October 13, 2020
Tuesday Tea Time
We have been traversing the dark. We move into the hidden, the repressed, the suppressed, the things we haven’t seen, inheritances and perpetuations of pain. This is holy ground. This is charnal ground. This is hard, scary, abstract, rewarding, birthright. I’ve been sharing some personal experiences during my extended dark night at sea, sharing what I have seen and heard and felt, in recognition that you, too, are dissolving, decaying, peering into deep dark abyss and holding fast regardless what is revealed.
Upheaval, chaos, conflict, change is all inevitable, is all natural. We are animals, and we are humxn, and there is nothing wrong with seeking comfort, safety and security.
But by what means? What ends? What trades? Nothing is free and there is no away. These are Truths, somehow ordained in stardust and bone.
In a culture so disconnected, dis-eased with these sorts of things it’s important to tell the night terrors, the hard truths. I can not offer a map or a task analysis or a how to. Instead I pop up out of my dark nights and deep holes to shine a bit of light, leave a cup of tea and a rock and a story. Because ultimately, as deeply personal as these sorts of journeys are they are also universal.
Today I want to reflect back a few things that seem timely. Here is what came to me upon waking, comfortable and safe and loved.
Fear not of these dark days and darker nights. And if you do, anchor in because you can keep on, you can actively participate in the upheaval, the dissolving, the chaos, the change. Without control, without avoidance, without much at all. Go into it, not with force externalized but with that continued commitment to honest introspection, with humble awe. Go into the brave journey of the unknown frontiers within you.
Dark nights, shadow work, looking at the uglies and nasties within is not at all new to me. I don’t know when exactly I first stepped in, looked into the abyss, and I won’t tell you it gets easier. It does get different. One reason why, I think, is because true safety and security comes from within. And when you walk the fires and lose yourself to the unknown you always come out some other side with some thing, a gift, a knowing, a skill, an expanding awareness, a Oh shit I did that and I didn’t die. Well, little deaths perhaps, probably. Forging the self/selves in fire sure does put things in perspective and it is a sure fire way to know what you’re made of. Or at least explore your constitution.
My most recent exploration was deep, as close to origin wound and self fuckery as I’ve gotten so far. I was frozen, fascinated by my own perpetuation of pains. Inheritances are more than genes and estates. Conditioning is subtle and strong. Programming needs updating, especially when installed so young by such unskilled. The shit done to us and around us when we are that small is not our fault. It is our responsibility. Especially if freedom, liberation, reclamation, reducing the suck is important to us.
This de-worlding of mine includes the ongoing investigation of blind spots – things hidden from me that I needed, and was humbly honored to receive through relating with Other. Partner, cosmos, plants, divine timing, a solar eclipse at my natal sun placement, a lunar nodal return, the continued shit show of 2020 America, moving, going full all in on myself as self employed story teller, plant student and self care essential maker. I knew shit was gonna get real and had the hubris to think I knew what it would look like. I love that about me, and when I say I have been humbled . . .
I’ve seen the tracks of those wild rabid bits of myself before, often, even at regular intervals. I have heard their howls, whimpers, snarls for a long time. There’s many reasons why vision has been limited, and that is for me to know. What I keep learning – bigger, broader, deeper – is about the specific kind of thing that happens when I pull in, when I sit at the fire and the charnel ground with all these beasts within. What happens can’t be articulated in a way I’d feel pride about crafting into words. That hasn’t stopped me or the millions before.
The gift(s) of the dark night, of peering into the darkest corners within – and now I don’t want to make guarantees – always yields gold. Gold nuggets of wisdom, wound wisdom. Expansion of consciousness. Broadening of scope. Humility. And if that isn’t some of the most precious materials on earth when you’re humxn then go back to whatever you were doing.
Through the ongoing, ebb flow processes of self examination; in conjunction with plant medicine, journaling, reflections of hard truth via intimacy and partnership with humxn and nature so much is learned. And unlearned.
Our culture really values comfort. I say fuck it.
These processes, these journeys, this weird abstract shit is by definition uncomfortable. It is defined by conflict, tension, confusion, fear, embarrassment, de-press-in, even heart break. Places I have adventured in and explored include Alaska and a lot of America, Costa Rica, islands in the Caribean, even Greece and Israel. So many stories, so many learnings. By far, hands down, no contest: the journey into shadow land and the ugliest truths about myself has been the most transformative, illuminating, and empowering. I have never known myself better.
There is no map nor guide nor advice that I can offer you as you sail or ride or run or gallop into your own dark adventure. Even if I could give it, I wouldn’t. It’s antithetical to the whole point, isn’t it? Simply some reminders, of the sanctity of such a journey. Of how your self initiated or at least actively participating to fall deep, even fall apart at the seams is yours to do. Maybe there won’t be a nugget of wisdom down there, maybe you’ll never fully re-emerge. That’s ok. That’s more than ok. The journey itself is big enough reward.
