It should be stated that here in the United States of America poverty is directly linked to the Bible Belt. What is the Bible Belt exactly? It is a part of the United States where strict fundamentalist Christianity dominates and dictates life, school educations, and social norms. The Bible belt are the “slave states” that changed into the Bible belt in the latter half of the second century. Of course, we all know that these same states fought it out publicly on television and with the court systems refusing to give other races equal rights, and genders; even after the laws were passed it was not until 1970 that full integration of schools occurred in the South. Because of this, hundreds of churches overnight started and founded schools so that they could keep their white children segregated from the other races. Of course, they argued it was to teach them fundamentalism…but funny thing, I never went to school with anyone of any other race until college. NEVER.
That being said, ashamedly so, I am going to delve into a personal issue that I have this week also shared with the Pagan friends around my age (we are all ashamed of how our parents and grandparents speak of other races and it seems we cannot control them or stop them from doing so). Yep we are ashamed of a part of our Southern heritage, many of us wish we never ever had to see another confederate flag (because it represents to us our ancestors fighting for slavery) or ever have to see another movie about civil rights, or see another collection of “aunt jemima” dolls, or better yet the “slave boy” statues that many people here of means still place in the yards. I wish I could tell you that people in the south do not still try to “recreate the war” but they do, and I cannot figure out why…why won’t they just dig a big hole and bury that part of our history…it is shameful to the future Southerners. We might could forget all about it, if they would let it go and move on with their lives…and I pray to the Goddess the “south does not rise again Hank Williams, Jr!”. Because IF the south won the war, one race would be slaves and I am against slavery.
You see, this is something no one wants to touch or talk about our parents that still say the “N” word or say “colored people” and talk about the good old days; and explain how all the problems in society (meaning the south of course) started happening the day we let “them” go to school with us…because of course they made our children more like “them”. “They” (meaning all other races than white) have also taken our jobs, and caused all the crime, “ all the stereotypes that are negative I can think of are associated with THEM”. Yes, you can still over hear people here saying words that make you blush, or cower in shame. This is why many of us moved away at a young age (me and many others I know), because we were ashamed of our southern heritage, we were not proud of that hicky slang, of the civil war, of segregation, racism, and sexism…we were MORTIFIED and more shamed than a dog that messed on the rug!
I am not mortified any more; nor ashamed of my drawl. I hated the south and my heritage so bad though I tried as hard as I could to get rid of my drawl, and went out of my way to raise my child in a different environment and never use “bigoted words” about other races. I found to my greatest irony that out of all the places in the world I hated I could think of not place I hated more than…Memphis, Tennessee there was a reason for this but once again that is another blog. REMEMBER the Gods have a great sense of humor.
I was angrier than a wet hen about living here, so angry that I could not stop clenching my jaw or gritting my teeth every time someone asked me “what church I went to”* (the latter being one of the top three questions people ask you around here to supposedly get to know you better) I was so angry about being here, that I stayed where I was renting most of the time, and re-decorated that house and yard every day working up a sweat hoping that in between the hard labor and my job I would finally get that anger out of me. I felt there was no one I wanted to meet here, no one I wanted to learn from here (pagan wise remember my Mamaw had died and my pagan buddies not living here), I cockily thought I knew what all southerners were about because I had been raised here, and that if I was angry and pouted about living here long enough the Gods would transfer me. None of this of course worked, but PRAYER eventually did.
I was so angry about being “forced by the courts and life and I felt the Gods” to be here that I even refused to work in the industry I loved but made sure I got a job that would work me physically long and hard. It was if I thought if I were “angry enough” maybe the gods would get the hint and move me out of here, but that anger changed to maybe if I were “mean enough” to myself and did not enjoy anything in the city of Memphis the Gods would pay attention and get me out of here. Ironically enough, the shift of anger and energy was not something I was really conscious of, but was something that naturally transitioned within my being because anger when held on to, and nurtured grows like a virus within you transforming you and making you a person you do not recognize.
I found that when the anger transitioned from clenching the jaw to just digging in a shovel and sweating it out I then was able to cry. Cry, I did as I shoveled, and planted Irises, moved buttercups, and transplanted azalea bushes. I thought I was crying for myself because I felt sorry for myself being forced here…but what I was really crying for was to heal the wounds that I had received or imagined here from childhood that had “skewed” my vision about this area of the United States. When the yard was done that hot, steaming summer, it was gorgeous and I was done being angry; and I was tired of talking about it and crying. I got busy, and I truly and earnestly asked Isis to help me not help me move. Later that day, when I was thumbing through a senseless car magazine a sticker fell out and when I read it I cried and it gave me the shivers it said BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED. I immediately placed the sticker on my car and wrote the words out on sticky notes, and placed them all over my home.
