Rule #1: Don’t Burn the Witch, Tarot Message

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This blog is the second part to Heron’s Rules of Modern Witchcraft.

…continued to:  Rule #2: Don’t be the Asshole,

Rule #3: Don’t be the Weak Link

Rule #4: Must be Present to Win.

To recap: What I mean by “Don’t Burn the Witch”

  1. Practice basic fire safety with thorough respect for the Powers of Fire.
  2. Do not conjure what you cannot banish.
  3. Begin by healing, loving and respecting yourself. “If that which you seek you find not within, you will never find it without.”
  4. Protect, defend and support your fellow Witches, engaging them with mutual respect, in “perfect love and perfect trust.”

September 23, 2014, after I awoke from the Mabon Day Revelation dream, I grabbed up my Thoth Tarot Deck and engaged Spirit in a conversation about each of my Rules of Modern Witchcraft. I used a spread I developed last year that I call the Witches’ Pyramid Spread. This spread has since become a key instrument in my divinatory practice as it speaks to the evolutionary process and works especially well when I’m reading for magickal people engaged in The Great Work.

Query: What lessons do you offer us through “Don’t Burn the Witch”

Highest Divine Guidance speaks to how we are to apply attention to our outer relationships in society.

Card: The Magus In the realm of thought, Divine is asking us to dismiss what we think we know and begin to WONDER  about the brilliant capabilities, skills and tools we have to share with others, and how we can create the world we desire through clear communication. We are asked how the full expression of our creative potentials can bring us happiness. How can we become fully-realized mages, capable of creating the world we desire?

Card: The Princess of Disks In the realm of will, we are asked to SURRENDER to a new beauty entering our lives; to become the gateway to a new identity, to a new concept. We are asked to rebel against the old ways, and gain sovereignty over what we manifest in the world. We must surrender to the transformative powers of divine harmonic balance.

Card: 5 of Wands: Strife In the realm of emotion, Divine directs us to DARE to overcome restriction, to face the strife of the situation and do something about it, to express ourselves creatively. Face our adversaries and build our strength, gaining dominion, by bravely facing any resistance to our will-power.

Card: Knight of Wands In the realm of the physical, we are asked to RESONATE, to make the quest into the void of potential, applying dynamic forward motion, seeking out and gaining increased insight, resulting in a mastery of growth and development, and changes in consciousness. Be grateful for this gift from existence; every challenge that arises will help us grow. It is our time to reap the harvests we’ve long worked to achieve.

Card: 8 of Swords: Interference Highest Divine Guidance for our outer relationships with society, asks us to relax and trust life; stop worrying so much about our choices. Problems which seem unsolvable will find their solution in their own way. Apply endurance and trust in all that we do. We have a choice to “burn” or to nurture ourselves and our fellow humans. What sort of neighbor do we wish to be?

So, this is my interpretation. What do these cards and messages mean to you? How does this message inform how you would apply “Don’t Burn the Witch” to your own life?

In gratitude, blessed be.

Heron Gets Her Groove Back

mabonHappy Mabon-tides, my witches! I know I’m a little late, but I’ve been out in those fields of metaphor, harvesting all kinds of existential goodies, and getting into Aphrodite’s favorite shenanigans. Oh yes, my dearies, and it was about damned time this dedication to a Goddess of LOVE and PASSION became a joyous good time again.

BEHOLD! The fields of my Great Work finally bore fruit and I’ve been drunk on her sweet nectar for months.  In the dance of this Wheel of the Year, as the lamenting music that led to Lammas waned, and the last sorrowful notes of heartbreak faded into solo acceptance, I turned my view and my feet from the past faltering steps, into the present moment, did a little do-si-do with a bow and a nod to Her harsh lessons, then plunged onward into the reel.

