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Name: Lynn Brown
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Looking for the Good In it
Sometimes when people ask me about my Spiritual Journey and what I mean when I say that I am Pagan, I find it a difficult question to answer. I was very young when I found myself called to the path of Wisdom and had barely learned the words that described the ordinary, everyday, tangible things of life, much less have the vocabulary to explain the things I’d gathered through my subtler senses.
But the one thing I remember clearly was the idea of “Looking for the Good in things.” It may have come from the sort of Christian Idea of “That that which is Good, is that which is God” or it may have come from some sort of inner sense of truth. I am not sure which. Actually I suspect it was a marriage of both.
In fact these Ideas were so deeply entwined in my mind, that when, being the wordsmith I am, I researched the history of the two words, I was more than surprised to discover that they did not come from the same root.
But that was nothing compared to the surprise, no shock, I felt when the Catholic Faith I was being raised in taught me things like:
God held it against us that our Great, Great, Great…….Grandmother had angered him.
That unbaptised children, while not going to hell, would end up in an empty souless place called limbo.
That any one who wasn’t Catholic would go to hell. And I have heard variations of this idea among most Christian teachings. And that because of this it was O.K to force others to believe as “We” did.
And over the years many other things I could not reconcile with the Idea of Good.
Fortunately for me, The Goddess, The Great Mother, had kept a foothold in the Catholic Church. Dressed in the guise of the Virgin Mother, she came to me in a vision, as I was praying for her to ease they way for my Grandmother as she neared death. She showed me many things at that time and shared with me words of wisdom, some of which I would not understand or even remember until I was well into my adulthood.
But even at that young age I understood the basic message. That I should trust my feelings. That if I looked for the Good in people, places, things and the beliefs that surrounded them, that I would find it, and that if I nurtured the good in myself and others that I would experience that sense of wellbeing that comes with encountering that which is good.
And that was the day, she asked me to join her, to help her, by being her hands and feet as she journeyed through this world. And though I didn’t really understand it then, that was when I became one of Daughters of Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom, and was on the road to becoming a Priestess of her Way.
The thing that impressed me then, and continues to endear me to her, is that she asked for my help, instead of commanding it. I could have turned away, without arousing her anger. And have on more than one occasion when, pain, fear and confusion have made it too difficult for me to see beyond myself. But like the loving mother she is, she has always greeted me with open arms and a warm welcome when I have turned to her again.
Now one of the interesting things that I have discovered over the years, is that many people misunderstand my drive and desire to find and nurture the good in things as inability to see that which is not.
I remember my dear friend Anne saying that she worried because I could only see the good in folk and she feared I would not see danger when It was coming. And I could understand her concerns. Since very soon after our friendship began I was poisoned by a jealous rival for her affections, by accepting of offer of sharing in what turned out to be some very heavily laced joints. Which led to six weeks of “Madness” in which I had trouble staying in common reality and several years of recovery from the physical and emotional stress that my body endured.
The curious thing though is that it was not my Spiritual leanings that led me to making that mistake. Instead it was rather ordinary desire to be included in the life of my new found love and her circle of friends.
Interestingly enough during that time of “Madness” I went on a journey led to great a place of great awareness in which many years of learning were experienced in a very short time. (a story for another time, if I can piece together all the fragments so that they make sense on the page) But the since the long term effects of this journey was serious damage to my body, and a burnout of my subtler senses, which took nearly two years to reset. I would not recommend this as a route to enlightenment.
But now back to the topic. No, my search for the goodness and my desire to nurture it in myself and others, did not blind me to that which is dangerous and can cause harm. In fact I don’t think it could have. Much of my empathy and skills in healing were learned through living through some very hard times. And don’t worry folks, I am not looking for sympathy here, I have learned to be kind enough to myself to be able to provide it for myself.
Instead what I hope to do by sharing some of these experiences with you is to demonstrate that I have a direct understanding of pain and suffering and that the path I am sharing with you is grounded in reality.
To begin with I grew up with an Alcoholic Mother. Sober she was one of the kindest, most generous, and caring people you would ever want to meet. It was from her I learned both the meaning and feeling of what good and loving is. Drunk, the place she went after her eighth beer, She was as cruel, selfish, and bitter as anyone I ever met in my life and insisted on making my brother and I the targets of her rage, and though she was not physically abusive, she had a knack for tearing apart our hearts and minds.
