Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Motherland feeling like Foreignland

Every journey has its adventures and this one is no different in that sense. When I left San Francisco, I knew this trip was going to be interesting and unusual since I was planning to meet some people I met in Facebook, I am being very picky on who I see and what I do, and I wanted to learn the stories of my mother line.

Since day one, I noticed that this land has changed a lot, that people live in fear and that they are all scared about going out at night. It seems like we are definitely in the jungle where people get killed during day time for their wallets. All the stories I heard have made nothing but freaked me out and make me paranoid. This was emphasized yesterday when after hearing lots of stories, I found myself in a neighborhood I don´t know and it was dark, I couldn´t find the bus stop and I kept walking fast trying to figure out what to do. In the end, I prayed to Isis asking her to send me a taxi that would make me feel safe so I saw this old man and I said, this is safe, this is my cab. When I got in the cab, you would think that people use GPS machines to find their way. Well, let me tell you, in Argentina, the GPS voice does not indicate the streets you are on but the dangerous areas. Yes! You heard it, I am sitting on the cab, trying to calm myself down and hear the GPS saying "Be aware you are entering in a dangerous area". For one second I thought, is this machine seeing traffic? Then; I saw people in the streets living there, fire and I was like, oh yes, this is a dangerous area.

Today, I had the Buenos Aires Traveling experience of being on a bus like we are cattle and I noticed how much I changed in the past few years. It seems so long ago when I lived in this country and I was not surprised about being compressed in a bus. I guess now I need my personal space and feeling like I am pressed to people does not make me feel good. To this fact, we have to add that my dad did not like that either and kept complaining about it.... well you can imagine the rest.

As Innana traveling in the underworld, I also had my subway experience and that was better than the bus. Can you believe that? I used to complain that the subway was like being in a human sausage where we are all stuck to each other but this time, it seems the busses are worse than the subway... maybe the underworld is not that bad afterall... LOL

But not all has been bad, I am having a wonderful time with my dad, I´ve been hearing the stories of the family and connecting with wonderful women. Yesterday, I had the honor to be taught by the creator of the Sacred Woman Oracle and I also met another sister from here. It´s great to see that the Goddess is finally showing her face in Buenos Aires. It is time for this country to see the love of the mother since the fear you can see only expresses the need for the Goddess. The other lesson that I am learning is the fact that I need to be grateful for all I have. Many times, when we live in a place that offers so much like the USA, we forget that other places don´t have the same luck. This has opened my eyes to the fact that I have nothing to comlain and I am grateful to be able to live in the place I live and have all I have. Lately, Motherland is feeling like Foreignland.

Blessings )0(

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Reflecting on Conditioning

Last week, I was reading the book The Heroine's Journey by Maureen Murdock and I came across this paragraph that really talked to me "Unfortunately, in an effort not to be anything like their mothers, many young women did become like men. They measured their self-esteem, their self-definition, and their self-worth against male standards of production. In the beginning, their successes were exhilarating. But the more the succeeded, the more demands were made on their energy. Feminine values about relationship and caring took second place to the achievement of goals. And many women began to feel that they could never be "enough."" This phrase resonated with me because I feel for the first part of my life, I was playing that song. I was measuring myself by the male standards, but as time went by, and I connected with my true self, I realize that I am proud of being a woman. I am proud of my mother's lineage and I have nothing to be ashamed of.

Society teaches us that women are weak, that women are dirty because they bleed, that women are less than men. Women are always conditioned to think we need to be like men to be worth it, we need to ignore our cycles just to be accepted, we need to have a man to provide for us, we need to wear make up and be pretty to have a man. You will not see a man looking for validation because he is born with that right, he is born feeling he is enough and no matter what he does, he is ok and he knows he is fine. Women, on the other hand, carry the original sin, carry the shame, carry the heavy weight of having to work extremely hard trying to balance life and career just to be able to play in the men's world and feel enough. Women try to be liked, they compete with other women so they are liked by men, they try to be sexy, they try to attrack the opposite sex so by being accepted or loved by men, they think they may be enough after all. I think this is not fair.

