Friday, July 24, 2009

Shadow Dance

My favorite email list continues to discuss working with the shadow. I have continued to my own reflection, and here is part of my reply. This will be an opinion laced, not necessarily factually based, opportunity to share as I challenge others to even more thinking...ready?

Following the most sexually and emotionally abused period of my life (age 32-34), I emerged very damaged. Obviously had a great deal of healing to do, which also made me prey to Jeremy. Indeed, if I were to examine the patterns in the weave of my life threads, he was my opportunity to work out the abuses perpetuated by my previous ex-husband and He-who-shall-not-be-named (and a few others).

As Cameron has described, Jeremy was a man who presented as intelligent, gifted, articulate and charismatic. He became the "Atlanta Daddy" to my best-friend's children. He became the best buddy to my own children. He became the Summoner for our grove's Priest (kind of like the Maiden to a Priestess...he tended the fire, handled the candles, and was the ritual minion). He was groomed to become the grove's next Priest. When all of that exploded, he went on to become a youth director for a Unitarian Universalist church in the Atlanta area. He also molested the daughter of his hosts where he lived. He performed such inappropriate magic as burying ritual blades on the property, concealing items beneath my son's their daughter's bed, creating jewelry for the kids the youth group to wear, etc. As a result of all of these crimes, he was ritualistically warlocked. In essence, if not fact, by three groups.

Definition of terms here: (as I understand warlocking): To warlock someone is to declare them in public an oath-breaker. Each group involved had a different way to do this.

The Grove of the Unicorns called a counsel of 3rd Degrees and Elders (I wanted to participate, but lacked credentials). Their ceremony, as I understand it, was to cut Jeremy, who was a first-degree in their tradition, off from the magical source of their tradition. (I'm stumbling for words here, so if anyone as a better way to phrase it, please do so. Nightwide? Gaia?) His priestess bore the karmic responsibility of his initiation. She was not well physically before all of this. Following what happened (he lived in her home for a year, part of the time taking my son with him), she never recovered. Nor has she been able to truly face what happened, although she has made amends to me, as best she is capable. The priest, healthier of body and spirit, even more so. They later came to understand that the took my son from me (he was fifteen).

Our eclectic group gathered at my best friend's house. Best friend had offered by son and I the opportunity to stay with her after Jeremy cost us our home (literal). Jeremy had helped to put up a wall in her dining room to create a bedroom for Aaron. When the group met after the fall out (2 years had gone by), they ritualistically removed the wall and purified the space. Within the wall were things both mundane and magical, material and astral, that do not bear speaking of here.

The third ritual was performed by the UU's and I only have second knowledge of it. Following an intervention to stopped his host's daughter from leaving to go to Alabama with him (remember, she was underage), the property was searched. All talismans, blades, jewelry was found and ritualistically taken care of. Parents/children affected were contacted and cared for. The UU church circulated official notices of his face, name and description as a warning in case Jeremy turned up to work his evil somewhere else.

Jeremy's clinical diagnosis is bi-polar with disassociate episodes. He is also, in fact, a sociopath, or psychopath in common terms. Because our souls can always be graced with healing, I will not call him evil. But I will say he was quite capable of evil action.

Again, my personal opinion... Certainly Jeremy afforded many people opportunity to face their own shadows. In my case, I had to learn to handle people in authority (learn to stand up for myself), people who talk badly about me and believe the worst, to define my own realities despite what anyone else said, and more. However, I am not the kind of witch to forgive and forget. I continue to cope with the losses he cost me. While my oldest son does not speak to me, I will never forgive his costing me both my sons. That cost has become generational because I do not have contact with my oldest son nor my grandchildren (I do talk with my daughter-in-law regularly, so I know they are okay). Nevertheless, the time for retribution has paced.

I guess what I am getting at is that we can take catastrophic life events and garner soul lessons. But there's a point at which chaos happens. Sometimes other people's soul lessons, other people's karma, other people's evil deeds, run right over us. Was it retribution to participate in rituals to warlock Jeramy? Probably. But that's also justice. And responsibility. And remember that emotion is a powerful tool of a witch. So those warlocking were done with witches with heightened emotion as they called on the Gods and Goddesses.

After my own personal ceremonies for healing, I ceased working magic regarding him. On the other hand, one grieves as long as one must. And I will grieve the loss of my oldest son and grandchildren until they either are back in my life, or until I die. For me, if I stop grieving, I'll stop loving. So it's not possible.

I think I could have learned those shadow lessons in far gentler ways. I was warned about him, but didn't listen. I needed financial help at that time to keep custody of my children. I put my desire to be a mother ahead of common sense: ( Not an uncommon thing for women who have children and no means to support them alone.
As a result of all that has happened, I have come to believe that initiations, and subsequent degrees, are vital shadow work. When we descend into the abyss and confront our authentic selves, we face our shadows. Sometimes we do that spontaneously, often we do so as part of the pathwork within Wicca (a reason to be part of a coven--we need community to work through these issues with).

