So after the last two serious posts, I’d like to get onto something a little less weighty, something that won’t make me feel like I’m going to get weepy as write it. That is a downer. And makes it hard to type. Happy tears though, mostly anyway.
When I was a kid, I was raised Baptist. My mother taught Sunday school, my grandmother ran all the pancake breakfasts (and still does, as far as I know), and every Sunday, I would leave the wholesome comfort only Darkwing Duck and Magic School Bus can provide to go to church.
I did not enjoy it. Every sermon seemed to drag into infinity, and while they were (mostly) about nice things like peace, generosity, and love, as soon as they were over I would be surrounded by older men and women who could not stop complaining about everything. Just everything.
In fact despite all that talk of love, peace, and generosity, you would think these were the most miserable people on earth. Laughter was of that strange, not-sure-what’s-so-funny kind, and while kindness was often displayed, it was most frequently seen in “sympathy discussions”; which generally went along the lines of rehashing anything bad that had happened to anyone they had ever knew, ever.
And so there was no real “I’m happy” category category of conversation that seemed to able to last for long. No“I’m grateful” category, (without still discussing, somehow, in depth, how awful things were.) Not even a “Well this morning sucked but things are starting to look up now” category. And since I’ve been to plenty of Christian churches as an adult, that were full of happy people, I have to assume there was just some weird negative mojo happening in our community.
I even tested this, on occasion, by bring up the happiest current events I could think of.
“Hey, I got accepted to the college I wanted you guys!”
“Oh good for you dear, you’ll need it, trying to find a job in this market. Why, just the other day I heard Tom…”
“Hey Janet, did you have fun at your moms?”
“Oh yes, of course…except she’s so old now, you know, it’s a lot of work…plus not much to do out her way…and she’s been in a mood lately…”
Ugh. I’m getting down just writing about it. That’s not to say they were bad people. That absolutely meant well in everything they said and did. And I remember many a charity fundraiser being held for something or other by them from my childhood. But it painted for me, at a very early age, an extremely clear picture of what a serious, somewhat depressing business religion and spirituality are.
But I am here to say, happily, how (once again) absolutely wrong I was.
It took me a while to catch on though. As I got interested in spiritual paths outside Christianity as I grew older, I always approached them the same as I had as a child; with a sense of worry over offending whoever I was praying to, and a deep-seated, almost instinctual belief that someone, somewhere, Up There, was ALREADY offended with me, because I am by no means at heart a serious enough person to worship and NOT screw it up, somehow.
And that continued until quite recently, until I saw an angel sniffing a marker.
…do you like South Park? Have you ever watched it even? It may not sound very spiritual of me, but I love South Park, and almost everything about it. And a few years ago, back before Angels, guides, the Goddess, and most other energetic beings made a reappearance in my life, South Park did an episode where they showed a characterization of the Archangel Michael. And he was very brave, very smart, and
very much in the throes of a marker-sniffing problem. The lapsed Christian in me giggled guiltily over it, and then went about my way.
Flash forward a little, and I’ve just been getting used to the spirit world, and now I’m frightened, because I’m seeing some things, some of them not so nice, that I can’t really deal with on my own. And my best friend, who has more experience with such things, suggests asking Archangel Michael for protection.
…please understand that, while my world was just beginning to open a little, the Goddess had not yet entered my mind. Spirits were still, to me, possibly a strange mental delusion, and Angels were for Christians; an apparently boys-only divine club of possibly-fictional things that my grandmother collects, and New Agers are obsessed with. If they did exist, I couldn’t fathom one of them answering my call for help, or why I would bother calling in the first place.
…for the record, I am aware that some of you reading this may still feel that way, and that’s fine. Everyone is welcome here. But also for the record? I do not believe in Angels that way anymore. I don’t think they’re Christian, for one thing. It’s just the belief system that they’re associated it now. And I’m not entirely certain they have a gender either (also I’ve since learned that there ARE ones whose forms appear female anyway); I think, now, that they simply are.
Well whatever they are, I eventually got scared enough, desperate enough, to Google Michael, and after reading a bunch of possibly-legit info, decided to just say His/Her name, and see what I could see out my third eye, when and if anything was there to see.
And so that’s what I did.
And what I saw was South Park Archangel Michael, in my living room, smiling at me.
I was flabbergasted. I immediately assumed it was my imagination messing with me, butting in and short-circuiting my intuition. But when I blocked out everything around me, feeling mortified and somewhat ashamed, the image popped up again, in my mind, and, after first making sure I could focus on nothing else*, locked eyes with me and took one, dainty, little sniff from a magic marker. And then smiled again.
…so, still unsure if this was real, I asked South Park Michael to keep me safe.
And the spirits didn’t bother me that night. The few times I started to feel a presence, I immediately would say His/Her name, and suddenly just feel…safe.
Whatever the Angels may be, you can probably safely assume that they have been around long enough to hear every joke, absorb every silly anecdote, and yes, see and know everything one of those made at their expense. A being that old either develops a sense of humor, or goes insane. And I know which option, if given the choice, I’d pick. I think I can guess Michael’s too.
And the Goddess? How long do you think that She has existed? I believe since creation sprang from, or of, Her. And even if you reading this view Angels and the Goddess as simple thought forms or ideals, how long do you think those ideals or thought-forms have existed, one way or another?
I recently set up an altar in my bedroom to an aspect of the Goddess I have never prayed to before, and stayed up late late late, several nights, worrying once again that I was not good enough, that what I had wasn’t good enough to give, that nothing would stop me from somehow offending Her. Until my Instructor and High Priestess reminded me, kindly, in her own way, that I am working with a compassionate Mother, not a drill sergeant.
So I, in the end, chose to believe, and hope, that I would be good enough.
And I felt when I prayed at my brand new altar was amusement, affection, and Her undivided attention.
She has seen it all. And because you are a part of Her, in a way, so have you.
So today, choose to be good enough, and know you’ve got this. Whatever “this” is for you. And smile, if possible, while you know this.