Monday, March 23, 2015

Advanced Wildflower Training begins

This past weekend— in our Festival of Joyful Vows— CAYA honored and welcomed our new Wildflower Ordains (Hive 1-5 is ALIVE!). We also recognized the commitments of three members of our clergy who had completed the highest level of training in our tradition, and who have earned the title of High Priest/ess, vowing to serve our community with a great level of devotion and accountability. It is this very same training I have begun this year, recognizing that this is a process with no particular end point. I could perform all of the tasks to which I have committed, and receive the title, but that's not really the point. As I understand it, the journey is the destination, and I am building my spiritual muscles for the lifelong practice of serving as a High Priest/ess.

 From my place of power, I speak my truth

This is the intention I have set for my Advanced Wildflower work, with guidance from Yeshe Matthews. Every month, I engage in a Dark Moon practice and offer my report to the Advanced WIldflowers. I have been encouraged to share this process with others, and decided to post my reports here in my blog. Here are my first three Dark Moon reports:
JANUARY: Again with Yeshe's guidance, I adapted and deepened a personal dark moon practice I've had for several years. It's a trance journey to a sacred place I call The Garden of the Well of my Wellness. Within its boundaries, all of my allies and deities have a special place, and I make monthly offerings of water from the depths of the well at the center (can you imagine how astonished I was when I first encountered TSW?!?!?). Nine deities currently have a specific place around the circle I water, starting with Lord Ganesha (of course) at the NE , then clockwise: Hermes, Yemaya, Durga, Kuan Yin, Hina, Paneros, The Horned God, and Hekate. A few allies meet me there, too, including Spider, Snail, Raven, Snake, Bee, and more plants and stones than I can list here briefly. The Ancestor Tree, which is at the foot of the mountain in the North, is an especially important place I visit each time.

My plan is to communicate with each deity in turn over the course of the year, asking for guidence in manifesting my intention. Yeshe suggested I make a place for myself to be enthroned, too. I knew this would be on the roof of the well, where I can see in All Directions.
Early Tuesday morning, as the Moon approached the Sun (I prefer working with exact astrological moments, if possible), I approached The Garden with the new intention to do my Advanced Wildflower work. Spider, who guards the gate, flung herself at my Third Eye and bit me, which she has never done before. I thanked her and entered. I was pulled rapidly to the Ancestor Tree and entered the sanctuary within. The Ancestors told me that Hekate had something for me. I looked on the altar— which for all these years has only held on it an Eternal Flame and a Wooden Chalice of Well Water— and it was covered with keys. One of them lodged into my heart. It was the Key of Silence. She had told me the day before, as I walked the Labyrinth at Land's End, to keep Silent. I had been struggling with that, as it seemed contrary to my intention of Speaking My Truth. She said it was only until the next Dark Moon, when I would receive another instruction. I knew I had prayed for Divine guidance, and it would be worse than rude to ignore it.

And that's all I may say. Thank you and Blessed be!

February Dark Moon Report

Going into trance, I crossed a rainbow bridge (it had never been a rainbow before) and approached the high, rambling brambles that serve as a boundary between my Garden of Being and the rest of known reality. The Spider ward above the driftwood gate showed me her legs, wriggling like tentacles, and the Snail would not move from the driftwood latch. This had never happened before. I was not yet to enter. I knew I was to sit and observe the gate.
Lord Ganesha appeared before me, transforming the humble gate into a splendid archway, gilded and adorned with jewels. I laughed, thinking it rather extravagant, but who am I to judge such fanciness? It was Ganesha's way to inform me that I was embarking upon a new journey, and I'd better pay attention. As with my previous Dark Moon work with Hekate, He had been appearing with greater frequency and intensity as the moon waned. He led me through a red and white poppy field —"Indonesian," He informed me—to the Ancestor Tree, which He had transformed from an evergreen into a deciduous. The branches sprouted from the trunk  just below my eye level. Usually it is so tall, I cannot see the lowest branches. He placed me at the center of the bowl of the branches and I sank into the womb of the tree. He told me, "When you sacrificed your womb, you vowed to be a Star Mother, so do not act so surprised that you have been called to do this work [to create the Rainbow Moon Circle]. You are the gateway for this work. Do everything you can to bring it to the world. Now dream." I fell asleep. In my dream the edge became the center after I had willingly let go of my most personal attachments for the greater good.
I woke up in the inner sanctum of the tree and picked up the chalice to do my water blessings at the Well of my Wellness. The first deity in this offering is always Ganesha. He sat grandly on his throne. I approached more closely than I had ever dared before. I crawled onto his lap and inhaled his earthy, sweet, spicy scent. As He held me, I wept, feeling the paternal affection I had craved since I was separated from my father at the age of 4. He laughed gently and said, "You can't be a baby forever. I'll gladly play your Daddy, but I don't see you as my child. You are a sexual being, and you need to let yourself grow up." He showed me all the practices I had developed and then abandoned before attaining mastery and confidence, especially piano playing and certain sexual explorations. He bade me return to these with devotion. He expects progress before the next New Moon.

I completed my offerings to all within the Garden and finally returned to the gate. I was stopped again. "Leave a place with the same mindfulness and intention with which you entered. Every gate is a sacred opportunity." I turned and bowed to the Garden and then the gate opened and allowed me through.

March Dark Moon Report:
In trance: I hadn’t even set foot on the ground before the garden gate when from above it, a sudden burst of enormous wings unfolding from an orb of nearly-blinding light lifted me upwards. Rapidly I shot into the sky, so quickly my heart raced and I felt frightened. Movement up up up! with no sign of slowing down. I saw nothing but shining silvery clouds.
I said, “Hermes, I don’t want to do this. My work at this time is not here with you.”
Suddenly I fell, plunging from a breathtaking height right down into the Well of my Wellness, splashing into the cool water and downward into the darkness as the temperature dropped. I kept descending and felt strong tentacles wrapping around me to pull me down further. I felt a little fear, but not as much as before.
I said, “I belong to myself, and I will do as I will. I am sovereign!”
The tentacles let go and I rose to the surface of the water. I climbed out of the Well and crawled, exhausted, up the hill to the Ancestor Tree.
I flung myself belly down to the earth, dripping water and crying tears onto the roots of the Tree, clinging to the trunk like a lifeline.
I said, “I can’t stay here forever, I have work to do.”
I entered the sanctuary of the Tree, offering thanks to the Ancestors and picked up the grail to fill at the Well. As I drew up the water, I sang
We need snow in the High Sierras,
Unexpected snow in the High Sierras
To end this drought that hovers over us,
And to bring water to the earth.
I began my offerings. When I reached the East, seductive Hermes was there, lazily draped over his throne with an amused grin.
He said, “You don’t have to see me this way. I am much more ancient than the Patriarchal images you’ve been fed. In me you can find a Grandfather… and a Grandmother. Look for me. Find a new old me.” I felt curiosity and hope.
I completed my offerings and walked toward the gate. The Spider ward was miffed that I had entered the garden without greeting her. She gnawed at my third eye. I apologized and assured her I would be more mindful. And then I returned to this Now.Top of Form
Bottom of Form

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