This past Saturday night, I was in deep ritual with Brighid and Her Sacred Flame. I felt the intensity of the energy raised, swirling around the altars and the hearth. I felt my prayers as they landed- received and accepted by the witnessing fire.
Coincidentally (except not) while that ritual was taking place, someone I love very much and had spoken over while in sacred space was harmed by the actions of another person. As I have been witness to their healing process, I have been sad and I have been angry. I have been scared and raging and, periodically, in the midst of all of that, I have managed to sit down and meditate or pray and re-center myself.
I have realized, in this process, that I am not as elevated and spiritual as I would like to believe. I do believe that there are times and circumstances where laying curses are necessary (Monsanto, anyone?) but, on a good day, my “curse” is usually to wish a sudden enlightenment on someone- a brilliant and startling clarity that brings about instant transformation. But this situation has been 180 degrees of difference. A couple days ago, I told someone that I wished for that person to be “dragged backwards through the sphincter of the Universe.” I don’t know what that would look like, but it sounded almost painful enough to satisfy me.
It’s also had me thinking, as we have entered this month of honoring Black History, about the long and painful history of violence against the bodies and spirits of Black people. It’s made me think of the spouses and families and loved ones of those who have been harmed or killed as a fallout of somone else’s ignorance or hatred.
I have tried to be grateful for this opportunity to access a deeper compassion for a whole new group of people. For having a richer understanding of the families and friends of those who are in danger every day for their jobs or because of their neighborhoods or for any other reason. Those people who cannot change the circumstance, who can only wait, putting themselves aside to support a loved one in healing while dealing with all of their own fears, fury and anxiety. There are so many feelings that happen for those who stand on the sidelines- witnessing and loving and unable to do anything.
I have listened, I have cried, I have raged and I have prayed and I’ve tried to remember that there are times when things “just happen” and there are times when there is something more at work. I cannot call myself priestess and not hold faith that an event of such magnitude and such synchronistic timing is bringing something of value that must be considered.
From my blessed mother, I received the wise counsel to simply “Be still.” But stillness is so hard for me. When something happens and I am upset I want to take action. To just be still and do nothing but feel what I am feeling is torture.
“You do not want your need for action to supercede their connection to their own experience. Action is not yours to do.” she said. And hearing the wisdom of that, I finally stilled. I slowed down and I listened and I realized- I’d felt connected to so many people because of this situation (whether known by me or not)- to the person I love and others who also love them. I connected with others all over the planet who live in circumstances where they ache with worry and love for another. There was a web of connection that I had sought and found between all kinds of people. But, in all of this, I had left out one crucial person. The one whose actions were the catalyst for it all.
So I end this to you, the perpetrator. I look to see myself in you, the one who acted with cowardice, abandoning all consideration of others or loyalty. I look, and find, myself in you, puffed up with bravado to hide your fear. My declarations that you must be brought to justice, that you cannot be allowed to transgress against my loved ones probably bear some resemblance to your need to protect and defend yourself against any perceived slight, large or small. My outrage, my desire that you be made to pay for your error is likely no different from your own outrage and need for retribution on behalf of yourself and your wounded ego. I’m not as evolved as I like to think I am and if any of the curses I have heaped on your head in the past few days come to pass, woe be unto you. And to me as well, I guess.
It appears that we both have a lot to learn from the one you wronged. You wish you could be as strong. I wish I could be as forgiving.
The Naturally Sensuous Blog is a chronicle of my adventures living a Sacred Sensual Life.
For years, I have been studying a variety of fields- beauty, self-care and pampering, Women's Spirituality, Buddhism, Feri and other Earth-honoring spiritual practices, ritual planning, creation and execution, gentle parenting, home organization, budgeting, natural hair and beauty, selecting and preparing healthy foods, organic living, sexuality, sacred courtesanry, divine relationship, etc etc. etc. (Has your head melted yet?) I'm a life long student and always seeking new ways to learn and grown.
