Today I offer you a guest post from a dear artist friend of mine. Let’s give her a warm welcome.
A few weeks ago I stumbled upon on an old flame on the internet – still hot – and was very tempted to contact him. I often get into some sort of self-destructive trouble this time of year when summer turns to fall and the earth begins to cool. By winter I’ve usually found good reason to hibernate.
Most recent of late September-early Octobers have included an autoimmune disorder diagnosis; a pass-over for promotion at a job I hated anyway; the euthanasia of a kitten with a small wound of unknown origin on his foot that I nursed for a month before watching him “go zombie” for a full day and realizing it was a rabid bite.
Usually though, it’s just a good ol’ “bad romance.” Exciting at first but ultimately serving to reinforce a desire in me to disbelieve in love, ironically driven by projections of my perfect complement onto a poor, imperfect and otherwise oblivious man. As in this case of my most recent internet-induced flashback: a person I hadn’t seen in over 20 years who treated me as if I barely existed even when I knew him.
At what felt like my weakest moment, after reading old journal entries about him fearing I would be embarrassed by what an idiot I used to sound like only to be slapped in the face with how similar I sound now. “What an idiot for wasting so much energy and thought on cascading a curtain over what I truly want.” Applicable now and then. I asked out loud, “Why am I so lonely?”
The next night I woke up around 3am and went out for smokes. On the sidewalk at the bottom of the stairs was a dark-green praying mantis with his back towards me. I knelt down and gently poked his “butt” with my index finger. He skittered away and down the curb, turned around and peered at me with his head up over the edge. I walked over towards him, knelt again and wriggled my index finger in front of his eyes, thinking perhaps he sees me or perhaps he sees a worm. He was still there when I came back from the store.
The day after, still in a semi-stupor about the prospects of reconnecting with the “flame,” a commanding inner voice called to me, exasperated of my school-girl antics and inner back-and-forth debating between logic and fantasy. She said, “You may contact him. But before you do, you must understand your true motivations and what you hope to accomplish by doing so.”
I listened. I knew needed a ritual to keep me from disobeying the wisdom I surely had received from somewhere outside my own ego – to help me practice patience before striking as a praying mantis symbolizes, and to placate my inner child that wants to pounce like a cat on a … you know. I asked myself who can help me? Who can help me be more myself? Who has wings like a vulture, a powerful totem in my life, which can glide for hours without flapping for a beat? Isis. Ishtar. Inanna.
I asked her to look over a simple but long (9 nights and a moon cycle) candle spell to reunite with lost loves. Not a love spell mind you. I admitted to her that I really wanted to find whatever it is that lives behind the idea of reunion with love in my head. I asked her to help guide me toward what is absent from my memories: love as acceptance, never reluctant, temperamental, unreliable, untrustworthy or conditional, even volatile. “Why,” I asked myself and her, “Why would I want to re-experience that as love?” And it dawned on me; because that is the only love I have known.
Tonight when I celebrate for the first time the Fall Equinox, or Mabon, as represented by the myth of Inanna’s Descent, I will honor her story of ultimate transformation. Instead of regressing, repeating the past in some variation like autumns, I will travel with her as the embodiment of spirit, through some ugly depths in hopes to arrive revitalized in spring on a new path toward self-acceptance. This time I will try to meet a new self.
(For more stunning images from Spinebreaker art, click here.)