This is a long story. It might ramble. Please bear with me.
When my mother was pregnant 36 years ago, she had a bad doctor. The doctor was misogynistic and a sadist. She had an electrolyte imbalance, which even in 1977, they could diagnose in pregnant women and fix. She couldn’t stop throwing up. She was a nurse – she knew exactly what was wrong with her, but he refused to help her. At the time, New Zealand’s socialized medicine program assigned a doctor to you based on your area and your health problem. He was the only doctor she could see for her pregnancy. Because of her sickness, which never abated and was quite severe, during the pregnancy, which began as twins, one of the twins, the male, was absorbed by the female. When this child was born, the child was 2 months premature and weighed less than 5 lbs. My mother weighed 90lbs when I was born.
During pregnancy, there are certain things that a developing fetus requires for the brain to form correctly. If there is something wrong with the mother’s nutrition, that will transfer to defects in the child.
I was born with severe digestive ailments, I could not STAND to be touched, I was hypersensitive to everything – loud noises, strong smells, everything, and I had seizures. My brain was not like normal brains, as well – I had an extra piece of tissue within my Medula Oblongata – this is where the majority of my seizures took place. It would cause my emotions to vary wildly. I was also born so wide open to stimuli that I never lost the ability to… “[i]See[/i] around corners.”
As I grew, I watched people do terrible things to each other, and to me. I could never understand why they hurt each other, themselves, and me, so much, so often. I didn’t understand that I was different – that what I felt, they couldn’t feel. I didn’t understand that what I saw, they couldn’t see.
I withdrew from people more and more as I got older. It was just too hurtful, and too far beyond my comprehension. I grew up playing with faeries in the woods behind my house in Texas. I knew there was more to life. I knew that God was not in a building, and I knew that the rigid path was not for me.
When I was 15, I discovered that I was a witch – that my family had been lying to me for my entire life about this. At the time, it was a revelation along the same order as a person growing up in the wrong body waking up one day and realizing, “THIS is what I REALLY am!” I began to study and develop the arts I had learned from my family and the Fae, and began to stretch myself magickally and psychically. I began to conjure and heal.
That same year, I caught sight of an article in one of my father’s medical journals, about Bi Polar Disorder. I read the whole article… and I went to him, and said, look at all these symptoms. I have all these in SPADES! I still didn’t understand that I had something else going on, but I was so desperate for answers. My mother and father laughed, and told me, “You’re a teenager. You’re just so used to being depressed that when you’re happy you just THINK you’re manic. Quit being a hypochondriac!” Those words would haunt me my whole life… and eventually would be both my doom… and my salvation.
When I was 16, I laid hands on our family dog, and saw the sickness inside her intestines that would eventually become cancer that riddled her whole body. I told my parents she was going to die. They did not understand… by then, they had left their own spirituality behind, and no longer saw and felt the things that were real, but only the things that were illusory. Three years later, they put her down, when the cancer had finally spread to her brain.
That same year, I cured my best friend of double pneumonia and the flu. She had been dying, because her family did not have insurance and couldn’t afford to take her to the hospital. I refused to live without her, so I kept her alive. I took that ability to see and feel, and I took my father’s healing hands, and made them my own, since he had no use for them anymore, and I laid my hands on her, and shoved her sickness out of her and away.
When I was 18, my parents had moved the family to Delaware, and the moment I turned 18 and graduated High School, I began the journey back to California. No matter where I go, no matter how much I long for New Zealand, I think that California will always be the home of my spirit. On the way back, I stopped to see the Grand Canyon. There was a dig site near by that my friends and I visited on our road trip – a pueblo site. When I stepped onto the land, and saw the stone circles that the archaeologists had carefully labeled “Kitchen,” “Kiva,” “Living Space,” I knew immediately that they had mislabled the kitchen and the Kiva. Something… moved in me… and I stepped into the Kiva… and disappeared to my friends, and into another world. I was inside the Kiva, and there were men all around me, in various feathers and leathers and dressed for a ritual. The man with the most feathers on him came forward, and he handed me a small, round stone, lavender with grey snowflakes. I told him thank you, but also that I had nothing to offer in return, and how could I help them? Then I was back in the stone circle… but my friends still couldn’t see me. I exited the stone circle, walked across the dirt road behind our parked truck, right past my friends, and stepped into the wooded area next to the road. Suddenly, spirit after spirit, all native American, began pouring out of my heart, and into the sky, into an oval hole in the sky. There must have been HUNDREDS of them, waiting for all those years to be set free of the land, and go home. When I finally came back to the truck, my friends were afraid of me. They knew it was me, but I looked like a native. It took four hours for my hair, eyes, face, and skin, to fade back to normal.
When I was 19, I began having more visions. I saw five visions that year, one of which changed everything forever.
