You don’t seem to want to speak through the cards. Perhaps they’re too concrete a form of divination for you? Too limiting? Too, dare I say, mainstream? You do prefer to speak in riddles, in fragments and half-remembered dreams, and derive perverse pleasure from muddling my mind. Can we not find some happy medium, though, so that I might have at least the tiniest light in the darkness? If not cards, what about runes? Pendulums? Bibliomancy? Would you speak more clearly through flame or smoke or bone? I look for your messages everywhere I go, and can glean some meaning from what I find, yet I wouldn’t mind a rulebook or a cheat sheet to help me interpret them. I’m not asking for a Rosetta Stone, here, just a little help. It’s only the three of us on this strange, twisted path – can’t you have a little mercy on your scribe?
You humans make everything so complicated, She laughed gently over my shoulder. You know what is right and what is wrong, yet you tangle everything up. You don’t listen.
And Bast was right, of course. We agonize over morality, weighing current realities against future hypotheticals, questioning manifest destiny yet clinging to divine right. Instead of listening to the voice inside us for the answer, we pour all our energy and resources into digging the truth out of the sky and the earth, out of each other, out of DNA and atoms and numbers. We demand proof beyond what we deserve and evidence beyond what we are freely offered. We commit crimes and only in retrospect do we bother wondering if we acted wrongly, because instead of admitting what we know deep in our blood – that all life is sacred, all life is precious, all life is equal and deserving of its existence – we pretend concrete confirmation is necessary to make our choices. While we review the past with the perfect righteousness of the present, so do we look to the future with the present’s self-serving morality. It’s who we are as a species, anxious creatures that must pick apart and analyze until we’re frozen by indecision. Are we inherently better than our fellow animals, and therefore justified in their killing? Do we have the right to close our hearts the homeless and the hopeless? Can we value our own prejudices over the basic needs of others, and make laws to keep them down? We know the answers without intense analysis; we just don’t want to hear them.
I don’t know you, little one, and you don’t know me. You will probably never even read these words, but I am sending their ripples out in the hopes you may feel their touch. I don’t know you, but I can guess some things about you. You are young, but you feel old. You long for home, even though you’re already there. You are trapped in a closet, and yet you feel as if you’ve been running all your life. You scream but make no sound; you hurt yet show no marks. You say you don’t believe. You pray to something anyway.
I don’t know you, and you don’t know me, but I do know this: you aren’t alone. The Lady of Truth is with you, and She speaks comforts in your ears. The Lady of the Flame is with you, and She brings you warmth and light in the darkness. When you need to be sad and quiet, She is strong arms and a rumbling purr; when you need to be angry and loud, She is bristled fur and bared teeth. Her love is the love of a lioness for her cub: unconditional, unlimited, unyielding. The world is dark and dangerous, but you do not traverse it alone. Bast walks beside you, ever patient and ever loving.
Sometimes I feel I must burn like a torch in the darkness, lit from within by divinity’s gift, sunlight and moonglow and starshine pouring out my eyes, my open mouth, my skin all aglow and hair stirring in the heat. Sometimes I feel I must be overflowing with love, radiating the hot fire of my devotion so brightly that moths dance in my light, cats drowse in my warmth, and those around me can’t help but notice my incandescence, even if they cannot comprehend the source. Sometimes I feel I am born of fire, shaped by stars and moonlight, and the love with which I flare is infinite, a blessing to embrace and then release back to the universe in a never ending cycle.
[ The above image was created by my amazingly talented frienemy Inno! Her art is beautiful, as is her writing, and she takes commissions! *hint hint* Visit her Patreon to see more, and consider supporting her! ]
“What do you mean, you’re not coming back?” Anna stopped cold in the corridor, staring after her girlfriend as if not quite believing what she had heard. Jessryn turned back to see she had stopped walking, then took hold of her robe and pulled her to one side. “Are you telling me are?” she whispered furiously, keeping her voice low so as not to be heard over the sound of students moving between classes. “Of course!” Anna made no such attempt. “We have to!”