IMG_7880The next steps involved a visit from writer and lecturer Jason “Pan” Mankey of Raise the Horns, who came out from California to teach through The Sojourner. In addition to 4 excellent seminars, he offered us a chance to initiate into the Morrison Clan, the Jim Morrison Clan, with a ritual of music, ecstatic hedonism and an unleashing.  Jason was just the Priest this circle needed to shake things up.  Into our temple he called in Jim as a modern incarnation of Dionysus, Pan, Aphrodite, and Eris Discordia, because if you don’t, she shows up anyway, and we’d rather not have hang-overs, thank you so much.

I know what you are thinking, and you aren’t entirely wrong, but this was some serious business. The ritual was set to the music and the spoken word of Jim Morrison and The Doors, and there was dancing, singing, wine, whiskey, and an excavation of that feral part of ourselves too often buried under layers of reservation, prudence, and socially respectable facades. We let our hair down, unwound, and Spirit moved.

We pledged to enjoy life, to let inspiration flow, to have hedonistic fun, to “drink the good wine to the old Gods,” to let “all acts of love and pleasure be her rituals,” in full-throttle engagement with the ecstasy of the flesh.  All this within healthy balance, dontchaknow, so that we do not flame-out prematurely as Jim did. I mean, good gods, y’all. Gimme some of THAT old time religion!

IMG_8120We each received a strand of mardi gras beads, and a clan name. I was dubbed “Story Morrison,” because I have stories to tell, and I’m often caught retelling them. Um, guilty as charged. But more than that, I think this was the opening salvo for the next phase of story-telling ahead of me, one that I hope is a bit more formalized, and will someday find its way into print. But that is a harvest for another blog….

*This* blog is about how Heron Got Her Groove Back. Note the swiftness of this magick:

Saturday night: Initiation in the Morrison Clan with a re-dedication to enjoying life again.

Monday: Deliver Jason back to the airport with so much gratitude and a genuine shift of perspective, thanks to his insights.

Tuesday: I get the familiar twitchy feeling, that deep longing to go forth into the night and make merry mischief. Basically, the sexy Heron beast within me awoke, stretched her wings and began to preen. I posted this to Facebook: “My kids are out of town with their dad for the rest of the week and I’m seeking shenanigans. I would like to attend to them directly.”

Back to my altar, I renewed the work, I thanked her for the lessons in heartbreak, in ugliness and loss, and I asked that at this time I be given the lessons of healthy love, of beauty and grace with the person correct and good for me at this time.  Oh, and could it be with a playmate who actually lives in my town this time, pretty please?

HAIL Aphrodite, of sensuous pleasure,
who restores my heart in full measure.
I give myself in reverent mirth,
hands, hips, and lips in holy rebirth.
Each little death, sweet sacrifice,
I am your willing acolyte.
As worship, let there be romance,
deep longing met in sacred dance,
to sing in divine duet once more,
I call forth the ideal paramour.
In perfect trust, in perfect love,
No harm to cause, to all involved,
I call the highest good for me,
As I do will, SO MOTE IT BE.

Wednesday: I receive a message in reply to my FB post from the most fabulous, interesting, compatible man I know in this town, asking me to meet him on Friday.  He was once a Gentleman of Interest, that long ago I’d set my sights upon, until I learned he was in a relationship, and had therefore retreated and been effectively avoiding for almost two years. Whaddaya know, he is newly single…imagine that!  As it happens, his previous relationship had been dismantling for just about the same time frame as mine had been…how very…fortuitous!

Since that fateful Friday: Well, let’s just say that since that auspicious beginning, I’ve learned a lot about living in the bliss of the moment, and being grateful for what is unfolding, without putting too much concern into what it might “mean” or where it might be “going.” I’m just too darned thankful to taint this gift with second-guesses. I feel like my wings are fully outstretched in rapturous flight, and I’m just enjoying how this new breeze lifts and inspires me to soar to new heights.

Isn’t the Universe grand in it’s poetry? So long now I’ve danced with Spirit in the Great Work, and even still I sometimes get twisted around and forget how I can trust absolutely Their lead; that all will come to fruition eventually; that all will work out for my highest good in the end, and in alignment with my Divine life purpose. Regardless of what happens from this point onward, I stand in deepest gratitude for that simple reminder.

