26 January, 2016

Unflinching Heart / Thank You

Hey, Readers,

I didn't set out to write a blog post tonight. I just started writing a little update on Facebook and it turned into a much longer post--longer than a status but perhaps shorter than a blog post--so I decided to instead publish it here. That's what I have a blog for, right? =)

About halfway through this status update-turned-blog, I realized that I was doing the work I began last weekend at a Priestessing Skills (read: Leadership Skills, of a Priestessing nature) workshop. But you all don't know about that yet. I don't know if you will, explicitly. This one may just be revealed to you in my leadership, in my priestessing. But I will tell you that it was working with acknowledging our fears about leadership, and with letting go of the idea of "perfection" in leadership. So without further adieu, here are the thoughts that sprang from my head, fully formed, before my fingers knew what they were typing.

~

Uploading the next installment of my little series about witchcamp now! And I got another comment from someone, eh not sure if they were really complaining or just making an obvious observation, about the repetitive lines in my Shit People Say video (which still needs the sequel done, I know). But now my feeling is kind of like, if nobody had gotten it, maybe it could have been done better. But since a ton of you precious souls resonate with it and feel exactly what I was doing, and just some people don't really understand what I was doing... well, that makes it feel more like art to me.

A few people have made and sent me their own versions of/responses to it. =) And on the other side, numerous people have directly copied it (I get links and screenshots from my viewers when they recognize things that are eerily close to my video--good lookin' out!) without acknowledging the source/inspiration, sometimes straight up putting their own username on it. Sooo... if it's good enough to pay tribute to, AND good enough to plagiarize... =P


It's all part of my journey, this stuff. Getting over the fear of sharing (What if I get negative comments? What if people steal my ideas? What if I'm not saying anything worthwhile? What if everyone else does it better?) and continually saying SO WHAT? Even IF that happens, even WHEN that happens (because it does... all the time), I will still be here. I will step into my work anyway.

And I thank you, those of you who "get it," those who maybe don't "get it" but support and enjoy it, those who engage in positive ways and share and learn and grow alongside one another, alongside me... Thank you. For being my people. For having my back. For walking your own walk and Never Forgetting To Be Awesome.

Blessed Be--I am blessed by your presence.


-C-

02 January, 2016

My 2015 Lessons, My 2016 Intention

"What is Your Intention?" asks Thorn Coyle's blog post from a few years ago. I haven't thought much about a single intention for this new calendar year yet, so I'd like to do that, now. Though the whole "Yuletide" season (which for me begins slightly before the Winter Solstice and extends slightly past the change of the Gregorian calendar year) feels like a shift into a new chapter for me, I did feel a significant change in this year's New Year's Eve into New Year's Day, January the 1st of 2016.

I learned a lot in 2015 and went through several shifts in my path. I talk about the major changes in those shifts in my 2015 Year in Review video, which just went public on my YouTube channel a few hours ago. I do feel that I'm not done with those lessons at all, and am continuing on the path they set out, so doubtless those three main messages from the Universe will go on to inform 2016. For reference, those messages, as I heard them, were

SPEAK YOUR TRUTH | BE YOUR TRUE SELF | BUILD YOUR BONES

While those are the messages as I basically ended up phrasing them, they came in wordless forms, or in many phrases at once. That first one, consciously acknowledged in April, I think of as my Crow Medicine, because that's how I received the message--from a crow. It is also my Raven lesson, as ravens and crows intermingled in my ally work at Witchcamp this autumn. "Speak your mind while being mindful" is the message I had for my online followers at this time. "Speak your truth, clearly and resolutely" is what Crow had for me. Then in the summer, when it seemed I was getting that lesson under my belt (still working on it, but familiar enough with it to keep going and incorporate something new), the message expanded to "BE your Truth," or as I phrase it now, "Be your true Self." This message, to me, had a lot to do with my path as a Witch and emboldening that. It was during this time that I looked into the possibility of attending Witchcamp and made those plans concrete. And through working through what becoming my true Self means, how to do that, and what it would look like, I started receiving some heavy repetitive messages and imagery and synchronicity of events/images/etc. that spoke to me what I actually most often refer to, to myself, as my Bone Lessons. I'm learning my bone lessons, is how I say it to myself, and how it resonates with me. But in describing what that lesson is, I choose the phrase tattooed on the arm of a significant female figure in my life, one of my employers (who contributed, unknowingly, to some of the imagery of this Shift): Devo farmi le ossa. I must build my bones. It means building oneself from the bones, from the "ground" up, from the inside out. So these are what I think of as the three main Shifts that I experienced in 2015: my Crow Medicine, my Witch Self, and my Bone Lessons.