The first vision I had was of two people, men, made of mirrors, fighting, and a shadowy arrow striking them, and they shattered and fell. In 2001, the twin towers fell.
The second vision I had was of New Orleans, flooded, fire on the water. In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina had been and gone, the levees of New Orleans broke, and the lower parts of the city flooded, releasing oil from underground gas station tanks, and gas from tanks for houses, onto the surface. The water caught fire.
The third vision I had was different. It was at Lughnassadh. The coven was gathered to celebrate, and we were all in a crowd, getting ready to go to the grove to begin, and… everyone disappeared. I found myself in a primeval forest, and I heard a great rumbling. Then, coals, fire, began to fall from the sky, ashes, and the sky, the clouds, became the color of flames. The forest caught fire, and everything burned. Then there was nothing but ash left. I walked among the devastation, horrified, overwhelmed by grief and loss… and then the worst happened… A wall of water came rushing through, and what little was left was gone. There was nothing but ashy sludge, and burned out hollows of trees. I wandered, lost, crying, ashes on my cheeks and arms… it was so hot… I looked for hope… and then, something told me, “Look down.” I looked down, and there, among all this devastation, was one, tiny flower. It was the color of magenta. I reached down to touch it, and awoke, five miles away from the coven site, with a stone in my hand.
When my friends found me, no one could touch the stone. It actually blistered Ruby’s hand.
The fourth vision I had was the one that changed everything forever.
A friend of mine, I think his name was Wes, but I no longer remember anything other than we called him Green Man, because his aura was that of a tree elf, and I were discussing the Wall between the Worlds of Fae and Man… and we were discussing the War. It would take too long now to explain the history of mankind and Fae, but suffice it to say that… humans were once nothing more than cattle and slaves to the Fae… and eventually, as is your nature, you rebelled… but this world needs magick – the basic principles of energy at the quantum level are the laws of magick… destroy magick, and you destroy yourselves. Also, Faeries are formed of Thought, ultimately… so destroy the things that think things up, and Faerie itself will vanish away… so despite the torrid and often horrifying clashes between the Fae and humankind, we need each other…. and when we went to war, humans did as they always do… they went blindly, with the sole goal of wiping out everything they did not like or understand. Faeries fought back, because cows shouldn’t bite. Things began to unravel… and SOMETHING Stepped In… and the Wall came up, and the two sides of the coin were separated. But as humans have moved through time, they have slowly mostly forgotten the old legends. Faeries have become silly, lighthearted WA flower spirits, sweet and generous. Not the dark and dangerous and deadly truth they really are, but an idea as fluffy as some think Angels to be.
As Wes and I discussed this, we talked about the fact that Faeries are nearly Immortal, and that because time doesn’t flow there as it does here, while Faeries often forget things, they have not forgotten US… and slowly, they have been digging at the Wall, for millennia. We talked about what was on the other side of the Wall, and what those beings thought and felt… and for an instant… I straddled that Wall.
Here’s the problem with straddling a Wall. When you straddle one… you straddle them ALL. For one shining, horrific instance… I was… EVERYTHING. I was the trees, and the loggers, and every time I cut a piece of myself down, I cut a finger off my body. I was the stars shining on the earth, I was the dirt beneath my body that I was trying so desperately to bury myself in, not even knowing how I had gotten outside, nails breaking as I scrabbled with the dry, packed, soil. I was in France, and I was a woman walking under a street light, while at the same time, I was a mugger in an alleyway, and when he leaped out of his shadowed corner to stab her and take her purse, to fly down the road, I was the act of his crime and her death. I was the purse in their hands, I was the blood on her dress, and the satin of her finery. I was the entire universe… and in that instant… that moment that I stopped being Me, I BROKE.
I started answering questions and speaking emotions before they’d been expressed. I would see spiders being born right before they erupted all over a wall like an infection. Magick, energy, everything was everywhere. I saw a final vision, a spell my coven was planning to do, and how it would go badly. I warned the High Priestess, and that… as they say… was the final straw. My coven mates were afraid of me. I saw too much, and I had no control anymore. My moods destabilized, and I first heard the label, “Crazy.”
They cast me out – I understand better now. It was to preserve themselves, but at the time it was the worst blow of all, because the people I needed, depended on, to help me stay afloat in all this sea of sensation, could not cope, and so the people I loved the most, trusted the most, abandoned me, who had always tried to be there for them in their own hours of need, to my fate.
I went home to Delaware and my parents’ roof in shame and in pain. My father decided I was depressed, and put me on Prozac… and suddenly, everything went dead. From a world of too much stimulation, to not even having the stimulation I had been born with and grown used to – from a world where the stars and the grass had always sung, the walls had always had an extra depth to them, and people FELT REAL down to their hearts, I went to a place where everything was suddenly two-dimensional, made of paper… and even [i]I[/i] wasn’t real…
And again… I broke… and tried to kill myself.