How else can we reclaim, review, reassess, integrate, actualize and evolve? These things simply, cosmically, energetically, naturally can not be done in full light only.
There is no good or bad. There is no right or wrong. There is no end. Not here.
There IS liberation in surrender. Surrender to what your soul, psyche, mind, body, emotional, being needs. When the needs and wants intersect at a quest for truth, no matter the nature and constitution of that truth, you’re on the road towards yourself. And from there so much can gestate.
It is October 13. It is the seasons of harvest, prune, root down, pulling in, dying, into the dark and the mysteries and ancestors and origins. Death co-exists with Life.
Life. Death. Life.
The invitation continues/is to go with what spurs conflict, particularly when the questions is who are you really?
Mercury in Scorpio, Rx. Mars in Aries, Rx. What are your actual desires and motivations? In this tension, in the collective and individual de-worlding we can re-orient ourselves to our deeper, truer, oldest selves, and from there see what we truly are, and what we are built to be.
It is October 13. Election day is 21 days. Three weeks. The length of a mercury rx cycle. Big change, BIG CHANGE doesn’t come quick, or easy. Systems that oppress must go, and that is priority. It is possible to participate in the dismantling of broken external AND internal systems simultaneously. In fact I may argue it is preferred, it is inevitable, it is also birthright. It is the same. It is flowing back and forth.
Tradition and inhibition may protect us, but what are they serving?
Road humps and blocks slow us down, but what are you avoiding? Sabotaging?
Pains and traumas of the past (& present) must be honored, spoken for, and deserve retribution and healing. Same, same. What within perpetuates the same harms done to you, to us, onto ourselves and into the world?
When you are in there, in your own dark, leave the external authorities, distractions, shit shows up top. Yes we may often know ourselves better in the contexts of Others, but this sacred deep duck dive into the dark is yours. See where you stand, stumble, roar, whimper, are hurt, do harm. Know where all your shit and all their shit bumps up against each other. Know yourself, in all your separateness and responsibilities and ownership. How else can you reclaim, review, reassess, integrate, evolve, and enter into the unquestionable interconnectedness of all things? And connect in ways that are real. Authentic. Foundational.
It is always a good season to make besties with your beasties. Don’t you dare look at them and dismiss them, forsake them, abandon them, fear them. If you try to amputate, ostracize and disregard I dare say you aren’t ready for their gifts, their value, their power.
Look those wild rabid beasts in the eyes and sit with them. Greet them by name. Brush their fur. Let their teeth bite. Howl with them. You may find some level of taming and domestication is in the best interest of the wild pack within you. You’ll know what to do, when there is something to be done.
May you and your wild dark journey together. I'll leave a light on.
I went to the drug store today. I never go to the drug store. The things they mainly sell, I make. Soap and toothpaste, shampoo and cold medicine. Even food. But q-tips were needed, and I had thoughts on a new lipstick. I know I could make some make-up with certain plants, certainly with beets, but I don't want to experiment with that right now, and I was envisioning something like lilacs.
Have you ever stood before a mature lilac bush in full bloom?
I hope there is a ring of heaven just like that.
Sometimes when I go to stores it's a grand exploratory adventure, even like going to an alien land. The aisles are walked and pondered. Items are stopped by and looked at. Examined. Elusive. But what does it Do? I was going to say its like going to an alien land because it is like so many of these things are relics from another culture, but not like; they are. They are relics from another culture.
It pleases me to see brands focused on wholeness gaining in number, still on bottom shelf. But then I remember my disdain for capitalism, my vitriol with the commodifcation of healing and health, and the rage against the inhumanity of the general toxicity all around.
I'm a blast to go shopping with.
At the card aisle I stopped and paid more attention. Wouldn't it be nice to get some cards for people? There are so many womxn at work who I care for, admire, even adore. I feel pangs of grief already; I don't want to leave them. Do I have to leave them? Do I have to leave here? Does it have to be either pay rent or pay tuition? Where is the land where I can do both? all?
I should get pretty cards on recycled paper and write them something powerful about how some days I think there can't possibly be any more room in my heart or chest for the love I have. Is this why my hips seem to be getting bigger? Is that where this love I am growing for my sisters goes?
Maybe in the card I write somedays, when I have my regular release of allthethings from work, sometimes some of those tears are for those womxn with whom I work. Because I love them. Because sisterhood is so sacred, and in three years here I have made two lady friends but now I have rotating shifts of three, four, five, six, somtimes even NINE lovely ladies.
I am so hungry for this. This is a dream come true.
I never thought it could happen for me.
Sincerely, I think I will explode.
