Kissing the Scars

scarificazione-donne-africane

Last week I was watching the first episode of the 3rd series of Vikings.

You should know that my favorite character is Athelstan, a former monk captured in the first raid by the Vikings in England and brought with them to Scandinavia where gradually becomes friend of the protagonist. In the second season, in one of the raids, he decides to stay in England with king Echbert of Wessex, of which he became a counselor, but is captured and tortured by some fanatics to have lived (and participated in ceremonies honoring the Norse Gods) with the Vikings. Obviously he was saved,  but the wounds of torture remain visible.

During the episode that I saw on Friday, the Princess of Wessex at some point approached Athelstan and asked to see the scars. He just wants to hide, but undeterred she takes his hand and kisses the scar. I do not know what was the intent of the creators of the series for this gesture, but for me it was one of the most sacred.

I saw it as a gesture of honor to the wounds of this tormented man who still cannot find his Way. I wondered what scars I’m still hiding and that I have not honored at my best, for what they taught me.

Everyone has their own story, more or less beautiful, and we all have our Wounds.

In a journey of personal growth, as the Avalon Path is, but also in many others, there is a lot of attention at work with our Shadow and with our wounds. The dark side of the Year, especially from Samhain to Imbolc is focused on the inner work and the discovery of what we have become. Over the last 5 years I was able to pull off events and experiences that I had, in my mind, submerged, or I had decided not to remember for all the pain and the shame that they brought. Then, by working with my teachers, gradually I noticed that the scars become less “important”, do not disappear of course, but they become thinner, they take on a different connotation. Of some of these scars, now, I am proud, because I managed to survive and become the woman I am today, thanks to them.

And hence my thinking on the need to pay tribute to our scars. How can we be proud if many of them remind us only about pain and negative feelings? How to honor the transition to the recognition of the importance that these scars have in our LifeStory?

For what is my experience, the way that allowed me to watch my scars and begin to appreciate them, was a path of acceptance of my physical body. It’s not as I do not want to change part of myself, I think is intrinsic in everyone’s nature, but being able to see what I have, and not what I was missing was a surprise.

A very simple, yet very effective, practice is to take “quality” time before the mirror and say out loud all your physical qualities. Stand in front of the mirror is not always easy, least of all look for  something beautiful in a “sea of ​​defects”.

Nude before the Mirror, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Nude before the Mirror, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

 

 

Try, prepare a moment just for yourself. Create a comfortable environment, you can  begin the first times by candlelight if you want (everything is more beautiful in candlelight ….: D), burn some incense, put on your favorite music and look at your reflection with love, see the Goddess / God within you, repeating aloud,

“You are beautiful, you’re amazing, you are the Goddess / God.”

 

 

 

I can assure you that the first time maybe you feel a little stupid, but then, when the eyes learn actually how to look, the miracle is accomplished.

 

A toast !!!

To the Wounds, to those who have healed and those to come!

The Priestess’ Pouch

Donna che indossa la sua Scarsella  --- rievocazione medievale - www.scaligeri.com---
Woman wearing her Pouch –  medieval reenacment – http://www.scaligeri.com

What is a Pouch?

In the medieval clothing a pouch was a small belt pourse, usually made of leather,  decorated or not, that women and men wore to carry their money or their dearest possessions and precious. In Italian the word for Pouch is Scarsella, and here in Veneto the word Scarsela (pron. Scarsèa) still means pocket.

A few hours ago, answering a question from Elena, I had a vision of the image of the Priestess’s Pouch, her bag where she keeps everything she needs, whether physical tools or skills and knowledge, or personal stuff, or essential parts of herself that are “useful to the purpose”.

I wondered, then, what I would put in mine.

The most important things within my Pouch are the things I learned about myself and what I know about the Goddess that I share with all those who celebrate Her with me.

In the last years of study and practice in my personal path with the Goddess of Avalon I found to be a listener, I love being in Nature when there is silence, listening to the whisper of the World. I found out to be a good ceremonialist and I really like to create sacred spaces in which I and others can experience the Divine in us and around us. I learned that I have  artistic abilities, despite having always believed the opposite (in developing certain, but the practice refines the art, right?). I know my voice is a gift, for me and for others, and I’m learning to listen to the Goddess in everything I do and how to be Her Voice during ceremonies. I’m not so good at academic study, but I love to listen to stories about the Gods that the people who are close to me tell me, as much as I love the life-stories of those who share the road with me even for a small piece. I learned to honor those who take the burden of being a guide for others, without putting them on a pedestal of perfection and infallibility, and I also put myself in this role. In my Pouch I also put my being a control freak and a bossy person when it comes to things that are important to me, my love for punctuality and the keeping of the given word. And obviously my love for the Goddess in every shape and my desire that every woman can stand up one day and actually see Her inside herself.

Some of you will have to comment that this is enough, that the physical tools are not always used, and that the only thing necessary is us and our connection with the Gods, something which I fully agree. But what about the power of the symbolism when we physically make sacred gestures?

I start from the material things, the tools of “work” of a Priestess. In my Pouch is never missed:

my beloved terracotta Goddess gift of my sisters from Avalon
a biodegradable bag offers (flowers, seeds, dried fruit or fruit) for the spirits and guardian animals  of the place
a feather (or a feather fan)
a bowl for water
a crystal
a candle previously lit with the Flame of Avalon and candle holders (the power of the flame remains in the wick burned when is turned off)
a lighter
incense (loose or stick, depends on occasions)
a container for the incense (possibly sand and charcoal)
a bowl for Earth
salt

but the thing I learned better is that the first thing I have to take care is myself, so there will always be:

a pack of handkerchiefs
a towel to sit on the ground
equipment from rain (especially ponchos and overpants)
my mythical walking stick (which now has thousands of kilometers, including those on the plane)
an emergency pad (you know, the Goddess helps cleanse you when you least expect it sometimes)
a bottle of water
cookies (better yet a Mars bar, but do not tell my health care …: P)
safety pins
dry socks and a small towel

but how big is this Pouch, you would ask, well the dimensions vary from a jewelry sachet to a big 20kg suitcase, it all depends on where I should go. What I have listed is just what it’s never missing around me, whether I’m at home or elsewhere.

and you?

What you put in your Pouch?