When my son joined the military I was tossed back on old emotions that I repressed until I could feel safe dealing with them. I was not a conventional mother. My son went to school with his dad. His dad has the farm and that is where my son wanted to be. He wanted to be with me too, but I could no longer be with his dad. The shadows between his dad and I drove me away.
I loved my son with all that was in me to love him. I had him summers and weekends until he was old enough to want to build deeper ties with his friends than his mom. I was the best mom I knew how to be given the circumstances of my life, and yet, being his mom, I still have incredible feelings of guilt that do nothing for anyone, not even me! I broke my own heart when I chose to let my child go to school with his dad, and I have not yet managed to live down my own self-betrayal.
With all of this inner discord recognized, my son’s choice to join the military meant that I had to deal with my own inner shit. I could not ask the question, why would you make this choice. He had already made it. We had already discussed it. He had talked about it separately with his dad and me. It quite simply was what he wants to do.
Now with all the stupidity going on in government, I may have to prepare my heart that my child, yes, the one that grew inside me and that I birthed into the world, that one, may get sent into some very risky areas of the world. What I have to comfort me is that I have not let the moments to make memories go. He came home and surprised me over Christmas. I got out to see his graduation from Marine Boot Camp.
I am not alone in sending children off to the military. Many, many mothers before me have seen their sons and daughters off to prove their mettle under the duress of war. I am less afraid for my son than I am my own broken heart, and this… This attitude does not seem worthy to me for the kind of man my son has become. But I put it out here, because these tender and heart racking emotions are what the gift of prayer is for.
Creator, when my son told me he wanted to serve in the Marines, my heart knew fear. What parent sees their child enter the arena of war without a healthy awareness of just what could happen? But God, this isn’t all I am feeling. Any mother’s son could be my son in this moment. We love them and we miss them and we hold them close to our hearts, for any of them could be my son’s comrades in arms, and they all hold each others’ backs. Let us hold theirs on the home front while they are on the battle front. Let us hold the victory. Let us see our children safely home after the battle is won. Let our hearts be glad again, always, in the coming together again. Amen.
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.”
How often have these words sustained me, carried me through hard situations, been sung by me in praise, or just as an act of honoring the Holy.
What am I giving my words to? What act of grace will I stand by today? What supports me in my living?
There is a connection to what is divine that I believe all people have access to, if we choose. How often the intellect or the ego gets in the way!
Creator, may I walk humbly on the Earth. May I choose words that sustain me and support others through your grace. May I hold fast to the ideals I have learned in relationship with you.
It is really just the start of winter, and already I am longing for Spring and my garden. I suppose it is because winter is supposed to be a season of rest, but often the weather makes more work for me to get out of the home and to my job on time. It has become a matter of self-discipline to stop thinking about how hard things can get, and find gratitude for each moment in the day.
Still, I am posting this photo of last year’s Daffodils just to remember that shape of beauty.
Creator, without the cold season I could not appreciate the warm season. Thank you for all the seasons, especially the seasons of the heart.
When my son joined the military it brought me to a whole new level of patriotism. Patriotism is no longer lip service. The fact that my son is willing to put his life and his time on the line in defense of this nation feels to me as something akin to the feeling I had when I brought him into life. There is depth of love. There is a fierceness that I would put my life on the line for. There is a fanaticism to my politics, yet an effort to see the other person’s point of view. There is a willingness to remember that the United States is a melting pot, and that our constitution brings freedom and liberty to all people, all colors, and all genders. Therefore I will speak out against hatred and short-sightedness when I find it.
But most especially I speak out for the freedom to worship as I choose. Those things that I give my love and devotion to – those things are my religion. Patriotism is no less a religion than Christianity, or Buddhism, or the Faith of Allah. Heathenism is the religion of my Swedish ancestors before they became Christian. The first Americans – some still hold to their ancestral religions, which are Earth and Nature based religions. I honor their rights to their ways. I have my own ways of honoring the Earth, my ancestors Elder religion and the teachings of Jesus that I grew up with.
