Another Leader Descends...

As I was reading Facebook the other day there was a posting by a Pagan leader who's blog I've followed for a while, however,  his latest posting was disheartening. He was announcing he was stepping down from the leadership role, and working to bring back his anonymity. Do to his blog, I will not announce who it is, or give the name of the blog, out of respect of his request. It wasn't a surprise he was stepping down, nor was it a surprise the reasons why, only a sadness that another influential leader has decided to step down, and go back into the shadows of anonymity.

Currently, I'm working to become a leader in the Pagan community, to become a known healer and teacher in this community and it's what I've wanted since I was 17 and looked into the night sky and heard the Mother's voice give me my first magickal name. As I walk this path of growth, I watch other leaders, I see how they are treated, how hard they work, and how they are not given the credit they deserve. Being a leader, HP/HPs or healer/teacher is a path of service. You willingly give up your time, yourself, to give to others you know or don't know. You sacrifice many things to do this, family, home, jobs, money, comfort, however, the call is so strong you can't resist. They are many reasons why a leader may step down, but, it all comes back to one thing....their fountain ran empty.

One leader I watch all the time, even more then she knows I believe, is my teacher/HPs. She goes, goes, goes, continually, everyday. She gives, and gives to the community. She teaches giving to the community, and she sacrifices much to give to the community. I've watched her push through personal illness, personal tragedies, and personal exhaustion, and she did all of this with a smile and her soft voice of reasoning and understanding. I truly admire, and worry about her. I admire her dedication, and I worry, will she be the next who's fountain runs dry?

There are leaders in the community who abuse their power, I won't name names, but, I have been around many on my path. They take from their followers, money, confidence, their own thoughts, and use what they have taken to build themselves up. They reach out to degrade other leaders so that they can remain on top, and they use their authority to push around their followers, and any others they may begin follow them just so they can live a life of ego and selfish endowments.  Their fountains rarely run dry, however, sooner or later, the fountains of their followers, do.

This brings me to the conclusion of the good being taken advantage of, and the bad over powering the good. The typical, "nice guy" syndrome. The good, respectful leaders give, and give, and give to the community. They are called upon, and since the draw to help is so strong, they agree to help or aid, with little or no return. Students come in to their classes, take away the knowledge, without an exchange energy. I've seen teachers teach classes for donations only and they may have a class of 30 students, and the donations they received are only $5. However, the teacher just smiles, and talks about how wonderful and active the class was, and is excited to teach again. There have been leaders put together festivals, asking for volunteers to help and assist in cleaning, setting up, taking down, or any number of small chores, and they receive little or no reply. I, myself, have gone out to parking lots, grabbing people, pulling them in, to help sweep a floor, or put up tables and chairs, even though they see the 1 or 2 people struggling to clean by themselves and offer no help.

We are draining the fountains of our leaders. We, all of us, are guilty of this. Those that follow the leaders that drain others, don't see what is happening to them because they are given blinders, and being used. Those that don't wear the blinders of a negative leader, want to only do what they want to do, and not be told by anyone otherwise. Many Pagans believe classes, festivals, workshops, and other items should be free, and freely given. There is a difference there, the above is freely given when you have the right leader giving it, however, it is not, and never has been free.

The next class, workshop, festival, ritual you attend, look around, add up the cost of the site, the materials, the food, the shelter, and figure in the time to put together these things. Look at the ones who put it together, are they sitting around, laughing or talking, or are they running back and forth like a chicken with their heads cut off? Take time to speak to your leaders, ask them what they need. Do they need monetary donations for materials? Do they need volunteers? Do they need someone to just bring some candles, incense, or other small material to donate to the gathering?

Ask them next time, what do you need to keep your fountain flowing?

I promise you, they will have an answer.

There is a Balance There, am I Missing It?

I've spoken to many friends who not only have a day job, kids, bills, dinner times, bed times, and all that but also have a spiritual practice of some type and they are not finding the needed balance. I, personally go through the exact same thing. In fact, with my day job, it's very difficult to find a way to work that along with promoting my spiritual practices, healing, and working on my personal studies. I was attempting, a couple of weeks ago, to work on promoting my healing practice while also working my day job. I work from home, so I thought, I could do both....yea, I was wrong.

As I'm working on creating my profile, one of my clients from my day job was IMing me, and well, my day job and healing practice do not coincide so my brain was being pulled in two completely opposite directions. It was not pretty. I finally just logged off my day job, put my computer to sleep, and left my office frustrated that absolutely NOTHING got accomplished.

Since I do work from home, I have the added challenge, along with others who work from home, of making sure I'm dedicating the right amount of work to each job that I have so that nothing is neglected. I was speaking to a good friend of mine at Beltane Bash this past weekend, and he was making a great point. He is a good father, a good husband, a good business owner, but, with all that he does, something gets neglected every time, and that's not fair.

