Posts Tagged ‘Honesty’

#YesAllWomen…

Because I shouldn’t have to explain and then defend this hashtag movement to the men in my life

Because every woman I know has experienced some form of harassment, or unwanted sexual advances, or verbal abuse, or physical abuse, or rape at some point in their life

Because no one markets rape alarms to men (more…)

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Good Grief: A Lesson in Love

RRivers logoGrief comes in many forms, wearing many guises and answers to many names. Time and time again I have found Grief to be my dancing partner, and every tune has been unique. We expect Grief to come calling when we face the hardest transitions in our lives, the times when we must learn to live without the physical presence of our beloveds, the times when we must learn to live with broken hearts, the times when the cycle of life and death must be understood by a soul encased in emotional turmoil. We understand the sad symphony of our lives then and we expect Grief to envelop us in a cold embrace. There are times when Grief touches us unexpectedly, and a little embarrassed we push away her light touch until the insistence and presence of She Who Will Not Be Denied eventually overwhelms us and we admit to our deepest selves that Grief belongs here. The transitions that belong to the realm of Joy are also home to Grief. As we welcome the birth of new life, we still twinge with sadness at the passage of time, at the choices neglected, the paths untrodden, at the loss of who we were. Grief understands and places a hand upon our shoulders in the wee hours of darkness when the light and joy and celebration fades. She knows that life is complex, that the expectation of emotion does not always coincide with the reality of each situation, and that there is room to hold many of her siblings in the same heart at the same time. Grief takes her place as ice within the heart, a splinter in the mind, a burning in the belly. As long as we acknowledge her presence, She responds to our needs. She will not be denied or ignored. Grief will fill our veins with ice until our hearts freeze, and then She Who Will Not Be Denied will crack us open to shatter upon the pretense of normality. For all this, Grief is not cruel.

Grief holds us while we shake and shiver and face our wounds; She holds us so tight she squeezes out frozen tears and we grow numb within her embrace. She honours us for who we are in our most naked and vulnerable form. She acknowledges the depths of our emotions even when society does not. She does not judge us for the dance, nor does She write the tune. She does however whisper to us. It is a message we may never hear over the sounds of our own tears, but it speaks to our very soul.

“I am Love’s twin. To embrace me is to embrace Love.”

For all the pain we feel whilst rocked in Griefs embrace, is simply the reflection of love. We could not grieve so much, if we did not love so much. To acknowledge the depth of our grief is to acknowledge the breadth of our love. She Who Will Not Be Denied understands this, and takes her role as Love’s Loss in our first dance of acceptance. Accept the gentle grief of life transitions, accept the love of a past self; accept the overwhelming grief of loss, accept that overwhelming love is the reflection of grief.

Grief is the twin of Love.

 

 

This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project 2014.

PBP2014

ForgiveI have a lot to be angry about. There are a lot of people that impacted my life in harmful ways, whose actions caused scars inside and out that I will live with for the rest of my life. I have experienced abandonment, grief, bullying, abuse, humiliation and rape. How could that be forgiven?

For the longest time, I could not forgive nor forget. Too many times the pain threatened to swallow me whole and as a child I tried to end my life to end the pain. I couldn’t even do that right. I failed. I carried that pain inside like a burning coal and learned to use it as fuel to drive me onwards, drive me forward, drive me far away from the places that hurt, the people that hurt me and the person I was. The distance I strove for never truly occurred because I always kept that burning ember held within my own damaged heart, and no matter how far I ran I could not outrun myself. (more…)

Witches are people tooHollywood has a lot to answer for. In movies Witches are portrayed in many lights, from morally corrupt, violent or mentally unstable individuals, to trendy teenagers and glamorous, powerful people. A few nuggets of wisdom and near truth may appear, but as a general rule the perception of Witchcraft in film is a far cry from the experiences of Witchcraft in day to day life. You know why? Because it is fantasy. It is fiction. It has little to do with everyday people living their spiritual truth.

