Friday, February 17, 2012

Where there's smoke there's fire...

"Where there's smoke" is the beginning of the saying "Where there's smoke, there's fire," meaning that if there is telltale evidence of some event, the event is probably occurring. ---Wikipedia

Let us be honest, the above is not always the case.  In fact, if you have ever played the gossip game with friends you laughed uproarisly to hear that "doris had an abortion after getting rid of her lice" when it started out as "Doris is looking gorgeous today, I wonder what they put in her rice?".  See they sound similar...but the meaning is really not the same.

Most Highpriestesses will never be as famous as the women whose pictures I will post in this blog (this is Selena Fox btw); in fact their pictures may never come up in Google Images or Photobucket when a search is performed but this does not make their calling in life any less relevant.  I am not sure what it would :"Feel like" to be so famous that you could not walk anywhere without people noticing you but as Clergy of a church I got a little taste of what it is like living in a goldfish bowl.

What is a Highpriestess?  Well, in many religions men head everything but in the Pagan/Wiccan/Witch religion if there is a group formed a Highpriestess is usually the one behind it and cheering it on.  She in turn, usually picks a Highpriest to work with her to serve as the consort (or perform the role of the God) the role of Highpriestess is so important that in the Tarot deck there is a Highpriestess card...but if you notice; no Highpriest.
Highpriestesses come in all shapes and sizes, and it is usually assumed they have trained for three to five years with a Highpriestess, elder, Highpriest, or group to share their traditions with others.  Of course, this is not always the case.  I have known some fabulous Highpriestesses who had no teachers, just literally had a gift for it and made it up as they went along and the Gods blessed them just the same sending them hundreds and hundreds of students.  Those were back in the days where there were not so many teachers, or Highpriestesses and it was not "cool" to call yourself one or "run an occult store".

Highpriestesses get a bad rap alot.  People seem to see them as "controlling, lazy, bossy, and obnoxious" or at least this is what you hear people say that refuse to join any type of group format when it comes to Wicca/Paganism/or being a Witch.  Yet, they do not seem to notice, they are disciplined, very protective of their tribe, teachers who share what they have learned and know for hundreds of people, constantly working even into their sixties and seventies to give birth to person after person who are really "excited" about "discovering" a new path; this does not count how many living rooms or basements or kitchens or bathrooms they have devoted to "pagans" and money they have invested into their Gods.  I mean where would we be as a religion without Priestesses?  It is almost like saying where would we be without the Goddess?

Priestesses can be intimidating, and intense, but they also can be (and most I know are) very loving, motherly, nurturing, concerned, constantly aware, open to new ideas, and an example of what an independent thinker and human being are.  Now, like you all I had in my mind when I became a HPS (this was me thinking of me growing up as a witch) what I would look like, and how I would act, not how I would boss, finally be in charge, and not take crap from anyone.  Unfortunately it seems I get to"eat more crow" and "take more crap" being a HPS than I ever did as just a cute little witchling...but then I also get more credit and praise than I probably should at times also..since I DO HAVE some fabulous luck and wonderful students.

It washes out, and NO I did not grow up to look like the Highpriestess Tarot Card all regal, still, quite, and patient.  I was still the small, wiry, animated, bright haired crazy child only older...and that apparently is why the Gods have a fabulous sense of humor! My teacher was quite, patient, matronly, and felt like a Goosedown pillow.  My Mamaw was small wiry, a fireball, had crazy hair, intense eyes...and wait...I look alot like her!

So, for all you HPS out there...hang in there; you are doing good!  It does not matter if you win a popularity contest; what matters is that you love your Gods and that you listen, and you try your best.  Don't be too hard on yourselves!  For you of you that are NOT Highpriestesses please be nice; try to remember these are humans serving humans and their Gods and trying to do the best they can...and never for monetary gain.  If you have a problem with authority; that's fine but don't join a coven and cause strife.  You know you do not like groups or leadership this does not make you "bad" it makes you know yourself.  However, if you could lay your personal fears aside and try to learn for a little while...that might not be "bad" either...just saying :)

Now this-----------------------------------------> is my favorite Highpriestess picture it is Yoko Ono wrapped in toilet paper at an Art Exhibit and I swear she calls herself a "Highpriestess" and I think that is sort of cool.  Something to relate to, be proud of, and make me laugh...but then I have a weird sense of humor.

What is your impression of Highpriestesses?  Where did you get it from?  How did you if you are one, like the role?

Thanks for reading!  Thanks for sharing!  Thanks for being such a delight!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"I would not give her a drop of water if she was in the Sahara Desert..."