I also think that women are conditioned to live this way and we don't realize how much society has shaped our experiences. We don't realize when we see a commercial on TV saying have four periods a year, in our subconscious, that means, let's get rid of the one thing that makes you a woman, let's make you feel that if you don't bleed, you'll be ok.

Another example of societies conditioning is how women should be like girls who have not developed (yes, once again, girls who don't bleed) because the standard is that women are as thin as a toothpick and there is no way a woman can be like that. Women have curves and that's what society is again saying; it is not right. Or yes, be a barbie, skinny but with platic boobs, another example of impossible standards or unrealistic expectations.

Sometimes I can help but wonder how many women wear make up just because it is expected for them to do so. You know, be a women, wear make up, be pretty, be a lady. The list could keep going. Many times, I get the weird looks because I don't wear make up and that's my choice, it is not because I believe I am extremely beautiful and I don't need it. It's just because I know it is my choice and I will not follow what society says I should be. The same happens with clothes or career. It is time Sisters for us to discover who we are below all the layers that society has put over us. To question whether what you are doing is because you want it or because society wants you to do that? It's not wrong to wear make up, it is not wrong to dress pretty, it is just wrong if you do it for others and not for yourself. Things will not change unless we start the change. It is time to show society what real women are made of and that we do not need to be like men to be enough. It is time to claim our power, to claim our cycles, and to let go of the conditioning we have been living under for so long. Let's do it for our mothers, grandmothers, greatgrandmothers, and all our matriarchal family line. They deserve to see us evolve and reach the power they were not able to reach in their times.

Blessings )0(

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Individuality, Separation and Togetherness

This week, one of my friends wrote this amazing affirmation “I am the woman I was born to be, not the one the world expects me to be. ~Priestess Aura" and I couldn't help but feel the power of those words. It was like a burning call that was telling me this is a key message for women to work with all over the world so I decided to translated it in several languages:

Spanish - "Yo soy la mujer nací para ser, no el que el mundo espera me ."
German - "Ich bin der Frau, die ich geboren wurde, nicht das, was die Welt erwartet von mir zu sein."
Italian - "Io sono la donna sono nata a essere, non quella che il mondo attende me essere".

I kept going, translating it in as many languages as I could from English to Chinese and all of the sudden it dawned on me, language is a barrier. Language separates us. It's like breaking down the Tower of Babel and separating everyone; like patriarchy's message "divide and conquer". It is easier to break down people if they can not communicate, it's easier to believe that we are the only one truth when we don't understand others or are not able to convey our message. With this reality of separation, I started thinking about what brings us together when language is a barrier. Our passions, our heart, and our living on the same world brings us together. For us, women, our blood brings us together. Our mysteries unite us, it does not matter where we live or what language we speak, we are still being born of blood, going through menarche, giving birth, and withholding our blood to become wise women. These mysteries do not change, they don't depend on where we are located or what our nationality is. This is one thing that brings us together and can help us shape our world.

This affirmation also make me think of the movie Alice in Wonderland because Alice was fighting with the expectations of who they wanted her to be and who she really was. It is important to remember that we do not need to be what our parents, society, our religion or anybody wants us to be, we are free to choose our own path, to make our own path. Many times we get sucked into a box persona that is trying to please everyone but himself or herself. Those times, it is good to remember this affirmation and go back to that person we are born to be. It is also important to realize we can not be everything to everyone, and accept our limitations. In the past, I used to want to do everything, to learn everything, to be everything, but as time went by, I realize that focus is better than doing everything and as I walk my path, I am realizing that it is ok to not be a ritualistic priestess, it is ok not to train men, it is ok to focus only in Spanish speakers. Sometimes we try to cover too much and then we end up not covering anything.

Our uniqueness and individuality make us who we are and bring color to the separation that has been created by language, religion, nationality, race, among other things. This separation is just an illusion since we are all part of the same cosmos, live on the same earth. It is time for everyone to be the women or men they are born to be, not the one the world expects you to be."