I celebrated this Mabon with my faith restored, and I am once more fat, happy, grateful and satisfied with the fruits of my labor.

Blessed be.

Divine Love: The Dedication

IMG_7362The Great Work of this turning of the wheel for me has been especially difficult, mostly because it wasn’t at all what I thought I was signing up for, but it never is. I should know better by now.

On the exact day of Yule, at just almost Midnight, my sweetheart presented me a gorgeous ring, and asked that we hand fast at Beltane as a formal engagement for one year and a day, while we figured out a way to get our lives into one state, one house, and merge our families.  You see, we lived over 2 hours apart and there were lots of mitigating circumstances to our romance. <sigh>

I could hear the fear in his voice when he posed the question, there was hesitation, self-doubt, vulnerability there.  I felt it, too.  So many questions, so many hurtles, so many old wounds all of a sudden start twinging. It took a little while, but I accepted his proposal and his lovely ring. Then, just like magick, I pulled out my own ring box, and presented a band of silver I’d bought for him and asked the same questions. (I’m tricksy like that, my precious.)  He accepted. 🙂

The Great Work:

From Yule until Imbolc, as I opened myself to the Wyrd, and the messages of my guides for what my next Great Work should entail, “Love” was the word delivered over and over again. What does it mean? How to live and love in a healthy way? If the married couple is the microcosm embodiment of the Divine Lovers, how do we proceed in our human union as a reflection of our inner divinity?  Better yet, how do I get over my terror of commitment and abandonment fed by the wounds of my divorce? There was much to heal, and I had a hand fasting to plan, y’all!  So, more than just gowns and flowers and rings, I made this my spiritual work for the year.

I started with the foundation premise of my panentheist and Hermetic paradigm, that all matter and energy in the Universe, is the body of the Divine, the ALL, the Prime Vibration, the Source, Great Spirit, etc. “As above, so below: As below, so above.” That it is both immanent in the stuff of the universe, and transcendent with a consciousness and purpose greater than the sum of its parts.

My paradigm is explained through the Hermetic principles, therefore; Divine is expressed through the Polarity of Gender, of male and female, and that all of creation/evolution is the result of their love-making.  “…and where the two are conjoined, there is blessedness.”  In other words, the whole universe is the embodiment of their love for each other; therefore, everything *is* love, and love is the guiding creative force of the Universe;  it is ALL blessed in it’s nature.  Well, that is lovely poetry, and I’m pretty good at holding both poetic truth and literal truth in the same concept, but what does that mean practically?

That’s what I’ve been exploring through the Great Work this turning: *IF* everything is Divine Love, and also has both sides of every polarity in equal measure, *then:*

Love in the Balance
By Heron Michelle

If the Divine is Love, and all is Divine,
the range of opposites entwined; then,
they are all that is light, and all that is shadow,
the incubator, and the gallows;
all that is beautiful, and all that is heinous,
your rosebud lips, and puckered anus.
All that is tender, and all that is brutal,
It is justice, and the loophole.

All that is pleasure, and all that is pain,
They are the rescued, and the slain;
Light kiss of breeze, and ripping cyclone,
the earthquake, and the stepping stone,
a gentle rain, and tidal wave,
the master and the slave,
the beating and the caress,
sigh of delight, and scream of duress,
soft candlelight, and conflagration,
they are the challenge and the explanation.

They are all that is safety, all that is menace,
crimes committed and the penance.
They are the giving and the deprivation,
the effect, and causation.
The feast of plenty and the famine,
the pink of health, and foaming rabid,
they are the splitting zygote, the rotting corpse,
wedding vows, and pen stroke of divorce,
the giggling toddler, and old age doddering,
Love that is futile, and love that is conquering.

If the Divine is Love, and all is Divine,
They are the dove, and the swine;
they are blessings and the admonition,
the victory in the war of attrition;
then love is diversity, and adversity,
the Universe is our University,
both the classroom and the trap
Mama’s hug, and Papa’s strap.

