“A healthy priestess makes all things sound.” – Francesca de Grandis.
I’m thinking of balance today, and those areas of my life that may be temporarily or systemically out of balance. One of my teachers, T. Thorn Coyle, regularly reminded her students of the above quote; during my two-year training with her it was almost a mantra. It’s rather like the airline safety announcements which prompt us to put our oxygen mask on first before helping others, even those less able or more vulnerable.
It’s a struggle in daily life to remember this counsel. My attention is too often turned toward others, whether my family or friends, and in my desire to be of help I can neglect myself. This tendency doesn’t just appear in large scale crisis, such as a family emergency, it can also appear in day to day trivial matters. For instance, while having tea I watch my loving partner make the toast and notice that the process could be more efficient if only x, y, or z were different. (You see, organization is one of my things, as is observation. ) The moment I turn to my loving partner and share this observation, uninvited and often unwanted, I have stepped into the realm of putting someone else’s oxygen mask on before my own.
Then there is the physical realm. My body needs movement, it needs exercise, especially during winter when I am susceptible to SAD. If I elect to sit inside, browsing website after website of folklore research (You see, I love folklore and reading scholarly articles in the discipline.), instead of getting out for a run I have again stepped into the realm of putting someone else’s (in this case perhaps my own Uhane) oxygen mask on before my own (in this case, my whole Self).
As a Human I am experiencing and engaging with energy all day. Life force rises, prana flows, chi circulates, nerve impulses fire, electrochemical reactions cascade, the list is endless but they all require solid and clear conduits or channels to flow through. Blockages cause power outages, stagnation, and illness. I need these energies moving easily within my body, and they want to. My part is to keep the vessel and conduit in good working order. To keep it healthy.
Health is not just a by-product or end result of physical well-being. They are linked together but not linearly and they aren’t the whole story. The human system, dare I say the entire universe, functions holistically. The emotional, mental, physical, spiritual (there’s a charged word), psychological, all working together and integrated. They are One. To be a healthy conduit is to be balanced in all my parts.
The first step in finding this balance is to Know Myself. I know I need regular exercise for emotional health, I know I need alone time for psychological health, I know I need time with my ancestors and the spirits of place for spiritual health, and I know I need quality time with friends for mental health (I won’t mention eating habits as I’m sure we are all tired of hearing the extolment of holiday related food and diet). As a friend said recently, “I’m it. Nobody else is showing up.” She was describing her realization that no Daddy god or Mommy goddess, or any other outside force, was going to mystically appear and solve her issues or make her life better. That job was hers.
It is my sacred obligation as a Witch to be a Healthy Priestess. I stand between Worlds. I walk the Hedge. The Powers look upon Me and I stand in Pride and Love. To stand strong I must be healthy, to be healthy I must be balanced.
As Imbolg approaches,with its time of purification, it signals me to begin the gentle process of cleansing and re-balancing. During the dark winter I’ve been looking at those places I reach to “help” others first. I see that I have been withholding love for mySelf in those areas; subtly neglecting my own health. As the light returns, and the seeds stir, so does the Passion and lust I have for life and for Self. Here’s to Balance, here’s to Health!