For Goodness Sake

I was stopped on my walk to the train by a young sister and her son. She said excuse me in such an soft tone that I assumed she was seeking directions. I personally hate to be turned around in NYC so I always try to offer directions when asked. I slowed down and she shared quickly that she could not return to the local domestic violence shelter and was trying to raise bus fare to leave the city and travel to a family member's home in DE. I glanced down at her son, no older than my nephew, and handed him the bowl of turkey chili I was planning to eat for dinner. To her I gave the cash in my pocket. She breathed a sigh of relief and thanked me. I smiled and nodded. It wasn't enough to get her where she was going, but it was what I had.

Soon after my cynical New Yorker side emerged, as it usually does in these situations. How do you know she wasn't lying? It hissed at me. How do you know she REALLY needed that money? What if she uses it to buy drugs or alcohol or *insert speculative fiction here*?? You can't just be giving money to these people on the street!! I took deep breaths and reminded myself: my kindness is my karma, her response to it is hers.

It dawned on me then that this is the truth for so many of our deeply felt hurts, regrets, resentments, angers, pains. That we wished our kindness - expressed in the forms of compassion, empathy, friendship, romance, understanding, love - had been responded to in the way we feel is worthy. In the way that validates us; makes us feel good. We want our kindness to be justified. We want to dictate how the receiver of our kindness will respond, so we can determine that they truly deserved it. We offer love to one who responds with indifference and we decide to stop giving love out to any. We offer friendship to one who meets it with betrayal and we judge ourselves for being gullible. We forget that our friendship is who we are and their betrayal is who they are. We assume responsibility for their responses. Our self-esteem is dependent upon it.

I'm reminded of a chart I saw in a school hallway once. Both the lowest and highest levels described one who did the right thing to be rewarded by it. The difference lied in where one understood the source of the reward to be. The one on the lower level expected to be rewarded by someone for his goodness. The one on the higher level knew that goodness was its own reward. For Maat asks us to do the right thing because it's the right thing to do -  and for no other reason. We cannot live by Maat for what others may or may not do, but only by what we actively contribute to the world.

My actions are my karma, and yours are yours. We cannot take responsibility for that which does not belong to us. We can only do the best that we can do and be the best that we can be, and we should strive to do so without fear, hesitation, or resentment. I cannot promise that your kindnesses will always be met with equal kindness or that the receivers will honor what you have extended from your heart. I know I have not always received what I thought I deserved. But I will never regret trying my best to be a kind person. And neither will you.

Ethically Speaking

It is said that morals are how you treat the people you know, and ethics are how you treat the people that you don't know. It is also said that how you treat people is a reflection of who you are.

We should be able to understand that who we are cannot simply be what it is that we speak with our mouths. We cannot solely define ourselves on verbal terms. We must be able to see a reflection of who we say we are in our actions and our choices. Others must also perceive some type of relationship between what we espouse or claim to be and how we act, speak, behave. Cognitive dissonance is the discrepancy between what you say you believe and what beliefs your choices reflect. It indicates an imbalance between who you wish you were and who you truly are.

We emphasize morals and ethics in the Kemetic tradition, particularly in the Serudj Tawi Ketem, and some may think this is because we are lacking the depth of metaphysical knowledge or the historical scholarship associated with a profound thought process. Learning is essential to personal and spiritual development, but how we are meant to treat one another is a lesson that very few feel compelled to teach. Too many take morals and ethics for granted, declaring that we should inherently know what to do without ever verifying that anyone actually does, without verifying that anyone truly accepts the charge to live and act in truth and righteousness. 

Without teaching and reinforcing this, we risk being a community of people who are without moral standing and unclear on basic etiquette. A people who do not realize the value of ethical living; a people who are not ready to be self-governing, independent, interdependent. There is an abundance of evidence that proves it is too easy to avoid doing what we know is right. We know it is not right to murder, and yet there are murderers. We know it is not right to rape, and yet there are rapists. Even on a less severe level, we know it is not right to bootleg the works of others, and yet there are bootleggers; we know it is not right to cheat, and yet we scam the government for a larger tax payout or more social benefits. You may make whatever argument you wish about not hurting anyone with copied DVDs or how the government owes Afrikan people reparations and therefore your scam is justified in the karmic scheme of things. Morals and ethics are not about what other people deserve. Morals and ethics are about who YOU are.

