Starr Crossed Creations

Starr Crossed Creations
Pretty with a purpose.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Untitled




The knife I held at my own throat was supposed to say that I meant business. 
There is no telling why I thought smiles and sweet words were your way of conveying sincerity.
You were a reoccurring dream that briefly emerged as reality.
I search through my memory for a turning point that still escapes me. 
When was the moment that "yes" became "no"?
Why was I the one to get blindsided?
It's unnerving that your false nobility continues to keep all enraptured.  
You, with your big eyes and dimpled chin and long stares and gentle voice.
Even though I was mesmerized, I knew, I wouldn't be able to save either of us from you.  
I boldly said it to your face, hoping to be convinced otherwise.  
And although you tried, I could see the end at the beginning. 
I had already told myself many a tall-tale on your behalf.
For your part, as with all works of fiction, a story's conclusion is the divine providence of the writer.
You wrote a bad ending for me.
Pray that I didn't write a worse one for you.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Power of Abuse

A person abused as a child will normally see those patterns manifest throughout their lives. Children cannot control their perspectives. The teenage years are already filled with the hyper-anxiety of changing hormones. Not really the best time to consider circumstantial self-examination.

 This writing is for the adult survivors of childhood mistreatment. There are a bunch of us that actually did get out, somewhat ok. I grew up in a place and time where men, no matter how horrible they could be, were the lords of their domain. Any female was little more than a servant. My father was 10 years older than my mother. It made the generational divide even greater. My father truly was a foul-tempered, egomaniacal, obsessive-compulsive genius. He could cut you with no more than a look or a sentence. He was fast on his feet...and no attempts at reasoning with him ever penetrated his iron wall. He was notoriously right all the time. He beat me, lied to me, said I was ugly and stupid, and called me things you wouldn't say to your worst enemy. He despised me. And I him. For me, he was evil incarnate.....which brings me to my mother. A very beautiful, but continuously shrinking violet, she was too frightened to be alone. Every assault I withstood was one she didn't have to suffer. She was guilty by complicity. She would agree with me when he was out of the house, but would stand right by his side when he was on the attack. How sad that she refused to protect me.

 Of course, one gravitates towards the familiar. In short order I had a string of abusive men walk thru my life. There's got to be a good one somewhere, right? Disappointment after disappointment, I drudged through..this one, then that one. I would make excuses when my partner would behave inappropriately in front of others. All the while, blaming my upbringing and abusers for the way things turned out.

 Feel sorry for me. Boo-fucking-hoo.

 If you've been emotionally battered (especially by a parent), you are forever trying to find acceptance. When you want so desperately for people to like you, you open the door to even more abuse and the cycle perpetuates on its own. I had righteous anger. Some of it still remains to this day. But that alone wouldn't turn things around. Then, it suddenly dawned on me...I could use this. I could take all of that pain and redirect it for my own purposes. The chart of your life is an outline that you can re-draw when you decide to get the guts for it. It isn't easy, but it can be done. Walk away from that bad relationship, say no to what you do not want, hang up on the person that damaged your young self image. You might not gain their respect initially, but you'll get your own, and that's where it starts to turn around. You're a fighter, damn it. If you can survive being stabbed in the back by the people who are supposed to love you most, what could possibly come against you? You've already lived thru the worst kind of betrayal.

 Until next time, may you be blessed by the Gods.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Being a Doormat

And speaking of being a doormat…here’s about the day I got truly cured…

I’ve done a lot of running in my time. Oh, not the kind of sexy, wind-in-my-hair, or I’m going to get some exercise type of running either. I mean the insane run to this appointment, that meeting, luncheon, work in the morning type of running. The ones full of movement, but without any real satisfying internal activity. It’s fucking exhausting. You can still wind up feeling like a slave to everyone else’s whims…what the kids want, what the mate wants, what the boss wants. Sometimes life is like a truly boring treadmill, and someone removed the damn stop button. I used to work in a building where there were elevator attendants (and as silly as it sounds, these were not old fashioned, gated elevators – think old movies). These were fully electric, push the button for your floor elevators, but the owner still thought the attendants were needed. I thought I had mastered the ability of getting myself to the fifth floor alone, perhaps others were not so skilled. Mr. Jackson was the attendant. One morning, I was running late. I scurried through the lobby where I saw one of the elevator doors still open. There was Mr. Jackson, smiling, motioning his hand down to slow me. “A queen does not run to an elevator, the elevator waits for a queen.”.

Now this might seem like a mere kind thing to say…but that moment changed my entire attitude about who and what I am. That sentence conveyed so much more than the words themselves. I instantly picked my head up and walked straighter. I understood, for the first time, that I could be someone for me. Not only did I have value, but it was my duty to represent that value from the inside out. I could consider my own desires, set my own goals, and behave in a regal manner. But remember that with great personal power comes great responsibility. This isn’t a license to become a bossy cunt. Rather, be someone that people might be inspired by. Move directly through the world. Be secure in your aim, your intentions, your motivation. Do what makes you glow. Make your happiness a priority, but not to the detriment of others. Be kind as much as possible, but within reason. It serves no one to give to the point where you are hurting yourself. Yes, you will continue to hear me say things like this often.

