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A large lesson to be learned in doing the South work on this path, is learning boundaries.  Ironically, before I even officially started on this path, I was in a class held by Sarenth Odinson called Encountering the Runes.  It was amazing!  And when he held up a rune in explanation, I felt a sigil etching itself on my face.  It felt like a vertical line from the top to bottom of the left side of my face, then two more lines on diagonals creating an arrowhead pointing to the right of my face.  I later asked Sarenth what Rune he was holding up, and he said, Thurisaz.

Elder Futhark: Thurisaz
Elder Futhark: Thurisaz

And after speaking with my mentor, Jim, he informed me that a lesser known meaning of Thurisaz is Boundaries, and to hold them.

Now, I have not yet met a lesson along this journey that has been filled with the glee and the wonder of, oh say, learning about how to calculate the inclination of a new star off the plain of the sky…  These lessons tend to put you in the hardest possible position, and then apply pressure until you are forced to figure out a way to get out of it.  And I find myself asking the question, “Can’t anything be easy!!??”

And when I come to that question, I hear chains of raucous laughter in my own head.

If you were not pushed into the worst possible situation, who is to say you could really learn the lesson.  If the spirits doing the teaching were to ‘go easy’ on you, you might walk away thinking you know the answer, and only having scratched the surface. My teachers, and I hope yours too, will not spare me any difficulty, in order to do you the justice you deserve as a true student.

But so much of the South work (Which started on August 16, 2014 and is nearing an end in April 24, 2015), has truly been about balancing compassion, with boundaries.  How do you hold compassion for others, while holding firm boundaries and protection around yourself.  This has truly been tested, and abused.

I find myself in a situation, where I must hold a boundary hard.  And I must hold it to protect me, and my family, from people who we care about, and have no intention of causing harm.  Holding a boundary when you can see the pain it causes, and aching because the compassion you must hold must be abated for the sake of that firm boundary.   Yet there can be no give, and no wiggle room.  This boundary is the limit.  And no matter how much I long to act more on my compassion, I have learned that Generosity can be as much of a curse as a blessing.

By allowing your compassion to run without the boundaries, you are draining yourself, and enabling others.  Endless generosity breeds darkness, and although not as blatantly hard, it is a more insidious darkness.

Lesson learned.  I get it.  When can it stop?

Price of Admission

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We can find advice in all sorts of good places. One thing I heard from Sex Columnist, Dan Savage, really stuck with me.  While giving advice to a woman who really needed to extricate herself from the relationship she was in, he asked, “What is your price of admission?”

This is a remarkable question to ask in any relationship.  As a Shaman, or as a spirit worker, or in any walk of life as a human being, you are going to be in relationships with others. Others can be spirits, energies, people, trees, dogs, you name it…  You are building a relationship. And just like with people you know, relationships come in all shapes and sizes.  Some relationships are truly healthy for you, and some look healthy, as long as you don’t get too close.

The more you look at them, you have to ask some serious questions. Like, how do you know if a relationship is healthy?  Am I giving more than I am taking? Am I taking more than I am giving? Or Vice-Versa…

I was once told by a very reliable spirit, that my biggest challenge to overcome is my generosity.  It took me a long time to see how generosity can be a challenge to overcome.  And it wasn’t until things were really hard, and I found that I had friends that were taking more than they were giving, and it brought me to the point where I realized how much advantage had been taken.  To the point where relationships were damaged severely.

And I looked to my right, where Rabbi Jesus offers his compassionate view, I looked to the left and found Hecate outlining the boundaries in front of me.  And I had to ask the question, “What is my price of admission?”

I found that the answer was very straight forward. In order to ride this ride with me:

  1. You need to respect me as a human being.
  2. You must be considerate of me and my family
  3. You must be willing to see that you could be the problem.

The answer was straight forward, following up on it, was not. I have several relationships, both friends and family, that I need to extricate myself from.

So, perhaps the main question is not about the price of admission, but perhaps the question is, how do you respond to those who are not willing to pay the price, yet still try to ride…