Posts Tagged ‘Honesty’

quote-anne-lamottHello world.

It has been rather a long time since we last spoke – so long in fact, that I forgot my log in to this blog. I was in hibernation, or in hiding. I think I still am. I am not even sure if I am ready to be here, to hold this space, to open the door and let anyone in, but here I am. Scared witless and struggling, but still here.

For the last year or so I have had the worst writers block I have ever experienced. It was only today that I finally accepted the truth – that I was not only finding it difficult to write, but that I have been actively avoiding it. For someone who believes in living ones truth, I have been living a lie. Or lots of little lies. Lies of omission.

I haven’t finished the book I was writing. A book I know is meant to be birthed into this world, a book with a due date that is past due, a book that should be nestled on my shelves with the scent of fresh ink. A book I have let down repeatedly by not giving my best, my all, my heart and soul, my truth. I stand still with anger, and the pages remain blank.

Here is the painful truth. I first write to clear my mind, then to open the floodgates of my soul, and then to pour myself and my stories onto the page. To feel the flow of words where the magic of creation happens. I cannot write with a cluttered mind, and my mind is cluttered. The floodgates are jammed with debris, the flow slowed, and the magic out of reach…. because I won’t let myself write the words I need to write. I am creating the blockage, I am the clutter, I am holding myself back, I am holding myself in. It is not that I cannot write, it is that I am afraid to. The words that need to spill out of me are personal, emotional, ugly and revealing. I need to turn my blood to ink and then bleed all over the page in ways that other people may find unpleasant and uncomfortable because what I need to write are all the reasons I could not write. I am afraid that in telling my stories, I will be telling the stories of all those connected to me. I censored myself so much, in fear and compromise and consideration of others, that I taped my own mouth shut.

vulnerability

 

Enough is enough. I am on a journey to the underworld, and like Inanna I will strip myself bare to face the truth of love and loss. Through the dark half of this year I will turn my inner journey outwards and as the world awakens, so shall I.

I shall be vulnerable, and I shall be strong.

 

 

Thank you World, I needed that. Maybe we can talk again tomorrow.

 

 

Bright Blessings,

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Carefully I reach into the depths and draw it from the darkness,

Lay it down upon the cutting board and reach for the knife

Piece by piece

Side by side

Slice and divide

A million pieces of my heart

Will it ever be enough?

Raw and wild, each fraction a reflection of the whole

Every part complete even when broken,

Divided,

Torn.

Beating under my fingertips as I witness each tiny offering

And gift my open heart upon open palm

So many ways to love

Flesh and form

Hearts and thoughts

Parts and whole

Snippets of soul

So many ways to love

A million pieces of my heart

A million ways to love

A million and counting

(c)2015 Romany Rivers

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I have heard these words before

Like raindrops running across my skin

Rolling along my body and falling to the floor in pools around me

I remember these words

I whisper them to my reflection in sadness and disbelief

But this time I hear them

There is a quality to his voice, a look in his eye

A sincerity upon his tongue that makes me pause

Look up

Look in

Look deeply

You are beautiful, he tells me

Inside and out

The droplets fall from my eyes and roll along my cheeks

But this time I stop their falling

I reach out and take them back into myself

Sad and salty upon my tongue

A bittersweet taste

I let them sink back into myself

Into the core of who I am

Nourish me

Fill me

Consume me from the inside out

You are beautiful, inside and out

 

 

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You are Beautiful (c) Romany Rivers 2014

 

hearth altarI have long been trying to live in the now. To be present in each moment. To let go of my past and to stop grasping at unknowable futures. To be open, receptive, aware. Willing to be who I am, where I am, right now. It is a challenge.

Much of the time my mind whirls with memories of the past and possibilities for the future. My emotions fluctuate around previous experiences, or tangle themselves into hope, anxiety or concern for the future. I react to life as it happens, and my reaction times are slow. I worry about what might be. I grieve over what was. So I sought to become less reactive and more proactive. I tried to tune into each moment as it happened, to process it like raindrops swelling my inner rivers. I tried spiritual techniques, mental tricks, psychological methods. I affirm my connection to the here and now. I practice mindfulness. I meditate. I let go.

I realised that we are never truly in the present moment, we may come close, but we simply cannot immerse ourselves in the now. We need time to process our understanding of now, and the greater the lesson, the longer the arc of understanding. Even listening to my own heartbeat takes the time of feedback and interpretation, but listening to my heart and its desires takes longer, listening to the hearts and desires of others longer still. We are never truly now or then, we are always somewhere in the middle. Like Janus we have twinned faces looking back at past and towards the future – a body in the present, and a mind split between what was and what will be. We are never fully present, even in the present moment.

