Spiritual musings by the resident ChaosCow.

It’s been a long while since I’ve updated, though this weblog has not been forgotten!

I’ve moved off of the WordPress site and onto my own, Sit Down Parakeet, hosted by an awesome local Harrisburg-based small web-hosting company Fresh Roasted Hosting(Full disclosure – Fresh Roasted Hosting is owned and run by my boyfriend, and I am the Social Media Coordinator.  But it’s still pretty awesome, if you’re looking for web hosting I encourage you to check us out.) 

I’ve transferred over all of my content from the WordPress site, so that’s all here.  I do hope I can get to writing again.  I miss it, among other things.

In the next several weeks, a few changes that have been in the works behind the scenes will be coming to light.

My boyfriend has started his own web hosting business, and in support of that I will be buying a couple domains and having him host them. The Rainbow Connection will be getting its own URL, and I will be starting another weblog, Guinea Pig in the City, to chronicle my adventures living Downtown. I don’t know how or exactly when, but there will soon be a virtual move and I’m not sure in what way things will change.

Another change that has happened was that I stepped down as a w’ab priest in the Kemetic Orthodoxy. While my need, desire, and the call to serve my Parents still has a vice grip on my heart, my service going forward will not be the same as it was in that capacity. So this weblog will be shifting focus a little bit as I work with my Parents, customizing my own rituals, and work with Them to figure out where I am to go from here.

I will be beginning 2012 by renewing my focus. Back to the basics, clearer definitions, fledgling expectations that will grow with time and practice. A lot of work is ahead of me, not to mention the learning curve of hosting my own weblogs, but I am excited and can’t wait to find my new rhythm.

Itemizing Love

Last night I went to bed angry, I had angry dreams, and woke up in the middle of the night seething.  I tried getting up to distract myself from the anger in my brain, to not give any more energy to a situation that doesn’t deserve it, but it was to no avail.

I then got angry at the anger, and said to myself, “It’s not FAIR!  It’s not fair that, in my life of ten million things to be happy for, I am wasting my time being angry over this ONE!”  It hit me like lightning, I felt my Mother, Hethert, nodding and smiling at me that I finally understood.

I began listing all of the things I am happy for.  Beginning with my boyfriend, whose strong arm was wrapped around me as he slept. To my cat, snuggled up and purring next to me.  My beautiful apartment, my lovely city, my fantastic friends, my supportive and loving family, my rewarding career, the list goes on and on.  Love, laughter, dancing, music.  As I listed, the anger dissipated.  The situation got so small as to be insignificant once I stepped back to take in the bigger picture that is my entire life.

How does Hethert do it?  Being happy and loving all of the time?  I describe Her always as vast, She is huge and everywhere.  Perhaps that is how She can do it. She sees everything, the whole picture, and sees the beauty of life.  We live down in the weeds, so to speak, so sometimes from our vantage point all we see is this one thing.  Maybe, just maybe if we can lift ourselves up just long enough so that we can take in the bigger picture, then maybe we, too, can see the beauty and love in everything.  And maybe, just maybe, that can be enough to get us through the rough patches.

Will I get angry again? I’m certain I will.  It’s a situation worth being angry over, and sometimes righteous anger is just the fuel needed to help us bust through those brick walls preventing us from moving forward.  I’ll get angry, but I won’t let the anger linger.  I’ve got far too much good in my life to let this one thing waste my time.

Hethert approves.

You? Who Are You?

I’ve been reading the Sandman Comics before bed near about every night, so I really shouldn’t be surprised when I have strange dreams at night.

In this dream, I was sent to give some papers to the Caterpillar. I wander through the hallways of this mansion and find myself in a library full of dark wood paneling and books. The Caterpillar’s guidance was very desired, there were quite a few others already vying for his attention.

The Caterpillar crawled down from a bunk bed and slowly slinked his way through the crowd of adoring people. He was as tall as a man, with a human face and body of a giant blue – but not disgusting – caterpillar. Very “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, but not the Disney animated version. I looked him up and down, but I was more interested in the room itself. The books on the shelves, the furniture, the decorations, the smell, the lighting. By the time my eyes faced forward, the Caterpillar was standing directly in front of me, waiting patiently for my attention to return to him.

“Why do you not stare at me? Why do you look everywhere else? Do you not wish to know me?” He seemed almost amused.

“I do wish to know you, which is why I am looking around,” I explained confidently yet nervously. “I want to get the whole context, of the books and the room and the environment.”

He chuckled at me as I continued. “Because you are so vast, the you I would meet in the kitchen is different from the you I would meet on the street, versus the you I am meeting right now. I want to know you in context.”

The Caterpillar didn’t say anything after that, he just had the knowingest smile on his face. He warmly embraced me with his many caterpillar arms in a soft and friendly hug that felt like home. I woke up not soon after.

This is very much how I feel I have to get to know the gods. They are so vast, everybody experiences Them differently. The only hope I have to know Them is to look at Them through a filter, some frame of context. Some filters can change, others cannot. But to know the pure gods? I cannot. I can only know Them as god-in-the-library, or god-in-the-kitchen. Like the blind men and the elephant, I will never be able to be far enough away to see Their full glory, but at least I can know Them bit by bit from wherever it is I am standing now.

