The call came in at 3 in the morning. I’d had a restless night (as I often do) and had only gone to bed about two hours and 20 minutes before the call.
In the time I was on the phone, my Beloved had purchased me a one-way ticket to SoCal. Familia finds the strangest ways to call a body back.
A fall. A head injury. Unconscious. That I’d be kept informed.
So, I flew. I flew into lands that raised me, released me, and re-embrace me easily. And in the rental, (pretty red car!) I flew. I crossed through the intricate veins of conveyance that keep the heartbeat of these counties down here going strong.
I flew. To family. To an unsure and uncharted future. Because, family encuentra la manera mas inexplicable para llamar al cuerpo que retorne.
I appreciate the uncertainty, even as I rail about it.
1. Raising funds for the Pagans of Color hospitality suite at Pantheacon next year. Goal is 1000$USD through WePay. Click here to donate.
2. Intersectionality. As a person of color, from a low-mid to low working class, female presenting, able-bodied presenting, nonheteronormative, nongendernormative, non-Abrahamic religion practitioner, and in a relationship with a female, there are many things that I know aren’t counted in my favor. However, I can enjoy the intersections and the work inherent in each, strive to make injustice a thing of our collective pasts, and live an authentic life. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t days when I feel like crap and want to give up and crawl under a rock and wait for it all to be over. . . I have plenty of those days. Some days though, much better than others.
3. There have been days here in the Bay Area lately that have been cold and despite the sun the warmth just doesn’t sink into my bones. On those days, I grit my teeth and move as best I can, my joints are swollen and stiff, sometimes they lock up and won’t move. On those days, I’m grateful for tea and my wonderful cats (how great to use the plural again) and I am glad to not have to be at a job where I would be required to move much more swiftly than I am able to. But then I remember that I have expenses and I have bills (like we all do) and it hurts to not be able to pay them as quickly as I wish I could. On those days, I try to remember to have compassion for myself. Compassion for myself then emanates and becomes compassion for all who are job-searching, and for those who have jobs, and for those who work at finding others jobs, or manage the job market. . .the world.
Sometimes, this job, this being that coalesces sex and Spirit, it isn’t sexy in the way we’re conditioned to see sexy. But it can be highly charged and motivating, and make our breath quicken, our lips purse, and our sex throb a bit. Why?
Because, better to eat of the forbidden fruit of knowledge then watch it rot from ignorance.
At least, that’s what my morning meditation showed me. What might you see?
Growing up, I was told that the idea of getting a modification on my body was a sacrilege. That tattoos, piercings, etc. marred the body g*d had given me and made me imperfect for the afterlife. I was told all this after having my ears pierced at an age I couldn’t object to, and what I later found out was against my mother’s wishes. *shrug* I can’t hold that against her, she shouldn’t either.
However, as I grew up, I learned to see a certain fearlessness in people who would go and get these things done. That fascination turned into a bit of an objectification for me as I enjoyed meeting with, dating, and getting to be very close to people who had artwork that fascinated and captivated me.
As I grew older and made my forays into the kink communities I chanced upon a class on branding, a new and emerging body modification that was happening in the community at large and decided (against maybe my better thinking) to try it. I got up and in less than 15 seconds, had a crescent moon branded onto a shoulder blade. The pain was minimal to nonexistent and there was no bleeding. The cautery pen (the same kind used in vasectomies) had done it’s job well. I played around a bit with the healing process and have a smooth scar with very little indentation and marring. The skin inside didn’t die or nectrotize or any other horror story that’s out there. It’s been a fairly good mark on me.
As I worked and learned about my spiritual path, the brand took on a life of its own and worked as my very own caller ID, if you will. If I was in deep meditation and focused on the intent I’d decided on, I would feel the brand light up and burn under the skin, an uncomfortable itch that I would leave alone as this feeling of peace and joy came over me. It is a way to know that Spirit is close, that I am being listened to, or that I need to pay attention. It has gone off at the weirdest moments; moments when I’m not paying attention, when I need to be reminded to stop, drop into myself, and check-in on how I’m feeling, moments of trepidation to remind me that I’m uplifted and supported. And during Ordeal work, it lets me know that one of my Fearsome Foursome™ is around, helping me, guiding me, or pushing me through the working.
It’s also become a marker for my real-life relationship. I am My Beloved’s Shadow Prince. The Moon and the Stars was one of the first songs I heard from My Beloved’s lips, and the moon on my shoulder warmed in response. My Beloved also enjoys the imagery and the concept of the spiral and has incorporated it into two complementary pieces of jewelry we wear.
In the here and now, I am currently researching and in consideration of five pieces of body art. Four for my Fearsome Foursome™ and one for My Beloved.
The one for My Beloved is probably going to be the first one I do and its details aren’t necessary here. The other four, need to be written down to reference them. This is also a way to provide some insight into who They are.
The first is a butterfly adapted from Paul Borda’s Butterfly for Xochiquetzal (Head Matron), I’m not sure what I want to change yet, or even if I’m ‘supposed’ to make changes, but we’ll see.
The second is Kali’s yantra. I am an initiate in the Daughters of Kali through Sharanya and received the name of Duti at my initiation. It means She Who Is Ambassador. Quite fitting.
The third is for the Morrighan. There is a piece of poetry that speaks of her cloaking us in her mantle of red, black, and white feathers. I am invoking that imagery and a crow into the piece I have created for her.
The fourth is for Odin. His two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, Thought and Memory, one holding a Valknut (as befits a dottir of Odin) and the other holding my bindrune.
The first part of all this is getting past the part where I remember that my flesh is no longer my own. I am reminded of this on a daily basis as I go through my day to day functions because that’s all I know to do. I walk in the beauty They provide. I walk in the mire of life because that is the path laid before me, and the one I consciously choose to walk for Them.
The second part is time and cost. That is on me, finding the artist who can do this for me, finding the time to get it done, finding the strength to survive the time in the chair, that’s where this all must have focus for me.
This may be one of the hardest things I have ever had to do; harder than inserting hooks into my flesh, harder than standing still while a flogger went after my back, harder than letting myself be tossed around and nearly drowned. This requires not shying away from myself and where my mind will travel, as the tattoo is placed on my flesh.