RSS

Category Archives: Flame Keeping

Posts relating to Flame Keeping

When the Well Runs Dry


I have spent a great deal of my Pagan life with my well overflowing. I’ve lived with someone with a broke open head. I work for a deity that will throw things at you and tell you to learn how to juggle… while riding a unicycle on a tight rope. So I know all about the well overflowing.

But, for one very very very long year- I had a barren, dry well. A well so dry, that the ground at the bottom cracked and turned to powder at the slightest touch. Ground that choked and begged for any moisture at all.

What frustrated me most about this time was that I could see the water disappearing. I knew it was being soaked up by the earth, evaporating into the air. But as I would look at my well day after day, watching the water get lower and lower- I knew there was nothing I could do. All I could do is watch the water disappear slowly but surely. And as I watched the water disappear, I got angry. Very angry. I felt betrayed by the world. I had been handed the bare necessities to make ends meet- but just barely. I was frustrated that despite my best effort, things were falling apart.

And to top it all off, at the time, I felt like the gods just didn’t care. I couldn’t reach them. I couldn’t hear them. It’s as if they had simply vanished from my life.

This, my friends, is what we call a Fallow Time. It’s a time when the water runs out, the land becomes parched, and in many cases- all of the plants you had growing seem to shrivel up and die. It can be a time of complete frustration, utter despair, and can result in a complete lack of faith in not only your gods or guides, but yourself.

I think it’s common for every person to hit dry spells- whether in a religious context or not. We all have times when things just aren’t working. When we are out of our groove, and nothing seems to be panning out. And the biggest question I often see is- what do you do when these times hit? How do you handle it?

My best answer comes in the form of a quote from Avatar, the Last Airbender (series, not the movie):

“I don’t know the answer. Sometimes life is like this dark tunnel- you can’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you just keep moving you will come to a better place.”

When your water runs out your initial reaction is to stare at the ground. The plants are gone. The growth is gone- and all you are left with is a barren field. And usually when this happens, we all sit there- and just stare. We get angry that all we can do is look at the ground as it looks back at us- mocking us. And we stomp our feet, scream, throw fits- all at the ground. And for what? That doesn’t bring the growth back.

But what does bring the growth back? If this metaphor was a garden- the answer would be easy. The master gardener would tell you to clear out the old growth. Plow and fertilize your soil. Gather your seeds, and prepare to plant them. You could try to plant them now, and bring in water from afar- or you could wait until the rainy season comes back, and plant them then. Either way, the best way to spend your time in the interim is preparation.

So why can’t we take this metaphor and use it when the Fallow Times hit? Your practice is dead and barren right now. You might be having a hard time focusing. You could be preoccupied with other problems and mundane situations. There could be financial hardship. Any number of reasons can cause a well to suddenly lose it’s water. However, the best thing to do once the water is gone isn’t to rail at the land which sustains you. It’s to prepare the land to be able to grow again. Slowly, take a step forward, then take another and another. It could be a while before you reach fertile times again- but at least you know that when you get there, you will be ready for the rain. Your seeds will be in hand, and your practice will be primed and ready for growth.

Relevant Posts:

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Equal.

I have heard Barrish-sensei say many times that we are “All equal under the sun”. To me, this is such a beautiful concept. Equality. Something that we all strive for. Something that everyone wants to feel – to be an equal among their peers. Yet despite this, there are many times that I have seen many people treat other beings on this planet as lesser, due to a variety of reasons.

The concept of being un-equal is mind boggling to me. It is at the core of all three of my practices that everything is equal. All things are divine, and everything you see is on an equal playing field.

In FlameKeeping, literally everything is Divine. I am of the Divine, you are of the Divine. Anything you eat is Divine. Your carpeting is Divine. Even your feces is Divine. We are all Divine, and we all strive to uphold that divinity. To work to make everything better. And to live up to the fact that we are of the Divine.

In Kemeticism, we are also Divine. Everyone and everything came forth from the Nun. We all came from the Creator god (pick your myth). His tears. His fluids. His spit. His clay. We all came from the same place, we all share a Ka (at the core). We are all Divine. And in that right, we are all equal. You, me, the carpet.

