|Lilith, or How I Spent My Summer Vacation
||[Nov. 9th, 2008|11:34 pm]
From a letter to a friend (who was aspecting Lilith during the potentially life-changing moment I write about, a chance encounter before a ritual at Witchcamp):|
I've been given the opportunity, and I'm pretty sure I'll do the work entailed, but I'm human, and to be human is always to have also the opportunity to fail.
Anyway: when Lilith passed me in the hallway (and I love being part of a religion where the story can start out "well, I ran into a Goddess in the hall, see ..."), when I ran into Lilith in the hall, and she stopped for me, and stroked my face, and said words I mostly didn't hear (I think she said "you're doing very well", and "walk in the dark and the light", but she spoke very softly, and I was too stunned to be processing well), when Lilith spoke to me, I felt a piercing joy such as I've seldom felt before. There'd always been deities and allies I'd worked with, but what mystical ecstasies I'd experienced before had been pretty impersonal -- connection with divinity on a level so abstract as make even deities squint into the distance. When the mysterious ones were close to me, they felt more like friends; when they became large and numinous, they seemed less close.
This was (and is) different -- Lilith feels like an old friend, a new lover, and the well of the universe, opened for me (for anyone who will drink).
I'd been heading for my room, and I wanted to go lie on my bed and bask; but I had a trance to lead in the ritual, so I did whatever errand it was I'd gone there for and headed back. That was my first trance with so large a number of people, and to some extent the nervousness and necessary attention to priestessing which that entailed put the encounter with Lilith out of the center of my attention.
The next day (I think it was) Litha suggested that I consider being a priest of Lilith, which certainly concentrated my attention, though on future choices rather than current bliss.
The healing ritual (that night? the next?) was one where I had no priestessing duties. I started off in a very deep state even before the circle was cast, but it soon became very difficult indeed. Near the end of the ritual I went to her altar and sat there in great distress. I heard her say "You can choose me any time", and that did help. I slept very poorly that night, and went back to the Lilith altar in the early morning -- 4:00? 5:00? I sat for a long time, and a song came:
As you love me,I started singing that, hearing it first as her words to me. (I thought, in fact, that I was singing at the top of my lungs, having looked around and seen nobody there, though the Path of Devotion had talked about doing dream work in the Octagon. When I left, there were five or six people where it seemed I must have seen them. I went around later and apologized, only to find that most people hadn't heard me, and to those who had it seemed like someone singing from very far off.)
Walk within me,
You may choose me
After a while it occurred to me that these could also be my words to her -- and I kept on singing. So really at that point my choice was made. But making things public is important too. In camp's last evening ritual what I said about my strengths was "When the gods speak, I listen. And when I speak, they hear me." And my commitment was to be a priest of Lilith, if she'd have me, by February 1, 2009. Last night, at the Twin Oaks Samhain, I declared myself her priest.
I'm not sure where this will lead. But I think that ten years from now I'll look back and say "There. That was the turning point, when Lilith stopped for me on her way down the hall."
Thank you again for giving her a place, that night, in our world!
No berries tonight.
Just a heart.