There have been times when the information from two different fields have contradicted each other or when different people in the same field have contradicted each other. Years ago, it used to scare me when I found people saying things that left me with more questions than answers. I wanted to feel like I KNEW, so I could check that and move on to the next issue. Now, I understand that all of this is a conversation and each person's experience and contribution expands the conversation, giving us more to work with and more to learn from.
I am creating this blog to bring together those diverse fields of study:
* creating a home that is beautiful to behold, feels good to be inside of, is clear of toxins AND is run according to a rocking budget.
* how to leave the house looking and feeling fly and fabulous, smelling good, poised and confident AND not saturated in chemicals that are bad for you and negatively impact the people you come into contact with on a daily basis.
The Naturally Sensuous Blog is my contribution to the conversation. It's storytelling about my mission to live a life that is Sacred, Sensual, Sustainable* and (as often as possible) rich with beauty and pleasure. Thank you for joining me!
* Note: I define sustainable as something that is good for you, good for the Earth, good for your budget AND requiring no more maintenance that you can reliably agree to do consistently.
I'm all about effective systems for management, folks. ;)
I spent the weekend in the house, dealing with a cold, the doors locked tight against the frigid California air. I generally dislike the whole experience of having a cold, but this weekend, I got to sneeze about 347 times and I absolutely love to sneeze. It's like an orgasm for your face, the way it tickles and nudges you, creeping up, if you try too hard to force it, it goes away, but if you just wait and pay attention then all of a sudden BAM! It takes you over, snatching control of your entire body and focus.
I know there are those people who do those quiet, delicate "choo!" squeaks that barely move the air in the room. I am not one of those. When I sneeze the entire house knows about it. I can rock a city block- especially since I stop everything, throw my head back and my arms in the air and roar, "CHOOOOOO!" or "CHAO!" or "ARRAOOOGHH!" It's awesome, I'll be the first to admit it. AND I'm sure I'm the only one who derives as much pleasure from it as I do. It's pleasing to me, so I make sure to celebrate it.
I also usually like to make wishes on my sneezes (and on eyelashes and cat whiskers and Wednesdays and certain flowers and anything else I can repurpose.) I always have things that I'm working on, goals that I'm working toward and prayers that I'm sending out. I think of it like a pond- each prayer we make is a ripple that moves outward from us and into the world. So I figure that as many ways as I can remember to offer a prayer (whether of hope or gratitude), it's a good thing and keeps the energy flowing.
Anyway- so this weekend, rife with cooties and plenty of face-gasms, I got to make LOT of wishes. And I enjoyed noticing how, over the course of it my focus during these sudden, mini prayers deepened and strengthened. By the end of the weekend, it felt like I'd been on a strange kind of retreat. A disgusting, oozing, germy retreat, but a retreat nonetheless. And even though I would much prefer to be healthy and no longer slathering mentholatum all over my chest, back, nose and feet, I'm appreciative for the time I spent (and for the My Little Pony marathon I had with my son).
Also during this weekend, I got a good case of the crazy cleans and started moving stuff around. It was actually that process which inspired this article. I was remembering how, in the past, I would notice in my calendar, that a certain lunar event or seasonally significant day was coming up and would get all excited and ritual hungry "I'm going to cast and invoke and raise and call in and dot dot dot. But first I'm going to super clean my temple and my home and myself to prepare." And I'd clean and freshen and shower or bathe and organize and everything would feel so wonderful that I'd realize that the act of cleaning had been my ritual. And it was good. And there was nothing else that I really felt I needed to do afterward.
A pause for a moment of contextual transparency- I am not someone who was ever a super neat and organized person growing up. I used to wait until my room was so messy that I couldn't think anymore and then I would clean it- and usually even that was a way to avoid working on some piece of homework I was dreading. My parents still look at me a little cock-eyed when I get indignant about people living in messy spaces. This new way of being is just that big a shift.
