The reality is that grief from pet loss is not as easily ‘fixed’ as some would have us believe. It’s hard to live in grief that’s judged as unworthy. Grief is about love, and our animal companions often show us some of the most unconditional love we could ever experience. How often, despite our best efforts, do we absorb some of society’s judgments and think, I shouldn’t be grieving this much? Yet when we let these thoughts in, we betray our genuine feelings.
—Dr. David Kessler, You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding Peace After a Breakup, Divorce, or Death (Carlsbad, CA: Hay House Publishing, 2014), p. 136.
My role as cat midwife/cat mother has come full circle for my beloved Grendel: On September 21, 2007, I midwifed his feral birth in the woods behind my parents’ house; last night, June 11, 2019, I served as the death midwife who ushered him into the Spirit World after I made the heart-wrenching choice (given his Stage IV stomach cancer diagnosis less than 3 weeks ago) to have him euthanized at home sooner than I was expecting to. Continue reading
The Fall Equinox is almost upon us and tomorrow will also the biggest day of my public Priestessing schedule in the year, as the Chicago Fellowship of Isis community presents its 25th Anniversary Goddess Convention. The day-long event, featuring a Tibetan Singing Bowl Sound Healing Concert and workshops on every subject from Contemporary Western Tantra to accessing the Akashic Records to the Astrology of Fixed Stars and my own presentation on the ancient Egyptian Goddess Selqet, will culminate in the late Lady Olivia Robertson’s gorgeously composed Divine Liturgy of “The Mystical Awakening of Scorpio and Kundalini.” As a devotee of the Goddess Selqet, it thrills me to no end to have the honor of my ecclesiastical role in the Liturgy be that of Her Priestess. When I recite the invocation, I get goose bumps every time. That’s the sign of heka at work, friends! And yes, I’m going to bring with me from my home temple space my giant, four-foot-tall replica statue of the Goddess.
I’m not just going to be a workshop presenter during the day and one of the officiating clergy for the Divine Liturgy in the evening; I’m also going to be a vendor, selling my Polytheist devotional jewelry pieces from my business, Jackal Moon Designs. I’ve had a spate of creativity in the past week and have made a bunch of new pieces that I’m selling online. Some of them have Eastern religious motifs of ties to Hinduism and Buddhism; others are Kemetic. Our Divine Liturgy this year honors Deities from India and Egypt.
After the stress of my husband and I getting our taxes done today (I can’t believe we put it off for so long), I decided to relax by making no less than 5 hand-beaded devotional necklaces and 1 set of prayer beads and uploading them for sale onto my Etsy site, JackalMoonDesigns. (You know you’re a Virgo when your idea of relaxing entails…working!) My energies were divided between fervent devotions to the ancient Goddesses of the Emerald Isle and the Gods and Goddesses of Kemet. Continue reading
I just returned home from burying my beloved animal companion of the past 12 years–my cat Thor–on my parents’ property. I am exhausted, and tears have freely commingled with sweat and snot on my dirtied, makeup-smeared face. I look like a parody of a zombie meant to spring out upon unwary, cash-paying visitors to “haunted house” attractions in this Halloween season. Everything about me feels “off” today because it’s plain that my visible manifestations of grief, what used to be publicly acknowledged as mourning, are no longer welcome in this death-denying, youth extolling, commodifying, grinding capitalist world where productivity comes at the expense of our collective humanity. A grinding world where, especially when it comes to the loss of a treasured companion animal, one is met with snide remarks of “Get over it–it’s not like a person died” or “It was just a cat. The city is crawling with them; just go get yourself a new one.”
This grinding world is the locus of disenfranchised grief, which noted grief expert Dr. David Kessler defines as “a type of grief that other people might deem as ‘less than'” (You Can Heal Your Heart, p. 136). Pet loss is the most common form of disenfranchised grief; the losses women experience after undergoing an abortion or experiencing a miscarriage are even more glaringly absent from any form of public discourse.
Fellow Virgos, it’s time to cash in our karma coupons! The Big Daddy of our solar system, Jupiter, has officially entered our Sun Sign (in the 1st House of Self) and will remain there for the next 14 months! Make the most of this auspicious period and welcome Jupiter’s blessings of abundance, joy, expansion, vitality, well-being, and just plain ol’ good luck! It seems we’re way overdue for this outpouring of benevolence–the past two years have been pretty rough, eh?–so who better than the planet dubbed the “Great Benefic” to bestow this cornucopia of goodness in our Sun Sign of the Bona Dea, the nurturing Earth Mother! Boom-shakah-lakah!
What is remembered, lives. According to the old Cairo calendar, today is the Feast of Sekhmet-Bast-Ra: Blessed be Their Names! In the 164th Chapter of The Book of the Dead, we are presented with this glorious hymn (I’m citing the Budge translation): Continue reading
Theologically speaking, as a hard polytheist, I believe that the Deities I love and serve objectively exist and have distinct, independent personalities with likes and dislikes, preferred/time-honored ritual offerings, and unique bodies of lore surrounding Them. They are not mental constructs/Jungian archetypes drawn from some collective Unconscious well. Continue reading
Editorial Comment: I am extremely pleased that the essay you’re about to read below has been accepted for publication in Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s forthcoming anthology on the goddess Sekhmet entitled Daughter of the Sun: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Sekhmet. My essay is being published under my legal name and I will retain all copyrights to it. The book is being released next month; I’m so excited!
“Sekhmet and the Ma’at of Letting Go”
Just prior to leaving for the 2014 Pagan Spirit Gathering, held June 15-22 in Illinois, I had been seeing, due to its popularity among several of my friends, a recurring post on my Facebook News Feed—one that irked me.