Monday, September 27, 2010

Between selfless and selfish

When I was younger, I used to sacrifice myself for others. I would put everyone else's needs before mine. Everyone was more important than I in my mind, and by doing that I thought I was being selfless. As I grew up, I realized that I should put myself first. That if I didn't do that, nobody else would do it for me since I had to teach others how to treat me, how to talk to me, how to be around me and by putting everyone before me, I was just showing them that I was not enough or that I was not worth it. It takes a lot of effort to balance the energies between selfless and selfish to find a middle ground where you can put yourself first but still care about others.

Today, I had an experience that opened my eyes on how some people are not able to see anything but themselves. Some people may say these people just don't realize what they are doing or that they don't even think about other people's needs. For me, these people have a tendency to be only selfish and just care about themselves and if something goes different from what is expected, they can not accommodate. They can not put other people's needs first, not even once. Sometimes, making small sacrifices is part of being in relationships and caring for others. We all make sacrifices and it is up to us to decide whether we want to act selfless and put the other person first at times, or we want to just focus on ourselves.

The hardest lesson is to find the middle ground where you can give and receive. It is not good to only give, and it is not good to only receive. It is the flow of giving and receiving that keeps the energy circulating so it does not stagnate. If only one area of this flow works, it is possible that the flow will be depleted because nobody can give forever and not receive in exchange. The same happens with the person receiving. If he or she is only receiving, it will get to the point when things will have no value and receiving will not mean anything anymore, it will be taken for granted and not provide happiness or joy. Harmony between the two is key. Sometimes we can give 80% and receive 20%, sometimes it will be 60/40. We should strive for 50/50 so nobody is depleted and the relationships work in a harmonious and balanced manner.

The key is to be able to balance between selfless and selfish so you can put yourself first but take others into account as well.

Blessings )0(

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Finding my Totem Animal

Animals have a tendency to come to us when we need their magick. Last year, on Halloween, I was dressed up for ritual and as I was going out my house, I looked up and there were about 20 crows were flying in circles above me. When my husband saw them he felt intimidated since it was like a picture taken from the movie "birds" but for me, this was a sign, crow magick was coming my way and I would better get ready to receive the message. Since then, crows have appeared everywhere I go. Whether I am at the pool or walking out to get some coffee, meditating or working out, all I need to do is look up and there they are, always surrounding me, always watching over me, showing me that I can create my world, that I can create my own opportunities. Now, even my friends see crows and remember me because they associate these mythological birds with my presence. Looking back, it makes sense that I would choose the name Morgana as my magickal and Priestess name since she is the Lady of Magick and crows are her totem animals and are always around her.

Today, as I meditated about crows and their meaning in my life, I went back to the book "Animal Speak" by Ted Andrews and read the section about crows. As Steve Jobs said "we can only connect the dots going backwards but not going forward." So now, reading the meaning of crows, it makes complete sense! In his book, Ted Andrews says that crows symbolize creation and magick and I have been creating and recreating my life since last Halloween. I believe the reason why crows are always present in my life is because they know I understand that life is about change and transformation, that it is ok to be in the void because that's where creation takes place and that's where we can look at ourselves and see what we need to do next and work our magick. Crows are also connected with watching events and always being prepared, adapting and changing, and those characteristics usually define who I am. I also associate them with being my protectors and always watching my steps making sure I don't lose track of what is really important in life, and that is my spirituality and devotion for my path as a Priestess, my role as a midwife for others to find their power, my love for the Goddess and my desire to be a bridge between her and the World.

As I was coming home from my standing meditation practice this morning, I saw three blue jays, and there it was, another sign. As I opened the book and I read the paragraphs about these beautiful birds, I discovered that blue jays are associated with crows, suprised? I was. The message blue jays bring is one of connecting heaven with earth, living a spiritual life in a mundane world, balancing spirituality with practicality. This is a hard task at times because we may get too busy and forget our spirituality, or too spiritual and get our head in the clouds. Harmony is key for working with these energies. The blue jay also talks about the proper use of power and how at times we may be abusing of power or being the recipient of abuse. In my position, I think I've seen plenty of people on power trips about spirituality, being the one an only guru, or the one and only High Priestess. This is a position I don't want to be ever. For me, it is not about fame, not about abusing power or manipulating others. It is about being a bridge between heaven and earth and bringing down the knowledge once I receive it.

Animals, birds, insects, all show us signs and messages. It is up to us to be able to decode them and transform those pieces of information from the Goddess into meaningful things. It is up to us to be open to receive the messages and also be open to accept the suggestions from the Universe. I know the crow is my totem animal and it will always be around me. Now, I look for other signs that can help me in my journey and as I remain myself open, I see more than the every day world, I see the messages from the Goddess.

Blessings )0(

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's all in the attitude!

