Tag Archives: motherhood

Gratitude Project 2017, Day 30 – Leto

Leto has taught me many things.  So many things about motherhood and the nature of true love, especially.  How to love fiercely, how to protect, how to make decisions based solely on the welfare of my children.  She taught me how to truly care about others, because for a very long time in my life, all I cared about was protecting myself.

You see, when you grow up without anyone to look out for you, to really look out for you, you’ll quickly realize that all you have is yourself.  And when you only have yourself, you have no reason to love anyone.  Love is the only thing worth living for, and I didn’t love anyone or anything until my first child was born.

Learning to love and to give was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. When my daughter was young, my depression was at its worst.  I had long since switched myself off emotionally.  I manipulated my psyche so I wouldn’t feel.  It was the pain that I wanted to avoid, but I inadvertantly took away all potential for joy, as well.  And when you can’t feel joy, you can’t express joy, or love, to a child.  Once I realized this, I realized I would only be perpetuating the pattern that drove me to abandon my feelings to begin with.  I would be irreversibly harming my child, and I couldn’t allow that. I had to change the pattern.

At that time I was just starting to know Apollon, and part of learning about Him meant learning about His Mother.  So I read Her lore. Through reading, I watched Her traverse the world in search of safety for Her Children, and I watched Her bring Them into the world with ease, and with great pain.  She never gave up hope, and She always did what was right and necessary for Herself and Her Children.  That was the lesson I needed.  It was what prompted me to begin my healing process.

It wasn’t easy.  Healing is possibly the most excruciating process one can endure. And for me, in order to heal, I first had to learn how to feel again.

When I made the decision to reintegrate my emotions, the first thing that flooded back was all the pain that I’d wanted freedom from. Before I could learn joy, I had to face my despair, and I had to conquer it. Apollon and Dionysos were both with me, so I wasn’t alone, but really, a person is always alone when facing themselves, and all the things which make them who and what they are.  I faced myself, and I saw myself, and I slowly learned to love myself.  That was the necessary first step to feeling and giving love to my child.

All of this I owe to Leto, first and foremost.  She was the example.  She was the catalyst to change.  Her strength gave me the hope that maybe there was a better way than emotional numbness.  Today I can love and feel for many, not only myself and my children.  I can give Apollon and Alexander, and Someone else, the love They deserve.  I can love my Court, and my subjects.  I can even love my friends.  None of which would have been possible if I hadn’t tried to know Leto– if She hadn’t shown me the way.  For that, I will forever be grateful.  Leto gave me the most precious gift imaginable.  She gave me the right to call myself a mother.  And I thank Her.

#GratitudeProject2017

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Let’s Talk About Sacrifice

There are many kinds of sacrifice which can be made to one’s Gods, and most of those ways have been covered elsewhere and in better ways than I could.  That’s why, as I often do, I will only be talking about a certain kind of sacrifice.  A sacrifice so ordinary that most people look right past it, as though it were the air around them, while this sacrifice is as important as the air, and as life-sustaining.

I myself have given, and continue to give this sacrifice.  It bleeds out of me every single day.  It drains me and countless others, sustaining every function of the world we humans have created.  It is also the most essential component to the revival of all ancient religions, including my own.

Have you yet guessed what sacrifice I speak of?  How about a few hints, because the invisibility of this sacrifice is a part of its lesson.  Those giving in this way are not seen as the saviours and builders that they are, for as I said before, they are ordinary.  They are everywhere.  They are rarely acknowledged outside of the small sphere of influence they hold, if even there.

A hundred years ago, in just about any industrialized nation, those giving this sacrifice did so at the very real risk of painful death, and they were expected to endure this risk, and the subsequent years of bondage, with the utmost selflessness– just as those giving it today in the non-industrial world are expected.

Even today, the risk is greater than most would like you to know.  You can still die, and the suffering, though mitigated in certain aspects, is not entirely alleviated.  In fact, trying to put off the suffering leads to more dangerous complications, more often than not.

So, those giving, suffer for their gift.  They suffer and they bleed, and they lay down their lives all too early, for the total benefit of society.  Without them, there would be no society, because there would be no humans to inhabit it.

That’s right.  This is the mothers’ sacrifice, that which is looked down upon and scoffed at, even before the evidence of its necessity.  My religion is growing.  I can see that with my own eyes.  People are honoring the Gods, worshiping Them, sacrificing to Them.  However, we can not remain a religion of converts, not and expect to have any lasting influence over this world, and indeed those children already born into the religion.

We need mothers, because we need Hellenic babies.  We need mothers (and fathers), because we need people to raise those Hellenic babies.  We need women who are ready, and able to risk their very lives, and the lives of their unborn, to see the ranks of the Deathless Ones be filled.  We need women who are willing to collapse from the pain, to bleed out on the delivery table, to never even see their baby’s face before sweet Death takes them away. We need the mothers’ risk, and the mothers’ sacrifice.

It is not enough for us to cultivate throngs of mystics who will never, ever, by their own admission, have children.  It is not enough to organize gatherings in which very few children will see and learn the rites.  If we want to be successful, we have to produce the future sowers of our success. It is about the numbers, and we simply don’t have enough.

Now, stop to think about what it means to be a mother for the Gods. Bearing new life– life granted by Them–  into this world, with all of the dangers inherent in the task.  Not only the physical strain, but the mental strain, and the emotional strain.  Mothers (and in this capacity, fathers) give and love because it is natural, because it is expected.  Children are under no such mandate to love their parents.  Every parent knows that they are not guaranteed their child’s love or their respect.

You may raise a child, or several, and never hear words of thanks or praise for your efforts. You may live the invisible life, never being acknowledged, except perhaps by the Gods, Who may be watching your tour of selflessness with much satisfaction.  In bringing the children into the world, we deliver them into the waiting arms of our Gods.  By raising the children within the religion, we ensure that our love of the Gods will be passed on for at least another generation.  If that isn’t a sacrifice, I don’t know what is.

May the many Gods be made greater by these sacrifices, and may our children reap and sow in turn, lifting the Deathless Ones to greater heights still.  For that is the true purpose of the mothers’ sacrifice to the Gods.