And in Shintoism, we are told that we’re all equal under the sun. Because we all receive Divine ki from the sun, it’s solar energy. Due to the pantheistic nature of Shintoism, Kami can exist in anything in everything. You. Me. The carpet.

Yet despite the emphasis on equality, there are so many who do not seem to embrace it. There are those who think themselves higher than their peers. Those who think that they are better than what they eat, the people they interact with, and the general world around them. And in many of these situations, their reasons for feeling as such are very superficial. They have a special ‘title’ or membership to a group. They have nicer cars and clothes. They hold a job, or a ‘better’ job. It seems that everyone is out to make themselves feel better, by making everyone around them feel lesser somehow.

Every time I see this, I cry a little inside. There is so much more to life than being above or below someone (or something). There are so many much more important and larger problems out there, yet we allow ourselves to get trapped in this game of greater than and less than. Unlike the carpet, a tree, or a dog- we people have a greater opportunity and ability to enact change in this world. We are able to create beauty and change in this world. To leave it a better place than we came into it. As it is said in FlameKeeping, we are the eyes and hands of the Divine. It is our job to make sure that we don’t fall into the trap of hating on others. It’s our responsibility to keep respect in our mind at all times, because everything is Divine, and we must respect that.

Can you imagine how different the world would be if we all had honest respect for one another? If we all lived in equality with the world and nature around us. If we as a species suddenly got over our “we’re here to dominate everything” complex? I think it would be interesting to see how the world could change. And while much of the world might not practice equality on the by and large, that isn’t going to stop me from trying to keep it in my mind on a daily basis. The idea that something out there is lower or higher than me just doesn’t jive in my mind.

How much equality do you keep in your day to day life? Is it something that your religious/spiritual practice places and emphasis on? Should it?

 
5 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Flame Keeping, Kemeticism, Rambles, Shintoism

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FK Journal: Over the Cliff

I love this metaphor. Because I love this metaphor, I love this FK post. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told people to jump off the cliff. Some of you reading this have probably heard me tell you to do the same. To quit wasting your time and just jump already. That you’re making it harder on yourself by humming and hawwing at the top. Eventually, you’re going to have to jump (or get pushed off) so just go.

I love this metaphor.

Everything I do in life relates to this somehow. I originally came up with the idea of the cliff in high school. I was suffered from depression and was trying to sort it out myself without any help. At that time, I felt that I was standing on the edge of the cliff, and depression was taunting me to jump off (more or less relating to suicide). As time has gone on, I’ve begun to relate the cliff to difficult decisions. You need to do something- you can’t sit there and wait for a decision to be made for you. So you need to make your decision and own it (aka jump off the cliff). The more I began to work with the idea of the cliff, the more I began to really embrace the idea of letting go and jumping off (for better or worse). Working with Set has only increased this feeling- because if I don’t jump off myself, he’s sure to push me off shortly after.

A quote from the article:

When we’re looking at transforming, we tend to pace back and forth across that cliff edge, looking for an easy way down. We want to find the shortcut, the way to go forward without risk, without fear. There is never a real shortcut, however. We sometimes think we’ve found an easy way, but it tends to be either ineffectual or worse than just jumping.

The saying of ‘don’t cut corners’ comes to mind. There have been times when I’ve seen people try to skate down the edge of the cliff, only to get shelved half way down the mountain. Once again, you have to own your decision. Jumping from the top, to me, means you own what you are doing. You are all for it for better or worse. This is the person I try to be. I don’t always succeed at it, but dammit I try. Anymore, when I see a cliff coming my way, I don’t wait for it to come to me. Instead, I run at it headlong. Because it always seems to me that whatever is at the bottom is where I need to be.

Questions:

What transformation fears you? What are your cliffs?

I don’t know which transformations I fear. Usually, I like change. And I am always trying to change for the better. Of course, I fear sometimes that my changes will change who I think I am, and therefore the people around me. As I go through my therapy, I sometimes am sad to see my assy self leave, and I suppose on some levels there is fear in that. However, because I know this is something I need to do, I am always telling myself to just go with it. Whoever I become, I become. There is nothing wrong with that. My current cliff would probably be therapy, the task of making my halves whole. Sorting out that whole mess takes a lot of time and effort, and there have been times where I really wondered what I got myself into.

