The Day of Venus (XI)

How to Create Your Own Religion:

Invite. Observe the ecstatic moments that occur in your body throughout life, taking note of the details, and without discriminating against their form–welcome in these customized pleasure wavelengths as they are, and pursue them. Be pulled by what gives your spine, your feet, your wrists, your ears The Surge of Delight.

Call upon the names given to what makes you feel a flight in your chest–no tiny offering of joy taken for granted–they all play a role. Refer to your muses, the songs that have moved you, the stars that speak to you in the sky, your favorite chords, ingredients, chapters, psalms. Find comfort in the melodies of your sirens, the messages of your most treasured passages, your beloved monks, prophets, the villains you defend, your many teachers in the form of hymn, poem, story, painting, dance.

Attend Your Ceremonies, and tend to a temple made entirely of your own design–walls of valley, a seat by a window, a rock beside a creek, the bench of a train station, the base of a mountain, the throne of a hilltop, the heated gray cement slab in the courtyard of the company you work for, the green silk given to you by your mother on your 8th birthday, laid beside your bed. Whether church or palace, parking lot or basement, all praises are felt the same. All Places Are Holy Places. Create an alter out of the pieces of the world you’re drawn to–a 4 of spades card you found on the sidewalk, a feather, something to burn. Let there be a representation for the water, the earth, the wind and the fire inherent within, as much as without.

Recite the love letters you hear in your mind when you close your eyes; the words and phrases that bring you blankets of protection; the symbols that seem familiar, whether they were taught or created, or both. Recognize the sensation of familiar ancient comfort–allow them to wisp you into yourself, and out. Repeat their verses, and resound the proverbs that bind themselves to you. Chant them into form while you dance and while you stumble, before and during dreaming, while burning the toast. Turn your many prayers into songs, and sing out the passenger window while washing the dishes, as you rock your daughter to sleep, turn sand into glass, clay into brick, flower to seed.

Bow your head to the origins of any and every triumphant practice, movement, motion, task, and ritual that has moved you–anything that has even for a moment stirred your soul in a profound way. Do this and know: you are bowing to the same Creator as we all are. We Are All Sacred. Cultivate a routine that incorporates a daily honoring of the ones who have come before. Give gratitude for the tools they’ve passed on, the clues they’ve left behind. Abandon any declaration of separateness, and surrender to the call of the invisible thread binding us all.

Write the words of your Holy Text with your hands, your hips, the symbols formed by your spine as it braids itself through existence–electric and ancient. Know that to speak it is to write it, and to write it, to speak it. Develop a keen awareness of the word choices you are making, the words you are noticing around you, the phrases you are repeating, the topics you give energy and time to with your words. We write our own stories into existence by way of the words we choose, the words we allow to slip off of our tongues.

Tune into the signals coming to you from inside of yourself, and let those voices which are closest to your heart be the ones you filter your incoming messages through. The Voice That Knows what is best medicine for your spirit, the Mother and Father Guardians we have a direct line to. The antennas of the centipede that is your spine are alive and well. Use them.

We are all traced back to The Mother of All Mothers and All of Us Are Holy. –Let Us Remember

Flowers gifted by second graders this week
A student’s desk, as she left it, before going to lunch

The Day of Venus (X)

What nobody says about Life After Trauma, after healing, after the credits stop rolling and you say “what a strong person”: the characters have to keep living. Healing doesn’t just “end”. Spiritual and emotional cleansing—a consistent returning to your inner world for a conversation—becomes absolutely imperative for survival. And I do mean “survival” in terms of life or death. The memories still appear from time to time, and we are left with the feelings those memories gave us. Daily tune-ups, small and sometimes large doses of heavy lifting, solitude, rest. Check ins with our teachers, our guides, our therapists, our friends.

A seriousness sometimes pervades my aura that I can’t shake off until I’ve bowed my head and wiped my tears and held my heart home. A deep and frozen sadness sometimes permeates throughout my bones and lingers for too long, so I drag myself into the fire again. Then sometimes because of my specific wound, of being told I had to stay quiet, then staying stunned and silent for as long as I did, I have a fury-like desire to write, to share, to sing, to use my voice in any way.

My most recent moons have been signals that something is needing to move, make it’s way out, be made into form, brought to light out of the shadows, transferred, be given a name. It is as if my veins need a larger pot, and new soil, or perhaps not even to be a potted plant at all, but to be scattered in the wind over valley and nest. All of the symptoms women experience are boxes I can check off, and for all of my life that has never been the case. The one that started for me just yesterday, on the eve of my 33rd birthday, is exercising it’s power, it’s right, to invoke a special kind of out-of-body madness, as if my body is a doll in the living room of a jester spirit, fed poison to spit up and eat again. Memories I’ve banished, reappeared–along with their helplessness and confusion, along with their fear. But there is no external entity to blame, because my abuser is dead and I am responsible for my healing, responsible for my protection, responsible for my choices in each moment–especially the ones made within the holy chambers of my mind.

