Autumn Equinox, Back to Basics

A few words, after so many months of silence on my personal work.

The Equinox has been really harsh on me, physically and energetically. I’ve been sick, and off, and weird, and full of fears. I have just realized how much it means to me, this new transformation, my ultime landmark because it is the sacred date where everything took place. “Mabon” is my faith birthday. I started becoming a Polytheist and acknowledging the Gods on the 2008 Equinox. It is Morrigan and I’s birthday, the so-much-sacred anniversary of our first encounter on the 2009 Equinox.  It is also the date of my first apprentice and priestess step, the anniversary of the opening of my sacred online sanctuary to the Morrigan. It is also a date of death and rebirth, where I found myself strongly sick (auto-immune disease) in 2011 and started my dark night of the soul (became an atheist back for 8 months). Anniversary of my coming back from the dead to life in 2012, after my shamanic initiation and rebirth from the physical disease (and depression).

And this year’s end (in sacred terms, Lughnasad and the Equinox being the last two festivals), it has been very  quick and brutal. I have had an literal white hole from July to August, after my body broke down again (from stress and the brutal ending of my university years and my thesis), and my spirituality was also a blank page since I had been focusing on only my work (I had only the strength to do one thing, and it had to be my degree). The end of the year and my defense literally blew my Self apart. It was the most intense fight of my life, fighting for my self and recognition of my work, fighting against my shattered psyche, Morrigan as watching, and pushing me in her own disturbing way : pushing me from afar without actually applying any pressure, just looking at me and making me understand that I had to take action. After that climax, the culmination of many years of battle, I needed a break. I tried vacations, I tried letting everything go, changing my mind etc. And most of all, resting, letting my body at peace, trying to recover, once again…

But the strangest thing is that during the month of July, there was this super intense astrological configuration (Star of David), and I started feeling the cogs of the machinery moving. My blank page became a page to actually write, and I kind of thought and made a wish… which took literal energy and form thanks to this weird opening in the Sky. I was at this hinge in my life, and without fully realizing the implications, I put the machinery into motion towards something very specific which I may not have been ready to take on. Anyway, I started realizing that these ideas of living a full spiritual life, and living spirituality “as a living”, may just not be wishful thinking. I have begun to discover that it is where I stand most centered and radiant. And then, my Spirits pushed me back, again, in the direction of my “Work”. Write write write. Divine divine divine. Everything came back and started taking shape. I had to give shape to those ideas, to start acting. And the machinery ran.

This Equinox is another transition and transformation, surely even more important that I have understood till now, and I also realized that when I thought I was disconnected from the Morrigan, and sad from being able to do so, She’s there, again. Is She my alpha and omega ? She was there at the start, will She be there when it ends ? Everything I’ve done since the end of August, now I can see She was there watching all along, and my new project is not only my life project, the project for my Spirits, but it is also fully linked to the Morrigan. She was there too, making me do it. Hail Morrigan, the great Warrior and Prophetess. I am just realizing how tenacious She is, how blind I am to always fear She’s gone. I started by opening the doors to the Gods and Spirits, and everything rushed through. I started with transformation. I started with Her. She’s much closer to me than I am used to think. She’s much closer to the group of “Spirits” I mention a lot, who guide me and ask of me. I am back to what I was at the beginning, and yet melding everything hints I’ve received till then (the writing, the book, the energetic drawings, seership, mediumship, death… but the project is just starting now)

I am a Door to the Otherworld, I am not from here but I am here nevertheless, I am at the Threshold. I’ve always been and yet rejected it. But I am learning, oh Gods, I assure you, I am learning to accept it. And just now, I can see this is how I relate most to the Morrigan. She’s my shadow…

This project is also going to be part of my path to the Morrigan then. Welcome to my Door, welcome on the Threshold.

It’s a work in progress, please be patient (a full website is coming). I’ve painted it red for now, for Her, but the design will change.

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The Death & Rebirth Process Is Not Over

I was being foolish. At least, I forgot an important part of what I had been taught :

The death and rebirth process is very long. Even the death part, for a start, can be. The soul dying from repression, or depression, slows itself down, and shuts itself down, little by little. So that you don’ realise it. It’s excruciating. And once you’ve seen it, there is an even longer road to make.