What would you use as a parachute? Where will you get it?

I guess you could say that I don’t use a parachute. I fly by the seat of my pants. Usually, I am careful in all that I do- to ensure that things go smoothly. I plan ahead, I watch my finances, I always keep my portfolio up to date… everything I can to prep. However, there are always cases where a cliff comes out of nowhere. A nasty surprise you weren’t expecting. All I can do at that point is do the best I can. That’s really the only parachute I allow myself.

What do these cliffs and transformations mean to you? What do you expect to find on the other side?

They usually mean hard work, but something better. I’m about to be run through the ringer, however I always feel that it’s for the better in long run. I think it is this sense of progress that removes my fear of cliffs. It’s a challenge, yes. But I always come out with more than I went in with. Even though part way through the trial, I might not feel like I made the wrong decision, it always pans out.

 

Can you jump off the cliff? Will you?

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 1, 2012 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

Tags: , , , , ,

FK Journal: Letting Go

This week’s FK article can be read here.

I needed this entry. I really did. I could go so far to say that I need to reread this entry every day for many many years so that it sinks into my thick skull. This article really could permeate all aspects of my life. I really need to let go. To quit looking at what everyone else is doing and to quit comparing notes. You can’t save everyone. You can’t be everything to everyone. I don’t have enough spoons for all of that. This article nicely sums all of that up.

It’s very easy to get caught up into a comparison game. Who is more spiritual? Who’s getting the most out of this? Am I getting what I “should be” out of this? The truth, though, is that all of that is completely irrelevant. You get what you give out of your spiritual life. It’s personal, and it’s your own work that matters. You can’t do another person’s work, and they can’t do yours.

Wait, what kind of bone does he have?

How many times in the Kemetic forums have many of us told each other that we are ‘doing it wrong’? I know I’m guilty of it. Even now, despite my best efforts to ‘let go’, I look at what others are doing and seriously question what they are thinking. This has to stop. What they are doing is irrelevant to me. Their practice doesn’t affect mine. And just because I think what  they are doing is stupid, dumb, or whatever other judgmental crap I can come up with doesn’t mean that I need to step in. I can suggest other ideas, but as Helms tells me, after two responses, if things aren’t clearing up or progressing, I need to stop.

Stop it, Devo. Stop it. Drop it. Put it down.Walk away.

My therapist tells me that in order to help with letting go, I should take a deep breath, and visualize the bad stuff leaving my body. That I can tap or massage my muscles to force myself to physically let things go. That as I do this more, I will get better at it. God knows I need to get better at it. Many times in my life I am too busy comparing my bone to someone else’s bone (which is always larger and better, or completely malformed and I wonder what they are thinking wanting that bone). In the end this behavior is destructive and counter productive. It often makes me angry and frustrated and ends up bogging my brain down with negative thoughts. This in turn worms it’s way into my working and personal relationships and makes people irritated with me (I will be proactive in finding solutions to things that irritate me…). If anything, this is one of the biggest things I’d like to work on this year. Letting go.

Questions:

What do you put into your spirituality? What do you get out of it?

I put quite a bit into my spirituality (I think). I feel like it permeates all that I do. Even when I’m not actively practicing ritual every day, I feel like it seeps into everything. I try to always keep the Kemetic, Shinto and FK mindset in mind as I go about the day. I try to always stay grateful, respectful and compassionate (despite the fact that I often fail at it). Even my therapy serves a purpose in my spiritual life.

I think that I become a better person for my spiritual life. I feel like everything I put into it comes back to me as the ability to better manage my moods, my mind, my life. It makes me calmer. It makes me happier.

What do you think of people that treat spirituality as one more weekly meeting? Do you do that? Do people you care for?