Morals and ethics are increasingly important to me, as matriarch of a growing spiritual community. I want the people who I am surrounded by to be men and and women of honor. I want to be able to trust their words. I want them to know that they are safe with one another, that their children and spouses and loved ones are safe. I want to know that we will respect each other, even when we don't agree with one another, even when we want different things. I want to be able to go forth in peace and satisfaction at all times and from all interactions, even the most unpleasant ones. I want to be a reflection of what I say matters to me.

We can talk rather every day of the week about the genetic codes of Afrikan people and the creation of the universe. We can have lengthy discussions about the migration of the original man across various land masses and the development of culture throughout the Continent and abroad. We can theorize about the creation of the universe and the relationship between science, metaphysics, and mythology in traditional Afrikan spirituality. It is morals and ethics that will determine if those discussions are fruitful. You will hear me because I respectfully listened to you, or you will ignore me because I made you feel ignored. You will be open to further dialogue because I honored your intellect and your feelings, or you will end our conversation abruptly, without future opportunity to build. Morals and ethics make the debate productive; the lack of makes the debate a useless exercise in futility. Speaking on ethics is the most essential discussion we can have.

Define Greatness

One year ago, I received a phone call from one of those "publishing houses" that ask you to buy a package upfront to pay for the cost of producing your work. By that point, I had done so much research and reading that I knew these companies were scamming thousands of authors out of thousands of dollars, and I knew I was not going to be one of them. I politely answered, wanting to take the opportunity to remove myself from their regular call list.

"So, have you finished your novel yet?" the young woman asked rather pleasantly, wanting to sound like someone whom I would enjoy collaborating with.

"No," I answered, trying to match her level of kindness with my tone, "but I've decided to publish independently, so unfortunately I will not be purchasing any of your company's services."

She sneered, loud enough for me to hear it. "So you only want your mom and your friends to read your book, then? Because that's what will happen if you go that route." An abrupt end came to that conversation.

Now let's be clear: I would have been completely satisfied if only my mom and my friends had read Hidden By Moonlight. One's measure of success does not always come from outside achievements, from fame, riches, and recognition. There is nothing wrong with any of those things, but sometimes a person needs to do a great thing because that is what s/he has been called to do. Not for the satisfaction of the many, but for the satisfaction of the soul. We have each incarnated here, at this time, in this place, in this precise way, in order to do something specific and to be something specific; whatever our thing, our great thing, is ours to give and ours alone.

I can't begin to relate this message to any one Neter or Netert, because each of them demonstrate this wisdom. Ptah is called to be great in craftsmanship; perhaps he is not the best warrior or the best at tilling the earth, but these are not his areas, and so he allows Heru to be the warrior par excellence and Ta-Urt to be the embodiment of the bountiful land. Kheper does not try to be both the rising sun and the setting sun; he knows what is his to govern and he focuses his energy there, giving that moment - his moment - the very best he has. This is the example we are bound to live by, as we become divine beings in the flesh: to be masters of one trade rather than jacks of many.

This explains why we each have a personal Mother Netert and/or Father Neter who governs our personalities, our missions, and our walk in life. It is our charge to get closer to that force, so close that we are unable to divide ourselves from that energy, so close that we become that energy in the flesh. It is then that we are able to be and do all that we were placed here to be and do, when we are a thinking, speaking, and living NTR/T. That is when we are able to satisfy the soul: when we are living in complete harmony and oneness with Divinity itself.

How do we define greatness, is the real question here. How do we understand it and what is it supposed to look like when we get there? For spiritual people, greatness is found in the achievement of purpose and the alignment of the self with the greater Self, the Divine Self, the Source, Spirit, the Universe, the All, Pa NTR. Never mind reaching millions of people or becoming an international phenomenon. If you begin by reaching your Self, you will have already done the greatest thing possible. You will have reached one.

Sovereignty

Our challenges are those we choose for ourselves even if we were not ready to face them. Every choice that we make leads us in a particular direction. When we ignore warning signs or fail to listen to the guidance of Spirit, our road begins to look a little darker, a little harder, a little more bleak with every step. Eventually we find ourselves asking how we got here, and the answer is always, trace your steps. You got yourself here, putting one foot in front of another.

