NaNoWriMo as Self Care

Monday, 29 October 2018

NaNoWriMo–National Novel
Writing Month–happens in November. You know what else happens in
November? Well, in the US we have elections. There’s also the
International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) on the 20th.

That can be a lot of heavy stuph.

This
year, I’ve been tasked with compiling the List of Names for my church’s
TDoR memorial service. Preparing a sermon would be less emotionally
taxing. But, it is a ministry I will perform.

So, I’m hoping
this year to use my NaNoWriMo project as a form of self-care this month.
I’ll have more than enough things to fear and mourn. I’ll need some
light in my month, even if I have to bring that light myself.

Full Moon Journey, 25 September 2018

[image courtesy Wikipedia]

I haven’t gone on a shamanic journey* in close to fifteen years, but I went to one on the evening of 25 September 2018. Before the journey, we were asked to consider what we wanted to manifest in this next moon cycle. I said I wanted to manifest clarity about what I want to manifest. You see, I had a bit of a run-in with Melek Ta’us on Mabon and he was really exerting his will and presence over me. A good portion of the clarity I was seeking revolved around my relationship with him.

The journey started, and I was outside a faerie gate in the high desert. Passing through the gate, I met up with my current familiar: Jack. Jack is a jackrabbit, and I met him as my familiar when I was at the Sekhmet Temple in January 2018. He led me around to the far side of what’s called Bullet Hill, because locals use it as a backstop for shooting. On the far side of this hill, was a portal that when I stepped through it and found myself at my cabin on the shores of the Lake of Fire. I hesitated before opening the cabin door. In the distance I saw the Lost Bison, the being who had been my familiar for years before. He made eye-contact with me, and ran off into the woods. Lucifer was also there, as he was the last time I was at this cabin, and he encouraged me to enter.

When I finally opened the cabin’s door, I had stepped into the kitchen and it was very dark. I was going to turn around, but Jack urged me to keep going. Turning to my right, I saw a brightly lit room and the rest of the cabin looked like the house of Tom Bombadil from The Fellowship of the Ring, but with Mary Magdalene seated in Goldberry’s place. She, too, encouraged me to go to the bedroom.

With a sigh, I did as she said. While I couldn’t see Melek Ta’us in the room, I could sense his presence nonetheless. I wouldn’t permit him to speak, saying he’d said altogether too much at Mabon. I set clear boundaries for him, and suggested that we might go on a date in the future but committed to nothing. Additionally, I established a safe-word for use with him:

  • Kerberos

If I utter this word, he is immediately stop whatever he’s doing. He agreed, and it seems he’s taking it seriously as not long after the journey ended, I had to use the safe-word on him.

Back in the cabin’s sitting room, Mary was tending the fireplace. “Was that so bad?” she asked me. I exited the cabin to find both Lucifer and Luna by the fountain at the lake shore. Luna, sensing she wasn’t needed to protect me, took wing and flew off. Lucifer smiled, and Jack led me back to the mundane world.

_____________

* I am aware that there are those who might find this cultural appropriation. The journeys I went on at PantheaCon in the early 2000s were led by a person, T, who called herself a shamanic practitioner. T had been trained by a Tibetan shaman and was very clear to never call herself a shaman.

This journey was led by a woman, Z, who had been trained by another woman was originally from Columbia, C. C had selected Z to be her successor.

Rock Psalm: “Lost in Paradise” by Evanescence

Yesterday, 5 September 2018, my daughter and her husband took me to see Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. The concert was nothing short of a sacramental moment, to borrow a phrase from my Roman Catholic upbringing.

Lately, I’ve taken to thinking of love songs as hymns. By thinking that I’m sinning to G’D instead of to a mortal lover, there can be less pain. With two divorces and other failed relationships behind me, love songs that once gave me joy can be hurtful.

As I started singing along with “Lost in Paradise,” I mentally shifted to singing to G’D. This happened right at the line, “All the promises I made, just to let you down.” Suddenly, the song became a psalm and I was singing about reconciliation with the Divine. I kept this frame of mind throughout the piece. But my concept of G’D–including my visual concept–took on an interesting image at the line, “I’m just as scared as you.”

G’D, scared? And about our relationship? Well, that made perfect sense. We’re in this together.

And as a polytheist, the mental image was not only me as a younger, ageless woman, but so was the god in this image. In fact, the god who seemed to appear to me as I sang was Antinoüs. The Emperor of the World of Peace, the Divine Boy visited me as I had a divine experience at a rock concert.

Ave, ave Antinoë! Ave, ave Antinoë!  
Haec est unse vita venit! Ave, ave Antinoë!
Hail, hail Antinoüs! Hail, hail Antinoüs!
This is where life comes from! Hail, hail Antinoüs!