It bugs me. I really get irritated by people who sign onto a religion, and then only treat it as a social gathering or something they ‘have’ to do. And then you have the groups of people who don’t know anything about the supposed religion they are following. That bothers me, too. You’d think that people would really want to do more with their religion. It’s their religion after all. You’d think they’d take it more seriously. But I know that not all of us do. Not all of us have The Itch. I need to learn to ignore this stuff, to let it go.

Why are you a FlameKeeper? What do you bring to it? What does it bring to you?

I am a FlameKeeper because it calls to me. It lines up with my mindset and worldview and gives me a more active and applicable structure to work off of. FK lines up with my therapy. It lines up with my Shinto practice. It lines up with my Kemetic practice. And at my core (When I’m not bogged down with this extra, stupid mental crap) it lines up with me. I’m hoping that by following this path, it will help me be more true to my core. To myself. And to help me better myself. To make my halves whole. I have no clue what I bring to FK. I have offered to do art, but I’d like to do more than that. I think in time I will figure out what I can bring to the table that might be of value. Currently, I’m considering writing a post on UCL and FK. Because the two are similar.

So what about you guys? Do you get caught up in looking at what others are doing? Do you have issues letting go?

 
6 Comments

Posted by on January 24, 2012 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

FK Journal: Sparking the Potential

I missed a set of questions for FK at the turning of the year, so you get a two-fer 🙂

The first article can be found here. This article makes me think almost entirely of Unconditional Love. Here is a quote from it:

To help spark other people’s Flames, we must live honestly with our own. We must truly respect the Divinity of those around us, and we must respect our own. We can’t try to let other people live off our Flames. That’s no possible. Instead, we have to help people realize that they already have their own Flames, and are already Divine. There is nothing to aspire to in that. It is what already exists. What matters is what you do with it then.

Unconditional love relates to loving everyone… and loving yourself. Part of that love is respect. Respecting yourself. Respecting everyone else. And that respect, that love, much like Divinity already exists. It’s already there (and was always there). All we need to do is realize it, pay attention to it and actually put it into practice. And that is how unconditional love is, too. It was always there, it’s just that many of us choose not to use it, or have sorta lost the ability to. This article didn’t mean nearly as much to me until I was handed the task of Unconditional Love. Which really opens up whole new levels of meaning for me now.

Questions:

How do you share your Flames?

I have issues sharing my Flames. I have issues with not withdrawing from people. However, I do try very hard to be a resource to people. I try to provide information to people, answer questions, share ideas, and spark thoughts. All of this brings me happiness and fulfillment- thereby stoking my flames – and others.

I also try to stoke mine and others flames with my behavior. Pushing both myself and others to grow and become prosperous. I also have a… code of ethics, for a lack of a better word. And I stick to my guns, even if it doesn’t always make me happy. I consider this a form of respect to myself and others- which goes back to that unconditional love, and therefore this.

What does it mean that everyone is already Divine and already has their own Flames? Do you let people live off their own Flames, or try to feed them off yours?

For me, it means exactly that- we’re all Divine, whether we know it or not. It also means that everyone (that means everyone) deserves respect, because they are divine. While it can be hard to do this, it is necessary- as it is the name of the game. I don’t let others live off my flames. I can’t afford it anymore. I try to help people find their own flames. To varying degrees of success.

How do you live as a FlameKeeper? How do you integrate the Flames into your everyday life?

I am mainly focusing on the whole love/respect thing. Learning to take care of myself better has been a big deal as well. If I let myself fall into disrepair, it does nobody any good. So right now, it’s about stoking and balancing my flames. And helping others to understand my flames better (while trying to understand their’s better). Hopefully this will help me in the future to be a better practicer of unconditional love and to be more balanced overall (and therefore a better FlameKeeper).

The second article can be found here. This whole article is about potential. Really, I think the questions are the most important part of this article, so I’ll jump straight to those.

What are your goals?  What are you doing to reach them?

Simply put? I don’t really know. My current short term goals are to better my health (mental and physical) and to help my SO start his therapy (preferably before the year is out). Long term, I’m not sure. I think I need to contend with the short term before I attempt the long term.

