“One Nation, Indivisible”

I was on my way to a rescheduled hair appointment on September 11, 2001. My stylist’s business card had 9:30am written in the back along with the date 9/11. As I left my Atlanta apartment a bit after 9am, I had the station on the usual alternative rock station of the times: 99X featuring Barnes, Leslie, and Jimmy. They always made me laugh in the mornings while I was getting ready for my day. But on this day, they were acting bizarre. Then I heard them scream with horror while live on the air. They had witnessed the second plane hit the other tower. I heard the reaction and I realized something serious was happening.

I went to the salon as scheduled to confirm to the pretentious young receptionist I was there. I told her what happened with the WTC and she sneered at me like I was crazy. Once my stylist arrived for work, she began to realize what was going on and he asked her to turn on the radio. For two solid hours while getting my mane foiled, shampooed, and styled, we listened to the radio like it was 1935. We listened to the horror of AA Flight 77 crashing into the western end of The Pentagon at 9:37. We heard about the south tower imploding at 9:59am, which was under an hour after impact. Then the north tower was collapsing at 10:28am. Then we (my stylist and I) heard that Flight 93 was headed toward The White House. Everyone was stunned. We all prayed. We did not know what to do other than continue and listen. Then we found out that the hijacked Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, PA. I paid the salon; tipped my stylist; and left to go back home. I immediately called my parents, both sets of my grandparents, and a colleague who had a daughter in Manhattan that day. Fortunately, her daughter and friends were unharmed and my parents/grands knew I was ok. The city of Atlanta was closed by lunch hour. I barely remember what color my hair was, or even really cared. I turned on the TV and watched what I had been comprehending from the radio. I spent the day in meditation and solitude. I tried not to engross myself in the news stations too much because I was trying to keep my beloved intentions focused on (what I did not know at the time) 2977 people who had been killed. Moreover, loved ones of endless family members, elders, and descendents as survivors of the deceased were in thought.

Eighteen years later, it is difficult to realize that a person who had been born that year is of legal age. Eighteen years later, I have trouble remembering how we were without handheld technology a our fingertips. Eighteen years later, I find it bizarre that I live in a different geographical state of the country. Eighteen years later, I still remember that day and the aftermath.

The aftermath of this tragedy in 2001 temporarily brought us forward as a people whom had empathy for mankind. We all set aside our differences and helped one another. We saw men, women, dogs, and children organically reaching down to help one another back to level ground. There was a transparency and indifference to political party, sexual orientation, race, and gender. We all saw one another as mortal human beings whom had decency to respect each other’s lives and loves.

What we did not have was apathy and cynicism. We took this moment in time to unselfishly assist and anonymously be charitable. Being charitable is not equivalent to money donated, but time. Time is an asset that is completely irrevocable. By the time one has finished reading this publication I can say, “Thank you for your time.”

2001 was a year before the uprise of social media. Nobody came home to video tape and upload what happened on 9/11/2001 because we did not have that technology. We were a humanity that showed grace by active duty to one another. We truly were Americans living to our Pledge of Allegiance. We were “Invisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.”

Fast forward eighteen years, I will never forget what happened that day. I forgot what I was eating; whose post scored so many “likes”; who got influenced to post whatever on social media; and who told me something irrelevant with apathetic tone because I offended them. On the contrary, I will not forget who I am as a citizen and act without prejudice to my neighbor and neighboring countries.

Most of all, I will never forget and always will remember the generosity, sacrifice, and horror as the outcome of September 11, 2001.

May you blessed be.

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The Exodus from an Ecclesiastical Country Club

I began to realize that what a wise man once stated is true, ” Just because one sits in church on a Sunday doesn’t make them any more of a Christian than sitting in a garage makes one an automobile.” I have been very sickened by growing up in the rural, deep South of America. There is a presuppose that we should work 9 to 5 Monday through Friday; go to a four year university; be involved in a hobby in our spare time; socialize on the weekend; and go to a Christian church on Sunday.

Ceiling of Cathedral de Notre Dame, Paris 2016

The position one has as a church member seems to be important within the congregation. However, the importance should entail a daily practice through acts. I began to see acts that were not so kind through the political dogma surrounding the members of the church. This was not the only church I had seen such negative actions. I sat back and observed others gossiping about one another. I saw people attempt to take advantage of single, younger people with their money. I was groped by dirty old men. I got scared of some of these people. They had wonderful fellowship parties, and dinner parties with lots of wine and song.

