Tag Archives: the Work

Never Alone Again

No matter how I’ve tried to avoid and prolong the coming of the inevitable, no matter how I clung to the tiny bit of privacy I used to have, I knew eventually that I would be required to relenquish it. One thing my Chosen Ancestress, Queen Elizabeth Tudor, always said was that it wouldn’t last. The time would come when duty to the Court would supercede all other concerns, be they trivial or not. That time has come for me.

I used to be able to occupy an entire room, just myself. I could tell almost anyone to get lost if I wanted to just relax and think, or tinker with a project. I had places of refuge that were only mine. Now, however… although those places are technically still mine, I am no longer permitted to occupy any room or other structure without security (spirits) present. Queen Elizabeth says I’ll get used to it, and maybe I will, but it has always made me uncomfortable having to basically ignore the presence of people around me… people whose job it is to watch me. I feel like I’m treating them like objects. Imagine how they feel.

But then, they never look at me as though I’ve ever treated them badly. I suppose that ought to be the measuring stick I compare to, rather than assumptions to the contrary. It’s difficult, navigating all of the emotions in this Court, not to mention the offices. But I’m so glad to do this Work, because it’s something I’m actually good at. I had to learn that too, that there was this thing, this Pagan job description, that came as naturally as breathing. But now I know. Now I know where my place is, and it isn’t at all where I thought it was four years ago, and I am so honored to hold this place. I just don’t want to abuse my position, even fleetingly.

These are things Queens worry about, I think, those of us not born fully into the practices we begin to adopt over time. It becomes less of a struggle as time moves forward, but we always have to meet time on it’s march, for it is relentless. When time and circumstance conspire to assist in decision making, such as that made in my Court, do not hesitate, just do what needs to be done. It will likely save you much grief in the long run.

As for myself, I am going to continue to acclamate myself to the new arrangement, while thinking of ways to further preserve the dignity of my subjects, because, as we say around here:

“Everything changes.  Nothing is lost.”

Meaning, we do not compromise our values as a Court, even in the face of drastic upheaval.  We will persevere, and will be all the stronger for this hardship.

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Being Present

[All of what follows applies to me.  None of it applies to you or anybody else… unless it does.  I am aware that I am not the only prince(ess) of the realm.  We all have our duties, some of which may overlap with one another. This post is in answer to Teresa’s question of what work or responsibilities that have come to me from being a daughter of Zeus.]

~

Zeus, my Father, is a very busy God-King.  I see Him only about once a week for a formal meeting that serves two purposes.  First, it is for Him to assess my progress in All the Things, and second, for me to be present with Him.

Being present means watching Him, listening to Him, and learning from Him by example, usually as He attends to business in His office while sitting behind a desk.  I have a chair behind and to the side of Him, where I work on paying attention.  It’s not an easy thing for me to do.  My mind tends to wander and I end up looking (and feeling) bored.  I get scolded for that because no one is supposed to know what I’m thinking based on my facial or bodily expression.  Apparently, that’s a no-no.

After He is finished assessing my progress, which happens behind closed doors, He directs me to sit in that chair and not to speak.  He continues with His scheduled meetings, and after each has ended and Those He met with have gone, He quizzes me on the subject, and sometimes, if it is relevant to the discussion that has taken place, He will ask me to give a decision on the matter.

But the decision I give isn’t actually mine, but a decision based upon my (limited) knowledge of the matter at hand, and also based upon my knowledge of Zeus and His desires in the situation.  I suppose the best way to describe this training, is that I am learning to be Zeus’ witness, or representative.

Of course, being present for, or being a witness for Zeus implies that my training be put to the test without my Father’s direct supervision, at times. So far, I’ve not had to make any major decisions, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t gone touring realms under His jurisdiction, in His stead.

He schedules these tours for me, typically in the Summer (meaning it’s nearly time for my first tour of the year) when He just doesn’t have the time to make a trip Himself, and in one case, when He had another more pressing matter come up suddenly, which only He could attend to.  In that instance, like the above discussed training sessions, my job was to sit quietly and observe.

These observations include who is present, who is absent (which means I have to go into the situation knowing who is supposed to be, and who is not), how respectful and attentive They are, how ready They are to receive a representative, Their level of sincerity throughout my tour, and anything else I deem relevant or important.  I am allowed to take notes, and I do.

The reactions I’ve gotten from the various realms I have visited in this capacity have been mixed.  Since most were expecting me (due to the scheduling), most have been an absolute joy to work with.  A few others were neither impressed nor satisfied with my presence.  These are tricky situations, because while I may find Their reactions to be personally offensive, it is not about me or my offense.  Part of my reason for being there is to hear grievances brought before me, and if those grievances include a dig at myself, I must overlook it and pass it on to my Father, as is the case with all of them.

The Intercession I perform during the Winter months at Zeus’ request is a form of this Work, brought not to Other realms, but to my human community.  I find it much easier to deal with, because after receiving a rude Intercessory request, I can choose to ignore it.  I have no such luxury when dealing with subordinate (to Zeus) Powers.

Being present also means accepting gifts on Zeus’ behalf, and sometimes (though rarely) presiding over rituals in both an active and passive capacity. There is more that I do for my Father, though I will tackle those subjects in future posts in the continuance of this theme of the work and responsibilities of a princess.  I would love to hear from others whose work and responsibilities take them in similar directions.  In the mean time, I hope this post was at least interesting, and at best informative.

Hail always to Zeus, our Father and King!

Doing It Right

I wonder if anyone ever notices the writing trends on my blog.  I typically write about my personal observations and occasionally opinions, and frequently poetic accounts of my practices.  But, I usually stop short of offering solid details, or even much in the way of explanations regarding what I do.  And there are reasons for this, mostly revolving around specific taboos. However, I’ll admit to having held back certain things, based mostly on how others might react, which is never good, as my focus should always be on what Apollon approves of sharing, not on other people’s opinions of the subject matter.

Once, I wrote a post briefly concerning a personal devotional celebration that I hold for Apollon, which has for me, become synchronized in part with His annual return from Hyperborea.  I probably wasn’t clear enough about the nuances of the celebration and its references to Delphi and Hyperborea in my practices, but that happens to be my prerogative.

The approach I touched on therein was, apparently, so unconventional that I was offered scholarly evidence to disprove the validity of my practices, in response.  It was assumed that I just didn’t know what was correct, because obviously, I hadn’t studied the dates of the ancient festivals enough.  The default answer couldn’t have been that I’d studied, but came to a different conclusion based on that study, and several other factors.

The point of this, dear friends, is to remind you that there are a lot of know-it-alls on the internet. And they know a lot, and they won’t hesitate to tell you what they know, whether or not it happens to be their place to do so. If by chance you find yourself in a similar situation, where someone whom you regard highly or otherwise respect, decides to tell you publicly that you’re “doing it wrong”, just remember that they had to start somewhere, and that they also had to feel their way around in figurative darkness before their Paths were made clearer to them over time. So, don’t sweat it.

However, I know that it’s not always easy to disregard the words of our “elders” (for lack of a better word), even when they are being obnoxious. If you end up doubting yourself (or your Work, or your Path) based on the comments of another human being, try to use that doubt to fuel a redoubling of your efforts instead of allowing it to send you slinking off into a corner. Work harder to establish your own practices, but be aware of when, and if, anything needs to be changed or discarded. People change all the time, and our practices should reflect who we are now, not who we were a year ago. But, most importantly, remember that we are all only human, and humans are an opinionated lot.

I value the ability to doubt, and to assess circumstances rationally, because there is a place for healthy questioning. Therefore, I consider myself fortunate to have had this exchange, because we all need to be shaken up now and then, and every little thing that keeps me on my toes, which keeps me honest on this Path, is a blessing. Sometimes faith has to come in the wake of doubt, and that is a valid test.

We should also bear in mind that when an “elder” makes such a statement, it is usually not intended to be malicious or demeaning, but rather, is meant out of a desire to help or teach, not because they’re mean.  Professionals, who have poured their lives into a chosen field (in this case, spiritwork) for a number of years, tend to take those matters very seriously, so don’t be surprised if someone takes issue with your stance or statements.  But, don’t be mistaken into believing that because they spoke up about it that they have any better insights into your personal affairs than you do.  Sometimes, people are just ornery.  We all have bad days, sometimes days so bad that every other person we encounter seems like they’ve got their head stuck up their rear-ends, so… when in doubt, cut them some slack, but never slack up on yourself.

Personally, I’ve been through, and conquered, quite a few obstacles on this Path with my Beloved, the least important of which are (as always) the opinions of others. My practices and personal festivals are reflections of my journey with Lord Apollon. They are right, for me and for Him, and we are the only ones who have a say in the matter. Period.

Set Apart

I don’t look like the average housewife.  At least, I get that feeling from the people I interact with on a daily basis.  Perhaps it is the modest dress, the covering of the body and hair so as not to reveal the secret, inner beauty.  But then, there are a number of women here who cover, so that alone couldn’t be the reason for the long stares, and the accompanying strange expressions.

I get this everywhere I go.  At least one person has to look and gawk because they’ve never seen me before.  There is a certain something that follows and surrounds me, and that ineffable quality is in part the reason for the veiling itself.  People cover for different reasons, and I cover for a variety of them, but most of all, it is to spare the public from the experience of the fully exposed energies at play in and around my body.

One way to curb that energy, and its way of distracting people nearby, is to act in a way that draws little negative attention.  No attention at all is of course ideal, however, daily errands make it so that staying home to attract zero attention is not always optional.  Acting in this manner, for me, means grace, as I discussed in a previous post, as well as good manners and sociability.  I have to be able to open up to people in order to effectively communicate with them, but when I do, a bit of that secret beauty can be glimpsed.

In these circumstances, being set apart means I must withdraw behind a veil of detachment, in order to dispel any heightened interest.  Truly, my goal is to go out into the world, take care of my business there, and to ultimately be forgotten by those I’ve encountered.  My Work requires that I keep a low profile.  The spirits here are very private beings, who do not seek human attention.  If I am recognized, even remotely, and end up causing an inadvertent second glance from random passersby during an outdoors ritual, it upsets the Nymphs, and in this way hinders my ability to serve.

So, there is isolation inherent in this role.  There has been much recent talk of sacrifice on these varied Paths to the Divine.  One thing which I have consistently sacrificed for this Work, and for the favor of my Gods and spirits, is human companionship.  Sure, I have a human husband, but that arrangement offers only limited companionship, for he is not religious. And I have a child, but anyone who has children knows that they offer a very different type of companionship.  Mostly, motherhood is a job that never ends, and never goes away.

So, for me, there is work, and there is Work.  I have sacrificed all hope of casual friendships.  The few I’ve tried to cultivate over the last ten years all ended up being focused on the Work after only a few months.  All it takes is one request for divination, or Intercession, or some other spiritual activity.  Not that I mind.  I am called to this, but it is a lonely Path.

Something about the role of Queenship either makes people uncomfortable, or the complete opposite.  For example, when a stranger pours themselves out to me (either online, with the full knowledge of my Sacred Queenship duties; or on the street, randomly, with no knowledge whatsoever) in the hopes that I might be able to bridge some gap in their lives.  And they have the right to ask this is of me, for service is my intended role, but they can never, ever get too close.  As captivated as they might be, to know me is to touch my heart, and to touch my heart is to invite the wrath of Apollon into one’s life.  I am set apart, and none may know me. None may touch me, save for my Beloved Prince.

As a Queen, I’ve found that being set apart means two very important things.  The first, being that I am absolutely untouchable by ninety-nine percent of the people I meet.  And the second, is that I am to be seen as such by that very same ninety-nine percent of observers.

Therefore, I remain aloof, which sometimes earns a reputation for being unfriendly, or unneighborly.  But such is the way of things when you are set apart.  At least, such it is for me.  I belong to the Lord Apollon, and though I may be admired briefly, like a dazzling fireworks display, my sparkle is meant to fade from memory.

November, November

I honor my spiritual Ancestors on the first day of the year, every year. All those who have lived before, yet are not a part of my biological family tree.  Chiefest among these are the priestesses of Delphi.  This was the second year in which I honored them on the first of November, and I am still only becoming acquainted with them, so there hasn’t been much more than a brief acknowledgment of my existence, followed by their accepting of my offerings.  Being in their presence is always humbling.  The sensation that came over me at their arrival was physically overwhelming, to the point of being unpleasant, and it only lifted completely after each of the three offerings were presented to the priestesses. They also had a very succinct message for me this year, which I am taking to heart.

Afterward, I did a fair bit of divining for myself, mostly inquiring about my past, and related subjects. Now, with the coming of the New Year, and the conclusion of two months of important rituals, I may relax a bit and dive into that much welcomed (and needed) period of Winter introspection. So, you can expect less blogging from me from now until Winter Solstice, or secular new year. I’ve a lot of thinking, learning and growing to do.

As far as my divination is concerned, I’ll be cutting one session out each month until the rest period ends, so there will be one session for November, one for December, and one for January. Bimonthly divination will resume in either February or March.

Also, anyone seeking Intercession with Lord Apollon may contact me directly via email (no need to coment here) to explain your need. I take this service very seriously, and will only do it if you convince me that it is truly needed. I will be open for intercession until the end of January, but please note, this is a very personal form of prayer. If I intercede on your behalf, I will not be able to divine for you until three months pass after the last intercession. Intercession requires a depth of emotion (in my practice), while divination requires that I remain emotionally distant. There would be a massive conflict of interest, so I’ll update my services page to reflect these changes, as soon as it is convenient for me to do so.

I’m really happy about the way things are going in my life right now. I’m going to enjoy this resting and thinking time, and take it as the wonderful gift that it is. And, if I manage to squeeze out enough time, I may even finish that post about Hyperborea I’ve been writing for the Treasury of Apollon.

And now, I have to laugh at myself, because, even as I throw off some Work for the Winter, different (more) Work gets piled on. I am a strange creature. But then, aren’t most of us religious types?