Something interesting happened when I moved from my apartment on a suburban hill to this penthouse in a downtown high-rise: My Parents claimed this City as Their own.

They love this City, and I feel it emanating from Their heart, my shrine in the closet.  Their love expands to all that can be seen and further.  They love the river, They love the buildings, They love the streets, They love the people.  I feel Their love swell strong, and Their love makes me love my home even more.

I look down out the window at the people and the traffic below, bustling to their destinations of work and home and entertainment.  I wonder, do the people know?  Are they aware of the not-so-new gods that are now looking down upon their City with Their Love and Their Pride?

This City and its people are Theirs, now.

I think we are in good hands.

Tell me You love me.
Tell me You want me.
Tell me You’re proud of me.  I need to hear these words, I need to feel these feelings.

Remind me of Your patience.
Provide me with Your support.
Prove to me that I am not alone.  I need to feel Your hands on my shoulder.

The load I carry is immense.

I am tired, help me rest.
I am beaten, let me heal.
Protect me from the chaos, permit me to bask in the peace.

I will do what You ask of me
Because I love You,
Because I trust You,
Because I want to.

I will be the person You want me to be because that is who I am.
I am capable.
I am proud.
I am loved.

I am Your daughter.

An Omen? Really?

I don’t know how obvious it is to others, but I am currently experiencing a “Dark Night of the Soul” of some sort.  I’m taking a break, taking a step back, in order to provide myself the opportunity to take care of a few things.  It’s not that I’m not ‘hearing’ the gods, so much it is that I am not speaking to Them or seeking Them out.

I was reading a book during lunch, and the part I came upon was a section on Omens.  The book  suggested if you wanted to experience an omen, to put it out there to your gods that you want an omen, and to take everything that happened in the next XX minutes / hours / days as being personally meaningful to you.  I felt that familiar, strong, words-not-mine voice inside of my head, interrupting my peace and my thoughts.

“Do you want an omen?” came the words from my Father, thundering inside my brain.  I told Him no, I don’t need one, I can hear Them quite clearly  as it is, thank You very much.  Besides, I’m taking a break.

“You cannot take a break from Me. I am not going to let you. You’re getting an omen.” Then the thoughts-not-mine quieted, and I finished my lunch somewhat confused.

That afternoon was filled with thunderstorms and lightning.  While I do often hear my Father singing in the tremors of the rolling thunder, I did not consider this event personally meaningful.  Only beautiful.  In my car I listened to the afternoon traffic report, then the radio station changed into a new song I hadn’t heard by Colbie Caillat.  She was singing on the radio, “Stop me on the corner, I swear you hit me like a vision.”

I turned a corner and right there in front of me was a full length rainbow, horizon to horizon.  Rain, thunder, lightning, blue sky, and sunlight all combined for this incredible sight.  It was then that Colbie continued, “Oh, this is how it starts, lightning strikes the heart.  It goes off like a gun, brighter than the sun.”

I laughed so hard and felt lighter for it.  It is comforting, knowing that despite how much I may want or desire the peace and quiet, that They are not going to let me go or wander too far away.  I find that rather comforting, in a creepy stalker-ish “glad They are not human beings” kind of way.

I hadn’t ridden a bike since the century began with a 19.  We’re talking close to 15 years.  In August, we went out and purchased bicycles.  My inaugural ride was beautiful.  It was dusk, biking around the city, feeling the cool wind on my cheeks.  We rode quite a few miles.  Upon returning home, I wasn’t more than 15 feet away from the front door when suddenly I saw the ground rushing up to meet me.

I fell.   I was injured.   I named my brand new and newly scuffed Schwinn “The Purple Beast.”

The Purple Beast

I had x-rays taken and nothing was broken, though I’m certain I did some damage to a tendon or muscle in my wrist, and my kneecaps were scraped up pretty good.  My pride took the brunt of the hit, as did my confidence.  I couldn’t get back on my bike for over a month because of my injuries.  Then when I did, my still-bruised pride and confidence filled me with fear.

On the 17th, I went on a group bike-hike tour of a stretch of the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike and through the two abandoned tunnels.   The road was in severe disrepair, full of potholes, gravel and chunks of rocks, fallen tree limbs.  The tunnels were long and pitch-black, the only light source was from the flashlight-strength bike lights we each had.

I was terrified.  I was afraid of falling, I was afraid of losing my stamina, I was afraid of the dark and what I couldn’t see, I was afraid of embarrassment, I was afraid of injury.  I was afraid.

Five hours and fifteen biked miles later (there were stops and breaks for pictures, exploring, and lunch), we were loading the bikes back onto the cars, and I felt fantastic.  Every single fear I had at the beginning of the day, I had conquered by the end of it.   I didn’t fall.  I didn’t quit. The dark had nothing to hurt me. And the only pain I felt was the next day, in the form of a burning arm muscle I assume was from the “don’t fall off the bike” handlebar death grip I kept for the bulk of the hike.