However these kind of portrayals are pervasive. The concept of quick fix magic and incredible power can, and does, attract people into Witchcraft… which is where expectation meets experience. I can no longer count the occasions that I have challenged the expectations of a magical quick fix with the reality of hard work and understanding. Witchcraft is a practice. It involves practice. It involves research, reflection, honesty and hard work. The work is not power over others, the work is power within ourselves. It is not in changing the will and actions of others, it is in changing our own perceptions, patterns, actions and abilities. It is not in changing the world at the wave of a wand, it is in changing ourselves one day at a time. It is not throwing a stone and standing back to watch the ripples; it is in understanding that we are the stone, we are the water and we are the ripples.

Having expectations is perfectly normal, but those expectations will not always be met. This in itself is a rich learning experience. By reflecting upon the expectations we hold and how we respond to the challenges or disappointment of unmet expectations, we can better understand ourselves – and to know ourselves is to explore our own mystery. This is the reality behind the fantasy. There is wonder and wisdom, transformation and magic in each person’s life… it simply is not accompanied by a dramatic soundtrack and eye candy special effects.

Be honest in your expectations and remain open to the wonder of experience. Practice and reflect, do and be. You may just find that your experiences then surpass all your expectations.

Pagan Blog Project 2014

Pagan Blog Project 2014

PreOrder

Excited to announce that Poison Pen Letters to Myself is now available to pre-order through this site and through Amazon.com! As a special offer, the first 25 signed copies purchased through this site will receive a free postcard print of my painting Dark Heart of the Fire Flower as a thank you! Please do share this picture far and wide to spread the word. If you would like this book personalized with a message or name, please just let me know in the ‘Add Special Instructions’ box during checkout. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for supporting me and helping to make this book a reality.

Bright Blessings, Romany

Dark Heart of the Fire Flower, Oil on Canvas, by Romany Rivers

Dark Heart of the Fire Flower, Oil on Canvas, by Romany Rivers

 

“You shouldn’t try that until you know what you are doing.”

But how can one know, unless one does? Witchcraft is a very experiential path, full of mysteries and wonder that cannot be taught, only alluded to. It is for each practitioner to convert the knowledge shared by others into personal experience, for without experience the magic of the world is simply academic understanding. Direct experience turns the words on a page into a rich tapestry of understanding, and turns the knowledge of others into personal wisdom. With the wonder of modern technology, more and more practitioners are turning to online forums for guidance and support, which presents its own challenges. Despite the ease of meeting like minded souls virtually, and despite the accessibility of information, there is little support for in depth spiritual studies. So often I see the words above typed in chat rooms in response to valid questions – but no further information is shared. The teenage rebel in me rises her head every time and shouts ‘But how do I know when I know what I am doing unless I do it and see?!’ and the woman in me nods in understanding. Too often this kind of vague response only fires up the desire to experiment, rather than encouraging one to step back and reflect upon our skills and past experience.  The tone of this overused phrase comes across as a petty ‘I know something you don’t know’ at best, and at worst it appears superior, patronizing and condescending. Most of the time neither of these attitudes are actually present, but the lack of physical communication in a virtual world encumbers and disguises the true intent of such a statement. Most of the time, the practitioners who use this phrase and similar warning phrases genuinely care that others feel safe and secure in their spiritual experiences. (more…)

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A dear friend with a HeroSoul told the world to Do.The.Fucking.Work. – and I completely agree with him. My first response to his message was the quote above, but after thinking about it some more I realised it goes so much deeper than that. In order to work upon ourselves, we must first acknowledge that we need to work on ourselves, and despite our common mentality of highlighting our own flaws every chance we get there is still a resistance to the idea that we are in need of improvement. We are not perfect, not in the ridiculous ideal that social standards set upon us. We are perfect, in ourselves, in our own honest, messy, complicated way. And there is always room for honest improvement, even in perfection. Living our truth means accepting ourselves, all of it – the good, the bad and the downright ugly aspects of ourselves – and understanding that some of the things we reveal to ourselves is not reflective of the person we want to be. This is the first step in doing the work – knowing what needs to be done. Time and time again it comes back to honesty and truth. We must be honest and truthful with ourselves, accepting who we were, who we are and who we wish to be. Only when we know the truth can we move forward and work with joyful abandon. We are all a work in progress, and the work and the progress never ends.