I reflect upon the recent events surrounding Lamar Odom and I see this principle in action. Various accounts have reflected upon his character as one who was not built for the spotlight that he found himself thrust into. There appears to be a lack of healthy coping mechanisms that would have assisted him with processing all of the changes, attention, criticism, scrutiny. It's important to note that most of us are walking around out of touch with our healthy coping mechanisms and unable to stay conscious through the crisis. Many of us have been Lamar Odom on a much smaller scale. We have had the great fortune to not go through our dramas in the media and under the public eye, so the pressure we've felt may not have been as heavy, but let's be honest, we have not always carried our lighter load with grace, excellence, or decency. We have often fallen short of our own capacity.

The principle of Ausar reminds us of our dominion over the circumstances of our lives. It is our responsibility to be aware of the path we are walking and assess if we are going the way we wish. It is our charge to make necessary changes in our walk so as to not veer into a negative place of darkness and chaos. Ausar tells us to stop moving, to stop walking, and to allow your period of stillness to be the place where you decide who it is you want to be and what you need to do to get yourself there.

Being Kemetic means that we do not play the victim or blame others. We either accept that we are the chess players, and we are empowered as co-creators of our destiny to move the pieces at will, or we are the pawns, allowing ourselves to be played as others see fit. Ausar demands that we take hold of our lives and be the kings or queens of our domain. If we are to be divine beings, then we must be in control of all things that happen to us and because of us.

The true meaning of sovereignty is to have supreme power and dominion. The way to do this is by deciding. Choosing what we want, and how we want it. Choosing to prepare adequately for the challenges ahead. Choosing to learn better coping mechanisms and to put our tools - like prayer, meditation, yoga, ritual - into action. Choosing to study the divine principles and invoke their qualities into our being. Choosing to maneuver life on our own terms rather than being manipulated by the world around us. Or choosing to be mediocre and unprepared and accepting the consequences of that choice.

Ausar teaches us to choose to exercise our divine royal birthright and claim it as our own. 

Radiance

Youthfulness brings along with it a certain sense of naivete that lends itself well to the law of attraction. Children see resources as never-ending; even when parents communicate the struggle that comes along with maintaining a certain lifestyle, children believe firmly in the ability to maintain and increase the flow of abundance. Children ask for things because they believe they can have them. It is only with age and the assumption of responsibility that this gets compromised. Children are taught to worry about money, for it does not come naturally. When they are one day faced with the challenges of balancing rent and gas and heat and phone and cable bills, they realize how daunting it is to have everything that they want. They no longer believe in the constant flow of abundance, the transitional nature of energy, the power of attraction. They begin to fear, and with this, they grow up.

I see this reflected in my goddaughters, my niece and nephew. Just recently my nephew was watching videos on my mother's tablet, and I happened to peek over his shoulder to realize that the videos he'd selected were not free. He was childishly purchasing episodes of his favorite show on her Kindle because the bill was not his problem. His concern was solely that his level of enjoyment be maintained. I asked my mother about it and she quickly swooped in to better monitor his video selection. My nephew shrugged, not understanding what the difference was between one click and the next. All he knew was that this was what he wanted, and therefore, he should have it.

We lose this, as adults, or at the very least I acknowledge that I do not see this present in many of the adults I know, not even myself. We do not indulge in a carefree manner as we once did as children. Every single indulgence costs us, and so it is calculated, exacted, never whimsical or spontaneous. We think about how the indulgence is going to prevent us from having something else we may want. We negotiate between indulgences. We worry that we are indulging too much. We anticipate the consequences of an indulgence, and therefore we attract the consequences upon ourselves.

Het-Heru is the aspect of NTR that represents how we relate to the flow of abundance. When we worry, we place bricks in the flow, and if enough bricks are laid, the dam we've created stops up the flow to such an extent that it feels as if there is no flow. This inevitably causes us to worry further, which only continues to limit our access to the flow. We must come to realize that the flow has not ceased - only that we have restricted our access to it.

We can release the dam and tear down the bricks when we embrace the qualities of Het-Heru wholeheartedly: joy, pleasure, love, passion - and yes, even spontaneous indulgence, without worry, fear, or reservation. We can maintain constant access to the flow of abundance by choosing to believe as children do: that resources are never-ending, that we deserve to have what we want, that we can not only maintain our current lifestyle, but invoke increase simply by believing in it.