My shamanic sickness* was of this type. Slow, progressive, extending greatly over the years. My soul was dying. And then, there was the harsh process of realisation, triggered by the Spirits. It was a time bomb, and a cluster bomb too. It exploded in every directions, every areas of my life. My emotions, my relationships, my work, my studies, my path, and my health. It got worse. I was made really sick. It drove me mad at times. I was open enough to get help – professional help that is. But once I started, the obstacles, the road to follow seemed even bigger and farther – and harder – than what had happened before. It was harsh. And the Spirits also tested me during this exhausting step. More and more. Quicker and quicker. Die. Die again ; and again and again. I felt I almost lost my sanity.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been feeling a real change. I understood so many things about myself and my path with the Spirits during that most intense year. The shadow work and the work on my psyche – plus the spiritual work – were deep. I’m feeling something new, lighter. It has not only to do with Imbolc ; it is synchronistic though. I’m emerging from my sickness and my death and rebirth’s final step. I’m feeling so much hope… It is new ! No wonder Khepry went back my way. The God of Change, death/rebirth and regeneration. I was feeling small, looking at a wonderful dawn. Khepry. I felt that Imbolc was an irregular tunnel full of bumps, yet helping me shed skins. Looking at the dawning light, I had the impression to be covered by dew. Purified.

But I had forgotten one thing : the death and rebirth process is actually not over. There is one last step to make. When you die, and are reborn, it’s not sufficient to step toward the future. Maybe it’s even impossible at first. You’re stuck. You’re surrounded by shells and waste. If you want to be able to move forward, acknowledging the change is not enough : you have to live it, to stage it.

I was feeling good, purified, but it wasn’t deep enough, not sufficient enough. It is a death, proper. And I had missed a step. I was experiencing a new phase of it : the grieving. I felt something happening but didn’t realise what it was. But that’s it. I was feeling grief – for myself. I have to do it, to feel it, grieve for my old self that died. I am new, but I have to look at what once was and is now dead. Which I have to let go. And to make this step complete, I have to go beyond introspection and contemplation : I have to make myself a ceremony, a funeral. I have to cut off those parts and mourn. And then I’ll purify myself again, to be able to stand in the new dawn.

And then, only then will I be able to make the first step as reborn.

———-

* Let it be noted that a shamanic sickness is supposedly unique (little use to compare) and multifold. Plus, I think it never comes alone. Soul sickness can be a thing of its own, parallel to the shamanic sickness.

November is the cruellest month…

Note : Reference to T.S.Eliot, The Waste Land : “April is the cruellest month…”

November begins with Samhain for the Celts, Winter Nights in the Ancient Norse Culture. It’s both the closing of one year and the opening of another, marking the transition of the seasons. It inspires me so much things that no article could allow me to clear my mind and write about it.

Last year I was touched by an intense sickness that changed me on all levels – and my life completely too. (In fact it even resulted into two diseases, which doubled the intensity of the process and evolution) I had got hints during this long journey, many many times, but now…. now I am arriving at the end, I can feel it, and it is very weird. Now I know, I’ll never be the same anymore. The Journey was long and multifold. I underwent a deep and numerous series of initiations which also changed me forever, for it brought both experiences and knowledge that can’t be put away and alter one’s comprehension and relation to everything. Despite this blog for example, and my constant efforts at giving hints at my path, I’ve been forced to dive into Silence. Taboo of the spirits, and holy silence, about and around the mysteries. It is impossible to make a final account of all this, it is way too huge, as it was almost too huge for me to experience.

It broke me apart actually. Last year I died – several times. I killed my soul, poisoned my body, and the spirits took the ultimate resources they had to help me once and for all : they used violence and harsh means. They struck me, abandoned me, cut me down and off…. and when they were back, after having put me in the gentle hands of the Morrigan and Dionysos to give me some strength and initiate me further, they broke me down again. They didn’t let me rest until I was down on my knees in front of my bed crying and screaming because I was lost, because the truth hurts. They put it all on me and brought me to the edge letting me no choice : tell yourself you’re crazy and let your soul die, or grow the fuck up and deal with it…. if you don’t want to live oh that’s fine, but don’t lie about it, don’t hide it, choose it properly (don’t poison yourself). But if you want to live, if you have enough self-respect, then accept what we show you and what you are. So yes, I died, several times. But the Spirits also put the pieces back together, several times. They healed me, they sew me back, my body, my limbs… and my soul. They bore me in their belly for a year, and brought me to the world again.