Did you know that after a particularly harsh winter of famine, wolves will go on a brutal rampage, killing far more prey than they can ever eat or need?
Inside every woman is a wolf. Did you know that? We aren't inherently violent or blood thirsty. But we are malnourished. We, like men but more, suffer and hurt and have slow death under the expectations of society, even from our well meaning partners and friends even.
I've known a lot of hard winters. This one wasn't the worst. But it lingers. And I haven't heard the VT wolf counterpart in far too long. When the coyotes call I feel more relaxed, like I drop down into that wild within.
My famine is eased by those womxn at work. And as spring approaches and I long for toiling in soil I wonder what brutal state I would be in without those womxn, without that work together.
There should be stores for wild wolf womxn. Isn't that how a drug store started?
Where are the herbs and flowers and elixirs and seeds and rocks and art? Where are the instruments and dresses made by hands of neighbors and dyed by plants? Where are the poetry books and art supplies? Where are wood carvings of animals and round beautiful women and books about whales and hawks and porcupines? Where are the maps and tools for building?
What am I even doing here?
Standing in aisle four having a slight existential crisis is always a good time.
I went through the categories and envisioned what it could be like with more spectrum, more specifics, at least in the card aisle.
In Lioux's Drug Store there all those things things for ritual, plant medicine, creative expression and more. And the card aisle is twice a long as in this alien place. There are many more categories of cards than just the linear and the binary and the heteronormative. I want other sections than
birthdays for her,
birthdays for him,
engagement then wedding then congrats on the house quickly followed by
yay for baby, kids birthdays and bar and bat mitzvahs,
congratulations on retirment,
sympathy for your death.
In my drug store card aisle there are more options.
There are cards for existential crisis, for example.
There are cards for when we awaken to our divine feminine and masculine qualities inherent in all people and things. There are cards congratulating folkx for growing past defensiveness, for those times we say we are sorry and really mean it.
There is an entire wall of - ISM cards. Here there are cards that somehow make apologizing for white privilege, white colonialism, racism, sexism, classism, colorism, ageism poetic, heartfelt, honest and thoughtful.
There are cards that express acceptance and tolerance for cultural differences. Next to those you can find, for the novice and master, cards of actual honoring and appreciation for the rich diversity and indigenous and colorful cultures white dudes haven't managed to destroy just yet.
There are cards that celebrate puberty, like every other indigenous culture, like we used to worldwide.
There are cards that honor and normalize mental illness, just like that cards that here wish you well during knee surgery. In Lioux's drug store there are cards that wish you well during substance abuse school, EMDR sessions or another attempt at finding just the right cocktail of anti-psychotics, plant medicine, somatic experiencing, tibetan chants and smashing the systems that oppress.
There are cards for little girls that have every color, adjective, future possibility other than pink, pretty, princess. There are heroines from African countries. There are emulations of the goddesses from myths we have lost. There are cards honoring the Black Lilith in all womxn.
The cards for boys encourage a world where crying is strength and dignity in action, where chivalry extends beyond the hopeful lays, where being a writer or a philosopher or a nurse or a teacher offer multiple perfectally acceptable universes harmoniously next to soldier, CEO, athlete.
And of course, in my drug store aisle of cards, one can't tell at all which cards are for boys and which are for girls because they are all together, all inclusive, without color codes and the inundation of consumer culture.
In my drug store there's -
My reverie was interupted by a call over the speaker.
Price check for your health.
How long have I been in here? What am I even looking for?
There was something about the abrupt interruption of my inner imaginings and as I walked towards the make-up I felt more and more strange and foreign. Am I the alien?
Why don't I care about these things in here? Well, I DO care, in a different way I guess. . . .
Am I a freak?
All I can see is overwhelm of essentially the same things but in different labels,with the same unpronounceable shit, the things we are told we absolutely need to be healthy and beautiful and happy and attractive and fuckable and incapable of insecurity or abandonement.
How did I get here?
Oh, right, GMO cotton on a stick to clean my ears and a lilac inspired lipstick that preferably isn't made with death. Where . . . Ah, here,
I started wondering why the names of lispticks, blushes, eye shadows and liners, nail polishes, hair dyes, shampoos, lubricant weren't more honest.
"You Are Flawed" in dark red, light red and pink.
"We Play on your insecurities" in extra conditioning
"Don't Ever Let Him See You Naked with the Lights On" in rouge
"We Don't Find People of Color Attractive or As People" in extra white, white, white but gets tan in July.
"We Are Afraid of Women Knowing their own power" in bold lash formula.
I remember I don't need anything from here. Someone somewhere makes the make-up with some ethic, some plant and animal and humxn love.
As I leave empty handed the really pleasant and underpaid person asks
"Did you find what you were looking for?"
You betcha, babe.