Luckily until I was ten, we rarely encountered my mom drunk. But then a change in circumstances, having to move from a nice flat, in a house with a backyard, in a half decent neighbourhood to a third floor walk up in a tenement apartment where the first thing we encountered was a preschooler, left alone in the courtyard, screaming at the top of her lungs, a stream of curse words that I have rarely heard even from and angry biker, changed all that.
From that moment on till the time I left home I rarely saw her sober. But, still I had my brother and we were closer to each other that even all the years of sharing a bedroom could easily explain. Sure we fought and bickered occasionally like any other siblings. But we genuinely liked each other and enjoyed each others company. Together we even found ways to turn competitive games into co-operative ones. Between his eyes being bad, and my movements being awkward we found, that playing badminton in the conventional way was difficult and frustrating, so we decided to make a sport of seeing how long we could keep the birdie in the air, instead of trying to score each other out.
But I digress. Together with my brother I had a line of psychic defence against my mother and her attacks. That was till the unthinkable happened. Two days after Easter, 1973, and some ten days before his 12th Birthday, and a couple of months before my 14th. My bother went to school and never came home again.
He was riding a friend’s bicycle on the sidewalk of a busy main street near our home, was making a turn near the end of the block, swerved to far, fell over the edge of the curb and underneath the back wheels of an 18 wheeler.
And he was dead in heartbeat, and I in that brief moment, I lost my brother, my best friend, and ally against my mothers rage. Over the next few years things only got worse. My mother used her fears that something would happen to me coerce me into coming directly home from school each day and to keep me from leaving once I was there.
And the psychic abuse, on top of all the many cruelties my brother and I had already endured, she turned his death into an emotional battering ram. I can’t count the number of times I heard “Don’t you wish it were you instead?” And about how wonderful he was and how awful I was. And if I tried to change the subject I’d be accused of being jealous, because he was a genius, and I was well, not. And while we both scored well on IQ tests, the first time I heard her mention that he was a candidate for Mensa, was after he had died.
Along with this she attacked my personal appearance. She called my transformation from a skinny child who still fit into a 6x skirt at age 12 into a young woman with breasts and hips, getting fat. The clothes I chose were ugly and dowdy. I had taken to wearing black by then. And my choice not to wear makeup…..well.
Also at the time I was getting very little sleep. I had to wait for her to pass out before going to bed myself or deal with her following me there to continue on one of her rants. There were times I went a week or more without sleep. And eventually I began to agree with her. I did begin to wish one of us had died instead. I began to wish it was her.
So three years later, when her diet of beer and aspirin, caused her stomach to eat away at itself and into her spleen and she died on the operating table, for the first of three times before her death some twenty years later. I was devastated by feelings of guilt.
Logically I knew that knew that I wasn’t responsible, but emotionally….and then I was trapped. For the next three years I became her full time nursemaid and It wasn’t until my father handed me a little money and said Lynn you have to get out of here, before you can’t, that I was able to break the spell she had over me.
This story could go on forever and has barely touched the problems I had to deal with alongside those going on at home. But suffice it to say my self esteem had been all but destroyed and I went on to make many of the poor choices that goes with that. Including bad relationships and some self destructive behaviours.
The one thing I never went to though was Alcohol. I drank occasionally, and even got Drunk on a few occasions when I was young. But I never became dependent. And once I was pregnant with my Daughter I chose not to drink at all for many years. And while I made more that my fair share of mistakes in being a mother. I didn’t want her to have to endure, what I feared I could become.
That’s not to say I’ve never had to deal with addictions. I have smoked for nearly 25 years, and though I didn’t begin to smoke Marijuana until about 10 years ago. There were a couple of years where it became a crutch and not a pleasure.
So how does this relate to “Looking for the Good in it.”
Well for one thing, on the most purely of mundane levels, it has often kept me from giving up in despair. And on the one time I did, it seemed to have found the good in me and helped me by confusing me on how to do it. Because even though I have several scars in each direction on both my wrists and two long ones on each side of my neck. I never did find an artery that day.
And even that only occurred some months after my “Six Week of Madness, when I began to believe my subtle senses would never return and I would never again feel connected to anything, including myself.
Thankfully when they did return, I was once again able to continue my Spiritual Journey.
