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Shadowandstar
24 April 2012 @ 06:44 am
 
 
Shadowandstar
Just back from KinkFest (my first time there), which was an incredible, sacred time -- and so much easier than Pantheacon!

I attended with the new man in my life, to whom I am both lover and priestess -- a delicate situation in many ways, but I don't know of any other way (at this time) to do the work I was called to with him. And he is giving me so much in return: enabling me to experience love and passion and touch again after my many years of grief and isolation. LM is still my husband, but X is indeed my lover and my friend. He's doing a lot of hard work -- "Grasping the nettle" as my own teacher would say -- and it's inspiring to watch his courage and commitment. And he's fun to be with too.

Last night and this morning I was given a special blessing by him. Without going into too many TMI details, he taught me a way to experience pleasure that is entirely new to me. Even my beloved LM and Michael, as skilled as they were, did not do this kind of subtle, focused, amazing kind of stimulation while telling me to "relax" and "float" and "just ride it."

This Queen of Swords, despite being very passionate and a sexual submissive, has not been very good at letting go sexually, much to my own frustration and often that of my partners. X has opened up a whole new way for me to experience and process pleasure that makes "letting go" far less of an issue.

It was amazing.

Or did I mention that?

Anyway. . . in the midst of this exquisite pleasure this morning I started laughing -- which threw X off at first, but I assured him all was well. I kept laughing on and off until we were done, and then I explained to X what was so damn funny. . . .

My primary elements are Air and Fire. I don't have a lot of Earth and -- as many of you know -- I can be downright hostile with Water. (And it's been mutual at times, as the multiple floodings of my old basement home can attest.)

A year or so ago I was having a phone conversation with my teacher and Scotty, one of her inner world contacts. I forget the topic of conversation that led up to it, but Scotty told me, through my teacher, that it was probably time I started coming to terms with Water. My response was "Oh no!" and a surge of fight-or-flight adrenaline.

Well, it turns out that X has a lot of Water in him, and the experiences he gave me during the past 24 hours were very much Water-aligned. And it was so very wonderful. And as I was lying there in bliss I remembered that conversatio with Scotty and had to laugh at how sneaky -- and generous -- the gods can be about Their lessons.
 
 
Shadowandstar
21 March 2012 @ 06:30 am
Hi --

Is anyone still here?

I've been away from all my LJ's for months, sucked in by Tumblr, going to grad school (again), having my day job intensify, and finding myself in a new romantic-spiritual-kinky relationship.

My priestess path has been disrupted, but I'd like to think that I'm spiraling in again, going deeper into what I'm meant to be. It's not that I've been "off" the path, as that I've been exploring some unexpected (to me) new unfolding. The new man in my life has been part of this, leading to my deeper initiation into the erotic aspects of my path -- something that has been dramatic for both of us. I'm now trying to integrate these new developments with the basic skills and disciplines of my foundation work -- revisiting the basics yet again while deepening my understanding of this new area.

The Hanged Man has been in my mind a lot these past few weeks: not LM, but the tarot card. In the course of my morning altar work - centered on Odin - I've been reminded again and again that the spiritual path is one that runs counter to the expectations and values of society at large. Along with that I've been centering on a new symbol for my personal path. I don't think I should share the symbol publicly, but it's helping me find the harmony between the disparate aspects of my path and the deities who have been guiding me.

It's kind of ironic. I really like using the term "feral" to describe my spiritual path (heck, my whole life path), but at the same time the Queen of Swords in me likes to have names for things, likes a certain amount of coherent order. By creating a name for my path I don't deny any of the elements I've been taught or preclude future developments, but give myself an inspirational and organizing principle that I don't inherit from others.

I'm hoping this makes sense.

I'm not starting my own "tradition." I'm giving myself a touchstone.
 
 
Shadowandstar
26 December 2011 @ 09:01 am
. . . can be a harrowing thing.

I have been led to connect with a very special man who is at a point of intense transformation in his life, one involving spirituality, BDSM, and his deepest authenticity. I have suddenly found myself combining the role of erotic priestess and spiritual director, and it is both dizzying in its intensity and incredibly grounding in the sense of feeling like I have been led to embrace an aspect of my Work which I have intuited since adolescence but never thought to actually fulfill.