Worrying about not having enough is a choice. I say this not to minimize the impact of an overdrawn account, nor to encourage foolish and careless behavior. We can be responsible without worrying if we understand and embrace the tarot principle known as the Wheel of Fortune. While today we may fall from grace, tomorrow we shall rise to excellence. Het-Heru charges us to maintain htp - inner peace and supreme satisfaction - even when the flow feels only like a trickle, because this too shall pass. The trickle is simply a challenge, an occasion that we must rise to by choosing to enjoy the lean moments as we would the hearty.

Lineage

This past weekend at the 66th Annual Taylor Family Reunion I introduced myself with a lengthy description of my parentage. Distant cousins nodded with familiarity as I shared that I am the granddaughter of Olivia Blanding (Russell), great-granddaughter of Rev. LB Russell and Mariah (Taylor), and great-great-granddaughter of Granderson and Mary Eliza Taylor.

With seven generations of descendants of my great-great-grandparents gathering in one space for a weekend of family time, I was reminded of an essential African communal truth. Lineage is important.

I attended my mother's family reunion annually as a child and return when the opportunity presents itself as an adult. Even with that regularity, I still find it impossible for me to know the names and faces of all of the cousins to whom I am related, of which I am certain there are almost 300 living. I lean over to my mother to get clarity on how exactly this specific person is my third cousin twice removed but welcome them warmly because after all, they are family, and they greet me in kind. We are a large and extended village, and despite all that western culture has done to diminish the importance of the African family and the African village, we have managed to survive and sustain for almost seventy years. We thrive.

We are fortunate because we have something that many Africans in america are disconnected from. We have a sense of from where and from who we come. We have history; we have ties which bind us; we have clear and established Ancestry. We have this because the children of Granderson and Mary Eliza charged themselves to get together every year and refused to allow themselves to become disconnected and adrift. We have this because someone recalled the importance and the necessity to keep the records, to remember the generations past and pass down tradition to the future.

Seshat is the divine force that asks us to write things down, not just for ourselves, but for posterity. Seshat charges us to never disregard anything, because something that we think is frivolous now (like dinner between siblings) can turn out to be monumental and life affirming for generations to come. Seshat tells us that everything that we do, think, and speak today is going to matter tomorrow, and thus it is essential that we are mindful about our thoughts, careful with our words, disciplined with our habits, if we are to create lives of power and possibility for ourselves and our children. Seshat teaches us to measure thrice and cut once. 

It is not too late for we Africans to keep better records for our future. We simply must decide to learn the message of Seshat and think about the kinds of things we want our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to know about who we are. What are the things that will inspire them to embrace tradition, to achieve great things? What are the things that we can give them, starting now, so that they too can realize that they belong to something bigger than just themselves, so that they can know from where and from whom they come?

Passing down the family traditions and teaching the youth of their lineage starts by making the decision to get together every week/month/year and not compromising or missing an occasion because something else comes up. Tradition can grow, it will grow, with commitment, resilience, consistency. Reestablishing traditional African family values is something we must choose to do, no matter how difficult it feels, no matter how busy we are, no matter what may seem to get in our way. We must begin keep the records, even if no one kept the records for us, because if we don't create them or sustain them, there will be nothing to pass down. We must choose to be as Seshat, the master planner whose records become the foundation that greatness is built upon. 

To My Father Ra

I am in awe of you. I bow to your majesty.

May I stand forever grateful for the multitude of gifts you have given me. I devote my life to proving myself worthy of your charge.

May all that I do with my hands be a testament to your glory. May you shine your light upon me. May I be blessed.

I call your name and am filled with your power. The creative force moves within me. I honor this and you with Divine works of Maat.

May my feet always be ordered and my tongue ever harmonious. May I make you proud to call me your daughter.

May I always find myself in the presence of your light. May I never fail to embrace you.

Dua NTR en ek, hena mer, sa't ek.

The Purge

Finally, in August, more than seven months after the Feast of Sekhmet, I am removing the statues from my trunk and returning them to their rightful place at the top of the hall closet.

Major holidays are always challenging for me, because they require me to move things out of their normal place. I sift through the various ritual implements that are used for spiritual work in our Temple and pull out the things we need, put away the things we do not. I check once, twice, three times to ensure nothing is forgotten or missing. I create a sacred spread across my living room and it temporarily becomes the shrine, the inner sanctum, the holiest of holy places. 

