Morning Pages, Entry #2

April 28th, 2012

Well I’m obviously going to have to work on writing everyday. The good thing is that I do light a candle and offer incense at least once a day. So there is that continuity of practice. Like most things right now it is hard to keep up. I read a lot more then I write at the moment. I made two giant cupcake cakes yesterday and my hands are very angry now. Typing this isn’t the easiest thing in the world. It’s 5am though and I’m awake so I figured I would go for it. Let’s just hope I don’t get interrupted by the battery on my laptop trying to die. I’ve been musing over the whole Herne situation since I wrote last. I KNOW it is Him. I asked my head covering group how they connected on a more visceral level with their Patrons. Trying to get some ideas. I am compelled to do more then just light candles. Even incense has been bothering me a bit lately. I’m going to try oil instead. Speaking of which cedar seems to be my scent of choice at the moment. He wants much more then just what I guess you could dub an “occasional phone call” so to speak. The Morrigan and I have a very symbiotic relationship. Always have. She is my Mother and I call her that. He wants daily devotions. Daily contact. I hope I’m making sense. She is a part of me like the way my skin is….She just IS. Whereas He desires more attention. Perhaps this will change in the future once a relationship is established. Seeming as how I believe He has been with me always though who knows. Perhaps this is the new way of things. Either way I feel excited and anxious. KInda like the rare occasions when I went on first dates. My heart is in my throat.
I want to get a set of runes on antler. I’ve always wanted a set and I was going to make my own. I may just buy the antler discs and paint the runes on. I suppose my shaky painting skills aren’t that important, it’s the intent of the project not it’s perfection that is the key. I also feel very drawn to making a spirit mask. I may need to read Lavondyss again. It deals with lots of masks. And horned men. I don’t want to make it from a plastic mold though. I may need to look around online and see what I can find. Possibly talk to Tina about getting one carved in cedar. Just a plain base mask. Well goodness…apparently that’s a good idea…got the excited tingly feeling in my solar plexus that comes along when the Gods are happy about something. Thank you Sir for the encouragement! The runes are a good idea as well. But that cedar base mask is a REALLY good idea apparently. I need to look into it more but I think the sudden influx of Northern Flickers in my life the last year may have something to do with Him. I remember last summer when the first big guy showed up, scaring the crap out of me by singing directly into my window, I talked to E about it. She reminded me of the story of the Fisher King and about old wounds that won’t heal. There were some things regarding my everyday life that needed to be worked on and I have made a lot of progress in that area. I wonder though if my lack of Male Divinity was also part of it.
I think of Him now when I hear or see the Flickers. When I left Christianity as a young teen I remember feeling heartbroken. Partially at the fact that I could not remain in the Faith I was raised in and be true to myself but also because I was leaving behind the Divine Masculine. At least I thought I was. At the time I didn’t think I could have it. Then for the last 15 years or so I was drawn so heavily into the Divine Feminine that I didn’t WANT anything to do with Gods. I had a knee jerk reaction to it and it wasn’t exactly positive. So perhaps that is an old wound that won’t heal and now it is time to mend it. We all need balance in our lives and I guess it is time for me to fully acknowledge that.
I think perhaps…no I know…that my character Lucien is an extension of Herne. I suppose His first REAL and MAJOR attempt to reach out. My characters are always part of me as well but it would explain why that character in particular feels so…outside of myself? Individual? Sentient? If I compare Lucien’s personality with the experiences I have had with this “Mystery God” in my life, well, it’s almost identical. OK I know I’m not supposed to stop but I need a snack! BRB.
Okay. Much better. Now if only I had remembered a glass of milk! Will have that when I am done. I need to redo my altar STAT. I also need to set up the mini shrines. One for my Beloved Dead (Ancestor Shrine) and one Mary. I have a little corner shelf that I was going to downsize the whole altar to when I found out I was pregnant but that idea started to give me panic attacks so needless to say the big one is still up. I know I’m going to use that shelf for Mary. I’m still deliberating over how to set up the rest. I think I will set up three sections on my big altar. One for the Beloved Dead on one side, Herne on the other and the main Morrigan based one on the middle. Seems like a good plan to me at the moment. I may have to crochet some doilies of certain colours for this. Or just leave the wood bare with the one wide runner down the center the way it is now. I’ll let my hands guide me like I always do when rearranging these things.
