Saturday, October 30, 2010

Delos Gaia Rite to Hades and Persephone

Today, I attended a very small ritual dedicated to Hades and Persephone as Lord and Lady of the Underworld. The Priestess set up a tent in the back yard close to the Nemeton in which she had created a dais and feasting table for the King and Queen. During the rite, those of us who felt called went into the shrine room and have a private audience with them. Being a devotee of Persephone, there was no question about my willingness to meet her in this way.

I immediately noted how quiet the "room" was compared to the roaring wind and fire outside. There were dishes and goblets set at each place surrounded by crystal skulls, tea lights and fresh flowers. There was a single bowl of pomegranate seeds placed on the side of the table, the very seeds that I had brought, taken from the fruit by my very hands. The chairs were draped with furs, and the lingering smell of incense served to sweep the mind away.

I focused my intentions on Persephone and called out to her in my heart. I waited until I felt myself dissociate, and then I spoke her name. The following is the UPG I experienced, both unexpected and encouraging.

"Persephone," I spoke aloud, kneeling before her shrine. "My Queen, I honor Thee."

"Tell me, young one, what have you learned of the seed?" Persephone asked of me. I was not expecting to be questioned.

"The seed. The seed possesses the energy of transformation, of things yet to come; it is the embodiment of potential yet unfulfilled," I answered.

"What does this mean?" She asked.

"Energy of transformation is the driving force behind internal change. The seed within holds the tools one needs to do the internal work during the quiet times," I answered again.

"And?" She asked further.

"As long as the seed remains within, there will be further growth and change," I answered.

"What have I shown you?" She asked. I answered. "Good," she said. "Now, what do you offer?" My eyes were drawn to the bowl of seeds.

I took up three seeds in my hand. They were wet and cool and full of mystery at that moment. I ran through the last several years of lessons and deeper truths and was caught up in the memory of a lesson on cycles, death and rest, rebirth and inspiration, and I spoke to her of a continued vow to follow these cycles as they present themselves in my life. I spoke of quiet times to turn inward and vocal times to share my learning, and as I opened myself to my fullest to offer all that I am to her, I ingested the seeds.

After a moment of almost dizzying stillness, I began to return to a normative state. I had not spoken with Hades, but I never do. I am not his, and this is how things are between us. I thanked them both, for I do know him to be attentive and quite deserving of my respect, and I took my leave of the Lord and Lady of the Underworld.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Gift of Hope

Those of you on my facebook may have seen the announcement posted yesterday about my Timmy getting into the REACH program. It is an intense behavioral intervention program for autistic children that involves very small group dynamics, personalized instruction, OT/PT, speech therapy and immersion therapy involving playtime with normally progressing children in the school.  Timmy's room will have six children,and two teachers, and the specialists will EACH see him almost daily.

I almost fell on the floor when they called to tell me he got in, but I was literally reduced to tears during the three-hour parent session today as my heart filled with joy. His OT and speech therapists from his current school were in attendance, as well as the new teacher and the phsychologista for the school and the district. They gave us the results of his most recent ETR, spending 45 minutes telling us the progress he has made. They showed me a paper on which he has written his name from memory. He folded it in half. One side said, "Timothy" and the other said, "Tim Tim" (that's what Jessie calls him). 

The district psychologist referred to Timmy as a high functioning autistic, and from that moment on, my heart was overflowing. "High functioning" is what you want to hear when you are told your child has autism, because those two words denote a syndrome that can be compensated with behavioral training. In other words, it means Timmy has a chance of getting better.

I was assured Timmy would learn to speak and to use the potty very soon among many things I never thought he would be able to do--let alone by the end of Kindergarden! When the other five kids came into the room (we ran a little over with our tour of the room), I was surprised to note how similar they look to my Timmy. Not knowing any other autistic children personally, I didn't know they had a characteristic look about them. A little boy walked right up to me and said, "hi." He even sounded like Timmy. Then, I noted that these kids, these five-year-old kids, were reading their schedules and starting their day while I talked to the teacher. Yes, reading. She told me Timmy will do all of these things, too. And more.

I walked into that school with my guard up waiting for a list of things he cannot do to be read aloud to a room full of strangers, but I walked out with a handful of resources that I've been asking for for three years and a heart full of hope.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Liturgy Practicum and Eldest Minion

I have just begun working on the Liturgy Practicum for the ADF Initiate study program. This course is designed to help you create a working home practice for your spiritual work. I haven't been working on much of anything recently, and I am looking forward to the motivation of journal requirements to light a fire under my spiritual, uh, self.

My oldest son is going to be evaluated for Asperger's Syndrome. I think this is one of the best things that has ever happened to him. He was surprisingly animated when I told him he may have a diagnosable condition. I think that having an explanation for why things are so different for him is more appealing than I realized. He has been very happy since I talked to him about it, and he even wants to change schools, if he can. Eldest minion is growing into such a wonderful person. I do hope this will open some doors for him. He's been knocking on them for so long....

All is quiet here on the home front, otherwise. Three more weeks of clinicals. November 12, here I come!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Loss and Love

The fact that I don't feel like writing says to me that I should. I've been avoiding a post because I don't want to be a downer all the time. I have been feeling almost overwhelmingly sad from time to time recently. I really miss my Mother-in-law, and there are a lot of reminders popping up. I talked with my son about when he was an infant. Oh, Gods, how she loved him! We told stories and laughed and then I excused myself casually to go cry alone. And cry I did. I've not cried like that in ages, and I am starting to think that I let out a lot of pent-up emotional garbage that I've been carrying around. So many people I know have experienced loss recently, and it tears my heart to see them grieve. I pray for healing for all of you.

I've learned a lot of things about relationships, what works, what doesn't, how important little things can be, etc, but the most important lesson I have learned is in regards to appreciation. We as a species are prone to taking things, particularly people for granted. Why is it that love, much like life, is only treasured when it is fragile? When it's strong, we assume it will always be there and go about our days. There is worth in more than just those things that are delicate. Maybe what is weak right now is me, and therefore everything seems much richer and more vibrant by comparison. Whatever the reason, I am spending the day being grateful for the wonderful gifts--things and more importantly, people--that are in my life.

Don't worry. I am doing just fine. I'm just missing some folks who are/were very important to me. Sometimes, there's a hole, and it takes a while to fill it with all my favorite memories.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Day Full of Joy!

I attended my first pagan wedding today, and the newly weds are both dear friends of mine. It was absolutely beautiful. Seeing a wedding done in a pagan format and calling on the Kindred that I honor in my personal life during the ceremony made the expereince far more powerful and meaningful than I anticipated. I am grateful to have shared in this special moment with them.

The icing on the cake is that the bride walked down the aisle to a piece of music that I wrote! Yesterday, when we were setting up and doing the rehearsal, I was introduced to three people as "The Composer." I still don't quite feel like I deserve that title, but I am realizing that to most people, that is probably what I am. In my head I have a very strict vision of a composer, like Beethoven and Mozart. Perhaps it is time to widen my frame of vision, yes?

It was a little stressful with more things than I wanted being done "on the fly" (I am way too organized for that, lol), and I had some personal (and mostly unrelated) tension I was burying while I was there. As we were driving away after a full day of love, laughter and fellowship, I asked my dear friend to pull some runes for me: Othala, Ancestral Inheritance (read: learning from the past); Wunjo, Joy; and Ansuz, Communication. I feel pretty good about that.