Friday, May 18, 2012

Journey to Sacred

The trip that stared my various sacred journeys.
Left to Right:  Sherry, Annette, Crystal & Linda
In my life, I have been blessed to travel to places that I hold sacred.  Not just getting there and experiencing the "touristy" things to do, but also hold the journey to get there sacred.

We prepare and plan alot in life.  It is just something that some people like myself do.  I like to plan.  I like to plan so much that there are instances, where I drive my friends and family to the point they want to bind and gag me so I stop talking about my plans...(am I right Annette, Dawn, and Kathy? LOL)

Right now my Coven Sisters and I are planning a journey out West to see some of our National Treasures and a few stops that we hold sacred.   We will be journeying to the Medicine Wheel near Big Horn, Devil's Tower, Mount Rushmore, and a trip to the Crimson Dawn!

Medicine Wheel, Big Horn, Wyoming

In the past, the destinations I have been blessed with the opportunity to visit have included:

Salem, MA

The Schooner "Friendship"

There is alot of diverse opinions on Salem.  Some say it has nothing to do with Pagans and others refer to it as the "Holy Land" of Witches here in the US.  I have mixed feelings about Salem.  I hold this place sacred for its history first and foremost.  Yes, it is the place of the Witch Trials of 1692 and if you want to know more about the trials all you have to do is google it.   I hold it sacred for its role in Maritime History, helping during the Revoluntionary War which provided us with our independence from the Britian rule.  I hold it sacred because of its role in overseas trade with other nations China, West Indies, Africa, Japan, and so many others.  Without the role of the Privateers that assisted us in the Revolutinary War and helped provide necessary trade routes to bring in trade, I personally do not feel we would be diverse as we are today in trade.  It is also thought that Salem is the birth place of our National Guard.  Which those that know me and my past in the military...I hold anything with the military close to my heart Army (which I joined immediately after highschool) or otherwise.  They are what helps us ensure our freedoms as a country today.  What I hold sacred, the freedom to choose my religion. 

Today, Salem is apart of my sacred places because it is the hub-bub of tourism for Witchcraft.  It is also a place where many people have influenced me and my craft such as Laurie CabotGypsy RavishChristian Day and many others. 

Most of my trips to Salem, have included many Sisters of the Craft.  Some I still practice with and some have parted ways with and wish them all well on their current journeys they are experiencing.  I am thankful for each and every trip I have made because each provided its own unique experience.  The last time I went, I was able to watch the sunrise on the ocean not far from the house we rented in Marblehead, MA.   It was one of the most spiritual things I have ever experienced.  As the light rose upon the water's horizon, I am reminded of exactly how miraculous life is and the balance of the light with the dark.  The Yin and Yang.  Balance is a journey that many people including myself constantly walk down the line attempting to find it.  Every once in a while, we do achieve it and those moments are precious and sacred.

Waiting for the sunrise....freezing as well.

New Orleans, LA

New Orleans is just around 2 hours from my birthplace (where I lived most of my life).  It is a place I will hold forever dear in my heart.  There is so much history in New Orleans I don't even know where to begin or if I should even try to write about it.  What does New Orleans have to do with my craft and practice?  Why I am influenced by Marie Laveau of course.  Whenever I was initated into the craft, my very first HP trying to give me something connected to my Louisiana heritage gave me a bracelet with the name he chose for me.  This was during a time where being "out of the broom closet" was not exactly safe.  I think his heart was in the right place and pretty sure he was attempting to connect me to this great woman by naming me "Leveaux".  He obviously did not know the correct spelling and that in the French language "Le" is masculine, and "La" is feminine. LOL  Kudos for him trying to give me a name associated to such a powerful woman.  I think I still may have that leather bracelet somewhere as well hidden in the back of my jewelry box he gifted me with that day.  I kept the name Leveaux for quite a long time...until I iniated into my first practicing coven here in Michgian (FBG).  When I was initated into their coven, I felt I needed a change to reflect who I was at the time and was able to choose my own name (thanks guy and gals you know who you are!) and chose Jasper Kell.  That was over 8 years ago and simply now go by birth name.   

Last time I went back to New Orleans for my 30th birthday....that was 9 years ago.  Wondering if I should go back home for my 40th.  Celebrating milestones in my homestate with family and friends is always scacred.  Its going back to who I am, the place I grew up and where my immediate ancestors are from (at least for a good bit of generations).

Chacchoben Ruins in Quintana Roo, Costa Maya

I actually wrote a "term" paper if you will about this sacred place.  I wrote it as apart of my Second Year (the equivalent to the Second Degree with a coven) requirement for The Sacred Birch Society.   One of our assignments was writing about a Sacred Place.  I also now require the same from my own students of the craft.   I was able to journey to this location at the milestone of my mother's 60th birthday.   My family took her on a cruise to a few destinations that included Costa Maya, Guatamala (where I purchased my first drum), Honduras, Belize, and Cozumel.  I learned many things during that trip.  I hope to repeat it again in my lifetime. 

Sometimes taking a journey is not about the final destination at all.  Sometimes it is all about getting there.  On my last trip to Salem, I was able to bond with one of my closest friends Katherine.  We rode in the car together on the way up and also shared a room together.  This provided us with the first real opportunity to bond as I was the newest member to the coven Women of the Willow.  Kathy and I never before that trip spent alot of time together.  At that time I was closer to two others.   This trip provided us with the opportunity to get to know one another and talk uninterupted.  We learned about one another and began our friendship on a deeper level. 

My trip back home to Louisiana made me feel the importance of my family.  Its a long drive to Louisiana from Michigan but worth every minute of it.  Going home to be with my family is always something that I will cherish every opportunity to do so.  My family is sacred to me, both in the mundane world (my birth family) and the magical world (my coven and temple).  My ancestors helped shape the person I am today. 

The journeys we take in our lives help shape us in who we are, what we can handle like dealing with sea sickness, a blown tire on the road, and everything else in between.  Until we are put into situations, we never know how we are going to react one way or another until it actually happens to us. 

The journeys we take in our lives are not only about physical destinations, but also pathways in our life.  I chose the journey to follow the Goddess and my life has become much better since I took that first step and dedicated myself to her.  I chose the journey of becoming a mother and dealing with the physical labor pains and needs of a child in my everyday life of being a mother until the day I die.  These two journeys will exist for the rest of my life in this world.  Each day I breathe, I know who I am (Wife, Mother, Sister, Daughter, Priestess) and the steps I need to take on that days journey to make it the fullest experience and enjoy life.

Journeys help form who we least it does for me.

Thanks for reading!


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