But actually, there was one more preceding all these that I didn't consciously recognize or acknowledge as a Shift, but which definitely paved the way for the rest of these to occur. It was a resonant message shared in a Facebook post back in 2014, something I identified with as a lesson I needed to learn, and I made it the lock screen on my new smartphone so as to remember it. That was in the summer of 2014. It's still my lock screen now, because it's an ongoing reminder:

DO NO HARM (BUT TAKE NO SHIT)

I posted a video on my channel in March 2015 about this Shift in Taking No Shit, but I didn't feel this real pull to specific lessons and work until Crow practically knocked on my skull in the Spring. From there, everything followed.

Some beings left my life in 2015, for better, for worse, or with neutral results. New friends and allies entered, and oh, how welcome they are! New lessons, new skills, new family and community. New, and at the same time, old. Familiar. I'm talking about people, but I'm also talking about animals, allies of all species and corporeal states. Some cycles ended, and some began. A lot has happened, is still happening, and I'm encouraged by the progress and growth I've seen and am eager to continue.

So now, looking into 2016, I ask myself, what is my intention for the year?

There are some lessons I definitely want to keep in mind and keep working on that I would like to enumerate here, some of which are things learned at Witchcamp, others of which came out of other aspects of my life this year:

  • The three main Shifts discussed above, as well as Taking No Shit
  • Love. Love is bigger than all of this, than all of us. "There is nothing to fear when it's Love that you come from. There is nothing to fear when it's Love that you're made of." - Ginger Doss
  • Listening to the Universe is an important, life-changing thing, in general for me.
  • Cracks are how the light gets in.
  • Time is my ally.
  • We are the ones we've been waiting for/Be the ally.
  • Living like a Witch, what that means to me.

I know that Love is a big one for me right now, and has been for a couple of years. Love kind of encompasses everything else, such as ally-ship and forming alliances and relating to allies, loving myself and therefore being my Self more authentically, loving others and continuing to grow in service to the community and also to my personal path... So perhaps Love, and my chosen Truth about it that I've come to know and share throughout this year--Love is bigger than all of this--is intention enough to go from. Operating from a place of Love. All extends from there. That Ginger Doss quote I mentioned has been a good one for me to express what I mean when I talk about the power of Love as a concept (noun, verb, all good stuff).

If I were to put these thoughts into some ritual intentions, they might look like this:
  • Speaking the Truth from my Bones, I grow into my True Self.
  • Made in Love.
  • When the Universe calls, I will answer. When Allies speak, I will listen.
  • "Live in ways that are sure to horrify the few and inspire the many." - Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, The Dangerous Old Woman

Some things I want to work on developing in 2016:
  • My art. Some of those intentions will likely be made into artful objects and given as gifts and/or shared with you via my Etsy shop.
  • My relationships with my Allies, Deity, and the Universe.
  • My sense of Self. Being Cara, being a Witch, my place in community, my place in solitude.
  • My connection with Water and Earth, the receptive elements.

At this point, I'm not sure what single intention I hold for 2016. It definitely comes from Love, lifts up the Self, and speaks from the bones. It comes when the Universe beckons and embraces unexpected allies.

Until I choose, if I choose, a specific set of words strung into an intention, or a set of images to set my focus on, or any other number of ways to hold something with intent, I welcome the intent shared by Thorn Coyle and passed around in blessing for years now:

"Love. Health. Prosperity. Knowledge. And Great Sex!"

Blessed Be, and have a Happy New Year (whatever calendar system you use).
-C-