It isn't, I agree.

Finding the balance, especially today, is near impossible. When you're also a spiritual teacher, healer, adviser, or other, it's even more difficult. We, as the above, sacrifice our time and self to give to others, and the job does not pay well, so, we must have day jobs. While we work our day jobs, we are always pulled to do more spiritual work, and it takes us away from putting in 100% to our paying day jobs. Then, we have family, and we must put 100% into our families, however, our hearts are pulled to that spiritual practice that is put on the back burner while we tuck in our loved ones, help with homework, go to the grocery store, or any other mundane action we do with love and willingness for our families. Then, by the time we are able to get to what our hearts are drawn to, our minds are somewhere else. We're thinking, I need to cook dinner, or did I complete that assignment for my boss, did I pay the water bill, and so on. So we are not 100% into what our hearts draw us to.

It's a very difficult road to travel.

I do not have a solution to the issue, I wish I did, however, I know I am not alone in this problem, and you should know you aren't alone either. What keeps me going is knowing my healing and teaching, and spiritual advise is needed. My love for my family is needed, and my job needs me to be dependable. I'm needed, as are you. As a healer, teacher, Priest, Priestess, and more, you are a servant to the masses, and you ARE needed. We, in this field, have chosen to give ourselves to the public, and that may mean some of our sanity while we work to balance our jobs and home life. I study at night when I can, I work on weekends to promote my services, My family is 24/7 and my day job is 12/5, (sometimes even weekends) but, with all the stress, over working, and concerns I have working to maintain a hint of balance, I wouldn't trade my life for anything.

I hope you feel the same.

Good luck, remember, the healer needs to be healed, the adviser needs advise, and we are all needed in this world. You are important.

Easter, Ostara, & Passover...Oh My!

Oh no... run, hide, and bring your zombie disaster kits, it's another holiday battle going on!!!

Today is Easter, April 8th, the Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus after being crucified for claiming to be the Son of God. This is a day where Christians celebrate with family and go to church welcome spring, have a feast, and just generally enjoy knowing that their God helped deliver them from original sin by sacrificing His Son. (all my sins forgiven by proxy, sounds to me like a reason to party)

Not to long ago, there was Ostara, March 19th - 20th, the Pagan celebration of the Spring Equinox, a time of fertility, rebirth, and growth. If you made it through the long cold winter months to spring, then, you have a reason to celebrate. Pagans generally get together with family and friends and celebrate through renewal and rebirth rituals, planting gardens, feasting, and celebrating the fact that the Earth is alive again. (Yea, getting through the winter, another reason to party)

As we speak, Passover is going on, April 6th - 14th, the Jewish celebration of God's deliverance from the Egyptians, through Moses and of slavery & death. This is a time where the Jewish people get together for celebration with family and friends through the removal of chametz, or leavened food, and the Passover feast, or Seder meal. (being rescued from slavery and death, yup, another reason to party)

With those 3 holiday's going on that are clearly a positive celebration of life why is there so much fighting? (Pagans, I'm talking to you too) Seriously, I go on Facebook and see my Pagan friends and family saying things like, Easter is a Pagan holiday, Thank a Pagan for your Holiday, so many attacks on the Christian belief. However, then I look further, and see my Christian friends and family attacking with things like, Easter is a Christian holiday, and There is only 1 God who was resurrected today, blah blah, and the poor Jews are stuck in the middle. Christian's trying to celebrate Passover & Easter, and the Pagans trying to get the Jews on their side because the Jews don't follow that Jesus was the Son of God.

It's a friggen mess!!!

Take a moment and read each holiday again. What do you see in common? If you look hard you will see a lot;
Death & Rebirth
Cleansing & Renewing
Family & Friends

Easter, Ostara, Passover, they are all basically the same just celebrated differently. This is a time of death and rebirth, a time to clean out the old and make way for the new, a time to celebrate LIFE!! The flowers & plants are blooming and the baby birds and animals are being born. With all the pollen, the trees are even having sex to celebrate life, so why in the hell is every at each other's throats?

I'll tell you why, pride, evil pride. Fighting about who owns what, who did what first, where what came from, it's enough to turn a person atheist. Pride is an evil within all religions, spiritual beliefs, and even mundane life. Pride can kill a persons eyesight, make them blind to life, and blind to the beauty of diversity. Spirituality is beautiful, a belief, knowing that you are not alone and are able to turn to a higher force, weather that force is in your heart, the heavens, or here on Earth. Don't let pride cloud your judgement and hamper your love to all. Instead, look at the beauty of the diversity on this Earth, in this country. If you are unable to do that, and are determined to claim to be the first and only of that holiday, then head to India, become Hindu, and celebrate Baiskhi.

As for me, I think I will celebrate Spring and go plant something today!
Happy Easter!