These are such very hard concepts to wrap the mind around and fully appreciate.  How can loss and heartbreak, betrayal, abandonment, and abusiveness ALSO be blessed? In what screwed up dimension is that OK? my bruised, broken, and terrified inner voice was asking.

So here is what I’m learning:  they are lessons, and important lessons to have, in the great arching scheme of things, especially when we accept that the purpose of life on earth is to be our proving ground, the University of the soul, and every lifetime a different course in what it means to exist; some courses are harder than others; some subjects we like, and others we loathe, but they all further us towards mastery.

Or maybe the metaphor of our Divine parents is easier to grasp; sometimes mama has to smack your hand away from the danger, because she loves you and wants you to know better.  Or sometimes our parents love us by stepping back to let us learn the hard way, get burned, fall down to scrape our knees, make our own fool-hardy decisions, and live with the consequences. We are tempered, purified and made stronger in the fires of risk and pain, failures and successes; the phoenix will rise from the ashes.

Ok, taking these ideas as the founding premise of this year long experiment, I asked how then would this play out in our view of life, relationships, conflicts and resolutions?  How does this “Divine University of Love” idea guide how best to live and act, right here and right now? This was my dedication:

“I, Heron, call upon the Two Who Move As One, Great Goddess and Great God, and to the Goddess of love and beauty in all your aspects: Venus, Aphrodite, Freya…. Hear now my dedication to you during this turning of the Wheel!  My Great Work will be to grow, learn, act in the world as an agent of Divine Love. Let my acts of worship be to make the world more beautiful, more compassionate, to heal through Love.  I will endeavor to make each of my days in the world better and more loving than the day before. I seek to know the nature and meaning of Divine Love, and will deepen my study through the messages of the Thoth Tarot system, seeking ways to apply these lessons to everyday life.  May this be for the highest good of all involved, harming none.  So mote it be!”

IMG_7360There were candles prepared with stones, herbs, oils, symbols, planetary magick of Venus, poppets, spell boxes, and just about every other trick I had up my sleeve to layer up and reinforce that I was a  being of Love, resonating Love, creating Love, attracting Love…you get the idea.  I asked to walk through the rose garden of Aphrodite/Venus and be her hands, feet and voice in the world.

Yeah. Uh huh. I see you reading this, shaking your heads and smirking.

Love is a many splendored thing, as they say.  The roses smell lovely, in their delicate unfolding of brightly colored petals into the sunlight, but they are nurtured in the dark, dank shadow of the earth, fed by the decay of last season’s death, shat out by worms.  Between the earth and the blossom, there are the thorns.

My dedication began with an appeal to Aphrodite/Venus, and since that day I have been on the guided tour through the dark and piercing undergrowth. Many times now on this blog I’ve referred to witchcraft as “the thorny path.”  In that poem from high school, Because I’m Young,  I asked life to “pull back your thorny fist and hit me for all you are worth.”  Thorns tend to be a theme, as of late.

IMG_7408On the next full moon after Imbolc, on the Friday of Valentine’s day, my lover and I worked magick together to strengthen our bonds to each other, and our love. Then as the moon turned to waning again, we worked to remove all obstacles in the way of our union, should that be for the highest good of all involved, harming none.

The next day we released those ashes into the James River while an eagle looked on from the trees above and the herons picked their way through the waters. We took a selfie of ourselves with that eagle and the river behind us. I framed it as a reminder.  Did I mention that he is a Scorpio? Eagle and Heron, sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G... but I digress…

Within three weeks of that esbat the hand fasting was “postponed.” By Ostara, I knew we were in trouble, so we took a little breathing space to get our head’s straight.  By Beltane, he’d asked me to set him free and not make any contact until future notice…. My eagle has flown, and this Heron turns her beak back to the murk, sorting sustenance from waste.

I will never be the same.

(In the next installment, I will continue this story of Divine Love with the many lessons learned so far through the Great Work.)

