choices, consequences, and shadow

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I mixed the oil with the water, said my goodbyes, and dropped him in. He flailed for just a few seconds before settling to the bottom of the jar.. that’s when I gave him the lethal dose. Later that evening we lit the candles and left his little fishy spirit an offering of his favorite worms.. my thoughts were simply that I had done this.

I killed the smallest member of my family, this was several days ago now. I had not been diligent in his care of late. Sickness took him due to my neglect, and I could no longer watch him suffer. The responsibility was mine, and so this guilt joins my shadow.. which has been knocking hard at my door of late.

In this said late shadow lurks family, what that means to me, and spider’s insistence that a few things be dealt with. I have been winding through some memories (and lack there) of childhood trauma.. of which is mine and not open for discussion. Nonetheless, it brought with it the point of what I choose to consider family.. how much does one forgive and what then do we do with all those deeply embedded rotting bits asking to be examined? Do we make some kind of peace within ourselves? How about all the ripples said things have made in result? Do we release those as well? The answers are most personal.

Looking at my notes of what of those bits I could remember of that time, I can say it was definitely not filled with light.. at least not in regards to my biological ties. It was very clear to me that if it had not been for the support of my childhood friend and her family, things would not have turned out so well. In my head, her mom is my mom.. her sister my sister.. and she also my sister. I forever will consider them so and even though I stepped away later in life, I know that they are the reason I made it into adulthood in one or three pieces.

Do I regret my neglect and loss of those I consider my true family? Some days very much so.. but like the loss of my dear little one, that rests firmly on my shoulders as well. Still, spirit has its reasons.. choices, consequences, and shadow.

As I grow older, I now try to take that lesson with me and be much more responsible in maintaining my relationships close. I have new sisters and brothers who I walk my path with and they have become my new family.. and I am reminded. I might not always succeed, but I do my best. As for my surrogate family long lost.. I hope they realize that they saved me from the great terrible and that I will always be here if they have need. Most importantly, I hope they know the depth of my appreciation for having had them in my life and that I love them.

 

There is no birth of consciousness without pain.
–Carl Jung

Notes on shadow:

Like a storm rising up suddenly with brute force, one little dream became a heavy downpour of messages beating at me with fat needley droplets of wet suffering.. that would be my description of my current shadow work. Dramatic much, you ask? Not this time.. truly this time is a tough go.. and yes, I made up a word. It brought up a good discussion, however, at the last witch and wine.. which I will try to shorthand here (if not for anything else, then at least for my own reference) –

What is shadow? The shadow is basically those hidden ugly(?) bits of self that get pushed away into exile.. trapped painful emotions from trauma, parts of ourselves we find that are not valued, feelings we were taught not to embrace, etc. These things, lurking about where they may not be consciously acknowledged, have bearing on our lives. They can influence our choices or reactions, make us feel unworthy, separate us from a sense of wholeness, and all sorts of lovely things. Even considering all of this, I find that I still tend to agree with Jung in that the shadow holds gifts.. gifts of learning and wisdom if we choose to work with it in an honest fashion.

And shadow work? Shadow work is an act of going inward and working on/with those unpleasant things be it for release or reconciliation.. to weave those bits back to become whole. Sometimes we take an active step and choose the work, such as honoring the passing of a loved one at Samhain. Sometimes that bitch just sneaks up on you bringing with it all sorts of fun stuff (not). It is a decision of self how you choose to approach shadow work, be it through active imagery, dream work, meditation, friend support, therapy, etc. One’s avenue of working varies as greatly as the nature of shadow, and it’s important to work in a manner that works for you.

 

 

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two questions, defining the tribe, and a bit about masturbation

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.. yeah, that got your attention and yes, my thoughts are all over the table this morning.. so let me start with defining the tribe..