This year has been filled with very powerful trips, and I feel every journey has had a message for me; a lesson to learn; some power to be reclaimed. My trip to Argentina showed me that it was time for me to open up and trust Goddess to show me the way, it was time to connect with my body and reclaim it as my Temple. To let the Goddess within shine through me and start connecting with my feminine side more strongly knowing that by being feminine I was not saying I was weak; that I could be beautiful and strong at the same time. During my trip to Oregon, I kept connecting with Nature and feeling the power of the Mother around me, knowing that she was with me all the time and that every time I need her, I can go to her and ask for what I needed. Last week, I had to go to North Carolina for a business trip. When I found out that I would be spending my birthday in North Carolina alone on a business trip to attend a conference on Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, I couldn't help but think that Goddess was sending me some kind of sign. Is my life a disaster that needs to be contained? Am I derailing and need to get back on track? What is the message for this trip? Then I realized that it was one of empowerment and not that my life needed to be fixed but that I had reached a point of power where I could stand on my own and feel good.

The trip started with the need to assert myself and not let small things make me get upset. For example, when I got to Denver, I went for breakfast and I clearly told the waitress I wanted French Toast, but instead, he brought me pancakes so very assertively I corrected the order but did not let that ruin my breakfast. Then, on the plane, I asked for apple juice and I did not get it so I called the flight attendant and asked for it a second time, once again, I did not let that bother me but I still did not let things pass by either. In the past, I would not have said anything and just stick with what they brought me or did not bring me, but this time, I spoke up and sometimes it is in the small things where we see the change in attitude. It is taking baby steps that help us feel more confident and safe so when we face the big decisions or the big confrontations, we are still able to speak up and say what we think or feel.

This trip was also about trusting the Goddess to guide me since some things were up in the air when I left. For example, I was told to contact the hotel to pick me up from the airport and then I had no idea who would take me to the office the morning after, what is worse, I did not know where the office was and my remote access was not working so I could not log in to my work email to get the information. Yes, I was a bit stranded but I decided not to let that stress me out. I went to the front desk and asked if they were arranging transportation for the company I work for and they said no, but they put me through one person who was going to the office and I decided to ride with him since I assumed he was in the same class I was. Little did I know there were several classes going on in the company and I was tagging along with the wrong group... yep! I was ok, I made it to the office and got there on time and did not let that stressed me out. The same happened on my way back when I only had 30 minutes to connect my flights and everyone was making bets that I would not make it there and would have to spend the night in Chicago, but I released the stress and asked Isis to help me and I did make it to the connection. Just detached and trust was one of the topics from this trip.

Another lesson from this trip was one of claiming my power and letting go of the shyness that has always been around me, stand strong in my power and be confident. In the past, I would have not spoken up or socialize but during this trip, but instead, I went for dinner with some coworkers I just met that day to celebrate my birthday and I had a wonderful time. I was not afraid to speak in the class and be the spoke person for my group. I was able to hold the tension of being the center of attention. It was a powerful experience to be strong and be the center, not to feel shy or small or weak, and to be feminine in doing so. In the past, I would have hid behind the masculine outlook but this time, I decided to be feminine and strong. Even when I faced an awkward moment, I was able to hold the tension. Yes, it was an awkward moment!! Let me tell you about it. On my birthday, after dinner, I decided I wanted some wine so I went to the bar in the hotel and I was planning to get back to my room and relax with the wine. Since the elevator was a mess and I did not want to get down twice but wanted two glasses of wine, I ordered them together. As I am paying for my order, the organizer of the conference comes to the bar and sees me with the "two" glasses of wine, awkward!!! Then he convinces me to drink with him and the other guy that he was with since he could not let me drink alone on my birthday so I stayed with them. Two men became five men and me. They were talking about the waitresses in the restaurant, how hot they were... yep awkward! But I stayed there, very womanly but very strong and not hiding or running away. That moment showed me I could stand strong among men without having to become masculine, and yes, now I am the one known for the two glasses of wine in the Business Continuity Community... LOL.... They may think I have an alcohol problem.

Overall, this trip showed me I can be alone, be strong, be feminine, and not let things that go wrong ruin anything. It's all in the attitude!

Blessings )0(

Monday, September 20, 2010

Alone and Ok

Every year, as it gets nearer my birthday, I like looking back and connecting the dots - seeing where the road took me and where I am going. This year, when it started, my main goal was to love and accept myself just the way I am; let go of the need to please others and live the life I was born to live, not the one others want me to live. Part of being who I am was developing my role as a Priestess and finding my true calling. When I figured out that I wanted to be a bridge between the Spanish Community and the English materials, I realized that was my calling. I wanted to translate the materials that were in English so people who are not as lucky as I am could still have access to the materials and learn about the Goddess. This journey allowed me to meet some wonderful teachers and mentors as well as writers and Priestesses. I connected with Lady Olivia who showed me how to make my dreams come true and create my first Lyceum. I connected with some amazing teachers such as Karen Tate, Loreon Vigne, Glenys Livingstone, DeAnna L'am, among many others. Priestesses like me who are in a journey of self discovery and sharing with others. I love being able to connect with real women who have similar objectives to the ones I have and seeing we are all part of a whole.

