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Today’s reading

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 Judgement

The only thing in life that is assured is that if you wait long enough, it will change. How you survive that change and who you are after change is down to you. The major element in this process is judgement of yourself and others. This may relate to an assessment regarding a personal matter or situation, and could be linked to the process of forgiving. It may also relate to a group or social decision. 

In the process of judgement, both as an individual and on the universal level, honesty is the key. Be honest, be forgiving, be patient, but most of all, be assured change is at hand. 

Remember, the universe has a long memory. Nothing is ever forgotten.

Your approach to the issues in this card affects your future, decides the nature or even the possibility of your rebirth. 

The entrance to a passage grave beckons you; this is a place to lay your past to rest, a still safe sanctified space in which the parts of your life can be reconstituted after the trauma of Death. (see Rebirth, eight of cups). 

You are sensitive, and require someone to stand watch for you; either the highest part of oneself, an ancestral guardian, a shamanic figure or angelic power depending on your belief system

BunniHoTep and Ptah

Once upon a time BunniHotep was walking on Temple Row and came across Ptah. Ptah was staring at a half carved obelisk with a chisel in his hand and a puzzled look.

“What’s wrong, Ptah?” asked BunniHotep because something was quite obviously very wrong. Ptah usually looked very happy when he was going about his crafting tasks. It was his job to make and design all the art in the Temples. He had just finished Osiris’s lotus columns so this was very strange.

“I’m stuck,” he said with a sad voice. “I never get stuck and right in the middle of this obelisk too. I have to finish it and I have no idea how. My inspiration just flew away like that ibis there.” He added sadly. “That never happens to me. I have no idea what to write.” He looked even more dejected. Ptah was a god of few words so he had to be upset if he was going on this way. He saved his words for his work.

BunniHoTep decided she needed to shake Ptah’s lost inspiration loose. He had done a lot for her. He had spent a long time crouched down in rabbit-sized tunnels in her Temple carving and painting beautiful scenes. That had to have given him very big amounts of back pain and head bumps.  She had to help if just as a thank you for all his hard work.

“How did you get the idea for this obelisk in the first place?” she asked quietly.

“I don’t remember! It’s all gone.” Ptah was almost whining in frustration and this would never do. Gods do not whine!

BunniHoTep made an executive decision and grabbed Ptah’s arm with both her paws and tugged. “Let’s go for a walk. You need to get away from here.” She guided him off Temple Row. She thought Temple Row might be part of the problem. He rarely left it. How can you get an idea if you never go out?

So she walked him down to the docks on the Nile and they sat down and watched Ammit catch frogs for dinner. This aspect of her friendship with Ammit was a little hard to stomach but one makes allowances for friend’s oddities and it might help Ptah. They watched the ibises come and go from their nests, feeding their chicks. They watched the dragonflies buzz back and forth, their blues and oranges flashing brightly in the sun. She watched Ptah start to relax but he still had a sad expression on his face. So she tugged on him again and they continued on their walk.

She decided to walk him thru the Palace gardens, maybe that would help. They walked among the date palms and along the papyrus and lotus pools. They looked at the minnows darting back and forth catching insects for their suppers. They watched a vulture circle around over the desert in the distance. “He looks like he hasn’t a care in the world,” Ptah sighed.

“No, he looks like he’s found dinner,” BunniHotep said and hoped it was no one she knew but Ptah was seeming a bit brighter. “When was the last time you did something besides work for one of us?” She asked Ptah quietly.

“I don’t remember. Everyone keeps me so busy and I hate to say no.”

“Well, let’s make a bargain. Once a week we’ll take a walk off Temple Row. You don’t even have to speak to me when we walk, just be.” They kept walking and BunniHoTep smiled to herself at the small joke she had made. Thoth had made the rabbit hieroglyph the word “Be” and Ptah was too wound up to even remember.