To reach them, I am going to a doctor/seeking therapy/treatment for my health. I am actively working on bettering my health and creating a time and place where I can heal. For my SO, I’m working on saving money and planning steps to follow once that starts to get under way. I don’t feel like I’m doing enough right now- but it is what it is.

What do you think you should be doing?  Are you?

I don’t know what I think I should be doing. Probably conquering the world at this point. I always feel I’m not doing enough. Currently, I think less is more. Healing takes time. If I constantly over work myself, I’ll never get better. And right now, that takes top priority. In pretty much all aspects of my life. If I can’t fix this, I will never get to the ‘next step’. For the second part, I should be saving more. I’d love to save more… but I’m less than stellar at it. All I can really do is attempt to get better at spending less money. That just takes time and practice.

What does the Divine want of you?  Do you know?  Is it what you want from yourself, or different?

Something. I’m not sure what that something is- but something. I feel like the gods are preparing me for something. Beyond that, I haven’t a clue. I personally want to help others learn. I want to be a resource for people. Hence why I started this place. I have a feeling our goals overlap.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 13, 2012 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

Tags: , , , , ,

FK Journal: The Shadow

The article for this post can be found here.

We all have a shadow-self, a part of ourselves that we push away and pretend doesn’t exist. What we put there, of course, depends on the person. To some, anger is something to be ashamed of and placed there. To others, anger is acceptable, but any form of vulnurablity must be squelched. Whatever it is that we perceive of as dangerous goes to the shadow.

I have a shadow. In a previous post, I called it my dark flame inside of my light flame. The stuff which should be let out- but I don’t. Now I’ve found we have a term for this. The shadow.

The goal here isn’t to destroy the shadow. It is a part of us. It also isn’t to ignore the shadow, because it’s there. What needs to happen is integration. Everything the shadow holds can be valuable when used correctly. But when it’s used by our shadow-self, it can’t be used well, because it’s being used as a club to regain safety. Anger, when brought out by a shadow, can only destroy. It can’t see a way through the destruction to a constructive answer.

I’ve done a little bit of work with this in regards to Set. He took me and showed me some traits I wasn’t being completely honest with. My emotions. Anger. Frustration. Things that upset me- I was hiding them. After working with him, after being shown this ‘black hole’ inside of me and exploring it thoroughly, I feel I am better at understanding these emotions, expressing them, and not letting them get the best of me (usually).

But now, I need to work on the opposite spectrum. I need to work on the lighter things. And that is where O comes in. He is helping me to come to terms with my happy side. My lighter attributes. My softer qualities. This is proving to be far more challenging.

Questions:

What is in your shadow? Who are you when you don’t like yourself?

My shadow is full of happy stuff. Being nice. Letting my walls down. Letting people in. Allowing myself to join groups of people, enjoy their company and in return have my company enjoyed. Anything to do with people probably fits into this category. I’ve lived so long on the outskirts of humanity- I don’t really know how to work with people and not let my insecurities get in the way. So I hide my nicer side behind a rougher exterior- because it’s easier that way.

I can’t say that I don’t like these attributes, per say. When I’m in my element and I know I’m in the company of people who I can trust and who don’t treat me like crap, I’m a completely different person. I’m nicer. Softer. More considerate. More breakable. I’m O, not S.

What advantage do you have with keeping these behaviors in the shadow? What would happen if you integrated them?

The advantage is I don’t hurt as much. People make me uncomfortable. Most people treat me like crap. And it’s a lot easier to keep people away for my health. That’s not to say that I’m not trying to let people in- but it’s really hard, because I keep meeting jerks.

If I integrated them, the ‘two halves would become whole’, I imagine. I’d be able to function better in society. I’d be able to make friends, have a social life, etc.

What do you see in other people that makes you react negatively the most? Why? Is it related to your shadow?

People that annoy me the most are those who are wishy-washy. Make a decision and go with it. It is entirely unrelated to my shadow as are most of the traits that annoy me 😛 People who are able to function in society and have friends- I envy them on some levels. But many of them have other traits that I’d rather not have, so it all balances out, as far as I’m concerned.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 28, 2011 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

Tags: , , , , ,

FK Journal: Dancing with the Universe

You can find the article that this journal is for here.