So let us speak no negatives of any man or woman for the beliefs and the loves they hold that are different from our own. This is a land of justice from sea to shining sea, and liberty under law. And so may it continue for many more hundreds of years.
Gods of my fathers, and my mothers, let us have the illumination of consciousness to feel deeply, see broadly, and care more. Let us remember what we stand for, what we are willing to give a true yes or a true no to. Let us honor another’s right to stand shoulder to shoulder with us in the sun of America. Amen.
The first thing I do every morning is to make myself a cup of latte. Alan and I keep a Mr. Coffee Espresso/Latte machine instead of a regular coffee pot. The rich taste of the coffee combined with the steamed milk is a real joy to wake up to, and reminds me of the importance of being present to the delights of the five senses.
The second thing I do every other day is a weight workout routine to maintain strength, flexibility, and health of body and mind. It adds a little discipline to my life that further keeps me mindful and present in the moment.
The third thing I do most days of the week is to head off to my day job as a school bus driver. It is a job I like and it pays the bills.
In short I have a relatively ordinary life, but it is one that can be lived with extraordinary presence and attention. The rest of the time I am working to honor my calling as a Rune reader, author, and healer. I am still a student of life, and every day has something to teach me as long as I am willing to listen. If life were a solitary pursuit, it would be really boring, but as it is, people and circumstances are entertaining enough.
Creator, today I am expressing thanks for the ordinary things, for the things of the day to day. Thank you for good coffee, for pleasant companions, and occupations that fulfill the needs of my soul. Amen Aho.
Today was a good day. I learned a new technique for chakra clearing from Hela, a Norse goddess that is one of my tutelary spirits. This is really grand if you are a friend to trees. You simply approach one of your tree friends, ask if you can merge with its energy, and ask it to clear your chakras. My tree friend, a Hemlock, was willing to do this today for my solar chakra that had picked up some negative energy. As the tree “ate” my bad energy, I could feel him calling in the energy of the sun from his branches, and sending the excess down into his roots to return to the Earth. Afterwards I stood on a rock in the powerfully running stream he stands beside and the waters carried the rest away. For his troubles, I left my tree friend an offering of myself. You can also leave tobacco or another type of sacred herb.
The same technique could be utilized laying flat upon the Earth, and asking Earth to eat all of your negative energy. This is hucha in the Peruvian Q’ero teachings and does not harm the Earth at all. She feeds on it. But today was rather muddy, and I did not wish to dirty my only winter coat.
After the process was done I needed to fast for a few hours until my energy body returned to a feeling of normalcy.
The point is how willing the beings of Nature are to help when I call upon them, especially as I am trying to responsibly manage the energies I pick up in my healing work. A truth is that many people take and don’t think of giving something in exchange. A truth is that our culture has forgotten that other beings have conscious life, not just humans, and appreciate the gifts and exchanges of energy we bring to them.
Creator, my prayer for is for thoughtfulness on the part of my fellow human beings when they consider Great Nature. Let us to remember to give in addition to taking. Let us remember to right the balance. Let us remember that life is not about greed, but about right relationships. Amen.
Dear Hela, thank you again for a lesson in energy managment. Aho!
The perennial nature of evergreens like this rhododendron speaks to the perseverance of plants to continue even through the persistent cold and blowing snow of the winter season. During the winter-time they set their roots more deeply. The energy of the sun persists in this deep rooting.
People can be like that. We walk upright on the earth, our heads to the sun and our feet to the ground, rooting our souls (soul=sol, another name for the sun) into our life on earth. Our life on earth is the horizontal plane our arms make when we expand them to take another person into a hug or in an act of prayer, like the trees reaching out their branches, also to the sun.
All of us participate in life. During the day time we go about the business of living – plants, animals, people. At night something different happens. When the action of life pauses with the night time, the energies of the diverse kinds of trees in the forest blends. This blending is a kind of oneness, like the mystics talk about when they claim, “All is One!” We can experience this merging in our awareness of the life forces surrounding us.