Life is a funny thing.  I, like most children, think it should be painted in broad strokes beautiful like a Monet painting or Vangogh.  It seems as if it should be messy, defined but not defined, open to interpretation and beautiful no matter what.  Unfortunately, it is many of those things...but not many of those things.  People, as we grow older, obviously change you see that they have grown taller, broader, bigger, greyer, and more wrinkly.  Thus some of their changes are evident on the outside.  This should be our warning, our big wake up call to adjust but like most children we think that we continue going on in the same vein; dancing with whirlwinds when it is time to come inside and do some homework.

My parents are getting older.  In my mind they still look the same, but when I see them and do not just glance at them with the eyes of Monet I can see that they are very close to a threshold I would rather not think about.  Five years ago, I still held grudges against some of their childhood rearing styles.  Ten years ago, I was still hurt and confused about some things.  Fifteen years ago I was still holding it against them, and twenty years ago I was angry at them.  Now, I see them and I feel love.  No, I have not forgotten that my Dad was too busy to be home or that my Mom had a terrible temper she took out on her children.  It is as if none of those things matter now, because as time has passed I realize I too have made some of the same mistakes; and some of these I have not because they made them for me. 

Sometimes, in our craft you find that people seem to have "unrealistic" expectations or "biased" interpretations of what to expect in a person.  For example, I have noticed a big trend on the internet to think Highpriestesses are mean, expect you to kiss their rings, never do the work of the cleaning up and setting up and are just "witches" with a b.  I happen to wear that hat, and when I meet people have to overcome their "prejudice" or "assumption" of what I am all the time.  On the other hand, they also expect me to have "powers" beyond their wildest dreams and "know everything" and be able to "give them spells for anything they want".  These too are misconceptions about the craft that are just as addled as the first.  I have some people I keep in touch with on facebook that were once young-uns that I shared things with (not only my life) and listened to, and taught what I knew at the time as their Highpriestess.  Not all of my older students do I keep in touch with, but at Yule when I get cards "unexpected" from Canada, or the UK, or Chicago, or New Jersey, I get all teary eyed and smile because they remember me and I think they might not expect me to be perfect.

Sometimes, you find that those you had the biggest conflicts with and tangled with the most might have become the greatest human beings and pagans you worked with.  This, in itself is a surprise because you cannot seem to understand how the "witchling" you thought would be a super bad ass witch became a "republican conservative" married with two children and a mortgage and car and does not practice, yet the one you thought for sure would walk away and never pick up a wand was the student you probably should have poured more into.  Life is funny that way. With age comes wisdom so now I find I try to give each student what they seem to need, and listen more because I never know whether this path will be theirs twenty years from now...but I pray it is.

  I also have noticed, that the ones that I tangled with to make sure they got the "ethics and rules" right, constantly making them stop and think before acting have become the ones I also was "the harshest" with.  I subconsciously over compensated out of fear about what would happen when I was not there to ask them, guide them...and so they were "probably mother henned" to death. Some of them probablly think I was the "toughest" HPS they ever had, never giving them a break, always asking them tough questions, expecting impossible things from them mentally and spiritually.  However, it should be noted some of these same people just sent me pictures of themselves married with babies this yule.  This made me smile. I pray that those who never send me Yule cards, or birthday cards when they look back forgive my youth and "harshness" and realize that like my parents I was trying to do the best I could; and at the base I loved them from my heart...which was full of love for the Goddess and from the Goddess for them.

I am a much better person now, than I was then.  I am a much better Highpriestess now than I was then.  I was not a bad person then, I was the best I knew how to be.  My parents are much better grandparents than they ever were parents.  However, with age I know they were the best parents then that they could be.  They are much better parents to me now than they ever knew how to be then. 

A new class is starting up for me in a couple of weeks, new students with new expectations and I have been told they are a "bit scared" of me.  These are not newbies, they have dwelt and devoted at least two years of their life to the Temple and I was saddened but amused by this "admission" by one of my fellow Highpriestesses.  It seems one can never truly escape "stereotypes" but one can try to "correct them" by "correcting themselves".  I wonder if any of this class will send me Yule cards ten to fifteen years from now with pictures of them smiling in front of a big yard with a dog and a partner? Better yet, I wonder which one of them will be still be walking this path and which ones I should have spent more time with; and poured more love into. You see I do not know that I?

Life swirls together like a Monet Painting it twinkles like "starry nights" by Vangogh; and the closer you look at it the more "swirly and gloppy" it seems to get; but when you take a step back, or look over your shoulder you start to realize that the person you thought might be something or really a masterpiece that you did not get or understand but you did know belonged in an Art Museum. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Love, is a multisplendored thing...............

Love.  I typed in Love and Love poems in the Google search engine, and found a remarkable result.  Most love poems are written about lost love, longing for love, regret and love, abusive love, or hot steamy sexy...but while that is a form of love; it was not what I was looking for or how I think of love.  Do not get me wrong I know there are many kinds of love, and I was more interested in attraction, happiness, coupling, commitment love.  These are all separate facets of love, and right here I want to state so are the others.  For you cannot know what "good love" or "healthy love" is if you do not experience painful, angry, or unhealthy, love at some point in your life .  But since this is my blog, and you are reading it I am going to say,.....HELLO, WAKE UP you write Your own blessed love story!