When there is something we need, we can petition the Divine, for we are only petitioning ourselves. Everything is part of one thing, and one piece can affect another. This is not to say that you will be answered, of course. There are many parts, and sometimes what they want conflicts with each other. But as part of the Divine we have the right to ask and be answered.

This is a touchy topic for me. Asking for things. Requests. Prayer. There was a time when I refused to ask the gods for anything. I felt that if they felt I needed it, they would send it my way. And that anything that I truly wanted, I needed to get off of my own ass and do it. This mentality also fueled my lack of magic workings. When I started into Wicca, most of the books out there talked about magic. Circle casting. Herbs. Stones. Whatever you needed to create spells to make stuff happen for you. However, any time that I worked on getting things to happen for me, it seemed that nothing ever happened. Life moved as it should. Things came to me when they were supposed to come to me- and that my magic had no effect on the gears of life. Because of this, I fell out of the practice of magic, and I never really caught on to praying or asking the gods/powers that be for the same reasons.

I felt that my ‘magic’ was me doing things my own way. Working hard to make stuff happen, and letting my mental ‘can do’ attitude be what makes things happen for me. And overall, this has worked for me. I need something- I go out and make it happen. I’ve only really asked for help when I was seriously at the end of my rope (and my version of at the end of my rope and Set’s version of at the end of my rope don’t always line up). All in all, this is still the system that I use.

Questions:

What is worth asking for? Why?

As stated above, I only ask for things that I really feel I need. I don’t waste the gods’ or my time asking for trivial stuff. I feel it belittles my abilities and the gods’ good graces. So I only ask for what is really really important. Or when I seriously feel I can’t take anymore.

What does it mean to petition the Divine for aid?

There are many methods. You could sit down and chat with the Divine and hope that if you drop hints, the universe will respond. You could directly ask. Magic is another method. Getting up and doing mundane things to help your crisis is another method. Any of these could apply as a definition for petitioning the Divine for aid.

In short, doing whatever you feel is best to reach your end goals. Whether it’s relying upon yourself, or others to reach those goals.

How does interconnectedness apply to requests for aid? What does it mean here to be all one thing as well as individuals?

I think it means that we can rely on others. And that responses to requests for aid can come from any portion of  ‘the whole’. You might ask one portion for help, and receive that help from a totally different ‘section’ of the divine. There are no hard set rules. It also can mean that everything is connected, and requesting for help can affect other areas of the divine in ways that you didn’t anticipate. So that you should ask for help with caution.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 20, 2011 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

FK Journal: Mystery

This is a journal entry relating to an FK article which can be found here.

This article was really short. Like, crazy short. So it doesn’t leave a lot for me to write on, I’m afraid. Out of the article, this paragraph stands out the most:

We have stripped the mystical out of our world, leaving everything just the physical. We see the trees, but we don’t see them with spirits anymore. And while populating the world with many spirits all out to hurt us (a common view in old mythology) isn’t necessarily a bad thing to leave behind, removing all the spirit from our lives isn’t good either.

I would agree that the mystical has been stripped out of our world. To mirror a video I saw recently, all of our right brain has been stripped out. Leaving an empty hollow shell. It’s sad. I think that’s part of why Shinto brings me such joy- it still has life in it. There are spirits around us. There is still mystery in our world.

Questions: 

How do you see the mystery in life around you?

Mystery is everywhere. There is so much power in the world around us. So much we can’t explain- it’s crazy. And it can really boggle the mind when you sit and think about it. We like to think that we are awesome. That we are like gods- yet with all of our modern marvels, there is so much that we can’t recreate or explain. It’s very humbling.

What in your life is mystery? Do you celebrate it or try to avoid it?

Everything has mystery. I may not always acknowledge it or see it- but I know there is mystery in all that I am, do and experience. I try to celebrate it. It’s part of what makes life interesting and awesome. Life is like some gigantic riddle that we’re all stuck in.

Imagine life without mystery. Is it better or worse than life with it?