It’s been a little more than a year now, a year and one month or two, since it began. And I just begin to realise, like, really see and integrate how huge it was. Fate put on my path signs to reveal more, the depth of it. Coincidence that it ended with a long trip to the American continent exactly at this aniversary date ? A sort of pilgrimage… To what ? To my soul I think, partly. A kind of parenthesis between the worlds – again. A breach through the healing process. A new phase of silence from the spirits and gods…. to find myself back, to have time for myself, to allow me things… to take time, to observe. One page of my life (or many!) seems to be closing, and yet everything is new. Everything begins. And what more was I needing to realise, when it strangely closes at this pivotal moment of Winter Nights ?

Yeah… I think Spirits love to teach us and insist on some things. It’s just another way to say “yes, it’s all about death, again“. Death is my arriving point. And even if I am just back, I’ll have to resume the work. After such a trial, I’ll have to do the holy celebration and honor the dead, mostly my ancestors. What better way and moment to do this, after such a journey of mine ? Because it is obvious that my ancestors were around me all along the way even when I felt alone… And after having changed so much, I need time for myself and I have to accept it without feeling guilty. I need loneliness, quiet, and a hearth and / or home. And where is my home if not among my Ancestors and in the House of the Dead ? It is so clear now… and this sign is too big. I’ve come Home.

“November is the cruellest month”, because it collects the aniversaries of the death of my closest family members, plus my first beloved cat which was hit long ago by a car. It marked my youth, both these deaths themselves and the fact that they were added to this month magnetically. I’ve always wondered even back then if Fate was trying to tell something. And it did… I just refused it till the first day, the first death. As for now, it is so meaningful and awe-inspiring that this new sacred year coincides with my personal trial year, and starts with a serious aniversary month, which I will then celebrate all the more intensely since my practice is being re-centered around the Dead and Ancestors. It is a pretty significant opening after a year of harsh initiations and for a new year of empowerment to which I engage. It is obvious that I have to plan and involve to find my personal roots and the roots of my spiritual power, as I have begun to do. To continue the work I have been asked, and find who I am. This means a lot of work of course… but actually, for once, I am not scared. No I am rather really glad…. and at peace.

I might do a month of “virtual silence” for the occasion… if I manage ! Or maybe a series of shots around this topic ? I also realise that I have to take back my drafts of a personal holy calendar… (By the way Ryan, you really inspired me with yours !)

Equinox Tour To The Père Lachaise, IV

Oh I was so disappointed that I forgot my camera. There were really nice moments. I took some poor shots with my phone just in case, I’ll check them later.

It was a shorter and  simpler tour this time, because we were both somewhat sick. But we truly wanted to go for the Equinox. And we were right to go because we had a wonderful moment. Going during the week is great because there are fewer people despite tourists. But as it keeps happening, I think I even prefer the cemetery when it rains. People flee and you have the place for yourself and the spirits. It completely changes mood and atmosphere. The plants, the trees (the yews), the graves do not vibrate in the same way. Maybe this is just me, but the water is like the door to the World of Spirit.

We took the shortest way up to find both Sarah’s grave again for my friend (who was with me the time we missed it) and Richard Wright’s. I hadn’t plan it but I thought it might be interesting to see what had happened to my offerings, before we go to the far end of the cemetery to see Oscar Wilde. My surprise was full and it warmed my heart like nothing else. The Cemetery was full of devotion and honor.  I suspect there are groups of people who tend the grave and care for the dead. As we went to Sarah’s grave, I had the touching surprise to see that my candle for the anonynous dead which I had put quickly on the side (also in order that it would not be stolen) had been … moved to the center place, up in the pot of (dead) flower that is in front of the grave. Did anyone know this person ? this grave which has no one, no nothing ? Or do some people actually care ? I was really taken aback and then glad. A joy that is of a different nature. A kind of communion through the distance, with unknown people, because we share the same… religious spirit ? devotion ? understanding ? caring ? It is a marvellous experience to make and it didn’t stop there.