This year was also about becoming healthy and whole. I ran my first 5K and now I am planning to train for my first triathlon. I lost over 25 pounds and my goal is just to eat healthy and live an active life because my body is my temple and I should care about it that way. Sometimes, we want to lose weight to feel beautiful but in my case, it was more about being healthy and I believe the beauty from within, the spiritual light and spark of Goddess that shines through me is enhanced by my healthy living.

It is interesting that this year, for the first time in my whole life, I find myself in a strange place, all alone, for my birthday, on a work trip for a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Symposium. Yes! What a topic!!! Just what I want to think about in my bday. If a shooter enters the building.... if a bomb goes off... how would I tell the family of the people who died.... how do you communicate with the press? Wonderful topics to make you feel happy and content, bday material! Yesterday, as I was talking to my husband, I was singing Celine Dion's song "all by myself, don't want to be" and talking about spending my bday alone. Then I realized, this is it!!! I've been talking about accepting myself just the way I am, loving myself for who I am, and not feeling like I need other people's acceptance or depend on others. This is the perfect opportunity to be all alone and be happy because I am my best companion. Being alone allows me to see who I really am and make sure that I can see where I am going, and if I am not happy spending my bday with myself.. who would be?

This trip is turning to be a blessing in disguise because it is allowing me the time to be by myself, evaluate, plan and draft the course for the next year. With my ordination as Hierophant taking place in less than a month I know that more responsibility will come as I promise the Goddess that I am committed to be a Priestess and to my path. I am very thankful for all that has happened this summer because I was able to honor my needs, to accept myself as I am and to let go of those people who were not meant to be in my life anymore. Today, as I am sitting in a hotel room in a place I've never been before on the day before my bday, I am at peace, I feel that I am where I am supposed to be and that I am who I am supposed to be. I feel happy, I am smiling, and as in the movie 13 going 30 said "I am thirty, and flirty, and thriving"

Blessings )0(

Monday, September 13, 2010

Symbols and Meaning

The American Heritage Dictionary defines symbol as "Something that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention." When I read this definition, I can't help by think how some symbols became associated with certain notions. For example, when I see a pentacle, I see a symbol that represents the four elements -air, fire, water, and earth- and the Spirit in the center representing the notion of the Supreme Being or the Divine. When a Catholic person sees the pentacle, he or she sees the symbol of the Devil, something to conjure evil instead of a symbol of protection and power. With the same token, when I see a cross, I used to see the symbol of Christ, the pain of the cross, the symbol of death and redemption. Since I became a Witch, I stopped wearing crosses because they symbolized the past and I became very reluctant to symbology that was associated with the Catholic religion. Crosses and rosaries were symbols I did not want around because I associated with the religion that transformed the Goddess into a demon, that took all our holidays and rename them to make them Christian, that burned lots of women because they had power, they have the knowledge of the herbs and healing, and because they were a threat to the system.

My mom, who was a devoted Catholic, tried to bring me back to the Church when she discovered that I had taken the "wrong" turn and became a Witch. She used to give me rosaries, bibles, and many other Catholic symbols for me to go back to "normal". I still remember the day I gathered all the rosaries and crosses and give them back to her saying that I respected her religion but that those symbols were not part of my life anymore. I think that was the day she understood how important my religion was for me. I was 20 at the time. Now looking back, I realized that I was doing something similar to what Catholic people do to our Pagan symbols, I was rejecting them, considering bad, not wanting them around for what they symbolized. Luckily, I kept two of my mother's rosaries, and this year, after my car got broken into, I decided to place my mother's rosary in my car because it meant she was looking after me from wherever she is now. She is my angel and that rosary symbolizes her energy and not the energies of the Church I left behind.

The same happened to me when a very very dear friend of mine gave me a cross to wear a few weeks ago as a token of our friendship and to protect me. I did not think twice before putting the cross on even though I hadn't worn a cross in more than 15 years, but this cross meant so much to me. It meant all the affection I have for this friend and I don't mind wearing. It is funny to see the reactions I get from some of my witchy friends who think I am converted or they start wondering what is wrong with me... Again, symbols are symbols and it is up to us the meaning we give to them. It is time for all of us to shed some light in some of the symbols that have been assigned the wrong meaning. Claiming our symbols is like claiming words like Witch. We need to stand up and be able to show the world that we are ready to claim our symbols too and disperse the veil that has covered them for ages. A cross usually represents the four elements with the Divine in the center and we also have Bridgit Crosses, but we tend to forget this. It is our time to rediscover our symbols and assign new meanings to them.

