The Invincible Summer

Don’t panic. No, not yet.
I know I’m the one you want to forget.
Cue all the love to leave my heart.
It’s time for me to fall apart.

Now you’re gone, but I’ll be okay.
Your hot whiskey eyes have fanned the flames.
Maybe I’ll burn a little brighter tonight.
Let the fire breathe me back to life.

Kicked out of my apartment and temporarily sprawled all over my grandparents’ space, I find . . . quite a lot that I’ve forgotten I’ve owned. Mostly my Egyptology books, all loaded in a bag, feeling like a sack of rocks for all the weight.

And still there were more I wanted to get, because I loved the Netjeru. Because I loved Bast most.

I had a dream awhile ago that She’s still in my life. For the most part, I don’t doubt. In an oracle reading, She was also the “penultimate” card I pulled. But the fact is, it’s been quite a long time that I’ve really . . . I don’t know how to word it.

Rumi once said that where our wound is the Light enters. I’ve been feeling wounded and disgraced since the beginning of May and Bast is wandering through the through–and through. She is the “Invincible Summer” that lives in all of us. She casts a healing light whose function, the more I think of it, is to illumine the darkness, not banish or destroy it. Bast shows us our darkness so we can see the shape of it. Like mouna for Shiva, the Invincible Summer (and there’s another name for Her) puts you face to face with the emptiness. She does that because the emptiness is the Fallen One, who eats everything, leaving nothing behind.

We have to fight that darkness ourselves. All we can do is use the tools we’ve made and, on occasion, been given after much effort.

I don’t think I believe it’s actually Bast stopping by; however, I’ve found myself missing Her light when I’d been okay without Her before. And for sure the Invincible Summer has servants to pass along messages, and that, I assume, is what I’ve gotten: a message. A lightly perfumed message, beckoning me to lose what little focus I’ve managed to gain for the sake of the blue-throated god. It’s not that anything means anything–I just feel listless and sad.

For sure, I’m not Hers anymore. The necklace that I once wore in Her honor broke shortly before I put aside all my Kemetic things and Shiva called. And again, I just feel listless and sad.

Baby, you were my picket fence.
I miss missing you now and then.
Chlorine-kissed summer skin–
I miss missing you now and then.

–FOB, “Miss Missing You”

I think I’m going to have to get used to the fact that I’m incredibly sensitive to major “tonal” shifts in the energies around me. That’s what this basically is. And it’s hard not to let it sweep me off the narrow road.

The message doesn’t seem . . . particularly urgent? It doesn’t impose itself upon me much at all. It’s more like the vague halo of uneasiness that follows after a moonlight tryst. It may, in fact, be best to brush this one aside. No more Kemeticism, because I am not Kemetic. I’m not, in particular, Hindu either. Nor am I a pagan, or a polytheist, or a monist, or a monotheist, or an atheist, agnostic, apatheist–whatever. I want to be a sort of lover, I suppose. There’s no better term for it.

Anyway, there was no real reason to write this other than it helps with the focus to write things down. I guess one of the underlying messages here is the past, while you may be done with it, may not necessarily be done with you–and why would you want to escape the summertime?

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

–Rumi

Posted in A Demure Disciple, Bast, Deities, Hinduism, Kemeticism, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

stay open…

Originally posted on Known is a drop, Unknown is an Ocean:

Stay open and quiet, that is all. What you seek is so near you that there is no place for a way.

~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

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NO

The further along I go in life and on my spiritual path–though I guess there’s no real difference between the two, or at least there shouldn’t be–the less I want to talk about things. Especially spiritual things. I don’t know if this is a sudden blossom of maturity or if it’s just having no one care for most of my life, but more and more I have trouble stirring up words that before came in a smooth stream.

So often these days I start to form sentences and thoughts and then–NO.