Salvation of a Southern Witch

I am one of those people who goes way over-the-top celebrating just about anything. I throw themed parties, decorate with lavish holiday displays, and go all-out creating hand-made Halloween costumes.  I sing, dance, and laugh too loudly, and both divulge and indulge too much.  If ever there are shenanigans to be had, you can be sure that I will attend to them directly.

a woman in a fancy hat

Heron in her Ostara Bonnet / Heron Michelle

I’m 41 years old now, and I look back at decades of thoroughly enjoyed antics and I will admit to you right now, in front of the Gods and the entire internet, that I can appear to be completely ridiculous… compared to a muggle. I’m not everyone’s preferred cup-of-tea, but I am SO OK with that.

You see, some time ago a secret came busting out of my broom closet, to the shock and dismay of my conservative family and neighbors.  That pointy-hatted truth just refused to stay politely tucked away.  It was a wild, unfettered and jubilant truth…my raison d’etre…so why should it stay hidden?

Even though many fine and respectable people thought I’d lost my mind, people for whom I’d so long bent and subverted my truth in exchange for their acceptance; even though it meant that I’d leave broken-hearted from my long marriage, and cherished stay-at-home-mom gig; even though I’d choose not to use my college degree, and leave my well-paying profession behind, I eventually took my fundamentalist Christian mother’s advice and let my “little light shine” freely for all to see.  She used to say that we, as Christians, were a “peculiar people” and we should be proud of that. As it happens, I was even more peculiar than she would have appreciated. That, and witchery is an unstoppable force. Go figure.

Heron Michelle

Heron Michelle

Today, I am a public Witch in a deep-fried southern town, and as a matter of course, I do many of the things my mother said were “of the devil.”   I own a witchy store in our downtown in full view of my conservative neighbors. I teach openly about neo-paganism in religion classes at local colleges. (So far, no lynch mobs have formed, fingers crossed.) I am a priestess within a coven I’ve helped to found, teaching the occult mysteries year-round  to all responsible seekers.

On weekends, I offer past-life retrievals, magickal consultations and tarot card readings to clients.  I drum until my hands are numb, bellydance around bonfires, adorn beautiful people with mehndi body art at pagan festivals and have a fabulous, sovereign life of love and happiness.  Most days I will tell you that by taking the less-traveled path, it made all the difference, but that is the happy ending.

Gather ’round, my lovelies, and let Mama Heron tell you a story, the back-story, a Witch’s Come to Goddess tale…or as they say in the Southern Baptist church, let me !TESTIFY! about my “burning bush” moment, how I was “saved,” and accepted my sacred mission to be an agent of Divine Love.

The Witchling Awakens…and Completely Misses the Point

I now serve Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, but I was raised in “the fear and admonition of the Lord,” as my evangelical mother would regularly say.  It never felt right to be terrified of god like that, but when you are a child, what mama says is the gospel truth. What she preached to me was very upsetting, to say the least. I had my own truth, things I just knew, but mama would squash any of that talk. I remembered when I was a man in a past life, dying in WW1, but there was no room for reincarnation in her paradigm. This was very confusing, so I’d suffered through some childhood depression.  The adults in my life didn’t know what to do about it so it went untreated and not talked about. What does a middle-class, white kid in a loving family have to worry about anyway? I know now that this is pretty common for a young girl just awakening to the witch blood.

Eventually, I rejected both the religious teachings of my childhood, and any authority my mother held over my soul. Not to mention any respect I may have held for her. That sent me into a tailspin. I’d rejected the hatefulness, bigotry and isolation taught me by our church, but what else was there?  If I wasn’t a Christian, was I doomed?  In that black and white world of “with us or against us,” I thought I had only two options: Christian or Atheist. To them, atheism was on par with dancing with the Devil.  Yet, if there was no higher purpose to life, why bother?

Around that pivotal time of menarche, I lie in bed wide-awake one night when the room seemed particularly moonlit.  Clearly in my mind’s inner dialogue I admitted my worst adolescent fear: “There is no God. I am a freak. I am absolutely alone and this is all pointless.”  I pronounced it with petulant finality, anger and self-loathing.