Inevitably, this process results in my discovery of a thing that should have long been dismissed. Tattered tablecloths that cannot be restored. Old burnt-out candles with messy wax and twisted wicks. Scraps of paper that are torn and rendered meaningless. Even personal things, like old clothes that I will never wear again, old shoes that I have barely thought of, get pulled out from the back of the closet, and the decision must be made. Should it stay, should it go.

I am not one who enjoys throwing things away. I always find myself contemplating the possibility that I will need it as soon as it is gone. To some degree, I acknowledge that I have a hoarder's heart. There is value to be found in all things, I reason, and therefore all things should be kept and appreciated.

But sometimes a thing is no longer valuable for me.

When something does not serve you any longer, it behooves you to release it so that it may serve the one for whom it was meant. This is the only way to create the space in your own life for something new. One way we understand the energy of Sekhmet is that she is the fire that burns away all that is unnecessary, leaving only what is needed, valuable, and healthy in its stead. Sekhmet heals by destroying impurities; she cleanses by burning away the pollution. We are ready to remove the unnecessary when we've received from it all that we need to become all that we can.

The stories of her rage cause respectful caution in our worship of Sekhmet. The key to keeping her fire in check is to know when to douse the flame; to know when you are finished with this particular phase of evolution. Too many of us fail to properly acknowledge endings, and so we repeat cycles endlessly, causing the fire of Sekhmet to feel oppressive, devastating, and endless. We blame Sekhmet and her unbridled passion for our pain as we twist in the heat, but really it is our inability to let go by releasing and resolving. It is not Sekhmet who tortures us - it is we who torture ourselves.

Sekhmet is the great power of Ra, the consciousness of the cosmos. She has access to a knowing that is beyond our own. Her fire is not one to fear, but it is one to revere, and in our reverence, we must demonstrate the power and capacity to live and act with wisdom, which includes knowing when to hold on and when to release. Sekhmet challenges us to be vulnerable enough to allow something new and unknown to enter our lives, to allow the next part of our lives to begin. We must allow her flame to burn, with the clear understanding that whatever - or whoever - is gone at the end is something or someone we no longer needed.

Spiritual Motherhood

This past weekend was the Temple of Anu's annual Wep RenPet celebration, and once more I found myself confronted by the divine forces of my celestial mothers, Auset and Nebt-Het. These manifestations of the Divine feminine, these goddesses, have been walking with me and holding my hands for much longer than I've known, and in true motherhood fashion, they, and especially Auset, refuse to let me go. 

When I think of the great mother Auset: she of great magical power, beloved of Ausar, the mastress of devotion... I am awed. Auset is seen as the epitome of Kemetic motherhood and often admired as the example of a standard that all women should aspire to. It sometimes feels like an impossible task for one like me to become like her. I who lack the natural inclination towards motherhood, I with my imperfections and weaknesses, I who am more inclined towards displaying the qualities of stone than the soft loving touch of a tender parent.

Yet Wep RenPet always reminds me how much Auset is a part of me. When my spiritual children speak with the voice of wisdom, my face beams radiantly with pride and gratitude. When my students begin to show the evidence of their growth, my heart swells. When I am surrounded by my spiritual family I am my most happiest, even with the lack of sleep that I experience after organizing such an event, even with the chaos swirling around me, even with the moments slipping by faster than I can enjoy them. I am the matriarch of the Temple of Anu and it is here that I have found my greatest comfort, my greatest joy, my greatest fulfillment. I may not ever have my own biological children but there is not a single thing about being a spiritual mother that I would trade for any other experience.

Auset asked me not to forget her this weekend, because if I forget her, I forget myself. If I chase something else, thinking that it holds the key to my happiness, I will lose the thing that makes me who I truly am. I already have my identity; I already have my self. There is not another thing in the universe that will ever define me more. Nor will I ever want it to.

When I look back at my life and take a strong account of my vulnerabilities, in every moment when I feel a strong desire to be nurtured and received, Auset was there, tending to me, sending loved ones to my side, showing her face to me through the eyes of my sisters. Auset was there and is there, and will always be there, and I continue to be grateful that her expansive potential for devotion and unconditional love are qualities that have rubbed off on me. I am her daughter, and I have learned from her example, as I will continue to do, and I will be the mother that she will have me to be.