So we turned round to commune before Sarah’s grave, and it had been totally renewed in the days ! The candle I had seen last time was lit ! And despite the rain, in this little shelter, it was burning… it had beeb burning for a little while since it was all liquid. You ask yourself then, who went there ? when ? Was it just before us ? And my candle was there, I wonder if it had been in fact lit and put out by other people. New stones where there, new flowers…. The quietness of the cemetery and those offerings, the place resonated like a temple. We really could have been in a church or something. And it didn’t stop there ! As we went to the Columbarium, I was totally shocked (in a good way) : the walls were covered by flowers ! Everywhere, the pots had been refilled, with true flowers and false ones, but the walls were colorful like a painting. I wonder if it is from the cemetery guardians or if some people did it. There were also a LOT of candles and incense ! So as we came close to Richard Wright’s grave, I had the delight to see that my candle had been moved, to be put not on the flower but in the corner on the wall. And my note is still there ! So everyone that went to the grave between the 4th and today had witnessed and wondered and myabe had a thought about the life and birthday of Richard Wright… and my candle looked burnt a little. So we turned back with joy, looking for a moment at the rain and the shelter of the Columbarium, with all those flowers and bouquets. It was delicious. We also passed in front of Zavatta, and I has memories of my childhood coming back.

We finished our walk in the alleys as we went to Oscar Wilde’s grave. There are really powerful and nice tombs and vaults in this area. We lit a candle at the feet of a marvellous grave with two hooded figures huddled together. And then we could observe the damage down at Wilde’s, as always. The glass that surrounds the grave is really dirty, and the officials have been obliged to extend the barrier, just like at Morrison’s. People had climbed the stone cross on the side tomb to manage to kiss the tomb and the angel on the top… and the cross has collapsed entirely. Well, unlinke Morrison, I never understood the crazyness around this author, but I witness the power of his words and personality through time anyway.

Here it was ! Happy equinox to everybody.

Hail Dionysos !

I heard you !

For now I know. After… let me see, six or seven months, I now got a flash of light. I understand why he’s here ! And I know that he definitely is here, I only wasn’t able to see. Things are suddenly all so clear, and it looks weird than even two months before I hadn’t got any clue ! If I try to make short my overwhelming thoughts of the moment, here it goes :

Why Dionysos came

First, the most evident thing I couldn’t see, is that Dionysos is the changing and multiple God by excellence – they all are in a way, except for Gods of constancy and stability, but he’s the very incarnation and principle.  And so he is the God of the unexpected : unexpected words, situations, events… and places. He seems to have this disturbing quality of being constantly where and what you wouldn’t expect. And indeed, I didn’t expect his coming at all, not even talking about a lasting presence and his help !

I had some intuitions about the second reason but was totally unable to formulate it in my consciousness until I caught a clue thanks to someone following Sannion’s blog. I read a piece this person wrote for either the introduction or the appendix of Sannion’s new coming book, and I found this idea : Dionysos as a liminal God, and a God of transition and passage. And Hell yes he is!  I thought it was more relevant to Hermes, and yet I found it particularly enlightening, illustrating perfectly my own experience. It has to do with one’s personal crisis and in-between states. If you go out of your way, it seems that Dionysos will definitely be there, to help you through the passage toward the next stage. He will give you insights, very intense revelations, to foster the transition. At least he was for me, and he keeps being just beside my path, following me, being my “garde-fou” : if I lose myself, he’s there and he guides me with overwhelming accuracy. He helped me dealing with many of my deepest issues of the moment : spiritual duties, the dead, transe & shamanism, music…. and I even think he’s also there to help me in my very personal life, the development of my self, personality, and potential : being able to accept what others can’t, stepping up for my self, healing my self and voice…

The third reason that came, and which is the most amazing to me, is that he seems to correspond exactly to my ‘medicine’, my very personal essential spiritual ‘quality’ (and duties). It has to do with what I experienced myself as I said, empowerment and personality, but also with the Dead, which I’m going to develop just after.