That is when everything went haywire. Immediately, my senses were arrested. I lost control of my body and was pressed into the bed as though the gravity of God Almighty was in the room. I was unable to move, heart beating like crazy; flooded with adrenaline, I became hyper-aware.  The room became ten times brighter, filled with bluish moonlight. The silence screamed and my mind rang with the surety that I was NOT alone and I DID have a purpose to fulfill.  This did not come as a voice or in words and gave no clues to its identity, or gender.   I struggled against this force but I could not move, and it wouldn’t stop until I’d acknowledged it directly.  I gave in and admitted, “OK, I hear you! Maybe there is a god!”

As quickly as it began, it was gone. I was released and all returned to normal.  Still panting and tingling, adrenaline rushing, I looked around at the ordinary room.  I moved my fingers and stretched. I sat up and craned around to look out the window with it’s ordinary darkness. My rational mind kicked-in, skeptical. I thought, “I’m losing it. God did NOT just speak to me.” And I laid back down.

I am here to tell you that the whole thing repeated itself again twice as strong. I was taken hostage by my own body, pushed back into the bed.  The moon light intensified once again, as though a floodlight was at the window, and this time a voiceless chorus screamed through my….everything.  I was a budding clairvoyant, and I had a vision of what my sacred mission would entail many years in the future–the message was basically that I had to prepare myself. Just a glimpse and a knowing that there was a specific purpose for me in the future. I surrendered with, “OK, OK, I believe you!”  And it was all over.

“Hello, I’m Aphrodite” might have made the interpretation easier, but no, that is too easy, and it was not any one particular deity.  What I got was that it/he/she/they were BIG, INEFFABLE, and POWERFUL. What I heard was, “Shut up and listen, kid: THE UNIVERSE is ALIVE.”

Today I believe that the greatness of Spirit quickened within me, to give me just the right nudge so I didn’t give up in despair.  At the time, I thought I’d been “called to Christian ministry.”  My whole life I’d listened in church as preachers and missionaries took to the pulpit and testified about how God spoke to them and they knew they had to serve Him.

I was horror-struck.  I assumed the message was that I had to preach the gospel of Jesus. I started running from that fatby exploring just about any forbidden thing my mother warned me about. I read the banned books; I tried all the verboten things. I didn’t want the job and so I answered HELL NO.  In true, rebellious, teenager form, I struck out to find just about any other way of being, come hell or high water.

…but I digress…

From Existential Crises to Personal Gnosis

This story is about a night years later when I was 19. It was May of 1993, as I drove back from a freshman year at Marlboro College in Vermont, to my home town of Greenville, South Carolina. It was a hard first year out on my own. My parents separated just as I left for school, and moved away. To escape the drama, I’d chosen to go as far from home as my father would finance and lived through six months of snow-entrapped winter for the first time in my life…in a liberal arts school.

I’d crawled out from under my mother’s protective rock in the bible belt, and into progressive New England.  It was like being released from captivity in a dark room…onto a foreign planet.  I thought I was there for the creative writing program, but I’d mostly studied religion, history and anthropology. I was exposed to the WHOLE story of the bible, ALL the major religions, the ways of indigenous people and their plight under the spread of Christianity. I asked the question: what did my ancestors believe before they were forcibly converted? I’m an Anglo-Saxon-Celtic genetic blend. I resonated with what I found among neo-pagan beliefs based in these cultures; it was like coming home!

By this time, I’d met a few actual Witches and began an obsessive study of Goddess religion and Wicca.  As the rite of passage for all witches of the nineties, I’d read Spiral Dance, Drawing Down the Moon, A Witches’ Bible,  but I was still in a confused, reactionary state, and so had laid that aside in frustration as well.

My problem was that I was trying to replace the patriarchal form of we are the only right way with an even older matriarchal form of we are the only right way.  Of course, Witchcraft doesn’t play that game. It’s metaphors, and non-dogmatic, seek the truth from within approach, would not give me the same comfort of absolutism in which I’d been raised.  I was still too much the sheep to take the needed responsibility for my own path. What if my mother found out? What if I were wrong?