My position was in the choir and coordinating annual fundraiser dinner for the ladies organization. Singing and music were always my escape to a different dimension of consciousness. Especially singing ancient hymns in various harmonies. Socializing and entertaining were beginning to seem like the core of the purpose of the church. I was not able to understand why the focus of Christ as the central deity seemed to be ignored. I felt that I was a part of an Ecclesiastical Country Club.

Most of all, I began to see the church as an organization and a business which placed great emphasis on whom had the most funds to contribute. I must say I developed some lasting relationships with some lovely, fine people. But inside, I was incomplete with my spirit. I wanted something more meaningful with peace that seemed genuine. I saw the Divine as an entity which was greater than a confinement to one “be all and end all”. After all, what happened to my ancestors from over 1000 to even 3000 years ago? Yes, they are dead, but they remain in me. Did they go to some furnace in th afterlife or the other world? I took DNA tests go find that I was Norwegian, an eclectic mix from the Anglo Saxons in the British Isles, and Native American. Then I became more enthralled with what their practices were. I became passionate about the genocide of the Native Americans. I sat outside under a tree and began to simply do an exercise that my grandmother used to do: I did cloud scrying. I felt the earth under my body. I knew that I would return under that blanket one day and I was no longer upset.

I began to set great intentions for myself and my surroundings. Within two years, I reunited with the young man I fell in love with as a 15 year old (27 years later). He had never married and neither had I. And we got married after dating for two years. He is the kindest, most generous and supportive partner I could have ever dreamed of. Our officiant was of the church, and he is held in the highest regard as part of my spiritual path. He is an example of kindness and tolerance for other souls with different paths.

My intentions never stopped in the romance department. I set intentions for peace and prosperity within my workplace. I prayed to Gaia that I would find development within my soul (at the time I did not know of Gaia). I needed an elder to help guide me, and I found her on WitchVox. She is to this day a wealth of information from her formal education in both botany an as a Unitarian Universalist minister.

Which brings me to the term “witch” as I write this at “the witching hour” which is between 2am and 5am. Many supernatural occurrences happen during these times. Everyone has abilities to create magic. Magic is an act which can either be directed as good or bad. Our personas are the magic, and the powers that we present to others and ourselves. One can be male or female. They may be called by a Higher Power or not. I personally have relationships with a matron and patron. Regardless, they keep me honest and at peace.

I also have found the theories from Carl Jung with his identification of the “shadow self” of great help. There are times, and the personality of an individual may be saintly, that a dark and grimy side emerges from their light. Often we do not see this in ourselves. However, others can see this monster, mood, or demon. We all have that when we gossip about others, or use projection to make a point which is a relay to the shadow self. Being able to recognize our own shadow is a giant step in maturity and spiritual development.

Releasing myself to nature is a return to my roots of being on the farm, and asking an immediate family member as a child the question, “What is Heaven like?” She answered, “Heaven is a beautiful garden that is full of gorgeous, colorful flowers. There are green trees and all of your loved ones will greet you there.” As I recalled that question 35 years later, and as I studied the birth of my path with magic, I knew she was referring to The Summerland. I had found God, Goddess, and was beginning to understand who my ancestors were.

I began studies with The Correllian Nativist Tradition in late 2015, and I am continuing to walk my path. I am now in the beginnings of my path as clergy to help enrich the lives of others and my community. The path is not always straight, clear, or bright. However, the walk is peaceful. Releasing the restraints of worry over opinions of others is a huge start. And recognizing that self dedication to an enlightening spiritual path is as simple as a wade in a creek or mediation under a tree on a crisp autumn afternoon.

I still love those I have had fellowship with the Christian church. I cherish those friendships which will endure through my life. The difference now is my church exists everywhere I go. My church is in my heart. My prayers and studies of knowledge are not limited to one or two days a week. They are not about a position, nor money or tithes. A shower of golden light emerges through the aura of being mindful with oneself and others. Daily practice leads to spiritual strength and clarity. Peace abounds!