To Thine Own Self Be True

When I was growing up, my ma stressed one thing above all others…..”Be Yourself!”  It was ingrained in my way of thinking from a very early age that you should always be yourself and always be yourself wholeheartedly.  I am reminded of a line in “Steel Magnolias” that made my ma cackle out loud.  “An ounce of pretention is worth a pound of manure.”  I was shown that you should always be proud of who you are and not pretend to be something you aren’t.  I have lived by that philosophy since she first whispered it in my ear. 

Being myself is probably what got me in so much trouble in the Christian church.  I didn’t like being somber.  I liked to laugh long, hard, and loud!  I loved singing at the top of my lungs.  I enjoyed playing.  I got reprimanded more than once for being outside playing with the kids when I should have been preparing a sermon.  I didn’t care.   I was a bit like a male version of Maria Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music.”  Everyone was always singing, “How do you solve a problem like Dave?” 

I still get in trouble for being myself.  I say what I think, when I think it and I act upon it.  If I don’t like you, you know it.  I don’t expend energy on you.  If I adore you, you know it.  I tell you in many ways alot. LOL!  Now, trust me, I have become tempered….mellowed, if you will, with age.  I am still, however, that same stubborn mule of a boy that helped his best friend bring the goats in the house because they might get cold.

I tend to observe alot nowadays.  I will tell you though, that if you ask my opinion of something, I will unabashedly give it to you with both barrels.  I have been told that I am honest to a fault.

I have, over the years, been asked to compromise myself many times.  There were many times I was tempted.  The one time I did compromise myself, I regretted it many times over and I vowed never to do it again.  I was going to a local church and was a young adult.  I had gone to the pastor to come out as a homosexual.  When I walked into the office, I sat down and told him that I needed to tell him something about myself.  He looked me square in the face and yelled out, “I KNOW!! YOU ARE CALLED TO THE MINISTRY!!”  I said, “Uh yeah, sure.”  It was a hell of a lot easier than coming out. 

I worked in the church for many years.  I pretended to be happy and straight and godly.  I was none of those.  It was like watching a wild animal being tamed as a pet.  My spirit was breaking.  My heart was breaking.  I was losing the person that I worked so hard to become.  I didn’t feel the connection that most did to a Father God.  But I did understand the triple nature of the Mother Goddess.  It was easier for me to identify the Maiden, Mother, and Crone associated with earth and life cycles. 

I longed for a connection to the energy that leapt all around me.  I yearned for the energy and power the lurched at me from every tree, plant, planet and especially the moon.  When I was outside, the moon called to me…..beckoned me.  “Spend time with me…..bask in my light…..absorb my power.” My resolve was weakening.

I was living with my partner at the time and pretending to be straight the rest of the time.  I had never felt more compromised.  I decided that it was time for the true me to begin emerging.  Instead of fear and dread, I felt like a butterfly coming forth from the safety of the cocoon.  My wings were delicate at first, but then strong and beautiful.  I came out to my friends in the church and in the pastorate.  I was met with open and loving arms.  I came out to my lead pastor.  The response I received was, “Ok, so you didn’t grow an extra head.  Get back to work.”  I was gay.  I could say it now and breathe as I said it.  I was now, seriously, out and proud.

That was the first step to getting aquainted with myself.  The second came with a magickal encounter with Maiden, Mother, and Crone.  I had always been able to manipulate energies….I learned that in the church.  Raising energy….moving energy….all essential for a “move of the spirit.”   I decided to use the connection I was given with animals.  I decided it was time to start talking to the animals who had become trusted friends in my childhood. 

This major move of the goddess happened during a birthing.  I was helping a mother goat deliver a kid that was breech.  I was arm deep in the birth canal of the goat and could feel that the kid was going to be stillborn.  I got the kid out and the mother moved on to another corner of the pasture.  I held that baby goat in my arms, positioned it head down, and began to swing it to force it to breathe.  Nothing.  Then I started massaging the chest cavity.  At that moment, I felt all the power that the triple goddess could give me surging through my arms and hands.  I moved them over the baby.  I knew something supernatural was happening.  I heard a weak throaty sound come from the animal under me.  The mother goat came over and started nuzzling the kid.  I had witnessed something that few get the opportunity to see (or it is dismissed as something that would have happened anyway).  I saw the energy of the lady move into the body of that little goat.  I watched it slowly gain strength and become what it was supposed to be.  A goat. 

Magick is a powerful force and those called to it are given a very very special obligation.  Wisdom.  All things magickal must be tempered with wisdom.

Nowadays I am a contrary, opinionated old goat (pardon the pun), but I know who I am, what I believe, and what I stand for.  Each day is a new adventure and I never know which direction my path may take, but through it all, I am ME. I am thrilled with me, though others may not be.  A line from “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar” will suffice.

 Vida Boheme: Your approval is not needed.
Noxeema Jackson: Approval neither desired nor required

 

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4 thoughts on “To Thine Own Self Be True

  1. Wow! I am honored that you open your life to me and I get taken right in. We have similar paths with the church. I am glad you were accepted as gay; I had problems being accepted as a woman! But alas….here you are a powerful witch; sharing your Wisdom with so many! blessed be!

  2. Wow I was seriously impressed by this blog. I remember growing up hearing much the same thing although my mom was quite the ummm…bitch to put it mildly. Of course now that I’m all grown up I realize her bitchiness was just menopause! Go figure lol now its my turn. Its amazing the things we remember as kids and think its all crap till we experience for ourselves.

    Blessed Be,

    Rev. Morgan

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