I couldn’t wait to get back home to South Carolina, where I at least knew the lay of the land, but with my parent’s 25 year marriage falling apart, and each of us now cast to the four winds, I had no real home left.  That year, I’d also fallen deeply into an unhealthy romance, and after six months barely pried myself out of the black hole of partying to which my lover was already lost. I cried “uncle” on the harshness of New England and went into full retreat from my long-held dreams. This wasn’t my first heart-break and it wouldn’t be the last, but in that moment, it felt like the end of the world. I was in deepest mourning and I didn’t have a clue who I was anymore.

Road-Side Salvation via Giant Glowing Peach

(No, I wasn’t on drugs.)

As I drove down Interstate 85 that starry night, just past Charlotte, my mind churned in an anguished, lost pleading for answers.  Why even bother to keep living; to keep opening myself up to loss and anguish?  Was this just one long monotonous parade of day following day, months repeating themselves, the grinding of seasons, suffering the relentlessness of staying alive until at last I would succumb to nonexistence?

For what purpose? Why not skip all the bother and just go ahead and snuff out? I was young and I thought I was faced with a life of nothing more than constantly battling the inherent forces of entropy and decay for no other reason than to make another generation who would just continue the struggle. In short, I was deathly afraid of meaninglessness. My hands shook on the wheel as I seriously considered taking a hard left into a concrete embankment. In another moment of existential crises, I was hyper-aware once more, wide open and pinging the Universe for any kind of clue what to do.

Beside that black highway, I passed by this peach shaped water tower in Gaffney, South Carolina, that looks like an enormous ass glowing in the night. It is a ridiculous spectacle, totally unnecessary for the purpose of being a water tower. It is also fantastic in it’s over-the-top expression of pride in that being peach country.

*click*

The moment of gnosis that bloomed within me was like a fourth of July grand finale.  The point, I realized, was that we decide to give life meaning beyond the mundane. WE DECIDE to celebrate, to make art, and to live beautifully, not just functionally. We CHOOSE to throw fabulous parties, and to revel in the sumptuous delights of existence along the way, not just exist.  We make wild, juicy, orgasmic love, not just procreate. We gather the tribe and share feasts on the holidays, not just sustenance.  We eat birthday cake.  Why? Why not?!  We make the key points along the never-ending cycle sacred.  Why waste energy struggling against the cycle when you can celebrate it, flow with it, glory in the sureness of the dawn and the spring and the new babe?

Heron and her Larger-Than-Strictly-Neccessary, Jack-the-Fabulous-Lantern, ready to welcome friends to her Halloween Party

Heron and her Larger-Than-Strictly-Neccessary, Jack-the-Fabulous-Lantern, ready to welcome friends to her Halloween Party

To Live a Life of Love

It occurred to me that life truly was in the details.  The efforts we put into making life grand and enjoying it are worship.  We decide that it is meaningful, then we back that up with effort and trappings and it has meaning. The struggle balances the reward; the gain balances the loss; the love balances the fear.

Religion shouldn’t be about being “right”, or worshiping “god” or duty, or heritage, or fear of a distant doom.  It should be about fulfillment, growth and love.  I choose if this is heaven, hell or purgatory.  Do I focus on suffering, sacrifice and atonement? OR do I focus on love, balance and attainment?  These were choices.  I opened my eyes and saw that it is *ALL* Divine and the Divine is LOVE. I changed my mind, and the world around me changed;  I emerged from fear into wonder and “god” was everywhere, saturating the world in delight.

I choose to live a life of love; I make cake and decorate for the holidays; I throw parties, carve enormous jack-o-lanterns and wear crazy costumes; I dance, make love, and howl at the moon, all as worship. What I sought, I found it within, and I was saved from fear.

My answer to the age-old existential question?

I love; therefore, I am.

Blessed be,

~Heron