I have this cheesy 90’s pop love song in my head. Same line playing over and over, “Cuz I miss you! Whenever you’re not around…”, hehe! I did listen to the song a few days ago but it popped up when I started writing this. Maybe it’s His cheeky way of explaining why He wants me to do more in the daily devotions department? That thought makes me giggle. Cheeky monkey! Haha! Random interjection…I was having a bit of a panic attack when I awoke at 4am. Worried about mundane things, cake orders and such. And I was thinking about co-sleeping and how it is something I would like to do but I am concerned about creating some sort of co-dependence in the child. I had a sudden flash of memory, of being a child and waking up in the middle of the night, which happened almost every night, and going to my parents room and hovering in the doorway, getting more and more upset because all I wanted was to snuggle but I knew if I woke Mom up I would get a few snuggles and then get taken back to my bed. I would shuffle a little closer and hover right beside the bed, staring at her and willing her to wake up. Which she always did and I scared the crap out of her. That seems to answer where some of my current anxiety problems come from. And perhaps it is an indication that a wee bit of co-sleeping is ok. That I won’t damage the child. I’m a little too scared to have the baby in the bed, but having the crib in the room is fine. We will have to wait and see.
I’m feeling sleepy again. Mom will be here at 9:30am to pick me up so we can drop off the cakes. May have to stop soon even if I am not done so I can squeeze in a couple hours. One thing that is really nice about waking up so early is I get to hear all the birds wake up. I wish I could figure out what they are just from their songs. Obviously there are some I know. Crows, Ravens, Flickers, etc. But these morning birds, I don’t really know what they are even though I’ve heard them all my life. I will have to study some bird calls. Birds are playing a bigger and bigger role in my daily practice it seems. Not just Crows, Ravens, Peregrine Falcons and Eagles…Hawks I think too. But now all the smaller ones. Robins, Chickadees, Finches, Starlings, these sorts of birds. I’m not sure if I need to do more than just acknowledge them, which I do at the moment but maybe as I learn more I will know if I am to take them into my daily practice more. I NEED to get a hummingbird feeder. And I NEED to get a suet feeder too. I figure the suet feeder will make considerably less mess on my deck. I’ve also been wanting to do the elementary school thing and roll pinecones in peanut butter and bird seed and leave them in the branches of trees.
Chickadees make me think of my Grandpa and that always makes me smile. I believe the Cailleagh may have started to appear quietly to me as well. In a Grandmotherly type roll. The Morrigan always appears “young”, not super young but “middle aged” I guess is a good description. The Cailleagh has been hovering around my periphery lately though. I thought it might be her that was calling me to cover but I think now it is a combination of the three. Herne, Morrighan and Cailleagh. I don’t really feel the need to be with young maiden type Goddess’s. I suppose I kinda fill that role since They are the ones teaching me. You never know who’s going to pop up though. The Daghda still hovers as well, a Fatherly type presence.
Sleep is calling!! Just a few more paragraphs though and I will have my three pages for the day. I feel compelled to research as much about Horned God myths and such as I can. I want to know associations regarding colours, plants and so forth. So far what has come to me naturally is the colour green, sometimes blue. The moon. Dappled sunlight. The White Stag…the dead one. Or immortal one might be a better description. Will have to find the passage in Lavondyss that caught my attention so many years ago. The Woods. Like deep woods. The woods I played in as a child, at the cabin and campsites. The trees I used to climb and hang out with. Literally. Wolves or foxes. Daggers. Bow and arrow. The Wild Hunt. The Silent Hunt through the trees, think the scene from Braveheart when William Wallace is hunting the deer. Soft moss. Warm smiles. Strong hands. Virility. MALE. Lust. Ardour. Warm smiling eyes. Feathers? I think that is Morrigan there, hehe. With Cailleagh it’s whirlpools.
This word game is fun, let’s try it with Morrigan in mind. The Pig Hunt. Wild Boar Hunt. Silent battlefields filled with the dead. The Washer at the Ford. Soft loving smiles. Gentle reassuring touches, hands stroking my hair. A single large spear and armour. Blue face paint…woad. Furs. Boots. Snow. Ice. The woods…deciduous. Leafless. Sometimes the green woods and dappled sunlight. Moonlight. Cool breezes. Horses. Black Horses. Screams. Battle cries. Battle fury..madness. Revenge…vengeance. Love. Safety. Protection. Comfort. Joy. Mother Bear. Bear Goddess. Primordial. Visceral.
Mmmm….that was very satisfying! I will have to do that for Cailleagh soon. Whirlpools and an old cloaked woman are all that really come to mind so far with her. The Teacher. The Old Mother. Warm smiles also. Harsh and unforgiving but still gentle and kind. Cliffs. A Staff. The Mysteries. Hearth fire. Veiling. I think Herne thinks the veiling is cute. He likes it. So does Morrigan. She likes it because it reserves my power. Cailleagh likes it because it hides it….shows restraint? Herne…it seems to be much more…erotic. It’s like I’m not just covering my hair to save for Rob to see for but Him also. Goodness that gave me the warm tinglies. This is definitely a new experience for me. He’s grinning and laughing at me now in my head. Cheeky Monkey! Or Stag I guess. He has his arms crossed, leaning against an old Oak, smirking. Makes me smile.  I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship, hehe!