As we draw closer to divinity, we do our shadow work and discover the blessings, lessons, and transformations within its darkness. I believe that we face our shadow selves, we consciously attune with the parts of our shadow that need to work consciousness. And once attuned, become a part of everything we do. I think of my inner shadow as that part of self where authenticity and wisdom reside. And when I am silent and still, I can attune to that part of self and know what I must do.

Okay, getting way to esoteric. I hope I haven't lost too many people with my rambling. I am in that space where words aren't quite enough to convey meaning!


  1. I will never forget the first time I ever met Jeremy. We had met you, and your best friend, Fiber Geek. We were told that you had this wonderful fiance who could not make it at that time because he had to work.
    We finally went down to visit Dell and went over to your condo - which was an amazing place, full of books, and cats and dogs and little creatures, beautifully kept and decorated...we were charmed. You were so cool, and we were expecting a really neat guy as your "wonderful fiance".
    Then Jeremy swung around the door from the kitchen and stepped into the living room to be introduced. And I took one look into those icey blue eyes and snapped up short. He seemed very pleasant and smiling, but all I could see were those cold measuring eyes and feel the frission up my spine that said "DANGER!!!"
    Everybody loved him...the kids thought he was great, Fiber Geek thought he was great, you seemed to be in love with him, oblivious, and even Luna became instant best friends with him. I wanted to run. Better still, I wanted to get everyone away from him, especially you, and I barely knew you.
    It was enough to make me want to take my little 6th sense in for a tune up...and bang my head on the ground.
    A few years went by...everybody continued loving this best all I could do was keep my distance a little psychologically, because I never could still the alarm bells that went off around him.
    I finally had the opportunity to spend some time with him on a long drive, and for a moment seemed to get past it, to see the man every one else seemed to see and put my strange reaction to rest. By the time we made the second leg of the trip back to Atlanta, he had managed to scare the HELL out of me for real, with his disjointed strange ramblings...
    My instincts were so right in this case. It was like seeing the flames and wanting to yell "Fire!" and knowing nobody would hear me. Until he finally became too unstable to hide the monster he was, he had everyone around him too charmed to believe a nay-sayer...

    When I see how he burned your life to the ground, I wish now I had tried, even though I know nobody would have heard me until too late...

  2. One further thought...I don't think my "instinct" in this case was some supernatural insight or arcane wisdom...
    When I look back and think of a certain individual in my early 20's who was a lot more like Jeremy in many ways than I care to think about, I think I know where my inner alarm bell came from - bitter experience that cannot be told, but only learned in lifes darker lessons. There are some dangers that can only be discerned once they have been experienced...sometimes when we are struggling with our lifes patterns we have to experience the shadow a number of times before we can break free of it.
    I think I knew what I saw in Jeremy's eyes when i first saw him, because I had seen eyes like that in another face long ago, and been burned myself, in a different fire, but a fire all the same. So no great inner wisdom here...only the inner burn scars to prove that even I can learn, sometimes, as stubborn as I am.

  3. Do yourself a favor and set the guilt aside for a while. I have seen and dealt with this individual in many forms. I'm throwing this out there, but...

    Was he blue eyed?
    Not a great looker, but had a magnetism?
    If you were wary of him, were you more wary when he smiled?
    Did he enter your circle from nowhere and rise to the top faster than anyone should?
    It's unlikely but possible he was blond. More likely dark to black.
    Children flocked to him.
    Many animals were wary of him.

    How close?

    If he fits the pattern this world has seen his soul and handy work many times. Jim Jones, Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson,Pol Pot, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, Joseph Stalin.

    And that's only the biggies from the last 100 years. I've met quite a few who were working their way up. Not always easy to spot, but I have seen one repeatable trait... If you cross them they will do -ANYTHING- in their power to destroy you...and make it look like it's your fault.

    I've been the target a few times and barely survived. Then had to go in and pick up the pieces after it blew up.

    In the Addams Family, Wednesday is going out for Halloween. She looks normal for her, and so is asked "What are you?" "A psychopath, they look like everyone else." That and the charisma are how no one spots them. And if they do they are summarily destroyed or at least made to look a fool...until it's too late.

    You both survived...not as well as one would hope, but you have your lives and each other.....There are millions who didn't make it that far.

    Be safe and well.

  4. Pretty darn close...only two possible points off -Jeremy was light haired and basically kept his head shaved because of male pattern balndess. And animals did seem to love him. Its one of the things that made me want to take my little "Danger Will Robinson" radar in and get it over hauled; the fact that animals did not seem to sense any problems. .
    However, thats a spot on discription of the individual from my past.

  5. Indeed, Alissa, he was a sociopath. He was the last of three who crossed my life in a ten year span. Some days I simply count myself lucky to stil be alive!