So how does this all relate to being Pagan?
Well throughout all the years of my childhood and on into my adulthood. My sense of connection with the Great Mother remained. Sometimes it was strained. And often enough “What’s the good in it?” was more of a bitter question than a genuine examination. But none the less, I kept “Looking for the Good in it” I looked for it people, I looked for it in places, I looked for it in religions and, I found enough of it to keep me going.
And as beliefs went. I collected the good wherever I found it. But I never found one the I felt entirely at home in. Felt good in. That was until shortly after my daughter was born. I had known of the Occult Shop and their open rituals for some years, but had never been drawn to attend any.
Well it was the Sunday around the first of February 1985. I had phoned the shop the day before to find out about the where’s and when’s and showed up to a private Art Gallery, Kitty corner to the Art Gallery of Ontario. My daughter and I were bundled up against weather and though I welcomed the shelter from the cold, the warmth I felt on entering was more than just the central heating. It was a feeling of coming home.
I was greeted by a voice so sweet that it was months before I didn’t have to stop and remember, that her given name was not Lorelei before greeting her. Around the room were folk sitting quietly, while others bustled calmly making the last of the preparations before ritual.
Little did I know, that I had arrived on Imbolg, or candlemass, as I knew it then. A day in which they honoured Brigid, the Irish Goddess of Fire, and among other things childbirth, with offerings of candles. And as the proceedings began I along with the other participants was given a candle, that would later be lit, and then still later carried into a winding dance around the room.
In fact I received not one, but two candles. One for me and one for my daughter. So you can imagine my nervousness, as folks helped me to my feet to join in the dance. Here I was, slightly clumsy as I can be, entering into a milling dance, with a baby in one arm and a pair of candles in the other.
But before long my fears eased as I realized everywhere there were people watching out for Katie and I. Some offered to take a candle, others the baby for a while, and still others though barely touching me, seemed to be holding me up so I would not trip and fall with her in my arms. By the end of the night I new that I had ended up in a place where I felt Good both physically and spiritually.
Now it has been a little over twenty five years since that night. And my personal spiritual practice bears little, if any resemblance to the Wicca I learned through the 5 years I took classes and attended ritual regularly. And yet I am still happy to consider myself Pagan and Wiccan.
“Why?” you might ask. Because whenever I go to a gathering or meet up with a person who honours the code “And Harm Ye None, Do as You Will.” I am greeted with Goodwill and Open Hearts. I am never coerced to do anything, and no one tries to force their views on me. And to me this is what it means to be Pagan
And since my own guiding principal is “Look for the Good in it.” I am happy to be counted among them.
Raven's Realm of Words
Come check out
The UNofficial Halloween Costume Gallery 2009
It's not a contest
Just a friendly place
To show off
Their fabulous creations.
Come check out these
Wonderful Custom Made Dolls
From the Workshop
promoting art contests with unrestricted creativity!
There once was a wizard named Zog
She lived her whole life in the Fog
She laughed till she cried
She cried till she sighed
"I now know the meaning of Dog"
The Universe is Large
To imagine it
And yet I do
And it is what I imagine it
Vast beyond measure
It breaks itself open
Into smaller parts
Parts I can conceive
And so I talk to it
And it talks back to me
And I ask it
What it believes
Did someone make you?
And so it answers
I am the first thing I remember
All else came after me
All else is other
All else is me
I just want to roll my eyes
At this esoteric wisdom
Madness is what it seems
Beyond the bonds
So I am me
And also part the other
And it lies
Like a stream of consciousness
On the borders
Of my reality
I want to be
And so today
I am creator
With my hand
I want to see in it
With my heart
I want to feel in it
With my eyes
I want to be in it
Has ever imagined
It to be
Raven's Realm of Words
The Latest thing to Catch My Interest
is the fact that PhotoManipulations
Have been a an excluded medium in the Art Sections
Of many if not all of the Official Competitions
Here in ElfTown
And I Think
That although not all photo manips
I think that are many here are that do
And I would like to invite interested folk
to come over and maybe talk about the subject of
Photo Manips as Fine Art~A Definition
I have just begun putting my mind to Studying all things Norse. To that end I have just started a Norse Studies wiki,
And with the help of [moira hawthorne] my guide and mentor in this journey,
I have gotten off to a good start,
And I would like to invite anyone with an interest in the Subject
To come on over and take a peek.