Creator, thank you for winter which teaches me like the plants to deepen my roots and forge my inner strength against the excesses of the season. Thank you for the joining I can experience within the blended awareness of life when the sun sets and the night falls. Amen – Aho
The Rune Jera seems a good one to pull into the Daily Prayer today. It is a new year, and 2020 promises clear sight for the year ahead. At least one can always hold hope. Hope, Love and Faith are the perennial emotions.
There are days when the inspiration to prayer is greater than others and the sense of connection more certain. Still, one must work for depth of relationship with the divine, and wait for inspiration. So JERA is it for today.
JERA speaks of the passing of time. The nature of a year holds the seasons and includes the spring planting, summer tending of the crops, and fall harvest. This is the time of year when new seeds sleep in the soil, and people and animals wait out the cold months, taking on whatever tasks are necessary for survival. At these times planning begins for the warmer months ahead.
But I don’t have to jump into planning without taking stock of my emotional state. This is time too to review what passed in the previous year and my feelings about all that. Once I am caught up to my inner self, I can more enthusiastically dive into what I want to see happen in my life in 2020.
Norns, you are the overseers of fate and destiny. Urdr, you have taught me that my memories hold all the keys I need to see through unfinished business and catch my emotional life up to the present. Thus disappears the anxiety over stuff left undone. Verdandi, you who represent the present, you remind me, dear lady, to remember to be here now. Skuld, you who will cut my life thread some day, nudge me when the threads of tomorrow’s potential for a more fulfilling life show up. In your grace and impartiality, I trust.
My son flies back from his time with family today. He returns to military training, long hikes and a heavy backpack he tells me. His own will carried him into the Marines and through The Crucible, that significant ordeal that turns a young man into a Marine. He left home a boy. He returns, when he has leave, as a man and a Marine.
I am grateful that my son had the opportunity to experience Initiation. Boot Camp was an ordeal created by the Marines to turn naive young boys into men of caliber to serve our nation. The Crucible was a huge deal, and his success touched my son to his core. An only child, he has brothers now, and a larger family to which he can always turn, and whom will always have his back.
Special groups like the United States Marine Corps offer significant initiations to people seeking to join their membership. Quieter initiations happen for those they leave behind. My son’s birth initiated me into the role of motherhood. And now that I am an empty nester, a new kind of initiation awaits: the Golden Years.
Dear Mother Goddess: Changes come. Birth gives a mother a beautiful young son to raise to manhood. A son’s leaving home gives that mother something else to create with her time. Guide my heart in the years ahead.
Along the way of this 365 Days of Prayer, I have been careful to use the term Creator, because I was afraid of offending my Christian roots. I am giving up this fear now. I love and honor the Creator, and many gods bear that name throughout the history (and herstory) of the world. (Refer to Renee Baribeau’s Winds of Spirit for further details.)
Lately I have to acknowledge just how much of this fear lives in my head. It is not true to my authentic self.
Adopted and raised by a devote Lutheran family, I picked up many conditioned fears about following other gods. Much of this fear also arose from the archetypal fear of the witch burnings and murders of those whom the Christian church had decided were heretics.
Odin called me from out of the fire when I was still quite young. I couldn’t listen then, but the Norse gods found ways to call me in dreams and in the language of the Subconscious, through art and reflection. In 2013 the Norns came to me, and I recognized them in a painting I had started years before and never finished, because who was the fourth woman? Hela.
2019 saw my life changed in significant ways. My son joined the Marines. I have thrown off yokes I did not know were tying me down. An empty nest became an opportunity instead of a loneliness. I am standing on the new edge of 2020. 2020 promises by its very name to be a year of vision and moving forward from the lessons of the past.
Dear Norns, dear Hela, dear Cardea… Thank you. Thank you from my heart for the lessons of these past few years. Thank you for lovingly taking on the role of my tutelory spirits. And thank you, Odin, Creator god of the Norse, for your protection in this round of life.