Epiphany or Reminder?

Given my recent illness issues (read: crazy-deep depression and crippling anxiety), I’d been wondering (nervously) what would happen when it was time for me to step up and Do Public Work again.

Yesterday was my first Handfasting ceremony of the year. People. Promises. Questions. Stepping up to lead and hold.

There was no fear. Nerves, as always, and intention set. But the pit of dark remained firmly closed.

I pondered this on the journey there. How could I be so calm, so ready, even excited? It seemed amazing.

A slightly dry, amused voice inside simply said: ‘Because this is what you do.’

There isn’t really a word for it yet (and we do need one). Priesting, ministry, chaplaincy. Service. Vocation. To myself, my Gods, my loved ones, and those who come to me, asking.

I’m here, doing what I should be doing, because I can, because I truly want to. That simple truth is beyond reassuring. A bit of a revelation, of something I perhaps already knew. Now I’ve been reminded.

The Handfasting was beautiful. And my feet feel sturdier on the path today.

This circulating meme struck a similar chord as well today:

Transformation, evolution… progress.

Onward.

Advertisements

Love Is…

Realized I forgot to post yesterday. This is due to Being Knackered after Saturday’s travelling and speaking adventures!

Today, I’m still so tired. Someone once questioned this, saying ‘You’re just standing there and talking, what’s tiring about that?’ I asked if they’d ever done it. They looked shocked, and replied (in a disgusted tone, as if I was stupid to even ask), ‘No!’

I often wonder what people see when they see me Doing My Thing. Does it look easy? If so, it didn’t always. Those who remember the early days can confirm this.

But honestly, I don’t know how I could not do this now.

I received a quiet message today, asking about a Handfasting. I’d love to help. Plans are being put together. All is good.

It’s for a poly (ie polyamorous) relationship.

I’ve had so many people nervously approach and ask if I mind performing their ceremony, given that it’s ‘a bit unusual.’ From relationship styles to locations, I’ve heard many ‘strange’ requests.

But they’re not strange, not really. They’re true for those involved. The ritual that they’re crafting must be honest, or why bother? It must reflect their relationship, what they love about each other. I’ve yet to have a ceremony without humour, for example, and that’d be quite shocking to some, no doubt!

Yes, I have performed poly Handfastings. Also all male, all female, and my first trans ceremony is being organised now.

Love is love. I hold the space for that. I help, however I can. I encourage, laugh along, listen to grievances and assist with problems where possible. I Priest.

The only time I Judge is when the relationship seems troubled – I cannot, in good conscience, wed those who are not ready (although one day, they may be).

I go away, consider, work and then step up to do my job. It may look easy, but under the robe, there’s feet stepping carefully so as to not fall, and inside my heart is the fervent prayer to do right in the moment.

I’m always honoured to do What I Do, and I will continue. Gladly. Inspiring and inspired.

And with a reserved rest day afterwards.

Visiting the Otherworld

Awake in a hotel room at 4am this morning, to reach Stonehenge just after sunrise.

Fog wraps the land in a blanket. Driving is a challenge, carefully navigating the obscured pathways and sudden signs, as well as roaming wildlife. Every move forward reminds me of the journeys we tell in story, of stepping through the mists into the Otherworld. I’ve no idea what lies beyond.

Barefoot on damp grass, I step into the circle. Breathing deep, the words come and the ritual begins. I’m aware of those watching, in body and in spirit. Focus. Feel the weight of the stones.

Cameras are clicking, guards in high-visibility coats hold the space in their own way. Curious jackdaws glide overhead. I feel welcomed, held, just one of so many who have held similar rites in this small area across the centuries. The powerful places help us mark the important times in our lives, after all.

We conclude, congratulate and smile. Questions come, thick and fast, but all curious and well-meant. Small applause from random strangers, caught up in the theatrics of the moment, but happy to be part of something…

We all return to our everyday lives. I will perform this rite again, perhaps even in this place. Every one unique, every day its own. Walking the line between the Otherworld as it touches this.

Each memory of such an occasion is held, honoured and celebrated. And I’m so very glad to be a part of it.

20140601-211435-76475748.jpg

Two Things… (Part Two)

Three years ago, this happened. Please follow the link and have a read.

This was the first time that my partner and I stepped into the circle at Stonehenge, barefoot on the grass at sunset. My breath was literally taken away, and I couldn’t speak for a few minutes, such was the weight (literal, historical, spiritual… everything!) of the place. Not just the stones, but the land, Salisbury Plain itself.

A huge turning point in my work, it was also one of the most memorable days of my life. We gained some wonderful friends, joined together in love and community, following in the steps of our ancestors by truly marking such an occasion as we did.

I give thanks to those stones, to this land, and to the lovely people who asked us – a deep honour and privilege. The magic is still being made…

20140430-204854.jpg
(Image copyright to the talented team at Peacock Obscura)

Moments

My first post while travelling – but it certainly won’t be the last. Small and succinct, while the connection holds! And I apologise if it’s a little disjointed – I’m fairly exhausted (but in a good way).

Today could be classed as ‘work’. Many hours of travelling, effort and nerves… to make one couple’s Handfasting everything they wished it to be.

This is so much more than ‘work’. I’m not sure there are words to describe it, not really. ‘Vocation’ comes close. The joy of facilitating key moments in life, of being a part of them, sharing such powerful memories – always an honour.

And every single ritual that I do is different, unique in its own way. Every one has its single memorable moment that shines out in my mind.

Today could have been the look in the eyes of the couple just before they kissed. The sun beaming warm over us all. The tales they told of their ancestors.

But it’s more simple than that. I stepped into a bustling kitchen full of children, relatives and friends, to be met with smiles, laughter, happiness and hugs. Strangers become friends, stories are shared, and we are immediately welcome.

The generosity of those I meet in this ‘work’ is awe-inspiring. I am so proud to be part of this community, and excited all over again to see what the coming months hold. So many moments…

20140329-200444.jpg
(I don’t like using pictures of others without permission – so this is myself and my lovely partner Jim today, just doing our thing)