Anedge er ek Nebt-Het

Homage to you, Mastress of the House.

Over the past three years, I have developed a deep and intense relationship with Nebt-Het. My love for her is evident in how I embraced the duty to tell her story and speak with her voice. She is my mother, and I have matured under her watchful gaze, and while this phase of my evolution is over, my love for and connection to her shall never end.

In this time I've learned that Nebt-Het is ambitious and determined. She is someone who wants to feel appreciated and be seen. Nebt-Het has suffered from years of being in the shadows, being her sister's double, being in the background. She is more than just the twin of Auset, more than just the mother of Anpu, more than just the wife of Setesh. She is a woman unto herself.

Any of you who are the youngest in your family might relate to this. I recently went through family photos and found an abundance of baby pictures of me, the eldest child, and very few of my youngest brother. With three older siblings I can understand why my parents were less impressed by spit-up and diapers by the time he came along, but the consequences of this can make a person feel ignored, forgotten. Just as a wife may suffer by feeling as if her husband no longer appreciates her housekeeping, her cooking, her contribution. Just as a mother may long for the days when people laud her career achievements, or wish that she could spend time indulging in other passions, the ones set aside in favor of her children.

This is a part of the dilemma of Nebt-Het: accepting what she has while wanting something more. Nebt-Het understands that who she is and what she does is essential, just like every wife does, just like every mother. But every person wants to know that other people see their contributions as essential. Every person wants to be embraced and accepted and appreciated by someone else.

Mastering the house is about embracing and accepting and appreciating yourself, and not waiting for someone else to see you, complete you, celebrate you. Nebt-Het had to grow into seeing herself, as do we, and because we are insecure human beings, we may feel completely secure and strong today and fall apart at the seams tomorrow. And that's okay, as long as we remain determined to put and keep ourselves back together. When you master yourself, you do not allow a slip to become a tumble. You recover quickly and respond with wisdom; you root out the source of your insecurity and expose the false evidence appearing real. When you are self-mastered, you understand your emotions but you refused to be ruled by them. When you are self-mastered, you choose how to respond.

Nebt-Het being in the shadows is not the best thing for our personal self-development. If we are to live and act from a place of divinity, it is essential that we master ourselves: our fears, our insecurities, our lust and greed and jealousy. Our demons. Our ambitions. Our entire selves. We must have self-control if we are to create the lives that we want. We must have dominion over ourselves before we can have dominion over the world around us. Nebt-Het has taught me that we can have great power at our disposal and be unable to access or appreciate it if we lack the discipline to think, speak, and act with wisdom.

Learn from the example of Nebt-Het and strive to master yourself. Strive to know your deepest fears and your deepest desires. Consider what you must do to put the former aside and make the latter a priority. Live honestly, not just with others, but with yourself. And understand that no matter what your place is in this world, all contributions, gifts, and positions are necessary to the creation and maintenance of harmonious balance.

See yourself clearly, even when no one else sees you at all.

Writing: The Great Trauma

My first great trauma in life was my parents’ divorce. In their desire to protect their children, my parents tried to keep the truth from us and show none of the despair that they were experiencing. This thrust me deep into my own mistrust and melancholy, and I began to write as a way to sort through those feelings. It was no wonder that my first two pieces, stage plays, centered on the title themes of Deception and Secrets and Lies, my clear attempt to make sense of what was happening around me and within.

Writing continues to be an opportunity for me to explore my feelings and make sense of the world. It is said that all great art stems from passion and pain, and my writing has felt no different over the years. I am a thriving writer when I am troubled in romance, finances, and family, and a lesser artist when all things are harmonious. I find great tranquility from my writing during the times when I need it most. It is a healing balm and yet a torturous master which beckons me to relive the depth of my sorrows and bleed them for the consumption of others.

I love to write, and I loathe it simultaneously. I fear the vulnerability inherent in each word that I type and crave the satisfaction of a positive review. I want everything I write to be well received yet I write for no one but myself. I feel consumed by whatever I am working on and as DaVinci noted, “art is never finished, only abandoned.” I must let it go because if I don’t it will take me over completely. I will never know if it is perfect and I will never know if I can perfect it. Writing causes me to suffer just as it eases all of my pains, and still I crawl back to it, no matter how long I stay away or go without it.