Because that’s my second part, the most striking revelation of these days :

Dionysos is Morrigan’s cousin, that’s why he came and helped me in my relationship with her

It’s so obvious now, they are so alike (not the same, but alike).

First, the most arguable part, my very personal feeling is the following : I experienced a face of Dionysos which is exactly like that of Morrigan (and which surprised me compared to his wild “reputation”) : he has a very intense character, which is very calm, quiet (silence) and direct. He is a “piercing” God, not speaking much, but telling things bluntly and showing them with an almost painful lucidity, as is Morrigan (Goddess of prophecy and truth). I never thought I could have such a calm relationship to him, he was totally placid & lucid, everything was too obvious. He is a bringer of light in darkness, of intense revelation, which is exactly what Morrigan is. And yet, like her, he is absolutely remote, distant in his relatioship (to me at least).

But let’s see the deepest connexions, the resemblances. Morrigan and Dionysos are both apart from the rest of the World and Gods for me. They share this quality that all chthonian Gods have, Gods of the World Below (like Hel, Hades, Persephone etc). They are not like other Gods and living creatures, and so they do not live in the same places. They have specific places like the lower world(s), and the liminal places (as told).  On the one hand, as being Gods of the Great Below, they “rule” over life and death, the principle of life even when it’s hidden, and over the dead people. It never struck me before, it was really out my mind’s possibilities, but since the beginning Dionysos presented himself to me as a dark God (dark energy and literaly dark face). I think it was the mask of the Lord of the Dead (and repressed impulses), and that’s why I didn’t recognised him at first since I wasn’t aware of this aspect. – So it is that it’s precisely what I have to work on both for my polytheist and shamanic path. – On the other hand, if they are Gods of the Great Below, set apart, it’s because they embody all the impulses that are judged to be dark and/or scary, and thus rejected. Morrigan is more on the side of the inconscious, what we don’t see, where Dionysos is more along the line of what we deliberately reject (the non-normal, the marginal etc). That’s what we can put under his label “god of the wild“. So both are set apart because related to what we don’t want to see and deal with (either consciously or not). And along with the cycle of life and death, the underworld, it grants them a very profond quality of mystery, both in the common and literal sense (spiritual mystery, initiation). Furthermore (!) they have the same link to masks and illusions. They both appeared to me as masked Gods : Morrigan with the faceless Goddess with a hole face, a blank face, so a masked face (to conceive either the emptiness or her true face) ; Dionysos as the dark-faced God, God of the wild and mystery. He truly appeared as a God of Shadow and Earth, in its really material aspect, the soil, the dirt. For which aspect I tend to call him “the God of unease” (exactly like the essence of Morrigan).

So he was not just here for a month or two. I guess he’s concerned by a long-term transition, and even more : for all that I have mentioned, I think he’s a long-term guide. He corresponds to many of my deepest interest fields (my medicine), and so he’ll be precisely what I’ll need along the way.

I hope it will be clear for others, since it really is the object of my currently reflexions. It’s huge for me, I wonder if anybody worked on such aspects before. As usual, feel free to share with anybody you know who could be interested.

the God of the unexpected.

Prayers for Japan

I had to do something, I couldn’t bear standing there still with open mouth. After a week, the shock has passed, and I begin to come back to my senses. So I was finally able to take my pen and write a series of prayers. You can find one addressed to Morrigan on the Temple (the page can be translated in English through google) :

« Oh Morrigan, Great Queen of the Dead, be Thou with the Spirits of those who died but also with the Spirits of the dying ones. May Ye lift the veil of their fear and reveal that there is light among darkness. Help them regain their rightful place, be it among us or their ancestors, and make a safe passage. Show thy Face so that they don’t be afraid, welcome them with Thy comforting warmth, for Ye are the Great Mother. »

I’m going to write some to many other Gods, according to their field of “expertise” and what they can do. I’m totally into to spiritual and magic drawing since last summer, and I drew some powerful mandalas. So I’ll try to make new special ones for compassion, healing and growth. But for now I’m using those I already did :

Here in France some finally launch a wide initiative, a ritual to combine to the strong energies of Ostara, we’re gathering on Facebook.