What I am doing looks very little like any description of "sacred prostitute" I have ever seen, but that makes it no less authentic, only that much more unique. There are blessings I am uniquely qualified to mediate -- and there are others I am not. All I know is that last week, as my time with him wound to a close, I felt that I had achieved something very important for myself, that I could in some sense die now, having fulfilled an important part of my mission here. Of course, it is better to live and keep doing my Work. . . but there was still a sense of "It is accomplished."

The "harrowing" aspect comes from my awareness of the profound changes in his life that I did not cause -- they were underway before we connected -- but for which I have become a potent catalyst. I am aware of how very careful I need to be in what I say, for he has invested me with significant authority, and will be vulnerable to mistakes I make. I must be vigilant and attentive in my own devotions and practices to make sure I remain an open channel to the Divine, and not get caught up in my own ego, whether that manifests in reckless pride or fear.

This is where my training as a spiritual director is finally coming into focus, for although there was a limit to what I could learn at a Christian seminary, the principles of direction transcend path. I am even more grateful for having had that experience.

This is also the point where I have started to understand how a submissive woman can also be a priestess. I need to be careful about how much I put into print about someone else's journey, so I can't go into detail, but suffice to say that a puzzle I struggled with years ago has been resolved in a positive way. And I know that without my experience with LM and Michael I would not have been brought to the point where I would have the wisdom to be capable of negotiating this particular ambiguity.

LM and Michael initiated me into my queenship and into sacred sexuality. This man, unknowing, has been the vessel by which I have been initiated into being a hierodule, another aspect of my life which I had yearned for but believed to be impossible. And once again, it is an Emperor who is responsible for that initiation.
 
 
Shadowandstar
27 November 2011 @ 11:01 am
I've been instructed by my mortal mentors (my priestess teacher and my new polytheistic spiritual director) that I need to be concentrating on basic practices right now, especially centering/grounding/cleansing, and (from my priestess teacher) at least weekly meditation starting with four-fold breathing. I've always been lousy at this -- or, more accurately, highly resistant.

I've also been slipping back into compulsive computer gaming -- not complex, creative, strategic games, but mindless solitaire games with pretty lights. This is not good.

The background from last night.Collapse )

This morning, when I sat down before my altar, the first thing I noticed was the drink offering to Tiwaz which had been sitting there for a couple of days. In the past, I'd let these sit from Tuesday to Tuesday, but I've recently read about letting it sit for 24 hours and then removing it, which made sense. As I moved the stale drink off the altar, I heard Tiwaz say that I should refresh it. That made sense, so I did.

As I went to the refrigerator, Odin said He wanted a drink offering as well, although He didn't specify what He wanted.

I still wasn't completely awake -- and, honestly, His tone didn't sound serious as much as poking. While I would hesitate to describe the All-Father as sounding "bratty" there was a kind of "Pay attention to me too!" tone in his voice that seemed strange. Please, just let me get this straight, and I'll talk to you about what You need, I begged.

I gave the fresh drink offering to Tiwaz and my attention was then directed to the dust on my altar. I sit there every day, but my housekeeping is not the best. Dust should not be allowed to gather on the altar! Odin chided. Okay, I'll clean it later today, I replied, and tried to settle into my usual devotions -- but He kept complaining about the dust, again in an almost whiny way.

I started thinking WTF? This is not how He usually behaves or sounds!
In the past, when He has wanted me to do something He tells me straight, like a boss or father. He doesn't sound petulant and nag.

It felt like I was being poked and shoved and harrassed. I was off-balance and doubting my inner hearing, but at the same time believing very strongly that I was indeed hearing Odin.

So I said, Give me just a minute, please -- and I collected myself and started doing four-fold breath.

As I centered and felt more calm, I could practically see Him nodding. This is what you're supposed to be doing, He said. This is what you need to do when emotions come up that you know you need to face, but are afraid to. This is what you need to do when you know you need to shut down your computer and tend to your Work. This is what will keep you centered and on course -- not just when you 'do your practices' but any time you feel yourself out of balance.