Now I recognize my cleaning rituals as an important time to move items and energy around, to clear and release attachments so that I can make space for other blessings to enter my life. I can feel the difference, not just in the experience of being in a clean space, but in having cleared away stagnant energy that gathers in corners and under piles and inside of myself when I start avoiding certain areas of my home or mind because I don't want to deal with the clutter I'll find there.
As I cleaned and re-ordered, I also created an impromptu household spell in the process. In our home, I have a gorgeous hand woven basket that tends to become a catchall for clutter and things I don't really have a place for. My mother has a beautiful crystal punch bowl that receives similar use. I cleaned out those two items and set them out so that we each have a physical representation of the power of open space, of possibilities that we are manifesting, and wishes that are manifesting behind the veils. My mission is to keep these spaces open, empty, collecting and holding the energy of blessings to come, and for the spiritual brew within them to spread its charge throughout our home.
Overall, the reminder for this weekend was that when I am focused, any moment can be a moment of spell casting, of manifestation. That means when I sneeze/pray or clean and create. That also includes when I immerse myself in my frustration about a situation or circumstance in my life. It's all spell casting to some extent and the energy ripples have an impact.
Here's to a conscious and gentle week . . .
I am very excited to have been invited to be a regular contributor to the Daughters of Eve blog! This experience coincides with my agreement with my Divine Mamas that it was time to take the leap and formally begin doing my work in the world. It has been very easy in these last years to go from class to class, studying this modality and that modality, constantly gathering information but never really looking at what I planned to do with it. Gradually, as I have watched inspiring, talented (and terrified as hell) women around me make the leap into doing work that they love in the world, I have also been making my way toward the cliff for my own courageous leap.
Sisters give you courage to do anything you desire but it's still up to you to do it for yourself. Realizing that is what made me finally accept that I could conceivably spend the rest of my life hiding in groups of amazing and inspiring people, convincing myself that I wasn't stagnating, I was "getting ready".
I've finally accepted, with a kind of insane glee, that I will not ever really be"ready". I'll be "ready" to own a business once my business is successful and profitable. I'll be "ready" to be a writer once I've published my third book. I'll be ready to be a healer after I've booked my 500th client. Because really what it is is that I don't want to be afraid. I don't want to feel scared and vulnerable as I begin to offer myself and the soul of my work to the world. But that is exactly what we all have to do. Feel the fear and do it anyway, knowing that we are going to make mistakes and others will see it and it's going to be really uncomfortable because it's something that we care about very deeply.
Taking classes gives us information, doing the work is how we develop true wisdom. And that is what makes us most effective as healers and teachers and compassionate, loving guides for others who are seeking their own brightness in the madness of the world we are living in. Every time I want to back track, or continue hiding in classes, I am reminding myself of something I heard someone say about what a loss it is to the world when we do not show up.
And so, today, October 15th, 2012 (the new moon, how fitting!). I formally take the leap before the world. My name is Nadirah Adeye. I am a writer, a doula, and a pleasure coach and guide. My business is called Sacred Sensual Living and I offer classes on sacred and embodied sensuality. I am birthing my offerings to the world and birthing myself and doing my part to co-create a glorious new world through that work. I give honor to my Divine Mamas and Sacred Aunties: Isis, Hathor/Sekhmet, Oshun, Yemaya, and Aphrodite, and through this writing I offer gratitude to them for the wisdom and guidance they have offered thus far.
And so it is!
In the comments below, please share who you are and the sacred work that you are called to do in the world. Feel free to write it as a spell, type your answers before a candle and invoke the Deities who inform your work.
I was recently invited to do a guest post over at Daughters of Eve, a blog written by Pagan Women of Color. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, I use pagan to describe those who honor the earth, who are committed to living in right relationship with the planet and other living beings who live here with us. Pagans also tend to honor the seasons, celebrate the moon and honor ancestors as important guides and wisdom keepers.
Here is a link to my post, titled, "What priestesses do."