There’s nothing I can say or tell you that you can’t hear from someone more intelligent and experienced than I am. There’s nothing I can do to help you experience the gods–you have to do that yourself. There’s nothing I have to teach that can’t be learned elsewhere from someone who has actual credentials to teach. There’s no reason for me to be writing on this blog other than it’s nice to be able to hit my URL on mobile during the day and be able to read over my entries without logging in.

Once upon a time, I desperately wanted to be heard. I wanted people to like me and to listen to what I had to say. For once in my life, I wanted to be someone people turned to in times of trouble.

My voice is running out. I’m not really interested in being heard by the crowd anymore, and I have accepted the fact that some people are fated to be more liked than others. More importantly, I’ve accepted the fact that part of what I’m looking for cannot be found in people. What I want is found in the deep, dark reaches of the human soul. It can only be found when you shut off the lights and when the noise finally gives way to a silence that is anything but empty. I have seen the fringes of god’s coat but I will never touch them.

For the past week, I’ve had to make a long commute to and from work. During this commute, I’ve been forced to confront many things about myself. For example, I’ve been forced to confront my need for constant chatter, whether outer or inner. I’ve been forced to confront my impatience, my temper, my tendency to hold grudges, my tendency to hate people, and my tendency to hold onto hurt. I don’t want to go into detail on why all this has happened.

Maybe it’s Shiva–although I hear a NO again, since I’m not important enough to warrant a god’s attention. For example, I’ve been forced to get up at 4AM three days a week for the next month. Prime worship time in Hinduism is 4AM, and in the past I’ve refused to get up at that time. Whether this is the working of the great god or not, I figure I might as well take the training in early morning warning.

And in silence.

There is a thing called mouna–a temporary vow of silence that usually lasts a couple of hours. One week in and I already have a vague idea of the purpose of mouna, but that’s not for me to talk about at this point. Maybe in a few years.

I’ve been taking mouna on my drive to and from work. So far, it’s been difficult, yet illuminating. It was easy to not speak verbally. After all, I’m alone in the car at 4AM–which is a magical time, by the way. I can understand why 4AM is considered a good time to practice.

But I find my mind wandering. I’m running through hypothetical scenarios in my head, creating variations on the same rage-inducing conversation over and over again until I fully triumph over the situation and put my boot on the viper’s head. Hate and anger and hurt stir up and the venomous serpent of spite rises up inside me.

NO. Mouna. NO. Mouna. NO. NO. NO. Mouna. Remember, mouna.

Over the next half hour, my mind accepts its fate. Bit by bit all negative emotion melts away. Almost all emotion melts away and is replaced by a sense of. . . well, that’s not for me to divulge. Nothing I say will make you appreciate the experience because my voice is running out.

As I head into the scenic part of the state, I think each thing is Shiva, or Parvati. And for a moment I’m hubristic enough to imagine that I’m a little bit of Parvati and Shiva is sitting in the seat beside me.

And I see that the violent stirring of the mind–whether from positive, negative, or some other kind of emotion–is disturbance either way, and when it’s quiet, it’s much easier to be patient, to be compassionate, and to let things go.

And I see that the serpent who spits out all of the hurt, anger, bitterness, fear, and hatred is not part of me. It’s very small. Pitiful, almost. Its bite is not poisonous, merely painful. It’s the failure to take care of the resultant wound that kills.

And, I think, if everything is Shiva, am I not angry at Him when I’m angry at others? And if not everything is Shiva, then isn’t it better to feel compassion for the awful people in my life and simply move on? Who, exactly, is the injured party when one party holds all the pain while the other smirks?

And, I finally see that I can just drop everything that’s been wearing on me, like you drop heavy bags of groceries on the floor after hauling them from your car to your apartment on the third floor.

It’s these experiences that are, bit by bit, drawing me into a deeper silence. It’s so easy to go back to old habits, but I have a month to get big practice, and I resolve to get smaller amounts of practice during the day. In fact, I do when I get absorbed in work and there’s nothing left except the program and the fingers that are typing it and some weird embodied intelligence that’s directing the fingers.