“It’s not our fight, Anna,” Jessryn glanced around, but no one seemed to be eavesdropping on their conversation. She moved closer to Anna and lowered her voice further, just in case. “My family’s going into hiding once the school year’s over. They want to wait for things to calm down, or fall out, or whatever’s going to happen. It’s not safe here anymore, not at Hogwarts and not in this country; I doubt even this continent. I don’t know where we’ll go, but you can bet it will be far, far away from here.” She cupped Anna’s face in one slightly trembling hand. “You should come with us. You’d be safer.”
“I’m not running away like a coward,” Anna stuck her bottom lip out, a stubborn expression Jessryn normally adored – now it only made her go cold. “So I’m a coward?” she asked, dropping her hand. Anna’s mouth fell open. “No! No, I just mean… this is our school. It’s been like a home to us the last six years. If it comes to a fight, shouldn’t we defend it?”
“Not if it costs us our lives,” Jessryn turned away, desperate to end the conversation. They rarely quarreled, and never over anything this serious; neither of them was saying what they really meant, or how they really felt. “I don’t want to talk about this right now. We’ll be late for Potions.” And with that she stalked off down the hallway, willing herself not to listen to check if Anna followed.
we’re foolish Pandora’s leery successors
secrets and lies squirming in our chests
but we swallowed the keys, we sealed the cracks
we won’t let any of it out
Hi, friends. Let’s talk about hate blogs.
The Forty-two Ideals of Ma’at. The Rule of Three. The Ten Commandments. Karma. There are a lot of tenets in a lot of belief systems, both religious and secular, but they all basically boil down to this: don’t be a dick. Whether you’re lying or slandering or bullying or stealing, you’re being a dick to someone, and that’s not cool. (Hey, I just summed up a bunch of long-winded religious texts for you!) I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what makes a person a positive force in the world, and more specifically how I personally can uphold Ma’at in my everyday life. To that end, I’ve been trying to judge less, to listen and empathize more, and to hold my tongue if what I want to say doesn’t contribute positively to a discussion. It’s hard, sometimes, but I feel lighter and cleaner of soul for it.
My greatest weakness online, the topic that most quickly gets my ire up and my claws out, threatening my promise to think first and speak second, is “ace discourse”. If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, ace discourse refers to an ongoing discussion within and about the asexual community – and more specifically, whether cisgender+heteroromantic asexuals can be considered LGBT. I’ve seen a very small handful of thoughtful, logical posts on the topic, and a nauseating wave of hateful, close-minded posts purposefully phrased to frame cisgender+heteroromantic asexuals as oppressors and monsters. Reading these makes me angry, sad, indignant, protective… any number of emotions that coalesce in the desire to rip people to shreds. But that’s the internet, right? Trolls gather where they’re fed. Bigots hide behind keyboards. Nothing new under the sun.
What sorrows me more than the frequency of these anti-ace posts are the hate blogs. Every time someone has attacked me for defending cisgender+heteroromantic asexuals, it has been through a hate blog. Every time I see someone spewing virulent anti-ace vomit on Tumblr, it’s through a hate blog. And all I can wonder is… why? Why did this person go to the trouble of creating this “cishet ace” hate blog, and then spend hours every day lurking on the asexual tag just to jump onto anyone with a differing opinion? Doesn’t this person have anything better to do with their time? Don’t they have hobbies? Friends? Family? Don’t they feel ashamed to waste their precious life spreading anger and hatred toward a completely innocent group of people?
It’s a testament to my recent spiritual growth, I think, that I pity these people instead of hating them. I would have hated them once, it’s true, and wished them great ill, but not now. Now I only think it’s sad and pathetic that someone wastes their time on hate. I can’t imagine what my family and friends would think if they found out I ran a blog dedicated to hating a group of people who have done nothing to harm me. I can’t imagine what my goddess would do if I purposefully contributed so much negativity to the world. I can’t imagine these things because they’re so shameful, so embarrassing. So why do others derive so much joy from hurting strangers? I truly don’t understand the thought process. Are they so empty inside, or perhaps hurting so deeply, that they want others to feel as they do?
The world is full of bullies and probably always will be. I can’t make it be otherwise all on my own. What I can do, though, is limit the amount of negativity I personally contribute and increase the amount of positivity I consciously generate. I can choose to not engage with someone who embraces their hate, and instead stand beside those who also fight for peace and equality. I can make the effort every day to uphold Ma’at, to be more than just “not a dick” to my fellow beings. That seems a much better use of my time in this life than lurking under a digital bridge.