“Let’s go watch the sunset over the Sphinxes. This time of year it goes right down the row of them and I like to watch it and then we can have supper.” Ptah nodded and they went and sat on the steps at the end of the row for their private show from Ra.

“You know something BunniHoTep? You gave me a big present. I think I can go back there tomorrow I know how to finish it. I think I’ll sketch it out tonight on papyrus so I won’t lose it but I know what to do now.” Ptah was very relaxed and smiling a bit now. He leaned back on his elbows and just watched to sun set.

Then the two friends got up and walked companionably back to Temple Row.

Today’s reading

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Fulfilment

Three of Wands 

Nourishment from a spiritual source that gives inner security and joy. Goals and desires reached, making life rich with emotional security and a sense of completion. 

… the blessing of fulfilment. The healing radiance of the afterglow created after a loving polaric interchange.

This energised peace does not require another person, it can be achieved after an act of Creativity or Joy.

Coming out isn’t easy — Part 3

I said I came out by the Oops method because I did. I had been moved out for a while and for some reason was over at my parent’s house gardening, I think, and my mom must have started at least four sentences with “when you get married”. I finally lost it and said I wasn’t getting married and she lost it. She lost it at the top of her lungs. She kept screaming, “You’re just like your brother!” Well duh?

She had met all my friends who were out and she liked them but my being out meant her stakes in the “I have to show off my grandchildren at church” lottery had dropped astronomically. What she never figured out was that even if I had been straight she would never have been allowed near my kids. She was just too mean and self-centered a person. To the point that when I had an emergency hysterectomy many years later I had to ban her from visiting with Security because she said she was going to stop it and I was being a hypochondriac. Even when told I was going to die without it, it didn’t matter to her because everything was about her and according to the surgeon after I was about 2 weeks from dying from gangrene.

She really didn’t want grandchildren, she just wanted to have them to show off to everyone. My mom was all about her image and how she looked to others. Sadly, my sister and I, by being the least girly girls ever had started embarrassing her in public early in our lives. I was an obvious nerd by the time I was 6 and a lot of people fed that and considering that was in 1960 that says a lot about whom they were.

Example? At the yearly Choir retreat, the men of the choir went diving and brought up a huge kelp tree onto the beach and it was full of creatures. I am told, I ordered them to stop and not touch anything until I got my books on sea creatures, tidepools, shells and other beach life  and they honoured that request of an excited 6 year old and I went and got them and they helped me identify everything and collect everything that I wanted to save in my plastic bucket. That was an error in 6 year old judgment because I collected a teeny tiny lobster along with a really tiny octopus and some small starfish. The lobster put a hole in my bucket and the water ran out and they died sometime in the night but as a 6 year old I had established my nerd/geek propeller head status. So not a girly girl.

Other people at church or at least, the choir loved us and didn’t really care. They knew us from birth, it really shouldn’t have been a surprise when we came out. I do have to admit my parents lost some close friends from their Sunday School class/social group because they obviously “hadn’t raised us right.” But no one from the choir ever loved us any less that I know of. Mom’s best friend did give her a book called “Where do I go to resign” about de-gaying your kid but for the most part no one ever said anything to me or Cam.

Once she had me drive her to what was allegedly her psychotherapist at church. I don’t remember why she didn’t want to drive but sometime during the drive I figured out if I went in with her there would be a full court press to get me to REPENT and go straight. So I just politely refused to get out of the car when we got there and she got really mad and she had to go inside without me because she couldn’t tell the truth about setting me up. She was convinced she wouldn’t get into heaven if we stayed queer. And she felt she looked bad.

It was when she found out I was a witch and went blabbing all over church that I was worshipping Satan things got said. But I wasn’t and anyone with a brain should have known that but I haven’t been back to church except for my dad’s funeral since. Mom had the minister do an altar call at my dad’s funeral because she knew my coven and some of the Temple of Isis were coming. I have never been so furious in my life and I was glad I was sitting with my aunt and cousins and not up front with her or there might have had to be two funerals.