My father took me off the Prozac. Slowly, I came back online. But I was still crazy. I was still God-Touched. I was still a shaman with no one to help her find her feet.
I remember… a friend was getting married to a man that didn’t deserve her at ALL – and I loved her desperately and wanted her safe. I pulled Power on him – he was a bad man, and I told him if he ever laid a hand on her, I’d Break Him. My eyes went red when I said it.
I remember… a boy with a broken mind, who cost a friend his job – he came to me pretending to be so worried… and the lie was like bitter ashes on my tongue, and so I pinned him to the chair with the Soul Gaze, and when he had the foolish desire to know what I saw, I told him his whole life, and showed him every bit of ugly that he was. Afterwards, I was so ashamed. I was taught better ethics than to use my empathy as a weapon like that, for vengeance. It was so wrong… I avoided him for two years afterwards… when I saw him again, and he spoke to me, I pretended not to know him. He was a different person then. He told me thank you, that my showing him who he had been gave him the impetus to change it, and that he was finally happy, and he was a good person now. I’m happy for him… but I’m still ashamed.
I remember silly Christian witches who “didn’t practice magick,” but still called themselves witches, telling me magick wasn’t real. “Of course it’s real,” I exclaimed! “It’s as real as me saying I want lightening to strike that tree, right there!” The sky was clear and blue… and lightening struck the tree. They ran away, and never spoke to me again. They cast me out of the forum they were on. More bridges burned by the power I couldn’t control.
I remember visualizing pixydust in my hands, shoving my hands under someone’s nose and saying, “POUF!” and them sneezing for HOURS afterwards. Everyone laughed.
I remember answering thoughts people had, before they’d spoken them… and afterwards they backed away and never spoke to me again.
Slowly… I came back to myself. The attack helped. Trying to save money to remove the evidence of the attack… failing… giving birth… and then… having a child, and doing my best to help this screaming thing that NEEDED all the TIME… needed to be touched, was too loud, was too EVERYTHING I couldn’t cope with, but it wasn’t his FAULT…
And then… the day that he looked at me, and BECAUSE IN SPITE OF ALL MY CRAZY, LOVED ME… in that instant… I was home. I was whole. I was sane.
I left the man who attacked me, and I took my son away with me, to keep us safe. We went back to Missouri, and I tried to find work. The psychic stuff was still frequently too much, and people still couldn’t cope with me, and the area was a pretty depressed area, so there wasn’t anything for us.
My sister called. She was getting married. “Come to California. The solution is here.” So I packed up my son and our clothes and our books… and we went back Home.
There were many things that happened there. It would take too long to tell you them all. But it ends with my mother taking my son, and me in a hospital with a doctor telling me about the extra tissue in my Medula, and the seizures, and the mood swings, and the treatment that I will be on for the rest of my life. It ends with me giving a reading to the doctors and the nurses and the therapists in the room… telling them things about themselves that I couldn’t know, having never met them. It ends with them telling me… “You’re not crazy, but you’re not sane. You’re a psychic, and your brain doesn’t work the way it should, and the two don’t work well together for you. We’re putting you on Social Security so you can survive, because there’s nothing else for you.”
Eventually, I made my way back to Missouri. I nearly got married to someone very broken. My parents moved to Kentucky, then moved back. Then moved to a town four hours away. Every breath without my son was one without oxygen… but I kept breathing. I keep hoping. I see in him the Gifts lying in wait to break him… and I try to teach him how to ride the wave, so he won’t drown like I did… but my parents tell him not to listen, because I’m crazy, and it’s not real.
And then… I came into the psychic world – the world of Shamans and God-spouses, mystics and Priestesses – the world of my Kindred. I spent a year among you all. A year teaching, and learning, and growing. I’ve made friends, and contemporaries. I work the graveyards in my area, kissing the dead back into their slumber, I dream with my spirits, I heal, I teach, I See, I Speak.
You have given me a place… and recently, I finally took the step I should have taken a lifetime ago. I accepted that I am what I am… and that I am WORTHY… and I opened my store.
From the moment I opened my doors and began to speak with you, work with you, heal your hearts, your minds, and your bodies, the moment I began to channel and See for you, Speak for you… and the moment that you began to accept me and my offerings, and tell me, “Yes, that’s REAL!” it has been a revelation to me.
I am not crazy. I have never been crazy.
Every half hour is another confirmation.
I am real. What I see and sense of the world is real.
And best of all…
I am not alone.
Be careful of the labels that you Own. They may not be yours. They may not be right. They may define you, and that definition may limit you. It may break you. It may hold back your heart and your mind and your spirit… and it may be a wall that others cannot breach either.
Labels, I have discovered… are often wrong… and useless.
I wish you freedom and peace, which I have found among you.