The day after I made my last original post, my father went into the hospital. Nine nights later – an interval with particular significance for those of us devoted to Odin – he died.
I loved my father very much, and I admired him deeply. I was proud to be his daughter, and to be known as his daughter.
I was not prepared for the feeling of liberation that filled me once the initial shock of grief passed.
I was not prepared for how good it felt to realize that I would never again worry about whether or not he would approve of, or understand, my decisions. Especially my decisions about the profound changes in my work and lifestyle which this blog was founded to chronicle.
Two months later, via a free association browsing session on Amazon, I ended up downloading a sample of “The Children of Set: The Confessions of Michael Kelly, vol 3.”* This was entirely out of character for me. Despite my wide-ranging reading, I have always avoided books about The Left Hand Path (LHP) due to my impression that they were focused on celebrating evil and using occult power to exploit others for personal gain.
That is not what I found in this book. Instead I found a story of a man seeking personal development, excellence, and ever more profound levels of initiation. The Left Hand Path, as presented by Kelly, addressed some of the points of tension I have had with the Right Hand Path: most significantly, my utter lack of desire to be ultimately subsumed in union with the One, and its insufficiency in addressing the concept of personal sovereignty.
Reading the book was an initiatory experience in itself, an unprecedented event.
And it has thrown my spiritual life – including my work as a spiritual director – into turmoil. The turmoil itself is not a bad thing, but it’s forcing me to re-think a lot of my basic assumptions about how I conduct my personal spiritual life and my business. It’s also forcing me to reassess how I feel about an occult school and a fraternal order I belong to, both of which are deeply worthy organizations from which I derive both deep spiritual value and companionship.
The Word of the Temple of Set is Xeper, which means “I have come into being.” It is a word of self-awareness, self-directed development, of ongoing initiation, of becoming and becoming and becoming, in this lifetime and after death. It is a word which captures my earliest sense of my life’s mission: to travel from world to world, learning and developing and evolving in ways that I could never have done had I remained in place. In my father’s world.
Between Dad’s death, this book, and others about the LHP, I have been doing a lot of processing about my sense of self-worth, my sense of freedom, of sovereignty, of courage. About my values, my vision, and my long-standing mission “To bring light” – which takes on a whole new level of meaning when one has been reading about luciferian figures as champions of human sentience and freedom. And I ended up doing something like a spontaneous soul retrieval, recognizing and reintegrating an expression of personal sovereignty which I had personified and externalized when I was an adolescent.
And then, because all that wasn’t enough, I took part in a self-nurturing coaching session which turned into a deep and profound cleansing and reclaiming of parts of myself which had been lost to me since my soulmate’s death nine years ago.
Since Dad’s death, my work on my business has been completely stalled. At first I blamed it on the ordeal of his last week and the tasks which followed, and then I blamed my lack of personal discipline and initiative, but this evening I realized that I haven’t made any progress because my business is an expression of my spiritual life, and I’ve been in flux and without direction.
And then I finally allowed myself to admit something which has been subconsciously nagging at me for weeks: my beautiful new website is all wrong. It’s a lovely expression of nice middle class white lady spiritual coaching. It’s a website I could show to my father and have him be proud of me. There’s nothing in it of the shadows, of the claws and the blood and the stars and the tears and the ecstasy which have made me who I am. It doesn’t show the Priestess of Ereshkigal. It doesn’t show The Dancer in the Void. It doesn’t show the Hierodule. It shows an authentic slice of who I have been, but it doesn’t reflect the whole me. It doesn’t express the life I want to live, the spirit I want to express now.
It reflects the sensibilities of those polished and preppy online mentors who want to help you make money online by expressing your authentic self – but whose expectations of what ‘authenticity’ looks like never seem to fit me.
The place that is authentically mine scares me.
It scares me because it’s beyond the pale of the life of I was raised to lead.
Because it’s outside of what’s safe and “normal” and business as usual.
My business is called Feral Holiness because I know that I want to live outside of those boundaries, but I’ve been afraid to commit to taking that step.
Afraid to be seen in my feral fullness.
But I’m dying within the boundaries, in the cage of my present life.
Only one thing to do.
Xeper and Remanifest.
I have to completely erase my website and start over.
I have to create a vision from my gut and my cunt as well as my rational mind.
I love the light. But I cannot shrink from expressing my shadow as well.
If Feral Holiness is going to be my work, then I must be feral.
Otherwise there is no point.
I cannot presume to offer to help others with their soul work if I am ashamed of my own soul.
I cannot help others find and express their authenticity if I am hiding behind the good girl mask.
*I will get a commission from Amazon if you make a purchase after clicking this link (same session only). It will not add to the price of anything you buy.