It would be boring. It would be simpler (a lot less pondering, a lot less “what if”), but I think it would be boring. I’m not sure if that is better or worse. I imagine it depends on what you like in life. When I’m beat down and frustrated, it probably would be easier to have no mystery. But I’m not really one for ‘easier’.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on November 14, 2011 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

Tags: , , , ,

FK Journal: Words meets Darkness

I’m a little behind on my FK journal entries (so.much. going. on.) so this week I’m going to combine both entries into one- as I figure most of you don’t want more clutter on your feeds. The first entry relates to speech and FK and the original article can be found here. The second entry relates to (my favorite) the Dark Flame and can be found here.

 

I Speak the Universe:

I like this entry. I like it because I need to be reminded that words are in fact powerful. This should be easy for me, as both Shinto and Kemetic practices teach the importance of the utterance. The words need to be said *just so* and our speech (in both religions) is a gift to us from the gods. In both practices, well done speech in ritual helps to pacify and please the gods. So it would make sense that speech is important to me, right?

Wrong. I have a hard time loving English. It’s an ugly language, in  my opinion. And it doesn’t help that I live in a country where words are slung out without any sort of forethought or tact. Words are a tool for Americans and nothing more. So I tend to forget that there is life in words. There is life in all that I say. And that all that I say can be very creative or very destructive (which I do note the destructive part- a working with Set that taught me that I don’t need to kill everything dead with my speech, even if I am capable of it).

I think my favorite part of this article was this right here:

We need to be aware of how we speak and what we intend when we speak. Because our words recreate the Universe.

And I need to remember that.

Questions:

What does it mean to speak? What does speech mean to you?

I suppose the most literal definition is to make noises come out of your body that helps others to understand what you want/need/etc. However, it’s technically more than that. It’s a means to bridge (or create) gaps. It defines culture, ideas, can bring things together in many ways. But speech is also destructive, hurtful, and can cause rifts that will never be fixed. It is the ultimate tool.

What would it mean to be unable to communicate with language? What does communication mean to you?

I don’t know what I would do. I have had times where I am just too beat to use my words to express what I need to others. There have been times when my voice is gone, and using ASL with people isn’t an option- it’s frustrating and hard to get what you mean across. And it can wear you out. So I imagine it would suck (in short). Communication is key for me. I see misunderstandings that happen all the time because people aren’t communicating well and it frustrates me. I also get upset when people purposely try to obscure what they mean and interrupt communication- it’s totally counterproductive. I am all about communication. We need more of it.

When is speech sacred? What does sacred speech mean compared to regular speech? Is there a difference?

All speech is sacred. Both of my paths have taught me this. While I sometimes forget it, at it’s core, I believe that all speech is sacred (because everything is sacred in FK) and that all words should be treated as such.

 

Perceiving the Dark Flame:

We heard you like flames, so we put flames inside your flames.

The bright flame, the normal flame, is a flame we share with others. It is visible in how we act and what we do, shining into dark corners and creating boundaries, showing who we are and aren’t. It burns from within to without and shows in our lives.

Most people break up their Flame into Bright and Dark. And that’s it. I feel like my 2 Flames also have Bright and Dark parts- there are parts of my Bright Flame that you can see, and then there are parts that you should be able to see, but I keep hidden. And that also goes with my Dark Flame. Perhaps I’m missing the concept, but I feel like I am not completely accepting the whole entirety of my two Flames. And while I’m in the process of working on that, they each have their own Bright and Dark qualities.

The dark flame is different. It is hidden, quiet, cool. It burns for ourselves. It revitalizes and refuels us. In the darkness, we find ourselves again. We connect with our inner Divine spark through quiet as well as action. The dark flame gives us a point to connect that Divinity to.

I love Dark Stuff as it were. I thrive in the dark. I hate the light (comes from living in a desert). And ironically, I have had an easier time working on my Setian issues than I have my Osirian issues. I can accept my negative attributes without a problem. I can look at my dark pit and say “wow, there are a lot of BAD emotions in there. Lot’s of baggage. Lot’s of damage that I need to figure out” and not bat an eyelash. But O comes and tells me “You need to go be sociable. You need to love yourself. You need to show people the whole you, not just the Set version of you” and I flip out. My Bright Flame is my bane. Because I have a hard time keeping the dark half from completely swallowing up the bright half.