Symbols are just symbols and it is up to us the meaning we decide to give them.

Blessings )0(

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Uniqueness - The New Battle

As I continue reading about Male Mysteries, I can't help but realize that both men and women have been conditioned by society to follow a certain set of standards. Women are supposed to be passive, weak, and fragile while men are supposed to be strong, aggressive and show no emotions. These rules were set in the past based on what people were experiencing. In the book "Fire in the Belly - On Being a Man" by Sam Keen, he mentions that men have been conditioned by the fact that they are not able to create from their bodies like women can so they try creating technology and artificial things to feel like they can create as well. He also mentions that women's rites of passage are natural and marked by natural processes in our bodies such as being born, menstruation, motherhood, and then menopause while men rites of passage are determined by time and the rules of the tribe. In some cultures, in order to become a man, the boy needs to go into the forest and kill a dangerous animal. That situation will probe that he is a man. These rites are designed to mark the passage from boyhood to manhood and to become part of the tribe and lose the person's individuality. Everyone goes through the same rite, every man does the same and in doing so, he may lose himself and become part of the tribe. The question remains on who came up with the set of characteristics one needs to have to be a man or a woman. Who decided what makes a person a man or a woman? Can't those people get it all wrong? It seems that at times we are supposed to be all the same and fit one set of standards but in doing so we forget those things that make us unique. Not everyone likes vanilla ice-cream, some people like chocolate, some people like cherry... It is time to define ourselves by our own standards and not by the standards that society has conditioned us to believe we need. There are not two people alike in this world and although they may have led us to believe we are all the same, like machines, in the core we are not. The other day I was swimming in the pool and I noticed that I was the only one swimming differently. Everyone else was swimming the same way but I was different. This situation made me realize I am proud of being unique, I don't need to follow the crowd, I am my own person. I can be different, I can be bold, I can be unique and that's ok because in that uniqueness, I bring something to this world that nobody else brings. If we were all to be ourselves and let go of all conditioning, I think the world would be a better place to live. People would be happier, healthier, and stronger because they would not have to pretend they want what society says they should want, they would just do what they want to do and are born to do. Think about it. Society does not want to allow people that type of freedom because if you are free, you can not be controlled. It is easier to control people who all feel the same because they are conditioned to do so. Be brave! Be bold! Be who you were born to be and not the one that they conditioned you to be!

Blessings )0(

Friday, September 3, 2010

Ownership and Choice

Everyday, I wake up and I take a card to guide me during the day. Today, I got the "Thunderbird Clan" card. This card talks about imminent changes and rebuilding, like the phoenix rising from the ashes or the destruction that needs to take place before the new beginnings can take place. When I saw this card I couldn't help but think... well I've been going through changes for the past few months... now what? Little did I know that I was going to find some surprises at work! First, I found out that a person who does not work really hard may be getting promoted what really made me upset. I don't mind people getting promoted but the fact that many times men get promoted when they don't work hard enough and women who work their butt off don't really triggers me. It's like getting slapped on the face by patriarchy in a sense. Second, I found out I am moving for the third time in a period of one year... Maybe I should keep my things in boxes since I move more than I have ever moved in my whole life! And having been with this company for 5 years, I have tons of things that I am packing and unpacking, packing and unpacking.... My first reaction to these news was to get very upset, to start thinking about how I am not giving projects to grow, that my projects are not helping me learn about my role but instead I am like a secretary setting up meetings and building binders for training, working on setting up a new system for my team to track different things, etc. After rambling for a while, I realized I am not a victim here. It is my choice to grow or not to grow with the company. For the past few months I've been saying I don't want to get promoted because being promoted means having to work 24/7 and that type of living does not fit my needs anymore. I need to have harmony in my life and I am not about to sacrifice my free time to go up the ladder. That ladder does not lead me to happiness instead of happiness leads me to the hospital - at least that is where I ended last time I was climbing.

Sometimes it is easier to blame others for things we don't get, to say we are not given opportunities, to blame the devil or evil forces for our problems, but that is not my path. My path is one of ownership and I know that my life is the reflection of the things I want to manifest. It is a reflection of what I want and create in my mind. The energies are just adjusting to my desires and that's why I have to be very careful what I wish for since it may come true. When I chose to become a Priestess, I also chose to have time to do my spiritual work and that means that my work was just a job and my passion is my Priestess work. It is time to find a way to bridge the two but in the meantime, I will just continue knowing that work is just work and that it is my choice to remain where I am and if I want to change, I can definitely do so. No victim mentality. No rambling. Just ownership and choice.

Blessings )0(