I had a graveside service for mom and gave the minister readings that were really stealth pagan readings like the Gaelic blessing, Deep Peace. It made me happy, it made the Christians happy because they sang the incomplete version in choir and it made my pagan friends happy.

I did go to both Cam’s funerals at his Episcopal churches, one near where he lived in northern California and one at the one he went to in Pasadena before he moved up north. At the one up north I was asked to read something at the reception. It was a little easier because I only knew a few of his friends. I read the Hymn to Osiris from the Book of Coming Forth AKA the Egyptian Book of the Dead. I did announce that I was a Priestess and pagan and watched some mouths drop open. That was kind of fun. Mom couldn’t go and I was very glad. The SF Gay Men’s Chorus sang because he was a member. It was really beautiful.

I guess for most people Coming Out is a process that never really ends. You are always coming out to someone new whether coming out as a lesbian or as a pagan or as both. And lot of times it doesn’t make the bigots happy. It makes people question themselves and they really don’t like having to questions their own life choices.

I have lost many friends over the years over one or the other. It hurts but you learn that the ones who always love you no matter what are the ones that matter and the ones that don’t are the ones that you have to leave behind on your journey and maybe you have made it easier to love the next gay or pagan person that comes into their lives. Knowledge does create change. And love is all that really matters and we choose our families the older we get and if it means we lose blood family, were they really your family?

Hymn to Osiris

Hymn to Osiris

The doors of perception open; what was hidden has been revealed. It is myself I see and a thousand colors swirling in liquid light. I am where the sun sets below the mountains. I am in this body. I am that star rising above clouds hung by a thread from its ocean moon. Hail myself, traversing eternity walking among gods, a shuttle flying across the loom through the thread of time. This is all one place; one cloth: a mans’ life endures. On earth flowers grow, snakes crawl and wisdom lies in the palm of a hand. All that is will be—hawks and sparrows, the thousand lives within.

I have come home. I have entered humanhood, bound to rocks and plants, men and women, rivers and sky. I shall be with you in this and other worlds. When the cat arches in the doorway, think of me. I have sometimes been like that. When two men greet each other in the street, I am there speaking to you. When you look up, know I am there—-sun and moon pouring out my love around you. All these things am I, portents, images, signs. Though apart, I am a part of you. One of the million things in the universe, I am the universe, too. You think I disguise myself as rivers and trees simply to confuse you? Whatever I am, woman, cat or lotus, the same god breathes in every body. You and I together are a single creation. Neither death nor spite nor fear nor ignorance stops my love for you.

May we come and go in and out of heaven through the gates of starlight. As the houses of earth fill with dancing and song, so filled are the houses of heaven. I come, in truth. I sail a long river and row back again. It is joy to breathe under the stars. I am the sojourner destined to walk a thousand years until I arrive at myself.

“Awakening Osiris” translation by Normandi Ellis

The Littlest Druid visits the spring forest

Aisling skipped down the lane with her long red braids flying behind her. Spring was finally here. She could see the lambs gamboling around the meadow and head butting each other. She wondered if that hurt since they hit each other so hard. Did they get headaches? And if they did why did they keep doing it?

She watched her friend, Raven glide on a breeze high in the air and since no one was watching wheeled down the lane with her arms outspread while the raven wheeled overhead. She flung back her head and laughed. The snow was gone. The trees were blooming. The air was fresh and clean and she wasn’t in trouble for anything. That all by itself was a wonderful thing.

She had been given the morning off to go collect mushrooms in the forest and any other edible new greens that could be sprouting. She was hungry to eat green things but so was everyone else after a winter of eating only dried and salted things. She hoped there were a lot of new fern bracts popping up. She liked the taste of those.

She looked up and saw a butterfly illuminated in a sunbeam that was streaming through the trees. Sunbeams in the forest always looked magical to Aisling as if anything caught in them should have your absolute attention. She stood for a moment and just enjoyed the sight of the butterfly drifting on its wings. It was a beautiful green on the bottom of its wings and brown on the top. It looked like it was flashing on and off as it flew.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” a quiet voice said. Aisling jumped and turned around.

