Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lessons from the Horned God

As we draw ever closer to Lughnasa, I am being drawn to images of green men and horned Gods. I'm also furiously painting and crafting, in between bouts of housecleaning and purging. At first, I didn't realize that the these had anything to do with each other, but last night, these compulsions all collided when I began a painting to serve as an altar screen. I have been planning to paint a background for my household altar, and I intended the background to include representations of the sun and moon, as well as symbols of the Goddess and God. It was meant to be symbolic, slightly abstract, and not at all literal. Someone else obviously had other ideas. What appeared on my canvas today, as I set down the brush, was like nothing I've ever painted. It is a portrait of the Horned God, the way I've seen him during meditation. The way I saw him last night.

Travelling through the Otherworlds, the places that exist inside us and between us, is nothing new for me (If you are interested in my meditations, please look at my Into the Cauldron blog). Last night, I laid down with the intention of travelling, and found myself in the familiar forest clearing where I first interacted with the God.  He was waiting for me.  A seemingly minor decision I made yesterday, regarding an online Women's Spirituality group I belong to, was in reality a very important step in my spiritual journey.  Setting aside knee-jerk reactions and old prejudices in an effort to be accepting and to grow is always a reason to be proud of oneself.  It also meant that I had crossed a threshold that He had been waiting for me to cross.

My mind flooded with images of the many aspects of gods.Warriors, kings, judges, farmers, foresters, animals, children and infants in many situations, in many costumes appeared one after another without pause. Some I could recognize, like Zeus, Apollo, Odin, Coyote, and Ra. Others of these aspects showed me there work, like the ghostly man who oversaw the Ghost Dance and the sea god who crashed waves with violence onto a shoreline. At some point, I began to recognize that these were all masks worn by the same being.  Returning to the forest scene, He laughed.  I'd figured out what he was showing me and had completed the first lesson.

The second lesson was much harder to stomach. As I talked with him, my mind kept wandering into increasingly strange thoughts.  It required me to jerk my mind back to Him to pay attention.  Embarrassed and frustrated, I apologized to Him. This time, with a great solemness, he told me that those thoughts weren't random. They are all things that I must deal with before I can heal and move on to a new stage of development. As annoying, scary, sad, and embarrassing as those thoughts are, they are wounds which need to be dealt with before they can close. Each time I ignore them, I'm making them worse. All these nasty little incidents of the past keep coming back because I refuse to deal with them. Not a single one of them is the sort of thing anyone should be hung up on, but for some reason, all my little errors in judgement and wrong choices make me feel incredible shame because I have a very hard time forgiving myself for ever being young or afraid or inexperienced. I put to much emphasis on my mistakes.

Needless to say, after last night's sudden inspiration to paint, my Otherworldly lessons and just dealing with life, I'm tired and feeling overwhelmed.  I'm proud of myself for crossing that all important threshold and for recognizing the lesson about Divinity on my own, but I'm not sure how to deal with the knowledge that many little pieces of my past need to be examined and understood, not through the eyes that experienced them, but through the eyes of someone who has changed. I need to understand why things happened the way they happened and then forgive myself. It's all part of the mental and physical housekeeping I wrote about yesterday, and I'm suddenly afraid I'm not up to the task.


  1. Real spiritual growth is messy and hard. It may take a while, there may be times when you miss the mark, you won't be perfect every time and wanting to just give up is understandable. All that being said, he would not be working with you if he thought you would fail.

    External work is easy when compared with the internal work that really helps us grow. Blessings on your path.


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