Have you ever been in that situation where you’ve talked with someone on the down deeps of their path and even though it wasn’t exactly your cuppa, you knew that person had a wise grasp of their spiritual. Even evolving, as paths often are, they owned their shit (as previously touched on) and better yet – you were able to learn and grow just by having those conversations.  You take things away that make you think, evaluate, and sometimes even shape aspects of your own path. It is a great thing. I feel this way evey time I talk to people like my friend Heron who I visited a bit with yesterday at the shop. I feel this way when I talk to my friend Walking Bear who though walks a separate path, we are nonetheless hand in hand. I feel this way when I talk to my friend Cin, who walks in nature to her own path and helps me often decipher the shady bits that lie in my dreams. I feel this way when I talk to my friend Kayla, who walks a path similar, but still manages to bring me things that further my path. They keep me in movement and often from hutting up in myself, especially when that is often what I want to do. These are the people that I consider my tribe.

Kayla and I had a big discussion on tribe (and foxes, and perceptions, and blue jays, and death.. but that’s neither here nor there) and what it means.. or at least to us. I believe we decided on those who we could meet with, bounce ideas around, discuss the ins and outs, successes and failings.. all those things we encounter while on our path. These are not necessarily the people who you hold obligation to, per se, or even those from whom you are seeking instruction. These are not even those who you specifically practice with or share a path. No, these would be the people to which you hold no expectations of or to.. those that you can speak frankly and openly about said spiritual without the worry of perceptions or mistakes or any of those embarrassing things you may not be able to express to others. These are the people with which you hold the honest discussions.. no judgement that is not openly evaluated.. and those you learn and grow with. So these people are my tribe, I decided, I learn so much just by these occasional discussions and they bring me movement..

..which brings me to masturbation and the first question I have been pondering..

Masturbation – that act of pleasuring oneself for the purpose of.. well.. pleasuring oneself. I am not knocking it at all, mind you.. I engage in it often and it keeps me sane. It makes us feel good. It puts a spring in our step. However, it is what it is – the act of focusing completely on self satisfaction. Where am I going with this? Well, on the flip side of tribe and learning from the person knowledgeable in their path is the person who is so wrapped up in the show that they just don’t communicate effectively anything (too hopped up on their own boffo).. my friend used this term (public masturbation) recently about an experience she had and I’ve been pondering it ever since. Now, I feel sure she might write on it much better than I possibly ever could so I will leave it at that, BUT it brought about the further discussion.. why do you practice your chosen path? What does it bring to you? This she brought about and such we discussed. How many of us truly get asked this? Often I get asked what my path is and even how I gained knowledge.. but rarely the why (although once upon a time I did explore meaning). Even more important, how many know the answer? You should, otherwise I think the path is an empty one.. pretty to look at, sure, but where is it in your very being? I think we should be asked that more often.

..which brings me to.. knowledge of worth, a much harder question..

Flitting around my many conversations post Boffo (its uses and misuses) and such, naturally there seemed to be concerns over how one is viewed.. my answer was simply “who fucking cares?”.. later, another wondered their writings might cause some strife (polite for piss some folks off).. my answer was “so what?”. Now, we all worry about such things and I tend to think if we are genuine and authentic in our craft.. well.. you get where I’m going.. and sometimes I am just a bit blunt. Appearances, appearances.. along with the subject of death (more on that later), they do seem to keep popping up in my little realm. I wonder if the worry of how we appear to others directly affects how we value our worth.

I recently purchased a beautiful evil eye charm from Kayla (who has been much more productive in the store setting up area than I have been but I sworny it is in the works.. I just have other stuff crowding my spiritual plate at the mo’) and commissioned the lovely Heron to do henna on my rabbit pelt (she does gorgeous work, I will post a pic when complete and also a strange incident that passed through thought at the time I dropped it off). In both instances the artists seemed reluctant to pin down a price. Kayla remarked that she felt odd selling it to me as we were friends.. does this diminish their art and hard work?? I don’t think so. Just because we know each other doesn’t change what of yourself you’ve put into a piece.

This brought about my worth pondering.. why do we undervalue our worth? Beyond the art but even as a whole? Sure, I’m no longer speaking of charms and such but they did bring forth the idea. Do we know our worth? The importance of the ripples we put out there? Maybe we should pay better attention.. and be able to back it up. Own our shit.. which oddly does tie into the entire masturbation show and the more important meaning of path. It matters not so much how we are perceived if we are in fact doing the work. It matters that we are being true to ourselves and why we are on the path we are.. otherwise, again, what is the point?