Essays

Close Encounters of the Goddess Kind

I had a rather odd encounter in a meditation last night. But I think you need the background to really understand it.

Not quite a year ago, I took Kali up on a promise she’d offered me: she would wield her axe on my behalf if I chose the target wisely. I had sat on that promise more than a year before being ready to choose, not sure that I was wise enough to make that leap, or strong enough to accept the consequences. In that time I spent waiting, I got to know her better, left libations for her, and came to something of a working arrangement. And when the time was right and the need was great, I asked for something I couldn’t have gotten to easily without divine intervention: a lack of fear.

Not that I’m not still afraid from time to time, but what I got out of this request was a profound diminishing of unjustified unreasonable fears, and a better grip on the difference between things that are worth being afraid of and those that are not.

Was it a wise choice? I’m still not sure, but I think it’s better that I’ve made the choice than not.

Over the last few months, with the growing baby in my womb foremost in my thoughts,  I had felt somewhat of a distancing from Kali, and from the Gods in general. Not that they weren’t there, but that they were taking a step back to let me ponder things in my own time. And for a while there, I wondered if Kali was going to let me go completely.

When things got a bit rocky with the pregnancy, I remembered a story I’d read about her – unborn children were often offered to her for safekeeping; she’d either see them survive and flourish or take them as her own in death. A fitting request for me to make then, since she had played a hand in me getting pregnant to begin with. But still I felt a distance.

When we did the reiki workshop, one of the other girls came out of a practice session with a message for me: Hera had once been the Goddess  people prayed to for children, and some of her priestesses had been given the gift of bestowing the blessing of a child on women. If I wanted this gift, I should work with Hera and ask her for it.

Hera has never been much on my radar screen. I thought the timing was interesting, given the seeming distance growing between Kali and I, and that maybe it was time to move on and grow in a new direction. I even started running across articles on Hera here and there as I worked my way through the backlog of magazines at our house.

This weekend I ended up back in the hospital, and it appears that, barely 6 months pregnant, we’ll be staying here until the baby is born due to the continuing complications. Lots of rest, and lots of meditation have been the order of the week, trying to keep blood pressures down (or at least stable and treatable, since I’m now on two separate meds, and the key factor on my side is that as long as the BP is manageable, the baby stays in unless she shows signs of distress).

At any rate,  it’s been a rough few days, and the clarity of what to be afraid of and what to let go has been a blessing – although the things that don’t involve fear are harder to erase, like, “what did we do wrong?” and “why do so many good things in life get ruined?”

Meditating on those last night, I found myself in my hospital room. Arianrhod, who has always been beside me on my journey sat on my bed, holding my hand and comforting me. Kali stood between me and the door, sword and axe drawn, looking rather vicious, in a very obvious “guard” stance. She stepped aside to reveal that the door now had a window, and knocking on the door looking in was Hera, looking regal and composed, waiting to be let into the room.

I was a bit taken aback by this, and Kali looked at me and said, very plainly, “Maybe you should ask her what you get out of this deal. What has she done for you that makes her worthy of your honor?” I looked at Hera intently, and there was no answer. I looked at Kali, trying to understand her motives.

And then life interrupted as the real-world door opened,  snapping me back to reality.

I don’t quite know what to think of this all at this point. It will take some thinking to figure out where to go with it, and what to do about Hera.

Maybe my Gods seem far away because I’ve been in such an odd spot, sort of backed into my own little corner,  not paying much attention to anything else while I dealt with life here in my immediate sphere. And it’s hard to say, but maybe this suggests that I should learn more about Hera before I jump in with both feet, more the way I did with Kali – Kali is still here as guard and guide; certainly that strength is something I need right now. But over the next few weeks, there is plenty of time to ponder the situation, since I’m officially on medical leave for the duration.

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