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Morning Pages, Day One

April 22, 2012

This is my first day writing “morning pages”. I am reading a book about developing ones own personal daily practice and the first weeks assignment is this. It is essentially automatic writing, as soon as possible in the morning I will sit down and write three pages of whatever comes out of my head. This week it is all I will be doing, 6 days of morning pages. I am reading the book as I go so I assume in the second week more tasks will be added on.

Cernunnos has been figuring prominently in my subconscious the last few months. I knew that a God was coming forward I just didn’t realize it was Him until a week ago. I have joined a group on head covering and modesty within Paganism. Believe it or not it is something that is quite heavily looked down upon in the Pagan community at large. People assume you are being abused or forced to cover when really it is our God/dess’s that are calling us to do it. Veiling is definitely not just a “Big 3” religious practice. I have felt so much happier about that part of my life since I have joined. The support is just amazing. We got into a discussion about Godspouses, which I had never even heard of before so of course I went rummaging around the internet to figure out exactly what it was. It is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. You commit yourself completely to that particular Deity. Apparently this isn’t the easiest thing in the world, it demands a lot of your time and energy. And it’s not just you picking a God and saying you are married to it, it takes a lot of work and devotion and practice, it is a mutual thing, not just something you decide to do.

The creator of the group posted about Hermes and how He has been with her since she was a young child, about how just recently He had asked for her to become his spouse. She had refused saying she already had a mortal husband and a family and didn’t think she had the time to devote to him completely as well. He wasn’t pleased but He is still with her, they are working on it. Which I think is super sweet. Reading her post set a bunch of bells ringing off in my head, a major AHA! moment. As I said I have been struggling with the fact that a God was making Himself more and more visible to me. Whispering to me. When I left the United Church fifteen years ago I gave up on Gods. I acknowledged the male aspect of Divinity but felt no desire to work with it. I was repulsed by it to be honest. Or so I thought at the time. Slowly as I have studied more and grown deeper in my faith I no longer reject the idea of working with a God but it still feels a little off after working with the Divine Feminine for so long. The Gods and Goddess’s are sneaky and never seem content to just show up and announce themselves. So I have felt this male presence for months but could not quite figure out who it was that was talking to me.

I first assumed that it was The Daghda seeming as how it is The Morrigan that I am devoted to. They are shown together in the Myths. So I reached out to Him for a while and while His reception is most definitely warm and loving (the name “Papa” comes to mind when I think of Him), He made it clear that it was not He who was calling to me. For a VERY brief period of time I thought it might be Lugh but that idea was shut down very quickly. I didn’t even get the warm response like I had gotten from Papa. Not that He was mean or anything, He just felt like a stranger on the street. So I started throwing the idea around again of Cernunnos. In my mind Cernunnos and Herne are one and the same. It is the Scottish Highland and British version of this God that calls to me. I know Cernunnos originated on the Continent but it is the worship along Hadrian’s wall that has always called to me. As has the image of Herne, the hanged horned God. Technically the myth starts off with Him as human but all myths hold a grain of truth in them.

After reading Cora’s post about Hermes and how He had been with her always a sudden flash of memory hit me. When I was in grade one or two I went on the yearly end of the year choir trip. We went to UBC, I don’t remember where exactly this moment took place but I know it was UBC or possibly the Museum of Anthropology. I remember rounding a corner or looking up and a little ways ahead of me was a set of antlers from an Irish Elk. I believe they were fossilized. I remember looking at them and feeling this rush of energy, this clenching in my solar plexus and this rabid excitement. I couldn’t quite understand it but I went with it and ran up to the glass, placing my hands on it and memorizing every detail. It was so important, this sudden mind-blowing connection. I’ve been obsessed with Irish Elk and antlered animals ever since. Although, thinking about it now my connection to Him was essentially at my birth. He has ALWAYS been with me.

My father is a member of The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, he is retired now but was a drummer for the band for at least 30 years. The crest for the Seaforth is a stag’s head. The Regimental Toast is as follows:

“The land of hills, glens and heroes;

Where the Ptarmigan thrives

And where the red deer find shelter.