Blessings )0(

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

When everything seems to go wrong...

Today was one of those days when I felt I was getting hit from every angle. The day started with the light on the panel of my car coming up letting me know that one of my tires was flat... well, it does not tell me which tire but that one tire was flat. Somehow I get out of the car and I do my Argentinean way of testing the tires... kicking really hard like I am playing soccer with the tires... Yes! You guessed it, none of the tires looked or felt flat so here we go again, my car is making me look like I am crazy and it brings more problems to my life than a kid. Yes, it gets sick every now and then. Then, I get to work and things seem to present some opposition. I am getting accused of things I did not do and then what is worse is that the person involved is not even a trustworthy. That makes me wonder how karma works, why does the universe puts tests on our way when we try to be good people? Needless to say, the accusations are about things that happened two years ago. How can somebody expect me to remember what I said two years ago? Come on, I am young but not that young and my memory is not that good either. To top my day off, I found out a dear friend is losing her job and that made me really sad. The whole day seemed to be going down and taking me with the energy. Like in the game collapse, the blocks beneath me were shaking and I was not able to keep afloat.

Then I was reminded of the question that was supposed to drive my year, the reason why I started this blog. Do you remember the question? Yes, that's right, what should a Priestess do? So I decided that I would cast some protection around me and call Diana to come to me and bring the energies of the huntress to my life, the wild woman that does not let life hit her so hard that gets depressed. The woman that is in control of her actions and aware that she is choosing all the time. Life is not happening to me, I am consciously choosing and now I choose to let go of the negativity that the wrong accusations have made me feel and hope that as in magick, this person reaps the consequences three fold. I am also choosing to come to my power, to that place of assertiveness where I can not be shaken but I can be protected. A friend told me today that everything happens for a reason no matter how ugly the situation appeared and I also remember the phrase that adversity introduces a woman to herself and her power. So when everything seems to go wrong, I just sit down, breath and think What should a Priestess do? Then let the Goddess show me the way.

Blessings )0(

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

About Power and Presence

Power is a word that is so loaded in today's world. It seems that everyone wants to be powerful or have power, but the question is what is power? I've been observing others lately to see traits of power and what I am finding out is that people usually confuse other emotions with power. For example, if a person is really angry, she may have this energy around her what may make her intimidating to others but that power is not real power, that power comes from anger held inside that in the end will implode and need to get out.

Other type of dynamic I have seen is people using manipulation as a way to control or have power over others. This dynamic usually shows traits of victim behavior or martyr behavior where the person tries to control others by using guilt and pity. Is this real power? I don't think so.

Then, we have the dynamic of parent/child or superior/inferior where a person is positioning herself above others as a mother who has all the answers and everyone else is below but this person is usually very insecure and needs to control others by putting herself on top. Is this real power? I don't think so.

I see power as that place where the person is neutral showing no emotion but that type of assertiveness that allows others to see that she is standing on the ground and there is no anger, no fear, no anxiety, no victim behavior, no emotion, just assertiveness and resolution. That's the power I am talking about. The power that comes from true sovereignty. It is the power that appears when a person takes responsibility for her journey, who knows she is always choosing and her choices manifest her journey, a person that is not afraid to express her opinion but when she does, it does not come as defensive or aggressive but as strong and determined. It is the power that comes from "committing to engaging in the process of our own transformation, the search for our inner wisdom, the development of our self-esteem, the elevation of our status and standing, we are consciously choosing to accept total cause-and-effect accountability for our own lives and living." (The Queen of My Self by Donna Henes). When a person achieves this type of power, it is seen by others as presence. This person walks in the room and everyone knows that she knows her value and she her rights, she is powerful and does not need to be forceful or aggressive to show she is powerful because her presence reflects that. There are no words to describe it but it is felt by everyone, it's the presence in the room that makes her power known.