Until next time, may you be blessed by the Gods.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Losing My Religion (and getting it back) Part 2

In the beginning of my time away, one of the only things that saved me was the multiple daily calls I would have with my sister. She would sit dutifully, letting me sob and trying to understand why I had isolated myself where no one knew me. She agreed that there was obviously a reason for my departure, but she wasn’t any closer to the answer than I was.

It wasn’t just dealing with internal demons. It was also about the demon I had let myself become. I’d had a short fuse, and it had only grown shorter. 
Over the next weeks, small things by chance began to happen. Large scale conventions would take place not far from me. I would meet many pagan elders. These were people who felt their path and had been deeply rooted in it. They lived their path in all words and actions. Some would even come to visit and spend time. There would be lessons for me in many different areas. How all of us have the same questions and seek the truth, how some deal with grief, how some reach for, and apply, their own unique type of magic.

I had asked for my purpose. That is true. And in the spirit of “be careful of what you ask”, the Gods would accept no half-measures. I had to renew my belief down to the core of my being, and that meant paying attention to the signals, signs and words of wisdom that I would be given. For me to hear, all distractions needed to be at a bare minimum.

I began to write incantations and practice spell casting. Twice a day, I devoted specific time for reflection, prayer and other meditations. I learned gratitude for the morning sun and the evening moon. With each passing day, my belief grew, and my strength would build.
My sister and I were still talking several times a day. Now in better spirits, we would spend a great deal of time cracking each other up. During one of these conversations we wondered, if anyone could listen to our conversations, would they be amused as well?

We agreed that it was worth a shot. It would be the two of us, just talking about the normal things we would discuss. The point of it would be to show that we are as normal as non-pagans (and an excuse to talk on Friday nights as well.). We wanted to debunk the typical stereotypes to which people were normally exposed. Within two weeks, she had made all the arrangements. We had a show. The original title was “Witches In Stitches”. That name was soon dropped in favor of “Desperate House Witches”.

More time passed, and I realized that the time of isolation was coming to a close. As the end of a year would come, the desire to go home grew in strength as well. But I had to ask, if I did go home, would I lose everything I had worked so hard for? It was a true concern for me that I would revert back and the thread would be gone again. But I learned that I needed to live my path no matter where I was, who I was with, or what the daily distractions were. I endeavored to be less concerned with reactions, put a kinder (albeit, self-protective) foot forward, and go once again where the Gods would direct me.

That was over three and a half years ago. I’m happy to say Desperate House Witches is still on the air, and I am still very much on the path (and getting more rooted everyday).

Until next time, may you be blessed by the Gods.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Losing My Religion (and getting it back) PT1

I’ve practiced Wicca for over forty years (proving I’m old as fuck-all). And like most people who practice a particular path for an extended period, at some point, we can all have a crisis of faith. Oh, I had been devout…candles, incense, daily praise of the Gods…but somewhere along the line, I had lost the thread. What was I praying about?
What was that blessing for?
I slowly became like one of those people who go to church every Sunday because they are “supposed” to do it. I moved through ritual by route. I still believed in the path, but couldn’t “feel” it anymore. My life was full of distractions and life-stresses like everyone else. I finally learned what it was to be the proverbial hamster on the wheel with nothing to look forward to, and no hope of any change in sight. Something was desperately needed. I wanted new faces, and voices, and places. A pagan festival was in order. Time to reconnect with a larger part of the tribe. I found one where I was only known by a handful of people (who were kind enough to take me under their wings). I made my plans, and off I went. It was a lovely time. Kindred spirits, classes, lots of shopping (have I ever mentioned that I love festival shopping? It is very specific and one of the only types of shopping I truly enjoy.). I would spend the days walking from booth to booth, taking in all the wonderful patterns and colors and crafts. I made friends with friends of friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in a lifetime.The evenings were filled with friends, loud music, story-telling and learning philosophy from the elders who would stop by to visit. One who came by was the most amazing man, referred to by all as “Dr. Dabh”. He had a wonderful white and gray mane of hair, deep copper skin, and large, clear eyes that flashed as though illuminated from within. His speech was animated, every word filled with the wisdom of the ages, and every once in a while he would look over to me and smile. (I supposed he wanted to see if I was engaged in the conversation, and politely waited to see if I had anything to contribute.) There would have been no way to detect that this man was over 90 years old. On one particular evening, I approached the gathering place. I noticed that Dr. Dabh had already arrived. He reached for my hands and I took the chair next to his, not letting go. “Raina, I see you. You smile, but you are sad.”. I silently nodded in agreement and could feel uncontrollable tears streaming down my face. “The world is a very big place…but nothing will change unless you do.”. In that moment I realized it was my responsibility to re-create my life.

