Daily Archives: June 9, 2014

I is for Integration – Pagan Blog Project 2014

I mentioned, the other day, that “everything is coming up shadows” at the moment, and so I find myself thinking of the Integration Card in my tarot deck.

Integration – 14 of Major Arcana (AKA “Temperence”)
The Union of Opposites

Your shadow isn’t your opposite, at all. It’s… Okay, as far as I understand it, it’s a bit like the reversed position of a tarot card and a little bit (a lot of bit?) like all the things that you wish you weren’t, but are.
I took myself on a trip to my Inner Landscape; went into the river, which became the ocean; talked to a dragon queen and sharks and warrior women and a whale; wore the body of a squid-maid, and learned (ish) how to shape-shift by biting a mermaid hard enough to break the skin (her blood was copper-based, as it turns out); and then tidied up my Inner House, which now has a huge tusk coiled around the trunk of its host-tree…
The idea was to talk to my shadow and figure out who it is and how to integrate it with myself. Except that I don’t actually think that’s what I did. I think I told myself a story about talking to fierce and scary-looking Creatures and still being okay, and I don’t think I actually met the parts of myself that I don’t like (well, except for the predory part – but I knew about it already).
Miss Sugar asks “What could you be if you got out of your own way?
What am I putting in my own way?
Fear? The absolute certainty of failure. Shame.
Hiding from the attention (of various kinds) that I would draw to myself if I let the full force of my intensity out of its box. Wouldn’t entirely know how to handle it or navigate it – the intensity as well as the attention. Wouldn’t know how to keep people from being scared of me, either.
But that’s only half the story.
The other half is that I don’t think I could keep it up. I suspect that I’d deflate like a big balloon if I tried to be bombastic and demanding all the time. And I wouldn’t know how to direct that power, even if I could make it last.
What do I want?
A house and a garden and my wife standing with me. A tribe whom I can love and be loved by. Enough available time and financial stability that I can dedicate hours in any given day to creative pursuits – everything from cooking to writing to crafting to music to gardening – without having to worry about whether or I’m being a freeloader by doing it, or whether or not I’m “allowed” (or wise) to do what I want instead of chasing money.
…And I feel like even saying that out loud is inviting disaster. Like someone is going to shout down from the sky “So why don’t you have it yet??” or “Why are you selling yourself short?” But I don’t know how to want anything more than that, that doesn’t grow directly out of that, and still have it make me happy.
Sometimes I think my Shadow is the Femme self I’m kind of afraid of – the bombastic, self-posessed, powerful woman who is what you become if your Maiden goes a direction other than Motherhood. Sometimes I think my Shadow is the vision of Betty Crocker or June Cleaver, the iconic 1950s House Wife, who came to me with a Black Devil‘s teeth, told me that she was Hungry[1], and gave me a frying pan as a weapon.
But if that’s true. If I know her and recognize her… How do I let her back in? How do I get out of my own Power’s way and still retain myself?
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
[1] I originally wrote that as “told me that she was Hunger”… and I don’t think that’s wrong, either. I am very much a vampire, all appetite, when I can be.