Yep, that is right.  You write the lines, you pick the actors, and you choose whether your love will be a passionate drama where it ends tragically or whether it will be the kind where the two of you grow old together; for you truly are the DIRECTOR of your own life.  As a Pagan this principle is re-inforced to us and in our workings time and time again.  You draw to you what you are and you get back what you send out.  If I am asked for a love spell, which only happens occasionally now, I always tell the person to write a note on the mirror that says "I LOVE YOU" and look themselves in the eyes while saying it.  Then for them to stand and look at the feature they "dislike the most" about themselves (mine was my nose) and tell it how lovely it is.  This is a long process until you can say "I love you to the top of your head to the bottom of your feet."  Thus, in some way you are love spelling yourself.

This is crucially important for if you cannot love yourself,  how in the world do you expect someone else to love you?  How do you expect to know how to tell someone how to love you?  How can someone else give to you, what you cannot find within yourself?  (Yes, this is the gift of the Goddess)  I do not mean "fake bravado" where people say "i love me" by posing duck bill faces or smooching the camera but REAL love, the kind that comes when you have "made a mistake" or "let yourself down" and yet you gently caress and tell yourself..."it is okay, no one is perfect".  The kind of love that we are taught to receive from a God or a Goddess because for some reason it is so much easier (we think) to receive from a perfect something a perfect ideal.  Yet, the irony being...they love you no matter what!

Yep, you heard me correctly the irony in all of this searching, working, yearning, panting, walking, reading, learning, is this truth....ISIS LOVES ME.  She loved me before I knew her name, she loved me before I was a Highpriestess, she loved me before I was a Pagan, she loves me now when I am her Priestesss, she loves me when I am depressed, she loves me when I am sick, she does not care if I yell at her from time to time because she finds that amusing too!  I do not have to be anything other than the creation I am for Isis to love me...but it is with this "aha" moment that I start to become transformed truly.

Granted, I will admit to you when I realized a Goddess like Isis chose me it made me want to change to be worthy of her love and admiration and trust.  I found that like when I had my first child, and now my second, that for some reason I wanted to be the best Isis lover she had ever had.  Thus, I started to study her, and talk to her, and give her offerings, write her poetry...court her.  Then years later I worked to be share her with others in a positive light, and to give her credit for all I do, to lend her my body and spirit so that others see her through me;  but technically I did not have to do any of these things for her to love me. HMMMMMM now how does that transform your idea of love?

A few weeks ago I really understood this, I had been processing it and chewing on it in my mind for quite some time.  At some point I had stopped being "awed" that Isis had chosen me, or "amazed", I was so busy talking to her and listening to her, and walking with her, that I forgot how "awestruck and starstruck" I used to be.  I was worried about this and then I heard her share the words "I love you, don't worry so much.".

I did not stop loving Isis, my relationship had just grown and developed into something lifelong; in a way I had come to "really understand and believe" she would be with me "no matter what".  This made me think of how "un-perfect" I am; and how much more about myself I am striving to "fix"; but also made me see how much "better" I had become and how "proud" I was of some of my growth.  Loving Isis had transformed me, or was it her loving me?

A mentor of mine once told me the irony of love is that it, like you, changes meaning as you grow. I realize now how wise she was.  I love my children, I love my husband, I love my true very close friends, I love my God and Goddess, and my parents and siblings the love I have for them is so deep it cannot be tapped or located, it is underneath the ocean, thicker than a glacier, strong like the core of the earth, brighter than the sun, and receptive like the moon.  It moves me like the tides to act and reciprocate, to do without thinking, to give without thought of receiving, to fill greater than my physical body and united with all the particles of my being in moments that are bigger than I could ever describe.  This to me is love.  It is no tragedy, it can be very comedic, but it is definitely not hurting, pain, bitterness or anger.  It is not full of ultimatums or bullying, and does not expect perfection or place impossible standards or burdens upon lightens your load.

It is said, that when you ask for something the Universe heard you and you must be open to receiving and reply" I am open, I am ready Universe!" and get out of your "own damn way" to receive that manna from the heavens.  To me, I could not really receive love until I understood what it was, got out of my own way and let it transform me and guide me.

What do you consider love?  How do you write your "love story"?  Do you look at the people around you and realize that you drew them to you by "sending out" your love for yourself?  This week, think about love, decide what that means to you, what it feels like, how you want people to express it to you, and "love yourself more" when you flub up.

Thank you for the gift of your time, and remember YOU are perfectly loved, and perfect love!