He had the grace to sound more approving than smug -- although there was certaainly a twinkle in his eye at the way I had so neatly fallen into His set up to learn the day's lesson.
 
 
 
Shadowandstar
10 November 2011 @ 06:52 am
This is sovereignty: You decide, then you act.

- LM



Note: These are not the final words on either of these topics this morning. They are for me to meditate on and consider.
Tags:
 
 
Shadowandstar
10 November 2011 @ 05:57 am
My people can not be afraid.

- Odin
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Shadowandstar
15 October 2011 @ 10:18 am
Today may be the first day since LM's death that I feel gratitude for being alive.

Over the past few weeks I've been reconnecting with my erotic nature, and it's been extremely nurturing to me. Add to that my intellectual pursuits, greater satisfaction at work, a resurgence in my creativity, and it's as if the shattered, scattered pieces of myself are being drawn back together. Instead of feeling empty, lonely, lost, overwhelmed, I feel depth, power, harmonious complexity, and solidity.

My gratitude came from having been able to reach this point. If I had died when LM had, I would have left this world being far less than I have become over years since. It's not about power or greatness, but about fulfilling the promise of myself, a promise that would have been only partially realized if I had passed with him. I want to grow and become all that I can before I pass over, learn all that I can, work off all the karma I can, provide whatever help and support to others that I can, before I pass beyond the veil and have to give an accounting of myself and the gifts I have been given. Before LM and I face together what comes next. I want to bring him -- and leave behind in this world - the richest Me that I can.

I feel myself becoming, in actuality, the person I have dreamed and groped toward being -- someone I caught glimpses of, had intuitions of, but could not have forseen.

I was sitting in front of my altar a little while ago, as all this welled up within me, and I bowed my head before Odin and thanked him for all that has been happening since He came into my life. He lifted my chin so we were looking at each other, and said, "We have work for you to do."
 
 
Shadowandstar
09 October 2011 @ 09:25 am
I have been learning quite a bit about myself over the past few weeks: how much I still need the challenge of intellectual pursuits, how much BDSM nurtures me even in the absence of a romantic partner, how my priestessing can work, where I still need to grow in terms of handling conflict with others. . . .

Two or more years ago, while shopping for Winter Solstice gifts for my teacher, I found a beautiful dragon pendant: silver curls with amber insets. It was expensive enough that I would not have bought it for myself, but I thought she would like it. But when I was assembling her gifts to send, it just didn't seem to fit. I took a chance on spoiling a surprise, called her, and asked if it sounded like something she would like. She said, essentially, "Thank you, but no -- not my style."

That pendant has sat on my dresser ever since. Until yesterday. And today. My dragon is rising. Rising in response to the intellectual challenge of graduate school. Rising in response to Odin's presence in my life. Rising in response to putting my body on the line in BDSM scenes. Rising in response to being called beautiful and hot and desireable. Rising in response to facilitating a public sacred sexuality group. Rising in response to daily spiritual practice which I created. Rising in response to reconnecting in new ways with some of my fundamental archetypes and mythic meta-story. Rising, rising, rising. . .





"A New Beginning" by Katerina Romanova
 
 
Shadowandstar
03 July 2011 @ 07:52 am
From Odin this morning:

Before anything else: your gods, your husband, your daughter, your ancestors.


I need to connect and center on what's most important, what's foundational, for me before I reach out and start connecting with others through my internet communities -- which is the backward way I've been acting for the past several years.

Also: now that I'm in a place where I'm no longer starved for energy and emotional stability, it's time for me to start finding out what the gods would like from me in the way of devotional practices and offerings.

Connecting with my ancestors is a whole new area of my spiritual life, and it's progressing slowly -- but it is progressing. I've found a place for an ancestor altar, and I'm starting to trace back my family tree -- which is surprisingly easy, given a good genealogy program attached to one of the major genealogy websites. It turns out a lot of my extended family has done a lot of research and made it available to share. I'm starting to learn about where I came from.

My mom has just put a lot of effort into make a whole series of family scrapbooks, and I'm going to find out what I can about my ancestors through those -- and hopefully get some scans of the photos. I also have living extended family in the region who might be able to share photos and stories with me.