But I suppose I am getting off track. The point of all of this is I love the Dark Flame work. Sometimes, I wish it was all about the Dark Flame.

Questions:

Are you in balance? Are you even aware of your inward dark flame?

I believe so. As I said above, I have flames in my flames lol. I think I am more in tune with my dark flame. I often have to retreat into myself to work on how to project myself to the world. I go inwards to work on my Bright Flame- as weird as that may be. However, I don’t think I’m completely balanced. Set wants me to be whole- which means I’m currently not whole. I’m two halves fighting with one another trying to figure out how to keep an equilibrium. So while I understand the halves are there- they aren’t in perfect balance yet.

Is the darkness in you nurtured as well as the light? Why or why not? Does this imagery make you uncomfortable?

I suck at the Light stuff. I would argue that my Dark is more nurtured. I love the coolness that it brings me. The Light work just wears me out. The imagery doesn’t bother me. It’s hard to keep it in line, though. I consider dark to be yin and light to be yang- which is some of the opposite of how other people look at light and dark (good and evil). So I have to be careful with how I do my wording. Otherwise, it doesn’t bother me.

Can you feel the Divine connection to the dark flame? The lit one? both?

Both. The Divine is in everything, and I can feel the divine touch in all aspects of myself.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 31, 2011 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

FK Journal: Faith

This week’s FK discussion is about Faith, specifically Faith in humanity. It can be read here. 

This post was a relatively short one. There are a few things that I relate to that are within the post.

It is easy, really, to have faith in a separate God that things are going to work out for the best. It requires faith, but not in the people you live with every day. FlameKeeping requires faith in humanity.

I see this a lot in people I meet or read. Of varying religious affiliation. People who are always waiting for the Gods or something other than themselves to magic them out of a bad situation. I think this is part of why I fell out of using magic and I don’t really pray. I don’t feel like it’s up to the gods to make my life better- it’s up to me. And so, instead of sitting in shrine begging X or Y god to change something, or spending my time finding the perfect stones, herbs and candles to make Z happen for me, I just get off my ass and go do it myself. I use the mundane to get things done. I guess to me, that requires a faith in humanity by having faith in myself to get the job done.

This doesn’t mean to close your eyes and jump, assuming someone will catch you. FlameKeeping is very much about pragmatism: if it’s not going to work, it’s a bad idea. But it does mean that we need to both have a basic faith in humanity’s decentness (for we are the Divine) and to be people that one can have that faith in, as well. We are of the Divine, and we must take that seriously. Be someone others can take faith in, and find others to take faith in.

This was interesting to me as well. I like that it’s not blind faith. That there is some common sense to it. But even more than that, I like that we are each held accountable for faith in ourselves. You can swap that with self esteem and value, in my opinion. And I think it’s something each of us could use a little more of. It’s the Set in life- the things that make you stronger, make you capable and give you faith in your abilities. Anything that has to do with Set, I like XD

Questions:

Do you have faith in other people? What does that mean to you?

My faith in people comes and goes. I know that deep down we are capable of so much more and when I see how we are squandering our potential, it makes me sad and I lose faith. But then I catch a glimpse of our possibility, of someone doing something right and I’m back for another round. I suppose this means that I must keep trying to keep faith, and to help others have faith in humanity as well. Because if we don’t fix it, who will?

Are you someone other people can have faith in? Why or why not?

I believe so. I am reliable. I am faithful. I am a rock. I think steadiness and predictability can lead to faith- you can have faith that I will follow through, for example. I do what I say I’m going to do. Because of these traits, I lean towards yes.

What does believing in humanity mean to you? Is it meaningful? Scary? Empowering?

I’m not really sure. I mean, I’m going to do what I’m going to do (save the world) regardless of what my fellow human beings are doing. However, when I look at the world beyond, sometimes believing in humanity is empowering (look as us all kicking ass!) or it’s depressing (look at you all sucking ass!). I know it’s something that I need to keep in mind, though it can be hard some days.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 22, 2011 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

Tags: , , , ,