So I asked the Gods and Isis to help me and they told me instead to “Bloom where I was planted” they weren’t going to make my ex-husband move again and transfer me out of here? What was that all about? But instead of being a selfish maiden and demanding my way from the Gods…I stopped, took a breath and listened. I looked at that phrase, saw the challenge and knowing they knew how hard that would be for me took it up. I started going out and doing things I knew I would enjoy, art museums, seeing bands, film festivals. I went to the book stores and started hanging out in the new age section, and the next thing you know I met someone, and she introduced me to another someone, and then I realized I was enjoying myself, having fun, and was able to worship with another group of people once again. BTW that girl’s name was Brenda Waldron and she will never have any idea, how pivotal she was to changing my life at that point on my timeline.
We all started going to open meetups looking for more people to join our group, and then started looking for churches…telling them we were “new to the whole Pagan church thing” because we were, but I was growing, and I had friends, and I had no idea that was how easy it was…because you know I was certain that growing in Memphis, Tennessee was near to impossible. Eventually, I got a job I loved. Eventually I met my husband (at a meetup), eventually I met elders (on a board at a library was a index card which made me call Trudy Herring way before I knew about her church), eventually I started to slowly bloom where I was planted.
Seven years later, almost eight I am married (not buried) a co-founder of a church, own a home, have a new baby, have a pagan community just as good as or not better than the one I knew before, and the Gods and Isis was right. If I stopped ruminating and letting anger tear me up…I would discover my secrets. Guess what? I am not ashamed of being southern anymore! I don’t tell cynical sarcastic jokes about southerners (well unless I have had a few margaritas and I think I am funny which I probably am not)! I find that the drawl that once annoyed me soothes me, especially rolling off the lips of my friends and my lover Brian. If I can do that, anyone can…and I find now that when I am angry it does not well up in me and drive me like a fire…it fizzles out like a match that I struck and the wind blew out. Life is good for me here, I am glad I planted roots here, and proud that finally I am blooming in more ways than one.
SPELL TO TRANSFORM NEGATIVE/ENERGY to POSITIVE energy (originally shared with me by Anne Pelloth)
- let it be noted that originally this spell was created to help you transform energy that is negative beings sent to you and make it positive but I have used it to transform my negative angry energy to positive and it worked just as well*
Items needed: One BLACK jar candle, One BROWN jar candle, and One WHITE jar candle (Table salt or Sea salt whichever you prefer)
I burn sage for purification during this spell on charcoals in my cauldron
Draw a line pointing going from left to right and at the end of that line (this would be the right make a arrow sign >) so it should look like this ---------------à
Place the Black candle first on the left
Place the Brown candle next in the middle
Place the White candle last above the arrow or even after it
*Draw a circle
*Invoke your patron deity tell them the point of the spell and ask for their assistance
*Take the Black candle and pour all your pain and sorrow and anger into it ask your deities to make sure you do not miss a speck of it! SEE the black particles of anger and negativity leaving your body and entering that candle when done place it back on the altar.
* Now light the Black candle and say “this is all my hate, anger, and negativity and I am asking the universe to transform this energy into positive energy…So mote it be”
*Now light the Brown candle and say “this candle transmutes and changes all my negative energy into positive energy to better assist me and the universe…So mote it be”
*Lastly, light the White candle and say “this candle is what my energy will look like once it has transformed and as this candle burns it will release all my positive energy back into the universe and to me, making me the best person my higher self, and deity want me to be…So mote it be”
Have the candles burn all the way down ( I put mine in the shower/bathtub a lot to be safe and because I have to leave and go places) after they have burned down know that everything is better, and that you have within you the power to change negative things into positive.
Lastly, if you were like me and feeling angry, frustrated, or stuck in a situation place or job…remember this one thing. You can always find the best, You can always bloom anywhere even in sand, and Your Gods love you no matter what…but they are not going to give you what you “demand like a petulant child stomping his or her foot” that is not the point of a relationship; and you have to put in time, prove yourself and do it consistently for years until they hand you more responsibility. Hang in there though, life can and will get better and try the spell and tell me how it works for you! I hope that like me, you too learn how to BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED.