Upholding Ma'at

Journeying through the modern world with ancient ways.


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So…I’m Back…Kinda

I’m back from something of a hiatus.  However, I’m not completely ready to take on the blog  completely again.  I feel ready now to explain what happened and where I want to take the blog at this point.

I had to take a hiatus because after 6 years my partner left me.  This left me devastated to say the least as we were planning a wedding even the day before he dumped me.  I’ll have a post explaining why even getting that far is a huge ordeal for me as it is.  Just the same with everything else in my life I felt I had completely lost everything, including my job (I had just gained a job again only to be fired shortly thereafter).  I have lost much in that year alone and felt completely hopeless and alone.  I had a nervous breakdown.  During this time I broke promises to myself, including a failed suicide attempt.  This happened in spite of reaching out to my friends and those I trusted in the community.  To those who helped me get semi-functional again, thank you.  I came closer to succeeding than I ever have with suicide, and it shows me that there are trustworthy people who’d rather I not die.  To those who told me to “heal thyself”, I think you need more healing than I do to turn away someone in such a state.  If your “solution” is to not even contact the police when someone is suicidal I question a lot of things about your character.

During that time, however, I was inundated with work of a different sort.  I have a hobby where I review music.  These days I use it to retrain myself into how to critique my own work objectively and relearn my creative process.  I’ve had it for some time but I tried to keep it separate from this blog for a few reasons, mainly because I know people have a hard time accepting that part of me.  Just the same I have been swamped with lots to do in that area and I want to get it done ASAP.  That means focusing away from this blog for a bit.

There is also an issue of finances.  I’ve done everything with this blog out of pocket.  I’ve kept quiet about it because I figured I don’t have enough readers to really make a fuss nor should I make a fuss.  I set up an etsy store in the meantime until I could either get enough freelance work or until I got a job.  While I do have work coming in now it’s not enough to pay my bills.  I may be starting a fundraiser so I can pay my bills, but I’m not really sure how I feel about that yet.  I’m going to look at my options and hope somebody hires me or steady work of some sort comes along.  This will also keep me away from my blog a bit.

In spite of everything going on in my life I still have some plans for the blog.  I want to continue with my inspirationals where possible.  I’ve also decided to add to the Kemeticism 101 pool with my own rendition of it.  I’m not certain what all I should cover since I’m unsure there isn’t a 101 topic untouched.  I’d love to hear some feedback on that topic.  I’m also hammering out my posts on racism and other -isms of the Neo Pagan community.  I realize now this too will be a series of posts given the nature of the topic.  I don’t know how long this will take since my time is going to be split up.

I ask everyone to continue to be patient with me as I try to get stuff together.  It’s still going to take time for me to get through all of this.  I can say, however, I will try to keep this blog going to contribute in a meaningful way.

 

 

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Inspirational Tuesday: The Danger of Misinformation

Mandatory Disclaimer:  This is just my personal take on some of the passages and may or may not pull from academic sources.  In other words, this is just my interpretation of things.  Take it or leave it.

“O you who are over the old one who came forth from Imau, I have not made terror.” -translation by R.O. Faulkner

I chose the passage I did about terror when the topic is about misinformation for a couple of reasons. I feel anyone who lives long enough will know of the common ways to inflict terror: intimidation, threats, several forms of violence just to name a few. Violence, however, isn’t the only way to terrorize people. The only thing people need to feel terrorized is a threatening situation. This situation can come in by playing off one’s fears in any way, including propaganda.

This type of fear is where misinformation comes in. A case in point is a recent news article where someone (I won’t even use the word “scholar”) claims he has evidence that Jesus was a composite figure created by Roman aristocrats. While there is a theory Jesus was a composite figure, that isn’t what bothered me. It’s the fact there seems to be a documentary behind it. My personal experience with such sensationalist hypotheses is when someone presents one there’s usually misinformation or something to sell, sometimes both. This is one of the cases where misinformation abounds, and at least one person is tired of it. So why is this misinformation harmful? This article was brought to my attention by Pagans and Kemeticists, who believed the article wholesale and used it as an example to delegitimize Christianity. I wish I made screenshots of all the “See? I knew Jesus wasn’t real” and “Proof at last,” comments. It didn’t take much for me to find out the alleged discovery was bunk. The sad part is I found a link to that review on the r/Atheism subreddit. Yes, atheist Redditors are more willing to put aside their bias than Pagans and Kemeticists to find the truth of a matter. Perhaps it’s more concerning for me because it comes off as an attempt to bash Christians on the part of Pagans and Kemeticists.

Using misinformation to prove someone’s religion isn’t real is harmful because it is usually what perpetuates stereotypes. One study, while not focused on religion, found misinformation led to stereotyping in children. The same scenario easily applies to spouting misinformation about Christianity. When we say “Jesus was really created by Roman aristocrats” we’re implying the poor scholarship is not only true, but Christians are gullible, nebbishy people if they disagree with it. If you don’t believe me I suggest reading this blog post. I wish it could be dismissed as just the case of one forum. Like I said before, though, the comments I saw belittling Christianity on my facebook feed. I’ve even seen groups that continuously assert how Christianity borrows from the Maxims of Amenope while ignoring all the times the Ancient Egyptians borrowed from other religions. The aim of the person who does such things is to insinuate Christianity isn’t a real religion by asserting combining various beliefs and practices isn’t a legitimate form of belief structure.

I’m sure at this point many readers are asking what any of this has to do with causing terror. All too often I’ve found fear mongering and hate mongering are bedfellows. One doesn’t have to look up even the Holocaust to find how mass murder was fueled by perpetuating stereotypes and misinformation, which in turn fueled bigotry and hated. Practitioners of Falun Dafa are systematically persecuted in China with the Chinese government spreading misinformation about the practice in order to fuel animosity towards it and justify horrific acts towards the practitioners. Where there is misinformation, bigotry and hatred are nearby. If nothing else a bias against something is easy to spot. The misinformation is meant to scare people into believing a targeted group is a threat. When someone feels like a group is a threat horrific actions seem justifiable in order to remove it.

If one extrapolates a fearful message from misinformation renders the individual responsible for their actions of instilling terror or harm, even if it’s only the individual in question. If several people attempt to spread misinformation with the intent of causing fear or harm that group is responsible for their actions. Before sharing something that could cause fear or harm to a group, consider the following:

What are your current biases? Consider both positive and negative biases, meaning things you are more inclined to believe because you favor and disfavor them. In the case of misinformation that Christian bashes people I found people will find any information that confirms the bias without digging further into the information. A big clue that a bias is occurring is if someone utters the phrase, “I knew Christianity was bunk,” or something similar.

Does it come in a sensationalist package? It helps to learn to recognize sensationalist media tactics for this one. While mostly made for Canadian media, I believe this site is a great place to learn how to identify media sensationalism.

Practice the “hateful sounding” test. I’m sure there’s an actual term for it, but since it’s something I use to monitor my thinking I gave it the rather uncreative name. What I tend to do is put a marginalized group in place of the group of which I’m speaking. If it sounds like propaganda, it probably is. Here’s how it works: as an example take the phrase, “Christianity isn’t legitimate because it borrows from other religions.” Replace “Christianity” with “Neo-Wicca” and you’ll see what I mean.

Put a bias up to full scrutiny. In other words, research it. Look at why such a bias exists. I have a bias against mega churches due to my views of mega churches and my unpleasant experience with one, as an example. I understand this and try to keep it in check when I see something about a mega church.

Read the counter-arguments to a bias. This is good practice to being a well-rounded person, anyway. It adds perspective and will broaden one’s understanding of a topic. As with any source check for accuracy, reliability, or outdated information. While I dislike mega churches due to how I feel the inherent design of such things deters from the church’s purpose or message, others can eloquently describe how it enhances their experience and helps them feel closer to God through community.

Where possible ask for a clarification of a statement. It’s possible because of a bias something or someone may be purporting misinformation. It’s also possible to give out misinformation which could be fear-inducing for other reasons that aren’t nefarious. Some people simply don’t know they’re putting out misinformation, and some are inarticulate and say something which ends up misconstrued. Asking for clarification of a point made, or asking for a source for that matter (if it’s not given), can clear up things and open dialogue at times.

If called out for a bias or misinformation understand it’s not personal, and vice versa. Don’t poison the well, use bias as an ad hominem, et cetera. Don’t be a jerk if called out, and don’t use a person’s bias or misinformation to vilify a person. When in doubt see the previous tip.

Some of my readers will note this is part of basic critical thinking and manners. I agree wholeheartedly, which is my point. The best way to fight propaganda and misinformation in general is through critically thinking about our views and whatever information we use to support that idea. When we don’t let our emotions guide our thoughts with abandon it also connects to dialogue. If we let emotions get the better of us, those trying to inflict terror will triumph.


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Inspirational Tuesday: Grief

This post is a little bit different from the others. This past Friday my parents put down their cat, Mage. While legally she was my parents’ cat, Mage always picked me as “her human”. We bonded in a way I’d never bonded before with a pet, so her loss was devastating for me. I wailed and sobbed, I cried to my gods, I apologized to Mage profusely. It was the first time, be it human or animal, I had ever experienced such grief.

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It isn’t that death is unfamiliar to me. On the contrary I’m quite familiar with that type of loss. Even though I’m almost 30 years old I’ve lost numerous family, pets, and friends. I’m familiar with how I grieve, but I tend to be a little more private about it. I kept my feelings mostly to myself in the past. During those times I usually was the rock others around me needed. I was afraid if I grieved they would feel lost or my emotions would be used as some sort of weapon. I was afraid of being vulnerable.

Mage’s death was different for me in many respects, one of them being the care I provided. She grew ill due to what the vet diagnosed as an ear polyp (though we suspect now it was something much worse) and she grew depressed despite our efforts. Since I felt a close bond to her watching her health decline was difficult. I’d tell myself she was getting better, or the declining health was a temporary setback. There were good days and bad days, but I couldn’t deny she was too tired to move. I cared for her to the best of my ability and tried to spend as much time as I could. I’d sit and eat with her, I’d make sure she’d evacuate, I made sure she was comfortable and had her needs met, I’d help keep her polyp clean while making sure she didn’t scratch through her Elizabethan collar. I’d sit and talk to her and reminisce.

Despite our care and our best intentions it wasn’t enough and my parents couldn’t afford surgery. Mage’s health declined and the polyp worsened. Finally the moment came when, as a family, we knew it was too much for the cat and to keep her alive would cause her great suffering. We had done her an injustice in keeping her alive, if that was the case. It was time to rectify it. My mother informed the entire family the next day Mage would be put down.

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I knew this day would come, but I wasn’t prepared for the flood of anguish. Tears fell while I held Mage and I muttered my apologies. I put her down to rest and I fled to continue sobbing. I was inconsolable except for the occasional moment of rest between sobs. After I regathered myself somewhat I set out to make her final moments as comfortable as possible by providing for her in any way I could. I held her so she could watch thunderstorms (a favorite pastime of hers), cuddled with her as she slept, provided her canned cat food (her favorite food), and provided what I could between sobs and apologies. I even played her favorite music while I sobbed. I knew this was part of the grieving process, but knowing this process I’ve learned doesn’t brace anyone for the impending flood of emotions.

I went with my mother to put Mage down. After she died I sat outside the veterinary clinic sobbing. I prayed to Bast to take care of our departed cat. I apologized further for my perceived shortcomings and failures. I sought comfort from my partner over the phone. I confessed every minute thing where I felt I made her sad. I knew this was part of the anger and bargaining stage much later, but I was too far in the throes of grief to notice or care. I cared only about my pain.

After I left the clinic I tried to hide from the world. I posted a couple of pictures of me with Mage and then isolated. I was still afraid to be vulnerable. What happened next I never expected. I got an outpour of condolences from acquaintances, friends, and friends I hadn’t spoken to in a while. I thought I didn’t want to talk to anyone, but I found myself pouring my heart out who gave me an audience. They listened and shared their experiences as well as sympathy. They checked on me regularly. Sometimes, as in the case of my partner, all that was necessary was knowing someone was there while I cried.

I’m thankful that I had people around me during this time because my thoughts were a mess. Despite the anger and intense anguish I felt, I learned a lot about myself during this moment. I learned in the support groups I attended how grief accumulates. I wasn’t mourning the loss of Mage alone, but all the other loved ones in my life. As I cried and processed my emotions I found grieving loved ones wasn’t the only thing. These past 5 years have been very tough and I’ve lost a lot. I’ve lost friendships, the life I was building, my hopes and ambitions, and everything I planned. Mage had been there for me during most of those times. She cuddled with me, she’d try to soothe me, and even in her selfish desires for attention during those times I found comfort with her.

I learned something important in that moment. I learned while my friends and loved ones could sympathize with my grief over a loved one’s death and not over my other losses it wasn’t necessarily due to a lack of sympathy. The grief over the loss of a loved one is more tangible than the grief over the loss of more abstract concepts like job loss. People can relate more to losing a pet than to losing a dream. It’s why with the grief over a death some people cope better by being around loved ones; the compassion and sympathy are there. All those times where I thought I had to guard my emotions were just that: thoughts. I had no need to feel vulnerable or be anyone’s rock. I just needed to be there and sympathetic.

In some of the tombs in Ancient Egypt some poems were written called the Harper’s Songs. I was reminded of it when I set up a spot for Mage on my akhu shrine. In particular I was reminded of the passage that was in the tomb of King Inyotef. Part of the literature consists of talking about celebrating now because:

220px-Maler_der_Grabkammer_des_Nacht_001[…]The Weary-Hearted does not hear their sobbing,

Their sobbing cannot save the heart of a man from the tomb.

Make holiday,

But tire not yourself with it.

Remember: it is not given to man to take his goods with him.

No one goes away and then comes back.

No one knows what lies in the afterlife, if there is one from the Harper’s perspective, and we can’t take anything with us despite how tombs were prepared during that time. Crying will do no good because it doesn’t bring loved ones back to life. For all we know the dead can’t hear us on any level. I’ve learned in not only living my life to the fullest it means celebrating the lives of those who touch mine. Part of that is allowing myself to feel the grief of their loss, as well as the losses tied to it. I can’t forget, however, to live my life. That doesn’t mean I forget the ones I love, but I don’t have to stop my feelings of love for them. It also means that I don’t have to stop my world for it either, but take the time I need to heal by celebrating their lives.

My family have been sharing our memories of Mage. I’ve reminisced with my partner about her. I’ve set up a place for her on my akhu shrine. While I’m still grieving I know I no longer have to be anything I think I need to be. I am allowed to feel what I feel. It doesn’t make me a weak person. It makes me someone who’s grieving a loss.


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Why Spiritual Mapping Intrigues Me

After I learned about the New Apostolic Reformation I thought I’d look into the movement a bit more. While I was very disturbed by what I found I discovered they use a technique called “spiritual mapping”. From what I understand spiritual mapping is a type of prayer technique that allows an individual to “search out” areas that need evangelizing. It appears from what I can gather the system works as follows, according to this site:

The gatekeepers commission the watchmen to spiritually map their community. They act as spiritual covering.

The watchmen [sic] working in teams intercede, investigate [sic] and collate the relevant data.

The information is summarized in a series of reports released to the gatekeepers.

The gatekeepers decide on the appropriate action deemed necessary i.e. identification, repentance, spiritual warfare, reconciliation.

They lead and mobilize the watchmen into appropriate action- prayer walking, worship meetings, strategic level spiritual warfare [sic] and so forth.

The gatekeepers participate with the watchmen rather than just allocating them to the task.

If this is truly the method of spiritual mapping it comes off as something the Catholic Church does when evaluating someone for an exorcism. Even if it isn’t it comes off as overly complicated for what they’re trying to do. I don’t understand why one would need approval to evangelize a place if a person feels it’s needed, let alone approval to make a town a “better place” (I only put it in quotations because that is a very subjective term). Moreover I have a hard time finding what qualifies someone as a “gatekeeper” or a “watchman”. The best I can find is an article that discusses what it means to be a gatekeeper. It gives me the impression that a gatekeeper can go around and do the same things as watchmen (e.g. actively make a place spiritually welcome) but seem to have a stronger connection to God- possibly something akin to an oracle. It doesn’t seem to say how long one has to be a watchman before they can go to their place at gatekeeper, if they have to go through some sort of test, or if they are just handed the title. I probably won’t find out anytime soon.

What is probably as interesting is what I found on another website. John Dawson, the person who seems to be credited with coining the concept, came up with a list of questions to focus on when mapping:

from “Taking Our Cities for God” by John Dawson (Lake Mary, FL: Creation House, 1989)

1.What place does your city have in your nation’s history?

2. Was there ever the imposition of a new culture or language through conquest?

3. What were the religious practices of ancient peoples on the site?

4. Was there a time when a new religion emerged?

5. Under what circumstances did the gospel first enter the city?

6. Has the national or city government ever disintegrated?

7. What has been the leadership style of past governments?

8. Have there ever been wars that affected this city?

9. Was the city itself the site of a battle?

10. What names have been used to label the city and what are their meanings?

11. Why was the city originally settled?

12. Did the city have a founder? What was his dream?

13. As political, military and religious leaders emerged, what did they dream for themselves and for the city?

14. What political, economic and religious institutions have dominated the life of the city?

15. What has been the experience of immigrants to the city?

16. Have there been any traumatic experiences such as economic collapse, race riots, or an earthquake?

17. Did the city ever experience the birth of a socially transforming technology?

18. Has there ever been a sudden opportunity to create wealth such as the discovery of oil or a new irrigation technology?

19. Has there ever been religious conflict among competing religions or among Christians?

20. What is the history of relationships among the races?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I feel this list is so broad and vague that it could easily apply to anywhere in a negative way. It seems that since a google search on prayer maps turns up many results (including this one I found) my opinion isn’t so hard to support.

The way I see it, this is a conglomeration of concepts and implementations that have existed since the Second Great Awakening, only with more of a paranormal investigator and New Age twist. I do have my concerns about it. The sheer amount of information available on prayer mapping, maps included, gives me the impression this is a concept gaining momentum. However that doesn’t mean this is a technique to fear; knowledge is the enemy of fear and knowing more allows people to act accordingly.


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Approaching My Ancestors

I, like many other times, light the candle at my ancestor shrine. I burn my incense and chant the offering formula. Then I take up my hotep tray to present my offerings. It’s a simple ancestor ritual, but I feel it accomplishes what I set out to do. I don’t have any image of any particular ancestor on my shrine. I don’t even know if any will show up. I’m not sure what I would do should I ever experience them. I just know what I’m doing in that moment.

I have to confess to something relatively ironic. Even though ancestor worship (as in not the literal worship, for those not in the know) is part of the Ancient Egyptian religion I have a difficulty partaking in such rituals. Some of it stems from my aversion of dead spirits. OK, the dead in general creep me out so much I dislike cemeteries. I wish I could explain why because I don’t fear death. I’m sure it’s something some therapist will help me sort…

Another part of my discomfort with ancestor worship stems from an issue of my own ancestry. The first obvious issue of my ancestry is one very common issue I’ve noted throughout the Kemetic community. I, like others, aren’t sure our ancestors would feel comfortable if we expressed such an act through a Pagan way. I’m not even sure how my Deist ancestors would react to such rituals. I know some in the community resolved the religion issue by assuring themselves many of their ancestor appreciate the remembrance. Unfortunately, as cited by many people in my life, I think quite often, and this rationalization of focusing on the act has holes in it for me. It goes back to my earlier points of whom would appreciate the gesture regardless of the religious expression. I remember, moreover, my maternal grandmother specifying that she had no intention of visiting as a spirit once she died. My mother has voiced something similar. It ultimately comes off as pretentious and selfish to assume that, unless specified somewhere, one can call upon their ancestors, expect them to show, and have no qualms with your ritual.

I didn’t know how to incorporate ancestor worship into my practice given my reservations. When I was a member of the Kemetic Orthodox it felt awkward even acknowledging my ancestors during the senut rite (it’s their equivalent of the daily ritual). It just never felt right to incorporate ancestors. I felt like if I did I would get the one who found offense and subject to his or her disapproval. What then? What if I managed to disrespect my ancestors? So I avoided mentioning them at all. I avoided ancestral rituals, and I read other members’ interactions without any real way to relate.

The past few months saw some massively hard times for me. I truly felt like no one cared and I had no idea what to do or to whom to turn. Since I am no longer affiliated with the Kemetic Orthodoxy I felt I didn’t have a religious figure in whom to confide. Despite the fact both of my paternal grandparents are living I never felt right asking them for advice. When I had a moment I gathered items: candles, a candle holder, incense, and a couple of small trinket boxes. After some discernment I decided to make a hotep tray out of clayboard. I sat down with my makeshift ancestral shrine and proceeded to perform similar to the ritual at the beginning. There was no chanting, but I certainly plead for help. It was clunky, it was awkward, and I certainly didn’t feel anything or anyone. I still found comfort in approaching my ancestors.

After I had some time to process everything I had some realizations. Yes, one should make an effort to remember and venerate their ancestors. It’s our ancestors who are one of many aspect that contribute to who we are. I feel one should not be expected to worship every ancestor because of this aspect of respecting who shapes us; not every ancestral tradition is one I follow today. Even my ancestors didn’t follow every tradition, hence why some were Deist or atheist in my family. Some of my ancestors divorced and remarried at a time when such things were taboo. If they found a way to live their life with their traditions I can too.

Even the idea it’s just for my ancestors is somewhat questionable. It’s a lot easier for some people to overcome grief when they acknowledge a loved one is dead. Some people mourn by tending to the grave. Knowing that if we can take care of them in a physical matter provides some guarantee we will see our loved ones in the afterlife soothes and assures us. It provides comfort and hope. Ancestor worship provides as much for the living as it does for the dead.

When I end my offering ritual to my ancestors I’m fully aware there probably aren’t any of my ancestors present. I’m aware that I’m probably “doing it wrong”. My concern lies with how I can venerate the ancestor in a way that’s comfortable for me. I know when I snuff my candle, bow, and leave that I did what was best.


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A New Perspective: Know It Will Be Okay

When I first wrote this blog post I was dealing with a lot of worry. I worried that I wasn’t going to ever know financial stability, I worried that my life would never be what I wanted it to be, I worried that I would live my life alone, I worried about everything I hoped or dreamed would be unfulfilled. Basically I worried about everything. My remedy, or what I thought was the remedy, was to remind myself of the Reiki Principles of Mikao Usui, namely not to worry. When I contemplated how to handle my worries I ended up taking a rather over-simplistic view.

At the time I attributed much of my worry to idea I wasn’t willing to surrender. Given how I’m a person who doesn’t surrender (or at least not without a fight) I knew trying to learn how would prove quite the challenge. What I’ve learned instead was the difference between surrender as submission and surrender as release. When most people think of “surrender” they think of submission in some fashion. I thought the idea of surrendering was an act of submission, and sometimes it can be. I know that the past year has taught me about the act of surrendering as a form of release.

I’ll admit I haven’t been in a happy place mentally or emotionally for some time. As I look back on my blog posts I’ve seen it bubble to the surface. I was completely in a living situation I never wanted to revisit and surrounded by extremely unsupportive people, though I believed otherwise. I’m sure the same could be said about me while those parties in question truly believe they were supportive. I saw otherwise when I set out to start my own business. I researched everything I could think of to learn, I looked into what regulations by which I needed to abide, and even how much money I would need to start my venture. I started to ask my friends who ran their own businesses, and the truth stared me down. One I had put much trust into offered to “buy me out” despite her cries of how I need to be independent. Sometime later we had a long conversation about her offer and other offers where I mentioned my concern about how it seemed contrary to my “quest” to be independent.

“We’re all dependent on someone to some degree,” is how she responded. Even though I agree with this sentiment in a normal circumstance, given the conversation it unsettled me. I worried about the implications and what to do. I performed a Tarot reading for myself, and it told me what I knew I had to do, but wasn’t ready to do: let go. I stayed a little bit longer until she tried to humiliate me in front of her friends. I blew up and ended the friendship. In that moment of my ego I finally let go of the friendship that was damaging me.

When I first wrote this blog post I had it in my mind that my ego was the cause of not surrendering. I used a passage from a book at that time. I have a different view now of the passage from Dona G. Kelly, author of Lotus Leaves, with the passage about surrender I used:

 If you feel that you cannot give up your free will- the right to make your own decisions- then, you still have residue of Ego, which is part of the personality. The Masters lay great stress upon the need for self-surrender […] Surrender is not easy, nor can it be achieved through a miracle. It is a slow, painstaking, labor of Love.

Not surrendering may still be an act of Ego, but I don’t feel that’s anything to shun right now. I still believe it’s a long process that requires lots of love. More often than not it’s been self-love. I had to love myself enough to no longer tolerate sick behavior.
I had to love myself enough to know this woman would hold our mutual friends emotionally hostage and that I would lose friends in this process. It hurt to see her expect my friends (it’s been a year and I’m still hearing from friends about this situation) to “rescue me” even though she claimed I seek that and chided me for it. All I’ve done is all I can do: speak my side when asked, cast spells to sever our ties, prayers, and protect myself. After a year of diligence I’m almost free.

In the span of that year I worried about many things. When I paid my doctor a visit for an ear infection I got an eye opener: my resting heart rate was through the roof. She examined me to the best of her ability and I spoke with her about what was on my mind. I was blessed in my doctor also held a degree in psycho-medince. We came to the conclusion it was the stress from my worry and some underlying mental health issues. All the stress I put on myself from worry (and later I learned the product of my mental illness) took its toll on my heart. I had to pull myself together or these things would be the death of me.
I finally sought help through both a therapist and my own research into my diagnoses. Each time I saw something that endorsed feeling whatever I’m feeling and not fight it. While I wasn’t surrendering to the attack itself, I was submitting to the idea of having one. No more could I fight the attack, but to pull alongside it and feel what I needed to feel. My partner understood and has been one of many ways for me to submit to my attack. I’ve also developed other ways of handling my impending worry from awareness and tackling the causes of my worry to seeking a creative outlet for it when solutions aren’t apparent. My writing, painting, drawing, calligraphy, and now scrapbooking help me release. I know tackling my worry is still a work in progress, but now I have more experience and insight with it. More than anything, what has been important for tackling my worry was to submit to a routine. In this routine I approach my shrine with offerings, time with Het-Hert, and sometimes my worry. I submit to Her and to Her I give my worries. I pray for help when I need it, and sometimes I pray as a form of gratitude. I surrender to Het-Hert.
In the span of those years since I first posted about surrendering my worry and thus my ego I’ve learned quite a bit. I’ve learned there are times that I shouldn’t ignore my ego but should also understand why I worry. I’ve also learned there are different types of surrender and sometimes I must consciously choose which type in order to tackle my worry. Most importantly I’ve learned surrender isn’t a loss of will but understanding the limitations of my own. When I looked over my older blog post on this topic I smirked at the last lines I wrote:

In these times, while we feel there is much to worry about, can also prove more fruitful. These times can become a great opportunity for our nation, or at least our communities, to grow in a healthy way. All we need is faith in the forces at work as well as our own.