The other day, I was reading and saw once again women described as weak or fragile instead of powerful, and I couldn't help but think. Here we go again, this is the type of thing that is robbing women from their power. It is the fact that society paints a picture that is not true because patriarchy is afraid of women's power. How can patriarchy say that women are weak and fragile when we can endure lots of pain such as giving birth? Yes, it is true, they are trying to take that power away by offering painkillers and things to alleviate the pain but we women can endure it, we have the power. I think the time has come for women to reflect on the word power, but not the power that comes from patriarchy mentality. We need to claim our real power and be the Queens of our lives by taking ownership of our journey, being aware of our own choices, and standing strong in what we believe. We don't need anyone to validate us, we just need to connect with our Goddess within and feel the power that comes from that spark. Let's stand strong! Let's claim our power! Never give your power away!

Blessings )0(

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Already June!

Time flies! It seems like yesterday when I was ordained as a Priestess of Isis and Sekhmet on July 1, 2009, and my first year anniversary is just round the corner. When I was ordained, I remember wondering what type of Priestess I was. Some people have told me that every Priestess is a ritual priestess, others told me that I would find my purpose as I continue walking the path, that Isis would guide me in the right direction. Well, I have to say it, the second group was right! Isis has taken me into her hands and guided me in the right direction. This guidance has not come without some suffering, but as some people say, we don't learn much when everything goes the right way; we learn more when we face challenges. During my journey, I have faced people who called themselves teachers and they are nothing but people who are hungry for money and greed and they are not interested in the learning process, they just see this path as a business, yep, cha-chin mentality. They see people as dollar signs instead of people in a spiritual path. Then there are the others who are having an ego trip and all they do is meant to feed their lack of confidence and self-esteem because those are the people who must feel so bad about themselves that their coping mechanism is to create this imaginary persona that will make them feel better. I have also seen those that think that pretty does it and that being a Priestess is about glitter and make up. Luckily, not everything is bad and there are those one in a blue moon people who touch your life and change it forever. I have to say that I have been blessed with two wonderful teachers in my Priestess path. I am blessed to have worked with Linda Taylor who ordained me as Priestess of Isis and Sekhmet, and currently be studying with Linda Iles who is a wonderful mentor and guide. Like I said, seeing the ugly makes you appreciate the beauty more.

While in this journey, I have discovered that for me, being a Priestess is about devotion and that devotion touches every area in my life. I am not a Full Moon Priestess that only puts on a robe on a Full Moon to lead a ritual. I am a full time Priestess, yes, 24/7! From the moment I wake up till the moment I go to bed. I am a Priestess when I go to the coffee shop, when I work in Corporate America, when I go to the gym, and when I cook at home. I never take my Priestess hat off. I try to see life through the eyes of the Goddess and live from my heart.

My calling as a Priestess has been to be that bridge that connects people to the Goddess. To be the channel to communicate her message to humanity and anyone who is ready to hear it. I don't go out converting people like some other religions do, but I am always trying to bring her out of the darkness and into the light so everyone is able to know She exists and make an informed decision as of what path to follow. I also dream of the day when we can say we are witches without any stigma attached to it, like if you say you are Buddhist or Catholic, yes "I am a witch." I know we are not there yet, but I can use my power and my voice to make that dream a reality or at least move us nearer to that goal in this incarnation.

I also discovered that my role is that of a midwife seeing people being reborn and transformed, evolving and growing as they walk a spiritual path. This process is not easy and part of being a Priestess is to know yourself, to be brave enough to accept your shortcomings and work on healing them, confronting them, releasing them. It is not easy to look at oneself with an objective eye and see those things we don't like, but if we want to help others to do the same, it is important to do it ourselves first. I do believe in lead by example and it will not be honest for me to come and tell people to work on their self-esteem issues when I don't want to look at my own issues. With knowledge comes responsibility and choice, and we have the choice to change what we see once we acknowledge it and confront it.

As Lao-Tsé said "To know others is wisdom, to know yourself is enlightment"

The journey has just began and I am sure that as I evolve, my work will evolve with me, but this is the story so far and I can't believe it is already June!