Rainbowland: Thoughts on Red

Red ButlerMy month with Red ends with me literally bleeding. It doesn’t get much redder than that, does it?

Murky and Lurky are a great deal further back than they were at the beginning of September. I was inspired to use an old trick – replacing anxiety I didn’t know how to handle with anxiety that I did know how to handle. It worked quite well, all things considered.

This did feel very much like a Firebird month. I’ve spent several weeks now tentatively working with the Laetha, a god of the Otherfaith, but we’ve come to the mutual decision that I have too much on my plate to give him what he would want from me right now. I hope to come back to that when I am a little less overwhelmed.

A major project got a rebirth this month as I received some wonderful inspiration and it is now going in a different direction. I got some writing done. Health issues

My breakthroughs this month are tied to that creative project – some aspects of my understanding of Mara clicked into place, and along with that, I was inspired to approach a project for her from an entirely new direction. I’m still dealing with health issues as well as Murky and Lurky, but I feel like I can see the light on the horizon.

I’ll have my initial thoughts on Orange tomorrow.

Lady of Illusion

Great Parvati, you are reality itself
and we take joy in that creation.

Though reality may be an illusion,
it is also all that we experience;
this world is what we know and share.

You are food and comfort,
you are touch and taste and smell.
All of my senses are yours.

While we live incarnate upon the earth
we are wrapped up in you, dear Maya.

Thanks to Chandi

Fierce One, Violent One,
I pray to you as Indra
and the great gods prayed before me.
As they did, I prayed to you
before I knew who you were.
You bear lotus and lance.
You bear strung beads and swords.
Your violence preserves and protects.
You bestow joy and good fortune,
slaying both demons and plagues.
As I fought with my temper
I prayed not to be stripped of it
but to learn to use it, to direct it.
You heard my prayers,
though I knew not who I prayed to.
May all praise you!
May all know your blessing!

Light and Dark

gentle Parvati, daughter of mountains
within you is contained extremes
both peacefulness and anger dwell within
and surge forth when they are needed

your anger is righteous and well placed
your peace comes from strength and will
teach me to hold that balance
within myself and not be overwhelmed

mother of laughing Ganesha,
mother of warlike Kartikeya
through difficult choices, show me
how to protect my dear child
no matter her mood or my own.

O Devi

at the beginning of time there was potential,
limitless potential and nothing more in the void.
all that exists bears your watermark,
the sign of your touch, that dust of starstuff
that lies at the heart of every atom and cell.
in your eyes shine the sun and the moon.
in your smile, the illusion we call reality.
show me what I need to see to progress
and teach me that one day the scales
may fall from my eyes with understanding.

T is for Tai Sui

Tai Sui is best known for his role as the Minister of Time in the order of Heaven. His name is also sometimes given to the ministry itself. As a deity, he was not notably worshipped before 1000 CE and was not regularly worshipped before the Manchu dynasty. He’s a stellar deity and associated with the planet Jupiter, and therefore traditionally worshipped on an altar under the open sky.His story begins during the reign of the corrupt Emperor Chou. Tai Sui was born of this emperor and his queen. At his birth, the child was covered in his caul and thus appeared to be some sort of misshapen lump of flesh.

Interestingly, the birth of a child with a caul over its face is considered an omen in many different folklores. In some, it is considered an omen of very good fortune or a child with powerful magic. In the case of Tai Sui, it most certainly did announce the birth of a personage who would one day achieve deityhood.

Unfortunately, the Emperor had a concubine, Ta Chi, whom he favored above everyone else. She was a bit of a bitch, and there are a number of stories about how she manipulated the Emperor to cause all sorts of suffering during his reign. In this case, she took the unfortunate birth as an opportunity to tell her lover that a “monster” had been born in the palace. The weak-minded Emperor acted quickly on her word, ordering the child to be exposed in the wild. Ta Chi eventually manipulated him into having the queen killed by throwing her from an upper story in the palace.

The child fared well, as children left to the elements tend to do in legends. He was found by a hermit named Shen Zhen-ren who recognized that he was still wearing his birth-caul and quickly cut it from the child. He took the baby to his hermitage and arranged for a woman named Ho Hsien-ku to nurse and raise the child, who was called Yin Chiao (which translates roughly as ‘child found in the suburbs’).

Eventually, Yin Chiao came of age and Ho Hsien-ku told him the story of his birth and his mother’s death. Yin Chiao begged the opportunity to avenge his mother, and the Concubine of Heaven herself provided him with weapons to do so. He went to the palance with the Shang army, and when the palace fell, he seized Ta Chi from the tower where she was hiding and brought her before the victorious King Wu.

As Yin Chiao asked permission to kill her and avenge his mother, Ta Chi turned into smoke and disappeared. Despite this, Yin Chiao was honored as a brave fighter and a pious son. He was canonized soon after.

Today, Tai Sui’s influence is principally felt in feng shui. It is believed that Tai Sui is a dangerous deity who will cause misfortune around him — but he is known for sparing the district he is in in favor of sewing discord in surrounding districts. Thus, advanced feng shui includes a complicated charting system for the diligent practitioner to track which district Tai Sui is in at any given time, how his influence falls on surrounding areas, and thus the practitioner knows how what amulets to hang and how to influence chi to minimize Tai Sui’s misfortunes.

Poem to Durga

O great goddess Durga,
invincible, untouched, lady of many weapons,
mother of the universe, destroyer of sin!
You have slain great demons!
You have overturned many sufferings!
I ask that you accept my offering
and aid me in my own battles.
My demons are not as great
but I would learn to fight them!
My sufferings are smaller
but I would learn to let go of them!
Lend me your trident, or your sword,
or your strength, and I will
do great things and praise you.

Sitting With It

This is the second year I’ve celebrated R’s birthday as an ancestor holyday. Last year it was raw and I was learning to feel it out. This year I’m in the middle of my own health issues, ones all too familiar.

In her name, I will say the same thing I did last year: don’t let your health concerns go. If you can, if you have any kind of insurance or clinic or option, please, get yourself checked if you think something’s wrong. A mammogram might have saved her life. It’s very likely one has saved mine in the past. Don’t hold off.