So, this year so far has seen me get two jobs, one of which I love, one of which I hated and nearly sent me to the nut-house. Both jobs have now ended, one of which I'm really sad about but hopefully it will resume soon, and the other is classed as "thank the fuck for that, minimum wage is not enough for me to spend ten hours twice a week being verbally abused". The Hubster got sick after working seventy hour weeks and eventually had to leave a job he originally loved. (The upside is, he's got a job closer to home, less hours, no phone calls 24/7 - but the pay is poor.) Money is, as ever, elusive. And then my beloved Grandfather died very suddenly.
I'm still constantly chasing my own arse never actually managing to quite catch up with all the jobs that need doing. I keep failing miserably at keeping all the Hekatean observances. I just about manage to keep PL in coffee, but I've still not started on the shadow work I KNOW has to be done before my head implodes.
And then in my mundane wife/mother/daughter role I am running like a friggin' idiot just to keep up with cooking, washing, cleaning, organising homework, listening to parents' issues, volunteering, and every other little thing that needs doing EVERY DAMN DAY like feeding the cats, cleaning out the litter tray, emptying bins.... oh, you know the sort of thing.
What I want to do is waft around purposefully, priestess-like, calmly and assuredly carrying out my solemn duties, or ecstatically dancing through the woods, disappearing into undergrowth only to reappear with baskets of foraged gifts. Or being a gleaming naked woman lit by candle-light, celebrating the turn of the season by shagging the Hubster senseless.
Yeah, and somewhere in all that lot I have to squeeze in a bit more than five hours sleep a night because I'm starting to look haggard.
Now I'm pretty impervious to gentle direction from the gods. They do have to slap me around a bit before I pay attention. (Honestly, I'm pretty certain they sometimes regard me as a particularly ungainly, slightly stupid puppy who they get exasperated with but are rather fond of, because she does TRY, bless her...) So I don't expect them to turn up in my dreams, which I very rarely remember anyway. But oh, oh, oh..... this dream hit me with a sucker punch that whacked it straight from short-term memory into the box that says "Never to be forgotten even if you damn well want to".
In this dream, I was sat on a park bench. Looking at litter and wishing I had a bag so I could pick some of it up. It wasn't a park I knew, but next to the bench was a huge rock, half buried in the ground, which was hollow and open on the side next to me. Someone had dug a flower bed that went under the cave of the rock, and in a semi-circle outside of it. Planted in it, in regimental concentric circles, were bright red salvias and black petunias. Either side of the rock were two lit torches. A woman with deep black hair and 'Hollywood Diva' style sunglasses that covered most of Her face pulled the torches out of the ground and came and sat next to me.
"Here," She said, "Hold these."
I held a flaming torch in each hand, and the sky went dark. The torches reflected in Her glasses.
"You can't ever be my Priestess," She said, without preamble.
I didn't say anything, but the feeling of not being good enough - YET AGAIN - became overwhelming. It became a struggle not to cry.
"You do know why, don't you?" She asked.
I didn't move.
"Because you need to be needed. It's in your blood, your genes, your soul. You're always like this. You WANT to be Mine, exclusively, but you simply can't. And so you make sure that you are needed. You DO the mundane, the essential but ultimately unnoticed work that you need to do. That others need you to do. You mop up the shit, you take out the bins, you scrub the floors. You bear children, and devote yourself to their well being. You can't have the focus you need to be My Priestess, My Torchbearer."
Part of me wanted to argue, frankly, because at that point I was holding Her bloody torches.
"You're not cut out for ceremony, for regimented practice and devotions I request of My Devotees. You never have been. You never will be. However hard you try, whatever else you do - in this you will always fail."
I'm not proud to admit I wanted to shove those torches into any orifice of Hers I could reach.
At that moment, the torches flared, and I was sat in a garden chair in the middle of my vegetable patch. Somehow, the driveway in front of me led straight into the entrance to 'my' woods, and behind me I could feel 'my' cemetery.
She was no longer visible, but Her voice vibrated from everywhere.
"You are My hidden one. You learn from the ground beneath your feet. You learn from the spirits I send to you. You make offerings to Me every time you serve this land, these people, these plants, these creatures. Death holds no fear for you, and never has. I marked you many lifetimes ago, yet still you learn this not. Frankly, child, I'm fed up of waiting."
Two disembodied hands in black gloves materialised in front of me, and took the torches, which extinguished with a guttering crackle, leaving me in complete darkness.
"I can wait no longer. Now you will see."
And I could. Everything looked a bit like the end of The Matrix, when Neo finally sees all the computer code in the illusions around him. But instead of green letters and numbers, it was red circles, spirals, helices, that gradually faded back into the dim shadows of plants.
Of course, before I could open my big gob and start with the questions, I woke up to two huge yellow eyes in front of my face and cat-food breath up my nose (how the hell that cat opens the door and gets upstairs every night eludes me.)
So. Stupid puppy dog that I am, I've apparently been putting all my efforts (my apparently bloody useless efforts) into duties that are not mine to do. And all the shit/crap/boring stuff? Is what I'm supposed to do. The not-fun-stuff. The stuff of service to lots of people that generally either don't notice or don't appreciate the stuff I do. And I'm guessing I'd better stop bloody moaning about it, and get on with dinner, the washing up, and hoovering the lounge floor that seems to have more cat fur on it than the cats. And work out what the fuck were all those red spirals, circles and helices about.
I am Hekate's friggin' housemaid.