The present is the past before you are able to grasp its importance and significance. And the unknown future is upon us before we even avert our gaze from that which just was. The importance of a single moment takes time to realise, yet it is the time in between experience and understanding that unravels the truth. This is the time when we listen, learn, understand and integrate the importance and value of every now. Therefore even if the only moment we have is now, it is the liminal times that we both seek and treasure. The liminal times may be brief and in sharp relief, or they may stretch over years as we slowly come to terms with that which once was, and with that one moment that changed everything.

This was my lesson, hard learned. By striving to remain present, I fell through the cracks of time and discovered the in between. The dusks and dawns of my own understanding. I live in the liminal times.

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“Some would even say that love is the most complex [emotion] of them all. If for no other reason than within those four letters lay all emotions.”- Tony Lantz

BW Sex3We love in cycles and waves, in tidal pulls that tug us off our feet. We speak of love and loss each time we lose our balance and are swept away on the currents. We ride high on the crests of the waves, soaring free. We are dashed against the shore and rise shaking and exhilarated. We turn our backs and try to find our feet on shifting sands. We take a deep breath and dive headlong back into the swells. We fall in love, we fall out of love. We fall.

Love is what it is, for the heart wants what the heart wants, and yet love is also an emotion that can be nurtured, grown, discovered or revealed. Love is sometimes not enough to sustain the kind of relationships we want, love is sometimes not enough to meet the expectations of those around us, yet love is always enough. Even loving into the void between us is enough. Love is pain and pleasure, heartache, heartbreak, joy and laughter. Love is the twin of grief, for we could not hurt so deeply if we do not love so deeply. Love is vulnerability. Love is release. Love is without expectation. Love is the altruistic act of being open, present, and compassionate, with honour and respect for others regardless of their response.

Love is a storm that we can hide from, shutting our doors and windows to the chaos of feeling, or we can choose to stand in the centre of it with open arms, raise our voices to the winds, and let the wildness lift our spirits and cleanse our souls. Its power and fury can overwhelm us, knock us off our feet, even send us running to safety. In lashes of rain and whipping wind we are stripped bare and raw, exposed and vulnerable, blinded and unbalanced, but our very being soaks in the nourishment to be found within the raging tempest. Love beats down upon our upturned faces or bowed heads, seeking entry to our deepest selves. It feeds us, refreshes us, gives us fuel to grow.

We love, even when it feels like love has left us behind. We love even when the walls that contained it crumble around us. We love even when the well is drying up; we still thirst for the last drops hidden in the darkest recesses. We love with salt tears, wet cheeks, tired eyes, and bitter taste upon our tongue. We love when there is nothing left but love. We love because that is all we can do.

Love is what it is. And it is both simple and complex, for we are both simple and complex.

We are love.

 

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This blog post was inspired by random conversations with Tony Lantz. Thanks for the thought provocation sweetheart.

Epstein QuoteI try not to regret the things I have done, because at some point it must have been what I wanted. Even if it simply seemed like a good idea at the time, but in hindsight was a terrible idea, harmful and hurtful in its teachings. I do often regret the things I didn’t do, the opportunities I missed, the times I said no even when a part of me was screaming ‘Fuck, yes!’ The times I said no from fear or a sense of not being capable, or not worthy or not good enough. I look back on those missed opportunities and wonder where I would be today, or who I would be today, or how much richer and wiser in experience I would be had I followed through on those chances.

Every experience has made me the woman I am today, for good or ill. Each yes and each no has shaped me in some way. If only I had been brave enough, smart enough, creative enough, more confident, more willing, more daring. If only I had said yes instead of no, or no instead of yes. If only I valued myself more. If only I had chosen a different path. (more…)

RRivers logoTeachings of Earth: All things must die; yet death is not the end.

