Saturday, 2 January 2010

The Desire Of My Heart

I’ve been wondering what title I can give this blog entry as it’s been almost a year since I’ve written anything here. All titles that came to mind appeared to me to be either sentimental, out of proportion or simply stupid. So, I shall simply write what is on my heart and see what title reveals itself from that.

This blog has always been about keeping my own personal journal, a spiritual journal because I consider myself to be a spiritual person. From all the labels that one could attribute to me, and there are many,’ spiritual’ is the one that best defines me and who I am whilst also describing where and what I want to be. It is both a description and an aspiration and the wonder and magick of that can be found in the apparent contradiction. I guess what I have just written could sound arrogant to some, but to me this is an important statement of fact that I need to get clear in my own head. I am, first and foremost, above all else, a man of Spirit. That others have joined my journey by way of making comments on this blog has been a bonus in terms of the support such comments provide, but my writing was never about engendering comments, and that, I feel, is an important boundary to emphasise, because losing that sense of perspective is one of the reasons that I’ve been away.

I need to set out why I’ve been away in order to make sense of my return to the blogosphere.

2009 was an incredibly tough year on many fronts. In terms of my own health, serious health issues for people with whom I am deeply connected, challenging situations at work and my own internal challenges provided me with the need to retreat, to regroup, to challenge what is really important to me and what it is I actually believe. Many of these issues and situations, including my own health status, remain currently unresolved. I needed to step away from this public space because it was simply that: public. To write for the sake of blogging alone would be to move away from what this blog is all about, and at times there was nothing to write, as all I could do was ‘be’. The apparent external inactivity belied the huge inner workings that were taking place.

Motivation was also a key reason why I stepped back from the blogosphere. As I have set out, this space is simply my own spiritual diary. I found that in making this a public thing there was a huge temptation to write simply for the comments of others, or to impress. Much of this was a subconscious pressure that made its way into my conscious mind and when I became aware of it, I was really uncomfortable. I was also concerned about some of the things I witnessed within the blogosphere and the damage that some of this was doing to people. I needed to retreat, to examine my own motives and be clear about them. Was this blog something of ego, or something of Spirit? To put it to death seemed to me to be the most appropriate way of exploring that issue and for that to be true and sincere, it needed to be put to death without fanfare.

So why make this thing public at all? My answer to that is simply that I want my journey to be open to the scrutiny and the support of others, whilst also supporting others on their path. Whilst my path is essentially solitary, and no one else can walk my path for me, I value the support of those spiritual people of stature that I respect. Anything I say or experience should be open to challenge as well as support, otherwise there is no growth. And growth is what I want. This was something that I had to get absolutely clear in my head because the very last thing I wanted was for this blog to become something other than what I intended. I did not want to become some kind of minor pseudo-pagan celebrity; I wanted it to be real in terms of reflecting my own spiritual journey.

I thought of opening a new blog somewhere else, and then I saw that as opposing what this space represents. All the posts that go before reflect my journey; they are all stepping stones to where I am today, so why would I want to move away from them? They are important, even those where I sound confused and bewildered, because those states are also true reflections of where I have been, and probably where I will be again!

And I think here again is a reason I retreated. Some people saw me as some kind of teacher, and I can’t set myself up as that. I’m not. I’m simply a soul in a spiritual evolutionary experience, no different, no more special or important that anyone else . . . or perhaps I should say as important as everyone else. Mutual learning is wonderful, but that is not the primary objective of this space.

I think I also began to feel an unspoken pressure to adopt some kind of formally accepted path. I can’t do that, at least, not at this moment. I am simply me working with what has been revealed to me. However, I want a formal framework upon which I can hang my journey, and I feel that is the Western Mystery Tradition, but this is a path of which I know little and need to explore and experience on a much deeper level. I set this as an intention for the forward year.

From that, some may say I cannot call myself pagan. I understand the reasoning behind that, but for the purpose of this blog, and in terms of it reflecting where I have been, and in a sense, remain, I see no reason to change the blogs title at this point.

So why am I back? Because it is time to further the internal work that is part of my spiritual evolution. By committing my thoughts, feelings, revelations, disasters, progress, joys, sadness, highs and lows to a permanent medium I see the stepping stones of my journey, like setting cat’s-eyes in a new road; they beam the way ahead as well as showing the road travelled. All that I have written, including the silent times where nothing has been written, reflect where I have been, where I am now and where I am going. All of it needs to be in the mix to be real.

Today was an important day, and one that has thrown me back into the blogosphere as I needed to document this. I fully expect to be writing here more often from here-on-in. Important because today I faced an issue that I’ve been avoiding for some time, and that is one of trust. I have shied away from words like ‘faith’ and ‘trust’ because to me they had too many echoes associated with my Christian past. But today, this was challenged.

I was standing atop Glastonbury Tor, one of the most important places in my life, and was seeking to connect with Owl, one of my power animals. To my surprise, a Swan appeared to me, and to my even greater surprise, I realised that I was being invited to climb onto the back of this bird, and the fear this engendered was tangible. To do this means to place my safety and security into the hands of another, and life has taught me that I need to be in control of me, I need to be strong, I need to be the one who decides what happens and where . . . but this was a call to faith. A call to trust. Those words that scare me the most. In an attempt to dismiss this visualisation my head began to tell me that this nothing more than a Walt Disney fantasy, but the clear impression remained, I knew this was real and I knew this was a test. I needed to take the step . . . this was a call to embrace faith and trust but in a way in which those words were not loaded with historical context.

So I stepped onto the back of this bird and experienced the immediate protection of those powerful wings. I was safe. The immense power of this bird was not lost on me, I could feel it, and I also understood and felt its fierce protection, in this respect a reflection of Sulis, my patron Goddess.

So now I know I am being taken into new things. I don’t know the destination, but I know I have accepted an invitation to travel deeper into the Mysteries, and this is the desire of my heart.

5 comments:

shamrockwitch said...

Wonderful to see you back to blogging Andy. 2009 was indeed a hard- soul searching year- full of trials and tribulations. Quite exhausting and soul sapping.
So far 2010, The Goddess and God have revealed themselves to me, thru nature and I am merrily following the path of learning.
Happy New Year andy.

Andy said...

Shamrock Witch! It's great to catch up with you again! I agree that 2009 was exhausting in many ways and it seems to have been this way for many people of Spirit.

I'm so pleased you're still around and look forward to following your path of learning with you.

Happy New Year Shamrock!

pagan-monastic said...

Great blog Andy, and good to hear of your experiences yesterday. Good also to meet you in Glastonbury after your Tor experience! Looking forward to dinner on 15th.....keep blogging!

D

Tess said...

It is indeed great to see you back here, writing as thoughtfully as always. I completely understand what you say about your reasons for being away, and I find many echoes within me.

I was just thinking earlier today about this blogging business. I, too, have thought of my blog as a spiritual journal to some extent, but I realised that for me it is as much about the mutual communication and the feeling that there are other people out there with similar values.
I'm sorry to hear your health issues and other matters are not fully resolved. A challenging journey!
Meanwhile, blessings to you.

Andy said...

Cheers D & E and thanks for the good wishes! Looking forward to seeing you on Jan 15th!

Tess, good to be in touch with you again. You are right about the true value there is of meeting like minded people in the blogosphere. I simply had to challenge myself on a number of fronts, and motivation is key when working with intention.

It's good to be back, though!