will be. I tried to concentrate and I tried to reach out and all I was getting was a nice little pat on the head. Or, just completely ignored. And it just WASN’T FAIR.

And that’s another mistake right there.

IT WASN’T FAIR.

You see, a big problem (the biggest?) is that I always tend to compare what I’m doing and what I’m good at it or what I suck at it in comparison to what other people are good at or doing or suck at. I think this is actually part of the human condition; we’re all about seeing what other people are up to and wanting to do that, too, even if we’re not able to for whatever reason. One of my friends recently mentioned to me that “the grass is always greener on the other side.” And this is very true of just about everybody I have ever conversed with in my life. “Things must be great over there because they’re doing this” or “that must be awesome because it’s making them happy.” But, just because the grass looks like it is green over there doesn’t mean that it is. All it means is that our rose-colored glasses (or perhaps, it should be green-colored glasses) are glued firmly on our nose and that the grass could, quite possibly, be deader than dead and we wouldn’t know it because it just looks so much fucking better than what we’ve got.

So, with that all not consciously in my brain, I decided that I had enough of Ganesha ignoring me.

I wanted to be able to communicate with him and I wanted to be able to invoke him into myself because I wanted to show that I could do that, too. So. I decided it was in my best interest to get his attention in any way possible. And of course, since I was also feeling that whole raging thing because of my impatience, the best way was not the best way at all. I decided insulting his manhood and generally teasing him was my only option available. Okay, hold on. Let me clarify something quickly here: I didn’t decide it in the way that I consciously thought that was a good idea. It was just something that my brain decided to do because I was an impatient twit.

And the lesson learned?

Insults will definitely get a reaction.

What I had wanted at that particular moment was to prove to everyone that I could invoke a god and get somewhere with said god. And all I managed to do was enrage said god to do what I wanted, sort of. Without planning or forethought or even really preparing for it, he came right on down and took right the fuck over.

I can quasi-remember it. I was on the phone with the EM and the Sister. We were celebrating something or other with one of our patented telephone circles. I was sitting on the carpet in front of a candle and I was raging, silently, at Ganesha to get his attention. And then, the next moment, I wasn’t anywhere whatsoever and something else had a hold of me and was saying rather mean things. The words he spoke in my stead were the absolute fucking truth about what would happen in the next few months, but it was harshly done and I didn’t really know what was going on at the time. I was around, but not really. It’s only been after the fact that I’ve been able to piece all of it together and I have never remembered what was said: only the anger and irritation that was left like a viscous mucous at the back of my throat when he released me.

I had pissed off a god.

The experience left me very shaken. I had never remotely tried to approach a god prior to this and I have never once tried to approach a god for invocation again because of this. Yes, I went about it the wrong way, but the experience was enough to teach me that I needed to be utterly careful. Let’s say that it has left me with a healthy dose of fear at the prospect of letting another god come right on in and take over, even if the circumstances are/were far more favorable.

The thing is that I royally fucked up. I knew that the moment after it happened. I knew that I was damned lucky and that I was getting off light.

I’ve been told that my best bet, at this point, is to ask for forgiveness. Honestly, this concept never came to mind. I guess I never really think of the gods as people and if I had done this to a person, then I probably would have said I’m sorry (at some point). However, when it comes to the gods, seeking some reparation seems like an oddity to me. Wouldn’t he just know that I’m sorry? Probably not because why would he? I haven’t made a single mention of him, except in passing, and in this entry. So, he would have no reason to check in with me and see that I’m really apologetic for my massive fuck up. So, an apology, apparently, is what I need to do.

That’s the lesson, though. The lesson isn’t just that what I did was a mistake and that I should never EVER approach a god like that again. The lesson, really, is that they’re people, too, and their feelings can be hurt by insensitive newbies who just want attention. So, an apology is necessary. When I finally am able to get that off the ground, I hope he accepts.

The Knife is Sharp Against the Man Who Forces a Path.

Recently, someone posted on the Pagan Forum I belong to, asking about whether or not it was standard practice to be attracted to a deity that was not of your pantheon. There have been quite a few positive responses to this thread and it ever grows. It got me thinking when I read it about any attraction or pokes from deities that were not of the Kemetic variety…

I was nosed in the direction of Hindu deities for quite a time. I believe it started when I was living in Texas, but I know that it became a full-blown interest later on. I know that both Ganesh and Kali Ma held a very high interest in my personal and spiritual growth. I also know that Sita, Rama, and Krishna held a certain interest about me, as well. I can’t particularly say that the interest was returned or that I felt an attraction towards these deities. I know I did in regards to Krishna and Kali Ma but the others were completely new to me. I had to read up on them to know anything about them.

At one point, it seemed that Hindu Paganism was where I was headed. Everything was blue and lotus blossom and karma. Ganesh, even, at one point thought that it would be a good idea to take me over for a while so that he could explain to myself, The Sister, and The EM where we were fucking things up. I would like to point out, by the way, that The Sister and I have righted ourselves and fallen out of that muck, but it would appear that The EM never got the memo cleared up. Anyway.

At another point, Kali Ma and her eight arms were all I could see. I saw the long, liquid, red tongue of hers curling out of her extended jaws while her eight arms swayed to the beginning and ending of all things. Around her neck was the skull necklace of her enemies, as she is so famous for, and she was a lot of things to me. However, she always frightened me. Sekhmet may be a destroyer, but Kali Ma is even larger (in my eyes) than my patron deity. I hold respect and fear for Kali Ma and while her interest was appreciating, it only helped to spur me in the Kemetic Direction that I am currently going down.

Anyway, a lot of people talked about their relationships with alternate pantheons and the deities associated with them. This got me thinking…

There’s only a finite number of us that practice paganism and polytheism. Heck, just because you call yourself a pagan does not mean that you are a polytheist. So, let’s just say that 10% of the world population are pagans (and yes, I’m pulling a random number out of my butt here) and only half of that are what you would deem a full-blown polytheist. That leaves an incredibly slim amount of people out there who are saying, “There are multiple gods.”

And now, how many pantheons are out there? And how many gods are in each of those pantheons? Add them up and you got a whole metric shit-ton of a lot. And they need believers.

So, the working theory I have at the moment about all of this is this:

1. You claim to be a polytheist and this incites the interest of all gods around.
2. A particular pantheon claims you.
3. That still leaves a lot of gods that want to be noticed.

So, of course, it makes sense doesn’t it that the gods you aren’t worshiping might give you a nudge for attention now and again. They only have so many people to work with and you look as good as any other. You seem devoted to your personal patrons and you take good care of them. So, why wouldn’t other gods come to you for some nourishment?

And that’s the theory. Other gods come to you, even though you are a blah-blah-blah pagan who only worships so-and-so, because they need us as much as we need them. They crave to be recognized and, like I said, there are only so many of us out there who can do the recognizing.