Earth shows us the complex cycles of life and death. All aspects of nature, even those that seem most enduring, will eventually leave their current form. They will die, break down, transform. The more we observe nature, the more that we understand that every death feeds into the cycle of life – that energy itself does not die, merely transform. The horror of the rotting corpse feeds the world and nurtures new life. The leaves fall as they must for the trees to survive the winter, to feed the ground, and to make way for the new blossom of spring. The very planets of our universe are born and will die. There are many little deaths within our own life. Moments when relationships, behaviours, beliefs, knowledge, even things we held as truth must die. As it is natural for humans facing physical mortality, we often resist the death of these aspects and grieve their loss. When we face these inner deaths, especially those of deeply held beliefs, it helps to look to nature and understand that the death we resist may actually nurture new life within us, it may in fact be necessary for us to continue along our cycle of magical, emotional or spiritual development. To grieve is a part of the process and may actually be very enlightening, for grief is the twin of love, pain the twin of pleasure. Understanding why we resist the death of that which no longer serves us, why we grieve it’s loss, why we feel pain to let something go, may actually tell us why we held on to the belief, relationship or behaviour so tightly to begin with. Release what you must, watch the parts of yourself that are unhealthy die a slow death, and do so with grace and understanding. These aspects will transform in time, becoming fertile soil for the new seeds you plant.

 

Romany Rivers (c)2014

This article is a copyrighted extract from my upcoming book: The Inner Alchemy of Witchcraft by Romany Rivers

triple-goddessSeveral times in the last few months I have come across individuals in several communities who are looking to create Red Tents, and I have seen an incredible backlash against the idea. In our ever expanding and diverse Pagan communities there appears to be a pendulum swing between private and exclusive, and public and inclusive. I think there is some confusion about what it means for others to host a restricted event – restricted does not mean rejected. Refusing to cater to one segment of society because it clashes with caring for another segment of society, does not mean that we are disrespected or rejected, it means that we are all respecting and accepting the differences between us. By celebrating the diversity of the human species and creating a safe space for certain groups of people to discuss specific issues and ideas unique to their form, we are not excluding others in a harmful fashion. We all need to understand how to accept, respect and celebrate the differences between us as well as the similarities. We can all learn to enjoy quality time together, and quality time apart. (more…)

WorkThe truth holds a power of its own. It is the power to challenge, to change, to start new paths and spark new ideas. Speaking the truth can be painful, powerful, liberating or damaging, but truth held within has its own way of working itself from bonds and flying free when least expected. Truth is a three edged blade, and getting to the point can pierce a heart. Truth is a salve for festering wounds, exposing pain to the light of day and easing concealed suffering. Truth has the power to burn or to cauterize, to hurt or to heal. Truth reveals that which is hidden, for better or worse. Truth transforms us.

The power of the Witch is the power of personal truth. We stand on the thresholds of the worlds and explore the landscapes through our own understanding. We converse with Gods, with Angels, with Demons, with Spirits, with the Beloved Dead, and we walk away with truth upon our tongues and hearts. We take on the truth of Mother Nature, of the restless ocean, of the Sun and Moon. We accept the truth of magic, even whilst we still learn the techniques and process of manifesting magic every day. We accept the truth of seasons and cycles, of honor and hospitality, of differences and similarities. We face the truths hidden deep within our personal shadows, stepping into the darkness and dragging them into the light. We face beautiful truths and ugly truths, and truths that parts of us wish we had never seen. We learn the truths of personal power and personal responsibility, shared truth and shared responsibility. We learn that my truth is not always your truth.

The Witch does not shy from the painful truth, for there is always transformational power within the pain. We cannot heal that which we cannot see is damaged. And truth be told, we need to speak our truth even when our voice shakes… for the truth really does set us free.

 

PBP2014

This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project 2014

RIMG0269“And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye are really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise.” – Doreen Valiente

Wicca is not alone in extolling the virtues and benefits of ritual nudity, but it is possibly the most thought of path when we envision naked spirituality. For many, stepping out of our clothing and stepping into sacred space as naked as we were born is a form of rebirthing ourselves into the sacredness of our lives over and over again. But let’s not be naive, nudity may relieve us of our clothing and still add layers to our psyche. Nudity can furnish us with challenges from body issues and self-consciousness, or gender, sexuality and identity concerns, to reliving the trauma of assault and rape. To be naked in ritual is to be vulnerable and exposed, and for some people this does not make a sacred space – in fact it may not even make a safe space. The act of letting go of our clothes, stripping away our perceived identity, dropping the roles we take on in daily life and simply being in our skin can be a powerful tool of transformation and growth; but it is only a tool. When used carefully and with compassion it can be the skilled tool of the surgeon, exposing our issues one layer at a time, stripping us down to truth and bone and blessing; when used with expectation and dogma it can be the blunt hammer upon anvil, creating change through force. (more…)