A quiet pale green and brown woman stood half in and out of a willow tree. Aisling looked at her.

“Are you one of the Sidhe Draoi?” asked Aisling curiously.

“I am, today is the first spring day I could come out and I’m enjoying it. Are you Aisling?”

Ailsing started again, “How do you know my name?”

“The Green Man told us he had met you and claimed you for the forest.” The Faery laughed. “Did you think all of us who dwell here wouldn’t know you?”

“You all know me?” wondered Aisling. Was that a good thing or a bad thing? “Everyone? Even the spiders?”

“Every tree, plant, mushroom, hedgehog and spider, by the way you can call me Willow.”

“What do I call the other Willows?” asked Ailsing.

“Willow, my sisters and I are all connected.”

“All right.” Aisling wondered how confusing this was going to get.

“Would you do something for me?” Willow asked.

“Of course,” Aisling replied without thinking.

“A family of hedgehogs lives here in my roots and their mother was eaten by an owl last night. Would you help them?” said Willow with a sad face.

“How do I do that?” asked Aisling.

“They are too small to live on their own so would you take them to the village and feed them.”said Willow.

Aisling had a very strong feeling she was about to get in trouble again but she’d given her word and went to the side of Willow’s roots that she was pointing at and saw three small balls all curled up together. Aisling sighed. They really were cute. It made her sad that they had lost their mother and she wondered if she knew the owl. She knew the owl was just doing what owls did but still…

She gathered them in her tunic carefully and wondered if they were going to wake up and get prickly on the way to the village. As she turned to go walking slowly she felt a hand on her shoulder.

“Put these in your pouch and look at them later and thank you.” Aisling took the package wrapped in a large soft leaf and tucked it away and forgot about it. Willow turned and melted into her tree. A few moments later Aisling was alone in the spring wood.”

Aisling walked slowly back to the village with her precious bundles. She thought the healer’s cottage would be the best place to go since it always had a fire going to warm potions and medicines. She worried about what they would say.

As she approached the healer’s cottage, Maeve, the Chief Healer was standing in the door. “What do you have?” She asked with one eyebrow raised. She knew Aisling, it would be either something very terrible or very wonderful.

Aisling held her tunic out. “Babies that have lost their mother?” she said hesitantly and waited for the explosion. Maeve peered into the tunic.

“Tiny tiggies,” she said quietly and reached in to pick up one. “Where did you get them and where is their mother?” She said sternly to Aisling.

“I met one of the Sidhe Draoi in the forest and she asked me to do something for her and it was them. She said an owl got their mother last night.” Aisling was afraid she was going to cry. She couldn’t take care of them herself without help.

Maeve stroked Aisling’s hair. “It’s all right. I bet it was old Willow.” Maeve said and looked at Aisling.

“How did you know?” asked Aisling surprised.

“You aren’t the only one who meets friends in the woods, Aisling. Come inside and let’s find them a box. You are going to be busy taking care of these for awhile.”

They went into the cottage and founds some old rags to line a wooden box Maeve had tucked away. They put the box near the fire where it would be warm and she sent Aisling to find some worms and to get some eggs from the cook and generally kept Aisling busy until evening. They had decided Aisling would sleep there with her charges.

Aisling curled up near the babies to watch them before she went to sleep and the package in her pouch poked her tummy. She had forgotten all about it. She drew out the package and inside was a set of ogham sticks. She had been wanting a set for a long time but hadn’t had time to collect the wood to make them. They were beautifully smooth willow sticks, all perfectly made and marked. Aisling smiled. She would have taken the babies anyway but this was a very nice thank you. Aisling lay down clutching her beautiful ogham set. Maybe while she was taken care of the tiggies Maeve would show her how to read them. It had been a wonderful spring day after all.