I resolve to do mouna in the shower and when putting gas in my car.

All of this sounds pretty bizarre, but I’m running out of words. I’m not intelligent or witty or wise enough to frame things in a less “I’m on my fifth roach” way.

Will I continue to write? Sure–if it makes sense. I’m still a baby on the spiritual path and there’s nothing like a spiritual journal to help you keep track of yourself.

Will I keep in touch with my fellow religionists? Sure–I’ll try. When you have nothing to say it’s difficult to find a reason to write or call.

But I pray there will come a time where I find my wisdom and there will be no more need to write. There will be me and the silence and, perhaps, god, and I will be happy, and I will make others happy. And if I open my mouth out of hurt, the chant will be

NO NO NO NO NO.

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The Wanderer

I have talked about this so many times. Just now it’s starting to kind of make sense. I mean, I fully acknowledge that I could be–probably am–creating narrative where not much of one exists. As time goes on, though . . . I wonder if that’s such a big deal, so long as you’re not going out into left field. (“. . .and, in conclusion, these occurrences indicate that I myself have become a god.” LOL.)

About six years ago now, I was in New Mexico. This was a particularly mountainous part of New Mexico, perfect for wanderers, campers, and nature lovers of all kinds. But me? That day, I was pulling out of a Wells Fargo parking lot after depositing my meager paycheck.

It was around 2009 and I was just discovering the magic of polytheism. It’s taken me almost four years to truly grok polytheism and, back then, when I was first starting on this path, I didn’t get it at all. In fact, I was, in some ways, still anti-theist, so when I was trying to “trance” with Odin, it was nothing but mental parlor games to me. Something that intelligent, level-headed people like me could do without sinking into the “darkness of religion”.

Indeed, I was a douchebag.

But I was obsessed with Odin. His journey for knowledge, I felt, reflected mine. So these parlor games were not only fun, they let me feel even more mentally superior. Of course, the games eventually got old. It’s not like you can brag to your fellow atheists how you used a god to “ascend”–or whatever gag-worthy thing I would have called it back then.

So I tossed the game of polytheism aside like a used gum wrapper.

Then there was that spring day, where I was pulling out of Wells Fargo.

I don’t really know where he came from. The gas station next to the bank, I suppose. Where he came from before the gas station is a mystery. A mountain man is the best assumption. He was such a strange character. I’d never seen anyone like him before and haven’t seen anyone like him since.

The man was tall. Probably six foot and some inches. He was also broad-shouldered, although that might have been an illusion caused by the cloak wrapped around his shoulders as well as the massive packs slung over them on what seemed to me too narrow straps. I did see his feet, but I’m pretty sure he was wearing boots. He also had a broad-rimmed hat and the most stern, severe stare I’ve ever seen on a white-bearded, middle-aged face. He also carried a staff. A traveler, obviously, but what struck me most odd at that time was the material and color of his things. They were the same rough, camel-like color. Even the hat. He might have been wearing something normal underneath the cloak and coat, but I don’t recall.

Our gazes met as I blithely pulled out into traffic. Never even occurred to me to look back to see if he was there.

That was the first time I made contact with the Wanderer, and that was the only time I ever saw him in the flesh.

Time went on and, in 2010, I started getting into paganism and polytheism “for real”. Odin led to Zeus, and Zeus’s “All Father” epithet gave me a little jump, because that’s an Odin thing, too. Makes sense, given the Indo-European origins of both of them. But Zeus would occasionally wander around, too, and it was then I started to wonder exactly who I’d met in a Wells Fargo parking lot.

Then, I met Shiva. Specifically, Shiva-Rudra, the wild god of the mountains and hills. The howler. The fearsome. The brilliant.

The Wanderer.

I got a bit of a nudge when reading about Dionysus and, what do you know? He and Shiva may have bumped elbows.