I realize this sounds dramatic, and perhaps that is by design. My writing style has evolved as I have, and with the completion of my first novel I am in the midst of a jubilant high and a terrible low. Writing Hidden By Moonlight is easily the thing I am most proud of thus far. Getting it onto to page and the process of self-publishing has taken me through the gamut of human emotions, and I would not have it any other way. I am terrified for the public to read it, and I will never forget the moment that I held the first copy in my hands and turned its pages one by one. I have known for some time what I was capable of, but could not truly understand it until I saw the fruit of my labor made manifest before me.

Eventually I will tear myself away from Hidden By Moonlight and open my heart for the next project, starting the process from the beginning. I am more ready for that than I thought I would be, and anticipating it greatly. I do not simply write. I am a writer. I may not be brilliant, legendary, or wise, but it devours me, and I am a willing feast.

Approaching the Neteru

For they are very approachable. The Neteru are simply waiting for us to gather the courage to walk beside them and reach for their hands.

The Neteru are called the forces of Nature, but they are much more than that. Yes, they are the wind, the rain, the thunder, the lightning. The Neteru are also the breath, the heartbeat, the hunger pangs, the tears. They are elation, gratitude, fear, doubt, and the muddled infinity of all the emotions that exist in between. 

The Neteru are the forces of our nature.

The Neteru are the individual expressions of NTR that allow us accessibility to a force that is greater than our imagination and beyond our ability to perceive. We might not ever be able to get close to NTR if not for the Neteru, who take us under their wings as if we were tiny baby birds, to be fed from their mouths, giving us the little that our humanity can handle in third dimension sized doses. Would we be able to understand the scope of our inner divinity were it not for the Neteru; would we be able to tap into the NTR that exists within us and expresses itself as us?

Women and men alike hold the capacity to know the Neteru by immersing themselves into each manifestation, one by one. It takes vulnerability and freedom to carry a power such as this within you, and to feel it resonate in every cell, every atom. We shy away because it overwhelms us, and at full strength it is too much. We are never vulnerable enough; we are never free.

The distance that we place between ourselves and the Neteru is meant to protect us but it restricts us as well, and so we lose access to the greatest source of our power, because we are incapable of being power-full.

Who we are and who we can be is as infinite and expansive and divine as we are able to allow it to be. As we are able to imagine ourselves being. As we go into our meditations, we are charged to begin to release the binds that hold us, to let down our guard, to tear down the walls. To be vulnerable and unrestricted. To be free. To be one with all of Creation.

To be a Neteru.

 

A Published Author

I should be asleep now, I know. I have been running on empty for many moons now. And yet, that is what it feels like when one is driven by passion. The fire in the belly ignites, and stopping is not an option. Despite knowing all you know about the benefits of rest. Despite having a sincere desire to relax. You cannot relax. You have been called and you have chosen to answer.

I am excited today, not just because of my own personal accomplishment. I recognize this as an accomplishment of the Neteru, who tapped me on the shoulder and guided me in the direction that They would have me to go. The Neteru whisper to me, day in and day out, and I humble myself to a force greater than myself, and I listen. This happened because they wanted it to. Everything that happens is in accordance with the Divine will, ab en NTR.

I recognize this as an accomplishment of my Ancestors, who protect me, walk with me, encourage me, and remind me of who I am and who I can be. Who I will be. My Ancestors who left behind a wealthy tradition filled with wisdom just waiting for us to come along and reclaim it. My Ancestors who talked of the world and life and Spirit through story and song. My Ancestors who knew that one day we would find what we'd lost.

I am a published author today.

What is the thing that you have been called to do? What is the stirring in your spirit, the voice that you cannot ignore, the order of your steps, the direction of your path? What awaits you when you choose to answer that call? What awaits you when you choose not to?

Passion is a tricky, true thing. It is a fire that must be kept burning, cultivated so that it does not scorch the earth, tended so it does not die. It is a wave that will continue to crash, relentless until it breaks down the rocks that resist it, gently smoothing the edges of stone. It is a breath of fresh air when you turn your face to the sky, sun breathing on your neck, grass tickling your toes. It is the essence of all existence. It is the reason why anything exists. Embracing passion allows you to become a god/dess in the flesh. You are the creator. You are the most high.

There is a song on the breeze; the Neteru speak with a voice as light as a feather. Respond.