Posts Tagged ‘Rebirth’

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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

 

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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.

I am currently working with the very luscious Lady Lisa Lister of Sassyology, and she is inspiring my personal truth-be-told style of writing. This post is a little bit of a departure from my usual Pagan and Poetry based blogs, but I felt called to share it. Today we were exploring the idea of letting go of the safety of repeating old patterns and taking the safe path, and instead becoming the heroine of our own story. It hit home with me in a big way, ripped me up a little inside, and forced me to face my own reflection. This is what inspiration feels like – a mix of pleasure and pain, excitement and fear, and the inescapable desire to express it. I challenge you to also  explore the idea of your own hero story, your own journey, of becoming the leading role in the tale of you. If the lovely Lisa inspires you as much as I, then check her out here.

In the meantime, this is me – Writing my freakin’ heart out and bleeding all over the page.

Epstein Quote“In my dreams I am the everyday superhero. The one without magical powers, but is fit and fabulous enough to leap fences, kick ass, know every form of street fighting and martial arts, who can pull terrified people together, who can save those in distress, who can fight the monsters, who can win the war, who can save the day. I totally rock in my dreams. I face Armageddon with barely a blink, I take on the zombie apocalypse with style and determination, I face the end of the world with a Fuck Yeah attitude. I run, I jump, I race, I fight, I fuck, I fly helicopters and I feel completely alive in the face of death. I am the hero on the journey. And I will survive. (more…)

fall.jpgEarth turns. Sun rises and sets. Wind blows, leaves scatter, seeds are sown. Thunder cracks, light splits the sky, fire burns bright in the darkness. Rain lashes my skin, clouds obscure my vision. I witness the birth and death of life around me, ever cyclical. I reach out to the elements and wash myself clean, and listen to the whispers of the wind. The world tells me tales of love and loss, of journeys taken, trials endured, planting and harvesting. The water reflects the world back at me until everything I see outside of me becomes the story of my soul. (more…)

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…)

“Personal work is some of the hardest work out there. I often see Pagans wondering, “Where is the advanced level work?” and the advanced work isn’t rituals, it’s not spellwork, it’s not ritual tools…it’s knowing ourselves deeply and working on our issues to be our healthiest, best selves.” – Shauna Aura Knight

RRivers logoToday I found out that a dear friend had passed away. I grieve and I hurt and I remember. I remember the last time I saw him, and I remember the first time I met him. I was just 14. Inevitably my memories of his kindness and his support brings with it memories of why his kindness and support meant so much to me. That year was hard for me. It was the year that I attempted suicide. It was the year that I faced a dark night of the soul, pulled my wounded inner child close to my chest and vowed to find happiness. It was the year I stood tall after each beating. It was the year I learned that there was more – more to life, more to death, more to living and loving and learning. It was the year that I found friends who brought out the best in me, who supported me, who believed in me, who helped me face the long journey towards a happier, healthier me. He was one of those friends and I am honoured and grateful to have known him.

This harsh healing journey is intertwined with my spiritual journey. For me, doing the work of Witchcraft means knowing myself deeply. Understanding my past to understand my present. Exploring the pain of rebirthing myself over and over again. Shedding the skin that no longer serves me, exposing deep wounds to light and love, and learning to love myself for who I was, who I am and who I have the potential to be. The healing process is not without pain, because the very nature of exploring our issues reveals the areas still raw and sore, underdeveloped, weak, and troublesome. Sometimes we must rest deep in the cave, in silence and solitude, licking our wounds until they become a pattern of scars stitching us back together. Sometimes we need the love of an honest friend to gently redirect our attention to the areas of bruising, to show us how we can take care of ourselves. Sometimes we need the structure of routine, ritual and meditation to heal ourselves from the outside in. Sometimes we need all of this, over and over again. The process of living, learning and healing is a work in progress.

The Japanese practice an art called Kintsugi, a method of repairing broken ceramics with gold joinery. Cracks are often aggrandized before being filled with gold, silver or platinum. It is a philosophy that speaks of overcoming suffering, of beauty revealed not despite its flaws but often because of its flaws. Most importantly, it is a philosophy of embracing imperfection that speaks of damage and healing as an important part of the history and creation of each piece, and not something to hide. Sometimes I feel like I am the ceramic pot, broken but blessed with Kintsugi. Every time my heart breaks, I work to slowly heal the cracks with layers of gold and remain a complex, beautiful vessel for the soul.

This post is a part of the Pagan Blog Project 2014, and is in memory of my beloved friend Al and his wonderful family.

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Novembers submission to Moon Books. Find Romany at Moon Books Publishing Blog here

The storm is my life My life is me I am the storm

The storm is my life
My life is me
I am the storm

 

One of the hardest lessons to learn is that life does not just happen to us, we are in fact the authors of our own existence. From ancient spiritual philosophies to modern Quantum Physics, we explore the concepts of reality, conscious existence, human observational effects, laws of attraction, and the impact of the human mind upon matter. When life feels chaotic, hectic, difficult or challenging, it becomes almost impossible to accept that we actually hold the power to manifest these aspects in our lives. Life is balance, and destruction has as much value as creation, for without one the other could not be. Yet we struggle to see ourselves as active participants within the storm, let alone as creators of it. This is a lesson I learn and forget over and over again. Each time my life becomes overwhelming I must learn once more that I need to move into the centre of the chaos. Sometimes I need to surrender to the destruction and sometimes I need to just scream into the storm.

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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.