Sunday, 24 August 2008

Standing Tall

It may seem funny that at 6’4.5” tall the Lord and Lady saw fit today to remind me to stand tall, but this was the case for me today.

Having a significant part of the day to myself, I took myself off to my beloved Glastonbury for a walking meditation. The meditative part of this was severally challenged by the fact that it is still half term. I had momentarily forgotten this but was soon reminded as it seemed that every parent in the south west with a screaming child had decided to take them to Glastonbury! But never mind as I still enjoyed moments of connection.

Sat on the Tor at 0900 this morning was beautiful. Yes, there were many more people there than is usual at this time, and it was noisy, but I was still able to enter into a (albeit brief) meditation. Sat there on the Tor I was so conscious of my place in The All. I use this phrase a lot, I know, but it is something that has come to mean so much to me. As I became aware of my place in The All, the first part of the message ‘Stand Tall’ began to hit home to me. I do not have to bow and scrape before Deity, because I am part of Deity just as Deity is part of me. My connection with The All isn’t something of a academic treatise, it is something of reality, of truth, of value and of power. The wind on my face is an aspect of Goddess, but it is also an aspect of me. Whilst I don’t want to suggest that in this I lose my identity, I had a sense of the boundaries of me blurring and merging with the boundaries of everything else. All connected. Interconnected, interdependent. It’s all about relationship; part of The All, one with All Things, yet uniquely separate. I can’t explain that conundrum at the moment, but in that second, in that brief moment on the Tor this morning, it made sense to me.

So much in life can cause us to walk with our head bowed, to feel that we are ‘less than’. This has been my experience for part of my life and, whilst in my head I may know that this is not true, sometimes that message doesn’t always make it to my heart. Or if it does, somehow my heart and soul need to be reminded at times! Today was one of those days.

I don’t want to write at length about the experiences that may have caused me to feel ‘less than’ as the very last thing I want to do is to create the impression that I am looking for sympathy or that I have my head so firmly stuck in my naval that I can’t see daylight. However, suffice to say that being thrown out of ones home and town, simply for being gay, being thrown out of the Christian church (which, although I am no longer Christian, was a huge and very influential part of my upbringing) for being ‘outed’ as gay, acquiring a disability that although not obvious, made me feel something of a failure, being told by teachers that I would never amount to anything, being bullied etc, etc. I mention these things only to illustrate a point, not to give the impression that I am on a ‘poor me’ trip. These things, which one can walk away from and overcome, can still haunt in the quiet moments, can still cause one to bow ones head, to feel ‘less than’ or ‘not part of’ and this was the message of my time on the Tor; a reminder, but a message nonetheless.

As I saw myself as part of The All, my sense of personal, magickal power was immense. I felt huge! Does that sound weird? I felt so big, as big as the heavens and earth and it felt like nothing was an obstacle. It was a momentary feeling, unfortunately (or perhaps if it continued I would explode) but it was there, I could have leapt from the Tor, convinced that I would land safely, such was the feeling. I just knew that I was part of Everything and that I had no need to excuse, justify, apologise or reason, I just simply had to be. Being me was enough because being Me is Everything. As I am, here and now, in the here and now, for this moment in time and at this moment in time is where and who and what I was intended to be – so it’s a cause for celebration, not depression!

I saw the Fire within me burning as I took a walk around Chalice Well in the biggest downpour of the day! I was soaked, but could have danced around the gardens! I was reminded of a time, a long time ago, when someone said that as they looked at me they saw me as a pillar of fire. That came back to me today, as I have been working with fire. I stood by the Yew Trees in the garden seeing myself as fire and as I did so (this is going to sound so crazy) I felt like a hot air balloon, wanting to fly, pulling and straining to each the highest height, yet held to the ground by loads of guy-ropes. These guy-ropes represented many things, some I describe above, but many of them having the power (if I invest that power in them) to cause me to feel inferior. As I became this pillar of fire, so the ropes began to snap and I was released to continue this journey. I saw that I don’t have to plead and supplicate Deity to release me, because as I stand tall, in my personal magickal power, I release myself. I am given the tools to set myself free.

What is important about this is that it comes from power within, not from human effort. The key, as it has been shown to me, is not to strive or struggle in ones physical, mental, emotional or psychological strength, but to relax into who you were intended to be, before name and form, and just let this happen. I don’t know if that makes any sense at all, but to me it seems and feels so right! Freedom, true spiritual liberation, comes not from human effort, not from obeying rules, not from sticking to dogma (of any kind or nature), not from some kind of inner neurosis, not from subjugation to any kind of hierarchal leadership, but simply from walking into the truth of You.

I know that not all those guy-ropes have been burned away, but I know they can be, as I continue this personal journey to myself. What’s key is that I know the fire to burn them away is mine, the tool has been handed to me. I just have to use it!


Anonymous said...

This shows us how important it is to both believe in oneself and in Deity. We do not have to have a supplicatory stance towards our Deity, just as we need not beg and plead our friends and family to love and protect us.

If love is conditional on bowing and scraping, it can't really be worth much, can it? Your matter-of-fact account of the places, people and institutions you had to leave, simply because you refused to deny a part of yourself that integral to who you are, shows that you are clear about what you will and won't do in your mundane life to negotiate your path. As above, so below!

We drove past Glasto about the same time you were there; I'm glad your day was so eminently fulfilling and enlightening. The rain does wash away the dross sometimes, and gives us space to think afresh, despite being soaked to the skin!!

Blessings, TGW x

Mary said...

What a beautifully described experience, Andy, one with which I can relate. Last year I stood in the desert of Nevada, under a red canyon outcropping, and felt the overwhelming presence of deity, not only around me but in me and through me, until there was no Me or Her, just One. I didn't need to speak or think or do anything, I just needed to be, and being was enough. It's a great and comforting feeling to know that the same presence you felt on a beautiful green hill in England is also moving in the hot dry lowlands of Nevada.

Andy said...

Thanks TGW. I agree with you, we have to believe in self and Deity, it's vitally important, and Deity leads us to seeing our one true self. Pity we didn't meet each other in Glasto!

Mary, what a beautiful and moving account of meeting Deity you give. I can so relate to your experience, especially your experience of becoming one. That echoes my own experiences and speaks to me so very powerfully. I'm so pleased you shared that.