And if this happens to be your area of knowledge,
Or your on a similar journey yourself,
I would appreciate any help I can get,
Links to sites with good information,
Corrections and additions.
So if this is of interest to you,
Or you just want to enjoy watching someone stumble around in the dark, LOL,
Come by and visit anytime.
moira's visual crtique
your new elf is goood! I love the texture of it... like a tapestry...
but you needed a collar bone on her... and you had some of the hights off...and the best way for me to give a critique is to play with it... (you know the saying a picture worth a thousand words)
I want to thank my friend [moira hawthorne] who took time not only gave me a lovely compliment on my latest offering but also took the time to make her suggestions on how refine the drawing by adding some gentle modifications of her own and then sending it to me so that I could actually see what she was trying to convey.
It’s hard to believe that I've been in ElfTown only a few months. I've met so many interesting and creative people here, that I feel like I've lived here forever. And along the way I've been lucky enough to make a few really good friends.
The first person I met in ElfTown and a dear friend.
If you would like to read our early conversations go to with rebulous
Who always has a lovely peacock wandering around the front of his house.
Who is always so busy, busy, busy, that you can't help but smile when you see her flittering by on the way to another project.
A lovely lady and great artist who has hidden away amongst her stuff some wonderful needlepoint art that is worth the searching for.
And Old School Rocker, whose music and lyrics I really like. His House has links to some decent quality demo's of his work.
A sweet young lad and fellow pagan who just celebrated his 16th birthday
I would recommend getting to know any of these good folk.
I built this for "The World Sofa Cushion Building Society"
The WSCFBS for short
Hosted by [smakeupfx]
Why not come over and Join in the Play?
it all begins
when the one
becomes the all
and the all become the many
from the song
becomes the sound
and the sound
becomes the plenty
but the plenty
became the more
and the more
become the reason
kin turned against kinkind
It wasn't reason
Now it was Treason
and so began the war
the blood runs thickly
the mortal mind
and spirit self's
all come in time
When the I
becomes the we
There is a fever
each time it goes
someplace that isn't pleasing
some take the harm
and make it worse
there’s no reason
why you should cry
the clouds of gas
they fill my lungs
they are filled
and the noise
exceeds all heeding
i would despair
that I can hear
that the songs
that they are singing
this is paradise
even if I’m bleeding
I have been there for you
you wished me
you ever spent
you'd sense me there
in your deepest dreams
you'd hear me through
your loudest screams
you’d see me holding
back the door
was shouting more
you held me in
you gave me warmth
you told me
that there was
quite a few
would find the door
and through that some more
who'd like the game
of make believe
you know it's true
if I can only grasp the air
and mend the dreams
that need repair
i hate the sound of coming wars
i hate the words that shame the few
that differ from the me and you
i hate sentences that start
with don't you think
you must agree
must be wrong with me
i dream too much
i think on whole utopias
where all are fed
and most have homes
are not alone
to have a friend
on which to call
where light is worn
and heart agrees
this is the place
This is the place
where I will be.
When the healer sings her moonday best
on second bloom
the words are formed
then I turn into
I am Born
The Elf is me
A creation Myth
If you'd like to read more of my poetry
Raven's Realm of Words
Ole Jack Frost
Has been peeking
In the windows
Left this behind
To let me know
That he’d been round
I found this fellow lurking around in the window above.
And here I'd like to suggest a few fine, yet free resources available on the net which I use on a regular basis
a great freeware paint progam that is almost as good as photoshop without breaking the bank.
a freeware vector drawing program that is very tablet friendly but can still be use well with only a mouse.
A great 3D modeller, easier to use than most, and although not freeware there are no nags or anything to bother you.
ElfTown's own photo Reference page
The creative commons at flickr has millions of photos which folk have made available under very liberal licences. Many are simply attribute, where you only need to credit the photographer, and not even that if you are only referencing.
And Now I have run out of steam
So I'll say so long till next time.
Hail and Fare Well
And Also one more thing.
|Age: 53||Year of birth: 1959||Month of birth: 6||Day of birth: 16|
Fantasy race personality: Elf
Place of living: Canada - Ontario
Elftown crew wannabe: Yes
Favorite drawing objects
|information seeking||music||web design|
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