Being out there taught me something about myself.  I conquered my fears not because I didn’t fall, but because I faced them. Just like the dark and a dim flashlight, I still went into the tunnels and faced the unknown.  While I couldn’t see everything around me, enough of the unknown became known. I saw when there was a rock or a hole in time enough to go around. I couldn’t see what was up further, but I was able to see enough.

I suppose that’s much of what it’s like to face fears.  There’s no way to really see all of the time what’s far up ahead, what might happen in the future. Sometimes it has to be enough that we can see what is directly in front of us, and what is happening right now.  Eventually I made it to the other end of the tunnel, which was fully illuminated by the bright sun.  But until I made it through, it was one pedal at a time, one gear shift at a time, one breath at a time.

Weather and other plans have prevented getting back out on my bicycle, but soon there will be an afternoon or evening when I mount the Purple Beast, and we set out for another two-wheeled adventure.  I’m certain I will still be afraid again. That fear will keep me safe, but my desire to conquer that fear will keep me moving forward  towards my destinations.

Besides, I made a promise to the Purple Beast that I would get her dirty again by regular rides and adventures together.  There is much to be seen.

Stabbing the Sky

I am, at the moment, very angry with my Father. And He is okay with that; He actually prefers it that way.

What other choices do I have? Regret? Anger at myself? Anger at others? All of these steely knives ready to slice, where should I turn them?

I choose to turn them upward rather than inward. To stab the sky, instead of stabbing my own heart or the hearts of others.

I am powerless, so I am angry. “Get angry,” Set said to me last night as I was slipping into despair. “Be angry, I did this to you. Stab me, I can take it. I want it. Direct your anger towards Me.” As I tried to take responsibility and absolve Him, He goaded me further, invoking my ire. I stabbed Him, over and over I tore into Him, trying to destroy. Then I slept; I could feel His strong loving arms around me, soothing and invisible, as I drifted off to sleep.

Our anger, our pain, our anguish and despair – the gods want that. Powerlessness can quickly turn into steely sharp blades, which are all too easy to turn on others, or turn on ourselves. Netjer wants us to turn those blades upward, to take it out on Them. They can take it; They want it; They are strong enough and They love us so much.

Bestekeni and I are finalizing a formalization of a “Stabbing the Sky” ritual, which will be shared once it is complete.

Meanwhile, I am still very angry with my Father. And I will be for some time, until situations work themselves out. But He is okay with that.

Today marks my fourth year as a shemsu of the Kemetic Orthodoxy.  Four years ago today, I was divined the daughter of Set and Hethert-Sekhmet, beloved of Heru-Wer, Djehuty, and Amun.  “That’s a lot of god,” I hear you thinking.  Yup, that is a lot of god.

Year One was a year of self discovery.  Year Two was a year of community. Year Three was a year of finding and achieving purity.

Year Four began with me as a freshly-minted w’ab priest.  I had my hands publically washed in front of the community on Wep Ronpet.  One year ago today my life was a heap of bricks, waiting for me to make it into whatever I wanted.  With everything holding me back left behind, I did just that – whatever I wanted.   Slowly, one step at a time, one brick at a time, I  built the foundation upon which I will continue building my life.  I took near the entire year to build this foundation because I intend for this new life to last.

I spent this Year living in Nubia, which is a reference to my Mother, the Wandering Goddess, and her journey to Nubia  where she had to be coaxed back home through bribery and deceit.  Nubia is a wonderful place, full of music and dancing and being care-free. Nubia was where I stayed, affording myself the peace and the joy, which allowed me to rebuild my life.  I found wonderful friends, I rediscovered new passions and pursuits, I fell in love with my local community, and I fell in love with a boy.

But Nubia is not my home.  Once I felt I had things settled and in place, I wandered back to Kemet.  Without bribery, without deceit, completely on my own accord.  This is where I begin Year Five as a shemsu: back home and trying to rediscover my place in it.

Thankfully, Nubia (as I am using it) is not an actual place but is instead a concept, an idea.  Which means that I can carry Nubia with me in my heart, and I will always have access to the joy and dancing and carefree living it promises without having to stray from my home and my family.   Returning from wandering, I brought back with me a secret of Balance.

I have had a working State shrine since January 2011.  I have a beautiful shrine name, and very happy Parents.  As I stand on my balcony, penthouse of a downtown high-rise, and look out over my city, I take stock of my achievements over this past year.  I heave a great sigh of contentment.  I won.  I have everything: two fulfilling jobs  – one as a training lead and another as a priest, I have a beautiful apartment in an incredible location, I have my education and experience, and I have an incredible boyfriend who makes me feel so loved and appreciated, I simply cannot get enough of him.  There is nothing more that I need or want, except to make everything better.

But how do I do that while still maintaining Balance between it all?

That, I believe, is going to be my homework for my fifth year as a shemsu.  I’ve come a long way, baby.

Celebrating four years of making sense as a person. Nekhtet. 🙂