As long as the mist hangs o’er the mountains

And water runs in the glens,

The deeds of the brave shall be remembered.

Health and success forever

To the lads of Cabar Feidh.”

(to which is replied…)

CABAR FEIDH GU BRATH!

(translated: The Deer’s Horns Forever!)

This above part of the toast is translated from Gaelic. I have literally heard this ALL of my life. I have heard it in English and on special occasions in Gaelic as well. When anxious the response will pop into my head. It has been popping into my head seemingly for no reason the last few months. I have memories of running around the Armoury as a child, petting every stuffed stag head I could find, be it deer, moose, or elk. The cougar is also a crest for the Seaforth and I was never attracted to it. I remember when they had to get rid of 99% of the taxidermy, it broke my heart. Growing up, while my father holds a very special and dear place in my heart, I didn’t have just one dad. I had the whole band. So an extra 10-15 men who helped form my personality and took care of me. After reading about Herne this makes me think of the band of riders and hunters that He apparently rides through the woods with. I’ve wanted a stag’s head tattoo my whole life. When I was married almost five years ago half of the band came to my reception and surprised the Hell out of me. I had asked my Dad if he could ask a few of them to come by and play. I didn’t expect HALF of the band to come. My Uncle Mike (technically my Dad’s best friend) had been at the service itself, playing his pipes for us as we left the Church. But I digress. Half the band showed up. I cried like a baby the whole time, I was so happy. After they had played for a little bit my Uncle Mike had the usual shots of Scotch brought up, one for each man in the band and one for myself, my husband, my Mom and Dad and my in-laws. He then said the Regimental Toast IN GAELIC and we all yelled the response as loud as we could, as is tradition, then downed the Scotch. Looking back on it seems so fitting. And a nice counter to the Catholic Ceremony we had. And it seems rather fitting that Cernunnos was at my wedding as well.  A big one on my upper back, I plan on having little ribbons “tied” to the antlers with the names of my children. Just a plain white one for my first baby who died.

It seems so obvious now that it was Him all along who was whispering to me. Everything has just clicked in my head. My plan over the next week is to redo my altar. A year ago a very dear friend of mine bought me a VERY large Bowie knife that has an antler handle. I feel it is time to put away the small ones I bought in my Wiccan days (I keep the two on my altar for The Morrigan, she is a war/death Goddess after all) and replace them with the one large blade. I’m not sure what else I am going to do but that seems to be the most important thing right now. I want to start meditating or sitting in silence (think Friends) so I can connect with Him more directly. The Morrigan and I have a deep-set relationship and I know this sudden realization of The God for me has made her happy, I can feel her smiling (so has the appearance of The Cailleagh, but that’s a whole other story). I feel a bit like a lost child. She has been my rock for fifteen years. I suppose I shouldn’t feel so unsettled. She is still with me. And He has been with me since the beginning. It’s a male energy thing though. Male energy in the not just platonic sense (He is definitely NOT a father figure like The Daghda!!) has always thrown me all a kilter. I’m running with this though.

I feel at this point I have no choice.  I am wandering in The Wild Wood and it is He who hunts me, or He I am hunting for…or both. I suppose after so many years of focusing on the Divine Feminine it is just my time to balance the scales and focus on the Divine Masculine as well. He seems pleased with my covering as well. Especially the veils. I did a tarot reading for the first time in YEARS a week ago for a good friend and was compelled to place my white rectangular scarf over my head, think Virgin Mary style. It made the reading much easier and it came to me that this is something I should be doing when I pray/commune with the Divine. I haven’t had the chance to do it yet but I am hoping to tomorrow. Prayer is something I like to do alone, as in nobody in the house! Although my husband is very understanding (he’s Catholic, so I figure he gets the importance of ritual). When I go into the bedroom at night and light the candles on my altar and burn the incense he leaves me alone for a good 15 minutes or so. Usually very discreetly poking his head into the bedroom to see if I have put my prayer-book down.

I will fully admit to being terrified on some levels of this sudden turn of events. In other ways though I am insanely excited. I have felt like I have been floundering a bit in my faith. Not a crisis of faith per say but just that something was missing. I thought perhaps that Jesus was coming back into my life, with the sudden reemergence of The Virgin. It seems that is not the case though. He is there as always but in the same sense as The Daghda. More like a Father figure or an Older Brother. He loves me and is there for me but it is not his place to connect with me like that. I am certain that I have found that missing piece. It is just a matter of integrating Him into my practice.