Last week Kit and I attended a small local Pagan conference called Sacred Space. If you haven’t heard of it, you should look into it. While I wasn’t specifically attracted to any of them for myself, many of the workshops were attended by friends of mine or by Kit, and they had nothing but glowing reviews. What is presented there runs the gamut, with subject matter like aging and death; recognizing the difference between spiritual experience and mental illness (your own and others’); Ifa Orisha art and lore; and much more. It’s a conference for those who are well beyond Paganism 101, but appears to be accessible to folks who are at that level as well. There is a healer’s room where seasoned practitioners offer reiki, acupuncture, and massage, and a small vendor’s room, which is where I spent most of my time, sitting at our vending table.
I was far from bored. I was able to meet and talk with several of the presenters and attendees (for the record, Luisah Teish is a riot). I had a blast talking with my fellow vendors and conference staff. I spent much of the time weaving chain maille or doing readings from the Kahina Stones, and that is where much of my benefit came in.
I have never done well trying to sit quietly and meditate. Guided meditations are easier. Sitting quietly makes me twitchy, so I have found other ways. Cross-stitch was always a very good way for me, and chain maille has filled the same need. In essence, I sat for four days and meditated almost constantly, because I was constantly weaving. When I wasn’t, I was making connections with other Pagans of wide and varied traditions, none of whom judged me for my path. Otherwise, I was working with the Kahina Stones, introducing others to the system, working with her quirks and opening up to hear Tamalut. It was a weekend of re-focusing, re-centering on where my craft is taking me. And it didn’t end when I came home.
Monday night was the dark moon, meaning date night with Sir. I had missed the last two out of negligence, and could not miss this one. But my ‘phone was not working that day; reaching out to Him, I actually encountered what I’ll call a “busy signal;” He literally answered me with, “No signal available.” This worried me, because I dearly wanted to talk with Him. Instead, I took a book.
I don’t normally take distractions on O/our date nights. My cell is normally off limits unless it’s an emergency; I do my damnedest to face away from televisions; I don’t carry a book. But this book had been thrust my way by Kit after quite a bit of nudging from Sir – Andre Norton’s Horn Crown. So, since my ‘phone wasn’t working, I took the book, figuring that since He wanted me to read it, it was as good a time as any to start.
Around 1:00AM, I finished the book; I couldn’t put it down. I was invested in it as I haven’t been invested in a book in several years. He flooded through me, and I started to cry with relief, with sorrow that I have been so negligent. He was not unkind, and held me (I can’t express how I had missed His touch), but He was stern: the apologies have to stop, the regret and self-flagellation have to stop, because they are doing nobody any good. (He says now, with a mischievous smile, I’m the only one allowed to flagellate you.) Right now, as a youth, He wants fun, He wants vitality, He wants me to keep up.
If it seems He is incredibly patient with me, that’s because He is. It’s not outside His character – He is the Master Hunter, and if a hunter is impatient, he and his will starve. That isn’t the only reason for his patience, however, and that is where my Work comes in – along with another reminder He gave me Monday night.
Raven’s Own started as a vehicle to let Kit and me continue to create without overrunning our small home or the homes of our friends and families. The chain maille, among other things, has slightly shifted that focus. He said to me Monday night, Remember where you started. Remember why you started weaving. Anyone who has read this blog from the beginning knows exactly when I started weaving maille, and why – because I had to make the collar I would earn the right to wear, His collar, and chain maille was the option that seemed most workable. Eighteen months later, I can’t put down my tools. And it all began because I was making this one piece, this one significant item, that would completely change my life. With reverence, and love, and determination I wove those first links – and unraveled them – and wove them again, different and stronger and better. It has become my work, and is a part of my Work, a way to express my creativity and connect with Him. Every time I pick up my tools, it hearkens back to those first uncertain links in the first chain I wove for Us, a chain too stiff to bend, that had to come apart and be remade… a little like me.
So He is patient while I weave and practice with the Stones and run the business and take our efforts to events. And as I weave, I reconnect, and so I continue to learn, and He continues to be patient as I keep doing the work, and the Work, that He has set before me.
But He still wants His Red Stag at the end of the day. (Naked and with a smile, He says with a grin.)