Gabor Maté, in his lecture “Why You Are Haunted by The Past” explains, “The way we adapt to early stress helps us endure that difficult period in a life of the helpless child, but those same adaptations become sources of pathology (which) threaten your health, threaten the length (of) your longevity even, so what’s adaptive in one situation–what’s meant to be a temporary state–becomes a long-term trait” and this is most often The Case with these visiting tremors, these requests from within to acknowledge suffering, bring light to the contained–the Deep Sorrow makes an entrance, the self-pity wraps itself around your ribcage, suspicion and distrust, and The Refusal to Be Loved presents their pleading and empty cases, and we do not associate them with the memories they are attached to, because we don’t always see those first blows, those earliest conditions that weaved defense mechanisms and reactive impulses into our present-day default settings.

So we welcome them in–those old familiar faces, then we close the files right where they’re at, as if that is all there is to it, that is just how it is, how it has been, and that that is just who we are. But our moons remind us that there is more, that these visitors are nimble in posture, to-be-altered and alchemized–made to move, to bend. And we are infinite, we are capable of overcoming, of being made new, and allowed as much goodness, as much richness in the experience of being alive than we often let ourselves see. However, to come to know you are capable of moving is to accept the malaise of the transformations, the turbulence of the excavations, the gray of the dissolving comforts and the isolation swam through to reach a shore. If The Sun says “Medicine is made available to us when we ask for it”, then The Moon says “Medicine is made available to us, whether we ask for it or not”, and both of them are true.

If The Sun says “Medicine is made available to us when we ask for it”, then The Moon says “Medicine is made available to us, whether we ask for it or not”, and both of them are true.

I believe our moons have their way of communicating the invisible to us, sending us codes for the locks in our spirit bodies that have harbored water for too long—breaking the damns, setting loose, revealing, expanding. In our animal bodies truth is detected. Desire becomes exposed. Sadness is spotlighted. Where there is a jar of angry and biding ghosts, there will be an escapee. What has been hidden will find relief. What has been unspoken has it’s way of demanding deliverance. Our Moons, with their great magnetism in the cosmic sky that is our bodies, and their longing for the ocean floors of our unconscious’ to move, rely upon the tools we keep within our reach–our imaginations, our rituals, and then they trust that we will not pretend to know better when the time comes to take ourselves into the dark, remove ourselves from the familiar, leave our tools on the table, giving voice to the hidden and most unappetizing of truths. It teaches us that the personalities of the masks we wear, that they are fictional and malleable.

I recently read a tweet by Nate Postlethwait that says “Healing is complex. While we are making room for our truth to be known to find relief, we’re also becoming a target for those who benefit from us hiding. This is where your truth becomes sacred, & not always shared. Not because you’re denying it, but because you see it’s value.” I feel it to be true within me, but who would be benefitting from me hiding? Who would I be a target for by sharing my truth? It is like I can feel there are people or is a person who would be offended, or threatened by my voice and truth shared, but if you were to ask me to give names I couldn’t give you one. So I am still living as if my abuser is alive, like there is a need to stay silent, play small, feel pinned down, feel unworthy. The liberation is in realizing my voice is free to ring where it rings, and furthermore, even if there was someone who my voice would threaten, they’d probably deserve it anyway.

The Day of Venus (IX)

There is no such thing as “one right way”, and there are infinite possibilities.

When a thought or idea comes into focus, if it is insistent on imposing a limitation or shortcoming of any kind, sharpen your knife and prepare to mold it into a delicacy. When it presents itself at your door, say “I’ll be right out” and ask it to have a seat on the porch swing. With a Resting Into Presence, mixed with the persistence of your most stubborn of angels, sit beside it and offer it The Simple Awareness of Yourself. Stay in your heart, take it lovingly by the hand, and Walk Yourself Home.

Your self-imposed “flaws” are Your Greatest Majesties, the very tools that free you. It is in honoring and acknowledging the totality of our experiences that we are unbinded. It is in glorifying the sensation of both light and dark within ourselves, that we are able to dance with the experiences we encounter in each moment.

Observing The Reality of Impermanence will create a resolution within you to really be in every moment as it comes. So I take note of the mauve-rose on my lover’s cheeks, in sync with the mug in her hand. I create a tapestry in my mind, of the way the brown of her eyes is the sun just beginning to be seen on the horizon. I take the moment in like it is the wisdom of a thousand pages. I take it in as A Painting to Remember to Paint one day.

There is only right here and right now. Nobody could ever convince me that “time is running out”–running out of what? <–(after I wrote this I asked myself out loud “What if time is really running in?” and cackled for at least 5 minutes I’ll have everybody know.) Anyway, right now I am in this skin, this room, beside a purple shawl one of my dearest friends gifted me, overdue library books, and Texas cedar ash. I see color, shape, shadow, light. I am here until I am there, and when I’m there I’ll be there too–tending to a fire, sleeping beside a creek, closing my eyes to see.

I am learning how to gracefully exit spaces 
where people seem a little too eager
to spit on the angels,
mock the messengers,
scrunch their noses and deny
the sacredness of even themselves.

There are things that are meant to be felt more than understood. I do feel there are things that when you strive to understand, you get further away from. It is when you loosen and let your body fall into the world–it is never as clear as then.

Everyone will want you to move—to tell the story as they see it should be told, offer you glasses to look through, tell you who to protect, who to follow, what to conceal, pave you a pretty little road—and you must stay right where you are.