And so it was. Within five months I set out across the great brown sands to the other side of the country. Whatever I was supposed to learn was out “there” somewhere. Whatever my purpose was meant to be, I wouldn’t learn it where I had been. I should have been terrified (or so I was told). How can you possibly restart your life at 50 years old and by yourself? I ignored the warnings. The Gods had made their intentions clear, even allowing me to keep the same job I’d had for years. All things were pointed West. I had no idea of what I was getting into. It was like being on Mars. No trees, barely any grass. It was the opposite of anything I had known before. I knew there was a reason for this journey, but what was it? Why would I be directed to what I would normally consider to be the last place on earth? I rented a suite in the mansion of a friend of a friend. It was an amazing structure. A medium sized office and bedroom, with a large private bathroom between. It was akin to being in a castle tower, even though there was another roommate across the hall. I settled into my new world, and continued work several hours a day. Within a few weeks I acquired a large 5-tiered altar (the one I have to this day). Many nights, I would lie on the floor in front of it, crying and begging for answers. “Why Great Mother and Father, why would you bring me to this barren and terrible place?”. What the hell had I done? To my dismay, the intention of this relocation would not be revealed instantly.

Until next time, may you be blessed by the Gods.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Opinions Matter…Fake Outrage Does Not

When something terrible happens, it raises discussion.  Trading of ideas is a wonderful thing.  Coming together to try to understand each other is a basic component of living in a society.  Not everyone is always going to agree.  How many of us have said, “It would be so boring if we were all the same." ? What the hell happened to that idea? Are we losing our humanity?
I am seeing more and more hate on-line.  We find something that pisses us off and we find the like-minded to discuss it.  Then we feed off of each other’s agitation and it turns into hate.  But it doesn’t even stop there.  We line up as teams…defending our right to be angry.  It becomes a contest over who can be the most outraged. I remember a time when we could disagree without un-friending, or turning people against each other.  Now, we dissect every word, every aspect, ignore facts and turn assumptions into reality.  Who isn’t being perfectly politically correct?  Who has disrespected our collective value system?  We are actively looking for validation to stay mad.

Some of us have turned into everything we profess to be against.  We are nasty, judgmental, snarling creatures on a never-ending quest to search and destroy. I go back to Cecil the Lion.  We were all upset… but what did that accomplish?  What did the TV specials and on-line screaming do?  Nothing.  Not a f*cking thing.  A few weeks of manufactured outrage, and a lot of no results.
And the minute there is even an implied new “thing”, we run to the next crime scene like an angry mob.  We must be vigilant to kill off the new monster. Maybe we are the monster. Maybe we all need a new f*cking hobby. Not that there aren’t valid reasons to be angry…but people can’t even leave that alone. Remember “Black Lives Matter”?  For some reason people who are not black felt the need to want it changed to “All Lives Matter”. Well, of course all lives should matter. But be real… as we’ve seen, all lives are not valued equally. Your argument is invalid.  Case closed...next case.

The truth is, if you haven’t lived it (no matter what “it” is), then you really don’t know what someone else’s life experience has been.  Sympathy is not empathy. Maybe it’s time to be a little more understanding and a little less reactionary.  We all have a right to our opinion.  We don’t, however, have the right to eliminate (or co-opt) everything that doesn’t fit in with our personal ideal.

Individuality used to be important, as it still should.
After all, it would be so boring if we were all the same ☺

Until next time, may you be blessed by the Gods.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Reading Matters

Back at what seems like the dawn of time, there was a test kids used to get in grade school.  The teacher would have you read a short story.  Your task would then be to answer a series of questions based on it.  The test was to show you could read, comprehend and interpret the content.
So why now did we stop reading for ourselves?  Why are we so willing to let hearsay and rumor be considered the entirety of the information?  When did we become a collective that allows others to tell us what to believe, how to feel, what should cause our outrage?
Be careful.  This is very much how churches get what they want out of their congregants.  They tell the faithful what “The Book” means and everyone says, “Amen!”.

We are not those people.  We believe in independent thought, critical thinking, sound judgment based on facts…right?

You wouldn’t know it if you watch social media.
We read a headline, and boom.  We are off to the races on our anger.
Headlines are meant to grab your attention, but they should not be considered the whole story.
We remember what happened when Cecil the Lion was shot.  Everyone screamed for the head of the dentist who killed him.  As loud as that information was, there was very little said about the big game company that lured the lion off his reserve to enable (perhaps encourage) his death to happen.  It should also be noted that big game hunting is legal where the incident occurred.  Was the company prosecuted, fined, or shut down?  I know the dentist was pretty much given an implied death-sentence.  His career was certainly destroyed.

Let’s all be honest here.  Who had even heard of Cecil the Lion before this happened?  I know I hadn’t.  The truth is, you probably hadn’t either.

Please note: I am not defending anyone.  I do not believe in hunting for sport.  I love lions (when I was little, I used to pretend that I was Joy Adamson).

I merely bring these things up as ideas for your consideration.

Until next time, may you be blessed by the Gods.