It soon occurred to me that, every time my spiritual path–and sometimes, my mundane life–was about to change, there was the Wanderer one way or another. I could always trace things back to him. There was always some vaguely Indo-European connection. At that time, I was a Kemetic, so it was weird. It was upsetting. I thought I had everything figured out, so the Indo-European intrusion was quite unwelcome.

Time wore on, I fell apart. My life fell apart. The world was a cyclone of pointlessness. And then, I spent a brief time with my nose in Celtic mythology. There, I discovered Mannanan Mac Lir, whose name I have never figured out how to pronounce correctly, and who was, on occasion, considered a wanderer.

I bounced back and forth between Kemeticism, Hinduism, and some eclectic mix, only to find the Netjeru pushing me away and the Devas. . . doing whatever the hell Devas do. I worshipped Shiva long enough to get a job, at which point I had to give up all spiritual things while I got my shit together.

It’s been about a year now, and I’ve never really forgotten Shiva. I’m super grateful for His help. And I miss Goddess.

And then, of course, I run into an old friend who’s working through Deva things of her own. ;)

I wonder. . . is Shiva the Wanderer? Is He the one who’s been dogging my footsteps, gently nudging me toward one way or another? Is He the kind of god who really gives a damn about this kind of thing?

I’ve found myself startled by some of the similarities between Him and the deities I’ve met: Odin, Zeus, Mannanan, Loki, etc. I don’t know how much of my own malarkey to buy into. It all just seems. . . pretty convenient. But Rudra, Ashani (thunderbolt), hell, even Pashupati to some degree.

And Sharabha.

Namita Gokhale defines Sharabha as a dragon. From my research, it’s more like a monster (which I guess fits the general definition of “dragon”), or a griffin, depending on the depiction and your personal opinion. But when I saw that epithet defined that way, it gave me pause. In my trove of personal myths, I have a creation myth involving two dragons: Storyteller and Dark Matter Dragon. I definitely had a Shiva-Shakti dynamic in mind, so it was a bit of a surprise to run upon Sharabha. Even more so since, while I think of Storyteller as Devi, it didn’t occur to me to identify Dark Matter Dragon with Shiva.

(And last night, when I was writing the first part of this post, I got a, “yes! Finally!” feeling down my spinal column and over my heart, which is where I usually get . . . odd feelings.)

That said, I’m still sitting pretty on all of this. Life is beginning to settle down after a year, however, there are still plenty of kinks to work out. And I want to be sure that this is something I can and want to do. That said, I’m pretty sure I want to do it. I’m ready to move onto the next phase of my spiritual path. For some reason, I really like Shiva, and I like His wife.

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Yeah, I’m Bringing Back Up My Blog

After a long period of inactivity, I’m bringing the blog back up with a new name. This is still a spiritual blog, but it’s not going to be too active for the next 2 – 6 months.

A lot of things have changed since taking down the blog. For one, I’ve excelled in my new job and have received a 5% raise. Still not quite enough to make living comfortable but, as the old cliche goes, every bit counts. At least I’ll definitely get an excellent reference from here.

I’ve become mostly lost on my spiritual path. Lost enough, in fact, to drop pretty much everything in favor of the mundane. It’s going to be like that for another 2 – 6 months. After that, I’m not sure. Depends on what I want to do, where I want to go. For sure anything Kemetic is over. Bast and I think a couple other Netjeru are in the background, watching, and I will always carry a little of Bast in my heart, but other than that, no more Kemeticism.

It’s for the best.

Next up I’ll probably be knocking on Shiva and Durga’s door again. Shiva, in particular, deserves a lot of my thanks. A year ago, when I was struggling to find a job so I could start my life, I prayed to Shiva. I laid it all at His feet. I prayed that He’d help me get this job. I got my job and then. . . nothing. In part, I’ve been too busy. The adjustment to solitary life and to regular working hours was too much. Perhaps He knew that. Or He had mercy on me and didn’t smush me for being ungrateful.

I think Shiva’s been around a lot longer than I care to admit, an idea I intend to explore in my next post.

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